What is the Deity of Jesus Christ? (The Bible Explained)


The identity of Jesus of Nazareth still fascinates people, even 2,000 years after his death. Many people are convinced through the Bible’s teaching, prophetic and historical evidence, as well as their personal experience, that Jesus Christ was much more than a poor carpenter from Nazareth. “Deity” is an important word that people use to describe Jesus but what does it actually mean?

The “deity” of Jesus Christ refers to the Bible’s teaching that he is God. The word deity means God, yet it can also refer to a truth about him like one of his attributes. Deity describes Christ’s identity as observed in who he was, what he said, what he did, and observations that his followers made.

What is the definition and origin of the word deity? Is it exclusive to Christianity? What is the evidence in the New Testament that Jesus is God? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and others.

Christianity Jesus Christ
What does the word “deity” mean? See below

What does the word deity describe?

The general definition of the word “deity” refers to a god but doesn’t specify a particular religion or worldview. The term can refer to a god or goddess in a polytheistic or monotheistic faith.

In relation to Christianity, the term applies to a single God who the Bible says is the Creator (Gen. 1:1; Col. 1:16) and Sustainer of all things (Psa. 55:22).

The English word “deity,” meaning “divine nature” or “godhood” comes from an Old French word, deite, which has Latin origins. The Latin word for God is “Deus,” from the root dyeu meaning “to shine in heaven.”

WordMerriam-Webster Dictionary
deitythe rank or essential nature of a god
divineof, relating to, or proceeding directly from God
divinitythe quality or state of being divine

Author C.S. Lewis once wrote, “The doctrine of Christ’s divinity seems to me not something stuck on which you can unstick but something that peeps out at every point so that you’d have to unravel the whole web to get rid of it.”

deity Jesus Christ
How do Christ’s attributes demonstrate his deity? See below

The deity of Christ is observed in how people worshiped him

“Depend on it, my hearer, you never will go to heaven unless you are prepared to worship Jesus Christ as God.” – Charles Spurgeon, 19th-century English pastor

God the FatherGod the Son
Receives honorExod. 20:2-3, 34:14; Deut. 5:6-7John 5:23; Heb. 3:3-4
Receives gloryExod. 15:2; Psa. 29:1-3; cf. Matt. 5:16; Rom. 15:6-92 Tim. 4:18; Heb. 13:20-21; 1 Pet. 4:11
Receives worshipDeut. 6:13; Psa. 97:7; Isa. 45:23; Rev. 19:10Matt. 2:2, 11; 8:2; 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; 20:20; 28:9, 17; Phil. 2:10-11; Heb. 1:6; Rev. 1:17, 5:14
Receives prayerGen. 4:26; 1 Chron. 16:8; Psa. 65:2; Isa. 44:17; 45:20-22; Joel 2:32John 14:14; Acts 1:24-25; 7:59-60; Rom. 10:12-13; 1 Cor. 1:2; Rev. 22:20-21
God the FatherGod the Son
Worship songs dedicated to himExod. 15:21; Psa. 7:17, 9:11, 92:1, 95:1, 96:2, Isa. 42:10Eph. 5:19; Rev. 5:9-10; cf. Phil. 2:6-11
Is the object of faithGen. 15:6; Isa. 28:16; 43:10; Mark 11:22; Heb. 6:1; 11:6Matt. 9:28; John 1:12; 3:15-18; 6:35, 40; 14:1; 20:31; Acts 3:16; 10:43; 16:31; 20:21; 22:19; Rom. 9:33; Gal. 3:26; 1 Pet. 2:6; 1 John 3:23; 5:1-13
Is revered or fearedDeut. 6:13; 10:20; Prov. 1:7; 2:5; 9:10; Isa. 8:12-132 Cor. 5:10-11; Eph. 5:21; 6:7-8; Col. 3:22-25; 1 Pet. 3:14-16
Is the object of devotionDeut. 6:13; cf. Matt. 4:10Matt. 26:2, 18, 26-29; Mark 14:12-16, 22-25; Luke 22:8-20; Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5; 1 Cor. 10:16-22
Is the object of affectionExod. 20:6; Deut. 5:10; 6:4-5; 11:1, 13:6-11; 19:9; 30:6-8-20; 33:9; Josh. 22:5; Neh. 1:5; Dan. 9:4; Matt. 22:37Matt. 10:37; Luke 14:26; John 14:15, 21; 15:10; Eph. 6:24
Christian Bible
How do Christ’s names demonstrate his deity? See below

