Freed by Love and for Love: Freedom in the New Testament
In recent decades there has been an intensively renewed interest in the origins and development of ‘christology’, or, to use a broader term intended to take into account religious practices as well as ideas/beliefs, earliest ‘devotion’ to Jesus. In general, this newer work has emphasized the early period and Jewish religious setting in which this remarkable devotion to Jesus first emerged (e.g., Newman, Davila, Lewis 1999), and scholars have thus explored in what ways Jesus-devotion may have drawn upon Jewish tradition and how it may have represented something innovative. In particular, there are questions about the means by which early believers shaped by Jewish tradition with its concern for the uniqueness of God may have accommodated devotion to Jesus as in some way bearing divine significance. The Qumran texts comprise a major and unique cache of material giving us access to second-temple Jewish religious tradition, and are, thus, integral in all of this investigation (e.g., Segal 1992).