True Discipleship Modeled in Luke 8

As we progress through Luke, we come today to another of Luke’s main topics that he discusses throughout His gospel, discipleship. What is interesting is how Luke portrays the women as models of discipleship. As he begins to display discipleship, the women who accompanied Jesus are shown in a very positive light. They often will exhibit a response that reflect a more faithful attitude than that of the twelve. We end chapter eight with another example of Jesus’ healing and how that transcend societal norms.


Luke 8:1-3 offers a unique reference to the early days in Jesus’ ministry that shows women participating, ministering and serving in it as “disciples.”[1] The women were “with him” from the beginning and were faithful to that call. The verb that is used in the passage indicates a permanence, or that it was continuous and not sporadic.[2] In introducing the female disciples, Luke prepares “the reader for the role they would play at the crucifixion (23:49), the empty tomb (24:1-11), and perhaps in the early church (Acts 1:14).”[3] Luke 8:1-3 is an important passage for women because it indicates that Jesus’ attitude was different from other rabbi’s of that time (cf. John 4:27).[4] This portrait of Jesus’ relationship with these women and the way He treated them with dignity, respect and honor were very unusual in the first century.[5] These women essentially modeled the words Jesus spoke in Luke 14:26 and 18:28-30 about leaving everything to follow Him. More often than not, Luke presents women as examples of faith, sometimes in contrast to the male disciples (cf. 24:1-11).[6]

Luke concludes chapter eight with another pairing of cures (8:26-56). A Gerasene is cured of demon possession and two women are cured of physical ailments, one who has been hemorrhaging for twelve years and the other who is dying. Once again, this episode demonstrates how Jesus transcends the normal divisions in society and display a reversal on the normal by touching the “unclean.” Jesus helps all those in need and sees all individuals as equal, regardless of gender.[7]


[1] Maly, “Women and the Gospel of Luke,” 102-3. Also see Rosalie, Ryan, “The Women from Galilee and Discipleship in Luke,” Biblical Theology Bulletin: A Journal of Bible and Theology 15 (1985): 58.

[2] Maly, “Women and the Gospel of Luke,” 102-3.

[3] R. H. Stein, Luke, vol. 24 (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992), 240.

[4] Ibid.

[5] R. C. Sproul, A Walk with God: An Exposition of Luke, (Great Britain: Christian Focus, 1999), 158.

[6] Joel B. Green, The Theology of the Gospel of Luke, (New York: Cambridge Press, 1995), 128.

[7] Kopas, “Jesus and Women: Luke’s Gospel,” 197-98.

The Significance of Women in Luke: Luke’s Writing Style, pt 3

As we continue to look at Luke and how he emphasized women in his narrative, today we begin to see how his writing style was used to show the difference between a male response and a female response. As will be briefly discussed shortly, Luke uses a style called “pairing” that provides a unique comparison in different situations that the other writers do not use. In an effort to show this, we will start our analysis of Luke’s Gospel by first looking at the first two chapters of Luke and the birth narrative.

Luke: The Style of Pairing and Passage Analysis

Luke uses a unique writing style of “pairing” wherein he presents a number of linked pairs or groups of similar types of events or parables together.[1] A high proportion of these references are to male and female which is not always about comparison, but suggest a measure of equality that was unexpected in the time of Jesus.[2] Another unique aspect of Luke’s style is that he focuses on women who are exemplars of poorness and lowliness before God that finds expression in barrenness, widowhood, spiritual or actual neediness, or service to the poor.[3] In many of the pairing cases, the story about the man is traditional and the one about the woman is special to Luke.[4] Lucan “pairs” can be detected in almost every chapter of the Gospel.[5]

The Pregnancy and Birth Narrative

The first pairing example in Luke’s Gospel is found in the birth announcements made to Zechariah (Luke 1:5-23) and to Mary (1:26-38). This is one of several incidents that contrasts the male and female response. Mary’s questioning of the messenger is rooted in faith, where Zechariah’s is not.[6] In response, Zechariah is punished and Mary is blessed. It is Mary who provides a better example of true faith.

