The Nature of the Son of God, II

Continuing the discussion from The Nature of the Son of God:

“Sense”? Because the Son of God made very plain that He was God; the fascinating thing about reading the Gospels in Greek with some chunks of first century Judaism is that Jesus wasn’t caught and stoned to death long before the Crucifixion! And if the Son of God is Himself God, then He is God the Son of God, or just God the Son for brevity.

“What for?” seems an odd question. “Why is He Whom He is?” works better, and given the Old Testament understanding of a redeemer He had to be fully God and fully man – ‘close kin’ to both. That makes the Redeemer a person, but as He is fully God one generally writes “Person”.

“An entirely divine person” couldn’t be a redeemer because according to the Old Testament model a redeemer has to be close kin to both parties, particularly to the one being redeemed/ransomed.

One of my grad school professors pointed that out when I was still an undergrad: the Incarnation is not a series of disconnected episodes, it’s all one Event.

Interesting that you put it that way. Who’s the silver bullet supposed to be used on?

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Hmmmmm…complex discussion here, St Roymond…and I do like some points. You hit the proverbial nail on the head with your first response. Yes, it is amazing that Jesus – with His tendency toward being an equal-opportunity-offender — was not stoned earlier…For ex., in his debates with rabbinic scholars at the Temple while his parents were out scouring the countryside and the city in search for Him. “Did you not know that I would be in My Father’s house?” cheeky guy!! They knew what “My Father” meant.

And His message to John the Baptist who sent his followers to inquire as to whether or not Jesus was “the One”?

One thing I do know is that there was, by the time of the 1st centuries BCE/CE—a belief is Judaism that there was some complexity in God’s nature. They would not have said “Trinity” because they were not thinking quite like that. Binary? who knows…But something in the visions of Daniel denoted a God Who is One but yet …complex emphasized text…and there was an apocryphal book (intertestamental) whose musings added to this belief.

From what I have read, Judaism abandoned that approach because of what they saw followers of Jesus doing with it…that is, the trinitas image that began early on and seems to be mixed into Jesus’ admonitions to His followers at the end of Matthew 28. Judaism in the first century BCE/CE apparently expected the soon arrival of a Jewish man who would be both Messiah and God…consider the meaning of Jesus’ name in the original language. …they just did not expect Him to be crucified…and as for resurrection, that also was not expected till some End of the Age moment.

Of course, we can debate forever on the nature of Jesus and the whole God-Man aspect. But it is somewhat like the discussion I heard day after day in the school bus I was driving …an argument between two five-year-olds as to whether a certain elementary school in our district actually existed. The five year old who lived on the other side of that school argued forcefully that such a school existed. The five year old whose stop was before that school argued forcefully — day in and day out —that there was “NO SUCH THING” as that school…I think we must look, to God, like those five year olds. What one had not seen she did not believe. The other had seen it — but his arguments even then were limited I suppose…since he had never been inside the school to see if they actually did any “schooling” there…

In other words, there is a limit to this discussion. And sorry, I have no idea about that silver bullet

St. Roymond, and bluebird1,
I’ll post just this once in this conversation. My energy for it is entirely gone.

In the context of the conversation, and if you read Klax’s posts around the forum, the target for that blessed silver bullet would be Doubt and all that goes with it.

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Ah. I’m still new enough that most personalities are just a blur among what is written.

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I believe Jesus Christ, before He was resurrected, was a man. The avatar of God, yes, but limited in ability and even knowledge. He did not know any more than regular Jews/believers of the day, unless the Father had shown Him. He would have generally believed what the people of the day did, unless the Father showed Him otherwise. And I doubt the Father showed Him much that wasn’t necessary for why He was sent. After all, He did not know when He would return, or when the end of the Earth would come. But the Father does. Jesus must have had limited knowledge at least enough to fear and doubt Himself. His suffering in the Garden before His crucifixion was intense, real and fully Human in nature.

I believe that after Jesus was resurrected and therefore “changed”, He became the true, physical form of God and the means by which He acts within space-time. I believe after His resurrection, He was able to travel throughout time and space. I believe the resurrected Jesus was the LORD whenever He appeared in the Old Testament.

But He had to be God from the moment of His conception or He could not have been Redeemer. That’s what He was called “God with us”: He was fully God even in that single cell in the God-Bearer’s womb.

The Old Testament knew nothing of “avatars”; it knew of the Kinsman-Redeemer, and the Son of Man who was seated at the right hand of Power, and the Messiah who was David’s son while David’s Lord, but not a thing about an avatar.

Yes, He deliberately as an act of grace did not use the knowledge that was His, since the Event of Redemption required He live as human, and so by setting aside divine prerogatives He lived as one of us, but He began as God and remained as God; after all, “by Him all things were made, and apart from Him was not anything made that was made”, since He was the Word Who became flesh and lived among us, Who was God already in the beginning.

The Redemption wasn’t just about the Cross and Resurrection, it was about God Himself living as fully human for an entire human live, thus taking on Himself everything about human life, not as something tacked on at the end but from the very moment when Gabriel announced to Mary that she would be giving birth to the Son of God, only-begotten of the Father from all eternity.

The change at the Resurrection was that His locally-limited human body became an exalted, glorified human body no longer limited by time and space, not that He was in any way promoted. He was already the “true, physical form of God” – He said as much to His disciples – but that physical form was itself transformed.

Perhaps oddly, while I’ve read many a page about the “pre-incarnate” Christ in the Old Testament, I don’t recall any writer bothering to distinguish whether that was His resurrected body or not. I suppose there isn’t much of a different choice except perhaps His transfigured body as when He met with Moses and Elijah; who knows what transpired on that mountain with them? My issue with it being the resurrected body would be that the holy wounds didn’t really belong on Earth until they were inflicted on Earth, and given that He was talking with two figures from the Old Testament who departed this Earth not according to the normal pattern I see no real issue with Him stepping off into time three (or seven, depending whether you count Him as the “Angel of the Lord” Who spoke as the Lord or just the times He was plainly described as a man) instances to appear to Abraham, etc.
Now I’m going to fall asleep puzzling over that one!

I maintain this, yes. He was God, in Human form. With all the limitations a Human comes with, especially when raised by them in the ancient world.

I only used the word “avatar” to describe the state. It was the best word I could think of to fit the situation.

He inherited the wounds as a man and kept them on His resurrected form. This form then appeared in the past as the LORD in the Old Testament. The resurrected Christ could appear as a regular man, such as when the Disciples did not recognize Him, or as a blazingly bright being, such as when appearing on the mount with Elijah and Moses.

I believe Elijah and Moses, when they appeared on the mount, were the future-resurrected bodies of Elijah and Moses, brought back in time to that moment. For the dead are still asleep in Sheol until the resurrection, it could not have been their present (at the time) state when the Disciples saw them.

We can safely believe that the resurrected Christ could appear anywhere in time and space, as He appeared inside locked rooms at least, then suddenly disappeared from them too!

Absolutely! Concerning this discussion: My understanding, based on 20th century physics, is that Jesus is God, and is human. God is infinite, human is finite. The two are not exactly identical. The other point from physics/cosmology is that space and time as we experience them are dimensions of the created universe. So God the Creator, definitely including Jesus the Son of God, exists outside of space and time as we understand and experience them. So how Jesus portrays Himself, how His humanity is reflected in how He shows Himself to anyone at any time and place in this universe is totally up to Him. As He said, “Before Abraham was, I am.” Jesus is outside of space and time.

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