The Divinity of Jesus Christ

The biblical evidence of Jesus’ divinity is remarkably rich and consistent throughout the New Testament. Although I present many Scripture passages below, I cannot include most of them because doing so would dwarf the rest of the post. Perhaps at some point in the future I will publish a version containing all of the detailed citations. For now, though, let these examples suffice to demonstrate scriptural affirmation of the divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

To begin, recall that the divinity of Christ is a dogma of the Faith (de Fide). The divinity and divine Sonship of Jesus are expressed in all of the creeds. It is perhaps most clearly stated in the Athanasian Creed (Quicumque):

 … we believe and confess that Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is God and man. He is God begotten of the substance of the Father before all ages and man born in time of the substance of His Mother. He is Perfect God and perfect man.

Many passages in the Old Testament express the qualities of the coming Messiah:

    • a prophet (see Dt 18:15,18)
    • a priest (see Psalm 109:4)
    • a shepherd (see Ez 34:23ff)
    • King and Lord (see Ps 2, Ps 44, Ps 109, Zach 9:9)
    • a suffering servant (see Is 53)
    • the Son of God (see Ps 2:7, 109:3)
    • Emmanuel (God with us) (see Is 7:14, Is 8:8)
    • Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Father of the World to Come, Prince of Peace (see Is 9:6)
    • Eternal King (see Dan 7:14)

Many passages in the New Testament ascribe divine qualities to Jesus:

    • omnipotence, manifest in the creation and the conservation of the world (see Col 1:15-17, 1 Cor 8:6, Heb 1:2ff)
    • omniscience – In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3).
    • eternity – He is before all things, and in him all things hold together (Col 1:17).
    • immutability (see Heb 1:12, 13:8)
    • adorability (see Phil 2:10, Heb 1:6)

In the New Testament, the Father attests to the divine Sonship of Jesus:

See Mt 3:17, 17:5, Mk 9:7, Lk 3:22, 9:35, Jn 1:34, and 2 Pet 1:17.

In the Gospels, the Lord Jesus gives testimony to His own divinity and self-knowledge. He is of noble stature. He is aware of His dignity and power and expresses it frequently.

Jesus indicates that He transcends the prophets and Kings of the Old Covenant.

    • Jonah and Solomon (see Mt 12:41ff, Lk 11:31ff)
    • Moses and Elijah (see Matt 17:3, Mk 9:4, Lk 9:30)
    • King David – See Mt 22:43ff Mk 12:36, Lk 20:42ff
    • He says that the least born into His Kingdom will be greater than John the Baptist who, until that time, was considered the greatest man born of woman (see Mt 11:11, Lk 7:28).

Jesus teaches that He is superior to the angels.

    • The angels are His servants and minister to Him (see Mt 4:11, Mk 1:13, Lk 4:13).
    • The angels are His army (see Mt 26:53).
    • The angels will accompany Him at His second coming and do His will (see Mt 16:27, 25:31, Mk 8:38, Lk 9:26).

Jesus appropriates divine actions unto Himself and thus sets forth an assimilation unto the Lord God.

    • He declares that it was He who sent the prophets and doctors of the Law (see Mt 23:34, Lk 11:49).
    • He gives the promise of His assistance and grace (see Lk 21:15).
    • He forgives sins, which power belongs to God alone (e.g., Mt 9:2).
    • He, by His own authority, completes and changes some precepts of the Law (See Mt 5:21ff).
    • He declares Himself to be Lord of the Sabbath (see Mt 12:8, Mk 2:28, Lk 6:5, Jn 5:17).
    • Like the Heavenly Father, He makes a covenant with His followers (see Mt 26:28, Mk 14:24, Lk 22:20).

Jesus makes divine demands upon his followers.

    • He rebukes some for lack of faith in Him (see Mt 8:10-12, 15:28).
    • He rewards faith in Him (see Mt 8:13, 9:2, 22:29, 15:28, Mk 10:52, Lk 7:50, 17:19).
    • He demands faith in His own person (see Jn 14:1, 5:24, 6:40,47, 8:51, 11:25ff).
    • He teaches that rejection of Him and His teachings will be the standard of final judgement (see Lk 9:26, Mt 11:6).
    • Jesus demands supreme love for Him, which surpasses all earthly loves (see Mt 10:37,39; Lk 17:33).
    • He accepts religious veneration by allowing people to fall at His feet, an honor due to God alone (See Mt 15:25, 8:2, 9:18, 14:33, 28:9,17).

