How was Jesus raised to divinity?

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ, true God and true man

Jesus Christ is the one begotten from God the Father before all eternity (genitus, see: gr. creed) and incarnateSon of god, born of the Virgin Mary (incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine (...); cf.Gr. Creed) in Bethlehem. Baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan, He taught the people of Israel the good news of the kingdom of God at the time of the governor Pontius Pilate (around the year 30). He demonstrated his divine mission through innumerable miracles. Numerous people initially followed him. His work also aroused sensation and enmity among the mighty, which is why he was accused of blasphemy after the Last Supper and was crucified in Jerusalem by all but his most faithful, abandoned. He rose from the dead three days after his death, according to credible witnesses to whom he appeared in bodily form. He concluded his earthly ministry with the ascension to the Father in the presence of all his apostles and many disciples.

He is the founder and head of St. Church, he called the apostles and founded St. 7 sacraments. His death on the cross is the sacrifice with which God reconciled the world to himself, and whose fruits of salvation are open to every person of all times as a result of the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Redeemer, Savior and Lord. The apostles and their successors preserve his message and the memory of him. They proclaim, strengthened and guided by the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus Christ before His ascension, St. Gospel throughout the world until the return of Jesus Christ at the end of time.

Jesus Christ - Announcements in the Old Testament

The entire Old Testament is a preparation of the Jewish people for the coming of the "Messiah" (Greek: "Christ", German: "Anointed"). This anointing signifies the special consecration of a person by God with a view to a mission (cf. Psalm 44: 8). The Messiah was to deliver Israel, establish the rule of the true God to the ends of the world, and rule for ever. In the course of time God, who alone can reveal the future to men, announced more and more events from the life of the Messiah through his prophets; these events were remembered in the holy books of the Jews for centuries. The life of Jesus corresponds to the prophetic guidelines of the Old Testament.

Jesus himself says to the scribes: "You search the scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them; it is they that bear witness to me." (Jn 5:39).

Predictions of the Epoch of the Messiah's Coming

  1. Jacob's prediction in Gen.49.10: "The scepter never leaves Judah, the ruler's staff from its feet, until he comes to whom it belongs, to whom the obedience of the peoples is due."

    Jesus Christ, the Messiah, is a descendant of Judah, as the two family trees in the New Testament (Mt 1: 2-16; Lk 3: 23-38) attest. He came into the world at a time when the Jewish people had lost their political independence due to the Roman occupation.

  2. After the destruction of the first temple, the prophet Malachi announced that the Messiah would appear at the time of the second temple: "See, I am sending my messenger; he is to pave the way for me. Then suddenly the Lord whom you are looking for and the messenger of the covenant whom you wish come to his temple." (Times 3, 1).

    The first temple, built by Solomon, was built in 587 BC. Destroyed by the Babylonians; the temple was built from the 5th century BC onwards. Rebuilt. Jesus applied the first part of the prophecy to Saint John the Baptist and thereby gave an inkling that he himself was the one announced by the messenger (Mt 11, 10).

  3. The prophet Daniel announces (Dan 9: 24-27) that the Messiah will die in the seventieth week of the year (seven-year period), i.e. H. between 483 and 490 years after the edict to rebuild Jerusalem. This edict was issued by Artaxerxes the Persian king in 454 BC. Adopted. He most likely died in the year 30 when the feast of Passover fell on the Sabbath, as the Gospels tell us. So one comes to 484 years since the edict of Artaxerxes, a number that falls in the seventieth week of the year that Daniel predicted.

