What Jesus and His Disciples Really Believed Concerning the Divinity of Jesus

Some Muslims and skeptics will say that Jesus never claimed to be God and that the belief that Jesus is God is simply a later Christian invention. Some will even say that Emperor Constantine invented the deity of Jesus in the fourth century at the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. However, a look at quotes from Jesus Himself, His disciples, the early church fathers, and early pagans show this is completely inaccurate. Not only did Jesus Himself claim to be God and Jesus' apostles claim He was God, but the early church also clearly believed Jesus was God.


Starting with Jesus Himself and His own disciples, every generation of Christians have claimed that Jesus is God. Jesus’ Divinity is not a later Christian invention, but rather it is rooted right back to the very beginning, in the very person of Jesus Christ.



Jesus Himself Claimed He Was God:


• Jesus Himself claimed He was God. There were many ways Jesus showed and proved His Divinity (for more information see Chapter 25: Jesus: More Than a Prophet). Below are just 2 quotes from Jesus that are recorded in the Gospels, which, in Chapter 21: Muhammad and the Bible, were shown to be reliable and trustworthy:


"And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, 'Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?' But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, 'Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?' And Jesus said, 'I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.' And the high priest tore his garments and said, 'What further witnesses do we need? You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?' And they all condemned him as deserving death." (Mark 14:60-64 [ESV])


"So the Jews said to him, 'You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?' Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.' So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple." (John 8:57-59 [ESV])




Jesus’ Disciples Claimed He Was God:


• John was one of Jesus' 12 disciples and one of the 3 disciples in His innermost circle (along with Peter and James). In the Gospel of John he said:


"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 any thing made that was made... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:1-3, 14 [ESV])



• Peter was one of Jesus' 12 disciples and was also one of the 3 disciples in His innermost circle (along with John and James). In his letters, as well as what is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, he said:


"Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, 'Who do people say that the Son of Man is?' And they said, 'Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.' He said to them, 'But who do you say that I am?' Simon Peter replied, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' And Jesus answered him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.'" (Matthew 16:13-17 [ESV])


"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 1:1 [ESV])



• Thomas was one of Jesus' 12 disciples and it is recorded in the Gospel of John that he said:


"Then [Jesus] said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.' Thomas answered him, 'My Lord and my God!'" (John 20:27-28 [ESV])



• Paul was one of the apostles of Jesus who not only encountered the risen Jesus himself, but also met with Jesus' disciples to verify the accuracy of his experiences and teaching. He said:


"To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen." (Romans 9:5 [ESV])


"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross." (Colossians 1:15-20 [ESV])


"Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ." (Titus 2:13 [ESV])




The Early Church Fathers Claimed Jesus Was God:


Below are 41 quotations from 13 different early church fathers. All of these quotations predate the Council of Nicaea in AD 325.


• Polycarp (AD 69–155) was the bishop at the church in Smyrna. Irenaeus tells us Polycarp was a disciple of John the Apostle. In his Letter to the Philippians he wrote:


"Now may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the eternal high priest himself, the Son of God Jesus Christ, build you up in faith and truth...and to us with you, and to all those under heaven who will yet believe in our Lord and God Jesus Christ and in his Father who raised him from the dead." [1]



• Ignatius (AD c.35–c.110) was the bishop at the church in Antioch and a disciple of John the Apostle. He wrote a series of letters to various churches on his way to Rome, where he was to be martyred. He wrote:


"Ignatius, who is also Theophorus, unto her which hath been blessed in greatness through the plentitude of God the Father; which hath been foreordained before the ages to be for ever unto abiding and unchangeable glory, united and elect in a true passion, by the will of the Father and of Jesus Christ our God; even unto the church which is in Ephesus [of Asia], worthy of all felicitation: abundant greeting in Christ Jesus and in blameless joy." [2]


"Being as you are imitators of God, once you took on new life through the blood of God you completed perfectly the task so natural to you." [3]


"There is only one physician, who is both flesh and spirit, born and unborn, God in man, true life in death, both from Mary and from God, first subject to suffering and then beyond it, Jesus Christ our Lord." [4]


"For our God, Jesus the Christ, was conceived by Mary according to God’s plan, both from the seed of David and of the Holy Spirit." [5]


"Consequently all magic and every kind of spell were dissolved, the ignorance so characteristic of wickedness vanished, and the ancient kingdom was abolished when God appeared in human form to bring the newness of eternal life." [6]


