Category Archives: Trinity

Who is Jesus?

Jesus as God?                                        

The suggestion that Jesus is not, according to the Bible, “very God of very God” is likely to prove startling to those accustomed to the widely held views of the major denominations. It is not generally known that many students of the Bible throughout the ages, including a considerable number of contemporary scholars, have not concluded that Scripture describes Jesus as “God” with a capital “G.”
A difference of opinion on such a fundamental issue should challenge all of us to an examination of the important question of Jesus’ identity. If our worship is to be, as the Bible demands, “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24), it is clear that we will want to understand what the Bible discloses about Jesus and his relationship to his Father. Scripture warns us that it is possible to fall into the trap of believing in “another Jesus” (2 Cor. 11:4)—a “Jesus” other than the one revealed in the Bible as God’s Son, the Messiah promised by the prophets of the Old Testament.
It is a striking fact that Jesus never referred to himself as “God.”Equally remarkable is the New Testament’s use of the word “God”—in Greek ho theos—to refer to the Father alone, some 1325 times. In sharp contrast, Jesus is called “god” [judges, prophets , even Satan 2Co 4:4] in a handful of texts only—perhaps no more than two. Why this impressive difference in New Testament usage, when so many seem to think that Jesus is no less “God” than his Father?

Old Testament Monotheism Confirmed by Jesus and Paul

Readers of Scripture in the 20th century may not easily appreciate the strength of the monotheism—belief in one God—which was the first principle of all Old Testament teaching about God. The Jews were prepared to die for their conviction that the true God was a single Person. Any idea of plurality in the Godhead was rejected as dangerous idolatry. The Law and the Prophets had repeatedly insisted that only one was truly God, and no one could have envisaged “distinctions” within the Godhead once he had committed to memory texts like the following (quoted from the New American Standard Bible):
“Hear, O Israel! The LORD our God is one LORD!” (Deut. 6:4).
“Do we not all have one Father? Has not one God created us?” (Mal. 2:10).
“Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me” (Isa. 43:10).
“I am God, and there is no other” (Isa. 45:22).
“I am God, and there is no one like Me” (Isa. 46:9).
Examples of strictly monotheistic statements can be multiplied from the Old Testament. The important fact to observe is that Jesus, as founder of Christianity, confirmed and reinforced the Old Testament insistence that God is one. According to the records of his teaching compiled by Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus said nothing at all to disturb belief in the absolute oneness of God. When a scribe (a theologian) quoted the famous words, “God is one, and there is none else besides him,” Jesus commended him because he had “spoken intelligently” and was “not far from the kingdom of God” (Mark 12:29-34).
In John’s account of Jesus’ ministry, Jesus equally confirmed the unrestricted monotheism of his Jewish heritage in words which cannot be misunderstood. He spoke of God, his Father, as “the one who alone is God” (John 5:44) and “the only true God” (John 17:3). Throughout his recorded discourses he referred the word “God” to the Father only. Not once did he ever say that he was God, a notion which would have sounded both absurd and blasphemous. Jesus’ unitary monotheistic phrases in John 5:44 and 17:3 are echoes of the Old Testament view of God as one unique Person. We can easily discern the Jewish and Old Testament orthodoxy of Paul who spoke of his Christian belief in “one God, the Father” (1 Cor. 8:6) and the “one God” as distinct from the “one mediator between God and man, Messiah Jesus, himself man” (1 Tim. 2:5). For both Jesus and Paul, God was a single uncreated Being, “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 1:3). Even after Jesus had been exalted to the right hand of the Father, the Father is still, in Jesus’ own words, his God (Rev. 3:12).
We may summarize our discussion so far by quoting the words of L.L. Paine, at one time Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Bangor Theological Seminary:
“The Old Testament is strictly monotheistic. God is a single personal being. The idea that a Trinity is to be found there or even in any way shadowed forth, is an assumption that has long held sway in theology, but is utterly without foundation. The Jews, as a people, under its teachings became stern opponents of all polytheistic tendencies and they have remained unflinching monotheists to this day. On this point there is no break between the Old Testament and the New. The monotheistic tradition is continued. Jesus was a Jew, trained by Jewish parents in the Old Testament Scriptures. His teaching was Jewish to the core; a new Gospel indeed, but not a new theology. He declared that He came ‘not to destroy the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill’ them, and He accepted as His own belief the great text of Jewish monotheism: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one God.’ His proclamation concerning Himself was in line with Old Testament prophecy. He was the ‘Messiah’ of the promised Kingdom, the ‘Son of Man’ of Jewish hope…If He sometimes asked ‘Who do men say that I the Son of Man am?’ He gave no answer beyond the implied assertion of Messiahship” (A Critical History of the Evolution of Trinitarianism, 1900, pp. 4, 5).
The strength of Jewish feeling about monotheism is well illustrated by the following quotations:
Ezra D. Gifford, in The True God, the True Christ, and the True Holy Spirit, says: “The Jews themselves sincerely resent the implication that their Scriptures contain any proof, or any intimation of the doctrine of the orthodox Trinity, and Jesus and “The belief that God is made up of several personalities such as the Christian belief in the Trinity is a departure from the pure conception of the unity of God. Israel has throughout the ages rejected everything that marred or obscured the conception of pure monotheism it has given the world, and rather than admit any weakening of it, Jews are prepared to wander, to suffer, to die” (Rabbi J.H. Hertz). The Jews never differed on this subject, both maintaining that God is One only, and that this is the greatest truth revealed to man.”
If we examine the recorded teachings of Jesus in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, remembering that these documents represent the understanding of the apostolic church in the 60s-80s AD, we will find not a hint that Jesus believed himself to be an uncreated being who had existed from eternity. Matthew and Luke trace the origin of Jesus to a special act of creation by God when the Messiah’s conception took place in the womb of Mary. It was this miraculous event which marked the beginning—the genesis, or origin—of Jesus of Nazareth (Matt. 1:18, 20). Nothing at all is said of an “eternal Sonship,” implying that Jesus had been alive as a Son before his conception. That idea was introduced into Christian circles after the New Testament documents had been completed. It does not belong to the thought world of the biblical writers.

Whoever Said the Messiah Was God?

Most readers of Scripture approach the divine records with a well-established set of assumptions. They are unaware of the fact that much of what they understand about Jesus is derived from theological systems devised by writers outside the Bible. In this way they readily accept a large dose of tradition, while claiming and believing that the Bible is their sole authority.
The crucial question we must answer is this: On what basis did Jesus and the early church claim that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah? The answer is plain. It was by contending that he perfectly fulfilled the role which the Old Testament had predicted of him. It had to be demonstrated that he fit the “specifications” laid out for the Messiah in Hebrew prophecy. Matthew, particularly, delights in quoting the Old Testament as it was fulfilled in the facts of Jesus’ life and experience (Matt. 1:23; 2:6, 15, etc). But Mark, Luke, and John and Peter (in the early chapters of Acts) equally insist that Jesus exactly fits the Old Testament description of the Messiah. Paul spent much of his ministry demonstrating from the Hebrew Scriptures that Jesus was the promised Christ (Acts 28:23). Unless Jesus’ identity could be matched with the Old Testament description of him, there would be no good reason to believe that his claim to Messiahship was true!
It is essential to ask, therefore, whether the Old Testament anywhere suggests that the Messiah was to be “coequal God,” a second uncreated being who abandons an eternal existence in heaven in order to become man. If it does not say anything like this (and remembering that the Old Testament is concerned even with minute details about the coming Messiah) we will have to treat as suspicious the claims of anyone saying that Jesus is both Messiah and an uncreated, second eternal Person of the Godhead, claiming the title “God” in the full sense.
What portrait of the Messiah is drawn by the Hebrew Scriptures? When the New Testament Christians seek to substantiate Jesus’ claim to Messiahship they are fond of quoting Deuteronomy 18:18:
“I will raise up a Prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put my words into his mouth, and he will speak to them all that I command him.” Both Peter (Acts 3:22) and Stephen (Acts 7:37) used this primary text to show that Jesus was “that promised prophet” (John 6:14), whose origin would be in an Israelite family and whose function would be similar to that of Moses. In Jesus, God had raised up the Messiah, the long-promised divine spokesman, the Savior of Israel and the world. In Peter’s words, “God raised up his servant and sent him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways” (Acts 3:26).
Other classic Messianic texts promised that “a son will be born to Israel” (Isa. 9:6), the “seed of a woman” (Gen. 3:15), a descendant of Abraham (Gal. 3:16), and a descendant of David’s royal house (2 Sam. 7:14-16; Isa. 11:1). He would be a ruler born in Bethlehem (Matt. 2:6; Micah 5:2). Of his several titles one would be “mighty god” and another, “everlasting father” (Isa. 9:6). It is this single text in Isaiah 9:6 which might appear to put the Messiah into a category of uncreated beings, though this would of course provoke a crisis for monotheism. However, the sensitive reader of Scripture will be aware that a single text should not be allowed to overthrow the Old Testament’s insistence that only one Person is truly God. It should not be forgotten that the sacred oracles were committed to the Jews, none of whom thought that a divine title given to the Messianic King meant that he was a member of an eternal Godhead, now composed suddenly and mysteriously of two Persons, in contradiction of all that the heritage of Israel had stood for. The “mighty god” of Isaiah 9:6 is defined by the leading Hebrew lexicon as “divine hero, reflecting the divine majesty.” The same authority records that the word “god” used by Isaiah is applied elsewhere in Scripture to “men of might and rank,” as well as to angels. As for “eternal father,” this title was understood by the Jews as “father of the coming age.” It was widely recognized that a human figure could be “father to the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem” (Isa. 22:21).
In Psalm 45 the “ideal” Messianic King is addressed as “god,” but there is no need whatever to assume that Jewish monotheism has therefore been compromised. The word (in this case elohim) was applied not only to the one God but “to divine representatives at sacred places or as reflecting divine majesty and power” (Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament by Brown, Driver, and Briggs, pp. 42, 43). The Psalmist, and the writer to the Hebrews who quoted him (Heb. 1:8) were conscious of their specialized use of the word “god” to describe the Messianic King and quickly added that the Messiah’s God had granted him his royal privileges (Ps. 45:7).
Even the frequently quoted text in Micah 5:2 about the origins of Messiah does not necessitate any kind of literal, eternal pre-existence. In the same book a similar expression dates the promises made to Jacob from “days of old” (Micah 7:20).5 Certainly the promises of Messiah had been given at an early moment in the history of man (Gen. 3:15; cp. Gen. 49:10; Num. 24:17-19).
Approaching the question of Jesus’ Messiahship as he and the apostles do, we find nothing at all in the Old Testament predictions about the Christ which suggests that an eternal immortal being was to become human as the promised King of Israel. That King was to be born in Israel, a descendant of David, and conceived by a virgin (2 Sam. 7:13-16; Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:23). And so, during the reign of Emperor Augustus, the Messiah arrived on the scene.

The Son of God

The source of much longstanding confusion about Jesus’ identity is the assumption drawn from years of traditional thinking that the title “Son of God” must mean in the Scriptures an uncreated being, the member of an eternal Godhead. That notion cannot possibly be traced to the Scriptures. It is a testimony to the power of theological indoctrination that this idea persists so stubbornly. In the Bible “Son of God” is an alternative and virtually synonymous title for the Messiah. Thus John dedicates his whole gospel to one dominant theme, that we believe and understand “that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God” (John 20:31). The basis for equating these titles is found in a favourite Old Testament passage in Psalm 2:
“The rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His Messiah” whom He has installed as King in Jerusalem (v. 6), and of whom He says: “Thou art My Son, today I have begotten thee. Ask of Me and I will give you the nations as your inheritance” (vv. 7, 8). Jesus does not hesitate to apply the whole Psalm to himself, and sees in it a prediction of his and his followers’ future rulership over the nations (Rev. 2:26, 27).
Peter makes the same equation of Messiah and Son of God, when by divine revelation he affirms his belief in Jesus:
“Thou art the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16).
The high priest asks Jesus:
“Are you the Messiah, the Son of the blessed One?” (Mark 14:61).
Nathaniel understands that the Son of God is none other than the King of Israel (John 1:49), the Messiah (v. 41), “him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote” (v. 45; cp. Deut. 18:15-18).
The title “Son of God” is applied also in Scripture to angels (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; Gen. 6:2, 4; Ps. 29:1; 89:6; Dan. 3:25), to Adam (Luke 3:38), to the nation of Israel (Exod. 4:22), to kings of Israel as representing God, and in the New Testament to Christians (John 1:12). We would search in vain to find any application of this title to an uncreated being, a member of the eternal Godhead. This idea is simply absent from the biblical idea of divine Sonship.
Luke knows very well that Jesus’ divine Sonship is derived from his conception in the womb of a virgin; he knows nothing at all of any eternal origin: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; for that reason the holy thing which is begotten will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). The Psalmist had ascribed the Messiah’s Sonship to a definite moment of time—“today” (Ps. 2:7). The Messiah was begotten around 3 BC (Matt. 1:20; Luke 1:35). His begetting is thus related to his appearance in history (Acts 13:33, not KJV), when God became his Father (Heb. 1:5; 1 John 5:18, not KJV).
Here, clearly presented by the Scriptures which Jesus recognized as God’s Word, are the biblical ideas of Jesus’ Sonship. It is to be dated from Jesus’ conception, his resurrection, or from his appointment to kingship. Luke’s view of Sonship agrees exactly with the hope for the birth of the Messiah from the woman, a descendant of Adam, Abraham, and David (Matt. 1:1; Luke 3:38). The texts we have examined contain no information about a personal pre-existence for the Son in eternity.

The Son of Man, the Lord at God’s Right Hand

The title “Son of Man” was frequently used by Jesus to refer to himself. Like “Son of God” it is closely associated with Messiahship; so much so that when Jesus solemnly affirms that he is the Messiah, the Son of God, he adds in the same breath that the high priest will see “the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power and coming with the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:61, 62). The title “Son of Man” is most fully described in Daniel 7:13, 14, where a human figure (a “Son of Man”) receives the right to world dominion from the Father. The parallel with Psalm 2 is obvious, as well as the close connection with Psalm 110, where David refers to his “lord” (the Messiah) who is to sit at the Lord’s (the Father’s) right hand until he takes up his office as world governor and “rules in the midst of his enemies” (Ps. 110:2; cp. Matt. 22:42-45). The Son of Man has an equally clear Messianic connection in Psalm 80:17: “Let your hand be upon your right-hand man, upon the Son of Man whom you made strong for yourself.”
It is significant that the New Testament writers lay the greatest stress on Psalm 110, citing it some 23 times and applying it to Jesus, who had been by that time exalted as Messianic Lord to immortality at the right hand of the Father just as the Psalmist had foreseen. Once again we must recognize that eternal Sonship is alien to all the descriptive titles of the Messiah. This startling fact should lead Bible students everywhere to compare what they have been taught about Jesus with the Jesus presented by Scripture. It would appear that an eternal Son will not match the Bible’s account of the Messiah. In opting for a Jesus who is an eternal being passing through a temporary life on earth, many seem, so to speak, to have “got the wrong man.”

Jesus Claimed NOT to Be God

In the Gospel of John the identity of Jesus is a principal theme. John wrote, as he tells us, with one primary purpose: to convince his readers that Jesus is “the Messiah, the Son of God” (20:31). According to John, Jesus carefully distinguished himself from the Father who is “the only true God” (17:3; cp. 5:44; 6:27). If we are to find in John’s record a proof that Jesus is “coequal” God, in the Trinitarian sense, we would be discovering something which John did not intend and, in view of his Jewish heritage, would not have understood! Alternatively, we would have to admit that John introduces a brand new picture of Messiahship which contradicts the Old Testament and overthrows John’s (and Jesus’) own insistence that only the Father is truly God (John 5:44; 17:3). Such a glaring self-contradiction is hardly probable.7
It is high time that we allow Jesus to set the record straight. In Matthew’s, Mark’s, and Luke’s accounts we are told that Jesus explicitly subscribed to the strict monotheism of the Old Testament (Mark 12:28-34). Did he therefore, according to John, confuse the issue by claiming after all to be God? The answer is given plainly in John 10:34-36 where Jesus defined his status in terms of the human representatives of God in the Old Testament. Jesus gave this account of himself in explanation of what it means to be “one with the Father” (10:30). It is a oneness of function by which the Son perfectly represents the Father. That is exactly the Old Testament ideal of sonship, which had been imperfectly realized in the rulers of Israel, but would find perfect fulfilment in the Messiah, God’s chosen King.
The argument in John 10:29-38 is as follows: Jesus began by claiming that he and the Father were “one.” It was a oneness of fellowship and function which on another occasion he desired also for his disciples’ relationship with him and the Father (John 17:11, 22). The Jews understood him to be claiming equality with God. This gave Jesus an opportunity to explain himself. What he was actually claiming, so he says, was to be “Son of God” (v. 36), a recognized synonym for Messiah. The claim to sonship was not unreasonable, Jesus argued, in view of the well-known fact that even imperfect representatives of God had been addressed by Him in the Old Testament as “gods” (Ps. 82:6). Far from establishing any claim to eternal Sonship, he compared his office and function to that of the judges. He considered himself God’s representative par excellence since he was uniquely God’s Son, the one and only Messiah, supernaturally conceived, and the object of all Old Testament prophecy. There is absolutely nothing, however, in Jesus’ account of himself which interferes with Old Testament monotheism or requires a rewriting of the sacred text in Deuteronomy 6:4. Jesus’ self-understanding is strictly within the limits laid down by God’s authoritative revelation in Scripture. Otherwise his claim to be the Messiah would have been invalid. The Scriptures would have been broken.

John’s Jewish Language

Since Jesus expressly denied that he was God in John 10:34-36, it will be most unwise to think that he contradicted himself elsewhere. John’s Gospel should be examined with certain axiomatic principles firmly in mind. Jesus is distinct from “the only true God” (John 17:3). The Father alone is God (5:44). John wishes his readers to understand that all that he writes contributes to the one great truth that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God (John 20:31). Jesus himself says, as we have seen, that the term “god” can be used of a human being representing God, but certainly does not imply “coequal Godship.” Jesus’ own self-designation is plainly “Son of God” (John 10:36). In John 10:24, 25 Jesus told them “plainly” that he was the Messiah, but they did not believe him.
Jesus states often that he has been “sent by God.” What the average reader hears in that phrase is not at all what John implies. John the Baptist was also “sent from God,” which does not mean that he preexisted his birth (John 1:6). Prophets in general are “sent” from God (Judges 6:8; Micah 6:4), and the disciples themselves are to be “sent” as Jesus was “sent” (John 17:18). “Coming down from heaven” need not mean descent from a previous life any more than Jesus’ “flesh, which is the bread which came down from heaven,” literally descended from the sky (John 6:50, 51). Nicodemus recognized that Jesus had “come from God” (John 3:2), but did not think of him as preexistent. Nor did the Jewish people, when they spoke of the prophet “who was to come into the world” (John 6:14; cp. Deut 18:15-18), mean that he was alive before his birth. James can say that “every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father” (James 1:17).
“Coming down from heaven” is Jesus’ and the Jews’ graphic way of describing divine origin, which certainly belonged to Jesus through the virgin birth.
The “preexistence” statements in John (John 3:13; 6:62) are connected with the Son of Man, which means human being. The most that could be proved from these verses is that Jesus was a human being alive in heaven before he was born on earth! This sort of explanation is unnecessary, however, once it is noted that Daniel had 600 years earlier seen the Son of Man in vision seated at the right hand of the Father, a position which the New Testament says Jesus gained by resurrection and ascension. As Messiah, Jesus saw himself in the role of the one who was later to be exalted to heaven, since this, according to Daniel’s inspired vision, was the destiny of the Messiah prior to his second coming in glory. Jesus does indeed “preexist” his future return to the earth. All this had been seen in advance by Daniel before the birth of the Messiah. Thus Jesus expected to ascend to the right hand of the Father where he had been seen before in vision as an exalted human being—Son of Man (John 6:62). To say that Jesus was actually at the Father’s throne in heaven as a human being before his birth in Bethlehem is to misunderstand both John and Daniel. Jesus had to be born before anything predicted of him in the Old Testament could take place!

Glory Before Abraham

Jesus found his own history written in the Hebrew Scriptures (Luke 24:27). The role of the Messiah was clearly outlined there. Nothing in the divine record had suggested that Old Testament monotheism would be radically disturbed by the appearance of the Messiah. A mass of evidence will support the proposition that the apostles never for one moment questioned the absolute oneness of God, or that the appearance of Jesus created any theoretical problem about monotheism. It is therefore destructive of the unity of the Bible to suggest that in one or two texts in John, Jesus overturned his own creedal statement that the Father was “the only true God” (17:3), or that he took himself far outside the category of human being by speaking of a conscious existence from eternity. Certainly his prayer for the glory which he had had before the world began (17:5) can be easily understood as the desire for the glory which had been prepared for him in the Father’s plan. The glory which Jesus intended for the disciples had also been “given” (John 17:22, 24), but they had not yet received it.
It was typical of Jewish thinking that anything of supreme importance in God’s purpose—Moses, the Law, repentance, the Kingdom of God and the Messiah—had “existed” with God from eternity. In this vein John can speak of the crucifixion having “happened” before the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8, KJV). Peter, writing late in the first century, still knows of Jesus’ “preexistence” only as an existence in the foreknowledge of God (1 Peter 1:20). His sermons in the early chapters of Acts reflect exactly the same view.
But what of the favorite proof text in John 8:58 that Jesus existed before Abraham? Does Jesus after all confuse everything by saying on the one hand that the Father alone is the “only true God” (17:3, 5:44)—and that he himself is not God, but the Son of God (John 10:36)—and on the other hand that he, Jesus, is also an uncreated being? Does he define his status within the recognizable categories of the Old Testament (John 10:36; Ps. 82:6; 2:7) only to pose an insoluble riddle by saying that he had been alive before the birth of Abraham? Is the Trinitarian problem, which has never been satisfactorily resolved, to be raised because of a single text in John? Would it not be wiser to read John 8:58 in the light of Jesus’ later statement in 10:36, and the rest of Scripture?
In the thoroughly Jewish atmosphere which pervades the Gospel of John it is most natural to think that Jesus spoke in terms that were current amongst those trained in the rabbinical tradition. In a Jewish context, asserting “preexistence” does not mean that one is claiming to be an uncreated being! It does, however, imply that one has absolute significance in the divine plan. Jesus is certainly the central reason for creation. But the one God’s creative activity and his plan for salvation were not manifested in a unique created being, the Son, until Jesus’ birth. The person of Jesus originated when God’s self-expression took form in a human being (John 1:14).
It is a well-recognized fact that the conversations between Jesus and the Jews were often at cross purposes. In John 8:57 Jesus had not in fact said, as the Jews seemed to think, that he had seen Abraham, but that Abraham had rejoiced to see Messiah’s day (v. 56). The patriarch was expecting to arise in the resurrection at the last day (John 11:24; Matt. 8:11) and take part in the Messianic Kingdom. Jesus was claiming superiority to Abraham, but in what sense?
As the “Lamb of God” he had been “crucified before the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8, KJV; 1 Pet. 1:20)—not, of course, literally, but in God’s plan. In this way also Jesus “was” before Abraham. Thus Abraham could look forward to the coming of the Messiah and his Kingdom. The Messiah and the Kingdom therefore “preexisted” in the sense that they were “seen” by Abraham through the eyes of faith.
The expression “I am” in John 8:58 positively does not mean “I am God.” It is not, as so often alleged, the divine name of Exodus 3:14, where Yahweh declared: “I am the self-existent One” (ego eimi o ohn). Jesus nowhere claimed that title. The proper translation of ego eimi [I egw am eimi] in John 8:58 is “I am he,” i.e., the promised Christ (cp. the same expression in John 4:26, “I who speak to you am he [the Christ]”). Before Abraham was born Jesus had been “foreknown” (cp. 1 Pet. 1:20). Jesus here makes the stupendous claim to absolute significance in God’s purpose.

