Friday, July 25, 2014

"Why Do You Call Me Good?" — Did Jesus Deny Being God in Mark 10:17-18?

originally posted 6/6/2015

The following is an excerpt of the blogpost: Makan Christology

Regarding Mark 10:17-18.

17    And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"18 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.- Mark 10:17-18
This passage has universally and perennially been used by skeptics, and Unitarians like Arians, Socinians, Muslims (et al.) to prove that Jesus claimed not to be God since Jesus says only God is good. However, in the same book demons are recorded to have referred to Jesus as the "Holy One of God" (Mark 1:24 cf. Isa. 49:7; 54:5 and 55:5) with the author's apparent endorsement. So, clearly Jesus was good. In light of that, here's a relevant quote from Richard N. Davies' book The Doctrine of the Trinity page 18-19
QUOTE: Christ said to a certain ruler: "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God." (Mark x, 17, 18.) Christ did not deny that he himself was "good," nor did he deny that he himself was God; but the ruler had not acknowledged him to be God, and our Lord's question to the ruler was based upon that fact. It was as much as to say, As you do not confess me to be God, why call me good? Our Lord said: "There is none good but one, that is, God." It would follow from this that whoever is perfectly good must be God; but our Lord is perfectly, infinitely good, hence must be God........The dilemma, as regards the Socinians, has been well put (see Stier II, 283, note), either, 'There is none good but God; Christ is good; therefore Christ is God;' or, 'There is none good but God; Christ is not God; therefore Christ is not good.' " (Alford, in loco) END QUOTE [bold and underline by me]
Unitarians must pick one of the horns of the dilemma. Either affirm that Jesus is Almighty God, or affirm that Jesus is not truly good and holy (and so contradict Mark 1:24 which has demons calling Jesus the Holy One of God, with Mark's apparent approval).

See also my blogpost:

The Meaning of the Term "Son of Man"

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