Monday, June 15, 2009

James McGrath: The Only True God

I just received in the mail a copy of James McGrath's new book, The Only True God: Early Christian Monotheism in Its Jewish Context, sent to me from the University of Illinois Press.

Given that I have been reading and reviewing Bauckham's book on a very similar subject, I probably should give some time to this work as well.

I would like to thank James for keeping this book short! Something I am not very good about in my own writing. Text, notes, bibliography, and index are all only 155 pp. Only 104 pages of text! So, it looks like a much quicker read that Bauckham.

I'm sure most of you read McGrath's blog already and are quite up-to-date about this book. But I will just point out its general layout and leave reading and reviewing to a future time when I have more time.

His first chapter focuses on the issue of method and scholarly study of ancient Jewish and Christian perspectives on the divine. It seems at first glancing that he lays out a typology of monotheisms. I hope it will lay out something a bit more systematic than I have seen in my other readings.

The second chapter looks like it turns a bit more to the ancient Jewish sources themselves, looking at the issue of worship (monolatry?). His preface indicates that Hurtado's very extensive study came out when this volume was nearly finished, so it has more limited engagement with it than perhaps it should due to the vagaries of publication speed.

The next three chapters look to the conceptions of God in Paul (chapter 3), John (chapter 4) and Revelation (chapter 5), which are the authors preferred, one might note, by Bauckham as well. I get the sense that this book is a partial response to Bauckham?

The final chapter moves to the Two Powers Heresy and its role in the so-called Parting of the Ways. I have a feeling I will see a great deal of engagement here with my own advisor's, Alan Segal, work on Two Powers in Heaven and perhaps a bit on the recent fascination with the "parting of the ways" and whether or not this is a good model for late antique Jewish-Christian interactions. That is what I would expect, anyway, with my very limited first brush.

I hope to have fuller engagement with the book in the near future, but cannot predict when at the moment.

3 comments:

ElderChild said...

DISCLAIMER: The following testimony is given regarding the religious systems of this wicked world, not individuals. Recorded for revelation, not condemnation, in hopes there would be those who would "see" and "hear", for all who do so will "Come out of her"(this world and it's systems of religion) indeed and Truth!

Who is the 'catholic/christian' 'jesus'?

Truth is that the name 'jesus' is the transliteration of a name into english from the latin 'Iesus", latin being the language of pagan catholicism! And so it is that all biblical translations from pagan greek manuscripts are prejudiced according to the will of christianity's latin mother, she who calls herself catholicism.

Consider, those 'bibles' translated from the pagan greek manuscripts. Why is it that most all of those 'bibles' transliterate The Name of The Messiah as "jesus"?

That question needs be asked because "jesus" is the transliteration of The Messiah's GOD given birth Name from the latin language "Iesus", not the greek "Iesous"! The correct and proper transliteration of The Messiah's GOD given birth Name from the pagan greek manuscripts would be "Jesous" in modern day english.

So who, or what, gave the translators the liberty, or the authority, to change the greek "scriptures" as they did when they used the pagan latin, rather than the pagan greek transliteration of The Messiah's GOD given birth Name?

Truth IS the name 'jesus' was first "imag"ined some six hundred years past! Truth IS there was no 'j' sound in the english language prior to that time! Truth IS the name 'jesus' was not spoken for some 1400 years after The Messiah ascended unto HIS HIS GOD and Father!

And The Messiah's GOD is The GOD of His Brethren and The Messiah's Father is The Father of His Brethren. The Messiah, "ascended to His GOD" and was the "first-born of many Brethren", The Messiah was "The Beginning of The Creation of The Only True GOD".

The Messiah('christ') is "the mediator between The Only True GOD and man".

The Messiah's GOD given Hebrew birth Name when translated into today's english would be Jo(e)shua for the greek word "Iesous" used for the Name of The Messiah is the same greek word used in the greek translation of The Old Covenant for "Jo(e)shua", the son of Nun.

