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November 27, 2005



Insofar as "the apostles' teachings" refer to their activities while ministering with Him, you have at least the beginnings of a persuasive case; but your assertion that "Lord" is heteronymic loses force since it is the Hebrew that is translated into Greek, and not vice-versa.

Also, "the apostles' teaching" must certainly include the written Gospels, and these must be construed not just within their four corners but to the extent of those four corners; and in John 8:58, "Before Abraham was, I am [Yah-weh]" is Jesus'clear identification of himself as God, and is clearly taken by his hearers as blasphemy: they pick up stones to throw.
Note also John 14: 9a (KJV, as that's what I have at hand at the moment): "He hath seen me hath seen the Father."
Even more specifically, at Luke 22: 70 & 71,
"Then they said all, Art thou, then, the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am. And they said, What need have we of any further witness? For we have heard from his own mouth."
In short, it is not left to his followers to draw down the anger of the Pharisees and Saducees by saying Jesus is God. Jesus, at the times and places of his choosing, does so himself.
Bear in mind also that "the apostles' teaching" is not limited to the Gospels and the Pauline epistles. There is an Epistle of James, two of Peter, three of John, one of Jude and one, author unknown, to the Hebrews and, finally, there is the apocolypse of Revelation, also credited to John. Stay within the four corners, and the evidence goes beyond a preponderance, and beyond clear and convincing, that the apostles, however much individually and however much collectively, came to believe and indeed taught that Jesus was the second person of a triune God.
To save mw writing and you reading, I'll use that to segue into your earlier post. I think Rowan Williams does a creditable job of explaining what the faith has always held to be at root a mystery. It is ultimately, at least here below, something we can only hint at, grasp at, in metaphor, not prove in an earthly referant. (It is not, after all, an earthly phenomenon.) That Sir John Falstaff cannot prove the existence of Shakespeare is not Shakespeare's problem. That the notes of the "Ode To Joy" cannot comprehend the mind of Beethoven is not Beethoven's

D. C.

Thanks for the comment, Bob.

1. I don't think we can put too much evidentiary weight on the "I am" story in John 8.58. For starters, the tale is uncorroborated by any of the other Gospels, nor by any of the epistles. Corroboration here seems not just desirable, but necessary, because of the extreme importance of the I-am assertion. The Law prohibited putting a man to death except on the testimony of at least two witnesses (Num 35.30, Deut. 17.6). A claim that Jesus called himself the LORD God should require no less proof.

(And of course, the Fourth Gospel evidently was written very late, casting great doubt on the accuracy of its lengthy dominical speeches.)

2. That Jesus may have called himself the Son of God doesn't support the claim that he believed himself to be the LORD God. They're two different things. See this posting for more details (scroll down to "Son of God").

3. I see no way around the conclusion that the apostles came to see Jesus as God's anointed one, a man designated to return to earth to rule as God's viceroy. They didn't regard him as the LORD God himself. The church has long pointed to various scriptural passages as allegedly supporting the opposite conclusion, but that view is a highly tortured one; it simply doesn't fit the evidence.

I appreciate your having taken the time to write up your thoughts. They provided a lot of food for thought.

Michael Straight

I think you're taking the word "Lord" out of the context it was used by the first Christians. The name "Lord" was used in the context of prayer and worship. The early Christians worshipped Jesus, calling him "Lord" and addressed their prayers to him. That seems to indicate they saw Jesus as far more than "God's Viceroy."


Lord is a different word from God, but Jesus is really God.
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 him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-4, 14)
And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. (John 20:28)
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men (Philippians 2:5-7)

D. C.

Michael Straight and 3man, what the early Christians said or did - including the authors of the passages 3man cites is of little or no probative value. What position were they in to know what they were talking about? Don't forget that Acts records Peter and the other original apostles as preaching that Jesus was the messiah, a very different thing from his being God incarnate.


D.C. : it means that you don't believe in the Bible, just few passages of the Bible. I understand it ...

Michael Straight

You say:
Michael Straight and 3man, what the early Christians said or did - including the authors of the passages 3man cites is of little or no probative value.

But I thought your argument here was about what the first Christians thought about Jesus, not whether they were right or not. You seemed to be arguing that the first Christians did not regard Jesus as equal with God. While it's true "Lord" doesn't, all by itself, necessarily equal "God", I think it's pretty clear from context that that was what they meant.

Paul has a whole bunch of "doxological" phrases, many of which are thought to be quotes from the early Christian forms of worship. In these he prays *to* Jesus in a way that a first-century monotheistic Jew would definitely not do, unless he had had is concept of God radically reoriented.

Whether he was right or not is, I think, a whole different arguement than the one you're making here.


Jesus Christ (PEACE AND BLESSINGS BE UPON HIM) was one of the Mighty Messengers of God, but he was not God Himself.

