Messianic High Christology: New Testament Variants of Second Temple Judaism (Hardcover)

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The depiction of Christ as divine is often assumed to be the categorical difference between early Jewish messianism and New Testament Christology. Despite the prolific accomplishments of recent scholarship on Second Temple messianism and on the origin and development of high Christology, research has largely treated these as two separate lines of inquiry. As an unintended result, earliest Christianity appears not as an organic outgrowth of ancient Judaism, but as something of an anomaly. Ruben A. B hner calls this line of thinking into question in Messianic High Christology.

Through a curated set of exegetical comparisons, each between a christological text and one or two messianic texts, B hner reveals to what extent Second Temple messianism is indeed the primary context for the high Christologies of the New Testament: most New Testament concepts of Christ's divinity are to be understood precisely as part of contemporary discourse within early Jewish messianism. While early understandings of Christ are not simply identical with some other Jewish messianic expectations, they should be understood as deliberate developments in acceptance of and in dialogue with the wider Jewish discourse produced by some Jewish subgroups. As B hner argues, it was not until the second and subsequent centuries that Jews as well as non-Jewish followers of Christ began to consider the divinity of the messiah as the decisive criterion by which to distinguish between what later would develop into two separate religions.

With Messianic High Christology, B hner brings the New Testament Christologies closer to their first-century Jewish context. In doing so, he augments our understanding of the correlation between early devotion to Christ and early Jewish thought and practice more broadly, and challenges current historical reconstructions.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781481315401
ISBN-10: 1481315404
Publisher: Baylor University Press
Publication Date: September 15th, 2021
Pages: 244
Language: English