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 same time in early Christianity, but seemed to assume that there was some kind of straight line, linear progression from a low Christology to a high one.
To some extent I still think that there was a progression. It is clear, at any rate, that the Christology embraced at the Council of Nicea was MUCH “higher” than the one found in the Gospel of Mark. You’d have to be blind not to see the difference. But something has to account for the fact that in our earliest source – Paul – we appear to get some kind of high Christology already, years before Mark. (Not nearly as high as at Nicea; but higher than Mark’s).
There was another big problem that I had with the proposal. It was that in my older way of imagining the development of Christology was I did not seem to be taking into account what was *driving* the development. Why were Christians saying new and exalted things of Jesus? What was behind it all?
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