How Jesus Became God: A Critical Review

April 25, 2014 | 48 comments

Most Christians say the apostles came to believe Jesus was God after seeing how Christ’s resurrection vindicated his claims to divinity. But Bart Ehrman’s newest book, How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee, offers another theory.

Ehrman is popular New Testament textual critic who was once a Fundamentalist Christian and is now an agnostic. Ehrman’s big claim to fame came with his 2005 book Misquoting Jesus, where he argued that the text of the New Testament was corrupted through the scribal copying process. He then argued that this corruption jeopardizes our orthodox understanding of the Bible. The book has sold millions of copies, and you’ve no doubt seen or heard Ehrman on late-night television, including the Colbert Report.

Ehrman’s thesis in his latest book is that the divide between human and divine in the ancient world was not as clean cut and “uncrossable” as it is for modern religious believers. According to Ehrman, in the ancient world it was common for the divide to be crossed in either the “gods come down in the likeness of men” direction or the “men go up and become gods” direction. Within this cultural milieu it was not improbable for the apostles to believe that their good rabbi had become “God.”

I enjoyed the book, and I think it's disappointing how many Christians jump into an automatic “pan-the-heretic” mode before reading it. Don’t misunderstand me: I think Ehrman is wrong, but his book is well-written. 

Gods and men in the Ancient World

The first two chapters describe the malleable barrier between gods and men. The first few pages left a sour taste in my mouth. Ehrman begins with a story about a first-century miracle worker whose disciples believed he was the Son of God and had survived his own death. But, surprise! Ehrman’s not talking about Jesus but another supposed miracle-worker and contemporary of Jesus named Apollonius of Tyana. This sets the stage for Ehrman to talk about how in the ancient world men who become gods and vice-versa were really a dime a dozen.

However, Ehrman neglects to mention that although we have multiple sources for the life of Jesus we only have one source for Apollonius. Ehrman says this source, Philostratus, recorded what eyewitnesses said about Apollonius, but neglects to mention that the only eyewitness mentioned is one Damis from Nineveh, a city that didn’t even exist in the first century (which means Damis probably did not exist either). Ehrman also doesn’t mention how the wife of emperor Severus commissioned Philostratus to write the biography of Apollonius over a century after Apollonius’s “death.” The Life of Apollonius was probably created as a competitor to the Gospel accounts of Jesus which, by that point, were in wide circulation across the Roman Empire.

Ehrman acknowledges this theory in a footnote but then claims that all he is doing is showing how belief in “God-men” was easily accepted in the Roman cultural context; but I find this answer unsatisfying. If belief in a God-man like Apollonius was only easily accepted because it was crafted to imitate Jesus, it still doesn’t explain how Jesus’ divinity came about.

Perhaps the most striking concession Ehrman makes in this section is that Apollonius is the only story of a true “God-man” like Jesus. Ehrman writes, “I don’t know of any other cases in ancient Greek or Roman thought of this kind of “God-man,” where an already existing divine being is said to be born of a mortal woman." If the story of Apollonius is parasitic upon the story of Jesus, then that makes the story of the “God-man” Jesus all the more exceptional and difficult to explain without recourse to a miracle.

The Resurrection of Jesus

In chapter three we get a crash course in “historical Jesus studies” or the use of objective criteria to find what the nineteenth-century Biblical critic Martin Kähler called “The Jesus of History” (as opposed to the supposedly non-historical “Christ of faith” who inhabits the catechism). At about this point I noticed that some of what Ehrman was discussing also popped up in his previous book, Did Jesus Exist?

 I think it was New Testament critic Burton Mack who said that the greatest mystery of Christianity is the question of how Jesus came to be worshipped as God so quickly after his death. Mythicists who deny Jesus existed have a simple answer: he was always worshipped as God and the human part was added later. Ehrman rejects that view, but has to find a way to get Jesus up the “ontological totem pole” at a very fast rate. Ehrman claims to be able to do this in his analysis of the Resurrection, an “event” that he says was necessary for Jesus not to be remembered as just another failed messiah.

Ehrman is adamant that this was not a fluffy “resurrection of Easter faith,” nor was it a “spiritual resurrection” as other critics try to make it out to be. It was instead a real bodily resurrection that the apostles proclaimed. He is careful to say, however, that it was belief in the resurrection that caused the apostles to think Jesus was God, and not the resurrection itself. Ehrman then devotes two chapters to providing a natural explanation for how this belief in the resurrection came about.

His main point is that although he once believed that we could know Joseph of Arimathea buried Jesus, he has now changed his mind and says we can’t know that for sure. He says we simply can’t know what happened to the body of Jesus. We can know, however, that the apostles had visions of Jesus after his death, but that was probably because they were bereaved and such visions are actually quite common. He says the answer to the question of whether or not these visions were real or hallucinatory is beyond the reach of the historian.

My Thoughts on the Resurrection

I’m not convinced by Ehrman’s arguments against the authenticity of the burial tradition. Hesays that because Joseph and the empty tomb are not mentioned in the creed in 1 Corinthians 15:3-5, this shows it was probably a legendary development. But the creed’s use of the word buried (in Greek, hetaphe) implies something formal and ceremonial, not a mere chucking of a body into a ditch. In addition, there’s no reason to include those details in 1 Corinthians because they were not needed. When the creed says “Christ appeared” it’s natural to ask “to whom did he appear?” The creed answers this question with a list of witnesses. When it says Christ was buried, we don’t need to know who buried him, just as we don’t need to know who killed Christ (something the creed in 1 Corinthians also doesn’t mention).

In regards to the visions, how do we know that the disciples would have been bereaved and not angry that Jesus turned out to be a fraud instead of the messiah? I’m sure the disciples of John the Baptist mourned his death and may have felt guilty for not aiding him during his imprisonment, buttheir grief did not lead them to proclaim he had risen from the dead.

Overall, Ehrman’s treatment of the resurrection is good when he goes in depth about a subject and poor when he gives an off-hand response to an objection. For example, his cursory write-off of the resurrection accounts being contradictory and therefore not being reliable is not compelling because the accounts only differ in secondary details. Many ancient histories do the same. For example, among Tacitus, Suetonius, and Cassius Dio we have three different accounts of where Nero was when Rome burned, but that doesn’t mean Nero wasn’t in the city when it happened.

The Path to Orthodoxy

In chapters eight and nine Ehrman narrates the struggles within the early Church as Christians sought to lay out in specific detail what they believed about God and Jesus. If you ever take the time to read the canons from councils like Nicea and Chalcedon, then you see how it’s really difficult to describe orthodoxy correctly. It’s really easy, however, to make your view a heresy. What is the Trinity? Are the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit each gods? Nope! That’s tri-theism. Are the Father, Son and Holy Spirit each a part of God? Nope! That’s modalism. While Ehrman’s description of the early Christological controversies is fairly useful, there are parts where I think he oversimplified to the point of error.

One of those would be his assertion that the third-century popes endorsed the heresy of modalism, which claims that there is one God who is one person and that this person appears in different “modes” or roles.  In this view of God, there is no relationship between the Father and the Son since they are the same person (God) just as my role as “husband” has no personal relationship as “son.” Ehrman says that Pope Callistus I (218-223) endorsed this view, but our only source for this charge is Hippolytus, who, Ehrman neglects to tell his readers, was a bitter opponent of Callistus—making his charges unreliable. Callistus was certainly no modalist because he excommunicated Sabellius, one of modalism’s primary proponents (another name for modalism is Sabellianism). J.N.D. Kelly’s Oxford reference book on the popes gives a good description of the matter here.

Closing Thoughts

There’s a lot more to discuss here (especially Ehrman’s view of Paul’s Christology), but overall I think Ehrman’s work represents the typical “Jesus was a failed end-times prophet” approach that is popular within historical Jesus studies. Ehrman does part ways with some of his like-minded colleagues, such as Dale Allison (see page 185 of How Jesus Became God), and at those points it’s nice to see Ehrman put forward a compelling argument instead of just lobbing an assertion.

For readers who want a fuller treatment of the arguments in opposition to Ehrman’s case, I’d recommend the following resources:

How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature—A Response to Bart Ehrman. As the tile suggests, this book represents the viewpoints of five authors who disagree with Ehrman’s thesis. Kind of a mixed bag when it comes to quality, but Craig Evans’s essay on Jesus’ burial is worth the whole price.

Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony. This book by Richard Bauckham is a must-read for anyone who glosses over Ehrman’s claim that the Gospels were not written by eyewitnesses and so cannot be trusted.

The Resurrection of the Son of God. The well-known New Testament scholar N.T. Wright gives one of the most comprehensive treatments of both the resurrection and the surrounding cultural context that makes a natural “legend-based” explanation of the resurrection very implausible.


After his conversion to the Catholic faith, Trent Horn pursued an undergraduate degree in history from Arizona State University.  He then earned a graduate degree in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in philosophy from Holy Apostles College....

