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Is it Possible Our Lord Had Aspergers Syndrome?

JamesR

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I know right off the bat that most of you will interpret this as blasphemy or some type of insult. However, it isn't meant as such. It's just an honest inquiry into what I perceive as some "peculiarities" about our Lord's personality which I think could potentially fit the Aspergers Syndrome bill. If you think that is offensive, then that says more about your dislike and lowly view of people who have the condition than it does about offense or blasphemy. That said...

Admittedly I'm not a clinician and thus in no way capable of giving out an actual diagnosis, but from my limited knowledge of Aspergers Syndrome, I think that our Lord seemed to demonstrate many, if not all, of the traits. He constantly offended people--often inadvertently--He often appeared "cold" or "uncaring," He monologued, He was awkward in social situations to such a degree that people either loved Him as their savior or wanted to kill Him. He seemed either unaware of or unconcerned with social conventions, both in a positive and a negative way. Negative in that it seemed He didn't know how to console people and was brutally honest, but by that same token, positive in that He was willing to associate with lepers, prostitutes, widows, and other such people that society would have frowned upon. I can think of multiple occasions where Christ "weirded" someone out and even offended them, but I can only think of one instance where He legitimately *expressed* empathy (although I have no doubt He always felt it) in a way we would classify as normal--that is, when He wept with Mary and Martha as they grieved Lazarus' death.

Again, I'm in no way qualified to give a real diagnosis. But I do think that in the most respectable way possible, it's undeniable that there was something "weird" about our Lord's personality as depicted in the gospels, possibly even "unlikable" in a way. I'm not going to lie. He seemed very rude most of the time. Not that any of that is a bad thing, but I think that anything about our Lord is worth inquiring into so why not His personality?

Could He have had Aspergers Syndrome? Do you think He demonstrates the traits commonly associated with those who have the condition?

And I'll ask the final question to those who still consider this inquiry blasphemous: assuming our Lord does have AS, what changes? Why can't we still worship Him the same? What is it about having AS that you would consider so bad or unworthy that our Lord couldn't possibly have it? Is it that you personally wouldn't worship someone who had the condition? We should be careful not to fall into the same arrogance as the Jews at the time--a poor Jewish carpenter on a donkey and inevitably a Cross couldn't possibly be our savior. Replace that with "Someone with Aspergers Syndrome couldn't possibly be our savior." If the notion that God could become a lowly human is accepted, why is it considered so beyond comprehension that He could have been a human with Aspergers?
 

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As He was fully human, Jesus might have had some form of physical ailments (though nothing that hampered His ministry).  With that being said, no worldly condition could have gotten between Him and His message.  I honestly see Christ's temperamental peculiarities as simply manifestations of His divine wisdom that are difficult for mortal minds to fully comprehend.
 

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JamesR said:
I know right off the bat that most of you will interpret this as blasphemy or some type of insult. However, it isn't meant as such. It's just an honest inquiry into what I perceive as some "peculiarities" about our Lord's personality which I think could potentially fit the Aspergers Syndrome bill. If you think that is offensive, then that says more about your dislike and lowly view of people who have the condition than it does about offense or blasphemy. That said...

Admittedly I'm not a clinician and thus in no way capable of giving out an actual diagnosis, but from my limited knowledge of Aspergers Syndrome, I think that our Lord seemed to demonstrate many, if not all, of the traits. He constantly offended people--often inadvertently--He often appeared "cold" or "uncaring," He monologued, He was awkward in social situations to such a degree that people either loved Him as their savior or wanted to kill Him. He seemed either unaware of or unconcerned with social conventions, both in a positive and a negative way. Negative in that it seemed He didn't know how to console people and was brutally honest, but by that same token, positive in that He was willing to associate with lepers, prostitutes, widows, and other such people that society would have frowned upon. I can think of multiple occasions where Christ "weirded" someone out and even offended them, but I can only think of one instance where He legitimately *expressed* empathy (although I have no doubt He always felt it) in a way we would classify as normal--that is, when He wept with Mary and Martha as they grieved Lazarus' death.

Again, I'm in no way qualified to give a real diagnosis. But I do think that in the most respectable way possible, it's undeniable that there was something "weird" about our Lord's personality as depicted in the gospels, possibly even "unlikable" in a way. I'm not going to lie. He seemed very rude most of the time. Not that any of that is a bad thing, but I think that anything about our Lord is worth inquiring into so why not His personality?

