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It’s far easier to imagine Jesus saying, “Do not say Trinity: desist …” or “They do
blaspheme who say: God is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except one God”
than to imagine him saying, “Well, sure, I said there was only one God, but what I really
meant was …”
Understandably, some view the clarity of Islamic monotheism, once juxtaposed to
the tangled and indefensible web of Trinitarian ideology, and wonder, “Well, what’s
wrong with Islam then?” Others continue to object, “But Jesus is God!”
Upon the foundation of such opposing viewpoints are the lines of religious
differences drawn, wars waged, lives and, even more importantly, souls lost.

 

 

Divinity of Jesus?

 

An Inquiry
Man is made to adore and to obey: but if you will not command him, if you
give him nothing to worship, he will fashion his own divinities, and find a
chieftain in his own passions. —Benjamin Disraeli, Coningsby
The critical difference between Jesus’ teachings and the Trinitarian formula lies in
elevating Jesus to divine status—a status Jesus denies in the gospels:
“Why do you call me good: No one is good but One, that is, God.”
(Matthew 9:17, Mark 10­18, and Luke 18:19)
“My Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28)

“I do nothing of myself, but as the Father taught me, I speak these
things.” (John 8:28)
“Most assuredly, I say to you, the son can do nothing of
himself …” (John 5:19)
“But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent me.” (John
7:29)
“He who rejects me rejects Him who sent me.” (Luke 10:16)
“But now I go away to Him who sent me …” (John 16:5)
“Jesus answered them and said, ‘My doctrine is not mine, but His
who sent me.’” (John 7:16)
“For I have not spoken on my own authority; but the Father who
sent me gave me a command, what I should say and what I should
speak.” (John 12:49)

What does Pauline theology say? That Jesus is a partner in divinity, God
incarnate. So whom should a person believe? If Jesus, then let’s hear what else he might
have to say:
“The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear O Israel, The Lord
our God, the Lord is one.” (Mark 12:29)
“But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels in
heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mark 13:32)
“‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall
serve.’” (Luke 4:8)
“My food is to do the will of Him who sent me …” (John 4:34)
“I can of myself do nothing … I do not seek my own will but the
will of the Father who sent me.” (John 5:30)
“For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but
the will of Him who sent me.” (John 6:38)
“My doctrine is not mine, but His who sent me.” (John 7:16)

“I am ascending to my Father and your Father, and to my God and
your God.” (John 20:17)
My italics in the above verses do not imply that Jesus spoke with that emphasis,
although nobody can claim with certainty that he didn’t. Rather, the italics stress the fact
that Jesus not only never claimed divinity, but would be the first to deny it. In the words
of Joel Carmichael, “The idea of this new religion, with himself as its deity, was
something he [Jesus Christ] could never have had the slightest inkling of. As Charles
Guignebert put it, ‘It never even crossed his mind.’”

 

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