Why Believe In Jesus?: A Case for the Existence, Divinity and Resurrection of Christ
Jesus of Nazareth was the most famous man in history—and certainly the most controversial. Was he the Son of God? A political revolutionary? Just a wise teacher whose followers turned his memory into legend? Or maybe he didn’t exist at all… except as a fanciful mixture of ancient myths. With so many competing versions of Jesus to choose from, how can we know that traditional Christian teaching about him is true—in fact, that it is worthy of our faith? In Why Believe in Jesus?, apologist Trent Horn examines the historical, biblical, and logical evidence to build a compelling case for the reasonableness of belief in the Christian Jesus: that he was truly God incarnate in first-century Judea, put to death on a cross and risen on the third day.

Comments by Catholic.com Members

#1  Liviu Constantin - Calgary, Alberta

The Lord received divine nature after His resurrection. Apostle Paul in Romans 6:9 tells us that NOW death no longer has any power over Him and this was made possible only after God YHWH gave Him the divine nature as a result of His obedience and redemption of human race.
In 1 Tim. 6 also we are told that immortality belongs to God only. Clearly our Lord did not posses immortality before His Resurrection, he died on the cross.
God the Father therefore was the only being in Universe who possessed immortality, death was, is and will be in infinity an impossibility for Him. After His Resurrection our Lord Jesus received the divine nature and now He is also a life generating being. His Church is called to inherit the same spirit nature, and after becoming His bride, the Groom and the Bride will give life to all people who will be resurrected in Millennium to receive the gift offered at Golgotha and if they obey God they will live here on Earth in perfect human bodies in infinity of time.

April 25, 2014 at 10:18 am PST
#2  Logan Rieck - Albany, Illinois

Liviiu, I think you're just cherry-picking verses without looking at the whole of the Bible.

Concerning Romans 6:9, no death no longer has any hold of our Lord Jesus because His human nature died and is now resurrected to an incorruptible body. His human nature that he took (John 1:14) was able to die but not His divine nature that He has had since the beginning, from everlasting (John 1:1).

If Jesus received divine nature only since His Resurrection then this directly contradicts John 1:1, Philippians 2:6, and John 8:58 just to name a few.

I recommend re-reading Scripture, especially the early Church Fathers that affirmed what the Bible says, Jesus is God from Everlasting.

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. It really cannot be any clearer from St. John's beginning Hymn to the Gospel he wrote.

April 25, 2014 at 10:54 am PST
#3  Liviu Constantin - Calgary, Alberta

Moses was also God: Exodus 7:1 And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.
Also there are many gods:
5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or on earth; as there are gods many, and lords many; 6 yet to us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we unto him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through him.
Yet only one true God: The Father as apostle writes in this epistle.

Satan is also a god:
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 that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Question: What exactly means the word god (or God or GOD)?
Answer: A powerful being.

Was our Lord and Savior a powerful being? Yes
Was our Lord and Savior the God of Universe? No
Yahweh was, is and will be the only one who has always possessed immortality (1Tim. 6:16)

April 25, 2014 at 12:33 pm PST
#4  Logan Rieck - Albany, Illinois

Liviu, you are taking the Bible too literally and out of context.

Moses wasn't a literal god, God was allowing Moses not have to speak for God as Moses asked so Aaron became the prophet while Moses would be usually the one to speak and relay God's message.

St. Paul was speaking that there are many gods worshipped by the Gentiles but not that they were real literally. It's their own imagination but they think they are real.

Again, Satan isn't a real god but it was sarcastically applied to him.

Again, you are avoiding John 1:1, Philippians 2:6, John 8:58.

Consider this:
John 8:58 NABRE

Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.”

Who is I AM? Yahweh as He proclaimed Himself to Moses.

Exodus 3:14 NABRE

God replied to Moses: I am who I am. Then he added: This is what you will tell the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.

God is I AM, Jesus said He is I AM. Quite logically then Jesus is God, Yahweh.

April 25, 2014 at 2:12 pm PST
#5  Liviu Constantin - Calgary, Alberta

Dear Logan, the point I was trying to make was the fact that the word God or god simply means a powerful being. Remember, our Lord told the Pharisees:
John 10:33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
Our Lord was quoting from Psalm 82 and if you read the Psalm you can see that the gods mentioned there were the Judges of Israel whom were appointed and vested with the power of life and death (powerful beings), but they have abused their privileges and have done evil things. Therefore the true God, the Almighty deals with them accordingly.
Reading all these, I draw the conclusion that the word God from John 1:1 refers to a powerful being.
Our Lord was the first and last creation of God YHWH (Revelation 3:14) created on the spirit plane before anything, before the Universe, before Earth, before any angels or archangels, before Abraham. He was created on the spirit plane but not having the divine nature just like any other creation that came after Him and was created by Him. His test to receive the divine nature was given at Golgotha and He past it. This is what I gather from Rom. 6:9 especially.
The teachings that he was God himself crept into Christianity after the death of apostles along with other misconceptions. The apostles never taught such non-sense. They never taught salvation offered to the world either, they taught that God is searching for a Bride to His Son, a Bride which will receive the same glory as the Groom. After the Bride is selected and therefore the new Christ is complete, salvation is offered to the world: Muslims, Sikhs, Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Evolutionists, and last but not least false Christians which never understood the purpose of Christ's calling and have produced a Babylonian teaching full of confusion and contradictions. Babylonian teachings that makes God look like a sick monster torturing His creation for eternity. This Babylon (confusion/lies) will fall and will be replaced by God's Kingdom a kingdom which will never pass away (Dan 2:44), a kingdom of righteousness and prosperity and everlasting life on Earth for all the people who rejected the High Calling (Heb 3:1) by believing lies and propagating them as truths.

April 25, 2014 at 2:49 pm PST
#6  Logan Rieck - Albany, Illinois

Jesus was not the first Creation, when He said He is the first and the last He is quoting the Old Testament so that we may understand Him better.
Revelation 1:17 NABRE

When I caught sight of him, I fell down at his feet as though dead. He touched me with his right hand and said, “Do not be afraid. I am the first and the last,
Isaiah 44:6 NABRE

Thus says the L ord , Israel’s king, its redeemer, the L ord of hosts: I am the first, I am the last; there is no God but me.

Jesus, in Revelation 3:14 doesn't say He is the first of Creation, He says He is the source. The source can only be God.

You didn't respond to the I AM statement, please do.

The Apostles never taught universal salvation?

1 John 2:2 NABRE

He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.

Anyhow, your errors are numerous. Please read the Bible as a whole, our Lord promised His Church would never teach error (Matthew 16:18) and His apostles promised the Church would protect truth (1 Timothy 3:15). We can see from the earliest times that Jesus is understood to be God, the monotheism carried on from Judaism.

This is without mentioning the irony that you use the Bible compiled by Catholic bishops at the Council of Rome in 381. Without the Catholic Church you do not even know which books are Sacred Scripture. Otherwise it is a logical fallacy. God bless, God lead you to truth.

April 25, 2014 at 3:17 pm PST
#7  Liviu Constantin - Calgary, Alberta

Quote: God bless, God lead you to truth.
Thank you Logan, He already did!

I did answer to the I AM statement, go back and see that before anything else was created, Jesus was, therefore that I AM applies very well.
As for the Bible: If the Catholic Church is the one I have to thank for the Bible than here it comes: Thank You!
But rather I think it's God I ought to thank. Don't you think? Isn't He the author?
Now speaking of Bible, if the Catholic Church has compiled it how come it doesn't see the jewels within? What kind of short sight is this? When you see the tortures described on your cathedrals, but you don't see the glory of the Millennial Reign of the Christ? (That the is no mistake, the Christ is now Head=Jesus and Body= true disciples)
How come you don't see that at His second coming He comes with healing under His wings? How come you don't see that He comes to judge the Earth and yet this is a joyous event?(Psalm 96)
How come you didn't see the role of the Levites, that they will not inherit Earth (Jos. 13:33) because their inheritance is God Himself. How come you didn't see that the Bride is called to forget her home Earth (Psalm 45), how come you didn't see that the rest of creation is groaning in pain until the Church is complete (Rom 8:19-23) so they too can benefit?

Yet others were able to unearth those jewels. Kudos to them, shame to RCC. Your own work puts you to shame. From all the beauties hidden in Scripture all you could come up with was: Fall behind us to escape the tortures!!!
Ah, but I can't blame you. The veil is still thick on your eyes. Fortunately it will be removed in the Kingdom: Isaiah 25:7
Unfortunately you will look goofy.
Blessings

April 25, 2014 at 4:02 pm PST
#8  Logan Rieck - Albany, Illinois

Friend, the I AM saying is only applicable to Yahweh, that is why I provided the Exodus verse, as it is Yahweh revealing Himself only as the I AM. The I AM stands for God being the first cause, that He is existence itself, this cannot apply to any creature.

Why hasn't the Catholic Church seen the jewels within the Bible? Have you ever read St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas to name the easiest saints among the thousands? Perhaps St. Ignatius who was a disciple of St. John himself who tells us that Jesus is indeed God Himself, the One only God. Even the most recent Popes such as Bl. John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's writings are extraordinarily profound and deep spiritually.

I'm not quite sure you fully know the extent of Catholic theology. It has a 2000 year history from the Apostles themselves. If the Catholic Church is the one to compile Scripture then it should logically apply to them that they are also the Church that will never be overcome by Satan as in Matthew 16:18 and the infallible Church in 1 Timothy 3:15.

