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If Jesus is the TRUE God, who is his SON Jesus?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by edpobre, Sep 27, 2002.

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  1. npetreley

    npetreley pumpkin sailor

    +2
    Wow. That's quite a severe case of denial. The context of the verse along with the plain language (yes, in the Greek) makes your interpretation one of the most bizarre rationalizations I've seen to date.

    The text so plainly speaks for itself that I see no need to elaborate other than to quote it once again for the benefit of others who are not in denial...

     
  2. Kain

    Kain Varpatrol

    175
    +4
    Yes, you speak of context yet avoid it yourself. The text does speak plainly for itself, if you look up a few verses:


    John 8:54 Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:

    Yet you want to claim that contrary to this verse, Jesus is calling himself God. This would mean that he was honoring himself and that honor is nothing. That would be bizarre indeed. Jesus denies divinity throughout the NT.

    Next time you want to "quote" a text for the benefit of others, please do so in full context.
     
  3. npetreley

    npetreley pumpkin sailor

    +2
    Look at the larger context. This particular verse testifies to His voluntary subordinance over self-glorification, and is part of the entire exchange, which started with the assertion that the testimony of one witness is not valid, but the testimony of two or more is.

    Voluntary subordinance:

     
  4. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

    +218
    Atheist
    Private
    Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me".   Jn 8:42


    If you believe the trinity, you believe in man's wisdom!  

      

    God cannot be killed, God cannot be tempted, God did not shed blood because God is spirit,  Jesus was tempted because He was a man, a human being with flesh, blood & bones, oh yes, He prayed to His father in heaven, do you have any idea what all this means fields?  It means that God was the father of Jesus, Jesus was God's Son who lived in perfect obedience to His father, endured temptation and never sinned!  If I follow your line of logic which is no logic at all, we have a Jesus who was the greatest pretender who has ever lived in the history of all mankind!  Get your teaching from the scriptures and you will never find the trinity in it!  Your line of logic is full of confusion to no end!



    The only thing I see changing here fields is you changing the word of God! 

    The scriptural picture of Jesus Christ:


    He was conceived in Mary by the overshadowing of the Spirit-Power of God; (not God becoming man)
    after the normal period (approx 9 Months) he was born a babe;
    Increased in wisdom as he grew to manhood;
    Continually prayed to God; (not God praying to God)
    Offered supplication (humble entreaty) to God;
    Was heard and saved from death in that he feared and was obedient; (is God able to fear?)
    Was tempted in all points like his brethren; (God cannot be tempted)
    Overcame;
    Learned obedience; (Does God need to learn how to obey?)
    Was saved from death by strong crying and tears; (How do you save God from death?)
    Received the Revelation of the future from God; (if Jesus was God, why didn't He know the future?)
    Did not know things God knew; (If He was God, how was this possible?)
    Was promised the throne of David by God;
    Had no right to say who should sit at his right hand;
    Was sent by God;
    Was taught by God;
    Was shown things by God;
    Recognized his subjection to the commands to worship and serve God;
    Is several times clearly DISTINGUISHED FROM the ONE TRUE AND ONLY GOD.
    He is repeatedly described as a man;
    Was raised from the dead by God;
    Was glorified by God in answer to prayer;
    Was given power and authority by God;
    Was anointed by God with the Holy Spirit;
    Said God was greater than he;
    Said he of himself could do nothing;
    Said the doctrine, words and works were NOT HIS but God's;
    When addressed as "good" he distinguished between himself as a man of mortal flesh and God Who alone is wholly good;
    He was appointed by God as heir of all things;
    He prayed to God that the cup might pass but he relinquished his own will and submitted to God's; He was a prophet raised up by God from among his brethren;
    God is to judge the world by him;
    God is spoken of as the Head of Christ;
    He cried, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me;
    He was given commandments by God;
    He was made perfect through suffering;
    And he is finally to be subject to God and relinquish all power and authority back to Him that God may be all in all. This is the scriptural picture of Jesus.

    It's time for you to be honest fields..... Who do you say Jesus is? Your answer should be no different than Peters..... "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God"

     
     
  5. fieldsofwind

    fieldsofwind Well-Known Member

    +11
    Christian
    show me franklin.. you quote all of the scripture refering to Christ as the man... Christ, who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but MADE HIMSELF... nothing, taking the nature of a man. That is what the Bible says.

    God didn't ever change when He became a man... (you seem to think that He cannot do that)... He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

    Christ says that He IS... and everyone fell to the ground...

    Christ says that when you see Him you see the Father... He says that I and the Father are one...

    He says that He came from the Father... again.. MADE HIMSELF...a man to become the living sacrifice once and for all. God had to become a man franklin... had to be tempted... He tells me franklin... and I don't worry about whether you believe me... I believe His voice

    Christ says that He is the Alpha and the Omega... the Beginning and the End... the First and the Last... The KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS

    what does LORD refer to here franklin???

    If two things come in first in a race, are they not of equal speed???

    I AM THE FIRST AND THE LAST

    IN Rev 19 the Word is revealed... He is the Word of God... to man! John starting at 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him NOTHING was made that has been MADE. In him was life, and that life was the light of MEN.... The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth...No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known.

    God made Himself nothing to become the sacrifice... the ultimate love story franklin...

