Tuesday, October 08, 2013

A Lesson from Jesus’ Rebuke

In order for a theological paradigm to correctly represent the source text, as in the Bible, it must be in harmony with it throughout, even in the most minute details. Does Trinitarianism pass this test of harmonizing with every detail? There is one feature of Jesus’ teachings that makes this question worthy of examination.

Trinitarianism teaches that Jesus is an immortal divine person with divine and human natures in hypostatic union, along with an immortal soul; and that it was Jesus’ human nature that died, not his person.[1] However, this is emphatically incompatible with Jesus’ repeated declaration that he would be killed, as seen in what is termed the Passion Narratives.

Notice the conversation Jesus had with Peter in the most significant Passion Narrative found at Matthew 16:21-23 and at Mark 8:31-33.[2] Here, Jesus made it very clear that he would be killed. But Peter with good intentions rebuked him, saying: “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” (Matthew 16:22, NASB) Here Peter tried to console Jesus, naively attempting to reassure him that he would not be killed. Now since Trinitarianism teaches that Jesus is immortal on two counts, an immortal divine person with an immortal soul, it is actually in agreement with Peter’s rebuke in that it too would have assured Jesus that he would not really die. But Jesus called such reasoning satanic and thoughts of men alienated from God, as he proclaimed to Peter: “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me, because you think, not God’s thoughts, but those of men.”

“Get behind me, Satan!”

On the contrary, if the Trinity were true—if Jesus was immortal—he would have confessed to Peter:
“You know Peter, you have a good point. As the second person of the impersonal Trinitarian Godhead, I’m in essence immortal, and even my human nature has an immortal soul! So I really can’t be killed. Only my flesh is going to die, which is no real sacrifice at all since I’ll still be alive the whole time. Good point Peter!”

“Good point Peter!”

But instead, Jesus pronounced his fiery rebuke on Peter. Indeed, emphasizing how serious Jesus was about being killed is that not only did he twice repeat his description of his persecution and death, but that on these later two occasions, no one dared to correct or console him for fear of receiving another incendiary denunciation.[3]

But why did Jesus also say “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell [Gehenna, the Valley of Hinnom burning garbage dump].”? (Matthew 10:28, NIV) What he meant is revealed in Luke’s parallel: “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell [Gehenna]. Yes, I tell you, fear him.” (Luke 12:4-5, NIV) That is, fear the person who has the power to deny you a resurrection from the dead. Interestingly, Hebrews 5:7 informs us that Jesus relied on God to be resurrected from the dead.[4]

Therefore, Jesus had to willingly sacrifice his life and be completely, positively dead (not still alive as an immortal soul and as the second immortal divine person of the Trinitarian Godhead) in order to be the Ransomer. Thus, the Bible is clear as seen at Galatians 4:4 that Jesus was born from a woman and that he was resurrected by his God and Father (Galatians 1:1), the “only true God.” (John 17:1-5)

Consequently, Trinitarianism is certainly seen to be a deception that fits into what Paul warned Christians about at Ephesians 4:14, that “certain kinds of very cunning people, who are skilled at deceitful scheming” would “come in and teach false doctrines which would in turn stunt the growth of the believers.” (NET Bible footnote) In order to grow to maturity then, this deceptive scheme must be rejected and replaced with a theological paradigm that correctly represents Biblical monotheism.

The Passion Narratives place Trinitarianism at the receiving end of Jesus’ rebuke.
  • Jesus did not believe in the immortality of the soul.
  • Jesus did not believe in Trinitarianism.

