Revelation 3.14 -- The Son the Beginning of Creation or the Origin of Creation?

"he (the) arche (origin/beginning) tes (of the) ktiseos (creation) tou (of the) theou (God)." (UBS Int; KIT Int)

Does this first teach the Son is the beginning, the first of God’s creatures as the King James Version has it: "the beginning of the creation of God"? Or, does it mean the Son is "the Origin of God’s creation"? (Beck)

Is it fair to conclude that Trinitarian scholars will insist the Greek arche here means Beginner or Originator; whereas, Unitarian scholars will argue arche means the beginning of something, that is the first of a series, type or event?

Note this is a "controversial point" in The Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Volume 1, pages 164, 166 --- "Arche ... It means (a) beginning, start .... (a) It denotes the point at which something new begins in time. ... (c) First cause. It is a controversial point of exegesis whether this meaning of archei may be assumed in Col 1:18 ... Rev 3.14...." Also, A Greek-English Lexicon, page 111-2 agrees in both possibilities: "Arche ... 1. beginning ..... c. beginning, origin ... 2. the first cause ... Rv 3:14; but the meaning beginning = first created is linguistically possible."

The Greek word αρχη (arche) is the same word used in the Jewish Greek of Genesis 1.1 [ αρχη arche] and Proverbs 8.22 [ αρχην archen], 23 [ αρχη arche] and Micah 5.2 [ αρχης arches] generally translated "beginning." The word occurs in the famous John 1.1, 2 [ αρχη arche] where it is virtually always translated "beginning." The word occurs about 60 times in the NT and it is almost always translated "beginning" by the King James Version. Indeed, and almost identical phrase occurs in 2 Peter 3.4, arches ktiseos, rendered "the beginning of the creation" by the KJV and others.

The very designation "Son" indicates procreation or begettal. Is The Absolute Being (God) ever spoken of as "the Firstborn of every creature" (Col 1.15 KJV) or "the Beginning of the creation"? Once in the OT and once in the NT the Logos is associated with a creation and a beginning: "The Lord created me in the beginning. .... In the beginning before He made the earth ... He begets me." (Pr 8.22, 23, 25) And, "The Beginning of the creation of The God." (Re 3.14)

Could the Son be a Creator or Originator? The Son himself declares: "The Son can do nothing of himself ... I can of mine own self do nothing." (Jn 5.19, 30 KJV) The Son could never be the Beginner, the Creator, or the Originator, the First Cause for he lacks the Power, Authority, or the Originality. The Son is the Agent or Instrument of creation by whom or through whom The Absolute Being (God the Father) brought into existence the Universe. (Jn 1.2, 3; Col 1.15-18; 1 Co 8.6; He 1.2; 2.11)



(1 Co 8.5)

 Psalm 82.1 -- "The God ( ´Elo·him' ; LXX = ho theos) presides in the Divine (`El) assembly; He gives judgment among the gods (´elo·him' ; LXX = theous)." [Aristotle echoes this when quoting a Greek poet, "of their own accord entered the assembly of the Gods." (Politics, chapter 4)]

Psalm 89.6, 7 -- "Who is like Yahweh among the celestial beings? Who is like Yahweh among the sons of The God? In the council of the saints God is greatly feared." (See Job 1.6; 2.1; 38.7)

Psalm 97.3 -- "The Great God above all gods ( `al-kol-´elo·him' ; LXX = theous)."

Psalm 97.7 -- "Worship Him, all you gods (LXX = angels)." (See Heb 1.6 quote of this psalm.)



It is my faith that Jesus is Lord and God.

How can I -- a non-Trinitarian -- affirm this strong conviction?

I believe the Son speaks for the Father and is therefore "representationally" God. 

I believe the Son is god of a sort and is therefore "qualitatively" God.

I believe the Logos was God.

I believe the Exalted and Immortal Christ is God.

I do not believe the holy spirit is an individual person separate from The Absolute Being.

I believe the holy spirit is the Mind of The Absolute Being in action as Intellect projected.


