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Was Jesus God?: Biblical and Quranic Evidence that Jesus was God

One of the main arguments the Muslim world uses to deny Christianity is the idea that Jesus was not God, but simply a prophet. If you’ve ever discussed this with a Muslim, odds are you’ve heard the question, “Where does Jesus say, ‘I am God. Worship Me.'” You see, Muslims want exact wording to demonstrate Jesus was actually God incarnate. Apparently, implications don’t count because, well…they just don’t. The thing is, you could actually flip this around and say well Jesus never said “don’t worship Me” either. I suppose, though, it is okay for it to work in their favor, but not in ours.

If you’ve read the Scriptures, then you will know that Jesus never says these exact words. He does, however, say, and do, many things that demonstrate His divinity, which we will cover here. So while we can’t say, “Yes, Jesus was God because He said this,” we can prove that He was God by taking what He has said and done, along with the other writers of the New Testament. And surprisingly, we can also use the Quran to prove that Jesus was God as well.

Names of God/Allah

The first point I would like to share is the many different names God (Allah) has within both Christianity and Islam. God has been given titles that only He can have. The thing is, however, we see many of these titles, that only God is given, also given to Jesus.

The First and the Last

One of those titles given to God is “the First and the Last:”

Thus says God, the King of Israel who delivers him, the God of hosts: ‘I am the first and the last; besides Me there is no God.’ (Isaiah 44:6)

He is the First and the Last, the Ascendant and the Intimate, and He is, of all things, Knowing. (Surah 57:3)

We can also find this same title given to Jesus in the New Testament:

To the angel of the Church of Smyrna write: The first and the last, who was dead and who has come to life, says these things: (Revelation 2:8)

Behold, I come quickly! My reward is with me, to repay each one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End! … I, Jesus, have sent my angel to attest these things to you for the Churches. (Revelation 22:12-13,16)

The Truth

Another of the names given to God (Allah) is “the Truth:”

Into thine hands I will commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth. (Psalm 31(30):5)

That is because Allah is the Truth and because He gives life to the dead and because He is over all things competent (Surah 22:6)

Again, in the New Testament we find that Jesus is given this exact same title:

Jesus replied to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me. (John 14:6)

The Life

In both Christianity and Islam, the belief that God (Allah) gives life to all is unanimous:

Behold, behold that I am [he], and there is no god beside me: I kill, and I will make to live: I will smite, and I will heal; and there is none who shall deliver out of my hands. (Deuteronomy 32:39)

And [that they may know] that the Hour is coming – no doubt about it – and that Allah will resurrect those in the graves. (Surah 22:7)

His is the dominion of the heavens and earth. He gives life and causes death, and He is over all things competent. (Surah 57:2)

In the New Testament we have many references to Jesus giving life:

For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, likewise the Son also gives life to who he desires. (John 5:21)

Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life! The one who believes in me, even though he dies, will live!’ (John 11:25)

Jesus replied to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.’ (John 14:6)

The Light

There are references in both Christianity and Islam that God (Allah) is Light:

This is the message which we have heard from him and which we now announce to you: that God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp, the lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a pearly [white] star lit from [the oil of] a blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire. Light upon light. (Surah 24:35)

Jesus is also referred to as “the Light” in the New Testament:

Then again, Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.’ (John 8:12)

As you can see, there are many titles that are shared between God (Allah) and Jesus proving that He is, indeed, God. If anyone else were to claim these titles, no one would believe them, but the apostles recorded that Jesus said these things because they believed Him. Also, the Bible tells us that Jesus “spoke with authority” beyond what anyone else had done. These claims aren’t simple names Christ gave Himself, but a sign to prove to those who knew the true God, the He was God.

Forgiveness of Sins

Next, I would like to point toward the forgiveness of sins. Christians are in agreement that only God has the ability to forgive sins. If we look to the Quran, we can see that Muslims also agree to this very same view:

And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves [by transgression], remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins – and who can forgive sins except Allah ? – and [who] do not persist in what they have done while they know. (Surah 3:135)

With that being said, if we look to the New Testament we can see that Jesus forgave sins as well:

Jesus entered into a boat, crossed over [the lake] and came into his own town. Behold, some people brought him a man who was paralyzed, lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer! Your sins are forgiven!” At this, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man blasphemes!” Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil [thoughts] in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins have been forgiven’ or, ‘Get up, and walk?’ But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (then he said to the paralytic), “Get up, take up your mat, and go to your house.” (Matthew 9:1-6)

Jesus forgave this mans sins! Something only God can do. Notice also that the scribes began to talk among themselves saying that he was “blaspheming.” You see, the scribes knew that only God could forgive sins, so a “human” (in their perception, of course) was blaspheming against God by saying He could forgive sins too. This, however, proves that Jesus was, in fact, God. He could do things only God can do.

