Muslims Reject Jesus as God

Why Muslims reject that Jesus is God

The Quran teaches that Jesus is a mere apostle of God.

Surah 5:75. Christ the son of Mary was no more than an apostle; many were the apostles that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how Allah doth make His signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth!

Christ Jesus, the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of God. (Surah 4:171)

Some Muslims reject the doctrine of trinity by relying on the Quran alone as the source of authority. Others try to appeal to their interpretation of the Bible as additional proof that the doctrine of trinity was not taught by Jesus.

It is true that the Quran denies that Jesus is God. It teaches that Jesus was no more than an apostle of God. Yet there are many references in the Quran that points to the greatness of Jesus. If one fully understands the teachings about Jesus in the Quran, one wonders why he was still only a prophet, and a prophet lower in rank than Muhammad.

Man cannot become God.

What Muslim say

It is absolutely impossible for me to accept that a man is God. It just does not fit into my concept of God. This anthropomorphism takes us back to more primitive times when Pharaohs and Caesars were regarded as gods. It is impossible for all Muslims, and Jews. Only the Creator and Ruler of the Universe is God. He is self-existing and is neither begotten nor begets.

What Christians say

I agree that man cannot become God. But we are saying not saying  that Jesus, a man, became God. We are saying that Jesus, who is God, became man while he was on earth.

The question should not therefore not be “Can man become God?” but rather “Can God take the form of a man?” It would be strange if the second answer is no because the Quran teaches that even angels can.

"She (Mary) placed a screen (to screen herself) from them: then We sent Our Spirit, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects." S. 19:17

Muslims believe that the Spirit here refers to the angel Gabriel. Surely one cannot say God is not capable of a feat that even angels are capable of.

Furthermore, the Quran says that God appeared to Moses in a burning bush. If God can appear in a bush, why can’t He appear in a man?

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PICKTHAL: But when he reached it, he was called, saying: Blessed is Whosoever is in the fire and Whosoever is round about it! And Glorified be Allah, the Lord of the Worlds!
SHAKIR: So when he came to it a voice was uttered saying: Blessed is Whoever is in the fire and whatever is about it; and glory be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds;

God cannot come down in the form of man
God is too great to come down in the form of a man

Is God “too great” to become a man in order to reveal Himself to us? If you feel this way please keep in mind that there is more than one kind of “greatness”. There is the “greatness” of a king who lives in his imperial palace, surrounded by wealth and luxury and slaves to keep Him comfortable, yet remains indifferent to the pains of his subjects. There is also the greatness of a skilled doctor who forsakes a lucrative medical practice in his homeland to go to the poorest of the poor and serve them, heal them, and lay down his life for them. Which kind of greatness do you think is most worthy of a merciful and gracious God?  

A triune God can be on the throne in heaven and on earth at the same time.

If God is indeed a triune being, would the universe collapse if one person of the Godhead came to earth in the form of man?

The Quran teaches that God can be in heaven and on earth at the same time

It should not be difficult for Muslims to accept the fact that God can be on His throne, controlling the universe, and yet be on earth with man at the same time. One such example would be Moses.

[an-Nisa' 4:164] And messengers We have mentioned unto thee before and messengers We have not mentioned unto thee; and Allah spake directly unto Moses;

[al-A`raf 7:143] And when Moses came to Our appointed tryst and his Lord had spoken unto him, he said: My Lord! Show me (Thy Self), that I may gaze upon Thee. He said: Thou wilt not see Me, but gaze upon the mountain! If it stand still in its place, then thou wilt see Me. And when his Lord revealed (His) glory to the mountain He sent it crashing down. And Moses fell down senseless. And when he woke he said: Glory unto Thee! I turn unto Thee repentant, and I am the first of (true) believers.

Moses spoke directly to God without the intermediary angels. Al-Baidhawi says that God spoke to Moses "without mediation of any other, and face to face, as He speaks to angels" (quoted by Sale, op. cit, p.118, note e, quoted by Abdul-Haqq, p.57). That means God was on earth to speak to Moses.

If God can on be on His throne and on earth at the same time, why can’t God the Father be on the throne in heaven and God the Son be on earth at the same time?

God has appeared in human form throughout the Bible

Christians believe that God is almighty and He can appear in other forms if He so wishes. The Bible describes incidents in which God came down to earth in human form.

For example, the Bible describes God coming down to earth as a man and He wrestled with Jacob.

