Jesus is God? (not witnessing)

Ok, I wasn’t sure where to put this. I don’t mean for this to be a theological debate, just a question I have, I didn’t want to put it in GD - especially since I’m not promoting one line of thought over another. And since it seems there may not be one definite concrete answer, more along the lines of people’s beliefs, GQ didn’t seem right either. So if I’ve put this in the wrong forum, my apologies in advance.

And I’ve always wondered where did the thought that Jesus is God come from? Is this another case of people interpreting the Bible literally? If Jesus is God - not just His son, but God Himself - then why did Jesus have a moment of doubt about God’s plan? Reading the New Testement, Jesus always seemed very human to me (aside from the water-to-wine and walking on water type stuff). He lost his temper in the Temple. He got crowded by people and wanted them to leave Him alone. He prayed. (Why would someone kneel and pray to themselves?)

I mean, figuratively, I have some of my father in me, but I am not my dad.

So any thoughts on this? (he asks as the thread sinks like a lead brick).

Please, I’m not trying to debate anything here, I’m just curious on your opinions.

I don’t get it either. I don’t see how you can have it both ways. You can either say he was the son of God, or you can say he was God (that is, that God took human form temporarily). Perhap some branches of christianity say one thing, and some the other?

How did it come to be that people believe Jesus is God?

The people who believed that killed enough of the people who didn’t, and they won.

A gross oversimplification but not entirey inaccurate. The idea the Jesus was God evolved. The first Christian (ie Jews) certainly did not call him God. This would have been incredibly blasphemous.Humans are not God. The Messiah, a human, is not God.

But, I guess, when more and more pagan, more comfortable with the idea of a God in human shape, became Christian the idea took off.

Then there were several hundred years of Christians fighting, and sometimes killing each other over various theological questions, the Godhead of Jesus being one of them. The Emperor Justinian (the Apostate) wrote about the Christian’s tendency to kill each other over theological points both great and small, and I think Jesus being God was still one of the debate points, this being 300 something AD. Anyway we know who won.

Damn. I’ve read about this so I should be able to come up with some more precise historical information but at the moment I can’t even think of a book to mention.

Hi, Frog,

I’m also not proselytizing, but the following page does have a lot of information about where Christians (specifically Catholics) get their notion of Jesus as God from. Certainly, as opposed to what betenoir is saying, the notion has been around since the time of Christ Himself.

Take it easy.

Okay, I’ll take you at your word. I’ll try to explain my viewpoint as best I can, but some translation is necessarily going to get lost between one closed reference frame (my consciousness) and another (yours).

If God were a corporeal entity, made of atoms and existing in space-time, it wouldn’t make much sense to say that Jesus is both God and God’s Son unless wherever you would plot God’s location in space-time coordinates you would also plot coincidentally the location of Jesus, in which case it would simply mean that God and Son of God were synonyms. As it happens, I do not believe that God is made of atoms, but of Spirit. There is therefore no coordinate set for God since the dimensionality of God is supernatural. In the same way that we see both the inside and outside of a square in Flatland while its residents cannot, God “sees” all of space-time, both the outsides and the insides, and all at once.

Taking that as axiomatic, I then inquire as to God’s attributes. Since He is the Source of our Life (our own Spirit), I see His chief attribute as Love. It follows, at least for me, the He would love Himself. We (the Spirit we) are part of Him, created in His image. I see it as sort of analogous to cellular replication, although not trivial. In each of us is the Light of God. I view all of us sort of as bricks in God’s Grand Sculpture of Love, with Jesus as both the builder and the Cornerstone.

I hope I haven’t lost you already, but once those premises are under my belt, I decide whether, on the whole, I find Jesus to be a Teller of Truth. Without writing a novel, I will simply say that yes, I do. Thereupon, I examine what He says in order to determine to my satisfaction whether He is indeed God. I find three principle statements that are compelling to me:

Before Abraham was, I AM.

When God appeared to Moses, Moses asked Him, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God’s answer was, “This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.

This was in response to Philip’s request, “Show us the Father,” which followed Jesus’ declaration, “If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

I and the Father are One.

'Nuff said.

There are secondary clues, such as the religionists screaming at Him, “We are not stoning you for any of these, but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” But those I consider to be tangential.

