The Divinity of Christ

This post discusses the webpage found at:
catholic.com/library/Divinity_of_Chirst.asp

The page opens with this:

Christ’s divinity is shown over and over again in the New Testament. For example, in John 5:18 we are told that Jesus’ opponents sought to kill him because he “called God his Father, making himself equal with God.”

However, after reading the text, I believe the passage is conveying a different message entirely.

John 5:19 says:
Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

So basically, it sounds like the Jesus’ opponents sought to kill him because they thought he was saying he was equal with God. However, Jesus then clarifies, (telling them why they are wrong), by saying that he is not claiming to be God’s equal. Jesus is the Son, and can’t do anything that the Father has not shown him how to do. The next verse reads as follows:

John 5:20 says:
For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

What this implies is that there are things that Jesus cannot do at that moment, because God hasn’t shown him yet. This further illustrates that the Father and the Son are not equal.

In Summary:
It appears you are taking the stance of the opponents of Jesus, even after Jesus takes the time to correct them. I look forward to any following discussion concerning these passages!

[quote=dkward2]This post discusses the webpage found at:
catholic.com/library/Divinity_of_Chirst.asp

The page opens with this:
However, after reading the text, I believe the passage is conveying a different message entirely.

John 5:19 says:
Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

So basically, it sounds like the Jesus’ opponents sought to kill him because they thought he was saying he was equal with God. However, Jesus then clarifies, (telling them why they are wrong), by saying that he is not claiming to be God’s equal. Jesus is the Son, and can’t do anything that the Father has not shown him how to do. The next verse reads as follows:

John 5:20 says:
For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

What this implies is that there are things that Jesus cannot do at that moment, because God hasn’t shown him yet. This further illustrates that the Father and the Son are not equal.

In Summary:
It appears you are taking the stance of the opponents of Jesus, even after Jesus takes the time to correct them. I look forward to any following discussion concerning these passages!
[/quote]

Not at all. Read these quotes in concert w/ Catholic understanding the perfect union of the Trinity, the lesson of the Woman at the Well (meet people where they are now in their faith journey and not where you want them to ultimately be), and remembering how God has always gradually revealed Himself to us so we might better understand.

Additionally, this speaks to a larger issue. It is easy to misinterpret lessons like this and the Bible if you don’t read it in the context of the totality of the Teaching and Truth.

I understand what you are saying, and I appreciate it. However, this seems to be a specific teaching that sets a clear difference between the Father and the Son. I would very much like to discuss this section of John, rather than looking elsewhere. It is not that I want to exclude the rest of the Bible, it is only that too many discussions turn into who can make the most verses fit their theme.

Instead, how do you interpret this passage? What do you think Jesus is saying to his opponents? Those are things I am most interested in.

There are others verses that I would like to discuss, John 14:28, for example, but I would like to do them in separate threads and keep the discussions specific.

To save you time looking up John 14:28, it says:
Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come [again] unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

[quote=dkward2]I understand what you are saying, and I appreciate it. However, this seems to be a specific teaching that sets a clear difference between the Father and the Son. I would very much like to discuss this section of John, rather than looking elsewhere. It is not that I want to exclude the rest of the Bible, it is only that too many discussions turn into who can make the most verses fit their theme.

Instead, how do you interpret this passage? What do you think Jesus is saying to his opponents? Those are things I am most interested in.

There are others verses that I would like to discuss, John 14:28, for example, but I would like to do them in separate threads and keep the discussions specific.

To save you time looking up John 14:28, it says:
Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come [again] unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
[/quote]

As you suggest, let’s just stay on the passage you started the thread with:

John 5:19 says:
Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

John 5:20 says:
For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

What a succinct way of saying that they are the same God and Their unity is perfect. “The Son can do nothing of himself” as They are inseparable. “For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth”. The operative word “all” again is a testament of Their perfect unity. For example, the only way for me to show my daughter EVERYTHING I know and believe is for us to be one.

Finally, go back a few verses when Jesus says “My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.” As Their unity is perfect, one can’t be at work w/o the other beign at work.

