Is God and Jesus the Same Person in the bible?
The word Trinity is not in the Holy Bible, because God did not inspire any of its authors to explain it when the Scriptures were written. However, there are many passages which make our triune God evident to us, but they must be interpreted with honesty and in truth.
There are many verses in the Bible that show this nature of God three God entities in one, through the way He speaks and the actions He takes. In this article, I discuss these verses, their interpretations and how those interpretations and meanings support the truth of this idea.
I also discuss the how the Christian faith would be changed if the following ideologies were true: if Jesus is not God; if God and Jesus are not the same; if Jesus is not equal to God; if Jesus is the Son of God but not God; if Jesus is not God, but Jesus has a God; if Jesus is a prophet and not God.
God and the Trinity Explained
The God of Christianity is three personae in one; the Three are God the Father, God the Son – also known as Jesus – and God the Spirit – also known as the Holy Spirit. These three entities together are one God and are omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. The Three are not three omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent gods but one omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God with the same character as described in Scripture. If you have not heard of this before, there is another thing you need to know, none of the three entities is either of the other two. In other words, the Father is God but is neither Jesus nor the Holy Spirit; Jesus is God but is neither the Father nor the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit is God but is neither the Father nor Jesus.
Just for further clarification, although it appears by this description that Christianity has three gods, this is far from the truth. There is one God whose existence in the spiritual realm and on earth is three entities in one God.
The Holy Bible does not have the word trinity in any book, chapter or verse of Scripture; however, several verses in both the Old Testament and the New Testament support the Trinity, and here in this article I discuss the interpretations of those verses as I have learned to do through Bible study in my church fellowship group. It is of the utmost importance to use sound hermaneutics. But what is most important is to interpret the verses in their context so that they are not taken out of their narrative context, who the audience of the verses are and the society and culture in which the authors lived.
10 Bible Verses and Reasons that Support Jesus is God in the Trinity
God the Son.
Isaiah prophesies the coming of Jesus as God: For a child is born to us, a son is given to us and the government will be on his shoulders and He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:3). In the last book of the Holy Bible, Jesus gives John a message for the seven churches saying, from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and the ruler of kings of earth, who is and who was and who is to come,
The apostle Paul says in the following verses that Jesus is fully God: Jesus is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15), and the entire completeness of deity lives in Jesus bodily (Colossians 2:9). We also know Jesus is fully man, because He was born to Mary (Matthew 1:25), He experienced hunger for food (Matthew 21:18) and thirst (John 19:28). Yet, as I mention in the introduction, we have only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4). There is only one way that Jesus could be God as Paul details for us and for there to be only one God; Jesus and the Father are one (John 10:30). Therefore, I interpret the following verses through this lens, which I have set out, as the Bible is inerrant and infallible.
When Jesus is baptized in the River Jordan, He rises from the water and the heavens open to Him and sees the Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit) descending like a dove landing on Him, and a voice from heaven says, “This is my beloved Son with Whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-22). Here we see Jesus whom we now know as God as discussed together with the Holy Spirit and the Father acting as three separate persons – One baptized, One descending from heaven as a dove and One speaking. So now we can clearly see the Trinity in action, but there are other passages where this is evident.
In the creation narrative in Genesis, God says, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). This verse may not specifically say that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are with the Father when He says this, but that is the only way this verse makes sense is that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are one, and God is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). So the conclusion is that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are present with God the Father in the creation story.
The creation story is also retold in John 1, and I have paraphrased it to make better sense of how John wrote it to our modern thinking; in the verses, John uses the Greek word logos and equates it with Jesus and then equates Jesus with God. So in the following paraphrase, I have substituted Jesus for Word to show John’s meaning:
In the beginning was (Jesus), and (Jesus) was with God, and (Jesus) was God. (Jesus) was in the beginning with God. All things were made through (Jesus), and without (Jesus) nothing was made. In (Jesus) was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not understand (John 1:1-5). In this way, John says outright that Jesus is God from the beginning of his Gospel.
The Word became flesh and lived among us revealing His glory; glory of the only Son, from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14). We see again, Jesus and God in distinct persons, yet we know that the Lord is the one and only God.
