Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I delivered a paper tonight in the English-German colloquium in the Tübingen Theologicum, entitled 'Paul's Christ-devotion and Jewish devotion to figures other than God'. I critically engaged with the claims of Horbury, Fletcher-Louis, Barker and others, and a big part of my paper was to argue that the praise of Simon son of Onias in Sirach 50, and the 'worship' of Adam in the Life of Adam and Eve is of practically no relevance in understanding Paul's Christology.

The passage that gets many folk so worked up in the Life of Adam and Eve is found in 13:3-14:3:

When God blew into you the breath of life and your countenance and likeness were made in the image of God, Michael brought you and made (us) worship you in the sight of God. And Michael went out and called all the angels, saying, 'Worship the image of the LORD God, as the LORD God has instructed'. And Michael himself worshiped first, and called me and said, 'Worship the image of God, Yahweh'. And I answered, 'I do not worship Adam'. And when Michael kept forcing me to worship, I said to him, 'Why do you compel me? I will not worship one inferior and subsequent to me. I am prior to him in creation; before he was made, I was already made. He ought to worship me'


At 6/10/2008 12:39 AM, Anonymous Craig said...

Your paper sounds like it would help stymie some of the excitement I have as I eagerly await Bauckham's "Jesus and the God of Israel" There are so many questions floating around in my head after I read his "God Crucified" and it sounds as if you’re addressing some of them. Do you have any plans to publish or post your paper in the near future?

At 6/10/2008 1:03 AM, Anonymous Nick Norelli said...

Hey Chris,

You know my thoughts on the paper, but I'm curious as to how it went over at the colloquium. Was it well received or did they boo and throw rotten vegetables at you?

At 6/10/2008 1:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you saying that you disagree with the image of God in man...and Jesus AS the "image of God in man"?
That image is "idealized" by the "tradidion" of the Western Church. The Eastern Church understood the concept of the "perfect man", or a representative man, I think better.
Leaders were always understood to be "as god". That is how Jesus, the human person, became "God"...that does not mean that the image of God was not perfected in him, but it does mean that his enfleshment of God's nature and character was the issue..The inclusive character of God was the issue "as far as I am concerned"...and for "what it is worth"...Mankind has innately been endowed with this image, but the image needs to have proper contexts to develop fully. This is where humanitarian aid, education is all important...

At 6/10/2008 10:55 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi Craig, the paper was extracted from my doctoral work, so it will be published together with the rest of it! So Bauckham's book will be the first to arrive on the scene, sorry to say!

Jonathan, thanks for your question. In terms of Paul's Christology I think the passage practically irrelevant. But to explain that I would need to detail my thesis which I will do nearer to publication. I really look forward to hearing what people make of my thesis!

Which brings me to NICK!
It went down well, I was glad to say. All seemed in basic agreement, which was an encourgament.

Hi Anon,
"Are you saying that you disagree with the image of God in man...and Jesus AS the "image of God in man"?"

No sir. My paper concerned the Pauline divine-Christology debate.

At 6/11/2008 10:17 AM, Anonymous Terry said...

Do you already have a publisher willing to print your thesis, Chris?

At 6/11/2008 11:23 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi Terry, no, not yet.

And thanks for your messag eon facebook, btw. GREAT question. Perhaps you would like to write a short guest post for this blog stating your question as you did to me? I have some thoghts, but I am sure other readers here would do too, which you may find helpful.


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