It is morally as bad not to care whether a
thing is true or not, so long as it makes you feel good, as it
is not to care how you got your money so long as you have got
it.—Edwin Way Teale
Truth, like surgery, may hurt, but it cures. —Han Suyin
average non-Christian, and even many Christians, have little
understanding of how unique Jesus really is. Messianic prophecy
is only a small part of Jesus’ uniqueness. In all the world and
throughout all history, there has never been anyone like Him.
There never can be. One only needs to read His words in the
Gospel to plainly see this.
Anyone who wishes can also read the world’s greatest religious
and philosophical literature—the Analects of Confucius,
the Qur’an of Muhammad, the Vedas of the Hindus,
the teachings of the Buddha, or of Taoism, Shinto, Zoroaster or
any of the great philosophers like Plato, Socrates,
Wittgenstein, Aristotle, Descarte, Hume, Bacon—or any of the
greatest scientific minds such as Einstein. One who does this
will realize that they all pale in comparison to the words of
Jesus. One could argue that all the literature of the world
combined hardly matches the quality, character, uniqueness and
truth of the words of Jesus, because, compared to the words of
Jesus, the words of anyone else are almost lifeless. The light
bulb and sun, the glass of water and the ocean, or the atom and
the universe; even these comparisons seem in ways inadequate.
Indeed, one cannot gauge the gap adequately: it is a chasm that
literally separates the infinite from the finite even as the
words of God are separated from the words of men. If Jesus
really is God incarnate, then this is what one expects.
Listen to the response of those who actually heard Him speak,
believer and unbeliever, friend and enemy, alike:
You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that
you are the Holy One of God. (John 6:67-69)
The Jews were amazed and asked, "How did this man get such
learning without having studied?" (John 7:15)
"No one ever spoke the way this man does," the guards
declared. (John 7:46)
Those with open and closed minds alike should frankly study His
words if for no other reason than to prove their uniqueness.
Reverent study of the words of Christ and comparison to any or
all other religious teachings should logically make one a
follower of Jesus.
John Weldon, majored in philosophy in college for almost two
years, have an M.A. degree in Christian Evidences, another
Masters in Biblical Studies and a Ph.D. in Comparative Religion.
Additionally, I have studied some 70 minor religions and cults.
For 25 years I have examined or studied competing religions and
philosophies. Nothing comes close to the glory and majesty of
Jesus. I can say without the slightest possibility of ever being
proven wrong that there is no one anywhere like Jesus.
Bible also teaches that there is no one who has ever lived who
is like Jesus. In John 3:16-18, Jesus declares:
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only
Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have
eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to
condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever
believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe
stands condemned already because he has not believed in the
name of God’s one and only Son.
words translated "one and only" are translated from the Greek
monogenes, which literally means "one of a kind." This word
emphasizes the unique nature of the one spoken of. In all human
history there is no one else like Jesus because only
Jesus is the literal Son of God. In John 5:18, where Jesus
called God His (very) own Father, the Greek term means God the
Father exists "in a special relation to Jesus which excludes the
same relationship to others."1
Because Jesus Christ is God’s only Son, the Apostle Paul
discusses His supremacy and preeminence over all creation:
[Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the first
born over all creation. For by Him all things were created:
things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether
thrones or powers or rulers or authority; all things were
created by Him and for Him. 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 and the First Born from among the
dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy. (Col.
Greek word translated "image" is eikon. Like the word
charakter in Hebrews 1:3, it means Jesus is the express
image of or of identical nature with God. Further, when Jesus is
described as the first born over all creation, the word
translated "first born" is prototokos and stands in
contrast to ktizo (created). By using the word
prototokos, the Apostle Paul was emphasizing Christ’s
preeminence, priority and sovereignty over all creation, as the
context reveals. Paul was not stating, as some have maintained
in the attempt to deny Christ’s deity, that Jesus literally came
into existence at some point in time. If that had been His
intent, He would have used appropriate Greek words teaching that
Christ had a beginning.
the Bible itself teaches that Christ is unique, that there never
has been and never will be another like him; if Christ’s own
teachings, actions, character and resurrection prove this is
true, and if one-fourth to one-half of the world has recognized
this fact to varying degrees, then the burden of proof must
clearly rest with the critic to prove otherwise. Isn’t it
significant that in 2,000 years no critic ever has?