The Logos in John 1:1

There is no reason, other than force of habit, to understand the “word” in John 1:1 to mean a second divine person, before the birth of Jesus.A similar personification of wisdom in Proverbs 8:22, 30 and Luke 11:49 does not mean that “she” is a second person. There is no possible way of accommodating a “second divine Person” in the revealed Godhead as John and Jesus understood it. The Father remains, as He always has been, “the only true God” (17:3), “the one who alone is God” (5:44).
Reading the term logos (“word”) from an Old Testament perspective we will understand it to be God’s activity in creation, His powerful life-giving command by which all things came into existence (Ps. 33:6-12). God’s word is the power by which His purposes are furthered (Isa. 55:11). If we borrow from elsewhere in the New Testament we will equate the word with the creative salvation message, the gospel. This is the meaning throughout the New Testament (Matt. 13:19; Gal. 6:6, etc.).
It is this complex of ideas which go to make up the significance of logos, the “word.” “Through it all things were made and nothing was made without it” (John 1:3). In John 1:14 the word materializes in a real human being having a divine origin in his supernatural conception. From this moment, in “the fullness of time” (Gal. 4:4), the one God expresses Himself in a new creation, the counterpart of the original creation in Adam. Jesus’ conception and birth mark a new unprecedented phase of God’s purpose in history. As the second Adam, Jesus sets the scene for the whole program of salvation. He pioneers the way to immortality. In him God’s purpose is finally revealed in a human being (Heb. 1:1).
All this does not mean, however, that Jesus gave up one life for another. That would seriously disturb the parallel with Adam who was also “Son of God” by direct creation (Luke 3:38). It would also interfere with the pure monotheism revealed throughout the Scriptures which “cannot be broken” (John 10:35). Rather, God begins to speak to us in the first century AD in a new Son, His last word to the world (Heb. 1:1). It is the notion of an eternally existing Son which so violently disrupts the biblical scheme, challenging monotheism and threatening the real humanity of Jesus (1 John 4:2; 2 John 7).
This understanding of Jesus in John’s Gospel will bring John into harmony with his fellow apostles and the monotheism of the Old Testament will be preserved intact. The facts of church history show that the unrestricted monotheism of the Hebrew Scriptures was soon after New Testament times abandoned under the influence of alien Greek ideas. At the same time the predetermined framework for Messiahhood was forgotten, and with it the reality of the future Messianic Kingdom. The result was years of conflict, still unresolved, over how an already existing second divine Person could be combined with a fully human being in a single individual. The concept of literal preexistence for the Messiah is the intruding idea, the part of the Christological puzzle which will not fit. Without it a clear picture of Jesus emerges within the terms of the Hebrew revelation and the teachings of the apostles. God, the Father, remains indeed the only true God, the one who alone is God (John 17:3; 5:44) and the oneness of Jesus with his Father is found in a unity of function performed by one who is truly the Son, as the Bible everywhere else understands that term (John 10:36). If Christianity is to be revived and unified it will have to be on the basis of belief in Jesus, the Messiah of the Bible, unspoiled by the misleading speculations of the Greeks who displayed very little sympathy for the Hebrew world into which Christianity was born.

The “Divinity” of Jesus

To say that Jesus is not God is not to deny that he is uniquely invested with the divine nature. Divinity is, so to speak, “built in” to him by virtue of his unique conception under the influence of the Holy Spirit, as well as by the Spirit which dwelt in him in full measure (John 3:34). Paul recognizes that the “fullness of the Godhead dwells in him” (Col. 1:19; 2:9). In seeing the man Jesus we see the glory of his Father (John 1:14). We perceive that God Himself was “in the Messiah reconciling the world to Himself” (2 Cor. 5:19). The Son of God is therefore the pinnacle of God’s creation, the full expression of the divine character in a human being. Though the glory of the Father had been manifested, to a much less degree, in Adam (Ps. 8:5; cp. Gen. 1:26), in Jesus the Father’s will is fully explained (John 1:18, NASB).
None of what Paul says about Jesus takes him out of the category of human being. The presence of God which dwelt in the temple did not turn the temple into God! It is seldom observed that a high degree of “divinity” is ascribed by Paul also to the Christian who has the spirit of Messiah dwelling in him (Eph. 3:19). As “God was in Christ” (2 Cor. 5:19), so Christ was “in Paul” (Gal. 2:20), and he prays that the Christians may be “filled up to all the fullness of God” (Eph. 1:23; 3:19). Peter speaks of the faithful having the “divine nature” (2 Pet 1:4). What is true of the Christian is true to a much higher degree of Jesus who is “the pioneer” leading others through the process of salvation after successfully “completing the course” himself (Heb. 2:10).

In the Form of God

Despite the massive evidence from the New Testament showing that the apostles always distinguished Jesus from the “one God, the Father” (1 Cor. 8:6), many confidently find the traditional view of Jesus as a second uncreated being, fully God, in Philippians 2:5-11. It is something of a paradox that the writer on Christology in the Dictionary of the Apostolic Church can say that “Paul never gives to Christ the name or description of ‘God,’” but nevertheless finds in Philippians 2 a description of Christ’s eternal “pre-life” in heaven.
A recent and widely acclaimed study of the biblical view of Jesus—Christology in the Making, by James Dunn—alerts us to the danger of reading into Paul’s words the conclusions of a later generation of theologians, the “fathers” of the Greek church in the centuries following the completion of the New Testament writings. The tendency to find in Scripture what we already believe is natural, since none of us can easily face the threatening possibility that our “received” understanding does not coincide with the Bible. (The problem is even more acute if we are involved in teaching or preaching the Bible.)
However, are we not demanding of Paul more than he could possibly give by asking him to present us, in a few brief phrases, with an eternal being other than the Father? This would so obviously threaten the strict monotheism which he everywhere else expresses so clearly (1 Cor. 8:6; Eph. 4:6; 1Tim. 2:5). It would also raise the whole Trinitarian problem of which Paul, brilliant theologian as he was, is quite unaware.
Looking afresh at Philippians 2, we must ask the question whether Paul in these verses has really made what would be his only allusion to Jesus having been alive before his birth. The context of his remarks shows him urging the saints to be humble. It has often been asked whether it is in any way probable that he would enforce this lesson by asking his readers to adopt the frame of mind of one who, having been eternally God, made the decision to become man. It might also be strange for Paul to refer to the preexistent Jesus as Jesus the Messiah, thus reading back into eternity the name and office he received at birth.
Paul can be readily understood in Philippians 2 in terms of a favorite theme: Adam Christology. It was Adam who was in the image of God as God’s son (Gen. 1:26; Luke 3:38), while Jesus, the second Adam (1 Cor. 15:45) was also in the form of God (the two words “image” and “form” can be interchanged).17 However, whereas Adam, under the influence of Satan, grasped at equality with God (“You will be as God,” Gen. 3:5), Jesus did not. Though he had every right to divine office since he was the Messiah reflecting the divine Presence, he did not consider equality with God something to be “clutched at.” Instead he gave up all privileges, refusing Satan’s offer of power over the world’s kingdoms (Matt 4:8-10), and behaved throughout his life as a servant, even to the point of going to a criminal’s death on the cross.
In response to this life of humility God has now exalted Jesus to the status of Messianic Lord at the right hand of the Father, as Psalm 110 predicted. Paul does not say that Jesus was regaining a position which he had temporarily given up. He appears rather to have gained his exalted office for the first time following his resurrection. Though he had all his life been the Messiah, his position was publicly confirmed when he was “made both Lord and Messiah” by being raised from the dead (Acts 2:36; Rom. 1:4). If we read Paul’s account of Jesus’ life in this way as a description of the Lord’s continuous self-denial a close parallel will be seen with another of his commentaries on Jesus’ career. “Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor” (2 Cor. 8:9). While Adam had fallen, Jesus voluntarily “stepped down.”
The traditional reading of the Philippians 2 passage depends almost entirely on understanding Jesus’ condition “in the form of God” as a reference to a preexistent life in heaven. Translations have done much to bolster this view. The verb “was” in the phrase “was in the form of God” occurs frequently in the New Testament and by no means carries the sense of “existing in eternity,” though some versions try to force that meaning into it. In 1 Corinthians 11:7, Paul says that a man ought not to cover his head since he is in the image and glory of God. The verb here is no different from the “was” describing Jesus as in the form of God. If ordinary man is in God’s glory and image, how much more Jesus, who is the perfect human representative of God in whom all the attributes of the divine nature dwelt (Col. 2:9). Paul’s intention in Philippians 2 is not to introduce the vast subject of an eternal divine being who became man, but to teach a simple lesson in humility. We are to have the same attitude as Jesus, to think as he did. We are not being asked to imagine ourselves as eternal divine beings about to surrender Godhood in order to come to the earth as men.
It is not widely known that many have had serious reservations about reading Philippians 2 as a statement about preexistence. A former Regius Professor of Divinity wrote in 1923: “Paul is begging the Philippians to cease from dissensions, and to act with humility towards each other. In 2 Corinthians 8:9 he is exhorting his readers to be liberal in almsgiving. It is asked whether it would be quite natural for him to enforce these two simple moral lessons by incidental references (and the only reference that he ever makes) to the vast problem of the mode of the incarnation. And it is thought by many that his homely appeals would have more effect if he pointed to the inspiring example of Christ’s humility and self-sacrifice in his human life, as in 2 Corinthians 10:1: ‘I exhort you by the meekness and forbearance of Christ.’” The second Adam, unlike the first, submits himself entirely to the will of God and in consequence receives the highest exaltation.

Head of the New Creation

The parallel between Adam and Jesus forms the basis of Paul’s thinking about the Messiah. Christ bears the same relationship to the new creation, the church, as Adam did to the creation begun in Genesis. Beginning with Jesus, humanity makes a new start. In Jesus as representative man, the new Adam, society begins all over again. This correspondence is seriously disturbed if Jesus after all did not originate as a man. As Adam is created a “Son of God” (Luke 3:38), so Jesus’ conception constitutes him “Son of God” (Luke 1:35). Certainly Adam is of the earth (1 Cor. 15:47) while Jesus is the “man from heaven,” not, according to Paul, coming from heaven at his birth, but at his second coming to raise the faithful dead (1 Cor. 15:45). At this point we see the flaw in the traditional ideas about preexistence. The movement of Christ from heaven to earth centres in Paul’s mind on the Parousia (second coming). In later thinking the centre of interest was transferred to his birth. Thus, curiously, the traditional scheme looks backwards into history, while the Bible orients us primarily towards the Messiah’s future coming in glory.
It is as head of the new creation and the centre of God’s cosmic purpose that Paul describes Jesus in Colossians 1. His intention is to show the supreme position which Jesus has won through resurrection and his preeminence in the new order, as against the claims of rival systems of religion by which the Colossians were being threatened. All authorities were created “in Christ” (Col. 1:16). So Jesus had claimed also: “All power in heaven and earth is mine” (Matt. 28:18). “All things” here means for Paul the intelligent, animate creation consisting of “thrones, dominion, rulers or authorities,” which were created “in Christ,” “through Christ” (not “by”) and “for Christ.” It is his Kingdom which Paul has in mind (Col. 1:13). Jesus is the firstborn of every creature as well as the firstborn from the dead (vv. 15, 18).19 The term “firstborn” designates him the leading member of the new created order as well as its source, a position which he attained by being the first to receive immortality through resurrection. John, in Revelation 3:14, similarly calls Jesus “the beginning of the creation of God,” which most naturally means that he himself was part of the creation. That “firstborn” designates in the Bible the one who holds the supreme office can be shown from Psalm 89:27 where the “firstborn,” the Messiah, is the “highest of the kings of the earth,” one chosen like David from the people and exalted (Ps. 89:19). Again Paul has developed the Messianic concepts already well established by the Hebrew Scriptures.
In none of Paul’s statements are we compelled to find a “second, eternal divine being.” He presents us rather with the glorified second Adam, now raised to the divine office for which man was originally created (Gen. 1:26; Ps. 8). Jesus now represents the human race as the Head of the new order of humanity. He intercedes for us as supreme High Priest in the heavenly temple (Heb. 8:1). In ascribing such elevated titles to the risen Lord, there is no reason to think that Paul has infringed his own clear monotheism expressed in 1 Corinthians 8:6: “To us Christians, there is one God (theos) the Father, and one Lord (kurios, master) Jesus Christ.” Nothing in Colossians 1 forces us to believe that Paul, without warning, has parted company with Matthew, Mark, Luke, Peter, and John, and deviated from the absolute monotheism which he states so carefully and clearly elsewhere (1 Tim. 2:5; Eph 4:6), and which was deeply embedded in his whole theological background.

“The Inhabited Earth to Come of Which We Speak”

The writer to the Hebrews lays particular emphasis on the humanity of Jesus. He was tempted in all points as we are and yet was without sin (Heb. 4:15). God originally made the ages through (not “by”) the Son, with his destiny as Messiah in view (Heb. 1:2). After communicating with us in different ways and at different times through spokesmen in the past, God has now finally spoken to us in one who is truly Son (Heb. 1:2). The writer does not mean to tell us (what Jesus did not know, Mark 10:6) that Jesus had been the active agent in the Genesis creation. It was God who completed his work (Heb. 4:4, 10). It is God, also, who will yet introduce the Son into the “inhabitable earth of the future”: “When He again brings the Son into the world” (Heb. 1:6).
When the Messiah is reintroduced into the earth, a number of important statements about him will become history. Firstly, Messiah’s throne will be established (Heb. 1:8). (Compare, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, then he will sit on his throne of glory,” Matt. 25:31). As representing the divine majesty of the Father, the Messianic title “god” will be applied to Jesus, as it once was to the judges of Israel who foreshadowed the supreme Judge of Israel, the Messiah (Ps. 82:6). Another prophecy from Psalm 102:25 will also be realized in the coming kingdom of Messiah. The foundations of a new earth and a new heaven will be laid as Isaiah 51:16 and 65:17 foresee. Hebrews 1:10 can easily be misread to mean that the Lord (master) Messiah was responsible for the creation in Genesis. However, this overlooks the author’s quotation from the LXX of the thoroughly Messianic Psalm 102. Moreover, he specifically states that his series of truths about the Son refers to the time when he is “brought again” into the earth (Heb. 1:6). And in Hebrews 2:5 he tells us once again that it is the “inhabited earth of the future” of which he is speaking in chapter one. The writer must be allowed to provide his own commentary. His concern is with the Messianic Kingdom, not the creation in Genesis. Because we do not share the Messianic vision of the New Testament as we ought, our tendency is to look back rather than forward. We must attune ourselves to the thoroughly Messianic outlook of the entire Bible.

The Hebrew Background to the New Testament

It will be useful by way of summary and to orient ourselves to the thought world of the authors of the New Testament to lay out the principal passages of the Hebrew Scriptures from which they derived their unified understanding of the person of Christ. Nowhere can it be shown that the Messiah was to be an uncreated being, a fact which should cause us to look outside the Bible for the source of such a revolutionary concept.
The original purpose for man, made in the image and glory of God, was to exercise dominion over the earth (Gen. 1:26; Ps. 8). That ideal is never lost beyond our recovery for the Psalmist speaks of the “glory” with which man has been (potentially) crowned so that “all things are to be subjected under his feet” (Ps. 8:5, 6). As the divine plan unfolds it becomes clear that the promised “seed of the woman” who is to reverse the disaster caused by Satan (Gen. 3:15) will be a descendant of David (2 Sam. 7:13-16). He will call God his Father (2 Sam. 7:14) and be appointed as God’s Son, the Messiah, to whom God entrusts rulership of the earth (Ps. 2). Prior to taking up his royal office, however, the Messiah is to sit at the right hand of the Father and bear the title “Lord” (Ps. 110:1). As Son of Man, representative man, he will take his place in heaven prior to receiving from God authority to administer a universal empire (Dan. 2:44; 7:14; Acts 3:20, 21). Having at his first coming suffered for the sins of the people (Isa. 53; Ps. 22), he is to come again as God’s firstborn, the ruler of the kings of the earth (Ps. 89:27), foreshadowed by David who was also chosen from the people (Ps. 89:19, 20).
As the second Moses, the Messiah was to arise in Israel (Deut. 18:18), deriving his divine Sonship from a supernatural birth from a virgin (Isa. 7:14; Luke 1:35), and being confirmed as God’s Son through his resurrection from the dead (Rom. 26 1:4). As High Priest, the Messiah now serves his people from heaven (Heb. 8:1) and awaits the time of the restoration of all things (Acts 3:21), when he is destined to be reintroduced into the earth as King of Kings, the divine figure of Psalm 45 (Heb. 1:6-8). At that time, in the new age of the Kingdom, he will rule with his disciples (Matt. 19:28; Luke 22:28-30; 1 Cor. 6:2; 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 2:26; 3:21; 20:4). As Adam heads the original creation of human beings on earth, so Jesus is the created Head of the New Order of humanity, in whom the ideals of the human race will be fulfilled (Heb. 2:7).
Within this Messianic framework the person and work of Jesus can be explained in terms understood by the apostles. Their purpose even when presenting the most “advanced” Christology is to proclaim belief in Jesus as Messiah and Son of God (John 20:31), who is the centre of God’s whole purpose in history (John 1:14). Though Jesus is obviously coordinated in a most intimate way with his Father, the latter remains the “only true God” of biblical monotheism (John 17:3). Jesus thus represents the presence of the one God, his Father. In the man Jesus, Immanuel, the one God is present with us (John 14:9).

From Son of God to God the Son

We have searched out the Jesus of the Bible by assembling the various strands of the data revealed in the inspired records. The picture that emerges is different from the picture presented by traditional Christianity in that the person of Christ we have described does not complicate the first principle of biblical faith, namely belief in one who alone is truly and absolutely God (John 17:3; 5:44).
It is easy to see how the biblical Messiah became “God the Son” of the post-biblical theologians. It was possible only when the essential Messianism of the Bible was gradually suppressed. The term “Son of God,” which in Scripture is a purely Messianic title describing the glory of man in intimate fellowship with the Father, was from the second century misunderstood and reapplied to the divine nature of a God/Man. At the same time the designation “Son of Man,” no less a title of the Messiah as representative man, was made to refer to his human nature. In this way both titles, Son of God and Son of Man, were emptied of their original Messianic significance and their biblical meaning was lost. While the evidence of the Old Testament was largely rejected—as well as the evidence of the synoptic Gospels, Acts, Peter, James, and John in the book of Revelation—a series of verses in John’s Gospel and two or three in Paul’s epistles were reinterpreted to accommodate the new idea that Jesus was the second member of an eternal Trinity, coequally and coessentially God. That Jesus, however, is scarcely the Jesus of the biblical documents. He is another Jesus (2 Cor. 11:4).

The Man and the Message Obscured

With the loss of the biblical meaning of Messiah went a parallel loss of the meaning of the Messianic Kingdom which is the center of all Jesus’ teaching and the heart of the gospel (Luke 4:43; Acts 8:12; 28:23, 31). The hope for the establishment of the Messiah’s kingdom in a renewed earth, the theme of all Old Testament prophecy which Jesus came to confirm (Rom. 15:8), was replaced by the hope of “heaven when you die”; and a massive piece of propaganda convinced (and continues to convince) an uninstructed public that Jesus never believed in anything so “earthly,” political, or “unspiritual” as the Kingdom of God on earth.
The result of the radical changes which gradually overcame the outlook of the church (beginning as early as the second century) has been a loss of the central message of Jesus—the gospel about the Kingdom of God (Luke 4:43; Acts 8:12; 28:23, 31)—as well as a misunderstanding about who he was. Churches are left in some embarrassment explaining how on the one hand Jesus was the fulfilment of the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah, while he is supposed to have rejected the Old Testament promises that the Messiah is coming to rule on the earth! The theory usually advanced is that Jesus upheld the Old Testament as far as it taught an ethical ideal of love, but rejected the prophets’ vision of a catastrophic divine intervention in history leading to a renewal of society on earth under the Kingdom of God. In short, Jesus is supposed to have claimed to be the Messiah, but at the same time to have eliminated all hope for the restoration of the theocracy for which his contemporaries longed.
There is no doubt at all that the faithful in Israel were indeed looking forward to the arrival of Messiah to rule on earth, but Jesus, so it has long been maintained, parted company with such “crude” expectations. The question as to why the Jews expected a concrete Messianic empire on earth is silently bypassed. If it were asked, the answer would obviously have to be that the Old Testament Scriptures had predicted it in every detail.
Churches will have to come to the realization that they are not playing fair with the Bible by allowing only the first act of the divine drama—the part which concerns the suffering and dying Messiah—while dismissing the second act, the future arrival of the Messiah as triumphant King, God’s envoy for creating an effective and lasting peace on earth. Jesus’ resurrection and ascension and his present session at the right hand of the Father are only part of the triumph of God’s Son, as the New Testament understands it.
A serious and fundamental misconception underlies the traditional ways of thinking about Jesus’ role in history. It has to do with the Messiah’s political-theocratic function which is the principal ingredient of Messiahship. Until now, every effort has been made to sustain the belief, contrary to the most straightforward statements of Scripture, that Jesus’ promises to the church that it is to rule with him in the future Messianic Kingdom (Matt 19:28; Luke 22:28-30) are to be applied to the present era. What continues to be overlooked is that it is “when Jesus comes in his glory” at the end of the present age (Matt 25:31), “in the new age when he takes up his office as King” (Matt 19:28), that the church is to rule with him. Lest there should be the slightest doubt, the chorus of divine beings sing song of the church, drawn from every nation, whom God has constituted a line of kings and priests destined to “reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:10). The pure Messianism of Psalm 2 remains as strong as ever in Revelation 2:26 and 3:21, and these are Jesus’ very own words to the church (Rev. 1:1; 22:16). The Jesus of the Scriptures is none other than the Messiah of Old Testament prophecy and apocalyptic literature.
There is an urgent need for churchgoers to involve themselves in a personal investigation of the Scriptures unshackled by this or that creed at present so willingly accepted “on faith.” We will have to be honest enough to admit that majority opinions are not automatically the correct ones and that tradition, uncritically accepted, may have gone far in burying the original faith as Jesus and the apostles taught it. It may be that we should take seriously the observation of Canon H.L. Goudge when he wrote of the disaster which occurred “when the Greek and Roman rather than the Hebrew mind came to dominate the church.” It was “a disaster in doctrine and practice,” according to Canon Goudge, “from which the Church has never recovered.” Recovery can only begin when due notice is taken of John’s solemn warning that “there is no falsehood so great as the denial of the Messiahship of Jesus” (1 John 2:22). Jesus must be proclaimed as Messiah, with all that that highly colored term means in its biblical setting.