    I AM THE FIRST AND THE LAST



    I believe franklin
     
  6. fieldsofwind

    fieldsofwind Well-Known Member

    +11
    Christian
    Isaiah 42:8....... I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.
     
  7. fieldsofwind

    fieldsofwind Well-Known Member

    +11
    Christian
    Isaiah 43:10....... You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chasen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, amd the LORD and apart from me there is no savior.

    Isaiah 43:3....... For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior....
     
  8. LouisBooth

    LouisBooth Well-Known Member

    +62
    Christian
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    "Where do you see me saying in my quote that I said the Apostles were wrong??!! If your going to participate in a normal discussion/debate you need to stop twisting the words of your opponent! There is a difference from the Apostles and the church fathers! Get it right the next time before jumbing to conclusions! "

    Who in the world do you think the church fathers where? If I teach something to my son and tell him exactly who Christ is, do you think he is going to get it wrong? LOL, nope :)


    "me the scriptures why don't you?! "

    Sure dude, you asked for it, I'm not going to answer anymore of your thread for this is going to take up a lot more.

    The three persons of the Godhead are, at the same time, noted in such Scriptures as Isaiah 48:16: "I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; From the time that it was, there am I; and now the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me." The speaker in this verse is obviously God, and yet He says He has been "sent both by The Lord God (that is, the Father) and by His Spirit (that is, the Holy Spirit).

    The New Testament doctrine of the Trinity is evident in such a verse as John 15:26, where the Lord Jesus said: "But when the Comforter is come whom I will send unto you from the Father, He shall testify of me." Then there is the baptismal formula: "baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19). One name (God) -- yet three names!


    Yet we can know that Jesus is God because He said: "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty" (Revelation 1:8) .

    There are several other reasons to at least start believing our Lord Jesus Christ is God:

    Christ' Title and Name
    1) Lord means Deity
    The title Lord was first applied to Jesus by Simon Peter just prior to his declaration that "You are the Christ, the son of the Living God." Thereafter, Lord is increasingly applied to Jesus. Although the title of Lord may mean simply a master, to the Jews "Lord" was a reverent title of Deity. The Bible of their day was the Septuagint - a Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures. The Septuagint translated the Hebrew word for God (YHWH) as the Greek word meaning Lord. In fact, it was the early church's refusal to agree that Caesar was Lord that caused the Christians to be martyred.
    2) Jesus means Savior
    Throughout the Holy Scripture, the Lord God adamantly proclaims that there is no other savior besides Himself. Yet Scripture also calls Jesus our savior, and his very name means "Savior".
    3) Christ means Messiah
    The very title of Christ means God's Holy One or God's Anointed One. The Jews looked forward to this person's coming as the Messiah.
    4) Son of God
    When the scribes and Pharisees understood that Jesus was claiming to be the Son of God, they wanted to stone Him for blasphemy because he was claiming to be equal with God. Jesus and Hebrews also explain that the Son of God means deity.
    5) Son of Man
    The Son of Man is Jesus favorite name for himself. This name reaches back to Daniel's name for the Messiah. By calling Himself the son of Man, Jesus was identifying Himself as the anointed one - the Christ.
    6) Lord of Glory
    When Jesus is called the Lord of Glory, this title refers specifically to His Deity.
    None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the "Lord of glory." - 1 Corinthians 2:8

    mesh with:

    Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. - Isaiah 60:1-2

    7) Claimed to be One with the Father
    There is a oneness to the triune God that is beyond our comprehension. Not only is the Father in Jesus, but Jesus is in the Father. Truly, the Lord is one.
    8) Claimed to Be Lord of The Sabbath
    The Sabbath is the day is the day of rest at the completion of the creation. By claiming to be the Lord of the Sabbath, Jesus is claiming to have been the one who rested on the seventh day.
    9) Claimed to be Lord over All
    There can only be one supreme commander in chief. And there can only be one Lord over all. Jesus is not competing with the Father, because Jesus too is YHWH - the Lord over All.
    10) Claimed to be the Alpha and the Omega
    Only six times in scripture does anyone claim to be the very first and the very last. Three times the LORD God makes this claim, and three times Jesus Christ makes the same claim.
    11) Made several "I Am" statements
    It seems no coincidence that Jesus Christ, when asked question concerning His nature, replied with the same answer that the Lord God used when Moses asked questions.
    12) Christ dared to forgive Sins
    Only one person can forgive a sin against God, and that's God. Yet Jesus repeatedly completely forgave sin.
    13) Christ spoke with authority
    All the other prophets spoke saying, "Thus Says the Lord,". But not Jesus. When He taught, the listeners marveled at His authority.


