N.T. Wright’s Galatians– Part Twenty Nine

N.T. Wright’s Galatians– Part Twenty Nine August 4, 2021

Q. Thank you for the discussion of God sent forth his Son. I must say it’s always bewildered me why Jimmy Dunn and others worked so hard to try and avoid seeing the pre-existence of the Son in Phil.2.5-11. What’s up with that? In simple terms here in Gal 4 we are told God sent his Son to deal with the human dilemma. Now I’d be apt to say ‘you can’t send someone to do a job, if he doesn’t yet exist’ and so the sending language here and in Phil. 2 at as minimum presupposes the pre-existence of the Son. Am I tracking with you here?

A. Absolutely. And in Rom 5 when Paul says that Jesus’ death reveals God’s love, it makes no sense if Jesus is not in some way fully identified with God (‘I love you but I’m sending someone else to do the difficult bit’). I think Jimmy was tracking with the liberal protestant idea (a) that incarnation is a later dogma which we should be wary of and (b) that in any case it’s a Hellenistic not a Jewish idea. Sadly he never gave that up even when Larry Hurtado and others so clearly showed he was wrong.

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