Could He have had Aspergers Syndrome? Do you think He demonstrates the traits commonly associated with those who have the condition?

And I'll ask the final question to those who still consider this inquiry blasphemous: assuming our Lord does have AS, what changes? Why can't we still worship Him the same? What is it about having AS that you would consider so bad or unworthy that our Lord couldn't possibly have it? Is it that you personally wouldn't worship someone who had the condition? We should be careful not to fall into the same arrogance as the Jews at the time--a poor Jewish carpenter on a donkey and inevitably a Cross couldn't possibly be our savior. Replace that with "Someone with Aspergers Syndrome couldn't possibly be our savior." If the notion that God could become a lowly human is accepted, why is it considered so beyond comprehension that He could have been a human with Aspergers?
As Christ is true God and true Man, modern psychiatry and psychology would like to place Him in the abnormal spectrum, whatever name they can choose.

Just take a look at the MMPI.
How would Christ answer those questions?

I have met several Christian psychiatrists and psychologists who have left that profession due to the anti-Christian atmosphere in the APA. Ethically, they felt that they could no longer belong to such a bigoted organization.
 

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I know what you mean about Christ being a little strange in terms of his interactions with people, but I'm not sure any of what you mention couldn't be explained in terms of deliberately pushing people along in His journey to the Cross. He was definitely "in a rush" in some way (all the references to the shortness of the hour and His time having not yet come) during His earthly ministry, and may not in a sense have had time to be as super patient with people, not that He was ever sinfully impatient, as He is now and was during the OT.
 

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If He had Aspergers He couldn't understand non Asperger people so He can't be a fair and righteous judge we do not worship a man He had the same character traits He had from the beginning of existence especially because He came to reveal the Father
 

JamesR

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Volnutt said:
I know what you mean about Christ being a little strange in terms of his interactions with people, but I'm not sure any of what you mention couldn't be explained in terms of deliberately pushing people along in His journey to the Cross. He was definitely "in a rush" in some way (all the references to the shortness of the hour and His time having not yet come) during His earthly ministry, and may not in a sense have had time to be as super patient with people, not that He was ever sinfully impatient, as He is now and was during the OT.
I agree and think that is probably the most reasonable explanation for His "strangeness." I mean, anytime you have the divine coming together with the material, chances are the results will be strange. Christ wasn't just the man but the man who is also fully God. That said, it's still an interesting possibility that I occasionally ponder.
 

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mikeforjesus said:
If He had Aspergers He couldn't understand non Asperger people so He can't be a fair and righteous judge we do not worship a man He had the same character traits He had from the beginning of existence especially because He came to reveal the Father
Aspies can achieve a certain level of understanding (certainly no less than neurotypicals understand them), they just have to work at it. Beyond that, it's hard to say anything concrete about the mental life of Christ given His divinity.

I can at least say that I'm sure that anything necessary that Christ might have lacked according to the flesh would have been made up for according to His divinity post-Resurrection.
 

Volnutt

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JamesR said:
Volnutt said:
I know what you mean about Christ being a little strange in terms of his interactions with people, but I'm not sure any of what you mention couldn't be explained in terms of deliberately pushing people along in His journey to the Cross. He was definitely "in a rush" in some way (all the references to the shortness of the hour and His time having not yet come) during His earthly ministry, and may not in a sense have had time to be as super patient with people, not that He was ever sinfully impatient, as He is now and was during the OT.

I agree and think that is probably the most reasonable explanation for His "strangeness." I mean, anytime you have the divine coming together with the material, chances are the results will be strange. Christ wasn't just the man but the man who is also fully God. That said, it's still an interesting possibility that I occasionally ponder.
Yeah.


I agree that it is definitely an interesting subject to ponder.
 

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Along with Sherlock Holmes, if you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.  Impossible?  Perhaps not.  Improbable?  Yes.

Diagnosing Aspergers is difficult with the advances made over the years, it is next to impossible to make any such diagnosis using only texts based off of oral traditions from a century when aspergers would have been as incomprehensible to people as a Saturn V rocket.

What is probable is that this is one of the most ridiculous theories I have ever heard postulated about our Lord.
 

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JamesR said:
I know right off the bat that most of you will interpret this as blasphemy or some type of insult.
Then why broadcast such self-fulfilling prophecies?

JamesR said:
However, it isn't meant as such.
No, it's just meant to be stupid.

