IS JESUS CHRIST GOD
It’s quite interesting reading/studying through what most call the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). They say quite a lot about Jesus and his relationship with God.
We get to see Jesus always praying to God and calling him father. We see Jesus always talking about the will/plan of his father. We see him thanking God his father, and many more. There are hundreds of verses to see from the four gospels on this matter. Let’s consider one at this juncture.
Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
Here’s Jesus saying he will return to his father. But today we have teachers saying he is the father (God who decided to wear flesh). Most even confuse themselves more to call him ‘God the Son,’ a name/title not even in the Bible.
If Jesus is the father who decided to put on flesh in order to manifest on the earth, when he was returning back to heaven, he could have returned to being the father. He could have gone back to being God. Yet, here he says he’s going to the father, clearly implying that he’s not the father. The last statement in John 14:28 makes things even clearer. Jesus says his father is greater than he is!
Unfortunately, people unwittingly (sometimes wittingly) misinterpret some scriptures to gratify their ‘Jesus is God’ philosophy. Let’s consider two today.
But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
And Thomas answered and said unto him [Jesus], My Lord and my God.
You can seldom interact with a trinitarian without him/her quoting the above verses to back up the doctrine. Merely looking at them in most english versions, it seems to suggest that Jesus is God. Nevertheless, it doesn’t.
The Bible was written in Hebrew and Greek. Aramaic and Latin manuscripts also exist. In English language, it’s clear to distinguish between names and titles for the creator, idols, men of influence and importance, deities/divine beings, etc. For instance in English language, whoever sees the word ‘God’ knows it’s the father and creator being talked about. Whoever sees ‘gods’ can immediately think of idols. On the other hand, it’s not so in the Greek, Hebrew and some other languages. Never forget that the Bible was written in these languages and not in English.
The Greek word where you see ‘God’ in the above verses is the word ‘theos,’ a word used in exactly the same way the Hebrew language uses the word ‘Elohim.’ Just like Elohim, theos is a multi functional word/title.
They are general titles or words biblically used for deities/all divine beings, kings/rulers, magistrates/judges, the counsels of God, what/who ever is like God, the one true God, idols, etc.
Infact, the word ‘theos’ is used for Satan too in the Bible.
2 Corinthians 4:4
In whom the god [theos] of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Greek and Hebrew language dictionaries and if possible, further study of these languages are necessary in understanding certain things in the Bible. These languages are not like English. The Hebrew has no such thing as upper and lower case, and the original (earliest) Greek manuscripts were written in all upper case letters. So, unlike the English language where the capital ‘G’ and lower case ‘g’ distinguishes between lesser beings and the one true God, the languages in which the Bible was written makes things clear by the context, and not by capitalisation.
Context is king. Even trinitarians will agree. Since the word ‘Elohim’ and ‘theos’ are used for both great humans, for Satan and idols, and for the one true God, it becomes clear that only through context can we know who/what fits in wherever we see ‘Elohim’ or ‘theos’ in the Bible.
An English man can easily distinguish via the use of a lower case ‘g’ or an upper case ‘G.’ A Greek can’t relate to such. He looks out for context. If for instance you say, “Oh theos created the world.” A Greek man will conclude you are talking about the one true God, Yahweh, who alone is the creator. That’s the context. If again you say, “theos visited me today,” you have most likely thrown the Greek into confusion.
He therefore checks out the context. He finds out the words you said before mentioning “theos” and the ones you said afterwards. He therefore uses it to decide who exactly you mean; a reputable human or Yahweh.
Read John 20. The context is about Jesus being the Son of God and not about Jesus being God. Infact, verse 31 clearly says the book is written for us to believe that Jesus is the Son of God. The book of John wasn’t written for people to believe that Jesus is God. It was written for us to believe that he’s the Son of God (see John 20:28-31). So, stop misinterpreting John 1:1 too (see previous parts of this series if you haven’t, for the explanation of John 1).
Let’s also observe the context of Hebrews 1:8 quickly. Verse 2 of Hebrews 1 calls Jesus the son of God. Verse 3 says Jesus is seated at the right hand of God. In verse 5, God says he is the father of Jesus Christ and has begotten Jesus as his son. In verse 6, Jesus is again described as the first begotten/firstborn of God (his prototokos). In verse 8, Jesus is again described as God’s son. This is also the verse where the multi functional word “theos” is ascribed to him, the word which some English translators translate as ‘God.’ Applying all the word represents, the writer of Hebrews was only describing Jesus to be divine and to be mighty. He wasn’t saying Jesus is God. Verse 9 goes further to describe our God to be the God of Jesus Christ too. Verse 13 repeats again that God has made Jesus to sit at his right hand.
So, clearly contextually, ‘theos’ in Hebrews 1:8 expresses the divinity of Jesus Christ. It’s not calling him the almighty God. The context clearly shows that Jesus is the son of God and that God has exalted him to sit on his right hand on high.
In our next part, we will discuss Isaiah 9:6, although briefly since this part builds a perfect foundation to understanding Isaiah 9:6.
This part comes to its end here. God reward you richly for riding with us.
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Agaga Fredrick Abangji is a writer, reporter, content writer, believer in Jesus Christ, and a creator of religious literature. A student of Bingham university – Nasarawa state, studying mass communication.