Saturday, August 23, 2008

John 1:1,2 - The Word was Mighty

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God [TON THEON], and the Word was God [THEOS]. The same was in the beginning with God [TON THEON]. -- John 1:1,2, World English - transliterations from the Westcott & Hort Interlinear.

Obviously, John is not, by using the Greek word THEOS as applied to the Word, saying that the Word was TON THEON whom the Word was with. One is not "with" an individual, and at the same time that individual whom he was with. What the trinitarian has to do in order to force the trinitarian dogma into John's statement is to assume that TON THEON refers to the alleged "first person of God," that is, God the Father, and that THEOS applied to the Word refers to their alleged second person of God, God the Son. John does not speak of the holy spirit, so they have to assume and add the holy spirit.

I have no doubt that TON THEON refers to the God and Father of Jesus, for Jesus identifies who he was with (John 17:5), and Jesus also lets us know that his God and Father is the only true God. (John 17:3) This we can verify by comparing spiritual revealment with spiritual revealment.

The trinitarian claims that since Jesus is called THEOS (god) in John 1:1, and since there is only one true God, then Jesus has to be that only true God, or else he has to be a false god. This disregards the Hebraic tradition that allows the usage of the words for "God" in a more general sense of might, power, authority, etc. Thus, according to their line of reasoning, if Jesus is "god", then he is either the one true God, or else a false god.

However, even most Bible language scholars who believe in the trinity do recognize a usage of the words for God in the general sense of might, power, etc. Even the translators of the King James Version recognized such usage. This can be demonstrated in such verses where the KJV renders the word for "God" (forms of EL and ELOHIM in the Hebrew) so as to denote strength, power, might, rulership, etc., such as in the following verses: Genesis 23:6 (mighty); Genesis 30:8 (mighty); Genesis 31:29 (power); Deuteronomy 28:32 (might); 1 Samuel 14:15 (great); Nehemiah 5:5 (power); Psalm 8:5 (angels); Psalm 36:6 (great); Psalm 82:1 (mighty); Proverbs 3:27 (power); Psalm 29:1 (mighty); Ezekiel 32:21 (strong); Jonah 3:3 (exceeding). If one were to substitute "false god" in these verses, we would have some absurd statements. This proves that these words are used in a sense other than the only true God, or as "false god."

In Psalm 82:1, as noted above, the KJV renders one of the words for "God" as "mighty." Jesus quotes from part of this Psalm -- Psalm 82:6,7 -- in John 10:34,35, rendering the Hebrew word ELOHIM by the Greek words "THEOI," a plural form of THEOS, which word is used of the Logos in John 1:1. Jesus was not saying that the sons of God to whom the Word came are false gods, but he is using the word in sense of authority. The sons of God to whom the Word (the Logos) came were indeed given power, authority, to become sons of God. (John 1:12) With this authority, they can thus rightly be called ELOHIM, THEOI. They are not "false gods," but they are given their authority from God through Jesus.
For more concerning Psalm 82:6,7, see:

Likewise, Jesus, being the firstborn son of God (Colossians 1:15), can also be called THEOS. Thus, the suggested rendering of John 1:1 in reference to the Word is "The Word was mighty."

For more concerning John 1:1,2, see:
John 1:1 and the Trinitarian
James White and "een" in John 1:1
John 1:1 and THEOS
The Logos as THEOS
In the Beginning
John 1:1 and the Logos of God

Response to

Bible Basics Trinity - Part 2 Redux

It is being claimed that we stated that Jesus in John 1:1,2 is not being called God, but mighty. This is not exactly what we say, and is deceptive. What we say is that the application of the Greek word for "God" as applied to the Logos in John 1:1,2 is a Hebraism which, in English, should be understood as meaning "mighty". John was a Hebrew and certainly would have knowledge of such Hebraic usage. Indeed, since John emphasizes the second time that Jesus was with TON THEON, (the God), the default reasoning would be that Jesus was not TON THEON whom he was with, and thus, that the application of THEOS to Jesus is not as the only true God whom he declared himself to be with (John 17:1,3,5), but rather that John was assigning to the Jesus the glory of might that "was" [past tense] while he was with his God and Father before the world of mankind had been made through him (John 1:10), and which glory Jesus did not possess while he was in the days of his flesh. -- Hebrews 5:7. Indeed, in view of the context and the rest of the Bible, the default reasoning should be to imagine and assume that John was saying that Jesus "was" his God, but rather the default reasoning should be to apply that which God has revealed by means of his Holy Spirit, as has been done above, to see in what manner the word THEOS should be understood as applied to the Logos.

