Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

My Lord and My God

Addressing a Muslim Dawagandist’s Doubts
Concerning Thomas’ confession to the absolute Deity of Christ

Sam Shamoun

Sami Zaatari has written an article where he tries to show that John 20:28 doesn’t conclusively prove that Jesus is fully God since Thomas wasn’t calling him the Lord God Almighty (

Here we will address his statements in order to show that Thomas’ confession is one of the clearest and most emphatic testimonies to the eternal Deity of Christ.


What do Zaatari’s multiple links actually prove?

Absolutely nothing except that Muslim apologists are not really interested in truth!

Sami starts off his "rebuttal" by repeating his point that the Gospels portray Jesus as a prophet and Messiah, but not God, and provides a series of links to prove his case. Here are the rebuttals to his arguments that have been refuted over and over again:

And here are links that address the exegesis of John 20:28:

With that out of the way we can now address Zaatari’s points.


How many Lord Gods are there really?

Sami makes the following rather bold assertion:

So doubting Thomas calls Jesus his KYRIOS and THEOS. Now if anyone has studied the New Testament, as well as the Septuagint, which is basically the Greek version of the Jewish Bible, then one will find out that these exact words are not exclusive for God alone, and that these two terms are applied to many men. (Emphasis ours)

Sami is simply wrong here and his statement shows that he hasn’t studied either the New Testament or the Septuagint carefully since when these exact words appear together in the same context to refer to the same object they ALWAYS refer to the one true God:

"Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God (kyrios ho theos hemon) is one Lord." Deuteronomy 6:4

"O Lord my God (kyrie ho theos mou), in thee have I trusted: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me… O Lord my God (kyrie ho theos mou), if I have done this; (if there is unrighteousness in my hands;) … Arise, O Lord (kyrie), in thy wrath; be exalted in the utmost boundaries of mine enemies: awake, O Lord my God (kyrie ho theos mou), according to the decree which thou didst command." Psalm 7:2, 4, 7 [English – vv. 1, 3, 6]

"Awake, O Lord, and attend to my judgment, even to my cause, my God and my Lord (ho theos mou kai ho kyrios mou)." Psalm 34:23 [Eng. 35:23]

"O Lord our God (kyrie ho theos hemon), thou heardest them; O God, thou becamest propitious to them, though thou didst take vengeance on all their devices. Exalt ye the Lord our God (kyrion ton theon hemon), and worship at his holy mountain; for the Lord our God (kyrios ho theos hemon) is holy." Psalm 98:8-9 [Eng. 99:8-9]

"Behold, as the eyes of servants are directed to the hands of their masters, and as the eyes of a maidservant to the hands of her mistress; so our eyes are directed to the Lord our God (kyrion ton theon hemon), until he have mercy upon us." Psalm 122:2 [Eng. 123:2]

"O Lord our God (kyrie ho theos hemon), give us peace: for thou hast rendered to us all things. O Lord our God (kyrie ho theos hemon), take possession of us: O Lord (kyrie), we know not any other beside thee: we name thy name." Isaiah 26:12-13

"Behold, the days of the Lord come, and thy spoils shall be divided in thee. And I will gather all the Gentiles to Jerusalem to war, and the city shall be taken, and the houses plundered, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, but the rest of my people shall not be utterly cut off from the city. And the Lord shall go forth, and fight with those Gentiles as when he fought in the day of war. And HIS FEET shall stand in that day on the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave asunder, half of it toward the east and the west, a very great division; and half the mountain shall lean to the north, and half of it to the south. And the valley of my mountains shall be closed up, and the valley of the mountains shall be joined on to Jasod, and shall be blocked up as it was blocked up in the days of the earthquake, in the days of Ozias king of Juda; and the Lord my God (kyrios ho theos mou) shall come, and all the saints with him." Zechariah 14:1-5(1)

"Worthy are you, our Lord and God (ho kyrios kai ho theos hemon), to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created." Revelation 4:11

Thus, when these two words are coupled together within the same context they do not apply to "many men," but only to Yahweh God. This, in itself, conclusively proves that Thomas’ confession meant that Jesus is the Lord God Almighty (yet not the Father or the Holy Spirit).


Jesus – The Sovereign Lord of all creation!

