Who Is the Biblical Jesus? - Part 1

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Introduction

We live in a day and an age when it is acceptable to twist Bible teachings into whatever we find convenient to believe. Truth is no longer black and white, but has become relative, even within the so-called Christian church. While sharing your faith with someone, have you ever heard them say, “Well, that’s just what you believe. I believe something different.” We all certainly have the right to believe whatever we want, but just because we believe does not and will not necessarily make it true.

The question we are going to examine is, is Jesus God.? In other words, who is the real biblical Jesus? Psalm 12:6 tells us, “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” God’s Word is trustworthy. He makes no mistakes. So I will use only Scripture as we explore this topic.

Is there anything wrong with using secular information and history to bolster our position? No, not really, but what I have found is that secular information and historical accounts do not always agree. Accounts and information can be found to strengthen either position. The secular information just does not agree with itself in many instances. To avoid confusion, we will take only what we know to be true – the Bible.

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The Question?

Is Jesus God or just another created man? To many, the answer may seem elementary, but it is surprising how many people are confused about this issue. To answer the question, we must start at the beginning - literally. We must go back to the book of Genesis. Genesis, which means Beginning is the place to start to unravel the answer to our question, who is the Biblical Jesus?

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A Hard Concept

In the creation account beginning in Genesis 1:1 we find an interesting verse – “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” The word God appears approximately 45 times in the first two chapters of Genesis. Each and every time the Hebrew word used is 'ĕlôhı̂ym, or Elohim. This is the plural form of God.

Now let us take a closer look at these verses. Notice when the creation took place - in the beginning. To be in the beginning, one must be before the beginning. If I am late for a meeting, I am not in the beginning. If I am to be present in the beginning of the meeting, I must arrive before the meeting begins. So the first thing we notice is that God was present before the beginning. The beginning of what? Time. Before the creation God existed only in eternity. We do not have the capacity to understand eternity. It is another dimension. From the beginning of creation we have only known three dimensions: time (the beginning), space (the heaven), and matter (earth). God was before time, space, and matter. (See also Hebrews 1:10).

And just what does that have to do with our question – who is Jesus? Genesis 1:26 continues, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. . . .” Again, the plural form of God is used. Who is the us? God in His plural form – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This will no doubt bring up other questions. Perhaps I will cover this in another article at some point. For now, suffice it to say that Scripture portrays God as a trinity, three-in-one.

This is a hard concept for mortal man to understand. Just because we do not understand it does not mean it is not true. Again, we are talking about another dimension, and of course, Isaiah 55:8, 9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

The best example I can give of a trinity, although much lacking when compared to the Godhead, is that of a book. A book has height, length, and width. All three are necessary. All are part of the book, but each has a different function. That does not completely describe a trinity, but it is the best I can do. Even though the word trinity is not found in Scripture, the principle is seen over and over again. I am certainly aware many will not see this. We are each responsible for our individual choices, but I believe the Bible teaches that one God exists in three persons, each co-eternal, co-existing, and of one essence.

Realizing that God is being used in the plural form requires us to identify who is involved in the conversation. Jesus is present at this time. Why is this important? Because those that believe Jesus was just a mortal man must see that He existed in eternity past with God, the Father.

How do I know Jesus was present? Consider the following verses. “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16, 17). From the context we know that we are talking about Jesus in this verse. I am a Bible literalist except when the context demands otherwise. The word all means all. Jesus created all things in the heavens, all things in the earth from the gigantic galaxies to the invisible electron. The verse also says that He was before all things. He was in the beginning because He was before the beginning.

All Things Were Made by Him

John 1:3 tells us, “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” So again we see that Jesus created all things. Nothing was made except by Him. In John 1:10 we read, “He was in the world, and the world was made by him . . . .” (See also Ephesians 3:9; Hebrews 1:2; Revelation 4:11).

Those who reject this teaching would not see Jesus as him in this verse. They would question who the Word is in verse 1 of John chapter 1 - “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Now we must answer the question, who is the Word? The Bible is its own best commentary. If we just read the text and context naturally without interjecting our own thoughts, the Bible tells us who the Word is. John 1:14 - :” And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

I John 1:1 says, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life.” Here we see that the One from the beginning or before the beginning was physically handled and seen by the apostles. They referred to Him as the Word of life. John 1:4 says referring to the Word “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” Indeed He is the life-giving Word.

Revelation 19:13 is crystal clear – “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. “I John 5:7 goes on to say “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” Some would like to disregard this verse completely because they have been misled into believing this is not part of the original manuscripts..

We have only scratched the surface, but this is a good place to stop. In Part Two we will look at many more verses that clearly paint the picture of who Jesus is – Emmanuel, God with us.

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Comments 51 comments

olderbutnotwiser 2 years ago

The Biblical record is accurate and most-importantly, inspired. Good piece!


BrianD 2 years ago

There is another area of interest. This being the three angels: father, son, and the holy ghost. The Father was the creator, His son saves the sins of the world, and the Holy Ghost is the protector for those who desire belief, faith, trust in a supernatural being.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Brian,

Interesting thoughts - do you have Scripture for this?


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

I think the Word made flesh says it all! Jesus is the Word and we all know God's Word rules. I always see God as the Father but I never forget Jesus is the only way for me or anyone to have life everlasting.

Good to see you back; I have honestly meant to come by your site but I rarely get time to stop by here anymore to read or answer comments. Hopefully in a few days since my company is gone I will have all my work done up and can relax online awhile. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! ^+


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Jackie,

You know, the doctrine of the trinity is one of the most documented doctrines in Scripture. It's hard to miss. but yet it's also one of the most misunderstood. Glad you get it. Many don't. Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving as well and I hope you get some time to relax soon!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

I was taught well in Catholic schools...then taught well....and now I have you for a reminder and reinforcement. Thanks, Bill. It's always a pleasure reading your work.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Glad you able to stop by, Bill. I'm also glad you were taught well. Have a great rest of the week!


Availiasvision profile image

Availiasvision 2 years ago from California

The Trinity just blows my mind. You used great examples and sound doctrine to make it clear to your readers--well as clear as a human mind can comprehend.

Growing up in Sunday school I don't think I understood that Christ was God. I think I understood him to be a man that God somehow indwelt; more like God giving someone special power or a piece of himself--a sort of Superman for the human race. There is a lot of bad doctrine and unclear doctrine going around.

When you finally understand Christ as fully God, fully man, and one person of the Triune God, it makes way more sense, and thus the Bible becomes clearer than ever before. All of those statements of Christ saying "I AM" make it clear as day in light of OT scripture.

Then to take it a step farther and say that Christ has eternally existed as a person of the Trinity, that didn't register in my mind until only a few years ago.

The love between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is incomprehensible. What pained Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane was the coming wrath of God and the separation from the community of the Trinity while he bore the sins of the world. In eternity past he has never been separated from the Father or the Spirit, and never again will that occur. The unity within the Trinity is the same unity Christ desires for us to have in his high priestly prayer in John. It will take a thousand lifetimes to even scratch the surface of mysteries of God. For now, we see in part, as in a shadow, but soon we will see in full.

A pastor from my church did a series on Christ in the Old Testament and it was out of this world incredible. His thesis was that when the OT speaks of the Angel of the LORD, it refers to the pre-incarnate Christ. Like in Exodus 3, where the Angel of the LORD (Yahweh) appears to Moses in the burning bush, but then it switches to Elohim when he says "I AM the God of..." It's crazy because Christ uses that exact phrasing of I AM, thus declaring he is God. With a closer look, the Angel of the LORD appears all over scripture. I'd be curious as to what you would say about the 50 + times that phrase was used and how it should be interpreted.

