Evidence That Jesus Claimed To Be God

“I Messiah,” by Robert Clifton Robinson

One of the comments that is often made by critics of the Bible, and members of other religions who do not believe that Jesus is God, is the claim that Jesus never claimed to be God in the New Testament.

This is a strange assertion as the entire reason the chief priests and the Pharisees determined to kill Jesus, was because He claimed to be God.[1]

The following documentation is provided to demonstrate, from the Bible, that Jesus repeatedly claimed to be God. He did this through several methods, primarily by stating that He is the Son of God, the Son of Man, and proved this claim by the miracles He performed, forgiving sins, and by fulfilling all 400 of the Messianic Prophecies of the Old Testament.

Jesus Claimed To Be God:

  1. Jesus applied a name to Himself that is only used for Yahweh, “I AM” (John. 4:26; 6:20; 8:24,28,58; 18:5,6).
  2. When the Pharisees asked Jesus if He is God, He said “Yes” (Mark 14:61-62).
  3. It was because Jesus had clearly claimed to be God, that the Pharisees took up stones to kill Him. They believed that Jesus was a mere man, but He was claiming to be God (John 10:31-33).
  4. Jesus claimed to be the Adonai of the Old Testament (Matthew. 22:42-45. See Genesis 15:2).
  5. Jesus claimed an identity with the Father, that no human has; equality with God (Matthew. 28:19; Mark. 14:62; John 5:18, John 10:30. The Jews understood that Jesus was claiming to be God by calling God His Father (John. 10:31-33; 14:8-9; 17:5).
  6. Jesus claimed to be God by exercising the chief prerogative of God-the forgiveness of sins (Mark 2:5-7); Luke 7:48-50).
  7. Jesus claimed to be God by asserting Omnipresence (Matthew. 18:20; John. 3:13); Omniscience (Jn. 11:11-14, when Jesus was fifty miles away; Mark. 11:6-8); Omnipotence (Matthew 28:18; Luke 7:14; John 5:21-23; 6:19); mastery over nature, and creative power (Luke 9:16-17; John 2:9; 10:28).
  8. Jesus claimed to be God by receiving and approving of human worship of Himself (Matthew 14:33; 28:9; John 20:28-29).
  9. Jesus claimed to be God by referring to Himself as “The Son of Man,” 77 times; a term used by Daniel 7:13 to describe the Messiah. This is translated from the Aramaic term: kebar enas, and it identifies the appearance of the Son of Man, according to Daniel, as God in human flesh.
  10. Jesus claimed to be God by calling Himself “The Son of God,” a term that was well understood by the people of that time, as defining the Messiah as AdonaiYahweh, come to earth as a man (Matthew 26:63, Matthew 16:15-16). In John 5:18, “So the Jewish leaders tried all the harder to find a way to kill Jesus. For he not only broke the Sabbath, he called God his Father, thereby making himself equal with God.”The Old Testament predicted that the Messiah would be The Son of God (2 Samuel 7:14, Psalms 2:7, Psalms 110:1). In 1 John 5:20, this becomes clear as the Koine-Greek, the ν τ ληθιν (living and true God), does not refer to a different person than the τν ληθινόν, specifically, “the real God.” The article with the dative reads like an article of previous reference. “He,” is Jesus, “the only True God.” The Koine-Greek texts proves that the term, “Son of God,” defines Jesus as the “only True God.”
  11. Jesus claimed to be God by His miracles of healing (John 5:36), predicted by Isaiah 35 as works of God in the person of the Messiah (Isaiah 35:4-6). “For your God is coming to save you. And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf. The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!”
  12. Ezekiel the prophet recorded the words of Yahweh that He will open the graves of all who have died, and conduct judgment. Jesus cites this scripture in stating that He is Yahweh-God, who will open every grave and judge the world:

    Ezekiel 37:13 “Then you shall know that I am the LORD (Yahweh), when I have opened your graves…”

    John 5:28 “The time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son, and they will rise again.”

    Jesus is Yahweh-God!

  13. Jesus claimed to be God by asserting that Psalms 110:1, written for the Messiah by David, stating that He will be God, sitting at the “right hand of God,” was written for HIm. See the following comments regarding Psalms 110:

Jesus Confounded The Leaders Of Israel

When the Pharisees gathered before Jesus to question Him, it was with the intent of publicly discrediting Him before all those who were listening. Instead, these men were themselves confounded. The text that the Pharisees used to trap Jesus was a well-known verse from Psalm 110:1a.

In this portion of scripture, The LORD God is saying to the Messiah, “Sit at my right hand till I make your enemies my footstool.” The Pharisees believed that they already knew the answer to this question when they asked Jesus: “What do you think about the Christ (Messiah) Whose Son is He?” The Pharisees believed that the Messiah was the Son of David.

The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ~Psalms 110:1a

Matthew Records This Event In His Gospel

While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “The Son of David.” He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool” ’? If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?”  ~Matthew 22:41-45

Jesus asked the Pharisees, “If the Messiah is David’s son, then why did David also call Him “Lord?” In other words, how could the Messiah be both a human being (David’s son) and also Lord (God’s Son)?

These men knew and understood that this verse of scripture that Jesus referred to was about the Messiah. Only the Messiah could sit at the right hand of God. Jesus believed these verses from Psalm 110:1 were inspired by God and were true—as did these leaders of Israel. Jesus asked these teachers of the law how Messiah could be both God and a human being?

“If the Messiah is David’s son, how can He also be David’s Lord?”