Jesus is well aware of His own power (see Mt 28:18).

    • He works many miracles in His own name.
    • He transfers this power to His disciples.

Jesus knows and teaches that His own death will be an adequate atonement for the forgiveness of the sins of the whole human race (see Mt 20:28, 26:28).

Jesus appropriates to Himself the office of Judge of the World, which according to the Old Testament (e.g., Ps 49:1-6) God would exercise (e.g., Mt 16:27). His judgment extends to every idle word (see Mt 12:36) and will be final and executed immediately (see Mt 25:46).

Jesus knows that He is the Son of God.

    • Jesus clearly distinguishes His claim in this regard from His disciples’ relationship to the Father. When He speaks of His own relationship with God He says, “My Father.” However, when He addresses the disciples, He calls God “Your Father.” He never unites Himself with them in the formula “Our Father,” thus maintaining a distinction (see Jn 20:17).
    • Jesus first reveals Himself to be the Son of God in the temple, when He remarks to Mary and Joseph that He must be about His Father’s business (see Lk 2:49).
    • Jesus claims to be both Messiah and Son of God in the presence of the Sanhedrin (see Mk 14:62). The Sanhedrin deem this to be blasphemous.
    • Jesus tells a story of Himself in the Parable of the Evil Husbandmen, thus confessing himself to be the only Son of God.
    • Jesus is aware of being one with the Father (The Father and I are one (Jn 10:30,38)). The Jews respond by accusing Him of blasphemy.

In John’s Gospel, Jesus indicates that

    • He is eternal (Before Abraham was, I am (Jn 8:58)),
    • He has full knowledge of the Father (see Jn 7:29, 8:55, 10:14ff),
    • He has equal power and efficacy with the Father (see Jn 5:17),
    • He can forgive sins (Jn 8:11 et sicut supra),
    • He is Judge of the World (Jn 5:22,27 et sicut supra),
    • He is rightly to be adored (see Jn 5:23),
    • He is the light of the world (see Jn 8:12),
    • He is the way, the truth, and the light (see Jn 14:6),
    • His disciples may and ought to pray to the Father in His name (see Jn 14:13ff, 16:23ff),
    • His disciples may pray to Him (see Jn 14:13ff, 16:23ff),
    • the solemn confession of the Apostle Thomas, “My Lord and my God,” is acceptable and in fact an act of faith (see Jn 20:28).

Here are a few other New Testament passages on Christ’s divinity:

    • And we know that the Son of God is Come and has given us Understanding that we may know the true God and may be in His True Son, this is the True God and Life Eternal (1 John 5:20).
    • In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God (Jn 1:1-14).
    • Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped … and every tongue must confess to the Glory of God the Father that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil 2:5-11).
    • … to them [the Israelites] belong the patriarchs and of their race, according to the flesh is the Christ, who is God over all blessed forever (Rom 9:5).
    • Looking for the blessed hope and coming of the glory of the great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).
    • But to the Son [God says]: Your Throne, O God is for ever and ever (Heb 1:8).

Well, I hope you get the point. Those who state that Jesus didn’t know He was God or that He never made divine claims haven’t read enough Scripture. Jesus is Lord; He is God. All things came to be through Him, and He holds all creation together in Himself. Those who deny His divinity will one day fall to prostrate before His glory (see Rev. 1:17).

Here is a powerful clip from the movie The Gospel of John. The words you will hear are taken directly from Scripture.

Cross-posted at the Catholic Standard: The Divinity of Jesus Christ

13 Replies to “The Divinity of Jesus Christ”

  1. I just saw an overlay of Ezekiel 34 and John 21 regarding the Shepherds. If a Bishop is ashamed of the Master and His Words and speaks only of making life ‘better’ on worldly terms, do they not realize this is the sin against the Holy Spirit and the ultimate denial of God? Is Jesus being proclaimed in this Synod or just a sentiment? Lastly, Shepherds, neglect is also abuse. You are still doing it wrong.

  2. Many scriptures; good to see on a Catholic site. 🙂

    I offer one clarification that proves useful in these discussions. Jesus is indeed divine, in that he’s the son of a divine person, God. The son of an Irishman is also Irish himself. But that son does not thereby become his father. Neither did Jesus become Yahweh at any time. The phrase “incarnate Word” is scriptural; “incarnate God” is not, but a tradition of men.

