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What does the biblical Jesus (as opposed to the historical Jesus) think he is?

  • a rabbi
  • the son of a carpenter
  • the child born in the house of David
  • the king of the Jews, about to be anointed with oil, to save Jerusalem from all oppression and be the light of the world
  • a pious Jewish man well-versed in the Hebrew scriptures at the time and carefully cites some sources from the Hebrew scriptures in order to serve his purpose and make himself seem credible, genuine, and sincere to his community
  • a traveler who wants anybody who has ears to hear to listen to him
  • a man holding a grudge against the Pharisees, even though one of the Pharisees shows hospitality by inviting him to his house
  • a prophet that foretells what shall happen to the Son of Man, which turns out to be him
  • his disciples seem to treat him like a teacher, a rabbi, and sometimes refer to him as "lord" (whether or not "Lord" is the correct translated term is another story)
  • complex relationship with his "Father"

Compared to modern Rabbinical Jewish mashiach, it is implied that Jesus presumably thought that he was the Jewish messiah, the King of the Jews. Wearing a crown of thorns and being labelled "King of the Jews" at his crucifixion and resurrection. Plus, some say that his resurrection really did happen in history. His resurrection seems to be most significant, because without it, he would be a dead messiah, and that means he would be no messiah.

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In addition, I once met a Christian who had a very strong conviction that Jesus resurrected and held that as the most plausible explanation for the missing body in the tomb. Christianity is weird, because it practically is based on a falsifiable claim. o_O –  Anonymous Jun 18 '13 at 3:00
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This is too broad. There are 10 questions. I don't know if they can be answered all at once here. –  Mawia Jun 18 '13 at 4:52
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@Anonymous: Falsifiable to those who expect to have digital evidence of something that happened 2000 years ago. You know what I call such people? Incredulous. It wasn't falsifiable to those who lived 2000 years ago, witnessed his death, and witnessed him walk before their very eyes after being dead for nearly 3 days. Nothing falsifiable there. –  H3br3wHamm3r81 Jun 18 '13 at 6:06
    
@H3br3wHamm3r81: Falsifiable doesn't mean false or falsified; it means that if the claim is false, evidence can be provided to prove it is false. If Jesus didn't rise from the dead, evidence could be produced (dead body, etc) to prove it. So yes, it is falsifiable. –  Ryan Frame Jun 21 '13 at 21:20
    
@Ryan Frame: Ah, I see. Thank you. –  H3br3wHamm3r81 Jun 21 '13 at 21:41
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6 Answers 6

up vote 12 down vote accepted

The common Christian answer goes straight to the words Jesus spoke in John 8:58

Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM."

This is understood now, and was understood at the time, as Jesus claiming to be God, referring to the the words God spoke to Moses from the burning bush.

This is covered in much greater detail at Let Us Reason Ministries.

Excerpt:

Who do you say Jesus is? Jesus asked this same question to his disciples about what others thought of him and then asked what they thought of him.

Jn.5:37: "And the Father himself, who sent me, has borne witness of me. You have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. ‘Jesus gives the source of his commission, which is from the Father personally. It is the Fathers voice and form they have not seen, yet Christ has.

Christ who is called the exact image of the invisible Father is the voice that the people heard. He then says that they search the Scriptures in them you think you have eternal life but they testify of me."(v.39) The Son is said to be the eternal life with the Father. Are we to believe the Scriptures testify of only a human being and not God himself? In the end of the discourse Jesus says in vs.46-47 "If you believed Moses you would believe Me; for he wrote about me. But if you don’t believe his writings, how will you believe my words?"

When did Moses write of him? Deut.18:15-19: "The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, "according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, 'Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.' "And the LORD said to me: 'What they have spoken is good. 'I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. 'And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him." Jesus claims to be the prophet Moses spoke of that should listen to. Notice that it says they did not want to hear the voice of the Lord anymore or see his glory in Horeb. Then God says he will put his words in a future prophets mouth if they do not listen to his words, God will require it of him." This very thing Jesus said of himself in Jn.8:24 "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am (He), you will die in your sins."

