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Showing posts with label deity of Christ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label deity of Christ. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Jesus Didn't Become God; the Earliest Christians Believed Him to Be Divine

In his excellent new book, God Among Sages, Kenneth Samples has done a wonderful job in combining an apologetic showing the Gospel accounts reflect the historic person of Jesus of Nazareth and how the Jesus of the Gospels is markedly different from the founders of Eastern religions, such as Krishna, who was also thought to be a god taking on human form.

The comparison is interesting, especially considering the charge made by many modern skeptics that the Christian belief of Jesus as God incarnate was foreign to Jesus's first followers and only grew as a later addition to the new religion. Bart Ehrman's book How Jesus Became God is one such challenge. Samples answers it well when he writes:
But just what did the earliest Christians believe about the nature and person of Jesus Christ? A major textual breakthrough over the last couple of decades has al1owed scholars to see more dearly what the earliest Christians believed about Jesus Christ, particularly as expressed in their church services.

Biblical scholarship (in this case, a type of form criticism) has discovered primitive Jewish-Christian creeds, confessions, and hymns woven into Scripture. The early Christians in their worship services used these compact confessions of faith long before the New Testament was written. As New Testament scholar Ralph Martin explains, "The church of the New Testament is already a believing, preaching, and confessing community of men and women. This implies the existence and influence of a body of authoritative doctrine ... which was the given and shared possession of those who formed the nascent Christian communities in the world of the Roman Empire."1
I've written before on the creed found in 1 Corinthians 15:3-7 and how it shows the resurrection account existed as a foundational belief from the earliest moments of Christianity. Here, Samples is arguing that there are other early creeds recorded within the pages of the New Testament showing a very early belief in the divinity of Jesus. Some of these passages are actually central to the case of understanding Jesus as the God-man.

Philippians 2:6-11, a key passage discussing how Jesus existed in the form of God, but humbled himself and became man, is the first example. Because of differences in its language and its poetic approach separate it from the rest of the epistle lead scholars to believe this was an early Christian hymn.2 Paul wrote the epistle to the Philippians around AD 62, which means a hymn exalting the incarnation of God in the man of Jesus was well established within thirty years of Jesus's crucifixion.

Jesus Seen As God Very Early

Pointing to Craig Blomberg's work, Samples highlights two other passages (Colossians 1:15-20 and 1 Peter 3:18-22), also written around AD 62. He then notes "the hymnal and creedal portions of those letters date much earlier, possibly back to the Jewish expressions of Christianity in the 40s or even earlier in the 30s."3 These early dates make it impossible for the deity of Christ to be ascribed to either later legend or Gentile influence. It places the central theology of the Trinity at the very beginning of Christianity itself! This is all the more remarkable given that as Jesus first followers were Jews, they would've strongly resisted any claims to divinity that would impeach Yahweh as the one and only God. Remember, this is exactly why Paul sought to kill Christians to begin with.

The early creedal statements within the epistles written by both Peter and Paul—two key founders of the Christian church—show that the incarnation, like the resurrection, was a formative doctrine of Christianity. Jesus didn't "become God" as Ehrman puts it, but was always seen as God. What could have made such a scandalous claim seem palatable to the first Jewish Christians? Nothing other than a resurrection, I believe.

I highly recommend you grab a copy of God Among Sages for yourself. There are so many good things here Samples has given us, this being just one nugget. It's a fresh approach to the question of the historical Jesus and how he compares to other religions' founders.


1. Samples, Kenneth Richard. God Among Sages: Why Jesus Is Not Just Another Religious Leader. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2017. 71. Print.
2. Samples, 2017. 72.
3. Samples, 2017. 73.
Image courtesy Lawrence OP and licensed via the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0) license.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Trinity, Firstborn, and the Dead

The Trinity is central to Christianity. If you deny the triune nature of God, then you've denied the historic Christian faith. Some like the Mormons deny there is only one God. Others like the Jehovah's Witnesses deny that Jesus was God at all. New Testament writers like Paul strove to describe the distinction between the Father and the Son while still honoring both as God, but those very passages can be taken out of context and twisted to carry a meaning the original author never intended.

