Christian Monotheist

Why Do Christians Find It So Hard to Believe Jesus?

Why Do Christians Find It So Hard
to Believe Jesus?
By Jay Dicken

In John 17:1-3 Christ prayed,

“Father,… this is eternal life, that they know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

The language in which this was recorded has both singular and plural forms for the pronoun ‘you.’ Here the singular form is used. Jesus addressed this prayer to his Father, used the singular form of the pronoun, and described this singular “You” as “the only true God.” Thus, according to Jesus, the Father alone is God. Why would Jesus have said what he said here if God is a Trinity, and he is the second person in the Godhead? If you were one of Jesus’ disciples present when he prayed this prayer, would you have surmised from his statement that God is a Trinity, or only one person?

Paul agrees with Jesus. At 1 Corinthians 8:6 he wrote, “…yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist…” and at Ephesians 4:4-6, “There is… one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all.”

But doesn’t the Bible also say that Jesus is God? True, there are a few verses that refer to Jesus as God. Trinitarians assume –incorrectly– that there are only two options: Jesus must be true God or he is a false god. However, the Bible reveals a third option. In the NET Bible, a translation made by trinitarians, Exodus 7:1 reads,

“So the LORD said to Moses, ‘See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet.’”

In the Hebrew text the word ‘like’ does not appear in this verse, so here the LORD is calling Moses “God.” The footnote for this verse reads,

{The word “like” is added for clarity, making explicit the implied comparison in the statement “I have made you God to Pharaoh.” The word elohim is used a few times in the Bible for humans (e.g. Pss. 45:6; 82:1), and always clearly in the sense of a subordinate to God – THEY ARE HIS REPRESENTATIVES on earth. The explanation here goes back to [Exodus] 4:16. If Moses is like God in that Aaron is his prophet, then Moses is certainly like God to Pharaoh. Only Moses, then, is able to speak to Pharaoh with such authority, giving him commands.} — www. netbible. com.
[Capitalization added for emphasis.]

At Psalms 82:6 God [Elohim] Himself refers to Israelite judges as gods [Heb., elohim]. Concerning this verse Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., a trinitarian, wrote,

[God] {is addressing the earthly judges and administrators of his law whom he has set up to represent him… But there is no hint of a belief in many gods and goddesses. Nor does God thereby imply they have the divine nature exclusive to the Trinity. It is simply a case where one term, elohim, must do double duty, referring not only to God but also TO HIS SPECIAL SERVANTS APPOINTED FOR THE UNIQUE TASKS described in these contexts.} –HARD SAYINGS Of The BIBLE [Capitalization added for emphasis.]

In understanding Jesus’ relationship to God it would be incorrect to say he, personally, is God, or that he, literally, is a god. But Jesus is God in a representative sense. A ruler can commission a representative with full executive authority. Pharaoh did this with Joseph; his being given the signet ring was like being given the ability to sign Pharaoh’s signature. Nebuchadnezzar did similarly with Daniel. (… Daniel 2:47-49) And God has done this with His Son. This is shown at Matthew 28:18 where Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Hence, Jesus has been granted … the office of God. As God’s foremost agent, able to ‘sign His name,’ Jesus can figuratively be called God. But this does not mean that he is literally God. [That Jesus “has been given” this authority shows that he did not always have it and, therefore, could not have been God.]

Is Jesus equal to God? Go back to our comparison with Joseph and Pharaoh: Joseph was functionally equal to him, but not positionally equal; people had to obey him as if he were Pharaoh, but he was not Pharaoh. Likewise, Jesus is functionally equal to his Father, but not positionally equal. (Consider John 5:23.) Please note, any verse which calls Jesus ‘God’ should be understood in this representative sense.

