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The Nature Of Jesus- Different Views


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From observation of both Evangelicals and Catholics and their theological discussions...it would seem that they view these terms towards Jesus "divine in nature", and "incarnated" as One and the Same thing. When I was raised in JW this was Not the case. JW's, as well as all unitarians and bibical unitarians rejct the very phrase "incarnate" in connection to Jesus Christ. However, JW's have always stressed that Jesus is "divine in nature...in that he prefectly reflects God's qualities or personality."

 

At the same time many liberal Christians, such as UU Christians are leary of the phrase "divine," or "divine in nature" because they oddomatically asume this means the trinity= that Jesus IS God.

 

So what this measn is that there are basically '3' views on Jesus..but that the vast majority on both the far right and left don;t even acknoweldge that the second view exists....They go as follows....

 

1. Trinitarian/incarnate= Jesus IS God

 

2. Divinitarian/Jesus is divine in nature= Jesus is NOT God ..but he is divine in nature because he perfectly relfects Go'd nature and qualities.

 

3. Uniatrainism..as in...UU Christian= Jesus is neither God nor divine in nature by prectly relfecting God, rather Jesus was and is merely a nobel example of a good man and teacher and a model for us to follow.

 

What do you think of these three terms?

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  • 2 months later...

This summer I been studying books by John Dominic Crossin and Elaine Pagels. The more I study, the more I am convinced that the Historical Jesus was at least a radical peasant. He defied the purity laws of his day--laws that determined who were untouchables and who were no. He instituted the common meal: unheard of in his day where all shared rich and poor, people with status and people who were untouchables sat down and shared a meal together.

 

According to the gospel of Thomas those who were baptized were considered to be filled with the Christ, to be sons of God. Jesus was not the unique Christ but showed how all of us could find the Christ within themselves. This makes more sense to me.

 

The writer of the Gospel of John was appauled that people could believe that they were filled with the Christ based on their personal experience. A faith based on person experience could not be organized and comtrolled. Instead, the writer of the Gospel of John made it magnatory that to be a Christian on had to believe that Jesus was uniquely the Christ. This was the beginning of dogmatism in the church.

 

I don't know yet what role Paul played in this. I am looking forward to picking up Elaine Pagel's book on Paul from the library. I also say a book co-authored by Crossin on Paul. Aparently Paul did not know Jesus in the flesh but knew Christ in spirit.

 

Marilyn

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