John 20:28 and the Testimony of Luke/Acts – Part 1
I have been thinking recently about the aftermath of Thomas’ confession of Christ as Lord and God in John 20:28. This was truly a momentous moment in the development of Christian theology; despite this its impact seems to have grown slowly. We do not see the same clear statements of Jesus as God in Acts as we find in Thomas’ confession of Jesus. For some, this relative silence casts doubt on whether Thomas can have thought of Jesus as God in the traditional Christian sense of this term.
The problem outlined above may be termed in the following way: due to the incredible nature of the understanding that Jesus is God incarnate, surely the early Christians would not have been silent about this when preaching to the world. Furthermore, given this doctrine’s place in Christian theology as a fundamental tenet necessary for salvation how could it not have been loudly and clearly proclaimed.
This post will form the first of a multi-part series, the purpose of which will be to argue that the claimed silence of Acts does not impact the view that there is a high Christology in John 20:28. In the course of these posts I will also summarise an argument that Lord and God in John 20:28 were not intended as ontological statements, but as titles pointing to Jesus’s true identity. This focus on Jesus’ identity and not his ontology fits in well within the context of Acts.