The Deity of Christ: Jesus Did Claim to Be God

Doubting Thomas, Caravaggio (1573-1610)
Doubting Thomas, Caravaggio (1573-1610) | Source
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Introduction

Did Jesus ever claim deity? Yes, He did.

The deity of Christ is a fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith. There are those today who deny the deity of Christ by suggesting He never claimed to be God, but that is a straw man argument. The Scriptures in fact clearly record that not only did Jesus declare His deity, the New Testament writers by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit constantly referred to it.

His Jewish audience understood exactly the claim Jesus made and attempted to kill Him for speaking blasphemy...John 10. The 1st century Jews knew the term 'Son of God' was a reference to divinity.

Is Jesus really God? The answer is a resounding yes.

Thomas and the Divinity of Christ

  • Joh 20:27-29 KJV Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

A Quote from Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible

John 20:28 '...Thomas was the first who gave the title of God to Jesus; and, by this glorious confession, made some amends for his former obstinate incredulity. It is worthy of remark, that from this time forward the whole of the disciples treated our Lord with the most supreme respect, never using that familiarity towards him which they had often used before. The resurrection from the dead gave them the fullest proof of the divinity of Christ. And this, indeed, is the use which St. John makes of this manifestation of Christ. See Joh_20:30, Joh_20:31...'

'My Lord and my God' Jesus did not restrain Thomas from worshipping Him; if Jesus was not worthy of worship He would have rebuked him.

  • Joh 11:16 KJV Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.

Let us not be too harsh towards doubting Thomas. When the disciples were deeply troubled that Jesus was returning to Judaea so soon after the attempt to stone Him, it was Thomas who encouraged the disciples to follow Jesus, even if it meant they would all die with Him…John 10:33.

A Quote from the Summarized Bible

‘The Son of God became the Son of Man that the sons of men through Him might become the sons of God.’

Jesus and His Divinity

  • Luk 22:70-71 YLT And they all said, `Thou, then, art the Son of God?' and he said unto them, `Ye say it, because I am;' 71 and they said, `What need yet have we of testimony? for we ourselves did hear it from his mouth.'

A Quote from Robertson’s Word Pictures

Luke 22:70 ‘Art thou the Son of God? (Su oun ei ho huios tou theou̱). Note how these three epithets are used as practical equivalents. They ask about “the Messiah.” Jesus affirms that he is the Son of Man and will sit at the right hand of the power of God. They take this to be a claim to be the Son of God (both humanity and deity). Jesus accepts the challenge and admits that he claims to be all three (Messiah, the Son of man, the Son of God).
Ye say (Humeis legete). Just a Greek idiom for “Yes” (compare “I am” in Mar_14:62 with “Thou has said” in Mat_26:64).’

Jesus clearly declared during His trial that He was deity...Mark 14:62.

The Holy Trinity

The Holy Trinity, Albrecht Durer (1471-1528)
The Holy Trinity, Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) | Source

The Father and the Divinity of Christ

  • Mat 3:17 KJV And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

At the commencement of His earthly ministry, the Father declared Jesus was the Son of God.

  • Mat 17:5 YLT While he is yet speaking, lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying, `This is My Son, --the Beloved, in whom I did delight; hear him.'

This was endorsed a second time at the transfiguration. The Apostles were enthralled to see Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus; perhaps they considered the three to be of equal standing. When the voice from the glory cloud declared ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him’, they were left in no doubt as to the greatest among them, only Jesus was left standing before them.

  • Act 13:33 KJV God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.

'Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee' When visiting the synagogue at Antioch, Paul preached the risen Christ and the fulfillment of Psalm 2:7.

The Gospel of John and the Divinity of Christ

  • Joh 1:1 KJV In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
  • John 1:1 New World Translation In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.

and the Word was God’ Compare these translations and notice the subtle difference. In a vain attempt to support the concept that Jesus was Michael the archangel and a created being, the New World Translation mistranslated John 1:1 by substituting the phrase ‘and the Word was a god’. In my opinion, this is nonsensical; to imply that Jesus is ‘a god’ is to suggest there is another god for-bye Jehovah. There is no justification for rewriting John 1:1.

  • Col 1:16-17 YLT because in him were the all things created, those in the heavens, and those upon the earth, those visible, and those invisible, whether thrones, whether lordships, whether principalities, whether authorities; all things through him, and for him, have been created, 17 and himself is before all, and the all things in him have consisted.

