Who was Jesus? What role did he play in God's divine plan? Theologians and philosophers have debated these questions for hundreds of years. The thrust of Christology is dependent upon which theologian a reader chooses to focus upon. Hans Kung calls his approach Christology from below. Others focus on the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ (Cunningham), or exploring his life and works on earth (Imbelli). Some theologians strongly express that Jesus, as part of the Triune, is God (Cunningham and Imbelli). Yet, others deny the fact that Jesus is God altogether (Kung). .
Jesus" was called the Messiah or "the anointed one" by his followers. "Christology," taken from the Greek "Christos," literally means the study of Christ. The foundation of Christianity is rooted in the belief that Jesus lived on earth in human form and died for our sins. Christians study the life of Jesus as a model or guide. In a sense, Christianity is a sect of Christology. As a Christian, a follower sees Jesus as divine. .
Thompson offers a clear and more common definition of Christology. Christology entails a "struggle" or "contest" over the true meaning of the Bible. Christology and biblical studies are two aspects of a single inquiry into divine revelation. This kind of inquiry demands a "meditative" form. The early church's understanding of Jesus was that He was fully God in spirit and completely human in form. He existed for eternity. He was equal to God the Father.
Some theologians believe this 4th century understanding was a divine revelation about Jesus. It allowed for understanding and growth to develop deeper. Early believers did not have to fully comprehend this revelation. Christian religious understanding like any human understanding, must flourish over time. "Like most who study the NT intensively, I think that the sayings and deeds of Jesus reported in the Gospels have been influenced by hindsight after the resurrection.