rayznack wrote:Have you actually read the book?
Yes, I have - I've just finished it. At 150 pages it is quite an easy read (certainly more accessible than New Perspective on Paul).
rayznack wrote:Thanks for the revelation what this thread is about, but Dunn doesn't argue that the New Testament, when read literally, doesn't say Jesus' followers did not worship him.
Actually what Dunn says is that the earliest Christians did NOT worship Jesus as God. (Chapter 1 is on the language of worship, Chapter 2 is on the practice of worship - and he builds on this in subsequent chapters)
pg 27/28 on specific issue of worship:
In the case of the most common words for praise and thanksgiving (eucharistein), they too are never offered to Christ. More common is the giving of thanks to God for what Jesus has done. In all this we would have to speak of something like a reserve or caution in the language of worship insofar as it was used in reference to Jesus. The first answer to our question, 'Did the first Christians worship Jesus?', would therefore seem to be, 'Generally no', or 'Only occasionally', or 'Only with some reserve.'
Dunn makes the point that Revelations is not to be taken literally - and I loved this turn of phrase on pg 132:
The hermeneutical rule governing the interpretation of apocalypses should not be forgotten: to interpret them literally is to misinterpret them.
Ch 4 - Dunn makes the pretty categoric claim that Jesus was a Monotheist - and concludes (pg146):
So when we transpose our findings into an answer to our central question, the dominant answer for Christian worship seems to be that the first Christians did not think of Jesus as to be worshipped in and for himself. He was not to be worshipped as wholly God, or fully identified with God, far less as a god.
In his conclusion, he introduces us to a term 'jesus-olatory' on pg 147:
One is that there are some problems, even dangers, in Christian worship if it is defined too simply as worship of Jesus. For, if what has emerged in this inquiry is taken seriously, it soon becomes evident that Christian worship can deteriorate into what may be called Jesus-olatry. That is, not simply into worship of Jesus, but into a worship that falls short of the wor- ship due to the one God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. I use the term 'Jesus-olatry' as in an important sense parallel or even close to 'idolatry'.
The quote in the OP are the final words of the book. On pg 149 he also says:
In the light of such reflection and conclusion the particular question, 'Did the first Christians worship Jesus?', can be seen to be much less relevant, less important and potentially misleading. It can be answered simply, or simplistically, even dismissively, with a mainly negative answer. No, by and large the first Christians did not worship Jesus as such. Worship language and practice at times do appear in the New Testament in reference to Christ. But on the whole, there is more reserve on the subject. Christ is the subject of praise and hymn-singing, the content of early Christian worship, more than the one to whom the worship and praise is offered.
When you have read the book, I'd be happy to discuss this further with you.
(BTW - I chuckled at your name calling and your spin of the alleged anti-semitism by Karmi. In reality Dunn has made the same point Karmi made.)
PS - Dunn tackles Baukham and Hurtado's arguments head on particularly see pgs 112 (footnote) and pg113 as examples.