I think what people get hung up on is that scripture says that Christ was the only begotten son of God (John 3:16) which in our wording maybe infers that Christ had a beginning. But, when you look at Greek word, which is Monogene, it is more widely attributed to meaning "unique" or in simple terms "one gene." The way the Bible was translated into English doesn't always make it perfectly clear because of the differences in grammar and structure between the languages. The point is, is that if a NT Greek person were reading it, they would not think that God brought a son into existence.

Anyway, you have a gift for interpreting Scripture and humbly, gently, and wisely presenting it. I'm loving this series and can't wait for the next one.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Great to see you Availiasvision,

Thanks for adding your thoughts along with the others. It is indeed a difficult doctrine to understand. that's where faith comes in, I guess. It grieves me that so many don't get it. I'll get Part 2 up as soon as I can. Thanks again for stopping by.


Lambservant 2 years ago

Good presentation Bill. I had not heard the book analogy. Somewhere in the book of John Jesus tells the religious leaders "I and the Father are one." That helped me a lot in the beginning of my walk of faith, as well as the genesis passage. The trinity is so hard to explain, especially to children. I once bought a book (can't remember the title) for some children explaining the Trinity. It used the example of an apple. It was a pretty good book, but at the end of the day, it's just so hard for kids.

I was moved by Driscoll's sermon on the deity of Christ. I am said he was fired from his church. Not that I don't agree with it, but it's sad that it had to happen. I pray the Lord will heal his heart and he can return to ministry a changed man. He is a good teacher.


gregb4hope profile image

gregb4hope 2 years ago from El Paso TX

Solid presentation of faith at work in the word of God. Study to show thyself approved which is critical advice given to us as christians and not very well utilized these days. I have heard arguments against the trinity and for it. I am for it and an example I use to help demonstrate the three in one concept is how "chemistry" works.

For example, we see the sun in the sky and it is a physical entity full of power and brilliance literally a ball of fire. And from it shines another entity called light which illuminates everything in it's path displacing darkness. Finally there is heat which comes from the intensity of the light to the degree of the fury of the sun. They all work in unison and the light and the warmth can never work independent of the sun's action. As the sun gets hotter, the other two elements works flawlessly in response.

This is how I see the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit working with God as the sun, Jesus as the light from it and the Holy Spirit as the warmth which fill the air. They all are as one in the Father…having their own functions all in harmony with one another.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Lori,

I think John 10:30 may be the verse you were thinking of. There's a big push today to downplay Jesus. The Jehovah's Witnesses ( maybe the Mormons, or maybe both) believe that Jesus was a created being, an archangel who was brother to Lucifer. They took different paths of course.

I'm amazed at how many "Christians" deny the deity of Christ. It's a false doctrine that stems from faulty hermeneutics and a twisted history of the church. As always, glad you were able to stop by, and add your thoughts.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Greg.

So nice of yo9u to stop by! I don't know if anyone can truly explain the trinity. It's so far beyond what our mortal minds can handle. I like the fact that you say Jesus is the Light, and the Holy Spirit warms. Thanks for taking time out to visit and comment.


BrianD 2 years ago

The biblical verses for my statement can be found in Genesis 1:1, John 3:16, 17, & Romans 1:1-4.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Thanks Brian.


DreamingBoomer profile image

DreamingBoomer 2 years ago from Jackson, MS

Hi Bill,

Very interesting thoughts re: that Jesus (Christ) has always existed. I had not thought of the OT in that context before. Makes me want to go back a re-read some of those old and wonderful stories. I wonder what you mean by "Biblical Jesus"? Do you mean "biblical" as opposed to "historical"? or "biblical" as opposed to other people named Jesus? Or do you mean something else. Just curious. Thanks! Looking forward to part 2.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

Logical, theological and convincing. "Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief." Thanks for shining the light on this truth especially at this time of year.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Karen,

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. When we really take careful study,Jesus can be found all through the Old Testament. I used biblical in the sense that Jesus's life and person is most often misunderstood, but the Bible gives us a clear picture of who He is - the biblical Jesus! Jesus said in Luke 19:10 that He came to seek and to save the lost. Salvation can only be found in Him. The biblical Jesus came to save us from our sin so that we might spend eternity with Him.

Also, there are many (even within so-called "Christianity" that don't understand that Jesus represents the second person of the Godhead, making Him equal with God. Many think He was a created being like you and I, just a man.

Thanks again for visiting and stop back again!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi MsDora,

I didn't really think of it, but I guess this is a good time of the year to talk about it. He was that little baby, God incarnate, that was laid to rest in a manger; born to die, that you and I might live. Wow!


Neil Braithwaite 2 years ago

This passage was taken from the first link below which has counter arguments to every point you make. In the Spirit of Truth and love, for your readers who believe you have helped "explain" the trinity, I suggest they research both sides of the argument before settling on a position either way. The other links will give them a better opportunity to make a more informed decision.

http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/trinity/trinity-...

http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/verses

http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/articles/textual-...

http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/category/videos

http://www.thetrinitydelusion.com/

https://www.youtube.com/user/TheTrinityDelusion?fe...

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (KJV)

1. The word “God” is Elohim, which is itself a plural form and, like most other words, has more than one definition. It is used in a plural sense of “gods” or “men with authority,” and in a singular sense for “God,” “god,” or “a man with authority, such as a judge.” The Hebrew lexicon by Brown, Driver and Briggs, considered to be one of the best available, has as its first usage for Elohim: “rulers, judges, either as divine representatives at sacred places or as reflecting divine majesty and power, divine ones, superhuman beings including God and angels, gods.” [1]

Elohim is translated “gods” in many verses. Genesis 35:2 reads, “Get rid of all the foreign gods you have with you,” and Exodus 18:11 says, “Now I know that the Lord is greater than all other gods.” It is translated “judges” in Exodus 21:6; 22:8 and 9. It is translated “angels” (KJV) or “heavenly beings” (NIV) in Psalm 8:5. That is its plural use, and there is no evidence that anyone thought of these “gods” as having some kind of plurality of persons within themselves.

2. Elohim is also translated as the singular “god” or “judge,” and there is no hint of any “compound nature” when it is translated that way. An example is Exodus 22:20, which reads, “Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the lord must be destroyed.” Another example is Judges 6:31: “If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar.” In Exodus 7:1, God says that He has made Moses a “god” (Elohim) to Pharaoh. Again, in Judges 11:24, the pagan god Chemosh is called Elohim, and in 1 Samuel 5:7, the pagan god Dagon is called Elohim, yet Christians do not conclude that those gods were somehow composite or “uniplural,” or that the people who worshipped them thought they were.

Exactly how to translate Elohim in 1 Samuel 2:25 has been debated by scholars. The question is whether Elohim in the verse refers to a human judge or to God. The KJV says “judge.” The versions are divided between them, some translating Elohim as a man, others as God Himself. The fact that the scholars and translators debate about whether the word Elohim refers to a man or God shows vividly that the word itself does not have any inherent idea of a plurality of persons. If it did, it could not be translated as “god” when referring to a pagan god, or as “judge” when referring to a man. The evidence in Scripture does not warrant the conclusion that the Hebrew word Elohim inherently contains the idea of a compound nature.

3. Some teach that the word Elohim implies a compound unity when it refers to the true God. That would mean that the word Elohim somehow changes meaning when it is applied to the true God so that the true God can be a compound being. There is just no evidence of this. The first place we should go for confirmation of this is to the Jews themselves. When we study the history and the language of the Jews, we discover that they never understood Elohim to imply a plurality in God in any way. In fact, the Jews were staunchly opposed to people and nations who tried to introduce any hint of more than one God into their culture. Jewish rabbis have debated the Law to the point of tedium, and have recorded volume after volume of notes on the Law, yet in all of their debates there is no mention of a plurality in God. This fact in and of itself ought to close the argument.

