Top Christian NT scholar on whether Jesus said he was divine…



Categories: Bible, Biblical scholarship, Christianity

45 replies

  1. Yawn.

    WHo has claimed that jesus demanded worship during his ministry?


  2. Do you have the reference in one of Hurtado’s books of the quote above? (page number, bibliographic information, etc.)
    It needs to be documented.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree it does. I have asked the person who put this up for the reference.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Good; it would also be good to point that out within the post above; because some won’t see the com box comments. Just a thought.

      Liked by 1 person

    • will do – if i get the info!

      Liked by 1 person

    • ”They have certainly disbelieved who say, ” Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary” while the Messiah has said, “O Children of Israel, worship Allah , my Lord and your Lord.” Indeed, he who associates others with Allah – Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.” Surah al-Maeda chapter 5 verse 72

      Emeritus Lightfoot Professor in the Department of Theology at the University of Durham and Visiting Professor at King’s College London, Professor Dr. James D. G. Dunn

      “Jesus is not the God of Israel. He is not the Father. He is not Yahweh.”

      Dunn, J. D. G. (2010). Did the First Christians Worship Jesus?: The New Testament Evidence. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press. p. 142


    • “The historical Jesus did not say he was divine and did not demand worship” – Hurtado. 41.50 onwards…..

      Liked by 5 people

    • Ken, now you’ve got a reference…what do you think?

      Liked by 2 people

    • Interesting, he pretty much agreed with Bart Ehrman; but also believes that God the Father requires that we believe Jesus is the exalted Son of God and that we should worship Him.

      I have not read Hurtado’s views of the gospel according to John, but it seems he does not think the following verses and reactions by the Jewish leaders and Pharisees is historical. John 5:17-18; 8:24; 8:56-58; 10:27-39; 18:1-6; 20:28-29, etc.

      I wonder what he does with Matthew 2:1-12; 14:39; 28:9; 28:16 – that Jesus received worship and did not object.

      I don’t agree with Hurtado, if he rejects these verses as historical.

      I believe all 4 gospels are historical and present differing aspects (like 4 eyewitnesses, one on each corner of an intersection of a traffic accident) and emphasis on Jesus’ life, ministry, death, and resurrection.


    • Your views on the gospels are not scholarly Ken so it is to be expected you would disagree with Hurtado.


    • There is a spectrum of levels of scholarship that is possible, from the most conservative scholarship, to less conservative, to some what moderate, to moderate, to liberal, to radical skeptical, etc. There are many nuances of scholarly viewpoints. There is lots of “scholarly” differences. So you are wrong about that.


    • Hi Ken,

      You can find most of the content quoted by Paul in his opening post HERE.

      Grace and peace,



    • thanks David! the article is focused upon Hurtado’s assertion that the historical Jesus did not demand worship. Maybe “demand” is too strong of a “demand” by the scholars and the Muslims. What about the apparent fact in the text, even in the synoptic gospels, that Jesus did receive worship? (Matthew 2:1-12; 14:33; 28:9; 28:16)

      I did not find the first part of the quote, (that the historical Jesus did not claim divinity); but given the video above and his statement, ok; so that is what Hurtado thinks. So, Hurtado does not think any of the Deity of Christ statements in the Gospel of John are historical ? Hurtado thinks the author of the fourth gospel “put them on the lips of Jesus” ? He doesn’t believe Jesus spoke the words in John 5:17-18; 8:24; 8:56-58; 10:27-39; 17:5; 18:1-6; 20:28-29 (along with the historical reactions by Pharisees and disciples, etc. )

      Obviously, I have not read a whole lot by Hurtado, but I did purchase his book, “Destroyer of the gods” a few days ago and I look forward to reading it.


    • Ken May God Almighty support you in finding the truth about Jesus. Amin

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ken,
      I think even Michael Bird has its own thoughts about in which sense we should look to the divinity of Jesus as it’s presented in the writings that scholars don’t consider to be historical to begin with such as John’s gospel since the idea of the mediator being between god and mankind was spread, and it statred to be accepted at that time.
      As I remember from a debate that Dr Shabir had, dr Shabir said that Dr Bird even had mentioned that the angels are enigma in that sense.


    • in the writings that scholars don’t consider to be historical to begin with such as John’s gospel

      “scholars” = some scholars.
      There are conservative/orthodox scholars who consider the gospel of John and the other 26 books of the NT to be fully historical and true and “God-breathed”.


    • I doubt there are very many. The overwhelmingly majority of top scholars do NOT think John’s Jesus is completely historical.


    • Most scholars don’t think the virgin conception of Jesus is historical or true either, yet both the Bible and Qur’an testify that this is true and historical. so majority does not mean much.

      Most people in the west think pre-marital sex is ok, and that homosexual relations are ok; but majority of opinion does not trump God’s revelation.


    • The majority of people don’t believe in the virgin conception or birth of Jesus, that Mary was a virgin, which both the Bible and the Qur’an teaches. . .

      Therefore, majority of scholars views, is not necessarily a good argument against Gospel of John.



