After “prophesying” the destruction of the Jewish Temple, the God Jesus and His immediate disciples move on to the Mount of Olives. It is there that the disciples ask Jesus when His Second Coming is to occur? “God” replies with an astounding declaration, a declaration that has confounded Christian apologists for ages:
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but ONLY the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.” (Mark 13:31-32; see also Matthew 24:36; NIV; Emphasis mine)
Jesus of Nazareth is claimed to have been born 100% human AND 100% “deity” inextricably bound together to form a Man-God. In fact, God Almighty incarnate according to Christian apologists. So how is it even possible that God Almighty, in the guise of Jesus of Nazareth, could be entirely clueless as to the date of His very own Second Coming? Moreover, how is it that the Holy Spirit God stood clueless as well?
Christian apologists, embarrassed by Jesus’ declaration, have struggled mightily to provide a logical explanation for God Jesus’ ignorance. Many apologists have appealed to Philippians 2:7 and the term “kenosis” in trying to rectify the problem. We must duly note that the Kenosis Doctrine is wildly disputed, with even the most “Christian” of Christian apologists at complete loggerheads with one another over it. Worse is the fact that adherents of the Kenosis Doctrine have divided themselves into two camps. The first camp believes that God Jesus divested Himself of only some of His divine attributes when He became “human.” The second camp, on the other hand, holds to the belief that in “emptying himself,” Jesus divested Himself of all His divine powers; thus making Himself completely human. The 3rd Century Bishop of Neocaesarea, St. Gregory Thaumaturgus, says as much in his Twelve Topics of the Christian Faith:
“If any one affirms that the flesh of Christ is consubstantial with the divinity, and refuses to acknowledge that He, subsisting Himself in the form of God as God before all ages, emptied Himself and took the form of a servant, even as it is written, let him be anathema. How could the flesh, which is conditioned by time, be said to be consubstantial with the timeless divinity? For that is designated consubstantial which is the same in nature and in eternal duration without variableness.”
Christian kenosis adherents, however, rely on the words of the apostle Paul:
” In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature[ God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (Philippians 2:5-7; NIV; Emphasis mine.)
The words “made himself nothing” in NT Greek (heauton ekenōsin) is transliterated “emptied himself.” (See here.) Apologists have jumped all over this to argue that the God Jesus, in becoming human, willingly divested himself of the ability to know the date of His return (i.e., the adherents in “Camp one”) .The popular Christian apologetic website, Got Questions.org explains things this way:
“Although Jesus was fully God (John 1:1, 14) when He became a man, He voluntarily restricted the use of certain divine attributes (Philippians 2:6-8). He did not manifest them unless directed by the Father(John 4:34; 5:30;6:28). He voluntarily restricted that omniscience to only those things God wanted Him to know during the days of His humanity (John15:15) . . . Yes, both are God. But some things Jesus had apparently chosen to “give up the rights” to be privy to during his earthly ministry.”1
Voluntarily restricted the use of certain divine attributes? Voluntarily restricted His omniscience to only those things God wanted Him to know? Are we to believe that the God Jesus knew the date of the Second Coming but told God the Father, that while in His human state, He’d let God the Father induce selective amnesia whenever confronted with a question God the Father wanted the answer kept a secret?
Where is the biblical proof for this? All Philippians 2:7 indicates is that the God Jesus, while still “God,” became a subservient human, nothing more. Becoming subservient in no way translates into a God suffering selective amnesia. Jesus is claimed to be a one-of-a-kind Man-God hybrid, but God on earth nevertheless. Therefore, He had to know the date of His Second Coming. And remember, Jesus’ words means the Holy Spirit was left clueless as well. How does one explain that one?
The argument that Jesus “emptied himself” points to a God who is automatically reduced to less than God. A God who is completely ignorant regarding certain matters. A God with only limited supernatural powers. He is a God who ends up being nothing more than a semi-divine “puppet.”
Jesus could have simply told his disciples, “I’m not at liberty to tell you the date of my Second Coming” and be done with it. Could He not?
Even the author of the Got Questions article reveals he is merely speculating when he writes that the God Jesus apparently suffered induced selective amnesia, yet provides no irrefutable biblical proof of it.
Christian apologists want to point solely to the human side of Jesus to account for Jesus’ ignorance as to the date of His Second Coming, stressing that He had to “grow in wisdom” and that He grew hungry and thirsty like any other human. Though He was a subservient human, He was still “God.” Therefore, He had more than enough “wisdom” for both the divine and human sides of “the Son of Man’ regardless of what apologists try and maintain.
As for His need for food and water, we must ask: “Could the God Jesus have starved to death or die from dehydration if deprived of food and water? Not if He was truly God. The God part of Jesus was still inextricably intertwined with the human Jesus, and for all time, no less. The God part of Jesus would have kept the human in God Jesus alive by virtue of the fact that Jesus was a deity. A truly mortal Jesus could, indeed, die. But Jesus, as a Man-God hybrid could not possibly succumb to true death. Jesus was 100% God, so the apologists tell us.
If the God Jesus had somehow truly divested Himself of his supernatural attributes, He would not be the 100% God Christian apologists insist He is, but only 100% human. The apologists would then have to kiss John1:1 in conjunction with John 1:14 goodbye. It would no longer remain true. Jesus would be “God” in name only.
And so the Kenosis Doctrine falls flat on its face. It is no more than a patently contrived concoction manufactured by the Church in an attempt to try and save Jesus and the New Testament from biblical error.That is as transparent as it gets.
1 Question: “If Jesus was God, why did He not know when He would return?” http.//www.gotquestions.net. (retrieved 1/22/2018)
END Of PART I
In Part II we will deal with the so-called “Hypostatic Union” of Jesus. In other words, his supposed “two natures.” But before that, a playful account of what happened in the Garden of Eden
PART II Here
For more on the supposed “death” of the God Jesus, see here.