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Rebuttal (1b)


This is the second post in a moderated debate between Biblical Unitarian Danny Dixon and Trinitarian Marc Taylor. A complete list of posts can be accessed here.

Seeing that there is only a 1500 word limit I was surprised to see that Danny didn’t select a few passages and give a thorough explanation/defense for his position. What he often did do is simply give a scant one or two sentence affirmation followed by several passages. The somewhat large amount of passage citations may look impressive and convince the unsuspecting but this shotgun approach still doesn’t hit its intended target of attempting to prove that the Father alone is Almighty God.

a. John 17:3
When the Lord Jesus said the only true God He wasn’t denying that He was God but that the Father is the only true God in relation to false gods. The expression “true God” is always used in Scripture in relation to the true God in contrast with false gods (idols) (2 Chronicles 15:3; Jeremiah 10:10, 11; 1 Thessalonians 1:9 and 1 John 5:20, 21).
The following Greek lexicons also teach that John 17:3 is to be understood this way as well:
1. Brown: in Jn. 17:3, monos is linked with alethinos, true, in contrast to the deceptive appearance (pseudos) of all alleged gods and revealers (NIDNTT 2:724, One).
2. Thayer: ton theon, the one, true God, in contrast with the polytheism of the Gentiles (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, ginwskw, page 117).
3. Vine: John 7:28; 17:3; 1 Thess. 1:9; Rev. 6:10; these declare that God fulfils the meaning of His Name, He is “very God,” in distinction from all other gods, false gods (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, True, page 1170).
In fact, Jude 1:4 states that the Lord Jesus is our only Master (despotes) but according to Acts 4:24 the Father is also our Master (despotes). If one insists that the Lord Jesus is not the true God based on John 17:3 then so too the Father is not our Master according to Jude 1:4.

b. Functional subjection does not necessitate ontological inferiority. The wife is to subject herself to her husband but she is equally a person as him (Ephesians 5:24).

c. The Lord Jesus has a Father and God because He is also a man. That in no way proves He can’t be God as well.

d. John 5:26
This passage does not disprove the aseity of the Son but it refers to His Mediatorial role (cf. 1 John 5:11).

Barnes’ Notes On the New Testament


Hath he given. This shows that the power or authority here spoken of was given or committed to the Lord Jesus. This evidently does not refer to the manner in which the second person of the Trinity exists, for the power and authority of which Christ here speaks is that which he exercises as Mediator. It is the power of raising the dead and judging the world. In regard to his divine nature, it is not affirmed here that it is in any manner derived; nor does the fact that God is said to have given him this power prove that he was inferior in his nature or that his existence was derived. For,
1st. It has reference merely to office. As Mediator, he may be said to have been appointed by the Father.
2nd. Appointment to office does not prove that the one who is appointed is inferior in nature to him who appoints him. A son may be appointed to a particular work by a parent, and yet, in regard to talents and every other qualification, may be equal or superior to the father. He sustains the relation of a son, and in this relation there is an official inferiority. General Washington was not inferior in nature and talents to the men who commissioned him. He simply derived authority from them to do what he was otherwise fully able to do. So the Son, as Mediator, is subject to the Father; yet this proves nothing about his nature.

e. Acts 2:36
The resurrection powerfully confirmed what the Lord Jesus already was – Lord (cf. Luke 2:11). So too in Romans 1:4 He is declared to be the Son of God because of His resurrection but He was already the Son of God before this time (John 1:49 and 11:27).

f. Colossians 2:9
I’m not sure why Danny cited this passage when it teaches the very opposite of what he is trying to affirm. The Lord Jesus is referred to as theotes and it is defined as follows:
1. Brown: theotes “must mean deity, Godhead, entirety, the sum total of divine attributes” (NIDNTT 1:740, Fullness).
2. EDNT: theotes means (in contrast to theiotees, “divinity, divine quality”) deity, the rank of God (EDNT 2:143, theotees).
3. Louw/Nida: the nature or state of being God (A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains, 12.13, theotes, page 140).
4. Thayer: the state of being God (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, theotes, page 288).
5. Vine: Paul is declaring that in the Son there dwells all the fulness of absolute Godhead; they were no mere rays of Divine glory which gilded Him, lighting up His Person for a season and with a splendour not His own; but He was, and is, absolute and perfect God (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, Divinity, pages 320-321).

g. Citing Psalm 110:1 and Matthew 22:43-44 Danny asserted that Jesus “is a lesser individual from Jehovah”. If that doesn’t constitute an assertion without proof I don’t know what does.

h. I will address the concept of Agency in my First Constructive Statement.