IMMANUEL -- ‘GOD IS WITH US’ Is 7.14 -- Mt 1.12

Regarding the use of Isaiah 7.14 and Matthew 1.23 as proof of the deity of Jesus Christ during "the days of his flesh" ---

The famous text reads (LXX) -- "Behold, a virgin shall conceive in the womb, and shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Immanuel." (Bagster)

Matthew 1.23 quotes this and then adds -- "God with us." (KJV) Others render the phrase, "God is with us." (TCNT) The literal Greek is: METH (with) HEMON (us) HO (the) THEOS (God).

What is meant? The new-born child was God; or, because of the savior’s birth, God is with us, that is, God (the Father of the Lord) is visiting, supporting, backing us?

The original prophecy answers the question. After giving the prophecy is chapter 7.14 Isaiah goes on to show a fulfillment in chapter 8.8, 10 -- " ... and stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel. ... Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the words, and it shall not stand: for God is with us." In other words, God is on our side against our enemies. May this also be Matthew’s meaning (1.23) rather than indicating Jesus was God?


PAUL’S QUOTE OF JO 2.32 - Ro 10.13

Does Paul’s quotation of Joel 2.32 at Romans 10.13 prove Jesus and Jehovah are the same God?

Romans 10.6-13 --

"But the righteousness that comes from faith says, ‘Do not say in your heart, "Who will ascend into heaven?" (that is, to bring Messiah down) or, "Who will descend into the abyss?" (that is, to bring the Messiah up from the dead). But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart’ (Deu 30.12-14) (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because if you confess with your lips that Jesus (meaning, Yahweh-saves) is Lord and believe in your heart that The [Absolute] God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. The scripture (Isa 28.16 LXX), "No one who believes in him will be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. For, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord [Yahweh] shall be saved." (Joel 2.32)

It should be noted that here it is Jesus who is "confessed" and the "Lord of all" (Yahweh) who is "called on." Even the Lord Nazarene "called on" The (Absolute) God, the Lord of all, himself. (Heb 5.7; Lk 22.42-44; Ps 22.1; 89.26, 27)

Peter also quotes Joel 2.32 at Acts 2.21. Peter makes clear the distinction between Yahweh and Jesus when the fisherman quotes Psalm 110.1, "There let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that The [Absolute] God has made (Jesus) both (a) Lord (Ps 110.1) and (a) Messiah (Ps 2.1)."

The "Lord" Paul says that all who "call on" is The God, the Lord of all, while Jesus, the second Lord in Psalm 110.1, must be "confessed with the mouth." The Jews as a people often called on Yahweh, the first LORD of Psalm 110.1, but were stumbled in the manner of "confessing Jesus as ‘Lord’" (Ps 110.1).



You wrote --- My vote is nay. I would have to say that Scripture is quite clear here as the context in Matthew implies a very specific meaning, supported further by your literal Greek translation. The usage of "is" in Isaiah is intentional, is it not ? This would put a distinction between the meanings of both passages.

Perhaps you could post the original Hebrew for Isaiah 8 just as you did for Matthew. That might shed some light on the issue.

My response ---

Isaiah 8.8, 10 --- לא ונמע [O, Immanuel] ... לא [(is) God] ונמע [with us] יכ [for] ---

Isaiah 8.8, 10 explains the meaning of Immanuel -- like one of Isaiah’s sons -- not to mean Isaiah’s son was God Himself, but rather, like the other prophetic son (of verses 3), Mahershalahashbaz [ זב שח ללש רהמ ], the name of Isaiah’s son had prophetic meaning for the prophetic future involving Israel and Judah.

It is interesting that Hebrews 2.13 quotes this context in Isaiah, where Isaiah pre-types Messiah: "Look! I (Isaiah) and the children whom The God (Yahweh) has given me." (Heb 2.13) The meaning of this is given in Hebrews 2.10, 11, "For it was fitting for him (the Son) on account of whom are all things and through whom are all things, to lead many sons (the Saints) to (heavenly) glory. ... For both the one sanctifying (the Son) and those being sanctified (the Saints) are all from One [The (Absolute) God] , on account of which reason (the Son) is not ashamed to call them ‘brothers’."

(NOTE: if you do not receive the Hebrew fonts it only means you do not have them in your software.)



