Did Jesus Say He Was God?

Pop Quiz: Did Jesus Say He Was God?

What would you say if someone asked you, “Did Jesus say He was God?” In this post, I’ll give you a few talking points that you can use to give a thoughtful response to a question like this. But first, let me tell you a little story.

Potato Chips

I was looking for more chips.

One day, I was at this family reunion at my in-laws’ place when a relative decided to engage me in a religious conversation. Now you have to understand that I usually don’t go looking for these kinds of discussions at parties. What I was looking for was more potato chips. Why? So I could try some of this homemade blue cheese dip–a secret family recipe!

So anyway, this woman cornered me and started talking about how Jesus never claimed to be God. In fact, she grabbed my Bible off the table, held it up as a visual aid, and said, “According to this, Jesus never claimed to be God.”

As a World Religions professor at a couple of universities, I hear this challenge a lot. The popular concept is that Jesus of Nazareth never said He was divine or never claimed to be the Son of God. But what about this? Did Jesus really say He was God? What does the historical evidence actually show?

Did Jesus really say He was God?

That’s exactly how Jesus’ original audience seemed to take it when He said, “I and the Father are one.” In fact, the Jews were ready to kill Him right there! Why? “Because you,” they said, “a mere man, claim to be God” (John 10:33).

Torah

Exodus 3:14 “Say to the Israelites, ‘I AM’ has sent me…”

On another occasion, He used the personal name of Israel’s God–the name revealed to Moses (Exodus 3:14)–to refer to Himself. And He even used the Torah for context, so no one would misunderstand Him: “Before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58).

This would be about wild as telling a Muslim, “I am your God, Allah.” Don’t try that in Saudi Arabia! It’s no wonder the Jews tried to stone Him to death. That was the exact penalty for blasphemy under the Jewish legal system.

So, he wasn’t saying something like “I’m some other, generic god” like he was advocating polytheism. Not at all. It was pretty clear to everyone there  that He was being much more specific…

Jesus was saying, “I am Israel’s God.”

So did Jesus say He was God? Not in the way you might have expected him to.  But aDr. Michael Kruger says, “We should not confuse the directness of a claim with the existence of a claim.” The historical evidence shows that Jesus actually claimed to be the God of Israel.

But Jesus didn’t have to say the words “I am God,” in order to claim to be divine. But why is this a problem? Look, I don’t have to say the exact words, “I am married” to indicate that I’m married. I can tell you, “I’m her husband,” or “this is my wife,” or “it’s our 12th wedding anniversary.” The question is, what did the people who were actually a part of conversation think about what Jesus said?

Jesus often showed people, by his actions, that he had divine authority.

For example, he claimed to forgive sin (Mark 2:1-12) and he clarified what you could and couldn’t do on the Sabbath. By the way, keeping the Sabbath is one of the 10 commandments. Who’s got the authority to lay down the law when it comes to obeying the 10 commandments? Jesus called himself the “Lord of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:28).

Question: Who runs the Sabbath?

Answer: God.

So Why Don’t People Get It?

Honestly, some never look into it. It’s interesting how  so many intelligent people seem allow pop culture to form their opinions on the history of Christianity. Others never look into it honestly. But some will actually be open-minded, looking into the data for themselves and give the Bible a fair hearing. Why don’t some of these people get it right away?

Jesus claimed to be God in ways that were pretty clear to the people He was talking to. Our problem as 21st century readers, is that we might not easily get what some of Jesus’ sayings actually meant to the people who were part of the conversation. For example, Jesus also claimed to be divine when He said He was the “Son of Man.” I’ll admit that the first time I heard this title, I thought it was kind of like Muhammad saying, “I am but a man like you” (Qur’an 41:6)—Now there’s a religious figure who never claimed to be God! But this isn’t what Jesus meant at all. Let’s take a look at the term, “Son of Man.”

Jesus claimed to be the Son of Man

“Son of man” was often just used to refer to a regular guy, but when Jesus used it, he was referring to a very specific “Son of Man.” Interestingly, this seems to be Jesus’ favorite thing to call Himself–He uses it 80 times in the New Testament Gospels. And it’s only used 1 time outside the gospels (Acts 7:56). So this probably wasn’t something the church made up. How many modern worship songs can you think of that use the term, “Son of Man?” We know this title didn’t emerge later on in history and it wasn’t written back into the earlier traditions about Jesus.

