Is Jesus God? He has equality with God and share God’s divine name and titles.

God and Jesus always work together as one.  They have been together from all eternity.  Together they created all things and together they own all things.  They share glory together.  Together they are in believers.  They work together to save, to protect believers and to judge all.

Further evidence of Christ’s equality with God is that Jesus had equality with God prior to His birth.  This means that He today again has equality with God.  They receive equal honor.  As every knee will bow to God, so every knee will bow to Jesus.  He is God’s only Begotten Son, which means that He is God’s only true family.  Only God knows Jesus and only Jesus knows God.  These are profound statements of equality.

God and Jesus share the same name and titles and attributes.  Jesus claimed the divine name “I AM.”  He has many Divine Titles, such as King of kings and Lord of lords, Lord of the Sabbath and Saviour.  Jesus also has many divine attributes.  He is the Truth, eternal and omnipresent.  All the fullness of Deity dwells in Him.  He created all things and has all authority.

God and Jesus work as one.

They have been together from all eternity. 

The beginningIn the beginning was the Word And the Word was with God … He was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2).  These verses make a distinction between God and Jesus.  However, Jesus was in the beginning with God, and the beginning was before all things!

God and Jesus together created all things. 

God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Gen. 1:26).  The “Us” and “Our” must refer to God and Jesus, for in John 1:3 we read, “All things came into being through Him (the “Word” – Jesus), and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being”.  In other words, God created all things through His Son.

God and Jesus own all things together.

Jesus said, “All things that the Father has are Mine” (John 16:15).  And, in His prayer, “all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine” (John 17:10).
Hebrews 1:2 says that God appointed His Son as heir of all things.  This again makes a distinction between God and Jesus, but there is nothing which exists which is not the property of Jesus.

God and Jesus together own and direct the angels. 

The Lord, the God … sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place” (Rev. 22:6).  But just ten verses later Jesus says “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches” (v16).
Luke 12:8-9 refers to the “angels of God,” but in Matthew 13:41 Jesus said, “The Son of Man (Jesus Himself) will send forth His angels.

God and Jesus share glory together. 

Jesus prayed, “Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was” (John 17:5).

God and Jesus work together. 

Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now” (John 5:17).  The Father upholds the universe and keeps it going; every second and minute and day.  But then Jesus adds, “and I Myself am working” (v17).  If this was not true, this would have been a most arrogant statement of equality.

God and Jesus work together in salvation.

Jesus said, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).  But we also know that “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (John 6:44).  They have always been working together.

God and Jesus together protect believers.

My sheep hear My voice … and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:27-29).

God and Jesus live together in believers. 

Jesus said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him (John 14:23, NASB).

They judge as One.  

My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and the Father who sent Me” (John.8:16).

Conclusion

God and Jesus are distinct.  This has been shown by the article Jesus is not the same Person as God.  The article “God is the Head of Christ” confirms that Jesus is subordinate to God.  We also see this in some of the statements above, such as that God appointed His Son as heir of all things (Heb. 1:2).

But their oneness, as evidenced above, puts the Son far above any created being.  The Bible sometimes refer to Jesus as “God,” but in the article The Bible calls Jesus God it is argued that this does not mean that Jesus is God, for the title “god” is used for any exalted being.  However, the unity of God and Jesus puts Jesus far above the general meaning of the word “god.”  This unity implies that we should regard Jesus as equal to God.

Jesus has equality with God.

The Bible provides us with further evidence that Jesus had equality with God:

Jesus “did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped.

This refers to the time prior to His birth.  See the article Does Philippians 2 say that Jesus emptied Himself of equality with God?  If He had equality with God prior to His birth, He today again has equality with God.

They receive equal honor.

All will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him” (John 5:23, NASB).  That is a profound statement of equality.

Every knee will bow to Jesus.  

every kneeGod identified Himself as the One speaking and says, “to Me every knee will bow” (Isaiah 45:23), but Paul says that to “Jesus every knee should bow” (Phil. 2: 10-11).