Regarding Habakkuk 1.12 KJ: "We shall not die" -- versus -- "My Holy God, You never die." (Jewish Publication Society, Tanakh; AAT, NEB, EB, NWT)

New Jerusalem Bible: "My holy God, who never dies!" Footnote l. -- "’who never dies’ lo’tamut conj.; Hebr. lo’namut ‘we shall not die, the result of a scribal correction."

Scholar C. D. Ginsburg: "All the ancient records emphatically state that this exhibits the corrected text by the Sopherim and that the original reading was: 'Art thou not from everlasting? O Lord my God, mine Holy One, thou diest not.' The parallelism plainly shows that this is the correct reading. The address in both clauses is to the Lord who is described in the first clause as being from everlasting and in the second clause as never dying or enduring for ever. The introduction, therefore, of a new subject in the plural with the predicate 'we shall not die' thus ascribing immortality to the people is contrary to the scope of the passage . . . The reason for the alteration is not far to seek. It was considered offensive to predicate of the Lord 'thou diest not.' Hence 'we shall not die' was substituted."-Introduction to the Massoretico-Critical Edition of the Hebrew Bible, 1897, p. 358.


ZC 12.10

Zechariah 12:8-10 --- Was Jehovah the One pierced?

"In that day Jehovah will be a defense around the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and the one that is stumbling among them must become in that day like David, and the house of David like God, like Jehovah's angel before them. ... And I will pour out upon the house of David (God, or the Angel of Jehovah) and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of favor and entreaties, and they will certainly look to the One (like David, like God, or the Angel of Jehovah) whom they pierced through, and they will certainly wail over Him (the one like David, like God, like the Angel of Jehovah) as in the wailing over an only [son]; and there will be a bitter lamentation over him (Messiah) as when there is bitter lamentation over the firstborn [son]."

A Problem with Zc 12.10 --"me" or "the One"?

The KJV has it: "they shall look upon me whom they have pierced." However, consider the inspired quotation of this verse by John at John 19.37, "They shall look on him whom they pierced." It is possible John is quoting from Theodotion’s version of the Septuagint. The Alexandrine Septuagint reads, "look upon me." John’s quotation is drawn from the Hebrew which may read el-a-sher’. (Gesenius Hebrew Grammar by Kautzsch and Cowley.

Also, the punctuation may have a bearing. Note, NJB: "I (Yahweh) shall pour out a spirit of grace and prayer, and they will look to me. They will mourn for the one whom they have pierced." The NJB has a footnote f. "We preserve the MT reading by making a clear break after ‘to me.’ Theodotion understood ‘to the one whom they have pierced’, and this reading is followed by John (19.37)."

Now, one has a choice between some who render the Hebrew MT and the Alexandriane LXX as "me" and John’s own inspired quotation, "the one whom.: (opsontai eis hon exekentesan).

Who is the One pierced? Is it Jehovah himself? We have an inspired interpretation of the text by beloved John himself at John 19.36, 37: "In fact, these things took place in order for the scripture to be fulfilled: "Not a bone of his will be crushed." (Ps 34.20) And, again, a different scripture says: "They will look to the One whom they pierced." John applies Zechariah 12.10 to Jesus and not Jehovah. Further, the context of Zechariah 12.10 does not confirm Jehovah is the one pierced. Rather, it is one "like David, like God, like the Angel of Jehovah" -- a firstborn son. Yahweh has never been likened to a "firstborn son" but Messiah has. Compare Psalm 89.20, 21, 26, 27 -- "I have found David (Messiah-type) my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him (Messiah), with whom my own hand will be firm, whom my own arm also will strengthen. ... (David-Messiah-type) himself calls out to me (Yahweh), 'You are my Father, My God and the Rock of my salvation.' Also, I (Yahweh) myself shall place him as firstborn, the most high of the kings of the earth."

That the "one pierced" is not Jehovah is shown by the Messianic Psalm which predicts a death on a stake (cross) or tree. Psalm 22.1, 2, 6-10, 13-18 --

"My God (Yahweh), my God, why have you left me (Messiah)? [Why are you] far from saving me, [From] the words of my roaring? O my God, I keep calling by day, and you do not answer; And by night, and there is no silence on my part. ...

