Pre-existence, Incarnation and NativitySee also: Pre-existence of Christ, Logos (Christianity), and Nativity of Jesus
There are distinct, and differing, views among Christians regarding the existence of Christ before his conception. A key passage in the New Testament is John 1:1-18 where John 1:17 specifically mentions that "grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." Those who believe in the Trinity, consider Christ a pre-existent divine hypostasis called the Logos or the Word. Other, non-Trinitarian views, question the aspect of personal pre-existence or question the aspect of divinity, or both.
The concept of Christ as Logos derives from John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." In the original Greek, Logos (λόγος) is used for "Word," and is often used untranslated. In the Christology of the Logos, Christ is viewed as the Incarnation of the "Divine Logos", i.e. The Word.
Saint Paul viewed the Nativity of Jesus as an event of cosmic significance which by the Incarnation of Christ brought forth a new world of harmony to undo the damage caused by the fall of the first man, Adam. St. Paul's eschatological view of the birth of Jesus as the Christ counter-positions him as ushering in the new world of order that leads to salvation, unlike Adam, whose disobedience caused a rift with God.
In the 2nd century, with his theory of "recapitulation", Saint Irenaeus connected "Christ the Creator" with "Christ the Savior", relying on Ephesians 1:10 ("when the times reach their fulfillment – to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ") to gather together and wrap up the cycle of the Nativity and Resurrection of Christ.
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Famous quotes containing the word incarnation:
“They have their belief, these poor Tibet people, that Providence sends down always an Incarnation of Himself into every generation. At bottom some belief in a kind of pope! At bottom still better, a belief that there is a Greatest Man; that he is discoverable; that, once discovered, we ought to treat him with an obedience which knows no bounds. This is the truth of Grand Lamaism; the discoverability is the only error here.”
—Thomas Carlyle (17951881)