When the Son died, did the Father suffer (Patripassianism)?


By BibleAsk Team


In Christian theology, “patripassianism” is the view that God the Father suffers (Latin patri- “father” and passio “suffering”). “Patripassianism” asserts that God the Father—rather than God the Son—became incarnate and suffered on the Cross for humanity’s redemption. From the standpoint of the doctrine of the Biblical Godhead—one Divine Being in three —“patripassianism” is considered heretical because it denies the three persons of the Godhead.

God the Father at the Baptism of the Son

The Bible clearly shows the Godhead at the baptism of Jesus. “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16,17).

God the Father Witnesses to the Son

The Bible rejects Patripassianism as it shows in John 3:16 the two persons of the Godhead- Father and the Son, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Also, we read that the Father in heaven witnessed for the Son on earth at the transfiguration. “And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” (Luke 9:7).

Jesus and the Godhead

Also, we read about the shared authority of the three persons of the Godhead in the great commission: When Jesus said to the disciples, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19).

Paul and the Godhead

Patripassianism not only denies the Father and Son, but also distorts the spiritual transaction that was taking place at the Cross, which the Apostle Paul described as follows: “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. . . . God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:19, 21).

Generally, in Paul’s epistles, he clearly shows that God the Father and Son are distinct from each other. “To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ(Romans 1:7 and also 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2)

Paul saluted the Corinthian Church members with the blessing of the three persons of the Godhead saying, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen” (2 Corinthians 13:14). God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit appear distinctly in this passage of Scripture.

For Bible study on the deity of Christ, check the following link: The Deity of Christ

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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