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Roni Davis Group

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Matthew Paiva
Matthew Paiva

Call Jesus

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You do find Jesus calling himself God in the Gospel of John, or the last Gospel. Jesus says things like, "Before Abraham was, I am." And, "I and the Father are one," and, "If you've seen me, you've seen the Father." These are all statements you find only in the Gospel of John, and that's striking because we have earlier gospels and we have the writings of Paul, and in none of them is there any indication that Jesus said such things. ...

I think it's completely implausible that Matthew, Mark and Luke would not mention that Jesus called himself God if that's what he was declaring about himself. That would be a rather important point to make. This is not an unusual view amongst scholars; it's simply the view that the Gospel of John is providing a theological understanding of Jesus that is not what was historically accurate.

Right at the same time that Christians were calling Jesus "God" is exactly when Romans started calling their emperors "God." So these Christians were not doing this in a vacuum; they were actually doing it in a context. I don't think this could be an accident that this is a point at which the emperors are being called "God." So by calling Jesus "God," in fact, it was a competition between your God, the emperor, and our God, Jesus.

What I try to teach my students is that history is not the past. ... There are a lot of things in the past that we cannot show historically. For example ... you simply cannot show what my grandfather ate on March 23, 1956. I mean, he ate something for lunch that day, I'm sure, but there's no way we have access to it. So it's in the past, but it's not part of history. History is what we can show to have happened in the past.

Do you have more questions about who Jesus is We also have some other resources to help you know more about Jesus. Check out this recent post we added to find out more! This is a post exploring another question about why Jesus was called the Son of David.

In the New Testament the name Jesus is given both in the Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of Matthew, and Emmanuel only in Matthew. In Luke 1:31 an angel tells Mary to name her child Jesus, and in Matthew 1:21 an angel tells Joseph to name the child Jesus. The statement in Matthew 1:21 "you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins" associates salvific attributes to the name Jesus in Christian theology.[2][3][12][13]

"Jesu" is a remnant in modern English of the declension and use of grammatically inflected case endings with some proper nouns in Middle English, which persisted into Early Modern English to around the time of Shakespeare. The form Jesu is often a vocative, "Jesu!", but may also stand for other cases, such as genitive, as in Latin. The form "Jesu" was preserved in hymns and poetry long after it had fallen out of general use in speech, for example in poet laureate Robert Bridges' translation of Johann Schop's wording for the English translation of Johann Sebastian Bach's cantata, Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring and in T. S. Colvin's hymn, Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love, based on a song from northern Ghana.[24] During the late 19th Century, as "Jesu" was increasingly seen as antiquated, some churches attempted to update the wording of hymns containing "Jesu" to "Jesus".[25] In modernizing hymn texts the use of "Jesu's" or "Jesus'" could cause problems where the metre only allowed two syllables, "Je-su's".[26][clarification needed]

The use of the name of Jesus in petitions is stressed in John 16:23 when Jesus states: "If you ask the Father anything in my name he will give it you." Many Christian prayers thus conclude with the words: "Through Our Lord Jesus Christ".[9] There is widespread belief among Christians that the name Jesus is not merely a sequence of identifying symbols but includes intrinsic divine power, and that where the name of Jesus is spoken or displayed the power of Jesus can be called upon.[4][9][10]

Matthew 1:23 ("they shall call his name Emmanuel") prov


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