The miraculous conceptions and births from the closed wombs of Mary and Elizabeth described in Luke offer an interesting portrait. At the start of the Gospel, there are two women, one old, one young, both childless. The barrenness of Israel under the old law, as represented by Elizabeth, will be the last of the prophets that will herald in the Messiah.[7] It is compared to the virgin’s womb who brings the new law, the message of salvation and grace. This new covenant will afford women a greater role that is suggested by making Mary, not Joseph, the recipient of the angelic message.[8]

Mary’s subsequent encounter with Elizabeth (1:39-45), introduces another example of a distinctive contribution of women in Luke’s presentation. They both identify with the lowly and oppressed.[9] Elizabeth tells Mary she is blessed because she believed, and the two of them stand together as faithful listeners and hearers.[10] “It is Elizabeth and Mary, not Zechariah and Joseph, who are first to receive the message of Christ’s coming, who are praised and blessed by God’s angels, and who are first to sing and prophesy about the Christ child.”[11] They are not just witnesses, but active participants in God’s redeeming purposes. Elizabeth and Mary are the most prominent characters in the first two chapters of Luke, yet Elizabeth does not appear in the other Gospels.[12]

Another example of pairing in the dual examples of Simeon and Anna (2:25-38). Both are in the temple, both praise God, both give witness to the fulfillment of the promise, and both are shown to be faithful.[13] Anna, a barren widow who served God faithfully (2:37) and was eager to speak of the Lord Jesus and His redemption, is described as a prophetess. The fact that she is a prophetess and her testimony was valued just as much as Simeon’s shows Luke’s theme of equality.

The women of the pregnancy stories, Anna, Elizabeth, and Mary, are recognized in Luke as demonstrating patience, prayer, praise, and faith – marks of true discipleship.[14]


 

[1] Mary Benson, “The Women of Luke’s Gospel,” Testimony Magazine, 2007, accessed March 14, 2015,  http://www.testimony-magazine.org/back/aug2007/benson1.pdf

[2] Kopas, “Jesus and Women: Luke’s Gospel,” 192.

[3] Kopas, “Jesus and Women: Luke’s Gospel,” 192.

[4] D’Angelo, “Women in Luke-Acts: A Redactional View,” 444.

[5] Ibid, 445-46,

[6] Kopas, “Jesus and Women: Luke’s Gospel,” 193.

[7] Benson, “The Women of Luke’s Gospel.”

[8] Kopas, “Jesus and Women: Luke’s Gospel,” 193.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ben Witherington III, Women in the Earliest Churches, (New York: Cambridge Press, 1991), 134.

[12] Benson, “The Women of Luke’s Gospel.”

[13] Kopas, “Jesus and Women: Luke’s Gospel,” 195.

[14] D’Angelo, “Women in Luke-Acts: A Redactional View,” 448.

The Significance of Women in Luke: A Radical Reversal

Following the introductory post about why Luke seemed to have a greater number of stories about women than the other Gospel writers, today we look at the reasons why Luke may have been more open to speaking about women. Because Luke focuses on Jesus bringing salvation to more than just the Jews, as well as his prior education, we can start putting the pieces together with how his inspired narrative is formed. Today, we will see how Jesus changed society and the impact that had.

A Radical Reversal

Luke’s purpose was to show how God had turned society upside down when Jesus entered the world and displayed great love.[1] “Luke, both as an educated Gentile and as a physician, would naturally have a more open mind and heart to the socially deprived peoples of his day.”[2] Thus, it is not surprising that women are prominent in his Gospel. Throughout his narrative, the theme of reversal is seen with the positive attention given to women and the inclusion of the Samaritans and Gentiles.[3]

Luke’s portrayal of Mary, Jesus’ mother, is emblematic of how God reverses the misfortunes of the human condition. Mary’s Magnificat (1:46-50) exemplifies Luke’s new way of interpreting society that occurred through the entering of Christ into this world. The Magnificat, which resembles Hannah’s hymn (1 Sam 2:1-10), celebrates the reversal of human values and this form of justice to which the Sermon on Mount speaks.[4] In Mary’s song of praise, she echo’s Elizabeth’s prophecy showing that she and Elizabeth (1:41) are both filled with the Holy Spirit.[5] The Magnificat (1:46-56) displays a hymn of human solidarity both with others who have cried for deliverance and with the compassionate God.[6] Luke 23:5 displays how Jesus treated the minorities differently. He welcomed and admitted these peoples, particularly women, into his group which was unheard of in rabbinic circles.[7] This is further displayed in the story of Mary and Martha (10:38-42) where Jesus accepts Mary into His “rabbinical circle” as she listens to His words.