    • “The majority of people don’t believe in the virgin conception or birth of Jesus, that Mary was a virgin, which both the Bible and the Qur’an teaches”.
      There’s a difference, Ken.
      If a secular western scholar asked me to prove historically that Jesus was born without a father, I’d say I cannot. It’s something happaned in that past, and I don’t have time machine. However, the proof that your bible got corrupted can be shown by material evidences. In fact, we don’t need any manuscript to prove that. Just look to the stories from Mark to John, and how they got developed. You cannot deny that, Ken.
      Then who said that NT is the words of God? Jesus? His disciples? None! It was not known for them. In fact, you can see the errors inside them as any book written by human such as( Mtthew27:9).
      Dr Shabir made an excellent argument in his debate with Richard about what Paul meant when he referred to the scripture.

      BTW, I’ve mentioned dr Michael Bird since he’s a conservative one.


    • Regarding Matthew 27:9, it was not a mistake, as the quote includes words from both Jeremiah 19:1-13; Jeremiah 18:2 and Jeremiah 32:6-9 and Zechariah 11:12-13.

      “The whole point of the quotation in Matthew is directed toward the purchase of the field. The Zechariah passage says nothing at all about purchasing a field; indeed, it does not even mention a field at all.” (Gleason Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, page 345.) see the emphasis on the field in Matthew 27:7-8, which gives the context of verse 9.

      “Matthew is therefore combining and summarizing elements of prophetic symbolism both from Zechariah and Jeremiah. But since Jeremiah is the more prominent of the two prophets, he mentions Jeremiah’s name by preference to that of the minor prophet.” (ibid, page 345)

      “A similar procedure is followed by Mark 1:2-3, which attributes only to Isaiah, a combined combination from Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3. In that case also, only the more famous of the two prophets is mentioned by name.” (Ibid) A similar Jewish practice is seen in Luke 24:44, where the “Psalms” stands for all the poetic and wisdom literature (the Ketovim = writings). Psalms is the largest and more prominent book of the Ketovim section of the Jewish TaNakh canon.

      so, there is no corruption from that example you gave.

      Development from Mark to John does not prove no evidence of Deity of Christ in Mark at all, and all and only in John; rather there is plenty of evidence of the Deity of Christ in Mark also even though John is more explicit.

      (Mark 1:3 – “make straight way of Yahweh” – shows he was treating Jesus as Yahweh; Mark 1:11; 14:60-64 – Jesus as the Son of God by nature, means He is the same nature/substance/essence as the Father, who is also God; demons call Jesus the Son of God many times in Mark, and Islam believes in demons, only modern skeptics, the modern scholars Paul Williams loves so much, deny the existence of demons. (Mark 1:23-24; 3:11; 5:7)

      In the debate between Ehrman and Michael Bird, Bart Ehrman claimed that no one knew Jesus was the Son of God in Mark, yet Michael Bird responded that Mark certainly made it clear several times that the demons knew Jesus was the Son of God! Amazing that Bart Erhman totally ignored those clear passages.

      God the Father from heaven calls Jesus His beloved Son. (Mark 1:11; 9:7)

      Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:28), a claim to be the Yahweh of Genesis 1-2 and creator of the Sabbath day of rest, and creator of all that came before in creation.

      Mark 2:7 – Jesus claims to be God indirectly by being able to forgive sins.


    • Ken,
      “Jeremiah, SAYING, “And they took the THIRTY pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel”
      Where did Jeremiah say that? any reference?
      “it was not a mistake, as the quote includes words from both” ! Well .. I cannot find this convincing!

      Please watch Dr Shabir at ( 38:25′ ) in this debate


  3. The Basis of the Trinity Doctrine is the Logical Fallacy of Equivocation, where the terms have no stable meanings and are assumed–by an act of their own will–to have different implications to make this farce work. Even then, the doctrine suffers perfect internal incoherence, in addition to the historical consensus that the earliest Christians, including the founder of the term, Tertullian, were neither Trinitarian, nor believed in the Pre-Existence of Christ. They were Subordinists and believe Jesus was a created being like most Christians today. Christians demand to know : ”Why do Muslims deny the Crucifixion when History Affirms it”? Well by the same logic: ”Why do Christians deny non-Trinitarian monotheism, when Jesus Affirms it as well as Tertullian”? Also, Christian Scholars themselves admit : ”Jesus did not claim to be God” Imagine for a moment that Islamic Scholars were claiming :”Muhammad never claimed to be a Prophet’!! Astonishing blindness from the Trinitarian Cultists will lead to disaster after disaster as God has promised that Shamoun and his ilk, will burn in hell in Surah AL MAIDAH VERSES 72-76.


  4. I spoke to some Jews about Jesus some years ago about this very question. A unitarian joined the conversation and said that Jesus never said he was divine.

    I remember the sarcastic answer from one of Jews going something this: so he said he could forgive sins, would one day judge the whole of humanity, was I AM who spoke to Moses in the burning bush, would ride the clouds of Heaven and was the Lord in Psalm 110. But divine nah.


  5. Part 1 of the debate/dialogue that was put up earlier by Omar. (I am working through them, don’t know if this link includes the panel in part also.)



  1. Was Matthew 27:9 a mistake? | Apologetics and Agape

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