Scriptural Data For Christ's Claim to Divinity

 "...the God Jesus Christ"
Mosaic in the floor of oldest known Christian church*

Jesus is our perfect example. Of this the Scriptures are clear. Is this all that Christ is though?

For some time those who would consider the deity and the human aspects of Christ, without division of them, use a term such as the Dual Nature. This means that the humanity and the deity are united inseparably into one. This, however, does not mean Jesus was a mirage, a hologram, a mere shell, or ONLY a man. He was indeed true and genuine biological matter however this is not only side of the Biblical story. The claims of Christ and the witness of the Scriptures themselves attest to His humanity and His divinity.

We must bear in mind though that we cannot SEPARATE the divie and human aspect of Jesus, the Christ. Jesus is fully God and man - not 50/50 but God existing as man. He did not just appear as a man, He was truly a man. He was not ONLY a man and that makes all the difference. We must also remember that the flesh of Jesus was not divine and if it was He would NOT be truly human and therefore flying in the face of Christ as our substitutionary atonement. The name Jesus, the person Jesus was born on a day and in the tapestry of Creation.

English Standard Version
For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”? Heb. 1:5

Concerning 1 Tim. 3:16.

God was manifest in the flesh refers to Jesus, the Christ and Lord (Phil. 2:5) and particularly to His Incarnation. You cannot refer to God being manifest in flesh and not invoke the Incarnation just as Paul also cannot refer to "vindicated [justified] by the Spirit" without implying the Resurrection. This passage is still a great testimony to the Incarnation and to the Resurrection.

English Standard Version
Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. 1 Tim. 3:16

Obviously then Jesus as God manifest in flesh refers in some sense to the qivine qualities in Him from the Incarnation. It borders on Nestorianism to separate the aspects of Christ's humanity and deity. Paul also tells us of the "mystery of godliness". Paul is saying that genuine godliness was manifest in the flesh for the first time from the moment He came into existence. He was not just indwelt by the Spirit of God but the logos/word that became flesh dwelt among us (John 1:1-14).

English Standard Version
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

The word “became” or egeneto (Grk.) means to come into being, to happen, to become. Jesus is our perfect, sinless example. God manifest in the flesh. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The Word was with God and the Word was God.

English Standard Version
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” John 8:58

Concerning John 8:58

John 8:58 does not simply assert Messiahship. The verb suggests the eternal present of God’s eternity. “I AM” is also reminiscent of God’s name in Ex. 3:14. There is no way to overlook this as it is also impossible to realize, as a result, that Jesus is the divine Son of Man - the Messiah whom they knew would come from Heaven.

English Standard Version
21 As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom. Daniel 7:21-22

Jesus often used the term son of man to refer to Himself. Dr. Raymond Crownover suggests that "Although Jesus was literally the “Son of God,” He was not the son of any man. The title “Son of Man” ho wios tou anthroupou = “the Son of Mankind”" He goes on to state that, "Against all my expectations, the title “Son of Man” refers to Jesus primarily in his Deity, not His humanity." He also concludes with "The title “Son of Man” is a prophetic title clearly demonstrating the Devine nature of the coming Messiah." He offers these texts concerning the Son of Man:

Matthew 9:6 tells us the “Son of Man” has power to forgive sins

John 5:27 says that the “Son of God” was granted authority “because He is the Son of Man.”

Matthew 12:8 "For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."

Matthew 13:41 “The Son of Man will send out His angels”

Matthew 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.”

John 1:51 And He said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man."

John 6:62 What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before?

John 3:13 "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.”*

When God revealed Himself as "I AM" (ehyeh in Hebrew) and "I am he" (ani hu in Hebrew), the Septuagint renders these two phrases as "ego eimi." Thus when Jesus repeatedly used "ego eimi" in John 8 and in other places He is using the divine name for God. The Jews reacted accordingly because they knew He was claiming to be the I AM of Exodus 3:14-15 and the "I am he" of various OT scriptures. "Except ye believe I am the Messiah!" is not what Jesus is trying to say. He is saying to them He is God from all eternity. There was never a time when He came into being, or when He did not exist. Therefore He said, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” See also Hebrews 13:8.

English Standard Version
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

We must acknowledge, as did the Jews of John 8, the identity of Jesus Christ as the incarnation of God. The divine identity is the same yesterday, today and forever. Jesus is eternally God. Identifying Jesus Christ as God without the humanity leaves an incomplete Christ. Likewise, Jesus Christ as human without divinity would also leave an incomplete Jesus.

Another key point, Jesus prefaces His remarks with amen, amen or truly, truly. This type of phrase at the beginning of a discourse—surely, truly, of a truth but when used at end—so it is, so be it, may it be fulfilled. During the times of Jesus it was a custom that when the one reading Torah was finished and offered prayer that the others responded with Amen, Amen. This continues to happen in Christendom. Jesus totally takes Himself to another level before the Jews by declaring His existence is not just earthly but eternal as it relates to the essence of God but also that this is very true! Truly, surely!

Concerning John 8:58 we can also note that by pronouncing God's name, as Jesus had done (I AM), and claiming it for Himself was punishable by death. Lev. 24:15-16 points this out as well as the Mishna Sanhedrin 7:5 which says "The blasphemer is not guilty until he pronounces the Name." Jesus was essentially claiming that although Abraham had a beginning He has no beginning. Only His flesh was bound by limitations as the manifestation of the Father.

