A. T. Jones on Christology in the Book of Hebrews

As I’ve mentioned, I’m taking a  class this week on the Development of SDA Theology from George Knight in Walla Walla, WA. Today we were talking about Christological issues, including the teaching of A. T. Jones in the 1890s.

Jones based his understanding of the human nature of Christ on Biblical exegesis, especially on texts in the book of Hebrews. In his 13th talk at the 1895 General Conference session he lays it all out (pp. 230-235). He compares the first two chapters of Hebrews with Philippians 2:5-7–it starts with Christ’s divine nature, then turns to the human nature he assumed in the incarnation. Where Hebrews uses the term “nature,” Philippians uses “form.” Though being in the form/nature of God, he took on our form/nature. And nature is important, because a rock can be carved into the form of an animal or person without becoming an animal or person. He also notes that the divinity of Christ is also clearly taught in John 1. Then he goes to consider the human nature Christ took. Texts in the 2nd and 4th chapters of Hebrews are critical for him, but he brings many others to bear.

I think his basic sketching out of the Biblical evidence is strong. Then he goes off on a flight of fancy, when he starts his own speculation, suggesting that since some things are strong temptations for you, but not for me, that Christ had to experience every single temptation as every different person in human history has experienced them.

I made reference to this talk by Jones today, but I hadn’t read it in 25 years, so it was a little fuzzy. Here’s the reference, if anyone in the class wants to take a look.

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