Do Evangelicals think that Jesus had to be a man?

In a vain attempt to steer the readers of this blog away from a strange preoccupation with Mormon artwork I thought I would bring up a question that arose in my mind while discussing whether Jesus was or could have been married.

Mormons believe, “officially” that “Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.”  Making Jesus a man, now and forever.

Based on my minimal understanding, I don’t think Evangelicals think that God has any gender.

The gender of Jesus has been an important issue for those christian sects who, like mormons,  do not ordain women and maintain an patriarchial structure.

The Mormon belief in eternal gender does have quite a few theological implications, including, some would say, our belief in a Heavenly Mother.   Do Evangelicals make anything of the Gender of Christ?  If there is no necessary reason for Jesus to be a man, or priests to be men, Is there any discussion about why Jesus was a man or is just considered an accident?

(My wife might say that he had to be a man in order to “descend below all” something that would not be possible for a woman, but those wouldn’t be my words 🙂 )

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58 thoughts on “Do Evangelicals think that Jesus had to be a man?

  1. Here is my favorite comment ever on this subject:

    “Personally I prefer to think that [Jesus] had to be a man in order to be able to open the jar of anointing oil that Mary Magdelene was struggling with, but maybe that’s just too obvious.”

    I’ll give ya a more serious answer later today Jared.

  2. Okay, disclaimer: this issue has never been discussed in any of the Christian traditions I have attended church with (Nazarene, Presbyterian, Pentecostal), all of which were egalitarian, and I have never come across an essay on this issue in my readings. So I don’t know what the “evangelical” interpretation of this is. These are conclusions I personally came to from my own study. From what I can tell, Tim’s church is complementarian, so he probably has different ideas on this than I do.

    I believe God has aspects of both genders because the Bible says both men and women were made in His image (Gen. 1:27). I don’t have a problem with referring to God the Father as a “He” and I don’t advocate referring to Him as an “it” or a “she”. The Bible says “He” and that’s good enough for me.

    Why does gender exist at all? For the same reason different skin colors, eye colors and hair colors exist. God is a very creative artist and just one gender would be boring. I think Adam and Eve were loving equals in the Garden of Eden and that patriarchy came about as the result of the Fall. I see Genesis 3:16 as descriptive, not prescriptive, so men dominated women as a result of humanity being fallen, not because God ordained it. The patriarchal priesthood system of the Old Testament was an allowance God made because men’s hearts were hard, same as He allowed men to divorce their wives on a whim (Mark 10:1-12). It wasn’t God’s original plan for the world; loving equality was.

    To cut to the chase, in theory Christ did not have to be a man, however He had to be one or the other, and there are two reasons why it was very practical for Him to be a man:

    (1) In a patriarchal fallen world, it would have been much more difficult for people to accept His message if He had been a woman.
    (2) Christ was intended to become the permanent high priest to God’s people (Heb. 9:11), and only men could be high priests under the Old Covenant. Presenting a woman as a high priest would have been a much harder teaching to accept.

    As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, early Christians identified Christ with God’s Wisdom in Jewish wisdom literature such as Proverbs 8:22-30, and wisdom was quite distinctly feminine. So I think there is a feminine side to Christ’s divine nature.

    BTW, I talked this over with my LDS husband and he said he saw no reason why the Savior of the world couldn’t have been a woman instead of a man under the LDS system.

  3. On the surface I could see problem with a female Christ from the LDS viewpoint, but only on the surface. Christ had to hold the priesthood—that is a must—so some LDS would say he could not have been a woman because women cannot hold the priesthood. Other LDS would mention the temple…sort of vaguely, of course…and ask if it is indeed true that women cannot hold the priesthood.

    Jack: you ask how Jesus’ message would have been recieved had he been female, but I wonder how his/her message would been rejected. Would the leaders of the Jews have had more liberty to dispose of female-Jesus; i.e., did the Romans reserve crucifixion for men only, did the Romans control capital punishment for women or only men, etc.?

    I suspect the Romans did control capital punishment for women, hence the “trap” laid for Jesus when some men bring him a woman caught in adultery, but I don’t know.

  4. To cut to the chase, in theory Christ did not have to be a man, however He had to be one or the other, and there are two reasons why it was very practical for Him to be a man:

    (1) In a patriarchal fallen world, it would have been much more difficult for people to accept His message if He had been a woman.
    (2) Christ was intended to become the permanent high priest to God’s people (Heb. 9:11), and only men could be high priests under the Old Covenant. Presenting a woman as a high priest would have been a much harder teaching to accept.

