Word of the Week Wednesday: Reduplicated Predication in Christology

by Max Andrews

The Word of the Week is: Reduplicated Predication

Definition: A means of understanding the relationship between the natures of Jesus Christ.  When Scripture attributes human qualities to Jesus they must be predicated to his human nature.  Likewise, when Scripture attributes divine qualities to Jesus they must be predicated to his divine nature.

More about the term:  With this notion, we may be able to solve the issue of predicates to the Person.  The predicate property of the person is with respect to one nature (i.e. ignorance with humanity and omniscience with divinity—hunger and fatigue with humanity, necessity with divinity).

But now there is a problem.  Once we apply this to Jesus, such predicates like omniscience and ignorance, and impeccability and humanity seem to be incompatible.  It poses a problem with limitations.  Is this irremediable?  I don’t believe so.

Further qualification—We may postulate that divine aspects of Jesus were largely subliminal during humiliation (ministry before death).

What grounds are there to support this qualifier? —This actually qualifies Jesus’ humanity even more.  Psychoanalysis has confirmed the existence of a subconscious.  This is evident in schizophrenia and hypnosis.  With schizophrenia there is one waking conscious and one (or many) that are not, yet the subliminal subconscious may still become a reality.  There is one governing controller of conscious.  With hypnosis, one may be hypnotized and instructed to not see, say, a table.  If he were instructed to walk to a door while the table was in between him and the door, he would walk around the table, even though he does not literally see it, he still possesses the knowledge that it exists in his subconscious.

During the Incarnation, the Logos allowed only certain aspects of Christ’s Person conscious which were compatible of typical human experience.  The gives much more light to His genuine temptation, the Spirit’s anointing and filling, the Spirit’s drawing Him to the wilderness, His prayer to the Father (these are not just show).  Jesus, at age 3, would not be contemplating Newton’s infinitesimal calculus or quantum mechanics; He was a genuine Jewish child that grew in wisdom and stature.  So in essence, it was a self-limitation of practical humanity with simultaneous divinity in one Person.  This is different from kenotic Christology in that He did not relinquish certain attributes and so did no longer possess them.  In this view, He still maintained every human and divine aspect with voluntary limitation.


2 Comments to “Word of the Week Wednesday: Reduplicated Predication in Christology”

  1. This is interesting stuff! I like your blog. I am interested in the way in which the divine nature in Jesus is seen by Christians to be different to the divine nature in you or I. I understand God to be omnipresent, and therefore in everyone and everything. Therefore the degree to which Jesus was different is a little troubling…. I would appreciate your thoughts on this! Best wishes, Steven (http://perfectchaos.org/)

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