Richard bauckham god crucified essay

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This dramatic shift clearly acknowledges two major collections with Scriptural status making up the Christian Bible — relating to one another as old and new covenant, prophecy and fulfilment. This reveals that the first Christian two-testament Bible was by now in place. This is not official or precise enough for another group of scholars, however.

They prefer to focus on the late fourth century, when the so-called canon lists entered the scene — such as the one laid down by Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, in CE, which acknowledges 22 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books. Dating from circa CE, it is not known where it was scribed — perhaps Rome or Egypt.

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It is made from parchment of animal hides, with text on both sides of the page, written in continuous Greek script. It combines the entire New and Old Testaments, though only about half of the old survives the New Testament has some fairly minor defects. Sinaiticus may not be the oldest extant Bible, however. Another compendium of Old and New Testaments is the Codex Vaticanus , which is from around CE, though substantial amounts of both testaments are missing.

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These Bibles differ from one another in some respects, and also from modern Bibles — after the 27 New Testament books, for example, Sinaiticus includes as an appendix the two popular Christian edifying writings Epistle of Barnabas and Shepherd of Hermas. They both contain interesting features such as special devotional or creedal demarcations of sacred names, known as nomina sacra.

Later Bibles sometimes presented these in gold letters or render them bigger or more ornamental , and the practice endured until bible printing began around the time of the Reformation. They were effectively collections of collections. But in the absence of a single book prior to the fourth century, we have to content ourselves with the many surviving older fragments sensationally found during the 20th century.

God Crucified: Monotheism and Christology in the New Testament

We now have some 50 fragmentary New Testament manuscripts written on papyrus that date from the second and third centuries — including the valuable Papyrus 45 fourfold Gospel and Acts , and Papyrus 46 a collection of Pauline letters. This God is not only the high and lofty one who reigns from his throne in the high and holy place; he also abases himself to the condition of the crushed and the lowly Isa.

The identity of God—who God is—is revealed as much in self-abasement and service as it is in exaltation and rule.


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The God who is high can also be low, because God is God not in seeking his own advantage but in self-giving. His self-giving in abasement and service ensures that his sovereignty over all things is also a form of his self-giving. Only the Servant can also be the Lord. This is the meaning of the Johannine paradox that Jesus is exalted and glorified on the cross. My question: How do the implications of God being a Servant work out in the nitty-gritty of my life?

What is one relationship or situation in my life in which I need to choose humility, choose to listen rather than speak, choose to not prove myself, choose to serve? Christ IS the image of God—revealed to us.


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  4. Can I say, though, that we humans are similes? I think so.

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    A simile, like a metaphor, can illuminate an idea, but a bad simile can actually interfere with understanding an idea. As similes of God, we are capable of great good because of our being made in the image of our Creator. But since we are inept similes, the great capabilities for good have been damaged so that we are also capable of and prone to incredibly great harm. We become renewed in our identity as beloved children of God the Father and empowered citizens of the great, good Lord of the universe. This God is not only the high and lofty one who reigns from his throne in the high and holy place; he also abases himself to the condition of the crushed and the lowly Isa.

    The Revelation of the Trinity - Dr. Richard Bauckham - 2018 Hayward Lecture #3