Gaston, Thomas Edmund (2008)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.
The search for the ‘historical Jesus’ has resulted in the view that Jesus never was, nor claimed to be, any more than a mere man. A conservative theologian still hold that the doctrine of the Trinity, later made explicit in the creeds, is implicit within the New Testament texts and was Jesus’ most controversial claim. But what did the early Christians believe about their Lord and Master? In this study I review the early Christian texts, their content and background, to ascertain the earliest forms of Christological thought. My thesis is that one of the earliest understandings of Jesus’ nature is found in the infancy narratives and that this understanding is presupposed by the earliest Christian writers (including the writers of the New Testament texts). From this basis I trace the development of Christology to the end of the second century, demonstrating how Christian thought moved from its primitive understanding of Jesus to the foundations of the doctrine of the Trinity.
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