Alexander’s Ineffective Critique

Hurtado v. Alexander… the clash of the titans.

Larry Hurtado's Blog

In the newly-published volume honouring Richard Bauckham, Philip Alexander attempts a critique of the view that the worship of Jesus reflected in NT writings means what “early high Christology” advocates contend:  “‘The Agent of the King is Treated as the King Himself’:  Does the Worship of Jesus Imply His Divinity?” (97-114).  With great respect for Alexander’s expertise in rabbinic texts and contributions to other topics, I have to say that this critique is riddled with problems that make it a failure.

First, let’s note the contradictions in method.  Alexander states quite rightly that the only relevant evidence is that from 2nd temple Jewish and lst century Christian texts (p. 99).  But then he invokes rabbinic texts from several centuries later (e.g., those referring to “Metatron”) in trying to make the argument that Jewish tradition could accommodate a second figure along with God in the way that early circles of the…

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