John also relates a story in which Jesus reveals that He is God when He responds to Jews asking Him how He could know that Abraham rejoiced at seeing the Day of Jesus as He is not even 50 years old. Jesus responds, saying “Before Abraham was I am.” So they pick up stones to stone Him. (John 8:56-59). Some interpret this passage incorrectly by saying that Jesus did not refer to Exodus 3:6 where God says “I am who I am.” Even if that is correct, the Jews pick up stones to stone Him for blasphemy.
Later in Jesus also says, “I and the Father are one,” and the Jews pick up stones to stone Him. (John 10:30-31), and this is one of three times when Jesus claims to be God. In verse 33, the Jews confirm that they were going to stone Him for blasphemy by making Himself God.
In John 17, Jesus prays to the Father to ask Him to keep His disciples in Him to allow us to be in God and God in us.
Jesus speaks through Isaiah too. He says, “draw near to Him to listen: ‘I have not spoken in secret from the beginning from the time it came to be, I have been there.’ And now the Lord has sent me and His Spirit.” (Isaiah 48:16). It’s clear that the person speaking says He was there from the beginning from the time (the world) came to be, He was there. Then He talks about God sending Him and the Holy Spirit.
Again, Isaiah says that God Himself will give a sign: the virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and He will be called Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14). Here Isaiah is not saying that Jesus’ name will be Immanuel, but that Jesus will fulfill the idea that God will be with us, as Immanuel means God with us.
What First Century Hebrews Believed about the Messiah
The Disciples of Jesus and Jewish Leaders
The people of Israel have always believed that a messiah would come, including that He would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). Jewish interpretation of this verse is that the Son of David would not come until the Roman Empire had taken power for nine months. Rome became an established republic in 509 B.C and then it became an empire in 27 B.C. Judah came to be ruled by Rome in 6 A.D. when Herod Archelaus became governor.
The author of Matthew also had the same interpretation as he narrates that King Herod consults with the chief priests regarding where the Messiah would be born (Matthew 2:1-6).
They also believed Daniel’s prophecy which says that 490 years were prescribed for the people of Judah and Jerusalem to make an end of sin, making atonement and bring everlasting righteousness, rebuild the temple and anoint the holy place. It goes on to say that the Messiah will be cut off and that the temple will be destroyed (Daniel 9:24-27), which Jesus referred to at His trial before Caiphas (Matthew 26:64, Mark 14:62 & Luke 22: 69).
The timing of Daniel’s prophecy was known to be allegorical by the rabbis and early Church Fathers. However, before Jesus arrived, the rabbis knew that the Messiah was coming soon.
A Hebrew of the First Century
Of course, there were many more than twelve disciples of Jesus and one of those whose name we don’t know who wrote about Him in the Book of Hebrews, who makes some of the most significant statements about Jesus. The book is thick with the testimonies and assertions about Jesus.
In the book, the author refers to Jesus as the High Priest in heaven (Hebrews 2:17, Hebrews 3:1, Hebrews 4:14, Hebrews 5:5, Hebrews 5:10, Hebrews 6:20, Hebrews 7:17, Hebrews 7:26, Hebrews 7:28, Hebrews 8:1 and Hebrews 9:11), as the ultimate and single sacrifice for sin of all time. Out of these references to this role at the altar in heaven, the author adds that Jesus is our high priest in the order of Melchizedek (5:6, 5:10, 6:20, 7:17). This is the same man who is the king and priest to whom Abraham (then still named Abram) gave ten percent of the spoil of the battle to save Lot from the five kings (Genesis 14:18-20).
What follows here are the other highlights of Hebrews as they relate to the deity of Jesus.
Jesus the Son is the appointed heir of everything and God created the world through Him.
Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and upholds the universe by the word of His power, after making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:2-3).
The Greek word for radiance in verse 3 is apaugasma. The biblical usage here indicates that it means that Jesus reflected the majesty of God perfectly. There’s nothing closer to being God than perfection and, unlike every human being, there is no gap between the Father and the Son; they are co-equal with the Holy Spirit as God. The “purification for sins” and “sat down at the right hand of Majesty” refers to Jesus’ work on the cross and His return to heaven to be with His Father.