This is precisely what this prophecy from Psalms 110:1a is predicting.

The Pharisees didn’t have an answer. They were bewildered, but not Jesus. The obvious answer to this question is that the Messiah will be both David’s Lord (God) and His, Son (a future human descendant), a fact that Jesus made repeatedly concerning Himself.

The reality that Jesus is both David’s son and his Lord is confirmed by Jesus’ question which He asks of the Pharisees. For those who say that Jesus never claimed to be God, this is one of many places where He clearly asserts that He is God.

When Jesus asks this question of the religious leadership of Israel, no one was able to answer Him. This is because it was generally accepted by the Jews that Psalms 110:1 was speaking of the Messiah who will also be God. If by David’s words, the Messiah is both a son and Lord, He must also be God and man.

The idea that God could be dwelling within the person of Jesus Christ was a reality that was totally unacceptable to the leaders of Israel. Yet, this is precisely what David was predicting when he penned Psalms 110:1.

Here before the Pharisees, Jesus meticulously demonstrates from the Old Testament that His identity as God and Messiah is precisely what David predicted: A man who is both Messiah and God.

The New Testament Use of “Lord,” In Applying This Term To Jesus

One of the often overlooked, unnoticed, or seldom realized attributes of the original Koine-Greek texts for the New Testament, is the use of the word, “kyrios,” when it is applied to Jesus.

Correctly Translating Psalms 110

It is sometimes difficult to understand, in English, precisely what David is saying in Psalms 110:1.

The Lord (Yahweh יהוה) said to my Lord (Adonai אדני), Sit at My right hand

Verses 1, David calls the Messiah by the name “Lord,” in Hebrew, “Yahweh-Jehovah-God,” who said to my Lord, “Adonai-Lord God Almighty.”

The terms Adonai is not a title that is less than Yahweh, but speaks of the Messiah’s might as He rules over the world.

In one of the original manuscripts, the text reads: “Jehovah said to my Jehovah.”

Because the ancient scribes so highly revered the name of Jehovah (Yahweh), it is possible that the scribes substituted “Adonai” for Jehovah in 134 Old Testament scriptures, including Psalms 110:1.

The name Jehovah should have been retained in these places because this is the correct meaning of these scriptures. Father, Son, and Spirit are all equally One God, Yahweh.

The name Adonai is Lord-Yahweh-Almighty, which carries the same definition as God. The confusion that has resulted from changing Yahweh to Adonai is that some people mistook this change as meaning that Jesus is not Jehovah, as with the Jehovah’s Witnesses Church. Even if Adonai is used, this does not diminish Jesus as less than God but supports Him as equal to God.

In the New Testament, there are several occurrences where the Greek word for God, Theos, is used. Most often, this word is used only in describing the Father. However, there are several places in the New Testament where Theos is also used to describe Jesus Christ.

In the beginning was the Word (Jesus) , and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (Theos).⁠[2] ~John 1:1

…of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God (Theos). Amen. ~Romans 9:5

But to the Son (Jesus) He says: “Your throne, O God (Theos), is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. ~Hebrews 1:8

In the Old Testament, the term Lord in Hebrew is Yahweh.⁠[3]

In the New Testament, the word Lord  in Greek is Kyrios.⁠[4] When it is used in relation to Jesus, it always means Yahweh or Jehovah.

Kyrios is often used as a polite way to address a person, such as when we call a man, sir. It can also mean Master, as in one who rules over a servant or slave. The Greek translation of the Old Testament called “the Septuagint,” was widely used during the time when Jesus was here on  earth. The word Kyrios or Lord was understood by those speaking Greek, as Yahweh or Jehovah. The Greek Old Testament translates Kyrios as Lord 6,814 times.

When we arrive at the New Testament, there are also many occasions where Lord (Kyrios) is used to describe Jesus. This is for good reason. The writers of the New Testament were attributing the title of Jehovah-God to Jesus Christ unmistakably.

It was well understood at the writing of the New Testament that Jesus Christ is Yahweh or God Himself. Why the Jehovah’s Witness church has claimed that Jesus Christ is not Jehovah-God is a great mystery. They did not come to this conclusion by the evidence of the Old and New Testament scriptures.

The translators of the New Testament understood that Jehovah-God and Jesus are one and the same person. Further, it is clear that those who knew Jesus understood and believed that He is the eternal Jehovah-God or Yahweh of the Old Testament.

And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”  ~John 20:28

…looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ  ~Titus 2:13

But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.  ~Hebrews 1:8

Psalms 110 is cited 25 times in the New Testament, and always applied to Jesus as both God and Messiah. Paul cites Psalms 110, ten times in the book of Hebrews, always applying this text to Jesus as both God and Messiah.

And God never said to any of the angels, “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.” ~Hebrews 1:13 (NLT) 13

In the same context as Psalms 110, Paul also cites Psalms 2:7, and 2 Samuel 7:14, where these texts state that the Son of God that David is describing, is Jesus; God in human flesh.

Hebrews 1:5: For God never said to any angel what he said to Jesus: “You are my Son. Today I have become your Father” (Psalms 2:7).

God also said, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son” (2 Samuel 7:14).

Paul was a preeminent Hebrew scholar in Israel, a Pharisee, trained by Rabbi Gamaliel. There was no greater authority on the Hebrew scriptures at that time, other than Gamaliel. Paul states emphatically that Jesus is Yahweh-God, the fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophecies written for the Messiah.

