Explain CCC 470: Since Jesus thought with a human mind, how did he (with a human mind) know he has divinity?

Dear friends on Catholic Answers Forums:

I am a Taiwanese living in Taiwan. I begun seriously exploring Christian faith and the Catholic Church only in this year.

CCC 470: Because “human nature was assumed, not absorbed”, in the mysterious union of the Incarnation, the Church was led over the course of centuries to confess the full reality of Christ’s human soul, with its operations of intellect and will, and of his human body. In parallel fashion, she had to recall on each occasion that Christ’s human nature belongs, as his own, to the divine person of the Son of God, who assumed it. Everything that Christ is and does in this nature derives from “one of the Trinity”. The Son of God therefore communicates to his humanity his own personal mode of existence in the Trinity. In his soul as in his body, Christ thus expresses humanly the divine ways of the Trinity: The Son of God… worked with human hands; he thought with a human mind. He acted with a human will, and with a human heart he loved. Born of the Virgin Mary, he has truly been made one of us, like to us in all things except sin.

Question: Since Jesus thought with a human mind, how did he (with a human mind) know he has divinity?

Because the divine mind converses with the human mind in whose head it resides. :):slight_smile:

Converse really isn’t a strong enough word, it’s a union deeper than between our minds and our bodies.


In fact I am discussing in the same time on Reddit’s r/Catholicism, and I found I really haven’t study CCC well.
CCC 471 means Jesus has one soul and only human soul, right?
CCC 475, 482 mean Jesus has both human will and divine will, and both human intellect and divine intellect, right?

Yes on both counts. As man He is filled with the Holy Ghost, but this is not a substitute for having a human soul.

You’re talking about a deep mystery, but if you really want an in-depth theological answer, St. Thomas discusses the different kinds of Christ’s knowledge in the Summa Theologica, Part III, Questions 9-12. Here’s a link to Question 9, Christ’s Knowledge in General.

Difficult to understand how Jesus has one soul, but two intellects?

He’s God though. None of us can fully comprehend what he can comprehend.
He was incarnate ONE time. So, it follows, ONE soul.

The “soul” is the human mind as fitted into a human body. So the divine mind is not another soul.


They are united not seperated.

The following may be too simplistic:

Jesus stated, “before Abraham was, I am.” We take that to mean he existed before Abraham.

Let’s assume we agree that Jesus, as part of the Trinity, always existed in heaven.

If so, then He knew who he was before and after He became man.

As the CCC points out

“human nature was assumed, not absorbed”, in the mysterious union of the Incarnation,

Jesus in assuming Human nature, never stopped being God the Son, 2nd person of the Trinity. He assumed human nature to His Divine nature.

How come Abraham, Moses and many other Jews who existed before 1 BC, never heard anything about Jesus or that God was a Trinity?

Because a “soul” describes the packaging of spirit, which generates the mind, into a human soma. The divine mind isn’t another soul.


How come the following was written this way? (all emphasis mine)

26 Then God said, “Let ***us ***make man in our image, after ***our ***likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”
Genesis 1:26

As you know Moses wrote Genesis. why is there plural there?

How come God didn’t say “Let me -]***us ***/-]make man in my -] our i/-]mage, after my -]***our ***/-]likeness;

Us could mean one person, in the royal we form, or it could mean 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 or more. Where does it indicate that us means Jesus and the Holy Spirit? How do you know that us does not include the Hindu deities such as Krshna, Vishnu, Sri (Lakshmi), Shiva, Parvati (Durga), Brahma and Saraswati ?


"The traditional answer to this is Jesus always had beatific vision in his life on earth. What it means is he is always ‘seeing his Father, and therefore his own divinity in the Father’. This is what we will experience in heaven, but something he always had by virtue of being Son. Traditionally."

This is by u/chan_showa on Reddit’s r/Catholicism. Currently I think it is convincing to me. Do you?

God said “let us make…” before He created Adam and Eve. So who’s the “royal we” God is talking about?

Who but God can create something out of nothing? And before any humans were created by God, God is saying “let us make …”

So who is the “us” God is talking about?

Personally, I think Let us etc., is an example of the royal “we” or pluralis majestatis, which refers to a single person in high authority, such as a monarch, bishop, or pope. And of course there are other uses of we or us which although the word is in plural form, it actually refers to a single person. For example, there is the editorial we, where the editor is a spokesperson for those who agree with the commentary. So, IMHO, the “us” that God is using is an example of pluralis majestatis and refers to one God alone and not to any other gods such as the Hindu gods Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna, Deva, Devi, Ishvara, Bhagavan or Bhagavathi, etc.

Before God made the world, and everything that is, who then is “us”, who is “we”, that He refers to?

Keep in mind, the transfiguration of Jesus. Who was there? The Father, the Son, Moses and Elijah, and Peter James and John

Moses and Elijah were introduced to the one they wrote about back in their day, but didn’t actually know.

Its a complex issue.
Jesus’s complete humanity is different from ours for two reasons:
(a) it was not wounded by Original Sin
(b) His “hypostasis” is a pre-existing Divine one and not a human one as is ours including Mary’s.

This is further complicated because we do not know how far his “kenosis” (the self-removal of his Divine privileges at the incarnation) extended.

It is entirely possible that his Divine privileges were so far removed that it included innate knowledge of his own Divinity.

That does not mean his remaining human nature even without such privileges was not of such a perfection that he could not have perceived this as he matured through experience, self reflection and prayer.

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