As we have seen, the New Testament in places seems to indicate that of Christ was a human being who, in some sense, had been adopted by God and so made into the Son of God, a divine being. There were groups of Christians who continued to believe that for centuries. (Some still do!) Others had an opposite view, that Christ was completely God, so much so that he was not actually ever a full flesh-and-blood human being. There were lots of variations within these views, and there were other views as well, including one I call “separationism.”
A separationist view is especially prominent among certain groups of early Christian Gnostics. (For a basic introduction to what Gnostics were all about, check out the lecture in the previous post OR do a word search for “Gnosticism” on the blog). Here is what I say about separationist Christologies view in my book How Jesus Became God, using as an example one of the most fascinating Gnostic writings to come down to us from antiquity, The Coptic Apocalypse of Peter.
Rather than thinking that Christ was completely divine but not human, most Gnostics appear to have thought that Jesus Christ was two entities, a human Jesus who was temporarily inhabited by a divine being. For them, there was a “separation” between Jesus and the Christ. We might call this a “separationist” Christology.
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