12 Responses to “Rebuttal (1b)”

  1. on 22 Aug 2010 at 12:13 pmGerald Manning


    While it will be interesting to see how Danny decides to address the the responses you DID give in your post, please consider the fact that in my own cut and paste of your two presentations, Danny used exactly 1500 of the 1500 words he was allotted. You, on the other hand, used only 926 leaving you more than 500 words that could have been spent in covering one or more of his points.

    Do keep in mind that the Moderator has indicated that additional comments can be made here in the comments section. A little later on I might make some comments to which you may respond. And as far as I can tell, there is NO restriction on the amount of space that you may use in this section of the forum to ELABORATE on your responses to comments. I suspect that the Moderator, in limiting the number of words in the debate proper, is hoping that he will at least HAVE a readership of the basic debate above, whether they are interested in jumping into the expanded comments or not. In that light, consider that right here is where additional elements of the real debate can occur.

    While I haven’t read the other debate that the Moderator refers to in the introduction section, and while I can appreciate and accept as fact what Danny “often did do” (presumably in the other debate), this is the debate at hand, and we as readers are interested in seeing what both of you WILL DO with each other’s constructive comments and rebuttals and questions and answers.

    Looking forward to the continued discussion!


  2. on 22 Aug 2010 at 7:08 pmMarc Taylor

    Hello and thanks Gerald.
    It would have been easier for me to comment more had I known what specifically I had to address. Certain assertions by Danny were quite abrupt. Not only were many passages cited by Danny I wasn’t sure specifically how he meant to use them for his case. I know he put them under a certain heading or sentence but other than that it would have been a shot in the dark in responding to them. When I post my affirmative I will be very clear with my explanations of all the passages I cite so there is no room for ambiguity.

  3. on 24 Aug 2010 at 8:52 amDanny Dixon

    Re: Comment 2 Above


    I understand that my responsibility is to make a rebuttal on Saturday to your constructive statement due tomorrow (Tuesday). I see it as permissible, consequently, to make some comments regarding your rebuttal to my first constructive presentation, especially since you imply a desire for clarification of what I meant in the use of certain passages of Scripture in the presentation of my case. I am happy to engage thereto here.

    You respond to my affirmative statement In my 1st Constructive Case Point #8 concerning John 17:3 by arguing about what is so I wrote that Jesus specifically says in an not in the text. Jesus didn’t have to deny that he was God when his purpose was not to deny anything but to affirm that the Father is the only true God to be known. Any other affirmative statements that you would infer about his own alleged equality with the Father must come from other sources and statements. John 17:3 does not inform us about Jesus. It informs us about the Father, who Jesus says is the “only true God.” Anything else that could be going on is either presumed by you or in your mind from some other unnamed sources. In any case your thoughts would not reverse Jesus’ words unless they indicated that he—Jesus–was God (whatever that means to you).

    You didn’t respond to 1 Corinthians 8:6 or Ephesians 4:5. This concept is explicitly supported in Paul’s observation that “to us there is only one God, the Father, who is separate from the one Lord, Jesus Christ.” The separation is implied in the very wording of singularity. Whatever he means by “God” in this context is something that is different from statements that would be made about himself. Jesus is not the Father. The Father is the one God. Paul affirms that this God is unique among the other so-called Gods, as some at Corinth incorrectly believed. I appreciate your Brown, Thayer, and Vine word studies. Without a doubt they inform us on what Jesus meant about the identity of his Father, the only true God.

    I cannot help but wonder what you mean when you use the word “God,” Marc. It seems so fast and loose. Does it mean Father? Does it mean Trinity? If it does, why shouldn’t I understand you to mean that there is Jesus, one entity, and there is the only true God, in this case a binity of the Holy Spirit and the Father, of which Jesus would otherwise be a Trinity-making part when the word “God” is used outside any context where any one individual is indeed called God, as in John 17:3, 1 Corinthians 8:6; and Ephesians 4:5. I don’t need to quote them. You know what they say.

