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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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"The question of whether the Gospels are based on eyewitness accounts has long been controversial. Richard Bauckham, in a characteristic tour de force, draws on his unparalleled knowledge of the world of the first Christians to argue not only that the Gospels do indeed contain eyewitness testimony but that their first readers would certainly have recognized them as such. This book is a remarkable piece of detective work, resulting in a fresh and vivid approach to dozens, perhaps hundreds, of well-known problems and passages."
James D. G. Dunn
"Another blockbuster from the productive pen of Richard Bauckham. . . Not to be missed!"
"Shakes the foundations of a century of scholarly study of the Gospels. There are surprises on every page. A wealth of new insights will provoke lively discussion for a long time to come. Readers at all levels will be grateful for Bauckham's detective work that uncovers clues missed by so many."
Times Literary Supplement
"Bauckham's careful and eloquent presentation of his argument, supported not just by careful scholarship but by admirable common sense, deserves earnest consideration by all."
"It will be hard to take seriously future works on the origin of the Gospels that have not interacted with Bauckham. . . Recommended."
"Fascinating! . . . This book ought to be read by all theologians and historians working in the field of early Christianity. Further, Bauckham's convincing historical method and broad learning will also help pastors and students to overcome widespread modern Jesus fantasies."
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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!
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Whether one agrees with Bauckham's views and conclusions, he gives an insightful analyze of how Jesus being the second person of the Trinity fits within the boundaries of Jewish... Read morePublished 17 days ago by j. harrell
A MUST READ FOR ALL CHRISTIANS..ESPECIALLY THOSE CHRISTIANS WHO SUPPORT ZIONISM, AS GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE..Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
The first essay is really the best. The rest of the book is mostly short essays that flesh out points from the first essay. As a result the book seems repetitive. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Eugene E Benfield
Dr Richard Bauckham has added to his growing list of contributions of Christian thought with this rework of His "God Crucified" work of two years earlier. Read morePublished on December 29, 2013 by Gary A. Henecke
This book will strengthen your trinitarian views. If you do not hold to trinitarian views then you will be challenged. Must read for serious bible teachers and PastorsPublished on December 6, 2012 by igor beaufils
The topic of Christology is discussed by juxtaposing two authors with two views. The discussion should properly be titled "two [opposite] views on Christology" for... Read morePublished on November 28, 2012 by Oxford
Richard Bauckham considers the First Century Jewish understanding of the category "divine" as the necessary foundation for considering how Jews of that era could have understood... Read morePublished on September 7, 2012 by Alfred J. Lindh