After writing a new book about the evidence to conclude that Jesus is God, I was faced with a reality that many will still not believe. I recognized that people often do not make their decisions by the facts of evidence but by their will and agenda.
For some people, the idea that Jesus is God is impossible to believe, which is in and of itself, understandable considering how incredible this fact is. Despite our personal difficulties, this is nonetheless the outcome of following the evidence to its conclusion.
Beginning with the Old Testament, a Messiah who is also God, coming from eternity, is predicted. After writing two books about the 400 Prophecies of the Messiah I was personally confronted with the certainty that all the Hebrew prophets anticipated and predicted God coming to earth in the form of a man.
The prophet Micah described the Messiah as born in Bethlehem but originating from eternity, a quality that only God could achieve.
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting. ~Micah 5:2c
Everlasting: יוֹם yôm, eternity, from vanishing point to vanishing point.
When John wrote his Gospel of Jesus, he reinforced the words of Micah by stating that Jesus came into the world as an infant, but in reality, He was “The Word.”
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. ~John 1:1-3
Word/Logos: λόγος logos, the Divine expression.
Later in the text, John clarifies for us who the “Word,” is, God who came to earth in flesh and dwelt amongst us.
And the Word became 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. ~John 1:14
Begotten: μονογενής monogenēs, uniqueness or singularity, the only one, monogenēs is never defined as “created.”
The Greek term that was translated as “Word,” is “Logos.” The idea of the Logos is that it is the very thoughts and words of the Living God. By referring to Jesus as Logos, John is making it certain that the reader understands that Jesus is no mere man who has the endorsement of God to complete His work on earth, but the very God who is described by Genesis 1:1 who spoke the universe into existence.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. ~Genesis 1:1
Paul wrote in Colossians chapter 1, that it was Jesus who created all that exists
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. ~Colossians 1:15-17
Image: εἴκω eikō, an exact represention.
Firstborn: πρωτοτόκος prōtotokos, first in order of importance.
There are some who twist the first two terms above to make them sound as though Jesus is a created being, who is not God. If a person is proficient in Greek, they know that this is not at all the intent of these two Greek words. The writer/translator is intending that the reader understand that Jesus is the exact representation of God, the first and most important, above and before all created things. Then Paul tells us why Jesus is first over all creation; because He is the Creator by which all things in heaven and earth, both visible and invisible, were created.
It is understood that by this statement about Jesus, being first and before all creation, that He must be God as only God could exist forever and is solely responsible for all that exists.
Certain terms like “Begotten, and Firstborn,” which are used to describe Jesus, are frequently misunderstood by people because they are not trained and do not understand what these words mean in the original Greek language in which the New Testament was written.
Some people believe that because Jesus is described with terms like begotten and firstborn, that it sounds as though Jesus is just a man born of a natural birth, and He must be a created being, and not the eternal God.
The Jehovah’s Witness church uses verses from John 1:14, Colossians 1:18 and Revelation 1:5 to affirm their doctrine that Jesus Christ is not God. They state that the terms “firstborn,” and “begotten,” define Jesus as a created being, not God.
The fact is: The Greek words used in these verses, for “firstborn,” and “begotten,” are prototokos and monogenes. They do not define Jesus as a created god.
- The term “firstborn,” prototokos, indicates that Jesus is “first in order of importance” over all creation.
- The second Greek word that has been used to translate, begotten, is “monogenes.” This Greek word is very specific in that it conveys the idea of “uniqueness or singularity, the only one.”
Jesus is the only Son of God who is first in order of importance over all creation, singular and the only one, since He Himself is the Creator of all that exists. In no way does the term firstborn imply that Jesus is a created being. To use this word for the purpose of trying to prove that Jesus is a created being violates every scholarly usage of the original Greek language in which this text was written.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten (monogenes) of the Father, full of grace and truth. ~John 1:14
And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn (prototokos) from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. ~Colossians 1:18
and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn (prototokos) from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood… ~Revelation 1:5
Jesus is portrayed throughout the New Testament as the Eternal Son of God, who spoke the universe into existence, in Genesis 1:1. The book of Colossians describes Jesus as the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, by three specific points:
- All things in the universe were created by Jesus and for Him.
- He existed before all things.
- In Him, all things consist.