    OK, but I’m not sure that “easy to accept” was generally what Jesus was shooting for.

  5. Brian ~ My husband says it’s LDS doctrine that women will hold the priesthood in the next life, so they can theoretically hold it, and he also says Christ IS the priesthood; Jesus doesn’t hold it and was never ordained to it. So by his reasoning if the Savior had been a woman she would have been the priesthood as well.

    There was definitely capital punishment for women in the Roman empire, and we know of many early Christian martyrs who were women, but I don’t know if they crucified women. I could probably ask one of my professors and have an answer in a day or two.

  6. Jack: I think along the same lines as your husband, but part of what I was saying above is that this view is not universal among LDS.

    I’m not questioning capital punishment of women by Rome, I’m wondering if they made as much of a to-do about it as they did for men—crucifixion is a tedious process if you just want the person dead. And I wonder if they regulated it for women, or if they allowed their conquered states to mistreat women however they wished. Thanks for looking into it for me.

  7. I’m sorry that this post is now getting ignored in favor of the much funnier Polygamist Jesus thread. No, I’m not really sorry, actually.

  8. There is an Evangelical teaching that women are made in the image of God, just as men are. Men are not by any means “more” in the image of God.

    That being said, it is peculiar that God is called Heavenly Father, Son of God and the Holy Spirit is called a “he”. I don’t know what significance that has if any.

    I don’t suppose there’s any reason the Messiah had to be a male other than the practical reasons Jack stated.

  9. The Gospel of Thomas identifies the Holy Ghost as a “she.”

    Bruce R. McConkie however, flatly identifies the Holy Ghost as a he.

    I prefer the Gospel of Thomas version personally. Sorry Bruce.

    And the LDS have a fairly easy time integrating that whole “image of God” business with differing genders.

    God is both male and female for the simple reason that “God” consists of a husband and a wife.

  10. I used to believe that the Holy Spirit was a black man. Who has more soul than the Holy Spirit?

    But that was back when I believed that the Holy Ghost was a distinct entity from God the Father and the Son who would one day get a body of his own.

  11. Well, I don’t think they are men. God doesn’t have body parts, I think they are just represented as men (though Jesus possesses a male body).

  12. Jesus taught to pray to Father in Heaven, so that’s what I do; I’m uncomfortable going against what Jesus taught. Here’s an interesting idea though: for every language I’ve studied that uses gender for words (Spanish, Hebrew, Latin, Greek), masculinity dominates and masculine words are used to encompass concepts which include both men and women. In Spanish if you have a room full of boys they’re muchachos, and if you have a room full of girls it’s muchachas; if one boy walks in, they become muchachos again. The same was true for Greek and Hebrew; this is why you hear writers addressing “brethren” or “brothers” in the New Testament when describing principles that clearly apply to both genders, and why translations like the TNIV feel the need to translate those words as “brothers and sisters,” less literal but more accurate conceptually.

    Anyways, my point is, with most languages the feminine has its own conjugations and the gender concepts they describe are exclusively feminine. You use the masculine to encompass both. So if someone is praying to Mother in Heaven, they’re sort of implying God is only female. Father in Heaven is better to imply both.

  13. Anyways, my point is, with most languages the feminine has its own conjugations and the gender concepts they describe are exclusively feminine. You use the masculine to encompass both. So if someone is praying to Mother in Heaven, they’re sort of implying God is only female. Father in Heaven is better to imply both.

    But not in English.

  14. Brian: My prof friend says he does not know off the top of his head if the Romans crucified women. They didn’t crucify Roman citizens anyways, Roman men & women had access to decapitation for capital punishment, and he says we probably don’t have the evidence to know if they crucified non-citizen women or not.

    So, I guess the jury is out on that.

  15. BJM said:

    I used to believe the Holy Spirit was female. I don’t anymore, but it was an interesting theory.

    For what it’s worth, I haven’t been able to find anywhere in the LDS scriptures where it says explicitly that the Holy Spirit aka the Holy Ghost is male. The closest I’ve been able to find is in John 16:13, where the King James Version uses “he” to refer to the Spirit. But the Greek there uses a pronoun that also could mean “she” or “it.”

    I’m not sure what to make of it, or even if I should, and certainly our church leaders have always referred to the Holy Spirit in the masculine, but I do find it interesting.

