Who is Jesus (PBUH) Praying to in the Bible?

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by BigJoeNobody, May 24, 2016.

  1. BigJoeNobody

    BigJoeNobody Professional Argument Attractor

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    I know it has been asked many times in the "Proving Christianity wrong crowd", but I see that consistently the question isn't really answered. Since there has been a lull, maybe we can cover this.

    some examples of his praying http://ipost.christianpost.com/post/12-bible-verses-to-show-how-jesus-prayed

    So the scenarios I see as possibilities, please feel free to comment changes, additions, alternatives, etc.

    1. (Most Common) To his father, God. The issue with this (IMO) is it hinges on a polytheist idea. a separation of the 2 entities. If they are one in the same, such as the classical 3-in-1 idea, wouldn't he be praying to himself? This would infer also that he did so knowingly, giving rise to the issue that some might look at the act as an example of self praise being the correct manner.

    2. To himself, unknowingly. I have a strong dislike for claiming God would not recognize his own self, in any form. Nor that his knowledge would be limited, especially given that he was lat least a Prophet and did miracles.

    3. (most common outside of Christianity) To God, as the prophets before him did. This theory hinges on a separation and non-divine nature of Jesus (PBUH).
     
  2. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    God in the flesh praying to his all encompassing divine spirit and invoking the power their of.
     
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Always a contentious issue, the theological question regarding the nature of Our Lord had been sometimes hotly disputed probably from before His crucifixion.

    The Council of Nicea (325AD) was in part called to settle the question, but failed in the face of continued Arian opposition, and after various other disputes, the Council of Chalcedon met (451AD) and arrived as a dogmatic statement which remained the general rule within Christian Orthodoxy from then on. Notably the Egyptian Coptic Church separated from the wider body over such nuanced interpretations of theological statements that I have often 'dared' anyone who understands the two positions (Orthodox and Coptic) to explain them ... it's no easy task!

    But Chalcedon did come up with a formulation that for the rest of the Church was deemed satisfactory, in fact inspired.

    In short, the Incarnation signifies that two natures dwell in one person, that is God has taken on human form, but God is not manifest like a man, but rather as a man, that is God as man is actually man, and experiences human nature in exactly the same way we do – God is not (as some gnostic schools insisted) merely 'appearing' as a man, or present as a man but without any inhering humanity ... for God to be manifest as man actually necessarily means God experiences as man experiences, with all the finite and contingent limitations of that nature.
     
  4. BigJoeNobody

    BigJoeNobody Professional Argument Attractor

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    So wouldn't this make the flesh without power, therefore limiting the very idea of God as a limited being? Now to be fair I ascribe to the traditional view of we are all descendants of the breath God breathed into Adam(PBUH). In that I see the same thing in Jesus (PBUH), God said be and it was. Jesus (PBUH), being limited, had to request the power of God from him, for he had no power himself. His will was not his own, but that of "the Father" (in quotes because it is language used then, but not necessarily the classical definition of Father in my opinion). If he was God, why did he need to invoke the power from the "Father". I ask this, because in his actions he mimics prophets before him. His words indicative of following their same message, which never consisted of a separation or a union, but rather unity.


    Just to be clear, I'm not trying to argue right/wrong, but rather your validation for these views that some (such as myself) see as proof otherwise. To me it makes no sense to look at Jesus (PBUH) as anything more than a messenger and prophet. and as Thomas pointed out, it was not even solidified in belief 300+ years later, and even today. I know there are Christians who don't believe in his Divinity, and I know many that blindly accept in the idea that the blind acceptance is the best. (usually quoting the encounters after the "resurrection").

    So I guess my main question is: What evidence is there that he is actually divine? He never claims to be, after the resurrection event, in the supposed enlightened state, he would have been directly tied back into "the Father", yet unlike the OT where God is clear in his proclamation of his divinity, Jesus (PBUH) never does such. So why leave it hidden and make the critical wonder and guess. If he has come as a savior (different discussion) for all mankind as it is taught, wouldn't it be a greater impact to say, "I am the Lord your God" before ascension? Instead leaving billions of people to question "If" and potentially judging a majority as those who didn't accept, leaving them to hell, or non-existence... whichever terrifying fate it is.
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi Joe –
    The flesh is not a limitation of the divine, it’s a condition of the human. The key is in the understanding that God as the Second Person of the Trinity took on human form, so the Jesus Christ who walked and talked, who hungered and thirsted, felt heat and cold, etc., is God manifesting Himself in human form, as indeed God can manifest Himself in any form, but the form that God chooses will be limited according to its nature.