For by Jesus all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. ~Colossians 1:16-17
As Jesus is uniquely begotten (First) as the only Son of God, Peter wrote that each one of us who love and follow Him have also been begotten again to a living hope. Here, Peter uses “begotten,” in a way that helps us see that this term does not mean created, but unique and unlike any other. Our relationship with Jesus is unique amongst all creation.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you… ~1 Peter 1:3-4
Those who follow Jesus have a unique and very special place in eternity. We are heirs of an inheritance which will never grow old, decay, or be destroyed. It is perfect.
If Jesus Is Not God, He Cannot Be Our Savior
In order for anyone to be qualified as the Messiah, the Savior of the world, they must possess two immutable qualities:
- They must be a sinless human being.
- They must be God, with a life of infinite worth, sufficient to redeem all human lives.
A Sinless Sacrifice Required
The principle of a perfect sacrifice being required by the law of God, makes it impossible that any other person, other than Jesus—or any religious organization, church, rite, or ritual—could qualify to remove our sins and grant us access to God.
Since all other people who have been born on the earth are sinners, they cannot be our Savior; according to the principle established here in the Old Testament. If Jesus had not been born of a virgin, He would have inherited the sin nature that we have all inherited from Adam. He would have been disqualified as our perfect sacrifice. When someone wrongly claims that Jesus was not born of a virgin, what they are really saying is that He could not be the Savior of the world. The testimony of those who knew Jesus His entire life was that He was sinless.
The Old Testament required a lamb without blemish before it could be offered for sins. Peter later said that Jesus fulfilled this requirement as He was perfect and without sin.
Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year… ~Exodus 12:5
…knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. ~1 Peter 1:18-19
If Jesus would become the sacrifice for our sins He had to be Perfect, without any trace of sin whatsoever. If Jesus had sinned even once during His entire life He would have been disqualified as a sacrifice for our sins.
Paul stated that Jesus was without sins. Jesus stated that He was without sin
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. ~Hebrews 4:15
Jesus said…“Which of you convicts Me of sin?” ~John 8:46
A Life Of Infinite Worth
Jesus is able to save us all because His life was perfect, without sin, and eternal—as the Son of God. Having an infinite life of eternal value, He could take our place at the judgment of God and bear the punishment we all deserve.
If Jesus was merely a man, even though He was sinless, His life would be insufficient to save the lives of every person on earth. Only as God, taking the form of a man, and being sinless, could Jesus achieve the power necessary to save us. If Jesus were not God, He could not save us as a mere man.
The Power of Miracles Were Intended as Evidence That Jesus Is God
The miracles that Jesus performed in the four gospels are a demonstration of the same power and intelligence that would have been necessary to engineer and bring the universe into existence. Science does not know everything that can be known about the universe, and it is certain that there are laws or variables to these laws that are as yet undiscovered.
For example: the idea that Jesus could turn water into wine is a concept that many scientists find impossible to believe. Every day, plants turn water into wine, and no one pays much attention. It is not that Jesus accomplished things that are impossible but that we simply don’t understand yet the process whereby He did these things.
The idea that a man could speak and an event would happen is one that is a reality today. I have Siri on my MacBook, and I can speak to her; and she will dial a number on my phone, search for a name in my contacts, search for a subject on the internet, and perform many other helpful and constructive works.
I accomplished these things by simply speaking to a machine.
The idea that a Being of infinite intelligence could exist, who has the technology to speak to a particular part of the universe and cause it to respond, is not really that difficult to imagine in our present day of technological wonders.
Cosmologists state that the universe is the most complex machine that has ever existed. Some theories today venture into the idea that because everything in the universe is run by bits of digital information, which are in essence programs similar to those on a personal computer, the universe acts as the computer that makes all these digital pieces of information operate. The question then would be: Who is the programmer and operator of these systems?
There may be additional laws for the universe that are as yet unknown that would allow a particular voice recognition pattern or certain phrase, or even the origin of the voice itself, to cause nature to respond to particular commands.
Demand For Evidence, Satisfied
The very proofs that people demand as evidence for God, Jesus has presented to the world. The Old Testament predicted a Messiah who had the power to open the eyes of the blind, cause the lame to walk, and give speech to those unable to speak.
Jesus comes into the world and does the very things the prophets said the Messiah would do, because He is the Messiah they predicted. The Old Testament prophecies predict a Messiah who would be both God and man. Jesus stood before the leaders of Israel and made His case from the Old Testament scriptures that He is the One whom Moses, David, and all the Prophets wrote about.
