-There is no where in the Synoptic Gospels where Jesus claims to be Yahweh, the Creator, or to have been born of a virgin.
-There is no where in Paul’s epistles where Paul claims that Jesus is Yahweh, the Creator, or that he was born of a virgin.
-The evidence strongly indicates that the concept of a virgin birth did not exist in the early decades of Christianity.
-The evidence strongly indicates that the concept of Jesus being Yahweh the Creator did not exist in the early decades of Christianity.
Christians can make assumption after assumption otherwise, but the evidence strongly indicates that Paul and Jesus would be shocked to learn that later Christians believed in a Virgin Birth and that Jesus was Yahweh himself, the Creator.
Christians use ONE passage in the Synoptic Gospels to argue that Jesus believed he was Yahweh: that he forgave a man’s sins. Christians ASSUME that this indicates that Jesus saw himself as Yahweh. This cannot be proven.
Jesus believed that he was God’s special servant. The fact that he believed that he could forgive sins, as God’s special servant, in the name of Yahweh, is not surprising. Jesus would roll over in his grave if he knew that later Christians claimed that he believed he was Yahweh, the highest form of blasphemy according to the Hebrew Scriptures.
Christians say that no Jew would have believed he could forgive sins unless he believed he really was God. This is nonsense. Jesus believed a lot of things about himself that no Jew had ever believed or heard before:
In Luke 24:46, Christ stated: “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer, and rise again from the dead the third day.” Paul echoed Christ’s words when he spoke of the fact that Christ “was buried; and that He hath been raised on the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:4). To the Christian, these verses represent the reason for our hope of life beyond this Earth, and sum up Christ’s earthly mission “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). The greatest single declaration of love came when Jesus Christ endured the pain and torture of crucifixion and bore our iniquities. This also is the answer we are to offer “to every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). To the critic of the Scriptures, however, the passages in Luke 24:46 and 1 Corinthians 15:4 represent a “sticking point” in regard to the harmony and unity of the Bible, and it is at this time when we need to step forward to provide answers to those who have asked us concerning our hope.
The question presented is this: Did Jesus err when He alluded to certain prophecies concerning His resurrection on the third day? This question centers on the phrases “thus it is written” and “according to the scriptures.” The critic asks where in the Scriptures the prediction of Christ’s third-day resurrection can be found? The fact is, there are no specific passages in the Old Testament that speak directly of the Lord’s resurrection on the “third day.”
Gary: This Christian article then goes on to do some fancy “spin” to explain why it doesn’t matter that Jesus quoted a non-existent prophecy. Jesus believed some odd, very new things. The fact that he believed he could forgive sins, therefore, cannot be taken as a clear indication that he believed he was Yahweh. The Synoptics clearly teach that Jesus believed he was the Messiah, that belief in him as the Messiah/Son of God—along with good works and keeping the Law—would merit eternal life. But nowhere does Jesus say that he is Yahweh.
And do Christians really expect thinking, rational people to believe that the high priest, Sanhedrin, the Pharisees, and other Jewish authorities in Jerusalem would allow James, the bishop of Jerusalem, and the other Jewish Christians to worship in the temple, celebrate Jewish religious festivals in the temple, and undergo Jewish purification rites (as did Paul) in the temple, if Christians were proclaiming (in the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s) that Jesus was Yahweh himself in the flesh???
Only after the Jewish Church had been decimated in 70 AD, did High Christology kick into high gear among the Gentile branch of Christianity. Jewish Christians would never have accepted Jesus as the virgin born…Yahweh! It is a later Gentile invention. Here is what one Jewish rabbi says:
The Gospel of John created the idea of the Incarnation of God. He states that ‘ the Word was God’ (Jn. 1:1), ‘the Word was made flesh and the Word was God’ (Jn. 1:14) and Jesus ‘called God his own Father, making himself equal to God’ (Jn. 5:18) and ‘I and the Father are one’ (Jn. 10:30). In this Gospel ‘ the deity and incarnation of Jesus are unequivocally proclaimed’. John, decades after Paul made Jesus god-like, made Jesus divine and incarnate. ‘For this reason the Jews sought to kill him, because he abrogated the Sabbath but also called God his own Father, making himself equal to God’ (Jn. 5:18).
That idea was a rejection of the Jewish belief in oneness of God. From what we know of Jesus in the synoptic Gospels Jesus could never have said that. According to P.M. Casey, a Christian theologian that statement would have been rejected by ‘most New Testament writers’. 3 That belief was only possible when the great majority of those following Jesus were Gentiles, not among people having a Jewish identity. Paul himself had too much of a Jewish identity to believe what John stated in his Gospel.