När blev Jesus Guds son?
AbstractPopular discussions over Jesus as the Son of God are mostly predetermined by the Creed or by a ”Christology from above”. Against this background the question on when Jesus began to be called ”Son of God” might be answered in a reductionist way, giving priority to the oldest and least developed forms of Christology. As a matter of fact, however, historical-critical exegesis has shown that titles and names given Jesus in the gospels are diverse. Christological titles are confessions of faith that try to explicate the new and overwhelming experience of Jesus being raised by God after having died an ignominious death on the cross. The apparent negation of the message and claims of Jesus by his execution was refuted by God through his resurrection. In the light of this Jesus was interpreted anew through recollection of what had happened in combination with an ongoing reclecture of the Scriptures. The point in time when Jesus was assigned title Son of God was pushed back, and the meaning of the title was being deepened. ”Christology from below” led to ”Christology from above”. Jesus ”became” the Son of God, and he was believed to be so from the beginning! How is that paradox possible to uphold? Most likely through paying attention to the ever remaining dialectics between Jesus and the Creed. Also: Wouldn’t it be possible to simultaneously hold that Jesus became the Son of God – at resurrection, baptism, annunciation – and that he was the Son of God from eternity? Within the limits of a now out-dated ontology of substance, I contend that this was what the Chalcedonian dogma intended to say.
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