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If Christ emptied Himself of deity while on earth, then how could He be God?

See Philippians 2:5-7 especially.  My problem is that Paul seems to say that Jesus “emptied Himself” of His deity or “equality with God” (Phil 2:6-7), becoming “a man” (Phil. 2:8). But elsewhere Jesus claimed to be God on earth (John 8:58; 20:28). But how could Jesus be God while on earth if He left His deity aside to become man?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Instead, he emptied himself by taking on the form of a servant, by becoming like other humans, by having a human appearance.

Philippians 2:1 - 11

ESV - 1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy. 2 Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

Clarify Share Report Asked June 01 2021 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I would say that the idea of Christ "emptying Himself" does not preclude the retaining of His deity or divine nature, but is speaking of the contrast between that deity and the true manhood that He also possessed. As the Athanasian Creed expresses it, He did this "not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh; but by assumption of the Manhood into God." Instead of asserting His rights to the expression of the essence of Deity, He waived His rights and relinquished them. Compared to the fullness of God, He must indeed have felt empty once He gave up "the form of God". He surrendered His privileges and His prerogatives as God, but not His identity.

June 02 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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