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Jesus Monotheism: Volume 1: Christological Origins: The Emerging Consensus and Beyond

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This is the first of a four-volume groundbreaking study of Christological origins. The fruit of twenty years research, Jesus Monotheism lays out a new paradigm that goes beyond the now widely held view that Paul and others held to an unprecedented “Christological monotheism.” There was already, in Second Temple Judaism and in the Bible, a kind of “Christological monotheism.” But it is first with Jesus and his followers that a human figure is included in the identity of the one God as a fully divine person.

Volume 1 lays out the arguments of an emerging consensus, championed by Larry Hurtado and Richard Bauckham, that from its Jewish beginnings the Christian community had a high Christology and worshipped Jesus as a divine figure. New data is adduced to support that case. But there are weaknesses in the emerging consensus. For example, it underplays the incarnation and does not convincingly explain what caused the earliest Christology. The recent study of Adam traditions, the findings of Enoch literature specialists, and of those who have explored a Jewish and Christian debt to Greco-Roman Ruler Cult traditions, all point towards a fresh approach to both the origins and shape of the earliest divine Christology.

Key Features

  • Presents a biblical and historical view of the development of Christology
  • Interacts with current emerging consensus and critical arguments
  • Contains first part of a forthcoming four-volume series


Part 1

  • Chapter 1 Christological Origins: An Introduction to a New Emerging Consensus
    • An Early Divine Christology
    • The Origins of Christ Devotion and “Christological Monotheism”
  • Chapter 2 Unconvincing Objections and Fresh Support for the Emerging Consensus
    • Unconvincing Objections to the Emerging Consensus

Part 2

  • Chapter 3 The Shape of NT Christology: Questions and Problematic Arguments
    • Incarnation
    • The Distinct Identities of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son
    • The Son of Man Title in the Gospels
  • Chapter 4 The Origins of NT Christology. Questions and Problematic Arguments
    • No Precedent in Pre-Christian Judaism for “Christological Monotheism”?
    • Lack of Opposition to Early Christology
    • Psalm 110 and the Identification of Christ with Yhwh-Kyrios
    • The Origin of a Belief in Christ’s Role as Agent of Creation
    • Problems with Hurtado’s Explanation of the Christ Cult
    • Conclusion: In Search of an Explanation of the Origins of Christ Devotion
    • Conclusion to Chapters 3 and 4
  • Excursus A Theological Problems Posed by the Emerging Consensus

Part 3

  • Chapter 5 The Similitudes of Enoch and a Jewish “Divine” Messiah
    • The Enochic Son of Man, Christology, and the Enoch Seminar
    • Hurtado: No Precedent for Christ Devotion in the Similitudes
    • Bauckham: The Similitudes as a Partial Precedent for “Christological Monotheism”
    • The Enoch Seminar: Continuity between the “Parables” and NT Christology
    • Provenance: A Marginal, Sectarian Text?
    • The Similitudes a Mainstream Second Temple Text
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 6 The King, the Messiah, and the Ruler Cult
    • William Horbury: Jewish Messianism, Ruler Cult, and Christ Devotion
    • Some Weaknesses of Horbury’s Model
    • High Priestly and Royal Messianism
    • Conclusion to Chapters 5 and 6: Messianism and the Origins of “Christological Monotheism”
  • Chapter 7 A “Divine” and Glorious Adam Worshipped in Pre-Christian Judaism?
    • Introduction to a Critical Study of the Worship of Adam Story
    • Arguments against the Story’s Relevance for Early Christology
    • A Pre-Christian Date for the Worship of Adam Story
    • Is the Worship of Adam Story “Untypical” of Pre-Christian Judaism?
    • Is Adam Actually “Worshipped” in this Story?
    • The Story’s Place in First-Century Jewish Practice and Belief
    • A Scriptural, Theologically Coherent Explanation of the Story
    • Conclusion
  • Excursus B On the Absolute Distinction between Creator and Creation
    • An Absolute Qualitative Distinction between God and All Reality
    • No Absolute Qualitative Distinction between the Creator and Creation?
    • Towards a New Model of “Exclusive Inclusive Monotheism”

Praise for the Print Edition

This book reflects impressive acquaintance with a large body of primary data and a wide swathe of scholarly literature, and prolonged and energetic engagement with the issues discussed. With only occasional lapses, his engagement with the scholarly work of others (especially those whom he credits with shaping ‘the emerging consensus’) combines an irenic and careful description with his criticisms. The book is also the first installment on a remarkable big-idea project. This book deserves (and will require) careful study, and will surely create interest in the projected volumes in which Fletcher-Louis will explicate fully his own ‘new paradigm’ of how the remarkable devotion to Jesus reflected in the NT first emerged.

Larry Hurtado in Review of Biblical Literature

Product Details

  • Title: Jesus Monotheism: Volume 1: Christological Origins: The Emerging Consensus and Beyond
  • Author: Crispin Fletcher-Louis
  • Publisher: Whymanity Publishing
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Pages: 388
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Topic: Doctrine of Christ

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Crispin Fletcher-Louis (DPhil, Oxford) is the Director of Whymanity Research and Training. He has held posts at King’s College London, and the universities of Durham and Nottingham. He was the founder of Westminster Theological Centre, where he served as the Principal until 2012.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


Digital list price: $24.99
Save $10.00 (40%)

In production