What the Scholars Admit

In an article on “Preaching Christ” (Dictionary of Christ and the Apostles, Vol. II, p. 394), James Denny says: “It is idle to say that Jesus is the Christ, if we do not know who or what Jesus is. It has no meaning to say that an unknown person is at God’s right hand, exalted and sovereign; the more ardently men believed that God had given them a Prince and Savior in this exaltation, the more eager would they be to know all that could possibly be known about him.”
This fine statement is followed by another valuable observation that “there is no preaching of Christ that does not rest on the basis on which the apostles’ preaching rested.”
What then did Jesus and the apostles preach?
“One of the ways in which Jesus represented his absolute significance for true religion was this: he regarded himself as the Messiah. The Messianic role was one which could be filled by only one person, and he himself was the person in question; he and no other was the Christ.” All this is excellent, but the thoughts which follow begin to reveal an uneasiness about the Messiahship of Christ, despite protestations to the contrary. “But is the Christ a conception which we in another age can make use of for some purpose? Only, it must be answered, if we employ the term with much latitude.” James Denny does not seem to be aware that he is about to undermine the biblical Messiahship of Jesus, and, since Jesus cannot be separated from his Messianic office, to obscure the identity of Jesus. He goes on: “It is certain that for those who first came to believe in Jesus as the Christ the name was much more definite than it is for us; it had a shape and color which it has no longer.” But this must imply that we have lost sight of what it means to believe that Jesus is the Messiah. Denny gives the impression that we are now at liberty to make up our own idea of Messiahship, disregarding the biblical definition of it.
It was, however, precisely this tendency which brought disaster to the church soon after the death of the apostles. The church began to create its own conception of the Messiah, and in so doing lost touch with the Jesus of the Bible. Denny says that the term Messiah “had expectations connected with it which for us have lost the vitality which they once possessed.” Exactly; but why have they lost their meaning, if not because we have ceased to believe what the Bible tells us about the Messiah? “In particular,” says Denny, “the eschatological associations of the term Messiah have not for us the importance which they had for the first believers. In the teaching of Jesus these associations cluster round the title Son of Man…which is used as synonymous with the Christ…Nothing was more characteristic of primitive Christianity than the second coming of Jesus in the character of Christ. It was the very essence of what the early church meant by hope…our outlook on the future is different from theirs.”
On what authority is it different? Surely one cannot lay aside one of the most characteristic features of the Christianity of the Bible and continue to call what remains the same faith. It is this subtle departure from the characteristic hope of the early church which should signal for us the perilous difference between what we call Christianity and what the apostles understand by that name. It makes no sense to say that we are Christians if we have abandoned the essential characteristic of the New Testament conception of the Messiah in whom we claim to believe.
Denny is rightly suspicious of a tendency amongst scholars to “assume tacitly that it is a mistake to believe in Christ as those who first preached him believed. Such criticism makes it its business to make Jesus’ personality exactly like our own and his consciousness exactly what our own may be” (emphasis mine).
This is precisely our problem, but it is also Denny’s, who admits that “our outlook on the future is different from the apostles’.” But their outlook on the future was based upon their central understanding of Jesus as the Messiah, the ruler of the future Kingdom of God whose power was manifested in advance in Jesus’ ministry. By what possible logic can we give up the hope which was “the essential characteristic of apostolic Christianity” and still claim to be Christians? In this self-contradiction lies the great failure of churches to remain faithful to Jesus as Messiah. We have preferred our own outlook and our own view of Messiahship; and we have felt it appropriate to attach to our own idea the name of Jesus. Have we not thus created “another Jesus” after the image of our Gentile hearts?
A perusal of standard works on Christology reveals some remarkable admissions which may encourage the reader to conduct a personal quest for the Truth about Jesus. In an article on the Son of God, William Sanday, once professor of divinity at Oxford, asks the question whether there are any texts in the four Gospels which might lead us to the idea of Jesus as the “preexistent Son of God.” He concludes that all the statements about Jesus in Matthew, Mark, and Luke refer to the life of Christ on earth. There is not a single reference to his having been the Son of God before his birth. If we examine John’s Gospel “we have to look about somewhat for expressions that are free from ambiguity. Perhaps there are not any” (Hastings Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. IV, p. 576, emphasis mine).
Here, then, is the statement of a leading expert to the effect that there may not be a single reference in all four Gospels to Jesus being the Son of God before his birth. Yet it remains a fact that the churches teach the eternal Sonship of Jesus as a basic and indispensable tenet of the faith.
Professor Sanday is left guessing why Matthew, Mark, and Luke know nothing about Jesus’ preexistence: “It is probable that the writers had not reflected upon the subject at all, and did not reproduce a portion of our Lord’s teaching upon it” (Ibid., p. 577). When he comes to the epistles Sanday can only conjecture that there might be a reference to a preexistent Son in Hebrews 1:1-3, but by no means necessarily. On Colossians 1:15 he says that “the leading idea in ‘firstborn’ is that of the legal rights of the firstborn, his precedence over all who are born after him.” He adds that “it seems wrong to exclude the idea of priority [in time] as well.” He concludes his remarks by quoting a German theologian as saying that “from the Old Testament and Rabbinism there is no road to the doctrine of the divinity of Christ” (i.e. that he is God). Professor Wernle maintained that “the title Son of God is strictly Jewish and that the further step from Son of God to God the Son was taken upon Gentile ground through lax ideas brought in by the converts from paganism” (Ibid., p. 577).
Statements of this kind show on what shaky ground the whole edifice of “preexistent Sonship” is built. The possibility must be squarely faced that the dogmatic statements about Jesus which date from post biblical times rely on their own authority rather than that of the apostles. The wisest course is to take our stand upon the dogmatic statements of the Scripture itself and to recognize with Jesus that “eternal life consists in this: that we may come to know the Father as the only true God and Jesus, the Messiah whom He sent” (John 17:3).

Jesus, the Man and Mediator

The Jesus presented by the apostles is not “God the Son.” This title appears nowhere in the Bible. Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah, whose origin is to be traced to his miraculous conception (Luke 1:35). The one God of the Scriptures remains in the New Testament the one Person revealed in the Old Testament as the Creator God of Israel. Jesus, “himself man” (1 Tim. 2:5), mediates between the one God, the Father, and mankind. This Jesus can save “to the uttermost” (Heb. 7:25). Any other Jesus must be avoided as a deceptive counterfeit—and it is all too easy to be “taken in” 2 Cor. 11:4:“For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or if ye receive a different spirit, which ye did not receive, or a different gospel, which ye did not accept, ye do well to bear with him.”

Messiah (adoni) & Adonai (Deity) are different:

The relationship between God and the Messiah is precisely indicated by the title given to the Messiah—adoni (Ps. 110:1). This form of the word “lord” invariably (all 195 occurrences) designates non-Deity figures in the OT. One of the most striking facts predicted of the Messiah is that he is definitely not God, but the Son of God. Psalm 110:1 is the NT’s master Christological proof-text, alluded to some 23 times. Adoni is to be carefully distinguished from adonai. Adonai in all of its 449 occurrences means the Deity. Adonai is not the word which appears in Psalm 110:1. This important distinction between God and man is a vital part of the sacred text, and is confirmed by Jesus himself in Matthew 22:41ff. It places the Messiah in the category of man, however elevated. Psalm 110:1 appears throughout the NT as a key text describing the status of the Messiah in relation to the One God (see Acts 2:34-36).
Adonai and Adoni (Ps. 110:1)
The NT’s Favorite Old Testament Proof-text
Why is the Messiah called adoni (my lord) and never adonai? (Lord God)
“Adonai and adoni are variations of Masoretic pointing to distinguish divine reference from human. Adonai is referred to God but Adoni to human superiors.
Adoni— Ps. 110:1 ref. to men: my lord, my master [see Ps. 110:1]
Adonai—ref. to God…Lord” (Brown, Driver, Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, under adon [= lord], pp. 10, 11).
“The form ADONI (‘my lord’), a royal title (I Sam. 29:8), is to be carefully distinguished from the divine title ADONAI (‘my Lord’) used of Yahweh.” “ADONAI—the special plural form [the divine title] distinguishes it from adonai [with short vowel] = my lords [found in Gen. 19:2]” (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, “Lord,” p. 157).
“Lord in the OT is used to translate ADONAI when applied to the Divine Being. The [Hebrew] word…has a suffix [with special pointing] presumably for the sake of distinction. Sometimes it is uncertain whether it is a divine or human appellative…The Masoretic Text sometimes decides this by a note distinguishing between the word when ‘holy’ or only ‘excellent,’ sometimes by a variation in the [vowel] pointing—adoni, adonai [short vowel] and adonai [long vowel]” (Hastings Dictionary of the Bible, “Lord,” Vol. 3, p. 137).
“Hebrew Adonai exclusively denotes the God of Israel. It is attested about 450 times in the OT…Adoni [is] addressed to human beings (Gen. 44:7, Num. 32:25, II Kings 2:19 [etc.]). We have to assume that the word adonai received its special form to distinguish it from the secular use of adon [i.e., adoni]. The reason why [God is addressed] as adonai, [with long vowel] instead of the normal adon, adoni or adonai [with short vowel] may have been to distinguish Yahweh from other gods and from human lords” (Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, p. 531).
“The lengthening of the ā on Adonai [the Lord God] may be traced to the concern of the Masoretes to mark the word as sacred by a small external sign” (Theological Dictionary of the OT, “Adon,” p. 63 and Theological Dictionary of the NT, III, 1060ff, n. 109).
“The form ‘to my lord,’ l’adoni, is never used in the OT as a divine reference…the generally accepted fact [is] that the Masoretic pointing distinguishes divine references (adonai) from human references (adoni) (Wigram, The Englishman’s Hebrew and Chaldee Concordance of the OT, p. 22)” (Herbert Bateman, “Ps 110:1 and the NT,” Bibliothecra Sacra, Oct.-Dec., 1992, p. 438).
Professor Larry Hurtado of the University of Edinburgh, celebrated author of a modern classic on Christology: “There is no question but that the terms Adonai and adoni function differently: the one a reverent way of avoiding pronouncing the word YHVH and the other the use of the same word for non-divine figures” (from correspondence, June 24th, 2000).

How Jesus Was Turned into God

The NT presents Jesus as the Christ, the Messianic Son of God. He functions as the agent and representative of Yahweh, his Father, the God of Israel. Jesus founded his church on the revelation that he is “the Messiah, Son of the Living God” (Matt. 16:16). As Son of God he was supernaturally created or begotten (Matt. 1:20; Luke 1:35; Acts 13:33, not KJV; I John 5:18) in the womb of his mother. This constitutes him as uniquely the Son of God, the “only begotten,” or “uniquely begotten Son of God” (John 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18; 1 John 4:9) and the Lord Messiah (Luke 2:11), not the Lord God. Because he was begotten—brought into existence—he cannot by definition be eternal. Therefore the term “eternal Son” is an obvious non-sense expression. “Eternal” means you have no beginning. To be begotten means you have a beginning. All sons are begotten and so “God the Son” is a misleading title for Jesus, the Messiah. You cannot be the eternal God and the Son of God at the same time! The church fathers of the second century onwards, beginning probably with Justin Martyr, began to shift the history of the Son of God back into pre-history, thus distorting and eclipsing his true identity. They removed him from his status as the Head of the new human creation, the Second Adam. They minimized his real history and invented a cosmic pre-history for him. This destroyed his identity as the “man Messiah Jesus.” Later Origen invented a new meaning for the word “begotten” or “generated.” He called Jesus the “eternally generated” Son—a concept without meaning which contradicted the NT account of the actual “generation” or “begetting” of the Son around 2 BC.
This fundamental paradigm shift which gave rise to the awful “problem of the Trinity” is rightly traced by “restorationists” to those ante-Nicene Church Fathers who, using a middle-Platonic model, began to project the historical Jesus, the Messianic Son of God, back into pre-historical, ante-mundane times. They produced a metaphysical Son who replaced the Messianic Son/King described in the Bible—the Messianic Son whose existence was still future when he was predicted as the promised King by the covenant made with David (II Sam. 7:14, “he will be My [God’s] Son”). Hebrews 1:1-2 expressly says that God did not speak through a Son in OT times. That is because there was as yet no Messianic Son of God.
Professor Loofs described the process of the early corruption of biblical Christianity:
“The Apologists [‘church fathers’ like Justin Martyr, mid-2nd century] laid the foundation for the perversion/corruption (Verkehrung) of Christianity into a revealed [philosophical] teaching. Specifically, their Christology affected the later development disastrously. By taking for granted the transfer of the concept of Son of God onto the preexisting Christ, they were the cause of the Christological problem of the fourth century. They caused a shift in the point of departure of Christological thinking—away from the historical Christ and onto the issue of preexistence. They thus shifted attention away from the historical life of Jesus, putting it into the shadow and promoting instead the Incarnation [i.e., of a preexistent Son]. They tied Christology to cosmology and could not tie it to soteriology. The Logos teaching is not a ‘higher’ Christology than the customary one. It lags in fact far behind the genuine appreciation of Christ. According to their teaching it is no longer God who reveals Himself in Christ, but the Logos, the inferior God, a God who as God is subordinated to the Highest God (inferiorism or subordinationism).
“In addition, the suppression of economic-trinitarian ideas by metaphysical-pluralistic concepts of the divine triad (trias) can be traced to the Apologists” (Friedrich Loofs, Leitfaden zum Studium des Dogmengeschichte [Manual for the Study of the History of Dogma], 1890, part 1 ch. 2, section 18: “Christianity as a Revealed Philosophy. The Greek Apologists,” Niemeyer Verlag, 1951, p. 97, translation mine).
Those who are dedicated to restoring the identity of the biblical Jesus, Son of God, may take heart from the incisive words of a leading systematic theologian of our times. He restores the biblical meaning of the crucial title “Son of God,” rescuing it from the millennia-long obscurity it has suffered from Platonically-minded church fathers and theologians.
Professor Colin Brown, general editor of the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, writes, “The crux of the matter lies in how we understand the term Son of God…The title Son of God is not in itself an expression of personal Deity or the expression of metaphysical distinctions within the Godhead. Indeed, to be a ‘Son of God’ one has to be a being who is not God! It is a designation for a creature indicating a special relationship with God. In particular, it denotes God’s representative, God’s vice-regent. It is a designation of kingship, identifying the king as God’s Son…In my view the term ‘Son of God’ ultimately converges on the term ‘image of God’ which is to be understood as God’s representative, the one in whom God’s spirit dwells, and who is given stewardship and authority to act on God’s behalf…It seems to me to be a fundamental mistake to treat statements in the Fourth Gospel about the Son and his relationship with the Father as expressions of inner-Trinitarian relationships. But this kind of systematic misreading of the Fourth Gospel seems to underlie much of social Trinitarian thinking…It is a common but patent misreading of the opening of John’s Gospel to read it as if it said, ‘In the beginning was the Son, and the Son was with God, and the Son was God’ (John 1:1). What has happened here is the substitution of Son for Word (Gk. logos) and thereby the Son is made a member of the Godhead which existed from the beginning” (“Trinity and Incarnation: Towards a Contemporary Orthodoxy,” Ex Auditu, 7, 1991, pp. 87-89).

The Church’s Confession

The church which Jesus founded is based upon the central confession that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God (Matt. 16:16). This confession is seriously distorted when a new unbiblical meaning is attached to the term “Son of God.” That such a distortion has occurred should be evident to students of the history of theology. Its effects are with us to this day. What is urgently needed is a return to the rock-confession of Peter, who, in the presence of Jesus (Matt. 16:16), the Jews (Acts 2; 3), and at the end of his ministry declared that Jesus is the Messiah of Israel, the Savior of the world, foreknown in the counsels of God but manifested in these last times (1 Peter 1:20). The stupendous fact of Jesus’ Messiahship is understood only by divine revelation (Matt. 16:17).
Christianity’s founding figure must be presented within the Hebrew-biblical framework. It is there that we discover the real, historical Jesus who is also the Jesus of faith. Outside that framework we invent “another Jesus” because his biblical descriptive titles have lost their original meanings (cp. 2 Cor. 11:4).
When Jesus’ titles are invested with a new unscriptural meaning, it is clear that they no longer convey his identity truthfully. When this happens the Christian faith is imperilled. Our task, therefore, must be to proclaim Jesus as the Messiah of the prophets’ vision, and we must mean by Messiah and Son of God what Jesus and the New Testament mean by these terms. The church can claim to be the custodian of authentic Christianity only when it speaks in harmony with the apostles and tells the world who Jesus is.
By Anthony Buzzard:
Courtesy:  http://focusonthekingdom.org      free PDF file
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Comments:
It is evident form the textural, historical and Biblical arguments that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, called son of God in the sense of closeness to God, not in literal sense. God is one, single with no subparts.  Mixing up Hebrew terms to draw different meanings prevalent among pagans of Roman empire 2000 years ago, did help spread of new faith among pagans but at the cost of real monotheistic teachings of Jesus Christ.  Anthony Buzzard has taken pains to unveil the real Jesus of Bible, the Christ not the God or God the Son. The scholarly references from the Bible, especially New Testament with explanation of original Greek terms Messiah (adoni) & Adonai (Deity) establish that Jesus, the Messiah (adoni) is different than God, Adonai (Deity). It is affirmed in Bible:
“Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (Matthew 4:10)
‘When you pray, say Our Father which art in heaven.’ (Luke 11:2)
‘he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father’ (Matthew 26:39)
‘not my will but Yours be done.’ (Luke 22:42)
‘For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me.’ (John 6:38)
Who was Jesus? It is clearly answered by Bible: ‘a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst.’ (Acts 2:22). Jesus said: ‘I do not seek my own will, but the will of Him who sent me.’ (John 5:30)

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True Message of Jesus Christ and Theology of Paul

It is a striking fact that Jesus never referred to himself as “God.” Equally remarkable is the New Testament’s use of the word “God”—in Greek qeoV theos —to refer to the Father alone, some 1325 times. Why this impressive difference in New Testament usage, when so many seem to think that Jesus is no less “God” than his Father? Sound theology begins with the creed to which Jesus subscribed in Mark 12:28-29 — the creed of Israel and the  “Good News” about the “Kingdom of God”:
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:”
[Deuteronomy;6:4, Mark;12:29]

Video

Matthew 22:37-40  

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. A second likewise is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

Strangely enough leaving aside the clear mention of One God in Bible, some ambiguous verses are used to support Trinity; that Jesus Christ was Son of God, co-equal with God the Father and Holy Ghost. Paul the self declared 13th apostle of Jesus who never met him, claimed to see Jesus in a vision [Three conflicting narratives in Acts], with Satanic link (2 Corinthians 12:7). He also participated in persecution of followers of Jesus Christ, to become apostle of gentiles. He is considered architect of this deviation from original teachings of Jesus Christ to woe pagan Greco-Romans while incorporating  their pagans beliefs. The earliest writings in the New Testament are actually Paul’s letters, which were written about AD 50-60, while the Gospels were not written until the period AD 70-110. This means that the theories of Paul were already before the writers of the Gospels and coloured their interpretations of Jesus’ activities.

