This text clearly contradicts the established Christian view that the mediator between God and man must be both human and divine. The logic of that thought notwithstanding, the inspired word states him to be clearly and unequivocally man and not God. Let not anyone think that we belittle Christ by saying that he is man and not God. It may be that he is a man so far above the men we know today that to human senses he would even appear to be like God.
Nevertheless we must remember thathuman senses are not the criteria, but the Word of God. To do so is to fall into polytheism and vastly to belittle and lower the concept of God. What does the Bible mean then, when it says that Jesus is the son of God? In most modern languages it is rare to use the words father and son in other but literal meanings of biological descent.
That is why readers of the Bible in translation may be honestly mistaken. The word son as applied to Christ and the word father as applied to God must be understood as metaphorical, that is, in a meaning other than the literal biological one. Indeed, few people actually understand them literally. No one, insofar as I know, actually believes that God had sexual intercourse with Mary to produce Jesus. Such an idea is revolting to most minds and is certainly not held by any of the established Christian creeds.
God is not the father of Christ or any other humans in any literal sense. The word "son" is clearly used in the Bible to express the character of people, and not always their biological descent. The word is used in both ways in 1 Samuel 2 verse The genes of only one sperm can naturally combine with the ovum to produce a genetically new individual. The margin of my Bible explains that the expression "sons of Belial" means "wicked men," that is "sons of wickedness.
What are the non-biological usages of the word father in the Bible? In Genesis 4verse 20,21 father of such as dwell in tents and father of all such as handle the harp, suggest a meaning of "inventor, first, prototype. Joseph was no doubt younger than Pharaoh, but still he became Pharaoh's father or counselor in Genesis 45 verse 8. The word father is used by a subject in addressing a king in 1 Samuel 24 verse Elisha, while the subordinate of Elijah the prophet, addresses him as father in 2 Kings 2 verse Again in terms of a servant to master, or in this case a soldier to a general, the accompanying soldier addresses Naaman as father in 2 Kings 5 verse Five distinct groups of meaning appear: a literal biological father, an ancestor, an inventor or prototype, someone who gives counsel or information, and someone to whom absolute obedience is due.
Considering that Jesus says that he came to do nothing but his Father's will, the last definition of father is probably the most appropriate as applied to his relationship with God. Jesus is the Son of God because he perfectly carries out the will of God. It was Christian failure to understand this true meaning that made it necessary, for example, to use another metaphor in the Qur'an for Jesus: servant of God.
Neither metaphor completely describes the uniqueness of Christ. They are only two expressions among many. All such expressions are merely metaphorical and cannot perfectly describe anyone's relationship to God, whose being and essence are completely outside the realm of human expression and language.
To say that a person is a child of God or a servant of God is only to point out the relationship as a recipient of divine grace and the responsibility of obedience. God is not anyone's literal father or slave-master. Those are human relations that merely approximate or give a direction in understanding. The Bible uses other terms as well, such as "husband," for God, and metaphorically "unfaithfulness" for sin.
All such expressions are only useful to the extent that they inspire us to submit ourselves to God's will. They are not intended to give us information about the nature of God, His essence, being or attributes. It appears that the expression Son of God is also used, similarly to the expression Son of Man, to intimate that Jesus is the promised Messiah. That can be inferred from Daniel 3 verse 24, if this text has a messianic implication.
Let it be noted that Jesus himself did not like to use the term at all. He preferred other expressions of his Messiahship, most especially the expression Son of Man, no doubt realizing to what blasphemous excesses the Christian establishment would go in its development of the doctrine of the Trinity.
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The names applied to Christ in the New Testament are such that they could properly be applied only to one who was God. For example, Jesus is called God in the phrase, 'Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior,Christ Jesus' Titus 2;13; compare John 1 verse 1; Hebrews 1 verse 8; Romans 9 verse 5; 1 John 5 verses 20, The names applied to Christ in the New Testament could properly be applied to one who represents God and has received "all authority in heaven and earth" from Him.
