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foudroyant
05-04-2014, 07:09 AM
I have 6 questions about 'Did The First Christians Worship Jesus?' by James Dunn.


A. In no case in the New Testament is there talk of offering cultic worship (latreuein) to Jesus. (page 13)

QUESTION #1: Why then does the Lord Jesus receive cultic worship in Revelation 22:3?
http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?426-The-Lord-Jesus-receive-latreuo-(Revelation-22-3)

Dunn comes ever so close to seeing this when he writes:
In his visions the seer no longer makes a point of distinguishing the throne of the Lamb from that of God. Some of the descriptions seem to imply that the Lamb is seen to be sitting on God's throne (7.17), and 22.1, 3 speak of 'the throne [singular] of God and of the Lamb'. (page 131)
----------------------------------------------------
B. But most interesting for us is Acts 13.2, where Luke describes the church in Antioch, 'worshipping (leitourgountwn) the Lord'. Is 'the Lord' here Jesus? (as frequently in Acts)? Or does Luke speak of the worship of the Lord God? (#25)
Footnote #25: As in Acts 1.24; 2.39; 3.20, 22; 4.26, 29, 12.23; 17.24 (Page 14)

Elsewhere in the New Testament writings, 'prayer' as such (proseuchesthai, prosueche), explicitly or implicitly, is always made to God. (page 33)

QUESTION #2: Why then does the Lord Jesus receive προσευξάμενοι in Acts 1:24?
http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?448-Acts-1-24-25-is-a-prayer-to-the-Lord-Jesus
----------------------------------
C. Yet, notably, when used in prayer aitein and erwtan always refer to asking (for) or requesting addressed to God, and never to Jesus. (page 34)

He repeatedly promises that whatever his disciples ask (aitein) in his name, 'so that the Father may be glorified' (14:13). And he adds, 'If you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it' (John 14.14). (page 33)

QUESTION #3: How is it that on page 34 Dunn informed us that aitein never refers to Jesus but then on page 33 he cited a passage which teaches it does?
----------------------------------------------
D. In no case was the thought of worshipping other than God entertained. Or, to be more precise, when the thought did arise (worshipping a great angel?) it was quickly squashed. (page 90)

QUESTION #4: Why was the Messenger of YHWH worshiped in Genesis 48:16?
http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?424-The-Worship-of-the-Multi-Personal-God-(Genesis-48-15-16)
-------------------------------------------------
E. But deesis is used in the Epistles always for prayer; that is, prayer to God. (page 33)

QUESTION #5: Why then does the Lord Jesus receive δέησιν in 1 Peter 3:12?
http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?442-Peter-The-Worship-of-the-Lord-Jesus
--------------------------------------------------
F. In his conclusion Dunn writes:

So when we transpose our findings into an answer to our central question, the dominant answer for Christian worship seems to be that the first Christians did not think of Jesus as to be worshipped in and for himself. He was not to be worshipped as wholly God, or fully identified with God, far less as a god. If he was worshipped it was worship offered to God in and through him, worship of Jesus-in-God and God-in-Jesus. And the corollary is that, in an important sense, Christian monotheism, if it is to be truly monotheism, has still to assert that only God, only the one God, is to be worshipped. (page 146)

QUESTION #6: How can Dunn consistently assert that the Lord Jesus not be worshiped as fully identified with God based on the evidence above as well as the numerous Scriptural citations with comments by him below?


In the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) qara is regularly used 'to denote the establishment of a relation between a human individual and God...it is the verbal appeal for the deity's presence that is foundational to all acts of prayer and worship'. In common Greek too epikaleisthai is regularly used of calling upon a deity. So it is not surprising that the Septuagint uses the phrase frequently, epikaleisthai to onoma kyriou ('to call upon the name of the Lord'), that is in prayer. The same usage naturally reappears in the New Testament, where invocation of God is in view. More striking, however, is the fact that it is the Lord Jesus who is 'called upon' on several occasions. (#34) And even more striking is the fact that believers can be denoted simply as 'those who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ' (1 Cor. 1.2). (#35) The defining feature of these early Christians ('those who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ' is almost a definition, equivalent to 'Christians') marked them out from others who 'called upon (the name of)' some other deity or heavenly being. Moreover, in a still more striking passage, Paul refers Joel 3.5 (in the Septuagint) to Jesus: 'everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved' (Rom. 10.13), where it is clear from the context that 'the Lord' is the Lord Jesus (10.9) (page 15-16)

Footnote #34: Acts 7:59 (Stephen); Rom. 10.12, 14; 2 Tim. 2.22.

Footnote #35: Also Acts 9.14, 21; 22:16; 2 Tim. 2.22.

From this brief survey of other terms for worship, including the term most appropriate for 'cultic worship', we have discovered that the writers of the New Testament have only worship of God in view as desirable and commendable. In this they are faithful to the teaching of their scriptures. The one real exception, and a significant exception, is their description of the first Christians as those 'who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ'. (pages 17-18)



The only time when the thanks are directed to Christ I in 1 Timothy 1.12 - 'I am grateful (charin) to Christ Jesus our Lord'. The fact that the more typical liturgical form is not used ('Thanks be to...') need not be significant, since Hebrews 12.28 uses the same form in urging, 'Let us give thanks, through which we offer worship (latreuwmen) that is acceptable to God...' (page 21)

So, once again the language of worship is used almost exclusively for God, though occasionally for Jesus. (page 22)




Characteristic worship language includes the terms doxazein 'to glorify', and to give glory (doxa) to. (page 22)

Doxologies addressed to Christ alone ('To him be glory for ever and ever') are rare, but do appear in the New Testament (#64), while in Jude 25 glory is given 'to the only God our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord'.

