Article of the Week | BYU Studies

Article of the Week

May 1, 2017
Article of the Week
Margaret Barker's "The Lord Is One"—a Response
Andrew C. Skinner

This daily feature is the introduction to a full article by Andrew C. Skinner that was published in our newest issue, 56:1. To read the full text of this article, follow the link below.

In his response to Margaret Barker's November 9, 2016, lecture at BYU, Andrew C. Skinner points to the association between Jesus's high priestly prayer in John 17 and the doctrine of theosis. Jesus's desire that his disciples be one is ultimately a desire for them to share in divine glory. This idea was prevalent among early Greek Church Fathers and theologians. Skinner also points to the idea that John 17 is a springboard back to the temple, suggesting that "the connection between ancient temple ritual and theosis is unmistakable." He addresses the title 'elohim, which is a Hebrew plural form meaning gods or divine beings, citing Barker's questions: "Was 'elohim a plural of majesty used to indicate a singular reality, or was there a memory of plurality within the Divine, such that a male and a female were necessary to be the image of God?" Skinner also comments favorably on Barker's claim that the Deuteronomistic editors denied "the ancient belief that the Lord was seen in human form."