But why is this reference to a specific “Son of Man” important? Because it’s referring to a figure that Jews recognized as divine. Here’s what the Jewish prophet Daniel wrote (7:13-14):

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

Here’s my point: The “Son of Man” in Daniel’s vision is rightful heir to the divine throne. According to the prophecy, He’ll rule forever. Nations will worship Him and His kingdom will be unstoppable.

Keep that in mind for a minute. I’m going somewhere with this…

Jesus claimed to be the Divine Messiah

Back to my family get-together. I asked the lady where she heard that Jesus never claimed to be God. I let her talk and explain her ideas. Then, I gently took my Bible back from her and asked, “Could you read this for me?” I turned to Jesus’ trial, as recorded by Mark (14:60-64). She read the record of Jesus’ cross-examination:

Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” They all condemned him as worthy of death. (63-64).

Jesus publicly claimed to be the Messiah. He claimed to be the Son of God. He even used the divine name in His answer: “I AM.” Now, at the very least, Jesus answered, “Yeah, I’m the Messiah. I’m the Son of God.” At that point, the High Priest probably thought something like, “Gotcha!”

Did Jesus Say He Was God

Did Jesus Say He Was God?

But then, Jesus follows up with, “I’m also the Son of Man. And you’ll see me seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” That’s when people freaked out. Why?

Saying you’re going to be “sitting at the right hand of power” is a massive claim of exaltation that’s super-offensive to the Jewish leadership because of the strong conviction that there is only one God—who doesn’t share space or power. Saying you’re going to be “coming on the clouds” is also pretty wild because, to Jews, that’s totally a God thing.

The was the Jewish leadership saw it, Jesus basically said, “Look, there’s going to be another trial one day. And you won’t be judging me. You know that guy in Daniel’s vision? That’s me.”

The high priest didn’t misunderstand Him for a second. The guy’s response was essentially, “Yikes! You just said you’re God and everyone should worship you!” 

While some may choose to reject the high view of Jesus in the Gospel of John, it seems tough to give Mark a fair reading without acknowledging this scene.

But all this just expressed what Jesus already seemed to assume by walking around and doing the things He did—things like claiming to forgive sins (Mark 2:5-11, Luke 5:20-24). As Dr. Darrell Bock says, “Here was a human figure who also possessed divine authority. Jesus chose this name [Son of Man] for himself because it was the perfect mix of who he was–a human figure who also possessed the functions of God.”[1]

Jesus said He was God through His words and actions

If you’re willing to look at the historical record, you’ll find that there’s a reasonable explanation for the early Christian belief that Jesus was divine: Jesus Himself said He was God. Even people who hated Jesus attest to the fact that this is what He said about Himself. And He certainly didn’t object when people worshiped Him or called Him God (John 20:28-29).

So if anyone ever asks you, “Did Jesus Say He Was God?” You can answer, “He said it through a combination of his words and actions.” Just be ready to mention at least a couple of these talking points. It doesn’t hurt to memorize at least a couple of the Scripture references, too. Try it!

But what happened at my little family get-together? The woman decided to change the topic and drop it. I don’t think she’d ever seen these reports in the Bible before. I almost felt bad for her and just let it go. After all, this was a casual family reunion and I think she got the point.

I went back to look for more chips. And I finally got to that blue cheese dip, too.

[1] Darrell Bock. Jesus the Christ: Reasons to Believe. Dallas Theological Seminary. p.9
Header Painting: Christ Before Caiaphas by Duccio di Buoninsegna (1308-1311). Available: http://www.lib-art.com/artgallery/9373-christ-before-caiaphas-duccio-di-buoninsegna.html.
Square Painting: Christ Before the High Priest by Gerrit Van Honthorst (About 1617). Available: http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/gerrit-van-honthorst-christ-before-the-high-priest 

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40 Responses to “Did Jesus Say He Was God?”

  1. Stephen Bedard January 16, 2012 10:31 AM
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    Great post. I think that one of the reasons that Jesus wasn’t not clearer than we would like is that there was a challenge in such a strong monotheistic culture. To simply walk around and say “Hey look at me, I’m God” would not have been effective and would have likely have shut down his ministry. He needed to walk the walk before he talked the talk. I think that people saw what he did and then looked back to what he said and finally understood. The examples you have are very helpful. I sometimes struggle with the “I am” statements. We should not think that every time someone said “I am…” that they were claiming to be YHWH. The “Before Abraham was…” passage is stronger as it is already telling us Jesus was around before Abraham. Keep up the good work!

