Resurrection Narratives in the Gospels

Back to issues related to my book. In ch. 4 I talk about why the Gospels are problematic as “witnesses” to the resurrection (apart from the question of whether you can have *any* historical “evidence” for a miracle). This is the first part of my short discussion there, again, in rough draft

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We have already seen why the Gospels of the New Testament – our earliest available narratives of Jesus’ life – are so problematic for historians who want ...

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38

Jesus as Divine in the Synoptics

In yesterday’s post I pointed out that if one asks about an early Christain text: “Does it portray Jesus as God,” then almost always if the answer is Yes (which it usually is), it has to be qualified: “Yes, in *some sense*. “ And the question is always, in *what* sense? The reason I stress this point is that for many years – until about six months ago – I was quite vehement, in person and in print, that the ...

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Early Christology: How I Have Changed My Mind

I’m ready now to get back to the issues involved with early Christology and the question of How Jesus Became God. In this post I’ll quickly review what I’ve covered up till now and indicate a major change in my thinking that has happened over the past six months.

In these posts I have been arguing that there were two separate streams of early Christology (this too has been a major shift in my thinking, and is closely related to ...

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John’s Logos and Jewish Wisdom

In yesterday’s post I began to discuss the Prologue of the Gospel of John, which contains a poem that celebrates Christ as the Word of God that became human. This Word of God was with God in the beginning of all things, and was himself God; through him the universe was created and in him is life. This word took on flesh to dwell with humans, and that human – the divine word made flesh – was Jesus.

Some readers ...

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The Christ-Poem in John

Arguably the best known and most influential passage dealing with Christology in the New Testament is the Prologue of the Gospel of John, 1:1-18. It is also probably the most studied and discussed passage – even more than the Christ poem in Philippians 2:6-11. The first eighteen verses of John are typically called the “Prologue” because they are clearly set apart from the rest of the Gospel as a kind of celebration of the main character of the book; these ...

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18

An Important and Relevant Textual Variant in Luke 2

I’d like to address the issue of early Christology from a slightly different angle in this post. So far I have talked about how an “exaltation” Christology, in which Jesus, the man, is made the Son of God at some point of his existence can be found in various parts of the New Testament (Rom 1:3-4; speeches in Acts), and how different early Christians located that exaltation to different moments in Jesus’ existence (resurrection, baptism, birth, pre-existence). As it turns ...

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Pushing Back the Exaltation

It has taken me a while to get to this stage with respect to my discussion of exaltation Christologies. At first I thought that the point I’m going to make in this current post would be my very first post – and then I realized I needed to provide background, and then background for the background, and then background for the background for the background and so on. So it’s been a number of posts. And to make sense of ...

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17

Exaltation Christology: Some Background

Yesterday I posted the first in what will be a series of reflections on the earliest Christian Christologies (understandings of Christ), a in this post I would like to provide some necessary background information that will allow that post to make even better sense.

In that post I began to outline what I take to be the earliest Christology of all. Jesus and his followers, I maintained, saw him(self) as a man and nothing more than a man (who was ...

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How Jesus Became God: More Questions

In yesterday’s post I began to explain some of the problems that I had started to have with my original way of imagining this book, How Jesus Became God  (I give the original prospectus in the three posts preceding that one).  The problem I mentioned yesterday was a big one: I came to think that the proposal did not take into account fully enough the variety of Christological expressions that one finds at the Continue Reading →

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How to Date Documents, including Barnabas

QUESTION:

In a comment on my recent post on the letter of Barnabas, where I indicated that “it is almost certainly to be dated to the 130s CE (for reasons I could explain if anyone really wants to know….)” – one reader asked:

I, for one, would be quite interested in the how these various works are dated. Seems like it would be of utmost importance seeing as the date of composition all but decides the question of authorship. Even if it ...

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