Is Jesus the Creator?
Tony A. objects to our understanding of who Jesus is, asserting He cannot be the Creator:
“Jehovah (/dʒɪˈhoʊvə/) is a Latinization of the Hebrew יְהֹוָה, one vocalization of the Tetragrammaton יהוה (YHWH), the proper name of [the only being who is] God [alone] of Israel in the Hebrew Bible”. – Wikipedia
Psalm 110:1 below is clear to delineate YHWH from Adonai i.e. God from Jesus. Jesus told his disciples that they have the same God and Father that Jesus has.
The LORD [Yahweh/YHWH] said to my Lord [Jesus/Adonai], “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”
110:1 ְלדִוד l·dud to·David
ִמְזמר mzmur psalm
ְנֻאם nam averment-of
ְיהָוה ieue Yahweh
ַַלאֹדִני l·adn·i to·lord-of·me
ֵשׁב shb sit-you !
ִליִמיִנִליִמיִני l·imin·i to·right-hand-of·me
ַעד od until
אִשׁית ashith I-shall-set
ֹאְיֶביֹאְיֶביךָ aibi·k ones-being-enemies-of·you
ֲהֹדם edm stool
ְְלרְגליךָ l·rgli·k for·feet-of·you
Thus, Jesus is not YHWH/God in the flesh as it appears that some believe/assume Jesus is where YHWH becomes a Man and dies. YHWH means, He who causes things to be/exist i.e., the Creator God whom Jesus taught was God alone and the only creator and who is Spirit. YHWH/God is not a Man or born/made/begotten of a Woman, nor can YHWH/God die as Jesus was on Earth by his God/Father to become the Second and Last Adam that was heavenly, made of the virgin woman, and became the sinless Lamb of God who in a priestly sacrificial death atones/redeems humanity. [The first Adam being the first Son of God but earthly since he was made from the elements of earth].
See: John 1:18,6:46,17:3; 1 John 4:12; Psalm 110:1; John 4:24; Exodus 33:20-23; John 17:24; Numbers 23:19; Genesis 1:27,5:2; Mark 10:6,12:32; 1 Corinthians 15:44-46,44; Galatians 4:3-5; John 3:16; Romans 5:15; Acts 13:23, 13:33; Revelation 4:9-5:6,5:10,14:7; Isaiah 42:5,45:18; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 11:3; 1 Peter 3:18; Deuteronomy 18:15–22; 2 Peter 1:17; Matthew 17:5; 2 Samuel 7:14; John 8:28, John 8:39–43
1 Timothy 2:5
For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
A believer in Jesus, the Son of God/YHWH.
Thomas Bailey of CMI–Canada responds,
You have made a rather bold claim about Jesus and what he claimed/did not claim. It also appears that you previously had similar conversations about the identity of Jesus with some of my colleagues in the US office a few years ago. At the time, you were referred to a number of articles which explain our position quite thoroughly, and you won’t receive a particularly different response from me in regard to the orthodox doctrine of the Triune God. I say that, not because I believe it blindly from centuries of church doctrine or because it’s embedded in our Statement of Faith, but because Scripture teaches it. So respectfully, I must point out that your conclusions about Jesus’ identity are in error due to a faulty exegesis of Scripture.
Having said that, I have reviewed the long list of Scripture references you’ve provided and I’m sorry to say, they represent a prime example of proof-texting. Rather, to properly understand Jesus’ identity, all verses that pertain to it (both those that describe his humanity and those that describe his deity) must be carefully examined.
Many of the verses you cite are taken out of context. Some ignore related passages (even in the same chapter) that nullify your point. Some of them, on their own, do nothing to support your argument unless they are interpreted within your presuppositions. For example, John 3:13 reads, “No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.” Clearly, the Son of Man who originated in heaven was not created. Also Ephesians 4:9–10, “(In saying, ‘He ascended,’ what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)”. I refer you again to the article, Jesus Christ our Creator in regard to the three persons (not parts) of God in unity, including the meaning of “only Son” in this context and other verses about the deity of Jesus. I also co-hosted an episode of CMI’s TV show that summarized and refuted some of the false views about the incarnation that you may find clarifying.
You mention the distinction between YHWH and Adonai in Psalm 110:1. This doesn’t really help your case as David refers to something YHWH said to Adonai long before Jesus was born into the world. Jesus himself uses this passage in Matthew 22:41–45 to indicate he (the Christ) was in existence before David and that his position as God’s Son does not depend on his earthly lineage. Rather, his pre-incarnate divine state is the reason David can refer to the Christ as “my lord”. Also, consider the use of the plural elohim in Genesis 1, referring to a single entity made up of more than one. The plurality of the single Godhead is revealed in the Old Testament, even before New Testament examples of all three members of the Godhead present at one time (e.g. Jesus’ baptism, Matthew 3:16–17). In considering Jesus’ claims about himself, we must ask: ‘Why did He tell his disciples to baptize “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19)? and ‘Why did Jesus allow people to worship Him (e.g. John 20:28) if he is not God?’
Another example is that you cited John 1:18, while overlooking the first 3 verses of the same chapter: “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” The next several verses reveal this “Word” as the “true light” who “was in the world and the world was made through him”(v 10). This couldn’t be John the Baptist as he “was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.”(v.8) Verse 14 says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father,” How does any of that make sense if Jesus became the Son of God at human birth? Even verse 18 explains that it is the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.” (ESV). Other translations render ‘the only God’ as ‘only begotten Son’(KJV) , ‘God the only Son’(NASB), or ‘the one and only Son , who is himself God’ (NIV).
John 17:3 must be taken in light of verse 5: “And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.” You’ve also missed John 14:10-11, in which Jesus plainly lays out His unity with the Father. How about his revelation of himself as preceding Abraham, using the term “I am” in John 8:58? You’ve cited part of John 8, but failed to read further in the same conversation. Was that actual blasphemy on his part? Were the Jews mistaken about what He said? He gets the same reaction in John 10:30, when he says, “I and the Father are One.” The Jews even explain their reason for wanting to stone him in verse 33, “because you, being a man, make yourself God.” You also missed Colossians 1:15–20. In citing Hebrews 11:3, you jumped past Hebrews 1 (particularly v. 8 in which God refers to the Son as God). You also missed Colossians 1:15–20 and Philippians 2:5–11. I’ve already gone on much longer than I had planned, as these arguments have already been made in several of our articles. Suffice to say, the problem of taking Scriptures out of context applies to every one of the ‘proof texts’ you’ve provided. Indeed, skeptics have used this very technique to try to discredit Scripture.
Finally, let’s not forget the whole reason for Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. In reference to 1 Corinthians 15, let us look not to just a few individual verses, but the whole teaching about the significance of the first Adam and the last Adam. The concept of a kinsman-redeemer for all mankind necessitates the incarnation of God the Son, begotten, not made who is both fully God and fully human.