I had the pleasure of delivering Ridley College’s 2020 Leon Morris Lecture on the topic of Jesus among the gods: Early Christology and the Ancient Theologies of Divinity.
The early church was unanimous that Jesus was “divine.” The question was and remains, in what sense? Many scholars argue that Jesus was considered divine in the sense envisaged by ancient ruler cults, Greek mythology, angelic beings, or something similar. In contrast, this lecture proposes that the ancient world had various categories for divinity, including that of an intrinsic divine nature, and the early church construed Jesus as divine based on his shared being with God. The sense in which Jesus is divine for the early church is explored in relation to Greco-Roman philosophy, Jewish monotheism, and a survey of several Christian sources.