Sunday, May 06, 2007

Book VI Contra Brian Holtz

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The New Testament never clearly states that Jesus is God
1. Holtz: "The title of 'God' is never reliably applied to Jesus anywhere in the New Testament. (In many translations of 2 Pet 1:1 and Titus 2:13, the description 'God and Saviour' is seemingly applied to Jesus, but the scholarly consensus regards these two letters as late and pseudoepigraphic.)"
Editor: What scholarly consensus? Holtz needs to provide the names of individual scholars and state their reasons for regarding the statements attributed to St. Peter and St. Paul as such.

Explicit Scriptural Proofs that Jesus is God
2. Holtz: "Acts quotes [2:22, 2:36, 3:13, 10:38, 17:31] Peter and Paul describing Jesus in terms of a man appointed to an office, but never calling him God. The gospel authors never explicitly claim Jesus to be God, and the closest they come is the vague language of Jn 1: 'the Word was God' and 'became flesh.' John quotes Thomas exclaiming [Jn 20] 'my Lord and my God,' but immediately states [20:31] as a creed merely 'that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.' The 'mystery' of Jesus' nature was hardly clarified by the Apostles [e.g. Phil 2:6, Rom 1:4, Col 1:15, Col 2:9], whose epistles never claim Jesus has any kind of identity with God. (Christian scribes tried to change that; cf. the differing manuscripts for Rom 9:5, Acts 20:28, and 1 Tim 3:16.) Even the alleged angelic annunciation of Jesus to his parents ommitted [sic] [Lk 1:32, Mt 1:20, Mt 2:13, Mt 2:20] the claim that Jesus was Yahweh incarnate."
Editor: Rom 9:5 calls Christ God: "Of whom is Christ according to the flesh, Who is over all things, God blessed forever." The Messiah is God, for it is written [Jer 23:5-6], "I will raise up to David a just Branch, and this is what they shall call Him, the Lord our just One." To be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords belongs to God alone, and Christ "was clad in a garment sprinkled with blood, and His name was called, the Word of God: and He has on His garment and on His thigh written, King of Kings and Lord of Lords" [Rev 19:13,16]. In Christ "dwells all the fullness of the Godhead" [Col 2:9], which cannot be said of any creature and thus must refer to God. The Father and Son have the same Essence and Divine Nature, for it is written, "All things whatsoever that the Father has are Mine" [Jn 16:15] and "All Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine" [Jn 17:10]. Man was created in the image of God [Gen 1:26] but as a created substance he does not represent God in His substance. Now Christ cannot be a creature because He, as "the image of the invisible God" [Col 1:15], perfectly represents God in His very substance, for St. Paul says Christ is "the splendor of His glory, and figure of His substance." Unlike any creature, Christ is omniscient and therefore must be God, for St. Paul says [Col 2:3] that in Christ "are hidden all treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Thus Brian Holtz is wrong in his assertion that the passages from the Epistles do not claim that Jesus is God.

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