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I recently got back into reading the Bible after a long hiatus, especially after a talk with my Grandma regarding religion (I've even ordered a new NLT Bible). I'm a Christian and look at things from a Christian perspective, probably Protestant since I mainly go by just the Bible and local churches, not the Catholic Church really.

The main thing that made me come back was a newfound viewpoint on God through the New Testament, mainly through his son, Jesus. I've come to look at Jesus as a cool, kind, and profound weirdo, which isn't an insult, I think weirdos are cool. He did some arguably weird things, but when you're literally God, I don't really think you'd act 100% "normal" by human standards. And humans are weird anyway, so him being weird when he's part human isn't surprising either way. He was still God, but it also showed a very vulnerable human side to him, and it really made me appreciate God more than I had before.

But Jesus, at least I feel, marked a difference in how God normally presented himself in the Bible. I know the scripture states that God doesn't change. And I'm not saying he changed per say, more that he simply developed a bit due to one reason. Which is that he became human and lived a human life through Jesus.

While Jesus was still God, he was also bound in many ways to that of a human life. He got a first hand experience of what it was like to be a human on Earth and the struggles that came with it. He talked to people directly, and learned of their struggles, and how many many Churches weren't truly good, and that many were actually corrupt. He got a human perspective on things.

Because of this, I think it didn't necessarily change him, but brought out a different side to him. He wasn't as violent for the most part, other than an occasion where he whipped people to get out for disrespecting his church by making it a market place, which is understandable. He didn't start wars and kill people, which many seemingly expected him to do, and more so spent his time simply healing, spreading the good news, and overall just telling people to be their best self, even going up against high priests and kings. He even drank and helped sinners and people of religions different than his own.

I'm not saying God in the Old Testament was bad, far from it, he's still good ol God after all, but I do think there's a notable difference in how he acts and how he's talked about between the two testaments. And I think it may be due to becoming and living as a human. I mean, there's a huge gap from his time as a kid to his time as an adult. Maybe in those years, he really realized the struggles of man in ways he may not have before (due to seeing things through the eyes of God, and not just a mere man), and developed a bit because of it, though we don't have a ton to go on for that time in his life, so it's more speculation. Still, I think it's quite likely becoming human had a huge affect on God.

I guess this is more of my interpretation than a question, but I'm still curious, what are your dudes' thoughts? Is there any biblical evidence/interpretations that answer whether this is true or not?

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  • While there are some interesting ideas and questions here, I think you need to edit this to pick a denomination whose views you want. The answers would no doubt be different depending on their doctrine of the incarnation.
    – curiousdannii
    2 days ago
  • I see, I put that I'm specifically a Christian, and added global-Christianity as a tag. I mainly use the NLT version of the bible, so the books in that version, in any translation, is what I mainly view as the bible I believe in, if that's any help in regards to which denomination's views I want. Sorry, I'm a bit new to all this, if there's anything else I should add, just tell me. 2 days ago
  • Maybe just Protestantism then?
    – curiousdannii
    2 days ago
  • Maybe? I gotta be honest, I've never really thought about what type of Christian I am. But I guess yeah, maybe Protestantism. I mainly go by the average Bible and local churches. I don't consider myself Catholic, Mormon, etc. 2 days ago
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    Welcome to Christianity SE and thank you for your contribution. When you get a chance, please take the tour to understand how the site works and how it is different than others.
    – agarza
    2 days ago
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Answering from Catholic and traditional Protestant (5 solas) perspective (both adhere to the Holy Trinity and the Chalcedonian Creed):

The Chalcedonian Creed emphasised that the union of the dual nature is analogous to the union of the soul and the human body, so that the two remained distinct but cooperates seamlesly so that there is one only hypostasis subsisting.

Jesus Christ, as a man, did develop (he grew in wisdom and stature) (Luke 2:52) but in his divine nature (being God), He did not undergo any development since it is perfect in everything. For instance, in his divine nature, He has all knowledge and all wisdom (Colossians 2:3) and all the fullness of the Godhead/deity (Colossians 2:9). In this verse, his omniscience is described as "hidden" in him, that is why Jesus as a man grew in wisdom and does not know the day of his second coming (the Parousia). (Mark 13:32).

Jesus learned (experientially) when he became flesh because prior to the incarnation, He only had knowledge of everything without experiencing them personally or first-hand:

Hebrews 5:8 (ESV): Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.

The two natures are truly distinct (not mixed but only united, Chalcedonian) in the one hypostasis (person) of Jesus Christ. The changes in Jesus as a man affects his divine nature (not changing the divine nature but attributing to it the actions of Jesus) in relation to the one hypostasis. For example, "God" purchased the church by "his own blood" (Acts 20:28).

