Baha'i: Jesus Claims to be God (and how do you respond to those claims?)

Below, I offer evidence that Jesus Christ claimed to be God, and this claim, if true, is at odds with the Baha’i belief that Jesus was merely a manifestation of God and not actually the incarnation of God.

This is significant because if Jesus is God, and He is knowable, then God is knowable; the Baha’i belief that God is unknowable would be proven false, and a foundational premise of the Baha’i religion would be shattered.

Therefore, it is incumbent upon the Baha’i members of this forum to consider carefully the evidence presented below to determine for themselves whether Jesus did claim to be God and whether those claims are believable.

Evidence that Jesus Claimed to be God

The Bible is clear about the claims of divinity made by Jesus. The Gospel of John, written by one of Jesus’ apostles, tells us: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). We know that John is referring to Jesus as the Word because John also tells us, “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” (Jn 1:14) Since God the Father was not made flesh; John is speaking about Jesus. Jesus is the Word made flesh, the Word is God, and therefore, Jesus, the Word made flesh, is God.

In Deuteronomy 10:17 and 1 Timothy 6:15, God the Father is called the “Lord of lords,” yet in other New Testament passages this divine title is applied directly to Jesus. In Revelation 17:14 we read, “They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings.” And in Revelation 19:13–16, John sees Jesus “clad in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. . . . On his thigh he has a name inscribed, King of kings and Lord of lords.”

Additional evidence that Jesus is God is found in numerous places in the New Testament. John 5:18 states that Jewish leaders sought to kill Jesus “because he not only broke the Sabbath but also called God his Father, making himself equal with God.” Paul also states that Jesus was equal with God (Phil. 2:6). But if Jesus is equal with the Father, and the Father is a God, then Jesus is a God. Since there is only one God, Jesus and the Father must both be one God—one God in at least two persons (the Holy Spirit, of course, is the third person of the Trinity).

The same is shown in John 8:56–59, where Jesus directly claims to be Yahweh (“I AM”).

“‘Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day; he saw it and was glad.’ The Jews then said to him, ‘You are not yet fifty years old, and you have seen Abraham?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.’ So they took up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.”

Jesus’ audience understood exactly what he was claiming; that is why they picked up rocks to stone him. They considered him to be blaspheming God by claiming to be Yahweh.

The same truth is emphasized elsewhere. Paul stated that we are to live “awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). And Peter addressed his second epistle to “those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours in the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 1:1).

Jesus is shown to be God in dramatic fashion when Thomas, finally convinced that Jesus has risen, falls down and exclaims, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28) Jesus did not correct or chastise Thomas for making a mistake; He accepted Thomas’ worship as God.

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The evidence that Jesus claimed to be God is undeniable and irrefutable. Consequently, Baha’i may not simply ignore them; they must be reckoned with.

Once it is accepted that Jesus did claim to be God, then the resulting question is whether His claims are true. Ultimately, the possibilities are:

  1. Jesus was a lunatic. He was not God, but He genuinely believed that He was because He was mentally unstable.
  2. Jesus was a liar. He was not God, and He knew He was not God, but He claimed to be God anyway.
  3. Jesus was Lord. He was God, He knew He was God, and He proclaimed Himself to be God.

Lunatic, liar or Lord. Those are the options. Which will you choose?

great post randy.

The Baha’i faith has this covered too, if Jesus is God, because Baha’u’llah is sorta like all Gods and prophets all rolled up in one.Baha’u’llah is a new manifestation of God to modern Man.

Sometimes I read arguments non-trinitarians make concerning the deity of Christ; asking the question ‘is Jesus God or the son of God?’. After denying for example, John’s reference to the deity and eternity of Christ in John 1:1 (the definite article in the greek is missing referring to Christ they continue), they go on to say that what John meant, he made perfectly clear by saying Christ was the son of God (John 1:34 and numerous other passages). So what then? It’s clear: Jesus is the son of God and not God they conclude.

This leaves me with a big question with which to reply: Are you a human being or the son of a human being?

Recently many churches have gone hell wide with this contention. Is Jesus God? or the son of God? I must say they are both same and correct for Jesus said I am the son of God, my father dwells in me therefore I am. You see, you can not separate the son from the father for the son is a replica of the father. “My father dwells in me therefore I am.” if you have seen me you have seen my father for we are one.

I love the Father, Son and the holy ghost." Trinity God in one.

Understood. However, this thread addresses two questions and two questions only:

  1. Did Jesus claim to be God? (It was asserted in another thread that He did not.)
  2. What do we make of Him in light of that?

Let’s stay very, very focused.