One example of this is the phrase "firstborn" that Paul uses in Colossians 1:15-17. It reads:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.1
In this passage, Paul is trying to stress how Jesus is creator, master, and lord over all of creation. This role has been traditionally understood as God's. The Bible even begins with the grand claim that "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Psalm 8 directly attributes the creation to Jehovah, stating "When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him and the son of man that you care for him?" Even we ourselves are the direct creation of God, as Psalm 100:3 admits, "Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his." As we see, over and over the Old Testament ties God to all of creation and uses it to show his rightful lordship over that creation.

Firstborn Doesn't Mean First Created

Despite this, the Witnesses and others point to Colossians 1:15 to try and prove that Jesus was the first created being of God. To do this, they must redefine Paul's use of the word firstborn in that verse to mean first created. On its face, the mistake can be an easy one to make if you aren't paying attention. Western cultures no longer abide by traditional patriarchy and inheritance traditions where the first born son becomes the chief of the family.

So, when we hear the word firstborn, we simply think of "first-born," that is the order of coming into the world. But the Greek word it is ranslated from, prototokos, carries a much richer meaning than simply birth order. It more properly is understood in Colossians as "pre-eminent" or "primacy in rank."2Of course, many Witnesses have resisted this interpretation, claiming that we should take the word firstborn in its natural meaning. I can understand their desire; a more literal rendering of words is usually the first choice of translators unless the context shows otherwise.

Given that most people on both sides of this debate have not mastered Greek, how are we to show that the meaning of firstborn I've offered is to be preferred over the more literal rendering? In fact, it's very easy and context is the key. All we have to do is to keep reading Colossians 1, for in the next two verses we read "And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent." Note verses 15-17 above and verses 18-19 here are both in the same paragraph. They are all one thought and the word firstborn appears not once, but twice! In the second instance, Paul claims that Jesus is "firstborn from the dead." If we are to use the natural rendering of this word, it would mean that dead people give birth! That doesn't make much sense at all. Jesus wasn't born from a dead person when he rose from the dead; that isn't a resurrection. In fact, Paul explicitly unpack the meaning of the word in verse 19, explaining that "in everything he might be preeminent." Paul is using prototokos to refer to Jesus's pre-eminence! He tells us that very plainly.

The big takeaway here is that it isn't necessary to have mastered a biblical language to answer folks like the JWs when they charge that the Bible makes Jesus out to be less than God. Many times, we just need to read the verses in context and carefully. The meaning can show itself in plain English.


1. Colossians 1, all other scriptures taken from the English Standard Version (ESV). Bible Gateway. Web. 28 Sep. 2015.
2. "prototokos." Theological Dictionary of the New Testament: Abridged in One Volume. Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdsmans, 1985. 968. Print.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Was the Bible Changed to Make it Look Like Jesus was Worshiped?

There's a silly claim made by Kurt Eichenwald in his Newsweek article that sounds like it came out of a page fron the Jehovah's Witnesses playbook. Eichenwald claims that our modern Bibles get the word worship wrong in the New Testament. He writes that the Greek word προσκυνέω (proskyneo) is intentionally mistranslated by modern biblical texts. He writes:
Throughout the King James Bible, people "worship" many things. A slave worships his owner, the assembled of Satan worship an angel, and Roman soldiers mocking Jesus worship him. In each of these instances, the word does not mean "praise God's glory" or anything like that; instead, it means to bow or prostrate oneself. But English Bibles adopted later—the New International Bible, the New American Standard Bible, the Living Bible and so on—dropped the word worship when it referenced anyone other than God or Jesus.1
He then claims that the change was intentionally misleading to support a view of Jesus' deity that would otherwise be absent for the scripture. He concludes, "In other words, with a little translational trickery, a fundamental tenet of Christianity—that Jesus is God—was reinforced in the Bible, even in places where it directly contradicts the rest of the verse." 2

Playing Fast and Loose with Language

Eichenwald is wrong on several counts. First, the fact that there is a single Greek word that can have more than one meaning doesn't meant the translators wouldn't be able to know when to translate it worship and when to translate it bow down. That's like saying one cannot tell if someone tells you "Sam is blue today" you couldn't tell if he was referring to his feelings or his color. Context is king and reading the context of the passage will give you the appropriate English word.

