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Answering the Objections to Jesus' Deity

In spite of the Scriptural evidence supporting Jesus’ Deity, some will continue to remain in denial simply because they have been indoctrinated to believe otherwise. In order to refute what the Bible teaches, they are taught to incorrectly isolate specific verses in the Scriptures, quote only half verses, or take certain verses within a passage out-of-context so that they could attempt to justify their erroneous positions. In this respect, the Jehovah’s Witnesses make the same arguments against the Messiah's Deity as other groups such as the Mormons and Muslims.

For all believers, it is important to be anchored in Biblical truth in face of those who attempt to challenge Jesus’ Deity while in full confidence that there are Scriptural responses to every argument. With apostasy and false teachings on the rise, it has become increasingly necessary to be prepared to respond with the applicable verses and passages in order to stand firmly in the truth, defend the faith, and refute all erroneous claims.

The assumption that Jesus is anyone less than the LORD Himself limits and challenges God's plan of salvation and His saving grace for mankind. For example, if He were less than God, His death for mankind’s sins could be considered a limited sacrifice. After all, how could the death of a mere mortal man provide atonement and salvation for everyone? However, if Jesus were God in the flesh, the blood that He shed and His physical death would have unlimited redemptive qualities with respect to mankind's spiritual salvation and forgiveness of sins. Therefore, the beauty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and God's plan for mankind’s salvation cannot be fully appreciated until one understands that it was our Beloved Creator, the LORD Himself, who was crucified approximately two thousand years ago.

There is one other matter to consider: Since the Messiah was sent by God to redeem mankind, He must be the perfect sacrifice, without blemish! If Jesus’ father were a mere mortal man, He would have inherited Adam’s sin, and would have been an imperfect and blemished sacrifice. Romans 5:12, 19 explains:

For these reasons it became necessary for the Messiah, the Savior of the world, to be Deity. He could not have had a human father and, as a result, must have been born of a virgin. Since some may attempt to illustrate their position by isolating certain Scriptures and taking various verses and passages out of context, Christians should always harmonize the Scriptures and allow Scripture to interpret Scripture and verse to interpret verse. In so doing, they can always rely on the word of God, the Bible, to provide the answers.

Jehovah’s Witnesses repeatedly misuse and misapply the following 12 Scriptures and passages. Their argument precedes the proper Christian response:

1. John 17:3

(Jesus said)  "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." -John 17:3

The Argument: Here, Jesus calls the Father "the only true God." Therefore, Jesus cannot be the true God.

Response: In this verse, Jesus did not say that the Father alone is the only true God. With respect to the only true God, the Father and Son are mutually inclusive. The Father, along with the Son, is the true God. When Jesus said in John 10:30, "I and my Father are one," He meant it, literally!

1John 5:20 reveals that the true God is the Father and the Son, together. It also provides the following equation that the true God = eternal life. It states, "And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life."

Since 1John 5:20 provides the equation that the true God = eternal life, 1John 1:2-3 reveals the astonishing fact that eternal life was "with" the Father and manifested unto us in the person of His Son Jesus Christ:

"(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) (3) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."

The conclusion: The Son, who was "with" the Father, is eternal life (1John 1:2). Therefore, He is the true God (1John 5:20).

2. Numbers 23:19 "God is not a man..."

The Argument: Here, the Scriptures teach that God is not a man. Therefore Jesus Christ, who was a man, cannot be God.

Response: This verse needs to be read to its completion. Numbers 23:19 states as follows: "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?"

With respect to the Scriptures, the context is always critical. Numbers 23:19 reveals that God is not a man that He should lie. Therefore, this verse stresses that God is a God of His word. Whatever He says He means, and whatever He means He says! By this same argument, Exodus 15:3 states: "The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name." Does this verse by itself teach that the LORD is a man? Of course not; it is obviously a metaphor! Though the Scriptures teach that God in His natural form is not a man, Philippians 2:5-8 also reveals that He became a man and took on the form of a man:

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (8) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."

3. John 5:19

"Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself...". -John 5:19

Note: Sometimes John 5:30 is used which states "I can of my own self do nothing…"

The Argument: These verses teach that the Son can do nothing of himself. Therefore, how can he be God? This is impossible!

Response: Finish John 5:19 and read the entire passage in its context! In John 5:19, Jesus said the following: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise."

Individuals who challenge Jesus' Deity often misuse John 5:19 and John 5:30. This is a perfect example of how the opposition incorrectly uses half of a verse to promote a false agenda. After reading the entire verse in its context, it should beg the question: What individual can claim to do everything that God can do except God Himself? In John 5:19, Jesus claims to have the ability to do everything that the Father does. Not even the angels in heaven would dare make such a claim. John 5:19 does not disprove Jesus' Deity; it proves His Deity!

4. John 14:28

"Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I."  -John 14:28

The Argument: Since Jesus said "my Father is greater than I," he cannot be Almighty God.