But Baha’u’llah also claimed to be the 2nd coming of Christ from what I understand. (I’m not an expert in Baha’u’llah, but that’s what the internet says these days)

Obviously this contradicts scripture.

I think the reason he didn’t want to say he was God right from the start is because he wanted to keep this hidden from Lucifer. If the Devil knew for certain that he was God he would have not carried on with his plans to kill him.

What say we wait until some Baha’i actually respond to the OP? :wink:

It’s weekend.

Most Bahais are engaged in building an earth as it is in heaven.

We will be back :slight_smile:

Please enjoy your weekend praying for the works we are doing :wink:

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The counterargument is:

  1. Jesus said that the Father is greater than I. John 14:28
  2. Jesus said that He did not know the day or hour, but God the Father did. Matt. 24:36

Thanks for bringing this topic up!

It’s true Baha’is do not believe God physically incarnates Himself in a body… in fact we don’t believe the soul incarnates or reincarnates in physical bodies. The soul is associated with the body but is not in-carnated in the body:

**“To every discerning and illuminated heart it is evident that God, the unknowable Essence, the divine Being, is immensely exalted beyond every human attribute, such as corporeal existence [zuhur va buruz], ascent and descent, egress and regress.” ~ Baha’u’llah
**
Baha’is do believe Jesus was a Manifestation of God… that the attributes of God were perfectly reflected in Him…and that this perfection was innate…that is unearned. He didn’t need to go to school or travel to India to listen to sages or be taught… His perfection was innate.

The Manifestation of God is a Mediator between God and man that is specially sent by God for the edification of humanity… for it’s guidance. God does not leave us alone without Divine Guidance…

The first chapter of Hebrews is close to our belief and you’ll recall it goes something like this:

“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.”

In the Baha’i Writings it is also expressed in these words:

"These Tabernacles of holiness, these primal Minors which reflect the light of unfading glory, are but expressions of Him Who is the Invisible of the Invisibles. By the revelation of these gems of divine virtue all the names and attributes of God, such as knowledge and power, sovereignty and dominion, mercy and wisdom, glory, bounty and grace, are made manifest." ~ Baha’u’llah

:wink:

16After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, 17and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

God spoke to Jesus, the Father in heaven to the son he sent to earth.

Ok, what does… primal Minors…mean ?

Look at the OP. Did Jesus claim to be God?

I agree it is a good post. In my experience, sharing with them about your relationship with Him can not really be refuted by one who is seeking for God.

Yes, Christ claimed He was the Son of God.

Anyone who holds to the belief He was “only” and “manifestation” of God, is believing in goobly-gook. :wink:

I have a couple of hours available so I’ll be brief :slight_smile:

This indeed is a wonderful and comprehensive post :slight_smile:

Well summarised Randy :thumbsup:

May I ask what is it that makes you certain that all of these passages are not speaking to human understanding?

The Bahai Faith makes a significant and yet subtle distinction between God and the Word (and I believe Justin Martyr did too by referring to the Word as the First Born “of” God)

This distinction is critical yet to human beings living 2000 years ago there was no need to go deeply into this distinction.

Jesus is God, and to all senses of the word, from my petty and insignificant perspective that is true. Epistemologically true.

What makes you so certain that these passages are ontologically correct rather than epistemologically correct?

:slight_smile:

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Bahais would say the exact same thing dear friend.

We indeed have a very personal relationship with the Person of Baha’u’llah

God bless you :slight_smile:

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Probably a misprint… I didn’t notice. My glacoma…

Primal Mirrors:

“These Tabernacles of holiness, these primal Mirrors which reflect the light of …”

The full text reads:

“These sanctified Mirrors, these Day Springs of ancient glory, are, one and all, the Exponents on earth of Him Who is the central Orb of the universe, its Essence and ultimate Purpose. From Him proceed their knowledge and power; from Him is derived their sovereignty. The beauty of their countenance is but a reflection of His image, and their revelation a sign of His deathless glory. They are the Treasuries of Divine knowledge, and the Repositories of celestial wisdom. Through them is transmitted a grace that is infinite, and by them is revealed the Light that can never fade….These Tabernacles of Holiness, these Primal Mirrors which reflect the light of unfading glory, are but expressions of Him Who is the Invisible of the Invisibles. By the revelation of these Gems of Divine virtue all the names and attributes of God, such as knowledge and power, sovereignty and dominion, mercy and wisdom, glory, bounty, and grace, are made manifest.”

~ Baha’u’llah Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah pp. 47-48

reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/GWB/gwb-19.html.utf8?query=primal|mirrors&action=highlight#pg48

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