Jesus became superior to angels.
To no angel did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have begotten You.”
God says, “Let all God’s angels worship Him.”
To Jesus the Son, God says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the sceptre of uprightness is of Your kingdom.” (Hebrews 1:4-9).
God telling Jesus that He has begotten Him does not reduce Him to a mere man as He is to be worshiped and has His own heavenly throne and kingdom. The Greek word for begotten is monogenes, which means one of a kind within a specific relationship.
God left nothing outside of the control of Jesus.
God made Jesus lower than angels, crowned with glory and honor through the suffering of death. (Hebrews 2:8-9).
Jesus is in control (v. 8), and made lower than angels, Jesus came to earth in the flesh, fully God and fully man (v. 9).
Followers of Jesus will tell brothers about the Gospel of Jesus (Hebrews 2:12).
Jesus is counted worthy of more glory than Moses, because the builder of a house has more glory than the house; every house has a builder, but the builder of all things is God, and we are the house He built (Hebrews 3:3-4, 6).
The author of Hebrews speaks of the great commission to make disciples by sharing the Gospel which is important. There might not be such urgency to share the Gospel if Jesus were not God though.
The house God built is the Church of Christ, but if Jesus is not God, then our church is in vain, because it has no God.
Jesus is the High Priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses, but was tempted as we are and yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15-16).
As every man has sinned and falls short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and Jesus is without sin, leaves only one conclusion: that Jesus is God.
The law of Moses made nothing perfect, but Jesus our better hope by which we draw closer to God.
God cannot change His mind.
Jesus is the guarantor of a better covenant, as the previous priests were limited by death, but the priesthood of Jesus is eternal as He is eternal, holy and unstained, exalted above the heavens.
Jesus has no need to offer sacrifices daily, as He died once and for all upon His sacrifice.
There is no way that Jesus could do any of the things mentioned in Hebrews 7 without being God, because He is perfect as is the Father, eternal as is the Father. If Jesus is not God, then His sacrifice would need to be done repeatedly because the sacrifice would have been only flesh, the same as all the previous animal sacrifices were.
Jesus didn’t enter into the earthly holy places copied from true things, but into heaven to appear in God’s presence on our behalf.
For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.
He offered Himself (not repeatedly with the blood of animals or the flesh of His own body as a man), but once for all (as God) to end all other sacrifices, (Hebrews 9:24-28).
It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take sins away (Hebrews 10:4).
If Jesus is not God, He would have to offer Himself as a sacrifice repeatedly since the foundation of the earth, which we know has not happened and is not an event in Scripture nor the historical record. After all, we know that the blood of animals cannot take sins away. However, if Jesus were not God, His work on the cross, would be no better than the abominable practices of those who sacrificed their children to Molech (Leviticus 18:21 and 2 Kings 23:10).
God the Holy Spirit
The creation narrative says that the earth was without form; that it was void and darkness was over the deep. The Spirit of God hovered over the waters, and God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light (Genesis 1:2-3). We might interpret that at the Father’s word, the Holy Spirit made the light come forth.
Paul says that we are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in us (1 Corinthians 3:16). God’s Spirit is also known as the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity.
Acts 5 tells a story of Ananias and his wife Sapphira who decided to do as many others had done in that time to sell property and give the proceeds to the church. But when Ananias kept part of it for himself as he laid it at the feet of the apostles feet, Peter questioned, why he lied to the Holy Spirit and keep some of the proceeds. When Ananias understood that his deception was known to man and to the Holy Spirit, he fell down dead. So the same happened when Sapphira entered three hours later (Acts 5:1-11).
The Spirit of the Lord was upon Othniel as he went out to war (Judges 3:10).
