I continue here with another post about something that I learned about or changed my mind about while writing How Jesus Became God. I have to admit, that for many years I was puzzled by the apostle Paul – specifically his Christology. All the various things he said about Christ didn’t seem to add up to a coherent whole to me, even though I thought and thought and thought about it. But I finally found the piece that, when added to the puzzle, made it all fit together. I think now I can make sense of every Christological statement in Paul’s letters. This not because I myself finally figured it out. It’s because I finally read some discussions that actually made sense, and saw that they are almost certainly right. Here’s what I say about it in the book. It’s a result that I would have found very surprising just two years ago.


Many people no doubt have the same experience I do on occasion, of reading something numerous times, over and over, and not having it register. I have read Paul’s letter to the Galatians literally hundreds of times in both English and Greek. But the clear import of what Paul says in Galatians 4:14 simply never registered with me, until, frankly, a few months ago. In this verse Paul indicates that Christ was an angel. The reason it never registered with me is because the statement is a bit obscure, and I had always interpreted it in an alternative way. Thanks to the work of other scholars, I now see the error of my ways.

In the context of the verse Paul is reminding the Galatians of how they first received him when he was ill in their midst, and they helped restore him to health. This is what the verse in question says:

Even though my bodily condition was a test for you, you did not mock or despise me, but you received me as an angel of God, as Jesus Christ.


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