Jesus Is God: Jude and Peter Tell Me So


The epistles of Peter and Jude are often overlooked in preaching and Bible study. Not only are they nestled among the more popular letters of Paul and the book of Revelation, but portions of these epistles sound odd to our modern sensibilities. That wasn’t the case in the first century. We can better grasp the meaning of these letters if we understand what they have in common with influential ancient Jewish and Christian writings that were circulating at the time. One of those literary works is known to us today as 1 Enoch, a book Peter and Jude draw upon in their letters.

A quick aside about Enoch: First Enoch is placed in a collection of ancient Jewish and Christian writings known as the “pseudepigrapha.” This term is often misunderstood to mean “false writings,” but it actually describes literature that bears the name of a biblical figure who did not write the book named after him. (Think of the term “pseudonym,” meaning “pen name.”)

Jews and Christians of antiquity considered books such as 1 Enoch important resources for understanding biblical books and their theology. Peter and Jude were no exception. For example, Jude 14–15 draws directly from 1 Enoch.

1 Enoch 1:9 Jude 14–15
Behold, he comes with the myriads of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all, and to destroy all the wicked, and to convict all flesh for all the wicked deeds that they have done, and the proud and hard words that wicked sinners spoke against him. It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

All of the ideas found in 1 Enoch 1:9 can be found in three Old Testament passages (Jer 25:30–31; Isa 66:15–16; Zech 14:5). Rather than quote all three, Jude quotes the verse in 1 Enoch that combines them. But the real point of interest isn’t Jude’s succinctness; it’s his interpretation of 1 Enoch, as well as the Old Testament. In 1 Enoch 1:9 it is the “Great Holy One” (God) who is “coming with myriads of holy ones” from Sinai (1 Enoch 1:4) and who has promised to come to earth in the day of the Lord for final judgment. For Jude (as well as Mark and Paul; compare Mark 8:38; 1 Thess 3:13), this event is transformed into the return of Jesus Christ (Jude 17–18). By naming Jesus as the one coming with the holy ones, Jude equates Jesus with the God of Israel. Jude’s citation of 1 Enoch is his efficient strategy for declaring that Jesus is God.

Peter also draws freely upon 1 Enoch; his first letter contains roughly 20 allusions to 1 Enoch 108. First Peter 1:7–18 illustrates how Peter uses 1 Enoch to teach and encourage his audience.

1 Enoch 108:6–10 1 Peter 1:6–12
Here are thrown the spirits of the sinners and blasphemers and those who do evil and those who alter everything that the Lord has said by the mouth of the prophets (about) the things that will be done. For there are books and records about them in heaven above, so that the angels may read them and know what will happen to the sinners and the spirits of the humble, and those who afflicted their bodies, … those who love God, and do not love gold and silver and all the good things that are in the world; but gave their bodies to torment; … The Lord tested them much, and their spirits were found pure, so that they might bless his name. You have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him.… Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully … but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look … conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold.

These similarities show how both 1 Enoch and 1 Peter encourage the faithful to persevere. Their love for God is an earthly drama watched by angels. But like Jude, Peter turns the object of this love in 1 Enoch—the God of Israel—to Jesus. Peter is encouraging those of Jewish heritage to continue following Christ.

These parallels show us that both Peter and Jude want to strengthen the resolve of their readers to follow Jesus, the God of Israel revealed for them. By reading texts such as 1 Enoch, we can better understand the cultural background of the Bible. We can also see how the biblical writers engaged texts that shape their theology.

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why is the bible hard to understandDr. Michael S. Heiser is a scholar-in-residence for Faithlife, the makers of Logos Bible Software. He is the author of The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible and has taught many Mobile Ed courses, including Problems in Biblical Interpretation: Difficult Passages I.

This article is excerpted from Dr. Heiser’s book I Dare You Not to Bore Me with the Bible.