McDowell claims that the following texts clearly call Christ God. Titus 2 verse The English translation is ambiguous. The fact is that the "of" in English, which translates the Greek genitive is repeated in the Greek with the words "Savior, Christ Jesus" so that a more literal translation would be: "the glory of our great God and of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The text does not "clearly" present Christ as God. John 1 verse 1. The first point is that there is a difficulty in conceiving that the Word is with God on one hand and is God on the other.
The first clause states that there is a distinction between the Word and God since the one is with the other , while the second states that they are one and the same. As it stands the sentence does not make sense. It does make sense, however, if we realize that the word theos in Greek used here is an equivalent of the Hebrew word Elohim. Now Elohim can mean God, gods, a god, judge, exalted one, and even angel.
The first word refers to God, while the second to another entity. The reference to another entity clearly shows the Word not to be the God with whom the Word is. Indeed some scholars point out that a better translation would be: "and the Word was a god.
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One of the other alternative should probably be chosen. The Christian claim depends on John 1;14, "The Word became flesh. Note that this text does not say that Jesus is God. It is an interesting fact that the Qur'an calls Jesus the Word of God without any of its adherents suggesting that the expression "clearly" presents him as God. McDowell does not refer to Hebrews 1 verse 10, which is in fact the only verse used to prove the trinity demanding careful investigation.
The quotation is from Psalm verses It is the only one of the original quotations which was originally directed to God Himself. Let it first be noted that the quotation is not directed to Jesus in Hebrews, but is a continuation of the expression in Hebrews 1 verse 8 "pros" or in "reference to" Jesus. This is in contrast to sentences spoken "to" someone, as in Hebrews 1 verse 5. These phrases are not therefore spoken "to" Jesus, but are "in reference" to him.
The second point is that the context clearly has as its purpose to exalt Jesus Christ above even the angels. All of the quotations serve that purpose. They refer to aspects or events in the life of Jesus which show him to be in some way superior to the angels. Psalm is the last of a series of martyrdom Psalms.
The clear inference in this chapter is that after all of the glorious aspects and events in Jesus's life that show him to be superior to the angels, there is finally his martyrdom. This too shows his superiority and leads into the subject of the second chapter of Hebrews which is in fact that self-sacrifice. To those of us not accustomed to the liturgical use of the Psalms, this explanation is not immediately clear.
But to the Hebrews to whom these words were written, nothing could be more natural. The whole panorama of the martyrdom liturgy immediately floods into the Hebrew mind when these words are encountered. No better introduction to chapter two could have been invented. It is not stated that Jesus is God. Superiority to the angels does not necessarily imply that Jesus is God Almighty. The chapter deals in every possible superlative, but does not state Jesus to be God.
Even verse three makes a clear distinction between the being which is Jesus and the being which is God, referred to here as "Majesty on high. Trinitarian claim: "The Scriptures attribute characteristics to him that can be true only of God. Jesus is presented as being self-existent John 1 verse 4; 14 verse 6 ; omnipresent Matthew 28 verse 20; 18 verse 20 ; omniscient John 4 verse 16; 6 verse 64; Matthew 17 verses ; omnipotent Revelation 1 verse 8; Luke 4 verses ; 7 verses 14, 15; Matthew 8 verses 26, 27 ; and possessing eternal life 1 John 5 verses 11, 12, 20; John 1 verse 4.
Unitarian Answer: It is true that these characteristics absolutely belong to God alone. But God can and does impart divine graces to human beings sent to represent Him. The language of the texts referred to by McDowell indicates that Jesus received these characteristics from God. As a recipient he cannot be God himself for two reasons:. The attributes of Jesus in the New Testament do not differ from the attributes claimed for the twelve holy Imams of Shi'ite belief. Yet in that belief system there is no inference whatsoever that these beings are God Himself.
