Did Thomas believe Jesus to be God?

 

Sami Zaatari

 

 

 

I recently wrote an article concerning Doubting Thomas' statement of my Lord and my God from John 20:28, and I examined whether this statement meant that Jesus was God, the article can be found on this link:

 

http://muslim-responses.com/Doubting_Thomas/Doubting_Thomas_

 

I advise readers to read the article so they can see the evidence and proof, that in no way does Thomas' statement mean that he believed that Jesus was God.

 

Recently Sam Shamoun of Answering-Islam has taken issue with my article, Shamoun contends that Thomas DID believe that Jesus was God by making such a statement, so with that said let us examine Shamoun's responses: (his comments in green)

 

Sami makes the following rather bold assertion:


So doubting Thomas calls Jesus his KYRIOS and THEOS. Now if anyone has studied the New Testament, as well as the Septuagint, which is basically the Greek version of the Jewish Bible, then one will find out that these exact words are not exclusive for God alone, and that these two terms are applied to many men. (Emphasis ours)

Sami is simply wrong here and his statement shows that he hasn't studied either the New Testament or the Septuagint carefully since when these exact words appear together in the same context to refer to the same object they ALWAYS refer to the one true God


RESPONSE


I believe Shamoun has miss-understood what I said, what I was saying was that the words alone, KYRIOS, and THEOS does not exclusively have to refer to God, I was not stating anything about the terms being used together. So I stand by what I said, the terms KYRIOS, and THEOS do not exclusively refer to the almighty God, so if Thomas did call Jesus his KYRIOS and THEOS the interpretation does not have to mean that he was calling Jesus God almighty.


Shamoun then argues:


Sami is simply wrong here and his statement shows that he hasn't studied either the New Testament or the Septuagint carefully since when these exact words appear together in the same context to refer to the same object they ALWAYS refer to the one true God


RESPONSE


Shamoun is now saying that since the term KYRIOS AND THEOS together is always used when referring to God, then Jesus must be God because Thomas is now using this term on Jesus. This is faulty argumentation, because Shamoun has yet to prove that Jesus is God in the first place, hence the Q we ask ourselves is why would doubting Thomas all of a sudden refer to Jesus as his almighty God when the Gospels make it clear that Jesus was not God, rather a prophet, and the Messiah?


As Biblical Unitarian write:


Jesus never referred to himself as "God" in the absolute sense, so what precedent then did Thomas have for calling Jesus "my God"?
The Greek language uses the word theos, ("God" or "god") with a broader meaning than is customary today. In the Greek language and in the culture of the day, "GOD" (all early manuscripts of the Bible were written in all capital letters) was a descriptive title applied to a range of authorities, including the Roman governor (Acts 12:22), and even the Devil (2 Cor. 4:4). It was used of someone with divine authority. It was not limited to its absolute sense as a personal name for the supreme Deity as we use it today. (http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=108)


They even go on to quote a Trinitarian who writes:


In Concessions of Trinitarians, Michaelis, a Trinitarian, writes:


I do not affirm that Thomas passed all at once from the extreme of doubt to the highest degree of faith, and acknowledged Christ to be the true God.
This appears to me too much for the then existing knowledge of the disciples; and we have no intimation that they recognized the divine nature of Christ before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I am therefore inclined to understand this expression, which broke out in the height of his astonishment, in a figurative sense, denoting only "whom I shall ever reverence in the highest degree".Or a person raised from the dead might be regarded as a divinity; for the word God is not always used in the strict doctrinal sense" (http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=108)


So indeed why would Thomas all of a sudden believe that Jesus was the almighty God when Jesus never referred to himself as such, and when all evidence suggests otherwise? What is more interesting is that right after Jesus' supposed resurrection, Jesus meets some of his followers, and his followers mistake him for a traveller, and this is what they stated:


And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. (Luke 24:19-21)

Biblical Unitarian comment:


They said Jesus "was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God.and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel" (Luke 24:19-21). The Bible is clear that these disciples thought Jesus was a "prophet." Even though some of the apostles realized that Jesus was the Christ, they knew that according to the Old Testament prophecies, the Christ, the anointed of God, was to be a man. There is no evidence from the gospel accounts that Jesus' disciples believed him to be God, and Thomas, upon seeing the resurrected Christ, was not birthing a new theology in a moment of surprise. (
http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=108)


So this context cannot be ignored, there is no proof that anyone believed that Jesus was God, and Jesus never taught he was God, hence the correct interpretation is that when Thomas calls Jesus his KYRIOS and THEOS, he is not referring to him as the almighty God as all consistent evidence shows there would absolutely be no reason for such a belief.


Shamoun continues:


Sami then quotes a part of Strong's Lexicon to show that kyrios can be a title of honor and respect given by a servant to a master. He wishes to argue from this point that the disciples called Jesus kyrios because he was their leader, being the Messiah, prophet and judge, not because he is God.


There are many problems with Sami's assertions, not the least of which is that he doesn't quote the entire lexicon entry which actually says:

1) he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord

a) the possessor and disposer of a thing

1) the owner; one who has control of the person, the master
2) in the state: the sovereign, prince, chief, the Roman emperor

b) is a title of honour expressive of respect and reverence, with which servants greet their master
c) this title is given to: God, the Messiah

(Source; underline emphasis ours)


In the last definition the very positioning of the Messiah with God indicates that the title has the same meaning when it is applied to both of them, e.g. the Messiah is Lord in the same sense that God is.


RESPONSE


Again Shamoun is miss-understanding my arguments. For starters I am not picking and choosing which definition of the word Kyrios  I want to apply, rather I am going with the definition that FITS THE CONTEXT.


One definition of the term KYRIOS is a master, a title of honour, and respect. Another definition of Kyrios, as Shamoun rightly pointed out, is the almighty God, I agree, nor did I ever dispute that. In fact Shamoun quoted me above, and when he quoted me I said the following:


one will find out that these exact words are not exclusive for God alone


Notice by me saying that the term Kyrios is not exclusive to God alone, means that I acknowledge that the term can be used for God, and is used for God at times! Now having said that, what I am doing is going with the definition that matches and fits the context. All the context shows that Jesus is not God, nor did the people believe him to be God, hence there is no justification to interpret the term Kyrios when referring to Jesus to mean the almighty God, rather due to the contextual evidence we have, the term Kyrios when applied to Jesus means master, leader, and a title of honour.


Words can mean many things, the way you define what it actually means is by analysing the context, and by doing so then you arrive at the true meaning of what the word is trying to imply.

Shamoun then writes:


Sami overlooks the testimony of John that Jesus is Lord in the sense that everything that belongs to God is completely his since he is the One through whom all creation was brought into being and for whom it exists:


"He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. He came to his own, and his own received him not." John 1:10-11


"the Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand." John 3:35


"Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God," John 13:3


"All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. John 16:15


"all mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them." John 17:10


RESPONSE


Biblical Unitarian responds to John 1:10-11:


This verse is a reference to the Father, not to Christ. A study of the context reveals that this section opens in verse 6 by telling us, "There came a man who was sent by God." We are told, "God is light," and that God's light shown through Jesus Christ and made him "the light of the world." Though God was in the world in many ways, including through His Son, the world did not recognize him
.... The fact that the world did not receive Him is made more profound in the context as Scripture reveals how earnestly God reached out to them?He made his plan and purpose flesh and shined His light through Christ to reach the world?but they did not receive Him (http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=87)


Now what about John 3:35, John 3:35, and John 13:3? Well the word that is used for ALL is PAS in the Greek, and the word PAS does not literally have to mean everything, hence God did not literally give Jesus everything he has, rather God gave some miracles and powers to Jesus, as the book of Acts tells us:


Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know (Acts 2:22)


The same applies to John 17:10, although in John 17:10 Jesus does not say that all of God's things belong to him, rather Jesus says that all what he has belong to God, not the other way round.


