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Introduction

One of the common idioms that existed in the ancient Hebrew culture was the concept of “agency”. Basically, in that culture, one person (the “principal”) would frequently commission another person (the “agent”), to act on his behalf.

Of course, this concept of “agency” is also present in our current culture. For example, if a person is granted the “power of attorney”, then that gives the person the ability to act on someone else’s behalf.

However, there is another item to note about this concept of “agency”. In the ancient Hebrew culture, the actions of an agent are often attributed to the principal. In other words, if an agent performs some action, then the Hebrews might say that the principal actually performed it.

For example, in the ancient Hebrew culture, if James bought a herd of goats, while he was operating as the “agent” of John, then the Hebrews might say that John actually bought the goats.


Examples of Agency

There are numerous examples of this concept of “agency” in Scripture. Here are two of them:

– The centurion’s servant:

Matthew 8:5-6 (ESV):

5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”

Luke 7:3-5 (ESV):

3When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4 When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, 5 because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.”

Both of the above passages refer to the same event – the request that a centurion made to Jesus, to heal his servant. However, there is a difference between those two passages: The passage in Luke states that the elders of the Jews made the request to Jesus; while the passage in Matthew states that the centurion, himself, made the request.

This is explained by the concept of agency. The elders were operating as the “agents” of the centurion – and therefore, their actions can be attributed to the centurion (the “principal”). This explains why the passage in Matthew states that the centurion, himself, made the request – even though the passage in Luke tells us that the elders actually made the request.

– The request of James and John:

Mark 10:35-37 (ESV):

35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” 37And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.”

Matthew 20:20-21 (ESV):

20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. 21And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.”

Both of the above passages discuss the request of James and John, to sit at Jesus’ right and left hands. However, the passage in Matthew states that their mother actually made that request to Jesus; while the passage in Mark states that James and John, themselves, made the request.

Again, this is explained by the concept of agency. The mother was operating as the “agent” of James and John – and as a result, her actions can be attributed to James and John.


Jesus as God’s “agent”

This principle of agency also applies to Jesus, in some cases. For example, consider these two passages:

Isaiah 43:11 (ESV):

11 I, I am the LORD (YHWH),
and besides me there is no savior.

1 John 4:14 (ESV):

14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.

The two passages above are a classic example of the concept of agency. The first passage tells us that Yahweh, alone, is our savior. However, the second passage tells us that God sent Jesus to be the savior of the world. In other words, Jesus was acting as the agent of God, when he was crucified for us.

So, even though Jesus was actually crucified (and is thus our savior), God is spoken of as our savior – because Jesus was acting on God’s behalf.

In other words, Jesus did what God wanted him to do, so that we would have the ability to be saved. In fact, Jesus himself states that fact:

Mark 10:45 (ESV) – Jesus speaking:

45For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

(See also Matthew 20:28)


The “Pattern” of Agency

From the examples listed above, there is a definite “pattern” that can be seen, with regard to the concept of agency. In particular, the following items are always present, in those examples of agency:

– In some verses, the “principal”, himself, states that he performed an action;

– In other verses, the “agent”, himself, states that he actually performed the action in question.

All three of the examples of “agency”, above, display that same pattern:

First example – Matthew 8:5-6 and Luke 7:3-5:

– In Matthew 8, the centurion (the “principal”) asks Jesus to heal his servant;

– In Luke 7, the elders (the “agent”) actually ask Jesus to heal the servant.

Second example: Mark 10:35-37 and Matthew 20:20-21:

– In Mark 10, James and John (the “principal”) make the request to Jesus;

– In Matthew 20, their mother (the “agent”) actually makes the request to Jesus.

Third example: Isaiah 43:11, 1 John 4:14 and Mark 10:45:

– In Isaiah 43, Yahweh states that He (the “principal”), alone, is our savior;

– In Mark 10, Jesus states that he (the “agent”) is actually our savior – because of the crucifixion.


Did Jesus actually create the universe?

Some groups say that this concept of “agency” is also used in reference to the creation of the universe. Basically, some groups assert that Jesus actually created the universe – and that he was operating as the “agent” of Yahweh when he did so.

As noted above, a very definite pattern can usually be seen, when Scripture uses the concept of agency. So, if Jesus actually created the universe – while he was acting as the “agent” of Yahweh – then we would expect to see both of the following items in Scripture:

– In some verses, Yahweh, himself, states that He created the universe;

– In some other verses, Jesus, himself, states that he actually created the universe.

So, the question is, do both of the above items appear in Scripture?

There certainly are verses in which Yahweh states that He created the universe:

Isaiah 44:24 (ESV):

24Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer,
who formed you from the womb:
“I am the LORD, who made all things,
who alone stretched out the heavens,
who spread out the earth by myself,

Job 38:1-4 (ESV):

1Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:
2“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? 3 Dress for action like a man;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.

 4“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.

However, are there any verses in which Jesus, himself, states that he actually created the universe? No! Jesus never stated that he created the universe, anywhere in Scripture!

So, the belief that Jesus created the universe does not fit the “pattern” of agency, that we see elsewhere in Scripture. As a result, in my opinion that belief is rather suspect. (After all, if Jesus wanted us to believe that he actually created the universe, then why didn’t he just tell us that?)

Note: there are a couple of verses which state that God created the universe “through” Jesus. However, those verses do not say that Jesus actually created the universe. Instead, those verses appear to state the following: God created the universe all by himself – but He had Jesus “in mind” when He did so.

In other words, all of God’s creative activities were done in preparation for Jesus. (That is apparently what 1 Peter 1:20 indicates.)


Conclusion

There are certainly many examples of “agency” in Scripture – in which the “agent” actually performs an action, but the “principle” is spoken of as doing the action. However, in most of those examples, the agent, himself, states that he performed the action, in Scripture.

So, if Jesus actually created the universe – while operating as the agent of God – then we would expect to see at least one verse in which Jesus, himself, states that he created the universe. However, there is no such verse – Scripture does not contain any verses, in which Jesus states that he actually created the universe.

As a result, in my opinion the evidence for Jesus being the “agent” of creation is rather weak.

Not only that, but there are a number of verses in Scripture which indicate that Jesus did not personally exist, until God caused Mary to conceive. For example, 1 Peter 1:20, 2 Samuel 7:12, Luke 1:30-35, and Deuteronomy 18:15-18 – among others – indicate to me that Jesus did not personally exist, until he was born to Mary.

Of course, if Jesus did not personally exist, until God caused Mary to conceive, then Jesus could not possibly have been the “agent” of creation – because he did not exist at the time that God created the universe! In other words, in order to believe that Jesus was the agent of creation, you first have to believe that Jesus personally existed, at the time that the universe was created.

Overall, the preponderance of the evidence indicates to me that Jesus was not the “agent of creation” – both because Jesus never stated that he created the universe, and because there are many Scriptural passages which imply that Jesus did not personally exist, until he was born to Mary.

214 Responses to “Was Jesus the “Agent” of Creation?”

  1. on 24 Apr 2011 at 7:13 amRandy Turner

    Very good article as always. Taking the “agency” one step further, could you not say that indeed God is the Savior and Jesus, His son, was the “agent” of God. Jesus spoke for God while on the earth and as the agent of God, Jesus died on the cross. Hence, one coudl say God died on the cross in the Hebrew idiom agency way of speaking. We know Jesus died, that God cannot die, yet, as God’s agent, Jesus died.

  2. on 24 Apr 2011 at 7:57 amXavier

    Excellent section on this very topic in the One God, One Lord book:

    We know that Col 1.15-16 cannot be saying that Christ is the creator of the original heavens and earth because verse 15 says he is “the firstborn of every creature [or “all creation”]. If he is “the firstborn of all creation”, then he is a created being. The things that are spoken of in the above passage as being “created” are not rocks, trees, birds, animals, etc., because those things were created by God. These things—“thrones, powers, rulers and authorities”—are the powers and positions that were needed by Christ to reign over heaven and his Church, and were created by him for that purpose.

    http://www.christan.ru/index.files/Texts_HTML/One_God_One_Lord_1-3.htm
    [section starts at the bottom of the page, pg. 268]

  3. on 24 Apr 2011 at 9:47 amRay

    That God did his work through Christ during the creation is what the scriptures teach.

    Colossians was written by a man who saw the Lord, spoke to him,
    and wrote that he would come to visions and revelations of him. (II Cor 12), but Paul knew that God called him for the work he was doing and that humility was necessary in order that the power of God might work through him for that work.

    We then ought to give more heed to such a man if we have not been so much humbled.

  4. on 24 Apr 2011 at 9:57 amRay

    No doubt God used Jesus in the creation of the world. God alone created it with Jesus. This was no doubt the glory (at least in part) that Jesus had with the Father in the beginning.

    Jesus didn’t much glory in this fact, when he was ministering the gospel on this earth in the days of his flesh, did he?

    It seems to me that people were having enough trouble getting used to the work he was already doing.

  5. on 24 Apr 2011 at 7:27 pmDoubting Thomas

    Randy,
    You said, “Jesus died on the cross. Hence, one could say God died on the cross in the Hebrew idiom agency way of speaking.”

    That’s an excellent point. I had never thought of that before. It does seem to make sense. Last night after church my friend Tim also asked me something that I had never thought of before. He asked me, “Did Adam and Eve have belly buttons???” Of course I had no idea how to answer him. This thought had never even crossed my mind before.

    Of course I know he was being facetious, but it is still a thought provoking question none the less… 🙂

  6. on 25 Apr 2011 at 1:52 amMark C.

    Jesus spoke for God while on the earth and as the agent of God, Jesus died on the cross. Hence, one could say God died on the cross in the Hebrew idiom agency way of speaking.

    That would be backwards from the concept of agency. Agency means that someone represents and acts on behalf of the principal. But Jesus didn’t die on behalf of God. He died in place of us in payment for our sins. He offered himself to God on our behalf as the ultimate sacrifice. There would be no need for God to die even if He could, so saying that God died would not be an idiomatic way of referring to Jesus’ death. That’s why you never see any reference to God dying in the Bible, while you do see other actions attributed to both God and Jesus.

  7. on 25 Apr 2011 at 5:25 amFiona

    Hi all
    A very well written and thought provoking article, thanks Brian. You have a way of setting out the facts that makes it very understandable. I think both Mark C and Randy make good points with regard to Jesus’s crucifixion. One would just have to be careful, if discussing this with Trinitarians, that they didn’t use this as a further argument for Trinitarianism (ie: Jesus IS God)

  8. on 25 Apr 2011 at 10:30 amFrank D

    IRT the crucifixion, God never said he would die for the sins of the world. That would fail Brians first requirement for agency.

    Ray, Are there ANY biblical passages you would like to quote to support your position?

  9. on 25 Apr 2011 at 4:25 pmDoubting Thomas

    Mark C, Frank D,
    I see what you mean. If Y’shua died on our behalf to save us from our sins and our sinful nature then that would mean he couldn’t have been dying on behalf of God at the same time. You are quite correct that the bible doesn’t say anything about God having to die on our behalf, for our sins. I guess you could say that Y’shua was acting as “our” agent/Shliach (not sure if I’m spelling that right) when he suffered and died on our behalf on the cross…

  10. on 25 Apr 2011 at 4:44 pmBrian Keating

    Hi All,

    The third example that I provided has the following information in it:

    – Isaiah 43:11 tells us that Yahweh, alone, is our savior;

    – 1 John 4:14 tells us that God sent Jesus to be our savior.

    So, which is it – Is Yahweh our savior, or is Jesus our savior?

    It appears to me that this is a case of agency – i.e., Yahweh “commissioned” Jesus to be our savior. So, Yahweh can be thought of as the “principal” (or “author”) of salvation; while Jesus is the “agent” of salvation.

  11. on 25 Apr 2011 at 4:44 pmAntioch

    John 1:10 – the world was made through him (through is the Greek word ‘di’)

    John 14:6 – no one comes to the Father except through me (same Greek word ‘di’)

    It seems John is conveying a deeper concept and than just equating di=by. If I interpret

    di = because of

    then it points to Jesus as God’s focal point for everything. That makes more sense to me.

  12. on 25 Apr 2011 at 8:38 pmDoubting Thomas

    Antoch,
    I agree. “The world was made ‘because of’ him”, and “No one comes to the Father except ‘because of’ me”, does seem to be make a lot more sense to me as well…

  13. on 27 Apr 2011 at 5:15 pmDoubting Thomas

    Brian Keating,
    I’ve been thinking about what you said. I agree that “Yahweh can be thought of as the ‘principal’ (or ‘author’) of salvation; while Jesus is the ‘agent’ of salvation.” But, wouldn’t Y’shua also be our ‘agent’ in that he died for our sins??? I’m just not sure if Y’shua could be the ‘agent’ of salvation, on behalf of Yahweh, and at the same time be ‘our’ agent as well. Maybe I’m thinking about it all wrong??? I’m just curious about what you think…

  14. on 27 Apr 2011 at 7:30 pmBrian Keating

    Hi DT,

    Well, I think that there are two different questions that can be asked: “Who is our savior?”, and “Who was Jesus crucified for?”.

    1 John 4:14 tells us that God sent Jesus to be the savior of the world – that is, God “commissioned” Jesus to be the savior. So, in that sense, it appears to me that Jesus was operating as the agent of God.

    Mark 10:45 tells us that Jesus gave his life for us. So, does that mean that Jesus was our “agent”? Well, we never “commissioned” Jesus to die for us; so it is hard to see how he is our agent. As a result, I would say that Jesus is our “ransom sacrifice” (i.e., our “Passover lamb”), rather than our agent.

    In any case, the whole point of the third example was as follows: Some verses in Scripture state that only God is our savior; while other verses state that Jesus is our savior. From what I can see, this apparent contradiction can be explained by the idiom of “agency”.

  15. on 27 Apr 2011 at 8:24 pmDoubting Thomas

    Brian Keating,
    I understand now. Thank-you…

  16. on 29 Apr 2011 at 7:58 pmJoshua

    I think everyone should read Ray’s excellent comments very closely. Colossians 1 is an amazing chapter of the New Testament that gives a very distinct definition of the Lord Jesus. In fact, I recommend that verses 15 ~ 20 be committed to memory:

    “15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

    The only thing I could add is: given the premise of the article, what could be said about John the Baptist’s statement in John 1:30?

    “This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'” (NIV)

    Thanks!

    Joshua

  17. on 29 Apr 2011 at 10:48 pmXavier

    Joshua

    RE: “…he was before me” John 1.30.

    I think should be understood in light of what the Baptizer just said,

    After me comes a man who has a higher rank than I…

    This is in line with what Paul later says in Col 1.17,

    He is before [superior to] all things…

  18. on 30 Apr 2011 at 5:15 amJoshua

    Hey, Xavier!

    Thanks for the feedback.

    I had expected someone to come out with that reading of the verse. The Greek word translated as “before” can mean “superior to; first rank”. But does it mean it in John 1:30? After all, notice how John states two opposites:

    “…‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’” (NIV)

    Is the use here indicated that it means “before” in this verse?

    Imagine it reading this way:

    “…’A man who comes [inferior to] me has surpassed me because he was [superior to] me.'”

    Or:

    “…’A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was [superior to] me.'”

    If either of the altered verses are the correct interpretation, then how could it be that He, Jesus, “has surpassed” John? (Wouldn’t He, Jesus, already be superior and by that status already surpassed John?)

    This is fantastic topic that’s been on my mind a lot.

    Any thoughts?

  19. on 30 Apr 2011 at 7:23 amXavier

    Joshua

    But does it mean it in John 1:30?

    Yes, I think it does.

    Jesus surpasses not only the Baptizer but everyone else because he is the monogenes, prophesized lord Messiah of David’s vision [Ps 110.1].

    Do you really think the Baptizer [or the other NT writers] have a preexisted, non-human person who has somehow taken on the form of a man, in mind? If they did they sure are vague about it.

  20. on 30 Apr 2011 at 7:24 amXavier

    CORRECTION: preexisting.

  21. on 30 Apr 2011 at 11:20 amAntioch

    A follow up to my post #11, just reading Hebrews 1 this morning where it says “in these last days, He (God) has spoken to us by his Son”

    The by here is not di but en

    Later in that verse ‘di’ is used to reiterate that God created the universe ‘di’ Jesus.

    Just like ‘proskuneo’, I see ‘di’ as one of those Greek words and concepts that has been confused when translated into English.

  22. on 30 Apr 2011 at 8:58 pmRay

    When God healed through Jesus as we read of in the gospels, it often happened through the words that Jesus spoke. When Jesus calmed the storm didn’t the calming of it happen the same way, by
    Jesus speaking the word?

    And didn’t Jesus say that he only did what he saw the Father do?

    And isn’t it a good thing to keep this in mind when we read of God creating all things by Jesus Christ?

  23. on 01 May 2011 at 1:36 amJoshua

    Yes, I think it does.

    Jesus surpasses not only the Baptizer but everyone else because he is the monogenes, prophesized lord Messiah of David’s vision [Ps 110.1].

    Do you really think the Baptizer [or the other NT writers] have a preexisted, non-human person who has somehow taken on the form of a man, in mind? If they did they sure are vague about it.

    Well, we weren’t disagreeing about “surpassing”, but the translation of the world that is translated as “superior to”.

    1) If there’s no pre-existing Jesus, then how could man be created in the image of God since God is a spirit (John 4:28) and a spirit doesn’t have flesh and bone, as Jesus has (Luke 24:39)?

    2) And what type of glory did Jesus have with the Father before world (kosmos) was (John 17:5)?

    Thanks for any response!

    Joshua

  24. on 01 May 2011 at 11:30 amDoubting Thomas

    Joshua,
    You asked, “If there’s no pre-existing Jesus, then how could man be created in the image of God since God is a spirit (John 4:28) and a spirit doesn’t have flesh and bone, as Jesus has (Luke 24:39)?”

    We humans seem to be the only creatures with a conscience as such. When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, the first feelings they experienced were guilt and shame. Prior to this they lived in complete ignorance and felt no guilt or shame. There are no other creatures, that we are aware of, that experience guilt or shame. Some people have hardened their hearts (like criminals etc…), to the point that they no longer feel guilt or shame.

    I believe these people that have hardened their hearts like this will be rejected and not included among the children of God. I’m not so sure the bible is referring to our physical appearance when it says we are made in the image of God. I believe what makes us in the image of God is that each of us has a conscience. This conscience allows us to know the difference between what’s right and what’s wrong and what’s good and evil.

    Of course we have to be willing to listen to our hearts and do what’s good.

    At least that is the way I see it anywaze…

  25. on 01 May 2011 at 2:04 pmRay

    I find it interesting when I think about how man was made in the image of God, yet it seems to me that he didn’t know good from evil until the time of the fall. I believe he knew good, but not evil before the fall.

    I suppose his ability to know the difference was because he was made in God’s image and likeness. It seems to me, to fall from that place became known to him. He knew that he fell.

    It seems to me that God always knew the difference between good and evil, but he never knew evil as Adam knew evil from his fall.

    That is to say that though God knew it, he didn’t know it in the way that Adam knew it, for Adam knew that he fell from where he was.

    I don’t know what animals know. I sense that dogs tend to want to please their owners. It seems to me that they tend to see them as their masters.

    David said that he was as a beast before God. (Psalm 73:22)

    I’ve heard a mechanic tell of how men will look under the hood of a car sometimes “…like a goat looking at a watch.” I think I’m a lot like that when it comes to spiritual things from the Bible.

  26. on 03 May 2011 at 6:58 pmJoshua

    Hey, Doubting Thomas!

    Thanks for the reply.

    Why do you think words that signify more than one are employed in the text of Genesis 1:26?

    Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (NIV)

    (No, I don’t believe in the Trinity.)

    I tend to think that our physical appearance is included in the “image of God” phrase because right after that it says in Genesis 1:27:

    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (NIV)

    What do you think about what type of glory did Jesus have with the Father before world (kosmos) was (John 17:5)?

  27. on 03 May 2011 at 9:22 pmDoubting Thomas

    Hi Joshua,
    You asked, “Why do you think words that signify more than one are employed in the text of Genesis 1:26?”

    The most logical explanation that I’ve heard is that God was talking to the heavenly hosts.

    You also said, “No, I don’t believe in the Trinity.”

    I understand. You just believe in a pre-existing Y’shua. There are many Unitarians, including my good friend Margaret, that believe in a pre-existing Y’shua. I respect your right to believe this. I just don’t happen to believe that Y’shua pre-existed before his birth in Bethlehem.

    You also said, “I tend to think that our physical appearance is included in the “image of God” phrase…”

    You could be right that he was also referring to our physical appearance as well as our unique consciences. Like I said, “I’m not so sure the bible is referring to our physical appearance when it says we are made in the image of God.” From my point of view the bible is not very clear on this. It could be interpreted different ways depending on your perspective.

    You also asked me, “What do you think about what type of glory did Jesus have with the Father before world (kosmos) was (John 17:5)?”

    What is clear to me is that the Synoptics, Peter, James, and Acts don’t even hint at Y’shua pre-existing. There is no mention of Y’shua returning to heaven or coming from heaven or having glory with the Father before the world etc… Paul is the first to say this. He repeatedly said that Y’shua returned to heaven (implying that’s where he came from).

    Many decades later John’s writings came along and have Y’shua repeatedly saying that he came from heaven. I’m not convinced the apostle John actually wrote any of the writings of John. It seems to me to more likely the work of a follower of Paul. If Y’shua did come from heaven this would seem (to me anywaze) to be a very important fact. I personally find it very odd that outside of Paul and John’s writings there is not even a hint that Y’shua returned to heaven or came from heaven etc…

    Therefore I am not convinced by their writings and believe the writers of the Synoptics, Peter, James and Acts had it right. And that is that Y’shua was begotten (came into existence) in Mary’s womb. However I can also see why you and others would believe otherwise. I have no problem with you believing in a pre-existing Y’shua. It’s just that I don’t see it that way.

    God made us all different, with different perspectives. I am absolutely certain that this is not a salvation issue. I think it is enough that we are able to walk in each other’s shoes, and see things through each other’s eyes. There is no reason (that I can see) for either of us to try to force our views on this subject onto each other. Like I said, “I respect your right to believe this.”

    Have a good evening and may the peace and love of God (“our” Father) be with you, and with us all…

  28. on 04 May 2011 at 1:07 amJoshua

    Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Doubting Thomas.

    Like you said, I, too, can really understand your position on the (non)pre-existence of Jesus (Y’shua / Joshua) and on the gospel of John.

    What is clear to me is that the Synoptics, Peter, James, and Acts dont even hint at Yshua pre-existing.

    I’m going to study out that claim. Thanks!

    Im not convinced the apostle John actually wrote any of the writings of John…

    Very interesting. It might be a little hard to explain the acceptance of the fourth Gospel and his three letters in light of that conviction. To me, the fourth Gospel gives us a more intimate picture of Jesus, which is what a person might expect if it was written by the one whom Jesus loved. I won’t ask you to explain because I don’t want to get us off topic, but I will think of possible objections and then search those out.

    Joshua

  29. on 05 May 2011 at 7:45 pmAntioch

    DT – what do you think of Hebrews (given that the authorship is debated)?

  30. on 05 May 2011 at 8:18 pmDoubting Thomas

    Antioch,
    From what I understand the only reason that Hebrews was included in the N.T. writings was because it was believed (at the time) to be written by Paul. We now live in a time where most biblical scholars agree that it wasn’t written by Paul. I personally have doubts about any writings in the N.T. where we are not sure who the author is. But, that’s just me. Ever since I was a young boy I would question the status quo and authority figures and such. It is just my nature. I’m not saying it is not inspired by God, just that I have my doubts.

    After all, Why would I take something as being inspired by God when we don’t even know anything about the person who wrote it???

  31. on 05 May 2011 at 8:35 pmXavier

    DT

    It is just my nature.

    Hey DT you know this fable?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0SSiomiDE8&feature=related

  32. on 06 May 2011 at 9:13 amJoshua

    Doubting Thomas,

    NOTE: The following is off topic:

    Curious why you think Hebrews wasn’t written by Paul. Is some of the evidence of that saying that “[w]e now live in a time where most biblical scholars agree that it wasn’t written by Paul”?

    There are indications that it was written by Paul. Among them:

    1) Its target audience.
    2) Its grammar and vocabulary.
    3) Its placement in the Greek codices.

    Doubting and skepticism are good if there are reasons for it, so I’d like to know yours.

    Joshua

  33. on 06 May 2011 at 10:49 amSean

    Joshua,

    I found this article by Daniel Wallace helpful for studying Hebrews. He talks a bit about the issue of authorship. We have to admit that it doesn’t open in the typical Pauline fashion “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord…”. Furthermore, the epistle never claims to be written by Paul which Paul always does (I think). The grammar and style of Greek is more classical than Paul’s normal style. Hebrews (along with Luke/Acts) is the best (most difficult) Greek in the NT. Some of the arguments are reminiscent of the way Paul talks but this does not mean Paul wrote it…it could have been written by someone influenced by him (like Barnabas or Apollos or Priscilla).

  34. on 06 May 2011 at 11:19 amXavier

    On Hebrews

    The writer was known to the community he addressed (Heb 13:19), but the brief personal notes in Hebrews 13 are not specific enough to reveal his identity….

    The author clearly was not Paul, though presumably he moved within the Pauline circle (see Pauline Legacy and School) and expected to travel with Timothy (Heb 13:23). He classed himself as one who had not heard the Lord deliver the message of salvation (Heb 2:3–4). He was capable of writing some of the finest Greek in the NT, far superior in vocabulary and sentence construction to that of Paul. He also employs a distinctive range of images that are not found in Paul (Heb 2:1; 4:12, 13; 6:7–8, 19) and moves easily within the conceptual world of priesthood and sacrifice, emphases that are foreign to Paul’s letters.

    Among early church traditions we find the author of Hebrews identified as Paul, Barnabas, Luke or Clement of Rome. Contemporary scholars have suggested Apollos, Silvanus, the deacon Philip, Priscilla and Aquila, Jude, Aristion and others (see Moffatt). This variety of opinion shows that the limits of our historical knowledge preclude any certainty regarding the writer’s identity. We are left to conclude that Hebrews was composed by a creative theologian, one well trained in the art of expounding the Greek Scriptures, whose thought world was shaped by, and whose vocabulary, traditions and theological conceptions were indebted to Hellenistic Judaism and the early Hellenistic church.

    We may draw a number of plausible inferences regarding the author from the composition of Hebrews. He was structured in his thought patterns, stating a thesis and then developing it through analysis. His reasoning powers were exceptional, as illustrated by the majestic opening sentence (Heb 1:1–4) that sets the program for the entire discourse. He was evidently trained in rhetoric and understood speech as a medium of power to be used in the service of the gospel. He was able to deploy a rich vocabulary (169 of his 1,038 different words are found in the NT only in Hebrews) and a cultured diction. He had confidence in the persuasive power of oral speech as it is committed to the written text.

    The writer’s educational level may be compared with that of Philo of Alexandria and probably reflects training in a gymnasium or a private rhetorical school. Luke’s description of Apollos as “an eloquent man” (Acts 18:24), a designation associated with formal rhetorical training and so used by Philo (see Philo Poster. C. 53; Leg. Gai. 142, 237, 310; Vit. Mos. 1.2), has suggested to many scholars that Apollos was the author of Hebrews.

    The writer was an intensely devout man whose subconscious mind was steeped in the cultic categories and language of the Septuagint. He was also a pastoral theologian (see Pastoral Theology) who shaped early Christian tradition into an urgent appeal to a community in crisis. He was a gifted preacher and interpreter of salvation, a covenant theologian whose spiritual insight, scriptural exegesis and situational discernment provided encouragement, admonition and pastoral direction. He presents himself as a charismatic leader whose effectiveness did not depend on office or title. He at best wrote reluctantly, shaping his “word of exhortation” (Heb 13:22) as an effective substitute for his personal presence and immediate address. Our encounter with his discourse is fragmentary, for he does not present himself to us as he would have to his contemporaries.

