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Old 02-07-2003, 06:21 PM   #1
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The Divinity of Jesus

Christians, tell me about the divinity of Jesus. When He was here, was He God as man? If so, please tell me why you think so. If not, then tell me what you and your church believe, or just what you believe.


Remember: I am not a Christian, so please put Scriptural reference in context, and please quote it in full. Any complicated Christian philosophy or theology should also be fully explained.

Thanks.
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Old 02-07-2003, 08:45 PM   #2
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I, personally, believe that Jesus was all God and all man. He was two natures in one body. I think of it kind of like how the mind exists in the body.

His unique challenge was to obey God even when his human nature told him differently.

That's my opinion.
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Old 02-08-2003, 12:17 AM   #3
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Jesus is 100% God and 100% man.

The schism created over this issue goes back to the earliest days of the Church. If you prefer, I could recommend some books that address this point.
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Old 02-08-2003, 01:08 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Jesus is 100% God and 100% man.
I know I usually bring in some controversial spin on everything in this forum (lol), but this is what I believe as well.

I believe this is how the schisms play out:

100% man - Gnosticism
100% God - Arianism

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Old 02-08-2003, 03:09 PM   #5
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Yup -- 100% God and 100% man, that's the classic Christian understanding of what Jesus was, is, and always will be -- and what I believe as well. I can't put it better than Bono did on the Heart of America tour:

<i> “That there is a force of love and logic behind the universe is overwhelming to start with, if you believe it. But the idea that that same love and logic would choose to describe itself as a baby born in shit, straw and poverty, is genius. And [it] brings me to my knees, literally.” </i>
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Old 02-08-2003, 09:10 PM   #6
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Re: The Divinity of Jesus

Quote:
Originally posted by martha
Any complicated Christian philosophy or theology should also be fully explained.

Its not complicated. Its very simple.

Nothing needs to be explained. Just let it be.



Be.
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Old 02-09-2003, 12:34 PM   #7
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I appreciate all of the answers so far, but I was hoping for more specifics here. In other threads, some have debated this issue, and I was hoping for more discussion.

Was Jesus the Avatar of His Age? Was He God in human form, come to Earth to bring a Master's love to humans? Or was He the Son of God, not God at all?

I know some Christians here take exception to the idea of Jesus actually being God. I would like some thoughts on this.
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Old 02-09-2003, 10:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha
Was Jesus the Avatar of His Age? Was He God in human form, come to Earth to bring a Master's love to humans? Or was He the Son of God, not God at all?

I know some Christians here take exception to the idea of Jesus actually being God. I would like some thoughts on this.
Avatar is, if I'm not mistaken, originally a Hindu term meaning a manifestation of one of the Hindu deities in a particular form, and that part of this idea is that there have been many avatars for many ages in many forms. I know people who are essentially of that outlook and regard Jesus as one of many forms in which the Divine has manifested itself.

First, if any of the primary sources and eyewitnesses were trying to get that idea across, they did a stunningly poor job. And if Jesus was trying to teach it, he was a complete failure as a teacher.

Now, I can easily grasp how someone with an essentially Eastern worldview would probably see the avatar concept as the only plausible interpretation. But it is nonsensical within a Judeo-Christian worldview, (especially a Jewish one, which is relentlessly monotheistic and non-representational -- you can't make the simplest image of God, can't even speak God's name.... )
The avatar idea just does not compute in the worldview with one personal God which Jesus inherited from the Hebrew Scriptures, and taught himself, and which Jews and Christians still hold.

Again, I'm trying to give the classical Christian position here, which I hope I'm not biasing by the fact that I also believe it's true. That is: Jesus' humanity isn't a "form," but part and parcel of his essence. He really is fully a man, with every weakness and complication that implies. He really is fully God, with everything that implies. It is the most gloriously, endlessly fascinating paradox I have ever encountered.

The term "Son" of God, at least as used in classical Christianity, means the exact same thing as saying Jesus is God. Son is not the name for a different being than God, but for one of the three persons in One God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit).

I hope this is helpful. And again, I hope I'm being fair. I'll just give one more personal addition. To me, and this is my own statement, not meant to offend anyone who might disagree, but to show how important this truth is to my own experience -- if I did not believe that Jesus is both God and man, I wouldn't waste ten minutes on Christianity, and I wouldn't waste one on the church.
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Old 02-09-2003, 11:00 PM   #9
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Thank you!! NOW we're getting somewhere!
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Old 02-12-2003, 07:48 PM   #10
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For me the trinity (God=Jesus=Holy Spirit) was allways hard to understand - how can it be the same and not the same?

Until i got the answer:
"You can accept that Light has a particle model and a wave model" both models are needed to describe light for physics..

(for non-technicans: both models can't explain all things what light does in the lab, so we need both)

..so accept that for our human mind "the one who's out there" can be described either with "the God" or "the Jesus" it's the same, but that's the "model" our brain can handle ,-)

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Old 02-12-2003, 10:58 PM   #11
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A couple of other examples are how a cube is six squares but is also a single object, or how a single man/woman can have many faces, father/mother, brother/sister, uncle/aunt, cousin, nephew/niece, empolyee/employer and so on. God can have three parts but still be one being, and be one being with three aspects.

