Tracing a Tradition: The Linking of Psalms 110 and 8 in Writings of the Early Christ Movement Open Access

Dale, Jeffrey M. (Spring 2019)

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A number of early Christ-movement texts attest to a widespread, dynamic tradition which linked Pss 110 and 8 and was part of a nexus of traditions speaking of Christ’s exaltation. The psalmic exaltation tradition developed at an early stage as followers of Christ sought to understand and communicate his present elevated status. The tradition was transmitted orally and later found expression in multiple written texts. Although certain terminology from the psalms (“seated at the right hand” and “subjection of all things”) became standard in such discourse, the tradition never took on a completely fixed form. Rather, it found expression in different ways alongside many other exaltation traditions. These various exaltation traditions were employed together for a variety of argumentative and hortatory purposes. Why did the psalmic exaltation tradition meet with such success? One reason seems to be that it resonated with certain Greco-Roman notions. I highlight parallels with the deity Isis, who was viewed as a supreme ruler impacting a person’s destiny in the afterlife.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction --- 1

Chapter 2: Clear Instances of the Tradition --- 15

Chapter 3: Possible Instances of the Tradition --- 44

Chapter 4: The Psalmic Exaltation Tradition and the Greco-Roman World --- 55

Chapter 5: Conclusion --- 70

Bibliography --- 74

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