This article offers a critique of one of the most crucial and controversial pillars of Larry W. Hurtado’s reconstruction of the origins and nature of earliest “Jesus ­devotion.” Unlike most other engagements with Hurtado, this article takes seriously into account all of his published work and not simply his magnum opus, Lord Jesus Christ. Likewise, unlike most other engagements, this article critically focuses on the explanatory relationship between Hurtado’s minimalist account of the Christology of Jesus and his earliest disciples and the postulation that powerful Easter and post-Easter “religious experiences” played the key role in the origins of Jesus devotion. Essentially, this article contends that Hurtado’s persuasive case concerning the very early origins of Jesus devotion (perhaps, so he argues, to be dated as early as the first few months of the post-Easter period) ought to have pushed his search for the major causes of such devotion back beyond the “religious experiences” of post-Easter Christians and into the life of the historical Jesus himself.

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