A recent survey puts a surprising number of American Christians outside orthodoxy in relation to the birth of Jesus and his supposed pre-existence. Is there a good explanation for this? Perhaps the straightforward narrative of scripture, and its teaching about the man Jesus Christ, is what sincere church-goers pick up on with good reason.
The legacy of Jesus of Nazareth is felt today in all kinds of ways, in religion, in culture, music and art. But what about the question that Christians and others have been asking and debating for centuries – Did Jesus pre-exist? Was he alive in some sense before being born into a quiet small town in Israel about 2000 years ago? And if that question is answered with a yes or with a no, does it change anything for Christians?
Laurence Davenport and Dan Weatherall continue delving into the gospel of Matthew. The focus this time is how well structured the book is around major themes that are developed throughout the book. Jesus is presented as someone with authority and he is given that curious name, Immanuel. What does that mean? And how would the first readers of Matthew have understood God to be with them?