Jesus is popularly represented as God the Son, and as such, part of a three-fold Trinity—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. It is a firmly held concept that is accepted by many to be a fact, although they would probably be at a loss to understand or explain exactly what is involved in the concept. The following comments are typical of a message stated by a number of theologians regarding the Godhead,
“As a distinctive Christian doctrine, the Trinity is considered as a divine mystery beyond human comprehension to be reflected upon only through scriptural revelation.”
“The doctrine of the Trinity is an absolute mystery. It is primarily known, not through speculation, but through experiencing the act of grace through personal faith.”
Now, it would appear to me that both God and Jesus are summed up in these passages as beyond human comprehension and an absolute mystery. If this is so, then what should we make of Jesus’ comment (during the closing day of his life) to his Father regarding his disciples?
“Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” John 17:3
He had with him at that time all twelve of his disciples.
“I have revealed you [the Father] to those whom you gave me out of the world.” John 17:6
So from these two verses it is plain and irrefutable, that Jesus has revealed the true nature concerning God to his twelve disciples. Jesus plainly said that he had done this. We should be able, therefore, to derive from the Gospel records, and from the Old Testament (which Jesus used as his reference text, as indicated by his frequent references from it) what Jesus taught concerning God. God is one
Jesus’ own statement from the verse quoted above is a good starting point:“ that they may know you, the only true God” John 17:3
The word ‘only’ means ‘being the one specimen; single; sole’, and is a translation of the Greek wordmon~" [monos] meaning ‘alone, without a companion’(Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, Thayer, 1977 edn, p418). To provide backing to his belief, Jesus quoted from the Old Testament.
“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.” Mark 12:29
Jesus was here quoting from what the Jews referred to as the Shema, the relevant passage being:
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.” Deuteronomy 6:4
(It is claimed that this passage supports the Trinitarian concept of deity, since the word translated as one [ehad] can express a compound unity, rather than yahid, which means a single one. Such wishful reasoning however was never supported by the Jewish people, nor by Jesus’ own quotation as noted in Mark 12:29, and as further noted above.)
The person whom Jesus was addressing recognised this in his response.
“ ‘Well said, teacher,’ the man replied. ‘You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him.’ ” Mark 12:32
There are a number of passages in the Old Testament giving the same message.
· “You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other.” Deuteronomy 4:35
· “This is what the LORD says--Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.” Isaiah 44:6
· “How great you are, O Sovereign LORD! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears.” 2 Samuel 7:22
· “To whom will you compare me or count me equal? To whom will you liken me that we may be compared? Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.” Isaiah 46:5,9
· “No one is like you, O LORD; you are great, and your name is mighty in power.” Jeremiah 10:6
· "I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.” Isaiah 42:8 and 48:11
The New Testament writers held to the same belief:· “How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?” John 5:44
· “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Timothy 1:17
· “to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” Jude 1:25
· “since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.” Romans 3:30
· “yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.” 1 Corinthians 8:6
· “one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:6
· “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” 1 Timothy 2:5
· “Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.” Galatians 3:20
The logical and natural conclusion from these fourteen quotations—six from the Old Testament and eight from the New Testament—would be that there is only one single true God. In none of these verses is it even intimated that there might be three Gods—each is emphatic that God is one.
The Father Relationship
When Paul was writing his first letter to the Corinthians he wrote (as noted previously), “yet for us there is but one God, the Father.” 1 Corinthians 8:6
Similar references abound in the New Testament* establishing this point beyond doubt. Many quotations** refer to the God and Father, such as 2 Corinthians 1:3.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.”
* Refer John 6:27, 1 Corinthians 15:24, Galatians 1:1, Ephesians 5:20, 6:23, Philippians 2:11, Colossians 1:3, 3:17, 1 Thessalonians 1:1, 2 Thessalonians 1:2, 1 Timothy 1:2, 2 Timothy 1:2, Titus 1:4 , 1 Peter 1:2, 2 Peter 1:17, 2 John 1:3, and Jude 1:1.
** Romans 15:6, 2 Corinthians 11:31, Galatians 1:4, Ephesians 1:3, 4:6, Philippians 4:20, 1 Thessalonians 1:3, 3:11,13, 1 Peter 1:3 and Revelation 1:6.
It is quite remarkable that every occasion where a family membership is spoken in connection with God, that God is always, and only, referred to as a Father. This Father relationship was equally valid when it included Jesus:· “ ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” John 20:17
· “so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:6
· “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3
· “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,” Colossians 1:3
· “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” 1 Peter 1:3
So the facts are obvious: when the New Testament refers to God, it is always referring to the Father. The phrases ‘God the Son’ and ‘God the Holy Spirit’ are not mentioned even once in the whole Bible! God is always ‘the Father’.
