There is now a substantial scholarly consensus for the emergence of a high or divine Christology very early and from a Jewish context, but the questions of "how" and "why" need further study. Within the framework of traditional Jewish monotheism, Paul and other early Christians used the language of deity to describe Jesus. To investigate their view of Jesus, the author examines Paul's discourse in 2 Cor 3:16-4:6, employing insights from rhetorical criticism and Oneness Pentecostal Christology. He explains how early Christians proclaimed the deity of Jesus within their monotheistic Jewish context. He then identifies socio-rhetorical reasons for and practical consequences of the monotheistic deification of Jesus.
"The status quaestionis established by the likes of Bauckham, Hurtado, and Dunn among others may be taken for granted by those working in the field of biblical studies but their reception by Oneness scholars is sure to demand rethinking of the paradigmatic Nicene tradition and its interpretive assumptions that will have reverberations not only for the next generation of theologians but also for anyone interested in the christologies of the earliest followers of Jesus the Messiah. Kudos to David Bernard for his encyclopedic research, cogent analyses, and painstaking and measured argumentation that marks the emerging maturation of the Oneness Pentecostal academy."--Amos Yong, Professor of Theology & Mission, Fuller Theological Seminary
David K. Bernard, D.Th. 2015, University of South Africa, is president and professor of biblical theology at Urshan Graduate School of Theology. He is the author of over 30 books on Pentecostal theology, history, and life. He and his wife, Connie, founded New Life Church of Austin, Texas, out of which 16 additional churches were started under their leadership.