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EHCC: Responses

February 7, 2013

Since posting the information about the EHCC, I’ve enjoyed responses from fellow “members” of the “club” thus far.  Jack Levison wants to make it clear that he doesn’t drink whiskey (or . . . at least, not very much).  Richard Bauckham, who wasn’t at the famous dinner described, affirmed, nevertheless, that he’s relying on the eyewitnesses!  Capes and Newman join me in fondly confirming the event (Deut 19:15).

James Davila added his own brief posting about his involvement in the Divine Mediators Group and the EHCC and the consequences here, which include an undergraduate course on divine mediators and then the 1998 conference hosted at St. Andrews on “The Historical Origins of the Worship of Jesus.”  Papers from that conference were later published:  The Jewish Roots of Christological Monotheism, eds. Carey C. Newman, James R. Davila & Gladys S. Lewish (Leiden:  Brill, 1999).

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  1. Ok, you said it straight 🙂
    Thank you very much for your time, I’ll wait for Ehrman’s book to continue the discussion..

    Have a good day, kind regards

  2. The connection of “Q” to Galilee has been well illustrated by John S. Kloppenborg (“Q, The Earliest Gospel”; Westminster John Knox Press, 2008), who I consider one of the most prominent Q scholar. I have read your books (“One God, One Lord”, “Lord Jesus Christ” and “How on Earth…”) and I agree with you on traces of “high” Christology in Q (although I think there is not an agreement among scholars). Q was written in Greek, as well as all NT writings, and since we know nothing about the existence of any “hebrew/aramaic” jewish-christian text, I don’t think that the usage of Greek should disqualify any source as “non-palestinian”. Kloppenborg (op. cit.) writes “we might suppose that although the Jesus followers who collected and used the materials in Q spoke Aramaic as a first language, it was Greek that was used when their scribes set down Q in writing.”
    I agree with you on the traces of “high” Christology in Q (although I think there is not an agreement among scholars), and I’m not sure if we should consider necessarily Jerusalem church as the paradigm of the “primitive, Palestinian” Christology, although it was definitely the most important and influential church (and Paul had to deal with it for its mission to gentiles). Jerusalem Church may have been a “Judaizing” conservative church, maybe more conservative than Jesus was (e.g. I think that first jewish-christians community of Jerusalem church were not so “liberal” on table fellowship as Jesus was).

    • Well, we shall have to disagree on how convincingly my friend John Kloppenborg has shown any connection of “Q” to Galilean circles of Jesus-followers. I find the argument speculative and not at all probative.

  3. I don’t understand why James and the primitive Jerusalem church should represent the first, most pure, true source of “real” early Christology.. (Why not Galilee? Q source might be an example of early Christian circles from Galilee). In any case I always found interesting the lack of evidence of any controversy between Paul and James +Jerusalem Church on Christological issues.. Anyway, as you said, we’d better wait for the book (and then I expect your comments of course, as “subject matter expert”!).
    Thank you, kind regards

    • I don’t know about “pure”, but the Jerusalem church is treated (e.g., by Paul!) as the mother-church, the point-of-origin of the gospel. As for Galilean circles, we don’t hear of them, and don’t really know anything about them. And, despite the fervent assertions of some (e.g., Burton Mack), what we call “Q” (and I accept the likely existence of such a genre of texts) seems to me to exhibit a pretty “high” christological stance too (see, e.g., my chapter on “Q” in Lord Jesus Christ, pp. 217-57). Moreover, there is no particular reason to connect “Q” to Galilee: Originally composed in Greek (per latest opinion), “Q” was evidently composed in the international language of the day and likely intended to serve trans-locally as a means of conveying Jesus’ teachings to believers.

  4. I just realized that B. Ehrman is “blogging” in these days on his forthcoming book, which title will be nothing less than “How Jesus Became God” (sounds familiar, doesn’t it?).
    The interesting thing, in my opinion, is that he changed his view on this matter over the last few years.. He originally supported the low/slow linear christology development, but now he admits that:

    He anticipates that (as far as I understand) in his new book he will now put forth the idea of *two* separate, independent lines of early Christology development ( a “low” christology and – new guest – an “high” christology) that have been eventually merged into a single kind of Christology.

    Now, regardless of his specific “two early Christologies” proposal (Ehrman is a good historian, but I have reasons to think he’s not very prepared in theology – so his theological arguments will require an accurate review) it seems that Ehrman now admits the existence of an Early High Christology based on textual evidence. This is important, cause many of his his books become bestsellers..

    I believe that this conversion might deserve a place (at least half place!) in the EHCC… ! 😉


    • Hmm. Interesting. I’m not entirely surprised. Anyone who looks at the evidence has to admit “early”. As I’ve indicated before, Bousset posited an early “Christi cult”, so early that this was the form of Christianity into which Paul was introduced in/after his own “conversion” event. But Bousset felt that this couldn’t have characterized the “primitive Palestinian community” (e.g., in Jerusalem). We’ll have to see where Bart comes down on the matter. I’ve offered my own analysis in Lord Jesus Christ (esp. pp. 79-153, on “Pauline Christianity”, and pp. 155-216, on “Judean Jewish Christianity”).

  5. Lorenzo permalink

    “Richard Bauckham, who wasn’t at the famous dinner described, affirmed, nevertheless, that he’s relying on the eyewitnesses! ”
    Ah, ah, ah, ah!!! I have started laughing when I’ve read it, and still I am!! :^D

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