Refutation: How can Jesus be God, when he calls the Father the only true God?
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,
Jesus himself admitted that the Father is the only true God. Since Trinitarians believe that the Father and the Son are distinct Persons, that they are not the same Person, wouldn’t this prove that Jesus denied that he was God?
Once again, the wheels of Shamounian Logic have been rolling and here we are analysing another one of his mishaps. Sam’s answer to this question is to begin by denying that the question has any validity, as per his modus operandi the questioner is always a Unitarian or Muslim with ulterior motives. He quotes John 17:1-5, 8, 10-11, 20-26 which reads (note: emphasis is his):
“After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: ‘Father, the time has come. Glorify YOUR SON, that YOUR SON may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people THAT HE MIGHT GIVE ETERNAL LIFE TO ALL THOSE YOU HAVE GIVEN HIM. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I HAD WITH YOU BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN … For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me … All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come TO ME through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name – the name you gave me – so that they may be one as we are one … My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be IN US so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I IN THEM and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me BECAUSE YOU LOVED ME BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD. Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them AND THAT I MYSELF MAY BE IN THEM.’”
Then he derives this list of conclusions from the passages:
- Jesus is God’s Son.
- Jesus gives eternal life to all that God gives him, which is a claim to being absolute Deity since only God can give eternal life.
- Jesus existed in glory with the Father even before the world was created.
- Jesus demands to be glorified by God, something which no mere creature could ever demand.
- Jesus states that everything that the Father has belongs to him, which makes him the heir of everything that exists.
- Jesus indwells all the believers, an indication that Christ is omnipresent and therefore God since God alone is omnipresent.
- Jesus is the object of the Father’s love even before the creation of the world.
To the contrary, his list is erratic, he reads meanings into words and verses that do not present the conclusions he’s arrived at (big surprise there) and they clearly don’t answer the questions at hand. If the Father is the only true God according to Christ, why is Sam trying to disprove Christ’s claim and make Christ into a deity? Let’s analyze Sam’s conclusions and debunk them one by one:
- The word son is used throughout the Old Testament and is not unique to Christ. See Exodus 4:22, Jeremiah 31:9 and Psalm 2:7. According to Galatians 3:26, we are all God’s son. Thus according to Shamounian Logic, we are all Gods once God calls us His son.
- Christ gave eternal life by being an authority over the people, as the verse clearly says. When we read John 5:30-31, we understand that his authority was as a judge to the people and that he guided them with religious edicts. Hence this does not make him a God, but an authority operating under God’s will.
- God gloried Christ before the world began, just as in Ephesians 1:4, God chose all of mankind to be holy and blameless in His sight. Sam uses this verse to emphasize the ‘before the world began’ mantra of Christians, but this is also applied to all humans in the aforementioned verse and is thus not unique to Christ.
- Jesus explains in John 16:14 that he is glorified because he leads people to glorify God, he doesn’t demand it, rather God glorifies him because of his mission.
- Nowhere does Jesus state that everything which belongs to the Father belongs to him, Sam’s just making stuff up.
- According to the verse Sam quotes to reach this conclusion, the believers also dwell in Christ and God, thus if Sam is to be rational, if Jesus being in God makes him a deity, then the believers dwelling in God also make them deities.
- We are all an object of God’s love before the creation of the world, see point 3 and Ephesians 1:4.
Now, I’m not sure if Sam noticed this, but he’s found himself in a bundle, he says and I quote:
Thus, the context makes it clear that Jesus’ statement about the Father being the only true God in no way was meant to deny that Christ is God as well, since he goes on to make claims that only God could make.
There exists a significant contradiction in Sam’s statement. Christ explicitly states that the Father is the only true God. The word ‘only’ is of great importance as it denotes singularity and not plurality. Sadly, Sam Shamoun then contradicts Jesus by saying even though Christ says that their is only one true God, that Christ has lied and also claims to be a God. Therefore, Sam is claiming several notions:
- That Christ does not understand what the word ‘only’ means and thus is not all knowing and cannot be God.
- That Christ lied and therefore is not ‘The Truth” and therefore cannot be God.
- That Sam himself is lying about Christ and YHWH and is thus a deceiver.
Considering our options, whichever way we look to interpret Sam’s mendacious and heretical view, of Christ and YHWH, he crucifies himself by accepting that Christ implores him to follow the one deity known as the Father. It’s also important to point out that Christ never makes a Godly claim of himself, as indicated in my article: Non Compos Mentis, therefore when Sam says that Christ made statements only a deity can make, I’m still looking for such unique words which have yet to be demonstrated. Sam then goes on to claim the following:
– The Trinity is the only true God.
– Each specific member of the Trinity is the only true God.
– Therefore, the members of the Trinity are the only true God, whether individually or collectively.
The problem with these assumptions is that they are not stated in the Old or New Testament. Christ himself does not say that the Trinity is the only true God, he says the Father is the only true God. What Sam has done is called scriptural emendation, where he has emendated or altered the text to prove his bias notion. This is a sign of a desperate man. Christ never mentions the Trinity, or a Godhead or that each member of a Trinity is a Deity. I call upon Sam Shamoun to bring forth one statement of Jesus the Christ which says this! Since Sam’s two previous premises are false, then it logically follows that his conclusion is false.