  16. Eric ~ in John 16:13 … there uses a pronoun that also could mean “she” or “it.”

    That was what the person who taught me the theory told me as well. Unfortunately it’s not true; John 16:13 uses ἐκεῖνος, which quite literally means “that male one” in spite of the Greek word for “spirit” being neuter. The Spirit was described as male on purpose. ἐκεῖνη would have been the feminine and ἐκεῖνο would be the neuter.

    Oh, here’s this gem from Women and Authority:

    Sometimes the shaming is not so subtle. One woman tells of asking Elder Bruce R. McConkie whether the Holy Ghost could be Mother in Heaven. She writes that he “thundered” at her: “Go home and get down on your knees and ask God to forgive you. And if you never sin again the rest of your life, maybe he will forgive you.”

    That’s vintage Bruce McConkie right there.

  17. Finnish has no gender (they use the same word for “he” and “he” and “his” and”hers’ often they just call people “it”) , so I suppose as long as you did not use the word “father” you could get by in Finland by leaving the question open.

  18. Jack (and others): I find it strange that if God is so neutral to gender, why did he allow (even endorse) thousands of years of subjugation and oppression of women?

    If gender was not an issue or didn’t matter, a revelation could have corrected the human mistake.

    I think gender equality seems to be an example of humanistic ethics modifying people’s understanding of God.

  19. The best I can tell you, Jared, is that you could make the same case about things like slavery and racism. They’ve been around for thousands of years, and God even endorses them in the Bible, so they’re okay, right?

    IMO, Jesus was the revelation that addressed the human mistake. His treatment of women was pretty radical for its time. People just didn’t listen.

  20. BTW, since we appear to have no evangelical complementarians here, I imagine this would be their view:

    Women are eternally subordinate to men, both in marriage and in church hierarchy, just as Christ is eternally subordinate to the Father. Christ had to manifest as a man so that He could be the head of the Church, plus the Church is considered His bride.

  21. Jack: My point is that the Bible may be wrong on those endorsements. (An example of some of the mistakes passed down because of prejudice of men)

    I don’t think there is evidence to suggest that treatment of women radically changed under Christianity. I mean it has been less than 100 years since women have been considered full citizens in most Christian countries. You could argue that Jesus did teach equality but, in the same breath, you may have to argue that the misogyny found in the New Testament may be part of the same sort of incorrect prejudice.

    I bring this up to illustrate the need for further light and knowledge from God, rather than simply bending the Bible to fit what is good.

    Its like finding Roe v. Wade and other privacy rights in the Constitution. There is no question that the Constitution doesn’t explicitly give such rights, but the force of contemporary thought pushes Judges to “find” them there. Both sorts of interpretations strain logic. I think such strains may be acceptable in Constitutional interpretation, which is not considered to be inerrant, unacceptable to the theory or Biblical inerrancy.

  22. Thank you Captain Obvious.

    My point is that your grammatical workaround might be fine for languages that use the male to refer to both male and female, but English is not one of those languages. Nevertheless, we refer to God as a “he” and as “the father.” In English, that is an unambiguous declaration that God is male.

    If the original Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, or whatever really did mean to express God’s maleness in an inclusive sense, we should translate it differently, because that inclusiveness is utterly lost in our language, and to a large extent the words we use to talk about things inform and constrain the way we think about those things.

  23. Jared ~ Jack: My point is that the Bible may be wrong on those endorsements. (An example of some of the mistakes passed down because of prejudice of men) … I bring this up to illustrate the need for further light and knowledge from God, rather than simply bending the Bible to fit what is good.

    I think everyone bends their religious authority to fit what is good, modern-day revelation included. To see Mormons doing it, head on over to fMh right now and listen to people trying to find ways of avoiding the conclusion that the temple ceremony is sexist. I’m not sure how much of a difference further light and knowledge from God is making; seems like whichever paradigm you believe in, you have to conclude that God allows men to work within the framework of their own prejudices.

    Unless you think God actually is a racist, sexist, pro-slavery type. In which case you’re home free.

    Kullervo ~ I understood your point. I just always try to understand English language and concepts in terms of the linguistic etymology that got them there, and besides, I think English sucks. Sorry if that’s an apologetically lackluster answer, but there’s a reason I gave up on being an apologist years ago.

  24. You only think English sucks because your linguistic emphasis is on expressing Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek concepts in English, and English doesn’t do very well what those languages seem to do effortlessly.