  2. Lisa January 16, 2012 4:15 PM
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    My sister, part of the Way International, believes the lie that Jesus is not God. She also spreads the message as a teacher. The organization of false teachers also puts out publication and insists all readers (followers) to know their teachings and be ready to refute anyone.

    The book is called “Jesus Christ is not God”

    I cannot have a conversation with my sister, nor can my family.

    Am I pained by this? Yes

  3. Eugene January 17, 2012 1:02 PM
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    yes john 8;58 I am who Iam

  4. Lost Blogger January 19, 2012 9:57 PM
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    John 14:8-11

    The disciples also asked if they could see the Father and Jesus basically said they already have because they’ve seen Jesus. Of course Jesus is God, hes part of the trinity!

    I can’t say I’ve not answered something when presented a question, but I hope that doesnt happen!

    BTW, I found your blog via google blog search and am going to follow you! Great blog! I blog on some of the same topics at lostblogger.com I hope you consider following me as well!

    • Apologetics Guy January 21, 2012 9:29 AM
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      Jon, thanks for letting me know how you found the blog. that’s helpful to know. Will check your blog out right now!

    • Apologetics Guy January 21, 2012 9:38 AM
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      Nathan, I just checked out your blog and I think it’s pretty cool that you do the site for Buckle. I’ve seen your work (although I can’t afford to shop there)! Thanks again for stopping by. :-)

  5. Jon F. Dewey January 21, 2012 8:34 AM
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    This very question caused me to write a book about it. So often in our western culture the media and certain scholars frame the arguments and questions, but they really do not want the answer. Jesus plainly stated He is God many times. In my book, I show that just in the book of John Jesus states this over and over again. He also demonstrates that He has the power of deity as another proof.

    You can read more about it on Amazon.com: The Search for the Biblical Jesus

    • Apologetics Guy January 21, 2012 9:27 AM
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      Thanks for the comment, Jon. Will definitely check out your book!

  6. Nathaniel January 23, 2012 9:30 PM
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    “That’s exactly how Jesus’ original audience seemed to take it when He said, “I and the Father are one.” In fact, the Jews were ready to kill Him right there! Why? “Because you,” they said, “a mere man, claim to be God” (John 10:33).”

    But you leave out the rest of the chapter where Jesus explains what he meant! The Jews were mistaken. He quotes Psalms 82 where children of God are called “gods” and then Jesus explains that everyone who knows the word of God is a child of God. Jesus even says, in verse 36, “Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?” This is why context is key.

    “On another occasion, He used the personal name of Israel’s God–the name revealed to Moses (Exodus 3:14)–to refer to Himself.”

    Firstly, “ego eimi ho on” is not a name, it’s a statement. Secondly, John 8:58 uses a different variant, leaving out the predicate “ho on”.Thirdly, this statement is, again, taken out of context. Jesus was not saying he was God. How do I know he wasn’t? Because he says just that in verse 50. What he is actually saying is that he is the Messiah, the one Abraham was looking forward to. That is why they tried to stone him and that’s why they ended up crucifying him. The charged him of claiming to be the “son of God” not God himself.

    “Jesus didn’t have to say the exact words “I am God,” in order to claim to be divine. But why is this a problem?”
    It’s a problem because not only does he not explicitly claim to be God, he constantly points out that he is distinct from and subservient to God. There are hundreds of verses where Jesus makes it clear that he is only doing God’s work and delivering God’s message; he makes it painfully clear that he is not the author of his message, only the messenger.

    “We know this title didn’t emerge later on in history and it wasn’t written back into the earlier traditions about Jesus. But why is this title important? Because it’s referring to a figure that Jews recognized as divine. Here’s what the Jewish prophet Daniel wrote (11:13-14):”

    The term Daniel used is “bar enash” which means human being, not son of man.
    One should also point out that Daniel never equated this person with God. Thirdly, you need to read the rest of the chapter where Daniel interprets his dream. Pay close attention to verse 27. This is a prophecy about Israel.

    “The high priest didn’t misunderstand Him for a second. His response was essentially, “Yikes! You just said you’re God and everyone should worship you!””
    NO! He never says that at all! Jesus is accused of claiming to be “the son of God” not God himself. Huge difference! This is outright dishonesty, sir.

    • Apologetics Guy January 23, 2012 11:52 PM
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      Hey, what’s your background in the biblical languages and 1st century Judaism? Are you suggesting the Christian church has misinterpreted Jesus’ teaching? Still interested in knowing if you have a blog and what you believe.

