Book Announcement: Origins of New Testament Christology

Stanley Porter (my co-blogger) and Bryan Dyer (my friend and colleague) have just published a New Testament Christology, entitled Origins of New Testament Christology (Baker, 2023). There have not been nearly as many New Testament Christologies published compared to other kinds of books in New Testament studies—which is surprising since Christology is a very important topic and often the focus of courses at undergraduate and seminary level. This book pays homage to Oscar Cullmann’s Christology (1963), which has been used as an inspiration and foil, but attempts to deal with issues in contemporary fashion based on the use of titles in the New Testament. The use of “origins” in the title is to be taken seriously, as Porter and Dyer explore not just usage in the New Testament but the origins and backgrounds to the various titles.

This book is a follow-up to Sacred Tradition in the New Testament: Tracing Old Testament Themes in the Gospels and Epistles (Baker, 2016) by Stanley E. Porter with a chapter contribution by Bryan R. Dyer. As Sacred Tradition was a scholarly monograph on Old Testament traditions in the New Testament, Porter and Dyer envisioned writing another book that would take some of its themes and expand on them, focusing on New Testament Christology. As such, some of the chapters in Sacred Tradition have some overlap with chapters in Origins of New Testament Christology.

This Christology focuses on 11 major titles and traditions associated with Jesus Christ, and it ultimately attempts to address the questions normally addressed in Christology: who Christ was, how others conceived of Christ, and when Jesus recognized himself to be God. The chapters are:

  1. Jesus the Lord
  2. Jesus the Prophet
  3. Jesus the Son of Man
  4. Jesus the Son of God
  5. Jesus the Suffering Servant
  6. Jesus the Passover Lamb
  7. Jesus the Messiah
  8. Jesus the Savior
  9. Jesus the Last Adam
  10. Jesus the Word
  11. Jesus the High Priest

While Sacred Tradition is geared towards a more scholarly audience, Origins is aimed at being more of a survey volume on New Testament Christology. Porter and Dyer write in the preface: “We wanted to produce a usable volume that assists readers who are new to the field to navigate the traditions and imagery that are applied to Jesus in the New Testament” (xii). Readers can judge for themselves whether they accomplish this goal, but my impression is that both beginning and advanced students of Christology will benefit from reading this work.

— David I. Yoon


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