If such a teaching were vital Christian truth and the cornerstone of salvation surely Peter would have mentioned it in his Pentecost sermon and in his sermon to Cornelius and friends. — Acts 2:14-40; 10:34-43; 3:12-26; 7:2-56; 13:16-41; 17:22-31; 22:1-21; 24:10-21; 26:2-23

Doesn’t the fact that almost all Christians accept the doctrine of the trinity prove that it is true? Consider, two thousand years ago the vast majority of the Jews rejected Jesus as their Messiah; did this prove that he was not the Messiah? No, it did not. What is important is what the Bible does –or does not– say, not what the majority choose to believe. The Bible explicitly states that the Father is the one God; and Jesus explicitly identified his Father as our Father and his God as our God. He also explicitly said that the Father is the “only true God.” Nowhere does the Bible explicitly say that God is a trinity. — 1 Corinthians 8:6, Ephesians 4:6, John 20:17, 17:1-3

There is no simple, clear statement of trinity in the Bible. This doctrine can only be “supported” by sewing together a tapestry of proof-texts. On the other hand, we can easily find in Scripture a succinct statement expressing the patertheist doctrine{1}. The unique position in which patertheism finds itself is that it allows Jesus to have told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth at John 17:1-3 where he said that the Father is the “only true God.” Trinitarians must either ignore what Jesus said or explain why Jesus did not actually mean what he said! Why do Christians find it so hard to believe Jesus?

{1} Patertheism: The doctrinal position that the Father is the only true God. From the Greek words pater (father) and theos (God). (Accent on the second syllable as in paternity.)

APPENDIX – the author’s response to comments

… Jesus explicitly said that the Father is the only true God. Anyone who believes that Jesus is literally God must explain why Jesus said what he said at John 17:1-3 and how that belief does not contradict what he did say. I believe that Jesus told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth at John 17:1-3. The passages which you cite have explanations from the trinitarian, modalist (“Oneness”) … points of view which contradict what Jesus said at John 17;1-3. But the patertheist point of view (the one which I hold) also has explanations for the same scriptural citations but they do not contradict Jesus.

At John 8:58 Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you,before Abraham was, I am.” Those who believe that Jesus is literally God relate this statement to the account of Exodus 3:14 where “God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ And He said, ‘Say this to the people of Israel , “I AM has sent me to you.”’” Was Jesus applying the title I AM to himself? Interestingly, someone other than Jesus uses this exact same Greek phrase only ten verses later. At John 9:9 a man whom Jesus had healed also says “I am.”[ego eimi] {In this verse English translations read either ‘I am the man’ or ‘I am he.’ Neither the man nor he appears in the Greek text.} Should we conclude that this man is also God? Certainly not, so the simple statement “I am” does not prove deity.
The I AM title was not revealed to Abraham, the ancestor mentioned by Jesus, but to Moses hundreds of years after Abraham’s death. In his statement Jesus was expressing his
pre-eminence over Abraham in the plan of God. Why, then, did the Jews want to stone him for what he said? To the Jews this self-exaltation by someone they considered a nobody was a blasphemous degradation of Abraham’s position as a prophet in special covenant with God,and they wanted to stone him for it.
(Compare to the situation at Acts 6:11.)
In John 8:24 Jesus proclaimed, “If you do not believe that I am, you shall die in your sins.” Was he now alluding to the divine title? Twelve verses earlier he said, “I am the light of the world;he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” So what Jesus meant in verse 24 was simply,
‘If you do not believe that I am [who I claim to be, namely, the light of the world], you shall die in your sins.’
If Paul meant to say that Jesus was God in Philippians 2:6 he could have simply written that Jesus ‘was God,’ and omitted the phrase ‘in the form of.’ What did Paul mean by this expression?