The Holy Spirit was with all of the prophets of the Old Testament. However, one of the most evident stories is in 2 Kings 6. The king of Syria was at war with Israel, but a man of God warned the king of Israel about where the Syrians camped and saved Israel in that way. So the king of Syria sends a servant to seize Elisha the prophet giving these warnings who then reports on where the prophet is. Then the Syrian king sends an army against Elisha surrounding the city. Elisha’s servant sees the opposing army, he asks what they will do. Elisha responds saying not to be afraid, because the army that is for them is larger than the army that is against them. Then Elisha prayed for the servant’s eyes to be opened and the servant saw the army of angels on the mountain with horses and chariots of fire all around them. Elisha then prayed for the Syrian army to be blinded and led them to Samaria and there prayed for their eyes to be opened and they were held captive (2 Kings 6:8-23).
What If Jesus Is Not God?
Now that I’ve given the background for the Gospels and the early Church, we can take a look at the topics we need to discuss. The implications of this idea of Jesus not being God, if true, are many. The worst part of this idea is that it makes – the Bible errant and fallible, whereas most Christians believe that the Trinity is true.
Implications for the Bride of Christ
False teachings from various sources report that Jesus is not God and they all have the same effect or implication in respect to the Holy Bible, which is in complete opposition to the Christians belief that the Bible is inerrant and infallible. The teachings I speak of are that Jesus is the Son of God but not God, Jesus is not God but has a God and Jesus is a prophet and not God. I discuss these effects and implications here. The effects are similar if God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit are not co-equal; that is, God and Jesus are not the same and Jesus is not equal to God and I discuss these ideologies here too.
If Jesus is not God, then our world would look very different, unless Jesus were to have come at some point later than two millennia ago and now as God for the same purpose He did. But let’s say that Jesus were not the promised Messiah and not God, then that would make Muhammad’s claim true, that Jesus was a mere prophet. It also would make Judaism the true faith until the Messiah would come. Moreover, Christianity would not exist or if it did it would be a lie.
Why would we say that? Because if Jesus is not God and not the promised Messiah, then there is no reason for any of the events that led to the formation of the Church we know today to have happened. Now, we can all agree that the fact Jesus Christ’s Church exists in many forms and denominations is not proof that Jesus is God. However, the ramification is that the Church would not exist without Jesus as God. At the very least, the Church would not have as many followers of Jesus as it does today if Jesus were not God.
God So Loved the World
The implications I discuss above are only the earthly ramifications of Jesus not being God, because the Messiah not having come and Jesus not being God is the least of the troubles as there are more worrisome and spiritual effects of these ideas.
We need to look at John 3:16 which starts with, “For God so loved the world.” Christians around the globe believe God’s love is deeper than any human and that God is the most loving of all deities. He defines love and exemplifies it. That is mainly due to Jesus and the gift of His sacrifice to die for us and the forgiveness of our sins. So if Jesus is not God, then God is a liar.
Why would we say that? This is because Jesus not being God means that God sent a man to die on the cross for our sins. The Mosaic Law requires that the lamb for the sacrifice of atonement of sins must be without blemish (without sin) (Leviticus 23:12). All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), so no man could or would qualify, because all have sinned; Jesus committed no sin although He was tempted. Aside from a blemished sacrifice, there is another issue.
If we do believe that God sent a man to die as a sacrifice, we see God committing a sin against Himself, which makes no sense, because not only can not be tempted, but He tempts no one (James 1:13); therefore, God is also incapable of committing sin. God also condemns human sacrifice as an abomination in the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 12:31, Deuteronomy 18:10, Leviticus 18:21, Leviticus 27:28-29, 2 Kings 3:27, 2 Kings 21:6). Therefore, Jesus not being God means that the Father’s love for us means that He would choose any of us for this sacrifice. None of this fits the character of the loving and kind God described in Scripture.
We may not know the entirety of the mystery and Majesty of God, but we do hold that God loves us more than any human can love us. But Jesus not being God and for the Father to send Him to die as a sacrifice in abhorrence makes Him an unloving liar in so many ways as we have seen here.
Furthermore, if Jesus is not God, the worst part is that we are all unforgiven sinners doomed to an eternity in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15). It is not God’s will that He reside in eternity alone.
