A reader writes:

Your reader indulges in the timeless rhetorical strategy of saying "plainly false" to mean "I no longer believe this."  The earliest Christian writing are not the Gospels but the letters of Paul, and his assertions of Christ's divinity are as clear as anything you could ever want.  The letter to the Phillipians (c 62 AD), almost a decade before the earliest gospel, has Jesus in the "form" or "nature" of God and emptied himself to be born in human likeness.  And even leaving aside the gospel of John, it's hard to deny that Luke-Acts makes clear statements about Christs's divinity. And the famously excluded Gospel of Thomas has an even less human Jesus.

Fitting together the simultaneous claims of divinity and humanity is the central paradoxical (not contradictory) claim of Christianity, and occupied much of Christian theology for its first four centuries. There were many many ways that Christians tried this, from the Docetic "Jesus only pretended to be human but never really suffered" all the way down to the more Jeffersonian "Jesus was a pretty cool ethics teacher." And many of those options are in Scripture itself, which indeed quite happily shows a number of different perspectives. They -- unlike contemporary fundamentalists (and their opposite numbers, the academic biblical deconstructionists) -- were quite aware that you could not reduce such complexities to the ideological clarity of "plainly true" or "plainly false".

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