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

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  70 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
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 b ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 19th 1992 by Westminster John Knox Press
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Kevin Christensen
Sep 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The first of her books that I read, back in 1999. I went out and read everything else she had written, and continue to maintain that enlightening habit. I've published several studies on the implications of her work for LDS readers, and that has led to much enlightening interaction, and a widening interest.
Jun 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, bible-study
Yahweh thundered in the heavens, and Elyon uttered his voice. (Psalms 18:13)

It's difficult to tell in most English translations, but in the Bible, there are many different ways of referring to God. The most significant are Yahweh (often translated as Lord), El (God), El Elyon (God Most High), and Elohim (Gods). It's interesting that throughout the Old Testament, whenever the phrase "son of God" is used in conjunction with Yahweh it always refers to humans, while whenever "son of God" is used wit
Apr 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: old-testament
The scholarship is much better than the writing. Barker doesn't use subheadings or anything else to guide the reader; consequently, I was often lost. Given That this is possibly the most important non-LDS work in the LDS apologetic corpus, I forged ahead and finished.

Barker pulls together a wide array of sources: Old Testament, apocryphal books, Talmud, targums, Philo, the New Testament, Gnostics, the Early Church Fathers, all to demonstrate that the trinity was not a pagan accretion into Chris
Ken Parkinson
Sep 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Every once in a while it is good to get in over your head with a book that is way beyond you. Margaret Barker, a methodist minister, book carefully amasses evidence from the Old and New Testaments, apocrypha, pseudepigrapha, Dead sea scrolls, and other ancient text, supporting proposition that a sizable number of ancients both before and after Christ were polytheist, believing that Yahweh was the "great angel" presiding over a counsel of angel/gods (my phrase). Barker contends that Israel's mono ...more
Anne Hamilton
Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
A curious fact gleaned from this intriguing book: Yahweh is not the name God gives to Moses as His own. Yahweh means, among other possibilities, 'he is who he will be'. But God begins His self-identification with the famous 'I am'.

I found the first two-thirds of the book very heavy going; with such a controversial premise it was difficult to assess the idea without a thorough background knowledge. The last third of the book ventured onto more familiar territory and was much easier to great and g
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The first of Dr Barker's books I read and it certainly opened my eyes; I only wish her ideas were more widely known in the Church - and by that I mean the Christian community as a whole. Here she looks at the pre-exilic, Temple based religion of Israel whose ideas continued into the time of Jesus and the early church. Before the enormous "reformation" of the Deuteronomist, the concept of a three-fold God can be seen in Temple theology. This makes sense of the contradictions throughout the Old Te ...more
Nov 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
The Great Angel - A study of Israel’s Second God by a Methodist Old Testament scholar from England named Margaret Barker will be of interest to those interested in the Mormon concept of God. In this Book Barker presents detailed evidence that early Israel was not as monotheistic as we suppose today and that early Christians identified Jesus with Yahweh, the son of Elyon (the High God). It also challenges the “higher critisism” idea that the deification of Jesus came from Hellenistic, pagan conve ...more
Mar 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Written for the serious religious scholar but not entirely inaccessible to the layperson. It's a vast collection of knowledge packed with incredible density without becoming unclear. It took me a long time to read because I would read until I had ingested several 'servings' of information and pause for a break, then realize I had only read five pages. Vastly illuminating, especially when reading with one's Mormon ears open.
Steven Wedgeworth
Jun 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Slightly dangerous, but very exciting and important. Set this within an orthodox framework and you've got something huge.
Jan 22, 2009 rated it liked it
Started strong, but really got boggen down in minutiae half way through.
Oct 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
My brother Evan will find this one really intriguing! It's heady, academic and VERY thoughtful, especially as I consider my own belief schema.
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There is more than one author with this name

Margaret Barker is a mother and grandmother, a Methodist Preacher, and has been involved, since it opened in 1977, with the work of a Women’s Refuge.

She read theology at the University of Cambridge, England, and went on to pursue her research independently.

She was elected President of the Society for Old Testament Study in 1998*, and is currently the Ed
More about Margaret Barker...