"For our God Jesus Christ is more visible now that he is in the Father." [7]


"I glorify Jesus Christ, the God who made you so wise, for I observed that you are established in an unshakable faith, having been nailed, as it were, to the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ." [8]


"Wait expectantly for the one who is above time: the Eternal, the Invisible, who for our sake became visible; the Intangible, the Unsuffering, who for our sake suffered, who for our sake endured in every way." [9]




• Justin Martyr (AD 100–165) was a Christian apologist of the second century. He wrote:


"And that Christ being Lord, and God the Son of God, and appearing formerly in power as Man, and Angel, and in the glory of fire as at the bush, so also was manifested at the judgment executed on Sodom, has been demonstrated fully by what has been said." [10]


"Permit me first to recount the prophecies, which I wish to do in order to prove that Christ is called both God and Lord of hosts." [11]


"Therefore these words testify explicitly that He [Jesus] is witnessed to by Him [the Father] who established these things, as deserving to be worshipped, as God and as Christ." [12]


"The Father of the universe has a Son; who also, being the first-begotten Word of God, is even God. And of old He appeared in the shape of fire and in the likeness of an angel to Moses and to the other prophets; but now in the times of your reign, having, as we before said, become Man by a virgin...." [13]


"For if you had understood what has been written by the prophets, you would not have denied that He was God, Son of the only, unbegotten, unutterable God." [14]



• Melito of Sardis (died c. AD 190) was the bishop of the church in Sardis. He wrote:


"He that hung up the earth in space was Himself hanged up; He that fixed the heavens was fixed with nails; He that bore up the earth was born up on a tree; the Lord of all was subjected to ignominy in a naked body—God put to death! ... [I]n order that He might not be seen, the luminaries turned away, and the day became darkened—because they slew God, who hung naked on the tree.... This is He who made the heaven and the earth, and in the beginning, together with the Father, fashioned man; who was announced by means of the law and the prophets; who put on a bodily form in the Virgin; who was hanged upon the tree; who was buried in the earth; who rose from the place of the dead, and ascended to the height of heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father." [15]



• Irenaeus of Lyons (AD 130–200) was bishop of Lugdunum in Gaul, which is now Lyons, France. Irenaeus was born in Smyrna in Asia Minor, where he studied under bishop Polycarp, who in turn had been a disciple of John the Apostle. He wrote:


"For I have shown from the Scriptures, that no one of the sons of Adam is as to everything, and absolutely, called God, or named Lord. But that He is Himself in His own right, beyond all men who ever lived, God, and Lord, and King Eternal, and the Incarnate Word, proclaimed by all the prophets, the apostles, and by the Spirit Himself, may be seen by all who have attained to even a small portion of the truth. Now, the Scriptures would not have testified these things of Him, if, like others, He had been a mere man.... He is the holy Lord, the Wonderful, the Counselor, the Beautiful in appearance, and the Mighty God, coming on the clouds as the Judge of all men;—all these things did the Scriptures prophesy of Him." [16]

"He received testimony from all that He was very man, and that He was very God, from the Father, from the Spirit, from angels, from the creation itself, from men, from apostate spirits and demons." [17]


"Christ Jesus [is] our Lord, and God, and Savior, and King, according to the will of the invisible Father." [18]


"Christ Himself, therefore, together with the Father, is the God of the living, who spoke to Moses, and who was also manifested to the fathers." [19]


"Carefully, then, has the Holy Ghost pointed out, by what has been said, His birth from a virgin, and His essence, that He is God (for the name Emmanuel indicates this). And He shows that He is a man.... [W]e should not understand that He is a mere man only, nor, on the other hand, from the name Emmanuel, should suspect Him to be God without flesh." [20]



• Clement of Alexandria (AD 150–215) was a Christian apologist and the second known teacher of the catechetical school of Alexandria. He wrote around AD 200 and said:


"This Word, then, the Christ, the cause of both our being at first (for He was in God) and of our well-being, this very Word has now appeared as man, He alone being both, both God and man—the Author of all blessings to us; by whom we, being taught to live well, are sent on our way to life eternal.... The Word, who in the beginning bestowed on us life as Creator when He formed us, taught us to live well when He appeared as our Teacher that as God He might afterwards conduct us to the life which never ends." [21]


"For it was not without divine care that so great a work was accomplished in so brief a space by the Lord, who, though despised as to appearance, was in reality adored, the expiator of sin, the Savior, the clement, the Divine Word, He that is truly most manifest Deity, He that is made equal to the Lord of the universe; because He was His Son, and the Word was in God...." [22]