Orientalists suggest that the early Christian concept of Christ is the origin of the Shi'ite concept of the imamate. Therefore, such attributes can be true without necessarily indicating that Jesus is one and the same person as God Almighty. John 1 verse 4 "In him was life; and the life was the light of men. It cannot therefore be taken as a direct reference to the person of Jesus. The verse does not state that Jesus possessed life in himself without the intervention of God. No Bible text does.
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John 14 verse 6 "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. This does not suggest that his life is independent of God. Matthew 28 verse It is a claim of immediate and direct access for believers. The claim is no different than that for the Shi'ite Imam in occultation, and may not be very different than the Jewish claim for Elijah and the Muslim claim for Enoch Khidr. There is no implication of divinity.
Matthew 18 verse It is in fact even more limited than Matthew 28 verse 20, since there are more conditions: the presence of at least two believers, the purpose of gathering for worship? John 4 verse 16 and 6 verse 64 describe knowledge of people's lives and events past and future which would not normally belong to a human being. Such knowledge would, however, normally be granted to a prophet. If Jesus is given the attributes of a prophet, it does not mean that he is therefore God any more than any of the other prophets with such knowledge is God.
Matthew 17 verses is also a prophecy of future events. It is not a claim to omniscience. Jesus in fact denies omniscience: "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. Revelation 1 verse 8. It is assumed to be Jesus because it is inferred that Jesus was the origin of the voice speaking the same words in Revelation 1 verse But these words are a quotation from Isaiah 41 verse 4, where they are spoken by God Himself. Revelation 1 verse 8 says these words are spoken by the Lord.
The word kyrios in the original Greek sometimes refers to God, sometimes to Christ, and sometimes as a form of polite address to other human beings. At this point it is safe to assume on the basis of the context that the speaker is God Almighty and not JesusChrist. Luke 4 verses In this story Jesus has power to heal and authority over devils, who bear witness that he is "the Christ, the Son of God.
It only implies God-given authority. Luke 7 verses 14, This story shows that Jesus had the power to raise the dead to life. He is not the only prophet mentioned in the Bible with such power from God. Such power does not imply omnipotence. Matthew 8 verses 26, This story of power to still the storm, impressive as it is, does not imply that this was anything but power delegated to Jesus from God.
There is no intimation of omnipotence.
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For God to give a man such power is not to make that man into God Himself. This text speaks of no life whatsoever which is not given by God. Life that is given by God, although it be in Christ, does not imply that Jesus possesses eternal life in such a way to make him God. The text does not state or imply this. Trinitarian claim: "Jesus received worship as God Matthew 14 verses 33; 28 verse 9 and sometimes even demanded to be worshiped as God John 5 verse 23; compare Hebrews 1 verse 6; Revelation 5 verses Unitarian Answer: The worship of gods in Greek is generally expressed by other words than the one translated "worship" in the New Testament.
The Greek word translated "worship" in the New Testament seems to emphasize the bodily position of prostration involved in worship. As such it differs from the general usage of the Greek word, which implies giving honor by kissing or bowing to kiss the hand or even foot. This kind of worship in Greek generally was not for God or gods, but for people in high position from whom petitions are made. The worship of gods in Greek is generally expressed by other words. Most of the texts in the New Testament either refer clearly to worship of God or are somewhat ambiguous acts of homage. Some texts show clearly that the word does not imply divinity.
Such an example is in Matthew 9 Verse Dictionaries of New Testament Greek made even by trinitarian scholars recognize this variety in the usage of the word. Even Matthew 2 verses 2,8,11; 20 verse 20; Luke 4 verse 7; 24 verse 52 are considered by Harper and Row's Analytical Greek Lexicon to be examples of the word in which it does not imply divinity.
