CARM on Latter-day Saint Belief
in the Incarnation of Christ

  

  

        CARM says: "God had sexual relations with Mary to make the body of Jesus, (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, 1857, p. 218; vol. 8, p. 115). - This one is disputed among many Mormons and not always 'officially' taught and believed.  Nevertheless, Young, the second prophet of the Mormon Church taught it."

  

God called Jesus ‘mine only begotten Son.’  The Gospel, that Matt Slick of CARM claims to believe in 101% gives this account:

  

And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. [The New Testament, Luke 1:35]

  

Let us, then, in light of the Bible's account of the begetting of Jesus by the Father, ask the following honest questions:

  

      •  Is Jesus the Son of God, or not?  
      •  Did the Highest overshadow Mary, or not?
      •  Was she found to be with child after being overshadowed by the Highest?
      •  Did God the Father call Jesus his Only Begotten Son?
      • Did Jesus call Almighty God his 'Father'?
      •  How was Jesus Christ begotten by the Father, the Highest?
      •  Did Jesus call God the Father his Father?
      •  Did Jesus call God the Father his God?
      •  Are we safe believing that what the Bible says about the conception and incarnation of the Son of God, or not?

  

  

Non-LDS Bible Scholars are sharply divided on the subject.

  

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Barnes' Notes on the Bible

The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee - See Matthew 1:20.

  

The power of the Highest ... - This evidently means that the body of Jesus would be created by the direct power of God. It was not by ordinary generation; but, as the Messiah came to redeem sinners - to make atonement for "others," and not for himself it was necessary that his human nature should be pure, and free from the corruption of the fall. God therefore prepared him a body by direct creation that should be pure and holy. See Hebrews 10:5.

  

That holy thing ... - That holy progeny or child.

  

Shall be called the Son of God - This is spoken in reference to the human nature of Christ, and this passage proves, beyond controversy, that "one" reason why Jesus was called the Son of God was because he was begotten in a supernatural manner. He is also called the "Son of God" on account of his resurrection, Romans 1:4; Acts 13:33, compared with Psalm 2:7.

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Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee - This conception shall take place suddenly, and the Holy Spirit himself shall be the grand operator. The power, δυναμις, the miracle-working power, of the Most High shall overshadow thee, to accomplish this purpose, and to protect thee from danger. As there is a plain allusion to the Spirit of God brooding over the face of the waters, to render them prolific, Genesis 1:2, I am the more firmly established in the opinion advanced on Matthew 1:20, that the rudiments of the human nature of Christ was a real creation in the womb of the virgin, by the energy of the Spirit of God.

Therefore also that holy thing (or person) - shall be called the Son of God - We may plainly perceive here, that the angel does not give the appellation of Son of God to the Divine nature of Christ; but to that holy person or thing, το ἁγιον, which was to be born of the virgin, by the energy of the Holy Spirit. The Divine nature could not be born of the virgin; the human nature was born of her. The Divine nature had no beginning; it was God manifested in the flesh, 1 Timothy 3:16; it was that Word which being in the beginning (from eternity) with God, John 1:2, was afterwards made flesh, (became manifest in human nature), and tabernacled among us, John 1:14. Of this Divine nature the angel does not particularly speak here, but of the tabernacle or shrine which God was now preparing for it, viz. the holy thing that was to be born of the virgin. Two natures must ever be distinguished in Christ: the human nature, in reference to which he is the Son of God and inferior to him, Mark 13:32; John 5:19; John 14:28, and the Divine nature which was from eternity, and equal to God, John 1:1; John 10:30; Romans 9:5; Colossians 1:16-18. It is true, that to Jesus the Christ, as he appeared among men, every characteristic of the Divine nature is sometimes attributed, without appearing to make any distinction between the Divine and human natures; but is there any part of the Scriptures in which it is plainly said that the Divine nature of Jesus was the Son of God?

Here, I trust, I may be permitted to say, with all due respect for those who differ from me, that the doctrine of the eternal Sonship of Christ is, in my opinion, anti-scriptural, and highly dangerous. This doctrine I reject for the following reasons: -

1st. I have not been able to find any express declaration in the Scriptures concerning it.

2dly. If Christ be the Son of God as to his Divine nature, then he cannot be eternal; for son implies a father; and father implies, in reference to son, precedency in time, if not in nature too. Father and son imply the idea of generation; and generation implies a time in which it was effected, and time also antecedent to such generation.

