Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog


Trinitarian or Henotheistic in Nature? Pt. 7

Sam Shamoun

We continue our discussion of biblical passages where Jesus is identified as God, or is said to be God’s equal.

Sixth Example

“So because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him. Jesus said to them, ‘My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working. For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” John 5:16-18 NIV

The inspired Apostle affirms that Jesus was calling God his Father in such a way as to make himself equal with God. This is not the only time where Jesus did this:

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10:27-30 NIV

The context here does not limit oneness to unity of purpose, as JWs assume, but oneness in the salvation and preservation of God’s people. Christ, like his Father, is able to preserve his followers from perishing, guaranteeing them eternal life. Christ has both the power to preserve life and the ability to give eternal life to others, things which the Hebrew Scriptures ascribe to Jehovah!

“SEE now that I—I am he And there are no gods together with me. I put to death, and I make alive. I have severely wounded, and I—I will heal, And there is no one snatching out of my hand.” Deuteronomy 32:39 NWT

“O come in, let us worship and bow down, Let us kneel before Jehovah our Maker. For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasturage and the sheep of his hand. Today if YOU people listen to his own voice, Do not harden YOUR heart as at Mer´i·bah,” Psalm 95:6-8a NWT

“‘You are my witnesses,’ declares the LORD, ‘and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,’ declares the LORD, ‘that I am God. Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?’” Isaiah 43:10-13 NIV – cf. 1 Samuel 2:2, 6

Therefore, oneness here must refer to a unity of essence and nature since Christ, just like the Father, does what only Yahweh only can do.

Seventh Example

We now come to another text which seems to be identifying Jesus as God:

“And I heard a loud voice saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God (tou theou [THE God]) is with men, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people and God (ho theos [THE God]) himself will dwell with them and be their God.’ He who was seated on the throne said, I am making everything new! Then he said, ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God (theos) and he will be my son.’” Revelation 21:3-7 NIV

That the one speaking here as God is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ becomes evident when we compare the italicized portions with the following citations,

“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’- which means, ‘God (ho theos) with us.’” Matthew 1:22-23 NIV

“Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living waters’… Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’" John 4:10, 13-14 NIV

“On the last day, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to ME and drink. Whoever believes in ME, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in HIM were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.” John 7:37-39 NIV

The similarities between the words of Christ and that of Revelation strongly suggest that Jesus is the One speaking as God here.

This can be further seen by the fact that the Holy Bible indicates that it is Jesus who is to come in visible glory and reign over the nations, not the Father. (Cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:8; 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 1:10, 4:1, 8; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:28; Revelation 1:7). The only sense in which the Father can be said to be coming is in the person of his Son through whom he both enacts judgment and reigns with the saints. The Scriptures nowhere speak of him coming visibly to the earth.

A possible objection that might be raised is that the speaker indicates that a believer who overcomes will be his son. This seems to refer to the Father since believers are pictured as Christ’s brethren, not his children.

However, it does not logically follow that the statement “he will be my son” necessarily refers to the Father. If this were so, then the Apostle Paul would also be claiming to be God the Father in the following passage:

“I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children. Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel." 1 Corinthians 4:14-15 NIV

Furthermore, Isaiah 9:6 would prove that Jesus is the Father if this logic were to be sustained:

“For to us a child id born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father (abi ad– “Father of Eternity”), Prince of Peace.”

Neither Trinitarians nor Arians take this to mean that Jesus is God the Father, but that he is the Author of eternal life, or the One who will protect and care for his people forever.

(Sidenote: There are “Christians” who use this verse to try to prove that Jesus is the Father, since they believe that there are not three Persons but one Person assuming three different roles. This belief is known as modalism, a teaching adhered to by modern Oneness Pentecostals or “Jesus Only” churches. For a thorough refutation of this damnable heresy we recommend the following websites: 1; 2.)