JamesR said:
It's just an honest inquiry into what I perceive as some "peculiarities" about our Lord's personality which I think could potentially fit the Aspergers Syndrome bill. If you think that is offensive, then that says more about your dislike and lowly view of people who have the condition than it does about offense or blasphemy. That said...
So you say.

JamesR said:
Admittedly I'm not a clinician and thus in no way capable of giving out an actual diagnosis, but from my limited knowledge of Aspergers Syndrome, I think that our Lord seemed to demonstrate many, if not all, of the traits. He constantly offended people--often inadvertently--He often appeared "cold" or "uncaring," He monologued, He was awkward in social situations to such a degree that people either loved Him as their savior or wanted to kill Him. He seemed either unaware of or unconcerned with social conventions, both in a positive and a negative way. Negative in that it seemed He didn't know how to console people and was brutally honest, but by that same token, positive in that He was willing to associate with lepers, prostitutes, widows, and other such people that society would have frowned upon. I can think of multiple occasions where Christ "weirded" someone out and even offended them, but I can only think of one instance where He legitimately *expressed* empathy (although I have no doubt He always felt it) in a way we would classify as normal--that is, when He wept with Mary and Martha as they grieved Lazarus' death.

Again, I'm in no way qualified to give a real diagnosis. But I do think that in the most respectable way possible, it's undeniable that there was something "weird" about our Lord's personality as depicted in the gospels, possibly even "unlikable" in a way. I'm not going to lie. He seemed very rude most of the time. Not that any of that is a bad thing, but I think that anything about our Lord is worth inquiring into so why not His personality?
Maybe He just wanted to confront sin so people would repent and be saved.

JamesR said:
Could He have had Aspergers Syndrome? Do you think He demonstrates the traits commonly associated with those who have the condition?

And I'll ask the final question to those who still consider this inquiry blasphemous: assuming our Lord does have AS, what changes? Why can't we still worship Him the same? What is it about having AS that you would consider so bad or unworthy that our Lord couldn't possibly have it? Is it that you personally wouldn't worship someone who had the condition? We should be careful not to fall into the same arrogance as the Jews at the time--a poor Jewish carpenter on a donkey and inevitably a Cross couldn't possibly be our savior. Replace that with "Someone with Aspergers Syndrome couldn't possibly be our savior." If the notion that God could become a lowly human is accepted, why is it considered so beyond comprehension that He could have been a human with Aspergers?
Do you have a license to practice psychology? If so, then give it back. I think you've been cheated.
 

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I don't know what is behind this recent trend to try and psychoanalyze people from history, but it needs to stop.

http://mentalfloss.com/article/12500/11-historical-geniuses-and-their-possible-mental-disorders
 

Luke

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The LORD is unique, in that He is the perfect human.  Since He came to earth to set an example, at least that was one of His motives, perhaps He seems to have Asperger's Spectrum to those who have it and seems to be normal to those who are normal.  Either way, there is much we do not know about Aspergers's Syndrome, so we cannot diagnose someone with a condition that we barely know about ourselves:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asperger_syndrome
 

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JamesR said:
Admittedly I'm not a clinician and thus in no way capable of giving out an actual diagnosis, but from my limited knowledge of Aspergers Syndrome, I think that our Lord seemed to demonstrate many, if not all, of the traits. He constantly offended people--often inadvertently--He often appeared "cold" or "uncaring," He monologued, He was awkward in social situations to such a degree that people either loved Him as their savior or wanted to kill Him. He seemed either unaware of or unconcerned with social conventions, both in a positive and a negative way. Negative in that it seemed He didn't know how to console people and was brutally honest, but by that same token, positive in that He was willing to associate with lepers, prostitutes, widows, and other such people that society would have frowned upon. I can think of multiple occasions where Christ "weirded" someone out and even offended them, but I can only think of one instance where He legitimately *expressed* empathy (although I have no doubt He always felt it) in a way we would classify as normal--that is, when He wept with Mary and Martha as they grieved Lazarus' death.
Do you have Asperger's Syndrome, James?
 

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It's our modern concept of compassion that is wrong and perverted, the silly demand of children spoiled by material prosperity as never seen in history.

We think that to be compassionate or empathic is to "take care of feelings", and even that to sacrfice truth to avoid "offense" can be a virtue. And then when some people notice that it's not quite that, they want to go to the straight opposite offending everybody for petty reasons.