Only Begotten Son

This is My beloved SonSince He was “begotten,” He was not created.  The article Only Begotten Son of God shows that this phrase means He is God’s only true family.  The Bible consistently distinguishes between God and Jesus, but, God begets God.

Only God knows Jesus and only Jesus knows God. 

No one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son” (Mt. 11:27 NASB; cf. Luke 10:22).  This is an amazing statement of equality.

The Father shows the Son all things.

The Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing” (John 5:19-20).

Conclusion

God is not comparable to anything we know.  We do not understand God, but perhaps an analogy will explain the equality of God and Jesus better.  A human son is subordinate to his father, but equal to his father when compared to the beasts of the field.  Jesus is subordinate to God, but equal to God from the perspective of finite created beings.  In other words, although Jesus is distinct from God, we must honor Him equal to God.

Jesus has Divine Titles and Attributes.

Many titles that belong to God only, are also applied to Jesus.

I AM

Moses asked God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is His Name?’ what shall I say to them?

God responded, “I AM WHO I AM …. Say this to the people of Israel, I AM has sent me to you … The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My Name for ever” (Exodus 3:15-18).  Here, God, in giving His name, gives the essential meaning of Yahweh; the One who exists without cause, but who is the Cause of everything else.

In John 8:21-59 Jesus repeatedly claims the divine name “I AM” for Himself.  He said, for instance:

You will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I AM” (John 8:24)
Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:24, 58).

Jesus, by referring to Himself with this sacred name, claimed to be the God of the Old Testament; the Jehovah of Exodus 3:14.  This the Jews understood, for they wanted to stone Him for blasphemy (cf. John 5:18, 8:59, 10:30-36).

King of kings and Lord of lords

The One “whom no man has seen or can see” is called “King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Tim. 6:14-16).  Jesus is similarly called “Lord of lords and King of kings” (Rev. 17:14, cf. 19:16).

Lord of the Sabbath

The seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God” (Exodus 20:10).  But Jesus is “the Lord of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:28).

Saviour

The Lord” said “I, even I, am the LORD, And there is no savior besides Me” (Isaiah 43:11).  God is also the Savior in Psalms 106:21; Isaiah 43:3; 45:21-23; 44:6 and I Timothy 2:3; cf. 1 Tim 4:10.)

But the New Testament describes Jesus as the “source of eternal salvation” (Hebrews 5:9), being “able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him” (Hebrews 7:25) for He “came into the world to save sinners” (I Timothy 1:15).  He is “our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; who gave Himself for us” (Titus 2:13-14; cf. 2 Peter 1:1).  Jesus is also referred to as Savior in Luke 2:11; John 4:42; Acts 4:12; I John 4:14 and many others.

Jesus is the Truth.

Jesus says in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” In Jesus Christ alone “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3).

Jesus is eternal. 

The LORD” (Yahweh) said:  “Before Me there was no God formed and there will be none after Me” (In Isaiah 43:10).  “I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me” (Isaiah 44:6; cf. Is. 48:12).  “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End … the Almighty” (Rev. 1:8; cf. 21:6).  This means that God is eternal; “from everlasting to everlasting” (Ps. 90:2).  The same applies to Jesus Christ:

Micah 5:2 speaks about the coming Christ, whose “goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity” (Micah 5:2).

John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word”.  Since He was “in the beginning”, there was no time when He was not.

In Revelation, Jesus Christ says of Himself, “I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore” (Rev. 1:17-18). In the last chapter He says, “I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last” (Rev. 22:13).

Christ is eternal as the Father is eternal.

Jesus is omnipresent.

Matthew 18:20Where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.
Matthew 28:20I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Acts 18:9-10 The Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking … for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you.
Matthew 28:20  He will be with His followers always.

All the fullness of Deity dwells in Christ.

It was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him” (Col. 1:19).
All the fullness of Deity dwells in Christ in bodily form” (Col. 2:9).

Jesus created all things.  

In a separate article it was shown that God created all things, but God created all things through His Son.  The Son even created time.  There was no time that He did not exist.