    Martin, Ralph P. ; Davids, Peter H.: Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Developments. Downers Grove, IL; InterVarsity Press, 2000, c1997.

  35. on 06 May 2011 at 5:40 pmDoubting Thomas

    Joshua,
    Sean and Xavier have given you the technical reasons why we aren’t sure who wrote Hebrews. I just know that most modern biblical scholars believe that we can’t know for sure who the author is. I am incapable of analyzing the document myself. I’m just not personally sure whether the writer of Hebrews represented a fringe group or represented what the majority of the early Christians believed. As such I wouldn’t consider it as reliable as some other N.T. writings.

    I think almost all Christians have an automatic default that says, “If it made it into the N.T. writings it must have been inspired by God”. Because of my doubting nature my default is completely different. I don’t believe that just because a writing was included in the N.T. cannon that this proves it was inspired by God, or that it represented the view of the majority of the early Christians.

    I am not saying that I am right and everyone else is wrong. Just that I believe some writings are more reliable and consistent than others. I spend most of my time studying the writings that I feel are more reliable and that I can have (almost) complete confidence that they were inspired by God. Of course I am just a layman and not a teacher, and I don’t try to force my beliefs on others.

    All I can hope for is that others can understand my unique point of view…

  36. on 06 May 2011 at 6:00 pmAntioch

    DT – it is somewhat comforting to know of a Christian (you) who is even more heretical by mainstream standards than I am 🙂

  37. on 06 May 2011 at 8:42 pmJoshua

    Thanks for the links and information!

    Do you think someone could make a thread about the author of Hebrews? (Who was the author of Hebrews?) This way we could have a more in-depth exchange which showcases the evidence for both perspectives, Pauline and non-Pauline authorship.

    Thanks!

  38. on 06 May 2011 at 10:49 pmXavier

    DT

    I think almost all Christians have an automatic default that says, “If it made it into the N.T. writings it must have been inspired by God”.

    And some just want to argue for argument’s sake without even bothering to study or read the evidence at hand.

  39. on 14 May 2011 at 11:20 pmRay

    I’ve heard it said that as the scripture says, “No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” (John 1:18)

    So when we read the old testament and we read that the Lord appeared unto someone, or that someone saw God, or that someone wrestled with God, it was most likely the one John wrote about above who was the one that was seen by men at that time.
    He was the one who appeared unto them.

    This seems to be the best explaination I have heard.

    I suppose we could describe that as being an “agent” for God.

  40. on 15 May 2011 at 6:27 amRay

    While we might think that because Jesus did something that we should see him say so in scripture, we don’t always get what we expect.

    The scripture says that he did many things that were not written about him. I’m sure he did many things that he did not tell us of, he rather, simply did them.

    When God did his mighty works during the time of Jesus’ ministry, it was usually Jesus who did them, but not always. Some people who had faith in God and him also, did some of the supernatural works.

    Though we don’t see Jesus tell us that he created all that is, we do have some scriptures about this, Col 1 for example.

  41. on 07 Jul 2012 at 12:12 pmJeff

    Mr. Keating,
    You are very emphatic that Jesus never said He created the world/universe. However, you seem to have overlooked the fact that the Father said that very thing in Hebrews 1:10. This being the case, your “pattern of agency” is fulfilled.

  42. on 08 Jul 2012 at 7:35 amJaco

    Jeff,

    Would you mind elaborating on your statement above? How does Heb. 1:10 state that Jesus was the agent of the Genesis creation???

    Jaco

  43. on 09 Jul 2012 at 9:42 amMike Gantt

    Jaco,

    Regarding your question to Jeff in 42 above, and while you are waiting for Jeff to reply, I presume by your three question marks that you do not believe Heb 1:10 refers to Jesus as the agent of the Genesis creation. If that’s the case, what then do you understand Heb 1:10 to be saying?

    And, while I’m asking this, does your answer apply as well to John 1:3, 10; 1 Cor 8:6; Col 1:16-17; Heb 1:2-3; 3:3; and Mic 5:2?

  44. on 09 Jul 2012 at 12:55 pmtimothy

    it is easy to copy paste:

    http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/New-American-Standard-Bible-NASB/#booklist

  45. on 11 Jul 2012 at 11:15 amJeff

    @ Jaco,
    I’d be happy to elaborate. 🙂 Hebrews 1:10 has Someone speaking, addressing Another as Lord and speaking of this Lord as the Creator. The key to understanding Who is in view here is to take the passage in context. Verses 1-4 speak of Jesus being the final and ultimate revelation of the Father. He is superior to all other previous revelations (through the prophets, Law, etc.). Beyond that, He is superior to all those who have delivered the revelation, such as the angels. The writer of Hebrews goes on to contrast Jesus to the angels in verses 5-14.

    Beginning in verse 5, God (the Father) is the One Who is speaking. So, when one gets to verse 10, the “He” in “He also says…” is the Father. Verse 8 makes it abundantly clear that the Father is addressing the Son. So, the “Lord” and “You” in verse 10 are Jesus, the Son. When one substitutes the proper names for the pronouns you read:

    [The Father] also says,

    “In the beginning, [Jesus], you laid the foundations of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands.”

    That is an explicit statement of Jesus’ agency in creation.

  46. on 11 Jul 2012 at 11:19 pmBrian Keating

    Hi,

    FYI – the “pattern of agency” that I mentioned in the original post is as follows:

    – In some verses, the “principal”, himself, states that he performed an action;

    – In other verses, the “agent”, himself, states that he actually performed the action in question.

    So, in order for Jesus to fulfill the above pattern for the Genesis creation, two separate types of verses would need to appear in Scripture:

    – In some verses, God states that He performed the Genesis creation;

    – In some other verses, Jesus states that he actually performed the Genesis creation.

    There are certainly many verses in Scripture, in which God states that He performed the Genesis creation. However, there are no verses in Scripture in which Jesus, himself, states that he actually performed the Genesis creation. As a result, the “pattern of agency” that I specified is not fulfilled, with regard to the Genesis creation.

    Brian

  47. on 12 Jul 2012 at 2:22 pmJeff

    Mr. Keating,
    It is interesting to read your posts because, to put it bluntly, you are elevating your notions above the words of Scripture. You say:

    [So, the belief that Jesus created the universe does not fit the “pattern” of agency, that we see elsewhere in Scripture. As a result, in my opinion that belief is rather suspect…

    Note: there are a couple of verses which state that God created the universe “through” Jesus. However, those verses do not say that Jesus actually created the universe.]

    I gave you a reference to a verse that explicitly states that Jesus created the universe. But rather than fit your views to the Bible, you have sought to fit the Bible to your views.

    From the rest of your post, it is understandable why you resis such a notion as you would have to revise other parts of your theology (i.e. that Christ personally existed in the beginning with the Father). However, that too is clearly spoken of in Scripture. Indeed, Jesus preexisted the universe because He is God. One who is created, as you posit, cannot be God. Beyond that, He is the creator of all things. To deny those things is to deny plain, essential truth of Scripture.

  48. on 12 Jul 2012 at 4:28 pmTim (aka Antioch)

    Jeff,

    The orthodox interpretation of 1:10 assumes the Father is talking to the Son. But NASB, for instance, does not include ‘He also says’, it just says ‘And’. Who the speaker is then, is subject to the grammar of the Greek. That is not my forte but there does seem to be some ambiguity.

    The original Psalm 102:25, which is where this comes from, is speaking this about God and a first century Jew hearing this would probably know that Psalm and know it is speaking of the Father. I think it would be very difficult for a first century Jew to accept all this new theology without a whole lot more explanation and OT textual support. He/she would know very solidly that God is one and to convince them now that God is really three in one, I think, would take more than a few obscure sentences.

    Rather, I see the gospels and epistles were written to convince people that Jesus was messiah. If he was actually God, why bother with proving the lesser point of messiahship?

    As for ‘plain, essential truth of Scripture’, I find passages like John 17:3 to be much more explicit that Jesus is not God.

  49. on 12 Jul 2012 at 6:31 pmDoubting Thomas

    Hi Jeff,
    Welcome to K.R.!!! I agree with Tim (a.k.a. Antioch) in what he is saying. If the N.T. writers had actually believed that Y’shua was God in the flesh walking among us, then – Why would they have not clearly stated this???

    Why is it that there is no place in the N.T. where the disciples and other followers of Y’shua suddenly realize that Y’shua is in reality God standing in front of them???

    Why is there no uproar from the Pharisees and other Jews about the fact that the followers of Y’shua were claiming that he was in fact God himself???

    Could it be that this idea of Y’shua being God walking amongst us on the earth was a completely foreign idea to the disciples and followers of Y’shua???

  50. on 12 Jul 2012 at 9:44 pmtimothy

    Doubting Thomas and Tim (aka Antioch)

    I agree with your views and especially with the logic about the Jews, being monotheists, and that they would be outraged with any scriptures implying that Jesus Christ was GOD. They surely knew about the extreme consequences suffered for idolatry in their nations history.

    The disciples experienced Jesus Christ first hand. His love and compassion and teaching. These teachings reveal what we now have, the supernatural, GOD in Christ in us and we in Christ in GOD. The spirit of truth and our personal comforter.

    They saw Jesus brutally killed and in his human, resurrected, spiritual body.

    On the day of Pentecost the disciples were baptized by Jesus Christ with(the first time he baptized) spirit and fire. They received holy spirit into manifestation when they spoke in tongues and cloven tongues of fire showed GODs acceptance.

    We have just read and seen from movies and videos how there was a criminal/unGODly element that were leading the early church. Many believe there were forgeries made to the scriptures as they were being hand copied over and over again.

    DT has been monitoring several years of discussions here on KR and probably is as anxious as I am to read what JACO has to write about the subject.

    GOD bless.

    Timothy

  51. on 12 Jul 2012 at 9:55 pmSarah

    Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for visiting our blog. Concerning who did the creating in Genesis, I think it’s also important to consider what Jesus himself had to say about it. He never claimed to create the original heavens and earth, and he explicitly identified who did. Notice he does not say “I made” or “I created”:

    Mar 10:6 “But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.”

    Mar 13:19 “For those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will.”

    The context of Hebews 1 is focused on Jesus’ exaltation and the “world to come” (Heb 2:5). A full reading of Psalm 102, which Hebrews 1:10 is quoting, depicts Zion in ruins and awaiting her renewal. For these reasons, I think Hebrews 1:10 is speaking not about the original creation but about the new creation, which Jesus authored and founded by the covenental blood of his sacrifice to God (Heb 10:29, Eph 5:2).

  52. on 13 Jul 2012 at 2:31 amJaco

    Jeff,

    Thank you for your reply. I recently replied to a Roman Catholic on this site: http://postost.net/2012/05/wright-divinity-jesus

    This was my reply:

    The Hebrews passage you’re referring to has its difficulty in that the Masoretic Text (MT) and the Septuagint (LXX) vary in wording and in address. The MT has Psalm 102 as:

    “He [Yahweh] weakened me…I [the suppliant] say, ‘O my God…’”

    But the Hebrews writer does not quote the MT. He quotes the LXX which says:

    “He [Yahweh] answered him [the suppliant]…Tell me [God speaking to the suppliant]…Thou, lord [God addressing someone else called ‘lord’].

    So the whole discourse is different between the MT and the LXX. The MT has a suppliant praying to Yahweh, while the LXX has Yahweh addressing someone else as “Lord.” F.F. Bruce in the New International Commentary on Hebrews says:

    “In the Septuagint text the person to whom these words [“of old you laid the foundation of the earth”] are spoken is addressed explicitly as “Lord,” and it is God who addresses him thus. Whereas in the Hebrew text the suppliant is the speaker from the beginning to the end of the psalm, in the Greek text his prayer comes to an end with v. 22, and the next words read as follows: “He [God] answered him [the suppliant] in the way of his strength:

    ‘Declare to Me the shortness of My days: Bring Me not up in the midst of My days. Thy [the suppliant’s] years are throughout all generations. Thou, lord [the suppliant, viewed here as the Messiah by Hebrews], in the beginning didst lay the foundation of the earth.’”

    The Commentary continues, saying:

    Bacon suggested that the Hebrew, as well as the Greek, text of this psalm formed a basis for messianic [i.e. future Kingdom] eschatology, especially its reference to the “shortness” of God’s days, i.e., of the period destined to elapse before the consummation of His purpose [the arrival of the yet future Messianic Kingdom on earth]; he found here the OT background of Matt. 24:22, Mark 13:20 and Ep. Barn. 4.3 (“as Enoch says, ‘For to this end the Master [God] has cut short the times and the days, that his Beloved [Jesus] should make haste and come to his inheritance’”

    So, to the readers of the LXX and the author of Hebrews, this Psalm has an eschatological meaning of future creation, not of the Genesis creation (Isa. 51:16; Heb. 2:5).

    The Oxford Bible Commentary (2000) says: “The text at the center of Heb. 2:5ff. is Ps. 8:4-6 and it exhibits thematic connections to the scriptural catena of the first chapter . Heb. 2:5 [“the inhabited earth to come of which we speak”] is an introductory comment continuing the contrast between the Son and angels. Its reference to the “world to come” reinforces the notions of imminent judgment and cosmic transformation intimated by Ps. 102, cited at 1:10-12.”

    Thanks,

    Jaco

  53. on 13 Jul 2012 at 10:39 amSarah

    Jaco,

    Great information! Thanks so much for sharing this.

  54. on 14 Jul 2012 at 11:14 pmJeff

    Hey guys, I haven’t forgotten about our conversation! Things have been crazy here with a wedding and what not, so I haven’t had a chance to sit down and process what has been said and respond. I will hopefully be able to do that soon. Just wanted to let you know I’m still here! 🙂

  55. on 15 Jul 2012 at 6:05 amMike Gantt

    Jaco,

    Regarding your response to Jeff in 52, even if your view of Heb 1:10-12 were correct, do you not think that creation of the new universe would be just as far above the pay grade of a mere human being as would creation of the original one? Is there something easy about creating a universe if you’re the second one to try it?

  56. on 15 Jul 2012 at 1:44 pmtimothy

    Mike Gantt,

    Do you really conclude Jesus Christ, an heir in the aristocracy of Abraham, to be a mere human being?

  57. on 15 Jul 2012 at 2:59 pmMike Gantt

    Timothy, my point is quite the opposite. Jesus Christ was God become man. Therefore, He was a human being, but He is also more than a human being. Nevertheless, I am not a Trinitarian or a Modalist.

    My more fundamental point, however, is that all of us who love the Lord Jesus Christ – whatever kind of being we may variously think He is – do well to obey His word and proclaim His name. He is the only One who can redeem humanity from our sins and cause us to walk righteously before Him.

    The essence of being ready for the Kingdom is set forth in 2 Peter 1:5-11 by the one to whom Jesus gave the keys. (His gospel, however, is no different from Paul’s, John’s, or any of the others we find in the New Testament.) That is, entering the kingdom has nothing to do with the group with whom you choose to self-identify (Trinitarian, Unitarian, Oneness, Baptist, Catholic, Christian, Jew, etc.) and everything to do with the state of your heart in His sight.

    Humility and repentance before the Lord Jesus Christ should be our constant portion.

  58. on 15 Jul 2012 at 5:42 pmDoubting Thomas

    Amen Mike!!!

    I especially liked where you said, “Humility and repentance before the Lord Jesus Christ should be our constant portion.” I do disagree with what you said about Y’shua being God before he became man, but you are right that entering the kingdom has nothing to do with the group with whom you choose to self-identify and everything to do with the state of your heart in His sight… 🙂

  59. on 15 Jul 2012 at 7:10 pmDoubting Thomas

    Jesus Christ was a MAN on a mission, to show us the way to the FATHER. Jesus said, NO MAN come to the FATHER, but by me. Christ is the Head of the Church, and the Head of Christ is GOD. Jesus is our High Priest, and the High Priest never was or never will be deity. The trinitarians and the oneness both mistake his anointing for deity. John 3:34 says that Jesus was given the Spirit without measure. The bible says GOD was IN Christ reconciling the world unto himself. Look at John 4:22, Jesus worshiped the FATHER.

    There is ONE GOD and one mediator between GOD and man, the MAN Christ Jesus. Jesus is Lord, not GOD. John 14:1, Jesus said, Believe in GOD, believe ALSO in me. John 12:44 says, Jesus speaking, Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth NOT on me, but on HIM that sent me. He gives the glory to the FATHER, why can’t we? In all of Paul’s epistles, he prayed to the FATHER, in Jesus name, he never prayed to Jesus. I wonder why that is? The FATHER (YHWH) is the most high GOD and Jesus is at his right hand, fulfilling his role as High Priest and mediator.

    The above was written by my good friend Bryan Sherwood…

  60. on 16 Jul 2012 at 4:44 amMike Gantt

    Doubting Thomas,

    Jesus also said, “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” (Matthew 11:27)

    Therefore, let us all be fully devoted to the Son. In this way, our questions about the Father will be answered.

    I am convinced that a Trinitarian and a Unitarian who both fully obey the Son will eventually see the Father in the same way. Therefore, let us all agree to obey, honor, and believe the Son that the Father’s will might be done.

    The fullest understanding of God’s truths cannot be reached merely by mental effort, but requires obedience to what we understand along the way. (“If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching…” John 7:17).

    The will of the Lord be done.

  61. on 16 Jul 2012 at 10:36 amDoubting Thomas

    Hi Mike,
    If “all things were handed over to Y’shua by his Father”, then that means that at one time Y’shua/Jesus didn’t have all these things (all that authority). I do agree with you that we should be devoted to the Son so that all our questions about the Father will be answered. I especially liked it where you said,

    “I am convinced that a Trinitarian and a Unitarian who both fully obey the Son will eventually see the Father in the same way. Therefore, let us all agree to obey, honor, and believe the Son that the Father’s will might be done.”

    It is a pleasure to meet a Trinitarian like yourself that is not self righteous, but is loving and accepting of “ALL” of God’s children. Even if you might disagree with some of their beliefs. I hope God bless’ you and keeps you safe in everything that you do.

    May the peace and love of God “Our” Father be with you and with us all… 🙂

  62. on 16 Jul 2012 at 12:07 pmMike Gantt

    Doubting Thomas,

    I am not a Trinitarian or a Modalist or a Unitarian. Nevertheless, I appreciate your kind spirit, love your devotion to the Lord, and humbly accept your blessing.

  63. on 16 Jul 2012 at 12:57 pmTim (aka Antioch)

    Mike,

    You say that “Jesus Christ was God become man” yet you do not identify with trinitarianism or modalism. How then would you characterize the relationship of Son and Father?

    I agree with you about obeying the Son so that the Father’s will be done. I cannot reconcile trinitarianism/unitarianism and probably even modalism as being salvation issues. I agree with what you said about fully understanding God’s truth with just our earthly intellect. I think there is so much we don’t know (a la Nicodemus in John 3).

    Peace

  64. on 16 Jul 2012 at 1:38 pmMike Gantt

    Tim (aka Antioch),

    I believe God the Father died and became the Son. Thus in the prior age the Father was God, and in this age the Son is God.

    Irrespective of Father-Son questions, I am glad we can agree on the lordship of Christ. The one thing I least want to hear from Him is “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” Regardless of who one believes the Father to be, it is clear that the Father’s will is for us to obey the Son.

  65. on 16 Jul 2012 at 2:30 pmSarah

    Mike,

    I appreciate your point that we do not enter the kingdom based on what “group” we are affiliated with. I couldn’t agree more that we are called to unity in Christ.

    But on the other hand, I believe we are called to pursue an accurate understanding of what the Bible teaches with all our heart, mind, and strength. So I think discussions about things like who God is and who Jesus is are very helpful in developing the maturity of the believer who is open to the Spirit’s leading.

    To that end, I wonder if you could explain further what you mean when you say God the Father died and became the Son? Are you saying you think Jesus was God the Father, and the Father perished on the cross? If so, how would you support this claim?

  66. on 16 Jul 2012 at 4:22 pmMike Gantt

    Sarah,

    I’m glad we can agree on the inconsequence of group affiliation and on the importance of unity in Christ.

    Moreover, I agree with you that seeking an accurate understanding of God is a legitimate aspect of pursuing maturity. I only ask of myself and others that we do so in a context of, first and foremost, focus on and obedience to Christ. That seems to be the ethos of this site and I am glad to see it.

    Regarding your question, God created the identity of Christ as His vehicle for redeeming His lost creation. Unbeknownst to Satan or any of the evil angelic host, God determined that He Himself would forsake His heavenly glory, live as this human being, die, and be raised from the dead – ultimately to re-assume all the glory which had previously been His. Thus the Father handed over all things to the Son. The Father is who He was in the prior (original) age; the Son is who He would be in the eternal age.

    Heb 1:1-2 declares that the Son is heir of all things. Does not the mention of an “heir” imply the death of a father leaving an inheritance? And does not “all things” imply that there is nothing that is not being inherited by this son? Thus what God had as Father in the prior age He would have as Son in the new age.

    Had the principalities and powers known that Jesus of Nazareth was God in the flesh, they would not have crucified Him (1 Cor 2). For as long as they thought him merely the agent of God, they expected to prevail just as they had with all the other agents of God. None of those agents had ever escaped death before; evil powers had reason to believe that this fight would be harder, but not that it would end any differently. They could not imagine the overwhelmingly love of God through which He would give Himself – not some agent – the task of going through this fire.

    We know from the Scriptures that a human being is a union of spirit and body, yet no one can see the spirit. Thus the spirit of Jesus was the spirit of God. When He was raised from the dead and given all authority, then it was only a matter of time before every evil power would be put beneath His feet – even death itself. If we can die and be raised from the dead, why can’t God? Aren’t we made in His image?

    This is why the New Testament is incessantly focused on Christ. In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3). He would come to have first place in everything (Col 1:18). He who abides in the teaching of Christ has both the Father and the Son (2 John 1:9). Notice that in the Bible that the Father pretty much stops talking once the Son starts. God had been God of the Jews, but Christ would be Christ of the nations.

    The fundamental message of the New Testament is that Jesus is the Messiah. The fundamental message of God since that time is that the Messiah is God. This is the age of the kingdom of God.

    In terms of further support, I have written extensively on this and related subjects on my blog. There are book-length biblical cases for the truths I proclaim.

    I recognize that some of these things are new to your ears but I assure you that I learned them all simply from being devoted to reading, understanding, and obeying the Scriptures (i.e. the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments), which I believe to be the word of God.

    God is greater than we can imagine, wiser than we can imagine, and more loving than we can imagine. Nothing I have written, however, and nothing I have said, is more important than these three words: “Jesus is Lord.” If we heed them (i.e., if we repent and follow Him), everything else will be sorted out in due time.

  67. on 16 Jul 2012 at 4:58 pmJeff

    Tim (aka Antioch),
    Again, I apologize in the delay in my response. Regarding your post in 48 – you say that the orthodox interpretation of Hebrews 1 “assumes” the Father is speaking. You also say that the speaker in Hebrews 1 is ambiguous. However, the text of Hebrews 1 makes it clear Who is speaking.

    The whole point of this chapter is that the Father has spoken to us in the ultimate revelation – the Son. Though the OT texts were inspired, Christ far surpasses them as He is something no one and no thing else could ever be. He is the radiance of the Father’s glory and the *exact representation of His nature* (that speaks of His deity!). Not only that, but He sustains all things by His powerful word (the word of His power). This is the same powerful word that brought it all into existence in the first place. Anyway, after His ascension, Christ sat down at the Father’s right hand, which is a place of honor reserved for One even higher than the angels.

    Then, the writer quotes several OT passages and applies them to the Father speaking to and/or about the Son. The things that the Father says in chapter 1 alone are enough to show the deity/godhood of Christ. For instance, in verse 6 He commands the angels to worship the Son, which is a service they owe only to God. In verse 8 the Father calls the Son “God.”

    Then in verse 10, as you point out, translations such as the NASB simply use the conjunction “AND”. The Speaker and the One being spoken to have not changed. It is simply a continuation of what the Father says, which is that the Son was the “agent of creation,” which is what got this conversation started.

    Regarding the rest of your post, no doubt there were some who stumbled over this idea that Christ was/is God in the flesh. That is one reason so many of the religious leaders had such a problem with Him. He claimed to be God. The thing was, He wasn’t blaspheming. He was God. He always has been and He always will be. Indeed, if these were the only verses that spoke of Christ’s deity, it would be more difficult to wrap one’s mind around. But that simply is not the case. The Bible testifies of Christ from beginning to end. No doubt this was much of the content of the discussion held in the synagogues by Paul and the other Apostles as they showed that Christ was the promised Messiah.

    You seem to make a hard distinction between Christ being God and Messiah. They are two parts of a whole. If Jesus were not God, He could not have been the Messiah because the Messiah did not come to be a political Messiah as was expected. His Kingdom was not of this world. Instead, He came to save His people from their sins, which He paid for on the cross. If He was less than God, His death on the cross would be less than sufficient. No matter how righteous a mere human is, his righteousness would not be enough to save anyone else. (Ez. 14:14, 20)

    Regarding your last mention of John 17, Jesus’ high priestly prayer, if you read the whole thing, you will see that this has nothing to do with Jesus being less than God. That verse simply says that knowing the Father and Son is eternal life. In fact, if you continue to read His prayer, you will see a good case, just from it, that Christ is God. I.e. – Jesus seeks and deserves the glory of the Father (vs. 5), Jesus was pre-existent (vs. 5), all that is the Father’s is the Son’s and vice versa (vs. 10), the Father and the Son are one (vs. 11).

    Sorry for the long post. 🙂 I will respond to others as I’m able.

  68. on 18 Jul 2012 at 10:25 amJeff

    Doubting Thomas,
    Thank you for your welcome! I believe this was my first time visiting the site. I appreciate that we can have a respectful dialogue, even if we very much disagree on points.

    In regards to your response in 49, the NT writers do in fact say that Jesus is God. For instance:

    BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, ” GOD WITH US.” Matt 1:23 (NASB) (Jesus was literally “God with us”.

    Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, 2 ” Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” 3 For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, ” THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, ‘ MAKE READY THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT!'” Matt 3:1-3 (NASB) (This is quoting Isaiah 40:3 in which the “LORD” is Yahweh/Jehovah Who is the one true God. Here that title is being applied to Christ.)

    Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?”… “But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, 11 “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.” Mark 2:7, 10-11 (NASB) (Only God can forgive sins, which Christ did).

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. John 1:1-3 (NASB) (which also speaks to His role in creation!)

    Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” John 8:58 (NASB)

    I and the Father are one.” 31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” 33 The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” John 10:30-33 (NASB)

    Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, Phil 2:5-6 (NASB)

    For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form Col 2:9 (NASB)

    looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, Titus 2:13 (NASB)

    But of the Son He says, ” YOUR THRONE, O GOD, IS FOREVER AND EVER, AND THE RIGHTEOUS SCEPTER IS THE SCEPTER OF HIS KINGDOM. Heb 1:8 (NASB)

    When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, Rev 1:17 (NASB) (The title of the first and the last is in reference to Isa. 41:4, 44:6; and/or 48:12)

    There are others, but I think that should be more than sufficient to show that the NT writers wrote about Jesus being God in the flesh.

