97 Comments
  1. I caught about the last 40 minutes of the dialogue. At this point, given what’s been said so far, I’m a bit unclear with regard to where exactly Mr. Zarley stands on the question of Jesus’ preexistence: while earlier in the show he seemed to tacitly express the view that the Son of God was, at the very least, the first created being through whom the Father made all other things (which would align Zarley’s theology more or less with what is commonly called “Arianism”), he ended by flatly denying Jesus’ preexistence. So was Mr. Zarley merely denying the preexistence of the man called Jesus (i.e. denying only the preexistence of Jesus’ humanity) or was he entirely denying the spiritual preexistence of the Son of God as Word/Logos? If the latter, he would be departing even further from a Trinitarian theology than is done in Arianism. Hopefully this matter will be clarified in tomorrow’s broadcast which will feature part 2 of the debate.

    One thing’s for certain: if Zarley is indeed going to entirely deny the spiritual preexistence of the Son of God as Word/Logos, then Dr. Brown’s task of debunking just got even easier.

  2. tj

    Where does scripture teach about “the spiritual preexistence of the Son of God as Word/Logos”?

    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).

  3. John 1:1-3

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

    John 8:58-59

    “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, a I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.”

    How does this person believe that Christ did not pre exist.
    They wanted to stone Him because He was claiming to be God and in this case also pre-existing Abraham.

    I might be off base, but you can’t deny Christ Deity and then still claim to be saved. If Christ was just man, it means that He was born with a sin nature and was not a Lamb without blemish. When you start down that road you have to end up calling yourself an atiest because you will need to deny most of the Bible on your way down the slipery slope.

    More sinister than that we also have to consider:

    2 Peter 2:1

    “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction”

    Matt 24:11

    “And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray”

    Kermit Zarley, sorry man but your sword is blunt.

    Denying the Deity of Christ is like disowning who Christ is.
    This has grave consequences.

    Matthew 10:33

    “but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”

    Fortunity God has proven Himself as forgiving time and again.

  4. Johan,

    Your reference to John 1:1-3 and John 8:58 lacks translational and semantic support. Neither of the two refers to Christ’s identity.

    John 1 describes or explains what the logos was (not who he was). and in John 8:54 Jesus specifically separates from and properly identifies the identity of the only true God, Yahweh, whom Jesus is NOT.

    Johan, NOWHERE in Scripture, from doxologies to confessions to kerygma was confessing Jesus as God EVER linked to salvation. Acknowledging him as God’s representitive, God’s agent and God’s son, however, was a requirement for salvation (Mt. 16:16, 17, 1 Tim 2:5)

    Nowhere in scripture is Christ’s perfection linked to his “deity.” He is a perfect, begotten man because of his conception (Lu. 1:35) and his obedience (Heb. 5:8, 9).

    If you know your Church history, Johan, you’ll know that the Trinity doctrine was formalised in the 4th century. It was formulated in language and terminology foreign to Biblical language usage and Hebraic world views. Yours, my friend, is a dogma of a later development. Yours is a Gospel Jesus and his apostles never preached, making your gospel one the apostle Paul refers to in Gal. 1:8, 9. So let’s not sling mud around about who is a true prophet and who isn’t. Let’s consider the evidence.

    Lekker aand,

    Jaco

  5. Hello Xavier,

    Here is first a brief assessment of your reply to my post. You began with a question: “where does Scripture teach about the spiritual preexistence of the Word/Logos?” To support your opinion that Jesus had no spiritual preexistence you then provided a quotation, apparently deeming it to be vital evidence to support your claim. You then proceeded to suggest that one must not cite John’s Gospel to support one’s view of Jesus’ spiritual preexistence.

    Let me preface my comments with something you may have missed: although I am a Trinitarian, I never said that in and of itself preexistence of Jesus as Logos equals the divinity of the Logos. Although, testimony of Scripture does point to (and, in fact assert) Jesus’ divinity, the very fact of preexistence does not in and of itself require divinity. In fact, for the roughly the past 2000 years most deniers of the Trinity have, nevertheless, affirmed Jesus preexistence of Jesus as Logos. This is, broadly speaking, what is called an “Arian” theology, and the bulk of historic debates on Trinitarian doctrine have been between those who hold to such a view and Trinitarians. The reason why even the Arians could not abandon the view of Jesus’ spiritual preexistence is because the Greek text and all its translations are so clear on the matter. That’s why I said Dr. Brown’s task will be so easy is Zarley is going to completely deny Jesus’ spiritual preexistence as Logos.

    Now, I’ve got to say, asking someone “where the Bible speaks of the spiritual preexistence of the Logos,” and then telling them, YOU MUST NOT USE JOHN’S GOSPEL, is a rather like asking someone, “where in the New Testamensnt can I find a Messianic genealogy,” and then saying, BUT YOU CAN’T USE MATTHEW 1 OR LUKE 3! ☺
    I think if I where to say the latter to you, Xavier, you would likely (and rightly) say, “before you’re going to get me to abandon those Messianic genealogies, I’m going to need some good hard evidence and arguments to convince me to do so!” Essentially, what you’ve done is made some assertions but not backed up them with evidence. So no, Xavier, I will continue to refer to John’s Gospel as a key part of my well-founded belief in the preincarnate Son of God as the divine, personal Logos. This is where my years long study of the Greek text has led me, and my conclusions supported by such excellent Hebraists as Dr. Brown.

    First note several things regarding the quotation you’ve supplied: 1) I agree with much of what you’ve quoted, as long as long the statements are judiciously qualified by other pertinent facts that bear upon what those statements mean within the broader context of scripture. For instance, I completely agree that the title “Son of God” need not (in and of itself) point to the divinity of the one to whom it is applied. For instance, it can be applied at times to the angels, who despite their proximity to God are not themselves divine. It is applied to the Davidic king at times—in Psalm 2 for instance where the Davidic king is identified as God’s son (this points to God’s favor of the Davidic kingship but even more significantly points to the Davidic king as the royal prototype and forerunner of the Messiah, who Himself is the Son of God in this same way, but also in a way that is even more special than this (the Messiah was to be not only like David but greater than David). The scripture is also clear that all of believers are called to be “sons” or “children” of God. 2) I will absolutely not deny that one of the primary offices of the Messiah is to be God’s special representative, to bring knowledge of Him to the ends of the earth: this is foretold in Isaiah 49:6 and fulfilled in the Great Commission and beyond. So, in and of itself, I agree with much of what is stated in that dictionary entry you’ve quoted. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find a Trinitarian theologian who would disagree with most of what you’ve quoted, in and of itself.

    However, the simple fact that the title “Son of God” does not, in and of itself, prove that the one to whom it is applied is divine, it also does not prove that he is not. So the real questions, IS JESUS DIVINE OR NOT? To answer that question requires a much more extensive exploration of the Bible than merely discussing the various significations and applications of the title, “Son of God.”

    Here are some reflections on the Trinitarian doctrine, which, of course, affirms both the preexistence of Jesus as Logos as well as His divinity. I hope they are helpful.

