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within the exclusive monotheistic framework of Judaism which gave emerging Christianity its distinctiveness,95 as well as guaranteeing the profound and bitter doctrinal debates of succeeding centuries. Devotion to the risen Jesus can be documented extremely early, within predominantly Jewish groups of Christians and not least in the writings of the ex-Pharisee, Paul of Tarsus. If by the third century prayers can be cited that suggest pagan influence (see above), even more evident is the Jewishness of most early Christian liturgical expression. The ' Lord's Prayer', which Jesus taught his disciples, is made up of phrases to which parallels can be found in Jewish liturgy. The doxologies incorporated into the New Testament writings provided precedent for adapting Jewish forms of prayer, which would in any case come naturally to Jesus' first Jewish followers. The long prayer at the endof 1 Clement betrays both the debt and the adaptation: the creator ofthe universe is asked to open the eyes of our heart to know you, that you alone are the highest in the highest and remain holy among the holy'. God is addressed as merciful and compassionate' and characterised as 'faithful in all generations, righteous in judgement, wonderful in strength and majesty, wise in your creation . . . gracious among those that trust in you'. The content lies firmly in the Jewish biblical tradition, yet it ends:

We praise you through Jesus Christ, the high priest and guardian of our souls, through whom be glory and majesty to you, both now and for all generations and for ever and ever. Amen.

Such devotional responses to the Lord Jesus both predated and impelled the defining of dogmatic discourse, as people tried to make sense of a mythopoeic rhetoric which pushed at the boundaries of what was acceptable within a religious tradition focused exclusively on the one God of the scriptures.96 The history of early Christianity is usually presented as doctrinal development. But this common approach would seem to reflect the assumptions of modern evolutionary ideas. Rather what happened was that people searched for adequate ways of expressing what had so unexpectedly occurred, finding it in one cultural context after another.97 Doctrine belongs to a time when logic and philosophy began to shape the discourse. It sought to articulate in a new way and with increasing precision and sophistication what was assumed to have been implicit in the beginning.

95 Hurtado, Lord Jesus Christ.

97 See Young's essays in Hick, Myth of God incarnate.

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