Sami then quotes a part of Strong’s Lexicon to show that kyrios can be a title of honor and respect given by a servant to a master. He wishes to argue from this point that the disciples called Jesus kyrios because he was their leader, being the Messiah, prophet and judge, not because he is God.

There are many problems with Sami’s assertions, not the least of which is that he doesn’t quote the entire lexicon entry which actually says:

    1) he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord

      a) the possessor and disposer of a thing

        1) the owner; one who has control of the person, the master
        2) in the state: the sovereign, prince, chief, the Roman emperor

      b) is a title of honour expressive of respect and reverence, with which servants greet their master
      c) this title is given to: God, the Messiah

    (Source; underline emphasis ours)

In the last definition the very positioning of the Messiah with God indicates that the title has the same meaning when it is applied to both of them, e.g. the Messiah is Lord in the same sense that God is.

This leads me to my other point. Sami overlooks the testimony of John that Jesus is Lord in the sense that everything that belongs to God is completely his since he is the One through whom all creation was brought into being and for whom it exists:

"He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. He came to his own, and his own received him not." John 1:10-11

"the Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand." John 3:35

"Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God," John 13:3

"All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. John 16:15

"all mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them." John 17:10

John wasn’t the only inspired author who believed this since the NT as a whole teaches that Jesus is the supreme Lord over all creation, being the Lord of both the living and the dead, having complete power and total control over all dominions and authorities:

"You know the word which he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace by Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), … And he commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that he is the one ordained by God to be judge of the living and the dead." Acts 10:36, 42

"If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living." Romans 14:8-9

"and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe, according to the working of his great might which he accomplished in Christ when he raised him from the dead and made him sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come; and he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fulness of him who fills all in all." Ephesians 1:19-23

"Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure man, or one who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God." Ephesians 5:5

"But our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power which enables him even to subject ALL THINGS to himself." Philippians 3:20-21

"He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for IN HIM all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities -- all things were created THROUGH HIM and FOR HIM. He IS before all things, and IN HIM all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent. For in him all the fulness of God was pleased to dwell," Colossians 1:13-19

"See to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. For IN HIM the whole fulness of Deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fulness of life in him, who is the head of all rule and authority." Colossians 2:8-10

"Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him." 1 Peter 3:21-22

"Therefore, brethren, be the more zealous to confirm your call and election, for if you do this you will never fall; so there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 1:10-11

"and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the Ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Revelation 1:5-6

"Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord AND OF his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever.’" Revelation 11:15

"And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received royal power, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast. These are of one mind and give over their power and authority to the beast; they will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful." Revelation 17:12-14 – cf. 19:16

"Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:9-11

In this last passage Paul (or the early Christian community since this may have been an early hymn of the Church that Paul included here) has applied a fiercely monotheistic text from the book of Isaiah to Christ:

"For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it a chaos, he formed it to be inhabited!): ‘I am the LORD, and there is no other. I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, "Seek me in chaos." I the LORD speak the truth, I declare what is right. Assemble yourselves and come, draw near together, you survivors of the nations! They have no knowledge who carry about their wooden idols, and keep on praying to a god that cannot save. Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness a word that shall not return: To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; to him shall come and be ashamed, all who were incensed against him. In the LORD all the offspring of Israel shall triumph and glory.’" Isaiah 45:18-25

By adopting the very language of Isaiah to highlight the worship and recognition that Christ shall eventually receive Paul (or the early believers to be exact) was essentially saying that Jesus is the very Lord whom the inspired prophet said every knee would bow to and which every tongue will confess, i.e. Jesus is Yahweh! In other words, Jesus is being called Lord in a sense which equates him with Yahweh God of the Old Testament!

