Dec 20, 2009

Bauckham on Jewish Christian Exegesis, Psalm 110, Chriistology, and the Epistle of Hebrews

" . . .that for the early Jewish Christians the primary medium of theological development was exegesis, meticulous and disciplined exegesis of scriptural texts deployed with the sophisticated exegetical techniques of contemporary Jewish scholarship. Thus from the beginning a few biblical texts were of central importance for understanding the status of the exalted Jesus, some of these closely linked by catchword or other connections. Psalm 110, as already mentioned, along with Pss. 2 and 8, was prominent, and Hebrews situates itself within this christological focus especially on psalms, making the more traditional christological reading of certain psalms the basis for its more creative developments in interpreting these same psalms and others. Famously, of course, Hebrews exploits the full implications for a christology of divine identity already familiar in Christian reading of the first verse of Ps. 110 and extends the exegesis to v. 4. The extent to which the argument of Hebrews is structured as exegesis of Ps. 110, with other texts cited to aid this exegesis, is such that more than one scholar has called Hebrews itself a commentary on Ps. 110."

Richard Bauckham, “The Divinity of Jesus Christ in Hebrews,” in The Epistle to the Hebrews and Christian Theology, ed Richard Bauckham, Daniel R. Driver, Trevor A. Hart, Nathan MacDonald (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009), 18.

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