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January 09, 2012


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The trouble is you're only tackling one end of the Johannine and theological conundrum. What does John think happens to the pre-existent Son when Jesus "gives up the Spirit" on the cross? After all it is Jesus who both lays down his life, and takes it up again. Something similar is a problem for any identification of the human Jesus with an eternal pre-existent being: what is the corresponding "event" in the life of the immortal one to the death of the mortal human one.

Now I've got a headache too! OTOH, if we could understand it, our explanations would probably be wrong :-)

Tim Bulkeley

Believe it or not I have just started thinking about similar questions, provoked (since nowadays I seldom trouble my head about "systematic" theology - much prefering unsystematic biblical study) by looking at the proofs of my new book Not Only a Father. Though it is, like most theology, mindbending, I think the Son (meaning the second person of the Trinity) is from all eternity incarnate as Jesus (for 30 odd years in the early 1st C) however, the distinction between the logos asarkos and the logos ensarkos is needed, whatever ones reading of John 1 - and therefore even if the term "logos" is a misuse, because we cannot affirm that the Son has a certain eye colour etc.

Thus a convenient shorthand, that avoids also the issue of "logos", is to talk about the logos ensarkos as "Jesus" and the second person of the Trinity as "Son" even though this shorthand does obscure the eternal incarnation of God...

But I am not now, nor have I even been, a systematic theologian ;)

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