Could Jesus be Wrong and still be God?

(George Brooks) #1

Continuing the discussion from Was Jesus ever wrong?:

I thought this was an interesting twist to the old question.

The church was once confronted with the doctrine of “Two Natures and One Will”… but this was eventually dismissed as heresy!

It woud be two natures and two wills… period!

“Specifically, monothelitism is the view that Jesus Christ has two natures but only one will. This is contrary to the Christology that Jesus Christ has two wills (human and divine) corresponding to his two natures (dyothelitism). Monothelitism is a development of the Neo-chalcedonian position in the Christological debates. Formulated in 638, it enjoyed considerable popularity, even garnering patriarchal support, before being rejected and denounced as heretical in 681 at the Third Council of Constantinople.”

This sounds very much like an admission that the human will encased within the frame of Jesus was not a perfect one… and available to error!

(Curtis Henderson) #2

It’s an interesting question, George. No one can ever know what “100% man and 100% God” really is like - at least here on this earth.


Is interesting that about 1700 years after the start of the great councils to settle the argument about how Jesus was both God and man we still try to define it and defend it. Perhaps because people of evry age have in some way to comprehend such a truth and what it means for us today. Then again we get lost is the definitions.

I see this is framed around a previous question as to whether Jesus was ever factually wrong and what that means for His divinity. I’d not want to push any of those questions and definitions too far. For me it seems reasonable that the divinity in Jesus needed to lay aside certain attributes like total knowledge in order to live under the condtitions of our existence and be like us. He could not really live as human being, be tempted as we are and have absolute knowledge all of the time. That is what I understand about Philippians 2, being found in human nature and living as a servant among us.

(George Brooks) #4

Yes, I suppose that is true, @cwhenderson.

But it certainly provides a basis for how someone might explain why Jesus got the mustard seed comparison wrong… and several other things that seem to be confined by the knowledge of the culture in which he was born … rather than by the divine knowledge of the infinite!

(Marvin Adams) #5

what is wrong with the mustard seed, and with his action to hush up some magic to hide the embarrassing position of lacking the material wealth of providing sufficient booze for a wedding or to lay claim to the value of wine to be higher than the value of the water for ritual cleansing?
Could it be that our materialistic reading of texts describing methaphysical values could be a problem with truth perception and we are just wrong in interpretation, even if the meaning is right?

(George Brooks) #6


You can always count on me to interpret Biblical text as figurative more often than not.

But for the YEC’s who think Jesus, dressed in his mortal body, discussed Adama while in a state of Omnisicience … I would say that such an interpretation makes the “two natures, two wills” doctrine into a trash heap.


How could Jesus have discussed Adama? Battlestar Galactica wasn’t even on TV during his earthly ministry.

(Bill Wald) #8

No one can ever know in this life what God is like thus if Jesus isn’t God nothing changes unless God is a “person” who refuses to forgive wrong conclusions based on insufficient evidence. It doesn’t help that Protestants claim that there will be no “official” new proclamation, no “additions and corrections,” from God until Jesus returns.

Before many of you were born I read a book, “The Four Hundred Silent Years”
and only remember the title. The point is that now we have 2,000 silent years. What will the Church be preaching in another 2,000 years if Jesus doesn’t return?

(George Brooks) #9

HAHAHAH… that show was a hoot! My apologies for the typo. I think I’ll leave it there as an eternal reminder to me …


There will be no new scripture or dogma, at least for Protestants. Why can’t we simply carry on? There will probably be new insights in archaeology, theology, and new musical settings of the psalms, the Magnificat, etc. Fine by me.


Sure, the mustard seed is not the smallest of the seeds, but would it be practical in context of the culture Jesus was in and what his mission was on Earth? God often uses cultural context to teach and reach people. Just imagine, how confused would people be 2000 years ago if Jesus sidetracked his parable to explain about the actual smallest seed? They would have had no experience knowing where in the world Jesus was talking about or what plant he was referring to. If Jesus talked about scientific things rather than spiritual and moral things, it would make him seem strange to the people he was preaching to.

(Marvin Adams) #12

still wait for an explanation where someone thinks Jesus got it wrong, or more provocatively why someone would not think him to be wrong when it comes to him trying to hide the fact that someone did not have the resources to buy sufficient wine or would let his actions be interpreted as proclaiming wine to be mire valuable than the water of ritual cleansing. Sure he failed to talk about molecular biology or general relativity as well.

(George Brooks) #13


Excellent discussion! I assume you apply a similar kind of logic for why Genesis doesn’t describe the mechanism of Evolution, yes?!

(George Brooks) #14


You are still waiting? I’m not sure why you are waiting. Most of these points have been covered over and over.

Here… let me do it:

  1. Jesus was wrong about the mustard seed. He didn’t have to go out of his way to say that it was the “smallest” of all the seeds.

  2. Jesus may have been wrong about allowing the wine to run out … but I suppose that he did it on purpose so that he could do a little demonstration!

  3. Jesus mentioned Adam, because that was part of his Jewish faith. It doesn’t mean Jesus was convinced that Adam really existed, or if he did exist, that Adam did the things that Genesis said he did.

  4. I doubt Jesus would have spit into dirt and apply the mud to a blind man’s eyes - - if it wasn’t for the fact this was the usual routine when a “healer” cured someone’s eyes in those days.

I find item (4) very compelling when considering whether Jesus had 1 will, or 2 wills as taught by the Church Fathers!


I believe that the Bible definitely can not be and is not meant to be used as a scientific research paper. That is not it’s purpose. It’s purpose is to show spiritual truths about God and how we have sinned and need salvation, as well as how to receive that salvation through Jesus and what we then need to do after we are saved. In books such as Genesis, I do not believe that the story we’re given has much if any scientific information. It would be against the Bible’s purpose to explain in scientific detail how God created things. It would confusing to almost all people who are living or have lived. So yes, I think that Genesis does not affect the theory of evolution, only that it is a force without a goal, which belief in a Creator deems untrue, for if God used evolution to bring about all the organisms of the past and present, it was a careful plan with clearly defined goals.

