Does the Bible really say Jesus was God?


#1

If you don’t want to answer that is fine of course. However, the reason I said that your views of the Bible in practical terms are no different than an unbeliever were not an attack but more of a warning and of concern. I do not want you (or anyone) to go to hell. When you deny that Jesus is God, you deny what God has said that a Christian is and are making up your own definition of what a Christian is.

As far as giving you evidence that my view of the Bible is true, I think the evidence is that ‘I take the plain meaning of the text to be the true meaning’. That in itself should show that my interpretation is the correct one as opposed to one that nobody reading the text would never come up with unless they were trying to fit some outside idea into the text. I think God wrote it in a way that everyone can understand it. That is consistent with his character.


4 Things Americans Can Learn About Faith and Evolution From Great Britain and Canada
(Jon) #2

Don’t worry, I’m not going to hell.

Yeah sorry but that’s just your opinion.

Firstly that is not evidence that your interpretation of the Bible is true. Secondly it has already been demonstrated that you do not take the plain meaning of the text to be the true meaning. Presented with a text which says nothing about leprosy, you claimed it speaks about leprosy. Presented with a text which talks about various rituals of sorcery, you claimed it talks about idol worship. Presented with texts which speak of the sun moving around the earth, you claimed they speak of the earth moving around the sun. Presented with texts which say Moses only wrote part of the Pentateuch, you claim they say he wrote all of it.

Your level of Bible literacy is sadly very low, mainly because you interpret the Bible through the traditions you have been taught about the Bible. Consequently you are unable to differentiate between your opinion about what the Bible says, and what the Bible actually says.


#3

It is an informed opinion from someone who knows Jesus personally.


(Jon) #4

No, it’s just a tradition you’ve been taught and accepted uncritically. Appealing to alleged personal experience with Jesus and miraculous insights from alleged supernatural experiences is the same thing other groups and individuals do, like the Mormons and the JWs. Such claims are worthless without evidence. You’re just joining a long list of people who think they can elevate a personal opinion to the level of divine truth, by claiming some kind of unique revelation.


#5

No, an informed opinion. When you say that Jesus is not God, you demonstrate that you know very little about the Bible. You may spend a lot of time on minor points, like the exact type of leprosy being described, but you understand very little about the Bible if you think that Jesus is not God.


(Jon) #6

Let me know when you have evidence for this.

These are not minor points, and there are a great deal of them.


#7

In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. John 1:1


(Jon) #8

And that’s your evidence for young earth creationism?


(Christy Hemphill) #9

I think John 1:1 was more addressing the “Jesus is God” issue.


(Jon) #10

So his evidence for his interpretation, is his interpretation. Well that was predictable.


#11

Why don’t you believe Jesus is God? We can discuss this through messages if you like.


(Jon) #12

Because I don’t believe it’s taught in the Bible. And yes I’ve seen all the verses, heard all the arguments.


#13

Many scholars who have seen all the verses, heard all the arguments, and have been studying this for decades have exactly the opposite position. You don’t think, for example, the Gospel of John or Revelation or Titus, for example, teaches that Jesus is God?


(Jon) #14

And unsurprisingly, most of them have a personal believe that Jesus is God. How coincidental. In the scholarly literature it is agreed that Jesus “became” God as a result of a development in Christian doctrine, and the only disagreement is over how early or late that happened. For Christians who don’t believe the apostolic teaching is definitive, and who believe that later Christians can legitimately develop doctrine in ways that differ from the apostles, this is obviously not a problem.

No.


#15

And unsurprisingly, most of them have a personal believe that Jesus is God. How coincidental.

Few scholars at all, even those with zero belief in the divine Jesus (i.e. Bart Ehrman as a good example) would deny that Jesus is God in John’s Gospel. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Could that be any more clear? I don’t need to note which verse that is. Surely the overwhelming majority of scholars think Jesus claimed to be God in John’s Gospel, but of course many would say that those words were put on Jesus’ lips by John’s mouth. Nonetheless, John does say Jesus is God here and in many other places, and John is in the Bible. You are confusing scholarship on whether Jesus believed He was God (which may be affected by personal beliefs) with scholarship on the divinity of Christ in the New Testament writings (which is assuredly not, at least much less so).

