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The Great Angel: A Study of Israel's Second God [Paperback]

By Margaret Barker (Author) & Margaret Barker (Preface by)
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Item description for The Great Angel: A Study of Israel's Second God by Margaret Barker...

In this groundbreaking book, Barker claims that pre-Christian Judaism was not monotheistic and that the roots of Christian Trinitarian theology lie in a pre-Christian Palestinian belief about angels derived from the ancient religion of Israel. Barker's beliefs are based on canonical and deutero-canonical works and literature from Qumran and rabbinic sources.

Publishers Description

What did "Son of God," "Messiah," and "Lord," mean to the first Christians when they used these words to describe their beliefs about Jesus? In this book Margaret Barker explores the possibility that, in the expectations and traditions of first-century Palestine, these titles belonged together, and that the first Christians fit Jesus' identity into an existing pattern of belief. She claims that pre-Christian Judaism was not monotheistic and that the roots of Christian Trinitarian theology lie in a pre-Christian Palestinian belief about angels--a belief derived from the ancient religion of Israel, in which there was a "High God" and several "Sons of God." Yahweh was a son of God, manifested on earth in human form as an angel or in the Davidic King. Jesus was a manifestation of Yahweh, and was acknowledged as Son of God, Messiah, and Lord. Barker relies on canonical and deutero-canonical works and literature from Qumran and rabbinic sources to present her thoughtful investigation.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Westminster John Knox Press
Pages   272
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2001
Publisher   Westminster John Knox Press
ISBN  0664253954  
ISBN13  9780664253950  

Availability  122 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 23, 2016 10:38.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Margaret Barker

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Margaret Barker is a former President of the Society for Old Testament Study, and author of numerous works, including The Older Testament, The Lost Prophet, The Gate of Heaven, The Great Angel.

Margaret Barker currently resides in Freeville, in the state of New York.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Middle East > Israel
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > Old Testament
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Christology

Christian Product Categories
Books > Bible Study > General Studies > Biblical History & Culture

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Great Angel: A Study of Israel's Second God?

Yahweh and The Messiah?  Aug 15, 2007
I found Margaret Barker to be an excellent Biblical Scholar and she has confirmed the God of the Christian and Judaic religion has no understanding about the First Born of the Father, Yahweh who amongst the first Christians was understood to be Jesus Christ. Therefore the Monotheists are wrong and the Deuteronomists were wrong and merely misunderstanding the nature of the Godhead and the Hosts of Heaven. She has confirmed the beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) were taught correctly on many levels from Joseph Smith jnr. to Our Modern President. Yahweh aka Jehovah is Jesus Christ and a separate individual The Son of God literally The Son of El... So Monotheism is false. I seriously recommend anyone curious about the early Church to read Margaret Barker.The Great Angel: A Study of Israel's Second God
A great book on The Great Angel  Apr 30, 2007
This book, written by the brilliant Ms. Barker, basically argues that the earliest Hebrew religion was not Monotheistic but instead Henotheistic in belief and practice. The basic conclusion of Ms. Barker is that the earliest Hebrews, including the patriarchs and fathers of Israel, worshiped Yahweh or Jehovah as Lord of Israel and Elohim as Almighty God the Creator. She contends, correctly in my opinion, that the two were distinct and separate beings, with Yahweh being one of seventy sons of Elohim - who were all godly like Elohim - who ruled over Israel. She also contends, once again correctly, that Jesus was not God Almighty - Elohim - manifest in the flesh, but instead the God Yahweh. She further contends that the history and religion of the Henotheistic Hebrews was whitewashed into a Monotheistic faith by king Josiah around 621 B.C. in order to further distance himself and his people from the Polytheistic Gentiles that were the Babylonians. And that more whitewashing occurred when the Greek Catholic Fathers wished to portray Jesus as God the Father in order to placate the Greek and Roman Christians and make themselves Monotheistic. These conclusions I agree with as well, considering not only my personal understanding and interpretation of the Scriptures, but because of the teachings of Joseph Smith the Prophet, who essentially taught the same thing that Ms. Barker is now elaborating on. And the best part is that Ms. Barker makes her conclusions based primarily on Biblical passages, both Old and New Testament, but as well on the Dead Sea Scrolls and other sources that are now just becoming available and that seemingly escaped Josiah's Whitewashing. So this was a very good and insightful book, written by one very intelligent and insightful Methodist, that I would recommend to anyone who student of Judaism, Christianity or general Hebrew theology and history. Wonderful job, Ms. Barker, I couldn't say it better myself. Five stars!!!!

I would also recommend Ms. Barker's other book "The Great High Priest" which deals with early Christian Temple worship, to those who are also interested in the subject of 1st century Christianity.
Great Reference  Nov 8, 2006
While I do not agree with Barker's main conclusion - that El/Elyon was exclusively equivalent of the Christian "Father in Heaven" and Yahweh was the preexisting Jesus (I think "Yahweh" covers both) - this book is a great reference into the primary sources. A must-have for any serious theological library.
Interesting book  Jul 13, 2005
This is an excellent book by a talented scholar. Margaret Barker provides an insightful look of Israel's Second God in this impressive, small book.

One of my favourite sections is her discussion of Deut. 6:4 (the "Shema") and 1 Corinthians 8, where she argues Paul, and contemporaries, understood the Shema as a verse supporting the unity of Yahweh (henotheism), as opposed to the Trinitarian eisegetical interpretation by mainstream Christians or the ultra-strict monotheistic interpretaion in modern Judaism. As a student of theology in Ireland, and an active Latter-day Saint, I have a great appreciation for this book.
Great Angel  Apr 25, 2003
I found this book from a footnote of another book I was reading. Since then I've bought all her books. The Great Angel is perhaps her best written work and best argued. Her hypothesis is that Elohim refers to the Most High God and that Jehovah (Yahweh) was one of his sons. There were 70 Sons that ruled the 70 nations and Jehovah was the God of Israel. After Jerusalem fell in 600 BC, the Jews had problems reconciling their God of Israel as being superior to the other Gods while being held captive in Babylon. Over the centuries, one brand of Judaism had confusion between the Most High and Jehovah and eventually Jehovah was elevated to the position of the Most High in their minds and superior to all others. The Angel of Yahweh is seen as a second God that would eventually lead to threatening a form of monotheism that was growing more and more exclusively strict. Another brand of Judism (Enochic Judaism)in contrast tried to preserve the ancient beliefs of the Davidic Temple Cult. It was this brand from which Essenes and Christians sprang. By the second Century CE the other Jews would put a label on this heresy as the TWO POWERS in Heaven. Sound far fetched? Not after you read her documentation and reasoning. It's a very convincing argument especially when you read the works of Philo and others. I would have given this a higher rating but some arguments she assumes the audience understands without building them. ...

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