Thursday, November 24, 2005

Jesus Creed

It pains me to say, but I have only now just started reading Scot McKnight's Jesus Creed. Truth be told, I have never liked devotional books much, I find them too light and fluffy, kinda like some American fastfood outlets (esp. that infernal McGridle - I mean really, who puts a pancake in breakky burger!). But Jesus Creed is both intellectually engaging and spiritually moving - a rare trait in books. Makes me wish that more Historical Jesus scholars would try write popular and devotional works (to his credit Wright does it a bit and I think Mark Alan Powell has a similar project coming out soon).

In the opening two chapters what struck me hardest was the idea of reciting the Jesus Creed at the start of a lesson, and finishing off with the Lord's Prayer at the end. Although the Paulinist in me wants to interject 1 Cor 8.6 as a christocized shema in there somewhere too (maybe during the coffee break). If I can arouse enough interest, I may try start up a study group at college to go through chapters one week at a time every Friday at lunch time. Hmmm, we'll see how we go.


Wieland Willker said...

I am wondering if it was generally acknowledged by the Jews at that time, that these are the two greatest commandments.

Michael Pahl said...

It's funny that you mention "the Paulinist in you wanting to interject 1 Cor 8:6." I actually started personally reciting the greatest commandment and Lord's prayer in the summer as part of my own devotional life when I came across this idea with Scot's book. (I still haven't read the book through myself, though, and I just received it as a gift.) But I quickly added both 1 Cor 8:6 and 1 Cor 15:3b-5 into the mix, because those are (likely and certainly, respectively) pre-Pauline and wider-than-Pauline creedal formulations and they add crucial early Christian ideas. If you recite them in the order one God, one Lord-Christ died and rose-love God, love neighbour-our Father, it makes a nice creed with a good narrative and logical order...

Scot McKnight said...

Nice to see comments like this from both of you.

On 1 Cor 8:6 -- I think this text has not been seen enough for what it is. The need for Paul to pass his central christological conviction through the standard Jewish conviction of the "ehad" of God. I see it, as Michael does I think, as a christological reflection.

James 1:12; 2:5-7, 18ff see the Jesus Creed as something through which early Christian reflections had to pass.

For all the brilliance of Hurtado's works, I think he could have made more of 1 Cor 8:4-6.

graham old said...

I agree that it would be nice to see more Jesus scholars writing these kinds of books. However, I'm far from convinced they could.

Conrad Gempf also pulls it off, IMO.