"He is God; there is no god but He. He is the Knower of the unseen and the visible; He is the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate. He is God; there is no god but He. He is the King, the All-Holy, the All-Peace, the Guardian of the Faith, the All-Preserver, the All-Mighty, the All-Compeller, the All-Sublime. Glory be to God, above that they associate! He is God, the Creator, the Maker, the Shaper. To Him belong the Names Most Beautiful. All that is in the heavens and the earth magnifies Him; He is the Almighty, the All-Wise” (59:22-24).

“ There is no god but He, the Living, the Everlasting. Slumber seizes Him not, nor sleep. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. Who is there that shall intercede with Him save by His leave? He knows what lies before them, and what is after them, and they comprehend not anything of His knowledge save such as He wills. His throne comprises the heavens and earth. The preserving of them oppresses Him not; He is the All-High, the All-Glorious” (2:255).

He can do whatever He wills, and the theory that He needed to sacrifice his son before he can forgive and show mercy, under estimates the definition of "God". He is the one who makes the Laws but is not BOUND by His Laws, but at the same time He does not take UNGODLY forms.

Any person, with simple knowledge can understand this. Early Christainity was the truth but the Christainity alive today has gone away from the original message. Jesus christ was a mighty messenger of God, he healed people with the WILL OF GOD. Many prophets performed miracles.

I don't understand, how can people not understand this simple Logic? If you say ONE GOD then
and If i try to explain to you, 1=2 or 1=3....ull simple say...I dont know my math and logic.

Please live the true message of Jesus. He asked his followers to worship ONE GOD and not 2,3 gods.

"It befits not (the Majesty of) GOD that He should beget a son. Glorified (and Exalted be He above all that they associate with Him). When He decrees a thing, He only says to it, "Be!" --- and it is",

"Then she(Mary) brought him (the baby) to her people, carrying him. They said: "O Mary! Indeed you have brought a thing unheard mighty ", "O sister! Your father was not a man who used to commit adultery, nor your mother was an unchaste woman",

"Then she pointed to him (the baby). They said: "How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?",

"He [(Jesus)] said: Verily! I am a slave of GOD, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet", "And He has made me blessed wherever I be, and has enjoined on me prayer, and charity, as long as I live." "And dutiful to my mother, and made me not arrogant, unblest", "And PEACE be upon me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive!",

"Such is Jesus, son of Mary. (It is) a statement of truth, about which they doubt (or dispute)",

"Jesus said: "And verily God is my Lord and your Lord. So worship Him (Alone). That is the Straight Path. (God’s Religion of Monotheism which He did ordain for all of His Prophets)".
"Surely, they have disbelieved who say: "God is Jesus, son of Mary", But Jesus said; "O Children of Israel! worship One True God, My Lord and your Lord."

"Verily, whosoever setup partners in worship with God, then God has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the Polytheist and wrong-doers there are no helpers",

"Surely, disbelievers are those who said: "God is the third of the three (in a Trinity)", But there is no Ilah (God) (none who has the right to be worshipped) but One Ilah (God). And if they cease not from what they say, verily, painful torment will befall the disbelievers among them",

"Will they not repent to God and ask His forgiveness? For God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful", "Jesus, son of Mary, was no more than a Messenger; Many were the Messengers that passed away before him. His mother Mary was a truthful believer. They both used to eat food (as any other human being). Look how We make the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lesson, signs, revelations, etc.) clear to them, yet look how they are deluded away (from the truth)".

[Chapter 5: verses 72-75 ]



Joseph O'Leary

If "Lord" meant "God" the defenders of the Council of Nicea would have had a very easy time refuting Arianism. Paul in 1 Cor 8.6 seems to distinguish ONE GOD (the Father) from ONE LORD (the Son) and it took the Church a long time to determine that the Son (in his divine nature) was true God from true God. The Vatican's recent Notification about Jon Sobrino indulges in crass exegetical crudity when it trots out the idea that the titles Lord and "Son of God" are explicit NT teaching of Christ's true divinity.


In England, I believe, the term "My Lord" is used in the Parliament. Mmmm. And to say I am "the son of G-d." We Jews are HaShem's chosen children. And Jesus, as a believing Jew, was just saying what would be natural for any Jew to say at the time.


How do explain Titus 2:13 where Jesus is explicitly referred to as the Great God (capital "G") and Savior?

D. C. Toedt III

Norm @ 10:43 pm, you need to look at the whole sentence (NRSV):

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, 12 training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 14 He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

(Emphasis added, footnotes omitted.)

These are obviously metaphors. Clearly they don't mean Paul thought that Jesus WAS God, nor that the church was waiting for God himself to come (which would be completely inconsistent with the rest of the NT writings). They mean instead that Jesus, whom the church did indeed expect to come, was (metaphorically) the hope and glory of God.

