Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Jesus as Theos

Some scholars (most popularly, Bart Ehrman) have suggested that the deity of Jesus Christ is not necessarily contained in the original NT manuscripts. An excellent response was recently delivered at a regional ETS meeting by Brian James Wright: Jesus as Θεός: Scriptural Fact or Scribal Fantasy?
Why this paper? At least two reasons exist: (1) the ascription of θεός to Jesus is pertinent to NT and Christian Christology and (2) recent textual critics have challenged the authenticity of these ascriptions. This paper, therefore, will examine these textual challenges and assess the likely authenticity of NT ascriptions of θεός to Jesus. First I will define the textual method used to reconstruct the original text. Second I will examine the textual authenticity of each NT passage regarding its textual certainty. Finally I will organize the examined passages into three categories: certain, highly probable, or dubious.

His conclusion is that "the overwhelming evidence clearly attests to the fact that Jesus as θεός is a scriptural fact."

(HT: James White)