What If Jesus Is Not Co-equal with the Father
Moreover, if Jesus is deity but not co-equal and one with the Father, then we have two gods competing for our worship, which is in opposition to the Bible (Deuteronomy 4:35, 4:39, Deuteronomy 6:4). We cannot have two gods, neither in the heavens nor on earth. We must also recognize that if Jesus as equal with God the Father, but not one, also opposes the same Scriptures in a similar way.
There is one other issue raised by false theologies that Jesus is not God or that He is another god not co-equal with the Father. God commands us not to worship other gods, idols or images (Exodus 20:4-6). Jesus also reminds us that we are to worship God alone (Matthew 4:9-10, Luke 4:7-8).
So if Jesus is not God and co-equal with the Father, then those who worship Him break this commandment not to worship anything or anyone else. The angel speaking with John in Revelation refused his worship (Revelation 19:10). So then, if angels refuse worship and Jesus is not God, then why does Jesus not refuse worship?
In Matthew 28:9, Jesus greets the disciples after His resurrection on the Third Day and they worship Him.
After Jesus heals the man born blind (John 9:1-7), He later meets the man and after revealing Himself as the Son of Man, he responds by saying, “Lord, I believe,” and worships Him (John 9:38).
The author of Hebrews says (to) the Son, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.” (Hebrews 1:8-9)
Before Jesus performs any miracles or signs, the magi worship Jesus in Bethlehem after His birth (Matthew 2:11).
After Jesus ascends to heaven, the disciples worship Him (Luke 24:52).
Thomas worshiped Jesus when he appeared to Him after being absent after the resurrection and appearing to the disciples (John 20:28).
During Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the crowd worshiped Him (Matthew 21:9, Luke 19:41 and John 12:13).
The disciples and other followers also call Jesus Lord, revering Him as God. The Greek word for Lord is kyrios: which appears 717 times in the New Testament manuscripts. In some of those instances the usage is for God or the Father, in also appears in some of Jesus’ parables, but in many of the verses Jesus is called Lord. Jesus is called Lord 108 times in the four Gospels. So there were people who knew Jesus as God when they encountered Him, and He did not stop them from doing that.
Here is a remarkable example of the use of kyrios in Luke 5: After Jesus teaches the crowd from Simon’s (Peter) fishing boat, He tells Simon to let the nets down for a catch. The catch is so large the nets begin to break. Simon falls down at Jesus’ knees and says, “Leave me, as I am a sinful man, O Lord.” (Luke 5:8).
Jesus did also claim to be God. One time when Jesus was in the Temple, some of the people there claimed He had a demon. He answered that He didn’t have a demon and turned the conversation to suggestthat those who keep His word would not see death. They responded that they knew He had a demon and that Abraham and the prophets died, yet if anyone keeps His word He won’t taste death. They questioned if He is greater than Abraham, who died. Who is He? He responded by speaking about glory from the Father, and that Abraham would have rejoiced to see Jesus’ day. Then the people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old and You’ve seen Abraham?” Jesus replied, “Before Abraham was I am.” With this response, Jesus indicates that He is as eternal as the Father, because He says that He existed both before Abraham and in the present. Jesus says in this verse that He saw Abraham many times in his day, referring to the times in Genesis when God appeared to Abram/Abraham (Genesis 12:7; 17:1; 18:1). Furthermore, by saying “I am,” He calls Himself as YHWH, which sounds a lot like ehyeh or hawyah from the Hebrew, which translates as “I am.” Incidentally, Jehovah, which is the name in the Old Testament manuscripts in many places translated as Lord, translates as “the existing one.” So on many levels, Jesus claimed in this verse in John that He is God. As this would have been considered blasphemy for any man, the people pick up stones to kill Him.
There is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4). However, God is three persons who are co-equal and fully God. They are God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit through whom Jesus commanded His disciples to make more disciples baptizing in the name of the Father, of the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).
Paul clearly says that Jesus is God (Colossians 1:15, 2:9), and the author of Hebrews also says Jesus is God. The three persons of the Trinity clearly work together so seamlessly that some would say there are not three persons in God. But there is enough evidence to say that at times they work independently of each other with the same will of God.