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Comments

  1. You certain make unique and valuable contributions to understanding the ancient context of the scriptures.

    Have you been able to determine either by textual criticism or internal evidence whether or not Enoch might not have been written after the canonical NT scrolls to know for sure who’s alluding to whom? Isn’t it possible that Enoch alludes to Jude et al?

    Thanks.

  2. Wolfgang Schneider says:

    Interpreting such passages as meaning that Jesus is God causes flat out contradictions with many, many passages which clearly distinguish between Jesus – that Messiah promised by God, a human who would be born of a woman, God’s only begotten Son – and God, Whom Jesus himself regarded to be the Only One Who alone is the true God (cp John 17:3).

    It seems that one should observe the fact and truth that the man Christ Jesus was sent was sent as God’s Son in the function of being also the major representative of God. Now, considering that a representative’s words and deeds were regarded AS IF the one who sent him was personally present speaking and doing, clears any contradictions .. In Jesus’ words, it was the same as if God Himself was speaking, BUT that did not make Jesus to be God. The coming of the Son of man in judgment at the end of the age in the above sense equals God Himself coming in judgment, BUT that does not make the Son of man Jesus to be God either. In such cases, the man Christ Jesus is saying and doing what God — Who is the Father (Jesus’ Father, our heavenly Father), Who is the Creator, Who is the Almighty, Who is the Ancient of Days, Who is the Holy One of Israel, etc — wanted Jesus to say and do …

    Thus, I don’t think, that Jude or Peter (or any other Biblical writer) are telling us that Jesus is God …. cp. Peter’s straight forward confession when asked by Jesus who he thought Jesus was, Peter did NOT say “you are God Almighty”, he said “you are the Christ (Messiah)”.

    • While I think it an understatement to say that the Messiah is “the major representative of God”, it is true that YHVH “put his name in” his angel, which Paul calls “Christ”:

      1Co 10:9 KJV – 9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.

      Exo 23:21 YLT – 21 be watchful because of his presence, and hearken to his voice, rebel not against him, for he beareth not with your transgression, for **My name is in his heart**;

      Col 1:19 NKJV – 19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,

      I like to compare Joseph’s exaltation to Pharaoh’s throne. He ruled with Pharaoh’s authority just as if he were the Pharaoh – but he never was. He was, if you please, “acting Pharaoh”.

      • I’ve enjoyed both your responses. I’m a bit confused on what you were asking us to do in regards to the Athanasian Creed though. Were you asking us to find the verses that support what the creed claims? It felt a bit “riding the fence”, given the current discussion.

        Anyway, while I’m loathe to admit any reduction in the status of Jesus as God, I’m also willing to concede that the title of “acting Pharaoh” does work. After all, while Christ was obviously more than what Wolfgang states, He has not yet fulfilled the purpose set out before Him in the Revelation. In that sense, Christ currently “rules at the right hand of the Father” interceding on our behalf, thus the admittance of “acting reagent”. I can get behind that. I think my main issue with the conversation so far has been that Wolfgang seems to be of a “inference scripture” type response, in that all the verses and scripture that has been provided has been simply “re-read” so that he’s not required to actually provide any textual or historical evidence of his position that seems to be “Jesus was basically a really, really good guy so God gave him the authority to forgive sins and such.” That idea I can’t see anywhere in the Bible.

        I assume he’d be hard pressed to find the differences then, between Melchizedek and Jesus.

        In the end, I particularly resonated with the rock throwing vs. iron sharpening iron observation. There seems to be a fine line between the two, and that line is essentially erased when these exchanges happen online and with anonymous people. It’s easy to get caught up in the hoopla.

