The following are two central beliefs of Christianity:
(1) Jesus is the divine Son of God.
(2) God raised Jesus from the dead to show that (1) is true.
If (1) is FALSE, then that implies that (2) is FALSE as well. If Jesus was NOT the divine Son of God, then God would NOT have raised him from the dead.
If Jesus was an ordinary and morally flawed human, God would NOT have raised Jesus from the dead, because that would be a GREAT DECEPTION. God being all-knowing would see that raising Jesus from the dead would lead his initial followers to reasonably but wrongly conclude that Jesus was the divine Son of God, and that billions of human beings would be influenced by Jesus’ initial followers to adopt this FALSE and UNHEALTHY belief.
If Jesus was an ordinary morally flawed human being, then the belief that Jesus is the divine Son of God is a FALSE belief. The claim that Jesus is the divine Son of God implies that Jesus possesses the perfections of God. This claim is clearly FALSE because Jesus was a mortal, subject to death, but God is eternal and immortal, so Jesus clearly cannot be God, nor possess all the perfections of God.
Also, Jesus had a physical body, but God is eternally an omnipresent spirit, so God is a person who has no physical body, so Jesus cannot be God nor possess all of the perfections of God.
However, there are some characteristics and perfections of God that it was possible for Jesus to possess. It seems logically possible for a human being to be all-powerful, and all-knowing, and to be a perfectly morally good person. So, although it is clearly NOT the case that Jesus was God, and clearly NOT the case that Jesus possessed all of the divine attributes and perfections, it was possible for Jesus to possess at least a few of the most important divine attributes and perfections. If so, then the belief that Jesus is the divine Son of God would be partially true (as well as partially false).
But if Jesus was an ordinary morally flawed human being, then the belief that Jesus is divine Son of God would NOT even be partially true, but would be clearly and fully FALSE, because then not only would Jesus NOT be an omnipresent bodiless spirit, and NOT be an eternal and immortal person, but Jesus would also lack three other important divine attributes or perfections: omnipotence, omniscience, and perfect moral goodness.
It is clear and certain that Jesus was a morally flawed human being, so we can eliminate perfect moral goodness from the list of potential divine attributes of Jesus. This still leaves open the possibility that Jesus possessed two of the most important divine attributes or perfections: omnipotence (all-powerful) and omniscience (all-knowing).
The Gospels provide sufficient evidence that Jesus was neither omnipotent nor omniscient. However, I’m not going to argue that point here. Instead, my argument is that a morally flawed human who was all-powerful and all-knowing would be a MONSTER, a great threat to humanity and to the existence of planet Earth and the entire universe.
A morally flawed all-powerful person could become angry or depressed and with a single thought could annihilate the entire human race, or even the entire universe in an instant. Such a MONSTER could NOT with any justice be called “the divine Son of God”. Thus, if Jesus was a morally flawed human being, then it would clearly be FALSE to claim that Jesus was the divine Son of God, even if Jesus did possess the divine attributes of omnipotence and omniscience.
I would not argue that Jesus was an evil person. Jesus was a person who showed concern about truth and justice and love and kindness. There is much to admire about Jesus. But Jesus was clearly a morally flawed human being who lacked the divine attribute of being a perfectly morally good person.
Let’s start with his NAME. If Jesus was a perfectly morally good person, then he would have rejected his own name and chosen a new name for himself. But Jesus did not do this, so he was a morally flawed person.
The word Jesus is the Latin form of the Greek Iesous, which in turn is the transliteration of the Hebrew Jeshua, or Joshua, or again Jehoshua, meaning “Jehovah is salvation.” (Catholic Encylopedia: “Origin of the name Jesus Christ“)
The name Yeshua derives from the Hebrew name Yehoshua, a name that belonged to a very famous Old Testament warrior of Israel. In English translations of the Old Testament, this very famous warrior is called Joshua. So, Jesus was named after Joshua, one of the most famous warriors of Israel.
Joshua was the Old Testament version of Adolf Hitler. Joshua was a bloodthirsty bigot who, according to the OT, led the army of Israel to mercilessly slaughter thousands of men, women, teenagers, children, elderly people, in genocidal warfare. As soon as Jesus learned that he was named after this bloodthirsty murderer, he would have rejected his name and chosen a new name IF Jesus was a perfectly morally good person.
If a perfectly morally good person was born to German parents in the 1940s and given the name “Adolf” by his parents, then as soon as that boy learned that he was named after a bloodthirsty bigot who led the German people to mercilessly slaughter millions of men, women, teenagers, children, and elderly people in a genocidal program, he would reject that name, and choose a new name for himself.
The same reasoning applies to Jesus. Since Jesus never changed his name, and since Jesus, to the best of our knowledge, never criticized the grossly immoral behavior of Joshua, the very famous warrior of the Hebrew nation, we can conclude that Jesus was NOT a perfectly morally good person.
There are other reasons based on the NT for the conclusion that Jesus was NOT a perfectly morally good person. There is plenty of evidence to support this conclusion. Because Jesus lacked that basic divine attribute, it is both a FALSE and UNHEALTHY belief that Jesus was the divine Son of God. Thus, it is also the case that God, if God exists, would NOT raise Jesus from the dead, because doing so would involve God in a GREAT DECEPTION.
TO BE CONTINUED…