Responses to Common Arguments Christians Use to Claim Jesus’ Divinity


Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

In this post we’ll be examining some of the reasons that Christians assert that we should worship Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. Missionaries and Evangelists usually promote these arguments to the layman in the Muslim community and while there is a bulk of resources out there (for example, see our numerous links) that do try to respond to these arguments, I’ve found them sometimes a bit too in-depth and scholarly for the layman, especially since they are in a more detailed form of English. I’ll be attempting to simplify and to demonstrate some quick counter-arguments in this series of articles. This is not intended to be highly detailed, scholarly argumentation, this is meant to aid the layman in responding quickly, correctly, and decisively to missionary claims. I’ll be updating this frequently, so keep an eye out for new additions.

1.

Argument(s): Jesus is God because He is sinless OR  Jesus is God because He is the only one to fulfill the laws of the Old Testament (mitzvot).

Counter Argument: If being sinless is a criteria for being God, then both Zechariah and Elizabeth are considered to be Gods, Luke 1:5-6 reads, “In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.” Also, if following all the laws of the Old Testament is a criteria for being a God, then, since this passage states clearly that they fulfilled all the laws of the Old Testament, they too must be Gods.

2.

Argument: Jesus is eternal, He existed from the beginning and has no end.

Counter Argument: Paul claims that Melchezidek, a High Priest is also like Christ in this aspect, does that then mean you have to worship Melcehzidek as well? Hebrews 7:3 reads, “ Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.”

3.

Argument: Jesus is God because only God can raise the dead. (Luke 7:13-15, Matthew 9;25, John 11:43-44, Matthew 27:52-53).

Counter Argument: If being able to raise the dead makes one a God, then Paul, Peter, Elisha and and Elijah are all Gods, we read:

1 Kings 17:17-24.
Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?” “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. Then he cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!” The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!” Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.”

2 Kings 4:3-5.
“Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out on him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.”

This miracle of raising the dead might be interpreted as being greater than Jesus’ raising of the dead, as Elisha who was dead, was able to raise the dead, Jesus only raised the dead while alive:

2 Kings 13:21.
“Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet.”

Peter in Acts 9:36-42.
In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!” Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widowsstood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them. Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive. This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.

Paul in Acts 20:9-12.
Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.”

4.

Argument: Jesus is God because He is called God by God (Hebrews 1:8).

Counter Argument:

(a) God also calls men Gods in Psalms 82:6, are we supposed to worship them too?

“I said, ‘You are “Gods”; you are all sons of the Most High.’

[Note: Christian translations try to hide this by using ‘gods’, the word used in Hebrew is Elohim, and is more properly translated as ‘God’ as it is the same word used for God in Genesis 1:1, pointing out this inconsistency might aid your argument.]

In Psalms 110:1, we have the same scenario again, the Lord is calling another person, ‘Lord’, which reads, “The Lord says to my Lord”.

[Note: Christian translations try to hide this by using ‘lord’, however see the citation at the end of the page which says, ‘or Lords’.]

(b) For a more detailed article, see this post here.

5.

Argument: Jesus was worshipped (Matthew 8:2, Matthew 15:25, Matthew 28:17).

Counter Argument: Jesus was not worshipped, but bowed to in these verses. The word used is ‘proskuneo’ which means ‘to bow in reverence to’. See Strong’s Lexicon here. Abraham bowed to an entire nation, brothers bowed to kings, mother’s prayed for people to bow to her son in the Old Testament, but for some strange reason, Christians do not consider this bowing to be worship, even though it is the same act:

Genesis 23:7
Then Abraham rose and bowed down before the people of the land, the Hittites.

Genesis 23:12
Again Abraham bowed down before the people of the land

Genesis 27:29
May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.”

Genesis 42:6-7
Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the person who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them.“Where do you come from?” he asked.

6.

Argument: Jesus is God because the Qur’an says he is the only sinless person.

Counter Argument: The verse commonly quoted is Qur’an Surah 19, Ayah 19, which reads, “He replied: “I am only a messenger from your Lord (sent) to bestow a good son on you.” The problem is, Christians assert that the word used means sinless, “زَكِيًّا”. However, the word used is “Zakiyyan”, which according to Lane’s Arabic Lexicon means “pure“. The same word is also used to describe John the Baptist in Qu’ran Surah 19, Ayah 13, which reads, “(We said:) “O John, hold fast to the Book;” and We gave him wisdom right from boyhood, And compassion from Us, and goodness. So he was devout,…”. Since the same word is used to describe John the Baptist, would Christians worship him too?

7.

Argument: Jesus is God because the Qur’an says Allah is the First, the Last, the Truth and the Bible says Jesus is the same.

Counter Argument: That argument takes the form:

Joe is a man.
Jack is a man.
Therefore Joe is Jack.

Seems nonsensical? Let’s apply the Christian argument then:

Jesus is the Truth.
Allah is the Truth.
Therefore Jesus is Allah.

The argument takes the same form as the example above. We can even apply this reasoning to Hinduism:

Jesus is a God.
Lakshmi is a God.
Therefore Jesus is Lakshmi.