As for all those seeing me, they hold me in derision; They keep opening their mouths wide, they keep wagging [their] head: "He (Messiah) committed himself to Jehovah. Let Him provide him with escape! Let [Yahweh] deliver [Messiah], since [Messiah] has taken delight in [Yahweh]!" For you (Yahweh) were the One drawing me (Messiah) forth from the belly, The One making me trust while upon the breasts of my mother (Mary of Nazareth). Upon you I have been thrown from the womb; From the belly of my mother you (Yahweh) have been my God. ... They have opened against me their mouth, As a lion tearing in pieces and roaring. Like water I have been poured out, And all my bones have been separated from one another. My heart has become like wax; It has melted deep in my inward parts. My power has dried up just like a fragment of earthenware, And my tongue is made to stick to my gums; And in the dust of death you are setting me. For dogs have surrounded me; The assembly of evildoers themselves have enclosed me. [LXX: they pierced my hands and my feet.] I can count all my bones. They themselves look, they gaze upon me. They apportion my garments among themselves, And upon my clothing they cast lots."

Is it not clear from this Messianic prophetic hymn the one "pierced" is the one who cries out to his God, Yahweh? The one pierced in Zechariah 12.10 is not Jehovah, but "David" who is "like God, an angel of Jehovah." Note here "God" is compare to "an angel" -- therefore, this Davidic "god" or "angel" is the one pierced -- Messiah.



You wrote in response --

(Mark Miller) asked: "Would someone present a simple paragraph which explained the Trinity in a vocabulary drawn from the Bible?"

You wrote ---

Here goes. I know you want biblical foundation and that I will certainly give, but I want to start by quoting the Athanasian creed.

We worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity,

neither confounding the Persons nor dividing the substance. 

For there is one Person of the Father,

another of the Son,

and another of the Holy Ghost;

but the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one,

the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.
The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten;

the Son is of the Father alone, not made, nor created, but begotten,
the Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son, neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

May I respond? --

The underlined, bold and red-printed words and the concepts above are not found in the Bible. Beginning line by line and phrase by phrase could you provide any Biblical text which would come even close to the language here used? Such as "Trinity in Unity" --- "dividing the substance" --- "the Holy Ghost is one person" -- "one Godhead of Father, Son and Holy Ghost" -- "the Son is not made nor created" -- "the Holy Ghost is ‘of the Son’" ? If you wish just begin with the first and move through the list if it is not too much to ask?


You continue --

This is a fine declaration of the Trinitarian belief and for the most part it uses biblical language which is what you asked for. I am well aware the word 'Trinity' is not found in the scripture, but the whole point of the creed is that the 'idea' is. That's right. The Trinitarian belief is drawn from the whole counsel of Scripture. Just because the word 'Trinity' is not in the Bible you cannot say the doctrine is not there. Now I'll get to my explanation and I'll keep it short and sweet.

May I respond? --

Is it clear that "for the most part it uses biblical language" the definition you gave above lacks "biblical language"? I did not say it lacks "biblical concepts" -- but the language or vocabulary of the Bible. The "concepts" we can deal with later.

You admit the word "trinity" does not appear in the Bible. You do agree the Biblical vocabulary -- in the words of Moses, or Jesus, or Paul -- could construct such a word? For example, Paul uses the Greek words tritou, triton, trion and thus is perfectly capable in using a word like trias -- as used by Aristotle -- meaning triad, or trinity. Another example, the word-group for the number "three" occurs upwards of 827 times in the Bible. Can you point to a single case where this number "three" is ever used in a designation or description for God?


You continue --
The Scriptures reveal ONE TRUE God and yet, at the same time, multiple individuals are rightly called the ONE TRUE God without censure, objection, or question. In simplest terms, there are three Persons who can accurately be called the ONE TRUE God. I like the phrase 'plurality in unity'. If the Scripture does in fact reveal multiple individuals called the ONE TRUE God, and we cannot explain away such, then we're stuck with the plurality in God that you say does not exist.

May I respond? --

Can you provide a text which states the Son (Jesus Christ) is ever called "one true God"? Can you provide a text which states the Holy Ghost is ever called "one true God"?

