Got God-questions? 04
Updated: Jan 31
Is Jesus god?
I’ll start this post by saying that in my view Jesus most definitely is not and was not a god. Saying that could be interpreted as admitting that Jesus in fact existed. And as much as I grant the possibility of such a person having existed, there is no historical evidence for the literary character described in the so-called gospel according to Mark, let alone the claims that are made around and about him. Moreover, Christianity can only exist as a religion because of the lack of historical evidence for Jesus as a onetime real person. Imagine the jumps of joy of millions of people if archaeologists would indeed find the remains of a person that somehow could be identified as this Jesus; and the subsequent psychological shock they would immediately suffer when they realize that this would completely invalidate their belief system. This question and the attempts to answer it fill entire libraries, so I evidently am unable to address everyone and everything that has been said and written about it.
To give you an idea: when I typed this question in the Google search bar, it gave me an instant response of 622 million results in 0.62 seconds. I will only address the first of those results. It not only stood out because it was the first match in the result list (which is quite the achievement, hats off to that), but also because the author of the article had no problem with supporting his answer by the use of blatant lies. I could add that it shouldn’t surprise me at all, giving some Christians’ notorious track record with the truth.
My response to the question and offered answer is based on this sole article and in spite of that, will already produce a lengthy article. The article is:
“Jesus is God – 10 Biblical reasons why”, written by ‘Samuel’ on 23 January 2021 for the website of Life.Harbourfellowship.com, https://life.harbourfellowship.com/sino-si-jesus/?
The author announces a list of the top ten reasons (best?) reasons why Christians believe Jesus is god in his subtitle, but note that those reasons can be boiled down to one reason and one only: the bible says so. All ten reasons given by the author are quotations from the bible and if anything can be said with certainty about the texts of the bible is that they are by definition biased and cannot be considered objective historical sources. Secondly, any claim of truth that is asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.
That makes it easier to right out dismiss the gospel “according to John” as a trustworthy source, although I can make a very good case as to why this gospel can be dismissed as a source on the physical Jesus from a historical perspective The same applies to the gospels “according to Matthew” and “according to Luke”, as they are mere plagiarized and embellished versions of the first gospel.
What is peculiar though is that the author quotes from Hebrew Bible books (“Old Testament”) to support his claim, while those books were written centuries before Jesus was born. Now I’m well aware of Christians’ very poor claims that the Old Testament predicted Jesus as the Messiah. But if there was any validity in that assumption (it really is just wishful thinking) then all Jews (or a lot more) would agree with Christians and in fact be Christians.
With that in mind I’ll go over the 10 reasons in the same order as the author gives them.
10. “Jesus performed miracles that had never been seen before”.
Here the author points at the miracles that Jesus performed as a sign of his divinity. Since there is only one source saying that Jesus performed miracles, this does not constitute as evidence. Jesus allegedly walked on water, but according to the same gospels so did Peter. Is Peter god? I’ll give you a historically attested miracle:
On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human to step on the moon. No man had ever performed this miracle before, not even Jesus. Is Neil Armstrong therefore god?
9. “Jesus made claims that no human could make”.
Here the author is following a very weird argumentation. Jesus is god because he made some claims? First off, I can claim the same things the author is using here as examples, claims that are not falsifiable which already disprove that Jesus was the only one who could make such claims. In fact, similar claims are made by hundreds of people all the time. Like Jesus, I will give all who are weary and burdened rest. There, I just made the same claim as Jesus; and buy some miraculous mechanism, you cannot prove that I won’t be able to realize this claim.
8. “Jesus existed before the world was made”
Here the author only quotes “John”, which does not count as evidence. I should believe this “John” who wasn’t even around in Jesus’ days? Was John around before the world was made and saw with his own eyes that Jesus already existed (somewhere)? I grant that this idea might be stolen from one of Paul’s letters (chances are high even), but Paul was in no better position to back up this claim other than by claiming it some more.
