Deity of Christ Research Paper

Pages: 25 (8534 words)  ·  Style: Turabian  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] Dissection here would rather imply murder, as the divinity is inseparable (Moule, 1977)."

Many authors have interpreted "Son of God" in a much wider context of the Gospel of John. According to Pink (1975), one proof of the Jesus' divinity was his baptizing in the Holy Spirit. In response to John 1:48, Robertson (1916) wrote that he might be aware of the Baptist regarding Jesus and thus he proclaims Jesus to be the King of Israel, as well as acknowledging his Deity. Moreover, Even Jenson (1997) rejected that the particular status given to Jesus of Son was much more than just meaning a Messiah: "You're the son of the One that is blessed? In consideration of this context, God's Son cannot be understood as consisting of having the title of Messiah, as it was not blasphemy to claim oneself as a religious and political Messiah."Similarly, Jenson (1997) rejected the idea of considering the title of Son only for a Messianic view: "you're the Son of God?' As reflected by this question, Son of God represents more than a Messiah, and one's claim to be a religious and political Messiah was not considered as blasphemy."

According to Loader (1984), the fourth gospel presents Jesus as phenomenon consisting of two folds, that He is not a commoner, but the Son of God, and thus one heavenly being.

Even Kasper (1976) seemed to identify the divinity presented in the Gospel of John. The internal unity of the ontological and messianic theology turned into something rather thematic, mostly reflected by Gospel Four. The divinity of Jesus and his being the Son of God is explicitly mentioned in this Gospel. These tend to bring about a sort of stereological interest and not just as being understood for personal sake as just statements. Christ's Deity is mentioned thoroughly in John's Gospel, which is well acknowledged by all these authors. That deity is more vividly expressed by the title "Son of God." Thus, it is entirely improbable to keep a messianic view according to the arguments of these authors.

John's Internal Evidence for the Deity View

Overview of the Gospel of John

According to the works of Kostenberger (1999), he seemed to express the bigger purpose of Johannine tended to emphasize the deity as well as the pre-existence of Jesus. Where Jesus' designation mixes the elements of both deity as well as humanity, the other aspects of John's Gospel have a more direct focus on the divine nature of Jesus. The following elements were listed:

1) Claims to the pre-existence of Jesus as well as "Word" (1:1,14) being used for him

Pre-existence of Jesus (8:58; 12:41; 17:5)

2) "Signs" of Jesus (e.g. 2:11)

3) The "I am sayings," of Jesus, that are much similar to Old Testament (cf. esp. Ex 3:14)

4) The possession of abnormal knowledge by Jesus (1:48: Nathanael beneath fig tree; 2:19: Jesus' death's nature; cf. also 12:24; 11:14: Death of Lazarus; 13:38: Denials of Peter; 21:18-19: the nature of the death of Peter)

5) The confession of Thomas regarding his narration of Jesus as his God and his Lord (20:28)30

Many witnesses were identified by Ellis (1999). It needs to be considered that there were seven that signified the Deity of Jesus in the 4th Gospel. These included the Baptist John (1:34); Nathanael (1:48); Peter (6:69); Lord Himself (10:36); Martha (11:27); Thomas (20:28); and the one who wrote this Gospel (20:31)."

A total of 8 specific signs were mentioned by the author of the Gospel of John regarding Jesus (Niemela, 2003) that were meant to create belief in Jesus as being divine, a Messiah, and God's son. These were: (1) conversion of the water into the wine-2:1-12, (2) the curing of the son of a nobleman even at a distance-4:46- 54, (3) the curing of the man in Bethsaida-5:1-15, (4) feeding of the 5,000- 6:1-14, (5) the walking on top of water-6:15-21, (6) the healing of a man who was naturally blind- 9:1-7, (7) the raising of Lazarus-11:1-44, and (8) most importantly the crucifixion as well as Christ's resurrection-2:18-22, 19:1-20:29. It was because of these abovementioned signs that led people to believe Jesus as being the Son of God as well as divine (see 2:11; 4:53; 6:14; 7:31; 10:41-42; 11:45-48; 12:10-11, 37, 42; 20:8, 29). It was not because of the believers following in the nature of discipleship, but as a belief on the results, according to John. All these proofs formed the basis of the content of the book which was essentially required for eternal life. John introduced Jesus in the extended prologue as:

1. Torchbearer of the life of mankind, vv. 4-13

2. Son of God who baptizes with the Holy Spirit, vv.31-34

3. Eternal Creator, vv. 1-3

4. Only begotten Son of the Father's glory, vv.14-18

5. Omnipresent and omniscient Song of God possessing direct access to heaven, vv. 46-51

6. Messianic Lamb of God who needs to be followed, vv. 35-45

7. Preexistent Messianic Lamb of God who takes away sin, vv. 19-30

The above mentioned seven titles correspond to the seven "I am" statements and eight signs of John. Carson believes that two "I Am" sayings tend to be absolutely undeniable from the aspect of content and form (8:58; 13:19). They form an explicit self-identification with Yahweh who had also used similar terms to reveal himself to men (see esp. Isa. 43:10-11) (Carson, 2001).

John introduces Jesus in every form in the initial verses of his Gospel and reveals the uniqueness and exclusiveness of Jesus in the remainder of the book. The introduction revolves around different titles like Lamb of God, Messiah, Christ, Son of Man, Son of God and Son. All these titles are not isolated, in fact they are deliberately interrelated well by the author to portray Jesus as God-man (Wilson, 2006).

The Eleven "Son of God" Passages

There exist eleven "Son of God" passages within John's Gospel. The pre-existence of God's Son is expressed in the first one (1:34, "he was before me"). The second one revolves around the long debated Nathanael's declaration of "Son of God" and "King of Israel" in 1:48. The next chapter highlights the concept of omnipresence and omniscience by quoting 2:24, which declared that Jesus knew All and thus he did not commit himself to them. The metaphysical concepts associated with omniscience, pre-existence and omnipresence of Jesus are supported by the first two uses, if they are considered to be true.

Jesus is being identified as having His sole privilege in following 3 terms of granting eternal life (3:18; 5:25; 6:69). Jesus has been found of receiving worship in the seventh use (9:35) on the fact that being the God's son. Jews regard it blasphemy to which John regards as Jesus being the Son of God (10:36). Lazarus was given life by Jesus so as to establish that he is the Son of God (11:4). Hence, Martha considered Jesus as the Son of God, the Christ, who has the power to give rebirth and eternal life (11:27). Jewish law and Jesus were quite opposite as per the belief of Song of God (19:7). John's Gospel states about "Son of God" as being the Messiah who can provide eternal life.

Pre-existence within the prologue is a well-established concept. According to Lewis (2001), some text of New Testament may be ambiguous in terms of pre-existence; however, it is not acceptable that some are trying to remove that doctrine from the Prologue of John. It is not surprising to note that the author of Gospel would push forward the concept into Testimony of John the Baptist as well.

Proclamations made by Baptizer argue pretty well regarding pre-existence of Jesus as deity. Some verses confirm about pre-existence's attribution as being the Son of God by stating that who comes after me, is more preferable then me (1:15). Similarly, verses also state that following God's lamb is the only way through which sins can be eliminated from world (1:29). At one more place, it has been stated that a Man will come who will be preferred more than the God (1:30). Lastly, it has also been testified for Jesus as being the God's Son (1:34).

When John pointed out about beholding the Lamb of God, 2 disciples pondered over it and concluded that this One could remove sins from the world and is before John, hence, He is the God's only prerogative (Luke 5:21). Thus, two characteristics that are exclusive to deity only have been explicitly stated in the extended prologue of John.

Sins can be forgiven by Jesus, who was actually pre-existent as well. Peter was told by Andrew (1 of the 2 disciples) 1:41 that they have been successful in finding the Messiah. Andrew considered Jesus as being the Messiah due to the testimonies of Baptizer regarding of deity of Jesus. Everyone who attended the session when John was speaking (Matthew 3:5; 4:25) was well-aware about the statements of John regarding Jesus… [END OF PREVIEW]

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