How do you believe that Jesus is not God when the Bible says that he is?

This is a response to a question posted on YouTube regarding our "What authenticated-all's Believe" video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nFw5h0IVhM). YouTube does not provide enough space to give a good answer - so here goes.... the question was as follows:
How do you beleive that Jesus is not God when the bible says that he is?
John 1
John 20:25-28
Matthew 1:23
Hebrews 1:8
Just interested.
Thanks

CommuninisimVsPope

Thank you for your interest. Lets look at each of the passages you have quoted.

John 1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God....And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father."

Problem: The reasoning here is the following: the Word is God, and the Word became flesh, and that flesh was Christ. Therefore, mathematically, Christ is God. (if a=b and b=c, then a=c).

Solution: would John introduce here an idea wholly new to the Bible, diametrically opposed to the account of the previous gospel writers? Matthew, Mark and Luke talk about a child being born of a woman who conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. There is no hint that the child was God, much the contrary, for when has it been heard that a person and their child are the same person?
When is 'in the beginning'? Usage by John points to parallelism between the Old Testament and New Testament. The first beginning with Adam resulted in a fall from grace, yet God's plan and purpose (Numbers 14:21) were not shaken. Jesus Christ was the perfection of that plan and purpose, and thus became the beginning, the firstfruits, of a new creation (John 2:11; John 6:64; John 8:25; John 15:27; John 16:4; 1 John 2:7,13,14,24; 1 John 3:11; 2 John 1:5-6).
The essence here is the following: Is this section about God, or about God manifestation? (ie, how God reveals Himself to the world) We believe the conclusion to the section makes it clear: "No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known" (John 1:18).
It makes no sense to wrap up a discussion of how God came down to earth in the flesh by saying that no man has seen God. This section must therefore be about how God is manifested in the world, not about how God came to the world.

We believe that Jesus manifested (revealed) perfectly the essential attributes of the Father, and that in that sense he is the Word made flesh. The wording of this section indicates a parallel is intended to the creation, so John is no doubt broaching the New Testament theme of the New Creation.

John 20:28 "My Lord and my God"

Problem: Since Jesus is addressed by Thomas as "My Lord and My God", this passage is considered to prove the "deity of Christ" - that he is "God the Son."

Solution:
1)Thomas' confession is an acknowledgment that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead, but it is not a declaration that Jesus is "God the Son". Thomas, a Jew, used a mode of expression common to the Old Testament in which accredited representatives of God are referred to as "God". Angels are called "God" in the following passages: Genesis 16:7-13; Genesis 22:8-16; Exodus 23:20-21. Moses is referred to as a "god" to Pharaoh. (Exodus 7:1, "god" is translated from the Heb. "elohim"). "Elohim" translated "God" can refer to the judges of Israel as in Psalms 82:1-6. It is also translated "judges" in Exodus 21:6; Exodus 22:8-9 and "gods" in Exodus 22:28.
2) Earlier in this chapter, Jesus told Mary, "I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God and your God." (John 20:17). Since Jesus was to ascend to his God, then clearly he was not himself "Very God".
3) During the 1st Century, a common greeting among Roman citizens was "Caesar is Lord." Emperor Domitian insisted on the title "Our Lord and God" in public documents, and "My Lord God Domitian" when addressed personally. When Thomas said "My Lord and my God", he didn't mean it in the way Trinitarians do. His confession may have been a declaration of loyalty to God's Son and divine representative; a deliberate rejection of the Roman emperor cult.

Matthew 1:23 "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."

Problem: Since Matthew refers to Jesus as "God with us", this passage is quoted to prove that Jesus is God.

Solution: The word Emmanuel is a Hebrew name, and its interpretation means “God with us”. The Hebrews often named their children with names that made reference to God and His attributes. For example, Elijah's name means "God is Yahweh", and Samuel's name means "his name is God". Joshua (the Hebrew form of Jesus) means 'God Saves'.
Just because God was with Jesus, and hence Jesus was among us, does not make Jesus into Yahweh. When Jesus raised back to life the widow’s son, the people who saw the miracle “glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.” (Luke 7:16). Note that the people who witnessed this miracle did not believe that Jesus was God, for there is no indication that they bowed down and worshipped Jesus. The people referred to Jesus as "a prophet", and not a god. Rather, they understood that God used Jesus to perform the miracle. In this sense “God hath visited his people”. In this sense God was with us (or them, in this case). God was working THROUGH Jesus, and this is how Jesus can be “God with us” without Jesus being confused as God the Almighty.

Hebrews 1:8 "But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom."

Problem: Since the Father addresses the Son, "O God", this is taken by trinitarians as proof that the Son is "very God".

Solution:
1) There is some uncertainty as to the precise translation of this verse. Two possibilities exist:
"Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever" (KJV)
"God is thy throne for ever and ever" (RSV. margin)
Since only the first of these translations is useful for the trinitarian, it will be assumed that this is the correct translation.
"Therefore God, even thy God" (Hebrews 1:9) is evidence that Christ is not the "Eternal Son". Since the Father is the God of Jesus, then clearly Jesus is not himself "Very God". (See also John 20:17).
2) Hebrews 1:8 is a quotation from Psalm 45:6. In this Psalm the Hebrew word "elohim" is translated "God". The word "elohim" is used of Moses relationship with Pharaoh: "And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god {elohim} to Pharaoh". (Exodus 7:1). It also is used of the judges of Israel. (Psalm 82:6 cf. John 10:34; Exodus 22:9,28). Persons who are divinely appointed and made strong by Yahweh are referred to as "God", but this does not imply they are persons within the Godhead.
3) In "the world to come" (Hebrews 2:5), the Son will be called "The mighty God" (Isaiah 9:6), although "now we see not yet all things put under him." (Hebrews 2:8). In the Kingdom Age, the Son will reign with the power and authority of his Father. (1 Corinthians 15:24-28). The writer to the Hebrews points out, however, that the "more excellent name" obtained by the Son is by virtue of his personal worthiness and elevation by his Father, and not by the Son re-claiming divested powers of the Godhead, as trinitarians assert: "Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." (Hebrews 1:9).

Conclusion
The doctrine of the trinity, that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are one being, is not to be found in the Bible. The word 'trinity' cannot be found because it is a term and doctrine invented by men centuries after Jesus was on this earth.

A simple look at history shows that this doctrine came about over 300 years after Jesus Christ was on the earth:
325 A.D. First General Council at Nicea, declared that the Son was from the beginning of the same nature as the Father.
381 A.D. Second General Council at Constantinople, declared that the Holy Spirit was to be worshipped with the Father and the Son.
431
A.D. Third General Council at Ephesus, decreed that Jesus had two natures, a human and a divine; also that Mary was the "mother of God", in opposition to those who maintained that she was the "mother of Christ".
451 A.D. Fifth General Council at Chalcedon, decreed that the two natures in Christ constituted only one Person and one will.

"I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me" Isaiah 45:5. Yet the trinity says there are three gods in one.

My faith is based on the teaching found in the Bible, and not on the teaching of men. The doctrine of the trinity is not found in the Bible, however Paul clearly says:
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" 2 Timothy 4:3.

It is my belief that Christ manifested God in the flesh, and that the follower of Christ, should strive to do the same:
"As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. " (1 Peter 1:14-15)

May God bless you as you continue to seek Him!

kind regards

Matt

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