Daddy, Is Jesus God?

People have started wars, split churches, and even been burned at the stake over this simple question casually posed to me by my three year old son last night at dinner.

“Daddy, is Jesus God?”

It would have been easy to give the quick, standard, unquestionable answer I was raised with:

“Yes, Grady. Absolutely. Now finish your supper and don’t ask any more questions.”

Don’t worry, that wasn’t my answer. But reflecting on things a few hours later, and as a progressive educator, what I *wish* I would have said is:

“What do you think, Grady? What makes you ask that question?”

Of course, I didn’t think fast enough to come back with that response either. Instead, what I actually fumbled through was something more like:

“I don’t know, Grady. Some people believe that Jesus is God, and other people don’t.”

And then I tried to explain why some people do, and others don’t, until I found I was rambling at a level that was probably over his head, and quickly killing an otherwise perfect theological father/son opportunity for dialogue.

If you’re a new reader to this blog, and you’re still in shock over the fact that I don’t unquestionably and unwaveringly acknowledge the divinity of Christ…welcome to my blog, where heresy and orthodoxy share space! (please leave all crucifixes, burning stakes, and other implements of the Inquisition at the door before you enter — we’re a little bit sensitive about that here).

If anything, my two weeks studying Greek at seminary so far have reinforced my belief that we who call ourselves Christians know a whole lot less than some of us are comfortable with. Here’s a case in point: During the second day of class, we were reading the Lord’s Prayer in the original Greek (well…as close as we can actually get to the original, which isn’t really that close), and our professor stops at passage that loosely translates as “give us this day our daily bread.” Only, he points to the word that we translate as daily, and says, “Nobody really knows what this word means. It only occurs two places in the New Testament (both times in the Lord’s Prayer) and nowhere else in ancient Greek literature. The word ‘Daily’ is just a guess.”

So for all we know, Jesus could have said, “Give us this day our raisin bread.” I would certainly appreciate a daily ration of that. Now, I know that some people argue that it’s possible to be certain of the “big picture” despite small translation issues, and minor variances in manuscripts. I myself believe this is mostly true, although it seems to me (as an English major and student of language in general) that sometimes those “little” things can be pretty significant.

Back to Grady’s question. Is Jesus God? A google search on this question quickly turns up five dozen websites that all offer some variation of Josh McDowell’s “Liar, Lunatic, or Lord” proposition — basically the idea that

  1. Jesus “said” he was God, and
  2. for someone to make such a claim, he would have to be
    • a liar,
    • crazy, or
    • telling the truth

Even though I once used that whole shpiel (as a very young youth director), I’ve come to think it’s a ridiculous oversimplification and quite counterproductive. For one thing, I think Jesus actually was just a little bit loopy — as are most talented and passionate people who change history. But my bigger issue with the liar, lunatic, lord proposition is much more simple: Did Jesus actually ever say that he *was* God? In the gospel of Mark (the oldest of the gospels) he does not. In fact, Jesus’ favorite title for himself in all the gospels is not “Son of God” but rather “Son of Man” — in other words, Jesus himself preferred for us to focus on his humanity, not his divinity (well, according to Matthew, Mark, and Luke, at least).

The most oft quoted gospel for establishing the divinity of Jesus is the gospel of John, which was written much later, when “institutional Christianity” was already well underway, and after Paul (who came onto the scene *after* the death of Jesus) had already fleshed out the basic theology/christology adopted by the early church.  Even there, the most solid reference (in John) has Jesus saying “I and my father are one” (John 10:30 KJV). But is this the only way to translate that phrase? I haven’t broached this passage in the original Greek yet, but as we learn, I keep running into passages that can be reasonably translated in more than one way, sometimes making a striking difference in the ultimate meaning.  Here’s another translation of that same  passage: “I and the Father are one heart and mind” (MSG). I often think that of my relationship with Grady — despite the 30 years that separate us, sometimes we think and act a lot alike.  One might say we “share a brain.” But I certainly don’t think that Grady is me, and I am Grady. And I think a reasonable person listening to Jesus say these words would NOT have instantly thought him a liar, lunatic, OR even a deity…unless it were someone already looking for words to trip him up with (like the Pharisees).

Speaking of “looking for words to trip one up with” I should probably go ahead and make the disclaimer that what I’m writing here represents exploration and journey for me, theologically — not something set in stone, that I believe unwaveringly, yesterday, today, and forever. (And yes, this paragraph is specifically addressed to my Committee on Preparation for Ministry).

