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Thread: John 20:28 and the Trinity

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    John 20:28 and the Trinity

    Shalom.

    The following verse seems to imply that Jesus is God. But is that what it says? Discuss.

    John 20:28 NASB - Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"

    Shalom.

    Jacob
    Bereishit - Genesis - Chapter 1

    1 In the beginning of God's creation of the heavens and the earth.
    :א בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית בָּרָ֣א אֱלֹהִ֑ים אֵ֥ת הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם וְאֵ֥ת הָאָֽרֶץ

    In beginning He created God the heavens and the earth

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob View Post
    Shalom.

    The following verse seems to imply that Jesus is God. But is that what it says? Discuss.

    John 20:28 NASB - Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"

    Shalom.

    Jacob
    My Lord and my God.
    There you go, an Apostle refers to Jesus as God. When you look at some verses in the Old and New Testament you have to remember to look at them with a Hebrew or Greek mind of that period, and not a 20th century mind. Some language can mean something to us that it did not mean back then. For example, if an Englishman says, "I am mad about my flat" he means that he is exited about his apartment. To an American, that same phrase means that he is angry about his flat tire. The word "God" for example, means to us in the 20th century "The Almighty God." To a Jew it did not necessarily mean "Almighty God." In Psalms 82: 1 & 6 God refers to earthly rulers as gods. This is the same passage that Jesus quotes to the Jews when they accuse him of saying that he is God. Paraphrasing Jesus, he says to them; "If it is okay to call men gods, why is it blasphemous for me to say that I am the Son of God"(John 10: 33 - 38). Notice how when Jesus is accused of being God, he quickly corrects them that he is not God,but the Son of God. In 2 Corinthians 4: 4 Satan is also called the "god of this age." Does that mean that he is God Almighty? Of course not!

    John even tells us just 3 verses later why he wrote about Thomas storyÖ In John 20:31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. If Thomas was really calling Jesus GOD almighty then John just contradicted why he wrote his writings.

    The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church points out what an early Christian father, Origen (185-254 AD) says about the word "God." "The Son is theos (God), but only the Father is autotheos" (absolute God, God in himself).

    This is the reason there is an Almighty God or a Most High God, in order to differentiate the only true God from the others. Another fact to consider when approaching this verse is to understand whom John believes God and Jesus to be.

    John wrote his gospel to testify that Jesus is the Son of God, not God the Son. Let us take a look again at what John believes in order to not take one verse and unjustly imply a certain belief on John.
    John 17:3
    "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."
    Revelation 1:6
    "Who (Jesus) has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father"
    John 20:17
    "But go to my brothers and tell them, ĎI am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.í"

    Remember that Johnís whole purpose for writing his Gospel is to prove that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, not God.

    "But these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God" (John 20: 31).
    We must keep John's reason for writing his gospel fresh in our minds as we try to understand this verse. In his gospel, John distinguishes completely between the only true God and Jesus Christ To imply that John believed in a three in one God would be to do a terrible injustice to John.

    So what does Thomas mean? To us in the modern world it might at first seem odd, but when you put yourself in Thomasís place as a Jew in Jesusí day, it will make all the sense in the world.

    The Catholic New American Bible defines this usage of the word god:
    "The king, in courtly language is called god, representing God to the people."

    Aspects of Monotheism states: "god" is an allegorical equivalent for "king."
    This is the definition of the Messiah. The Messiah is the king of Israel who represents God to the people (John 1:49). Thomas was just stating that fact. When he saw Jesus resurrected, it proved to him that He was indeed the Messiah. Thomasí statement is the equivalent of saying, My Lord and my king. This is not just my opinion; it is easily verified in the Old Testament. Remember, God = king = Messiah.

    This kind of language was common in those days. Letís look at a similar verse.
    1 Samuel 24:9 states:
    "David also stepped out of the cave, calling to Saul, "My lord and my king."

    My lord and my God = My lord and my king.
    This verse mean the same thing. Thomas is addressing the king of Israel in exactly the same way that David did. You just have to speak like a first century Jew.
    Luke 2:11 states:
    "A savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord."
    Acts 2:36 states:
    "God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified."
    Lord and Messiah = Lord and king = Lord and God.

    There is for me one great proof that Thomas did not mean Jesus is Almighty God when he called Jesus God. When Thomas called Jesus "My lord and my God" all the Apostles were in the room. If this statement is true, then it is logical to assume that from now on, all the Apostles know that Jesus is really God. So from that point onward Jesus should be addressed as God. But as you can see in all the writings of the New Testament, none of the Apostles ever refer to Jesus as Almighty God or YHWH . Not once in the entire New Testament do they ever pray to Jesus. They make clear distinctions between the two. They in fact write about the God of Jesus Christ (John 20:17). Remember, "No one has ever seen God" (1 John 4: 12).
    You should know these things!

    Paul
    From the cowardice that shrinks from new truth,
    From the laziness that is content with half-truths,
    From the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth,
    Oh God of Truth, deliver us.