Paul, not Jesus, was the founder of Christianity as a new religion which developed away from both normal Judaism and the Nazarene variety of Judaism. In this new religion, the Torah [Law] was abrogated as having had only temporary validity. The central myth of the new religion was that of an atoning death of a divine being. Belief in this sacrifice, and a mystical sharing of the death of the deity, formed the only path to salvation. Paul derived this religion from Hellenistic sources, chiefly by a fusion of concepts taken from Gnosticism and concepts taken from the mystery religions, particularly from that of Attis. The combination of these elements with features derived from Judaism, particularly the incorporation of the Jewish scriptures, reinterpreted to provide a background of sacred history for the new myth, was unique; and Paul alone was the creator of this amalgam. Jesus himself had no idea of it, and would have been amazed and shocked at the role assigned to him by Paul as a suffering deity.
A critical reading of Bible with all the insertions and corruption one can still reveal the real monotheistic teachings of Jesus Christ and Jewish prophets. Some verses are referred here to clear the mist.
Monotheism in Bible:
The existence of God is taken for granted in the Bible. There is nowhere any argument to prove it. The miracles and signs by the messengers and prophets were enough to satisfy the followers. However even then immediately after coming out of Egypt under miraculous circumstances, the Israelites indulged in the worship of calf.  He who disbelieves the truth of God, is spoken of as one devoid of understanding: “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.”(Psalms;14:1). The First Commandment declared in the Old Testament as well as New Testament states the Oneness of God (Deuteronomy;6:4, Mark;12:29);“He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.”(Deuteronomy;32:4). The infinite nature of God is indicated explicitly: “Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them? God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” (Ehyeh asher ehyeh)…”(Exodus;3:13-14). So when Moses asks who he is, God replies in effect: ‘Never you  mind who I am!’ Or ‘Mind your own business!’ There was to be no discussion on God’s nature and certainly no attempt to manipulate him as pagans sometimes did when they recited the names of their gods. Yahweh is the Unconditioned One: I shall be that which I shall be. He will be exactly as he chooses and will make no guarantees.
God’s attributes are spoken of by some as ‘Absolute’, i.e., such as belong to his essence as Jehovah, Jah, etc.; and Relative, i.e., such as are ascribed to him with relation to his creatures. Others distinguish them into ‘Communicable’, i.e. those which can be imparted in degree to his creatures: goodness, holiness, wisdom, etc; and ‘Incommunicable’, which cannot be so imparted: independence, immutability, immensity, and eternity. They are by some also divided into ‘Natural Attributes’, eternity, immensity, etc.; and Moral, holiness, goodness, etc. The attributes of God are set forth in order by Moses: “And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.”(Exodus;34:6-7).
Attributes of God:
In the Bible, God is declared to be; Eternal (Deutronomy;33:27; Psalms;90:2), Immortal (1Timothy;1:17;6:16), Light (Isaiah;60:19; James; 1:17, 1John;1:5), Invisible (Job;23:8-9) Un-searchable (Job;11:7; 37:23;Psalms; 145:3; Isaiah; 40:28; Romans; 11:33), Incorruptible (Romans;1:23), Absolute sovereign (Daniel;4:25,35), Mighty (Job;36:5),Omnipotent (Geneses17:1; Exodus;6:3), Omniscient (Psalms;139:1-6; Proverbs;5:21), Omnipresent (Psalms;139:7; Jeremiah;23:23), Immutable (Psalms;102:26-27), Glorious. (Exodus;15:11; Psalms;145:5), Most High (Psalms;83:18; Acts;7:48), Perfect (Mathew; 5:48, Job;36:4; 37:16), Holy (Psalms;99:9; Isaiah;5:16), Just (Deutronomy;32:4; Isaiah;45:21), True (Jermiah;10:10), Upright (Psalms;25:8; 92:15), Righteous (Ezra;9:15; Psalms;145:17), Good (Psalms;25:8; 119:68), His being alone good.(Mathew;19:17), Incomparable(Isaiah;44:7; Jeremiah;10:7), Great(Psalms;86:10), Gracious (Exodus;34:6, Psalms;116:5), Merciful (Exodus;34:6-7), Long-suffering (Numbers;14:18; Micah;7:1), Jealous (Joshua;24:19; Nahum;1:2), Compassionate (2Kiings;13:23), None beside Him (Deutronomy;4:35; Isaiah; 44:6), None before Him (Isaiah;43:10), None like to Him (Exodus;9:14; Deutronomy;33:26; 2Samuel;7:22; Isaiah;46:5,9), Fills heaven and earth (1Kings;8:27; Jeremiah;23:24). Should be worshipped in spirit and in truth. (John;4:24), A consuming fire (Hebrews;12:29). His being alone possessed of foreknowledge (Isaiah;46:9-11). His being the sole object of worship in heaven and earth.(Nehemia;9:6; Mathew;4:10).His being the only Saviour. (Isaiah;43,11, 45:21-22). His being the only source of pardon.(Micah;7:18; Mark;2:7),Universal (Job;28:24; Daniel;2:22; Act;15:18), Infinite (Psalms;147:5; Romans;11:33), Wonderful, Beyond human comprehension (Psalms;139:6), and Underived. (Job;21:22; Isaiah;40:14). The idol worship is condemned in the Old Testament“(Exodus;20:3-5, Deuteronomy;5:7-9).
Mistranslation & Misinterpretation of Hebrew, Greek Terms:

Son of God:

The word ‘son’ cannot be accepted literally because in the Bible, God apparently addresses many of his chosen servants as ‘son’ and ‘sons.’ The Hebrews believed God is One, and had neither wife nor children in any literal sense.  Therefore, it is obvious the expression ‘son of God’ merely meant ‘Servant of God’; one who, because of faithful service, was close and dear to God as a son is to his father.
Christians who came from a Greek or Roman background, later misused this term.  In their heritage, ‘son of God’ signified an incarnation of a god or someone born of a physical union between male and female gods.  This can be seen in Acts 14: 11-13, where we read that when Paul and Barnabas preached in a city of Turkey, pagans claimed they were gods incarnate.  They called Barnabas the Roman god Zeus, and Paul the Roman god Hermes.
Furthermore, the New Testament Greek word translated as ‘son’ are ‘pias’ and ‘paida’ which mean ‘servant,’ or ‘son in the sense of servant.’ These are translated to ‘son’ in reference to Jesus and ‘servant’ in reference to all others in some translations of the Bible.  So, consistent with other verses, Jesus was merely saying that he is God’s servant.
WHY DIDN’T JOHN THE BAPTIST BECOME A FOLLOWER OF JESUS, SON OF GOD?If John knew that Jesus was the son of God, why didn’t he become a disciple of Jesus? And why didn’t all, or even most, of John’s disciples become Jesus’ disciples? Most of John’s disciples remained loyal to him, even after his death, and a sect of his followers persisted for centuries.
The gospel writers could not ignore it because John’s followers and other Jews who knew of Jesus’ baptism were using the fact of his baptism to challenge the idea that Jesus was the sinless son of God. The gospel writers went to great pains to invent events that showed John as being subordinate to Jesus.

Jesus himself said “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (Matthew 4:10).
SALVATION THROUGH FAITH NOT WORKS:
Paul teaches that the gift of salvation through grace occurs apart from any behavioral requirement: Romans 3:28: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

Paul reiterates this position in: Romans 4:6; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; II Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5 — the first Bible writer to make the claim that salvation occurs apart from actions, which Paul repeatedly emphasizes.

Paul is specifically rebutted by the later writing of James (brother of Jesus) who offers one of the most striking and dramatic direct contradictions, in James 2:24, choosing vocabulary and syntax that specifically contradicts Paul’s wording in Romans 3:28 in both content and construction:

Lord:

The word “Lord means Master or Sir, it is a famous title for the Peers, for example “Lord Chancellor, Lord justice Bingham. In Britain, you adress a judge or Peer as my Lord” ( Cambridge International Dictionary of English)
This was what meant by Paul calling him lord: yet to us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we unto him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through him. (1 Cor 8:5), so Paul separated between the two words God and Lord because he meant that Father is the only God to be worshipped other than false gods, and Jesus (Peace be upon him) the only master to be followed other than false prophets, this was also meant by saying “through whom are all things, and we through him. ” because he is the prophet whom they get their religion through him.
Even there are some English translations which sometimes use the word Master instead of Lord.
For example in John 5:7, CEV and LITV uses the word lord instead of Sir or Master, in John 13:36 YLT and WNT use the words Master or Sir instead of Lord.
The title “Lord” is used of many people in the Bible not just God and Jesus. The Hebrew word Adoni refers to “lords” that are not God, while another word, Adonai, refers to God. Reference to men: my lord, my master:
(a) Master: Ex. 21:5 (Covenant code) Gen. 24:12+, 44:5 (J, 20t.), 1 Sam. 30:13,15; 2 Kings 5:3,20,22; 6:15;
(b) Husband: Gen. 18:12 (J);
(c) Prophet: 1 Kings 18:7,13; 2 Kings 2:19; 4:16,28; 6:5; 8:5;
(d) Prince: Gen. 42:10 (E), Gen. 23:6,11,15 (P), Gen 43:20; 44:18+ ; 47:18, + (J, 12t.); Judges. 4:18;
(e) King: 1 Sam. 22:12+ (S&K 75t.);
(f) Father: Gen. 31:5 (E);
(g) Moses: Ex. 32:22; Num. 11:28; 12:11; 32:26,27 (J); Num. 36:2 (2x) (P);
(h) Priest: 1 Sam. 1:15, 26 (2x);
(i) Theophanic angel [an angel representing God]: Josh. 5:14; Judges. 6:13;
(j) Captain: 2 Sam. 11:11;
(k) General recognition of superiority: Gen. 24:18; 32:5+; 33:8+; 44:7+ (J 13t.), Ruth 2:13; 1 Sam. 25:24+ (15t.).(2). Reference to God: [adoni]. [Notice that now that word refers to God, it changes from the above form. The vowel under the “n” (the second letter from the left) has changed.].
More: http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/articles/jesus-christ/lords-and-the-lord

Worship:

Also see: http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/videos/can-we-worship-jesus-christ

The word worship throughout the Bible does not have one meaning. The Greek word of it is  proskunew proskuneo , according to Strong’s Greek Dictionary it means;to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand); to fawn or crouch to, i.e. (literally or figuratively) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore):–worship”. Unger’s Bible Dictionary says that this word literally means to ‘kiss the hand of someone in token of reverence or to do homage.’ An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, by W. E. Vine, says that this word “denotes an act of reverence, whether paid to man . . . or to God.” In Bible times proskunew proskuneo often included literally bowing down before someone of high stature, the context clears the use of this word.  “Worship” [proskunewproskuneo] rendered to Jesus is not the same as worship which Jesus required his followers to render to God. Note that in Jesus’ parable at Matthew 18:26 the slave “worshipped” the king. Obviously this is not religious worship but an act of obeisance. Jesus as appointed king is worthy of obeisance. But Jesus HIMSELF said (again):
“Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (Matthew 4:10).
The  Christians we should listen to Jesus Christ to worship One God only!
The word “worship” in the following verses is not the same as religious worship given to God, it reflects reverence, respect:
Hebrews 1:6 (New Testament)- the angels worship Jesus Christ.
Only God is worshiped.
Matt. 2:2,11 – the magi who came to see the newborn Jesus came to worship Him.
Matt. 8:2 – a leper came to Jesus and worshiped Him without rebuke.
Luke 24:52 – as Jesus ascended into heaven, the apostles worshiped Him.
John 9:38 – the blind man who was cured by Jesus worshiped Him.
Matt. 14:33 – the apostles who were in the boat worshiped Jesus without rebuke.
Matt. 28:9 – Jesus’ disciples took His feet and worshiped Him without rebuke.
Matt. 28:17 – Jesus’ disciples saw Him and then worshiped Him.
Mark 5:6 – the man with the unclean spirit ran to Jesus and worshiped Him.
Term “God” also used for prophets, judges
John 11:41-42
So they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, “Father, I thank you that you listened to me. I know that you always listen to me, but because of the multitude that stands around I said this, that they may believe that you sent me.”
Psalms 82:6
“I said, “You are gods, All of you are sons of the Most High”.
Exodus 7:1
“See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet.

JESUS NOT GOD:
Proved through 90 verses from Bible:
Common Verses quoted to suport Trinity-Explained: The following are clear explanations of the verses in the Bible that Trinitarians have sometimes used in attempts to “prove” the Trinity and to substantiate that Jesus is God. Since there are an overwhelming number of very clear verses about Jesus Christ’s identity and his distinction from God, and since God’s Word has no contradictions, these comparatively few verses must fit with the many clear verses, and they do.  http://www.BiblicalUnitarian.com/verses 
Jews Allegation against Jesus Claiming Divinity: John 10:32-33 but ignore 34-35Christians frequently quote John 10:32-33 that Jesus accepted to be claiming divinity. They just stop at 33, do not mention Jhon10:34-35, with Psalms 82:6.
HERE IS TRUE CONTEXT:
John 10:31
The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him.
32 Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?”
33 The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.”…

JOHN 10:34-35
Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I SAID, YOU ARE GODS ‘?
35 “If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),
NOW HERE JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF MARY IS REFERRING TO JUDGES, WHO WERE CALLED GOD, AT
PSALMS:82:6
I said, “ You are gods; you are all sons of the Most High.

It may be noticed that Jesus Christ is clearly refuting allegations of Jews, that he claim to be God, because even the judges, who recieved words of God were called God, and that scripture is not broken or violated.
Does the Bible ever refer to Jesus Christ as “God”? http://www.BiblicalUnitarian.com/videos/does-the-bible-ever-refer-to-jesus-christ-as-god
Rebuttal to common claims of divinity of Jesus Christ :

 

Divinity of Jesus – 15 Most Common Claims – An… by Peace-Forum

Jesus Christ: A Jewish prophet:
Jesus Christ was a Jewish prophet for the Jews; his teachings conform to the Jewish monotheism as recorded in Old & New Testament:
Matthew 15:24
But he answering said, I have not been sent save to the lost sheep of Israel’s house.

God made everything alone:

God’s people were not left in the dark about the Plan and purpose of the Almighty, who had made everything alone (Isa. 44:24; Job 9:8) , was executing for the benefit of His creation.

God Redeemer, Compassionate and Gracious:

Isaiah 44:24  Thus says Yahweh, your Redeemer, and he who formed you from the womb: I am Yahweh, who makes all things; who stretches forth the heavens alone; who spreads abroad the earth (who is with me?)
Job 9:8  Who alone stretches out the heavens, Treads on the waves of the sea;
The character of the God of creation was summed up in His divine Name which revealed Him as “compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abundantly kind and faithful.”
Exodus 34:6  Yahweh passed by before him, and proclaimed, “Yahweh! Yahweh, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness and truth,

Jesus was created lower than Angels:

Jesus was a creation of God.  Anything created by GOD, becomes His creation including Jesus according to Colossians 1:15 and 1 Corinthians 15:28, therefore created things do not deserve worship and this clearly leads to idol worshipping according to the Bible.
Bible says Angels are not worthy of worship and claims Jesus was created lower than angels which confirms Jesus does not deserve to be worshipped:
But he (the Angel) said, “No, don’t worship me. I am a servant of God, just like you and your brother’s the prophets, as well as all who obey what is written in this book. Worship only God!” [Revelation 22:9]
What about someone who is lower than the Angels ?!!
”But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor…” [Hebrews 2:9]
It is clearly shown from the Bible itself that Jesus was the creation of GOD and how he was created. Worship the creator not the created Jesus.
Romans 1:21-25
Because, knowing God, they didn’t glorify him as God, neither gave thanks, but became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and traded the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed animals, and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
Matthew 6:24  “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can’t serve both God and Mammon.
Do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’(GOD) for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. [Matthew 23: 9]
There is one God, the Father (1 Cor. 8:6), the one God of the creed of Israel affirmed by Jesus Christ (Mark 12:28). The Father is “the only true God” (John 17:3).

Master, Slave relationship:

Knowing God has to do with knowing him and having a relationship with HIM, BY OBEYING HIM, SUBMITTING YOU WILL TO HIM as Jesus Christ said:
“Your will be done,” [Matthew 6:9–13]. He did not say “My will be done”. Relationship between The Creator [God] and Creations [Like Human] is like Master with slave, that’s how Jesus said: Your will be done”.
Jesus referred to himself as “”God’s Son”” or “”the Son of God.”” (John 10:36; 11:4) Jesus never identified himself as Almighty God.
“Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only”[Mathew;4:10]
Jesus prayed to God. (Matthew 26:39)
While teaching his followers how to pray, Jesus said:
“”Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.””—Matthew 6:9.
Jesus said: “”Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah.””—Mark 12:29; Deuteronomy 6:4.
John 18:20
Jesus answered him, I spoke openly to the world; I always taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, where the Jews always met; and in secret have I said nothing.
John 13:16
Most assuredly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his lord, neither one who is sent greater than he who sent him.
John 14:28
‘I am going to my Father;’ for the Father is greater than I.
John 20:17
Jesus said to her, “Don’t touch me, for I haven’t yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brothers, and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'”
Matthew 23:9-10
Call no man on the earth your father, for one is your Father, he who is in heaven. Neither be called masters, for one is your master, the Christ.
Luke 22:42-43
saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him, strengthening him.
John 5:37
The Father himself, who sent me, has testified about me. You have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his form.
John 17:3
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
1 Cor 8:5
Paul said: “yet to us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we unto him”
1 Corinthians 15:27-28
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.
Miracle
Jesus Christ performed many miracles which are presented as a proof that he was God. Miracles are performed by messengers of God with the power of God. Many prophets performed miracles similar to Jesus Christ but no one ever considered them to be God.

Raising the dead:

Jesus Christ performed the miracle of raising the dead, healing sick. Ezekiel raised thousands of dead people (Ezekiel 37:1-14), is Ezekiel God?
Elijah resurrected the son of Zarephath’s widow from the dead (1 Kings 17:17-24). Elisha resurrected the son of the great Shunammite woman 2 Kings 4:35.
A dead man comes back to life when he touches Elisha’s bones: Kings 13:21.
Jesus said:  “By myself I can do nothing” (Matthew 5:30), This was proved when he raised Lazarus in John 11. Healing of leprosy patient :  2 Kings 5:10-14.

Passage through water:

SEA was DIVIDED at just the right moment; the nation of Israel passed through on DRY GROUND. The sea then violently consumes the Egyptian army. (Ex. 14:21-31)
The JORDAN DIVIDED, so that Israel passed over dryshod near the city of Adam (Josh. 3:14-17)
Jordan divided by Elijah and Elisha near Jericho (2 Kings 2:7, 8, 14)

Accession to Heaven:

I (Jesus) ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to MY GOD and your God. [John 20:17]
Isaiah,  Levi, and Ezekiel as revealed in the documents, “Ascension of Isaiah”, “Testament of Levi” and the Book of Ezekiel  One can read these documents which relate the so-called experiences (or visions) of “heaven” undertaken  by them and related to their community on their return to earth, as it were.
John 3:13 : No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven–the Son of Man.
John 6:38: For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.
According to the Bible, Enoch and Elijah are the only two people God took to heaven without them dying.
Genesis 5:24 tells us, “Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”
2Kings 2:11 tells us, “Suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.”
Enoch is described as a man who “walked with God for 300 years” (Genesis 5:23). Elijah was perhaps the most powerful of God’s prophets in the Old Testament. There are also prophecies of Elijah’s return (Malachi 4:5-6).

Melchizedek with no beginning no end:

” . . . even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God” (Psalm 90:2).  And, “Your throne is established from of old; Thou art from everlasting” (Psalm 93:2)
“For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all the spoils, was first of all, by the translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace. Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually. Now observe how great this man was to whom Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth of the choicest spoils.… [Hebrews 7:1-4]
John 6:42:  They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”
JONAH SURVIVED IN THE FISH’S BELLY. Safely landed (Jonah 2:1-10)—How could Jonah survive three days in the belly of a “whale”? Answer

Glory:

John 17:22
“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one”
Dr Constable, a Christian commentator says on this verse: Jesus did not mean that He and the Father were the same person of the Godhead. If He had meant that, He would have used the masculine form of the word translated “one” (Gr. heis). Instead He used the neuter form of the word (Gr. hen). He meant that He and the Father were one in their action. This explanation also harmonized with the con**** since Jesus had said that He would keep His sheep safe (v. 28) and His Father would keep them safe (v. 29). (Dr. Constable’s Notes on John, p.169-170)

Jesus Christ not the first one to forgive sins:

Isaiah 33:24
“No one living in Zion will say, “I am ill”; and the sins of those who dwell there will be forgiven.
Notice also that Jesus Christ said “your sins are forgiven” NOT ” I forgive your sins”, he referred forgiving sins to unknown which is inevitably God, he didn’t refer it to himself.

Word was with God

John 1:1
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
There is a mistranslation to this verse, the first “God” in this verse is “hotheos” in Greek origin which means God (with capital G), while the second is “tontheos” which is supposed to be translated into god (with small g), and of course there is a big difference between both words , since God means Jehovah of the Old Testament, while the word god, means a god for pagans which is not meant in this verse, or god which means master as told about Moses in Exodus 7:1″ And Jehovah said to Moses, “See, I have made you a god to Pharaoh. And Aaron your brother shall be your prophet.” Or Psalms 82:6 “”I said, ‘You are “gods”; you are all sons of the Most High.’ (Psalms 82:6)”

God Is a Trinity?

Image result for 3 faced jesus
“The impression could arise that the Trinitarian dogma is in the last analysis a late 4th-century invention. In a sense, this is true . . . The formulation ‘one God in three Persons’ was not solidly established, certainly not fully assimilated into Christian life and its profession of faith, prior to the end of the 4th century.”— [New Catholic Encyclopaedia (1967), Volume 14, page 299]
“The Council of Nicaea met on May 20, 325 [C.E.]. Constantine himself presided, actively guiding the discussions, and personally proposed . . . the crucial formula expressing the relation of Christ to God in the creed issued by the council, ‘of one substance with the Father.’ . . . Overawed by the emperor, the bishops, with two exceptions only, signed the creed, many of them much against their inclination.” [Encyclopaedia Britannica (1970), Volume 6, page 386]
What does the Bible say?
The First Commandment declared in the Old Testament as well as New Testament states the Oneness of God (Deuteronomy;6:4, Mark;12:29).
“See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god besides me.” [Deut. 32:39]
“I am the LORD, that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to graven images.” [Isaiah 42:8]
“I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.” [Isaiah 44:6]
“You are my witnesses,” says the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there by any after me. I, I am the Lord and besides me there is no saviour.” [Isaiah 43:10-11]
“You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.” This can be found in the Gospels of (Matthew 4:10) and (Luke 4:8) both in the Bible.
Jesus clearly states that only God is to be worshipped and his inferiority to God.
Jesus told them, “but I do not have the right to choose who will sit at my right and my left. These places belong to those for whom my Father has prepared them.” (Matthew 20:20-23)
“Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God’s right hand. ‘Look! I can see heaven thrown open,’ he said, ‘and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God.’”—Acts 7:55, 56, The New Jerusalem Bible.

What did this vision reveal? Filled with God’s active force, Stephen saw Jesus “standing at God’s right hand.” Clearly, then, Jesus did not become God again after his resurrection to heaven but, rather, a distinct spiritual being. There is no mention of a third person next to God in this account. Despite attempts to find passages of Scripture to support the Trinity dogma, Dominican priest Marie-Émile Boismard wrote in his book À l’aube du christianisme—La naissance des dogmes (At the Dawn of Christianity—The Birth of Dogmas): “The statement that there are three persons in the one God . . . cannot be read anywhere in the New Testament.” or Old Testament:

Is the Trinity in Genesis?

