Did “God” Die on the Cross?

Yesterday, I engaged in some friendly-fire over twitter with the honorable Dr. Jim West.

The issue: is it precise enough to say that ‘God died on the cross’ or must Christians add the qualifier ‘God the Son died on the cross’?

First, I agree with Jim’s initial concern: the Father did not die on the cross. I also agree that the phrase “God the Son died on the cross” is correct. However, I think an equally strong (and precise) point is made when one states that on the cross “God died.”

As a student of Cyril, I take issue with hedging our bets on Jesus’ divinity: Mary is the Theotokos, not the Christokos. Whatever is true of Jesus is true of God, without qualification, for he is fully and completely divine.

I think there are dangers and temptations lurking around both preferences. I worry that such “precision” in terms leads to tritheism and that folks hear “a third of God had a really bad weekend.”* Jim worries that without the qualifier I’m open to be heard as suggesting either that the Father died or a complete denial of the Trinity.

What do you think?

* Fred Sanders has a brief, but well-written, section on this issue while discussing one of Charles Wesley’s hymns in Jesus in Trinitarian Perspective.


Carnival Time

It’s Carnival Season…

Septuagint Studies Soiree #3 a monthly tour of all things Septuagint by Abram K-J

The Biblioblog Carnival great job this month by Brian Davidson

Finally, I will mention one more because if I don’t Jim might get upset, and if he does then we will have to listen to him complain on twitter all month. So to save of us all the trouble and to keep him from embarrassing himself any further on twitter:

The October Carnival hosted by the one and only Dr. Jim West.