    If the greatest sin is breaking the greatest commandment, then worshiping anyone or anything besides God is the greatest sin possible. Yet, Jesus regularly received worship, and blessed those who worshipped Him. Is this blasphemy, or obeying the greatest commandment? 14) He is worshiped at His Birth
    At His entry into His Earthly ministry, Jesus was worshipped by shepards, wise men and angels.
    15) His disciples worshiped him
    Those closest to Christ, who heard His private teachings and prayed daily with Him, worshiped Christ!
    16) Those he healed worshiped him
    Those Christ healed responded with appropriate worship for their God!
    17) The Holy Scriptures worship Him
    So often a New Testament writer is explaining some aspect of God, or our salvation, and He breaks into a passage of worship and praise for God, and for Christ. That the God-breathed Holy Scriptures worship Christ is perhaps the most significant proof of the Deity of Jesus. If Christ is not God, then by this proof, the entire foundation of Christianity just came tumbling down!
    18) Heaven worships him
    The book of Revelation is an incredible glimpse into the worship of heaven. The focal point of the book is worship directed toward our Lord Jesus Christ. One hundred million angels, the twenty-four elders and the four heavenly being can't be wrong.
    19) Angels are commanded to worship him
    God commands the angels to worship Christ! Is the Lord God committing idolatry?
    20) Every Knee shall bow
    In Paul's great hymn of the incarnation, the song concludes with the bold statement that every knee, believer or not, all will bow before Christ - and declare that Jesus Christ is LORD!

    Evidence of Christ's Divine Nature
    21) Self-Existent
    Christ has no beginning - as only God can claim
    22) Omnipotent
    Christ has all power - as only God can have!
    23) Omnipresent
    Christ's divine nature is infinite and without boundary - as only God can be!
    24) Omniscience
    Christ knows every secret - as only God can know!
    25) Holy
    Christ is holy and righteous - as only God is holy.
    26) Good
    Christ is good - as only God is good.
    27) Just
    Christ is fair and just, and judge of everyone - as only God shows justice.
    28) Eternal
    Christ is eternal, pre-existent and the ancient of days - as only God is beyond the markers of time.
    29) Immutable
    Christ is the same today, yesterday, and forever, consistent, unchanging - as only God is immutable.
    30) The Creator
    Christ is no other than the one who spoke time, the universe, the laws of physics, and your soul into being - as only God can do!
    31) Sustainer of Life
    Christ is the one who sustains all life - as God is the source of life
    32) The King
    Christ is the King of the Universe - as only God can rule!
    33) sends forth the Holy Spirit
    Christ sends forth the Comforter - as only God can send forth His Spirit.
    34) The Light of the World
    Christ is the source of spiritual light and truth and the light of heaven - as only God is the source of truth.


    The Old Testament Prophets Prepared for the Messiah as YHWH Himself
    35) Isaiah
    The Prophet spoke of the Messiah as the Mighty God!
    36) John the Baptist
    The final prophet of the Old Testament made straight the path of the Lord
    37) Psalms
    Several Psalms speak to the Son as God.

    The Apostle John Taught that Jesus is God
    38) John's Gospel Prelude
    The Gospel of John opens with the clearest possible way that John can say that Christ both "is God" and "is with God". John say that the word became flesh and tabernacled among His people.
    39) John calls Jesus True God
    In one of John's letters, he directly calls Jesus the true God.
    40) Jesus blessed Thomas' confession that Jesus was his God
    John records Thomas' confession that Jesus was his Lord and his God. And Jesus responds by blessing the confession.


    The author of Hebrews taught the Deity of Christ
    41) The letter to the Hebrews revels the Glory of Jesus' Deity
    Hebrews opens the Holy Scriptures (O.T.) and shows how Jesus is higher than the angels by showing that Jesus is God Himself. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being,
    - Hebrews 1:3


    Wow! How clearer can it get? Christ's Divinity means that He is the God in the flesh. This verse reminds me of the Transfiguration. When Jesus gave his best friends a glimpse of His Divine glory.

    42) The Builder of all things
    In my personal favorite passage of Deity, the writer of Hebrews weaves a wonderfully concise progression of logic explaining that Jesus is greater than Moses, because Jesus is the builder (of the law, and of the church)and the builder is God.
    43) The Father calls The Son God
    The writer of Hebrews opens the Old Testament and shows points to a dialog between God the Father and God the son, wherein the Father calls the Son "Oh God"! - Hebrews 1:8
     
  9. LouisBooth

    LouisBooth Well-Known Member

    +62
    Christian
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    Paul the Apostle teaches that Jesus is God Incarnate
    The Apostle Paul persecuted Christians before meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus. The glory of God shinning from Jesus blinded Paul. Paul's personal encounter with the Deity of Christ changed him. Paul became a bondservant of Jesus, an apostle called to preach the gospel.

    44) the Incarnation Hymn
    Paul's famous incarnation hymn guides the reader with Christ as Christ humbles Himself and becomes a man. Christ is then obedient to the cross and is then glorified by the Father. -Philippians 2: 5-11
    45) Jesus is our great God
    Paul writes to his friend, Titus, with the great hope of the appearance of Jesus Christ, our Great God and Savior. - Titus 2:13 Literally in the Greek it reads: "Great God Also Savior (of us) Jesus Christ"
    46) Jesus is the bodily image of God
    In several passages, Paul explains that Jesus is the God made visible.
    47) Christ is God of all
    In a passage of praise and worship to Jesus Christ, Paul praises Christ as God, over all, blessed and eternal.
    48) It was God who bled on the cross
    In a sad farewell to a beloved congregation Paul says the church was bought by God's blood. - Acts 20:28
    49) The Incarnation is the Mystery of Godliness
    To Timothy, Paul's protege, he writes that the incarnation is the great mystery of Godliness.

