Was Jesus A Man Before the Incarnation?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Marcia, Sep 1, 2006.

  1. Marcia

    Marcia
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    This issue arose on another thread - I wanted to raise it here where I hope there will be some good responses!

    I do not think that Jesus was not a man before the incarnation. The incarnation was all about Jesus becoming human, which is the same as becoming a man. That's another point, as the person disputing this said that being human and being a man are not the same thing, if I understood him correctly.

    When Jesus incarnated, he became a man by adding on a human nature and body. The main support for this is Hebrews 2. The OT appearances of Jesus, even if he appeared as a man, do not say or mean he became a man at that time.

    I am raising this here to clarify the issue.
     
    #1 Marcia, Sep 1, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 1, 2006
  2. NateT

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    If Jesus was a man before the incarnation (or even human if there is a man/human distinction) then you wind up with adoptionism. The church ruled that heresy with the Arian controversy of Nicea(?)

    If Jesus was a man before incarnation then He was created (as man is not eternal) and therefore, not of the same nature as God. This leaves only the possibility that God adopted him at some point to fulfill his role.
     
  3. Jarthur001

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    Not really. The Nicea gathering was about if Jesus was God.

    The Creed of Nicea
    325 A.D

    We believe in one God, the Father All-sovereign, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible;

    And in one Lord Jesus Christ, and the only-begotten Son of God, Begotten of the Father before all the ages, Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten not made, of one substance with the Father, through whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from the heavens, and was made flesh of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man, and was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried, and rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures, and ascended into the heavens, and sits on the right hand of the Father, and comes again with glory to judge living and dead, of whose kingdom there shall be no end:

    And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and the Life-giver, that proceeds from the Father, who with the Father and Son is worshipped together and glorified together, who spoke through the prophets:

    In one holy catholic and apostolic church:

    We acknowledge one baptism unto remission of sins. We look for a resurrection of the dead, and the life of the age to come.
     
  4. Brandon C. Jones

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    The orthodox position certainly is that Jesus became a man in the incarnation. The difference between being human and being a man does not fall outside of semantics (I contend there is no difference at all, but certainly no substantive difference). Passages which speak of Christophanies do not entail that the Son (or second person of the trinity if you like) was a man (or human if you like) before the incarnation. The Bible points to one event in which the Son became a man, and that is the Incarnation.

    BJ
     
  5. Jarthur001

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    I agree. John 1...The Word was made flesh.

    BTW Nate may have been thinking of the The Apostles' Creed which did deal with Christ human side. When the Apostles' Creed was drawn up, the chief enemy was Gnosticism, which denied that Jesus was truly Man.

    The Apostles' Creed

    I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
    the Creator of heaven and earth,
    and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

    Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
    born of the Virgin Mary,
    suffered under Pontius Pilate,
    was crucified, died, and was buried.

    He descended into hell. [See Calvin]

    The third day He arose again from the dead.

    He ascended into heaven
    and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
    whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

    I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy *catholic church,
    the communion of saints,
    the forgiveness of sins,
    the resurrection of the body,
    and life everlasting.

    Amen.
     
  6. NateT

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    Wasn't Nicea the debate between (essentially) Arius and Athanasius? Where Athanasius argued that the begotteness of Jesus was begotten by essence/nature and not temporaly? And wasn't that to combat Arius' view that Jesus was the first created being? I remember reading the debate taking place, and the creed makes me think it was Nicea.

    If it was, then Athanasius' point was that Jesus was the same essence of God. Whereas Arius was arguing that Jesus was man who became God (instead of the other way around). I think the view of the OP is similar to Arius' view that Jesus was man who became God. The difference being the argument from the OP would be that Jesus was preexistent man, but man nevertheless.
     
  7. Plain Old Bill

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    Simply put this smacks of mormoism to me.Ask your friend who he thinks Christ Jesus really is.
     
  8. Marcia

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    It's not someone I know - it's a Baptist on the BB! See the discussion down in Other Christian Denominations about what Jesus was like before the incarnation.
     
  9. UnchartedSpirit

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    Many OT passages describe him as an Angel, so I don't think he became a letter lower than that before entering Mary.
     
  10. Jarthur001

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    see next post..
     