Thank you for giving me this opportunity.



Hebrews 1.3 -- " ... who being the shining splendour of His glory." (IB)

"shining splendour" = Strongs # 541, only occurrence -- [ απαυγασμα / apaugasma ] from apo (S# 575 = off, away) and S# 826, augazo ( = shine)

Thayer’s, page 55 -- "reflected brightness"

Ardnt-Gingrich, page 81 -- "radiance ... reflection. The meaning cannot always be determined with certainty. ... Philo uses the word of the relation of the Logos to God."

Translations --- KJV: brightness of; ASV: the effulgence of; RHM: an eradiated brightness; BAS: the outshining of; TCNT: the radiance of; GDSP: the reflection of; CON: an emanation of; NWT: the reflection of; KIT: beaming forth from; RSV: the reflection of; UBS: the radiance of; WEY: brightly reflects; LAM: the brightness of; AMP: the out-raying of the divine.

It is possible the author of Hebrews is paraphrasing Wisdom 7.22-25 --- "For wisdom [ = the Logos], which is the worker of all things, taught me: for in her is an understanding of inspired things, holy one only [monogenes > Jn 1.18] .... For wisdom is more moving than any motion. ... For she is the breath of the power of The God, and a pure influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty ... For she is the brightness [apaugasma > Heb 1.3] of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of The God, and the image of his goodness." This rare use of apaugasma -- if echoed in Hebrews 1.3 -- proves it is indeed a reflection as a mirror. Thus, The God is the Sun and the Son is the Moon.



As for me, I cannot read the Nazarene's prayer in John chapter 17 and not see that there is only one true God and this is the Father and none other; that the Father sent, glorified, authorized, etc. His Son; and, that the Holy Spirit is completely missing.

John 17:1-5, 22-24 ---
Jesus spoke these things, and, raising his eyes to heaven, he said: "Father, the hour has come; glorify your son, that your son may glorify you, according as you have given him authority over all flesh, that, as regards the whole [number] whom you have given him, he may give them everlasting life. This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ. I have glorified you on the earth, having finished the work you have given me to do. So now you, Father, glorify me alongside yourself with the glory that I had alongside you before the world was. ... Also, I have given them the glory that you have given me, in order that they may be one just as we are one. I in union with them and you in union with me, in order that they may be perfected into one, that the world may have the knowledge that you sent me forth and that you loved them just as you loved me. Father, as to what you have given me, I wish that, where I am, they also may be with me, in order to behold my glory that you have given me, because you loved me before the founding of the world.

I see in this prayer: 1) the Father, who is the only true God; and, 2) the Son is, a) authorized; b) sent; c) glorified by the only true God. I note the Holy Spirit is absent.


GE 1.26

Regarding Genesis 1.26, 27 -- The LXX reads: "And The God (ho theos) said, ‘Let us make man according to our image and likeness. ... And The God (ho theos) made man, according to the image of The God (theou) He made them."

Jesus himself references this event of creation in Matthew 19.4, 6 (Mk 9.9], when he taught --- "Have you not read that The One who made them in the beginning ‘made them male and female.’ ... therefore what The God (ho theos) has joined together, let no one separate." We note Jesus does not include himself in this creative work. The Nazarene could have easily said, "Have you not read that They made them." Also, we note the Nazarene addresses the Creator as ‘The God’ (ho theos > as it is in Ge 1.26) and designates The God as a singular, not plural, individual. The phrase above rendered "The One" in the RSV is from the simple Greek article ho which is singular just as it is in Genesis 1.26. Jesus gives no hint of a "plurality within God" by his own choice of words.


Zc 11.12, 13 (MT 27.3-19) IS JESUS JEHOVAH?

Trinitarians use Zechariah 11.12, 13 with Matthew 27.3-19 to prove Jesus and Jehovah are the same Person.

Then I said to them: "If it is good in your eyes, give [me] my wages; but if not, refrain." And they proceeded to pay my wages, thirty pieces of silver.

At that, Jehovah said to me: "Throw it to the treasury-the majestic value with which I have been valued from their standpoint." Accordingly I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw it into the treasury at the house of Jehovah.

Mt 27.9, 10 --- Then what was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying: "And they took the thirty silver pieces, the price upon the man that was priced, the one on whom some of the sons of Israel set a price, and they gave them for the potter's field, according to what Jehovah had commanded me."

May we ask, Who is speaking in the beginning of verse 12? Is it not the prophet Zechariah? Israel placed the value of a slave -- thirty pieces of silver -- on the prophet indicating how much they really valued God. The same happens when the Jews showed how much we valued God Almighty, Yahweh, by how they treated His Son.




Can we agree the word "equal" means "the same as" or "identical to"? I wish to affirm that the Son is not equal to the Father in: a) seniority; b) knowledge; c) authority; d) greatness.

a) The Son is not equal to the Father in seniority.

The very designations Father and Son argues one came before and another came after, as Son follows Father. It is a given -- by the designation alone -- the Father is senior of the Son and therefore possessed of more seniority.

The Son as the Logos (Wisdom) was "created" and there not equal in seniority. (Pr 8.22; Col 1.15) The Son, as the name implies, was begotten. (Jn 1.18)

b) The Son is not equal to the Father in knowledge.

The Father being senior obviously has more knowledge than the Son. Jesus confirms this in several ways.

John 5:19 --- "The Son cannot do a single thing of his own initiative, but only what he beholds the Father doing. For whatever things that One does, these things the Son also does in like manner."

John 5:20 --- "[The Father] shows [the Son] all the things [the Father] himself does, and [the Father] will show [the Son] works greater than these."

John 5:30 --- "I cannot do a single thing of my own initiative; just as I hear, I judge."

John 7:16-17 --- "What I teach is not mine, but belongs to [the Father] that sent me. If anyone desires to do His will, he will know concerning the teaching whether it is from The God or I speak of my own originality."

Matthew 24:36 --- "Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father."

Revelation 1:1 --- "A revelation by Jesus Christ, which God gave him."

Summary: it could never be said of the Father, "I do nothing of myself, but only what I behold the Son doing. It could never be said of the Father, "The Son shows the Father all." It could never be said of the Father, "I can do nothing of myself." It could never be said of the Father: "What I teach is not mine, but belongs to the Son." It could never be said of the Father: "Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens, nor the Father, but only the Son." It could never be said of the Father: "A Revelation by the Father, which the Son gave Him." The Son is not equal to the Father in knowledge.

c. The Son is not equal to the Father in authority.

1] The son confesses all his authority comes from the Father.

Matthew 9:6-8 --- "However, in order for you to know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins-" then he said to the paralytic: "Get up, pick up your bed, and go to your home." And he got up and went off to his home. At the sight of this the crowds were struck with fear, and they glorified God, who gave such authority to men.

Matthew 28:18 --- "All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth."

John 5:27 --- "And [the Father] has given [the Son] authority to do judging, because Son of man he is."

John 17:1-2 --- "Father, the hour has come; glorify your son, that your son may glorify you, according as you have given him authority over all flesh."

Summary of Jesus: It could never be said of the Father that He has been given authority; or, that the Son has given authority to his Father.

2] Paul teaches the Son is not equal to God the Father in authority

1 Corinthians 15:24-28 --- "Next, the end, when [the Son] hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has brought to nothing all government and all authority and power. For [the Son] must rule as king until [God] has put all enemies under [the Son’s] feet. As the last enemy, death is to be brought to nothing. For [God] "subjected all things under his feet." But when [God] says that 'all things have been subjected,' it is evident that it is with the exception of the one [the Father] who subjected all things to [the Son]. But when all things will have been subjected to [the Son], then the Son himself will also subject himself to the One [the Father] who subjected all things to him, that God may be all things to everyone."

Ephesians 1:20-22 --- "[God] has operated in the case of the Christ when [the Father] raised [the Son] up from the dead and seated [the Son] at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above every government and authority and power and lordship and every name named, not only in this system of things, but also in that to come. [The Father] also subjected all things under [the Son’s] feet, and made [the Son] head over all things to the congregation,

Summary on Paul: It could never be said that the Father subjects himself to the Son. Paul teaches the Son is not equal to the Father in authority.

