Does John 8:40 teach that Jesus is not God?
The "Iglesia Ni Cristo" teaches that Jesus is not God. One verse they often enlist in order to teach this is John 8:40. Does John 8:40 really teach that Jesus is not God?
John 8:40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did.
When we look at what the doctrine of the Trinity actually teaches and what the Bible says, we see that this verse does not teach against the deity of Christ. In fact, this verse is embedded in a context which proclaims that Jesus is God.
Trinitarians believe that Jesus is a man.
The first mistake in using this verse is that the INC assumes without proof that Jesus cannot be both God and man. They reason that if he is a man, he cannot be God. Such an assertion requires biblical evidence that they have not provided.
Trinitarians believe that Jesus is a man, so this verse does nothing to contradict the doctrine of the Trinity. All it does is support the important tenet of Trinitarian doctrine that Jesus is a man.
Trinitarians believe that the Father and Son are distinct persons.
The second mistake in using this verse is that the INC assumes without proof that God is like his creation, unipersonal. That is, they assume God must exist in exactly one person. Without offering any biblical counter to the claims of the Trinity, the INC denies God the opportunity to define himself as tripersonal, existing in three persons.
Trinitarians believe that Jesus and the Father are two distinct persons. Therefore, when Jesus says that he "heard from God", this does not contradict the doctrine of the Trinity. It is actually an important aspect of the doctrine of the Trinity. There is not reason why Jesus, a distinct person from the Father, could not hear from the Father. Jesus and the Father are both God, yet they are distinct persons.
John 8 proclaims the deity of Christ.
Why would they have wanted to stone Jesus if they did not understand him as claiming he pre-existed Abraham and called himself God?
John 8:58-59 (ESV) - 58 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
John 8:40 does not teach that Jesus is not God. When the INC uses this verse against the doctrine of the Trinity, they argue against a strawman since the doctrine of the Trinity teaches that Jesus is a man and that Jesus is a distinct person from his Father. Additionally, they ignore the rest of the surround scripture which loudly proclaims the deity of Christ.