The Divinity of Jesus


1. Where in the Bible is the divinity of Christ?

In many places. The most obvious are where Jesus is called God: "My lord and my God!" (John 20:30), "They shall call him...Mighty God," (Isaiah 9:6), "[He was named] Emmanuel, which means, God with us," (Matthew 1:23), "the Word was God...and the Word became flesh," (John 1:1, 14), "The only-begotten God, who is at the Father's side..." (John 1:18), "to the Son he says, Your throne, O God, is forever and ever," (Hebrews 1:8), "our great God and Savior Jesus Christ," (Titus 2:13), "our God and Savior Jesus Christ," (2 Peter 1:1), "He is the true God and eternal life." (1 John 5:20) In Mark 14:61-62, Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, and that is claiming divinity in the same way that claiming to be a son of man is claiming humanity. A dog's son is canine, and a man's son is human. So also a God's son is divine, and "God's Son" is exactly who Jesus claimed to be.

2. "The Word was God" isn't a true translation. It should say "The Word was a god."

"The Word was God" is the correct translation of John 1:1. The Greek word "theos" means God, and it is the same in the phrase "the Word was with God" and in the phrase "The Word was God." There is no difference in the word "theos," which means God, and the difference people always point to is only about the words preceding "theos." In some places, a definite article is used before the word "God," and in this place, it is not. It is only a difference between "God" and "The God." John 1:1 calls Jesus "God" instead of "The God" and people want to make a big difference out of that, but there is none. It is still a way of pointing out His divinity and His status as God made man.

3. Jesus never claimed to be God.

He did make that claim, and He made it in several ways. One is by saying, "Before Abraham was, I am." John 8:58. "I am" was the name of God spoken to Moses in Exodus 3:14-15. "Thus you shall say to them: I AM sent me to you. ... This is my name forever, this is my title for all generations." By claiming that title, Jesus was claiming to be God. Another way He claimed to be God was by claiming to be able to forgive sins, and the reason why is this: when someone forgives you of your sins, they are assuming that they are the one who has been wronged. So if you step on my foot, I can forgive you, because it was my foot that was stepped on. But if someone else comes along and forgives you for harming me, you would wonder what right that person has to do that. Well, Jesus did that all the time, as if He was the chief person offended in every transgression. That shows who He considered Himself to be, and we need to take that into account when we are talking about it. Jesus also said, "I and the Father are one." John 10:30. That means He is divine, because the Father who He identifies as being "one" with is divine Himself.

4. "Before Abraham was, I am" is taken out of context. He existed before Abraham, but He was not God.

It is not taken out of context. He did not merely claim to exist before Abraham. He did not say "I existed before Abraham," but "I am," which is exactly the name God revealed for Himself. Jesus now claims it for His own self. There is divinity in that name, and Jesus claims it: that is claiming to be God.

5. "I and the Father are One" is taken out of context. It only means they were one in will.

It is not taken out of context. They were one in will too, but they were one in the divine nature first. Look, if a man claims that he and his spouse are one, he can say that because both of them are human, and male and female human nature is meant for coming together as one. And if Jesus claims that He and His Father are one, He can only say that if both of them are divine, and if the same nature is shared by both of them. The explanation that they are one in will just won't cut it. Angels and priests want the same things, but a priest still cannot say "I and my angel are one," because they are of a different nature and to be "one" implies a sharing in a common nature. So for Jesus to say "I and the Father are one" is to imply that He has the same nature as the Father, and that is divinity. So it is a claim to be divine.

6. Paul and Barnabbas were also one (1 Corinthians 3:8) but they weren't each other.

That is true, and Jesus isn't the Father -- He is the Son. But they are both God, just as Paul and Barnabbas were both human. They could claim to be one because they shared the same nature through which they accomplished their common mission. And so that is just another proof that in claiming to be one with a God, Jesus was showing Himself divine, just as St. Paul showed himself to be human by claiming to be one with Barnabbas.

7. Jesus wasn't God, He was the Son of God.

"I'm not man, I'm the son of a man." Do you see the problem with that statement? If Jesus is the Son of a God He has to be divine, because whoever you're the son of is who you get your nature from. A fish's son has a fish nature, and a cow's son has a cow nature. What does the son of God have? A God nature. That makes Jesus divine. And since there is only one God, that makes Jesus a second Person of the single Divinity: the Holy Spirit is the third. The Father begets the Son, and because of that the Son is divine. The very fact that you admit Jesus was the Son of God, shows the entire basis of Jesus' divinity.

8. Jesus said, "The Father is greater than I."

He did, and it's absolutely correct. Especially considering the fact that Jesus became man. That automatically makes Him less than the Father at least in His human nature. It's a beautiful Catholic doctrine taught in that passage, but don't neglect all other passages because you've found one gem. There are other passages that teach that in some respects Jesus is equal to God: "This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath but also called God his Father, making himself equal with God." (John 5:18) "...men should honor the Son just as they honor the Father." (John 5:23) "He had the nature of God, [but] he did not regard equality with God a thing to be clung to; so he emptied himself, being born in the likeness of men." (Philippians 2:6-7)

9. Jesus said, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Matthew 27:46.

Amen! And Catholics know that. Jesus can call the Father "my God" and the Father can call Jesus "O God" (Hebrews 1:8) because they are both divine, they are both God. And so there is no conflict between this passage, which proves that the Father is God, and other passages, which prove that the Son is God. In fact, they point to one another being true, because if the Son is divine, He had to get that nature from His Father, and if the Father is divine, He had to pass that nature to His Son. Thus any passage that proves that the Father is God, implies that His Son would be as well.

10. Jesus said, "I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."

He certainly did, but look at what that's supposed to prove: it shows us that the Father is God. And that's a part of the doctrine of the Trinity, and of the divinity of Jesus, all at once. The Father's divinity is the source of the Son's divinity. Proving that the Father is God just shows that His Son can be too. So you're admitting the entire basis of the Trinity every time you try to get around it. The Father is God, absolutely. So then what does that make His only Son? It makes His only Son divine. And that is precisely our doctrine.