When John the Baptist was arrested by Herod and sentenced to death, John began to have doubts about whether Jesus really was the Messiah. He sent word to Jesus through one of John’s disciples to ask Jesus if He was the Messiah whom the Prophets foretold.
Jesus’ response tells us a great deal about His identity:
And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” ~Matthew 11:2-5
Jesus was reminding John that the Messiah would have a ministry of healing to validate His identity. John should know that Jesus is the Messiah because He is performing miracles exactly as the Messiah was predicted to accomplish.
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, And streams in the desert. ~Isaiah 35:5-6
When we examine the narratives about Jesus we find that the miracles Matthew recorded that Jesus performed, were the same miracles that Isaiah 35:5-6 predicted for the Messiah.
There There are 40 miracles that Jesus performed in all four of the Gospels.
One of the stunning claims of Bart Ehrman regarding Jesus is his insistence that only the Gospel of John contains text where Jesus claims to be God.
Years later, when I was working on an advanced degree at Princeton Theological Seminary, this form of traditional theology had come to seem less than satisfying to me, as I had begun to entertain doubts about some of the most fundamental aspects of the faith, including the question of the divinity of Jesus. During those intervening years I had come to realize that Jesus is hardly ever, if at all, explicitly called God in the New Testament. I realized that some of the authors of the New Testament do not equate Jesus with God. I had become impressed with the fact that the sayings of Jesus in which he claimed to be God were found only in the Gospel of John, the last and most theologically loaded of the four Gospels. If Jesus really went around calling himself God, wouldn’t the other Gospels at least mention the fact? Did they just decide to skip that part? ~Bart Ehrman, “How Jesus Became God.”
According to Dr. Ehrman, there is no text in Matthew, Mark, and Luke where Jesus explicitly claims to be God. In all three of these examples above, Jesus is described as being condemned to death because He committed blasphemy for claiming to be God.
Dr. Ehrman is described as “an American New Testament scholar focusing on textual criticism of the New Testament, the historical Jesus, and the development of early Christianity.” With these credentials and over 20 books in publication, how is it that Dr. Ehrman doesn’t know that Jesus claimed to be God in all four Gospels?
In recent years, a new group of Liberal Theologians have written books asserting that eighty-five percent of the things attributed to Jesus in the New Testament, He never said or did. These men and women argue that Jesus never claimed to be God, nor did He have the capacity to perform miracles.
When we investigate the evidence for ourselves we find just the opposite.
We discover that people sometimes have agendas. They write their words from a particular view with an intended purpose. We find out that before these books were written, people had already decided that God does not exist and therefore, miracles are not possible. It was for this reason that these men and women determined that what is written about Jesus cannot be true.
Some people have the idea that a person who has achieved a Ph.D. is a reliable source for true and accurate information. Most of us understands that people can make just about anything sound true, though the facts say something completely different.
The truth is, the evidence to support that Jesus is God and the things written about Him in the New Testament are true is overwhelming.
I recently completed a new book that refutes Dr. Ehrman’s assertions that the writers of the four Gospels made Jesus God, while He never claimed this for Himself.
Let us imagine a man who comes into the world and has no home, money, possessions, or ambition for power. He is described by the men who lived with Him for three and one half years, as one who has never sinned. Have you ever known anyone in your life for more than a day that you were not keenly aware they are a sinner, just like every other person in the world?
Jesus made it very clear that He was God in human flesh. He repeatedly stated that He and God were one and the same. He claimed to have been with Abraham who lived 1,500 years before (John 8:58).
The Pharisees picked up stones to kill Jesus because He said that He is God (John 10:30-33). The entire purpose of the Pharisees in seeking to crucify Jesus was because He had committed blasphemy, declaring that He was God in human flesh (Matthew 26:63-66).
How is it today that some Liberal Theologians write books declaring that Jesus never claimed to be God?
You will discover, there are many untruths that have been told about what Jesus really said and did. The purpose of this book is to provide you with evidence which validates that everything we have read in the Gospels about Jesus is true.
Categories: Abhorrent teaching about Jesus, Errors of Mormon's, Errors of the Christian Church, Jesus is God, Robert Clifton Robinson, Salvation through Jesus, The Miracles of Jesus, Why Jesus Is God And Others Are Not