At Exodus 4:16 God tells Moses that Aaron “shall be a mouth for you, and you shall be to him as God,” and at 7:1, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh.” God even gave Moses miraculous powers to prove that He had sent him. Jesus was sent by God as His chief representative, one even greater than Moses.He, too, was given miraculous powers, and authority to control the weather and to command legions of angels. So he was “in a form of God” while he was on earth; yet, he “emptied himself,”that is, he did not use these powers and authority to save himself from degrading treatment by sinners and a horrible death. Having taken a “form of a bondservant”Jesus submitted himself to God’s will, thus glorifying his Father and [providing] salvation for us, even at his own expense. {The Greek text does not contain the definite article in either phrase. The texts could have been translated “in a form of God” and “is an image of the invisible God.”}
–Matthew 8:26, 27; 26:53, 54; Philippians 2:7-9; Matthew 20:28

Jesus being an image of the invisible God does not make him literally God any more than Adam’s being made in the image and likeness of God made him God. When you look at your image in the mirror,are you actually looking at your body, or are you looking at the reflection of your body? Colossians 3:10-15 shows that the “image of” the Creator refers to certain qualities among which are compassion, kindness, lowliness,meekness, patience, forbearance, the willingness to forgive, and “above all… love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Jesus perfectly reflected these qualities of God.

As for the title Savior notice Nehemiah 9:27, “Therefore You [God] gave them [Israel] into the hand of their enemies, who made them suffer; and in the time of their suffering they cried to You and You heard them from heaven; and according to Your great mercies You gave them saviors who saved them from the hand of their enemies.”

Should we conclude that these saviors are God also? Or should we understand that God provided freedom through these people?
Likewise, Jude 25 (RSV) speaks of “the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Joel 2:32 was also quoted by Peter at Acts 2:21 while preaching to Jews who had not accepted Jesus as the Christ (Messiah). At this point in his sermon he had not yet mentioned Jesus; so his audience would have had to understand “the Lord” to mean Yahweh God. His first reference to Jesus was one verse later where Peter calls him “a man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know.” Next Peter accused, “you killed [Jesus] by nailing him to a cross by the hands of lawless men.” Peter’s audience would have understood that their action of crucifying a prophet of God was the same as rejecting God, the opposite of calling upon His Name. Those convicted by Peter’s words understood that they were in danger of judgment,repented of their sin, and accepted Jesus as Lord and Christ. — Acts 2:14-36

[Regards Romans 10:9-13}
Unlike Peter, Paul was not addressing unbelievers, but Roman Christians. They already understood that ‘calling upon the name of the Lord’ God included accepting Jesus as Lord and Christ.{Acts 4:12 reads,“And there is salvation in no one else for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”} Jesus said that “no one comes to the Father, but by me.” Therefore,one has to call upon Jesus (the name means Yahweh Saves) to call upon Yahweh God. So while there appears to be a blurring of the scriptural application in Romans 10:13, there is no warrant for conclusions that contradict what Jesus explicitly stated at John 17:1-3. — John 14:6
I think one reason people have such a hard time believing that Jesus is not literally God is because they think that only the death of God could provide salvation. But consider what the Bible explicitly says:

Paul drew a correspondence between Adam and Jesus at 1 Corinthians 15:21 , “For as by
a man came death,by a man has come the resurrection of the dead.” Concerning the resurrected and ascended Christ, note what Paul wrote at 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is
one God, and there is one mediator between God and man, a man Christ Jesus.”
Hebrews 2:14, 17 says, “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil. Therefore he had to be made like his brethren in every respect … to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”

These verses show that the value of Christ’s sacrifice lay in his human nature. So to insist that Jesus had to be God for his sacrifice to have value flies in the face of Paul’s writings.
If it is within the purposes of God to provide salvation by His human Son, how can we challenge His way of doing things? …

SOURCE: Why Do Christians Find It So Hard to Believe Jesus?

Christian Monotheist

In answer to the “Does the Bible teach that Jesus is God?” video.

Video in question


John 1.1

To quote Colin Brown

“It is a common but patent misreading of the opening of John’s Gospel to read it as if it said: ‘In the beginning was the Son and the Son was with God and the Son was God.’ What has happened here is the substitution of Son for Word, and thereby the Son is made a member of the Godhead which existed from the beginning.”
(Dr. Colin Brown, “Trinity and Incarnation: In Search of Contemporary Orthodoxy;” Ex Auditu; (7); 1991; p. 88-89)

And this is exactly what the presenter of the video has done! He simply assumed that verse 1 was about Jesus! To state the ‘obvious’ Jesus is NOT even mentioned in John 1.1!!
Rather the presenter read Jesus INTO John 1.1! A patent misreading!

