Dialogue w Jehovah’s Witness on Christology & Trinitarianism

Dialogue w Jehovah’s Witness on Christology & Trinitarianism January 18, 2018


Jesus3 - Copy

Very in-depth discussion on whether Jesus is God or not.

My opponent (who wished to remain anonymous) replied systematically to one portion of my paper, Jesus is God: Biblical Proofs. His words will be in blue. The paper is designed to flow back and forth in order to give a sense of the issues being debated and how the two sides argue and respond. Readers can thus decide which presentation is more reasonable, plausible, and true to the Bible.

The biblical passages (at least the ones I use) are from the King James Version unless otherwise noted. Citations from my earlier paper will be indented. I haven’t changed my dialogue partner’s portions at all apart from a few spelling and grammar corrections. This paper was uploaded with his express permission. We were both very pleased with it.








1) MATTHEW 4:7 | Tempting God | Weaker and Stronger Proofs
2) MATTHEW 10:40
3) MATTHEW 11:27 | Omnipotence
4) MATTHEW 13:13-15 | Jesus as Spiritual Healer
5) MARK 9:37
6) JOHN 5:17-21: “. . . making himself equal to God” | Hebrews 1 | Worship | Creator | Lesser Gods | Philippians 2:5-8 | “Only-Begotten” | “Abba Father”
7) JOHN 5:26: “life in himself”
8) JOHN 7:29
9) JOHN 8:24
10) JOHN 8:28
11) JOHN 8:58: “Before Abraham was, I am”
12) JOHN 10:30-33 / JOHN 10:34: “I and the Father are one” | “You are gods”
13) JOHN 10:38
14) JOHN 12:44-45
15) JOHN 13:19
16) JOHN 14:7-10
17) JOHN 15:23
18) JOHN 16:15
19) JOHN 17:10-11
20) Jesus’ Use of “Father” | Arche (“beginning”)
21) Jesus’ Use of the “Divine ‘I’ “: Sending Prophets | Gathering Under “Wings”
22) Conclusions

Hello. This is in response to a continued discussion that has taken place on Paltalk in which I hope to clear up and defend the position: Jesus isn’t equal to God the Father, (referred to as Jehovah in the article from here on out) in concordance with the scripture 1 Peter 3:15: “But sanctify the Christ as Lord in YOUR hearts, always ready to make a defense before everyone that demands of YOU a reason for the hope in YOU, but doing so together with a mild temper and deep respect.” This is my attempt to appeal [to] the reasoning and logic of a unbiased reader.

I feel I am obligated to correct and give a defense against the misapplication if scriptures presented, and to make sure no one is reading more into the text that’s presented there. The words taken from 1 john 4:15 say it very clear- ” whoever makes the confession Jesus Christ is the son of God, God remains in union with such one and he in union with God.” I have seen many rational and intelligent men read that verse quoted above and in their minds read it “God the Son” and not the “son of God.” and these misunderstandings and traditions are embedded deep within the hearts of many honest ones.

My attempt here is not to advance any personal teachings or doctrines of man, but that of only what the scriptures themselves say about Jesus and God, Always keeping in mind the understanding and environment of the strict monotheistic Jews at that time and what Role the messiah was supposed to play in the fulfillment of prophecy. This is section one of what I feel is going to be a long discussed topic, is Jesus equal with God? What evidences would one use to draw such a conclusion and is it in harmony with the Bible?

1) MATTHEW 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. [the devil was tempting Jesus Himself]

First off, I agree with this scripture, God can’t be tempted, Jesus is clearly saying you should not tempt (or test) God. If in this statement you’re trying to say is that, it’s not possible to tempt Jesus, there are three examples of this happening with Jesus and Satan in the wilderness, the bread, the temple, and the issue of worship.

I’m not saying it is impossible to tempt Jesus (that is shown by my original comment in brackets). I’m saying that the devil in this passage was tempting Jesus, and Jesus said that one should not tempt God; therefore by deduction one might conclude that Jesus was God (if indeed He was referring to the devil’s attempt to tempt Him here). But I don’t claim much for this particular verse. I think it is one of the weakest proofs in my entire paper. That is not troubling to me, of course, because there is plenty more to come, as we shall see. It’s simply an interesting possibility. It is possible to try to tempt God (Jesus being God the Son), but what is impossible is for God (unlike fallen men) to succumb to the temptation. So the devil tries, but he fails.

First off lets look at what you did say, and keep in mind I am responding to your chosen verses in which you yourself said there wasn’t ever a response in 20 years “Here is the paper that no one has ever attempted to refute. I have been challenging JW’s among others for over 20 years to offer me a point-by-point refutation of the biblical evidences I have compiled here” (Dave Armstrong, correspondence).

That is correct. You are to be highly commended, for sure, to have the guts to do what no one else was willing to do all these years. But let’s not forget: all you have replied to is one-half of the first section of my paper, Jesus is God: Biblical Proofs. That paper has 14 major sections, with many scores of proof texts altogether. You have dealt with about 20. Furthermore, my companion-paper to the paper about Jesus, called Holy Trinity: Biblical Proofs, also has ten major sections and dozens and dozens more proof texts. You have only barely scratched the surface.

So Right off the bat the reader should be asking themselves what did Dave Armstrong really mean by choosing this verse as his proof text?

I meant exactly what I expressed above: “It’s simply an interesting possibility.”

Is he saying God can be tempted by evil?

I already stated : “It is possible to try to tempt God (Jesus being God the Son), but what is impossible is for God (unlike fallen men) to succumb to the temptation.”

Is that in harmony with the Bible’s view at James 1:13..kjv”….God cannot be tempted by evil,”….

Yes, because the meaning in that passage is the same as the second part of my sentence above.

Then Dave goes on the say — and I quote him — “I’m not saying it is impossible to tempt Jesus”; ”I’m saying that the devil in this passage was tempting Jesus.” Notice how he says WAS tempting, not was attempting or trying in his response. How I might ask can anyone conclude this is God then?