The cure of the crippled woman on the Sabbath (13:10-17), which can be paired with the Sabbath cure of the man with dropsy (14:1-6), reflects multiple significant reversal concepts. Jesus not only cures on the Sabbath, but He cures a woman on the Sabbath all to the dismay of an official; this is a double conflict that is only found in Luke. Then, Jesus refers to her as a daughter of Abraham, thus indicating participation in the religious life of Israel that was unimaginable.[8]

These stories then seem to show that while Jesus and in this case Luke do not outright condemn the social structures, they did go beyond those walls so that women could enjoy His ministry.[9] Since Jesus was radically changing society and relationships in society, Luke’s writing style must be examined along with these passages on women.

[1] Maly, “Women and the Gospel of Luke,” 99.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Luke Johnson, “The Gospel of Luke,” in Sacra Pagina, vol 3 (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1991), 22.

[4] Maly, “Women and the Gospel of Luke,” 102.

[5] Matthew Henry, “Luke,” in Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged, (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994), 1825.

[6] Jane Kopas, “Jesus and Women: Luke’s Gospel,” Theology Today 43 (1986): 193.

[7] Maly, “Women and the Gospel of Luke,” 102.

[8] Kopas, “Jesus and Women: Luke’s Gospel,” 199.

[9] Maly, “Women and the Gospel of Luke,” 104.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF WOMEN IN THE GOSPEL OF LUKE, pt 1

Moving from the studies of the Trinity now to focusing mainly on the Gospels, we start off this new series by looking at the Gospel of Luke.

Even though the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) report many of the same events and episodes in Jesus’ life, one would expect many similarities as well. However, each writer focuses on their own distinct emphasis and points of interests. Luke’s major characteristic themes include:

  1. universality, recognition of Gentiles as well as Jews in God’s plan (19:10);
  2. emphasis on prayer, especially Jesus’ praying before important occasions (3:21; 5:16; 6:12; 9:18, 28-29; 10:21; 11:1; 22:39-46; 23:34, 46);
  3. prominent place given to women (chs. 1, 2; 7:11-13, 36-50; 8:1-3; 10:38-42; 21:1-4; 23:27-31, 49; 23:55–24:11);
  4. special interest in poverty and wealth (1:52-53; 4:16-22; 6:20, 24-25; 12:13-21; 14:12-13; 19:19-31) [some of the rich were included among Jesus’ followers, but he seemed closest to the poor];
  5. concern for individuals, especially “sinners” (good Samaritan, 10:29-37; prodigal son, 15:11-32; thankful leper, 17:11-19; penitent tax collector, 18:9-14; Zacchaeus, 19:1-10; penitent thief, 23:39-43) [Jesus was a friend to those deep in sin];
  6. stress on the family circle (Jesus’ activity included men, women and children, with the setting frequently in the home);
  7. repeated use of the title “Son of Man” (e.g., 19:10);
  8. emphasis on joy (e.g., 1:14) and the Holy Spirit (e.g., 4:1).

From these themes, we see that it is important for Luke to discuss the significance of minorities and the forgotten of that period. From his background in the Greek culture, he had more exposure to the changing cultural attitudes of the day.

So what this post and the next few posts will focus on is how Luke gives women a prominent place in the inspired Gospel and possible reasons why. Luke includes many details in his writing that the other gospels do not, and some of those bring women into the mix. With this gospel, Luke is able to show the Jesus did not just come for a few, but for all. Instead of just taking the claim that Luke gave women a special role, let us look at the book of Luke and go through it carefully, examining every mention of a woman and how that fits in the overall theme of the book, which is Jesus (The Son of Man to use Luke’s words) brings salvation to all.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF WOMEN IN THE GOSPEL OF LUKE