    Here’s a partial truth that needs clarification. “Jesus appropriates to Himself the office of Judge of the World …”
    In fact, Jesus has “all power” since his death and resurrection. By his own statement at Mt 28:18, “All power has been _given_ me.” He doesn’t _appropriate to himself_ anything. He’s the perfectly obedient son, down to this day. Viz. Rev 14:14, where he’s seen waiting outside his father’s throne room for instructions to be passed to him by an angel. We should not be surprised then if we see him doing on his own things that we would formerly look to God to do.

    Finally, there is his own statement at Rev 3:12, where he talks of rewarding faithful followers with a special reward. In doing so he four times uses the expression “my God”. By the rules of our common language that means he is not God, but that he has a God who is a separate person from him. That’s how and why he sits on his own throne, “at the right hand of the Father”.

    Divine he is, as are the angels. He’s even, as Isaiah says, a “mighty” god (Heb gibbohr), but never “Almighty” God (Heb Shaddai). That adjective is used only of Yahweh.

    1. Neither did Jesus become Yahweh at any time.
      _____________________

      Wading into the waters of the nature of Jesus, the relationship of Son and Father, and the whole Trinity is always a tricky thing.

      Suffice to say your theology is faulty, Doug.

      With respect to scripture — The word “Yahweh” translated into English means “I am.” As in what God told Moses was His Name.

      Jesus repeatedly refers to Himself as “I AM.” He repeatedly refers to Himself and God the Father being One. That’s why He was accused of blasphemy and why people often wanted to stone Him — because He was applying God’s Name to Himself, saying that He Himself is “I am,” i.e. He is “Yahweh.” (See the account of His trial in Mark and multiple encounters with others in John.)

      The Irish father and the Irish son are two completely different persons sharing a certain nationality (being both from Ireland (which is completely irrelevant to the question at hand)) and sharing certain elements of DNA. Unlike God, they are never one. God the Father and God the Son are both and each One God.

      Jesus and the Father are consubstantial, the same essence, that is, One. Yet, they are also two persons. It is what we humans call a “mystery,” that is, seemingly contradictory realities which are beyond our full human understanding. Your analysis would make Jesus and God the Father not One at all.

      Moreover, when God acts, it is always ALL THREE PERSONS of the Trinity who act. God the Father does not do things with the other two sitting back doing nothing. Same with God the Son (Jesus) or God the Holy Spirit. When God the Father Almighty created the heavens and earth, it was nevertheless by God the Son through God the Holy Spirit. It was not one divine Person doing something on His own — and it never is (and it never can be, given the nature of God).

      1. Thanks, Bender.

        Regarding the nature of God, that is a mystery so far beyond us that we can only approach it in two ways: either by denying falsehoods (for instance, that God is, in His divine essence, subject to change, that there is more than one God, etc.) or by analogies (some of which, being revealed by God Himself, obviously carry more weight). The latter are always dangerous, since the thing that is somehow like God will in other ways be very different from Him.

        I say that as a caution for the following two analogies. The first is the electron — though any other quantum particle will do just about as well. An electron is just one “being”, but it has two “personalities” — a particle “personality” and a wave “personality”. To physicists who completed their training before the quantum revolution, and to those who think about it today (as opposed to “shutting up and calculating”), this is a profoundly disturbing mystery about the natural world.

        The second analogy is the fact that you and I are each only one person, but we have — essentially — two brains each. Occasionally, a patient has such dangerous seizures that his corpus callosum must be cut. The two hemispheres of his brain then think independently and sometimes squabble when they disagree about the best way to solve a puzzle. Similarly, there are cases where someone has either failed to develop one hemisphere or where the hemisphere was removed due to a childhood cancer. Surprisingly, these individuals can go on to have completely normal lives with no apparent disability.

        Such mysteries of the natural world are of course not the Potter, but they are perhaps the fingerprints of the Potter in the clay He has shaped, to use a final analogy.

      2. Your last ¶, Bender. All three of your “persons” present, and acting, at Jesus’ baptism. All seen or heard separately, one here in the water, one up there speaking, one flying down to rest ON Jesus. One, two, three. Separate, can be represented with a simple sketch.

        “Unlike God, they are never one. God the Father and God the Son are both and each One God.” Those statements are traditions of men, not the word of God.

        “Jesus and the Father are consubstantial, the same essence, that is, One.” That is rendered impossible by Rev 3:12, Jesus’ own words. That’s why I cited it. Q. Who is that separate God that Jesus worships?
        “It is what we humans call a “mystery,” that is, seemingly contradictory realities which are beyond our full human understanding.” It’s what men call a mystery, to hold over other men. The true relationship between Yahweh and Jesus cannot be a mystery, unless Jesus was playing a bad joke on us at John 17:3. Q. How van we ‘take in life-saving knowledge’ of a mystery?

