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

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John was not speaking of a status given to Jesus when he proclaimed Isaiah 40:3 in Mark 1:3, and neither was ‘Lord’ as a status something bestowed on Jesus in Philippians 2:11; it was a declaration of who he was.

The distinction between ‘to Jesus’ and ‘about Jesus’ in Philippians 2:6-11 also entirely misses the point. It is a credal hymn of praise to Jesus whichever way you look at it.

My comment on Son of Man in Mark 2:7 was not central to the issue, and some of the commentators you quote seem bizarre in the light of up to date critical work on ‘son of man’.