Secondly, it simply isn't true that translations like the NASB "dropped the word worship when it referenced anyone other than God or Jesus." In Matthew 4:9, Satan offers Jesus all the kingdoms in the world if he would just "fall down and worship" Satan. In Acts 10:25, it reads that "When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell at his feet and worshiped him" and in Revelation 13:15, the people are commanded to worship the image of the beast or be killed.

Similarly, there are people who fall down before Jesus where the word proskyneo is explicitly not translated worship. Matthew 8:2 reads, "And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, ‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.'" Matthew 15:25, in the story of the Canaanite woman who sought help for her daughter, reads that she "came and began to bow down before Him, saying, ‘Lord, help me!'" The phrase "began to bow down" shows action and it's thus translated that way, even though the action is directed towards Jesus.

So, Eichenwald's claim that the word is somehow intentionally manipulated to get a result holds no water.

The Jehovah's Witnesses resistance to the word worship

I've had conversations with Jehovah's Witnesses who try to argue a similar point to Eichenwald's. They hold that the word proskyneo shouldn't be translated worship when applied to Jesus. But that argument actually begs the question. We know that the Jehovah's Witnesses would agree that God alone deserves worship. They would agree with us that Jesus even says so in Matthew 4:10 when he rebukes Satan's offer and quotes from "it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'" Even a created angel should not be worshiped. In Revelation 19:10, John was so overwhelmed by the visions that he saw that he "fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, ‘Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God.'"

Here, we can see the context of the word implies worship, even when it is referring to an angel. We also see that in both instances, the command it to worship God alone. Hebrews 1:5- is therefore especially vexing because God the Father commands the angels worship the Son:
For to which of the angels did He ever say, "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You"? And again, "I will be a Father to Him And He shall be a Son to Me"? And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, "And let all the angels of God worship Him."
The word proskyneo is translated in Hebrews 1:6 as worship and it is clear, unlike Eichenwald's claim, that it isn't the word worship that implies Jesus is divine. It is verse 8 where we read, "But of the Son He says, ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom.'" The Father calls the son God. We have a clear claim to Jesus' deity and a command that every created angel should proskyneo him. Given that context, the word worship is appropriate.

Both Eichenwald and the Jehovah's Witnesses claim that the New Testament translations are biased, yet neither of them offers the proper context for the word worship, acknowledges that the word's two meanings may be differentiates appropriately given the context of the passage, nor recognizes that there are clear texts that make the claim of Jesus's divinity elsewhere in the New Testament. The fact is that John 1:1 to 1:3 explicitly defines Jesus as Creator God. It seems to me that the charge of disingenuity doesn't fall on the translators of our bibles but on Eichenwald and the Jehovah's Witnesses themselves.


1. Eichenwald, Kurt. "The Bible: So Misunderstood It's a Sin." Newsweek 23 Dec. 2014: n. pag. Web. 26 Jan. 2015.
2. Eichenwald, 2014.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The "Big Bang" in Jews Worshiping Jesus as God

One popular answer today among those who do not believe in Jesus as God is that the belief evolved over a period of centuries. They suggest that the earliest Christians, who were Jews, thought of Jesus as simply a rabbi or a prophet, a holy and wise man. They theorize that as Christianity spread outward and became more and more dominated by Gentile (that is, non-Jewish) believers, those Gentiles, accustomed to assigning divine honors to their heroes, did the same for Jesus.' Eventually, a form of Christianity emerged that explained the divinity of Jesus as a unique incarnation of God and dismissed all alternative views of Jesus as heresy. Some critics of the doctrine that Jesus is God claim that this belief did not appear until well after all of the apostles had died-perhaps, some say, as late as the fourth century Council of Nicea.