    ~ Ancient Prayer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pierac View Post
    My Lord and my God.
    There you go, an Apostle refers to Jesus as God. When you look at some verses in the Old and New Testament you have to remember to look at them with a Hebrew or Greek mind of that period, and not a 20th century mind. Some language can mean something to us that it did not mean back then. For example, if an Englishman says, "I am mad about my flat" he means that he is exited about his apartment. To an American, that same phrase means that he is angry about his flat tire. The word "God" for example, means to us in the 20th century "The Almighty God." To a Jew it did not necessarily mean "Almighty God." In Psalms 82: 1 & 6 God refers to earthly rulers as gods. This is the same passage that Jesus quotes to the Jews when they accuse him of saying that he is God. Paraphrasing Jesus, he says to them; "If it is okay to call men gods, why is it blasphemous for me to say that I am the Son of God"(John 10: 33 - 38). Notice how when Jesus is accused of being God, he quickly corrects them that he is not God,but the Son of God. In 2 Corinthians 4: 4 Satan is also called the "god of this age." Does that mean that he is God Almighty? Of course not!

    John even tells us just 3 verses later why he wrote about Thomas storyÖ In John 20:31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. If Thomas was really calling Jesus GOD almighty then John just contradicted why he wrote his writings.

    The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church points out what an early Christian father, Origen (185-254 AD) says about the word "God." "The Son is theos (God), but only the Father is autotheos" (absolute God, God in himself).

    This is the reason there is an Almighty God or a Most High God, in order to differentiate the only true God from the others. Another fact to consider when approaching this verse is to understand whom John believes God and Jesus to be.

    John wrote his gospel to testify that Jesus is the Son of God, not God the Son. Let us take a look again at what John believes in order to not take one verse and unjustly imply a certain belief on John.
    John 17:3
    "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."
    Revelation 1:6
    "Who (Jesus) has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father"
    John 20:17
    "But go to my brothers and tell them, ĎI am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.í"

    Remember that Johnís whole purpose for writing his Gospel is to prove that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, not God.

    "But these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God" (John 20: 31).
    We must keep John's reason for writing his gospel fresh in our minds as we try to understand this verse. In his gospel, John distinguishes completely between the only true God and Jesus Christ To imply that John believed in a three in one God would be to do a terrible injustice to John.

    So what does Thomas mean? To us in the modern world it might at first seem odd, but when you put yourself in Thomasís place as a Jew in Jesusí day, it will make all the sense in the world.

    The Catholic New American Bible defines this usage of the word god:
    "The king, in courtly language is called god, representing God to the people."

    Aspects of Monotheism states: "god" is an allegorical equivalent for "king."
    This is the definition of the Messiah. The Messiah is the king of Israel who represents God to the people (John 1:49). Thomas was just stating that fact. When he saw Jesus resurrected, it proved to him that He was indeed the Messiah. Thomasí statement is the equivalent of saying, My Lord and my king. This is not just my opinion; it is easily verified in the Old Testament. Remember, God = king = Messiah.

    This kind of language was common in those days. Letís look at a similar verse.
    1 Samuel 24:9 states:
    "David also stepped out of the cave, calling to Saul, "My lord and my king."

    My lord and my God = My lord and my king.
    This verse mean the same thing. Thomas is addressing the king of Israel in exactly the same way that David did. You just have to speak like a first century Jew.
    Luke 2:11 states:
    "A savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord."
    Acts 2:36 states:
    "God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified."
    Lord and Messiah = Lord and king = Lord and God.

    There is for me one great proof that Thomas did not mean Jesus is Almighty God when he called Jesus God. When Thomas called Jesus "My lord and my God" all the Apostles were in the room. If this statement is true, then it is logical to assume that from now on, all the Apostles know that Jesus is really God. So from that point onward Jesus should be addressed as God. But as you can see in all the writings of the New Testament, none of the Apostles ever refer to Jesus as Almighty God or YHWH . Not once in the entire New Testament do they ever pray to Jesus. They make clear distinctions between the two. They in fact write about the God of Jesus Christ (John 20:17). Remember, "No one has ever seen God" (1 John 4: 12).
    You should know these things!

    Paul
    I have read your post but I do not know what to do with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob View Post
    I have read your post but I do not know what to do with it.
    welcome to the club!

    Paul
    From the cowardice that shrinks from new truth,
    From the laziness that is content with half-truths,
    From the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth,
    Oh God of Truth, deliver us.

    ~ Ancient Prayer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pierac View Post
    welcome to the club!

    Paul
    Thanks!

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    What is so difficult when you correctly interpret the Scriptures?
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.

    Jim Elliot

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bright Raven View Post
    What is so difficult when you correctly interpret the Scriptures?
    That is what we need to make sure that we do.