Paul Writes That It Was Jesus Whom David Was Describing In Psalms 45

But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.  ~Hebrews 1:8

It is certain that Paul believed Psalms 45:6 was written by David for the Messiah and, specifically, Jesus Christ. Paul’s quotation of Psalms 45:6, in context with Hebrews 1:8, defines for us accurately who Jesus is:

  1. The “Son” in Hebrews 1:8 is Jesus Christ.
  2. In Hebrews 1:8, God says of His Son that He is God.
  3. Psalms 45:6 was a prophecy written for the Messiah.
  4. Paul said in Psalms 45:6 that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, promised by the Old Testament.
  5. Therefore, Jesus is God whom David Describes in Psalms 45:6

Paul is the preeminent Hebrew scholar of the New Testament who received his training in the scriptures from the renowned Rabbi, Gamaliel.

I (Paul) am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our fathers’ law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today.  ~Acts 22:3

The term “at the feet of Gamaliel” was a common phrase of that day, referring to a long tradition of those who were carefully trained in the scriptures. Students of the Hebrew scriptures sat on chairs that were close to the ground. They were placed at the feet of their Rabbis who taught them while they sat on higher chairs, signifying their authority in the scriptures.

Rabban, Gamaliel was a Pharisee and expert in the scriptures. During this period of history, these teachers of the scriptures were referred to as “Doctors of the Law.” Today we would say that Gamaliel had a Doctorate in Law. Gamaliel was referred to as the “thirty-fifth receiver of the traditions.” Gamaliel, having received the “Cabala”⁠4 (Kabbalah) that came from Moses at Mount Sinai, is described as dying 18 years before Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D.

It is clear from the instruction that Paul received from Gamaliel, that he was also an expert scholar in the Old Testament scriptures. Paul was perhaps more familiar with the Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming Messiah than any other person who was alive at that time. Paul was convinced that Jesus was the fulfillment of these many Messianic Prophecies, including Psalms 45:6.

When Paul penned the words to Hebrews Chapter 1:8, But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom, he was clarifying that not only was Jesus the Messiah, but He is also the Living God.

We learn from Psalms 45:6 that God intended from the foundation of the world that the Messiah would be God. Paul was certain that Jesus is the person to whom this prophecy was written.

David Writes In Psalms 90 That Messiah Will Be God

David continues this proof text for the identity of Jesus as God, with his writing of Psalm 90:2.

David declares that the Messiah will be the eternal God, who made all things.

Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.   ~Psalms 90:2

The Apostle John who lived with Jesus for three and one-half years states that Jesus is the Eternal God Who, created all that exists:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.   ~John 1:1-3

Paul writes to the church at Colossae that Jesus is the Creator-God of Genesis chapter 1:

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.   ~Colossians 1:16 (RCR)

Paul writes to the Hebrew Christians at Jerusalem, revealing that Jesus is God’s Son who created all things:

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds…  ~Hebrews 1:1-2

In these examples, we see that both the Old and New Testaments confirm that the Messiah will be God.

The idea that the writers of the New Testament made Jesus God, when He was not, is impeached by the evidence that is presented to us by the Old Testament.

The men who described Jesus as performing works of supernatural origin were describing the exact same works that the Old Testament prophets predicted the Messiah would show the world.

The great mystery of the universe is that God, who spoke the universe into existence, also died on a Roman cross 2,000 years ago for the sins of all people.

Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.  ~1 Timothy 3:16 (NIV)

Why would the One who created all that exists make Himself subject to His creation? It is beyond comprehension that the eternal God, who lives forever, would be willing to die for sinful man. Yet this is precisely what the writers of the four Gospels record, and the prophets of the Old Testament predicted.

The Deity of Jesus Christ is Declared in The Hebrew Scriptures, and by the Writers of the New Testament:

(1) The Old Testament announces and explicitly predicts that the Messiah will be God (2 Samuel 7:14, Psalms 2:7, Psalms 110:1, Daniel 7:13).

(a) The Theophanies of the Old Testament are the preincarnate Jesus appearing as God in the form of a man, and demonstrate His ministry to man (Genesis 16:7-14; 18:2-23, especially v. 17; compare 32:28 with Hosea 12:3-5; Exodus 3:2-14).
(b) The Old Testament expressly declares that the Messiah will also be the Son of God (Psalms 2:2-9), and God (compare Psalms 45:6-7 with Hebrews 1:8-9; Psalms 110:1 with Matthew 22:44; Acts 2:34 and Hebrews 1:13; Psalms 110:4 with Hebrews 5:6; 6:20; 7:17-21; Zechariah 6:13).
(c) His virgin birth was predicted as the way that God would live in the body of a man, calling this “Immanuel, God with us” (compare Isaiah. 7:13-14 with Matthew. 1:22-23, and Genesis 3:15).
(d) The Messiah is expressly invested with the divine names for God (Isaiah 9:6-7).
(e) In the 400 Messianic Prophecies of the Old Testament, the Messiah is often referred to as Yahweh.
(f) The Messiah is often referred to as being eternal, confirmed by John 1:1, Colossians 1, Hebrews 1, Revelation 1 (compare Micah 5:2 with Matthew. 2:6; John. 7:42).

(2) The New Testament writers ascribe divine titles to Christ (John 1:1; 20:28; Acts 20:28; Rom. 1:4; 9:5; 2 Thessalonian 1:12; 1 Timothy 3:16; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:8; 1 John 5:20).

(3) The New Testament writers attribute divine perfections and attributes to Christ (Matthew 11:28; 18:20; 28:20; John 1:2; 2:23-25; 3:13; 5:17; 21:17; Hebrews 1:3,11-12 with Hebrews 13:8; Revelation 1:8,17-18; 11:17; 22:13).