The following texts provide further substantiation for this point:

"because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved. The scripture says, ‘No one who believes in him will be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and bestows his riches upon all who call upon him. For, ‘every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.’" Romans 10:9-13

In the context, the Lord whom believers call upon for their salvation is the same Lord whom they are to confess with their lips and believe that God had raised from the dead, namely Jesus! And:

"To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:" 1 Corinthians 1:2

Christians are those who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus. But according to the Biblical prophets the faithful are those who call on the name of Yahweh both for their salvation and in their worship:

"Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beer-sheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God." Genesis 21:33

"And it shall come to pass that all who call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls." Joel 2:32

It is obvious that the inspired NT writers and Evangelists believed that Christ is Yahweh God Incarnate since this is the only way to account for their willingness to take OT passages that refer to the worship and praise that Yahweh receives and apply that to the Lord Jesus. Otherwise, we would have to assume that these authors who were monotheists (cf. Mark 12:29, 32; John 5:44, 17:3; Romans 1:25, 3:30; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; Galatians 3:20, 4:8; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 Timothy 1:17, 2:5; James 2:19; 1 John 5:20-21; Jude 1:25) knowingly and intentionally promoted idolatry, exhorting people to worship the creature as if he were the Creator himself.

The other problem with Sami’s position is that it once again shows that Muhammad was wrong since the latter claimed that Allah would never allow anyone to take any prophet or angel as Lord (Arabic – Rabb), and that doing so is a heinous sin:

He would never order you to take the angels and the Prophets as lords (arbaban); what, would He order you to disbelieve, after you have surrendered? S. 3:80

They have taken as lords (arbaban) beside Allah their rabbis and their monks and the Messiah son of Mary, when they were bidden to worship only One God. There is no God save Him. Be He Glorified from all that they ascribe as partner (unto Him)! S. 9:31(2)

Yet Thomas takes Christ as his sovereign Lord with Jesus’ full and complete blessing! Here is a transliteration of what John 20:28 says in Arabic since this will show that Thomas was embracing Christ as his Rabb or Lord, something which Muhammad forbade in his book:

"Ajaaba Toma wa-qala lahu, Rabbee wa-ilahi."

Thus, the testimony of John 20:28 shows that Muhammad was mistaken concerning what the previous prophets taught since Jesus, whom he recognized as a true Prophet, allowed and accepted his followers to embrace him as their sovereign Lord or Rabb.


What kind of Theos is Jesus?

Sami turns his attention to the use of the lexical use of theos (God), and much like he did with the word kyrios he only quotes a part of the lexicon to show that theos can refer to God’s representatives and vice-regents or to magistrates and judges. He wants to prove that this is the sense in which Jesus is called theos, not in the sense of being fully God in nature but because he is God’s Representative or Vice-Regent, being God’s Prophet and the Messiah.

First, here is the full entry which Sami conveniently omitted:

    1) a god or goddess, a general name of deities or divinities
    2) the Godhead, trinity

      a) God the Father, the first person in the trinity
      b) Christ, the second person of the trinity
      c) Holy Spirit, the third person in the trinity

    3) spoken of the only and true God

      a) refers to the things of God
      b) his counsels, interests, things due to him

    4) whatever can in any respect be likened unto God, or resemble him in any way

      a) God's representative or viceregent

        1) of magistrates and judges


    (Source; underline emphasis ours)

Sami simply dismisses and provides no reason for rejecting the definitions provided by his own lexical source that theos can refer to the Godhead, the Trinity, or to Christ as the second Person of the Trinity.

The second problem with Sami’s argument is that Thomas didn’t simply call Jesus God but rather confessed him to be his very own Lord AND God. The fact is that there is no example of any faithful monotheist addressing anyone besides Yahweh as his/her God, just as the following verses indicate:

"David sang to the LORD the words of this song when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said: ‘The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my Savior— from violent men you save me.’" 2 Samuel 22:1-3(3)

"David also said to Solomon his son, ‘Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.’ 1 Chronicles 28:20

"For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God?" Psalm 18:31

"Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God." Psalm 84:3

"I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’" Psalm 91:2

"O LORD, I say to you, ‘You are my God.’ Hear, O LORD, my cry for mercy." Psalm 140:6

Sami will not be able to find a single verse where someone other than the true God is ever called "my God" or "our God," except in contexts where people are wrongly worshiping false gods.

And, as we had mentioned earlier, it is Yahweh who is consistently addressed as someone’s Lord and God, e.g. expressions such as "Lord my/our God," "my God and my Lord, "our Lord and God," are only used in respect to Yahweh. Thus, someone familiar with the Hebrew Bible could clearly see that Thomas’ confession was language which could only be appropriately given to One who is fully God in essence. Such language could never be given to any creature, no matter how highly exalted.