Paul declared that Christ is not only the Creator. He also sustains all things.

John 1:1 ‘...God creates and speaks to man through the Word. As we clothe our thoughts in words, God reveals his will by the Word, and when that Word is clothed in flesh, as the Teacher of men, we recognize it as Jesus Christ…'

— The People’s New Testament

The Angels Appear to Abraham

The Angels Appear to Abraham, Giovan Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770)
The Angels Appear to Abraham, Giovan Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770) | Source
  • Joh 8:56-58 KJV Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

‘Before Abraham was, I am’ When Jesus said ‘Before Abraham was, I am’, He declared His divinity. By drawing from their knowledge of the Scriptures, His Jewish audience understood exactly what He meant when He said ‘I am’.

The term ‘I am’ was specifically attributed to Jehovah. ‘And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.’…Exodus 3:14.

Abraham received the revelation of the gospel…Galatians 3:8, and he rejoiced to see Christ’s day…John 8:56.

Dispensationalism teaches the Old Testament Patriarchs belong to God’s future plan for the Jews and are not included in the Church; this presupposition is based on the premise God has two separate ‘peoples’. Yet the Scriptures clearly teach the Old Testament saints heard the Gospel and those who looked for the Messiah belonged to the remnant, the Israel of God, into which the Gentile believers were ‘graffed in’.

  • Joh 10:33 KJV For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God’ Again, the Jews, to whom Jesus was addressing, understood exactly the claim He made; Jesus claimed deity! Their reaction was to take Him and stone Him for speaking blasphemy. Why stoning in particular? It was the punishment for blasphemy according to the Law of Moses…Leviticus 24:16.

The Calling of Isaiah

The Calling of Isaiah, Giovan Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770)
The Calling of Isaiah, Giovan Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770) | Source

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Isaiah’s Vision and the Divinity of Christ

  • Isa 6:5 KJV Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

  • Joh 12:41 KJV These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.

'for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts' John confirmed Isaiah saw Christ's glory when he beheld ‘the King, and LORD of hosts’ in his vision (758 BC). When 'LORD' is in capital letters in the King James Version it is a translation of the Hebrew 'Yehovah'.

A Quote from Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

Isaiah 6:5 'This vision is explained, John 12:41, that Isaiah now saw Christ's glory, and spake of Him, which is a foolproof that our Saviour is God. In Christ Jesus, God is seated on a throne of grace; and through him the way into the holiest is laid open.’

  • Joh 16:15 KJV All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

All things that the Father hath are mine’ If 'all things' the Father has belong to Christ, does 'all' mean 'all' including His characteristics and attributes? A created being could not make this claim.

  • Joh 17:5 KJV And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

'I had with thee before the world was' Jesus, God the Son existed with the Father in eternity and shared the glory...John 17:24.

  • Rev 22:12-13 KJV And, behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to each as his work is. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, the First and the Last.

the First and the Last’ In the Revelation, Jesus fittingly used the epithet normally attributed to Jehovah, 'the First and the Last', and in the same verse He expressed His imminent return!

  • Isa 44:6 LITV So says Jehovah, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, Jehovah of Hosts: I am the First, and I am the Last; and there is no God except Me.

I am the First, and I am the Last’ Isaiah frequently used this phrase and attributed it to Jehovah...Isaiah 41:4, Isaiah 41:48:12.

Polycarp Bishop of Smyrna AD 70-155/160

'O Lord God almighty... I bless you and glorify you through the eternal and heavenly high priest Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, through whom be glory to you, with Him and the Holy Spirit, both now and forever.'

Paul and the Divinity of Christ

  • 1Co 15:47 KJV The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

‘the Lord from heaven’ Only despots at their peril would dare to claim the title 'Lord', which means God, Master, and Supreme in authority.

  • Phi 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

‘equal with God’ Christ has equality with, and the form (nature) of God. No created being can claim such attributes.

  • Phi 2:10-11 KJV That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

'at the name of Jesus' If Jesus is not divine then this is surely an idolatrous command!

  • Col 1:14-15 YLT in whom we have the redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of the sins, 15 who is the image of the invisible God, first-born of all creation,

first-born of all creation‘First-born’ is not always understood literally in the Scriptures. It often signifies simply a well-beloved or best-beloved son, one preferred to all the rest, and distinguished by some eminent prerogative.

Thus, God called Israel His son, His first-born…Exodus 4:22. He also called Ephraim His first-born…Jeremiah 31:9.