The Son of God terminology is the way the Gospels describe the relationship between Jesus and the aspect of God usually called the Father. A father and son are of teh same substane, same kind. A human begets a human. God Begets God, yet we are told that there was never a time when God the Son didn't exist so it is an imperfect analogy in the respect that it implies that the Father predates the Son. One need also look at the nature of the father son realtionship in the ancient world. I'm not the best person to talk about this but it was rather different in certain way from today's concept.

Another concept is that Father and Son gives a sense of relationship. In that sense there is a single being who is composed of the love of of it's aspects. The Holy Spirit can be seen as arising from this relationship. But once again the arising is an imperfect term as it loke Son seems to imply a timeline. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have always existed as one being.

This sense of relationship extends to human destiny. THose who accept God's offer of fogiveness in Jesus will upon death be united with Him in a manner similar to how Jesus is one with the Father. One being but with distinct persons as well. Its sort of like having us as Pinochio becoming a real boy. Jesus was the first to bring humanity in perfect oneness with God in that he was totally human in his time on Earth. In the Son aspect of God there is a bridge over the previously un crossable chasm between God and humanity.

I'm not sure how clear this is considering how paradoxical all of this is and that I'm writing this up fairly quickly.
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Old 02-12-2003, 11:57 PM   #12
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This is the kind of discussion and response I was hoping for.


So, God and Jesus are one and the same to many Christians?

Are there denominations of Christianity which do not believe this way?
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Old 02-13-2003, 12:07 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha
Are there denominations of Christianity which do not believe this way?
Well, there are other groups that do not believe this way - the question becomes "are they Christian?"
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Old 02-13-2003, 08:50 AM   #14
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There are some but they aren't generally called Christians. THe Jehova's Witnesses believe Christ was an Archangle due to their weirdly translated version of the Bible (anyone who knows Greek or Aramaic will tell you that translation is plainly wrong).
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Old 02-13-2003, 08:53 AM   #15
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Mmmkay.

So, it wouldn't be blasphemous to say that when Jesus was here, He was God manifested as man?
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Old 02-13-2003, 08:55 AM   #16
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Or am I still not getting this?

(After rereading mebythesea.)
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Old 02-14-2003, 12:33 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha
Mmmkay.

So, it wouldn't be blasphemous to say that when Jesus was here, He was God manifested as man?
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." - John 1:1

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us" - John 1:14
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Old 02-14-2003, 02:03 PM   #18
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That's one way of putting it. The important thing is that Jesus be seen as fully God and fully human. There was a really good article on this in the Presbyterian Record last year, part of a series entitled Who Is Jesus. I'll try and dig it up for you.
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Old 02-14-2003, 02:14 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha
Mmmkay.

So, it wouldn't be blasphemous to say that when Jesus was here, He was God manifested as man?
Martha,

I'm glad you're finding this interesting and helpful. I haven't really ever heard a Christian use the word "manifested," and from my POV, I'd feel a little uncomfortable with it. To me, it sounds temporary, or just an appearance, or a disguise for our benefit, such that this being would REALLY be God first and foremost, more importantly than really being human. I don't know if that makes sense from your point of view, but that is my gut reaction.

Also, I've noticed that in this thread you've been referring mostly to Jesus' earthly life -- which makes me want to mention that the Christian belief about Jesus goes for his life on earth and still now and forever. At all those times Jesus is fully divine and fully human. Deity never disengages from him.

Another example of Christian language about this -- a very old statement (451 AD) describes it this way "our Lord Jesus Christ [is] at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body, of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; ... one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten [is] recognized in two natures without confusion, without change, without division, without separation."

To me, this sounds more permanent and essential than the word "manifested." But maybe that's a personal reaction...
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Old 02-14-2003, 07:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by mebythesea

which makes me want to mention that the Christian belief about Jesus goes for his life on earth and still now and forever. At all those times Jesus is fully divine and fully human. Deity never disengages from him.

Another example of Christian language about this -- a very old statement (451 AD) describes it this way "our Lord Jesus Christ [is] at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body, of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; ... one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten [is] recognized in two natures without confusion, without change, without division, without separation."

I don't know how to double quote , so I need to refer to three different parts of your extremely helpful post, but only use one quote.

The top part I have quoted implies that Jesus is still fully human, even though He's not physically here on earth. Does humanity then ever disengage from Him? (I love your use of the word "disengage." Nicely put!)

The second question is about that quote. Where can I find the rest of that? I like it.

My use of the word "manifest" does reflect my context for these questions; my view is that the humanity in Jesus was a temporary form for God; that Jesus' humanity, while a real and equal part of Him while He was here, was for our benefit, so we could/can understand Him as he walked/walks with us.

I'm interested to read what Christians think about all this to understand that religion more than I do. I was raised Lutheran, but left before I became an adult with adult questions.

So, God and Jesus are not separate?

edited for clarity and punctuation
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