3dly. If Christ be the Son of God, as to his Divine nature, then the Father is of necessity prior, consequently superior to him.

4thly. Again, if this Divine nature were begotten of the Father, then it must be in time; i.e. there was a period in which it did not exist, and a period when it began to exist. This destroys the eternity of our blessed Lord, and robs him at once of his Godhead.

5thly. To say that he was begotten from all eternity, is, in my opinion, absurd; and the phrase eternal Son is a positive self-contradiction. Eternity is that which has had no beginning, nor stands in any reference to Time. Son supposes time, generation, and father; and time also antecedent to such generation. Therefore the conjunction of these two terms, Son and eternity is absolutely impossible, as they imply essentially different and opposite ideas.

The enemies of Christ's Divinity have, in all ages, availed themselves of this incautious method of treating this subject, and on this ground, have ever had the advantage of the defenders of the Godhead of Christ. This doctrine of the eternal Sonship destroys the deity of Christ; now, if his deity be taken away, the whole Gospel scheme of redemption is ruined. On this ground, the atonement of Christ cannot have been of infinite merit, and consequently could not purchase pardon for the offenses of mankind, nor give any right to, or possession of, an eternal glory. The very use of this phrase is both absurd and dangerous; therefore let all those who value Jesus and their salvation abide by the Scriptures. This doctrine of the eternal Sonship, as it has been lately explained in many a pamphlet, and many a paper in magazines, I must and do consider as an awful heresy, and mere sheer Arianism; which, in many cases, has terminated in Socinianism, and that in Deism. From such heterodoxies, and their abetters, may God save his Church! Amen!

  

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And the angel answered and said unto her,.... The angel gave her an account of the manner in which what he had said should be effected, as well as observed some things for the strengthening of her faith,

The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee. The words, "upon thee", are left out in the Syriac and Persic versions; but are retained in others, and in all copies: the formation of Christ's human nature, though common to all the three persons, yet is particularly, and most properly ascribed to the Spirit; not to the first person, the Father, lest it should be thought that he is only the Father of him, as man; nor to the second person, the Son, since it is to him that the human nature is personally united; but to the third person, the Spirit, who is the sanctifier; and who separated, and sanctified it, the first moment of its conception, and preserved it from the taint of original sin.

His coming upon the virgin must be understood in consistence with his omnipresence, and immensity; and cannot design any local motion, but an effectual operation in forming the human nature of her flesh and substance; and not in the ordinary manner in which he is concerned in the formation of all men, Job 33:4 but in an extraordinary way, not to be conceived of, and explained. The phrase most plainly answers to, in frequent use with the Jews, as expressive of coition. [Emphasis added] 

And the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee. By "the power of the Highest" is not meant the Lord Jesus Christ, who is sometimes called the power of God; but rather the Holy Ghost, as before, who is styled the finger of God, and power from on high, Luke 11:20 unless it should be thought that the perfection of divine power common to all the three persons is intended: and so points out the means by which the wondrous thing should be performed, even by the power of God; and which should not only be employed in forming the human nature of Christ, but in protecting the virgin from any suspicion and charge of sin, and defending her innocence and virtue, by moving upon Joseph to take her to wife. In the word, "overshadow", some think there is an allusion to the Spirit of God moving upon the face of the waters, in Genesis 1:2 when, he brooded upon them, as the word may be rendered; and which is the sense of it, according to the Jewish writers (y) as a hen, or any other bird broods on its eggs to exclude its young: and others have thought the allusion may be to , (z), "the nuptial covering": which was a veil, or canopy, like a tent, supported on four staves, under which the bridegroom and bride were betrothed; or, as Dr. Lightfoot thinks, it is a modest phrase alluding to the conjugal embraces, signified by a man's spreading the skirt of his garment over the woman, which Ruth desired of Boaz, Ruth 3:9 though the Jewish writers say (a), that phrase is expressive of the act of marriage, or taking to wife. [Emphasis added]  

therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. The human nature of Christ is here called a "thing"; for it was not a person; it never subsisted of itself, but was taken at once into union with the person of the Son of God, otherwise there would be two persons in Christ, whereas he is God, and man, in one person; and it is said to be "holy", being free from that original pollution and sin, in which all that descend from Adam, by ordinary generation, are conceived, and brought forth; and is, moreover, said to be born of a virgin, "of thee", or "out of thee". Christ's flesh was formed out of the Virgin's; he took flesh of her; his body did not descend from heaven, or pass through her, as water through a pipe, as some heretics of old said: nor did his human nature, either as to soul or body, pre-exist his incarnation; but in the fulness of time he was made of a woman, and took a true body of her, and a reasonable soul, into union with his divine person; and "therefore should be called the Son of God": not that he was now to become the "the Son of God"; he was so before his incarnation, and even from all eternity; but he was now to be manifested as such in human nature: nor does the angel predict, that he should, for this reason, be called the Son of God; for he never was, on this account, so called, either by himself, or others: nor is the particle, "therefore", causal, but consequential: the angel is not giving a reason why Christ should be the Son of God, but why he should be owned, and acknowledged, as such by his people: who would infer, and conclude from his wonderful conception and birth, that he is the "Emmanuel", God with us, the child that was to be born, and the Son given, whose name should be Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, &c. Isaiah 7:14. Moreover, the word, "also", is not to be overlooked; and the sense is, that seeing that human nature, which should be born of the virgin, would be united to the Son of God, it likewise should bear the same name, being in personal union with him, who was so from all eternity,

Gill's Footnotes

(x) Misn. Sanhedrin, c. 7, sect. 4. & passim alibi (y) R. Sol. Jarchi, R. Aben Ezra, & R. Levi ben Gerson in Genesis 1. 2.((z) T. Bab. Sota, fol. 49. 2. Vid. David de Pomis, Lex. Heb p. 67. 2.((a) Targum, Jarchi, & Aben Ezra in loc.

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Vincent's Word Studies

  

Shall overshadow -   "Denoting the mildest and most gentle operation of divine power, that the divine fire should not consume Mary, but make her fruitful" (Bengel). [EA]

Compare Exodus 33:22; Mark 9:7. Compare the classical legend of Semele, who, being beloved of Jove, besought him to appear to her as he appeared in heaven, in all the terrors of the thunderer, and was consumed by his lightning. The metaphor in the word is taken from a cloud, in which God had appeared (Exodus 40:34; 1 Kings 8:10).

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Geneva Study Bible

 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost {g} shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that {h} holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be {i} called the Son of God.

(g) That is, the Holy Spirit will cause thee to conceive by his mighty power. [The Holy Spirit is not the Highest!]

(h) That thing which is pure and void of all spot of uncleanliness: for he that was to take away sin must of necessity be void of sin.

(i) Declared and shown to the world to be the Son of God.

  

  

People's New Testament

1:30-33 Fear not. In the angel's message we have, (1) An assurance, Fear not. (2) A promise, Thou shalt bring forth a son (Lu 1:31). (3) A command, Thou shalt call his name JESUS (Lu 1:31). (4) A prophecy, He shall be great, the Son of the Highest, sit on David's throne, reign forever (Lu 1:32). [Note: he was not the son of the Holy Ghost!]

  

  

  

Wesley's Notes

  1:35 The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee - The power of God was put forth by the Holy Ghost, as the immediate Divine agent in this work: and so he exerted the power of the Highest as his own power, who together with the Father and the Son is the most high God. Therefore also - Not only as he is God from eternity, but on this account likewise he shall be called the Son of God.

  

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Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:26-38 We have here an account of the mother of our Lord; though we are not to pray to her, yet we ought to praise God for her. Christ must be born miraculously. The angel's address means only, Hail, thou that art the especially chosen and favoured of the Most High, to attain the honour Jewish mothers have so long desired. This wondrous salutation and appearance troubled Mary. The angel then assured her that she had found favour with God, and would become the mother of a son whose name she should call Jesus, the Son of the Highest, one in a nature and perfection with the Lord God. JESUS! the name that refreshes the fainting spirits of humbled sinners; sweet to speak and sweet to hear, Jesus, a Saviour! We know not his riches and our own poverty, therefore we run not to him; we perceive not that we are lost and perishing, therefore a Saviour is a word of little relish. Were we convinced of the huge mass of guilt that lies upon us, and the wrath that hangs over us for it, ready to fall upon us, it would be our continual thought, Is the Saviour mine? And that we might find him so, we should trample on all that hinders our way to him. Mary's reply to the angel was the language of faith and humble admiration, and she asked no sign for the confirming her faith. Without controversy, great was the mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh, 1Ti 3:16. Christ's human nature must be produced so, as it was fit that should be which was to be taken into union with the Divine nature. And we must, as Mary here, guide our desires by the word of God. In all conflicts, let us remember that with God nothing is impossible; and as we read and hear his promises, let us turn them into prayers, Behold the willing servant of the Lord; let it be unto me according to thy word.

