Jesus on the heavenly throne of God

I’m reading stuff on Christology at the moment. Here’s Richard Bauckham in Jesus and the God of Israel, 172.

When New Testament Christology is read within the context of the understanding of the Second Temple Jewish monotheism we have sketched, it can readily be seen that early Christians applied to Jesus all the well-established and well-recognized characteristics of the unique divine identity in order, quite clearly and precisely, to include Jesus in the unique divine identity of the one God of Israel. Primary among these characteristics was the unique divine sovereignty over all things. From the earliest post-Easter Christology that we can trace, Jesus’ exaltation was understood as his sharing the divine throne in heaven and thus participating in the divine rule over the cosmos. Other uniquely divine characteristics followed logically and swiftly, notably Jesus’ participation in the work of creation. Worship of Jesus, as his inclusion in the monotheistic worship due exclusively to the one God, followed as the necessary recognition of his inclusion in the divine identity, again primarily in recognition of his exercise of the unique divine sovereignty from the heavenly throne of God.

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6 thoughts on “Jesus on the heavenly throne of God

  1. The topic of God as a man never ceases to fascinate, does it?
    Bauckham’s book sounds like one I would be interested in putting on my wish list. Do you recommend it?

  2. Yup. Well worth a close read.
    It is an expansion of his 1998 book God Crucified: monotheism and Christology in the New Testament. Gives room for much more detailed discussion of texts and themes. Overall arguing that high Christology is early and includes Jesus in the unique and divine identity of God. Later Church Fathers, he argues, did not so much develop an already high NT Christology, as re-conceptualise it into Greek categories of thought.

    • I have an amazon.com gift card just waiting to be used–so I read a few reviews.
      Bauckham’s argument concerning divine identity vs. divine function/nature sounds particularly intriguing to me, but most reviewers felt that his use of “idenity” was poorly defined and his case overstated and somewhat contradictory. I guess I’ll just have to see what I think…

  3. Bauckham, Hurtado and Dunn are the ‘big three’ on early Christology. Dunn had a book out in 2010 Did The Early Christians Worship Jesus?
    I find Bauckham and Hurtado more persuasive than Dunn (though they are by no means saying identical things) in contending that there is an astonishing development in the very understanding of God in how Jesus is presented.
    Dunn says Bauckham overstates his case, but I find his (Dunn’s) conclusions so ambiguous and complex (and strongly implying Jesus is lesser than the Father) that they don’t sit with the passionate Christocentric proclamation of the early Christians.

  4. Starting some posts on Hurtado’s latest book, God in NT Theology. If your Amazon voucher ain’t spent yet, it is, I think, also well worthy of consideration 🙂

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