    I know you have some objections SO let me me post them here:

    But what about?
    Those who deny the deity of Christ offer the following objections. 1) Jesus is the firstborn
    The objection: If Jesus is the firstborn then he was born, right? So, how can a God have a beginning?
    The answer: Firstborn is the position of greatest honor in the family and is more of a title than actually saying Christ is born. Also, firstborn refers to Christ as the first to be raised from the dead with a glorified body.
    2) Jesus is the mediator between man and God
    The objection: How can Jesus be between God and man and be God at the same time?
    The answer: Christ is the perfect mediator because He is both man and God. How could a mere man serve as God's mediator?
    3) Jesus prayed to the Father
    The objection: If Christ is God he would not need to pray to communicate with the Father.
    The answer: Jesus prayed as a human in submission and worship to His Father.
    4) Jesus Called God His God.
    The objection: Jesus worshiped God as His God. If Jesus thought God was God why don't we take the same position and simply worship God and not Jesus?
    The answer: In submission and worship to the Father, Jesus called God the Father His God. (see Psalm 45.)
    5) Jesus said he didn't know the hour of His return and Jesus learned as a human would learn.
    The objection: If Jesus is God how can He not know the hour of His return? And how come Jesus had to learn anything at all?
    The answer: Jesus set aside some of the glory of deity when he chose to become human (Phil 2).
    6) How could God die?
    The objection: God can't die. But Jesus died. How is that?
    The answer: Jesus' human nature did die. But His divine nature did not die.

    I even threw in some common questions you might have. I can go further if you want :)
     
  10. fieldsofwind

    fieldsofwind Well-Known Member

    +11
    Christian
    ed.. franklin... respond to the above five
     
  11. Defender of the Faith 777

    Defender of the Faith 777 Well-Known Member

    +4
    United Ch. of Christ
    Respond to

    "...our great God and Savior Christ Jesus."

    "My Lord and my God!"

    "For in Him dwelleth the fullness of the godhead bodily."

    the church that God "purchased with His own blood."
     
  12. edpobre

    edpobre Well-Known Member

    +37
    If you are that good Louis, please tell us why Jesus SAID to the FATHER: "...that they may know YOU, the ONLY true God..." (John 17:3,1).

    Don't tell us it was Jesus' human nature TALKING to Jesus'  divine nature!

    And why did Jesus cry out, "my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? What was his "divine nature" doing all the time?

    Ed
     
  13. fieldsofwind

    fieldsofwind Well-Known Member

    +11
    Christian
    Do you not see who the Word of God is ed???

    IN Rev 19 the Word is revealed... He is the Word of God... to man! John starting at 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him NOTHING was made that has been MADE. In him was life, and that life was the light of MEN.... The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth...No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known.

    ed you continue to see the Christ who made HIMSELF nothing to become our sacrifice... do you think that it was impossible for God to do this??? Do you put those limitations on the One who weighed the universe in His hands??? Do you believe Him when He says that He is the

    KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS

    Do you believe Him when He says that He is the Alpha and the Omega... the Beginning and the End... the First and the Last???

    when two things finish in first place together at the end of a race... are they not of equal speed???

    What does LORD mean ed???

    Isaiah 42:8....... I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.

    Isaiah 43:10....... You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chasen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, amd the LORD and apart from me there is no savior.

    Isaiah 43:3....... For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior....


    I believe
     
  14. Gunny

    Gunny Remnant Supporter

    +88
    Christian
    Married
     
  15. edpobre

    edpobre Well-Known Member

    +37
    Originally posted by Defender of the Faith 777
    Titus 2:13 Moffat - "awaiting the blesssed hope of the appearance of the glory OF the great God and OF our savior Jesus Christ."

    2 Cor. 1:2-3 NKJV - "Grace to you and peace from God OUR Father AND the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father OF our Lord Jesus Christ..."

    Ephesians 1:2-3 NKJV - "Grace to you and peace from God OUR Father AND the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father OF our Lord Jesus Christ..."

    Colossians 1:2-3 NKJV - "Grace to you and peace from God OUR Father AND the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to the God and Father  OF our Lord JKesus Christ..."

    1 Cor. 8:6 NKJV - "yet for US there is ONLY ONE God, the FATHER, of whom are all things, and we for him; and ONE Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live."

    Now tell me Defender, why would apostle Paul write, "great God and savior Jesus Christ"  thereby IMPLYING that Jesus is God?

    Thomas did NOT address "my God" to Jesus. There is no basis for the assumption that Thomas addressed Jesus "my God." Thomas was a Jew and was trained since childhood to address God as "Lord God." Thus, if Thomas really thought that Jesus were God, he would have said "my Lord God."

    Before Jesus appeared before Thomas, Thomas told the eleven apostles that he did NOT believe that Jesus has RISEN until he saw his scars. Thus, when Thomas ACTUALLY saw Jesus, he BELIEVED not only Jesus but also believed God who raised Jesus (John 14:1). Thus, Thomas statement, "my Lord and my God" is an expression of BELIEF first in Jesus (my Lord) and also BELIEF in God (my God).

    Col. 2:9 TEV - "For the full content of human nature lives in Christ, in his humanity."