Most Christians believe in the church doctrine of the Trinity, that God is one essence consisting of three co-equal and co-eternal Persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. Many cite three passages in the book of Genesis as their primary Old Testament (OT) support for the Trinity: Genesis 1.26; 3.22; 11.7. And they often refer to them when asserting that Jesus preexisted. These texts are as follows:

1.26 “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness’”
3.22 “Then the LORD God said, ‘Behold, the man has become as one of Us, knowing good and evil’”
11.7 “And the LORD said,… ‘Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language’”

In all three instances God is the speaker, whom Christians view as God the Father. But none of these narratives identify the “Us.” Many Trinitarians have claimed the “Us” are the other two members of the Trinity: the preexistent Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

The four primary interpretations of the words “us” and “our” in Genesis 1.26 are as follows:
(1) most Jews have interpreted them as God’s communication to a special group of angels who gather around God’s heavenly throne and constitute his royal court or council;
(2) post-Nicene church fathers understood God the Father to be speaking to the other two members of the Trinity;
(3) many commentators have regarded these words as a plural of majesty, which allows for Trinitarian belief but does not necessitate it;
(4) God’s addresses himself. How one interprets this text usually determines how one treats the others, so that all three passages are interpreted the same.

The “Us” in Genesis 1.26 cannot be the supposed other two members of the Trinity because it says God made man in his image. If God is a Trinity of Persons, then man, being made in God’s image, would have to be tri-personal as well. Since man is a uni- personal being, God must be a uni-personal being. The closest man ever comes to being tri-personal is schizophrenia, a mental disorder which does not reflect God.

The word translated “God” in the Hebrew Bible is elohim, the plural of eloah. Elohim is often shortened to the proper name El. Elohim occurs about 2,570 times in the OT, either as a common noun or as a divine name. Most past Trinitarians insisted that elohim, being plural, indicates that God subsists as a plurality of persons.

Jewish and many contemporary Christian scholars disagree. They contend the plural word elohim merely indicates intensity, expressing the dignity or greatness of God. Jack B. Scott says most scholars insist that this “plural ending is usually described as a plural of majesty and not intended as a true plural when used of God. This is seen in the fact that the noun elohim is consistently used with singular verb forms and with adjectives and pronouns in the singular.” Then he cites antiquities authority William F. Albright, who claims that this plural of majesty was used commonly in the ancient Near East to express the “totality of manifestations of a deity.” Trinitarian F.F. Bruce says elohim is “a plural denoting God as including within Himself all the powers of deity.”

Besides, how could the most frequent word for God (except YHWH) in the Hebrew Bible accommodate a Gentile notion that God is three persons? That contradicts strict monotheism. And it seems presumptuous of Gentiles to tell Jews what Hebrew words mean. Few church fathers knew Hebrew, and their theology suffered from it.

Scripture attests that the Most High God meets regularly with a court of angelic advisors. The psalmist tells of “the assembly of the holy ones,” describing Yahweh as “a God greatly feared in the council of the holy ones, and awesome above all those who are around Him” (Ps 89.5, 7). Job twice says of some angels, “the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD” to give an account of their activities (Job 1.6; 2.1). This hierarchy of delegated responsibility is like human government.

Since God regularly appoints angels to accomplish his will, perhaps he also involved them in creation. The Jewish Talmud states concerning God, “the Holy One, blessed be he, does nothing without consulting his heavenly court.” And the famed Sir Isaac Newton explained, “God does nothing by himself which he can do by another.”

Donald Gowan similarly remarks concerning Genesis 1.26 and 3.22:

There is no support in the OT for most of the proposed explanations: the royal “we,” the deliberative “we,” the plural of fullness, or an indication of a plurality of persons in the Godhead…. The only theory that uses the language of the OT itself is that which claims God is here addressing the heavenly court, as in Isa 6:8. That God was believed to consult with spiritual creatures in heaven is revealed by the scenes described in 1 Kgs. 22:19-22 and Job 1:6–2:6. Hence the consultative “we” has support from other texts, and it fits both the Gen. 1:26-27 and 3:22 on the assumption that Israel believed there were creatures in the heavenly realm (“the host of heaven,” 1 Kgs. 22:19) whose identity had something in common both with God and with human beings. The familiar objection that angels could not have participated in creation is a theological judgment about what is possible in heaven.

So, those to whom God spoke the words “us” and “our”—in Genesis 1.26, 3.22, and 11.2—probably were a special class of angels. Perhaps they were members of his royal council or “the seven spirits of God,” that is, “the seven angels who stand before God” (Revelation 1.4; 8.2), who probably are seven archangels. Regardless, the book of Genesis has no substantial evidence that they were two members of a supposed Trinity. Trinitarian Murray Harris states, “It would be inappropriate for elohim [God] or yhwh [Yahweh] ever to refer to the Trinity in the OT when in the NT theos regularly refers to the Father alone and apparently never to the Trinity.”

Jesus – A Prophet for Israelite not Gentiles:

“I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.’ [John 5:30]

Matthew 15:22-26
and lo, a Canaanitish woman, coming out from those borders, cried to him saying, Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is miserably possessed by a demon. But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came to him and asked him, saying, Dismiss her, for she cries after us. But he answering said, I have not been sent save to the lost sheep of Israel’s house. But she came and did him homage, saying, Lord, help me. But he answering said, It is not well to take the bread of the children and cast it to the dogs.

Matthew 10:5-6
Jesus sent these twelve out, and charged them, saying, “Don’t go among the Gentiles, and don’t enter into any city of the Samaritans. Rather, go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Matthew 7:6
“Don’t give that which is holy to the dogs, neither throw your pearls before the pigs, lest perhaps they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

“Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.” [Mark 10:18]

 “And this is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” [John 17:3]
“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” [Matthew 24:36 & Mark 13:32]
I (Jesus) ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to MY GOD and your God. [John 20:17]
Matthew 13:57
And they took offence at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.”
John 4:44
Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.
Matthew 21:11
The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Luke 24:19
“What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people.
John 6:14
After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.
My teaching is not mine, but His who sent me [John 7:16]
The word which you hear is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me [John 14:24]
Now you seek to kill me, A MAN who has told you the truth that I heard from God [John 8:40]
The Father Himself who sent me has given me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak [John 12:49]
 “I live because of the Father” (John 6:57).
“So that the crowd wondered, when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they glorified the God of Israel” [Matthew15:31]
 And they took offence at him. But Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor. [Matthew 13:57]

Jesus forewarned about False Prophets:

Matthew 7:15-20
Jesus Christ said: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do you gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree produces good fruit; but the corrupt tree produces evil fruit. A good tree can’t produce evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn’t grow good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire. Therefore, by their fruits you will know them.
Note: What could more evil fruit than the polytheist doctrine of Trinity based upon Greco-Roman pagan traditions to replace pure monotheistic Hebrew doctrine of One, Single God preached and practiced by all the prophets form Abraham, Jacob, Moses to Jesus Christ !

How They Are Deluded Away From the Truth

Proof that Christians are indeed deluded away from truth, even with reading their own Bible. All things are created by God, we are all his creation, there is a clear distinction between the Creator and the creation.
Worship none but one:
“Here, O Israel: The LORD our God is one Lord.” [Deut. 6:4]
“See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god besides me.” [Deut. 32:39]
“I am the LORD, that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to graven images.” [Isaiah 42:8]
“I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.” [Isaiah 44:6]
“You are my witnesses,” says the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there by any after me. I, I am the Lord and besides me there is no saviour.” [Isaiah 43:10-11]
“You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.” This can be found in the Gospels of (Matthew 4:10) and (Luke 4:8) both in the Bible.
Jesus clearly says that only God is to be worshipped.
Jesus told them, “but I do not have the right to choose who will sit at my right and my left. These places belong to those for whom my Father has prepared them.” (Matthew 20:20-23)

Paul- The Founder of Christianity 

 

Paul –Scholars & Statesmen’s Perspective:

Image result for saint paul of tarsus

All that is good about Christianity stems from Jesus, and all that is bad about it stems from Paul.

Tom O’Golo, Christ? No! Jesus? Yes!, p.199
Paul distorted the original and true faith or claim that Christianity is, largely, his invention. The criticisms by Friedrich Nietzsche and Bertrand Russell,  are based upon their moral objections to Paul’s thought.
The pejorative use of the expression “Pauline Christianity” relies in part upon a thesis that Paul’s supporters, as a distinct group, had an undue influence on the formation of the canon of scripture, and also that certain bishops, especially the Bishop of Rome, influenced the debates by which the dogmatic formulations known as the Creeds came to be produced, thus ensuring a Pauline interpretation of the gospel. The thesis is founded on differences between the views of Paul and the apostles in Jerusalem, and also between the picture of Paul in the Acts of the Apostles and his own writings, such that it is claimed that the essential Jewish or Old Testament character of the faith was lost (see Jewish Christian).
Christian anarchists, such as Leo Tolstoy and Ammon Hennacy, believe Paul distorted Jesus’ teachings. Tolstoy claims Paul was instrumental in the church’s “deviation” from Jesus’ teaching and practices, whilst Hennacy believed “Paul spoiled the message of Christ.”
According to Tom O’Golo, the Ebionites believed Paul was a false prophet whose task was not to convert Romans to Christians but Christians to Romans.
Irenaeus, bishop of Lyon, wrote in the latter half of the 2nd century that the Ebionites rejected Paul as an apostate from the law, using only a version of the Gospel according to St. Matthew, known as the Gospel of the Ebionites.
Tom O’Golo postulates several key elements were added by Paul to Christian theology that weren’t evident in Jesuism. These included:
·       Original sin
·       Making Jews the villains
·       Making Jesus divine
·       Transubstantiation of bread and wine into actual flesh and blood
·       Jesus’ death being seen as atonement for human sin
·       Shifting the emphasis from an earthly to a heavenly kingdom
·       Enlarging chosen people to include anyone who accepted Jesus as Saviour
·       Making salvation upon belief in Jesus regardless of demands of  Torah
·       Establishing a hierarchy (literally a holy order) to create and control a Church and more importantly to create and control the beliefs of its membership.

Paul & Satanic Connection:

Image result for saint Paul & Satanic Connection
Paul never actually met the historical Jesus, he is not mentioned among 12 disciples. The outcome of teachings of Paul is trinity, corruption of monotheistic teachings of Jesus Christ, an evil fruit against monotheistic teachings of Jesus Christ. Just consider following:
Devil tempted Adam, Eve got them out of gardens of bliss.
Devil tempted Jesus Christ but was rebuked: “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”[Matthew 4:10]
The disappointed Satan later got Paul in vision [as did David Koresh and Jim Jones] and possessed him.
* THE APOSTLE PAUL’S CONVERSION

Image result for apostle paul conversion

The dubious VSION of Paul and conversion story  is exposed in conflicting account at Acts 9:3-8; 22:6-10; 26:13-18; Gal. 1:15-17.
The Book of Acts contains three accounts of Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus. All of four  accounts contradict each other regarding what happened to Paul’s fellow travelers.

1. Acts 9:7 says they “stood speechless, hearing the voice…”

2. Acts 22:9 says they “did not hear the voice…”

3. Acts 26:14 says “when we had all fallen to the ground…”
4. Galatians 1:15-18  But when it was the good pleasure of God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me through his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I didn’t immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia. Then I returned to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Peter, and stayed with him fifteen days.

The Bible  says, in passages such as Num. 12:6, Deut. 18:20 and Ez. 13:8-9, that revelations come ONLY from God, and accounts of numerous disagreements between the other disciples and Paul regarding his teachings are recorded in Acts.

Some translations of the Bible (the New International Version and the New American Standard, for example) try to remove the contradiction in Acts 22:9 by translating the phrase quoted above as “did not understand the voice…” However, the Greek word “akouo” is translated 373 times in the New Testament as “hear,” “hears,” “hearing” or “heard” and only in Acts 22:9 is it translated as “understand.” In fact, it is the same word that is translated as “hearing” in Acts 9:7, quoted above. The word “understand” occurs 52 times in the New Testament, but only in Acts 22:9 is it translated from the Greek word “akouo.”

Paul confessed his devil connection: “I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.” [2 Corinthians 12:7]

“In this the children of God are revealed, and the children of the devil. Whoever doesn’t do righteousness is not of God, neither is he who doesn’t love his brother.”[ 1 John 3:10]
The case henceforth, is that Paul was sent a messenger of Satan, who is truly a messenger of God, to torment Paul. The tormenting could be bodily, of the mind or spiritually, perhaps even a combination of two or all three ailments. Paul received this messenger of Satan because he became prideful (self conceited), the use of the messenger was also to teach Paul grace. A Messenger of Satan was sent to teach Paul the true meaning of grace. Paul was unable to rid himself of this messenger of Satan, who remained with Paul and influenced/ tortured him as he preached and wrote Epistles, which are in today’s Bible.

Paul, under influence of Devil, changed teachings of Jesus about worship One God, to false pagan doctrines like Trinity. Paul was tried and punished to expatiate his sins of going against Law of Moses. Whole episode is narrated in Acts:21.

*  THE LORD’S SUPPER – INSTITUTED BY JESUS OR PAUL?

Image result for original passover meal

In Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus institutes the Lord’s Supper during the Passover meal (in John’s gospel the Lord’s Supper is not instituted – Jesus was dead by the time of the Passover meal).

In 1 Corinthians 11:23 the Paul writes, “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread…” Here Paul claims that he got the instructions for the Lord’s Supper directly from Jesus (evidently from one of his many revelations). Paul writes these words about twenty years after Jesus’ death, and had the church already been celebrating the Lord’s Supper he certainly would have been aware of it and would have had no need to receive it from the Lord. Some apologists try to play games with the text to make it seem like Paul actually received the instructions from the other apostles, but one thing Paul stresses is that what he teaches he receives from no man (Galatians 1:11-12).

Paul admits that he did not know Jesus during Jesus’ lifetime. He also says that his gospel was not taught to him by any man (Galatians 1:11-12)
. All of Paul’s theology is based on his own revelations, or visions. Like dreams, visions or hallucinations do not come from nowhere, but reveal what is already in a person’s subconscious. It is very likely that the source of most of Paul’s visions, and therefore most of his theology, is to be found in Mithraism. That we find Jesus at the Last Supper saying more or less the same thing Paul said to the Corinthians many years later is another example of the church modifying the gospels to incorporate the theology of Paul, which eventually won out over the theology of Jesus’ original disciples.

* THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN JESUS’ AND PAUL’S GOSPELS

The gospel that Jesus and his disciples proclaimed to the Jews was in accordance with what the Old Testament predicted about a human Messiah reigning over a restored kingdom of Israel, a kingdom of peace and righteousness. The people of Israel were to repent as personal righteousness was necessary to become a member of the kingdom.

In contrast to Jesus’ gospel was the gospel preached to the Jews and gentiles by Paul, which Paul refers to as “my gospel” and “the gospel that I preach” to differentiate it from what was being proclaimed by the disciples. In Paul’s gospel the human Jewish Messiah became a divine saviour of all nations, the restored kingdom of Israel became a heavenly kingdom, and admittance to the kingdom was based on faith rather than personal righteousness.

The two gospels caused great animosity between Paul and the original apostles, an animosity that is played down in the books of Acts and Galatians, but which still shows through in several places. When Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem were scattered or killed, and the opposition to the gospel of Paul was largely eliminated. The gospel of Paul was incorporated into the gospel of Jesus, in many cases supplanting it.

On the critical religious matter of just what it takes to attain salvation, what Jesus teaches is very different than what is written in the words of the renegade “apostle” Paul.
When asked by a lawyer what the most important commandment in the law was, Jesus answered (as reported in Matt 22:36-40 and Luke 10:25-37) with references from the Old Testament, that the greatest law was to love god (see Deut 6:5) and the second was to love your neighbor as yourself (see Lev 19:18). In the Luke text, the lawyer specifically asks what is necessary for eternal life (verse 25) and after Jesus references the two great commandments, he says “This do and you will live” (verse 28) — showing clearly that salvation is related to works/deeds/ actions, however important faith might be to motivating such behavior.

* FAITH vis WORKS

Another time during his ministry, Jesus taught that the people who would go to heaven (be saved) must be as little children (Matt 18:4-5; 19:14; Mark 9:36-37; 10:14-15; Luke 18:15-17), while Paul wrote that maturity demands us to forsake the things of childhood (I Cor 13:11). Thus, while Jesus teaches us that the kingdom of heaven will be filled with those who lived their lives in active compassion and childlike innocence, Paul envisions a heaven of crusty, serious “mature” grouches who merely have to profess “acceptance” of Jesus without ever actually performing a single kind, compassionate, cheerful or childishly playful deed.

In his last public teaching, Matt. 25:31-45, Jesus describes the final judgment as being based solely on behavioral responses to internalized compassion. And Jesus makes it very clear that those who do express universal compassion in behavioral action will be saved, and those who do not will not be saved. Period. There is no other qualification.

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Paul teaches that the gift of salvation through grace occurs apart from any behavioral requirement: Romans 3:28: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

Paul reiterates this position in: Romans 4:6; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; II Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5 — the first Bible writer to make the claim that salvation occurs apart from actions, which Paul repeatedly emphasizes.

Paul is specifically rebutted by the later writing of James (brother of Jesus) who offers one of the most striking and dramatic direct contradictions, in James 2:24, choosing vocabulary and syntax that specifically contradicts Paul’s wording in Romans 3:28 in both content and construction.
The passage from Paul comes near the end of the third chapter of Romans; immediately after that, opening up the fourth chapter, Paul cites the example of Abraham, and quotes from Genesis 15:6, and says it was Abrham’s faith, not his works, that justified him (Romans 4:1-3). In James 2:21-24 (the same passage noted above), Paul’s very example and scriptural reference are used against him, but with the opposite (and contradictory) conclusion, that Abraham was justified by the combination of faith with works. James’ use of the same examples, quotes from the same Old Testament verse (Gen. 15:6) using the same words, and parallel structure clearly suggest that this was an intentional reply/rebuttal to Paul.

* The Law of Moses:

Jesus was a Jewish rabbi who always upheld the Law of Moses. In his first public teaching, the Sermon on the Mount, he made it very clear in Matt. 5:18-19: “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach [them], the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (“jot or tittle” in modern translations is “not one iota nor one dot”.) Have heaven and earth passed away? Have all the prophecies, including those of the last days, been fulfilled?

Even some of the occasions when Jesus seems to add to the Law or teach in new and different ways, he goes to great lengths to show that it is based on the Law. For example, when this rabbi asked by a “lawyer” (one versed in the Law of Moses) what was the greatest commandment in the Law, Jesus turns the question back to him and asks what is in the Law, and from that extrapolates his great commandments to Love God (from Deut 6:5) and Love Neighbor as Self (from Lev. 19:18) which was clearly the centerpiece of his ministry and his doctrine of active love and compassion for all.

Paul, on the other hand, wants to throw out the Law of Moses! Romans 3:19-21: “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets.”

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And even more explicitly, Paul states in Romans 6:14, that “sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”

Additionally, when Paul denounces the need for compassionate actions, or which Jesus and others spoke so much, in Romans 3:27-28 and Galatians 2:16, he also specifically mentions which works: that obedience to the Law is what is not required, contrary to Jesus’ statements.

* THE ORIGINAL SIN?

Paul is the one who introduces the concept of original sin and the “inheritance” of sin, in Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”

Why are we, in any way whatsoever, held “responsible” for the sins of Adam and Eve? How can a person be “guilty” of something they didn’t do, which in fact was done thousands of years before they were even conceived? How can there be an “inherited” moral flaw. Morality is a matter of “right and wrong,” not a physical, tangible object. In any case, how can you be responsible for something you had nothing to do with?

If my father and mother do something wrong, why do I get punished for that? What do their wrongs have to do with my sins? Talk about unfair!
One cannot imagine that a god could be called “just” who allows people to be punished for something they have no control over: the way they were born; i.e., the way god created them. Is sin a matter of moral character, or a birth defect? Should babies born with birth defects be punished? Should we require abortions for fetuses born deformed?

It is interesting to note that while Paul invents a theology of atonement based on the offering of Jesus as a human sacrifice for sin, Jesus explicitly rejects this doctrine. The gospel according to Matthew twice, in Matt 9:13 and Matt 12:7, states that Jesus said: “I will have mercy, and not sacrifice” (KJV). More modern translations, such as the RSV and NIV, update the archaic meaning of the word “will” and translate Jesus’ statements in both verses as: “I desire mercy and not sacrifice”. This could not be a more explicit rejection of Paul’s later teaching.[Extract from Davis D. Danizier]

* Why Teachings of Paul became popular?

1. It is the easy way. Jesus requires you to actually transform your character and put it into action. Paul says, “Just have faith and believe” and you get a free gift, without ever having to actually DO anything — something for nothing; the easy way out; the lazy man’s way to salvation; the free ride.

2. As has been noted previously, Paul was wealthy, educated, and had the rare status of being both a Jew and a Roman citizen, affording him both the means and papers with which to travel. He was able to travel widely, throughout the entire Roman empire, converting gullible victims by the thousands, giving him extraordinary power, and all of them had their interpretation of what Jesus taught coming by way of Paul’s version, so it gained traction early.

