Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Christ of Early Christology - R.N. Longenecker

According to Richard N. Longenecker (The Christology of Early Jewish Christianity [Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1970], 63): ‘Basic to the christology of the earliest Jewish Christians was the conviction of Jesus as the Messiah. Subject as it was to political and nationalistic connotations, and requiring definition in order to be serviceable, it was the application of this title to Jesus which laid the foundation for the church’s continuing thought about, and further acclamation of, the Man from Nazareth. So basic and central, in fact, was the messiahship of Jesus in the consciousness of early believers that it was the Greek word for Messiah, xristo&j, and not another, which became uniquely associated with the person of Jesus, first as an appellative and then as a proper name, and which became the basis for their own cognomen in the ancient world as well.”

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