There is a great deal of evidence in Scripture that tells us that Jesus is God. Perhaps no passage is clearer than this one:
John 1:1-3,14 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made…. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.”
John is quite clear that the Jesus who became flesh and dwelt among us is God. Case closed, right?
Unfortunately things are not always that simple. One particular issue with this passage is the way the New World Translation published by the Watchtower Society renders John 1:1, as it says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.”
There is perhaps no better example to show how a particular translation can totally change the meaning of a passage of Scripture. And this will always lead to another question – how do we resolve which translation is accurate and portrays the truth. Who has the authority to make that determination?
Throughout the NWT, many passages we see that clearly point to Jesus as being God are altered or the commentary provides an alternate interpretation. Some examples:
In John 8:58 Jesus says “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” This was a clear reference to the name that God reveals to Moses in Exodus 3:14 “I am who I am.” The next verse in John tells us that when Jesus says this, his Jewish brethren picked up stones to throw at him. They clearly understood he was saying he was God, which they saw as blasphemy. The NWT renders the passage though as “Most truly I say to you, before Abraham came into existence, I have been.” This removes the direct citing of the name of God in Jesus’ reference to himself, and leaves am impression that Jesus is not eternal, as Jehovah Witnesses teaching would profess.
In John 10:30 Jesus says that “I and the Father are one.” The NWT has a footnote that qualifies this passage that says “Or at unity.”
Titus 2:13 says we are “awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” The NWT inserts a comma that alters the meaning to appear two different persons are being referenced – “while we wait for the happy hope and glorious manifestation of the great God and of our Savior, Jesus Christ.”
In 2 Peter 1:1 we read “To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours in the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.” The NWT inserts the word “the” which again changes the meaning – “through the righteousness of our God and the Savior Jesus Christ.”
Colossians 2:9 in speaking of Christ says that “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.” The NWT instead renders this as “because it is in him that all the fullness of the divine quality dwells bodily.”
There are other verses in Scripture that show us that Jesus is God that the NWT does not alter. One of the best examples is when Thomas meets the risen Christ. Thomas was not with the apostles when they first saw Jesus after the resurrection, and expressed doubt and said he would not believe “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe” (John 20:25). When Christ allows him to do just that, he responds “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). Christ does not correct Thomas when he professes that Christ is indeed God and worships Him.
Matthew 1:23 tells us that the name of Christ will be Emmanuel (which means, God with us). And Isaiah 9:6 in prophesying of Christ says that “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called ‘Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’”
In John 14:9 Jesus tells Philip that “He who has seen me has seen the Father.”
We also can reflect upon one of the most familiar things Jesus says about himself. He says that he is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). As creatures, we can say that we “have” life, or that we “know” the truth. But only God can be THE life and THE truth.
Bishop Barron has a great six minutes on the divinity of Jesus that is well worth the time.