Stephen saw Jesus standing on the right hand of God


#1

The Catholic Church teaches that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit exist as a “trinity”. How do Catholics interpret Acts 7: 55-56?

55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,

56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.


#2

Jesus’ human nature (body and soul) has been so glorified.


#3

I’ll clarify my question. To me, the verses seem to say that Stephen saw two seperate persons standing next to each other, or possibly that he saw a large right hand with Jesus standing on that hand.
How do Catholics interpret what Stephen saw?


#4

“At the right hand of God” is imagery, the divine nature itself has no body, fills up no space, etc . . . What Stephen perceived was Jesus’ divinity and the glorification of Jesus’ human body and soul, which is not by its nature divine in itself.


#5

Let me add to this. It was a vision of a spiritual reality, not necessarily one that is literal in a physical sense, as if the divine nature has a literal right hand (it does not).


#6

Totally agree with what @Wesrock has posted.

I just wanted to add to this a little more. The Bible tells us that Jesus is normally “seated” at the right hand of the Father. St. Stephens vision of Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father shows us that St. Stephens’ martyrdom for the faith is deserving of Jesus giving him a royal welcome into His kingdom.

That was from Dr. Scott Hahn’s commentary, that man is a deep deep theologian.

God Bless


#7

The Catechism of the Catholic Church has a whole article (paragraphs 659-664) on “HE ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN AND IS SEATED AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE FATHER”.

Paragraph 663 says:

663 Henceforth Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father: “By ‘the Father’s right hand’ we understand the glory and honour of divinity, where he who exists as Son of God before all ages, indeed as God, of one being with the Father, is seated bodily after he became incarnate and his flesh was glorified.”


#8

Sounds like a perfect example of the economy of the Trinity.


#9

This actually demonstrates the Trinity in that, while all three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) are God, they are distinct from one another, and within the oikonomia of the Trinity assume different roles in the work of salvation.


#10

The early Christians had a very dramatic change in their thinking and beliefs where Jesus became known as God, as did when the Holy Spirit became known as the third member of the Trinity.

Think of this , Jewish were strictly Monotheistic. There is only One God. So when the early Christians, the Apostles and Disciples were attempting to understand who Jesus was, and what His death and Resurrection were about, they were worshipping Him very early after the Resurrection as God. We read this in the Pauline letters. But the Pauline letters were written about 20 years after the death of Jesus.
So to incorporate Jesus into the concept of God, and the Son of God, they did not become polytheistic. They were guided to know Jesus was the same, the one God. And later the Holy Spirit.

It was the experience of the Resurrection that started early Christianity, The interactions and actions of Jesus as physically present in the 40 days He appeared and interacted with people.

Stephen was the first to profess publicly, in the New Testament, what the early christians were living and knowing and teaching. Stephan was killed for it. For being a Christian and professing Jesus, the human Jesus that had walked the earth with many living , was God.
Stephen’s testimony tells us, the very early Christians in the time after Jesus Death, knew He was the Son of God, and God. And knew the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was also God.


#11

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.