56 See Habermas, The Resurrection of Jesus: An Apologetic, especially chapters 1–3 for the details of such an argument.
The subject of Jesus’ self-designations is an intricate issue and cannot be dealt with in detail here. For some justification of these claims, see Oscar Cullmann, Christology. On the last point, see Reginald Fuller, Foundations, p. 115.
God) to Jesus (cf. Isa. 45:22–23), but it also calls Jesus “Christ” and “Lord.” On this latter title, Cullmann asserts that it is even loftier than the passages which address Jesus as God, since Lord is the name for God. This allowed Christians to attribute what the Old Testament says about God to Jesus, as evidenced in this passage.^58 Additionally, and even stronger, Jesus is said in verse six to have the same nature or essence as God. Reginald Fuller states that here Jesus is “equal with God.”^59 Cullmann speaks of Jesus’ “identity of form with God,” which shows that he is “equal with God” in his exaltation.^60 Other pre-Pauline creeds also teach the deity of Jesus. Romans 1:3–4 calls Jesus “Son,” “Christ” and “Lord.” First Corinthians 11:23ff., which Joachim Jeremias states “goes back . . . to Jesus himself,”^61 also calls Jesus “Lord.” First Corinthians 15:3ff., perhaps the oldest New Testament creed, calls Jesus “Christ.” It is also significant that these creeds pre-date Paul and extend back to the earliest church, which completely complement Jesus’ own self-claims.