    But I dispute you utterly.

    These are the kinds of problems inherent in translating between any languages. English does all kinds of things effortlessly that other languages struggle with. We have a rich vocabulary and a lexicographical treasure chest of synonyms and antonyms that as far as I know is flat-out unmatched by any language in existence. We can express nuances and subtle shades of meaning that nobody else can.

    Honestly, your beef is not with English. Your beef is with God’s decision to reveal his will through a text.

  25. Jack,
    I think everyone bends their religious authority to fit what is good, modern-day revelation included.

    My point is that I don’t think God is racist and sexist but the Bible clearly is in some places. If you are bending the Bible to fit what is good, I think this pounds a big conceptual hole in the inerrancy position.

    If the Word was good from the beginning it wouldn’t have to be bent. If you can weed out the prejudice, why can’t you week out the bad doctrine, or the inconsistency, or the non-historically supported, etc?

  26. Kullervo ~ We have a rich vocabulary and a lexicographical treasure chest of synonyms and antonyms that as far as I know is flat-out unmatched by any language in existence. We can express nuances and subtle shades of meaning that nobody else can.

    What you see as a potential for expressing nuance and subtlety, I see as a tendency for convolution and redundancy, and I know plenty of people who learned English as a second language would agree; English often has way too many words to express the exact same thing. Don’t even get me started on English verb conjugations or the fact that the only rule to our grammar is that there is an exception to every rule (including that one). I stand by my assessment of the suckage that is English.

    But that’s not really the point. The point is that Greek and Hebrew didn’t treat gender the same way English does; the writers of the New Testament didn’t need to write out “brothers and sisters” when addressing both genders like English does, they just said αδέλφoι. It is just my theory, but I think it logically follows that they weren’t nearly as concerned with whether or not their masculine descriptions of God meant God literally has a penis as this thread is.

    Honestly, your beef is not with English. Your beef is with God’s decision to reveal his will through a text.

    I’m trying to decide if this is psychobabble or baseless assertion. Either way, it’s not me who sounds like a lame Mormon apologist anymore.

    Jared ~ My point is that I don’t think God is racist and sexist but the Bible clearly is in some places. If you are bending the Bible to fit what is good, I think this pounds a big conceptual hole in the inerrancy position.

    So now this thread is about inerrancy? I can go down that rabbit hole if we want, it just seems like something of a side-issue.

  27. If you’re mad at English because it won’t translate other languages well–especially Greek and Hebrew, because they are the language of the Bible and ostensibly of God’s revelation, then you’re really only mad at English for being a language. You’re going to run across the same kind of problem no matter what language you translate the Bible into. Thus, the problem is not inherent to English–it is inherent to language. No matter what language God dictated/inspired scripture into, this exact same thing was going to be a problem. So your problem is not some singular failing of the English language, but goes to the very nature of text and language itself.

    By the way, I dare you to show me a language that doesn’t have tons of grammatical irregularities.

  28. Jack,

    For someone learning a severely orderly language built on intricate rules and complex grammar, I will take English any day.

    Also, I agree that both subjects are off topic, I will probably post something (else) on inerrancy later.

  29. On top of that. Why can’t God just reveal something in English. . .oh wait…..maybe he did.

    But I guess you still have the problem of the translation from God-ish.

  30. Right, revelation into English would be great and all, except for everyone in the world who does not speak English. Revelation into all the world’s languages simultaneously would be theoretically fine and dandy, but what if there are Goddish concepts that simply do not render well into these other languages?

    In fact, while we’re talking about all these nuances in Greek and Hebrew, how do we know that they rendered the Goddish very well at all?

  31. Kullervo ~ One I’m not mad at English at all, irritated at English would be a better way of describing it. And no, we wouldn’t run into this problem translating the Bible into any language; English is one of the few languages that does not use gender in its grammar, so it’s a particularly frustrating language to use while trying to understand gender issues and the Bible.

    By the way, I dare you to show me a language that doesn’t have tons of grammatical irregularities.

    I’m not sure what qualifies as “tons” in your book. Hebrew, Latin and Greek all have far, far fewer grammatical irregularities than English. And besides, English has Joss Whedon to help speed it along to grammatical outer darkness.

    I think that a discussion of how language and translation can effect God’s revelation to the world at all is really going off topic.

    Oh and BTW… the Jesus polygamy thread has finally fallen off of the recent comments! Muhahahahaha.

