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They answered and said to him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. But as it is, you are seeking to kill me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. John 8:39-40 NASB

Can we say he is also God if we take this verse as Jesus' honest words of truth?

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  • 1
    Why would you think it would against the proponderance of evidence from scripture that attests to the deity if Christ?
    – oldhermit
    Sep 19 at 13:41
  • 3
    The answer is "YES" if you simply focus on this one text - but Biblical theology is not "cafeteria" theology - we cannot pick and choose. we MUST consider all the Bible data! Jesus was 100% human and 100% divine; fully God and fully man.
    – Dottard
    Sep 19 at 21:24
  • 2
    Interesting - If you did as you suggest, that wouldn't be the conclusion. You make a Saviour of your own design. who only 1/2 died according to your theology, ignoring Rom 6:9 and a host of others that make him not God at all but His representative in all things as the 2nd Adam.
    – steveowen
    Sep 19 at 22:09
  • 2
    It is total folly to ask this question, especially in light of verse 24. Jesus exists eternally, he is divine. Sep 20 at 3:12
  • 2
    Jesus presents himself as fully man and fully God. Depending on the text examined, either the one or the other will be emphasised. If you chop the Bible (a collection of books, intended to be read as such) up into a thousand ‘proof texts’… Also, one can miss thematic attestations to his deity because one is too focused on the words of the text only. So, in the gospels Jesus takes the throng out to a desert(ed) place and feeds them with supernatural food. Hmm.. who did this in the OT? There are tonnes of these thematic statements that Jesus makes through his actions. Sep 20 at 9:56
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Jesus says plainly he is a man - does John 8:40 preclude him from also being God?

Answer: No. Jesus was physically a man and spiritually God.

This same question might be asked slightly differently: "How could Christ be a Son of God at all?" Is He not an eternal Being? To answer this, we need to differentiate between Christ's physical Being, His earthly body as Jesus (through Mary) and His eternal nature as God: His Spirit (through the Holy Spirit). Suppose we focus on the beginning of John's Gospel:

John 1:1-3: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being” (emphasis added).

There does not seem to be any ambiguity regarding Christ’s eternal identity here. He is "The Word." We see this same characterization of Christ in the Book of Revelation:

Revelation 19:13: “He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God” (emphasis added).

Again, we see "The Word" representing the second Person of the Godhead. It seems that, eternally, the Figure we call Jesus, the Son of God, or Christ is “The Word.” We might slightly paraphrase Revelation 19(:13) as follows: “He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and He is The Word.”

Another question that is just as profound is the idea of one Member of the Godhead "becoming" or being "begotten." How can God ever be either of these things? Well, assuming that words have meaning — and God is not a god of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33), there appears to be only one way out of this conundrum. That is, three Beings exist, all of the same (spiritual) nature: The Father, The Word, and The Spirit.

This may be the contentious part of my response: The only way to view Christ as the "Son of God" is historically. How can we know this? Well, we are told several times that "The Word" became flesh, that is, the self-existing Word became a human being:

John 1:14: "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth" (emphasis added).

Note the terminology: "The Word became flesh" and "[The Word] dwelt among us." If this is insufficient, the Letter to the Hebrews seems to clearly indicate that there was a specific day when Christ, the human being, was begotten:

Hebrews 1:5: “Today I have begotten You.”

To which day do you suppose God (the Father) is referring? Naturally, we must be talking about Christ’s physical birth as the baby Jesus in Bethlehem. The incarnate God-Man, Christ Jesus, was made in God’s image, but He was far more than that. This is why “we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten” (Jn. 1:14).

Suppose we now contemplate several passages in Scripture that speak more fully to this matter:

1. John 1:18: “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God [Christ] who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him” (emphasis added).

It seems that even as an incarnate man of flesh and blood, Christ’s cognitive Being still uniquely identified with the Father. That is because He was still God just as John 1:18 tells us. Christ was always God, eternally “The Word” and temporally as the historical Figure, Jesus Christ.

