Thursday, 29 December 2011

Was Jesus Ignorant About His Second Coming Date?

Was Jesus Ignorant? It is argued that Jesus as God Incarnate sometimes only operated out of limited human knowledge.!
Written by Dr Andrew Corbett, President of ICI Theological College Australia, and author of the popular commentary on the Book of Revelation- The Most Embarrassing Book In The Bible, December 29th 2011
Was Jesus Ignorant?
Take a Bible College Course on Jesus Christ (called "Christology") and eventually you will study the incarnation of Christ and explore how His Divine and Human natures formed a union. The mystery of how God became man is further magnified when it is supposed that although Christ possessed all of the Divine attributes (immutability, eternality, omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence) He was at times not utilizing His Divine nature and instead speaking from His limited Human nature. In this way, it is argued, Christ was actually ignorant of certain things. The most common proof-text to support this doctrine is Matthew 24:36-
¶ "But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only."
Matthew 24:36
This verse is similarly stated in the Gospel of Mark (13:32). On the surface it appears that Christ is pleading ignorant about the timing of His parousia ("coming"). If so, how could an omniscient Being be ignorant of anything? This apparent conundrum is resolved by appealing to Christ's two natures (Divine and Human) and reasoning that there this is an instance when Christ spoke from His human nature (limited in knowledge) rather than His Divine nature (omniscient). But this explanation creates more problems than it attempts to solve. Respected Bible Commentator, Adam Clarke, who published his commentary on the Bible between 1810-1826, recognized the weakness of this "two natures" explanation-
This clause is not found either in Matthew or Luke; and Ambrose says it was wanting in some Greek copies in his time. To me it is utterly unaccountable, how Jesus, who knew so correctly all the particulars which he here lays down, and which were to a jot and tittle verified by the event-how he who knew that not one stone should be left on another, should be ignorant of the day and hour when this should be done, though Daniel, Dan. ix. 24, &c., could fix the very year, not less than five hundred years before it happened: how he in whom the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily, and all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, should not know this small matter, I cannot comprehend, but on this ground, that the Deity which dwelt in the man Christ Jesus might, at one time, communicate less of the knowledge of futurity to him than at another. However, I strongly suspect that the clause was not originally in this Gospel. Its not being found in the parallel places in the other evangelists is, in my opinion, a strong presumption against it.
Adam Clarke
Adam Clarke makes an astute exegetical observation that is too frequently overlooked or ignored by others...[read full article

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