The Gospel of Luke has often been regarded as sympathetic to women, as it provides more passages about women than any other Gospel, including 23 unique stories. Without the inspired writings of Luke, we would not know about the miraculous conception of Elizabeth, the prophetess Anna, Mary’s Magnificat, the woman anointing Jesus’ feet with her tears and costly oil, and of the women who accompanied Jesus in his travels and supported his ministry. The inspired writings of Luke describe the prominence of women in Christ’s ministry as he consistently portrays them as true examples of faith in spite of a culture that minimized women. Luke’s Gospel most importantly describes the significant roles women play from the very beginning of Jesus’ life and ministry.[1] The Gospel reveals Christ’s perfect love and tender compassion towards all women especially towards the suffering. The significance of women in the Gospel of Luke is demonstrated by the writer showcasing women’s faith and service and how Jesus reversed the societal norms by proclaiming a gospel of equality and inclusion. This paper will examine why Luke concentrates on women more than the other gospel writers, his possible motivation, his “pairing” writing style, and will examine individual passages.

Women and the Gospel of Luke

The author of Luke does increase the number of stories about the women in the Gospel, and that increase seems to be a deliberate choice.[2] It is significant that Luke pays so much attention to women in a culture dominated with focus on men. Luke mentions thirteen women not spoken of elsewhere in the Gospels, including two who formed the subject of parables. Luke, as a Gentile, would know much of the degradation of women and would be concerned to emphasize all he had heard of the attitude of the Lord towards them.[3] Luke’s Gospel begins and ends with the focus on women and their part in the story.[4] Luke focuses on women from the very beginning of Jesus’ life by pointing to Mary, not Joseph, who praised God with the birth announcement (Luke 1:46-55). Both Elizabeth (1:41-45) and Anna (2:36-38) also praised and blessed the Lord. There are many women in the Gospel, and there seems to be tendency for Luke to defend and praise women.

[1] Eugene H. Maly, “Women and the Gospel of Luke,” Biblical Theology Bulletin: A Journal of Bible and Theology 10 (1980): 99.

[2] Mary Rose D’Angelo, “Women in Luke-Acts: A Redactional View,” Journal of Biblical Literature 109 (1990): 443, accessed March 14, 2015, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3267051.

[3] D. Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, 4th ed. (Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity Press, 1996), 103-4.

[4] T. C. Butler, Luke, vol. 3 (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 132.

Common Questions Regarding the Trinity and Trinitarian Relationships

In looking at some of the common terms for the Trinity, a number of questions arise. Going with the section of terms that we just reviewed, there are some common questions the we need to look at and try to provide answers. Some may not like these answer, and I will admit not every answer is thorough and detailed. A 15 page paper could probably be written on each topic and that may still not be enough space. This is just an attempt to provide a brief introduction, some clarity and a high-level overview of these questions. I would encourage each reader to look more closely at each topic.

What Are Primary Biblical Evidences for the Doctrine of the Trinity?

  1. God is One. In the OT, evidence that there is no god before or after the true God nor does He give His glory to another. Monotheism is expressly affirmed. We also see that this divine oneness can be understood as inclusive oneness and does not necessarily confine God to a single person. Two frequent names of God (‘Elohim, ‘Adonai), the use of the personal pronouns (“we”, “us”) and a significant number of passages indicate another person or agent whi is also in some sense God (Isa 9:6, Da 7:13).
  2. The Father is God-both John and Jesus introduced the use of “Father” as normative, yet distinguished “my Father” from “your Father”. God is referred to as the Father to Israel (Ex 4:22), Christ, the Son of God (Mt 3:17; 11:27), and to all believers (Ro 8:14-17; Gal 4:4-7). God the Father is the Creator of life, the Sovereign Ruler over all. Every occurrence happens with God’s knowledge and determination, yet He is also personal with His creation, especially humans. He Is the Holy Judge, whose holiness guides His essence and demands payment for sin. He is the Compassionate Reconciler who sent his Son to be our substitute but calls us to salvation, forgives, justifies, adopts and makes sons of the redeemed
  3. Jesus Christ is God-Jesus was revealed as God, “the Son of God”, the “Logos”—simultaneously the same as, but different from God, most noticeable in John. Jesus’ claims included sharing in the glory of the Father before the world began (Jn 17:5), possessing authority to send the Holy Spirit (Jn 15:26) and being destined not only to save the world but to judge it. Jesus is specifically ascribed as “God” (Ac 20:28, Ro 9:5, Tit 1:3) along with other titles of divinity including “Immanuel” (My 1:23), “Mighty God” (Isa 9:6) and Alpha and Omega (Rev 22:13).
  4. The Holy Spirit is God-the Spirit is frequently revealed with the characteristics of a person not only in relationship to belieers but also to God himself. The Holy Spirit is identified as God in specific texts (Ac 5:3-4, 2 Co 3:17-18). As “another Counselor (Jn 14:16), the Spirit stands as one together with the Son. Sent forth by the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit searches out the mind of God (I Co 2:10), speaks to what he hears (Jn 16:13), intercedes to the Father in our behalf (Ro 8:26), glorifies the Son (Jn 16:14) and resides in believers, the temples of God (I Co 2:16, 6:19) and children of God (Ro 8:15). The Holy Spirit is God in the same personal sense as the Son and the Father

