As a reminder: I am not just doing a critical series for the sake of doing a series. I have a thesis of my own. It is not yet as sophisticated or robust as Hurtado's, but it is definitely out of the starting blocks. It is my conviction that study of key works like LJC will help me form the case I want to make for a first-century form of Jewish-Christian trinitarianism that does not require the Triune God idea of post-381 Christianity (when a Roman-sponsored Church Council ruled in favour of the notion of "consubstantiality" of the Persons: Father, Son and Spirit) but rather provides a better platform for speculation about its historical occurrence via hermeneutics theory. So before we continue with the book Lord Jesus C, how might I follow Hurtado's fourfold structure, and where should I depart from it?
And whoever blasphemes against the Son, it will be forgiven him.
But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit,
it will not be forgiven him, neither on earth nor in heaven." (Gospel of Thomas 44:1-3)
(Gnostic trinitarianism provides an interesting early case of the problem of a triune Hub, but one in which "some are more equal than others", to borrow from George Orwell's famous line in Nineteen Eighty-Four. In this case, it is the Holy Spirit, even though it is considered possible to blaspheme (and somehow get away with it) against the Father and the Son. In other cases, especially in the fourth-century, the theological equilibrium is under threat by subordinationist proponents, who may simply be trying to follow through with authoritative texts with seemingly obvious interpretations like "the Father is greater than I", John 14:28. If the Son is lesser in glory and greatness than the Father, then it is also therefore legitimate to reserve a still lesser place of glory and greatness to the Spirit.)
2. JesusWell, this is going to sound heretical, but I think my case is going to be clearest by emphasising and focusing on the John-Jesus distinctions that the gospel writers are at pains themselves to emphasise. So if I were to adopt such a subheading it would likely either need to be "Jesus and John" or "John and Jesus" or possibly isolating John into his own subheading. This contrast does not only propel Jesus more to the centre but the Spirit also, who is the fundamental differentiator between Jesus and John when it comes to baptism.
The points that Hurtado makes of the impact of Jesus' ministry as forcefully polarising his followers and opponents should be maintained, albeit adapted for my purposes, which are to see Jesus moving rapidly toward sharing the centre of the Jewish faith with God, via resurrection, enthronement etc.