15 replies

  1. If you will excuse me Mr Williams, you are being a little selective in your use of Dr Dunns scholarly work, only choosing this small snippets that correspond with an Islamic view point. For Example:

    According to the late Dr Dunn the Early Church was convinced, regarding Our Lord Jesus “that God had exalted him to his right hand. They saw him as their Lord and did not hesitate to ascribe to him as Lord what various scriptures had ascribed ONLY to the Lord God. They called upon his name in invocation and prayer. The roles that Israel’s sages and theologians had ascribed to Wisdom and God’s Word, they ascribed to him, even the latter’s role as the divine agents of creation; in Christ the personification BECAME THE PERSON. They ascribed to him the outpouring of the Spirit and the Spirit’s life-giving power. The seer of Revelation saw visions of universal worship being given to the Lamb. The title or status of G/god was used for him… For the dominant impression that comes through is that Jesus was understood to embody the outreach of God himself, that Jesus was in a real sense God reaching out to humankind; that, as Lord, Jesus SHARED FULLY in the ONE LORDSHIP of God; that, like Wisdom/Word and as Wisdom/Word, he was seen as God making himself known to his own; that the Spirit of God was now to be recognised as the Spirit of Christ. As in the first two chapters we began to see that, for the FIRST CHRISTIANS, Christ was the means by and the way by which God has come most effectively to humankind. Jesus as mediator mediated in both directions, not only to God but also from God. Jesus summed up and EMBODIED for them the divine presence.”

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    • Excellent quote.
      Can you give the book and page # reference of James D. G. Dunn’s quote above?

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    • “only choosing this small snippets that correspond with an Islamic view point”
      Are you saying Dr Dunns contradicts himself?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Very well then, allow me to provide a lengthier, more detailed quote from the late Dr Dunn:

        “Whatever we can or should say about Jesus and his mission there can be little or no question that what the FIRST CHRISTIANS believed had happened to Jesus after his death transformed their appreciation of him completely. FOR THEY WERE CONVINCED THAT GOD HAD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD. This is the core affirmation of Christian faith, and it can be traced back FIRMLY TO THE EARLIEST DAYS OF THE MOVEMENT THAT STEMMED FROM JESUS, and in particular to the visionary experiences that the FIRST CHRISTIANS had of Jesus as risen from the dead and exalted to heaven. Such belief was already a confession by the time Paul was himself converted, WHICH WAS PROBABLY LESS THAN TWO YEARS AFTER JESUS’ CRUCIFIXION (1 Cor. 15.3-7). And Paul was probably converted to beliefs that he had persecuted, BELIEFS ALREADY WELL ESTABLISHED AMONG THE FIRST MEMBERS OF THE SECT OF THE NAZARENES. THEIRS WAS AN ASTONISHING BELIEF IN ITSELF. Many Jews believed that there would be a resurrection at the end of time and before the day of last judgment; that is, a general resurrection of the dead. But the thought of one person being resurrected (not simply revived to his previous life) WAS UNHEARD OF. SOMETHING OF MIND-BLOWING SIGNIFICANCE HAD HAPPENED, AND JESUS WAS AT THE CENTRE.

        “More to the immediate point, these EARLIEST BELIEVERS were also convinced that Jesus had been taken or exalted to heaven. What had happened to Jesus was not simply a translation like that of Enoch or Elijah, nor simply a vindication such as Wisdom 5 assures the righteous they could anticipate. What then? We can safely assume that the first disciples would have searched the Scriptures to help explain and make sense of what had happened to Jesus. A key verse that shed much light for them and that evidently informed and shaped THE EARLIEST CHRISTIAN reflection on the subject was Psalm 110.1…

        “This verse runs like a gold thread through much of the New Testament, and is so interwoven into the language of the New Testament writers that it evidently was a primary starting point or stimulus for the strong strand of New Testament christology summed up in the confession, ‘Jesus is Lord’. The title (‘lord’) in itself did not necessarily signify any more than the status of a (human) master to his servant or slave; but in the context of the times, use of the title for Jesus in a cultic setting affirmed that he was being ranked alongside the gods of other cults (Asclepius, Isis, etc.), or alongside the Emperor in some degree of competition with the divine claims made for Caesar. And in the context given to the title ‘Lord’ (kyrios) by Psalm 110.1, its reference to Christ immediately indicates that in EARLIEST CHRISTIAN FAITH Jesus was now to be reckoned in terms similar to those used for heavenly beings of earlier Jewish reflection, or, more precisely, to be reckoned AS SHARING THE ONE GOD’S RULE. With this title Jesus is seen to be MORE ON THE SIDE OF GOD reaching out to humankind, than of humankind coming to God. Dunn, Did the First Christians Worship Jesus?, 4. The Lord Jesus Christ, pp. 101-103

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      • The CAPITALS are not in Dunn’s original. He does not need to shout like you do.

        ‘This is the core affirmation of Christian faith, and it can be traced back FIRMLY TO THE EARLIEST DAYS OF THE MOVEMENT THAT STEMMED FROM JESUS, and in particular to the visionary experiences that the FIRST CHRISTIANS had of Jesus as risen from the dead and exalted to heaven.’

        So Christianity is based on “visionary experiences”, not a literal resurrection.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The Lord Jesus Christ, pp. 145-146

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  3. So, who wrote it?

    I found a book by that title by Larry Hurtado but I can’t find the quote and; some of the pages he does quote from James done but I can’t find this.

    “ Nobody of any importance“
    Can you please give us the exact book and author and pages and even a link so we can find this please.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. He, Hurtado, Quotes from James Dunn

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  5. Paul,
    Since you are somewhat of an expert on James D. G. Dunn’s writings, what does he do with 1 Corinthians 15:6
    where he writes that Jesus appeared to 500 brethren at one time, and most of them are still alive at the time of writing of 1 Corinthians – around 55 AD?

    Also, how does Dunn explain Luke 24:39 ?

    “see my hands and feet; touch Me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones like you see that I have”

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  6. Paul, did you see this ?

    Paul,
    Since you are somewhat of an expert on James D. G. Dunn’s writings, what does he do with 1 Corinthians 15:6
    where he writes that Jesus appeared to 500 brethren at one time, and most of them are still alive at the time of writing of 1 Corinthians – around 55 AD?

    How can that be a “visionary experience”?

    Also, how does Dunn explain Luke 24:39 ?

    “see my hands and feet; touch Me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones like you see that I have”

    Like

  7. Most all scholars agree that 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 is an ancient creed that goes back to around 35-40 AD.
    Even liberal ones like C. H. Dodd and Bultmann – see
    https://carm.org/analysis-pre-pauline-creed-1-corinthians-151-11

    the gospel, . . . (verse 1)
    . . . of first importance . . .
    that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
    and that He was buried,
    and that He was raised from the dead on the 3rd day, according to the Scriptures
    and that He appeared to Cephas (Peter), then to “the twelve” (saying of the original disciples of Jesus, not including Judas, but also including those mentioned in Acts 1:23-25 that were also eyewitnesses – Matthias . . . ).

    Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.

    3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received,
    that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4
    and that He was buried,
    and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
    5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
    6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;
    7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles;
    8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.

    1 Corinthians 15:1-8

    Mark, Matthew, Luke and Acts, and John confirm the truth of this passage.

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  8. Indeed early Christians saw themselves and were also called Jews as seen in the Book of Acts.

    Acts 2:11 – (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs–we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”

    Acts 6:5 – This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.

    Acts 13:43 – When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.

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