The deity of Christ is observed in his attributes

“He is called God, the mighty God, the great God, God over all; Jehovah; Lord; the Lord of lords and the King of kings. All divine attributes are ascribed to Him. He is declared to be omnipresent, omniscient, almighty, and immutable, the same yesterday, today, and forever.” – Theologian Charles Hodge

God the FatherGod the Son
Pre-existenceThe Father has always existed (see verses below)Matt. 9:13; 20:28; 23:34; Mark 10:45; Luke 4:43; 5:32; 13:34; 19:10; John 8:42; 10:36; 13:3; 16:28; Rom. 8:3; Gal. 4:4-6; Phil. 2:6-7
EternalPsa. 90:2; 102:25-27John 1:1-3; 8:56-59; 17:5; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:2, 10-12; 7:3
UncreatedGen. 1:1; Isa. 43:10John 1:3, 10; 1 Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:2, 10-12; cf. Prov. 8:22; Rev. 3:14
ImmutableNum. 23:19; Psa. 102:26-27; Mal. 3:6; James 1:17Heb. 1:10-12; 13:8; cf. 2 Cor. 1:20
LovingDeut. 7:8; 10:15, 18; Psa. 146:8; Prov. 3:12; Isa. 63:9; Jer. 31:3; Hos. 3:1John 13:34; 15:9, 12-13; Rom. 8:35-39; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 3:19; 5:2; Rev. 1:5; cf. Rom. 5:8
OmnipotentJob 42:2; Luke 1:37Matt. 28:18; John 2:19-22; 10:17-18; 1 Cor. 1:23-24; 2 Cor. 12:9; Eph. 1:19-21; Col. 2:10; 1 Peter 3:22
OmnipresentGen 28:15; 1 Kings 8:27; Psa. 139:7-10; John 4:20-24Matt. 8:5-13; 18:20; 28:20; Mark 7:24-30; Luke 7:1-10; John 1:47-49; Eph. 4:10-11
OmniscientJohn 4:20–24; 1 Kings 8:39; Ps. 139:1–4; Isa. 46:9–10; Matt. 10:30; 1 John 3:20Matt. 9:4; 12:25; Mark 2:6–8; Luke 6:8; 21:20–24; John 4:16-18; 11:11–15; 13:10–11, 21–29, 36–38; 16:30–31; 21:17; Acts 1:24; 1 Cor. 4:5;
IncomprehensibleIsa. 40:18Matt. 11:27; cf. Luke 10:22

The deity of Christ is observed in his names

“When Jesus was called ‘Son of God,’ it was understood categorically by all as a title of deity, declaring Him equal with God and (more significantly) of the same essence as the Father. That is precisely why the Jewish leaders regarded the title Son of God the ultimate high blasphemy.” – Pastor John MacArthur

God the FatherGod the Son
Name above every nameExod. 3:15; 20:7; Deut. 5:11; 28:58; Pss. 8:1, 9; 20:7; Isa. 45:21–23; Joel 2:32; Luke 1:49; Rom. 2:24; 1 Tim. 6:1; Rev. 11:18; 13:6; 15:4; 16:9Matt. 7:22; 24:9; Mark 9:38–39; Luke 10:17; 21:12, 17; John 1:12; 15:21; 20:31; Acts 2:21, 36, 38; 3:6, 16; 4:7-18; 5:28, 40–41; 8:16; 9:14, 21, 27–28; 10:43, 48; 15:26; 16:18; 19:5, 17; 21:13; 22:16; Rom. 10:12–13; 1 Cor. 1:13–15; 6:11; Eph. 1:21; Phil. 2:9–11; Col. 3:17; 1 Peter 4:14; 1 John 2:12; 1 John 3:23; 5:13; 3 John 7; Rev. 2:3, 13; 3:8
GodDeut. 4:35, 39; 32:39; 2 Sam. 22:32; 2 Chron. 15:3; Isa. 37:20; 43:10; 44:6–8; Jer. 10:10; John 5:44; 17:3; Rom. 3:30; 16:27; 1 Cor. 8:4–6; Gal. 3:20; Eph. 4:6; 1 Thess. 1:9; 1 Tim. 1:17; 2:5; James 2:19; 1 John 5:20–21; Jude 25Isa. 7:14; 9:6; John 1:1, 18; 20:28; Acts 20:28; Rom. 9:5; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:8; 2 Peter 1:1 (cf. 1:11; 2:20; 3:18)
Lord (YHWH/ Kurios)Gen. 2:4; Exod. 3:15– 18; Deut. 3:24 LXX [etc.]; 6:4; Pss. 34:8; 118:25; Isa. 8:12–13; 40:3, 13; 45:23; Joel 2:32Matt. 3:3; 7:21–22; 8:25; 14:30; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4; 6:46; Acts 1:24; 2:21, 36; 7:59–60; Rom. 10:9–13; 1 Cor. 1:2, 2:16; 4:4–5; 5:4; 6:11; 7:17, 32–35; 8:6; 10:21–22; 16:22–23; Phil. 2:9–11; 1 Peter 2:3; 3:13–15
Bridegroom/ HusbandIsa. 54:5; 62:5; Jer. 31:32Matt. 22:2; 25:1–13; Mark 2:19; John 3:29; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:25–27; Rev. 19:7–9; 21:2, 9
King of Kings & Lord of LordsDan. 4:37; 1 Tim. 6:15; cf. Deut. 10:17; Ps. 136:2–3Rev. 17:14; 19:16
SaviorDeut. 32:15; Pss. 25:5; 27:9; 62:2, 6; 65:5; 79:9; 95:1; Isa. 12:2; 17:10; 45:15, 21; Mic. 7:7; Hab. 3:18Luke 2:11; John 4:42; Phil. 3:20; 2 Tim. 1:10; Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 1:11; 2:20; 3:2, 18; 1 John 4:14
I AmDeut. 32:29; Isa. 41:4; 43:2, 5, 10–11, 25; 46:4; 52:6; cf. Exod. 3:14John 4:26; 6:20; 8:24, 28, 58; 13:18–19; 18:5–8
First & Last/ Alpha & Omega/
Beginning & End
Isa. 41:4; 44:6; 48:12; Rev. 21:6Rev. 1:7–8, 17b–18; 2:8; 22:12–13