Shamoun then says:


The other problem with Sami's position is that it once again shows that Muhammad was wrong since the latter claimed that Allah would never allow anyone to take any prophet or angel as Lord (Arabic - Rabb), and that doing so is a heinous sin:


He would never order you to take the angels and the Prophets as lords (arbaban); what, would He order you to disbelieve, after you have surrendered? S. 3:80


They have taken as lords (arbaban) beside Allah their rabbis and their monks and the Messiah son of Mary, when they were bidden to worship only One God. There is no God save Him. Be He Glorified from all that they ascribe as partner (unto Him)! S. 9:31(2)


Yet Thomas takes Christ as his sovereign Lord with Jesus' full and complete blessing! Here is a transliteration of what John 20:28 says in Arabic since this will show that Thomas was embracing Christ as his Rabb or Lord, something which Muhammad forbade in his book:


"Ajaaba Toma wa-qala lahu, Rabbee wa-ilahi."


Thus, the testimony of John 20:28 shows that Muhammad was mistaken concerning what the previous prophets taught since Jesus, whom he recognized as a true Prophet, allowed and accepted his followers to embrace him as their sovereign Lord or Rabb.


RESPONSE

Shamoun has commited a very bad fallacy here, equating the term and concept of Lord from the Bible, to that of the Quran. This is a classic fallacy of comparing two different texts, from two different times, and then trying to make the meanings of the former equate with meanings of the new. For instance the word 'Bitch' and 'Cunt' was very normal words for the English language, it was common to hear such things without raising the eyebrow or being used as an offense, yet in today's society, and in today's context, with our language, the meaning is different, and it would be a fallacy to try and equate the old with the new.


In the Bible, the way the word Lord and concept of Lord is used is very different than the way it is used in the Quran. In the Quran, when Rab is used, it is always referring to the true almighty God, while exposing false idols and false gods. Yet this is not the case with the Greek Bible, for the Greek language the word and usage of Lord has a broad meaning and a broad use, for the Quran the word Rab does not have a broad range of meaning, nor a broad range of usage, it is always reserved specifically for the true God, and is meant for that purpose.


Secondly, the verses Shamoun quotes, the verses are using the word Lord in the sense of being the almighty God, and Allah is condemning people who made others their lord in the sense of being the almighty God.


Shamoun writes:


To further support that Jesus is Thomas' Lord and God in an absolute sense - in the same sense that the Father is - it should be pointed out that all throughout the Gospels Jesus consistently made statements concerning himself that went beyond anything a mere prophet or a human Messiah would dare say. Christ spoke of himself in such a manner that even his audience knew that he was claiming to be the unique Divine Son of God who had come down from heaven, the beloved Son who is equal with the Father in power, ability, essence, glory and honor. For instance, the fourth Evangelist repeatedly quotes Jesus speaking of his heavenly preexistence and essential coequality with the Father, statements which even his opponents understood were claims of Deity:


"And this was why the Jews persecuted Jesus, because he did this on the sabbath. But Jesus answered them, 'My Father is working still, and I am working.' This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath but also called God his Father, making himself equal with God. Jesus said to them, ?Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever he does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all that he himself is doing; and greater works than these will he show him, that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, EVEN AS they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself, and has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his [the Son's] voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment." John 5:16-23, 25-29


"Jesus said to them, ?I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.' The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, ?I am the bread which came down from heaven.' They said, ?Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, "I have come down from heaven"?'" John 6:35-42


"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.' The Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, ?I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of these do you stone me?' The Jews answered him, ?It is not for a good work that we stone you but for blasphemy; because you, being a man, make yourself God.'" John 10:27-33


RESPONSE


Let us deal with each of the passages that Shamoun brought up, starting with John 5:16-23:


And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him

There are many points to address here, so let us break each one of them down point by point, starting with:


But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.