The facts are very much otherwise. The practice of giving Jesus divine honors—of religious, spiritual devotion to Jesus—was an established, char­acteristic feature of the Christian movement within the first two decades of its existence. Larry Hurtado, professor of New Testament at the University of Edinburgh, described the emergence of devotion to Jesus as "a veritable 'big bang: an explosively rapid and impressively substantial development in the earliest stage of the Christian movement'? According to Martin Hengel, a New Testament scholar at Tubingen University in Germany, more happened in the development of Christian beliefs about Jesus in the twenty years between his death and Paul's earliest epistles "than in the whole subsequent seven hundred years of church history:')

The apostles and other early Jewish Christians did not just lavish high praises on Jesus. They accorded him honors that in Jewish teaching, as au­thoritatively set forth in their Scriptures, were due to the Lord God of Israel and no one else…

It was in this context of exclusive religious devotion to one God, the Lord, that the early Jewish followers of Jesus were expressing the same sort of de­votion to Jesus. They worshiped him, sang hymns to him, prayed to him, and revered him in a way that believers in Judaism insisted was reserved for the Lord God alone. To make matters worse, the Christians agreed that such honors were rightly given only to God—and then proceeded to give them to Jesus anyway!

    — Robert M. Bowman, Jr. and Ed Komoszewski. Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ.
Grand Rapids: Kregel Books, 2007. 29-30.

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Christian Must Believe in the Trinity

In this recent series, I've been working through some of the essential beliefs that identify someone as a Christian. Previous posts have discussed Christianity as a monotheistic faith. We believe there is only one God who has ever existed throughout all of reality. But monotheism isn't exclusive to Christianity. Most people will recognize that Judaism and Islam are also monotheistic.  Christians hold to a very unique type of monotheism. We've also talked about how Christianity holds to the divinity of Jesus, but that Jesus is not the same being as God the Father. In order to be considered a Christian, one must believe that Jesus is God the Son.

At first glance, it seems that the two statements are contradictory. There is only one God, yet there is God the Father and God the Son and one is not the other. To explain exactly how this works, though, has tongue-tied many people throughout the centuries. Add to this another complication as Christians also believe the Holy Spirit is God, and yet He is distinct from the Father and from the Son. How can such a seemingly illogical position be true? The answer lies in the concept of the Trinity,

The Trinity – What is it?

To describe the Christian belief of the Trinity is actually quite simple, but it takes a bit of careful thinking to make sure the concept is properly understood. To say God is a Trinity is to say that God is one being comprised of three persons. The term "Trinity" was first used for the three persons comprising God by the early Church father Tertullian around AD 200.1 Tertullian saw a distinction between what it means to be a person and what it means to be a being. Our difficulty today is primarily because most people think the terms are synonymous. We see a person and we say that the person is a human being. One person = one being.

However, it isn't always the case that the attributes of a being are the same as the attributes of a person. To prove my case, let's proceed downward rather than upward. When Tertullian talks about a being, he means that there is one substance that makes up the entity of God. When we look at our own bodies, we see that every part that properly belongs to our body should be considered human. Every cell is a human cell. We are made up of human "stuff" if you will. Similarly, every part that makes up a plant is "plant stuff." A plant is also a being; it is a living thing that exists. But no one would claim that a plant is a person. That would be foolish!

So, we have two cases here. We recognize a plant as a being, but it has no personhood within it. It has a personhood count of zero, if you will. We also recognize a human as a being that has a personhood count of one. This means that personhood is different from being, as a being can exist without personhood. It then follows that it isn't contradictory to say that God is a being with a personhood count of three. It may be the case that we see no parallel here on earth, it may be the case that there is no other being in all of reality that can claim multiple personhood. However, it is clear that the claim of one being in three persons is not a contradiction, any more than claiming a plant is a being with no personhood should be considered such.

The Trinity – Its Necessity

The Bible clearly recognizes God the Father as God. That claim is usually not disputed. However, as I mentioned last time, it also recognizes Jesus as God and it identifies the Holy Spirit as God, too (Matt. 28:19, Acts 5:3,5, Isa 63:10, 1 Cor. 2:10-11). These three persons are each recognized as fully God and yet God is one. If one denies the triune nature of God, then one is forced into denying some portion of scripture.

Beyond the reconciliation of Scripture, the doctrine of the Trinity holds additional advantages. I've argued this before, but it is through the relationship within the Trinity that God can be considered completely without need. Only a being like the Trinity can be all-loving, and only within a trinity can God express His own humility.

Of course, no one can say exactly how all the aspects of the three-in-one work. That shouldn't be a surprise, though. Scientists today have really good data on quantum models of matter, but you don't have to be able to explain all aspect of quantum mechanics to believe it's true. When talking about God, one is referring to a being that transcends humanity; therefore one should expect that there would be aspects to His nature beyond our comprehension. But that doesn't mean that we cannot apprehend the basic understanding of the Trinity. God is three persons who comprise one being and each is fully God.


