James D. G. Dunn on Adamic Christology in Philippians 2:6-11

The possibility of a comparison between Jesus and Adam in Philippians 2:6-11 has been one of the major talking points in discussions of Pauline Christology over the past three decades. Since at least one major proponent of mythicism somehow managed to miss this entirely while allegedly doing research into early Christianity, I am sharing links [Read More...]

Review of Mark S. Smith, God in Translation

I am grateful to Eerdmans for sending me a free review copy of Mark S. Smith’s book God in Translation: Deities in Cross-Cultural Discourse in the Biblical World (published by Eerdmans in 2010, originally published in 2008 by Mohr Siebeck). The book looks at a relatively neglected aspect of ancient Israelite, early Jewish and early [Read More...]

Trees for the Gods

What do you think of this interpretation? In the Garden of Eden story…Yahweh places the two trees in the garden for the benefit of the elohim. I infer this because Yahweh did not allow the humans to eat from them, and the trees impart qualities by which the gods are identified. Apparently the elohim regularly [Read More...]

Thom Stark on Biblical Polytheism

Thom Stark has posted a piece, responding to Michael Heiser, discussing a couple of key texts in the Bible that seem to reflect earlier pre-monotheistic beliefs of the Israelites. I was hunting around over the past few days for exactly the same sorts of texts he cites and refers to as background and comparative materials, [Read More...]

Bauckham and the Vague, Confusing Terminology of Divine Identity

Nick Norelli mentioned my name in connection with a discussion of Richard Bauckham’s use of the phrase “divine identity” in relation to early Christology. As I have said before, I do think that Bauckham’s terminology is unhelpfully vague, and until he defines it more clearly it cannot even be assessed in terms of its applicability [Read More...]

Ken Brown on the SBL International Monotheism Sessions

Ken Brown has posted a summary of the three sessions on the term monotheism and whether it should continue to be used in Biblical studies. The Bibliobloggers’ dinner went ahead just down the street from the originally-planned venue, at a place called dr.ink’s. It was well attended, including by a large number of non-bloggers, who [Read More...]

Drafts of My Article on Monotheism

My earliest draft of my reference article on the term “monotheism” was very brief, and so I can share it in its entirety here: monotheism n. Do not use this term. I came to the International Society of Biblical Literature conference hoping to get a better sense of whether this was the emerging scholarly consensus [Read More...]

Conversations Around the Blogosphere

Here are some links to posts either directly responding to, or simply on the same topic as, recent posts here at Exploring Our Matrix. Daniel Kirk, Brian LePort, Joel Watts and Tom Verenna chime in on the Shema and Pauline monotheism. Tom also explains why he is no longer a “mythicist.” More people have joined [Read More...]

Paul’s Expanded Shema in 1 Corinthians 8:6

On the blog Diglotting, in a post with the title “Paul, 1 Cor. 8.6, and the Shema,” Kevin Brown asked if anyone apart from me views what Paul is doing in 1 Corinthians 8:6 as a supplementing of the Shema (adding one human lord alongside the one God) rather than an inclusion of Jesus within [Read More...]

Ancient Monotheistic Worship: Sacrifice and Prostration

Ben Witherington reminded us of a recent post on Larry Hurtado’s blog about ancient monotheistic worship. It usefully points out that the defining factor of Jewish piety was not always expressed by means of a creedal statement, but often simply took the form of a refusal to worship any other than God. Note how often [Read More...]

High on Christology Smack(down)?

Mike Bird has a post reflecting on some of the interactions about Christology in the latest issue of Expository Times, which included reviews of books on this subject both by my Doktorvater James Dunn as well as by me. I look forward to Bird’s own contribution to the discussion, which will be named “Can You [Read More...]