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Birth of the Trinity: Jesus, God, and Spirit in New Testament and Early Christian Interpretations of the Old Testament (Matthew W Bates) Hardcover Book, (Oxford University Press, 2015) 9780198729563
Birth of the Trinity: Jesus, God, and Spirit in New Testament and Early Christian Interpretations of the Old Testament (Matthew W Bates) Hardcover Book, (Oxford University Press, 2015) 9780198729563
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Title: The Birth of the Trinity: Jesus, God, and Spirit in New Testament and Early Christian Interpretations of the Old Testament

Author: Bates, Matthew W

Publisher: Oxford University Press; Publication Date: 2015

Hardcover; ISBN: 9780198729563

Volumes: 1; Pages: 256

List Price in Cloth: $90.00 Our price: $70.99

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How and when did Jesus and the Spirit come to be regarded as fully God? The Birth of the Trinity explores the way in which first- and second-century Christians read the Old Testament in order to differentiate the one God as multiple persons. The earliest Christians felt they could metaphorically "overhear" divine conversations between the Father, Son, and Spirit when reading the Old Testament. When these snatches of dialogue are connected and joined, they form a narrative about the unfolding interior divine life as understood by the nascent church. What emerges is not a static portrait of the triune God, but a developing story of divine persons enacting mutual esteem, voiced praise, collaborative strategy, and self-sacrificial love. This conversational divine story is explored as it ebbs and flows across the cosmos and through time. The result is a Trinitarian biblical and early Christian theology. While tracing this story, it is simultaneously argued that a new historical model is required by the New Testament and other early sources to explain how the doctrine of the Trinity first emerged--a model rooted in a little-known ancient reading technique called prosopological exegesis. It is shown that prosopological exegesis is present throughout the earliest strata of Christian literature, calling into question the proposals of James Dunn and Bart Ehrman (among others), who have contended that Christology developed over time in the earliest church from low, Jesus as merely a messianic claimant, to high, Jesus as the preexistent Son of God. To the contrary, it is argued that the earliest Christology was the highest Christology, as Jesus was identified as a divine person through Old Testament interpretation.Table of ContentsIntroduction1. Reading as Birth: The Trinity Emerges2. Divine Dialogues from the Dawn of Time3. Theodramatic Stratagems: The Mission of the Son4. Cross-Shaped Conversations5. Praise for Rescue6. Triumphant Talks7. Reading God RightEpilogue
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