(4) The New Testament writers attribute divine works to Christ (John 1:3,10; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:3).

(5) New Testament writers teach that supreme worship should be paid to Christ (Acts 7:59-60; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 1:6; Revelation 1:5-6; 5:12-13).

(6) The holiness and resurrection of Christ confirm His Deity (John 8:46; Rom. 1:4).

The Old Testament states that when the Messiah comes to earth, He will be Yahweh living in the body of a man.

The New Testament records that Jesus claimed to be God in all four of the Gospels.

The writers of the New Testament state clearly that Jesus is God.


NOTES:

[1] John 10:30-33 (NLT) (Jesus Speaking) “The Father and I are one.”  Once again the people picked up stones to kill him. Jesus said, “At my Father’s direction I have done many good works. For which one are you going to stone me?” They replied, “We’re stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God.”

Mark 14:60-64 Then the high priest stood up before the others and asked Jesus, “Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?” But Jesus was silent and made no reply. Then the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” Jesus said, “I AM. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror and said, “Why do we need other witnesses? You have all heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict?” “Guilty!” they all cried. “He deserves to die!”

See the Essay: “I AM

[2] Strong’s Concordance of Greek words #2316 and and Englishman’s Concordance of Greek Words.

[3] Strong’s Hebrew Concordance # 3068

[4] Strong’s Greek Concordance # 2962



Categories: Empirical Evidence for the Resurrection, Forgiveness of Sin, God is perfect, God with us, Jesus is God, Messianic Prophecies, One Way to Heaven, Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus, Psalms 110:1, Religion vs. Relationship, Resurrection Proven by Secular Sources, Robert Clifton Robinson, Salvation is a free gift, Salvation through Jesus, The Existence of God, The Four Gospels, The Historical Jesus, The Historical Jesus, The Miracles of Jesus, The Predictions of Jesus, We must repent, What happens after death?, What is required for Heaven?

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8 replies

  1. Dear Christian friends,

    Christianity rises or falls on the historicity of the bodily resurrection of Jesus. If this event did not happen, “your faith is in vain”, wouldn’t you agree? The big question then is: What is the evidence for this claim?

    Eyewitness testimony? Experts are divided on the eyewitness status of the Gospels. The eyewitness status of 2,000 year old stories in which people see and hear a walking, talking resurrected corpse is therefore disputed. Regardless of what you personally may believe about their historicity and reliability, disputed eyewitness testimony is not strong evidence.
    The changed character of the disciples? Dramatic conversions accompanied by dramatic changes in behavior occur in all religions, sects, and cults. A dramatic change in behavior and character is therefore not strong evidence of the veracity of any particular religion or belief system.
    The disciples would not die for a lie? I agree. Most people would not die for a lie. But many people have died for a mistaken belief. It is entirely possible that the disciples of Jesus experienced illusions, false sightings (cases of mistaken identity), or even delusions which convinced them that Jesus had appeared to them. If hundreds of people believe that Mary, the saints, and even Jesus appear to them today, why should we be surprised that a small group of first century peasants and fishermen believed similar appearances occurred to them? Alleged sightings of a dead person, even by groups of people, is not good evidence.
    The rapid growth of Christianity proves it is true? This is a logical fallacy. Just because a lot of people believe a story to be true does not make it true.
    Jesus fulfilled many Old Testament prophecies? Most Jewish Bible scholars and even a significant number of Christian Bible scholars question the existence of “Jesus prophecies” in the Jewish Bible. For example, even some evangelical apologists such as Josh and Sean McDowell now admit that the “virgin birth” prophecy in Isaiah 7 was not about Jesus. Disputed prophecies are not strong evidence.
    So a brief review of the historical evidence does not support the conservative Christian claim that there is “strong” historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. Disputed evidence is not strong evidence.

    What other evidence is there for the bodily resurrection of Jesus?

    Answered prayer? Even Christians must admit that answered prayer is very hit and miss. Not every person who prays for healing is cured. Not every person who prays for recovery from cancer or other terminal illnesses recovers. Statistically, answered prayer is no better than flipping a coin.

    The testimony of the Holy Spirit? As a former evangelical, I can tell you that for most evangelical Christians, the perception of the presence of Jesus within them is the strongest evidence for them that Jesus rose from the dead, is alive and well, and is the ruler of the universe. But how reliable are feelings and subjective perceptions of an invisible, inaudible presence? Not very! Feelings and perceptions are notoriously unreliable! That “still, small voice” you believe to be Jesus may well be…you: your inner dialogue with yourself!

    So if none of the evidence for this fantastical, never heard of before or since event is “strong” by any rational, objective definition of that word, why do you and millions of other Christians believe it? I would venture to bet the reason is this: It provides you with so much comfort and security! But is that sufficient reason to be teaching gullible adults on the internet and your own children that this ancient supernatural tale is an historical fact?

    Please check your conscience, my friend. Belief in the supernatural is the cause of much of the world’s violence and suffering. Give up your comforting superstitions. Do it for the good of humankind.

    Gary

    Like

    • Christianity rises or falls on the historicity of the bodily resurrection of Jesus. If this event did not happen, “your faith is in vain”, wouldn’t you agree? The big question then is: What is the evidence for this claim?

