How was it that early Christian reflection on Jesus emerged so rapidly and with such a high degree of definition?
What patterns of interpretation, already known in late second temple Palestine, crystallized around the person of Jesus Christ and his work?
Margaret Barker believes that Christian theology matured quickly because it was the return to a far older faith. Those who preserved the ancient tradition rejected the second temple, and longed for the restoration of the original, true temple and the faith of Abraham and Melchizedek, the first priest-king. In this discussion, the author refutes the scholarly assumption that crucial Christian concepts, such as the Trinity, the earth as a reflection of heaven, and the cosmic nature of the atonement, are informed by Greek culture. Rather, she argues, they are drawn from the eclipsed faith of the first temple.