3. The doctrine of salvation by atonement through the bloody human sacrifice of a sinless substitute originates from Paul. The God, Son of God was familiar concept to pagans of Roman empire, though fundamentally contradictory to the key principles taught by Jesus and his brother, James, yet it has become the core principle upon which evangelical Christian theology is founded.
Note: * Extracts from Davis D. Danizier articles

Jesus Rebukes followers, not adhering to his teachings:

“For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.” [Matthew 13:15]
“But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand” [Matthew 7:26]
“And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. ‘And in vain they pay reverence [Greek sebomai sebomai, revere, worship, adore] to me as they teach doctrines of commandments of the sons of men.’ “Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.”  [Mark 7:6-10]
“For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.”[2 Corinthians 11:4]
John 14:23-24
Jesus answered him, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him. He who doesn’t love me doesn’t keep my words. The word which you hear isn’t mine, but the Father’s who sent me.
John 8:43-44
Why don’t you understand my speech? Because you can’t hear my word. You are of your father, the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and doesn’t stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks on his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Matthew 7:21-26:
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Master, Master ‘ [Greek:kurios, master, as a respectful title, Lord, sir] will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will tell me in that day, ‘Master, master didn’t we prophesy in your name, in your name cast out demons, and in your name do many mighty works?’ Then I will tell them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work iniquity.“Everyone therefore who hears these words of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house on a rock. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it didn’t fall, for it was founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of mine, and doesn’t do them will be like a foolish man, who built his house on the sand.
Please Leave false teachings of devil inspired Anti-Christ and follow the clear, unambiguous teachings of Jesus Christ still available in Gospels:
‘ Hear, Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord” [Mark; 12:29]
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“Let the people of the Gospel judge by what God has revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what God has revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel.” [Qur’an 5:47]
“Say: “O People of the Book [Jews and Christians]! come to common terms as between us and you: That we worship none but God; that we associate no partners with him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than God.” If then they turn back, say ye: “Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (bowing to God’s Will). “[Quran 3:64]
“Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the IGNORANT [foolish]” [QURAN 7:199]
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He has ordained for you of religion what He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus – to establish the religion and not be divided therein. Difficult for those who associate others with Allah is that to which you invite them. Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills and guides to Himself whoever turns back [to Him and they did not become divided until after knowledge had come them – out of jealous animosity between themselves. And if not for a word that preceded from your Lord [postponing the penalty] until a specified time, it would have been concluded between them. And indeed, those who were granted inheritance of the Scripture after them are, concerning it, in disquieting doubt.
So to that [religion of God] invite, [O Muhammad], and remain on a right course as you are commanded and do not follow their inclinations but say, “I have believed in what Allah has revealed of the Qur’an, and I have been commanded to do justice among you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord. For us are our deeds, and for you your deeds. There is no [need for] argument between us and you. Allah will bring us together, and to Him is the [final] destination.”
(Quran;42:13-15)
“How do you say, We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us? Lo, certainly he made it falsely; the pen of the scribes made it a lie.”[Jeremiah 8:8]. “Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write misfortune which they have prescribed; To turn aside the needy from justice, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!”[Isaiah 10:1-2]
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True Message of Jesus Christ   – The Kingdom of God:

The Kingdom of God (and its equivalent form Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew) is one of the key elements of the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament. Drawing on Old Testament teachings, the Christian characterization of the relationship between God and humanity inherently involves the notion of the “Kingship of God”. The Old Testament refers to “God the Judge of all” and the notion that all humans will eventually “be judged” is an essential element of Christian teachings. Building on a number of New Testament passages, the Nicene Creed [325 E.] indicates that the task of judgement is assigned to Jesus.
No overall agreement on the theological interpretation of “Kingdom of God” has emerged among scholars. Some scholars have interpreted it as a Christian lifestyle, some as a method of world evangelization, some as the rediscovery of charismatic gifts. Others relate it to no present or future earthly situation, but to the world to come. The interpretation of the phrase is often based on the theological leanings of the scholar-interpreter. A number of theological interpretations of the term Kingdom of God have thus appeared in its eschatological context, e.g., apocalyptic, realized or Inaugurated eschatologies, yet no overall consensus has emerged among scholars.
References for New Testament on Kingdom of God:

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Jesus commanded belief in that Gospel Message (Mark 1:14-15) in contrast to much modern evangelism which often ignores Jesus’ Message about the Kingdom of God:
Luke 4:43  But he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the Kingdom of God to the other cities also. For this reason I have been sent.”
Kingdom of God: Mt 6:33; Mr 1:14-15; Lu 4:43, “kingdom of Christ” (Mt 13:41; 20:21), “kingdom of Christ and of God” (Eph 5:5), “kingdom of David” (Mr 11:10), “the kingdom” (Mt 8:12; 13:19), “kingdom of heaven” (Mt 3:2; 4:17; 13:41)
Mark 1:14-15:  Now after John was taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Good News [Gospel] of the Kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand! Repent, and believe in the Good News [Gospel]”
The term “Kingdom of God” does not appear in the Old Testament, although “his Kingdom” and “your Kingdom” are used in some cases when referring to God. However, the Kingdom of God (the Matthean equivalent being “Kingdom of Heaven“) is a prominent phrase in the Synoptic Gospels and there is near unanimous agreement among scholars that it represents a key element of the teachings of Jesus.
Interpretations:
Historically, the Church Fathers presented three separate interpretations of the Kingdom of God: the first (due to Origen in the 3rd century) was that Jesus himself represents the Kingdom. The second interpretations (also by Origen) is that the Kingdom represents the hearts and minds of the faithful captured by the love of God and the pursuit of Christian teachings. The third interpretations (influenced by Origen but brought forth by Eusebius in the 4th century) is that the Kingdom represents the Christian Church composed of the faithful.

Over the centuries a wide range of theological interpretations for the term Kingdom of God have appeared. For instance, in Catholic teachings, the official declaration Dominus Iesus (item 5) states that the kingdom of God cannot be detached either from Christ or from the Church, for “if the kingdom is separated from Jesus, it is no longer the kingdom of God which he revealed.” Eastern Orthodox Christians believe that the Kingdom of God is present within the Church and is communicated to believers as it interacts with them. On the other hand, Jehovah’s Witnesses (who hold the kingdom of God as a central theme) believe that their door-to-door preaching is part of a “sign” before God’s kingdom destroys the world’s governments, to have God’s will done on earth.

In Islamic traditions Jesus Christ will return before end times, to prove that he is human not God, rule as just ruler under Quranic law, kill pigs, break the cross and convert Christians and Jews to the true faith of Islam. He shall die natural death as Muslim. This is fulfillment of his mission.

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Related:

God Need Not to Say, He is God:
Seen Me, Seen Father:
Thomas Said ‘My Lord My God’:
The Alpha and Omega:
Jesus asked to pray to him – John 14:14
The Pre-Existence of Christ- ‘I Am’:
One with God:
In the Beginning was the ‘Word’:
Logos:
Word’ As Command:
Son of God:
Expression: Son of God as Servant of God:
Son of Man & Son of God in New Testament:
Jesus Addressed as God, Father:
Metaphorical use of word ‘Father’ in Bible:
Jesus Addressed as Lord:
Jesus Called Rabbi:
Jesus Accepted Worship?
Jesus Preached to Worship only One God:
Jesus Performed Miracles
Jesus and The Prophesies of Isaiah:
Did Jesu preach Trinity & to Gentiles:
Did Jesus Claim to be God:  

Free-eBooks: http://goo.gl/2xpiv
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Trinity and Divinity of Jesus

The debate over the Trinity started relatively late in Christian history. It was not until the fourth century that many theologians and bishops began to argue over the identity of Christ. Many, who would not believe in the deity of Christ were burned as heretics and their souls damned by the Church. Even today those who deny the Trinity are considered heretical or involved in a cult. Many times they are told that they are not even saved because they deny the deity of Christ. It is no wonder that with so much social persecution very few people actually take the time to consider the doctrine of the Trinity and the implications that it carries.

Before looking to deeply into the Trinity it is crucial that we know what is implied when we use the term in Christian circles. Keep in mind that even today, just as in its formative years, there is much disagreement about the exact way that God manifests Himself, but here is the “official” Church position on the nature of God:
God is one “essence” who manifests Himself as three “persons”: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost. These three beings are all co-eternal, co-equal, and incomprehensible. They are all God and yet there are not three Gods but one God. Keep reading >>>>>
[ If link does not open change prefix url as:  http://bible-christianity.blogspot.com/   …. ]

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Jesus Son of God or not? Discussion

Felix Manalo
JESUS IS GOD.. A son of GOD…
He RISED from the DEAD only GOD can do that.. but MOHAMAD still dead and any other prophet
No scientist can find JESUS REMAIN thats enought evidence why? because we found Pharoah remains which exist before JESUS..
ARTIFACTS PROVE JESUS EXISTENCE
Exodus
1:11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and RAAMSES.
Is that HARD TO BELIEVE PEOPLE…
..
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1God3Faiths/permalink/704535929639651/

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This is a forum for understanding of Christianity, through Bible and teachings of Jesus Christ. It is well known that the Moses and Jesus Christ did not speak English or Greek, the present day English Bibles are translations of translations  by many unknown scribes during past hundred of years, while the original books of Bible are non extant. Analysis of the teachings of Jesus Christ as available in the four Gospels, does not directly support the doctrines of Christianity, which are based upon theology of Paul of Tarsus and later Church fathers. [Video]

Jesus Christ obeyed & worshiped One God and preached the same.

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So question arises;

What should be done by a simple person who believes in God, wants to obey Him,  seek eternal bliss and salvation?
Its very simple, if someone is seriously  sick, he/she shall search for a credible doctor and if any stage it is found that he is fake, unreliable, immediately treatment is discontinued, one looks for batter one. God has given us wisdom and intellect to discern truth from falsehood. We spend years in education and learning to earn livelihood and respectable life. We have to make some effort to discover and earn eternal life, blessings and spiritual peace.
Take a bath, wear clean cloths, sit down alone and pray to God: “O, God of the universe, You are the Creator, Cherishes of all, You are Gracious and Merciful, I want to follow the right path which is pleasing to You, please help me, guide me to the Truth. Amen.
  1. Free your mind of all your existing beliefs & ideas.
  2. If you are a Christian, take Red or Blue lettered Gospels”, pen , marker and papers. Start reading Gospels, slowly, gradually, take your time, don’t be in hurry.
  3. Underline, highlight, note down the teachings, sayings of Jesus Christ what he physically and openly preached to people and 12 disciples, not in “VISIONS or Dreams”. [Thomas Jefferson’s Experience]
  4. Discard what is not common in four Gospels. Critically examine it, accept what is clear, obvious your are near to the Truth, discard any belief which is ambiguous, not clearly , openly preached by Jesus Christ.
  5. Look around for people who you find practicing closer to the real teachings of Jesus Christ. Seek their assistance.
  6. Continue with your quest for Truth till you find it. Keep praying to God for His help. Onus lies with Him.
  7. Keep exploring, keep reading ………. This site will assist in this regards.

“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13)

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While the Basic concept of Bible remains monotheistic [Deuteronomy;6:4-5, Psalms;14:1, 116:5Job;23:8-9, Exodus; 9:14, 34:6-7, Psalms;, 2Samuel;7:22, Isaiah;46:5,9, Matthew;19:17-19, Mark;12:29-31, Romans;1:25]; some passages are interpreted to support Christian Church doctrines. One message is clear:
Jesus answered, “The greatest is, ‘Hear, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one: you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. The second is like this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.[Mark 12:29-31]

The Bible itself and the scholars agree that the present text is not as was originally revealed:
“How do you say, We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us? Lo, certainly he made it falsely; the pen of the scribes made it a lie.”[Jeremiah 8:8]. 
“Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write misfortune which they have prescribed; To turn aside the needy from justice, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!”[Isaiah 10:1-2]

Extracts from ‘Preface’ to RSV Bible approved by The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA reproduced below also confirms the same:
‘The King James Version of the New Testament was based upon a Greek text that was marred by mistakes, containing the accumulated errors of fourteen centuries of manuscript copying.’
‘Sometimes it is evident that the text has suffered in transmission, but none of the versions provides a satisfactory restoration.’
‘Yet the King James Version has grave defects. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the development of Biblical studies and the discovery of many manu­scripts more ancient than those upon which the King James Version was based, made it manifest that these defects are so many and so serious as to call for revision of the English translation.’  

‘Sometimes the present translation will be found to render a Hebrew word in a sense quite different from that of the traditional interpretation.’
‘Many difficulties and obscurities, of course, remain.’
‘We now possess many more ancient manuscripts of the New Testament, and are far better equipped to seek to recover the original wording of the Greek text’
 
The scholars are continuously trying to improve and to make the Biblical text as closer to the ‘visualised original’ as possible but the task is  not only arduous but impossible due to non existence of original scripts. Under these circumstances it is the individual responsibility to find out truth as Jesus Christ urged his followers to use the reason and intellect to discern the truth from falsehood:

“He also said to the multitudes, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat’; and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky; but why do you not know how to interpret the present time? “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?” [Luke;12:54-56]

It is aimed to facilitate efforts of knowledge seekers to discern the truth from falsehood with the intellectual use of available evidence with in Bible and history. Every one is entitled to his belief but one has to be sure that its based upon the real teachings not derived human work, which may result in everlasting doom & destruction:
“The soul that sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. But if a wicked man turns away from all his sins which he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die.”(Ezekiel;18:20-21)
“The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.” (Deuteronomy 24:16, 2Kings 14:6)
“In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children’s teeth are set on edge. But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.” (Jeremiah 31:29-30)
“Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.” (Isaiah 3:10-11)
“For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” (Matthew 16:27 )

There may be some other verses with conflicting meanings, in such a situation one has to apply his/her intellect to discern truth from false in the light of saying of Jesus Christ; “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?” [Luke;12:56]. Remember;“God is not the author of confusion…” (1 Corinthians 14:33). It is simple and logical that a son can not be punished for the crime of his father or any one else, so any doctrine which deviates from the simple logic and clear Biblical text does not stand up to the criteria.
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Conclusion
How do you say, We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us? Lo, certainly he made it falsely; the pen of the scribes made it a lie [Jeremiah 8:8]
Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write misfortune which they have prescribed; To turn aside the needy from justice, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless! [Isaiah 10:1-2]
So question arises that:
What should be done by a simple person who believes in God, wants to obey Him,  seek eternal bliss and salvation?
Its very simple, if someone is seriously  sick, he/she shall search for a credible doctor and if any stage it is found that he is fake, unreliable, immediately treatment is discontinued, one looks for batter one. God has given us wisdom and intellect to discern truth from falsehood. We spend years in education and learning to earn livelihood and respectable life. We have to make some effort to discover and earn eternal life, blessings and spiritual peace.
Take a bath, wear clean cloths, sit down alone and pray to God: “O, God of the universe, You are the Creator, Cherishes of all, You are Gracious and Merciful, I want to follow the right path which is pleasing to You, please help me, guide me to the Truth. Amen.
  1. Free your mind of all your existing beliefs & ideas.
  2. If you are a Christian, take Red or Blue lettered Gospels”, pen , marker and papers. Start reading Gospels, slowly, gradually, take your time, don’t be in hurry.
  3. Underline, highlight, note down the teachings, sayings of Jesus Christ what he physically and openly preached to people and 12 disciples, not in “VISIONS or Dreams”. [Thomas Jefferson’s Experience]
  4. Discard what is not common in four Gospels. Critically examine it, accept what is clear, obvious your are near to the Truth, discard any belief which is ambiguous, not clearly , openly preached by Jesus Christ.
  5. Look around for people who you find practicing closer to the real teachings of Jesus Christ. Seek their assistance.
  6. Continue with your quest for Truth till you find it. Keep praying to God for His help. Onus lies with Him.
  7. Keep exploring, keep reading ………. This site will assist in this regards.
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Why Monotheists be interested in Christianity and Bible? 


The three monotheistic religions, Jews, Christians & Muslims are linked  through the common ancestor and spiritual father of these great faiths, Abraham, the great monotheist. Muslims, also believe in the Biblical prophets and revelations to them from God hence closer to Jews and Christians. While Jews don’t believe in Jesus Christ, the Muslims revere Jesus Christ as a great prophet and messenger of God. While there are many differences, the main difference is the Christian doctrine of Trinity which according to many Biblical scholars is extra biblical.
However the least they can do is to to believe in Just One God, [not Trinity] the concept, always followed by Christians in varying numbers during last 2000 years, the number growing now. This may save them form idolatry, polytheism, the great unforgivable sin according to Bible (Exodus 34:14 ; Isaiah 2:8,
1Sa 15:23, Mt 6:24; Lu 16:13; Col 3:5; Eph 5:5, Acts 10:25 Acts 10:26, Revelation 22:8, 22:9) and Quran. Even seven laws of Noah which according to Jews if followed by gentiles are enough for their salvation, they include this great sin of worshipping any one beside God.(see Quran;4:116)
This site may help to follow the true teachings of Jesus Christ centred on obedience and worship of God. 
Explore more  about CHRIST & CHRISTIANITY: http://flip.it/0kFbY  
View my Flipboard Magazine.

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Trinity & Divinity of Jesus Chrsit- Fifty Articles

front_cover_10_26_lores
Articles condensed from book “The Restitution of Jesus Christ”

These articles are authored by Servetus the Evangelical, a.k.a. Kermit Zarley. Visit his website–http://ServetusTheEvangelical.com to read these articles. They represent condensations of his well-researched, biblically in-depth, 600-page book entitled The Restitution of Jesus Christ (2008).

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God of Christians, Muslims & Jews: http://faithforum.wordpress.com/2009/11/25/god-of-muslims-and-christians/

Does Bible Declares There is just One God or Three in One?

Bible declares One God:

1.Deut. 4:35–The Lord He is God, there is none else beside Him.
2.Deut. 6:4–There is none else.
3.Deut. 32:39–I, even I an He, and there is no God with me.
4.1 Sam. 2:2–None Holy as the Lord, None beside Thee.
5.2 Sam. 7:22–None like Thee–None beside Thee.
6.1 Kings 8:60–The Lord is God–There is none else.
7.2 Kings 19:15–Thou are even God even thou alone.
8.2 Kings 19:19–Thou art the Lord even Thou Only.
9.Psalms 86:10–Thou art God alone.
10.Ecc.4:
8 There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother
11.Isaiah 40:25–To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.
12.Isaiah 42:8–I am the Lord, and My glory will I not give to another.
13.Isaiah 43:10-11–Before me there was no God formed neither shall there be after me, I even, I, am the Lord; and beside Me there is no Savior.
14.Isaiah 44:6–I am the first and the last and beside me there is no God.
15.Rev. 1:11–(Jesus) Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last.
16.Isaiah 44:8–Is there a God beside me? There is no God, I know not any.
17.Isaiah 45:5–I am the Lord and there is none else. There is no God beside me.
18.Isaiah 45:6–There is none beside Me. I am the Lord and there is None Else.
19.Isaiah 45:15–Thou art a God that hideth thyself O God of Israel, the Savior (Jesus).
20.Isaiah 45:18–I am the Lord; and there is none Else.
21.Isaiah 45:21–There is no God else beside Me; a just God and a Savior; there is none beside Me.
22.Isaiah 45:22–Look unto Me, and be ye saved, for I am God and there is None Else;
23.Isaiah 46:9–For I am God, and there is None Else; there is none like Me.
24.Isaiah 48:11–I will not give my glory unto another (Isaiah 45:5).
25.Isaiah 48:12–I am He; I am First, I also am the last (Rev. 1:8)
26.Hosea 13:4–Thou shalt know no God but Me; for there is no SAVIOUR beside me. (Matthew 1:21).
27.Joel 2:27–I am the Lord, your God, and None Else.
28.Zech. 14:9 In that day shall there be ONE LORD, and HIS NAME ONE.
29.Phil. 2:11–Every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is LORD to the glory of God the Father.
30.Malachi 2:10–Have we not all ONE FATHER? Hath not ONE GOD created us?
31.Malachi 3:16–A book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord and thought upon His NAME.
32.Matt. 23:9–ONE is your FATHER.
33.Mark 12:29–Jesus says, “The Lord our God is ONE LORD.”
34.Mark 12:32–The Scribes said, “There is one God and there is none other but He.”
35.John 8:41–We have One Father even God.
36.Romans 3:29-30–God of the Gentiles and God of the Jews, seeing it is ONE GOD.
37.I Cor. 8:4–There is none other God but One.
38.I Cor. 8:6–But to us there is but One God, the Father.
39.Gal. 3:20–God is One.
40.Eph. 4:5–One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.
41.Eph. 4:6–One God and Father of ALL, who is above all, and through all and in you all.
42.I Tim. 2:5–For there is one God.
43.James 2:19–Thou believest that there is one God, thou doest well.
44.Isaiah 44:24–Thus saith the Lord thy redeemer and He that formed thee, I am the Lord that maketh all things that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by Myself.
45.Matt. 4:10–Thou shalt worship the Lord, thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.

Mark 12:29-30–The Lord our God is one Lord; and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength; this is the first commandment.   

Verses from Bible used to support Trinity – Three in 1 God:
The following are clear explanations of the verses in the Bible that Trinitarians have sometimes used in attempts to “prove” the Trinity and to substantiate that Jesus is God. Since there are an overwhelming number of very clear verses about Jesus Christ’s identity and his distinction from God, and since God’s Word has no contradictions, these comparatively few verses must fit with the many clear verses, and they do. [ From: http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/verses ]


Old Testament

New Testament

Source:  http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/verses


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What is the Difference Between “Lord,” “lord” and “LORD”?

The following information is vital for clear understanding of Scripture and the all-important issue about who God is and who Jesus is in relation to God. The divine name YHWH (probably pronounced Yahweh) is commonly referred to as the tetragrammaton (four-letter word). Bible translators adopted the practice used in most English versions of rendering that name as “LORD” in all capital letters (nearly 7,000 times in our Old Testament). This was to distinguish it from Adonai, another Hebrew word rendered “Lord” (capital L and lower-case letters o-r-d). Adonai means “Lord God,” “the supreme Lord,” and is a synonym for the divine name YHVH. Wherever the two names stand together in the Old Testament as a compound name for God, they can be rendered “Sovereign Lord,” i.e. Lord God, Adonai YHVH (occasionally YHVH Adonai).
The name YHVH was introduced, it appears, to Moses, but was not known to Abraham and others living before Moses: “As God the Almighty [El Shaddai] I appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but my name, LORD (YHVH), I did not make known to them” (Exod. 6:3).
For those reading the Greek, the LXX (= Septuagint, translation by Jews from 300 BC of the Hebrew into Greek):
Greek

“And I appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as their God, and my name LORD I did not reveal to them.”
Some of our readers will enjoy the Hebrew of the same verse:
hebrew
Now notice the Latin translation, the Vulgate, and observe carefully how Jerome the translator knew about the word Adonai (the supreme Lord) in the 4th century: “Qui apparui Abraham Isaac et Iacob in Deo omnipotente et nomen meum Adonai non indicavi eis.’
The essential lesson to be remembered is that the Son of God, Jesus is not YHVH! He is YHVH’s uniquely fathered, generated Son, brought into existence by miracle in Mary (Luke 1:35; Matt. 1:18, 20: Note, “begotten, fathered in her”). God became the Father of Jesus, the Son at that moment.
Paul summarized, late in his ministry, the essential Christian creed. This verse should be conscientiously memorized by all believers: “There is one mediator between God and human beings, a human, the Messiah Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5). All translations are correct here.
The God of the Hebrew Bible is the same God of the New Testament. He is both the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and also the God and Father of Jesus Christ:

“For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile: The same Lord is Lord of all” (Rom. 10:12).
“God is the God of Jews and Gentiles” (Rom. 3:29).

