Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testament's Christology of Divine Identity.
Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testament's Christology of Divine Identity. By Richard Bauckham. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008. ISBN: 978-0-80284559-7. xii and 285 pages. $34.00.
Bauckham continues his work on New Testament Christology begun in his short and programmatic 1999 God Crucified, now included in this volume as the first chapter, followed by articles supporting the central thesis of God Crucified: New Testament authors included Jesus in the divinity of God from the earliest writings. Bauckham argues that New Testament authors used the attributes of the God of Israel to describe Jesus. In Second Temple Judaism, Bauckham argues, only the God of Israel was recognized as Creator of all things and Sovereign Ruler over all things. By including Jesus in the divine roles of Creator and Sovereign, New Testament authors claimed Jesus was included in God's divinity. In this thesis, Bauckham opposes the tendency in scholarship to trace Christology to angels or "divine men" or to locate "high" Christology as emerging from the Patristic period.
The second part of his thesis is less controversial but as important to Bauckham's Christology. By including Jesus in the unique identity of God, New Testament authors included human humiliation, suffering and death in the identity of God. In Jesus, God is revealed as the Crucified God.
In this volume he develops this thesis in three areas: (1) monotheism in Second Temple Judaism (chapters 2 and 3), (2) the worship of Jesus (chapters 4 and 5) and (3) specific exegetical studies of Paul, Hebrews, and Mark (chapters 6, 7, and 8). He argues that "[f]or Jewish monotheism, the one God has a unique name, YHWH, and a unique relationship with his chosen people Israel" and "[t]his God of Israel is the one and only Creator of all things and sovereign Lord over all things" (83). The practice of daily reciting the Shema in Second Temple Judaism ("Hear, 0 Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD alone," Deur 6:4) is reflected in Rom 3:28-30, 1 Cor 8:1-6 and John 10:30. The worship of Jesus, central to early Christian communities, further reflects how Christians located Jesus within the identity of God.
Bauckham has promised a full volume arguing his thesis; this book is an engaging and thought-provoking step on that path.
Peter S. Perry
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|Author:||Perry, Peter S.|
|Publication:||Currents in Theology and Mission|
|Article Type:||Book review|
|Date:||Feb 1, 2013|
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