Response: Not necessarily! Jesus' statement in John 14:28 can be easily construed as a statement of submission. Jesus always claimed to be in submission to the Father. Being ‘in submission to’ someone does not necessarily equate to being less than the other.

For example, according to the Scriptures, the woman is in submission to the man, and the man is the head of the woman. However, in the eyes of God, they are equal. Jesus' submission to the Father is likened to a woman's submission to a man. 1Corinthians 11:3 states: "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." >/p>

1 Corinthians 11:3 provides the analogy that although the man and the woman are equal, the woman is in submission to the man. In like manner, although Jesus and His Father are equal, the Son is in submission to the Father.

For Christians, there is another logical explanation that can be provided in the Scriptures for John 14:28. Philippians 2:5-8 states that Jesus, being in the form of God, took upon Him the form of a servant:

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (8) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."

At the time Jesus said "the Father is greater than I," He had taken upon Himself the form of a man. He experienced all of the attributes and qualities of humanity. Therefore, during His life on earth, the Father was greater.

5. John 20:17

"Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God."  -John 20:17 (see Micah 5:4).

The Argument: In this verse, Jesus said that he has a God. Therefore, he cannot be Jehovah.

Response: Not necessarily! In this verse Jesus did not say, "I go to our Father and to our God." He said "my Father, and your Father, and to my God, and your God." By stating these words in this particular way, Jesus reveals that His relationship with the Father is separate and distinct from the relationship that the rest of us have with our heavenly Father. For example, Jesus was born of a virgin and is therefore the only-begotten Son of God (Matthew 1:18-23, John 3:16, Luke 1:26-35, Isaiah 7:14). In other words, the LORD is Jesus' actual Father! For the rest of us, according to Romans 8:14-15, God is our Father by the Spirit of adoption:

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (15) For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father."

God is Jesus' Father in a very different way than He is our Father, but the same principle can be applied to God as Jesus' God. God is our God because He is our Creator, etc. Jesus calls His Father "my God" because He is in submission to Him, just like Sarah called Abraham "my lord" in Genesis 18:12:

"Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?"

Sarah called Abraham "my lord;" Jesus refers to God as "my God." As we see in illustration 4, Jesus is in submission to the Father as the woman is in submission to the man. Once again, 1Corinthians 11:3 illustrates this analogy: "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God."

6. Revelation 3:14

"And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God." -Revelation 3:14

The Argument: In this verse, Jesus is referred to as the faithful and true witness, the "beginning" of the creation of God. Therefore, Jesus was the first one created by God and cannot be Jehovah.

Response: That is absolutely incorrect! When God created, He spoke creation into existence. He said, "Let there be light, and there was light," etc. Isaiah 44:24 also teaches that God created all things by Himself, "Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself."

God made all things when He used His spoken Word. John 1:14 states: "And the Word was made 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."

Since Jesus Christ is the Word of God, He IS the beginning or source of the creation of God. Through God's Word, Jesus Christ, all things came into existence. According to Revelation 3:14, Jesus is the origin of all creation. He is the LORD's Word which was made flesh. He created all things.

7. Colossians 1:15

"Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:"  -Colossians 1:15

The Argument: This verse teaches that Jesus is the firstborn of every creature. Therefore, he is part of God's creation. He cannot be God since Jehovah has no beginning.

Response: The term firstborn does not always mean ‘first in sequence.’ The Bible provides the reason why Jesus is called the firstborn of every creature in Colossians 1:16-17: "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (17) And he is before all things, and by him all things consist."

The Word of God, Jesus Christ, is the source and origin of all creation. He is our Creator! As a result, He was placed at the head of all creation. Additionally, one who has firstborn status owns the rights to his father's patriarchal position. This can certainly apply to Jesus, who is the heir of all things (Hebrews 1:2, Psalm 2:8). This birthright can be lost or transferred from one individual to another. It does not always apply to the oldest son or one who is first in sequence. As an example, Psalm 89:27 applies to David, though 1Chronicles 2:13-15 indicates that he was the youngest of all of his brothers. The applicable scriptures follow:

Another example of the firstborn status being lost or transferred to another individual can be found in 1Chronicles 5:1. It shows that Jacob's son Reuben lost it because he defiled his father's bed. It states, "Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright."

Isaac's sons Esau and Jacob provide another example of how a firstborn status or birthright can be lost by one individual and transferred to another. In this instance, though Esau and Jacob were twins, Esau was the elder and was therefore Isaac's firstborn son. But Esau sold his birthright and gave it up to Jacob for some stew (Genesis chapter 27).

Joseph's two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, are another example. Though Ephraim was the younger of the two brothers, Jacob blessed him instead of Manasseh (Genesis 48:8-20).