Use the above examples in how many ways you want and point out the absurd reasoning of our Christian brethren.

wa Allaahu Alam.
[and God knows best.]

3 comments

  • I don’t know if you are misrepresenting what Christians say or if you have encountered Christians who have a poor understanding of logic. Some of these are way off.

    >>Jesus is God because He is sinless OR Jesus is God because He is the only one to fulfill the laws of the Old Testament (mitzvot).

    Wrong way round! Because Jesus is God, when he became incarnate he was sinless.

    >> Jesus is eternal, He existed from the beginning and has no end.

    This is correct. John 1 states that Jesus created all things and that nothing was created without him. Therefore he himself is uncreated; therefore he must be eternal; therefore he is God.

    >> Counter Argument: Paul claims that Melchezidek, a High Priest is also like Christ in this aspect, does that then mean you have to worship Melcehzidek as well? Hebrews 7:3 reads, “ Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.”’

    Nonsense. Melchizedek had no RECORDED ancestry or birth; there is no suggestion that he was not in fact born. The argument here is about the superiority of the priesthood of the order of Melchizedek over the priesthood of the sons of Levi. You are merely wrenching a text out of its context.

    >> Jesus is God because only God can raise the dead. (Luke 7:13-15, Matthew 9;25, John 11:43-44, Matthew 27:52-53).

    If anyone does argue this, he has got things wrong. Only God has the power to raise the dead, but he may do so through the prayers of people.

    Jesus demonstrated the power of God by raising the dead, but that by itself is not enough to show his own divinity.

    >> Jesus is God because He is called God by God (Hebrews 1:8).

    Yes:

    6 And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,
    “Let all God’s angels worship him.”
    7 Of the angels he says,
    “He makes his angels winds,
    and his ministers a flame of fire.”
    8 But of the Son he says,
    “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
    the sceptre of uprightness is the sceptre of your kingdom.
    9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
    therefore God, your God, has anointed you
    with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”

    Note that the angels are to worship the Son, but worship belongs to God alone.

    >> Counter Argument:
    >> (a) God also calls men Gods in Psalms 82:6, are we supposed to worship them too?
    >> “I said, ‘You are “Gods”; you are all sons of the Most High.’
    >> [Note: Christian translations try to hide this by using ‘gods’, the word used in Hebrew is Elohim, and is more properly translated as ‘God’ as it is the same word used for God in Genesis 1:1, pointing out this inconsistency might aid your argument.]

    As usual you ignore the context. Words do not always have the same meaning, but their meaning changes according to context. “Elohim” is a plural word, literally “gods”, but it is frequently used of God with a singular verb, as in Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning, Elohim (plural) created (singular) the heavens and the earth.” In Ps 82, the Hebrew is “elohim atem”, where “atem” is you (plural). “Elohim” is translated “gods” 240 times by the KJV and also “angels” (once) and “judges” (5 times).

    >> In Psalms 110:1, we have the same scenario again, the Lord is calling another person, ‘Lord’, which reads, “The Lord says to my Lord”.
    >>[Note: Christian translations try to hide this by using ‘lord’, however see the citation at the end of the page which says, ‘or Lords’.]

    נאם יהוה לאדני neum YHWH l’adoni

    Young’s concordance classes this word as “adon” (with the suffix meaning “my”) and this is not necessarily a referent to God, whereas “adonai” is frequently used of God. Jesus cites this verse, not to say that Messiah is God but to show that his ancestor David calls him “lord”, which is inconsistent with his being no more than David’s descendant.

    >> Jesus was worshipped (Matthew 8:2, Matthew 15:25, Matthew 28:17).
    >> Counter Argument: Jesus was not worshipped, but bowed to in these verses. The word used is ‘proskuneo’ which means ‘to bow in reverence to’.

    The first two of those references have no suggestion that the person bowing to Jesus thought he was God. This is again a matter of context. Proskuneo is sometimes used only of bowing to a superior person and sometimes used for worship.

    A better reference is John 20:28-29 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

    Here Thomas calls Jesus God, and Jesus does not rebuke him but instead affirms his statement.

    >> Jesus is God because the Qur’an says he is the only sinless person.

    I would not use arguments from the Koran, because that would be to concede that the Koran was from God.

    Jesus is sinless because he is God, not vice versa.

    >> Jesus is God because the Qur’an says Allah is the First, the Last, the Truth and the Bible says Jesus is the same.
    >> Counter Argument: That argument takes the form:
    >> Joe is a man.
    >> Jack is a man.
    >> Therefore Joe is Jack.
    >> Seems nonsensical? Let’s apply the Christian argument then:
    >> Jesus is the Truth.
    >> Allah is the Truth.
    >> Therefore Jesus is Allah.
    >> The argument takes the same form as the example above.

    There is a logical fallacy here. “First” and “last” are exclusive terms, that can each apply only to one element in a collection, whereas “man” is a term that can apply to many different ones. So you are not comparing like with like. I notice that you slide from using “first and last” in your statement of the argument to using “truth” in the supposed syllogism, where “truth” is not so evidently an exclusive term.

    The scripture says,

    Isaiah 41:4
    Who has performed and done this,
    calling the generations from the beginning?
    I, the LORD, the first,
    and with the last; I am he.

