Was the Apostle Paul a Cessationist?

[Much of the following is from my new book, Solving the Samaritan Riddle: Peter's Kingdom Keys Explain Spirit Baptism, which is being published by Wipf and Stock Publishers to be released this fall.]I was saved in a Nazareen Church when I was thirteen years old. But I began my theological education in a Bible church when I was an eighteen-year old freshman in college. At my new church, I soon learned about spiritual gifts in the New Testament (NT). They are listed as follows: Romans 12.6–8; 1 … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Have to Be God to Save Us?

On September 4, 2013, I posted "Jesus Had To Be Made Like His Brothers To Die For The Sins Of All Us Others." (See below.) But I keep getting comments to the contrary, so I will now blog about this again. Christians who believe Jesus is God sometimes assert, "Jesus had to be God to save us." I hear this argument from them more than any other, including offering any particular Bible verse to support their belief. Yet they are not able to offer any rationale for this argument or scriptural … [Read more...]

2014 SBL Panel Discussion of Bart Ehrman’s book, “How Jesus Became God”

During the past few weeks, I posted a three-part review that I wrote of Dr. Bart Ehrman's book, How Jesus Became God. Before I read this book, I attended a 2.5 hour session at the Society of Biblical Literature's Annual Meeting, in late November, 2014, at San Diego that involved a panel of six scholars who discussed this new book. The panel participants were James McGrath, Michael Bird, Dale Martin, Craig Evans, Larry Hurtado, and Bart Ehrman. Bird, Hurtado, and Evans are traditionalists … [Read more...]

Egypt’s Bishop Alexander and his Pastor Arius

Sean Finnegan is a friend of mine in the Biblical Unitarian Movement. (I prefer to call myself a One God Christian because I think there is less confusion with it than the label Biblical Unitarian.) Sean and I believe alike about God being numerically one, the Father, and therefore Jesus not being God. Thus, we believe post-apostolic, institutional church fathers--all of them Gentiles and many of them influenced by Greek philosophy--erred in deciding that Jesus is God and eventually that God is … [Read more...]

A Brief Look at the Primary Bible Verses about Whether or Not Jesus Is God

Ever since the 4th century, the institutional church has always officially proclaimed that Jesus of Nazareth was and is fully God, and it has usually added that anyone who denies this is not a genuine Christ. Yet in Jesus’ gospel sayings in the New Testament (NT), he never claims to be God. The few NT texts the institutional church has cited in asserting that Jesus is God are mistranslated or misinterpreted, partly because most of them have grammatical difficulties. Let’s briefly examine these te … [Read more...]

Did God Forsake Jesus on the Cross?

After Jesus hung on the cross for six hours and was about to die, he cried out with a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mt 27.46/Mk 15.34). When he said that, Jesus was quoting the beginning of Psalm 22 in the Bible’s Old Testament. King David wrote this psalm, and the New Testament often applies portions of it to Jesus’ crucifixion. A good study reference Bible shows this. There are two theological issues which arise concerning this outcry by the crucified, dying Jesus. … [Read more...]

Talk About Jesus, Not Christ, to Non-Believers

Many Christians have a bad habit of talking about "Christ," instead of "Jesus," to the non-believing world. What's bad about it? It is a failure to be sensitive to other people who are not Christians, who therefore don't believe what they do about Jesus. The man's name is "Jesus." The title we apply to him is "Christ." Yes, early Christians called him "Jesus Christ" by dropping the article in the phrase "Jesus the Christ." But actually, the Apostle Paul's New Testament letters have "Christ … [Read more...]

Did the Jews Accuse Jesus of Claiming to Be “God” or “a God”?

The Gospel of John relates one incident in which the Jews accused Jesus of “making himself equal to God” and another incident in which they said to him, “you, though only a human being, are making yourself God” (Jn 5.18; 10.33). (All scripture quotations are from the NRSV.) Since Christians have been taught that Jesus is God, they have been taught that these Jews were correct in making these accusations. But in each instance, Jesus’ immediate response represents a denial of those allegations (Jn … [Read more...]


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