Jesus and New Testament authors repeatedly apparently talk about the Father as Jesus' God. This Biblical Unitarian article collects some examples:

Ephesians 1:17
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

Revelation 1:6
And has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father– to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.

Revelation 3:12
Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.

Even in the book of Revelation (after his death, resurrection, and ascension), when Jesus has all authority in Heaven and on Earth, seated at the right hand of God, he still says “my God.”

1 Peter 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

John 20:17 (NASB)
Jesus said to her, “Stop clinging to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren, and say to them, ‘I ascend to my Father and your Father, and my God and your God.’”

Romans 15:6
So that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.

2 Corinthians 11:31 (KJV)
The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.

To this can be added other verses, such as Hebrews 1:8-9.

"But about the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, endures [alt. 'Your throne is God'] forever and ever, and justice is the scepter of Your kingdom. 9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You above Your companions with the oil of joy.”" (Berean Study Bible)

Similarly, there are passages which strongly suggest Jesus has a God, such as Luke 4:5-8.

"Then the devil led Him up to a high place and showed Him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 “I will give You authority over all these kingdoms and all their glory,” he said. “For it has been relinquished to me, and I can give it to anyone I wish. 7 So if You worship me, it will all be Yours.” 8 But Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’”"

The assertions that Jesus has a God cut across the New Testament, including St. Peter, St. Paul, St. John, and the author of Hebrews' writings. They are made both by Jesus himself before he ascends, and by others after He ascends.

According to Trinitarian theology, does only God the Son have a God? Or does God the Father also? God the Holy Spirit? (Or are all the examples above misleading, and none of the persons of the Trinity has a God?)


7 Answers 7


The question here is really pushing the English language to its limits. The word "have" can be used to refer to a huge number of relationships of various kinds. We talk about us as humans "having" a bicycle, a pet, a wife, a country and a God, although our relationships to those things are entirely different: we entirely own and control the bicycle we "have", but we are entirely subservient to the God we "have".

When we talk about "having a God" it usually means a relationship of subservience. It is the relationship we are used to when we talk about humans having a God.

It is true that only God the Son has a relationship of subservience to the other Persons of the Trinity, because he voluntarily took on that role. Only he "has" a God in the sense we normally use it. God the Father "has" a Son who is God, and so in that sense he truly "has" a God, but with a different relationship meant by " has" from the one we normally expect; it sounds odd to us because we are used to "he has a God" meaning subservience. The same applies to the relationships of the Spirit.

So the answer depends on the exact meaning you assign to "have a God".

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Ken Graham
    May 12, 2022 at 2:01

In short, no. Jesus as the incarnate Son of God is an exception because He is both fully God and fully man. Regarding His humanity, He is the Messiah, the Suffering Servant, who came only to do the Father’s will (cf. John 5:19.) As a man in the fullest sense of the word, possessing a fully human nature, soul, body, and will, He devoted Himself entirely to the will of God (His Father) as any other created human being is wont to do, despite the fact that the fullness of God dwells in Him bodily (cf. Colossians 2:9.)

So, with an eye towards His humanity, we have no problem saying that the Father is “God” to Jesus, by virtue of Christ’s willing subjection to Him and by virtue of the Father’s “begetting” of Christ.

By contrast, such a thing is never said of the Father in Scripture. To say that the Father has a “God” in the same sense as Christ would be to confuse the relationships that exist between the Persons of the Trinity. In simpler terms, we can’t say that because it would imply that the Father relates to Himself in the same exact way as Christ relates to Him, which is untrue. The Father was never “begotten” of Himself, nor was the Spirit “begotten” of the Father. The Son doesn’t “proceed” from the Father in the same sense as the Spirit does, and so on.

As an aside, “God” as a name sometimes refers to the entire Trinity, but also can refer to a specific member of the Godhead, e.g. God the Father in John 17:3 or God the Son in 1 John 5:20. Thus, when Jesus refers to “God” (e.g. John 8:42), specifically God the Father is in view. Furthermore, when we see “Jesus” alongside “God” in Scripture (e.g. John 13:3-4, Acts 2:23, 32, 36, 5:30), the same principle usually holds.