Jesus performed acts that only God can do

“When the Bible says that Christ is God, it does not ask us to forget a single thing that it has said about the stupendous majesty of God. No, it asks us to remember every one of those things in order that we may apply them all to Jesus Christ.” – Gresham Machen

God the FatherGod the Son
Creating and sustaining all thingsGen. 1:1; 2:7; Neh. 9:6; Psa. 95:5–7; 102:25; Isa. 44:24; Jer. 10:16; 51:19; Acts 4:24; 14:15; Rom. 11:36; Heb. 2:10; Rev. 4:11John 1:3, 10; 1 Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:16–17; Heb. 1:2-3, 10
Sovereignly ruling over the forces of natureGen. 8:1; Exod. 14:21; Job 38:8–11; Pss. 33:7; 65:7; 74:13–14; 77:16–20; 104:4–9; Prov. 8:22–31; Isa. 17:12–13; 35:4–6; Jer. 5:22; 31:35Matt 8:23–27 (cf. Mark 4:35–41; Luke 8:22–25); Matt 14:13–21 (cf. Mark
6:32–44; Luke 9:10–17; John 6:1–15); Matt 15:32–39 Matt 17:24–27; Mark 5:19–20 (cf. Luke 8:39); Luke 5:1–11; 7:11–16; John 2:1–11
Illumination and
revelation
Gen. 40:8; 41:15–16; Ps. 119:18; Dan. 2:20–23; Amos 3:7Matt. 11:27; Luke 10:22; John 1:4–5, 9, 18; 2 Thess. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 1:10; 4:1, 8; Titus 2:13
Speaking with
divine authority
Cf. “Thus says the Lord”
(over 400x); Isa. 40:8; 52:6;
55:11–12
Matt. 5:20–22, etc.; 7:24–29; 24:35; Mark 1:22; 13:31;
Luke 4:32; John 4:26; 7:46;
cf. “Amen I say to you” (74x)
Word of the Lord1 Kings 13:1, 2, 5, 32; 20:35; 2 Chron. 30:12; cf. 2 Sam. 16:23; 1 Chron. 15:15Acts 8:25; 13:44, 48–49; 15:35–36; 16:32; 19:10, 20; 1 Thess. 4:15
God the FatherGod the Son
SalvationExod. 15:2; Deut. 32:15; Pss. 3:8; 24:5; 25:5 (etc.); 62:1–2, 6–7; 118:14, 21; 130:8; Isa. 45:15, 21; Titus 1:3; 2:10; 3:4Matt. 1:21; Luke 19:9–10; John 3:17; 10:9; 14:6; Acts 4:12; 16:31; 1 Cor. 15:1–4; 1 Tim. 1:1, 15; Titus 1:4; 2:13–14; 3:6; Heb. 5:9; Rev.
7:10
Showing mercyPss. 6:2; 9:13; 31:9; 41:4, 10; 56:1; 86:3; 123:3; Isa. 33:2Matt. 15:22; 20:30, 31
Forgiveness of
sins
Exod. 34:6–7; Psa. 51:4; 130:4; Isa. 43:25; 44:22; 55:7; Jer. 31:34; Dan. 9:9Matt 9:1–8 (cf. Mark 2:1–12; Luke 5:17–26); Luke 7:47–49; Acts 5:31; Col. 3:13
Sending the Spirit
& his gifts
Joel 2:28–29; John 14:26; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:6Matt 3:11; Luke 24:49; John 1:33; 7:37–39; 15:26; 16:7–14; 20:22; Acts 2:33; 16:6–7; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:5; Eph. 4:8–11; Phil. 1:19
Giving and being
life
Gen. 2:7; Deut. 32:39; 1 Sam. 2:6; Ps. 36:9; Jer. 2:13John 1:4; 3:15–16; 5:21–26; 10:10; 14:6; 17:3; 20:30–31; Acts 3:15; Rom. 6:23; Phil. 1:21; Gal. 2:20; Col. 3:3–4
Raising the deadDeut. 32:39; 1 Sam. 2:6; Gal. 1:1John 2:19–22; 5:28–29; 6:40, 54; 10:17–18, 27–28; 11:25–26; Acts 2:24
Source of all
spiritual blessings
(See references to the right)Eph. 1:2–3; 1 Tim. 1:2; 2 Tim. 1:2; 2 John 3; Rev. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:16–17
Judging all peopleGen. 18:25; Deut. 1:17; Pss. 7:9–11; 50:4, 6; 62:12; 75:7; 96:12–13; Prov. 24:12; Isa. 40:9–11; Jer. 25:31; Joel 3:12; Rom. 2:3; 14:10Matt. 16:27; 25:31–46; John 5:22–23; Acts 10:42; 17:31; Rom. 2:16; 1 Cor. 4:4–5; 2 Cor. 5:10; 2 Thess. 1:7–8; 2 Tim. 4:1; Rev. 2:23