1. Carl, Harold F. Ph.D. "Against Praxeas – How Far Did Tertullian Advance the Doctrine of the Trinity?" Global Journal of Classical Theology. (April 2009) Available online at

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Christian Must Believe That Jesus is God

I've begun a series of blog posts talking about the necessary beliefs one must hold to be considered a Christian. As a guide, I've been looking at the Nicean Creed to formulate the basic beliefs that define the Christian faith. One clear aspect of the Christian faith is the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Right on the heels of declaring monotheism, the church fathers also declare that Jesus is God:
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.

Jesus is equal with the Father

Notice that the emphasis on this part of the creed is to place the Son on equal footing with the Father. That's why the repetition of "God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God" is used. In the early days of Christianity there were several heresies that cropped up trying to claim that Jesus is in some way lesser than God the Father. The Arians, like the modern day Jehovah's Witnesses, held that Jesus was God's first creation. Jesus is a "mighty god" but not "Almighty God."

Christians had long held that Jesus is God as much as the Father is God. He claimed the honors afforded to God and the attributes ascribed to God. He forgave sins only God would and received worship that is reserved for God alone.1 Robert Wilken writes that the Greek philosopher Celsus was offended by the Christian view of God even in the second century. In discussing his views, Wilken says Celsus is fine with those who would hold Jesus in some type of divine status, such as that reserved for the Caesars. Celsus wasn't convinced that Jesus even deserved this level of honor, but as long as those worshippers recognize the "high God" as greater than lesser deities, it would be OK. Wilken then writes, "The Christians, however, made even more extravagant claims: they said that Jesus was unique among the gods and that he should be worshipped to the exclusion of all other gods. To Celsus such excessive adoration set up Jesus as a rival to God and undercut the worship of the one God." 2

Jesus is different from the Father

While Christians recognize Jesus as being fully God, equal with the Father, they recognize that Jesus is not the same person as the Father. He is not the Father, but the Son. In scripture, we see Jesus coming from the Father (Jn. 5:37, 12:49), He prays to the Father (Mt. 26:39, Lk 23:34,Jn 17:1), He obeys the Father (Lk 22:42, Jn 6:38), and He humbles Himself before the Father (Phil 2:4-8). Jesus is distinct from the Father but both He and the Father are recognized as God.

The Arian view of Jesus was the motivating issue that caused the church fathers to gather from across the globe and convene the first church council in Nicea. The formulation of the Nicean Creed was the result. Its purpose was to clearly establish the equality of Jesus with God the Father while still maintaining the concept of a single God. The church fathers did this by distinguishing between the concept of personhood and being. Next time, I'll unpack the teaching of the Trinity a bit more. For now, recognize that one must believe that Jesus is God in order to be a Christian.


1. For a more conmprehensive understanding of the biblical case for why Jesus is recognized as God, see my post "The HANDS Argument for the Deity of Jesus" at
2. Wilken, Robert L. The Christians as the Romans Saw Them. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984). 120.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

The HANDS Argument for the Deity of Jesus

Is Jesus God? That is one of the most popularly searched questions about Jesus on Google. People can get confused by the idea of God being both three and one. However, the early church recognized that Jesus made specific claims to divinity, and they honored His divinity. This was so apparent, that even the critics of the early church took note of it. Celsus, a Greek philosopher writing around a hundred years of Jesus' death, couldn't figure out why the early Christians revered Jesus as they did. Historian Robert Wilken writes:
Celsus' criticism of the elevation of Jesus to divine status , however, had another dimension. By offering such adoration to Jesus, Christians make him a rival of the one high God, the God above the heeavens, as Celsus calls him. If Christians taught that "God is father of all and that we really ought to worship him alone" there would be no quarrel. But Christians make Jesus almost equal to God, "not because they are paying very great reverence to God but because they are exalting Jesus excessively" (c. Cels. 8.14)1
So from its formative days, Christianity revered Jesus as divine. In their book, Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ, Rob Bowman and Ed Komoszewski lay out a very tight case for why Jesus is properly recognized as God from the evidence of scripture. Using the mnemonic acronym of HANDS, they take you step by step through five different points recorded in the Bible:2

