PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE
Gabriel said to Mary that Jesus “will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:26-32). In the Trinity theory, Jesus and the Father are two co-equal Persons of the same Being. This would mean that the Son is also “Most High.”
Recently, I organized my articles and found that I have written about 40 articles on the nature of Christ. In the current article, I provide a list of those articles with brief descriptions. I also wrote another nearly 20 articles on the historical development of the Trinity doctrine.
While the current article is simply a list of the articles, the article – Jesus is not the God, but He is God – is a summary of these articles and provides more detailed arguments
VIEWS OF CHRIST
There are many views of the nature of Christ. They vary from Jesus as merely a human being, to the view that the Son is fully equal to and one with the Father, as in the Trinity doctrine. Between these two extremes, there are many other views, including the one proposed by this website, namely that Jesus always existed but only the Father is the Almighty uncaused Cause of all things.
I think that one of the reasons so many people adopt the Trinity formula without much thinking is that they find it difficult to understand how the Son can be both infinite and subordinate to God. For that reason, I attempt below to show how this is possible. In doing so, I am at risk, because I will be using terminology that is not found in the Bible. May God not hold that against me:
The Most High does not exist in time. He is not subject to time. Rather, the time, space, and matter of the universe exist somewhere inside Him.
Beyond this universe, there is an infinity. The intelligence and power through which this universe was created came from outside the time and space boundaries of the universe. That infinity is the Most High. Things exist because He exists (Rev 4:11).
Christ “is the Beginning“ (Col 1:18) of this universe. In other words, in order to bring forth this universe, the Most High has “begotten” the Son. This is why we read that God created all things THROUGH the Son. The Most High not only created all things through the Son; through the Son, He also upholds all things (Heb 1:3).
Jesus is the connection between God and the universe. Through Jesus, all creative and sustaining power flows from the Most High to the universe, and through Jesus, all thanksgiving and praise flow from the intelligent beings back to God. “Every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
The Son is not the uncaused Cause of all things. He is not “Most High.”
The Son always existed for God also created time by begetting His Son.
Jesus is the God of the Old Testament. Every visible and personal appearance of God in the Old Testament is an appearance of Jesus, in the form of God. See Jesus in the Old Testament.
This is my personal understanding of the nature of Christ. It cannot be confirmed from the Bible because the Bible does not explain Him in such terms. But the Bible does confirm that Jesus always existed but is subordinate to the Most High, and the proposal above allows for that.
TRUTH TAKEN TOO FAR
I have come to the conclusion that an error is a truth that has been taken too far. For example:
NATURE OF CHRIST
Even after Pentecost, the disciples viewed Christ as merely a man (Acts 2:22). Decades later, the New Testament writers (particularly Paul and John) developed an extremely high view of Christ but still presented Him as subordinate to the Father. But, after the church became the State Church of the Roman Empire, the emperors became the real heads of the formal church and forced the church to take the high view of Christ too far. Consequently, the formal church adopted the doctrine that the Son is equally the Almighty; the uncaused Cause of all things.
Early in the existence of the church, when Jews still dominated the church, the dominant view was that “it is necessary to circumcise them (the Gentiles) and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses” (Acts 15:5).
Paul wrote fervently against the view that man is justified “by the works of the Law” (e.g. Rom 3:19). These “works of the law” refer to the rituals and ceremonies of the law, of which circumcision was the main example (e.g. Gal 6:12). These “works of the Law” are not the same as good deeds.
At the time of the Reformation, Luther and Calvin were confronted with something similar, namely that the Catholic Church demanded that people conform to the rituals of the Church to be saved. The reformers used Paul’s writings powerfully in their arguments.
But in their struggles against mother church, they took this truth too far and taught that nothing one does has an influence on salvation. Consequently, they taught that God decides who will live and who will go to hell, irrespective of what man is or does. They choose to ignore the statements in the Bible that man will be judged by your deeds (E.g. Rom 2:6; Rev 2-:12).
LIST OF ARTICLES ON
THE NATURE OF CHRIST
JESUS IN SPECIFIC BIBLE BOOKS
As part of my investigation, I made detailed studies of three books, namely John’s gospel, Colossians, and the book of Revelation.
The book of Revelation
The article on the book of Revelation argues that the ancient Greek word theos is equivalent to the modern word “god.” In contrast, the modern word “God” refers exclusively to the Almighty. That article shows that Revelation uses the titles “God” and “the Almighty” only for the Father. The Father alone is the Creator, the Supreme Ruler of all creation, and the One we must worship. Revelation presents Jesus as subordinate to the Father but infinitely above the created universe.
Colossians Part I
What view does Colossians have of Christ Jesus? Is He called God? Are we saved by Christ Jesus, or by God? Who created all things and who reconciled all things; God or Christ Jesus?
Colossians Part II
Is Jesus God? The Most High created all things through Him. Christ still holds all creation together. He is distinct from God, but Jesus rules over all.
JESUS IN SPECIFIC BIBLE PASSAGES
On the topic of the nature of Christ, this is one of the most important Bible passages. It describes Jesus before, during, and after His life on earth. It says that, before He became a human being, He had equality with God. For some, this means that He is God. For others, it means that He is not God.
1 Corinthians 8:6
Interestingly, the Bible has fairly few explicit statements about the nature of Christ. In the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark & Luke), except for a few verses that possibly say a bit more, Christ is merely a human being. We find the high Christology statements mostly in the writings of Paul and John. One of the few explicit statements of the nature of Christ is 1 Corinthians 8:6. It makes a clear distinction between the Most High God and the Lord Jesus Christ. The Trinitarian defense against this verse is that it divides the words of the Shema between the Father and the Son.
You make yourself out to be God.