Honestly, I'm not quite sure if you are cognizant of Catholic theology as the Catholic Church was the only Church until basically the Reformation (I'm not including the Orthodox Church as the Catholic Church and it hold basically the same views) unless you think people hadn't examined Scripture for the first 1500 years of Christianity.

Go back to the Church Fathers, the earliest leaders of the Christian Church from the disciples of the Apostles. They avow only One God, proclaim Jesus Christ is God. Look at the various councils and why they came into being and the theological advancement that continues to this day as our Lord promised the Holy Spirit would do for us?

The tortures described on our Cathedrals? I'm a bit baffled on what you're saying. Anyhow, please answer the objections I raised in the previous comment and quit this red herring.

April 25, 2014 at 5:56 pm PST
#9  Liviu Constantin - Calgary, Alberta

Friend, I am aware of the Old Testament verses here is one example: Exodus 6:3 New Living Translation
I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai--'God Almighty'--but I did not reveal my name, Yahweh, to them.

Also I am aware of the differences between LORD and lord
Psalm 110:1 The LORD (YHWH) says to my lord (Adonai)

Look, please don't come to me with the Church Fathers business. I am not a Catholic, it doesn't work with me. I don't recognize any of your Church Fathers I only recognize one Father: in Heaven. As for all the human wisdom you are trying to get me to swallow, I have no appetite. Thanks, but no thanks.
If any in history I would have looked at Arius, he seemed to defend the truth.
And all the fall away from the truth was predicted, apostle Paul said that the mystery of inequity was already at work, during his ministry. He said that wolves will tear apart his teachings after his death. If he said that, who am I to deny it? I gather it happened.
Also our Lord has foresaw how after the death of the apostles, Satan will spread his seed and his seed will bring forth tares. (Matt 13:24-30) Yet, the wheat and the tares grow in parallel until Harvest. So, uninterrupted, from the days of the apostles, a false Church developed in parallel with the true one.
At Niceea the fall from the truth has reached climax. All the lies of the false wheat was declared law and made into a creed which for those who will not subscribe to it would mean death. And death followed. A looong trail of death and blood. Nicolaitians developed and seeing the opportunity of no hard work and easy money put on the robe and made a wealthy living, with respect from laity, money, titles, properties etc. Look how everything started white and pure (Revelation 6) and how black it has become after a while.
Jezebel (the false Church) became so powerful it has mounted the beast (Rome-civil power). The true saints were murdered in cold blood, (their test to see if they were faithful unto death)

Anyway, since you are baffled about the scenes of hell depicted in minute details on your cathedral ceilings and stained windows here is a link (out of many others)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Orvieto108.jpg

Have a good evening

April 25, 2014 at 7:11 pm PST
#10  Logan Rieck - Albany, Illinois

You do not accept the Church Fathers? St. Paul commanded that his teachings and tradition should be passed down, this is how we know what is correct and the Church Fathers, and the Catholic Church, can trace their descent from the Apostles thus preserving correct doctrine.

1 Corinthians 11:2

I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you.

Why you would stand with Arius when the whole Church (which Paul said was the defender and bulwark of the truth in 1 Timothy 3:15) denied him is beyond me. If you honestly think things changed and were corrupted at the Council of Nicea I feel terrible for you as shortly after that the Church would again fall into persecution. The great saint Athanasius himself would even be thrusted out of his bishopric multiple times by corrupt Emperors but the truth wouldn't be stopped by civil authority.

You have yet to adequately answer why Jesus would call Himself I AM, a name fit only for Yahweh, if He were not God. A creature couldn't bear this title, only the One God.

Yes, Lord (Adonai) was used to hide the Name of God lest it be abused. This is why Jesus was called Lord (Jesus is Lord!), for Lord was used so interchangeably with the Divine Name and God.

Also, you have yet to answer why St. Paul writes in Philippians 2:6:

Who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.

No mere creature, despite how holy, could ever be in the form of God but God Himself.

Oh, the depictions of Hell? I'm not sure why you are concerned with this as it is a reality that our Lord speaks of. We cannot deny the truth.

I find it ironic that you think the Catholic Church was corrupted at the Council of Nicea (A.D. 325) while you use the Bible it compiled at the Council of Rome (A.D. 381). If she were corrupted then how could you trust the Bible she authorized 60 years later?

April 25, 2014 at 8:26 pm PST
#11  Salonsar War - Shillong, Meghalaya

Dear Liviu,
You said: "I only recognize one Father: in Heaven"
>> Please take a look at Isaiah 9:6 -- "For a child is born to us,a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, EVERLASTING FATHER, Prince of Peace." (New Living Translation (NLT)
I am sure you agree this verse is talking about Jesus and he is called Everlasting Father--that would be YHWH, as only he can be called such. So , Jesus = YHWH (LORD)

>> Take another lok at Romans 9:5 -- "Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are their ancestors, and Christ himself was an Israelite as far as his human nature is concerned. And he is God, the one who rules over everything and is worthy of eternal praise! Amen" (NLT). Jesus is GOD

>> Here's ***** 2:13 -- "while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed." (NLT) Jesus is GOD
>> Hebrews 1:8 -- "But to the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. You rule with a scepter of justice." (NLT). Here, the Father calls the Son 'God'.

>> Here's one you had quoted. John 10:33-- "They replied, “We’re stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God.”. Brother, here we are 2000 years later, arguing whether Jesus made such claims or not; or whether the council of Nicea did corrupt the Bible's message, and whether, in your words, the teaching that Jesus is God crept into Christianity--- AND HERE (from this verse), those who were present and who heard it from his lips itself, knew exactly who he was claiming to be; and they killed him for it. So either he is who he claims to be, or it was indeed blasphemy--if it was, then why are you even accepting his sacrifice and following his teachings, if he made such a big mistake.

>> 1 John 5:20 -- "He is the True God and Eternal life." That's Jesus.

Now, you agree it was God (YHWH) who spoke to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses. Take a good look at who it was who spoke to Moses from the burning bush :

>> Exodus 3:2 -- "There the ANGEL OF THE LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush.." Exodus 3:4-- "When the LORD saw Moses coming to take a closer look.." and Exodus 3:6 -- "I am the God of your fathers —the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."
Shouldn't only YHWH be saying such things? Can any ordinary angel make such claims?? Friend, I agree it does not mention the name Jesus, but apparently (there are many other verses as well), the Angel of the LORD is also the LORD and was actually the pre-incarnate Christ.

Here's some more support for the Trinity -- or if you don't like that word, the Tri-une nature of God.
>> Genesis 19:24 --- (Destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah)
"Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the LORD out of heaven" -- 2 LORDs ???

>> Zechariah 2:10-11 -- "--- Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,” declares the LORD. “Many nations will be joined with the LORD in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you." Here, the LORD declares that the LORD has sent him.

Friend, those were just a few verses from Scripture, where it becomes crystal clear that God exists in more than one person and that Jesus is also God. And we are not even talking about the Holy Spirit yet. The Apostles, Church Fathers and the council of Nicea were merely following the Bible and affirming and declaring the Truth.
Brother Liviu, once we truly understand who Jesus is, and when we accept him whole-heartedly, THEN, and ONLY THEN can we accept GOD (YHWH).

He who accepts him accepts the Father. He who rejects him rejects the Father. He who honours him, honours the Father.

>> John 8:24 -- "That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I AM who I claim to be, you will die in your sins.” (NLT)

God Bless.

April 26, 2014 at 3:24 am PST
#12  leonard kessinger - Phoenix, Arizona

Liviu are you Iglesia?

April 26, 2014 at 10:10 am PST
#13  Liviu Constantin - Calgary, Alberta

Dear friends,
We can go back and forth many times. This is what I have to say about this matter: the word god means a powerful being.
Was our Lord a powerful being? Yes
Was He the God of Universe- YHWH? No
He was vested with power from YHWH even with power to forgive sins. This was shown in Exodus that a angel that comes in the name of YHWH has the power and authority to execute His judgements.(Exodus 23)
As for the text from Isaiah please note that the text says mighty God but NOT Almighty. And yes He will be the everlasting father of the new creation, together with His Bride they will bring forth a new generation of people here on Earth and if they become meek and humble they will inherit the Earth Matt (5:5) for the Earth was made to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18)
All the people that ever lived on this planet will be resurrected (everyone in his own generation 1Cor 15:23, Christ (Head and body) is the first fruit and at His second coming all those who will become His, all who will choose to do good and obey.
This is the work of the saints in the Millennium, not to sing harps in heaven to cover the screams of those across the chasm of hell. Their work as Levites will be to assist the Great Priest Jesus during this monumental work of dragging the human race out of this present darkness into His marvelous light.
Yes there are 2 harvests and this was pictured in OT( Exod.23:16)
(Exod.34:22)
The first fruits is His Church/Levites/Bride with a higher reward (Heaven)
The second harvest is the world with a lesser reward (Earth)
Nicodemus was curious to know more about the Lord's mission. He admitted His divine appointment and wanted to know more. Our Lord goes straight into subject and tells Him that His mission is to bring disciples to the Father in Heaven. ( He also sent His apostles to make disciples Matt. 28:19 not to scare people to avoid hell )
The key of getting there was to be conceived to a new nature (spirit nature) by the Holy Spirit of truth. They will be like the wind (invisible yet present and powerful) John Ch.3

The Tabernacle showed that in order to get to the Holy of Holies the Levites (and ONLY the Levites) had to start their journey outside in Court where everything was made of brass (human nature) and washing their sins at the basin in Court (baptism) they bring their life as sacrifice on altar also in Court (Rom 12:1)
Then they were admitted in Holy where they no longer see the things in natural light like in Court but in spiritual light from Menorah, thus (for example) they understand Luke 16 spiritually not naturally. At the end of their human life they pass the curtain into the Holy of Holies where everything was gold and Shekinah showed the presence of YHWH (no more human nature). The curtain was ripped and access is free now to those who let themselves be conceived by the Spirit of Truth.