Should not The Son of The Only True GOD be called by The Name given to Him by His Father and GOD?

Yet His exalted title is The Messiah, The Son of The Living GOD, for as there is only One True GOD, so also there is only One True Messiah, Ye(ah)shua (Jo(e)shua in modern day english)The Son of GOD!

And The Messiah testified, "I ascend to My GOD and your GOD, to My Father and your Father"!

Truth also testifies that the name 'jesus' was "imag"ined during a time 'the god of this world'(he who is "the father of lies") and his 'christianity' declared to be the 'reformation'. Prior to the 'reformation' there was no 'j' sound in the english language and there never has been a 'j' sound or letter in the greek or Hebrew language!

Indeed 'catholicism' was reformed, in the sense of being restructured and made to appear differently outwardly. The various 're-formed' systems of religion were, and are, her offspring! And they all bear the 'mark' of their 'god' 'jesus'! Either they name one head of their three headed pagan 'god' 'jesus' or they make the one they call 'jesus' their 'god', or declare their 'jesus' to be but an angel or prophet.

All of pagan 'catholicism's' so-called 'christian' daughters are but harlot systems of religion fornicating with ' the god of this world', he who is "the father of lies".

They fornicate with "the god of this world" because "they love his world, it's things", and "their own lives in and of his evil, wicked world!"

The Messiah testified of an "evil world" and He ascended to His GOD and Father!

And The Messiah's GOD and Father is also The GOD and Father of The Messiah's Brethren, HE WHO IS The ONLY TRUE GOD", HE WHO Has No 'god' nor 'father', for HE IS "The One GOD, Father of ALL"!

(continued)

ElderChild said...

"Truth" Tesifies:
"The Messiah is The Son of The Living GOD"!
catholic/christian" folklore:
'jesus' is 'god' or 1/3 of a 'god' or an angel or ????

"Truth" Tesifies:
"Love your enemies! Turn the other cheek"!
"catholic/christian" folklore:
fight and war in the flesh! kill your enemies.

"Truth" Tesifies:
"The world is evil"! Come out of her, MY people"!
catholic/christian" folklore:
we can change this world and make it 'better'.

"Truth" Tesifies:
"The WHOLE world lies in wickedness"!
catholic/christian" folklore:
there are righteous nations, the usa and others.

"Truth" Tesifies:
"Love not the world or the things of this world"!
"catholic/christian" folklore:
love this world and thank 'god' for it's things.

"Truth" Tesifies:
"Pagans observe days, months and years"!
"catholic/christian" folklore:
christmas, easter, halloween, 'good' friday, etc.

"Truth" Tesifies:
"Serve The Only True GOD and HIM alone"!
"catholic/christian" folklore:
serve family, country and their "imag"ined 'god'.

"Truth" Tesifies:
GOD asks, "What building will you build unto ME"?
"catholic/christian" folklore:
various buildings dedicated to their "imag"ined 'god'.

"Truth" Tesifies:
"As The Messiah suffered so His Brethren will suffer"!"
catholic/christian" folklore:
eat, drink, be merry, especially during x-mass season.

"Truth" Tesifies:
"GOD helps those who cry unto HIM for help"!
"catholic/christian" folklore:
'god' helps those who help themselves.

"Truth" Tesifies:
"NO man has seen The Only True GOD"!
"catholic/christian" folklore:
many saw their "imag"ined 'god' 'jesus'.

"Truth" Tesifies:
"GOD is Spirit and a Spirit has not flesh and bones"!
"catholic/christian" folklore:
except for their "imag"ined 'god' 'jesus' that is.

"Truth" Tesifies:
"When you pray do so in private"!
"catholic/christian" folklore:
pray aloud so that others might hear.

"Truth" Tesifies:
"Swear not! Let your yes, be yes, your no, no"!
"catholic/christian" folklore:
put your hand on their 'bible' and swear to their 'god'.

The Messiah testified, "That they might know YOU,
The ONLY TRUE GOD, and The Messiah, Whom
YOU have sent"!