Jesus has all authority.

Jesus claimed, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18).  This same authority was given to the Son of Man in Daniel 7:13–14 (see also Matthew 26:64).  By implication, God gave Him this authority, just like “it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him” (Col. 1:19).  These things show Christ’s subordination to God, but also His equality to God.

Conclusion

God and Jesus are two different Beings.  Jesus is subordinate to God, but their oneness puts the Son far above created beings; on equal footing with God from the perspective of finite created beings.  We must honor Him as we honor God.

Articles related to the question: Is Jesus God?

The three views of the Son
Jesus existed prior to His birth in the form of God.
Jesus in Colossians
Does Philippians 2 say that Jesus emptied Himself of equality with God?
Who is the Word in John 1:1?
Jesus is not the same Person as God
God is the Head of Christ.
The Bible calls Jesus God.
Only Begotten Son of God
God created all things through His Son.
We must worship Jesus.
Is Jesus God?

Jesus existed prior to His birth and Incarnation; in the form of God. He had equality with God.

He descended from heaven; sent by God.  To become a human being Jesus emptied Himself of the form of God and equality with God.

Pre-existence

Jesus existed before He became a human being.

The Baptist said, “After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me” (John 1:29).

Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58).

He shared glory with God “before the world was” (John 17:5).

He existed from eternity. 

He is “from long ago, from the days of eternity” (Micah 5:2).

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God” (John 1:1). The “beginning” is the beginning of time.  There was no time when He was not.

He is before all things” (Col. 1:17).

He descended from heaven.

Jesus said to Nicodemus, “No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man” (John 3:13).

 “For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven … I am the bread of life … I have come down from heaven” (John 6:33-38).

What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?” (John 6:62).

I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world” (John 8:23).

He came from God.

Jews questioning Jesus
Jews questioning Jesus

I proceeded forth and have come from God” (John 8:42)

I came forth from the Father and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again and going to the Father” (John 16:28).

God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16)

One hears many times the view that Jesus became God’s begotten Son when He was born as a human.  But John 3:16 indicates that He was God’s only begotten Son prior to His birth as a human being.

He was sent by God. 

“... God did: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin” (Romans 8:3).

In the article Jesus is not the same Person as God many examples are given of the statement that God sent Jesus.  This firstly implies His pre-existence; that He existed prior to becoming a human being.  Secondly it implies His subordination to God; not only as human being, but also in His pre-existence.

Incarnation

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14, NIV).

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh” (2 John 1:7).

Philippians 2

Philippians 2 contains a revealing passage in which Paul compares the existence of Christ through four phases:

(1) Prior to His birth;
(2) As a human being;
(3) His death;
(4) After His ascension

Prior to His birth Jesus existed in the “form of God” and had “equality with God”.

Jesus “emptied Himself” of the “form of God” and “equality with God” to become a human being.  He remained the same Person as before, but He became a mere human baby, without knowledge or wisdom.  He was truly and fully human; not part God and part man.

The Cross

His Death was a test to see whether He would remain “obedient to the point of death.”  His entire life was a test of obedience.

After His deathGod highly exalted Him.”  He is worshiped by all.  He is again equal with God.

For a further discussion of this passage, see the discussion in the article Jesus emptied Himself.

Articles discussing the question: Is Jesus God?

The three views of the Son
Jesus in Colossians
Does Philippians 2 say that Jesus emptied Himself of equality with God?
In the beginning was the Word. An identification of the “Word” in John 1:1
Jesus is not the same Person as God.
God is the Head of Christ.
The Bible calls Jesus God.
Only Begotten Son of God
God created all things through His Son.

The Bible commands us to worship only God, but we must also worship Jesus.

Worship JesusBoth Testaments teach that only God may be worshiped. Yet, Jesus was worshiped on earth by the magi from the east, after He walked on water and after His resurrection.  Jesus was also worshiped in heaven after His ascension.  God commanded all angels to worship Jesus.  All will honor the Son even as they honor the Father.