    You ask why there aren’t any places in the NT where the disciples realize that Jesus is God. I can’t help but remind you of your namesake’s response to the resurrected Lord: Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” John 20:28 (NASB) 🙂

    Regarding the uproar from the religious leaders, we don’t know all that took place. I am not going to argue from silence, but we do need to remember a couple of things. First, there were many things that happened that were not preserved in sacred text. Second, the Jewish leaders did in fact persecute the early church which held that Christ was God. So while we may not have a passage that says, “The apostles taught the people that Jesus was God in the flesh. This made the Pharisees angry and there was an uproar because of their teaching,” I believe this can be safely inferred.

    I think the idea that Christ was regarded as God is sufficiently shown in the NT. Rather than the notion that He was/is God being a later development, I think the idea that He was anything less than God is a later development.

    Sorry for another long post. 🙂

  69. on 18 Jul 2012 at 10:42 amJeff

    Sarah,
    Thank you for your welcome as well. You are correct in pointing out that we must consider what Jesus said on the matter. He did point to the Father’s role in creation. Also consider, though, that He never said that He did not have any part in creation.

    On top of that, the rest of the Bible is inspired by God and we must consider what is written elsewhere in Scripture too. Other places in the NT show that Christ was the “agent of creation.”

    Regarding Hebrews 1, yes, it does speak of the superiority of Christ (as does the majority of Hebrews), but it does not only speak of “the world to come.” Christ is superior in the here and now. If you relegate all that is said in Hebrews 1 to a future time, then it really makes no sense.

    The Father has spoken to us through the Son already – no waiting for a world to come.

    Christ has already made purification of sins – no waiting

    He is already the exact representation of the nature of the Father – no waiting

    He is already better than the angels – no waiting

    In addition, verse 10 itself argues against a solely future understanding. If you will notice that it says, “And, You, Lord, IN THE BEGINNING laid the foundation of the earth…” That speaks of the original creation.

  70. on 18 Jul 2012 at 1:51 pmDoubting Thomas

    Hello Jeff,
    Thank-you for making an attempt to answer my questions. You picked several vague verses (that don’t clearly and directly say that Y’shua is God) and inferred Y’shua is God from these verses. This is not the same thing as having the N.T. writers clearly state that Y’shua was God, so that there would be no confusion for future generations. Anyone can infer things from vague verses.

    “The Way” as the early Christians were called were accepted as one of the many Jewish sects that existed at that time. They were welcome in the temple and in the synagogues right up until after the destruction of the temple. The Christians listened to Y’shua’s warnings and fled Jerusalem when the Roman armies were surrounding the holy city. They refused to fight along side their Jewish brothers.

    The result was that the Jews began to distrust and even hate “The Way” as the early Christians were called. As a matter of fact about a generation or so after the destruction of the temple all Jewish Christians were officially banned from entering any synagogue anywhere in the world. This persecution had nothing to do with the Christians claiming that Y’shua was God. If it had they would have been banned from the temple, and from the synagogues, way back at Pentecost…

  71. on 18 Jul 2012 at 2:48 pmtimothy

    Doubting Thomas,

    Hello and thanks for some more historical facts about the first century.

    Paul wrote that he was planing to travel to Spain. I was watching a netflx series that told a lot about the Spanish Inquisition and the Spanish Jews being etc. etc. etc..

    It is comforting to know you are always there, 24/7, guarding our KR gate.

    Timothy 8)

  72. on 18 Jul 2012 at 3:28 pmSarah

    Hi Jeff,

    I think you’ll find this blog a great forum for discussing your thoughts. The folks here are typically respectful of opposing views, but will also challenge you to think about what you believe and why you believe it. As for me, I was raised trinitarian, but was compelled to change my position last year after reseraching the doctrine in-depth (including the history of how it developed, as well as scriptural evidence).

    In your opinion, why didn’t Jesus directly teach the trinity to his followers? By this I mean, why didn’t Jesus ever simply say: “There is One God, and we are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”?

    Conversely, why would Jesus enforce Israel’s monotheism by distinguishing himself from the One God, as seen in John 17:3? “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

    The idea of the “One God” had always meant one singular personal being to Israel. If Jesus came on the scene to teach the trinity, shouldn’t we find in scripture a very clear doctrinal explanation about how “one” could actually mean “three-in-one”?

  73. on 18 Jul 2012 at 11:30 pmTim (aka Antioch)

    Jeff,

    Are you familiar with the unitarian counters to each of the ‘Jesus/deity’ verses you cite? I became a Christian late in life and initially just accepted the trinity as it was the doctrine at my church. But when I was tickled with another interpretation (biblical unitarian), I re-read all the NT from that perspective and found it was so, so much clearer. The few ‘Jesus is God’ passages that are often cited are invariably vague and often differ from one translation to another. I suggest http://www.biblicalunitarian.com, they have a section devoted to ‘common verses used to support the trinity’. As I went through them one by one, I was stunned at what I found. Then add the avalanche of verses that so clearly state that the Father is the God of Jesus (John 20:17, Rom 15:6, 2 Cor 1:3, 2 Cor 11:31, Eph 1:3, 1 Thes 1:3, 1 Thes 3:11, 1 Pet 1:3, 2 John1:3, Jude 1, Rev 1:6).

    Thank you for taking the time to post here.

    Peace

  74. on 18 Jul 2012 at 11:31 pmJeff

    Doubting Thomas,
    You say that the verses I posted were vague and did not directly say that Jesus is God…

    But John 1:1 says, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, AND THE WORD WAS GOD. John 1:14 makes it clear that “the Word” is Jesus. Jesus = the Word, the Word = God, therefore Jesus = God.

    Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” John 8:58 God revealed Himself in the OT as “I AM” and when Jesus was making this statement, far from being vague, He was claiming equality with the Father. The Jews who heard Him understood this as they wanted to stone Him for blasphemy.

    For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form. Col 2:9 If that does not speak to the deity of Christ, I really don’t know what could…

    Titus 2:13 calls Jesus our God and Savior…

    Hebrews 1:8 Of the Son He says, Your throne *O GOD* is forever and ever…

    I’m not sure where the vagueness is in those verses, my friend. The other ones, such as the quotation from Mark show that Christ is God (for example, He did what only God could do – forgive sins). The ones I reposted here explicitly talk about Jesus’ deity/godhood. If you would like my rationale for any of them, I would be happy to share with you as best as I can.

    Regarding persecution, undoubtedly things got worse for Christians later on with organized, governmental persecutions. But we can’t overlook that believers were persecuted by Jewish leaders as early as the book of Acts.

  75. on 19 Jul 2012 at 8:06 pmDoubting Thomas

    Hi Jeff,
    Jesus is the word made flesh. The word in Genesis was the spoken word.

    Psa 33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
    Psa 33:7 He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses.
    Psa 33:8 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
    Psa 33:9 For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.

    Isa 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

    Jesus is the word made flesh. He is the flesh. God’s word made flesh. And he does all the will of God and accomplishes all His pleasure, all his purposes, all his promises, all his prophecy. The word is “Not” a living person.

    Joh:1:1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
    and the Word was God.

    Joh:1:2: The same was in the beginning with God.

    Without saying the words “but” or “however” or “nevertheless” ~ Please answer the following question:

    Is it within the power of God Almighty to make His Word (His voice, Truth)…. flesh?

  76. on 19 Jul 2012 at 10:58 pmJeff

    Doubting Thomas,
    I will answer you question if you will answer mine: You say that “The word is ‘Not’ a living person.” The Bible says that the Word was God. So then, that leaves two options. 1) The Word is God, but is not a living person/being. Therefore, God is not a living person/being (I use the word being as well because of all the connotations that go along with “person”.) 2) The Word is Jesus, which John 1:14-18 clearly identifies as such. The Word is God, as John 1:1 explicitly states. Therefore, Jesus is God.

    So the my question to you is this: do you believe that God is not a living person/being or that is Jesus God?

  77. on 19 Jul 2012 at 11:05 pmJeff

    Tim (aka Antioch)
    I almost didn’t respond to you as I looked at your post but it didn’t register with me! Old age is creeping up on me! Yes, I have seen many of the arguments of people who deny the Trinity. However, I do not feel that those arguments take seriously a historical/grammatical reading of Scripture. In verses such as the ones I posted in response to you and Doubting Thomas, there is no ambiguity/vagueness. Quite to the contrary, they explicitly claim Christ’s deity. Therefore, I reject the unitarian reading of Scripture as I feel it does not take those and other verses seriously. A good rule of thumb, I’ve found (though not original to me!) is, “If plain sense makes good sense, seek no other sense.” The plain sense of Scripture, I believe, clearly supports the idea that Christ is God in the flesh, come to earth to redeem mankind by His substitutionary, vicarious death on the cross and subsequent resurrection.

  78. on 20 Jul 2012 at 12:25 amJeff

    Jaco,
    I apologize to you too for the delay in my posts. It is hard to keep up several conversations! At least for me it is…

    In regards to your post in 52 – You are correct in noting that there is a difference between the Hebrew and LXX. This is not uncommon, nor should it disturb us (in my opinion). I say that because I believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Thus, if the writer quotes a Greek version as opposed to a Hebrew version, that must be what God intended.

    Regarding the Bruce comments, I respect Bruce’s work. I have some of His works myself. Having said that, I think he missed the boat a little if that is all he had to say about this verse. As I’ve said in some of my other posts, namely to Sarah in 69, Hebrews 1:10 is clearly talking about the original creation. We know this because it says in the verse itself, ““And, You, Lord, IN THE BEGINNING laid the foundation of the earth…”

    Since we can only properly understand passages in their given context, remember the context of the passage. The writer of Hebrews is showing the superiority of Christ. He begins by showing that He is superior to all other revelations and those who brought those revelations. He is also superior to the angels.

    This verse (vs. 10) is another piece of that puzzle. As William L. Lane states in the Word Biblical Commentary on Hebrews 1-8, “Ps 102:25-27 has been introduced into the argument because it supports the radical distinction between the transitoriness of the created order and the eternal, unchangeable nature of the Son (cf Schroger, 69). Heaven and earth, the realm of the angels, both belong to the created order, which will change and decay.”

    He goes on to summarize verses 10-12 this way: “In this context, however, the accent falls upon the mutability of the created order, including angels, in contrast to the Son who is exalted above that order. The quotation turns on common images of changeableness: clothes grow old and wear out; a cloak is rolled up and put away. But the Son ‘remains.’ The argument in vv 10-12 is thus parallel to that in vv 7-8, where the mutability of the angels is contrasted with the eternal, unchangeable character of the Son.”

  79. on 20 Jul 2012 at 1:11 amJeff

    Sarah,
    You asked why I thought Jesus didn’t sit down and explain the Trinity to His followers. I don’t know. I suspect a few things, but like you and everyone else, my guess would be just that, a guess. My guess would involve a few different elements, including:

    1. Jesus’ main objective was not to teach a sole doctrine. Rather, His mission was to redeem mankind. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. He came to give His life a ransom for many. However you want to put it, Jesus came to die on the cross for our sins.

    2. And this is closely related to 1, through His ministry and sacrificial death on the cross, Jesus showed us what the Father is like. We see this in Hebrews 1, which we have made much of. We also see it in John 1:18. Thus, in His ministry, we see how God “thinks” and “feels” (if we may use those terms) about sin and sinners. We also see His amazing love in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

    3. There were many things that Christ did not explain, partially because of the weakness of those to which He would be explaining them. (John 16:12)

    4. The Bible is not a dry theology textbook full of propositions. The NT, where we form the vast majority of our understanding of Christ, is largely in the form of letters/epistles. Even the book that probably lays down Paul’s theology more than any, Romans, is still a letter. Thus, they are written to people in a certain situation and they don’t so much spell out theology, but rather the application of theology. So, there are some subjects that are laid out plainly, some are not. Still others are touched upon in different books in different ways. Thus, we have to cull through the texts and put the pieces together in order to get the bigger picture.

    So, that is the long answer. The short one is, I don’t know. 🙂 But I think that the points I mentioned may well have played a part in it.

    Regarding John 17:3, Jesus would have reinforced the Jews’ monotheism because there is only one true God. Any distinction that He made between Himself and the Father or Himself and the Spirit was one of function rather than essence. Speaking of John 17:3 in particular, rather than “distinguishing Himself from the One God”, as if He were different in essence from Him, He is essentially asserting His equality with the Father. Let me explain what I mean.

    Jesus said that eternal life is something. It is not just an unending existence that would begin at death. Rather, it is something we can experience in the here and now. And what is that something? It is knowing. Knowing Whom? It is knowing the Author and Giver of life. And Who is that? Notice the answer verse 3 gives to that question. It is NOT that they know the Father INSTEAD OF or to THE EXCLUSION OF the Son. Eternal life is knowing the Father AND Jesus Christ.

    So, God alone gives life. The Father gives life. Therefore, the Father is God. Likewise, God alone gives life. Jesus gives life. (John 1:4, 5:21, 5:26, 6:33, 14:6, 17:3, etc.) Therefore, Jesus is God.

  80. on 20 Jul 2012 at 6:18 amJaco

    Jeff,

    Thank you for your reply. Yes, my time is also limited.

    As I’ve said in some of my other posts, namely to Sarah in 69, Hebrews 1:10 is clearly talking about the original creation. We know this because it says in the verse itself, ““And, You, Lord, IN THE BEGINNING laid the foundation of the earth…”

    I don’t think so. Many ancient messianic prophecies were expressed proleptically, as if they had already been fulfilled. No one argues that the Song of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 52/53 speaks of someone in Israel’s earlier past. Nor is that the case in Jude 14, 15, namely that Yahweh exacted punishment prior to Enoch’s lifetime. The scheme of Hebrews is dualistic. In other words, a heavenly reality is given shape on earth. The writer clarifies this in Heb. 2:5. The address to the ancient type of Messiah is realised in Jesus who would be the initiator of a new order. That beginning is to be fulfilled in the fortold restoration age.

    He begins by showing that He is superior to all other revelations and those who brought those revelations.

    This is no blank cheque to anyone to fabricate any Jesus according to their imagination under the guise of “superiority.” Disciplined bible interpretation would still have us working to understand the mind of the NT writer. I think the writer’s genre, scheme (dualistic) and theology forbids a trinitarian or Jesusolatrous* interpretation.

    Your quote from the Word Bible Commentary does not refute what Bruce and others have written. In states the intended nuance of the text, namely superiority of Jesus to the angels. As Messiah he is by default superior to angels. He also achieves what angels never did, namely heading a new creation. And then a figure of speech is employed called a hyperbole. Even these shall pass, but he won’t.

    No initial creation is intended by the writer of Hebrews. A superficial reading of the text may give the impression with various levels of difficulty, but if the other themes are considered, as well as the style and theology of the author, I can only agree with Bruce and others here.

    Thanks,

    Jaco

  81. on 20 Jul 2012 at 1:02 pmSarah

    Jeff,

    I appreciate your thorough reply. I couldn’t agree more that Jesus showed us what the Father is like. And that his death has made possible the reconcilication between God and sinful humanity. I do have some comments on a few of your points:

    There were many things that Christ did not explain, partially because of the weakness of those to which He would be explaining them. (John 16:12)

    This is true. But the next verse (Jn 16:13) says that the Holy Spirit would later reveal those things. When the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost, Peter preached an evangelistic sermon to the very men who crucified Jesus. Certainly as a minimum, Peter should have identifed Jesus as God here. But instead he distinguished God and Jesus, and referred to Jesus as a man. Peter’s main goal was to confirm that the man Jesus was God’s chosen Messiah:

    “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know– this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.” (Act 2:22-24)

    Thus, we have to cull through the texts and put the pieces together in order to get the bigger picture.

    In other words, the trinity is not plainly stated in scripture, but is “pieced together” by people reading the scripture. And I would agree with that. But this is my problem: traditional teaching says that we must believe God is a trinity. It is said to be absolutely core to one’s salvation. Yet the Bible does not ever state that God is a trinity. Therefore, in truth, orthodoxy is saying we must accept a particular interpretation of scripture. This is exactly the reason I felt obligated to investigate the doctrine for accuracy. The questions for me were: How did this interpretation come about? Does it hold up under close scriptural scrutiny? What do I make of the many logical problems with the doctrine?

    So, God alone gives life. The Father gives life. Therefore, the Father is God. Likewise, God alone gives life. Jesus gives life. (John 1:4, 5:21, 5:26, 6:33, 14:6, 17:3, etc.) Therefore, Jesus is God.

    I understand your point. But consider another scriptural example using the same logic:

    (39) They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did…

    (41) “…You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father–even God.” (Jhn 8:39, 41 ESV)

    Abraham is their Father. God is their Father. Therefore, Abraham is God? Obviously not. The context has to be considered. So too with Jesus giving life and the Father giving life. Jesus said all power and authority had been “given” to him. So it doesn’t necessarily follow that because Jesus gives life and the Father gives life, Jesus is God. It wasn’t an inherent ability, but rather it was given to Jesus by God his Father.

    Those are just some of my thoughts. I know you’ve felt bombarded by several threads of conversation. No need to respond unless you have the time. I just challenge you to investigate some of the material on this site and see how it stacks up against the trinitarian interpretation of scripture.

  82. on 20 Jul 2012 at 1:20 pmtimothy

    Hello Doubting Thomas,

    I really like the format of your above post # 75.

    Wolfgang wrote some words of wisdom(another thread):

    “Reading the Scripture could be so simple … if people would only read it at least in the way they read other written material; but alas, they do seem to no longer read properly when they have a Bible in hand and before their eyes. Things are interpreted in the most strange ways … with disregard to other passages dealing with information about the same person, or different person, same time or different time, same place or different place, etc etc etc”

    Your point is crystal clear, easy to perceive and is in concert with my belief.

    Round and Round we go, where we stop nobody knows.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuquapYHDro

    Timothy

  83. on 20 Jul 2012 at 2:53 pmDoubting Thomas

    Hi Jeff,
    You asked, “So the my question to you is this: do you believe that God is not a living person/being?”

    Of course I believe that God is a living person/being. Your logic is flawed. You claim that because “the word was God” that means the word must be a living person/being. There is a modern expression that says, “He’s as good as his word.” Does this mean that a person’s word is a living person/being???

    Of course not. A person’s word is just that. “Their word”. A person’s word is not a living person/being. It is the same thing with God. Now that I’ve answered your question perhaps you could answer mine. Is it within the power of God Almighty to make His Word (His voice, Truth, or plan)…. flesh???

  84. on 21 Jul 2012 at 4:59 pmDoubting Thomas

    I believe it is a mistake to personalize God’s word (Personification). The Greek term logos is not a person/individual/being. Indeed, nothing was made without God’s word.

    Genesis 1:3
    And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

    He, God, made the light by his word.

    God is love. Love is not an individual either, yet God is love.

    1 John 4:8,16
    He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love
    16And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

    Jesus is what the logos “became” in John. John chapter 1 does not say Jesus was with God and was God, or the Son was with God and was God. The word was made an individual/flesh in verse 14…

  85. on 22 Jul 2012 at 7:24 pmDoubting Thomas

    BTW – timothy,
    I like the Youtube video in your above post about the dog chasing it’s own tail…

    And Jeff,
    I hope I haven’t offended you by being so direct (assertive) with my above comments… 🙂

  86. on 24 Jul 2012 at 1:39 pmJeff

    Sarah,
    It sounds like there are some important points that we agree on, and some that we disagree on. It seems that we can agree that salvation is through Christ alone. The question that we must answer, as Peter did, is Who do we say that Jesus is. In response to your points:

    I said that there were many things that Christ did not teach us, partially because of the weakness of His hearers. You are correct that the Spirit leads us into all truth. This was especially true of the Apostles as they not only evangelized many and administered the budding church. They also wrote the inspired Word. The reason that I said what I did was in response to your specific question of why Jesus Himself did not explicitly teach the Trinity. I was responding to a specific question with a specific answer. 🙂

    Interestingly, you mention Peter’s sermon at Pentecost where He speaks of the resurrection. Jesus told His followers that He had the power to lay down His life and take it up again. Who but God has such power?

    You said that you feel that since the Trinity is not explained in a single place, but rather, must be put together from multiple passages, you feel that one must follow an interpretation of Scripture. This does not seem acceptable to you. A couple of thoughts/observations:

    1. An interpretation is an understanding. So yes, the orthodox understanding is an interpretation. However, a unitarian understanding is an interpretation as well. Any understanding is an interpretation. Thus, whether or not you follow an orthodox understanding of Scripture, you are following someone’s interpretation – even if it is your own. 🙂

    2. If you only accept doctrines that are taught or dealt with in just one place, you are going to come up pretty short. For instance, you will have to do without the power of God, His love, man’s sinfulness, the creation, angels, the Holy Spirit, the resurrection, spiritual gifts, etc.

    I appreciate your commitment to the truth and that you will investigate things for yourself. I would encourage you to continue searching!

    To your last point, my logic is sound. Yes, the Jews used the word “father” in both places. However, it is obvious that they were not speaking of Abraham and God as their “father” in the same sense. We know this because the Jews were very zealous in trying to stone Jesus for making Himself out to be God/the Son of God. For instance, John 10:31-39.

    But in John 17:3 as well as most, if not all, of the references I gave you at the end of the last post, the life that was given was eternal life. So, the sense is the same, unlike your example. Also, life comes from Jesus. It wasn’t an ability that was given to Him – John 1:4, 14:6.

  87. on 28 Jul 2012 at 5:20 pmJeff

    Doubting Thomas,
    Heaven’s no, you did not offend me. I believe that it is okay to vigorously debate issues. When the debate becomes about the people instead of their ideas, then things are in unfair territory, it seems to me. In regards to your posts:

    My posts did not involve personification. Personification is when a person gives an inanimate object human characteristics. I.e. the trees clapped their hands, the oceans sang with joy, etc. When John wrote this, he did not personify the Word. He used another name for Christ.

    You said that my logic was flawed because I insisted that the Word must be a living being. My logic is sound. The Word was God. God is living. Therefore, the Word is living. It follows as night follows day.

    Your example is what is flawed. Yes, in both the passage from John’s Gospel and in your statement, the word “word” is used. However, you must keep in mind that words get their meaning from the context in which they are used. For instance, if you heard me exclaim, “Look at the size of that trunk!”, you would not know what I was talking about apart from the context. If I was at the zoo, I would be talking about an elephant. If I was at a flea market, I would be talking about a type of chest. If I was in the redwood forest, I would be talking about a tree. If I was at a car dealership I would be talking about the storage compartment of a car. You get the idea.

    The same is true in your example. “Word” in the example you cited speaks of a promise that is being made. Your example means that someone is trustworthy. That has nothing to do with John’s identification of Christ as the Word.

    In addition, you are making a category error. The verse plainly says, “The Word was God.” However, if you think through your position, you are saying that the Word was less than God. If it was spoken, there was a time that it did not exist. Therefore, it had a beginning. To go along with that, it would be dependent upon the Speaker for existence.

    However, the Bible tells us that the one true God has no beginning and no end. He did not come into existence. He has always been. Neither is He dependent upon another. Instead, He is the One on Whom all things depend.

    Beyond that, something that a person speaks, their word/words, are of a completely different nature and quality than the one who spoke them. Yet, the Bible says that this “Word” was not LIKE God. It was not SIMILAR TO God. Rather, it says that the Word WAS God. It is one thing to say that a man is as good as his word, as you did. It is something else to say that a man IS his word. This difference seems obvious. If you disagree with this line of reasoning, as I’m sure you do, I would very much be interested in seeing your response to it.

    But if it is read as I have suggested, and as has been the case for 2,000 years, where you recognize that the Word is Jesus, the difficulties that your position raises vanish.

    And in answering your last question, I want to make an observation before I respond. You said, “Without saying the words “but” or “however” or “nevertheless”” – In other words, I can respond, just so long as I agree with you? Are you a lawyer or telemarketer? 😛

    But seriously, in response to your question, I suppose it is within God’s power to make His Words into some sort of visible manifestation. God can also make a purple platypus. Or He could make a penguin that lives north of the equator. The question is not one of ability, for God can do anything that does not violate His character and nature. Rather, the question is, What did John intend for his readers to understand? If we don’t know what it meant to them, we don’t know what it means to us.

    The purpose of his Gospel is clear – John 20:31. He wrote that we would believe that Jesus was the Christ, and the Son of God. It is interesting that when he has the express purpose of wanting people to believe that Jesus is God, he includes many more “proofs” (including His numerous claims to be God) of that truth than the other Gospel writers.

    So, I guess the two questions that arise out of this discussion are these: 1) Was Jesus a truth-teller? i.e. did He always tell the truth? 2) Was He telling the truth when He claimed to be God?

    * Sorry in the long delay in my response. There was a death in the church and that has caused me to put this on the back burner.

  88. on 29 Jul 2012 at 11:45 amTim (aka Antioch)

    Jeff,

    So sorry for the death at your church.

    With respect to John’s gospel, do you not find it odd that not one other biblical writer equated Jesus=Word? In the hundreds and hundreds of references to ‘word of God’ or ‘word of the Lord’ in the NT and OT, only three times do I see it conceivable that it was referring to Jesus (Jn 1:1, 1:14, Re 19:13). Moreover, John’s style, particularly 1:1-18, is poetic. I think it more than reasonable that his concept of the Word was not meant to be literal, given the absence of any other writer using ‘Word’ in a similar sense. I also think that the ambiguity in the Greek could render 1:1c as ‘the Word was divine’. I realize that has very little support, but it is not ruled out and it makes more sense than to say X was with Y and X is Y. By common experience, you cannot both be with someone and be that someone at the same time.

    Lastly, in current day, we often speak of the bible as the ‘word of God’. Does that then mean that the bible is God? I rather think John was expressing a similar concept with respect to Jesus.

  89. on 29 Jul 2012 at 1:44 pmMike Gantt

    Tim (aka Antioch),

    In your interaction with Jeff please give due consideration to Luke 1:2; Rom 10:6-9; and 1 Pet 1:23 before you so emphatically conclude that John’s reference to Jesus as “the word” was idiosyncratic. Consider also that the stated purpose of John’s gospel was to foster faith in Christ (John 20:30-31) so it’s not likely he would begin it with a concept so unfamiliar as to cause his readers to stumble at the outset.

    Consider also that Psalm 107:20 gives ample reason to believe that the apostles did not have to wander from Scripture to find the notion that Jesus was a living manifestation of God’s word. Nor think that Jesus Himself did not provoke them to think such thoughts (Matt 5:17; John 5:39; Luke 24:25-27, 31-32, 44-48).

    Truly, a picture is worth a thousand words, and the life of Jesus Christ shows us what God’s word looks like when it is made flesh.

  90. on 29 Jul 2012 at 2:38 pmSarah

    Mike,

    I know you addressed your comments to Tim, but I would like to respond also. You said: “Jesus was a living manifestation of God’s word.”

    No disagreement there. The quetion is whether scripture identifies the “word of God” as a conscious, immaterial being who entered Mary’s womb to become a human. You cited Ps 107:20, but this verse doesn’t identify God’s word as a pre-existent human being. The OT abounds with references to “the word”, most notably in Psalm 119, where it is described with every imaginable synoymn – statutes, commands, rules, promises, decrees. Never once does it imply a person in the sense you or I am a person.

    It’s easy to view a phrase like “the word became flesh” through the Platonic glasses handed to us by the early church fathers. However, the Hebrew culture had no category of conscious, immaterial human pre-existence. The concept of the “word becoming flesh” appears several times in scripture: The first Adam came into existence by God’s spoken word, and likewise the second Adam came into existence by God’s spoken word. Hebrews even speaks of Jesus’ resurrection in similar terms, though less poetically than John (brackets mine):

    And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath, but this one [Jesus] was made a priest with an oath by the one [God] who said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever.'” For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever. (Heb 7:20-21, 28)

    The law appointed men according to their birth. The word appointed Christ according to his “re-birth” – his resurrection. Thus God’s word became flesh twice in Jesus Christ. Once at his birth, and again at his resurrection. God’s word and Jesus Christ are always portrayed as two distinct entities in scripture, such that God’s word dwelled within Jesus once he came into existence.