7. “Jesus possesses attributes that are unique to God”
The author quotes Matthew 28:20, which has Jesus saying that he will be with his people always and equates that with god’s omnipresence. We cannot know that Jesus did in fact say that ("Matthew" was not a witness to Jesus’ life) and even if he did say that, this is another of those claims that cannot be falsified. I will make the same claim right now: I will be with my people until the end of time. I am god. Prove to me that what I claimed is impossible, and you might accidentally prove Jesus’ claim impossible.
Having Job declare that god has perfect knowledge doesn’t say anything, not a word, not a letter about Jesus. Quoting Job as if he was talking about Jesus is downright deceitful.
Paul’s Colossians 2:3. By his own admission, Paul never met or knew Jesus and hardly talked about Jesus as a real life human being. He hardly even talked with the bible characters who might have been actual witnesses to Jesus’ teachings (in the sense of being equally literary characters): his disciples. Luckily for the both of us, the author Samuel of this article does not really refer to Paul a lot: probably because Paul really isn’t very useful as a witness to Jesus’ physical existence, and from my end, because I deeply distrust Paul’s honesty and objectivity, for reasons I will not get into. Let’s just say that Paul openly writes about his own bias.
6. “Jesus performs unique works similar to what God performs”
Here the author starts his argument with a false premise: “Everyone knows that God created the universe, right?” Wow, stop! Millions of people disagree with that. Knowing that you claim something is not the same as agreeing with your claim, Samuel, so you're already off on a very bad start here.
God created the universe; Jesus is the Word and the Word is god…therefore Jesus created the universe. That's how you can sum up Samuel's argument here, but stating that Jesus is god because Jesus is god is hardly good evidence, at least not in the way that I understand evidence.
Samuel also claims that Jesus is able to forgive sins, which proves that he is god. But millions of people forgive and forgave sins regularly. In fact, in your very own article you encourage that people should do so. Does it make us all gods? Okay...
5. “Jesus Himself claimed to be God”
Indeed, in the gospel “according to John” and that one alone. Biased, hearsay or fabricated hearsay…case dismissed. Anyone can claim to be god. In fact, a lot of people did...and a lot of people believed some who did. If you can accept that Jesus is god because someone said so two thousand years ago, even if that someone is Jesus himself, then why can you not accept Mohammed's claim that he was the greatest prophet of god? I consider the latter to be a claim of less magnitude than the claim Jesus allegedly made. So why are you an atheist with regards to Islam?
4. “The Bible calls Jesus God”
Here the author really increases his amount of lying to a shameful level, quoting bible passages completely out of context and which simply don’t name Jesus. And isn’t saying that the bible calls god ‘god’ kind of a tautology, or whatever the correct term is? (I think it’s tautology though.)
3. “Jesus possesses titles that are unique to God”
The author Samuel deceitfully conflates the Old Testament Isaiah and the writers of New Testament as if they were writing about the same person. Not so nice, Samuel.
Anyway, we should not expect any different I suppose.
Samuel refers to 'Lord' as being a title unique to Jesus (and god of course).
Lord Winston Churchill possesses a title that is unique to god, which makes it not so unique to god anymore. Is Winston Churchill god? But in seriousness, this shows the circular argumentation of this well-intended Christian.
Imagine that I write a short autobiography in which I refer to myself as Lord and Savior. As these titles are unique to god, and now that I am called by the same titles, I am necessarily god...at least according to Samuel's logic. Like god, I forgive him though.
2. “His resurrection from the dead confirms that He is God”
I will quote this passage in full:
“The fact that Jesus rose from the dead confirms that He is God because only God has power over sin and death. Romans 1:3-4 states that though Jesus was born in the flesh, and was crucified, He conquered death through His resurrection.”
Jesus’ resurrection is not a fact. Jesus’ existence is not even a fact. It is what some people believe. That's why it is called the 'Christian faith'. They cannot prove that Jesus lived, died and became a holographic zombie any more than you can. They just believe it in spite of the lack of evidence for it and contrary to some evidence against it.