(Genesis 32:28)  Then the man (God appearing in human form) said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome."

The emptying concept is also in the Quran

The Incarnation meant a voluntary self-abnegation on the part of the Prince of God. This Kenosis (or self-emptying) should make sense to Muslims who believe that the eternal Word of God could be captured within the limitations of the human language and preserved in material books made by human hands.

As a matter of fact, all revelation of God to men and angels involves a voluntary self-emptying of God. In order to communicate with His creatures meaningfully, God must act within creaturely limitations. Thus all the self- revelations of God to His prophets meant a Kenosis on the part of Him who otherwise is beyond limit and comprehension. The ultimate Kenosis took place when His Son became a servant to save the world.

Why would God need to come down as a man. In any case God is Omnipresent. He is already on earth always.

Christian reply

Agreed. But not in the form of man. When we speak to a child and want the child to understand us, we don't talk adult language; we come down to the level of the child. God came down to our level to reach to man more effectively.

There is no need for God to come down in human form.

There are many people who think it is logical that God can come as a Wolf or some other animal or in all kinds of other forms. It is also not logical that if He is Omnipresent and works through all things that He should need to take a form.

Christian reply

You have not proven why God cannot come down in the form of a man. You have only said that you don't think God would do it or need to do it.

God is invisible (John 1:18) but we can see Jesus, so Jesus cannot be God.

Reply:

God the Father is invisible but not God the Son.

God cannot die but Jesus died so Jesus cannot be God.

Reply:

God cannot die but because He came down in the form of a man, the human body could die.

Muslims believe that the Quran is an eternal word that cannot pass away. Yet it is possible for the physical copy of a Quran to be destroyed, say if a Muslim’s house is on fire. Likewise, Jesus the man can die while Jesus the God cannot die.

How can Jesus be both God and man at the same time?

Jesus cannot be God because it is impossible for him to be both God and man at the same time.

Muslims should not have any difficulty understanding how Jesus can unite in one person both divine and human natures as they also believe that human beings combine in one person both spirit and flesh, both the enduring and the transient. (See Surah 89:27-30, 3:185) And when the body dies, the spirit of man continues to exist.

It is also wrong to say that this feat is impossible for God. Even Muslims admit that whatever the Almighty God wills, He is able to accomplish for “He is irresistible”. (Surah 6:61)

Jesus never said, “I am God.”

If Jesus is God, then why didn’t he say clearly “I am God”? All the claims of Jesus that Christians use to prove his deity are insufficient, ambiguous and subject to interpretation.

Must Jesus say something in exactly the way we want it? No Muslim would dare demand that Allah say something in exactly the way he requires before he will accept. If Jesus is God, he can say that in anyway he wants. As long as we can understand from what he is saying that he is claiming to be God. And the people in Jesus’ days knew that he was claiming to be God. That is why they wanted to kill him.

The dictionary defines a doctor as someone "who is qualified in medicine and treats someone who is ill." A person can claim to be a doctor by saying, "I am a doctor" or he can do so by saying I am qualified in medicine and treat people who are ill". Both would be equally valid. Jesus did not use the first approach; he used the second. He claimed to have attributes only God has. In doing so, he is also claiming to be God.

The things that Jesus said carry as much weight as can be seen from the many attempts on his life for blasphemy but the people who would understand him best, those who lived in his time and culture and speak his language. We shall examine some of Jesus’ claim to deity below.

What if Jesus says, “I am God”. Would that alone settle the matter? No. Because the term “god” can refer to a few things depending on the context. In general, the term “god” is used to refer to some supernatural being. Even Satan was referred to as a god during the New Testament days. The exact same word “theos” is used whether you refer to God or to Satan, another supernatural being.

(2 Corinthians 4:4)  The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Therefore if you do not believe that Jesus is the Almighty God, you would not believe even if he were to say, “I am God.” There is still room to question. What does he mean by that? Is he just referring to himself as a supernatural being or to the Almighty God? But if Jesus refers to himself as God by applying the attributes of God to himself, then there is no dispute. For example, if Jesus says that he is Almighty, then we know he is referring to himself as the Almighty God.

Jesus denied that he is God Almighty.

Jn 10:34-36 34 Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, `I have said you are gods'? 35 If he called them `gods,' to whom the word of God came-- and the Scripture cannot be broken-- 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, `I am God's Son'?

This is in reference to an old testament verse.