Just because Jesus says that the Father works, and that he works, does not have to make him God nor equal with God. Rather this is a statement of fact, God works through his prophets, and he is working through his prophet Jesus, hence Jesus is indeed working. Secondly, this shows a unity of God with Jesus, they are united together, as all believers should be, as God is working to do good, to help and save people, Jesus is doing the same, which is his duty as a prophet. We should all do the same, as God works, we also work, I am working right now, refuting falsehoods and proclaiming the truth so that people can be guided to the truth, all true believers are united in work with God, as he works to save, and we work as his tools to save the lost.


The next part of the verse:


Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.


And we are supposed to believe that Jesus is equal with God because some evil hypocrites accused him of teaching such a thing? We have seen the earlier passage, and no where in it does Jesus apply his equality with God. Secondly, Jesus does refute these Jews! In the next part of the passage he says:


Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.


So Jesus tells them that he does nothing by himself, rather the works he does is from God, and God has granted him the power and right to do such things. Notice what is going on, the Jews accuse Jesus of being equal with God, and Jesus replies back by saying I DO NOTHING OF MYSELF, this is a direct response to the Jews to defend and vindicate himself from their accusation.


When Jesus says he does what he sees the Father doing, this basically means that what he does is by God giving him the right and power to work, and perform miracles. Jesus then goes on to tell us what miracles he does by the Father's permission:


For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.


So Jesus gets specific, just as God raises the dead, he gives the power for Jesus to raise the dead as well. It must be made very clear that Jesus raises the dead only because God gave him this power, and this right to do so, it is not from Jesus' own supposed divinity, but a blessing from God, and a sign for the people.


Visit this article for further reading on this topic:


http://muslim-responses.com/Miracles_of_Jesus/Miracles_of_Jesus_


The rest of the passage I have responded to in this article:


http://muslim-responses.com/Honouring_Jesus/Honouring_Jesus_

http://muslim-responses.com/Inferior_Jesus/Inferior_Jesus_

http://muslim-responses.com/Inferior_Jesus_still/Inferior_Jesus_still_


As for Jesus judging people, I will reply to this point in a separate article reserved alone for this topic.

What about the next set of passages that Shamoun raised, do they point to divinity:


"Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.' The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, ?I am the bread which came down from heaven.' They said, ?Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, "I have come down from heaven"?'" John 6:35-42


Jesus being called the bread of life does not make him God, rather since he is a prophet, and the Messiah, it is incumbent upon people to believe in him as such to be saved. Anyone who rejects the prophet, and Messiah will be lost in the hereafter, which is the ultimate death, and those who accept the prophet and Messiah, will be victorious in the hereafter, which is the ultimate life.


Is Jesus God because he came down from heaven? Biblical Unitarian explains this:


The Jews would not have taken John's words to mean that Christ "incarnated." It was common for them to say that something "came from heaven" if God were its source. For example, James 1:17 says that every good gift is "from above" and "comes down" from God. What James means is clear. God is the Author and source of the good things in our lives. God works behind the scenes to provide what we need. The verse does not mean that the good things in our lives come directly down from heaven. Most Christians experience the Lord blessing them by way of other people or events, but realize that the ultimate source of the blessings was the Lord. We should apply John's words the same way we understand James' words?that God is the source of Jesus Christ, which He was. Christ was God's plan There are also verses that say Jesus was "sent from God," a phrase that shows God as the ultimate source of what is sent. John the Baptist was a man "sent from God" (John 1:6), and it was he who said that Jesus "comes from above" and "comes from heaven" (John 3:31). When God wanted to tell the people that He would bless them if they gave their tithes, He told them that He would open the windows of "heaven" and pour out a blessing (Mal. 3:10 - KJV). Of course, everyone understood the idiom being used, and no one believed that God would literally pour things out of heaven. They knew that the phrase meant that God was the origin of the blessings they received. Still another example is when Christ was speaking and said, "John's baptism?where did it come from? Was it from heaven or from men?" (Matt. 21:25). Of course, the way that John's baptism would have been "from heaven" was if God was the source of the revelation. John did not get the idea on his own, it came "from heaven." The verse makes the idiom clear: things could be "from heaven," i.e., from God, or they could be "from men." The idiom is the same when used of Jesus. Jesus is "from God," "from heaven" or "from above" in the sense that God is his Father and thus his origin.