This reasoning would also prove that Abraham was God the Father as well:

“In answer they said to him: ‘Our father is Abraham.’ Jesus said to them: ‘If YOU are Abraham’s children, do the works of Abraham. But now YOU are seeking to kill me, a man that has told YOU the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. YOU do the works of YOUR father.’ They said to him: ‘We were not born from fornication; we have one Father, God.’” John 8:39-41

“Therefore, the promise comes by grace, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring–not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of all. As it is written: ‘I have made you a father of many nations.’ He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed–the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they are.” Romans 4:16-17 NIV – Cf. Acts 7:1-2

This would also include the Apostle John:

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” 3 John 1:4 NKJV

Hence, “my son” need not imply that the Father is speaking since the expression can refer to the children that the Father has given the Son to save, justify, raise up and glorify:

“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” John 6:37-40 NIV

“But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the Author of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. Both the one [Jesus] who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. He says, ‘I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises. And again he says, ‘Here am I, and the children God has given me.’ Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 2:10-17

“but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.” Hebrews 7:24-27 NIV

“Then he said, ‘Here I am, I have come to do your will.’ He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for allFor by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Hebrews 10:9-10, 14 NIV

Thus, Christians are viewed as the children of Christ in the sense that he is their very Life and Sustainer, the One who grants them everlasting, incorruptible life and immortal glory (Cf. Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 3:3-4).

He is also their father by virtue of being the last Adam, and therefore the father of a new creation consisting of a redeemed humanity who are miraculously transformed to be like him:

“Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come. But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:14-19

“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.” 1 Corinthians 15:20-23

“So it is written: ‘The first man Adam became a living being’; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.”1 Corinthians 15:45-49

Therefore, Christ is indeed our glorious and majestic Father even though he is not God the Father!

We now proceed to examine specific titles of Jehovah which are ascribed to Christ.



He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God, who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” Deuteronomy 32:4 NIV

“For who is a God besides Jehovah? And who is a rock except our God?” Psalm 18:31 NWT

“Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.” Isaiah 44:8 NIV


“They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.” 1 Corinthians 10:3-4 NIV

According to Paul, the One who supernaturally provided for Moses and Israel while in the desert for forty years was the preincarnate Christ. Yet according to the Pentateuch it was Jehovah who did so! (Cf. Exodus 16:2-36, 17:1-7; Numbers 20:2-11, 21:16; Psalm 78:15, 105:41).



“The LORD of hosts, Him you shall hollow; Let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. He will be as a sanctuary, but a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, as a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble; They shall fall and be broken, be snared and taken.” Isaiah 8:13-15 NKJV

“So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic.” Isaiah 28:16 NIV


“Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.’ Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,’ and ‘A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.’” 1 Peter 2:4-8 NKJV

“But even if YOU should suffer for the sake of righteousness, YOU are happy. However, the object of their fear do not YOU fear, neither become agitated. But sanctify the Christ as Lord in YOUR hearts, always ready to make a defense before everyone that demands of YOU a reason for the hope in YOU, but doing so together with a mild temper and deep respect.” 1 Peter 3:14-15 NWT



“In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land… Come quickly, all you nations from every side, and assemble there. Bring down your warriors, LORD! Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side.” Joel 3:1-2, 11-12 NIV

“You then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.” Romans 14:10 NIV


“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’… Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:’… And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:31-34, 41, 46 NKJV

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10 NKJV



For your name’s sake, O Jehovah, You must even forgive my error, for it is considerable.” Psalm 25:11 NWT

O God, by your name save me, And with your mightiness may you plead my cause.” Psalm 54:1

Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other.” Isaiah 45:22 NIV

“And everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved…” Joel 2:32 NIV


“He told them, ‘This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.’” Luke 24:46-47 NIV

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 NIV



“From the extremity of the land there are melodies that we have heard: ‘Decoration to the Righteous One!’” Isaiah 24:16 NWT

“I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim. For I am God, and not man - the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath.” Hosea 11:9 NIV

“Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: ‘You are just in these judgments, O Holy One, you who are and who were;’” Revelation 16:5 NIV


“You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.” Acts 3:14 NIV

“Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him.” Acts 7:52 NIV – cf. 22:14; Mark 1:24; John 6:69



“Then they said to Jeremiah, ‘May the LORD be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with everything the LORD your God sends you to tell us.” Jeremiah 42:5 NIV


“and from Jesus Christ, ‘the Faithful Witness,’ ‘The firstborn from the dead,’ and ‘The Ruler of the kings of the earth.’” Revelation 1:5a NWT

“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.” Revelation 3:14 NIV

“And I saw the heaven opened, and, look! a white horse. And the one seated upon it is called Faithful and True, and he judges and carries on war in righteousness.” Revelation 19:11 NWT

We come to the end of this part of our discussion. Please move on to the next part.