But I guess I am wasting my time here with all these, from what I can see the veil is too thick, I might have to wait until it will be removed on the Holy Mountain (Christ's kingdom) Isaiah 25:7

Have a good day y'all
P.S. Leonard, I am not Iglesia, I don't know who or that is

April 26, 2014 at 11:10 am PST
#14  Logan Rieck - Albany, Illinois

Liviu, you seem to still avoid what I've been asking you to answer. Why would Jesus use the Name only God uses for Himself? Why does Jesus refer to Himself as the I AM?

Or why St. Paul says Jesus was in the form of God and equal to God before He took on human nature? Only God can be in the form of God.

Again, why do you use a Bible that was authorized in A.D. 381 when you believe it was corrupted in A.D. 325 at the Council of Nicea.

You can make all the claims you want but avoiding necessary theological questions shows the weakness of your position. Please, introduce yourself to Catholic theology, if you are only following God to avoid Hell then we believe that isn't true filial love demanded by God.

Lastly, Arius, whom you believe was correct, and his theology (Arianism) had great followers which included Roman Emperors, he even had Constantine's sympathies, but despite the future persecutions to try and remove the Catholic position with Arianism (remember I mentioned St. Athanasius being removed several times from being a bishop for opposing Arianism) it was ultimately unsuccessful.

If you believe the Church was ever corrupted in doctrine then you reject the Bible and our Lord and Savior. (Remember in the O.T. where Yahweh says He only is the Savior in Isaiah?
Matthew 16:18 NABRE

And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
1 Timothy 3:15 NABRE

But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.
Isaiah 43:11 NABRE

I, I am the L ord ; there is no savior but me.

Only Yahweh is Savior, if Jesus is our Savior then He can only be Yahweh.

God bless, you remind me of myself when I first entered Christianity.

April 26, 2014 at 4:08 pm PST
#15  Clinton Ufford - Sweet Home, Oregon

I think we should have Patrick Coffin get in on this. He'll be able to explain that if would just watch the new Noah movie, we'd all understand. Somebody invoke Patrick Coffin ( kidding )

April 26, 2014 at 4:19 pm PST
#16  Jenney Frazier - Cleveland, Tennessee

I don't get how a true seeker could just dismiss the teachings of the Church Fathers? Unless one is prepared to reject Scripture as well considering those same men are the ones who preserved it and canonized it.

April 26, 2014 at 5:17 pm PST
#17  Jenney Frazier - Cleveland, Tennessee

And I think Logan is right: if someone claims the Catholic Church doesn't see the jewels in the Bible, then that person most likely doesn't really know Catholic theology. Read the Catechism...it's all there. It is unfortunate how so many who "hate" the Catholic Church only really hate what they erroneously perceive it to be.

April 26, 2014 at 5:26 pm PST
#18  Liviu Constantin - Calgary, Alberta

Dear Logan,
for some reason I begin to like you (don't take it the wrong way!) but...
I gave you the explanation of I AM two times this would be the third.
I will try to be more clear on the matter this time. Our Lord declared that He is before Abraham. Why, if He created the Universe it is obvious isn't it? He was before Abraham. But just because He was before Abraham does not mean He had the divine nature. He was created by YHWH on the spirit plane before anything, the first and the last direct creation of YHWH, the Alpha and Omega. Everything else was created by Him. YHWH was the architect and Jesus was the builder.

He is. Okay what did He declare that He is? Did He ever in His sayings said that He is God? NO! Au contraire. He said that His life depends on the source-the Father (John 6:57) But what did He always said? He said that He is the Son of God. (Don't try to tell me that that is enough because Adam was declared to be the son of God too)
Now if He was the Son, He was after the Father, otherwise if they would have been together from eternity, they would have been twin brothers.
From what I know God YHWH does not have a beginning (Psalm 90), yet in John 1:1 we are told that our Lord, the Logos, was from the beginning with God.
Who's beginning? YHWH's? NO!
His beginning. This powerful being (mighty God) was with God (Almighty)
Hey, we can spend thousands of hours on this topic, but I am getting tired already. Listen, if you want to believe in trinity, go ahead it does not bother me in any way. It does not bring me any damage either. We finally have arrived at a time when we are free to think for ourselves and the Inquisition is long gone (Thank God)
If you want to believe your Church Fathers, go ahead in that respect too. My Church Fathers were killed by Jezebel, I have nowhere to go but to the Scripture. That's fine, for me it is enough. Our Lord always defended himself with the words: It is written! And I think that the Scripture is not your masterpiece but God's. So I am using His words not yours (RCC)
Before I conclude, how exactly do I remind you of you when you entered Christianity? You don't know a thing about me and my pilgrimage through Christendom, actually is Babylon now, sorry for the mishap. Apart from my name, for this is my real name I doubt that you know about my long pilgrimage.

Now, for Clinton: Bring anyone you want.
Wait! No!
Do they have these fancy framed papers with a Ph.D in theology? Titles of doctors in Deity? They will crush me with the weight of their papers. I begin to shakin in mee boots. What I am going to do? I only have the words of a few fishermens from Galilee to back me up.
Heeeeelp!

April 26, 2014 at 5:41 pm PST
#19  Logan Rieck - Albany, Illinois

Liviu, again you are not using the I AM seriously enough. Yahweh used this to indicate that He is Being, the only one worthy of using this title for themselves would be Yahweh Himself, which is what Jesus does when He uses it for Himself.

Jesus was not a first creation, you are turning Him into some Gnostic Demiurge that is not in Scripture.

Yes, John 1:1 says "In the Beginning was the Word," but this doesn't mean He had a beginning but from Everlasting because it doesn't say "The Word was created in the Beginning" but that from the Beginning because Humans cannot comprehend Eternity so uses a time-language. Why would God the Father create something to create something else? That's illogical.

Again, refer to Revelation and Isaiah:

Revelation 1:17

When I caught sight of him, I fell down at his feet as though dead. He touched me with his right hand and said, “Do not be afraid. I am the first and the last,

What is this hearkening back to?

Isaiah 48:12

Listen to me, Jacob,
Israel, whom I called!
I, it is I who am the first,
and am I the last.

Jesus says this, not because He is the First Creation but because that is how Yahweh describes Himself through Isaiah.

The Church Fathers of the Catholic Church were descended from the Apostles, they were their disciples and their disciples and so on. If you don't accept this Church Fathers but others then your error is already grievous.

Yes, Scripture is from God, but the Holy Spirit worked through the Catholic Church in A.D. 381 at the Council of Rome to set out Scripture, decades after you say the Catholic Church was already corrupted at the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325. You are being illogical by saying that the Church was corrupted but then Scripture was revealed by the same corrupted Church decades later.

You have nowhere to go to but Scripture? So the Church was corrupted, the pillar and bulwark of the Truth as I've already pointed out, was corrupted?

Again, you say the Church was corrupted that our Lord Jesus Christ said would never be overrun by the Gates of Hell in Matthew 16:18. By saying you are correct you are denying the truth of our Lord's words. Who am I to believe?

Again, you are avoiding answering Philippians 2:6 where St. Paul, guided by the Holy Spirit, says Jesus was in the form of God. No one can be in the form of God but God Himself, and this is said before it is told Jesus took on human nature.

John 5:18

For this reason the Jews tried all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath but he also called God his own father, making himself equal to God.

Why is it understood that because Jesus calls Himself the Son of God that He is equal to God but not Adam? Because the Jews understood He wasn't a literal son of God but created by Him whereas Jesus insists on the filial bond He has with the Father as His only real Father (also that whole Virgin Birth thing).

Anyhow, despite the Bible we can see that from even the Apostles' own disciples was it understood that Jesus is God. I'm actually concerned as you are allowing for multiple gods whereas Christianity only permits one God.

1 John 5:20

We also know that the Son of God has come and has given us discernment to know the one who is true. And we are in the one who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

April 26, 2014 at 6:33 pm PST
#20  Liviu Constantin - Calgary, Alberta

Quote Jenney: And I think Logan is right: if someone claims the Catholic Church doesn't see the jewels in the Bible, then that person most likely doesn't really know Catholic theology

And what are those jewels that you see? trinity, hell, salvation offered only for a handful that are part of a certain church?
Those are the jewels?
I have described the Reign of Christ when all will have a chance to live forever on Earth, courtesy of our Lord sacrifice. The gift offered to all mankind. Do you have this jewel? Where in your teachings do you tell about this Millennial Reign? Show it to me, I became interested all of a sudden.
I described parts of what will happen during the Millennial Reign, and I didn't any negative comments. Should I gather then that you see it the same way?

