The Only True God (author questionnaire)

As many readers will know, my second book, The Only True God, is due to appear in Spring 2009. I’m currently filling in the author’s questionnaire for the publisher, University of Illinois Press. For marketing purposes, I need to answer questions about courses that might adopt the book as a textbook, journals and magazines that might usefully run an ad or draw attention to the book, scholarly list-servs and other such venues where it might usefully be discussed, and so on. The book is about early Christian Christology in the context of the Jewish “monotheism” of that time, and interacts with the work of Dunn, Hurtado, Bauckham, Casey, Segal, Wright and others.

Although I have a lot of ideas already about who might find the book useful, perhaps even use it as a textbook for a course, it seems to me that one advantage of blogging is being able to ask for input from a wider audience that is potentially interested in this topic. So I’m asking for your assistance. If you think you’d like UIP to send you a mailing, or know someone who ought to be alerted when the book comes out, or teaches a course on the subject, or is currently researching the subject, then please let me know in a comment. Mention journals, magazines and other periodicals – who knows, I may have overlooked one! Are there any prizes for religion books that this could be submitted to? Any input is greatly appreciated.

To help with this, I’m posting the table of contents below. Thank you in advance for your input!

The Only True God: A study of early Christian monotheism in its Jewish context

Chapter 1

Typologies of the Relationship Between Early Jewish and Christian Monotheism
– Developmental Theories
– Static Theories
Important scales and distinctions
Types of Monotheism
– Creational monotheism
– Liturgical monolatry/monotheism
– Inclusive or Exclusive Monotheism?

Chapter 2
Worship and the Question of Jewish Monotheism in the Greco-Roman Era

Chapter 3
Monotheism and the Letters of Paul

Chapter 4
Monotheism and the Gospel of John

The Prologue (1:1-18)
“Making Himself (Equal to) God” (John 5 and 10)
“I AM” (John 8)
Jesus as “God” (20:28)

Chapter 5
Monotheism and Worship in the Book of Revelation

Chapter 6
Two Powers Heresy: Rethinking (and Redating) the Parting of the Ways between Jewish and Christian Monotheism(s)
Methodology and Dating
The Start of the Controversy
Mishnah and Tosefta
Babylonian Talmud
The Third Century Context
What Exactly Was Heretical About ‘Two Powers’

Chapter 7

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  • BSM

    You need to make sure someone from Library Journal reviews it. Most librarians will but a lot of faith into a book if the review is good and usually order the book for their library. They also tend to pass book recommendations on to faculty, instructors, etc. I no longer review for them but used to.

  • Ken Schenck

    I will buy it for sure and refer to it in my own writing. Unfortunately, I don’t teach the kind of grad. or undergraduate classes that would use a book like this as a textbook. I wish I did.

  • Doug Chaplin

    Is it being published in the Uk or only as an import? I’d love a review copy :-)

  • Angie Van De Merwe

    I am fascinated by the table of contents and wish I could take your course…My question is IF you understand montheism within Judiasm, which is a tradition, then, how is tradition different from “religion” and culture? I had read a book on Theology in Exodus a number of years ago that was trying to argue that the history of traditions methodology was distinct or different from the history of religions or philosophy of religion. I really don’t see the difference. Tradition defines a culture, which is composed of religion and text(s) and social norms, etc. How is the Christian (or Jewish) understanding of Scripture any different from any other tradition? And on what basis is Christianity/Judiasm defended as unique?I was just reading where there is a book coming out (not available in the States), that proposes that the Jewish people were never a “people”, but a religion….

  • John Hobbins

    Hey James,what a great proof of concept. Have you looked at Mike Heiser’s UW-Madison dissertation? If not, you will want to order a copy.

  • Angie Van De Merwe

    Could you tell me if your students understand their faith as the “only true faith” OR do they understand the contingency of all knowledge? Do they adhere to a religious experience, or do they rely mostly on reason? And how do they approach Scripture? And what does their faith mean to them? And how have you seen them “process” their faith?

  • J R Lucas

    James,I offer you this perspective from an extract of a previous post and would be most interested in your comment (2nd paragraph). (It was in answer to a muslim)Equating the name of Jesus with Zeus (or ‘Son of Zeus’) is either through genuine ignorance or a deliberate attempt by a delusional group of christians to disempower Jesus or promote their god Jehovah.Yahshevah (the Christian Jesus) was not the Son of Yahveh, the Hebrews God. His title Christ (Christos – the anointed one) tells us he is the Son of the One True GOD. The God of Israel uses the title YHWH (Lord) but the essence of Yahshevah is ‘Sheen’ meaning the cosmic fire from the Christ Spirit. YHShWH was the deliverer from YHWH, i.e. sent to awaken the Jewish people first from their false God, then to save the gentiles from their “pagan” or lesser gods when the Jews did not respond. The proper title and name of ‘Jesus’ spoken in english should only ever be “Christ Jesus” (Christ – Son of GOD, Jesus – Son of Man) The Greeks named YHShWH “IESOUS” the name that translates to the numerical value 888. This is the name that reflects the highest gematria value known to the Greeks from their 24 letter alphabet (So it is said to be the name above all other names) The english name ‘Joshua’ is a mistransliteration of the greek ‘IESOUS’ designed to reflect a connection to the Old testament god (Joshua means ‘Jehovah is salvation’) Yahshevah in his human form spoke a jewish dialect called Aramaic. He was brown skinned with probably dark curly hair and eyes of steel green. (Who cares one way or the other -It is the MESSAGE of GOD that is important!) Who keeps The One True GOD’S Holy Law of Love and Commandments? Unfortunately too few people in this world. I don’t recall the Cosmic Law of Divine Love and Peace involving killing, torturing and maiming innocent people because they will not subscribe to a particular view of minority fundamentalists. Where is your Compassion and Mercy for all people? Divine Love is not predisposed to eliminating someone who does not understand the God concept as laid out by a small group to control the masses through fear and intimidation. Where is Tolerance and Understanding for all people? Do you see the world through the eyes of the One True God?There is only one group of Celestial Beings that promotes disharmony among the humans. Don’t subscribe !!Play the Game Of Life, Love and Peace towards ALL your sisters and brothers on this Planet of Last Choice.