The liturgical ascription ('Glory to Christ') as such may appear only in writings usually dated among the later documents of the New Testament, but the association of Christ with God's glory seems to be consistent across the New Testament, and the conviction that the exalted Christ shares in God's glory, and should be glorified with God or to the glory of God, is part of Christianity's distinctive foundation. Understandably Bauckham affirms that 'the attribution of doxologies to Christ is particularly clear evidence of the unambiguously divine worship, i.e. worship that is appropriately offered only to the one God'; and he concludes that 'there could be no more way of explicitly expressing divine worship of Jesus than in a form of a doxology addressed to him'. (#65) (page 24)

Footnote #64: 2 Tim. 4.18; 2 Pet. 3.18; also Rev. 5.12. In Rev. 5.13 the doxology is addressed both to 'the one who is seated on the throne' and to 'the Lamb'.

Footnote #65: Bauckham, Jesus and the God of Israel 132-3.

------> Dunn did not include the doxology to the Lord Jesus in Revelation 1:5b-6.




The first answer to our question, 'Did the first Christians worship Jesus?', would therefore seem to be, 'Generally no', or 'Only occasionally', or 'Only with some reserve'.
All the same, the fact that such worship language is used in reference to Jesus, even if only occasionally, is striking. This would have been entirely unusual and without precedent in the Judaism of the time. For Christians to understand themselves ad define themselves as 'those who invoke the name of the Lord Jesus Christ' in prayer must have marked them and their religious devotion as distinctive both within Palestine and the wider Mediterranean world. The fact that this definition could be used as casually and as taken for granted, as it is in 1 Corinthians 1.2, assuredly indicates that invocation of the Lord Jesus in prayer was a regular feature of early Christian worship.
Moreover, as the inquiry proceeded, the initial picture became more complicated. For though the worship language, 'to glorify', is also used only of God, there is a consistent thought through the New Testament of Jesus sharing in the glory of God. The thought is not only of Jesus as the agent or embodiment of God's glory, but of glory as also being given to Jesus, as glory is given to God. And in the benedictions that begin and conclude Paul's letters, 'the Lord Jesus Christ' is presented equally with 'God our Father' as the source of grace and peace, and as the one through whom pre-eminently the grace of God has come and still comes to expression.
In reflecting further on how this relationship of the Lord Jesus Christ with God is conceived, we should recall also the repeated conviction that thanks to God are given 'through Jesus Christ' or 'in the name of our Lord Jesus', or that God is glorified or to be given glory 'through Jesus Christ'. Christ, in other words, seems to have been thought of as on both sides of the worship relationship - as in at least some degree the object of worship, but also as the enabler or medium of effective worship. (Page 28)



The only obvious case of parakalein being used in a prayer context is 2 Corinthians 12. Paul speaks of the painful 'thorn in the flesh', which he calls 'a messenger of Satan to torment me'. Three times I appealed (parekalesa) to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (2 Cor. 12.8-9, NRSV)
What is so interesting here is not only the fact that parakalein is used in the sense of an 'appeal' made in prayer, but that it is evidently made to the Lord Jesus Christ. This can safely be concluded not simply because 'the Lord' in Paul is almost always the Lord Jesus (apart from its occurrence in scriptural quotation) but also because the grace and power that the one appealed to promises Paul in answer to his appeal is specifically identified as 'the power of Christ'. Whatever else we may conclude from the restricted language of prayer and request, then, it is clear enough that Paul understood the exalted Christ as one who could be appealed to for help, a request or petition that can readily be understood as prayer. (#19)

Footnote #19: 'Paul's easy recounting of his actions suggests that he expects his readers to be familiar with prayer-appeals to Jesus as a communally accepted feature of Christian devotional practices' (Hurtdao, Origins 75) (pages 34-35)




Above all, however, we should recall what we noted in Chapter 1 regarding the use of epikaleisthai ('to call upon') in relation to Jesus. Here we may note the case of Stephen in his dying moments: 'And they stoned Stephen, calling upon (epikaloumenon) and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit"! (Acts 7.59). Nor should we forget the characterization as "those who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ' (1 Cor. 1.2). To call upon Jesus (in prayer) was evidently a defining and distinguishing feature of earliest Christian worship. 1 Thessalonians, probably the earliest writing in the New Testament, provides a good example of invocation of the Lord Jesus (in the spirit of 1 Corinthians 16:22).
Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints (1 Thess. 3. 11-13, NRSV)
And 2 Thessalonians has several examples of invocations to the Lord: 'may the Lord comfort/direct/give you...' (2 Thess. 2.16-17; 3.5; 16). (page 36)


The worship of the Lamb in Chapter 5 is no different in character as worship from the worship of the Lord God Almighty in Chapter 4 (page 131)

apostoli
05-05-2014, 07:05 PM
I have 6 questions about 'Did The First Christians Worship Jesus?' by James Dunn.


