Who is Jesus? for Dummies
by Juan Baixeras
This paper deals with the subject of the Trinity, specifically, in relation to Trinitarian claims that Jesus is fully God and fully man at all times, his divinity being inseparable from his humanity.
Many Trinitarians will probably stop right here. The reason is that since their faith in this doctrine is so weak to start off with, they try to avoid reading anything that contradicts their beliefs. At least that was my excuse. But what have you got to lose? If you read this paper and still believe the Trinity is Biblical, then your faith will be even stronger because it will be based on fact, and not just blind faith. If on the other hand you find that the Trinity is not Biblical, then your faith will also be stronger, because you will have removed a false teaching from your beliefs. It is a win win situation.
This short paper is not going to deal with all the arguments against the Trinity. It is specifically going to cover several verses which I consider to be the clearest verses on this topic that do not have any other ways of being interpreted. This is going to be about as easy as it gets.
This paper is not going to deal with the fact that Jesus (who Trinitarians claim is God at all times) has a God himself ( Two Gods). It is not going to deal with the fact that Jesus died and the Bible says that God is immortal ( Did Jesus Really Die?). It is not going to deal with the fact that Jesus was tempted and the Bible says that God cannot be tempted ( The Temptation of Jesus). It is not going to deal with the fact that Jesus is not omniscient, yet the Bible says that God is all knowing ( Jesus Is Omniscient?). It is not a going to deal with the history of the Trinity and its development ( A Patristic Study of the Kingdom of God and the Development of the Trinity). And it is also not going to deal with explanations to all the verses that supposedly support the Trinity ( Understanding the Father Son and Holy Spirit). That is the job of the papers mentioned above.
This is not a scholarly work, it is for anyone with an I.Q. above 70. It is enough information to make you kick-start your curiosity about this Doctrine. Let us begin.
First I have to make something crystal clear. I am going to list some verses, some very easy verses. None of these verses are disputed verses in which different people have different interpretations for them. I am just going to write them out for you and let you think about them, with a comment or two from me of course. Please just read them like you would read the morning paper. JUST READ. Do not try to guess a hidden meaning in them, just read what they say. For a few of these verses we do need to understand a couple of meanings. Don’t worry, they’re easy.
YHWH – In the Old Testament this is the name of God. It has no vowels, thus it is unpronounceable. People later added vowels to come up with Yahweh so that they could pronounce it. Some English Bibles translated YHWH as Jehovah, but most English Bibles instead of writing YHWH, just put "the LORD." Notice that "LORD" is in capital letters when it refers to YHWH. This only applies to the Old Testament.
Christ – This is not Jesus’ last name. It is his title. Christ is English for Messiah. Messiah means anointed. Jesus Christ means Jesus the anointed. Anointed by what you may ask? Anointed by the Spirit of God.
Lord (kyrios) – Most people when they hear this title think immediately of God Almighty. As we covered earlier, God’s name is YHWH. This should not be confused with the title kyrios (Lord), which was used for Jesus throughout his whole ministry. Trinitarians will argue that this title of Jesus’ confirms his divinity, but even before his resurrection people addressed him as Lord. Why? For the same reason that many other people in the Bible and in his day were addressed as Lord. It was a title of authority and respect. Moses is referred to as lord in Numbers 32:27:
"The Gadites and Reubenites answered Moses, Your servants will do as you command, my lord."
1 Samuel 1:26 – "Hannah, his mother, approached Eli and said: Pardon, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood near you here."
1 Samuel 24:9 –"David stepped out of the cave, calling to Saul, My lord and my king."
As Scripture proves, Moses, Eli, and Saul are referred to as lord, but this does not mean that they are God. It is a title of authority and respect. There are many more verses like these. The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible volume 3 pg. 960 states:
Lord - its meaning signified nothing more than "sir," a title of respect, or to "master,"
There is an excellent example in John 4:11: Here the Samaritan woman has just met Jesus, he has not yet told her that he is the Messiah. They have just met, yet she addresses him as kyrios, which in the New American Bible is translated as "sir."
"The woman said to him, Sir (kyrios), you do not have a bucket and the cistern is deep."
The word in this passage is kyrios. It is applied to Jesus, and it is used as a term of respect, as "sir."
