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Is Jesus Christ God?
Christian Answers ^ | 2012 | Various

Posted on 12/22/2013 7:28:20 AM PST by DouglasKC

“The Christian faith has not been tried and found wanting. It has rather been found difficult and left untried.” —Chesterton

I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending.The story of Jesus is either the greatest event in history or the cruelest hoax. If it is a hoax, then the whole of the Christian message crumbles together with the hopes of those multitudes of lives built on his name. The apostle Paul said:

“And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up; if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” -1 Corinthians 15:14-19 (NKJV)

But if the story is true, then this world has been hit with extraordinary news of earth-shaking consequences. Have you taken the trouble to decide which it is?

In a matter this weighty, it is in your interest to explore the truth or falsity of Christ's claims. Amazingly however, many people who don't believe have never bothered to explore the evidence in support of Jesus,[1] but to the contrary, often run away from it. At the same time, many Christians themselves are not sure, at bottom, whether the claims of their faith are solid. Is the Christian claim a hoax? Is it just wishful thinking? Or is it actually true?

(Excerpt) Read more at christiananswers.net ...


TOPICS: General Discusssion; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: christianity; god; historicity; historicityofchrist; historicityofjesus; jesus; trinity
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To: fabian; Religion Moderator

“making it personal”


451 posted on 12/25/2013 7:28:45 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: fabian
Do not make this thread "about" other Freepers. That is a form of "making it personal."

Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.

452 posted on 12/25/2013 7:31:38 PM PST by Religion Moderator
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To: fabian; Religion Moderator

“making it personal”


453 posted on 12/25/2013 7:32:59 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: fabian

Wait... whut?

What are you saying? It doesn’t make any sense.


454 posted on 12/25/2013 7:35:29 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: tedw

So you are saying you don’t have to believe in the Trinity to be saved.
***That would be a side note to this thread. Open up a thread if you want to examine such a religious matter. Go ahead and invite me and I will answer honestly.


455 posted on 12/25/2013 7:36:44 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: tedw

There is NOT a huge pile of evidence that Jesus claimed to be God.
***SO, someone like you can look at post #294 as put to you and can say such a thing only by being willfully blind.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/3104329/posts?page=294#294

Any reasonable person confronted with such a volume of historical evidence would realize that they have to throw out all of recorded history in order to accommodate your irrational claim.


456 posted on 12/25/2013 7:42:13 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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Comment #457 Removed by Moderator

To: editor-surveyor

And still you insist on intruding into my posts.


458 posted on 12/25/2013 7:46:23 PM PST by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
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To: tedw; redleghunter; GarySpFc; CynicalBear
Colossians 2:9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,
459 posted on 12/25/2013 7:56:23 PM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: CynicalBear
Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
460 posted on 12/25/2013 8:00:07 PM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: tedw

Why is it so important to you that Jesus NOT be God the Father Himself come in human flesh?


461 posted on 12/25/2013 8:02:35 PM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: metmom
Wow! I don’t remember that verse ever registering with me before. And that verse is followed with this!

“and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;”

What a powerful passage! Thank you for posting that.

462 posted on 12/25/2013 8:05:16 PM PST by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
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To: tedw

1. There is no reason to take this verse to mean that Christ was saying that he and the Father make up “one God.”
***There is plenty of reason, including the plain text of what was stated in the gospels and how it was reacted to by a first century jewish audience: It was blasphemy (assuming it wasn’t true).

The phrase was a common one,
***Nonsense. Produce historical evidence of such a claim. Especially since the crowd usually wanted to stone Jesus when He made such claims.

even today if someone used it, people would know exactly what he meant—he and his father are very much alike.
***Baloney. The crowd rightfully tried to stone Him for such a claim because they thought it wasn’t true.

When Paul wrote to the Corinthians about his ministry there, he said that he had planted the seed and Apollos had watered it. Then he said, “he who plants and he who waters are one” (1 Cor. 3:8 – KJV).
***Does that mean you will be restricting yourself to the King James Version throughout your argumentation? Because if so, I doubt you can make the case. Basically, your argument is disingenuous at best. For instance, in the NIV, John 29:
30 I and the Father are one.” 31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him,
and 1Cor3:8
8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.

In the Greek texts, the wording of Paul is the same as that in John 10:30, yet no one claims that Paul and Apollos make up “one being.” Furthermore, the NIV translates 1 Corinthians 3:8 as “he who plants and he who waters have one purpose.” Why translate the phrase as “are one” in one place, but as “have one purpose” in another place?
***because it is the best evidence available, rather than the nonsense you’ve been pushing.

In this case, translating the same phrase in two different ways obscures the clear meaning of Christ’s statement in John 10:30: Christ always did the Father’s will; he and God have “one purpose.”
***If only you completely disregard all the other places in scripture where Jesus claimed Deity and His followers did so as well.

