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:
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:
- In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.
- The same was in the beginning with God.
- All things were made by it; and without it was not any thing made that was made.
- 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.
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.
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.
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)
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:
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 pic.twitter.com/POIYqeCrPQ
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”
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!
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 –
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
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