    #10 Jarthur001, Sep 1, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 1, 2006
  11. Jarthur001

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    Hello Nate,

    Indeed it was, therefore the debate was over the deity of Christ and not over him being human.

    The OP..
    Notice that the Apostles Creed was weak on the deity of Christ. The reason is not because they did not believe it, but it was overlooked because of what the creed was dealing with at the time. The Apostles Creed was dealing with Gnosticism which is the doctrine of salvation by knowledge. Gnosticism claimed Christ was not human. Therefore the Apostles Creed was address this and overlooked the deity of Christ.

    This lead to many heresy including the Arian controversy that you talked about. This is something we still deal with today, with JWs and other groups. These groups point to the the Apostles Creed ..the 1st known creed, if I remember right, as proof that Christ was not God. The church had to deal with this as you rightly stated with the Arian's. It should be noted, this was not the only group. Montanism was another group and believe it or not Paulicians held to the same faith. Why I say believe it or not, some mislead Baptist claim they come from the Paulicians..or that Paulicians are early Baptist. They say this only because they (Paulicians) left the RCC. Yet the Paulicians was a very bad group... a group that the JWs love. see link..

    http://experts.about.com/q/Christianity-Church-History-2348/Paulicians.htm

    Anyway...the Church seeing this weakness in the creed and facing these outsdie groups held the 1st gathering of Nicea. this was in 325

    Now you see a stronger statement on the deity of Christ. You are right in that the big fight was over begotten. Thus the statement.."begotten not made" as seen in bold.

    sorry....I love history. :)


    In Christ..James
     
  12. Jarthur001

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    I would disagree STRONGLY!!!!!. This is the JW view.

    Read Hebrews 1 and 2.

    When Angel is used, it means "messager" in most cases. Context tells us if this is a real angel or Christ. If it is Christ its meaning is messager. Angels are made by God. Christ IS God.



    In Christ...James
     
  13. El_Guero

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    Amen! Preach it!
     
  14. webdog

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    Marcia, you are totally misrepresenting what I'm trying to say. I believe Jesus had a body prior to becoming human. What that body consists of, I can only guess it's maybe the same body He ascended to Heaven with. We see where The Angel of God (different than "an" angel of God) walked, ate, wrestled, etc. God is Spirit...so who was The Angel of God (deity)? To deny that is to deny that Christ was not the third member of the Godhead...and He exists now different than He existed prior to coming to earth.
     
    #14 webdog, Sep 1, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 1, 2006
  15. DeeJay

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    Nothing like LDS theology. Mormons would agree with Marcia that Jesus was spirit and got a body when he came to earth.

    Mormons would take that to far and disagree with Marcia (i hope) and say that we all pre-existed as spirits and got our bodies when we came to earth. Remember Mormons think Jesus is just one of us. Our older brother.
     
  16. DeeJay

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    Bill

    Here is your Mormonisem.
     
  17. Marcia

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    I am sorry if I misunderstood you, but you said this:
    When I said Jesus became fully man in the incarnation, you responded:
    So what's the difference between fully man and human?

    Just because Jesus appeared on earth in the OT in a certain form, that does not mean it was permanent! That is not the same as having a human body.
     
  18. Marcia

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    I really resent what I said being compared to Mormon beliefs! What I said, DeeJay, is orthodox Christian belief - that Jesus did not have a human body before he incarnated. That is 100% totally historical, Christian, orthodox, biblical belief!

    When Mormons say this, they mean something entirely different, as you pointed out -- about how we all were spirits and took on bodies on earth (according to LDS teachings). This is NOT what I said!!!!!
     
  19. webdog

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    http://www.baptistboard.com/showpost.php?p=849360&postcount=26
     
  20. webdog

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    Human, in the Hebrew, means "species", what we are. In the same sense animals are a species, humans are too. It is said that God is 100% God and 100% Man. How? He only exists like that now, and 3000 years ago He existed as something else?

    Human
    HU'MAN, a. [L. humanus; Heb. form, species.]
    1. Belonging to man or mankind; pertaining or relating to the race of man; as a human voice; human shape; human nature; human knowledge; human life.
    2. Having the qualities of a man.
     

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