a few more biblical pointers to the deity of Jesus (the trinity part 4)

If you want to know some biblical reasons why I think Jesus is God and you are willing to read a bit and can get something from my sketchy notes then read on!

    1. John’s introduction to his gospel “the word was God” (John 1:1-2)
      • I have already looked at this in some detail so what else?
    2. Thomas’ exclamation when he sees the risen Jesus “My Lord and My God” (John20:28) and Jesus does not correct him (Rev 22:8-9).
      • In fact this is the “dramatic highlight” or climax of the gospel of John. Jesus approves of the statement and says blessed are those who have not seen and believe….in fact the gospel was written so we would believe Jesus is the Son of God.
      • Attempts to state that Thomas must have been looking up to heaven when he said “my God” surely cannot hold much weight. What writer would make such a deceptive statement without clarifying it for us? It reminds me of the Faulty Towers episode when Basil tried to say that when he was looking at a man and saying “shut up” he was in fact talking to Polly! No, in the written context it seems clear that Thomas is looking at Jesus and talking to Jesus through the sentence.
    3. The opening verses of the book of HebrewsHe is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature Hebrews 1:3
      • Exact imprint =  χαρακτήρ (Character) = impress, reproduction, representation, exact reorientation.  “This is not merely similarity of being, but qualitative identity. (Grudem – “Exact duplicate”).
      • Nature =  ὑπόστασις (Hypostasis) = substantial nature, essence, actual being, reality, realization, plan, project, undertaking, endeavour, ….
    4. The Son is addressed as God in Heb : But of the Son he says “your throne O God is for ever and ever” (Heb1:10).
      • Could be translated “God is your throne forever and ever….”  or “Thy Throne O God, is forever and ever…” “There is no doubt that θεός, like κύριε, is vocative [although] Westcott disagreed [saying the punctuation allows both] vocative and nominative. [However], nowhere else in the Bible is God called a throne;”The New Testament Pillar Commentary
    5. Paul says Christ is God “To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.” (Rom 9:5)
      • Alternative translation is “Christ according to the flesh, God who is over all be praised forever and ever” with “God who is …” being a doxology of praise. The Pillar Commentary says the “Christ who is God” is the best translation due to word order and several other factors that I don’t quite understand. I must get on with my Greek. The Pillar NT Commentary
    6. Jesus in the form of God : “Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God(ESV) Philippians 2:5 to 11
      • “in the form of” or “in very nature” is the Greek word “morphe”. “It is the word that refers to the full set of characteristics which make something that which it is, as contrasted with the word “schema”, which is the external appearance, or facade, which does not necessarily indicate the true nature of the thing.” Making sense of the Trinity, p 20 Erickson (mmm – But it’s used in Mark 16:12 in terms of appearance?)
    7. Angles are told to worship him :…”when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,  “Let all God’s angels worship him. Hebrews 1:2-10
    8. His throne will last forever : “But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, Hebrews 1:8 quoting from Psalm 45:6
    9. “A Son” is associated with “Mighty God” For to us a child is born,  to us a son is given;… and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
      • But why is “son” called Everlasting Father and Counsellor?
    10. One of the earliest and simplest Christian creeds was “Jesus is lord”. “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)  (ESV). 1 Cor 12:1-3, Phil 2:9-11. “Lord” was used of distinguished people at the time. Declaring Creaser as Lord was seen as giving him supreme authority. Declaring Jesus as Lord was seen as superseding that.
    11. In the OT people were to “call on the name of the Lord” (Joel 2:32, Psalm 99:6, Psalm 105:1) and in the NT Christians called upon the name of Jesus (Acts9:13-14, Acts22:16, 1 Cor 1:2).
    12. In the OT God is the husband/bridegroom., (Is 54:5, Hos2:20). In the NT Jesus claims that role (2 Cor 11:2, Eph5:25)
    13. Jesus as on object of worship and the bestowing of glory (2 Tim 4:18, Heb 13:20-21, 2 Peter 3:18, Rev 5:9-10, Rev 7:10, Mat 14:33,  John 20:28, Acts 7:59)
    14. Prayer to Jesus (1 Cor16:22, 2 Cor 12:8, 1 Thes3:11-12, Rom 1:7, 1 Cor 1:3
    15. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, (ESV) (Colossians 2:9)
    16. …”the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life” (ESV) 1 John 5:20
