#1: The Word
John 1:1—“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Jesus was in the beginning (He had no beginning), He was with God, and He was God. The grammatical structure of the passage supports the idea that Jesus was the Word, and that He was God, but that He was not the Father or the Spirit, as both persons are distinguished clearly from Jesus (e.g., Jn 15:9, 26). While the concept of the triune God, or the trinity is prevalent in the New Testament, it is not simply a New Testament concept, as it is found in Old Testament as well (e.g., Isaiah 48:12, 16).
#2: The Image of the Invisible God
Colossians 1:15-17—“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” That He is the firstborn of all creation means that He is sovereign over creation, not that He is the first created thing Notice the parallel reference to Jesus as the firstborn from the dead in 1:18. Clearly this shows His sovereignty over death, as the one conquering death. The passage is not indicating that He was the first to die.
#3: Our Great God and Savior
Titus 2:13—“Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus…” The genitives in this passage are all singular. The God and Savior are the same person, according to Paul. The reference to Jesus as God and Savior is repeated in Titus 3:4-6. Christ is called “our Savior.”
#4: My Lord and My God
John 20:28—“Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’” Thomas’ great exclamation includes two nominative substantives joined by the conjunction and (kai). Jesus acknowledges that Thomas had “seen Me.” Thomas worships Jesus as God, and Jesus accepts it (blasphemy if not true).
#5 Before Abraham Was, I Am
John 8:56, 58—“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad…Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” Jesus claimed to interact personally with Abraham, then He claimed the name “I AM,” (ego eimi), which was the title God used when speaking with Moses from the burning bush (Ex 3:14). Those listening to Jesus understood that Jesus was claiming to be God, and they picked up stones to stone Him for blasphemy (Jn 8:59).
#6 The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
2 Peter 3:18—”…but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” Genitives are singular, Lord and Savior are equated, and Jesus is identified as both. Peter repeats this formula several times, first referring to Jesus as God and Savior (2 Pet 1:1), and then four times identifying Jesus as Lord and Savior (1:11, 2:20, 3:2, 3:18). In this last reference, Peter worships Jesus as God, which is blasphemy against God if not true.
#7 The First and the Last
Revelation 22:13—“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Jesus claimed the title of God from Isaiah 48:12, a context in which “the first and the last” refers to only one person, the creator of all.
#8 The Christ, the Son of God
Matthew 16:16—“Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’” While there are many references to sons (plural) of God, John tells us that God had one son who was unique (Jn 3:16). Peter calls Him the Christ, the Son of the living God (Mt 16:16), and Jesus responds that what Peter said was true, and that it was from the Father. Even the high priest later acknowledged that the Christ would be the Son of God. This “only begotten Son” (Jn 3:16) was not a son by origin—He wasn’t born in the sense that He began to exist. He existed prior to His human birth, and was said to have existed even before all things were created (Jn 1:1, Col 1:16-17).
#9 The Exact Representation of His Nature
Hebrews 1:3a—“And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.” Jesus is, literally, the character of the essence of God. This exact representation is called the Son of God (1:5), He is to be worshipped by angels (1:6), and He is called God (1:8).
#10 Existed in the Form of God
Philippians 2:6 “…who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped…” Jesus existed in the morphe of God, had equality with Him, but was willing to empty Himself (of His glory), humbling Himself to become a man, obedient, and to die on a cross (Php 2:7-8). As a result, every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord (2:11).
There are many more evidences for the divinity of Jesus, both in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and the Greek New Testament, but these are just a few examples that point us toward the understanding that Jesus is not simply a historical figure, a good teacher, or a prophet. He is something much more than that.
Dr. Christopher Cone serves as Chief Academic Officer and Research Professor of Bible and Theology at Southern California Seminary. He formerly served as President of Tyndale Theological Seminary and Biblical Institute, Professor of Bible and Theology, and as a Pastor of Tyndale Bible Church. He has also held several teaching positions and is the author and general editor of several books. He blogs regularly at drcone.com.