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Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testament's Christology of Divine Identity

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This book is a greatly revised and expanded edition of Richard Bauckham's acclaimed God Crucified: Monotheism and Christology in the New Testament (1999), which helped redirect scholarly discussion of early Christology. This book is a greatly revised and expanded edition of Richard Bauckham's acclaimed God Crucified: Monotheism and Christology in the New Testament (1999), which helped redirect scholarly discussion of early Christology.


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This book is a greatly revised and expanded edition of Richard Bauckham's acclaimed God Crucified: Monotheism and Christology in the New Testament (1999), which helped redirect scholarly discussion of early Christology. This book is a greatly revised and expanded edition of Richard Bauckham's acclaimed God Crucified: Monotheism and Christology in the New Testament (1999), which helped redirect scholarly discussion of early Christology.

30 review for Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testament's Christology of Divine Identity

  1. 4 out of 5

    David Kakish

    Do you know what Christians and Non-Christians have in common? They both get a little bored reading Richard Bauckham. All jokes aside, I'm thankful for RB and the time and effort he puts into pouring over texts. Like an encyclopedia, his books are there when you need them. This was an overwhelmingly informative yet underwhelmingly engaging read. Do you know what Christians and Non-Christians have in common? They both get a little bored reading Richard Bauckham. All jokes aside, I'm thankful for RB and the time and effort he puts into pouring over texts. Like an encyclopedia, his books are there when you need them. This was an overwhelmingly informative yet underwhelmingly engaging read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    David

    How did Christians come to believe that Jesus was God in the flesh? The usual answer is that this belief developed slowly, from a very human Jesus early on to one who became more and more divine until full Trinitarian theology took hold. A large impetus in this was the penetration of Christianity into the Greek world as Greek categories allowed Christians to better understand or explain how Jesus related to God. Bauckham's argument is that this explanation is all wrong. He argues that the earlie How did Christians come to believe that Jesus was God in the flesh? The usual answer is that this belief developed slowly, from a very human Jesus early on to one who became more and more divine until full Trinitarian theology took hold. A large impetus in this was the penetration of Christianity into the Greek world as Greek categories allowed Christians to better understand or explain how Jesus related to God. Bauckham's argument is that this explanation is all wrong. He argues that the earliest Christology was a high Christology with early Christians incorporating Jesus into God's identity. All the categories for this are present in first century Judaism. Bauckham argues that there was a strong line between God and everything else. Beings such as angels were never accorded any divine status while God's Wisdom and God's Word were within God's identity. In other words, identifying certain things (wisdom, word) with God opened an avenue for early Christians to identify Jesus with God. Another key in Bauckham's argument is that the God of the early Christian, the Jewish God, was identified in acts rather then in just being. Thus the philosophical arguments influenced by Greek philosophy do come later, but to start the Christians saw Jesus acting as in ways God acted. Again, a high Christology is the earliest Christology. This book is really a collection of essays and is thus disjointed and repetitive. The first essay gives you the key points while the rest fills it in. I found myself skimming many of the later parts, looking for key points. That said, it is still a helpful offering by a great scholar.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    Brilliant. A must read for anybody taking religious studies classes at an undergraduate or graduate level. A bit technical. Best chapters: "God Crucified", "Worship of Jesus in Early Christianity", and "The Throne of God" Brilliant. A must read for anybody taking religious studies classes at an undergraduate or graduate level. A bit technical. Best chapters: "God Crucified", "Worship of Jesus in Early Christianity", and "The Throne of God"

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kendall

    Really good. In the intro Bauckham says these are stand alone essays and they need not be read in order. I would say that they should be read in order. It has a nice flow. In the middle it felt, ever so briefly, a little repetitious, but I think it actually helps set you up nicely for the homestretch with the main ideas reinforced as you read the last two essays.

  5. 5 out of 5

    John

    Reading it for a class on the Doctrine of the Person of Christ.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ian Hammond

