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Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testament's Christology of Divine Identity Paperback – November 29, 2008


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About the Author

Professor Richard Bauckham (Ph.D. Cambridge; D.D, F.B.A, F.R.S.E.,) is Senior Scholar at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, he was professor of New Testament studies and Bishop Wardlaw Professor at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. He is a fellow of both the British Academy and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Prof. Bauckham has published widely in theology, historical theology and New Testament. He is currently working on New Testament Christology and the Gospel of John. Prof. Bauckham's originality in defending both the historical Jesus and his divine identity has set a new standard in the academic world, most notably in his groundbreaking publications Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony and Jesus and the God of Israel: "God Crucified" and Other Essays on the New Testament's Christology of Divine Identity After his acclaimed and award winning commentary on Jude, 2 Peter (Word Biblical Commentary) and his interest in the Gospel of John, the arrival of his The Gospel of John in both the New International Greek New Testament Commentary and in Two Horizons New Testament Commentary Series, as well as edited works on John, The Gospel of John and Christian Theology and The Testimony of the Beloved Disciple: Narrative, History, and Theology in the Gospel of John, along with his volume on The Gospel of Luke (International Critical Commentary series) is much anticipated. His other published works cover a wide scope such as Jurgen Moltmann, James and Jude the brothers of Jesus, Gospel Woman, Mission, the Bible and Politics, Apocalyptic and Eschatology in the Tudor Period, the Book of Revelation, and the Christian Hope. Most recently he has published Living with other Creatures: Green Exegesis and Theology; The Jewish World around the New Testament; The Bible and Ecology: Rediscovering the Community of Creation (Sarum Theological Lectures)and Jesus: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (November 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802845592
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802845597
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on February 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
Bauckham argues that Second Temple Judaism was "strict", and that the high Christology of Paul could only be conceived within the context of Jewish monotheism. Both the Shema and the Decalogue make clear statements of monotheism, and in Second Temple era "there is evidence...the passage recited included not only the Shema itself but also the Decalogue. Observant Jews, therefore, were daily aware of their allegiance to the one God alone" (p 5).

In direct contrast to the hierarchy of gods pervasive among the pagans, Jews viewed God as the sole ruler of everything. It is nothing short of amazing that in this culture the highest Christology was present among early Christians "before any of the New Testament writings were written" (p 19).

Bauckham finds that "In the earliest Christian community, Jesus was already understood to be risen and exalted to God's right hand in heaven" (p 128). The Aramaic 'Maranatha' likely dates to the first years after the death of Christ and is an example of this. Doxologies and hymns offer more evidence, found in Paul's epistles, of worship that dates to the first years after the crucifixion.

Earliest Christianity was a mutation, as Hurtado has noted, of Judaism. And what is very strange about that mutation is that the Christians insisted they were still worshiping the one, sole God, while they worshiped Christ.

These are complex essays, rich and rewarding.
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful By David W. Stroud on February 4, 2009
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This is a superb primary essay (revised from its stand alone book GOD CRUCIFIED earlier)with remarkable supporting essays and further argument about the inherent claims of Christians regarding Jesus and his relation to the monotheistic Jewish worship of one God. The initial book/essay gives the argument in broad strokes while the supporting essays fill in specific substance to the broader strokes. I have learned much from this series of studies and highly recommend it to those interested in the continuity of the claims in regard to Jesus' Divinity arising in the New Testament Church and continuing to this day. In addition to the NT evidence, Bauckham does an outstanding survey of Second Temple monotheism and its interactions with the surrounding Greco-Roman cultural religious mileu. He then demonstrates the ability of the Christians to identify Jesus with God within the monotheistic structure of extant Judaism by dealing with the IDENTITY of God. An excellent discussion of the difference between the conceptualization of identity with God rather than the ontological (nature of) being God opens one's mind to the modes of conceptualization that were available to Jesus, his disciples, and the Church as it understood more and more clearly what it practiced from its earliest days (indeed, from the Resurrection Day!)- the worship of Jesus.

If you were to read only one book of religious study this year, this should be the one. It is thrillingly enlightening and challenging! This is a text which will richly repay multiple readings and from which one may find many references worthy of further consultation. Don't miss it!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By M. Felker on July 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
In this fascinating book, Richard Bauckham articulates his view about Jesus and the "unique identity of God." The book makes up a series of articles that serve as an expanded version of his 1999 work, God Crucified. In it, Bauckham analyzes a plethora of Jewish background material in establishing who God is. That is, he drifts from the traditional "Nicene" views of ontology and seeks to focus on identity. In fact, Bauckham seemed at times to express some level of uneasiness with regards to Trinitarian views of divine ontology. The reason being, according to Bauckham, the Jews were more concerned with who God is rather than what God is.

The author seeks to establish his case by appealing to a wide range of Jewish texts, both Scriptural and non-scriptural (though some might infer the inspiration of some apocryphal works). To many who read this work, including me, the non-scriptural analyses might appear to be awkward at first, given that so many monotheistic and Christological works have neglected this important background information. However, by the end of the book, the reader will likely understand how important these texts are in establishing how the early Christians would have viewed Christ in relation to God's identity. That is, if we seek to view the Christological texts through the lens of the modern eye, we may very well miss some very important key elements.

Of course, these key elements are in relation to what Bauckham has repetitively inferred as "the unique identity of God." As stated previous, where many Christological works focus on the ontological aspects of God and Christ, Bauckham builds his case in establishing who God is, as second Temple Jews would have understood him.
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45 of 59 people found the following review helpful By James F. McGrath on August 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
Richard Bauckham's book Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testament's Christology of Divine Identity (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008) appeared after my own recent book on monotheism and Christology, The Only True God: Early Christian Monotheism in Its Jewish Context, had been completed. I thus welcome the opportunity to write this review and continue the conversation between Bauckham and myself on this topic of mutual interest.

Jesus and the God of Israel is not the "big book" on this subject which he is apparently still working on, but rather includes a revised version of his earlier book God Crucified : Monotheism and Christology in the New Testament as well as several other studies, both previously published and forthcoming, several of which those of us who are interested in this topic will have heard him read as conference papers. As Bauckham acknowledges, a thorough and in-depth study of the texts and issues highlighted in this book is still needed, and he does not claim that the present work accomplishes this (pp.x-xi). Nevertheless, it contributes in interesting and exciting ways to the ongoing scholarly exploration of this area. While I am persuaded that Bauckham is wrong about certain key points, I would add that even when he is wrong he is asking excellent questions, and providing interesting and creative answers that will, even when not ultimately persuasive, nevertheless serve to move our thinking forward and open up new and fruitful avenues of inquiry.

Bauckham groups previous approaches to the topic of monotheism and Christology into two main categories (pp.
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