To further support that Jesus is Thomas’ Lord and God in an absolute sense – in the same sense that the Father is – it should be pointed out that all throughout the Gospels Jesus consistently made statements concerning himself that went beyond anything a mere prophet or a human Messiah would dare say. Christ spoke of himself in such a manner that even his audience knew that he was claiming to be the unique Divine Son of God who had come down from heaven, the beloved Son who is equal with the Father in power, ability, essence, glory and honor.

For instance, the fourth Evangelist repeatedly quotes Jesus speaking of his heavenly preexistence and essential coequality with the Father, statements which even his opponents understood were claims of Deity:

"And this was why the Jews persecuted Jesus, because he did this on the sabbath. But Jesus answered them, ‘My Father is working still, and I am working.’ This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath but also called God his Father, making himself equal with God. Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever he does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all that he himself is doing; and greater works than these will he show him, that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, EVEN AS they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him… Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself, and has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his [the Son’s] voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment." John 5:16-23, 25-29

"Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.’ The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, ‘I am the bread which came down from heaven.’ They said, ‘Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, "I have come down from heaven"?’" John 6:35-42

"‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.’ The Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, ‘I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of these do you stone me?’ The Jews answered him, ‘It is not for a good work that we stone you but for blasphemy; because you, being a man, make yourself God.’" John 10:27-33

And, quite significantly, there is not one instance where the Evangelist John (or any of the other Evangelists, for that matter) states that these Jews misunderstood Jesus. No, their problem is not that they misunderstood Jesus, but that they did not believe in Jesus and did not accept the claim that Jesus made for himself. In other words, when the disbelieving Jews understood Jesus as claiming Deity, they are never reproached for that but are only rebuked for disbelieving it.

We are further told in the very same chapter where Thomas confesses that Jesus is his Lord and God that Christ performed a specifically Divine function,

"On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’" John 20:19-23

Jesus’ act of breathing out the Holy Spirit upon his followers is reminiscent of the way Yahweh breathed the breath of life into the first man after fashioning him from the dust of the ground:

"then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being." Genesis 2:7

Hence, Jesus is able to breathe out the Holy Spirit as well as give both biological and spiritual life in the same exact way that Yahweh does!

Moreover, the Evangelist starts off his Gospel by affirming the same points that he mentions in John 20:28-31, specifically that Jesus is the unique Son of God who is fully God in essence:

"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 madeAnd 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… No one has ever seen God; God the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known." John 1:1-3, 14, 18

In light of the above we can confidently say that the reason why John included Thomas’ confession that Jesus is both Lord (kyrios) and God (theos) was to bring out more clearly the implications of what he had stated in his prologue, as well as to confirm what Christ had been saying about himself all throughout his earthly ministry, i.e. Jesus is the fully Divine Son of God who came down from heaven, being the very Incarnation of the eternal Word of the Father. As the following Evangelical scholars put it:

"Although the Gospel of John has 21 chapters, the climax of the Gospel comes at the end of chapter 20, when the apostle Thomas confesses Jesus as his Lord and God (v. 28) and John states that the purpose of his Gospel is that people might have life through believing in Jesus as the Son of God (vv. 30-31). We see the same pattern of thought as in the prologue: Jesus is the Son of God the Father (1:14, 18) and yet he is also himself God (1:1, 18)…

Thomas’ words echo statements addressed in the Psalms to the Lord (Jehovah), especially the following: ‘Wake up! Bestir yourself for my defense, for my cause, my God and my Lord [ho theos mou kai ho kurios mou!]’ (Ps. 35:23). These words parallel those in John 20:28 exactly except for reversing ‘God’ and ‘Lord.’ More broadly, in biblical language ‘my God’ (on the lips of a faithful believer) can refer ONLY to the Lord God of Israel. The language is as definite as it could be and identifies Jesus Christ as God himself.