    I do note that you use 1 John 5:20-21, but I am not sure if you are wanting to say, in that particular verse, that Jesus is finally revealed as being God too, as another entity who is the only true God. This passage would not be contradicting John 17:3 if we see it as another passage referring to the Father. Please inform us on your used of it. And while you are at it, how are we to understand the word “God” in passages where Jesus is spoken of as a different entity than one who is called God, as in John 17:3.

    Subordination and Ontology

    You talk about functional subjection not necessitating ontological inferiority. But you do not discuss it in one of the significant contexts in which I mention it, namely John 10:30-36 and John 17:21-23. Jesus tries to show the Jews that he was not God but was something less, God’s Son. But let’s assume that he was not really trying to leave an impression of the necessity of ontological inferiority, especially inasmuch as he said that he was “one” with the Father. What are the implications for you when that oneness that he admits that he shares with his Father in his prayer of John 17:21-23 is, in the same language, applied to the disciples? Are you suggesting that they also should not be seen as ontologically inferior to his Father when they are to be one with him as he is one with his Father?

    It makes better sense to say that Fatherhood implies begettal, at least it does in the Scriptures. God became the Father of Jesus at a point in time. God became the Father of his other Son Adam (Luke 3:38), who later became the father of the rest of the human race who are, ideally, to become sons of God as well (John 1:12). It’s true that you want to agree to the words “Son of God” and grant that he was recognized as such by Nathaniel and Paul (in John 11:49 and Romans 1:4 respectively), but is that what you mean when you say that Jesus was ontologically equal with God.

    I grant that Jesus was the Lord Messiah, conceivably even before he was declared such—even as early as his birth or at some time before. Is the fact that he is Messiah what you take the Scripture to mean in all the passages where Jesus is equally and ontologically the Son of God? This won’t fly according to your Trinitarian theology, Marc. But I may be mistaken—perhaps this is what you mean when you say that Jesus is Almighty God the Son. Perhaps you mean that in to all eternity past Jesus as Son of God means that he is the eternal Messiah of Israel.

    Dueling Theological Banjos: Scholar versus Scholar

    You would have us compare John 5:26 and 1 John 5:11 and see them as passages talking about Jesus’ Mediatorial role. While I hate to get involved in what I call “The Dueling Banjos of Scripture,” you make readers think that they are not capable of reading a passage in context and of being able to come to a sensible conclusion in contextual study of a passage when you appeal to commentaries as the final arbiter of truth on the meaning of passages that prove difficult. You provide a link that takes us to Barnes’ study notes on the passage, and upon going there we see the phrase “hath life” taken from the midst of the context and the commentator’s conclusion that this must refer to Christ’s mediatorial role. That Jesus is mediator between us and God and that he is the one who dispenses life to others on God’s behalf is certainly taught in the passage.

    What your commentator and most others that I perused refuse to do is clearly admit the force of the simplicity of language in the passage that says Jesus, in whatever role he may be serving, first derives his life from God. So here I will quote another scholar who does not falter in his presentation of the meaning of the verse is esteemed scholar F.F. Bruce, who writes plainly regarding the meaning of John 5:26. He writes:

    The Son’s dependence on the Father for ‘life in himself,’as well as for every function which he exercises, has been emphasized in John 5:19-30, especially in 5:26. Here it is stated briefly. The Son who derives his own life from theFather has authority to impart that life to those whobelieve in him, with this distinction: what he receives is‘life in himself’; what they receive is life in him (F. F. Bruce, The Gospel of John, Introduction, Exposition and Notes [Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1983], p. 161).

    Bruce also writes:

    It’s a good quote for my side. You had a quote for your side. Now that we’ve done with the quotations, let’s have the readership decide based on their reading of the text, the commentaries, and whatever else they wish to study. But let’s not leave them with the impression that commentaries are the way to know truth, because commentaries can be found for either perspective.