        Q. Who is that separate God that Jesus worships?

    2. Doug:
      Maybe you haven’t been to many Catholic sites. Since The Bible is a Catholic canon, it is certainly quoted in many Catholic discussions. Also, check out the Catholic Catechism. Bible quotes backing up every Catholic doctrine.

      Now on to the main point. It seems you do not believe in the Trinity. The Trinity is an early Church teaching which all believers had.

      Jesus IS God! He is not The Father and He is not the Holy Spirit. Yes, The Lord Our God is One!

      No – our feeble minds cannot understand it fully, but Jesus Himself stated the following:

      John 8:24
      That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM,* you will die in your sins.”

      John 8:28
      So Jesus said (to them), “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me.

      1. Ken, I’ve been to many Catholic sites, mainly via newadvent.org. It’s where many bloggers are posted and where I find the Catholic Encyclopedia. I use that often, as I do the Catechisms I have. Ain’t the Internet just grand? 🙂
        What I find there in the way of using scripture is nothing to write home about. Some examples from this particular one:

        >Subhead “Many passages in the Old Testament express the qualities of the coming Messiah:”
        “Mighty God … Prince of Peace (see Is 9:6)”
        As I showed elsewhere, in the original mss. Jesus is here called El Gibbohr (mighty), not El Shaddai, (almighty). Note also that a prince, in Israel or England, is the _son_ of the King (or Queen).

        Subhead “In the New Testament, the Father attests to the divine Sonship of Jesus:” (Many scriptures cited.)
        Yes, he does, but that’s my point, not yours. 🙂 Compare Col 1:15, NAB St Joseph edition: “[Jesus] is the firstborn of all creatures, the IMAGE of the invisible God”. Firstborn, in the plain language we use to communicate with each other, means ‘oldest child’, not the father. Only to Trinitarians does it mean something else. And he’s called the image _of_ God, not God.
        Subhead “In the New Testament, the Father attests to the divine _Sonship_ of Jesus:”
        Ditto.

        Subhead “In the Gospels, the Lord Jesus gives testimony to His own divinity …” No scriptures? Here, I’ll help you. “I and the Father are one.” John 10:30
        If that statement means that Jesus = Yahweh, then John 17:11 makes the 11 faithful disciples = God also … UNLESS … there is another way of understanding John 10:30 so that it doesn’t cause confusion at John 17. That would be to take John 10:30 to mean that ‘the Father and I think alike, we are always in unity in thought and action. Is that possible?
        In John 17:21,23 (NJB) Jesus says, “May they all be one, just as, Father, you are in me and I am in you, so that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me … With me in them and you in me, may they be so perfected in unity that the world will recognise that it was you who sent me and that you have loved them as you have loved me.”

        Finally, Subhead “Jesus knows that He is the Son of God.” Yes. So do I. So does Paul. So does Jesus. Mr Pope’s reasoning? “Jesus claims to be both Messiah and Son of God in the presence of the Sanhedrin (see Mk 14:62). The Sanhedrin deem this to be blasphemous.”
        The Sanhedrin. The bad guys of the Bible. The ones who had the Messiah and Son of God killed. Are they to be our standard for exegesis? Not mine.

        Ken, there are about two dozen scriptures that have been used to “prove” some or all of the Trinity. Not one holds up under serious scrutiny; you’ve seen some here.
        It’s clear your leaders have trained you to teach the Trinity. My leader has sent me to teach the good news of his Father’s kingdom. (Mt 24:14; 6:9,10) Would you like to learn more about God’s kingdom?

  3. “Those who deny His divinity will one day fall to prostrate before His glory (see Rev. 1:17)”
    Does that mean those who deny his divinity may still enter the Beatific Vision and fall prostate before Him or will they do that from hell?

    1. I think this clip, showing a scene near the end of the 1956 movie THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, is a rather accurate picture of the acknowledgment of God by the damned: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdzFUQ3Tt1k.
      “[Moses’s] God, IS God,” Rameses tells Nefretiri — but neither he nor Nefretiri find any joy in having found the True God, nor do they respond to God or to each other with love. Instead they have only emptiness, bitterness, and despair.

  4. Thank you, Monsignor for all this information. I needed to see these scriptural references. Thank you for bolstering my faith in these times. Please continue your good work through this blog.

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