Only God may be worshiped. 

God commands us to worship only Him (Exodus 34:14; Deuteronomy 8:19). There has always been one sin which God did not and will not tolerate, and that is worshiping any god other than the Creator.   This is confirmed by the New Testament:

Peter (Acts 10:25–26) and Paul (Acts 14:14–15) both corrected others for trying to worship them.  In the book of Revelation John twice attempted to worship an angel, and each time the angel’s response was:

Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God” (Revelation 19:10; compare 22:9).

Note the instruction to worship only God.  Earlier in Revelation we are told to “worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters” (14:7).

Jesus similarly said to the devil, “You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only” (Luke 4:8).

Yet, Jesus was worshiped on earth.

When the magi from the eastsaw the Child with Mary His mother; … they fell to the ground and worshiped Him (Mt. 2:11).

After He walked on water “those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, ‘You are certainly God’s Son!’”(Mat. 14:28-33).

After His resurrection “His disciples … came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him” (28:8-9).  “The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him” (Matthew 28:16-17).

Jesus didn’t correct them. He accepted their worship.

Heavenly beings worship Jesus.

Revelation 5 describes events in heaven when Jesus ascended (see Introduction to the Seven Seals).  In that chapter heavenly beings worship Jesus:

The “four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb (Jesus see John 1:29), each one holding a … golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints” (Rev. 5:8-9).

Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands,  saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.’” (5:11-12)

The Lamb is Jesus.  In these quotes Jesus was worshiped, but in the next quote God and the lamb are worshiped together:

Then John heard “every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them … saying, ‘To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever’.  And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped” (5:13-14).

The word “worship” appears in 5:14.  However, that verse does not specifically mention the Lamb.  But given the context of the previous verse, where God and the Lamb receive equal honor (5:13), the implication is that they worship Lamb in 5:14.

Support for this conclusion is that 5:13 reads very similar to 4:10-11 and to 7:11-12, where the heavenly being “worship” God.

Worship Jesus equal to God. 

Worship JesusGod commanded all created beings to worship Jesus:

God commanded all angels to worship His Son (Hebrews 1:6).

God highly exalted Him … so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil. 2:5-11).

These statements make a distinction between God and His Son, yet created beings worship Jesus equal to God.  Jesus said, “All will honor the Son even as they honor the Father” (John 5:23).

Conclusion

The Bible maintains a clear distinction between God and Jesus (see Jesus is not the Same Person as God).  It teaches that God is the Head of Christ (1. Cor. 11:3).  The Bible furthermore clearly teaches that only God may be worshiped.  But still, Jesus was worshiped.  We therefore conclude that, although He is not God, we must honor Him equal to God.  In our admiration and worship we must not distinguish between God and His Son.

Related articles:

The three views of the Son
In the beginning was the Word. An identification of the “Word” in John 1:1
Only Begotten Son of God
Jesus in Colossians
Does Philippians 2 say that Jesus emptied Himself of equality with God?
Jesus is not the same Person as God
God is the Head of Christ.
God created all things through His Son.
The Bible calls Jesus God.

The Bible sometimes calls Jesus God. Does that mean that Jesus is God?

ElohimThe personal name of the one true God is Yahweh or Jehovah.  The title “God” (Elohim in Hebrew and Theos in Greek) is used for all gods.  Even exalted people are called gods; even in the Bible.  Previous articles have shown that Jesus is not the God. of the Bible.  Therefore, when the Bible says Jesus is God, it simply means that He is highly exalted; not that He is the same Person as God or equal to God.

Purpose – This is an article in the series, “Is Jesus God?”  The Bible occasionally indicates that Jesus is God.  The purpose of this article is to determine what is meant when it says Jesus is God.  To do this, we firstly need to understand the meaning of the words that are translated as “God”.