3] The prophets foretold the Father had authority over the Son.

Psalm 110:1 --- "The utterance of Jehovah to my Lord is: ‘Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet."

Psalm 8.5; Hebrews 2:7-9 --- "[Yahweh] made [the Son] a little lower than angels [gods]; with glory and honor [the Father] crowned [the Son], and appointed [the Son] over the works of your [the Father] hands. All things [the Father subjected under [the Son’s] feet." For in that [the Father] subjected all things to [the Son] [God] left nothing that is not subject to [the Son]. Now, though, we do not yet see all things in subjection to [the Son]; 9 but we behold Jesus, who has been made a little lower than angels [gods]."

Daniel 7:13-14 --- "I kept on beholding in the visions of the night, and, see there! with the clouds of the heavens someone like a son of man happened to be coming; and to the Ancient of Days he gained access, and they brought him up close even before that One. And to [the Son] there were given rulership."

Summary: It could never be said of the Father that the Son subjected all things to Him. It could never be said of the Father than any authority was "given" to Him.

d. The Son is not equal to the Father in greatness.

1] Jesus so affirms the Father is greater than he:

John 5:20 --- "[The Father] will show [the Son] works greater than these."

John 10:29 --- "What my Father has given me is something greater than all other things."

John 13:16 --- "Most truly I say to you, A slave is not greater than his master, nor is one that is sent forth greater than the one that sent him."

John 14:28 --- "The Father is greater than I am."

Summary: never could it be said of the Father, "the Son is greater than I am." Never could it be said of the Father, "The Son will show the Father greater works." Never could it be said of the Father that he was "sent" by the Sob, or the "slave" of the Son.

2] Paul affirms the Father is greater than the Son:

1 Corinthians 11:3 --- "But I want you to know that the head of every man is the Christ; in turn the head of a woman is the man; in turn the head of the Christ is God."

Summary: Paul’s subject is "authority" as shown in the context. Never could it be said of the Father, "and the head of the Father is the Son."

3] The Prophets confirm the Son is less than God:

Psalm 8.5 --- "Yet [the Father] hast made [the Son] a little lower than God." (NAS; Heb 2.5-9)

General summation: The Son is not the equal of the Father in seniority, knowledge, authority, or greatness.



What does "Godhead" mean?

Funk & Wagnalls: "godhead n. Goodhood; divinity"

Websters: "godhood n. godhood; divinity"

The word "Godhead" occurs three times in the KJV. In each case it is a different Greek word:

Acts 17.29 --- "We ought not to think that the Godhead [Grk > theion; the divinity] is like ... " (Variously rendered: TCNT: the Deity; WEY: His nature; KNX: the divine nature; NWT: the Divine Being; NAS: the Divine Nature; NIV: the divine being)

Romans 1.20 --- " ... his eternal power and Godhead [Grk > theiotes; the divinity ... " (Variously rendered: ASV: divinity; RSV: deity; GDSP: divine character; KNX: divineness; MOF: divine being; WEY: divine nature; NWT: godship; AMP: divinity; NAS: divine nature; NIV: divine nature.)

Colossians 2.9 -- "For in (Christ) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead [Grk > theotetos; divinity] bodily." (Variously rendered: WMS, AMP, NAS, NIV: Deity; NWT: divine nature.)

None of these words or renderings give the meaning: "essential being."

We decide to check the critical word in 2.9, theotetos. (S # 2320) According to Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon, theotes (the nominative for, from which the-o’te-tos is derived) means ‘divinity, divine nature.’" (p 792) Also BAG (p 359) has it, "deity, divinity, used as abstract noun for theos ... the fulness of deity Col 2:9."

Thus, various translation render this: UBSInt: "for in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily"; NJB: "in him, in bodily form, lives divinity in all its fulness"; DIA: "For in him dwells all the fulness of the deity bodily."

Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon, the·o'tes (the nominative form, from which the·o'te·tos is derived) means "divinity, divine nature." (Oxford, 1968, p. 792)

Parkhurst's A Greek and English Lexicon (1845) defines theiótes as "Godhead" (page 261) and theótes as "Deity, godhead, divine nature" (page 264). Note the definition "divine nature" as well as "Godhead."