April 26, 2014 at 6:35 pm PST
#21  Logan Rieck - Albany, Illinois

Liviu, there are more jewels to Catholic theology than those three things. Remember, Catholic theology has its roots in 2000 years of development, it cannot be contained or summarized so easily. I do recommend the Catechism that Jenney recommended. Explore the website here to unfold the complexity of it all.

The Millennial reign (Revelation 20) is understood by Catholics to be currently underway, it is called amillennialism. It was also the view of the Reformers and their subsequent denominations. We have the ability to receive God's grace of faith or reject Him.

Check out this link from this website to see different ideas of what the Millennium will consist of.

http://www.catholic.com/tracts/the-rapture

April 26, 2014 at 7:00 pm PST
#22  Liviu Constantin - Calgary, Alberta

This is probably the last comment I can write before the 24 hour allowance expires.
Look Logan, there can't be two YHWH, only one. Everywhere you see YHWH it refers to the Father, the true God. There are instances where He appoints others to represent Him and I gave you the example of Exodus 23:20-23. The requirement was that Israel obeys that Angel as if YHWH Himself was there. If you mix them up you will never understand. There are instances where others were sent but having the same authority as YHWH Himself.
Reading Phillippians, I gather that being in the form of something is not equivalent with being that something. Having an image is not the equivalent of being the image. An image is a reflection of something is not that something.
All of the epistles of the apostles begin with: God the Father, never, not even one begins with: God the Father,Son and Holy Spirit.
Our Lord was not 100% human and 100% God that is the biggest non-sense I ever heard. It's like saying: 100% cat and 100% dog or Outside is 100% day and 100% night. But Babylon is good at confusing.

Listen, about the Bible and the Catholic Church.
There was an old lady who was poor and starving. She prayed regularly to God for food and deliverance. Her neighbor was an atheist who heard her pleas through his window. He decided to teach her a lesson. So, the next night while the poor old woman was praying to God she heard the doorbell ringing. Finishing her prayer she went to the door to see who is. To her surprise nobody was there but many, many bags with food and drinks and clothes, etc. Happy as hell (pun intended) she lifted her eyes toward Heaven and thanked God out loud. At that point, her neighbor came out from behind the tree and shouted: Aha! you old witch, I taught you a lesson! Because it wasn't God who provided for you, it was me, me, me!
The poor old woman lifted up her eyes again and said: Thank you again oh, Mighty Lord for in Your wisdom not only you provided for me, but you made the devil pay for it and deliver it.

I will not insult your intelligence by translating.
Brag as much as you like, I believe that the Bible is provided by the Lord ultimately.

There is nothing in RCC theology to show me it's the true Church. When I will read in some epistles that apostle Paul or Peter went into the church and bowed down to icons, lit up a few candles, kissed a few graven images before delivering his sermon I might get interested, until then all I can see is a church that brags and puffs herself up, yet a trail of blood is behind her. The true teachings of the apostles have been perverted, a monster who tortures his creation has taken the place of God, confusion, contradiction, harboring of all kinds of unclean birds, a prison for the mind where you are not allowed to think for yourself but you are sent to some Church Fathers or some priests with long robe, a censor librorum watching carefully that no sheep dares to question any Church dogmas or to think for themselves.

I don't see God here, just human wisdom making all kinds of human creeds not supported by Scripture.
Just the fact that you teach hell is enough to make my stomach turn. I would never worship a god that tortures his creation. Would make Hitler look like a lamb.
And you have the audacity to call these jewels?

April 26, 2014 at 7:29 pm PST
#23  Logan Rieck - Albany, Illinois

Liviu,

There is only one God, YHWH, this is what Catholics believe. Still, the Angel in Exodus 23 (which actually has been interpreted as being Jesus Christ) is just an angel. Angels never claims of themselves to be YHWH, the I AM, but Jesus explicitly says He is the I AM. It cannot be more obvious.

Your interpretation of Philippians 2:6 is bad. Why? Context.

Philippians 2:7
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,

Jesus takes the form of a slave which is, as it continues, human likeness. Slave is humanity is because humanity was still under Original Sin that would only be finished through the redemption of His Passion and Resurrection. He isn't just an image, He is God Himself, unless a slave is only a reflection of a human person. Again, illogical.

No, the Epistles don't start with that. But it is explicitly mentioned, and by Who? Jesus Christ.

Matthew 28:19

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit,

What is the One Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Yahweh.

The Hypostatic Union of the two natures of Jesus Christ is ultimately unfathomable for man and is a received mystery of Scripture. God cannot be fully comprehended by human minds.

So you are telling me that instead of God preserving those who adhere to your views, the "correct church" He allowed it to be exterminated and had Scripture come from another Church that you say was corrupted? This either depicts God as cruel or dumb.

The Israelites would use images (the Cherubim graven in the Temple) candles (the Menorahs, or candle-sticks), and so on. Don't forget the Holy of Holies that was only so because the Ark of the Covenant inhabited it (the contained the Manna, Aaron's Rod, and the Ten Commandments, with the Cherubim atop it) made it holy which obviously only God makes holy.

"Not allowed to think for yourself"? So because the Church orders certain dogma to be believed it restricts thinking (1 Timothy 3:15 saying the Church protects the Truth). I'm not quite sure you're aware that theology is still studied, researched, and continually sought out.

We are sent to the Church Fathers because, as successors of the Apostles, we have been promised by God that His Church will always remain true (Matthew 16:18) therefore logically we should and do have a line of succession from the Apostles to guarantee truth. If we honestly think the Church was corrupted we spit in the face of God that promised it would be preserved with His Church.

Lastly, Hell is indeed in Scripture. Here is one place.

Matthew 25:31-46
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

April 26, 2014 at 8:52 pm PST
#24  Liviu Constantin - Calgary, Alberta

I think, therefore I AM.
Just because I use those words I capitalize the one I choose to... doesn't make me God.

Look, the way I see it it's like this:
God YHWH had in mind the development of these 2 aspects of mankind right from the beginning (our beginning that is)
The 2 aspects are: A heavenly class of people, called to a different assignment and reward and the earthly class called to inherit the Earth which was created to be inhabited after all (Isaiah 45:18)
The first indication, the first clue, is given in Genesis 22:17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore...
The stars in the sky represents the heavenly call (Heb 3:1) and the sand of the sea represents the meek who will inherit the Earth (Matt. 5:5)
The call for becoming the stars of the sky was launched by our Lord after His Resurrection. He sends out his Apostles to make disciples. Disciples of what, in what discipline? Why, a disciple is a carbon copy of his Master. The Master is a Priest and King of Melchizedek order, therefore those sent to make disciples have to produce smaller copies of this Priest and King. So He sent them to make disciples (Matt.28:19) that after becoming fit for service they will be part of the new Christ.
But only a small number is to have this honor, and those outside of it will not understand what the call is about. (Mark 4:11)
Many are called but few chosen to have such honor.
Well, in order to chisel stones for the Temple you need a hammer and a chisel right? To smash these rough stones into the desired shape to fit in the Temple.
And what better hammer and chisel, who can hit harder these stones than the devil himself? The devil was allowed to develop in parallel, to hit and smash, to lie and deceive and make it very hard to discern the truth. The harder it was, the greater the battle and the reward.
Meanwhile humanity is also allowed to govern itself to try all possible ways and to see that it simply can't bring herself to a happy governing, to see how much it needs God.
After the heavenly call is full, the second phase of Salvation enters effect, the second harvest, you remember the 2 harvests that Israel was suppose to celebrate, from Exodus, right?
Well the second Harvest is going to be celebrated now and the Bible is full, thousands, of references to this particular work of complete Christ. For example Isaiah is mostly about this time: (In those days...)
Now I looked on the site you gave me the link, but I did not find similar explanations. I found that the Church is ruling now, this is the Millennium, albeit it's not exactly 1000 years more like symbolical 1000 years. Well, let me tell you something, if that is the case, if the Church of Christ rules now, than it's doing an awful job. I look at this world and my goodness what a poor job.

But the truth is that the Church of Christ is not ruling now, these stones were not called to exalt themselves and surround with comfort and fluffiness, with sufficiency of Earthly apparels. These stones, these disciples were called under the hammer, under fire, under sufferings even unto death being death of iron maiden, or rack, or etc.

