The Bible Denies the Divinity of Jesus (part 6 of 7)
The Bible Denies the Divinity of Jesus (part 6 of 7): Evidence from the Gospel of John
Description: A clear proof from the Gospel of John that Jesus was not God.
The Gospel of John, the fourth Gospel, was completed to its present form some seventy years after Jesus was raised up to heaven. This Gospel in its final form says one more thing about Jesus that was unknown from the previous three Gospels — that Jesus was the Word of God. John means that Jesus was God’s agent through whom God created everything else. This is often misunderstood to mean that Jesus was God Himself. But John was saying, as Paul had already said, that Jesus was God’s first creature. In the Book of Revelation in the Bible, we find that Jesus is: “the beginning of God’s creation” (Revelation 3:14, also see 1 Corinthians 8:6 and Colossians 1:15).
Anyone who says that the Word of God is a person distinct from God must also admit that the Word was created, for the Word speaks in the Bible saying:“The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works…” (Proverbs 8:22).
This Gospel, nevertheless, clearly teaches that Jesus is not God. If it did not continue this teaching, then it would contradict the other three Gospels and also the letters of Paul from which it is clearly established that Jesus is not God. We find here that Jesus was not co-equal with the Father, for Jesus said:“…the Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28).
People forget this and they say that Jesus is equal to the Father. Whom should we believe — Jesus or the people? Muslims and Christians agree that God is self-existent. This means that He does not derive his existence from anyone. Yet John tells us that Jesus’ existence is caused by the Father. Jesus said in this Gospel: “…I live because of the Father…” (John 6:57).
John tells us that Jesus cannot do anything by his own when he quotes Jesus as saying: “By myself I can do nothing…” (John 5:30). This agrees with what we learn about Jesus from other Gospels. In Mark, for example, we learn that Jesus performed miracles by a power which was not within his control. This is especially clear from an episode in which a woman is healed of her incurable bleeding. The woman came up behind him and touched his cloak, and she was immediately healed. But Jesus had no idea who touched him. Mark describes Jesus’ actions thus: “At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my clothes?’” (Mark 5:30). His disciples could not provide a satisfactory answer, so Mark tells us: “Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.” (Mark 5:32). This shows that the power that healed the woman was not within Jesus’ control. He knew that the power had gone out of him, but he did not know where it went. Some other intelligent being had to guide that power to the woman who needed to be healed. God was that intelligent being.
It is no wonder, then, that in Acts of the Apostles we read that it was God who did the miracles through Jesus (Acts 2:22).
God did extraordinary miracles through others too, but that does not make the others God (see Acts 19:11). Why, then, is Jesus taken for God? Even when Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead, he had to ask God to do it. Lazarus’ sister, Martha, knew this, for she said to Jesus: “I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” (John 11:22).
Martha knew that Jesus was not God, and John who reported this with approval knew it also. Jesus had a God, for when he was about to ascend to heaven, he said: “I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” (John 20:17).
John was sure that no one had seen God, although he knew that many people had seen Jesus (see John 1:18 and 1 John 4:12). In fact Jesus himself told the crowds, that they have never seen the Father, nor have they heard the Father’s voice (John 5:37). Notice that if Jesus was the Father, his statement here would be false. Who is the only God in John’s Gospel? The Father alone.
Jesus testified this when he declared that the God of the Jews is the Father (John 8:54). Jesus too confirmed that the Father alone is the only true God (see John 17:1-3). And Jesus said to his enemies: “…you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God.” (John 8:40). According to John, therefore, Jesus was not God, and nothing John wrote should be taken as proof that he was God — unless one wishes to disagree with John.
The Bible Denies the Divinity of Jesus (part 7 of 7): God and Jesus Are Two Separate Beings
Description: Many people use certain verses of the Bible as proof that Jesus is God. However, all of these verses, when understood in context, prove the opposite!
For example, in Matthew 9:2, Jesus said to a certain man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” Because of this, some say that Jesus must be God since only God can forgive sins. However, if you are willing to read just a few verses further, you will find that the people “…praised God, who had given such authority to men.” (Matthew 9:8). This shows that the people knew, and Matthew agrees, that Jesus is not the only man to receive such authority from God.
Jesus himself emphasized that he does not speak on his own authority (John 14:10) and he does nothing on his own authority, but he speaks only what the Father has taught him (John 8:28). What Jesus did here was as follows. Jesus announced to the man the knowledge Jesus received from God that God had forgiven the man.
Notice that Jesus did not say, “I forgive your sins,” but rather, “your sins are forgiven,” implying, as this would to his Jewish listeners, that God had forgiven the man. Jesus, then, did not have the power to forgive sins, and in that very episode he called himself “the Son of Man” (Matthew 9:6).
John 10:30 is often used as proof that Jesus is God because Jesus said, “I and the father are one.” But, if you read the next six verses, you will find Jesus explaining that his enemies were wrong to think that he was claiming to be God. What Jesus obviously means here is that he is one with the Father in purpose. Jesus also prayed that his disciples should be one just as Jesus and the Father are one. Obviously, he was not praying that all his disciples should somehow merge into one individual (see John 17:11 and 22). And when Luke reports that the disciples were all one, Luke does not mean that they became one single human being, but that they shared a common purpose although they were separate beings (see Acts 4:32). In terms of essence, Jesus and the Father are two, for Jesus said they are two witnesses (John 8:14-18). They have to be two, since one is greater than the other (see John 14:28). When Jesus prayed to be saved from the cross, he said: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42).
This shows that they had two separate wills, although Jesus submitted his will to the will of the Father. Two wills mean two separate individuals.
Furthermore, Jesus is reported to have said: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). If one of them forsook the other, then they must be two separate entities.
Again, Jesus is reported to have said: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46). If the spirit of one can be placed into the hands of another, they must be two separate beings.
In all of these instances, Jesus is clearly subordinate to the Father. When Jesus knelt down and prayed he obviously was not praying to himself (see Luke 22:41). He was praying to his God.
Throughout the New Testament, the Father alone is called God. In fact, the titles “Father” and “God” are used to designate one individual, not three, and never Jesus. This is also clear from the fact that Matthew substituted the title “Father” in the place of the title “God” in at least two places in his Gospel (compare Matthew 10:29 with Luke 12:6, and Matthew 12:50 with Mark 3:35). If Matthew is right in doing so, then the Father alone is God.
Was Jesus the Father? No! Because Jesus said: “And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.” (Matthew 23:9). So Jesus is not the Father, since Jesus was standing on the earth when he said this.
The Quran seeks to bring people back to the true faith that was taught by Jesus, and by his true disciples who continued in his teaching. That teaching emphasized a continued commitment to the first commandment that God is alone. In the Quran, God directs Muslims to call readers of the Bible back to that true faith. God have said in the Quran:
Say: “O people of the Book (Christians and Jews)! Come to a word that is just between us and you: that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords beside God.” (Quran, 3:64)