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tc-list High Christology and Colossians

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  • Frank Glenn
    At 12:36 PM 3/26/99 -0500, Yuri wrote (anent Philippians): (snip) ... Why would one assume that a Christology has to move from low to high as the normal
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 26, 1999
      At 12:36 PM 3/26/99 -0500, Yuri wrote (anent Philippians):

      (snip)

      > TDNT 1:473-474 gives a full exposition of the 3 possible meanings of
      >> the word and treats all of them grammatically, concluding that the
      >> meaning is "He did not regard equality with God as a gain, either in
      >> the sense of something not to be let slip, or in the sense of
      >> something not to be left unutilised."
      >
      >So you're offering yet another translation that assumes that in his
      >pre-existence Christ was equal to God. I doubt that this is a valid
      >interpretation for the reasons already outlined.
      >
      >Generally speaking, I don't think this hymn dates to the lifetime of Paul,
      >primarily because of the rather high Christology implied in it, and
      >because of its more developed gnosis. In my view, the Historical Paul
      >followed low (quasi-Ebionite) Christology. Pre-existence does generally
      >seem like a rather late theological concept.
      >
      >But the Christology of the hymn, while rather high, is still not quite as
      >high as almost all modern translations would like it to make, in my view.

      Why would one assume that a Christology has to move from "low" to
      "high" as the "normal" expectation? Suppose that Colossians, rather than
      being either non-pauline or very late, is Paul's earliest extant letter
      reflecting a sort of Johannine Christology learned in Syria before his
      association with Barnabas and Antioch. From thence Paul gradually moved
      (beginning with Thessalonians and progressing to Romans) to the
      "quasi-Ebionite" stance which I agree reflects the bulk of his authentic
      writings.
      Frank
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