Liddell and Scott's A Greek-English Lexicon, in its new ninth edition, completed in 1940 and reprinted in 1948, Volume I, defines the two terms in the light of ancient usages apart from the Scriptures. Theiótes it defines as "divine nature, divinity" (page 788). Theótes it defines in exactly the same way, as "divinity, divine nature," and then cites as an example Colossians 2:9. In this connection it shows that the similar Greek expression, dia theóteta, means "for religious reasons" (page 792).

The Bible teaches the Father and the Son, as well as angels, may be called "divine" or "deity" in the sense that they are all "gods." If "Godhead" is understood from the Old English standpoint, it merely means, "divinity," and does not infer the Trinity.



J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines: "In a number of passages we read of an angel who is superior to the six angels forming God's inner council, and who is regularly described as 'most venerable', 'holy', and 'glorious'. This angel is given the name of Michael, and the conclusion is difficult to escape that Hermas saw in him the Son of God and equated him with the archangel Michael. ... There is evidence also . . . of attempts to interpret Christ as a sort of supreme angel . . . Of a doctrine of the Trinity in the strict sense there is of course no sign."

The belief that Michael the Archangel was the same as the Word, or the celestial Son of God is not a modern notion. It dates from earliest times in the universal church. The contemporary of Paul, rabbi Philo of Judea, ‘identified the Logos with the archangel Michael.’ (Formation of Christian Dogma, Professor Martin Werner, page 133)

"The counterpart of this is afforded by an identification of Christ with the archangel Michael, an identification which is made in the Shepherd of Hermas. ... According to the early Christian writing Of The Threefold Fruits, Christ, as one of the seven archangels of God, was created ‘from fire’ and exalted to the status of ‘Son.’" (Formation of Christian Dogma, Professor Martin Werner, page 135)

"In the 19th century the Berlin Old Testament student, who was also editor of a church newspaper and an ecclesiastical politician, Ernest Wilhelm Hengstenberg, in his many-volumed work on the Christology of the Old Testament, concentrated upon the Early Christian identification of Christ with the angelic figures of the Old Testament, particularly the archangel Michael." (Formation of Christian Dogma, Professor Martin Werner, page 137)


Co 2.9 -- Godhead

A Trinitarian cites Thayers, page 288, re Colossians 2.9, and the Greek theotes ---

"J.H Thayer (whose Greek lexicon is referred to by the Watchtower as being "comprehensive") says the Greek word in Colossians 2:9 refers to "deity, that is, the state of being God, Godhead. (see J.H Thayer A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament, 1963, pg. 288)"

The Trinitarian’s stated purpose in making this citation is "how the many Greek scholars support the interpretation of "Godhead" being that of "essential nature", "what makes God God", "absolute and perfect Deity."

It comes as a bit of a surprise that Thayers would be quoted to prove the Trinity when it is well-known as a Unitarian Thayers opposed the Trinity. The citation above from page 288 above fails to prove "Godhead" means anything beyond the old English definition of "Godhead" -- deity, divinity. Indeed, "deity" is the first meaning of theotes according to Thayers.

Under the subject of theos Thayers (page 287-8) defines this word generally rendered "god" or "God" --- "1. a general appellation of deities or divinities ... 2. Whether Christ is called God must be determined from (6 cited texts) ... ; the matter is still in dispute among theologians. ... 3. spoken of the only and true GOD : with the article ... 4. theos is used of whatever can in any respect be likened to God, or, resembles him in any way : Hebraistically i. q. God’s representative or viceregent ... "

These later definitions of "theos" is identical to our own: that the word "god" is used of degrees of persons who may be designated deity or divinity (or, Godhead in the old English meaning = divinity). Because the high Trinitarian use of "Godhead" the word has taken on a meaning equivalent with the word "Trinity" and thus becomes misleading. A comparison in Websters Unabridged Dictionary will clarify the matter of the word "Godhead."

Nazarene Saints Publishing © Copyright. 1998. All Rights Reserved.

c/o Shawn Mark Miller
177 Riverside Ave
Newport Beach, California 92663 USA

Back to the Friends of the Nazarene Publications Page