2. Christ uses the concept of “being one” in other places, and from them one can see that “one purpose” is what is meant. John 11:52 says Jesus was to die to make all God’s children “one.” In John 17:11, 21 and 22, Jesus prayed to God that his followers would be “one” as he and God were “one.”
***Fantastic, other than the fact that those who heard it didn’t immediately try to stone him for claiming equality with God. One must take the ENTIRE scriptures to figure out what’s being said.

We think it is obvious that Jesus was not praying that all his followers would become one being or “substance” just as he and his Father were one being or “substance.” We believe the meaning is clear: Jesus was praying that all his followers be one in purpose just as he and God were one in purpose, a prayer that has not yet been answered.
***All that work for one passage, and yet there are dozens of other passages to belabor in order to remove the plain meaning and insert a heretical viewpoint.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/3104583/posts

3. The context of John 10:30 shows conclusively
***No it doesn’t, in context of other scriptures.

that Jesus was referring to the fact that he had the same purpose as God did. Jesus was speaking about his ability to keep the “sheep,” the believers, who came to him. He said that no one could take them out of his hand and that no one could take them out of his Father’s hand. Then he said that he and the Father were “one,” i.e., had one purpose, which was to keep and protect the sheep.
***It is an interesting perspective but, once one looks at the rest of the evidence in context, one realizes that what is being pushed here is simple heresy.


463 posted on 12/25/2013 8:07:30 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: CynicalBear

You’re welcome.


464 posted on 12/25/2013 8:07:51 PM PST by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
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To: fabian; Religion Moderator

you are confused.
***Making it personal?


465 posted on 12/25/2013 8:09:02 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: fabian; Religion Moderator

You are so lost in your mind that you cannot see the reality
***Making it personal?


466 posted on 12/25/2013 8:10:22 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: editor-surveyor

I don’t know what the deal is with you dude. I have asked that we not get into a debate about your views and you said not to respond to your posts then but you still insist on injecting that error into mine. What’s up with that.


467 posted on 12/25/2013 8:15:06 PM PST by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
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To: Kevmo

oh..what is that matter? You are a strong Christian but you cannot handle a little criticism? I see...have to report me to the “authority”....yep, that is a real strong man of faith alright.


468 posted on 12/25/2013 8:18:31 PM PST by fabian (" And a new day will dawn for those who stand long, and the forests will echo in laughter")
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To: tedw

I do know Jesus is not God with certainty.
***It is interesting that you can have such certainty while being blind to the evidence which has been presented to you in post #294 and elsewhere.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/3104583/posts

Your “certainty” is a form of religion. It is directly contradicted by simple history, and in order to hold your certainty you need to throw all kinds of scriptures under the bus.


469 posted on 12/25/2013 8:19:10 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: Kevmo

Wonder where Doug went:) He started this thread.


470 posted on 12/25/2013 8:20:42 PM PST by redleghunter
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To: fabian

You’ve been told not to make it personal. Why do you persist in doing so?


471 posted on 12/25/2013 8:20:44 PM PST by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
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To: fabian

you have another line of scripture that seems to show Jesus as God...somehow...the scriptures that show the former are far far more numerous and clearly descriptive, not nebulous, in comparison to the other line.
****Interesting opinion. Feel free to develop and defend it in light of all this evidence:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/3104583/posts

Did Jesus Claim to be God?
http://knowwhatyoubelieve.com/index.php ^ | 2013 | Richard Helsby

Posted on Mon 23 Dec 2013 05:14:49 AM PST by Kevmo

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
1 posted on Mon 23 Dec 2013 05:14:49 AM PST by Kevmo
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To: Kevmo

To sum up....yes.

2 posted on Mon 23 Dec 2013 05:20:51 AM PST by tbpiper
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To: Kevmo

ping

3 posted on Mon 23 Dec 2013 05:21:24 AM PST by Thorliveshere (Minnesota Survivor)
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To: Kevmo
Excellent post.

When one objectively looks at ALL the evidence, it becomes quite clear that Jesus claimed to be God.

Unfortunately, those who choose to say that Jesus never claimed to be Christ, seldom look at the evidence and are seldom objective.

But an absolutely great post for 1 stop shopping for all a person needs to verify that Jesus was who HE CLAIMED to be.


472 posted on 12/25/2013 8:24:02 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: fabian; Religion Moderator

truth seems like “invective” when you have a huge ego.
***Seems like “making it personal” to me.


473 posted on 12/25/2013 8:25:01 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: fabian

I made a factual statement
***You asserted an opinion.

you write to me....and ignore the FACT that you just lost the entire argument.
***Once again, an assertion of your own opinion. In point of fact it would appear that you “just lost the entire argument”.


474 posted on 12/25/2013 8:27:23 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: fabian; Religion Moderator

you are in denial
***”making it personal”?


