Did Jesus take on flesh before the incarnation?


#1

Hi,
Did Jesus take on flesh before the incarnation?
Thanks,
Brian


#2

No.


#3

Thanks, is there a simple catechism reference you can point me to or something?


#4

Jesus is the "Word"--the second aspect of the Trinity. Jesus was an earthly manifestation of the Word, so there was only one Jesus. It's possible that the Word might have taken on flesh and paid a visit at some time before Jesus; some religions believe that the high priest Melchizedek was probably such a manifestation.


#5

I had never heard this about Melchizedek before. Can you tell me which religions believe he may have been a manifestation of the Word?


#6

Great commentators have understood Christ to have appeared before the Incarnation. But He did not take upon humanity. Even if He had appeared in human form it would have been in appearance only, like angels have been known to do.

Melchezidek is truly a mysterious figure and we can only speculate. He is mysterious in the Old and New Testaments as well as apocryphal writings. The Dead Sea Scrolls also deepen the mystery!


#7

[quote="COPLAND_3, post:6, topic:313892"]
Great commentators have understood Christ to have appeared before the Incarnation. But He did not take upon humanity. Even if He had appeared in human form it would have been in appearance only, like angels have been known to do.

Melchezidek is truly a mysterious figure and we can only speculate. He is mysterious in the Old and New Testaments as well as apocryphal writings. The Dead Sea Scrolls also deepen the mystery!

[/quote]

Exactly. :D


#8

[quote="7armyrugrats, post:5, topic:313892"]
I had never heard this about Melchizedek before. Can you tell me which religions believe he may have been a manifestation of the Word?

[/quote]

Historically there have been Christians who thought that Melchizedek was a manifestation of the pre-incarnate Christ, mainly because the author of the letter to the Hebrews drew the parallels between the two. (In fact, some of the Fathers have thought that some of the mysterious figures who appear from time to time in the OT - like the 'Angel of the Lord' or one of Abraham's three visitors - may be the pre-incarnate Logos). Others even thought that he was the Holy Spirit. Some have even dared to suggest that Melchizedek was a higher power than Jesus (the Melchizedekians)!


#9

Relatedly the Dominican theologian St. Thomas Aquinas (1225 - 7 March 1274) follows St. Paul the Apostle in answering that Christ became incarnate at the most suitable time (Gal. 4:4) and gives four reasons for that it did not happen immediately: for the humility of men, the proper order in perfection of men, the dignity of the Incarnation, and the perseverance of faith. According to the Saint the time of grace came fittingly after the natural and Mosaic laws. (S. th. III:1:5)

Nor was it fitting that God should become incarnate immediately after sin. First, on account of the manner of man’s sin, which had come of pride; hence man was to be liberated in such a manner that he might be humbled, and see how he stood in need of a deliverer. Hence on the words in Galatians 3:19, “Being ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator,” a gloss says: “With great wisdom was it so ordered that the Son of Man should not be sent immediately after man’s fall. For first of all God left man under the natural law, with the freedom of his will, in order that he might know his natural strength; and when he failed in it, he received the law; whereupon, by the fault, not of the law, but of his nature, the disease gained strength; so that having recognized his infirmity he might cry out for a physician, and beseech the aid of grace.”

Secondly, on account of the order of furtherance in good, whereby we proceed from imperfection to perfection. Hence the Apostle says (1 Corinthians 15:46-47): “Yet that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; afterwards that which is spiritual . . . The first man was of the earth, earthy; the second man from heaven, heavenly.”

Thirdly, on account of the dignity of the incarnate Word, for on the words (Galatians 4:4), “But when the fulness of the time was come,” a gloss says: “The greater the judge who was coming, the more numerous was the band of heralds who ought to have preceded him.”

Fourthly, lest the fervor of faith should cool by the length of time, for the charity of many will grow cold at the end of the world. Hence (Luke 18:8) it is written: “But yet the Son of Man, when He cometh, shall He find think you, faith on earth?”


#10

St. Thomas is always a great choice!!!


#11

I don’t believe Jesus ever became incarnate till He was born of Mary. I do believe He may have appeared in spirit form like an angel to people or even looked human like some angels, but wasn’t ever a person born on the earth till He was born of Mary.


#12

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