2. When God became incarnate, He would do so as a son of the Father. The Book of Isaiah reads:

Isaiah 9:6: “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”

First, a child (Jesus, the Christ) would be born (i.e. incarnation of the Word). Further, the text suggests that the fullness of the Godhead, that is the Trinity, dwelled in Christ. [Note: The "child" is identified by four specific terms, all of them characteristic of a member of the Godhead: Father, Word, or Spirit: "Wonderful Counselor" (Spirit?), "Mighty God" (Father/Christ), "Eternal Father" (Father), "Prince of Peace" (Christ).]

3. The truth of these identities in Christ appears to be revealed elsewhere as we observe the Letter to the Colossians:

Colossians 2:9: “For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (emphasis added).

The only way the "fullness of Deity" could dwell in Christ, was if He maintained a flawless relationship to the Father while on earth:

John 3:13: "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven" (NKJV, emphasis added).

These words may explain more than we first realized.

4. One of the intents of this response is to reconcile the term "only begotten Son" with a Being Who is not begotten. In the realm of the eternal, this is The Word. Christ was physically a son of God, just as Adam was a son of God (Lk. 3:38). His divinity was that of the Father (God). Deity is never “begotten”: as Christ, the eternal God walked the earth while maintaining His intimate relationship with Heaven.

Now, let us observe the passage from the OP:

John 8:40: "But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do" (emphasis added).

Indeed, Christ was physically a man. However, let us now contrast this with the Gospel of John only a few verses later:

John 8:56-58: "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” 57So the Jews said to Him, 'You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?' 58Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.'"

The statement "I AM" (Jn. 8:58) is an unequivocal declaration of the deity of Christ as God (cf. Ex. 3:6, 14-15, etc.). It is the reason the Jews sought to stone Him: He identified Himself as an integral part of the eternal Godhead.

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According to the Bible, man is not, nor cannot be, God. If one but considers for a moment, this makes sense, because Man is created, but God is not nor could ever have been.

But let's look at the evidence from the Bible itself.

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? (Numbers 23:19, KJV)

And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent. (1 Samuel 15:29, KJV)

So, inasmuch as Jesus stated, as the question says:

But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. (John 8:40, KJV)

...Jesus positions himself as one of us, and not as God. In fact, if he were here speaking as God, as he does do at times--for he speaks the Father's words and/or the Father speaks through him, it would not make much sense that he says he has heard the truth "of God." Why would God need to hear the truth, and why from Himself?

But in fact, Jesus tells us that the Father is his God.

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, KJV)

The Father, Jesus teaches us, is both his God and our God; his Father and our Father.

Conclusion

In John 8:40 Jesus is not speaking as God, for man is not and cannot be God. However, there are other times when God, who is the Father, speaks through Jesus in such a way that Jesus appears to speak as God.


For reference and deeper study:

See also Mal. 2:10; Eph. 4:6; Acts 17:28; Rom. 11:36; Jn. 13:13; Acts 2:36; Php. 2:11; Jn. 1:3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2; Gal. 3:20; Heb. 9:15; Jn. 17:3. Or CLICK HERE to see them in BlueLetterBible.

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John 8:

40 But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do.

Jesus says plainly he is a man - does John 8:40 preclude him from also being God?

Most of the time, this is true. However, there were exceptions, e.g., Genesis 32:

24 Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was dislocated while he wrestled with him.

Jacob was wrestling physically with a physical man.

26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” But he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have contended with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29And Jacob asked him and said, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And he blessed him there. 30 So Jacob named the place Peniel, for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared.”

Apparently, Jacob had wrestled with God/man.

Jesus says plainly he is a man - does John 8:40 preclude him from also being God?

Most of the time, this line of reasoning works but not always.

