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“Dynamic Oneness” Review: More

November 6, 2014

Some readers report problems accessing the online version of my review of Suzanne Nicholson, Dynamic Oneness (mentioned in a previous posting).  So, I make available the pre-publication version

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  1. ounbbl permalink

    Is there any way I can browse through the pre-pub article?

    • The text of the pre-publication review is posted under the “Selected Essays” tab on this blog site.

  2. ounbbl permalink

    It seems there is a basic linguistic confusion. An entity being divine may mean it is God as of generic sense (i.e. God-being or god) but it is not an assertion that the entity is the God (ho theos) = Elohim (YHWH Elohim). So, is Jesus God? The answer is: yes or no. It all depends on what is meant by ‘God’ and in what context. Trinitarians are usually a serious culprit. English God is a borrowed word from Germanic language use translation. As with Greek, even with Hebrew el or elohim, it is simply no more than a descriptive title and by itself its referent and identity is something else.

    • Yes. Sure. I think this is now well known among scholars. But not so well known among a “general” public. As with any word, the meaning comes in the specific sentences in which it’s used.

  3. Tim Reichmuth permalink

    Dr. H.,
    First, thanks for making the prepublication version of your review available. Second, I look forward to reading Ms. Nicholson’s book. Finally, I wonder how she fails to see, even in the surrounding context of her main passages, that the relationship between the Father and Jesus is in some sense one in which Jesus is the agent through whom the Father relates to the creation and more specifically to those to whom God has reconciled himself. Further reason to get the book! Tim

  4. Dr. Hurtado, To follow up on your review of Ms Nicholson’s book, could you provide resources to read about :
    (1) “… I think she may not do justice to the fascinating combination of convictions reflected in Paul’s letters, which seem to me to involve both treating Jesus as sharing God’s glory (and, importantly, as rightful co-recipient of devotion) and also as the unique agent of God (“the Father”), the cultic acknowledgement of Jesus redounding to ‘the glory of God’.
    (2) “… she does not seem to me to engage adequately the several texts that indicate that Jesus is to be treated so highly because God has exalted him and given him this astonishing status (e.g., Philip. 2:9-11), which even includes according Jesus cultic devotion.

    They would need to be in English rather than German or French. Thank you for any direction you are able to provide.


    • Well, you might simply read one or more of my own publications, such as my book, How on Earth did Jesus Become a God?.

  5. Stuart Bonnington permalink

    Dear Prof. Hurtado
    Thanks so much for making your excellent resources available for downloading. I am progressively working my way through them all.and learning a great deal indeed.

    With sincere greetings in Christ
    Stuart Bonnington Perth WA

  6. Donald Jacobs permalink

    Do you know of recent studies that pursue the first option because it seems to me it would make the most sense: “(1) Jesus was not treated as divine by earliest Christians such as Paul ‘because of Jewish monotheistic beliefs’.” If Nicholson avoids the idea of hierarchy, how does she deal with texts like 1 Cor 11:3?

    • Donald: Perhaps a ready example of the option you prefer is Maurice Casey, From Jewish Prophet to Gentile God. It’s definitely (now) a minority position, and even Casey (in that and other publications) granted that in Paul Jesus was “rising toward divinity” (Casey’s wording).
      As to your second question, one of my criticisms is that I don’t think Nicholson adequately engages texts that define Jesus’ significance with reference to God.

    • I’ve read that book. I liked it very much. Isn’t it a bit surprising that this rather obvious and straight-forward reading of the text (your option 1) is being neglected. Even as an advocate of early high Christology yourself, don’t you think this is a bit of a gap in the academic literature?

      • Donald: It wasn’t neglected. It was published, reviewed, assessed, and (by most, it appears) found wanting in probative force. Crossley affirms his teacher’s views, it seems, and attempts to keep them in play. But for good reasons most of us found Casey’s argument inadequate in coverage of data, faulty in model (invoking his “gentile consciousness” category as explanatory for “high” Christology), and so ultimately unpersuasive. But as the French say, chacun a son gout.

    • Donald Jacobs permalink

      What about James McGrath? Isn’t he closer to Casey than yourself.

      It’s interesting because, as James Crossley presents the matter in his introductory text, “Reading the New Testament”, you and Casey present two competing viewpoints on early Christology, roughly equal in terms of wider support. But as you seem to describe it, Casey’s was always a minority view, and now largely in disrepute. Are you sure you are being as fair as you could be about the relative standing of those positions?

      • Donald: A “minority” can (and in this case does) include more than one. To say that Casey’s view is a “minority” one doesn’t mean he’s the only proponent. But, to judge from various recent publications (e.g., Ehrman’s recent book, the recent article by Andrew Chester, et alia), and to hark back even to Bousset and others of previous generations, an early and sudden eruption of devotion to Jesus as sharing/bearing divine glory and worthy of cultic devotion seems to be the majority view. Doesn’t make it right or wrong, but that is a fair estimate as to “sociology of knowledge.”

  7. Grant LeMarquand permalink

    Hi Larry,
    clicking ‘here’ gets me only to the JTS website

    • See my posting today, in which I’ve uploaded the pre-pub version to this blog site.

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