Where do you begin searching out the knowledge of Jesus? And where do you go from there? These are two very important questions, and not always the easiest to find clear answers to. Christology literally means the ordered knowledge of Christ (see previous post for an introduction to the significance of Christology). “Christ” is the English transliteration of the Greek word for “anointed”. This, of course, was used as a translation of of the Hebrew word for “anointed”, which is transliterated into English as “Messiah”. In the most narrow sense, therefore, Christology is actually the understanding of what it means that Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Messiah, or Anointed One. In reality the term usually has a much broader functional meaning that refers to all that Scripture reveals about Jesus.
That last phrase is daunting. It brings us back to the questions posed at the start. How do you even begin to consider the entirety of the biblical revelation of Jesus? The discipline of Christology is typically divided into the general categories of person and work. These designations would answer the questions of who is Jesus? and what did He accomplish? Within each of these two major divisions there are many possible subcategories. The traditional breakdown of the study of the person of Christ would be His divinity and His humanity, and then how they relate in His identity through the incarnation. A classic way of approaching the work of Christ within the Protestant tradition is through the ancient mediatorial roles of prophet, priest, and king.
This approach has value, but it also has some limitations. As I result, I will attempt to chart a different course throughout these series of blogs. It must be stressed that there is no perfect way. Methodology always has shortcomings. The most important thing is just that Jesus is beheld and adored. We are all desperately in need of the help of the Holy Spirit as we grope for light in this present evil age. In the next post I will give a brief preview of the path I will aim to take and a few general principles about searching out the “true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Pet 1:8) that we all desire to grow in.