Sporadic theological and historical musings by Edgar Foster (Ph.D. in Theology and Religious Studies and one of Jehovah's Witnesses).
Thank you for posting this. The fundamental problem with these arguments is that they define Christ's death out of existence. It was only his human nature body that died and suffered, not the Trinitarian Jesus' divine person. Additionally, Jesus took back his sacrificed human nature body upon his human body's resurrection, thus he did not sacrifice anything that wasn't returned to him. It also leaves unaddressed how Jesus was helped by angels. Why would his human nature need to helped by angels if he was actually a divine person on par with the Father?
Jim, I agree with your remarks. You also once pointed out that Craig referred to the human nature of Christ dying, not just the person of the God-Man. I thought that was a good observation you made.
Hi Edgar, thank you. Yes, I noticed that when Trinitarians say "Jesus suffered and died," that they actually mean that his human nature suffered and died, but that he as a person did not die. So as a God-man, only the man died, not the God. I showed where some erudite Trinitarians teach this in my blog entry here in footnote 1, which says in part: [One] Trinitarian source confirms concisely that “Jesus died physically, but remained alive spiritually,” and that Jesus’ “essence did not die, nor could it” and “His physical body died, but His inner being is eternal and could not die.” (Houdmann, S. Michael. “Did God die? If Jesus was God, and Jesus died on the cross, does that mean God died?” www.gotquestions.org/did-God-die.html) This position was also presented by one of the brightest minds of Trinitarianism, Dr. William Lane Craig, in this video: “Was God Dead for Three Days?” youtu.be/g4uhWvEpAvk, specifically from 0:55 to the end. Here he stated:“So when Jesus died on the cross, his human nature died, not his divine nature, he died as a man. Human death is the separation of the soul from the body, and that's what happened when Jesus expired on the cross. His soul was separated from his body, which then became a lifeless corpse and was laid in the tomb, and then later we Christians believe was raised from the dead. So you can see that the divine nature, the divine person of Christ, is not in any way, um, extinguished in the death of the human nature of Christ on the cross.”Thus he confirms the Trinitarian position that the person of Jesus never died, it was just his human nature on earth that expired. (end quote)But this certainly gives Trinitarianism a heretical ring of docetism, of only appearing to suffer and die, as I presented here. These unaddressed problems, together with how Jesus the "God-man" needed comforting and strengthening from angels, presents a very bewildering--and equally unconvincing--paradigm.
Good points, Jim. I'd like to say a little more at a later time about this subject. I always learned that it was the God-Man as one hypostasis who died, although there's nothing wrong with saying that Christ died qua his human ousia. But it does seem problematic to say a nature died, but the other one did not. Appreciate your thoughts.
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