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Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun's article
A Series of Answers to Common Questions
God warns people in Psalm 146:3 from trusting in a son of man for help. According to the NT Jesus is the Son of Man (cf. Mark 2:28). Therefore, how can Christians trust him as their Savior when the OT tells believers not to trust in such a person?
Sam Shamoun has written an article where he seeks to address a slight problem on the deity of Jesus Christ thanks to the OT. The problem for the Christians is that in the books of Psalms, chapter 146, verse 3, it tells us to not to put our trust in the son of man, since there is no hope in them. Since Jesus is the son of man, then that means we should not place our trust in him, we should not place our salvation in him since he cannot save us. Here is the Psalm:
Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul.
Shamoun tries to address the problem by appealing to its context, yet his appeal hurts his cause even more, here is what Sam said:
Reading the context carefully shows that this Psalm in no way refutes the Deity of the Lord Jesus, or his function as Savior. The son of man in this particular Psalm is a reference to frail, mortal humanity collectively, that persons should not put their hope in mere mortals since they all die and fade away.
Shamoun's argument here does not work at all. Notice what Shamoun said:
that persons should not put their hope in mere mortals since they all DIE and fade away.
This information hurts Shamoun's cause even further, why? Well, didnít Jesus like all other men die according to the Bible? The answer is yes! This is exactly why the argument is, the OT tells us to not put our trust in man, since man dies, and man is not God, and that only God can save us etc.
Shamoun later on says:
Yet there is one particular Son of Man mentioned in the OT whom all nations are required to serve and obey. The prophet Daniel speaks of a heavenly Son of Man, a Divine Being that takes the form of a man, who rules forever:
"I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed." Daniel 7:13-14
The verse Shamoun brings up donít prove anything, all it shows is that a man will have a kingdom and will rule this kingdom, no where does it show people worshiping or putting their salvation in this man. Serving a man is something different than placing your salvation in a man, something everyone would agree to, hence this reference of Daniel 7:13-14 proves nothing at all.
Infect this person who is spoken of in Daniel 7:13-14 is not divine neither; if we closely read the text we see it says:
"I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was GIVEN dominion and glory and kingdom
So note, the kingdom and glory was GIVEN TO HIM, he did not own it, so this is referring to a human ruler who is given great glory by God, this is simply a righteous servant of God being blessed by God. If anything this further shows why you should not place your salvation in man, since man owns nothing and has nothing of his own, but is GIVEN EVERYTHING HE HAS.
Shamoun then says:
And what kind of Son of Man did Jesus proclaim himself to be? Is he an ordinary son of man like Daniel or Ezekiel that fades and dies? Or is he the Divine Son of Man of Daniel, the One who lives and rules forever?
It doesnít matter to what type of son of man Jesus is. At the end of the day, the OT is clear, the son of man cannot save us, hence it doesnít matter what type of son of man you are! At the end of the day a son of man is still not God and never will be, case closed.
And yes, Jesus just like Ezekiel and Daniel died according the NT, so hence is just like them!
For the sake of argument, let us say that Jesus is the one spoken of in Daniel, that doesnít make him divine, as I showed, the person being spoken about in Daniel is not divine, rather he is a righteous servant of God.
In fact when do read the NT, we find that Jesus is not divine, and completely relies on God for everything, for instance Jesus said:
John 17:6-8: 6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. 7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. 8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me
As you can see, here Jesus admits that everything he has is from God, this means all the miracles he performed were given to him by God, and that he did nothing by himself. Does this sound like some divine being? Off course not.
Shamoun then says:
Basically, Jesus isnít merely a son of man like the others; he is actually THE DIVINE Son of Man who lives forever:
"Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden girdle round his breast; his head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters; in his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth issued a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand upon me, saying, ĎFear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one; I died, and behold I AM ALIVE FOR EVERMORE, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.í" Revelation 1:12-18
This reference does not help Shamoun neither. Carefully note what one passage says:
ĎFear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one; I died,
Here we have Jesus supposedly saying he died, now tell me, if Jesus is God, then how is it possible for him to have died? The fact that he dies, proves that he is NOT GOD, but a mere man like us all, who comes out of a lady, and who dies and gets buried. God is all-living, and never dies, which is exactly why we put our salvation and trust in him, rather than putting our salvation and trust in men.
Shamoun then goes on to quote John 1:1, which proves nothing really, since it isnít even Jesus speaking. So therefore I do not find it relevant for me to respond to John 1:1, I choose to respond to supposed word's of Jesus, not words of his students.
Finally Shamoun says:
It is little wonder that the NT says that everyone must take Jesus as the object of their hope and salvation, with the Lord Jesus commanding the believers to trust in him even as they trust in God:
"Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also." John 14:1-3
Nothing in this verse makes Jesus divine. I will break the verses down on a point by point basis to specifically respond to each point Shamoun is pointing to:
1- believe also in me
Jesus telling his people to believe in him does not make him God, not even close. Every prophet demands that his people believe in them as a prophet and spokesperson from God, and that is what Jesus is doing, he is telling his people to believe in Jesus, to believe that he is indeed a prophet from God. #
2- that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also
All this means is that Jesus' followers will be with him in heaven, since they believed in him as a prophet, and in his message which he brought from God, they are granted paradise.
So in conclusion, the fact remains, that the OT says that we should not put our trust and salvation in the son of man, Jesus is a son of man, therefore we should never put our trust and salvation in him but God alone. Shamoun has provided nothing at all to refute the claim of the OT, the only way a Christian can ignore the Psalms quotation is by simply deleting it from the text, there is no way around it.
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Rebuttals to Sam Shamoun section.
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