    All immortality except God’s is derived. The Father, who has life in Himself, has shared with the Son this privilege of having life in Himself. All others receive life in the Son.” (Bruce in his “Foreword” to Edward Fudge’s The Fire That Consumes [Lincoln: An Authors Guild Backinprint.com Edition, 2001], p. vii. The two preceding quotes are taken from Patrick Navas, Divine Truth or Human Tradition [Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2007], p. 167).

    Nor should I fail to mention that you completely ignore the other passage that I had listed in conjunction with John 5:26, namely 6:57, which reads unequivocally, “As the living Father sent me, I live because of the Father.” Jesus acknowledges that the cause of his life is the Father who willed that he should have life. This is what Father’s do—start life. What needs to be stressed here is not Jesus function in his role as mediator. Rather, for purposes of this debate, there should be a careful admission that Jesus derives his own life and his role as life giver from the Father.

    The same type of point is argued by Paul in Colossians 1:19 where God’s desire was that “the fullness” should dwell in Jesus. This fullness has its origins in the Father and transfers to Jesus. That the fullness of deity came to be in Jesus is something granted because the Father had the desire for it to be so. But this is a natural function of Fatherhood, and Colossians 2:9 talks about the reality AFTER God grants it.


  4. on 24 Aug 2010 at 12:56 pmDanny Dixon


    In your subpoint “g,” you say that you cannot see how in my citation of Psalm 110:1, referred to by Jesus in Matthew 22:43-44, that I can assert the passage teaches that ‘is a lesser individual from Jehovah,’ and that my comment constitutes an assertion without proof.

    Psalm 110:1 is an Old Testament passage cited or alluded to in the New Testament probably more than any other passage. It is universally understood to be a Messianic Psalm by Trinitarians and strict monotheists alike, and that in this passage the Father is speaking to the Son of God.

    The Hebrew in the passage, however, indicates that one person, “Yahweh,” usually translated “LORD” with all caps in most English translations or as “Jehovah” in the American Standard Version of 1901, which I have used occasionally here.

    “Jehovah” is speaking to an individual identified as “my lord” in some English translations or as “my Lord” (capitalizing the second word “Lord” in the verse). While the narrator (David) indicates that Jehovah speaks, he is speaking to the person who in the Hebrew is referred to as “Adoni,” the Hebrew for the diminutive term used of men or of angels in the Old Testament, but not definitively of Jehovah, or of Jehovah’s other designation “Adonai.” Please note the difference in spelling between Adoni and Adonai. They are not the same.

    The Messiah is not Adonai. Neither is he Yahweh. Also Yahweh is not referred to as Adoni. This in itself is a very strong proof, not a mere assertion, that Messiah Jesus is not Almighty God Yahweh/Adonai.

    Please, if you wish, discuss these details with me here where the space is apparently unlimited as to word count (Unless the Moderator will correct my indulgence.)

    Danny Andre’

  5. on 24 Aug 2010 at 1:11 pmDanny Dixon


    Regarding Colossians 2:9 and Colossians 1:19, I was trying to say that Jesus’ “Fullness” of divinity is something that God desired for Jesus to have and consequently granted him. This is also the goal of Christians, as Paul says in Ephesians 3:14, 19 that his prayer (he bows his knees in prayer so that) expressing his desire that the Ephesians “may be filled with all the fullness of God.” And, of course, John says that this is the Christians’ destiny, as “we know that when He (Jesus) is revealed, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure” (1 John 3:2b-3).

    Jesus’ present divinity is the prototype of our own. Resurrection and immortality is our destiny and hope as it was for Jesus once he made his appearance here and lived his life as originator and perfecter of our faith, which we are to imitate (Galatians 2:20; Hebrews 12:2).

    Danny Andre’

  6. on 24 Aug 2010 at 2:02 pmDanny Dixon


    I should say a little more about the Colin Brown, Thayer, and Vine comments in their lexical entries that you cited. That the words you cited indicate divinity in no way indicates divinity into eternity past as well as eternity future. Jesus has not always been one with the fullness of divinity. He had a beginning, life, originally derived from God, and immortality, also from God after his resurrection.

