Did Jesus enjoy the beatific vision of God on earth that Christians hope to enjoy only in heaven? This important question is related to a whole series of questions about Jesus, his kwledge and self-consciousness. Did he kw he was God's Son? What did he kw of his saving mission? These issues are linked to a fundamental question: Is the Saviour we need one who is altogether like us or one who is in some ways unlike us? This book argues that God gave us a Saviour with beatific kwledge, and who in this respect is very unlike us indeed. The answer commonly given by Catholic theologians to this question underwent a dramatic shift in the middle of the 20th century. Previously there had been a general unanimity based on the teaching of Thomas Aquinas that the answer was 'Yes': the earthly Christ did indeed possess heavenly kwledge. The theological situation was then radically altered to one where the answer 'No' became predominant. Theologians preferred to treat Christ's kwledge in terms of self-consciousness, ordinary human kwing, faith, prophecy and mysticism, t the beatific vision. This book addresses the reasons why theologians abandoned Aquinas's thesis, arguing it has been too easily dismissed. Considering the evidence of Scripture and Tradition, and then moving from Christ's extraordinary kwledge through his ordinary kwledge, to his will, emotions and bodily life, the book sketches an outline of the extraordinary Saviour God has in fact given us and who is indeed the Saviour humanity truly needs.
Simon Francis Gaine is the Regent of Blackfriars Hall, Oxford, UK.