And as I indicated, the crucial question is 'What does the Bible say about Jesus?'. Is he a mere human [however highly honored and blessed and used by God] or is he God Himself in human flesh?
The question asked to me from one Muslim was: "For example, if you can show me where in the Bible Christians are commanded to believe in a "Triune" God, or where Jesus said "worship me" then...".
The word 'Trinity' is not used in the Bible. Nor is there one verse that clearly spells out this doctrine. But then, we can't dictate to God, HOW He has to reveal himself. We have to take what was revealed and then ask what does it mean. God does expect us to use our brain, that is why He created it. Though there is no one verse which simply states it, I think there is plenty of Biblical evidence for the Trinity.
First let me give a small selection (out of hundreds of verses) that make very clear that God is ONE. [Both parts of 'tri-une' have to be emphasized, and the foundational word is the 'unity' of which the 'tri' is a qualification and closer explanation of 'what kind of a unity' it is.]
On both occasions where God began something new by calling out first Abraham from his family, tribe, country and general environment, and then again when the people of Israel were led out of Egypt to be established in the promised land as His people, he was leading them out of an idolatrous nation, one that worshipped many different gods (Joshua 24:2).
So, the first thing God teaches Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and then the people of Israel, is that He is ONE and there is no other God. All others are false, and the belief that there are many gods to be worshipped must be put aside.
So, the FIRST of the Ten Commandments given by God to Israel through the Prophet Moses was:
I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God,... Exodus 20:1-6
And the verse that the children Israel had to repeat over and over again - like Muslims their creed in Allah's oneness - is Deuteronomy 6:4 (Here given in context):
1 These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. 3 Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, promised you. 4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads...
Other possibilities to translate this crucial verse 4:
The LORD our God is one LORD;
The LORD is our God, the LORD is one;
The LORD is our God, the LORD alone.
Please note for future reference, the Hebrew word for 'one' used here is the same as when in Genesis 2:24, it says:
And for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will be one flesh.
This does not mean that the use of this word always signifies a composite "one", but it certainly means that "oneness" does not exclude the possibility of a composite nature. Certainly in this verse, the emphasis is on the ONEness of God.
And there are many more verses like it. Here just a small sample:
Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else -- Deuteronomy 4:39.
For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else Isaiah 45:18.
Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. Isaiah 44:6
That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. Isaiah 45:6
Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I [am] God, and [there is] none else. Isaiah 45:22
Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior. Isaiah 43:10-11.
For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed?
I will not yield my glory to another. Isaiah 48:11
This last one is a very important verse, especially since that is exactly the charge made by Muslims against Christianity:- that it gives divine glory to somebody other than the only true God. So this is one verse of many which make clear, that God is not willing to yield any glory due alone to Him, the only God, to any idol or created being.
There are many many more references which talk about the fact that God is one. I think hardly any Christian, Jew or Muslim has a problem with that, so let the above quoted verses be sufficient to express this truth. Now the next part of the debate will be the most crucial and central. How do we come to believe that Jesus is God?
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