God refers to others as His firstborn, not only His Son Jesus Christ. He calls Israel His firstborn as well as Ephraim. Exodus 4:22 and Jeremiah 31:9 provide the illustrations:

Israel was not the first nation, and Ephraim was not the first of Joseph's sons. Although Jesus Christ is called 'firstborn' in Colossians 1:15, firstborn does not necessarily mean ‘first in sequence.' Based on these illustrations, to make the assertion that Jesus is created because He is referred to as ‘firstborn’ can result in a serious mistake.

8. Mark 14:36

"And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt." -Mark 14:36

The Argument: This verse indicates that Jesus and the Father have different wills. Therefore, he cannot be Jehovah since he has a different will than the Father.

Response: Not at all! The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus never acted on behalf of Himself but only did the Father's will. In John 6:38, Jesus said: "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me."

It is not in Jesus' nature to act independently from the Father. John 5:19 confirms: "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." Since Jesus’ will is exactly the same as the Father’s will according to the Scriptures, Mark 14:36 does not disprove Jesus' Deity, it confirms His Deity!

9. Mark 13:32

(Jesus said) "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." -Mark 13:32

The Argument: In this verse, Jesus states that he does not know the day or hour of his return, referring to his Second Coming when he will establish his everlasting kingdom. Since he indicated that he did not know the day of his return, but only the Father knows, how can he be Jehovah? This is impossible!

Response: Not at all! Jesus was born of the Jews and subject to the traditions of the Jewish culture. In the parables, He referred to Himself as the bridegroom and He referred to the church as His bride (Matthew 22:1-3, Matthew 25:1-13). According to Jewish tradition, when a man is betrothed to his bride, he goes to prepare a place for her prior to their marriage. In John 14:2-3, Jesus said:

"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."

The Scriptures and parables liken Christ's relationship with the church to a future marriage between a bridegroom and his bride. Ephesians 2:25-27 and Ephesians 5:31-32 show this connection:

According to Jewish tradition, before the marriage, it is the son's father who instructs the son when it is time to go and get his bride2. Jesus went to prepare a place for His church, His bride (John 14:2-3). In similar fashion and according to Jewish custom, it is the Father who will instruct His Son when it is time to go and get His bride. Revelation 19:7-9 describes that great moment when the church will be called to the marriage supper of the Lamb:

"Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. (8) And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. (9) And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God."

10. 1 Corinthians 8:6

"But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him." -1 Corinthians 8:6

The Argument: This verse specifically states that there is one God, the Father. Therefore, Jesus Christ cannot be God.

Response: This is an incorrect conclusion! In Matthew 11:25, Jesus referred to His Father as "Lord of heaven and earth." Matthew 11:25 states: "At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes."

By presuming that Jesus cannot be God based on 1Corinthians 8:6, a similar incorrect conclusion can be made that the Father cannot be the Lord. Based on Jesus' words in Matthew 11:25, this cannot be the case since He calls His Father "Lord of heaven and earth."

1Corinthians 8:6 should not be used to deny the Deity of Jesus Christ. It is intended to establish that the Father and Son are distinct from one another. The Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Father. Actually, it is a good verse that can be useful in illustrating the LORD as a compound unity, echad.

11. Malachi 3:6

“For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” - Malachi 3:6

The Argument: This verse clearly teaches that the LORD does not change. Therefore, Christianity’s position that God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ must be false.

Response: This is not what Malachi 3:6 is saying. In this verse, God indicates that He will honor the everlasting covenant He made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Genesis 17:1-10). Because of this, Jacob will not be consumed! Regarding His covenant, God does NOT change! Malachi 3:7, the following verse, justifies this position: “Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts….”

With respect to Jesus’ Deity, He never changed. Hebrews 13:8 states that when He came into the world, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” In other words, Jesus was always Deity. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Colossians 2:9 states, “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”

12. Psalm 90:2 teaches that the LORD is “from everlasting to everlasting.”

The Argument: God is eternal and cannot die. Since Jesus died at the crucifixion, he cannot be Almighty God.

Response: Jesus’ flesh died, Not His Deity. Regarding Him, Philippians 2:8 states, “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Though Jesus’ humanity perished at the cross, Colossians 2:9 testifies that though He was fully man, He was fully God, “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Therefore, though He was crucified, His Deity continued.

These are 12 of the most common arguments made by the Jehovah’s Witnesses who challenge Jesus’ Deity. Though there can be more objections, believers in His Deity should be firmly convinced that there are legitimate and logical responses to every argument that is made. When discussing the Scriptures with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christians should always remember to state their case in a clear and professional manner while portraying the love of Christ in them. There is no reason to argue. Remember, only God can change minds.


2. Isaac Landman (editor) of The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia (New York, NY: Universal Jewish Encyclopedia Co. Inc, 1948), p. 7 and 372 list this ancient wedding custom. Additionally, Isidore Singer’s The Jewish Encyclopedia (New York, NY: Funk and Wagnals Co., 1907) in Vol. III, 126 also cites this custom.