Docetism (Emily, Maggie, Tim, Andrew)

Docetist Christology takes two forms: 1) Jesus Christ was fully divine and only appeared to have a flesh-and-blood body and 2) Jesus was fully human and was inhabited Christ, a fully divine being, at his baptism and left just before his death.  This Christology explains why Jesus was said to feel no pain at crucifixion, his divinity—whether inherent or bestowed—protected him from suffering and death and allowed him to perform many miracles. The Gospel of Peter was considered by the proto-orthodox to have Docetist underpinnings but it can be argued that the resurrection story undermines their argument because Jesus Christ must have had a human body to be resurrected. Furthermore, proto-orthodox reactions to Docetism varied along a wide range. For example, Serapion approved the Gospel of Peter as long as Christians ignored the Docetist parts whereas Ignatius argued fervently that anyone who believed Christ wasn’t human was an unbeliever.

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