Jesus Christ Biblical Definitions Archives - Jesus Christ

Biblical Definitions Archive

Why is Jesus Christ Called the Son of Man?

Why is Jesus Christ Called the Son of Man?

Why is Jesus Christ called the Son of Man?  While others in the Scriptures (particularly the Old Testament) who are called “son[s] of man” (Jeremiah 49:18, Ezekiel 4:16, Psalms 8:4), the word “son” is uncapitalized.  Elder James E. Talmage, a Biblical scholar, sheds light on the answer in his renown work, Jesus the Christ.  He says, “In applying the designation to Himself, the Lord invariably uses the definite article. ‘The Son of Man’ was and is, specifically and exclusively, Jesus Christ. While as a matter of solemn certainty He was the only male human being from Adam down who was not the son of a mortal man, He used the title in a way to conclusively demonstrate that it was peculiarly and solely His own. It is plainly evident that the expression is fraught with a meaning beyond that conveyed by the words in common usage. The distinguishing appellation has been construed by many to indicate our Lord’s humble station as a mortal, and to connote that He stood... Read the rest of this entry »

Hand of the Lord

Hand of the Lord

The Bible often refers to the hand of the Lord. This is generally used metaphorically to represent God’s interactions with man. The interactions are sometimes described as being punishing due to sins, and other times, are comforting or rewarding, in response to valiant behavior. Listen to the words of Mormon: ‘Know ye not that ye are in the hands of God? Know ye not that he hath all power?’” (Morm. 5:23). Hands are one of the symbolically expressive parts of the body. In Hebrew, yad, the most common word for “hand,” is also used metaphorically to mean power, strength, might (see William Wilson, Old Testament Word Studies [1978], 205). Thus, hands signify power and strength.” (W. Craig Zwick, “The Lord Thy God Will Hold Thy Hand,” Liahona, Nov 2003, 34–36). The scripture quoted here is from the Book of Mormon, which also uses the phrase often. The Bible shows this is applied to individuals as well: “And I was strengthened as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me,”... Read the rest of this entry »

What do Mormons Believe About the Fall of Adam?

What do Mormons Believe About the Fall of Adam?

Mormon beliefs treat the fall of Adam differently than do most religions, and their teachings about Eve are greater still, an affirmation that God values the wisdom and spiritual contributions of women. The Fall of Adam refers to the time Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden. God told them they could eat from any tree in the garden except one, the tree of knowledge of good and evil. However, he reminded them they had agency and could decide for themselves, but they must remember they would die if they ate from it. Eventually, they chose to eat from that tree and were cast out of the garden into the mortal world. Death became possible and their bodies became mortal. They had to begin to work for the things they needed. This has been referred to as the fall of Adam. Read the rest of this entry »  Read More →

The Law of Sacrifice Part III – In Remembrance

The Law of Sacrifice Part III – In Remembrance

The evening before the Lamb of God was to be crucified for the sins of the world and hours before He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus was sitting with his Apostles in a “large upper room” (Mark 14:15). It was here that He first instituted the sacrament: “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples,” (Matthew 26:26). Then He said, “Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me” 1 Corinthians 11:24). Then, “After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:25). Thus, the purpose of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is to look back and remember Jesus the Christ and what He has done for each of us. Everything points “to that great and last sacrifice; and that great and last sacrifice [is] the Son of God, yea, infinite and eternal” (Alma 34:14).... Read the rest of this entry »

The Law of Sacrifice: Part II – A Great and Last Sacrifice

The Law of Sacrifice: Part II – A Great and Last Sacrifice

The atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ “embraces, sustains, supports, and gives life to all other gospel doctrines.  It is the foundation upon which all truth rests and all things grow out of it and come because of it.”1 “The wondrous and glorious Atonement was the central act in all of human history.”2 Because of these statements, all things also point to Christ and His atonement.  Those who lived before Christ looked forward to Him and His infinite and eternal sacrifice.  Those who live after Christ look back to this greatest of all events and “remember what was done.”3 There were many different ways in which the blood sacrifices before Christ were types and shadows of the great and last sacrifice.  Note a few of the details: First, like Christ, the [sacrificial] animal was chosen and anointed by the laying on of hands. (The Hebrew title Messiah and the Greek title Christ both mean “the Anointed One.”) Second, the animal was to have its life’s blood spilt. Third,... Read the rest of this entry »

