Understanding and challenging different worldviews
Indeed - and in these various cases where the jews are coming and accusing Jesus of heresy, it is clear that they are lacking in understanding as compared to the Lord. That doesn't mean they are stupid. Rather, as with most Christians, they are often blinded by their traditional interpretations and the like - preventing them from seeing the truth on such matters.
In fact, the jews who persecuted Christ needed to be ignorant in order to satisfy the prophecies concerning him. It is also due to their ignorance that Jesus prays for their forgiveness.
Psalm 118:22The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone.
Luke 23:34 But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”
Before I reply, let me just be clear that this debate is not a chess match to determine who is right or wrong, but to look at the text and see if our doctrines are biblical. As Christians, we both see the necessity and importance in basing our beliefs on what the Bible says, and not simply accept what we are taught.
Btw I agree completely with the above quote. Next.
Even with the strong Trinitarian bias found in most translations - they all translate it as only begotten - not as "unique" or some such thing. You are grasping at straws here - the meaning is clear: Jesus is the firstborn of creation, the only begotten Son of God. The Trinity clearly contradicts scripture over this - leaving Trinitarians to scramble and invent fictions to try to explain away scripture.
The fact is, if Jesus or the New Testament writers merely intended to say that Jesus was unique - such words existed in Greek. They chose to use the word begotten because that is what they meant. But go ahead and see if you can find any place where anyone translates the term as merely "unique." Everywhere that I see the term used - both in scripture and in other works - the term is applied to an offspring.
I think it's important to differentiate whether a term is used to denote closeness in relation, or a literal interpretation. When the New Testament writers wrote 'begotten son' or 'firstborn' were they referring to the creation of Christ, or the closeness of the Father and the Son? If they wanted to say that Jesus was created why did they not just say "The only created Son of God" but instead they say "The only begotten Son of God?" Begotten describes a relationship between two beings of the same essential nature and being, but we create things of a different essential being and nature than ourselves. A man creates a statue but begets a child.
Besides the obvious question of why Yahweh would create another 'god', what does it even mean for the Son to be created? Is he a diminutive form of Yahweh, and if so, how much of His divinity does he share? Paul answers this question:
'For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; ' Colossians 2:9 (NKJV)
If the fullness of Yahweh dwells in the body of Jesus, does this not make Jesus God? Note that we both agree that the Son and the Father are separate persons. The difference is that I claim that they are 3 persons in 1 entity, whereas you say the Father is one entity and the Son is another. Again, if you accept the latter view, you hit the monotheistic contradiction of claiming divinity for 2 separate entities.
Just a correction that the New Testament is written in Greek, not Hebrew.Acts 13:33 that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘You are My Son; today i have begotten You.’
So how does the Hebrew translate in this passage? The word in Hebrew simply means just that: begotten. It does not mean to be unique. Check and mate.
Also if Christ was a created being, that would be a very important thing to know, correct? And yet not a single author in the New Testament writes about this topic in detail. On the contrary, much of the writings deal with the divinity of Jesus Christ and his close standing with the Father.
Nor does scripture claim that divinity is exclusive to the Father. In fact He shares it with His Son.Indeed he is. In fact, at no point in scripture is "Father" ever restricted to some portion of God - as if there were multiple distinct portions of God - a fiction of the Trinity Doctrine.
You haven't answered this point. Rather, you continue to ignore this vital part of the conversation - the very premise of this thread. The term God is applied to Moses, the Jewish People, to Angels, etc. You say that Moses never claimed to be divine - Christ never claimed to be God either. Jesus claims to be the Son of God - but that is far different from claiming to be God himself. Rather - that is the opposite of claiming to be God - he is explicitly and unmistakably distinguishing himself from God.
This isn't a regression in the conversation - this should be the primary focus of the conversation. Don't run away from what is your burden of proof: to show that when "God" is applied to Christ it means something fundamentally different than when it is applied to everyone else.
Okay let me throw the ball in your court then. How is claiming to be the Son of God different from claiming to be God? You say that claiming to be the Son of God is the opposite of claiming to be God. Not true. The opposite of a divine being is a non-divine being i.e. a human. By denying himself to be a mere human being, and claiming the title 'Son of God', Jesus essentially placed himself on the same divine status as Yahweh Himself. Hence the Jews were outraged with such a claim.
'The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”' John 10:33
So if an old translation fits in with your doctrine it's fine, but once it starts contradicting your doctrine it's full of errors? Again for the sake of consistency stick with the KJV or NKJV. If you want to disprove a point on the basis of wording, go to the original Greek, not another English translation.It is perfectly valid to point to a superior translation as being more authoritative than an old english translation that is known to be full of errors. You can pull up the Greek if you'd like and we can take a look - but at the end of the day Jesus never claimed equality with God Almighty. Rather - as this passage notes - he always humbled himself. He is always explicit about how God is greater than he is.
We should probably consider making a new thread to discuss this topic in detail. Long story short here, however, is that you are simply mistaken. As with Romans 2, the New Testament is quite clear that works are required of you for salvation.
James 2:14-20 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, o]">[o]be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. 18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?
You are also mistaken about the relationship between the New Covenant and the Law. The promise of the New Covenant is NOT to be free from the Law. Rather...
Matthew 5:17-18 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
Jeremiah 31:33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
Hebrews 8:7-13 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. 8 For finding fault with them, He says,
“Behold, days are coming, says the Lord,
When I will effect a new covenant
With the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;
9 Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers
On the day when I took them by the hand
To lead them out of the land of Egypt;
For they did not continue in My covenant,
And I did not care for them, says the Lord.
10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
After those days, says the Lord:
I will put My laws into their minds,
And I will write them on their hearts.
And I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.
11 “And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen,
And everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
For all will know Me,
From the least to the greatest of them.
12 “For I will be merciful to their iniquities,
And I will remember their sins no more.”
13 When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.
The New Covenant does not do away with God's Law. Rather, the promise of the New Covenant is that the Law will be written on our very hearts and minds.
I'm not going to say much here because this is a separate topic on its own. We can discuss the Old and New covenant then.