Predictions about the Messiah's family and place of origin

  1. The prophet Isaiah foretells: "Rice grows out of the stump of Jesse; a young shoot from its roots brings fruit." (Isa 11: 1) Jesse, Ruth's grandson, was David's father. Jesus came from the house of David, from which the Messiah, according to ancient Jewish tradition, was to emerge. (cf. Mt 1 and Lk 3).
  2. Isaiah heralds the great sign of a virgin birth: "See, the virgin is going to have a child, she is going to give birth to a son, and she is going to name him Immanuel (God with us)." (Isa 7:14) This great miracle is realized in Mary, the mother of Jesus.
  3. The prophet Micah indicates the birthplace of the Messiah: "But you, Bethlehem-Efrata, so small among the districts of Judah, from you one will emerge for me who is to rule over Israel." (Mi 5,1) The high priests reminded Herod of this text (Mt 2,6). Jesus was born in Bethlehem when God used the census decree of the Emperor Augustus to fulfill the prophecy. (Luke 2: 1-7)

Prophecies of the Messiah's Public Life

  1. The prophet Isaiah announces the commission of the forerunner of Jesus Christ:
    "A voice calls out: Prepare a path through the desert for the Lord! Build a flat road in the steppe for our God!" (Isa 40, 3). Saint John the Baptist fulfilled this prophecy by preaching repentance in the wilderness of Judah. (cf. Jn 1:23).
  2. Isaiah announces the miracles the Messiah will work:
    "The Lord himself will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf are open again. Then the lame jumps like a deer, the tongue of the dumb one shouts." (Is 35.4 ff.). Jesus did all this in his public life: he made the blind see (cf. e.g. Jn 9), the deaf heard (Mk 7.32), the lame walked (Mt 9.2 ff.) And the dumb spoke again (Mt 12, 22) . He let Saint John the Baptist know that he had fulfilled this prophecy through his deeds (Mt 11: 5).
  3. Zechariah prophesies the Savior's entry into Jerusalem:
    "Shout out loud, daughter of Zion! Shout, daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you. He is righteous and helps; he is humble and rides a donkey, a foal, the boy of a donkey." (Sach 9, 9).
    These details can be found in the Gospels: Christ enters the city on Palm Sunday, sitting on a donkey, followed by his boy (Mt 21: 7); the Jews cheer him and call him King of Israel (Jn 12:13).

Predictions about the suffering and death of the Messiah

The Messiah's suffering and atoning death were foretold in the Psalms and prophetic scriptures. On the very evening of his resurrection, Jesus rebuked the Emmaus disciples for their slowness in believing what the prophets announced; he explains to them the meaning of the scriptures on the Messiah, which he relates to himself (Lk 24: 26-27).

