That the Christianity of today rests solely on the the doctrine of Jesus Christ, that he was God in human form and died on the cross as a suffering deity1 need no longer be explained. However, there is hardly a single statement where Jesus(P) had explicitly stated that he is God, although Christians do bring out various passages in order to force this interpretation.2 But did Jesus(P) really make statements of his (alleged) deity regarding his status, the words, the will and the power he used?
We urge you to consult your own Bible and verify that the following conclusions are not drawn out of context.
John 7:16 — “Jesus answered them and said, ‘My doctrine is not mine, but His who sent me.’ ”
John 14:24 — “He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but The Father’s who sent me.”
John 12:49 — “For I have not spoken on my own authority; but the Father who sent me gave me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.”
John 4:34 — “Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent me, and to accomplish His work.’ ”
John 6:38 — “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me.”
Luke 22:42 — “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from me; nevertheless not my will, but Yours, be done.”
Matthew 20:23 — “…But sitting at my right hand or my left is not mine to give. That is for those to whom it has been reserved by my Father.”
John 5:19 — “Verily, verily I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do…”
John 5:30 — “I can of myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is righteous, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the Father who sent me.”
John 8:42 — “Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord, but He sent me.’ ”
John 15:2 — “My Father takes away every branch in me that bears not fruit; he purges it; that it may bring forth more fruit.” Here, we see Jesus’ acknowledgement that he is an impefect sinner just like the rest of us; he too must be purged and purified.
John 8:31 — “You are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God??? This verse is one of the most explicit statements of Jesus denying divinity for it clearly defines Jesus’ position that he is subject to God and not God Himself. One only has to ask a simple question: Does God hears the truth from Himself?
Mark 13:32 — “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
Matthew 24:36 — “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.”
John 7:16 — So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but His who sent me.”
We quickly notice that according to the Biblical Jesus, God is omniscient, but Jesus is not. God has a superior intellect to Jesus; in other words, God knows something that Jesus does not know. This is another clear proof that they are not equal beings.
The next few quotes from the Bible show us that Jesus(P) was a devout and learned Jew, a rabbi:
“Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and his reputation spread throughout the region. He was teaching in their synagogues, and all were loud in his praise. He came to Nazareth where he had been reared, and entering the synagogue on the sabbath as he was in the habit of doing, he stood up to do the reading.” (Luke 4:14-16)
The worship of God was always focal in his life, even as a child. The second chapter of Luke tells us a very touching story of Jesus(P) as a precociously wise child of twelve, sitting for days among the scholars. His family had accidentally left him in Jerusalem after their annual visit for the Passover. Nearly frantic, they searched for him:
“On the third day they came upon him in the temple sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. All who heard him were amazed at his intelligence and his answers. When his parents saw him they were astonished, and his mother said to him: “Son, why have you done this to us? You see that your father and I have been searching for you in sorrow.” He said to them: “Why did you search for me? Did you not know I had to be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:46-49)
As he grew, “Jesus…progressed steadily in wisdom and age and grace before God and men” (Luke 2:52). After he had matured, his opinion was sought, though perhaps not always respectfully, by traditional Jews. An example of this is John’s narration of the adulterous woman brought to Jesus for judgment.
Though they addressed him as “Teacher,” they tried to trap him into saying something which they could use against him. As he straightened up from where he had been writing on the ground, he issued his famous judgement: “Let him without sin cast the first stone.” Though they had come to trap him, the scribes and Pharisees could not argue and drifted away, leaving the woman without harming her. Even those who were hostile to his teachings respected him.
While thousands saw Jesus and heard his voice, Jesus himself said that this could not be done with God when he said:
John 1:18 — “No man hath seen God at any time.”
John 5:37 — “Ye have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His shape.”
John 4:24 — “God is a spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”
Jesus’ statements throughout the Bible suggest that any idea of exalting him to divinity was unthinkable. Perhaps the clearest indication we have that Jesus(P) and God are not equal, and therefore not one and the same, come again from the mouth of Jesus(P) himself who said these following words:
Matthew 7:21 — “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven.”
Jesus(P) would not even accept the praise of a man who called him good:
Mark 10:18 — “And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.’ “
If Jesus(P) would not even allow himself to be called good, he certainly would not claim divine qualities.
Mark 12:29 — Jesus(P) said “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.” The words “our God” indicate that Jesus(P) had a higher God over him, a stronger God than him. Jesus(P) didn’t say “Your God”. He said “our God”, which includes Jesus as the creation of God.
