Answered from A CHRISTIAN UNITARIAN PERSPECTIVE
Claim 1. Jesus is God because he claimed to be
Well Jesus nowhere made any explicit claim to be God.However Trinitarians desperately search through scriptures with the sole intent of trying to find a claim somewhere (begging the question). They often assert that in John 8 Jesus claimed to be the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob by saying in verse 58 "before Abraham was I am." They assume this is a reference to Exodus 3 where God speaks to Moses from the burning bush. Unfortunately nothing in the context is about Moses and the burning bush story, rather it is talking about Abraham who lived hundreds of years earlier. Secondly, John doesn’t even use the same Greek words used in Exodus 3 in the Septuagint (LXX). Trinitarians should know better than that, Jesus is plainly distinguished from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Act 3:13 The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him.
Peter explicitly says Jesus is the SERVANT of the God of the fathers. The idea that in John 8 Jesus tries to underhandedly claim to be that God is absurd in light of the rest of scripture. Peter made this distinction repeatedly.
Act 5:30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree.
The idea that Jesus claimed to be the very God of the Fathers in light of these explicit verses saying he is in fact distinct from the God of the Fathers, shows the depths of desperation of Trinitarians. Now get this folks, Jesus actually did refer to the story of the burning bush account explicitly in Mark 12:26,27
Mark 12:26 And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, 'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'?
Mark 12:27 He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong."
Jesus here refers back to this event and makes no
mention of having been present, or making any claim to be the very God that
spoke to Moses. Jesus mentions how God spoke to Moses, and then Jesus says of
God, "HE is not God of the dead but of the living." So Jesus
refers to God as a singular personal being, someone other than himself by using
the term "HE". Notice he didn't say, "we are not" he said, "he is not"
exposing the false idea that God is multiple persons. Notice also Jesus did not
say "have you not read in the book of Moses in the passage about the bush how I
spoke to him saying". Jesus didn't say "I spoke to him" or "we spoke to him" but
HE spoke to him, showing that he was not present or speaking to Moses then.
Stephen referred to the burning bush story and he, like Jesus, made no mention of Jesus being present and certainly no mention of Jesus being the God that spoke to Moses then (Acts 7:30-35). Stephen simply refers to God and later speaks of Jesus as a righteous man that God exalted to his right hand.
Act 7:56 And he said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."
So the Trinitarians want us to believe that in John 8, although Moses and the burning bush story aren't even mentioned, that Jesus is claiming to be the very God that spoke to Moses, in light of the fact that Peter plainly distinguished Jesus from that God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, calling Jesus the servant of this God. In light of that and in light of the FACT that both Jesus and Stephen referred specifically to the burning bush story and both of them made no mention of Jesus being present, nor making any claim that he was the God that was speaking then.
Instead Jesus refers to that God as someone other than himself referring to him as HE. Jesus plainly said his Father is the “only true God” and that he (Jesus) has the same God we do (John 17:3, 20:17). Clearly the Trinitarian’s claims are desperate and unfounded. Jesus was saying that Messiah existed from the beginning as part of Gods purpose and plan and that the patriarchs were aware of this. Jesus was foreknown by God (1Pet 1:20) and slain before the world began (Rev 13:8) in God's pre-existent plan. However he was not alive as a person prior to his creation in Mary’s womb.
Claim 2. Jesus is God because he is titled Lord
This is confusing because of the way the English word "lord" was added to the Old Testament in place of the "sacred name". Since lord is used for God in the OT and applied to Jesus in the NT people mistake them as the same being. The English word "lord" however used to be a common title back when it was placed in the bible in the 1600's. Lord meant the equivalent of "owner" or "boss" today. Ever heard the term "drug-lord" or "land-lord", even today in Great Britain there is the "House of Lords". So the English word "lord" had no direct connection to deity, but over the years in Christianity it came to be used that way. Today the word is archaic and is hardly used outside of religious circles, at least in America. Anyways the bible makes clear that while Jesus is Lord, it is because he was made that by his God and Father
Act 2:36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified."
This was done for God's glory
Phi 2:9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
Phi 2:10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
Phi 2:11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Because Jesus was obedient to God and humbly carried out his messianic mission, God exalted him and gave him the name above all names so that Jesus should be Lord and Christ, TO THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER. Jesus wasn't eternally in this position rather he was appointed this by his God because of his obedience and faithfulness. So Jesus is Lord and is plainly distinguished from God in the greetings of the epistles. Christians believe in 1 God and 1 Lord, not a 3-person God.