      You are correct, Gary. It is the extant historical evidence for Jesus’ resurrection that does prove He was crucified, died, buried, and rose from the dead on the third day. I have written extensively on this subject and published hundreds of essays, and many books documenting the historical proof for Jesus’ resurrection:

      Historical Evidence That Proves The Resurrection Of Jesus

      The Promise Of Resurrection: Ten Prophecies Of Messiah Rising From The Dead

      Saul Of Tarsus: Compelling Evidence For The Resurrection Of Jesus

      These Things Were Written: An Expositional Treatise Of The Life, Death, And Resurrection Of Jesus

      Eyewitness testimony? Experts are divided on the eyewitness status of the Gospels. The eyewitness status of 2,000 year old stories in which people see and hear a walking, talking resurrected corpse is therefore disputed. Regardless of what you personally may believe about their historicity and reliability, disputed eyewitness testimony is not strong evidence.

      The “experts” that atheists like yourself cite as authorities, are atheist and progressive scholars who don’t believe the Bible is true, or that God exists.

      The historical, eyewitness testimony of the men who saw and heard Jesus, impeaches all of your atheist and progressive “experts.”

      Were The Gospels Written By Eyewitnesses?

      203 Eyewitness Statements About Jesus In The New Testament

      See the 21 primary assertion made by atheists and progressives, claiming the New Testament is not true: “New Testament Apologetics” at this link: https://www.amazon.com/Testament-Apologetics-Robert-Clifton-Robinson-ebook/dp/B09SM4HH98?ref_=ast_sto_dp

      The changed character of the disciples? Dramatic conversions accompanied by dramatic changes in behavior occur in all religions, sects, and cults. A dramatic change in behavior and character is therefore not strong evidence of the veracity of any particular religion or belief system.

      The singularity of being born again by the Spirit of God, is unique to people who come into a knowledge of Jesus, turn from their sins, and continue to trust in Jesus for all of their life. The conversions of people from other gods and religions does not produce the results we find in the historical record that compel men and women to works found throughout all history that have changed the course of human history.

      The disciples would not die for a lie? I agree. Most people would not die for a lie. But many people have died for a mistaken belief. It is entirely possible that the disciples of Jesus experienced illusions, false sightings (cases of mistaken identity), or even delusions which convinced them that Jesus had appeared to them. If hundreds of people believe that Mary, the saints, and even Jesus appear to them today, why should we be surprised that a small group of first century peasants and fishermen believed similar appearances occurred to them? Alleged sightings of a dead person, even by groups of people, is not good evidence.

      Christianity was not seen by the Romans as most other religions. In the minds of the Roman Emperors, the bizarre belief that Jesus had risen from the dead, defined those who believed this superstition as mentally ill. If the Romans allowed Christianity to spread throughout the Roman Empire, it would threatened the very fabric of Roman society.

      In Roman thinking, superstition was not regarded in the same way that it was in most other cultures. The superstition of Christianity was viewed by the Romans as dangerous, and corrosive to society. In the minds of Roman leaders, the idea that a man could have risen from the dead was so disturbing to the human mind that a person would likely go insane. This would result in a loss of his humanity, and the entire structure of Roman life would erode into chaos.

      Only when Romans encountered Christians who insisted that Jesus had been raised from the dead, did they find it impossible to tolerate their strange and dangerous religion. In the minds of the Romans, anyone who could believe such things were already insane and worthy of death. To allow people to populate nations for whom they ruled, with these intolerable views, the entire Roman Empire could be jeopardized.

      It was because the Romans viewed a religion based upon a resurrected Savior as extremely dangerous, that they vigorously sought to stamp out every trace of Christianity. History records that during the reign of ten Emperors, over five million Christians were persecuted and killed by the Roman government for a period of 250 years.⁠ Beginning with Nero in 54 A.D., and ending with Diocletian in 313 A.D.

      These facts of secular history, preserved today in the records of the Roman Senate, are compelling and empirical evidence that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was well known by the Romans. It is irrelevant that the Romans didn’t believe the resurrection had taken place. What we should pay attention to is the fact that Roman Leaders understood that Christians believed this doctrine so fervently that they would rather die than deny it had taken place.

      While it is possible that a person could die for a lie, in the case of Christianity, those who believed Jesus had risen from the dead, had credible evidence to support their fervent belief. Christians of that time had something in their possession that others who died for their beliefs did not have; a written record from eyewitnesses who stated they had seen Jesus crucified and then alive three days later.

      This record also contained the testimony of the most astute Pharisee in Israel, Saul of Tarsus, who stated in 14 letters that He had seen the resurrected Jesus with his own eyes: “Am I not as free as anyone else? Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord with my own eyes?”

      The Christians of that time knew well that Saul had persecuted Christians and sought their death. Immediately after Saul saw Jesus on the road to Damascus, he became a completely different man. Now known as Paul, he became the chief architect of the true facts of Jesus’ resurrection and the certain truth that He is the true Messiah. It was these written records that caused the early believers in Jesus to not deny His resurrection and make them willing to die with confidence that Jesus had risen from the dead.

      We see evidence of these facts in that when the Romans gave Christians the opportunity to deny Jesus, and worship their Roman gods, they refused. Christians were so certain that Jesus had risen, they were willing to die because they believe He would also raise them.

      It is certain that Roman leaders did not believe in the resurrection, but they certainly accepted that Christians believed that Jesus had risen from the dead. It is this record that remains in the Roman Senate today that is compelling evidence of Jesus’ resurrection.

      These facts were established by the writings of Roman Historians, Tacitus and Suetonius, as they described the resurrection as a terrible superstition that would endanger the Roman Empire. It was for this reason that we have an incredible record that Jesus had risen from the dead because history records that over five million Christians went to their death during a 250-year period of history under ten Roman Emperors, rather than recant and deny Jesus’ resurrection had taken place.