        • Wolfgang Schneider says:

          You mention ” … I’m also willing to concede that the title of “acting Pharaoh” does work. After all, while Christ was obviously more than what Wolfgang states, …”
          As for the expression “working Pharaoh”, I think that it well describes the truth. It seems that the article and the posts in support of Trinity doctrine and “Jesus IS God” would actually claim that “Joseph WAS Pharaoh”, when in truth he was only “WORKING Pharaoh”. “Working Pharaoh” in itself already states that Joseph himself was NOT Pharaoh. This is my point … Jesus always did God’s will, He was anointed by God with holy spirit and with power (cp. Acts 10:38), He was given authority and power by God to do what he did, He acted on God’s behalf … BUT that did not make Jesus to actually be God, just as Joseph at no time actually was Pharaoh.
          Pharaoh did not change into Joseph, Pharaoh did not become Joseph … the one was Pharaoh, an Egyptian, etc ..the other was Joseph and not an Egyptian but a Hebrew. Pharaoh always had and also retained (!) in and of himself his authority and power as highest authority, Joseph did not in and of himself have such power and authority, but only had it because he was given it by Pharaoh, and we should note that of course Pharaoh always was above Joseph (even during the time Joseph was “working Pharaoh”) …God always has been the Highest, He has all power and authority in and of Himself, Jesus did not have in and of himself the power and authority (remember, he even stated “of myself I can do nothing” ?) but only had it after God had given it to him and as long as God did not change it.
          Jesus is called the last/second Adam .. Adam was a perfect human being when God formed, made and created him. Adam lost it when he sinned and transgressed God’s commandment in disobedience. Jesus also was a perfect human being with his miraculous conception etc. and Jesus always remained obedient to God and carried out God’s will … Jesus was without sin and REMAINED without sin because he always did God’s will (cp respective verses in Heb).
          Thus, looking at Jesus, one saw “God” … BUT NOT because Jesus was or is God, instead because Jesus did what God wanted done, Jesus lived and loved as God would have it done, etc. Jesus’ character and life displayed “God” … BUT he himself was not himself God.
          I would say that this truth is rather simple and actually easy to grasp and understand …. once one has put aside “Trinity theology colored” glasses.

        • There is strong “typology” regarding Joseph:

          Gen 41:43 KJV – 43 And he [Pharaoh] made him to ride in the **second chariot** which he had; and they cried before him, **Bow the knee**: and **he [Pharaoh] made him ruler over all the land of Egypt**.

          In my conversations with others regarding the lack of scriptural authority in the Creed they admit that it really rests on some direct transmission via secretly communicated tradition from Jesus to “Pete the Pope.” Somehow the scriptures that left no doubt about the role of a janitor is claimed to have “forgotten to mention” the little part out of the scriptures about:

          * the name, nature and number of Almighty Gods
          * what one must *also* believe to be saved

          Pretty heady stuff!

          We have the scriptures and they do not teach “Trinity” or that belief in the “Trinity” is essential for salvation. Isn’t that a bit of a problem??

          History shows us that the Trinity didn’t arise until long after the 1st century so they clearly didn’t receive it from Jesus or Peter. They invented it. And they enforced it by the sword.

          • I’ve always seen the concept of the Trinity to be in direct response to the inability of humanity to grasp the concept of God in the first place. It’s simply a framework in which we apply our limited understanding of the nature of God. I’m sure that you’ve heard of the difference between Essential and Peripheral doctrine. I actually consider the concept of the Trinity to be Peripheral, a conviction. It doesn’t actually define our salvation or the meaning of God in his relationship to man. Jesus is still our savior (required), God is still our only God (required) so on and so forth. While I may see the merit in a Trinity as a framework for understanding God, I certainly am not going to invoke judgement because someone else doesn’t see it.

            However, Wolfgang has still yet to mention a verse that explicitly states Jesus was not God, only stating that by inferring that because Joseph was reagent, we can infer that Jesus must have been reagent too, and case closed. This kind of philosophy simply doesn’t appeal to me, especially when the ending of each response is “the truth is quite simple” when in fact to declare it to be simple about an infinite (and biblically unknowable) God is about as arrogant as one can be. Even if I can see the premise of a reagent, which makes sense given the context of Philippians (that Jesus was God, and emptied himself to become man), that only addresses one half of the coin. What was he before he was formed in the womb? Coming to a full stop because there are no explicit verses that state without question “Jesus is God” is the very definition of putting your head in the sand. There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind, if they consider themselves to be Christian, that Jesus was divine. That’s not Catholic or Protestant doctrinal differences, that’s a biblical argument.