    1 Tim. 2:5 [iNKJV[/i] - "For there is ONE God and ONE mediator between God and men, that MAN Christ Jesus."

    Tell me Defender, is Jesus the mediator NOW or does 1 Tim. 2:5 refer only to when Jesus was here on earth? TODAY, the ONLY mediator between God and men is that MAN Jesus Christ.

    Now tell me Defender, why would  apostle Paul IMPLY that Jesus is God when in the SAME letter, he writes that Jesus HAS a God and Father (Col. 1:3)?

    The Lamsa version of Acts 20:28 renders it as "the church of Christ which he purchased with his own blood."

    Why would apostle Paul write that it was "God who purchased the church with his own blood?" In 1 Tim. 1:17 apostle Paul wrote that God is INVISIBLE and IMMORTAL. Do you know what this means Defender? 

    In Luke 24:39, Jesus told his DISCIPLES that a SPIRIT does NOT have flesh and bones as he has. How could God bleed when Jesus SAID "God is SPIRIT" (John 4:24)?

    Ed
     
  16. wblastyn

    wblastyn Jedi Master

    +110
    Agnostic
    Single
    I don't think you understand what the Trinity is.

    The trinity is three in one, God is three persons, not three gods.

    The Trinity is made of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, three seperate beings, one God.

    Jesus HAD to be God in order for His sacrifice to mean something, othewise He would not have been pure enough.

    When Jesus prays, He is praying to the Father, not Himself.

    Why did Jesus never refute people when they called Him "God" or accused Him of blasphemy for claiming to be the Son of God, and thus equal to God?
     
  17. zee

    zee New Member

    12
    +0
    how can one be the son of a god that does not exist?
    god is a fraud.
     
  18. wblastyn

    wblastyn Jedi Master

    +110
    Agnostic
    Single
    No I'm not, the Jews crucified Jesus because He claimed to be the Son of God (Christ, the Messiah), THUS EQUAL TO GOD, but the Jews did not believe Him and accused Him of blasphemy. I do believe Jesus was God, and He was therefore NOT committing blasphemy by claiming to be the Son of God.

    Yes, except Jesus was both God and Man.

    The Jews did not believe Jesus was God, they thought He was lying. I do not believe Jesus was lying.

    "I am the Alpha and the Omega..."

    God is a trinity.

    It means they are equal in nature, we are all equal because we are human beings, but the President has more authority.  Jesus is equal in nature to the Father and Holy Spirit because they are all God, as for their authority, that is another argument altogether.

    Read your Bible:

    "This was why [they] sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God." - John 5:18

    The Jews were angered because Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, thus equal to God (read above verse).

    Your amazing arguement has caused me to drop my faith, thankyou for helping me to see the truth. [/sarcasm off]

    You should read the various arguments here:

    http://www.carm.org/questions_Jesus.htm
     
  19. Gunny

    Gunny Remnant Supporter

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    GEORGE M. LAMSA: Christian Scholar or Cultic Torchbearer?


    by John P. Juedes


    George M. Lamsa's books and translations of the Bible have become a fixture in Christian bookstores across the nation. Lamsa published 21 books by the time of his death in 1975. Four of these, plus his version of the Bible, were published by A. J. Holman, a well-known Bible and book publisher. Currently, Spring Arbor distributes them to Christian bookstores nationwide.

    For nearly 50 years Lamsa was a popular speaker at conferences and churches, published the periodical Light for All, and spoke on the radio program "Lessons for Living." He also founded the Aramaic Bible Society and Calvary Missionary Church. Many groups and writers quote Lamsa as a Bible scholar.

    There are several reasons for Lamsa's popularity. First, his books are engaging and very readable. Second, his comments on the life and customs of Bible times are engrossing to twentieth century Westerners. Third, people are intrigued and awed by Lamsa's claim that he was reared in the same part of the world Jesus lived, thus participating in biblical customs and language, and is hence uniquely able to reveal the Bible's idioms, translate the Bible accurately, and disclose its true meaning.

    Lamsa's Christian readers commonly make the following charitable assumptions about his life and work: They believe Lamsa was an evangelical Christian teacher and that he accepted all the major biblical teachings held by the church. They think Lamsa absorbed a culture like that of Bible times which enabled him to accurately interpret Scripture. They further believe he held the Bible in high esteem and that he accurately translated it.

    In this article we will closely examine each of these assumptions with a view to gaining a clearer picture of Lamsa's work. This will enable us to better respond to the man and his claims.


    LAMSA'S TEACHINGS: BIBLICAL OR CULTIC?

    Anyone who closely reads Lamsa's books will notice that he seldom explicitly enunciates his beliefs. In fact, Lamsa stated that he purposely tried to avoid doctrinal, theological, and controversial matters and passages.1 When he does deal with a controversial topic, he will typically mention some common views without stating his own. For instance, when he addresses Luke's account of angels at Jesus' ascension, he comments that many faiths hold to a belief in personal angels and demons, but he neglects to say that he himself does not.2

    Lamsa's motives and message are also made difficult to discern by his inconsistency: some of his writings seem evangelical, while others are far removed from the biblical faith. This may be due to an evolution of his thought away from biblical teaching or to adjusting his wording to his audiences' desires.

