5 verses where the Bible calls Jesus “God”

Every now and then someone says to me, “But the Bible never explicitly calls Jesus God!”

This is frequently followed by an assertion that Christian teaching on the divinity of Christ was all dreamed up by the Council of Nicaea many centuries after the Bible was written. That “Son of God” language was misunderstood as implying the “Son is God” in a way which totally distorts the original intentions of the authors.

For those that say that however, I’d invite them to engage with these verses from the ancient New Testament scriptures.

John 20:28 – Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Romans 9:5 – …Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.

Titus 2:13-15 – …our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

Hebrews 1:8 – But about the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever…

2 Peter 1:1 – …the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ…

Could it be more explicit? If so, how?

39 thoughts on “5 verses where the Bible calls Jesus “God”

  1. Arthurandtamie.wordpress.com says:

    I reckon one of the most explicit comes out in John 8:12-59, an extended exchange with the Pharisees. Jesus ends by saying, ‘Before Abraham was, I am’ (8:58). It’s not surprising that the Pharisees want to stone him at that point (8:59)!
    2 Thess 1:6-10 is another relevant verse because it’s among the earliest New Testament texts, from around 52AD. It depicts Jesus receiving the glory due to God, and meting out the judgement of God. Later (3:3, 3:16), divine power and oversight is attributed to Jesus. This pins a belief in the deity of Christ on the very earliest Christian communities.
    Arthur

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  2. Jeff Symons says:

    I love this! Especially when we hold it in light of 1Tim 2:5 “the man Christ Jesus”. It completes the theology of “fully God and fully man”. This understanding makes Christ so glorious! God came as man and lived as man for the sake of man.

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  3. Matt Stone says:

    Arthur, John 8:12-59 requires some understanding of the context. The implications were obvious for the original audience and those who have some understanding of their culture, but it’s not as obvious to the unchurched without some explaination. So I find it’s not as effective with hardened skeptics.

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  4. Joshua Jinno says:

    Jesus himself never claims to be God. Sure he uses the word “ego eimi” and says “I and the father are one” but these both could be interpreted with claiming equality with God, not purely as claiming to be God. Why is this distinction important? Jesus leaves open the possibility of mystery. he does not want us to be able to take someone’s word for who he is, we cannot open up a proof text and be convinced, we must seek him and take his own word for who he is. We must hear the voice of the shepherd for ourselves. An accurate Christology asserts that Jesus is exactly who he claimed to be, no more and no less. Jesus claimed to be the son of man, and the son of God. Our little human minds want to compare him with something that we think we understand, to analogize and explain his nature; but he is utterly unique.

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  5. Korky says:

    Has any Christian ever provided any evidence that the bible contains more than myths and fables?
    If not, shouldn’t that be the first step towards proving Jesus’ divinity?

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  6. Joshua Jinno says:

    It is entirely irrelevant whether Jesus spoke Koine or not. The first instance of God using “I am” is written in Hebrew. There is obviously enough connection between the two phrases in any language for the pharisees to see a connection. My point is that regardless of whether he is claiming to be God, invoking the name of God, or asserting equality with God, the pharisees would have had grounds to stone him… so this cannot be used as evidence of any divinity. My how we hate grey.

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  7. Gústaf Hannibal says:

    “…to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ”. Very easy to read this as this passage are about two separate entities.
    The one from Titus: “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” Could as easily be talking about two different entities.
    Romans “9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.”. God’s name is mentioned here as a blessing, not saying that Jesus is God.
    Hebrews: According to the KJV it should say “But unto the Son he saith.” not “about the son he says” which changes everything.
    The one from John where Thomas touches Jesus’ wounds, he could very well be calling out God’s name. But here he is also talking like there could be two different entities that he is talking about.
    I don’t want to argue with anyone but I thought it might be interesting checking these verses in e-Sword (which if you don’t have, you should download, free and fantastic for Bible studies). After that reading I have decided to remain sceptical about Jesus being God, for the lack of evidence.
    For me the jury is still out on this one.
    All the best to you all and may we all find the truth, whatever it may be.

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  8. Charles says:

    If you believe we all carry a spark or piece of God, then we are all Sons of God. Christ was the template we are meant to live by, we are to be “Christ like”. I believe this one-ness is illustrated perfectly when Yeshua says “what you have done for the least of these, you have also done for me”. Also, think of the concept of us as the “body of Christ”. It could easily be we are each a “cell” (for lack of a better word) of God. I’m not saying we are equal to God any more than my little toe nail is equal to my whole body. I’m saying we are all God and separateness from Him is a sad illusion.

