Jesus never claimed to be God.
Because this debate is five rounds, and the purpose of the first round wasn't specified, I'm going to use it as acceptance.
So I accept this debate.
You mentioned in the comments box that Jesus stated that he was God when he apparently said 'I am' and that when he was on trial he did not deny that he was God. Firstly these are two separate occasions that you are referring to. Let me explain the first point.
What God said to Abraham in Exodus 3:14 was 'I am what I am'. What Jesus said to the scribes who sought to kill him in John 8:58 was 'before Abraham was I am' then he turned around and ran away because they were throwing stones at him in order to kill him. Clearly he was interrupted and did not finish his sentence to avoid being stoned to death.
Now some say that it is a mistranslation and that a more honest one would be that Jesus said 'before Abraham was I was. In this case he is simply saying that he existed before Abraham. If however we are to assume that it is the correct translation and that when Jesus said 'I am' he meant 'God' then he is still not claiming to be God because the sentence reads, 'before Abraham was, God. If John 8:58 read that Jesus said 'before Abraham was, I am I am' then it could possibly read that he is actually claiming to be God but it does not and therefore he did not claim to be God.
The trial that you confused Jesus' 'I am' statement with is that of Joseph Caiaphas trying to find something, anything that he could accuse Jesus of in order to kill him. He never accused Jesus of being God and Jesus did not state that he was.
In the comments you also stated that you have recently become a Christian. It's wonderful to hear that you found Christ, I'm pleased for you. Hopefully this debate will give you the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the Gospels and what Jesus taught. The more you read the Bible the more you'll discover that Jesus did not claim to be God and gave us strict instructions to only worship our heavenly Father.
Which is the first commandment of all?
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:
Thanks for that post.
I should remind my opponent that the comments are not part of the debate. They're comments about the debate. No rules were stated in the first round, and no extensive arguments were made, so I assumed it was an acceptance round.
I'm not going to provide my supporting case, showing everywhere in the Gospels that Jesus claimed to be God, explain how the idea is Biblical and refute my opponent's case.
1) In John 14:9 Jesus says, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?"
Jesus literally equated himself with God in that statement. I don't see another way to interpret it.
2) In John 8:58 Jesus says, “Very truly I tell you, before Abraham was born, I am!”
No one can make that claim besides someone eternal (like God). And no one in the Bible besides God makes the claim "I am" as a form of identity.
3) John 5:17-18 literally makes the statement that Jesus equated himself with God. "17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God." Unless my opponent wants to argue that parts of the Bible are not true, this means that Jesus did claim equality with God, which would have to make Him God.
4) Mark 2:5-7, 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
So Jesus claims the ability to forgive sins.
25 “I, even I, am he who blots out
your transgressions, for my own sake,
and remembers your sins no more.
God is the only one who forgives sins, because humans forgiving sins is worthless other than like accepting an apology. But the term sin, which refers to an evil committed against each other, and by extension against God, is something only God can forgive. That's why it upset the Pharisees so much.
5) Biblical importance of Jesus' divinity
God is eternal, and all sins, as I said, are sins against him. If a sin is against God, by extension, it must be an infinitely great sin. God wouldn't be bothered by something finite. So sins are infinitely applicable. The only way to be cleansed of your sins is through sacrifice, whereas God reappropriates your sin to someone or something innocent, like lambs in the old testament.
In order for all of us to be saved, it must be true that an eternal and pure sacrifice was made. If Jesus is not eternal and pure, then his death and resurrection is literally meaningless. He's just a martyr who got brought back from the dead. In fact, most of the New Testament becomes meaningless. We must follow Levitical Law in order to be saved.
Therefore, my opponent's position is actually very unbiblical.
6) The doctrine of the trinity
While the trinity isn't necessarily in question under the resolution, it is important for the topic to understand Jesus as God. Here's the best way to think of the trinity. The three parts are just God's three jobs. For example, Jesus was God's salvation to the world, God the Father is the creator and ruler of the universe, and the Holy Spirit is just God's guiding voice.
