Your Christology text suggestions, please

Hi,

A gentleman in the Sunday group I lead recently initiated a dialogue that ultimately today produced the group's decision to pursue an in-depth study of Jesus' deity/humanity beginning next Sunday. Given the content of my posts in CD over the years, you know about my interest in the subject. Now I'll be able to report on the ongoing journey our group takes through this crucial topic.

I ask for your help (at least the two of you who seem to be posting in the forums with me at the moment!) As you have time, post in this thread the texts you think are significant/necessary/valuable to an accurate understanding of Scripture's assessment of Jesus' divinity. I will welcome and try to bring into our group's discussions any commentary you attach to your cited texts, but I am most interested in the texts you find important.

I have made no secret of my Christological views over the years, and those views are unlikely to change as a result of our group's forthcoming study, but my primary objective is NOT to persuade people to my point of view. It's rather to invite our group to engage in a serious, in-depth study of the biblical witness on this issue - all relevant texts, both the OT and NT, whether friendly to my point of view or not.

I'm excited about the possibilities of this project and hope you'll offer some texts for me to include in our study.

Blessings,

Bill

Comments

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,847

    @Bill_Coley wrote:

    As you have time, post in this thread the texts you think are significant/necessary/valuable to an accurate understanding of Scripture's assessment of Jesus' divinity.

    My suggestion would be to first define terms, in particular important to an exchange about the topic that seems to be th desired topic of your group. Just taking your above quoted sentence, I would first endeavor to establish in the group what the participants mean when they speak of GOD, DEITY, DIVINITY of Christ, DEITY of Christ, etc.

    If there is no commonly accepted of what terms used actually mean, one may as well cancel the attempt of studying together because people would be talking "alongside each other", two might actually think they are speaking about the same thing when they are not ... or visa versa.

    Once it is established what terms mean (btw, do "divinity" and "deity" have an identical meaning? what about "divine" and "God" ?), studying together in a profitable manner may happen. A major problem in the CD forum exchanges is that some change the meaning of such terms as is convenient to support -- supposedly -- their otherwise faulty arguments

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,495

    @Wolfgang posted:

    My suggestion would be to first define terms, in particular important to an exchange about the topic that seems to be th desired topic of your group. Just taking your above quoted sentence, I would first endeavor to establish in the group what the participants mean when they speak of GOD, DEITY, DIVINITY of Christ, DEITY of Christ, etc.

    Thanks for the suggestion, Wolfgang. I had an encounter of sorts with the issue you raise as I talked with our group yesterday about the subject of our coming study. I struggled a bit for the precise vocabulary to report our mission:

    • "Who was Jesus?"
    • "Was Jesus God?"
    • "The divinity of Jesus"
    • "The divinity of Christ"
    • "The relationship between Jesus and God"

    As you note, word choice and meaning matter to shaping the course of our efforts. No two of those items are precisely the same, at least as I read them.

    One constructive outcome from this study for me will be that I will create a catalog of verses, OT and NT, which in my view address the issue of Jesus and God, a catalog to which more than a few CD threads will no doubt contribute.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,847
    edited July 1

    My take on determining the topic in what I would consider the most simple manner (and on purpose, least theologically loaded) would be to use the plain forward question: Was (is) Jesus God? Thus, only two terms to be defined: (1) Jesus, (2) God,

    I would think that most in the group will easily agree who is meant with "Jesus" => that person who is also called "Jesus of Nazareth", whose mother is mentioned to have been Mary, who was born at Bethlehem and lived approx 2000 years ago, etc. -- thus rather easily identifying who is meant and would not be confused with some other person from a different time, perhaps having the same name, ec

    As fpr the term "God", I would think that most in the group would agree that the term refers to the God of the Bible (not one of other religions of the world), the true God (not one of many false gods), an acting living Being/person (spirit being, not flesh and blood being), also referred to in the Bible with some other terms such as Almighty, Creator, Father, Ancient of Days, etc.

    Other details regarding each will most likely show up as verses with statements concerning Jesus and God are being added in the study ...

  • One question suggestion is: "How many intellgent voice(s) does One God have ?"

    Absolute monotheism believes One God has one intelligent voice (Father).

    Plural unity believes One God has three intelligent voices (Father, Son, Holy Spirit).

    Both Absolute monotheism and Plural unity believe One God has One Name, One Heart, One Soul, One Strength.

    Keep Smiling 😀

  • @Keep_Smiling_4_Jesus wrote: "How many intellgent voice(s) does One God have ?"

    Better question is: "How many intelligent voice(s) in One God ?"

    Initial topical study suggestion is blasphemy. What had jews heard from the traveling Jewish Rabbi that evoked response to kill Jesus for blasphemy, according to Leviticus 24:15-16 (NLT) Say to the people of Israel: Those who curse their אֱלֹהִים God will be punished for their sin. Anyone who blasphemes the Name of the יהוה Lord must be stoned to death by the whole community of Israel. Any native-born Israelite or foreigner among you who blasphemes the Name of the שֵׁ֖ם Lord must be put to death. 

    Note: God is אֱלֹהִים elohim (plural) while the Lord is יהוה YHVH (singular) or שֵׁ֖ם shem (singular). In casual Jewish conversation, HaShem (The Name) is used for יהוה.

    Logos Bible Search suggestion for finding blasphemy reaction in New Testament is ((pick,tore) NEAR (stones,robe,clothing)) OR (blasphemy,blaspheming)

    From my perspective, the ones who thought Jesus guilty of blasphemy had an absolute monotheistic belief; could not believe that any part of One God could be in human flesh while remembering Psalm 53:2-3 (NLT) אֱלֹהִים God looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks אֱלֹהִים God. But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not a single one!

