1. All men are sinful.
  2. If Jesus is not God, he is a man.
  3. Thus, if Jesus is a man, he is sinful.
  4. Jesus was not sinful.
  5. Thus Jesus must be more than a man.

Premise 1 is merely an acceptance of Romans 3:23. Premise 2 is what I think the BU position is, but feel free to correct me.

Notice that for premise 5 I don’t explicitly state that Jesus is God, but I do state that he must be something more than just a man.

So my question for the Biblical Unitarian is this: is my argument flawed, or is Jesus more than a man? If so, what?

  • 1
    Not a unitarian, but to my knowledge, most of them don't espouse beliefs that come close to a more traditional doctrine of original sin or imputed guilt. In that sense, I think they'd likely argue that it's virtually impossible for us to be perfect, but Jesus obeyed God perfectly and sinlessly, as an example for us to follow, but as probably the only person who ever will do so this side of heaven.
    – ninthamigo
    Commented Apr 8, 2022 at 22:38
  • 1
    All in Adam are sinful. I am Trinitarian and do not accept premise 3. Jesus' sinless humanity sources from the virgin birth since the wayward nature is passed paternally. He was born without sin because he had no human father; i.e. he was not 'in Adam' ... he was a 'new' Adam. The supposed sinlessness of Mary is unnecessary for Jesus to have been born sinless. Commented Jul 13, 2023 at 11:52
  • 1
    @MikeBorden that’s a really solid objection. I don’t find this argument to be compelling since posting it quite a while ago
    – Luke Hill
    Commented Jul 13, 2023 at 19:45

3 Answers 3


I can't find anything in Biblical unitarian (BU) resources specifically addressing this point, but Romans 3:23's context for 'all' is in contradistinction to Jesus Christ (see Romans 3:22 and 3:24). So the 'all' is scoped to exclude Jesus.

Also, BU's would hold that Jesus is sinless, because that is strong scriptural teaching (see 1 Peter 1:19 ("the precious blood of Jesus Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect"), 2 Corinthians 5:21 ("who knew no sin"), Hebrews 4:15 ("one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin"), 1 John 3:5 ("in Him there is no sin"), and so on).

So, since BU's hold that Jesus is a man, but there is clear scriptural teaching that Jesus is sinless, probably a BU would deny premise 1.

They would probably accept premise 2. (but remove the conditional, just "Jesus is a man", as not being God could leave, say, being an angel). Point 3 then doesn't follow, due to denial of 1. They would accept 4. Point 5 doesn't follow because 3 doesn't follow because 1. is denied.

  • Wait a minute - How exactly are you going to scope Romans? You never seemed to explain how to do that. Why doesn’t it apply to Jesus?
    – Luke Hill
    Commented Apr 8, 2022 at 23:01
  • @LukeHill Why doesn't 'all have sinned' apply to Jesus? Because we know from various other scriptural passages that Jesus did not sin. Commented Apr 8, 2022 at 23:03
  • @LukeHill But just beforehand, Paul is clearly distinguishing who he is talking about from Jesus. Commented Apr 8, 2022 at 23:03
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    @LukeHill Do you have a reason to think there is an answer specific to BU's? My guess is that the answers you'll get will be similar to trinitarian answers on that. So, a sinless sacrifice was required for proper atonement, say. Commented Apr 9, 2022 at 3:22
  • 1
    interesting. I wasn’t sure how to scope this, I’m not super aware of what biblical Unitarianism is
    – Luke Hill
    Commented Apr 9, 2022 at 4:04

How do Biblical Unitarians who accept Jesus’ sinlessness understand this argument?

1. All men are sinful.
2. If Jesus is not God, he is a man.
3. Thus, if Jesus is a man, he is sinful.
4. Jesus was not sinful.
5. Thus Jesus must be more than a man.

Let's assume, for the sake of understanding the final conclusion of this argument, that all of these premises/conclusions are in fact true. We could summarize them with a couple of additional conclusions/premises, as follows.

  1. Since Jesus is not a man, he is God.
  2. Because he is God, he is not sinful.

There is a hidden, subliminal message to this--one that Satan is keen on every person believing. It is this: only God can be sinless.

If this message is believed, then one cannot believe, or follow, Jesus' command given in Matthew 5:48.

