Fortress Press

Seeing the Lord's Glory: Kyriocentric Visions and the Dilemma of Early Christology

Seeing the Lord's Glory

Kyriocentric Visions and the Dilemma of Early Christology

Christopher Barina Kaiser (Author)


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The “dilemma of early Christology,” Kaiser observes, is found in the early Christian claims to have “seen the Lord” and “beheld his glory”—expressions that in early Judaism would have pointed unequivocally to visions of Israel’s God. The shift of those claims onto the figure of Jesus is usually explained either as a result of the resurrection of Jesus, presumed as a historical event, or on the influence of pagan polytheism. Kaiser examines the phenomenon of “kyriocentric” visions in Second Temple Judaism, asking whether such traditions are sufficient to account for the shape of early claims regarding the divinity of Christ.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • ISBN 9781451470345
  • Format Paperback
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 384
  • Publication Date April 1, 2014


Part 1
1.  Kyriocentric Visions in the Context of Crisis and Performative Prayer
2.  Motifs Associated with Kyriocentric Visions in Apocalyptic and Early Rabbinic Literature
3.  Kyriocentric Prayers and Devotions as the Context for Visions among Early Disciples of Jesus
4.  Kyriocentric Visions as the Impetus for Early Deity Christology
Part 2
5.  Traces of Kyriocentric Visions in the New Testament
6.  Kyriocentric Prayers and Devotions in the New Testament
Part 3
7.  Modifications of the Lord-Jesus Identification in the New Testament and the Early Church
8.  Four Alternative Tradition Histories or Textures in Early Christology
9.  Three Movements that Marginalized Visions of the Anthropic Form of the Lord


"Students of the Old Testament may be tempted to think that this book is too far removed from their discipline to merit special attention. That would be a mistake. Numerous Old Testament texts are thoughtfully discussed and considered within a larger biblical and theological context in Seeing the Lord’s Glory."
Terence E. Fretheim
Luther Seminary

"Seeing the Lord's Glory is an important contribution to the study of the early Jesus movement in the milieu of Second Temple Judaism. Christopher Barina Kaiser examines this relationship from the vantage point of the phenomenon of kyriocentric visions—seeing the Lord—attested in prophetic, apocalyptic, and mystical currents of Judaism. The tradition that select individuals beheld the glory of God was uniformly applied to Jesus. This shift in focal point played a crucial role in grounding the divinity of Christ in the soil of Judaism. The book should be of interest not only to scholars but to all who are interested in the complex entanglement of these two religions."
Elliot R. Wolfson
New York University
"Christopher Barina Kaiser joins the ongoing conversation among several scholars of Second Temple Judaism and early Christianity who recognize the early confession of the deity of Jesus among Jewish Christians and also attempt to explain the historical complexities that allowed for such a confession. Kaiser examines Israelite and Jewish texts with divine appearances in a vision, postulates that similar kyriocentric visions among followers of Jesus led to the confession ‘the Lord is Jesus,’ and then seeks to demonstrate this thesis with early Christian evidence. This wide-ranging study will prompt much reflection on a central question of early Christianity."
Charles A. Gieschen
Concordia Theological Seminary