Both are grotesque and vile.

Jesus Christ is the only fully sane and healthy person to have walked on Earth. He did hurt feelings, specially when it was necessary to hurt them, to make people grow "You say you want to follow me? You don't know where I'm going and the pains that it entails!" "Stay back, Satan!" "Why should I share the food of my children with dogs?" etc etc.

Our feelings are not half as important as we think.
 

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No.  Jesus was perfect in all ways.

Besides, it is rare to get aspies to cry or to commiserate with others.  Christ cried when he was in Bethany and people were mourning the passing of Lazarus.

 

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Oh look, the Divine speaking human doesn't come across like just any human. Shock, winnings. ::)
 

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Why is there a recent tendency to label someone aspy when they exhibit some of the behavior but not consistently? I'm not doubting autism, but aspergers gets used far too frequently.

As to the OP, we will never know and can't. We can speculate on hundreds of other things about Jesus life, does that matter? Does it matter to you if he had AS, as its diagnosed today?

For me I'd say no to both questions.
 

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I don't think it is an offensive question. I don't think he did but there simply is no way to know. And we have no idea what the Lord's personality was like. You cannot reconstruct it from rather short books written decades after his Resurrection with a specific audience and purpose in mind.

I would dare say the Lord could have had anything in his humanity. Or has the Church stated that it is not possible for him to suffer in His humanity?
 

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ICXCNIKA said:
I don't think it is an offensive question. I don't think he did but there simply is no way to know. And we have no idea what the Lord's personality was like. You cannot reconstruct it from rather short books written decades after his Resurrection with a specific audience and purpose in mind.

I would dare say the Lord could have had anything in his humanity. Or has the Church stated that it is not possible for him to suffer in His humanity?
No, his humanity was pre-lapsarian, and thus would not suffer the consequences of the fall, such as disorders like asperger's.

Jesus did not have asperger's.
 

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Antonis said:
ICXCNIKA said:
I don't think it is an offensive question. I don't think he did but there simply is no way to know. And we have no idea what the Lord's personality was like. You cannot reconstruct it from rather short books written decades after his Resurrection with a specific audience and purpose in mind.

I would dare say the Lord could have had anything in his humanity. Or has the Church stated that it is not possible for him to suffer in His humanity?
No, his humanity was pre-lapsarian, and thus would not suffer the consequences of the fall, such as disorders like asperger's.

Jesus did not have asperger's.
Hi Antonis,

I am not familiar with that concept. Are there sources you could refer me to?
 

Antonis

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ICXCNIKA said:
Antonis said:
ICXCNIKA said:
I don't think it is an offensive question. I don't think he did but there simply is no way to know. And we have no idea what the Lord's personality was like. You cannot reconstruct it from rather short books written decades after his Resurrection with a specific audience and purpose in mind.

I would dare say the Lord could have had anything in his humanity. Or has the Church stated that it is not possible for him to suffer in His humanity?
No, his humanity was pre-lapsarian, and thus would not suffer the consequences of the fall, such as disorders like asperger's.

Jesus did not have asperger's.
Hi Antonis,

I am not familiar with that concept. Are there sources you could refer me to?
That is understandable, it is little-discussed but important! Unfortunately, because it is little-discussed, there are many who assume His humanity to be post-lapsarian, even many Orthodox writers.

If you do a little digging online, you may find some writing on the topic. If you are interested enough, there is a rather substantial book out by Fr Emmanuel Hatzidakis wherein he counters many assumptions made about the human nature of Christ. It is titled Jesus Fallen?:

http://www.orthodoxwitness.org/jesus-fallen.php
 

Mor Ephrem

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Justin Kissel said:
kelly said:
James is just bored.
Mor Ephrem said:
Do you have Asperger's Syndrome, James?
Well someone around here has to throw some spice peppers in the oc.net gumbo...  8)
Kelly and I are so hot we make gumbo seem like so much rain water collected in a rusty pail for use in watering vegetable patches. 
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
Kelly and I are so hot we make gumbo seem like so much rain water collected in a rusty pail for use in watering vegetable patches.
So who's the jalapeño and who's the Scotch bonnet? :p
 

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Is it possible that JamesR needs to log off from OC.net?
 