Yahweh

One True God – The Bible states that only one true God exists (e.g. John 17:3).  The Old Testament declares, “The LORD is our God, the LORD is one” (Deut. 6:4).  For more detail, see Jesus is not God,

YHWHIn the Old Testament God has a proper and personal name that is not applied to any other being.  That name is YHWH or JHWH, generally called the Tetragrammaton.  The Tetragrammaton appears in the Old Testament over 6,800 times and is transliterated as Yahweh or Jehovah. Some Bible translations give Yahweh or Jehovah, for instance:

That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth (Psalms 83:18, KJV).

But in most translations this name is typically presented in English in capital letters as “the LORD.”  The same verse in the NASB reads as follows:

That they may know that You alone, whose name is the LORD, Are the Most High over all the earth.

God

The word for “God” is used for all gods; the One True God and for false gods.  Since the Bible is a book about the One True God, the word “God” in the Bible mostly refers to Yahweh.

Old Testament Hebrew

ElohimThere are many words in the Hebrew Old Testament that are translated as “god” or “God” in English, such as: el, elah, eloah, and elohim.  Elohim is also found numerous times in the Old Testament.  It is mostly used for the true God, but the NASB translates Elohim 45 times as “god” and 204 times as “gods”.   These are instances where Elohim does not refer to the Living God, but to exalted beings.  For instance, the princes of Egypt are referred to as gods:

Elohim false gods“For I will pass through the land of Egypt … and on all the gods [elohim] of Egypt [the princes] I will execute judgments: I am the Lord” (Exodus 12:12).

The NASB also translates elohim also as divine (1), divine being (1), exceedingly (1), God’s (14), goddess (2), godly (1), great (2), judges (3), mighty (2), rulers (1) and shrine (1).  For example:

Judges – The judges appointed by Moses were called gods: “Then his master shall bring him unto the judges [elohim]” (Exodus 21:6, KJV; also see Exodus 22:8-9, 28).

Abraham – The Hittites called Abraham a “mighty [elohim] prince” (Gen. 23:6).

New Testament Greek

Theos – In the New Testament, the Greek word mostly translated “God” is theos.  Similar to Elohim, this word is a common noun applied to all types of gods.  Since we are dealing with the Bible, it is mostly translated as “God”, but the NASB also translates it 6 times as “god” and 8 times as “gods.”  These instances therefore do not refer to the one true God.  For instance:

Satan – Satan is called: the god [theos] of this world (2 Cor. 4:4).

Herod – The people also called Herod a god.  When the ruler Herod took his seat upon the throne, the crowd shouted, “The voice of a god and not of a man!” (Acts 12:21-22) “And immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died” (v23).

Theos is also translated as divinely (1), godly (2), godly (1), Lord (1).

Yahweh Elohim – The Old Testament frequently use Elohim in combination with Yahweh as Yahweh Elohim; translated as “the LORD God.”  God’s name Yahweh does not appear in the New Testament (NT), but we do find the similar phrase “Lord God, the Almighty”.

John 10 – Men are gods

After Jesus told the Jews who He is, the Jews became very angry and were ready to stone Him, “because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God” (John 10:33).  In defense Jesus said: “In your own Law it says that men are gods (theos)” (v34).  In the next verse He explains that “to whom the word of God came”, are called “gods” (theos – v35).  He is here quoting from Psalms 82:6:

I have said, “You are gods (Elohim); you are all sons of the Most High.

This confirms that the Bible uses the titles elohim and theos also for beings who are not the God of the Bible.  The word God rather describes any person or being that is far exalted above others.

Conclusion

Jesus is not the same Person as God – The article Jesus is not God has shown that the Bible consistently and clearly distinguishes between God and Jesus.  For example, Paul refers to “God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 1:7).  Revelation similarly refers to “God and … the Lamb” (14:4).  That article also shows that only one true God exists.  The New Testament draws a distinction between this One God and Jesus, for instance in the phrase, “the only true God, and Jesus Christ” (John 17:3).  That article therefore concluded that Jesus is not God.

