JESUS CHRIST IS GOD (part 9)
“The most revealing evidence of the Watchtower's bias is their inconsistent translation technique. The resounding theme of the Gospel of John is the Divinity of Jesus Christ. Throughout the Gospel of John, the Greek word theon occurs without a definite article. THE NEW WORLD TRANSLATION RENDERS NONE OF THESE AS ‘A GOD’. Just three verses after John 1:1, the New World Translation translates another case of theos without the indefinite article as ‘God’! Even more inconsistent, in John 1:18, the NWT translates the same term as both ‘God’ and ‘god’ in the very same sentence. The Watchtower, therefore, has no hard textual grounds for their translation—only their own theological bias. While New World Translation defenders might succeed in showing that John 1:1 can be translated as they have done, they cannot show that it is the proper translation. Nor can they explain the fact that the NWT does not translate the same Greek phrases elsewhere in the Gospel of John the same way.” The Watchtower Society teaches that “Jesus is a god in the sense of being divine, but he is not the Father”. “Further, the Watchtower argues that the term ‘god’ is used elsewhere in the Bible with reference to human judges and even Satan. Therefore, they reason, surely Jesus can be called a god. Christians quite agree that Jesus is Divine, and yet not the Father; however, this is not the issue. The point is that Yahweh has already made it clear that there is only one Divine – only one God! While the term ‘god’ is used of other beings in the Bible, it is never used of created beings when describing a supreme act of God’s identity, such as creation. To do so would be to obliterate the arguments Yahweh presents in Isaiah such as ‘I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside Me…” (Isa. 45:5). If Jehovah’s Witnesses want to define ‘Divine’ so as to remove the character of Deity, they might remember that they are drawing their characterization of Jesus’ Divinity from John 1:1-3 in which Jesus is called ‘God’ and credited with the work that Yahweh alone accomplished, namely creation. It is only the pre-conceived heretical rejection of the Deity of Christ that forces the Watchtower Society to inconsistently translate the Greek text, thus allowing their error to gain some semblance of legitimacy in the minds of those ignorant of the facts. It is only the Watchtower's pre-conceived heretical beliefs that are behind the dishonest and inconsistent translation that is the New World Translation. The New World Translation is most definitely not a valid version of God’s Word…while other Bible translators make minor mistakes in the rendering of the Hebrew and Greek text into English, the NWT intentionally changes the rendering of the text to conform to Jehovah’s Witness theology. The New World Translation is a perversion of the Word of God.
“Deuteronomy 6:4 in the ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New World Translation, says, ‘Listen, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah’. Significantly, ‘Jehovah’ is not a word that appears in the Bible, but is rather a modification of ‘Yahweh’…since 1931, the J.W.’s have insisted that God be called ‘Jehovah’. This is a corruption in the pronunciation of the Hebrew <Yahweh>, which occurred about the third century B.C. and was carried into the King James Bible's translation of <Yahweh> in Exodus 6:3. One way to read the last phrase of Deuteronomy 6:4 with some of the Hebrew intact is ‘Yahweh (Jehovah) our Elohim is one Yahweh (Jehovah)’. The Hebrew words themselves are ‘Yahweh elohim echad Yahweh’. There are a few possible ways to translate this verse based on its grammatical construct. Echad means ‘one’ or ‘only’. Because of the construct, this verse could be translated as it is above, or as ‘The LORD our God is one LORD’, ‘The LORD is our God, the LORD is one’, or ‘The LORD is our God, the LORD alone’…the best of these translations can be assessed by observing the context of the passage. In Deuteronomy 5, Moses had just presented the Israelites with the Ten Commandments. One sin that marked these people was their habit of turning to idolatry, for example the golden calf. As we read down in chapter 6, we see that this is still the focus and concern at this point. In verses 14-16 we read, ‘Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth. Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted Him in Massah’. This is a very clear exhortation for the Israelites to abandon their worship of multiple ‘gods’. Therefore, the most reasonable way of interpreting Deuteronomy 6:4 is ‘The LORD is our God, the LORD alone’. This establishes that only Yahweh is the true God. All other ‘gods’ are false and must be rejected.”