  7. Peter Grice January 24, 2012 12:08 AM
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    Nathaniel, if you’d argue against the biblical representation of Christ’s deity (against 2,000 years of scrutiny), you’re straining at gnats above. The case is quite extensive. If you have time, take a look at Putting Jesus in His Place by Bowman and Komoszeski.

  8. Glenn January 24, 2012 12:11 AM
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    “Thirdly, this statement is, again, taken out of context. Jesus was not saying he was God. How do I know he wasn’t? Because he says just that in verse 50. What he is actually saying is that he is the Messiah, the one Abraham was looking forward to.”

    If I read you correctly, Nathaniel, you think John has Jesus making this statement twice.

    First, Jesus clearly said that Abraham was looking forward to Jesus’ coming in verse 56: “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” That’s pretty straight forward.

    But in order to avoid Jesus claiming pre-existence or anything that might imply divinity, you have Jesus saying this same thing again in a very different and quite cryptic way in verse 58, after the Jews challenged him as to whether he had seen Abraham: “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

    It’s bizarre to see this as a reiteration of the same claim twice. On the contrary – as you say, context is key here. Jesus’ statement in verse 58 is clearly meant as an answer to the Jews’ challenge: “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Once we realise that this – in context – is what Jesus is responding to, it becomes clear. They doubt that he could have seen Abraham because he’s not even 50, but Jesus says that actually, he has been around since even before Abraham’s time.

    So if we look at the context, this is not merely a claim that he is the one Abraham was looking forward to (although that is stated in verse 56, as noted earlier). Here John has Jesus using the declaration that God gave Moses, and applying it to himself to point out that he has been since even before Abraham’s time.

    There may be a legitimate question as to whether there’s a clear link here to God’s declaration to be the I AM (although I think the link is very plausible), but it is not legitimate to brush this all off as a mere reference to Abraham’s Messianic hope.

  9. Eric Chabot January 24, 2012 1:10 PM
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    Nathaniel,

    First of all, saying Mikel is dishonest won’t get us anywhere. As I point out some problems with your points here, I am not going to say you are dishonest. I am going to say I just think you are mistaken about some issues.

    There are some good reasons as to why Jesus would never say “I am God.” The Hebrew Bible forbids worshiping anyone other than the God of Israel (Ex. 20:1–5; Deut. 5:6–9). And for Jesus to ever say something so explicit would insinuate that he was calling upon his audience to believe in two “Gods”- the God of Israel and Jesus. Also, for Gentiles, such a claim would allow for Jesus to fit nicely into their polytheism (the belief in many gods).

    First, the Psalm 82 quote in John 10: Jesus is using a case of “qal vaomer”- a method of reasoning that appears throughout the Tannaitic literature, the Tosefta, the Mekilta,etc. It is a “how- much- more” argument that says if Scripture as God’s word is called Israel (or other humans or others besides the true God), gods on their interpretation, how could they protest if Jesus called himself God’s son, a lesser claim? Jewish tradition applied “sons of God” language in a variety of manners. But Jesus is more than a “son” simply in a sense of being an Israelite or even a “messiah” (notice the little “m”)- see Craig Kenner, The Gospel of John, A Commentary, pgs 828-830.

  10. Nathaniel January 24, 2012 1:22 PM
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    @Mikel
    Well, I’m still a little too young to have any credentials myself, but my parents are both reverends. My father is a Hebrew scholar and my uncle is a Greek scholar if any of that counts, which I know it doesn’t. And no, I don’t have a blog either.

    @Peter Grice
    The topic at hand is whether Jesus claimed to be God, not whether the Bible claimed Jesus to be God. All I have to do is read John 1 to see that. I’d like it if we could have a discussion rather than just dropping the names of books at people.

    @Glenn
    I’m not saying that Jesus is making the same statement twice. I’m saying he’s taking the implications of his original statement to a greater degree. First he says “I am the one Abraham was looking forward to”.Then he says “even before Abraham was born, I was God’s plan for the salvation of Israel”. If he was saying “I existed before Abraham was even born” the verb used would have been “ego en”.

    • Peter Grice January 25, 2012 4:03 PM
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      Nathaniel, you said: “The topic at hand is whether Jesus claimed to be God, not whether the Bible claimed Jesus to be God. All I have to do is read John 1 to see that.”