The Law of Sacrifice: Part I – Looking Forward

The Law of Sacrifice: Part I – Looking Forward

The atonement of Jesus Christ is the central doctrine of Christianity, and all other Christian doctrines come out of and are appendages to it.1 Not only can these other doctrines be connected back to the Savior and His Atoning Sacrifice, but if they are not, “there will be no life nor substance nor redemption in them,” to use a phrase by President Boyd K. Packer, an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.2 It is therefore not only important, but necessary, when studying any doctrine or teaching or appendage of the gospel of Jesus Christ, to connect it back to Jesus Christ and His eternal sacrifice. When Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden, they were commanded “that they should worship the Lord their God, and should offer the firstlings of their flocks, for an offering unto the Lord” (Moses 5:5).  Yet M. Russell Ballard, another apostle of the Church, has said that some have wondered, “How could the slaughtering of an animal upon an altar... Read the rest of this entry »

Who/What is God?

Who/What is God?

Before I say anything else, I want to make it clear that the real answer to this question is beyond the scope of this article; indeed, it is beyond the scope of mortality and all things temporal: for “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). Furthermore, “it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned [all the principles of exaltation]. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 6:306-7). I am now able to attempt a basic answer to the above question. One of the most profound statements that will act as a beginning to our answer was made by the Prophet Joseph Smith. He said, “It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith. Salt... Read the rest of this entry »

Why is Jesus Called the Son of God?

Why is Jesus Called the Son of God?

Sometimes some of the simplest questions are also some of the most profound.  These types of questions are therefore some of the most difficult to answer.  “Why is Jesus called the Son of God?” is one of these questions, simple, profound, and difficult to answer.  But as one of my English Professors told me the other day, “The hard questions are really the only questions worth asking.”  In that case, Why is Jesus called the Son of God? In a basic sense, the question is closely related to the question the Spirit of the Lord asked Nephi: “Knowest thou the condescension of God?” (1 Nephi 11:16).  Note a definition of “condescend” that the Oxford English Dictionary gives the word, “To depart from the privileges of superiority by a voluntary submission; to sink willingly to equal terms with inferiours.”  I feel like I can use Nephi’s response to the Spirit’s question as my own response, “I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning... Read the rest of this entry »

Why is Jesus Called the Son of David?

Why is Jesus Called the Son of David?

In the first verse of the first gospel as it appears in our New Testament, Matthew calls Jesus Christ “the son of David” as if it were a sort of preface to the genealogy he is about to write, and perhaps, a preface to Matthew’s entire testimony of the Savior. Following this preface is the line of royal descent from Joseph, Mary’s husband, back to David, King of Israel (Cf. Matthew 1:1-16).  Because Joseph is listed as a descendant of David, Joseph can also be called a son of David. Joseph treated Jesus as if He were his own son, and by those who knew not of His divine origin Jesus was presumed to be “the son of Joseph” (Luke 3:23), or “the carpenter’s Son” (Matthew 13:55).  It may be said, then, that Jesus is the adopted son of Joseph.  However, Joseph was not Jesus’ literal Father.  As James E. Talmage explained, “That Child to be born of Mary was begotten of Elohim, the Eternal Father, not in violation of natural law but in accordance with a higher manifestation... Read the rest of this entry »

Jesus Christ as Advocate

Jesus Christ as Advocate

Before Jesus Christ was born, even before the world began, Jesus Christ committed Himself to taking on the role of our advocate to the Father. An advocate is someone who pleads for another person. John explained this role in 1 John, chapter 2 of the King James Bible: 1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for thesins of the whole world. God is a just God. He’s given us laws we’re expected to obey. However, He is also a loving God and He knows us perfectly. Because of this, He knows we will not keep all the laws and will sin during our life. Justice would require us to be punished for every sin, including the punishment of being unable to return to God’s presence. The scriptures teach us no unclean thing can enter into God’s presence. Since it would be impossible for any fully... Read the rest of this entry »