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Trinitarians assert that Jesus is the Eternal Word of God.

From John 1 they assert personified pronouns in order to claim this chapter supports this idea. This assertion of ambiguous Greek pronouns can be discussed and debated at length.

However, in the context of this question, let us assume Jesus is actually the personified Eternal Word of God. Furthermore, let us assume every theoretical detail of the Trinity.

I often ask Trinitarians why God(Jesus) has a God(the Father) and the response is that the human part of Jesus has a God, but the divine part of him does not have a God because he is God.

The common Trinitarian belief is that Jesus began to have a God when he took on flesh. He currently still has his flesh (now glorified) and is still a man.

This Jesus then, is now and forever fully man and not only fully God Almighty as he was eternally with the Father. This God-man has a God now and forever who he will serve into eternity as high priest. The Risen Son is not a high priest to himself.

Heb 2

16 For indeed he does not give aid to angels, but he does give aid to the seed of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things he had to be made like his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that he himself has suffered, being tempted, he is able to aid those who are tempted.

Heb 7:20

And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:

“The LORD(YHWH) has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever.’

Heb 8

1 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.

3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. 4 For if he were on earth, he would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; 5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” 6 But now he has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as he is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

Jesus was glorified and exalted beyond the angels... beyond every creature to ever exist.

But this Eternal person, the Logos, seems to have been diminished in stature to that of a servant/minister of God (high priest) instead of his former status as fully God Almighty.

My questions:

  1. How do Trinitarians understand this change in stature and place of the Logos within the Kingdom of God?

  2. How do Trinitarians make a case that his stature was not diminished, when formally he was not subordinate to anyone?

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    Feel free to refer to my edit as a probable reason. I chose to improve your Question rather than downvoting. If you want to actually interact on this SE, however, you need to learn to be polite. Note also 1 Peter 3:15.
    – Matthew
    Commented Apr 26 at 18:33
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    You are being unnecessarily confrontational and asserting as facts things that most users disagree with. SE is for asking questions, not trying to promote views. Therefore, I am downvoting this. Please also read the Code of Conduct.
    – Matthew
    Commented Apr 26 at 18:48
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    You are being confrontational in a negative way. Consider Peter's edit; those parts he removed were both unneeded and objectionable. I would have (and did, before you reverted it) further removed the "let's assume" sentence; asking your target audience to assume things you know full well they already assume/believe is both unnecessary and likely to be perceived negatively.
    – Matthew
    Commented Apr 26 at 22:46
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    @ReadLessPrayMore Phrase like this are inappropriate and disrespectful: "I have already dismantled this in other unpopular questions of mine." "Of course this is nowhere found in any scripture ever but lets run with it....." Be thankful that Peter edited your question rather than just closing or deleting it.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Apr 27 at 1:25
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    They are your beliefs of what are true. If you can't be respectful to people with different beliefs then this is not the site for you.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Apr 27 at 1:34

5 Answers 5

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Do Trinitarians believe that the Second Person of the Trinity eternally lost glory in the Incarnation?

No. Jesus(God) temporarily set aside His Glory in order to enter into Creation. Jesus took back His Glory when He ascended.

I could easily cite Scripture to that effect (Philippians 2:9-11, for one), however this is not the OP's original question. While @PeterTurner's edit is certainly helpful in terms of removing gratuitous hostility from the Question's tone, I disagree with his rewording of the final question. Let's have a look:

Did the eternal Logos (Jesus) get demoted from being fully God to now also (somehow) being fully man and having to be in servitude to his God forever?

Again, no.

This idea seems to come from misunderstanding Hebrews 7. When Jesus becomes a priest, the crucial idea is not that He is somehow "in servitude to" to the Father (phrased thusly, there are inappropriate negative connotations), even though He did humble Himself as a servant (Philippians 2:5-8). Also, it must be noted that Christ takes on the role of subservience as a choice, out of humility, not because He has been "demoted".

The point of Hebrews 7 however is that Christ, as the priests before Him, is our intercessor. More, He is the perfect intercessor. As to being a priest "forever" specifically, mind the context:

22This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant. 23The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, 24but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever.

