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The Historicity of the Resurrection of Christ
The 1024 Project ^ | 12/26/2013 | Mark Musser

Posted on 12/26/2013 6:15:06 PM PST by Olympiad Fisherman

Unlike all other religions that emphasize mysticism, myth, fables, legends, or even allegories, Christianity is a historical religion that upholds the facticity of its revelatory events that becomes the very object of faith. Not only is the crucifixion of Christ the most historically attested fact of the ancient world, but believe it or not, the resurrection of Jesus is not far behind. The test of faith in Christianity that so many have a hard time with is not that believing is a leap out into an irrational world of myth, but that believing is based on historical facts, the exact opposite of what most people presume to be the case. When the apostle Paul presented the gospel in Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:16-42), he gave a history lesson, and then concluded, “Behold, you scoffers, and marvel, and perish; For I am accomplishing a work in your days, A work which you will never believe, though someone should describe it to you (Acts 13:41)."

(Excerpt) Read more at 1024project.com ...


TOPICS: Apologetics; Evangelical Christian; History; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: apologetics; historicity; historicityofchrist; historicityofjesus

1 posted on 12/26/2013 6:15:06 PM PST by Olympiad Fisherman
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To: Olympiad Fisherman

Although I am a believer the very simplicity of the main and the plain is what often trips me up in one way or another...leading to..sin.


2 posted on 12/26/2013 6:18:21 PM PST by MeshugeMikey ( Its beginning to look a lot like Kwanzaa)
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To: MeshugeMikey

Amen!


3 posted on 12/26/2013 6:30:23 PM PST by Olympiad Fisherman
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To: Olympiad Fisherman

I see this thread is in the Religion Forum and has no tag, therefore it is an open thread.

This recent thread on a similar subject was posted to a caucus tag but the tag seems to have been removed.

Did Jesus Claim to be God?
http://knowwhatyoubelieve.com/index.php ^ | 2013 | Richard Helsby
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/3104583/posts
Posted on Mon 23 Dec 2013 05:14:49 AM PST by Kevmo

And this thread was locked:

Is Jesus Christ God?
Christian Answers ^ | 2012 | Various
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/3104329/posts?q=1&;page=552#552
Posted on Sun 22 Dec 2013 07:28:20 AM PST by DouglasKC

The religion moderator’s page is straightforward on what to expect out of these threads.
http://www.freerepublic.com/~religionmoderator/

But the religion mod doesn’t have enough time to stay on top of these threads, and they are getting polluted by folks who have an idealogical agenda.


4 posted on 12/26/2013 6:33:40 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: Olympiad Fisherman

Why is this article excerpted? Also, the link you provide does not have the paragraph you posted.

Here’s the article, in case it vanishes into the dark reaches of the internet a few years from now.

The Historicity of the Resurrection of Christ
The Historicity of the Resurrection of Christ

By Mark Musser

– The crucifixion of Jesus Christ (33 A.D.) is the most attested historical fact of the ancient world. In addition to the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, it is also widely attested by Greco-Roman and Jewish writers. Closely related, history also confirms that the tomb of Jesus Christ on that first Easter morning was indeed empty. Every vested party knew where Jesus was buried after he died. Yet on Easter, the tomb was found empty, and nobody has ever been recovered.

In fact, the gospel of Matthew showcases that there was a still a heated debate going on between certain Jewish leaders and the Christians in the apostolic church over whether or not the disciples had stolen the body (Matthew 28:1-15). As such, both sides knew full well that the tomb was empty. More surprising, both sides also knew of the presence of Roman guards.

With a plethora of similar historical details connected to the empty tomb, Greco-Roman historian Michael Grant concedes, “The historian cannot justifiably deny the empty tomb … if we apply the same sort of criteria that we would apply to any other ancient sources, then the evidence is firm and plausible enough to necessitate the conclusion that the tomb was indeed found empty.”

Once the reality of the empty tomb sinks in, this stubborn fact substantially narrows down the historical possibilities of what transpired on Easter morning. Outside the resurrection itself of Jesus Christ, only a handful of other historical scenarios have been propagated in its place — all of which can be routinely dismissed through a quick process of elimination.

One of the most popular answers to explain the empty tomb over the centuries is that the disciples stole Jesus’s body during the night. The biggest problem with this supposition is it cannot explain the later behavior of the disciples, who became stalwart apostolic pillars in the church founded upon the preaching of the resurrection of Christ. The apostles lived very difficult lives. Many of them were martyred. If they had stolen the body of Christ, they would have known that Jesus was not raised from the dead. They thus would not have spent the rest of their lives sacrificing themselves for a lie.

Others have tried to implausibly advocate that the women who first visited the tomb Easter morning went to the wrong one. The very fact that the gospels admit that women were the first ones to visit the empty tomb gives historical authenticity to the entire account. In such a male-dominated world, no one in his right mind would ever want to acknowledge that women were the first to notice the tomb was empty — especially when a new religion was essentially founded upon such an embarrassing fact.

Some have tried to suggest that Jesus’s death was staged, or that it was a hoax. This is impossible for the simple reason that no one could have survived the cross. Jesus was beaten to a pulp and whipped out of his mind before he was crucified. Once he was nailed to the cross, his fate was sealed.

Others have tried to say that the resurrection appearances of Jesus to his disciples were hallucinations. Hallucinations, however, are individual occurrences by definition. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Paul wrote that whole groups of people, along with hundreds of eyewitnesses, saw the resurrected Lord. In 1 Corinthians 15, the apostle Paul tells his followers in Corinth that more than 500 witnesses saw the resurrected Christ at one time, most of whom were still alive at the time of Paul’s writing (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).

Still others have tried to venture the idea the resurrection accounts were based on fictitious folklore. However, such legends typically require 200-300 years in order to be established — which is precisely what did happen with all of the fanciful apocryphal gospels that have helped spur the modern interest in The Da Vinci Code. In great contrast, the apostles were preaching the resurrection of Christ from the very outset, and even some of the most radical skeptical scholars of the German Protestant Enlightenment, like Ferdinand Christian Bauer (1792-1860), admitted that Galatians, Romans, and the Corinthian epistles were penned by the apostle Paul — who emphasized the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Bauer believed that much of the New Testament was written much later by pseudo-authors.

However, one of the most eminent ancient church historians of all time, English scholar J.B. Lightfoot (1829-1889), established very early dates for two important church fathers — Clement and Ignatius — both of whom quoted or alluded to most of the New Testament around the turn of the 1st century. Sir William Ramsay (1851-1939) then established the surprising accuracy of the book of Acts, stating that Luke was one of the greatest historians of the ancient world. In 1976, John A.T. Robinson (1919-1983) demolished the entire edifice of Protestant Germany’s skepticism by writing a book called Redating the New Testament. Robinson placed the entire New Testament back to the 1st century because it everywhere presumes that the Jerusalem Temple was still standing. Since the Romans destroyed the temple in 70 A.D., the New Testament must have been written before that time.

This leaves modern man faced with the startling conclusion that Jesus Christ may have indeed been raised from the dead. A little more than a century ago, Dr. W.H. Griffith Thomas wrote an outstanding book entitled Christianity is Christ, where he strongly concluded that the resurrection of Jesus was one of the best-attested facts of the ancient world. Much later in the 20th century, Josh McDowell compiled a vast array of Christian evidences that demand a verdict, and Lee Strobel has an excellent Case for Christ. In fact, Strobel persuasively contends that the very historical existence of Christianity cannot be explained apart from the historicity of the resurrection of Christ.

