This excellent study of the origins and early development of Christology by James Dunn clarifies in rich detail the beginnings of the full "Christian" belief in th Messiah as the Son of YEHOVAH God and incarnate Word.

By employing the exegetical methods of "historical context of meaning" and "conceptuality in transition," Dunn brings to light the first-century meaning of key titles and passages within the New Testament that bear directly on the development of the Christian understanding of the Messiah.

Before the Messiah, "Christology" did not exist, or it existed, properly speaking, only in different forms of "messianic expectation." At the end of the New Testament period, however, an advanced and far-reaching Christology was already in place that did not hesitate to incorrectly speak of the Messiah as "God."



Among the Jewish Scriptures Psalm 110:1 and 4 are most often quoted by the early Christian writers and by the Messiah himself. With no less than 32 references and allusions recorded in the New Testament, these verses were instrumental in shaping the Christology of the New Testament.

Dr. hay first surveys the history of the interpretations of ancient Judaism and early Christianity. By scrutinizing the texts of early Christian quotations and allusions, he determines what form or forms of the psalm's text were current. He then offers a detailed analysis of the Christian interpretations -- both biblical and nonbiblical -- up to the time of Justin Martyr (ca. 150).

This book is one of the few systematic analyses to appear in any language of the early Christian interpretations of this important psalm.



The Gospel narratives themselves do not in any way suggest that Yeshua the Messiah was divine. None of his disciples became engaged in disputations about whether the Messiah was fully God or fully human. Instead it took almost 300 years for these questions to be raised in such a serious way that Christianity was changed forever. Rubenstein examines the details of this fractious period in early Christian history when "Christianity" was redefining itself against other religious sects through a number of councils and creeds. Although the author focuses on several of the controversies surrounding the so-called divinity of the Messiah, he zeroes in on the fiery battle between Arius, a presbyter of Alexandria, and Athanasius, who was bishop of Alexandria. Arius correctly contended that the Messiah did not share YEHOVAH's nature and Athanasius, on the other hand, argued that the Messiah was fully God.