we consider all the great religious teachers, leaders, and
prophets who have ever lived, who is the equal of Jesus? Not
Moses, Confucius, Buddha, or Lao Tse (Taoism), who never claimed
to be anything other than sinful men. Not Muhammad, Joseph
Smith, Zoroaster or Guru Nanak (Sikhism) who never gave any
proof they were true prophets of God. Not Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva,
or Krishna who were only myths.
we examine the specific claims of such individuals, we find none
of them claims what Jesus does. In The Qur’an, the Muslim
prophet Muhammad states, "Surely I am no more than a human
In fact, Muhammad is acknowledged as sinful and asks forgiveness
from God—is even rebuked by God—several times.3
Muhammad confessed he was sinful, Jesus claimed He was sinless.
If Muhammad only claimed to be a prophet of God, Jesus claimed
to be God. If Muhammad was rebuked by God, Jesus was never
rebuked by God; in fact, He said, "I always do what pleases Him"
Buddha simply claimed to be an enlightened man, one who could
show others how to escape the duality of this world and find
eternal release from suffering in a state of individual
nonexistence called "nirvana." After his alleged enlightenment,
the Buddha said he realized the importance of maintaining an
attitude of equanimity towards all things because this attitude
helps one to end the cycle of rebirth, attain permanent release
from the human condition and "enter" nirvana:
Monks, I’m a Brahmana [enlightened being], one to ask a favor
of, ever clean-handed, wearing my last body…. I am inexorable,
bear no love nor hatred toward anyone…. I have the same
feelings for respectable people as for the low; or moral
persons as for the immoral; for the depraved as for those who
observe the rules of good conduct…. You disciples, do not
affirm that the Lord Buddha reflects thus within himself, "I
bring salvation to every living being." Subhuti entertain no
such delusive thought! Because in reality there are no living
beings to whom the Lord Buddha can bring salvation.4
Houston Smith in The Religions of Man comments about the
Notwithstanding his own objectivity toward himself, there was
constant pressure during his lifetime to turn him into a god.
He rebuffed all these categorically, insisting that he was
human in every respect. He made no attempt to conceal his
temptations and weaknesses, how difficult it had been to
attain enlightenment, how narrow the margin by which he had
won through, how fallible he still remained.5
Buddha claimed merely a personal enlightenment designed to
escape human nature, Jesus claimed (in His own nature) to
be the Light of the world. If Buddha claimed it was wrong
to consider him one who brings salvation to men because men,
having no permanent reality, do not finally exist, Jesus taught
that He came to bring salvation to all men and to dignify their
existence eternally. If the Buddha promised to give others
enlightenment so that they might find nirvana, a state of
personal dissolution in the afterlife, Jesus promised to give
men abundant life and eternal immortality in heaven. If Buddha
had the same feelings for good and evil, Jesus exalted
righteousness and hated evil.
Confucius said, "As to being a Divine Sage or even a Good Man,
far be it for me to make any such claim."6
If Confucius denied that he was divine or even a good man, Jesus
claimed He was divine and morally perfect.
can proceed to examine all the world’s major religions in detail
and never find anyone like Jesus. Not in Hinduism, Jainism,
Sikhism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, Shinto, Judaism,
Zoroasterism, Islam, or any other religion. Zoroaster only
claimed to be a prophet, "I was ordained by Thee at the first.
All others I look upon with hatred of spirit."7
Lao-tze and Guru Nanak sum up the attitude, at one time or
another, of all the great religious founders when they confessed
their humanity and even their ignorance. For example, Lao-tze
the founder of Taoism said, "I alone appear empty. Ignorant am
I, O so ignorant! I am dull!… I alone am confused, so confused!"8
Even in the latter part of his life, Guru Nanak, the founder of
Sikhism still struggled to achieve enlightenment and lamented
over his own spiritual darkness, "I have become perplexed in my
search. In the darkness I find no way. Devoted to pride, I weep
in sorrow…. How shall deliverance be obtained?"9
The World’s Living Religions, Professor of the History of
Religions, Robert Hume comments that there are three features of
Christian faith that "cannot be paralleled anywhere among the
religions of the world."10
These include the character of God as a loving heavenly Father,
the character of the founder of Christianity as the Son of God,
and the work of the Holy Spirit. Further,
All of the nine founders of religion, with the exception of
Jesus Christ, are reported in their respective sacred
scriptures as having passed through a preliminary period of
uncertainty, or of searching for religious light…. All the
founders of the non-Christian religions evinced
inconsistencies in their personal character; some of them
altered their practical policies under change of
circumstances. Jesus Christ alone is reported as having had a
consistent God-consciousness, a consistent character himself,
and a consistent program for his religion.11
the claims of men mean anything, or have any implications, and,
certainly they must, whether true or false, then no one else in
history ever claimed and did what Jesus did.