• Tertullian (AD 160–225) was an early Christian theologian and apologist. He said:


"For God alone is without sin; and the only man without sin is Christ, since Christ is also God." [23]


"Thus Christ is Spirit of Spirit, and God of God, as light of light is kindled.... That which has come forth out of God is at once God and the Son of God, and the two are one. In this way also, as He is Spirit of Spirit and God of God, He is made a second in manner of existence—in position, not in nature; and He did not withdraw from the original source, but went forth. This ray of God, then, as it was always foretold in ancient times, descending into a certain virgin, and made flesh in her womb, is in His birth God and man united." [24]


"Bear always in mind that this is the rule of faith which I profess; by it I testify that the Father, and the Son, and the Spirit are inseparable from each other , and so will you know in what sense this is said. Now, observe, my assertion is that the Father is one, and the Son one, and the Spirit one, and that they are distinct from each other. This statement is taken in a wrong sense by every uneducated as well as every perversely disposed person, as if it predicated a diversity, in such a sense as to imply a separation among the Father, and the Son, and the Spirit. I am, moreover, obliged to say this, when they contend for the identity of the Father and Son and Spirit, that it is not by way of diversity that the Son differs from the Father, but by distribution: it is not by division that He is different, but by distinction; because the Father is not the same as the Son, since they differ one from the other in the mode of their being. For the Father is the entire substance, but the Son is a derivation and portion of the whole, as He Himself acknowledges: “My Father is greater than I.” In the Psalm His inferiority is described as being “a little lower than the angels.” Thus the Father is distinct from the Son, being greater than the Son, inasmuch as He who begets is one, and He who is begotten is another; He, too, who sends is one, and He who is sent is another; and He, again, who makes is one, and He through whom the thing is made is another. Happily the Lord Himself employs this expression of the person of the Paraclete, so as to signify not a division or severance, but a disposition (of mutual relations in the Godhead); for He says, “I will pray the Father, and He shall send you another Comforter…even the Spirit of truth,” thus making the Paraclete distinct from Himself, even as we say that the Son is also distinct from the Father; so that He showed a third degree in the Paraclete, as we believe the second degree is in the Son, by reason of the order observed in the Economy. Besides, does not the very fact that they have the distinct names of Father and Son amount to a declaration that they are distinct in personality?" [25]


"As if in this way also one were not All, in that All are of One, by unity (that is) of substance; while the mystery of the dispensation is still guarded, which distributes the Unity into a Trinity, placing in their order the three Persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost: three, however, not in condition, but in degree; not in substance, but in form; not in power, but in aspect; yet of one substance, and of one condition, and of one power, inasmuch as He is one God, from whom these degrees and forms and aspects are reckoned, under the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." [26]



• Hippolytus of Rome (AD 170–235) was a third-century theologian. He was a disciple of Irenaeus, who was a disciple of Polycarp, who was a disciple of John the Apostle. He wrote:


"The Logos alone of this God is from God himself; wherefore also the Logos is God, being the substance of God." [27]


"For, lo, the Only-begotten entered, a soul among souls, God the Word with a (human) soul. For His body lay in the tomb, not emptied of divinity; but as, while in Hades, He was in essential being with His Father, so was He also in the body and in Hades. For the Son is not contained in space, just as the Father; and He comprehends all things in Himself." [28]


"For all, the righteous and the unrighteous alike, shall be brought before God the Word." [29]


"Let us believe then, dear brethren, according to the tradition of the apostles, that God the Word came down from heaven, (and entered) into the holy Virgin Mary, in order that, taking the flesh from her, and assuming also a human, by which I mean a rational soul, and becoming thus all that man is with the exception of sin, He might save fallen man, and confer immortality on men who believe on His name.... He now, coming forth into the world, was manifested as God in a body, coming forth too as a perfect man. For it was not in mere appearance or by conversion, but in truth, that He became man. Thus then, too, though demonstrated as God, He does not refuse the conditions proper to Him as man, since He hungers and toils and thirsts in weariness, and flees in fear, and prays in trouble. And He who as God has a sleepless nature, slumbers on a pillow." [30]



• Origen (AD 185–254) was an early Christian theologian and a disciple of Clement of Alexandria. He wrote:


"Jesus Christ...in the last times, divesting Himself (of His glory), became a man, and was incarnate although God, and while made a man remained the God which He was." [31]


"Seeing God the Father is invisible and inseparable from the Son, the Son is not generated from Him by “prolation,” as some suppose. For if the Son be a “prolation” of the Father (the term “prolation” being used to signify such a generation as that of animals or men usually is), then, of necessity, both He who “prolated” and He who was “prolated” are corporeal. For we do not say, as the heretics suppose, that some part of the substance of God was converted into the Son, or that the Son was procreated by the Father out of things non-existent, i.e., beyond His own substance, so that there once was a time when He did not exist.... How, then, can it be asserted that there once was a time when He was not the Son? For that is nothing else than to say that there was once a time when He was not the Truth, nor the Wisdom, nor the Life, although in all these He is judged to be the perfect essence of God the Father; for these things cannot be severed from Him, or even be separated from His essence." [32]


"For we who say that the visible world is under the government to Him who created all things, do thereby declare that the Son is not mightier than the Father, but inferior to Him. And this belief we ground on the saying of Jesus Himself, 'The Father who sent Me is greater than I.' And none of us is so insane as to affirm that the Son of man is Lord over God. But when we regard the Savior as God the Word, and Wisdom, and Righteousness, and Truth, we certainly do say that He has dominion over all things which have been subjected to Him in this capacity, but not that His dominion extends over the God and Father who is Ruler over all." [33]


"Wherefore we have always held that God is the Father of His only-begotten Son, who was born indeed of Him, and derives from Him what He is, but without any beginning, not only such as may be measured by any divisions of time, but even that which the mind alone can contemplate within itself, or behold, so to speak, with the naked powers of the understanding." [34]


"But it is monstrous and unlawful to compare God the Father, in the generation of His only-begotten Son, and in the substance of the same, to any man or other living thing engaged in such an act; for we must of necessity hold that there is something exceptional and worthy of God which does not admit of any comparison at all, not merely in things, but which cannot even be conceived by thought or discovered by perception, so that a human mind should be able to apprehend how the unbegotten God is made the Father of the only-begotten Son. Because His generation is as eternal and everlasting as the brilliancy which is produced from the sun. For it is not by receiving the breath of life that He is made a Son, by any outward act, but by His own nature." [35]


"And that you may understand that the omnipotence of Father and Son is one and the same, as God and the Lord are one and the same with the Father, listen to the manner in which John speaks in the Apocalypse: “Thus saith the Lord God, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” For who else was “He which is to come” than Christ? And as no one ought to be offended, seeing God is the Father, that the Savior is also God; so also, since the Father is called omnipotent, no one ought to be offended that the Son of God is also called omnipotent." [36]



• Theophilus of Antioch (AD 120-190) was bishop of Antioch and a Christian apologist. He wrote:


"You will say, then, to me: You said that God ought not to be contained in a place, and how do you now say that He walked in Paradise? Hear what I say. The God and Father, indeed, of all cannot be contained, and is not found in a place, for there is no place of His rest; but His Word, through whom He made all things, being His power and His wisdom, assuming the person of the Father and Lord of all, went to the garden in the person of God, and conversed with Adam. For the divine writing itself teaches us that Adam said that he had heard the voice. But what else is this voice but the Word of God, who is also His Son? Not as the poets and writers of myths talk of the sons of gods begotten from intercourse [with women], but as truth expounds, the Word, that always exists, residing within the heart of God. For before anything came into being He had Him as a counsellor, being His own mind and thought. But when God wished to make all that He determined on, He begot this Word, uttered, the first-born of all creation, not Himself being emptied of the Word [Reason], but having begotten Reason, and always conversing with His Reason. And hence the holy writings teach us, and all the spirit-bearing [inspired] men, one of whom, John, says, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, John 1:1 showing that at first God was alone, and the Word in Him. Then he says, The Word was God; all things came into existence through Him; and apart from Him not one thing came into existence. The Word, then, being God, and being naturally produced from God, whenever the Father of the universe wills, He sends Him to any place; and He, coming, is both heard and seen, being sent by Him, and is found in a place." [37]



• Aristides of Athens (2nd Century) was an Athenian philosopher and one of the earliest Christian apologists. He wrote:


"The Christians, then, trace the beginning of their religion from Jesus the Messiah; and he is named the Son of God Most High. And it is said that God came down from heaven, and from a Hebrew virgin assumed and clothed himself with flesh; and the Son of God lived in a daughter of man. This is taught in the gospel, as it is called, which a short time ago was preached among them; and you also if you will read therein, may perceive the power which belongs to it." [38]