Why in the Incarnation Did the Son not Absolutely, Publically Prove He Is God?-Christ’s divine nature was not always suppressed during His public ministry.The Savior’s sonship and innate authority were often the point of His teaching and miracles. His submission to the Father and anointing by the Spirit do not negate the active operation of His divine nature. He sometimes acted as God, even Lord of the Spirit. There is every bit enough evidence to confirm that Jesus is indeed God, yet we are not bludgeoned by the truth. He reveals himself to whom he chooses. Jesus could not only quite ably reveal his deity but he could also conceal it. Philippians 2:5–7 instructs believers to assume the same attitude as Christ who, although he was God did not go about flaunting or “grasping” at his deity. He drew people to himself in such a manner that they began to question the very nature of his being. Jesus Christ’s most forceful witness of his own deity was, remarkably, indirect. If Jesus had loudly, indisputably proved he was God (as skeptics seem to require), could the response have been the heart-changing submission that God desires? on at least four occasions Jesus seems explicitly to state his own deity. In each of the three instances prior to his crucifixion, Jesus attests his deity to those who already angrily rejected him.

Is Mary the Mother of God? Why should we not pray to Mary? The term “Mother of God” originated in the 4-5th Century, intended to denote the full deity of Christ. This term was not meant to indicate that Mary was the mother of Christ’s divine nature, but that Jesus was a singular person, “the perfect [pre-] existent God became perfect man, made flesh of the Virgin”. Mary is the physical mother of God, not the source or origin of His deity. There is very little biblical evidence to suggest that Mary herself would have been a deity or someone to be worshipped (she was not free from sin, nor does the Bible indicate her deity). A common criticism is that Mariology is a form of heresy-a rejection of the authority of the Bible for more popular traditions and it is a result of the pervasive influence of Gnosticism. Some more criticisms include Mariology is viewed as Paganism and included the need for the worship of a female god; lastly in anthropocentrism, where the human desire to create our own religion is demonstrated. Praying to Mary detracts from the glory of Christ, substituting the Son of God with others and negating the total sufficiency of Christ’s death on the cross, His role as our Intercessor, and His ability to sustain and provide all of our needs. We have fulfillment in Him and He asks us to talk to the Father in His name.

Description of the IntraTrinitarian Relationships in the NT.

