Did Jesus have a beginning??


#1

I'm having a discussion with a protestant friend who doesnt believe that christ is God. It seems i have probably hit a rock, I pointed to the fact that christ was begotten (not made) to disprove his claim that christ is a creature, he came back to tell me that the term begotten disproves my arguement. He said that to begat mean the begotten has a starting point or a beginning whether from eternity or not from the begotter, this he claims shows that christ isnt God for God has no begining, nor starting point. Please how is this point explained, i guess the church father did but i donot have a ref to the exact work and chapter. Explanations and links are welcome.
Thanks in advance.


#2

John's gospel chapter 1 verses 15-5, 10-12.
You might like to read the whole chapter which tells you that He was always with God and He always was God.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be
through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race;
the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

He was in the world, and t*he world came to be through him,* but the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own, but his own people 7 did not accept him.
But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name,

vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/__PX9.HTM


#3

[quote="Ubenedictus, post:1, topic:301233"]
I'm having a discussion with a protestant friend who doesnt believe that christ is God. It seems i have probably hit a rock, I pointed to the fact that christ was begotten (not made) to disprove his claim that christ is a creature, he came back to tell me that the term begotten disproves my arguement. He said that to begat mean the begotten has a starting point or a beginning whether from eternity or not from the begotter, this he claims shows that christ isnt God for God has no begining, nor starting point. Please how is this point explained, i guess the church father did but i donot have a ref to the exact work and chapter. Explanations and links are welcome.
Thanks in advance.

[/quote]

It is an open and shut case. God has no beginning. God begot the Son who was always within Him and hence has no beginning either. Creatures were NOT begotten but created from nothing. They have a beginning only because they are created from nothing and came to exist only through creation.


#4

[quote="Ubenedictus, post:1, topic:301233"]
I'm having a discussion with a protestant friend who doesnt believe that christ is God. It seems i have probably hit a rock, I pointed to the fact that christ was begotten (not made) to disprove his claim that christ is a creature, he came back to tell me that the term begotten disproves my arguement. He said that to begat mean the begotten has a starting point or a beginning whether from eternity or not from the begotter, this he claims shows that christ isnt God for God has no begining, nor starting point. Please how is this point explained, i guess the church father did but i donot have a ref to the exact work and chapter. Explanations and links are welcome.
Thanks in advance.

[/quote]

point to the church fathers and how they said that christ is eternally begotten.

another thing to do ask him to show scholarly arguments that his definition of begotten is correct.

you could also make the connection between christ and the logos in Genesis. How Jesus is the word the word is God, meaning he is eternal.

but keep in mind that the Church has already dealt with these issues and they have handled them in their church documents the fathers have dealt with this. If he is bringing into question the definition that Catholics use, go to Catholic sources and disprove his definition.

for the fathers see Irenaeus of lyon he talks about the logos.

this may not be the only one.


#5

He must not be Christian then, the Trinity is fundamental agreement we all have.


#6

You might point out that "Christ" is not Jesus' surname. He was Jesus THE Christ (the promised, prophecied, looked for Messiah). As such, I guess, he was conceived by God in the virgin womb of the obedient Mary. But before that he WAS, IS and EVER SHALL BE WORLD WITHOUT END (or beginning) indivisibly the Triune God. A Bishop Arius questioned this very point (when did Jesus become the SON of God - at His Birth, Baptism ("this my Son, The Beloved), the Transfiguration ("ditto") or His Death (as some sort of reward). The council convened at Nicea to answer this heresy and they agreed that Jesus was "of the same nature, Being, Substance" as God and therefore ALWAYS was the "Son" of God. Trouble was they made up a word in Greek, "homoouseous" which was perfectly acceptable to the Greeks but baffled non-Greek speakers.
At Nicea, too, there was no mention of Holy Spirit in 324 AD; one Basil of Nicodemia began to preach the Holy Spirit a little later and the Triune Godhead was clarified and added to the Nicene Creed around AD335. The Trinity is a very difficult concept to get one's gums around: I had problems after my Baptism in the Spirit wondering who to direct my prayers to (I had ignored the Holy Spirit until then). Returning from Communion one day I was suddenly struck with the sudden, sure conviction that it didn't matter who I prayed to: the Son WAS the Father, the Father WAS the Holy Spirit who WAS the Son. Don't ask me to explain: this is one dogma I will sing to. But if you have a niggling doubt or can't quite understand, pray, wait and above all, listen. God answers the prayers of His children.