No higher authority on the Hebrew language can be found than the great Hebrew scholar, Gesenius. He wrote that the plural nature of Elohim was for intensification, and was related to the plural of majesty and used for amplification. Gesenius states, “That the language has entirely rejected the idea of numerical plurality in Elohim (whenever it denotes one God) is proved especially by its being almost invariably joined with a singular attribute.” [2]

The singular pronoun is always used with the word Elohim. A study of the word will show what Gesenius stated, that the singular attribute (such as “He,” not “They,” or “I,” not “We”) always follows Elohim. Furthermore, when the word Elohim is used to denote others beside the true God, it is understood as singular or plural, never as “uniplural.” To us, the evidence is clear: God is not “compound” in any sense of the word. He is the “one God” of Israel.

4. Scripture contains no reproof for those who do not believe in a “Triune God.” Those who do not believe in God are called “fools” (Ps. 14:1). Those who reject Christ are condemned (John 3:18). Scripture testifies that it is for “doctrine, reproof, and correction” (2 Tim. 3:16 – KJV), and there are many verses that reprove believers for all kinds of erroneous beliefs and practices. Conspicuous in its absence is any kind of reproof for not believing in the Trinity.

Buzzard, pp. 13-15,125 and 126

Morgridge, pp. 88-96

Snedeker, pp. 359-367


Neil Braithwaite 2 years ago

lifegate -

The following link is one of the best teachings on the uni plural noun "Elohim" that you use as the basis of your trinity arguments. It is only about 10 minutes in length and is most helpful in understanding why the Israelites, and all Jews today, know God as being one and not a plurality of persons.

http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/videos/genesis-1-...

For those brothers and sisters in Christ interested in understanding the scriptures it's important to distinguish the approach used by which you are being taught scripture.

"Exegesis and eisegesis are two conflicting approaches in Bible study. Exegesis is the exposition or explanation of a text based on a careful, objective analysis. The word exegesis literally means “to lead out of.” That means that the interpreter is led to his conclusions by following the text.

The opposite approach to Scripture is eisegesis, which is the interpretation of a passage based on a subjective, non-analytical reading. The word eisegesis literally means “to lead into,” which means the interpreter injects his own ideas into the text, making it mean whatever he wants.

Obviously, only exegesis does justice to the text. Eisegesis is a mishandling of the text and often leads to a misinterpretation. Exegesis is concerned with discovering the true meaning of the text, respecting its grammar, syntax, and setting. Eisegesis is concerned only with making a point, even at the expense of the meaning of words."

Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/exegesis-eisegesis.htm...


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Neil,

I appreciate the extra links you sent along although i did say in the introduction to this article, "Is there anything wrong with using secular information and history to bolster our position? No, not really, but what I have found is that secular information and historical accounts do not always agree. Accounts and information can be found to strengthen either position. The secular information just does not agree with itself in many instances. To avoid confusion, we will take only what we know to be true – the Bible.

I am in no way trying to change your beliefs as we've been down this path before. My views are equally settled based on Scripture just as you claim your views are. One of us is wrong and eternity will reveal the truth. As for the rest - like you said they need to make up their own mind.

1. The word “God” is Elohim, which is itself a plural form and, like most other words, has more than one definition.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Sorry for the cutoff, Neil. now back to the last point -

1. The word “God” is Elohim, which is itself a plural form and, like most other words, has more than one definition. Absolutely. I agree. So we have to look at the context of Scripture to see who is being referred to in Genesis 1:26 ("us"). We know from Genesis 1:1 that God is present. We know from Genesis 1:2 that the Holy Spirit of God is present. We know from Colossians 1:16, 17 that Jesus is present. We can rationalize the verses any way we want, but it is clear that Jesus made ALL things. That implies that He pre-existed His creation.

2. Elohim is also translated as the singular “god” or “judge,” and there is no hint of any “compound nature” when it is translated that way. - At least not in that particular verse, but I think I just showed the plurality in Genesis 1:1.

3. Some teach that the word Elohim implies a compound unity when it refers to the true God. That would mean that the word Elohim somehow changes meaning when it is applied to the true God so that the true God can be a compound being. In your comment you just mentioned that Elohim could be singular or plural. The context decides, and in this case the context seems to me to indicate a plurality as I also just mentioned.

4. Those who do not believe in God are called “fools” (Ps. 14:1) - You're right again. I'm not sure what you mean here, but I'm not an atheist as that is what this verse is referring to, or to those who willingly and deliberately reject God's leading.

Anyway, as I said, we will probably never come to an agreement on this, but that's okay. That's part of the world in which we live. Thanks for your added comments.


Stephen A Brown profile image

Stephen A Brown 2 years ago

Genesis 1:26 is a classical example of what many Christians utilize when trying to prove a triune God. However, in my opinion, I do not think that the pronoun "us" is sufficient enough to attempt to prove such an ethereal concept, especially as one as delicate as the ontological essence of God. Isaiah 55: 8,9 would more aptly demonstrate that Christians should not even attempt to try to understand this divine essence rather than reinforce a centuries old presupposed doctrine hatched out of the minds of finite men. Your example of a book better describes modalism rather than Trinitarianism. With that being said, a book cannot be anything other than a book, because all of its dimensions constitute a monolithic essence, which is contrary to Trinitarian thought. However, modalism, which begins with a monolithic essence, with absolutely no plurality in substance, can serve several functions at one time without a ceasing to be what it once was and without distinction. Therefore, your example is unequivocally modalistic, and not Trinitarian. This shows that nobody should even attempt to try to understand God's eternal nature. The great Apostle says that " we all look through a glass darkly". I think that this euphemism definitely applies in this situation. However, it was a well written hub.


Neil Braithwaite 2 years ago

lifegate -

Please watch the short video on Genesis 1:1 regarding the term "Elohim."

You will find that the teacher uses nothing but the bible and the most accurate and respected scholars on the Hebrew language to make his point.

With all due respect Brother, your views are based on mistranslations and an eisegesis approach to interpretation. You are clearly injecting your doctrinal beliefs into the text to try to prove your point.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Thanks for your input Stephen A. Brown.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Thanks Neil.


Neil Braithwaite 2 years ago

lifegate -

Two things about the "Mark Driscoll" link you have in this post:

First, It was alleged that Mr. Driscoll has both lied and committed plagiarism. Without openly condemning the man, the facts overwhelmingly point to this as a fact. (See link) But like all other "fallen" mega-church preachers, Mr. Driscoll has taken it upon himself through the self-punishment of stepping down (with pay) for a short term. I'm assuming until all the fervor dies down and he can continue leading the blind masses he controls.

http://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/christian-trends/ma...

Second, in the video Mr. Driscoll falsely states: "Jesus Christ repeatedly, emphatically, unapologeticlly, openly, publicly, declared himself to be God."

This statement is the epitome of the worst kind of eisegesis - preaching this false doctrine to thousands of people who will take it as fact and never so much as open their bibles to verify Mr. Driscoll's words.


Stephen A Brown profile image

Stephen A Brown 2 years ago

Your welcomed, lifegate. Although I do not agree with your reasoning and logic on this particular article, I do believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ. Contrary to some other opinions on here, the Bible does teach that God was robed in flesh, as you correctly affirm. The problem is when we make the ontological essence of God a dogma, as if finite man can fully comprehend an infinite God. However, to rob Christ of his divinity is the worst kind of heresy, as you would probably agree. If this were not true, Paul himself would be the worst kind of heretic imaginable, and Philippians 2: 5-7 and 1 Timothy 3:16 would be a gross distortion of the "supposed truth" of his non-deity. A lesson that can be learned here is that we can rightly claim the great God of the universe became a man in order to die for our sins (Acts 20:28), without the need for getting into the theoretical details of the matter. Thank you for your Christian zeal and thirst for the truth.


