Christology: An IntroductionChristology is the word coined for the speculations (most Christians would say "analysis" or "study" here instead of "speculation") regarding the person and nature of Jesus Christ. The modern Christian dogma on Christology is the result of almost seven hundred years of doctrinal infighting. These battles were heated theological debates. The winners were exalted, given honorable titles such as "fathers of the church", hailed as defenders of orthodoxy and went down in Christian history as "the good guys"; the losers are sometimes banished to remote places, sometimes executed, accused as innovative originators of heresies and invariably went down into the same history books as "the bad guys."
We have seen that neither Jesus nor his immediate disciples ever considered him to be God or equal to God. Even for the self-proclaimed apostle, Paul, the formula on the person of Jesus did not extend beyond "Jesus Christ, our Lord and saviour." To the synoptics, Jesus was a supernaturally conceived messiah, but human, nonetheless. Even John, the most mystical of all the gospels, did not consider Jesus as God; at most the author conceived Jesus, like the Old Testament Wisdom, as a emanation from God.
Thus there was no unambiguous apostolic pronouncements on Christology. Modern Christology is a result of the theological evolution where the "fittest" theology, in the sense of being able to wipe out its opponents, survived. Being "fittest" also meant being able to attract more converts from the pagan religions. It is here that we find the fundamental driving force in the evolution of the deification of Jesus. He needed to be made God because nascent Christianity was competing with other mystery religions with their own dying and rising God. He needed to be made man because the suffering he endured, which only a real man could, had to atone for the sins of the world.
In most of what is to follow we will be describing in some detail how this dogma evolved from the simplistic faith of the apostles to the confusing and meaningless metaphysics of the Christian Church.
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