Comparing Beliefs in Jesus Christ.

Is the true Jesus Christ a Man, a God-Man or God?
Is the true Jesus Christ the Son of God or God the Son?
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Comparing Beliefs in Jesus Christ.
Is the true Jesus Christ a Man, a God-Man or God?
Is the true Jesus Christ the Son of God or God the Son?

Christ is the English term for the Greek Khristós meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew (Māšîa), usually transliterated into English as Messiah.  The word is in fact used as a title, hence its common reciprocal use Christ Jesus, meaning "Jesus The Anointed One", or "Jesus The Messiah"

Historically Jesus Christ is known as:

  • Jesus of Nazareth (c. 5 BC/BCE – c. 30 AD/CE), also known as Jesus Christ or simply Jesus.
  • Jesus Christ is the central figure of Christianity, which views him as the Messiah foretold in the Old Testament.  Islam considers Jesus a prophet and also the Messiah. The majority of Jews rejects this claim and are still waiting for the Jewish Messiah to come.

The controversy as to who Jesus Christ really is, that is, how He should be correctly known regarding His person and nature traces its roots in the first century and continues to this day. For at present, there exist many so-called Christian religions, all professing belief in Jesus Christ but with conflicting beliefs on who Jesus truly is. This controversy among Christians revolves around the divinity of Jesus.

The Great Theological Conflict - The Arian Controversy

More than 200 years after the death of Jesus and His Apostles, a great theological conflict rocked the Christian world.  This controversy centered upon the nature of the the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and his precise relationship to God the Father.  This controversy led to the convening of the First Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. by the Roman Emperor Constantine I. The Council of Nicaea adopted a term for the relationship between the Son and the Father that from then on was seen as the hallmark of orthodoxy; it declared that the Son is "of the same substance" (ὁμοούσιος) as the Father. This was further developed into the formula "three persons, one substance". The answer to the question "What is God?" indicates the one-ness of the divine nature, while the answer to the question "Who is God?" indicates the three-ness of "Father, Son and Holy Spirit". Thus, The main accomplishment of the council was the settlement of the Christological issue of the relationship of Jesus to God the Father. The Nicene Creed of 325 explicitly affirms the divinity of Jesus, applying to him the term "God".

The Council of Nicaea did not end the Arian controversy which it had been called to clarify. Up until about 360 A.D., theological debates mainly dealt with the Divinity of Jesus, the 2nd person of the Trinity. As the The Council of Nicaea said little about the Holy Spirit, it failed to to clarify the divinity of the Holy Spirit,  the 3rd person of the Trinity, thus it also  became a topic of debate.

The Council of Constantinople in 381 was called to finally settle the great controversy regarding the divinity of Jesus, the 2nd person of the Trinity and divinity of the Holy Spirit, the 3rd person of the Trinity. This council also developed a statement of faith which included the language of Nicaea, but expanded the discussion on the Holy Spirit. It expanded the third article of the creed dealing with the Holy Spirit, as well as some other changes. About the Holy Spirit the article of faith said he is "the Lord, the Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father, With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified". The statement of proceeding from the Father is seen as significant because it established that the Holy Spirit must be of the same being as God the Father. Thus it took the Church 56 years to affirm the divinity of the Holy Spirit after the Church initially affirmed the divinity of Jesus in the year 325 A.D. This Council's decision regarding the Holy Spirit also gave official endorsement to the concept of the Trinity. By the end of the 4th century, the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius "issued a decree that the doctrine of the Trinity was to be the official state religion and that all subjects shall adhere to it".  (see Lesson-3F for more details)

Christian views of Jesus Christ:  

Theological disputes over the nature of Jesus and the Holy Sprit has made the concept of "monotheism - belief in one God" a complex issue.

  • Trinitarianism - Trinitarian Christians generally believe that Jesus is God incarnate, God the Son, and "true God and true man" (or both fully divine and fully human). Jesus, having become  fully human in all respects, suffered the pains and temptations of a mortal man, yet he did not sin. As fully God, he defeated death and rose to life again.
  • Nontrinitarianism (or Antitrinitarianism) includes all Christian belief systems that reject as unscriptural, wholly or partly, the doctrine of the Trinity.
    • Unitarianism is a Nontrinitarian Christian theology which teaches belief in the single personality of God, in contrast to the doctrine of the Trinity (God as three persons).  Adhering to strict monotheism, they maintain that Jesus was a great man and a prophet of God, perhaps even a supernatural being, but not God himself. They believe Jesus did not claim to be God, nor did his teachings hint at the existence of a triune God. Unitarians believe in the moral authority, but not necessarily the divinity, of Jesus.

Generally, the basic difference between the Trinitarian and Unitarian views revolves around the belief in the divinity of Jesus. Trinitarians believe that Jesus is "God the 'Son", the second person in the Trinity, whereas the Unitarians believe that Jesus is the "Son of God"  a great man and a prophet of God, perhaps even a supernatural being, but not God himself.  (see Lesson-3A for more details)

Is Jesus the "Son of God or God the Son"?