Because the devil can try to do it. He cannot succeed (based on — as you say, James 1:13). You think no one can even attempt to tempt or test God (which is what was arguing)? That would be a most interesting viewpoint, in light of the abundant biblical data to the contrary:

Exodus 17:2 Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD?
Exodus 17:7 And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?

Deuteronomy 6:16 Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.

Psalm 78:18 And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust.

Psalm 78:41 Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.

Psalm 78:56 Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies:

Psalm 106:14 But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.

Malachi 3:15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.

Acts 5:9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord?

Acts 15:10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

Let’s review.

Yeah, let’s . . .

Examine the following points :

1) The Devil tempts Jesus! Which you admit in your response “I’m saying that the devil in this passage was tempting Jesus” (reponse1)2) God cannot be tempted by evil! James 1:13

3) Can any form of deductive reasoning conclude those are the same person? Not with out serious biblical contradiction.

4) Do your following quotes support your position or mine on this matter?

Mine, without a doubt, since your reasoning is based on overlooking the simple distinction between trying to tempt God and succeeding. (i.e., #2 has two distinct senses, and you falsely assume only one; so your conclusion is false because one of your premises is false). The Bible asserts one sense of God being “tempted,” at least ten times. It denies the other sense. As I was arguing the former, I have committed no logical error, nor have I contradicted the Bible in the least. But clearly, you have failed to follow my actual logical (and most biblical) argument.

Its very clear Jesus is stating he (Jesus) shouldn’t put God the Father to the test.

It’s not absolutely clear that it is referring to the Father alone.

Let me interject something here, what is your stance? You have already stated Jesus was tempted have you not?” I’m saying that the devil in this passage was tempting Jesus”(you) Please review your own following quotes which support my view.

This has now been explained, two times.


It may conceivably refer to Jesus, since He is being tempted in the very passage, or it may refer to both. Actually, my Eerdmans Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: 1987; reprint of the 3rd edition of the New Bible Commentary of 1970; henceforth known as “EBC”), agrees with your interpretation:

Jesus’ reply is from Dt. 6:16, meaning not that the devil should not tempt Him but that he should not put God the Father to the test. This refers to the incident at Massah where the people demanded signs of God’s presence (Ex. 17:1-7).(p. 821)

Taken from Science and Skeptics:

“Having Your Cake (Failure To Assert, or Diminished Claim):

almost claiming something, but backing out. ……..
A similar thing is the failure to rebut. Suppose I raise an issue. The response that “Woodmorappe’s book talks about that” could possibly be a reference to a resounding rebuttal. Or perhaps the responder hasn’t even read the book yet. How can we tell? [I later discovered it was the latter.] “

This is most unclear, but my own logic isn’t unclear at all, as just demonstrated. You simply failed to understand it.

Ambiguous Assertion:

A statement is made, but it is sufficiently unclear that it leaves some sort of leeway………Of course, lack of clarity is not always intentional. Sometimes a statement is just vague. “

I think it is crystal clear, what I was arguing. And I believe readers will see this, too.


In any event, the failure of one admittedly weak proof text for the deity of Jesus does not harm the overall case, as the passage doesn’t prove that Jesus is not God; only (at “worst”) that He was not referred to as the God Who was being tempted or tested here; if indeed it was the Father alone being referred to. Within trinitarianism, one can make such distinctions between the three Divine Persons without thereby lowering the Divine status of any one of them. The Son has a body; the Son died; the Son was begotten of the Father, the Father is invisible while the Son is visible, etc.

In no way is anyone attempting to prove Jesus not being God with this passage! Simply, it is being shown that this in no way proves that Jesus is God!

I have agreed that the proof is very weak (perhaps my weakest of hundreds). But it is weak in the sense that it is not explicit enough to assert a positive proof of the deity of Jesus. It does not fail in the sense that Jesus is shown not to be God (and you seem to agree with that). Nor is it at all inconsistent with trinitarianism. Assuming for a moment that Jesus is God, it is not impermissible or something unexpected for Him to refer to the Father being tempted, and that no one should do this. Thus it cannot be established, from this data alone, that Jesus is not God, and the verse is ultimately inconclusive (in and of itself) for either position.

It is noted that you do seem to accept that this verse is not calling Jesus God in your upcoming statement regarding the actual wording of this verse (in the Greek), in noting our point.

No, not at all. I didn’t deny that Jesus was referred to as God. The verse in all likelihood is referring to the Father being tempted (which would simply have no reference to the Son). I was merely agreeing (in my previous statement, “I agree with all this”) that Hebrews 4:15 teaches that Jesus could be tempted, but without sin. All that shows is that He is in exactly the same position as God the Father, according to the Bible, since I have now proven that the Bible refers to the Father (your Jehovah) being tempted, but not successfully (James 1:13). So we see that, once again, what is said about the Father is said of Jesus. And that is because they possess the same divine qualities, characteristics, and essence: God the Father and God the Son.

It is amazing that you admit that passages may not actually prove anything and yet you continue to use them as so-called proofs!

In any collection of hundreds of proofs, we would expect that some are stronger than others. It is a cumulative argument. At best, all you have shown is that this verse (taken in isolation) does not prove the deity of Jesus. But so what? I already knew it was weak, and considered even removing it in the past. But I left it because it was interesting to ponder. There are hundreds of other proofs: many quite explicit and insurmountable, even by themselves. I have shown that I am honest about the relative strengths and weaknesses of particular proof texts. But that doesn’t weaken the overall case in any significant way. If you remove one proof from 150 does that mean that a case collapses? Of course not. It’s like removing one weak beam in a house. The house won’t fall down. And it is what it is with or without the weak beam.