• Cyprian of Carthage (AD 200-258) was an early Christian theologian and bishop of Carthage. He wrote:


"We have an advocate and an intercessor for our sins, Jesus Christ the Lord and our God...." [39]


"I profess that I both have rendered and do render the greatest thanks without ceasing, dearest brother, to God the Father Almighty, and to His Christ the Lord and our God and Saviour, that the Church is thus divinely protected, and its unity and holiness is not constantly nor altogether corrupted by the obstinacy of perfidy and heretical wickedness." [40]



• Athenagoras (AD 133-190) was a Greek Christian philosopher and apologist. In his Embassy for the Christians (or A Plea for the Christians), he wrote:


"The Holy Spirit Himself also, which operates in the prophets, we assert to be an effluence of God, flowing from Him, and returning back again like a beam of the sun. Who, then, would not be astonished to hear men who speak of God the Father, and of God the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and who declare both their power in union and their distinction in order, called atheists? Nor is our teaching in what relates to the divine nature confined to these points; but we recognise also a multitude of angels and ministers, whom God the Maker and Framer of the world distributed and appointed to their several posts by His Logos, to occupy themselves about the elements, and the heavens, and the world, and the things in it, and the goodly ordering of them all." [41]



The Early Pagans Acknowledged That Christians Worshiped Jesus as God and That Jesus Claimed to be God:


Even early pagans in the second century acknowledged that Christians worshiped Jesus as God (Pliny the Younger; Lucian of Samosata) and that Jesus claimed to be God (Celsus):


• Pliny the Younger (AD c.61-c.113) was a Roman governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor. Around AD 112 he wrote:


"They (the Christians) were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food--but food of an ordinary and innocent kind." [1]




• Lucian of Samosata (AD 120-after 180) was a second century Greek satirist. He wrote:


"The Christians . . . worship a man to this day--the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account. . . . [It] was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws." [2]



• Celsus was an anti-Christian second century Greek philosopher. He, as recorded by Origen (AD c.185-c.254), a Christian scholar and Theologian, in Against Celsus (Contra Celsum), said:


"[Jesus] Invented his birth from a virgin... born in a certain Jewish village, of a poor woman of the country, who gained her subsistence by spinning, and who was turned out of doors by her husband, a carpenter by trade, because she was convicted of adultery; that after being driven away by her husband, and wandering about for a time, she disgracefully gave birth to Jesus, an illegitimate child, who having hired himself out as a servant in Egypt on account of his poverty, and having there acquired some miraculous powers, on which the Egyptians greatly pride themselves, returned to his own country, highly elated on account of them, and by means of these proclaimed himself a God." [3]


"That he (Jesus), having been brought up as an illegitimate child, and having served for hire in Egypt, and then coming to the knowledge of certain miraculous powers, returned from thence to his own country, and by means of those powers proclaimed himself a god." [4]




In summary, the evidence shows that:


• Jesus claimed He was God (Mark 14:60-64; John 8:57-59).

• Jesus’ disciples claimed that He was God (John in John 1:1-3; Peter in 2 Peter 1:1; Paul in Romans 9:5, Colossians 1:15-20, Titus 2:13; Thomas in John 20:27-28).


• The second generation of Christians claimed that Jesus was God (Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp, Papias, Aristides of Athen).

• The third generation of Christians claimed that Jesus was God (Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Athenagoras, Theophilus of Antioch, Melito of Sardis).


• The fourth generation of Christians claimed that Jesus was God (Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Origen).


• Even early pagans in the second century acknowledged that Christians worshiped Jesus as God (Pliny the Younger, Roman governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor; Lucian of Samosata, a second century Greek satirist) and that Jesus claimed to be God (Celsus, a second century pagan philosopher).


Then in the seventh century, almost 600 years after Jesus' time, Muhammad came along and contradicted basic historical facts and said Jesus didn't claim to be God, that He wasn't crucified, and that His disciples were Muslims and didn't believe He was God either.


There is simply no evidence to support the Islamic claim that Jesus never claimed to be God and that His disciples didn't believe He was God either, and that this belief that He is God is a later Christian invention. Starting with Jesus Himself and His own disciples, every generation of Christians have claimed that Jesus is God. Jesus' disciples were so convinced that Jesus was God that most of them were murdered for believing this, and not a single one ever recanted or denied that Jesus is Lord and God. Jesus’ Divinity is not a later Christian invention, but rather the evidence shows us that it is rooted right back to the very beginning, in the very person of Jesus Christ.