Now, with this attempt to give you my interpretation, I would like to address this globally. It is impossible to interpret the Bible out of context despite your desire to do otherwise (see what I bolded above). The audience was not yet prepared to hear that Jesus was God. He knew that. But Jesus addressed this such that when greater revelation was known especially after Pentecost, one could understand (I just love the quote when Peter acknowledges Jesus as God and Jesus says Peter is blessed because Jesus didn’t tell him that directly but the Holy Spirit spoke to his heart). If you try to interpret a particular lesson w/o taking it in total context, you run the risk and probability of being guilty of what is discussed in 2 Peter:

And consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, as our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, also wrote to you, speaking of these things as he does in all his letters. In them there are some things hard to understand that the ignorant and unstable distort to their own destruction, just as they do the other scriptures. Therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, be on your guard not to be led into the error of the unprincipled and to fall from your own stability. But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory now and to the day of eternity. (Amen.)

The divinity of Jesus is not in question.

John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
John1:14 “And the Word became flesh”

John 11:30 “The father and I are one”.

John 21:28 “Thomas answered and said to him, My Lord and my God.”

There are a couple of other issues here too. One is that we have to take into consideration Jesus’ dual nature and His subordination to the Father. When Jesus says that ‘the Father is greater…’ He is speaking from His humanity. Notice it does not say ‘the Father is better…’ two entirely different things. Being subordinate to the Father does not make Him any less God Himself, just as a wife who humbly submits herself in marriage is no less equal than the man…

Since Father and Son both have the same single Divine nature, it is quite true that the Son does nothing apart from the Father. A Person does the work that his nature allows.

There is One nature of God, possessed totally by Father, Son, and Spirit. So yes, speaking from his divine nature, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do. Both Father and Son “do” their work from the One divine nature.

The Son also has a human nature, which becomes apparent in other verses.

John 5:20
For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

Does this not clearly and plainly state that the Father possesses knowledge at the time of this conversation that the Son does not? Furthermore, those things which the Son does not know are greater works than what he knows now.

thistle:
The divinity of Christ is very much in question. In answer to your John 11:30, I give you John 17:11:

“And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we [are].”

Jesus is one with God, just as he asks us to be one. This does not mean that we will one day be God. This does not mean that we as individuals are all the same or are all equal. We are each unique, and some are better/greater than others.

As you can see, the debate easily turns into a laundry list of verses, instead of concentrating on the meaning of a few. Oh well.

Orionthehunter:

[quote=Orionthehunter]Finally, go back a few verses when Jesus says “My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.” As Their unity is perfect, one can’t be at work w/o the other beign at work.
[/quote]

You are saying the opposite of the verse you are quoting. You are saying they both must be at work at the same time (seeing as how they are the same thing). However, your quoted phrase clearly says that one was at work first, and then the other. The Father “was working until now,” he has stopped and “so I am at work.”

Also, I understand the dangers of picking out one verse to the exclusion of the others. I would not propose that Jesus isn’t divine solely on one verse or passage. However, I would like to have an in-depth conversation on this, and then others later. I enjoy debate.

[quote=dkward2]John 5:20
For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

Does this not clearly and plainly state that the Father possesses knowledge at the time of this conversation that the Son does not? Furthermore, those things which the Son does not know are greater works than what he knows now.

thistle:
The divinity of Christ is very much in question. In answer to your John 11:30, I give you John 17:11:

“And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we [are].”

Jesus is one with God, just as he asks us to be one. This does not mean that we will one day be God. This does not mean that we as individuals are all the same or are all equal. We are each unique, and some are better/greater than others.

As you can see, the debate easily turns into a laundry list of verses, instead of concentrating on the meaning of a few. Oh well.

Orionthehunter:
You are saying the opposite of the verse you are quoting. You are saying they both must be at work at the same time (seeing as how they are the same thing). However, your quoted phrase clearly says that one was at work first, and then the other. The Father “was working until now,” he has stopped and “so I am at work.”

Also, I understand the dangers of picking out one verse to the exclusion of the others. I would not propose that Jesus isn’t divine solely on one verse or passage. However, I would like to have an in-depth conversation on this, and then others later. I enjoy debate.
[/quote]

Go this website: www.scripturecatholic.com/jesus_christ_divinity.html

Psalm23:
1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want;
Psalm80:
1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou who leadest Joseph like a flock! Thou who art enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth 2 before E’phraim and Benjamin and Manas’seh! Stir up thy might, and come to save us! 3 Restore us, O God; let thy face shine, that we may be saved!