  91. on 29 Jul 2012 at 3:43 pmMike Gantt

    Sarah,

    My comments to Tim regarding the multiple instances of Jesus being described as “the Word” have nothing to say about preexistence one way or the other.

    I made the comment because Jesus is our great example. The more we understand how He (or he, if you prefer) embodied God’s commands and promises, the more easily we can see how to imitate Him, which is to do God’s will. Not that imitating Christ is an easy thing to do – we just need all the help we can get. Having a singular focus to Scripture is a means of great help for this pursuit.

    The Bible is not a vast collection of varied texts which have nothing to draw them together. On the contrary, Jesus is their great theme and to miss the Scriptures’ emphasis on him is to miss the intended value of the Scriptures (John 5:39-40).

  92. on 29 Jul 2012 at 4:04 pmDoubting Thomas

    Hi Jeff.
    I also am sorry to hear about the death at your church. I’m glad I didn’t offend you and scare you off with my above comments. Everything that I say is just my own humble opinion. I do not pretend to have all the answers. I cannot read the Genesis account and come to the conclusion that God’s word is actually a living person. The Jews themselves don’t see the “word of God” as actually being a living person. I believe this idea comes from Greek philosophy/theology.

    You said, “The Word was God. God is living. Therefore, the Word is living. It follows as night follows day.” I respectfully disagree. As Tim (aka – Antioch) mentioned above, John wrote in a poetic style that was not meant to be interpreted literally. And as you said above, “The purpose of his Gospel is clear – John 20:31. He wrote that we would believe that Jesus was the Christ, and the Son of God.”

    The Greek word Christ means “God’s anointed one”. How can God be “God’s anointed one”???

    How can the “Son of God” actually mean “God the Son”???

    The purpose of John’s gospel was to show us that Y’shua was the “Son of God” and God’s chosen “anointed one”…

  93. on 29 Jul 2012 at 4:30 pmSarah

    Mike,

    I made the comment because Jesus is our great example. The more we understand how He (or he, if you prefer) embodied God’s commands and promises, the more easily we can see how to imitate Him, which is to do God’s will.

    I wholeheartedly agree with this, and I think all the contributors on the KR blog do too. But I also believe the nature of the word as it relates to pre-existence is a worthy topic of debate, to the extent that it allows us to work toward an accurate understanding of who Jesus is. And I think Tim made some worthwhile points to consider in that regard.

  94. on 29 Jul 2012 at 4:49 pmMike Gantt

    Sarah,

    I think there are ample scriptures which attest to the preexistence of Christ. I just don’t think scriptures referring to him as “the word” are among them.

    I only made that brief contribution to the Tim (Antioch)-Jeff exchange because I wanted the record to reflect broader scriptural testimony to Jesus as “the word” than Tim was allowing, and for the reason that I gave – not because I wanted to comment in that instance on the issue of preexistence.

  95. on 29 Jul 2012 at 8:15 pmtimothy

    Doubting Thomas,

    You confessed:

    “Everything that I say is just my own humble opinion. I do not pretend to have all the answers. I cannot read the Genesis account and come to the conclusion that God’s word is actually a living person.”

    I agree and further confess that I cannot read the bible and come up with these conclusions:

    Jesus Preexisted Adam

    Jesus is GOD

    Making Jesus GOD is not idolatry

    Jesus has already returned

    The Kingdom of GOD is here now

    I enjoy fellowship with you, Tim akaA and Sarah.

    GOD bless all you all,

    Timothy

  96. on 29 Jul 2012 at 10:38 pmDoubting Thomas

    Thank-you timothy,
    I enjoy my fellowship with you as well and enjoy reading your posts…. 🙂

  97. on 30 Jul 2012 at 3:27 amTim (aka Antioch)

    Mike – I accept your other references and will amend my argument. However, I don’t see in any of those verses that my understanding is wrong. I can read it both ways.

    The big question – what did John expect his first century Jewish audience to understand when he wrote his gospel? To answer that, I think we can look at ‘word of God’ and ‘word of the Lord’ in the OT. When I do a word study on those phrases (hundreds and hundreds of them), I don’t see a person. For John and the other NT writers to change that idea without some very clear passages to explain why they are changing it, I find that very unlikely.

  98. on 30 Jul 2012 at 8:16 amMike Gantt

    Tim (aka Antioch),

    As I’ve said, I don’t think scriptures that speak of Jesus Christ as “the word of God” address the question of whether or not He preexisted.

    It does seem that Trinitarians want to make this case, but I don’t understand their basis for it.

  99. on 30 Jul 2012 at 7:38 pmDT

    You cite Isaiah 44:24 and Job 38:1-4 as proof that Jesus could not have been involved in creation?

    They do not debunk this and I have support of this.

    Isaiah 44:24 – Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, And He who formed you from the womb: “I am the Lord, who makes all things, Who stretches out the heavens all alone, Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself; (NKJV)

    I’ve touched up on Isaiah 44:24 before but I want to address it again. Does it exclude Christ from involvement in creation (Proverbs 8:22-30) if he is not the Almighty God?

    Job 38:7 – When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy? (NKJV)

    Now, Job 38:7 demonstrates that God was not absolutely all alone. Let’s have a look at some other verses.

    Deuteronomy 32:12 – “The LORD alone guided him, And there was no foreign god with him. (NASB)

    Did Yahweh alone guide them? No.

    Psalm 77:20 – You led Your people like a flock By the hand of Moses and Aaron. (NASB)

    Exodus 15:22 – Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. (NASB)

    And therefore, God created by the means of Christ. Let’s look at some other translations of this verse as well.

    Isaiah 44:24 – Thus said Jehovah, thy redeemer, And thy framer from the womb: `I [am] Jehovah, doing all things, Stretching out the heavens by Myself, Spreading out the earth — who [is] with Me? (YLT)

    Isaiah 44:24 – Thus saith Jehovah, thy Redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb: I am Jehovah, that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth (who is with me?); (ASV)

    Isaiah 44:24 – Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: “I am the LORD, who made all things, who stretched out the heavens alone, who spread out the earth–Who was with me? – (RSV)

    All of these translations are valid translations of the Hebrew. And all of these translations carry with it, the same exact impression that Deuteronomy 32:12 leaves. That Yahweh is separating himself from the pagan deities only.

  100. on 30 Jul 2012 at 8:52 pmSarah

    DT,

    And therefore, God created by the means of Christ.

    While I do think you made some good points, they don’t prove this claim. Why, in your opinion, did Jesus fail to mention being the agent of the Genesis creation while he specifically did attribute it to God? What do you consider to be the most convincing scriptural proof that Jesus was the pre-existent agent of creation?

  101. on 30 Jul 2012 at 9:12 pmDT

    Hello Sarah,

    I believe that Proverbs 8:22-31 contains some big evidence. I have a write-up on this on my computer.

    Also, the title “creator” I have never taught to refer to the Jesus. Only the Father. This is in perfect harmony with what the scriptures teach (Revelation 4:11 and 1 Corinthians 8:6).

    God created the universe and Jesus followed God’s direction and was his workman (Hebrews 1:2, Colossians 1:15-17, John 1:1-3).

    But no, Jesus is not the creator, only the subordinate agent at God’s right hand (Psalm 110:1).

    Blessings!

  102. on 30 Jul 2012 at 10:52 pmSarah

    DT,

    Thanks for your thoughts. I can agree with you that Jesus is the agent of creation. But since God has plans to create a new heavens and earth, there is more than one possible creation that those NT passages could be referring to. The grand theme surrounding the advent of the Messiah is the redemption of all things, by recreating them both in body and spirit, which strongly indicates to me that Jesus is the agent of the *new* creation as opposed to the original one.

    It’s also significant to me that Jesus never said he participated in the Genesis creation, but frequently claimed to be the agent of the creation to come. I have a hard time believing the apostles would teach something different than Jesus himself taught.

    And I am also troubled by the fact that Plato, in his creation myth Timaeus, described a conscious immaterial “world soul” – also known as the “logos” – that assisted in fashioning the world. Justing Martyr cited this as his proof that John 1 was speaking about a preexistent Jesus. In my opinion this puts the doctrine of the incarnation on very tenuous footing.

  103. on 31 Jul 2012 at 12:44 amDoubting Thomas

    Hi DT,
    Welcome to K.R!!! It appears that we both have the same nickname. My Christian friends up here in Canada began calling me “Doubting Thomas” because of my doubts about the Trinity, and my doubts about whether certain writings should have been included in our modern N.T. canon. I like the name because it describes me perfectly.

    I will have doubts about things that most people would never think about doubting… 🙂

  104. on 31 Jul 2012 at 2:03 pmDT

    Sarah,

    Here is my analysis on Revelation 3:14:

    Revelation 3:14 – “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: (NASB)

    Revelation 3:14 – “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. (NIV)

    Do these verses convey the idea that Jesus is the first created being? I like the way The Message puts it.

    Revelation 3:14 – Write to Laodicea, to the Angel of the church. God’s Yes, the Faithful and Accurate Witness, the First of God’s creation, says: (The Message)

    Albert Barnes gives us three options of how to interpret this passage:
    “(a) that he was the beginning of the creation in the sense that he caused the universe to begin to exist – that is, that he was the author of all things; or.
    (b) that he was the first created being; or.
    (c) that he holds the primacy over all, and is at the head of the universe.”

    The following website http://www.wrestedscriptures.com/b08trinity/revelation3v14.html argues that this verse refers to the new creation. Is this the case?

    “1. Christ is the “Alpha and Omega” (Rev. 1:11) of God’s creation. This creation is not the creation of trees and animals as recorded in Genesis 1, but rather the “creation” of new men and women. “Create” and “creation” are frequently used in this regenerative sense in the New Testament. See, for example, the following: Eph. 2:10, 15 cf. 4:23, 24; Col. 3:9, 10 R.S.V.; Gal. 6:15; James 1:18; 2 Cor. 5:17.
    2. Revelation 3:14 refers to this new creation and not to the creation of Genesis 1. This is indicated by the context:
    a. “. . . hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” (Rev. 3:11).
    b. “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God . . . and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem . . . and I will write upon him my new name.” (vs. 12).
    c. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne . . .” (vs. 21).
    The “making”, “writing” and “granting” refer to the “new” Jerusalem and the new name – the ultimate regeneration of believers, and not to the creative acts on the earth of Genesis 1.”

    The problem with this approach is that it ignores the fact that there is a change in church that Jesus is referring to. Revelation 3:1-6 is written to Sardis and Revelation 3:7-13 is written to Philadelphia. It also misses a critical part that Jesus is trying to address to Laodicea.

    1 Corinthians 14:31-33 – For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. (NASB)

    We find out in this verse that God speaks in crystal clear terms about himself. Jesus was foreseeing the debates that were to arise about his nature in the future. Jesus is trying to end these debates once and for all. Jesus would not have accomplished that if he had only meant that he was the beginning of the new creation! So we can easily rule out this option.

    Also, if Jesus was trying to say he was the beginning of God’s new creation, he would have come out and said it. Indeed…

    Ephesians 2:10 – For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. (NRSV)

    We find no such evidence that this is talking about a new or old creation but rather to the entirety of creation.

    Ephesians 2:15 – He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, (NRSV)

    Ephesians 4:23-24 – and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (NRSV)

    These verses again refer explicitly to being created new. Revelation 3:14 does not do this.

    Colossians 3:9-10 – Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. (NRSV)

    Again, about being created anew.

    Galatians 6:15 – For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything; but a new creation is everything! (NRSV)

    2 Corinthians 5:17 – So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! (NRSV)

    Again, explicitly stating “new creation”. Revelation 3:14 does not do this.

    James 1:18 – In fulfillment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures. (NRSV)

    Again, this is talking about new creation. We know this because humans were obviously created AFTER animals. But Jesus does not say he is the “pre-eminent” of God’s creations. Although, I would agree, that if he does, then this makes him a created being and there really is no way for an anti-Subordinationist to contend against this obvious fact other than to invoke a Socinian or Radical Unitarian argument. I would agree with Albert Barnes.

    Albert Barnes:

    “It is not necessary to examine any other proposed interpretations, for the only other senses supposed to be conveyed by the words, that he is the beginning of the creation in the sense I that he rose from the dead as the first-fruits of them that sleep, or that he is the head of the spiritual creation of God, axe so foreign to the natural meaning of the words as to need no special refutation.”

    Let’s go over option (a) that Barnes gives. Was Jesus the one who actually caused all things to exist?

    1 Corinthians 8:6 – yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him. (NASB)

    Hebrews 1:2 – in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. (NASB)

    Revelation 4:11 – “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” (NASB)

    Since most Christians can agree that Jesus is not the Father, and these passages demonstrate that the Father is the cause of the creation, we can safely strike this. If we do not, then Jesus would be his own Father!

    Albert Barnes notes:

    “As to the three significations suggested above, it may be observed, that the first one – that he is the author of the creation, and in that sense the beginning – though expressing a scriptural doctrine John 1:3; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:16, is not in accordance with the proper meaning of the word used here – ἀρχὴ archē. The word properly refers to the “commencement” of a thing, not its “authorship,” and denotes properly primacy in time, and primacy in rank, but not primacy in the sense of causing anything to exist.”

    Barnes, however, errs grievously in his assertion that this is a scriptural doctrine. I cover Colossians 1:16 and John 1:3 in depth in other refutations I have done so I will only touch up on Ephesians 3:9 here.

    Ephesians 3:9 – and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; (NASB)

    Ephesians 3:9 – and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; (NKJV)

    Isaac Newton notices:

    “Another corruption was made about the same time in Eph. 3.9. The reading now generally received is, “Who created all things by Iesus Christ”. And this reading is as old as Chrysostom, who comments upon it. But the last words “by Iesus Christ”, have been added by the Greeks, for they are still wanting in the oldest Greek MSS, the Alexandrin & the Claromontan Gr. & Lat. In that of St Germans & in one of Mr Colberts, & in the Syriac, Latin, & Ethiopic Versions. Neither did Tertullian nor Ierome nor Ambrose read them.”

    Now, should it be translated “ruler” or “beginning”? If it should be translated “ruler” as it shows in the NIV, then we cannot use this verse to demonstrate that Jesus is God’s first creation. But if it should be translated “beginning” then we actually find ourselves in rejection of the faith established by Christ if we reject that he is God’s first creation! So how should it be translated?

    We need to look at John’s usage of the word ἀρχὴ for a better idea. As well as John’s usage of the word ἄρχων.

    In the NASB, whenever John uses the word ἀρχὴ, it is always understood as “beginning” or the commencement of something.

    John 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (NASB)

    John 1:1 – Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.

    John 1:2 – He was in the beginning with God. (NASB)

    John 1:2 – οὗτος ἦν ἐν ἀρχῇ πρὸς τὸν θεόν.

    John 2:11 – This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him. (NASB)

    John 2:11 – Ταύτην ἐποίησεν ἀρχὴν τῶν σημείων ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐν Κανὰ τῆς Γαλιλαίας καὶ ἐφανέρωσεν τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐπίστευσαν εἰς αὐτὸν οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ.

    John 6:64 – “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. (NASB)

    John 6:64 – ἀλλ’ εἰσὶν ἐξ ὑμῶν τινες οἳ οὐ πιστεύουσιν. ᾒδει γὰρ ἐξ ἀρχῆς ὁ Ἰησοῦς τίνες εἰσὶν οἱ μὴ πιστεύοντες καὶ τίς ἐστιν ὁ παραδώσων αὐτόν.

    John 8:25 – So they were saying to Him, “Who are You?” Jesus said to them, “What haveI been saying to you from the beginning? (NASB)

    John 8:25 – ἔλεγον οὖν αὐτῷ• σὺ τίς εἶ; εἶπεν αὐτοῖς [ὁ] Ἰησοῦς• τὴν ἀρχὴν ὅ τι καὶ λαλῶ ὑμῖν;

    John 8:44 – “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (NASB)

    John 8:44 – ὑμεῖς ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς τοῦ διαβόλου ἐστε καὶ τὰς ἐπιθυμίας τοῦ πατρὸς ὑμῶν θέλετε ποιεῖν. ἐκεῖνος ἀνθρωποκτόνος ἦν ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς καὶ ἐν τῇ ἀληθείᾳ οὐκ ἔστηκεν, ὅτι οὐκ ἐστιν ἀλήθεια ἐν αὐτῷ. ὅταν λαλῇ τὸ ψεῦδος ἐκ τῶν ἰδίων λαλεῖ, ὅτι ψεύστης ἐστιν καὶ ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ.

    John 15:27 – and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning. (NASB)

    John 15:27 – καὶ ὑμεῖς δὲ μαρτυρεῖτε, ὅτι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς μετ’ ἐμοῦ ἐστε.

    John 16:4 – “But these things I have spoken to you, so that when their hour comes, you may remember that I told you of them. These things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you. (NASB)

    John 16:4 – ἀλλὰ ταῦτα λελάληκα ὑμῖν ἵνα ὅταν ἔλθῃ ἡ ὥρα αὐτῶν μνημονεύητε αὐτῶν ὅτι ἐγὼ εἶπον ὑμῖν. Ταῦτα δὲ ὑμῖν ἐξ ἄρχης οὐκ εἶπον ὅτι μεθ’ ὑμῶν ἤμην.

    1 John 1:1 – What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life – (NASB)

    1 John 1:1 – Ὃ ἦν ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς, ὃ ἀκηκόαμεν, ὁ ἑωράκαμεν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς ἡμῶν, ὃ ἐθεασάμεθα καὶ αἱ χεῖρες ἡμῶν ἐψηλάφησαν περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς—

    1 John 2:7 – Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard. (NASB)

    1 John 2:7 – Ἀγαπητοί, οὐκ ἐντολὴν καινὴν γράφω ὑμῖν ἀλλ’ ἐντολὴν παλαιὰν ἣν εἴχετε ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς• ἡ ἐντολὴ ἡ παλαιά ἐστιν ὁ λόγος ὃν ἠκούσατε.

    1 John 2:13 – I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, children, because you know the Father. (NASB)

    1 John 2:13 – γράφω ὑμῖν, πατέρες ὅτι ἐγνώκατε τὸν ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς. γράφω ὑμῖν νεανίσκοι, ὅτι νενικήκατε τὸν πονηρόν. ἔγραψα ὑμῖν, παιδία, ὅτι ἐγνώκατε τὸν πατέρα.

    1 John 2:14 – I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. (NASB)

    1 John 2:14 – ἔγραψα ὑμῖν, πατέρες, ὅτι ἐγνώκατε τὸν ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς. ἔγραψα ὑμῖν, νεανίσκοι, ὅτι ἰσχυροί ἐστε καὶ ὁ λόγος [τοῦ θεοῦ] ἐν ὑμῖν μένει και νενικηκατε τον πονηρον

    1 John 2:24 – As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. (NASB)

    1 John 2:24 – ὑμεῖς ὁ ἠκούσατε ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς ἐν ὑμῖν μενέτω. ἐὰν ἐν ὑμῖν μείνῃ ὁ ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς ἠκούσατε, καὶ ὑμεῖς ἐν τῷ υἱῷ καὶ [ἐν] τῷ πατρὶ μενεῖτε.

    1 John 3:8 – the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. (NASB)

    1 John 3:8 – ὁ ποιῶν τὴν ἁμαρτίαν ἐκ τοῦ διαβόλου ἐστιν, ὅτι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς ὁ διάβολος ἁμαρτάνει• εἰς τοῦτο ἐφανερώθη ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ, ἵνα λύσῃ τὰ ἔργα τοῦ διαβόλου.

    1 John 3:11 – For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; (NASB)

    1 John 3:11 – Ὅτι αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ ἀγγελία ἣν ἠκούσατε ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς, ἵνα ἀγαπῶμεν ἀλλήλους,

    2 John 1:5 – Now I ask you, lady, not as though I were writing to you a new commandment, but the one which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. (NASB)

    2 John 1:5 – καὶ νῦν ἐρωτῶ σε, κυρία, οὐχ ὡς ἐντολὴν γράφων σοι καινὴν ἀλλὰ ἣν εἴχομεν ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς, ἵνα ἀγαπῶμεν ἀλλήλους.

    2 John 1:6 – And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it. (NASB)

    2 John 1:6 – καὶ αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ ἀγάπη, ἵνα περιπατῶμεν κατὰ τὰς ἐντολὰς αὐτοῦ• αὕτη ἡ ἐντολή ἐστιν, καθὼς ἠκούσατε ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς, ἵνα ἐν αὐτῇ περιπατῆτε.

    Revelation 3:14 – “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: (NASB)

    Revelation 3:14 – Καὶ τῷ ἀγγέλῳ τῆς ἐν Λαοδικείᾳ ἐκκλησίας γράψον• Τάδε λέγει ὁ ἀμήν, ὁ μάρτυς ὁ πιστὸς καὶ [ὁ] ἀληθινός, ἡ ἀρχὴ τῆς κτίσεως τοῦ θεοῦ

    Revelation 21:6 – Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. (NASB)

    Revelation 21:6 – καὶ εἷπεν μοι, Γέγοναν. ἐγὼ τὸ Ἄλφα καὶ τὸ Ὦ, ἡ ἀρχὴ καὶ τὸ τέλος. ἐγὼ τῷ διψῶντι δώσω ἐκ τῆς πηγῆς τοῦ ὕδατος τῆς ζωῆς δωρεάν.

    Revelation 22:13 – “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end .” (NASB)

    Revelation 22:13 – ἐγὼ τό Ἄλφα καὶ τὸ Ὦ, ὁ πρῶτος καὶ ὁ ἔσχατος, ἡ ἀρχὴ καὶ τὸ τέλος.

    Whenever John uses the word ἄρχων in the NASB, it always refers to a leader.

    John 3:1 – Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; (NASB)

    John 3:1 – Ἦν δὲ ἄνθρωπος ἐκ τῶν Φαρισαίων, Νικόδημος ὄνομα αὐτῷ, ἄρχων τῶν Ἰουδαίων•

    John 7:26 – “Look, He is speaking publicly, and they are saying nothing to Him. The rulers do not really know that this is the Christ, do they? (NASB)

    John 7:26 – καὶ ἴδε παρρησίᾳ λαλεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν αὐτῷ λέγουσιν. μήποτε ἀληθῶς ἔγνωσαν οἱ ἄρχοντες ὅτι οὗτος ἐστιν ὁ χριστός.

    John 7:48 – “No one of the rulers or Pharisees has believed in Him, has he? (NASB)

    John 7:48 – μή τις ἐκ τῶν ἀρχόντων ἐπίστευσεν εἰς αὐτὸν ἢ ἐκ τῶν Φαρισαίων;

    John 12:31 – “Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. (NASB)

    John 12:31 – νῦν κρίσις ἐστὶν τοῦ κόσμου τούτου, νῦν ὁ ἄρχων τοῦ κόσμου τούτου ἐκβληθήσεται ἔξω•

    John 12:42 – Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; (NASB)

    John 12:42 – ὅμως μέντοι καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἀρχόντων πολλοὶ ἐπίστευσαν εἰς αὐτόν, ἀλλὰ διὰ τοὺς Φαρισαίους οὐχ ὡμολόγουν ἵνα μὴ ἀποσυνάγωγοι γένωνται•

    John 14:30 – “I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; (NASB)

    John 14:30 – οὐκέτι πολλὰ λαλήσω μεθ’ ὑμῶν, ἔρχεται γὰρ ὁ τοῦ κόσμου ἄρχων• καὶ ἐν ἐμοὶ οὐκ ἔχει οὐδέν,

    John 16:11 – and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. (NASB)

    John 16:11 – περὶ δὲ κρίσεως, ὅτι ὁ ἄρχων τοῦ κόσμου τοὐτου κέκριται.

    Revelation 1:5 – and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood – (NASB)

    Revelation 1:5 – καὶ ἀπὸ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὁ μάρτυς, ὁ πίστος, ὁ πρωτότοκος τῶν νεκρῶν καὶ ὁ ἄρχων τῶν βασιλέων τῆς γῆς. Τῷ ἀγαπῶντι ἡμᾶς καὶ λύσαντι ἡμᾶς ἐκ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν [ἡμῶν] ἐν τῷ αἷματι αὐτοῦ,

    Had John wanted to say that Jesus was the ruler of God’s creation, he would have used ἄρχων where he uses it when he is speaking of leaders. However, he uses ἀρχὴ and uses it to demonstrate the commencement of a thing. Trinitarians break the rules of Biblical hermeneutics on this passage in that they forget that we are supposed to look for the author’s intended idea. Rather, Trinitarians look for their own idea and since their idea is the “popular” one, they think that this is the only way that one should look at scriptures and that those who actually know the truth are “Bible-twisters”. This is wrong on so many different extremes.

    But yes, you are correct. The Trinitarian incarnation doctrine, if dissected properly, is bullet-holes to the dogma. Not to sound over-confident but I think I can go over enough Trinitarian views to demonstrate that each one comes in conflict with scriptures at some point in time.

    As for the new heavens and new earth, see 2 Peter 3:1-13.

    Blessings!

    Doubting Thomas,

    My nickname is based off my first name and my middle name. And I have no doubts about the Trinity. I refute it.

    Blessings!

  105. on 31 Jul 2012 at 2:57 pmSarah

    DT,

    Glad to have you on board at K.R. Pretty interesting coincidence to have two DT’s on this website!

    You’ve certainly done your research. I completely agree with you that Rev 3:14 doesn’t suggest Jesus is the first created being. In that instance, I would say it’s a reference to Jesus as the firstborn from the dead (Col 1:18). Jesus is the leader, or beginning, of the resurrection of the dead. For that reason I don’t think this particular verse is helpful in supporting the view that Jesus was the pre-existent agent of the original Genesis creation.

    However, it sounds like you agree with that Jesus is God’s Son rather than God himself, which is certainly the more critical issue.

  106. on 31 Jul 2012 at 6:12 pmDT

    Sarah,

    I think (know) you did not read my analysis. I DO believe that

    a) that Jesus is not declaring himself to be the ruler
    b) that Jesus is not declaring himself to be the originator
    c) that Jesus is not declaring himself to be the beginning of the new creation

    Thus, I conclude with The Message translation:

    Revelation 3:14 – Write to Laodicea, to the Angel of the church. God’s Yes, the Faithful and Accurate Witness, the FIRST of God’s creation, says: (The Message)

    As for Colossians 1:15, I deal with that here:

    Colossians 1:15-17 – who is the image of the invisible God, first-born of all creation, because in him were the all things created, those in the heavens, and those upon the earth, those visible, and those invisible, whether thrones, whether lordships, whether principalities, whether authorities; all things through him, and for him, have been created, and himself is before all, and the all things in him have consisted. (YLT)

    Colossians 1:15-17 – ὅς ἐστιν εἰκὼν τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ ἀοράτου, πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως, ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ ἐκτίσθη τὰ πάντα ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς τὰ ὁρατὰ καὶ τὰ ἀόρατα, εἴτε θρόνοι εἴτε κυριότητες εἴτε ἄρχαι εἴτε ἐξουσίαι• τὰ πάντα δι’ αὐτοῦ καὶ εἰς αὐτὸν ἔκτισται• καὶ αὐτός ἐστιν πρὸ πάντων καὶ τὰ πάντα ἐν αὐτῷ συνέστηκεν,

    I hope to present the varying views on this and get down to the basics as to what the “firstborn of all creation” constitutes and what this verse is saying.