The author isn't speaking of a "permanent demotion", or indeed of any sort of "demotion", but of the permanence of Christ's ability to intercede on our behalf.

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  1. There is a spectrum of understanding among those who profess to be 'Trinitarian'.
  2. It is not true that (Quote) The common Trinitarian belief is that Jesus began to have a God when he took on flesh [sic]. It is a much more common belief that the Son of God has a God in the Father, eternally.
  3. The Greek text does not indicate that (Quote) ... the Logos, seems to have been diminished in stature ... [sic].

As well as writing 'the logos was with the God' (in the beginning) John also writes 'the life the eternal which was with the Father', 1 John 1:2. And John also writes 'in him (the logos) was life'.

Thus :-

  1. There was with the Father a life which was eternal.
  2. This life, being with the Father, is the Son.
  3. This relationship, of Father and Son, is eternal.
  4. The logos, being with the God before creation, is the Son.

Jesus speaks of 'the son of man which is in heaven' when he, himself was standing with his feet on the earth.

Thus :-

  1. He who is 'son of man' is in heaven.
  2. He who is 'son of man' may also be on earth when he is in heaven.
  3. This is quite understandable in terms of Deity and humanity being attributes of a single Person.

I am now quoting the words of Granville Sharp, who was not only responsible for campaigning, tirelessly and successfully, against the enforced transportation of persons from the African continent across the Atlantic to serve, as slaves, on another continent, he was also responsible for 'Sharp's Rule' which demonstrates the Greek idiom of 'bracketing' personal descriptions of a single individual with the Greek article, which occurs several times in scripture in important texts which convey the Deity of Christ.

As we believe that three persons exist in one and the same God, we cannot believe any one of them to be less than God, without denying the unity of the Godhead.

And, as each person is God, it follows that each must be the great God.

Granville Sharp then goes on to demonstrate the translation of Titus 2:13 to be :

... the great God and Saviour of us, Jesus Christ

... του μεγαλου θεου και σωτηρος ημων ιησου χριστου


These things being so, it can never be the case that logos is diminished in any way. He that is God, the great God, can never be anything else.

That he is incarnate, does not alter his divine attributes.

For he is God.

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Logos, being not only the Word of the Father but also the rationality behind those words, has always been God. God has eternal, infinite, perfect integrity and there is, therefore, no ontological difference between who He is (Father), what He says (Son), and what He does (Spirit). Those three have always been fully God.

Since God may claim personhood (Father) so then Logos (who is God) may also claim personhood (Son). This Word/Logos/Son has only, ever, always done the Father's will.

The Father's will was that the Word become flesh in the form of a man to redeem humanity. Having taken on the form of a servant (Jesus) He behaved as a servant. As the son of man He prayed to His Father. As the Son of God He only, ever, always did the Father's will.

His role as God the Son has never changed, He does what the Father sends Him to do. No demotion.

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The eternal Logos (Word) of God had humanity added at the point of the Holy Spirit overshadowing Mary, which was when the prophecy was fulfilled: "Today I have begotten you".

"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, a glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

"No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." John 1:14 & 18 A.V.

In order to be seen and heard on Earth as the One who explains and shows the invisible Father to humanity, and to carry out the plan of salvation formed before they created any material thing, he had to come incognito (as it were). He had to appear as a man who could (and did) die. Further, during his time on Earth, he had to suffer may humiliations and the false accusations of ignorant men who refused to believe he was who he said he was. He had to serve the needs of others who would be delivered from slavery to sin and death. Thus his "servant role". Ah, but he remained God incarnate!

It boils down to appearances. Stature as seen by humans is one thing. It so often depends on appearances. Stature as seen and demonstrated by God is another thing. Sadly, for as long as humans look at the stature and status of the man, Jesus, without believing what God's written word says about him, they will see him inferior to what they think the Son of God should be. Nothing can be done about that by other humans, so there's no point in continuing this answer, really.