It is important to note at this point that all false gods are presented and promoted in false gospels, therefore, every false gospel promoting every other god, but the only true God, must be and is totally rejected by God’s elect people who have been made exclusively subject by the true God to His only Gospel. The context reveals that Deuteronomy 6:4 is not a statement made to teach that God is one Person, but that God, Yahweh, is the one and only true God. All others that are worshipped as God, are nothing but idols born in the imaginations of men. “…when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods” (Gal. 4:8 cf. 1 Cor. 10:20; 1 Cor.12:2; 2 Cor. 6:16; 1 Thess. 1:9). Those who do not know the true and only God, worship that which is no God at all. They literally worship that which does not exist! “Deuteronomy 6:4 does not exclude God from being Triune in nature. Mark 12:29 is simply a recitation of Deuteronomy 6:4 with the intent of that verse intact – we have one and ONLY one God!” Only the true, Biblical, definition of the only true God, found only in the Gospel of God, reveals Him. All other so-called gospels only reveal so-called gods. Those that are worshipped as God find no support in the Word of God. The fact cannot be overemphasized that simply because a person calls their god ‘Jesus’, or ‘God’, and believes him to be the God and Jesus of the Bible, does not in any way ensure that it is. False gospels contain lies and twisted doctrines which do not present the true God, but only false gods which can only give their followers a false sense of salvation. Those who consider themselves Christians are not Christians at all if their faith is in the god of a false gospel. False gods are identified when false doctrines are held up to the light of true doctrines. False gods are not merely gods of a different name, but especially those who are called ‘God’ or ‘Jesus’ and present themselves via false gospels as the true God. The true God is only revealed in His one, true and only Gospel, the Gospel which only contains truth, only the true doctrines of grace which give all the glory of salvation to God alone. The Gospel of God is the only salvation Message which presents and reveals the true God. If one believes the Gospel of the true and only God one is saved. If one does not, if one believes a gospel which is not God’s Gospel, one remains in an accursed state (see Galatians 1:8,9).
“Yahweh is our Elohim, Yahweh alone. Not only is the Father Yahweh, but Jesus is also Yahweh. Similarly, the Deity of the Holy Spirit reveals He is also Yahweh. There is only one true, supreme God—the God of the Bible—and his Name is YHWH. YHWH is usually translated as LORD (all capital letters) in English translations of the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament. Isaiah 40:3 speaks about preparing the way of the LORD (Yahweh): “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God”, while several verses later we read: ‘O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!’ (Isa. 40:9). When we compare Isaiah 40:3 with Mark 1:3 we see that Jesus is the LORD, the God Who had the way prepared for Him by John the Baptist: 'The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight'". (More on this later). “It is fascinating that all four Gospel writers apply the Isaiah passage in such a way as to claim that John the Baptist is the announcer and that he is announcing the coming of Jesus, (see Matt. 3:3; Lk. 3:4; Jn. 1:23). The teaching of the Word of God is clear. There is one God. God exists in three co-equal and co-eternal Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each of these three are rightfully called God, yet each is distinct from the other. The absence of one convenient summary of this truth in Scripture does not negate its truthfulness, nor does it mean this truth is not found in Scripture. God has revealed this wonderful truth through His Word.
“The Use of ‘Son’ in Reference to Jesus: Another point made by the enemies of the cross claims that because John 3:16 uses the word ‘son’, it is equivalent to the many other places in the Bible where the term is used. Inferring that Jesus is a created being because He shares the title ‘son’ with other created beings misses an important point in that John qualifies this statement. Jesus wasn't just one of the ‘sons of god’ like the angels. He was the ‘only begotten Son of God’. There are many who are referred to as sons of God. Christians are even called sons of God (see Gal. 3:26). However, we are not begotten as sons of God. Neither are the angels. They are created and given the title ‘sons’ but not begotten as sons. Only Jesus fits this role, and therefore this title is not synonymous with other usages of ‘sons of God’. Hebrews 1:5,6 proves that Jesus could not have been an angel, as the author writes ‘For unto which of the angels said He at any time, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son? And again, when He bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, He saith, And let all the angels of God worship Him’. The author then states that the Father declares the Son to be God. ‘But unto the Son He saith, Thy Throne, O GOD, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of Righteousness is the sceptre of Thy Kingdom’ (Heb. 1:8 cf. Psa.45:6,7), thereby affirming both Jesus' Deity and His everlastingness.” “Deity is here ascribed to the Son of God; He is expressly called God; for the words will not bear to be rendered, ‘Thy throne is the throne of God, or Thy throne is God’; or be supplied thus, ‘God shall establish Thy throne’: nor are the words an apostrophe to the Father, but are spoken to the King, the subject of the Psalm, Who is distinguished from God the Father, being blessed and anointed by Him; and this is put out of all doubt by the apostle, who says they are addressed ‘to the Son’, Who is not a created God, nor God by office, but by nature; for though the word ‘Elohim’ is sometimes used of those who are not gods by nature; yet being here used absolutely, and the attributes of eternity, and most perfect Righteousness, being ascribed to the Person so called, prove Him to be the true God; and this is the reason why His throne is everlasting, and His sceptre Righteous, and why He should be worshipped, served, and obeyed. Dominion and duration of it are given to Him; His throne denotes His kingly power, and government; which is general, over angels, good and bad; over men, righteous and wicked, even the greatest among them, the kings and princes of the earth: and special, over His Church and people; and which is administered by His Spirit and grace in the hearts of His saints; and by His word and ordinances in His churches; and by His powerful protection of them from their enemies; and will be in a glorious manner in the latter day, and in Heaven to all eternity; for His throne is for ever, and on it He will sit for ever: His Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom; He will have no successor in it, nor can His government be subverted; and though He will deliver up the Kingdom to the Father, it will not cease.”