Jn10:14
Jesus said: 14 I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, 15 as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this charge I have received from my Father. … 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; 28 and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.

Ez34:
11 "For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock when some of his sheep have been scattered abroad, so will I seek out my sheep; and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. 13 And I will bring them out from the peoples, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the fountains, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 I will feed them with good pasture, and upon the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on fat pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord GOD. 16 I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the crippled, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will watch over; I will feed them in justice. 17 "As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, rams and he-goats.

Matt25:
31 "When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left.

Catholic Dude:

Wow, that was a good post, thank you. Yahweh/Jehovah (the capital LORD) and Jesus both claim to be the good shepherd. Thanks for the verses.

Perhaps, then, I am confused about the Catholic version of the Trinity. For example, I keep reading that the Father is greater than the Son. Yet, it appears that Catholics claim that the Son is equal to the father. It seems clear that the Son is less, both on earth in the human form, and in the heavens. There are plenty of verses, like “the Father is Greater than I am,” Jesus praying to the Father, etc etc to establish his subservience on earth.

However, consider the Ancient of Days passage in Daniel. Who is the Ancient of Days, and who is the Son of man? The passage you gave from Matthew 23:31 shows that the Son of man is Christ returning.

Daniel 7:13
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, [one] like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

Is it the belief of the Catholic Church that Christ is both this Son of man and the Ancient of Days? I realize that the verse is prophecy concerning the end times, but even so, it is portraying one as separate, and less, than the other.

For further consideration, look to the book of Hebrews. This is perhaps the clearest group of verses, and is where my belief that Christ is not co-equal is derived from.

Hebrews 1:4
"[The Son,] Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. "

It appears that Christ attained his status and was made better than the angels.

Hebrews 1:5
For unto which of the angels said [the Father] at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

This day have I begotten thee means that yesterday he was not begotten.

Hebrews 1:6
And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

I’m just reading from the book, in order. In this verse he tells the angels to worship the Son.

If all the scriptures are the word of God, which I believe they are, this cannot be discounted. How can this be rectified in light of the good shepherd verses you provided? Thanks a lot for the verses, again.

[quote=dkward2]Catholic Dude:

Wow, that was a good post, thank you. Yahweh/Jehovah (the capital LORD) and Jesus both claim to be the good shepherd. Thanks for the verses.

Perhaps, then, I am confused about the Catholic version of the Trinity. For example, I keep reading that the Father is greater than the Son. Yet, it appears that Catholics claim that the Son is equal to the father. It seems clear that the Son is less, both on earth in the human form, and in the heavens. There are plenty of verses, like “the Father is Greater than I am,” Jesus praying to the Father, etc etc to establish his subservience on earth.

However, consider the Ancient of Days passage in Daniel. Who is the Ancient of Days, and who is the Son of man? The passage you gave from Matthew 23:31 shows that the Son of man is Christ returning.

Daniel 7:13
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, [one] like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

Is it the belief of the Catholic Church that Christ is both this Son of man and the Ancient of Days? I realize that the verse is prophecy concerning the end times, but even so, it is portraying one as separate, and less, than the other.

For further consideration, look to the book of Hebrews. This is perhaps the clearest group of verses, and is where my belief that Christ is not co-equal is derived from.

Hebrews 1:4
"[The Son,] Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. "

It appears that Christ attained his status and was made better than the angels.

Hebrews 1:5
For unto which of the angels said [the Father] at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

This day have I begotten thee means that yesterday he was not begotten.

Hebrews 1:6
And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

I’m just reading from the book, in order. In this verse he tells the angels to worship the Son.

If all the scriptures are the word of God, which I believe they are, this cannot be discounted. How can this be rectified in light of the good shepherd verses you provided? Thanks a lot for the verses, again.
[/quote]

I would suggest you read a book called Theology for Beginners by F.J. Sheed. I think that will answer most of your questions. Its less than 200 pages in paperback and easy for laymen to read.

