Nature of Jesus and Time


#1

While I do not accept the twisted logic of the Trinity, because it goes against too many things in the Bible, assuming for the moment Jesus is, somehow, God, in some way, could it be that Jesus has given a hint of himself in scripture?

Jesus refers to Himself as the Alpha and the Omega - the beginning and the end. No where does Jesus claim He himself is eternal. John claims that the Word - was at (In) the beginning - he does not say the Word was before the beginning. Now keeping in mind the audience Jesus was speaking to, He had to explain in terms they understood - that God was His “father”. If Jesus tried to explain that God the Father was an eternal being outside of the space time continuum, the audience would not have understood. Likewise, were Jesus here today, He still may not be able to explain to our limited minds, what God, and He, are. But if we take what He said at face value, essentially if He is God, perhaps what He is - is the physical, temporal aspect of an Eternal God of Spirit? That He was, essentially, the beginning of time and He will be the end of time. At the end of time, there would be no need for an additional “aspect” of God, just like once the new Jerusalem is in place and we live with God, there is no need for that “aspect” of God represented by the Spirit - because the eternal God the Father will be living with us.

Just a thought


(Christy Hemphill) #2

Welcome to the forum, Dan. Since the purpose here is to discuss the intersection of faith and orthodox Christian faith, I’d guess most Christians aren’t that interested in messing with the doctrine of the Trinity. Although you are welcome to discuss with people why they find the doctrine of the Trinity compelling, coming up with new and innovative unorthodox theology isn’t really the point of the forum.


(Shawn T Murphy) #3

Dear Dan, As @Christy knows, I am one the forum members who disagrees with the trinity doctrine. I also take Jesus at His word that He is not the Father, both spiritually and physically. But this is the not forum to discuss alternatives.


#4

I guess I am a really poor writer. This topic is NOT about the Trinity. In fact, I stated I was specifically assuming Jesus was God! What I am wondering about is assuming He is God - how we can view Him, what aspect of God is He. Maybe I’m the only one who thinks about things like this. I thought this forum was for questions regarding the intersection of science and religion - I guess not.


(Christy Hemphill) #5

Alright, that’s a fine topic. Carry on. :slight_smile:


#6

Don’t forget though that Jesus referred to himself by the divine “I Am” which was understood by the Jewish authorities as a claim that made Him equivalent with God, enough that they moved to kill him. “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:48-49). John’s use of “in the beginning” was not simply to mean a starting point as a created being, but rather to echo the words of Genesis 1:1 “in the Beginning God…” While the word “trinity” is not used in Scripture, it was the word used to define the concepts that were seen throughout including the Gospels. Jesus also said of himself later “To have seen me is to have seen the Father” and “I and the Father are one”. This is more than just mere symbiosis but co-regency. As to what aspect he represents, I would point to the baptism passages in which we hear the voice of the Father, and see the Spirit descend on the person of the Son. At this point we have all three members of the Trinity together present at once, sharing the same essence but distinct persons. And since the temporal Jesus exhibits all the attributes of the Father such as omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence we therefore recognize him as the very “fulness of God in bodily form” as we read in Colossians 2:9. He wasn’t simply the beginning of time, but “before all things and in whom all things hold together” Col 1:17.


(Tim) #7

I tend to come across as too literal when it comes to God and reality. I do not take a purely religious view on the topic. I have gone so far as calling God a scientist. I just found out recently that the word science comes from Latin, meaning “to know”. Since God is the source of all knowledge, it seems fitting. I realize that some like to keep their religion and science seperate, and some limit science or knowledge to just the physical aspect of reality. So far all that has been observed about God is a light and a voice. A being that can sit on a throne as a light brighter than the sun, and a voice like thunder. But is even that a projection into reality, and God is still outside of time and this universe? I see God as being one, but with two other aspects that correspond to reality. One reality that is physical and the other, what people claim is spiritual. I would seperate the physical and spiritual from the reality of God as a “trinitarian” view of how God exist. I accept that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit can come and go at will from where God does exist. I am also starting to wonder if heaven will still not be where God is. Not that God would not be there, but the point even in eternity we may still not be privy to everything about God.

It is still hard to reconcile the point about God’s “house”, and many areas. Is the universe the house?


(Andy Adams) #8

Interesting points.


(Phil) #9

Welcome to the forum, Andy. We look forward to hearing from you and learning more of your story, now that you have dipped your toe in the water.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #10

Jesus does not refer to Himself as Alpha and Omega in the Gospels. I believe this quote is from Revelation, which is the last book and the only prophetic book in the NT. Even so calling Himself the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, is a Jewish theological understanding of God, not a Greek philosophical understanding of God as Eternal.

Jesus was Jewish and so was Saul/Paul. The NT was written by Jews about Jews, but it was written in Greek primarily for Greeks. In the time of Jesus Greek culture dominated the ancient world, but this culture was pagan, believing in all sorts of false gods. On the other hand the Jews for the most part rejected this pagan culture and all it stood for.

It was God’s plan to reconcile these two opposing cultures and unite the best of both. A problem that modern gentiles like us have is that we miss out on the best of the Jewish theology because we are understandably partial to Greek philosophy. Thus we ignore that OT and NT theology is based on Covenants with God, rather some kind of philosophical belief system.

Jesus came as the long-expected Messiah, or Savior, who would save God’s chosen people first from oppression, but then from sin and eternal death. He did not come as God in order to save. He came to save and in order to save He needed to be God. Therefore often we have our priorities wrong.