The Early Church Fathers Claimed Jesus Was God:

[1] Polycarp, Philippians, 12:2. (Translation by J.B. Lighfoot)

[2] Ignatius, Letter to the Ephesians, 0.0. (This is the Greeting)

[3] Ignatius, Letter to the Ephesians, 1.1.

[4] Ignatius, Letter to the Ephesians, 7.2.

[5] Ignatius, Letter to the Ephesians, 18.2.

[6] Ignatius, Letter to the Ephesians, 19.3.

[7] Ignatius, Letter to the Romans, 3.3. Holmes, AF, 229.

[8] Ignatius, Letter to the Smyrnaeans, 1.1. Holmes, AF, 249.

[9] Ignatius, Letter to Polycarp, 3.2. Holmes, AF, 265.

[10] Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, 128. Translation from Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Fathers, I:264.

[11] Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, 36. ANF, I:212.

[12] Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, 63. ANF, I:229.

[13] Justin Martyr, First Apology, 63. ANF, I:184.

[14] Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, 126. ANF, I:263.

[15] Melito, 5.

[16] Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3.19.2.

[17] Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 4.6.7.

[18] Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 1.10.1.

[19] Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 4.5.2.

[20] Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3.21.4.

[21] Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Heathen, 1.

[22] Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Heathen, 10.

[23] Tertullian, Treatise on the Soul, 41.

[24] Tertullian, Apology, 21.

[25] Tertullian, Against Praxeas, chapter 9.

[26] Tertullian, Against Praxeas, chapter 2.

[27] Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, 10.29.

[28] Hippolytus, Exegetical Fragments from Commentaries, On Luke, Chapter 23.

[29] Hippolytus, Against Plato, Section 3.

[30] Hippolytus, Against the Heresy of one Noetus, Section 17.

[31] Origen, De Principiis, Preface, 4.

[32] Origen. Contra Celsus, Book 5, Chapter 11.

[33] Origen, Contra Celsus Book 8, Chapter 15.

[34] Origen, De Principiis, Book 1, Chapter 2, Section 2.

[35] Origen, De Principiis, Book 1, Chapter 2, Section 4.

[36] Origen, De Principiis, Book 1, Chapter 2, Section 10.

[37] Theophilus of Antioch, To Autolycus, Book 2, Chapter 22.

[38] Aristides of Athens, Apology of Aristides, Chapter 2.

[39] Cyprian of Carthage, Epistle 7, Chapter 5.

[40] Cyprian of Carthage, Epistle 46, Chapter 1.

[41] Athenagoras, Embassy for the Christians (or A Plea for the Christians), Chapter 10.


The Early Pagans Acknowledged That Christians Worshiped Jesus as God and That Jesus Claimed to be God:

[1] Pliny, Letters, transl. by William Melmoth, rev. by W.M.L. Hutchinson (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1935), vol. II, X:96, cited in Habermas, The Historical Jesus, 199.

[2] Lucian, "The Death of Peregrine", 11-13, in The Works of Lucian of Samosata, transl. by H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler, 4 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1949), vol. 4., cited in Habermas, The Historical Jesus, 206.

[3] Against Celsus, Book I, Chapter 28, cited in A. Cleveland Coxe, Ante-Nicene Fathers. Volume 4: Tertullian, Part Fourth; Minucius Felix; Commodian; Origen, Part First and Second, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. Revised and Chronologically arranged with brief prefaces and occasional notes by A. Cleveland Coxe (New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885), page 408.

[4] Against Celsus, Book I, Chapter 38, cited in A. Cleveland Coxe, Ante-Nicene Fathers. Volume 4: Tertullian, Part Fourth; Minucius Felix; Commodian; Origen, Part First and Second, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. Revised and Chronologically arranged with brief prefaces and occasional notes by A. Cleveland Coxe (New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885), page 413.



Much of the information, quotes, and references about and from the early church fathers came from an article by Tim Barnett entitled Nine Early Church Fathers Who Taught Jesus Is God. The article was posted on the website of "Stand to Reason" on 11/24/2016. Reference and link below:


Tim Barnett, Nine Early Church Fathers Who Taught Jesus Is God (Written October 24, 2016. Accessed November 4, 2019). Retrieved from