    Some of the chief views on this verse that I will be analyzing include, but are by no means limited to:
    a) Jesus is being identified as God’s first creation (Unitarian/Arian)
    b) Jesus is being identified as one holding pre-eminent status because he created everything (Trinitarian/Binitarian and other God-man associated dogmas)
    c) Jesus is the firstborn of creation because he became a man (consistent in Oneness view some forms of Trinitarianism)
    d) Jesus was exalted to the firstborn of creation and Colossians 1:16-17 is describing how he holds a pre-eminent rank among creation (Radical Unitarian/Socinian)
    e) Please notify me about other views on this subject
    Cracking down the genitive.

    In Colossians 1:15, we see the formula – πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως – which, if interpreted in a strictly literal sense would read as follows:
    “firstborn all creation”

    The reason why we read “firstborn of all creation” is because this is in genitive form. There are various rules of the genitive.

    From – http://www.ntgreek.org/learn_nt_greek/classify-genitive.htm
    “J. Genitive of Source – Sometimes the genitive case indicates the source from which the head noun is derived or depends. The word ‘of’ could instead be translated ‘out of’, ‘derived from’, or ‘dependent on’. This use is relatively rare; rather source is often shown with the preposition ejk used with the genitive case.”

    Since there is no ἐκ after “firstborn” we can safely strike this.

    From – http://www.ntgreek.org/learn_nt_greek/classify-genitive.htm
    “C. Possessive Genitive – Showing the ideas of ownership or possession. To see if it is the Genitive of Possession, try substituting the word ‘of’ with ‘belonging to’ or ‘possessed by’. However, this use does not have to indicate actual, physical ownership of some property. It may be a broadly defined type of ownership. This is a very common use of the genitive. A possessive pronoun will often be used in the genitive case to show possession.”

    If this is the case used in Colossians 1:15 then Jesus is owned by creation.

    Romans 16:16 – Greet one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ greet you. (NKJV)

    Matthew 16:18 – And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (NKJV)

    From – http://www.ntgreek.org/learn_nt_greek/classify-genitive.htm
    “E. Partitive Genitive (“Wholative”) – The genitive substantive (preceded by the article) can indicate the whole of which the head noun is a part. The word ‘of’ can be substituted the words ‘which is a part of’. This use of the genitive requires the head noun to in some way imply or indicate ‘portion’. E.g ‘piece of pie’, ‘some of you’, ‘a tenth of something’, etc. It will often be found with the Greek words ti”, e{kasto”, and ei|”. This is a fairly common use of the genitive in the New Testament.”

    If this is the case (which will now be demonstrated) Jesus is the firstborn of creation that he is apart of.

    From – http://www.ntgreek.org/learn_nt_greek/classify-genitive.htm
    “I. Genitive of Comparison – This use of the genitive almost always comes after an comparative adjective (like ‘more’, ‘less’, ‘greater’, etc.). The customarily used ‘of’ translated with the genitive should instead be translated ‘than’. It is a relatively common use of the genitive case.”

    Hence, why we see in the New King James Version…

    Colossians 1:15 – He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. (NKJV)

    But this would not be in perfect harmony with the rest of the context.
    Colossians 1:16 – ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ ἐκτίσθη τὰ πάντα ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς τὰ ὁρατὰ καὶ τὰ ἀόρατα, εἴτε θρόνοι εἴτε κυριότητες εἴτε ἄρχαι εἴτε ἐξουσίαι•

    The word ὅτι is not a comparison, it is a causation. He is the firstborn of all creation because of…etc. Therefore, this translation of the genitive is debunked by this Greek authority’s analysis!
    In Psalm 89:27, “firstborn” is being used of David in this sense.

    Thus, “pre-eminent” status is also another variation of what “firstborn” means.

    Psalm 89:27 – Also I will make him My firstborn, The highest of the kings of the earth. (NKJV)

    However, David is still part of the group of that which he is pre-eminent over so even if this is the case used in Colossians 1:15, then it still indicates that Jesus is the firstborn as part of the group that he is over. It also would be the first time in the Scriptures in which the genitive is used of “firstborn” in this way.

    The following are a list of examples where the pre-eminent one is part of the group that it is pre-eminent over.

    Genesis 4:4 – and Abel for his part brought of the firstlings of his flock, their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, (NRSV)

    Exodus 13:13 – But every firstborn donkey you shall redeem with a sheep; if you do not redeem it, you must break its neck. Every firstborn male among your children you shall redeem. (NRSV)

    Exodus 13:15 – When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from human firstborn to the firstborn of animals. Therefore I sacrifice to the Lord every male that first opens the womb, but every firstborn of my sons I redeem.’ (NRSV)

    Numbers 3:41 – But you shall accept the Levites for me—I am the Lord—as substitutes for all the firstborn among the Israelites, and the livestock of the Levites as substitutes for all the firstborn among the livestock of the Israelites. (NRSV)

    Numbers 3:45 – Accept the Levites as substitutes for all the firstborn among the Israelites, and the livestock of the Levites as substitutes for their livestock; and the Levites shall be mine. I am the Lord. (NRSV)

    Numbers 3:46 – As the price of redemption of the two hundred seventy-three of the firstborn of the Israelites, over and above the number of the Levites, (NRSV)

    Numbers 3:50 – from the firstborn of the Israelites he took the money, one thousand three hundred sixty-five shekels, reckoned by the shekel of the sanctuary; (NRSV)

    Numbers 8:16 – For they are unreservedly given to me from among the Israelites; I have taken them for myself, in place of all that open the womb, the firstborn of all the Israelites. (NRSV)

    Deuteronomy 12:6 – bringing there your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and your donations, your votive gifts, your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and flocks. (NRSV)

    Deuteronomy 12:17 – Nor may you eat within your towns the tithe of your grain, your wine, and your oil, the firstlings of your herds and your flocks, any of your votive gifts that you vow, your freewill offerings, or your donations; (NRSV)

    Deuteronomy 14:23 – In the presence of the Lord your God, in the place that he will choose as a dwelling for his name, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, your wine, and your oil, as well as the firstlings of your herd and flock, so that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always. (NRSV)

    Deuteronomy 15:19 – Every firstling male born of your herd and flock you shall consecrate to the Lord your God; you shall not do work with your firstling ox nor shear the firstling of your flock. (NRSV)

    Nehemiah 10:36 – also to bring to the house of our God, to the priests who minister in the house of our God, the firstborn of our sons and of our livestock, as it is written in the law, and the firstlings of our herds and of our flocks; (NRSV)

    Colossians 1:18 – He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. (NRSV)

    Revelation 1:5 – and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, (NRSV)

    And thus, this can be translated in either the possessive, partitive or the comparative genitive but is more than likely here translated in the sense of partitive. If it was to be possessive than Jesus would be owned by creation. If it was to be translated in the comparative, it would be the only time. Leaving us with the partitive.

    Option (b) is immediately thrown out. Now let’s examine the other positions. I want to have a look at option (d) a little bit first because this would be getting on the right track to analyzing option (a) and option (c).

    Option (d) is summed up as follows:

    According to this view, Colossians 1:16 is talking about the destruction of all principalities and powers and Christ’s conquering them. There are a lot of things going for it. Christ is made the firstborn heir because he destroys these. It is set up as a seeming perfect scenario but there is one critical thing wrong. Let’s have a look.

    Colossians 1:13 – who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love; (ASV)

    Hebrews 2:13-15 – And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold, I and the children whom God hath given me. Since then the children are sharers in flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same; that through death he might bring to nought him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver all them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

    Colossians 2:15 – having despoiled the principalities and the powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (ASV)

    Ephesians 6:12 – For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual [hosts] of wickedness in the heavenly [places]. (ASV)

    Romans 8:38 – For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, (ASV)

    1 Corinthians 2:7-8 – but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, [even] the [wisdom] that hath been hidden, which God foreordained before the worlds unto our glory: which none of the rulers of this world hath known: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory: (ASV)

    Ephesians 3:3-10 – how that by revelation was made known unto me the mystery, as I wrote before in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ; which in other generation was not made known unto the sons of men, as it hath now been revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; [to wit], that the Gentiles are fellow-heirs, and fellow-members of the body, and fellow-partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of that grace of God which was given me according to the working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, was this grace given, to preach unto the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the dispensation of the mystery which for ages hath been hid in God who created all things; to the intent that now unto the principalities and the powers in the heavenly [places] might be made known through the church the manifold wisdom of God, (ASV)

    It really isn’t quite a stretch.

    Colossians 1:16 – for in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him; (ASV)

    “all things” here in this section is obviously talking about the list that Paul mentioned. “thrones, dominions, principalities, or powers”.
    However, it still wouldn’t be accurate.

    Colossians 1:16 – ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ ἐκτίσθη τὰ πάντα ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς τὰ ὁρατὰ καὶ τὰ ἀόρατα, εἴτε θρόνοι εἴτε κυριότητες εἴτε ἄρχαι εἴτε ἐξουσίαι• τὰ πάντα δι’ αὐτοῦ καὶ εἰς αὐτὸν ἔκτισται•

    Where ἐκτίσθη is strictly referring to creating, shaping, forming, or making and it would simply not be harmonious with a “destructive” idea here.

    So then is it calling him the firstborn of creation in the sense that he was incarnated and became a part of creation (option (c))? But then who was the firstborn of creation before this happened?

    Genesis 27:36 – And Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright, and now look, he has taken away my blessing!” And he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?” (NKJV)

    Genesis 25:34 – And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright. (NKJV)

    Genesis 27:32 – And his father Isaac said to him, “Who are you?” So he said, “I am your son, your firstborn, Esau.” (NKJV)

    Thus, Esau still recognized he was firstborn in that he was born first but also Jacob had the firstborn rights because Esau gave them to him. So is there another firstborn of God’s creation somewhere?
    Does this fit in with the context?

    Colossians 1:19-20 – For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. (NRSV)

    At first, this likes a powerful argument. All the fullness of God was pleased to dwell and through him God reconciled humanity back to himself. But it has nothing to do with the firstborn of creation. It is talking about the firstborn of the dead.

    Colossians 1:18 – And himself is the head of the body — the assembly — who is a beginning, a first-born out of the dead, that he might become in all [things] — himself — first, (YLT)

    The context of Colossians 1:15-17 is talking about created order while the context of Colossians 1:18-20 is talking about Christ as the firstborn of the dead and other firstborn titles he will eventually hold.
    Therefore, taken in immediate context, firstborn of creation must mean the similar to firstborn of the dead and what Paul’s indication as to what it means for Jesus to be firstborn of the dead. Likewise, firstborn of the dead is dealing with the incarnation. Let’s now examine position (a) and see if this is what Paul is conveying.
    Some may argue that Jesus being the image of the invisible God demonstrates that it is referring to the incarnation, however, it seems more likely that it is referring to creation.

    Let’s analyze.

    Colossians 1:15-17 – who is the image of the invisible God, first-born of all creation, because in him were the all things created, those in the heavens, and those upon the earth, those visible, and those invisible, whether thrones, whether lordships, whether principalities, whether authorities; all things through him, and for him, have been created, and himself is before all, and the all things in him have consisted. (YLT)

    Colossians 1:15-17 – ὅς ἐστιν εἰκὼν τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ ἀοράτου, πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως, ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ ἐκτίσθη τὰ πάντα ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς τὰ ὁρατὰ καὶ τὰ ἀόρατα, εἴτε θρόνοι εἴτε κυριότητες εἴτε ἄρχαι εἴτε ἐξουσίαι• τὰ πάντα δι’ αὐτοῦ καὶ εἰς αὐτὸν ἔκτισται• καὶ αὐτός ἐστιν πρὸ πάντων καὶ τὰ πάντα ἐν αὐτῷ συνέστηκεν,

    Breaking it down we have εἰκὼν, ὅτι, and πρὸ to deal with.
    εἰκὼν is in reference to a prototype of which it not merely resembles but from which it is drawn (Helps Word-studies). It is practically a stamp or a model. We see it used in 1 Corinthians 11:7.

    1 Corinthians 11:7 – For a man indeed ought not to have his head veiled, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. (ASV)

    1 Corinthians 11:7 – Ἀνὴρ μὲν γὰρ οὐκ ὀφείλει κατακαλύπτεσθαι τὴν κεφαλὴν εἰκὼν καὶ δόξα θεοῦ ὑπάρχων• ἡ γυνὴ δὲ δόξα ἀνδρός ἐστιν.
    The Septuagint of Genesis 1:27 reads as follows:

    Genesis 1:27 – καὶ ἐποίησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν ἄνθρωπον κατ᾽ εἰκόνα θεοῦ ἐποίησεν αὐτόν ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ ἐποίησεν αὐτούς

    Genesis 1:26-27 – Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness ; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (NASB)

    And thus, we see that Christ as the image of God demonstrates that this passage is referring to creation, not incarnation.
    Colossians 1:16 – because in him were the all things created, those in the heavens, and those upon the earth, those visible, and those invisible, whether thrones, whether lordships, whether principalities, whether authorities; all things through him, and for him, have been created, (YLT)

    Here we see ὅτι which indicates causation. Why is Jesus the firstborn of all creation? It is because all things were made ἐν or “by instrumentality” of Christ. Some will contend that “all things” is referencing “absolutely everything”. If this was the case, why does Paul go and make a list? When we see “all things” and then a list of things following, there can be no doubt that “all things” is referencing the list. In this case, “all things” is thrones, lordships, principalities, and authorities.

    “That panta in use of powers and dominions being spoken of are limited can be seen from the following application: The first man Adam was given dominion over — “all things” — and seeing that God “subjected all things to him, he left nothing that is not subject to him.” And yet, in actuality, not all things in the whole universe was subjected to man, but relative scriptures show what is included in the all that was subjected to man: the earth, the land and its animals. Spirit beings also, being a step higher than man, also have power, as given to them by God. (Genesis 1:26,28; Psalm 8:5-7; Hebrews 2:5-8.)”
    http://defending.reslight.net/?p=45

    Colossians 1:17 – and himself is before all, and the all things in him have consisted. (YLT)

    Unfortunately, for those that would refer this to rank, πρὸ does not refer to rank but time. And thus, Christ came before all things (thrones, lordships, principalities, and authorities) in time.

    As we can see, it is because of this that Jesus is the firstborn of all creation.

    What does Paul mean when he says “firstborn of all creation”? It definitely means he thinks that Christ is the first created being.

    Colossians 1:15 – He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; (RSV)

    Colossians 1:15 – ὅς ἐστιν εἰκὼν τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ ἀοράτου, πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως,

    Something overlooked is Paul’s comparison to Jesus’s status over the dead!

    Colossians 1:18 – He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent. (RSV)

    Colossians 1:18 – καὶ αὐτός ἐστιν ἡ κεφαλὴ τοῦ σώματος τῆς ἐκκλησίας• ὅς ἐστιν [ἡ] ἀρχή, πρωτότοκος ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν, ἵνα γένηται ἐν πᾶσιν αὐτὸς πρωτεύων,

    And again, Christ’s status as firstborn from the dead makes him apart of those that have died.

    So what does Paul mean when he says Jesus is the firstborn from the dead?

    1 Corinthians 15:20-23 – But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. (RSV)

    Paul is denoting order of all to be raised from the dead to a new life. Christ is the first to be raised from the dead. The first in order or firstborn (πρωτότοκος).

    Thus, Paul’s usage with the word πρωτότοκος is to indicate an order. This rule has now been established, so likewise has the genitive been deducted and the various different interpretations analyzed and it all comes down to this.

    The rule is that when Paul uses πρωτότοκος, he is implying an order. Something that is first to be in that category. And thus, Paul’s usage of πρωτότοκος in Colossians 1:15 demonstrates Christ to be the firstborn of all creation and hence, the first being created.

    Two more verses indicating that firstborn can definitely mean “first in time”.

    Matthew 1:25 – and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus. (NKJV)

    Luke 2:7 – And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (NKJV)

    Written to refute proto-Gnosticism?

    Some argue that Paul writes this to refute a proto-Gnostic heresy and that, by necessity, he was demonstrating that Jesus was in fact fully God and fully man since the Gnostics denied the possibility of something that was God could ever be truly a man. However, this form of proto-Gnosticism was more a form of Gnosticism which taught that you needed elements of “secret knowledge” that which you could not acquire from a lay level of understanding. Paul refutes this by demonstrating that Christ is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15), was the mystery of God revealed (Colossians 1:27), that in Christ you can find wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3), and that when we look at Christ, we see the fullness (πλήρωμα) of God (Colossians 2:9).

    Blessings!

  107. on 01 Aug 2012 at 12:25 amDT

    @Doubting Thomas

    Sorry for the confusion. I meant the blog article dealing with whether Jesus was the Father or not.

    Blessings!

  108. on 01 Aug 2012 at 9:37 amSarah

    DT,

    I think (know) you did not read my analysis.

    I did read what you wrote, actually. Perhaps I just misunderstood you. It might be helpful if you limited your posts to a shorter length.

  109. on 01 Aug 2012 at 10:06 amSarah

    DT,

    And thus, Paul’s usage of πρωτότοκος in Colossians 1:15 demonstrates Christ to be the firstborn of all creation and hence, the first being created.

    You’re certainly entitled to hold this view. But I think the evidence you cited actually supports that he is the first one *in time* who was born of the dead. That is, Christ’s resurrection marked the beginning of God’s new creation.

    If you believe firstborn in Col 1:15 means the first spirit being created, then do you believe Jesus was originally an angel? If not, then what sort of being was he?

  110. on 01 Aug 2012 at 12:06 pmDT

    Hello Sarah,

    Yes, I should keep my responses more brief.

    In regards to Jesus being the firstborn of the dead and him being the firstborn of creation in that sense, I would have to disagree that the context demonstrates this.

    Colossians 1:15-18 – He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him. And 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, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. (ESV)

    Now note: Paul is giving the reason as to why Jesus is firstborn of all creation. There are two reasons
    a) in him all things are created
    b) he is before all things

    These things are definitely “thrones, dominions, rulers, and authorities” otherwise Paul makes a pointless statement mentioning a list. No matter how you interpret one of the statements, you have to interpret the other to indicate pre-existence.

    Then Paul states that he is also the firstborn of the dead. So “firstborn of the dead” and “firstborn of all creation” are two different things.

    As for Jesus being an angel:
    http://www.remnantofgod.org/michael.htm

  111. on 01 Aug 2012 at 1:42 pmSarah

    DT,

    Thanks for explaining. Ok, here are a few reasons I disagree with your interpretation of firstborn.

    1) “He is the image of the invisible God” – in other words, Jesus is the visible representation of God. And yet:

    “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” (Hbr 11:3 ESV)

    In Col 1:15-18, the description “image of the invisible God” directly precedes “firstborn of all creation”, indicating the two are related. This makes no sense if he was firstborn as an invisible spirit. But it makes perfect sense if it means firstborn as a resurrected man. And indeed it correlates perfectly with Paul’s other statements about Christ as the firstborn from the dead.

    2) The term “firstborn” is directly related to Jesus’ status as God’s favored son (Jn 3:16, et al). But God indicated in 2 Sam 7:14 that he was not yet the father of Jesus at the time he delivered this prophecy to David about the messiah:

    “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son…” (2Sa 7:14)

    3) If Jesus is “firstborn” as a spirit, then Jesus would be a thrice-begotten son: born as a spirit, born as a human, and born from the dead. Yet, Jesus set the pattern for all believers: we are all born from our mother’s womb, and will be born again one day from the dead. Thus Jesus was actually “twice born”, just as all believers will be. This is supported both by 2 Sa 7:14 and Ps 2, which speak of his two begettings. It is further supported by Paul’s statement that Jesus is the Last Adam – indicating that Jesus was directly fathered by Jesus in the same way Adam was.

    I’ll reserve comments about the view that Jesus is the Archangel Michael for a future post.

  112. on 01 Aug 2012 at 2:15 pmSarah

    Sorry, typo in previous post. Should read:

    Jesus is the Last Adam – indicating that Jesus was directly fathered by *God* in the same way Adam was.

  113. on 01 Aug 2012 at 3:55 pmtimothy

    Sarah,

    Your post above, # 112 is: *The Rightly Divided Word of GOD*

    2 Timothy 2: (kjv)
    15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, *rightly dividing the word of truth*.

    Jesus Christ is the *first fruits* from the dead, we shall follow at his coming in glory.

    Timothy 🙂

  114. on 01 Aug 2012 at 6:40 pmDT

    Hello Sarah,

    Yes, Jesus IS a thrice-begotten Son. He is at LEAST a twice-begotten Son. We need to remember that Jesus was declared God’s Son not just at his resurrection but at his baptism as well. He was God’s Son way before his resurrection.

    In regards to the “firstborn”. Again, I am going to have to disagree with your interpretation. Yes, “image of the invisible God” does correlate to “firstborn of all creation” and yes, what is seen is not made out of things that are visible. This seems to correlate perfectly with my suggestion.

    1 Corinthians 8:6 – yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live. (NKJV)

    Note: does it say “one Lord Jesus Christ, OF whom are all things” or does it say “one Lord Jesus Christ, THROUGH whom are all things”.

    Now also note: 2 Samuel 7:14 was not applied to Jesus.

    Back to Jesus being “firstborn of all creation” as a resurrected man. I see no evidence of this from the scriptures whatsoever.

    Colossians 1:15 – who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; (ASV)

    Colossians 1:18 – And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. (ASV)

    If I were to say “My friend Mike” I am denoting one person. If I say “a watermelon taco” I am denoting one food. If I were to say “my friend and Mike” I am denoting two people. If I say “a watermelon and a taco” I am denoting two foods. Point is, when I use “and”, I am denoting two things. Thus, if Paul meant when he said that Jesus is “firstborn of all creation” as a resurrected man then his saying “AND he is the head of the body … the fristborn from the dead” is absolutely meaningless. He goes on to say that Jesus is firstborn in everything.

    And that is why Paul cannot be meaning the same thing in Colossians 1:15 that he is in Colossians 1:18.

    Sayonora!

  115. on 01 Aug 2012 at 9:51 pmLorraine

    Anyone who allows themselves to ‘believe’ wait, this word I hate when it comes to the Word of YHWH, for when you believe, it could be true, or not true. I prefer to ‘know’ a thing, for when you know something it is an objective, as well as subjective, not just something in the mind, it is also proven as a reality.

    p.s. greg..an atheist, learn that Solomon, David, Cyrus the great, among others were all in this so called story book, who all happen to also be in our world history, what say you now?

    But, when one reads in revelations, they should know that this book is an off-shoot of the Book of Daniel, but just with more holly wood fabrications, for YHWH never says He is the Alpha, or the Omega in the so called OT, truly named for us the book of remembrance, in Malachi 3:16.

    And never does He say Amen, which is known to be an Egyptian term used for their praise for sun-gods (idolatry), as in Amen Rah, Amen Sirapus, look it up. Selah, is preferred, for it means to raise upon high.

    Also, in the book of mathew just on this first page alone there are discrepancies of the true Word of YHWH. In the begets, it shows Isaac as the father to Jacob, then right at the bottom it says that Mattan beget Jacob, now which is it?

    Then as we go on, in Matt. 1:21,first the name of the child born of a virgin, is supposed to be called jesus, then it shows in Matt. 1:23 his name is Emmanuel when in Isaiah 7 this same child that is born from the wonders of YHWH to Isaiah 8 of his children to be a sign from YHWH the child is named Immanuel, which means, With Us Is The Strong One.

    For ‘God, Lord’ is not the name of the Creator YHWH, there are men called gods, and you never belittle, or profane the name of the Almighty Creator of life YHWH. This is why He says He will sanctify His name in His return in Ezekiel 36:22,23. The words God,Lord, were substitutes used to replace His divine name that was removed over 6800 times.

    One other thing Isaiah wife was not a virgin, but this term is used for her when she births her second son Immanuel, a sign for the governor Ahaz. And, also in the most known original Hebrew writings virgin was not used it was ‘almah’ meaning a young maiden, or a married woman. Virgin in Hebrew is bethulah. Things written must be discerned in this book as we are taught in Micah 7 from YHWH.

    Next, in Matt. 2:1,2, it says that jesus was born in Judea Bethlehem, but YHWH says in Micah 5 that the child that will be born will be in Ephratah Bethlehem, and then in 2:2 it says that jesus is the king of the jews, well YHWH is said in Exodus 3:18, and in Exodus 5:3, to be the Holy One of the Hebrews, not jews.

    Have any of you ever heard that the jews were brought out of Egypt from the Pharaoh? No, it was the Hebrews who were Israelite the chosen people, the Son, and the Firstborn of YHWH in Exodus 4:22,23, and there cannot be two firstborn sons people.

    The NT, I call the Not True book, is supposed to fulfill the OT Obvious Truth book, but it does not it changes things, and YHWH teaches us that He changes not, in Malachi 3:6. YHWHs enemies had much to do with this mess, taught to us in Psalm 83, and in Exodus 17:14-16.

    This is of the Amalek Edomites, or Edom, in Genesis 25,27, the Judaens, the Maccabees, are all jews, and are not the chosen of YHWH, which as YHWH teaches in Isaiah 34:8 will be handled. If one does not fit the profile in Deuteronomy 28, then you are not a Hebrew Israelite, the chosen who were not talked about anymore after 161bce, for they were in captivity until this day, all in the prison houses prophesied in Isaiah 42:1-9.

    In Ezekiel 34, YHWH teaches that the flocks have been mislead, and in Jeremiah 23:1-5, and Malachi 2 of the priest, misleading the flocks, rewriting this book since 200bce of the first century by the Hellenistic roman jews, look it up.

  116. on 01 Aug 2012 at 9:57 pmLorraine

    And, remember, this is no religion, but the Word of YHWH, Genesis – Malachi, and His ‘righteousness’ the law of life, the 10 commandments.

  117. on 01 Aug 2012 at 10:19 pmtimothy

    Lorraine(WN),

    Welcome back!

    Where have you been ?

    I waited for you to reply…..but since have lost track of that thread.

    You write:

    “Also, in the book of mathew just on this first page alone there are discrepancies of the true Word of YHWH. In the begets, it shows Isaac as the father to Jacob, then right at the bottom it says that [Mattan beget Jacob], now which is it?”

    My kjv bible does not show “Mattan begot Jacob”. Would you please copy/paste what you are reading.

    Thanks and YAHWEH bless.

    Timothy

  118. on 01 Aug 2012 at 10:37 pmLorraine

    Timothy, yes it is different in each version of the KJV, books, on the first page of Mathew, is what is the discrepancy, and the best one to have is the KJV1611. The one I use is KJV, Words of Christ in Red.

    I have seen KJV, bibles where in the begets Zadok the high priest who was with David, was born after Zerrubable, who did not get on the scene until the 6th century. Zadok, and David were earlier than Ezra, Zerrubable, and Jeremiah, and Daniel of the command from YHWH to restore the temple of Jerusalem of the 70 weeks, not before. I just call the NT the Not True Book, for it changes the Word of YHWH, and YHWH teaches He never changes in Malachi 3:6.

  119. on 01 Aug 2012 at 10:43 pmLorraine

    I say whatever starts out crooked, a lie, is that way all the way through.

  120. on 01 Aug 2012 at 11:10 pmtimothy

    Lorraine,

    This should solve your misunderstanding.