(Psa 82:6 NIV)  "I said, 'You are "gods"; you are all sons of the Most High.'

Muslims interpret this to mean that Jesus is saying that if the judges, who are human, are called gods and sons of God, why can't he who is also a prophet also call himself a Son of God. In other words, the implication is that Jesus is not using the term “Son of God” in any sense to infer deity.

Jesus taught that he is the only Son of God.

 Therefore he could not be using the term “Son of God” in a sense to refer to a messenger of God. There were many messengers of God in history. Jesus could not have claimed to be God’s only messenger. This leaves us with only one logical interpretation. That is : Jesus was saying that since messengers of God, who are only human, are called sons of God, why can't Jesus, who is the special one, call himself the Son of God. Notice in the verses, that Jesus tells us that he was the one the Father set especially apart and sent into the world. That means, he was not part of the world in the first place.

Jesus taught that he is inferior to the Father.
Jesus said the Father is greater than him

John 14:28 Jesus said "The Father is greater than I.

In Mark 13:32, Mark 11:13 and John 11:34, Jesus appeared to be ignorant of certain things, indicating his inferior knowledge.

Almost all of the verses used to argue that Jesus was inferior to the Father compare Jesus in his humbled state as a man with God's exalted position in heaven. There is no need to stress on the inferiority of Jesus because Christians acknowledge that Jesus was indeed inferior while he was in that humble state as a man. The Bible teaches that Jesus had to empty himself before he could come down as a man. When he has emptied himself of all the majesty of God, of course he became inferior at that point.

(Philippians 2:5-7)  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: {6} Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, {7} but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

Even if Muslims do not accept the teachings of Paul, it is only logical that God can only come into this world in the body of a man if He limits Himself in some way. For example, He has to empty Himself of omnipresence because a man can only be one place at a time.

God the Father is the Head of Christ.

What Muslims say

(1 Cor 11:3) Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

What Christians say

Jesus was made even lower than the angels when he emptied himself and came down in the form of man. Therefore, it is in this humbled state that the Father is considered to be the head of Christ.

(Phil 2:6-7) Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, {7} but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

Jesus taught that he is inferior to the Holy Spirit

(Mark 3:28-29 NIV)  I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. {29} But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin."

Since Jesus is inferior to the Holy Spirit, he cannot be God.

Reply:

The Bible does not explain why only blasphemies against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven but one thing for sure, this cannot be used to prove that Jesus is not God. Because Jesus taught in Mark 3 that all blasphemies, other than those towards the Holy Spirit, will be forgiven. Therefore, blasphemies against the Father and against Jesus will be forgiven. So if Jesus is inferior to the Holy Spirit because of this and therefore cannot be God, are we also saying that the Father is also inferior to the Holy Spirit and cannot be God?

Muslims would want to say that this stage that the Holy Spirit may be referring to the spirit of God, in other words God himself. But this is not what Jesus taught. He taught that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all distinct persons.

(Mat 28:19 NIV)  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Jesus calls his Father God.

 (Mat 27:46)  About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"--which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

(John 20:17)  Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"

If Jesus refers to something other than himself as God, then how can he be God?

The impossibility of Jesus addressing his Father as God when he himself is God, is only true if we assume that God cannot be a triune God existing in three persons. If one removes this assumption, then the idea of Jesus calling his Father God when he himself is God no longer becomes an impossible utterance.

Jesus calls himself a man.

John 8:40 But now you seek to kill me, a man that has told you the truth which I have heard from God.

In the Bible, we could also see that Jesus was subjected to many limitations of a man. He became hungry (Mark 11:12), tired (Matt 8:24), etc.

Christians do not reject the manhood of Jesus; therefore there is no need to convince a Christian that Jesus was a man. Christians believe that Jesus is God who came down in the form of a man. Therefore naturally, some verses in the bible would describe his manhood and others will describe his deity.

Jesus calls himself the Son of man

Jesus calls himself the Son of man because he wants to proclaim that he is only a man.

Christian reply

Jesus used the term Son of Man and Son of God interchangeably to refer to himself

(Mat 16:13-17 NIV)  When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" {14} They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." {15} "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" {16} Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." {17} Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.

Jesus did not use the term Son of Man to tell others that he is a mere man

When Jesus calls himself the Son of Man, he emphasized his special powers.

(Mat 9:6 NIV)  But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. . . ." Then he said to the paralytic, "Get up, take your mat and go home."

