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Denying the deity of Jesus Christ is one of the core beliefs of the Jehovah Witnesses: Jehovah’s Witnesses View of Christ.

John 5:18 states,

For this cause therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.

John 8:59,

Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple.

John 10:31,

The Jews took up stones AGAIN to stone Him.

John 10:33,

The Jews answered Him, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for BLASPHEMY; and because You, being a man make Yourself out God.

Also, according to the trial record at Matthew 26:57-66, and specifically at vs65 the high priest Caiaphas makes a strong accusation:

The high priest tore his robes, saying, "He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have no heard the blasphemy;"

What was the blasphemy, according to the Jews, that Jesus committed that resulted in His crucifixion and eventual death?

Related question asked here

  • mostly a formatting edit. We have some regular JW users who can hopefully offer up one of their usually fine answers. – KorvinStarmast Jan 24 at 18:53
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    That's fine, do what you have to do, I have no objections. – Mr. Bond Jan 24 at 19:00
  • I am looking forward to the answers, right along with you. :-) – KorvinStarmast Jan 24 at 19:09
  • Well it was a false accusation based on the wrong belief that being the son of God makes one equal to God. Trinitarians say it was not blasphemy because Jesus is God. JWs say it was not blasphemy because Jesus was claiming to be God’s son not claiming to be God. – Kris Jan 24 at 19:14
  • I have a question for KorvinStarmast or any other moderator? Addressing what Mr.Kris stated will take more words than doing it in the comments section. Can I answer by adding to my initial thread? – Mr. Bond Jan 24 at 21:36
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Jehovahs Witnesses would most like interpret him being only the Son of God and not God the Son as well

Matthew 26:63-64 -- The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Since they do not believe Jesus is Divine, they interpret these verses as Him claiming to be the Messiah and that the Messiah is not God Himself.

I hope this helps and makes sense to you.

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Evidently for the Jews, making (ἐποίησεν) himself to be the Son of God [1] was a claim to be the foretold 'son of man' from Daniel 7 and that he would be with God in heaven. [2] They felt this was a lie concerning God.


[1] The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by that law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. (ASV, John 19:7)

[2] 63 But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou art the Christ, the Son of God 64 Jesus said unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Henceforth ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven. 65 Then the high priest rent his garments, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy: what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard the blasphemy. (ASV, Mt 26:63-65)

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  • No sir Mr.Pearne, Jesus did not have a prehuman existence in heaven. John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word/Jesus Christ, and the Word was with God, and the WORD WAS GOD." Jesus became human when He became flesh according to John 1:14. Moreover, Jesus was eternally the Son of God even before creation at Genesis 1:1. John 3:13, "And no one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven, the Son of Man." There are about 16 more verses that back John 3:13 up. Since the Son was sent from heaven, He had to have preexisted His incarnation as a man. To be sent means you preexist. – Mr. Bond Jan 24 at 21:58
  • Where's your proof from Scripture that the Jews thought Jesus was referring to a prehuman existence? – Mr. Bond Jan 24 at 22:08
  • Nice try, but that won't cut it either. John 10:33, The Jews answered Him, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out God." Did you get that, "Out God." And at John 5:18 they accused Him of "making Himself equal with God." – Mr. Bond Jan 24 at 22:31
  • @Mr.Bond I place my trust in how Jesus replies to that accusation in verse 36. – Thomas Pearne Jan 24 at 22:33
  • Okay, fine! Is there any reason (that you can think of) why Jesus brought up Psalm 82:6 and how it relates to what Jesus said at John 10:36? – Mr. Bond Jan 24 at 23:07
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Jesus was accused of blasphemy by the Jews because they wrongly leaped to the conclusion that saying “I am the Son of God” was tantamount to saying “I am God”.

How did Jesus respond to this erroneous point of view?

The Catholic Jerusalem Bible reads: “

Jesus said to them, ‘I have done many good works for you to see, works from my Father; for which of these are you stoning me?’ The Jews answered him, ‘We are not stoning you for doing a good work but for blasphemy: you are only a man and you claim to be God’. Jesus answered: ‘Is it not written in your Law: I said, you are gods? So the Law uses the word gods of those to whom the word of God was addressed, and scripture cannot be rejected. Yet you say to someone the Father has consecrated and sent into the world, “You are blaspheming”, because he says, “I am the Son of God”. If I am not doing my Father’s work, there is no need to believe me; but if I am doing it, then even if you refuse to believe in me, at least believe in the work I do; then you will know for sure that the Father is in me and I am in the Father’” —John 10:32-38.

These Jews evidently jumped to the conclusion that Jesus was making himself God because Jesus attributed to himself powers that the Jews believed belonged only to the Father.

Jesus had previously said that he would give “eternal life” to the “sheep.” The Jews knew no human could do that. But they were overlooking that Jesus acknowledged having received everything from his Father, and that the fine works he was doing proved that he was his Father’s representative.

When questioned before the Sanhedrin, Jesus was falsely accused of blasphemy, not because of claiming to be ‘God the Son,’ but because of claiming to be the ‘Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ (Matt. 26:63-68; Luke 22:66-71)

John 5:18

The Jews began seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath but he was also calling God his own Father, making himself equal to God.”

Jesus hadn’t said he was God. He called ‘God his Father.’ The Jews objected to his claiming this relationship to his Father, this special Sonship.

And just as they were wrong in labeling Jesus as a Sabbath breaker, they were also wrong in their assertion about Jesus’ making himself equal to God because of ‘calling God his own Father.’

The above is paraphrased from an article entitled How are God and Christ One?

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