In the end, this is an issue that is far from resolved, at least for me. I don’t judge others who have already settled on an answer to this one — I have good friends on both sides.  Maybe Grady and I can explore this question together.

Later on that night, Grady asked another theological question:

“Daddy, why did people kill Jesus?”

I had a lot more fun answering this one. We talked about power, authority, money, and all the other things Jesus called into question. Whether Jesus was God or not, I AM pretty certain that Woody Guthrie had it right: If Jesus showed up today, preaching the same stuff he did 2000 years ago…we’d crucify him all over again. And by we, I mostly mean Christians.

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39 Responses to Daddy, Is Jesus God?

  1. Mr. Sir says:

    In terms of a broad exegetical approach to Jesus’ divine identity see NT Wright’s relatively brief chapter in Engaging the Doctrine of God: Contemporary Protestant Perspectives edited by PTS’s own Bruce McCormack.

  2. Neal Locke says:

    Thanks, Mr. Sir. I will definitely check that out — I’ve been meaning to get to NT Wright at some point. By the way…who are you?

  3. Dannah says:

    I just told Jameson Jesus is a lot like as God because he’s God’s son. Just like he’s a lot like his Daddy. And that that’s what I think. He wasn’t overly concerned about it though. Maybe when he’s a little older I’ll go deeper.

    I think it’s ok to raise kids with the simple version first. That’s why we joined the church! What did Amy have to say about all this?

  4. Jason Rea says:

    Hey Neal,
    This is Jason, we had beers over at grant’s a few nights ago. I have a comment and a question. As for Jesus saying he is God, there is pretty good evidence in the other gospels as well as John. The main one being Jesus often responds by saying: “ego eimi” which is greek for I am (in the LXX, the greek translation of the hebrew scriptures, ego eimi is the translation for God’s name yahweh: I am who I am). This is his reply to the Council in Mark 14:53-65 and to others at different times throughout all the gospels, but you are correct that it is strongest in the Gospel of John. In Mark the High priest tears his clothes and states Jesus has blasphemed by replying in this way. So you can see the “I am” (ego eimi) is in Mark which is the earliest gospel we have, dated by many scholars around 65-75 ce. Secondly, the Son of Man reference is from Daniel 7, where the son of man is often understood to be the messiah. For me these indicate that Jesus did in fact state that he was God but that’s how I see it (as you said there are others who come to different conclusions). Now for my question, you had mentioned a presbyterian camp that might be heading in an intentional community direction. could you let me know which camp that is. I have an ex-student that is interested in the possibility of a presby monastery as well, and I told him about our conversation and he asked me to find out for him. Hope all is well in greek see you around the CRW.

  5. Marlene says:


    I love how you taught Grady.

    I think one day, Jesus will ask you about this: “Jesus actually was just a little bit loopy.” LOL

  6. Neal Locke says:

    @Jason — thanks for the comment. I honestly hope Jesus’ divinity is more complicated than that, though 😉 The camp I was talking about is Stony Point in NY. I don’t know if it will become an intentional community or not — that’s just a hunch because of who they just named as the “transitional director” (Rick Ufford-Chase).

    @Marlene — When you say “one day” do you mean, like after I die and go to heaven? Because I’m not so sure I believe in that either 😉 Oh, and I think I might have you beat on “earliest internet access date” but who’s counting, right? Anyhow, thanks for the comments!

  7. You answered him well.

    I’ve had that conversation myself, and I’ve got two Jewish kids. Explaining that with a “yes” to them while respecting their identity as Jews has been…well..entertaining.

  8. it is good to have another heretic on campus–welcome!

  9. it is good to have another heretic on campus–welcome!

  10. Mr. Sir says:

    @Mr Locke,

    To answer one of your questions “I and the Father are one” is pretty much the only acceptable way to translate John 10:30, the grammar is as simple in Greek as it is in English for this sentence. It reads: ??? ??? ? ????? ?? (neut nominative of the #1) ?????.

    The question of what this actually means is the bigger question, but the grammar is not a problem.

  11. Thanks! And about the monopoly — I always win too. It was my own rabid lust for winning at all costs (monopoly is sort of a big deal in my family of origin) that made me think a bit deeper about the game. But hopefully your son just wins because he's naturally good at it…not because he wants to crush his opponents and drive them to bankruptcy 😉

  12. Neal Locke says:

    @David — that’s awesome! You and your family just went up several notches in my “esteem” chart for journeying on the “interfaith family” path — we need more of those, I think, for peace to prevail in the world.