DeniseDenise

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Arachne said:
Mor Ephrem said:
Kelly and I are so hot we make gumbo seem like so much rain water collected in a rusty pail for use in watering vegetable patches.
So who's the jalapeño and who's the Scotch bonnet? :p

Ghost Pepper........Mor is a Ghost Pepper
 

scamandrius

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Alpo said:
Is it possible that JamesR needs to log off from OC.net?
He's entertaining to the say the least.

He needs to log off of the internet altogether and get out into the real world a bit. 
 

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First of all Asperger's Syndrome, technically, no longer exists.  Secondly, as someone said, it is a disorder and therefore something our Lord could not have had.  Autistics lack the ability to understand things like social cues and etiquette.  They also lack the ability to filter stimuli properly and innately order their environment.  They have to be taught many of the things neurotypical people just know how to do.  High functioning autistics,  like those with what used to be called Asperger's Syndrome or my own child, are able to do this and can even eventually "test off the spectrum" but many are never able to do so.

As far as Christ's idiosyncrasies I think we can pin those on two major things:  writing style and motive.  The first is that we are talking about people writing narratives, not court reporters taking dictations.  We really don't know for certain how Christ spoke on a regular basis.  He also certainly had no problem with crowds from what I can tell.  He grew weary likely because he knew he could not help them all.  And I don't mean could not as in lacked the ability but could not in that doing so would be counterintuitive to his mission.  Which leads to the second point:  Christ's motive was the mission so he likely had to put aside niceties once in a while to assure the message was put out.  I think these two things, and probably many more others could come up with, far more greatly explain any so-called quirks Christ appeared to have.
 

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Did Jesus not get tummy aches when he was a kid?
 

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Justin Kissel said:
Did Jesus not get tummy aches when he was a kid?
If Jesus could weightlift...

I wont finish that thought.
 

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kelly said:
Justin Kissel said:
Did Jesus not get tummy aches when he was a kid?
If Jesus could weightlift...

I wont finish that thought.
Yeah, I was thinking of that thread when I wrote that, though I admit that I assumed that everyone would still be afraid of the naked emperor's wrath... what can you do but continue to hope though?  8)
 

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I haven't read all of the posts - so please forgive if I repeat something that's already been said.

I don't think He was on the autistic spectrum.  I don't think the Bible is a good source to think that He may have been - as the punctuation and translation will always be a problem.  Our culture is also a hindrance in understanding what is 'quirky' behavior and what is not. 

I DO think He probably used each and every cell in His body to the complete maximum potential - to include His brain cells.  He demonstrated a wonderful ability to go INTO the crowd despite fatigue and grief - someone with high functioning autism (especially if they were able to speak and did not lose speech (how Aspergers was defined) would be way too overloaded on stimuli to do that.  The anxiety would be very high. 

He showed no signs of senses scramble (hearing what is described as colors, seeing sounds, etc.)

So. . . If I put His statements in context - even the long speeches - of a rabbi / preacher. . .and also give the WRITERS credit to write what they remember - which is this larger than all the universe God/person in their midst, then everything falls into place.

 

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Justin Kissel said:
kelly said:
Justin Kissel said:
Did Jesus not get tummy aches when he was a kid?
If Jesus could weightlift...

I wont finish that thought.
Yeah, I was thinking of that thread when I wrote that, though I admit that I assumed that everyone would still be afraid of the naked emperor's wrath... what can you do but continue to hope though?  8)
I can't find that thread for the life of me. PM it to me?
 

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Somehow I can't imagine Jesus having a disorder like Asperger's. I know he shared our human nature, and experienced the same emotions and tiredness, hunger, etc that we do, but inherently I think his human body was flawless.

Apologies if I make no sense with that; I'm rather sleep-deprived right now.
 

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Olivia said:
Somehow I can't imagine Jesus having a disorder like Asperger's. I know he shared our human nature, and experienced the same emotions and tiredness, hunger, etc that we do, but inherently I think his human body was flawless.

Apologies if I make no sense with that; I'm rather sleep-deprived right now.
It made infinitely more sense than the OP, so you're doing fine.  ;)
 

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Olivia said:
Somehow I can't imagine Jesus having a disorder like Asperger's. I know he shared our human nature, and experienced the same emotions and tiredness, hunger, etc that we do, but inherently I think his human body was flawless.

Apologies if I make no sense with that; I'm rather sleep-deprived right now.
How is that not the heresy of apthartodocetism? One could argue that hunger and tiredness are disorders in a sense, too.
 
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