Just because the resurrection of Christ cannot be placed in an experimental scientific test tube does not mean that it is an irrational fairy tale. In 1 Corinthians 15, one of the longest chapters in the New Testament, the apostle Paul strings together a series of arguments for the resurrection of the dead — everything from the authority of the Old Testament to historical eyewitness accounts to his own apostolic authority and personal life — and even for the sake of morality itself. Paul even points out that nature itself teaches the resurrection of the dead every year a farmer plants his garden anew (1 Corinthians 15:36).

It was Jewish German scholar Karl Lowith (1897-1973) who acutely observed, “The Christian hope is almost rational, for it rests on faith in an accomplished fact.” However, because the apostolic writers depicted the historical events of the gospels as a decisive once-for-all cosmic salvation event, the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ invariably offends, contradicts, and upsets “the normal historical consciousness of both ancient and modern times.” The Christian faith offended the classical mind because it rendered a onetime historical event with ultimate significance. The Christian faith offends the modern mind because it exempts its own specific history of salvation from the generalized history of multicultural godlessness. Such unforgivable offenses are why the resurrection of Christ will often continue to be ignored and attacked in spite of its historicity.


5 posted on 12/26/2013 6:38:17 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: Kevmo
But the religion mod doesn’t have enough time to stay on top of these threads, and they are getting polluted by folks who have an idealogical agenda.

This seems like a pretty benign article to me. Who do you think would have a problem with it?

6 posted on 12/26/2013 6:39:36 PM PST by BipolarBob
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To: BipolarBob

Based on my experiences on 3 recent threads, there is a contingent who dislike the fact that Jesus was condemned to die because He claimed equality with God before the sanhedrin. As the article states, “the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (33 A.D.) is the most attested historical fact of the ancient world. “ But there are some freepers who have deep idealogical issues with that, and twist history & scripture to push their case.


7 posted on 12/26/2013 6:42:58 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: Olympiad Fisherman

SUPERIOR article! THANKS for posting!


8 posted on 12/26/2013 6:58:02 PM PST by 2harddrive
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To: Kevmo
I think I took part in some of those threads but not on the position you stated. One person claimed the guilt of Jesus' death was that of the Romans and I took issue with that. They were the executioners but not the instigators. All of this here seems pretty much boilerplate.
9 posted on 12/26/2013 7:05:10 PM PST by BipolarBob
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To: BipolarBob; Olympiad Fisherman

A word to the wise is sufficient... just be prepared. When they come, they will try to poison your thread.


10 posted on 12/26/2013 7:08:16 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: Olympiad Fisherman

I would recommend putting this into the [ecumenical] tag under the religion moderator’s guidelines... From the RM’s home page:

Ecumenical threads are closed to antagonism.

To antagonize is to incur or to provoke hostility in others.

Unlike the “caucus” threads, the article and reply posts of an “ecumenical” thread may discuss more than one belief, but antagonism is not tolerable.

More leeway is granted to what is acceptable in the text of the article than to the reply posts. For example, the term “gross error” in an article will not prevent an ecumenical discussion, but a poster should not use that term in his reply because it is antagonistic. As another example, the article might be a passage from the Bible which would be antagonistic to Jews. The passage should be considered historical information and a legitimate subject for an ecumenical discussion. The reply posts however must not be antagonistic.

Contrasting of beliefs or even criticisms can be made without provoking hostilities. But when in doubt, only post what you are “for” and not what you are “against.” Or ask questions.

Ecumenical threads will be moderated on a “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” basis. When hostility has broken out on an “ecumenical” thread, I’ll be looking for the source.

Therefore “anti” posters must not try to finesse the guidelines by asking loaded questions, using inflammatory taglines, gratuitous quote mining or trying to slip in an “anti” or “ex” article under the color of the “ecumenical” tag.


11 posted on 12/26/2013 7:22:43 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: 2harddrive

You are very welcome!


12 posted on 12/26/2013 7:42:19 PM PST by Olympiad Fisherman
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To: Olympiad Fisherman

Historicity? Is that a word?


13 posted on 12/26/2013 7:42:35 PM PST by Mr. K (If you like your constitution, you can keep it...Period.)
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To: Olympiad Fisherman

14 posted on 12/26/2013 7:43:40 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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To: Mr. K

Yes. And a keyword.

http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/historicity/index?tab=articles


15 posted on 12/26/2013 7:44:17 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: Olympiad Fisherman

Thanks for posting this. The articles regarding why there are four Gospels are excellent, too. In these latter days I sense there is some ecumenism in the USA, for which Christ is to be praised, since He is the ultimate Head of the Church.


16 posted on 12/26/2013 8:05:51 PM PST by Fester Chugabrew
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To: Olympiad Fisherman

The Romans and the Jewish leaders looked for Jesus’ body. They did not want an uprising so they wanted to show that He was really dead. They couldn’t find it.


17 posted on 12/26/2013 8:52:39 PM PST by VerySadAmerican (".....Barrack, and the horse Mohammed rode in on.")
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To: Olympiad Fisherman

I wrote a paper with this title in college. Enjoyed the experience very much...


18 posted on 12/26/2013 9:49:58 PM PST by Nifster
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To: Kevmo

“But there are some freepers who have deep idealogical issues with that, and twist history & scripture to push their case.’

I didn’t realize that… just wow


19 posted on 12/26/2013 9:51:27 PM PST by Nifster
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To: Nifster

Just look at the last 4 or 5 threads under the keyword “historicity” and you’ll see it. Spiritually sickening.

http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/historicity/index?brevity=brief


20 posted on 12/26/2013 10:52:06 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: Nifster

Great!


21 posted on 12/26/2013 11:10:29 PM PST by Olympiad Fisherman
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To: VerySadAmerican

The resurrection of Jesus was put on trial before Festus and King Agrippa in Acts 25,”And so after they had assembled here, I made no delay, but on the next day took my seat on the tribunal, and ordered the man to be brought. “And when the accusers stood up, they began bringing charges against him not of such crimes as I was expecting; but they simply had some points of disagreement with him about their own religion and about a certain dead man, Jesus, whom Paul asserted to be alive. “And being at a loss how to investigate such matters, I asked whether he was willing to go to Jerusalem and there stand trial on these matters (Acts 25:17-20).”


22 posted on 12/26/2013 11:14:13 PM PST by Olympiad Fisherman
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To: BipolarBob

This seems like a pretty benign article to me.
***It’s fascinating that folks with such an agenda would leave the resurrection alone. The resurrection was a miracle. The fact that Jesus claimed to be equal with God is a historical fact, no miracle involved. So these folks twist history in order to make it look like Jesus never made such a claim. It’s intriguing that the historicity of the resurrection is less challenged than the historicity of Jesus’s claim to be equal with God, which even His enemies acknowledge that He made the claim.


23 posted on 12/26/2013 11:50:46 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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Sir William Ramsay (1851-1939) then established the surprising accuracy of the book of Acts, stating that Luke was one of the greatest historians of the ancient world.
***Significantly, Ramsay went into his archaeological digs with the viewpoint that Luke would be off by 400 or 500 years. He was surprised to find that the titles Luke produced for the figures of history in the first century were accurate, because he fully expected the titles to reflect 4th or 5th century revisionism. He came to the evidence with an a-priori bias and yet that bias was thoroughly disproven to the point that he called Luke “a historian of the first rank”.

