Trinity, Robert M. Bowman, Jr. includes a section dealing with so-called "paradoxes of Jesus." Bowman seemingly puts a nail in the coffin of non-Trinitarians
(particularly, Jehovah's Witnesses) who think that the Incarnation of Christ concept is notionally meaningless or incoherent (i.e contradictory). Bowman argues that since Christ was both 100% God and 100% man (fully God and fully human) while on earth, we should not be surprised to read Bible verses that picture the Son of God both professing ignorance of the "day and hour" in Mk 13:32 and knowing "all things" in Jn 16:30.
Bowman also contends that while it is true that God cannot be tempted (James 1:13) and Jesus could be (and was) tempted in the days of his flesh (Heb 4:15)--Jesus could not sin (Jn 5:19).
There are other texts that Bowman appeals to in order to support the Incarnation as a biblical concept. I pick these two arguments to focus on though because they seem blatantly problematic to me.
Firstly, Jesus' disciples did say that he knew "all things" (OIDAS PANTA) in the Johannine verse mentioned by Bowman (Jn 16:30). As with other biblical texts, however, we must not only note what the Bible says; we must also seek to ascertain what a given scriptural utterance means. Were Jesus' disciples actually saying that they believed he was omniscient? If so, this would be a remarkable confession from a group of first century monotheistic Jews. In fact, it is highly unlikely that Jesus' followers were attributing omniscience to him. Mr. Bowman seems to be engaging in what a friend of mine has called "prestidigitation." His handling of Jn 16:30 does not appear to be all that rigorous, and it is evidently driven by some type of personal ideology. Simply put,
Jn 16:30 does not teach that Christ was or is omniscient.
PANTA is apparently not employed in an absolute sense at Jn 16:30. John's use of the Greek word should be construed in a relative sense, meaning that Christ knew "all things" to a degree. To illustrate what I am saying about Jn 16:30, I appeal to 1 Jn 2:27:
ALL' hWS TO AUTOU XRISMA DIDASKEI hUMAS PERI PANTWN . . .
In this passage, John informs his readers that God's "anointing" teaches spirit-begotten Christians about "all things." Yet, John is not employing PANTWN here in an absolute sense. The spirit of God does not teach those whom God anoints about physics, geometry, logic, foreign languages or marine biology. The children of God are taught subject matter that concerns everlasting life or salvation (1 Jn 2:25), not knowledge associated with the famed quadrivium or trivium (et al.).
Trinitarian commentator Gerald Borchert explains Jn 16:30 thus:
They [the disciples] were partly correct in their
assumption that Jesus had great knowledge . . . Their
generalization of how much knowledge Jesus had ('all
things,' PANTA) was, however, a typical human
overstatement that was far beyond their actual
capacity to comprehend. It was merely one of their
assumptions. Such an assumption has often become part
of our theological assumptions about the incarnate
Jesus' knowledge, even though elsewhere, for example,
he states that he did not know the time of the end
(cf. Mark 13:32). Moreover, Paul states that he
'emptied himself' ('made himself nothing,' NIV;
hEAUTON EKENWSEN, Phil 2:7), although we are not quite
sure of the full implications of that statement
(John 12-21, page 180).
In Alford's Greek testament, we read this paraphrase
of Jn 16:30:
Thou hast spoken so clearly of our feeling towards
Thee and of Thyself, that we have no occasion to ask
Thee anything;--and this was what Thou didst announce
would be;--we know therefore, by its being so, that
Thou knowest the secrets of our hearts (PANTA by
inference),--and hence believe that Thou camest forth
Notice that Alford limits PANTA to the "secrets" of the disciples' hearts. Bowman may claim that only God can read hearts, but the disciples did not necessarily believe that only God could discern hearts. They affirmed that Christ was "from God" and it is conceivable that they believed Christ had knowledge of human thoughts based on the things he learned from his Father (Jn 7:16-18) In any event, it seems clear that the disciples were not imputing omniscience to Christ. A "great knowledge" of many things or an intimate acquaintance with a vast array of facts does not make one omniscient in the absolute sense of the term. Contra Borchert, I tend to believe that the words of Jn 16:30 simply constitute an idiomatic way to use a Greek term that can mean "all things." It is not necessarily an "overstatement," but Borchert nonetheless illustrates why one need not interpret the text as an apostolic declaration of Christ's omniscience.
As a closing note, has anyone else noticed how problematic it is to use Jn 5:19 as a proof that Christ was sinless or could not sin? The context of the passage is dealing with Christ observing and emulating the works of the Father toward the creation. The text has nothing to do with Christ's ability or inability to sin.