I had a recent discussion with some one about Mormonism the other day. And they were saying that Jesus from the book of Mormon and the Jesus that they believe in is the same as the biblical Jesus. They brought up many points all of which I have posted here in this article. My rebuttal follows each of the points raised with quotes from the bible as well as quotes from Joseph Smith an other prominent Mormon apologists.
Towards the end of the article are some other links that a bit of topic as someone else in the discussion showed me a youtube of why it is that Orthodox Jews don’t believe that Jesus was the Messiah. What Orthodox Jewish people don’t understand is the One Messiah two comings concept. He came as the suffering servant the first time, and fulfilling those scriptures that apply to to His first coming, but is yet to fulfill the Kingship Messiah. These prophecies will happen at His second coming.
There were no previous writings on the trinity until the Nicean Council? this simply is NOT true: The council was held in 325 A.D., so the quotes below will all predate Nicea:
“Christians know God and His Logos. They also know what type of oneness the Son has with the Father and what type of communion the Father has with the Son. Furthermore, they know what the Spirit is and what the unity is of these three: the Spirit, the Son, and the Father. They also know what their distinction is in unity.” (2.134) “We acknowledge a God, and a Son (His Logos), and a Holy Spirit. These are united in essence–the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.” Athenagoras (c. 175, E), 2.141
These quotes from Athenagoras demonstrate that he held that there is both unity and distinction within God. Most importantly, he states that they are united in essence, not just purpose.
“Thank the one only Father and Son, Son and Father. The Son is the Instructor and Teacher, along with the Holy Spirit. They are all in One, in whom is all, for whom all is One, for whom is eternity.” Clement of Alexandria (c. 195, E), 2.295
The next quote is even more explicit:
“For the very church itself is–properly and principally–the Spirit Himself in whom is the Trinity of the One Divinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Tertullian (c. 212, W), 4.99
I will finish with a quote from Tertullian that is longer, but it is more explanatory.
“If, then, the Word was with God and was also God, what follows? Would one say that I speak of two Gods? I will not indeed speak of two Gods, but of one. I speak of two Persons, however, and of a third Economy–the grace of the Holy Spirit. For the Father indeed is one, but there are two Persons, because there is also the Son. And then there is the third, the Holy Spirit. The Father decrees, the Word executes, and the Son is manifested, through whom the Father is believed on. The Economy of harmony is led back to one God. For God is one.” Hippolytus (c. 205, W), 5.228
Hippolytus affirms that there are not plural Gods within the Godhead. He states that there is only one God–yet this God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
“‘Go therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.’ He suggests the Trinity, in whose sacraments the nations were to be baptized.” Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.380
“…baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The very same Trinity who operated figuratively through the dove in Noah’s days, now operates spiritually in the church through the disciples.” Treatise against Novation (c. 225, W), 5.658
“If there are three Persons, this does not mean that they are divided. There are three whether they like it or not. Otherwise, let them get rid of the divine Trinity altogether.” Dionysius of Alexandria (c. 262, E) 6.94
“For the doctrine of the foolish Marcion, which cuts and divides the Monarchy into three elements, is certainly of the devil. It is not of Christ’s true disciples,… for these indeed correctly know that the Trinity is declared in the divine Scripture. However, the doctrine that there are three Gods I find neither taught in the Old nor in the New Testament.” Dionysius of Rome (c. 265, W), 7.365
“That admirable and divine unity, therefore, must not be separated into three divinities. Nor must the dignity and eminent greatness of the Lord be diminished by the name of creation. Rather, we must believe on God the Father omnipotent, and on Christ Jesus His Son, and on the Holy Spirit.” Dionysius of Rome (c. 265, W), 7.365,366
There are many more such quotes, but I would like to wrap up the quotes with the following from Tertullian:
“This heresy [Monarchianism] supposes itself to possess the pure truth, in thinking that one cannot believe in the only one God in any other way than by saying that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are the very selfsame Person. As if in this way also One were not All, in that All are of One, by unity of substance. In this manner, the mystery of the “economy” is still guarded, which distributes the Unity into a Trinity, place in their order the three: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. However, this is not in condition, but in degree. It is not in substance; but in form. It is not in power, but in aspect. Yet, they are of one substance, one condition, and one power, for as He is one God from whom these degrees, forms, and aspects are reckoned under the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. How they are susceptible of number without division will be shown.” Tertullian (c. 213, W), 3.598, 599
Tertullian speaks against a heresy which denies the Trinity is made up of three Persons. The Monarchian heresy claimed the Trinity was all one Person. Yet, Tertullian also notes the Trinity is one substance, one condition, one power. He says the three Persons of the Trinity are one, but reckoned under the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, “susceptible of number without division.”
