Was Jesus God?

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.

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