(Mat 12:8 NIV)  For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."

(Mat 13:41 NIV)  The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.

(Mat 19:28 NIV)  Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

(Mat 24:30 NIV)  "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.

(Mat 26:64 NIV)  "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."

(John 3:13 NIV)  No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven--the Son of Man.

(John 5:27 NIV)  And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.

(John 6:62 NIV)  What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before!

(John 9:35-38 NIV)  Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" {36} "Who is he, sir?" the man asked. "Tell me so that I may believe in him." {37} Jesus said, "You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you." {38} Then the man said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshiped him.

The title “Son of man” is not one that denies Godhood

When Daniel had a vision, he saw what looked like a human being – whom he calls son of man – who would be worshipped in all the earth. Christians believe that person he saw was Jesus.

(Dan 7:13-14 NIV)  "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. {14} 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.

Jesus always submits to his father as God.

(John 5:30)  By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

(John 14:24)  He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

Christian response

At first glance, it may seem like Jesus is inferior to the Father as he is always acting on his father's instructions. A closer examination, however, reveals that the true reason why Jesus obeys his father's commandment is not inferiority or even obligation but simply love; Jesus seeks not to please himself but always the Father.

When Jesus said that he cannot do anything other than what his father is doing, he is referring to his moral inability to go outside his father’s will. We also use such language also in modern day speech not to refer to physical inability, but moral inability. If our friend says to us, "Go ahead and take it; nobody is looking.", we'll probably say, "No, I can't do it." By that we don’t mean physical inability to do the act, but moral inability to do something outside God’s will, which we know is sinful. 

We know that moral and not physical inability because Jesus says so clearly in that same verse.

(John 5:30 NIV)  By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

Everything that Jesus did or said was in accordance with the Father’s intention. None of his words are of his own. (Jn 14:24)

The motivation for obeying his Father's commandments is clearly spelt out in another verse. It is love, not inferiority. The perfect love of Jesus for his Father forbids him to do anything outside his Father's will.

(John 14:31)  but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.

We see a statement of this perfect love of Jesus in John 8:29 when he said that he always do those things that please the Father.

Even in present days, we have parents who follow their children's every whimp and fancy out of love for them. Although I think that this is not the right thing for parents to do, it does illustrate that when one follows another person's will, it need not be always be because one party is inferior to the other. It could be out of love as well.

A fine exmple of Jesus’ servanthood can be seen in his washing of his disciples’feet.

(John 13:3-6 NIV)  Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; {4} so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. {5} After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. {6} He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"

With that kind of assurance Jesus had that God had given him all power, did he sit there like a king and expect to be served? No. He humbled himself and washed his disciples’ feet. He served his disciples out of humility, not inferiority. This is not something that is easy to understand for we knew that Simon Peter objected as well. His thinking was that Jesus should not serve as he was their master. Obviously Jesus thought differently and went ahead to serve his disciples.

Doing His Father's will perfectly did not mean that Jesus Christ was not the Son of God. As a matter of fact it implies exactly the opposite. On account of His intimate fellowship with His Father and essential unity of nature with Him, the Word of God even after His incarnation, continued to obey absolutely the will of the One who sent Him.

Why is Jesus always doing the Father's work and not the reverse?

The answer is each person in the trinity of God has its own function. It cannot be said that since the son is always doing the Father's work, he is inferior to the Father. We can only draw this conclusion if the reason for obedience is not love, but compulsion.

Greatness in servanthood

(Mat 20:26-28 NIV)  Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, {27} and whoever wants to be first must be your slave-- {28} just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

The coming of a humble king fortold in Old Testament

(Zec 9:9 NIV)  Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Jesus is sent by God

How could God send Himself?

Christian reply

I know why this is all aburd. Everything boils down to the concept of God. In the Muslim mind, God is one person. Therefore that one person sending Himself is absurd. In the Christian mind, God is three persons. Therefore God the Father sending His Son is not absurd.

To prove that Jesus cannot be God because he was sent by the Father, one needs to prove that God cannot exist in three persons. If that cannot be proven, then God the Father sending God the Son is not inconsistent within the concept of a triune God.

Jesus’ power comes from God.

Matt 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

Muslism say that this verse shows that it is the Father who gives him the authority, indicating that it was not his in the first place.

(Luke 11:20 NIV)  But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.

Muslims say that Jesus did all His miracles through borrowed power from the Father and not out of His own power.