The Apostles used this title as a means of respect and also as "master." This is why Jesus is called Lord in the New Testament. He is our King, our master, our Lord. Like the Lord of a castle. He is the Lord of the kingdom of God.
Trinitarian definition of God – When Trinitarians say "God," they mean the combination of all three persons, Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. If they want to refer to one specific member of the Trinity they will use the corresponding name such as "the Son" etc.
That’s it for the definitions, whew! I hope that wasn’t too deep. Okay, one set up verse. Trinitarians will agree that there is only one God who is called Yahweh. The problem is that they include Jesus as a member of Yahweh. But for now, we both agree that the only God is Yahweh.
Isaiah 45:5 – "I am the LORD (YHWH) and there is no other, there is no God besides me."
This is pretty simple. YHWH is the ONLY God. So far, so good.
Exodus 3:15 – "Thus shall you say to the Israelites: The LORD (YHWH), the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, has sent me to you."
Okay, the God of your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the LORD (YHWH).
The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob = YHWH.
Acts 3:13 – "The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors, has glorified his servant Jesus."
Does this verse imply that Jesus is the God of Abraham etc.? Of course not! Just read it. The God of Abraham glorified who? Himself? No! He glorified his servant Jesus. This is not difficult. Jesus is obviously not the God of Abraham etc. He is the God of Abraham’s SERVANT. Who is the God of Abraham? YHWH. And YHWH is who? The ONLY God. So Jesus is not God? Of course not. He is God’s anointed.
Acts 10:38 – "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all oppressed by the devil, for God was with him."
Who anointed Jesus? It doesn’t say the Father anointed Jesus, it says GOD. You can obviously see that Jesus is not the God that anointed him. If I said, "The king anointed Bob," would you think that it meant that Bob is the king? Of course not. Jesus is the servant whom God anointed to do his will. That is the whole purpose of anointing someone, to give them the wisdom and power that they will need in order to serve God. Does it make sense to you that God would anoint God with God? Let’s look at a Messianic prophecy in the Old Testament.
Isaiah 61:1 – "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the LORD (YHWH) has anointed me."
By reading this verse it is plainly clear that the person who is being anointed is not YHWH. YHWH is anointing this individual. Now watch how Jesus uses this verse to refer to himself. Jesus uses this verse to say that he is the one that the Scripture spoke about. That he is the one whom YHWH has anointed. Who is YHWH by the way? That’s right, the ONLY God.
Luke 4:18-21 – "He (Jesus) unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me,’…He (Jesus) said to them, ‘Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing."
Okay now, don’t panic, this is simple. Look at Isaiah 61:1, YHWH anoints someone other than YHWH. Jesus in Luke claims that he is that person whom YHWH has anointed. Next!
1 Cor. 8:6 – "Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom all things are and for whom we exist, and one Lord (This Lord is not a translation of YHWH, it is kyrios i.e. master, king etc.) Jesus Christ."
It doesn’t get any easier than this. Who is the one God? The FATHER! That’s it, period! The Father is the only one who is considered God. Jesus is our Lord (master, king). You will always see that the only one who is referred to as God is the Father. From the passage above, do you honestly read that and come away with the fact that Jesus is the one God? It is obvious that the one Lord is not the one God. Only the Father is God. It never says, "Peace from God the Father and God the Son." Why not? Didn’t the Apostles know that the Son is God? Not even close! Now get comfortable, and look at the following:
1 Cor. 1:3 – "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
2 Cor. 1:2 – "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
Philippians 1:2 – "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Thessalonians 1:1 – "To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Thessalonians 3:13 – "To be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus."
2 Thessalonians 1:2 – "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
2 Thessalonians 2:16 – "May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us."
Philippians 4:20 – To our God and Father, glory for ever and ever. Amen."
Collosians 1:2 – "Peace from God our Father."
Ephesians 4:6 – "One God and Father of all."
James1:1 – "James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Timothy 1:2 – "Peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord."
2 Timothy 1:2 – "Peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord."
Titus 1:4 – "Peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our savior."
Philemon vv. 3 – "Peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
Galatians 1:3 "Peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
So who is the ONLY one who is referred to as God? That’s right, the Father. There is no way that in these sentences you can come out with the idea that Jesus is God. They always say, "peace from God AND, I repeat, AND the Lord Jesus Christ." They are separate individuals. Jesus Christ is not considered by any stretch of the imagination, "God" by these authors. If I said,
"Peace from John our president and the chief of staff Mike."
"Peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (for comparison)
Is there anyway that you would read the verse above and come away thinking that Mike, the chief of staff is the president? No way! But wait, it gets even better.
In these next verses, Jesus, who Trinitarians claim is fully God at ALL times, has a God. How can this be? These must all be typos. No, all the Bibles in the world have been tampered with.
1 Peter 1:3 – "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
2 Cor. 1:3 – "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
2 Cor. 11:31 – "The God and Father of the Lord Jesus knows, he who is blessed forever,
that I do not lie."
Revelation 1:6 – "Who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father."
Ephesians 1:3 – "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Ephesians 1:17 – "That the God of our Lord, the Father of glory."
Wow! The Apostles must have drunk a little too much wine when they wrote this. Don’t they know that Jesus is God? How can God have a God? He can’t. That’s why when I ask this question to pastors the only answer they can give me is that it’s a mystery. Do you know how naïve and gullible that sounds?
These verses above are not profound theological statements. They are for the most part just greetings. No one has ever disputed these verses. Just read them! Then read them again! Then yell them at the top of your lungs because "Yes!" You too have been duped by this false, non-Biblical, contradictory and incomprehensible mumbo jumbo passed on as the Trinity.
The Messiah is supposed to have a God because he needs to be anointed by God in order to do wonders and signs on behalf of God. Let’s look at Micah 5:3 which is a Messianic prophecy:
Micah 5:3 – "He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock by the strength of the LORD (YHWH), in the majestic name of the LORD, HIS GOD."
The Christ will have a God? Yes! Who will it be? Look at the verse above, YHWH. Does Jesus know that he is supposed to have a God? Of course he knows! Look below, these verses are all Jesus speaking:
John 20:17 - "I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."
Matthew 27:46 - "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?"
Revelation 3:12 - "Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God."
Revelation 3:2 - "For I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God."
So Jesus did know that he has a God. As sure as bees buzz. Jesus really needed his God in order to resurrect.
Hebrews 13:20 – "May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep by the blood of the eternal covenant."
Acts 5:30 – "The God of our ancestors raised Jesus."
Who raised the great shepherd from the dead? The God of peace, the God of our ancestors (which we covered earlier). The Trinitarian alternative is that God raised himself from the dead. But how can God raise himself if he is dead. Then God was not really dead. For that matter, how can you kill God?
If you buy this Trinitarian explanation, than you deserve to be a Trinitarian.
Do you honestly read that verse and think that the great shepherd is God? Remember Micah? The shepherd has a God called YHWH.
Micah 5:3 – "He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock by the strength of the LORD (YHWH), in the majestic name of the LORD, HIS GOD."
By the way, what happened to the Holy Spirit in all these greetings? I guess he must have been the least favorite of the Apostles because he’s not mentioned even once in those verses. I wonder why? It’s because the Holy Spirit has always been considered to be the presence and power of God, i.e. the mind of God. Psalm 139: 7 states:
"Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?"
But it was never, ever considered to be the third person of a triune God.
So Jesus is not God, he is a man anointed by God? Are you sure about this? As sure as woodpeckers peck. How do you understand the following verses?
Acts 2:22 – "Jesus the Nazorean was a MAN commended to you by God with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs, which God worked through him in your midst."
Now you tell me which part of this verse is hard to understand. What is Jesus according to Peter?
If you chose answer c, you are correct! If you chose any other answer, you need to read it again. Well, Peter probably meant something else. What? I don’t know. That must be the only verse in the New Testament that says that. Not quite.
Acts 10:40 – This MAN God raised on the third day."
It doesn’t get any simpler than this. There is no way to misunderstand this verse. Okay, let’s see if your catching on.
Acts 17:31 – "God has overlooked the times of ignorance, but now He demands that all people everywhere repent because He has established a day on which He will judge the world with justice through a MAN He has appointed, and He has provided confirmation for all by raising him from the dead.
Now you’re getting the hang of it.