God is the Head of Christ – Another article (God is the Head of Christ) shows that the Father is greater than Christ (John 14:28) and that God is the Head of Christ (1 Cor. 11:3).  This article therefore continues to show the distinction between Jesus and God.  As the Son of God, Christ is subordinate to God, and therefore sits at God’s right hand.  Everything that His Son has, He received from His Father.  This includes His ability to raise the dead, His authority to judge, His teachings, His works, His disciples and even the Fullness of Deity.  Jesus Himself said, “the Son can do nothing of Himself” (John 5:19).

Conclusion –  The Bible claims Jesus is God, but since the title “god” is used for any being that is highly exalted above others, this does not make Him the same Person as God.  It does not make Him equal to God or of the same nature as the One True God.  But it also means that it is most appropriate to refer to Jesus Christ as Elohim or as theos “God.”

With this in mind, let us now consider the instances where Jesus is called God/  Do these mean that Jesus is God?

Immanuel

God with us

Hundreds of years before Jesus became a human being, Isaiah predicted:

“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).

“Immanuel” means “God with us.”  Matthew concluded that this was fulfilled with the birth of Christ (Mt. 1:23); Jesus is God with us.  But this does not prove that He is equal to the only true God. All that we can say with certainty is that Jesus is highly exalted.

Mighty God, Eternal Father

Mighty GodIsaiah furthermore wrote,

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

This was a radical statement coming from a monotheistic Jewish prophet; to call a human being “Mighty God”.  In the next chapter Isaiah also refers to Yahweh as “mighty God” (10:20-21).

But Isaiah also wrote that there is no other God besides Yahweh:

The LORD” (Yahweh) declared, “I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me” (Is. 44:6; For similar statements, see 45:21-22; 43:10-11).

It is therefore proposed that Isaiah was using the title “God” in 9:6 in the general sense—as highly exalted—not to identify the “Son” as the only true God.  This is supported by the phrase “Eternal Father” in 9:6.  Isaiah is not saying that the Son is the Father.  Names in the Bible indicate the character, essence or nature of a person.  Isaiah used these names for the Messiah because they describe His being and character.  “Eternal Father” emphasizes the loving, paternal concern He has for His children: “Just as a father has compassion on his children, the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him” (Psalm 103:13).

Thomas

Thomas could not believe that Jesus had risen.  But when Jesus showed him His wounds, the doubting Thomas realized that the One standing in front of him is the risen Lord, and he exclaimed:

My Lord and my God” (John 20:28).

Thomas, however, had no idea of the profound concepts that God later revealed to John, which we read of in His gospel.  Just a minute previously Thomas did not even believe that Jesus was resurrected.  So his statement cannot mean that Jesus is God or equal to the Only True God.  His statement simply acknowledges Jesus as highly exalted.

Paul wrote:

The Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever” (Romans 9:5);

Our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” (Titus 2:13).

But Paul also maintained a clear and consistent distinction between God and Jesus:

I Cor. 8:6 There is but one God, the Father … and one Lord, Jesus Christ.
1 Timothy 6:13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus.
Rom. 5:10We were reconciled to God through the death of His Son.
Rom. 7:25Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Rom. 1:7God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (cf. Rom. 1:1-3; 8:3)

It is therefore proposed Paul wrote that Jesus is God because Jesus is “over all” (Rom. 9:5).  Paul is not saying that Jesus is the God of the Bible, or equal to the One True God.

Note that God is called “Father“, and Jesus is called “the Lord.

Peter

The Apostle Peter described Jesus as “our God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:1).  But in the very next verse Peter makes a distinction between God and Jesus:

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” (2 Peter 1:2).

We see the same distinction between God and Jesus in Peter’s statement, “Lord Jesus Christ … received honor and glory from God the Father” (2 Peter 1:16-17).

Hebrews

God says of “the Son”: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever” (Hebrews 1:8).  But the very next verse reads, “God, your God, has anointed you”.  In other words, God is the God also of “the Son”.

This entire passage is a quote from Psalm 82, where the king is called “God” (v6), saying “God, Your God, has anointed You” (v7). This shows again that exalted people are sometimes called “god”.  Hebrews, under inspiration, applies Psalm 82 to Jesus.  But the point remains; although Jesus is called God, the God of the Bible is also His God.  This statement does not make Him the same as or equal to God.