John 1.1 does not mention Jesus and this verse is not even about Jesus! Rather it is about what John stated:
God’s word.
That is, God spoke and IT was done! Compare Psalm 33.6,9.
Eventually in the fulness of time (Gal 4.4), God’s word became flesh resulting in the conception of Jesus of Nazareth, God’s Son.
Jesus is therefore what the word/logos of God became.

Now logos simply means ‘word/discourse/plan’. It is an it. In verse 14, the it became a him
i.e. the man Jesus of Nazareth

Incidentally, William Tyndale (as well as the most of the translators before the KJV of 1611) translated John 1.1-4 as follows:

  1. In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.
  2. The same was in the beginning with God.
  3. All things were made by it; and without it was not any thing made that was made.
  4. In it was life; and the life was the light of men.

Why? Because Tyndale and others, understood John’s intent; that these verses are about God’s word (Not Jesus!)
See this video John 1:1-3 for more info.

Colossians 1.16-17

The context of these verses are not about the Genesis creation. The context is (v.13) the kingdom of his dear Son i.e. the New Heavens and Earth to come!
Paul does not speak of the land, the sea, the animals, the fish, etc. Rather theall things are the thrones, dominions, principalities, powers of the Coming Kingdom; all these things have been created by GOD in, through and for His Son.

The word poorly translated by is the Greek word en which means in. It ought to be translated in.

All things (thrones, dominions, principalities, powers) were created BY GOD in, through and for Jesus.

For further exposition of Colossians 1.15-20 please view:
1. Colossians 1.15-19 Revisited
2. Colossians 1.15-19 Revisited Part 2
3. Jesus: Co-Creator of the New Creation

John 17.5

Bearing in mind that Jesus just said in verse 3, that the Father is THE ONLY TRUE GOD; this verse cannot possibly suggest that Jesus is God since that makes ‘two Gods’ which is an impossibility!
Rather, Jesus is praying for foreordained glory – glory set up for the Messiah before the foundation of the world. So in this sense, Jesus ‘had’ glory with God before the world was.
This giving of glory does not contradict Isaiah 42.8; seeing the context is totally different i.e. it is not about other gods. Jesus being glorified no more makes Jesus ‘god’ anymore than the disciples receiving that very same glory in 17.22 make them gods!
In other words, all true believers will be glorified just as Jesus was glorified; Jesus being the very firstfruits/firstborn of that glory.
That is the Christian hope: to be glorified at Christ’s Coming, being joint-heirs alongside Christ.
Now look at 2 Peter 1.17
For he [Jesus] received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory [GOD], This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

See the clear distinction? Jesus received glory from the excellent glory i.e. GOD. One cannot give God anything! GOD is GOD!
However everything Jesus has, as been given him from God.

For further exposition of John 17.5 please view:
1. John 17:5 (Part 1) “glory I had with you”??
2. John 17:5 (Part 2) “Glory in Prospect”

Glory in Prospect

John 12.38-41

If one looks again at the context of John 12.38-41, one will notice that in actuality, two passages from the OT are being quoted
1. Isaiah 53.1 and
2. Isaiah 6.10

The first verse comes from Isaiah 53, presenting the prophecy of the suffering servant, the Messiah. The other is from Isaiah 6, where Isaiah saw YHWH on his throne in a vision. The ‘deity’ argument rests on Isaiah viewing YHWH within Isaiah 6. (Incidentally, the Hebrew word for ‘Lord’ in Isaiah 6.1 is actually Adonai not YHWH)

After having quoted Isaiah 53.1 and 6.10 the apostle John comments with the words in John 12.41. John gives the basis for Isaiah saying what he said, stating:“Isaiah said these things because…”
Comparing the quoted texts in their original context along with the basis that John provides for Isaiah’s statement allows us to determine which statement John had in mind when he said what he said.
To observe that Isaiah did see God in Isaiah 6 does nothing to show the recording of Isaiah 6.10 was based upon that sight.

