Monday, 6 January 2014

Two Words: The Deity of Christ

There are two texts I want to look at with respect to the Deity of Christ, namely John 1:1 and and 2 Peter 3:5.

"John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it."

Let's deal with what John 1:1 actually says. Firstly, it refers to the Word timeless. The Greek word "En" (Ἐν) is a timeless verb, meaning the word did not come into existence at a point in time, but was already present. Second, the Word was with God, in fact he was face to face with God or pros ton theon (πρὸς τὸν θεόν). He was literally at the Fathers side and existed with him eternally. Thirdly, The Word was God or was as to his nature, deity or that God was the Word.

The MessianicDrew has made the following observation here:
"καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος, and the Word was God. This is the tricky part of the verse. The Greek word order is different, and one might on first glance think that it says “God was the Word” or “the Word was a God” as seen in the New World Translation. Both these versions have problems. In Greek, word order does not matter as much as it does in English. In Koine Greek, the word with the article is the subject, in this case ὁ λόγος , the Word; and θεὸς, God or Deity, is the object. 

What about the New World Translation of this verse, which said that the Word was “a god”? After all, Koine Greek does not have indefinite articles. However, this would contradict the monotheism found elsewhere in John. Remember that monotheism is not unitarianism. While the New Testament authors use the term “gods” to refer to the beliefs of polytheists, a monotheist would not, when referencing his own beliefs, use the term θεοί (gods) at all, or use θεὸς to refer to anything other than the God of monotheism. Now one might ask “If John wanted to say that the Word was God, why didn't he just use the definite article and make the phrase ὁ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος? The Word was The God. The problem with this is it would contradict the previous verse. If The Word was The God, then it would indicate that the Word and The God were interchangeable, that Jesus was The Father, and John wanted to avoid this." (http://messianicdrew.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/jesus-as-god-closer-look.html <Link is now defunct*).

Now looking 2 Peter 3:5
"2 Peter 3:3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly."

The word mentioned here this time is a completely different context from John 1:1 and is not saying that Jesus was merely an utterance or a spoken word that is not personal. The context of the usage of word refers to the command of God and is not saying that Jesus was an utterance or spoken word. If you go back to Genesis 1, God commands all things to come into exist and the NT makes it clear that the Father used the Son to create all things through him and for him as Colossians 1:15-20 affirm.

"Colossians 1:15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."

The word in 2 Peter 3:5 is God's command and Jesus by the Fathers command creates all things, not some things.

Hope this article helps you guys.

17th of September 2017 It was brought to my attention recently that The Messianic Drew has renounced Christ and now is an orthodox Jew. Pray for him to return to Yeshua.

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