In 1976, John A.T. Robinson (1919-1983) demolished the entire edifice of Protestant Germany’s skepticism by writing a book called Redating the New Testament. Robinson placed the entire New Testament back to the 1st century because it everywhere presumes that the Jerusalem Temple was still standing. Since the Romans destroyed the temple in 70 A.D., the New Testament must have been written before that time.
***Yup. Basically, every single significant mention of Palestine history prior to AD70 did not mention the destruction of the temple, and all of those afterwards DID mention it. It has become a first pass straightforward way of determining a date.


24 posted on 12/27/2013 12:17:18 AM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: Olympiad Fisherman

The resurrection was proof that Jesus was Who He said He was: He was equal with God Himself. That was the claim He laid down before the sanhedrin, ultimately resulting in His death. The claim of the resurrection is anchored in history to the claim of His deity.

Did Jesus Claim to be God?

Summary

Evidence in addition to his claims in the New Testament

The concept of Jesus as divine existed within at least 10 to 20 years of his crucifixion, and therefore likely to have been asserted by Jesus himself. The claims of Jesus to be God make sense of his trial and crucifixion i.e. blasphemy The early enemies of Christ would have declared that Jesus never made such claim A parallel movement, that claimed Jesus as merely a good teacher, would have emerged alongside Christianity

Jesus’ use of Divine Titles Yahweh - claiming the sacred Old Testament name for God. Yahweh means “He who is” or “I am” Son of God - claiming to be of the same nature as God, co-equal and co-eternal with God Son of Man - claiming to be the Messiah / King / Deliverer of the Jews. Used to proclaim his divine identity Lord - claiming to be “Adonai” - a term applied to God in the Old Testament Abba - referred to God as father - uniquely using the familiar word of closest intimacy People responded to these claims by wanting to kill Jesus as this was the punishment required for blasphemy

Additional claims to be God

· To be pre-existent “before Abraham was born, I am!” John 8:58 · To be omnipresent “and surely I am with you always” Matthew 28:20 · To be omniscient “you know all things … You believe at last!” John 16:30 · To be omnipotent “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” Matthew 28:18 · Should be worshipped “And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin…” Mark 9:42 · Divine authority To forgive sins , To have authority over the laws of the Sabbath, That the elect and angels are his, To be able to give authority over evil to others, To have authority over all people · Word will outlast time “my words will never pass away” Mark 13:31 · To be sinless “Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?” John 8:46 · That all God has is his “All I have is yours, and all you have is mine” - said praying to God - John 17:10 · To give freedom “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” John 8:36 · To send prophets “Therefore I am sending you prophets” Matthew 23:34 · To deserve highest loyalty “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me” Mt 10:37 · To be equal with God that a response to him is the same as a response to God. John 15:23 that he is to be honoured to the same extent as God is honoured. John 5:22 that to see him is to see God. John 14:9 that to know him is to know God. John 8:19 that him coming to the Jewish people was the same as God being there. Luke 19:43 that he operates with and to the same extent as God. John 5:17 that he is directly equal with God. John 10:30-39 · To be able to raise himself from the dead “I lay down my life — only to take it up again... I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again” John 10:17,18 That people’s eternal destiny depends on their response to him. Mathew 7:21-23, John 8:24

The Importance of the Issue

This issue is crucially important for at least five reasons

The divinity of Christ is the most distinctively Christian belief or doctrine of them all. A Christian is most essentially defined as one who believes that Jesus was God. And no other religion has a doctrine that is even similar. Buddhists do not believe that Buddha was God and Muslims do not believe that Muhammad was God. [1 p. 151]

This doctrine works like a skeleton key, unlocking all the other doctrinal doors of Christianity. Christians believe each of their many doctrines not because they have reasoned their own way to them, but on the divine authority of the One who taught them, as recorded in the Bible and transmitted by the church. If Jesus Christ was only human, he could have made mistakes. Thus, anyone who wants to dissent from any of Christ’s unpopular teachings will want to deny his divinity. And there are bound to be things in his teachings that each of us finds offensive - if we look at the totality of those teachings rather than confining ourselves to comfortable and familiar ones. [1 p. 152]

If Christ is divine, then the incarnation (God taking on human form) is the most important event in history. It is the hinge of history. It changes everything. If Jesus Christ is God, then when he died on the cross, he provided a means for God and humans to be reconciled. No event in history could be more important to every person on earth than that. [1 p. 152]

It has tremendous implications for us now. For if Jesus Christ is God, then, since he is omnipotent and present right now, he can transform you and your life right now as nothing and no one else possibly can. [1 p. 152]

If Christ is divine, he has right to our entire lives, including our inner life and out thoughts. If Christ is divine, our absolute obligation is to believe everything he says and obey everything he commands. [1 p. 152]

The difficulty of this issue

Christians ought to realise how difficult, how scandalous, how objectionable, how apparently unbelievable and absurd this doctrine is bound to appear to others. [1]

The difficulty is a double one. First, there is the immediate, instinctive, intuitive shock. Second, on the reflective, rational level this claim seems absurd. It is the claim of a man who came from a woman’s womb, grew from a baby, got hungry and tired and angry, suffered and died – to be divine! It is not only intuitively shocking, but it also seems logically self-contradictory. [1 p. 153]

Before we attempt to address these difficulties and the validity of Christ’s claim to be God, we need to establish that he did indeed make such a claim. Many suggest that Jesus either never made any claims to deity; that His claims were altered by His biased followers; or, that His claims were misunderstood by His ignorant followers. [15] Did Jesus make any claims to deity?

When we examine the New Testament documents, we find that Jesus makes numerous claims to deity - to be God. The sceptics who doubt this, generally doubt the accuracy and credibility of the documents themselves, but as we have shown in the previous sections, the New Testament documents are historical reliable. They more than satisfactorily pass each of the tests of historicity and are therefore reliable in their accounts of the life of Jesus.

It may also be worth noting a few additional points that support the fact that Jesus did make claims to deity.

There is ample indication that the early church based its doctrine on things Jesus said and did, including His claims to divinity, rather than inventing what He said and did after formulating the doctrines. [15]

Those that deny Jesus made any extraordinary personal claims face the very severe problem of explaining how it is that the worship of Jesus as Lord and God came about at all in the early church. [16] This is even more problematic when we realize that within twenty years of the crucifixion a full-blown Christology (theory/doctrine) proclaiming Jesus as God incarnate (God in human form) existed. How does one explain this worship by monotheistic Jews of one of their countrymen as God incarnate, apart from the claims of Jesus himself? [15]

The oldest liturgical prayer recorded, in 1 Corinthians 16:22, is dated at around 55 AD. It refers to Jesus as Lord - a divine title reserved for God. Paul’s letters, written between 49 and 65 AD exhibit the same fully evolved Christology; logically, he must have gotten it from sometime earlier than 49 AD. Paul cites creeds, hymns and sayings of Jesus that must have been come from earlier (Romans 1:3-4; 1 Corinthians 11:23; Colossians. 1:15-16; Philippians. 2:6-11; 1 Timothy. 3:16; 2 Timothy. 2:8). These items translate easily into Aramaic and show features of Hebrew poetry and thought-forms, which allows us to trace their origins to Jesus’ first followers in Judea, between 33 and 48 AD. [15]

