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 ληθινν, 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. 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 not great 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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4 replies

  1. 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

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  2. 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.

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