The knowledge of Christ


#1

I have been fighting what I believe to be a heresy for a while now. There are some people of the Catholic Church who believe that Jesus was deprived of His Divine intellect when He became man, thus did not know everything that was going to happen to Him. some even say that He didn’t even know that He was the Son of God until He was baptized, but that He just knew there was something special about Himself. The scarriest part about all of this…it was told to me by my parish priest. He said that if Jesus had known everything that was going to happen to Him by virtue of being God, His whole life would have just been a scripted play and He would not have had the full human experience. I am right in saying this is totally wrong, aren’t I?


#2

From Ott:

Christ’s human knowledge was free from positive ignorance and from error. (Sent. certa.)

Catechism:

474 By its union to the divine wisdom in the person of the Word incarnate, Christ enjoyed in his human knowledge the fullness of understanding of the eternal plans he had come to reveal. What he admitted to not knowing in this area, he elsewhere declared himself not sent to reveal.

Scott


#3

Thanks Scott! I thought I was right about that! So does this mean my parish priest is either uneducated or in heresy with the Church? And if so, is there anything that I can really do about it? This is a pretty common belief throughout my parish now. I think most of my Catholics peers (18 - 20 year olds) believe in it because it was taught in our Catholic highschool. Is there something I’m obligated to do about this? Should I report this priest to the Cardinal or something?


#4

[quote=ContraFool]I have been fighting what I believe to be a heresy for a while now. There are some people of the Catholic Church who believe that Jesus was deprived of His Divine intellect when He became man, thus did not know everything that was going to happen to Him. some even say that He didn’t even know that He was the Son of God until He was baptized, but that He just knew there was something special about Himself. The scarriest part about all of this…it was told to me by my parish priest. He said that if Jesus had known everything that was going to happen to Him by virtue of being God, His whole life would have just been a scripted play and He would not have had the full human experience. I am right in saying this is totally wrong, aren’t I?
[/quote]

Jesus Christ is true God and true man yes, but He possesses two natures, one divine and the other human. These natures are united in the one person of God’s son. Christ , being true God and True man has a human intellect and will that is perfectly in tune to his divine intellect and will. This is the way He was born of the Virgin Mary. He couldn’t have changed as this would be denying his divinity. He knew that he would have to suffer for mans sins. God himself chose to come into this world after…Adam, Moses, as they were capable of sin and Christ, being God, was not.


#5

[quote=Hudsonite]Jesus Christ is true God and true man yes, but He possesses two natures, one divine and the other human. These natures are united in the one person of God’s son. Christ , being true God and True man has a human intellect and will that is perfectly in tune to his divine intellect and will. This is the way He was born of the Virgin Mary. He couldn’t have changed as this would be denying his divinity. He knew that he would have to suffer for mans sins. God himself chose to come into this world after…Adam, Moses, as they were capable of sin and Christ, being God, was not.
[/quote]

Thanks much. this is what I have always believed.


#6

Jesus Himself says “neither knows any man the Father, save the Son” [Matthew 11:27]. For Jesus to claim such knowledge, Jesus’ knowledge would have to be infinite, because who can know the infinite except one who is likewise infinite. Hence we can say Jesus has infinite knowledge.

Peter himself, when asked by Jesus if he[Peter] loves Him, likewise said: “Lord thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee” (John 21:17). Jesus could have corrected Peter if what Peter said wasn’t true but He didn’t, which means Peter spoke rightly of Christ’s knowledge.

Gerry :slight_smile:


#7

[quote=ContraFool]I have been fighting what I believe to be a heresy for a while now. There are some people of the Catholic Church who believe that Jesus was deprived of His Divine intellect when He became man, thus did not know everything that was going to happen to Him. some even say that He didn’t even know that He was the Son of God until He was baptized, but that He just knew there was something special about Himself. The scarriest part about all of this…it was told to me by my parish priest. He said that if Jesus had known everything that was going to happen to Him by virtue of being God, His whole life would have just been a scripted play and He would not have had the full human experience. I am right in saying this is totally wrong, aren’t I?
[/quote]

You are certainly correct. I remember talking about this heresy with some people here at school. I can’t remember what heresy it is. It might be from the nestorian Heresy.


#8

[quote=ContraFool] some even say that He didn’t even know that He was the Son of God until He was baptized, but that He just knew there was something special about Himself.
[/quote]

This seems to be a variant of the 3rd century heresy called Monarchianism, promoted by Theodotus, which taught that Christ was born a mere man on whom the power of God later came, usually reckoned to be the time when John the Baptist baptized Him, and who was then “adopted” or constituted the Son of God.

Gerry :slight_smile:


#9

Jesus had both a human and a divine nature. In His divine nature He knew all things. In His human nature, he “progressed steadily in wisdom.” (Luke 2:52)


#10

Just as in His human nature, Christ still had to sleep and eat, though as God He has no need of those things.

Gerry :slight_smile:


#11

[quote=ContraFool]I have been fighting what I believe to be a heresy for a while now. There are some people of the Catholic Church who believe that Jesus was deprived of His Divine intellect when He became man, thus did not know everything that was going to happen to Him. some even say that He didn’t even know that He was the Son of God until He was baptized, but that He just knew there was something special about Himself. The scarriest part about all of this…it was told to me by my parish priest. He said that if Jesus had known everything that was going to happen to Him by virtue of being God, His whole life would have just been a scripted play and He would not have had the full human experience. I am right in saying this is totally wrong, aren’t I?
[/quote]

Some of these beliefs are popularized by dissenting theologians but the official teaching on this matter is clear and I would advise you to follow such a teaching.

