A. Theory of an incomplete humanity. Gess and Beecher hold that the immaterial part in Christ?s humanity is only contracted and metamorphosed deity.
The advocates of this view maintain that the divine Logos reduced himself to the condition and limits of human nature and thus literally became a human soul. The theory differs from Apollinarianism, in that it does not necessarily presuppose a trichotomous view of man?s nature. While Apollinarianism, however, denied the human origin only of Christ?s pneu~ma , this theory extends the denial to his entire immaterial being, his body alone being derived from the Virgin. It is held in slightly varying forms by the Germans, Hofmann and Ebrard, as well as by Gess and Henry Ward Beecher was its chief representative in America.
Gess holds that Christ gave up his eternal holiness and divine self- consciousness, to become man so that he never during his earthly life thought, spoke or wrought as God but was at all times destitute of divine attributes. See Gess, Scripture Doctrine of the Person of Christ; and synopsis of his view, by Reubelt, in Bibliotheca Sacra 1870:1-32; Hofmann, Schriftbeweis, 1:234-241, and 2:20; Ebrard, Dogmatik, 2:144151, and in Herzog, Encyclopadie, art.: Jesus Christ, der Gottmensch; also Liebner, Christliche Dogmatik. Henry Ward Beecher in his Life of Jesus the Christ, chap. 3. emphasizes the word ?flesh,? in <430114>John 1:14 and declares the passage to mean that the divine Spirit enveloped himself in a human body, and in that condition was subject to the indispensable limitations of material laws. All these advocates of the view hold that Deity was dormant, or paralyzed, in Christ during his earthly life. Its essence is there, but not its efficiency at any time.
Against this theory we urge the following objections:
(a) It rests upon a false interpretation of the passage <430114>John 1:14 ? o lo>gov sa<rx ejge>neto .The word sa>rx here has its common New Testament meaning. It designates neither soul nor body alone, but human nature in its totality (cf. <430306>John 3:6 ? to< gegennhme>non ejk th~v sarko<v sa>rx ejstin ; <450718>Romans 7:18 ? oujk oijkei~ ejn ejmoi> tou~t ejstin ejn th~ sarki> mou ajgaqo>n ). That ejge>neto does not imply a transmutation of the lo>gov into human nature, or into a human soul, is evident from ejskh>nwsen which follows ? an allusion to the Shechinah of the Mosaic tabernacle and from the parallel passage <620402>1 John 4:2 ? ejn sarki<
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