The Great Angel: A Study of Israel's Second God

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Westminster John Knox Press, 1992 - Religion - 253 pages
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What did "Son of God," "Messiah," and "Lord," mean to the first Christians when they used these words to describe their beliefs about Jesus? In this book Margaret Barker explores the possibility that, in the expectations and traditions of first-century Palestine, these titles belonged together, and that the first Christians fit Jesus' identity into an existing pattern of belief. She claims that pre-Christian Judaism was not monotheistic and that the roots of Christian Trinitarian theology lie in a pre-Christian Palestinian belief about angels--a belief derived from the ancient religion of Israel, in which there was a "High God" and several "Sons of God." Yahweh was a son of God, manifested on earth in human form as an angel or in the Davidic King. Jesus was a manifestation of Yahweh, and was acknowledged as Son of God, Messiah, and Lord. Barker relies on canonical and deutero-canonical works and literature from Qumran and rabbinic sources to present her thoughtful investigation.

 

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User Review  - Darrol - LibraryThing

This book maintains that ancient Israel always had more than one god, and that the distinction between El and Yahweh was blurred by the Deuteronomist reformers. Barker sees vestiges of this ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Chapter one The Son of
4
Chapter two The Evidence of the Exile
12
Chapter three The Evidence of the Old Testament
28
Chapter four The Evidence of Wisdom
48
Chapter five The Evidence of the Angels
70
Chapter six The Evidence of the Name
97
Chapter seven
114
Chapter eight The Evidence of the Jewish Writers
134
Chapter nine The Evidence of the Gnostics
162
Chapter ten The Evidence of the First Christians
190
Chapter eleven The Evidence of the New Testament
213
Bibliography
233
Index of Names and Subjects
241
Index of Primary Sources
244
Copyright

The Evidence of Philo
115

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About the author (1992)

Margaret Baker is a Methodist preacher and biblical scholar. A former president of the Society for Old Testament Study, in July 2008 she was awarded a Doctor of Divinity Lambeth degree by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

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