In identifying Jesus as God, Thomas, of course, was not identifying him as the Father. Earlier in the same passage, Jesus had referred to the Father as his God. It is interesting to compare Jesus’ wording with the wording of Thomas. Jesus told Mary Magdalene, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and to your God’ (theon mou kai theon humon, John 20:17). As in John 1:1 and John 1:18, the Father is called ‘God’ in close proximity to a statement affirming that Jesus is also ‘God.’ Here again, as in John 1:18, we do not see the apostle John distinguishing between the Father as ‘the God’ (ho theos) and Jesus the Son as only ‘God’ (theos without the article). In fact, whereas Jesus calls the Father ‘my God’ without the article (theon mou, 20:17), Thomas calls Jesus ‘my God’ with the article (ho theos mou, 20:28)! One could not ask for any clearer evidence that the use or nonuse of the article is irrelevant to the meaning of the word theos. What matters is how the word is used in context. In John 20:28, the apostle reports the most skeptical of disciples making the most exalted of confessions about Jesus. John expects his readers to view Thomas’s confession as a model for them to follow. Recognizing Jesus as the One who has conquered death itself for us, we too are to respond to Jesus and confess that he is our Lord and our God…

To summarize, the Gospel of John explicitly refers to Jesus as ‘God’ three times: at the beginning of the prologue (1:1, 18) and at the climax of the book (20:28). These three strategically placed affirmations make it clear that Jesus is and always has been God. As Murray Harris puts it, ‘In his preincarnate state (1:1), in his incarnate state (1:18), and in his postresurrection state (20:28), Jesus is God. For John, recognition of Christ’s deity is the hallmark of the Christian.’" (Robert M. Bowman Jr. & J. Ed Komoszewski, Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ [Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI 2007], Part 3: Name Above All Names – Jesus Shares the Names of God, Chapter 12. Immanuel: God with Us, pp. 142, 143-144; capital and underline emphasis ours)

Speaking of Harris, here is what this renowned NT scholar wrote concerning Thomas’ confession:

"Although in customary Johannine and NT usage (ho) theos refers to the Father, it is impossible that Thomas and John would be personally equating Jesus with the Father, for in the immediate historical and literary context Jesus himself has explicitly distinguished himself from God his Father (John 20:17). Clearly, then, theos is a title, not a proper name, Nor is it fitting to argue that, since John aimed in his Gospel to prove merely the messiahship of Jesus (John 20:31), ho theos mou of verse 28 cannot mean ‘my God’ but must bear a diluted, descriptive sense such as ‘my divine one,’ as in F.C. Burkitt’s paraphrase, ‘It is Jesus Himself, and now I recognize Him as divine’ (48). As elsewhere in John, the title ho huios tou theou, which is in apposition to ho Christos in John 20:31, denotes more than simply the Davidic Messiah. The Gospel was written to produce belief that Jesus was the promised Jewish Messiah and that the Messiah was none other than the ‘one and only’ Son of God who had come from the Father (John 11:42; 17:8), who shared his nature (John 1:1, 18; 10:30) and fellowship (John 1:18; 14:11), and who therefore might be appropriately be addressed and worshiped as ho theos mou. Unique sonship implies deity (John 5:18; cf. 19:7).

Following the term kyrios used as a religious title with rich christological overtones, the title theos could scarcely bear a less exalted sense. It is inadequate, therefore, to say simply that Thomas (or John) recognized that God was active in and through Jesus, or that in Jesus the eschatological presence of God was at work. Jesus was more than God’s man appointed to become a redeemer, more than some suprahuman being who was a legitimate object of worship, more than the ‘inhistorized’ divine Agape. As used by a monotheistic Jew in reference to a person who was demonstrably human, theos will denote oneness with the Father in being (cf. John 10:30), not merely in purpose and action. In other words, Thomas’s cry expresses the substantial divinity of Jesus. Thomas has penetrated beyond the semeion–the appearance of the risen Jesus–to its implication, viz., the deity of Christ. While not couched as an ontological affirmation (su ei ho theos mou), the apostle’s exclamatory address has inescapable ontological implications. Even as it is expressed, the confession embodies less functional than ontological truth: Jesus was worshiped by Thomas as a sharer in the divine nature, not simply as a mediator of divine blessing…