(George Brooks) #16


So you must be pretty relieved to know that most BioLogos supporters think God is guiding evolution to effect his goals… just like he uses evaporation to put rain water where he wants it to be!

I know I’m happy to know this about the BioLogos statement of beliefs. Have you read that list?

(Marvin Adams) #17

no idea why your reply was sorted into spam by outlook but by chance I looked in there today.

now tell me what you think Jesus got wrong there and why you think he got it wrong, e.g how do you know what the respective stories are meant to tell us. In other words, what context do ‘those who claim Jesus to get it wrong’ put his stories in that make them sound incoherent with reality and why.

(George Brooks) #18


Haven’t we already run through this on a few other threads? It’s not like it’s a really long list, right?

I’m racing to beat some deadlines, so I’ll just describe the issues… and I think you will know what I mean:

  1. There is the often overlooked phrase that after the teen (pre-teen?) Jesus made a brilliant observation to the scholars at the temple, the text says he continued to advance in learning. “Learning” isn’t what you usually associate with a perfect God, right?

  2. The mustard seed case. Yep, I’ve read all the apologia on that one. Talk about tortured logic. All Jesus would have had to do is remove some of this “intensifiers” … so instead of saying “smallest of all seeds”, he could have said “one of the smallest of seeds”. Really easy. But the mortal will of the mortal Jesus didn’t know what the divine Jesus would know. He thought he knew… because it is what he was taught.

  3. So, does Jesus remove the death penalty for almost all cases of adultery? It seems like he did, right? Was
    that right or wrong? If you want to say he was right about that one, I’ll agree with you.

  4. The story of the Rich Man suffering in Hell, and having a rather lengthy conversation with Abraham in Heaven. That’s a great story. Is that a true story? Most people would say it isn’t. So why are people willing to say that is fictional, but when Jesus talks about Adam … he must know that Adam was historically real? What’s the difference between the two presentations?

  5. Then there is the thrice repeated instruction that to be perfect, sell everything you have and give it to the poor - - which I believe can be easily paraphrased as “sell everything you have and pay it to a monastic order** for your entry”. If you don’t like my paraphrase, are you saying that it makes more sense to take everything you own, sell it, and literallyl give it to the panhandler on the corner?

**[[ Note: I understand that what we would come to know as “monastic orders” did not yet exist. But “communal communities” did exist: the Essenes are a famous example. And a person joined such a community in their later years … by giving them everything you owned. And the wealth of the members “was heald by the community”. For a short period of time, the early Christian community ran one in Jerusalem. The Didache describes other communities that seem to have shared some of these operative principles. Josephus tells the story of living with the “hermit” Banus - - which is a little amusing, right? If there were students living with Banus, he’s not really a full-fledged hermit, right? These lonely desert dwellering Christians were sometimes called Campestrati - i.e., “Loin-cloth-Wearing-Men” ]]

Either way you look at it, only a few people really believe Jesus about this… because hardly anyone does it. But man, those YEC’s sure are committed to the 6 days, right?

  1. And then there is the “move mountains”. Do you people really believe Jesus here? In 2000 years, you would think there would be Someone (!!!) who believed Jesus enough to move some mountains. Nope. Not a one. So people must not really believe this one either… but again, those 6 days, they’ll ruin the religion if you get rid of them!

Talk to me, Marvin… looking forward to a nice discussion on these items…

(Marvin Adams) #19

1 [quote=“gbrooks9, post:18, topic:36937”]
esus made a brilliant observation to the scholars at the temple

Did jesus say he was learning or did someone say that jesus was learning?

2 what would it have helped to talk to the audience about a seed of a plant they did not even recognise. I always wonder why he dis not give lectures on transcriptional enzymes as he must have known about it, or about other things his audience could not comprehend? To imply he should have talked about things that his audience could not understand is indeed a torture of logic. The hallmark of wisdom is to use examples theaudience can relate to.

3 He did as he clearly saw that the final judgement to take the life of another human is not permissible to human beings.It is logically coherent with the law,anything else is not as the law tells you not to kill another human but to love them (not to have sex with them as some materialists interpret love)

just to do 6 by lack of time.
If you have not seen the mountains that people have moved in his name you are lost to the poetic language of scripture as a mountain to you has been materialised into a heap of earth only. To biblical fundamentalists (who are not really fundamentalists as they lack the comprehension of the fundamental concept of the bible, and are not literalists either as they fail to understand the concept of literature, there will always be contradictions in the bible due to their materialistic view of language. Semiotics are lost on them if they take words out of context.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #20

From an interesting sermon at church yesterday … (and this isn’t about how right or wrong Jesus was; but is more about certainty; specifically how certain we all are about our doctrines and views or in this case: what is our certainty about Jesus’ certainty?)

A few thoughts from a message by Dale Schrag: (not exact quotes --but loose notes according to my memory)

Convictions are not wrong to have, but how do we hold them? Inside a tight fist or on an open hand?

Martin Luther held to certainties about some ways that are in stark contrast to the extreme humility of humanity that attends his writings at other times. He seemed certain that Erasmus Desiderius went straight to Hell on his death. …And over an interesting disagreement between the two. Desiderius’ unforgiveable sin? To think that humanity makes choices (free will) that might actually affect outcomes.

Gotta run now … maybe a few more notes from this message later. But one big theme in his message was how addicted we all are to certainty. (and of course it offends our notions to think that Jesus might not have had it! --never mind prayers in the garden for one outcome over another and so forth!)