Is God Always Superior to Jesus? Everything he said about himself indicates that he did not consider himself equal to God in any way—not in power, not in knowledge, not in age. In every period of his existence, whether in heaven or on earth, his speech and conduct reflect subordination to God. God is always the superior, Jesus the lesser one who was created by God.
Jesus Distinguished From God. No one is good but God alone. God is good in a way that separates him from Jesus. He likened God, his Father, to the owner of the vineyard, who traveled abroad and left it in the charge of cultivators, who represented the Jewish clergy.
Are Christ's Human Limitations Permanent?
When the owner later sent a slave to get some of the fruit of the vineyard, the cultivators beat the slave and sent him away empty-handed. Then the owner sent a second slave, and later a third, both of whom got the same treatment. Likely they will respect this one. No, God the Creator was saying that he, as the superior, was approving a lesser one, his Son Jesus, for the work ahead. Here God is plainly the superior, for he anointed Jesus, giving him authority that he did not previously have.
Nevertheless, let, not my will, but yours take place. To a part of himself? To himself or to part of himself? And if Jesus were God, then by whom was he deserted? That would not make sense. After Jesus died, he was in the tomb for parts of three days. And who resurrected Jesus from the dead?
The Father and the Son
If he was truly dead, he could not have resurrected himself. But he did pay that price in full by his genuine death. Well, the apostles and the prophets Elijah and Elisha had that power too, but that did not make them more than men. God gave the power to perform miracles to the prophets, Jesus, and the apostles to show that He was backing them. But it did not make any of them part of a plural Godhead. But Jesus did not know, for he was not equal to God. No, but Jesus did, for he did not know everything that God knew.
And he had to learn something that God never needs to learn—obedience. God never has to obey anyone. Joel Jesus is thereby equated with Yahweh the Lord and is shown as worthy of prayer. The honor that is due to Jesus is no less than the honor that is due to the Father.
John, whom even liberal scholars agree made it his task to reinforce the status of Christ among early Christians, shows that the Son deserves the same level of honor as the Father. Does not God reserve all honor, praise, and glory to Himself? Indeed, He does. Yet, the New Testament repeatedly applies titles denoting divinity to Jesus Christ.
The question is: Does this verse speak of the Father or the Son?
No one denies that the titles used here denote divinity, and can therefore rightly refer to the Father; but do such titles also belong to the Son? It is quite possible, then, that verse 8, which follows immediately, also refers to Christ. This view is strengthened by verses 11 through 18, which definitely describe Christ. Who is He?
In the last chapter of Revelation, these titles are once again used of Jesus. In both texts—Revelation 1 and 22—Jesus is identified with words used exclusively in the Old Testament to refer to God. See Isaiah ; ; So we see yet another unitarian argument crumble. In this book, Brown argues that many of the New Testament passages that are normally used to support the deity of Christ are weak as proof texts. As a liberal Catholic, he was not averse to disagreeing with his church and orthodox Christianity on Christology. Yet, in his final analysis, Brown cannot deny that titles of divinity are applied to Jesus in certain New Testament texts.
Brown notes the three main interpretations of the Greek of this passage. Moreover, the separation proposed in this interpretation of Titus means that the author is speaking of the two-fold future appearance, one of God and the other of the Savior Jesus Christ. There is no real evidence in the New Testament for a double epiphany. It implies that the passage is speaking of one epiphany, namely of Jesus Christ, in harmony with other references to the epiphany in the Pastoral Epistles. Instead he wrote a sentence in the Greek language of his day which would clearly indicate to his readers that Jesus Christ was both God and Savior.
First John is another interesting passage.
JESUS CHRIST OUR SAVIOR
This is the true God and eternal life. Can we learn something from the other predicate in this second sentence of 1 John , i.