    @Mr. Sir — I’m still new to Greek (and I need to figure out why the characters don’t show up here) but I’ve studied (and taught) English for a long time, and I know this: the word “acceptable” implies another entity — so when you say it’s the “only acceptable translation” I have to ask, acceptable to whom? Because perusing the major translations on, I come up with several variations on that verse, and I know that Greek scholars of repute stand behind each one. But I agree with you, “what this actually means” is the bigger question by far.

    One more thing: I know that anonymity runs rampant on the internet, and some people have good reasons for wanting to conceal their identity — but I’m not a big fan of it on my blog. You’re more than welcome to read and comment, but I wish you’d use your real name, especially since your IP address says you’re commenting from right here on the seminary campus. So if we’re neighbors in real life, let’s be neighborly on the internet too, ok? Thx.

  13. no, no, crushing opponents and driving them to bankruptcy brings a glow of delight to his soul!

  14. no, no, crushing opponents and driving them to bankruptcy brings a glow of delight to his soul!

  15. Brenda VanAmburgh says:

    Hi Neal

    Yes, I am on the COPM, and yes, I regularly read your blog. I may be the only committee member to do this . . .and that may be a good thing for you considering the content of today’s musings. You have to remember that most of us are traditional, somewhat confused over words like postmodernism & emergent, and are at least over the age of 50.

    I truly enjoy reading Mr. Locke’s Classroom and I still think we (PCUSA) need you as much (or perhaps more) than you need us. I am not the least bit worried about your theology wherever it may roam. Keep pushing the edge of the envelope . . . but, also “be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”

    I hope you like southern Jersey as much as I do. It’s a terrific area.

    Brenda VanAmburgh

  16. Dannah says:

    How long have you been there now? 2 weeks? Already stirring things up I see.

  17. Neal Locke says:

    @Brenda — God bless you for those words you whispered to me on the day of my COPM Inquiry Interview. They have inspired me ever since. And thanks for your words today. I think sometimes my tendency when “rocking the boat” is to forget that my ultimate goal is not to alienate people, but rather to invite them along with me in journey and conversation. Thanks for the reminder!

  18. Neal Locke says:

    @Dannah — are you surprised? Actually, I find that while there are plenty of people here who are more conservative than I, there are just as many who are even further to the left than I am, or “off the reservation” in other ways. It’s a pretty diverse place. So when are you going to answer *your* call and join me here?

  19. Mr. Sir says:

    Mr. Locke,
    This may be pedantic, but your assertion about the different translations on is a bit strained. Most of them are distinctions without differences, based on the fact that certain manuscripts (e.g. Codices Washingtonianus & Sangallensis) contain the word “my.”

    Where the translations do differ more significantly it is the attempt to move beyond the grammar to the meaning of the text (I’m still old fashioned enough to consider the possibility that texts have meanings). And as you said yourself, this is the really important part.

    I certainly do not disparage the honesty of this post on the divinity of Jesus, but I do hope that you keep your mind open to the NIcene and Chalcedonian tradition on this one. Being able to confess Jesus’ divinity really, really, really, really, really, ad infinitum… matters. Why this is the case is something you have the rest of your life (but especially your seminary career) to figure out.

    Mr. Sir

  20. Dannah says:

    Haha. When I win the lottery. Even then I don’t think they’d have me. I need to get out of community college first.

  21. Neal Locke says:

    Mr. Sir — I’d love to engage with you on that last point a little more, but I’m just not sure how to do that with a nameless, faceless person who uses for an email address. It just doesn’t seem that friendly to me, and I’d rather not have that sort of conversation. Maybe some other time, though.

  22. Vinny says:

    The author of John thought that Jesus was God and he certainly seems to have wanted to limit his readers’ choices to Lord, lunatic or liar. However, the the authors of the synoptics don’t report Jesus making the same kind of unambiguous claims. They seem willing to give their readers a fair amount of leeway to decide for themselves what they think of Jesus.

  23. Mark says:

    When I have access (I’m nowhere near a theological library) I want to read Dominic Crossan’s books. He has a lot to say about scripture and the nature of Jesus Christ. As for the Nicene and Chalcedonian formulations of faith, don’t forget that they had strong political backing behind them in an attempt to standardize the newly approved state religion. Christianity was anything but monolithic before those councils met. Be a diligent student of Church history and you’ll find it gives you important tools for interpreting scripture and engaging in theological discourse.

