Among scholars and laypersons alike, it is often though that Jesus was simply a human prophet or even failed apocalypticist. Maybe the Messiah of Israel, too. The idea that he is fully divine came into the picture later, as numerous Greek or other pagan influences infiltrated the church. Such is the thesis behind, say, Bart Ehrman’s How Jesus Became God. The culmination of this process, so the theory goes, is the Council of Nicaea (325AD), which produced the Nicene Creed affirming the full deity of Jesus.
But are there reasons to question this paradigm? I would argue quite strongly “YES!” The idea that the full divinity of Jesus didn’t just evolve at Nicaea but is found throughout the NT documents (and the OT as well) was central to my doctoral work and other research/teaching. In this short video that is part of RTS’s #WisdomWednesday series, I articulate a few of the reasons why.
Given the time limitations, I only cover a couple basic ideas. A longer treatment will appear in the future, entitled All the Fullness Bodily: How Scripture Teaches that Jesus is Fully God (Crossway).
This book is pitched at a layperson audience but tries to summarize decades of intense scholarly work done by a host of scholars (Hurtado, Bauckham, Hengel, Hays, Gathercole, Bates, Tilling, Rowe, and many more), which attempts to ground “high Christology”—even “trinitarian Christology”—in the pages of Scripture (not just later councils and creeds). The manuscript is submitted, so in due course I’ll provide more details on the basic argument and outline of the book.