[1] To elucidate, Trinitarianism teaches that Jesus did not fully or really die, as his “divine nature did not die,” only his “properties of divinity” with his human body died. (Slick, Matt. “The Trinity, the Hypostatic Union, and the Communicatio Idiomatum.” carm.org/christianity/christian-doctrine/trinity-hypostatic-union-and-communicatio-idiomatum) Notice it is also claimed in that article that “the person of Jesus died.” However, both Trinitarianism (see The Person of Christ link below) and that same article presents the opposite, that the person of Jesus is divine and therefore “did not die”—it was the “properties of divinity” with his human body that died. This is an ignored yet glaring contradiction of astronomical magnitude that wreaks havoc with that source’s credibility. Additionally, another Trinitarian source confirms concisely that “Jesus died physically, but remained alive spiritually,” and that Jesus’ “essence did not die, nor could it” and “His physical body died, but His inner being is eternal and could not die.” (Houdmann, S. Michael. “Did God die? If Jesus was God, and Jesus died on the cross, does that mean God died?” www.gotquestions.org/did-God-die.html) This position was also presented by one of the brightest minds of Trinitarianism, Dr. William Lane Craig, in this video: “Was God Dead for Three Days?” youtu.be/g4uhWvEpAvk, specifically from 0:55 to the end. Here he stated:
“So when Jesus died on the cross, his human nature died, not his divine nature, he died as a man. Human death is the separation of the soul from the body, and that’s what happened when Jesus expired on the cross. His soul was separated from his body, which then became a lifeless corpse and was laid in the tomb, and then later we Christians believe was raised from the dead. So you can see that the divine nature, the divine person of Christ, is not in any way, um, extinguished in the death of the human nature of Christ on the cross.”
Thus he confirms the Trinitarian position that the person of Jesus never died, it was just his human nature on earth that expired.

Lastly, the following Trinitarian made these telling statements:
Christ’s human nature didn’t expire on the cross. Rather, the body of Jesus expired. Human nature is more than a body. Human nature, as I define it, is a composite entity. Although Jesus died, he continued to exist in a discarnate state, between Good Friday and Easter, because he had/has an immortal human soul united to the Son. The death of Jesus did not dissolve the hypostatic union. At both divine and human levels, Jesus continued to exist during the interim between his death and resurrection. triablogue.blogspot.com/2017/04/the-immortal-dies.html
He too confirms, loquaciously, the Trinitarian position that the person of Jesus never died—it was only his human body that died. (He is working with a definition of “human nature” that includes the immortal soul, whereas Dr. Craig’s definition focuses on the physical body.)

See also “Do You Reject Trinitarianism? (Point 1).” jimspace3000.blogspot.com/2010/11/do-you-reject-trinitarianism.html

[2] The parallel account of Luke 9:22 does not include the rebukes as seen in Matthew and Mark.

[3] See:
  1. After his Transfiguration traveling through Galilee: Matthew 17:22-23, Mark 9:31-32, and Luke 9:44-45
  2. His final approach to Jerusalem: Matthew 20:18-19, Mark 10:32-34, and Luke 18:31-34. See also Matthew 26:2 which lacks a Gospel parallel. The Bible in Basic English renders this last scripture as: “the Son of man will be given up to the death of the cross.” (italics added)
Thus, Jesus predicted his rejection, persecution, and death three times: before and after his Transfiguration and during his final approach to Jerusalem. It seems like if Peter was right that Jesus was not really going to be killed, that Jesus would hardly have repeated his prediction two more times. Matthew 12:40 records another Passion Narrative embedded within his proclamation of the Sign of Jonah to the wicked generation in Matthew 12:38-42. This brief account specifically points to the fulfillment of Jonah’s experience in an aquatic grave to the Son of Man’s experience of being dead for a similar length of time. (See: Messianic Symbolism of Jonah jimspace3000.blogspot.com/2011/05/messianic-symbolism-jonah-jonah-wayward.html) Note too the parable of the fortified vineyard in Matthew 21:33-41. There, Jesus is clearly placing himself within this parable as the landowner’s son who was ‘thrown-out and killed,’ with the Greek word for “killed” being the same in Matthew 16:21. Thus Jesus was including a Passion Narrative within this parable.

[4] Hebrews 5:7 and Trinitarianism: A Compatibility Crisis jimspace3000.blogspot.com/2012/09/hebrews-57-and-trinitarianism_11.html

The picture of the censuring Jesus was chosen as it satisfactorily represents Jesus’ wrath in his rebuke, not necessarily his personal appearance.

By way of contrast, the “Good point Peter!” image was included to drive the point home that if Trinitarianism were true, then Jesus would have had to respond in a different manner then what is seen in the Gospels—and this accompanying graphic makes this more poignant with a touch of humor. Sometimes such contrasts may serve to awaken a smug Trinitarian to the reality of his egregious error.

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