Hebraic Usage of the Titles for “God”

Indeed, one has to call heavily upon the spirit of human imagination in order to "see" the trinity dogma in what John wrote in John 1:1,2. This has been discussed at:

John 1:1 and Trinity Assumptions

It is being claimed that the Hebraic application of "mighty" does not apply to Jesus since it is being further claimed that "no man other than Jesus has ever had the divine name applied to Himself of claimed for by Him." The first claim is dependent on the second claim that Jesus applied God's Holy Name to himself, and that others applied God's Holy Name to Jesus. Both claims we deny. It is only by the addition of human imagination that any scripture can be thought to be applying God's Holy Name to God's Son in any manner that would mean that Jesus is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who sent Jesus. (Exodus 3:14,15; Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Acts 3:13-26; Hebrews1:1,2) God's name, however, is called upon all who are in covenant relationship with Him (2 Chronicles 7:14; Isaiah 43:7; 65:1; Jeremiah 7:10,11,13,40; 25:9; 32:34; 34:15; Amos 9:12; Acts 15:14), and Jesus declared that his God has a made a covenant with him. (Luke 22:29, Rotherham)

Jesus, of course, being sent by Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, did speak for, and act in behalf of, his God, in a way that no other human has ever done, although many prophets and judges did the similar in the Old Testament times. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, by means of his holy spirit, reveals through the scriptures that Jesus was sent by Yahweh, speaks for Yahweh as his unipersonal God and Father, represents Yahweh, and was raised and glorified by the unipersonal God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jesus never claimed to be, nor do the scriptures present Jesus as, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, whom Jesus represents and speaks for. -- Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Matthew 22:32; 23:39; Mark 11:9,10; 12:26; Luke 13:35; 20:37; John 3:2,17,32-35; 4:34; 5:19,30,36,43; 6:57; 7:16,28; 8:26,28,38; 10:25; 12:49,50; 14:10; 15:15; 17:8,26; 20:17; Acts 2:22,34-36; 3:13-26; 5:30; Romans 15:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 8:6; 11:31; Colossians 1:3,15; 2:9-12; Hebrews 1:1-3; Revelation 1:1.

The scriptures abound with cases where Yahweh uses various servants but is given the credit for their actions, since he was the directing force, very similar to Jesus. — Exodus 3:10,12; 12:17; 18:10; Numbers 16:28; Judges 2:6,18; 3:9,10; 6:34; 11:29; 13:24,25; 14:6,19; 15:14,18; 16:20,28-30, 2 Kings 4:27; Isaiah 43:11, 45:1-6; etc.

For discussions of scriptures for which it is often claimed that God's Holy Name is attributed to Jesus, see:

The Holy Name
The Holy Name Page 2

See also:

Focus on the Holy Name

Directly, God's Holy Name is only applied to the unipersonal God and Father of Jesus.

The God (Supreme Being – The Might) of Jesus (Scriptures)

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Father is the Only True God

Many of our neighbors who believe in the trinity doctrine, the oneness doctrine, or similar doctrines, will tell you that the scriptures say that there is only one God, and since the words for "God" are applied also to Jesus, then Jesus is that one God. Such actually disregards the usage of the words that are usually translated as God, and, if taken to its logical conclusion, would have Moses (Exodus 7:1), the judges of Israel (Exodus 21:6; 22:8,9,28; See Acts 23:5), all the angels (Psalm 8:5 compared with Hebrews 2:7), the sons of God to whom the Logos came (Psalm 82:1,6; John 10:34,35), the rulers of Babylon (Ezekiel 32:21), and many others, as well as some "things," all as being the one true God.

It is difficult to say that only the God and Father of Jesus is "god," since the words that are translated as "god" can take on the sense of general mightiness. We can definitely say that we are told in the Bible by Jesus himself that the God and Father of Jesus -- the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who sent Jesus, is the only true God in the sense of Supreme Might, the Supreme Being. -- John 17:3; see also 1 Corinthians 8:6.

The Hebrew word for "God" is "EL" and various forms of this word, and the Greek word is "THEOS," and various forms of this word.

Others -- even things -- in the Bible, including the one sent by the only true God, may have the forms of the words EL and THEOS applied to them in a secondary general sense, in the sense of the basic meaning of mightiness, power, and/or authority as given to them by the only true MIGHT of the universe, but this kind of application of the words in a more general sense of mightiness does mean the only true God. Only when applied to the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and Jesus do the words take on the sense of THE MIGHT, the Supreme Being.

