Sunday, January 26, 2020

Did The Earliest Christians Hold To An Adoptionist Christology?

         -"Adoptionism, either of two Christian heresies: one developed in the 2nd and 3rd centuries and is also known as Dynamic Monarchianism (see Monarchianism); the other began in the 8th century in Spain and was concerned with the teaching of Elipandus, archbishop of Toledo. Wishing to distinguish in Christ the operations of each of his natures, human and divine, Elipandus referred to Christ in his humanity as “adopted son” in contradistinction to Christ in his divinity, who is the Son of God by nature. The son of Mary, assumed by the Word, thus was not the Son of God by nature but only by adoption."
         -"First, it does not adequately explain the worship of Jesus in the context of communal and corporate worship among early Jewish Christians. In an adoptionist context, the worship of Jesus would amount to the idolatrous worship of a mere man, although he may have been adopted as God’s son, he was nevertheless a man. Furthermore, it does not address the tension between the worship of Jesus within a monotheistic frame work of first century Judaism. The same categories of worship in Judaism towards God such as prayers, invocations, creedal confessions and hymns, are now being rendered to the risen Jesus by his followers. This practice is very early in the Christian movement. In order for this Jesus worship to be quickly attested in the nascent stage of the Christian movement, as dissimilar as it was, a satisfactory cause must be accounted for it. It must be a catalyst type of cause to quickly integrate such a phenomenon as the worship of Jesus. The direction again points to the resurrection of Jesus. Included in these acts of worship are also the applications of OT texts that have Yahweh or the Lord as their referent and now have Jesus as their reference point. This bespeaks a high Christology which was absent in adoptionist circles. Indeed if adoptionism was the earliest view of Jesus, this high Christology would not be prevalent at all or attested in the earliest texts of the NT. Adoptionist Christology would not necessarily be deemed incommensurate with Judaism nor provoke the Jewish sensibilities about monotheism."
  • Does Mark 1:11 Prove The Author Of That Narrative To Have Embraced An Adoptionist Christology?:
         -"The Father’s voice from heaven expressed approval of Jesus and His mission in words recalling Genesis 22:2. What the voice said identified the speaker. God’s words from heaven fused the concepts of King (Ps. 2:7) and Servant (Isa. 42:1). This combination constituted the unique sonship of Jesus. “The first clause of the [Father’s] declaration (with the verb in the present tense of the indicative mood) expresses an eternal and essential relationship. The second clause (the verb is in the aorist indicative) implies a past choice for the performance of a particular function in history.”[34] From this point on, the reader of Mark’s Gospel knows God’s authoritative evaluation of Jesus. This evaluation becomes the norm by which we judge the correctness or incorrectness of every other character’s understanding of Him. “If Mark refuses knowledge of Jesus’ identity to human characters in the beginning and middle of his story, who, then, knows of his identity? The answer is Mark himself as narrator, the reader, and such supernatural beings as God, Satan, and demons.”[35] Jesus began His official role as the Messiah at His baptism (cf. 2 Sam. 7:12-16; Ps. 89:26; Heb. 1:5). He also began His official role as the Suffering Servant of the Lord then (cf. 8:31; 9:30-31; 10:32-34, 45; 15:33-39). “Jesus’ baptism did not change His divine status. He did not become the Son of God at His baptism (or at the transfiguration, 9:7). Rather, His baptism showed the far-reaching significance of His acceptance of His messianic vocation as the suffering Servant of the Lord as well as the Davidic Messiah. Because He is the Son of God, the One approved by the Father and empowered by the Spirit, He is the Messiah (not vice versa).”[36] (Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable)
  • Does Romans 1:4 Prove That Paul Held To An Adoptionist Christology?:
         -"sn Appointed the Son-of-God-in-power. Most translations render the Greek participle ὁρισθέντος (horisthentos, from ὁρίζω, horizō) “declared” or “designated” in order to avoid the possible interpretation that Jesus was appointed the Son of God by the resurrection. However, the Greek term ὁρίζω is used eight times in the NT, and it always has the meaning “to determine, appoint.” Paul is not saying that Jesus was appointed the “Son of God by the resurrection” but “Son-of-God-in-power by the resurrection,” as indicated by the hyphenation. He was born in weakness in human flesh (with respect to the flesh, v. 3) and he was raised with power. This is similar to Matt 28:18 where Jesus told his disciples after the resurrection, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (New English Translation footnote on Romans 1:4)
         -"Bates treats τοῦ γενομένου as “who came into existence” rather than as a synonym for gennao for “I beget”. While he admits that ginomai can designate an ordinary birth, he points out the parallel language in Gal 4:4 and Phil 2:6-7 which imply a change of status from a heavenly mode of existence to an earthly one. He also treats the preposition ek in ek spermatos Dauid as indicating Mary’s instrumental role in Jesus’ birth....The phrase kata sarka is not derogatory as it implies the Son’s pre-existence and speaks to his transition to the weak and frail human state. The en dunamei modifies Huiou Theou rather than oristhentos and is best translated as “Son of God in power”. Therefore there is no adopionistic christology here since “the resurrection event was the occasion at which the Son of God, who was in fact already deemed the preexistent Son of God before the resurrection event, was appointed to a new office that was able to be described by the phrase Son-of-God-in-Power.”
  • Does Hebrews 1:5 Prove The Author Of That Epistle To Have Embraced An Adoptionist Christology?:
         -"1:5 You are my Son. The Father’s decree declaring the Messiah to be His Son is identified with Christ’s exaltation (v. 4 note; 5:5; Acts 13:32–35; Rom. 1:4). Though Jesus is the eternal and divine Son of God (Mark 1:11; John 3:16), the declaration of redemptive Sonship prophesied in Ps. 2:7 was conferred on Him in time, when He completed His messianic work. Believers cannot become divine and share in Christ’s eternal divine Sonship, but their adoption as sons of God means that they participate in Christ’s redemptive Sonship through union with the “founder of their salvation” (2:10; cf. 3:14 note; Rom. 8:29)." (Reformation Study Bible footnote on Hebrews 1:5)
         -"3:14 we share in Christ. The Greek can be taken to mean that we are partakers with Christ, His companions (1:9), sharing new life with Him. It is also possible to translate “share in Christ,” indicating that He is the benefit we share in, through our intimate union with Him." (Reformation Study Bible footnote on Hebrews 3:14)


Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

pretty good. I jotted some notes on the subject:

arguments against Mark as isolationist

(1) “The one who is more powerful than I” before his baptism

(2)The language of John becomes even more problematic if we try to read it adoptionistically because if adoptionism is right, then Jesus had to prove his worthiness of divinity through effort and therefore to have had some kind of special life prior to his exaltation. This follows from the definition of adoptionism; after all, its not just any mortal who is worthy of becoming divine. This implies some kind of backstory that the readers of Mark would be familiar with.

the weal poimt we both need to work on is the implications: "the Greek term ὁρίζω is used eight times in the NT, and it always has the meaning “to determine, appoint.”

It seems it could go either way

(3)Especially when we take into account John’s acknowledgment of the prior power and authority of Jesus, this is very awkward. Is the voice of the Father the point that we look to to see divinization happening? This is strange because the voice merely acknowledges, it doesn’t actually *do* anything from what we can tell. All the transformation that the author wants to get across seems to have already happened once the Holy Spirit comes down and rests over him. So where’s the exaltation to divinity from a previously non-divine state?

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

when I say it could go either way I mean as far as what they will argue. we have not shut them down in that Point,I a certain what is true its just how to prove it.

rudranshjha1 said...
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