1Co 8:6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
Claim 3. Jesus is God because he received worship
Well the bible says Jesus received worship but the bible also says King David did. The word translated as worship can also be translated reverence/honor/adore/homage. Just as King David received it as God's anointed King, Jesus does more so as the King of the Kingdom of God and Messiah, Son of the Living God, Son of David. The Greek word translated "worship" and applied to Jesus is the same Greek word used in the Septuagint [LXX] for what was given to King David. Either way it doesn't matter because Jesus only receives what God has appointed for him to receive. Angels were directed to worship/honor/revere him (Heb 1:6) and he was appointed judge of the world so he can be honored as God is, essentially giving him a functional equality with himself (John 5:22,23, Acts 10:42, 17:31). This was all done by God exalting Jesus not because Jesus is God. Jesus said he would have men "worship" before his disciples’ feet but that doesn't make them God too!
Rev 3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
Claim 4. Jesus is God because he is called "god"
Similar to the "lord" title. The word "god" isn't a precise translation but is generally used to mean "mighty, mighty one, mighty ruler" and is used primarily for God the Father but not exclusively. The word can be applied to non-divine beings on occasion and the word can even be used as an adjective (Gen 23:6, 2Cor 11:2). Moses was given the title "god" in Exo 4:16, 7:1, also that word is applied to angels and men (2Cor 4:4. Psa 82:6, John 10:33, Psa 8:5). Since the word "god" being applied to someone doesn't automatically make him or her the Most High, then pointing to a verse where Jesus is called "god" doesn't prove anything in light of the evidence presented. However if angels and men can be called "god" under certain circumstances then it's not a surprise if Jesus can be also. In Hebrews 1:8,9 Jesus is called "god" but at the same time it makes clear he has a God above him that is anointing him above his companions/fellows. This passage is from Psa 45 where it is originally applied to King David. The writer says to King David
[Some say, it refers to Solomon; either way,
Psa 45 applied to a human being!]
Psa 45:1 To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah; a love song. My heart overflows with a pleasing theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.
Psa 45:2 You are the most handsome of the sons of men; grace is poured upon your lips; therefore God has blessed you forever.
Psa 45:3 Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one, in your splendor and majesty!
Psa 45:4 In your majesty ride out victoriously for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness; let your right hand teach you awesome deeds!
Psa 45:5 Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; the peoples fall under you.
Psa 45:6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness;
Psa 45:7 you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;
Notice the author is speaking praises upon King David, he says “your throne o god (King David) … you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore god (King David), your God (The Father) has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”
Notice this clearly isn’t talking about 2 co-equal,
co-eternal spirit beings. It is talking about a human being
rewarded/exalted above his companions due to his obedience of loving
righteousness and hating wickedness. Just as this passage was originally
written of King David, it can also be applied to Jesus the Son of David, the
Messiah. However being called “god” in this passage does not mean this person is
a co-equal, co-eternal spirit being, it means “mighty one” which is why it is
applied primarily to the Father but also to King David, Moses, Judges of
Israel, ... and others. However if one wants to be stubborn in Heb 1:8,9
and insist the word “god” there is used to mean “supreme eternal being”, then
what you have is 2 gods. The passage doesn’t speak of 2 co-equal, co-eternal
persons making up 1 God but rather it speaks plainly of 2 gods. So this passage
cannot be used to support a trinity or Jesus being co-equal, co-eternal with the
Also some say Thomas called Jesus God in John 20:28, again if the understanding of the word "god" is considered then Thomas could have been saying "my boss and mighty one" or "my master and my mighty ruler/judge". The word "god/theos" can be used in a lesser sense for human judges/rulers as Jesus pointed out earlier in John's gospel (John 10:34-36). However John says three verses later that everything he wrote was for the purpose of convincing us that Jesus is Messiah and Son of God, not written so that we would believe Jesus is God or a member of a 3 person God!
John 20:31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Claim 5. Jesus is God because he forgave sins
The bible says Jesus was ordained judge and as judge he was given authority to forgive sins. Jesus said this command he received from his Father
Mat 9:6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"--he then said to the paralytic--"Rise, pick up your bed and go home."