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48, KJV)

And if one cannot believe (trust) or follow (obey) Jesus' commandment, one does not love him.

If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15, KJV)

Therefore, to believe the five points listed in the OP is to oppose the teachings of Jesus, and to show one does not love him who gave his life for him or her.

Further, it sets up plain contradictions in the Bible that can be illustrated by the following list of premises.

  1. God claims to be immortal (see 1 Timothy 1:17; 6:16).
  2. Jesus, who is God, died (see 1 Thessalonians 4:14; Acts 13:30).
  3. God says He cannot be tempted with evil (see James 1:13).
  4. Jesus, who is God, was tempted (see Matthew 4:1).
  5. God claims He does not lie (see Numbers 23:19).
  6. Therefore, since God contradicts Himself, He cannot be trusted.

[Lies in italics]


The conclusions reached, if the original premises posted in the OP are followed to their full, show us that those premises cannot in fact be true, for they are self-contradictory.

As a non-trinitarian, I understand the argument presented in the question as invalid. It fails to properly summarize the Biblical teachings on the subject, and ends up teaching a message that is at odds with itself, with Jesus, and with his teachings.

Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. (John 20:17, KJV)

  • Yikes! If Matthew 5:48 is a command, do you obey this command? Are you perfect as is your Father in heaven? Commented Jul 13, 2023 at 11:57
  • 2
    @MikeBorden I aspire to obey it; it's a journey--the work of a lifetime. The more I understand God's heart and will, the easier it is, i.e. the more natural, to follow it. With Paul, I can say: "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14, KJV).
    – Biblasia
    Commented Jul 13, 2023 at 12:49
  • "Be perfect" is indicative in mood and not imperative so it is not a command. "Therefore you will be perfect" is the sense. The Lord is not commanding us to be perfect...we can't be and he is. If we walk by the Spirit we are shaped into what the sermon on the mount describes: You must be born again and then you are predestined to be conformed into the image of Christ as the indwelling Spirit lusts against the flesh. Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 13:00
  • The nearest imperatives are in verse 44: love, bless, do good unto, and pray for your enemies. When we do those things we are like our Father (v. 45) rather than doing what the rest of the world does (v. 46-47). Such love is a fruit of the Spirit and not the production of the flesh. This takes the pressure off of me. I don't have to 'do it' I just have to cooperate with the Spirit and always 'be being filled'. Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 13:00
  • 1
    @MikeBorden Note that Greek future tenses can be commands borrowed from the Hebrew idiom, e.g. "You will not steal." See more HERE.
    – Biblasia
    Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 15:13

The questioner's logic and conclusion are rational.

Jesus is the first of a new type of humanity.

He is of the next age. He is the new man. He is better in all ways than his predecessor, Adam.

1 Cor 15

21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

We can observe God's character in His design. Life comes from seed and its the Father who sows the seed. A farmer represents our Father.

His garden was infested early on by an enemy. All of the Father's seedlings in this age have been corrupted because they are all of the lineage of Adam.

God our Father loves His Creation dearly. Instead of destroying His garden completely and starting over, He is in the process of saving it. His method for doing this is by planting another seed.

Matt 13

31 “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

The Father and 1 eternal Farmer produced a second seed of Himself; an incorruptible seed. This seed was used to beget Jesus, His only begotten son.

1 Cor 15

45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven.

He is the new True Vine, the conduit for the Spirit of his Father. We as his brethren are grafted onto this Vine in this age making us incorruptible in this new garden - the New Creation. The garden will get tilled after the harvest and the 1 eternal Farmer, our Father will start again. This is the age to come.

John 15 New International Version

1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

  • This was an unnecessary answer as I’ve already accepted one.
    – Luke Hill
    Commented Jul 20, 2023 at 14:05
  • @LukeHill Do you think you are the only one reading this or that the answer you excepted is the entire story because you clicked on a green check? Commented Jul 20, 2023 at 15:10
  • @RLPM generally speaking this site discourages late answers on questions with already accepted answers.
    – Luke Hill
    Commented Jul 20, 2023 at 22:23
  • Why? Because 1 person accepted an answer. If this were the case, the questions would be locked. My answer adds much to the collection of good answers here. The whole notion seems pretty silly to me since there are only 2 other answers to a complex question. Commented Jul 20, 2023 at 23:47

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