The Instigator
mstrainjr
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
RationalMadman
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points

Is Jesus Almighty God in the flesh?

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
RationalMadman
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/22/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,193 times Debate No: 25234
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (9)
Votes (1)

 

mstrainjr

Con

Mainstream Christianity teaches that Jesus is one of three persons who make up the being known in the Tanakh as "the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob". But I believe this is not only a false doctrine; it's pure blasphemy.

I will not simply argue from one English translation or the other. I've been studying the Greek of the New Testament since highschool, and that is the realm from which I'll pull most of my arguements. There's a reason most churches don't encourage their congregations to learn NT Greek. Also, I would like to state that I was raised in first a Lutheran church and then a Baptist church, so I know all the DOCTRINAL positions on this topic. But what does the Bible say? I present facts, not beliefs.

(Before I really get into this, I have something else to say. Most translations render THEOS PATER as "God the Father". However, there is never an article in the Greek. And as in Spanish, the adjective sometimes follows the noun. "Jupiter" comes from Latin Iupiter, from dyeu-pater, from Greek ZEU PATER, Father Zeus. In the same way, THEOS PATER is more accurately "Father God". This makes the Trinity doctrine fall apart just a little, expecially since now there can be derived no mention of "God the Father", "God the Son", or "God the Holy Spirit" anywhere from the Greek text.)

Now, let us first look at the gospels. Setting aside the book of John for now due to space, we will see that there is absolutely no evidence in the synoptic gospels that even implies that Jesus is God. He he asks Peter who he is; Peter's answer is not "You are Almighty God in the flesh!"
In Luke 1:35, the text is more accurately translated, "And anwering, the messenger said to her, 'A holy spirit will come upon you..." Again, there is no article, so adding "The" is wrong. Also, I point out that while "God", "Father", and "Jesus" are all masculine in the Greek, PNEUMA AGIOS, "holy spirit", is always neuter. In other words, the holy spirit is an it, not a he. Therefore, the "holy spirit" is not a person.

What about Paul's letters? You will find by reading the first paragraph of just about every one of his letters the words THEOU PATROS EMON KAI KURIOU IESOU KHRISTOU, "our Father God and Lord Jesus Christ". This is plainly a seperation of the two. God is the Father, and the Father is God. Jesus Christ is Lord.

To further illustrate this, let's look at I Cor 8:4-6
Then about the eating of idolatrous sacrifices, we know that an idol is nothing in (the) world and that no other god is except one. For even if perhaps (some) are called 'gods', either in sky or upon land, just as there are many gods and many lords--still, to us is one god, the Father, out of whom are all things and we for him; and one lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through [or by] him.
Again, the idea of seperation between the two is clear. Eph 4:4-6, I Thess 3:11-13, II Thess 2:16, and I Tim 2:3-5 are similar verses plainly illustrating the same thing.

What of Philippians chapter 2? Literally, the Greek text says in verse 6 that he was in a god's form. I guess you could say God's form, but again, there is no article. Still, one could argue that THEOS lacks the article through the whole section of verses 5-11. By the literal interpretation, does vs 9 tell us that a god highly exalted Jesus? So yes, this section could be using THEOS as a title or name, which does not require the article. In any event, vs 6 means that Jesus was in a spirit form. That coincides with the verse from Luke above.

Does your Biible read in verse 6 something like "who being in the form of God"? The Greek word for being does not refer to a simple state of existance, which would be the participle ON. The participle here is UPARKHON,which comes from two words: UPO, under/beneath; ARKHOMAI, to begin. To translate this word as "being" is a gloss that hides the true meaning of the word.
Verse 9 tells us that God (or a god) highly exalted Jesus. If Jesus is God, would God here be highly exalting himself and giving himself a name above every name? The word EKHARISATO, usually translated "gave", actually means "to grant graciously (as a favor)". So... How gracious is God that he would bestow this favor to himself? :-)
Verse 11 reades "...and every tongue should profess [or confess] that Jesus Christ is Lord, to Father God's glory. Some folks tend to forget that last phrase. Also, notice how this says nothing about people professing Jesus as God.

