Justin Martyr is often credited as being the first to identify the theophanies of the Old Testament with Christ. There is evidence, however, that this view is present within the Gospels. In demonstrating this, consideration is given to the nature of Textual Communities and their methods of interpretation within the late Second Temple period. The manner in which theophany is portrayed within the Old Testament is then investigated, along with the hope for the return of the LORD to Zion. Consideration is given to the manner in which the LORD was seen to be 'present' within the period. This provides the narratives with which the nascent Christian communities interact in their portrayal of Christ. Before the Gospels themselves are considered, the objection that God would not be imagined to appear in human form is met by means of an investigation of the literature of the time. Mark and John are then considered. In the former, it is seen that Christ plays the role of the long hoped for returning LORD. At stages along this journey of return, he is portrayed in the manner of Old Testament theophanies. The Gospel of John portrays Christ differently. Within the Prologue, he is seen as the 'enfleshed' embodiment of the means of presence of God which have been earlier surveyed. Within the remainder of the Gospel Christ is then identified with various theophanic figures, not least the little discussed Voice of God. The notion of Christ as an 'enfleshed' theophany has implications for New Testament research in other areas, not least the Pauline literature. The identification of the Voice of God is also a contribution to this field, and the relationship of the Gospel communities to 'the scriptures' will assist in considerations of the 'partings of the ways' between Jew and Christian.
|Date of Award||2009|
|Supervisor||Hua-Xin Peng (Supervisor)|