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  • 1
    There is, perhaps, another aspect here. When God as "The Word" "lowered/humbled Himself" (Heb. 2:9, Phil. 2:8) as a human being, He may have been considerably detached from His full deity (thus the expression "humbled Himself"). It would probably have required the gift of the Father and H/S to occasionally intervene and provide Jesus HIs power over the miraculous. We as humans are extraordinarily subdued and oblivious to spiritual realities because our human body restricts what we can and cannot do. Christ was obviously God for no mortal could have resisted temptation and sin. +1.
    – Xeno
    Sep 19 at 16:01
  • "There is, perhaps, another aspect here." Definitely. But I'm a minimalist. My answer is minimal. If the OP follows up, then I'll say more. But you are definitely correct :)
    – Tony Chan
    Sep 19 at 16:12
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You are right that Jesus, according to several passages in the Synoptic Gospels refutes to be God, most clearly in Mark 10:18 and Mark 13:32.

John often implies in his Gospel that Jesus is somehow God without saying it explicitly, but in this passage the claim of Jesus is still in the range of what should have been acceptable to the Jews:

"A man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God" is simply a claim that he is a prophet, as prophets before him also told the truth that they heard from God.

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Jesus says plainly he is a man - does John 8:40 preclude him from also being God?

They answered and said to him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. But as it is, you are seeking to kill me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. John 8:39-40 NASB

The premise to this answer is not complex. Jesus cannot say he is a man if he is also (somehow) God.

No one says Jesus is God in the entire NT. Apart from a few ambiguous verses that need some reading-in to make them say different to all other scripture, there is total silence about Jesus being anymore than a (sinless, holy) man. Scripture says, Jesus says, he is a man, a second Adam. Was Adam Mk1 a hybrid? No, why would Adam Mk2 be? Why is he called an Adam if he is also God!?

After his resurrection, ascension and exaltation he is still... a man!

He (God) will judge the world with justice by the man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead. Acts 17:31

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus. 1 Tim 2:5

…the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ. Rom 5:15

The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. 1 Cor 15:47

Jesus is still the man with a God. Does God have a God? No. Are there two Gods? No. Does one 'God' worship and obey the other God? No.^1

Jesus is certainly of heaven - he is not of this world. Neither are the disciples 'of this world'.

They are not of the world, as I am not of the world. John 17:16

As a human, he cannot have come from heaven 'literally' just as other things God provides and sends don't 'literally' come from there either.^2

Jesus said to them, "Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. John 6:32

In 1John 1 the logos is described not as a person, but an aspect of God - a "which" and a 'what". No one describes God as a which" and a 'what". While John 1 personifies the logos, we cannot make up theology on that passage while ignoring all the rest. Personification does not a 'person' make. Just as it would be imprudent to suggest 'Wisdom' is a person, the logos is no different.

  • Lacking any scriptural support for an incarnation as promoted by traditional theology, we must re-consider where Jesus originated from.
  • We know he was born of Mary and when that happened. This coincides with the logos becoming flesh.
  • As the logos was not a person or entity of its own consciousness, we must see Jesus as having a beginning at his conception and birth.
  • Further, lacking any mention of a 'God the Son' (also from tradition and not scripture) we again have no basis for Jesus' pre-existence, EXCEPT, in prophecy and the will and plan of, and foreknown (1 Peter 1:20) by, God - Jesus is central to His salvation plan for mankind from the foundation of the world Rev 13:8, Matt 25:34, 13:35, Heb 4:3, Eph 1:4

God is not a deceiver - that is the devil's purpose in this age. Jesus, the son of God, being the image and form of God, the agent and heir and judge - does not make him God, No! But His chief representative in all things, Yes!

So IF Jesus IS also God, then his expression, "a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God" is at the very least a deception, at worst, a lie! If he was God, he wouldn't be hearing anything from God. In attempts to avoid this glaring problem that confronts 'Jesus is God' adherents throughout the NT, Jesus has been reinvented with two natures. Creating even more problems within scripture...

  • A double-minded 'person' with a will that differs from God and one that is of God.
  • A Saviour that only 1/2 dies (even though he was 'mastered by death' Rom 6:9).
  • A fraudster that cannot be really tempted or sin.
  • A paradox of being the Creator (per John 1) and the heir to all created Heb 1.
  • In whom 'dwelt' the fullness of deity Col 2:9 and (allegedly) was Deity.^3

Earlier in the chapter of John 8

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed him, “If you continue in my word, then you are truly my disciples; 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” ... So if the son sets you free, you really will be free.

