The Pre-pauline “Poem” in Philippians 2

In my most recent post on Christology I began to speak about the “incarnation” Christology found famously in Paul’s letter to the Philippians, 2:6-11.  There are a lot of other things I want to say about this passage, all of them relevant to the issues I’ve been discussing.  The first and most important thing is that it has been widely recognized by scholars for a very long time that this passage is something that Paul appears to be Continue Reading →

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Incarnation Christology, Angels, and Paul

In my posts on Christology so far I have argued that different Christians in the early decades of the Christian movement maintained that Jesus had been exalted to a divine status at some point of his existence – at his resurrection, at his baptism, at his birth. I have called this a christology from below, or an “exaltation” christology; it is sometimes called a low christology because it understands Jesus to have started out as a human (down here with ...

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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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Exaltation Christology in the Speeches in Acts

In this post I return to the topic of early Christology. To review what I’ve covered so far: I have indicated that early on in the Christian tradition there were two types of Christology, one of which I have called “exaltation” Christology (I have not mentioned yet the other type); this is sometimes called a “low” Christology or a Christology from below. This is the view that Jesus started out as a human, nothing more, but came to be exalted ...

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Exaltation Christology in an Early Creed

So far in this series of posts dealing with How Jesus Became God, I have maintained that in the very early years of Christianity, soon after the disciples came to believe in the resurrection, there were two forms of Christology that emerged. And I have discussed only one of these two forms, one that considered Jesus to be a full flesh and blood human being(as he considered himself!), and nothing more than a man, until at some point God exalted ...

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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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The Earliest Christology

When I earlier said that I thought my older view of the development of Christology was problematic, in that I had been imagining a more or less straight line of development from low to high Christology, I did not mean to say (as I may have mistakenly been understood as saying) that I have now given up the idea of a line of development.  What I’ve given up on is the idea that there was basically ONE form of Christology ...

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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 Jesus Became God: My Change of Direction

Over the course of my last three posts I have indicated what my original idea was for the book How Jesus Became God.    When I first started writing the proposal for the book (as you have seen it) I had planned to write it with Oxford University Press.  But about three or four years ago I made a career decision.   At that point I had published three trade books with HarperOne (an imprint of Harper Collins, the branch ...

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