Was the Deity of Christ a Legendary Development?
by Ryan Leasure
Skeptics of all stripes vehemently deny the deity of Christ. Besides their a priori commitment to philosophical naturalism, a major argument they put forth is that the earliest Christians didn’t believe Jesus was divine. Rather, this belief in his deity was a legendary development as evidenced by the four Gospels.
It’s the skeptics’ contention that the earliest Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) don’t teach a divine Jesus at all. Instead, they portray a very human Jesus. It’s not until the Gospel of John, written some sixty years after Jesus’ death, that we find a clear reference to Jesus’ divinity.
The argument goes, these Gospels reflect what the earliest communities believed about Jesus. Thus the earlier Gospels, which don’t portray the deity of Christ, suggest that the earliest communities didn’t believe in the deity of Christ…