I recently read a pastor talking about how while Jesus was a baby in the manger, he was simultaneously keeping the entire universe running.

Yet a baby consciousness is very different, presumably, from what is required to do the latter.

Do Trinitarians hold that Jesus has (or at least had, prior to Ascension) two centres of consciousness? (I.e., two centres of subjective experience?)

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    What is a "centre of consciousness?" Depending on what you mean, there could be multiple answers, as there's multiple conflicting christologies that can nevertheless be called Trinitarian. E.g. whether Christ has 1 will or 2.
    – user54757
    Jul 25, 2022 at 16:27
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    Trinitarians conceptualize it as "two natures, one person" (hypostatic union) where the person can operate through either nature or both at the same time. You may find my answer to a related question helpful: How could Christ uphold the universe as a helpless babe?, featuring an excellent short video by a Catholic Thomist philosopher, Eleonore Stump. Jul 25, 2022 at 19:07
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    Related, possible duplicate Why is Jesus Christ one person despite having two minds ? Accepted answer explains Hypostatic Union.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 25, 2022 at 20:11
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    Without a more refined definition of "centre of consciousness" I don't think you'll get the straight yes or no that you want here @OneGodtheFather
    – user54757
    Jul 25, 2022 at 20:52
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    @OneGodtheFather So... He has two centres of consciousness? Just think methodologically for a moment. There was no revelation other than the canonized "secondary" sources (NT). We have to see various attempts in church history to define Trinity and dual nature of Christ as human construction using the best philosophical concepts to approximate reality without distorting trusted data (NT). Why do we even bother? Historically it was merely used to prevent heresies, NOT to probe the mystery beyond what God decided to reveal. So my answer: We don't know. Jul 25, 2022 at 21:21

1 Answer 1


Mark 11:12-13 Would an omniscient God have to go to the fig tree to search for figs he already knew to be absent?

Luke 22:43 Would an omniscient God who upholds the universe require strengthening by an Angel whom he had created?

John 11:34 Was Jesus simply faking a lack of knowledge when he asked where the body of Lazarus was?

Phillipians 2:7 Jesus emptied himself, taking humanity with all it’s frailties and limitations and came to our world as one of us to triumph over sin through complete and total reliance on His Father. He exercised no power not available to us, which he instructed us to ask for in His name. cf John 14:10-14

If you would really like to dig deep into the subject there is a 1977 book available online, “The man who is God” by Edward Heppenstall. http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/mangod/index.htm

Edit for additional clarity:

In summary, No, Jesus the man was not possessed by the Son of God who then lived a separate existence and as a separate being inside of Him. Jesus voluntarily gave up the nature that He shared with His Father, His equality with God, and laid it aside for us.

Then, as Gabriel told Mary, by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born a man, in every way like you and I. See Gal 4:4, Hebrews 2:17.

The Most High God, the Almighty (cf Rev 1:8), truly and personally became one of us, made a little lower than the angels, and entered into the world in the exact same way every single one of us is, born of a woman. The only single difference is that as Paul writes, “yet without sin”.

As Paul describes in Romans 7, we are carnal, born into sin (cf Psalms 51:5), with a flawed nature we have inherited from Adam. However Jesus was exempt from our fallen human nature, instead inheriting from His Father the perfect sinless nature that Adam had before the fall. In this He became the second Adam.

Jesus did not assume a human body (complete with a separate mind and consciousness) which he just wrapped around His heavenly form to later be discarded. He actually gave up the glory he shared with His Father (cf John 17:5) from before the creation of the world. He had (past tense) before, He did not have now, else He would not have asked for it.

So clearly scripture teaches that Jesus became a man at the incarnation and at all times was a single consciousness, He was not at any time ever two centres of consciousness. This belief in two consciousnesses is Gnosticism and a major part of what the Gnostics believed.

The big take away from this study is that Jesus was and still is truly human. Jesus never ceased to be the son of God at any time. He always was the Holy One of God at all times.

But Jesus emptied Himself voluntarily, and became one of us and like you and I, as a human being, born under the law, he cast his lot fully and completely with us. If He had failed or sinned in any way, which was definitely possible, like us He would have fallen under a permanent sentence of death.

Jesus risked his eternal existence to become one of us and through complete and total reliance on His Father, conquered sin and Satan and secured for us the right to enter heaven as forgiven sinners with the death penalty paid for us by Him. He was treated as we deserve, so that we might be treated as He deserves.

Today, a man who is God Almighty, sits on the throne at the right hand of His Father. He has elevated humanity to the highest position in the universe under our Father and His Father. In Him and through Him humanity is united with divinity. To us a son was given. The Father gave, not loaned, His only Son, so that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have life everlasting.

Now, as when He walked the earth with men, our mighty saviour, always was, always has been and always will be one single consciousness.

  • +1 So ... yes, according to Trinitarians Jesus has two centres of subjective awareness? Aug 1, 2022 at 16:13
  • I’ll edit the answer to make that more clear. Aug 1, 2022 at 19:39
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    Whose perspective does this represent? It doesn't seem to be the traditional Chalcedonian teaching which says that God the Son did assume a full human nature with a complete human mind and soul, while keeping his full divine nature. Nothing was lost or given up.
    – curiousdannii
    Aug 1, 2022 at 21:34
  • Study the link in my answer for full details. Alternatively you could call it a Pauline perspective, as Paul said Jesus emptied himself and took the form of a servant. He certainly and clearly had “given up” everything to become the Son of Man. Jesus clearly pointed this out saying of Himself He could do nothing of himself, He relied fully on His Father. Clearly, Jesus became fully human, laying aside his sceptre, and lived completely dependant on His Father. See Jesus words before raising Lazarus. But never forget that He was still “I AM” and never ever ceased to be God. Feb 16, 2023 at 15:38
  • What is the meaning of this request for detail and citations to my answer? This is full of detail, 11 relevant scripture references and a link to the book which provides extensive coverage of this exact question and details the Biblical basis for why we Seventh-Day Adventists believe as we do. Feb 16, 2023 at 15:58

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