In a message dated 9/15/2000 2:18:24 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
<< I thought this was an academic list where we were supposed to be able to
discuss GJohn from a modern critical standpoint. I'm not really interested in
what a contemporary Christian has to believe in to be considered a true
Christian. My interest as a historian is in what the author of GJohn and
other NT writers may have believed about Jesus. And since I doubt that John
saw Jesus as God with a capital G and co-equal with God the Father I think
this topic is very relevant to this list and not as simple a problem as prof.
Michaels appear to claim.>>
I am acceding here to what appears to be a consensus view that this
discussion IS relevant to the list, so I will abandon my earlier decision to
withdraw therefrom. I would also agree with your statement that the problem
(of the divinity of Jesus in John and other NT authors) is not that simple.
My sense is, however, that John would have leapt at the opportunity offered
by the convention of rare and significantly loaded capitalization to endow
Jesus with the predicate God. At the same time, he would have been careful to
preserve a certain subordination of Jesus to the Father, at the level of
personal relationships, as is done also in later trinitarian theology. One
almost needs to introduce a notion like "nature" here to allow these two
affirmations to stand side by side without appearing to be absurdly
contradictory. The introduction of that term (and the subsequent affirmation
that Jesus is equal to the Father because he possesses the same identical
divine nature), does not solve a puzzle, but does illuminate a mystery.