            It is my firm belief (also backed up by scripture) that God did not intend to give, as you state: Pete the Pope, all the answers to every metaphysical question one could have regarding the divinity of Jesus. There ARE distinct verses in the Bible regarding the so-called “search” that, once pursued, can give answers far beyond the Testaments written 2000 years ago, just as Jesus rewrote the books written 5000 years before that. All of it though, doesn’t change the underlying message: Jesus was the lamb slain before the foundation of the world, the Logos that was with God, and that the laws set up in the old Testament were types of Christ that would be necessary to “kick the can” down the road until our Messiah made himself known. These are truths that can be explored, prayed over and expanded upon.

            Anyway, I’ve appreciated the mild exchanges.

          • Wolfgang Schneider says:

            The Trinity is more than a peripheral doctrine in that it is in effect “Tritheism” (propagates Three Gods) disguised and cloaked in the claim of being “Monotheism” (the Three are mysteriously only One God). and thus that “Triune God” is actually non-existent in reality and solely a construct of a man-made religion.
            JC, you want to have a verse from me that states “Jesus is not God” … I mentioned Gal 4:4, which in connection with the truth that God can NOT be born, that a woman can NOT give birth to God, clearly teaches that Jesus was NOT God but a human being. You are not satisfied with this as it is not the verbatum statement you want.
            When asked to come up with a verse that states “Jesus is God”, you can’t come up with a verse either but also go the “indirect route” and claim Phi 2:5ff teaches what you claim. Don’t you realize that God does NOT change, thus God can NOT change from being God to being a human? Do you not realize that God nowhere is said “to empty himself of being God” ? Why don’t you simply read the passage in context – as I have encouraged – to realize that the passage is the top example for how believers (who are humans) are to think, for the mindset believers should have .. therefore it has nothing whatever to do with “emptying oneself of being God to become a man”. Paul mentions the humility of the MAN Christ Jesus, who – even though endued by God with all authority and power – submitted himself to God’s, His Father’s, will and gave his life as a ransom at the cross.
            You are wondering what Jesus was before his conception? Well, being a human being, what are human beings prior to their conception? In the case of Jesus, we are told in 1Pe 1:20 and John 1:1 that there was in God’s foreknowledge from even before the foundation of the world His plan of redemption with a Messiah (a human being) as the major figure … The Messiah thus existed in the form of WORD in God’s foreknowledge in His plan.
            This truth is very simple …. and I would consider the person that denies the simple truth in favor of adhering to religious fantasy as being the arrogant fellow, while adhering to what Scripture in fact plainly states and what God has revealed in Scripture about Himself and about His plan would be what should be normal and what would be appropriate.
            You consider God to be a “biblically unknowable” God … how then and from where would Trinity theologians and propagators KNOW what they claim God is?
            I believe what I read in Deu 29:29 and would therefore say that what can be known about God is revealed in Scripture and should be known and believed; which does not mean that everything about God has been revealed.
            All references in Scripture concerning Jesus are concerning THE MAN Christ Jesus … if they concern the time prior to his conception and birth, they are referring to the Messiah in God’s plan, if they concern the time after that they are about the man Jesus, as God’s plan then had become reality.

          • Final thoughts:

            Essentially Wolfgang has claimed by some alternate readings of every verse provided that his point is proved. That if we were to simply change what the meaning of what the words say (“I and my Father are one”), then obviously we can see the “simple” truth. This could be, of course, applied to every verse of the Bible, and therefore nothing about the Bible is technically true until someone (Wolfgang is our literary savior apparently) comes along and changes the meaning altogether to fit their paradigm. Even when Philippians 2:5-11 explains the entire process, Wolfgang simply reduces this passage as a “way humans are supposed to think” instead of what Christ was.

