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The Scholarly Status of “Early High Christology”

Larry Hurtado reports that the concept of Jesus receiving attributions of divinity and religious devotion in the years immediately following his crucifixion is now something of a consensus position among scholars of the field. He gives some further commentary and explanation here, concluding with these remarks:

But the earliest clear indications of believers treating Jesus as sharing in divine honor and as rightful co-recipient of worship are found in our earliest texts, dated ca. 50-60 CE.  And, indeed, in these texts, this treatment of Jesus is taken for granted and as uncontroversial among believers, which suggests that it was by the time of these letters already traditional.  As Martin Hengel once observed, in historical terms, more happened christologically within those first few years than in the ensuing 800 years of theological development.

 

By Steven Wedgeworth

Steven Wedgeworth is the associate pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church in Vancouver, British Columbia. He writes about theology, history, and political theory, and he has taught Jr. High and High School. He is the founder and general editor of The Calvinist International, an online journal of Christian Humanism and political theology, and a Director for the Davenant Institute.