The oldest Christian document shows Paul repeatedly calling Jesus ‘Christ’ (the title “Christ” is a Greek equivalent to the Jewish term “Messiah” - the king and deliverer / saviour expected by the Jewish people). He does this in a way that suggests that, within twenty years of Jesus’ death and resurrection, this comprehensive title for Jesus’ identity and powers was simply taken for granted by Paul and his readers. The title had almost become Jesus’ second (personal) name (1 Thessalonians 1:1, 3; 5:23, 28). In his letters Paul uses ‘Christ’ 270 times but never considers it necessary to argue explicitly that Jesus is ‘the Christ’ whom Israel expected. [15]

All of this leads to the inevitable conclusion that the concept of Jesus as divine quite definitely existed within, at the very least, a decade of the crucifixion, and therefore, was likely to have been asserted before His death by Jesus Himself, as is recorded in the Gospels. [15]

The claims of Jesus to be God make sense of his trial and crucifixion.[1 p. 163]

The Jewish sensitivity to blasphemy was unique; no one else would so fanatically insist on death as punishment for claiming divinity. Throughout the Roman world, the prevailing attitude towards the gods was “the more, the merrier”. [1 p. 163]

The political excuse that he was Caesar’s rival was a lie trumped up to justify his execution, since Roman law did not recognize blasphemy as ground for execution and the Jews had no legal power to enforce their own religious laws of capital punishment under Roman rule. [1 p. 164]

The enemies of Christianity would have declared that Jesus never made such claims [15]

If Jesus never claimed to be divine, and never claimed it in the sense that is indicated in the Gospels, it is reasonable to expect that the enemies of Christianity and the early church would have declared that Jesus never made such claims, or that he was misunderstood. Some did indeed do this, but wrote quite some time after the fact. There is no record contemporary or closely contemporary with Jesus (first century AD) that indicates that He never made any special claims for Himself, or that the church invented the claims. Even after that time, however, the major sceptics of the first several centuries never argued this point. The Jesus-never-claimed-divinity argument had not been advanced by sceptics of the time, and if it was used, perhaps by some sceptic whose works we have totally lost, it was so easily dismissed or so lacked adequate credibility that it could not be used by the best anti-Christian sceptics. [15]

A parallel movement, that acclaimed Jesus as merely a good teacher, would have emerged alongside Christianity. [15]

As it is, there are no existing texts from the first century, or even from the century thereafter, that represent Jesus as claiming to be only human or only a prophet. He is always portrayed as making exalted claims to a super-human status. [15] Was Jesus Misunderstood?

What about the idea that Jesus did say some or all of the things the Gospels attribute to Him, but that He was misunderstood by his followers. Regrettably, with this objection often comes either some outrageous interpretation of the claims of Jesus that would never have held water in Judaism - or nothing at all but the suggestion itself without alternative. (One must, of course, when making this suggestion, should actually name some alternative interpretations of the claims of Jesus and show that these “alternative interpretations” would hold water within the social and historical context of the New Testament records). [15]

It may be objected that Jesus spoke rather cryptically at times, so that perhaps He truly was misunderstood. But as we will see, it is hardly plausible that Jesus’ claims were misunderstood; they are too clear-cut when understood in the context of the time and place they were made. [15]

We are also told that Jesus did explain things to His disciples privately after the crowds were gone: “He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.” (Mark 4:34). This was standard practice for an inner circle of disciple. For a practical example of this, see the ‘Parable of the Sower’ in Matthew 13. These disciples, of course, represent the people who wrote (Matthew, John) or else supplied information (Mark, Luke) for the Gospels. [15]

This argument is best defeated by examining the actual claims attributed to Jesus in the New Testament. [15] Evidence for Jesus’ Deity

Not one recognized religious leader, not Moses, Paul, Buddha, Mohammed, Confucious, etc., has ever claimed to be God; that is, with the exception of Jesus Christ. Christ is the only religious leader who has ever claimed to be deity and the only individual ever who has convinced a great portion of the world that He is God. [5 p.89] Jesus’ use of divine titles / names YHWH - Lord

In the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), the sacred name for God was YHWH, likely pronounced Yahweh. Yahweh (see Exodus 3:14) basically means “He who is”, or “I am who I am”. [31 p. 78] The Jewish people out of sheer reverence refused even to pronounce this name. [5 p. 99] Jesus, however, used this name when referring to himself!

John 8.24: “I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be [or ‘I am he’], you will indeed die in your sins.”

John 8.28: “… then you will know that I am the one I claim to be [or ‘I am he’]…”

John 8.58-59: “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” At this, they picked up stones to stone him…

Notice how, in the last reference, the listeners immediately understood his claim. They picked up stones to execute him - the punishment for blasphemy (Leviticus 24:16). [16]

Buy using this title to refer to himself, Jesus was making an explicit claim to be YHWH, to be God! Son of God

A son is of the same nature, the same species, the same essence, as his father. Jesus called God his Father, thereby saying that he is of the same nature as God. [1 p. 150]

Jesus makes it clear that he is not just ‘a son of God’ or one of the ‘sons of God’ but ‘the son of God’ (the phrase ‘sons of God’ is sometimes used to refer to men or angels in the Old Testament). In every instance where Jesus refers to himself as ‘God’s Son’, or to God as ‘my Father’, he implies that he is the one and only Son of God; co-equal and co-eternal with God. [5 p. 100]

Matthew 16.15-17: “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ [Messiah], the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.”

Mark 14.62: Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Jesus.

John 5.17-23: Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.

Notice several things about this important passage: [16]

Jesus claim to be the Son is understood by the audience as blasphemy—a claim to deity!

Jesus response is NOT to say ‘hey, but I am using sonship differently than that-I am NOT claiming to be God’—instead He simply continues describing the incredible unity between Himself and the Father (the Father’s works are the Son’s works, the Son knows everything the Father does, the Son gives life just like the Father does, the Father entrusts all judgment to the Son, the Son is supposed to be honored ‘just as’ the Father is honored, dishonoring the Son is equivalent to dishonoring the Father).

These are incredible claims. Jesus’ disciples and his enemies clearly understood from their Jewish backgrounds that by Jesus applying the term ‘Son of God’ to himself, he was claiming to be equal to God. [5 p. 101] Son of Man

Jesus often used the title “Son of man” to refer to himself. This title occurs in the Old Testament (Daniel 7: 13,14), and by the time of Jesus had tremendous messianic significance.

Daniel 7.13,14: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”

Notice too the many divine qualities that are associated with the ‘Son of Man’. By using this title, Jesus clearly believed himself to be the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah - the King and deliverer / saviour expected by the Jews. [5 p. 102] It is also worth noting there was a belief that the Messiah was to be divine [31 p. 83]

Matthew 11.6,7: “… But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” Then he said to the paralytic, “Get up, take our mat and go home.” And the man got up and went home.

Matthew 16:13-17 “When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ [Messiah], the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven”

Mark 14.62-64: Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” 62 “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven”. The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”

Notice too the response of the High. Jesus’ claims to be the Danielic messiah and to be the Son of God were understood by the 1st century Palestinian Jew to be claims to deity! [16]

Once one takes together, the 80+ passages in which Jesus makes use of the title “Son of Man”, we see indisputable evidence that Jesus proclaimed His divine identity through the title “Son of Man.” [15] Abba - Father

Jesus asserted that He had a relationship with God, which no one had ever claimed before. It comes out of the Aramaic word Abba which He often used, especially in prayer. Nobody before Him in all the history of Israel had addressed God by this word.

The Jews were accustomed to praying to God the Father: but the word they used was Abhinu, a form of address which was essentially an appeal to God for mercy and forgiveness. There is no appeal for mercy in Jesus’ mode of address, Abba. It is the familiar word of closest intimacy. By using it, he differentiated between His own relationship with God as Father and that of other people. [5 p. 102]

The Jewish leaders of the day, immediately, realized the implications of the word Abba, and charged Him with blasphemy. [5 p. 102]

John 5.17-18: Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. Jesus’ claims to be God

The New Testament reveals that Jesus claimed to have attributes that only God could posses. Jesus’ claims to pre-existence

Jesus claimed the have been pre-existent before his birth—he was around before Abraham. [16]

John 8.58-59: “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” At this, they picked up stones to stone him—Notice: This statement actually goes beyond pre-existence—it is an explicit claim to be YHWH. [16]

Jesus claimed to have been pre-existent in heaven with glory before His incarnation (God taking on human form) [16]

John 3.13: No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven — the Son of Man

John 6.38: For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me

John 8.23: But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world” Jesus’ claims to be omnipresent

Jesus makes claims to be omnipresent - everywhere present at the same time. [31 p. 76]

Matthew 18.20: For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

Matthew 28.20: “… And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Jesus’ claims to be omniscient

Jesus makes claims to be omniscient - to have infinite knowledge. [31 p. 77]

John 16.30: “Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.” “You believe at last!” Jesus answered.

John 13.21,26: “After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me…. It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon.”

Matthew 12.25: “Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them…”

Matthew 24:25: “… See, I have told you ahead of time”

Luke 22:31: “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat” Jesus’ claims to be omnipotent

Jesus makes claims to be omnipotent - to be all powerful. [31 p. 77]

Matthew 28.18: Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”

John 5.227: “And he [God] has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.”

John 10.17,18: “… I lay down my life… I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again”

John 6.37,39: “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away… I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day”

John 1.3: Through him [Jesus] all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

Luke 4.38-40: Jesus … rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them. When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them.

Mark 4.41: They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Luke 4.36: All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!”

Jesus asks for and accepts worship as God

In the Jewish culture worship is reserved for God. [5 p. 95]

Jeremiah 17.5: This is what the Lord says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man…”

Matthew 4.10: Jesus said to him… “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only”

However, Jesus makes claims pertaining to the worship of himself! He holds himself out as a legitimate object of religious faith. [16]

Mark 9:42: “And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin…”

John 9.35-38: Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshipped him.

Notice: In this passage Jesus affirms himself as both a legitimate object of religious faith and as a legitimate object of worship! (No rebuke is given to the man at all for worshipping Jesus—even in the presence of the Pharisees!) [16]

It is important to note that Jesus never corrects those who accuse him of making himself equal to God, or those who called him “God”. [16]

John 5.17: See the previous note in the discussion of Jesus’ “Son of God” title

John 8.58-59: See the previous note in the discussion of Jesus’ “YHWH” title

John 20.28-29: Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Jesus’ claims to authority - authority that only God has

Jesus claimed to be able to forgive sins. [16]

Luke 7.48-49: Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

Mark 2.5-10: When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins....”

A rather strong statement of divine authority, and the context shows that it was a blasphemous assertion if He was not God!. Notice that He does not answer their charges with a “Hold on now! I am not claiming to be God! I am claiming something less!” [16]

Jesus had authority over the laws of the Sabbath - laws created by God. [16]

Mark 2.28: So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

Jesus claims that the elect, and that the angels are his. [16]

Mark 13.26-27: “At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

Notice: Jesus identifies himself with the Divine figure in Daniel 7.13, talks of his coming with ‘great glory’, calls the angels ‘HIS angels’, calls the elect “HIS elect”, and somehow is able to gather them together from all places on the globe. There are quite a few strong deity claims in this little passage! [16]

Jesus implied that he had the ability/authority to abolish the law. [16]

Matthew 5.17: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them…”

Jesus implied a divine authority. [16]

Matthew 5: The “you have heard...but I say to you” passages are generally considered to be statements of divine authority [16]

Jesus had the authority to give authority over evil to others. [16]

Luke 10.19: I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you

Jesus claims to have universal authority. [16]

John 17.2: For you granted him authority over all people. [16]

Jesus has authority to confer a kingdom in the same manner that the God does. [16]

Luke 22.29: And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me

Jesus makes claims that make no sense if he is not God

His claims that his words will outlast time itself. [16]

Mark 13.31: Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away

His claims that the eternal destiny of people depend on their response to Him. [16]

Matthew 7:21-23: Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Notice that Jesus makes people’s eternal destiny contingent upon HIS approval of them! What an incredible claim! [16]

His claims to be absolutely perfect / sinless. [16]

John 8.46: Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?

Would a normal human being, with ethical standards as high as Jesus, ever claim to be sinless? [16]

Other claims that are ludicrous if Jesus is not God.

John 15.5: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Note: this is another passage that makes no sense without a divine Jesus. How could the phrase ‘apart from me you can do nothing’ make any sense—if Jesus were not God—omnipotent, omnipresent deity? [16]

John 17.10: All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. — Note that Jesus is praying to God in this verse

Unless Jesus is truly God, this statement is ridiculous. [16]

Additional claims about his nature and powers

Jesus is often linked to the word ‘Lord’.

Mark 11.3: If anyone asks you, `Why are you doing this?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’

Mark 5.19: Jesus… said, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him.”

He even states he will be addressed as “Lord” (Mt 7.21-22a). This word is equitable with the title “Adonai” applied to God in the Old Testament, which logically means that Jesus thought of Himself as being God, or worthy of God’s divine title - which amounts to the same thing! [15]

Jesus claimed to be greater than the Temple, than the prophet Jonah, and than King Solomon. [16]

Matthew 12.6: I tell you that one greater than the temple is here

Matthew 12.41-42: The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here. The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here

Jesus claims to be able to give freedom.

John 8.36: So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed

Jesus claims to be able to raise himself from the dead.

John 10.17,18: The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life — only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.

This incredible passage has Jesus affirming that He can ‘raise Himself from the dead’ [16]

Jesus claims that he is responsible for sending prophets. [15]

Matthew 23.34: Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town

In Jewish belief, it is God who is responsible for sending prophets. In saying that He will send prophets, Jesus is equating Himself with God - assuming a role reserved for God alone. [15]

Jesus claims loyalty greater than all human loyalties. [16]

Matthew 10.37: “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me

Notice that Jesus claims allegiance and loyalty greater than the strongest of relationships—the family. Only a relationship with God supersedes those relationships! [16]

Jesus’ claims to equality with God

He claims to be, and is repeatedly called, the potentially blasphemous title “Son of God”.

See the previous discussion on the title “Son of God”

Jesus claims that one’s response to Him is equated to one’s response to God. [16]

John 15.23: He who hates me hates my Father as well.

This passage is preposterous if Jesus is not ‘identical’ in both character and action with God the Father

Jesus claims that he should be honoured to the same extent as God is honoured. [16]

John 5.22: Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him

Jesus claims that to see Him is to see God. [16]

John 14.9: Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

John 12.44, 45: When a man… looks at me, he sees the one who sent me.

Jesus claims that to believe in Him is to believe in God. [16]

John 12.44: When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me.

Jesus claims that to know Him is to know God. [31 p. 82]

John 8.19: If you knew me, you would know my Father also.

He never corrects those who accuse him of making himself equal to nor those who called him “GOD”. [16]

See the previous discussion on this point

He claims that his coming to the Jewish people was the same as God’s coming. [16]

Luke 19.43,44: The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”

He claims to operate with, and to the same extent as God [16]

John 5.17: Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

He claims direct equality with God [16]

John 10.30-39: I and the Father are one.” 31 Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” 33 “We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods’? 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came — and the Scripture cannot be broken — 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. 38 But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” 39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.

This passage is so very clear as to the intent and content of Jesus’ claims—they were explicitly claims to being God! His affirmation of unity (30) is understood immediately as being a claim to deity (33). Jesus defends his affirmation with a technical argument in Rabbinic style. The general argument type is like this: “If it is okay to use the term X in a limited sense on Y, then it is certainly okay to use it in an expanded sense on a Z that is so much more than Y”. In this passage, He thus argues that if it was okay in the psalms to call the Israelite leaders ‘elohim’ once, then it was certainly appropriate to call the pre-existent One, special of the Father, perfect image of the Father’s character and actions, “GOD”. And, once again, they understand that claim to real deity and try to seize him! His claims were quite clear - He was claiming to be fully God. [16]

How those around Jesus Christ responded to Him [16]

God calls him “Son” and declares that He is “pleased” with Jesus (Matthew 3.16)

God tells some of the disciples to pay attention to Jesus (Matthew 17.5)

Evil spirits knew he was the Son of God (Matthew 8.28-29; 3.11) and the Holy One of God (Matthew 1.23)

His enemies knew he was claiming to be God (Matthew 9.3; 26.63; John 5.18; 10.33)—and accused him of blasphemy.

Some of the general populace called/considered him God (Luke 7.16; 8.39-40)

John the Baptist recognized Jesus’ radical superiority to himself (Matthew 3.13; John 1.26-30,34)

The disciples and those whose lives He touched worshipped Him (Matthew 14.33; John 9.35)

He was repeatedly called the Son of God (Matthew 14.33; 16.16; John 1.26-30,34; John 1.49; 11.27)

He was called “God” directly (John 20.27)

Later Rabbinical writings ‘remember’ some of these exorbitant claims of Jesus.

If we step back from the data at this point, and look at it in its entirety, we cannot but be overwhelmed by the massiveness of it! We might be able to argue away a little here, and a little there, but the sheer bulk of this cannot be moved. One cannot stop an avalanche ‘one rock at a time’. We come face to face with the reality that the Jesus shared all of the attributes, glory, and status of God. The claims above are simply too numerous and to consistently understood as being claims to deity. [16] Conclusion

The argument that Jesus never claimed to be divine is in fact nothing more than an unsupportable conjecture, an argument from silence competing against the scream of the available data. Each of the above claims, and every known document of the church, even the heretical ones, acknowledge that Jesus claimed divinity. There is absolutely no evidence to the contrary that can be cited. [15]

Jesus claimed to be God. No matter how hard we try to dissect it or explain it away, the evidence points directly to that most special claim made by Jesus. One must now answer His question: “Who do you say that I am?” [15] We now look at the truth of Jesus’ claims.
TOPICS: Apologetics; History; Click to Add Topic
KEYWORDS: apologetics; historicity; historicityofchrist; historicityofjesus; Click to Add Keyword
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This reminds me of an article I wrote about 20 years ago, previously posted on FR.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2056400/posts

*********************** My article from several years ago ************************

Date: 24-OCT-1994 14:28:12.94 From: “Kevin O’Malley” Reply-To: k3oma...@sisko.sbcc.cc.ca.us () Subj: RE: Evidence that Jesus Claimed to be God Part 1

Since I do not subscribe to this newsletter, please reply/comment by email.

Evidence that Jesus claimed to be God. *************************************

Three books I would recommend and which I will be quoting/borrowing from:

More than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell Abbrev: MTAC Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell Abbrev: ETDAV Jesus: God, Ghost or Guru? by Jon Buell & O.Q. Hyder Abbrev: JGGG

His actions:

———————————————————————————————————————— He forgave sin that had been committed against others. In Mark 2 a paralytic was lowered through a hole in the roof and Jesus said, “My son, your sins are forgiven.” The response of the scribes who were present was “He is blaspheming. Who can forgive sins but God alone?”(Mark 2:7) According to JGGG, “...there isn’t a single verse in the Old Testament (or other Jewish literature) that clearly designates for the Messiah the power to forgive sins, although the same literature does ascribe this power to Jehovah!” (JGGG 23)

He accepted worship.

Matthew 21:16. Jesus’ answer to the chief priests and scribes was to quote Psalm 8:2 “out of the mouth of infants and nursing babes Thou hastprepared praise for Thyself”

When Thomas felt his wounds after the resurrection, he cried out “Behold my Lord and my God!” (John 20:26-29) Jesus commented on Thomas’s unbelief rather than any misplaced worship — very significant for average 1st century monotheistic jews.

According to JGGG, other examples include Peter’s acclaim (Matt 16:16) accepting the title Son of the living God, and the worship of the disciples afloat on the Sea of Galilee (Matt 14:33) and again just prior to being commissioned in Matt28. According to MTAC Jesus demanded to be worshipped as God in John 5:23, “compare Hebrews 1:6, Revelation 5:8-14”.

Jesus’Words

———————————————————————————————————————— His use of the hebrew phrase “ani hu” which gets translated into greek variously as “I am He” or “I am”. The roots of the phrase, according to JGGG and Ethelbert Stauffer in “Jesus and His Story” are from various Old Testament scriputes such as Psalm 50:7 + 113-118, Isaiah 43, Deut 32 + 39 , 26:8, 5:16, etc. Ani is a self - disclosure term used by Jehovah. Hu is the emphatic form of the personal pronoun “huah”, which means “he”, and often used in the 1st century as a substitute for Yahweh. In Mark 13:6 Jesus warns that counterfeits saying “Ani Hu” would arise impersonating HIM. In John 13 Jesus says, “From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am He (Ani Hu).” Finally, in front of the highest court in his land, Jesus responds to the question of whether he is the Messiah by saying, “Ani Hu” (Mark 16:61-62). Furthermore, Jesus follows up this claim by saying, “And you shall see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power coming on the clouds of Heaven.” Here Jesus quotes Daniel 7 and Psalm110:1. Jehovah is the only One in the Old Testament who comes on the clouds of Heaven, and being seated at the right hand of someone is an expression meaning to have equivalent status as that person. It’s important to note that Jesus was sentenced to death for who he claimed to be. John 10:30 Jesus says “I and the Father are one.” The jews who heard this rightly heard a claim to deity and tried to stone Jesus.

John 8:58 Jesus says “Before Abraham was, I am”, again followed by an attempted stoning.

