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Did Jesus really say I am God?

Jesus (Peace be upon him) never said the word “I am God” nor “I am the second person in Trinity”, nor “I am human and divine”, but as mentioned before, Jesus clearly said that the Father is the only God, and that He is his God, and that he doesn’t know the hour,…..etc.  Christians usually cite some verses to prove that he is God, but actually when going through these verses, we find that he didn’t say it clearly, rather these are all conclusions made, and by examining them, we find that they don’t really mean what Christians wanted them to mean. This shall be shown in this article.

God in not a man nor the son of man, Jesus is a man and son of man then Jesus is NOT God

Comparison between Jesus and God showing that Jesus is NOT God

“Before Abraham was born, I am!”

Christians consider this as a proof that Jesus is God because he is eternal. However this language was common in the Bible and it only means that he was in God’s foreknowledge, same as what was told about Jeremiah and Paul:

Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the belly I knew you , and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified you ; I have appointed you  a prophet unto the nations.

Ephesian 1:4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love:

The context also proves this when he said before:

John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad. 57 The Jews therefore said unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was born, I am.

Jesus (Peace be upon him) meant here is that Abraham (Peace be upon him) rejoiced when he knew that Jesus will be from his descendants, and this is clear through the word “when he saw my day”, he didn’t say: ”when he saw me”, this clearly means that he just meant that Abraham knew that he will be raised one day, so he was rejoiced for that day.

The word “I AM” doesn’t claim divinity, anyone can say I am. The word “ego eimi” if it really meant Jehovah, it wouldn’t have been translated but it would have been written as Jehovah, especially when we see that the same word “ego eimi” used by others as the beggar for example:

John 9:9 Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.”

Is the beggar God? Of course not, but it actually means “I am the Messiah”, and this is very clear in his conversation with Samaritan woman:

John 4:25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messiah cometh (he that is called Christ): when he is come, he will declare unto us all things. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto you am he.

Another translation writes it that way:

(MKJV) Jesus said to her, I AM, the One speaking to you.

This is a very clear proof that Jesus didn’t mean to Jehovah by this word, and the context can show that as explained above.

“I and the Father are one”:

Actually this word in itself is not a proof that he claims divinity, as the unity can be unity in aim, for example Jesus said concerning the disciples:

Joh 17:22 And the glory which thou hast given me I have given unto them; that they may be one, even as we are one;

Of course this verse doesn’t mean that they are one by body, rather by aim and faith, it is the same also concerning John 10:30. Dr. Thomas Constable, a Christian commentator acknowledges this on his notes on John 10:30:

“Jesus did not mean that He and the Father were the same person of the Godhead. If He had meant that, He would have used the masculine form of the word translated “one” (Gr. heis). Instead He used the neuter form of the word (Gr. hen). He meant that He and the Father were one in their action. This explanation also harmonized with the context since Jesus had said that He would keep His sheep safe (v. 28) and His Father would keep them safe (v. 29)……..First, Jesus’ claim to oneness does not in itself prove the Son’s unity in essence with the Father. In 17:22, Jesus prayed that His disciples might be one as He and the Father were one, namely, in their purpose and beliefs…….In short, this verse does not say that Jesus was claiming to be of the same essence as God. Here He claimed to function in union with the Father. However the context and other statements in this Gospel show that His unity with the Father extended beyond a functional unity and did involve essential metaphysical unity.” (Source here)

So Dr. Constable is saying here that this verse in itself doesn’t mean real unity in essence but figurative one in purpose and beliefs, but the context proves that he was claiming to be God, but actually the context disproves his deity, let’s look at what the context says:

32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from the Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 33 The Jews answered him, For a good work we stone you not, but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. 34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, ye are gods? 35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came (and the scripture cannot be broken), 36 say ye of him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? 37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 38 But if I do them, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father. 39 They sought again to take him: and he went forth out of their hand. (John 10:32-39)

When we look at the context, we find that Jesus is actually disproving the claim that he is God not proving it. The Jews misunderstood what he said, and thought that he was saying that he was God. Actually what the Jews said means that they understood from the scriptures that the Messiah is not God, so anyone who is saying that he is God is blaspheming. If they really misunderstood the scriptures, it should have been that Jesus corrects their misconception by quoting a verse from the OT telling that the Messiah will be God as Isaiah 9:6 (This highlighted link shows that Isaiah 9:6 doesn’t really say that Jesus is God ) for example, but the verse he quoted proves that they just misunderstood him, Jesus referred to Psalms 82:6:

“Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, ye are gods?”

Jesus here is quoting people who were called gods when they are not really God; just a metaphorical godhead. Jesus says that as these judges in Psalm 82:6 are called gods metaphorically; I am called son of God metaphorically. If the verse in Psalms wasn’t blasphemed when it called the judges gods, why do you consider me blaspheming when I am called son of God?

Finally coming to the last point where Christians say that Jesus said that he is in the Father and the Father is in him. This is not also a proof, as it only means that he has a good relationship with God since he is a prophet, and this language is very common in the Bible and used between Jesus and the disciples:

John 14:20 In that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

1John 2:24 As for you, let that abide in you which ye heard from the beginning. If that which ye heard from the beginning abide in you, ye also shall abide in the Son, and in the Father.