Mat 9:7 And he rose and went home.
Mat 9:8 When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
Notice Jesus ability to forgive sins was an authority given to him. He demonstrated he had this authority by healing the paralytic showing that God was in fact with him (John 5:22,23,27 Acts 10:42, 17:31). The people watching this glorified God for giving such authority to a man (the authority to heal and forgive). They didn’t however think Jesus was God! Also Jesus gave his apostles power to forgive sins, but that doesn't make them part of a “godhead”.
John 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.
John 20:23 If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld."
Claim 6. Jesus is God because he was sinless
The bible showed how we needed a lamb without spot or blemish. This was to foreshadow the idea of a sinless man taking our place and punishment (Isa 53). Jesus was without sin but that does not make him God. Adam was without sin for a while too. There are angels in heaven without sin right now; there are also angels that got kicked out for sinning. Jesus was the 2nd Adam (Rom 5, 1Cor 15) and remained faithfully obedient to God's will unlike the first Adam. Jesus did this by always doing what pleased the Father (John 8:29), and by loving righteousness and hating iniquity (Heb 1:8,9). Abraham was asked to offer his Son as a sacrifice to God, God didn't ask Abraham to offer up himself and lay himself on the altar! God was foreshadowing how he would offer up his Son. The bible says explicitly God offered up his Son (John 3:16) and sent forth his Son (1John 4:14,15), it does not say God himself would become a man and suffer and die. God brought forth his Son (Luke 1:35, Heb 1:5), anointed him with power (Acts 10:38) and oversaw him throughout his mission to be the Savior of men by being a sinless sacrifice for his "brethren" (John 8:29, 16:32). This Lamb of God is plainly distinguished from God in the book of Revelation (Rev 7:10, 14:4,10, 21:22).
Claim 7. Jesus is God because he supposedly created all things
Well the New Testament explicitly attributes all creation to God the Father himself...
1Ti 6:13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession,
Rev 4:11 "Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created."
Act 4:24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, "Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them,
Act 14:15 "Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.
Act 17:24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,
Eph 3:9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things,
Paul says to Timothy that it is God that gives life to all things, and then distinguishes God from the Messiah Jesus as he always does. Then Paul speaking to the Greeks in Acts 17, teaches how God has made the world and he goes on to say this God raised up a man to judge the world (Acts 17:31). John in Revelation plainly attributes all creation to the one on the throne, the Lord God, who is distinguished from the lamb that he gives a scroll to in the next chapter. The disciples pray to God in Acts 4 and pray to God the Father and attribute creation solely to him. The bible says a singular personal God made all things alone. Each passage in context describes God as creator and distinguished from Jesus.
Isa 44:24 Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: "I am the LORD, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself,
Notice the lack of plural terms, a singular personal being is speaking saying "I, alone, myself." Jesus referred to God the creator as someone other than himself…
Mat 19:3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?"
Mat 19:4 He answered, "Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,
Now Jesus here refers back to creation saying “he who created them”, he doesn't include himself as being present then or active in the creating process. Instead simply refers back to God creating and referring to God as HE, a singular personal being who is someone other than himself. He did not say “we who created them” or “when I made them." Jesus said something similar here…
Mark 13:19 For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be.
Here Jesus again refers to creation saying “from the beginning of the creation that God created until now”. Once again Jesus makes no mention of being present then or of actually being a participant in the creating. The same God he refers to as doing the creating he called “the only true God” and said was his God and our God (John 17:3, 20:17).
Well John 1 refers to the logos being with God, the logos is not a second pre-existent person but is the utterance/expression and/or reason/motive/purpose of God. God's word is no more a distinct person from himself than your word is a distinct person from yourself! Jesus preexisted in the plan and purpose of God (1Pet 1:20) and this became fulfilled when Jesus was miraculously created in Mary's womb by God (Matt 1:18, Luke 1:35). The HE/IT that created all things in verse 3 is the word of God (the word HE in verse 3 was translated as IT in the first half dozen translations of the English bible before the KJV). The Greek language attaches a gender to every noun and so when translated into English, one has to determine whether the noun is a person or thing and adjust the pronoun (which is ambiguous) accordingly. The logos prior to the KJV (in the Bishop's and Geneva translations among others) was translated as IT because the translators correctly understood that the logos is a thing and not a person. The personified attribute of God was used of God's wisdom in the book of Proverbs; wisdom is described as a female person being with God during creation (Prov 8) and other places like Job 12:13. God spoke creation into existence; he didn't use a second person to do it. His word/plan later became embodied/manifested when he created his Son. His Son was the manifestation of God's plan through his teachings that God gave him (John 7:16, 12:49) and through his ministry. God's creative word is not a person.
