I am in the midst of a thread describing different views of Christ found among early Christian groups of the second century: some Christians thought Jesus was human but not divine; others that he was divine but not human; others (the side that ended up winning the debates) that he was somehow both (that may seem common sense today, but it did not to many of Jesus’ followers in the second century!).
I haven’t begun yet to describe how that final view came about, and before doing so I need to explain a view different from all of these, one that maintained that Jesus Christ was actually *two* beings: one human and the other divine — distinct from one another, but temporarily united for Jesus’ ministry. It’s unusual, and not a view you find in a lot of pews these days.
To make sense of how the view worked and why people held it, I have to put it in a broader context. There were a number of Christian groups who held the view, most of whom could be labeled Christian “Gnostics.” Most modern Christians would (do) consider the Gnostic perspective very weird indeed. But they claimed they held to the teachings of Jesus himself. Wanna see how, well, unusual they were? I did my best to explain it all in a lecture I gave a while ago, which is not otherwise publicly available. But for you blog members: it is! Here:
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