Pre-Existence Christology: Can We Dispense with It?

Reginald H. Fuller

Article Type: Article

Publication Date: 1/1/1982

Issue: The Triune God (Vol. 2, No 1, Winter, 1982)

In pre-critical times there was no problem with pre-existence Christology. It had its sanction in the teaching of Jesus as recorded in the Fourth Gospel (e.g., John 8:58, 10:30, 13:3 and 17:5). Now that we cannot employ the discourse material of the Fourth Gospel as direct evidence for the ipsissima verba of Jesus, some have sought to find sanction for it in Jesus' use of Son of man as a self-designation. However, even if we grant that the title Son of man was already fixed in pre-Christian Jewish apocalyptic for a pre-existent figure to be manifested as eschatological judge and savior, and even if we grant that Jesus did use the term and use it as a self-designation—all of which is greatly in dispute—there is no indication anywhere in the synoptic Son of man sayings of the Son of man's pre-existence.

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