A. In no case in the New Testament is there talk of offering cultic worship (latreuein) to Jesus. (page 13)

QUESTION #1: Why then does the Lord Jesus receive cultic worship in Revelation 22:3?
http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?426-The-Lord-Jesus-receive-latreuo-(Revelation-22-3)

Dunn comes ever so close to seeing this when he writes:
In his visions the seer no longer makes a point of distinguishing the throne of the Lamb from that of God. Some of the descriptions seem to imply that the Lamb is seen to be sitting on God's throne (7.17), and 22.1, 3 speak of 'the throne [singular] of God and of the Lamb'. (page 131)
----------------------------------------------------
B. But most interesting for us is Acts 13.2, where Luke describes the church in Antioch, 'worshipping (leitourgountwn) the Lord'. Is 'the Lord' here Jesus? (as frequently in Acts)? Or does Luke speak of the worship of the Lord God? (#25)
Footnote #25: As in Acts 1.24; 2.39; 3.20, 22; 4.26, 29, 12.23; 17.24 (Page 14)

Elsewhere in the New Testament writings, 'prayer' as such (proseuchesthai, prosueche), explicitly or implicitly, is always made to God. (page 33)

QUESTION #2: Why then does the Lord Jesus receive προσευξάμενοι in Acts 1:24?
http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?448-Acts-1-24-25-is-a-prayer-to-the-Lord-Jesus
----------------------------------
C. Yet, notably, when used in prayer aitein and erwtan always refer to asking (for) or requesting addressed to God, and never to Jesus. (page 34)

He repeatedly promises that whatever his disciples ask (aitein) in his name, 'so that the Father may be glorified' (14:13). And he adds, 'If you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it' (John 14.14). (page 33)

QUESTION #3: How is it that on page 34 Dunn informed us that aitein never refers to Jesus but then on page 33 he cited a passage which teaches it does?
----------------------------------------------
D. In no case was the thought of worshipping other than God entertained. Or, to be more precise, when the thought did arise (worshipping a great angel?) it was quickly squashed. (page 90)

QUESTION #4: Why was the Messenger of YHWH worshiped in Genesis 48:16?
http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?424-The-Worship-of-the-Multi-Personal-God-(Genesis-48-15-16)
-------------------------------------------------
E. But deesis is used in the Epistles always for prayer; that is, prayer to God. (page 33)

QUESTION #5: Why then does the Lord Jesus receive δέησιν in 1 Peter 3:12?
http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?442-Peter-The-Worship-of-the-Lord-Jesus
--------------------------------------------------
F. In his conclusion Dunn writes:

So when we transpose our findings into an answer to our central question, the dominant answer for Christian worship seems to be that the first Christians did not think of Jesus as to be worshipped in and for himself. He was not to be worshipped as wholly God, or fully identified with God, far less as a god. If he was worshipped it was worship offered to God in and through him, worship of Jesus-in-God and God-in-Jesus. And the corollary is that, in an important sense, Christian monotheism, if it is to be truly monotheism, has still to assert that only God, only the one God, is to be worshipped. (page 146)

QUESTION #6: How can Dunn consistently assert that the Lord Jesus not be worshiped as fully identified with God based on the evidence above as well as the numerous Scriptural citations with comments by him below?


In the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) qara is regularly used 'to denote the establishment of a relation between a human individual and God...it is the verbal appeal for the deity's presence that is foundational to all acts of prayer and worship'. In common Greek too epikaleisthai is regularly used of calling upon a deity. So it is not surprising that the Septuagint uses the phrase frequently, epikaleisthai to onoma kyriou ('to call upon the name of the Lord'), that is in prayer. The same usage naturally reappears in the New Testament, where invocation of God is in view. More striking, however, is the fact that it is the Lord Jesus who is 'called upon' on several occasions. (#34) And even more striking is the fact that believers can be denoted simply as 'those who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ' (1 Cor. 1.2). (#35) The defining feature of these early Christians ('those who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ' is almost a definition, equivalent to 'Christians') marked them out from others who 'called upon (the name of)' some other deity or heavenly being. Moreover, in a still more striking passage, Paul refers Joel 3.5 (in the Septuagint) to Jesus: 'everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved' (Rom. 10.13), where it is clear from the context that 'the Lord' is the Lord Jesus (10.9) (page 15-16)

Footnote #34: Acts 7:59 (Stephen); Rom. 10.12, 14; 2 Tim. 2.22.

Footnote #35: Also Acts 9.14, 21; 22:16; 2 Tim. 2.22.

From this brief survey of other terms for worship, including the term most appropriate for 'cultic worship', we have discovered that the writers of the New Testament have only worship of God in view as desirable and commendable. In this they are faithful to the teaching of their scriptures. The one real exception, and a significant exception, is their description of the first Christians as those 'who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ'. (pages 17-18)



The only time when the thanks are directed to Christ I in 1 Timothy 1.12 - 'I am grateful (charin) to Christ Jesus our Lord'. The fact that the more typical liturgical form is not used ('Thanks be to...') need not be significant, since Hebrews 12.28 uses the same form in urging, 'Let us give thanks, through which we offer worship (latreuwmen) that is acceptable to God...' (page 21)

So, once again the language of worship is used almost exclusively for God, though occasionally for Jesus. (page 22)




Characteristic worship language includes the terms doxazein 'to glorify', and to give glory (doxa) to. (page 22)

Doxologies addressed to Christ alone ('To him be glory for ever and ever') are rare, but do appear in the New Testament (#64), while in Jude 25 glory is given 'to the only God our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord'.

