AQA GCSE “Jesus was the Incarnation.” Assess this statement. (12 marks)

Colour Code:

  • Blue – Your argument 
  • Red – Argument against 
  • Purple – Response

In Christianity, the Incarnation is the belief that Jesus is God made flesh. This is important because it attempts to recognise God’s love for humanity and also give wisdom to those who listen to the messages that Jesus gave.

Scientifically, it is hard to comprehend how Jesus could be seen as anything other than a physical human being. In the Gospel of Matthew it describes the Virgin birth of Jesus, explaining that Mary was gifted a child through the power of the Holy Spirit. This event could be described as miraculous but from what we can understand from a scientific perspective it goes against everything we know about biology and physics. If we are to accept Jesus as the incarnation of God, it appears that from a modern scientific outlook this could only be possible if it was described symbolically rather than literally.

Conversely, from a Christian point of view, many would argue that Jesus must be the incarnation for their religion to be truly meaningful. In John 1 it describes Jesus as “the Word” which indicates that Jesus is God and is bringing the wisdom of God to humanity. If Jesus was fully human then his teachings could be seen to lose their significance. Similarly, all four gospels tell of the crucifixion and eventual resurrection of Jesus. It is important that Jesus has a physical nature and is able to feel the sacrifice that he ultimately makes to reconnect humanity with God. Therefore, for many Christians, Jesus has to be the incarnation.

Nevertheless, while it might have to be the case for Jesus to be the incarnation for many Christians, that doesn’t actually make it the case. Philosophically, one could argue that something cannot be both infinite (God) and finite (Human). Additionally, the need for Jesus’ sacrifice seems to be incompatible with other aspects of God such as His omniscience. If God’s will is infallible, predestination could be likely, which in this event, would leave some people to be destined for Hell prior to any choice of accepting the salvation from the incarnated God. 

In conclusion, without faith in the gospels, the truth of the incarnation seems to be hard to reconcile with when adopting a rational outlook on the physical word around us.

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