What does it mean for Jesus to be "deified" in early Christian literature? Early Christians did not simply assert Jesus' divinity; in their literature, they depicted Jesus with the specific and widely recognized traits of Mediterranean deities.
Relying on the methods of the history of religions and ranging judiciously across Hellenistic literature, M. David Litwa shows that at each stage in their depiction of Jesus' life and ministry, early Christian writings from the beginning relied on categories drawn not from Judaism alone, but on a wide, pan-Mediterranean understanding of deity.
M. David Litwa (Ph.D.) currently teaches Greek at the University of Virginia. He is the author of We Are Being Transformed: Deification in Paul's Soteriology (2012) and Becoming Divine: An Introduction to Deification in Western Culture (2013).