#7

[quote="Dubay, post:5, topic:301233"]
He must not be Christian then, the Trinity is fundamental agreement we all have.

[/quote]

not true see arianism you can believe what he said and still be following christ.


#8

[quote="catholictiger, post:7, topic:301233"]
not true see arianism you can believe what he said and still be following christ.

[/quote]

Arianism was/is a heresy.


#9

Jesus has not a beginning. The beginning has Jesus ...


#10

[quote="mgoforth, post:8, topic:301233"]
Arianism was/is a heresy.

[/quote]

Exactly. Saying that Christ had a beginning is tantamount to saying that He was a creation, and that He is inferior to the Father - that he is "god" but not "God". This was more or less what Arius ("the Arch-Heretic", as W. F. Jurgens charmingly puts it) said, and it earned him a well-deserved condemnation. John 1 and 8 are pretty clear on the fact that Christ, like God the Father, exists outside time and did not have a beginning.


#11

You will notice that even in the very first chapter of Genesis, there is indication of Christ being there. In fact, our first indication of the Trinity as a whole is found in the very opening verses of the Bible.

From Genesis 1:1-2, "* In the beginning God **created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and **the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. *"

Here you have the indication of God, and the separate entity of the Spirit of God moving over the waters. Then, when we go on to Genesis 1:26, where this happens:

"Then God said, “Let **Us* make man in Our image, according to** Our *likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”"

He doesn't say "Let ME make man in MY image". He says "Let US make man in OUR image." God clearly is not alone in the singular sense, even at the very creation.

Then join this with John 1:1.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was **with* God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. *

By indicating the Word both was WITH God and WAS God, this points to the inseparable oneness that is Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit.


#12

The man Jesus of Nazareth certainly did. Hid full humanity did not exist prior to the Incarnation, 'he emptied himself and became a servant".

The Eternal Word which became flesh, did not.


#13

[quote="Publisher, post:12, topic:301233"]
The man Jesus of Nazareth certainly did. Hid full humanity did not exist prior to the Incarnation, 'he emptied himself and became a servant".

The Eternal Word which became flesh, did not.

[/quote]

Nicely put ;)

The three Divine Persons in the Holy Trinity did not have a "beginning", for there is only One God, and God is outside of time.

As Dr. Dragani of ETWN points out here:

Although all three persons of the Trinity are co-eternal, the Father alone is the source of the Trinity. This principle is known as the "monarchy" of the Father. The relationships of the Son and the Spirit to the Father are established on the basis of the Father's monarchy.

In the case of the Son, for him to in fact be a "son" he must be begotten. Sons are always begotten by fathers. Thus, the Creed states that the Son is begotten. However, he was not created by the Father, as Arius claimed. Nor was there ever a time in which the Son did not exist. Therefore, the Creed states that the Son was "begotten, but not made." This preserves two beliefs: that the Son is indeed a son, and that he is not a creature, like we are.

The notion of the Holy Spirit as the "emanation" of the love between the Father and the Son isn't an Eastern notion. Rather, it comes from St. Augustine. The Eastern Churches traditionally look at the Son as the "Word" of the Father, and the Holy Spirit as the breath through which the Father speaks that Word.

Furthermore, by the Catholic Encyclopedia, the Holy Spirit:

  • Though really distinct, as a Person, from the Father and the Son, He is consubstantial with Them; being God like Them, He possesses with Them one and the same Divine Essence or Nature.

  • He proceeds, not by way of generation, but by way of spiration, from the Father and the Son together, as from a single principle.


