Did Jesus Give Up Being God?
By David W. Daniels
A sister in the Lord had a question the other day about the Incarnation.
It boiled down to how and when the Lord Jesus Christ was both God and man. It's an excellent question. I asked her to grab her King James and her NIV.
Modern Bibles remove four important words that clarify an entire doctrine about Jesus being God and man, John 3:12-13. "...no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven." Jesus was at that very moment talking with Nicodemus. He was also in heaven at that very moment.
Twenty-seven modern Bibles completely removed those four words. Four modern Bibles rewrote them so Jesus was God in heaven, but isn't now. This was the first verse that I had in mind to show her. And if you look in 31 modern Bibles, including ALL NIV-types: NIrV, TNIV, NIV 84 and NIV 2011, the doctrine is GONE.
But there is a second verse I like to use. In the King James it shows that Jesus Christ was God, who added on the form of a human body. Philippians 2:5-9: "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God..."
Jesus' position in the Godhead is not something He stole. He took nothing away from the Father or the Holy Ghost. The Son has His own position, His own part in the Godhead. The Son is the One who added something to Himself. He added the form of a human being.
Verse 7: "But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:" The Lord didn't come with fanfare. He told people who had no major reputation the most important news of all: GOD has come to the earth to be born!
He made Himself of no reputation. Let me stop there and compare it to the NIV. The NIV, 1984 and 2011, the NIrV and TNIV all say the same thing: "he made himself nothing."
But in the King James, only His reputation is removed. So you know, the Tyndale, Matthews, Coverdale, Geneva and Bishops Bibles also say "He made Himself of no reputation." So this was by no means a new idea. Making himself nothing, however, was a very new idea, thanks to the NIV. In the King James, Jesus took on a distinct human form, and took on flesh, as well. This makes perfect sense out of John 1:14: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us."
Christ adding to Himself is also why it says in verse 8, "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
So Jesus not only humbled Himself to add on a human body, He also humbled Himself and obeyed His Father, to the point of paying for all of our sins by dying on the cross.
Then it says, "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:" So God couldn't make His son "more God," obviously. But his "Name," His "reputation," couldn't be higher. And not because of who Jesus is, but because of what He has done.
Because God the Father's Son bore the shame and humiliation of death on a cross, God gave Him a Name which is above every name. "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Phil. 2:10
The generation that is fed on the NIV and rejects the KJV will lose vital understanding of who Jesus was, and is.