The liturgical ascription ('Glory to Christ') as such may appear only in writings usually dated among the later documents of the New Testament, but the association of Christ with God's glory seems to be consistent across the New Testament, and the conviction that the exalted Christ shares in God's glory, and should be glorified with God or to the glory of God, is part of Christianity's distinctive foundation. Understandably Bauckham affirms that 'the attribution of doxologies to Christ is particularly clear evidence of the unambiguously divine worship, i.e. worship that is appropriately offered only to the one God'; and he concludes that 'there could be no more way of explicitly expressing divine worship of Jesus than in a form of a doxology addressed to him'. (#65) (page 24)

Footnote #64: 2 Tim. 4.18; 2 Pet. 3.18; also Rev. 5.12. In Rev. 5.13 the doxology is addressed both to 'the one who is seated on the throne' and to 'the Lamb'.

Footnote #65: Bauckham, Jesus and the God of Israel 132-3.

------> Dunn did not include the doxology to the Lord Jesus in Revelation 1:5b-6.




The first answer to our question, 'Did the first Christians worship Jesus?', would therefore seem to be, 'Generally no', or 'Only occasionally', or 'Only with some reserve'.
All the same, the fact that such worship language is used in reference to Jesus, even if only occasionally, is striking. This would have been entirely unusual and without precedent in the Judaism of the time. For Christians to understand themselves ad define themselves as 'those who invoke the name of the Lord Jesus Christ' in prayer must have marked them and their religious devotion as distinctive both within Palestine and the wider Mediterranean world. The fact that this definition could be used as casually and as taken for granted, as it is in 1 Corinthians 1.2, assuredly indicates that invocation of the Lord Jesus in prayer was a regular feature of early Christian worship.
Moreover, as the inquiry proceeded, the initial picture became more complicated. For though the worship language, 'to glorify', is also used only of God, there is a consistent thought through the New Testament of Jesus sharing in the glory of God. The thought is not only of Jesus as the agent or embodiment of God's glory, but of glory as also being given to Jesus, as glory is given to God. And in the benedictions that begin and conclude Paul's letters, 'the Lord Jesus Christ' is presented equally with 'God our Father' as the source of grace and peace, and as the one through whom pre-eminently the grace of God has come and still comes to expression.
In reflecting further on how this relationship of the Lord Jesus Christ with God is conceived, we should recall also the repeated conviction that thanks to God are given 'through Jesus Christ' or 'in the name of our Lord Jesus', or that God is glorified or to be given glory 'through Jesus Christ'. Christ, in other words, seems to have been thought of as on both sides of the worship relationship - as in at least some degree the object of worship, but also as the enabler or medium of effective worship. (Page 28)



The only obvious case of parakalein being used in a prayer context is 2 Corinthians 12. Paul speaks of the painful 'thorn in the flesh', which he calls 'a messenger of Satan to torment me'. Three times I appealed (parekalesa) to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (2 Cor. 12.8-9, NRSV)
What is so interesting here is not only the fact that parakalein is used in the sense of an 'appeal' made in prayer, but that it is evidently made to the Lord Jesus Christ. This can safely be concluded not simply because 'the Lord' in Paul is almost always the Lord Jesus (apart from its occurrence in scriptural quotation) but also because the grace and power that the one appealed to promises Paul in answer to his appeal is specifically identified as 'the power of Christ'. Whatever else we may conclude from the restricted language of prayer and request, then, it is clear enough that Paul understood the exalted Christ as one who could be appealed to for help, a request or petition that can readily be understood as prayer. (#19)

Footnote #19: 'Paul's easy recounting of his actions suggests that he expects his readers to be familiar with prayer-appeals to Jesus as a communally accepted feature of Christian devotional practices' (Hurtdao, Origins 75) (pages 34-35)




Above all, however, we should recall what we noted in Chapter 1 regarding the use of epikaleisthai ('to call upon') in relation to Jesus. Here we may note the case of Stephen in his dying moments: 'And they stoned Stephen, calling upon (epikaloumenon) and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit"! (Acts 7.59). Nor should we forget the characterization as "those who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ' (1 Cor. 1.2). To call upon Jesus (in prayer) was evidently a defining and distinguishing feature of earliest Christian worship. 1 Thessalonians, probably the earliest writing in the New Testament, provides a good example of invocation of the Lord Jesus (in the spirit of 1 Corinthians 16:22).
Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints (1 Thess. 3. 11-13, NRSV)
And 2 Thessalonians has several examples of invocations to the Lord: 'may the Lord comfort/direct/give you...' (2 Thess. 2.16-17; 3.5; 16). (page 36)


The worship of the Lamb in Chapter 5 is no different in character as worship from the worship of the Lord God Almighty in Chapter 4 (page 131)It is all very simple! Until the resurrection, the Son was the "memra of YHWH" (Jewish Aramaic Targums used to explain a Hebrew, which the common people did not understand, at each ancient synagogue service) = "the Logos of the Theos".

