How does a Human fully God not know how to reject bad and choose good?

Colossians 2:9 [NASB] "For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form"

Yeshayahu יְשַׁעְיָהוּ֒ | "Isaiah" [7:16] - "For, when the lad does not yet know to reject bad and choose good" (כִּ֠י בְּטֶ֨רֶם יֵדַ֥ע הַנַּ֛עַר מָא֥וֹס בָּרָ֖ע וּבָח֣וֹר בַּטּ֑וֹב)

  • This statement is about Immanuel from Isaiah 7:14 - which Matthew 1:22-23 attributes to Jesus of Nazareth.

How should we understand Colossians 2:9 in contrast to [Isaiah 7:14-16, Matthew 1:22-23]?

  • Did God fully dwell in the human vessel of Jesus of Nazareth (only) for a sinless 1-year ministry [Exodus 12:5], or all 33-years of his life on earth (even when the lad did not know how to choose good)?
  • Even Trinitarians wouldn't all immediately say that Isaiah 7:16 is only about Jesus. There are a lot of unstated assumptions of how to interpret prophecy in this question, and it would be better if you edited it to state them. Certainly there is nothing in either verse which would suggest that Jesus was only sinless for 1 year. I've never even heard of such an idea. It's widely recognised that his public ministry was at least 3 years (and he probably died closer to 39 than 33.) This question is just one unfounded assumption after another.
    – curiousdannii
    Apr 17, 2021 at 14:13
  • Thanks, @curiousdannii! - So Isaiah 7:16 does not describe Immanuel in Isaiah 7:14 - attributed to Jesus in Matthew 1:22-23? I appreciate your insight. Apr 17, 2021 at 14:51
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    What i for the life of me cannot understand is how it is that non trinitarians continue to push the idea that God is not capable of lowering Himself to the level of a completely dependant human baby who's parents fled to Egypt in order to save his life from Herod! There is no conflict in any of the verses quoted above. God became man...he was raised as a dependant baby and child and grew in stature just like any other human child. That is what incarnation is!
    – Adam
    Apr 20, 2021 at 8:07

2 Answers 2


“but emptied εκενωσεν himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭2:7‬ ‭

The Bible translates εκενωσεν in different ways but the word essentially means to render useless, to void, to nullify and this comes from the idea of emptying.

(This illustration has limitations because God a spirit nullified His attributes and then enters a body that itself had limitations of its own).

If one empties a jar of jam it is no longer useful for retrieving jam. By emptying it of jam, one has nullified, suppressed or voided it’s usefulness to access jam.

Jesus by suppressing εκενωσεν His divine attributes made void, nullified or rendered useless the ability to act on His divine attributes. He was now fully dependent on the Father and the Holy Spirit, in like manner as would be any man born of a mortal.

Essentially Jesus VOLUNTARILY suppressed His divine attributes. In doing so, He was like any other human born on earth from the womb of a mother, clueless and in need of learning.

Therefore He could be fully God in essence/identity, because His spirit (God is spirit) though suppressed, now inhabited a mortal biological machine, aka the human body but with intentionally suppressed attributes.

This is why as you correctly point out Jesus had to learn and be educated and read the scrolls of the books the Tanakh. Otherwise you are right, if they were not suppressed then He would be in no need of learning anything at all

“For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted.” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭7:16‬ ‭

Did the Angel of the Lord, the visible God of the OT, the Commander of the armies of the Lord reside in the biological machine for 1-3 years or from conception, the answer evidently is from conception.

Your reference to Ex12:5 speaks of a yearling lamb, the point wasn’t the year, the point is, it had to be a lamb and without blemish. Lamb meaning a virgin. He was a virgin, He was without blemish and He was sacrificed for our transgressions.

  • Thanks for your help clarifying! - So Jesus as Immanuel in Matthew 1:22-23 was essentially God’s embodied teachings without the attributes of God - based on your statement: “His divine attributes made void, nullified or rendered useless the ability to act on His divine attributes”? Apr 17, 2021 at 15:00
  • I don’t know what you mean by “God’s embodied teachings” @חִידָה so I can’t answer you just yet. Apr 17, 2021 at 15:47
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    I just read the comment made to the other response. Who is The Name (HaShem) to you? God The Father? Or the I Am at the burning bush which was God the Son? In any case the embodiment or the incarnation was the spirit of God the Son and not God the Father’s spirit. (I guess my question is what is you hang up theologically, because it appears that you are filtering this through a theological framework and something is not working for you due to some hang up. Is it that you think God is ONE and therefore singular one? Because the Hebrew doesn’t say God is yachid, but echad which can mean united) Apr 17, 2021 at 16:07
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    Well you’re assuming Jesus is the Bible or the Logos is the Bible. That is weird thinking Apr 17, 2021 at 17:19
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    @Nihil How can Jesus be the everlasting Father? Aren't you supposed to not confound the whatever it is? That reading has the same veracity as 1 John 5:7
    – Steve
    Apr 18, 2021 at 7:17

Colossians 2:9 has minimal connection with Isaiah 7:16

Brackets in passage are mine.