At this point I would like to draw a distinction between the reasoning differences used between a Trinitarian and non-Trinitarian, in response to your above paragraph. While I (non-Trinitarian) will be using the scriptures to draw a conclusion on what the passage is saying. Dave (Trinitarian ) on the other hand will be forced to fall back into his Definition of the trinity and then approach the verse with this preconceived idea on what is or isn’t allowed by his definition of the trinity.

This is silly, since I have now produced ten more biblical passages which assert exactly what you denied. You asserted that no one could even try to tempt God, and cited Hebrews 4:15 for proof that Jesus was tempted (in this fashion); therefore He is not God. But now that I have proven that God the Father can be tempted in exactly the same way as Jesus is in Hebrews 4:15, your case completely backfires on you. For if you argue that even being tempted in terms of someone attempting to do what they cannot possibly do, makes one lesser then God, then the Father (Jehovah), too, becomes lesser than God, and we have no God at all. It’s far more reasonable to believe that both are God, because both have the same characteristics, here, and in many, many other ways also. The non-trinitarian case cannot be sustained from the Bible without massive contradiction and the ignoring of scores of verses.

For example “Within trinitarianism, one can make such distinctions…..” Which isn’t just addressing the verse for what it says.

Technically, you are correct. It is true, however, that everyone brings a systematic theology to each particular verse. There is no way to avoid this. Everyone has an overall framework within which they interpret the Bible. Mine is trinitarianism; yours is Arianism. I have been honest about how I approach the verse, even to the point of admitting that it does not prove anything by itself. At the same time, it is valid and proper to point out that assuming trinitarianism (for the sake of argument), nothing in the passage is inconsistent with it. I would even say that the same holds true for Arianism. By itself, the verse could fit into that schema, also. Biblical passages, however, don’t exist in isolation; that’s the whole point. They have to be interpreted within the framework of the whole Bible, in a consistent, harmonious fashion.

Point of consideration here VS. the literal meaning and interpretation: If the written text of the verse isn’t in harmony with our understanding or explanation of that verse, then does it really matter what the written text is? We walk a dangerous road when we begin to drawing distinctions between what is written and what is meant in our biblical understanding.

You haven’t shown that anything in the verse contradicts trinitarianism. I haven’t shown that it proves the deity of Jesus. Your argued position, on the other hand (about being tempted), has been shown to be flat-out contradictory to the Bible elsewhere. That’s far different from a verse simply being inconclusive by itself for the purpose of trying to prove one particular proposition (that Jesus is God). Why go on and on about a passage that I have already conceded as weak?

Another Fallacy: (Circular Reasoning). As Brian Holt defines as: “It would involve trying to prove an argument by presenting certain evidence but the evidence is validated off the assumptions (trinity definition) of the argument. The result is the evidence, though appearing to be valid evidence, is in fact unproven evidence since the argument has yet to be proven. What amounts to is disguising the argument as the evidence.” (Jesus: God or the Son of God). But for simplicity sake and example would be similar to trying to disprove science by using science (but in reverse).

I’ve explained my own logic and what I see and don’t see in this verse. We’re just wasting space now by beating a dead horse.

And its this very concept I have a problem with. While he may charge me with approaching the scriptures with my preconceived idea that Jesus isn’t God or Equal with god. I must say considering the historical evidence and of the beliefs of the JEWs of Jesus’ time, and what they would have considered as accepted Truths into which they would have be building off their idea of the messiah or Christ, would be the same charge you would have to make against me. In Jesus Christ’s own words he states “We know whom we worship, for salvation comes from the Jews,” This thought that God was one, was the distuingishing factor among the Jews mentioned in the Sh’ma at Deut 6:4 “Listen, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah” Not only was this phrase the national creed, but spoken by every pious Israelite throughout his life. This thought and understanding of a singular God was again Carried into the Greek New Testament and quoted by Jesus in (Mark 12:29) Jesus answered: “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah,” This notion of carrying this Singular God and approaching the scriptures is one in which even Jesus Christ Or and any Jew would have been Guilty of with an understanding of Judaism.

This strays too far from the immediate subject, so I won’t comment.

I don’t view this verse with the idea Satan has just achieved the impossible or draw any inference Jesus is Jehovah. Verses like Hebrews 2:18 are very clear Jesus was tempted, (Hebrews 2:18) “For in that he himself has suffered when being put to the test (tempted, KJV), he is able to come to the aid of those who are being put to the test.” Also I feel Hebrews 4:15 says more then I could on why he would need to be able to be tempted –(Hebrews 4:15) For we have as high priest, not one who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tested (tempted, KJV) in all respects like ourselves, but without sin.

Exactly as I stated . . . I agree with all this.

It is interesting how this verse is being misused here.

I haven’t “misused” anything. I merely speculated that it might also refer to Jesus Himself.

If you haven’t misused it, you admit that this passage may not prove anything, and as is demonstrated below, it does not at all. The sentence in the original Greek simply does not support what you are trying to say. Yet you deny misusing the verse? If one uses a verse for something other than the original purpose, that is misuse. You are attempting to use this verse to prove Jesus is God when it does no such thing, and that is by definition, misuse.

I appeal to my statements above, as I would be repeating myself if I kept replying.

This particular account falls in the middle of the temptations of Christ. He had already put Christ to the test prior to this, and he continued to do so afterward. However, in this particular account, we find that the challenge Satan set forth was more actually a test to God, but a temptation to Christ. How so? We take note of the context.

Mat 4:6 And he said to Him, If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it has been written: “He shall give His angels charge concerning You, and they shall bear You on their hands, lest You strike Your foot against a stone.”

In what Satan sets forth, he states for him to jump, because if he is who he says he is, “He (God) shall give his angels a charge…” and so action is taken. In reply to this, Jesus thus quotes Deut 6:16, stating not to test God, here placing the task forward for Jesus to do something that would test God’s promise.

