The biblical definition of Christian

The simple biblical definition of what is a Christian can be found in Matthew 16:15-17

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 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.

While Evangelicals would like to add all sorts of additional requirements to those given by Christ  himself, by this straightforward biblical definition, Mormons are most certainly Christians.

This definition, by the way, also has the additional benefit of distinguishing Muslims from Christians; Muslims accept Jesus as the Christ/Messiah, but reject the idea that he is the Son of God.

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About William J. Hamblin

William J. Hamblin is Professor of History at Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah, USA),
 specializing in the ancient and medieval Near East. He is the author of dozens of academic
 articles and several books, most recently, Solomon’s Temple: Myth and History, with David 
Seely (Thames and Hudson, 2007). In the fall of 2010 his first novel was published (co-
authored with Neil Newell): The Book of Malchus, (Deseret Book, 2010). A fanatical traveler and photographer, he spent 2010 teaching at the BYU Jerusalem Center, and has lived in
 Israel, England, Egypt and Italy, and traveled to dozens of other countries.

One thought on “The biblical definition of Christian

  1. So, it seems that you are asserting that profession of Jesus as the Christ makes one a Christian. It seems to me that in Matthew 7:21-29 Christ himself defines who His disciples are, so to me a Christian is one that “heareth” and “doeth” His doctrine. If that’s correct then I would answer the question “Are Mormons Christian” with the answer some are pretty good Christians and others are pretty poor Christians and I’ve give the same answer to the question “Are Methodists Christian”.

    There are really two questions that need to be part of this debate anyway, in my opinion. Not only “Are Mormons Christian” but “Are Mormons Authorized to act in Christ’s Name and with His Authority?”, because these two questions have different answers.

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