  1. The song of the "suffering servant of God". Four poetic insertions in the book of Isaiah introduce a perfect servant of God. He gathers the people of God, enlightens the nations, proclaims the true faith, through his death erases the sins of the people and is finally glorified by God. Jesus interpreted the texts about the suffering servant of God and his substitute atoning death for himself, that is, the "fourth song of the servant of God" (Isa. 52.13 - 53.12; cf. Lk 22.37; Mk 10.45), and the The first Christian proclamation recognized in him the perfect servant of God, as he was announced by Isaiah (cf. Acts 8: 29-35, cf. CCC 601 ff.)
  2. Zechariah 11:12: "You weighed my wages, thirty pieces of silver." Saint Matthew reports that the high priests of Judas counted 30 pieces of silver as a reward for his betrayal (Mt 26:15).
  3. Isaiah 53: 7: "He was mistreated and depressed, but he did not open his mouth. Like a lamb led to slaughter and like a sheep in the face of its clippers, he did not open his mouth either." Jesus will say: "Nobody snatches it from me, but I give it up of my own free will. I have power to give it and I have power to take it again. I received this commission from my father." (Jn 10:18); and the evangelists report his silence on the accusations and insults.
  4. Isaiah 50, 5-7: "The Lord God opened my ear. But I did not resist or back away. I held my back to those who hit me and my cheeks to those who tore my beard out. I did not hide my face from abuse and saliva. But the Lord God will help me; therefore I will not end up in shame. Therefore I make my face hard as a pebble; I know that I will not be shamed. " Saint Matthew reports: "Then they spat in his face and hit him. Others slapped him." (Mt 26, 67).
  5. Psalm 22:17: "They pierce my hands and feet. You can count all my bones." And Isaiah says of the suffering servant of God: "He was pierced because of our crimes, because of our sins. The punishment lay on him for our salvation, we are healed through his wounds. [...] But who cared about his fate? He was cut off from the land of the living and because of the crimes of his People hit to death. " (Isa 53,5; 8), and St. John remarks that Christ is the atonement for our sins (that is, that through his suffering he paid our debts) not only for our sins but also for those of the whole world . (1 John 2, 2).
  6. Psalm 21: 7-9: "But I am a worm and not a person who scoffs at people, despises me by the people. Everyone who see me laughs at me, puckered their lips, shook their head: He shifts the burden on the Lord, let him free him! The tear it out when he likes it. " The Gospels tell of the mockery that Jesus crucified had to endure: "The people who came by mocked him, shook their heads and shouted: [...] If you are God's Son, help yourself and get down from the cross! [...] He trusted in God: He should save him now, if he likes it. " (Mt 27, 39-43).
  7. Psalm 22:19: "They distribute my clothes among themselves and throw the lot for my robe." Indeed, after the soldiers nailed Jesus to the cross, "They took his clothes and made four parts out of them, one for each soldier. They also took his undergarment, which was completely woven through from above and without a seam. They said to each other: We don't want to divide it up, we want to draw who it belongs to should." (Jn 19, 23-24).
  8. Psalm 69:22: "They gave me poison to eat, and to quench my thirst they gave me vinegar." Saint Matthew reports: "And they made him drink wine mixed with gall." (Mt 27, 34), and Saint John: "Jesus said: I am thirsty. There was a vessel with vinegar. They put a sponge with vinegar on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth." (Jn 19, 28-29).
  9. Isaiah 53,9 (Elberfelder): "He was with a rich man in his death." Saint Matthew reports: "Towards evening a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph came. [...] He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. [...] Then he laid it in a new grave that he had hewn into a rock for himself. " (Mt 27, 57-60).
  10. Zechariah 12:10: "You will look at the one you pierced." Saint John recalls this prophecy after he reported that one of the soldiers stabbed him in his side with a lance, and immediately blood and water poured out. (Jn 19:34).

Predictions of the Messiah's resurrection and eternal reign

  1. The resurrection of the Messiah on the third day is not explicitly predicted, but it is indicated by numerous texts of the Old Testament (e.g. Ps 138:16; Hos 6,3; Jonas 2,1 (a text that Jesus refers to himself: sh Mt 12.40), Isa 53.10) so that Paul can say: "The Christ was raised on the third day according to the scriptures" (1 Cor 15.4).
  2. Daniel reports in his visions: "Then one came with the clouds of heaven like a son of man. He came to the very old (God the Father) and was brought before him. He was given rule, dignity and kingship. All peoples, nations and languages ​​must serve him. His rule is an eternal, imperishable rule. His kingdom never perishes. " (Dan 7: 13-14).

Jesus Christ as a person of history

The historical existence of Jesus Christ is attested by Christian, Jewish, and pagan writers.

Pagan writers

The writer Tacitus reported in 116 in the annals and persecution of Christians by the cruel emperor Nero. Tacitus writes about the originator of Christianity: "The originator of this name, Christ, was executed under Emperor Tiberius by the governor Pontius Pilate. Suppressed for a moment, this superstition spread violently again, not only in Judah, where it came from, but even in Rome." (Annales XV 44) Elsewhere, Tacitus reports an "ingens multitudo" (immense multitude) of Christians in Rome since 64, only thirty years after the death of Jesus Christ.

The writer Suetone reported in the year 120 that Emperor Claudius (10 BC-54 AD) drove out of Rome the Jews who were constantly causing unrest by Chrestus. (Vita Claudii, 25.4). The repressive attitude of Claudius is also attested by the Acts of the Apostles: in the year 52 in Corinth, St. Paul meets a Jewish household who had been expelled from Rome (cf. Acts 18: 2).

Also Pliny the Younger (Governor of Bithynia and Pontus, Asia Minor) sends the Emperor Trajan a letter in the year 111, in which he reports that Christians "come together on a fixed day before daybreak and sing praises to Christ like a god"; he adds that they have become so numerous that the pagan priests are concerned. (Epist. 10, 96)

After all, the Syrian writer writes after the year 70 Mara Bar Seraphion to his son about Jesus: "Or what did the Jews get from the execution of their wise king, since from that time on the kingdom was for them? ... The Jews were killed and driven out of their kingdom, live everywhere in destruction . ... The wise king is not dead: because of the new laws that he has given. "

Jewish writers

The best known Jewish writer reporting on Christ is Josephus Flavius. In his antiquities, which he wrote in Rome in 93 or 94, he writes: "At that time Jesus lived, a wise man. [...] The leaders of our people had accused him before Pilate, who had him crucified." (Ant. Iud., 5, 1-7). He also writes that the high priest Ananaus "accused the brother of Jesus, who is called Christ, by the name James, and several others of the laws and had them stone stoned."

The person of Jesus is also occasionally mentioned in the Talmud.

The two natures in Christ

The Catholic Church has always taught the two natures of Christ. So he is true God and true man. The two natures are united in one person (hypostatic union), but not mixed. In addition, Jesus has two wills, namely the human and the divine. It is of course absurd to believe that these two wills are against each other. After all, the two natures are not against each other either. At the Council of Chalcedon (451) this doctrine was raised to dogma.

The true deity of Christ

Evidence from the Scriptures

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is forever begotten by the Father (the Church Fathers compared this to a candle. From the flame the light goes out forever) and is therefore true God; what God begets is God.

The Bible confirms the divinity of Jesus Christ in many places:

Jesus fulfills the law (Matt.5: 17). Logically, the law can only be met by the legislature. After all, nobody is allowed to simply change the law. Jesus is worshiped (Matt.2: 2,11; John 9:38; Luke 24:52). Now it is clear that only God deserves worship. The Jews in particular knew this. Would any of the disciples have worshiped Jesus if they had not believed he was divine? The baptismal command in Matt.28: 19 also testifies to the divinity of Jesus. Why should one be baptized into a non-divine being and God? In the Bible, Jesus is called God directly in some places (John 1:18; Hebrews 1:8; John 20:28, John 1: 1,14; 2 Peter 1: 1; 2 Thess. 1.12; John 5:18, Titus 2:13).Now Irenaeus made it clear that "neither the Lord, nor the Holy Spirit, nor the apostles would have ever called him who was not God God without reservation and qualification, if he were not God in truth." (Against the heresies, 3, 3, 1). In addition, the sacrament of the altar gives information about the divinity of Christ. Because Jesus is really present in the gifts (John 6:55). If he were not God, this would be impossible, especially when you consider that the Eucharist is celebrated in hundreds of places at the same time. Phil. 2: 5-11 also makes the deity of Christ. There it says: “He was equal to God, but did not hold fast to being like God.” This passage from the Bible also provides information about why Jesus places himself under the will of the Father. This is often interpreted as if the son were less than the father (subordinatianism). But the crux of the matter, which the Church Father Augustine also recognized, is voluntary submission. In Phil. 2: 7f. it says: “He emptied himself and became like a slave and like men. His life was that of a man; he humbled himself and was obedient until death, until death on the cross. ”Jesus voluntarily submits himself to the Father and does this for us. He shows us true obedience. His divinity can also be derived from the titles of Jesus. Jesus is often called “Lord” (Greek Kyrios) which is directly related to the Old Testament “adonai” (Hebrew: Lord) as a synonym for the name of God. The name Jesus himself (translated God is salvation) also provides information about his deity. There are also many identifications of the titles for Christ and God in the Old Testament: Yahweh is the Shepherd (Psalm 23: 1), Jesus is the Shepherd (John 10:11). Yahweh is the first and the last (Isa. 44: 6), Jesus is the first and the last (Rev.1.17). Yahweh is “I am” (Ex.3: 14), Jesus is “I am” (John 8: 53). In the wilderness a voice proclaims the coming of God (Isa. 40: 3), a voice in the wilderness proclaims the coming of Christ (Mk.1: 2). God is forever the same (Isa. 41: 4, 46: 4), Jesus is forever the same (Heb. 13: 8)

The idea of ​​Jesus being only human and a great moral teacher is absurd. Because what is special about Jesus is that he is God, i.e. that he is new (cf. Benedict XVI - Jesus of Nazareth, I). The Anglican author C.S. Lewis recognized this in his work "Pardon, I am a Christian": "" I want to save everyone from the really stupid objection that he is ready to recognize Jesus as a great moral teacher, but not his claim to be God. who would say such things as Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a madman - or Satan in person. We must therefore decide: either was - and is - this man, the Son of God, or he is a fool or worse. We can lock him up as insane, or we can kill him as a demon. Or we can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But we cannot, with greenish condescension, call him a great teacher of mankind. That never was his intention; he did not leave this option open to us. "

Evidence from tradition

Contrary to the thesis that belief in the deity of Jesus was first invented at the Council of Nicaea in 325, the entire tradition has confirmed the belief in the divinity of the Lord for 2000 years:

In his letters, Ignatius of Antioch († early 2nd century) gives clear testimony to the deity of Jesus Christ:

“One is the doctor, fleshly as well as spiritual, born and unborn, walking in the flesh a God, in death true life, both from Mary and from God, first capable of suffering, then incapable of suffering, Jesus Christ our Lord.” - Letter to the Ephesians , Chapter 7

“For our God, Jesus the Christ, was conceived by Mary, according to God's plan of salvation, although from the seed of David, but from the Holy Spirit; he was born and baptized to purify the waters through suffering. ”- Epistle to the Ephesians, chapter 18

"Because God revealed himself in human form for the creation of new things" - Letter to the Ephesians, chapter 19

"I say a warm, perfect greeting in Jesus Christ, our God." - Letter to the Romans, Chapter 1

“For our God Jesus Christ” - Letter to the Romans, Chapter 3

Evidence from Reason

St. Athanasius was one of the most ardent fighters against Arianism. Because he recognized the consequences of this teaching. If Jesus Christ is not a real man and real God, then our salvation is gone. Because only God can redeem, just as only a state can nationalize. Ultimately, redemption consists in the fact that God, who is life (Jesus is life, John 11:25), connects human nature with himself and thereby saves humanity from death. Anselm of Canterbury also provides an essentially rational proof of the deity of Christ. In his doctrine, called Satisfaction Doctrine, he says the following: Humanity has fallen into sin. God can only have several alternatives. He can condemn people. Either directly (by judgment) or indirectly (by doing nothing and dying away from him). But that contradicts his goodness. He could just as well forgive. But that contradicts his severity and, moreover, not possible due to human sinfulness. So that both God's characteristics of being, severity and goodness (cf. Rom. 11:22), are preserved, there is only one alternative: he must bear the burden of sin and thereby satisfy both grace and severity.

C.S. Lewis states in “Pardon, I am a Christian”, like the Church Fathers, that “perfect submission, perfect suffering, perfect death [...] were not only easier for Jesus because he was God; they were only possible because he was God. ”Further writes about the necessity of both natures:“ Christ took upon himself perfect submission and humiliation: perfect because he was God, submission and humiliation because he was human ”. ".

The true humanity of Christ

The humanity of Jesus Christ was an important topic of discussion in ancient times. Gnosis denied the humanity of Christ. He only assumed a pseudo-body and his sufferings were not real. Scripture clearly teaches that Jesus is a real man:

Jesus weeps (Luke 19:41; Hebrews 5: 7), he is hungry (Matt.4: 3), he is tired (John 4: 6), Christ's soul is shaken (John 12:27), he eats and drinks (Matt.11: 19) he is called the Son of Man (amongst others Matt.12: 40), he assumed the form of a servant and became like men (Phil.2: 7).

Union of the two natures in Christ

The dogma of the union of the two natures in Christ means that in Christ the divine and human natures are hypostatic, that is, connected in the unity of the person. In Christ, therefore, two natures (human and divine) are united in one person.

