Christ’s Divine Identity in Paul

Over the years, I have referenced the work of British New Testament scholar Richard Bauckham a lot when it comes to the topic God’s identity and how Jesus is related to it. Bauckham was the first to show me that the New Testament, understood in its historical context, is sufficient to provide a framework for understanding who God and Jesus are in relation to one another without appealing to the doctrine of the Trinity or competing theologies like Arianism or Modalism. Now he sets all of this out in his brilliant book Jesus and the God of Israel (Eerdmans 2008). However, for those who do not have access to this book or would prefer something more manageable, there is a paper Dr Bauckham has written titled Paul’s Christology of Divine Identity which you can access for free here. Continue reading “Christ’s Divine Identity in Paul”

Understanding how oral tradition works

A Word in Edgewise

Jesus of Nazareth lived between 6-4 BC and 30-33 AD.  When he died, he was in his mid- to late-thirties. That’s about as good as we can get.  The documents and historical sources don’t allow us any more precision.  The first Gospels written about Jesus—perhaps in this order, Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John—are not written until 30-40 years after his execution.  The period in between we call the period of oral tradition.  In this time, the stories of Jesus are told and retold, and then they are written down in the books we have today.  Now this does not mean there were not written sources during the period of oral tradition.  It means we just don’t have them.  Why? Because like most things written 2000 years ago they did not survive.  If, as some believe, the stories of Jesus are taken up in longer narratives like Mark or Matthew, going…

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The Jesus Shema

In a previous post on the earliest Christian creeds, I left out 1 Corinthians 8:6:

Continue reading “The Jesus Shema”

The Ideal Man

For the average Christian this might come as surprise but for a long time the controlling narrative in New Testament scholarship was that the early Church did not right from the beginning really teach that Jesus was “divine” until quite some time later. There has been a wave in New Testament scholarship in recent decades affirming the divinity of Jesus being present in the Bible. The thesis of this perspective known as “early high Christology” is that there is evidence in the earliest New Testament texts that Jesus is somehow already considered “divine” in the nascent Church. On this platform I have repeatedly featured and referenced the work of Richard Bauckham and Larry Hurtado who are some of the leading proponents of the “Early High Christology Club.” Dr. J. Daniel Kirk in his book A Man Attested by God: The Human Jesus of the Synoptic Gospels (Eerdmans, 2016), surveys the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and second Temple writings and offers some critical push back and proposes an alternative “Christology from below.” In the interview below over at OnScript Dr. Kirk discusses his provocative work. Continue reading “The Ideal Man”

Divine Identity and Christology

How do we understand the relationship between God and Jesus according to the New Testament? Preeminent New Testament scholar Richard Bauckham has proposed and advocated for nearly two decades that the concept of “divine identity” is the best way to do it. Continue reading “Divine Identity and Christology”