    Regarding the question of the Trinity, and whether the Trinity is reflected in Scripture, let us consider several things. First, the fact that the word “Trinity” appears nowhere in Scripture is irrelevant: the question is not concerning a word, but rather, does what the word defines appear in Scripture—that is, does the Bible testify to the existence of one God who exists in three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
    For roughly the past 1500 years there has been a debate between adherents to the view held by rabbinic Judaism and that held by most Christians—namely, does the one true God—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—exist in one, or in three persons. Mark that the question is NOT, how many gods are there, but rather, what is the nature of the unity of the one and only God.
    Firstly, let us make a clarifying point: the question is NOT, what does post-Biblical Jewish tradition, and post-Biblical religious tradition say about God, but rather, what does the Bible itself say about God?
    Let us begin then with one important fact: the entire Bible—both Old and New Testament—is a product of ancient Jewish culture, and differences that exist between the two are mainly to be attributed to the fact that whereas the Old Testament embodies a messianic promise and hope, the New Testament is written in light of the belief that the messianic promise embodied by the Old Testament had been fulfilled by Jesus, whom the authors of the NT universally regarded to be the Messiah (“the Christ”): in Him the 1st century Jews who penned the NT believed the central expectation and longing of Judaism had been fulfilled, and in light of that fact Torah, Neviim, and Ketuvim (the 3 primary divisions of Tanakh) were viewed and interpreted through a messianic lens (hence the “differences” between the Old and New Testaments. I have stated this just to remind us that the New Testament is every bit as much a Jewish production as the Old, and that it was taken for granted equally by primarily Jewish authors of both Testaments, there was but one God.
    But what does the Bible tell us about the nature of that one true God? There is no formulaic creed at any one place in scripture which systematically defines the nature of the one true God’s unity. Nevertheless, when we examine the Bible in its entirety, the picture we are given of the nature of His unity is anything but simple. What I mean is that God’s unity is pictured as complex in the Bible. Some examples: a literal translation of one of God’s most common name in the Hebrew Scriptures (i.e. the Old Testament) is “Elohim.” This is a masculine plural Hebrew word, which literally translated means “gods.” Of course it is always translated as “God” because everyone knows that the culture that the Bible reflects (ancient Jewish culture) was monotheistic. Nevertheless, it may be suggestive of a God whose unity is complex, when combined with other factors. (Of course, alone, it certainly does not absolutely prove anything about complex unity or Triunity).
    God also at times refers to Himself by the plural pronoun. For instance, He says, “let us” do this, or “let us” do that. Again, this does not prove the Trinitarian doctrine—it could, for instance, be an example of the so-called plural of majesty sometime employed by monarchs—but taken along with other factors it may suggest a God whose unity is complex.
    There are few words more famous in Judaism than those found in Deut. 6:4: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the Lord is One.” The Hebrew word here translated as “One” is “echad.” Interestingly the word echad, in addition to speaking of something being numerically “one,” can just as well be used to describe a complex or composite unity as it can be used to describe a simple unity—the nature of the oneness must be derived from context. In Genesis when God makes man and woman “one flesh” the word is “echad.” When God gives directions for making the tabernacle the various components when assembled make up one tabernacle, and the word used to describe its composite unity is echad.
    In the Old Testament as well, God is pictures as being eternally and always seated on the throne of Heaven, and yet He at times has a localized presence in the Tabernacle and Temple, while still remaining seated in Heaven, and while also filling the universe with His Spirit. Are you beginning to see that God’s unity is complex? This “Shekinah”—glorious presence of God in the Tabernacle—is not a phantom or mere appearance of God: the Shekinah IS God, and a personal visible God who speaks to Moses, Aaron and the High Priests who came after. God is on the one hand said to be completely invisible—in parts of the Old Testament the Hebrews are warned against making idols by the admonition that when God spoke to them at Sinai they saw “no form.” Yet in Numbers 12 we are explicitly told that Moses beheld the “form of the Lord.” And the same Hebrew word for “form” is used in both places. What does this mean? It means that the invisible, unknowable, untouchable God has a way of making Himself known to his creatures. This Bible-wide fact the same hold true for the New Testament. In the first chapter of John’s Gospel, first we are told that the pre-incarnate Son of God (the Word) is both “God” and “with God.” How is that for complex unity? God is one who is with Himself: one mark of his perfection is that He is perfectly happy in Himself, needing no company, and this so because he contains within Himself a sort of community: He is the one who is both God and with God. We are also told that this same “Word” who is both “God” and “with God” at an actual point in time “was made flesh and dwelt among us.” Then in the same chapter we are told that “no one has ever seen God.” This is the same picture we have been given by the Old Testament: no one can see God, and yet, if God wishes to make Himself seen, known, and even touched by humanity, He has a way: this “way” is spoken of variously as his Word or his Shekinah. Remember the same holds true for the Shekinah and the Word since they are ultimately the same: God remains seated on the throne of Heaven, yet when we wills it, He makes himself known and reaches out and touches his creation by His Shekinah or Word. The Shekinah or Word is not merely a force of God, but a person who is both God and with God. It is most interesting to look at the original Greek of the verse of John 1 that tells us that “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” The Greek verb translated by the English “dwelt” literally means to pitch a tent or tabernacle or to dwell in a tabernacle—an obvious reference to what God had formerly done by His Shekinah in Tabernacle and Temple. In other words, the Word spoken of in John 1 is the very same as Shekinah, only now dwelling in a “fleshly tabernacle” rather than one made of fabric or stone. God wished to set up a more permanent presence than He had formerly done, and therefore clothes Himself with flesh rather than with the tabernacle or temple of stone—not only was he now dwelling “among us”: He was one of us. Nevertheless, Jesus Himself reminds us that He is the very same Word/Shekinah (both God and “with God”) who formerly dwelt among men in the Tabernacle/Temple, when He says, “destroy this Temple and I will rebuild it in three days,” speaking of His own body which houses God even as the tabernacle of old. But make no mistake, even though God walked among as a man, He still occupied the throne of Heaven, while filling the universe with His Spirit. It should be a little clearer now what Jesus meant when He said, if “you’ve seen Me You’ve seen the Father.” No, he was no saying He is the Father, he’s just saying “I and My Father are One” (cf. Hear O Israel the Lord Our God, the Lord is One/echad): One God whose unity is anything but simple—The Son is both God and with God, who even refers to Himself as “the beginning and the end” in the book of Revelation, a title God uses of Himself in Isaiah when he also says, “there are no other gods but Me.”
    What of the Spirit? In the Old Testament God’s Spirit is often suggested to have a personality, and this is even more clearly reflected in the NT:
    The Holy Spirit is explicitly spoken of as a “person” in the original Greek manuscripts of the NT—and it is Christ’s own words that testify. While it is true that the Greek noun “pneuma” (“spirit”) is of neuter gender, this has no bearing on the matter since the word “pneuma” existed before either the NT was written or the OT (Tanakh) was translated into Greek several centuries earlier (ca. 200 B.C.). Jewish authors of the NT (such as John) merely used the Greek words they had at their disposal when penning the Gospels in Greek, and it just so happened that the word for “spirit” (“pneuma”) was neuter. As for the claim that the personal pronoun “he” is never used of the Holy Spirit, this is simply not the case. For example, in John 14:26 a masculine noun with a masculine article (“ho parakletos”) is used along with neuter “to pneuma.” “Ho parakletos,” which means “the Comforter,” is a well known title of the Holy Spirit. After the Holy Spirit is called by the masculine title “ho parakletos,” then the masuline demonstrative pronoun “ekeinos” (“he”) is used to refer to this very same Holy Spirit/Comforter. Thus, in the original Greek manuscripts of the NT, the Holy Spirit IS spoken of “personally,” and the Holy Spirit IS called by the masculine demonstrative personal pronoun “ekeinos.” This alone neither proves nor disproves the Trinitarian doctrine, but it certainly does weigh in the direction of the Trintarian doctrine. When we weigh the evidence of the entire Bible we certainly find that God’s unity is complex, not simple. Remember, God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8): He is omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent and eternal. Therefore we should neither expect the nature of His unity to be as simple nor the same as a man’s unity.
    In conclusion, God’s unity is complex, as the Bible reflects. The picture of that complex unity shows us three persons all of whom are God, and yet there are not three gods, but One—God is “Echad.”
    Now let us read Jesus’ glorious baptismal formula and wonder at its beauty and power: “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, ‘All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ Amen.” (Matthew 28:118-20)

  6. Please help me understand.

    Granted my Greek is fuzzy so I want to stay with English.