      Actually you are quite mistaken about that. If you think you simply need to read a particular ancient text in order to understand it, you’re violating sound hermeneutics and historiography. You need to understand the parameters for what constitutes equating oneself with God in a millieu where implying that would be to sign your death warrant. And for that you need to do the hard work of scholarship, which includes being intimate with all the relevant portions of the Hebrew “Bible.” If you’re unwilling to acknowledge (much less investigate) a proper book-length treatment, let’s not pretend it can be funneled into blog comments…

  11. Nathaniel January 24, 2012 8:44 PM
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    @Eric
    I wasn’t calling Mikel dishonest.I was calling the idea that the high priest was accusing Jesus of claiming to be God dishonest because it is. That’s not stated nor implied in the text at hand.

    “There are some good reasons as to why Jesus would never say “I am God.”
    The real question is, are there good reasons why a man who is, in fact, God would claim to be subservient to God?

  12. Nathaniel January 25, 2012 10:08 PM
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    @Peter
    “Actually you are quite mistaken about that”

    John 1 doesn’t equate Jesus with God? That’s news to me.

    Peter, this isn’t a complicated issue, certainly not a book-length topic. Do the Gospels ever record Jesus claiming to be God or not? Hoop-jumping shouldn’t be necessary. Just accusing me of ignorance and lack of interpretation skills isn’t an argument, let alone a discussion. If you have any actual content to post, please grace us with your wisdom oh mighty scholar.

    • Apologetics Guy January 25, 2012 11:13 PM
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      Nathaniel, please watch your tone. No need to be snarky or sarcastic. Disagreement is fine, but let us be respectful of people that we disagree with.

    • Peter Grice January 25, 2012 11:48 PM
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      Nathaniel, it’s not an overly complicated issue, however if you seek to understand the range of implications for any statement or act of any person in a similar ancient context, you are going to need nuance and background knowledge. Instead, it seems you would prefer to read Jesus’ words for what you imagine him to have meant, which is your prerogative, but hardly the high standard your dad and uncle are calling you to. Scholarship is to be commended, not mocked.

      You might take time to reconsider how I framed my initial comment. I simply said, if you would argue against the biblical representation of Christ’s deity, then I would offer what I offered. Are you sure you are a careful interpreter?

  13. Eric Burton January 26, 2012 6:16 AM
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    Mikel, what’s going on with the “Good Without God” comments? I still can’t post there.

    • Apologetics Guy January 26, 2012 9:19 AM
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      Not sure, Eric. Thanks for letting me know. I just disabled the CAPTCHA plugin and reinstalled it. Seems to have helped with all the other posts. Let me look into it.

    • Peter Grice January 26, 2012 7:42 PM
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      Nathaniel, of course he did. As Mikel pointed out, one does not need to provide a direct, explicit verbal statement in order to make a claim. Picking up his metaphor, I could claim to be married merely by wearing my wedding ring. The fact that there may be other explanations (such as being widowed) does not undermine this general rule of interpretation. As it happens, it would be accurate in my case even though I have not stated it.

      Not only was a more indirect approach conducive to Jesus delaying the charge of blasphemy, it was also standard rabbinic methodology. Oftentimes Jesus intentionally spoke in veiled terms (see Matt 13:10-15), and disclosed some things only to some people, at a time of his choosing. In fact he endorsed Peter’s confession about his unique identity as “Son of God,” with my sole point being that this was at this point a special disclosure, not something Jesus went around routinely stating. It’s abundantly clear that Jesus was sometimes circumspect and strategic about what he said. Pronouncing on the issue is simply not credible without having first entered into that dynamic, and the background of Jewish scripture, which is my main point above about hermeneutics and history.