Quite to the contrary, he was contemplating Isaiah 53.1.
Referencing Isaiah 53.1, the first text quoted by John, Isaiah clearly speaks of Jesus, the Messiah. In Isaiah 52.13 the prophet begins speaking of the Messiah, his work and how he would be responded to. This discussion continues throughout the entire 53rd chapter.

How did Isaiah see his glory so as to cause him to make the statement of 53.1? Isaiah saw the Messiah through prophetic foresight, viewing him receiving glorification (Isa. 52.13), and beyond that he saw the glory of the Messiah in his work. Isaiah went on to explain that he had foreseen that the Messiah would suffer for us all, that he would bear our sins and that he would be delivered. (Isa. 53.3-4, 12) It was his work in doing these things in our behalf that Isaiah foresaw, and it was this work that was truly his (Messiah’s) glory. He lived, suffered and died, by which he “bore the sins of many,” (Isa. 53.12) resulting in our salvation.

Why, did John reference Isaiah 6 after he had already quoted Isaiah 53 only to then reference the basis for Isaiah’s statement? Looking closely at the text we see that “they did not believe on him so that the word of Isaiah the prophet [in Isaiah 53.1] might be fulfilled.” (John 12.37-38)

In quoting Isaiah 53.1 John was showing that they were unable to believe. They were not able to believe to fulfil this prophecy, but what was causing this unbelief to take place? John answers this by quoting from Isaiah 6.9-10, providing the basis for the unbelief that 53.1 defined. In John’s text Isaiah 53.1 provided the foundation of his discussion, while 6.10 was merely supplemental.

In support I will quote Patrick Navas (Divine Truth or Human Tradition, p.384-385)

Page 384
Page 385

Isaiah 9.6

Isaiah always speaks of the ONE GOD e.g. Isaiah 44.8, 45.5-6,21, etc; In Isaiah 9.6-7, Isaiah speaks of a Messianic prophecy which will be performed by the ONE GOD Himself (verse 7). In other words the ONE GOD, YHWH, has given us a son who He will set up in His Kingdom and place him on the throne of David –
see Luke 1.32-33, Acts 2.30 (This is yet to be totally fulfilled)
In light of this, this future king is given honorific titles/names;
including father of the age to come
For more details regarding Isaiah 9.6 please watch this video:
Isaiah 9.6

Mark 4.39,41

Psalm 89 refers to the One God, the Father; Jesus however is the Son of God John 10.36, who can do nothing of himself John 5.19,30.
God works through him, that is, in actuality, the Father does the works. John 14.10.
Peter, who was there, testifies to this fact:
Act 2.22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by/through him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

So Mark 4.38-39 is yet another wonder/miracle which the One God, the Father
(1 Cor. 8.4,6) worked through the MAN Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2.5)
What manner of man is this? He is Jesus, the Son of the Living and True GOD
(Matt. 16.16-17, 1 Thess.1 9-10), man nonetheless John 8.40 Acts 2.22 1 Tim. 2.5
I also have previous responded to this ‘deity’ argument on Twitter – please see

John 8.58,24

There is absolutely no connection between Exodus 3.14 and John 8.58 at all!
I will explain.

The Greek OT (Septuagint/LXX) in Exo. 3.14 says: And God said unto Moses,
EGO EIMI HO ON: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, HO ON hath sent me unto you.

EGO EIMI HO ON – “I am the LIVING BEING” is how it is recorded in the Septuagint –
HO ON – the LIVING BEING hath sent me unto you.

