UNDERSTANDING: THE FATHER, SON, HOLY SPIRIT
By Juan Baixeras
1. HOLY SPIRIT
2. JESUS THE MESSIAH
3. THE NEW CANNOT CONTRADICT THE OLD
4. GOD SENDS JESUS THE MESSIAH
5. HOW DID JESUS BECOME GOD?
6. WHO BENEFITS FROM JESUS BECOMING GOD?
7. QUESTIONS TO PONDER
8. BUT WHAT ABOUT THESE PROOF TEXTS?
The purpose of this paper is not to weaken someone’s faith; on the contrary, it should if anything, strengthen your beliefs. It should however, give you enough questions about the trinity to force you to go and do some research for yourself, at least for the peace of mind that you have not been misled. However, if you do any kind of research, you will find that the Doctrine of the Trinity is completely man made. It was not taught by Jesus nor his Apostles. It is a product of the influence of Greek philosophy upon the early Christian church of the first few centuries.
The Bible, Jesus, and the Apostles are all Jewish. One has to read and interpret the Bible with an understanding of what a particular verse meant to a first century Jew. Unfortunately, as the early church grew and spread all over the world, the leaders of the church were no longer Jews, but non-Jews (Gentiles). In the first few centuries, the international language was Greek, much like English is today. This is why the New Testament is written in Greek. Greek philosophy was considered to be the most enlightened teaching of its time. Anyone with an education would have a good understanding of the concepts of Greek philosophy, and they, for the most part, would agree with it.
The problem of interpreting the Bible by Gentiles who were schooled in Greek philosophy is that the two do not mix. Someone using Greek philosophy to interpret Hebrew documents is going arrive at some very mistaken conclusions. I like to use an example that I heard from a friend of mine to illustrate this point. If an Englishman says, "I am mad about my flat." He means that "he is excited about his apartment." To an American it means that "he is angry about his flat tire." Keep in mind that in this example they are both speaking English in the same century. Imagine interpreting Hebrew writings from a different century, using Greek philosophy to determine their meanings. The outcome can only be disastrous!
This outcome effected Christianity in three major areas.
1. Death (what happens when you die).
2. The kingdom of God.
3. The nature of Jesus.
In this paper we will only be concerned with the last one. We will examine Scriptually the Doctrine of the Trinity. Is it Biblical, or is it a man-made tradition? As a Christian I would want to be certain on this point. Look at all the evidence, and then make up your mind. Some verses in the Old Testament might not correspond exactly as I have them quoted; some Bibles differ in their numeration of the Old Testament. Just look one verse above or below and it will be there. I have used a few verses from the Apocrypha, specifically from Sirach and Wisdom. They are not canonical, but they provide us with an excellent source of outside biblical evidence and also confirm examples of Jewish literary devices.
I hope this paper helps you on your way to really knowing God and His Son Jesus the Messiah.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is God, but it is not a separate entity, yet still an equal member of a triune God. It is simply the presence and power of God Himself. Nowhere in the Bible is the Holy Spirit ever said to be an equal member of a trinity. Nobody ever prays to it, nobody ever talks to it, none of the New Testament writers ever send greetings from the Holy Spirit. Even when theologians decided that Jesus was God in 325 AD, they did not include the Holy Spirit until fifty-six years later in 381 AD. The Holy Spirit is how God extends His presence and power to His creation. Psalm 139: 7 states:
"Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?"
Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words define the Hebrew word spirit as: breath of life. 2. mindset, of one’s mind or thinking.
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is God’s mind renewing your mind. This is why our way of thinking changes when we receive the Holy Spirit. Through God’s mind comes His power. 1 Corinthians 2:11 states:
"For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit (mind) within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God," (the mind of God).
The Bible refers to the Holy Spirit as God’s Spirit or the Spirit of God. It is the Spirit (the mind) of the Holy One, "God." It is not a person separate from God.
Matthew 3: 16, 1 Corinthians 2: 10, 1 Corinthians 2: 14, 1 Corinthians 3: 16, Romans 8: 11.
These are just a few of many.
People have tried to make the Holy Spirit an independent, co-equal , omniscient, omnipotent, entity, who is really now called "God the Holy Spirit," (a name which does not exist in the entire Bible) who is a member of a triune God. There is no evidence for this claim. People have taken simple verses and filled them with conjecture. Let me give you an example:
2 Corinthians 13: 13 or 14 depending on the translation states:
"May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."
The New American Bible says of this verse, "This final verse is one of the clearest Trinitarian passages in the New Testament."
If this is one of the clearest Trinitarian passages, imagine what the others must be like.
Just because you mention God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in the same sentence does not make them the same being. In Luke 9: 28 it says:
"About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray."
If we hold to the same logic that is being applied to 2 Corinthians 13: 13, then Jesus, Peter, John, and James are the same being. This is the extent of this argument. I honestly look at this verse and I do not see anything that implies that they are three in one. Do you? What this verse means is exactly what it says, that the grace of the Lord Jesus, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. The fellowship of the Holy Spirit is how God communicates and relates to us. Even if we say that they are three distinct persons, it still does not imply that they are the same being. Look at it objectively and not the way human tradition dictates it must be looked at. The other few verses that are used for the same purpose are identical in structure. All they do is mention God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit in the same paragraph. Puzzling? Yes. Biblical? No.
The Old Testament never thought of the Holy Spirit as a person distinct from the Father. J.D. Michaelis who is an eminent professor of biblical languages states:
"It cannot be proved, out of the whole number of passages in the Old Testament in which the Holy Spirit is mentioned, that it is a distinct person in the Godhead."
Remember that the New Testament cannot contradict the Old Testament. There was no exchange of God’s. It is the same God throughout the Bible.
In many Bible translations people have tried to make the Holy Spirit a person by translating the "Paraclete" as "him" instead of "it," as in John 14:15-17. It should be "it". People have translated it as "him" for theological reasons. The Roman Catholic New American Bible among others, translates the Paraclete correctly as "it" and has an excellent footnote:
Note on John 14:17: The Greek word for "spirit" is neuter, and the Greek text and manuscript variants fluctuate between masculine and neuter pronouns."
If the Holy Spirit has always been the third person in a triune God, then why did they not include the Holy Spirit as a member of the Godhead when they made Jesus "God" at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD? Why did they have to wait until the Council of Constantinople in 381 AD to include the Holy Spirit in the formula? The reason is because neither Jesus nor the Holy Spirit had ever been considered separate persons of the same God until Greek philosophy started to influence the early church in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th centuries, mostly by the pen of such men as Origen and Tertullian.
For a brief explanation of the influence of Greek philosophy on the early church, I would strongly suggest that you look up "Platonism" in The Encyclopedia Britannica under the subtitle "Platonism and the influence on the early Christian church."
JESUS THE MESSIAH
WHO IS JESUS
Jesus is the Son Of God.
Jesus is the Prophesied Messiah.
Jesus is our Lord and Savior.
Jesus is our brother.
Jesus is our role model.
Jesus is also our mediator with God.
Jesus is the Messiah, the king of Israel. He is the anointed one of God. God has anointed Jesus with His spirit and this is how God is with us. It is God working through Jesus. God did not come AS Jesus, He came IN Jesus. The best definition of Jesus is given by Peter in Acts 2:22 and Acts 10:38:
"Jesus the Nazorean was a man commended to you by God with mighty deeds, wonders and signs, which God worked through him in your midst."
"How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him."
WHO JESUS IS NOT
Jesus is not GOD.
1 Corinthians 8: 6 – "Yet for us there is but one God, the Father."
John 17: 3 – "Now this eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."
Revelation 21: 22 – "I did not see a temple in the city because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple."
GOD THE SON OR SON OF GOD?
Here is a list of the people who claim that Jesus is the Son of God, and then those who claim that he is God the Son. I will keep it simple and not list the verses that claim that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of Man, or the king of Israel. All these titles are synonymous.
Son of God
God Himself refers to Jesus as His Son: Mt 2: 15, 3:17, 17: 5, Mk 1: 11, 9: 7, Lk 9: 35
Jesus says that he is the Son of God: Mt 26: 63, Lk 22: 70, Jn 5: 25, 10: 36, 19: 7
The angel Gabriel says Jesus is the Son of God: Luke 1: 35
Peter says that Jesus is the Son of God: Mt 16: 16
John the Apostle says Jesus is the Son of God: Jn 20: 31, 1 Jn 3: 23, 4: 15, 5:5
All the Apostles say Jesus is the Son of God: Mt 14: 33, Jn 6: 69
John the Baptist says Jesus is the Son of God: Jn 1: 34
John Mark says Jesus is the Son of God: Mk 1: 1
Paul says Jesus is the Son of God: Acts 9: 20, Rom 1: 4, 1 Cor 1: 9, 2 Cor 1:19, Gal 2: 20, Heb 4: 14
Nathanael says Jesus is the Son of God: Jn 1: 49
Demons say Jesus is the Son of God: Mt 8: 29, Mk 3: 11, 5: 7, Lk 4: 41, 8: 28
The Centurion says Jesus is the Son of God: Mt 27: 54, Mk 15: 39
God the Son
THE NEW CANNOT CONTRADICT THE OLD
The New Testament was not written to contradict the Old Testament. Jesus says that he did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets, (which is the Old Testament) but to fulfill them. So we can safely say that the same God of the Old Testament is the same God in the New Testament. I do not think that anyone will contest that thought. So let’s see whom the God of the Old Testament is, and then, we will compare Him to who the New Testament says He is. They should be exactly the same. If they are not, then something is definitely wrong.
The core conviction of the Jews is their belief in that there is one, and only one, supreme creator God worthy of worship in the universe. The Jews have never thought of God as three in one, and one in three. There is not one verse in the Old Testament that claims God to be anything but one. I challenge anyone to find one.
Some people have used the word "elohim" to suggest that it is plural for God. A Dictionary of the Bible states:
"The fanciful idea that ‘elohim’ referred to the trinity of persons in the Godhead hardly finds now a supporter among scholars."
Elohim literally means "gods" as in more than one, as it is used in Judges 2: 17:
"But abandoned themselves to the worship of other gods" (elohim).
It is also used in the singular to refer to only one god. But it does not by any form mean that God is plural. The American Journal of Semetic Languages and Literature says of "elohim":
"It is almost invariably construed with a singular verbal predicate, and takes a singular adjectival attribute."
The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible states the following on "elohim:"
"Since the plural word Elohim when used for God in the Old Testament is most emphatically singular in meaning, there is real probability that the Hebrews looked on it as a plural of Majesty."
Judges 11: 24
"Will you not take what your god (elohim) Chemosh gives you?"
1 Samuel 5: 7
"When the men of Ashdod saw what was happening, they said, "the ark of the God of Israel must not stay here with us, because His hand is heavy upon us and upon Dagon our god (elohim)."
Exodus 7: 1
"Then the LORD said to Moses, " See, I have made you like God (elohim) to Pharaoh..."
In these verses nobody would contend that elohim is plural. It is used for the god Chemosh, Dagon, and for Moses. I do not think anyone considers Moses to be more than one person.
The Jews have always thought of God as only one.
Deuteronomy 6: 4
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD is one."
Deuteronomy 4: 39
"Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other."
Deuteronomy 32: 39
"See now that I myself am He! There is no God besides me."
Isaiah 45: 5
"I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God."
There are an incredible amount of verses like the ones above.
The New Testament also claims God to be only one. Nowhere is God described as plural, although theologians have gone to extremes in trying to prove that view. Lets see who Jesus and the writers of the New Testament say God is.
When Jesus is asked which commandment is the most important, Jesus answers in Mark 12:28 - 29 by quoting Deuteronomy 6: 4.
"Hear, O Israel the LORD is our God, the LORD is one."
Jesus did not say the Lord is three in one, and one in three. He was in complete agreement with the Old Testament view of God. As a matter of fact, it is not just a commandment to know that God is one, Jesus says it is the greatest commandment (Mark 12: 28 - 29).
John 17: 3
"This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."
