The Dual Nature of Jesus Christ

There are many verses in the New Testament that are used to show a distinction between the Father and the Son. These verses show the Son speaking to or about the Father, the Father speaking from heaven, or Jesus in some way apart from the Father. In fact, there are many verses in the New Testament that are used to teach a plurality of persons within the Godhead. This contradicts the many verses that teach the Godhead as a singularity. Once the dual nature of Jesus is understood, it will be clear that these verses actually teach the oneness of God.

One thing to keep in mind is that Jesus had two natures. He was 100% God and 100% man at the same time. Any time we see a plurality in reference to Jesus it is in reference to his dual nature. In other words, the duality of Jesus is his two natures- humanity and Divinity. There really is a duality, but it is not a duality of persons within the Godhead. It is simply a distinction between the human side of Jesus and the Divine side of Jesus. The humanity of Jesus is not the same thing as his Divinity. The two terms are not interchangeable. Jesus could speak and act from both, and many times he did.

In every passage in reference to Jesus we must ask ourselves, is this in reference to his humanity, his Deity, or both? Jesus could act from just humanity, just Deity, or both at the same time.

Anytime we see a plurality in reference to God we must not assume that God has acted as a person. The scriptures describe God in roles and relationships. We must look at every verse with the scriptural concept of roles and relationships in each passage. Let scripture place itself in proper context. Let scripture interpret scripture.

The New Testament writers did not have a concept of a trinity. The doctrine of the trinity wasn’t developed until the third century (Bernard, p. 105). The doctrine of the trinity was developed by Tertullian and others and is not the belief held by the first century Church fathers (Watts, para. 4). The Jewish writers of the New Testament were strict monotheist (belief in one God). They believed in one God to the point that they understood Jesus to mean that he was their one God of the Old Testament.

John 8:56-59  56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.  57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?  58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.  59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

John 10:30-33  30 I and my Father are one.  31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.  32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?  33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

The Jews believed in one God.

Deuteronomy 6:4  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

Mark 12:28-32  28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?  29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:  30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.  31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.  32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:

When Jesus claimed to be God, they understood that he was claiming to be their one God. They had no other concept of the nature of God other than the fact that there is one God.  The idea of the trinity would have never entered their minds because of their strict monotheistic belief.

Some passages at first might seem to have a Trinitarian concept of God because they have been interpreted and taught with a Trinitarian viewpoint for centuries. Trinitarians have interpreted these verses according to Trinitarian beliefs to the point that the Trinitarian interpretation is accepted without question. Trinitarian answers are the commonly accepted answers because they are the most popular.

To the New Testament writers, the passages that are commonly interpreted to describe a Trinitarian viewpoint simply referred to God in Christ; not a second person in the Godhead. The idea of God in Christ did not contradict their understanding of one God. God in Christ was simply the one God of the Old Testament manifest in flesh- just like He said He would.

Isaiah 43:10-11  10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.  11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

When verses that are interpreted through Trinitarian glasses are viewed from the standpoint of the dual nature of Jesus, we do not see persons within the Godhead but rather one God manifest in flesh. All verses that seem to show a duality actually do show a duality, but not within the Godhead. The duality is the two natures of Jesus- God and man. Many say they see two when Jesus is speaking to the Father. This is because there are two when Jesus is speaking to the Father. The question is two what? Two Gods? Two persons within God? The two-ness that we see is two natures. Jesus is speaking as a man to God.

When Jesus ate, he ate as a man. When he prayed, he prayed as a man. When he slept, he slept as a man. When he died, he died as a man.

When Jesus healed the sick, he healed the sick as God. When he raised the dead, he raised the dead as God. When he forgave sin, he forgave sin as God.

Jesus is God.

Isaiah 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 7:14  Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Matthew 1:23  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

John 20:28  And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

Colossians 2:9  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

As a man, Jesus is the Son of God.

Galatians 4:4  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

Hebrews 1:4  Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

The scriptures show us that Jesus was unique in a way that no other human being has ever been- he had two natures. He had a human nature, which consisted of a human body, soul, and spirit, and he had a Divine nature, which was the one God manifest in flesh. With these scriptural concepts in mind, every perceived Trinitarian verse in scripture can be answered by the dual nature of Jesus.

References

Bernard, David K. (1998). Oneness and trinity A.D. 100-300

            Hazelwood: Word Aflame Press

Watts, Joel (2008). Reviewing early Christian doctrines. Retrieved January 12, 2010 from,

            http://thechurchofjesuschrist.us/2008/07/reviewing-early-christian-doctrines/

4 Comments

  1. 7/ 12 I just finished reading some of your commentaries. I fine that they hold to the truths of God’s word. Trully, we must worship God in Spirit and in truth. Oh, what a revelation Jesus Name is. I am 66 yrs. old and many years ago , He revealed Himself to me along with His standard and way of living. Thank you for taking time to post His word.

  2. I understand the dual nature of Jesus but my question is this. In John 17:5 Jesus asked that He be glorified in the Father’s own presence, which is the glory He had with the Father before the world was.

    What form, nature or substance did He have while in the presence of the Father before the world was?

  3. Hi John. Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. I’ve been looking through my posts. I’ve covered this in detail, but I’ve not been able to find it. The short answer is Jesus was referring the glory of the lamb slain from the foundation of the world – in the plan of God. I’ll keep looking for the article and post a link.

    Thanks

  4. I know that many verses are interpreted through a Trinitarian lense. How can this be anything other than just another presupposition? There is no objective proof that this is the correct way to read the text, is there? Not an opinion of a theologian, not from what the Bible says because we cannot prove that the person who wrote it was accurate. What then is the criterior for “true” belief? Is a consensus the way to determine truth? No. We can all believe something that is wrong. All we have is an interpretation based on our presuppositions. Please direct me to where a determination of “true belief” concerning the issue of Christ.

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