Now the story becomes very fascinating, as we investigate the Bible as a sort of “crime scene.” The rules of capitalization agreed to by most English translations have been violated in one highly significant verse, Psalm 110:1, more often quoted in the New Testament than any other verse and cited by Jesus to silence all argument (Matt. 22:41-46). We introduce the subject with this title:
What Is in a Vowel Point? The Difference Between God and Man
We want now to introduce you to the all-important word adoni (pronounced “adonee”) (not Adonai, Lord God, but lord, master). Professor Larry Hurtado, celebrated author of a classic on Christology: “There is no question but that the terms ADONAI and adoni function differently. The one (ADONAI) a reverent way of avoiding pronouncing the word YHVH and the other (ADONI), the use of the same word [but a different vowel at the end] for non-divine (=non-Deity) figures.”[1]
Hard Facts on the Title for Christ (adoni, my lord, not Adonai, Lord God) in Psalm 110:1
[My explanation for English readers is in square brackets. See further the appendix in our Who is Jesus? booklet, free in various languages at our site restorationfellowship.org]
Here is the truth about Psalm 110:1, the NT’s master key text, from the entry “Lord” in Whittaker Revised Brown Driver Briggs (standard lexicon of biblical Hebrew used by all scholars). Strong’s Concordance will not show you this critically important distinction.
[Psalm 110:1: “The LORD (YHVH) says to my lord (adoni)…” pronounced “adonee” = my lord, never a divine title.]
Here we have the biblical usage of the all important title adoni. It has these meanings:

1. singular. lord, master
With suffix of 1st person singular [adoni, my lord, Ps. 110:1, 195 times in OT]

(1) ref. to men: my lord, my master

(a) master
(b) husband

The Hebrew adoni (“my lord”) is wrongly capitalized in Psalm 110:1 in many versions but not in RSV, NRSV, NEB, JPS, etc. In other words most translations put a capital L on the second lord in Psalm 110:1. This misleads the reader into believing that the second lord is Adonai, the title for the supreme Lord God! In fact the word is adoni(“adonee”), a title which in all 195 occurrences never refers to God, but always to a human superior, occasionally a created angel.
Jesus the Son is the supreme human lord, not God.
This title (adoni, my lord) is the Messianic title par excellence for Jesus as the lord Messiah (Luke 2:11). Luke also calls Jesus the Lord’s Messiah (Yahweh’s Messiah: Luke 2:26). Elizabeth was visited by Mary, the mother of “my lord” (Luke 1:43). She was not visited by God, but by the lord Messiah (Luke 2:11).
“Our lord David” (1 Kings 1:11, etc.) provides the model for the final David’s title, as “our/my lord Jesus Christ” (hundreds of times the proper title for Jesus, the lord Messiah). Jesus is the lord King Messiah. Our/ my lord Jesus Christ.
A professor at Dallas Theological Seminary kindly agreed to change the confusing misinformation in their Bible Knowledge Commentary which reported wrongly the second lord of Psalm 110:1 as Adonai! The word there is adoni.
Paula Frederiksen, Professor of Religious Studies at Boston University, mistakenly and inadvertently reported the second lord of Psalm 110:1 as Adonai, and I suggested that the mistake be changed. She graciously wrote, “Thanks so much for pointing out the error in my reference to Adonai in Ps. 110:1. I grabbed my Tanach [OT] and you are right — the word is adoni, not adonai. We all need each other!”
The supreme importance of Psalm 110:1 has been noted by today’s leading scholar on Christology, Dr. James Dunn:
“The affirmation of Jesus’ lordship is one which we can trace back at least to the earliest days of Christian reflection on Christ’s resurrection. One of the Scriptures which quickly became luminous for the first believers was evidently Ps. 110:1. The first Christians now knew who ‘my lord’ was who was thus addressed by the Lord God. It could only be Messiah Jesus. The text was clearly in mind in several Pauline passages.”[2]
Dunn on 1 Corinthians 8:4-6: “In direct opposition to the tolerant pluralism of Hellenism, Paul affirms, ‘But for us there is one lord Jesus Christ.’ For Paul the risen Christ was simply ‘the Lord’ and he was personally convinced that eventually his lordship would be acknowledged by all. As 1 Cor. 8:5-6 itself implies this was an expression not so much of intolerance as of belief in the uniqueness of Christ, and a corollary of the equivalent uncompromising Jewish monotheism. Jesus is the one Lord just as, and indeed because, God is the one God” (p. 248).
James Dunn:“Should we then say that Jesus was confessed as GOD from the earliest days in Hellenistic Christianity? That would be to claim too much.
“1. The emergence of a confession of Jesus in terms of divinity was largely facilitated by the emergence of Ps. 110:1 from very early on (most clearly in Mark 12:36; Acts 2:34; 1 Cor. 15:25; Heb. 1:13). ‘The Lord says to my lord…’ Its importance lies here in the double use of kurios [lord]. The one is clearly Yahweh, but who is the other? [Note two subjects, two individuals.] Clearly not Yahweh, but an exalted being whom the Psalmist calls kurios [lord].
“2. Paul calls Jesus kurios, but he seems to have marked reservations about actually calling him ‘God.’ (Rom. 9:5 is the only candidate within the main Pauline corpus, and even there the text is unclear.) Similarly he refrains from praying to Jesus. More typical of his attitude is that he prays to GOD through Jesus (Rom. 1:8; 7:25; 2 Cor. 1:20; Col. 3:17). [Paul does give thanks to Jesus, too (I Tim. 1:12)]
“3. ‘Jesus is Lord’ is only part of a fuller confession for Paul. For at the same time as he affirms Jesus as ‘Lord,’ he also affirms ‘God is one’ (1 Cor. 8:5-6; Eph. 4:5-6). Here Christianity shows itself as a developed form of Judaism, with its monotheistic confession as one of the most important parts of its Jewish inheritance; for in Judaism the most fundamental confession is ‘God is one.’ ‘There is only one God’ (Deut. 6:4). Hence also Rom. 3:30; Gal. 3:20; 1 Tim. 2:5 (cp. James 2:19). Within Palestine and the Jewish mission such an affirmation would have been unnecessary — Jews and Christians shared a belief in God’s oneness [not a Trinity!]. But in the Gentile mission this Jewish presupposition within Christianity would have emerged into prominence, in face of the wider belief in ‘gods many.’ The point for us to note is that Paul can hail Jesus as Lord not in order to identify him with God, but rather if anything to distinguish him from the One God (cp. particularly 1 Cor. 15:24-28). So too Jesus’ Lordship could be expressed in cosmic dimensions without posing too many problems to monotheism, since Wisdom speculations provided a ready and appropriate terminology (particularly 1 Cor. 8:6, Col. 1:15-20; Heb. 1:3ff).”[3]
“So far as we can now tell, Jesus thought of himself as Wisdom’s messenger — a self-understanding reflected particularly in Matt. 11:25-27; Luke 7:31-35; 11:49-51. That is to say, there is no evidence that Jesus thought of himself as preexistent Wisdom and nothing in the traditions of Q and Mark which implies that the thought of preexistence was present either to Jesus or Mark. The idea of preexistence first entered by way of implication with identification of Christ with Wisdom herself…
[In post-biblical times, preexistence in God’s plan was turned into a literal preexistence of a second Person in the Godhead, thus violating the creed of Jesus, Mark 12:29, agreed with a fellow Jew.]
“Now here we must recall that within Judaism Wisdom was only a way of speaking about God’s action in creation, revelation and redemption without actually speaking about God. Wisdom, like the name of God, the spirit of God, the logos (word) of God denotes the immanent [present with us humans] activity of God, without detracting from God’s wholly other transcendence. For pre-Christian Judaism Wisdom was neither an inferior heavenly being (one of the heavenly council) nor a divine hypostasis [=person] (as in the later Trinitarian conception of God). Such a development would have been (and in the event was) unacceptable to Judaism’s strict monotheism [and to the monotheism of Jesus!]. Wisdom in fact is no more than personification of God’s immanence, no more to be regarded as a distinct person within the Godhead than the rabbinic concept or talk of a preexistent Torah.
“The probability then is that Paul in applying Wisdom language to Christ is in effect saying: that which you have hitherto ascribed to Wisdom [or Torah or word], we see most fully expressed and embodied in Christ; that same power and wisdom you recognize to be manifested in God’s creative, revelatory and redemptive purpose, we now see manifested finally and exclusively in Jesus Christ our Lord. [Note in connection with the ‘charismatic’ debate that critics of some ‘charismata’ are rightly unimpressed when they are asked to believe that Jesus Christ is present, when only ‘power’ and not wisdom and revealed Truth are present!]…This is the reason Paul never used the word Jesus alone for the preexistent one. Jesus was not himself preexistent, he was the man that preexistent Wisdom became” (p. 221).
“Paul does not yet understand the risen Christ as the object of worship; he is the theme of worship…Even the title Lord becomes a way of distinguishing Jesus from God rather than identifying him with God (Rom. 15:6; 1 Cor. 8:6; 15:24-28; 2 Cor. 1:3, 11:31; Eph. 1:3, 17; Phil. 2:11; Col 1:3. Paul was and remained a monotheist” (p. 226). [Jesus and Paul were unitary, not Trinitarian monotheists.]
Professor Biggs: “The Apostles did not identify Jesus with Yahweh. Ps. 110:1 prevented this” (Regius Prof. of Ecclesiastical History, Oxford).[4]
Echad means one and not two…The words of the Shema take for granted that Yahweh is unique, the Only God (Ecc. 4:8)” (Prof. A.F. Knight, Expository Times).
Did not Jesus command us to accept this creed as the basis of obedient faith? Jesus was not a Trinitarian, so why are you?
“From Justin Martyr to the Council of Nicea, Christians generally built up their interpretations in accord with patterns established in the earlier period. They went beyond the writings of the NT age, principally in two respects: in applying the entire psalm to Jesus and in arguing explicitly for his divinity [Deity] on the basis of its first and third verses” (Dr. Hay, formerly prof. at Princeton, Glory at the Right Hand: Psalm 110 in Early Christian Interpretation, p. 51). [It was, however, proper to apply the whole psalm to Jesus, as the NT does]
Professor Bateman of Dallas Theological Seminary maintained in an article “Psalm 110:1 in the New Testament” (Bibliotheca Sacra, Oct. 1992) that Psalm 110:1 really could not refer to Jesus since (as Bateman thought) Jesus is God and adoni (my lord, not Lord) never means God. Bateman says “the form ‘to my lord’ is never used elsewhere in the Old Testament as a divine reference.” He presents a strong case for his position, stating that 94% of the 168 (actually 195) occurrences of the forms of adoni apply to earthly lords, with the remaining occurrences being “when Joshua, Gideon, Daniel, and Zechariah addressed an angelic being as ‘my lord.’”[5]
I note this:
The text in Psalm 110:1 is absolutely secure. There are no manuscript variations. L’adoni means “to my lord.”
There are 195 samples of adoni (my lord). These include “my lord” (162 times), “against my lord” (twice), “and my lord” (6 times), “from my lord” (once) and “to/for my lord” (24 times). Total: 195 times.
L’adoni, “to my lord,” appears 24 times. These are found in Genesis, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 1 Chronicles and Psalms (110:1). L’adoni is properly translated in our versions, with a lower-case letter on lord, as:

“to my master Abraham” (l’adoni)
“to my lord Esau” (l’adoni)
“to our lord” (Joseph) (l’adoni)
David says to Saul: “to my lord [l’adoni], the LORD’s anointed.”
Abigail says to David: “for my lord [l’adoni] who is fighting the LORD’s battles.”
Abigail says, “The LORD shall do for my lord [l’adoni] David.”
Abigail says, “The LORD will do well for my lord [l’adoni] David.”

Joab says, “May the LORD add to His people a 100 times as many as they are. But my lord king [adoni, David], are they not all my lord’s [adoni] servants? Why does my lord [adoni, David] seek this thing?”
David says, “The LORD said to my lord [l’adoni]” (Messiah, Ps. 110:1).
The phrase l’adoni (to my lord) is contrasted with the one LORD YHVH/Kurios both in the Hebrew and in the Greek Septuagint translation from the third century BC. Because l’adoni is rendered in Greek as to kurio mou — to my lord — we have the clearest confirmation that the vowel points are entirely accurate in our Masoretic text. (The vowel points were added in the Hebrew from around 600 AD.) In other words both the LXX (Septuagint, Greek version of the OT) and the NT Scripture translate the l’adoni of Psalm 110:1 as to kurio mou, “to my lord.”
Thus we have testimony from BC times plus the inspired New Testament that the vowel points for adoni have not been altered. There is no basis at all for questioning the accuracy of the Bible at this point.
It is utterly impossible that Psalm 110:1 could ever have read “The LORD (Yahweh) said to Adonai (the Lord God)”!! Kurios mou in Greek corresponds to “my lord” and adoni is never a title of Deity.
Psalm 110:1 is the master Christological key to the New Testament. The original meaning of “lord” here has been either ignored by commentators (including Dr. Bauckham who thinks that the Shema was split and divided between God and Jesus) or corrupted in many translations by placing a capital letter on the second lord, which according to the practice of the translations would misleadingly tell you that the word there is Adonai, which it is not. The NASB (edition of 1996) in its margin at Acts 2:34 misreports the facts of the Hebrew text and says that the Hebrew word for “my lord” was Adonai, the Lord God. Adonai is the Lord God in all 449 occurrences. The word as we know, in Ps. 110:1 is not in fact Adonai but adoni, a mere difference between God and man!
I wrote to “the dean” of evangelical scholarship, Dr Howard Marshall:
“Professor Marshall, may I please venture a comment on your interesting discussion of the all-important Christological testimonium from Psalm 110:1. On p. 204 of Jesus the Savior you note the crucial difference between Adonai, the divine title, and adoni, the exclusively human title (195 times). You say that the confusion of the two lords is avoided in the printed versions of the OT which use ‘lord’ both times and print the first lord in caps, LORD for YHVH.
“The problem is that most (not RV, RSV and NRSV) print the second lord with initial capital Lord. Now that form of printing, with capital, belongs in every other case to the Hebrew Adonai, the substitute divine title. This leaves the reader with the false impression that Adonai and not adoni is the word in the original. Thus in many commentaries and some books (even commentaries such as the Dallas Seminary commentary) it is confidently asserted that the Messiah is defined in the Psalm as Adonai, and that is proof of his Deity. The facts here presented in the Psalm, however, place the Messiah in a superior human, royal Messianic category. It is in that sense that the NT recognizes Jesus as Lord (cp. Luke 2:11) and Mary as ‘the mother of my lord’ (Luke 1:43).
“Would it be fair to add that the LXX version shows the difference properly by rendering l’Adonai (to the Lord God) as to kurio whereas l’adoni (to my lord) comes over in the Greek as to kurio mou, ‘to my lord’?
“I feel that this Psalm and the careful distinction it displays is only now beginning to get the careful attention it deserves.”
Dr. Marshall replied graciously:
“Dear Anthony, I agree with what you say about Psalm 110:1. The LXX is translating correctly…The use of the Psalm does not identify Jesus as Adonai.” — Dr. Howard Marshall
Psalm 110:1 is the backbone of New Testament revelation about God and His one Messiah, Jesus. It is the New Testament Greek which confirms and endorses the Hebrew text of the Old Testament.
“The oracle of YHVH to adoni” (my lord, not Lord!). When translated into Greek in BC times, this came out as the oracle of Kurios (YHVH) to my lord (adoni). The New Testament follows the Septuagint here and confirms the Hebrew. There is a huge difference in meaning between LORD GOD and adoni, my lord. My lord is the Messiah, not God.
It is a worldwide theological disaster to confuse the unique, unmatched position of the God of the Bible, of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and of Jesus, and thus of Christians. It would be a calamity to suggest that GOD was speaking to GOD! This would immediately signal two GODS, two YAHWEHs. That is not monotheism and is condemned from one end of Scripture to the other.

[1] From personal correspondence, June 24th, 2000.

[2] The Theology of Paul, Eerdmans, 1998, p. 246.
[3] Unity and Diversity in the New Testament, SCM Press, 1990, p. 53, emphasis his.

[4] International Critical Commentary, 1 Pet., 1910, p.99.
[5] Barry Davis, “Is Psalm 110:1 a Messianic Psalm?” (Bibliotheca Sacra, April-June, 2000).
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Is Elohim, a plural or single God?

“It is as dangerous to get it [the Trinity] wrong as it is difficult to get it right.” — Morgridge
“At the Trinity reason stands aghast and faith itse lf is half confounded.” — Bishop Hurd “
Nothing to support the dogma [of the Trinity] can be pointed out in cripture.” — Luther

The Importance of Our Topic At present the world is deeply divided over who Godis. Millions of Jews and over a billion Muslims are a like repelled by the historic Christian doctrine that God is three in one. As long as that central tenet is maintained it fosters a religious hostility between peoples of the world faiths. Our difficulties as a human race are firstly theological. We are hopelessly disunited on the issue of who God is. Collectively we do not know how to define God. Thus we do not know which God to serve. And we have apparently forgotten that Jesus was a Jew reciting, as his most precious doctrine, the Shema: “Hear O Israel the Lord our God is One Lord” (reading the Greek LXX of Deut. 6:4, cp. Mark 12:28ff), which as everyone should know is a unitarian creed .

At stake is the central question of obeying and following the teaching of Jesus. If our God is not the God of the Hebrew Bible, of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and of Jesus himself, are we floundering in the chaos of polytheism? It is at least worthwhile to explore that threatening possibility. In so doing we may be able to confirm our salvation and rejoice in the truth as Jesus taught it. No considerations of party loyalty, “what we have always believed,” “what my church says,” or fear of standing alone should deter us for one second from the Berean exercise to which we are all committed (Acts 17:11). God is to be worshiped, Jesus said, “in spirit and truth.” Error can only obstruct our relationship with God. Confusion over who God is inevitably reaps a reward of confusion and debilitation in our lives, which are strong only in so far as truth is their dynamic foundation. Jesus was not kidding when he warned that understanding the Lord our God as one single Lord is the proper basis for our theological and Christian lives and witness (Mark 12:28-34; John 4:24).

Now consider the current situation, as tradition has bequeathed it to us. “Distinguished but undivided, bound together in therness,  one in three : that is the Godhead and the three are one ” (Credo of Gregory of Nazianzus, AD 381). This language is still heard in Roman Catholic liturgy. It presides over evangelical churches of all sorts.
Thus Hans Kung has spoken of “the unbiblical, very abstractly constructed speculation of the Roman Catholic treatises” and “the
Hellenization of the Christian primordial message by Greek theology.” He expresses “the genuine concern of many Christians and the justified frustration of Jews and Muslims in trying to find in such formulas the pure faith in one God.”
Amen! Claus Westerman said, “The question of relationships of the persons in the Trinity to one an other and the question of the divinity and humanity in the person of Christ as a question of ontic [having to do with ‘essence’] relationships could only arise When the Old Testament had lost its significance for the early church. The Christological and Trinitarian questions structurally correspond to the mythological questions into relationships of the gods to one another in a pantheon.”
Is anyone alarmed, or is the status quo to continue without a batting of the eyelids? When did intelligent evangelicals last inspect the “books” of their churc Does the creed definitely reflect a creed which Jesus could have wholeheartedly approved and poclaimed?

A Mother of Muddles: A Confusion over the Bible’s Word for God One does not have to advance very far into Scripture to arrive at the word God, with a capital G (although in the original there are no capitals as distinct from lower case). “In the beginning God created… ” We confront here the Hebrew word Elohim followed by a verb which is singular (“he,” not “they” created). In G.T. Armstrong’s paperback of 1977, The Real Jesus, the author announces that “it is time you met the real Jesus” (p. 1). Armstrong investigates the birth narratives. After a spirited description of the human being, Jesus of Nazareth, we learn that the Creator, obviously here not Jesus but the Father, was announcing the birth of His Son through three different groups of individuals. Surprisingly, the visitation of Gabriel to Mary declaring the basis on which Jesus might be called Son of God , that is, by the procreating activity of the Father (Luke 1:35; Matt. 1:18, 20), is completely bypassed in Ted Armstrong’s account. We are immediately, however, plunged into a chapter entitled “Jesus the Creator — His Former Life.” Jesus in his former life, we are told, had spoken to Abraham in Genesis 18. Jesus, said Mr. Armstrong, was not understood by his opponents when he spoke of Abraham having looked forward to his appearance (p.14). “Jesus was thinking in another dimension — the full knowledge and awareness of who and what he was, of his spiritual background and timelessness.” Armstrong then moves from Abraham to John 1:1: “There are two other important Scriptures relative to Christ’s preexistence: ‘In the beginning God created…’ (Gen. 1:1) and ‘In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.’”

Now I do not wish in any way to come over as “smart” or condemning, but what follows in The  Jesus sets out a whole theology which has had dramatic consequences for the education and spiritual journeys of countless thousands of people over some 70 years. G.T.Armstrong says: “The Hebrew word for God is Elohim.

It is an interesting word with a plural form (the –im ending).” “A little research,” says Mr. Armstrong, “demonstrates that Elohim can indicate more than one person ; and can be taken to mean a family of persons.”
Our author goes on: “Elohim means more than one and while not necessarily limiting the number, many other texts prove there was the Father (whom no man has ever seen at any time) and the Son. Therefore in our modern English language, the beginning text of the Bible would be more understandable if it were written thus: ‘In beginning the family of God, consisting of the Father and the Son, created the heaven and the earth.’”
Presumably it would follow that the thousands of appearances of that same word Elohim in the Hebrew Bible are likewise, ccording to the Armstrong scheme, mistranslated, and really mean “the one God-Family.
The proposal is surely a momentous one setting the standard for an entire theology. At the same time this proposal claims to correct all the standard translations of Scripture. Was G.T. Armstrong equipped to instruct the entire modern academy of  theology? Would not common sense itself suggest otherwise? The die is now cast. We are launched, I think, into polytheism, based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the facts of the Hebrew language — the use of the word Elohim.

I would invite you to pause and reflect on what is happening here. Let us ask this question: Since the Bible was translated into English from Hebrew and Greek in hundreds and hundreds of translations into hundreds and hundreds of languages, has any single translator or committee of scholars who rendered the sacred text from the Hebrew, at any time, proposed or sanctioned that translation, which our author, who would claim no specialist training in language modern or ancient, offers us: “In the beginning the family of God, Father and Son, created the heavens and the earth”?