            KJV: 5 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:

            Pointing out a few notes here: “Being in the FORM of God, thought it not robbery to be EQUAL with God” and “took upon him the form…made in the LIKENESS of men”.

            ESV: Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
            6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped [taken advantage of],
            7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

            Let’s repeat it again: “Though he was in the form of God…born in the likeness of men.”

            NIV: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
            7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

            Aaaand the last time: “Being in very nature God…being made in human likeness.”

            We are not God, we are not in nature God, we are not the form of God. Humans are not, in any way, a type of God here on earth. In other words: your theory that were to apply this passage as a “human mindset” is absurd. It literally says, word for word, that Jesus was God. At this point, it’s either stubbornness or ignorance. Paul is saying that AS God, Christ could have used that power, but he didn’t. This isn’t double meaning, or…whatever Wolfgang is doing to apply some thesaurus type synonym thinking to what amounts to be a crystal clear picture of the nature of Jesus both before and after. Galatians 4:4 merely states what all four gospels talked about…so I’m not sure what that proves.

            We can discuss the application of the Trinity within the context of it’s absence of direct mention in the Bible. But to deny that Christ was divine is to essentially state you are not Christian. Which is fine, because it’s ok not to be Christian. What’s nigh blasphemy, though, is to claim that Jesus isn’t divine as a Christian.

            “and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord”

            He’s Lord not because God is Lord. He’s Lord because He is God. Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End. All biblical words, no reinterpretation needed.

            In the end, I hark back to Bill the Ruminator. Rocks have been thrown but nothing has been sharpened. Gonna move on now.

          • Wolfgang Schneider says:

            JC … you didn’t like what I mentioned regarding the statements in the passage in Phi 2:5ff … then you quoted the passage from KJV:
            KJV: 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

            Now, what do you think this verse 5 means? What do the words “Let this mind be in you” mean? and what does “which [the mindset believers were to have] was also in Christ Jesus” mean?

            A little later you write: ” In other words: your theory that were to apply this passage as a “human mindset” is absurd. It literally says, word for word, that Jesus was God.” In v. 5, who is encouraged to have the mentioned mindset which also was in Christ Jesus? Were these “you” to whom Paul was writing not humans?
            Also, not one of the verses in this passage “says, word for word, that Jesus was God” … not even in the translations you quote, some of which are not really translations but interpretations (those who have “nature” instead of “form”).

            I find it rather weird that you make such false accusations about me, as found in your recent post …

            As you can see above, I am only pointing out what the text actually says … whereas you turn out to be the one who is seemingly not accurately reading what the text does say.

          • More about Joseph as a type of Christ: https://enduringword.com/media/life-of-joseph/

    • Your response is reasonable, but contains only one half of a well researched coin. Speaking to your final paragraph of the admittance of the Apostles belief in Christ’s Godhood, in John 20:28, Thomas exclaims aloud “My Lord and my God!” after the resurrection, John himself claims in John 1:1,14 that the Word was God and became flesh. Paul in Romans 9:5 states “…the Christ who is God over all…”. And finally Peter straightforwardly states in 2nd Peter 1:1 “…by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ”.

      Jesus the Christ was man and God. Philippians 2:5-7 says that “though he was in the form of God” (what a claim!)…took the form of a servant (flesh, or man). Hebrews 1:3, Hebrews 1:8,10 (which references the famous Psalm by David) which states explicitly (God is speaking to Logos, Word or Jesus here): “But of the Son he says: Your Throne, oh God, is forever…”. These are clear references toward the divinity of Jesus as Christ. Or even “My Lord says unto my lord…”

      We can also use the authority Jesus used in the Gospels as proof of his divinity. He states in the Gospels “You have heard what was said…but I say unto you…”. Matthew 5:21-22 is a good example of this. Even Moses as the quinsentential lawgiver would always make it clear that “This is what the Lord says”. Jesus, on the other hand, made distinct references to his ability to forgive sins and reteach law. Only God has this authority, yet Jesus did it with impunity. Even as an emissary, as you might claim, no angel (who are also emissaries) would ever accept worship, and yet Jesus did. John recognized this as well in John 5:17-18 saying “the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because…he was calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God”. Finally, we see in Mark 2:27-28 “…so the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.” This would be the same son of man that Daniel saw (where you referenced the Ancient of Days) approaching the throne and being given dominion over all that is.

