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The degree of how well God is worshipped varies from person to person, some do better deeds, have better morals, or do greater sacrifices than others, so it seems natural that there will be some human who is the best human in the eyes of God. I'm curious if Christians have some consensus on who is the best human or the most perfect human being, in terms of following God's orders.

I am asking this question with the assumption that Jesus is not human and does not worship someone/something since He is God himself (my assumption may be wrong). I guess my question is more about who is the best worshipper of God? If it's Jesus then did Jesus actually "worship"? How so?

closed as primarily opinion-based by depperm, curiousdannii, Matt Gutting, KorvinStarmast, Nathaniel Apr 30 '18 at 20:24

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    I have started a meta question about questions like this: christianity.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/6528/… – DJClayworth May 1 '18 at 13:03
  • Comments are not meant for discussions about site policy. The issue of whether this type of question should be closed has been raised on meta, and can be discussed there. Other meta topics, like whether it is acceptable to answer with the "majority view," could also be addressed on meta, or in chat. – Nathaniel May 1 '18 at 14:37
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There is no consensus within Christianity about who is the 'best' prophet.

The Christian belief in the universal sinfulness of human beings (apart from God's grace) tends to mean that such comparisons are not encouraged.

As you intimated, Jesus is an exception to this. The vast majority of Christians believe that Jesus is both fully God and fully human. If your question had not excluded him he would unquestionably be 'the best prophet' in all senses, and he is also considered the 'best human being'.

Since there isn't a consensus (or doctrine) on this, we can only have the opinions of various Christians, which we cannot discuss on this site.

  • Jesus is not a prophet, so this is not an answer. And if you're speaking of consensus then you can count in 52% of Christians, at least, as believers in St. John the Baptist as the greatest prophet. That 52% is majority, and yes I am appealing to Catholics. Add to that most if not all Orthodox since they hold the same tradition, and a few Protestants. Meaning that over 70% of Christians believe St. John the Baptist is the greatest prophet. Your answer is therefore flawed. – Destynation Y May 1 '18 at 10:06
  • Jesus is a prophet. Acts 3:22-23. – Sola Gratia May 2 '18 at 15:00
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In one sense, John the Baptist holds that title, because it was granted to him by Jesus Christ himself:

Matthew 11 “I assure you: Among those born of women no one greater than John the Baptist has appeared, but the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

In his day, there was no one more righteous than Job:

Job 1:8 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? No one else on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity, who fears God and turns away from evil.”

However, that does not mean that this judgment extends to all people across all time.

Two other candidates would be Enoch and Elijah, considered by many to be the only two people to be privileged to enter heaven without dying. For example:

2 Kings 2:11 As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire with horses of fire suddenly appeared and separated the two of them. Then Elijah went up into heaven in the whirlwind.

If your criteria is humility, the answer would be Moses:

Numbers 12:3 Moses was a very humble man, more so than any man on the face of the earth.

If your criteria are wisdom and integrity, then the prophet Daniel is your man:

Daniel 6:4 The administrators and satraps, therefore, kept trying to find a charge against Daniel regarding the kingdom. But they could find no charge or corruption, for he was trustworthy, and no negligence or corruption was found in him.

If you are Catholic (any maybe if you are not), then the Virgin Mary would be your exemplar, because of her willing submission:

Luke 1:46 And Mary said: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, 47 and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior, 48 because He has looked with favor on the humble condition of His slave. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 because the Mighty One has done great things for me, and His name is holy.

And finally, if purity of speech is your ideal, then the prophet Isaiah is first:

Isaiah 6:5 Then I said:

Woe is me for I am ruined[c] because I am a man of unclean lips and live among a people of unclean lips, and because my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts.

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, and in his hand was a glowing coal that he had taken from the altar with tongs. 7 He touched my mouth with it and said:

Now that this has touched your lips, your wickedness is removed and your sin is atoned for.

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying:

Who should I send? Who will go for Us?

I said:

Here I am. Send me.