We can be certain that this word translated as “tempt” or “test” is different from the temptation of Christ, because it is a completely different word! In the case of Matthew 4:7, it is the Greek word EKPEIRAZW, which BDAG lists the meaning of “to subject to test or proof, tempt” for this verse. On the other hand, the word used in verse 1 is PEIRAZW, which BDAG thus lists as meaning “to entice to improper behavior.” Christ’s reply was showing that he would not “subject [God]” to test,” while he was being “entice[d] to improper behavior.”

This is clearly then no proof text for Christ being equal with God the father, Jehovah.

You make a good point, and I commend you, but nothing here proves that Jesus is not God (which is our larger, bottom-line dispute). It is simply my weakest proof of hundreds I offer (and I have known that all along, long before this dialogue). If it is a complete failure, I won’t lose a moment of sleep.


Again I would like to ask the motive of this original proof text? Were you attempting to show Jesus was tempted? Or God was?

That has already been explained.

You have been rebutted no matter how you look at it,

Have I? That will be for readers to judge.

and I would at this point begin to appeal to the reader and the conduct that’s taken place on Dave’s behalf [sic] already. I would also like to mention how he started this conversation. With the attitude that there was not even a weaker or stronger proof text in his article (paraphrasing correspondence) I would like him to explain what he was trying to show in the above quoted verse, the luxury of having it both ways or speculating is something the reader should take note of, And one should begin to question these So-called absolute proof texts!

It is absurd to wax triumphant over one verse out of hundreds that I offer as proof for the deity of Jesus. To reiterate: my overall case is a cumulative argument, based on the convergence of hundreds of texts.

2) MATTHEW 10:40 . . . he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

I fail to see how this equates Jesus with God, take for example: The United States sends in representatives, say – Powell, to talk to the Iraqi government and they reach a peace agreement .. did they in essence not make an arrangement with the United States that sent him ( Powell ) to talk? Take for example Exodus 3:2- its clearly an angel in the bush: “(Exodus 3:2) Then Jehovah’s angel appeared to him in a flame of fire in the midst of a thornbush. As he kept looking, why, here the thornbush was burning with the fire and yet the thornbush was not consumed. ” When the angel speaks it is as Jehovah is in the first person, but he is not. It is only in the representative sense. Did not anyone who accepted any of the prophets of old also in a sense accept the Father as the ultimate source of the message? Also reference 3 John 11 “… He that does good originates with God. He that does bad has not seen God.

Indeed it can be interpreted in this way (the burning bush is an excellent example, which I actually note elsewhere in my defense of Jesus’ deity and the Trinity), and is another relatively weak proof, so I will pass and move onto better ones.


It is definitely interesting that you confess the weakness of your “proof-texts. You are advocating these texts as proof, and yet you confess that they are weak and in fact, that has been shown, they do not prove anything at all. I am glad we can agree these are relatively weak proofs! Why include them in your discussion is the real question?

As with the first proof text, there are weaker and stronger proofs. Some passages are merely not inconsistent with trinitarianism; others positively assert the deity of Jesus or some aspect of trinitarianism. All must be interpreted together, as a whole (as we both agree that the Bible doesn’t contradict itself). This passage, like the last, is of the former variety. It is true that I could have made such distinctions more clear when I put together my paper (back in 1982). I was simply compiling all passages which I thought were relevant in some way to the discussion. I like to be comprehensive. I am happy now to be able to clarify what I would claim for particular proof texts. This is why discussion is good, and why I am delighted that you have taken up my challenge.

I find your change of demeanor also something notable, I asked you before we began to point me to the stronger proofs in your paper and at that time there was no such thing.

I challenged you to refute the whole paper. You wanted to narrow it down, for lack of time or whatever. So I suggested that you pick out whatever passages you felt like tackling: perhaps the first section. You chose to deal with Jesus’ own words, but that is only half of the first section. The rest of it has statements by other New Testament writers directly attributing Godhood to Jesus. In the second part of this section are some of the very clearest, most undeniable passages in the entire New Testament in favor of the deity of Jesus.

But by all means, remain confident in your position. I admire that in an opponent. You don’t see me running, do you? What you do see is my honesty about which proofs are better and which are weaker. The fact that there are varying levels of strength for biblical texts should come as a surprise to no one.

3) MATTHEW 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and {he} to whomsoever the Son will reveal {him}.

I imagine you’re somehow trying to make knoweth mean equal? And this I fail to see in your example. please provide more of an explanation, and I will attempt to do the same, thank you.

A number of interesting things are occurring here: if Jesus possesses “all things,” that would seem to be a divine prerogative (possibly suggesting omnipotence). How could God deliver “all things” to a being lesser than God? It makes no sense. Thus, this scenario is similar to Matthew 28:18: “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth,” or John 5:21: “For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth {them}; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will,” or several other passages concerning power and omnipotence that we will (I assume) examine later.


Your prior assumption that God cannot deliver “all things” to a lesser being is disproved by the very fact that God is omnipotent! He can do anything he so chooses.

I was not denying that. My argument hinged on the notion that it is only God Who can be spoken of in the first place as having “all things.” So if God Himself (the Father) gives “all things” to another Person, that Person must also be God, for it is not possible for God to not have all things (for that would make someone else greater than God, which is an impossibility, since God — by definition — is the greatest Being). Even omnipotence has limitations brought on by the very nature and unchangeability of God. God can’t make a square a circle at the same time, or make 2+2=5, or create and not create a universe at the same time. He can’t exist and not exist at the same time. God is bound by logical impossibility.

That said, contextually, we understand that this verse is spoken of in a qualified sense (which, as will be shown, it must be). Consider verse 25.

Mat 11:25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and revealed them to little children.

Thus, in context, the “all things” being spoken of are directly related to understanding.

That is a possible, but not a certain interpretation. I think mine makes more sense (see below).

