sinod-niceea

…it was actually not Jewish but Greek philosophical categories which made it difficult to attribute true and full divinity to Jesus. A Jewish understanding of divine identity was open to the inclusion of Jesus in the divine identity. But Greek philosophical – Platonic – definitions of divine substance or nature and Platonic understandings of the relationship of God to the world made it extremely difficult to see Jesus as more than a semi-divine being, neither truly God not truly human. In the context of the Arian controversies, Nicene theology was essentially an attempt to resist the implications of Greek philosophical understandings of divinity and re-appropriate, in a new conceptual context, the New Testament’s inclusion of Jesus in the unique divine identity.

Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testament’s Christology of Divine Identity (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2008), 58.

Remember this the next time you hear people talking about Nicene “Platonizing” the faith. The exact oppose actually happened. They used Greek language to capture the doctrine. But they were actually resisting the “Platonizing” of the faith by keeping the doctrine of Christ to what it was revealed to be by the Apostles. If you want to get the full picture I would recommend Bauckham’s work, God Crucified, where he explores how the earliest Christians understood Jesus in very high Christological terms.

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