Jonathan and others;
The teaching of JW's and Bible Students that Jesus was just a perfect man is in error and this error started way back in the days of charles Russell.I will try to clear it up the best I can and as simply as possible;
Russell's view was that Since ADAM was a perfect man and thru his trangression sin and death entered into the world, that the ransom price to be paid for our redemption had to be paid by another perfect man. Thus Christ's life could not have been worth more than Adams.
This is a fatal assumption on his part;
while the price paid had to be AT LEAST equal to the worth of ADAMS life, nowhere does scripture say that The ranson paid could not worth MORE than the life of Adam (a perfect man)
Russell loved to assume things when the answer to him was not clear in scripture. Lets clear it up.
Our Lord Jesus' life as the DIVINE SON of God and the incarnation of GOD himself (emmanuel, meaning "God With Us") was worth far more than that of just one perfect man. That is why the bible says that the price paid by Christ's death was far exceeding what was lost by Adam.
The scriptures are clear that The Ransom paid was NOT LIKE the Transgression at all and far exceeded the value of what was lost in Adam. The Bible calls the Ransom an ABUNDANT provision for this reason;
Romans chapter 5;
12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— 13 for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.
15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
20 The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
So again, Christ's life had to be at least equal to Adams which it was but according to scripture since the ransom was NOT LIKE the transgression, the ransom was paid in abundance with a life worth far more in value than what was originally lost.
Ask yourself this; Could anyone less than a God really redeem the entire world?
There are too many scriptures to refute Jesus being ONLY a perfect man like Adam but I do not want to hijack this thread for that purpose. Hope this information helps, in Christ Lilly