Come the resurrection the Son receives ascendency (in effect the Father surrenders the throne to the Son), as Novation the early church father (who decades before Nicea explained the Trinity) determined, "God (the Father), made the Son God to us" (cp: Jn 20:28 with 14:5-7). Don't confuse such a statement with subordinationism or the idea of attainment.


If he was worshipped it was worship offered to God in and through him, worship of Jesus-in-God and God-in-Jesus. And the corollary is that, in an important sense, Christian monotheism, if it is to be truly monotheism, has still to assert that only God, only the one God, is to be worshipped. (page 146)Two things to note from the NT and ancient witness: 1. The Son did not come of his own volition, he was sent by the Father (Jn 8:42). 2. From the first declaration of the Nicean Creed to which every orthodox and conservative Christian church subscribes "WE BELIEVE IN ONE GOD THE FATHER... and in one LORD Jesus Chist, God from God...hommousious...and in the Holy Spirit. " Such is the declaration of Trinitarian belief of the majority church...


only the one God, is to be worshipped.Very true!!! And that direction according to the NT and the ancient fathers of the church is exclusively a prerogative of the Father. However, it is the method of aproachment that is now of utmost importance. By worshipping the Son we automatically worship the Father (cp. Jn 5:23) , and we now approach the Son through the Spirit (cp. 2 Cor 13:14).

foudroyant
05-05-2014, 07:31 PM
It is all very simple! Until the resurrection, the Son was the "memra of YHWH" (Jewish Aramaic Targums used to explain a Hebrew, which the common people did not understand, at each ancient synagogue service) = "the Logos of the Theos".



He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. (Revelation 19:13, NASB)

Isn't this still true after the resurrection?

Raphael
05-05-2014, 07:55 PM
I'm busy reading Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ by Robert Bowman, J. Ed Komoszewski and Darrell L. Bock

And they pretty much refute most if not all of his points you've mention (excluding #4, but because I haven't read that yet and it might be later in the book)

http://www.amazon.com/Putting-Jesus-His-Place-Christ-ebook/dp/B001QOGJVI/?tag=theol00-20

foudroyant
05-05-2014, 08:36 PM
Robert Bowman and J. Ed Komoszewski (Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ)

John 14:14
According to the Gospel of John, Jesus himself encouraged his earliest followers to pray to him: "Whatever you ask me in my name, I will do" (John 14:14, author's translation). (page 51)

Acts 1:24-25
One attribute of God that can bring comfort and assurance–or great anxiety and consternation–is the omniscience of God. The Bible states explicitly that God ‘knows everything’ (1 John 3:20). This knowledge is extremely detailed, including such minutiae as the number of hairs on one's head (Matt. 10:30). God knows what will happen from now until the end of history (Isa. 46:9-10). He knows what we will say before we say it (Ps. 139:4) because he knows what is in our hearts (Ps. 139:1-3). This is something that is true only of God, as Solomon acknowledged in prayer: ‘For you, you only, know the hearts of all the children of mankind’ (1 Kings 8:39 ESV).
“The New Testament attributes this same omniscience to Jesus Christ. In the first recorded corporate prayer addressed to Jesus, the apostles and other believers confessed, 'Lord, you know everyone's heart' (Acts 1:24). For Jesus even to be able to hear prayers essentially implies, of course, unlimited knowledge. Elsewhere, the Gospels report that Jesus knew what other people were thinking (Matt. 9:4; 12:25; Mark 2:6-8; Luke 6:8). Jesus claimed to know what the ancient peoples of Tyre, Sidon, and even Sodom would have done under different circumstances (Matt. 11:21-23; Luke 10:13-15). He would have to know people’s hearts in this way in order to sit in judgment on all humanity at the end of history (Matt. 25:31-46; John 5:22-23; Acts 17:31; 2 Cor. 5:10). As Paul says, the Lord (Jesus) ‘will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart’ (1 Cor. 4:5). In the book of Revelation, Jesus asserts that when they see his warnings fulfilled ‘all the churches will know that I am the one who searches minds and hearts, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve' (2:23).” (Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ [Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI 2007], Part 2: Like Father Like Son: Jesus Shares the Attributes of God, Chapter 9. Jesus: The Right Stuff, pp. 118-119).

apostoli
05-06-2014, 02:11 AM
He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. (Revelation 19:13, NASB)

Isn't this still true after the resurrection?It is true (confirmed) from the moment of the resurrection! As A.Paul makes plain, without the resurrection our faith is in vain...

I find it tedious the emphasis people put on Jesus' scourging and crucifixion. Many a people have suffered greater agony in death then and now for their belief system eg: rabbi Akiba who was flayed to death, one strip of skin at a time. Others that were slowly baked over low flames etc etc The reality for the time, was Jesus received a quick death, merely hours rather than days...

As for "He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood", this is a reference to his followers (cp. Rev 6:9)

One Bad Pig
05-06-2014, 06:24 AM
Have you read Larry Hurtado's Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity? I believe it was published before James Dunn's book; it is also rather longer.

