I would like to devote several posts – maybe half a dozen – to issues that I deal with in How Jesus Became God that represent new insights that I had while doing the research. In most instances these are changes in what I used to think. (Scholars who never change their minds about something are the ones you the ones you need to look out for!) I’ve never written a trade book where that was the case before (although it happens all the time in doing a serious research monograph). By my count, this is the thirteenth trade book I’ve written, and in virtually every case (I can’t think of an exception) my research either was almost completely done before I even proposed writing the book (e.g., for my book on the Da Vinci Code, or for Misquoting Jesus) or the research simply rounded out what I pretty much already thought (e.g., Lost Christianities or Peter, Paul, and Mary Magdalene). These books, in other words, are different from scholarly books entirely because of the packaging involved; in none of them was I trying to advance or change scholarship.
That is completely different from what happened in the case of How Jesus Became God. In this case, I learned a *lot* in doing my research for the book. And I changed my mind about (some highly) significant things. In these posts I’ll explain what some of those things were.
To do so, my plan is to state what my older view was, and then to include the chunk from the book where I state my new view. I start with a key issue: what did it mean to say that Jesus was “adopted” by God to be his son (as the earliest “exaltation” Christologies maintained).
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