    God can ‘work through’ anything, and so when the Prophets speak, it is the utterance of the Divine on their tongues, but they are not God, and they are still themselves.

    In Christ, God did not manifest Himself ‘through’ a man – that is Fred or Jim was not ‘overtaken’ or ‘possessed’ or ‘assimilated’ into the Divine, it’s not the case of a Divine Being in some form taking over a human being, rather it’s a Divine Being manifesting Itself as a human being, so the being-ness of the Incarnation is uniquely God’s, not some man’s whom God is using, but God’s power is limited in the sense that a human body could not contain it, but again, it’s not God or the Divine that is limited, rather simply the human nature and its physical faculty can only do so much …

    Well we would say that Christ as the Second Person of the Trinity is God, and was before the world was made – as Christ Himself said, ‘before Abraham was, I am’.

    The Arian dispute was over that very point – that at some point God the Father created the Son, or rather ‘there was a time when the Son was not’ – this was hotly disputed and refuted by the Orthodoxy. It continued in certain regions of the empire where the local political will supported the Arian schismatics. As an aside, the Arian dispute continued for as long as it did because of imperial interference by emperors after Constantine.

    As man, yes. As the Son of God, no. All things the Father has the Son has. Everything the Father is the Son is. He said so Himself. What He constantly shows us is the proper relation and respect due the Father by creation.

    We would say that His human will is, like ours, limited and therefore suffers unknowing, uncertainty, etc., but the Son wills what the Father wills, and where the Son does not ‘know’, His faith and trust in God is absolute – so the whole thing is really a model for man to follow.

    This is marked when the Centurion asks Jesus to heal his daughter. Christ says lead the way, and the Centurion says why? we don’t have to be there, all you have to do is say the word — and Jesus marvelled at his faith, the faith that He was trying to demonstrate by example over and over again.

    To show that everything is dependent on God for its being. Again this is in reference to his humanity rather than His divinity.

    Well the message is the same because it’s the message of God. Jesus is not a messenger of God, He’s the manifestation of God.

    The prophets never claimed to be ‘one with God’. Rather they claimed to be instruments of the Divine will. God says to the prophet, ‘Tell them this: …’

    Jesus however differs in a most significant way in that He speaks and acts from His own authority – the prophets were always clear that they acted as God directed, whereas Jesus acted on his own account. He gave a new commandment in His own name which a prophet could not do. He healed sin in His own name which a prophet could not do. It was these actions that inspired His audience to attempt to stone Him on more than one occasion for blasphemy.

    [QUOTE="BigJoeNobody, post: 306371, member: 18746”]… and as Thomas pointed out, it was not even solidified in belief 300+ years later, and even today.[/quote]
    Ah no, that’s not quite right.

    It was the faith of the Church from the beginning. It was Arius’ teaching that was new, and that’s why Arius’ congregation, dockers and fisherman in Alexandria, complained to their Bishop that Arius was teaching something different to the catechism they were taught, the gospel they had received, and the declarations they made at their baptism.

    (Really it was always a local problem. Arius was a priest in Alexandria. The ‘problem’ was that Arius had imperial connections, and used his political influence to try and over-rule his bishop because his bishop told him to stop teaching his own version of Christology. If Arius had not had those political links, it would have been a minor upset along the way.)

    Things only get defined by a Council when there’s a persistent error that the Church is trying to iron out.

    [QUOTE="BigJoeNobody, post: 306371, member: 18746”]So I guess my main question is: What evidence is there that he is actually divine? He never claims to be… [/quote]
    Scripture. Tradition. The Faith of the Church. What empirical evidence is there? None. How could there be?

    [QUOTE="BigJoeNobody, post: 306371, member: 18746”]Jesus (PBUH) never does such.[/quote]
    Oh He does. If you read the NT from the viewpoint of a Jew, it's crystal clear. Some examples: His miracles, His healings. Also His words and the reception He received: Matthew 2:2, 14:33, 28:9, John 8:58, 9:35-38, 10:30-33 …

    Jesus made an unmistakable claim to deity before the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin. Caiaphas the high priest asked Him: “‘Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?’ ‘I am,’ said Jesus.