  • Col 2:9 KJV For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

‘the fulness of the Godhead bodily’ All the divine attributes dwell in Him.

  • 1Ti 1:17 KJV Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

‘the King eternal’ If Jesus Christ is not ‘the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God’ then why did Paul worship Him with 'honour and glory for ever and ever'. Amen’.

  • 1Ti 3:16 KJV And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

'And without controversy' In other words, the subject was not open for public dispute or debate.

‘God was manifest in the flesh’ Paul made clear the authenticity of Christ's deity. The Scriptures testify to the fact 'God was manifest in the flesh' through the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Writer to the Hebrews and the Divinity of Christ

Heb 1:6 KJV And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

‘And let all the angels of God worship him’ God alone is worthy of worship; we are to have no other gods before Him...Exodus 34:14. The Son came into the world and began the earthly, human phase of His eternal existence. Jesus the divine Son of God received worship at His incarnation, the instruction to angels was to worship Him...Hebrews 1:8.

  • Heb 1:8 KJV But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom.

‘Thy throne, O God’ God the Father declared the divinity of Christ.

  • Heb 7:24-27 KJV But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.

'because he continueth ever' Jesus our High Priest presented the ultimate sacrifice in the heavenly presence of the Father, it had to be perfect, sinless and without blemish. No mere man or angel could be that High Priest and sacrifice, that is why God sent His Son to shed His blood and die on the Cross for our salvation.

Hebrews 1:8 ‘The person of the Son was the true image and character of the Person of the Father. He is not said to be the “likeness” of God (implying resemblance) but “image,” which means that He reveals God. In beholding His power, wisdom and goodness, men were beholding the Father, for He was God manifest in the flesh, having all the perfections of God in Him.’

— The Summarized Bible

Peter and the Divinity of Christ

  • Mat 16:16-17 KJV And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God' Peter emphatically professed by revelation of the Father that Christ was the Son of God. From what greater source could Peter have received such assurance?

Demons and the Divinity of Christ

  • Mar 1:24 KJV Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.

‘the Holy One of God’ Even demons knew who Jesus was!

‘In Jewish thinking, ‘holiness’ is an equivalent term for ‘Godhead’ and the adjective ‘holy’ is synonymous with ‘divine’...Read More>>

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Conclusion

God paid the price for our salvation. There was not a created being capable of paying for ‘mans’ sin, not even Michael the archangel. Only Jesus, God the Son, was able to offer a perfect sacrifice.

‘The Son of God became the Son of Man that the sons of men through Him might become the sons of God’...The Summarized Bible.

What do you think?

Alexander Gibb

© 2012 Alexander Gibb

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Comments 11 comments

Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 4 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Indeed Christ Jesus is The Messiah, the Holy Son of God.

AMEN!


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

Dave Matthews

Thank you for visiting and commenting on my Hub.


teacherjoe52 profile image

teacherjoe52 4 years ago

I like to refer to them as the big three

Jehovah the Father

Jesus the Savior, King and our best friend

and

the Holy Spirit our Guidence Councillor, Comforter and Healer.

God bless you.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

Teacherjoe52

Thank you for your comment.


JohnOneOne 4 years ago

Regarding Jehovah's Witnesses' "New World Translation" Bible and its rendering of John 1:1, it may interest you and your readers to know that, in support and explanation of their wording of this verse (especially within the third clause with "a god"), there is soon to be published a 20+ year study (as of 6/2012), a thoroughly researched reference work - a historical analysis & exhaustive annotated bibliography - it will be entitled, "What About John 1:1?"

To learn more of its design and expected release date, you are invited to visit:

http://www.goodcompanionbooks.com

When finally published, apart from discussing many of the other topics and scriptures often related to the man-made Trinity doctrine, you will also discover that we have collected information on about 430+ scholarly reference works (mostly Trinitarian) which, throughout the centuries, had opted to say something other than, "and the Word was God," and that, included among them are over 120 which had chosen to use "a god" within the third clause of their renderings.

As you might expect, we are very excited at the opportunity to share our findings with others.

Agape, JohnOneOne.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

JohnOneOne

Thank you for visiting and leaving an interesting comment.

The New World Translation was published approximately 50 years ago, and now a 20+ year study is about to be published to explain John 1:1, that is a long time to wait. It will be interesting to read the result.


JohnOneOne 4 years ago

Dear searchinsany,

As explained above (and on the web-page proffered, www.goodcompanionbooks.com), the forthcoming work, "What About John 1:1?", is principally “an historical analysis & exhaustive annotated bibliography.”