    I don’t see how John 1:1 does not refer to a person.
    “the Word was God”
    “He was in the beginning with God”
    “All things where made through Him”
    “In Him was life”
    These all seem to point to a person.

    I don’t understand how John 8:54 removes Christ from God.

    “Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ ”

    In some manuscripts “our God” is translated “your God”. From what I see, this only clarifies that the “person” Christ is talking about as Father is God and not Joseph.

    All the above are minors though, the one I am really having difficulty with is the actual sacrifice. So I guess the stance is that Christ is not God, but a good person who God decided to sacrifice for us so that we may live. I know God does not take pleasure in the blood of bulls and goats so the actual act of sacrifice is not the key. I also know that God is definitely not into human sacrifice and destroyed Canaan who worshipped Baal and part of that was human sacrifice. Deuteronomy 12:30-31. But ultimately God decides that He is going to get into human sacrifice after all?
    And on this poor person God is going to pour out all of our sins so that we might live. Also remembering that Old Testament sacrifice did not remove sin but that the sacrifice of Christ does. I don’t know, it’s a bit hard for me to understand.

    The entire Bible pinnacles on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
    With Jesus as deity the sacrifice makes sense, his growing up as a man experiencing all things as men making Him the perfect Judge lest anyone say “you don’t know what it’s like…”

    Christ as a willing scapegoat but mere human makes Him sound like a martyr and that is about it.

    I am happy edifying Christ as God and what ever the consequences of that has.

  7. That incarnation necessitates preexistence is self-evident: there must be something that comes before the incarnation which is “made flesh.” John 1 most certainly describes the incarnation of a spiritually preexistent Person called “the Word” (in Greek, “Logos”). The Word’s divinity is not merely implied in John 1:1–it is stated explicitly. The lack of definite article for the second occurence of “theos” in verse 1 does not detract from but rather adds to the weight of a Trinitarian reading of the text, as it affirms deity of the Logos while at the same time depicting personal distinctness and complexity within the Godhead. That Jesus is the incarnate Logos, and that the Logos is not only preexistent but also divine, is indeed what’s reflected in John 1 and supported by an immediate, broad, and Bible-wide context. Knowing the Greek helps, but it only confirms what is well expressed in English translations of John 1 and the rest of Scripture.

    A common accusation leveled at Trintarians by deniers of the Trinity is that Trinitarians are reading post-Biblical doctrines back into the text to support their views. In fact, it is the opposite: in order to arrive at and to defend a non-preexistent, non-divine picture of Jesus along with a non-personal Holy Spirit, requires not only eisegesis on a grand scale, but also selective blindness to many verses that absolutely affirm Jesus’ divinity and the Trintarian doctrine.

  8. I feel that intense emotional and theological struggles that Kermit is/has going/gone through.

    If only the answers came without us requiring to use our brains! Everything seems to be so cryptic and esoteric.

  9. The definition of g-d is something that does not change,and certainly does not take on flesh,for that would imply that god can become absent which is impossible. If god were to be absent at one point when we know that god runs the world at all times without fail and deals with each and every situation that arises,then how can one possibly suggest that at some point god removed his divinity? Who would be in charge during those periods? As far rs the verses that Dr.Michael Brown quoted that would seem to indicate that god cannot be seen, if you’ll analyze what the verse actually does state, it only says that god’s face cannot be seen! As for Isaiah 9, the definition of the verse reads as follows:and he called his name who? god the mighty one ….. he is the one that called his name prince of peace. In other words,the name that was given was “the prince of peace” who gave the name? god who is mighty and powerful….etc. Think of it, would you excpect such a long name for an individual? Additionally the hebrew word “vayikrah” means and he called in PAST tense,meaning that the birth has happened earlier which therefore cannot be reffering to jesus. Finally, lets think logically,if it is really so important to believe that jesus is god dont you think that god would mention it clearly in the ot AT LEAST ONCE?

  10. Furthermore,lets analyze all this,if Dr.Brown is saying that jesus was human while he was living, including the need to eat and drink and not be aware of the future of and all that then why is it so accepted that jesus could not have sinned because he was g-d? If he was only human then he should have sinned like all other humans?

  11. Zvi,

    Nice to hear from you again! You always bring a humorous perspective. You should really call the show one day. 🙂

    I would also encourage you to respect the purpose of the forum here and if you want to argue Jewish issues, join me on the air or on the Real Messiah website.

  12. Zvi,

    One more note: I spent 70,000 words in vol. 2 of my series answering questions about Yeshua’s deity, but since you refuse to read my books, you are asking questions for which you refuse answers. When you’re ready to do the serious study, then read the material and we will interact with you one on one. If you simply want to raise issues that have been answered scores of time, this is not the place to do it.

  13. Dear Zvi, you’re ignoring a key facet of Dr. Brown’s reasoning: that God’s unity is complex. Complex unity allows for things that simple unity would not. That is why, for those who believe in a triune God, the second person of the Godhead could be locally embodied (i.e. incarnate) on earth or locally manifested in the the Tabernacle or Temple without ever ceasing to occupy the throne heaven. Furthermore, a God of complex unity can occupy the throne heaven, be locally manifested on earth in Temple/Tabernacle or in the flesh (i.e. embodied) while also filling infinitude with His Spirit: this is why we say He’s omnipresent, and, I might add, omnipresence alone precludes God ceasing to be anywhere at any time.

    I realize that you’re approaching this issue with the presupposition that the nature of the unity of the one true God CANNOT be complex, also (if I’m not mistaken) you’re beginning with the presupposition that Jesus neither is nor can be the Messiah. You occupy a much different position in the debate than either Dr. Brown or Mr. Zurley.

    I think it would be fair and courteous to, at the very least, read Dr. Brown’s entries in his series Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, and relisten to the debate with an open mind and, hopefully, an open heart. The reason I say this is because your characterization of Brown’s arguments and reasoning show no visible sign that you’ve even made any effort to undertstand them on his own terms before offerinr refutations. Note how in Dr. Brown’s arguments with Orthodox Rabbis he comes to the table having weighed and considered the relevant Rabbinic literature. Yes, he often reaches quite different conclusions from his interlocutors, but he first tries to understand their doctrine and thought processes on their own terms.