So if Jesus had said, “Before Abraham, HO ON” in John 8.58 – then yes, the argument is settled! Jesus is proclaiming he is the ONE GOD!
However Jesus did not say that! Rather he said “Before Abraham, EGO EIMI”
And what does he mean by EGO EIMI? I am he OR It is me! Me who?
In this context, The Messiah!!

EGO EIMI simply means “It is me!” This is exactly what the man said in John 9.9 when the people were questioning whether it was the same man who was blind?
He replied EGO EIMI! What? Was the man affirming that he was GOD? No! He was saying it is me! I am the same man who was blind!

So, what did Jesus mean by saying EGO EIMI in the context of John 8.53ff? Clue: The questions asked were, 8.53 Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?
John 8.58 was Jesus’ final response to these questions in relation to Abraham:
Before Abraham, I am he? He who? The Messiah!!
This is exactly how the writer John first records the use of the phrase “EGO EIMI” on the lips of Jesus.
See John 4.25-26
25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. [EGO EIMI]

Jesus tells her EGO EIMI! I am he! He who? The Messiah; the one you’re speaking of!
(See also Mark 13.6, Luke 21.8; compare Matt. 24.5)
Jesus is the Messiah and he asserted the very same thing in John 8.24: I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

If, as many say, that Jesus was saying that he was GOD; his enemies would not have then asked in verse 25, WHO ARE YOU? Would they? And what was Jesus’ response? Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.

I ask you? Where from the beginning of his ministry did Jesus ever say “I am God?”
Answer: He did not!

Rather, Jesus affirmed from the beginning of his ministry that he was the The Son of God = The Messiah. And in John 8.24; he is stating unless we believe that I am he i.e. the Messiah; we will die in our sins. And in John 8.58 Jesus was indeed stating that he was greater than Abraham and the prophets; because before Abraham even came into existence, he was foreordained in the ONE GOD’s counsel, to be the Messiah! So before Abraham, I am he! The Messiah! (See 1 Peter 1.20)

For more info; please watch this 15min video John 8:58 – “Before Abraham I am”

Mark 2.5

What was the crowd’s response after he was healed?
Matthew 9.8 But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such POWER unto MEN.
The word power here is the Greek word exousia which means authority.

The crowd praised GOD for giving such authority to the MAN Jesus of Nazareth.
The believing crowd recognized the fact that GOD had given such authority to this man Jesus, to forgive sins, demonstrated by the miracle performed on the lame man!
So we ought to alongside this crowd likewise acknowledge and praise God for this awesome truth: that the Son of man, Jesus, indeed had authority on earth to forgive sins, because the ONLY TRUE GOD, THE FATHER
(John 17.3; 1 Cor. 8.4,6) gave such authority to His Son!

Likewise the apostles were given the very SAME authority to FORGIVE SINS in John 20.23. Are they then God/Deity??

Revelation 19.10 WORSHIP GOD!

Yet Jesus was worshiped!
Matthew 14.33

Jesus taught us that GOD is spirit and we ought to worship solely Him in spirit and in truth – John 4.22-24 (whilst Jesus identified himself as the Messiah 4.25-26 … Come see ‘a man’ v.29)
Because GOD has highly exalted His Son in light of his total obedience even to the death of the cross and made him ‘Lord’ to His (GOD’s) glory (Phil 2.8-11); Jesus is indeed worthy of honor and praise.

However Jesus is NOT worshiped ‘AS GOD’; rather he is worshiped AS
the ‘Lord and King Messiah’

One needs to do a study on the word ‘worship’.

  • The Hebrew word for “worship is shachah.
  • The Greek word is proskuneo.
  • The Hebrew word means to bow down, prostrate oneself before a superior in homage
    OR before God in worship.
  • The Greek word means in the NT: by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication.

These two words are used more in reference to human beings than they are to Almighty God!!