None of these things imply that the doctrine of the trinity is implying three different Gods. All of them are the same God. They're definable as different persons, because they have distinctly different jobs and personalities associated with those jobs. However, that's not to say that those are not compatible in the same being who holds all of those personalites. It just makes sense to make the distinction in order to help us understand God better.
Now onto my opponent's case:
R1) Mark 14:53-65
55 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any. 56 Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree.
57 Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him: 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with human hands and in three days will build another, not made with hands.’” 59 Yet even then their testimony did not agree.
60 Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” 61 But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer.
Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”62 “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Jesus claimed to be God right there. He didn't even just say "yes." He said "I am" as in "I am God."
The Sanhedrin couldn't have convicted him if he said "No." He would've gone free and lived. Would Jesus have condemned himself to death for that claim if he wasn't actually God? It wouldn't make any sense.
I don't know how much more clear you can get.
So unless you believe that certain parts of the Bible are untrue, like extremely important verses that disagree with your personal belief about God, then you cannot say that Jesus never claimed to be God.
R2) The rest of that is kind of irrelevant if my opponent is wrong. Right now, it kind of seems like he's wrong.
Thank you for reading.
Please let us not allow our debate to be stale. I will address each and every point that you make so I kindly request that you offer me the same courtesy. In round two I explained to you why Jesus saying "Before Abraham was I am" cannot be given as evidence of Jesus claiming to be God. You must either concede that it is not clear evidence of Jesus claiming to be God or provide a counter argument ideally based on Biblical evidence to my explanation. If you do not do this then it appears that you are not paying attention and engaging with my arguments and therefore our debate will be stale and meaningless.
Let me make it clear that I am approaching this debate with the belief that the Bible is true however it cannot always be taken literally, it is often misinterpreted and in some places mistranslated. If I did not think that it was based on truth then our debate would be rendered pointless.
I will address all of your points individually.
1) In John 14:9 Jesus says, "Don"t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, "Show us the Father"?"
If we read the following verse (John 14:10) then it becomes clear that Jesus is not saying that he is God, he claims no ownership over what he says and does, he clarifies that it is not from him but from God.
'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.'
2) I have previously refuted this point in round two.
3) Isaiah and many others preceding Jesus also referred to God as their Father yet we do not see this as an indication of any of them being divine and equating themselves with God.
'But now, O LORD, thou art our father' (Isaiah 64:8)
'Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.' (Isaiah 63:16)
'Thou shalt call me, My father; and shalt not turn away from me.' (Jeremiah 3:19)
4-5) When the disciples received the Holy Spirit they had the right, the absolute authority to forgive the sins of anyone;
"Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained." John 20:22-23
It is made clear that the disciple"s authority to forgive anyone"s sins is accredited to by their receiving of the Holy Spirit. It is the presence of the Holy Spirit forgiving the sins of anyone. God had invested his Holy Spirit in Jesus in John chapter 1 verse 32 to 33;
"And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost".
God"s spirit descended and remained in Jesus without measure;
"For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him." John 3:34
The Bible does not read that Jesus had the power to forgive sin because he was God. Jesus was not assuming the place and role of the entire Temple sacrificial system authorized by God, it is the Spirit of God invested in him that forgave the sinners. Jesus did not think of himself in God's appropriate place if it is by the Spirit of God that the forgiveness takes place. Jesus cannot be a broker between man and God for forgiveness when the very Spirit of God abides in him without limits.
The teachers of the law knew that the scriptures stated that only God can forgive sin making it blasphemous for a man to forgive sin but the Bible reads that Jesus was neither blaspheming nor claiming divinity as he attributed his power to forgive sin to God not to himself.
"Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me." John 17:7
The teachers of the law did not think that Jesus ought to have the power to forgive sin but there is no reason to believe that they accused him of claiming to be God. The huge crowd of witnesses to Jesus forgiving sin did not result in them believing that Jesus was God; on the contrary the Bible reads that it was God that gave Jesus the power; that is at least what the crowed were lead to believed;
'But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.' Matthew 9:8
6) The doctrine of the trinity is not found in the Bible. There is no Biblical evidence for its existence whatsoever. If you want to use the trinity as prove of Jesus being God then you need to provide clear Biblical evidence of it being defined. I will give you clear Biblical evidence that only the Creator is God and believing that anything or anyone else could be God is pagan and is breaking Gods first commandment.
1."there is no one like Yahweh our God." Exodus 8:10
2."Yahweh, He is God; there is no other besides Him." Deuteronomy 4:35
3.Yahweh, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other." Deuteronomy 4:39
4."Hear, O Israel! Yahweh is our God, Yahweh is one [echad]!" Deuteronomy 6:4
5.Yahweh is God; there is no one else." 1 Kings 8:60
6."You alone are Yahweh." Nehemiah 9:6
7."Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me." Isaiah 43:10
8."I am Yahweh, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God." Isaiah 45:5
9."I am Yahweh, and there is none else." Isaiah 45:18
10."Is it not I, Yahweh? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Saviour; There is none except Me." Isaiah 45:21
1.'Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; " Mark 12:29
2."you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?" John 5:44
3."For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus," 1 Timothy 2:5
4."You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder." James 2:19
R1) Mark 14:53-65 Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?" "I am," said Jesus. "You write, 'Jesus claimed to be God right there. He didn't even just say "yes." He said "I am" as in "I am God."'The high priest did not ask him "are you God" and Jesus said "I am". That is not how the conversation went at all. The high priest asked him "Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?". The Gospel of Mark states that Jesus confirmed that he was the son of God and the messiah, not that he was God. In the Gospel of Mark he is documented as confirming this by saying "I am". In the Gospel of Matthew he is accused of being 'the Christ, the Son of God', Jesus confirms that he is by saying, "Thou hast said". In the Gospel of Luke Jesus is asked, Art thou then the Son of God? He confirms this by saying, 'Ye say that I am.' As you can see he is not documented as saying 'I am' in all of the Gospels and as I pointed out to you in round two it makes no sense concluding from Jesus saying 'I am' that he is claiming to be God.
The Bible does not state that being the Messiah and/or the son of God is the same as being God. The messianic expectations were not that the Messiah would be God. The Bible teaches us that it is not possible for any man to be God -
' God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, (Numbers 23:19)
'for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee:' (Hosea 11:9)
In order for you to believe that Jesus is God then it is you that must believe that certain parts of the Bible are untrue, like extremely important verses that disagree with your personal belief about Jesus being God.
If you want to follow the teachings of Jesus then listen to what HE ACTUALLY SAYS.
'If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:' John 8:54
"Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him." (John 13:16)
"For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak." John 12:49
"for my Father is greater than I" (John 14:18)
"My Father is greater than all". (John 10:29)
And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. (Luke 18:19)
But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God (John 8:40)
"Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. There is none other commandment greater than these. And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:"
When you take the time to study what Jesus said it becomes irrefutably clear that he never equates himself with God.
I look forward to your response, many thanks.
Thank you for that response. I'm going to go back and do a point-by-point rebuttal.
However, before I begin, I'd like to point ou that my opponent dropped my 5th point. He grouped 4 and 5 together and only addressed 4. Point 5 was concerning the significance of Jesus being God, and I made the point that the New Testament can only be true if Jesus was God. The message that we are saved by God's grace is a lie under my opponent's side of the resolution. It was not refuted in the last round; therefore, it must be a conceded point.
1) We need to remember something. My opponent doesn't want to take the entire Bible literally. I don't disagree, for example, Proverbs was not a rule book, and Revelation wasn't meant to be taken literally after the letters at the beginning.
My opponent is taking this passage literally. Instead of it being a sentence referencing the dualistic nature of Jesus (being God in spirit and human in body) that actually equates Jesus' spirit with God's, he's taking it literally. So if we can't take all of my verses literally, I don't see why we can take all of my opponent's verses literally.
Let me go to the original Greek text.
Later in that verse where it says "dwelleth," the original Greek word is meno, which has roughly three different meanings. It could mean "continue," "to dwell," or "to wait for or stay" .
So it's probably not the last one, but if the word can mean "to continue" or "to dwell." If you're not necessarily taking this literally, as Jesus often spoke kind of subtly or in an artistic manner. So if you take it this way "God continues in Jesus" what can that mean? Well it can be a more shallow meaning like when someone's memory continues in someone else, but it can be taken that God is Jesus, and that's how he is furthering or continuing himself on earth.
2) Going back to the same verse in the original Greek, Jesus is not using the term I Am to refer to God other than himself . I is said as ego, which is always used to identify onesself, and eimi, which is always used as "to be" or "to exist." This is the statement God makes to imply self-sufficiency.
This is the signficance of making that statement. God is self-sufficient, meaning he needs nothing to survive. For God to say "I am" means that he is no matter what. He is self-sufficient. Everything else "is because..." but God just "is."
Jesus said it in the same way that God does. He makes the self-sufficient statement of God. Before, Abraham was born, Jesus was.
3) My opponent disagreed with the Bible.
The Bible specifically said that Jesus equated himself with God. Jesus made a statement that equated himself with God. That's what the Bible says. My opponent must explain why that specific phrase there is not true or is not to be taken literally if he is to defeat this argument. And again, to address the original Greek, isos does mean "equal," "on an equality," or "consistent."
4) Prepare for a long quote:
"After being baptized, the Lord baptized, not with that baptism wherewith He was baptized." Wherefore, since He Himself baptized with His own baptism, it follows that He was not baptized with His own, but with John's baptism. And this was befitting: first, because John's baptism was peculiar in this, that he baptized, not in the Spirit, but only "in water"; while Christ did not need spiritual baptism, since He was filled with the grace of the Holy Ghost from the beginning of His conception, as we have made clear above (Question 34, Article 1). And this is the reason given by Chrysostom (Hom. de Bapt. Christi). Secondly, as Bede says on Mark 1:9, He was baptized with the baptism of John, that, "by being thus baptized, He might show His approval of John's baptism." Thirdly, as Gregory Nazianzen says (Orat. xxxix), "by going to John to be baptized by him, He sanctified baptism." - Augustine (Super Joan., Tract. xiii)
Allow me to provide a summarized and hopefully more clear version. Augustine is saying that the whole point of God sending his spirit was to affirm what John said. John had said that he baptized with water, but God would baptize with the spirit. God also sent His spirit down from heaven to publicly announce that Jesus was the Messiah.
Back to the original Greek, God's Spirit is described as being his pneuma, which is just the form of his spirit. Most often it's used to describe a disembodied spirit or a spirit being distinguished from a physical being. And the word descending, katabain!3;, just means to come down or fall down . The verse doesn't say anything about God suddenly inhabiting Jesus' body with his spirit.
5) As stated above, my opponent dropped this entire point.
6) My opponent must have misread my point. I never claimed that there were any other God's besides God himself. All I did was describe the different jobs of God in the trinity, but they are all still one God. My opponent even agrees with one of them. The Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost is just God's spirit directly interacting with Man. It's different than God's usual personality or job, so we can define it as the Holy Spirit. That doesn't make it a different person. It's just another way in which God relates to us.
When Jesus says to baptize in the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, he is implying that God is definable as three different persons. Himself, The Father, and the Holy Spirit.
It's not unbiblical, and it's not something that implies there are three Gods. I did my best to explain this in the last round.
Perhaps if my opponent could explain what it is that I'm not clear on, I could better explain my point.
R1) I agree not all Gospels say the same exact thing. However, the difference between Christ and Messiah is arbitrary. Both were derived from the same Greek work Christos in the text. As for Jesus not saying, "I am" in all the texts, he basically says it in other ways in the other texts. In the other texts where he says "you say that I am" Jesus actually uses the word hoti, which in most cases actually means "because" or "seeing that."
If you put the sentence back together that way, Jesus essentially says "I am," and Mark put it in more plain terms.
R2) On the Messianic expectations.
Actually in Isaiah 9:6 it says, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
This is one of the Messianic prophesies. Jesus brought the new "government," which means he replaced the Levitical Law with the New Testament (or the new covenant). Keep in mind, this is something he could not have done if he had not been God. This point remains true as it is unrefuted.
Aside from that, an angel confirms the identity of Jesus in Luke 2:9, "this very day there has been born to you, in the city of David, a savior who is Messiah, the Lord." The word for Lord "Kyrios" is also used for God specifically .
These verses are intended to fulfill the Messianic prophecy, that Jesus is God.
R3) Line-by-line analysis of what Jesus said.
John 8:54 - the word doxazo is also used to say "adore" or "to worship" when it says glorify or "honoureth". God would only use such a strong word for Himself. So we can conclude that Jesus simply means that God affirms Jesus as being Himself while He is setting an example for the rest of them.
In other words, Jesus doesn't find signficance in his human actions but in the fact that he is God.
John 13:16 - I don't see the significance here. Jesus is saying he's not greater than God the Father. That doesn't mean that he's less than God either. It just means that God the Father should not be considered any less important than Jesus.
John 12:49 - This is just Jesus reaffirming his authority. He had to tie himself to God the Father in order to establish credibility. Jesus is saying he's not just a man.
Think about it like this. Jesus had the body of a man and the spirit of God. So Jesus, speaking from his dualistic nature again, says that God is the one that is using the body of Jesus to fulfill his commandments, even as far as to say the Messianic prophecies.
John 14:18 - this verse doesn't say "for my father is greater than I" therefore, I cannot properly refute the point.
John 10:29 - God has spoken in third person before. It's not ridiculous to think that God in the form of Jesus made the statement "God is greater than all" and just be referring to everyone else.
Luke 18:19 - Jesus was making a point by asking the question. Why would someone call Jesus good if he wasn't God? Jesus responded to a lot of statements with thought provoking statements. In this case, he's not shifting goodness to someone other than himself. He knew the intentions of the rulers heart was still self-centered, and maybe Jesus just wanted to get him to think about what he was saying.
John 8:40 - The word "of" comes from the word "para" that can actually mean several different things, but all of them are more significant than just receiving information. It implies a source of origin, it implies kinship or direct relation, it implies his own substance, and it even implies that he is with or in God. All of these things imply a very profound connection with God the father way beyond just receiving information.
I hope I have cleared this up by explaining some of the original text. These books were originally written in Greek not English. Hopefully by showing that these words aren't exactly the way my opponent has them translated in the KJV and aren't entirely accurate in the way they may be represented in other translations.
Dave.Carter forfeited this round.
5 - The divinity of Jesus is obviously a major misinterpretation. The fact that you are misinterpreting the Bible does not therefore render it meaningless.
The Bible tells us that Jesus was resurrected and then assented to the Father and remained at his side, so where is the sacrifice? There is none. Do you honestly think that God the Almighty Creator of all things really required innocent pure blood to be spilt in order to enable people to be forgiven? This is not simply paganism, it is Satanic. This interpretation of the NT that you have come to understand is not the message of Jesus,
But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Matthew 9:13)
But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. ( Matthew 12:7)
1) The translation of men" into 'dwel'l is logical. When Jesus spoke and done Godly things he said that it was not from him but from God. Thinking this means that Jesus is God is illogical. If God was furthering or continuing himself on earth by being Jesus then why did he not speak for himself?
2) I agree with you that Jesus is referring to himself and not God when he says I am. I also agree with your interpretation 'Before, Abraham was born, Jesus was'. We can positively assert that Jesus claimed that he existed before Abraham. That is all. Claiming that Jesus meant it in the exaggerated way that you suggest rendering him God is not justified. I have no problem with believing that Jesus did exist before Abram. The Bible after all does tell us that Jesus was created by God prior to Abraham. Of course if you are one of Gods creations then you cannot be God.
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: (Colossians 1:15)
3) Jesus was being accused of making himself equal with God. Jesus did not say I am equal to God using the word 'isos'. The Bible tells us that this is why the Jews wanted to kill him. They were constantly looking for a reason to kill him. Did Jesus say that God is his father and only his father? No. He said he is your father and my father, your God and my God. (John 20:17)
4) God's spirit descended and remained in Jesus without measure. Here we have the Greek word 'men"' used again in John 1:32. This may not fit in with your understanding of Jesus being God, but it is exactly what the Bible says. Why would God's spirit descend from above into Jesus and dwell in him if he was actually God?
6) Matthew 28:19 is an altered verse. The original Greek text does not say Baptise in the name of the father, son and holy spirit. There are some things that have been proven to have been added to the Bible. Please do some further research into this rather than just disagree with me or indeed take my word for it. "Go and make disciples of all nations in my name." was what the original text (in Greek of course) said. This is in line with all of the other verses in the Bible that instruct who to baptise people in the name of.
R1) It proves nothing that Jesus claimed to be Christ or Messiah. Neither of them imply that he was God. Both of these words mean anointed one. Why would that ever be given as a title to God, it makes no sense and it is not what it means
R2) Isaiah 9:6 - Christians do not believe that Jesus is the everlasting Father. Isaiah referred to Eliakim as 'a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah (Isaiah 22:21). Isaiah wrote this about Eliakim figuratively. When he writes that the Messiah will be called 'The everlasting Father' he clearly is writing this figuratively, referring to him representing the Father because the Messiah is never actually called 'The everlasting Father'. Yahweh is the Hebrew word used exclusively for God. El is not exclusively used for God it can also be attributed to men. Was Jesus a mighty man that represented the Father God? Yes, of course. The Hebrew speaking Rabbis never interpreted this verse to mean that the Messiah will be God. He was (and still is) expected to be human, not God.
Luke 2:11(not 9)- Kyrios is sometimes used for God but it is routinely used for men. It is a common Greek word still used today, a polite way to address a man, sir. It can also mean master. Yes it is also attributed to God also but this cannot be given as evidence of Jesus being named God even if God is referred to with the same title in the same verse.
R3) John 8:54 - doxa can simply mean approval, it is not as you say only an expression for honouring God. If Jesus is God then he would doxas!3; (glorify) himself because God receives all the Glory. Perhaps you think that when he does this particular job as the saviour Jesus he also ceases to maintain all of his characteristics. God does not change is characteristics.
John 13:16 - Jesus is making it plain and simple for you to understand that God is greater than he is.
John 12:49 - If God is simply speaking through Jesus then Jesus is not God he is a prophet. If you are claiming that Jesus is God then he would take responsibility for the things that he says. It is against Gods nature to do otherwise. God does not Change his nature.
For I am the LORD, I change not (Malachi 3:6)
John 10:29 - I agree with you , it could also be interpreted that way also.
Here is the correct verse. John 14:28,
Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
Let's assume that the rich man Jesus was talking to had no idea that Jesus was God. This is a reasonable assumption because those that Jesus preached to did not believe that he was God, they took him to be a prophet. Could we really possibly imagine that when the rich man called Jesus good and Jesus replied "why call me good, only the Father in heaven is good" that the man would interpret that to mean that Jesus meant he was God? If you said to a man 'excuse me my good man' and he said to you, why call me good, only God is good then would you honestly think that the man was suggesting that he was God? You are twisting common sense to fit a false doctrine.
Thank you for your response. I'm going to finish this up.
I'm going to start by addressing my fifth point and explain its signficance in the debate. After that, I'm going to try to go down the biggest points in the debate, and see if I can provide a full rebuttal (and I'm changing the numbers since this has become a list of summary points, not necessarily a continuation of the arguments from last round).
1) Jesus was a sacrifice for the world:
Romans 3:25 "God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood--to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished--"
My opponent claims that Jesus was not a sacrifice because God does not require one. However, I'm going to explain the way that contradicts the Bible aside from that last verse blatantly saying that Jesus was a sacrifice for sin.
God has required sacrifice. In Levitical Law, God required sacrifices of the Hebrews. Sacrificing animals would've served no purpose unless God actually needed a sacrifice. The other laws did have a purpose. For example, they weren't allowed to eat certain animals due to diseases they could contract if they didn't cook it right. They weren't allowed to have tattoos mainly because that involved digging a rock into their skin and use crude ink, which led to diseases. However, there is no benefit to sacrificing other than God using it to cleanse their sins.
Why does God require sacrifice? God is a God of justice as well as love. Sins are committed against him, and he must punish those according to his own nature (a nature that does not change ever). Animals are finite, therefore, God required sacrifices on them regularly to attone for sin. The reason God sacrificed himself as the person Jesus is because he needed an eternal sacrifice to be able to give mercy to people just for loving him. If Jesus was not God or perfect, then the death on the cross would've been meaningless, and the whole New Testament would've been largely false.
If God never required sacrifice then most of the old testament is unneceessary. God would have just show mercy to people. Israel's role would've been completely unnecessary. God would've just gone around forgiving people, and the world would live happily ever after. God would've never asked for sacrifices in Levitical Law.
This point is important.
Because my opponent cannot uphold the Bible on his side, it is impossible for him to affirm a Biblical statement.
2) Messianic prophesies.
I disagree with my opponent's interpretation of the verse in Isaiah. First of all, Jesus could not have made the New Covenant if he was just a man. Only the Everlasting Father (directly meaning God) could have done that. And back to my point up there, it's impossible without Jesus being God.
For Isaiah to call Jesus the Everlasting Father is absurd without actually implying that he is.
I would also like to point out that the angels address Jesus as "the Lord." They used a definitive article in that case. Also, they would've been lying to call him a lord as a man. Jesus was not a lord. He wasn't even close. Jesus was a homeless man. Angels don't lie.
This point is extremely important, because this is the Bible saying that Jesus is God.
And one more time, I'll bring up John 5:17-18, which again states, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God."
This verse is the Bible stating that Jesus equated himself with God. My opponent hasn't addressed here why the Bible is wrong in that statement.
3) The point of Jesus was to be humbled.
The Bible (specifically Paul) seems amazed that Jesus would lower himself to being a servant and submit himself to death on a cross. This isn't really that amazing if Jesus is just a man, because he doesn't really have a choice in the matter. It's just a fact. If he's God then that is amazing, and you can find the purpose to be that God wanted to live a perfect life as a model for our own.
Aside from that, if Jesus had gone around telling everyone he was God, no one would've listened to him, and he would've been killed a lot sooner. All of Israel basically would've hated him if everything about him was the same except that he was claiming to be God. God is an effective God.
4) Jesus casting doubt on the fact that he is God.
In some ways, Jesus wanted to show us how to live, as stated above.
However, it is reasonable for Jesus being God to also say that God the Father is greater than him. God's spirit can live in a man just as their spirit. However, a human body cannot manifest God's full power, meaning that Jesus was God only in spirit, not in power. His body was still that of a man, not taking away from the fact that he was God (because our body does not define who we are), but the body of Jesus was limited. Therefore Jesus could be God and still say, "The Father is greater than I." Jesus could speak like this in truth his entire ministry and still be God.
So under my interpretation of the Bible, the entire Bible is coherent. However, as explained in my first point, the Bible is not coherent under my opponent's side. Thank you for reading this debate.
|Agreed with before the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Agreed with after the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Who had better conduct:||-||-||1 point|
|Had better spelling and grammar:||-||-||1 point|
|Made more convincing arguments:||-||-||3 points|
|Used the most reliable sources:||-||-||2 points|
|Total points awarded:||0||7|