    Eye-opening. Bauckham argues persuasively, that for Second Temple Judaism, "who God is and not what divinity is" is the important question. Thus, he argues that there were certain characteristics which demarcated the "Divine Identity," namely: He is the creator and the only uncreated One. He is the Sovereign Ruler over all with no competitors. He is known through His narrative identity. He is known through His eschatological rule. He has a Divine name, "YHWH." He alone may and must be worshipped Eye-opening. Bauckham argues persuasively, that for Second Temple Judaism, "who God is and not what divinity is" is the important question. Thus, he argues that there were certain characteristics which demarcated the "Divine Identity," namely: He is the creator and the only uncreated One. He is the Sovereign Ruler over all with no competitors. He is known through His narrative identity. He is known through His eschatological rule. He has a Divine name, "YHWH." He alone may and must be worshipped. And he alone is fully eternal (p. 234). This is the way the One true God was identified to his people, and through these characteristic Jesus is identified to be within the "Divine Identity." This is what Bauckham calls a "Christology of Divine Identity." The implication is this: the highest Christology of the NT was the earliest Christology, and the supposed intermediary figures in Second Temple Judaism did not play a formative role in NT Christology. Unlike intermediary figures, Jesus from the beginning was included in the work of creation and the eschatological rule of God, sitting upon the Divine throne, having the "Name" above every name, and receiving worship as the eternal one.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Roger

    This is not a continuous, chapter-by-chapter explication. It is, rather, a collection of essays that deal with the unifying topic of Christology and the divine identity of Jesus that have been edited to be one book. As Bauckham notes in his introduction, you can pick up this book and start reading any chapter and it will make sense. A lot of this book is scrupulous scholarship, even if it's relayed with brevity. There are many themes that repeat themselves in -- were it a continuous explication This is not a continuous, chapter-by-chapter explication. It is, rather, a collection of essays that deal with the unifying topic of Christology and the divine identity of Jesus that have been edited to be one book. As Bauckham notes in his introduction, you can pick up this book and start reading any chapter and it will make sense. A lot of this book is scrupulous scholarship, even if it's relayed with brevity. There are many themes that repeat themselves in -- were it a continuous explication -- would be unnecessarily duplicative. It's not light reading, but it is fascinating and informative. It's also a great reference work to have on your shelf if you are a seminarian or student of theology of any kind.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ronnie Nichols

    This book was recommended to me both by a seminary professor and several bibliographies of other books I have read in the past. I set it on the shelf and had almost forgotten it. I am glad I picked it up and invested the time to read it. The deity of Christ is one of the major dividing lines between Christianity and all of the world religions. Mr. Bauckham does a thorough job of providing biblical proof of the validity Christian trinitarian monotheism and shows how it is compatible with both the This book was recommended to me both by a seminary professor and several bibliographies of other books I have read in the past. I set it on the shelf and had almost forgotten it. I am glad I picked it up and invested the time to read it. The deity of Christ is one of the major dividing lines between Christianity and all of the world religions. Mr. Bauckham does a thorough job of providing biblical proof of the validity Christian trinitarian monotheism and shows how it is compatible with both the jewish understanding of Yahweh as expressed in the law and the prophets and 2nd temple Judaism. The world may deny Jesus but they cannot refute the truth He is and proves to be. Jesus is Yahweh and this book provides much in the way of proclaiming this eternal truth.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Gwilym Davies

    There are elements of Bauckham's doctrine of God that I'm not sure I'm fully sold on, and they occasionally surfaced here. And the nature of this volume (a first chapter that republishes an earlier book, followed by a set of follow up essays) that means that some of the later chapters don't add quite as much value as I might like. But the overall thesis is brilliant, and enormously illuminating. So good to locate the New Testament's Christology in a proper appreciation of divine identity in the There are elements of Bauckham's doctrine of God that I'm not sure I'm fully sold on, and they occasionally surfaced here. And the nature of this volume (a first chapter that republishes an earlier book, followed by a set of follow up essays) that means that some of the later chapters don't add quite as much value as I might like. But the overall thesis is brilliant, and enormously illuminating. So good to locate the New Testament's Christology in a proper appreciation of divine identity in the Old Testament. And especially good on Isaiah 40-55. I could easily give this five stars. I'll settle on four for now.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    I teeter somewhere between 3 and 4 stars, but because of this book's effect on scholarship, I leaned toward 4. Some chapters I disliked, others I thought were revelatory. In particular, Chapters 2, 3, and 5 were instructive presentations of Monotheism in Second Temple Judaism, while chapters 4 and 6 were helpful for showing how the earliest Christians could square a high Christology with this strict Monotheism. The infamous "God Crucified" essay/book was less than helpful and left a lot unsaid, I teeter somewhere between 3 and 4 stars, but because of this book's effect on scholarship, I leaned toward 4. Some chapters I disliked, others I thought were revelatory. In particular, Chapters 2, 3, and 5 were instructive presentations of Monotheism in Second Temple Judaism, while chapters 4 and 6 were helpful for showing how the earliest Christians could square a high Christology with this strict Monotheism. The infamous "God Crucified" essay/book was less than helpful and left a lot unsaid, but subsequent chapters made Bauckham's points well. Overall, I think that Bauckham made his point well; the earliest Christians were working within the confines of strict Monotheism. I think the verdict is still out--for me--as to whether the earliest Christians worshipped Jesus, but if they did, Bauckham's thesis in this regard is well argued. I believe there is room for refinement, but this is a substantial contribution to an understanding of the earliest theologies of the Christian Church--but everyone reading this review already knows that.