Jesus Christ the Redeemer

Definition of terms

A distinction is made in redemption between redemption in the objective and redemption in the subjective sense. The former is the work of the Savior. Redemption in the subjective sense is about the realization of redemption in the individual. This is also known as justification.

Salvation as the purpose of the coming of Christ

The purpose of the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ is that He came to redeem people. We confess this in the Creed, where we pray: "For our salvation he came from heaven, became flesh through the Holy Spirit from the Virgin Mary and became man"

The need for salvation

It is a dogma of the Church that man cannot redeem himself. The reason is that all human beings have been servants of sin since original sin. Saint Paul writes in Romans 3:23 f: "All have sinned and have lost the glory of God. Without having deserved it, they become just, thanks to his grace, through the redemption in Christ Jesus."

God's freedom in salvation

Salvation through God is free and because of God's mercy. St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine taught that God could have redeemed people in many other ways because of his omnipotence. Hence there was no absolute necessity for incarnation. However, there was a conditional need for incarnation that the insults of God caused by grave sins would only be fully outweighed by an infinite act of atonement. This was only possible through a divine person.

Realization of salvation through the three offices of Christ

The three ministries of Christ are the magisterium, the pastoral ministry and the priesthood. The three offices are derived from the 14th chapter of the Gospel of John, where it says: "I am the way (pastoral office)) and the truth (teaching office) and the life (priesthood)."

The exaltation of Christ

The Second Coming of Christ

Titles under which Christ is invoked

In the O antiphons:


I am the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end (Rev 21: 6).

Relationship between nature + grace



→ Jews who have found the Messiah


  • Theological-Historical Commission for the Holy Year 2000: Jesus Christ - Word of the FatherSchnell & Steiner Verlag Regensburg 1997, translated from the Italian by Sigrid Spath, with a foreword by Roger Cardinal Etchegaray (187 pages; ISBN 3-7954-1115-7).
  • Benedict XVI: Jesus of Nazareth. Herder Verlag Freiburg i. Br., Volumes in linen with dust jacket: Vol. 1: 2007 (ISBN 978-3-451-29861-5); Vol. 2: 2011 (ISBN 978-3-451-32999-9), Vol. 3: 2012 (ISBN 978-3-451-34999-7).
  • Gerhard Bellinger: Jesus: Life - Work - Fate. Norderstedt 2009 (520 pages; ISBN 978-3-8370-3964-1).
  • Klaus Berger: The miracle worker. The truth about Jesus. Herder Verlag 2010 (260 pages; ISBN 978-3-451- 33200-5).
  • Romano Guardini: The Lord. Reflections on the person and life of Jesus Christ, Mainz 2007 (original edition 1937). ISBN 3786726612
  • Michael Hesemann: Jesus of Nazareth, archaeologists in the footsteps of the redeemer Sankt Ulrich Verlag (304 pages; ISBN 978-3-86744-092-9).
  • Peter Seewald: Jesus Christ, Munich 2009.
  • Kurt Schuber (Hsgr.): The Historical Jesus and Christ of Our Faith, A Catholic Confrontation with the Consequences of Demythologization, on behalf of the Catholic Academic Association of the Archdiocese of Vienna Herder Verlag 1962 (287 pages; with permission to print from the Archbishop's Ordiinariate Vienna, from 17. January 1962, number 296/62 and of June 13, 1962, number 4087/62).
  • Bonifatius Günther: Jesus Christ. the unique personality, Franz Sales Verlag 1980 (96 pages; 3-7721-0050-3).
  • Pere Monier: Jesus Christ, who is that ?, Paul Pattloch Verlag, Aschaffenburg 1974 (185 pages; ISBN 3 557 91098 9).

See also:

Web links


  1. ↑ The threefold order of nature, grace and glory. : Leo XIII. in the encyclical Augustissimae virginis The Brotherhood of the Rosary and the Holy Angels in Prayer of the Rosary, No. 2.