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  9. Kat says:

    To these five verses I lay down the challenge of the salutation of every epistle. The Apostles open their epistles with a salutation invoking God as the Father and Christ as a seperate entity… taking for example 1Cor 1:3-4 “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord jesus Christ. I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which is given you in Christ Jesus”
    or prehaps James 1:1 “James a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ”
    What about Peter in 1Peter1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…”
    there must be an explaination which stands consistent throughout scripture, one where each of these verses can be understood in a way which agrees with each other.

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  10. Kalessin says:

    Hi Korky,
    > Has any Christian ever provided any evidence that the bible contains more than myths and fables?
    AND NOW… LIVE!! WITHOUT A NET!!!!
    1. Read Paul’s letter to Philemon. (2 minutes, tops)
    2. Not a myth.
    3. Not a fable.
    AND THE CROWD GOES WILD!!! GOLD TO AUSTRALIA!!!
    😀
    Well, you did ask the question. Ask another?

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  11. lia_pia_hia_kia@hotmail.com says:

    Wow! Awesome post. I think there are a large number of people who take this fact for granted and never realize exactly what that means. Jesus is God. It almost sounds like a “duh!” statement, but it gives so much more power and authority than we sometimes give him. Jesus IS God. One and the same.

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  12. steve says:

    Amazing how we can make such a great thing of a couple of verses, which contradict – if interpreted your way – so many other Scripture, like John 17:3. undersadning Jesus as the son o God sent to do a work, for the father is the subject of life and death! I Cor 15:27 says the son is in subjection to the Father, how is God in subjection to God? Total nonsence, But a son being in subjection to his father is logical and sensible, then they are not one and the same as the trinitarians so blindly believe. I Timothy 2:5 clearly separates Jesus from his father, why not interpret the obscure by the easy to understand. god is the only True God, the Father of te man Christ Jesus.
    If there is a trinity, why no mention in the bible of ‘God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit’?

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  13. God seeker says:

    Jesus the son of Mary (upon them be peace) was sent by ONE God, Allah, your Lord and my Lord to bring the Jews back to guidance and back to Allah’s obedience. He had a claim of prophethood some listen to his message and assessed his claim, they were saved. Others refused his claim and slandered him.
    Now the same God, Allah sent another of His slaves – Muhammad (Peace be upon him), a man who also made a claim to prophethood, will you be like those who examine this claim or take the same path as those who refused Jesus.
    Muhammad Peace be upon him said:
    “By the One in Whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, there is no one among this ummah, Jew or Christian, who hears of me than dies without believing in that with which I have been sent, but he will be one of the people of Hellfire.” (Reported by Muslim, 218)
    Allah revealed in the FINAL testament
    O ye who believe! Be Allah’s helpers, even as Jesus son of Mary said unto the disciples: Who are my helpers for Allah? They said: We are Allah’s helpers. And a party of the Children of Israel believed, while a party disbelieved. Then We strengthened those who believed against their foe, and they became the uppermost. (61:14)
    O People of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning Allah save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not “Three” – Cease! (it is) better for you! – Allah is only One God. Far is it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is sufficient as Defender. (171) The Messiah will never scorn to be a slave unto Allah, nor will the favoured angels. Whoso scorneth His service and is proud, all such will He assemble unto Him; (172) Then, as for those who believed and did good works, unto them will He pay their wages in full, adding unto them of His bounty; and as for those who were scornful and proud, them will He punish with a painful doom. And they will not find for them, against Allah, any protecting friend or helper. (4:171-173)
    The Quran gives glad tidings to believers and serves as an admonition to those who reject Allah and all of His Messengers.

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  14. Matt Stone says:

    Here’s another verse for everyone: For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form (Colossians 2:9). Friends, I would suggest that verses like this leave no room for saying CHRISTIANS are mistaken about the New Testament, that they only leave room for saying the NEW TESTAMENT is mistaken about Christ. These however are two very different claims. Be clear on which one you are making.

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  15. Anthony says:

    I think that what they mean is that Jesus never calls himself God. The Bible says a lot of things, including that you cannot “cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard” (Leviticus 19:27)

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  16. Matt Stone says:

    In so far as they are, they’re ignoring the thrust of the article: a challenge to debate over whether the Bible calls Jesus God, which is something that many deny. Gústaf, Kat and Steve understand the challenge even if some of the others don’t.

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  17. john says:

    One of the best argument that I have heard is:
    Jesus compares himself to the temple. The temple is the incarnation of God. Hence, Jesus is God. Some reflection will show the power of this point. In addition, if Jesus says that he is temple, then it is his self-definition.

