The common belief is that Jesus was fully God and fully man; that is, 100% God and 100% man.

In John 17:5, Jesus asks the Father to return his glory as he had before he became flesh. So, his glory was not limited, but taken away or relinquished. Therefore, Jesus lost an attribute of God. If you don't possess all attributes of what God is (e.g. possess 99% attributes), then you cannot claim to be fully God.

So my question to those who believe in the hypostatic union of Christ: how is Jesus considered fully God during his earthly ministry when he declared that he doesn't have the glory of God?

Glory as an attribute of God - Exodus 16:10, 24:16-17, 33:18-19

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    Please edit your question to include from whom (i.e. denomination, etc.) you would like an answer. Be aware that not everyone has "the common belief" that you mention.
    – agarza
    Commented May 31, 2023 at 0:00
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    This is potentially a good question, but as noted it isn't asked in the standard way that is expected for this site. As a general rule of thumb (i.e. it doesn't always work) you should word the question so that it could have a single correct answer, and that same answer could be given by a Catholic, a Baptist, or an Atheist. Commented May 31, 2023 at 0:26
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    This question is fully and thoroughly covered in Trinitarian doctrine, as expressed (by Athanasius in particular) at the Council of Nicea. I suggest it be scoped for this site as beliefs differ. It is a broad subject, highly important, and essential to an understanding of the Son of God. Philippians 2:7 is, I suggest, crucial to the answer of this question.
    – Nigel J
    Commented May 31, 2023 at 14:37
  • @agarza Updated. Hopefully it's appropriate now.
    – O.J.
    Commented May 31, 2023 at 16:01
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    "Therefore, Jesus lost an attribute of God" what is your framework that a) glory is an attribute, b) that Jesus lost it and c) that God can lack an attribute at all?
    – eques
    Commented May 31, 2023 at 16:27

2 Answers 2


Glory: (1) high renown or honor won by notable achievements. (2), magnificence or great beauty. Please notice what Jesus says at John 17:1, "Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee."

The request that Jesus makes at vs1 was that He be made known on earth that He might make God known to mankind. Here His request went beyond the earthy scene to heaven itself. His request involved nothing that was not His right.

He had "NOT" renounced deity. He had assumed humanity in behalf of God and for the sake of the world. He asked now for the return of His eternal manifestation, having completed His earthy revelation. Philippians 2:5-10 explains that His attributes were "veiled." In other words, He emptied Himself of the expression of deity, not the possession of deity.

This means at John 17:5 Jesus was praying for the full restoration of His eternal glory. He knew that this restoration was in the eternal plan of God; it was part of the joy set before Him as He faced the agony and shame of the cross. (Hebrews 12:2).

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    Up-voted +1, but I question the expression 'His eternal manifestation'. Surely 'manifestation' is the incarnation ? Therefore not 'eternal' (though His presence in humanity is certainly prototokos). But I certainly agree with 'He emptied himself of the expression of Deity, not the possession of Deity'. Yes, indeed.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Jun 1, 2023 at 1:49
  • Thanks Nigel. I corrected my mistake. I meant the word glory.
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Jun 1, 2023 at 1:59
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    I agree with @NigelJ that saying "eternal manifestation" is questionable. It's also not common in theological literature and may confuse people. The eternal Logos is NOT a "manifestation". Jesus IS, but as NigelJ said the common term is "incarnation". Better say "bodily manifestation" of the Logos. Secondly, "eternal manifestation" may falsely imply that the body of the Logos exists "from eternity". It should have been for eternity" (starting at conception). I recommend saying "He asked now for the return of His bodily manifestation that exists for eternity, having ..." Commented Jun 1, 2023 at 12:45
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    @O.J. Your are stating that 'glory is an attribute of' . . . deity. I am not so sure of that. Spirit, fulness and eternity are attributes of Deity, as such. (That is to say, not personal matters but matters of nature.) The Son of God did not lay aside his integrity in becoming incarnate. But he did lay aside his glory.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Jun 1, 2023 at 16:23
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    @O.J. If this is an exercise in disputing the hypostatic union, I regard it as a very weak argument indeed, involving technical discussion and definition as to 'glory'. Set against the massive evidence in scripture as a whole, I find it pointless to investigate this particular point . . . . . myself. One could certainly not build a whole structure of doctrine based on this - extremely - weak foundation.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Jun 1, 2023 at 20:04

Had Jesus presented himself in his Full Glory no one would be able to look upon him. That would defeat the purpose of his presence as a man. ( Remember Moses had to wear a veil not to scare people, because of the LIGHT of God’s glory emanating from his face from being near Him)! If I leave something of mine with you for safekeeping, it does not mean I have lost it nor does it mean I don’t own it. I may ask you to return it to me since it is mine. Jesus was doing this on a Spiritual level.

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