Jesus says eternal life depends on knowing the only true God, AND Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 8: 6
"Yet for us there is but one God, the Father."
Paul cannot be clearer on this subject. There is no, "God the Son," or "God the Holy Spirit." Only, God the Father.
The New Testament agrees completely with the Old Testament about God being only one. If you take any other view that makes God plural, you will be contradicting the Old Testament no matter how you dress it up.
GOD SENDS JESUS THE MESSIAH
Jesus is not God in the flesh. Numbers 23: 19 states:
"God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man that he should change his mind. "
1 John 4: 12:
"No one has ever seen God"
2 John vv. 7 says:
"Many deceivers who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. "
Jesus, is Jesus in the flesh. It does not say God, Jehovah, The Father, or The Most High God as coming in the flesh. It says Jesus Christ. When Jesus asks Peter, "But who do you say I am? " Peter answers,
"You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."
Then, Jesus says to Peter, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father " (Matthew 16: 15 - 17). Notice that Peter says "Son of the living God." He could just as simply have said, " You are God," but he doesn’t. Jesus then tells Peter that the Father has blessed him by revealing to him who he is. Jesus is the Son OF God, not God.
God and Jesus are two separate beings, but God dwells in Jesus spiritually. Jesus was a man like all men of that time, except that he was anointed with God’s Holy Spirit. This is the meaning of "Messiah."Acts 10:38 says:
"How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil because God was with him."
It is God working through Jesus. God revealed everything to Jesus, who he was, what his mission was, what would happen to him, and the resources available to him through God’s Holy Spirit. God told Jesus what to do and what to say a lot of the times if not most of the times as Jesus himself testifies in John 12:49:
"For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it."
Because God dwells in Jesus, Jesus was in the form of God (KJV Philippians 2: 6). But the key words are "in the form of." It does not say Jesus was God, but in the form of God. In Greek, the words "form" and "image" are interchangeable. The phrases imply a close relationship with, rather than identity. This is confirmed by the subjection of Christ to God in 1 Corinthians 15:25. If you saw Jesus performing miracles or teaching about the Kingdom of God like only he knew about, you were actually witnessing God performing miracles and God teaching about His Kingdom through His Holy Spirit in Jesus. This is why Jesus told Philip in John 14:9-10:
"Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, "Show us the Father." Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father living in me, who is doing His work."
Jesus is not God, but God is in him. He was one with God in spirit (mind, purpose). We are born with a veil through which we cannot see. When we receive God’s Holy Spirit through Jesus, God starts revealing things to us through whatever means he wishes His word, visions, dreams, or other people. But He does this at His own pace, when He knows you are ready. But Jesus did not have a veil, he could see clearly because he is God’s only begotten Son, His Chosen One. He had a specific mission to complete for God’s plan to reconcile us to Him. God’s Spirit revealed everything about the Kingdom of God to Jesus. Just think how much less you would have sinned if you had known when you were ten years old what you know now about God and Jesus. A big difference surely!
Here are some verses that help to show the relationship between God and Jesus.
Acts 2: 22
"Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you with God’s set purpose and foreknowledge."
Romans 1: 3
"Regarding His Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of Holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God."
John 8: 28 - 29
"So Jesus said, When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; He has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases Him."
John 12: 49
"For I do not speak of my own accord but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it."
Hebrews 2: 17
"For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for sins of the people."
John 10: 38
"But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe in the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father."
1 Corinthians 15: 21
"For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man."
"Now have salvation and power come, and the kingdom of God and the authority of his Anointed."
Romans 5: 15
"How much more did God’s grace and the gift that comes by the grace of one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!"
HOW DID JESUS BECOME GOD?
Neither Jesus nor his Apostles ever taught that Jesus was God. To most Christians this doctrine is of the utmost importance. It is the centerpiece of their belief system. Yet, isn’t it strange that something of such importance is not mentioned in the entire Bible. There are a few verses which people cling to that they say claim Jesus is God, but when you look at a few sentences before or after this verse, it is obvious that this is not what is meant. In the last part of this report we shall go over some of the most often quoted Scriptures to show you how they have been misinterpreted and/or mistranslated from Greek to English. It should be very interesting, and a guaranteed eye opener. As was mentioned earlier, a lot of Bible scholars also point to Old Testament Scriptures to show God’s plurality. Yet, the Jews who were God’s chosen people, whom God gave the Old Testament to for thousands of years before Jesus have never thought of God as being plural. Although the Jews failed to see Jesus as the Messiah, (even though he fulfilled over 300 Old Testament prophesies) they are still waiting for the Messiah to come. Interestingly, the Messiah to the Jews is supposed to be a man anointed by God, not God. Let us look at some of the Messianic Prophecies to confirm who the Messiah is supposed to be:
Isaiah 53: 3 states that the servant of God will be a man.
"A man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity..."
Isaiah 52: 14 states that his look was marred beyond that of man.
"So marred was his appearance beyond that of man."
Deuteronomy 18: 15 states that the Messiah will be like Moses and come from among their own brothers.
"The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers."
Daniel 9: 25 - 26 states that he will be anointed and a leader, and that the anointed shall be cut down.
Vv25: "Until one who is anointed and a leader..."
Vv26: "After the sixty - two weeks an anointed shall be cut down..."
Isaiah 11: 1 - 2 states that the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon the shoot from the stump of Jesse (Jesse was David’s Father, and Jesus is of the line of David).
"But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:"
Isaiah 42: 1 states that God will put His Spirit upon His servant, His chosen one with whom He is pleased.
"Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased, Upon whom I have put my Spirit."
Psalms 89: 27 - 28 states how the anointed will call God his father, his God, his rock, his savior, and how God will make him the firstborn.
"He shall say of me, "You are my father, my God , my rock, my savior." And I will make him the firstborn."
Micah 5: 3 states that he shall shepherd his flock by the strength of the LORD his God. Emphasis on " his God."
"He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock by the strength of the LORD, in the majestic name of the LORD, his God..."
As you can see, the Messiah is supposed to have a God. He is not supposed to be God.
The Messiah is supposed to be a man anointed by God, not God in the flesh. Webster’s Dictionary and The Quest Study Bible, define Messiah as - anointed one. Which is exactly who Jesus is. Read Acts 10: 38 and Acts 2:22 if you have any doubts.
Jesus and his Apostles covered every aspect of Christian life in their teachings and writings. Would it not be fair to conclude that something as important and complicated as the trinity would have been given at least a few verses explaining this complicated relationship. Yet, Jesus nor his Apostles dedicate one verse of explanation to this subject in the entire Bible. Isn’t it odd that the greatest teacher of all would just completely overlook what is considered by some to be one of the most important concepts in Christianity. The entire Bible contradicts this theory. If you were to read the entire Bible from cover to cover without any preconceived ideas, you would never come up with the concept of the trinity. So how did this concept come to be?
There is other literature at this web site which will describe in detail how this concept developed, and spread.
What happened in a nutshell is that Greek philosophy, specifically Gnosticism, Stoicism, and Neo-Platonism influenced Christianity in the first few centuries. Almost all the Christian theologians in the first few centuries were educated in these philosophies. For example, Stoics believed that "logos" was the divine principle of life. This is basically a definition of God. Now with this definition in mind, imagine what kind of interpretation you are going to arrive at when you read John 1:1-3
"In the beginning was the Word (logos), and the Word (logos) was with God, and the Word (logos) was God."
You will come to an interpretation that was never intended by its Hebrew author. An explanation of this verse is included later on. Neo-Platonist believed God to be a triune God that was divided into three.
One / intelligence / Soul.
God / Word / Holy Spirit.
You can easily see how similar this view of God is to the Trinitarian view of God.
The influence started even as early as in Paul’s day. Paul and John wrote in their letters against some of these Gnostic teachings that were already trying to creep into the church. It was in the third and fourth centuries that the big infiltration of Greek philosophy into the early church started to change some core doctrines, the nature of Jesus being one of them. It was a false teaching that developed over two hundred years and was formulated as a formal doctrine in part at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD and then in its present state at the Council of Constantinople in 385 AD, three hundred and sixty years after Jesus.
The Council of Nicaea asserted that:
"Jesus was of the same substance as the Father,"
which laid the groundwork for later Trinitarian theology. For many years there had been much opposition on Biblical grounds to the developing idea that Jesus was God. To try to resolve the dispute, Roman Emperor Constantine summoned all the bishops to Nicaea. About 300, a fraction of the total attended.
Constantine was not a Christian. He worshipped the Unconquered Sun like his father had. He not only worshipped the Unconquered Sun, he held the title and role of High Priest of that religion. To see what kind of person Constantine was, let us take a quick look at just a few of his accomplishments. He became emperor by making war on his opponents. He murdered one of his sons, his brother in law, his nephew and possibly his second wife. This is the kind of person that presided over and decided the outcome of the council of Nicaea.
"By their fruit you will recognize them"(Matthew 7:16).
God definitely did not guide this man or this council. Constantine converted nearing the end of his life, but it was a military matter, not the grace of God. Constantine believed that victory in battle lay in the gift of the God of the Christians.
Constantine played a crucial role at this council. The Encyclopedia Britannica states:
"Constantine himself presided, actively guiding the discussions and personally proposed the crucial formula expressing the relationship of Christ to God in the creed issued by the council, "of one substance with the Father."
The American Academic Encyclopedia states:
"Although this was not Constantine’s first attempt to reconcile factions in Christianity, it was the first time he had used the imperial office to IMPOSE a settlement."
Pressured by the Emperor with forced exile, the bishops with only two exceptions signed the creed, many of them much against their inclination. A few years later when Arianism became popular, Constantine found it politically expedient to change sides and exiled all those who did not agree with him, which were the same ones who had agreed with him at the Council of Nicaea. I think this action clearly shows how much conviction Constantine had towards the idea that Jesus was God. As was mentioned earlier, he converted nearing the end of his life, and was baptized by the Arian Bishop of Nicodemia. He was not a Christian during the council, and in my opinion, (according to Bible standards) he never was. It is worth noting, that the Holy Spirit was not even considered at Nicaea. If the Apostles taught the trinity, then it should have been a constant teaching from the Apostles to Nicaea, and Nicaea should have just formalized the teaching. But as has been mentioned, the Holy Spirit was not included in Nicaea’s formula, which proves that this was not an established teaching of the times as people will have you believe. It was a developing doctrine, entirely man made. Debate over this continued for decades, then Emperor Theodosias established the creed of the Council of Nicaea as the standard for his realm and convened the Council of Constantinople in 381 AD to clarify the formula. The council agreed to place the Holy Spirit on the same level as God and Christ. For the first time Christendom’s Trinity became law for both church and state.
The Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD was responsible for the "official" definition of the person of Jesus. This is the creed that all the major denominations that claim to be Trinitarian follow. Thomas Hart, a Roman Catholic theologian writes:
"According to the Council of Chalcedon:
Jesus is fully God and fully man. "Jesus is called "man" in the generic sense, but is not "a man." He has a human nature, but is not a human person. The person in him is the second person of the Blessed Trinity. Jesus does not have a human personal center. This is how the Council gets round the possible problem of split personality."
A leading Protestant Oliver Quick, D.D., who wrote Doctrines of the Creed states:
"If we affirm that Jesus was a human person, we are driven into an impossible conception of double personality in the incarnate Son of God."
This Council denies that Jesus was a human person, "does not have a personal human center." Hebrews 2: 17 states:
"For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in EVERY way."
We (his brothers) are all 100% human. John, the Apostle, instructs us to apply the theological test. This yardstick is to measure our own understanding of the person of Jesus. Who is the real Jesus? The test is as follows:
This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God:
"Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist" (1 John 4:2, 2 John vv. 7).
Your next question should be, what exactly does "come in the flesh mean?" Let us turn for help to the Translator’s New Testament, a fine document produced by thirty-five scholars, seventeen being New Testament specialist in universities and theological colleges, and eighteen missionary linguist (published by the British and Foreign Bible Society, 1973). Here is their rendering of 2 John vv. 7:
"Many deceivers have gone into the world who do not accept that Jesus came as a human being. Here is the deceiver and the antichrist."
