Refutation: Where Did Jesus Say, “I Am God, Worship Me”? #2
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,
After responding to David Wood’s article, located here, I came across Samuel Green’s addendum. In his presentation, he appealed to the Gospel narrative of Christ before the Sanhedrin located in Matthew 26:62-66, which reads:
“Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” “He is worthy of death,” they answered.”
Samuel’s point being that Jesus calls himself the son of God and therefore by admission, claims to be God:
“In a recent debate I was told that Jesus never said, “I am God worship me”. At that time I did not answer with the above verses but now I think I should have. The reason is that in these verses Jesus proclaims his divinity and that all people will worship him. First Jesus says he is the Christ/Messiah, the Son of God.”
The problem with this assertion, is that the title, “Son of God” is not a claim of divinity. It’s simple to prove, if we return to the Old Testament, specifically to Bereishit (Genesis), we have the exact phrase being used for the children of Adam:
” When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. ” – Genesis 6:1-2 [NIV, same as Samuel’s version].“
If therefore, the claim that anyone who is a son of God, is a God, then Moses, under inspiration from YHWH, when authoring the Book of Genesis claimed all the sons of Adam to be Gods. However, we know that this cannot be the case. Either it is that Samuel Green accepts the phrase, “Son of God” is not a title of divinity, or if he does assert that it is a title of divinity, then he must also bear witness that he worships Adam’s children. The case can even be furthered, if it is that the title, “son of God” is equivalent to being a God, then Samuel’s YHWH, has proclaimed to have many sons and therefore Samuel would have to accept he has many Gods:
“Then say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the Lord says: Israel is my firstborn son” – Exodus (Shemot) 4:22.
“They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel’s father, and Ephraim is my firstborn son.” – Jeremiah (Yirmiyahu) 31:9.
Mr. Green however, has seen it fit to distinguish Jesus’ claim to the son of Godship as something unique and prophesied to mean a divine Son of God. He does this by appealing to a version of Psalms 2:12, which reads:
“Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.”
The problem with this however is that the phrase, “kiss the son”, is an interpolation, found in the Syriac MSS, however absent from the Septuagint, Masoretic Text, Vulgate, Ethiopic MSS and the Chaldee codices:
“It is remarkable that the word son ( bar, a Chaldee word) is not found in any of the versions except the Syriac, nor indeed any thing equivalent to it.
The Chaldee, Vulgate, Septuagint, Arabic, and Ethiopic, have a term which signifies doctrine or discipline: “Embrace discipline, lest the Lord be angry with you,” and especially that in so pure a piece of Hebrew as this poem is, a Chaldeeword should have been found; bar, instead of ben, which adds nothing to the strength of the expression or the elegance of the poetry. I know it is supposed that bar is also pure Hebrew, as well as Chaldee; but as it is taken in the former language in the sense of purifying, the versions probably understood it so here. Embrace that which is pure; namely, the doctrine of God.” – Adam Clarke Biblical Exegesis, Psalms 2:12.
Seeing as that line of evidence for asserting Jesus’ divinity through sonship is faulty, if not wholly fraudulent, and with possibly knowing this, Samuel Green then attempts to qualify his eisegesis by appealing to Daniel 7:13-14, which reads:
“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” – Daniel 7:13-14.
Samuel interprets this passage as meaning the son of man (son of God) would be worshipped:
“Then Jesus says he is “the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” This language is again from the earlier prophets, the prophet Daniel, and is referring to the divine man who will receive the worship of God.”
The problem is, the word used in Daniel 7:14, doesn’t refer to worship, when we return to the Hebrew we find that the word used is פּלח, which means to revere, serve or minister. That is not to say that it can’t mean worship, but there is a contextual basis for this particular definition. It refers to authority, as persons have to revere, serve or minister to this person. Therefore to present it in a historical context, it is equivalent to the modern use of, “His worship the mayor”. A common term, referring to the respect and authority of a dignitary:
“often Worship Chiefly British Used as a form of address for magistrates, mayors, and certain other dignitaries: Your Worship.” – Dictionary Definition.
There is a distinction between the term used in Daniel, referring to power, authority, reverence and service/ ministering, and with this word שׁחה, which is used when referring to worship of a deity, as demonstrated below:
“Then the man bowed down and worshiped (שׁחה) the Lord” – Genesis 24:26.
“ and I bowed down and worshiped (שׁחה) the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me on the right road to get the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son.” – Genesis 24:48.
With these evidences having been presented, the texts and Hebrew examined, there is no doubt that Samuel Green has grossly misrepresented the Old Testament’s texts, as well as misinterpreting verses to project the view that Jesus is a God. Simple examination of his evidences, have rendered his argument void of any intellectual foundation, solely based on conjecture and most likely can be labelled as an act of gross desperation.
wa Allaahu Alam.
[and God knows best].