    In one of my above entries, I’ve briefly treated the issue of God’s complex unity. I hope that will be of some help. But I most strongly encourage you to acquire Brown’s aforementioned book series, and to view and listen to some of the debates and lectures that are posted under the free resources section of his website. I will be praying for you. God bless.

  14. I apologize for the typos in my last post: in paragraph 1, “throne heaven” should be “throne of heaven.” Also, in paragraph 3 “offerinr” should be “offering.”

    I won’t be able to post here again for some time but hope my comments have added to the discussion. Blessings in Him.

  15. John 1 and the word (see for details Focus on the Kingdom, July 2004)

    From the first translation of the Bible from Greek into English by William Tyndale in 1534 until modern versions, the latest in 2002, translators have warned us that the King James and other versions are mistaken when they read “all things were made by Him,”(John 1:3) i.e. Jesus the Son.” The Greek does not say this and the standard translations simply support ecclesiastical tradition. The following 50 translations, including 9 before the King James Version in 1661 do not force the reader to understand that the word was the Son before the Son’s birth.

    It was the Roman Catholic Douay/Rheims version, translated from the Latin by Gregory Martin in 1582, which first rendered John 1:3, “all things were made by him,” rather than by it (the word). This was followed by the King James in 1611. This translational move made the public think that the Son of God created the universe and was also God. This made two Gods, distorted the creed of Jesus (Mark 12:28ff.) and usurped the position of the Father as the unaccompanied Creator (Isa. 44:24) who “made them male and female,” as Jesus and the Hebrew Bible (the OT) said.

    In modern times the celebrated commentary on John by Leon Morris says: More important for our understanding of this Gospel in general and of its use of the term “word” in particular is its Jewish background.. The “word” irresistibly turns our attention to the repeated “and God said,” of the opening chapter of the Bible. The word is God’s creative word… Thus throughout the OT the Word of the Lord is thought of His effective agent for the accomplishing of His divine will, ‘by the word of Yahweh were the heavens made,’ (Ps. 33:6). When God speaks He does something. His word is a divine action… ‘so shall my word be which goes forth from my mouth it will not return to me void but it will accomplish what I please and it will prosper in the thing for which I sent it’ (Isa. 55:11). In Ps. 29 the voice of the Lord is regarded in much the same way,” [But no one would call the voice ‘he’] Archbishop Temple wrote: ‘The word (logos) alike for Jew and Gentile represents the ruling fact of the universe and represents that fact as the self-expression of God. The Jew will remember that “by the word of the Lord the heavens were made; the Greek will think of the rational principle of which all natural laws are particular expressions. Both will agree that this Logos is the starting point of all things.”

    “It is probably impossible for us to read the Prologue without thoughts of Jesus of Nazareth. But it is worth bearing in mind [!] that there is nothing to link the two until we come to v. 14. Up to that point the first readers of this Gospel would have thought of the Word in terms of a supremely great Being of principle. If we are to evaluate the intended impact of these words we must bear this in mind (p. 75, New International Commentary on the NT, John)… John 1:14: Notice that this is the first time in the Gospel that John indicates that the word and Jesus are be taken as the same. Up till this point [i.e. John 1:1-13] it would have been quite possible for the reader to have taken the ‘word’ to refer to some supreme cosmic principle or the like.” (p/ 102).

    I add this: In verse five the light which is in the word is an IT (auto) only in v. 10 is this light turned into a masculine person “him.” That is because the light is Jesus when Jesus is born, and not before. Thus the word is Jesus only after Jesus begins to exist, is born. Before that the word is the word of God, the one God’s plan and wisdom, not yet the Son of God. There is no preexisting Son in the New Testament and thus no basis at all for the Trinity.

    1. “All things were made by it,” Tyndale, 1534
    2. “The worde…All things were made by the same,” Coverdale, 1535
    3. “All things were made by it and without it nothing was made,” Matthews’ Bible, 1537.
    4. “All things were made by it and without it was made nothing that was made,” The Great Bible, 1539.
    5. “All things were made by it,” Taverner NT, 1540.
    6. “All things were made by it,” Whittingham, 1557.
    7. “All things were made by it, The Geneva Bible, 1560.
    8. “All things were made by it, Bishops’ Bible, 1568.
    9. “All things were made by it, Tomson NT, 1607.
    10. “Nor can anything be produced that has been made without it [Reason]” John LeClerc
    11. “The word… through the same all things were made,” Mortimer, 1761.
    12. “In the beginning was Wisdom and Wisdom was with God… all things were made by it,” Wakefield NT, 1791
    13. “The Word…. All things were made by it,” Alexander Campbell, 1826 (founder of the Church of Christ)
    14. “The Word… All things were formed by it,” Dickinson, A New and Corrected Version of the NT, 1833.
    15. “All things were made by it,” Barnard, 1847.
    16. “Through it [the logos] everything was done,” Wilson, Emphatic Diaglott, 1864.
    17. “All things through it arose into being,” Folsom, 1869.
    18. “All things were made through it,” Sharpe, Revision of the Authorized English Version, 1898.
    19. “All things were made by the Love thought,” Goddard, 1916.
    20. “All things came into being in this God-conception and apart from it came not anything into being that came into being,” Overbury, 1925.
    21. “All came into being through it,” Knoch, 1926.
    22. “The word… the living expression of the Father’s thought,” Blount, Half Hours with John’s Gospel, 1930.
    23. “The word was god,” C. C. Torrey, The Four Gospels.
    “Through the divine reason all things came into being,” Wade, The Documents of the NT Translated, 1934.
    24. “Without it nothing created sprang into existence,” Johannes Greber, 1937.
    25. “It was in the beginning with God, by its activity all things came into being,” Martin Dibelius, The Message of Jesus Christ, translated by F. C. Grant, 1939.
    26. “Through its agency all things came into being and apart from it has not one thing come to be” (Archbishop of Canterbury, William Temple, Readings from St. John’s Gospel, 1939.
    27. “The energizing mind was in existence from the very beginning,” Crofts, The Four Gospels, 1949.
    28. “First there was the Thought and the Thought was in God…. He, him,” Hoare, Translation from the Greek, 1949.
    29. “In the beginning God expressed Himself… that personal expression that word…. He” J. B Philips, NT in Modern English, 1958.
    30. “All was done through it,” Tomanek, 1958.
    31. “The Word was the life principle [in creation]” William Barclay, NT, 1969.
    32. “This same idea was at home with God when life began….. He” Jordan, Cottonpatch Version, 1970.
    33. “All things became what they are through the Word,” Dale, NT, 1973.
    34. “Within the Word was life,” Edington, 1976.
    35. “It was his last werd. Ony it come first,” Gospels in Scouse, 1977.
    36. “By it everything had being, and without it nothing had being,” Schonfield, The Original NT, 1985.
    37. “All things were made through the Word,” Inclusive Language Lectionary, 1986.
    38. “In the beginning was the Plan of Yahweh, all things were done according to it,” Hawkins, Book of Yahweh, 1987.
    39. “All things happened through it,” Gaus, Unvarnished NT,
    40. “In the beginning was the divine word and wisdom… everything came to be my means of it,” Robert Miller, The Complete Gospels, Annotated Scholars’ Version, 1992.
    41. “All things were made through the Word,” Throckmorton, 1992,
    42. “In the beginning there was the divine word and wisdom, everything came into being by means of it,” Robert Funk, the Five Gospels, 1993.
    43. “All things were made by the Word,” NT in the Inclusive Language Bible, 1994.
    44. “Through the Word all things came into being,” Inclusive NT, 1994.
    45. “All things came into being through the Word,” Gold, NT and Psalms, 1995
    46. “In the beginning was the message, through it all things were done,” Daniels, The Four Gospels: a non-Ecclesiastical NT, 1996.
    47. “All things through God were made,” VanCleef, 1999.
    48. “That word of God was God… God’s way of speaking and acting,” Beck, NT 2001.
    49. “In the beginning was the Word or the expression of divine Logic,” Zeolla, Analytical-Literal Translation of the NT, 2001.
    50. “Nothing but God, and all that He means existed in the beginning of absolutely everything. There was no possible way to separate God from His meaning, for only by His meaning can he be identified as God. God’s intentions and purposes existed with Him from the very beginning of everything. God, through His intentions and purposes created everything that has, or has had, existence in all of time,” Junkins, A Fresh Parenthetical Version of the NT, 2002.