The Judgment

Another point I would like to make is the issue of the judgment. In both Christianity and Islam, God (Allah) is the Judge:

For God is the judge; he puts down one, and raises up another. (Psalm 75(74):7)

[All] sovereignty that Day is for Allah ; He will judge between them. So they who believed and did righteous deeds will be in the Gardens of Pleasure. (Surah 22:56)

In the New Testament, we also have proof that Jesus is the Judge:

But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. (Matthew 25:31-32)

As it is, the Father judges no one, but he has given all judgment to the Son (John 5:22)

Jesus has been given the authority to Judge in the final Judgment, proving that He has the same authority as God.

Biblical References

In the previous sections, I have covered all the things that prove Jesus’ deity between both the Bible and the Quran. In this next section, I will cover other instances of Jesus furhter proving His divinity within the Bible.

I AM

In the Old Testament when Moses was speaking to God in the burning bush, he asks God who shall he tell the Israelites sent him:

And Moses said to God, Behold, I shall go forth to the children of Israel, and shall say to them, The God of our fathers has sent me to you; and they will ask me, What is his name? What shall I say to them? And God spoke to Moses, saying, I am THE BEING; and he said, Thus shall ye say to the children of Israel, THE BEING has sent me to you. (Exodus 3:13-14).

This title of God can simply be put as “I AM.” The Greek underlying word here is εἰμί (eimi) which is “I am (i.e. I exist)” or “It is I Myself.” In the New Testament, Jesus also uses this same exact title when referring to Himself:

In the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled and said, ‘It is a ghost!’ and they cried out in fear. But at once, Jesus spoke to them, saying ‘Take heart! It is I! Do not be afraid.’ (Matthew 14:25-27)

‘Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day. He saw it, and was glad!’ At this, the Jews said to him, ‘You are not yet fifty years old, and you have seen Abraham?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Amen, amen, I tell you; before Abraham came into existence, I am.’ (John 8:56-58)

In both of these instances, Jesus uses the same exact wording, εἰμί (eimi), as God in the Old Testament. How can He claim to be the same God, if He wasn’t? We’ve already mentioned above that He is “the Truth” and, therefore, he doesn’t lie.

Amen, I Tell You

Another point I would like to make uses the same verse (as well as many others) as above. That is John 8:58, where Jesus says, “Amen, amen, I tell you.” If you’ve read the New Testament, you will note that Jesus uses this particular phrase many times in His teachings. In his book, The Case for Christ, Lee Strobel quotes Ben Witherington III, PH. D. who says:

Jesus taught in a radical new way. He begins his teachings with the phrase, ‘Amen, I say to you,’ which is to say, ‘I swear in advance to the truthfulness of what I’m about to say.’ This was absolutely revolutionary.’ … ‘In Judaism you needed the testimony of two witnesses, so witness A could witness the truth of witness B and vice versa. But Jesus witnesses to the truth of his own sayings. Instead of basing his teaching on the authority of others, he speaks on his own authority. So here is someone who considered himself to have authority above and beyond what the Old Testament prophets had. He believed he possessed not only divine inspiration, as King David did, but also divine authority and the power of direct divine utterance.’ (p.181-182)

As you can see, in many of Jesus’ teachings He begins with this phrase which demonstrates His divine authority as God.

Greater than the Temple/Lord of the Sabbath

In the time before Christ, the Temple and the Law of Moses was the most important thing to them. Their whole lives revolved around these two things. When Jesus came, however, He made a very strong statement to some Pharisees who were challenging Him about His disciples plucking grain to eat on the Sabbath:

But I tell you that someone greater than the temple is here! If you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath. (Matthew 12:6-8)

Jesus claims to these Pharisees that He is greater than the Temple! The Temple of the Israelites was above all else. That was, in their mind, the house of God. But Jesus says He is greater than their Temple. To add to this, He proclaims that He is Lord of the Sabbath as well. Meaning He is greater than the Sabbath.

The word here Jesus uses for Lord is κύριος (kurios) which means “lord, supreme in authority, the one in control” or “(in Hebrew) Adonai, The Lord God of Israel.” This is the same exact word Moses uses in the Old Testament when referring to God:

And after this went in Moses and Aaron to Pharao, and they said to him, These things says the Lord God of Israel, Send my people away, that they may keep a feast to me in the wilderness. (Exodus 5:1)

So not only do we have Jesus claiming to be greater than the Temple and Lord of the Sabbath, but He is using the same language as was used for God in the Old Testament.

