Father Jonathan Kelly taught at CatholicManNight on April 20, 2012.  Here is an outline of Father’s address on the Knowledge of Jesus Christ:

Jesus Christ speaks from who He is and what He knows, not from what He has learned or what He believes.

Key terms

Hypostatic union

Knowledge of Christ

The human intellect is capable of three types of knowledge (Beatific, infused, acquired)

  1. Beatific knowledge
    1. “In the soul of Christ, from the first instant, there was intuitive vision.”
    2. Christ sees God (Jn 3:11,32; 5:46; 8:14)
    3. Christ knows the Father…does not have faith but knowledge Jn 8:54-55

i.     A theologian recently got in trouble for saying Christ had faith.  The response was (paraphrasing): if Christ has faith, it is not like our faith.

  1. But the human soul did not have beatific vision comprehensively…because comprehension implies understanding in totality.  The finite cannot comprehend the infinite.
  2. He had the beatific vision from the beginning, He knows all that men have done and have done and are doing.  It is always in actu.
  1. Infused knowledge
    1. Infused knowledge of some subject
    2. Christ’s knowledge was per se infused (St. Thomas)
    3. All created things, natural and supernatural, as far as they are knowable
    4. Not always in actu
    5. Acquired knowledge (knowledge acquired in the normal way)
      1. “He does learn, but only in the order of experimental verification of species already known.  Thus whatever he taught he knew and he knew it prior to any learning he may have done regarding the experimental verification of the knowledge.”

i.     Christ acquired experimental knowledge through the senses and use of intellect

ii.     Learned to speak Hebrew, even though He knew Hebrew

  1. To what extent is debated but must preserve the acquired knowledge of Christ to maintain His humanity

i.     “And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon Him.” Luke 2:40

ii.     “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52

iii.     Opinion, but believe this was relatively small

  1. Has inverse and proportionate relationship to infused knowledge

i.     If He had lots of infused, less acquired and vice versa

ii.     I agree with the theologians who propose that Christ had quite a small amount of acquired knowledge