  • Clear exposition of this view. Would you say Jesus still has a God? May 11, 2022 at 16:06
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    Yes, for two reasons. Firstly, because Jesus is still the God-man. Secondly, because there is at least one passage to suggest that Jesus will continue to be subservient to the Father even into eternity (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:20-28.)
    – andrewtc
    May 11, 2022 at 16:54

Trinitarian understanding of who Jesus is

Trinitarian conception of God is inseparable from the dual nature conception of Jesus as the human being who walked on earth for about 30-35 years. Therefore, when answering questions like this, both the Nicene understanding of the Trinity as well as the Chalcedonian definition of the dual nature of Christ need to be employed.

First and foremost, Jesus is God the Son, whose divine nature shares the same essence with God the Father. Jesus's human nature is best conceived (with our limited understanding) as an "add on" to this pre-existing divine nature which was not absent when Jesus was walking on earth, but out of wanting to appear human Jesus purposely let his divine nature to remain mostly in the background although Jesus had fully access when he wanted to operate through His divine nature. Jesus as an integrated human person like us had the freedom on which occasions he wanted not to access his divinity and therefore appeared to his earthly contemporaries as non-culpably making mistakes (didn't know that his mom was looking for him, cf. Luke 2:48-50), was ignorant (cf. Luke 8:45), was "increasing in wisdom" (cf. Luke 2:52), etc.

Attempts to arrive at the best definition of Trinity across ages

Faced with trustworthy recollection of the apostles' personal experience with Jesus and their remembrance of what Jesus said, the early church fathers reflected on all this data and used the best concepts that they could come up with (borrowing and transforming and extending terms from Greek philosophy) to arrive at the standard Nicene and Chalcedonian formulas that Trinitarian Christians are still using today.

Later church fathers, including the medieval theologians, tried various ways to clarify these definitions, most significantly in understanding the 3 persons not as if they are 3 separable persons (for this would be tritheism, as in the frequent but misleading depiction of the 3 visibly distinct men who visited Abraham in Gen 18), but as what Aquinas conceived as "three subsistent relations that obtains within the unity of God" (Bishop Barron's colloquial summary of Summa Ia Q 39):

  1. The Father IS the relation of paternity [generation, as in "eternally begotten"] to the Son [the divine nature]
  2. The Son IS the filiation vis a vis the Father [the other side of the generation]
  3. The Holy Spirit IS the spiration (breath) between the Father and the Son, designating the loving activity between the Father and the Son

Please note that even though Aquinas's definition is still in use today in Catholic theology, it is provisional at best, since we cannot know the full nature of God. For example, this 2004 paper Aquinas on Subsistent Relation by Catholic theologian John Lamont highlights some deficiencies of this understanding from the perspective of modern philosophy. But at least this understanding helps us to make sense of all Biblical data in a Trinitarian way and helps us to avoid various heresies such as tritheism or modalism as well as benefits us in thinking logically in our daily walk with Jesus as both our Lord (divine) and our brother (human).


Using the understanding of Trinity as "3 subsistent relations", it is incorrect to say "God the Son HAS a God" as if the 2 beings are separable. Instead, it's better to say that Jesus in his human nature (as Second Adam, as a son of God as we all are) HAS A RELATIONSHIP to God the Father (the divine being). This is attested by all Biblical data in which Jesus (in his human nature) prays, obeys, cries out, and relies constantly on God the Father because Jesus wants to model for us what God expects us to do as a perfect son of God (lower-case 's').

When Jesus taught the disciples the Lord's prayer "Our Father who art in heaven" Jesus (in his human nature) would have prayed together with them as their brother to God the Father (whom they understood as the God of Israel whose throne is in heaven).

Resources used in this answer

  1. Bishop Barron's explanation of this at min 12:10-17:08 of his episode Understanding the Holy Spirit.
  2. Lessons 5-10 of the International Catholic University course lecture notes for The One and Triune God

Appendix: soteriological purpose of Jesus as both God the Son and descendant of Adam

As @andrewtc points out in the comment, we also need to be mindful of another purpose of why God the Son assumed human nature, from the Reformed soteriological perspective:

While there is a sense in which Christ subjected Himself to the Father as an example to us, the primary reason He did so was to fulfill the righteous requirement of the Law on our behalf, so that He might impute His righteousness to us. The Law of God demands perfect holiness and obedience to God in thought, word, and deed at all times, which no one born of Adam can ever fulfill. Jesus was baptized, endured temptation in the wilderness, and suffered all during His earthly life as necessary to His perfect fulfillment of the Law.