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When all the factors are added, probability seems to favor the thesis that John calls Jesus God—a usage not unusual in Johannine literature. It is true that the main point of citing the Psalm was to contrast the Son to show that the Son enjoys eternal dominion while the angels are but servants. Yet we cannot presume that the author did not notice that his citation had this effect of making Jesus God and surely at least he saw nothing wrong in this address. The picture is complemented by the similar situation in Hebrews where the application to the Son of Psalm —28 has the effect of addressing Jesus as Lord.
John is another text that is not easily countered by unitarians. The scene is designated to serve as a climax to the Gospel: As the resurrected Jesus stands before his disciples, one of their number at last gives expression to an adequate faith in Jesus. In his evaluation of the evidence, Brown says while the Synoptics do not clearly call Jesus God, Johannine literature as well as Hebrews and other New Testament texts do.
Romans is said to be the most debated text in Christology. When Paul would break into a doxology to the Father, he would first introduce the Father into the text before giving the doxology. The Father is nowhere introduced into the text. This is a decisive text for the divinity of Jesus Christ. Lenski, in his Interpretation of St.
This apposition is complete in itself. If no more were added this apposition makes Christ God, for we have yet to hear of one who is over all who is not God. This is the natural and obvious way of punctuating the sentence.
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To make a full stop after a sarka or colon and start a new sentence is very abrupt and awkward. The parallels between Yahweh in the Old Testament and Jesus Christ are too striking to be dismissed see accompanying box on page 5.
There is no presuppositionless exegesis or hermeneutic. We all come to Scripture with our biases and cultural, psychological, and sociological baggage. If we have the bias that Jesus could not possibly be God, then we must find a way to explain away texts that do seem to indicate that He is God. The unitarian applies the agency concept indiscriminately to the passages equating Yahweh to Christ without justifying that hermeneutical approach. Let us ask a simple question: If Jesus were really God Incarnate—just suppose—and God the Father wanted to communicate that to us, what would it take to convince you?
Genuine worship to Jesus could be explained as mere obeisance. The implications of the Greek are clear. Jesus was claiming self-existence. They could have simply disagreed with His belief that He was the Messiah, rather than resorting to the extreme measure of taking up stones to throw at Him verse In John , Jesus says the Son should be honored equally with the Father.
The Jews understood exactly what He meant: He was claiming equality with the Father. How was God first revealed in Scripture? The New Testament will later tell us that God created the world through Christ, which harmonizes perfectly with Genesis Rabbi Tzar Nassi, lecturer in Hebrew at Oxford University, emphasizes the fact that the plural of majesty was unknown to Moses and the prophets. This statement is found early in the first book of the Bible, and one of the major goals of this book is to reveal to its readers who God really is.
This would be the word of choice if God intended to say that the Divinity is restricted to one and only one Person. The belief that God is a composite unity is on solid linguistic grounds. The prophet is not so much concerned about ontology as He is about exclusive worship to Yahweh. He is emphasizing that only Yahweh is worthy of worship, and is engaging in a polemic against syncretism. The true God, Yahweh, is being contrasted with the false gods of the surrounding nations.
To use this passage as though Isaiah was dealing with the nature of God is absolutely absurd. Now we come to a very critical point that some unitarians have made: How could the Jews themselves, who speak Hebrew as a first language, not understand the nature of God, and how could early Christians so radically reinterpret God without an equally, if not greater, controversy than the one that came about with the abandonment of circumcision? The answer is that the early confession of Jesus as Lord and the clear belief in His divinity unified early Christians, unlike the issues concerning the Law.
Also, it is important to realize that certain Jewish scholars from very early fought the early revelation of God in their own Scriptures. The Book of Jubilees written in the second half of the second century B. Philo explained that God used His subordinates to help Him in creation and claimed that this is where the evil in man comes from since God could not have created evil.
So contrary to what we may have thought, many Jewish interpreters have simply fought the revelation of God, as they have done for millennia. Genesis also presented problems for the Jewish interpreters. In the account of the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, the Book of Jubilees includes no verse corresponding to Genesis Pappoas, a Palestinian rabbi who lived at the end of the first century A.