This, I believe, will be my final post on an issue that changed my mind about while doing the research for How Jesus Became God. This last one is a big one – for me, at least. And it’s not one that I develop at length in the book in any one place, since it covers a span of material. Here’s the deal:
Until a year ago I would have said – and frequently did say, in the classroom, in public lectures, and in my writings – that Jesus is portrayed as God in the Gospel of John but not, definitely not, in the other Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. I would point out that only in John did Jesus say such things as “Before Abraham, I am” (8:58; taking upon himself the name of God, as given to Moses in Exodus 3); his Jewish opponents knew full well what he was saying: they take up stones to stone him. Later he says “I and the Father are one” (10:30) Again, the Jews break out the stones. Later he tells his disciples, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father” (14:9). And in a later prayer to God he asks him to “glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world was created” (17:5).