    Jared ~ You can post on inerrancy whenever you feel like it, and I’ll be happy to explain how I don’t see cultural allowances towards slaves, non-Jews and women as destroying inerrancy. It may be helpful to know that I don’t think the New Testament is misogynist, and yes, I am including all those statements by Paul on women in that remark.

    Point in fact, I wouldn’t know that the LDS temple ceremony is misogynist either, and that’s really none of my business. I was just pointing out that LDS women seem to struggle with it just as traditional Christian women who believe in Bible inerrancy might struggle with Paul’s statements on women. I don’t think modern-day revelation has done anything to remove the trappings of perceived misogyny.

  32. And no, we wouldn’t run into this problem translating the Bible into any language; English is one of the few languages that does not use gender in its grammar, so it’s a particularly frustrating language to use while trying to understand gender issues and the Bible.

    I’m not saying you will encounter the same exact same problem–i.e. the grammatical gender issue–but you will eencounter the same kind of problem no matter what language you are translating into.

    I’m not sure what qualifies as “tons” in your book. Hebrew, Latin and Greek all have far, far fewer grammatical irregularities than English.

    Modern Hebrew? Modern Greek?

  33. The (non-Mormon) Bible does not refer to the Holy Spirit as “He.” Greek has a gender-neutral pronouns which the NT uses for the Holy Spirit. The early Christians speaking Hebrew referred to the Holy Spirit as “she” (Ebionites). What some Christians believe is the Holy Spirit in the OT (eg Shakinah, Wisdom) are referred to as “she.”

    About Jesus:
    1 How are you certain Jesus IS/WAS male?
    2 I do think Jesus needed to be male
    3 I don’t know why

    I wrote a lot about this on my website at:
    transchristians.org/book/the-gender-of-jesus

  34. Kullervo ~ I’m not sure what exactly you’re saying then. Of course I agree there are difficulties in all forms of translation, but that doesn’t make the ones involved in Greek-to-English irrelevant.

    Modern Hebrew? Modern Greek?

    I had in mind biblical Hebrew, classical Latin and both koine & classical Greek. I don’t know anything about modern Greek. Modern Hebrew is a strange creature since it was resurrected with English grammar as a guide post, but it still has fewer grammatical irregularities by virtue of being spoken by only 6-8 million people today most of whom speak English anyways.

    Ephilei ~ The (non-Mormon) Bible does not refer to the Holy Spirit as “He.”

    This is simply not true, and I’ve already covered this above here. John 16:13 does call the Spirit a “He” with the masculine pronoun in Greek.

  35. I never said they were irrelevant. Just not unusual and not unexpected. Greek and English are even distantly related. What kind of problems crop up when you try to translate Greek into a non-Indo-European language like Tibetan? Cebuano? Zulu? Qechua? Basque?

    Your frustration with English is misplaced.

  36. Not knowing any of those other languages, I wouldn’t know what kind of language problems crop up when translating for them.

    I think I’m the expert on why I think English is wack, thanks.

  37. So in other words, you think English is wack because it’s the only language you know anything about translating into?

    Again, your problem is with the nature of language and text, not with English.

  38. Come on guys we are taking abuot Jesus The Christ our Savior not the gay in the school or a plant with both genders.

    The Christ HAD to be male because he had to do every thing in the name of the Father even the Earth and of course He had to be a perfect example of a leader who could guide us to God (and organize a church as heaven is reali in did organized right now).

    But certainly there is evidence that the members of The Church of Jesus Christ do not have any problem about the geder of God, is because we believe in a real God not in imanginary product of a study or assuption of significance from a readin of the Bible.

    Not is the product of an expiriance, or maybe a lot of experinces from many persons in all the times (we call them apostols, withness, prophets or believers who has a testimony) since Adam and Eve until today.

    So please, do not invent a new God, we have, (I mean all of you and me) we have a rel God. and I’m like him, and I like to be as Him, like Jesus lead us, and show us the path.
    Is not a problem of language, a form of expresion, is wath He is: a perfect man.

    If we were writing in spanish for sure I’d have a better way to explain my self, sorry abut that, O.K.?

  39. Cristobal Del Rio ~ The Christ HAD to be male because he had to do every thing in the name of the Father even the Earth and of course He had to be a perfect example of a leader who could guide us to God

    So you’re saying women can’t be a perfect example of leadership and guide people to God? I thought the LDS religion held that women were of equal worth and potential to men.