Forgiving sins:

Christians usually says that Jesus forgave sins which means that he is God because only God forgives sins. Jesus (Peace be upon him) said “your sins are forgiven” NOT” I forgive your sins”, he referred forgiving sins to unknown which is inevitably God, he didn’t refer it to himself. And it’s clear through the context:

Matthew 9:8 when the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

Also in another verse, Jesus asks the Father to forgive those who harmed him, if Jesus really forgives sins; he would have forgiven them immediately without praying to God.

Luke 23:34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Also in some Christian denominations, people go and confess to the priest who says at the end “your sins are forgiven”; no one said that the priest is God. Christians may say that Jesus said he had an authority to forgive sins, but Jesus clearly says that the Father gave him everything and that he can do nothing by himself, so this authority here doesn’t mean that he is God who had it by himself but rather Jesus is under the will of God who shall forgive the ones whom Jesus tells them this statement.

The word was God:

First of all, these are the words of Gospel John’s writer not the words of Jesus. Actually there is a doubt in the identity of the writer of Gospel John being John the apostle or an anonymous writer. What is more important is that this verse is mistranslated. We can see how the word “God” is written in Greek in the John 1:1:

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God (τόν θεόν), and the Word was God (θεός).

We can see here that when the verse talked about God Himself, it used the definite article (τόν θεόν), while when talking about the word itself, it used it without the definite article (θεός) although this word when talking about God in the Gospels it always uses the definite article that way (ό θεός) as we can see in this link. This is a proof that what was meant here wasn’t that Jesus is God Himself, but god with small g which means master as told about Moses (Peace be upon him):

Exodus 7:1″ And Jehovah said to Moses, See, I have made you a god to Pharaoh. And Aaron your brother shall be your prophet.”

We see here in the Septuagint that it doesn’t use the word (τόν θεόν) or (ό θεός) as it uses for God, but Exodus uses the word θεόν only without a definite article when talking about Moses (Peace be upon him) same as John 1:1 talks about Jesus (Peace be upon him).

This was also clear in Psalms 82:6 which was quoted by Jesus himself when he answered the Jews who accused him of saying that he is God as explained above when answering Christian citation of John 10:30-36:

 Psalms 82:6 I said, ‘You are “gods”; you are all sons of the Most High.

As for what John 1:3 says:

John 1:3 All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that hath been made.

These things doesn’t necessarily mean creation as Jesus was always confirming that he can do nothing by himself and it was the Father who gave him everything. This was rather talking about the message that God sent him with, which is saving the people by faith in God and in Jesus as a prophet.

Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father:

The Bible clearly tells that no one can see God really:

1John 4:12 No one has ever seen God

Exodus 33:20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.”

So the verse here tells that what Jesus (Peace be upon him) says and does is what God really wants so seeing Jesus as a real prophet is like seeing God.

Some might say that the Greek word used in John 12:45 meant real seeing, well in Thayer’s definition to that word (G2334 θεωρέω theōreō), it can mean seeing mentally or discerning, besides this was referred to Jesus when he said to the disciples:

John 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world beholdeth me no more; but ye behold me: because I live, ye shall live also.

The Greek word “behold” here is the same one used in John 12:45, and in this verse seeing meant seeing by faith not real seeing, but seeing by faith as Albert Barnes and other commentators said.

Calling Jesus Lord

First of all, the word “Lord means Master or Sir, it is a famous title for the Peers, for example “Lord Chancellor, Lord justice Bingham. In Britain, you adress a judge or Peer as my Lord” ( Cambridge International Dictionary of English). This was what meant by Paul calling him lord:

1Coritheans 8:6 yet to us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we unto him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through him.

So Paul separated between the two words God and Lord because he meant that Father is the only God to be worshiped other than false gods, and Jesus (Peace be upon him) the only master to be followed other than false prophets. This was also meant by saying “through whom are all things, and we through him as Jesus is the prophet whom they get their religion through him. Even there are some English translations which sometimes use the word Master instead of Lord. For example in John 5:7, CEV and LITV uses the word lord instead of Sir or Master, in John 13:36 YLT and WNT use the words Master or Sir instead of Lord.

 Thomas calling Jesus “My Lord and my God”

Calling him “my Lord” doesn’t mean that he is God as mentioned before, and calling him “my God” can’t mean that he is God since it clearly contradicts with what Jesus (Peace be upon him) said to the Father:

John 17:3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

So either the word God mentioned in this verse like the one meant for Moses (Peace be upon him):

Exodus 7:1And the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet.

Or that Thomas said this here as an exclamation as when one says “O my God”, or that this verse was interpolated so that it can be a proof for the divinity of Jesus (Peace be upon him), but actually it clearly contradicts with other Bible verses as we have shown in the previous article that Jesus actually tells that the Father is the only true God.

I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me:

This is the case with all prophets, so what? Christians believe in the Old Testament, and believe that Moses, David, Isaiah and others were prophets from God. If someone came and said that he believes in Jesus but believes that Moses or other OT prophets are liars and false prophets, could they come to the Father that way? Surely not, because disbelieving in any of the prophets is disbelieving in OT which was confirmed by Jesus and which you believe it’s the word of God, so saying “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” doesn’t apply on Jesus only but on all prophets.