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    Additions to your excellent list. King David was "a man after God's own heart" 1 Samuel 13:14, Solomon was wisest 2 Chronicles 1:12, Jacob becomes Israel Genesis 32:28-30, Abraham is the father of all believers Romans 4:16. – David Starkey Apr 30 '18 at 19:38
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    I considered David, but on account of his affair and murder, which ruled him out as qualified to build God's temple, I decided against it. I ruled out Solomon, because of his many wives, who led him astray into permitting idolatry in the midst of Israel. He had wisdom, but lacked the integrity of Daniel. Abraham, however, is worthy of mention. – Paul Chernoch Apr 30 '18 at 19:57
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    Take a look at my answer too guys. Btw Mary is not a prophet, you are using terms too loosely, making your explanation lack precision. And I am Catholic. – Destynation Y Apr 30 '18 at 20:21
  • May be worth mentioning the two end-times prophets in Revelations 11 (who presumably haven't lived yet) as well as maybe the Archangel Gabriel (c.f. Daniel, Ezekiel, Luke) who's definitely not the 'best human being', since their not human. – the dark wanderer Apr 30 '18 at 20:48
  • AND actually all of the others you mentioned on that list do no qualify to compeete with St. John the Baptist since Jesus says that up til that point St. John is the greatest not that before that point others didn't have the highscore so to say. Also since he says "until St. John" and that elsewhere in the Bible it says that "the faith has been delivered once and for all to the saints" it is safe to say and indeed definitive that St. John the Baptist is the greater one. – Destynation Y Apr 30 '18 at 20:54
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Jesus is the answer. Jesus counts because besides him being considered "True God" and "True Man", and "The Messiah" and "Savior" etc. ; Jesus also acted in the lower roles of prophet and rabbi. His behavior and demeanor is the Gold standard how Christians are to live, and his revelations and teaching are the foundation of Christian belief.

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You ask, "who is the best human or the most perfect human being, in terms of following God's orders?" Because all humans are sinful and imperfect then the answer is not one. In God's eyes, all have sinned.

1 John 1:8 says "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us."

Isaiah 64:6 says that "all our righteous acts are like filthy rags" before a holy and righteous God.

There has only ever been one person born without sin and that is Christ Jesus. Only he was able to perfectly keep God's perfect laws but he was no mere prophet. Yes, while he was a man, Jesus worshipped the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He went to the synagogue and knew the Law and Prophets. He astounded the religious leaders of his day with his knowledge. He kept all the festivals and went up to the temple in Jerusalem to celebrate the holy days. Jesus prayed to his Father in heaven. No other person could ever have taken upon himself the sins of the world, but Jesus could, and Jesus did because he is God incarnate.

2 Corinthians 5:21 says "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

Christians do not look to any man, any prophet, as "the best human in the eyes of God" and we do not follow any man. Christians look to Christ Jesus as the author and perfecter of their faith. Nothing any person can do can earn them any righteousness - no good deeds, no works. Righteousness comes only "through faith in Christ - the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith" in what God, in Jesus, has done to atone for our sins (Philippians 3:9).

As a Christian, the only source of fact I can draw upon to answer your question is the Bible. Perhaps those verses will help to explain that Christians look to Christ Jesus as the perfect example of how to obey and worship God.

Hebrews 1:1-2 explains where we are now with regard to prophets:

“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.”

  • Jesus is not a prophet so this doesn't answer the question. And the question does not suppose that prophets are without sin, it supposes that there is a hierarchy from the lest holy to the most. Your answer is therefore a none-answer. – Destynation Y May 1 '18 at 10:02
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    @DestynationY Since Eusebius the threefold office of Christ of prophet, priest, and king has been recognised. You're arguing against a lot of Christian history to say that Jesus is not a prophet. – curiousdannii May 1 '18 at 11:45
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    @DestynationY Can you point to a Catholic source which defines prophethood like that? I would have thought they'd agree with most other Christians that that is only one part of being a prophet. The main meaning is simple a God appointed person who speaks God's words to God's people. – curiousdannii May 1 '18 at 12:27
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    Your own link refutes your claim that Catholics don't believe Jesus is a prophet: "Then it is the Messias in person who, long foretold and awaited as a Prophet, does not disdain to accept this title and to fulfil its signification." – curiousdannii May 1 '18 at 13:51
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    @DestinationY Jesus being a prophet was stated by Jesus himself before any Catholic church emerged! Luke 4:24 he identified himself as a prophet who would not be accepted in his home town. See also Luke 7:16, 24:19, John 1:19-27 where John the Baptist denied being The Prophet who was to come, pointing to Jesus instead, and Acts 7:37 & 52 - Stephen also identified Jesus as the prophet like Moses. Jesus prophesied specific things - Matthew chapter 24. Being the greatest Prophet is one of the identifying marks of the Son of God. – Anne May 1 '18 at 15:51
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The Greatest Prophet in Christianity is and has always been St. John the Baptist.