IIRC Ronald Heine's Classical Christian Doctrine: Introducing the Essentials of the Ancient Faith also briefly covers this.

hedrick
05-07-2014, 05:07 AM
Dunn seems to read the NT descriptions of Jesus in essentially functional terms. Jesus is God's presence. When we see him, we see God. But he thinks the NT mostly doesn't speak of Jesus as being literally, or perhaps ontologically, God. In this he agrees with people with Wright and most of the historical Jesus movement. This is based on an understanding of how 1st Cent Jews would have understood language about Jesus. If you start from a traditional Christian position you can find language in the NT that seems to support you. But the question is whether that's reading into the language things that the authors wouldn't have meant. On balance I think Dunn, etc, are right. The NT goes as far as possible in identifying Jesus with God while still seeing him as human. Not as a man-God in the Chalcedonian sense, but as God present in and through a man.

My sense is that 1st Cent Jewish thought had a wide range of ways of speaking of functional identification, but lacked the subtle metaphysics of the 5th Cent. Similarly, the thought world in which Chalcedon arose had a quite a complex set of ontological categories, but was weak on the kinds of functional identification that was in the air in 1st Cent Palestine. Hence the NT was written in functional terms and the 5th Cent discussion and later took place in ontological terms.

Paprika
05-07-2014, 05:18 AM
But he thinks the NT mostly doesn't speak of Jesus as being literally, or perhaps ontologically, God. In this he agrees with people with Wright and most of the historical Jesus movement.
I know Wright is of the position that "Son of God" would be understood primarily as a messianic term, but I'm pretty sure that he believes other language describes Jesus as YHWH.

One Bad Pig
05-07-2014, 06:22 AM
I know Wright is of the position that "Son of God" would be understood primarily as a messianic term, but I'm pretty sure that he believes other language describes Jesus as YHWH.
This. And even the non-Chalcedonian churches view Jesus Christ as both God and man; they just disagree on how that relationship should be described (and increasingly the dispute is being viewed as people saying the same thing in different ways).

Cow Poke
05-07-2014, 06:28 AM
This. And even the non-Chalcedonian churches view Jesus Christ as both God and man; they just disagree on how that relationship should be described (and increasingly the dispute is being viewed as people saying the same thing in different ways).

How would you say it?

One Bad Pig
05-07-2014, 07:54 AM
How would you say it?
So, following the saintly fathers, we all with one voice teach the confession of one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: the same perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity, the same truly God and truly man, of a rational soul and a body; consubstantial with the Father as regards his divinity, and the same consubstantial with us as regards his humanity; like us in all respects except for sin; begotten before the ages from the Father as regards his divinity, and in the last days the same for us and for our salvation from Mary, the virgin God-bearer as regards his humanity; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only-begotten, acknowledged in two natures which undergo no confusion, no change, no division, no separation; at no point was the difference between the natures taken away through the union, but rather the property of both natures is preserved and comes together into a single person and a single subsistent being; he is not parted or divided into two persons, but is one and the same only-begotten Son, God, Word, Lord Jesus Christ, just as the prophets taught from the beginning about him, and as the Lord Jesus Christ himself instructed us, and as the creed of the fathers handed it down to us.

Cow Poke
05-07-2014, 07:54 AM
So, following the saintly fathers, we all with one voice teach the confession of one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: the same perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity, the same truly God and truly man, of a rational soul and a body; consubstantial with the Father as regards his divinity, and the same consubstantial with us as regards his humanity; like us in all respects except for sin; begotten before the ages from the Father as regards his divinity, and in the last days the same for us and for our salvation from Mary, the virgin God-bearer as regards his humanity; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only-begotten, acknowledged in two natures which undergo no confusion, no change, no division, no separation; at no point was the difference between the natures taken away through the union, but rather the property of both natures is preserved and comes together into a single person and a single subsistent being; he is not parted or divided into two persons, but is one and the same only-begotten Son, God, Word, Lord Jesus Christ, just as the prophets taught from the beginning about him, and as the Lord Jesus Christ himself instructed us, and as the creed of the fathers handed it down to us.

Thanks!

One Bad Pig
05-07-2014, 08:00 AM
Thanks!
The non-Chalcedonians, from what I recall, emphasized the unity of Christ and thought that the Chalcedonians put too much emphasis on the two natures (and accused them of tending toward Nestorianism). The Chalcedonians, on the other hand, accused the non-Chalcedonians of mingling the two natures of Christ.

hedrick
05-07-2014, 04:06 PM
I know Wright is of the position that "Son of God" would be understood primarily as a messianic term, but I'm pretty sure that he believes other language describes Jesus as YHWH.

Here's the best statement I've seen: http://ntwrightpage.com/wright_jig.htm. He sees Jesus as acting as God, but I don't think he sees Jesus as ontologically identical. He has called Chalcedon "something of a confidence trick." This could be misleading out of context. I think he believes in what Chalcedon is trying to say, which is that Jesus is both human and the presence of God. But that's not necessarily two natures with one hypostasis. Everything I've seen by him speaks more of a functional than an ontological unity. I'm not a scholar, but from what I've read, this is typical of 20th and 21st Cent theology.