475 posted on 12/25/2013 8:28:26 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: fabian

So, the stuff you write is not disputable, it is a fact and the other guy’s stuff is all just opinions. Got it.


476 posted on 12/25/2013 8:29:39 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: fabian

The Jesus is God thing is the devil’s concoction
***The denial of the deity of Jesus is a simple and damnable heresy.

The way for FReepers to resolve this is to investigate the simple historicity behind the claim. Very simply, Jesus claimed to be God Himself.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/3104583/posts


477 posted on 12/25/2013 8:33:51 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: fabian

No, true Christians still have their commonsense and see clearly that Jesus is the Son..period. There are far far more clear Scriptures that show that rather than him being God. Fact. Not even close.
***Then it should be a simple fact for you to address the evidence. It has been posted right here on this thread.

original thread
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/3104583/posts


478 posted on 12/25/2013 8:36:42 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: CynicalBear

If you don’t want debate, quit posting Pre-trib agitprop.

I will not willingly see anyone here deceived with pre-trib nonsense.


479 posted on 12/25/2013 8:37:51 PM PST by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
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To: Kevmo; GarySpFc
Amen! How is it that the very prophecy concerning the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ from Isaiah 7:14, "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel., doesn't mean that this birth will be God WITH us. Yet some will dare to even call Almighty God a liar and proclaim HE didn't get it right!
480 posted on 12/25/2013 8:39:01 PM PST by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: tedw

Only after that generation died out,many martyred, did the idea that Jesus is God take hold.
***Nonsense. The vast majority of the the claims of Christ to be equal with God come from the first century. And it is evidence that you have blithely ignored, right here on this thread. Therefore I post it to you again.

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


481 posted on 12/25/2013 8:40:00 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: tedw

Only after that generation died out,many martyred, did the idea that Jesus is God take hold.
***Nonsense. The vast majority of the the claims of Christ to be equal with God come from the first century. And it is evidence that you have blithely ignored, right here on this thread. Therefore I post it to you again.

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


482 posted on 12/25/2013 8:40:05 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 336 | View Replies]

To: redleghunter

Of course not.


483 posted on 12/25/2013 8:42:43 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 344 | View Replies]

To: count-your-change

I’ll be happy to examine the Scriptures with them one Scripture at a time.
***Then I suggest you get started.

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


484 posted on 12/25/2013 8:45:58 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 346 | View Replies]

To: CynicalBear

Wow! Wasn’t assigning an action of God to Satan a rather serious sin? Saying that the belief that Jesus is God comes from Satan is a rather serious thing.
***Good point. Attributing the good works of God to Satan was the only unforgiveable sin, blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. No wonder Jesus was so vehement in His condemnation of false teachers, calling them ‘vipers’, ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’ and ‘sons of their father the devil’. We see exactly that going on this thread and others right on Free Republic.

Fer instance
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3069049/posts?page=2243


485 posted on 12/25/2013 8:51:39 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: count-your-change

Um, wait a second. Before you go into religious argumentation, would you address the huge weight of evidence from History that Jesus claimed to be God Himself?

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


486 posted on 12/25/2013 8:57:06 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: tedw

So your whole idea of Jesus being God is based on what Thomas said which could be interpreted another way.
.....

You are quite selective and your evidence is thin at best.
***Ummmm, you are ignoring a huge pile of evidence yourself, posted directly to you.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/3104583/posts


487 posted on 12/25/2013 9:02:27 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: redleghunter; tedw; GarySpFc; CynicalBear
The Jewish religious leaders took up stones to kill Jesus because he said he was the Son of God here:

Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”

“We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”

Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”? If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside — 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’? Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp. (John 10:25-39)

Jesus KNEW what the "rules" were concerning blasphemy and he was also telling them the TRUTH.

488 posted on 12/25/2013 9:02:35 PM PST by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: fabian; Religion Moderator

False...that is your apostate definition. You and others like you who have been badly brainwashed
***”making it personal” and other forms of hostility


489 posted on 12/25/2013 9:11:05 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: Kevmo

There really doesn’t seem much point to this discussion.

The Trinitarians here have their mind made up so much that even when you present clear evidence (like scriptures which says NO MAN HAS SEEN GOD)that Jesus is not God, they cannot accept it. They refuse to see it. They cannot objective look at the evidence or even ask God to show them the Truth.

Its a remarkable process to watch such stubborn denial of Truth.

I actually think it is a bit threatening to them. If they are mistaken about something so basic, so deceived, it sort of calls their whole Salvation into question.

Its sad really. Jesus did not live and die and make such a sacrifice for us so that people would turn around and pervert his message.


490 posted on 12/25/2013 9:12:04 PM PST by tedw
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To: Kevmo

There really doesn’t seem much point to this discussion.