    The evidence of fifty translations and paraphrases will show that it is an imposition on Scripture to insist that John wrote, “In the beginning was the Son of God, All things were made by him, the Son.” John was thinking of the Son as promised but not yet in existence. John spoke of the word, God’s purpose for the world. If the Son existed from eternity, that turns God into two and undermines the “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is One Lord,” Jesus’ first commandment (Mark 12:28ff.). If the Son was in existence before he came into existence, this makes no logical sense and contradicts the accounts of Matthew and Luke.

    It destroys the OT promise that the Son is in the future to come into existence (II Sam 7:14-16). It destroys Matthews “book of the generation/origin of Jesus” (Matt. 1:1, 18, 20). It contradicts Luke’s message from Gabriel that the virginal begetting was the origination point of the Son of God and the exact and only reason for Jesus’ being uniquely the Son of God (Luke 1:35). If the Son of God is pre-human he cannot be human. If the Son of God existed before his begetting, it is impossible for him to have been begotten, brought into existence. If the Son is God, he cannot die, since God cannot die. If Jesus is God, there is no sacrifice or death for sin, since the immortal God is incapable of dying.

  16. Great subject matter development here. I wonder however if Zvi can contain himself and his own references long enough to go with the actual flow of argumentation, evidence, and logic which others will offer here. I wonder too whatever happened to the assertion our host past made that a Messianic debate blog would be offered on another section of the AskDrBrown site? If Zvi’s past behavior takes over here, what will come of civility in the process?

  17. TJ, Nice, “a complex unity.” Rabbi Saul of Tarsus put it this way. Yeshua now fills the universe (after the resurrection), which was part of the plan. He is now all in all. —

  18. tj, you said:

    “Now, I’ve got to say, asking someone “where the Bible speaks of the spiritual preexistence of the Logos,” and then telling them, YOU MUST NOT USE JOHN’S GOSPEL, is a rather like asking someone, “where in the New Testamensnt can I find a Messianic genealogy,” and then saying, BUT YOU CAN’T USE MATTHEW 1 OR LUKE 3! “

    You’re not comparing apples to apples. It’s for a reason that John’s gospel is not called synoptic. John’s gospel was more concerned over the theological implications of Jesus’ saving work. Many scholars say that he wrote it to refute Gnosticism. So then, and that is what Xavier means, provide a solid and purely historical reference to Jesus’ so-called personal spiritual pre-existence. If that is so central to His identity, certainly more writers should directly be referring to it.

    You continue:

    However, the simple fact that the title “Son of God” does not, in and of itself, prove that the one to whom it is applied is divine, it also does not prove that he is not. So the real questions, IS JESUS DIVINE OR NOT? To answer that question requires a much more extensive exploration of the Bible than merely discussing the various significations and applications of the title, “Son of God.”

    Here you attempt to argue from the negative. This is fallacious. “Son of God” immediately separates and anthropomorphically show an inequality between the two persons involved. This expression immediately excludes the possibility of ontological identity of persons involved.

    Your making the distinction between the logos and the angels regarding their divinity amounts to special pleading. Angels are also divine. Divine means anything pertaining to God. Manna, for instance, was a divine provision. The logos definitely does not solely reserve the appeal to be divine.

    “First, the fact that the word “Trinity” appears nowhere in Scripture is irrelevant: the question is not concerning a word, but rather, does what the word defines appear in Scripture—that is, does the Bible testify to the existence of one God who exists in three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?

    No, it is relevant. The teaching of the kingdom is central to Christianity. It is thus reasonable that the term, its aspects and implications be clearly stated and defined in the Bible. It does. It is thus reasonable to expect the “CENTRAL DOGMA” of the CHRISTIAN CHURCH be stated in no uncertain terms, and in confessional statements, without contradiction, without the possibility of meaning something else. Thus the awkward and striking absence of this word, trinity.

    You see, you start with the wrong premise:

    “But what does the Bible tell us about the nature of that one true God?”

    The Bible is nowhere concerned with the “nature” of God. It is concerned with the identity of Him. The whole “nature” or “essence” debate originates from Greek philosophy and mysticism. It is foreign to Biblical thought, and should thus be something we should not be concerned about. Anything you build on this premise will be invalid or untrue.

    Your Elohim argument is absurd. If you argue for plurality, you’re arguing for polytheism. The Greek LXX translated Elohim in the singular. The plural form is not a plural of numerical complexity. It is a plural of majesty or royalty. The Hebrew concord system uses singular pronouns and verbs in connection with Elohim. This attempt is weak at best. The “Let us…” statements in Genesis are also plurality of royalty, or of intent, addressing the heavenly court. Many a Bible scholar, FF Bruce included, have allowed for this possibility.

    Your argument on echad amounts to circular reasoning. Only once the complex unity is established, can it be argued for. Your example of Adam and Eve being one flesh is also inadequate. Flesh is a mass noun, thus allowing plurality within the possessors thereof. God/Elohim/Theos are count nouns! Thus will plurality be expressed in them in the plural form with accompanying plural forms in the grammar. By the way, if they were said to be one man, you might have had a case, since you’d be comparing apples to apples.

    Where do you get these explanations of God being happy with himself thus being God with Himself? This is philosophical nonsense! The word (not a person) was with God and this was a divine word. That’s it! Jesus Christ was what this word or divine purpose became. The Sh’kinah of God is NOT a person. The word of God is NOT a person. Jesus is NOT the Sh’kinah of God. He is explicitly identified as the REFLECTION of the Sh’kinah of God. (Heb. 1:3) Your statements are but traditional cherry-picked texts and strained concepts argued and refuted ad infinitum ad nauseam by even Trinitarians themselves!!!

    Peter also said that he was in this “tabernacle.” (2 Pet. 1:13) Does that make Peter God? Does that make Peter worthy of worship since, somehow, God dwells in him? Thats absurd.

    The ruach haqodesh is not a person. Since God using holy spirit to accomplish his will, that does not make the spirit the very same person of God. As sin and wisdom are personified in Scripture, holy spirit is personified as parakletos. At the fulfilment of the parakletos’ coming, not a person, but an impersonal force was poured out. (Acts. 2) Not an individual, but a spirit, divisible and fluid, as we would expect of an impersonal force (Acts. 2:17 – …some of my spirit…).

