Richard Bauckham Defends Divine Identity

Richard Bauckham Defends Divine Identity March 14, 2019

Just came across an article (thanks to Logan Williams) by Richard Bauckham where he defends his notion of divine identity:

I have very rarely said that “Jesus is identified with God,” because that phrase is too vague, as Kirk’s ability to use it regularly about his idealized human figures shows. Or it could be taken to mean that “Jesus is identical with God,” as James Dunn has misunderstood me to be claiming.29 I chose the term “included in the identity of God” not because it is more vague than “Jesus is God” or “Jesus is divine” but because it is more precise. Jesus, in early Christian Christology, is not the whole of God, not identical with God,30 not another god alongside or subordinate to the God of Israel. All those are ways in which “Jesus is God” or “Jesus is divine” might be understood. The NT uses the word θέος predominantly of the one whom Jesus called his Father, and only occasionally of Jesus himself—in important but carefully selected contexts. But at the same time, early Christology was redefining the identity of God such that the relationship between Jesus and his Father is understood to be internal to God’s own identity.

– Richard Bauckham, “Is ‘High Human Christology’ Sufficient? A Critical Response to J.R. Daniel Kirk’s A Man Attested by God.” BBR 27.4 (2017): 514.

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