It's regrettable that this answer will not satisfy you, but given the preamble, it seems to be unavoidable that no trinitarian will be able to prove to the OPs satisfaction that the stature of the eternal Logos was not diminished by his becoming flesh. I do hope I'm wrong, however! I would be thrilled if some trinitarian could give you an answer that would help you consider the possibility that the stature of the eternal Logos has never been diminished. Sincerely.

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Economic Trinity

What you need is the distinction between the Economic and Immanent (ontological) Trinity. Wikipedia: The term "immanent Trinity" focuses on who God is; the term "economic Trinity" focuses on what God does.

Economic trinity refers to the roles and interactions of God with respect to the world, as opposed to his actual nature itself. Thus, it is most common that people confuse the (economic) subordination of the Son with the subordinate nature of the Logos to think that there is really ranks and status within God's personhood or personality. The kenosis or emptying of God the Logos into a mortal man refers to his incarnation, and it is temporal within the world and economy of God (Philippians 2:5-8). God is unchangeable by Biblical definitions. Thus, the incarnation of the logos gave up or diminished his glory, but not form/nature, as he continued to be in the form of God as a man.

The council of Chalcedon concluded that the two natures of Christ remained distinct in the union; neither nature was diminished in any way through their joining. Theodoret wrote about the immutable nature of the Logos during incarnation.

Against I. ...Now it is plain from these words that the form of God was not changed into the form of a servant, but, remaining what it was, took the form of the servant. So God the Word was not made flesh, but assumed living and reasonable flesh.

Against V.-We assert that God the Word shared like ourselves in flesh and blood, and in immortal soul, on account of the union relating to them; but that God the Word was made flesh by any change we not only refuse to say, but accuse of impiety those who do, and it may be seen that this is contrary to the very terms laid down. For if the Word was changed into flesh He did not share with us in flesh and blood: but if He shared in flesh and blood He shared as being another besides them: and if the flesh is anything other besides Him, then He was not changed into flesh.

Against VIII.-As I have often said, the doxology which we offer to the Lord Christ is one, and we confess the same to be at once God and man, as the method of the union has taught us; but we shall not shrink from speaking of the properties of the natures. For God the Word did not undergo change into flesh, nor yet again did the man lose what he was and undergo transmutation into the nature of God. Therefore we worship the Lord Christ, while we maintain the properties of either nature.

As for the John 1:2-3 pronouns for the eternal logos, they are unambiguous. The erroneous new English Bible's translations of turning the pronouns for the metaphor logos into masculine does nothing to undermine the fact that the logos is a divine person. All English Bibles before KJV and DR correctly treated the metaphor with neuter pronouns "it", according to English grammar.

We shouldn't treat the New Testament in isolation, otherwise we cannot understand any Jewish theology. The Trinity and personhood of the logos was already taught before Christianity. The Logos is called Memra in Hebrew, it is not an abstract concept or object, but a metaphor for the living God. See details from biblestudying site.

And the Targums likewise agree that it was the Memra who created man and in whose image man was created.

“In fact, according to Targum Neofiti, representing important, early traditions, man was created in the image of the Memra’ of the Lord!” – Brown, Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, Volume 2, Theological Objections, p. 21

For comparison, below is the text of Genesis 1:26-27.

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

As we can see, the actual text of Genesis 1:26-27 only states “And God said, Let us make man in our image” and “So God created man in his own image.” The text does not say “And the Memra of God said” or “So the Logos of God created man in his own image.” Consequently, both Philo and the Targums, two separate sources of ancient, non-Christian Jewish beliefs, understood that it was the figure known as the Memra (Aramaic), the Logos (Greek), the Word of YHWH (English) that was being designate by the phrase “God spoke” throughout Genesis 1.

And Genesis 1 is not unique in this regard. In Genesis 3:8, the ancient Jews also understood the phrase “the sound (or voice) of YHWH walking in the midst of the garden” as a reference to this figure known as the Memra or Word of YHWH.

I recommend reading some good sites for research, and consulting with ChatGPT will be greatly helpful.

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