It seems like before the 4th century, nearly all of the church fathers and thinkers that I run into including but not limited to Irenaeus, Tertullian, Origen, Justin martyr, Ignatius of Antioch, etc. (Even a couple of early popes) all viewed the son as beneath the father rather than co-equal with the father. It seems to me that nearly every relevant thinker agreed upon this until suddenly in the 4th century this view becomes a heresy seemingly out of nowhere.
This narrative I'm seeing seems so unlikely that I'm wondering if there is some early school of thought that I'm just not running into in my reading or something. How did the doctrine of the members of the trinity being co-equal parts of the same person become the Orthodox view?
Just trying to clarify for myself.
Christ, the father, and the Holy Spirit are one unified as the God head.
Christ is the son of God.
Christ existed prior to the human Jesus, due to being part of God. Jesus is the human incarnation of the Christ. Paul states that Jesus revealed that Christ was in him. Followers of Jesus acknowledge / confirm that Christ is in them. (We are the body of Christ)
Adam and Eve were united w/ God in the Garden. God said that they were good and called them his children. In do so he affirmed that they were Good, and whole,
......and that Christ was in them (Jesus’s quote saying that the kingdom of heaven is within you)
Upon eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of Good and evil they were disconnected from God, and cast out of the garden.
......and so became unaware that the living Christ was in them, waiting be rebirthed. (All of creation groans in anticipation).
Jesus as the human incarnation of the Christ came to make us aware that Christ dwells in us ( that you are gods, and that the the kingdom of heaven is with you). In our acknowledging Jesus as the first Son, and the Christ, we also accept / acknowledge our own “sonship” of Christ in us (we are his children)
Jesus additionally atones (reunites) humanity with God, due to Adam and Eve’s actions, by his willing scarifice of his human constructed self, ie will and ego, (in Gesthamae- “no my will, by thy will be done”) and his physical bodyself on the Cross at Golgotha.
Paul states clearly it is no long “I” ( our willful self constructed ego), but the Christ in me, but that it is a gradual process, (as I die Christ lives)
So conceptually Christ has resided in all of humanity all along, but due to the “fall” they became “dull” to the awareness that Christ residing within all of us, waiting to be birthed, and in acknowledging the Christ within us, we are reunited with God as onej in a non-separated state of conciousness. Our Sins, or rather, our loves ( family, national identity, sexual identiiies, political, racial, etc.) that we place above our first Love which is God (aka Christ) keeps us separated from letting Christ live through us.
In the below passage the High Priest shouts blasphemy after Jesus claims to be the Messiah and foresees the apocalyptic signs of the Son of Man. Now, the question is, why is the priest claiming blasphemy. I don't think it was particularly blasphemous to lay claim to being the Messiah but I could be wrong. Is it possible that Jesus/the Gospel writer is also implying that Jesus is claiming some level with divinity with his mentioning of the Son of Man?
This also brings up the question of whether or not Jesus really thought himself as the Son of Man or believed it was another being who he was preparing the way for. Ehrman and others seems to believe the latter, suggesting that the Gospel writers wrote Jesus as self designating as the Son of Man when in reality Jesus believed the Son of Man was a separate being.
"Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” 61 But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer.(AY)
Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”(AZ)
62 “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”(BA)
63 The high priest tore his clothes.(BB) “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. 64 “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”"
Any resources would help
In some ways, Luke-Acts seems to espouse an adoptionist or exaltation christology. See Acts 13:32-33 and Acts 2:36. As Bart Ehrman points out in The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, some of our earliest manuscripts of Luke contain several seemingly adoptionist verses. This leads to problems of internal coherence. After all, we learn in chapters 1 and 2 of Luke that Jesus was "a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord" from his birth (Luke 2:11) and that he grew up "filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him" (Luke 2:40) even before his baptism or resurrection: where his adoption supposedly took place.
What do you make of this? Has the text been changed by scribes in an adoptionist or anti-adoptionist way? Both? Is there really no incoherence? Was the author just sloppy? I look forward to your comments.
> And he did not permit him, but says to him, "Go to your house, to your own family, and report to them the things the Lord has done for you, and that he showed you mercy." And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis the things Jesus did for him, and everyone was amazed.