I'm leaning on verses like Matthew 3:15 and Matthew 5:17 for my understanding here. You will find a similar view espoused in the Reformed confessions, e.g. Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 60.

  • 1
    @OneGodtheFather I owe you Trinitarian explanation of the verses in the Unitarian article you provided. Will update my answer later. Good that I have this answer posted before the Q is closed :-). But skimming through the verses, it looks like my answer already has the kernel of the explanation. May 11, 2022 at 17:14
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    I think that would make this answer officially 'awesome'. :) May 11, 2022 at 17:17
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    @OneGodtheFather I also notice that there are 2 variations of the Lord's prayer (Matthew vs. Luke), the Matthew version is "Our Father in heaven" (Greek version here), while some manuscript for Luke simply has "Father in heaven" May 11, 2022 at 17:21
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    @andrewtc Thank you for your comment. I have it incorporated it in the answer. Feel free to edit the section. May 11, 2022 at 17:50
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    @OneGodtheFather "I think that would make this answer officially 'awesome'". While looking at the verses in context, only Rev 3:12 gives me pause. The others have the same construction "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" which is easy enough. I'll have to research a bit on Jesus as "son of Man", whether in the second coming (context of Rev 3) it will be Jesus incarnate, whether there is a sense that Jesus's having all authority on Earth is Jesus the human being, etc. I don't feel I have done enough exegetical homework on this verse yet as the basis for a good answer. May 12, 2022 at 14:40

Christ has two natures, human and divine, and His actions and statements are ascribed to either one nature or the other. This also applies when speaking about Him. The phrases "God of our Lord Jesus Christ" and "His God" refer to the human nature. The term "Father" in relation to Christ -especially in the phrase "His Father"- must refer to the divine nature because He is the Only-Begotten Son of God the Father.

  • Welcome to C.SE. Concise and accurate explanation. May 13, 2022 at 15:43

No, you're just confusing words or asking an intentionally confusing question.

Trinity Diagram

Is all we know and all we'll ever know. If you start asking questions that fall outside the domain of all we know, you're asking if there's someone greater than God; which is an impossibility.

Because as any vegetable, fruit (or tuberous root) knows:

God is the Biggest

  • Junior Asparagus

For Classic Christianity, aka Trinitarians, God the Son set aside benefits of being God and was born, lived, and died as a human being. When Jesus prayed, it was to the Father.

I looked quickly to the Greek, Aramaic, and my favorite English translation texts. I cannot find what you present as an assertion.

To us, neither God the Son, the Father, nor the Holy spirit have a God above them. Such is a primary singular principle of the Classic Christian Church and orthodox teaching that there is a Triune God.

I hope you find the answer you are looking for.

  • 1
    Jesus died only in his human nature, but he certainly lived as the dual nature union. Since the incarnation, the person of Jesus Christ is always both God and human. Your first paragraph sounds like he might have completely put away his divine nature, which is not what the Nicene/Chalcedonian creeds teach.
    – curiousdannii
    May 11, 2022 at 3:35
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    +1 "I looked quickly to the Greek, Aramaic, and my favorite English translation texts. I cannot find what you present as an assertion." Can you say what you are referring to here? May 11, 2022 at 16:11

Isaiah 44:6, "Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel And His Redeemer, the Lord of hosts; I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me."

Do you believe that God is telling the truth? I remember years ago a question (sort of like this one) ask, "Where did God come from?" The following answer was give by the late Dr. Walter Martin who wrote the book "Kingdom of the Cults."

He said, it does not matter where God came from. Your here now and you accountable to Me. He then gave the following example which in today's times is "apropos." In our court system the highest place you can go is the Supreme Count, and they have the last word. You cannot go any father than them, period.

  • 1
    Rather a poor quality answer, Mr Bond. I don't see how this answers the question.
    – Nigel J
    May 11, 2022 at 7:53
  • @NigelJ Why does it not answer the question? I'm referring to what God says at Isaiah 44:6. How can God have a Father when He Himself says there is no God besides Him? Also at vs8, "Is there any God besides Me, or is there any Rock? I know of none." The reason I brought up the rest of my post was to show that we are accountable to this One God and not to "The" God who Himself has a father, not. Where's your answer Nigel J 5?
    – Mr. Bond
    May 11, 2022 at 13:25
  • It might have helped for you to merely quote the text and offer the explanation in comment as the actual answer. I might have then up-voted.
    – Nigel J
    May 11, 2022 at 13:34

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