Check out Acts 7:55,56; Colos 3:1; Heb 10:11-12; and I Peter 3:22. What do they all have in common? They all say that Jesus is standing on the right of God. Churches tend to say "right hand of the Father". You will not find that in the Bible.
The second chapter of Acts is great in showing what was being taught concerning Jesus. I suggest you read all of it. Jesus is called "a man from God exhibited to you by abilities and omens and signs which God did through him in your midst" (vs.22). Verse 33 speaks of him being "exhalted to the right of God". Verse 36 plainly says that "God made him both lord and Christ". Are you seeing this?
Acts 2:22-24, 32, 13:30; Rom 10:9; I Cor 6:14, 15:15; II Cor 4:14; and Eph 1:20 all say that God raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus did not raise himself! It doesn't say that Jesus was raised by "the Father". God raised Jesus.
The first verses of Hebrews tells us that in the old days, God spoke "to the fathers through the prophets", and in these last days He "spoke to us in a son [no article], whom He appointed heir of all". They tell us that Jesus was a reflection of God and a representation of God, and that after making our sins pure through him, he "sat down on the Majesty [or Greatness] on high's right, having become so much better than the angels". So if Jesus, as his reward for his obedience, became better than the angels, this implies that at one time he was not as great. There's no mention of him regaining this position, as if it was lost when he became a man. (And by the way, the quote in verse six is from the LXX of Ps 97:7. Here, the Greek word rendered angels replaces the Hebrew for gods.)

In the last verse of II Corinthians, we see a picture of the true trinity. Literally it reads:
THE GRACE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND THE LOVE OF THE GOD [or DEITY], AND THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT [neuter] be WITH ALL OF YOU. AMEN.
Instead of "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit", we here have Jesus, God, and Holy Spirit. This seems to imply that neither Jesus nor this holy spirit are God. At the end of Matthew, when Jesus speaks of baptizing "into [lit.] the name of the Father, and of the son, and of the holy spirit", this does not necessarily mean that the three listed here are all God. I said it before: God is the Father, and the Father is God. The son is Jesus. Nowhere is it stated or implied that the son is God.

How about Revelations? What did its writer think about this topic? I give you the first two literal verses:
THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST, WHICH THE GOD GAVE TO HIM TO SHOW THE SLAVES OF HIM THINGS BOUND TO OCCUR IN HASTE, AND HE SIGNIFIED SENDING THROUGH THE MESSAGER OF HIM TO THE SLAVE OF HIM, JOHN, WHO TESTIFIED THE WORD OF THE GOD AND THE WITNESS OF JESUS CHRIST, AS MANY things AS EVEN HE SAW.

This is all simple stuff.
In Colos 1:15-16, be wary your translation. The Greek of the Bible always distinguishes that all things were created by God through and for Jesus. Jesus is the firstborn of all creation. These verses here do not necessarily mean that Jesus was the first of God's creation, but in context, it's saying that all things are an inheritance to Jesus.
I Cor 15 tells us why. Jesus was the first to die in obedience to God and be raised, so we have hope that if we too are obedient, we also will be raised. Verses 20-28 speak of how after Jesus has had his rule, he will give all of his power and authority back to the One who had given it to him, and then "the son himself will be subjected to the One who has subjected all things to him".

Out of space. I'll speak of John next.
RationalMadman

Pro

I am not sure if it is rude or improper to say that I have not actually read the entire bible nor do I know verses off by heart. You probably are more experienced than I in terms of the debate itself. However, I have studied philosophy, including abrahamic religions, in great depth and will prefer to not raise verses of the bible but rather use theological and philosophical fundamentals as the grounds of my debate.

As the second speaker I feel obliged to address the first's speech and rebut any points raised before raising my own.
I will accept your extreme bias toward your side in that you have neglected that the holy trinity's terms for God and Jesus are acceptable thus making my debate rather difficult to suppose. Nonetheless, even without being Jesus' father I can in fact raise points to support the view that Jesus is, in fact, God in the flesh (but perhaps not the entirety of God him/herself but rather the Christian God appearing in the form of flesh for a finite period of time).