  1. Persons as Distinct Centers of Consciousness-the NT records the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit each speaking as the divine “I” (Mk 1:11; Jn 10:30; Ac 13:2).
  2. Genuinely Personal Relationships-John’s commentary declare that the Son and the Spirit were with God; multiple references display “seeing”, “hearing”, and “being taught” among each member of the Trinity to convey the personeity of each divine member and the intimate relationship each enjoys with the other.
  3. They Know and Testify of Each Other- Interpersonally, the Father knows the Son (Jn 10:15) and the Son knows the Father; the knowledge Jesus has of God is based on relation. The Spirit also profoundly knows the Father and is known by the Father (1 Co 2:11-13, 2 Co 3:3; Ep 2:18) just as the Spirit knows the Son and is known by the Son (Jn 14:26, 15:26, 16:14-15). Because each of the divine persons has eternal, infinitely deep knowledge of the other, the Father testifies of the Son, the Son of the Father and the Spirit of the truth that is in the Father and the Son. As the Spirit alights upon the Son to testify of him at his baptism, so it is the Son who presents the Spirit, testifies of his coming and with the Father sends and gives the Spirit.
  4. Free Personal Choice-John’s Gospel demonstrates that the Father, Son and Spirit can and do operate freely but freely in submission; each is seen as a unique person, yet certain expressions reflect distinct separate consciousness. Every member of the Godhead is seen in free acts of self-giving; the functional order of the Godhead is never violated yet concurrently their relationship is intense and passionate.
  5. The Glory of Self-Rendering Love-John speaks of an innate glory of both the Father and the Son, the lovely reality is that the Father delights in glorifying the Son, the Son delights in glorifying the Father and the Spirit delights in glorifying the Son and thereby the Father. Each member of the Trinity honors each other-the entire Gospel repetitiously shapes and hammers an extraordinary sculpture of the immense love between each member of the Trinity.
  6. Each Mutually Indwells the Other-each member is distinct person that share divine nature as one God (perichoresis), yet they indwell each other. John 14:20 refers to the Father being in the Son and the Son in the Father, and implicitly, the Spirit was in Jesus
  7. The Come Forth from the Father-the Bible displays an eternal order of function within the Trinity. The Father is the fons divinatatis, the divine fountainhead and two of the most repeated phrases in John’s Gospel are that the Son comes/came from the Father and is sent by/from the Father. The Spirit of truth comes (Jn 15:26; 6:7-8, 13) and most significantly is describes as one who “goes forth” or “proceeds” from the Father.

Was the Earliest Church Trinitarian? Why or Why Not?

The greatest difficulty of the early church was to understand the declarations of Jesus’ deity coupled with those of his humanity. If he is God, then in what sense is he human? The early church did not waver from belief that God is one. Yet believers were also experiencing God in a threefold way. The earliest records of the second century reveal an underdeveloped Christology, yet one generally in concurrence with what later was later clarified with the Ecumenical Councils of Nicea and Chalcedon. Docetism, Ebionism, Monarchianism.

Continuation of Terms Regarding Christ and the Spirit

Today, we continue our series of Trinitarian terms that pertain mainly to the deity of the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ. There are several concepts like Hypostatic union and Kenosis that will be further examined in upcoming posts.

Hypostatic Union, Two Natures of Christ, Relationship between Them-Importance for Salvation (see also Chalcedonian Creed)-The Hypostatic Union is the union between the deity and the humanity of Christ. In His deity, He is all that the Father is, He is the Son of God and possesses a divine nature. Christ’s divine nature was not always suppressed during His public ministry. The Savior’s Sonship and innate authority were often the point of His teaching and miracles. His submission to the Father and anointing by the Spirit do not negate the active operation of His divine nature. He sometimes acted as God, even Lord of the Spirit. In His humanity, he is born of a human, a perfect man, and possesses a human nature. Christ’s deity does not impede the reality of His humanity: His growth from infancy to maturity, His human temptation (not from sin within), His perfection through trials and suffering to become our High Priest.

Immaculate Conception-a term used of Mary, suggesting that she was free from conscious sin (there was no deliberate act of rebellion against God in her life). The conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in her mother’s womb free from original sin by virtue of the foreseen merits of her son Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ: Biblical Basis of Deity and Humanity-Deity: Christ’s divine nature was not always suppressed during His public ministry; the Savior’s Sonship and innate authority were often the point of His teaching and miracles. His submission to the Father and anointing by the Spirit does not negate the active operation of His divine nature, Joh 5:21-22. Humanity: Christ’s deity does not impede the reality of His humanity: his growth from infancy to maturity, His human temptations (not from within), His perfection through trials and suffering to become our High Priest, Heb 4:14-15

Kenosis-literally the self-emptying act of the Son of God in assuming human nature as found in Phil 2. Jesus emptied Himself of the rights, the prerogatives of being God were left behind, He does not assumed kingship, and taking on the servant role. See also the doctrinal statement for a longer discussion and argument on this from J.I. Packer.