1 Timothy 2:5 – "For there is one God and one mediator also between God and men, the MAN Christ Jesus."
1. Who is the mediator? The MAN Christ Jesus.
2. Who is he the mediator between? God and men.
He is not the mediator between himself and men, but between God and men. You can see that Jesus is not considered in the term "God."
1 Corinthians 15: 21 –"For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man"
So wait, I think I’ve got it now. He is a MAN anointed by God. Yessirree Bob! Hallelujah! So that’s what Peter was saying in Acts.
Acts 10:38 – "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the holy Spirit and power.
1.Who did God anoint? Jesus.
2.Who anointed Jesus? God.
It’s easy once you get the hang of it. The problem with Trinitarians is that in order to substantiate the Trinity, they have to read a passage like this and then say that Jesus is God. You can read, can’t you? It doesn’t say that Jesus is God. But they have to stick to it or their whole doctrine is ruined. So basically they end up with the following interpretation of such a simple verse
"How God anointed himself with himself."
Is that what you get out of it? As Isaiah pointed out earlier, the Messiah is a man anointed by YHWH. He is supposed to be a prophet from among their own kinsmen. The following is a Messianic prophecy spoken by none other than Moses.
Deuteronomy 18:18 – "And the LORD (YHWH) said to me, ‘This was well said. I will raise up for you a prophet like you FROM AMONG YOUR OWN KINSMEN, and will put my words into his mouth; he shall tell them all that I command him."
Did the Apostles know that Jesus was a MAN from among their own kinsmen? Of course they did. They quoted this verse in reference to Jesus in Acts.
Acts 3:20-22 – "And that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment and send you the Messiah already appointed for you…For Moses said; A prophet like me will the Lord (YHWH), your God raise up for you FROM AMONG YOUR OWN KINSMEN."
Wow! They did know! Of course they knew. This is what the Old Testament predicted of the Messiah. Let's now look at the famous suffering servant of Isaiah 53 states:
Isaiah 53:3 – "He was spurned and avoided by men, a MAN of suffering."
The Apostle Matthew quotes Isaiah 53 in Matthew 8:17. Peter quotes Isaiah 53 in 1 Peter 2:22-24. Isaiah 53 is quoted all over the place in the New Testament by all the Apostles. Of course they knew.
Now other things are starting to make sense. Trinitarians claim that since Jesus is fully God at all times, that he is omniscient. That’s a big word. It means all knowing. It means Jesus knows everything about everything. But that’s not what these simple verses say. Revelation’s opening verse states;
Rev. 1:1 – "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him."
1.Whom did God give a revelation to? Jesus.
2.Who gave Jesus a revelation? God.
3.Did Jesus know everything? Nope.
4.Does it make sense to you that God would have to give himself a revelation? Nope.
Mark 13:32 – "But of that hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, NOR THE SON, but only the Father."
Do I need to say anything about the verse above? Does Jesus know the hour? Nope. Then he is not omniscient.
Only two more easy verses. This is Jesus himself speaking:
John 17:3 – "Now this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ."
1.Who does Jesus consider "you" to be? The ONLY true God.
2.Does Jesus think that he himself is that "you"? Not according to this verse.
3.Who sent Jesus? The only true God.
If Jesus did not consider himself to be God, why should we? Jesus always pointed us to the one who is greater than he, The God of Abraham. Here is probably the simplest verse in the whole Bible on this matter.
Mark 10:18 – "Jesus answered him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone."
If you have trouble with this one, I do not think there is much else I can say. Does this sound to you like Jesus believes himself to be God?
CONCLUSION – Jesus is exactly who the Old Testament said he would be, the Christ. A man anointed by the Spirit of God. Jesus knew that he was the anointed one and so did the Apostles and all his followers. It was only centuries later when pagan philosophers had converted to Christianity that this simple truth was almost completely obliterated. If this isn’t the great apostasy, I don’t know what is.
The verses that we have covered are not verses that are difficult by any stretch of the word. They are not even disputed. But ask a Trinitarian to explain one of these simple verses and watch what happens. It’s better than television!
With this knowledge, the Bible is going to start making sense to you like never before. You will no longer have to do mental gymnastics mixed with painkillers for your headaches anymore.
Now go back and read some of the papers mentioned in the beginning. I promise that they are not as blunt as this one. Although, I must admit, this one was more fun to write.
This page copyright © 2000 by Juan Baixeras