The phrase “only begotten Son” is most interesting, so much so that we are compelled to present a brief word study of the word “begotten” as it is used in the Word of God. ‘Begotten’ is used only once in reference to Jesus in the Old Testament, and is found in Psalm 2:7: “I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto Me, Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee”. “The phrase ‘only begotten Son’, in reference to Jesus, occurs in John 1:18; 3:16,18 and 1 Jn. 4:9 (cf. Jn. 1:14; Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:5; 5:5; 1 Jn. 5:1; Rev. 1:5). John 3:16 reads: ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life’. The phrase ‘only begotten’ translates the Greek word monogenes. This word is variously translated into English as ‘only’, ‘one and only’, and ‘only begotten’. It's this last phrase, ‘only begotten’ that causes problems for some. False teachers have latched onto this phrase to try to prove their false teaching that Jesus Christ is not God; i.e., that Jesus is not equal in essence to God as the Second Person of the Trinity. They see the word ‘begotten’ and say that Jesus is a created being because only someone who had a beginning in time can be ‘begotten’. What this fails to note is that ‘begotten’ is an English translation of a Greek word, ‘monogenes’. As such, we have to look at the original meaning of the Greek word, not transfer English meanings into the text. So what does monogenes mean? According to the Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (BAGD, 3rd Edition), monogenes has two primary definitions. The first definition is ‘pertaining to being the only one of its kind within a specific relationship’. This is its meaning in Hebrews 11:17 when the writer refers to Isaac as Abraham's ‘only begotten son’. Abraham had more than one son, but Isaac was the only son he had by Sarah and the only son of the covenant. Therefore, it is the uniqueness of Isaac among the other sons that allows for the use of monogenes in that context. The second definition is ‘pertaining to being the only one of its kind or class, unique in kind’. This is the meaning that is implied in John 3:16 (see also Jn. 1:14,18; 3:18; 1 Jn. 4:9). John was primarily concerned with demonstrating that Jesus is the Son of God (see Jn. 20:31), and he uses monogenes to highlight Jesus as uniquely God's Son—sharing the same Divine nature as God—as opposed to believers who are God's sons and daughters by adoption (see Eph. 1:5).” So we learn that angels are created sons, Christians are adopted sons, and only Christ Jesus the Lord is God’s only BEGOTTEN Son. Christians are not of the same nature and essence of God, nor are angels, for both are merely created beings. Christ Jesus the Lord, however, is not created at all, for all things were created by Him. Jesus Christ is the same essence and has the same nature as the one true and only God: He is begotten of God, He is, as Son, one of a kind, unique in kind, for He is God. “Jesus is God’s ‘one and only’ Son. The bottom line is that terms such as ‘Father’ and ‘Son’, descriptive of God and Jesus, are human terms that help us understand the relationship between the different Persons of the Trinity. If you can understand the relationship between a human father and a human son, then you can understand, in part, the relationship between the First and Second Persons of the Trinity. The analogy breaks down if you try to take it too far and teach, as some pseudo-Christian cults (such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses), that Jesus was literally ‘begotten’ as in ‘produced’ or ‘created’ by God the Father.