      I’m content to let that observation rest, and don’t intend to be drawn into protracted discussion here when I am both short on time, and have already suggested that the sincere, more rigorous and higher-level question is whether Jesus is in fact divine. His statements do not exclude that in the least, as you suggest. I will simply note in closing how your analysis of “Son of Man” leaves much to be desired. To suggest that “bar enash” would be better translated “human being” and not not “son of man” in Daniel 7 is hubristic, in light of established scholarship. This is an exceptional term for “man,” where “adam” would have been expected if it were generic as in Ezekiel. The text portrays this figure as being in heavenly company. Son of Man certainly indicates a human form, as Messiah was understood to be, but it does not reduce to human being in every sense. The text does not say that he is human, only that in the vision, this being was “like” a “bar enash.” This appellation, moreover, as distinct from “bar adam,” has the connotation in ANE literature of being heir to a royal throne. What is shared with this figure in Daniel 7 is peculiar and unprecedented in the Jewish consciousness, in light of all the entailments of its strident monotheism regarding worship and glory (which God does not share with any other). At the very least, this heavenly man is located in closest proximity to God (within His “presence”), beyond the realm of mere angelic servants: something echoed by his claim to be seated at God’s right hand. Even at face value that is stratospheric, but the thing that pushes it into divinity, into claiming “to be God,” is both the polarization of the question (John 10:33), and how Jesus interpreted it (accurately, in light of monotheism, where there can be no literal separate divine offspring, which would be duo-theism). To be “God’s Son,” to be “the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world,” (John 10:36) entails exactly that “I and the Father are one” (v30) and “the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” (v38). You cannot diffuse the full force of this by appealing to v34-36, because it is clear there is a paralellism there, and two different senses of the concept of being called god/God. He is not saying, “You misunderstand, I’m only god in quotation marks, just like some other mere mortals,” he’s saying, “Here’s why you can’t argue from Scripture that I should be executed.” This may have been a technical loophole regarding blasphemy, but since Jesus then boldly reiterated that he was actually unique and “the Father is in me, and I in the Father,” it didn’t get them off his case. Being threatened with immediate, painful death hastens one to clarify any misunderstanding. Did Jesus take that opportunity? Did he say he didn’t mean to imply that he was literally “one” with God and that he and God were “in” each other? Not just the Father in him, but he *in* God?!! On the contrary, he rubbed it in.

  14. Nathaniel January 26, 2012 9:57 AM
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    @Peter
    Did Jesus claim to be God?

  15. Apologetics Guy January 26, 2012 11:15 PM
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    @Peter Thanks for taking the time to compose this response. Any honest seeker of truth would do well to investigate the points you mentioned.

    @Nathaniel Here’s a further resource for you, suggested by Eric via e-mail. This list includes references to both implicit and explicit claims Jesus made about Himself. If you’re really interested in getting to the bottom of this, consider studying the relevant passages as a collective whole before reaching a conclusion (your father and uncle may have access to scholarly commentaries as well). http://www.rim.org/muslim/JesusisGod.htm

    In the end, I’m pretty confident that Jesus claimed to be God. I’m open to hearing why you hold your view, but as I consider the reasons presented, I usually ask myself, “Why should I believe a thing like that?”

  16. Eric Burton January 27, 2012 9:59 AM
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    Test. Seeing if the system is preventing me from making multiple comments.

    • Peter Grice January 27, 2012 5:05 PM
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      Mikel/Eric, I have fround that the first CAPTCHA didn’t work, and I had to (first save my entered text and then) reload the page for a new CAPTCHA. I suspect this is because there is a timeout that occurs while I compose my text. I only just noticed the icon to refresh the CAPTCHA – haven’t tried that.

  17. Eric Burton January 28, 2012 3:15 PM
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    @Peter: That doesn’t help in my case. To be specific, I will type my comment, type the CAPTCHA code, then submit. The page will refresh, but my comment will not be there. If I try and paste the same comment I just typed and submit that again, the system will give me an error, saying that I already typed that! So it’s as if the comment system remembers that I typed it, but won’t display it.

  18. Nathaniel February 2, 2012 7:46 PM
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    @Peter
    I’ll concede your Daniel interpretation because I don’t think it’s significant. But if you interpret “I am in my Father and my Father is in me” as Jesus’ claim of being God, how do you interpret John 14 where Jesus says the same for his disciples?

  19. james March 5, 2012 6:06 AM
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    I do understand the pain of Lisa, whose sister is involved with the Way International. This cult has duped and deceived many in the past. Today, just as TWI has, many of their off-shoots have also duped and deceived many. I don’t know where to start. Many off-shoots of TWI have made their way into Evangelical venues. I have seen them at Evangelical Christian camps, Christian music festivals (Light House Christian Music Festival, San Pedro, Calif), and Christian Publishers, (XULON Christian Press, Owned By Salem Christian Radio). Many of the following off-shoots can be seen at this site here: cortright.org/behome.htm It’s not only the cults that attack and deny the Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, now well known Gospel artists are. Take 8 time Dove award winner, Joel Hemphill, of The Hemphill’s. Hemphill is the author of many well known Gospel songs, and one of his most famous songs, I used to sing in Sunday School is “He’S Still Working On Me”. Hemphill writes books and makes tapes attacking the Deity of Christ, and the Holy Trinity. I now see his BLASPHEMOUS materials on many cult sites, including one who was involved with The Way International, who was considered to replace Victor Paul Wierwille, as the next president after Wierwille’s death. Hemphill speaks with some of the profs at conferences from the anti-Deity of Christ, Atlanta Bible College, who also has duped and confused Evangelical Christians. You can view some of Hemphill’s BLASPHEMOUS materials at the following anti-Deity of Christ site: 21stcr.org How one can attack cardinal teachings of the Historic Christian Faith, and perform in Evangelical churches, is a real shame. Another pretty well-known Gospel artist Jerry Bennett, who was raised in the AOG church duped a Calvary Chapel in OR. Jerry performed a concert there. They did not know anything about Jerry’s anti-Deity of Christ teaching. Jerry has an article on 21stcr.org as well. Brothers and sisters it’s now time for us to stand on the Jesus of Holy Scripture, the early Christian church, and the Christian church today.