St. Matthew 11: 11-15 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Jesus Christ is not the greatest prophet, because prophets point to The Way(Jn5:38-40), their purpose is to call people back to The Way. But Jesus himself is The Way(Jn14:6), and so cannot be a prophet properly speaking. He is the liaison between the supernatural and the natural leading to the divine and so to salvation. In effect being both God and man to fulfill this role, but that's another story, or is it?

We read in the Gospel of St. Matthew 16:13-18 :

13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

From verses 13-14 we can see that the masses have various differing ideas of who Christ is, some believe he is a prophet. Also the mention of St.John the Baptist in this enumeration shows that his personnage was of significance. The rest is self-evident, St. Peter declares that Jesus is Christ Son of God infallibly(v.17) which means the previous titles were not only fallible but also false. He is not a pointer, he is the point. The power is not outside of him, the power is him.

15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

To amplify this answer let us take a look at the parallels between Jesus the Christ and St. John the Baptist, and they have their place. These will be bullet points, you are welcome to look up the references and overtime I might integrate them into the list.

enter image description here

  • Both men were prophesied by the prophet Malachi
  • Both men had births which an angel foretold
  • They had a fusional relationship together before birth(more on this below)
  • Both men preached about repentance and the Kingdom of Heaven
  • Both men criticized the religious leaders of the day
  • Both men were accused of operating by demonic influence/power
  • Both men had devout disciples
  • Both men were persecuted because of their preaching
  • Both men were arrested for ludicrous reasons.
  • Both men were killed because of the rulers sinning by omission
  • Both men had people who came and asked for their dead bodies

I will end this answer by expounding a bit on this fusional relationship they had before birth, this is very important to understand the holiness of St. John the Baptist.

King David is a type of St. John the Baptist, and the latter one is superior. In the Old Testament the Ark of the Covenant was the seat of God on Earth, his presence was seated on this throne and reassured. The Israelites even took it with them in war to bless the warriors before battle. One day in a festive setting, King David stripped himself almost entierly naked and danced in the presence of the Ark in honor of God(2 Samuel 6:9-15). This same pattern is repeated in the New Testament when Mary, who holds God inside of her and is therefore the Living Ark of the Covenant, makes St. John the Baptist jump with joy being animated by God's Holy Spirit inside of the womb of his mother Elizabeth at the mere sound of here salutation(St. Luke 1:41-47). King David was one of the holiest men in the Old Testament, so much so that Christ is called Son of David. Therefore seeing this New Testament overdose of grace as it were, since David danced when he was aged while St. John danced when he wasn't even born yet, it can be taken to be indicative of St. John the Baptist's exceptional spiritual maturity. This is even more obvious when we take into consideration the "three months" in 2 Samuel 6:11 and St. Luke 1:56, the number 3 of course having its own deep theological background.

To put emphasis on the "majority view" part of this question, I first remind you all that Catholics make up 52% of Christians(majority), add to that the Orthodox who make up around 20% of Christians and we're at 70%, stronger majority. According to both of the Churches, St. John the Baptist is the Greatest Prophet.

"O glorious St. John the Baptist, Greatest prophet among those born of woman"(Novena of St. John the Baptist)

"He that was greater than all who are born of women, the Prophet who received God's testimony that he surpassed all the Prophets, was born of the aged and barren Elizabeth"(Saint John the Baptist Orthodox Church Western Rite mission of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America)

"They also embrace a tradition that, following his death, John descended into Hell and there once more preached that Jesus the Messiah was coming."(Orthodox Wiki)

However this does not make him the Greatest Human Being in the eyes of God Almighty, there is one who is even holier. You see, this time again we will exclude Jesus Christ, for it is true that he is a human being but he is not a human person. He is a divine person. The change in vocabulary is too subtle for most and so if I answered Jesus you would feel cheated. Instead I will answer by indexing the Greatest Human Being and Human Person, not St. John the Baptist for he is in second place, but instead and to the dismay of many, a woman, the Blessed Virgin Mary is the number one.