“Some of the oldest Manuscripts. and other authorities read here, in John 1:18 ‘Only begotten God, which is in the bosom of the Father’…He Who is the only begotten and beloved Son, hath such an intimate communion with Him in His nature, and such a free communication of all His counsels, as it may be said, He is continually in His bosom. The Syriac version here renders it, ‘the only begotten, God which is in the bosom of the Father’; clearly showing, that He is the only begotten, as He is God: the phrase, ‘which is in the bosom of the Father’, denotes unity of nature, and essence, in the Father and Son; Their distinct personality; strong love, and affection between them; the Son's acquaintance with His Father's secrets; His being at that time, as the Son of God, in the bosom of His Father, when here on earth, as the son of man; and which qualified Him to make the declaration of Him: ‘…He hath declared Him’ (Jn. 1:18). The true knowledge of God proceeds only from Jesus Christ, Who is nearest to His Father, not only in respect of His love towards Him, but by the bond of nature, and by means of that union or oneness that is between Them, by which the Father and the Son are one (see Jn. 10:30). Revealed Him and showed Him unto us, whereas before He was hidden under the shadows of the law, so that our minds were not able to perceive Him: for whoever sees Him, sees the Father also (see Jn. 14:9). ‘The only begotten Son’: The question of reading here is very interesting. Most Manuscripts and versions have ‘the only-begotten Son’ or ‘only-begotten Son’. But the three oldest and best Manuscripts. and two others of great value have ‘ONLY-BEGOTTEN GOD’. The test of the value of a Manuscript, or group of Manuscripts, on any disputed point, is the extent to which it admits false readings on other points not disputed. Judged by this test the group of Manuscripts which read ‘only-begotten God’ is very strong; while the far larger group of Manuscripts which have ‘Son’ for ‘God’ is comparatively weak, for the same group of Manuscripts might be quoted in defence of a multitude of readings which no one would think of adopting. Again, the revised Syriac, which is among the minority of versions that support ‘God,’ is here of special weight, because it agrees with Manuscripts from which it usually differs. We conclude, therefore, that the very unusual expression ‘only-begotten God’ is the true reading, which has been changed to the usual ‘only-begotten Son,’ a change which in an old Greek Manuscript would involve the alteration of only a single letter. Both readings can be traced up to the second century, which again is evidence that the Gospel was written in the first century…‘in the bosom’: Literally, into the bosom, which may mean that the return to glory after the Ascension is meant. Compare, Mk. 2:1; 13:16; Lk. 9:61. On the other hand the Greek for ‘which is’ points to a timeless relation. The only begotten Son—or, (God only begotten)—Who is in (or, on) the bosom of the Father, He interpreted (Him); became the satisfying Exposition, the Declarer, drawing forth from the depths of God all that it is possible that we shall see, know, or realize. Again, several of the principal manuscripts and a great mass of ancient evidence support the reading μονογενὴς Θεὸς, ‘God only begotten’. Another and minor difference in reading relates to the article, which is omitted from μονογενὴς (moogenis) by most of the authorities which favor Θεὸς (Theos). Whether we read the only begotten Son, or God only begotten, the sense of the passage is not affected. The latter reading merely combines in one phrase the two attributes of the word already indicated - God (John 1:1), only begotten (John 1:14); the sense being one Who was both God and only begotten.”
Before we return to the Scriptures’ use of the word ‘Son’ in reference to Jesus, allow us to direct your attention to the oft asked question, ‘How can Jesus be both God and the Son of God?’ “Jesus is both God and the Son of God because the terms do not mean the same thing. When we say that Jesus is God (see Jn. 1:1,14; Col. 2:9; Heb. 1:8), we are saying that Jesus possesses the Divine nature (as well as a human nature, (hypostatic union). But the term ‘Son of God’ does not mean that Jesus is not God. Think about it. If the term ‘Son of God’ meant that Jesus is not God, then does the term ‘Son of Man’ mean that Jesus is not a man? Of course not. Likewise, if the term ‘Son of Man’ means that Jesus is a man, then does it not imply that when it says Jesus is the ‘Son of God’ that He is God? We ought not look at the ancient words found in Scripture and judge them by modern thinking. ‘Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God’ (Jn. 5:18). As you can see in this verse, Jesus was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal to God. Therefore, the term ‘Son of God’ is a designation of the equality with God when it is a reference to Christ. So, when we say that Jesus is God, we are saying that He is Divine by nature. He is, after all, the second Person of the Trinity. But when we say that Jesus is the Son of God, we are saying that He is also God since that is what the phrase means.” Jesus Christ is as much God the Son as He is the Son of God. The use of ‘Son’ in the Scriptures as a reference to Jesus: “John was a strict Jew, a monotheist. Does the ‘Jehovah's Witness’ really think that John would be saying that there was another God besides Jehovah even if it were Jesus? Being raised a good Jew, the Apostle John would never believe that there was more than one God in existence. Yet, he compared the Word with God, said the Word was God, and that the Word became flesh: 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word (God) was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth' (Jn. 1:1,14). John 1:1 in a literal translation reads thus: ‘In beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the God, and God was the Word’." The original Greek has it: “In beginning was the Word and the Word was toward the God and God was the Word”. Notice that it says ‘God was the Word’. This is the actual word-for-word translation. It is not saying that ‘a god was the Word’. That wouldn't make sense.” Instead, the original text says “God was the Word”. “In beginning was the Word…’ (en arche en ho logos). A very simple statement that the Word was in the beginning. ‘and the Word was with the God’ (kai ho logos en pros ton theon). This same Word was with God. ‘and God was the Word’. Properly translated as ‘and the Word was God’ (kai theos en ho logos). This same Word was God. Regarding statement three above, the correct English translation is ‘…and the Word was God’, and not ‘and God was the Word’. This is because if there is only one definite article (‘ho’=’the’) in a clause where two nouns are in the nominative (‘subject’) form (‘theos’ and ‘logos’), then the noun with the definite article (‘ho’ = ‘the’) is the subject. In this case ‘ho logos’ means that ‘the Word’ is the subject of the clause. Therefore, ‘…the Word was God’ is the correct translation and not ‘God was the Word’. But this does not negate the idea that John is speaking of only one God, not two, even though the ‘Jehovah's Witnesses’ maintain that Jesus is ‘a god’ or the ‘mighty god’ as was addressed above.