    The Genealogy from Adam to Jesus Christ:

    ADAM (1)
    “The Son of God” and The First Adam

    SETH (2)

    ENOS (3)

    CAINAN (4)

    MAHALEEL (5)

    JARED (6)

    ENOCH (7)

    METHUSALEH (8)

    LAMECH (9)

    NOAH (10)

    SHEM (11)

    ARPHAXAD (12)

    CAINAN (13)

    SALA (14)

    EBER (15)

    PELEG (16)

    RAGAU (17)

    SARUCH (18)

    NAHOR (19)

    TERAH (20)

    (1) ABRAHAM (21)

    (2) ISAAC (22)

    (3) JACOB (23)

    (4) JUDA (24)
    m. Tamar
    —> Zera
    (Matthew 1:3)

    (5) PHAREZ (25)

    (6) ESROM (26)

    (7) ARAM (27)

    (8) AMMINADAB (28)

    (9) NAASON (29)

    (10) SALMON (30)
    m. Rachab=====harlot from Jericho= descendant from Lot Gen 19:38
    (Sala: Luke 3:32)

    (11) BOAZ (31)
    m. Ruth====== descendant from Lots son Mohab Gen 19:37

    (12) OBED (32)

    (13) JESSE (33)

    (14) DAVID (34)
    m. Bathsheba (Luke 3:31)

    (1) SOLOMON
    Matthew 1:6
    NATHAN (35)
    (2 Sam.5.14)

    (2) REHOBOAM
    (3) ABIA
    MATTATHA (36)

    (4) ASA

    MENAN (37)

    (5) JOSOPHAT

    OMRI
    MELEA (38)
    |
    ELIAKIM (39)

    AHAB m. Jezebel |
    JONAN (40)

    (6) JORAM

    m. Athaliah
    JOSEPH (41)

    (Ahaziah)
    (Joash) (Amaziah)

    JUDAH (42)

    SIMEON (43)

    LEVI (44)

    (7) OZIAS

    MATTHAT (45)

    (8) JOATHAM

    JORIM (46)

    (9) ACHAZ

    ELIEZER (47)

    (10) EZEKIAS

    JOSE (48)

    (11) MANASSES
    ER (49)

    (12) AMON

    ELMODAM (50)

    (13) JOSIAS

    COSAM (51)

    (14) JEHOIKIM
    (who had brothers, Matthew 1:11)
    ADDI (52)

    MELCHI (53)

    (1) JECHONIAS (55) m. —>
    (2) SALATHIEL (56) Widowed daughter
    husband deceased
    NERI (54)
    m RHESA (58)

    (4) ABIUD
    JOANNA (59)

    (5) ELIAKIM
    JUDA (60)

    JOSEPH (61)

    (6) AZOR
    SEMEI (62)

    MATTATHIAS (63)
    (7) SADOC
    MAATH (64)

    (8) ACHIM
    NAGGE (65)

    ESLI (66)

    NAHUM (67)

    (9) ELIUD

    AMOS (68)
    MATTATHIAS (69)
    (10) ELEAZER
    JOSEPH (70)

    JANNA (71)

    (11) MATTHAN
    MELCHI (72)

    LEVI (73)

    MATTHAT (74)

    (12) JACOB

    HELI (75)

    (13) JOSEPH m. MARY (76)

    (14) JESUS (77)
    The Son of God and the Last Adam

    The Line of Jesus through Joseph

    YAHWEH bless

    Timothy

  121. on 02 Aug 2012 at 8:13 amMike Gantt

    DT and Sarah,

    Am I correct in understanding that both of you believe that Jesus Christ is a created being and not God – the only difference being that DT believes Jesus preexisted his earthly birth and Sarah does not?

  122. on 02 Aug 2012 at 8:56 amDT

    Mike Gant,

    And is it to my understanding that you are a Binitarian?

    Blessings!

  123. on 02 Aug 2012 at 9:03 amDT

    Lorraine,

    In the book of Isaiah YHWH says he is First and Last.

    Isaiah 44:6 – Thus saith Jehovah, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, Jehovah of hosts: I am the first, and I am the last; and besides me there is no God. (ASV)

    Isaiah 48:12 – Hearken unto me, O Jacob, and Israel my called: I am he; I am the first, I also am the last. (ASV)

    Revelation 22:13 – I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. (ASV)

    Blessings!

  124. on 02 Aug 2012 at 9:38 amMike Gantt

    DT,

    I do not see where you answered my question. It was not rhetorical; I was seeking to make sure I was understanding the two of you correctly.

    No, I am not a binitarian.

  125. on 02 Aug 2012 at 10:54 amDT

    Mike Gant,

    Sorry, I’ve been to your blog before actually. I take my Binitarian accusation back.

    In regards to the deity of Christ, I believe in the deity of Christ too. He is a god. A deity.
    http://e-watchman.com/jehovahs-witnesses/jehovahs-witnesses-deny-the-deity-of-christ.html
    http://notrinity.blogspot.com/2008/10/arius.html

  126. on 02 Aug 2012 at 11:13 amDT

    Mike Gant,

    In regards to your question – I am what is called a Unitarian Subordinationist. I believe that God created Christ and that Jesus is God’s first creation (Proverbs 8:22-31, Colossians 1:15-17, Revelation 3:14).

    Blessings

  127. on 02 Aug 2012 at 11:40 amMike Gantt

    DT,

    Thanks.

    When you read Luke 6:46-49, do you react to it differently as a Unitarian Subordinationalist than you would if you were a Trinitarian, or a Modalist, or a Sarah-style Unitarian, or something else altogether?

    The lordship of Christ is so demanding and those demands so pervasive in life, I would think there would be more commonality of behavior between the groups I referenced above. In fact, the only place I can imagine their behavior possibly differing from each other is in the prayer closet.* Am I missing something?

    (*I’m speaking of the ideal behavior to which each group aspires, not the actual behavior each actually achieves.)

  128. on 02 Aug 2012 at 11:59 amtimothy

    I give up…What is a Sarah-style Unitarian ?

    and

    What is an:

    ‘ISOS celes’ triangle ?

    equilateral triangle

    scalene triangle

  129. on 02 Aug 2012 at 12:40 pmMike Gantt

    “Sarah-style Unitarian” was just a placeholder until I hear from her about her view (She and DT seemed to be disagreeing about Jesus’ preexistence and I was seeking to understand their respective points of view. For the time being you could substitute “non-Subordinationalist Unitarian.” Sorry I can’t be more precise, as I am not familiar enough with the lingo.

  130. on 02 Aug 2012 at 12:48 pmDT

    Mike Gant,

    Luke 6:46-49 reads:

    Luke 6:46-49 – “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say? Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.” (NKJV)

    Response – it is responding to Christ as Lord. It is in regard to obedience of Christ. There is nothing Christological about this passage.

    Blessings!

    Timothy,

    A “Sarah-style” Unitarian is also classified as a Radical Unitarian. Some Unitarians (Unitarian Subordinationists) believe in the literal pre-existence of the King-Messiah but do not believe he was always the Messiah, rather, annointed at some point in time. Some Unitarian Subordinationists believe in the eternality of the Son and believe he has existed from eternity past but do not believe he is equal in nature or authority to the Most High God Yahweh. Radical Unitarians deny the literal pre-existence of Christ.

    Blessings!

  131. on 02 Aug 2012 at 1:41 pmMike Gantt

    DT,

    Perhaps I didn’t phrase my question properly. It is “responding to Christ as Lord” and “obedience to Christ” in which I am interested. That is, do Unitarian Subordinationalists, Radical Unitarians, Trinitarians, Modalists, and others who profess Jesus as Lord – do any of these groups aspire to obey Christ any differently?

    Paraphrased, if Christ has given h/His followers x commandments, do any of these groups seek to obey less than x of those commandments?

    Put in yet another way, as long as someone accepts Christ as Lord, does Christology affect that obedience in any meaningful way (other than the forms of address used in prayer)?

  132. on 02 Aug 2012 at 2:07 pmtimothy

    Lorraine(aka what know)

    Seems that you are always adding to YAHWEHs word and now you want to throw out the New Testament/the new Will of GOD(DA BOSS).

    Not only do you become ignorant of, what Now/Today, GODs will is and the new commandment Jesus Christ has given us to obey…..but…well

    read, see, hear, perceive and HEED what YAHWEH has also commanded and wants you to still obey, his OT words:

    Deuteronomy 4: (kjv)
    2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD(YAHWEH) your God which I command you.

    There is so/too much confusion here, already, with all the false doctrines causing strife and divisions. Being like a small childs is how the hearers ears should be. One should receive GODs word with the meekness of a child, retain it with conviction and release it with boldness(fearless candor).

    Timothy

  133. on 02 Aug 2012 at 4:30 pmDT

    Mike Gantt,

    I personally have no idea. I would state that some Christological systems seek to distort and twist the truth and as a result, those holding it actually disobey Christ’s commands of worship. I think those holding to the theological thinking of Oneness/Modalism are disobeying Christ by not choosing to listen to him whenever it is proven that the Father and the Son are not the same sentient being. I think Trinitarians seek to disobey him to a certain extent as well by not accepting that he led us in worship of, not himself, but his God. I think Binitarians are also guilty of disobedience as well.

    HOWEVER, they would think the same of me as I would of them so who is to judge?

    DT

  134. on 02 Aug 2012 at 4:42 pmMike Gantt

    DT,

    No one is to judge, but my concern with your frame of mind is that you are focused more on lip service than on actual service to God (cf. Rom 12:1-2 and following). That is, for you – and for many of your debate opponents – it’s about having the “right” conception of God, and affiliating with those who do, rather than about obeying His commands from a pure and loving heart.

    Were you and your antagonists to focus more on trusting and obeying Jesus Christ – a matter which the Scriptures frame as absolutely central to pleasing God – you would find controversies about h/His ontology receding to the background while true understanding about that subject actually grew.

    “A good understanding have all those who DO His commandments.” Ps 111:10 NASB (emphasis added)

  135. on 02 Aug 2012 at 7:19 pmDT

    Mike Gantt,

    Acts 15:2 – And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue. (NASB)

    Note that Paul and Barnabas are debating on an issue.

    The authors of the Bible made it pretty certain that we are allowed to discuss issues of significance. I do not do this to demonstrate I am right or they are wrong. I do it to find truth and see where people are coming from. If you do not like it then trash your Bible in a dumpster.

    DT

  136. on 03 Aug 2012 at 1:46 amLorraine

    DT, Timothy, Yes I agree with the scriptures in Isaiah 44, and 48, but the almega, and omega was no where in the so called OT, but I understand that these are the words the NT used, and that they are suppose to mean the same as the first, and the last, ok. But, me changing words, no this is a lie, for you must mean that the NT not true book is doing this it has changed many words, ordinances, and laws of YHWH. For in Romans alone it states that the law is wrath, this is a lie for the law is the covenant, and it has not changed, for YHWH changes not in Malachi 3:6. Then, it tells us that circumcision is no longer needed, who said this? For it certainly was not YHWH. Then in timothy it says that all is good to eat, and YHWH specifically says do not eat unclean, in Deuteronomy 14, and Leviticus 11.

    Another change in the NT is saying that no man has been in bondage, but in Amos 5:5, Obadiah 10,11, men, women, of Jacob the Hebrews were all in bondage. Maybe not the jews. There are more discrepancies in the NT not true book. Such as no man has ever seen YHWH, well, Isaiah 6:1-6, Isaiah did, and in Exodus 33:18-23 Moses saw the backside of YHWH. So the NT changes things from the so called OT, the ‘book of remembrance’ named by YHWH in Malachi 3:16.

    In Mathew 2:1,2, it says that jesus was born in Judea Bethlehem, but YHWH teaches us in Micah 5:1,2, that the one of the seed of David will come from Judah, and he was born in Ephratah Bethelehem, and in verse 2, it states that Jesus is the king of the jews, but our Almighty Creator is the Strong One of the Hebrews, as taught in Exodus 3:18, and Exodus 5:3. Another thing YHWH says that the only ‘Son, and Firstborn that He has is “Israel” the chosen people Jacob, the 12 tribes, and they are to be the light unto the nations, the gentiles, as said in Jeremiah 16:14-21. This is for all nations, all people, as prophesied in Isaiah 56.

    And, in this genealogy that you provided there was no Juda, it is ‘Judah’ and written right in Mathew it states that jesus is born of a holy ghost, and was not conceived by a man, there was no conception, not of Joseph’s seed at all. This is not the way of YHWH, in every scripture He tells us that the ‘SEED’ of David will be upon the throne as in Jeremiah 23:1-8, and in Jeremiah 33:14-21, reads that it will be the seeds of the Arm of YHWH, not any holy ghost. YHWH teaches us that, that which is in the heavens is for the heavens, and that is of this earth, is of the earth, in Deuteronomy 4, He said not to make any image of a man, or a woman, but we did, images of jesus, mary pictures, statues, crosses, of wood, and stone, these are idols not of YHWH, and were done anyway not obeying the Word of YHWH. Also, why would YHWH say that in Ezekiel 14:14-21, Jeremiah 31:30, and Ezekiel 18 that no man can die for another man’s sins, or soul. Then turn right around in the NT not true book, and say that someone has died for our sins? YHWH does not change people, none of His Word. The NT should fulfill the OT, but it dose not, simple as that.

    In Isaiah 44:22, Isaiah 43:25, YHWH has forgotten our sins, and only ask that we return to Him and His law of the 10 commandments, the sabbath, and the passover in Exodus 12. But we left YHWH, prophesied in Isaiah 24:5, and gave His praise to another, this is causing His anger. As said in Ezekiel 36:22,23, we have even profaned His name, for it is not God, Lord, it is YHWH. In Isaiah 40: 18-25, YHWH says liken no one to Him. Therefore, YHWH expresses His anger to the priest in Malachi 2, Ezekiel 20 of the elders, and in Jeremiah 23:1-5 of the pastors, and in Ezekiel 34, He will save His flocks from these lies, and in Isaiah 34:8, He will handle the controversy of Zion.

    Remember, this, that all of this is all being allowed by YHWH to magnify Himself in the end, and all will know who is who soon, for His righteousness is near in Isaiah 51:5.

  137. on 03 Aug 2012 at 4:30 amMike Gantt

    DT,

    Acts 15 tells the story of how dissension arose…and how it was resolved. Unresolved dissension leads to factions, which are not the will of God (Gal 5:20). Organized Christianity is nothing if not factionalized – whether by denominations or by Unitarian, Trinitarian, and other philosophical divisions.

    I commend your zeal for truth, and I appreciate your interactions with me. You are a clear thinker and you present your arguments well (when you don’t protract them). However, the New Testament documents are clear in their emphasis on the Son of God, and our need to trust and obey h/Him. This is the Father’s will. When your comments major on factional themes rather than on “the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” (2 Cor 11:3) you are behaving more like those who caused the dissension in Acts 15 than like those who resolved it.

    Help people to know and obey Christ. This is what matters most to all of us. Consider also that everything we need to know about the Father is to be learned in the Son (Matt 11:27; John 14:6-9; 1 John 2:23; 2 John 1:9).

    Consider more fully the Son of God. Please.

  138. on 03 Aug 2012 at 5:14 amtimothy

    Lorraine(aka what now)

    Wow you sure have a lot of energy. Do you drink Chi Tea?

    You write:

    “in Deuteronomy 4, He said not to make any image of a man, or a woman, but we did, images of jesus, mary pictures, statues, crosses, of wood, and stone, these are idols not of YHWH, and were done anyway not obeying the Word of YHWH”

    Yes, some believe Jesus Christ is GOD…HOWEVER

    I believe JCING(Jesus Christ is not GOD)!

    Sorry to say, you need to be refreshed(just like pressing the “F-5” key.

    Yehuda=Judah=Juda=Jew……see?….now look at this:

    Lourene=Lottringe=Lothringe=Lorrian=Lorraine

    what now=now what=was jetzt=jetzt was=und jetzt

    2 Timothy 2: (kjv)
    15 Study to show thyself approved unto God(YHWH), a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, [rightly dividing] the word of truth.

    [rightly dividing]=orthotomeo(Greek)=straight cut=and is used only once/here in NT critical Greek text

    However, in the Greek Septuagint, it is used only once:

    Proverbs 3:
    5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

    6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall [direct thy paths].

    [direct thy paths]=orthotomeo=make your way straight

    Seputuagint:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Septuagint

    Again you write:

    “Then, it tells us that circumcision is no longer needed, who said this? For it certainly was not YHWH. Then in [timothy it says that all is good to eat], and YHWH specifically says do not eat unclean, in Deuteronomy 14, and Leviticus 11.”

    Did you know, that female circumcision is still practiced in Afrika?

    “Female Circumcision: Rite of Passage Or Violation of Rights?
    guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/2313097.htmlby FA Althaus – 1997 – Cited by 68 – Related articles
    Female circumcision, the partial or total cutting away of the external female genitalia, has been practiced for centuries in parts of Africa, generally as one element …”

    [timothy it says that all is good to eat]=there is a problem with your understanding *the Mystery* and much more.”Wrong teaching” can be corrected with “right teaching”.

    I, Timothy, say that *baby back ribs* are good to eat.

    8)

  139. on 03 Aug 2012 at 12:33 pmDT

    Lorraine,

    Paul quoted a LOT from the septuagint. In regards to the law changing, grace was always how people were saved (Leviticus 26).

    Timothy,

    Excellent presentation.

    DT

  140. on 03 Aug 2012 at 12:57 pmSarah

    Mike,

    Am I correct in understanding that both of you believe that Jesus Christ is a created being and not God – the only difference being that DT believes Jesus preexisted his earthly birth and Sarah does not?

    For my part, I believe that Jesus is 100% human, and therefore created by God his Father. The point of comparison Paul provides is Adam. This, I believe, reveals that Jesus was Fathered by God in the same way Adam was – with no pre-existence and with an unfallen nature. The difference between Adam and Jesus is that one was disobedient and the other was obedient (Rom 5).

    Regarding pre-existence, my current position is that Jesus came into existence in the womb of Mary. I am open to change my view, but at present I believe all lines of scriptural evidence support this much more strongly than the idea of pre-existence.

  141. on 03 Aug 2012 at 2:26 pmMike Gantt

    Sarah,

    Thank you.

  142. on 03 Aug 2012 at 6:42 pmLorraine

    Timothy, thank you for the compliment, but I’d like to say that the word jew is an aberration, made up from Juda, this is from the Maccabbees, trying to establish the vision in Daniel 14:14, but they will fail. Also, YHWH assures us that He will address the controversy in Israel, or shall we say Zion, in Isaiah 34:8. This is teaching us that those who call themselves jews are robbing the chosen people, the son, and firstborn “Israel” the Hebrew Israelite, not talked about anymore after 161bce, from being in captivity until this day, all are in the prison houses, and as taught to us also, in Ezekiel 36:1-5, of Idumea, Judea, Edom, are all of the jews. And in the book of Obadiah, where in verse 10 YHWH tells the enemy that he betrayed his brother. This rewriting began in 200bce, of the hellenistic roman jews, changing this book of remembrance in Malachi 3:16. Of course, not all jews are complicit to this robbery.

    The ones who began the 1897 Theodore Herzel Movement, the zionist jews, Rothschild, Shifts, etc., and so on, and who are now the international bankers, who used to be the federal reserve bankers, statrted in 1913. Some may know them as the illuminati, the masons, and this only means that they have the complete knowledge of this book now, since they had figured out the book of Daniel.

    The Holocaust was instigated, World War I, and II, and Hiroshima, and Pearl Harbor were all instigated by these demagogues, especially when one of their own confessed to all of their doings over the history of time, a Mr. Benjamin H. Freedman. One of their earliest attempts to establish dominion was in the book of Esther, but it too failed. The enemies of YHWH as taught to us in Exodus 17:14-16, and in Psalm 83. For generations, to generations, their sword will be upon us as prophsied in Genesis 27 of Esau.

    Oh, and this is where Leviticus 26 comes in. For all of this is our own fault, we left YHWH, and we have to accept our punishment from not obeying the voice of YHWH until this day we praise strange gods not of YHWH, all religions all idols not of YHWH. This was prophesied in Daniel 11:36-45 of the strange gods of christianity, and islam, idolatry, ruling over many, from Augustus Caesar, then by force, from Constantine. Israel is the only son, and firstborn of YHWH taught to us in Exodus 4:22,23. And, as taught no man can die for another man sins in Ezekiel 14:14-21, we are all responsible for our own righteousness in the end. We have to obey YHWH, and do the 10 commandments, the law of righteousness, and return to Him in Malachi 3:7.

  143. on 03 Aug 2012 at 6:52 pmLorraine

    Oh, and to add, please stay out of those apocrypha books, they are all not of YHWH, and are just confusing, and misleading the flocks, as the enemy knew they would, learn from, Ecc. 12:12-14. And, As taught in Isaiah 34, where YHWH will save His flocks.

    And, female circumcision is another mishap of mankind, not obeying the word of YHWH.

  144. on 03 Aug 2012 at 6:56 pmLorraine

    The ‘J’ wasnt into existence until the 15, or 1600s. Look it up.

  145. on 03 Aug 2012 at 7:23 pmDT

    Mie Gantt,

    I do believe in promoting the Son of God and not dividing his body (the church). And I am NOT like those who are in Acts 15. I simply want to express my side to other people who are definitely not challenged theologically and see where they are coming from on the matter.

    Sarah,

    I’m still a little bit wondering on why Paul labels Christ the firstborn of all creation in Colossians 1:15 and then addresses Christ as the firstborn of the dead in Colossians 1:18 if they bore the same meaning. Perhaps you could expound on your side a bit more. Thank you and God bless.

    DT

  146. on 03 Aug 2012 at 9:47 pmSarah

    DT,

    Sure, I’d be happy to. The word “firstborn” (Greek=prototokos) is applied to Jesus 7 times in the NT: Luke 2:7, Rom 8:29, Col 1:15, Col 1:18, Heb 1:6, Heb 11:28, Heb 12:23, and Rev 1:5.

    In Luke 2:7 it refers to Jesus’ birth. In Romans, Hebrews, and Revelation it is always used to describe his resurrection from the dead. Below is the passage in Colossians under discussion:

    Col 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
    Col 1:16 For by [in] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him.
    Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
    Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.

    I believe Paul made a summary statement in 1:15, then elaborated on his meaning in vs. 16-18. In other words, “firstborn from the dead” and “firstborn of creation” are synonymous expressions. A passage from the OT provides support for this:

    Psa 104:29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.
    Psa 104:30 When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.

    Here resurrection is equated with creation. In context, it is speaking of people who died and returned to dust. So of course we know this is talking about creation in the sense of resurrection and not the original creation. This supplies the lens through which to view the Col 1:15 phrase “firstborn of creation”: Jesus is literally the first one to fulfill Psalm 104:29-30.

  147. on 03 Aug 2012 at 10:26 pmLorraine

    Sarah, in this case, the scriptures in Ecc:9, explains to us about death, and in Job 7:9,10, of death. What is taught in the so called OT, truly named the book of remembrance, Malachi 3:16, is that our ‘seeds’ will continue to live ever lasting. If we do the ‘law’ of righteousness, the 10 commandments, and our days are then prolonged, taught in Deuteronomy 30,32, of the generations. Preferably Deuteronomy 32:45-47. Just as the ‘seed’ of David is mentioned all through the OT, representing the one who will be upon the throne of his decendants, David’s ‘seed’ is the way of YHWH with man. If you notice in Isaiah 53:10, the servant from David’s seed will prolong his days. This is not what the NT says about jc, it states that he rose from the dead, and went back into heaven, then will come back to earth to save sins; unless this is a metaphor for life being prolonged in its days, and of the continuation of the generations of the ‘seed’ then this is a contradiction to the OT, and the NT, should fulfill the OT. Otherwise, this is why I call the NT not true. And, again in Ezekiel 14:14-21, no man can die for another man’s sin, not even the best of YHWH servants, so this too is a contradiction from the NT, why would YHWH specifically say this in Ezekiel 14:14-21, and many other scriptures, and then turn His Word of this around? Remember YHWH changes not, in Malachi 3:6. None of His Word changes.

    We learn that in Micah 7, this book has to be discerned of course, for there has been much of the rewriting done. Also, the NT teaches that jc will be the only one forever upon the throne, but this is in contradiction to the OT. In Jeremiah 23:1-8, and in Jeremiah 33:14-22, it teaches that there will be a number that cannot be measure, nor counted, upon the throne of David, and of the high priest the Levites, of their ‘seeds’. There is not just one, there will be many forever more, and ‘he’ shall be called YHWH(The Lord) Our Righteousness, Jeremiah 23:6. All the praise is to go to YHWH.

  148. on 03 Aug 2012 at 10:38 pmLorraine

    In the end, we are all responsible for our own righteousness, as taught to us in Jeremiah 31:30, and many other scriptures in the so called OT, the book of remembrance. We cannot repent, and continue to do wrong. YHWH is weary of repenting, in Jeremiah 15:6. Job lived for four generations, and he, and his new family did the law of life, and all lived a prolonged, and wholesome, and prosporus life.

  149. on 03 Aug 2012 at 11:39 pmDT

    Sarah,

    I see what you mean. However, I am still not certain why Paul said “and he … is the firstborn from the dead”.

    Colossians 1:18 – He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. (NASB)

    The thing is, while you see Paul as expounding what he meant when he said “firstborn of creation” I see that Paul makes these titles as meaning two totally different things because he then goes on to state that he will have “first place in EVERYTHING”. Why would this just be in regards to being raised from the dead if he only meant to label him as “firstborn of the resurrection”?

    This is what I am not seeing as clearly as you.

    Thanks,
    DT

  150. on 04 Aug 2012 at 11:54 amLorraine

    Sarah, many people understand resurrection as being one raising back from the dead. But, in actuality resurrection is meaning to be awakened from the darkness, that you have come into the light of the truth, and knowledge, and wisdom of YHWH, and who we all are, and what we are supposed to be doing. And this is doing the Word of the law of life, His righteousness, the 10 commandments, the sabbath, and the passover in Exodus 12. As taught in Isaiah 56, this is for all nations, all people to ‘prolong’ their lives, and our children’s lives, prophesied in Daniel 12:1-4, same thing, people are becoming anointed, aware of the truth. And, look it up, messiah, and christ, only means to be anointed. Many were anointed, all of the prophets were anointed in this book, the so called OT. David was anointed in I Samuel, and sanctioned as the seed to be chosen to rule, in II Samuel. This is why all of the scriptures in the OT talks about the ‘seed’ of David, and in Micah 5:1,2, it confirms where this child will be out of, and it’s Judah(Yudah). And his seeds, (future) will serve YHWH, they will work for Him for generations, taught in Jeremiah 23:1-8, Jeremiah 33:14-21, the arm of YHWH, the movement, ‘he shall be called YHWH(The Lord) Our Righteousness. All this is in process, working right now, for there are, many who are, or are being anointed today, and this is no religion, this is righteousness, truth of YHWH the Creator of life, the spirit of life, and all connection of life.

    Maybe if you can understand that no man can die for another man’s sin this might help in this confusion, we are all responsible for our own righteousness, for this is taught all through the books in the OT. YHWH Word changes not, Malachi 3:6. The only new covenant is in Jeremiah 31:31-36, teaching us that this same law, the 10 commandments, etc. will be put in our inward parts, into our hearts, and teaching will no longer be needed, for all will know YHWH, also in Zechariah chapters 12,13, and 14, (future prophecy).

  151. on 04 Aug 2012 at 12:02 pmLorraine

    The enemies as described even as far back as in the book of Esther, and in Psalm 83, Exodus 17:14-16, wrote the NT not true book, beginning with the 1st, and 2nd centuries, and many of the apocrypha books, to misguide people, changing the Word of YHWH. As prophesied in Jeremiah 16:14-21, the gentiles will say, and many other nations will say, we have been lied to. YHWH Bless.