John 14:9 Jesus says to Philip “He that has seen me has seen the Father”

Jesus’ response to the scribes John in 5:16-18 when he said “My Father is working until now, and I Myself and working” when he was accused of breaking the sabbath. According to MTAC, the cultural context is important and he is effectively saying ‘God is MY Father’ and they sought to kill him. MTAC: “The reason is that Jesus said ‘my Father,’ not ‘our Father,’ and then added “is working until now.’ Jesus’ use of these two phrases made himself equal with God, on a par with God’s activity. The Jews did not refer to God as ‘my Father.’ Or if they did, they would qualify the statement with ‘in Heaven.’ However, Jesus did not do this. He made a claim that the Jews could not misinterpret when he called God ‘my Father.’”

The basic phrases where Jesus claims to be one in essence with God. John 12:45 — He who beholds me beholds the One who sent me; John 8:19 — If you knew me, you would know my Father also; John 5:23 — He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him;

Opposing Sources

———————————————————————————————————————— Per Stauffer: “For if a confrontation of witnesses yields statements that agree on some points, then these points must represent facts accepted by both sides. This principle certainly holds true if the historical traditions of the two groups of witnesses are independent of each other. But it holds true almost as completely in cases where the traditions intersect. For it is highly significant that the witness for the prosecution admits that the witness for the defense is right on certain points; that he agrees with his opponents about certain common facts.”

Justin Martyr and Eusebius mention a circular letter issued by the Sanhedrin. Martyr Quotes from it: “...a certain Jesus of Galilee, an apostate preacher whom we crucified; but his disciples stole him by night from the cross; they did this in order to persuade men to apostasy by saying that he had awakened from the dead and ascended into heaven.” Per JGGG jewish tradition for at least a century afterwards independently continued to reject Jesus on the basis of his claim to deity.

Lucian, Greek satirist in 2nd century commenting on Jesus. “...the man who was crucified in Palestine because he introduced this new cult into the world.... Furthermore, their first lawgiver persuaded them that they were all brothers one of another after they have transgressed once for all by denying the Greek gods and by worshipping that crucified sophist himself and living under his laws.” Per JGGG, “notice that Lucian specifically pins the blame for the worship of Jesus on ‘their first lawgiver himself.’

Pliny the Younger. (A.D. 61-112) Per JGGG After killing christians, he sought advice from Trajan, mentioning that christians “affirmed, however that the whole of their guilt, or their error, was that they were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verse a hymn to Christ as to a god...”

Jewish Polemic in commentary of Rabbi Eleazar Hakkapar (ca 170 a.d.) per JGGG. “God saw that a man, son of a woman, would come forth in the future who would endeavor to make himself God and to lead the whole world astray.... For it is said: ‘A man is not God.... And if he says he is God, he is a liar. And he will lead men astray and say that he is going and will come back again at the end of days.’ Is it not so that he spoke thus, but he will not be able to do it. “

Jewish Polemic : Per JGGG, Rabbi Abbahu of Caesarea (ca 270) puts the words of Jesus into Balaam’s mouth: “If a man says, ‘I am God,’ he is a liar, if he says I am the Son of Man,’ his end will be such that he will rue it; if he says, ‘I shall ascend to heaven,’ will it not be that he will have spoken and will not be able to perform it?’”

From JGGG: “The first independent test of the validity and integrity of of the reports that we have discussed is a telltale silence in all contemporary literature concerning the claim of Jesus’ deity. There is a complete ABSENCE OF REBUTTAL. Although much was said to deny his deity, nothing was said to deny that he claimed it. (In fact, the first real threat to the infant Christain church came from the Gnostics who wanted to deny his HUMANITY!) ....Paul, writing within thirty years of the events themselves, confidently challenged his readers to check with any eyewitnesses if they wanted to confirm the truthfulness of his message (1Cor. 15:5). THE FACT THAT JESUS CLAIMED DEITY IS WITHOUT A CHALLENGER IN THE FIRST-CENTURY HISTORICAL RECORDS.” (emphasis changed from italics to CAPITALS) This may be an argument from silence, but it is issued as a challenge.

Biblical evidence—Just a touch

Since most of the rest of the Bible was written before A.D. 90, there were many people who witnessed the events who could have stepped forward if the Gospels, Paul’s epistles, etc. were unfactual. (per JGGG with citation of demographic study)

Paul’s epistles include the following per JGGG: 1) that Jesus was the preexistent Creator of the universe (Col 1:15-16) 2) that Jesus existed both in the “form of man” and in the “form of God” (Phil.2:5,8) 3) that Jesus had been resurrected from the dead, and thereafter was seen by over five hundred eyewitnesses (most of whom were alive when Paul wrote) (1Cor 15:4,5) 4) that prayer could be directed either to God the Father or to Jesus (1Cor 1:2) 5) that one day Jesus would return to earth as the divine judge of humanity (2Thess. 1:7-10) “No first-century Jew — especially one steeped in Jewish orthodoxy as was Paul, trained by the great Rabbi Gamaliel, fiercely monotheistic, a member of the sect of the Pharisees, and possibly even a member of the Great Sanhedrin ... would teach these things about anyone but Jehovah Himself.”

Hebrews 1:8 “But unto the son He says,’Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.”

John

John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” v.14: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory...”

Mark The beginning of the gospel of Mark quotes Malachi 3:1 with a significant alteration: “Behold I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the before me.” Mark-—>”The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophets, “Behold I send my messenger before thy face...”

From ETDAV: Indirect claims of deity

———————————————————————————————————————— of Jehovah Mutual Title or Act Of Jesus

———————————————————————————————————————— Isa 40:28 Creator John 1:3 Isa 45:22,43:11 Savior John 4:42 1Sam 2:6 Raise Dead John 5:21 Joel 3:12 Judge JJohn 5:27 cf. cf Matt 25:31 ff

Isa 60:19-20 Light John 8:12 Exodus 3:14 I AM John 8:58, cf 18:5-6 ps.23:1 Shepherd John 10:11 Isa 42:8, cf48:11 Glory of God John 17:1,5 Isa 41:4,44:6 First and Last Rev1:17;2:8 Hosea 13:14 Redeemer Rev 5:9 Isa 62:5 Rev 21:2, + Hosea 2:16 Bridegroom cf: Matt 25:1 ff Ps. 18:2 Rock 1 Cor 10:4 Jer 31:34 Forgiver of Sins Mark 2:7, 10 Ps 148:2 Worshipped by Angels Heb 1:6 Thru out O.T. Addressed in Prayer Acts 7:59 Ps. 148:5 Creator of Angels Col 1:16 Isa 45:23 Confessed as Lord Phil 2:11

Kevin O’Malley k3oma...@sisko.sbcc.cc.ca.us

From: Kevin O’Malley k3oma...@sisko.sbcc.cc.ca.us 24-OCT-1994 14:28:12.94 Subj: RE: Evidence that Jesus Claimed to be God

Evidence that Jesus claimed to be God. Part II ************************** Continued from previous post ****************************

Opposing Sources Per Stauffer: “For if a confrontation of witnesses yields statements that agree on some points, then these points must represent facts accepted by both sides. This principle certainly holds true if the historical traditions of the two groups of witnesses are independent of each other. But it holds true almost as completely in cases where the traditions intersect. For it is highly significant that the witness for the prosecution admits that the witness for the defense is right on certain points; that he agrees with his opponents about certain common facts.”