Other similar quotes:
Luke 22:42 — “…not my will but Thine be done”
John 5:30 — “I seek not mine own will but the will of the Father which has sent me.”
John 7:16 — “Jesus said: ‘My doctrine is not my own; it comes from Him who sent me.'”
John 7:28-29 — “…I have not come of myself. I was sent by One who has the right to send, and Him you do not know. I know Him because it is from Him I come; He sent me.”
John 8:50 — “And I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks and judges.”
John 10:29 — “My Father is greater than all.”
John 14:28 — “My Father is greater than I.”
John 8:42 — “I proceeded forth and came from God, neither came I of myself but He sent me.”
Matthew 10:40; Mark 9:37; Luke 9:48; John 13:20 — “Whoever welcomes me welcomes, not me, but Him who sent me.”
John 20:17 — “…Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ”
If the above still would not convince you that Jesus is subject to the Father, perhaps the next words of Jesus would definately prove that the One who sends is greater than the one who was sent:
“Jesus said; ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master; neither one who is sent greater than the One who sent him.’ ” (John 13:16)
That Jesus(P) would admit that he did not come into the world on his own initiative but was directed to do so, that he would acknowledge another being as greater than himself, and that he would negate his own will in deference to affirming the will of another, give clear proof that Jesus is not the Supreme One and therefore Jesus is not God.
So who was Jesus(P) then? A man who told the truth which he heard from God. In other words, he was a messenger of God. When a clear statement like this is issued from the lips of Jesus, why wrangle with the passages that are not so clear, and try to twist them to mean the opposite of what Jesus has been saying in other clear verses all along?
Anyone who wish to convince themselves that Jesus(P) is God should look for clear evidence in the Bible to show that Jesus(P) is God. But the clear evidence is to the contrary. The Bible teaches again and again that Jesus(P) is not God, but a servant of God (e.g. Matthew 12:18). In the very next chapter of John 9:35, Jesus(P) declares that he is the Son of Man. And anyone who knows the Bible as the Israelites to whom Jesus spoke will know that a son of man cannot be God. The Bible declares that God is neither a man nor a son of man (Numbers 23:19):
“How can he be called clean that is born of a woman? Behold even the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight. How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?” (Job 25:4-6)
There has long been a great deal of debate among Christian theologians and scholars regarding the divinity of Jesus. This debate has intensified in recent years, and there seems to be an increasingly open concern over the truth of this doctrine. Some Christians had even concluded that
Jesus was (as he is presented in Acts 2:21) ‘a man approved by God’ for a special role within the divine purpose, and…the later conception of him as God incarnate, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity living a human life, is a mythological or poetic way of expressing his significance for us.3
It is clear that Jesus(P) followed the Mosaic law and did not claim divinity. According to the Bible, he was neither omniscient nor omnipotent. Given the fact that nowhere in the Bible do we see a direct identification of Jesus as God, and that Jesus(P) strongly upheld all the commandments and emphasized the First Commandment, we can only conclude that the doctrine of Jesus’ divinity has no foundation in the scripture nor in the life and teachings of Jesus(P), and that this concept is an innovation in Christian doctrine.
And only God knows best.
Appendix: Theophilus Lindsey’s “A List of False Reading of the Scripture”
The following are the questions extracted from Theophilus Lindsey’s (1723-1808) A List of the False Readings of the Scriptures, and the Mistranslations of the English Bible4. Lindsey asked those who worshipped Jesus(P) what their reaction would be if Jesus had appeared to them and asked the following questions:
- Why did you address your devotions to me? Did I ever direct you to do it, or propose myself as an object of religious worship?
- Did I not uniformly and to the last set you an example myself of praying to the Father, to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God? (John 20:17)
- When my disciples requested me to teach them to pray (Luke 11:1-2), did I teach them to pray to myself or to any other person but the Father?
- Did I ever call myself God, or tell you that I was the maker of the world and to be worshipped?
Lindsey’s belief in the Divine Unity is evident from these words of his:
The Infinite Creator should be worshipped in all places for He is everywhere….no place is more sacred than another, but every place sacred for the prayer. Whenever there is a devout humble mind that looks to God, God is there. A mind free from sin is the true temple of God.
- Emery H. Bancroft, Christian Theology, Zondervan Publishing House (1975), p. 95-156 [⤺]
- Refer to our section Bible Commentaries for expositions regarding this matter. [⤺]
- John Hick (ed.), The Myth Of God Incarnate, The Westminster Press (1977), p. ix [⤺]
- Adapted from Muhammad `Ata ur-Rahim, Jesus A Prophet of Islam, p. 166 [⤺]