      If Jesus were only a prophet (which seems to be what you’re claiming as an emissary), then his actions were heretical in the most blasphemous sense. As God, in the form of man, though…it makes his actions perfectly acceptable.

      • Wolfgang Schneider says:

        Your premise on which you base your understanding seems to be the claim “Jesus the Christ was man and God.” However, the Bible knows no such “dual” type of beings, as “God-man” or “man-God”. Instead, Scripture makes a clear distinction between God and man stating that God is not a man. The idea of “both man and God” is clearly unbiblical.

        All the passages you mention can be understood in light of the truth that Jesus, the Messiah was solely a human being, NOT a God-man or a man-God.

        • I see your premise, but unless you can find a verse (or verses) that explicitly states that Jesus was not God, then you’re simply making a claim.

          Jesus forgave sins, that of itself was absolutely unique to Christ. No one else did this. Authority to forgive sin belongs to God alone. You can see the reaction to this in Luke 5:21 in which they say “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” and again in Luke 7:49 “…Who is this, who even forgives sin?”. Jesus even goes on to say in Luke 5:24 that “the Son of Man has authority on Earth to forgive sins.” Jesus is without a doubt the Son of Man. Stating a claim without using the evidence is a hope, not a fact. Your response contained no further evidence aside from the single verse in your initial response in which a time Peter was asked who Jesus was, Peter didn’t respond with “God” and so that means Jesus wasn’t God. That’s a bit of a stretch.

          Based on what you’re saying, any person whom God sent (Jonah comes to mind) as an emissary could be the Messiah. But we see that Jesus was the “lamb slain before the foundations of the world”.

          • Wolfgang Schneider says:

            You stated “I see your premise, but unless you can find a verse (or verses) that explicitly states that Jesus was not God, then you’re simply making a claim.” Have you found the verse (or verses) which explicitly state that Jesus was God ??
            I would say that any verse which states that Jesus was a human being, for example, verses which state that he was born of a woman … cp Mt 1:18-25; Gal 4:4, indirectly state that Jesus could not have been God because God is not a man, nor can a man be God.
            As for Jesus’ authority, I refer to Jesus’ own words that such authority he did have of himself but that it had been given to him by God.
            It seems far more of a stretch to conclude from Peter’s words “You are the Christ” (rather than “You are God”) that Peter thought Jesus was God. Also, in Acts 2 we read that Peter flat out stated that Jesus was a man ….don’t you think, Peter should have known whether Jesus was a man, a God or some “man-God”?

            To come back to the article: The point still is that neither Peter nor Jude do tell in the epistles that Jesus is God …. this is simply a conclusion of a theologian, but not what the texts actually state, is it?

        • It isn’t the conclusion of just one theologian.

          It’s the conclusion of 12 apostles, Paul, the author of Hebrews, David, Solomon, Isaiah and Ezekiel across thousands of years.

          The two verses you listed, even admitting that the evidence was indirect at best, are easily explained by Philippians 2:5-7. That’s already been established.

          John explicitly states in 5:17-18 “…making himself equal with the Father….” That’s not delegation, that’s equation. Either Jesus was right, and he was equal with God or the Jews were right, and Jesus was/is a fraud. There is no other alternative.

          John 10:30 “I and my Father are one.” and John later on in 1st John 5:7 where he declares that the Father, the Word [Jesus, obviously] and the Spirit are one.”

          Unfortunately, it appears you’ve only read verse 22. Continuing the whole chapter would make it clear that Peter was telling what Jesus was. Acts 2:36:
          “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

          That’s about as explicit as you can get. I also find it concerning that you casually dismissed the forgiving of sins by Jesus as if this was a normal thing to do. It wasn’t, and the fact Christ did it means again, either he was a liar or he was God in flesh.

          • Wolfgang Schneider says:

            I mentioned one theologian because the article making the claim about Peter and Jude was written by only one theologian.

            None of the 12 apostles, Paul, author of Hebrews, David, Solomon, Isaiah or Ezekiel had any idea about a Holy Trinity, nor did they believe or teach that Jesus was God.

            In Phil 2:5-7 Paul mentions Christ’s attitude as the prime example for believers to follow (cp. Phili 2:5 …”Let this mind be in you …”). Obviously, no believer could have a mind involving lowering oneself from being God to becoming a man; thus it is clear that this Trinitarian idea is non-sense.

            The John 10:30 etc “are one” expression simply means “are of one mind, purpose”.

            I have no idea how you arrive at the idea that Acts 2:36 says or indicates anything about Jesus is God … actually, the verse clearly distinguishes between “God” and “him [Jesus]” who was made both Lord and Christ by God. Peter did not say anything about Jesus is God in this passage either.

            As for “forgiving of sins”, I would suggest you carefully read who said what in the exchange where this matter is mentioned. God has given the Messiah the authority to forgive sins … and those Jews had the idea of “only God can forgive sins” just did not think that God could delegate and grant His Messiah such authority as well.

            Instead of the phrase “Jesus is God”, you bring up the expression “Jesus is God IN THE FLESH” … what do you think this expression means? Does it even mean that Jesus = God? or does it mean something else? In other words, since Scripture does not know this “God in the flesh” term, and you use it, I would hope that you can explain the meaning of it in some simple plain words.

  3. There are many passages which address this issue. To begin with, Peter was speaking out of two things in his response to our Lord’s question “Who do you say that I Am?” First he was voicing the belief most of Jesus’ followers had; that Jesus was going to set up a kingdom and overthrow the Romans. Second, the Jews were expecting a Messiah, but they did not have a clear understanding of who or what he was going to be. It is clear even our Lord’s own family did not understand His role or His mission. The idea that Jesus was a man who did not exist before coming to the earth is described in a heresy called “Adoptionism”. Jesus himself stated ” I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30). He also stated
    “If you have seen Me you have seen the Father”. (John 14:9) Finally, by believing that Jesus was just a man? There is no man, whose sacrificial death could give eternal life to those who accept that sacrifice and believe in him as a savior. A mortal could never atone for an offense against the Divine. Only a divine sacrifice could atone for our offenses against our Divine God.

    • Wolfgang Schneider says:

      Mt 16:15-17 provide in rather plain words, that Jesus had asked Peter to find out what his disciples thought in contrast (!) to what others thought concerning who Jesus was (notice the “BUT whom say ye …” in Mt 16:15) V. 17 also makes clear that Peter’s words were NOT giving ideas which were held by the Jews, but was rather answering telling a truth which had been revealed to him by God (also note, that God according to Jesus’ words was IN HEAVEN, thus obviously Jesus did not consider himself to be that God, since he was not in heaven … cp Mt 16:17)
      As for John 10:30, it should be clear that Jesus’ words (“I and the Father are one”) do NOT mean that Jesus is claiming to actually be the same God that his Father is … rather one should note that the word “one” is neuter gender (easily seen in a translation in a language which has different word forms for different genders, something the English language does not have) and simply means that Jesus considered himself and God, his Father, to be “of one mind, one purposes”, a truth Jesus expressed at other occasions as well when he stated that he was doing the Father’s will and not his own will, etc.
      As for “If you have seen Me you have seen the Father” (John 14:9) nobody would be so foolish as to argue that these words mean that Jesus WAS his own Father and therefore someone looking at him would be looking at the Father. In what Jesus said and did, which was always in accordance and in harmony with what the Father wanted said and done, one could see the Fathers will in action.
      As for whose death could atone for sin and be a sacrifice for sin, Scripture is as plain as day that Jesus’ death accomplished that … just as Scripture is plain and clear that God can NOT die. This truth alone does away with ideas of Jesus being God, since Jesus did in fact die .. Of course, the sacrifice had to be a man because it had been a man (Adam) who committed the sin, it was not God who sinned, nor was it an animal that had sinned … therefore the death of an innocent man, giving his life as a ransom, was necessary and could give eternal life to those who believe in that human Messiah and his sacrifice.
      Truth is very simple …