#14

[quote="Ubenedictus, post:1, topic:301233"]
I'm having a discussion with a protestant friend who doesnt believe that christ is God. It seems i have probably hit a rock, I pointed to the fact that christ was begotten (not made) to disprove his claim that christ is a creature, he came back to tell me that the term begotten disproves my arguement. He said that to begat mean the begotten has a starting point or a beginning whether from eternity or not from the begotter, this he claims shows that christ isnt God for God has no begining, nor starting point. Please how is this point explained, i guess the church father did but i donot have a ref to the exact work and chapter. Explanations and links are welcome.
Thanks in advance.

[/quote]

First of all, denying Christ's divinity is not a Protestant teaching! :dts: Make sure your friend isn't a Mormon of Jehovah's Witness. Both these cults teach that Jesus is separate from God.
Ophelia23 does a good job pointing out the triune nature of God in Genesis and John's assertion that Jesus is God, showing consistency from OT into the NT. I would add :
Exodus 3:14 God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
John 8:58 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am."
And these verses where Jesus asserts that He has the authority to forgive sins, an act only God can perform. In addition, He demonstrates omniscience by knowing the thoughts of others.
Matthew 9:2 And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven."3 And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, "This man is blaspheming." 4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, "Why do you think evil in your hearts? 5 For which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'?6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"—he then said to the paralytic—"Rise, pick up your bed and go home." 7 And he rose and went home. (Also in Mark 2 and Luke 5)
John 10:30 I and the Father are one." 10:31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him.
So not only did Jesus make a declaration of divinity, but the Jews understood this and were preparing to stone Him for blasphemy.

Good luck with your friend and God Bless.


#15

[quote="stevekehl, post:14, topic:301233"]
First of all, denying Christ's divinity is not a Protestant teaching! :dts:

[/quote]

Well, it's a denial of a Catholic teaching :o I've seen that happen before. When we remove the teaching authority and basically claim that anyone can understand and interpret the Scriptures, no wonder we have groups affirming such heresies and still calling themselves "christians".


#16

=Ubenedictus;9872088]I'm having a discussion with a protestant friend who doesnt believe that christ is God. It seems i have probably hit a rock, I pointed to the fact that christ was begotten (not made) to disprove his claim that christ is a creature, he came back to tell me that the term begotten disproves my arguement. He said that to begat mean the begotten has a starting point or a beginning whether from eternity or not from the begotter, this he claims shows that christ isnt God for God has no begining, nor starting point. Please how is this point explained, i guess the church father did but i donot have a ref to the exact work and chapter. Explanations and links are welcome.
Thanks in advance.

May one ASSUME that your friend believes in the Bible?

Luke 1:16-35 King James Bible

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said , Hail , thou that art highly favoured , the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. [SHOULD READ HAIL MARY FULL OF GRACE] And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold , thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. **He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: **And of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be , seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

Is the TRINITY GOD?
RSV bible *Mt. 3: 13-17 *"Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness." Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, [Son of God] he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove,[Holy Spirit of God] and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."[God the Father] =One God

*John.10: 30 "I and the Father are one." *

John.17: 11 **"And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to thee. **Holy Father, keep them in thy name, which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one"

Dear firend if your friend chooses NOT to accept these Teachings he is not a Christian; Not a Protestant He is an Atheist.:shrug:

Pray for him,

God Bless,
pat


#17

[quote="poptown, post:9, topic:301233"]
Jesus has not a beginning. The beginning has Jesus ...

[/quote]

:thumbsup:


#18

[quote="PJM, post:16, topic:301233"]
May one ASSUME that your friend believes in the Bible?

[/quote]

I wouldn't: the Bible very clearly presents Jesus as God. In order not to accept that, the OP's correspondent has to disbelieve it.


#19

[quote="Mystophilus, post:18, topic:301233"]
I wouldn't: the Bible very clearly presents Jesus as God. In order not to accept that, the OP's correspondent has to disbelieve it.

[/quote]

You'd be amazed at how some translations present Jesus :sad_yes:


#20

[quote="R_C, post:19, topic:301233"]
You'd be amazed at how some translations present Jesus :sad_yes:

[/quote]

What sort of thing do you mean? :confused:


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