In order to rebut the comments you make on verses I shall use a listing methods of the verse and then my rebuttal to your interpretation of it:

Luke 1:35 "And anwering, the messenger said to her, 'A holy spirit will come upon you..."
Your interpretation of this was correct. All it suggests was that the holy spirit was not a person but a spirit needn't be a physical entity thus it need sno gender. Nor is the holy spirit involved with Jesus in the flesh and thus this is an irrelevant verse for the debate.

Verse 9 "to grant graciously (as a favor)"
A non-physical eternal, omnipotent God could indeed grant graciously to itself whilst in the form of flesh. I see nowhere any suggestion as to why this is not possible.

Verse 11 "...and every tongue should profess [or confess] that Jesus Christ is Lord, to Father God's glory."
While the con's interpretation is that it say Father God and mentions nothing of professing Jesus as God, The pro's interpretation is that it neither mentions anything to oppose or deter the view that Jesus is God in the flesh.

7:55,56; Colos 3:1; Heb 10:11-12; and I Peter 3:22 "Jesus is standing on the right of God." as well as verse 23 of the second chapter of Acts "exhalted to the right of God"
From a philosopher's point of view, there is no sense in comparing a 'right hand man' of the Almighty being to an actually individual that is literally standing on the physical right side of another. The main reason to not take the literal interpretation is that an eternally sized being can have no right side, for where is the centre of infinity?. Thus merely taking the interpretation as a 'right hand man' or 'assistant' or perhaps 'God in the flesh' could be a more appropriate interpretation.

Verse 22 of the second chapter of Acts "a man from God exhibited to you by abilities and omens and signs which God did through him in your midst"
A man 'from' God could be interpreted as a physical male human from the Almighty creator being exhibited (almost as if God is putting himself up for show or exhibition) to us by abilities and omens and signs which the Almighty di through the 'God in the flesh' in our midst.

Acts 2:22-24, 32, 13:30; Rom 10:9; I Cor 6:14, 15:15; II Cor 4:14; and Eph 1:20 "God raised Jesus from the dead."
Well, I would interpret this as simply meaning that a dead body cannot resurrect itself but requires a far superior omnipotent being to revive it.

The first verses of Hebrews "God spoke to the fathers through the prophets, and in these last days he spoke to us in a son, whom he appointed heir of all".
This offers no support to the con's point of view on the matter, it merely means that God chose to communicate to him/herself in the flesh via physical communications.

The first verses of Hebrews "Jesus was a reflection of God", "a representation of God" and after making our sins pure through him, he "sat down on the Majesty on high's right, having become so much better than the angels"
Jesus being a reflection of God could mean that God in the flesh reflected all that God outside of the flesh was. Jesus being a representation of God could merely be hinting towards a 'physical' representation. The fact that after making our sins pure, Jesus had become so much better than the angels merely means that from the birth of the physical form of God, the human body hadn't acted in a way deserve its non-physical soul (which I suppose would be God him/herself) to rise above the ranks of angels in heaven as yet. Even God him/herself as a baby has neither done a single good deed nor sin yet, despite what God in forms other than flesh had done previously.

Your conclusion was good and I have nothing to rebut there. Now I would like to begin my constructive, I hope I did not personally offend the debater in any of my rebuttals but merely offered alternative interpretations.

On a first note, it would be regarded, by any philosopher, very progressive a thought that if Jesus were the supposed son of God he is, in some ways, God in the flesh or the next generation of God. However, the holy trinity was regarded by you as a false ideology so I shall go no further on this point but merely want to highlight why many hav einterpreted Jesus to be the Almighty God in flesh in the first place.

