Monday, March 12, 2018

5.4 The Development of Christology

Current chapter:
Chapter 5: Jesus the Christ
5.1 Fully Human, Fully Divine
5.2 The Theology of Jesus of Nazareth
5.3 Jesus is Lord!

5.4.1 Models of Christological Development
The Older Consensus
  • The older consensus was that Christian faith developed from the resurrection back and that the full worship of Jesus unfolded over decades at the very least.
  • The disciples have a messianic understanding that does not include even the death of Christ.
  • Resurrection faith alters their understanding of Jesus' death and the resurrection becomes the center of a functional Christology. See the Gospel of Mark around AD70.
  • Matthew and Luke add the virgin birth in the 70s and 80s.
  • John adds the incarnation and literal pre-existence of Jesus in the 90s.
  • Nicaean faith develops over the next three centuries.
The Early High Christology Club
  • Richard Bauckham - "The earliest Christology was already the highest Christology." 1 Cor. 8:6 includes Jesus within the shema.
  • Martin Hengel - the development of high Christology was explosive and already in place before any of the books of the NT were written.
  • Larry Hurtado - the worship practices of the earliest Christians already reveal that Jesus is being worshiped alongside God the father.
  • N.T. Wright
  • Up and coming Wheaton grad, Caleb Friedmann
  • P.S. The early high Christology club doesn't mean orthodox faith. There are individuals in this group that pattern early high Christology on Jewish practice that do not consider Jesus worship distinctive.
5.4.2 The Pre-Existence of Christ
  • What does it matter? Necessary for Trinity (anything God does is done by all the persons of the Trinity). The logos/wisdom overtone would bring significant meaning.
  • 1 Corinthians 8:6 - Jesus as the agent of creation, prepositional metaphysics
  • Bruce McCormack - is this language metaphorical. Jesus is the wisdom of God. Jesus is the Logos. I.e., Jesus is the meaning and purpose, the telos of creation.
  • Hebrews 1:2. But see 2:10; 3:4; and 11:3. Is the agency of Christ in creation metonymic (Ken Schenck)?
  • Philippians 1:6-7 debate. Cf. Ralph Martin.
  • Is the background of morphe philosophical ("very nature")?
  • Is it form in the sense of God's glory (shekinah)?
  • Is it a last Adam allusion (Dunn, who does not see pre-existence in the hyman)?
  • Is it status as in Tobit 1:13 (Eduard Schweizer)?
  • Colossians 1:15 (logos background?) In him all things hold together
  • John 1 (present excursus on Middle Platonism and Philo)
Previous "chapters"
Chapter 1: What is Biblical Theology?
Chapter 2: Theology of God
Chapter 3: Creation and Consummation
Chapter 4: Sin and Atonement
Interlude: A Theology of Israel

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