      “The early Roman writers viewed Christianity not as another kind of piety, but as a “superstition.” Pliny, a Roman governor writing circa 110 AD, called Christianity a “superstition taken to extravagant lengths.” Similarly, the Roman historian Tacitus called it “a deadly superstition,” and the historian Suetonius called Christians “a class of persons given to a new and mischievous superstition.”⁠ ~Persecution in the early church

      To assert that Romans did not execute Christians during the reign of ten Emperors, because they believed the resurrection of Jesus had happened, is an unsupportable, based upon the evidence of history.

      People may carry a myth only so far. Once their life is in jeopardy for believing their profession, those who know it is a fable will immediately recant in order to save their life.

      Myths and legends which claim that a person had risen from the dead cannot survive 2,000 years of scrutiny if they are not true. This has never happened during man’s history, and for good reason. People want to know the truth, and they will invest themselves in seeking to discover whether events are genuine or not.

      It was because Christians believed in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, that ten Roman Emperors gave their orders to execute any Christian who would not repent of their Christianity and worship a Roman god. Since Christians maintained such a firm belief that Jesus had risen from the dead because it is firmly established in their scriptures, they would not deny Jesus.

      For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.

      History records that early Christians were persecuted and killed by the Roman government for a period of 250 years.10 Beginning with Nero in 54 A.D. and ending with Diocletian in 313 A.D.11

1

      The rapid growth of Christianity proves it is true? This is a logical fallacy. Just because a lot of people believe a story to be true does not make it true.

      No it is not a logical fallacy. It is a fact of the historical record, based in actual results of changed lives, that documents the true event of Jesus’ resurrection. There is no other god or religion which has caused the monumental changes in all of human history, that Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection caused upon the history of mankind.

      See these events in, “These Things Were Written: An Expositional Treatise of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.” https://www.amazon.com/These-Things-Were-Written-Expositional-ebook/dp/B07FLDF8PC?ref_=ast_sto_dp

      Jesus fulfilled many Old Testament prophecies? Most Jewish Bible scholars and even a significant number of Christian Bible scholars question the existence of “Jesus prophecies” in the Jewish Bible. For example, even some evangelical apologists such as Josh and Sean McDowell now admit that the “virgin birth” prophecy in Isaiah 7 was not about Jesus. Disputed prophecies are not strong evidence.

      Sorry, Gary, your sources for Jewish scholars are in error. It is a fact of the historical record that Jesus fulfilled all 400 of the Messianic Prophecies. I have published three books that document these facts:

      “The Prophecies of the Messiah” https://www.amazon.com/Prophecies-Messiah-Scriptures-Prophets-Fulfilled-ebook/dp/B00UA7Q6VA?ref_=ast_sto_dp

      “The Messianic Prophecy Bible” https://www.amazon.com/Messianic-Prophecy-Bible-Scriptures-Prophecies-ebook/dp/B01H646FMO?ref_=ast_sto_dp

      “These Things Were Written” https://www.amazon.com/These-Things-Were-Written-Expositional-ebook/dp/B07FLDF8PC?ref_=ast_sto_dp

      So a brief review of the historical evidence does not support the conservative Christian claim that there is “strong” historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. Disputed evidence is not strong evidence.

      What other evidence is there for the bodily resurrection of Jesus?

      The whole history of mankind on earth is filled with the evidence of Jesus as a genuine person of history who was seen by over 500 eyewitnesses, many who recorded what they saw and heard in the 260 chapters of the New Testament. The historical record impeaches you assertion that there is no historical evidence for Jesus or His resurrection.

      I published this historical evidence from secular, non-biblical sources, as well as the documented evidence that stand as valid historical eyewitness testimony from the New Testament, in my book: “Yeshu: The Historical Jesus” https://www.amazon.com/Yeshu-Historical-Robert-Clifton-Robinson-ebook/dp/B00FYTHT1U?ref_=ast_sto_dp

      See the 136 secular sources from history that proves Jesus:

      Like

  2. I find it strange how there is a global image of the man named Christ yet the bible it self reveals no such descriptions. Where did the long hair and bearded image hail from?
    If the image of Christ was so important, God would have revealed such a description somewhere within the new testament. To assume that Christ even looks like the ones posted all over this world is shameful on our part. When Peter ,John and Andrew saw Jesus transfigure into a Spirit Being even then they did not describe in detail His basic features just that ‘Others’ were there with Him.

    Like

    • Ed,

      These are great questions. The traditional view of Jesus came from the known history of Jewish men from that era. Itinerant teachers and prophets often had longer hair and beards unshaven. This was also from the prophecy of the Messiah from Numbers 6, that states Messiah will be a “Nazarite,” who had hair and bear uncut.

      Matthew 2:23 “And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”

      Numbers 6:2-5 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When either a man or woman consecrates an offering to take the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the LORD, 3 he shall separate himself from wine and similar drink; he shall drink neither vinegar made from wine nor vinegar made from similar drink; neither shall he drink any grape juice, nor eat fresh grapes or raisins. 4 All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, from seed to skin. 5 ‘All the days of the vow of his separation no razor shall come upon his head; until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to the LORD, he shall be holy. Then he shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.

      This picture that I placed at the head of my essay, was painted by me, from the known image from the Shroud of Turin. I had done extensive research into whether the Shroud was genuine or a fake. It is my scholarly opinion that the forensic science of the Shroud, proves it was the burial shroud of Jesus.

