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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 biblecrosswalk.com or studylight.org.

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.

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