I apologize if this is a well known insight into the christology of Mark, but my Google search came up short. This seems to be an obvious substitution of Jesus for the Lord. Is there any commentary on these verses?
Howdy all! While I know we may all be suffering in many ways, I have found myself reading more during the quarantine and, as Lewis said, "being found doing something worth doing." (or something like that). Though I am Reformed, I believe that my views on many things have been shifting from the Biblical and Patristic sources I've been getting into, and have recently finished The Lutheran Doctrine of the Lord's Supper bu Henry J. Schmidt, published by "Just and Sinner." I feel overwhelmed. I have a million questions, but would just like to ask if you could explain some things to me so I can better understand. While I have many questions, to protect the length of the post and the integrity of the discussions, I'd like to just limit myself to one question per post, as many things may get answered here before just exploding several questions. So my first is this;
I know that's an awkward way of wording it. My question really stems from a conversation I've been having with a doctrinal perfectionist. This person believes that only those who understand the Doctrines of Grace (5 Points of Calvinism) are saved. I have demonstrated from scripture that the gospel is not dependent on perfect theology. However, this got me thinking. At what point does bad theology actually demonstrate someone isn't actually saved?
For instance, I would affirm that Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses are outside of the kingdom due to their Christology.
What about an Arian or a Modalist? There are genuine people who use the Bible to try and demonstrate their view of Christ's divinity as the correct view. Obviously, I consider it heresy. I am an orthodox trinitarian and I think the Bible makes way more sense in light of the doctrine of the Trinity. But are we to count those who deny the Trinity outside of not just orthodoxy but salvation as well? If I affirm the salvation of a Modalist then what is stopping me from including a Mormon in the kingdom?
I suppose we take it case by case?
Howdy all! I have found my first question to be met with excellent responses and very helpful dialogue all around. I appreciate your patience, thoughts, and wrestling through these things with me, especially as I know many of you probably have better things to do then just talk theology to someone you don't know!
My next questions gets more to the root of the matter in these issues, which is Christology that I'm still struggling to understand.
So, my questions are, if the natures are united always and must in all places be united to preserve the essential unity of the Person of Christ,
a. How does this not practically and essentially lead to confusion of the natures?
b. I have read by Keith A. Mathison that Lutherans reject a bodily ascension into heaven, which I have never heard of, and believe he is either misinformed or I misunderstood, as that seems to be a massive issue. How do... keep reading on reddit ➡
"When Jesus forgives the man in Mark 2, the rhetorical bad guys wonder, “who can forgive sins but God only?” This is taken by some to be an accurate assertion of theological fact that means Jesus’ forgiveness of the man’s sins proves he is God, but a far more parsimonious reading has Jesus correct their misunderstanding by showing that he exercises that very power despite not being God. The objection that is usually lodged here is that there are no other examples anywhere of someone other than God having the prerogative to forgive sins.
While this objection is an argument from silence, it’s also wrong."
- Daniel O. McClellan, "Markan Christology and the Messenger of YHWH,"
I was watching a video where Bart Ehrman claimed that the high Christology found in the gospel of John for example is not found in the earlier written texts of the NT. Ehrman claimed that for example in Mark, there is a low Christology, and there is little to nothing in Mark to suggest that Jesus is God.
Ehrman says that if Jesus really said things like "Before Abraham was, I am" and "I and the Father are one", then it's remarkable that we don't find those sorts of details in Mark or other earlier texts. Because presumably if you are the author of Mark, you are going to care a lot about telling people that Jesus claimed equality or identity with God.
So Ehrman seems to think that the idea that Jesus is God was not a belief that the earliest Christians had, and that it was a later development among early Christianity. Is Ehrman generally thought to be correct in his view?
Note: I may not be perfectly accurately summarizing Ehrman's view here, but that's the impression I got from the video I watched.
If the first Christians had believed Jesus was fully divine, you would expect severe Jewish persecution of Christians for idolatry. But you don't see any of this in the historical record. You don't see any Jewish conflict over Paul's Christology in his letters, where we would expect to find it; Paul defends his beliefs against various Jewish accusations in Acts, but not this one. When Paul is persecuting the Christians, he does not say it was for idolatry, but because he "was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers" (Gal. 1:14).