Strong’s Greek Dictionary of the New Testament defines flesh as follows: (spec.) a human being.
Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words defines flesh as follows: In the totality of all that is essential to manhood.
How does this vital test apply to your understanding of Jesus? These creeds that have been mentioned are the creeds which the majority of Christians believe to be true. But are they Biblical, or man-made?
In the 6th century, Emperor Justinian produced a decree that imposed the death penalty for all that did not accept the Doctrine of the Trinity. Does this doctrine with its penalties sound like something that God or His Son Jesus would approve of? Did Jesus or the Apostles ever kill anyone because they did not agree with them?
Trinitarians (of which I was one) have conformed the Scriptures to their thought, instead of conforming their thought to the Scriptures.
The fact that it had to be changed into this at all, should tell you that it was not that way in the beginning. And the closer you get to the beginning, the closer you get to Jesus and the Apostles, and true Christianity. The Doctrine of the Trinity is man-made. It is not from God, but from man. Hence, a pagan emperor after two months of furious debate intervened in favor of those who said that Jesus was God. A Short History of Christian Doctrine states:
"Constantine had basically no understanding whatsoever of the questions being asked in Greek theology."
What he did understand was that religious division was a threat to his empire, and he wanted to solidify his domain.
I encourage everyone to do their own research on this matter. It is really quite easy. However, let’s see what some well-known books and educational references have to say on this subject.
The Encyclopedia Americana: "Fourth century Trinitarianism did not reflect accurately early Christian teaching regarding the nature of God; it was, on the contrary, a deviation from this teaching."
A Dictionary of Religious Knowledge: "Many say that the trinity is a corruption borrowed from the heathen religions, and engrafted on the Christian faith."
The Paganism in Our Christianity: "The origin of the trinity is entirely pagan."
The New chaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge: "The doctrines of the Logos and the trinity received their shape from Greek Fathers, who were much influenced, directly or indirectly, by the Platonic philosophy. That errors and corruptions crept into the church from this source cannot be denied."
The Church of the First Few Centuries: "The Doctrine of the Trinity was of gradual and comparatively late formation. It had its origin in a source entirely foreign from that of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures. It grew up, and was engrafted on Christianity, through the hands of the Platonizing Fathers."
Outlines of the History of Dogma: "Church doctrine became rooted in the soil of Hellenism (pagan Greek thought). Thereby it became a mystery to the great majority of Christians."
"See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ" (Colossians 2: 8).
The trinity depends entirely on human tradition and basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. This is a simplistic explanation of how it got started, there is much more information to be studied on where the concept originated and why it was successful in gaining popularity. But in order to find this information one must get out of their seat and do a little legwork. I assure you it is not that hard at all, pick up The Encyclopedia Britannica and look up "Platonism" and read the effects on the early church. Then look up all the names which that section mentions. Look up "Trinity" in various encyclopedias. This is just the start. You will be amazed!
WHO BENEFITS FROM JESUS BECOMING GOD?
The only one who benefits is the Accuser, better known as Satan. None of the Apostles ever taught that Jesus was God, they taught (as did Jesus himself) that he was the Son of God. So how does Satan gain from making Jesus God? First, God does not receive the exclusive worship that only He deserves. Jesus himself said:
"Worship the LORD your God, and serve him ONLY” (Matthew 4: 10).
Secondly, Jesus taught us to pray to the Father in his name with our requests:
"I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask for in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete" (John 16: 23 - 24).
John 14: 6 states:
"No one comes to the Father except through me."
Jesus is our connection to God, but you are supposed to pray to God in Jesus’ name. God alone is the one who grants your prayers. Remember that Jesus used to pray to God with his requests. By making Jesus God, a lot of people pray directly to Jesus instead of God, thinking that they are one and the same. I think you will find it interesting that throughout the entire New Testament, none of the Apostles ever pray to Jesus, always to the Father. Have we become so arrogant to think that we know better than the Apostles?
Prayer is a powerful weapon against Satan. The result is that some people miss out on one of the most important resources God has given us, PRAYER. By praying incorrectly a lot of prayers go unanswered needlessly. It is like trying to place a call to your friend John Doe, and his telephone number is 123-4567, and you dial 123-4568 and then wonder why John Doe never answers his phone. So a lot of people died that could have been saved, a lot of families broke up that could have stayed together, a lot of people suffered that did not have to suffer, and a lot of people had their faith shaken when their prayers were not answered. Third, it promotes confusion and division among the church. Who profits from this? That’s correct, Satan!
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
These questions are but a few that must be addressed. If you believe that Jesus is God, listen carefully to your answers as you explain these questions. If you find your answers to be complex and confusing, this is a good indication that all is not as it should be. Jesus’ message was not meant only for intellectuals, but for all people. His followers were fishermen, housewives, tax collectors, and people from all walks of life. They were not just an elite group of scholars. The Quest Study Bible states:
"The existence of the Father and Son as one God yet two distinct persons baffles the human mind. It’s a mystery that cannot be fully explained by logic or reason. Yet, because the Bible teaches the unity of God and the deity of Christ, we must accept the fact that an infinite God cannot be comprehended by finite humans. When we meet Christ face to face, it’s possible that such mysteries will be better understood."
Does this sound like something God would want for us, to be baffled by His Word? The Bible was meant for us to get to know God more closely, not to alienate us by baffling us. All the letters written by the Apostles to the new churches were written to instruct or clarify the faith. They were written as simply as possible to make sure they understood what was being said. Paul wrote:
"For we do not write you anything you cannot read or understand"(2 Corinthians 1:13).
There should not be "The Mystery of the Holy Trinity." There is no mystery.
Before answering these questions, read carefully the Chalcedon Creed that is the creed that all Trinitarians adhere to and profess to be true. This is the creed that you are defending when you accept Jesus as God.
DEFINITION OF THE COUNCIL OF CHALCEDON (451 AD)
Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, bearer; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us.
Some people will try to answer some of these questions by saying, "Jesus emptied himself." This shows how little people understand their own creed. This is called the "kenotic doctrine" and people try to use it in defense of the trinity. But it is in total contradiction to the Chalcedon Creed. The Kenotic Doctrine says that Jesus emptied himself of his deity. Well, you can simply read in the Chalcedon Creed that it defines Jesus’ nature as fully God and fully man at all times, without division, without separation. You cannot say that you believe in the trinity and use this excuse. If you subscribe to the kenotic doctrine, then you have already rejected the trinity. You cannot be both.
In 1951, in celebration of the 1500th birthday of the Chalcedon Creed, Pope Pius the 12th wrote the following:
Encyclical of Pope Pius the 12th on the Council of Chalcedon September 8, 1951
There is another enemy of the faith of Chalcedon, widely diffused outside the fold of the Catholic religion. This is an opinion for which a rashly and falsely understood sentence of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians (2:7), supplies a basis and a shape. This is called the kenotic doctrine, and according to it, they imagine that the divinity was taken away from the Word in Christ. It is a wicked invention, equally to be condemned with the Docetism opposed to it. It reduces the whole mystery of the Incarnation and Redemption to empty the bloodless imaginations.
Remember that the Chalcedon Creed is not just Catholic. All major Trinitarian denominations use it to describe the nature of Jesus.
1. Mark 13: 32: "No one knows the day or hour, not even the angels in Heaven nor the Son, but only the Father."
Trinitarians believe that God the Son is omniscient (all knowing).
Q. If Jesus is omniscient, why does he not know the day or hour? (Matthew 24: 36)
Q. If Jesus is omniscient, why does he not know who touched him? (Luke 8: 45)
2. John 14: 28: "I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I."
Q. According to the Doctrine of the Trinity, the Father and Son are co-equal. How can the Father be greater than Jesus if they are co-equal?
Q. How is Jesus going to himself?
3.Q. How can you kill God? God cannot be killed. Yet, they killed Jesus. He was resurrected. Scripture says that God resurrected Jesus. Webster’s Dictionary, Resurrect - 1. rising from the dead. Scripture says:
"For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man" (1 Corinthians 15: 21). It does not say, comes also through a Goodman, or through God, but through a man. Jesus was a man anointed by God.
If Jesus is God, then obviously his divine nature did not die. Which means there really was no atonement for sins.
4. Hebrews 1: 3 - 4: "After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of The Majesty in Heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs."
Q. Who’s right hand did he sit next to? Aren’t Jesus and The Majesty the same being?
Q. If Jesus is supposed to be co-equal with God the Father, what does "He became superior mean?" Isn’t Jesus, if he is God, superior to all already?
5. Matthew 27: 46: "About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachtani?" Which means My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?"
Q. Who is Jesus’ God?
Q. How can God forsake himself?
Q. How can God the Son have a God?
6. John 20: 17: "Jesus said, do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, "I am returning to my Father and your Father, my God and your God."
Jesus makes it clear that his Father and God is our Father and God, this is why Jesus refers to us as "brothers," and God calls us "sons."
Q. Why would Jesus make such a clear distinction between himself and God, is he trying to confuse us on purpose?
Q. If Jesus is God, then this Scripture plainly says that there is more than one God.
7. John 12: 49: "For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it."
Q. Jesus’ accord is not the same as the Father’s?
Q. How can God be commanded? Obviously, if one is commanding the other they are not equal.
8. Psalms 110: 1: "The LORD (YHWH) said to my Lord"(Messiah).
Q. Who is the LORD speaking to, himself?
9. Revelation 1: 6: "To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father."
Revelation 3: 12: "Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God."
Q. Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God in Heaven at the time of this writing. Why does Jesus continue to make such clear statements that God is his God and his Father if he himself is God?
10. Jesus prayed all the time. Jesus himself teaches us to pray to God in his name.
Q. If Jesus is God, Who is he praying to? Who is there to listen?
Examples: Mark 14: 32, Luke 9: 18, John 17: 9 - 18, John 17: 20 - 26.
These are just a few of many.
11. John 17: 3: "That they may know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you sent."
Q. Why does Jesus make such a clear separation between God and himself? Doesn’t Jesus know that He is God?
12. John 11: 41: "So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me."
Q. Who was Jesus thanking? Was he thanking himself? If so, why?
13. Q. Why does Paul also make clear distinctions between God and Jesus in the following Scriptures?
Ephesians 1: 3: "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Ephesians 1: 17: "I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father..."
Titus 1: 4: "Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior." (It doesn’t say God the Son)
Philemon vv. 3: "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
14. Q. Why do all the messianic prophecies speak of the Messiah (Christ in English) as a man anointed by God and not God Himself?
Q. Isn’t that what Christ means, the anointed one?
Q. If Christ means the anointed one, then according to Trinitarian thinking, God anointed Himself with Himself?
15. Luke 22: 42 - 44: "Father if you are willing, take this cup from me, yet not my will, but yours be done. An angel from Heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish he prayed more earnestly."
Q. How can Jesus’ will not be the same as the Father. Aren’t they the same being?
Q. Jesus sent himself an angel? Why?
Q. How is an angel going to strengthen God Almighty?
Q. Who is Jesus praying to more earnestly?
16. Demons refer to Jesus as the Son of God and the Son of The Most High God (Luke 8: 28).
They know who he is, and they know he is not The Most High God, but that he is His Son.
Satan knows God personally. Job 1: 6 - 7: "One day the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth." The devil knows God.
Q. Why would Satan, at the temptation of Jesus, pretend not to know God?"
17. Luke 4: 2: "Where for forty days he was tempted by the devil."
James 1: 13 states, "For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone."
Q. If Jesus is God in the Flesh why would the devil even try to tempt him? He would know that it would be useless to try.
Q. If Jesus is God, how could he be tempted by the devil? It says God cannot be tempted.
Q. The devil offered Jesus all the kingdoms in the world if he would worship him. Why would the devil offer something to God that is already His?
Q. Did the devil really expect God to worship him?
Q. If Jesus was not fully human, but had another nature that was divine, then how can he expect us to live up to his standards? We do not have a second divine nature. If Jesus is not fully human, then this whole temptation episode is a farce.