Many translations have recognized this usage, but it is not readily apparent to most readers of these translations. For instance, when considering the Hebrew word *EL*, which is most often rendered "God", the King James translators recognize the usage of this word in its basic meaning many times. Carefully note the following texts from the King James Version, in which English translations of the Hebrew word El (and its variations) are in denoted by *..*: "It is in the *power* of my hand." (Genesis 31:29) "There shall be no *might* in thine hand." (Deuteronomy 28:32) "Neither is it in our *power*." (Nehemiah 5:5) "Like the *great* mountains." (Psalm 36:6) "In the *power* of thine hand to do it." (Proverbs 3:27) "Who among the sons of the *mighty*." (Psalm 89:6) "God standeth in the congregation of the *mighty*." (Psalm 82:1) "Who is like unto thee, O Lord [Yahweh] among the *Gods* [mighty ones or ruling ones]?" (Exodus 15:11) "Give unto the Lord [Yahweh] of ye *mighty*." (Psalm 29:1) "The *mighty* God even the Lord [Yahweh]." (Psalm 50:1) "The *strong* among the mighty shall speak." (Ezekiel 32:21) In none of these verses would anyone think of putting forth the challenge of whether the word EL is in reference to the only true God or to a false god.

In the above sense, in the sense of the might, power, authority, rulership, etc., that Yahweh gives to Jesus, we can say that Jesus is god (mighty, powerful, strong, ruler, etc.), but he is not the only true God, the Supreme Being of the Universe. The Supreme Being does not have one who is Supreme Being over him. Jesus does have one who "God," the Supreme Being over him.

Likewise, the Hebrew word "elohim" can mean "mighty" or "great" as can be seen by the way the KJV translators have rendered it in various verses. Again, the word(s) that are used to express the Hebrew word "elohim" are denoted by **: "a *mighty* prince" (Genesis 23:6) "And Rachel said, With *great* wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed: and she called his name Naphtali." (Genesis 30:8) "It was a very great trembling." (1 Samuel 14:15) "Now Nineveh was an exceeding *great* city of three days' journey." -- Jonah 3:3.

One can verify these usages in most Lexicons, Strong's Concordance, or by using the KJV with Strong's numbers at or

ELOHIM, when used in a singular setting, takes on the sense of superiority or the superlative, often called the plural intensive usage of a word. However, forms of the word ELOHIM can also designate a plural usage in a plural setting. Such a case is in Psalm 82:1,6. The King James Version renders ELOHIM in Psalm 82:1 in the first instance as "God," but in the second instance as "gods". The KJV renders the Hebrew word EL in Psalm 82:1 as "mighty." Jesus refers to Psalm 82:6 in his defense concerning his being called the son of God, and the Greek text in John 10:34,35 renders ELOHIM into the Greek as THEOI (plural form of THEOS). The "sons of God" to whom the Logos came are referred to as ELOHIM, THEOS. Should we think of this in terms of being "false gods" or the "true God?" I don't think so, else Jesus' statement would have been meaningless, and his appeal to what God's Word stated would have been of no help to him. Jesus was showing the scriptural legitimacy for using the word involved to others than the only true God, Yahweh, in a sense other than meaning the Most High, Supreme Being, and thus, that his claim to be "the son of God" certainly did not break any of the rules of the scriptural usage.

Thus, in John 1:1,2, John, by twice stating that the Logos in his prehuman existence was with God, is definitely not stating that the Logos was the only true God whom the Logos was with. The words of Jesus in John 17:3,5 show that Jesus was with the only true God -- he was not that only true God whom he was with. Therefore, THEOS in John 1:1, as applied to the Logos should be viewed with the general Hebraic meaning of "mighty," "the Logos was mighty."

We therefore conclude that in the very few instances in the Bible where the words THEOS, EL, or ELOHIM are applied to Jesus, that it is in this general sense of might, power, etc., not in the sense as the only true God versus false gods. Such usage does not give us reason to think that Jesus is the only true God who sent Jesus.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

1 Timothy 3:16 - God in the Flesh?

1 Timothy 3:16

There is nothing here about a trinity, or anything about three persons. One has to assume such an idea and then read that idea into what is said. Evidently one has to assume that "God," as it reads in the KJV and many other translations, means the second person of the trinity; it is further assumed and read into the statement that "God" therefore means that Jesus was "God in the flesh," or something of this nature.