  4. I like to distinguish between “iron sharpening iron” and a “rock fight” in that when sharpening each other’s sword one responsibly addresses the argument of the other by dealing with the other’s best arguments before moving on to new material. In a “rock fight” each party has a collection of “proofs” and answers each “salvo” with another salvo of new arguments. That is the tragedy of discussions about “Trinity. So there’s that.

    But much more important is that what we need demonstrated is the value of the Creed of Athanasius because let’s face it, no one picks up the gospel of John and thinks to himself, “Huh! Apparently God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are all eternally equal and of the same substance, not dividing the substance…”. No, before being “baptized” or becoming a “member of a Church” or “receiving the Eucharist” or otherwise “buy and sell” in Christendom they learn that they either confess to the Creed or take a hike. And any “temptation” from then on to understand inductively what the scriptures are really saying about God is by necessary coupled with the caution that they must not under any circumstance depart from the creedal formulation on pain of eternal damnation, rejection from the “Church” and refusal of baptism, etc.

    So for me, it is the Creed of Athanasius, not the scriptures that provide the real battleground for the Truth. For those who are in a corporately owned and controlled “Church”, conformity to this creedal rule is “Section One” of the “beliefs” of a “Church”, followed secondly about “We believe the Bible to be the sole source of…”. The irony is thick.

    So I’ve lost interest in rock fights because they go nowhere. So this is my simple, simple, simple challenge to those who believe that failing to confess to the Creed of Athanasius:

    Below are the 44 assertions of the creed. All you have to do is take the Creed in one hand and your favorite Bible and locate where each of those assertions made in the Creed are also made in the scriptures. Then report back with the results. If you can find the same assertions made in scripture (and I’m not talking about inferences, such as saying “Well, because of John 1:1 we can infer that God is not in parts”. No, one can “prove” anything using the scriptures in that way (and most people do, creating havoc).

    I don’t expect anyone to take the challenge and return suggesting that they found the scriptures that say the same thing because they are not made in scripture.

    If, however, some upstart does find the assertions made in scripture then they can win us heretics over. If not, maybe you should join us?

    https://www.ccel.org/creeds/athanasian.creed.html

    Athanasian Creed
    1. Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith;

    2. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

    3. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;

    4. Neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance.

    5. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit.

    6. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.

    7. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit.

    8. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated.

    9. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.

    10. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.

    11. And yet they are not three eternals but one eternal.

    12. As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensible, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.

    13. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty.

    14. And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.

    15. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God;

    16. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.

    17. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord;

    18. And yet they are not three Lords but one Lord.

    19. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord;

    20. So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say; There are three Gods or three Lords.

    21. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.

    22. The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten.

    23. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

    24. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.

    25. And in this Trinity none is afore or after another; none is greater or less than another.

    26. But the whole three persons are coeternal, and coequal.

    27. So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

    28. He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.

    29. Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    30. For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.

    31. God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of substance of His mother, born in the world.

    32. Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.

    33. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.

    34. Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.

    35. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of that manhood into God.

    36. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.

    37. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ;

    38. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead;

    39. He ascended into heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Father, God, Almighty;

    40. From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

    41. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies;

    42. and shall give account of their own works.

    43. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.

    44. This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved.

    By the way, while I’m not a Trinitarian I do think Dr. Heiser has helped me see more clearly the scriptures related to the relationship between the Father and the son more clearly: “my name is in him”…