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Jewish Monotheism And Christian Origins

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Chapter Summary

The rise of the Christ movement within first-century Judaism is regarded by many as having caused an immediate rift between 'Jews' and 'Christians'. This chapter examines the theological framework in which the cultic veneration of Jesus as a divine figure originated. It focuses on what is called inclusive monotheism as a characteristic of early Judaism. The Judaism within which Jesus' ministry and the early Christ movement should be situated can be characterized as 'early Judaism'. Within the many varieties of early Judaism there was, to say the least, a tendency toward inclusive monotheism. Divine attributes such as Wisdom (sophia) and the Logos figure in a number of sources as personifications of God. The manner of speech in which angels, Wisdom or the Logos were thought at the same time to represent God and act independently prepared the way for the early Christ movement to identify Jesus as such an envoy.

Keywords: Christians; early Christ movement; Jesus; Jews; Judaism; Logos figure; monotheism



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