Number 2, if Shamoun is not happy with the above, then another answer can be given. Jesus did not come about through sexual action, rather he proceeded as a Word from God, God said be, and he was. God sent his angel Gabriel, and angel Gabriel by God's permission, breathed Jesus into Mary. So in that sense you could say that Jesus came from heaven, as he did not proceed from a man through the act of sexual intercourse.


Either of the above two interpretations are enough to answer this point.


What about Jesus saying he will raise people? Well we know that God gave Jesus power and authority, hence it is by God's power and authority that Jesus does such things.


What about the last passages that Shamoun raised, do they preach that Jesus is God? Let us read what they say:


"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.' The Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, ?I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of these do you stone me?' The Jews answered him, ?It is not for a good work that we stone you but for blasphemy; because you, being a man, make yourself God.'" John 10:27-33


Yes, Jesus gives them eternal life, but in what sense? If a believer believes that Jesus is a prophet, then they will get eternal life, because it is essential to believe in the prophets to be saved, if you don't, then you are not saved, because the prophet has God as his witness, if you call the prophet a liar, you are calling God a liar.


What about Jesus being one with the Father? Biblical Unitarian explains:

1.
There is no reason to take this verse to mean that Christ was saying that he and the Father make up "one God." The phrase was a common one, and even today if someone used it, people would know exactly what he meant?he and his father are very much alike. When Paul wrote to the Corinthians about his ministry there, he said that he had planted the seed and Apollos had watered it. Then he said, "he who plants and he who waters are one" (1 Cor. 3:8 - KJV). In the Greek texts, the wording of Paul is the same as that in John 10:30, yet no one claims that Paul and Apollos make up "one being." Furthermore, the NIV translates 1 Corinthians 3:8 as "he who plants and he who waters have one purpose." Why translate the phrase as "are one" in one place, but as "have one purpose" in another place? In this case, translating the same phrase in two different ways obscures the clear meaning of Christ's statement in John 10:30: Christ always did the Father's will; he and God have "one purpose."


2.
Christ uses the concept of "being one" in other places, and from them one can see that "one purpose" is what is meant. John 11:52 says Jesus was to die to make all God's children "one." In John 17:11, 21 and 22, Jesus prayed to God that his followers would be "one" as he and God were "one." We think it is obvious that Jesus was not praying that all his followers would become one being or "substance" just as he and his Father were one being or "substance." We believe the meaning is clear: Jesus was praying that all his followers be one in purpose just as he and God were one in purpose, a prayer that has not yet been answered.


3.
The context of John 10:30 shows conclusively that Jesus was referring to the fact that he had the same purpose as God did. Jesus was speaking about his ability to keep the "sheep," the believers, who came to him. He said that no one could take them out of his hand and that no one could take them out of his Father's hand. Then he said that he and the Father were "one," i.e., had one purpose, which was to keep and protect the sheep.


Now what about the Jews who accused Jesus of making himself God? Well, what about the believers who did not believe that Jesus was God! Shamoun can't have his cake and eat it, if he wants us to believe that Jesus proclaimed to be God because some evil Jews believed that, then we must also believe that Jesus is NOT God because the believers did not believe he preached that! However so both cannot be right, hence who are you going to turn to? The hypocrite Pharisee condemned by Jesus, or the believers?


