Is Christ Really Equal To The Father?

These verses are just the ones I have found so far.

Possible Jesus=God Verses:
Romans 8:9-11- Constant interchangeability of Spirit of God and Spirit of Christ
Romans 9:5- One translation of a few equates Jesus with God, although a different translation that doesn’t infer such a thing is more likely.
Romans 10:9
Romans 11:36- This verse is applied to God, whereas earlier one of these qualities was applied to Jesus.
Romans 14:9
Romans 15:16 and 19- Gospel of God and Gospel of Christ is used interchangeably

Possible Jesus is NOT God Verses:
Romans 4:24- Believe in the one (God) who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. Clear distinction.
Romans 5:15- Jesus called a man and distinguished from God
Romans 5:19- Jesus is a man
Romans 8:11- “He who rose Christ Jesus from the dead.” Jesus did not raise himself; rather, God raised Jesus from the dead, and thus they must be different, because Jesus did not raise himself.
Romans 8:34- Jesus sits at God’s right side, and pleads our case for us. And he was raised (as if by someone else); he did not raise himself.
Romans 15:6- “so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Probably the most important one here. According to this verse, God is the Father AND THE GOD of Jesus Christ. There is ONE God, and that same God is the God of Jesus and also the Father of Jesus. They are distinct, and Jesus is not God (as God is also his God).
Romans 15:15-16- Paul is given grace from God to minister about Jesus Christ to the Gentiles- seems to be some differentiation between God and Jesus.
Acts 2:22 International Version (NIV) 22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. A MAN accredited BY GOD to you by miracles, wonder and signs, which GOD DID AMONG YOU THROUGH HIM, as you yourselves know.
“The Father is greater than I” in John 14:28?"
Mark 13:32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

This article provides some further arguments, as does this.

Yes.

Hi Zadeth,

Have you looked the the CA tracts on the Trinity?

Also, much of this also comes down to authority. If we accept that this doctrine is deep and things are not absolutely clear in the Bible, who has authority to make definitive claims on this issue? Some Protestant sect that has its origins in the last two hundred years, or the Catholic church?

God bless,
Ut

A couple of things to remember:

  1. Jesus is both fully human and fully divine. He was God the Son but also man.
  2. Paul and the earliest Christians did not have a fully-fledged theology about the Trinity or Jesus. If so, it would not have taken 300 years and years of controversy for the final language to be settled.
  3. Therefore Paul and others would not have necessarily thought and taught using language and understanding that developed later. The earliest Christians did not talk about “persons” or “natures” or “Trinity.” Development of doctrine is a thing in the Church’s life.
  4. Jesus had a God because Jesus had a fully human nature. He could pray to God the Father precisely because he was a man.
  5. Because there was not developed notion of the Trinity, there was not the same concern with language. Sometimes when “God” is used, what is really meant is the Father.

I don’t know.

That’s because despite years of reading and study, I really don’t understand the Trinity.

Because the word was God, but when the word became human it lost all power and privileges and turned into a fully human being. So Jesus was as human below God because he voluntary lost all divine privileges.

As you found yourself, there are parts in the bible that say Jesus is equal to God and parts that says he was below. But instead of seeing a contradiction, it is both true. Jesus the Lord who turned into a slave=human, he was as slave below God but as Lord he is equal.

yes Christ is equal to the Father in greatness and power.
Here is St.Thomas on this subject.
newadvent.com/summa/1042.htm

I don’t think you’re supposed to fully understand the Trinity. Even in my faith, which does not believe in a Trinitarian G-d, no one claims to fully understand the nature of G-d and His ways.

Jesus spoke in parables for a reason: to try and help our human minds understand the greatness of God and His Kingdom. :slight_smile:

Good points. Just as in the case of Judaism, Christianity, its dogmas and its doctrines, were not born fully grown although some Christians, including Catholics, seem to think so. All religions develop over time.

And even those parables, just as the prophecies and stories of those who preceded Jesus, are not always so easy to comprehend and interpret beyond their literal meaning.

Many of these quotations sound like verses used by JW’s, who claim that Jesus is not the equivalent of the Father. I’m almost certain the Catholic Church has a different interpretation of them.

I agree - the original Judaism makes a lot of sense to me: Worship one God, whose nature we don’t fully understand, and to do no evil to others. As Rabbi Hillel said, “that is the entire Torah - The rest is merely commentary.”

IMHO, these quotes present a problem for someone trying to explain how the Son can be equal to the Father.

Seems very similar to what another Rabbi once said.

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

-Tim-

Jesus Christ the person is a hypostatic union of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, and a fully human nature–> Body and Soul.

Therefore in His Divinity, Jesus Christ is Equal to the Father, but in His humanity, He is the Son of the Father, and not his equal.

That is why Jesus, during his mission on earth, would say things like “The Father is Greater than I.”

Define “equal.”

There is one Divine Nature.

Jesus has a Divine Nature which is the same (consubstantial) as the Divine Nature of the Father. But he also has a human nature which is not equal to the Father or Divine Nature. So Christ is both, thus in one sense equal to the Father and in another sense not.

The parables can be difficult to understand. Christ constructed them that way.

You probably know Jesus was fully human and fully divine, i.e. the hypostatic union. We really don’t know how that would work. What did Jesus know in his human Incarnation? When did he know it? How much did he know? When I was just out of high school, I was going to a Bible Study group, and the priest leading it believed that Jesus only came to a realization of his Messianic mission slowly, gradually, i.e. he wasn’t aware of it as a child. However, the noted theologian Gerald O’Collins believes there was never a time when Jesus wasn’t aware that he was God. One of my own Christology professors in college believes that while Jesus had to learn things as humans do in his Incarnation, in his consciousness, he was aware of God and of his own special relationship with the Father.

Some of the statements attributed to Jesus indicate that he was fully aware of his role as the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, whereas others indicate that he was not. We can’t really know for sure what he knew or thought. He left behind no writings that we know of; the Gospels were almost certainly related to others by first century witnesses, but different people remember things in different ways. And, the Gospel writers were trying to impress on others their idea of what Jesus was, not Jesus’ exact words, etc. We don’t really know Jesus’ exact words or what was lost in translation.

The Catholic Church holds that the Father is not the Son or the Holy Spirit. The Son is not the Father or the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not the Father or the Son. Yet all are the same God. Three persons, but only one God. You live in a body, but have an intellect and emotions. Yet you are only one person. I suppose that’s the closest thing to compare it to. God is always in relationship. St. Augustine called the Father the Lover, the Son the Beloved, and the Holy Spirit the Love that flows between the persons. (To me, that analogy kind of diminishes the Son and the Holy Spirit, but who am I to argue with St. Augustine?) The thing to remember is that God is always in relationship, and our theological job, here on Earth, is to cultivate a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ our Savior was both fully human, and fully divine, at the same time. He was, is, and always will be, God. He is not God the Father, nor God the Holy Spirit; He is God the Son. However, all three are still One.

Here is an answer, from this site, to your question:

catholic.com/quickquestions/what-did-jesus-mean-in-saying-that-the-father-was-greater-than-he

Edit: I’m sorry, you didn’t ask a question, you were providing an answer. I’m sorry, but I have to respectfully disagree with your answer. Even though Jesus was, and still retains, full humanity, he is also fully divine. He was fully divine during his Incarnation here on earth. That is the meaning of “hypostatic union,” full humanity joined to full divinity.

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