Now, to conclude: as I said previously I don't care if you believe in trinity, hell, and the true Church being the RC church. It doesn't bring me any harm. Believe all these if you want, as for me I beg to disagree.
And the message is not necessarily for you, I can see that it will never get through to you, or maybe it will, just not now, but the message it's for those who have seen that something is not right, something is amiss. They look at the teachings of torture and asks themselves: Where is the God of Love? the teaching of salvation for a handful that were lucky enough to slalom through all kinds of teachings to reach salvation and escape torture and ask themselves: Where is the God of Justice?
They look at all the teachings and see that does not quench their thirst, because they inside know that what is described in these official teachings is not the true God.
Many blessings

April 27, 2014 at 5:48 am PST
#25  Tom Runkel - Weirton, West Virginia

This post is NOT for Liviu, but for those who are trying to show him the whole truth. Understand that you must want to know the whole truth. We find the whole truth in scripture and the church. He seems to use our scripture as an outsider (without understanding). He is like most anti-catholics, and only uses the parts they choose to make their points. He also defines words with his own meaning, you cannot dialog with those who set their own ground rules.

There are much proof offered by you faithful ones. When all of that is discarded out of hand then the playing field is not even and progress cannot be made. Only when you are open to the full truth will it come to you.

God Bless All.

April 27, 2014 at 6:39 am PST
#26  Logan Rieck - Albany, Illinois

Tom -- well said.

Liviu, this will be my last comment to you and I will be finished.

I AM is significant, capitalized or not, because it was indicative of God, Yahweh, this is why right after our Lord says it the Jews immediately want to stone Him because they understand what it means.

John 8:58-59

Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.” So they picked up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.

Anyhow, I find it strange you don't believe the Church of Christ is not ruling now. Perhaps you don't know the ravage sufferings of Antiquity that Christianity got rid of. It is easy to see what errors and wrongs still abound but forget what once was.

The Church reigns because Christ reigns in Heaven after His Incarnation and life, Passion and Resurrection. If Christ reigns then the Church, His body, must as well. How apparent it is sometimes is not so noticeable. This is why our Lord, in His appearance to St. Paul, didn't ask Paul why he persecuted His Church but why He asked him "Why do you persecute Me?" The Church reigns with Him.

Perhaps I have to remind you that the early Christians suffered for 300 years until Constantine allowed them to practice without persecution with the Edict of Milan, but even later on they would again be persecuted by those wanting to return back to their polytheistic gods. The Church continues to suffer and labor for Christ.

The glaring issue with your theology is that it necessitates that the Visible Church has to have been destroyed, maybe even the Invisible Church as well, until it was revived by you. Jesus Christ our Lord, said that His Church won't be defeated, it will persist against Satan and will not be overcome by the world.

Hell is a reality as I previously showed with our Lord's own words. It cannot be avoided though it seems to be nowadays. But the Catholic Church's teachings are not of torture are not of fear (Pope St. John Paul II loved to emphasize our Lord's words, "Do not be afraid!") but of love. Modernity has a disdain of organized religion but our Lord promised it would also be. They want religion and spirituality to fit themselves rather than adjust themselves to God's standards. Truly, only in the Catholic Church do I see the God of love, that keeps His promises, especially that His Church will persevere.

God bless.

April 27, 2014 at 12:38 pm PST
#27  Liviu Constantin - Calgary, Alberta

Okay I will make my last comment as well.
Dear friends,
What you have to see here is not that I am after someone, physical persons, what makes me tick are the TEACHINGS. The teachings are evil, not the people. The human being is a wonderful creation, even non-religious people can see it. Remember Inner Chi from the previous thread (Souls in Hell)? His cry reflects the state of today society. A society which vomit when you mention God, and for a good reason, since He is portrayed the way he is nowadays. A society which looks at the history of Christianity and sees murder and torture throughout centuries. A Christianity which denied the right to believe differently, to present ones point of view. Suppressing the liberty of thought, and keeping all believers under a constant state of fear. Fear of God and fear of its priests. Fear everywhere: at church, in the streets and even in homes. No surprise that French Revolution did what it did. People had it over their ears and wrongly assigned the work of the devil to God. They swung the pendulum to the other extreme.
But have they been presented with the truth that God doesn't punish with everlasting torture, that good times are ahead when Christ will rule with Justice, Power, Love and Wisdom and evil will no longer be permitted, when no rape, torture Isaiah (65:25), or even harsh words will be allowed (Zeph 3:9) people will have looked with anticipation and joy to these times and to God. But now... look at Inner Chi.
Only the truth can set us free. Let people find it

April 27, 2014 at 1:16 pm PST
#28  Salonsar War - Shillong, Meghalaya

Friends,
I think the only thing Liviu now needs is our prayers. May the scales fall off his eyes and may his spiritual eys be opened. Inner Chi can not save us.. only Jesus can.
Liviu, do not harden your heart brother. You want to find the truth? Well, truth is a person. We have found him (Jesus said, I am the truth) and we hope you find him too.
Before the Truth sets us free, it will first make us miserable (Tim Staples).

God Bless.

April 28, 2014 at 2:18 am PST
#29  Harry Ehmann - Bedford, Texas

I suspect our Unitarian Arian commenter is pulling our collective leg.

April 28, 2014 at 7:06 am PST
#30  Loretta Prescott - Greensburg, Pennsylvania

I suspect the Unitarian Arian Commenter is a Jehovah's Witness or some other sect descended from the Second Adventists of the 1800s. And Salonsar is correct...what he needs now is prayer. If he is a JW, then he has given his brain over to the Watchtower and his soul to the devil without even knowing it.

April 28, 2014 at 7:26 am PST
#31  Liviu Constantin - Calgary, Alberta

I am not a Jehovah's Witness, I am a blood donor, that ought to tell you something.
Put it this way, if I was forced to choose between JW and Catholic Church I would probably choose the Catholic Church. (Hint: from 2 evils you always choose the lesser one)
But speaking of JW and RCC, didn't you noticed the similarities? You noticed the differences but not the similarities?
You both have a human head here on Earth. RCC in Rome and JW in Brooklin.
You both use scare tactics and brain washing. RCC scares its flock with Hell and JW with second death.
Brain washing consists in: Never consider what they have to say, they are wrong anyway, you just listen to your head (Rome or Brooklyn)
Neither am I a protestant as protestantism is a carbon copy of the beast, it has made a copy of the beast and her teachings. Therefore the mother has daughters now.
Keep looking though, never give up

April 28, 2014 at 11:29 am PST
#32  Adam Signaigo - Piperton, Tennessee

I'm sorry if I repeat something already said but I didn't see these verses mentioned yet.

Isaiah 44:6 "...there is no God but me."

Colossians 2:9 "For in him dwells the whole fullness of deity bodily..." This speaks of the divine nature of Christ

John 20:28 "Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Notice Jesus nor the apostles correct Thomas for falsely calling Jesus God. That's of course because He is.

2 Peter 1:1 "...to those who have received a faith of equal value to ours through the righteousness of our God and savior Jesus Christ..."

Thanks for allowing me to share and God bless you

April 28, 2014 at 6:08 pm PST
#33  Liviu Constantin - Calgary, Alberta

Isaiah 44:6 refers to YHWH. Everywhere you see capitalized LORD, in original is YHWH and everywhere is Lord is Adonai. Adonai means master, is of lesser degree than YHWH.

Colossians 2:9 refers to present nature of Christ after Romans 6:9 not before.

John 20:28 "Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
I never denied our Lord Jesus was a powerful being. He was more powerful than any other being either from earth or Heaven. Yet, he was not YHWH, as YHWH can't die. 1 Tim 6:16
But also look at Mark 10:18 and Luke 18:19 also look at John 6:57 how His life depends on the Father. Look how all apostles starts their epistles with God the Father.
Also 1 Cor. 8 apostle Paul says that there are many gods (powerful beings) yet for us there is only one: the Father

Also about the I AM statement that was such an adamant case

John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

look at verse 27
27 They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.

April 28, 2014 at 6:51 pm PST
#34  Salonsar War - Shillong, Meghalaya

Dear Liviu,

>> Isaiah 44:6 refers to YHWH. That is very true and that's what Jesus kept on saying and what the Bible keeps on affirming, that he is YHWH. Everyone else (all creatures) are of a lesser degree.

>> Roman 6:9 -- "We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. "
He need not have become flesh and die bodily, but he chose to, for you and for me. He was YHWH before he died, he is YHWH after he died, he is YHWH after he rose again.
You said "Yet, he was not YHWH, as YHWH can't die"-- Well, he did die because he chose to, to save you and me.

>> "Before Abraham was, I AM."
Yes, that is an adamant case, because Jesus was pretty adamant about it. He wants to make sure that we accept him for who he really is, 'coz if we accept him as anything lesser, that will not do and we can lose our salvation.

>> John 8:24 "I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins."
and Verse 27 --"They understood not that he spake to them of the Father."
------This is CRYSTAL CLEAR. It can NOT be more clearer that that. He means EXACTLY what he is saying. Jesus said "...I AM HE". He IS the FATHER.
Remember, he said that ".. I am in the Father, and the Father is in me."

Friend, with love and gentleness, I exhort you to re-look at all the scripture related to Jesus' divinity, but this time, I advise you to do it with a sincere prayer for guidance. Then let the Spirit guide you into all truth.

God Bless.

April 29, 2014 at 12:02 am PST
#35  Hypatia Alexander - Howell, New Jersey

As an atheist, I'd like to express my appreciation for Mr. Horn's extremely fair-minded review of Dr. Ehrman's new book. It provides a stark contrast to the immediately antagonistic responses given by many apologists-- not the least of which being Dr. Michael Bird in the response book, "How God Became Jesus."