This is also famously covered in C.S. Lewis's Trilemma

"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. ... Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God."

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Shouldn't the messiah be fully human? If Jesus is believed to be God, then wouldn't that disqualify him as the messiah? –  Anonymous Jun 18 '13 at 3:58
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That's a new question. That Jesus was fully God and fully Human is also a basic tenet of Christianity. If you wish to explore that, I'd recommend first searching the site to see if it's already been asked, and if not, posting a new question. –  David Stratton Jun 18 '13 at 4:05
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I would like to expand the short hint given by David Stratton on John 8:58

The Law of Moses(Torah) commands to stone to death anyone who misuse or blaspheme the Name of God.

Leviticus 24:13-16 (NIV) Then the Lord said to Moses: “Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him. Say to the Israelites: ‘Anyone who curses their God will be held responsible; anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord is to be put to death. The entire assembly must stone them. Whether foreigner or native-born, when they blaspheme the Name they are to be put to death.

When Jesus explained Himself to the Jews, He equated himself with God, which incited the Jews to stone him.

John 8:56-59 (NIV) Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.” “You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!” “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I AM!” At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.

The Jews tried to stone Jesus because He was using the Name of God "I AM" while referring to himself. The Jews exactly understood what Jesus was saying. That is why they wanted to stone him to death for claiming himself as God or for blaspheming the Name of God.

John 10:33 (NIV) “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”

What does the biblical Jesus (as opposed to the historical Jesus) think he is?

He did not think or try to know who He was, but He knows who He is. He spoke the Truth about himself that He is:

  1. The Son of God
  2. The Messiah
  3. King of the Jews
  4. The God of Abraham
  5. The Lord of David
  6. The Word of God
  7. The Way, the Truth and the Life.
  8. The only Way to Heaven
  9. The Lamb of God
  10. The creator of all things

And the list goes on....

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Blasphemy did not mean calling oneself God - for this there was no punishment. One who called himself God was considered to be a madman, and ignored. –  Waeshael Jun 19 '13 at 1:10
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Jesus said of Himself:

  • That God was His Father, John 8:16
  • That He should receive the same honor God does, John 8:23
  • That He will speak and raise the dead, John 8:25
  • That He has authority to execute judgment, John 8:27
  • That He will determine the fate of the dead, to eternal life or damnation, John 8:28-29
  • That He is the only way to the Father, John 14:6

The list goes on and on. Just read the red-letter text in the gospels for more.

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Jesus believed knew was God incarnate.

Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM."

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Welcome to the site! I agree with this, but how does it differ from other answers? I hope you don't take this as discouragement from participating, but posting duplicate answers is not really helpful. When you get a chance I'd recommend reading the help page to see how this site differs from a discussion forum. I do look forward to more answers from you! Also, as a new visitor, this post is recommended reading. –  David Stratton Jun 18 '13 at 11:58
    
Thank you for understanding, I am new. –  user4801 Jun 18 '13 at 15:45
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This is a very interesting question, because as we know, in Jesus was two natures: nature of God and nature of human. If we consider mind as a part of human nature, then, of course, this question has sense. But indeed nobody really knows, how mind of human and God being "mind" was joined in Him. And my personal θεολογούμενα about this question is:

As we remember, Jesus was praying to Father just like a man, being alone, using His human speech. This fact could us suggest an idea, that thinking about Him self was a part of human being, so He knew everything about Him self (that He is The Son of God, and, of course, He self is God, and The Messiah and so on), but in prism of human mind: the "instrument" of thinking was His human brain.

Finally, we must accentuate on that fact, that "thinking" is only our anthropic action, which is not applicable to God.

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Jesus called himself "son of man" He also said: "I can do nothing by myself - I see the Father and I do the same." He said He was the son of "The Father," and of Mary his Mother. He said He should not be called "good Master," for only God is good. He said he was a prophet.

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