Wrested Scriptures

The Trinity


Common
Trinity
 Personality
   of the Spirit
 Christ
   Preliminary
  Strategy
  Genesis 1:26
  Genesis 3:22
  Isaiah 9:6
  Matthew 1:23
  Matthew 28:19
  John 1:1-3
  John 3:13
  John 5:23
  John 6:33,38,51
  John 6:62
  John 8:23
  John 8:28
  John 8:58
  John 10:17,18
  John 10:30
  John 14:9
  John 17:5
  John 20:28
  Romans 9:5
  Philippians 2:6
  Col. 1:15,16
  Eph. 4:8-10
  Hebrews 1:2
  Hebrews 1:8
  Hebrews 1:10-12
  Hebrews 7:3
  Hebrews 10:5
  1 John 4:3
  1 John 5:20
  Revelation 3:14
Soul
Heaven
Hell
Satan/Demons
"Saved"
Baptism
Resurrection
Antichrist

Unique
Catholic
Mormon
SDA
JW
British Israel
Church
of Christ
Pentecostal
Islam

Science
Miracles
Evolution
Creation
Carbon Dating

Inspiration
Partial
Contradictions
& Inaccuracies

John 8:28
"Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things."
Problem:
It is argued that since Jesus says, "I am," he is alluding to the divine name, thereby in effect telling the Jews that he is "Very God".
Solution:

The problem occurs when verse 28 is pulled out of its context. To properly understand what Jesus said in verse 28 one needs to read the preceding verses:

John 8:23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. 25 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning. 26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. 27 They understood not that he spake to them of the Father. 28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

Verse 23 is crucial to a proper understanding of what Jesus was referring to when he later uses the phrase "I am." In verse 23, Jesus introduces the first of a series of three "I am" statements. Jesus starts by stating, "I am from above." It would only be natural that when Jesus subsequently uses "I am" in verses 24 and 28 that he is referring back to the original "I am from above" statement in verse 23. Therefore the context needs to be considered in order to better understand what the subsequently abbreviated "I am" statements are referring to.

One must keep in mind Jesus' "I am from above" statement in verse 23 when he later states, "Ye will die in your sins…if ye believe not that I am." In other words, Jesus was warning the Jews, "Ye will die in your sins…if ye believe not that I am from above (i.e., from my Father)… When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am from above (i.e., from my Father)." Rather than declaring that he was God, Jesus was warning the Jews that he had been sent by God ("from above" v. 23).

It is important not to yank Jesus' "I am" statements out of their context. Jesus did not claim to be God, but rather, God's Son as the prophet declares in Psalm 2, anointed and sent by God, speaking and acting as His Father instructed. We can see this by the additional statements made by Jesus in the very same chapter as the "I am" statements. These include:

John 8:28: "I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things." If Jesus is "Very God of Very God," and coequal with the Father, then why must Jesus be taught by the Father? If Jesus is God, then why can he not do nothing on his own authority? Must God wait on another person before He can do something?

John 8:40: "You are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God." If Jesus is "Very God of Very God," then does God hear God, seeing that Jesus said that he was "a MAN...that [has] heard from God"? John 8:42: "I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me" (John 8:42). One can't "come from God" and "be sent by God" and at the same time be "Very God."

John 8:54: "Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me." If Jesus is coequal with God, then why is Jesus' honor described as being "nothing," and why is the only honor worthy of mention is the honor that is bestowed by his Father? These "honors" don't sound very "equal" if "God the Son" is coequal with "God the Father," as the Trinitarian Athanasian Creed claims.

Source: P. Kapusta