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how to tell the biblical story in a way that makes a difference

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John, I am not surprised that you cite these texts as support for the Nicean/Chalcedonian formulation of the 4th and 5th centuries. And, as I’ve pointed out in my previous comments, you seem to have made up your mind on these things. My approach is different, in that I have an allegiance to truth and not conviction. I gladly go where the evidence leads me; that is not you approach, which is rather sad. My link to the Dan Wallace reply addresses most of those texts, but alas, you couldn’t care less. You believe what you want, hence your reluctance to read what a proper, first-century understanding of these texts probably was.

If you were interested, you would find that the first-century understanding of agency adequately handles and explains all these phenomena you cite, without the rather reductionistic conclusions you default to. A functional identity, rather than an ontological identity was was the first-century norm. “The agent was as good as the one sending him” was the way it was understood. Hence the proskyneo, hence the functional application of Yahweh texts to Jesus, as well as the designation “God,” since seeing the image implied also seeing the Original (cp. Ex. 7:1, 23:21).

But who cares? You? Apparently not. And that’s your prerogative. Others do, however, and embrace these unaltered realities about God and Christ with all their hearts.