Jesus frequently addressed God as ‘Father’, implying that God was his father, as one would expect from the quotations provided in the previous section.“ I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does.” John5:19,20a
This was prophesied in the Old Testament.
“ ‘I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my love away from him, as I took it away from your predecessor. I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever.’ ” 1 Chronicles 17:13,14
The manner of birth of this person is given in the first chapter of Luke’s account of the Gospel.
“In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.’
“Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.’ ” Luke 1:26-33
This passage provides the initial fulfilment of the Old Testament prophecy, and explains why Jesus would be known as the Son of God. As a Samaritan woman was to say,
"Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world." John 11:27
“They all asked, ‘Are you then the Son of God?’ He replied, ‘You are right in saying I am.’ ” Luke 22:70
“But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” John 20:31
The phrase ‘Son of God’ occurs forty times in the New Testament, and on each occasion it is referring to Jesus Christ. It is recorded in the Psalms,
“I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to me, "You are my Son ; today I have become your Father.” Psalm 2:7
This passage is crucial in our understanding of the position of Jesus in God’s sight. The Psalm was written by David, king of Israel approximately BC950, and is quoted three times in the New Testament.
· “We tell you the good news: What God promised our fathers he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm: ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father.’ ” Acts 13:32,33
· “For to which of the angels did God ever say, ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father’ ? Or again, ‘I will be his Father, and he will be my Son’?” Hebrews 1:5
· “So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father.’ ” Hebrews 5:5
The remarkable link in each of these three passages is their uniform application to a specific occasion—the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Now Jesus Christ was first referred to as God’s Son on an earlier occasion, namely, Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River.
“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." Matthew 3:16,17, Mark 1:9-11
But is it not recognised that Jesus has always been God’s Son? Haven’t they each co-existed for eternity? Why then do these passages indicate that the Father-Son relationship only really began at his baptism and were confirmed at his resurrection?
When we look at a new baby, we almost instinctively look at the child and see which side of the family has been represented where.“The baby’s got the eyes of her mother and the head-shape of her father…”
As the child grows up it may be evident, say, that they have their father’s brain…
“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” Luke 2:52
So it was to be expected with Jesus, that being the Son of God, he would inherit characteristics from his parentage. Since God was his Father, there would be some characteristics that would stand out in his life.
“Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. "Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?" they asked. "Isn't this the carpenter's son? … Where then did this man get all these things?" Matthew 13:54,55,56
Jesus acknowledged that his ability to do what was beyond human understanding had been inherited from his Father.
“"All things have been committed to me by my Father.” Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22
“Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, 'I am God's Son'? Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father." John 10:36–38
“"When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him." John 8:28,29
“Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.” John 14:10,11
Unfortunately, many people mistakenly think that because God chose to dwell in Jesus, that therefore Jesus must be God. This thinking is shown to be false by Jesus’ own words.
“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.” John 6:56
Many centuries before Jesus was born, it was prophesied in the Old Testament,
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
Matthew recorded the fulfilment of this:
"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us." ” Matthew 1:23
Let us follow through the development of the Trinity, for it is openly recognised that the word ‘trinity’ is not itself found anywhere in the Bible, but was coined centuries later to cover the evolution in thought concerning the Godhead.
It is not known exactly when the Apostles’ Creed was written, but was known to exist in the middle of the second century (ca. 140AD):
“I believe in God the Father Almighty, and in Jesus Christ His Only Son our Lord, who was born of the Holy Ghost and Virgin Mary, crucified under Pontius Pilate, and buried; the third day He rose from the dead; He ascended into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of the Father, from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. And in the Holy Ghost; the holy Church; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; the life everlasting.”
This Creed is in complete agreement with what the Bible states. However, as time passed, creeds were developed with many additions and reflected progressive changes in viewpoint. The Nicene Creed, originally written in Greek in 325AD, is translated in English as follows:
“We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.
“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, one in Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated on the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
“We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.”