Biblical Unitarian also write an interesting response:

1. Any difficulty in understanding this verse is caused by the translators. Had they faithfully rendered the Greek text in verse 33 as they did in verses 34 and 35, then it would read, ".you, a man, claim to be a god." In the next two verses, John 10:34 and 35, the exact same word (theos, without the article) is translated as "god," not "God." The point was made under John 1:1 that usually when "God" is meant, the noun theos has the definite article. When there is no article, the translators know that "god" is the more likely translation, and they are normally very sensitive to this. For example, in Acts 12:22, Herod is called theos without the article, so the translators translated it "god." The same is true in Acts 28:6, when Paul had been bitten by a viper and the people expected him to die. When he did not die, "they changed their minds and said he was a god." Since theos has no article, and since it is clear from the context that the reference is not about the true God, theos is translated "a god." It is a general principle that theos without the article should be "a god," or "divine." Since there is no evidence that Jesus was teaching that he was God anywhere in the context, and since the Pharisees would have never believed that this man was somehow Yahweh, it makes no sense that they would be saying that he said he was "God." On the other hand, Jesus was clearly teaching that he was sent by God and was doing God's work. Thus, it makes perfect sense that the Pharisees would say he was claiming to be "a god" or "divine."


2.
We take issue with the NIV translation of "mere man" for the Greek word anthropos. The English word "anthropology," meaning "the study of man," is derived from anthropos. Spiros Zodhiates writes, "man, a generic name in distinction from gods and the animals." [25] In the vast majority of versions, anthropos is translated as "man." The word anthropos occurs 550 times in the Greek text from which the NIV was translated, yet the NIV translated it as "mere man" only in this one verse. This variance borders on dishonesty and demonstrates a willingness to bias the text beyond acceptable limits. Unfortunately, the NIV is not the only translation that puts a Trinitarian spin on this verse. The Jews would have never called Jesus a "mere" man. They called him what they believed he was?a "man." They were offended because they believed that he, "being a man, made himself a god (i.e., someone with divine status).


Hence none of the passages that Shamoun has raised preached any divinity. I will be writing more detailed articles on these specific issues very soon.


We are further told in the very same chapter where Thomas confesses that Jesus is his Lord and God that Christ performed a specifically Divine function,


"On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ?Peace be with you.' When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.' And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.'" John 20:19-23


RESPONSE


And we are further the following through context:


"Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God," John 13:3


Shamoun himself quoted this verse above! Hence if Jesus can perform such a miraculous duty, it is only because God have him such a right. Just like when Moses split the sea, it was because God gave him this miraculous right to have control over the sea through his stick, no one is going to conclude that Moses is God because he controls the nature of the earth, rather we know this was God blessing his prophet.


Shamoun then raises John 1:1-18, all have already been addressed on these links:


http://muslim-responses.com/The_Logos/The_Logos_

http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=85

http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=61

http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=87

http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=88

http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=89

http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=90


Shamoun ends with two fallacious challenges:

  • We challenge you to quote an example from the Holy Bible where believers address someone other than Yahweh as their Lord God. Provide a text which uses words such as "my Lord and my God," "my God and my Lord," "Lord my God," "our Lord and God," etc. for someone other than Yahweh God with the approval of the true God or an appointed spokesperson of God.

This has already been refuted above by allowing the context to determine the meaning of this term when applied to Jesus. Just because the term is used on God does not mean that now when it used on Jesus makes him God as well, because as I repeat all context shows that Jesus is NOT God. Hence the challenge is nothing because it doesnt refute the contextual evidence that Jesus is not God, and the believers around him did not believe him to be God.

  • We further challenge you to quote a passage where someone besides Yahweh is ever addressed with the words "my God" or "our God" with the true God or his inspired prophet/apostle having absolutely no problem with it.

The same reply as above, Thomas says MY theos, yes the important factor is in what sense is theos used here? All contexts show us that the term and usage of theos when applied here does not mean the absolute and mighty God, hence again Shamoun's challenge means nothing as the real facts have not been refuted, which is that contextualy the Gospel of John shows that Jesus is not God, and contextually there is not a SINGLE believer in the Gospel of John who believes Jesus to be God:


http://muslim-responses.com/Just_a_Prophet/Just_a_Prophet_

http://muslim-responses.com/The_Witnesses_of_John/The_Witnesses_of_John_


That brings this rebuttal to a close, Thomas did not believe that Jesus was God, he believed that Jesus was his prophet and Messiah.


And Allah Knows Best!

www.muslim-responses.com