I'll look into some of the notes with which I had not been familiar, such as Callistus' views on modalism, as a result of this article. Even if I disagree with the conclusions, I always enjoy any article which offers me some new bit of information to learn!

April 29, 2014 at 6:08 am PST
#36  Liviu Constantin - Calgary, Alberta

Salonsar War Quote:
------This is CRYSTAL CLEAR. It can NOT be more clearer that that. He means EXACTLY what he is saying. Jesus said "...I AM HE". He IS the FATHER.

So now He is the Father and the Son?

It is obvious you didn't look at the other Scriptures that I gave: Mark 10:18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God
and Luke 18:19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.

John 6:57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
He lives because of Father

Conclusion
Our Lord always pointed to the source of His life, the source of all goodness: the Father

As for the claims He made about Himself, you have to look where He said plainly about Himself:
John 4:25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messiah cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

He said He is the Messiah, He never said He is God, you have draw that conclusion based on the words I am while disregarding the rest of the Scripture

Here is more:
Matt. 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

He is the Christ (Anointed One)

more:
Mark 8:29 And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.

The Anointed One was Anointed by someone higher. YHWH

April 29, 2014 at 3:59 pm PST
#37  Ged Narvaez - Daraga, Albay

You fail to understand the doctrine of the Trinity. God is one Being who is three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.Looking at the Old Testament with our knowledge of the New, we can see that the Trinity was foreshadowed;
One of the most commonly cited intimations of the doctrine of the Trinity is that God speaks to himself in Genesis by using a plural: "Let us make man in our image," and then we read "in the image of God he created him" (Gn 1:26-27).

The doctrine of the Trinity is encapsulated in Matthew 28:19, where Jesus instructs the apostles: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

The parallelism of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit is not unique to Matthew’s Gospel, but appears elsewhere in the New Testament (e.g., 2 Cor. 13:14, Heb. 9:14), as well as in the writings of the earliest Christians, who clearly understood them in the sense that we do today—that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are three divine persons who are one divine being (God).The external relationships of the persons of the Trinity mirror their internal relationships. Just as the Father externally sent the Son into the world in time, the Son internally proceeds from the Father in the Trinity. Just as the Spirit is externally sent into the world by the Son as well as the Father (John 15:26, Acts 2:33), he internally proceeds from both Father and Son in the Trinity. This is why the Spirit is referred to as the Spirit of the Son (Gal. 4:6) and not just the Spirit of the Father (Matt. 10:20).
Asserting that there is only one person in the Godhead, it makes nonsense of passages which show Jesus talking to his Father (e.g., John 17), or declaring he is going to be with the Father (John 14:12, 28, 16:10) One role of a person cannot go to be with another role of that person, or say that the two of them will send the Holy Spirit while they remain in heaven (John 14:16-17, 26, 15:26, 16:13–15; Acts 2:32–33).

The first Christians took God at his word and were willing to stake even their lives on the certainty that there is only one God.The proposition that God is one constitutes one of the central tenets in the dogma of the Trinity.
In 1 John 4:9 we read, that "the love of God was made manifest among us [in] that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him." Thus, the second person of the Trinity was already the Son when he was sent into the world.

The same truth is taught under a different analogy in John 1:1,14 where we read, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." Here the Word (i.e., the second person of the Trinity) is pictured as having his identity as the Word from all eternity. Thus, from all eternity the Word of God proceeded from God, just as speech proceeds from a speaker; similarly,
a Son proceeds from his Father. Under both analogies, whether as the Son of God or the Word of God, the second person of the Trinity is depicted as eternally proceeding from the first person of the Trinity.
Christ’s divinity is shown over and over again in the New Testament. For example, in John 5:18 we are told that Jesus’ opponents sought to kill him because he "called God his Father, making himself equal with God."

In John 8:58, when quizzed about how he has special knowledge of Abraham, Jesus replies, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I Am"—invoking and applying to himself the personal name of God—"I Am" (Ex. 3:14). His audience understood exactly what he was claiming about himself. "So they took up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple" (John 8:59).

In John 20:28, Thomas falls at Jesus’ feet, exclaiming, "My Lord and my God!" (Greek: Ho Kurios mou kai ho Theos mou—literally, "The Lord of me and the God of me!")

In Philippians 2:6, Paul tells us that Christ Jesus "[w]ho, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be g.asped" (New International Version). So Jesus chose to be born in humble, human form though he could have simply remained in equal glory with the Father for he was "in very nature God."

Also significant are passages that apply the title "the First and the Last" to Jesus. This is one of the Old Testament titles of Yahweh: "Thus says Yahweh, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, Yahweh of armies: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; besides me there is no god’" (Is. 44:6; cf. 41:4, 48:12).

This title is directly applied to Jesus three times in the book of Revelation: "When I saw him [Christ], I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand upon me, saying, ‘Fear not, I am the First and the Last’" (Rev. 1:17). "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the First and the Last, who died and came to life’" (Rev. 2:8). "Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense, to repay every one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the beginning and the end" (Rev. 22:12–13).

This last quote is especially significant since it applies to Jesus the parallel title "the Alpha and the Omega," which Revelation earlier applied to the Lord God: "‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty" (Rev. 1:8).

*Matthew begins his gospel with, “Abraham begat Isaac, Isaac begat Jacob….’ and he continues on through the generations, tracing the lineage of ‘Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the son of Abraham’. When he gets down to Joseph, the foster father of Jesus he continues, “… the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ”
It is obvious to the discerning observer that Matthew does not say, “….and Joseph begat Jesus”, as he had done with the preceding generations. He thus makes it clear that Joseph was not the genetic father of Jesus. No man was. Nevertheless, Jesus was fully human. The writer made this quite clear when he ended the tracing of Joseph’s lineage with the words “ … Mary, of whom was born Jesus” (my emphasis). Jesus entered into human physical existence by entering into Mary’s womb (that is, she became ‘pregnant’ with him). He was then physically born in just the same way as every human being is. The divinely engineered conception is a miracle that is beyond our comprehension. By it we understand and believe that Jesus entered the world fully human, without the intervention of man, but through the agency of woman, by the power of The Holy Spirit and in accordance with God’s plan. So, to reiterate, Jesus had no human father (and neither did Adam, the first man, who was created by God, and was also sinless to start with).
Now, I drew you attention earlier to the fact that Joseph did not beget Jesus. However, we know that Jesus was begotten! John says: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth’ (Jn. 1:14). The Nicene Creed declares, “We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one being with the Father….”
Nevertheless, the Bible tells us that Jesus was ‘begotten’. Does this mean that he also had a ‘starting point’ like the rest of us? If it does, then he would have to be a created being. So let’s clear the cobwebs! Just as in the case of man we found that the term ‘begat’ really meant an issuing forth of an already existing principle of life, so it is with Jesus. The difference, of course is that in the one instance we are talking about a created being in whom it was first deposited by God and hence issues forth (man), and in the other from an eternal being from whom it issues, who is the source of everything that exists (Jesus, who not only is eternally in God, but is himself eternally God). The apostle John begins his gospel with “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God”. It is in this sense that the word ‘begotten’ is used of Jesus, who is the Son of God. Jesus, being in God and himself God, has no beginning and has no end! His ‘begetting’ does not have to do with being born in a creative act (as humans are, through the procreative process of sexual union of male and female). Neither does it have to do with some force exuding out of God, some ethereal emanation from God by which Jesus is identified. ‘Begetting’ has purely and simply to do with his revelation as the eternal Son of God. The word ‘eternal’ means without beginning and without end!
Further, the term ‘begotten of the Father’ does not refer to Christ’s humanity. It refers specifically to his deity. Jesus IS GOD! He is not to be dismissed as another supernatural being. “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in him all things consist” (Col.1:15-17). Can it be any clearer? Jesus is not an emanation from God, but a revelation of God, a physical manifestation of God. He is the Son, the second person of the Godhead. When Jesus said “I and the Father are one”, he was not talking about a relationship brought about by having an agreeable disposition or heart towards God. He was very simply saying that He was, in fact, God! This claim, we must remember, is the charge that the Jewish leaders laid against him as ‘blasphemy’, and for which they sought legitimate grounds to kill him.
So, as we proclaim in the Nicene Creed, Jesus was “eternally begotten of the Father’ and he is “begotten, not made”. We also declare that it was “For us men and our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit he was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.*
*Joseph Rodrigues*

April 29, 2014 at 9:32 pm PST
#38  Curt Larsson - vasteras, Västmanland

m ni grundar er kyrka på St. Peter varför följer ni då inte honom och vad han lärde?
If you have founded RCC on St. Peter, why do you not follow what Peter taught?
(See my points below)
1.Peter was a married man, had a mother-in-law
2. Peter was an elder.
3. Peter forbade Cornelius to fall down
on the knees before him and pray and worship.
4. Peter was baptised in the Holy Spirit, with the
evidence of speaking in tongues.

Why do not the pope and all the priest practise the above.
They have had 2000 years to study the bible.
Is it a fair comment?

6. Petrus var en apostel till judarna.

Det ska bli intressant hur de förklarar detta.