    Nobody is denying that Jesus was a perfect man, what I deny is that it was His gender that mattered, and I think the ancient Israelites and Christians would agree with me since they applied both male and female imagery to both God and Christ. There’s an article by my friend, JP Holding, responding to the notion that the Holy Spirit is female which touches on some of these points concerning gender and deity.

    And I know English isn’t your first language, but it is pretty rude of you to tell people with whom you disagree that they’re just making up an imaginary God. That’s a very big glass house for a Mormon to throw stones from, but I’m gonna assume you didn’t mean to come off that way and let it slide.

  40. Bridget:

    No, I didn’t mean niether that women are not able to lead men to somewhere or somehow, no, the point is that Jesus it was a man not a woman, and it could be a contradiction with a Heavenly Father who instucted to another male named Jehova and He to many many other men to guide or lead the God’s work in the Earth. So then suddenly a women was sended by God to be the female lamb that any scripture discribe.

    More or less you write it, it could be more dificult for a woman in a men’s civilization.

    And for the other misunderstanding, well I assume that we, you and me and everybody in this blog believein the same God, not in Zeus, or Tlaloc, or a new one, but in Or Heavenly Father, the same tha Jesus Christ teached to pray to. So please do not think in another diferent, because if you do it you’re starting to beleave in somebody who doesn’t seems like us, I’m God’s like and sure all of you are.

  41. Maybe I just wanted to say that is not important what we THINK about God but who HE REALLY IS. Independient of our opinion, LDS opinions, Evangelical opinions, even any other Religions opinions.

    Please think for a minute what Jesus asked us to do?

    Cease all contention and spread the gospel to all nations, people and thoung.

    So Evangelicals doesn’t have to think that Jesus had to be a man. He was a man, and He is realy a man, a complete, and resurected and “super perfect” man or in one word a God, yes today.

    Well thats my, again, “mormonic”, “mormon”, or LDS Christian humble opinion.

  42. Cristobal ~ Don’t worry, I’m not offended, I really didn’t think you were trying to be rude. Yes, I agree we should try to figure out who God is and not make up things about Him, and along those lines I really don’t think the gender of God (or Jesus) was ever the point as far as the Bible goes. God’s mercy and love for the world and Christ’s sacrifice was. I think God could have incarnated as a woman if He wanted to, but I have no complaints about the way He did things.

    I would also point out that as far as gender and God goes, the LDS scriptures don’t actually say anything about Heavenly Mother. The closest thing to an “official” direct mention of her is the proclamation on the family. Given that so little has been said about her, the ease with which Latter-day Saints trot her out to explain topics like this kind of puzzles me. If she’s so important to the identity of half the human race, you’d think we could learn a little bit about who she is.

    Hey, here’s a fun and interesting related question: Did Satan have to be a man? Does it take a man to lead the world into evil and temptation? Discuss.

    Seth ~ The NCCG is taking passages such as Proverbs 8:22-30 and saying, “This is the Holy Spirit speaking and look, she’s female.” JP argues for Wisdom Christology, that passages like Prov. 8:22-30 apply to Christ, so trying to use Wisdom literature as a marker for the Spirit’s gender is very flawed.

  43. Well, that’s JP’s opinion. I’m sure there are plenty of people with very sound reasoning arguing that those verses are not demonstrably about Christ.

    I guess what I was probing was why JP thinks those verses are about Christ – aside from the general Christian urge to reverse-engineer Christ into the Old Testament. Are the “Wisdom” verses quoted in the New Testament or something?

  44. Oh, and sorry I wasn’t more clear before Seth, you seem to have a pretty good handle on differing thoughts within traditional Christian theology (better than me some days) so I figured you’d probably heard of Wisdom Christology.

  45. Yes, wisdom verses are quoted in the New Testament by the Gospel writers and applied to Jesus. Here is one example. Luke writes:

    “Therefore also said the Sophia of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute: That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation” (Luke 11:49-51).

    Yet Matthew places the words as coming out of the mouth of Jesus himself.

    Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. (Matthew 23:34-36).

  46. Thanks for posting that, Aquinas. I think that’s one of the examples JP uses in his article.

    Is there really that much in Wisdom Christology that Latter-day Saints would disagree with? JP uses it to argue for a high degree of ontological closeness, but I assume Latter-day Saints wouldn’t have a problem interpreting those passages as metaphors for the unity of the Father and the Son in a social Trinitarian sense.

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