Bible Think

Son of God?

An analysis of the classic Trilemma argument.

Jesus made some extraordinary claims for himself. He claimed to be the Son of Man, an apocalyptic figure in the Old Testament who was intended to rule creation, and to be the Son of God. One of his claims is found in the Gospels - here it is in one passage in Mark:-

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."       (Mark 14:61,62)


However, Jesus is also known as the Christ (Messiah) in the earliest documents that refer to him. His claims are that he is the greatest being that there has ever been apart from God. The question that those who think about him have to ask is whether those claims are true.


The classical “Trilemma” argument starts with the observation that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God and then goes on to consider the two options of whether the claims are true or the claims are false.


Suppose that the claims are false. In this case Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, but he was making an untrue claim. He must either have been aware that the claim was false, or he was not aware of the fact.


Suppose that Jesus was making a false claim and knew that he was doing this. In this case he was telling a deliberate untruth, which means that he was a liar. However, it is difficult to believe that someone who effectively set the standard by which human ethics can be judged based his teaching on a lie. If one reads the teaching of Jesus it is clearly not the teaching of an immoral man.


Suppose, on the other hand, that Jesus made a false claim and did not know that he was doing this. In this case he would be deluded, in fact so much deluded that he would be considered as a lunatic, on a level with someone who believes that they are Napoleon. The teachings of Jesus are clearly the teachings of a great mind. There is no possibility that they could be the words of a lunatic.


This only leaves one option, that the claims are true. Jesus really is the Son of God, the greatest being below God and the coming king of the world. If this is the case there is only one option remaining, which is to accept him as Lord.


What’s Special about Jesus

The claims that Jesus makes are great but the evidence to support them is also great. Click here to download a pdf document which examines the claims and produces the evidence.

Supporting Evidence

The argument that Jesus is the Son of God is supported by additional evidence. Jesus was known universally as a miracle worker in the ancient world. This is underwritten by the one miracle for which the evidence is overwhelming; this, of course is the resurrection of Jesus. The resurrection is the most important sign that Jesus is approved by God, and that he is who he claims to be.


Other supporting evidence to support the claims of Jesus comes from fulfilled prophecy. There are two parts to this evidence. Jesus himself provided prophecy. His main prophecy is the Olivet Prophecy which is found in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. This predicts the fall of Judea to the Romans and the destruction of the Temple 40 years after the resurrection. Its other prediction is that Jerusalem would again be under Jewish control after a long time. In addition to this Jesus fulfils prophecies made of him in the Old Testament, some of them written almost one and a half millennia before he was born.


The Resurrection of Jesus  —  a fact of history.

The evidence of Jesus’ resurrection is extremely compelling. It deserves full  consideration. Click here for a magazine - length article (18 pages) in PDF format which provides a detailed summary of the evidence of Jesus’ resurrection.




Jesus Christ

Click here to link to the main page which begins the presentation of the evidence for the Jesus of history and of the Gospels.

The Unique Jesus Christ

Jesus is unlike any other person in history, before or since. The expectations of the time were for a person completely different from the Jesus of the Gospels. Click here for a summary of this evidence.

Why Believe the Gospels?

The Gospels are our primary evidence for the person of Jesus Christ, who he was, what he taught and what he did. Click here for evidence that shows how reliable the Gospels really are.

Jesus and the Old Testament

Jesus fulfils many Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah to come. Watch this space for a pdf file which presents these prophecies and discusses their significance.

The Witness of Jesus

Jesus was raised from the dead. This places him in a unique position to speak about life after death, about God and about things that God endorses. One of the main points of Jesus’ teaching was that the whole of the Bible was a message from God. Click here to link to a page which develops this idea.

Home Page

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Son of God?