The Trinitarians here have their mind made up so much that even when you present clear evidence (like scriptures which says NO MAN HAS SEEN GOD)that Jesus is not God, they cannot accept it. They refuse to see it. They cannot objective look at the evidence or even ask God to show them the Truth.

Its a remarkable process to watch such stubborn denial of Truth.

I actually think it is a bit threatening to them. If they are mistaken about something so basic, so deceived, it sort of calls their whole Salvation into question.

Its sad really. Jesus did not live and die and make such a sacrifice for us so that people would turn around and pervert his message.


491 posted on 12/25/2013 9:12:05 PM PST by tedw
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To: Kevmo

There really doesn’t seem much point to this discussion.

The Trinitarians here have their mind made up so much that even when you present clear evidence (like scriptures which says NO MAN HAS SEEN GOD)that Jesus is not God, they cannot accept it. They refuse to see it. They cannot objective look at the evidence or even ask God to show them the Truth.

Its a remarkable process to watch such stubborn denial of Truth.

I actually think it is a bit threatening to them. If they are mistaken about something so basic, so deceived, it sort of calls their whole Salvation into question.

Its sad really. Jesus did not live and die and make such a sacrifice for us so that people would turn around and pervert his message.


492 posted on 12/25/2013 9:12:06 PM PST by tedw
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To: Kevmo

There really doesn’t seem much point to this discussion.

The Trinitarians here have their mind made up so much that even when you present clear evidence (like scriptures which says NO MAN HAS SEEN GOD)that Jesus is not God, they cannot accept it. They refuse to see it. They cannot objective look at the evidence or even ask God to show them the Truth.

Its a remarkable process to watch such stubborn denial of Truth.

I actually think it is a bit threatening to them. If they are mistaken about something so basic, so deceived, it sort of calls their whole Salvation into question.

Its sad really. Jesus did not live and die and make such a sacrifice for us so that people would turn around and pervert his message.


493 posted on 12/25/2013 9:12:07 PM PST by tedw
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To: fabian; GarySpFc
False...that is your apostate definition. You and others like you who have been badly brainwashed by the apostate church, in no ways define what a Christian is. How dare you.

How DARE you! You use the apostate, brainwashed and accursed theology of Roy Masters and you expect others to reject what has been a major tenet of the Christian faith since it began??? In fact, BEFORE Christianity began the prophecies of the Old Testament concerning the Messiah clearly taught he would be GOD WITH US.

494 posted on 12/25/2013 9:12:08 PM PST by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: Kevmo

There really doesn’t seem much point to this discussion.

The Trinitarians here have their mind made up so much that even when you present clear evidence (like scriptures which says NO MAN HAS SEEN GOD)that Jesus is not God, they cannot accept it. They refuse to see it. They cannot objective look at the evidence or even ask God to show them the Truth.

Its a remarkable process to watch such stubborn denial of Truth.

I actually think it is a bit threatening to them. If they are mistaken about something so basic, so deceived, it sort of calls their whole Salvation into question.

Its sad really. Jesus did not live and die and make such a sacrifice for us so that people would turn around and pervert his message.


495 posted on 12/25/2013 9:12:09 PM PST by tedw
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To: fabian

So by your judgemental attitude towards me and many others like me, you have actually demonstrated your lack of Christian principles of not judging one and other.
***Jesus confronted false teachers of His day and called them ‘vipers’ and ‘sons of your father the devil’. You would accuse Christ of having a “lack of Christian principles”.


496 posted on 12/25/2013 9:17:33 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: rbmillerjr

Jesus’ Divinity is a central tenet of the Christian faith.
***I agree. And those who reject His Divinity are properly called Heretics.


497 posted on 12/25/2013 9:19:37 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: rbmillerjr

those who reject His Divinity are properly called Heretics.
***to clarify, those who call themselves ‘christians’ and reject His Divinity are properly called Heretics. I would not expect moslems, jews, atheists, Buddhists, etc. to do anything other than to promote their own viewpoints in the marketplace of ideas. But those who sidle up to christians, twist scripture and susume history , and attempt to subvert the central tenets of their faith are properly identified as heretics.


498 posted on 12/25/2013 9:24:56 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: count-your-change; rbmillerjr
I think you may misunderstand my post. The usual definition of the trinity doctrine is three equal persons in one God. The comments didn’t support that teaching I said. “If you deny Jesus Christ’s deity...by definition, you are not Christian.” By whose definition? Where in the Scriptures do I find God, Christ or the apostles giving such a definition?

Here's one place where they most certainly DID:

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.

If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. (I John 5:1-13)

499 posted on 12/25/2013 9:26:06 PM PST by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: count-your-change; CynicalBear

The mighty God, The everlasting Father,
***How is it that you overlook something so obvious? Would that not account for your studied incomprehension and unfamiliarity with the overwhelming evidence that Jesus claimed equality with God?


500 posted on 12/25/2013 9:28:52 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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