  152. on 04 Aug 2012 at 1:17 pmDT

    Lorraine,

    Said:

    “Maybe if you can understand that no man can die for another man’s sin this might help in this confusion, we are all responsible for our own righteousness, for this is taught all through the books in the OT. YHWH Word changes not, Malachi 3:6. The only new covenant is in Jeremiah 31:31-36, teaching us that this same law, the 10 commandments, etc. will be put in our inward parts, into our hearts, and teaching will no longer be needed, for all will know YHWH, also in Zechariah chapters 12,13, and 14, (future prophecy).”

    There are many views on the atonement. Not everyone holds the same one. True, no man can PAY for another man’s sins however, one man CAN pay for someone to be released from an enemies’ camp.

    This is what is meant when people like me say “Jesus died for your sins”. Not that you aren’t responsible for your sins but rather that your sins have led you closer to the Devil but Jesus has already beat him (Satan) proving that we can too.

    DT

  153. on 04 Aug 2012 at 1:31 pmtimothy

    Lorraine,(akaWN)

    Q 1) Hi….I can’t find the old thread, where you gave a link to your teacher?

    Q 2) Oh…..what do you think about Jesus Christ?

    and you write:

    “The only new covenant is in Jeremiah 31:31-36, teaching us that this same law, the 10 commandments, etc.
    *[will be put in our inward parts, into our hearts]*,
    and teaching will no longer be needed, for all will know YHWH, also in Zechariah chapters 12,13, and 14, (future prophecy).”

    Q 3) How will [this] be done for a person, if they are promoting:
    *same sex marriage*?

    Q 4) And without teaching, how would one:
    *****HUAHB(hear-understand-accept-holdfast-bear fruit)?*****

    YHWH bless!

    Timothy 8)

  154. on 04 Aug 2012 at 3:18 pmLorraine

    Timothy, this was prophesied in Jeremiah 50, and in verses, 35-38, this is a juxtapose of the Babylon then, and to us the daughter of Babylon now, to answer your question, verse 37, of men becoming as women, and in verse 38, of people being mad about their idols. These things have been prophesied for we are in the daughter of Babylon today as taught in Isaiah 47 it tells us, that much of this is going to happen of the priest going astray until this day, for many have been mislead by religions, idolatry, all allowed by YHWH to weed out those who will be with Him wholeheartedly as taught in Isaiah 6:8-12, making it harder for us unless we convert to Him, and His law of righteousness this is is our punishment from going astray from His Word. Until we return to Him these kinds of calamities will be on going, asked of us in Malachi 3:7, and Isaiah 44:22.

    When the last battle is done, prophesied in Ezekiel 38, much of what we know today will be gone, a new will be here, and people will all know YHWH, the temples will be rebuilt for sins, for there will always be sin with people, people will be humbled, and Haggai 2 tells of this third temple, and Jeremiah 31:37-40, of future prophecy. And in Ezekiel chapters 40-48 of the new temple, and the healing waters, also said in Zech. 13. things will be better for people in these times. But, much has to happen first, and just like we are having the droughts in over 29 states, all of this was prophesied in Daniel 2, of the vision for the future, and in many books in the so called OT. YHWHs righteousness is near as said in Isaiah 51:5.

  155. on 04 Aug 2012 at 5:11 pmLorraine

    Timothy, sorry I must correct this last paragraph information, and it is that there will be a 1st., and 2nd., gathering, taught to us in Isaiah 52, Malachi 3, Micah 4:8, and also, the temples will be built again before the last battle will take place in Ezekiel 38. Alright, sorry for that. As, I did say that much has to happen first, and they are unfolding now as we speak. YHWH Bless.

  156. on 04 Aug 2012 at 6:29 pmLorraine

    Oh, and the new covenant is already going on as we speak as well, from reading this guide, it is what we have had now since Moses of the written law, for during the writing of it, and before one had to rely only on the priest to teach them but now we can just pick up this book, and read Genesis – Malachi, to study, and do for ourselves the right thing, to turn back to YHWH.

  157. on 04 Aug 2012 at 7:45 pmLorraine

    Timothy, you can go to Yhwh Our Righteousness, or call 1-773-874-0325 to ask any questions you have.

  158. on 05 Aug 2012 at 12:43 amTim (aka Antioch)

    Lorraine,

    You have such conviction to your interpretation. I cannot share that as I read the many passages you cite and can see them interpreted many ways. How can you be certain that you are reading them correctly and not just reading into them support for your own beliefs?

    For example, Ezekiel 14:14-21, was God speaking to that moment in Israel’s history? You have taken the words to apply to all of time. And is that passage even speaking of eternal salvation or just life on earth?

    I share some of your distrust of the NT because it was canonized by fallible men through a politically charged process. But I also am convicted when reading it and it is the only book that explains the holy spirit, a power that has changed my heart just as it did the early disciples and converts. It is only that power of God that I can believe was able to transform a defeated band of lost sheep into a movement that shaped history for the next 2000 years.

    At the center of that is Jesus. Curious what you make of him – did he exist? Did he do miracles? Was he was resurrected? Was he ‘son of God’? You may have answered all those, forgive me if I don’t remember.

    Peace

  159. on 05 Aug 2012 at 1:16 amtimothy

    Tim (akaA)

    Very well said Tim.

    Timothy 🙂

  160. on 05 Aug 2012 at 2:12 pmLorraine

    Tim, well, YHWH says this in all of the books in the so called OT, of the scripture Ezekiel 14:14-21, and in Jeremiah 31:30, are you entitled to question this Word of YHWH? He also says that He is not contrary, so are you saying that He is? As He has taught us, YHWH changes not in Malachi 3:6. Then to confirm, YHWH teaches in Isaiah 42:18,19, there is nothing ‘old’ about this book. It is juxtaposed, made for us to compare what happened then, to what is going on now. It tells us the present, the past, and the future, this is what made this book so intriguing, especially to scholars, who also find this book difficult to understand. This although maybe because in Malachi 2:12, they, and many were cut off from their haughtiness, and pride. They want to see with the carnal eye, like many of you, but one must see with prayer, and the spirit from YHWH.

    Besides, there is no mentioning of the story of jc, the deciples, mary, anywhere in the so called OT, other than in Deut.4, it teaches not to praise idols, images, or wood, and stone of a man, or a woman, yet this was done with jc, and mary, so what does that tell you? Disobeying YHWH. These are not of the Creator YHWH, His son, and ‘FIRSTBORN’ is “Israel”(Yisrael). There can’t be 2 firstborns people. This book was distributed all over the world in over 2000 languages, who do you think had this done? The book does have to be discerned as taught in Micah 5:1,2.

  161. on 05 Aug 2012 at 2:25 pmtimothy

    Lorraine,

    Thanks for answering Q 1). I went to the website again and listened to parts of videos. Even went to the YouTube videos.

    Your doctrines deny Jesus Christ and this is what he said about that:

    Matthew 10 (kjv)
    33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

    You have thrown out the baby with the bath water.

    You have thrown out NT(new testament) which contains:

    A) *WHAT* is AVAILABLE

    B) *HOW* to RECEIVE *IT*

    C) WHAT to DO with *IT*

    Romans 9:
    9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    Romans 12:
    1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

    2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

    3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

    So by throwing out the NT(New Testament), you are throwing out the GOSPEL of JESUS CHRIST, you have thrown out the baby with the bath water.

    YHWH does not like this.

    Deuteronomy 4:
    2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD(YAHWEH) your God which I command you.

    Revelation 22:
    19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

    Malachi 3:
    6(a) For I am the Lord, I change not;…………

    From the website and videos it seems like there was a fork in the road and the wrong way, with the DEAD END sign, has been taken…..however there are no NO U TURN signs posted.

    John 3:
    15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

    16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

    18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    YHWH is love(agape).

    Kumama YAWE=GOD(YAHWEH) be praised

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TEyvzeTiq4&feature=relmfu

    the words:
    Dawn is breaking, wake up! God’s glory is going around the world
    The world asks me, where is your God? I say my God deserves to be glorified
    I will praise Him with all my strength, Eh Yahweh, eh Yahweh be praised
    Let me worship Him with all my strength, be praised my Lord, be praised
    You alone are Lord
    Look at us sing for you, eh Yahweh
    Look at us exalt you, eh Yahweh
    Look at us worship you, eh Yahweh
    Eh Yahweh, listen to my song today
    Eh Yahweh, receive my prayer today
    Eh Yahweh, my heart exalts you
    Eh Yahweh, you are my God
    Jesus, my Jesus, you are my love
    Lord Jesus, be praised

    YHWH bless.

    Timothy 🙂

  162. on 05 Aug 2012 at 2:30 pmLorraine

    Oh, and the son of YHWH is His chosen people prophesied in Exodus 4:22,23, this is what it is. Man is YHWHs son, but Israel is His chosen son, His firstborn, the first of mankind Adam, and the covenant, of the chosen, in Ezekiel 16, it tells the birth, the gifts from YHWH, it tells the issue of us going astray, away from YHWH our punishment, and it tells of the prophecy of the movement that will come in the day of YHWH in the end times.

    In Jeremiah 16:14-21 it tells of how the gentiles will then say, and know, that they have been told lies, and so will all the nations know. future Prophecy.

  163. on 05 Aug 2012 at 2:41 pmLorraine

    timothy, good that you posted the scripture in Malachi 3:6, exactly YHWH changes not, so why in romans there are so many changes not done by YHWH? Example: in Romans, the law is wrath?, No man has ever seen YHWH?, All things are good to eat? No man has ever been in bondage? Now, this one is really stretching the lie, in Deut.28:68. Circumcision is no longer done? And, there is more, if YHWH does not change any of His Word to the law, what is this? I will give you I Kings 17, and 18, the priest, the people also thought that Baal was the son of YHWH, same story, and the prophet Elijah had to straighten them all out. This book in I Kings is compared to jesus today. This is why it was written for us. This was also said about Horus, and Isis too. All roman ideaologies. “Myths” Get out of that godspel=good spell, a trance.

  164. on 05 Aug 2012 at 2:48 pmLorraine

    Deut. 4, yes no one should not add, or diminish anything, but the NT does. I t does not fulfil the OT. It changes much from YHWHs law. To confirm prophesied in Isaiah 24:5, bringing the wrath upon us. You are double talking this is what th nt does to people. It comes, and it goes.

  165. on 05 Aug 2012 at 6:27 pmLorraine

    Oh correction: In the example when I said in Romans, the roman jews said that no man has ever been in bondage, make that it says in Romans, no ‘jew’ has ever been in bondage, now this maybe true, unless you take in account the Holocoust, but that was many years later. Oh, and the death knell in the book of Esther, when the jews tried to turn the king of Ethiopia at that time on the Hebrew Israelites, and Esther, and Mordecai turned it back on them. That is when most of the jews either tried to portray being a Hebrew, or when they ran to Greece, Turkey, and was there for more than 2000 years, speaking Yiddish instead of the original language of Hebrew, Arabic. Then because of the 1897 Herzel Movement, the jews formed the zionist, and began their sceam on establishing dominion over Israel. This is why YHWH says in the scripture Isaiah 34:8, He will handle the controversy in Zion. And in Ezekiel 36:1-5, YHWH warns Idumea, of this controvery, this robbery. They are not the chosen people of YHWH until this day those over in Israel.

  166. on 07 Aug 2012 at 6:19 pmJeff

    Jaco,
    Sorry for yet another long delay in responding. As I said in another post, I recently had a friend pass away and things like this have gotten pushed aside. But in regards to your post in 80 –

    I appreciate that you seek the author’s intent on a passage instead of reading into it whatever you wish to see. In that vein, I would encourage you to re-read Hebrews 1. You correctly point out that prolepsis is used at times in Scripture. However, I don’t believe this is one of those times. My reasons are mainly two-fold.

    First, when something is proleptic, it typically (always?) speaks of an event in the past tense. This verse is different. Rather, it not only speaks of an event in past tense, but it also uses a phrase that everywhere else that it is used, refers to the creation event. I find it hard to believe that everywhere else in the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, it has one meaning, except this one time.

    Secondly, you rightly point out that we should seek to know the mind of the biblical writer. It is obvious if you read Hebrews one that the writer intends to portray Jesus as God. I.e. Jesus is the “exact representation of His [the Father] nature. Who else has the nature of God, but God? He sustains the created order. Who has that power, but God? (vs. 3) The Father calls on the angels to worship the Son. (vs. 6) God will not share His glory with another. (Is. 42:8) The Father calls the Son “God.” (vs. 8) The Son laid the foundation of the earth and the heavens are the works of His hands [creation]. (vs. 10)

    An unbiased reading of this chapter alone would prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the writer of Hebrews intended to convey Jesus was/is God. And as God, He is the Creator.

  167. on 07 Aug 2012 at 8:23 pmLorraine

    Jeff, I have often said that the NT, comes, and goes, and this example in Isaiah 42:8 does show us that YHWH will not share His glory. But the NT puts Jesus with YHWH as they did in I Kings 16,17, of Baal, and Elijah had to straighten all the people, and high priest out. A good example at that, in Isaiah 42, and then in vs.9, He says that if anything springs up as new, He will tell us.

    When you pointed out in the book of Hebrews intending to carry Jesus as either was, or is YHWH, I then also realized what I have found is that the NT also says that this Jesus has the nature of YHWH, meaning cannot do wrong, nor sin. But, in the same scriptures in Isaiah 42:18-20, YHWH describes this servant who will work for Him upon the throne(metaphor) as being ‘blind, deaf, seeing many things, but does observe not, with open ears but hear not, well now does this sound like Jesus? He was depicted as never to do any wrong, but here YHWH says that this servant is hardheaded. YHWH is pleased with this servant regardless, because as it says in Isaiah 53:10, this same servant will ‘find his seed’ meaning he will begin to know who he is, as in Isaiah 53:2, this servant is a root out of dry ground, not knowing who he is yet, but this is not how the NT describes Jesus, he always knew who he was even as a child of 12. This is contradicting to how YHWH describes this servant in the OT in Isaiah 42, and 53, from how the NT describes Jesus.

    Then also in Isaiah 53:10, it says that this servant will ‘prolong’ his days, but in the NT, it says that Jesus will come back from the dead, then live forever, again Jesus can’t do wrong but in Isaiah 53:12, this servant of YHWH was numbered ‘with’ the transgressor, meaning he was once with the ones doing wrong, and he bore the sins of many of them, until he did a 360, and became the ‘intercessor’ praying for the transgressors, prophesied in Isaiah 59, preferably Isaiah 59:14-16 the arm, the Branch of YHWH.

    If you read in I and II Chronicles you’ll see that David, and the prophet Samuel, and Zadok, and others were the arm, and Branch of YHWH then, and it is here today prophesied in Jeremiah 23:1-8, and in Jeremiah 33:14-22. Which al makes absolute sense, for who else would know sin but one of us?, even if they are a descendant from the seed of David. Does anyone know how many wrongs David did before he got it right? And yet YHWH chose him, and his seed for David has the ‘heart’ of a lion. His loyalty is outstanding in the sight of YHWH. Now those of you can see why I don’t do the NT, it doesn’t fulfill the OT. Read Genesis – Malachi, and then the NT, and see for yourself.

    Besides there is no mention of jc anywhere in the OT, but many others are, Isaiah prophesied Jeremiah 200yrs before he was born. What say you now? The only other evidence that I find of Jc is in the OT is in Deut.4, where YHWH commands us never to make any images, pictures, and images of wood or stone of any man, or woman, likening them to the heavens, and yet we did it anyway, doing wrong of jc,mary, deciples, Michelangelo’s YHWH creation of Adam picture, etc. YHWH Bless.

  168. on 07 Aug 2012 at 11:39 pmJeff

    Lorraine,
    I see that you are very zealous in your views, and I am sure that you are asking me some specific questions, but I am not sure what they are. It may be because it is late here right now and I am possibly not thinking clearly, but it seemed that all your questions were rhetorical. Were you voicing your views as opposed to mine, or were you seeking information from me?

    Thanks!

  169. on 08 Aug 2012 at 12:04 amJeff

    Tim/Antioch,
    Again, sorry for the long delay in my response (seems like I’m saying that an awful lot lately! :-)) You asked if I found it odd that no other biblical writers equated Jesus with the Word. – No, I don’t. Each biblical writer had a specific message he wished to convey as well as a specific audience he wrote to. Hence, each writer had certain peculiarities. Even in the Synoptic Gospels there is variation. I believe the Bible only needs to say something once for it to be significant. Of course, you yourself point out that John 1:1 is not the only place that Jesus is called the Word. You correctly point out that in John 1:14 as well as Rev. 19:13 Jesus is in view when He is spoken of as the Word.

    With regard to the first part of John 1 being poetic and therefore needing to be interpreted…nonliterally (would that be the best way to term it?) – how do you interpret the phrase “the Word was God”? Even poetic language can only have meaning if the words retain their meaning.

    Regarding the lack of the definite particle in that phrase, you say that Jesus was divine, but not the one true God. I am confused. Am I to understand you are a polytheist, then? I don’t think that is surely the case, but that is what you are left with.

    To your final question, of course I would not hold that the Bible is God. As you pointed out in your earlier post, the phrase “word of God” can be used in a number of ways, and we understand its meaning by its context. The context of John 1 presents Jesus as being one with the Father (hence God).

  170. on 08 Aug 2012 at 12:45 amJeff

    Doubting Thomas,
    Not only do I not have all the answers, I don’t even know all the questions! I am curious about your statements in 92. You say that the Jews do not regard Jesus as the Word. Are you saying that you reject any views that are not held by the Jews? If so, I’m afraid that you are going to be missing out on a lot of the light shed in the NT! That type of thinking would not recognize progressive revelation. (By that I mean that God didn’t give us the whole, complete revelation of Himself in Genesis or even in the OT. Rather, because of man’s weakness, He revealed Himself throughout many centuries of redemptive history.)

    I will ask you what I asked Tim/Antioch – if you don’t understand “the Word was God” as meaning “the Word was God” what do you think that phrase means? Please explain what you think it means and why so I can understand. It helps if you use small words. 🙂

    Regarding your last questions, they are very handily answered with a Trinitarian view of God. (There are 3 distinct Persons within the Godhead – the Father, Son, and Spirit.) The Son came as the Messiah, the Christ, to die on the cross to redeem mankind from our sins. This happens when we repent of our sin and put our faith in Him alone for salvation. That is how Jesus can be the Christ, the Son of God, God the Son, the chosen One, etc.

    In closing, I reread my response to you in 87, and I haven’t seen a response to much of what I said (if I missed it, please just point me to the post rather than going through the hassle of copying and pasting). In particular, my line of reasoning about the nature of the Word as well as the two questions at the end.

    Thanks!

  171. on 08 Aug 2012 at 10:05 amLorraine

    Jeff, I was only posting my views, taken from your post, and from the question of is, or was jc YHWH, making jc as being the Creator? written in the book of Hebrew, as some christians have depicted jc to be.

    First they say that jc is the son of YHWH, then they say that jc is YHWH, the Creator, and I say which is it? The NT comes, and then it goes, it clearly contradicts the so called OT, ‘the book of remembrance’ when it, the NT should fulfill the OT. This is why I call the NT=not true.

  172. on 08 Aug 2012 at 10:39 amTim (aka Antioch)

    Jeff,

    ‘The word was divine’ does not mean Jesus was God. One Websters definition – ‘supremely good’. We might say ‘this chocolate is divine’. That does not mean the chocolate is God.

    But, I don’t come to that interpretation to fit my notion that Jesus is not God. I read the entire bible and see the ‘Jesus/not God’ vs. ‘Jesus/God’ to me is about an 85-15 balance. (I would say less but I give about 10 points for being the overwhelming majority position).

    I do see some passages, like Hebrews 1:10, that are not easily dismissed. I just see so, so many more passages that explicitly state Jesus is not God (unless we first change our understanding of what person, nature, son, essence, beget, etc… mean). I see thousands of times where God speaks using I, me, mine, myself and people referring to God as he, him, his, hisself. I see Deu 6:4 – such a weighty verse – where God is declared as ‘one’ and Jesus confirming that in Mark 12. From that volume of data, I can either see God as a player of word games or that he is indeed uni-personal. The latter conclusion makes more sense to me.

  173. on 08 Aug 2012 at 6:14 pmJeff

    Lorraine – thanks for the clarification.

  174. on 08 Aug 2012 at 6:22 pmJeff

    Tim/Antioch,
    Hopefully you don’t mind me abbreviating your screen name in that way. If you do, please forgive me.

    You are correct in stating that divine can mean supremely good. However, another definition from the same source defines divine as “being a deity” as in “the divine Savior” (their example). Incidentally, this is very similar to what Paul says of Christ in Col 2:9 – For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.

    As I asked in my last post to you, how do you interpret the phrase, “the Word was God” since you reject the idea that the Word was God? Please help me, because I’m still unclear why that doesn’t mean what it says… Not trying to be argumentative. Just trying to understand your position.

  175. on 09 Aug 2012 at 8:59 amSarah

    Jeff,

    While you’re waiting on Tim to give you his position on “the word was God”, I have a few quote for you. This is a portion of John 1 from William Tyndale’s translation in 1534. My understanding is that virtually all English translations of the Bible prior to the 1611 KJV translated John 1 this way:

    “In the beginnynge was the worde, and the worde was with God, and the worde was god. The same was in the beginnynge with god. All thinges were made by it, and without it, was made nothinge that was made. In it was lyfe, and the lyfe was the lyght of men…”

    Perpaps Tyndale recognized that the OT mentioned “the word” of the Lord hundreds upon hundreds of times, and that it always referenced God’s rules, decrees, commands, statutes, plans, and promises. It never denoted a personal conscious being. BUT, when God’s decree sent forth the Holy Spirit to conceive Jesus in Mary’s womb, THEN the word of God was made flesh. It’s a poetic way of describing the same situation that happened in the beginning when God’s word spoke the first Adam into existence.

  176. on 09 Aug 2012 at 10:32 amSarah

    P.S. Jeff,

    David personified God’s word in the Psalms in an interesting way, and I think sheds some light on the question of what John meant by “the word was God”:

    You are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. (Psalm 25:5)

    I have put my hope in your word. (Psalm 119:81)

    *****

    But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.” (Psalm 31:14)

    then I will answer the one who taunts me, for I trust in your word. (Psalm 119:42)

    *****

    We know David wasn’t referring to a pre-existent “word” being. Trusting in God was synonymous with trusting in his word. From a Hebraic perspective, God’s word representationally “is” God.

  177. on 09 Aug 2012 at 11:26 amLorraine

    Correction: I get so excited with the Word, ‘this book has to be discerned, taught in Micah 7’ and Micah 5:1,2, tells us of the original birthplace of the chosen child who will be the ruler in Israel, and of his seeds to come. This the original birthplace is Ephratah Bethlehem, but over in the NT, Matt.2:1,2, it says that jc was born in Judea Bethlehem, this is a city found among the maccabbees, the jews. David, and his seeds to come were born as Hebrew Yisraelites, confirmed in Exodus 3:18, and in Exodus 5:3, YHWH is the Strong One of the Hebrews, not jews. Have you ever heard that the jews came out of Eygpt, no it was the Hebrews who came out at night of Eygpt, with all of their spoils, given back to them from Pharaoh, and is why we are to do the passover in Exodus 12 until this day. This is no religion, this is the truth of the Word of YHWH, and praise YHWH.

    This will happen again, soon, but from out of the north country instead, it will be a future time, just like it was with Pharaoh, and Moses then. And later prophesied in the 8th century, in Isaiah 42:5-9, for it is but a little while, prophesied in Isaiah 10:25, and YHWHs righteousness is near, prophesied in Isaiah 51:5.

  178. on 09 Aug 2012 at 11:58 amLorraine

    I like to offer a bit of advice, in Isaiah 40:28, did you know that YHWH teaches us that there is no searching of His understanding?

    I too find it so much fun, and with love to do, learning His Word.

  179. on 09 Aug 2012 at 12:01 pmTim (aka Antioch)

    Jeff,

    As Sarah quoted from Tyndale, I believe word is an ‘it’, not a ‘he’.

    I found this link helpful in conveying that even trinitarian scholars consider ‘ho logos’ to be a what and not a who:
    http://www.angelfire.com/space/thegospeltruth/trinity/verses/Jn1_1.html
    I do depart from the website and don’t believe ‘word was a god’ conveys what John was saying. What John was saying, to me, links to what is stated in Hebrews 1. God spoke in the past via prophets. Those prophets are repeatedly saying ‘thus says the Lord’ or ‘the word of God came to me’. When the writer of Hebrews then says that God spoke through his son, I think that links perfectly with John 1:1 and the rest of the OT. Jesus was the expression of God’s word. But that is completely destroyed when you equate Jesus with God. That would require one to go back and re-read the entire OT and substitute ‘Jesus’ for every occurence of ‘word of the Lord’ or ‘word of God’. I really cannot fathom that is what John did without him or any one else clarifying that.

    Put another way, consider the movie ‘Gandhi’. The movie was about Gandhi. Without Gandhi, there would have been no movie. The two are so closely linked that both the movie and the person are named the same. But are they the same? No. One is a film and the other is a person. To me, God’s ‘word’ is akin to the movie whereas Jesus is akin to the person of Gandhi.

  180. on 14 Aug 2012 at 6:48 pmJeff

    Sarah,
    Obviously, we have very different views. As I have stated earlier (at least I think I put it on one of the replies…my forget-er works better than my remember-er most of the time… 🙂 ), I see “the Word” as yet another title for Christ. Just as Christ was a title, as well as Son of man, Son of God, Bread of Life, etc. Each of these various titles give a slightly different view of Who Jesus is, which, like binocular vision, allows us to see Him with more depth.

    In regards to your view that Jesus did not exist before Mary’s womb (at least that’s the way I understand your posts), how does your view coincide with John 17:5?

  181. on 14 Aug 2012 at 7:04 pmJeff

    Tim/Antioch,
    My understanding from what I read on that site is that they (and you) believe that Jesus, the Word, was of the same quality/nature/essence as the Father. But yet, you think that Jesus was not/is not God. I am having trouble understanding your position. How can someone have the nature of God and yet not be God? God’s nature is what makes Him God! If you would help me understand how your position deals with this, I would appreciate it.

    Now, I agree with you in that John 1:1 coincides with Hebrews 1, but we come to different conclusions. John 1:1 says that Jesus, the Word, was God. The writer of Hebrews says that Jesus is the “exact representation of His nature”. Again, God is utterly unique. Thus, if there is One Who has the nature of God (whether it be the Father or the Son), that One is God. John 1 and Hebrews 1 both say that Jesus has the nature of God. This is what Paul said in Col. 2:9, “For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.”

    Regarding having to re-read all the OT statements about the “word of the Lord”, we have already discussed, and I thought agreed upon, the fact that words get their meaning from their context. Thus, to read John’s title of “the Word” for Christ back into the OT is not necessary unless the context requires it.

  182. on 14 Aug 2012 at 8:27 pmTim (aka Antioch)

    Jeff,

    The point of the site and what I agree with is that ‘word is divine’. We traded Webster definitions – ‘divine’ does not necessitate that word is God. Supremely good makes more sense to me – echoes Gen 1 where God consistently says his creation was good.

    The further point about context, I agree it is very important. ‘Word’ is a concept repeated over and over again in the OT. Context, to me, is to reconcile what John was saying with that well known concept from the OT. I think the trinitarian interpretation ignores that and ignores what John’s audience would have understood about ‘word’ in focusing just on John 1.

    An analogy – suppose a baseball pitcher comes up with an entirely new type of pitch that resembles a slow curve but he decides to call it a ‘fastball’. That would be entirely confusing since the pitch does not resemble what everyone knows to be a fastball. When the announcer says he threw a fastball, which pitch is he talking about?

    I suggest John would be guilty of doing this with ‘ho logos’ without explaining how it differed from the commonly known concept of it at the time.