18. John 8: 17: "In our Law it says that the testimony of two men is valid. I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father who sent me."
Q. If Jesus is God, why does he say that his other witness, the second one is the Father? Wouldn’t that still be just one witness?
19. Acts 7: 55 - 56: "But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God."
Q. Why did Stephen see God and Jesus standing at His right hand?
Q. If Jesus is God in the flesh, why would he be in Heaven? Isn’t he God in Heaven?
20. 1 John 4: 12: No one has ever seen God.
Q. How can that be? Did not thousands of people see Jesus?
21. Numbers 23: 19: God is not a man, that he should lie, nor is he the son of man that he should change his mind.
Q. Jesus was a man, and without a doubt he was the "son of man." How can this be?
22. Trinitarians believe that Jesus was 100% man and 100% God. First of all, you cannot be both. That would equal 200%. Secondly, Hebrews 2: 17 states, "For this reason he (Jesus) had to be made like his brothers in every way."
Q. How can he be like us in every way? We are not 100% God.
23. Matthew 3:17: "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
If Jesus is God, then we make God a narcissist, for if God is Jesus, then he is actually saying, "I love myself."
Q. Do you think God is a narcissist?
24. 1 Corinthians 15: 26 - 28: "The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For He has put everything under his feet. Now when it says that "everything" has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to Him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
Q. According to the trinity, Jesus and God are co-equal, this verse definitely shows that they are not equal but that God is above all. How can this be?
Q. Who put what under whom?
Q. How is God going to be subject to God ?
Same verse as above. 1 Corinthians 15: 26 - 28 translated to trinity:
"The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For He has put everything under His feet. Now when it says that "everything" has been put under Him, it is clear that this does not include Himself who put everything under Himself. When He has done this, then He Himself will be made subject to Himself who put everything under Himself, so that He Himself may be all in all."
Now that you have answered these questions, answer them again using the thought that has been given in this paper. Judge for yourself.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THESE PROOF TEXTS?
Here are some of the most often misinterpreted and/or misunderstood verses in the Bible in relation to the idea that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are members of a triune God. In order to read these verses you cannot just read one verse and stop, you have to read the entire passage and compare it to other verses to understand what is being said.
Before we start, a good understanding of creation will help us to understand several verses which people have tried to use to mean that Jesus was responsible for creation, or was an agent for God in creation, or that somehow he was involved in, or was present during creation. This incorrect assumption will of course lead to other misinterpretations of Scripture such as John 1: 1 - 3 and Hebrews 1:2.
In order to read the Bible correctly you first have to have a solid base in the Old Testament. Once you have a good foundation in the Old Testament, then, you can really start to understand the New Testament. Unfortunately, most people do it backwards. They read the New Testament first, and then try to cram their beliefs into the Old Testament. This does not work. It is like trying to do Algebra before you have learned to add and subtract. You cannot learn Algebra first and then learn to add and subtract, you have to learn to add and subtract first, and then proceed to learn Algebra.
We will begin with the verse in Genesis 1: 26 which reads:
"Then God said, "Let us make man in our image..."
Some people claim that God is speaking to the other members of the trinity here. The Hebrews to whom God gave the Hebrew Scripture’s to for thousands of years before Christ have never thought that this verse implied that God was plural, or that anyone else was involved in creation. Did God simply want to mislead them? I do not think that is very likely. There are two possibilities for this language. One is that God is talking to the angels. This interpretation is maintained by many scholars who are themselves Trinitarians. The NIV Bible, which is a Trinitarian Bible, states the following on this verse:
Genesis 1:26: "Some think this describes God speaking to His heavenly court."
Isaiah 8:6 supports this idea and form of language. God is speaking to His heavenly court, it states:
"Then I heard the voice of the LORD saying, whom shall I (singular) send? And who will go for us (plural)?"
The second is that it is simply a literary style of writing. A mistake that many people make is that they take a verse in the Bible and create an entire doctrine from one verse. We will be looking at the entire picture of creation. First of all, it says, "God said" It does not say, "The Father said," which obviously means that whoever God is speaking to is not God. This leaves us with the possibility of the angels, which according to Job 38: 7 were present at creation. It also says, "Let us make man in our image." If this verse is taken to mean that God is speaking to the other members of the trinity and we are made in their image, then we should also be three in one. I should be able to talk to my three in one counterparts in the same way that God is doing. This idea does not have a high probability. After this verse we see that God is referred to in the singular repeatedly. In fact, God is referred to in the singular over five thousand times in the Old Testament. In verse 1:27 it says,
"God created man in his image."
It continues to use "he" twice more in the same verse. Verse 1:29 it uses "I," verse 30 & 31 uses "I" and "he." Verses 2:1-3 use "he," "he rested," "he," and "he had done." Notice that in verse 2:1 it says,
"He rested on the seventh day."
It does not say that they rested on the seventh day. One note before proceeding, in the Old Testament, God’s name in over fifty-five hundred places is always written as four consonants, which in Hebrew are translated as YHWH, which is where we get Yahweh or its English translation of Jehovah. The Jews thought that it was a violation of the Ten Commandments to say God’s name, so whenever they reached a verse that had YHWH in it they would say "LORD" (adonai). Christians translated our Bibles using this Jewish custom and completely removed YHWH and substituted it literally with a capitalized "the LORD." This understanding is crucial. Hebrew translations still have YHWH. Now, on to the Scriptures.
Isaiah 44: 24: "This is what THE LORD (YHWH) says - your redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, (YHWH) who has made all things, who ALONE stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by MYSELF."
Isaiah 45: 11-12: "Thus says the LORD, (YHWH)... It was I who made the earth and created mankind upon it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens..."
It is clear that YHWH is alone responsible for creation and no one else. Of course people will now argue that YHWH includes the Son and the Holy Spirit. To show the fallacy of this argument, we will go to Psalm 110.
Psalm 110: 1 - 4: "The LORD (YHWH) says to my Lord" (adoni),
"Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet."...You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek."
Adoni, means sovereign, Lord, and master. It is definitely not to be confused with adonai, which the Jews substituted for YHWH when they read the Scriptures.
Jesus uses this verse to describe himself. It is used in Hebrews 1: 13 for Jesus again. It is the most quoted Old Testament Scripture in the New Testament. No one would argue that Lord (adoni) is not a reference to the Messiah (Jesus). So we have a verse that says,
"YHWH says to the Messiah" (Jesus).
This clearly shows that Jesus is not included in the name YHWH.
Conclusion: This not only shows that YHWH and Jesus are not the same being, but it also shows that Jesus had absolutely nothing to do with creation. What the verses that speak of Jesus creating the world are referring to is that God through Jesus created the Messianic world to come, (the New Heavens and the New Earth) not the earth and the rest of the universe. This will be evident when we study those specific verses in the book of Hebrews.
With this base we can now go on to the New Testament. Whenever you see verses that say that everything was created through Christ, you now have the base to know that it doesn’t mean he created everything. The word "through" in Greek, According to Strong’s Greek Dictionary means: because of. Now with this knowledge read John 1: 1-3 and Hebrews 1:2 again. Different story isn’t it? Hebrews 1:2 is explained on page 50.
John 1: 1 - 3 "The Word"
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made."
Right away you can see that there is something not quite correct, for if someone is with someone else, he cannot also be that same person. If John was really trying to say that Jesus is God, he would simply have written; in the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God, and Jesus was God. But he does not, because as we shall see, this is not what this verse is about.
But now we will get to the real problem with this verse. Let us start by saying that "the Word" in John 1: 1 - 3 is not (as we shall see) a reference to Jesus. Yet, theologians have taken the liberty to substitute figuratively and literally "Jesus" for "Word" in this verse. Is this accurate? Judge for yourself.
"I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God" (Revelation 20: 4 -5).
"His servant John, who gives witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ"(Revelation 1:2).
These verses use the exact same word "logos." It is important to notice that they were beheaded for their testimony of Jesus AND the word (logos) of God. John gives witness to the word of God (God’s plan of salvation) AND to the testimony of Jesus Christ. It is obvious that Jesus is not logos. Logos is used in many places in the New Testament, and it is never used as a reference to Jesus.
"Word" in this verse is a translation of the Greek word "logos." In the original Greek text, "logos" does not have the capital first letter given to "Word" in the English translation. It should properly be translated "word" (with a small "w"). Furthermore, although in Greek "logos" is a masculine noun, this is no proof of personality. This comes into play in the verse, "Through him all things were made." The Greek word that has been translated as "him" can be translated as "it," "he," or "she" depending on the noun it is describing. In this case, since theologians were claiming that "Word" is a reference to Jesus, they obviously chose "him" instead of "it." This unfortunately reflects more theology than it does strict accuracy.
Another important point to be recognized is the fact that the same exact word (letter for letter) "logos" is used in other Scriptures, and nobody has ever capitalized it, or claimed that it referred to Jesus.
2 Timothy 2: 8 - 9
"This is my gospel, for which I am suffering to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained."
1 John 2:7
"Beloved, I am writing no new commandment to you but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard."
Hebrews 4: 12 -13
"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the
heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him, to whom we must give account."
1 John 2:7 uses the same word "word" (logos). John says that what you heard from the beginning is the old commandment, and the old commandment is the word of God. The "word" is not Jesus. What is from the beginning is God’s word, His commandment. This verse is an excellent verse to compare to John 1:1. It shows you that when John is speaking about the word (logos) that he is not referring to Jesus.
Hebrews 4: 12 - 13 is also an excellent example. In all these verses "word" is not capitalized. You can also see that in the rest of this verse "word" is referred to as "it." This is the correct way to translate the Greek word that was translated as "him." This is the way it should have been translated in John 1: 1 - 3. It should be noted that the "Word " was not assumed to be a second person in Bible translations prior to the KJV. The Bishop’s Bible of 1568, replaced by the KJV in 1611, understands the word to be impersonal, and uses the pronoun "it," as does the Geneva Bible of 1560.
John 5: 37 - 38 is also an excellent example, it says:
"You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent."
Jesus is saying, that when you believe in him, God’s word will dwell in you, which is God’s will, which is God. The Word is God. If logos is a reference to Jesus, then it is saying that God’s Jesus will dwell in us. I do not think you will find a single scholar that would agree with that interpretation.
Notice that in all these Scriptures the "word" does not even come close to referring to Jesus. In fact, Jesus in the above verse says, that when you believe in him you will receive God’s word, which is obviously not Jesus.
To a Hebrew like John, the phrase "word of God" According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words means, "The revealed will of God." In 2 Kings 3:12 when it says:
"He has the word of the LORD."
It means that God revealed His will to him. We can also compare other verses to verify this definition.
2 Peter 3:5: "that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water."
Revelation 4:11: "for you created all things, by your will they came into being."
Sirach 42:15: "At God’s word were His works brought into being."
As you can see, word and will are interchangeable. God’s word represents his thoughts, which are His will. Sirach 37:16 provides us with an excellent example:
"A word is the source of every deed; a thought, of every act."
Your thoughts are the source of your actions, a word (your will) is your thoughts expressed. This is an important definition to remember in order to better understand "The Word was God" which we will explain in the next few pages.
The New American Bible has this to say about the word "logos" in a footnote:
"May denote an internal reasoning process, plan, or intention, as well as an external word, speech, or message."
In Greek, the word "logos" according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary means:
Logos - The expression of thought. As embodying a conception or idea.
According to Liddell and Scott Greek Lexicon, it also means:
Logos - the inward thought which is expressed in the spoken word.
This unfortunately is not what it meant to Greek philosophy. In Greek philosophies such as Stoicism, and Platonism, "logos" was considered divine. To a Stoic, logos means "the divine principle of life." This is basically a definition of God. In Gnosticism "Logos" was the actual name of one of the intermediary gods.
Someone educated in one of these philosophies would interpret John 1: 1 in the following manner.
"In the beginning was the divine principle of life, the divine principle of life was with God, and the divine principle of life was God." Verse 14. "The divine principle of life became flesh."
