which Refer to the
Pre-existence of Jesus
THE CHRISTOLOGICAL CONCEPTS 'Logos', 'Son of God'. and 'God' remain to be investigated in this fourth and last part. We have already seen that on the basis of the Kyrios title the first Christians could apply all statements about God also to Jesus. We would oversimplify the problem, however, and fall into a heresy condemned by the ancient Church if we were to attribute to the New Testament a complete identification between God the Father and Jesus the Kyrios, and maintain that the faith of early Christianity made no distinction at all between the two. The ancient two-part confession in I Cor. 8.6, to which we have already referred in another context, indicates that the early Church by no means forgot the distinction -- not even when Christ was recognized as the mediator of creation: '. . . for us there is one God, the Father, from (ἐ are all things and for (εἰς) whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through (διά) whom are all things and through whom we exist.' The use of prepositions makes clear the distinction: ἐ and εἰς with reference to God; διά with reference to Christ. We shall seek in vain for a more precise definition of the original relationship between God the Father and Christ the Kyrios.
Even with the titles 'Logos' and 'Son of God' we approach a closer definition of this relationship only in so far as they refer directly to the pre-existence of Jesus, his being 'in the beginning. But we shall see that these names too do not indicate unity in essence or nature between God and Christ, but rather a unity in the work of revelation, in the funaion of the pre-existent one. As we have seen, this is also the meaning of the transfer of the divine Kyrios name to Jesus. God and the exalted Jesus are one with regard to world dominion, which is one aspect of God's self-revelation. It is true that Kyrios has to do primarily with the divine rule of Jesus in the present phase of Heilsgeschichte. But I Cor. 8.6 and Heb. 1.10 ff., for instance,
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Publication information: Book title: The Christology of the New Testament. Edition: Revised. Contributors: Oscar Cullmann - Author, Shirley C. Guthrie - Translator, Charles A. M. Hall - Translator. Publisher: Westminster Press. Place of publication: Philadelphia. Publication year: 1963. Page number: 247.
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