(Analogously, if I were to write a letter referring to my mother as the light of my dad's life, it'd be a mistake for a future reader to conclude that I believed my mother WAS my dad.)

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.


Even your use of big words can't conceal your lack of Biblical understanding! I know you say your view's aren't those of your church, but you are an elected leader? Scary!

Gavin Young

The phrase "the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus "Christ" can also be translated from the Greek in a non-trinitarian way as "the glory of our great God, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ."

geraldine robinson

John 20:28 Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.,Heb. 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever;a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Matt.28;17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. Isa.9;6 His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, Tghe prince of PeacePsa 45;6 They throne, O God, is for ever and ever the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness;therfore God, they God, hath anointed thee with oil of gladness above they fellows.

when the woman asked Jesus about God, he told her "my God and your God is one."

and Jesus said, "my father is Greater than I"

and he said " I do nothing of myself"

And he said, while praying, "my God, my God, why have you abandoned me?"

All these verses suggest that Jesus was not God.


Faith in God

You have no belief in the three persons of God (the Trinity) so how are you going to know the meaning of the scriptures that you quoted? The only thing that these verses suggest is that Jesus was revealing both that He was the Son of God in the flesh as a man and in that role His Father was greater than He, for He became obedient even unto death on the cross. God gave His only begotten Son so that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life. Jesus died on the cross so you and I could be reconciled with God the Father and our sins could be forgiven. Jesus took upon Him the sins of the world. We are enemies of God until we repent and ask forgiveness of our sins. At this particular
point when Jesus said, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" God could not look upon sin and until Jesus died for all the sins of the world God and Jesus were separated by sin. Jesus now sits at the right hand of God the Father in heaven. When Jesus prayed in the garden before His death he prayed for Himself, His disciples and for any person who would believe and He prayed that He would be one with those who believed in Him as He (Jesus) and God (His Father) were one. In the scriptures it also says that Jesus thought it not robbery to be equal with God. Jesus had different roles from the time of creation He was God and was born of a virgin Mary as the Son of God and was both God and man, and while He was on earth He was showing us by His example how to surrender and serve God. When He went to the cross He was obeying God the Father but He aslo laid down His life on His own and He even said He could take it up again. But He chose from the foundation of the world to be both God and man and to be both servant and Master.


When Jesus said "I and the father are one," what did he mean? I agree with the Jews that it was blasphemy.

Something that confuses me about that scene, however, is that it reads "they took up stones to stone him with" then says "they sought to arrest him."


Even God calls Jesus "O God"
see this verse

"He makes his angels winds,
his servants flames of fire."[e] 8But about the Son he(God)says,
"Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever,
and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom

So how do you translate this verse? if you find the Greece, Roman or any bible which written 2000 years ago read it.


you have heard about the father son and the holy spirit they are as one. but god created man and woman so man would not separate and then the two become one could it sort of describe like the father son and spirit I'm not surejust wanted to know

Bud Woods

Toedt's lame suppositions [based on definitions that match his argument & his own assumptions] are just another variation on the very old Gnostic heresy and the variation seen at Collossi which denied the possibility of the dual-nature of Christ. Just because it is difficult to get the human mind around the concept that Jesus was both fully God AND man, doesn't mean that it's an errant doctrine. If Jesus was NOT both fully human and fully divine, there is virtually no reason for him to have lived at all. After all, there were already many well-developed legal codes in the world to measure human behavior and there were already many religions which included the foundational belief that we could appease god or 'the gods' and could lift ourselves up by our bootstraps - continual improvement per evolving, applied philosophy? {Of course since then, there have been many more similarly off-target religions invented.} It's obvious that the underlying suppostion of other religions about the future improvement of mankind & civilization per following various systems of laws, codes, rules hasn't worked out well! Peter was correct [per the revelation of God Himself] when he answered Jesus' question, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God." If you think that Toedt's suppositions are correct and you don't want to thought of as an atheist or agnostic or deist, you can check out the Unitarians. They essentially have no codified beliefs at all beyond the general belief that good works and doing the best you can will be in itself the "reward" for having lived. There are basically three religious categories: Jews - many of which who still hope for The Messiah but mischaracterized Jesus; Others - who either deny the need for or the actual advent of a Messiah and are trying to cope with life without much meaning here and no meaning after death; Christians - who know that The Messiah has come and now can live under grace to the glory of God knowing that their sins can be fully forgiven with the promise of an eternal life with God. Thank God I'm not an "other"!

Brad W.

You guys and gals should just give up and realize that there are no god or gods. Seriously... take some science classes, have a beer and relax. Non-existence won't be as bad as you think.

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