The Bible Denies the Divinity of Jesus- Part 1
- Parent Category: Religions and Beliefs
- Written by Manager
- Published: 14 March 2011
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1) None of the Bible’s Writers Believed That Jesus is God:
Christians and Muslims both believe in Jesus, love him, and honor him. They are, however, divided over the question of his divinity.
Fortunately, this difference can be resolved if we refer the question to both the Bible and the Quran, because, both the Bible and the Quran teach that Jesus is not God.
It is clear enough to everyone that the Quran denies the divinity of Jesus, so we do not need to spend much time explaining that.
On the other hand, many people misunderstand the Bible; they feel that the belief in Jesus as God is so widespread that it must have come from the Bible. This article shows quite conclusively that the Bible does not teach that.
The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is not God. In the Bible God is always someone else other than Jesus.
Some will say that something Jesus said or something he did while on the earth proves that he is God. We will show that the disciples never came to the conclusion that Jesus is God. And those are people who lived and walked with Jesus and thus knew first hand what he said and did. Furthermore, we are told in the Acts of the Apostles in the Bible that the disciples were being guided by the Holy Spirit. If Jesus is God, surely they should know it. But they did not. They kept worshipping the one true God who was worshipped by Abraham, Moses, and Jesus (see Acts 3:13).
All of the writers of the Bible believed that God was not Jesus. The idea that Jesus is God did not become part of Christian belief until after the Bible was written, and took many centuries to become part of the faith of Christians.
Matthew, Mark, and Luke, authors of the first three Gospels, believed that Jesus was not God (see Mark 10:18 and Matthew 19:17). They believed that he was the son of God in the sense of a righteous person. Many others too, are similarly called sons of God (see Matthew 23:1-9).
Paul, believed to be the author of some thirteen or fourteen letters in the Bible, also believed that Jesus is not God. For Paul, God first created Jesus, then used Jesus as the agent by which to create the rest of creation (see Colossians 1:15 and 1 Corinthians 8:6). Similar ideas are found in the letter to the Hebrews, and also in the Gospel and Letters of John composed some seventy years after Jesus. In all of these writings, however, Jesus is still a creature of God and is therefore forever subservient to God (see 1 Corinthians 15:28).
Now, because Paul, John, and the author of Hebrews believed that Jesus was God’s first creature, some of what they wrote clearly show that Jesus was a pre-existent powerful being. This is often misunderstood to mean that he must have been God. But to say that Jesus was God is to go against what these very authors wrote. Although these authors had this later belief that Jesus is greater than all creatures, they also believed that he was still lesser than God. In fact, John quotes Jesus as saying: “...the Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28). And Paul declares that the head of every woman is her husband, the head of every man is Christ, and the head of Christ is God (see 1 Corinthians 11:3).
Therefore, to find something in these writings and claim that these teach that Jesus is God is to misuse and misquote what those authors are saying. What they wrote must be understood in the context of their belief that Jesus is a creature of God as they have already clearly said.
So we see then, that some of the later writers had a higher view of Jesus, but none of the writers of the Bible believed that Jesus is God. The Bible clearly teaches that there is only one true God, the one whom Jesus worshipped (see John 17: 3).
In the rest of this article we will explore the Bible in more depth, and deal with the passages which are most often misquoted as proofs of Jesus’ divinity. We will show, with God’s help, that these do not mean what they are so often used to prove.
2) Evidence From the Acts of the Apostles:
Jesus performed many miraculous wonders, and he without doubt said a lot of wonderful things about himself. Some people use what he said and did as a proof that he was God. But his original disciples who lived and walked with him, and were eyewitnesses to what he said and did, never reached this conclusion.
The Acts of the Apostles in the Bible details the activity of the disciples over a period of thirty years after Jesus was lifted up to heaven. Throughout this period they never refer to Jesus as God. They continually and consistently use the title God to refer to someone else other than Jesus.
Peter stood up with the eleven disciples and addressed the crowd saying: “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.” (Acts 2:22).
It was God, therefore, who did the miracles through Jesus to convince people that Jesus was backed by God. Peter did not see the miracles as proof that Jesus is God.
In fact, the way Peter refers to God and to Jesus makes it clear that Jesus is not God. For he always turns the title God away from Jesus. Take the following references for example:
“God has raised this Jesus...” (Acts 2:32)
“God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36)
In both passages, the title God is turned away from Jesus. So why he did this, if Jesus was God?