1 Timothy 3:16 - And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; He who was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the spirit, Seen of angels, Preached among the nations, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory. -- American Standard.

Nothing in this rendering says that Jesus "is" God in the flesh. Paul is talking about the mystery of godliness (piety), devotion to God. This great mystery is described in the phrases following. While this godly devotion is a great mystery to world, it is revealed in the human life, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. As it reads in the American Standard, and several other translations, this mystery of godliness is "he who" was revealed, manifested, or appeared in the flesh (of Jesus). Jesus was indeed the exemplar of this godliness, this devotion to God, especially since he was the first human to have completely and fully obeyed God.

1 Timothy 3:16 - Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory. -- New International Version.

This version speaks of Jesus as appearing in a body. It still, however, does not say that Jesus *is* God in the flesh. Of course, Jesus, having a body specially prepared by God (Hebrews 10:5), and thus not being condemned to sin and death as are all who are dying in Adam (Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22), and having learned of his God and Father, and with the help of God's holy spirit, Jesus was indeed the exemplar of godliness (devotion to God). This, of course, does not mean that Jesus is his God to whom he held this godliness.

1 Timothy 2:15 - Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith: Christ appeared in the flesh and was shown to be righteous by the Spirit. He was seen by angels and was announced to the nations. He was believed on in the world and was taken up into heaven. -- New Living Translation.

This rendering also does not say that Jesus *is* God in the flesh. While this rendering is not very literal in translation, the thought is given that Christ appeared in the flesh. The "great mystery of godliness" is changed to "the great mystery our faith." Jesus was shown to be righteous (he absolutely never sinned!). What an example of godliness (devotion to God). Of course, nothing here means that Jesus is his God, or that he was his God Himself in the flesh.

1 Timothy 3:16 - Truly great is this divine mystery of righteousness: it is revealed in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached to the Gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up into glory. -- Lamsa Translation.

This translation also does not say that "Jesus is God manifest in the flesh. This rendering would place the "mystery of godliness" as an "it" that is revealed in the flesh. Of course, the way that righteousness was revealed in the flesh was by means of Jesus. It was Jesus, by means of righteousness, his devotedness to his God, who brought life and incorruption to light.

1 Timothy 3:16 - And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. -- King James Version.

Again, we do not find any expression that Jesus is God manifested in the flesh, but this translation does say that "God was manifest in the flesh." Of course, through Jesus, God was indeed made manifest in the flesh of the one sent by the only true God, since Jesus declared his God, spoke the words of his God, and did the works of his God who had sent him. (Deuteronomy 18:15-19; John 14:10,24; 17:3) This does not mean that Jesus is his God. "The mystery of godliness" -- of devotion to God -- would be the entire expression following. This godliness was that God was indeed made manifest, revealed, in the flesh of Jesus. This godliness in Jesus was justified by means of the spirit, seen of angels, preached to the Gentiles, believed on in the world and received up into glory. Jesus' godliness, his devotion to God, was with him while he was in the flesh, and remains with him after being received up into glory. Jesus, of course, since his flesh was never sinful to begin with, did not need to be justified from sin, but Jesus did maintain the justified condition by means of God's holy spirit -- never failling short of the glory of God, unlike Adam, and all condemned in Adam. The angels themselves had a keen interest in Jesus' devotion to God, which is still a "mystery" to the world. The devotion of Jesus to his God was preached to the heathen, and many in the world did believe in him. Jesus continued this devotion even after having died in the flesh, sacrificing his terrestrial body and received into the glory of a celestial body.

Of course, the reason for different words used in translation is because of the variant readings of manuscripts. I do not wish to get into a fruitless, and often endless, argument of which variant is correct. As shown above, regardless of the differences in the manuscripts, none of them say that Jesus is God manifested in the flesh. Trinitarians, as well as some others, prefer the way it reads in the KJV since they would find it easier to add their doctrines to this, and read their doctrines into what is said. The best rendering that I can see that actually fits the context is "he who" rendering. From the standpoint of complete harmony with the rest of the scriptures, what I can say about the latter (KJV) translation of 1 Timothy 3:16 is that God was manifested in the flesh of Jesus, since Jesus was fully devoted to God, the human expression of godliness (piety) while Jesus was in the days of his flesh. This does not mean that Jesus was or is his God, who was being manifested through Jesus.

For further study, see: