In Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, Matthew V. Novenson brings together thirteen state-of-the-art essays by leading scholars on the various ways ancient Jewish, Christian, and classical writers conceive of God, Christ, Wisdom, the demiurge, angels, foreign gods, and other divine beings. In particular, the book revisits the “early high Christology” debates of the 1990s, identifying the lasting contributions thereof as well as the lingering difficulties and new, emerging questions from the last thirty years of research. The essays in this book probe the much-touted but under-theorized distinctions between monotheism and polytheism, Judaism and Hellenism, Christianity and paganism. They show how what we call monotheism and Christology fit within the Greco-Roman world of which they are part.
Matthew V. Novenson, PhD (2010), Princeton Theological Seminary, is Senior Lecturer in New Testament and Christian Origins at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author, most recently, of The Grammar of Messianism (OUP, 2017).
Contributors are Richard Bauckham, Jan N. Bremmer, David B. Capes, April D. DeConick, Paula Fredriksen, Jörg Frey, Charles A. Gieschen, Larry W. Hurtado, Carey C. Newman, Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr, Matthew V. Novenson, Pheme Perkins.
“A short review cannot do justice to these complex and fully argued essays. Each one raises questions, which cannot be enumerated here. Suffice it to say that these are excellent discussions leading to substantial, sometimes provocative, conclusions, some more persuasive than others […] Serious students of early Christology will be grateful for the health of this ongoing discussion reflected in these essays.” – Kent E. Brower, Nazarene Theological College, in: Journal for the Study of the New Testament Booklist 2022 44.5, August 2022.
Preface Abbreviations Translations Notes on Contributors
1 Introduction Matthew V. Novenson
2 The New religionsgeschichtliche Schule at Thirty: Observations by a Participant Larry W. Hurtado
3 The Universal Polytheism and the Case of the Jews Matthew V. Novenson
4 The Divine Name as a Characteristic of Divine Identity in Second-Temple Judaism and Early Christianity Charles A. Gieschen
5 Jesus’ Unique Relationship with YHWH in Biblical Exegesis: A Response to Recent Objections David B. Capes
6 God and Glory and Paul, Again: Divine Identity and Community Formation in the Early Jesus Movement Carey C. Newman
7 Confessing the Cosmic Christ (1 Corinthians 8:6 and Colossians 1:15–20) Richard Bauckham
8 One God, One Lord in the Epistle of James Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr
9 Between Jewish Monotheism and Proto-Trinitarian Relations: The Making and Character of Johannine Christology Jörg Frey
10 God and Christ in the Earlier Martyr Acts Jan N. Bremmer
11 Gnosis and the Tragedies of Wisdom: Sophia’s Story Pheme Perkins
12 The One God Is No Simple Matter April D. DeConick
13 How High Can Early High Christology Be? Paula Fredriksen
Index of Ancient Sources Index of Modern Authors Index of Subjects
Academic libraries in theology and religious studies (universities, theological colleges, and seminaries), scholars and postgraduate students in biblical studies, Jewish studies, early Christian studies, and classics.