Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity


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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.

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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.

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.
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