Larry Hurtado has a post about the group of scholars who have come to refer to themselves in humorous fashion as the “Early High Christology Club.” The post includes this delightful story which Larry told me and some others at dinner one evening at SBL in Chicago:
An incident often cited subsequently took place after an annual meeting of the “Divine Mediators in Antiquity Group” that featured invited presentations from James D. G. Dunn and Maurice Casey (who each took somewhat different views on the origins of “high Christology,” both of them tending to see it as a somewhat later development). After the meeting concluded, Dunn and Casey joined Capes, Hurtado, Newman and Segal for dinner at a Greek restaurant. After Segal (who spoke modern Greek) ordered for the group and wine was poured, Newman (with characteristic mischief) proposed a toast “To early high Christology.” Capes, Hurtado and Segal raised their glasses, while Dunn and Casey hesitated. After a few seconds, Dunn raised his glass with a smile saying, “To high Christology”, and after a few more seconds Casey (with a twinkle in his eye) raised his glass toasting, “To Christology”. (At some point thereafter, Newman in good-natured teasing proposed that Dunn and Casey be accorded leading status in an affiliate group, “The Late, Low and Slow Club” of early Christology.)
My own views on this topic can be found in my books, The Only True God: Early Christian Monotheism in Its Jewish Context and John’s Apologetic Christology: Legitimation and Development in Johannine Christology (Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series).