    ‘And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven’ (Mark14:61–62). A biblically illiterate person will miss the significance of Jesus’ words. Caiaphas and the council, however, did not. They knew that in saying he was “the Son of Man” who would come “on the clouds of heaven” he was making an overt reference to the Son of Man in Daniel’s prophecy (Dan. 7:13–14). In doing so, He was not only claiming to be the preexistent Sovereign of the universe but prophesying that He would vindicate His claim by judging the very court that was now condemning Him. Moreover, by combining Daniel’s prophecy with David’s proclamation in Psalm 110, Jesus was claiming that He would sit upon the throne of Israel’s God and share God’s very glory. To students of the Old Testament this was the height of “blasphemy,” thus “they all condemned him as worthy of death” (Mark14:64–65).

    Finally, Jesus claimed to possess the very attributes of God. For example, He claimed omniscience by telling Peter, “This very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times” (Matt.26:34); declared omnipotence by not only resurrecting Lazarus (John11:43) but by raising Himself from the dead (John2:19); and professed omnipresence by promising that He would be with His disciples “to the very end of the age” (Matt.28:20). Not only so, but Jesus said to the paralytic in Luke5:20, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” In doing so, He claimed a prerogative reserved for God alone. In addition, when Thomas worshiped Jesus saying “My Lord and my God!” (John20:28), Jesus responded with commendation rather than condemnation.

    Then there are the 'I am' statements...
     
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  6. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    Yes and no. The flesh is indeed powerless on it's own. Even God in the flesh if relying strictly on the flesh. Trying to accomplish anything without invoking the divine spirit is an exercise in futility. Jesus invoked his own divine spirit through prayer and instructed others to do so in his name with the promise of accomplishing great things.

    John 14:12 (KJV)
    "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father"

    Jesus was the son of God, but not in the traditional sense. That is, God in the flesh having been born unto Mary via the divine spirit (The Father). That which all things derive. In this way God could walk among us, but retain the ability to invoke his divine spirit from above.

    Matthew 1:23 (KJV)
    "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."
     
  7. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    Thus far this thread seems little more than the differences on the subject perceived between the Christian and Muslim faiths. Is that what you were looking for, Joe? Or where you hoping to spread a wider net. If there even is a wider net?
     
  8. BigJoeNobody

    BigJoeNobody Professional Argument Attractor

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    Honestly it was too quiet for too long... just starting a conversation...

    All in all though, I somewhat agree, I knew there would be a difference and that difference is probably never going to change. If ya'll don't mind my position, I see most of these arguments using verses that could very easily be proof to the opposite of their claim. And I think that's why I couldn't continue my belief in Christianity. The only way "God with us" definitively means the person is God, is if one assumes such prior. Otherwise, much like all the other prophets who came before, one would assume simply that the person was sent by God to spread his message. Again this is just my opinion. Saying:
    leads me to ask, why then do Jews now and Jews then not get moved by it as much as Christians. It's all predisposition.

    Premonition or knowledge of future events has been granted to many a prophet Noah (PBUH) is a clear example.

    These are also premonitions, and miracles, and in doing so, the Issue of Lazarus, is he not thanking his "Father" in verse 41-42
    If one assumes a end of days, and a hereafter, then has one really been separated from anyone until Judgement Day? Again I see Predisposition. And I'm not saying you are right or wrong, just that I do not come to the same conclusions, given the same text. Your statements are based on some assumptions. Therefore it is not clear one way or other IMO.


    I'll address this one and let others analyze the rest on their own time and way. Take away the "Are the the Christ" (of course Christ meaning the Messiah) portion and couldn't all Prophets (PBUTA) claim the same in the jewish tradition? Did David not also call himself the Son of God (and in Psalms referred to as the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON)? Is it not possible he is simply Claiming to be a creation of God, or a prophet, and then the Messiah?

    Sorry one more... the reference to Son of Man seems like it might be a term they would recognize... maybe from Numbers 23:19
    Is it not possible this is meant to clarify that he (Jesus PBUH) is not God, not only that but how could someone be sitting at the right side of themselves?
     
  9. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    I think you assume that religious evidence work a certain way, that if you read it you are convinced by it. By that logic you could post sections from the Quran and everyone here would convert to Islam.
     