  11. 4 out of 5

    David M.

    Better for the soul than a rich steak the flesh. Bauckham fed me.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sean Meade

    Another great book from Bauckham Typically insightful like Jesus and the Eyewitnesses and his book on Revelation. There are also some valuable talks on YouTube.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nick Bersin

    A thorough examination of the early Christian understanding of Jesus' divinity. A thorough examination of the early Christian understanding of Jesus' divinity.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Parker McGoldrick

    I couldn’t put it down. In sum, “the earliest Christology...is the highest Christology.”

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rowland Pasaribu

    This text is derived from the 1996 Didsbury Lectures given by Richard J. Bauckham at the British Isles Nazarene College in Didsbury, Manchester, in October 1996. It offers a concise version of a promised later study. Bauckham sets his work in the context of current scholarly discussion about the nature of Jewish monotheism in the Second Temple Period and scholarly attempts to find Jewish precedents for early Christology. He argues clearly for a continuity between what he reads as a strong Jewish This text is derived from the 1996 Didsbury Lectures given by Richard J. Bauckham at the British Isles Nazarene College in Didsbury, Manchester, in October 1996. It offers a concise version of a promised later study. Bauckham sets his work in the context of current scholarly discussion about the nature of Jewish monotheism in the Second Temple Period and scholarly attempts to find Jewish precedents for early Christology. He argues clearly for a continuity between what he reads as a strong Jewish monotheism in the Second Temple Period and a high Christology from the beginnings of New Testament thought. Beginning from an emphasis on the identity (in contrast to the nature) of God, Bauckham argues for the singularity of the Jewish god of this period. On the one hand, intermediary figures such as angels are read as distinct from the divine; on the other hand, personifications or hypostatisations, such as divine wisdom, are interpreted as entirely included within the divine identity. Neither is reckoned to indicate Jewish alternatives to, or variations on, monotheism. By reference to early Christian exegesis of Jewish scriptures such as Psalm 110, Bauckham argues for Jesus’ participation in divine sovereignty and his full inclusion in the divine identity. Exploring interpretations of Isaiah 40–55 in Philippians 2:5–11, Revelation, and the Gospel of John, Bauckham argues for a reading of God-crucified as central to the divine identity. While the focus on divine identity and the androcentrism of the god-language are problematic, the emphasis on “a process of mutual interpretation” (p. 47), where the writers of the Second Testament brought into relationship Jewish scriptures and the history of Jesus, is worthy of further consideration. So, too, is Bauckham’s claim: “it was actually not Jewish but Greek philosophical categories which made it difficult to attribute true and full divinity to Jesus” (p. 78).

  16. 5 out of 5

    Matt Friedman

    While Bauckham notes in his introduction that this "isn't yet the fully comprehensive study (provisionally titled, 'Jesus and the Identity of God: Early Jewish Monotheism and New Testament Christology')" that had been promised in his earlier, ground breaking _God Crucified_, this is still an important book, which he describes as a collection of "working papers" on the way to the promised fuller study. Especially in view of the controversies surrounding the topic and idea of Jesus' identity being While Bauckham notes in his introduction that this "isn't yet the fully comprehensive study (provisionally titled, 'Jesus and the Identity of God: Early Jewish Monotheism and New Testament Christology')" that had been promised in his earlier, ground breaking _God Crucified_, this is still an important book, which he describes as a collection of "working papers" on the way to the promised fuller study. Especially in view of the controversies surrounding the topic and idea of Jesus' identity being within that of God, this is a timely and very important book, and will serve to whet our appetites for the full treatment to come, hopefully in the not-too-distant future. It is one of those books in which my mind was engaged, and my heart and spirit sang. Highly recommended.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Trey Benfield

