The view that Jesus was a divine being who only appeared to be human, explicitly branded as a heresy by Ignatius (d. 107 CE), though it may have existed earlier. It derives from Hellenistic [[➝ Hellenists]] dualism: the idea that what is created is tainted, ‘fleshly’, and mortal, whereas the divine realm is good, spiritual, and immortal. So, the docetist argument ran, because Jesus the Saviour belongs to the divine realm, he cannot have been truly human.
Some scholars believe that there are indications of docetic thought within the gospel of John, especially in Ch. 17. It is claimed that in the fourth gospel Jesus lacks the human characteristics of compassion and mercy; that he is never properly exposed to the sickness and sufferings of our world; and that he is so manifestly ‘always on the side of God’ that he has no solidarity with humanity.
Against this it is urged that the hallmark of Johannine Christology is John 1:14, ‘the Word was made flesh’, and that the authenticity of Jesus' humanity is demonstrated in John's gospel by the references to Jesus' mother (2:1–11) and brothers (7:3–10); his weariness at the well in Samaria (4:6); his thirst (4:7); his grief (John 11:33); his death. On this evidence it is held that the Christology of John is not docetic: Jesus shares his humanity with all other human persons.

Dictionary of the Bible.

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  • docetism — DOCETÍSM s.n. Erezie de la începuturile bisericii creştine, care susţinea că Iisus Cristos nu ar fi fost om decât în aparenţă. [< fr. docétisme, cf. gr. dokein – a părea]. Trimis de LauraGellner, 25.02.2005. Sursa: DN  DOCETÍSM s. n. erezie… …   Dicționar Român

  • Docetism — Doc e*tism, n. (Eccl. Hist.) The doctrine of the Docet[ae]. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Docetism — 1846, heresy of the Docetae, who held that the body of Jesus was a phantom, from Gk. Doketai, name of the sect, lit. believers, from dokein to seem, have the appearance of, think, related to doxa (see DECENT (Cf. decent)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Docetism — [dō sēt′iz΄əm] n. [< Gr(Ec) Dokētai, name of the sect < dokein, to seem, believe (see DOGMA) + ISM] a belief among some early Christians that Christ merely seemed to have a human body: it came to be considered heretical docetic [dōsēt′ik]… …   English World dictionary

  • Docetism — In Christianity, docetism (from the Greek δοκέω dokeō, to seem ) is the belief that Jesus physical body was an illusion, as was his crucifixion; that is, Jesus only seemed to have a physical body and to physically die, but in reality he was… …   Wikipedia

  • Docetism — Docetic, adj. Docetist, n., adj. /doh see tiz euhm, doh si tiz /, n. 1. an early Christian doctrine that the sufferings of Christ were apparent and not real and that after the crucifixion he appeared in a spiritual body. 2. Rom. Cath. Ch. an… …   Universalium

  • Docetism — noun Date: 1846 a belief opposed as heresy in early Christianity that Christ only seemed to have a human body and to suffer and die on the cross • Docetist noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • docetism — noun /dəʊˈsiːtɪzəm/ The belief that Jesus only appeared to have a physical body and was ultimately of celestial substance …   Wiktionary

  • DOCETISM —    a CHRISTIAN HERESY which maintained that CHRIST did not actually suffer and die on the Cross but only seemed to do so because Christ was a SPIRIT whose incarnate FORM was unreal. This view seems to have influenced MUHAMMAD and is found in the… …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Docetism — n. early unorthodox religious belief that claimed that Jesus Christ was a spirit and not a real person …   English contemporary dictionary

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