  24. Vinny says:


    If you have access to a decent public library, you should check there. Mine carries a number of his books.

  25. Mark says:

    Thanks for the suggestion, Vinny. I’ll check out the county library, and the junior college library as well, but I’m not holding my breath. This is a very conservative area (Church of Christ and various flavors of Baptist).

    I won’t say my community is the buckle of the Bible Belt because I don’t think the Bible Belt has a buckle. I think of it more as a concha belt with distinct concentrations throughout the US. I live in one of those conchas.

  26. Neal, I had similar conversation with one of my boys sometime in the last year. I don’t remember whether he asked the question or he was responding to a statement in church/Sunday school/family devotions. Anyway, my answer was probably more in the vein “Absolutely, Joe, Jesus is God” – which of course does not have to be followed (explicitly or implicitly) with “don’t ask any more questions.” While I do believe in the divinity of Jesus and I also desire to pass that belief on to my children, I wonder in retrospect if your wished-I’d-a-said reply would be more helpful to that end then the definitive YES. Because what I remember most about the exchange is that my four or five-year-old son was vehemently disagreeing with me: Jesus is NOT God! Not that he had any theological counter-argument; he was just being an ornery contrarian. Which I can only imagine being amplified at 15 years vs. 5.

    By the way, the logical flaw in the liar-lunatic-Lord argument is one I’ve thought about for a long time myself. I don’t think my faith in Christ’s deity (and it IS ultimately about faith – not incontrovertible evidence) depends primarily on his own recorded words. What it does depend on is something I should blog about myself sometime…

  27. Mr. Sir says:

    Mr. Locke, I must apologize. My real fake email address is

    But seriously, I do not believe in putting my personal data out there on the internet indiscriminately. That means my name and my email address. I trust that you’re a decent enough guy that you wouldn’t publish it, but I know enough not to trust that the data won’t get out despite your best intentions.

    In terms of being friends, we’re not. We know don’t know each other and I doubt we will. You publish your thoughts and invite commentary. If you only want friends to comment I would say that a) you should not publish any more of my comments or any comments that you deem unfriendly; or b) make this a private blog that only your invited friends can access.

    Back to the divinity of Jesus, you cannot stand within the Reformed tradition and deny a broadly Nicene-Chalecedonean Christology. At least one member of your CPM doesn’t seem to mind, and maybe they shouldn’t at this early phase. But you should seriously question whether or not the PC(USA) is for you if you don’t eventually come to the point where you can affirm Jesus’ divinity. Read the first section of the first chapter of the Form of Government in the Book of Order first section of the first chapter in the Form of Government. All of this is based on a high Christology, one that fully affirms the divinity and humanity of Jesus. To be a Presbyterian Christian means to affirm all this, you cannot scruple your way out of it.

    One more thing, you wrote: “welcome to my blog, where heresy and orthodoxy share space!”

    In response to that I would like to point you to these wise words, “Heresy is boring, not exciting because it eviscerates mystery. If you’re attracted to heresy because it makes you feel naughty then that’s kinda creepy. If you’re attracted to it because you don’t want to “limit God,” then the religion that serves a God who became a particular first-century Palestinian Jew might not be for you.” Amen.

    Yours truly,
    Mr. Sir

  28. Vinny says:


    Luckily I don’t have that problem in suburban Chicago.

    You might want to check out the intra-library loan policies at your county library though. I have gotten a number of books that way. can tell you whether a nearby library has something you want. There might be a college or university library that is not subject to the same community constraints.

  29. Neal Locke says:

    To Mr. Sir: I didn’t say you weren’t welcome to comment. Just that I wouldn’t engage you in dialogue about the divinity of Christ if you weren’t willing to at least let me know who you are, which, despite your protestations is still common courtesy. I saw a great t-shirt the other day (worn by a student here) that said something to the effect of:

    Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Dickwad

    Now, please don’t assume I’m calling you a dickwad, Mr. Sir — just that I think that without at least some modicum of identity, the potential for you to become one here exists. So far, you’ve been pretty cordial, and I appreciate that. I also don’t believe in censorship, so there will never be a time when I will make this blog private (in fact, Mr. Sir, if you registered as a user, you’d find you also have the ability to post entries on this very open blog), or limit comments to friends. But as an admin, I do have the ability to make your comments look pretty goofy, and if they ever do become mean-spirited or disruptive, I do reserve the right to edit them mercilessly (which I guess is still a form of censorship, albeit a decidedly lesser evil).

