From: george murphy (email@example.com)
Date: Thu Dec 12 2002 - 17:44:57 EST
"Alexanian, Moorad" wrote:
> These sort of questions sound a bit strange in view of the
>following verses: ĺ─¨Through Him all things were made; without Him
>nothing was made that has been made.ĺ─¨ John 1:3. Moorad
"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14).
In response to Moorad's comment and a similar one of Sheila,
the question isn't whether or not the eternal 2d Person of the
Trinity knows certain things. It is whether the Word
become flesh, Jesus of Nazareth, between ~ 4 B.C. & 30 A.D., knew
that the earth was round, the genetic code, &c.
The church's classic statements about Christ, God Incarnate,
insist that while he is one divine person, he possesses everything
proper to full human - as well as divine - nature.
I.e. that he had a complete human body & mind & all functions proper
to them. One then has to ask about the relationship between the
infinite divine mind and the finite human one. One
can argue that the human mind of Christ, while finite, had access to
everything in the infinite divine mind, rather as a computer with
relatively small memory might have access to the
memory of another much larger computer. (Thomas V. Morris develops
such an analogy in _The Logic of God Incarnate_.) But there is no
compelling reason to say that this was indeed the
case during Jesus' earthly life.
It is obvious that Jesus did not make use of full, unlimited,
divine abilities in everything he did on earth. He normally got from
one place to another by walking, not by
utilizing divine omnipresence.
The question then is whether those divine powers were simply "hidden"
most of the time or whether in assuming human nature he in fact
"emptied himself" of them, as Phil.2:5-11 suggests. I
think that the latter type of "kenotic" theology is closer to the
truth. But as I said in my earlier post, we do not in fact know
enough about the historical Jesus' consciousness, memory
&c to be able to make dogmatic statements about this.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: George Murphy [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Thu 12/12/2002 11:15 AM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Did Jesus know the genetic code?
> The question posed in my subject heading is, on one level, as
> reasonable as "Did
> Jesus know that the earth was round?" If one claims that, because he
> was the Son of God
> he must have known that the earth was round then he must have also
> know that it isn't
> exactly spherical, its quadrupole, octupole &c moments as well as the
> genetic code, the
> details of nuclear fusion &c.
> There is no compelling reason to make such a claim - & also
> no drop-dead
> argument to reject it. I belive that the divine kenosis
>should be taken with
> complete seriousness, that God Incarnate lived a human life under the
> conditions of
> finite humanity in 1st century Palestine, & that limitation of
> knowledge was part of
> this. Some NT texts (Mk.5:30 & 13:32, Lk.2:52) point
>rather explicitly in this
> direction. OTOH, he was (& is) God Incarnate & when all is said and
> done, we don't have
> access to the inner workings of his mind.
> That's "on one level," the theological. On the purely
> historical level there's
> nothing impossible about Jesus having known the shape of the earth -
> & even its size -
> found by Greek science. There was a strong presence of
>hellenistic culture in
> Palestine, & we simply don't know how much familiarity with it Jesus
> had. OTOH we have
> no indication in the gospels that he ever gave any thought to the
> shape of the earth,
> nobody trying to trap him by asking, "Rabbi, is the earth
>round or flat" &c.
> So the question about Jesus' views on the shape of the earth
> may be like asking
> what I think is the world's greatest soccer team. I've never given
> any thought to it,
> don't know, & don't very much care.
> George L. Murphy
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