The Key for NT Christology: ‘Divine Identity’ Not ‘Function’ or ‘Nature’

March 29, 2010

Once the category of divine identity replaces those of function and nature as the primary and comprehensive category for understanding both Jewish monotheism and early Christology, then we can see that the New Testament’s lack of concern with the divine nature of Christ is by no means an indication of a merely functional Christology. We can see that throughout the New Testament texts there is a clear and deliberate use of the characteristics of the unique divine identity to include Jesus in that identity. Once we have rid ourselves of the prejudice that high Christology must speak of Christ’s divine nature, we can see the obvious fact that the Christology of divine identity common to the whole New Testament is the highest Christology of all. It identifies Jesus as intrinsic to who God is.

Richard Bauckham, God Crucified: Monotheism and Christology in the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1998), 42.

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