We can definitely be certain that Jesus possesses everything of God. For example, in Matthew 24:36 clearly states that Jesus does not know the day and hour of the end, but only the Father does. Further, Revelation 1:1 clearly states that a Revelation (knowledge) was directly given to Christ by God. Now, a Trinitarian will commonly argue that this is because of the humanity of Christ, and there is no objection to this. However, that same humanity of Christ must also be understood in light of Matthew 11:27, or else we fall into the logical fallacy of equivocation.

Jesus had certain limitations as a man. But He was also God, and the above verse can be plausibly, consistently interpreted in light of other verses indicating His omnipotence (which trait only God possesses):

MATTHEW 28:18 . . . All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
JOHN 3:35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.

JOHN 13:3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, . . .

PHILIPPIANS 3:21 . . . he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

COLOSSIANS 1:17 . . . by him all things consist.

HEBREWS 1:3 . . . upholding all things by the word of his power, . . .


Secondly, saying that Jesus knows the Father in a special, unique way is also quite consistent with oneness and trinitarianism. Thirdly, Jesus says that no one can know the Father unless the Son reveals the Father to them, which is quite an extraordinary statement. It’s not an absolute proof, but it does offer three different aspects which suggest the divinity of Jesus (especially considered against the background of the hundreds of other proof texts).

We certainly do not deny that Jesus possess a special relationship with the Father, for he does! After all, he is the only-begotten Son of God (John 3:16).

And the Greek monogenes in that verse means, according to any Greek lexicon, “unique, only member of a kind.” It does not mean “created,” as Arians and Jehovah’s Witnesses falsely interpret it. Christ is the eternal Son of God, and as such, possesses every attribute of pure Godhood, just as a human son partakes fully of humanness.

Please cite your lexicon, because you’re reading a compound word in which the roots are: monoo meaning one, or only, and gennao meaning beget, which is why its rendered only begotten, and not rendered only unique in many of the English Bibles, even your accepted KJV doesn’t read unique there. I don’t want you to begin arguing your own accepted translation. I can site all four times it’s used in the LXX and not once is it meaning only unique but only born or begotten. It is definitely not “an absolute proof,” and without a priori assumption, it is not even remotely a proof. After considering your first three examples, one starts to question if we will ever get what you term “an absolute proof.” Please reference the above on reading into the text preconceived ideas.

The reader can judge if my interpretation is plausible and possible. If so, then it is a fairly good prooftext.

4) MATTHEW 13:13-15 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. (14) And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: (15) For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and {their} ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with {their} eyes, and hear with {their} ears, and should understand with {their} heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.


ISAIAH 6:9-10 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. (10) Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

Please explain how this in any way makes Jesus God.

It’s very simple. In the Old Testament passage which Jesus is citing, God the Father was speaking (see, e.g., Is 6:8,11). God was communicating to them and they didn’t understand. Now Jesus comes along and specifically says that this very prophecy was being fulfilled when His hearers did not understand His parables. He puts Himself exactly in God’s place in relation to the old prophecy. God the Father (your “Jehovah”) heals them in the Old Testament. Now Jesus heals them. This refers, of course, to a spiritual healing, not a physical one. Only God can do such a thing. So Jesus is acting as only God can act (because He is God!). This is confirmed in a similar passage: John 12:35-46, and by others which refer to spiritual healing; for example:

. . . “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”(Matthew 9:12-13 — RSV; cf. Mk 2:17, Lk 4:18, Lk 5:31-32)

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

(1 Peter 2:24 — RSV, citing Isaiah 53:5)

Only God can perform such spiritual healing:

I said, LORD, be merciful unto me; heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee.(Ps 41:4; cf. 2 Chron 7:14, Deut 32:39, Jer 17:14)

Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the LORD our God.

(Jeremiah 3:22; cf. Hosea 14:4)

You make a number of mistakes in your analysis of this passage. First, this passage has God speaking to Isaiah, in which he directs him to “Go, and tell this people.” So direction is being given to state this. Could we simply say that Jesus is following the direction given, to tell the people this? Most definitely! But, that really is not even the point.

This didn’t respond to my argument.

What Jesus provides is an allusion to this passage in Isaiah, not a direct quotation. Removing your priori assumption that “Only God can do such a thing,” We find that nowhere in Isaiah does it say that anyone will actually bring about healing, but simply that they will be healed if they listened and were converted. Jesus, in his allusion, states that in this situation, he will bring about healing.

I don’t follow the logic. You’re contending that God will not or did not heal His people? This is a distinction without a difference. They are healed by being saved, and spiritually transformed, and this is done by God. We know this because it is stated many times. Then Jesus speaks about doing the same exact thing. Thus, He is shown to be God. I gave several Old Testament passages showing how God heals His people. Now (since they weren’t enough for you), I will provide some more (from Isaiah, since you expressly denied that it occurred there):

ISAIAH 19:22 And the LORD shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal it: and they shall return even to the LORD, and he shall be intreated of them, and shall heal them.

ISAIAH 30:26 . . . in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.

ISAIAH 57:18-19 I have seen his ways, and will heal him . . . I will heal him.

(cf. Jer 30:17, Hos 6:1)

Isaiah 6:10 and 53:5 are clearly of this nature. God heals His people. It’s unwise to make factual statements about what the Bible teaches which can easily be shown to be untrue.


Thus, by direct, straightforward logical deduction, Jesus is God:

1. In the OT, God the Father says that the people hear His message but don’t understand it, and so cannot be (spiritually) healed.
2. In the NT, Jesus, God the Son, says that the people hear His message but don’t understand it, and so cannot be (spiritually) healed.
3. Jesus cites the exact passage in #1, and says that it was fulfilled by the people not understanding Him.
4. If the OT passage involved not understanding God, then itsfulfillment in the NT could hardly involve not understanding someonelesser than God. It must still be God Who is not understood.
5. God is the spiritual healer.
6. Jesus is also described as the spiritual healer in the NT.
7. Therefore, Jesus is God.

The logic presented here is unfortunately very poor. Consider the following parallel example in its simplest form:

1) Dogs have four legs
2) Cats have four legs
3) Dogs have tails
4) Cats have tails
5) Cats eat cat food
6) Dog eats cat food
7) Therefore, Cat must be Dog.

Is this Truth? This form of reasoning is plain foolish and nonsense, and this should be ruled out as the only way one may perceive any given facts.

The above “analogy” is irrelevant because it neglects to see that there are traits of God which no other being possesses, whereas your example utilizes comparisons where many other creatures have the same qualities. Thus, your comparison is as silly and off-topic as saying:

1) Jehovah’s Witnesses deny that Jesus is God.
2) Mormons deny that Jesus is God.
3) Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the Trinity.
4) Mormons deny the Trinity.
5) Jehovah’s Witnesses engage in door-to-door evangelism.
6) Mormons engage in door-to-door evangelism.
7) Therefore, Mormons are Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Of course this is “plain foolish and nonsense,” and it is also not at all the logic I was using. I will show how it is not by expanding my original logical chain:

1. In the OT, God the Father says that the people hear His message but don’t understand it, and so cannot be (spiritually) healed (by the one — Himself — that alone is able to perform such a spiritual healing).
2. In the NT, Jesus, God the Son, says that the people hear His message but don’t understand it, and so cannot be (spiritually) healed (by Himself; thus equating Himself with God, since God alone can do such healings, per #1).
3. Jesus cites the exact passage in #1, and says that it was fulfilled by the people not understanding Him.
4. If the OT passage involved not understanding God, then itsfulfillment in the NT could hardly involve not understanding someonelesser than God. It must still be God Who is not understood.
5. God is the spiritual healer (exclusively; no one else is).
6. Jesus is also described as the spiritual healer in the NT.
7. Therefore, Jesus is God (since this is the exclusive trait of God alone).

The idea of something being ontologically the same being because it shares similar characteristics isn’t a valid argument.

. . . unless the characteristics are such that God alone possesses them. If so, if they are used to describe Jesus, then He is God. It’s the simplest of logic:

1. God and God alone possesses the quality or characteristic of x (in the OT).
2. Jesus is said to possess the quality or characteristic of x (in the NT).
3. (Hidden assumption: Scripture is inspired, infallible, and self-consistent).
4. Therefore, Jesus is God.

Let’s try it one other way, just to illustrate and nail down this point of logic:

1. There are two baseball leagues, and only two, which comprise Major League Baseball.
2. The National League is one of the two leagues which is part of the Major League Baseball.
3. Therefore, any team in the National League is a Major League team.

See, simply because one thing holds true for one person and the same is also true for another, it does not mean that they are the same person and/or being.

That is correct, but irrelevant to the present discussion because you didn’t analyze my logic deeply enough. The argument holds if the thing in question can only be true of God. This happens over and over with regard to Jesus in the Bible:

1. God alone is the Creator (Neh 9:6, Job 9:2,8, Is 44:24).
2. Jesus is described as the Creator (Jn 1:3,10, Col 1:16, Heb 1:10).
3. God alone is eternal and uncreated (Is 40:28, 44:6, Mal 3:6).
4. Jesus is described as eternal and uncreated (Mic 5:2, Heb 13:8, Rev 1:17-18, 22:13).
5. God alone is worshiped (Deut 6:13, Neh 9:6, Rev 4:9-11).
6. Jesus accepts worship (Mt 8:2, 9:18, 14:33, 15:25, 28:9,17, Jn 9:38, 20:28, Rev 5:8,12-14).
7. God alone is omnipotent (Mt 19:26, Rev 19:6, 21:22).
8. Jesus is described as omnipotent (Mt 28:18, Col 1:17, Heb 1:3).
9. God alone is omnipresent (Ps 139:7-8, Jer 23:24, Eph 4:6).
10. Jesus is described as omnipresent (Eph 1:23, Col 3:11).
11. God alone forgives sins (Is 43:25, Dan 9:9, Mic 7:18).
12. Jesus is described as forgiving sins (Mk 2:5-10, Lk 5:20, 7:47-50).

Trinitarians attempt to use this type of reasoning all too often, but it simply fails on logic alone.

Straw men of our own making and caricatures of opposing positions always fail. Perhaps next time you will analyze my actual logic, rather than what you mistakenly think it is.

Just as nowhere does it say that only God can heal. Isaiah certainly does not say that, as it simply states that they will “be healed.”

My argument specifically had to do with spiritual healing, or salvation (which you seem to have missed). Only God can do that. If you disagree, then prove it from Scripture. And even physical healing ultimately comes from God, as well (Lk 9:1-2, Acts 3:6,15-16, 4:10,30, 17:28, 1 Tim 6:13; perhaps also implied by Deut 32:39). God in His providence gives life and takes away life (Job 1:21). What do you think?: this power to heal was self-generated, or from Satan? Clearly it is from God, and Jesus is God once again, since it is described as occurring due to His name, and in His name.

In the context, it does not state who will heal them, but only in Jesus’ allusion does he say that he will heal them.

Given all the OT statements about God being the (spiritual) healer, the conclusion is pretty obvious.

The religious leaders at this time hold to the same idea, (Mark 2:7) “Why is this man talking in this manner? He is blaspheming. Who can forgive sins except one, God?” (It should be noted that even the apostles were given authority to forgive sins (John 20:23).

Again, in the name of Jesus, yes (Acts 10:43, 1 Jn 2:12). They’re simply vessels of His power and grace. Baptism illustrates this:

1 PETER 3:21 . . . baptism doth also now save us . . . by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.


ACTS 2:38 . . . Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins . . .

ACTS 22:16 . . . be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

(cf. Mk 16:16, Acts 8:16, 10:48, 19:5, Rom 6:3-4, 1 Cor 1:13,15, 6:11, Titus 3:5, and Mt 28:19, which gives a trinitarian baptismal formula)

Men baptize, but the power of “remitting” or “washing away” sins which is present in baptism clearly comes from God. God is the one who forgives; men are simply His representatives in that vein. The same applies to healing. But Jesus forgives in His own name, and sends out others to do the same, by His power. This means He is God, or else He would only heal in the Father’s name, and would urge others to do so as well.

The fact that it was in His name, proves once again that He is indeed God. Many other things are done in Jesus’ name also, not the Father’s (or “Jehovah’s”). Christians are to be witnesses of Jesus (Acts 1:1,8,11). We find the phrase, the name of the Lord about 50 times in the Old Testament and eleven times in the New Testament. In the NT, name of God is found seven times, the name of the Father eight times, but the name as referring to Jesus occurs at least 91 times. Here are some examples:

1. Salvation and Faith in Jesus’ Name: Mt 12:21, Jn 1:12, 2:23, 3:18, Acts 4:10,12, 10:43, 22:16, Rom 10:9, 1 Cor 6:11, 1 Jn 3:23, 5:13.
2. Jesus — the Most Important Name (not Jehovah): 1 Cor 1:2, Eph 1:20-21, Phil 2:9-11 (cf. Is 45:23), 2 Thess 1:12, 1 Jn 3:23, Rev 2:3,13.

3. Jesus Talks About the Importance of His Name (not Jehovah’s): Mt 7:22, 10:22, 12:15-21, 18:5,20, 19:29, 24:9, 28:19-20.

4. Christians Suffer For Jesus’ Name: Acts 5:41, 9:16, 15:26, 21:13.

5. Christians Gather in Jesus’ Name: Mt 18:20, 1 Cor 5:4.

6. Christians Speak, Teach & Preach in Jesus’ Name: Lk 24:47, Acts 4:17-18, 5:28, 8:12, 9:27,29.

7. Christians Are Named After Jesus Christ: Acts 11:26, 1 Pet 4:16.

8. Jesus is Called “Lord of Lords”: Rev 19:16.

9. Christians Are to Give Thanks & Praise in Jesus’ Name: Eph 5:20, Heb 13:15.

10. Christians Are to Do All Things in Jesus’ Name: Col 3:17.

It’s interesting to note how the crowds of honest-hearted ones view these healing events, and this can be seen:

Matthew 9:2 And, look! they were bringing him a paralyzed man lying on a bed. On seeing their faith Jesus said to the paralytic: “Take courage, child; your sins are forgiven.” 3 And, look! certain of the scribes said to themselves: “This fellow is blaspheming.” 4 And Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said: “Why are YOU thinking wicked things in YOUR hearts? 5 For instance, which is easier, to say, Your sins are forgiven, or to say, Get up and walk? 6 However, in order for YOU to know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins—” then he said to the paralytic: “Get up, pick up your bed, and go to your home.” 7 And he got up and went off to his home. 8 At the sight of this the crowds were struck with fear, and they glorified God, who gave such authority to men.

God-given authority is the key here. The idea that this was god was far from the minds of the onlookers, The proper understanding of the event led ones to glorify God when seeing such authority given to a man.

Apart from what I have explained above, the problem with this is that it fails to take into account Jesus’ power over all things, which is unique to Him:

JOHN 5:21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth {them}; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.


REVELATION 1:18 I {am} he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Compare this to what is said of God the Father:

DEUTERONOMY 32:39 See now that I, {even} I, {am} he, and {there is} no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither {is there any} that can deliver out of my hand.

These extraordinary attributes are possessed only by God. Jesus is described as having them; therefore, Jesus is God.

5) MARK 9:37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

Just what does this prove? Did not God send Jesus forth (John 3:16)? If God is the one Jesus sent, and Jesus goes forward to send ones forth, is not the original source of these ones being sent God? Of course it does. This does not make them equal or the same being.

It is not inconsistent with such a notion, but I agree that it is not an absolute proof.

6) JOHN 5:17-21 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. (18) Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. (19) Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. (20) For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. (21) For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth {them}; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.

This verse leaves us with three possible options.

1) What is stated is true, Jesus did break the Sabbath and did make himself equal with God. If he did actually break the Sabbath, then he is a sinner, could not be God and his death was worthless.

It is true because it is Holy Scripture. Our task is to interpret it correctly. But its truthfulness is not in question. Scripture is inspired (“God-breathed”). You miss the point. The Jews thought Jesus had broken the Sabbath according to their legalistic conception of how it was to be kept. But Jesus showed that it was not contrary to the law of Moses to heal or rescue a lost sheep on the Sabbath. So He did not break it according to the true spirit of it; the way God intended it to be; particularly because He was the “Lord of the Sabbath” (Mt 12:8; see the entire context of 12:1-12).


Scripture can often state things untrue, because they are from another’s perspective. An over- simplified example: I could quote scripture and say, “There is not God.” This is written in scripture, so should we take it as true? Absolutely not, as we look at who states such:

Psalms 14:1 for the music director; by David. Fools say to themselves, “There is no God.” They sin and commit evil deeds; none of them does what is right.

It is agreed that the Jews thought he broke the Sabbath, but it is not true to say that he actually did break the Sabbath, as you point out.



As for “making himself equal with God”; this is why the Jews tried to kill Him, because that was precisely what He was claiming. They simply refused to believe Him, and so to them His claim was blasphemy (as indeed it would be if He were lying). To call God “Father” as Jesus did was tantamount in the Jewish mind to claiming equality with God, as John plainly tells us in inspired Scripture. This is reiterated in John 10:33 (see below). Three verses earlier, Jesus had said, “I and my Father are one.”

You make another grave error here, in that of attempting to understand the Jewish mindset from a modern perspective.