      • Verse 20 concludes with the words: He is the true God and eternal life. The Pillar Commentary says It is difficult to know whether ‘he’ refers to God (‘the one who is true’) or to ‘his Son Jesus Christ’. The Pillar New Testament commentary (197). Grand Rapids, Mich.; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans Pub.; Apollos. On the one hand “Jesus is the true God” is not a statement made elsewhere in 1 John but on the other Jesus is the closest antecedent.
    17. Spirit of Jesus / Holy Spirit? If we grant that the Holy Spirit is at least God’s power then the implication is that Jesus is equal to God.
      • [6]And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. [7]And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. (ESV) Acts 16:6-7
    18. Similarly “Spirit of God” and “Spirit of Christ” paralleled
      • You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. (ESV) (Romans 8:9)
    19. In the Septuagint “kyrios” is used over 6800 times in the OT to render to world Yahweh or Lord. “When the new testament writes use Lord they are not using it to mean Mr but the Lord God himself. Jesus Christ our lord” (Grudem in 20 Basics DVD Christian Beliefs course). It is used in this strong sense over 200 times.
    20. Jesus claims that God’s things were his:
      • God’s Angels (Luke 12:8-9,15:10) where his angels (Mat13:41)
      • God’s kingdom (Mat12:28,19:14, 24,21:31, 43) was his
      • God’s elect (Matt12:28,19:14, 24,21:31, 43)
    21. Paul used the terms God and Jesus to refer to the same person : “Our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus2:13)
      • Although he could be referring to two entities
      • So does Peter “the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:1)
      • But again, it could be two entities again
    22. I am
      • Jesus talks about himself a lot, saying  “I am”  the life, light, door, resurrection,  vine, way, shepherd etc. If he isn’t God one is left wondering what is left for God to be!
      • Jesus goes further simply saying “I am he”   (John 8:24).
      • And then just “I am” (John 8:58) of which Carson says “Jesus takes to himself one of the most sacred of divine expressions of self-reference, and makes the assumption of that expression the proof of his superiority over Abraham.” D A Carson The Gospel According to John page 385
      • Time and time again Jesus picks up on the phrases that God uses of himself, not only in Ex 3:13 “I am who I am. Tell them that I am has sent you”  but in many other places as well (Deut 32:39, Isaiah 41:4, Isaiah 43:10, Isaiah 43:13, Isaiah 43:25, Isaiah 46:4, Isaiah 48:12, Isaiah 43:11-13, Isaiah 47:8, Zephaniah 2:15). Jesus is using the “I am” as liberally and absolutely as Yahweh uses it.
    23. Amen and Amen
      • Jesus says this before many of his statements. It’s as if he is saying “What I am about to say demands the response Amen.” Its massively confident and authoritative. Other teachers said like Jesus did sometimes “It is written”, or “God says” but he seems to give his utterances massive weight, even equal to the bible. No wonder people noticed he taught with authority.
    24. The sermon on the mount
      • “You have heard X but I say to you Y”. Jesus is putting his words alongside Gods words. (Matthew 5:21-22 etc)
    25. There is a lot in John 14:15-31, and John 17, that affirm the distinctiveness yet point to a mystical union of Father and Son. “If you have seen me you have seen the Father”, “they may be one just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you…”, “we are one”…
    26. I and the Father are one” John 10:30
    27. Baptismal formula “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”
    28. In the trinitarian language of many verses in the NT letters there is both unity and distinction between Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  2 Thes 2:13-14, 1 Cor 12:4-6, 2 Cor 13:14…

So, there are some of the biblical reasons backing up the claim that Jesus is God. To me some seem stronger than others. I guess I could add more theological reasons (in the sense of how it makes sense that Jesus is God in the whole system of theology and Christianity ie God saved us in the person of his son, not through some third party). Then there is the history of the church as they agonised over and fought for and wrote about their growing clarity and conviction of the deity of Jesus but I am still a bit shaky on that. I could also list more subjective reasons (I do not just know Jesus is God but know him as God). We could also explore the word “one” in the Shema “The Lord your God is one”. I should then go on to weigh all that with the reasons given that Jesus is not God. And then why Jesus is distinct from the Father and the Holy Spirit. For now though, I’ll call it a day.

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