    Keep in mind, when you cite Thayer, that he held, particularly regarding Jesus as the Logos in the first few verses of John 1 that the Logos (the Word) “is expressly distinguished from the first cause” ( J. H. Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1977 reprint], p. 133).

    And be careful in citing Colin Brown, esteemed editor of the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology. , as an advocate of Jesus being one with the Father into eternity past. He writes that:

    the title ‘Son of God’ is not in itself a designation of personal deity or an expression of metaphysical distinctions within the Godhead. Indeed to be ‘Son of God’ one has to be a being who is not God! It is a designation for a creature indicating a special relationship with God. In particular, it denotes God’s representative, God’s vice-regent. It is a designation of kingship, identifying the king as God’s son” (from the theological journal Ex Auditu (7, 1991) as quoted in Focus on the Kingdom Newsletter, May, 2004 Volume 6 No. 8, ).

    Danny Andre’

  7. on 24 Aug 2010 at 4:45 pmJaco

    Good day,
    Just my little contribution to this important debate. I think Danny presented a good first constructive. I think the essentials were mentioned on behalf of the Unitarian side. Elaboration will, of course, be good and necessary. So as not to jump ahead, I will reply to selected issues from Mr Taylor’s rebuttal:

    John 17:3
    When the Lord Jesus said the only true God He wasn’t denying that He was God but that the Father is the only true God in relation to false gods. The expression “true God” is always used in Scripture in relation to the true God in contrast with false gods (idols) (2 Chronicles 15:3; Jeremiah 10:10, 11; 1 Thessalonians 1:9 and 1 John 5:20, 21).

    Introducing the notion of “God in contrast with idols” in no way weakens the BU stance. It could, however, amount to special pleading, even a red herring, to introduce this notion and have this passage mean anything else based on this notion, since this was not remotely even the presupposition against which Jesus said this prayer.

    But, even if he did (which I contend he doesn’t), it would still confirm the Hebrew understanding of monotheism, which Biblical Unitarianism accurately stands for. Simple textual analysis and cognitive linguistics would have us conclude that the speaker (Jesus) identifies His Father, someone distinct and separate from Jesus himself as THE (definite) ONLY (exclusive) TRUE (or actual) GOD (identity). This also forms a complex Name Jesus himself gives to someone ELSE, namely his Father. The parts of this name and the ownership of the complex Name necessitate the exclusivity thereof belonging to no one else, but the Father. The Only True God can only be a single Someone – grammatically and semantically. According to Jesus, this can only be his Father.

    What strengthens this position even further, is the fact that the immediate context has Jesus placed in relation to the Only True God. By addressing the Only True God as Someone other than Jesus, and by adding, “and the one you have sent out,” Jesus confirms his separateness in identity (Someone else is the True God) and function (the True God sent him out). Except if one suffers from autism, or from the delirium caused by literal or doctrinal opiates, language serves no real purpose, and do we end up with an understanding similar to Augustine’s reconstructed version:

    This is eternal life, that they may know Thee and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent, as the only true God. (Homilies on John, tractate CV, chapter 17)

    Now, it does call for someone of considerable nerve to even dare to reconstruct Scripture in order to somehow “improve” on it. Something our Lord says will not be left unaccounted for (Rev. 22:19). Although Trinitarians’ mishandling of this text is not as overt in that they actually rewrite the text, the interpretation they give to it, however, is equally distorted.

    Furthermore, the Only True God’s sending forth (form of apostellw), firmly mounts the expression onto the existing Hebrew notion of sh’liach. To send forth (shalach) immediately introduces the cultural norm and cognitive universe the Jews related to, namely agency.

    To turn to the NT texts Mr Taylor reference, the above conclusion is also reached by necessity,

    1 Thess. 1:9, 10 “For they keep reporting on how we came in among you and how you turned to God from your false gods to slave for a living and true God, and to wait for his son from the heavens, whom he resurrected from the dead, namely, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath which is coming.”

    A clear distinction is drawn between the True God, and the other, namely Jesus, who is the True God’s son, whom the True God also resurrected, someone other than the True God.

    1 Joh. 5:20, 21 “But we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us the mental ability to gain the knowledge of the True One. And we are in the True One by means of his Son Jesus Christ. This is the True God and life everlasting. Little children, guard yourselves from idols.”