I’m not doing that. In this instance, I don’t have to speculate or study Jewish first-century culture all that much, because the interpretation of what was in their heads is given by inspired Scripture itself. This is not an instance of a mistaken opinion reported by a Bible-writer, but of the Apostle John’s own inspired interpretation of the Jews’ actions. If you doubt that, then you are calling an Apostle a liar, or fallible, and he is not so when inspired by God to write what would later be part of Holy Scripture.

See, “making himself equal to God” does not mean to you what it did in Jesus’ day. We must understand this phrase in light of historical context.

We must also understand it in light of the Apostle’s inspired report of it.

In the context we find that they viewed Jesus to be breaking God’s law, and thus rebelling against God. Further, he claimed that his Father was God. Now, what does the expression “making yourself equal to your Father” mean in the traditional, Rabbinic, Jewish mindset? Why it does not mean that you are actually equal, but historically, this expression denotes simple rebellion against your father!

The New Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament states: “In rabbinic teaching a rebellious son is said to make himself equal w. his father (Lightfoot).”

Thus, we understand that the Jews found Jesus to be in rebellion to God, and in claiming that God was his own Father, the Rabbinic expression applied in he phrase that he was “making himself equal to God.”

This type of connotation is also highlighted by The Bible Knowledge Commentary: “To make oneself “equal with God” was a claim of arrogant independence. In the Talmud four persons were branded as haughty because they made themselves equal to God: pagan rulers Hiram, Nebuchadnezzar, Pharaoh, and the Jewish King Joash.”

So in summary, the statement that Jesus “was making himself equal to God” does not carry the modern meaning that Trinitarians like to apply, but it carries the Rabbinical meaning of arrogant independence, i.e. rebellion.

I discussed things somewhat similar to this in my lengthy commentary on John 10:30-34. But there is a major problem with this interpretation: in their minds, what He did was blasphemy; worthy of stoning under the OT law. This is made very clear in the similar verse, John 10:33, where the Jews tell Jesus they want to stone Him “for blasphemy; and because thou being a man, makest thyself God.” Under OT law, it is not blasphemy to merely be guilty of “arrogant independence” or “rebellion.” This connection in Scripture itself is fatal to your interpretation, because it makes no sense. They are simply two different things.

The OT teaches us that worship of the golden calf was blasphemy (Neh 9:18). Foul words against God was considered blasphemy (Is 37:6). The punishment was death by stoning (Lev 24:16). During Jesus’ trial, the Jews thought Jesus was guilty of blasphemy for claiming to be the Christ, the Son of God (Mt 26:63). Jesus replied by claiming to be “the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven” (26:64). Thus the high priest and the Sanhedrin immediately accused Him of blasphemy (26:65) and considered Him “guilty of death” (26:66).

Now, why would they conclude that if by calling Himself the Son of man or Son of God, He was merely claiming the same thing that every Jew believed? It makes no sense. Obviously, they thought He was claiming much more. This has nothing to do with “arrogance” or “rebellion” in their mind, but rather, false claims and false “ontology.” Thus, one commentator stated:

The blasphemy lay in the claim to be seated at the right hand of Power, a reverential periphrasis for ‘God’. (EBC, 848; cf. Ps 110:1)

Further, did not the Jews claim that God was their Father? Certainly they did.

John 8:41 You do the works of your father. They said to Him, We were not born of fornication; we have one father, God.

Thus, there was not error in calling God his Father, but as pointed out, the expression used must be taken in the historical meaning, that is rebellion.

I’ve already dealt with the uniqueness of Jesus’ expression with regard to “God as Father”. According to your logic and interpretation, though, the Jews were stoning Jesus for merely using terminology that they themselves used. This makes no sense. They claimed He had blasphemed.

2) This is John’s perspective, and John was wrong because if Jesus broke the Sabbath he sinned.

He didn’t break the Sabbath. John was, in my opinion, speaking about how the Jews falsely perceived it.

Exactly. The Jewish people were making false perceptions in their claims, and this is also true of the claim that he was making himself equal to God, as the expression itself, as has been shown, denotes rebellion in the Rabbinic tradition.

Again, this breaks down when we realize that He was accused of blasphemy.

3) What is stated is John relating the Jew’s perspective on the matter. Jesus did not break the Sabbath, because it was impossible for him to. Further, Jesus did not claim to be equal with God for he was actually lower than the angels (Heb 2:7).

Jesus claimed to be God constantly, as I have shown and will continue to show. There is a wealth of information in this passage alone. You bring up Hebrews 2:7, but it is taken wildly out of context. Hebrews starts out proclaiming the deity of Jesus in many different ways. He is “heir of all things” (1:2); He is the “brightness” of God the Father’s “glory” (1:3), “the express image of his person” (1:3); He upholds “all things by the word of his power” (1:3). Far from being “lower” than the angels in essence, the same book states, to the contrary:

Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they . . . And again when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.(Hebrews 1:4,6)

But you have not shown. All you have provided thus far are priori assumptions and texts that lack any real proof. You have admitted as much yourself, many times having already stated that your texts are not absolute proofs. Reflecting his Father’s glory and inheriting things from God does prove anything at all. For example, Christians are spoken of as “joint heirs with Christ” (Rom 8:17). So if Christ having an inheritance makes him God, then Christians must be part of the Trinity as well, but of course they are not.

You miss an elementary logical point again: “joint-heir” and “heir of all things” are two different propositions. Its the difference between saying “I will inherit my parents’ wealth” and “I will inherit all things in the universe.” You claimed that Jesus was “lower than the angels.” I replied by giving massive biblical evidence to the contrary: from the context and elsewhere.

End of Part One

Go to Part Two


(originally 11-3-03)

Photo credit: Jesus Christ, extracted from the painting Christ And The Rich Young Ruler (1889) by Heinrich Hofmann (1824-1911) [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]


Browse Our Archives