One Person.....Two Natures


#1

I just noticed this question and answer posted at:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=3224682#post3224682

I am now puzzled.

Jesus the Christ is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. He is but One Person. He also has two natures, human and divine.

Mary did NOT give birth to a nature. She gave birth to a person, Jesus Christ.

I think the answer given will tend to not only confuse but “dilute” the mystery of the Son. We can not understand all of this mystery.

So…perhaps my understanding is wrong.

This also reminds me of the question “Did God die on the Cross?”

The first answer that comes to mind is no… but the right answer is really YES. Again, we cannot split the person of Jesus Christ.

anyone… ??


#2

Jesus is fully God and fully man. He is not 1/2 God and 1/2 man but 100% God and 100% man. This is a difficult concept and it is above our human understanding. We can try to to explain it but in the end it’s a mystery that we will never fully understand.

Now Jesus was born of Virgin Mary. And the being that was born was Son of God. She didn’t give birth only to his human nature as the Nestorian heretics claimed. If you think about it, it is completely logical. It is impossible to claim such thing without separating his two natures (which is exactly what the Nestorians did).

So when Jesus died on the cross it was Jesus who dies. It was still fully God and fully man. So yes, God the Son died on the cross.


#3

Thanks G-t-W

Your response agrees with what I said, but I am wondering why CA gave the answer that it did.

I was looking for input from posters as to why the CA answer could be anything but wrong or confusing.

.


#4

I have seen this question come up now and then, and every time about half the people say one thing and half say the other.

I would point out that in the Nicene Creed we proclaim that Jesus Christ is eternally begotten of the Father. Jesus Christ is clearly God Incarnate, so this would seem to say that God Incarnate is eternally begotten from the Father. BTW, this also adds an interesting twist to the fact that humankind was created in the image and likeness of God. If God the Son has been eternally Incarnate then were we created physically in his image and likeness, as well as intellectually and spiritually? Sure, why not?

The problem that I think trips most people up is that it is simply wrong to think of the 2nd Person in heaven “before” being conceived in Mary’s womb. There is no “before” and “after” in heaven.


#5

I don’t think it is wrong. God has no past, and no future, and He, the Trinity, is always present. Thus there is no “before” His conception.

Since we cannot separate the one 2nd Person of the Trinity, then that Person is not limited like we are to a past, a present and a future. The natures are distinct. The Person is singular and unique. Mary did not give birth to a nature.

You are right, I believe, that there is no before or after in heaven. But again, God is an eternal Present.


#6

As God Jesus always existed. But as man He was conceived in Mary’s womb.

I am not quite sure why you perceive there to be a problem with this reply. The nature of God is to be eternal. The nature of man is to be conceived in woman at a point in time, to have a finite body and soul.

Jesus is one Person, who acts according to both of these natures. This Person is not a human person, but a divine person, the 2nd person of the Trinity, so of course that Person is eternal. As man, (i.e. acting in his human nature) he was conceived, and he died.


#7

St. Paul said, Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. This itself defines that Jesus is co-eternal.


#8

:eek:

Jesus is fully human. Jesus is fully divine. These are natures. But the person cannot be divided, as that person is one.

Mary gave birth to a person, not a nature.
Jesus, the person, died on the Cross.

Did God die on the Cross…yes
Was God born to a virgin…yes.

Did the 2 natures of Jesus always exist… yes

God “operates” outside of time, and He is always in the present.

So, when the CA answer is
As God Jesus always existed. But as man He was conceived in Mary’s womb.

It implies a separation of the natures of Jesus.

Thus my question is the problem that might confuse God’s eternal present with a nature the once was not??

This morning I had someone suggest that since at the Incarnation, the two natures came together, then at the crucifixion the two natures separated, because we can’t kill God.

The Person to whom Mary gave birth always had both natures complete… or if we take “…and the Word became flesh…” only literally, then the Person of Jesus at one time did not exist because the human nature did not exist.??

Any Thomists out there?

.


#9

Start with the fact that “Person” is not a separate entity, but an expression of one’s nature. Since Jesus had two natures, his Person (the Word) expressed both the human and divine nature.

The human nature of Jesus had to be limited, by the very fact of being human. That is why he could ‘grow and mature in wisdom.’

Did the two natures of Jesus always exist? I have to make a distinction. Jesus *as a human being *did not exist in the year 150 BC. From the viewpoint of Jesus as man, he was born at a point in time, say the year 6BC. Like every human being, he began at conception (in Mary’s womb, when she was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit.) As man, he died at the crucifixion.

From the viewpoint of *Jesus as God *(the Word) there was no instant at which He did not perceive both his divinity and his humanity, because God the Son exists outside of time (eternally) and sees all of time as a now.

This morning I had someone suggest that since at the Incarnation, the two natures came together, then at the crucifixion the two natures separated, because we can’t kill God.

To kill God is a contradiction in terms. Yet Jesus truly died. And what is death? It is the separation of the human soul from the human body. Neither his Person nor his human soul ceased to exist at death. (Neither does ours.)


#10

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