I’ve just started reading “The Spirit in Second Temple Jewish Monotheism and the Origins of Early Christology” by Andrew W. Pitts & Seth Pollinger. This essay appears in the recently published second volume of Christian Origins and Hellenistic Judaism: Social and Literary Contexts for the New Testament, edited by Stanley E. Porter & Andrew W. Pitts.
After describing Bauckham’s argument for Jesus being included in the divine identity, the authors say:
Yet, in terms of the development of early Christology, Bauckham’s proposal remains problematic, since, by dismissing the significance of intermediaries, there is now no direct analogy for the origin of the christological doctrine. (142)
I fail to see how that criticism even begins to highlight something that is problematic. Why would there need to be a direct analogy for the origin of Christological doctrine in the first place? And granting that there isn’t one, why would it have to be intermediaries?
For the record, Bauckham does suggest an analogy, namely God’s Word and Wisdom, which he judges to be intrinsic to the divine identity. The authors judge Word and Wisdom to be “too closely identified with Yahweh’s primary instantiation of the divine identity to form a convincing analogy with the incarnate Christ” (135). Okay, but that doesn’t mean that Bauckham sees no analogy.
What’s more is that we can argue that the direct analogy is God himself. Tilling examines several Second Temple texts and compares their constellation of intermediary-language and God-language with the Paul’s Jesus-language and finds that the analogy is between God and Jesus; not the intermediaries and Jesus. This also proves true when comparing the OT/NT’s God-language with Paul’s Jesus-language.
Perhaps the authors get to this later in the essay and I’ve spoken too soon, but as it stands, this is a facile criticism. Let’s hope the remainder of the essay gets better.