This book is a greatly revised and expanded edition of Richard Bauckham's acclaimed God Crucified: Monotheism and Christology in the New Testament, which helped redirect scholarly discussion of early Christology.
The basic thesis of this important book on New Testament Christology, sketched in the first essay ‘God Crucified, is that the worship of Jesus as God was seen by the early Christians as compatible with their Jewish monotheism. Jesus was thought to participate in the divine identity of the one God of Israel. The other chapters provide more detailed support for, and an expansion of, this basic thesis. Readers will find not only the full text of Bauckham’s classic book God Crucified, but also groundbreaking essays, some of which have never been published previously.
“The key question this book addresses is the relationship between Jewish monotheism—the Jewish monotheism of the Second Temple period which was the context of Christian origins—and New Testament Christology.” (Page 1)
“If we wish to know in what Second Temple Judaism considered the uniqueness of the one God to consist, what distinguished God as unique from all other reality, including beings worshipped as gods by Gentiles, we must look not for a definition of divine nature but for ways of characterizing the unique divine identity.” (Page 7)
“However diverse Judaism may have been in many other respects, this was common: only the God of Israel is worthy of worship because he is sole Creator of all things and sole Ruler of all things. Other beings who might otherwise be thought divine are by these criteria God’s creatures and subjects.” (Page 9)
“For convenience I will distinguish two categories of identifying features of the God of Israel. There are those which identify God in his relationship to Israel, and there are those which identify God in his relation to all reality.” (Page 7)
“For the early Christians, these chapters of Isaiah, above all, were the God-given account of the significance of the events of eschatological salvation which they had witnessed and in which they were involved: Isaiah’s vision of the new exodus, the divine act of redemption of Israel in the sight of all the nations and for the sake of the nations themselves also, leading to, in the following chapters we call Trito-Isaiah, the new Jerusalem and the new creation of all things.” (Page 34)
Richard Bauckham's thesis on a 'New Testament Christology of divine identity' is the most exciting and challenging of anything he has so far done, with the potential to resolve old puzzles (though creating some new ones) and to direct Christian understanding of Jesus into new and fruitful paths.
James D. G. Dunn, University of Durham
Indispensable for all students of New Testament and early church Christology. . . . Yet another proof of Bauckham's quite extraordinary command of the world of New Testament scholarship and his capacity for fresh, helpful insights.
I. Howard Marshall, University of Aberdeen
Bauckham’s contribution to our understanding of NT Christology is breathtaking and persuasive at so many levels, from his exegesis to his theological conclusions. In this regard, his handling of the biblical text and of other Jewish literature from the Second Temple period is remarkable, as is his knowledge of a huge swath of scholarly inquiry on the subject of Jewish monotheism and Christology.
Justin K. Hardin, Themelios Volume 35, Issue 3, November 2010
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