Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. (KJV)
1. This verse is no problem at all in all the major versions we checked except for the NIV. The translators of the NIV caused a problem by using the word “return” instead of “ascend,” and making Christ say, “I have not yet returned to my Father.” The Greek word means, “to go up” and although it occurs 82 times in the Greek New Testament, even the NIV translators have translated it “returning” only in this one place, and as “returned” in the next verse. Christ did not “return” to his Father as if he had been there before, rather he “went up” to his Father. The Trinitarian “problem” in this verse is caused by a mistranslation, but, thankfully, other versions translate the verse more accurately.
2. This verse is one of the strongest proofs in the Bible that there is no Trinity. This event occurred after the resurrection, and Jesus said to Mary that he was ascending to “my God, and your God.” Jesus’ statement makes it clear that “God” is both his God and Mary’s God. If Jesus is God, he cannot have a God, for by definition if someone has a “God,” he cannot be “God.” If Jesus had a “God” as he said, then he cannot be part of that God. This is especially clear in this verse, because he and Mary have the same God. If he were God, then he would have been Mary’s God, too. He would not have said that he was going up to her God, because “her God,” i.e., Jesus himself, was standing right there. One of the most recognized principles of Bible interpretation, and one that is accepted by conservative scholars from all denominations, is that to be properly understood, the Bible must be read in a literal, “normal,” or “standard” way, i.e., the words of the Word should be understood the way we understand them in everyday speech, unless figurative language is demanded by the context. Everyone understands the phrase, “my God.” Christ used it both before and after his resurrection. He called to “my God” when he was on the Cross. He told Mary he was going to ascend to “my God.” He spoke of “my God” to both the churches of Sardis and Philadelphia (Rev. 3:2 and 12). It is hard to see how Jesus can be assumed to be co-equal and co-eternal with God when he calls Him, “my God.” The Bible simply means what it says in this verse: God is indeed both our God and Jesus’ God.