Does that help your understanding of why I believe that Jesus is God?

The best analogy Ive been able to come up with is likening Jesus to the congregation of a church and God as the Church and the Father as say… the pastor and the holy spirit as, oh… I dunno… the choir.

“The Word (Jesus) was with God and the Word was God.”

“The congregation was with the church and the congregation was the church.”

Just as the Pastor is the church and the choir is the church. Three seperate entities in the same body.

Of course, I could be completely off-base… I haven’t been to church in years.

No, Clapton is God.

Thanks for the answers, all. I’ve wondered about this for a while. We’ve got historical answers, church answers, and personal belief.

Three out of three ain’t bad.

I’m not much of a Biblical scholar, so I was just wondering if there were any passages about this, especially since there are passages where Jesus seems very much human (to me at least).

Thanks again, and true to the OP, I won’t debate anyone beliefs. Except maybe EJsGirl, since I’m partial to Frampton myself.

malkavia, are you sure that’s what that’s supposed to mean? I’ve heard/seen the phrase “The Word was with God and the Word was God.” for years, but it never occurred to me that the word “word” meant anything other then the word of God or God’s message. It does not seem likely that the word “word” is supposed to be taken to literally mean Jesus; if whoever wrote this phrase meant Jesus, he could have said Jesus.

This particular phrase actually seems pretty sence-free. Whatever “the word” is, either it’s with God or it is God; one precludes the other.

betenoir’s answer, OTOH, makes some sence. Throughout the centuries, people have been coming to Christianity from all sorts of other traditions, with all sorts of different mindsets about religion. The early Christians took it for granted that Jesus was a man. Later on, a lot of people joined in who came from traditions that led them to assume that Jusus must have been a God. The latter concept eventually won out. But the earlier concept didn’t disapear. It’s still there underneath, leading to the existance of contradictory statements within the religion.

Many other contradictions may be presumed to have built up over the centuries. Some of the people who beleive in this religion just ignore the contradictions, some are not paying enough attention to have noticed them, and some put a lot of time and effort into trying to resolve them. Often, it seems to me, by saying things like “I’m sure that X is true. This passage in the Bible seems to contradict X, so it follows that the passage actually must mean something else.” And since much of the Bible is written in the sort of obscure, poetic language that can be interpreted to mean many different things, they don’t have too much trouble interpreting everything to agree with whatever they’ve decided is The Truth.

Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe Jesus is God. They believe he was a perfect man, the son of God, whose purpose was to be sacrificed in order to pay for the mistake Adam made (Adam being the only other perfect man who ever lived). They reject the idea of the Trinity, and they believe it’s very important to believe that Jesus died on a stake, not on a cross. They view the cross as a pagan symbol.

They also believe that Jesus is the angel, Michael. <shrug>

There was a little space between the two that I guess people have forgotten.

Hazel:

The passage continues, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Pretty hard to ignore the implication.

Okay, Libertarian, I guess you’re right. I didn’t know the rest of the quote. As a non-believer, I don’t pay enough attention to these matters to have much of a grip on them.

It does seem to me that the story of Jesus’ life makes more sence if you see him as a man, not just God come to earth in mortal guise. As Crunchy Frog pointed out. Unless we make the assumption that when God set up the whole coming to earth in mortal guise thing, he arranged it so that, while on earth in mortal guise, he would not remember he was really God.

Good points, Hazel. Most who worship Him believe that He was both fully God and fully man. (He referred to Himself variously as “Son of God” and “Son of Man”. See above link to Kahlil Gibran’s book.) We are, after all, created in His image. :wink:

Jesus is God?
I was brought up as a Free Will Baptist believing in the Holy Trinity. God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. God the Father being the creator of all things and the entity that we pray to. God the Holy Ghost being the spirit that dwells within the heart of believers that is on earth among us. God the Son being Jesus. . .God incarnate in flesh. I’ve never really considered Jesus to be God . . . I’ve perceived Jesus as being a part of God.
It’s really interresting because there are several ways of looking at this. There is the deal about God being the Word and Jesus being the Word in flesh. This implicates that Jesus is God. BUT. . .Jesus prayed to God the Father and made reference to God his Father many many times. So. . .nothing is clear.
To Christians, there is no denying that Jesus was certainly an extension of God.