  

The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the instrumentality of the Prophet Joseph Smuith resgtored to the world also the truth about the Godhead.  

  

"Therefore we know that both the Father and the Son are in form and stature perfect men; each of them possesses a tangible body . . . of flesh and bones." (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 38).

  

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THE BIBLE CALLS THEM "FOOLS"
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SATANIC INFLUENCE ADMITTED IN ROT JOURNAL
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REACH OUT TRUST - THE POISONED CHALICE
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CHAPTER 15
CHAPTER 16
CHAPTER 17
CHAPTER 18
CHAPTER 19
CHAPTER 20
CHAPTER 21
CHAPTER 22
CHAPTER 23
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CHAPTER 25
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CHAPTER 27
CHAPTER 28
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CHAPTER 30
CHAPTER 31
CHAPTER 32
APPENDIX 'A'
APPENDIX 'B'
APPENDIX 'C'
APPENDIX 'D'
BIBLIOGRAPHY
FOOTNOTES & THE END
MISSING BOOKS OF THE HOLY BIBLE
BIBLE - INERRANT? INFALLIBLE?
CARM.& THE HOLY BIBLE
CARM. THE BIBLE IS NOT THEIR FINAL AUTHORITY
'GOOD WORKS' IN BIBLICAL CHRISTIANITY
WHAT THINK YE OF CHRIST?
IMPOSSIBLE TEXTS
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JOSEPH SMITH
JOSEPH SMITH BY THOSE THAT KNEW HIM
TRUTH IN LOVE TO MORMONS . COM
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PLURAL MARRIAGE COMMANDED BY GOD
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PLURAL MARRIAGE BROUGHT BACK BY EVANGELICALS
LORI MCGREGOR TALKS TWADDLE
CONCERNED CHRISTIANS INC,
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A STINGING COMPLAINT AGAINST CONCERNED CHRISTIANS
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RENDELL'S DISHONEST CLAIMS
DOUG HARRIS BETRAYER & PROMISE BREAKER
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BRINKERHOFF'S EGREGIOUS ERROR
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IS ANTI-MORMONISM CHRISTIAN ?
DANGEROUS FUNDAMENTALISM
"THE GOD-MAKERS"
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ERYL DAVIES
IS GOD IMMATERIAL?
THE VISIBLE GOD
EGYPTIAN INFLUENCE IN ANCIENT PALESTINE
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SEPARATING THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF
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JOSEPH SMITH'S OWN STORY
ELDER OAKS AT HARVARD LAW SCHOOL
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ISAIAH 29 & THE BOOK OF MORMON
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AM I AN ANTI-MORMON?
WHY I AM A MORMON
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THE INSANITY OF ANTI-MORMONISM
A FALSE DICHOTOMY - MORMONISM OR CHRISTIANITY - WHY MUST I CHOOSE WHEN I CAN BE BOTH AT THE SAME TIME?
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DEIFICATION - THEOSIS CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE
SALVATION FOR THE DEAD - A BIBLE TEACHING
THE CHRIST OF MORMONISM IS THE CHRIST OF THE HOLY BIBLE
THE BOOK OF ABRAHAM
ON THE HOLY TRINITY
BIBLE TEACHINGS THAT DO NOT SUPPORT THE TRINITY - 01
AN EXAMPLE OF ANTI-MORMON FOOLISHNESS
A CASE STUDY ~ ANTI-MORMON ATTITUDES
JP HOLDING'S BOOK, "THE MORMON DEFENDERS"
ARE YOU PREPARED FOR HIM?
THE STANDARD OF TRUTH
BLACK MUSEUM OF ANTI-MORMONISM
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DANITES - THE MYTH
I HAD A DREAM - A CAUTIONARY TALE
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