Now you have God in heaven and in the flesh at the same time. The explanation came in the form of the trinity. Now let’s see what this verse really means.
In the beginning was the Word.
Let us look at another verse of John to shed some light on this verse. Paraphrasing 1 John 1:1-2:
"The promised Word of eternal life was with the Father from the beginning. It was manifested to us as Jesus. In other words, God had in His mind a thought, a plan (logos) of salvation for us from the beginning, (from Genesis) and it was revealed to us by Jesus."
The Bible states:
"Long ago I prepared it. From days of old I planned it."(Isaiah 37:26).
"To do what your hand and your will had long ago planned to take place" (Acts 4: 28).
(Paul) "For I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God." (Acts 20:27).
One of the Apostolic writings, The Epistle to Diognetus in verse 8:11 says:
"But when he revealed it through His beloved Son, and manifested the purpose which He had prepared from the beginning."
Notice that what was prepared from the beginning is God’s purpose (logos), and it was revealed by Jesus. Another of the Apostolic Fathers named Polycarp, who knew John the Apostle personally, wrote in his Letter to the Philippians in verse 7:2:
"Wherefore let us forsake the vain doing of the many and their false teachings, and turn unto the word which was delivered unto us from the beginning."
Polycarp is urging the people to turn away from false teachings and turn unto the word. His usage of word is very Jewish, and identical to the way John the Apostle uses it. This is fitting because Polycarp was a disciple of John, and one would expect his views to coincide with John’s, which they do. Polycarp is saying, turn away from false teachings and turn unto the word (plan, will) of God which was delivered unto us from the beginning (from the time of the Patriarchs).
Polycarp has no idea of the "word" being Jesus. He even says that the word was delivered unto us in the beginning. Jesus was not delivered unto us in the beginning, He was revealed to us in the final days, the last days. Hebrews 1:2 states:
"In these last days He spoke to us through a son."
1 Peter 1:20 says:
"He was known before the foundations of the world, but revealed in the final times for you."
But God’s plan, or will, (the Messiah and the kingdom of God) was delivered unto us in the beginning through the Patriarchs and the Prophets. This is a direct parallel to John 1:1. In the beginning was the word (God’s plan of salvation for us). What is from the beginning is God’s plan (logos) for our salvation that He revealed to us in these last days through Jesus. Ephesians 3:11 confirms this again:
"This was according to the eternal purpose that He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord."
And the Word was with God.
When John says that the word was with God, he simply means that the "word" (plan) was present in His mind. It was with Him, just like a person’s thoughts are with them until they speak. The Catholic New American Bible defines "word" as: was thought to be a reality lodging within the person, and that it goes out from that person when spoken or written and then lodges within the person to whom it is directed.
Jeremiah 4: 14:"How long must your pernicious thoughts lodge within you".
And the word was God.
The word is God’s thoughts and will which He uses to communicate with us and which He can transfer into power. God’s will and power is God. What John is saying is, God’s will (word) is fully expressive of God’s mind. God’s word (thoughts, will,) are reflective of the attributes of God. Word = God’s Will = God.
The Trinitarian (Catholic) New American Bible states the following on this verse:
"Lack of a definite article with "God" in Greek signifies predication rather than identification."
"The Word shares Yahweh’s covenant qualities."
According to Webster’s Dictionary, predication means, "to affirm as a quality or attribute." Even the Roman Catholic Bible tells us that it does not signify identification.
In simpler terms, what somebody says or writes usually reflects that person. You can see that person's personality or intellect by what they say or write. For example, if you ask someone who is reading Romeo and Juliet "what are you reading?" They might answer you, "I am reading Shakespeare." Literally this is impossible. How can you read a man? Yet, this statement is very common and we all know what it means.
Shakespeare = Shakespeare's words.
God = the Word of God.
We can also cross-reference other Scriptures to prove that the Word (God's message which reflects his thoughts and will) is God.
Jonah 1: 1 - 3
"The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai, "Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me." But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish."
It says the word (revealed will of God) of the LORD came to Jonah, then it says that Jonah ran away from the LORD. God came to Jonah and told him His will or plan (which was to go to Nineveh), and Jonah ran away from God. The Word (God’s will) is God.
Isaiah 55: 11
"So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it".
In this verse, when God speaks, His thoughts and power (His word) go out from Him to do His will. God’s will is God. The Word is God.
The gospel which is God’s plan of salvation for us (the kingdom of God message), which is His will, is reflective of the mind of God. My mind is reflective of me. It reflects who I am as a person. The gospel is referred to many times in the New Testament as the "word of God," or just the "word." The gospel (His word) is the expression of God’s thoughts. In other words, the gospel is the mind of God. The mind of God is God. Another way of saying it is, "the gospel is God," or: "The Word was God."
Through him all things were made
John is describing how God made the world and universe, through his word. The translation "through him" should be "through it" (His word). This again reflects the theological bias of the translators. Here are a few examples:
2 Peter 3:5 - "But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed."
Revelation 4:11 - "For you created all things; because of your will they came to be and were created."
Ephesians 1:1 - "In accord with the purpose of the one who accomplishes all things according to the intention of His will."
Proverbs 8:27, 30 – (speaking of wisdom) "When he established the heavens I was there," Then was I beside him as his craftsman."
Wisdom 9:1 - "God of my fathers, LORD of mercy, you who have made all things by your word" (will).
Sirach 42:15 - "At God’s word (will) were His works brought into being."
Remember earlier when we covered creation, that YHWH alone created everything. This is why it is important to have a solid foundation in the Old Testament before reading the New Testament. Everything was created by God’s word (His plan, will), not by Jesus. In other words, God has a plan (logos) to create the universe. Wisdom is the ability to create thoughts. God’s wisdom creates his thoughts. When He speaks (word), he is expressing His thoughts. His thoughts are His will, and whatever God wills happens. This is how everything was created by the word (His will).
Wisdom, word, and will are basically interchangeable. This is why the verses above credit creation to God’s word, wisdom, and will. They are one and the same thing.
John 1: 14
The Word became flesh
The prophecies that God had spoken of in the past to the fathers and the prophets about the Messiah were fulfilled when Jesus was born. In order to understand this verse better I am going to use an analogy of which most of us can relate to. Say that you and your spouse decide to have a child. You have an idea, (logos) a plan in your mind to have a child. That plan becomes flesh when your child is born. God’s logos (plan of salvation) became flesh, became a reality when Jesus was born. We can see this type of expression used again by John in 1 John 1:1-2 and John 9:3:
"Concerns the Word of life - for the life was made visible."
(The blind man) "Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible."
God’s plan and works, became visible in the person of Jesus and of the blind man. It does not mean that God’s Word became incarnate in Jesus or that His works became incarnate in the blind man. It is the same in John 1:14.
In the Bible, attributes of God are commonly personified. This does not mean that they are separate persons of the same God. Take Psalms 85:11-14 for example:
"Love and truth will meet, justice and peace will kiss. Truth will spring from the earth; justice will look down from heaven. The LORD will surely grant abundance; and our land will yield its increase. Properity will march before the Lord and good fortune will follow behind."
Obviously love and truth are not beings. Justice and peace cannot actually kiss. Prosperity cannot march, etc. They are attributes of God that are personified. The NAB has the following footnote on this verse:
Psalms 85:11-14 - "Divine activity is personified as pairs of virtues."
Another example which is very closely related to John 1:1-3 is in Proverbs chapter 8. Here wisdom (which is synonymous with "word" because God’s wisdom is expressed in his word) is personified as a woman. It is very obvious that it is personified. All major Bible scholars and commentaries will agree that wisdom here is personified and is not another being. In the first verse it says;
"Does not wisdom call, and understanding raise her voice."
The problem is that if we make "wisdom" a being, then we also have to make "understanding" one also. Please read all of chapter 8, it will help you immensely.
Wisdom is attributed with being with God from the beginning ( just like the word was in the beginning). When God created the heavens and earth she was his craftsman (v.22), ( just like the word created everything). She was beside him (v.30 just like the word is with God). The LORD begot her, the firstborn of his ways (v.22). It sounds exactly like the Trinitarian pre-existent Christ. Yet, when one reads this chapter it is clear that it is an attribute of God that is being personified. The NAB footnote states:
Proverbs 8:1 - "Wisdom here is personified as in Prv. 1:20-33 to confirm the words of the teacher of wisdom."
Wisdom in chapter 8 is spoken of as if she created the heavens and earth. In 2 Peter the Word is spoken of as creating the heavens and earth.
2 Peter 3:5 - "That long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water."
In John 1:14 when the Word becomes flesh. It is easier to understand John's intention if you think of Proverb's wisdom. God's wisdom became flesh, meaning that in Jesus, God's wisdom was manifested. In other words, Jesus brought us God's wisdom because God anointed Jesus with his own spirit so that Jesus could speak to us on his behalf in the final days (Hebrews 1:2). In other, other words , we heard and saw God's wisdom in the person of Jesus because God commanded Jesus what to say to the people on his behalf (John 8:40). Paul speaks in the same fashion in 1 Corinthians 1:30, he states:
"Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God."
This does not mean that a being called "wisdom" incarnated into a human being. It means that Jesus brought us wisdom from God. The Amplified Bible says the following about this verse:
"Revealed to us a knowledge of the divine plan previously hidden."
It would be absolutely correct to say, "God’s wisdom became flesh," just as it is correct to say that "God’s word became flesh," in the person of Christ.
Jesus brought us God’s wisdom which is revealed to us in his word. They are one and the same thing. Let us compare the two.
"Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God."
"The Word became flesh."
We must always keep in mind the reason that John wrote his gospel. John’s gospel was not written to prove that Jesus is God, but that he is the Son of God, the Messiah.
"But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah), the Son of God..." (John 20: 31).
One final thought. If you believe that the Word is actually the incarnation of God which became flesh as Jesus, then why would John end his thought in John 1:18 by saying that;
"No one has ever seen God."
Thousands of people saw Jesus in the flesh. John later repeats this statement in:
1 John 4:12 - "No one has ever seen God."
John 6:46 - "Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God."
1 John 4:20 "For whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen."
A lot of people have been falsely lead to believe that John 1: 1 - 3 is saying that Jesus is God, when in fact it has nothing at all to do with the deity of Jesus.
John 10: 30
I and the Father are one.
Jesus and the Father are one, but not one in substance as Trinitarians will have you believe. They are one in mind, or one in purpose. If you look at John 17: 11 it states:
"Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name - the name you gave me - so that they may be one as we are one."
Either this verse is saying that all the Apostles are of the same substance (which is obviously ridiculous), or that they are one in mind, or purpose, just as Jesus and God are.
1 Peter 3:8: "Finally, all of you, be of one mind."
Acts 4:32: "The community of believers was of one heart and mind."
Philippians 2:2: "Complete my joy by being of the same mind."
KJV 1 John 5: 7 - 8
For there are three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
The trinity is not alluded to any better than this. How can you argue this away? This is probably the most misleading verse on this subject in the whole KJV. This verse does not even exist in the majority of Bibles. The Quest Study Bible states:
"Since the oldest manuscripts do not have these words, they were apparently added centuries after John wrote, perhaps as commentary."
This phrase above which is omitted in 99% of Bibles is commonly called the Johannine Comma. Ironically enough, Erasmus did not include this phrase either in the first or second (ad.1519) editions of His Greek manuscript (upon which the KJV is based). This was because none of the Greek manuscripts he used contained this phrase. However, his decision was unpopular among his contemporaries, for this phrase had existed in the Latin Vulgate since the eighth century. The western Church typically used the Latin Vulgate, not Greek manuscripts. In fact, most did not even learn Greek until the time of Erasmus. Erasmus' contemporaries put such pressure on him to change this verse that Erasmus' said if anyone could produce a Greek manuscript which contained the phrase, he would include it. After this (ad.1520), a Franciscan friar named Froy (or Roy) produced a manuscript that he claimed was an ancient manuscript. This manuscript is called the "old British copy." When Erasmus was informed about it, being a man of his word, he included the disputed words in his 3rd edition published in 1522. But he also included a footnote that said he believed the manuscript had been prepared for the express purpose of having him include the passage.
In fact, The friar had produced it himself for the sole purpose of having Erasmus include the Johannine Comma in his text. To date, out of five thousand Greek manuscripts, this passage has been found in only four Greek manuscripts (manuscripts are designated by number):
Manuscript # - Date
61 –1520 AD
2318 - 1592 AD
629 - 14th -16th century
918 - 16th century
In addition it has been found written in the margins of four other Greek manuscripts.
Manuscript - Date
221 - 10th century
635 - 11th century
88 - 12th century
429 - 14th century
Thus the earliest the passage appears as part of the Greek text is in 16th century, most likely in the manuscript used to convince Erasmus.
The Johannine Comma began to appear in Latin manuscripts in the fifth century, but was not included in Jerome's Vulgate or any edition of the Vulgate until the eighth century. The first time we hear of the passage quoted as being from John is in a fourth century Latin work Liber Apologeticus written by the Spanish heretic Priscillian, or one of his followers. After that, the passage is quoted by some of the Latin fathers, and from the sixth century forward it begins appearing in Latin manuscripts of the Bible. Furthermore, as Bruce Metzger has pointed out
"The passage is absent from the manuscripts of all ancient versions (Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Ethiopic, Arabic, Slavonic), except the Latin."
From this data, the true nature of 1 John 5:7 becomes clear. 1 John 5:6-9 is a passage that is very difficult to interpret (I John 5:6 talks about the testimony of the water, blood, and Spirit). This was so difficult to interpret that certain Latin writers included an explanation of the verse in the margins of their texts (the Johannine Comma). Eventually, copiers of the Latin Vulgate included this marginal note into the text of the Latin Vulgate in the eighth century, in other words, Perhaps an early scribe wrote it in the margins as a note, and a later scribe copying the manuscript thought it was a correction and included it in the text).
The Western Church continued to use the Vulgate until the 16th century. By this time, the Comma had become established in the Latin. When the western church began to learn Greek during the renaissance and no Greek manuscripts included the Comma, people began to add the Comma to the Greek manuscripts. There is no reasonable explanation for the Comma other than it was inserted into the Greek text by those familiar with the Latin Vulgate. Any explanation that claims the Comma was included in the original text written by the Apostle John completely ignores the facts of the case.
As you can see, therefore, it is not that other Bibles have taken a phrase out of the Bible. Rather, the KJV mistakenly included a phrase that was not part of the original Greek manuscript.
Also, an excellent source of proof attaining to the falsehood of this verse is from the arguments over the divinity of Christ in the fourth century. During all these arguments none of the Greek Fathers ever quoted this verse as Scripture in order to prove the trinity, they did however, quote all the other traditional verses which people have used in order to try and prove the trinity. If I were trying to prove the trinity, this would be my number one verse! I would bring it up over and over again. How many people have been led astray by this person’s commentary? Research it for yourself!
Matthew 28: 19
Baptize them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
The New American Bible says: "this is perhaps the clearest expression in the New Testament of Trinitarian belief." In a few seconds you will see how preposterous this statement really is. This verse has absolutely nothing Trinitarian about it. It is about Jesus sending them out to proclaim the gospel to the nations. First, a few definitions according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary:
Baptize - The phrase in Matthew 28: 19, "baptizing them into the name" would indicate that the baptized person was closely bound to, or became property of, the one into whose name he was "baptized."
Name - Represents the authority, character. Expressing attributes. In acknowledgment or confession of.
This verse has nothing to do with water baptizing. With these definitions we can safely paraphrase this verse as follows:
"Go out into the world and introduce or bring them into the knowledge of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,"
Which is exactly what they did. The Apostles went out into the Gentile world and brought them the knowledge of who the only God is, who the Messiah is, and about the gifts of the Holy Spirit which they were going to receive. But as you can see, this has nothing to do with the three being one. Human tradition has made this a Trinitarian verse.
There is also a very strong position held by many scholars that this verse was not part of the original text of Matthew’s Gospel, as Eusebius, a third century Christian apologist, quoted the text in a shorter form rather than the form that now appears in the gospel. It reads,
"Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in my name" (which is in agreement with the paraphrase that was just given above).
One commentator writes,
"There is much probability in the conjecture that it is the original text of the gospel, and that in the second century the longer clause supplanted the shorter ‘baptizing them in my name.’ An insertion of this kind, derived from liturgical use, would have rapidly been adopted by copyist and translators" (The International Critical Commentary, by Willoughby C. Allen Volume 26, pp. 307-308).
This position has strong Biblical support by the fact that the Apostles at no recorded instance baptize using the formula of "The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit" as Jesus supposedly commanded them to do. They always baptize "In the name of Jesus Christ."
Also the parallel passage in Mark 16:15-18 does not mention in any way this trine formula, and the Gospel of Mark is believed to be written before Matthew.
John 8: 58 "I AM "
You are not fifty years old," the Jews said to him, and you have seen Abraham! "I tell you the truth, Jesus answered, before Abraham was born, I am.
You have to look at the subject matter in this paragraph, which is Jesus’ age, not deity. The Jews are asking Jesus how can he know Abraham if he is not even fifty years old. Jesus tells them that before Abraham was born, I am. What Jesus is saying is that he is the one spoken of in the prophetic writings, long before Abraham’s time.
Let's look at the verse that started this whole misunderstanding so we can see what Jesus is referring to. John 8: 56 says:
"Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day; he saw it and was glad."
Compare this verse with Hebrews 11: 13 which is talking about Abraham and his descendants. It states:
"All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw it and welcomed it from a distance."
What Abraham saw was the fulfillment of God’s promise that the savior would be his descendant (Genesis12:3), and that line of descent started with their son Isaac. That is why it says "they saw it and welcomed it from a distance." The Jews misunderstood what Jesus meant at John 8: 56 and made it an issue of Jesus’ age, at which Jesus tried to correct them once again by saying, "Before Abraham was born, I am" (The Messiah). Jesus is saying that before Abraham was even born, God had already planned him as the Messiah in His mind.
1 Peter 1: 20 says:
"He was known before the foundation of the world."
Remember John 1: 1, "In the beginning was the word" (plan). Also, if you look at a Greek Bible, the two words for I am are the exact two words used for I am in John 8: 12 and John 8: 24. In John 8: 12 Jesus says:
"I am the light of the world."
In John 8: 24 Jesus says:
"For if you do not believe that I am, you will die in your sins."
John 8: 24 is the continuation of John 8:12. The first I am is obviously referring to Jesus being the light of the world. The second I am is referring to Jesus being the light of the world, the Son of God. These are the exact same words used in John 8:58, yet, no one has taken them to mean that Jesus was claiming to be God. As a matter of fact, the KJV translates the Greek I am in John 8:24 as, "I am he." In John 4:26, again, the same exact two words are used as in John 8: 58. The Samaritan woman has just said to Jesus,
"I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Anointed; when he comes, he will tell us everything."
Jesus says to her, (the actual Greek translation)
"I am, the one speaking to thee. "
He is who? The Messiah that is coming. The KJV and NIV translate this verse as "I that speak unto thee am he" and "I who speak to you am he." The I am here is referring to Jesus being the Messiah.
Mark 6:50 is about when Jesus walks on the water towards the disciples who are on a boat, and they think that they are seeing a ghost. The actual Greek reads, "Be of good cheer, I am; be ye not afraid. " The KJV and NIV translate this verse as,
"be of good cheer: It is I; be not afraid " and "Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid."
None of these I am are taken to mean that Jesus is God. As a matter of fact, they are translated in a variety of different ways, such as, "It is I" and "I am he." The beggar in John 9:9 when asked if he is the one who used to sit and beg answers them by saying the exact same words, "I am." Does that mean that the beggar is claiming to be God? Of course not!
So why do people claim that the John 8:58 I am is referring to the Exodus 3:14 I AM? Because of human tradition, trying to make Scripture fit their thought, instead of the other way around. It is the same exact I am as in the rest of these verses and the topic is obviously not Jesus’ deity. If the John 8:58 I am refers to the Exodus 3:14 I AM, then the rest of the other I am should also. But they DON’T.
John 14: 9 - 10
Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.
People read this and stop right there. What they fail to see is how this is true. If you continue reading it says:
"How can you say, "Show us the Father," Don’t you believe that I am in The Father, and the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather it is the Father living in me, who is doing His work."
The reason that if you have seen Jesus you have seen the Father, is that the Father is in Jesus. He is living in Jesus, and it is He who is doing all the work through Jesus. Read Acts 10:38 again now.
If right now someone died right in front of you, and you went over there and said, "God, in the name of Jesus raise this person," and they got up, who just raised that person? Was it you? Or was it God working through you? If I had been a witness to that, I would have actually seen God raise the dead through you. That is exactly what Jesus is saying in this paragraph, but you have to read all of it.
John 1:18: "No one has ever seen God."
John 6:46: "Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God."
1 John 4:12: "No one has ever seen God."
1 John 4:20: "For whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen."
1 Timothy 6:16: "Whom no human being has seen or can see."
The first four verses are by the same author (John).
NIV 2 Peter 1: 1
Through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ...
Well that’s pretty clear that God and Jesus are the same being. But if you look at other Bible translations such as the KJV or a Greek and English Interlinear Bible it reads as:
"Through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ. "
A huge difference, a clear distinction between the two. A complete different meaning which now fits the rest of the paragraph. If you take the previous view, now you have to explain why verse 2 says:
"Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. "
The same author in 1 Peter 1: 3 states:
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
I doubt the same author would contradict himself so blatantly.
The appearance of the glory of the great God and savior Jesus Christ.
This verse has the exact same mistake as 2 Peter 1:1. Look it up for yourself. Titus 2:13 In the Catholic New American Bible is stated as:
"The appearance of the glory of the great God and of our savior Jesus Christ."
NAB Footnote: "But the use of a single article in Greek strongly suggests an epexegetical i.e. explanatory sense, Of the great God and of our savior Jesus Christ: another possible translation is "of our great God and savior Jesus Christ."
I am sure the Catholic Church would like to use this verse to try and prove Jesus’ deity, but fortunately they state the truth about this verse. This verse was also written by Paul who writes in 1 Corinthians 8:6:
"Yet for us there is only one God, the Father."
You decide which one is correct.
Revelation 22: 6 - 13
I am the Alpha and the Omega.
This is referenced to Revelation 1:8. But Revelation 1:8 is talking about The Almighty, Revelation 22:12 is not using this title for Jesus but for God again. If we read Revelation 22:6 it tells us who the subject is, "The Lord, the God of prophetic spirits." Jesus does say in Revelation 1:17 that, "I am the first and the last." We will examine what he meant by that statement.
Just because the same title is used to describe two people does not mean that those two people are one. David called King Saul "My Lord " but that does not make Saul God (1 Samuel 24:9).
Israel’s Judges were called "saviors" but that does not make them and Jesus one person? (Nehemiah 9:27).
Jeroboam the Second of Israel is called "Israel’s savior," but that does not make him Jesus? (2 Kings 13:5)
Before we discuss these verses it would benefit us to understand John’s view of God.
"Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."
"Who (Jesus) has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father."
"But go to my brothers and tell them, "I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."
In these verses John does not consider Jesus to be God in any way. For John, Jesus has a God. John also does not believe Jesus to be omniscient even after his resurrected state. Revelation 1:1 says:
"The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him."
Even after his resurrection Jesus is not omniscient. God still gives him revelations. Emphasis on God gives him. Now we will look at Revelation 1:17 with the correct background of John’s thinking, and not with a mind set on making Jesus God at all costs.
It is obvious that God Almighty is the first and the last, but how is Jesus also the first and the last? Jesus is the first because he is the firstborn in two ways. One, he is the firstborn of God, which to the Jews implied that as the firstborn you are entitled to be the heir of your father, which Jesus is (Hebrews 1:2). Also according to Strong’s Greek Dictionary it means foremost in importance, which Jesus certainly is. This also corresponds with Psalms 89: 28 - 30.