    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. After finishing the book, I really felt all I needed to read was the first essay. Having said that, the first essay was great. Baukham's approach to early Christian concepts of Christology is novel and refreshing. He has moved beyond the stale debates that high Christology represents a gradual evolution in the thinking of the early chu 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. After finishing the book, I really felt all I needed to read was the first essay. Having said that, the first essay was great. Baukham's approach to early Christian concepts of Christology is novel and refreshing. He has moved beyond the stale debates that high Christology represents a gradual evolution in the thinking of the early church completely separate from its Jewish background or that high Christology resultes from nascent Jewish concepts of semi-divine figures that were not YHWH. Baukham's model is well developed, supported by multiple traditions of the New Testament texts, and historically plausible.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Graham Heslop

    A pithy review here won't even begin to do justice to the importance and insightfulness of Bauckham's work. He is eminently readable, but remarkably profound. His broad knowledge of Second Temple Judaism and contemporary New Testament scholarship colours his reading of the biblical texts without distorting their meaning or casting serious doubt onto their reliability and authenticity. I could decorate Bauckham's contribution with many more plaudits but I will simply say: I eagerly anticipate his A pithy review here won't even begin to do justice to the importance and insightfulness of Bauckham's work. He is eminently readable, but remarkably profound. His broad knowledge of Second Temple Judaism and contemporary New Testament scholarship colours his reading of the biblical texts without distorting their meaning or casting serious doubt onto their reliability and authenticity. I could decorate Bauckham's contribution with many more plaudits but I will simply say: I eagerly anticipate his larger and comprehensive work on 1st century Christology and Jewish monotheism

  19. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    Excellent. At times more technical than was necessary for my interests, but overall very compelling. The central argument is that Jewish monotheism did not so much ask what God is (divine nature) as who God is (divine identity). God alone is Creator and Ruler of all things. This is the heart of Jewish monotheism. But the apostles and the early church include Jesus in this divine identity – he, too, is the sole Creator and Ruler of all things. Gus from the very beginning the church made the most Excellent. At times more technical than was necessary for my interests, but overall very compelling. The central argument is that Jewish monotheism did not so much ask what God is (divine nature) as who God is (divine identity). God alone is Creator and Ruler of all things. This is the heart of Jewish monotheism. But the apostles and the early church include Jesus in this divine identity – he, too, is the sole Creator and Ruler of all things. Gus from the very beginning the church made the most exalted and exclusive claims about Jesus.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jacob O'connor

    When I was a young man, I would often debate the Jehovah's Witnesses (whatever happened to those guys?). The topic was typically the deity of Christ, and this consisted of each of us hunting out prooftexts from our New Testaments. Bauckham has written a fabulous book. His approach is worlds better, as he shows how the early church and New Testament understood Jesus to be the fulfillment of the Old Testament Shema. If Bauckham is correct (and he is), it overcomes any possible stalemate between Bi When I was a young man, I would often debate the Jehovah's Witnesses (whatever happened to those guys?). The topic was typically the deity of Christ, and this consisted of each of us hunting out prooftexts from our New Testaments. Bauckham has written a fabulous book. His approach is worlds better, as he shows how the early church and New Testament understood Jesus to be the fulfillment of the Old Testament Shema. If Bauckham is correct (and he is), it overcomes any possible stalemate between Bible verses.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Sverker

    This is a very important study on when the belief in Jesus as divine might have arisen. Bauckham makes a strong case for that it was there from the very earliest time of the Early Church. The first and the last study was the ones I benefited the most from. Many chapters in this book are very technical and scholarly and might be a little hard to get through without a degree in biblical studies or theology. But there are also chapters that are highly readable for anyone interested in the topic.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Quient

    Bauckham's sections on 'divine identity' and Paul are the strongest chapters. This is not to say that the other chapters aren't successful or compelling; rather those two are highlights amongst mountains. Bauckham's sections on 'divine identity' and Paul are the strongest chapters. This is not to say that the other chapters aren't successful or compelling; rather those two are highlights amongst mountains.

  23. 5 out of 5

    G. Harbaugh

    Excellent! Undercuts with solid scholarship much skeptical reading of the early Church and doctrinal development esp. regarding the triune identity of God and the divinity of Jesus.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Karla Goforth Abreu

    Bauckham writes from a scholarly theological perspective, thus the book is a very difficult read. In spite of this, it has stunning observations and timeless truths.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Faith

    I'm sure that this is a wonderful book for people who are interested in its subject matter, but, it is for people interested in its subject matter. I'm sure that this is a wonderful book for people who are interested in its subject matter, but, it is for people interested in its subject matter.

  26. 4 out of 5

    R.B.

  27. 4 out of 5

    David Wein

  28. 5 out of 5

    Iulian Petre

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mark Mathur

  30. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Hillaker

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