Scot occasionally tries his hand with posts related to evolution – so I suppose I can post on Jesus. This post though has a great deal to do with the discussion of the relationship between science and faith. While many would concede that Genesis 1-11 could be viewed as truth told in a form of story or parable or poetry, the way the text is used in the New Testament appears to preclude this option. If Jesus and Paul viewed Genesis 1-11 as History shouldn’t we also? This general idea has come up in the comments following many different posts, most recently the post on the Tremper Longman video, Historical Adam? I don’t think the way that Jesus refers to Gen 1-2 (see for instance Mt 19:4-6) implies historicity at all. The reference is to God ordained marriage, not to unique individuals. The reference to Noah may or may not imply that Jesus was thinking of a literal historical person (Mt 24, Lk 17). But this raises an important question…
What did Jesus know when he was on earth, fully human as well as fully divine? Does it matter?
The Biologos site has a new video up featuring NT Wright discussing this question: Understanding the Humanity of Jesus.
Wright notes, both in this short clip and in his broader writing and speaking, that it is important to remember that the church from the beginning affirmed both the humanity and the divinity of Jesus. Jesus became like us and the power of his life, death, and resurrection is tied up in this important reality. This was a profound insight on the part of the early church. rooted in the apostolic witness we find in scripture – in the writings of Paul and John most clearly. The Jesus known as fully human during his life was more than this with a far greater mission.
Some within the church, again from fairly early on, have viewed Jesus more as God with human clothing. See the non-canonical infancy gospels – for example Thomas or James – for an early illustration of this tendency. Evangelical Christians today often seem to make this kind of mistake as well and it impacts both how we think about our faith and how we approach some of the important questions in the intersection between science and faith.
The post on BioLogos sums up:
The divinity of Jesus isn’t an abstract thing–instead, it is very much entwined with his humanity. The lack of recognition of the human aspect of Jesus, however, is something that much of evangelical understanding has a hard time with and that ultimately prohibits one from actually engaging with what the Gospels are all about.
Watch the video and lets start a conversation.
Does it matter if Jesus, in his human life on earth, thought Noah was a historical person?
Is your answer different for Paul? If so, why?
If you wish you may contact me at rjs4mail[at]att.net