Secondly, Jesus is the firstborn from the dead to be resurrected, which is what Jesus is speaking about in Revelation 1:18 which follows his statement that he is the first and the last. It reads:
"I am the first and the last, the one who lives. Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever."
This is also is in agreement with Colossians 1: 18. Jesus is the last because when he comes again it will be the end of the present age, and he will be in effect the last one to enter this world while it is still under the influence of Satan. He will then usher in the Messianic kingdom of God.
John 20: 28
My Lord and my God.
There you go, an Apostle refers to Jesus as God. When you look at some verses in the Old and New Testament you have to remember to look at them with a Hebrew or Greek mind of that period, and not a 20th century mind. Some language can mean something to us that it did not mean back then. For example, if an Englishman says, "I am mad about my flat" he means that he is exited about his apartment. To an American, that same phrase means that he is angry about his flat tire. The word "God" for example, means to us in the 20th century "The Almighty God." To a Jew it did not necessarily mean "Almighty God." In Psalms 82: 1 & 6 God refers to earthly rulers as gods. This is the same passage that Jesus quotes to the Jews when they accuse him of saying that he is God. Paraphrasing Jesus, he says to them; "If it is okay to call men gods, why is it blasphemous for me to say that I am the Son of God"(John 10: 33 - 38). Notice how when Jesus is accused of being God, he quickly corrects them that he is not God, but the Son of God. In 2 Corinthians 4: 4 Satan is also called the "god of this age." Does that mean that he is God Almighty? Of course not!
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church points out what an early Christian father, Origen (185-254 AD) says about the word "God." "The Son is theos (God), but only the Father is autotheos" (absolute God, God in himself).
This is the reason there is an Almighty God or a Most High God, in order to differentiate the only true God from the others. Another fact to consider when approaching this verse is to understand whom John believes God and Jesus to be.
John wrote his gospel to testify that Jesus is the Son of God, not God the Son. Let us take a look again at what John believes in order to not take one verse and unjustly imply a certain belief on John.
"Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."
"Who (Jesus) has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father"
"But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’"
Remember that John’s whole purpose for writing his Gospel is to prove that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, not God.
"But these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God" (John 20: 31).
We must keep John's reason for writing his gospel fresh in our minds as we try to understand this verse. In his gospel, John distinguishes completely between the only true God and Jesus Christ To imply that John believed in a three in one God would be to do a terrible injustice to John.
So what does Thomas mean? To us in the modern world it might at first seem odd, but when you put yourself in Thomas’s place as a Jew in Jesus’ day, it will make all the sense in the world.
The Catholic New American Bible defines this usage of the word god:
"The king, in courtly language is called god, representing God to the people."
Aspects of Monotheism states: "god" is an allegorical equivalent for "king."
This is the definition of the Messiah. The Messiah is the king of Israel who represents God to the people (John 1:49). Thomas was just stating that fact. When he saw Jesus resurrected, it proved to him that He was indeed the Messiah. Thomas’ statement is the equivalent of saying, My Lord and my king. This is not just my opinion; it is easily verified in the Old Testament. Remember, God = king = Messiah.
This kind of language was common in those days. Let’s look at a similar verse.
1 Samuel 24:9 states:
"David also stepped out of the cave, calling to Saul, "My lord and my king."
My lord and my God = My lord and my king.
This verse means the same thing. Thomas is addressing the king of Israel in exactly the same way that David did. You just have to speak like a first century Jew.
Luke 2:11 states:
"A savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord."
Acts 2:36 states:
"God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified."
Lord and Messiah = Lord and king = Lord and God.
There is for me one great proof that Thomas did not mean Jesus is Almighty God when he called Jesus God. When Thomas called Jesus "My lord and my God " all the Apostles were in the room. If this statement is true, then it is logical to assume that from now on, all the Apostles know that Jesus is really God. So from that point onward Jesus should be addressed as God. But as you can see in all the writings of the New Testament, none of the Apostles ever refer to Jesus as Almighty God or YHWH . Not once in the entire New Testament do they ever pray to Jesus. They make clear distinctions between the two. They in fact write about the God of Jesus Christ (John 20:17). Remember, "No one has ever seen God" (1 John 4: 12). Same author.
BUT ONLY GOD CAN FORGIVE SINS
Jesus represents God on earth. God dwells in Jesus. God put everything under his feet.
People claim that only God can forgive sins, and because of this alone, Jesus is God. This view is very narrow-minded and very incorrect. Jesus in Mark 2: 10 states:
"But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...He said to the paralytic."
Revelation 12:10 states:
"Now salvation and power have come, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed."
As God’s representative, Jesus has been given the authority to do anything that God would do. To be specific, it is really God doing His works through Jesus (John 14: 10). God has given Jesus the authority to forgive sins, just as He has given Jesus the authority to judge mankind. God will judge the world through a man He has appointed, Jesus the Messiah.
Acts 17:31: "Because He has established a day on which he will judge the world with justice through a man He has appointed, and He has provided confirmation for all by raising him from the dead."
John 5: 22: "Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the son."
John 5:27: "He has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of man."
Jesus can forgive sins and judge the world because as John 5: 27 and Acts 17:31 says, he has been appointed the Son of Man, and he has been given the authority. Notice that after Jesus had healed the paralytic and forgave his sins, the people were amazed and they praised God, not Jesus (Mark 2: 12). In John 20: 23 Jesus states:
"If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."
Does that make all the apostles God? Of course not. They are now the representatives of God.
ONLY GOD CAN ACCEPT WORSHIP
People also claim that since Jesus accepted worship in a few verses, then that means that he is God. But every time that Jesus is paid homage to in the Bible it is because he is the king of Israel, the Messiah, the Son of God. According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary, worship means:
Worship - to make obeisance, do reverence to. The Greek word denotes an act of reverence, whether paid to man or to God.
It was common in those days to worship the king. It was meant to show reverence to the king. This is why people who came before the throne of a king always bowed down in front of it.
Aspects of Monotheism pg.94 states:
"According to the "Son of God Text" from Qumran, when war ceases on earth, all cities will pay homage either to the "Son of God" or to the "people of God." Although homage in this passage involves political submission, worship in the ancient world was often considered analogous to submission to a great king. Each of these figures, to be sure, can be understood as God’s agent or representative, so that homage to given to them is ultimately given to God."
King David was worshipped. Hendrickson’s Hebrew and English Interlinear Bible says:
"All the congregation blessed Jehovah, the God of their Fathers, and worshipped Jehovah and the king" (1 Chronicles 29:20).
Solomon is worshipped. “So the king (Solomon) shall desire your beauty; for he is your lord, and you must worship him" (Hendrickson’s & NAB Psalm 45:12).
The saints will be worshipped. "I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee" (KJV Revelation 3: 9).
Daniel was worshipped. "Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell down and worshipped Daniel and ordered sacrifice and incense offered to him" (NAB Daniel 2: 46).
King Nebuchadnezzar even offered sacrifices and incense to Daniel. Does that make Daniel God? Of course not! Obviously neither King David, King Solomon, Daniel nor the saints are God. In the Bible people are worshipped for different reasons, such as kings.
We must keep in mind that the Messiah is the king of Israel. Jesus does have the absolute right to be worshipped, not as God, but as the Lord Messiah, our king. An excellent example is when the magi come to visit baby Jesus. They have come to worship the new king of the Jews. This is why they prostrated themselves and paid him homage. Matthew 2:2&11 states:
"Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him…They bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh."
Why are they worshiping him? Because he is the king of the Jews. Bringing gifts was and still is customary when coming in the presence of kings or heads of state. This is why the magi brought gifts. You will find that in every instance that someone is worshipping Jesus it is because he is the Messiah, the Son of God, the king of Israel. It is quite normal to show homage or reverence for the Son of God, our king, the Messiah. The NAB has "homage" instead of "worship" In its translation. The same writer reports in Matthew 14:33, this is when Jesus walks on the water.
"Those who were in the boat did him homage (some translations say "worship"), saying, ‘Truly, you are the Son of God.’"
Remember, Son of God = king of Israel (look at John 1:49 if you have any doubts).
In the KJV Mark 15:16-19 it is the Roman guards who are mocking him for claiming to be a king. It states:
"And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head, and began to salute him, Hail, king of the Jews! And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him."
Why are the guards worshipping him? Is it because they think he is claiming to be God? Of course not. It says it right in the verse. Purple was a sign of royalty, a crown is obviously related to a king, and then it comes out and clearly tells you why they worshipped him in mockery, because Jesus claimed to be the king of the Jews, the Messiah.
ANGEL OF THE LORD
Trinitarians claim that the angel of the LORD is really Jesus in the Old Testament. You never see him again in the New Testament, so it must have been Jesus.
It is really amazing to see the great lengths that Trinitarians have gone to in order to try and tie Jesus into the Old Testament. In order to make this theory fit, we would first of all have to throw out the entire first chapter of Hebrews that deals specifically with Jesus being superior to the angels. Secondly, you have to understand the Jewish concept of agency. With the Jews, it is correct to address the person who is sent on behalf of someone else as that person themselves. This is why sometimes the angel of the LORD in some passages is seen as completely separate from the LORD, as in Zechariah 1: 12, where the angel of the LORD is having a conversation with God, and at other times it seems as if they are the same being (Numbers 22: 22 - 39). A very good example of this concept is in 2 Esdras 5: 43 - 56. Ezra questions God’s spokesman, the angel Uriel, as though he were both Creator and Judge. Ezra uses the same style of address to Uriel ("my lord, my master") as he uses in direct petition to God. But this does not make the angel of the LORD "God." The angel of the LORD is just that, an angel. That is why he is called the angel of the LORD (Yahweh). To imply that the angel of the LORD is Jesus is completely ludicrous and shows that one has a very limited knowledge of the Bible. First, why would Jesus have a different name in the Old Testament? What purpose would that serve?
Secondly, and this will eliminate any doubt on this topic, is that Jesus and the angel of the LORD appear at the same time, in the same place, in the New Testament in at least three places: Matthew 2: 13, 19 and Luke 2: 9 - 13. In Matthew, the angel of the Lord appears to Joseph and tells him to take his child (who is Jesus) and wife and go to Egypt. Then the same thing happens again, but this time the angel of the Lord tells Joseph to go back to Israel. In Luke, the angel of the Lord tells the shepherds that the Messiah is at that very moment lying in a manger. Now, unless we make God a quadrinity, it is obvious that Jesus is not the angel of the LORD.
Isaiah 9: 5
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
There, you see, the Messiah is supposed to be God. Wrong! If we take a closer look at this verse you will see that it does not mean that at all. The phrase in question is Mighty God, and the proper understanding of Everlasting Father is a must. First, Mighty God.
Not all Bibles use the translation of Mighty for the Hebrew word gibbor. The Jewish translators of the Septaugint render it in the following manner, "The angel of great council." Angel meaning mesenger. But we will address the ones that do just for arguments sake. First of all, we will take a close look at the Hebrew word that is translated as Mighty. Translators have used Mighty for theological reasons, (so they can tie it in to other verses that God is referred to as mighty, and thus claim that the Messiah is supposed to be God). Let’s see what a Hebrew dictionary and a Hebrew lexicon tells us about this word.
The Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary defines this word as:
Gibbor – by impl. warrior, tyrant:- champion, chief, X excel, giant, man, mighty (man, one), valiant man. Mighty is the eighth definition of this word.
he Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon says of this word gibbor as it is used in Isaiah 9: 5:
Isaiah 9:5 - ref. Messiah, attribute of God especially as fighting for his people. This explanation doesn’t even mention Mighty.
