Paul’s View of Jesus as an Angel

Here’s a bit from my chapter 7 of How Jesus Became God where I talk about why I think Paul understood Jesus, before coming to earth, to have been an angel. There’s more to the argument than just this, but it’s a start. As you’ll see, this isn’t just a crazy idea I had. I learned this from some very smart colleagues in the field, who have convinced me. It’s one of the HUGE surprises that I’ve had writing this ...

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Paul’s Christology

A small bit from my now chapter 7:

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I have read, pondered, researched, taught, and written about the writings of Paul for forty years, but until recently there was one key aspect of his theology that I could never quite get my mind around.   I had the hardest time understanding how, exactly, he viewed Christ.   Some aspects of Paul’s Christological teaching have been clear to me for decades – especially his teaching that it was Jesus’ death and resurrection that ...

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Moving from the Faith

I wrote chapter 7 of How Jesus Became God today, and started with this anecdote that will sound somewhat familiar to those who know my story….

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I first began to have serious doubts about my faith when I was in graduate school. After I had graduated from Moody Bible Institute I had gone off to finish my undergraduate degree at Wheaton College, a strongly evangelical liberal arts college and the alma mater for Billy Graham. For me this was a step ...

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Progress on My Book

My apologies to anyone and everyone who is not all that interested in Christology and the development of how Jesus came to be seen as God. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, and I’ve been obsessed with it lately, especially here on my blog. The problem is that I’m so focused on my writing for the book, How Jesus Became God, that I don’t have energy to write about anything else at the end of the day. But ...

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Visions of Mary

I wrote chapter five of How Jesus Became God today; there will be nine chapters altogether.  In this one I am talking about the visions of Jesus that the disciples had.  I think they really had visions.  Whether that’s because Jesus really appeared to them or because they were hallucinating is the difference between believers and unbelievers, and as a historian, I don’t feel particularly inclined to judge one way or the other.  As a non-believer, of course, I, well, ...

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Divine Wisdom

Another passage from my chapter 2, on divine beings in Judaism

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If you read enough scholarly literature, you will quickly see that scholars tend to use some technical terms for no good reason, other than the fact that they are the technical terms scholars use. This is true even when scholar could talk in language that normal human beings normally use. When I was in graduate school we used to ask, wryly, why we should use a perfectly good ...

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Jesus as the Messiah

Here’s a draft of a few paragraphs from ch. 3 of my book How Jesus Became God. Again, it’s only in rough draft, but let me know if you see any problems with it.

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It appears that some Jews who had this expectation of the future messiah saw him in purely political terms: a great and powerful king who would bring about the restored kingdom through military force, taking up the sword to dispose of the enemies. Other Jews ...

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The Son of Man as Divine

Another bit from my ch. 2 of How Jesus Became God.  It’s just a draft.  I’m interested in feedback if you think there are problems or ambiguities in what I say.  It’s a very brief treatment, I know….

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There are other figures – apart from God himself – who are sometimes described as divine in ancient Jewish sources, both in the Bible and in later writings from near the time of Jesus and his followers.   The first is modeled  on ...

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Who Is Really God?

This is how my chapter 2 of How Jesus Became God starts, in the current draft.

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When I first started my teaching career in the mid 1980s I was offered an adjunct position at Rutgers University. My teaching load was three courses a semester. The tenured faculty taught three courses as well, and were, of course, considered full time. But since I was only an adjunct, my three courses were considered part time. You just have to love university administrations: ...

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