EmilyD, br Thanks for taking the time to respond w... (
Yes, I read the article. It is thought-provoking and well written with logical conclusions. However, my belief that Jesus was incarnate is a combination of reading the words of Paul and my own faith that what he wrote is the truth of what happened when he knew Jesus on earth. I believe that Paul was writing from more than just an opinion or speculation when he wrote his recordings of the events that he personally experienced. And, as I said in my previous post, since Paul was here when Jesus was, and I was not, I tend to believe his words above another person's words and interpretations. For instance, when you call the passages in the "The Full Humanity Of Jesus" section of your article (from Romans 5:15-19, 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 and 1 Timothy 2:5) "wordplay" of a doctrine that has been generally accepted since the actual resurrection ("Now these statements seem clear enough, but the philosophical wordplay of orthodoxy obscures the plain meaning of the text"
), I must disagree that it is "wordplay". If the text in those passages are not clear in meaning enough, then one can find in multiple other places, and written by many others than Paul, of course, when they knew Jesus here on earth, and also wrote that the resurrection was Jesus as God, who became a man through a virgin birth (a miracle) who died as a savior and then rose from the dead and returned to eternal life. Jesus was showing us what will happen to those of us who are faithful when we die. That is the basis of my faith (and I believe most Christians').
Yes, things may not always seem what they appear to be, but that's where faith comes in. There are so many interpretations of the Bible and its passages, it can boggle the mind. I don't often agree completely with "teachers" of the Bible...But what I do
honestly believe to be the truth is that what is written in the Bible...how you, personally, read it and interpret it, and how your heart receives it - what really inspires your faith - is what really matters to each one of us. And I also believe it is what the authors' intentions were when they wrote it. (The words in red also help me with my own interpretation!) If reading the Bible means to you that Jesus was not God but only man, then who am I to say that is not your
truth! I see it differently, which is fine. I believe the bottom line is both of us are believers in Jesus as our salvation, and we will be finding eternal life ourselves some day!
I'm curious why you skipped over Romans 5:16, and 5:18 in the "The Full Humanity Of Jesus" section of your article...they seem very pertinent to this issue...
From Romans 5:15-19, International Standard Version (I like the way this translation reads):
15 But God’s free gift is not like Adam’s offense. For if many people died as the result of one man’s offense, how much more have God’s grace and the free gift given through the kindness of one man, Jesus the Messiah, been showered on many people! 16 Nor can the free gift be compared to what came through the man who sinned. For the sentence that followed one man’s offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift brought justification, even after many offenses.
17 For if, through one man, death ruled because of that man’s offense, how much more will those who receive such overflowing grace and the gift of righteousness rule in life because of one man, Jesus the Messiah!**18 Consequently, just as one offense resulted in condemnation for everyone, so one act of righteousness results in justification and life for everyone.
19 For just as through one man’s disobedience many people were made sinners, so also through one man’s obedience many people will be made righteous.
**"Jesus the Messiah" is another way of referring to Him as both God and man: Jesus(man) the Messiah (savior).