Debate Review: Who Is God? James White Versus Joe Ventilacion (2)

I was asked to review “Who Is God?”, a debate between James White and Joe Ventilacion that took place on April 21st, 2017 in Rapid City, SD. The review will consist of a lengthy series of shorter posts to capture the significance of each of the arguments used and to make them as clear as possible to the readership.

James White: Opening Statement

In the previous post, James White claimed we must base our beliefs about God on the Bible alone. And we must base our beliefs on all of the Bible.

We also saw that John 17:3 does not teach the Unitarianism of Iglesia ni Cristo. If the Bible says God is three persons sharing one divine being then Trinitarianism wins the debate.

Does the Bible say Jesus is God with the Father? Yes, there is no question that Scripture describes Jesus as theos (θεός – nominative, θεοῦ – genitive), which means Jesus is God! Here are some verses of the Bible that call Jesus God:

1. …looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus (τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ). (Titus 2:13)

The verse describes Christ Jesus as our great God and Savior!

2. Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ (τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν καὶ σωτῆρος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ). (2 Peter 1:1)

This verse talks about the righteousness that belongs to Jesus Christ, who is also described as our God and Savior, just like in the previous verse!

3. …whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ ( Χριστὸς) according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever (ἐπὶ πάντων θεὸς εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας). Amen. (Romans 9:5)

This verse describes Christ as over all, God, and eternally blessed!

4. Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” ( κύριός μου καὶ ὁ θεός μου) (John 20:28)

Notice Jesus does not rebuke Thomas for calling him Lord and God, he approves of it!

5. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος). (John 1:1)

White points out three truths from this verse:

a. “In the beginning was the Word.” (John 1:1a) This means the Word eternally exists!

b. “…and the Word was with God…” (John 1:1b) This means the Word was in a personal relationship with God the Father!

c. “…and the Word was God.” (John 1:1c) The Word is deity (θεὸς, God)!

So far we have seen John 17:3 does not teach Unitarianism. John 17:3 does not show that Jesus is not God. In fact, John 17:3 says that knowledge of the Father and Jesus is necessary for eternal life. This indicates Jesus is God with the Father. When we viewed John 17:3 in the context with John 17:5, we saw even more evidence Jesus is God.

In this post, we saw many verses showing Jesus is God (theos). The Bible teaches Jesus is God!

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