      In this Shroud there is an image, from where I painted this likeness of Jesus.

      You can read the scientific and archeological evidence for the Shroud at the THIS LINK:

      Blessings,

      Rob

      Like

      • I enjoyed looking at a few of your answers to atheists and agree with much of what you have written but I have a few questions about your main article and you comment here.

        First of all, it’s my understanding that a Nazarene and a Nazirite are not the same. You seem to say they are.

        Second. I am unaware of any scripture where Jesus claims to be “God”. He claims to be the Son of God, the Son of man, the Lord (Adonai), “I Am” [Yahweh], but not “God” or “the Father”.
        He also says that God his Father is greater than his Son – John 10:29; 14:28; 1 Cor. 15:28

        Eugene Seaich and other Old Testament scholars have indicated that early Canaanite and Israelite theology recognized two separate and distinct sets of divine traits: one for a “Father of gods” and “Father of men” and the other for a son of the former who was a “dying-and-resurrecting god, who gave life to all creatures” and “managed the cosmos for his Father.” Brother Seaich explains that the High God was called “El and his son was called Ba’al at least through the time of the Israelite monarchy.” The Israelites who returned from the desert with the Mosiac religion, referred to El’s son as Yahweh (see 1 Chron. 12:5). Some evidence of this distinction still survives in our Old Testament scriptures (see Deut. 32:8-9; Ps. 82; Pro. 30:4). He also notes that Genesis chapter 1 speaks of Eloheim (the longer form of El) as the creator while chapter 2 speaks of Yahweh-Eloheim. Brother Seaich states that “…the Mosiac reform, which only began as an attempt to root out the licentious excesses to which the old polytheism had sunk (Ex. 32), took at least a half-dozen centuries to establish itself as Israel’s ‘true’ religion, eliminating in the process many former truths, before emerging as the ‘ethical monotheism’ of late Judaism…. In the new monotheism… the earlier Eloheim and Yahweh became the single ‘YHWH-Eloheim’ of Deut. 6:4…. The complete assimilation of two gods into one probably took as long as the ‘Monotheistic Reform’ itself, i.e. from ca. 1500 to 500 B.C…. Finally, the OT itself was thoroughly subjected to a corresponding revision (known as the ‘Deuteronomic Revision’).” (Eugene Seaich, Ancient Texts and Mormonism, pp.15-21, see actual text for complete listing of references)

        Blessings,
        Michael Hickenbotham

        Like

      • Michael,

        I am not certain we will ever be able to agree on your assertion that Jesus is not God, nor ever declared He was. This essay presents the Biblical evidence that Jesus clearly declared He is God, yet you say you have never seen this in the Bible.

        Mormonism, is not Christianity, and it never will be. The Jesus that the LDS church believes in, is not the historical Jesus of the Bible. For this reason, there is no salvation in a counterfeit Jesus.

        If you are sincerely seeking to know the One True God, then the texts I presented to you in this essay, are sufficient to prove to anyone that Jesus is God, always has been, and is the Only Savior of the World.

        The Mormon Jesus is a completely different person, as is proven by your own Mormon leaders:

        The following is an excerpt from my essay: “A Different Jesus

        They call him “Jesus,” but he is not the Jesus of the Bible.

        The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, founded in the 1820’s, claims to be Christian while they deny the Historical Jesus of the Bible. In order to be correctly designated as “Christian,” a church or an individual must believe in the Christ of the Bible.

        If we ask a Mormon leader–if they believe in the historical Jesus as He is described in the Bible, many will respond that they do. Unfortunately, their answers do not correspond to the public record of doctrines and statements–which have been written during the history of their churches.

        When the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gordon Hinckley, was asked if Mormons believe in the historical Jesus of the Bible, this was his response:

        “No, I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. He together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages.’” —Gordon Hinckley, LDS Church News, Week ending June 20, 1998, p. 7)

        The doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints–the Mormons, is equally replete with statements which greatly diminish the true nature and origin of Jesus–as described in the Bible:

        The Mormon Jesus
        1. A Created Being, older brother of Lucifer.[4]
        2. Was once a man, just one of many gods.[5]
        3. Not a Virgin Birth. Conceived by a physical sex act by Elohim (God the Father or Adam) with Mary.[6]
        4. Was once a sinful, imperfect man.[7]
        5. Had to earn his own salvation.[8]
        6. Married to many different wives.[9]

        The Jesus of the Bible
        1. Eternal, the Creator Himself, always was God.[10]
        2. Has always been God, became a man for us.[11]
        3. Conceived by the Holy Spirit with Mary who was a Virgin.[12]
        4. Eternally sinless and perfect forever.[13]
        5. Has always been God, did not have to earn salvation.[14]
        6. Never married to anyone.[15]

        These are stunning and stark differences between the Mormon jesus,and the Jesus of the Bible. It is not possible to believe in the Mormon Jesus and receive the forgiveness of sins and eternal life–he is a different Jesus. If a person believes in a different Savior, one who is not God, not born of a virgin, who was once a sinner and had to earn His salvation–he cannot save anyone, not even himself. This misrepresentation of the true Jesus, is a different gospel from the Gospel that has been preached in the New Testament.

