I’ve missed the conversation eloquently summarized by James McGrath here, How High is Kyrios Christology?.
Maybe we should move away from the dichotomy of high/low and instead create better terms. Critical scholars will generally agree that the Trinitarian Christology is not present in Paul, although many would argue that a high christology is.
Again, maybe better terms are needed. Is Jesus first pictured as a man given/awarded/adopted into a high place next to God? This is still pretty high if by low you think of Jesus as only a prophet or good teacher.
What if Jesus is God made man and only a man? Sure this is high Christology as well since, again, it doesn’t include Jesus as always only a man.
There are dilemmas here, but I have to wonder if part of the issue is not deciding what high and low means but having only two real choices to choose from.
For my part, I have come to believe that rather than a low Christology at the start, the death of Jesus presents us a rather high Christology even by the victim. While others things were codified later, such as “Messiah,” I believe Jesus must have thought of himself as something rather high before his death, with the verification to his disciples made in his resurrection.1 What would this high Christology look like? Maybe Jesus didn’t think of himself as YWHW, but it is quite possible Jesus believed of himself as divine in some sense.
- Kyrios in the Gospel of Mark (diglotting.com)
- “Early High Christology”: Clarifying Key Issues and Positions (larryhurtado.wordpress.com)
- Balthasar, his Christology, and the Mystery of Easter (insightscoop.typepad.com)
- The Messianic Jesus in Paul’s Christology (larryhurtado.wordpress.com)
- Granted, we cannot prove the resurrection, only that people believed it happened. ↩