Antonio :slight_smile:


#12

Indeed I do…and always have. Just wish I could make others go along with me.


#13

[quote=ContraFool]Indeed I do…and always have. Just wish I could make others go along with me.
[/quote]

I like your handle “ContraFool”. Short and powerful. :slight_smile:


#14

[quote=ContraFool]Indeed I do…and always have. Just wish I could make others go along with me.
[/quote]

The International Theological Commision in the presence of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, came to some very clear conclusions about this subject. They discussed it as part of the questions posed by various theologians on the subject of Christology. The name of the Document is *The Consciousness of Christ Concerning Himself and His Mission. *Ignatius Press issued the book and its name is *International Theological Commission: Texts and Documents 1969-1985, *Preface by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, page 305.
BTW, I presume there is another bulky volume from 1985 to the present.

You can only convince others if they honestly want to examine the question and be guided by your knowledge of the subject. One of my brothers left the Catholic Church years ago and even though he knows I could clarify lots of questions he has on the Catholic faith, he never approaches me with that subject.

Antonio :slight_smile:


#15

So there is little chance of being able to bring the whole Parish back on the same track as the Church?


#16

This is something that’s troubled me also to some degree. Though I’ve not encountered the extreme version you have encountered, except in learning about “Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

Jason Evert’s book “Answering Jehovah’s Witnesses” says in regard to the ever present question of Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32 (no man knows the day or hour when heaven and earth will pass away, not even angels or the Son, but the Father alone knows). That was a summary, not a quote. I think those verses are what people eventually latch on to, if they can hold to nothing else. It’s what comes to my mind at least.

Evert says basically on p. 85 that other portions of Scripture, such as John 16:30 and 21:17 make it clear that Jesus does know everything… one must necessarily make a distinction between Christ’s human nature and divine nature. When Jesus seemingly doesn’t know something, it is because He is speaking from His limited human nature; contrarily, when He “knows everything,” He is speaking from His divine nature.

I’m not sure if that is a completely satisfactory answer. I thought it kind of odd myself. But taken in line with the CCC 474, it makes pretty good sense. Evert’s opinion is not necessarily that of the Magesterium though.

Also, you may check out St. Augustine’s major work on the Trinity. I think he addresses it in Book 1. Just read it all though :slight_smile: St. Augustine ranks higher than Jason Evert (no offense to Evert, I learned a lot from his book) on the “scale” of Catholic authority. I’m sure Jason would agree with me on that, knowing I imply only good to him, but more good to Augustine
(I Corinthians 15:41).


#17

Thanks!! I have that name because of my true and deep love for contra dancing!

[quote=porthos11]I like your handle “ContraFool”. Short and powerful. :slight_smile:
[/quote]


#18

Oh, thank you very much. It seems to me that the main concern of the priest of my church is not Jesus’ power to speak on matters of faith…but rather His knowledge of “Everything” gave Him knowledge of His day to day existence. Like could He say for certain what His mother was going to have for breakfast a week in advance? I think that He could, because His divine nature is in communion with His human nature, so the knowledge of “everything” was never something He could be without. With reference to that one passage I had always thought that Jesus meant that He just wasn’t meant to pass on the knowledge…not that He really didn’t know the answer. Also, another passage that my priest mentioned was something from Paul, though I don’t remember it exactly. He says that Christ “emptied” Himself when He became man, but I think that suffering a painful death on a cross is empty enough for God without having to take His knowledge too.

[quote=Reformed Rob]This is something that’s troubled me also to some degree. Though I’ve not encountered the extreme version you have encountered, except in learning about “Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

Jason Evert’s book “Answering Jehovah’s Witnesses” says in regard to the ever present question of Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32 (no man knows the day or hour when heaven and earth will pass away, not even angels or the Son, but the Father alone knows). That was a summary, not a quote. I think those verses are what people eventually latch on to, if they can hold to nothing else. It’s what comes to my mind at least.

Evert says basically on p. 85 that other portions of Scripture, such as John 16:30 and 21:17 make it clear that Jesus does know everything… one must necessarily make a distinction between Christ’s human nature and divine nature. When Jesus seemingly doesn’t know something, it is because He is speaking from His limited human nature; contrarily, when He “knows everything,” He is speaking from His divine nature.

I’m not sure if that is a completely satisfactory answer. I thought it kind of odd myself. But taken in line with the CCC 474, it makes pretty good sense. Evert’s opinion is not necessarily that of the Magesterium though.

Also, you may check out St. Augustine’s major work on the Trinity. I think he addresses it in Book 1. Just read it all though :slight_smile: St. Augustine ranks higher than Jason Evert (no offense to Evert, I learned a lot from his book) on the “scale” of Catholic authority. I’m sure Jason would agree with me on that, knowing I imply only good to him, but more good to Augustine
(I Corinthians 15:41).
[/quote]


#19

‘This seems to be a variant of the 3rd century heresy called Monarchianism, promoted by Theodotus’

indeed. but let’s not confuse this theodotus with st theodotus. i think he’d be offended. :slight_smile:


#20

[quote=jeffreedy789]‘This seems to be a variant of the 3rd century heresy called Monarchianism, promoted by Theodotus’

indeed. but let’s not confuse this theodotus with st theodotus. i think he’d be offended. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

A heretic cannot be a saint. This Theodotus I’m refering to came from Byzantium and came to Rome around 190 A.D.

St. Theodotus, on the other hand, lived during the time of Diocletian (Roman Emperor 284-305) and died a martyr during the last persecution of 303 A.D.

Gerry :).


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.