“Is there suddenly a new god in the text of John 1:1? No. It is the same God that is being spoken of in part 2 as in part 3. How do the ‘Jehovah's Witnesses’ maintain that the Word had somehow become a god in this context since there is only one God mentioned? Remember, the ‘Jehovah's Witnesses’ teach that Jesus was Michael the Archangel. Therefore, is there any place in the Bible where an angel is called ‘a god’ besides Satan being called the god of this world in 2 Cor. 4:3,4? John 20:28 says: ‘And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God!' In the Greek text of John 20:28 Thomas said to Jesus, ‘ho kurios mou, kai ho theos mou’, meaning ‘And answered the Thomas and said to Him the Lord of me and the God of me’. If Jesus was not God, but ‘a’ god, then shouldn't Jesus have corrected Thomas? Shouldn't Jesus have said, ‘No, Thomas, I am not the God. I am only a god’?” Moreover, if Jesus was not God, would He not immediately have said to Thomas, as the angel said to John when he “…fell at his feet to worship him…See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren…worship God" (Rev. 19:10); “I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God” (Rev. 22:9)? “BUT JESUS DID NOT CORRECT THOMAS AT ALL! To do so would have been ludicrous. In conclusion, John 1:1 is best translated without the ‘a’ inserted into the text. ‘The Word was God’ is the correct translation. This way, we do not run into the danger of polytheism with Jesus being ‘a god’. We do not have the problem of Jesus being a ‘mighty god’ and yet not the God—even though God Himself is called the Mighty God (see Jer.32:18; Isa. 10:21 et. al.).”
An even more detailed look at the original Greek words used in John 1:1 provides for one and all an accurate, and unmistakable, account of what John was actually saying. “First of all, the same Greek word is used in both occurrences of the word ‘God’ in John 1:1. This same word is used in many contexts, whether it refers to the Only True God or whether it is referring to a false god—such as a man-made god (see 1 Cor. 8:5) or Satan as the ‘god of this world’ (see 2 Cor. 4:4). The apparent differences in spelling between the word ‘God’ in the phrase ‘and the Word was God’ (‘theos’) and in other places, (even in the previous phrase, ‘and the Word was with God’ (‘theon’) is due to inflection in the Greek language. Each Greek noun normally has 8 or 9 forms (cases & number) in which it can appear. In the first instance in John 1:1 it is the object of preposition and thus is in the accusative case. In the phrase in question, it is in the nominative case (indicating the subject or predicate nominative - equal to the subject). But it is the same word for ‘God’, and in both phrases here indicates the One and Only True God. So the apparent difference in spelling is not because ‘theos’ is a different word than ‘theon’, but is a different form of the identical word.
“Another common confusion in John 1:1 comes from the fact that in Greek there is no definite article in front of the word ‘God’ (‘theos’) in the phrase ‘and the Word was God’. The confusion arises from an assumption that if there is no definite article in the Greek, then it must have an indefinite meaning and thus should be translated with the indefinite article ‘a’. Based on this understanding, some argue that this phrase in John 1:1 should be translated ‘the word was a god’, rather than ‘the word was God’. It is important at this point to understand that the Greek language has a definite article (‘the’), but does not have an indefinite article (‘a’ or ‘an’). In certain instances, when the Greek omits a definite article, it may be appropriate to insert an indefinite article for the sake of the English translation and understanding. But we cannot assume that this is always appropriate. Greek does not operate in the same way as English does in regard to the use of the words ‘the’ and ‘a’. In many instances in which English would not include the word ‘the’, the Greek text includes it. We don’t see it in the English translations because it would sound non-sensible in our language. For example, a literal translation of the end of John 1:12 in Greek reads: ‘…to those who believe into [the] His name.’ It makes our English translation sound awkward or non-sensible to include the definite article ‘the’ before the words ‘His name’, even though it appears in Greek. And in many cases where the Greek omits the definite article, the English translation requires it to convey the correct meaning of the Greek. For example, literally in Greek, John 1:2 says: ‘He was in beginning with God’. Notice that in Greek there is no definite article before the word ‘beginning’.” It would be nonsensical to include the indefinite article ‘a’ in English, for this would read ‘He was in a beginning with God’. “It makes sense to include the definite article ‘the’ in our English translation for the sake of clarity and English idiom. Thus, ‘He was in the beginning with God’. Therefore it cannot be assumed that if the definite article is absent, then an indefinite article should be inserted. (For a clear illustration of this, see an example of the use of the word ‘God’ and the definite article in John chapter one.)
