(Also posted on my Facebook Page)
Throughout these many centuries, from immediate post-apostolic times until this present moment, ecclesiastics, scholars, sages, theologians and popes have proclaimed with one voice the Deity of Jesus of Nazareth. This Deity proclamation is based on a false foundation first laid down in ignorance of Israelite concepts and culture, and further exacerbated by contextual blindness and the practice of proof-texting.
Let us now cut through all this clutter and turn to the Gospel of John which provides the most transparent and unambiguous evidence of the falsity of this teaching.
In the confrontation between Jesus and the religious authorities recorded in John 10:22-36, Jesus is accused of “making himself God”. He responds by quoting from Psalm 82:6 in which those to whom the word of God came are described as “gods”. If these men are regarded as “gods”, he asks, how can his accusers charge him with blasphemy for describing himself as the “son of God”?
Throughout the Gospels, Jesus is presented as mastering his opponents in verbal exchanges. By quoting Psalm 82:6 here, he outwits them again, this time in triplicate:
- He is able to anchor himself in the tradition of the prophets of old to whom the word of God came, thereby categorically denying the accusation that he was identifying himself with the Deity;
- He is able to castigate his accusers for not knowing the Scriptures;
- He is able to expose their usual entrapment technique of deliberately distorting his words in order to fabricate a charge of blasphemy.
The confrontation was triggered by Jesus’ statement that “I and the Father are one”, so those who remain unconvinced should perhaps test their resolve by consulting the statements made by Jesus in verses 11, 20, 21-23 and 26 of John 17. It will then be discovered that the “oneness” of which he spoke refers to an affinity of spirit which binds him, his disciples, his followers and God into “one” body characterised by “love”, the greatest commandment. We see exactly the same concept expressed by Paul: “For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread” (1 Corinthians 10:17 KJV).