The Early High Christology Club (EHCC) was a loose association of scholars from various backgrounds and different religious traditions.
They all became convinced that the early circles of the Jesus movement regarded their Lord as having “high” or divine status.
Carey Newman, executive editor at Fortress Press, joins David Capes on “The Stone Chapel Podcast” to talk about the beginning and contribution of the “club” to modern scholarship.
Both Capes and Newman were founding members of the club, and unfortunately, they are the only surviving members.
Over the roughly 25 years the club “met,” it boasted some of the most significant voices in New Testament Studies: Larry Hurtado, Alan Segal, Paula Fredriksen, Donald Juel, April DeConick, Martin Hengel, Pheme Perkins, N. T. Wright, Marianne Meye Thompson, Richard Hays and a host of others.
As an informal club, it had no membership. But scholars who heard of the group wanted to become members and own one of the coveted coffee mugs produced by Baylor University Press.
To be a member, a scholar needed to have written books or articles making the case that the evidence demonstrates that Jesus is worshiped from early moments of the movement and set in such close association with God that he could properly be referred to as divine.
After relating the “founding myth” of the organization in the mid-1990s Carey Newman situates the club within the stream of scholarship.
Some regard the worship of Jesus to be a later development in the first century (60-70 years after the execution of Jesus). Others think it happened much later (hundreds of years). But members of the EHCC generally make the case that historically it arose for various reasons within the first decade of the movement.
Several Early High Christology Club members have lectured at the Lanier Library: Larry Hurtado, Richard Hays, Mike Bird, and N. T. Wright. Among the special collections, the library has the libraries of two of the founding members: Alan Segal and Larry Hurtado. It also houses many of the books of Peter Davids and David Capes, two key members.