Sam then appealed to Hebrews 1 to prove Christ’s deity, which have debunked indepth here: Does God Call Jesus God? Hebrews 1:8-12.
He continues by stating:
The same Scriptures teach that Jesus is the only sovereign Master and Lord:
“For admission has been secretly gained by some who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly persons who pervert the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master (δεσπότης) and Lord (κύριος), Jesus Christ.” Jude 1:4
The problem with this text is that Master does not denote a deity, otherwise we are all deities according to the use of the same word in Titus 2:9, which reads:
Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters (δεσπότης), and to please them well in all things; not answering again;
Similarly, the word Lord (κύριος) as is used in the Greek also does not denote a deity, it’s a title of honour and respect:
Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord (κύριος): whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. – 1 Peter 3:6.
Therefore, none of the verses Sam Shamoun has referenced declares Jesus to be a deity as both terms are titles used to describe men and are titles of men. Sam then sought to embarrass himself by stating the following:
In fact, a careful reading of John 17:3 helps to further confirm that Jesus wasn’t denying his absolute Deity:
“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, AND (kai) Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
The Lord Jesus, by using the Greek conjunction kai in his prayer, makes himself the necessary object of the knowledge that leads to eternal life. In other words, Jesus basically made himself a coequal partner with God by claiming that eternal life is dependent on knowing both the Father and the Son.
To correct Sam, the verse is rendered as such: “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God and Jesus the Christ whom you have sent.”
Without appealing to Christians who already believe Jesus to be God, by reading the verse we see a distinction between God and the Christ, for the verse describes God as the only true God. Only denotes uniqueness and singularity, whereas ‘and Jesus the Christ‘, denotes Jesus as distinct from the God as is described as “the Christ whom you (God) have sent“. Therefore the verse by using ‘and’ distinguishes the Christ from the God, by denoting the Jesus as one sent by God. Similarly, Jesus was not made co-equal to God by claiming eternal life is dependent on knowing both Christ and God, for Christ was the one sent to teach the people about eternal life:
“Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” – Matthew 19:16.
Christ was therefore, tied to the knowledge of eternal life, for he was the teacher as sent by God to teach the people how to attain eternal life as the Gospels themselves state. There is no need to go beyond the Gospel itself and demonstrate what scholars say as that is man’s interpretation of the text, whereas the scripture itself explains in what way Jesus was tied to ‘eternal life’, i.e. his role of teaching how to attain it. This is the first rule in scriptural exegesis, something which Sam’s sect follows, known as ‘sola scriptura’, the rule is laid out as ‘interpret scripture with scripture firstly‘.
Lastly, Sam appealed to the Gospel of John to demonstrate some quotes were Jesus is mentioned as the ‘saviour of the world‘, being a saviour entails simply ‘saving’ a person or people and there were many saviours before the Christ:
“In the twenty-third year of Joash the son of Ahaziah, king of Judah, Jehoahaz the son of Jehu became king over Israel in Samaria, reigning seventeen years. But he did evil in the eyes of Yahweh, and he went after the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat with which he had caused Israel to sin, and he did not depart from it. So the anger of Yahweh was kindled against Israel, and he gave them into the hand of Hazael king of Aram and into the hand of Ben-Hadad the son of Hazael repeatedly. Then Jehoahaz entreated Yahweh, and Yahweh listened to him, for he saw the oppression of Israel, because the king of Aram oppressed them. Yahweh gave Israel a savior, and they went out from under the hand of Aram. So the Israelites lived in their tents as formerly.” – 2 Kings 13:1-5.
““But they rebelled and were rebellious against you and cast your law[l] behind their back and killed your prophets, who had warned them to turn back to you, and they did great blasphemies. 27 Therefore you gave them into the hand of their enemy, and they brought trouble to them. Then in the time of their trouble they cried out to you, and you heard from the heavens, and according to your great compassions, you gave them saviors, and you saved them from the hand of their enemies. 28 But when they had rest they returned to doing evil before you, and you abandoned them in the hand of their enemies, and they ruled over them. Then they returned and cried out to you, and from the heavens you heard and many times rescued them according to your compassions. ” – Nehemiah 9:26-28.
A saviour does not have to be a God, but merely one who ‘saves’. Seeing as YHWH sent many saviours before, then this title does not imply deity in the least. In conclusion, despite what shenanigans Sam tries, he cannot escape from the fact that Christ refers to the Father as the only true God. The word ‘only‘ is defined as:
on·lyadj.1. Alone in kind or class; sole: an only child; the only one left.2. Standing alone by reason of superiority or excellence.
adv.1. Without anyone or anything else; alone: room for only one passenger.
Sorry Sam, but it seems as though you’ve found yourself in a precarious situation, the word only is a singular term, referring to something which is alone, sole or unique, it does not indicate plurality in any sense. To imply otherwise would be a gross perversion of the English language and a perverse violation of the text itself.
wa Allaahu ‘Alam.