- Jesus was partially God and partially human.
- Jesus was a human being who was adopted by God or elevated to divine status.
- Jesus was God pretending to be a human being (Docetism).
- Jesus was a divine person and a human person occupying the same space.
- Jesus was fully divine and fully human in one person .
- Christ came into existence when Jesus was born in Palestine around the year 1 CE. Although the New Testament as we have it would rule out this position, before there was a New Testament some followed Jesus as a great teacher but not a being that existed prior to physical birth.
- Jesus was begotten by God as the firstborn son even before the world was created. As the language of father and son makes clear, there was a time when the Father existed and the Son did not. The Father and Son are extremely close in nature, but only God the Father is eternal and God the Son came along later (Arianism).
- Jesus is eternally begotten by God as the firstborn son of God. The metaphor of father and son should not be taken so literally as to mean the Son is derivative of or subordinate to the Father. There never was a time when the Father existed and the Son did not.
They did not expect the nature of God to be fully graspable by humans, since humans are generally stupid in comparison with God
Again, only the last went on to be accepted in Christianity as it survived. The bishops at Nicaea recognized that concepts such as “fully divine and fully human” and “eternally begotten” are difficult to grasp in human terms. This did not bother them, however. These irresolvable logical short-circuits were called “ mysteries ” and were designed to blow your mind more than to make sense.
Once one accepts that God the Father and God the Son are two persons in one eternal being, it is not hard to extend the same logic to the Holy Spirit. This is the idea of the Trinity: the belief that God is truly one God and three persons in one God. For Jews and Muslims, this is impossible and compromises the oneness of God. Even if it is not possible for humans to fully grasp, Christians assert that it is possible for God. One implication is that God is relational https://rksloans.com/title-loans-md/ not only with us, God’s creatures, but within God’s own nature. God cannot be thought of as having a disagreement such that two persons would vote against the third person. However, it does suggest that the order of the cosmos, the way of God which we strive to imitate, is more collaborative than individualistic.
Figure 4. In older art the Trinity is often represented as an old man, a young man, and a dove. In more recent art one might see three identical connected figures. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
4.1.4. Documents: The Nicene Creed
Below is the creed (statement of belief) largely formulated by the council of Nicaea to articulate the three persons of God, the eternality of God the Son, and the full humanity of Jesus. Almost all Christians today accept this statement of belief according to some interpretation.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ , the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin e man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.