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  18. Matt Stone says:

    I believe N T Wright uses that line of argument and I think it has a lot of validity.
    Jesus did not make fully blown post-Nicean claims concerning himself and God; nor did Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Paul use words like Trinity in explaining the significance of his life and teachings. To claim as such would be anachronistic. Nevertheless, in claiming equivalence to torah and to temple, which in ancient Jewish understanding embodied the very word and presence of God, it is clear that he was claiming to be much more than a prophet. That it was equivalent to claiming equivalence to God. That it took centuries to reframe this understanding in Greek philosophical terms should not blind us to recognizing that an equivalent understanding preceeded this in Hebrew narrative terms.

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  19. Kent Kingston says:

    Any particular reason why this discussion has to be limited to the New Testament? What about:
    Isaiah 9:6~For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
    Isaiah 7:14~Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel [meaning “God with us” as Matthew 1:23 points out].
    There are also other very explicit verses in the NT:
    John 1:1-3,14~In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made….The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
    Philippians 2:5-6~…Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage…

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  20. Tim says:

    I believe Jesus is God, but not based on any of those verses. Each one can easily be read in a different light. For example, the biblical writers, Paul and Peter, very clearly and explicitly mention God the Father AND the Lord Jesus Christ. So when we come upon a phrase like “our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” or “the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ”, the most direct way to read it is two separate beings. The AND is very explicit and consistent with the rest of their writings. In John 1 it does very clearly tell us that the Word was God. Clear, direct, bold. There is no need to stretch and twist these other verses.

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  21. Matt Stone says:

    Tim
    There was no intentional stretching or twisting of these verses on my part. It seemed to me the natural way to read them. But, since your comment raises the possibility I have erred unintentionally in my interpretation I have researched this further. It would seem that you have a point, that some, including the KJV interpreters no less, have interpreted the verses the way you suggest. However, the sources I have read suggest (e.g. http://av1611.com/kjbp/faq/holland_tit2_13.html) suggest your interpretation is an incorrect one that arises from a violation of the rules of ancient Greek grammar; that the nouns refer to two aspects of the same person, not two different persons. Given my knowledge of Greek does not extend to grammar however I claim no personal expertise and am open to being challenged with contrary historical research into ancient Greek grammar. In the meantime I’ll accept it as a disputable matter, which, given you accept John 1 as implying the same thing, need not be a fundamental wedge between us. I will take it on board that, whatever the correct interpretation of the verses, there can be even more clear and explicit verses to refer to.

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  22. gary says:

    Did Jesus Lie under Oath?
    Gospel of John’s Jesus:
    Jesus answered, “I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret.
    John 18:20
    Gospel of Mark’s Jesus:
    He strictly ordered them that no one should know this.
    Mark 5:43
    Mark’s Jesus seems to ALWAYS be telling his disciples and those he heals to keep his deeds secret. John’s Jesus swears under oath in front of the Jewish Sanhedrin (high court) that he has said nothing in secret.
    This is a blatantly false.
    To Jews, God cannot lie, therefore this is absolute proof to them (and maybe it should be to Christians) that Jesus was not God.
    The Jewish Bible:
    God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of a man that he should repent…
    — Numbers 23:19

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  23. Tim says:

    Very, very good work. Matter of fact there were seven (!) times where Jesus made “I AM” statements. To a Jew who knew the Old Testament, it was always clear what He was saying. But the same old heresies still exist today in different forms. Thankfully God’s Word never changes, and so we have the same bulletproof defenses that the first Christians had. In addition, we have eternal life, which Jesus Himself said is to actually KNOW Him and the rest of the Trinity on a personal level. Three separate, individual Persons, yet one God.

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  24. david626@earthlink.net says:

    Except Jesus did speak Koine Greek. What makes you think He didn’t? Isn’t it a shame how bald-faced liars will make assertions and try to fool people when they don’t even know what they are talking about?

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  25. Fringe says:

    Its amazing how footsoldier christians can battle about the divinity of Jesus, when their church fathers are still searching for proof outside the bible that Jesus was a real person and not someones imaginative friend

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  26. Matt Stone says:

    So much wrong with that Fringe that its hard to know where to start. Firstly, if you’d bothered to read this blog in any depth it would be readily apparent that I’m a pacifist who spurns militant language. Please keep your “footsoldier” and “battle” insinuations to yourself as it’s not welcome here. Secondly, “church fathers” usually refers to Christian leaders of the first centuries of the Christian movement. To my knowledge they are long dead and not “searching” for anything in their current state. If you’re referring to anyone else you’ll need to elaborate. Finally, as for proof that Jesus was a real person, there is little doubt amongst historians across Atheist-Christian spectrum and the only outliers are Mythicist cranks. I’ve seen no reason to take any of their stuff seriously.