The translators of our Bibles have misled readers by translating these words as
‘do obeisance, bow down’ when used of men; they translated them as ‘worship’ when it comes to GOD; and then in the NT, they translate it as ‘worship’ when used in regards to Jesus; giving the impression to a typical reader (who may not know the full latitude of the meaning of the words shachah/proskuneo) that:
“since Jesus is being worshiped HE MUST BE GOD!!”

Not so! It is time for eyes to be opened.

The context should determine whether the Hebrew word shachah or the Greek word proskuneo ought to be translated simply bow down in reference to men such as dignitaries, prophets or kings; or worship as to God Almighty.

  • Jesus refused to proskuneo before the devil and rather proclaimed that GOD alone ought to be worshipped-proskuneo in that context – Matt. 4.10, Luke 4.8
    Jesus teaches us: seeing that the Father alone is GOD; Him only ought to be worshipped-proskuneo AS GOD! – See John 4.22-26

As seen in the OT (e.g. Gen. 42.6, Exo. 11.8, 1 Sam. 24.8, 2 Sam. 9.6, 1 Kings 1.16,23,53;
2 Kings 4.37, etc) the Biblical Jewish custom was to bow down before a prophet, a king; even to do homage to anyone to express respect or to make supplication; this biblical custom does not infringe on the worship of GOD Almighty!

Jesus used this fact when in a parable he was describing a servant begging forgiveness from a king – Matt. 18.23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

The audience would not have thought that Jesus was describing this ‘king’ as God; rather they understood that this is the servant bowing down and making obeisance to the king whilst making supplication!

So obviously Jesus being the Messiah, the King of Israel (Luke 19.38, John 12.13) would be worthy of such obeisance; and anyone recognizing him as such would bow before him.

They bowed before him: Not because he is GOD! Rather because he is the Messiah,
the Son of God, the King of Israel – John 1.49

It is the custom of the biblical era to bow down and do homage to anyone you needed to make supplication to; in order to receive from such a one!
1. the leper simply recognized Jesus as a healer; he wanted healing! So he made obeisance to Jesus – Matt. 8.2
2. a certain ruler needed healing for his daughter so he made obeisance to Jesus –
Matt. 9.18

In contrast …
1. The magi came looking for a newly-born King of the Jews (Matt. 2.1-2,8). What does one do before a king? One bows and does homage hence Matt. 2.11
2. The disciples recognized Jesus as the Messiah, God’s Son hence Matthew 14.33
3. The Canaanite woman recognized Jesus as the Son of David (a safer way of saying that he is the promised King of Israel); also she needed healing for her daughter,
hence Matt. 15.25
4. Demons (who believe in ONE GOD and tremble – James 2.19) know who Jesus is –
that he is the Son of God!! So they bow before him – Mark 5.6-7
(Compare Mark 3.11, Luke 8.28, 4.35,41)
5. The man who was blind can now truly see that Jesus is the Son of God hence John 9.35,38

In each case where the word worshipped-proskuneo is being used, it is because Jesus is recognized as a human superior NOT that he is recognized AS GOD.
There is simply no case where one bows before Jesus and confesses that he is GOD! Not One!

I go into further detail about this subject in
The Worship of Messiah Jesus the Lord – Parts1&2

Since Acts 14.15 was addressed, let us look at that passage again and note the following.

Acts 14.11 And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.
This would have been the perfect opportunity for Paul and Barnabas to explain that Jesus was God Incarnate! If indeed, that was scriptural truth!

Does Paul respond by saying “No! Jesus is the only God who had come down in the likeness of man!” Rather, his response was:

Acts 14.15: And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:

Paul and Barnabas say nothing of an ‘Incarnate God’ and they do not even mentioned Jesus to the Lycaonians! Think about that!