Armstrong goes on: “The Hebrew word elohim in Genesis 1:1 means that there was more than one member of the God family involved in the creating… The Word of John 1 was the executive member of the Godhead of whom the Bible says all things were made by him. Perhaps the clearest description absolutely proving that the Jesus Christ of the New Testament was the same
Being who was the Eternal Creator of the Old Testament, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is Colossians 1:16…
The Bible clearly shows, without any interpretation or exegesis, that the creator being who is called ‘God’ (Elohim or Yahweh) in the Old Testament is the same individual who became the Jesus Christ of the New Testament…The personage who emptied himself and became flesh, born of the virgin Mary to become the baby Jesus in Bethlehem was the same individual who created Adam, who saved Noah, who appeared to Abraham. He was the same personality of the Godhead or God family who wrote the 10 commandments and ruled Israel. The Bible absolutely proves the fact that Jesus Christ of the NT is the same person as the God of the OT” (p. 18, emphasis added).

If we now review the information presented in The Real Jesus, we have been told that:

1) Elohim is plural in meaning
2) It means the Family of God
3) It means one member of that family, the one who became Jesus.

There are a number of serious problems with these declarations. If Elohim is plural in meaning then it should always be translated Gods. In this case it would refer to two or more Gods. A word cannot mean both God and Family. This would be to assign two completely different meanings to the same word. If the Bible wanted to speak of the Family of God it could do this quite easily, a s for example the “family of David,” “family of Egypt.” There is a perfectly good Hebrew word for family, but the Creator is nowhere said to be a Family of Persons. However, if Elohim means “family,” and yet is a plural word, why should it not be rendered “families”? And if it means in Genesis 1:1 “Gods,” or Family of God, how can it also refer to one single member of that family, Jesus Christ?

A number of more serious problems arise on these premises: If Elohim is plural and thus mean Gods then what is the significance of the singular verb following (“he [not they] created”)? We would have to translat e, “In the beginning Gods, he created” or “
Gods was the creator.” We are rapidly reducing the sacred text to nonsense.
Have readers who were once persuaded by the Armstrongs realized that they may have been induced into reading and speaking and even teaching nonsense as biblical truth? Did not many invest their precious earnings in support of this brand of “theology”?

What we are seeing here is a highly problematic shifting of definitions, which in every other field would be detected and recognized as a form of confusion and deception. What Mr. Armstrong presents is a grammatical method in which all sorts of grammatical laws, rules and definitions are thrown aside. Dictionaries and lexicons are discarded as unnecessary and imagination is given free rein. A kind of mystical grammatical category is created by which an innocent word like Elohim has taken on a speculative new dimension, allowing this disaster: that precious monotheism is undermined — and the evidence of standard lexicons and commentaries is allowed no place.

Moreover, the Jewish understanding of God (remembering that the sacred oracles were committed to Jews) is arbitrarily and amateurishly overthrown. If Elohim is really plural in meaning in Genesis 1:1, then it should be translated “In the beginning GODS —he created the heavens and earth.”
Unfortunately, it is by changing, or interchanging, the meaning of words, without notice, that a major piece of disinformation can be created, and millions taken in (both dollars and persons!).
Firstly, then, Elohim cannot mean at the same time in Genesis 1:1 three different things:
1) Gods,
2) Family God and
3) One member of that Family.

“Gods” is of course plural, family is a singular word and one member of the family is also singular. To ask the same word in Genesis 1:1 to have all three definitions is utterly impossible. “God” and “family” are quite distinct ideas and cannot possibly be covered by the one term Elohim.
Now one could argue that Elohim is a collective noun, like team, family, committee. But in that case it is not plural — not like teams, families or committees. A collective noun denotes a collection of persons, places or things regarded as one (flock, forest, crowd, committee, jury, class, herd, covey, legislature, battalion, squad, and squadron). The objects collected into one term have some characteristics in common, enabling us to regard them as a group. The words “audience” and “congregation” enable us to gather individuals into a single unit. But the fact needs to be stated clearly: Elohim is never in the Bible a collective noun  — never. It is not a “group” word when used of the One God. It does not function like the word “family.” No lexicon lists it as a collective noun.
Peloubet’s Dictionary of the Bible (1947) stated the truth: “
The fanciful idea that Elohim referred to a Trinity [or we could add Binity] of persons in the Godhead hardly finds now a supporter among scholars.”

In what Mr. Armstrong called The Real Jesus we were introduced into the realm of grammatical fiction and fancy. We were invited in fact, under the guise of intelligent Bible study, to embrace a pagan godhead consisting of more than one Person.

Twenty years later, when Ernest Martin issued his comprehensive account of The Essentials of New Testament Doctrine in 1999, the same confusion over God was reinforced and with a greater degree of dogmatism. It is worth observing first, though, an extraordinary assertion of E.L. Martin in regard to the status of the teaching of Jesus. His ultra-dispensation alist point of view represents, I think, a dangerous rejection of Jesus: “
All the teachings Christ gave to the Jews during his earthly ministry within the Old Covenant framework were of no importance to Paul (in matters elating to salvation). Paul did not refer to any of Christ’s teachings (other than the bread and wine) given by Christ while in the flesh ”

I invite our readers to ponder this statement long and hard. This amazing dictum would mean that the sermon on the mount and the parable of the sower, the Olivet Discourse, and the rest of Jesus’ precious utterances (including his affirmation of the creed of Israel in Mark 12:28-34) are of no interest to the Christian!
This devastating confusion is compounded when E.L. Martin declares: “We need to know what ‘God’ signifies in Scripture…
It will be found that both God the Father and His Son are ‘God,’ yet they are both separate personalities united together in a singular purpose.”
Martin then speaks of “confusion regarding who or what ‘God’ really is” (p. 450). “This misjudgment occurs because most people assume the term ‘God’ always means a singular and exclusive Supreme Being.”
Now this: “Whether the Greek word theos is used to describe the Deity or the Hebrew word elohim, it was fully accepted [by the writers of the Bible] that there existed more than one ‘god’” (p. 451). “Elohim is clearly a plural word. The two terminal letters ‘
im ’ make the word to be plural…

Since Elohim is plural, the simple meaning of Elohim is ‘Powers’ or ‘powerful ones.’ However, we will see that when Elohim is governed by a singular verb (which occurs often in Scripture) the stress coalesces the plural meaning into a singular understanding (but still with plural significance)” (p. 488). “The plural is fused into meaning a singular ‘group of powers,’ or worded differently ‘a Congregation of Powers.’” “No matter what we have been taught over the years about the singularity of God, the word Elohim is a simple plural. If we wish to use the English word ‘God’ as its translation, we must (to be grammatically harmonious and consistent) place the letter ‘s’ on our word God throughout the Hebrew Scriptures” (p. 488).
Martin here proposes a corruption of the Hebrew Bible and accuses, by implication, the writers of the New Testament of ignorance. No New Testament writer ever rendered the Hebrew word for the One God as “ theoi” (Gods).
Elohim when referring to the One God comes into the inspired Greek of the New Testament (some 1310 times) as theos (singular). This proves of course that the translations are all correct when they say “in the beginning GOD created the heavens and the earth.”

Thousands of singular personal pronouns standing for Elohim, and His other names, can only affirm, massively, the fact that God is a Single, Divine, Personal Being.
Martin repeats himself: “If one wishes to retain the English word ‘God’ one must put an ‘s’ on ‘God’ each time it is used. By stating this I would normally be subjected to ridicule by those who read and know the Hebrew language, because it is evident that in the great majority of cases Elohim, though plural in grammatical construction, is governed by singular verbs and must be understood in a singular manner. Yes, but I state dogmatically [here E.L.M. goes into bold print] that the only way to make sense out of the Hebrew in regard to understanding the Godhead is to put the letter ‘s’ on the end of every word translated ‘God’ in the English
language if the Hebrew word is Elohim” (p. 490). “[In the Shema] the very text itself says that Elohim (‘Gods’) is one. This cardinal point emphasizes the singularity of the plural word Elohim.” “The Hebrew word ‘one’ ca actually carry the meaning of more than ‘one’ (a single person). Note carefully when Adam was married to Eve they became ‘one flesh’ (echad) though they represented two separate personalities (Gen. 2:24)” (p. 495). “The Hebrew word echad is more expansive in the plural meaning than that…
So the plural Elohim refers to one Godhead made up of many individuals (the Father, the Firstborn and other Sons of God, along with female members, see Proverbs 8:2-31)” (p. 495). “Just what is God? Elohim is the One divine family to which all of us
belong” (p. 499).
All this prodigious effort to turn one into two or three or more, of course, began early in church history and continues unabated in some evangelical Trinitarian and especially Messianic Jewish Trinitarian circles. By the time of Origen (c. 185-254) a confusion over God was in full swing. The historical Son of God had been turned into the “eternally generated” Son. This concept was
at the heart of the whole traditional creedal system of Roman Catholics and Protestants. It produced the problem that though God is one, yet since the Son is also fully God, somehow two has to be one.
Ernest Martin and Ted Armstrong were unwittingly in the Roman Catholic tradition, a tradition, however, based on arguments about Elohim , in fact  rejected by the best Roman Catholic and Protestant scholars of the biblical languages for many centuries.
Before illustrating some of the ancient debate over Elohim and the supposed plurality in the Godhead (Binity or Trinity), here is the state of play in the third century (a papyrus first published in 1949). Origen is discussing the Godhead with a certain Bishop Heraclides. He wants to check him out and verify his “orthodoxy”: “Since the bishops present had raised questions about
the faith of the bishop Heraclides, so that in the presence of all he might acknowledge his faith, and each of them had made remarks and had raised the question, the bishop Heraclides said: ‘And I too believe exactly what the divine Scriptures say: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into existence through him, and nothing came into existence apart from him.” So we agree in the faith and, furthermore, we believe that the Christ assumed flesh, that he was born, that he ascended into the heavens with the flesh in which he arose, and that he is seated at the right hand of the Father, whence he is going to come and judge the living and the dead, being God and man.’
Origen: I ask you, Father Heraclides, God is the Almighty, the uncreated, the supreme one who made all things. Do you agree?
Heraclides: I agree; for this I too believe.
Origen: Christ Jesus, who exists in the form of God, though he is distinct from God in the form in which he existed, was he God before he entered a body or not?
Heraclides: He was God before.
Origen: God distinct from this God in whose form he existed?
Heraclides: Obviously distinct from any other, since he is in the form of that one who created everything.
Origen: Was there not a God, Son of God, the only-begotten of God, the first-born of all creation, and do we not devoutly say that in one sense there are two Gods and, in another, one God?
Heraclides: What you say is clear; but we say that there is God, the Almighty, without beginning and without end, containing all things but not contained, and there is his Word, Son of the living God, God and man, through whom all things came into existence, God in relation to the Spirit and man in that he was born of Mary.
Origen: You do not seem to have answered my question. Make it clear; perhaps I did not follow you.
Is the Father God?
Heraclides: Certainly.
Origen: Is the Son distinct from the Father?
Heraclides: How can he be Son if he is also Father?
Origen: While distinct from the Father, is the Son himself also God?
Heraclides: He himself is also God.
Origen: And the two Gods become one?
Heraclides: Yes.
Origen: Do we acknowledge two Gods?
Heraclides: Yes; the power is one.
Origen: But since our brethren are shocked by the affirmation that there are two Gods, the subject must be examined with care in order to show in what respect they are two and in what respect the two are one God.”

This today remains the problem for all those who propose that God is in some sense more than one . Once the unitary nature of God slipped from the church’s grasp, and once a Trinity or Binity is embraced, it becomes necessary to force that idea back on to the Bible.
“Elohim” is the point of attack in this procedure. It is a relief to return to the theology of Jesus in Mark 12:28-34.

Eohim (the Hebrew word for God), in fact, is singular in meaning when referred to the One God. This is shown by the singular verbs which normally follow, and by thousands of singular personal pronouns. Elohim has a plural meaning when it refers to pagan “gods.” Elohim has a singular meaning when designating a single pagan god, Milchom, Astarte, etc.
Elohim, El, Eloah, and Yahweh are all words for the true God and are identical in meaning, and singular in meaning when referring to the one true God. They are replaced, and thus defined, by singular personal pronouns, over and over again. The Greek word for God is “ O [the] theos [God],” and it is always and invariably singular in meaning when referring, some 1300 times (!) to the One God, the Father of Jesus, the Son.
This information can be inspected in the Hebrew text, in translations and in all the standard Hebrew lexicons (Brown, Driver and Briggs, Kohler Baumgartner, Jenni and Westermann, etc.). For the New Testament, which is in Greek, we have many standard
lexicons. One of the most famous is the one by Walter Bauer. The article in Bauer on God (theos) and Father (pater) provides excellent information. You will be impressed that there is a special name for the Father, which is GOD-Father, or God and Father. You will find no entry (because the word is absent from Scripture) for “God the Son”!
Those of us who followed the Armstrongs (Worldwide Church of God) in defining God rejected the testimony of history, of the Hebrew text and of the Hebrew lexicons and grammarians. We preferred to believe the teaching of those who had no formal trai
ning in languages, biblical or otherwise. We were taught to despise all scholarship. This was a colossal error and we learned the lesson (a valuable one) at great cost. In no other field than “Bible” would you imagine entrusting yourself to a non-expert, who nevertheless claimed to know what he was saying. He was encouraged in this self-deception, and this continues, by trusting and gullible followers, who usually knew as little about Greek and Hebrew as Herbert Armstrong did. Armstrong’s pontifications (like those of Victor Paul Wierwille of the Way International on a different subject) on the Sabbath in Colossians 2:16 are striking  examples of straining the language to breaking point. The Problem: How to Reconcile One with Two or One with Three We have seen that Elohim meaning the One God will not yield to any attempts to force it into a support for a Trinity or God-Family of two or more. The fundamental problem remains for all subscribers to the Trinity or Binity (“two Gods in the God-Family”) as to how three X’s can be one X. This is logically impossible. But the Athanasian creed which speaks of the Father being God, the Son being God and the Holy Spirit being God, “and yet these are not three Gods but one God” asks us to indulge in illogical nonsense.
As Geoffrey Lampe, Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge remarked with restrained British humor: “The classical statement of the doctrine of the Trinity, the so-called Athanasian creed, ends: ‘This is the catholic faith, which unless a man believes it faithfully he cannot be saved.’ This has been paraphrased in less dignified language: ‘Accept my model or I’ll do you,’ or rather,
‘This is God’s model: accept it or He will do you.’”

The awful, threatening words of the Athanasian creed speak loudly about the spirit which had gripped the Church. Think about this and warn your children. The churches have been amazingly cruel to those noble souls who challenged the extraordinary proposition that God is more than one Person and that Jesus is 100% God and 100% man. They burned dissenters, exiled them,
defrocked them and even passed laws of Parliament against them. You can check this appalling history of senseless, murderous violence in the name of Jesus.
Back to our subject: What then if the Trinity or Binity means 3 X’s or 2 X’s = 1Y? This is logically feasible, but what does it mean in terms of defining Xand Y? You need all of this information, and more, if you are serious about winning the billions of souls on earth, who “What Future for the Trinity,” Explorations in Theology, 8, SCM Press, 1981, p. 31. or their own blessing need to understand who the one and only true God is.
On the admission of the best contemporary Trinitarian experts, no one has ever been able to explain in what sense they mean God is one and in what different sense more than one. Thus the leading exponent of the Trinity among contemporary evangelical
sadmits the desperation of the situation. Professor Millard Erickson wrote God in Three Persons: A Contemporary Interpretation of the Trinity (1995). By all means own this book and commit yourself to a thorough study of it.
First Erickson comments on the state of the Trinity in the mind of an average churchgoer: “It is a matter of not knowing whether they believe or disbelieve the Trinity
because they do not know what the doctrine says.” No one has preached to them on this central doctrine.
“Christians who believe this strange doctrine seem incoherent.” (Is God pleased with that?!)
“We can make it partially understandable…” “We may not be much closer to being able to articulate just what we mean by this doctrine [of the Trinity] than were the delegates to the Councils of Nicea and Constantinople” (p. 19).
Erickson later writes: “Although [Stephen Davis, a logician] does not dogmatically hold that the doctrine can never be shown to be coherent, he claims that this has not yet been achieved” (p. 256).
“Davis has examined the major contemporary explanations, and, having found them not to accomplish what they claim to do, has been honest in acknowledging that he feels he is dealing with a mystery. In so doing, he has perhaps been more candid than many of us, who when pressed may have to admit that we really do not know in what way God is one and in what different
way He is three ” (p. 258).
“To say the doctrine has been revealed is a bit too strong, however, at least with respect to the biblical revelation” (p. 258).
“It simply is not possible to explain [the Trinity] unequivocally. What must be done is to offer a series, a whole assortment of illustrations and analogies, with the hope that some discernment will take place. We must approach the matter from various angles, ‘nibbling at the meaning’ of the doctrine, as it were… It may also be necessary, in order to convey the unusual meaning
involved in this doctrine, to utilize what analytical philosophers would term ‘logically odd language.’ This means using language in such a way as intentionally to commit grammatical errors. Thus, I have sometimes said of the Trinity, ‘He are three,’ or ‘They is on
e.’ For we have here a being whose nature falls outside our usual understanding of persons, and that nature can perhaps only be adequately expressed by using language that calls attention to the almost paradoxical character of the concepts” (p. 268-270).
But this is desperation. Where does the Bible say that God breaks the rules of grammar in order to reveal Himself and how many He is? Erickson has surrendered the grammatical method. God speaks to us in terms which are meant to reveal truth to us, not confuse us. We are reminded here of G. T. Armstrong’s assertion that Elohim (God) must be taken as plural resulting in “Gods, he
created” in Genesis 1:1.
I trust the reader will note the blatant polytheism! But millions did not flinch. How right Dr. Colin Brown of Fuller Seminary was when in a famous article on orthodoxy he noted that most churchgoers “postpone thinking about the Trinity [who God is!] for as long as possible…The other way of dealing with the Trinity is to practice tritheism [belief in three Gods], in all but name”(Ex Auditu , 1991).
So how many YHVH’s do you, as reader of these lines, believe in? If you say “One,” then one might immediately ask: “Well, you certainly know that the Father is YHVH. But you also seem required to believe, as an evangelical, Bible-believing, churchgoing member in good standing, that ‘Jesus is YHVH.’ That sounds awfully like two YHVH’s.”
How well will this match up when we face Jesus and his own statement, agreed to by a fellow Jew, that “
the Lord our God is ONE LORD [Yahweh]”? You will find this classic statement of belief from Jesus in Mark 12:29.
Jesus was confirming what every good Jew knows to this day. The Trinity should prevent Jews from accepting the Churches’ Jesus as Messiah. Jesus never claimed to BE God, a second God!

The Danger of Confusing the Doctrine of God by Inventing Our Own Definitions and Vocabulary:

    By Anthony Buzzard

    Related:

    An Astonishing Admission by a Leading Scholar on Who Jesus and God Are?

    Dr. Murray Harris wrote a full study on God and Jesus in his famous Jesus as God (Baker, 1992). On page 47, in footnote 112, we find this shocking, but to us exciting admission:

    In the mind of the author of Hebrews, “It was not the Triune God of Christian theology who spoke to the forefathers by the prophets. That is to say, for the a uthor of Hebrews (as for all NT writers, one may suggest) ‘ the God of our Fathers,’ Yahweh, was no other than ‘the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (compare Acts 2:30 and 2:33; 3:13 and 3:18; 3:25 and 3:26; note also 5:30).

    Such a conclusion is entirely consistent with the regular NT usage of o theos [God]. It would be inappropriate for Elohim [GOD] or Yahweh ever to refer to the Trinity in the OT when in the NT theos [GOD] regularly refers to the Father alone and apparently never to the Trinity .”

    I trust that readers will share this candid admission with everyone. Talk about it far and wide. This Trinitarian scholar documents the amazing fact that “GOD” in the Bible never refers to the Triune God. This of course is because neither Jesus nor the prophets norany of the biblical writers were Trinitarians! They would all therefore be unwelcome in contemporary churches.

    This needs to be pondered and acted upon with all urgency. Are we not to be judged by our belief and practice of the words of Jesus? And what was the creed of Jesus? He believed in the God of Israel, his own God, and nowhere in his teaching did he speak of a Triune God. And that Triune God is conspicuous by his complete absence from Scripture.

    The declaration of Jesus is our judge: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.” Jesus affirmed this central, fundamental guide to Christianity, agreeing with a Jewish scribe who echoed Jesus’ words, “there is no other besides Him,” the One God and Father. Jesus enumerated one Lord, not two or three. Jesus claimed for himself the special oracle given to David in Psalm 110:1 where God is clearly distinguished from “my lord,” the Messiah. The Hebrew word here adoni (not Adonai!) refers invariably (all 195 times) to a non-Deity superior, the king or other authority figure, or very occasionally an angel.

    Ponder the fact that in churches belief is based on allegiance to a God who “exists in three Persons.” That Triune God is found nowhere in the Bible though there are 11,000 occurrences of the various words for God: YHVH, Adonai, Elohim and Theos.

    Jesus must be allowed to determine the definition of the only true God, and he defined Him as the Father alone (John 17:3). Jesus was the begotten (=brought into existence) Son as 1 John 5:18 (not KJV) states, along with Psalm 2:7, Psalm 110:3 in many Hebrew manuscripts and the LXX, and Luke 1:35 and Matthew 1:20 (“begotten in her”). The Father is the “begetter” in I John 5:1 Greek philosophically minded “church fathers” lost themselves in a morass of complex, technical non-biblical jargon, asserting that the Son was “man but not a man” and that as Son he had “a beginningless beginning.” Invite your pastor to preach on these issues, comparing this strange non-language with the lucid words of Gabriel defining quite explicitly the meaning of Son of God in Luke 1:35.

    The church departed into a crypto polytheism when it ceased to believe that the Son of God came into existence (=was begotten) by miracle in Mary. Reading the Son back into a pre-human, actually non-human existence as “God the Son,” God was turned into two (and later three).

    Jesus ceased to have his origin in the human family. He was dressed up as man, but not really man, and therefore not the Messiah of biblical expectation. Jews naturally took fright at this disturbance of the monotheistic, unitary creed of their ancient heritage, shared by Jesus. Muslims reacted also against this odd “three in one” God. And so vast blocks of humanity were, and are, set at odds with each other.

    Revival means a return to the teaching of Jesus, his Gospel about the Kingdom and his rock solid belief in the one-Person God of Israel and of Scripture. It is that God, the God of Jesus , we are to love with all our hearts. A compromise is unacceptable when it comes to the words of Jesus. Jesus’ complaint with the religious authorities of his day was their failure to pay attention to his teaching and claims. The ever-present danger was and is “tradition” mounted against the words of Scripture. The vice-like grip of the status quo in church tradition requires a miraculous deliverance for those in its clutches.

    http://focusonthekingdom.org/143.pdf


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