Heb 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
Psa 33:6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
Notice God's word is described as actual words,
unseen, breath from his mouth, not a person.
An audio teaching on John 1 can be found here http://focusonthekingdom.org/av.htm
Colossians 1 is simply a matter of translation.
Col 1:16 for IN him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him;
God created all things IN his Son because his Son is firstborn, heir of all things and the focal point of God's creation. Paul spoke of God choosing believers IN Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4). Since God had this foreknown plan revolving around his Son (1Pet 1:20) it can be said that God created everything IN, THROUGH and FOR his Son. Jesus spoke of God alone as creator (Matt 19:4) and the OT says the same, God created alone (Isa 44:24). The Greek word translated “BY” in verse 16 in most translations, is translated “IN” 1,874 other places! Jesus is not the creator in this verse. Paul said the same thing in Ephesians.
Eph 1:20 that he (God) worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,
Eph 1:21 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 the one to come.
Eph 1:22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Paul says God put Jesus at his right hand and God
put all these things under his feet. Peter said the same...
1Pe 3:22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.
God is the creator of all things and has placed
them under Jesus' authority, which is why Jesus is called the HEIR OF ALL
THINGS! God predestined Christians IN him before the foundation of the world
(Eph 1:4, 2:10).
Heb 1:2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through (for) whom also he created the ages.
Hebrews 1 makes clear God spoke by Jesus, God appointed him heir of all things, God made the ages through/for him, the world to come is for his Kingdom, God is the creative power here not Jesus.
Heb 1:5 For to which of the angels did God ever say, "You are my son! Today I have fathered you"? And in another place he says, "I will be his father and he will be my son."
Verse 5 speaks of God creating Jesus in Mary’s womb “today I have Fathered/Begotten you”. There goes the Trinitarian “eternally begotten” concept. There is no eternal God the Son person, Jesus was begotten on a specific day, and as pointed out in the next part, that day was in the future “I will be his Father and he will be my Son.” How can God say he WILL BE his Father, if they were eternally in a Father and Son relationship? And how can there be a eternal Father and Son relationship in the first place? Trinitarians have no answers. ...
Verses 8-10 therefore are applied to the glorified and exalted Jesus. Verses 8,9 are about Jesus being rewarded to an exalted state above his companions because of his obedience. The author then applies a psalm about David to Jesus. Jesus is called “god” but it is equally clear he has a God above him that is anointing him to this new position as a reward. Clearly the idea of a multi-person god is absent from this context. In verse 10 the LXX needs to be consulted. The author of Hebrews has been quoting from the LXX up to this point. ... This passage is being applied to the Messiah creating the new heavens and earth in the future age to come of which the author is speaking.
Heb 2:5 Now it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking.
F.F Bruce says that the LXX indicates that while the suppliant is addressing God in the first part of the passage, God responds to the suppliant in verse 23 “He (God) answered him (the suppliant) in the way of his strength”.
An audio teaching on Hebrews 1 can be found here http://focusonthekingdom.org/av.htm
Claim 8. Jesus is God because he is designated Savior
The Old Testament says besides God there is no savior, the New Testament calls both God and Jesus, savior, therefore Jesus must be God too. Not quite, had God not sent Jesus, salvation wouldn't have been possible. God is the sole source but Jesus is the means/vessel by which God carried out the process. God has appointed his Son many things, like judge and savior. God has appointed Jesus the vessel by which he carries these out. Jesus said he did not come of his own accord (John 8:42), he was sent by God to be the savior; his God and Father is the source and Jesus humbly carried out his God and Father's will.
If the President is told that an American embassy has been raided and hostages have been taken, and if their rescue is based on his decision, then he is the source of their salvation. Say the president sends in a hostage rescue team and they are saved from their captors. In this case the president would be the source of their salvation, but the rescue team are their "saviors" also in that they physically carried out the rescue. God simply planned to use his Son to carry out the process, this does not make the Son into God nor does it contradict the idea that besides or apart from God salvation is not possible.