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  32. Jon says:

    I like the way you handled your son’s questions. I also like your openness. Personally, I’ve come to believe that the “beliefs” we have, i.e. the mental constructs we have about God account for nothing, and are worth nothing, at best. I’m more and more persuaded that “pistis” and “pisteo” in the NT are better understood as trust and faith, more than “belief.” You may enjoy a page I wrote It’s not about belief.

    Or you may not! But I *trust* your *faith* will guide you.

  33. Neal Locke says:

    Thanks, Jon. I agree with you there, and since we run across the “pisteo” words just about every day in our Greek sentence translating exercises, I might try actually making a deliberate switch in my own translations to reflect that. Wonder how that will go over with those who grade my quizzes and tests?

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  35. adam says:


    first of all, please read Isaiah 9:6, among His titles are :”the mighty God”, “Everlasting Father”. Then read 1Tim 3:16, “God was manifest in the flesh” and then John 1:1 the Word was God, then John 1:14 “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us,” also the angel told them that His name would Immanuel, meaning “God with us”.
    Ive never had a greek class, but i have studied for a long time. Without the divinity of Christ, there is no hope for salvation of any kind and your faith is in vain. Let me also ask, How did Jesus Christ pay for our sins? He became sin, and suffered the wrath of God for sin on your behalf. in my book, it is like the old saying, what would happen if an unstoppable object struck and immovable object? it did happen, when the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross and suffered the eternal wrath of God (Isaiah 53). Who but God could withstand the wrath of God? If you assert that Jesus isnt divine, how then was he able to be sinless? What about the miracles he performed? what about all the “types” of the Old Testament that clearly point to Christ?
    Jesus also said things like, “I and the Father are one.”, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” “He also said of Jerusalem, “How often i would have gathered you as a hen does her chicks, but you would not” how could he say that if He was not eternal? Isaiah 43:11, Isaiah 45:21, Hosea 13:4, all basically say the same thing, I am the Lord your God, and there is no Saviour beside me., 2Sam 22:3 says that he is the God of my rock, my hightower, my Saviour. Isaiah 43:3 says, “For I AM the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour:”
    I could go on, and on, and on, and finally Jesus said, that “unless you believe that I AM he, ye shall die in your sins”
    Please believe that Jesus is in fact the Son of God, 100% God, 100% man.

  36. Neal Locke says:

    Adam, welcome to the discussion, albeit rather late. If you think that the result of your very long comment is that I’ll be swept away by the convincing nature of your proof-texting selected scriptures that support your point, guess again.

    If you don’t think that, I’m left to ask why you posted what you did? You’ve made exactly the same arguments that countless others have made before you, and countless others still have poked holes in, both scripturally and logically. If you want me to, I’ll go through each one for you and do the same, but I have to admit I’d really rather not waste the energy unless you’re willing to adopt a more conversational, collegial, or just plain friendly style of dialogue.

    One thing, though. You say that “Without the divinity of Christ, there is no hope for salvation of any kind and your faith is in vain.” That’s pretty bold of you to judge my faith as “in vain,” considering you don’t even know me, and pretty bold of you to assume that the only way God could possibly “save” mankind is in the way you (and others) perceive. God can do whatever God wants to do, however God wants to do it. The interpretations you reference are all human in origin.

    I would suggest that you should be just a wee bit less certain of your knowledge of God, but I suppose that “certainty” is a core component of your faith, so I’ll leave you to it. Suffice it to say, for me, that all of the disciples chose to follow Christ long before anyone ever said anything about “divinity.” I think they were the better for the journey, so please don’t be so harsh on me for following in that vein. And please, please try to be more understanding of different points of view, even ones you disagree with–especially if you ever expect *anyone* to listen to your witness. Arguments (actually, argument styles) like yours are more likely to work against your intentions, where a little charity and relationship might go a lot farther…

  37. Dan Zachary says:

    This is an interesting blog. It is good to see people who disagree with one another doing so in a reasonably civil way.

    Some things to think about with regards to the divinity of Christ:

    1) The writers of the NT such as Matthew, Luke, John, Peter, and Paul all spoke of Jesus as both God and man. A careful reading will yield this conclusion. I can’t see how you can read the NT and not conclude that this is the best interpretation.