    Your very own reasoning can be used to show that the logos was impersonal. It was linguistic and grammatical convention to assign a masculine grammatical gender to the word logos. Nothing to do with a person’s biological sex!

    The God of the Bible is the singular God, Yahweh, identified as one person (not in terms of substance or essence). He promised to send his Son who would be his Servant (Ps. 2, Isa 52:13-53:12, Isa. 11, Mal. 3). This would be the ultimate Representative of God. Fully equal to Adam, so as to make atonement for our sins caused by Adam (Rom. 5:15-21, 1 Cor. 15:45). Jesus was anthropomorphically depicted by inspiration to be inferior to God at all times. (Heb. 1:1-3) His Father was greater than he was, even after his ultimate glorification and superior status received from God (Joh. 14:28, 1 Cor 11:3, Rev. 1:6, 3:2). The actual valid and wholly Hebraic notion of Shaliach solves all of this trinitarian confusion. As representative of Yahweh, he could say that he and his Father are in full harmony, thus one. Representatives according to shaliach was seen as the one whom they represented himself. And Jesus was exactly that (Joh. 5). The human, Jesus, is the Mediator of the Almighty, thus not the Almighty himself. (Joh. 17:3, 1 Cor. 8:6, Eph. 4:4-6, 1Tim. 2:5) God cannot die, Jesus did. God cannot be tempted, Jesus was. Either he was God as man, or he was man. Jesus needed divine help, thus he cannot be God. In the Revelation of John, Jesus is depicted as someone separate from and subordinate to Yahweh, thus not Yahweh himself. The holy spirit is never actually seen or depicted as a person, except in figures of speech (personification.) This is the overwhelming evidence needing no twisting, adding or straining to fit the model devised, imposed and later murdered for from the the fourth century onward, chaired by a sun-worshipper. (God forbid). The trinity is yesterday’s heresy which became today’s orthodoxy. It should have been rejected as blasphemy centuries ago, but, in disobedience to Christ-in-Paul, it was exepted and enforced (Gal. 1:8, 9).

    You are right, God’s ways is not our ways. Let’s thus abandon what is a blasphemous heresy and accept the One and only God, Yahweh, and his human Messiah, the Second Adam, His Son, with the help and blessing of spirit; holy spirit!

    Jaco

  19. The definition of a complex unity would simply infer 1.that g-d can be a man and the ot clearly suggests explicitly that this is not the case. god CANNOT be a man. Its like saying that a circle is a square. The question we must ask ourselvs is: At the time that jesus was alive was he running the world? yes or no? this is not a philsophical question. If the answer is yes,then I ask you why then was he unable to fly or have divine knowledge of everything going on? And if the answer is,no,then I again ask so who then was running the world was god absent? Furthermore in exodus when god gave us the torah he said I am god” why did he not say WE are god. If dr.Brown is his book proves from genesis that god said ” let us make man”, that there were 3 god figures how then will he explain the very next few words where it says “he created” similar. Lastly if I were to hire you as my employee and I tell you “I will be the father of the company and you will be the son “,who do think has more power? A son is a subset of the father! A son has to come on to a father.

  20. Hey folks,

    For those here who do not who Zvi is, I should give you a heads up. He is an Orthodox Jew with no interest in hearing the truth of the gospel; rather, as he openly expressed a few months back on this blog, he is here to try and prove that the gospel message is not true — and he refuses even to read material that refutes his position.

    So, I would encourage you to ignore his comments and to continue to discuss the subject of the thread here and not to get sidetracked with Zvi. I am very much interested in seeing further discussion about the two shows with Kermit Zarley, while, on the other hand, our ministry interacts with seeking Jews virtually every day.

    And let’s pray for God’s mercy on Zvi, that his eyes will be opened to the truth and that he will humble himself and truly seek answers. All of us at one time were blind

  21. Dr. B. And this raises the questions the Gospels raise on “who has believed our report,” Zvi’s past nemesis. It would be honoring of our Father to do what you request regarding this blog stem, and its subject matter. Zvi=rabbit trails, always looking for the hole obscured by the blanket of snow apparent all around us. We are not listening, reading, and responding here to look for rabbit holes, but to address the subject Dr. Brown has posted on his own site.

  22. Bo, If you are following this, I did pick up your covenant development on the Dec. 22nd long blog. Nice work, and framed it a bit. Check it out.

  23. I do not know Zvi, and thus approach his arguments as they stand. To judge what is true and false, one has to be “blind” as respects one’s own biases, and see the facts for what they truly are. I think Zvi’s comments deserve an audience. If truth can stand on its own, why not freely allow everyone’s contribution?

    As one who used to challenge Muslims on so much of their theology, and listening to a few debates with Muslims online, I was struck afresh by the spurious arguments, verbosity and ad hominem attacks on the Christian. It only proved one thing and that is fear. It also showed anger. As a Psychology Major I dare to venture into what the fellow “team members” experience when their hero jump around like a mad kangaroo. They’re no less cowardly than their ranting and raving hero. What a pity to find exactly that even here…

  24. Zvi,

    You are welcome to post on this forum as long as you stay within the topic of the thread as opposed to coming on to attempt to disprove Christianity. There are other places to attempt that, but not here (unless that is the topic under discussion). You are also not allowed to attribute imaginary positions to Dr. Brown (as if he wrote something in one of his books) when, in fact, his books say the opposite or, at least, say things very differently. So, if you can abide by the forum’s guidelines, as explained here, you can continue to post.

    LOF Admin

  25. The Trinitarians seem to forget that saying that “Jesus is Yahweh” and that “the Father is Yahweh” amounts to belief in two who are Yahweh, ie two Yahweh’s. Jesus however affirms the unitary monotheistic creed of his own Jewish heritage. “The Lord our God is one Lord.” I cannot imagine how a singular personal prounoun can mean other than a single Person! The grammatical method has been abandoned once the I, ME, THOU and HE for the one God are not taken in their easy and normal sense.
    Jesus and God are constantly distinguished most obviously in John 17:3 where Augustine in desperation actually restructured the whole Greek text to make Jesus part of the Deity. Paul is a unitary monotheist: “To us there is one God, the Father.” He goes on to add that Jesus is the one Lord MESSIAH. He has called Jesus the Lord Messiah over 50 times! There are about 11,000 occs. of the words for God and not one of them means the Triune God. In John, the “I am he,” texts plainly make a claim to Messiahship, not Deity (4:26). After all Luke 1:35 gives us the basis for calling Jesus the Son of God.

  26. Anthony Buzzard,

    Welcome to the forum! I have one of your books, I appreciate your desire to stand for what you believe is right and true, and I profoundly differ with your conclusions and arguments. That being said, again, welcome to the forum!

    Should you ever desire to take up the issues of the deity of the Son or God’s triunity on the air with me, please let me know and we will do our best to coordinate it. This is a discussion that needs to continue.

    I would also encourage you to read my discussion about God’s complex unity in vol. 2 of my series Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus.

  27. Hey folks, I too have found some very interesting teachings on this topic. Somehow I can’t link directly to them, but here is how you can get them: Go to this link:

    http://www.waytozion.org/audiot.htm

    And in the seventh section under “Eddie Chumney” you can listen for free to “Is Yeshua YHVH?” , and also the last six teachings “Eddie in Beit Or” give a very good insight on this topic.

