The Trinity Delusion An examination of the doctrine of the Trinity

John 10:33


"You being a man make yourself God"



The Trinitarian Claim

Trinitarians claim that these Jews (rightly) understood Jesus was claiming to be God himself.



Examination of the Claim

1. A Conspicuous Translation Inconsistency

In the Greek text, the definite article is missing before the Greek word anthropos ("man") and the Greek word theos (God/god). Because of the missing article, Trinitarians are happy to translate the passage as "you being A man." But the same is true for the word theos yet they refuse to consistently translate the passage as "make yourself A god."

This passage most naturally reads, "you being a man make yourself a god." If an ancient Koine Greek speaker had wanted to say, "make yourself a god" this is precisely how he would say it.

Trinitarians render the words kai hoti su anthropos (no definite article) as "a man" but they will turn right around and say you can't translate "poieis seauton theon in the exact same manner as "a god! Why? Because it does not suit their agenda. There is no other reason.



2. The Context

Observe the flow of this conversation. The Jews make a charge of blasphemy and Jesus responds to that charge by quoting from the 82nd Psalm.

[The Jewish Charge]: The Jews answered him, "It is not for a good work that we stone you but for blasphemy because you, being a man, make yourself a god."

[Jesus' Response to the Charge]: Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, "I [YAHWEH] said, 'you are gods'?" If he [YAHWEH] called them gods with whom the word of God came, and Scripture cannot be broken, do you say to the one the Father set apart and sent into the world, "You are blaspheming,' because I said, "I am a son of God'?

Notice how the Jews charge him with blasphemy and Jesus then responds by asking why they charge him with blasphemy for claiming to be the son of God when God calls others "gods." To paraphrase, Jesus essentially says, "Why do you have a problem with me being a god? The Scriptures show us that God himself called other men "gods." So what then do you say about me, the one who God himself set apart and sent into the world? Why do you charge me with blaspheming when I say, "I am a son of God?" In other words, Jesus completely silences the Jewish objections with YAHWEH's very own words where He calls other men "gods," and the Jews did't have a leg to stand on and neither does the Trinitarian. Effectively, Jesus is saying that these Jews were dishonestly charging him when YAHWEH himself calls lower identities other than himself "gods."



Analysis of the Evidence

1. Jesus was "a son of the Most High."

He will be great and he will be called a son of the Most High. (Luke 1:32).

The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you and for that reason the holy child shall be called a son of God. (Luke 1:35).

Seeing Jesus, he cried out and fell before Him, and said in a loud voice, "What business do we have with each other, Jesus, son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me." (Luke 8:28).

2. Psalm 82:6

A careful examination of Psalm 82:6 makes the matter much clearer. The whole Psalm reads:

I said, "You are gods,
and sons of the Most High, all of you.

Notice the parallelism between "gods" and "sons of the Most High." The Psalmist is indicating here that sons of God are gods. In singular form, this would read, "You are a god, a son of the Most High." Carefully regard how Jesus responds, "I said, 'You are gods.' If he called them 'gods'.... do you say, 'You are blaspheming because I said, 'I am a son of God?'" Jesus is drawing the parallel between being "a god" and "a son of the Most High," when he says, "if he called them "gods"... I am "a son of God." Jesus quite clearly has the parallelism of the whole Psalm in mind, "You are gods, and sons of the Most High


3. The Jewish Hypocrisy: Why is this blasphemy for me but not for you?

Psalm 82:6 is a reference to the judges of Israel, those who were the religious rulers of the people, the Te. Tmple rulers. The Jews here who were charging Jesus with blasphemy were the religious leaders and those judges in Jesus' time. That means they would have applied Psalm 82:6 to themselves and did not consider it blasphemy to identify themselves as gods and sons of the Most High. Hence, Jesus here is demonstrating their hypocrisy. They charge him with blasphemy when they applied this Psalm to themselves, and not only so, Jesus was indeed the one who God had "set apart and sent into the world."


4. What the Jews Understood Jesus to be Claiming

That the Jews never ever understood Jesus to be claiming to be God, and therefore their God, is made abundantly clear in the following passage:

In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying, "He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him. He trusts in God; Let God save him if he delights in him, for he said, 'I am a Son of God.'" (Matthew 27:41-43).

Notice how the Jews clearly have no notion whatsoever that Jesus had claimed to be God. Observe how they do not mock him and say, 'Save yourself if you are God.' They rather perceive that for Jesus, God is someone else who would need to save Jesus if indeed Jesus is truly a son of God.


5. The Final Charge: Son of God

At John 19:7 we see the final Jewish charge. The Jews charged him with making himself a son of God. Carefully regard the language they use.

The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself a son of God>."

The language they are using here, "made Himself a son of God," is the very same language they use at John 10:33, "you make yourself a god." When we again regard the parallelism of Psalm 82:6, the truth of this matter is very clear. They heard Jesus refer to God over and over as his Father and in this way he was claiming to be a son of the Most High God. In this way, the Jews understood him to be making himself a son of the Most High, or put another way, making himself a god.

I said, "You are gods,
and sons of the Most High, all of you.

6. How Jesus understood the Jewish Charge

We can see clearly what the Jews really said by simply observing how Jesus understood what they said to him. In response to their accusation, Jewish quotes the Psalm, "I said, 'You are gods." Both Jesus and these Jewish leaders would have known the verse well and so they would have known the whole Psalm by heart, "I said, 'You are gods and sons of the Most High, all of you." Having quoted the Psalm, Jesus then makes his point. To paraphrase he says, "If He (God) called these sons of God "gods" to whom the word of God came, what then about me, a son of the Most High?" And Jesus qualifies this even further by saying, "... who God sanctified and sent into the world."



Conclusion

The facts of the matter make the truth quite clear. The Trinitarian claim is simply false. The Greek grammar is exactly how you would say, "make yourself a god," in the Greek language. The Jews certainly did not say that Jesus was making himself out to be the one and only God. The Jews never make such an accusation throughout the whole gospel of John and they eventually charge him with claiming to be a son of God. If we translated this passage as Trinitarians are wont to do, the entire passage becomes non-sensical and absurd. If these monotheistic Jews had charged Jesus was making himself "God" then why would Jesus be responding by referring to a passage which identified these Jews themselveds as "gods?" It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. But when we honestly regard all the facts it is quite clear that the 82nd Psalm draws a parallel between these judges as gods and being sons of God Most High, that is, each of them being a god and a son of the Most High.

"You being a man make yourself a god."
Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, "I said, 'you are gods'?"


Last Updated: March 26, 2011

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