In a recent post I tried to show that the author of Luke-Acts (same person; let’s call him Luke) presented an “exaltation” Christology — that is, that he thought Christ was not originally a divine being but had been exalted to divinity at some point of his existence; but unlike most of our other sources, he affirms *different* moments when this happened: at Jesus’ birth, his baptism, and his resurrection.  (See the post if this is not ringing a bell: ).

I ended the post by saying I would explain how Luke could have it all three ways.  And as a reader pointed out to me, I never posted the post!  So here it is.  I dealt with this specific issue on the blog some years ago, and I may be older now, but I’m no wiser, at least as far as this question goes.  Here’s what I said then and would continue to say now:


Does Luke present a (strictly speaking) consistent view of Jesus throughout his two-volume work of Luke-Acts?

I raise the question because of the textual problem surrounding the voice at Jesus’ baptism.  I have been arguing that it is likely that the voice did NOT say “You are my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (as in most manuscripts; this is what it clearly does say in Mark’s version; Matthew has it say something different still); instead it probably said “You are my Son, today I have begotten you.”

In the past couple of posts I’ve suggested that this wording – found in only one ancient Greek manuscript, but in a number of church fathers who quote the passage (these fathers were living before our earliest surviving manuscripts) – makes particular sense if the Gospel did not originally have chapters 1-2, the accounts of Jesus’ birth.   In yesterday’s post I gave the evidence for thinking that originally the Gospel began with Jesus’ baptism.

But if I’m wrong about that (and hey, it won’t be the first time), then don’t we have an irreconcilable problem on our hands?  Because that would mean that Luke first says that Jesus is the Son of God because of his miraculous birth, where God is literally his father (this is explicitly stated in 1:35) but then says that he is the Son of God because God adopted him to be his Son in 3:22.

My view is that even if…

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