Regarding Jesus as being a created being, the bible clearly states that He has always co-existed eternally and that ALL things were created through Him and for Him:
- “For in Him all things were created, both in the heavens and the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him” (Col. 1:16).
- “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…the Word became flesh and dwelt among us [Jesus]” (Jn. 1:1,18). to say “a God” in John 1:1 would: be incorrect since there is no indefinite article “a” in biblical Greek, and indicate the possibility of the existence of more than one god–a possibility that Orthodox Jews and Judaism-influenced Christians will adamantly refute.”All things came into being through Him [Jesus]; and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being” (John 1:3).
Jesus Himself claims His own Deity:
- Jesus claimed: ‘I and the Father are one’, meaning in essence not just purpose (from the Greek construction), a statement the Jews clearly understood because they “took up stones again to stone Him” (Jn. 10:30-31).
- Jesus also claimed: “Before Abraham was born, I AM” [ego eimi], a restatement of the name God used for himself to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; the Jews also understood its import and tried to stone Jesus. (Jn. 8:58-59; Ex. 3:14). See also Jn. 13:19, 18:5,6,8).
- Jesus makes the same claim again: “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24).
- “Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father’…Jesus said to him…’He who has seen Me has seen the Father’” (Jn. 14:8-9).
- “He who beholds Me beholds the One who sent Me” (Jn. 12:45).
Jesus allowed Himself to be worshipped, despite the biblical edict that ‘only God may be worshipped’ (Acts 10:25-26; Rev. 19:10; 22:9):
- “Thomas answered [to Jesus] ‘My Lord and My God’” (John 20:28).
- “When I saw Him [Jesus], I fell at His feet” (Rev. 1:17).
- “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him” (Matt. 2:2).
In Mormon teaching, Jesus progressed towards becoming a god, Joseph Smith Jr., explains that in the following:
God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens. . . . for I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see. . . . he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did; and I will show it from the Bible. . . . you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves . . . the same as all Gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another. . . .(Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 3)
The Bible states that Jesus has existed as God eternally. Here are a few of many verses stating this:
- “In the beginning was the Word… the Word was God… the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” John 1:1,14). to say “a God” in John 1:1 would be incorrect since there is no indefinite article “a” in biblical Greek, and indicate the possibility of the existence of more than one god–a possibility that Orthodox Jews and Judaism-influenced Christians will adamantly refute
- “But of the Son He [God] says, ‘Thy Throne O God is forever and ever’” (Heb. 1:8).”glorify me together with Thyself Father, with the glory which I ever had with Thee before the world was” (John 17:5).
- “God…has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds” (Heb. 1:2).
1. Jesus is presented in Scripture as eternally existing as God (e.g., John 1:1, 18; Phil. 2:6-11; Heb. 1:3).
2. Jesus created “all things” including all the angels as with Lucifer (e.g., John 1:3; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:8-10).
3. Only God is to be worshipped (cf. Exod. 20:5), yet Jesus was worshipped: e.g., by wise men (Matt. 2:11); by a leper (8:2); by His disciples (14:33; 28:17); by a blind man (John 9:38); by all the angels (Heb. 1:6); by all of creation (Rev. 5:13-14).
God in the Old Testament is referred as being the First and the Last:
“Who has planned and done it, calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, Jehovah, am the first and the last; I am He.”
(Isa 41:4) - – “So says Jehovah, the King of Israel, and His redeemer Jehovah of Hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and besides Me there is no God.”
(Isa 44:6) - – “Listen to me, O Jacob and Israel, My called; I am He; I am the first, I also am the last. My hand laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand forth together.”
(Isa 48:12-13) Jesus claims that HE is the First and the Last:
“Behold, He comes with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, and those who pierced Him will see Him, and all the kindreds of the earth will wail because of Him. Even so, Amen. I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, says the Lord, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev 1:7-8)
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, the First and the Last.”
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify these things to you over the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the bright and Morning Star.” (Rev 22:13 & 16)
Regarding the similarity between Jesus as the “Bright” morning star and Satan being the morning star. This points to Satan being a imposter/counterfeit:
2Pet 1:19 And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
Rev 2:28 I will also give him the morning star.
Rev 22:16 ”I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
Since it is clear that Jesus is the “Bright Morning Star” (even said so Himself) then how should we understand Isaiah 14:12?
Isa 14:12-15 How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.
This should be understood as a sardonic title for the “anti-christ” or beast. He claims to be “christ”, right? He claims to be Messiah, and has his moment under the sun, but comes to be brought low ultimately.