  183. on 14 Aug 2012 at 8:48 pmDT

    In the beginning the word (Michael the Archangel) was with God and the word (Michael the Archangel) was a god.

  184. on 14 Aug 2012 at 10:10 pmSarah

    DT, are you a JW?

    Jeff, I had a response typed out when my browser crashed and I lost it all. It’s late so I’ll retype it for you tomorrow…

  185. on 15 Aug 2012 at 12:14 amJeff

    Tim/Antioch,
    Genesis does record God calling the creation good. However, John 1 does not say that the “Word was good”, but that the “Word was God.” Just one “o” makes a world of difference! 🙂

    Also, I really was serious when I asked you to help me understand how One with the nature of God is not God because that concept does not make sense to me at all.

  186. on 15 Aug 2012 at 12:23 amJeff

    DT,
    I don’t know if your comments were directed at me or if you were replying to someone else (haven’t been following conversations I’m not already a part of as I have enough trouble keeping up with them), or if you were possibly trolling. But, at the hazard of beginning another conversation that I can’t keep up with, I did want to say a couple of things in response to your post.

    Hebrews 1:5 says, “For to which of the angels did He ever say, “ You are My Son,
    Today I have begotten You”? And again, “ I will be a Father to Him And He shall be a Son to Me”?”

    How do you reconcile the clear distinction between the Son/Word/Jesus and the angels with your view that Jesus is/was an angel?

    Secondly, you say that Jesus/the Word was “a god”. So, either you are asserting the deity of Christ (and acknowledging that He is One in essence and nature with the Father), or you are a polytheist. As the Bible is clear that there is only one true God, if Jesus is “a god” by default, He is either the one True God or you deny monotheism. Since I haven’t been reading other posts where you may have already stated your position, which is it?

  187. on 15 Aug 2012 at 8:34 amSarah

    Hey Jeff,

    I suspect a great deal of our debate will surround the pre-existence of Jesus. I’ll post my reponse to your question about John 17:5 later today, but first here are a few more quotes that explain my general position on pre-existence. The first is from Colin Brown, Trinitarian scholar:

    Indeed to be a “Son of God” one has to be a being who is not God!…It is a common but patent misreading of the opening of John’s Gospel to read it as if it said: “In the beginning was the Son, and the Son was with God and the Son was God.” What has happened here is the substitution Son for Word (Greek logos), and thereby the Son is made a member of the Godhead which existed from the beginning.

    Quoted from this article:

    http://focusonthekingdom.org/articles/john1.htm

    The second is from Sir Anthony Buzzard, Unitarian scholar:

    “The proposition introduced by Gentile, philosophically-minded “Church Fathers” that Jesus was either a second “member” of the Godhead (later orthodoxy) or a created angel (Arians and, in modern times, Jehovah’s Witnesses) launched the whole vexed problem of the nature of Christ in relation to the Godhead and put under a fog the true Messiahship of Jesus and his Messianic Gospel about the Kingdom. Jesus of Nazareth is what the Word (God’s Wisdom) of John 1:1 became. He is the unique expression, as a human being, of the Wisdom of God. It was the Wisdom of God which existed from the beginning, and that Wisdom became a person at the conception of Jesus. This explanation leaves intact the great cardinal doctrine that the One God is the Father and that Jesus is the Lord Messiah, not the Lord God. It was the early Greek Church Fathers who confused the issue of Jewish/Christian monotheism by introducing the idea of a “numerically second God.””

    Quoted from:

    http://focusonthekingdom.org/articles/preexist.htm

  188. on 15 Aug 2012 at 9:59 amTim (aka Antioch)

    Jeff,

    John 1:1, to me, does not say Jesus shares God’s nature/essence. I don’t think I ever said that it did.

    I think our fundamental difference is that you accept that Word = Jesus and I cannot reconcile that is what John is saying. ‘Word’ was spoken through the prophets, how can that possibly mean Jesus?

    To me, it is God’s purpose/plan that was spoken of through the prophets. It is God’s purpose/plan that was revealed most fully through Jesus. That, to me, reconciles the OT and Hebrews 1 and everything else, including John 10:36, 14:28, 17:3 and 20:31.

  189. on 15 Aug 2012 at 1:01 pmSarah

    Jeff,

    A trinitarian view of John 17:5 assumes Jesus is referring to his pre-existence. But the truth is, Jesus was asking God to recieve the glory that he was predestined to receive after his suffering. There are several ways to verify this. First, there is no OT prophecy in predicting that a pre-existent Jesus would set aside his heavenly glory to come to earth and become a man. Psalm 110:1 does NOT say, “The LORD says to my Lord, leave my right hand, become a man, and return to my right hand again later on.” Further, both Jesus and Peter confirm that the OT glory of the Messiah was a future glory reserved for Christ AFTER the crucifixion:

    “Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” (Luke 24:26)

    “Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.” (1 Pe 1:10-11)

    Additionally, if we assume Jesus was referring to his pre-existence in John 17:5, this would mean *all* believers are pre-existent, because we have already been given the same glory God gave to Jesus:

    “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message….I have given them the glory that you gave me…” (Jhn 17:20-22)

    So this is clearly a predestined glory which Jesus received after his suffering, and which he predestines all his followers to receive at the appointed time. All Christians could similarly pray, on the basis of Romans 8:30 and Rev 13:8, “Save me with the salvation I had with you before the world began.” And they would not be referring to their own past pre-existence, but to their predestined future as a child of God.

  190. on 27 Aug 2012 at 5:36 pmJeff

    Sarah,
    I don’t know if you are still following this thread, but if you are, I did want to respond to a few things you said.

    Thank you for giving me those quotes. They helped clarify your position.

    You said in 187, “A trinitarian view of John 17:5 assumes Jesus is referring to his pre-existence.” However, there is no assumption being made. Jesus Himself excludes the idea that this glory is solely a glory that He (re)received after His ascension. The verse itself says that it was the glory that Jesus shared with the Father “before the world was.” Not only is that the definition of pre-existance (existing before the world was created), it is also a verification that Jesus is One in nature with the Father. God says in Isaiah 42:8, “ I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images.” How can He share glory with One Who does not share His glory unless He is One with Him? (not rhetorical)

    You go on to say that His glory is not spoken of in the OT. However, John 12:41 records that Isaiah saw His (Christ’s) glory and wrote of Him: “These things Isaiah said because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him.” Further, you mention Christ setting aside His heavenly glory to become a man…um, Philipians 2:5-8 talk about that very thing: “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

    If Christ was not pre-existent as you say, how do you understand John 8:56-59? I don’t see how your position can make sense of that passage.

  191. on 27 Aug 2012 at 5:59 pmJeff

    Tim/Antioch,
    I hope you are still checking this thread. I know it has been a while…

    In response to 188, you said that you don’t believe that John 1:1 is saying that Jesus/Word has God’s nature. But that is precisely what the verse says. It says, “the Word was God.” That speaks to essential nature. If we can make “the Word was God” mean something completely different, i.e. “the Word was good” with no grammatical or contextual reason for doing so, other than it doesn’t fit our theology, where do we stop? I know that probably seems harsh, and I don’t mean it to be. But it seems as if you are playing fast and loose with the text. If you have a compelling reason for the change, please share it.

    If your issue is whether or not John meant “the Word” to mean Jesus, consider the context of the passage. John 1:1 speaks of the Word. John 1:14, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. John 1:15, John (the Baptist) testfied about Him. (Who is “Him”? Context is king and the “Him” refers back to the Word). So, John the Baptist testified about the Word. What is another name of the Person John the Baptist testfied about? Jesus. I.e. John 1:29-30 (which also speaks of His pre-existence, especially since John the Baptist was older than Jesus, humanly speaking. (Lk. 1:36)).

    Thus, the context is clear. The Word = Jesus. Therefore, when you read John 1:1 with that in mind you see that John clearly says, “The Word was God.”

  192. on 27 Aug 2012 at 8:04 pmtimothy

    Jeff,

    Just one thing..

    You write:
    “Him” refers back to the Word)…..

    Martin Luther correctly translated Greek into German…

    das Wort=the(neuter) word…….not der(masculin) Wort

    No more from this side.

    Timothy 8)

  193. on 27 Aug 2012 at 8:33 pmTim (aka Antioch)

    Jeff,

    In John 1:14 when the Word became flesh, I agree the ‘flesh’ refers to Jesus. I disagree that Word = flesh.

    I draw my conclusions based on what ‘word’ meant to John’s audience and that meaning, without clearly being explained anywhere else in the NT, would have to be consistent with the OT. ‘Word’ in the OT is not a person.

    To equate word with flesh which is also equated to God, don’t we also have to equate that the actual words that the prophets spoke in the OT are also God? I hope that conveys my meaning because it is non-sensical to think that God was coming out of their mouths as opposed to God’s word that was coming out of their mouths.

    ———–

    I have a separate, but related question for you. Back when I would read the bible and still considered myself a trinitarian, I just assumed that we had to do some extra work to understand certain passages correctly. Since we are on John 1:1, here is what I mean. As a trinitarian, you read:

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God

    But what you have to convert that in your head to mean is:

    In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with the Father

    In otherwords, when you read the word ‘God’, you have to figure out whether the writer actually means

    – the Father
    – the Son
    – the Holy Spirit
    – the entire Godhead

    Despite many verses that have ambiguity, never do any of the NT writers stop to clarify what they are saying. It falls on the reader to have to decipher for himself. I didn’t realize it until later how troubling this is – that you cannot read a passage for what it is, you have to interpret it through a trinitarian lense first.

    I would really love to believe the trinitarian interpretation. It would eliminate the most stressful issue in my marriage. It would allow me to return to having true fellowship with others at my church. But the more and more I look into it, the more it makes sense that the doctrine was not taught by Jesus or the apostles but evolved over time and became official doctrine in the 4th century. Everyone who didn’t fall in line was ostracized, imprisoned or killed and any documents that might have existed that spoke contrary to the trinity were destroyed. Richard Rubenstein’s book ‘When Jesus became God’ is a great summary of that era.

  194. on 28 Aug 2012 at 11:29 amWolfgang

    hi

    a little “off topic” perhaps … I was wondering if anyone knows if there has been somewhere on the blog a discussion of Gal 1:1 … ?

    Gal 1:1
    Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)

    A question arose about the first part of the remark in ( … ) … someone argued that the “not of men,neither by man, but by Jesus Christ” shows that Jesus Christ here could not be thought of as “man” …

    How would or have some of you answered the seeming difficulty of this expression?

  195. on 28 Aug 2012 at 11:51 amSarah

    Jeff,

    Thanks for writing back. You wrote:

    You go on to say that His glory is not spoken of in the OT.

    I said that a *pre-existent* glory wasn’t spoken of in the OT. In other words, I don’t know of any place in the OT that says the Messiah was seated beside the Father in a pre-redemption heavenly glory. Nor can I find any prophecy in the OT stating that the Messiah would *leave* the Father’s right hand to become a man, and later ascend to the Father’s right hand again to retrieve the glory he previously had.

    However, John 12:41 records that Isaiah saw His (Christ’s) glory and wrote of Him: “These things Isaiah said because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him.”

    You’re right, Isaiah saw Christ’s glory. The trinitarian argument I’ve heard says that John 12:41 is speaking specifically of the throne room scene in Isaiah 6. Then, based on this inference, it is further asserted that Jesus was the one on the throne speaking to Isaiah. Those are some significant claims that John didn’t actually state.

    Quite a bit of Isaiah’s book specifically refers to Christ’s glory. Yet it is not talking about a glory prior to the Messiah’s birth. Rather, it prophetically tells the story of the suffering servant who is gloriously vindicated by his God. We find a detailed description of the Messiah’s glory Isaiah 49. The interesting thing about this chapter is how clearly it distinguishes the servant of YHVH from YHVH himself. This distinction is consistent in all the suffering servant passages in Isaiah.

    Given that Isaiah speaks of the Messiah’s glory specifically in the context of the Messiah being vindicated after being despised, and given that Isaiah consistently distinguishes the Messiah from YHVH, I don’t see how one could suppose Isaiah was telling us the Messiah *is* YHVH. Here are the words of the Messiah in Is 49:5-7 (emphasis and brackets mine):

    ”And now says the Lord, who formed me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel might be gathered to Him (For I am honored in the sight of the Lord, And my God is my strength)

    He says, “It is too small a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make you a light of the nations so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

    Thus says the LORD [YHVH], the Redeemer of Israel and its Holy One, to the despised one, to the one abhorred by the nation, to the Servant of rulers [the Messiah], “Kings will see and arise, Princes will also bow down, Because of the LORD [YHVH] who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen you [the Messiah].”

    (Isaiah 49:5-7 NASB)

  196. on 28 Aug 2012 at 12:19 pmSarah

    Wolfgang,

    The word Paul uses for “man” in Gal 1:1 is anthropos, and I’ve found it has a wide range of meaning:

    Anthropos:

    1) a human being, whether male or female

    a) generically, to include all human individuals

    b) to distinguish man from beings of a different order

    1) of animals and plants

    2) of from God and Christ

    3) of the angels

    c) with the added notion of weakness, by which man is led into a mistake or prompted to sin

    d) with the adjunct notion of contempt or disdainful pity

    e) with reference to two fold nature of man, body and soul

    f) with reference to the two fold nature of man, the corrupt and the truly Christian man, conformed to the nature of God

    g) with reference to sex, a male

    Given the context of Gal 1:1, it sounds like Paul is emphasizing that he was not sent by mortal man but by the resurrected Christ.

  197. on 28 Aug 2012 at 4:42 pmJaco

    Jeff

    Thank you for your reply.

    First, when something is proleptic, it typically (always?) speaks of an event in the past tense. This verse is different. Rather, it not only speaks of an event in past tense, but it also uses a phrase that everywhere else that it is used, refers to the creation event. I find it hard to believe that everywhere else in the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, it has one meaning, except this one time.

    Because this text is using the past tense and is applied to the future world (2:5), precisely make it proleptic. Your second issue above is a non-point when you realise that many other texts are uniquely applied to Jesus. Yahweh’s son called out of Egypt, Jesus being made lower than angels, etc., had an original meaning which was later extended to have a different application to Jesus. With the Ps. 102 text, the LXX rendering has a Messianic meaning to it which is consistently applied to Jesus in Heb. 1.

    Secondly, you rightly point out that we should seek to know the mind of the biblical writer. It is obvious if you read Hebrews one that the writer intends to portray Jesus as God. I.e. Jesus is the “exact representation of His [the Father] nature. Who else has the nature of God, but God? He sustains the created order. Who has that power, but God? (vs. 3) The Father calls on the angels to worship the Son. (vs. 6) God will not share His glory with another. (Is. 42:8) The Father calls the Son “God.” (vs. The Son laid the foundation of the earth and the heavens are the works of His hands [creation]. (vs. 10)

    Several issues here: Being the exact representation of God implies that Jesus is numerically distinct (not identical) to God. Else the ontologies implied in the relation between the Original and representation would be redundant. Distinction, not identity is, the inherent implication. This is precisely what we would require from the one who was God’s exact image (just as the Adam before him was). Yes, only God can sustain the order (not necessarily the created order), unless God gives someone who is not-God the ability to do this. God makes alive, but that does not mean Elijah was God because he brought the widow of Zarephath’s son back to life, does it? The same argument is applied to Jesus, precisely since he received all this authority – something never to be applied to God, since He by definition posesses it… Jesus being rendered worship is nothing more than the worship rendered to the saints in Rev. 3:9. Proskyneo does not by necessity imply cultic sacrificial worship. Being called God does not make Jesus God any more as it did when applied to the king in Ps. 45:6. So, unless identity with God is ASSUMED and INDOCTRINATED, none of the above proofs mean what trinitarians want it to mean. In fact, the whole motif of Jesus being a priest, presenting to God his offering, receiving power, being God’s apostle or shaliach (3:1), etc. make him distinct and subject to Almighty he is the son of.

    An unbiased reading of this chapter alone would prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the writer of Hebrews intended to convey Jesus was/is God. And as God, He is the Creator.

    On the contrary…

  198. on 29 Aug 2012 at 1:24 amWolfgang

    Sarah,

    thank you for your information about my Gal 1:1 question … as for me, I too would not conclude that the “but by Jesus Christ” does not make the contrast as if Jesus Christ was not a man … the person bringing up the point used this passage as another proof that Jesus “was also God”, seeing that on the one side of the contrast we have “not of men, neither by man” and on the other “by Jesus Christ and God the Father …”

    While I don’t follow that logic, I am interested in gaining a proper understanding of Paul’s statement, including understanding the linguistics properly.

  199. on 24 Nov 2012 at 6:02 pmDT

    Sorry, been a while since I’ve been here.

    Jeff,

    Acts 23:9. Also, take note of the fig tree account. Also see Job 38:7 where angels ARE acknowledged to be sons of God.

    Sarah,

    No. I am not a JW.

  200. on 24 Nov 2012 at 6:06 pmDT

    Jeff,

    To expound on my beliefs – no I am not a “monotheist” however, this is not a denial of the Biblical teaching on monotheism. On the contrary, the ancient Judaistic culture believed in the perfect validity/existence of other gods. It says you shall have no other gods before me and not “there are not other gods in existence”. As such, the term “true God” and “one true God” is misleading. It might be better to say the “one true supreme deity” or the “only supreme deity in existence”. Because Yah is acknowledged to be superior to the other pagan deities whether they existed or not. Recommendation – take a course on the Bible from a secular university. I am taking a course on the NT where we learned this about alleged Judaistic “monotheism”.

  201. on 16 Dec 2012 at 4:49 pmJeff

    Sorry for the long departure, all. I have not forgotten the blog. But things are super busy right now and I don’t see any let up in the near future. If/when I have time to sit down and actually respond to the posts last directed to me, I will try to swing by here.

  202. on 31 Jan 2013 at 2:36 amtimothy

    Doubting Thomas,

    BE IT KNOWN, that____Jesus_Christ____________________________has
    made and appointed, and by these presents does make and appoint
    ___Doubting_Thomas________________________ true and lawful
    attorney for him/her and in his/her name, place and stead,
    giving and granting to said attorney, general, full and
    unlimited power and authority to do and perform all and every
    act and thing whatsoever requisite necessary to be done in and
    about the premises as fully, to all intents and purposes, as
    could be done if personally present, with full power of
    substitution and revocation, hereby ratifying and confirming all
    that said attorney shall lawfully do or cause to be done by
    virtue hereof.

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and seal
    this _______ day of _______________________, 19____.

    Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of:

    Agapao se’

    Timothy

  203. on 31 Jan 2013 at 9:09 amJohn

    Jesus came to reveal His Father to the world so everything He spoke of was to glorify His Father, not Himself. But as the Son glorified the Father, the Father glorified the Son.

    John 8:54 Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me.

    If you want to know about the glory and majesty of Jesus you have to listen to what the Father says about Him.

    Matthew 16:17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

    Does the Father say Jesus was the agent behind the creation of the Genesis creation? He sure does…

    Hebrews 1:8-10 But to the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. You rule with a scepter of justice. You love justice and hate evil. Therefore, O God, your God has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.” He also says to the Son, “In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands.

    Jesus had glory with His Father before the world was even made.

    John 17:5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

    The Father created the world but He did it through Jesus.

    Colossians 1:15-17 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

    Jesus gave personal eyewitness testimony of seeing the Father while in the presence of His Father, which is the glory He had before the foundation of the world.

    John 6:46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.

    YAHWEH created the world through His Son, the same Son who became flesh and dwelt among us.

    Proverbs 30:4 Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, If you know?

  204. on 31 Jan 2013 at 10:17 amRay

    That the Son would make everything according to what the Father revealed to him by word or deed, seems consistent with scripture to me. I find it difficult to imagine the creation happening any other way.

    Suppose someone tells me that Jesus didn’t exist at that time. Should I believe him because of the miracles he does, or because of the signs that follow his ministry?

    I suppose someone who sees the hand of God blessing his works must be doing something right, but does that mean that everything the man does is right?

  205. on 31 Jan 2013 at 10:25 amRay

    I trust that Proverbs 30:4 suggests that since the Son of God had a name, that he also existed at that time. I trust that Jesus was certainly a part of the Father at that time, in a similar way that a Christian is a part of the Body of Christ and that Christians are members one of another. I believe the connection was at least as real as that, and perhaps more so, I should consider.

  206. on 31 Jan 2013 at 10:33 amXavier

    All that God made, he made by means of him. Paul actually says ‘in him,’ and, though the word en can mean ‘by’ as well as ‘in,’ it is better to retain the literal translation than to paraphrase as NIV has done. Not only is there an intended parallel with verse 19, which would otherwise be lost: the passive ‘were created’ indicates, in a typically Jewish fashion, the activity of God the Father, working in the Son.

    To say ‘by’, here and at the end of verse 16, could imply, not that Christ is the Father’s agent, but that he was alone responsible for creation.” N.T Wright, The Epistles of Paul to the Colossians and to Philemon, An Introduction and Commentary, p. 71.

  207. on 31 Jan 2013 at 11:03 amJohn

    Xavier

    Jesus came to reveal His Father to the world so everything He spoke of was to glorify His Father, not Himself. But as the Son glorified the Father, the Father glorified the Son.

    John 8:54 Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me.

    If you want to know about the glory and majesty of Jesus you have to listen to what the Father says about Him.

    Matthew 16:17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

    Does the Father say Jesus was the agent behind the creation of the Genesis creation? He sure does…

    Hebrews 1:8-10 But to the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. You rule with a scepter of justice. You love justice and hate evil. Therefore, O God, your God has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.” He also says to the Son, “In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands.

    Jesus had glory with His Father before the world was even made.

    John 17:5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

    The Father created the world but He did it through Jesus.

    Colossians 1:15-17 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

    Jesus gave personal eyewitness testimony of seeing the Father while in the presence of His Father, which is the glory He had before the foundation of the world.

    John 6:46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.

    YAHWEH created the world through His Son, the same Son who became flesh and dwelt among us.

    Proverbs 30:4 Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, If you know?

  208. on 31 Jan 2013 at 11:10 amJohn

    Ray

    Before the Son of God took on human flesh He existed as the Son of God or the Angel of the LORD, His name was called, Wonderful.

    Judges 13:18 And the Angel of the Lord said to him, “Why do you ask My name, seeing it is Wonderful?”

    After He took on flesh and blood His name remained Wonderful.

    Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given…And His name will be called Wonderful…

  209. on 31 Jan 2013 at 11:41 amXavier

    John

    Does the Father say Jesus was the agent behind the creation of the Genesis creation? He sure does…

    Jesus seems to disagree with your statement when he attributes the Genesis creation to someONE else other than himself [Mat 19.4; Mark 10.6; 13.19].

  210. on 31 Jan 2013 at 12:39 pmJohn

    Xavier

    Jesus personally did many things of which He credits the Father for. Why is this? Because Jesus is the agent of the Father’s works. Not one thing can come into being unless the Father makes it happen through the vessel of which He chooses to use.

  211. on 31 Jan 2013 at 1:01 pmXavier

    John

    Jesus personally did many things of which He credits the Father for.

    Of course but he NEVER said he was involved, directly or indirectly, with the Genesis creation.

  212. on 02 Jan 2016 at 8:57 pmDavid

    Doubting Thomas,

    Haha, funny that’s your name. It seems you struggle with doubt–I’m guessing. I know how you feel at times, buddy…Let me clear all of this up for you, including Brain. I read the article and it made some interesting points, nonetheless, I need to make a response. Brian Keating, I would like to say that you did get me thinking and I highly respect one that has a need to seek out for truth.

    Now I right this comment to help/protect Doubting Thomas but also in my much zeal for the Lord–I must make this case. God does not need me to say anything, because He can do that Himself but I desire this because of my jealously for the Lord. First, I must say–I come in the name of the Lord of host, whom I seeing being defied. I come also in the name of Jesus my Lord. My Lord and God saves not by great means. First, I want to say that I am attending Nazarene Bible College. Second, God is teaching me much there. Brain said: “there are many Scriptural passages which imply that Jesus did not personally exist, until he was born to Mary.” Based on Brain Keating’s statement–while I respect his attitude to seek–I am highly offended. You sir are a heretic! Jesus has always exist, as 1) Scripture states: “In the beginning was (the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1-3, ESV). The New World Translation is a bad translation of this Scripture–“the word is a god” implies now that there is more than one God, which clearly goes against orthodox Christianity! We believe in Monotheism=meaning only One God. While yes, the word “god” can be translated as “Angel or Judges”–Jesus is NOT an angel, since a whole chapter in Hebrews 1 says that He(Jesus) is Superior to Angels! Next, Jesus clearly says himself–”Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). That means Jesus existed before Abraham and that title—by the way, is the same exact title that God says of Himself when speaking to Moses: “God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you”” (Ex 3:14). Jesus uses that same title that means “LORD”=God in many other places in the Scripture. Jesus is God, He always existed! For all time! Also, since ages that have past and the early church always thought Jesus was God (even in the 1st century)—end of story! 2) The creeds of the church state: “The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet they are not three eternals, but one Eternal. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. And yet they are not three gods, but one God” (Athanasian Creed (A.D. 500), Slick/Carm.org). Even the church Fathers stated clearly that Jesus is God! Ignatius (John’s Disciple)–meaning he was around when John the Apostle lived—said: “God Himself being manifested in human form for the renewal of eternal life….We have also as a Physician the Lord our God, Jesus the Christ, the only-begotten Son and Word, before time began. God existing in the flesh” (Hodge/Answers in Genesis). I end my defense, to say, Doubting Thomas….please respond to me and email me—I will help you. God has given me much wisdom, wisdom not from men….Also, Brian Keating—please, please, please, sir stop this! Repent/change from this. Your misleading people. God knows your heart—He loves you always, but you have rejected His love. He knows your heart is hurt and very hard. In the name of Jesus, stop this! Your life and others (even your own family) are on the line. You are leading those who are blind with you into hell. God is the Judge and He will not leave you unpunished. But in His love He sent His only begotten Son—God the Son, to die for you on a cross. It’s not too late. Look I use to be a false prophet, I miss led people too. But He showed mercy on me because I was unaware of my actions, perhaps you are too. God did not die for us or you because He needed too, but He did it because He is holy and love.

  213. on 03 Jan 2016 at 11:18 pmTimoteo

    David,

    “Haha, funny that’s your name. It seems you struggle with doubt–I’m guessing. I know how you feel at times, buddy…Let me clear all of this up for you,”

    Well David, I can call myself *doubting Timoteo* because I doubt that you really know what you are talking about.

    First of all I will ask you if you know why the King James bible version has ITALICIZED words?

    Here is the first italicized word occurrence:

    Genesis 1: (kjv)
    2 And the earth {{{was}}} without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

    {{{was}}} being the first word to be italicized or as a pun, was was the first word to be italicized in the KJV bible. And what does that have to do with:

    “….. Jesus clearly says himself–”Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). That means Jesus existed before Abraham and that title—by the way, is the same exact title that God says of Himself when speaking to Moses: “God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you””…..”

    Ha, ha, I am not trying to be funny, what does I am have to do with the ITALICIZED *was* in Genesis 1:2?

  214. on 12 Jan 2016 at 1:21 pmDoubting Thomas

    Hi David.

    My Christian friends gave me the nickname Doubting Thomas because of my doubts about the Trinity doctrine and my doubts about whether some books and letters should have been included in our modern New Testament canon. If Christ and his followers would have taught the Trinity doctrine (3 in 1) then the Sadducees and Pharisees would have been up in arms that there precious Shema (The Lord thy God is one) was being challenged.

    We have records of several controversies in the early church, but there is no record of their being any controversy about the Shema. Therefore it logically follows that there was no controversy about God being one and there was no teaching (by Christ and the early followers) about God being 3 in 1… 🙂

  

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