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VI. The Earliest Christian Use of Christos Some Suggestions

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Chapter Summary

Anyone who wants to say something about the earliest Christian use of Christos should start with the oldest written sources: the (genuine) letters of Paul. For Paul and his readers the term χριστός is intimately connected with Jesus. The references in Christian documents to views expressed by non-Christian Jewish opponents are difficult to handle. They cannot be taken as independent evidence for views held by Jews in the time of Jesus, the apostles or the author of the particular document, but function primarily within the context of the document in view of the christology of the author. Mark's picture of the ideas connected with the term 'the Messiah' by Jesus' opponents may not lead us to pay inordinate attention to the picture of the future Davidic king in PssSol 17, 18, or to emphasize the so-called national-political elements in that picture.

Keywords: χριστός; christology; letters of Paul; Mark

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