    These teachings reflect very well my own experiences with Yeshua, and it is now more clear than ever to me, that Yeshua is a very vital part of God’s complex nature (be it now triune or whatever).

  28. I’m going to kindly nip it in the bud for all that have a question about the deity of Christ. Please go to Revelation 1:7
    Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who PIERCED HIM. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
    “I AM THE ALPHA AND OMEGA, the BEGINNING AND THE END,” SAYS THE LORD, WHO IS AND WHO WAS AND WHO IS TO COME, THE ALMIGHTY.”
    then in verse 9 it clearly say this is the testimony of JESUS CHRIST.
    later in verse 18 it says,
    “Do not be afraid; I AM THE FIRST AND THE LAST, I AM HE WHO LIVES, AND WAS DEAD, AND BEHOLD, I AM ALIVE FOREVERMORE. AMEN. AND I HAVE THE KEYS OF HADES AND DEATH.
    OK

  29. …so if you take an honest look at this chapter without taking it out of context, and comparing Scriputre with Scripture, you will realize that JESUS IS INDEED GOD. As difficult as it is to wrap our minds around this concept.
    In Scripture only God holds the title of Alpha and Omega, Beginning and the End, Almighty. Only God has the keys to hell and death. Only God is the Great I AM who still lives.
    So in this passage, after describing Himself in this way, he says He lives, was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore.
    When did God die?
    I submit to you, after an honest look, this could only describe JESUS CHRIST!

  30. Dr Brown,

    You keep mentioning “God’s complex unity”, where is this even mentioned in the scriptures? If anything, they speak of His ABSOLUTE UNITY! The Shema, Jesus’ creed [Mar 12.29], is a clear precise and concise testament to this.

    Jesus taught no new doctrine of God…The God of whom Jesus speaks is the One God of Israel (Mark 12:29), the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jesus has based his view on the OT revelation of God and the knowledge of the nature of God, as derived from this revelation, he accepted as valid. Nowhere do we find him stating and teaching anything as the nature of God which was impossible on the basis of the OT religion…

    When he affirmed that none were good but God only (Mark 10:18)… he sought to unfold no new view of God, which would have required a special explanation and basis for the Jewish mind. But he appealed to those features of the Divine character whose recognition he could take for granted… He employs the name of Father to designate God.” Wendt, Teaching of Jesus, p 184-185.

    It is possible to translate: “Yahweh, our God, is one Yahweh” — in which case the Shema affirms that Yahweh cannot be divided into several Yahweh manifestations (poly-Yahwism), like the Baals of different sanctuaries [or we might add the Trinity of later Nicene Christianity]. Or we may translate: “Yahweh is our God, Yahweh alone” — in which case the Shema affirms that Yahweh is the only and the unique God [we will soon see that Jesus affirmed this creed in John 17:3].

    Yahweh is the individual personal name of God (Vol. 1, 67). Elohim, though plural in form, is seldom used in the OT as such. Even a single heathen God can be designated with the plural Elohim (Jud 1:24; I Kings 11:15; 2 Kings 1:2). In Israel the plural is understood as the plural of fullness. The One God theos is the most frequent designation of God in the NT. Belief in the one, only and unique God (Mat. 23:9; Rom 3:30; I Cor 8:4, 6; Gal 3:20 I Tim. 2:5; James 2:19) is an established part of primitive Christian tradition. Jesus himself made the fundamental confession of Judaism his own and expressly quoted the Shema (Deut 6:4; Mark 12:28ff. Mat 22:37; Luke 10:27).

    This guaranteed continuity between the Old and the New Covenant. For the God whom Christians worship is God the Father (Acts 3:13; 5:30; 22:14; the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob). The confession of the One God appears in an expanded form in Eph 4:6…

    Jesus Christ does not usurp the place of God. His oneness with the Father does not mean absolute identity of being…

    After the completion of his work on earth he has indeed been raised to the right hand of God, but he is still not made equal to God. Although completely co-ordinate with God he remains subordinate to him (I Cor 15:28). He represents us before God, but this is not to say that Christ is equal with God. In Rev. a distinction is always made between God and the Lamb.” New International Dictionary of NT Theology: GOD, Ed Colin Brown, p 80.

  31. Xavier,

    The term complex unity is not a something which is directly mentioned in the scriptures but it is the mystery which Paul alludes to in 1 Timothy 3:16. Having said that, God’s unity is triune in nature (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) which is what we call as trinity.
    By the way, the Jews believe in the coming of the Messiah, although we see it as the Return of our Lord and King Jesus. The Tanach does not mention the word Messiah (Mashiach) although there are many allusions to that title. (Please correct me if I am wrong).

    We call certain passages Messianic although the Chapters don’t explicitly say they are Messianic. We draw the conclusion from certain texts having common themes.

    In Genesis 15, God made a covenant with Abram. If you read the text, you will see that after the animals (heifer, ram, turtledove and pigeon) were cut, only God walked in between the pieces. After God had put a deep sleep over Abram, He saw God passing between the pieces as a smoking furnace and a flaming torch.

    If you understand covenant, in ancient Israel, it is unlike a contract. The parties cutting the covenant agree that if either one fails to keep the covenant then they agree to what was done to the animals to be done unto them. The parties in the covenant are obliged to keep their part of the covenant irrespective of the other. After the covenant is cut, a permanent scar is made on the body which in this case was the circumcision.

    Also, cutting the covenant means that you exchange each others name and possession. Abram’s (exalted Father) name was changed to Abraham (Father of many nations). In doing so, God added the Heh from His Holy Name (Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey) to Abram making it Abraham (Avraham). Also, Yahweh possessed all the nations of the world and now He gave Abraham all the possession through the covenant by making him the father of many nations.

    Having said that, since it was only God who walked among the cut pieces as Abram never did, God was upholding both sides of the covenant. In other words, if God did not keep the covenant (which is impossible since God’s words do not change) God will do to Himself that what was done to the animals and if Abraham or his descendants fail to keep the covenant, then God would still allow what was done to the animals to be done unto Him.

    In order to keep the uphold the breach of the covenant caused by the disobedience of Abraham’s descendants God had to keep the consequences of the covenant which He does through His Son Jesus (Yeshua). This only shows that Yeshua is Yahweh.

    God bless you in Jesus’ Name.

  32. Xavier,

    I refer you again to vol. 2 of my series for more on God’s complex unity.

    As for God’s absolute unity, can you provide me with a single biblical text that defines God’s oneness as absolute? The message of the Bible is that there is one God and only one God. The nature of His oneness is not described anywhere in the Bible as absolute as opposed to complex.

    One more note about my ability to post more in this forum: Please remember that I do five radio shows a week, and some of the shows generate scores of comments, plus I teach at four seminaries, travel and preach, and pour into our home base on a regular basis (FIRE Church and FIRE School), plus spend lots of time working in Jewish apologetics and other writing projects, among other things. (I’m sure you and others are busy too.)

    So, as much as I would love to have more time to post here and address the many good questions that come in from so many people, time does not permit that. The good news is that many of my major positions are laid out in my books, which are readily accessible.

  33. Dr. Brown,

    I know your a busy man, but let me just say this. Anytime your reduced to defining simple terms such as “one” [1] or “oneness” or “absolute” or “unity” I think there is really nowhere else to go.

