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Did the First Christians Worship Jesus?: The New Testament Evidence Paperback – July 15, 2010
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"Any book by James Dunn is worth reading, and this is no exception. It is a challenging and thought-provoking book which raises central issues for Christian faith and practice." Christopher Rowland, Dean Ireland Professor of the Exegesis of Holy Scripture, University of Oxford
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Top Customer Reviews
The book begins with an acknowledgment of two principal dialogue partners: Larry Hurtado and Richard Bauckham, both of whom have published numerous studies on this topic, interacting with Dunn and with one another. In posing the question that is the title of the book, and identifying his key conversation partners, Dunn also emphasizes that mere citation of texts will not answer the questions, and that his scholarly interaction with others is less a matter of "agreement" or "disagreement" than one of nuance and an attempt to bring further precision and clarity. The introduction ends with an identification of key sub-questions that will be the focus of the chapters in the remainder of the book.Read more ›
Professor Dunn is Lightfoot Professor of Divinity Emeritus at the University of Durham in England. He is the author of numerous books and writings, and is accepted as an authority in the field. He put forth the PhD candidacy of Dr. James McGrath, Butler University professor, who occasionally stops by here for a comment and who has authored a book on Christianity and monotheism, and runs the blog Exploring our Matrix. I include this in fairness, since Dr. Dunn refers to McGrath's work and opinions in various footnotes throughout his book.
I am, as most of you know, no more than a humble amateur student of the Bible. It has been my privilege to read many books over the years, written by experts, and if I have come to have some small modicum of understanding, I hope that it come forth here in reviewing this work.
The question posed by Dr. Dunn is provocative to some no doubt, and undoubtedly, some would dismiss it with a "of course they did!" and go about their business. But the question is much more tricky that might be assumed, the answer is not what I expected, and I learned a good deal that I would not have assumed.
As anyone who has taken the time to try to understand what Jesus said and what he taught knows, understanding the mind of the first century Jew is essential to that understanding. The faulty interpretations that are so prevalent among "it says what it means and means what it says" crowd stem precisely from giving 21st century meaning to translated words of 1st century Jews.
If we try to attach our means, we most assuredly will get the wrong answer.Read more ›
It is an honest and thorough investigation, and the conclusions that Dunn reaches are well-thought-out and resourceful. He does not just hold to traditional views, but considers the question from a variety of aspects, and gives ample space to differing viewpoints.
In this book, the theologian also is a true scholar, objective and erudite. He respects his New Testament sources, and treats them carefully.
This is a wonderful book, a book that anyone can learn from and benefit from, regardless of personal theology.
It seems to me that the biggest part of this problem comes from the word(s) we use for God today. If you do an in depth study into the word theos and the word elohim, you find that they are not telling you everything. In fact they are telling you very little about the words and what they mean. In my take on it you cannot trust the Greek way of looking at God. Those are the people who gave you the church you have today. The Jewish concept and in fact the Jesus concept of God is in the Jewish context. It cannot be changed or married to the Greek concept of God. They are two different things.
I know some people will say it was revealed to the Greek mind and that was part of the progressive revealation of God. All I can say is that it leaves the door open for another change down the road and I just do not agree with you. Be it what it may look for truth, make truth you God!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
James D. G. Dunn is no stranger to the world of Early Christianity. In fact, it has been said of Dunn, “Anyone who is interested in the rigorous study of early Christianity and who... Read morePublished 3 months ago by John M. Kight
It really does take a book-length answer to properly address the question the title of the book poses. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Paul R. Peterson
Dunn always writes to the evidence. This book is short and sweet and doesn't waste a word or minute of your time. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Messieh
Excellent read. Not presumptuous, well researched with plenty of references.Published 19 months ago by Dwayne Demontigny
I came to this book having read the Hurtado volume ‘Lord Jesus Christ’ and being blown away by the thought that the earliest Christians viewed Jesus as God. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Peter Taylor
I've really enjoyed this book. I'm not a scholar so I tend to get lost from time to time. I also try to look up the biblical quotes in an effort to hold the author accountable. Read morePublished 23 months ago by thepoetnmotion
How can one not appreciate such careful, knowledgeable, and open-minded scholarship! This book has many implications for better understanding the Bible without reconstructing it... Read morePublished on September 17, 2013 by RCS
Dunn contends with the notion that Jesus was understood by the first Christians as sharing YHWH's "divine identity. Read morePublished on August 24, 2013 by Allen O'Brien