The Translator's Handbook on the Gospel of John makes this plain, "Here again I Am is used in the absolute sense in which it identifies Jesus with God the Father."*

Concerning John 10:30

English Standard Version
"I and the Father are one.” John 10:30

Jesus simply referred to God as "The Father" in third person speech, for the sake of those with whom He would speak, in the incarnation, who did NOT recognize Him for who he was and is. The word "one" here is hen, the singular neuter from of heis (Grk. for “one”). The gender of the word doesn’t tell us alot about how the word is being used outside of it being masc. fem. or neut. “hen” or “one” that comes after “Father” in 10:30 is sing. neut. This does not preclude John 10:30 from referring to essence though just because other passages do not (John 17:11). In 10:30 the grammar and context indicate that that is the meaning. Other passages could be taken to indicate that Jesus is no more God than we are, if we took the text in a vacuum. John 10:30 clearly declares Jesus to be God. He is equal to God. When you have seen Jesus you have looked upon the Father. These verses do not contradict nor are they oppositional to one another in any way.

English Standard Version
Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one. Gal. 3:20

This verse was used against the Arians in early Church History as well as various other beliefs that would separate the deity and humanity of Jesus. To say Jesus is to invoke the Incarnation itself. In John 8:52ff we see that Abraham died, and Christ is the giver of life (vs. 51). To the Jews Abraham was their father, their ancestral hero so to speak. Christ was at the center of everything Abraham did in the OT for he rejoiced at the very thought of the day of Jesus. Abraham was a man and the contrast here is that Christ is essentially God. That is why when the Jews asked "Who do you think you are?" (vs. 53) Jesus would reply, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

Here is a list of Scriptural data on the deity of Christ:

1. The early creedal formula "Jesus is Lord [kyrios]": 1 Cor 12:3; Phil 2:11.

2. The title "Son of God" ("Son of" implies "of the same nature as."): Matt 11:27; Mark 12:6; 13:32; 14:61-62; Luke 10:22; 22:70; John 10:30; 14:9.

3. The New Testament calls him "God": Titus 2:13; 1 John 5:20; Rom 9:5; John 1:1.

4. Absolutely, universally supreme: Col 1:15-20.

5. Eternally preexistent: John 1:1; Phil 2:6; Heb 13:8; Rev 22:13.

6. Omnipresent: Matt 18:20; 28:20.

7. Omnipotent: Matt 28:18; Heb 1:3; Rev 1:8.

8. Immutable: Heb 1:11-12; 13:8.

9. Creates (only God can create): Col 1:16-17; John 1:3; 1 Cor 8:6; Heb 1:10.

10. Sinless, perfect: Heb 7:26; John 8:46; 2 Cor 5:21.

11. Has authority to forgive sins: Mark 2:5-12; Luke 24:45-47; Acts 10:43; 1 John 1:5-9.

12. Rightly worshiped: Matt 2:11; 14:33; 28:9; John 20:28; Heb 1:5-9.

13. Speaks the unique, forbidden divine name: John 8:58.

14. Called "King of kings and Lord of lords": 1 Tim 6:15; Rev 17:14.

15. One with the Father: John 10:30; 12:45; 14:8-10.

16. Performs miracles: John 10:37-38; and throughout all four Gospels.

17. Sends the Holy Spirit: John 14:25-26; 16:7-15.

18. The Father testifies to him: Matt 3:17; 17:5; John 8:18; 1 John 5:9.

19. Gives eternal life: John 3:16; 5:39-47; 20:30-31.

20. Foreknows the future: Mark 8:31; Luke 9:21-22; 12:49-53; 22:35-37; 24:1-7; John 3:11-14; 6:63-64; 13:1-11; 14:27-29; 18:1-4; 19:26-30.

21. Is Lord over the Law: Luke 6:1-5.*

New International Version
Men will tell you, 'There he is!' or 'Here he is!' Do not go running off after them. 24 For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. Luke 17:23-24

It is imperative for Christians that we believe and confess that Jesus was a man, but is also more than a man. The believer, without qualification, should be able to confess that Jesus is "my Lord and my God". This is in keeping with the early confession of "doubting" Thomas, a disciple of Christ. In John 20:28 it records

English Standard Version
Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. John 20:28


* Mosaic pictured above is oldest Christian church or prayer hall in Israel. It is located in Megiddo in a prison that dates third or fourth century. Inscription speaks of “the God Jesus Christ” thought to exist in the memory of "the god, Jesus Christ". According to Prof Leah di Segni of the Hebrew University - "The God-loving Aketous/Ekoptos has offered this table to , as a memorial to the God Jesus Christ"


* Newman, B. M., & Nida, E. A. (1993], c1980). A handbook on the Gospel of John. Originally published: A translator's handbook on the Gospel of John, c1980. Helps for translators; UBS handbook series (295). New York: United Bible Societies.

* Excerpt from: Handbook of Christian Apologetics
© 1994 by Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli. All rights reserved.

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Adversus Trinitas

"...unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins." (John 8:24 ESV)