enter image description here

  • Mary is Mother of God, also known as Theotokos meaning God-bearer
  • Mary is Ever Queen of Heaven
  • Mary is the new Ark of the Covenant
  • Mary is the new Eve
  • Mary is the Mother of the Church
  • Mary is the Immaculate Conception(Jesus is the Virginal Conception)

I already expounded on her role as Ark of the Covenant, although more can be said, but for the purposes of this format I will not do so. The Immaculate Conception is also quite significant, as it teaches that she is without sin just like Jesus Christ, and therefore disqualifies everyone except Jesus Christ. She never sinned nor was she born in sin, this does not mean she wasn't saved or didn't need Jesus. The biblical explanation would be too long to present here, but Catholic Answers has some interesting material to present. I also recommend Dr. Scott Hahn.

Emphasis added once more :

"971 "All generations will call me blessed": "The Church's devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship."515 The Church rightly honors "the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of 'Mother of God,' to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs. . . . This very special devotion . . . differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration."516 The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an "epitome of the whole Gospel," express this devotion to the Virgin Mary.517" (Cathechism of the Catholic Church)

"The Orthodox Church honors and venerates the Virgin Mary as "more honourable than the Cherubim and more glorious without compare than the Seraphim …" Her name is mentioned in every service, and her intercession before the throne of God is asked. She is given the title of "Theotokos" (Greek for "Birth-giver-of-God), as well as "Mother of God". She has a definite role in Orthodox Christianity, and can in no way be considered an instrument which, once used, was laid aside and forgotten."(Orthodox Christianity, Archbishop Dmitri)

Roman Catholic Mariology contends that a veneration (hyperdulia) should be given to Mary that is higher than the dulia given to the other saints. Worship (latria) is properly given only to God. While Anglicans can agree that God alone is to be worshipped, many do not agree that Mary should receive a degree of veneration above the other saints. Some Anglicans agree with the Eastern Orthodox that Mary is simply the greatest of all the Saints, and that she should be venerated as such (that is, dulia).(Anglican Marian Theology, Wikipedia)

Everything I have presented here, from St. John the Baptist to the Blessed Virgin, is the Majority View in Christianity. Catholics make up 52% of Christians, add to that the Orthodox and a few Protestants and you're at over 70% of Christians agreeing with me. Although the Immaculate Conception is exclusively a Catholic thing, but the Orthodox sometimes have a semblance of this. Either way it is the Majority View, we cannot satisfy everyone can we.

IN SUMMATION this is why St. John the Baptist is and will always be the Greatest Prophet in Christianity, and the Blessed Virgin Mary is undethronable Most Holy Human Being and Person that has ever walked this Earth.

  • You have expounded the reasons why you believe John the Baptist to be the greatest prophet, but you haven't shown that any Christians other than you believe that. – DJClayworth May 1 '18 at 12:47
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    Sources are exactly what I was looking for. – DJClayworth May 1 '18 at 13:12
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    It would probably also be better to say explicitly at the start that your answer only applies to Catholics and Orthodox. Saying "The Greatest Prophet in Christianity is..." implies that all Christians agree with this. – DJClayworth May 1 '18 at 14:33
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    No, on this site we absolutely do not state that the majority Christian view is the right one, or that it is "the view of Christians" - specifically because Catholics outnumber other denominations. Please have a look at the site guidelines. What we do is get the questioner to say which denomination they are asking about, or we give an answer in which we clearly state that the answer only applies to one part of Christianity. – DJClayworth May 1 '18 at 14:56
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    He doesn't ask for the majority view. – DJClayworth May 1 '18 at 15:54
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Interesting question

Moses, Paul, David.

Paul was such a good example he suggested we should follow it to know how to live a life committed to God.

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. 1 Cor 11:1

Moses was a very humble man, even though he was the leader of Israel, he managed to not let his position go to his head.

Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth. Numbers 12:3

David as a King, still humbled himself and walked closely with God through his struggles, as reflected in Psalms.

You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty. You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall. Psalm 18:27-29

We would hold these up as examples, but not worthy of comparing saying one is better than the other, rather they reflect different experiences and approaches.

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    Hi Peter. We don't encourage the giving of opinions here, since we are tightly focussed on factual answers. – DJClayworth Apr 30 '18 at 15:57

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