God is with Us

In Isaiah there is a prophecy concerning the birth of Christ:

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive in the womb, and shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Emmanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

If we turn to the New Testament, this prophecy is repeated, but explained slightly further:

Now all this happened so that that what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bring forth a son. They shall call his name Emmanuel; which means, “with us [is] God.”‘ (Matthew 1:22-23)

Not only do we have a fulfilled prophecy through a virgin birth, but His name was to be Emmanuel, which meant “with us is God.” Clearly, Jesus was God.

The Lord said to my Lord

In the book of Psalms there is a prophecy concerning Jesus where David refers to both God and Jesus as Lord. The word used for Lord, κύριος (kurios), is the same in both uses. I mentioned above this same word and its meaning.

A Psalm of David. The Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. (Psalm 110(109):1)

Jesus references this verse in Matthew when He is speaking to the Pharisees about the Messiah:

Now while the Pharisees were assembled, Jesus asked them a question, saying, ‘What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?’ They answered, ‘[He is the son] of David.’ Jesus said to them, ‘How, then does David, in the Spirit, call him “Lord,” saying: The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet?’ If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?’ No one was able to answer him a word, and from that day on, no one dared to ask him any more questions. (Matthew 22:41-46)

You see, in this passage, God the Father is referring to Jesus as God also. Not only this, but Jesus also points out that David referred to Jesus as “Lord” as well. Think about it. David was the king. He was above all others. If he referred to Jesus as Lord, then that places Jesus higher than everything else, including kingship.

For clarification purposes, so everyone will understand who is to sit at the right hand of the Father, I will also add Mark:

And so, the Lord [Jesus], after he had spoken to them, was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. (Mark 16:19)

Calming of the Storm

In the book of Matthew there is a time when Jesus and His disciples are on a boat and a storm approaches:

When he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. Behold, a violent storm came up on the sea, so much that the waves swept over the boat, but Jesus was asleep. His disciples came to him and woke him up, saying, ‘Save us Lord! We are dying!’ He said to them, ‘Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?’ Then he stood up, rebuked the wind and the sea, and there was a great calm. The men marveled, saying, ‘What kind of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’ (Matthew 8:23-27)

First, they refer to Jesus as “Lord.” The same “Lord” we mentioned above that God in the Old Testament is referred to. This is clear acknowledgment of His divinity. Second, what prophet has ever been able to control the weather? Jesus “rebuked the wind and the sea” causing the bad weather to cease. His disciples were amazed at what He had done. This ability to control the elements is clearly a sign that He is God.

Other Verses to Consider

In this section I will simply give many other New Testament verses that prove that Jesus is, in fact, God. For these verses there really doesn’t need to be any explanations or comparisons as in the previous sections. Therefore, I will just list them out below:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. This one was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him, nothing came into being that has come into being. (John 1:1-3)

As it is, the Father judges no one, but he has given all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son even as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him! (John 5:22-23)

I and the Father are one. (John 10:30)

I have glorified you on the earth! I have accomplished the work which you have given me to do! Now, Father, glorify me with yourself with the glory I had with you before the world existed. (John 17:4-5)

And Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ (John 20:28)

For in him all the fullness of deity dwells bodily, and in him who is the head of all principality and power, you are made full. (Colossians 2:9)

Let the following be in your mind, which was also in [the mind of] Christ Jesus. He who existed in the form of God did not consider equality with God as something to be taken by force. Instead, he emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant, being made in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:5-7)

But of the Son he says: “Your throne O God is unto ages of ages” … And: “You, Lord, in the beginning, laid the foundation of the earth. The heavens are the works of your hands. They will perish, but you continue. They all will grow old as a garment, As a mantle, you will roll them up, and they will be changed; but you are the same. Your years will not fail. (Hebrews 1:8-12)

It has taught us that we should deny what is ungodly and worldly lusts, that we should live soberly, righteously, and in a godly way in this present world, waiting for the blessed hope: the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:12-13)

There are three who bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. (1 John 5:7)

Conclusion

In conclusion, there is overwhelming evidence, in both the Bible and the Quran, that Jesus is, indeed, God. The Old Testament points to Him as God, as does the New Testament. The Quran gives names and attributes to Allah that are also applied to Jesus. To deny these things is to deny truth. I pray that whoever is reading this will understand that Jesus is God, and that Christianity is the way to God. It has been proven time and time again. I ask that you read this carefully with an open heart to hear God calling you to serve Him truly.

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