You don't see any Jewish accusations that Christians were polytheists and idolaters in Acts, where we would have also expected to find it. We don't see it anywhere in the NT, a surprising omission, given that the punishment for idolatry was stoning.
The belief there was an early high Christology from the start of the Jesus movement doesn't appear to be supported by the evidence.
I have heard a claim recently that in the academic world there is a Christology shift occurring right now. High Christology had been previously thought to be from later on in the 1st and 2nd centuries, but now I am hearing that high Christology could be present much much earlier. I have heard some suggest it might actually be flipped in that the earlier Christians believed in a higher Christology view. What are your thoughts from an academic view?
I'm thinking the traditional interpretation may not be a necessary one because Paul does not see Christ as an incarnate Yahweh, which would not make sense in a Second Temple Jewish context (i.e. he never calls Jesus God nor does he see him as part of any "divine identity"). There seem to be a number of more credible alternatives, such as an angelic, second Adam or heavenly redeemer Christology. The first would be Ehrman's view, the second would be Dunn's and the third Bultmann's.
The recent work of Larry hurtado and Richard Baukham on the shape and origins of early Christology has led to an emerging consensus. Few would now doubt that a 'high' Christology is present in the earliest text of the New Testament (Crispin Fletcher-Louis, 2015).
"I have been trying to explain the unusually important statement about Christ in Paul’s “Christ Poem” in Phil. 2:6-10. It’s an extremely high Christology. Christ is a divine being before coming into the world; and at his exaltation he was made equal with God" (Bart Ehrman, Paul’s Incredibly High Christology, 2020).
One of the earliest NT texts that shows early High divine Christology is Philippians 2:9-11. In this text, Jesus is "Kyrios" means Jesus is YHWH because Paul did not use messianic psalm as his backdrop (Psalm 110:1) but rather, he used a monotheistic YHWH text (Isaiah 45:23). Also, Paul explicitly told us that God himself hyper-exalted Jesus by giving him the divine name ("the name above every name").
In the Old Testament, the divine name is exalted above everything.
"You have exalted your name...above everything" (Psalm 138:2 NRSV).
It signifies that no one is higher than God, that YHWH is "God over all".
Everyone will bow down to YHWH and everyone will confess to YHWH in Isaiah 45:23. In Philippians 2:9-11, it was Jesus (not God the Father) who will be acknowledged by everyone as YHWH. To accept that Jesus is YHWH does not produce di-theism or polytheism, because the one God himself placed Jesus into this divine status. Worshipping Jesus as a god (that is, as the Jewish god, YHWH) is obedience to the one God, the Father. Thus, worshipping Jesus falls within Jewish monotheism. Instead of development of polytheism, there is a development of a new practise of worshipping the one God: worshipping his Christ. The one God doesn't want to be the only person to be given devotion to, the one God also desired that his Christ should receive the same honours which he receives. When every creature acknowledge that Jesus is divine, the one who gets the credit (ie. receives glory) is the one God, the Father.
"and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:11 NRSV)
1 Corinthians 15:27-28
1 Corinthians 15:27-28 has a consistent high Christology in the likeness of that in Philippians 2:9-11. In 1 Corinthians 15:27-28, (i) everyone is subject to Jesus (ie. everyone has Jesus as their Lord), (ii... keep reading on reddit ➡
I'm wondering about the flow of Paul's argument between Romans 5:1-11 and Romans 5:12-21 because the transition seems rough. Why does Paul bring up Adam's story at this point in his argument, especially in relation to his prior claims concerning Jewish Law? Or, in other words, why do we find 5:12-21 in between 5:1-12 and 6:1-4?
Is the notion that Christ is a second or last Adam a uniquely Pauline concept in the New Testament?
This is something I’ve been curious about and not exactly sure about the Church’s teaching. Was Christ fully spirit before the incarnation or does the incarnation apply retroactively? Was Christ only God and not man before His birth?
From a blog post:
> The Synoptics simply accept a different Christological view from Paul’s. They hold to exaltation Christologies and Paul holds to an incarnation Christology. And that, in no small measure, is because Paul understood Christ to be an angel who became a human.
> Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name.