07 3rd, 2020

Is Yeshua (Jesus) God?

A “sacred cow” of many professing Bible believers is the belief that “Jesus Christ” (Yeshua the Messiah) is “God”. They believe that “God became a man” and died for the sins of mankind. Thus, they call him “the God/man”. Let’s look at what the Bible says about Yeshua and the verses often used to support this erroneous belief.

Here are all the verses in the Bible that use the English word “God” in reference to the Son (Yeshua). My commentary on each verse follows in blue.

  • Isaiah 7:14 ” Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” KJV

Immanuel means “God with us,” or more correctly, “El with us.” As a result, people teach that Yeshua is “God.” This name is to be understood in the light of Acts 10:38; “How [Yahweh] anointed Yeshua of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for [Yahweh] (El) was with him.” Not that Yeshua was El (God), but that El was with and in Yeshua.

If you choose to use this erroneous logic, then consider the name Jehu (Yahu). In Hebrew, this name means “He is Yah” or “Yah is He.” Does that mean the man Jehu is, in reality, Yahweh? Surely not. When rightly understood, the Son would be called “Immanuel” because God would be with His people by being with and in His Son, Messiah Yeshua.

  • Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” KJV

Based on the context, I believe “mighty God” should be translated “mighty warrior”. The Hebrew reads “el gibor”. The “el” would be translated “mighty” and “gibor” would be translated “warrior” (mighty warrior). Jeremiah 32:18 uses the same phrase for Yahweh of hosts and translates it “Mighty God”. It is the true “Mighty God” (Yahweh) that is giving the child of Isaiah 9:6 to Israel. Therefore, the child is not “the Mighty God” who is doing the giving. If both the child and the giver are the “Mighty God”, then we have two Gods which is totally contrary to monotheism (one God) taught throughout Scripture. Also, God is not a “prince”, but the King. The “Son” of God or the Son of the King would be the prince.

  • John 20:28 “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.”

The word “God” is from the Greek word “theos” which was also used in reference to Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4) and Herod (Acts 12:22). It has the same meaning as the Hebrew word “elohim” and can be applied to men, angels, and the Almighty. Psalm 82:6 applies it to any child of the Most High; “I have said, You are gods [elohim]; and all of you are children of the most High.” It simply means “a mighty one among his people.” It is not wrong to call Yeshua an elohim or a god. The problem lies in believing he is the one true “God,” Yahweh Almighty. Yeshua made it clear that he was not, in John 17:3; “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee [Yahweh] the only true Elohim, and Yeshua Messiah, whom thou hast sent.” Thomas was calling Yeshua his “mighty one”. It was Almighty Yahweh that made Yeshua to be a “mighty one” for all believers.

  • Psalm 45:6-7 (quoted in Hebrews 1:8-9) “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” KJV

This case is the same as John 20:28. Yeshua is being referred to by the one true Elohim (Yahweh) as an “elohim”. It was the one true Elohim that gave Yeshua (a lesser elohim) his throne and anointed him. When our English word “God” is used with a capital “G”, most English speakers would automatically equate him with the one true God (Yahweh). Therefore, when the Hebrew word “elohim” or the Greek word “theos” are used of anyone other than Yahweh, it should be translated either “god” or “mighty one”.

  • 1 Timothy 3:16  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

The reading of the earliest and best manuscripts is not “God”, but “he who.” Almost all the modern versions have the verse as “the mystery of godliness is great, which was manifest in the flesh,” or “great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, …” 

Bruce Metzger writes:

[“He who”] is supported by the earliest and best uncials…no uncial (in the first hand) earlier than the eighth or ninth century supports theos; all ancient versions presuppose hos or ho [“he who” or “he”]; and no patristic writer prior to the last third of the fourth century testifies to the reading theos. The reading theos arose either(a) accidentally, or (b) deliberately, either to supply a substantive for the following six verbs [the six verbs that follow in the verse], or, with less probability, to provide greater dogmatic precision [i.e., to produce a verse that more clearly supports the Trinitarian position].” A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (United Bible Society, New York, 1975), p. 641. 

As you can see, there aren’t many verses that directly call Yeshua “God”. Each one of them, when rightly understood, say no such thing.