This is why you reject the Trinity. You are looking for a Supreme Being Whom you can define, when God through Jesus Christ presents Godself as One Who Creates, Saves, and Loves. God is Who God Is.


(Mitchell W McKain) #11

It is pretty common idea that God exists outside of time. But what does that mean exactly. Some have come to the contradictory conclusion that God is timeless and add this to a list of things God cannot do. Can God therefore think no thoughts, make no decisions, and take no actions? The problem is that this conclusion is mired in the notion of absolute time which has been rejected by science. Time is no more than an ordering of some set of event and there is nothing absolute about it. This not only supports the idea that God created the measure of time in the physical universe but brings us to the realization that just because God is logically outside the measure of time in the physical universe which He created, it does not follow that God Himself is timeless. Why shouldn’t God use time whenever He wants as needed to make whatever decisions, thoughts, and actions He chooses?

On the other hand, if time is only something which God uses as needed and not something which God is subject to then the whole question of God either being eternal or having a beginning becomes meaningless, again mired in the premises of the archaic idea of absolute time. God deciding to create could be the beginning without the slightest implication of any before about which we can ask whether God existed or what God did or thought “before” – there need not be any before.

Some people’s minds are a bit less limited than those of others. On the other hand, I believe in an infinite God and learning about Him is likely to be a big part of the substance of eternal life – i.e. requiring an on-going explanation that never ends, requiring more experiences and broader vistas of awareness and understanding for each new part of that explanation.


(Wookin Panub) #12

The Pharisees were always the ones seeking Jesus with no success, but in the last encounter before His death, Jesus sought them out, and asked them a simple question that not only shut the Pharisees mouths but sealed their fates.

Whose Son Is the Christ?
41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, 42 saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” 43 He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,

44 “‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
** until I put your enemies under your feet”’?**

45 If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?” 46 And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.

Jesus is God, my friend


(Mitchell W McKain) #13

That was from Matthew chapter 22 by the way.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #14

Again Jesus uses the OT to prove that the Messiah must be God with the knowledge that He is the Messiah.


(Erik Nelson) #15

Orthodox Christian Trinity still affirms the “Monarchy of the Father”

1 + 2 = 3

One God, The Father (1 divine person, transcendent)…

interacts with our created reality only through His Word and His Spirit (2 distinct divine persons, immanent)…

all three entities beings (3 persons) are fully Divine of God-like Essence (1 essence)

Gabriel, Michael, Raphael are all Arch-Angels of the same rank, yet distinct Beings

Father, Word, Spirit are distinct Persons, all are of fully Godlike Divinity

God the Father (transcendent)
…|………\
WordSpirit (immanent)
our created reality


(Shawn T Murphy) #16

Sorry, I don’t follow your logic here. So you agree that the Archangels are distinct holy spirits?


(Erik Nelson) #17

All angels are disembodied spirit beings (Hebrew elohim)

There is only one “Holy Spirit”, the Spirit of God (Hebrew Eloah) most high

must be careful utilizing that specific term, “Holy Spirit” = “Spirit of God” = 3rd Person of the Trinity

yet, roughly speaking:

Gabriel, Michael, Raphael all have one and the same essence (Arch-Angel rank elohim)
and yet are three distinct person-like entities


(Mitchell W McKain) #18

Orthodox Trinitarian theology is that the Father, Son, and Holy spirit are one God, one entity, one being, but three persons. The only way in which they are three is persons. That is the only word which should be used in talking of them as three, separate, or distinct. In every other way they are one. In particular, talking about them as different modes, aspects, phases, created, or emanations is completely rejected. The three persons are however in a hierarchical relationship and sometimes spoken of as “proceeding from one another” (whatever that means) though the details are disputed. They may also be spoken of as having different roles, or functions, but should not be equated with or reduced to these differing roles or functions.

All of the angels, on the other hand, are not God, and are separate created entities or beings. They are not however spoken as persons but as servants, messengers, and ministering spirits. There is a hierarchy of angels in the word “archangel,” though this is only mentioned in the Bible once in reference to Michael.


(Erik Nelson) #19

So one must not use the terms “entity” or “being” as synonyms for “Person” ?

The Person of The Father is the One True God Most High, as the Creed begins, “we believe in one God, the Father…”

The Father “begets” His Word (another Person, distinct from the Father, but still fully Godly Godlike Divine)

and the Father “proceeds” His Spirit (yet another Person, distinct from the Father & Word, but still fully Godly Godlike Divine)

not disputing, I just don’t understand why I can’t use the term “emanation”, especially for the Holy Spirit, which “proceeds” from The Father (and through & from The Word), which is the dictionary definition of the word “emanation” ?


(Mitchell W McKain) #20

Yes! Because the whole point of the doctrine of the Trinity is to uphold monotheism. If you talk about 3 different entities or 3 separate beings then it very much sounds like three different gods and that is exactly what critics like the moslems will say – that this means Christians are polytheists.

The idea is that the all of the following statements are true.
The Father is God.
Jesus is God.
The Holy Spirit is God.
There is only one God.
The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three distinct and separate persons.

Well, yeah, it is a flaw of human languages that words have multiple meanings. But emanation also sounds a lot like created which doesn’t sound like God. But then so does “begotten” and “proceeding from,” so it is usually explained that these words refer only to relationships between them and not anything like creation.