1Jo 4:14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.
1Jo 4:15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
Right after saying the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world, he says we must confess Jesus is the Son of God, he does not say we are to confess Jesus is God, the bible doesn't say ANYWHERE to confess Jesus is God!
Trinitarians use the scattershot tactic like a
shotgun. When confronted with the contradictions and inconsistencies in their
beliefs, they blast out their little pellet arguments hoping that the quantity of them will be confusing enough to be
convincing. But when each of these little pellet arguments is given the
slightest scrutiny they are found to be weak and unconvincing in light of the
preponderance of evidence to the opposite. When confronted with the weakness of
any of these arguments the Trinitarian doesn't bother to remove them from their
repertoire they simply shuffle around to another weak
argument. So they just retain bad arguments and save them for a later time
hoping it can be later used against someone that doesn't know better and will be
impressed by it. All of these arguments however are at the expense of
Jesus own teachings and the totality of scripture and are done solely to
preserve a long standing and highly regarded tradition of
men known as the trinity.
Claim 9. Jesus is God because he is described as being in the form of God
Php 2:5 Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Php 2:6 who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped,
Php 2:7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; Php 2:8 and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross.
Php 2:9 Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name;
Php 2:10 that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things on earth and things under the earth,
Php 2:11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Paul here is speaking of the Messiah Jesus who was, as Jews understood, an anointed man. This is the same Paul that explicitly distinguished Jesus from God in every epistle greeting, including the beginning of this epistle.
Php 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The same Paul who ... preached around the
Mediterranean in the book of Acts that Jesus is the Son of God. The same Paul
that painfully distinguished Jesus from the one God of the bible (1Tim 2:5, 1Cor
8:6, Eph 4:4-6). Paul tells his Philippian audience to be like this man, who
even though he was in the form/status of God did not
grasp at equality with God. Instead he emptied/humbled himself taking the
form/status of a servant/slave. In other words Jesus as God’s only begotten Son and King of Israel stood in a
functional equality with God. He had a godlike form/status as God’s anointed
represented coming in God’s name (John 5:43). However instead of calling
for people to serve him he humbled himself to serve his brethren. He became
obedient even to death and what happened? GOD HIGHLY
EXALTED HIM! Who exalted him? God did! Jesus, even within this
supposed Trinitarian proof text is plainly distinguished from God. Trinitarians
like to ignore verses 9-11, which show as the rest of the bible, does, that
Jesus exaltation was a reward based on his obedience! People
confuse Jesus legal agency with ontological identity.
Claim 10. Jesus is God because he is called equal to God.
John 5:16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.
John 5:17 But Jesus answered them, "My Father is working until now, and I am working."
John 5:18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
John 5:19 So 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 the Father does, that the Son does likewise.
John 5:20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel.
John 5:21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will.
John 5:22 The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son,
John 5:23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.
... If [verse 18] is simply the [Jews'] accusation then it is meaningless since the Jews also called him a drunkard, demon-possessed, glutton, crazy, etc. Some people are uncomfortable with the idea that Jesus broke the Sabbath thus they reason John was simply giving the Jewish accusations.
However elsewhere Jesus seemed to defend his ability to break the Sabbath by calling himself Lord of the Sabbath and pointing out how David broke it also but his Jewish accusers wouldn't speak evil of David. Jesus did have a functional equality with God but it was delegated to him by God. It was one of authority not of inherent attributes. Jesus says so in verse 19 saying “the Son can do nothing on his own accord...”
Jesus claims no power or authority of his own, both of which Trinitarians impose on Jesus as a pre-existent god-man. If we let Jesus speak for himself however he says he is the Messiah (John 4:26) whom can do nothing on his own (5:19,30) but whom God has empowered and authorized to go about his mission.
Jesus said in 5:21 that he has been given power to
give life, in 5:22-23 that he was given judgment thus giving him an
authoritative equality with God. He then says again in verses 26-30 that he has
power to resurrect and judge given to him. Saying he can do nothing on his own
again in verse 30.
John 5:36 But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me.
Jesus gave all glory to his Father, he did nothing by himself all his works were to bear witness that the Father sent him. Instead Trinitarians say his works are proof that he is a god-man and member of a three-person god. In order to draw such a conclusion you need to reject Jesus' teachings, which Trinitarians do unusually well.
Taken from: www.JOHN17-3.ORG