    We gain insight into Lamsa's true message and his approach to interpreting Scripture by reflecting on his upbringing. George Lamsa was born near the Turkish/Iraqi border about 1892 and lived there until about 1915. This area has been overrun by one warring country after another for centuries. Lamsa remembers thousands of his Armenian people being massacred, starved, or forced from their homeland by Moslems; he narrowly escaped death himself. Rival tribes were in constant conflict, highlighting their political, cultural, and religious differences. The history of Lamsa's Eastern church is full of divisions, including such competing groups as the Monophysites, Nestorians, and Jacobians. (This even led to alternate alphabets for their common language.)

    These experiences affected Lamsa's message and interpretation of Scripture in several ways. Above all, Lamsa sought a "new world order" in which "the light of the gospel would be shared, racial and class barriers would be eliminated, and national boundaries would be eliminated."3 Accordingly, Lamsa interprets Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (in his book appropriately titled The Kingdom on Earth) as a commandment for world peace, international understanding, and the overthrow of enslaving governments by meekness and love. Lamsa founded the Christian Mohammedan Society in 1921 to pursue unity by emphasizing common ground.

    Lamsa's desire to unite nations into a universal state led him to avoid matters of dogma and make many concessions to the beliefs of other faiths, seeking the lowest common denominator among religions.


    Lamsa on the Trinity

    Lamsa proudly admits to being raised in the Nestorian church, which can be traced back to A.D. 431 when the Council of Ephesus declared that the patriarch Nestorius was teaching a false view of Christ. His followers fled to Persia and developed their own rituals, customs, and theology, which are reflected in Lamsa's writings.

    For instance, Lamsa said "the Eastern Christians believe in one God with three attributes, instead of three persons."4 Other Nestorians also preferred the Aramaic word "attributes" (kenomey) to the Greek concept "persons" (prosopon), even though these held to the doctrine of the Trinity.5

    Lamsa's teachings on Christ and the Holy Spirit, however, do not match Nestorian Trinitarianism. (In fact, he often implies that he opposes the belief.) He considers "spirit" to be synonymous with "influence," "expansion," "effectiveness," and "hidden power," and suggests that the Comforter of John 14:16 and 16:8 is but the influence Jesus left behind after His dissolution on the cross.6

    Lamsa also promoted the Nestorian view that Jesus Christ was actually two persons — Jesus and Christ — who, in a manner of speaking, were glued together like two boards. Jesus, Lamsa says, began His existence at birth in Bethlehem, while "Christ existed from the very beginning. He was neither born nor did he die, but he lives forever. This belief is still held by Christians in the East...."7 In Lamsa's view, Jesus did not claim to be equal to God, nor did He want to be worshipped.8




    On Christ's Resurrection, Ascension, and Second Coming

    Lamsa strays still further from biblical Christianity by denying that Jesus Christ ever physically rose from the dead. While he claims that Christ rose with a "spiritual body," Lamsa compares Jesus' life to a mere glass of water and His death to its evaporation into the air and ocean,9 depreciating His ongoing personal existence and significance.

    Lamsa spiritualizes the Ascension as well as the Resurrection: "The ascension of Jesus was a spiritual transformation. Jesus rose up from death and was taken up into the heavenly realm in a spiritual body, freed from all physical limitation [i.e., nonphysical]. He was seen alive and ascending to heaven only by those whose spiritual vision had been strengthened by faith in him."10

    Lamsa likewise stresses that the Second Coming is not a physical event, but a "spiritual" coming that will transpire in the world's consciousness: "The second coming of Jesus will be a spiritual coming, that is, he will come in a spiritual body, free from all physical limitations. Moreover, the people's consciousness will be raised to a spiritual level, so that every eye will see nothing but good. In other words, it will be a spiritual life and spiritual kingdom."11 Lamsa typically focuses on the disciples' experience rather than on Christ's personal actions after Calvary.

    Scripture, in contrast, repeatedly emphasizes that these were/will be actual, physical events. It is of first importance that Jesus Christ (God in human flesh, not just "the man Jesus") died, was raised, and appeared to over 500 people (1 Cor. 15:38). Jesus taught that it was necessary for Christ to suffer (Luke 24:26) and invites His disciples to touch His body, "for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have" (Luke 24:39). Jesus warned that even ungodly nations (who do not have the "spiritual vision" Lamsa required) will mourn when they see Jesus return in the clouds in the same way He left the earth (Matt. 24:30).




    On Salvation and Non-Christian Religions

    Lamsa attempts to unite world religions in part by eliminating the uniqueness of Jesus and His atoning sacrifice on the cross. He follows the lead of the metaphysical (or "mind science") cults by redefining sin as mere error or (at worst) evil, not as moral disobedience to the Creator which deserves punishment from Him. Salvation in Lamsa's view is simply knowing Truth and "understanding the good"12 — a view which reduces Jesus from the essential suffering Savior to the dispensable model man. Christ died, Lamsa says in his notes on John 3:16, to show us meekness and the existence of life hereafter, not to atone for our sins.13 He thus contradicts the central theme of the whole Bible.