Paprika
05-07-2014, 09:23 PM
Here's the best statement I've seen: http://ntwrightpage.com/wright_jig.htm. He sees Jesus as acting as God, but I don't think he sees Jesus as ontologically identical. He has called Chalcedon "something of a confidence trick." This could be misleading out of context. I think he believes in what Chalcedon is trying to say, which is that Jesus is both human and the presence of God.
Let's see the wider context:


Chalcedon, I think, always smelled a bit like a confidence trick, celebrating in Tertullian-like fashion the absurdity of what is believed, and gave hostages to fortune which post-Enlightenment fortune has been using well. But the NT writers, by re-using the Jewish god-language in relation to Jesus and the Spirit manage to say everything that needs to be said, and to make it look, from one point of view at least, so natural, so obvious, so coherent with the nature of God and with the full humanity of Jesus that fortune receives no hostages at all. Ironically, the Jewish setting and meaning were either misunderstood or forgotten so soon within the early Church that the fathers struggled valiantly to express the truth, but with one hand, the biblical one, tied behind their backs. We now have crowning irony after a long tradition in which orthodox theology has been “playing away from home” expressing Christian truth in non-biblical patristic and subsequent formulations, we are now told that if we wish to go back and discover what the NT meant within its own universe of discourse—in other words, the world of Second Temple Judaism—it is we who are playing away from home. And let us not be put off by the sneer thatChalcedon, I think, always smelled a bit like a confidence trick, celebrating in Tertullian-like fashion the absurdity of what is believed, and gave hostages to fortune which post-Enlightenment fortune has been using well. But the NT writers, by re-using the Jewish god-language in relation to Jesus and the Spirit manage to say everything that needs to be said, and to make it look, from one point of view at least, so natural, so obvious, so coherent with the nature of God and with the full humanity of Jesus that fortune receives no hostages at all. Ironically, the Jewish setting and meaning were either misunderstood or forgotten so soon within the early Church that the fathers struggled valiantly to express the truth, but with one hand, the biblical one, tied behind their backs. We now have crowning irony after a long tradition in which orthodox theology has been “playing away from home” expressing Christian truth in non-biblical patristic and subsequent formulations, we are now told that if we wish to go back and discover what the NT meant within its own universe of discourse—in other words, the world of Second Temple Judaism—it is we who are playing away from home. And let us not be put off by the sneer that if these meanings were what God had intended us to have they would not have been forgotten for two thousand years. Those who stand in the Reformation tradition should remember what Luther said when people tried to pull that trick on him.
Myself, I think the very attitude that many Christians have towards the Chalcedonian is rather suspect: that the definition there is done, settled.



But that's not necessarily two natures with one hypostasis.
Right, he actually examines what the Scriptures says instead of the consensus of some men centuries later. :shrug:


Everything I've seen by him speaks more of a functional than an ontological unity. I'm not a scholar, but from what I've read, this is typical of 20th and 21st Cent theology.
I don't see why there should be a necessary distinction between "functional" and "ontological", especially since for the Jews their YHWH wasn't known through abstract analysis of his ontological nature, but through His mighty acts.

One Bad Pig
05-08-2014, 06:51 AM
Myself, I think the very attitude that many Christians have towards the Chalcedonian is rather suspect: that the definition there is done, settled.
Why should it be suspect? The topic was dividing the church. The council, with representatives from all over, examined the scriptures and earlier writings from the church, and proposed a consensus of belief, which was ratified by subsequent councils with representatives from all over.


Right, he actually examines what the Scriptures says instead of the consensus of some men centuries later.
So we should take the word of one person millennia later? :hrm: That's how Protestants have gotten to hundreds of denominations and thousands of independent churches instead of a unified church; it's what happens when everyone decides they need to reinvent the wheel for themselves. Studying scripture is of course important, but it should be done in light of past understanding.

Paprika
05-08-2014, 06:55 AM
Why should it be suspect? The topic was dividing the church. The council, with representatives from all over, examined the scriptures and earlier writings from the church, and proposed a consensus of belief, which was ratified by subsequent councils with representatives from all over.
I am talking about contemporary Christians. Why should we assume that the talk about the Trinity was basically settled by Chalcedon, with nothing or very little loose ends?



So we should take the word of one person millennia later? :hrm:
:ahem:
That's not what I've claimed.

hedrick
05-08-2014, 03:33 PM
So we should take the word of one person millennia later? :hrm: That's how Protestants have gotten to hundreds of denominations and thousands of independent churches instead of a unified church; it's what happens when everyone decides they need to reinvent the wheel for themselves. Studying scripture is of course important, but it should be done in light of past understanding.

No, we shouldn't. At least in the confessional tradition, anyone is allowed to challenge the current understanding, on the basis of Scripture, but that's only the start of a discussion by the Church. In this particular case I think it's a lot more than Wright saying it. I think you'll find that something like his position would be agreed upon by most of the people in the current historical Jesus movement. So I'd say it's pretty widely accepted in mainline Protestantism.

I realize there are many different Christian groups. But there's no way one can avoid that fact. About all you can do is choose one whose methodology seems best. From my point of view I try to stick pretty near the mainstream of theological and Biblical scholarship based on broad enlightenment principles. Hence "the Church" for me (for the purposes of the previous paragraph, i.e. my theological community) means the mainline, plus those evangelicals (e.g. emergents) and Catholics that are part of the same scholarly community.