That Thomas’s cry was not an extravagant acclamation, spoken in a moment of spiritual exaltation when his exuberance exceeded his theological sense, is apparent from two facts. First, the evangelist records no rebuke of Jesus to Thomas for his worship. Jesus’ silence is tantamount to consent, for as monotheist Jews considered the human acceptance of worship as blasphemous. Thomas was not guilty of worshiping the creature over the Creator (cf. Rom. 1:25). Indeed, Jesus’ word to Thomas–pepisteukas (John 20:29a; cf. ginoupistos in v. 27)–implies the acceptance of his confession, which is then indirectly commended to others (v. 29b). Second, John has endorsed Thomas’s confession as his own by making it his final and climactic christological affirmation before his statement of purpose, verse 31. The author found in Thomas’s cry a convenient means by which he might bring into sharp focus at the end of his Gospel, as at the beginning (John 1:1, 18), the ultimate implications of his portrait of Jesus." (Harris, Jesus as God –The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus [Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI: first paperback edition, 1992], Chapter IV: My Lord and my God! (John 20:28), c. The Meaning of theos, pp. 124-127; underline emphasis ours)

Hence, all of these factors conclusively prove that Thomas wasn’t merely calling Jesus his Lord and God in the sense of his being God’s appointed Agent and Representative, the Messiah who was invested with Divine authority. Rather, the evidence shows that we are to take Thomas’ proclamation as a confession of Jesus’ absolute Deity, that Christ is fully God in nature and the sovereign Lord of all creation.

Sami provides a further illustration of just how weak and desperate his case against the explicit NT witness to the eternal Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ truly is. He mentions that the devil himself in 2 Corinthians 4:4 is called theos, and that Moses and specific judges were even addressed as G/god(s) (elohim), as if this is all somehow relevant to the exegesis of John 20:28! Since we have already thoroughly addressed these points here:

There will be no need to repeat ourselves. The above articles provide a thorough refutation to Sami’s desperate tirade against the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ.

With the foregoing in the background we would like to issue the following challenges to Sami since this will help the readers to see the validity (or the lack thereof) of his position:

  • We challenge you to quote an example from the Holy Bible where believers address someone other than Yahweh as their Lord God. Provide a text which uses words such as "my Lord and my God," "my God and my Lord," "Lord my God," "our Lord and God," etc. for someone other than Yahweh God with the approval of the true God or an appointed spokesperson of God.
  • We further challenge you to quote a passage where someone besides Yahweh is ever addressed with the words "my God" or "our God" with the true God or his inspired prophet/apostle having absolutely no problem with it.

In closing we want to reiterate that the evidence which we presented here conclusively proves that Thomas’ confession concerning Christ being both his kyrios and theos meant that Jesus is the Almighty God who became man for our salvation (yet not the Father or the Holy Spirit).

Amen. Come Lord Jesus, come! We believe and confess along with Thomas and the rest of the Apostles that you are truly our risen Lord and eternal God, the unique Son of God who lives forever and ever. We love you, O Immortal Savior! Amen.

Addendum: Jesus Christ – the Heavenly Sent One



(1) According to the NT Jesus is the Lord God whom Zechariah saw descend upon the Mount of Olives with all of his saints, the One whose feet split the Mount in half:

"After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.’ Then they returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day's walk from the city." Acts 1:9-12

The testimony of the two men indicates that Jesus will descend on the Mount of Olives since he ascended into heaven from that location. Moreover, the following passage shows that he won’t be alone when he returns since all his saints will accompany him:

"May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his saints." 1 Thessalonians 3:13

This again conclusively demonstrates that, as far as the NT writers were concerned, Jesus is the Lord God Almighty who was and is to come, and is therefore the Lord God of all true believers such as Thomas.

(2) What makes this particular verse interesting is that the literal meaning is actually exhorting Muslims not to take anyone as Lord besides Allah AND Jesus:

They have taken their rabbis and their monks as lords apart from God AND the Messiah son of Mary (min dooni Allahi WA-almaseeha ibna maryama), and they were commanded to serve but One God; there is no god but He; glory be to Him, above that they associate. S. 9:31

The author of the Quran structured this sentence in such a way as to end up confessing Jesus as Lord alongside Allah! For a more thorough discussion on the chaotic grammatical structure of this verse as well as to see other examples where certain individuals address specific persons besides Allah as their Lord without the Islamic deity censuring them we recommend the article, The Quran’s many Gods and Lords.

(3) According to the NT writers it is Christ who is our God and Savior:

"waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ," Titus 2:13

"Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:" 2 Peter 1:11

This only further proves that Jesus is God in the same sense that the Father is even though he is not the Father or the Holy Spirit.