Re: Calling Jesus God

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Fri Sep 22 1995 - 11:25:23 EDT

At 9:30 AM 9/22/95, Mark O'Brien wrote:
>Paul Moser <> wrote:
>>It's misleading at best to work with the assumption that
>>Paul and various other NT writers held either that "Jesus is
>>God" or that the orthodox doctrine of the trinity is true.
>I think I agree with your assertion about the NT writers' understanding of the
>Trinity. However, it does seem clear that the opponents of Christ fully
>understood the implications of his claims and his teachings, condemning him for
>the very fact that he was claiming to be God (eg. Mk 2:6-7). I think that
>is sufficient evidence to suggest that the apostles understood and believed his
>claims regarding deity, but I would agree that they may not have known how to
>synthesize this with their Jewish understanding of the unity of God.
>What thinkest thou all?

I don't think I would read Mk 2:6-7 to mean that Jesus claimed to BE God
but that he claimed authority which, in their view, only God could
legitimately claim. But the authority to forgive sins is associated, in the
early Xn view, with the Son of Man as agent of God in judgment. Perhaps
this may seem to be quibbling, but it doesn't seem to me to be quite the
same thing as equating Jesus with God.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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