The deity of Christ is observed in his authority

“Any other Jewish teacher made very sure that his teaching was documented with extensive quotations from Scripture and with the names of his teachers added to give weight to his opinion; his authority must always be second-hand. But not Jesus. He simply laid down the law.” – Bible scholar R.T. France

God the FatherGod the Son
God’s highest possible throneDan. 4:34–35; Rom. 14:10; Rev 4:2; 5:1; 20:11; cf. 7:15Ps. 110:1; Matt. 22:44; 25:31; 26:64; Mark 12:36; 14:62; 16:19; Luke 20:42–43; 22:69; Acts 2:33–35; 5:31; 7:55–56; Rom. 8:34; 1 Cor. 15:25; 2 Cor. 5:10; Eph. 1:20; 2:6; Col. 3:1; Heb. 1:3, 13; 8:1; 10:12–13; 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22; Rev. 3:21; 7:17; 22;1, 3
Claiming to be equal to GodExod. 20:3, 7; Deut. 5:7, 11; cf. Ps. 110:1; Dan. 7:13–14; cf. Ezek. 1:26–28; see also Exod. 14:20; 34:5; Num. 10:34; Ps. 104:3; Isa. 19:1Matt. 9:3 (cf. Mark 2:7); Mark 14:61–64; John 5:17–18; 8:58–59; 10:27–33; 19:7
Ruling over all thingsIsa. 44:24; Jer. 10:16; 51:19Matt. 11:25–27; 28:18; Luke 10:21–22; John 3:35; 13:3; 16:15; Acts 10:36; 1 Cor. 15:27–28; Eph. 1:22; Phil. 2:10; 3:21; Heb. 1:2; 2:8; Rev. 5:13
Ruling foreverPsa. 9:7; 45:6; 93:2; Lam. 5:19; Dan. 4:34–35; Rev. 5:13Luke 1:33; Eph. 1:19b–21; Heb. 1:8; Rev 11:15; cf. Eph. 5:5; Rev. 22:1, 3

English pastor Martyn Lloyd-Jones has written, “If you do not believe in the unique deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, you are not a Christian, whatever else you may be.”

Lloyd-Jones continues: “We are not looking at a good Man only, we are not interested merely in the greatest Teacher the world has ever seen; we are face to face with the fact that God, the Eternal Son, has been in this world, and that He took upon Him human nature and dwelt among us, a Man amongst men – God-Man.”

Lloyd-Jones concludes: “We are face to face with the mystery and the marvel of the Incarnation and of the Virgin Birth. It is all here, and it shines out in all the fullness of its amazing glory. “What manner of Man is this?” He is more than Man. That is the answer – He is also God.”

Daniel Isaiah Joseph

Daniel's seminary degree is in Exegetical Theology. He was a pastor for 10 years. As a professor, he has taught Bible and theology courses at two Christian universities. Please see the About page for details.

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