  • God the Son is the second person of the Trinity in Christian theology. The doctrine of the Trinity identifies Jesus of Nazareth as God the Son, united in essence but distinct in person with regard to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (the first and third persons of the Trinity). God the Son is co-eternal with God the Father (and the Holy Spirit), both before Creation and after the End.
  • Son of God  Throughout the New Testament the phrase "son of God" is applied repeatedly, in the singular, only to Jesus. There are over 40 places in the New Testament where Jesus is given the title "the Son of God".

The exact phrase "God the Son" is not in the New Testament. Later theological use of this expression reflects what came to be standard interpretation of New Testament references, understood to imply Jesus' divinity, but the distinction of his person from that of the one God he called his Father. As such, the title is associated more with the development of the doctrine of the Trinity than with the Christological debates. "God the Son" is rejected by antitrinitarians, who view this reversal of the most common term "Son of God" for Jesus Christ as a doctrinal perversion.  (see Lesson-3B for more details)

God the Son as explained through the Doctrine of Incarnation

The Doctrine of Incarnation is a fundamental theological teaching of orthodox (Nicene) Christianity, based on its understanding of the New Testament. Incarnation is the belief that the second person in the Godhead, also known as God the Son or the Logos (Word), "became flesh" when he was miraculously conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary. The word incarnate means "to make into flesh" or "to become flesh". The incarnation represents the belief that Jesus, who is the non-created second person of the triune God, took on a human body and nature and became both man and God. As traditionally defined, the divine nature of the Son was joined but not mixed with human nature in one divine Person, Jesus Christ, who was both "truly God and truly man". (see Lesson-3C for more details)

Doctrine of the Hypostatic Union  also known as two nature doctrine

The Chalcedonian creed also known as the "Doctrine of the Hypostatic Union" or "Two-Nature Doctrine" was written amid controversy between the western and eastern churches over the meaning of the Incarnation in 451 AD. That is more than 125 years after the Trinity doctrine was defined in the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. The precise nature of the "Hypostatic Union" was not made clear as it is held to defy finite human comprehension, the hypostatic union is also referred to by the alternative term "Mystical Union." Hypostatic Union is a technical term in Christian theology employed in mainstream Christology to describe the union of two natures,  humanity and divinity, in Jesus Christ. A brief definition of the doctrine of two natures can be given as: "Jesus Christ, who is identical with the Son, is one person and one hypostasis in two natures: a human and a divine."  A brief definition of the doctrine of two natures can be given as: "Jesus Christ, who is identical with the Son, is one person and one hypostasis in two natures: a human and a divine."  in addition, the second person of the Trinity—God the Son, Jesus—assumed human nature, so that he has two natures (and hence two wills), and is really and fully both true God and true human. (see Lesson-3C for more details)

The great deception about Jesus Christ

While billions of people throughout the world profess belief in Jesus, many do not have a clear conception of who Jesus really is, as proven by the fact that, at present, there exist contradictory beliefs about Jesus Christ.

 In 2 Corinthians 11:3, Apostle Paul expressed his fears, that a great deception would come and he comparatively liken it to what happened in the Garden of Eden when the snake fooled Eve with a clever trick, that led to the downfall of the first couple. (Genesis 3:1-6). He said, With a clever trick, as the serpent deceived Eve in his craftiness, "People's mind will be corrupted" from the simplicity and purity that is in Christ. In the succeeding verse, Apostle Paul explained further on how people's mind will be corrupted. He said "they will preach 'another Jesus' who is different from the 'Jesus that was  preached by the Apostles'". Thus, people will be cleverly tricked to believe "another Jesus". In 2 Thessalonians 3:9-10, The deception will be done by the wicked or lawless one, in accordance with the work of Satan, They will use every kind of deceit.  In 2 Peter 2:1-2, this is written: These False Teachers will secretly or stealthily introduce heretical doctrines or destructive heresies, even denying and disowning the "Master" (true Jesus) who bought them with His blood.  (see Lesson-3E for more details)


Let us be aware that there are indeed doctrines of "another Jesus" that are being preached by religious teachers of today. Let us therefore continue our study of the scriptures so we may come to know the "true Jesus" so we will not be misled or tricked to believe "another Jesus" that will lead us to destruction and ruin our chances of gaining salvation and eternal life on the Day of Judgment.


Keep an open mind.
Try. . . . . . Take a closer look at the scriptural truth.

The scriptures will be made clear and meaningful to you as you continue to study the following lessons.

Lessons' List - Comparing Beliefs in Jesus Christ

Comparing beliefs in Jesus Christ.
"We present the verses - not opinions. You decide which is the biblical truth."


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Comparative Bible Study Lessons
 Comparing Beliefs about God and Jesus Christ.
 We present the verses - not opinions. You decide which is the biblical truth.
© 2010 Willy Trifon
September 17, 2011 10:18 AM