1. Jesus shares the HONORS due only to God.

There are many honors due to dignitaries, but there are certain honors that are reserved for certain positions. The salutation "your Majesty" is reserved for a royal head of state, with princes or lesser positions of royalty being addressed as "your highness." Worship is an honor that is only reserved for God, yet Jesus received worship. Jesus even reinforced this idea when He said refused to worship Satan and instead quoted Deuteronomy 6:13, "Worship the Lord your God, and serve only Him" (Matt. 4:10). Yet Jesus received worship Himself from Thomas (John 20:28) and the rest of the disciples prior to His Ascension ( Matt. 28:17). Thus, the early church was simply continuing to do that which Jesus allowed when He was with them.

Beyond worship Bowman and Komoszewski explain that the scripture documents people praying to Jesus, singing praise songs to Jesus, honoring and serving Him as God. Thus, Jesus holds all the honor of the Father.

2. Jesus shares the ATTRIBUTES of God

One can identify a thing by its attributes. The attributes of a dog are different from the attributes of a pig, which allows us to distinguish between the two. One reason we can recognize Jesus as God is because He shares the very attributes of God. First, the Bible claims that Jesus is the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form. Jesus claimed to have existed even before His birth in Bethlehem (John 8:56) and other passages reinforce this (Col. 1:15, Rom.8:3). Jesus is, in fact eternal, without beginning or end, and an uncreated being (John 1:3, Col. 1:15, Rev. 22:13). Jesus doesn't change, but He "is the same yesterday, to day, and forever" (Heb. 13:8). He's also shown to be omniscient, omnipotent, and in comprehensible.

3. Jesus shares the NAMES that are used of God

Names in ancient cultures were key. People took on certain monikers because it reflected some aspect of their position or character. Thus, Alexander of Macedon was called "the Great" after his whirlwind conquering of the known world. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus is called God, Lord, Savior, the First and the Last, the Alpha and the Omega, Mighty God and more. Also, the early church was taught to baptize people in Jesus' name, pray in Jesus' name, and even find salvation in Jesus' name.

4. Jesus shares in the DEEDS that only God can do.

The deeds of Jesus also match those deeds only attributable to God. Jesus is the creator of the world (John 1:3, Col. 1:16-17) and will judge all humanity (John 5:22-23). When Jesus forgave the paralytic's sins in Luke 5:20, the Pharisees rightly complained saying, "Who can forgive sins but God alone?" Jesus answered their question by performing a miracle in order to prove that he had the power to forgive sins against God. Lastly, Jesus holds the power over life and death, including His own (John 10:18), a power reserved for only God alone (Ecc. 12:7).

5. Jesus shares the SEAT of God—that is Jesus sits on God's throne.

In a courtroom, one can always expect to see the judge's bench raised higher than any other seat. That is to communicate the judge as the presiding authority in the courtroom. Seats and thrones are important symbols that communicate the respective authority of the holder and we will refer to them interchangeably. So when we speak of Jesus' seat or Jesus' throne, it also connotes the authority bestowed on Him. The Bible tells us that Jesus is exalted above even the heavenly creatures (Phil. 2:10, Heb. 1:6, Eph. 1:21). Jesus sits on the throne reserved for God alone (rev. 22:1, Matt. 25:31) and He shares ruling authority with the Father by sitting at His right hand (Heb. 8:1, Heb. 12:2).

While this is a very quick synopsis of their argument, I think Bowman and Komoszewski have done a great job in this book showing why Jehovah's Witnesses and others who claim that Jesus was something less than the creator God fail. The Christians have recognized Jesus as God from the time that He walked the earth; the scriptures leave us no other alternative.


[1] Wilken, Robert L. The Christians as the Romans Saw Them. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984). 105-106.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Jehovah's Witnesses and Jesus: What does "Firstborn" Mean?

One of the main problems with Jehovah's Witnesses is their denial of the deity of Jesus.  They claim that the Bible teaches that Jesus is a created being and point to passages like Colossians 1:15 and Proverbs 8:22 to make their point.

In this video, Lenny dispels those teachings by showing what the word firstborn really means and why Jesus must be more than someone who is created.


Image courtesy Emw and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
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