Proof of the Trinity Error
In this passage, Jesus denies he is God because "no one is good but God alone."
The Trinitarian Response
Trinitarians here resort to a nullification of Jesus' words. Their response usually goes something like, "Are you saying Jesus is not good?" suggestively implying that the issue is about moral goodness. Your response should be, "No, I am saying Jesus himself said only his God is good. Would you like to know why he said this?"
1. Trinitarians Attemtping to Avoid the Impact of Jesus' words
Carefully regard what Jesus actually said:
"Why do you call ME good? No one is good but GOD ALONE."
Honestly regard the contract between "ME" and "GOD ALONE." There is an obvious contrast between "ME" and "GOD ALONE." But to try and avoid the plan implication of these words, Trinitarians would like to pretend Jesus is being enigmatically coy as if he is suggestively implying he himself is the one God without coming right out and saying it. But this is to read something into the text for which there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever.
2. Not a Statement that Everyone Else is not Morally Good
The above verse is often translated as, "No one is good but God alone." Trinitarians claim that if only God is good then Jesus must be God because Jesus is good. However, Jesus is actually indicating the opposite to be true and is giving the glory for all good to his God and Father. Jesus is indeed denying here that he is God.
Jesus is not here indicating that only His Father is morally good and everone else is not good or "bad." Indeed, if Jesus had made such a statement he would be contradicting the Scriptures. There were many people called "good" (agathos) in the Scriptures. Here are some examples.
The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good. (Matthew 12:35).
Well done, good and faithful servant. (Matthew 25:21, 23).
And a man named Joseph, who was a member of the Council, a good and righteous man.... (Luke 23:50).
For [Barnabas] was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. (Acts 11:24).
3. Good Teaching/Instruction is in View
The account begins with Jesus responding to a man who called him "Good Teacher." Jesus asks why he had called him, Jesus, good? And then he further clarifies by saying, "No one is good but God alone." Since he was called "Good Teacher," Jesus is responding specifically to his teaching. The following illustrates why Jesus made this statement.
A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. (John 3:27).
Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow" (James 1:16-17).
My Teaching is not mine, but His who sent me. If any man's will is to do His will, he shall know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. He who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory but he who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. (John 7:16-18).
Rabbi, we know that You are a Teacher come from God for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him. (John 3:2; cf. 1:6).
When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own, but I speak these things as the Father taught me. (John 8:28).
The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own, but the Father abiding in Me does the works.... the word which you hear is not mine, but the Father's who sent me. (John 14:10, 24).
'GOOD Teacher'.... Why do you call me GOOD? No one is GOOD but God alone. (Mark 10:18).
[YAHWEH]: I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brethren, and I will put MY words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. (Deuteronomy 18:18).
Moses said, "The Lord God [YAHWEH] will raise up for you a prophet from your brethren as he raised me up. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. (Acts 7:22 RSV).
Jesus is illustrating the principle that all good comes from God. As John the Baptist says, "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven. " (Jn 3:27). Jesus followed the Spirit of God the Father within him. He also taught us in the same way to never worry when we are dragged into court to testify because "the Spirit of our Father" will be the one doing the speaking (Mt 10:20). Jesus' response here is to indicate that he was a "Good Teacher," as he was being called, not because Jesus was good but because God alone in him was good and the source of this good teaching. As he himself declared, "My teaching is not mine..." and "I speak these things as the Father taught me." In other words, the context is not about being morally good versus morally bad, but about why Jesus is a "Good Teacher." Jesus is a good teacher because God alone is good and God is the source of this teaching. These are not Jesus' words but the Father's words. In other words, he is not taking credit for the goodness of his teaching since it is the Father's teaching. But he IS effectively indicating he is not God by making this statement.
4. The Law came from His God and Father
Jesus then responds to the man saying, "You know the commandments" and then he lists them. In other words, the one God, His Father, is the one who gave these commandments to indicate what is good not Jesus himself.
5. Psalm 16
Carefully regard how Psalm 16:9-11 is quoted by Peter in reference to Jesus:
Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely. For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy.
Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope. For You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.' (Acts 2:26-28).
These words in verses 9-11 refer to Jesus and Peter indicates that David was prophetically placing them in Jesus' mouth. Now carefully regard verses 1-2 of the very same Psalm:
Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You. I said to the LORD, "You are my Lord; I have no good except You.
6. All the Good came from His Father
I have come in the name of my Father. (John 5:43).
For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for He gives the Spirit without measure. (John 3:34).
Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst (Acts 2:22).
You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. (Acts 10:38)
Jesus is humbly giving glory to his God and Father. No one is good but one: God. Jesus was made like us in every respect (Heb 2:14). God sent him in the likeness of the flesh of sin (Rom 8:3). This means God sent him to be a mortal man, that is, flesh made mortal by Adam's sin and someone who could be tested by sin. Although he was tested in every way just as we are tested he did not sin (Heb 4:15). He chose instead to follow the Spirit of God in him even when he said, "not my will but your will" and "the Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak." Human flesh has a weakeness toward sin and good does not come out of the flesh. All good comes from spirit and God is spirit. And this is just what Jesus is getting at here in this passage. He was a man of flesh and any good that he did, or anyone else did, was ultimately sourced in God, the Father of lights, from who comes every good thing. Here in this passage, Jesus clearly denies that he is God.
Jesus ends this teaching with a statement indicating it is very difficult to enter the Kingdom of God. His disciples respond, "Who then can be saved?" And Jesus replired that it is impossible for men but with God all things are possible. (10:25-27). This is because man is flesh and nothing good comes from the flesh. All good comes from God, the Father of the spirits of all men (Num 16:22; Heb 12:9). In him, all humans live and move and have their being (Acts 17:28). Any good that any man will ever do is sourced in God, the flesh being only the source of sin (Jas 1:13).
Jesus clearly denies he is God here in this verse. Being addressed as "GOOD Teacher," Jesus responds that no one is GOOD but God alone. The subject matter is teaching and Jesus elsewhere clearly tells us his good teaching is not his own the Father's who sent him.
Last Updated: March 24, 2011