Justin Martyr and Eusebius mention a circular letter issued by the Sanhedrin. Martyr Quotes from it: “...a certain Jesus of Galilee, an apostate preacher whom we crucified; but his disciples stole hime by night from the cross; they did this in order to persuade men to apostasy by saying that he had awakened from the dead and ascended into heaven.” Per JGGG jewish tradition for at least a century afterwards independently continued to reject Jesus on the basis of his claim to deity.

Lucian, Greek satirist in 2nd century commenting on Jesus. “...the man who was crucified in Palestine because he introduced this new cult into the world.... Furthermore, their first lawgiver persuaded them that they were all brothers one of another after they have transgressed once for all by denying the Greek gods and by worshipping that crucified sophist himself and living under his laws.” Per JGGG, “notice that Lucian specifically pins the blame for the worship of Jesus on ‘their first lawgiver himself.’

Pliny the Younger. (A.D. 61-112) Per JGGG After killing christians, he sought advice from Trajan, mentioning that christians “affirmed, however that the whole of their guilt, or their error, was that they were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verse a hymn to Christ as to a god...”

Jewish Polemic in commentary of Rabbi Eleazar Hakkapar (ca 170 a.d.) per JGGG. “God saw that a man, son of a woman, would come forth in the future who would endeavor to make himself God and to lead the whole world astray.... For it is said: ‘A man is not God.... And if he says he is God, he is a liar. And he will lead men astray and say that he is going and will come back again at the end of days.’ Is it not so that he spoke thus, but he will not be able to do it. “

Jewish Polemic : Per JGGG, Rabbi Abbahu of Caesarea (ca 270) puts the words of Jesus into Balaam’s mouth: “If a man says, ‘I am God,’ he is a liar, if he says I am the Son of Man,’ his end will be such that he will rue it; if he says, ‘I shall ascend to heaven,’ will it not be that he will have spoken and will not be able to perform it?’”

From JGGG: “The first independent test of the validity and integrity of of the reports that we have discussed is a telltale silence in all contemporary literature concerning the claim of Jesus’ deity. There is a complete ABSENCE OF REBUTTAL. Although much was said to deny his deity, nothing was said to deny that he claimed it. (In fact, the first real threat to the infant Christain church came from the Gnostics who wanted to deny his HUMANITY!) ....Paul, writing within thirty years of the events themselves, confidently challenged his readers to check with any eyewitnesses if they wanted to confirm the truthfulness of his message (1Cor. 15:5). THE FACT THAT JESUS CLAIMED DEITY IS WITHOUT A CHALLENGER IN THE FIRST-CENTURY HISTORICAL RECORDS.” (emphasis changed from italics to CAPITALS) This may be an argument from silence, but it is issued as a challenge.

Biblical evidence—Just a touch

Since most of the rest of the Bible was written before A.D. 90, there were many people who witnessed the events who could have stepped forward if the Gospels, Paul’s epistles, etc. were unfactual. (per JGGG with citation of demographic study)

Paul’s epistles include the following per JGGG: 1) that Jesus was the preexistent Creator of the universe (Col 1:15-16) 2) that Jesus existed both in the “form of man” and in the “form of God” (Phil.2:5,8) 3) that Jesus had been resurrected from the dead, and thereafter was seen by over five hundred eyewitnesses (most of whom were alive when Paul wrote) (1Cor 15:4,5) 4) that prayer could be directed either to God the Father or to Jesus (1Cor 1:2) 5) that one day Jesus would return to earth as the divine judge of humanity (2Thess. 1:7-10) “No first-century Jew — especially one steeped in Jewish orthodoxy as was Paul, trained by the great Rabbi Gamaliel, fiercely monotheistic, a member of the sect of the Pharisees, and possibly even a member of the Great Sanhedrin ... would teach these things about anyone but Jehovah Himself.”

Hebrews 1:8 “But unto the son He says,’Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.”

John

John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” v.14: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory...”

Mark The beginning of the gospel of Mark quotes Malachi 3:1 with a significant alteration: “Behold I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the before me.” Mark-—>”The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophets, “Behold I send my messenger before thy face...”

From ETDAV: Indirect claims of deity of Jehovah Mutual Title or Act Of Jesus Isa 40:28 Creator John 1:3 Isa 45:22,43:11 Savior John 4:42 1Sam 2:6 Raise Dead John 5:21 Joel 3:12 Judge JJohn 5:27 cf. cf Matt 25:31 ff

Isa 60:19-20 Light John 8:12 Exodus 3:14 I AM John 8:58, cf 18:5-6 ps.23:1 Shepherd John 10:11 Isa 42:8, cf48:11 Glory of God John 17:1,5 Isa 41:4,44:6 First and Last Rev1:17;2:8 Hosea 13:14 Redeemer Rev 5:9 Isa 62:5 Rev 21:2, + Hosea 2:16 Bridegroom cf: Matt 25:1 ff Ps. 18:2 Rock 1 Cor 10:4 Jer 31:34 Forgiver of Sins Mark 2:7, 10 Ps 148:2 Worshipped by Angels Heb 1:6 Thru out O.T. Addressed in Prayer Acts 7:59 Ps. 148:5 Creator of Angels Col 1:16 Isa 45:23 Confessed as Lord Phil 2:11

Kevin O’Malley k3oma...@sisko.sbcc.cc.ca.us


25 posted on 12/27/2013 12:20:11 AM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: Mr. K

No, it’s not, but it sounds nice heh.

I had read years and years ago, that even the Romans kept good records, and they had recorded Jesus’ dying on the cross.

As for the stealing of the body which people like to say, I will repeat a previous poster. I don’t think the apostles would of let themselves die for something they knew wasn’t true.

Bottom line is, Jesus is who he says he is. Anyone that will repent and believe in him will have everlasting life. Praise God for that gift!


26 posted on 12/27/2013 3:34:32 AM PST by Bulwyf
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To: Mr. K

oh, and maybe it is a word, must be new. I don’t profess to know the entire english language, but I am pretty well read. Guess I don’t know it all after all...dang. heh


27 posted on 12/27/2013 3:36:24 AM PST by Bulwyf
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To: Bulwyf
I don’t think the apostles would of let themselves die for something they knew wasn’t true.

True.

Mercifully, God has also given us many public miracles that can be subjected to scientific investigation.

The Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano
The Shroud of Turin
The Tilma of Juan Diego
The Blood of St. Januarius

28 posted on 12/27/2013 3:50:35 AM PST by St_Thomas_Aquinas ( Isaiah 22:22, Matthew 16:19, Revelation 3:7)
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To: Kevmo

Bookmarked, Thanks.


29 posted on 12/27/2013 7:24:14 AM PST by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas

Purported miracles are claimed by other religions as well, and are either of God or they are not, but that eating the Lord’s supper was the necessary means to obtain life in oneself and eternal life, is simply not the gospel that the apostles preached. Thus no miracle, real or claimed, can affirm it.


30 posted on 12/27/2013 4:11:56 PM PST by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
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To: Kevmo

thanks for the link


31 posted on 12/27/2013 6:57:46 PM PST by Nifster
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To: Nifster

You’re welcome. Come join us in defending the faith.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3069049/posts?q=1&;page=2346#2346


32 posted on 12/27/2013 7:07:10 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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