|Is Jesus (sws) God?
Question asked by admin.
Posted on: Monday, March 03, 2014 - Hits: 4568
One of my friends claims that Jesus never says the exact words “I am God” in the Bible but He does proclaim that He is God. (John 10:30, John 8:58, John 1:1, John 1:14)
Acts 20:28 states: “Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.” In other words, God purchased His church with His own blood. Therefore, Jesus is God. Thomas the disciple declared “My Lord and my God.” (John 20:28) to Jesus and Jesus does not correct him. Titus (2:13) tells us to wait for the coming of our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ (also in Peter 1:1). The Father (in Hebrews (1:8)) refers to Jesus as “O God” indicating that Jesus is God.
In the Bible people worshipped Jesus and Jesus never told them it was wrong.
Your friend refers to a few verses from the Gospel of John as evidences that Jesus (sws) is in fact God.
In this reply I do not want to look at every verse that was referred to in your post. I only want to make a general comment about the Gospels that will hopefully clarify my position about this kind of quoting from Bible:
There are four Gospels in the New Testament. The first three (Mark, Matthew, Luke) are called Synoptics as they are very much consistent with each other (in describing Jesus (sws) and his teachings). These are also written earlier than the fourth Gospel. In these three Gospels, Jesus (sws) is described as not-God (e.g. Mark 10:18; Matthew 19:17 and Luke 18:19). The Gospel of John was put together after these three Gospels and it is quite different from them as it gives a picture of Jesus (sws) that can be interpreted as some one who was above human being.
We read in Encyclopedia Britannica Online:
John, however, is so different that it cannot be reconciled with the Synoptics except in very general ways ... The greatest differences, though, appear in the methods and content of Jesus’ teaching. In the Synoptic Gospels, he speaks about the kingdom of God in short aphorisms and parables, making use of similes and figures of speech, many drawn from agricultural and village life. He seldom refers to himself, and, when asked for a “sign” to prove his authority, he refuses (Mark 8:11–12). In John, on the other hand, Jesus employs long metaphorical discourses, in which he himself is the main subject. ... Scholars have unanimously chosen the Synoptic Gospels’ version of Jesus’ teaching.1
Yet even in the Gospel of John we read verses like the following that clearly indcate that Jesus (sws) was not God:
You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. (John 14:28)
Jesus (sws) being God is not a trivial claim. Appreciating this claim or denying it will significantly change one’s perspective and attitude towards religion and God. This is not a matter that can be taken lightly.
Accordingly I can only say that I found the approaches like the approach of your friend towards understanding the Bible very confusing and inconsistent. I cannot understand that on what basis the many verses in the Bible that clearly refer to Jesus (sws) as not-God are ignored, especially when many of these verses are in the first three Gospels that have been written earlier than the rest of the Bible. I cannot understand why only a few verses are referred to in order to prove Jesus (sws) being God, why most of these verses are not quite explicit and clear about this and why they are in the less important parts of the Bible (i.e. not in Gospels)? How these few verses can be relied upon when there is no certainty about the authors of the particular books that contain these verses? How come most of the New Testament is written by a person who never actually met Jesus (sws) and his vision of Jesus (sws) was reported (obviously) only by him? How come this same person (Paul) can be so much relied on when we read in the Bible that he had some serious disagreements and in fact arguments with some of the apostles?
I can only begin to look at the quoted verses if my concerns and questions about the approach of your friend towards the Bible (as explained above) can be satisfactorily addressed. Having said that, I can assure you that even among Christians not all groups consider these verses to be indications of Jesus (sws) being God. For example look at this: http://www.watchtower.org/e/20090401a/article_01.htm
Your friend also referred to verses from the books of Titus and Hebrews. Before I commenting on these verses I would like to know whether your friend or any other Christian knows (with reliable evidences) who the author of these books are.
I would like to finish this reply by quoting a verse from Bible:
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. (Acts 3:13)
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