The Athanasian Creed, the earliest known copy of which was included as a prefix to a collection of homilies by Caesarius of Arles (died 542), evolves the theme further:
“Whosoever will be saved: before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic’s faith. Which faith, except every one do keep whole and undefiled: without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholic faith is this:
“That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in unity; neither confounding the persons; nor dividing the substance. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost; But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one: the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father is uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Ghost uncreate. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal; and yet there are not three eternals: but one eternal. As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated: but one uncreated and one incomprehensible. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty; and yet there are not three Almighties; but one Almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God: and the Holy Ghost is God; and yet there yet there are not three Gods; but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord; and yet not three Lords; but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian unity to acknowledge every person by himself to be God and Lord; so we are forbidden by the Catholic Religion: to say, There be three Gods, or three Lords. The Father is made of none: neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone: not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son: neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons: and one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is afore, or after other: none is greater, or less than another; But the whole three persons are co-eternal together: and co-equal. So that in all things, as afore said: the unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in unity is to be worshipped. He therefore that is to be saved: must thus think of the Trinity
Jesus as Son of God
The Benefit of Sonship
“Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation: that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right faith is, that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds: and man., of the substance of his mother, born in the world; Perfect God and Perfect Man: of a reasonable soul, and human flesh subsisting; Equal to the Father, as touching the Godhead: and inferior to the Father, as touching his manhood, who although he be God and man: yet he is not two, but one Christ; one, not by the conversion of the Godhead into flesh: but by taking of the manhood into God; one altogether; not by confusion of substance: but by unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man: so God and man is one Christ; who suffered for our salvation, descended into Hell, rose again the third day from the dead; He ascended into heaven; he sitteth on the right hand of God Almighty: from whence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies: and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good, shall go into life everlasting: and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire. This is the Catholic Faith: which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and even shall be: world without end. Amen.”
The evolving of an 85-word Apostles’ Creed, through a 226-word Nicene Creed, to a mammoth 690-word Athanasian Creed, illustrates how simplicity can be philosophised into an unintelligible confusion of words.
It is clear from the development of these creeds that the ideas that now form the doctrine of the Trinity, did not belong to the days of Jesus and the apostles, but were developed some 300 to 400 years later. That is why it cannot be found in the Bible.
(The passage found in 1 John 5:7 is widely acknowledged as spurious, as it is not found in any Greek manuscript before the sixteenth century, or in any Syriac or Coptic versions).
Let us look at the New Testament to find out about the true Jesus Christ.
Same Person or Being?
“I and the Father are one.” John 10:30
This verse forms the basis of a claim that Jesus and God are one and the same person. The Greek word translated here as ‘one’ is ‘en’ [hen], which means one in essence. Had the intention been one numerically, the word used would have been ‘ei"’ [heis]. So the passage does not support unity in person, and this is confirmed by Jesus’ later comment concerning his followers:
“"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17:20–23
When Jesus was just hours away from his crucifixion, he prayed to his Father that there might be some alternative that could replace the horrific crucifixion.
“"Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will." ” Matthew 14:36
It would be too much to accept that, under these circumstances, he would be praying to himself, or pleading with himself, to have the ‘cup’ removed! We note an important part of his mode of address, “Abba, Father.” The word ‘abba’ is Aramaic for ‘father’, and represents a very close dependence and family association. It underlines the true relationship between God and Jesus as Father and Son. It is a relationship between two different, but family-related, people. For this reason, it is also the mode of address of Jesus Christ’s followers in their relationship to the Father:
“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.” Romans 8:15,16
“Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.” Galatians 4:6,7
That Jesus and the Father are completely separate persons is further established from a comment he made to the Jews of his day.
“In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me." John 8:17,18.
The Jews of Jesus’ time were resisting the recognition of Jesus as their Messiah. In response to a comment of Jesus, it is recorded,“For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” John 5:18
Their thinking was that since Jesus referred to God as his Father, therefore Jesus himself must be some sort of God. It is flawed reasoning, for it could therefore be argued that we ourselves must also be Gods, since God is also our Father.
(See, for instance, Galatians 3:26: “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus”)
Jesus actually expressed an inequality with the Father.
“If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.” John 14:28b
“I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.” John 12:50
“By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.” John 5:30
It is clear that Jesus always credited his Father with greater power and authority. Co-equality was not an aspect he desired (Philippians 2:6).
In support that Jesus existed from before the Creation, reference is sometimes made to Chapter 8 of Proverbs:
“ "The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works,
before his deeds of old;
I was appointed from eternity,
from the beginning, before the world began.
When there were no oceans, I was given birth,
when there were no springs abounding with water;
before the mountains were settled in place,
before the hills, I was given birth,
before he made the earth or its fields
or any of the dust of the world.
