The "dilemma of early Christology," Kaiser observes, is found in the early Christian claims to have "seen the Lord" and "beheld his glory" - expressions that in early Judaism would have pointed unequivocally to visions of Israel's God. The shift of those claims onto the figure of Jesus is usually explained either as a result of the resurrection of Jesus, presumed as a historical event, or on the influence of pagan polytheism. Kaiser examines the phenomenon of "kyriocentric" visions in Second Temple Judaism, asking whether such traditions are sufficient to account for the shape of early claims regarding the divinity of Christ.
Introduction; Part 1; 1. Kyriocentric Visions in the Context of Crisis and Performative Prayer; 2. Motifs Associated with Kyriocentric Visions in Apocalyptic and Early Rabbinic Literature; 3. Kyriocentric Prayers and Devotions as the Context for Visions among Early Disciples of Jesus; 4. Kyriocentric Visions as the Impetus for Early Deity Christology; Part 2; 5. Traces of Kyriocentric Visions in the New Testament; 6. Kyriocentric Prayers and Devotions in the New Testament; Part 3; 7. Modifications of the Lord-Jesus Identification in the New Testament and the Early Church; 8. Four Alternative Tradition Histories or Textures in Early Christology; 9. Three Movements that Marginalized Visions of the Anthropic Form of the Lord; Conclusion; Bibliography.