An 8 page research paper that examines what many theologians believe to be the greatest of all Christian mysteries – that God incarnated as a human being in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Several points of view are explored. Bibliography lists 8 sources.
into Heaven drew earth up into it, and locality, limitation, sleep, sweat, footsore weariness, frustration, pain, doubt, and death are, from before all words, known by God from within"
(Anonymous 80). This beautifully summarizes what many theologians believe to be the greatest of all Christian mysteries - that God incarnated as a human being in the person of
Jesus of Nazareth. Christians worship an all-powerful Creator, who, at a specific point in history, incarnated as a physical creature, becoming a part of the universe previously created. Put
in linguistic terms, the "ultimate Signified (God) entered the life of a lowly signifier (a carpenter from Nazareth) without ceasing to be the ultimate Signified" (Markos 66). If this seems
mind-boggling, this theological problem represents a paradox that has taxed the mind of great theologians for the past two thousands years (Markos 66). In order to appreciate the complexity
of this topic, it is helpful to have an idea of how it developed during the early years of the Christian church. Not long after the turn of the second
century, Pliny the Younger, governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor, informed the Roman Emperor Trajan about a rapidly spreading religion that was taking hold in his region (Shelley 22). These
"Christians" would gather before dawn and recite a "hymn" to Christ, as if "to a god" (Shelley 22). These hymns, which can be dated back to the earliest days of
Christianity, directly contradict the idea that the doctrine of Incarnation was formulated by fourth century theologians (Shelley 22). This constitutes a principal reason why the orthodox party eventually triumphed over
Arian heresies. But while the Church settled the Arian controversy over the issue of Christs full divinity and humanity, it did not settle the issue of precisely how the divine