    Jesus Is Lord,

    James

  20. Dave September 17, 2012 4:05 PM
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    Jesus never said these words. Jesus did not speak in the English language. There is a great possibility that the words in English mean completely different things than what originally was written, there is an even greater possibility that what was written was drastically different from what was spoken. If you were told to write a bible/book about your mother and father, could you word-for-word write down all of the events and words spoken from either one of them?

    I didn’t think so..

    • Apologetics Guy September 17, 2012 7:04 PM
      #

      Hey Dave,

      Thanks for the comment. I totally agree that Jesus never said anything in English. Is it possible that in certain passages, Jesus’ words are not recorded verbatim? Sure. In fact, his sermons probably took way longer to preach than the summaries we have recorded. But so what?

      I’m currently in Dallas studying New Testament Greek under one of the top Greek scholars in the world. That way, I’ll actually know if my English Bible isn’t accurately representing the original language in certain places. It’s definitely challenging but I’m committed to this for the long haul. And it’s a small price to pay for being able to read the New Testament text in the original language for myself.

      How interested are you in what was written in the original language?

      -Mikel

  21. Paul December 16, 2012 6:52 PM
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    Mikel,

    Even if you could find the words stating Jesus said he was devine in the bible, your whole argument can be invalidated with one simple fact that the first of the New Testement was written 70 years after his death and not by anyone who was an actual whiteness to what he might have said.

    • Apologetics Guy December 20, 2012 2:47 PM
      #

      Hey, Paul. Ever consider the Apostle Paul being an intermediary between the eyewitnesses and the Corinthians? John explicitly claims to be an eyewitness. How long have you spent looking into this?

  22. Doufus December 21, 2012 3:54 PM
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    I believe in a God/Creator, but I really don’t believe anything in scripture. A man walks on water because of his faith, and then suddenly starts to sink when he doubts? I’ve tried this, I had no doubt, I still sank. Ask and you shall receive, I’ve asked for direct guidance from Jesus, or an Angel and have never had such things, always feeling astray and lost, confused as to how an all loving being could even create the chance of going to hell, confused as to how an all knowing God would create a being who could choose hell, if he is also all merciful and loving, it just doesn’t add up. There’s more to God than we could ever read in scripture. I did however ask if God exists in any form, regardless of religion or scripture, to show me a sign, I even specified the exact sign I wanted, and it was granted to me within 3 minutes in the form of a cloud in the sky. But Jesus isn’t God, because he never said he was, he did say his father is greater than he is, he even said no one knows the day or hour of the end, not even him, only his father in heaven. There’s just too much evidence that Jesus was not God.

    • Apologetics Guy December 21, 2012 5:28 PM
      #

      Hey, Doufus. Thanks for taking the time to drop a comment on my blog. Interesting experience. Not sure what you mean by “I really don’t believe anything in scripture.” It seems that you reject Jesus’ claims to divinity, but accept his other sayings recorded in Scripture. You said, “Jesus isn’t God, because he never said he was, he did say his father is greater than he is, he even said no one knows the day or hour of the end, not even him, only his father in heaven.” I’m a bit confused. Could you explain that to me?

  23. matt December 26, 2012 8:28 PM
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    Before I go on I would like to make myself clear. In no way am I suggesting that what I write here should be how things should be, but I do believe that God is teaching me, and the purpose of these discussions is for me to understand what and how his will is. I have asked God to show me what is correct in regards to this subject.

    The following is some of my thoughts that seem to conflict with the stance that “Jesus is the God of the OT” .