    Lamsa focuses on man as his own savior rather than viewing Jesus Christ in that role. Therefore, he extols any prominent person, whether Christian or not, as one who has tapped God's power. Lamsa praised "humble prophets" like Isaiah and Jeremiah and "inspired men" like Marconi and Edison all in the same breath because "they relied on the hidden power, the power of God, the power of their indwelling self....one must be able to contact the spiritual forces, which are the only true power. All power belongs to God and comes from Him."14

    Lamsa's unbiblical views of sin, salvation, and God — and his move to a metaphysical interpretation of Scripture — helped him to reconcile differences between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (as well as other religions). He denounces as "ignorant" those teachers who claim the three religions are incompatible and adds: "The adherents of these three great religions believe in one God, the holy prophets, the Scriptures, resurrection, Judgment Day and the Life hereafter. On the other hand, a greater part of the differences between them are due to the doctrines and the teachings of men, and the traditions of the elders."15


    Cont'd
     
  20. Gunny

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    GEORGE M. LAMSA: Christian Scholar or Cultic Torchbearer? Cont'd


    by John P. Juedes





    On the Psychic Realm

    Lamsa's views of healing, Satan, demons, and prophecy are closer to the psychic perspective of metaphysical teaching and occultism than a biblical orientation. Jesus, he infers, had no power to heal, but only spoke "a word of comfort"16 which most sick people never received: "At times out of hundreds of sick persons who were brought to him only a few were healed, those who had faith in him. Others whose bodies were not cured left the place cursing and shouting insults."17 Lamsa sometimes removes the supernatural elements from Gospel accounts of healing. For instance, he implies that Simon Peter's mother-in-law was not supernaturally healed, but her rising to work allowed her no time to think about her mild fever until it finally left her (Luke 4:38-39). When he does allow that a healing may have occurred, he attributes it to the faith, understanding, or behavior of the person healed rather than to Jesus Christ's inherent power.

    Lamsa implicitly denies the objective existence of a personal Devil and demons. "Demons," he says, is a way of referring to insanity, or wrong thoughts, desires, or practices.18 "Satan," Lamsa suggests, refers to error or opposition in various forms, and cannot be an objective evil power because God is the only power in the universe.19 Lamsa's translation usually uses the word "insane" instead of "demon" and "opposition" instead of "Satan."

    Lamsa spoke of psychic involvement in a speech at the Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.), a group which promotes medium Edgar Cayce and the pursuit of psychic phenomena. He encouraged use of the "talents" of Creative (psychic) Power manifesting through men and spotlighted his native Near Eastern people's claim to a "sixth sense": the ability to become aware of God through dreams, visions, intuition, and clairvoyance. He also spoke of their "seventh sense," a state of awareness "higher" than others, with which one can discern between good and evil.20

    Lamsa's metaphysical theology is man-centered. It is man, he says, who causes his own problems, creates his own healing, creates his world by his own prayer, discloses the unknown by his clairvoyance, and relies on the power of his own indwelling self. In contrast, the Bible emphasizes that relying on self rather than God is foundational to all our problems, and that the way, truth, and life are found only in Jesus Christ.




    LAMSA'S INTERPRETATIONS: FAITHFUL OR UNRELIABLE?

    Lamsa claimed that he was the only person on earth able to accurately interpret the Bible: "The author, through God's grace, is the only one with the knowledge of Aramaic, the Bible customs and idioms, and the knowledge of the English language who has ever translated the Holy Bible from the original Aramaic texts into English and written commentaries on it...."21 But are Lamsa's interpretations of the Bible reliable?

    The bulk of Lamsa's writings are commentaries on individual Bible passages. They differ from most commentaries in that he chooses a single verse from one chapter, two verses from the next, and so forth, rather than attempting to develop the meaning of a paragraph or section. He writes approximately a page on each verse — commenting on the Aramaic text, idioms, culture, and its meaning.

    Although Lamsa's comments have some merit, the reader must weigh them carefully for two reasons: First, Lamsa's culture does not exactly match biblical culture. Second, even if it did match, this would not assure that his interpretations are accurate (more on these two points below).

    Lamsa also contrasts Aramaic wording with that of Greek texts. Every translator takes Syriac texts into account, but Lamsa is unbalanced because he always assumes that the Syriac is preeminent, resulting in numerous inaccurate interpretations.

    Idioms and general commentary occupy most of Lamsa's attention. While many idioms are commonly known, he often promotes nonliteral meanings which differ from the intent of the biblical authors.

    Lamsa's comments are inordinately slanted by his metaphysical, political, and personal presuppositions. For example, he transforms "angels" to "understanding" (John 1:51)22 or "pious men" (Heb. 13:2).23 He interprets "hellfire" as mere mental suffering (Matt. 5:22),24 and "the only begotten son" (Jesus, John 1:18) as but "the first one who recognized the fatherhood of God,"25 in effect eliminating Jesus' uniqueness. He puts aside the miracle when the Spirit "caught Philip away" in favor of Philip leaving quickly.26

    Overall, Lamsa's faulty presuppositions insure that his interpretations are not uniformly reliable, helpful, or faithful to the Bible and its authors at many key points.




    LAMSA'S CULTURE: BIBLICAL OR NESTORIAN?