Jesus' plain word is - he is a man. The Apostles say he is a man and still is! Why can we not simply believe who he says he is? Why must we endorse the doctrines of men and shun the Word provided by God?

How weighty a burden many bear, believing the loving, humble, obedient sacrifice of the holy human son of God wasn't enough to save all from the penalty of sin. To make Jesus God and by refusing all the evidence, is to say, 'nuh, sorry, Jesus, you're not good enough!' Wow! This confusion, mystery and unbiblical theology is not of God revealed in and by His word. Where then is it from?

Why isn't the Jesus revealed in the bible enough as ONLY a man - like he said!?

...a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God.

^1 for those who think 'worshipping Jesus makes him God'.

^2 James 1:17, Mal 3:10, John 1:6, John 6:32

^3 A list of how Jesus is not remotely like God - certainly not equal

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  • Since you quoted 1 John 1:1 can you please explain to all of us here if the verse is describing an "aspect" of the person of Jesus Christ? "What was from the beginning, what we have "HEARD," what we have "SEEN" with our own "EYES", what we beheld and our "HANDS" have handled, concerning the Word of Life-- Also notice John 1:4, "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men." The kind of life indicated by the Greek word zoe specifies the highest form of life known in Scripture. "The Word" is the author of our life. John indicates not only spiritual life, but all forms of life.
    – Mr. Bond
    Sep 22 at 18:02
  • @Mr.Bond no matter how many times it is explained, you have an issue of the timeline of logos---Jesus. When you read theology into the text as you do, then it will never make sense - always having to put some scripture aside as it does not properly fit. Beginning with christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/84384/… should assist.
    – steveowen
    Sep 22 at 22:00
  • I did not read anything into the text. I quoted "verbatim" the exact words of 1 John 1:1 and John 1:4. Your the one who brought up the word "aspect." You said this in your stackexchang answer. "But can we, or can we not, presume to say, 'In the beginning was Jesus'?" Actually, Jesus existed eternally before the beginning here at John 1:1 and at Genesis 1:1. The main thought of Genesis 1:1 is WHAT HAPPENED in the beginning. The emphasis at John 1:1 is on WHO EXISTED in the beginning. What sense does it make for the Logos/Word to be with God and is God? Are we not stating the obvious?
    – Mr. Bond
    Sep 22 at 22:27
  • "Jesus existed eternally" is quite simply suppositional. The bible says nothing on this, so you must be reading in. A man, as Jesus says he is, cannot exist eternally. So either you have the wrong name or the wrong truth.
    – steveowen
    Sep 22 at 22:40
  • Well perhaps you can explain John 1:2-3. "He (or literally "This one) was in the beginning with God." If your with a person you can't be that person. Verse 3, "All things came into being by/through Him, and APART (which means without Him) nothing came into being that has come into being." To back this up the Apostle Paul says at Colossians 1:16, "For BY Him all things were created, in the heavens and on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or authorities, ALL THINGS have been created BY Him and for Him." Explain why Jesus is identified as the creator?
    – Mr. Bond
    Sep 22 at 23:13
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Philippians 2:8

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

King James Version (KJV) Notice the words "in fashion as." The Bible says, and the man, Jesus? Jesus is our Father. We are made in his image. The Unseen Father was in Jesus, keeping Jesus alive.

Matthew 15:9

But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
The Unseen Father, who Jesus obeyed, did not want people to worship a man.'
Jesus was God visually seen having blood in him.

The writers of this article are justifying the Scribes and Pharisees for trying to push Jesus off of a cliff and stone Jesus.

A man cannot judge anyone to determine who lives forever and who dies forever. The light that does that would burn up sinful flesh.

Whoever is like Jesus will not be of the world. Jesus is not of the world. People are of the world. The Unseen Father talked through Jesus.

Jesus glorified the Unseen Father, even as we need to glorify the Unseen Father. Jesus is our example.