Neil Braithwaite 2 years ago

Stephen A Brown -

Please see the following links regarding Philippians 2:5-7 (Make sure to watch the short video at the end of the first link)

http://www.angelfire.com/space/thegospeltruth/trin...

http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/verses/philippian...

Stephen, on both of these sites you can find very detailed arguments to refute any trinitarian claim.

Please study with an open mind and use your God given "reason" to discern the truth in this matter. Remember, God did not give His word in a manner that can't be understood.

The mystery has been revealed that all can know the truth and be saved!

“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord"

Isaiah 1:18


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Stephen,

Even though you may not agree with the reasoning, I'm glad you came to a biblical conclusion. Thanks again for the reply.


lambservant profile image

lambservant 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

I think you need to take the whole of Scripture when finding the truth. It's all about context when trying to discern which meaning a word has. Scripture supports Scripture. Yes, a word can mean one thing in one passage, but mean another in another passage. Look at the context.

Bill, we had this very lesson in church today about the deity of Christ. We began with John 1:1-3: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same is the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."

Maybe Neil could take a look at the sermon and articles and give a response.

http://www.calvarygigharbor.com/media.php?pageID=6 (it's the one at the top entitled "The Word."

Here are some articles: http://www.letusreason.org/trin23.htm

http://www.letusreason.org/Trin8.htm

http://www.letusreason.org/Trin3.htm


lambservant profile image

lambservant 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

As to Driscoll, his theology is dead on biblical. The reason the religious leaders of the day sought to kill Jesus was because he made Himself out to be God. "Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God" (John 5:8). They were always accusing Him of blaspheme.

Driscoll was not plagerizing the Bible. If he plagerized at all (and I have not researched it) it was in some books or a book he wrote where he plagerized another author, not the Bible. Driscoll fell because of pride and arrogance and I think if he humbles himself he will be restored (I do not defend his actions and I think being removed from the pulpit was the right thing to do and I believe biblical discipline). His falling had nothing to do with the biblical integrity in his teaching, it had to do with his attitude and behavior. He wasn't practicing biblical principles in his leadership, but but his theology was biblical. Man can preach the truth but still sin. That means you and me, perhaps in different ways and to different degrees. We can know the truth but not live it all the time. It's unfortunate this happened with Driscoll to the degree that it did. Hopefully it is a lesson well learned and God will change his heart.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Lori,

Thanks for your response. I probably shouldn't have used the Driscoll video, but like you said, biblically he is correct. Thanks for adding to the conversation.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 2 years ago from Southern Minnesota

Hi Bill, In reference to the beginning of your article, I was just wondering myself if I'm reading the same Bible as some. The interpretations sometimes can be so wildly different and suspect other teachings and doctrines that get mixed in with the Word can sometimes be the culprit. I love your idea of just sticking to what the Bible says and it will confirm in several ways what God wants us to understand.

Good job with your article comparing scripture with scripture to support these biblical realities not quite sure why it's such a hot topic.

Holy (1), Holy (2), Holy (3) is the Lord (1) God (2) Almighty (3) who was (1), and is (2), and is to come (3).

Look forward to the continuing education

God Bless!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Tammy,

I've noticed over time that many who want to argue Scripture usually end up using a fair share of website links and youtube videos. That's why I chose to just stay with Scripture. If you notice there are many links listed in the Comments. I could dig up an bunch of links to bolster the trinitarian position as well. It proves nothing except to those who choose to believe it. Although I respect others beliefs, it is truly sad that they have missed the beauty and majesty of the One God who sacrificed His own blood for them. Glad you were able to stop and visit for a bit.


lambservant profile image

lambservant 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

I think you've laid it all out very clearly here, Bill . The Trinity concept and the Trinity's work can be seen throughout Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. My favorites, beside verses that refer to the Trinity in Creation, are the I AM statements which others have quoted also. In Ex. 3, Moses is at the burning bush and God is calling Moses to deliver the Israelites. Moses says, "Now they may say to me 'What is His name? What shall I say to them?'" God replied "I AM WHO I AM; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you."

In John 8:58 Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, I AM." That's when they sought to stone Him. That's because He was saying He was God. They knew That I AM was what God called Himself, His title, in Ex. 3. In my early Christianity I thought Jesus was merely saying He existed before Abraham and that proved He was God. But He was not saying I WAS, He was saying I AM - the name and title God gave Himself. Who was and is and is to come.

Then you have the other 7 I AM statements;

I AM the Resurrection and the Life; the Bread of life; the Good Shepherd; the True Vine; the Way, the Truth, and the Life; and the Door; and the Light of the world. A seldom recognized one is John 18:6 where the authorities came to arrest Jesus and He asked whom they were seeking. When they said Jesus of Nazareth He said I am He." Then they fell to the ground, not forward as in worship, but fell back - bowled over you might say by the Power of God.

In John 1o:30 Jesus said "I and the Father are one." Again, they took up stones to stone Him. When Jesus asked for which works they stone Him, they said because YOU, BEING A MAN, MAKE YOURSELF GOD " (vs. 33). What audacity, they were thinking. He's got a lot of nerve. When Driscoll said "Jesus Christ repeatedly, emphatically, unapologeticlly, openly, publicly, declared himself to be God," he was speaking a very obvious truth. How one can say that is not true is beyond me.

I think one of the most compelling and clear Scriptures that Christ was God is from Col. 2:9: "In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." Godhead in the verse means the Divine essence of God. Actually Col. 1 is about proving Christ was God. 1:19 says "For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fulness should dwell...' Chapter one also talks about Jesus being the Creator.

Neil, put aside all your big words and websites and just simply tell me, as if I were an non-beliver seeking after truth and God, who is Christ and why should I follow Him?

Tamara, I love your ending.


Neil Braithwaite 2 years ago

lambservant -

You said:

"The Trinity concept and the Trinity's work can be seen throughout Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. My favorites, beside verses that refer to the Trinity in Creation, are the I AM statements which others have quoted also."

I consulted a close friend who happens to be a Jewish scholar.

I asked him if any Jew would ever believe, by the teachings of the Torah (Christian Old Testament), that God was a plural being - made up of a plurality of any number of divine persons? I also asked him if their Messiah was going to be in any way divine?

His answer to both questions was an emphatic NO!

He said the Jewish Messiah will be fully human, as a descendant of David. He will have great knowledge of Jewish Law, be a great leader, restore the teachings of the Torah, rebuild the Temple and reign over His people forever. He said that while fully human, the Messiah would live eternally and there would be no more death among God's people and all the dead who were faithful would rise and live eternally.

Trying to create a "plural" God using the Old Testament is a non-starter.

Jesus was a Jew and sighted but ONE creed - the Shema!

28 One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the FOREMOST of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is ONE Lord; 30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ THERE IS NO OTHER COMMANDMENT GREATER THAN THESE.” 32 The scribe said to Him, “Right, Teacher; YOU HAVE TRULY STATED that HE IS ONE, and there is NO ONE ELSE besides Him... Mark 12:28-32

Jesus NEVER said He was God - EVER! Just because you read that into the scripture doesn't make it true.

Trinitarans distort the scriptures to try and prove their false doctrine, but always, upon true exegesis, are found to be wrong!

You ask me who is Jesus?

I'll give you the answer Jesus gave in His own words:

He (Jesus) was asked under "oath" by the council if he was the "Christ - the Son of God." Under this oath, the penalty for NOT answering the direct question was death.

‘Now if a person sins after he hears a public adjuration to testify when he is a witness, whether he has seen or otherwise known, IF HE DOES NOT TELL IT, THEN HE WILL BEAR HIS GUILT. Leviticus 5:1

63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, “I charge you UNDER OATH by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” Matthew 26:63

66 When it was day, the Council of elders of the people assembled, both chief priests and scribes, and they led Him away to their council chamber, saying, 67 “IF YOU ARE THE CHRIST, TELL US.” But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe; 68 and if I ask a question, you will not answer. 69 But from now on the SON OF MAN will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” 70 And they all said, “ARE YOU THE SON OF GOD, then?” And He said to them, “YES, I AM.” Luke 22:66-70

6 As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.” 7 The Jewish leaders insisted, “WE HAVE A LAW, and according to that law he must die, BECAUSE HE CLAIMED TO BE THE SON OF GOD.” John 19:6-7

The law the Jewish leaders were sighting was the law I quoted above. Jesus was being killed for asserting that he was the "Son of God - Son Man," not for equating himself with God!

You read into the Torah what Jewish scholars agree is not there - that God is a plurality of persons. You put words into the mouth of Jesus that He never said! And you defend a doctrine of Man that was derived hundreds of years AFTER Jesus' resurrection. For what purpose do you do these things?

6 And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:

‘This people honors Me with their lips,

But their heart is far away from Me.

7 ‘But in vain do they worship Me,

Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’

8 Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the TRADITION OF MEN.”


lambservant profile image

lambservant 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

So am I hearing that your position is that Being the Son of God and Son of Man does not refer to His deity or being equal to God?


Neil Braithwaite 2 years ago

You are correct.

Do you consider yourself a son/daughter of God?

If so, does that make you God?

Let's take the statement you made in reference to John 10:30 and examine it more closely:

"In John 1o:30 Jesus said "I and the Father are one." Again, they took up stones to stone Him. When Jesus asked for which works they stone Him, they said because YOU, BEING A MAN, MAKE YOURSELF GOD " (vs. 33). What audacity, they were thinking. He's got a lot of nerve. When Driscoll said "Jesus Christ repeatedly, emphatically, unapologeticlly, openly, publicly, declared himself to be God," he was speaking a very obvious truth. How one can say that is not true is beyond me."

The Trinitarian Claim:

Trinitarians claim this verse (John 10:30) indicates 'Jesus is God' because Jesus is declaring to have oneness with God.

Examination of the Claim:

1. Eisegesis

Trinitarians train themselves and others to imagine their preconceived notions into the text. Here they imagine Jesus to be saying "I am the Father are one {God}" or "I and the Father are one {divine substance}." However, there is no need to suppose Jesus had anything of the sort in mind especially in view of the context and Jesus' repeated teaching that he is in unity with the Father according to function in the works that he was doing.

The Trinitarian apologist loves to cite this passage because his doctrine says there are three persons "in one." However, the obvious question in this passage is, "one what?" Just how is Jesus one with the Father? This is not a question the Trinitarian wishes entertain. He would rather imagine for himself that Jesus and the Father are "one God" or that Jesus and the Father are "one nature" or that Jesus and God are "one substance." What he is lamely trying to do is claim that Jesus is advocating Trinitarianism. However, in Trinitarianism, the three persons, or "hypostases" are three persons in "one substance" and this most certainly not what Jesus has in mind.

2. I and the Father and Jesus are one

At John 17:20-23, Jesus prays for his disciples,

"that they may all be one just as as You Father are in me and I in You.... that, they may be one, just as we also are one."

I reckon we can be pretty sure this does not add disciples to the Trinity and make them "God." Here we can see clearly that Jesus sees this oneness in terms signficantly different than what the Trinitarian would have us believe. The Trinitarian would like to pretend that Jesus was here praying for a oneness that is different than the oneness he declared at John 10:30 despite the fact that Jesus here twice says, "JUST AS WE ARE ONE."

3. Jesus actually explains HOW was one with the Father

In fact, Jesus tells us plainly in the Scriptures how he was one with the Father. He was one with his Father in what he did in his actions, in function and purpose, not in what he was by nature. In fact, Jesus has told his disciples, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father." (14:12). The unity which Jesus discusses throughout John is a oneness of function and purpose.

My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work. (Jn 4:34; cf. 17:1-5).

Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who abides in me does the works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me or else believe me because of the works themselves...Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father." (14:10-11).

In fact, we find the very same thing at John 5:36 which is the verse directly preceding the passage where Jesus tells the Jews they have never seen God the Father.

But He answered them, "My Father until now works, and I work.... For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God his own Father, making Himself equal with God... Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing from himself, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever he does, that the Son likewise does. For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all things that He Himself is doing, and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel... But I have the greater testimony than John. For the works which the Father gave me, that I should finish them, the works themselves that I do testify concerning me that the Father has sent me. (5:17-36; cf. 4:34).

And Jesus tells the blind Jews, and the Trinitarians, this very same thing again and again but they do not listen. Indeed, he tells us that the way he is one with the Father is in what he does right here in this very passage.

If You are the Christ, tell us plainly." Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. the works that I do in the name of my Father, these testify of me... I and the Father are one. The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, "I showed you many good works from the Father. For which of them are you stoning me?" The Jews answered Him, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because you, being a man, make yourself [a] god. Jesus answered them, "Has it not been written in your Law, `I said, You are gods?' If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken, do you say of him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, `You are blaspheming,' because I said, `I am the Son of God'? If I do not do the works of my Father, then do not believe me, but I do them, though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father." (John 10:25-38; see John 15:21-25).

Plainly, Jesus tells us in this passage that he is one with the Father in the works that he does from his Father who sent him. Jesus was one with his Father in plan and purpose. The passage does not indicate that Jesus was one with the Father in substance as Trinitarians wishfully imagine. In fact, Jesus tells us that if they saw him they saw the Father (14:9) but he also tells them that no one has ever seen the Father (5:37; 6:46; cf. 1:18). Therefore, we can know for certain that they had seen the Father in the works he did. In fact, this is precisely what Jesus says at John 14:9-10. John even says the same thing about us. "No one has seen God" but he is seen in our actions when we love one another (1 John 4:12). Once again, the Trinitarian has nothing but his notoriously vain imaginations.

Summary of the Facts:

Trinitarians imagine a preconceived idea into the text.

Jesus prays to his Father that his disciples to be one with both of them "JUST AS we are one."

Throughout John's Gospel Jesus teaches us that he is one with the Father in terms of the works that he was doing by the Father dwelling in him.

Conclusion:

How was Jesus one with the Father? If we are honest with ourselves, we can see that He was one with the Father the same way we are one with God, in the unity of the Holy Spirit by which we do the good works of god. This is precisely the manner in which he was praying in Gethsemane for all believers to be one with him and the Father, they in us, and us in them. Clearly, the oneness of Jesus and the Father in these passages refers to oneness of function in the unity of the Holy Spirit of God.

Taken from:

http://www.angelfire.com/space/thegospeltruth/trin...


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Funny that you bring that up, Lambservant. I already addressed that in my notes for part 3 that should be up soon.


Neil Braithwaite 2 years ago

lambservant -

When you say, "Neil, put aside all your big words and websites," it speaks volumes about your position on the matter of the trinity doctrine. You are obviously convinced and your mind is made-up on the matter and you're not at all interested in hearing the other side of the argument.

The Jewish leaders' of Jesus day didn't want to hear the other side of the argument either. Just read the exchanges Jesus had with them and you'll agree.

How ofter did Jesus tell them either directly or indirectly that they were hearing but not listening to His words? And that because they chose not to listen, Jesus said they were already condemned.

Many Christians are doing the same thing today for the sake of their man-made traditions and doctrines that the Jewish leaders did in Jesus' day.

In as loving a way as possible; I don't have to remind anyone of the consequences Jesus iterated about exhibiting that kind blindness.


lambservant profile image

lambservant 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

It could be seen both ways Neil.


lambservant profile image

lambservant 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Bill sorry to get ahead of you. That will be $20 for the consultation. lol


Neil Braithwaite 2 years ago

lambservant -

With all respect to you brother, there is only one truth when it comes to who God is.

Jesus made it clear when he sighted the Shema as the foremost of all commands that there is but one God and He is the only God.

Jesus was a Jew who grew up and lived under the Law. It would be an abomination for Him to say that God is plural - consisting of three separate and distinct persons. He, and any other Jew, would have been stoned for espousing that belief alone.

I believe in one God and in Jesus, His only begotten Son.

I could be wrong, but I believe you're having a hard time dealing with the fact that Jesus was 100% human and also the Christ?

I'll deal with that issue in more detail if you like.


Stephen A Brown profile image

Stephen A Brown 2 years ago

Yes, Neil, that is funny that you bring stoning up because that is precisely what the Pharisees tried to do to Jesus. In John 8: 58,Jesus stated " Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM." The Bible then states in verse 59, " Then they took STONES to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself.... Why would the Pharisees do this for? Because he claimed to be God. He was claiming to be the same "I AM" of Exodus 3:14. You tell me why they would go to such drastic measures if this was not what he meant. If you are a Jehovah's Witness, which I assume you may be, then you are contradicting yourself by saying that Jesus is 100% percent human, because JW'S believe he is Michael the archangel. Those who deny that Christ has come in the flesh is an antichrist, and I do not apologize for saying that. You are not going convince anybody on here of your position, because you are both arrogant and deceived. Please check your own spirit to see that you are in the faith, because no true and authentic Christian would ever believe that the Savior of the world is only a mere man.


Neil Braithwaite 2 years ago

Mr. Brown -

Thank you for your input.

First, There was no indication in the context of John 8 that it was the Pharisees who tried to stone Jesus. They are recorded asking Jesus a question in verse 13 but there is no indication they were among those who picked up stones. In verse 21 it was the "Jews" who began to question Jesus and after that in verses 31-31 it was the "Jews who had believed Him," at which point this set of Jews began to get upset with Jesus' answers and statements. Jesus said to the "Jews who had believed Him," "I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A WAY TO KILL ME, because you have no room for my word.

Based on this statement from Jesus, it would be a safe bet that it was the "Jews who had believed Him" that picked up the stones - NOT the Pharisees.

Now to your argument regarding Jesus saying that He was "I am."

The Trinitarian Claim

Trinitarians claim that Jesus was using special language to identify himself as God, that is, he used God's divine name to identify himself as Yahweh and since he is Yahweh he was saying that he pre-existed as a self-conscious divine person (God) before Abraham and for this reason the Jews wanted to stone him.

Examination of the Claim

Trinitarians are actually attempting to make three different claims at once with respect to this verse:

A. Jesus was invoking the Greek version of the divine name (ego eimi) given to Moses at Exodus 3:14 and istherefore identifying himself as YAHWEH God.

B. Jesus was claiming to have existed as a self conscious living divine person before Abraham existed.

C. The Jews therefore wanted to stone Jesus for claiming to be their God.

A. The Divine Name Claim

1. Ego eimi (I am)

Trinitarians claim Jesus used the Greek words ego eimi, "I am," are an intentional and direct reference to the divine name which Jesus used to identify himself as Yahweh God. This claim is easily found to be false by a simple examination of the facts.

a. In the Greek Septuagint, the actual divine name revealed to Moses was not simply, "ego eimi," but was rather, "ego eimi ho on" which means "I am the being" or "I am the existence" or "I am the existent one" or some similar idea. Also, English translations which read as, "I AM sent me to you" are not translating "ego eimi sent me to you," from the Greek. The Greek reads "ho on sent me to you." (Exodus 3:14).

The translation, "Before Abraham was, I am," is certainly appropriate. The Greek literally says, "Before Abraham comes to be I am," or "Before Abraham came to be, I am."

c. At John 8:58, Trinitarians essentially have Jesus saying, "Before Abraham was Yahweh," which is nonsensical language. Moreover, it actually sounds like Jesus is suggesting Abraham became Yahweh and is referring to a time before Abraham was Yahweh. What Trinitarians do here is mental gymnastics. They want it to mean two different things at once. They want this single reference to mean two different things at the same time: (1) "I am," and (2) Yahweh. In other words, they want ego eimi to be a reference to Jesus declaration of existence but they also want ego eimi to be a self identification as Yahweh in the same breath. Put another way, they want to define ego eimi in two different ways simultaneously.

c. At Luke 22:33, when Peter said to Jesus, "I am prepared to go to prison with you and to death," shall we then say he used the words ego eimi to say to Jesus, "Yahweh is prepared to go to prison with you and to death?" When Jesus informed his disciples that one of them would betray him, his disciples used the words ego eimi saying, "Perchance I am" Were they asking Jesus if perchance Yahweh was the betrayer? And Judas himself then said to Jesus, "Perchance I am" Was Judas also asking Jesus if Yahweh was the betrayer? (Matthew 26:22,25). If we suppose the words ego eimi were to be understood as the divine name, when John the Baptist used the words ego eimi saying, "I am not the Christ" shall we also then say John the Baptist said, "Yahweh is not the Christ" (Jn 1:29; 3:28; cf. Acts 13:23)? The Trinitarian claim results in absurd implications.

d. Jesus used the term elsewhere in John where it is quite clear he did not intend to use a divine name. For example, the Samaritian woman said to Jesus, "I know that the Christ is coming," and Jesus responded to her, "I am who speaks to you." It should be obvious to anyone that Jesus uses the words ego eimi not for the purposes of claiming to be Yahweh but to let her know he is the Christ who she just mentioned. And we should not forget that Christ is God's Christ, His Anointed one (see Acts 3:18; 4:26; Revelation 11:15; 12:10).

e. The Blind man in the very next chapter identifies himself with the words ego eimi, "I AM" (9:9). The thought never occurred to anyone that the blind man was uttering a divine name for God. This fact should alone make it obvious to anyone that this type of language was common everyday language used by Greek speakers. Greek speakers used this expression much like we would say, "It is me." For example, when the disciples saw Jesus walking on water they were terrified for they thought they were seeing a spirit but Jesus said, "Do not be afraid, I am" (Matthew 14:27; John 6:20; cf. Luke 24:39) which obviously means, "Don't be afraid, it is not a spirit, it is me." "The blind man said ego eimi for the same reason. There is no need to suppose ego eimi is a necessary reference to God's divine name otherwise the blind man also used the divine name to identify himself.

So why don't Trinitarians claim this blind man was using the divine name? The answer to that question is plainly obvious: because it does not suit the Trinitarian agenda. They simply have granted themselves a license to claim the words "I am" mean "YAHWEH" at John 8:58 but these selfsame words do not mean "YAHWEH at John 9:9. In other words, ego eimi is a reference to the divine name only when Trinitarians want it to be and ego eimi is not a reference to the divine name when Trinitarians do not want it be.

f. This Trinitarian claim is usually presented as if Jesus suddenly broke out the words ego eimi in a shock and awe manner which provoked the Jews to anger since they would necessarily and immediately recognize those words to be the divine name of their God. However, the contextual facts demonstrate this is absurd and just the opposite is true. During this very same dialogue with the Jews in John chapter 8, Jesus used the term ego eimi several times before he used it at verse 8:58 (8:12,16,18,23,24,28). And through all these many utterances of ego eimi by Jesus, none of these Jews at any time ever supposed Jesus was referring to the divine name of their God. For example, when Jesus said, "Unless you believe that I am you wil die in your sins," the Jewish did not respond by supposing Jesus was claiming to be their God Yahweh. Instead, they did just the opposite by responding, "Who are you?" The thought that Jesus was using a divine name never even crossed their mind. At John 8:24-25, rather than recognizing the words ego eimi to be a direct reference to their God's divine name, the Jews had absolutely no idea who Jesus was claiming to be. But Trinitarians expect people to believe the claim that when Jesus used the same term at 8:58, the Jews immediately recognized, and necessarily would have recognized, ego eimi to be a reference to the divine name of their God.

The words ego eimi are used many times in the New Testament by several people. These words were part of their common everyday vocabulary. The expression ego eimi was common to everyday language for Greeks just as the words "I am" are common to our everyday language in English. Nobody regarded ego eimi as two Greek words uniquely reserved as the divine name of their God. Trinitarians are essentially trying to turn a routine language expression into the divine name of God to suit their doctrinal purposes.

B. The Pre-existent Person Claim

1. Angels, including Satan, can say "Before Abraham was I am."

Trinitarians often claim that if Jesus existed as a person before Abraham that he must therefore be God since only God could possibly exi


Neil Braithwaite 2 years ago

Mr. Brown -

Thank you for your input.

First, There was no indication in the context of John 8 that it was the Pharisees who tried to stone Jesus. They are recorded asking Jesus a question in verse 13 but there is no indication they were among those who picked up stones. In verse 21 it was the "Jews" who began to question Jesus and after that in verses 31-31 it was the "Jews who had believed Him," at which point this set of Jews began to get upset with Jesus' answers and statements. Jesus said to the "Jews who had believed Him," "I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A WAY TO KILL ME, because you have no room for my word.

Based on this statement from Jesus, it would be a safe bet that it was the "Jews who had believed Him" that picked up the stones - NOT the Pharisees.

Now to your argument regarding Jesus saying that He was "I am."

The Trinitarian Claim

Trinitarians claim that Jesus was using special language to identify himself as God, that is, he used God's divine name to identify himself as Yahweh and since he is Yahweh he was saying that he pre-existed as a self-conscious divine person (God) before Abraham and for this reason the Jews wanted to stone him.

Examination of the Claim

Trinitarians are actually attempting to make three different claims at once with respect to this verse:

A. Jesus was invoking the Greek version of the divine name (ego eimi) given to Moses at Exodus 3:14 and istherefore identifying himself as YAHWEH God.

B. Jesus was claiming to have existed as a self conscious living divine person before Abraham existed.

C. The Jews therefore wanted to stone Jesus for claiming to be their God.

A. The Divine Name Claim

1. Ego eimi (I am)

Trinitarians claim Jesus used the Greek words ego eimi, "I am," are an intentional and direct reference to the divine name which Jesus used to identify himself as Yahweh God. This claim is easily found to be false by a simple examination of the facts.

a. In the Greek Septuagint, the actual divine name revealed to Moses was not simply, "ego eimi," but was rather, "ego eimi ho on" which means "I am the being" or "I am the existence" or "I am the existent one" or some similar idea. Also, English translations which read as, "I AM sent me to you" are not translating "ego eimi sent me to you," from the Greek. The Greek reads "ho on sent me to you." (Exodus 3:14).

The translation, "Before Abraham was, I am," is certainly appropriate. The Greek literally says, "Before Abraham comes to be I am," or "Before Abraham came to be, I am."

c. At John 8:58, Trinitarians essentially have Jesus saying, "Before Abraham was Yahweh," which is nonsensical language. Moreover, it actually sounds like Jesus is suggesting Abraham became Yahweh and is referring to a time before Abraham was Yahweh. What Trinitarians do here is mental gymnastics. They want it to mean two different things at once. They want this single reference to mean two different things at the same time: (1) "I am," and (2) Yahweh. In other words, they want ego eimi to be a reference to Jesus declaration of existence but they also want ego eimi to be a self identification as Yahweh in the same breath. Put another way, they want to define ego eimi in two different ways simultaneously.

c. At Luke 22:33, when Peter said to Jesus, "I am prepared to go to prison with you and to death," shall we then say he used the words ego eimi to say to Jesus, "Yahweh is prepared to go to prison with you and to death?" When Jesus informed his disciples that one of them would betray him, his disciples used the words ego eimi saying, "Perchance I am" Were they asking Jesus if perchance Yahweh was the betrayer? And Judas himself then said to Jesus, "Perchance I am" Was Judas also asking Jesus if Yahweh was the betrayer? (Matthew 26:22,25). If we suppose the words ego eimi were to be understood as the divine name, when John the Baptist used the words ego eimi saying, "I am not the Christ" shall we also then say John the Baptist said, "Yahweh is not the Christ" (Jn 1:29; 3:28; cf. Acts 13:23)? The Trinitarian claim results in absurd implications.

d. Jesus used the term elsewhere in John where it is quite clear he did not intend to use a divine name. For example, the Samaritian woman said to Jesus, "I know that the Christ is coming," and Jesus responded to her, "I am who speaks to you." It should be obvious to anyone that Jesus uses the words ego eimi not for the purposes of claiming to be Yahweh but to let her know he is the Christ who she just mentioned. And we should not forget that Christ is God's Christ, His Anointed one (see Acts 3:18; 4:26; Revelation 11:15; 12:10).

e. The Blind man in the very next chapter identifies himself with the words ego eimi, "I AM" (9:9). The thought never occurred to anyone that the blind man was uttering a divine name for God. This fact should alone make it obvious to anyone that this type of language was common everyday language used by Greek speakers. Greek speakers used this expression much like we would say, "It is me." For example, when the disciples saw Jesus walking on water they were terrified for they thought they were seeing a spirit but Jesus said, "Do not be afraid, I am" (Matthew 14:27; John 6:20; cf. Luke 24:39) which obviously means, "Don't be afraid, it is not a spirit, it is me." "The blind man said ego eimi for the same reason. There is no need to suppose ego eimi is a necessary reference to God's divine name otherwise the blind man also used the divine name to identify himself.

So why don't Trinitarians claim this blind man was using the divine name? The answer to that question is plainly obvious: because it does not suit the Trinitarian agenda. They simply have granted themselves a license to claim the words "I am" mean "YAHWEH" at John 8:58 but these selfsame words do not mean "YAHWEH at John 9:9. In other words, ego eimi is a reference to the divine name only when Trinitarians want it to be and ego eimi is not a reference to the divine name when Trinitarians do not want it be.

f. This Trinitarian claim is usually presented as if Jesus suddenly broke out the words ego eimi in a shock and awe manner which provoked the Jews to anger since they would necessarily and immediately recognize those words to be the divine name of their God. However, the contextual facts demonstrate this is absurd and just the opposite is true. During this very same dialogue with the Jews in John chapter 8, Jesus used the term ego eimi several times before he used it at verse 8:58 (8:12,16,18,23,24,28). And through all these many utterances of ego eimi by Jesus, none of these Jews at any time ever supposed Jesus was referring to the divine name of their God. For example, when Jesus said, "Unless you believe that I am you wil die in your sins," the Jewish did not respond by supposing Jesus was claiming to be their God Yahweh. Instead, they did just the opposite by responding, "Who are you?" The thought that Jesus was using a divine name never even crossed their mind. At John 8:24-25, rather than recognizing the words ego eimi to be a direct reference to their God's divine name, the Jews had absolutely no idea who Jesus was claiming to be. But Trinitarians expect people to believe the claim that when Jesus used the same term at 8:58, the Jews immediately recognized, and necessarily would have recognized, ego eimi to be a reference to the divine name of their God.