With respect to Jehovah’s Witnesses’ “New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures” (first published in 1950), not only has their rendering of John 1:1 been comprehensively explained within the NWT Appendices but, throughout the years since, there have been many articles published (within the “Watchtower” and “Awake!” magazines) which have thoroughly covered the grammatical, contextual and cultural reasons why they had chosen to render the third clause of that verse as, “and the Word was a god.”

Independent of the “Watchtower Bible and Tract Society,” or the “New World Bible Translation Committee,” this work is simply meant to provide even further weight and support to their already correct findings.

Thank you for your interest,

Agape, JohnOneOne.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

JohnOneOne

Thank you for your comment. I will do further research into the Jehovah's Witnesses' explanation of John 1:1. However I could quote from other respected scholars who support the orthodox interpretation.

John 1:1 is only one of many Scriptures that support Christ's Deity and is why I present over 20 examples from the Scriptures.

I would be interested in your view on the others.


JohnOneOne 4 years ago

Dear searchinsany,

Regarding your interest in the addressing of other scriptures which, in your view, provide, "support [for] Christ's Deity," within the forthcoming work entitled, "What About John 1:1?", as indicated within the anouncement above, we will be also "discussing many of the other topics and scriptures often related" to the question of whether there is, indeed, any actual Biblical support for the Trinity doctrine.

Furthermore, on the website itself (http://www.goodcompanionbooks.com), you will have also seen mention of the fact that, "Although the primary focus of this work is centered on John 1:1, many of the other scriptures typically used by Trinitarians...will be discovered as being also covered."

Interestingly, on your use of the term, "orthodox," the following might prove to be of interest, either to you or your readers :

"As to orthodox, I should be glad to know the meaning of the epithet. Nothing, you say, can be plainer. The orthodox are those, who, in religious matters, entertain right opinions. Be it so. How, then, is it possible I should know who they are that entertain right opinions, before I know what opinions are right? I must therefore unquestionably know orthodoxy, before I can know or judge who are orthodox. Now, to know the truths of religion, which you call orthodox, is the very end of my inquiries; and am I to begin these inquiries on the presumption that without any inquiry I know it already?…There is nothing about which men have been, and still are, more divided. It has been accounted orthodox divinity in one age, which hath been branded as ridiculous fanaticism in the next. It is at this day deemed the perfection of orthodoxy in one country, which in an adjacent country is looked upon as damnable heresy. Nay, in the same country, hath not every sect a standard of their own? Accordingly, when a person seriously uses the word, before we can understand his meaning, we must know to what communion he belongs. When that is known, we comprehend him perfectly. By the orthodox he means always those who agree in opinion with him and his party; and by the heterodox [heretical], those who differ from him. When one says, then, of any teacher whatever, that all the orthodox acknowledge his orthodoxy, he says neither more nor less than this, ‘All who are of the same opinion with him, of which number I am one, believe him to be in the right.’ And is this any thing more than what may be asserted by some person or other, of every teacher that ever did or ever will exist?….To say the truth, we have but too many ecclesiastic terms and phrases which savor grossly of the arts of a crafty priesthood, who meant to keep the world in ignorance, to secure an implicit faith in their own dogmas, and to intimidate men from an impartial inquiry into holy writ [i.e., the Bible]."

From: Campbell, George (b.1719-d.1796), D.D., F.R.S., Edinburgh; Professor of Divinity and Principal of Marshal College, Aberdeen. Lectures on Systematic Theology and Pulpit Eloquence. (London, England: 1807), pp. 112-115. See also Edition of 1810: (Boston, Massachusetts: W. Wells and T. B. Wait & Co. [etc.], 1810). BT75 .C2 1810 / 31-011673.

Agape, JohnOneOne.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

JohnOneOne

Thank you for the quote from George Campbell on 'orthodox', it is interesting.

I am sure my visitors will find it amusing that I actually used the word 'orthodox' in my last comment. If you read my other Hubs you will realize why! Perhaps 'traditional' would have been more appropriate.

I get the impression you are either trying to promote sales of the book, having two links to the relevant Website on my Hub, or you are waiting to read it before you respond to my request. lol


Bishop J L Hayes profile image

Bishop J L Hayes 2 years ago from Texas City, Texas

This is a great article. I enjoyed it very much. Thank you for the research and boldness to teach the truth.

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