“Furthermore, even though the Greek language does not have an ‘indefinite article’ like we think of in English, there is a way in Greek for the writer to indicate the indefinite idea and thus avoid confusion. This is done in Greek by using the Greek indefinite pronoun ‘tis’. In John 1:1 there is no definite article in front of the word ‘God’ in the phrase, ‘and the Word was God’. However, in this instance, it cannot just be assumed that the word ‘God’ is meant to be ‘indefinite’, and therefore an indefinite article used in the English translation. Because the first use of the word ‘God’ in John 1:1 (‘the Word was with God’) clearly refers to the Only True God, the Eternal Pre-existent Creator, John would have used a different Greek construction than he did if he had meant for this next phrase (‘and the Word was God’) to refer to a ‘lesser’ god, and did not want us to confuse this with the True God he had just mentioned. If John meant to avoid confusion, when making such a definitive statement, he could have done so by using this ‘indefinite pronoun’ (‘tis’) as an adjective. This would have made it clear that the Word was ‘a certain god’, but not the one he was just referring to. For examples of this, see Mark 14:51, Luke 8:27, Luke 1:5, and Luke 11:1 among many, many other examples. So, by the Greek grammatical structure in this statement, John is indicating that the Word (Jesus Christ - John 1:14) is the same essence and nature as God the Father. (For a more thorough explanation of the function and use of the Greek article (and meaning of its absence), see ‘Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics’, by Daniel Wallace. He includes fifty pages - entitled ‘The Article, Part I’ - which is a more complete treatment of the subject than many grammar books present and explains all the general uses of the article. He actually has a ‘Part II’ which discusses some special issues with the article. Fifteen pages of this second section apply directly to understanding this passage in John 1:1. It is highly recommended for those who really desire an honest and more thorough understanding of this passage.)” Those who are not prepared to study, and look deeper into the original Greek and Hebrew texts of the Scriptures, along with those who believe that understanding the Word of God does not come from studying it, but by experiencing it, do themselves a great disservice. They obviously have no desire to properly understand and know the truth of God, and have no time for Scriptures such as 2 Timothy 2:15: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth". “The correct meaning of ‘rightly dividing—orthotomeo—'the Word of truth’ is cutting it up, or handling , as a single, unified whole, without being turned aside by false teaching or man-made agendas.”
“The phrase in John 1:1, ‘the Word was with God’, is an example of a predicate nominative coming first in the sentence, before the subject. (Sentences like this one that use a linking verb require the noun in the predicate part of the sentence to be in the nominative case. Thus the phrase 'predicate nominative'.) The subject of this clause is ‘the Word’ and the predicate is ‘God’. In Greek, the word ‘God’ comes before the word ‘Word’. According to normal Greek usage, the word ‘God’ should not have a definite article. Oftentimes, emphasis is shown in Greek by placing a word out of its normal, expected word order. Special emphasis is shown when the predicate comes first in the sentence. In other words, contrary to the thought that ‘since there is no definite article used here it could belittle the fact of the Word being God’, the fact that the word ‘God’ is used first in the sentence actually shows some emphasis that this Logos (Word) was in fact God in its nature. However, since it does not have the definite article, it does indicate that this Word was not the same ‘Person’ as the Father God, but has the same ‘essence’ and ‘nature’. It is also necessary to see this statement in context of the rest of John’s writings. When comparing this with other statements about who the Person and nature of Jesus Christ really is, it adds to what is already made clear by the Greek grammar. See for instance: Jn. 8:56-59 cf. Ex. 3:13-14; Jn. 10:28-33; 14:6-11; 1 Jn. 5:20; (also Jn. 8:23; 3:12-13; 5:17-18). These verses also indicate that, in John’s understanding and thus the Bible’s clear statements, Jesus Christ is the same essence and nature as God the Father, but that they are distinct in their Person-hood. A little (and incomplete) knowledge of Greek can do more harm than good when people try to apply it beyond their scope of knowledge.
“For a further explanation and clarification about these items, it is helpful to consult with many of the well respected Greek scholars and expositors. Personally I have never come across any objective, well respected Greek grammarian that has come up with different conclusions than what has been presented here. Many of them go into much more detail than I have in these few short paragraphs. See for instance the writings of Daniel Wallace (‘Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics’), A.T. Robertson (both his ‘Grammar’ and ‘Word Pictures’), R.C.H. Lenski (in his commentary on the Gospel of John), Henry Alford (‘Greek Testament’), J.A. Bengel (‘Word Studies), and many others.”
To summarise our relatively brief study of the Trinity:
“Some Scriptures which teach One God: Isaiah. 43:10: 'Ye are My witnesses, saith the LORD, and My servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He: before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me'. Isaiah 44:6: 'Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his Redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside Me there is no God'. Isaiah 44:8: 'Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even My witnesses. Is there a God beside Me? yea, there is no God; I know not any'. Isaiah 45:5: 'I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside Me…'
“The Trinity is one God Who exists simultaneously in Three Persons. Each is coequal, co-powerful, and coeternal with the other. Each person—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—is not the other. Without either there is no God; all comprise the one God. In keeping with the teachings of the Hebrew Scriptures, the New Testament clearly recognizes that there are Three Persons in the Godhead, although it becomes quite a bit more specific. The first Person is called the Father while the second Person is called the Son. The New Testament answers the question of Proverbs 30:4: ‘…What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, if thou canst tell?’ His Son’s name is Yeshua (Jesus). In accordance with the Hebrew Scriptures, He is sent by God to be the Messiah, but this time as a man instead of as an angel. Furthermore, He is sent for a specific purpose: to die for the sins of His people ‘…thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins’ (Matt. 1:21). In essence, God became a man (not that man became God) in order to accomplish the work of atonement. The New Testament calls the third Person of the Godhead the Holy Spirit. Throughout the New Testament He is related to the work of the second Person, in keeping with the teaching of the Hebrew Scriptures. We see, then, that there is a continuous body of teaching in both the Old and New Testaments relating to the Tri-unity of God.
“Analogy of the Trinity: Perhaps the best analogy of the Trinity, is time. With time, for example, the past is distinct from the present, which is distinct from the future. Each is simultaneous. Yet, they are not three 'times' but one. That is, they all share the same nature: time.” A second of time is identical to every other second of time yet not the same second. Likewise, each member of the Trinity is of the same essence and nature as the other two, yet not the same member. There are not three Gods, but one God.
“Some Trinitarian Verses: Matt. 28:19: 'Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”; 'Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all” (1 Cor. 12:4-6); 'The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen' (2 Cor. 13:14).”
Let us now turn our attention to some of the more well-worn arguments against the Trinity doctrine. “Objections to the Trinity answered: Objection: ‘The word ‘Trinity’ is not in the Bible, therefore, there can be no Trinity’. As we have seen, just because the word ‘trinity’ is not in the Bible, does not mean that the concept is not taught there. The word ‘monotheism’ is not in the Bible either, yet the Bible teaches it (see Isa. 43:10; 44:6, 8). Therefore, this criticism is invalid. Objection: ‘The Trinity is illogical’. What law of logic is it that the doctrine of the Trinity violates? If you cannot tell me, then your statement is meaningless. Saying it is illogical does not mean it is”. How can the doctrine of God as Creator of all things—that He created everything out of nothing—be logical to the mind of man? How can a finite man possibly grasp the logicality, and logistics, of God creating everything simply by His Word? How can God speak something into existence? How can the mind of natural man possibly grasp this truth? There are many things which appear illogical to natural man’s way of thinking and according to his experiences, but this only goes to reveal the finiteness of man rather than any limitations, or illogicality concerning, the Awesomeness of the Almighty, Infinite, God Who says: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:8,9). “Objection: ‘The Trinity is pagan’. Saying it is pagan means nothing. The question is whether or not it is Biblical. Are there verses that show that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are each God, each indwell, each have a will, each loves, etc.? Yes, there are. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are each called God: the Father in Philippians 1:2, ‘Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ’; the Word in John 1:1, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God’ (cf. Jn.1:14); Col. 2:9, ‘For in Him (Jesus) dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily’; the Holy Spirit in Acts 5:3,4, ‘But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God’.
“Regarding the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each has a will: the Father in Luke 22:42, ‘…Father, if Thou be willing…’; the Son in Luke 22:42, ‘Saying, Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done’; the Holy Spirit in 1 Cor. 12:11, ‘But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will’. Each is all-knowing: the Father in 1 Jn. 3:20, ‘For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things’; the Son in Jn. 16:30; 21:17, speaking to Jesus, His disciples said: ‘Now are we sure that Thou knowest all things…’ Peter said to Jesus: ‘…Lord, Thou knowest all things…’; the Holy Spirit in 1 Cor. 2:10-11, ‘But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God’, etc.” The word ‘searcheth’, “does not suppose any ignorance of these things in the Spirit, antecedent to His searching of them; but His complete and perfect knowledge of them; even as God's searching of the hearts of men (see Jer. 17:10; Rom. 8:27), expresses His omniscience, and through knowledge of all that is in them” “Each Personage of the Trinity speaks: the Father in Matt. 3:17, ‘And lo a voice from Heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased’; the Son in Lk. 5:20, ‘And when He saw their faith, He said unto Him. Man, thy sins are forgiven thee’; the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:29; 13:2, ‘Then the Spirit said unto Phillip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot…As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate Me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them’. Objection: ‘The Trinity came from pagan trinities’. THERE ARE NO TRINITIES IN PAGAN THEOLOGY. There are triads (groups of three gods) but no trinities (one God in three Persons). Therefore, such a statement is inaccurate and misleading. Objection: ‘The Bible does not say that God is three who's and one what’. That is correct. But the Trinity is a doctrine arrived at systematically (by looking at the whole of Scripture)—not by looking at a single verse, necessarily. Therefore, such a complaint is misdirected and shows that one does not understand the Trinity. Objection: ‘Show me one verse in the Bible that says that God is three Persons’. Again, the Trinity doctrine is arrived at systematically (by looking at the whole of Scripture)—not by looking at a single verse. Therefore, you won't see a single verse that says it, other than 1 John 5:7: 'For there are Three (Persons) that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these Three are one' (cf. Rom. 8:9).” Simply because this verse is disputed, is by no means proof that it is not true. There will always be disputes between those who know the truth, and those who do not know it.
1 John 5:7 is a Scripture that has been attacked perhaps more than any other, when it comes to the issue of the Trinity. Some critics even go so far as to say it has no place at all in God’s Word citing the fact that it does not appear in most Greek manuscripts. There are an innumerable number of articles and books which contain masses of information with regard to 1 John 5:7, far too much information for this book to contain. Suffice it to say such items of research are freely available online for the reader to carefully study, and learn the history of this most important verse of Scripture. So, for reason of space we will not focus on this Scripture in as greater detail as we would like to. However, the following will concentrate on the two most important issues relating to the verse in question, as well as provide enough information which will show that 1 John 5:7 has as much right to be part of the Infallible and Inspired Word of God as any other verse has.
“There is no greater verse in all the Bible to teach the doctrine of the Trinity, yet the modern versions omit 1 John 5:7, and textual criticism has a heyday with this verse.” The majority of modern Bible (per)versions say only: ‘There are three that testify’ or ‘the three are testifying’ or ‘there are three witnesses’. “Beginning with the publication of the English Revised Version of 1881, 1 John 5:7,8, commonly known as, the Johannine Comma, has been omitted from practically every modern English translation, including the ASV, RSV, NASV, NIV, TEV, The Living Bible, the Message, New Living Translation, the CEV, and the Holman Christian Standard Bible.” Despite the avoidance, or repudiation of 1 John 5:7, “…this verse is found in the old Syriac A.D. 170, old Latin A.D. 200, Vulgate: 4th and 5th century, Italian 4th and 5th century manuscripts. Also many church fathers quoted this verse and it is found in Liber Apologetic A.D. 350, and Council of Carthiage A.D. 415. The idea that the True Word of God was lost for 1800 years, and then found by Roman Catholicism, is an insult to God Almighty and His ability to preserve His Word.” “For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to ALL generations” (Psa. 100:5); “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, Thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever” (Psa. 12:6,7); “God's Word has been preserved forever, His Gospel is everlasting (see Rev. 14:6). God’s Word has been preserved for every generation. This is why the following verses provide such a comfort to God's people: ‘The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations’ (Psa. 33:11); ‘For ever, O Lord, Thy Word is settled in Heaven. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: Thou hast established the earth, and it abideth’ (Psa. 119:89,90); ‘As for Me, this is My Covenant with them, saith the LORD; My Spirit that is upon thee, and My Words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever’ (Isa. 59:21). This element of Bible preservation is critical. We know that God's Word has not been hidden or lost to man, since it was first spoken and recorded in God's written revelation. We can be assured that we have not had to depend on the latest discoveries of the oldest manuscripts, or on the efforts of fallible man to uncover God's words. God has preserved His words to all generations, without fail!” The Lord Jesus uttered the following immortal words: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Words shall not pass away (perish)” (Matt. 24:35). As the Word of God shall not perish, neither shall His Church from the earth. The Christian man is “…born again not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (1 Pet. 1:23).