Jesus’ Humanity and Divinity – Another Look

C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,102

Jesus’ humanity is referred to in Revelation as:

1.     “Male child” and “firstborn of the dead.” The male child of Rev 12 refers to Jesus’ birth and incarnation

2.     God cannot die, but humans are born and die. 

  • a.      Jesus experienced birth, death and afterwards resurrection
  • b.     He was truly human. However, he was not a sinner

3.     Revelation calls Jesus the Holy One and the True One (Rev 3:7), which is a title for God (Rev 6:10). 

4.     John doesn’t say, like in other places or like other NT authors (2 Cor 5:21; 1 Pet 2:22: 1 John 3:5). Jesus did not sin. 

5.     Jesus was addressed as the Holy One of God by demons and his disciples (Mark 1:24; Luke 4:34; John 6:69). 

  • a.      These verses point out Jesus’ sinlessness as a human being while stressing his divinity. “He is the embodiment of absolute sanctity and truth . . . .”
  • b.     Revelation presents an exalted Christology.

Revelation stresses Jesus’ humanity, a number of the designations and titles used for Jesus’ highlight divinity, some because Jesus shares them with the Father. Revelation speaks of others because they point to a divine being or are attributed to God in the OT:

  • The “True/Amen” 
  • “Son of man” 
  • “Son of God” 
  •  “Word of God” 
  • “Alpha and Omega”
  • “First and Last”
  • “Beginning and End” 

I like the way Erickson put it when he talks about the complexity of the human-divine nature of Jesus. He writes: 

“It is also helpful to think of Jesus as a very complex person. We know some people who have straightforward personalities. One comes to know them fairly quickly, and they may therefore be quite predictable. Other persons have much more complex personalities. They may have a wider range of experience, a more varied educational background, or a more complex emotional makeup. When we think we know them quite well, another facet of their personality appears that we did not previously know existed. Now if we imagine complexity expanded to an infinite degree, then we have a bit of a glimpse into the “personality of Jesus,” as it were, his two natures in one person. For Jesus’ personality included the qualities and attributes that constitute deity. There were within his person dimensions of experience, knowledge, and love not found in human beings . . . the person of Jesus was not simply an amalgam of human and divine qualities merged into some sort of tertium quid. Rather, his was a personality that in addition to the characteristics of divine nature had all the qualities or attributes of perfect, sinless human nature as well”.

What human, pea brain, would seek to rob God of His divine nature? CM


SOURCES:

  • James D. G. Dunn, “Christology” in The Anchor Bible Dictionary, edited by David Noel Freedman (New York: Doubleday, 1992), I:987. 
  • Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology, second edition (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1998), 754. 
  • Tertium quid” --- “a third thing that is indefinite and undefined but is related to two definite or known things”. Historically, Tertium quid refers to an unidentified third element that is in combination with two known ones. The phrase is associated with alchemy. It is Latin for "third something", a translation of the Greek triton ti. The Greek phrase was used by Plato, and by Irenæus.


Comments

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,690

    @C_M_ posted:

    Jesus’ humanity is referred to in Revelation as:

    1.     “Male child” and “firstborn of the dead.” The male child of Rev 12 refers to Jesus’ birth and incarnation

    I don't agree with your and/or your resources' conclusion that the "male child" of Revelation 12 is Jesus. In the context of the passage, and given the revelator's oft-displayed willingness to identify Jesus by name, in my view the woman who gives birth to the child does not symbolize Mary the mother of Jesus, but rather God's people (the twelve stars in her crown represent the twelve tribes of Israel). In addition, this account is part of the revelator's vision of a battle still to come at the culmination of history, NOT of a birth already completed.

    That Jesus is "the firstborn of the dead" is an interesting turn of phrase. The NLT translates Rev 12.5 as to say Jesus is "the first to rise from the dead," which obviously can't be true given the people Jesus raised from the dead before his crucifixion.


    2.     God cannot die, but humans are born and die. 

    I agree.


    b.     He was truly human.

    More common ground.


    However, . 

    3.     Revelation calls Jesus the Holy One and the True One (Rev 3:7), which is a title for God (Rev 6:10). 

    There is no necessary connection between those two verses. More than one being can be "holy" and "true" (for example, Peter 2.9 calls the Church "a holy nation") More telling, later in Revelation 3, Jesus - who spoke the words of Rev 3.7 to which you refer - says this: (emphasis added)

    • All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of my God, and they will never have to leave it. And I will write on them the name of my God, and they will be citizens in the city of my God—the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven from my God.

    Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Re 3:12). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

    FOUR TIMES in the same verse Jesus refers to his God. How could one who IS God HAVE a God? The most common sensible reading of his words is that he does NOT believe himself to be God.


    4.     John doesn’t say, like in other places or like other NT authors (2 Cor 5:21; 1 Pet 2:22: 1 John 3:5). Jesus did not sin. 

    • 2 Cor 5.21 ALSO says God made Christ (the sinless one) to be the offering for our sin. In my view, that language reports an obvious and inarguable distinction between God and Christ.
    • 1 Peter 2.21 says God calls us to do good, even suffer, because that's what Christ did for us. Another clear distinction between God and Christ.
    • 1 Peter 2.23 says Jesus "left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly." It makes no sense to read that verse as to say Jesus left his case in his own hands.
    • The context of 1 John 3.5 is that Jesus was able to take away our sin because he, unlike others, did not sin, and did not break God's law. It makes no sense to talk about one who was God breaking God's law.


    5.     Jesus was addressed as the Holy One of God by demons and his disciples (Mark 1:24; Luke 4:34; John 6:69). 


    According to the words of the phrase, "The Holy One of God" CANNOT BE God. The person who is "the son of John Smith" can't be John Smith," and the one who is "the office assistant of Rita Malone" can't be Rita Malone. One who is "the Holy One of God" can't be God.


    a.      These verses point out Jesus’  while . “He is the embodiment of absolute sanctity and truth . . . .”

    The only NT reference similar to this phrase that I can find is in Romans 2.20, where that in which is found the "embodiment of knowledge and truth" is the law, NOT Jesus. Which verse are you referring to here, CM?


    b.     Revelation presents an exalted Christology.

    "Exalted" (or "glorified") doesn't mean God. In my reading of Philippians 2.9, God exalted/glorified/lifted Jesus to the place of highest honor. It makes no sense for God to exalt one who was already God.


    Revelation stresses Jesus’ humanity, a number of the designations and titles used for Jesus’ highlight divinity, some because Jesus shares them with the Father. Revelation speaks of others because they point to a divine being or are attributed to God in the OT:

    I've given quite a bit of time to the preceding sections of your post. I could cycle through the rest of your quoted material, but I hope by now I have made my point, and that you will respond to what I have posted above.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 2,026
    edited September 21

    @C_M_

    Revelation stresses Jesus’ humanity, a number of the designations and titles used for Jesus’ highlight divinity, some because Jesus shares them with the Father. Revelation speaks of others because they point to a divine being or are attributed to God in the OT:








    Hmn ... using the "quote" option makes the list in the quoted text disappear ???? another technical bug problem with this version of the software??

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,102
    edited September 22

    No, I tried it, as you did, and it works. CM

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