Jesus emptied himself when He came into this world.

(Phil 2:6-7 NIV)  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, {7} but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

That is why He did the miracles through the power of His Father.

He has no authority to do certain things.

(Mat 20:20-23)  Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him. {21} "What is it you want?" he asked. She said, "Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom." {22} "You don't know what you are asking," Jesus said to them. "Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?" "We can," they answered. {23} Jesus said to them, "You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father."

This shows that Jesus did not have authority to do certain things.

Jesus was not unable, but unwilling, to make the decision regarding the position of Zebede’s sons because that was his Father’s role. Verse 23 tells us clearly that it is not Jesus’ role to do such things. The persons in the Godhead have specific roles that no other performs.

It is possible to outperform Jesus.

Jesus said that anybody who believed in him would be able to do the same and even greater works than he did. So if Jesus is really God, then any Christian will be able to outperform God.

Jn:14:12: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

A Christian is able to "outperform" God in a sense because Jesus, while being God, did not use his power to the maximum capacity on earth. Being God, his power is infinite. For example supposing Jesus healed 100 people while he was on earth. Does that mean God cannot heal 200 people? No, of couse not. And it is possible for a Christian to do greater works because he may empower someone with a powerful healing ministry that will heal hundreds of people.

How can Jesus be God if he is not sinless?
Jesus had undesirable ancestors

"Some of the ancestors of Jesus were harlots."

(Mat 1:1,5 NIV)  A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham: … Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse,

Rahab was a prostitute.

Christian response

God never rejects anyone who repents, no matter how sinful his previous life was. This is ultimate compassion from a merciful God. A sinful person is not deprived of God’s blessings if he repents.

A case in point is Rahab who was a prostitute who became a believer in God.

(Heb 11:31 NIV)  By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.

 

Jesus was created by God
Jesus is described as the “firstborn”

What Muslims say

Colossians 1:15 says " He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the first born (Greek word, prototokos) over all creation."

Heb 1:5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

What Christians say

To understand what the bible meant when it says that Jesus is the first born, it is necessary to look at the Greek word for `first born' which is `prototokos'.

This word is used to convey the meaning of `being born first' but also in the sense of being "the special recipient of good things". In order to study the usage of the word during the New Testament times, we refer to the Septuagint, which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, used by the Jews at the time of Jesus. Let's look at the following verse.

Ex 4:22 Then say to Pharaoh, `This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son,

The Greek word used for firstborn in the verse above from the Septuagint is exactly the same word used in Col 1:15, prototokos. In what sense is Israel God's firstborn? Is Israel the first race to be created? No, Israel is a race that descended from Jacob (whose name God later changed to Israel). Israel is God's firstborn in the sense of being the special recipient of good things. We can see from other verses that Israelites are special recipients of many good things from God (Rom 3:1-2, 9:3-5).

How does the word 'firstborn' take on this meaning? The firstborn son of the Jews stand to be the special recipient of his father's blessings and inheritance (Deut 21:15-17). Therefore, the word `firstborn' in those days is used almost synonymously as "special recipient of good things".

The word prototokos is also translated as firstborn in Col 1:15 in the sense of being "the special recipient of good things". Therefore, the Bible is not teaching that Jesus was a created being, but that he is the special recipient of good things. Jesus stands to be the special recipient of all the glory and riches after he willingly gave them up to come into the world. This is confirmed by the following verse.

Heb 1:2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.

What about Heb 1:5? Doesn't it show that Jesus was created at some point in time and did not exist with God from the beginning? No. The word `begotten' does not always have to mean `created'.

1 Cor 4:15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

Philemon 10 I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:

Paul, who brought these people to eternal life is said to have `begotten' them. Likewise when God said that He had begotten Jesus (in Heb 1:5, which is actually a quotation from Psalms 2:7), He was referring to raising him back to life after his death.

Act 13:33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.

Nowhere in the bible does it teach that Jesus was created. On the contrary, the bible teaches that Jesus existed with the father from the beginning.

Jn 1:1-2 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.

Jn 17:5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

(John 8:58) "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!"

 

Jesus was born of Mary

Christian reply

The fact that Jesus was born of Mary is totally consistent with the Christian teaching that God came down in the form of a man.

If Jesus had not existed prior to being born of Mary, one can say that he was created. But this is not so. Jesus taught that he existed in eternity.

Jesus taught that he exists eternally with the Father