Related to the question: Is Jesus God or only a man?
Jonathan, a Christian Theologian, has a dialogue with Benjamin, a Biblical Unitarian Christian, about whether Jesus is God or only a man.
Jonathan: I believe Jesus is both fully God and fully man, known as the hypostatic union. This is a key doctrine in Christianity, emphasizing that Jesus is both divine and human, the Word made flesh.
Benjamin: I understand Jesus to be fully human but not divine. We believe he was a unique, sinless man chosen by God as the Messiah, but not God Himself.
Jonathan: The doctrine of the hypostatic union is based on biblical passages such as John 1:1 and 1:14, which describe the Word becoming flesh, and Philippians 2:5-11, which speaks of Jesus being in the very nature of God.
Benjamin: While those passages are significant, we interpret them differently. For instance, in John 1:1, the Word is understood as God's plan or purpose, which was then embodied in Jesus. It doesn't necessarily equate Jesus to being God Himself.
Jonathan: There are also other verses that point to Jesus' divinity, such as Thomas' declaration in John 20:28, where he refers to Jesus as "My Lord and my God!"
Benjamin: That's true, but we see that as an exclamation of amazement rather than a literal statement of Jesus being God. Additionally, Jesus himself affirms that the Father is the only true God in John 17:3.
Jonathan: I understand your interpretation, but other passages suggest Jesus shares attributes with God, such as Hebrews 1:3, which says Jesus is the "exact representation of His being." This would imply that Jesus has a divine nature.
Benjamin: We see that verse as referring to Jesus' role as the perfect human representative of God, not as an indication of Jesus' divinity. It's important to consider the broader biblical context.
Jonathan: Agreed, context is important. In Colossians 2:9, it states that "in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form." This seems to be a clear assertion of Jesus' divinity.
Benjamin: While that passage is often cited, we believe it refers to Jesus being filled with God's presence, wisdom, and power, not that he is God Himself. There are many other verses that emphasize the distinction between Jesus and God the Father.
Jonathan: It's true that Jesus and the Father are distinct persons within the Godhead, but that doesn't negate Jesus' divinity. It's the relationship between the persons that forms the basis of the doctrine of the Trinity.
Benjamin: We acknowledge the complexity of the issue, but as Biblical Unitarians, we see Jesus as subordinate to God, as stated in 1 Corinthians 15:28, where Jesus will hand over the kingdom to God the Father, so that "God may be all in all."
Jonathan: That verse highlights the functional subordination of Jesus in his role as the Messiah, but it doesn't diminish his divine nature. The incarnation of Jesus required him to humble himself, as stated in Philippians 2:5-8.
Benjamin: While we may not agree on Jesus' divinity, it's clear we both have a deep appreciation for his unique role and significance in our faith. It's important to continue engaging in these discussions to better understand each other's perspectives.
Jonathan: I agree, Benjamin. It's through these conversations that we can deepen our understanding of the rich tapestry of beliefs within Christianity, and grow in our own faith journeys.