Regarding the term “only begotten”:
The “only begotten” in the sense of “monogenes” means “only of a kind”. If Jesus is the “only begotten” Son of God, the only “monogenes” The phrase “only begotten” in the original Greek language, is monogenes. Combination of two words: “monos” which means “only” or “alone,” and “genos” which means “of the same nature, kind, sort, species” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the NT)
- A better translation might be “only one of its kind” or “only unique” or just “only,” but not “begotten.”
- Jesus Christ, the Son of God is a unique and one-of-a-kind being.
- Hugo McCord defines it as “a lone being, a unique existence, the only one of its kind, that which has no duplicate” (Gospel Advocate, 3/20/86)
- It’s interesting to note that the 2nd century Old Latin version translated all nine NT occurrences ofmonogenes as UNICUS, which means “unique.”
The word (actually inspired) has nothing to do with origin, as does typically the word “begotten.” Rather the intent is to affirm that Jesus Christ is the unique, only one of His kind, Son of God.
- If monogenis refers to begetting or origin, then this passage contradicts other clear Biblical teaching
- KJV reads” “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac; and he that had received the promises offered up his ONLY BEGOTTEN (monogenes) son.”
- Is it true to say that Isaac was begotten by Abraham? Yes, according to Genesis 21; Matthew 1:2; Acts 7:8
- But is Isaac the ONLY son begotten by Abraham? No; look at Galations 4:22: “For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman.” Ishmael was also begotten by Abraham. In fact, Scripture shows that Abraham had several other sons. Therefore, Isaac was NOT the ONLY begotten son of Abraham. Any version of Scripture that says so is actually contradicting itself!
- However, was Isaac the UNIQUE and ONE OF A KIND son of Abraham? Yes indeed! He was the “son of promise” and Ishmael was not. That certainly made Isaac unique and special.
- All this serves to illustrate that monogenes does not mean “begotten” in the sense we normally use it.
- Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was not begotten by God in the sense that He (Christ) has an origin.
- These verses will be much more accurate and consistent with the meaning intended by the Holy Spirit when they are rendered, not as “begotten Son of God,” but more like “one and only” or “only unique” Son of God.
According to Mormon’s OWN teaching, Jesus is not the ONLY Saviour OR the only people on planets. We cannot test the claim about other people on other planets with other saviours? And I will always using the bible as the measuring tool against any other teachings. I guess the Mormons would welcome aliens as space brother which is the something the Vatican has said IT would do. This is a perfect set up for an anti-christ deception!
Mormon Leaders have claimed that Jesus Christ is only one of many Saviors:
- According to Joseph Fielding Smith: “We are not the only people that the Lord has created. We have brothers and sisters on other earths. They look like us because they, too, are the children of God and were created in his image, for they are also his offspring” (Doctrines of Salvation 1:62).
- Brigham Young taught: “Sin is upon every earth that ever was created … Consequently every earth has its redeemer, and every earth has its tempter” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 14, p.71).
The Bible states that Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the one and only Messiah:
- Jesus claimed: “I am THE way, THE truth, and THE life; no one comes to the Father but by Me” (Jn. 14:6).
- “For there is one God and one mediator also between God and men: the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5).
- “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Here is an article written by Arnold G. Fruchetenbaum who I spoke about, it is called “Jewishness and the Trinity”. It’s lengthy but well worth the read…His site is called Ariel Ministries and has a wealth of information on the Jewish understanding of the New Testament, and the Old.
Here is the youtube from Jews for Judaism explaining why Jesus cannot be the Messiah. For my rebuttal there is an article that is entitled “One Messiah, Two comings” explaining the Jewish concept of HaMashiach Ben Yosef, the Messiah, the Son of Joseph. The ‘Conquering King’ Messiah is HaMashiach Ben David, the Messiah, the Son of David. A MUST read for those who have discussions with any Jewish person who does not understand the concept of the suffering servant and the King of Kings.
And: Why Didn’t Jesus Bring in Worldwide Peace? In Judaism the rabbis go to the greatest lengths to try to reconcile two irreconcilable pictures of the Messiah, “HaMashiach ben Yosef” and “HaMashiach ben David”, “the Messiah the Son of Joseph” and “the Messiah the Son of David”. The “Conquering King” and the “Suffering Servant” we call “ben Ephraim”.
- The Doctrine of the Trinity (joebuchanan.wordpress.com)
- Pastor Rick Warren: Mormons’ Views on ‘The Trinity’ Are a ‘Sticking Point’ (theblaze.com)
- Does the Trinity Matter? (chosenrebel.me)