According to these sources, gibbor as it is used in Isaiah 9: 5 along with God means, a warrior king with the attributes of God. This is exactly who the Messiah is supposed to be. This definition agrees with the rest of the chapter in which Isaiah talks about how the Messiah will reign on David’s throne, and how he will rule with justice and righteousness forever because of the zeal of the LORD Almighty. Isaiah does not believe that the Messiah is supposed to be God, he distinguishes between them. He says how the Messiah will accomplish everything because of the zeal of the LORD Almighty. We can also compare this chapter to Isaiah 11 in which he is again speaking of the Messiah. In Isaiah 11: 1-3 he says how the Messiah will be from the root of Jesse, how the Spirit of the LORD will rest on him, and how he will delight in the fear of the LORD. Now, are we supposed to believe that the LORD will delight in the fear of Himself? Definitely not. Isaiah prophesying about the Messiah says:
Isaiah 49:5: "And I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD, and MY GOD is my strength."
From Isaiah 49:5 and 11:1-3 we can see that Isaiah understands the future Messiah to be a man on whom God's spirit will rest (which is the meaning of the word "Christ") who will delight in the fear of his God, the LORD. Isaiah does not consider the Messiah to be God in Isaiah 11:1-3 nor in Isaiah 49:5, and neither does he believe that in Isaiah 9: 5.
The definition of the Messiah as a warrior king with the attributes of God, is seen in Revelation 19: 11 where it reads:
"Then I saw heaven standing open and there was before me a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war."
Now we will look at some other translations to see how they have interpreted this verse.
The New English Bible says, "In battle God-like."
The New American Bible (which is a Catholic Bible, they invented the trinity) says, "God- Hero." It translates this verse in the following manner and has a note on this verse which is very interesting and enlightening. First the translation. It states:
"They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace."
"Wonder- Counselor: remarkable for his wisdom and prudence.
God-Hero: a warrior and defender of his people, like God himself.
Father-forever: ever devoted to his people.
Prince of peace: his reign will be characterized by peace."
This exegesis is in complete agreement with the definitions and Bible passage that we have just examined. Remember, this is the Catholic Church’s interpretation, I am sure that they would love to be able to say that according to this passage the Messiah is supposed to be God, but even they don’t.
For a better understanding of the term Father-Forever or Everlasting Father, (depending on your translation) one must understand that kings were considered to be fathers of their people. The Messiah is the King of Israel. I agree with the New American Bible’s explanation of Father- Forever in this verse.
We can also substantiate this definition by looking at another verse of the same writer in Isaiah 22: 20- 21:
"In that day I will summon my servant Eliakim son of Hilkiah. I will clothe him with your robe and fasten your sash around him and hand your authority over to him. He will be a father to those who live in Jerusalem and to the house of Judah."
Isaiah obviously does not mean that Eliakim is God the Father. In Isaiah 9:5 he means that the Messiah as king of the new Israel (the kingdom of God) will be like a father to his people forever.
Hebrews 1: 8-9
Your throne O God, stands forever and ever; and a righteous scepter is the scepter of your kingdom. You loved justice and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, anointed you with the oil of gladness above your companions.
This is the only other place besides John 20:28 in the New Testament where Jesus is referred to as God. Does this imply that he is God Almighty? Not even close. This explanation has the same basic principle as John 20:28 which was discussed earlier, namely the usage of the word god. As was mentioned earlier, the term god in the first century did not necessarily mean Almighty God.
In this verse the writer is quoting Psalm 45:7 word for word. This same verse was used for the Hebrew King (probably Solomon) in Psalm 45:7, and nobody ever accused Solomon of being God. It will help us tremendously to read Psalm 45 in its entirety. Please pay special attention to whom this Psalm is about. Who is singing it to whom will be obvious in the second verse.
Psalm 45:2 states:
"My heart is stirred by a noble theme, as I sing my ode to the king. My tongue is the pen of a nimble scribe."
As the Psalm says, a scribe is singing about the Hebrew king. Then we get to verse 7, but the subject has not changed, it is still about the king. I think it would be helpful at this time to review a few notes from the NAB on Psalm 45:7.
45:7: Your throne O God: The Hebrew king was called Elohim, "God," not in the polytheistic sense common among the ancient pagans, but as meaning "godlike," or, taking the place of God.
45:7: god: the king, in courtly language, is called "god," representing God to the people.
Aspects of Monotheism states that "god" is an allegorical equivalent for "king."
Psalms 45 is about the anointed king of Israel. Verse 8 says:
"Therefore God, your God, anointed you..."
As you can see, it was common to refer to the Hebrew king as "God" because he represented God to the people, not because he was God. In other words, God gave His authority to the Hebrew kings, and in that sense they sat on the throne of God, and in that sense they were addressed as god in their court. 1 Chronicles 29:23 states:
"Therefore Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king in place of his father David."
The whole point of chapter 1 in Hebrews is to prove the superiority of the Son (Messiah) over the angels, it is not to prove the deity of Jesus. Paul in chapter 1 is arguing against a growing Gnostic belief. The Gnostics claimed that there were many mediators between God and man, and that these mediators were spirits or angels. Jesus they claimed, was just one of these angels. This is why Paul argues in verse 5 that God has never called an angel His son, or made an angel His anointed king in verse 8-9, or sat an angel at His right hand in verse 13, nor subjected the world to come to angel in verse 2:5.
Hebrews 1:8-9 is speaking about the Son being the king of Israel, the Messiah. It speaks about a throne, a scepter and a kingdom. These are all things that are associated with a king as it was in Psalm 45:7, this is why it was written of Solomon. Another way of saying this verse is, "Your throne O king." This is why it is also used for the Messiah Jesus, because the Messiah is the king of Israel par-excellence who represents God in His kingdom. Jesus will sit on the throne of God in the Messianic kingdom representing God to the people. Last, but not least, is verse 9, which says:
"Therefore God, your God, anointed you..."
If we make Hebrews 1:8-9 to mean that Jesus is God, then we have a major conflict for any Trinitarian doctrine. The reason being that it specifically says that the Son has a God who anointed him. If Jesus is God, and he has a God, then there are TWO Gods. This is impossibility for Christianity.
It is very easy to use the meanings of words which we are familiar with today, but we must always remember to read the Bible with the mindset and the vocabulary of the people who wrote it.
1 TIMOTHY 3:16:
GOD MANIFESTED IN THE FLESH
This verse is translated like this in very few bibles. The correct translation is "Who was manifested in the flesh." Let’s look at the whole verse.
"Who was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed to the Gentiles, believed in throughout the world, taken up in glory."
Every commentary that I have ever read agrees that this is talking about Jesus not God. Jesus was proclaimed to the Gentiles, Jesus was believed in throughout the world, Jesus was taken up in glory, not God. Bibles that have interpreted this verse with "God" instead of "Who" have used corrupted manuscripts. Zondervan’s Greek and English Interlinear Bible translates it as "Who." The Catholic New American Bible translates it as "Who." So where do these corrupted manuscripts come from?
The New American Bible has an excellent footnote on this verse:
1 Timothy 3:16: Many later (eight & ninth century on), predominantly Byzantine manuscripts read "God" possibly for theological reasons."
The corrupted interpretations exist because some people wanted to prove the trinity at all costs, and in the eighth & ninth century in Byzantium, they simply changed "who" to "God." In all fairness, the words "who" and "God" in Greek are very similar. All that separates them is a dashed line. Maybe it was just an unintentional mistake, but it is still a mistake.
If we were to believe that "God" was the correct interpretation, then how would we explain 1 Timothy 2:5:
"For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."
The writer of 1 Timothy does not believe Jesus to be God.
"In the Beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands."
The argument is, that since God created everything, and Jesus is attributed creation in Hebrews 1:10, that Jesus therefore must be God. First, we will star with Hebrews 1:2
"Though a Son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom he created the world." (sometimes it is translated as universe).
The word that is translated as "world" is the Greek word aion. It means ages, as in the present evil age and the Messianic age to come.
Aion- This word has been translated as eternal, world, and universe. When this word is translated as "eternal," such as "you will have eternal life," it means "you will have life in the age to come." This is Strong's Greek dictionary's (which is in the Strong's Concordance) definition of this word. It is number 165 in Strong's, please look it up.
Age (aion) - 1. An unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity. 2. This word is also used to describe this age, i.e. this time period we are in now, and the time period to come, i.e. the Messianic age.
Hebrews 1:2 is speaking of the world (age) to come, the Messianic world. The New Earth and New Heavens.
Hebrews 1:10 is a continuation of this thought. It is a passage of creation that was attributed to God in the Old Testament. Here it is used for the Son because through the Son (his death on the cross) will be created the New Earth and New Heavens. Flip the page to Hebrews 2:5 and it will clear up any doubt that you might have on what world we are talking about.
Hebrews 2:5: "For it was not to angels that he subjected the WORLD TO COME, of WHICH WE ARE SPEAKING."
This is in agreement with Hebrews 1:2. If not we have a massive contradiction.
Jesus is responsible for the creation of the Messianic age (world) to come. These passages do not mean that Jesus created this earth and heaven. You have the scriptures in front of you, you decide.
Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all.
This translation appears only in the NIV as far as I have found. It is definitely not the most accepted translation. The Amplified Bible, KJV, NASB, NRSV, and the Rheims New Testament to name a few, all have it worded differently and are also in agreement with the Catholic NAB. Romans 9:5 NAB:
"Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Messiah. God who is over all be blessed forever."
NAB Footnote: Some editors punctuate this verse differently and prefer the translation, "Of whom is Christ according to the flesh, who is God over all." However, Paul’s point is that God who is over all aimed to use Israel, which had been entrusted with every privilege, in outreach to the entire world through the Messiah.
The context of this verse is not on the deity of Jesus, but on his ancestry, which is from the patriarchs. Compare this verse to 2 Corinthians 11:31 of the same writer.
"The God and Father of the Lord Jesus knows, he who is blessed forever, that I do not lie."
Who is blessed forever? The God and Father of Jesus. Using the principle of comparison of text with text, it is most likely that Paul describes the Father as "God over all."
And they shall call him Emmanuel, which means "God is with us."
This verse has been used to imply that Jesus is God. But this verse is not saying that God is with us AS the person of Jesus, but IN the person of Jesus. This is how He has visited His people. Let’s compare this verse with other verses in the Bible.
Acts 10:38: "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him."
John 8:29: "The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone."
Luke 7:16: "A great prophet has arisen in our midst, and God has visited His people."
John 3:2: "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher from God, for no one can do these signs that you are doing unless God is with him."
Acts 7:9: "And the patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, sold him into slavery in Egypt; but God was with him."
Zechariah 8:23: "Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you."
By comparing texts we get a much better picture of what Matthew meant. God is with us, present among His people IN the person of Jesus. The meaning of a name (which by the way was never used by Jesus) cannot be used by itself to imply that he is God. Here are a few more Biblical names and their meanings:
Eli – My God.
Elijah – God the LORD or Yahweh God.
Elihu – My God Himself.
Ithiel – God with me.
Joel - The LORD God.
If you insist on using this text to prove the divinity of Jesus, then we have to make Eli, Elijah, Elihu, Ithiel, and Joel God also.
CONCLUSION – I have spent a lot of time going over each and every Scripture relating to this subject, and the Bible is very consistent. I have not found one verse that contradicts this thought.
One last point to be said. Some people I talk to about this will get all defensive and hostile when they are confronted with Scriptures which completely contradict the trinity, and finally say to me "Well, it doesn’t really matter as long as you worship God." But the question I put to you is this, Are you really worshipping God? If Jesus is not God, are you not committing idolatry by making Jesus "God the Son?" Yes you are! Jesus did say:
"Worship the LORD your God, and serve Him ONLY" (Matthew 4: 10).
Also, John 17: 3 states:
"Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."
Make sure you know the ONLY TRUE GOD and His Son Jesus Christ. Remember, it is part of the greatest commandment to know that God is one (Mark 12: 29).
If after this paper you still think that I am wrong, please take the time to go to the Scriptures and try to prove me wrong. Don’t just say, "He’s wrong," and forget all about it. According to Scripture, there is a little more at stake than one would imagine.
Please pray to God to show you the truth, whatever that might be. But don’t let pride and human tradition get in the way. I am just presenting you with information. I am not here to convince you, God will take care of that, if it is his will.