    2) With the possible exception of Luke, all the writers above were “eyewitnesses.” So we are dealing with primary sources.

    3) Using selective versus like Mark 10 or Acts 2:22-24 to score points against “the divinity of Christ,” does not do justice to the context.

    4) The NT writers spoke frequently of Christ’s sinlessness and that his crucifixion allows the believer to receive salvation. I think that C.S. Lewis makes a good case that only God could live a sinless life and be the perfect sacrifice to free humanity from his evil as well as from the Devil’s power.

    Disagree with the Christian message, reject the divinity of Christ, and even the reliability of the NT, but the NT leads the broadest reader to infer that Jesus was both God and Man.

    So, Mr. Locke, I would suggest that an honest search of the issue and inquiry of God, himself (“ask and you shall receive”), may change your mind yet.

    Best Wishes!

  38. Chris says:

    Hey Neal,

    How’s the life of a seminarian/family man going? I see on presbymergent that you’ve gotten all organized and “structured”. It seems it was just a matter of time wasn’t it?
    I’m actually writing on this thread because I caught the conversation and found Mr. Sir’s comments rather interesting. I understand his concern. If you recall our conversation I’d asked you to please take the route of truthfulness when it comes time to take your ordination vows. Because the pomo view of truth doesn’t really match up with most folks understanding, a lot of fudging and rationalizing is going on and so people who affirm one thing in a vow, will then repudiate or cast pointed skepticism on that same belief 5 minutes later once they’re in. If you’re modern you view this as dishonest. If you’re postmodern it’s just part of the journey. I’m afraid it’s an unlivable and untenable situation. So much so that it’s caused me to say that I’m closer to leaving the PC(USA) than I am to staying. If I have to go somewhere else, even if it’s a doctrinally rigid, conservative, dogmatic church, I’m hoping to at least find somewhere where people’s words ARE their word. Where words and sentences still mean things. Where there is some consistency between what they say and how they live. Where they don’t speak out of both sides of their mouth. And when it comes to their confessions, they don’t bait and switch.
    I think before people start philosophizing about God and worrying about the evil and injustice that is “out there”, they need to look at the injustice and wrongdoing that is within. I’m finding that a lot of people can rationalize an awful lot of stuff in the name of so-called “progressive” Christianity. The Christians that are supposed to be the good and thoughtful ones. Not the overly simplistic fundies. People are very quick to jump on evangelicals, and possibly with good reason, for what appear to be abuses, but I think that a lot of liberally minded and emergent Christians could be taken to the wood shed as well.

    Do I sound disillusioned?

    Anyway didn’t mean to go off or appear as though I’m pointing fingers. It’s just a concern to think about.

  39. Mr. Locke, you are right to question whether the New Testament (NT) says Jesus is God. I was a Trinitarian for many years and began to question it in my personal Bible study. This led to an in-depth quest for the real Jesus that resulted in my changing to believe that Jesus was no more than a man, though he was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died for our sins on the cross, arose from the dead, ascended to heaven and sits with God on his throne, awaiting his return here with his glorious kingdom.

    Only a few years prior to this Christological change, two of my children, who were about ages 6 and 8 at the time, had a brief but profound discussion about the identity of Jesus during our family devotion. I then recorded in my family memoirs. My son announced, “Jesus and God are the same.” His sister pondered that for a moment while sucking her thumb, pulled out her thumb and retorted, “No, God is a part of Jesus.” Years later I thought, “From the mouth of babes comes wisdom,” because that’s exactly what I later decided.

    Jesus was not God, but God was uniquely in him. There is quite a difference, and many Christians are confused about this. Jesus never claimed to be God, but he constantly taught that God, whom he regularly called “the/my Father,” was with and in him, giving him his mighty deeds to do and his words of wisdom to speak. Jesus once prayed to the Father, calling him “the only true God” (John 17.3). And sometimes he called the Father “my God” (Matt. 27.46/Mark 15.34; John 20.17; Rev. 3.2, 12). If Jesus had a God, who is the Father and the only God, then Jesus cannot be God.

    As for those few biblical texts that many Christians believe indicate that Jesus is God, either they are mistranslated, often because of grammatical difficulties, or misinterpreted. This is in my new book, The Restitution of Jesus Christ, available at It may be the most formidable book to ever challenge the church dogma that Jesus is God while affirming all other major church teachings about Jesus.

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