Trinitarians and Oneness Pentacostals agree that HOW Jesus was a
single person with two natures, is beyond human ability to apprehend.
Something described as "beyond human ability to apprehend" is the
first step toward discovering that it is actually an illogical and
thus impossible thing. Not being able to understand something
doesn't guarantee it's illogical. However, it is quite common for
religious people to fight off critiques of what they believe by
saying it's a paradox, or a problem of sinful limited human minds
that don't have all the information. I believe I can overcome those
retorts and show from the Bible that the Jesus Christ it describes,
is not merely a paradox of humanity, but an actual conglomoration of
mutually contradictory attributes. This thesis, if true, requires
that at least SOME of the NT description of Jesus is in error,
because it's logically impossible for all of it to be true at the
same time (the law of non-contradiction says A cannot be both A and
non-A at the same time).
32 "But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in
heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone." (Mark 13, NASB)
Inerrantists are quick to say that Jesus, as a man, didn't know the
day or hour, but that as God, he did, and Mark 13:32 is merely
quoting Jesus who was speaking from the perspective of a man.
Now wait a minute....if I told you that I know the day and hour i
will go to the store and that I also DON'T know the day and hour I
will go to that store...wouldn't you automatically assume there's
some sort of problem here BECAUSE IT SURE SOUNDS LIKE CONTRADICTION?
After all, one person cannot be knowledgable and yet ignorant on one
single specific piece of info ALL AT THE SAME INSTANT, and saying
Jesus had two natures doesn't get rid of the creedal/biblical
statement that Jesus is one single undivided real-life human PERSON.
So the first problem I raise is that the New Testament describes
Jesus as a person with mutually contradictory attributes (i.e., one
person both knows and yet also doesn't know, one and the same piece
Furthermore, the Trinitarian claim that Jesus in Mark 13:32 was
speaking from the perspective of his limited humanity, places
additional burden on Trinitarians, because the person that didn't
know the day of his return, Jesus describes as the "Son". Is his
choice to say "Son" a proof that he was relegating his ignorance
about the day of his return, to his human side ONLY? I will deal
with "son of man" and "son of god", since "son of Mary", a desperate
ingenious machination of apologists, violates Mark 13's
eschatological context in which this "Son" operates with all the
authority of God himself. And we all know that the immediate context
of a disputed word or phrase is where you narrow down possible
meanings to the one most likely meant by the author.
"Son of man" and "son of God" are both titles that are primarily
about divinity and not humanity..
Notice in the immediate context of verse 32, the clues that
this "Son" who doesn't know the day of his return, is being spoken of
from the standpoint of his DIVINITY (i.e., arriving on clouds,
commanding the angels, his words will never pass away, the allusion
to Daniel's divine "son of man", who would be served by the whole
world [cf., Daniel 7 , etc).
Additional proof that Jesus thought "son of man" meant divinity and
not just humanity...
"The Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath" (Mk 2:28) Not just any
human was lord of the Sabbath, that person had to be DIVINE.
Jesus mentions specifically the abomination of desolation spoken of
by Daniel the prophet and then mentioning "son of man", putting the
book of Daniel in his hearers' minds. Daniel 7 describes a figure
who is like a "son of man":
13 "I kept looking in the night visions,
And behold, with the clouds of heaven
One like a Son of Man was coming,
And He came up to the Ancient of Days
And was presented before Him.
14 "And to Him was given dominion,
Glory and a kingdom,
That all the peoples, nations, and men of every language
Might serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
Which will not pass away;
And His kingdom is one
Which will not be destroyed.
Most conservative inerrantist scholars agree that Jesus believed
himself to be this "son of man" in Daniel 7. Such a "son of man" is
who he is because of his divinity, not just his humanity, amen?
24 "But in those days, after that tribulation, THE SUN WILL BE
DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT,
25 AND THE STARS WILL BE FALLING from heaven, and the powers that are
in the heavens will be shaken.
26 "And then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN CLOUDS with great
power and glory. (Mark 13)
Here Jesus also refers to the sun being darkened, the moon not giving
it's light, and the stars falling from heaven, which seems like a
direct quote from Isaiah 13, Ezekiel 32 and/or Joel 3. But in all
three OT sources, these signs are precursers to the decidedly
DIVINE "day of the Lord" judgement, whereas Jesus places these signs
as precursers of HIS day of judgement:
10 For the stars of heaven and their constellations
Will not flash forth their light;
The sun will be dark when it rises,
And the moon will not shed its light.
11 Thus I will punish the world for its evil,
And the wicked for their iniquity; (Isaiah 13)
7 "And when I extinguish you,
I will cover the heavens, and darken their stars;
I will cover the sun with a cloud,
And the moon shall not give its light.
8 "All the shining lights in the heavens
I will darken over you
And will set darkness on your land,"
Declares the Lord GOD." (Ezekiel 32)
14 "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!
For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
15 The sun and moon grow dark,
And the stars lose their brightness.
16 And the LORD roars from Zion" (Joel 3)
So then, Jesus saying that the "son" doesn't know, is not hardly a
reference to his limitations as a human, but from the immediate
context, is a reference to his Divinity, and thus causes the
Christian to be stuck with a Jesus whose ignorance extends all the
way into his "Divine side" and not just his human "side". For those
Christians who would say that verse 32 is where Jesus changes the
meaning, that's the fallacy of begging the question, because what
exactly verse 32 means with "son", is exactly the point being debated.
I can extend this argument by asking those Christians why exactly
they abandon their acceptance of the law of non-contradiction (i.e.,
A cannot be non-A in the same place at the same time in the same
circumstance) in the case of Jesus and the bible, but nowhere else.
Doesn't the science of Christian apologetics committ those who
practice it, to the belief that logical fallacies must always be
avoided regardless of who has them or what they have to lose by
getting rid of them?
Let's get real hard and heavy: Would you give up your Christian
faith on the basis of a proof that it was illogical? If not, why do
you think a proof that atheism is illogical should motivate atheists
ti give up atheism? Proving something illogical doesn't mean that's
the end of it, amen?
If logic need not always be adhered to in discussions of the bible,
how did you come to that belief? Are there other situations in which
you accept mutually contradictory attributes in one person or object
as being both true at the same time? Or is it only when we are
dealing with the one book and faith upon whose historical facticity
you have staked your entire life and integrity on?