The line between the two meanings will therefore often be determined by the faith of the reader, and as such cannot be construed as proof of the divinity of Jesus. Trinitarian claim: Paul "acknowledged the Lamb of God Jesus as God when he said, 'Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood' Acts 20 verse McDowell , Unitarian answer: The original Greek does not say "with His own blood. To equate Christ with God in this verse is to jump again to unwarranted conclusions.
Trinitarian claim: "Peter confessed, after Christ asked him who he was: 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God' Matthew 16 verse The same point is made on the following page with John 11 verse 27 and John 1;49, where the phrase "Son of God" is used. Unitarian answer: The expression "Son of God" does not imply divinity for Jesus any more than for anyone else given "power to become the children of God. One cannot be both one's father and oneself at the same time.
If Jesus is the son of God, then he certainly is not God. Christians use the argument of species as opposed to personage in order to show that since the Father is of the species "God" so is the Son. The fallacy of this is that the Bible does not present the species of God, but the one personage of God. The word "son" is used in the Bible to mean much more than the biological offspring. The species argument assumes that Jesus is the biological offspring of God. But in fact this is not the Christian teaching.
The Christian teaching itself, whatever it may in fact be, is not literal. No Christian believes that Jesus is the literal, biological son of God.
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The traditional Christian teaching is that Jesus's mother was a virgin. If God were the biological father of Jesus, Mary could not have been a virgin. So one of the metaphorical meanings of the word must be chosen. A good example is in 1 Samuel 2 verse "Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the Lord. The margin says that a son of Belial is a wicked man.
The verse itself goes on to explain that they "knew not the Lord. Surely the Bible means more than this by the expression. It has to do with being the promised Messiah. But being the promised Messiah does not imply that Jesus is God. It implies only that he is the Christ. On the other hand, it must be remembered that the phrase "Son of God" in the Bible is not limited to Jesus. See for example Genesis 6 verse 2 and Job 1 verse 6. It cannot in itself imply divinity. Trinitarian claim: "While Stephen was being stoned, 'he called upon the Lord and said, 'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!
Unitarian answer: The trinitarian claim may be based here on the usage of the word Lord. Although the word Lord is often applied to God in the Bible, it is not limited to that use by any means. It is applied to Jesus in the sense of "sir, or master" as well as to any number of people in courteous address. It is clear that the word Lord here refers to Jesus, but the word does not imply divinity. The claim may depend, however, on Stephen's act of calling upon Jesus in this situation as an indication of his divinity.
The author does not clarify what in fact here is supposed to prove that Jesus is God. Considering the fact that Stephen believed Jesus to have been crucified, resurrected and ascended into heaven, it is quite understandable that he should hope that Jesus would receive his spirit. That hope does not imply divinity, however. It only recognizes the resurrection and ascension. Although, for example, most Muslims deny the crucifixion, all Muslims believe in the ascension and second return of Jesus without believing in his divinity. Exceptional events or powers do not automatically imply divinity.
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Trinitarian claim: "John the Baptist announced the coming of Jesus by saying that 'the Holy Spirit descended upon im in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, 'Thou art My beloved Son, in Thee I am well-pleased' Luke 3 verse Unitarian answer:. Apparently the author assumes that to be the Son of God in the case of Jesus implies divinity.
He does not assume it in other instances, which is inconsistent. Either all Sons of God are thereby divine, or they are not. Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed'' John 20 verses Jesus accepted Thomas's acknowledgment of him as God. Unitarian answer: This claim, like so many before it, is really based on a misunderstanding of the Bible because the claimant is referring to a translation.
Much trouble could be avoided if Christians, like Jews and Muslims, printed their sacred books with the original language included. The adherents of those faiths become aware in that way at least of the fact that what they are reading in English is not authoritative. It is only a very fallible translation. Now the Greek text of the phrase "My Lord and my God!
Thus, if the words refer to the person addressed, they should be in the vocative. If the words refer to someone other than the person to which they are spoken, they should be in the nominative case. Now in fact they are in the nominative, not the vocative. This suggests that they refer to some other personage than to the one to whom they are addressed.