    Again the clear distinction between the True One, or True God and His son. His son is the means by which we are “in the True One.” All these necessitate separateness or distinction between the respective “Someones.”

    The title, Only True God, by definition excludes anyone else from the definition. No one will argue that there were other “someones” included in the title, only-begotten Son. The mere notion of having others besides Jesus also called “only-begotten Son of God” sounds preposterous. No amount of sophistry will have us arrive at such a conclusion. Neither should it be in the case of the “Only True God.”

    In fact, Jude 1:4 states that the Lord Jesus is our only Master (despotes) but according to Acts 4:24 the Father is also our Master (despotes). If one insists that the Lord Jesus is not the true God based on John 17:3 then so too the Father is not our Master according to Jude 1:4.

    Between the two opposing fields, the Biblical Unitarians are the ones not committing the fallacy of undistributed middle. Two completely different contexts with two completely different senses in which Jesus and God are our Masters. Even humans can be owners or masters (1 Tim. 6:1, 2, Tit. 2:9). This is a false analogy, since “Only True God” was a title given to the Sovereign of the Universe alone, and not remotely as commonplace as “despotes” used of husbands, slave-owners or rulers and anthropomorphically applied to Jehovah and Jesus, also in specific senses. This in no way violates the BU position: not hermeneutically, contextually, or semantically.

    In fact, the Jude reference exists in a letter Jude himself concludes, saying,

    “To the Only God our Saviour through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, might and authority for all past eternity and now and into all eternity, Amen.”

    Jude’s understanding confirms the BU position that the Sovereign Lord, the Only God, acted through someone else, namely Jesus. Another confirmation of Biblical agency.

    b. Functional subjection does not necessitate ontological inferiority. The wife is to subject herself to her husband but she is equally a person as him (Ephesians 5:24).

    Jesus’ inability to do beyond what the Father granted him to do, or to reach the divine truths outside the Father’s teaching, by definition violates the notion that he is Almighty and All-knowing. This inability reflects his inferiority (Isaiah 40:13, 14). What is more, Jesus acted out of obedience (Heb. 5:8). This again necessitates someone superior to be obedient to. Our understanding of ontology (largely Hellenistic) is unfortunately not the Hebraic understanding thereof. Ontology was reflected in activity or functionality. This gave the actor a measure of glory. It is at best a futile exercise to determine a concept from a cognitive world, using a foreign model to do it.

    c. The Lord Jesus has a Father and God because He is also a man. That in no way proves He can’t be God as well.

    No, it does, else the anthropomorphism would be redundant. It shows an inequality and distinction in age, glory, ability, authority and wisdom. “God” is no inheritable or dispensable quality like “theios.” God (ho theos) is an identity Jesus himself said belongs to the Father alone (Joh 17:3).

    The usage of certain English words has, unfortunately, been exploited by many a theologian. I can, for instance, say, Batman was “a man.” He would thus be part of a class belonging to men. I can also say, Batman was “man,” indicating his qualities or properties making him eligible to be included in the class of men. But, to say, Batman was “the man,” would definitely identify him as someone specific from among the class of “man.”

    This is exactly where, especially Trinitarians, have made use of the ambiguity of language. In the Bible, someone alone can be identified as THE God. That is Yahweh, or Jehovah (Deut. 6:4, Act. 3:13). To say, therefore, that someone is “God,” Biblically speaking, would be to identify someone specific as “ho theos.” The shrewd communicator, however, has also used the word, “God,” in a qualitative sense, much as we would say, Batman was “man,” or Australopeticus was “man.” The ambiguity is favorable to the Trinitarian apologist, since, to say, “Jesus is also God,” gives a qualitative or adjectival nuance to the word “God,” while simultaneously providing a basis to exploit the other alternative in the linguistic ambiguity, namely, that he was THE God – to an inappropriate extent applied to Jesus. The aim, however, is rather to gradually incorporate Jesus into THE GOD, ho theos in the absolute sense, which cannot be, since Scripture identifies Someone else as that. The ambiguity in language usage nevertheless turns the concept “God” interchangeably between Someone and a quality, depending on which angle they approach it from – a linguistic game nowhere to be found in Scripture.

    f. Colossians 2:9
    I’m not sure why Danny cited this passage when it teaches the very opposite of what he is trying to affirm.

