I've decided not to post the entire second section of my paper (see here for the introduction), but I thought I'd throw out a quote. In this section I am using the Philippian hymn as a case study for how scholars sometimes let appropriate theological beliefs micromanage their interpretations of historical texts, engaging N. T. Wright, Richard Bauckham, and David Yeago.
Here is an excerpt:
"... to let theological preferences count as evidence toward historical judgments in this way raises significant questions about historical method. We cannot explore these issues to any significant degree here. On the one hand, it is clear that our presuppositions are an unavoidable element in historical judgments. Do we believe miracles and resurrections are possible? This presupposition will markedly influence how we reconstruct the history of Jesus and how we interpret the gospels historically.
"But if some element of progressive revelation is acceptable—and this bare claim is not particularly controversial—then it is not clear that we have a firm theological presupposition in play in a situation such as this one. We have a historical inkling based on later developed theology. Such historical inklings may of course prove to be true, but it is not at all clear that they are an appropriate element in serious historical judgments. They are the stuff of coffee talk rather than serious historical scholarship.
"More seriously, they reflect the questionable underlying presumption that common Christian understanding is in some way enhanced the more it correlates closely to historical judgments about earlier historical periods—earlier is better, original is better than revised. This presumption fuels an impulse to let developed theology micromanage historical judgments. Space does not permit a defense here, but it seems more likely that such serious historical judgments are rather more peripheral than essential to common Christian understanding, despite their instrinsic value."