Another point I would like to raise is regarding the issue of possibility versus probability. So far I have seen no verse you raised from the bible that even comes close to diminishing the possibility that Jesus could be Almighty God in the flesh. Additionally, there is barely any verse which I have no alternatively interpreted so as to show that the probability of Jesus being God in the flesh is also not reduced, or perhaps by a minimal degree and depending largely on one's personal interpretation of the verses. So, thus far I feel as if I can point out that it is possible that Jesus could be God in the flesh and I would also like to think it is probable considering the fact that Jesus was a human body whom was gifted enough to inflict miracles upon others, I would suppose God would not be able to trust a human with a soul other than his/her own since God is not entitled to prevent free will and for all God knows, unless the person is God him/herself the person God chooses to give such power to may end up being a terrorist with powers far greater than any before, or probably even any after. Thus the fact alone that Jesus was trusted with such power indicates that God is trusting him/herself in human form as opposed to an imperfectly minded with free will who could succumb to sin and cause terror.

This is pretty much the perfect way to round off my opening debate, I look forward to hearing your interpretation of John.
Debate Round No. 1
mstrainjr

Con

mstrainjr forfeited this round.
RationalMadman

Pro

I forfeit also then.
Debate Round No. 2
mstrainjr

Con

I've decided to end this debate. One reasonis that there isn't enough room here for me to post my argument. Another is that the basis of pretty much everything we know about Jesus is from the Bible, so I don't see reason to put forth much effort presenting Biblical evidence when my challenger is bringing forth nothing but his own reasoning. I appreciate him accepting the challenge and I don't have anything against him. I believe this is my fault for not laying down ground rules at the beginning. This is my first debate on this site, and I see I made a mistake in how I started. I was looking for a Biblical debate, and I'm afraid this will not be that.
Maybe in another week or so I'll try again but from a different approach. This isn't the only Biblical topic I want to throw out here, so expect me to post something again soon.
Thanks for your interest.
-Mike
RationalMadman

Pro

Con conceded.

Vote pro.
Debate Round No. 3
mstrainjr

Con

mstrainjr forfeited this round.
RationalMadman

Pro

Oh yes <3
Debate Round No. 4
mstrainjr

Con

mstrainjr forfeited this round.
RationalMadman

Pro

Vote con.
Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by mstrainjr 4 years ago
mstrainjr
A new version of this debate can be found at
http://www.debate.org...
Posted by mstrainjr 5 years ago
mstrainjr
I've decided to end this debate. One reasonis that there isn't enough room here for me to post my argument. Another is that the basis of pretty much everything we know about Jesus is from the Bible, so I don't see reason to put forth much effort presenting Biblical evidence when my challenger is bringing forth nothing but his own reasoning. I appreciate him accepting the challenge and I don't have anything against him. I believe this is my fault for not laying down ground rules at the beginning. This is my first debate on this site, and I see I made a mistake in how I started. I was looking for a Biblical debate, and I'm afraid this will not be that.
Maybe in another week or so I'll try again but from a different approach. This isn't the only Biblical topic I want to throw out here, so expect me to post something again soon.
Thanks for your interest.
-Mike
Posted by adontimasu 5 years ago
adontimasu
Oh, that's a damn shame!
Posted by RyuuKyuzo 5 years ago
RyuuKyuzo
This will be one hell of as good debate if the right opponent comes along ^^
Posted by adontimasu 5 years ago
adontimasu
Indeed. I'm eager to see who accepts it, and how they do against it. :)
Posted by mstrainjr 5 years ago
mstrainjr
I know, I know. I always throw out so much info when I discuss this topic with others. This is a lot to absorb, and it would probably take some studying for someone to answer. I promise this would be a great challenge, though.
Posted by adontimasu 5 years ago
adontimasu
Not a problem, mate. Although, it probably would have been better for you to wait for your opponent's arguments before you posted yours. I say this, because the burden of proof is on your opponent. Other than that, this should be a very interesting debate. Just some thoughts for your next instigated debate. :)
Posted by mstrainjr 5 years ago
mstrainjr
That would be great. Thanks! I'm new to this site, so I don't know anyone here. =)
Posted by adontimasu 5 years ago
adontimasu
I bet stubs or acvavra would like this debate. I'll message them with it.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ron-Paul 5 years ago
Ron-Paul
mstrainjrRationalMadmanTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession.