Is it true that the doctrine of Jesus being God came from the Old Testament which foretold that God would become man? The Church nods but we must shake our heads.

GENESIS 1:26. God says that he is an us implying that there are a number of persons in one God. This is supposed to show that Jesus was God the Son, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.

If God is more than one person that does not imply that one of these persons became Jesus Christ.  There could be a God the Son but who didn’t become Jesus.

It is most probable that the plural in Genesis is what the Jews always said it was, just a way of expressing the plurality of God’s majesty. It is a method of emphasising God’s majesty though it is but one majesty by calling it majesties. It is a meaningful exaggeration. The same device turns up in Psalm 145:5, “The glorious splendour of Your majesty”. The glory of your glory is saying that the glory is glorious which makes no sense verbally. But it is just a way of showing it cannot be exaggerated.

It is sometimes said that the plurality of majesty is not used with verbs.  Maybe not but this is not a text written in any conventional way so who knows?

ISAIAH 9:6. “To us a Child is born…and his name shall be called…Mighty God, Everlasting Father [of eternity], Prince of Peace.”

It is odd that all these things are not his names but his name. This indicates that he will bear a name that will carry all these meanings inside it. Jesus only means God saves and it cannot have these meanings. And if Isaiah meant name as in title then that does not mean that Jesus or whoever is mighty God but bears the honorary title of mighty God.

The Hebrew word for God in this is El and El means strength. The name Yahweh or Jehovah is not used here. El was applied to kings and judges but they could not be called Yahweh or Jehovah.

If my name is Daniel which means Divine Judge would that mean I am asking to be considered God? Proof that the verse does not say that the child is God but bears the names of God like most Hebrews of the time did is in the title Prince of Peace. A man who is God could not be a Prince for he is God the King.

In Genesis 5, the birth of a man called Mahalalel is mentioned. Mahalalel means the Blessed God.

In Isaiah 7:14, we read that a child will be born who is Emmanuel which means God is with us. The verse is traditionally and incorrectly taken as a prophecy of Christ. It is also supposed that the name Emmanuel proves that the child is God with us which is going beyond the text. The child was not Jesus but another child who would get Israel out of trouble in the time of King Ahaz and he was named Emmanuel for he was evidence that God was with his people in their troubles.

Isaiah only says what the child will be called and gives no approval though it hints that the child will be greatly esteemed. Yet this verse is supposed to prove Jesus was fully God. Emmanuel could have been a title rather than a name or it could have been a nickname.

Exodus 23:20, 21 says that God’s name was in this angel that looked after Israel so he was God to them. Also, Moses was God to Aaron (Exodus 4:16). The Elohim in Genesis can be understood both in a plural and singular sense though it is a plural word (page 24, Jesus God the Son or Son of God?). It refers to the angels together with God at times for in Exodus 3 Elohim speaks through the burning bush and then we are told that it is an angel. So, there was a tradition in the Bible for beings with God’s authority to be called God.

If the New Testament calls Jesus God then how can we trust it when the Old Testament never supports this practice? Jesus said that the Old Testament texts were superior to his revelation for they were his credentials. He even told a parable to say that it was better to listen to the Law of Moses and the Prophets than even to listen to a man who came back from the dead for they were more convincing.
MICAH 5:2. The King of Israel shall be born in Bethlehem and his origin and his actions are from eternity (mee mai-oulum). This is thought to prove that Jesus had no origin and must be God for only God is uncreated.

Only the activity of the Ruler has no origin. It is true that the verse may mean this or then again it might not so it proves nothing about this man being as self-existent or eternal as God and therefore God. There is no past or future in eternity so Jesus could have been created by God and still work in all eternity for Jesus was taken out of time into eternity to sit at God’s right hand. The verse does not prove that the Messiah would be God.

The work of the Messiah is the work of God and in that sense it has no origin. The Messiah has his origin from eternity and eternity can mean God himself. It’s a way of saying that the Messiah was God’s creation in a special way.
The Old Testament was reputed among the early Christians to have stated that the Christ would die for sins and rise again. If there are any texts that refer to him as a God-man and one to whom worship is due and one who is the chief ruler of the universe next to God then it follows they refer to somebody else because the Bible is clear that since idols are not gods for they can be smashed up implying that anyone who dies on a cross cannot be prophesied in those texts for he can’t be God.

A CALL TO HERESY, Robert Van de Weyer, Lamp Press, London, 1989
ALLEGED DISCREPANCIES OF THE BIBLE, John W Haley, Whitaker House, Pennsylvania, undated
ASKING THEM QUESTIONS, Various, Oxford University Press, London, 1936
CHRIST IS GOD, Rev JP Arendzen DD, Augustine Publishing Company, Devon, 1987
CHRIST OUR LIGHT, J Buys SJ Geoffrey Chapman and Gill & Son, London-Melbourne, Dublin 1966
CHRISTIANITY FOR THE TOUGH-MINDED Ed John Warwick Montgomery, Bethany Fellowship Inc, Minneapolis, 1973
CTS EXPLANATIONS, Jehovah’s Witnesses, by John Wijngaards, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1998
DID JESUS CHRIST REALLY COME DOWN FROM HEAVEN? Alan Hayward, Christadelphian ALS, Birmingham
DO CHRISTIANS BELIEVE IN THREE GODS? Radio Bible Class, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1992
EVIDENCE THAT DEMANDS A VERDICT, Vol 1, Josh McDowell, Alpha, Scripture Press Foundation, Bucks, 1995
FOUR GREAT HERESIES, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1975
GOD AND THE HUMAN CONDITION, F J Sheed, Sheed & Ward, London 1967
HANDBOOK OF CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS, Peter Kreeft & Ronald Tacelli, Monarch, East Sussex, 1994
HERESIES AND HOW TO AVOID THEM, Editors Ben Quash and Michael Ward, SPCK, London, 2007
HONEST TO GOD, John AT Robinson, SCM Press, London, 1963
IS JESUS GOD? Richard Swinburne, Oxford, New York, 2008
JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES John Wijngaards, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1998
JESUS AND EARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE GOSPELS, Daniel J Grolin, George Ronald, Oxford, 2002
JESUS GOD THE SON OR SON OF GOD? Fred Pearce Christadelphian Publishing Office, Birmingham
MERE CHRISTIANITY, CS Lewis, Fontana, Glasgow, 1975
MIRACLES, CS Lewis, Fontana, London, 1960
PRIESTLAND’S PROGRESS, Gerald Priestland, BBC, London, 1981
SCIENCE AND THE BIBLE, Henry Morris, Moody Press, Bucks, 1988
SET MY EXILES FREE, John Power, Logos Books, MH Gill & Son Ltd, Dublin, 1967
SOME MODERN FAITHS, Maurice C Burrell and J Stafford Wright, Intervarsity Press, Leicestershire, 1988
THE CASE FOR CHRIST, Lee Strobel, HarperCollins and Zondervan, Michigan, 1998
THE EARLY CHURCH, Henry Chadwick, Pelican, Middlesex, 1987
THE GODHEAD EXPLAINED, Christadelphian Press, Beverley, South Australia
THE METAPHOR OF GOD INCARNATE, John Hick, SCM Press, London, 1993
THE MYTH OF GOD INCARNATE, John Hick ed., SCM Press, London, 1977
THE NEW CULTS, Walter Martin, Vision House, Santa Ana, California, 1980
THE SPIRIT OF GOD, John Bedson, Lightstand Burbank CA 1984
THE UNAUTHORISED VERSION, Robin Lane Fox, Penguin Books, Middlesex, 1992
UNDERSTANDING THE CULTS, Josh McDowell and Don Stewart, Campus Crusade for Christ, San Bernardino, 1983
UNITARIAN CHRISTIANITY AND OTHER ESSAYS, William Ellery Channing, The Bobs-Merrill Company Inc, Kansas, 1957
YOU CAN LIVE FOREVER IN PARADISE ON EARTH, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, New York, 1982
Kevin Quick discusses the Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that the Bible never says that Jesus is God
Father and/or Son by H Wayne Hamburger

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