Revelation 1:8 (King James Version)
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

Hi Ward, who do you expect to come at the second coming?

As for the John 5 text, verse 18, I understand to be John’s comemtary on the subject.

Verses 19 onward demonstrate how closely intertwined the nature and actions of the godhead are. Jesus the man can do nothing of himself. The son of god is so intertwined with the father elsewhere, Jesus can say if you see me you see the father. I am seeing a hebrew mindset that does not contradict each other, but instead discusses how close they are.

John 1:18
No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.

John 14
6Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know** my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

8Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

9Jesus answered: "Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.**

dkward2-

Perhaps, then, I am confused about the Catholic version of the Trinity. For example, I keep reading that the Father is greater than the Son. Yet, it appears that Catholics claim that the Son is equal to the father. It seems clear that the Son is less, both on earth in the human form, and in the heavens. There are plenty of verses, like “the Father is Greater than I am,” Jesus praying to the Father, etc etc to establish his subservience on earth.

In places like Phil2:5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

Jesus took on the role of a servant thats why it sounds like He is “less” than the Father. But as there are many passages that attest to the end days Jesus is the center of the glory and honor with the Father. On earth Jesus did everything from riding a donkey into town to washing the feet of His apostles.

However, consider the Ancient of Days passage in Daniel. Who is the Ancient of Days, and who is the Son of man? The passage you gave from Matthew 23:31 shows that the Son of man is Christ returning.

Daniel 7:13
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, [one] like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

Is it the belief of the Catholic Church that Christ is both this Son of man and the Ancient of Days? I realize that the verse is prophecy concerning the end times, but even so, it is portraying one as separate, and less, than the other.

Here is what I see in Dn7:13-14
13 I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. 14 And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.

Again we have to keep in mind the concept of “less” than the Father is due to the role of “servant” the Son took on, at the end of the day though there is one Kingdom being ruled over and only one King, as we see above this authority is attributed to the Son not deflecting it to the Ancient of Days.
(cont)

(cont)

For further consideration, look to the book of Hebrews. This is perhaps the clearest group of verses, and is where my belief that Christ is not co-equal is derived from.

Hebrews 1:4
"[The Son,] Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. "

It appears that Christ attained his status and was made better than the angels.

Lets back up a few verses:1 In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has obtained is more excellent than theirs.
First we see the Son is “heir of all things” and “co”-creator. He bears the “very stamp of his nature”, thats pretty powerful talk. In v4 I dont know if you can conclude the Son is “made”, my version says “become”, I dont know greek so I cant really know what the original greek passage is saying. But anyway, I think that passage only indicates that the Son is not an Angel should people mistakenly think that the Son is a glorified Angel, this verse erases that notion.

Hebrews 1:5
For unto which of the angels said [the Father] at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

This day have I begotten thee means that yesterday he was not begotten.

Begotten means coming forth out of, it doesnt have to mean there was a time when it didnt exist. A Christian name Augustine who lived in the early centuries used this analogy, when a fire starts burning, light come out of the fire. Light is begotten from the fire, but existed from the very second the fire started. As we know there is no “start” for the Father so that means from all times the Son has been eternally begotten. We know that the fire produces the light, hence the Father begets, but never existed without or before the light. Thats the central mystery of Christianity, a mystery in that we are limited by human words and thought to describe it, but it is not pie in the sky, as the Bible reveals many things Christians accept but cant fully comprehend due to our limitations.

Hebrews 1:6
And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

I’m just reading from the book, in order. In this verse he tells the angels to worship the Son.

I agree and in order for worship to not be considered breaking the 1st and 2nd Commandments it means the Angels must be worshipping God.

If all the scriptures are the word of God, which I believe they are, this cannot be discounted. How can this be rectified in light of the good shepherd verses you provided? Thanks a lot for the verses, again.

I agree that things cant be discounted, including talk like “greater than I” and “whoship the Son”. The Bible is both a easy book to understand but also a book that has confounded the greatest minds. I am no where near a Bible scholar, but I have come to see the Bible should be taken as a whole on issues like this as well as turing to trusted leaders to help us along.

Im not sure whats wrong, but the spacing and formatting for the above posts turned out really weird.

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