I was there when he set the heavens in place…” Proverbs 8:22–28
If one is to read the full chapter, and its continuation into the next chapter, the context clearly identifies that it is wisdom that is being personified—in the ninth chapter it is contrasted with folly. Wisdom is a recurring theme throughout the book of Proverbs, and the writer never goes further than showing that it is exhibited and illustrated in the wonders of nature and the creation of the world, and that it is a quality that is to be sought at every opportunity.“For wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” Proverbs 8:11
This wisdom was covered by a Greek word logo" (logos), which means ‘intelligence’, and the thoughts of Proverbs 8 are reflected in the opening words of John’s Gospel:
“In the beginning was the Word (logo"), and the Word (logo") was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” John 1:1–3
Despite the frequently held thought that, in this passage, the Word was Jesus, such is an inference—it is not stated in the passage. It is unfortunate that the gender of the noun, being masculine, is confused with the intent of the word, which is neutral. Just as Wisdom is a feminine word in both Hebrew and Greek, so the word logos is masculine in Greek. The logos became flesh, that is, became a real tangible part of God’s plan, when Jesus was born.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
The Old Testament judge, priest and prophet, David, who lived about 1000 years before the birth of Christ, prophesied:
“When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son.” 2 Samuel 7:12–14
This prophecy clearly relates to Jesus Christ (See Luke 1:32–33, Hebrews 1:5) and predicted that there would be a Son. This prophecy also clearly stated what is inherent in a Father-Son relationship—a father pre-dates a son. It cannot be otherwise. It is impossible for a father and son to be the same age.
Was Jesus a god?
It was the disciple named Thomas who confessed to Jesus the words,"My Lord and my God!" John 20:28
Was this a confession that Jesus was God, or even that Jesus was a god?
Thomas used two Greek words,
kurio" kurios Lord, wielding authority for good
qeo"theos a deity, a magistrate
With the first of these words, Thomas was acknowledging that Jesus was an authoritative person in his eyes, and in the second, that he had a superior level of jurisdiction. On this second point, Jesus himself provided an example from Jewish history.
“Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are gods (qeo")'? If he called them 'gods,' to whom the word of God came—and the Scripture cannot be broken—what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, 'I am God's Son'?” John 10:34–36
Jesus was quoting from the Jewish Greek (Septuagint) translation of the Bible, to define an application of the word theos that had Divine approval. People of that time, who were human believers of Yahweh like ourselves, were accorded the title of ‘theos’ or ‘god’. If they were able to do this, then how much more so, he argues, would he himself be able to accept that designation.
In view of this, we can appreciate Thomas’ confession, and Jesus’ acceptance of it. It is in this same sense that the Septuagint passage from the Psalms is quoted by the writer of Hebrews.
“But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.” Hebrews 1:8; Psalm 45:6
The translators have made the choice for capitalisation of ‘God’ in these two New Testament passages, for in the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts (often referred to as uncials) every letter was effectively a capital.
What did Jesus create?
There is an often-quoted passage in Paul’s letter to the believers at Colosse in which Paul refers to many things that were created by Jesus Christ.
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:15–17
Don’t these verses clearly state that Jesus was the initial Creator, since ‘by him all things were created”? If this was so, then why did Jesus attribute the creation to someone other than himself?
“ "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' ” Matthew 19:4 (Genesis 1:27)
Not only does this confirm the Genesis narrative, but also it indicates that Jesus was not the creator, else he would have surely identified himself. The Old Testament asserts that God [identified as Yahweh] created the world.
“For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.” Exodus 20:11
“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.” Isaiah 40:28
“I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.” Isaiah 43:15
(See Exodus 3:14. The meaning of Yahweh is considered to be “I will be that I will be”)
The New Testament writers also shared the same belief that it was God who created the world.
“Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” Romans 1:25
“Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” 1 Peter 4:19
What then was the ‘creation’ of Jesus Christ? If we look back at the verse, we shall see what it covered. Was it mountains, trees, butterflies and animals? No. It was thrones and powers and rulers and authorities. The same writer
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.” Galatians 6:14,15
The same writer again refers to Jesus Christ as the firstborn when writing his first letter to the Corinthians.
“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.” 1 Corinthians 15:20–23
Paul here states that the resurrection comes through a man—Christ Jesus. For as he writes elsewhere,
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time.” 1 Timothy 2:5,6
The relationship expressed here is both simple and logical.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:17–19
The Bible writers knew nothing of the philosophical Trinity as defined in the Athenasian Creed, developed many hundreds of years after the Bible had been written. It is a false creed that can be shown to have been developed from pagan origins. It could have had no relevance or bearing on the belief of Jesus or the apostles.“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2
“Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” John 17:3
Paul gave an important message.
“For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man…” Romans 8:3
We would be fools to ignore the opportunity that Jesus Christ offers!