Now in light of Paul referring to the Living God turn to
1 Thess. 1:9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and TRUE GOD; 10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

There is a clear distinction between the One, Paul calls the living and TRUE GOD and Jesus! That is the truth of Scripture. Let us turn from idols!
And if there were any further doubt of what Paul had in mind, then read:

  • 1 Timothy 2.5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men,
    the man Christ Jesus;

The distinction is consistent: ONE GOD, the Father and One man, the Messiah Jesus,
the ONE GOD’s Son

John 20.28

These verses follow the resurrection of Jesus! Thomas who was present at the discourse of John 14.5ff finally gets it! Gets what?
John 14.9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? 10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

Thomas finally gets it? That to see Jesus, is to see the invisible Father because He dwells in Jesus! Therefore in John 20.28 Thomas acknowledges BOTH Jesus (My Lord) and
the One GOD the Father (My God)

Besides if this was supposedly the apex moment of the revelation of the deity of Jesus why then did John pen John 20.31? Which reads:
But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

The Son of God?? What an anticlimax!! Should it not read that ye might believe that
Jesus is GOD!
– IF indeed, that is what verse 28 is meant to present? (Verse 28 is also bracketed by verse 17: Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Compare Rev. 3.12)

It appears that the notion of the so-called deity of Christ is totally alien to John; because John states no such thing as the purpose of his gospel. John confirms John 20.31 repeatedly e.g. 1 John 4.15, 5.5,10,13; etc. John’s theology is the same as Jesus (as determined by John 17.3) – The Father is the only true God to whom Jesus, the Son of God ascended to!
To quote J.A.T. Robinson:

The Gospel of John “is as undeviating a witness as any NT writer to unitary monotheism”
(Dr. J.A.T. Robinson, 12 More NT Studies, p. 175).

For more exposition on the connection of John 14.5-11 and the confession of Thomas in 20.28 please read Thomas Said to Christ, “My Lord and My God.”


As followers of Christ, we ought to listen to Jesus, God’s Son (Matthew 17.5)
So what did Jesus say?

  • John 17.1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said,Father
  • John 17.3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
  • John 20.17 … go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

So now that Jesus has ascended into Heaven (Heb. 4.14), into the very presence of GOD
(Heb. 9.24), what did Jesus say?

  • Rev. 3.12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

FOUR TIMES! Jesus speaks of my God. What more does Jesus have to say to convince us that he is NOT GOD; rather he has a GOD! (Rom. 15.6; 2 Cor. 1.3, Eph. 1.17;)

The Scriptures are consistent. The same GOD spoken of in the OT is the same GOD of the NT! GOD is unipersonal! There is no other GOD besides Him. Deut. 6.4, Mark 12.29 still stands! This is the creed of the Scriptures. The monotheism of the GOD of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has not changed; has not been altered, has not mutated. GOD has never been triune. GOD is indeed ONE! GOD has never been a man.

However without doubt, something new has happened in NT times. Prophecies have been fulfilled! Amen!

That is: the GOD of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is NOW ALSO:
the GOD of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 1.3, 11.31, Eph. 1.3,17; Col. 1.3, 1 Pet. 1.3);
and He has glorified His ‘servant’ Jesus (Acts 3.13)

Jesus of Nazareth is the First immortalized human being – the firstfruits of many brethren [Rom. 8.29, 1 Cor. 15.20]; he is the most highly exalted human being in the universe, Lord of all (Acts 2.36, 10.36),
Second Only To His God The Father; [1 Cor. 15.27-28].

Jesus is ‘literally’ the ONE GOD’s Right Hand Man (Psalm 80.17) in fulfillment of Psalm 110.1

So we now have: One GOD and One man! One GOD, the Father; and one man, whom GOD has made ‘Lord/adoni’ and set at His right hand


  • 1 Cor. 8.4 … that there is none other God but one. 5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)
  • 6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
  • 1 Timothy 2.5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men,
    the man Christ Jesus;

One GOD and One man! AMEN!

It is time to turn from manmade idols and to acknowledge the same GOD that Jesus serves; it is time to obey the creed of Jesus who obeyed the creed given him from GOD – Deuteronomy 6.4

Hear, O Israel:

The LORD our God is one LORD: OR

Hear, O Israel: YAHWEH our God,

YAHWEH is one