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    Jesus, the Son of God, IS God

    Quote Originally Posted by Pierac View Post
    In Psalms 82: 1 & 6 God refers to earthly rulers as gods.
    So, Thomas was saying, to Jesus: "My Lord and my [earthly ruler]"? Or, better, was Thomas saying, to Jesus: "My Lord and [little more than one of my earthly rulers]"? Is that something you'd like to say to Jesus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pierac View Post
    This is the same passage that Jesus quotes to the Jews when they accuse him of saying that he is God.[/COLOR]
    Here's John 10:33-36:

    33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee 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 hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
    Now, where, in the New Testament, is Jesus even once recorded as having spoken the words, "I am God"? Nowhere. Which is interesting, indeed! See, you wrote that the Jews "accuse him of saying that he is God". However, if you mean, by that, that, in John 10:33-36 (or anywhere else in the NT), the Jews were accusing Him of speaking the words, "I am God", then, you are obviously wrong! In the NT, Jesus, indeed, spoke the words "I am the Son of God," and never the words "I am God." But, the Jews were angry at Jesus, and accusing Him of blasphemy because of the words that He did speak: "I am the Son of God." And, why? Because, in those words, He was necessarily implying that He IS God; and the Jews understood, very well, that entailment: Jesus claims to be the Son of God, THEREFORE, Jesus necessarily implies, by that claim, that He IS God. It is because Jesus spoke the very words "I am the Son of God" (rather than the words "I am God") that the Jews knew that Jesus was necessarily implying that He IS God.

    Here is these Jews' reasoning:

    Major Premise: [Anyone who claims to be the Son of God who is not God] is [one guilty of blasphemy],
    Minor Premise: [Jesus] is [one who claims to be the Son of God who is not God],
    Therefore,
    Conclusion: [Jesus] is [one guilty of blasphemy].
    Now, the Jews were correct in holding to the Major Premise. It is their holding to the Minor Premise and to the Conclusion wherein they, themselves, were in error, and guilty of blasphemy. Their reasoning was valid, but unsound, since, while the Major Premise is true, the Minor Premise, and the Conclusion are both false.

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    Jesus, the Son of God, IS God

    Quote Originally Posted by Pierac View Post
    In Psalms 82: 1 & 6 God refers to earthly rulers as gods. This is the same passage that Jesus quotes to the Jews when they accuse him of saying that he is God. Paraphrasing Jesus, he says to them; "If it is okay to call men gods, why is it blasphemous for me to say that I am the Son of God"(John 10: 33 - 38). Notice how when Jesus is accused of being God, he quickly corrects them that he is not God,but the Son of God.
    Wait a second, there! You just said that somebody "accused [Jesus] of being God". By whom (are you saying) was Jesus "accused of being God"? The Jews written of in John 10:33-38? Clearly, they were not accusing Jesus of being God, but rather, quite the contrary: they were accusing Him (and falsely!) of NOT being God, just as you are accusing Him of NOT being God. They were accusing Him (and falsely!) of NOT being the Son of God. They were accusing Him of affirming falsehood when He said, "I am the Son of God". They refused to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, as He claimed to be; it is because they refused to believe that He is the Son of God that they refused to believe that He is God.

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    Jesus, the Son of God, IS God

    Quote Originally Posted by Pierac View Post
    John 17:3
    "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."
    How, exactly, would you say that, in this verse, it is denied that Jesus is God?

    Jesus is saying, to the Father, that He (the Father) is "the only true God"; He is not, therein, denying that the Son is "the only true God".

    God the Father is the only true God,
    God the Son is the only true God,
    God the Spirit is the only true God.
    Last edited by 7djengo7; December 7th, 2018 at 08:05 PM. Reason: added in "(the Father)" for disambiguation

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    Jesus, the Son of God, IS God

    Quote Originally Posted by Pierac View Post
    There is for me one great proof that Thomas did not mean Jesus is Almighty God when he called Jesus God. When Thomas called Jesus "My lord and my God" all the Apostles were in the room. If this statement is true, then it is logical to assume that from now on, all the Apostles know that Jesus is really God. So from that point onward Jesus should be addressed as God. But as you can see in all the writings of the New Testament, none of the Apostles ever refer to Jesus as Almighty God or YHWH .
    Oh, so, since (according to you) by the word 'God', Thomas meant "earthly ruler", it is

    logical to assume that from now on, all the Apostles know that Jesus is really [an earthly ruler]. So from that point onward Jesus should be addressed as [an earthly ruler]. But as you can see in all the writings of the New Testament, none of the Apostles ever refer to Jesus as [an earthly ruler.]
    Last edited by 7djengo7; December 7th, 2018 at 08:22 PM. Reason: initially forgot to include title

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    Jesus, the Son of God, IS God

    Quote Originally Posted by Pierac View Post
    This is the reason there is an Almighty God or a Most High God, in order to differentiate the only true God from the others.
    In your pantheon, who is the Second Most High God? Jesus?

    On the one hand, you have "the only true God", while, on the other hand, you have "the others". What do you say of "the others"? Are they false gods? Would you say that Jesus is a false god?

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