1. “Jesus refers to Himself as divine”
That’s it? That is the top reason why Christians believe Jesus is god? Calling yourself god somehow makes it true? I will quote Samuel in full here once more before retorting:
“In the Bible, Jesus refers to Himself as “I Am”, meaning that He was there before the world began, He is here now, and He will be there in the future. Only a person of divine nature can pull that off. Some of the verses that refer to this include John 8:58 (before Abraham was, I am), Isaiah 41:4 (I am He), Isaiah 46:4 (I am He who will sustain you). These statements indicate that Jesus is not of this world, but He is from God.”
I am as well. I will say it again: I am. There, only a person of divine nature can pull this off. I am god. There, I said it again. Descartes said: I think, therefore I am. Descartes is god as well, only this one is apparently able to think, unlike the Christian god, who just is. Someone might ask me: “Are you married?” Honesty would force me to say: “I am.” Oops, I said it again. I could ask Samuel: "Are you up for a debate tonight?", to which he could reply: "I am." Wow Samuel, did you just declare yourself to be god?
Since the author deceitfully refers to Isaiah twice more, I strongly encourage you to read the relevant passages. You will notice, with your own eyes, that there is no mention of any Jesus. Moreover, Isaiah 41:4 is talking in the past tense…not about a future Messiah, let alone Jesus.
With his subtitle “Top 10 Reasons why Christians believe Jesus is God” you could still attribute some form of objectivity to the author. But in his conclusion it becomes clear that he never set out to answer the question honestly. He just regurgitates what he already believes and tries to manipulate the evidence in order to make it suit his claim.
“Is Jesus God? Yes, He is, based on the top 10 reasons why Christians believe Jesus is God listed above.” His answer is a clear “yes, Jesus is god” and admits that the sole reason for his conclusion is because a lot of people believe Jesus is god.
I can however quote from the same sources he uses to prove that Jesus is not god:
Mark 10: 39-40 Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”
Mark 12: 35-37 Jesus defends that the Messiah does not have to be descendant of David. Why did “Luke” and “Matthew” go so out of their way then to fabricate complete fictional genealogical and contradictory links to this king David?
Mark 13: 32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
If Jesus is god, then why can’t he accurately predict when the end times would arrive? But even the fairly wide time frame he gives is a wrong prophecy. He predicted that those end times would arrive within the lifetime of his audience (the disciples). As shown in our post “Yahweh, the false prophet", Jesus made another false prophecy in verse 2 of the very same chapter. But more importantly in this passage is that Jesus clearly does not call himself god, doesn’t even imply himself to be and admits that there are things that he doesn’t know and only “the Father” knows.
Remember Matthew 28:20? Used by the author of our subject article to show that Jesus will always be with his people forever, something that only a god would say? Here’s Mark 14: 7 “The poor you will always have with you and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me.” Is the latter something a god would say?
Need I continue? I could, but I will sum up by giving the judge’s ruling:
The accuser Samuel has called upon several witnesses, of whom the court has established without a doubt that those witnesses are in fact not witnesses to the events or reports that led to the accusation.
The only witness that could possibly be entertained, going by the name Mark but of whom the identity could not be established, has proven himself totally unreliable because of his contradictory statements in his report read by all parties.
The accuser has not presented any evidence other than a belief in said witness’ statements.
Based on the case presented by accuser Samuel and for lack of any material that can be held against the standards that need to be met to qualify as evidence, whether it be historically, archaeologically or even corroborating witnesses who have no conflict of interest in this case, the court has no choice but to find the defendant and absent Jesus NOT guilty of being god.
Richard Dalet PHD, May 18, 2021
Notes, sources, references:
“Jesus is God – 10 Biblical reasons why”, written by ‘Samuel’ on 23 January 2021 for the website of Life.Harbourfellowship.com, https://life.harbourfellowship.com/sino-si-jesus/? The author of this article has not specified which version or versions of the bible he has quoted.
Consulted bible versions: New International Version, King James Version, New English Translation, Wycliffe Bible, Modern English Version
“The Wright Brothers, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wright_brothers