Jesus acted, does things, experience things not as half God or half man but as God-man, simultaneously ascribing the activity of Jesus to both essences because the essences are in complete unity (even without mixing them) in one hypostasis of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is called "communicatio idiomatum".

Jesus remained a man also even after his resurrection. His body still had the marks of the crucifixion. Thomas touched the wounds in his real human body and Thomas called Jesus "his Lord and God"" (John 20:28).


notes

  1. The bible used the phrase "as man" (hos anthropos) for Jesus (Philippians 2:8) and the phrase "being in the form of God (indicative of having divine nature)" (Philippians 2:6).
  2. Hypostasis - an ancient terminology to describe the distinctions of primary ousia (particular [divine] substance/nature individuated: the three divine persons) in the one God.
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  • So he grew and developed as a man, and I understand how he's mentioned as perfect in every way as a deity. But I meant more that I believe his time being human affected how he would later act as a deity post-death, as it was still him and his personality as a man. If he truly was a man, he'd grow and develop as a man. If so, wouldn't this necessarily mean those changes would stay even when he's no longer a man? Or am I misinterpreting something or is it not something that can be 100% answered and is up for interpretion? 2 days ago
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    You're welcome. And oh, there's no fiction in the Bible but you're free to believe anything of course. In Christianity, the inerrancy of Scriptures is mostly accepted. Perhaps, you refer to parables and allegorical interpretations.
    – Radz Brown
    2 days ago
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    Oh, I wasn't referring to fiction in the Bible, but books and comics with stories inspired by it which are fictional, such as Good Omens and other stories which are inspired by the scripture, but are fictional. I believe everything in the Bible to basically be fact, aside from possible human error, whether on the part of the authors, them being metaphorical, or simply just unintentional changes and misinterpretion in the story being passed down over thousands of years. But I believe it to overall be true. 2 days ago
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    Oh i sorry misunderstood. :| Yes. The Bible contains only facts. :)
    – Radz Brown
    2 days ago
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    Yeah, thanks again for the answer. :) 2 days ago
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God's personality didn't change. How He interacted with humanity changed.

It's important to understand that when God makes agreements with humans, He will always adhere to them. He may not be happy about them, but he'll stick to the terms of the agreement he made, because God is perfectly truthful and perfectly faithful. These agreements are called Covenants, which is a word still used in some forms of contract law to refer to similar sorts of agreements between humans.

Under the Old Covenant, God inhabited a relationship with the Israelites of blessing and cursing the nation in accordance with its adherence to the Law of Moses. This wasn't ideal, since it was God's second offer after the Israelites refused his initial offer for a more Christian-like relationship with Him as a nation of priests, and the Israelite nation repeatedly broke the terms of their covenant with Him and suffered the consequences of their transgressions. In the Old Testament, when God got angry at the Israelites and sent their enemies in to despoil their lands and enslave them, He wasn't being arbitrary or capricious, He was acting in accordance to the terms that both He and the Israelites had agreed to.

Then Jesus came, and by fulfilling terms of the Old Covenant and creating the New Covenant, he freed God up from having to bless and curse his followers in accordance to their adherence to the Law of Moses, and he was able to enter into a personal relationship with them the way he'd originally intended to with the Israelites.

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God is a personification of reality. Actually, a hyper-reality. Jesus "existed" as a human ideal. The best & noble qualities of a purified & selfless Man. Knowledge gathered & accumulated thru time across cultures. Jesus is in effect, the best a man can be.

You don't read the Old testament absolutely literally. Don't do the same to the New testament. Read the bible rather as a manual for living. A manual that has some examples.

This helped me understand a bit more.

There's a lot more to life than what you see.

Follow the path as earnestly, truthfully & wholeheartedly as you can. In order words, you have Harmony within & Harmony Outside. Peace within, Peace outside. As above, so below.

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God is eternal and does not change. He just is. He can see the beginning to the end. He prepared before the foundation of the earth, before any human was created, to send his Son as a human to die for our sin. Because He knew we would fall.

God's dealing with us throughout history has changed, but the plan all along was was for Him to redeem humanity. He is the Redeemer, always is. He is Love, the Way, the Truth, the Life, always is.

Edit: Also since God is eternal, His existence as a human for those 33 years as well all dealings with humans for our entire existence is part of who God is. And he still loves us.

I'm sure our everlasting glorified state in heaven with Him outshines any of our previous temporary fallen state.

Hebrews 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

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