The Messiah testified, "Love Your Enemies"!

islam, judaism, catholicism, christianity,,, etc.

Religious systems of this world and all alike they are,
for they have fought and killed both near and far;

And then once a week or multiples times a day they pray,
yet as hypocrites they begin each new day;

Days that are filled with deceit and lies,
for in their religious systems Truth cannot abide;

And so the fruit of death is born of their religious ways,
for life is but a pawn in the wicked game they play!

(continued)

ElderChild said...

"Pure religion and undefiled before G-D The Father is this, to visit the fatherless (those children who know not The Only True G-D, Father(Creator) of ALL) and widows(those who have not "experienced The Messiah and The Power{Our Father} that raised Him from among the dead") in their affliction and to keep oneself uncontaminated by the world......." (James 1:27)

Simply, all other religion is impure and defiled.......

And notice that "pure and undefiled" religion is for the individual, a Brother or Sister doing The Will of Our Father, led of The Holy, Set Apart, Spirit.......

And "Brothers and Sisters" is not "religion", for what are Brothers and Sisters if not Family? Would not The Family of The Only True G-D, Father(Creator) of ALL, "The Body of The Messiah", be much closer than a natural, fleshly family?

What is declared to be "religion" today is truly the devil's playground.......

Multitudes have been seduced by " the commandments and doctrines of men", the devil's theo'ry'logical advocates!

And theo'ry'logy has bound the common people in the chains of "strong delusion".

The Only True GOD has given HIS Call to "Come out of her, MY people", unto all who are held captive by this wicked, evil world and it's seductive religious systems, and especially the ones called "catholicism" and "christianity". Because of them, "The Way of Truth is evil spoken of" ;-( (2 Peter 2:2)

"The mother of harlots", "catholicism", and her "protesting" "christian" daughters, as well as today's "judaism" and "islam", are but seductive harlots fornicating with 'the god of this world'!

They believe in, and are authors of, death!

The Messiah testified, "Whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die!"

And then He qestioned, "Do you believe this?" YES!

And you? Do you believe?

The Only True GOD would have us "set our affections on things above".

For HIS Children desire that which is eternal, and have quit serving 'time' in the prison that is this wicked world.

And HIS Children have heeded The Call to repent and:

"Come out of her, MY people!"

They have "Come out" of this wicked, evil world and it's systems of religion for they realize that "the WHOLE(not just a portion) world is under the control of the evil one". (I John 5:19)

Sadly, a wicked, worldly "christianity" and "catholicism" are reasons why "The Way of Truth is evil spoken of"! (2 Peter 2:2)

Yet there is Hope!

For Miracles do happen!

Hope is there would be those who "set their affections on things above", Heavenly things, for all who do so will quit serving 'time' in the prison that is this world!

Worldly systems but feed "the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life" and such systems are of mankind's "imag"ination, and mankind's "imag"ination is under the dominion of "the father of lies", he who is "the god of this world", he who is "d"evil spirit of darkness that genders but death, destruction, perversion, fear, confusion, greed, lust,,,,, "every evil work"!

Sadly, mankind's "imag"ination is destroying the earth(land, air, water, vegetation, creatures) and perverting that which is Spirit(Light, Truth, Life, Love, Peace, Mercy, Faith, Grace, Hope,,,,,,, etc.).

Please take heed unto The Only True GOD's Call and "Come out of her, MY people"!

Come out of the perverse, destructive, evil world and it's sytems of religion!

Once again, "Pure religion and undefiled before GOD The Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself uncontaminated by the world." (James 1:27)

"Keep oneself" is quite revealing, for in Truth "religion" is personal.......

Simply, all other religion is impure and defiled! So heed The Call and "Come Out"!

Experience Peace in Truth, in spite of the dis-ease(no-peace) that is of this wicked world and it's systems of religion, for "the WHOLE world is under the control of the evil one" indeed and Truth....... francis