  10. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    Certainly religious evidence works in that way for the individual. If one is convinced by a particular interpretation of the evidence, that will determine which religious faith one will follow. If not convinced one will follow a different path. For example, try as I might to accept that the three Christian Gods are One God just in Three Parts which are actually all One in the Same except they are called by Different Names, have Different Attributes and so on and so on - try as I might to accept the logic that explains this from a Christian perspective it just seems like jumping through a whole lot of ecclesiastical hoops to make three Gods into One.

    Certain very intelligent people (or, at least, very creative people) down thru the ages have come up with some slick answers to justify the Three Christian Gods are really but One God. And who knows? (Actually a lot of people say they do). For me yeah it could be merely be some quick tap dancing with the evidence. Or they may have it right. I surely cannot prove one theory over the other. The 'evidence' is in the eye of the beholder. Or so it would seem to me.
     
  11. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    That would be my point, or rather, it is dependent on the axioms of an individuals faith.

    I can't say that I necessaries understand the trinity, but my acceptance of it, as a non-Christian, is not dependent on understanding it. Stating that a God can't or won't have different aspect on different levels of existence would imply one can grok that god as a "being" or "intent".
     
  12. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    It would appear Joe's sole purpose for posting the thread was to, stir the pot, as it were. Some merit to that on occasion I suppose, but doesn't really accomplish much beyond getting people to talk or rather argue.
    Ok, let me give the pot a stir by comparing Christianity to Hinduism. Someone give Thomas a bullet to bite on this may be painful...lol.;) To most Hindus, God is an all encompassing Holy Spirit. No physical mass as we know it, but capable of manifesting in the flesh. In doing so however, that all encompassing Holy Spirit does not cease to exist, but rather coincides with it's own manifestation. Which continues on in spiritual form once the flesh has perished. Most Hindus believe this to have happened multiple times throughout history allowing numerous representations of a single God to simultaneously exist. The significance of Jesus is that he was not born to the flesh, but rather of the flesh. A perfect union between God and ourselves. Allowing God to walk among us, lead by example and bear the brunt for our sins. Sitting on the right hand of God simply means the power of the Holy Spirit rests with him.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2016
  13. EdgyDolmen

    EdgyDolmen Well-Known Member

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    Seems to me that "Roman" Christianity began when Constantine decided: If you can't beat them, join them. He arranged for the "Church Fathers" to meet in 325 A.D. and establish "The" Christian Creed. But whoa, wait a minute - it seems many Christians were upset because the "Fathers" failed to address the Trinity question adequately so about 381 A.D. the second ecumenical Council of Nicene was assembled. The Council added: [We believe] in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke to prophets. In one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church...

    "Answers" to the same question are abundant but the "faithful" find answers that support their faith. It is an imperative!
     
  14. Hans Rasmus Kvamen

    Hans Rasmus Kvamen Member

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    Jesus is divine. The trinity means the father, the son and the holy spirit all works together with one will, one plan and one and the same thought. They agree on everything. They work together as if they´re one body. They´re divine.
     
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  15. Aussie Thoughts

    Aussie Thoughts Just my 2 cents

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    Isn't that really all you're doing here, challenging a core Christian belief, essentially saying Christianity is wrong?
    Perhaps not to everyone's satisfaction, but the question has been answered. A few of our members have done their level best right here to do just that and quite eloquently I might add. You've chosen to scoff at those answers and dismiss the scripture they're based on. I can understand wanting to initiate member participation, but this isn't the way to do it. That's not interfaith.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2016
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  16. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Quite.
     
  17. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    LOL, why?

    Quite.

    Sometimes I point out that Christ as the Second Person of the Trinity was not 'absent' from the Trinity when He walked the earth ... which tends to confuse people even more!
     
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  18. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    No, they never did as far as I know.

    Where?

    No, the quote was contextual, referencing the prophcy of Daniel.

    No.
     
  19. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Oh dear, big anachronism!

    The Bishop of Rome was not at Nicea, and only handful of the 300-odd present were from the West.The majority of the Fathers present were Easterners, and the champion of orthodoxy was an Egyptian, so it's hard to see what makes this Council 'Roman'?

    Constantine asked for the clarification of one theological point – not a change nor an introduction of anything new – so his influence on the Council was minimal, and even with his clarification, the Arian heresy continued to have traction – so in that sense Constantine failed to get the result he wanted.
     
  20. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    Just a bit of silliness on my part.
     

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