    Other references to “divinity” or “divine quality” or “deity” indicate that this notion in itself does not prove that Jesus Christ is the Only True God. The Only True God is such exactly because of His superiority and Sovereignty in all respects throughout time. This is NOT the case with Jesus.

    Col. 1:19 “because God saw fit for all fullness to dwell in him.”

    This again denies Jesus’ “Divinity” (however linguistically vague this term is), as Mr Taylor and some Trinitarians want to use it. Linguistically, this involves a recipient of divine glory other than, not the Father (as Trinitarians will most readily admit), but, as the text says, someone other than God. God decided for Jesus to have divinely endowed fullness dwell in Jesus. This fullness is thus temporally limited and contingent upon God seeing fit to give fullness to Jesus. This receiving of godly quality is a concept diametrically at odds with the Bible’s presentation of the Almighty God who has always been unequalled in His ability and glory belonging to the Only True God.

    In fact, even we as worshippers have the privilege of having this fullness dwell in us!

    Eph. 3:19 “…that you may be filled with all the fullness that God gives.”

    This was, not only the teaching of Paul, but also of Peter:

    1 Pet. 1:4 “Through these things he has freely granted us the precious and grand promises, that through these you may become partakers in divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

    No one would argue that any of us would become God when we receive all Godly-endowed fullness or fully partake in divine nature…except, of course, if you’re a Mormon…

    g. Citing Psalm 110:1 and Matthew 22:43-44 Danny asserted that Jesus “is a lesser individual from Jehovah”. If that doesn’t constitute an assertion without proof I don’t know what does.

    It goes without saying…

    In my hectic schedule, I pray to keep up with this debate as much as possible.

    In Christ,


  8. on 24 Aug 2010 at 5:19 pmJaco


    To add to what you said on Joh. 5:26, 6:53 indicates that even we as Jesus’ followers can have life in ourselves!!!


  9. on 25 Aug 2010 at 1:21 amMarc Taylor

    Thank you for your post. There is only Master in heaven for the Christian. god/lord/master can all apply to mere humans.

  10. on 25 Aug 2010 at 12:02 pmJaco

    Good day,

    Thank you for your post. There is only Master in heaven for the Christian. god/lord/master can all apply to mere humans.

    I am not sure how the above statement will be used as a premise for an obvious conclusion. It is factually correct that we have only one Lord God (Adonai Elohim). We have been given, though, the Lord Messiah (Adohn Meshiach), someone distinct and separate from, not only the Father (which, by the careful use of philosphical terms, Trinitarians admit), but from YHWH Himself:

    Act. 2:36 “Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Chris, this Jesus whom ye crucified.”

    Act. 3:13 “The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers [Jehovah], hath glorified his Servant, Jesus…”

    Act. 5:31 “Him did God exalt with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins. ”

    In fact, the word “Servant” in Act. 3:13, 26 and 4:30 is a form of paidos’, literally meaning “child” and in certain contexts, “servant.” The nuance of inferiority belonging to a child is so predominant as that would naturally form an integral part of the cognitive associations made by paidos’.

    Furthermore, in heaven, more than only Jesus and Jehovah are called “Kyrios” or “Master.” In the Apocalypse, one of the elders is answered with,

    “My Lord, you know.” ho kyrie mou, su oidas (7:14)

    The identity of Kyrios is in no way as reductionistic as arbitrarily meaning, God Almighty – not even in heaven…

    Jesus, Adoni, is a Lord (Messiah) different from and inferior to Jehovah, Adonai, the Lord (God Almighty).

    In Christ,


  11. on 25 Aug 2010 at 7:23 pmMarc Taylor

    There is only one despotes for the Christian in heaven. To whom does it apply?
    Yes there is more than one kurios in heaven (Revelation 7:14) this is why the Lord Jesus is referred to as the Lord of lords. One Lord of all lords.