    Keep Smiling 😀

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,495

    From my perspective...

    Keep your perspectives coming, both of you! (and anyone else) I'm serious about my desire to build your suggested texts and interpretations into our group's discussions. Of course, I can't possibly represent your views, but I can share the information you've offered in this and other threads.

  • PagesPages Posts: 63

    @Bill_Coley

    ....but I am most interested in the texts you find important.

    I'm excited about the possibilities of this project and hope you'll offer some texts for me to include in our study.

    Bill, I applaud you and the Sunday group for pursuing a study of this type. I won't flood you with numerous texts to consider; but will leave you with one – that being the text of Philippians 2:6-11.

  • @Pages wrote: I won't flood you with numerous texts to consider; but will leave you with one – that being the text of Philippians 2:6-11.

    Isaiah 45:14-25 (Future Conversion of Gentiles) includes: "Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other. I have sworn by my own name; I have spoken the truth, and I will never go back on my word: Every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will declare allegiance to me.” 

    Keep Smiling 😀

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,495

    @Pages posted:

    Bill, I applaud you and the Sunday group for pursuing a study of this type. I won't flood you with numerous texts to consider; but will leave you with one – that being the text of Philippians 2:6-11.

    Thanks for the kind word, Pages, as well as for the Philippians text. Should you choose to offer my group's study additional passages - whether as part of a "flood" or not! 😃 - I will welcome and we will be blessed by your contribution.

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,495
    edited July 2

    @Keep_Smiling_4_Jesus postSmiling

    Isaiah 45:14-25 (Future Conversion of Gentiles) includes: "Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other. I have sworn by my own name; I have spoken the truth, and I will never go back on my word: Every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will declare allegiance to me.” 

    Thanks again!

    With this post, I will stop acknowledging each new posted suggestion, but that does NOT mean I will stop paying attention to your assistance! I invite all of you to post additional suggestions, which in concert with other texts we review, in my view will lead our study to deeper, stiller waters of faith.

  • John 14:15-31 "Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit" includes John 14:23 (NLT with Bold Greek emphasis) Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.

    Keep Smiling 😀

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,847

    A suggestion in connection with the numerous NT passages which directly either speak of "THE MAN Christ Jesus" or clearly refer to Jesus as A MAN (a male human being) => Does Scripture declare anywhere that the true God can be a man or that a man can be the true God?

  • Prophecy in Isaiah 9:1-7 describes future Galilee that includes: a child is born, who is Mighty God.

    Seed of the woman in Genesis 3:15 predates Isaiah 7:14 prophecy about Immanuel (God with us) with fulfilment recorded in Matthew 1:23

    Note: Isaiah 9:1-7 is clearly in the future whlle Isaiah 7 has mixture of prophecies for King Ahaz (during Isaiah's life) and future Messiah.

    Torah ("Teaching", "The Law") lasted until the child of promise in Galations 3:19 plus future war against her seed in Revelation 12:17

    John 1:1 verbs are imperfect (continuous action in past time) so one way to translate John 1:1c is "... and The Word was being God". All of The Word was being God while God was being more than The Word (per Colwell's rule), which agrees with singular and plural pronouns for plural elohim God. John 1:14 verbs are aorist so simply says The Word became flesh and dwelt amoung us (humans).

    Keep Smiling 😀

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,495

    In advance of tomorrow's first session of our Sunday group's discussion of the question of whether Jesus is God, I created and posted on our church's website a list of around 150 passages from Matthew, Luke, and John (I didn't include passages from Mark because almost all of Mark is contained in either Matthew or Luke). My plan is for us to examine the Gospels thoroughly, via the texts on the list, and then move to Acts, Paul's letters, and the remainder of the NT, creating a list of texts for each new section. I will then raise to the group's attention the texts you CD partners have offered, and finally look relatively briefly at church history/tradition and some prominent theologians. By far, the biblical review will receive the most serious and thoughtful attention during our study.

    I should note that the list contains far more than the "greatest hits" of the issue that we tend to post in these threads. I decided to include any passage that in my view adds to our understanding of who Jesus is. Using the word count feature of my word processor, I estimate that the list of text includes nearly half of the total content of the three Gospels we'll examine.

    I've distributed the Gospels texts list to group members with the suggestion that they read passages asking what the writers want us to know about Jesus, what the characters in the passages other than Jesus want us to know about Jesus, and finally, what Jesus himself wants us to know him. I'm looking forward to the sessions.

    If you want to examine the Gospels passages list, you can download it (or a document that provides the NLT version of all 150 texts) at our website by clicking HERE.

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,495

    Our Sunday group held its first session yesterday, July 7. We dug right into the first of the 150 gospels texts included in the list to which I offered a link in a previous post in this thread. We had a good exchange about the meaning and consequence of Joseph's presence in the the genealogical trees found in Matthew 1 and Luke 3, and some robust dialogue about the meaning of "virgin" in the Matthew and Luke birth stories.

    Our group includes at least one VERY biblically literate person, who has a developed sense of Scripture's bigger picture. I appreciate the possibilities and the challenges he will present as both fact checker (if I err in reporting biblical content) and spiritually mature faith witness (when make I make observations or draw conclusions with which he disagrees). The best thing about his presence in our group will be his weekly witness to the benefits of biblical acumen.

    I asked the group not to draw final conclusions in these early stages of our journey, but rather to use our textual examinations to gather evidence - pieces of a jigsaw puzzle - that will equip them to reach better-founded conclusions later.

    It was an occasionally chaotic conversation - with group members talking over one another on a handful of occasions - but spirited in lots of good ways. I left the first session excited about the ones to come.

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