A Blasphemer says that Jesus was a man, or a man – God. Blood in the physical form of God is what made Jesus be like us. Jesus did not have blood in him when resurrected. Jesus moved through the boulder, and a wall, to get where the disciples were. Jesus said: Spirit does not have flesh and bone like you see me have. Jesus did not talk about blood. Thomas, who had faith, reach out to touch the wounds on Jesus. A faithless devil would have recoiled in horror, knowing that Jesus was alive.
John 8:58

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

King James Version (KJV) Jesus was Melchizedek who Abraham saw. That was the priest above all priests, and King of Peace called King of Shalom. 1 Corinthians 2:8 KJV: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. Christ's legs would have been broken, just like the two thieves on either side of Jesus, had Jesus be a man. The fallen Lucifer was working through Christ's enemies and face to face with Jesus trying to find a fault in Jesus. Satan tried to get Jesus to take on the character of the I will prove it to you, Satan. Satan would have won, being able to steal the throne that Jesus sits on. That would have happened had Jesus jumped from a high place. Jesus would have done what Satan wanted, rather than what the Unseen Father wanted. Satan would have obtained the throne Jesus sits on, had Jesus spoken a single word amiss when the Scribes and Pharisees confronted Jesus. Satan would have won, had Jesus not said the right words when given a coin. Satan would have won had Jesus made stones to be made into bread, to satisfy his own hunger, proving that he was the Lord of Glory. Satan’s offer of the kingdoms of the world being accepted would have made Satan win. The Unseen Father would have been cast into Satan’s prison. Preaching to the lost would not have occurred. 1 Peter 3:19 – 20, KJV, old Scofield study Bible. Jesus would have remained in hell, or under the earth, inside the tomb. The person saying Jesus is a man is possessed by Satan who wants people to use money. Money makes God's image to be against itself saying no to itself. God, the gift giver needs to be in our minds. The world needs to get rid of it. Christmas imitates ask and receive, seek and find. Money is still used. I judge rightly, yip, yip, yep.

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    Sep 22 at 17:50
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"If you are children of Abraham, you would do things Abraham was doing" (John 8:40), and what was Abraham doing? He was believing in God who resurrects the dead (Hebrews 11:19) and rejoiced in Him, i.e., in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose "Day" (John 8:56), that is to say, whose salvific action for mankind - the incarnation, death and resurrection - he saw in divine revelation through his spiritual eyes, through which revelation he rejoiced also with a clear faith and prospect that Isaak would be restored to him in fullness of life.

Thus, in the given quotation the Lord says to the Jews standing there that since they deny the deeds of Abraham and do not believe in Him that it is He who resurrects the dead not with the power of prayers, as a prophet or saint, or apostle (like the apostle Peter did) who are only servants of God, but as God, that is to say, by His sovereign authority that He fully shares with the Father, and in virtue of this authority, without prayers or asking permission to anybody, just like He rose to life Lazarus with an authoritative command ("Lazarus, come out!") and without prayers (John 11:43); and He resurrected His own dead body again by His sovereign authority ("I have authority to give my life and authority to take it back" /John 10:18/). Thus, "deed of Abraham", principally, is faith in divinity of Christ.

Since so, then one can see even an irony in the saying "a man who has told you truth", that is to say, "when Abraham regards Me as God, putting in Me the hope and faith for his son's resurrection, and you regard me as only a man, think how far from Abraham's faith you are"; for, in fact, if they take the words of this man, Jesus Christ, to be true and understand their meaning, then He cannot be considered as simply a man but God also. Just like in Luke 18:19 when He reprimands a youth for regarding Him “good” just in human terms and not in divine terms of being the Fountainhead of Goodness, God Himself.

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  • @Down-voter Hey, my dear! How's life? Any counter-arguments as to my post? Because these are serious matters and if you think you rightly disagree, then you must feel an obligation to help me out of my errors. But, I do not think you have counter-arguments, just truth said by me bites your ungrounded conviction and that's it, but truth will prevail in you also as in me for it is not to me or to you that truth belongs. Have a good day! Oct 1 at 5:14
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Jesus said in John 10:30, "The Father and I are one." God can manifest Himself as the Son and still be God. With God all things are possible.

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