    Isaiah 44:6
    Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel
    and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts:
    “I am the first and I am the last;
    besides me there is no god.

    (Note that we have two separate LORDs in that verse, the second is the LORD’s redeemer, who is also LORD of hosts.)

    Isaiah 48:12
    “Listen to me, O Jacob,
    and Israel, whom I called!
    I am he; I am the first,
    and I am the last.

    Revelation 1:8
    “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

    Revelation 1:17
    When I saw him [Jesus], I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last,

    Revelation 2:8
    And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.

    Revelation 21:5-6
    And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.

    Revelation 21:12-13,16a
    “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”…“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches.”

  • ‎@Oliver Elphick,

    [I don’t know if you are misrepresenting what Christians say or if you have encountered Christians who have a poor understanding of logic. Some of these are way off.]

    This is as exact as we get them and yes Christians do use some very dishonest and poor, ignorant argumentation and the article is based on the most common we receive.

    [Wrong way round! Because Jesus is God, when he became incarnate he was sinless.]

    Doesn’t refute the argument from Luke 1:5-6, that there were other sinless/ blameless persons in the sight of God. It’s quite funny though, your argument makes no sense. I’m not arguing WHEN, I am arguing IF he is sinless or not.

    [This is correct. John 1 states that Jesus created all things and that nothing was created without him. Therefore he himself is uncreated; therefore he must be eternal; therefore he is God.]

    It’s quite odd that God, who is also Jesus, takes 2000 years to mention he, who is another person, was there, when he who is himself, was there when creation started. Rather these are the words of John and not those of Christ. I prefer Christ saying he was there at the beginning, but alas’, no such verse exists in the Bible.

    [Nonsense. Melchizedek had no RECORDED ancestry or birth; there is no suggestion that he was not in fact born. The argument here is about the superiority of the priesthood of the order of Melchizedek over the priesthood of the sons of Levi. You are merely wrenching a text out of its context.]

    A man has no start of days or end of days, means what? How am I removing it from its context? I’m not disputing he was a member of the Priesthood of Levi, but this was not my argument. It clearly says:

    “without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God”

    If something has no beginning and no end, what do you call that?

    [If anyone does argue this, he has got things wrong. Only God has the power to raise the dead, but he may do so through the prayers of people. Jesus demonstrated the power of God by raising the dead, but that by itself is not enough to show his own divinity.]

    You need to preach to your own brethren these things. See Acts 2:21-22.

    [As usual you ignore the context. Words do not always have the same meaning, but their meaning changes according to context.]

    According to Christian theology in Tehllim 82:6, they are called ‘Gods’ because they have the power to judge humankind as God has that same ability. So your God is literally calling these men, Gods.

    [ “Elohim” is a plural word, literally “gods”,]

    Incorrect, the word Elohim when it refers to God is singular, it literally translates to ‘God of gods’, meaning that Elohim is above anything you may worship or idolize. It’s called, “Shema Yisrael” and this verse qualifies the theological basis behind it:

    Jeremiah 16:20. (Yirmiyahu)
    “Do people make their own gods? Yes, but they are not gods!” –

    [but it is frequently used of God with a singular verb, as in Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning, Elohim (plural) created (singular) the heavens and the earth.” In Ps 82, the Hebrew is “elohim atem”, where “atem” is you (plural).]

    This is a very silly argument. I really am disappointed, or rather shocked at the absurdity you can reach out to when trying to defend your beliefs Oliver. I expected something of a higher quality from you.

    ‘You are Gods’. It reads as this because of ‘atem’ indeed, otherwise it would read, ‘You are God’. This does not change or help your case. It’s either your God is calling others Gods or he is calling another person God. It does not affect the context of the verse, because in the end, your God is still acknowledging someone else as a God or Gods.

    [A better reference is John 20:28-29 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”Here Thomas calls Jesus God, and Jesus does not rebuke him but instead affirms his statement.]

    In Biblical context, Jesus is always denoted separately from the term ‘God’. This is a common lexical usage as seen throughout the NT:

    ‘Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.’ John 17:3.

    ‘I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. Ephesians 1:17.

    So it’s clear one directive is used for Jesus and the other used for God, in line with similar patterns throughout the next, clearly forming a distinction between both persons.’

  • [There is a logical fallacy here.]

    What’s the name of it?

    [“First” and “last” are exclusive terms, that can each apply only to one element in a collection, whereas “man” is a term that can apply to many different ones. So you are not comparing like with like.]

    This makes no sense, I’m very sorry but this is embarrassingly nonsensical. The first and the last was also applied to Melchezidek as he had no beginning or end, hence he to is the first and the last, there was nothing before him and nothing will be after him. Hence he is the first and the last.

    [I notice that you slide from using “first and last” in your statement of the argument to using “truth” in the supposed syllogism, where “truth” is not so evidently an exclusive term.]

    The Christian argument is that God is the Truth, He only speaks the Truth, you are telling me that this is not an attribute of God? So why then do Christians use ‘I am the truth, the life and the way’, to claim that Jesus is a deity?