Thursday, January 08, 2009

Jesus and the God of Israel

I may be a bit behind on this one, but for those of you who don't know already, Richard Bauckham's newest book, Jesus and the God of Israel (Eerdmans, 2008) is available for purchase. I just received my copy today from Amazon (unlike Chris Tilling, I don't have multiple publishers sending me free books on a regular basis! :)
Anyway, it looks like it will be excellent.  Even if you don't agree with all of Bauckham's conclusions (I for one do not), he is in my opinion one of the most creative, brilliant, and thought-provoking New Testament scholars writing today. The discussion that has been provoked by his work, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, is proof enough for this. And to boot he's prolific-- for the voracious reader, he keeps 'em coming!  (So for those of you still waiting for N. T. Wright's sure-to-be-thought-provoking big book on Paul [volume 4 in the series], perhaps this will keep you satisfied in the meantime, unless the Parousia comes first.)
Here are some of the chapter titles:
1. God Crucified
(Containing the entirety of Bauckham's earlier book by this same title, which provoked a great deal of discussion in its own right about the earliest Christology being the highest and articulating what Bauckham calls "christological monotheism" and a "Christology of divine identity.")
2. Biblical Theology and the Problems of Monotheism.
3. The 'Most High' God and the Nature of Early Jewish Monotheism
4. The Worship of Jesus in Early Christianity.
5. The Throne of God and the Worship of Jesus.
6. Paul's Christology of Divine Identity
7. The Divinity of Jesus in the Letter the Hebrews.
8. God's Self-Identification with the Godforsaken in the Gospel of Mark

Two caveats/disappointments on my part. 
First, this is not the 'big Christology book' that Bauckham had promised readers way back when God Crucified came out. He's still working on that one, with the provisional title: "Jesus and the Identity of God: Early Jewish Monotheism and New Testament Christology." So don't buy this one expecting to get the final story; it is instead a collection of essays that are fairly independent of one another.
Second, readers will search in vain for a chapter on Jesus' own view (or lack thereof) of his 'divine identity'. The book is all about early Christian Christology, not the Christology of Jesus himself, which is a bit misleading in a book entitled Jesus and the God of Israel. But perhaps that book has yet to be written.

Otherwise, happy reading.


Anonymous said...

Brant, where do you disagree with Bauckham--on this specific issue or something else on gospels, etc.?

Also, I'd really like to hear YOUR view of Jesus' own view of his divinity! Please enlighten us:)

Anders Branderud said...

Brant Pitre,

You write: “Jesus and the Identity of God: Early Jewish Monotheism and New Testament Christology."

Le-havdil (to differentiate):
The research of world-recognized authorities in this area implies that first century Ribi Yehoshua from Natzrat (Nazareth) (the Messiah) was a Pharisee (a Torah-practising Jewish group - who according to 4Q MMT practised both written and oral Torah). As the earliest church historians, most eminent modern university historians, our web site ( and our Khavruta (Distance Learning) texts confirm, the original teachings of Ribi Yehoshua were not only accepted by most of the Pharisaic Jewish community, he had hoards of Jewish students.

The Saviour-doctrine and “Son of g*od”-doctrine are indeed nowhere in Tan’’kh. They are anti-Torah concepts.
1972, Paqid Yirmeyahu served notice to the scholarly world with his book, The Netzarim Reconstruction of Hebrew Matityahu–which most of the scholarly world still refuses to deal with. That has remove all anti-Torah doctrines which Dead Sea Scrolls 4QMMT proofs no Pharise could ever had said – including Ribi Yehoshua.
If you want to learn about the Historical Ribi Yehoshua, whom Orthodox Jews can live with (witness the Netzarim Jews in Raanana, Israel, members in good standing in an Orthodox synagogue), you must start with books like How Jesus Became Christian by Prof. Barrie Wilson (most bookstores) and Who Are The Netzarim? (publ. by Israeli Orthodox Jew, Paqid Yirmeyahu Ben-David.

From Anders Branderud
Geir Toshav, Netzarim(

Mason said...

Thanks for pointing this one out. I've really enjoyed what I've read of Bauckham (especially "Jesus and the Eyewitnesses") and will have to add this to my ever incresing wish-list.

Like Nick I would be interested to hear how you would see Jesus' self understanding of his divinity...

Paul Cat said...

I hope this book is more readable than "Jesus and the Eyewitnesses".

davidvs said...

Anders visited my blog with the same troll-writing. My rebuttal is here.