The Word was God – Jesus is God

In the BeginningPerhaps the best known verse saying that Jesus is God is John 1:1:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”.

The gospel of John is very different from the other gospels.  The reader will note how many times the articles in this series refer to John.  It would perhaps not be an exaggeration to say that the main purpose of the gospel of John is to explain who Jesus Christ is.  Jesus made the profound statements in John 5 and John 10 after He healed people who have been disabled for decades.  Those miracles created the right context for Jesus to explain who He really is.  And in John 1:1—the very first verse of the gospel—we have a summary conclusion of it all in the statement “and the Word was God.”  In other words, Jesus is God.

Two eternal beings

Two distinct Beings are mentioned in this verse.  Both existed in the infinite “beginning.”  Both are therefore eternal.  This is confirmed by verse 3, which reads, “All things came into being through Him (the Word), and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being”.  There was no time that “the Word” did not exist

Two Gods – Both are described as “God”, but there is a difference:

God identified – The phrase “with God” is translated from Pros ton theon.  Ton is the article, so it literally reads “with the God”.  Often in Greek when a noun, such as “God,” is used with the article “the,” there is emphasis upon the identity of the noun.  The article seems to be used when the One True God is specially designated, unless its insertion is unnecessary by the addition of “Father”.  Ton theon (the God) in this phrase therefore identifies this as the one true God.

The Word described – The other God in this phrase is “the Word” in the phrase “the Word was God”.  The “Word” is identified in verse 14 as the One who became Jesus.  Since John 1:1 distinguishes between God and the Word, the Word is not the same Person as that One True God.  The phrase “was God” does not have an article.  In Greek, when a noun is used without the article, there is emphasis on the character or quality of the noun.  The phrase “the Word was the God” therefore does not identify His Person, but describes His nature.

To summarize, the title “God”, referring to the One True God, identifies Who He is, but the phrase “was God”, referring to “the Word,” identifies what He is; His highly exalted nature.  Jesus is God, but He is not the same Person as the One True God.  Jesus is God because He is highly exalted: He alone existed with God when time began.  And God made all things “through Him” (v3).  But He is distinct from the One True God.

The Only Begotten God

John 1:18A few verses later John refers to the “Word” as “the only begotten God”:

No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him” (John 1:18).

In the bosom of the Father” is translated by the NIV as “in closest relationship with the Father” and as “near to the Father’s heart” by the New Living Translation.

John 1:18, similar to John 1:1, identifies two distinct divine Beings:

God the Father – The first Being is called God.  He is also called “the Father” and He has never been seen.

The only begotten God – Since God is “the Father,” the other Being is His Son.  Since God is unseen, the Son is seen.

This verse is therefore very similar to John 1:1, and we reach the same conclusion.  Jesus is God, but He is not the One True God.  The title “God”, referring to the One True God identifies Who He is, but the phrase “the only begotten God” identifies what He is; His highly exalted nature.

The phrase “only begotten” is perhaps more significant that the title “God.”  John applied the phrase “only begotten” a number of times to Jesus.  This phrase is discussed in the next articleOnly Begotten Son”.

1 Timothy 3:16

In the KJV 1 Timothy 3:16 reads, “God was manifested in the flesh”, but the NASB reads “He who was revealed in the flesh”.  in the most ancient authorities, the word “God” does not occur.  See Bible Hub.  This verse is therefore not discussed.

Articles in the series: Is Jesus God?

1.    The three views of the Son
2.    Jesus existed prior to His birth in the form of God.
3.    Jesus in Colossians
4.    Did Jesus empty Himself of equality with God?
5.    Who is the Word?
6.    Jesus is not God.
7.    God is the Head of Christ.
8.    In the Bible Jesus is called God.
9.    Only Begotten Son of God
10.  God created all things through His Son.
11.  We must worship Jesus.
12.  Is Jesus God?