Paprika
05-08-2014, 11:15 PM
No, we shouldn't. At least in the confessional tradition, anyone is allowed to challenge the current understanding, on the basis of Scripture, but that's only the start of a discussion by the Church. In this particular case I think it's a lot more than Wright saying it. I think you'll find that something like his position would be agreed upon by most of the people in the current historical Jesus movement. So I'd say it's pretty widely accepted in mainline Protestantism.
The historical Jesus movement has revealed 2 main things pertinent to this discussion:
1) "Son of God", a divine term in Christian use wasn't one for the Jews
2) The early Christians spoke of the Father, Jesus, and the Spirit as God in a different way from the formulation of Chalcedon.

It is thus very natural and important to critically examine the Chalcedonian formulation, comparing it with Scripture. The following questions arise easily: is it accurate? Does it miss anything important out? Is it coherent? Is there a better way of putting it?

foudroyant
07-30-2014, 05:43 AM
Just read through bits of "Christology and the New Testament: Jesus and His Earliest Followers" by Christopher Tuckett.
After repeating some of Dunn's incorrect assertions about Christ not being the recipient of deomai/deeseis and latreuo on page 60 he writes:

Thus Dunn suggests that one should distinguish between 'worship' and 'veneration' so that, however, exalted a position Paul gives to Jesus, and, however, much it is one of 'veneration', it is perhaps still one step short of outright 'worship'. In this then perhaps Paul as a Jew stays within the boundaries of Jewish monotheistic faith, even granted the very exalted status he ascribes to Jesus.

One Bad Pig
07-30-2014, 11:45 AM
I am talking about contemporary Christians. Why should we assume that the talk about the Trinity was basically settled by Chalcedon, with nothing or very little loose ends?
It wasn't. The Trinity was basically settled by the First Council of Ephesus, which ratified what had been settled at the First Council of Constantinople. Chalcedon had to do with Christology, not the Trinity. The formulation of Chalcedon asserted that Christ retained two natures, which did not settle the question of Christology; that took another couple Ecumenical Councils.


:ahem:
That's not what I've claimed.
You're implying that one modern man's interpretation of the scriptures trumps a council's worth of interpretation centuries ago.

hedrick
08-02-2014, 10:58 AM
You're implying that one modern man's interpretation of the scriptures trumps a council's worth of interpretation centuries ago.

Yes. I think by the time Chalcedon met, and arguably even Nicea, the Church had intentionally jettisoned the Jewish background of the NT. I don't doubt that they made a good-faith attempt to understand Jesus using neo-platonic terminology (with adjustments, since no one thought that philosophy was fully adequate for describing the Gospel). But I don't think there's any reason for it to be controlling today. To understand classical theology I have to ignore the way I think about the world and consciously think of things from a metaphysical point of view that I would never consider using in real life. I think the original NT descriptions are better for us today than their restatements in 4th and 5th Cent terms, though I recognize the reasons many saw a need to do that restatement at the time.

I would definitely take Wright's description over Chalcedon. I think even in the 4th Cent they would have been better off to tell people that Greek philosophy wasn't the best vehicle for understanding Jesus, and look more carefully at just what son of God actually meant in 1st Cent Judaism. But the Church at that time was committed to lex orandi lex credendi, which effectively meant that popular piety trumped exegesis.

One Bad Pig
08-02-2014, 11:29 AM
Yes. I think by the time Chalcedon met, and arguably even Nicea, the Church had intentionally jettisoned the Jewish background of the NT. I don't doubt that they made a good-faith attempt to understand Jesus using neo-platonic terminology (with adjustments, since no one thought that philosophy was fully adequate for describing the Gospel). But I don't think there's any reason for it to be controlling today. To understand classical theology I have to ignore the way I think about the world and consciously think of things from a metaphysical point of view that I would never consider using in real life. I think the original NT descriptions are better for us today than their restatements in 4th and 5th Cent terms, though I recognize the reasons many saw a need to do that restatement at the time.
:hrm: The Church was not rejecting, but clarifying, NT descriptions in their restatements - and it was only natural to use the language that was available as far as was practicable. The tradition in which I grew up certainly did not view Chalcedon (or any other church council) as authoritative, but my subsequent reading of Chalcedon seems perfectly in line with what I was taught. :shrug:


I would definitely take Wright's description over Chalcedon. I think even in the 4th Cent they would have been better off to tell people that Greek philosophy wasn't the best vehicle for understanding Jesus, and look more carefully at just what son of God actually meant in 1st Cent Judaism. But the Church at that time was committed to lex orandi lex credendi, which effectively meant that popular piety trumped exegesis.
We have to be careful about what we take to have been the meaning of 1st Century Judaism. First of all, it was hardly monolithic. Second, we have very little from the actual period in question. Later Judaism was inevitably colored by anti-Christian polemic. And popular piety did not necessarily trump exegesis; after all, Arianism spread because it was designed to appeal to the masses. In the fifth-sixth century, the Church split because the anti-Chalcedonian position was quite popular with the masses (particularly in Alexandria).