In recent decades, an emerging consensus has emerged in scholarship that states that the earliest Christology was the belief that Jesus was God, that this belief had spurred almost immediately after the crucifixion. This consensus has emerged in no small part because of the works of Martin Hengel, N.T. Wright, Richard Bauckham and Larry Hurtado – all Christians, but have convinced the academy. In Ehrman’s How Jesus Became God, he too adopts that Jesus being God emerged almost right after Jesus died, as Christians came to believe it right after they believed Jesus had been resurrected. Ehrman says Paul thought Jesus was God, and that Paul’s predecessors thought Jesus was God, and that the predecessors of Paul’s predecessors thought Jesus was God. The emerging consensus states that the belief in Jesus as God predates the New Testament. In C. Fletcher-Louis’s 2015 monograph literally titled Jesus Monotheism: Volume 1: Christological Origins: The Emerging Consensus and Beyond, he writes in the preface that the work of Hurtado and Bauckham constitute the framework of the “emerging consensus” of scholars regarding the new early-high christology (you should read the entire first chapter of that book if you have not already so). Perhaps the most convincing monograph as of yet is Richard B. Hays 2014 Reading Backwards: Figural Christology and the Fourfold Gospel Witness.

I’ll end this comment by quoting Fletcher-Louis: “There is now, however, a newly emerging consensus that a “high Christology” goes back to the earliest period of the church and that it was adopted by the Jerusalem-based disciples in the early years, or even the first few months, of the movement after Jesus’ death” (pg. 4).


(Jon) #16

Yes I have read it. Earlier, George even linked you to it.

The problem is that you’re reading it as saying “In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God, and Jesus was God”. Leaving alone for now the logical contradictions involved here (specifically that Jesus could be both himself and with himself), this is very obviously not saying Jesus. It could have been made abundantly clear by actually saying “Jesus”. It doesn’t.

No I am not. I know the difference between Jesus calling himself God and other people calling him God in the New Testament.

I have read NT Wright, Hurtado (I follow his blog), Bauckham, Hays, and Ehrman. This view is fine for people who are comfortable with binitarianism or bitheism (it works perfectly for Arians such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and it also works for the Mormons), not so much for “orthodox” Trinitarians (other than those who are comfortable with a couple of centuries of doctrinal development to correct the apostles’ original teaching). Hurtado, for example, argues for what Fletcher-Louis refers to as “a binitarian mutation in monotheism”.

Allow me to quote him also.

And because the leading voices of the emerging consensus, to one degree or another, admit a personal, confessional interest in the enterprise, there is an excursus after these two chapters on some theological questions and issues raising from Hurtado’s work.

And another quotation.

At the outset, it is worth saying that, underlying all the specific issues that will be covered in Part 2, I discern a weakness in the underlying conceptual structures within which many in the emerging consensus work. Its leading voices seem to have theological assumptions that reflect the tendencies of a distinctively Western and especially a Protestant (and, in particular, a Reformed), theological vision that construes the relationships between God, the world, and humanity in terms that militate against the international shape of NT Christological material.


(Mervin Bitikofer) #17

This apparent contradiction didn’t bother the author of John 1:1 … that the Word both “was with God” and the Word “was God”. So whether or not you allow that the Word refers to Jesus, the “logical contradiction” you object to would already seem to be in place in John 1:1 alone. Of course I don’t know Hebrew like you do, so I will be glad to learn of any nuances in all this. Additionally, I’m not really going to jump in between Korvexius and you on this issue, as you both seem to be doing just fine. It does seem to me, though, as if John 1 does pretty seemlessly and unambiguously slide into the intended association that this same “He” through which the world was made (vs. 10) is the same “He” that the world did not know when he came to it – the same “He” that became flesh and lived among us (verse 14). If that “He” doesn’t refer to Jesus, then I’m curious how these passages play out for you.

Again, I’m not barging in here to challenge your identity as a Christian, Jon – if you self-identify that way, then I praise the Lord for that. I once knew an extremely passionate Christian who knew the Bible better than any of us, and yet he surprised me by confiding that he did not think Jesus was God. I just smiled at him and told him that we’d have to agree to disagree about that; but I knew there was no arguing him away from his set of convictions. He worships and knows Christ intimately in ways that I admire so I trust to the Lord who sees and knows our hearts and our limited understandings – both my friend’s and mine.

corrections and edits added.


#18

I would say that you friend was going to hell. When one denies what God has said about this, it moves beyond the point of honest mistake. When dealing with the divinity of Jesus, the error is fatal.


#19

I missed it. There were too many comments coming in at once. I think I had read or thought of something similar many years ago when looking at the subject. I had forgotten some of the details.


(Jon) #20

The writer of John didn’t read this as saying “the word was with God and the word was God”. That’s an English language gloss.

I know nearly no Hebrew, but this is Greek. You’ll find confessional translators saying they avoid translating “and the word was a god” or “and the word was divine”, for theological reasons.

The word isn’t Jesus, which is why the word isn’t referred to as “he”. On the contrary, Jesus is the word made flesh. [quote=“Mervin_Bitikofer, post:251, topic:36748”]
Again, I’m not barging in here to challenge your identity as a Christian, Jon – if you self-identify that way, then I praise the Lord for that.
[/quote]

Much appreciated.