10 Then the LORD spoke again to Ahaz, saying, 11 “Ask for a sign for yourself from the LORD your God; make it deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I put the LORD to the test!” 13 Then he said, “Listen now, house of David! Is it too trivial a thing for you to try the patience of men, that you will try the patience of my God as well? 14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give YOU a sign: Behold, the virgin (not a virgin, but a young woman) will conceive and give birth to a son, and she will name Him Immanuel (this doesn't make him God). 15 He will eat curds and honey at the time He knows enough to refuse evil and choose good. 16 For before the boy knows enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be abandoned. Isaiah 7:10-16

  • There are some parallels in Isaiah 7 with the life of Jesus, but the signs given were fulfilled in that day of the king - the sign was for him!
  • Jesus did have to choose between good and evil. He did have his own will which did differ from the Father. (thereby making him not God)
  • The child was named Maher-shalal-hash-baz (Is. 8:3) and he wasn't God. having the title Immanuel doesn't make someone God.

It's tempting to seize a verse here and there that aligns with our theology. This is called 'proof-texting' and it tends to ignore context and other related passages.

Colossians 2:9

For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form

This 'fullness of deity' is an ambiguous term that is easily misunderstood on its own - we must understand it using other passages. We can liken it to having God's nature (not substance) regarding evil and goodness. God is perfectly 'good' and not evil! The fullness of being GOD cannot exist within a human body, (Moses couldn't even look at Him) but His nature can, and did, in Jesus through His spirit - just as it can in us.

We are also to have this divine nature. When we are born from above, that is all we will have. We wont be God then though, but like Him in nature and purpose.

you may become partakers of the divine nature 2 Pet 1:4

God grants Jesus his Spirit. How can Jesus be God if he is dependent on God for such an essential and inherent attribute of God, for God IS spirit, Jesus said he was not a spirit Luke 24:39. We could list the consistent passages of Jesus being a man only, but that is done in other posts.

For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He (God) gives the Spirit without measure. John 3:34

Matthew 12:18 Here is My Servant, whom I have chosen, My beloved, in whom My soul delights. I will put My Spirit on Him, and He will proclaim justice to the nations.

This is quoted from Isaiah 42, a prophecy concerning the one God will send, the one He would 'choose', the one He would anoint with His Spirit Acts 10:38. Precisely because Jesus was not God, but needed God's provisions to accomplish the task set before him.

Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor

Of course Jesus was 'filled' with God. We are to be also. How else can we be not of the world and of His kingdom if we still are full of the world?

that you may be filled to all the fullness of God. Eph 3:19

If Jesus is to be filled with God - how then could he BE God? He is either God or he is not. Because there are no verses that say he is, then we must go with that and confess Jesus as the man, the holy and sinless man sent to become the Lamb. Of course God cannot die, or be tempted or sin, so Jesus cannot be God for those things. If Jesus didn't fully die, then neither do we when baptised. If he is somehow God, then he cannot die and the whole crucifixion was a charade of some sort.

having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. Col 2:12

There are no contradictions in the God's word when it is read carefully and in concert with other verses. God does not inspire contradiction in His word.

Jesus was given the Holy Spirit at his baptism. He gave his spirit back to God when he died. After 3 days and nights, God raised him and drew him to His side - exalting him, making him heir to everything and judge of all.

How could Jesus be God and alleged 'creator' if he is being made heir?

He cannot be God for dozens of reasons, but he was filled with God's holy spirit or he couldn't have successfully been the Lamb.

Having the title Immanuel, Jesus was certainly 'God with us'. Just as God is with us in His word, in creation, in prayer, in spirit, in goodness and peace, He is with us through His son who had not the 'worldly' ways in him, but the Godly ways. He doesn't need to BE God, to be God with us.

  • Thanks for your help clarifying! - So Jesus when referred to as Immanuel in Matthew 1:22-23 was essentially [God’s embodied teachings] “with us” without actually being HaShem Himself? Apr 17, 2021 at 15:06
  • I’ve no idea what Hashem is , but it sounds like you got it. Jesus is God’s word, will and purpose, but is not God.
    – Steve
    Apr 17, 2021 at 21:49
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    hmmm i cant agree with this comment. It was well known that Immanuel meant literally "God with us". The Jews full knew that God himself was be incarnated and born as a child.. The only flaw in the then current Jewish belief was that he was coming to restore the house of David and setup an earthly kingdom to save them from the Romans.
    – Adam
    Apr 20, 2021 at 8:20
  • (-1) The problem with your analysis is the failure to consider the actual Greek rather an an English translation. Ephesians 3:9 says believers are to be filled with the fullness of τοῦ Θεοῦ, the God. Colossians says Jesus is the fullness of τῆς Θεότητος, the Godhead. Mar 4, 2023 at 15:41

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