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  27. Roger says:

    To call the Son God is pitting the Son against the Father and does not leave anyone in charge, and without just one to lead there is chaos. The first thing that is evident is that the original text is not Greek but Hebrew based on three verses:
    Matt 10:6 “But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
    Matt 15:24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
    Acts 21:40 So when he had given him permission, Paul stood on the stairs and motioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great silence, he spoke to [them] in the Hebrew language, saying,
    ====================================================
    The only verse in this list that points to the Son being called God is John 20:28 and the only time that He is called God by an apostle or anyone else.
    The original Greek for Romans 9:5 whose are the fathers, and out of whom is the Christ according to the flesh, Who is over all, God be blessed for the eons. Amen!
    Titus 2:13 use “and” meaning two: “God” and “Jesus Christ”
    The word in Hebrew for “God” in Hebrews 1:8 (Psalms 45:6) is “Elohim” which means “Rulers” (Strong’s H430)
    2 Peter 1:1 has the same issue are Titus 2:13; the original Greek states: 1 Simeon Peter, a slave and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who are chancing upon an equally precious faith with us, in the righteousness of our God, and the Saviour, Jesus Christ:
    The mind set of the trinitarian wants to make the Son into God the Father and this denies the deity of God.

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  28. Matt Stone says:

    Roger,
    To suggest the Christianity pits the Son against the Father is to misunderstand it profoundly. Christianity affirms the Father the Son and the Spirit are one.
    As for the original text of the Gospel of Matthew, the scholarly consensus is that it was written in Greek, not Hebrew. Certainly, it was attributed to the apostle Matthew in the second century but by laying the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke in parallel, scholars have established that Matthew and Luke were substantially copied from Mark, a Greek document, with Matthew using some 90 per cent of the verses in Mark. Much of the text even uses the same words in the Greek language, which would only be possible if the copying were done in the Greek language. Further sayings material not found in Mark but common to Matthew and Luke is attributed to the hypothetical ‘Q’ document, and once again, this could only come from Q in the Greek language. I am open to the possibility that the material unique to Matthew was based on Hebrew testimony, either oral or written, but that’s about it. The bulk was most definitely written in Greek, the international language of the day.
    As for your comments on the verses I used, again I find them full of misunderstandings, especially your suggestion that Christians seek to make the Son into the Father. The Trinitarian creeds were formulated expressly to counter interpretations like that. It was considered heresy, not something to aim towards. I’d suggest you look up “Sabellianism”. Besides, I think you’re confusing my intent. I am not seeking to anachronistically suggest that fully developed Trinitarian theology is to be found within these verses, but simply highlight the more primitive understanding of the New Testament authors that the identity of God and the identity of Jesus were somehow intertwined.

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  29. chichi says:

    my friend..What was the charge to Jesus Christ by the JEWS that led to His crucifixion? Why then the JEWS tried to kill and stoned him for several instances? try to study these questions… The JEWS understood that He was claiming equality with God that’s why they thought of it as blasphemy(“claiming Himself to be equal with GOd”)..

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  30. Chris Malan says:

    If the Bible contained only myths and fables none of the places, persons and events in it would have been archaeologically verified. Google ‘archaeological verification of the Bible.’
    Jesus never claimed to be God. At least four of the five examples can, and have been, translated differently. E.g. here’s the Romans on in the KJV: “Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen” In the Greek, look at Bible Hub, you will find it is the God who is over all that is to be blessed, not Jesus. “.our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,” becomes, “.our great God, and Savior Jesus Christ,” It’s very easy to overturn claims for Jesus being God, except John 20:28. But for that we have John 17:3 and John 20: 17

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  31. Juan Torres says:

    One GOD and his word, one GOD that is the ultimate Holy Spirit! One GOD who sent his holy spirit(him self) for Mary the chosen virgin to incubate the manly flesh for the holyspirit to dwell in.GOD omnipotent one! Immanuel(which means GOD is with us!) Yeshua ask Peter who do you say iam,and we know what Peter responded,yeshua said if you see me you have seen the father,1TIMOTHY 3:16 PROVES THAT OUR ALMIGHTY CREATOR IS THE ALPHA AND OMEGA,COMING BACK IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION THERE is so many more scriptures that prove the mystery of the almighty being all in all. Peace be apond all my brethren in the name of YESHUA the christ!

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  32. Conservative_Christian says:

    I really came late to this, but still want to add somethings.
    What so many don’t consider, the word “God” is an English word that is general description. In Greek there are words that separate God from Jesus, like Theós for the Father and Iisoús for the Son. There is Greek and Hebrew words that separate them but our English word God is general. So to say that Jesus is God is not saying Jesus is the father.

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