They are addressed to Jesus. So we may know that Jesus at least is not the "Lord" and "God" to whom Thomas refers. If the person to whom you exclaim "Oh, my Lord! This exclamation reveals Thomas's newly acquired faith in the resurrection of Jesus. That was the thing he doubted. There was never a question of whether or not Jesus was God. There was only a question of whether or not he was alive. This is what Thomas doubted, this is what Thomas saw with his own eyes and felt with his hands, and this is what those who did not see Jesus still believed.
There is no blessing for those who believe something else such as that Jesus is God. There is only a blessing for those who believe him to be living. Jesus does not accept Thomas's acknowledgment of him as God, because Thomas never acknowledged him as God. He only acknowledged him as living. Trinitarian claim: John 5 verses He made a claim that the Jews could not misinterpret when he called God 'my Father. Again, the Jews understood the implication that he was God's Son.
As a result of this statement, the Jews' hatred grew. Even though they were seeking, mainly, to persecute him, they then began to desire to kill him.
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Unitarian answer: The trinitarian claim is that Jesus must have claimed to be God since some people accused him of this. It does not follow. It is very possible that those people, who in the words of McDowell, "were seeking, mainly, to persecute him," grasped at every opportunity to misconstrue what Jesus said.
The scenario must be familiar to everyone. In any verbal argument hostility induces people to misconstrue the words of their opponents. Surely such accusations cannot be taken seriously. Jesus himself does not stand by and accept the accusation, which came more than once. In John 10 verses 36 Jesus makes this clear. In the face of unjustified accusation that he makes himself out to be God he says: "Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
Secondly, he points out that he did not in fact even make that claim, as his accusers maintain, but that he claimed to be the "Son of God. Jesus was Jehovah's first creation. Jesus is not God, nor part of the Godhead. Jehovah used Jesus to create the rest of the universe. Before Jesus came to earth, he was known as the archangel Michael. The Holy Spirit is an impersonal force from Jehovah, but not God.
Founded By: Mary Baker Eddy , Christian Scientists believe the Trinity is life, truth, and love. As an impersonal principle, God is the only thing that truly exists. Everything else matter is an illusion. Jesus, though not God, is the Son of God. He was the promised Messiah but was not a deity. The Holy Spirit is divine science in the teachings of Christian Science. Traditional Armstrongism denies a Trinity, defining God as "a family of individuals.
Christadelphians believe God is one indivisible unity, not three distinct persons existing in one God. They deny the divinity of Jesus, believing he is fully human and separate from God. They do not believe the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, but merely a force—the "unseen power" from God. Oneness Pentecostals believe that there is one God and God is one.
Throughout time God manifested himself in three ways or "forms" not persons , as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Oneness Pentecostals take issue with the Trinity doctrine chiefly for its use of the term "person. Unification adherents believe that God is positive and negative, male and female. The universe is God's body, made by him. Jesus was not God, but a man. He did not experience a physical resurrection. In fact, his mission on earth failed and will be fulfilled through Sun Myung Moon, who is greater than Jesus.
The Holy Spirit is feminine in nature. She collaborates with Jesus in the spirit realm to draw people to Sun Myung Moon. Similar to Christian Science, Unity adherents believe God is an unseen, impersonal principle, not a person. God is a force within everyone and everything. Jesus was only a man, not the Christ. He merely realized his spiritual identity as the Christ by practicing his potential for perfection. This is something all men can achieve. Jesus did not resurrect from the dead, but rather, he reincarnated. The Holy Spirit is the active expression of God's law. Only the spirit part of us is real; matter is not real.
Scientology defines God as Dynamic Infinity. Jesus is not God, Savior, or Creator, nor does he have control of supernatural powers. He is usually overlooked in Dianetics. The Holy Spirit is absent from this belief system as well. Men are "thetan" - immortal, spiritual beings with limitless capabilities and powers, though often they are unaware of this potential.