April 29, 2014 at 10:53 pm PST
#39  Salonsar War - Shillong, Meghalaya

Liviu,
(((John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

look at verse 27
27 They understood not that he spake to them of the Father. )))

Brother, That was YOUR quote in the first place. As is inferred from the scripture YOU quoted, he spake of the Father. Now, when I made it clear what you had implied in the first place, you doubt it ????

Father, Son, Holy Spirit--- One GOD equally present in 3 persons. There is no doubt that the Son is subordinate to the Father and the Spirit to the Son and the Father; Jesus did say, .."the Father is greater than I am." But then there is no doubt either that all the 3 persons make up one GOD and all 3 command complete obedience and are worthy of our worship.
All three share the same nature and substance. Though the Father is greater (in rank), he is not 'better' in nature and substance.

Adding on to the verse Ged quoted, "Let US make man in OUR image"--- who is US? If by 'us' God meant himself and his first 'creature' (Jesus?) and a 'force' (Holy Spirit)--Then that means we were made in the image of a creature and a lifeless force, not just of God. Does that make any sense??

The word 'ELOHIM' for God in Genesis 1:1-- "In the beginning, God created..." is a plural noun; and that's the first verse of the Bible.

God Bless.

April 30, 2014 at 12:38 am PST
#40  Liviu Constantin - Calgary, Alberta

Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever."

You see man has become like One of us, not both of us or three of us.
Even though the Lord Jesus was with the Father in the beginning He was not like the Father in all aspects, but in some. He reflected God's character and love but there aspects He did not have all the attributes. He was made perfect after His life on Earth (Heb 5:9)

John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am [he], ye shall die in your sins. 25Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even [the same] that I said unto you from the beginning. 26I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is TRUE; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. 27They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.

In verse 25 our Lord told the crowd that He is repeating the same statement He always made: I am the Christ (Anointed one) , the Son of God (first creation)

verse 26 He that sent Him is true (The Father)

April 30, 2014 at 5:15 am PST
#41  Liviu Constantin - Calgary, Alberta

As for the statement: I and the Father are one

John 17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent......

See, He said that the only true God is the Father

now verse 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

All are to be one as the Son and the Father are one: in their thinking, in their desire to do good. We are not to be one in one flesh, but one in one mind/spirit

Speaking of spirit how come the word pneuma=spirit is a person when it comes from God but the same word is an evil influence when it comes from the devil? That doesn't make sense
If pneuma is a person then the devil has a second person and if pneuma is an influence then God has a positive influence, a holy spirit (thinking/mind/influence/power).
When we sadden the Holy Spirit we sadden the Father because it comes from Him.

The aberration becomes evident in texts like these

Matt. 12:32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

You see, the Son forgives (and if the Son forgives, the Father also forgives) but the Holy Spirit does not forgive. What kind of harmony is here in godhead? Is the Holy Spirit greater than the Father then? Is the Holy Spirit opposing the Father and Son?

Nay, but when the Holy Spirit is given (the Truth from God) then there is no forgiveness because while lacking the Holy Spirit there is an excuse for not understanding (Acts 17:30) this excuse can no longer be accepted once the spirit/mind/etc. is given.

Please note that the above verse refers to a forgiveness granted now (the Bride), but also speaks of a world to come (the world)
a world wherein dwelleth righteousness.

The world does not have the Holy Spirit of God, therefore it has not committed the unforgiven sin.

April 30, 2014 at 6:21 am PST
#42  Usulor Kenneth - Lagos, Lagos

Private interpretation of the Sacred Scripture which, as in some comments here, is sometimes called "thinking for oneself", is the cause of most of all the chaos seen in Christianity today: exaultation human institutions and inventions over and against divine institution ; exultation of personal opinion over and against magisterial dogmas of faith; disregard of sacred Magisterium, disregard of and disrespect for the authentic witnesses of the Apostles, that is the Fathers of the Church; Gross misinterpretation of the Sacred Scriptures; Pride the mother of spiritual evils; proliferation and commercialisation of sects (or churches); disagreement among churches. All these can be avoided if the children of men can acknowledge, believe and stand on Matt. 16:18 and submit themselves securely under the sweet yoke of Christ in Rome (Matt. 11:28-29). Matt. 16:18 is that inerrant word of truth on which we stand and make our boast in the Lord namely; that the Catholic Church is dogmatically and or doctrinally inerrant and therefore we are not and cannot be deceived.

April 30, 2014 at 7:48 am PST
#43  Liviu Constantin - Calgary, Alberta

Wrongful interpretation of Scripture made law for all, gives birth to dictatorship.
Gives birth to false views of who God is and what His plan is.
Gives birth to mind control and sequestration of thoughts, free thinking is discouraged and all those who view different are declared heretics, good only to feed the fire.
As the false view that now is your time for salvation developed, the fear of loosing souls has pushed to murder. The man who tried to see better from the Scripture, was killed in cold blood.

Man, the image of God, was reduced to a robot using fear as a weapon, to stir the thirst for blood and kill all who dared to disagree with the image of the monster portrayed by the official teachings.

Well, I for one disagree with the teachings that brings blasphemy to my Father's name. If our earthly father is insulted, we feel hurt and repel such accusations, how much more when our Heavenly Father is insulted by these teachings?

We have millions of victims of the "Sacred Magisterium", how many more are required to quench its thirst for blood?

Huh, fra Pavel?

April 30, 2014 at 12:07 pm PST
#44  Ged Narvaez - Daraga, Albay

Liviu is not Christian at all. He niether accepts Christ [the Head] divinity and his teaching through the Church which is his Body. He is just hear to bear false witness against the Church.
Liviu all does is to scatter us and to bring error and confusion.

"He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters" (Mt 12:30). Also: "[I]f he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector" (Mt 18:17). Paul warned similarly: "As for a man who is factious, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned" (Ti 3:10-11).

April 30, 2014 at 11:55 pm PST
#45  THOMAS NORONHA - porvorim, Goa

@liviu

Please explain why you repeatedly and authoritatively refer to the Bible that was compiled and presented to the world by the Catholic church, which considers itself authorised by Jesus himself and guided by the Holy Spirit, and consider all other teachings and doctrines of the same church as blasphemous ?

Please explain whether you have actually read the complete history and teachings of the catholic church (First hand and not from non-catholic sources) or interacted with knowledgeable catholic lay people or priests ? I ask this because your views of the catholic church are highly prejudiced to say the least. If not I would humbly suggest doing this first ( as suggested by many readers), because all your misgivings and erroneous beliefs of the church will be put to rest. This is extremely important since the catholic church claims to be the only true church of Jesus Christ and this claim is substantiated in its teachings and traditions ( specifically please check out the teachings on the Holy Trinity). So unless one is thoroughly familiar with the teachings one cannot refute any arguments.
As a starting point please check out the "Catechism of the catholic church" as well as the numerous posts on this excellent website.

May 1, 2014 at 4:28 am PST
#46  Kevin Saito - Honolulu, Hawaii

I think it ironic that the title of the book is "How Jesus Became God" Jesus was God; He didn't become God. My simple view. The rest of the boo summary sounds like something you see on the History Channel on Sunday afternoon. Thanks Trent for reading and analyzing the book for us. I wouldn't buy it or read it (past the dust cover maybe) but I'm glad you took the time to do this for us! God Bless you.

June 19, 2014 at 5:16 pm PST
#47  Robert Dowgwillo - Saint Louis, Missouri

Thank you for the book review. In the latest The Great Courses catalog, I noticed one of the offerings is "How Jesus Became God" by Bar Ehrman. So, either his book is now a "Great Course" or the course inspired the book. Reading the extensive course description tells me that Ehrman simply doesn't believe Jesus is God, and interprets everything else accordingly. He is noted as one of the most prolific Great Courses professors, with 8 courses so far. I strongly suspect he grinds the same axe in them all. His vitae doesn't mention he is an agnostic! So much for intellectual honesty and diversity. I have become very reluctant to buy a Great Course on a theological or philosophical topic.

July 28, 2014 at 7:02 pm PST
#48  Patrick Goggins - Coconut Grove, Florida

I read "How Jesus Became God" and the refutation, "How God Became Jesus." Both books explained progressive Christology, how almost all Christologies - high and low - were around very early on, and how, chronologically, these Christologies were *eliminated*, from low to high, as the nascent church built its orthodoxy.

My comments, and these goes to both books, are: 1) they assume that Jesus’s ministry was apocalyptic, when Crossan and others make a good case that Jesus’s ministry was sapiential – that is, present here now and attainable through good deeds and strict adhering to the law, and 2) that the Pauline epistles are the earliest source writings – when the Epistle of James the Just arguable pre-dates them.

For further discussion of these comments, and a thorough review of both “How Jesus Became God” and “How God Became Jesus,” please check out my book guide, available here:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00M5R6WLC

This is the latest in a series which includes my best-selling Reader's Guide to Reza Aslan's Zealot, available here:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EY2AFUA

...and my Reader's Guide to Bill O'Reilly's Killing Jesus, which you can get here:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HP9YEDI

Thanks and God bless!

August 8, 2014 at 5:08 pm PST

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