Are The Divine Claims A Late Legend?
by Lucas W. Munachen
Did Jesus Christ really claim to be divine, or were these claims added by the church long after the fact?
The argument that the supernatural content in the Gospel accounts is a product of later legendary embellishment is one that still makes the rounds in atheistic writings today. If examined closely, however, the arguments often used to support the thesis have little substance aside from “because it’s supernatural.” The criteria usually used by historians to determine whether something is unoriginal to a certain text (such as the inclusion of anachronisms, the character of the author, etc.) is not commonly used by critics of Christianity.
Some make the argument that the divine claims of Jesus Christ are not original to the speaker or the author but were invented later on. If we look at John’s Gospel, for example, we can see an evolution in Christology when we compare it to the Synoptics. In other words, the argument rests on the position that the divine claims of Jesus became more and more explicit with time.
The first note we can make in response to this is the dating of John’s Gospel…