    The first commandment in Ex 20. “You shall have no other God besides me.” When Jesus was in his earthly form it was witnessed that he kept all the commandments and most importantly he was sinless. This fact is what Christianity is based on. How did Jesus keep this commandment? Did Jesus have to worship himself? Did he tell his disciples to worship him? I have not found anywhere that Jesus tells anyone to worship him. Rather Jesus does give all glory to the Father in (Jn 17v3&4) Not only did Jesus give God the Father the glory in verse 4, but calls the Father the “only true God” Later on Jesus says that the Father is His God (in Jn 20 v 17). “I am ascending to my Father and to your Father, to my God and to your God”. Going back to the first commandment, if he was the God of the OT, then he is the God of Israel who the people worshiped. If this is the case. Who is God the Father? Is God the Father another God?
    Hence if Jesus was the God of the OT, then His Father is another God? If so, Jesus is worshiping a different God and breaking the first commandment. It just doesn’t make sense. The only way I can see it making sense is if God the Father is the God of the OT. Then Jesus does not break the Law. ???

    The writer of Hebrews explains how the God of the OT made a promise to Abraham (Hebrews 6 v 13) “Since he had no-one greater to swear by, he swore by himself” (Genesis 22 v 16) Now if the God of the OT is the pre existent Jesus, he would have someone or something greater to swear by! (His Father) Jesus shows (in Jn ch 14v28) that this was not him by declaring “For the Father is greater then I” So only one being could of made this promise. The writer of Hebrews (Ch 6 & 7) mentions that the way to God was not open (throughout OT times) and that it was the curtain that was a symbolic wall. This curtain stoped mans access to God. The writer also mentions that Jesus (as a fore runner) broke down this wall and instead of the earthly High Priest, (who only went in once a year with his blood offering) Jesus has gone has gone and offered a more worthy/perfect sacrifice. Only through his blood we all have access to the Father, not just once a year, but 24/7. This also seems to suggest that God the Father is the God who is worshiped in OT times. Do you see this in theses scriptures?

    When Jesus meets the woman at the well (Jn 4v5-26) Jesus identifies himself as the “Messiah” and his “Father” as the God who was worshipped on the mountain and Jerusalem. Jesus himself links the Father as the God of the OT who was worshiped.

    Satan also agrees that Jesus is the Christ and the Father is the God of the OT, (Mt 4v 1-11) when he tries 3 times to get Jesus to transgress. But Jesus being the perfect example for us used the words of God and silenced Satan. Jesus refuses to worship Satan and abandon God because he had only one God to listen to (Deut 8v3), one God to tempt (Deut 6v16) and one God to worship (Deut 6v13) His God, who is the Father. Thus keeping within the Law.

    It’s hard not to believe that the 2 temples were not built for the God of the OT. It was built for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob or the God of our fathers. (Jn Ch 6v7) Jesus tells us that this was built for his Father saying “You shall not make my Father’s house a house of trade”

    Matt 22v23-33. Jesus says that it was God who said “i am the God of Abraham Issac & Jacob??

    All the above scriptures point to the God of the OT being God the father?

    regards

    Matt

    • Doufus January 1, 2013 11:12 PM
      #

      I don’t understand how or why people will follow hear-say out of an old story from so long ago, yet the same people who follow this story of hear-say are the same people who will not follow the stories of even older scriptures like the story of gilgamesh, or any other ancient Mesopotamian stories of gods, which pre-date Christianity by a long shot. What is it about certain hear-say that people will believe in more than other hear-say?

      it’s all rumors, fairy tales.

      • Apologetics Guy January 4, 2013 7:17 PM
        #

        Hey again, Doufus. Are you suggesting “older” truth claims should automatically be preferred?

        I’m still confused as to why you reject the reports of Jesus’ claims to divinity and say that Scripture is “all rumors, fairy tales,” yet accept some of Jesus’ other sayings recorded in Scripture.

        Again, you said, “Jesus isn’t God, because he never said he was, he did say his father is greater than he is, he even said no one knows the day or hour of the end, not even him, only his father in heaven.” Still looking for some clarification on your view.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Resurrection of Jesus: My Unlikely Easter Conversation | Christian Apologetics Alliance - April 8, 2012

    [...] See my post on the claims of Jesus here: Did Jesus Say He Was God? [...]

  2. The God Delusion – The Legend of Jesus | The Art of Logic - October 12, 2012

    [...] For starters, the Bible pretty clearly states that he did.  Here’s a good article explaining where and how Jesus made such claims.  It’s not exhaustive, but a good overview.  http://www.apologeticsguy.com/2012/01/did-jesus-say-he-was-god/ [...]