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Christology = the branch of Christian theology relating to the person, nature, and role of Christ.

In short, "Who Was Jesus?"

Implicit Christology:

Here are 12 implicit ways the bible speaks of Jesus' identity and who He was:

  1. Jesus' Relationships

  2. ​You get the impression that whenever Jesus interacted with and spoke about others he was always "in charge". (c.f. Mat 11:11-12, 17:11-13)

  3. Accepting Worship, Prayer, and Faith

  • ​Jesus encourages people who fall prostrate before him, worship him, pray in his name, and who are healed because of their faith in him (c.f. Mat 14:33; Jn 16:23-24, 14:13-14; Mrk 5:34, 10:52; Lk 7:50, 17:19). Later the disciples and even angels would rebuke people who treated them that way (c.f. Acts 14:14-15; Rev 22:8-9)

  1. God's Final Eschatological (the part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind) Agent

  • ​In Mark 8:38 and parallels Jesus declares that one's response to him determines his or her eternal destiny (c.f. Lk 12:8-9)

  1. Authority to Forgive Sins

  • ​Mark 2:10 and parallels astounded its original audience as Jesus claimed to forgive the paralytics sins. (c.f. Lk 23:43 for Jesus's ability to promise to crucified man immediate forgiveness and presence in Paradise)

  1. Metaphors Applied to Yahweh in the Old Testament

  • ​The metaphors from the Old Testament that Jesus used from himself that were often reserved for God: bridegroom, rock, director of the harvest, sower, shepherd, father, giver of forgiveness, vineyard owner, and king. The combined effect goes even beyond indicating Jesus as Messiah to pointing out one who is God himself, anything which otherwise only John, among the Gospels, introduces explicitly. Other ways in which Jesus associates himself with functions of Yahweh include receiving children's praise (Mat 21:16; c.f. Ps 8:2), seeking the lost (Lk 19:10; cf. Ezek 34), and experiencing rejection as the cornerstone that becomes a stumbling stone (Lk 20:17; c.f. Isa 8:14-15).

  1. Miracles and the Kingdom

  • ​Jesus is miracles were not arbitrary or capricious but dovetailed with his announcement of the arrival of God's kingdom and fulfilled Old Testament and intertestemental Jewish expectation of what will happen when the messianic age arrived. But if the kingdom or messianic age has arrived, then the king or Messiah must also be present.

  1. Abba

  • ​Jesus' sense of filial consciousness should not be ignored (Mrk 14:36)

  1. Amēn

  • ​A Semitic term preserved in Greek transliteration often translated into English as "verily" or "truly". Unlike the prophets, Jesus does not declare what the Lord God says, But what he himself says, yet in contexts of equally authoritative claims

  1. The Messianic Demonstrations of the Final Week

  • ​The "triumphal" entry consciously reenacts messianic prophecy (Zech 9:9)

  1. "Something Greater" Is Here

  • Several statements showed Jesus to be greater than David or the Temple, or Solomon or Jonah (Mat 12:3-6, 41-42)

  1. Shaliach: "I have come to"

  • ​In the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) they refer to this phrase over and over, "I have come to" and the gospel of John refers to "one who sent me" which implies that Jesus is on a mission from God.

  1. Jesus' Seemingly Supernatural Insight

  • ​On several occasions Jesus appears to be able to read peoples minds or perceive their deepest needs, and predict the future (Mrk 10:21, 12:24, 14:13)

Explicit Christology:

Some explicit names and titles that Jesus used of Himself to reveal his identity (can you find where each of these occur in the N.T.? ... without using a concordance?):

  1. Son of Man

  2. Son of God

  3. Lord

  4. Messiah

  5. King

  6. Servant of the Lord

  7. Prophet

  8. Teacher

  9. Son of David

  10. Savior

  11. Lamb of God

  12. Word

  13. I Am

No matter what level of gospel tradition one examines - the Evangelists' redaction, the developing oral tradition, or the bedrock core of what can securely be assigned to the historical Jesus - one impression remains the same. Jesus, like his earliest followers, was convinced that how one responded to him was the most important decision anyone could make in his or her life. On this response hinges one's internal destiny.


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