To this accusation (John 10:33), Jesus responded, “I said, ‘I am the Son of God’” Some interpret this as a claim by Jesus that He is God. This article analyzes what the Jews said and what Jesus claimed to be.
I and the Father are one.
This is one of Jesus’ famous statements (John 10:30). Does that mean to be perfected in unity or literally that they are one Being?
Only Begotten Son
This title does not mean that Jesus is the Most High. However, since Jesus is the “only” begotten from the Father, He is God’s only true family. Because He was “begotten,” He was not created.
Firstborn of all creation
This is how Paul described Jesus in Colossians 1:15. This sounds as if He is part of creation; literally the first creation and/or the most important creation, but still part of creation.
Jesus did exist before He was born.
To become a human being, Jesus emptied Himself of the form of God and of equality with God. This article refutes the idea that Jesus was merely a human being, as proclaimed by Dale Tuggy in his high-quality website and podcast.
God created all things through His Son.
People who believe that Jesus is equal to the Most High need to show that Jesus created all things independent of the Father, but there are several verses that state that God created all things through His Son. In other words, the Most High is the Creator and His Son was the Medium through which He created all things.
JESUS IS SUBORDINATE TO THE FATHER.
Jesus is distinct from God.
This article highlights the differences between God and Jesus. For example, while God is invisible and the Source of all things, Jesus is visible. God refers to Jesus as “My Son” but Jesus refers to God as “My God.” Jesus also prayed to God and is currently at the right hand of God.
Trinitarians think of Jesus as the Almighty, but they may not be aware that they directly contradict the Bible when they do that (e.g. Rev 19:15; 21:22).
Jesus is subordinate to God.
The Bible teaches explicitly Jesus is subordinate to God. For example:
- “God is the head of Christ” (I Cor 11:3).
- He was subordinate to God both prior to His birth and after His ascension.
- Everything that His Son has, He received from His Father.
- Only the One “whom no man has seen or can see” is essentially “immortal” (1 Tim 6:16).
Jesus is subordinate to God in John’s gospel.
This is the gospel with the highest Christology but still shows that Jesus was subordinate to the Father before He became a human being and still is after He returned to the Father. For example:
- God gave all judgment to the Son.
- God gave the Son to have life in Himself.
- The Father is the only true God.
- Jesus called the Father “My God” and prayed to Him.
JESUS IS EQUAL WITH GOD.
This section contains articles on the examples of high Christology in the Bible:
Jesus has equality with God.
They work together, create together, own all things together and together they receive equal honor. Only the Son knows the Father and only the Son sees all things that the Father does. Both are “I Am,” the King of kings, the Lord of the Sabbath, Creator, and Savior
Jesus has equality with God in John’s gospel.
Evidence from John’s gospel. To say that Jesus is both subordinate to equal with the Most High may seem like a contradiction, but it is true. I understand this as follows: When the Father and the Son are compared, the Son is subordinate, but both are infinitely above created beings, and in that sense they are equal.
We must worship Jesus.
The Bible commands us to worship only God, but we must also worship Jesus. Does that mean that He is God? The English word “worship” means “a strong feeling of respect and admiration for God or a god” (Cambridge dictionary). The Greek word is proskuneó. It means that respect is shown towards a god or a fellow human being. I also made a list of the worship verses in the New Testament.
DOES THE NEW TESTAMENT
REFER TO JESUS AS GOD?
Several articles discuss specific instances where theos refers to Jesus:
The Greek word theos appears about 1300 times in the New Testamenet. In 99.5% of these instances, it refers to the Father. But in about seven instances, it refers to Jesus. This article explains what theos means. There is no word in the ancient Greek that is an exact equivalent to the modern word “God.”
John 1:1 – Introduction
This is the best-known example of Jesus being called God. Jesus not only was in the beginning; He WAS the beginning, and therefore always existed.
John 1:1 – The Word
Does “the Word” refer to Jesus, or is it a personification of the Wisdom of God in creation?
John 1:1 – The Word was a god.
This article argues against this translation, as proposed by Jehovah’s Witnesses. In support of their translation, Jehovah’s Witnesses argue that theos is a count noun. Does this mean that John 1:1c must be translated, “the Word was a god?”
John 1:1 – The Word was God.
This translates theos as definite, but this article shows that theos in John 1:1c has a qualitative force and, therefore, should be translated, “the Word was like God.”
The original text of John 1:18 is disputed. Many ancient manuscripts refer to Jesus as huios (son) and not as theos (god). According to the textual critics, both are possible.
Thomas could not have called Jesus “my God” in John 20:28 because Jesus never taught that He is God and because the disciples afterward did not teach that Jesus is God.
Is Jesus called God in John’s gospel?
The title “God” appears more than 100 times in John, and in only 3 instances it could possibly refer to Jesus, and these three instances are debatable. In other instances, John consistently makes a distinction between God and Jesus
Romans everywhere makes a distinction between God and Jesus. 14 translations of Romans 9:5 indicate that Jesus is God and 14 oppose it. It is all a matter of punctuation, and all punctuation in the Bible is interpretation.
This verse refers to Jesus as theos but the next verse (Heb 1:9) says that God is His theos. Furthermore, the first verses of Hebrews 1 make an explicit distinction between Jesus and God and represent Jesus as subordinate to God.
This is an overview of the articles on the instances where the Bible refers to Jesus as theos.
JESUS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
Jesus has always existed. In fact, God created all things through Him. Therefore, the question arises: Where do we find Jesus in the Old Testament? God is invisible but was seen in the Old Testament. To solve this riddle, this article finds evidence in the Old Testament of two distinct divine beings.
I am fond of listening to Dale Tuggy on this subject. He holds the mere man view of Christ, which I reject, but, generally, his podcasts are of a very good quality.