Read Prof. Hurtado’s Thoughts on NT Wright’s “YHWH’s Return to Zion” Theological Motif. I recall Dr. Richard Hays has questioned this as well.
Yesterday, I received the PDF of my contribution to a multi-author volume examining features of N.T. Wright’s massive book on Paul’s theology. My own piece is a critical study of Wright’s claim that the earthly ministry of Jesus was seen from the first as YHWH’s “return to Zion,” and that this conviction was the “key” to all of the rest of how Jesus came to feature so centrally in earliest devotional practice and beliefs in the young Jesus-movement.
I judge his claims faulty, unsupported by the evidence. What I see is that the earliest use of the OT theme of YHWH’s return to Zion/Israel, in Paul’s letters (our earliest texts), posits that it is in Jesus’ “second coming” (parousia) that this is fulfilled. See, e.g., the use of such imagery in 1 Thessalonians 3:13, where Jesus will come (again) “with all his holy ones” (μετά πάντων τῶν ἁγίων αὐτοῦ)…
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