Again, Jesus is absolutely unique in the claims He makes for
Himself. He says, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows
me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life"
(John 8:12). How many other men have ever said that? Jesus said,
"I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the
Father except through me" (John 14:6). How many other men have
ever said that? As we saw, Jesus even claimed that 1500 years
before His birth, Moses wrote about Him and further, that the
entire Old Testament bore witness to Him (John 6:46-47; Luke
Jesus commanded men to love Him in the exact same way that they
love God—with all their heart, soul, and mind (Matt. 22:37-38).
Jesus said that God the Holy Spirit would bear witness of Him
and glorify Him (John 16:14). Who ever made such a claim? Jesus
said that to know Him was to know God (John 14:7). To receive
Him was to receive God (Matt. 10:40). To honor Him was to honor
God (John 5:23). To believe in Him was to believe in God (John
12:44-45; 14:1). To see Him was to see God (John 8:19; 14:7). To
deny Him was to deny God (1 John 2:23). To hate Him was to hate
God (John 15:23). Did any other men in history ever made such
Mark 2, Jesus claimed He could forgive sins—something all
religions concede is reserved to God alone. In John 10:28 and
11:25, He said He could give all who believed on Him eternal
life. How can a mere man, indeed anyone less than God—give
eternal life to creatures who die? Yet Jesus raised the dead
even in front of His enemies—not in some dark alley, but before
scores of eye witnesses (Luke 7:11-15; 8:41-42, 49-56; John
11:43-44). Who else ever did that? He did other miracles that
amazed those who saw them.
"We have never seen anything like this!" (Mark 2:12).
"Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born
blind." (John 9:32)
Matthew 25, He said that He would actually return at the end of
the world and that He Himself would judge every person who ever
lived; that He would personally raise all the dead of history
and that all the nations would be gathered before Him! Who ever
said that? He would sit on His throne of glory and judge and
separate men from one another as a shepherd does the sheep from
the goats (Matt. 25:31-46, cf. John 5:25-34). Just as clearly,
Jesus taught that every person’s eternal destiny depended upon
how they treated Him (John 8:24; Matt. 10:32). Jesus said, "You
are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not
of this world" (John 8:23).
these statements and many more like them, leave us little
choice. Either Jesus was who He said He was—God incarnate—or
else He was absolutely crazy. But who can believe that?
Gerhard Kittel (ed.,) q.v., monogenes, Theological
Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI:
Eerdmans, 1978), Vol. 4, pp. 740-41
Sura, "The Night Journey," in N. J. Dawood, trans., The
Koran, Baltimore, MD: Penguin, 1972), p. 235.
Ibid., 50; Suras 4:106, 40:57, 47:21, 48:2, 110:3,
respectively, pp. 423, 244, 384, 460, 468 in J. M. Rodwell,
trans., The Koran (NY: Dutton, 1977).
Robert O. Ballou, The Portable World Bible: A Comprehensive
Selection from the Eight Great Sacred Scriptures of the World
(NY: The Viking Press, 1968), pp. 134, 147, 151.
Houston Smith, The Religions of Man (NY: Harper & Row,
1965), p. 99.
Arthur Waley, trans., The Analects of Confucius (NY:
Vintage, 1938), p. 130.
Yasna, 44:11; Moulton, Ez.368; from Robert E. Hume, The
World’s Living Religions (NY: Charles Schribner’s Sons,
1959), rev., p. 203.
Tao-Teh-King, 20:3, 20:5-7 cited in Hume, p. 136.
In Hume, p. 95.
Hume, p. 283.