  12. on 28 Aug 2010 at 10:11 amJaco

    Mr Taylor

    Firstly, no one can argue from an anthropomorphic perspective, that the title “Master” in itself proves necessarily that the bearer of the title is God Almighty. The invention of the proviso, “in heaven,” changes nothing and amounts to special pleading and a slippery slope, since location does not confer status upon someone beyond what the title (“master”) does. This anthropomorphic designation used to be as commonplace as “lord.” Having more than one lord – in the workplace, in heaven and in the highest of heavens – in no way changes the truth that we have one Lord (Messiah), and One Lord God, Yahweh. The same goes for “despotes.”

    As with the Lord Jesus, one can only go as far as saying:

    If one of the 24 elders were the Only True God, he would have been called “Lord.”

    To draw a valid and sound logical conclusion, one can only go as far as affirming the antecedent or denying the consequent.

    Secondly, Jude’s presentation of Jesus is clearly shown to be a mediatory role. In this expressly stated relational frame should we understand in what sense is Jesus “our only Owner.” In no way does this expression jeopardize the clearly hierarchical scheme with the Father, Jehovah, the Only True God as the Head, and the Lord Messiah, Jesus Christ as our immediate Master:

    Jude 4 “…to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power and authority for all past ages and now and into all ages. Amen.”

    This is also the case with the Acts reference you give. The Master Lord (despotes kyrios) is the Father, the Creator, and the Only True God of Jesus. This is confirmed by:

    Acts 2:33 “Therefore because he was exalted to the right hand of God and received the promised holy spirit from the Father, he has poured out this which you see and hear.”

    Acts 2:36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for a certainty that God made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you impaled.”

    Acts 3:13 “The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our forefathers [Jehovah, the Creator], has glorified his Servant, Jesus, whom you, for your part, delivered up and disowned before Pilate’s face, when he had decided to release him.”

    In Acts 4:24, 27, 29, 30 the apostles prayed:

    “Master Lord, you are the One who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all the things in them…And so, both Herod and Pontius Pilate with people of the nations and wit peoples of Israel were in actuality gathered together in this city against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. And now, o Lord, give attention to their threats, and grant your slaves to keep speaking your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand for healing and while signs and portents occur through the name of your holy servant, Jesus.”

    The One identified as He who created everything is Yahweh (Jehovah) also by Paul, in 17:24

    “The God that made the world and all the things in it, being, as this One is, Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in handmade temples…For by Him we have life and move and exist, even as certain ones of the poets among you have said, ‘For we are also his progeny.’ Because he as set a day in which he purposes to judge the inhabited earth in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and he as furnished a guarantee to all men in that he has resurrected him from the dead. ”

    From these texts it is clear that the “despotes” in Jude is not the same as the “despotes kyrios” in Second Luke. Taken together, then, the “Despotes Kyrios” (Jehovah) saved us through our only “despotes,” Jehovah’s servant, a man, the son of the Only True God, the Lord Messiah, Jesus Christ. While sin used to be our “despotes,” we belong to another “despotes” who bought us with a price. Since this salvation came from The Only True God, He, Jehovah, is our Despotes Kyrios. Clearly, then, we have more than one Owner in different senses.

    To go beyond that is in no way different than saying,

    We have one Lord in heaven, Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 8:6).

    One of the 24 elders was called “Lord” (Rev. 7:14)

    Ergo, one of the 24 elders must be God.

    If not, then for the very same reason(s) the one Master of us, Jesus Christ will not be the same as our Master Lord, Jehovah. Different Masters in different senses.

    Thirdly, it is a false analogy to compare John 17:3’s use of the complex Name, “Only True God” to “Despotes” in Jude and Luke. The conclusion, that there is only one Despotes in heaven, requires full de-contextualizing of the references and committing the fallacy of undistributed middle. Not so with the title, “God Almighty.” While many different entities can bear the titles Kyrios or Despotes, only one Someone can bear the title of God Almighty. Jesus expressly stated who that was, namely, his Father, and he also stated what his relation was to God Almighty, namely that of apostle or sh’liach. One arrives at your conclusion, Mr Taylor, only through the committing of logical and structural fallacies, disregarding immediate and extended context, and divorcing the text from its cultural frame and linguistic range.

    In Christ,



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