        But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. —Galatians 1:8

        NOTES:

        [4] Milton R. Hunter, First Council of Seventy, The Gospel Through the Ages, p. 15
        [5] Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, V7, page 333
        [6] Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pp. 547, 742
        [7] Joseph Smith, Times and Seasons, Vol. 5, pages 613-614
        [8] Joseph Smith, Times and Seasons, Vol. 5, pages 613-614
        [9] Orson Hyde, Apostle, Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 82 Bruce R. McConkie, Apostle, Mormon Doctrine, p. 516
        [10] John 1:1, Colossians 1:17, Hebrews 1
        [11] John 3:16, John 1:1

        Like

  3. Dear Mr. Robinson.

    Thank you for the good essay. It seems as though times haven’t changed since the early church.
    Today we have Jehovah’s Witnesses who do not claim that Lord Jesus Christ is God.

    I don’t even consider Jehovah’s Witnesses to be a Christian denomination (how could they be?)
    and I wish they would stop knocking on my door.

    Steve Rodak

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Steve.

      The best way to impeach the assertion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, who state Jesus is not Jehovah (Yahweh), is to use the same argument that Jesus used before the Pharisees in Matthew 22:41-46:

      Jesus Confounded The Leaders Of Israel

      When the Pharisees gathered before Jesus to question Him, it was with the intent of publicly discrediting Him before all those who were listening. Instead, these men were themselves confounded. The text that the Pharisees used to trap Jesus was a well-known verse from Psalm 110:1a.

      In this portion of scripture, The LORD God is saying to the Messiah, “Sit at my right hand till I make your enemies my footstool.” The Pharisees believed that they already knew the answer to this question when they asked Jesus: “What do you think about the Christ (Messiah) Whose Son is He?” The Pharisees believed that the Messiah was the Son of David.

      The LORD (Yahweh-Jehovah) said to my Lord (Adonai), “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ~Psalms 110:1a

      Matthew Records This Event In His Gospel

      While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “The Son of David.” He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool” ’? If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?” ~Matthew 22:41-45

      Jesus asks the Pharisees, “If the Messiah is David’s son, then why did David also call Him “Lord?” (Adonai) In other words, how could the Messiah be both a human being (David’s son) and also Lord (God’s Son)?

      These men knew and understood that this verse of scripture that Jesus referred to was about the Messiah. Only the Messiah could sit at the right hand of God. Jesus believed these verses from Psalm 110:1 were inspired by God and were true—as did these leaders of Israel. Jesus asked these teachers of the law how Messiah could be both God and a human being?

      “If the Messiah is David’s son, how can He also be David’s Lord?”

      This is precisely what this prophecy from Psalms 110:1a is predicting.

      The Pharisees didn’t have an answer. They were bewildered, but not Jesus. The obvious answer to this question is that the Messiah will be both David’s Lord (Yahweh-Jehovah) and His Son (Adonai),(a future human descendant), a fact that Jesus made repeatedly concerning Himself.

      Psalms 110:1, proves Jesus is Adonai, Lord, as David recorded.

      The reality that Jesus is both David’s son and his Lord is confirmed by Jesus’ question which He asks of the Pharisees. For those who say that Jesus never claimed to be God, this is one of many places where He clearly asserts that He is God.

      When Jesus asks this question of the religious leadership of Israel, no one was able to answer Him. This is because it was generally accepted by the Jews that Psalms 110:1 was speaking of the Messiah who will also be God. If by David’s words, the Messiah is both a son and Lord, He must also be God and man.

      This fact is repeated in Psalms 2:7, where the Messiah is also called the “Son of God.”

      Psalms 2:7 “I will declare the decree: The LORD (Yahweh has said to Me,
      You are My Son, Today I have begotten (יָלַד yâlaḏ) You.

      The Jehovah’s Witnesses seek to assert that the word “Begotten,” means that Jesus was a created being, not Jehovah. This is an incorrect exegesis of this term:

      Many people are confused by the term begotten or firstborn when used in the New Testament to describe Jesus Christ. Some people believe that because Jesus is described with terms used for those born of a natural birth, that Jesus must be a created being, and not the eternal God. The Jehovah’s Witness church uses these verses from John 1:14, Colossians 1:18 and Revelation 1:5 to affirm their doctrine that Jesus Christ is not God.

      The fact is: The Greek words used in these verses, prototokos and monogenes, do not define Jesus as being created. The term firstborn (prototokos) indicates that Jesus is first in order of importance over all creation.[1] The second Greek word that has been used to translate, only begotten, is monogenes. This Greek word is very specific in that it conveys the idea that the object of the term, only begotten is unique, meaning the only one.[2] Jesus is the only Son of God, who is first in order of importance over all creation 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, is not a scholarly usage of the original Greek language in which this text was written.

      John 1:14 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.

      Colossians 1:18 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.

      Revelation 1:5 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…

      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:

      1. All things in the universe were created by and for Jesus.
      2. He existed before all things.
      3. In Him, all things consist.

      Colossians 1:16-17 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.

      As Jesus is uniquely begotten (First in importance) as the only Son of God, Peter wrote that each one of us who love and follow Jesus have also been begotten again to a living hope…

      1 Peter 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten (monogenes) 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…

      As monogenes defines the term begotten as unique and unlike any other,[3] the intent here is clear: 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. Only those who place their complete trust in Jesus Christ now have been given this distinctive designation as joint heirs with Christ Jesus. This means that in eternity, all of the wonderful blessings that the Father has bestowed on His Son are ours also.

      NOTES:

      [1] Strongs Concordance, 4416 prōtótokos (from 4413 /prṓtos, “first, pre-eminent”
      [2] John V. Dahms, “The Johannine Use of Monogenes Reconsidered,” New Testament Studies 29 (1983) 222-32.

      Like

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