    Lamsa's claim to be the preeminent authority on the meaning and translation of the Bible rests on his claim that he "was born and reared in a region in the near East which had escaped modernization, a region where the customs, manners and idioms of the ancient Aramaic language are still miraculously preserved to the present day."27

    Even if it was true that the customs and place of Lamsa's birth matched those of biblical days, it would not automatically follow that he could accurately translate and interpret the Bible. Thousands of people shared Jesus' culture and yet misunderstood Him. Jesus' closest disciples repeatedly asked Him to explain His sayings and parables (Matt. 15:10-18), contradicted Him (Mark 8:31-33), and did the opposite of what He wanted (Luke 20:35-38, 49-51). Many others left Jesus because they found Him hard to understand (John 6:60-68). Lamsa and his followers display great naivete and/or egotism when they claim that Lamsa's Assyrian upbringing enabled him to interpret correctly.

    Nonetheless, the question remains: Did George Lamsa's early life match the culture of the Bible? This claim is debunked by two key points which Lamsa never understood: First, Semites (including Jews and Lamsa's own ancestors) have varied greatly in culture. Second, his own Assyrian culture changed over the centuries.

    The Bible and other ancient records describe Jews of different cultures. For instance, the Herodians were Roman in culture, educated in Greek, tolerant of all religions, and unfaithful to the Mosaic law. The Sadducees were politically Roman, but religiously temple Jews. The Hellenistic Jews (Acts 6:1) were raised outside Israel, spoke Greek, and were adjusted to life among the heathen. Aramaic-speaking Pharisees were lay leaders of Mosaic practice. The Essenes maintained a detached, communal, disciplined lifestyle while the Zealots sought to kill and overthrow the Romans. The customs and language of these groups differed even though they shared a common heritage, land, and time period.

    Lamsa's Assyrian people, in contrast, are descendants of none of these groups and have a different land, racial heritage, religion, customs, time period, language, politics, education, and neighbors.

    Assyrians are portrayed in the Bible as a race quite foreign to Jewish religion and customs (e.g., Isa. 28:11). The area of Lamsa's birth is called Armenia, Media, or Persia (Reza Shah changed the name to "Iran" in the 1930s). Armenia is 700 miles from Jerusalem (even though Lamsa calls Jesus his "neighbor"), far removed from Hebrew influence, but affected by Greek culture after Alexander the Great's conquest and 250 years of Greek rule.

    While Jesus Christ walked the earth, Lamsa's forefathers were Zoroastrian, a religion which enjoyed royal approval in Persia and honored many ancient Iranian gods, including the popular idol Mithra. They repudiated the Mosaic law and its accompanying moral code and culture. Among the few things Armenia had in common with Israel in Jesus' time were their mutual hatred of Romans and a similar language. They also had a very small number of residents whose ancestors were forced to leave Israel seven centuries earlier in punishment for rejecting God and His prophets. It would therefore be foolish to say that Lamsa's idolatrous Iranian ancestors were a carbon copy of devout Jewish/Israelite culture.




    The Evolution of Nestorian Culture

    What about Lamsa's Christian heritage? He claims to be both Assyrian and Nestorian. First of all, Nestorian culture did not even bud until the second century when many converts were made in Armenia, and it was not until the fifth century that it flowered as the Nestorian church formed.

    Strangely, Lamsa contends that his "biblical" culture survived unchanged from 4000 B.C. to the present.28 Actually, his and every culture changes with time, locale, and especially contact with other cultures. Lamsa admits that in the last 2,300 years alone his people were overcome by the Greeks, Romans, pagans, Mohammedans, Mongols, Kurds, Russians, Turks, and British. Lamsa says that advancements in philosophy, theology, and other fields were "due to the combined labors of the Nestorians and the Arabs,"29 that millions of Nestorians were forced to become Muslims,30 and that European culture was "tearing the natural traditions of the [Eastern] people up by the roots"31 already two generations before his birth. While some Assyrian customs may be ancient or similar to biblical customs (as several Mideastern cultures are), Assyrian culture is in many important respects different and has changed over the centuries.

    There are also many dialects of Aramaic. Dwellers in Jerusalem noticed Peter's Galilean dialect (Matt. 26:73), even though he lived only 60 miles away. These dialects — both representatives of western Aramaic — differ even more noticeably from the dialects of eastern Aramaic used at Edessa and Lamsa's homeland.

    Lamsa undoubtedly was an ambassador of Nestorian (not biblical) culture, with its unique alphabet, language, writings, customs, and church tradition. One prominent aspect of this culture is a strong anti-Greek bias which Lamsa manifests often. This bias stems from bitterness towards the largely Greek-speaking council which censured Nestorius.

    Lamsa damages his credibility by wrongly asserting that "the Greeks occupied the Holy Land for only seven years, and there were not a half-dozen natives of Palestine who learned enough Greek in that time to carry on a conversation."32 He also claims that converts outside Palestine only spoke Aramaic, and that most references to "Greek" people were mistranslated and should read "Arameans" or "Syrians."33 Lamsa asserts that Jesus and His disciples never heard Greek spoken34 and that no portion of the New Testament was originally written in Greek, but was first translated after Constantine's conversion in A.D. 318.35 He assumes the Greek translators were deceitful and ignorant, intentionally adding and deleting passages and wrongly translating many parts.36

    The only documentation Lamsa ever offers is a quotation of Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews xx.12.1). While Lamsa takes him to mean that few Jews learned Greek, Josephus actually said that he himself lacked the precision and pronunciation in Greek which he desired.


    Cont'd
     
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