7 Keys of Christological Orthodoxy – 1. Pre-Existence, 2. Virgin Birth, 3. Consciousness of Divine Sonship, 4. Literal Miracles, 5. Foreknowledge of Expiatory Death, 6. Bodily Resurrection, 7. Physical Return to Earth

Modern Christologies: Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834), asserted that Jesus is our human example, He fully opened himself to God, Jesus had a divine consciousness not an eternal divine nature; known as the Father of Modern Theology, feeling became the center of Christian confession. Adolf von Harnack (1851-1930), asserted the Fatherhood of God that the human soul can be so ennobled as to unite with God, that Jesus’ gospel is about the Father not the Son; asserted that Jesus preached the kingdom of God, not Himself, and he preached the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of mankind. Karl Barth (1886-1968), asserted that Christology is the center of everything, the risen Christ of faith, no the historical Jesus is central, that the Word is Christ, Scripture, kerygma, encounter; asserted the resurrected Christ is the essence of the Christian faith. He proclaimed a “Christ of faith”. Rudolf Bultmann (1884-1976), asserted extreme NT criticism, Jesus’ person and works finally unknowable, demythologization, when we die to self we experience existential resurrection; denied the Trinity and Deity of Christ.

Nestorianism-form of Christianity that continues today in Asia; asserts that sometimes Jesus Christ is acting as God, other times as humanity, but there is not adequate unity of the two in the one personal consciousness of our Lord.

Old Testament Evidences of the Trinity, One God yet Plural Agencies-God is One, ‘Ehad-“one”, “to be united”, primary texts include Dt 4:39, 6:4, Isa 42:8. God says “we” in Gen 1:26-27, plural terms for God include ‘Elohim’ and ‘Adonai’. Triadic patterns in the OT hint to a greater revelation in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in creation (ge 1:1-3, Pr 30:5-6), the Trisagion (“Holy, holy, holy”, Isa 6:3) or more generally in the tri-dimensional activity of God in the transcendent Other yet visibly made present in theophany, Shekinah, and in the immanent and activity of the Spirit (Ps 139:7). See also Isa 48:12-16, various translations include verse 16b as continuing the divine monologue as Yahweh speaks yet distinguishes himself from himself as the Sent One together with the Spirit. See also Isa 63:8-16, The Lord himself becomes the Savior and Redeem of Israel though the “angel of his presence” and full ascription “Holy Spirit” is found. See also Zech 12:10 Yahweh seems to refer to himself in the first and third person; God likens himself to an only son and a firstborn over whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem will weep bitterly, can be directly applied to Christ.

Parakletos-an attribute used to describe Jesus Christ as our Intercessor and the Holy Spirit as “the Counselor” or helper.

Perichoresis-“the dance around” as each member of the Godhead; there is a sense in which each member of the Godhead penetrates, has a reciprocal indwelling, each in the other.

Son as God, Relation to Father and Spirit-Jesus’ words and John’s commentary declare that the Son and the Spirit were with God (Jn 1:32, 15:26, 16:7). Jesus is said to have seen and to see the Father (Jn 1:18, 3:11, 32; 5:19, 29, 37; 6:46; 8:38) and to speak what he hears the Father declare (3:32, 34; 5:30, 37; 7:17; 12:49-50; 14:10). The Spirit also speaks and tells what he hears or receives of the Son (16:13-15). The father shows the Son all that he is doing (5:20); what the Father does, the Son does (5:19; 6:38). Interpersonally, the Father knows the Son (Jn 10:15) and the Son knows the Father; the knowledge Jesus has of God is based on relation. They Know and Testify of Each Other- Interpersonally, the Father knows the Son (Jn 10:15) and the Son knows the Father; the knowledge Jesus has of God is based on relation. The Spirit knows the Son and is known by the Son (Jn 14:26, 15:26, 16:14-15). Because each of the divine persons has eternal, infinitely deep knowledge of the other, the Father testifies of the Son, the Son of the Father and the Spirit of the truth that is in the Father and the Son. As the Spirit alights upon the Son to testify of him at his baptism, so it is the Son who presents the Spirit, testifies of his coming and with the Father, sends and gives the Spirit.

Theotokos: Appropriateness for Evangelicals-a term ascribed to Mary as literally, “the bearer of God”, or “mother of God”. Does not mean that Mary was mother of Christ’s divine nature, but mother of His human nature. Appropriate to the extent that it mentioned this is only to human nature, i.e. this term does not mean that Mary was a deity.