For Peter, Jesus was a servant of God. Peter said: “God raised up his servant...” (Acts 3:26). The title servant refers to Jesus. This is clear from a previous passage where Peter declared: “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus.” (Acts 3:13).
Peter must have known that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob never spoke of a Triune God. They always spoke of God as the only God. Here, as in Matthew 12:18, Jesus is the servant of God. Matthew tells us that Jesus was the same servant of God spoken of in Isaiah 42:1. So, according to Matthew and Peter, Jesus is not God, but God’s servant. The Old Testament repeatedly says that God is alone (e.g. Isaiah 45:5).
All of the disciples of Jesus held this view. In Acts 4:24 we are told that the believers prayed to God saying: “...they raised their voices together in prayer to God. ‘Sovereign Lord,’ they said, ‘you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.’” It is clear that the one they were praying to was not Jesus, because, two verses later, they referred to Jesus as “...your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed.” (Acts 4:27).
If Jesus was God, his disciples should have said this clearly. Instead, they kept preaching that Jesus was God’s Christ. We are told in Acts: “Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.” (Acts 5:42).
The Greek word “Christ” is a human title. It means “Anointed.” If Jesus was God, why would the disciples continually refer to him with human titles like servant and Christ of God, and consistently use the title God for the one who raised Jesus? Did they fear men? No! They boldly preached the truth fearing neither imprisonment nor death. When they faced opposition from the authorities, Peter declared: “We must obey God rather than men! The God of our fathers raised Jesus...” (Acts 5:29-30).
Were they lacking the Holy Spirit? No! They were supported by the Holy Spirit (see Acts 2:3, 4:8, and 5:32). They were simply teaching what they had learnt from Jesus — that Jesus was not God but, rather, God’s servant and Christ.
The Quran confirms that Jesus was the Messiah (Christ), and that he was God’s servant (see the Holy Quran 3:45 and 19:30).
3) Jesus is Not All-Powerful, and Not All-Knowing:
Christians and Muslims agree that God is all-powerful and all-knowing. The Gospels show that Jesus was not all-powerful, and not all-knowing, since he had some limitations.
Mark tells us in his gospel that Jesus was unable to do any powerful work in his hometown except few things: “He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.” (Mark 6:5). Mark also tells us that when Jesus tried to heal a certain blind man, the man was not healed after the first attempt, and Jesus had to try a second time (see Mark 8:22-26).
Therefore, although we hold a great love and respect for Jesus, we need to understand that he is not the all-powerful God.
Mark’s Gospel also reveals that Jesus had limitations in his knowledge. In Mark 13:32, Jesus declared that he himself does not know when the last day will occur, but the Father alone knows that (see also Matthew 24:36).
Therefore, Jesus could not have been the all-knowing God. Some will say that Jesus knew when the last day will occur, but he chose not to tell. But that complicates matters further. Jesus could have said that he knows but he does not wish to tell. Instead, he said that he does not know. We must believe him. Jesus does not lie at all.
The Gospel of Luke also reveals that Jesus had limited knowledge. Luke says that Jesus increased in wisdom (Luke 2:52). In Hebrews too (Hebrews 5:8) we read that Jesus learned obedience. But God’s knowledge and wisdom is always perfect, and God does not learn new things. He knows everything always. So, if Jesus learned something new, that proves that he did not know everything before that, and thus he was not God.
Another example for the limited knowledge of Jesus is the fig tree episode in the Gospels. Mark tells us as follows: “The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs.” (Mark 11:12-13).
It is clear from these verses that the knowledge of Jesus was limited on two counts. First, he did not know that the tree had no fruit until he came to it. Second, he did not know that it was not the right season to expect figs on trees.
Can he become God later? No! Because there is only one God, and He is God from everlasting to everlasting (see Psalms 90:2).
Someone may say that Jesus was God but he took the form of a servant and therefore became limited. Well, that would mean that God changed. But God does not change. God said so according to Malachi 3:6.
Jesus never was God, and never will be. In the Bible, God declares: “Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.” (Isaiah 43:10).
The Bible clearly shows that Jesus was not all-powerful and all-knowing as the true God should be.