The words ego eimi are used many times in the New Testament by several people. These words were part of their common everyday vocabulary. The expression ego eimi was common to everyday language for Greeks just as the words "I am" are common to our everyday language in English. Nobody regarded ego eimi as two Greek words uniquely reserved as the divine name of their God. Trinitarians are essentially trying to turn a routine language expression into the divine name of God to suit their doctrinal purposes.

B. The Pre-existent Person Claim

1. Angels, including Satan, can say "Before Abraham was I am."

Trinitarians often claim that if Jesus existed as a person before Abraham that he must therefore be God since only God could possibly exi


Neil Braithwaite 2 years ago

Mr. Brown -

Sorry, ran out of space - here is the rest of the comment:

B. The Pre-existent Person Claim

1. Angels, including Satan, can say "Before Abraham was I am."

Trinitarians often claim that if Jesus existed as a person before Abraham that he must therefore be God since only God could possibly exist before Abraham and still be existing. However, they are quite mistaken. The folly of this argument is seen when it is realized that many angels existed before Abraham and they are still quite alive and well, including Satan and his angels, and it seems to this writer that we can be quite certain that their pre-existence would not mean any of them are God.

Another false premise Trinitarians expect people to accept is that if we suppose Jesus did somehow pre-exist before Abraham then they get to suppose he was a divine second person of the Trinity hanging out with God in heaven. The problem here is that Arians believe Jesus existed before Abraham without believing he is God. To suppose Jesus pre-existed is not a license to resort to our imaginations and imagine up a pre-existent hypostases of a three-person-God.

C. The Trinitarian Blasphemy Claim

Trinitarian apologists also have an unwarranted interpretation of John 8:59 They claim the Jews wanted to stone Jesus because he was claiming to be Yahweh and so under their Law they thought he deserved stoning. Many Trinitarians will even disingenously claim that these Jews would not have attempted to stone Jesus unless he was claiming to be God suggesting that Jesus could have only blasphemed God by claiming to be God Himself.

Under the Law, the Jews could have stoned Jesus for blasphemy. Trinitarians often suggestively imply the only way Jesus could have blasphemed is by claiming to be God. This is simply not the truth. However, religious leaders of the same ilk also stoned Stephen to death. Was Stephen claiming to be God too? Anything which would be considered a derogatory claim about their God or a lie about their God would be considered blasphemy - anything which they thought smeared God's good name. You didn't need to claim to BE God to blaspheme God.

But the situation for Trinitarians is even worse. They need everyone to accept the premise that the Jews would never have stoned Jesus unless he had broken the Mosaic Law as if to say these men would never have stoned Jesus unless they thought he had somehow transgressed the Law. Trinitarians suggest that if they attempted to stone him they had a lawful reason to do so at least in their minds. But again they are sadly mistaken. Jesus testified to the contrary. He said the Pharisees were lawless hypocrites (Matthew 23:28) and in this very same dialogue with these Jews, he said to them, "You are seeking to kill me," and Jesus tells us why, "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies" (8:44). Jesus identified these men as Lawless hypocrites, blind guides, thieves, liars, murderers, serpents, vipers, sons of Hell and sons of Satan. At this point, it should be quite clear that the Trinitarian suggestion that these men would never transgress the Mosaic Law is pitifully ridiculous.

Trinitarians are simply denying the words of Jesus who tells us these men were NOT righteous lawkeepers but lawless sons of Satan. Trinitarians also deny the words of Jesus who tells us in this selfsame context WHY these men desired to kill him. And he also tells us plainly that they were murderers. Murderers are not Law-keepers but Law-breakers. They wanted to kill Jesus and stone him because they did the desires of their father: the devil.

To claim that these men would only stone Jesus if he was claiming to be God, not only ignores the motives that men of the same stock had when they stoned Stephen, it also assumes that these men were righteous Law abiding Jews and it completely ignores what Jesus had just said about these men. He had called them children of the devil and as such indicated they were murderers who desired to kill him. These Jews were not attempting to stone Jesus to abide by the Law; they were attempting to stone Jesus because they were murderous sons of Satan who wanted him dead. That is the testimony of the Son of God.

Analysis of the Claim

1. Jesus Glorified Himself?

Jesus and the Jews were discussing who he thought he was and Jesus testified he did not seek to glorify himself (v. 50). He also said that if he did glorify himself that his glory meant nothing (v.54). But Trinitarians deny Jesus' own testimony on this matter and absurdly claim that he did indeed glorifying himself to these Jews in the highest possibly way - claiming to be their God - and glorifying himself means everything! And so Trinitarians not only deny Jesus' witness on the matter, they betray their own heart. That is something fleshly men would do, not Jesus nor anyone led by the Spirit of God. Jesus said he did not glorify himself but it was his Father who glorified him (8:54).

Who do you make yourself out to be?” Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing; it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’"

Notice carefully that Jesus is responding to the question, "Who do you make yourself out to be?" And Jesus responds to this question by saying, "If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing." Jesus tells them plainly and clearly that if he glorified himself concerning WHO he was that his glory meant absolutely nothing. So to have Jesus glorifying himself in the highest way possible - by claiming to be their God - immediately after saying such a self glorification would meaning nothing, is ludicrous.

2. Jesus spoke the words of God

Now when forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush. When Moses saw it he wondered at the sight; and as he drew near to look, the voice of the Lord came, "I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob.' And Moses trembled and did not dare to look. (Acts 7:30-33 RSV).

Stephen testified that it was an angel through whom Moses had heard the voice of the Lord when God revealed His divine name to Moses (Acts 7:30-33). Angels are messengers. It was an angel of Yahweh, Yahweh's messenger, who said, "I AM THAT I AM" to Moses. Messengers of Yahweh deliver Yahweh's message; they speak Yahweh's words. That is what messengers do. In context, we would not suppose Yahweh's messenger is Yahweh himself because he said, "I AM THAT I AM. We would understand that a messenger of Yahweh spoke Yahweh's words and His words apply Yahweh Himself not the messenger. For some reason, Trinitarians do not seem to comprehend such basic facts.

Jesus testified many times, including this selfsame dialogue with the Jews, that his words were also NOT his own words but the Father's who sent him.

Jesus was God's Apostle (Hebrew 3:1) sent (apostello) by the Father.

[YAHWEH]: I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brethren, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. (Deuteronomy 18:18; see Acts 3:22ff.)

For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for it is not by measure that he gives the Spirit. (3:34).

My teaching is not mine, but His who sent me. (7:16).

I do nothing from myself but as my Father teaches me I speak. (8:28).

For I do not speak out of myself. The Father who sent me has himself given me commandment what to say and what to speak. (12:49).

Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak from myself but the Father who abides in me does his works. (14:10).

He who does not love me does not keep my words and the word which you hear is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me. (14:24).

I have given them the words which you gave me, and they have received them and know in truth that I [Your Word] came from you and they have believed that you have sent me.(17:8)


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Michael-Milec 24 months ago

Trinity can not be explained, because the God can not be explained. Your faith, my faith, everybody's faith can not be explained ; all this can be discussed, talk about, stretched ( argued ?) opinionated ... - until everyone will hold to his own " truth " ... and there we have it my sisters and brothers you are right to do...


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lifegate 24 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the visit and comment.

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