    Trinitarianism has not only clouded the simple scriptural truths of the Bible that we both supposedly read, but has made non-sensical the medium of language itself!

    Your zeal for this type of Christianity only reminds me of what the Apostle Paul says regarding your own brethren [according to the flesh]:

    For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. Rom 10.2

  34. Xavier,

    why do you have such a big problem with a triune nature of God? As long as we don’t pray to three different Gods – where is the problem?

    Fact is that the human mind can’t comprehend God in His complexness anyway, and even the Kabbalists say (in the Zohar I think) that God consists out of three parts. Not that I believe in the Kabbalah, but what I’m saying is that God is multidimensional, and we as humans are a lot more restricted in our dimensions.

    Which implies that we can’t necessarily apply OUR dimension to God’s Word. That’s why we need the Ruack HaKodesh.

  35. Erika,

    why do you have such a big problem with a triune nature of God? As long as we don’t pray to three different Gods – where is the problem?

    Because its not in the Bible. What distinguishes the Jewish-Christian faith of the scriptures is its absolute, single, unified belief in ONLY ONE GOD [Deu 6.4]. Jesus and the Apostles did not break with this simple commandment [Mar 12.29; Gal 3.20; Jam 2.19].

    There may be so-called gods both in heaven and on earth, and some people actually worship many gods and many lords. But we know that THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD, THE FATHER… 1Cor 8.5-6a [cp. Jn 17.3]

  36. Xavier,

    Not only can’t you answer my simple question and challenge (here and in the blog for the Jan. 13), but you have to start throwing invective around, as if you have the truth and all those who differ with you are lacking knowledge. I’m just surprised that you are reduced to insult this quickly, exposing the scriptural weakness of your position. (This also tells me that honest interaction is not what you’re after, neither are you open to really hear the other side.)

    I really hope and pray that you will come to know the Lord Jesus in His fullness.

  37. Dr. Brown

    Will you answer my arguments and the texts presented instead of simply responding to so-called accusations?

    I just find it incredible that a man of your skills, experience and knowledge is reduced to debating the numerical value of echad, and what UNITY and ABSOLUTE means! I just find it amazing!

    PS: If I had a dollar for everytime a “Christian” is praying for me to come to a knowledge of the triune God, I wouldn’t be here. I’d be living it up in Jamaica! 🙂

  38. Jaco,

    You said,
    “You’re not comparing apples to apples. It’s for a reason that John’s gospel is not called synoptic. John’s gospel was more concerned over the theological implications of Jesus’ saving work. Many scholars say that he wrote it to refute Gnosticism. So then, and that is what Xavier means, provide a solid and purely historical reference to Jesus’ so-called personal spiritual pre-existence. If that is so central to His identity, certainly more writers should directly be referring to it..”

    You’ve actually just strengthened my position, Jaco. John’s Gospel is key to any exploration of “the theological implications of Jesus saving work”—no coincidence then that John affirms both His deity and preexistence in verse one of his Gospel. The word “theological,” I’m sure you’re aware, derives from the Greek “theos,” which the preexistent Christ is called in verse 1, and as “theos” He most certainly preexists the incarnation. “But if John is not “historical” enough for you, then let’s consult Paul: “…by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth” (Col. 1:16).

    I wrote,
    “However, the simple fact that the title ‘Son of God’ does not, in and of itself, prove that the one to whom it is applied is divine, it also does not prove that he is not. So the real questions, IS JESUS DIVINE OR NOT? To answer that question requires a much more extensive exploration of the Bible than merely discussing the various significations and applications of the title, Son of God.”

    You responded,
    “Here you attempt to argue from the negative. This is fallacious. “Son of God” immediately separates and anthropomorphically show an inequality between the two persons involved. This expression immediately excludes the possibility of ontological identity of persons involved.”

    Incorrect, Jaco. I have not argued “from the negative,” nor have I “attempted to.” I was merely pointing out that the title “Son of God,” in and of itself, does not prove either side’s case, and that we must therefore ask the more direct question, IS JESUS DIVINE OR NOT. I’ve made no “attempt” to deduce or argue from a negative premise, so I was not arguing from the negative. But now let’s try an experiment. In Revelation 22:13 Jesus tells us something about himself. He says, “I am Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last.” Let’s try applying your own standard— “this expression immediately excludes the possibility of ontological identity of persons involved”—but change the word “excludes” to “includes.” According to your own standard, “this expression immediately [INCLUDES] the possibility of ontological identity of persons involved.” Remember, this is a direct reference to Isaiah 44:6: “This is what the LORD says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.” Hmmmm…

    Concerning my statement that the nonoccurrence of the word “trinity” in Scripture does not weaken the Trinitarian position, you said:
    “It is thus reasonable to expect the ‘CENTRAL DOGMA’ of the CHRISTIAN CHURCH be stated in no uncertain terms, and in confessional statements, without contradiction, without the possibility of meaning something else. Thus the awkward and striking absence of this word, trinity.”

    You come close here to demanding from the Bible a formulaic creed concerning the Trinitarian doctrine. In response to similar demands, Dr. Brown posed a challenge to Xavier to produce a similar statement from Scripture concerning the simple, absolute unity of God. Are you willing to apply the same standard to your own “DOGMA”? You CANNOT, because it will not stand the test. Since no formulaic creed of either complex or simple unity exists in scripture, we are left to read the Scripture with open eyes and make sense of the picture of divinity which emerges. And the clear picture that emerges is that there’s one God and one God only (see the Shema), and that God is complex in unity.

    You said,
    “The Bible is nowhere concerned with the “nature” of God. It is concerned with the identity of Him. The whole “nature” or “essence” debate originates from Greek philosophy and mysticism. It is foreign to Biblical thought, and should thus be something we should not be concerned about. Anything you build on this premise will be invalid or untrue.”

    Certainly not, Jaco—I have not once appealed to Classical philosophy (If I had, I think I’d be aware of it, as I teach Classical Lit. :)). Actually, I think you yourself should be “very concerned about” your own notion of the nature of God’s unity, since it is your notion of it that is unscriptural and preventing you from seeing clearly many things that are crystal clear in the Bible. See, it is you who are beginning with the invalid premise—that God MUST be simple and absolute in His unity—and this is impeding your judgment of things so plain as the preexistence of Christ, and leading you to the “invalid,” “untrue,” unbiblical conclusion that Jesus did not preexist. Try reading the Bible without post-Biblical assumptions—just read the Book.

    You said,
    “Your Elohim argument is absurd… The ‘Let us…’ statements in Genesis are also plurality of royalty, or of intent, addressing the heavenly court. Many a Bible scholar, FF Bruce included, have allowed for this possibility.”
    Jago, your harsh epithets do not strengthen your arguments, and I do suspect that in your enthusiasm you are not reading carefully. For instance, why quote FF Bruce to make exactly the same point I had just made myself! Whose side are you on? 🙂 And note that whenever I raise such an issue as the use of the plural noun or pronoun for God, I always qualify the statement. Read my words again and pay attention to the caps: “(OF COURSE, ALONE, IT CERTAINLY DOES NOT ABSOLUTELY PROVE ANYTHING ABOUT COMPLEX UNITY OR TRIUNITY). God also at times refers to Himself by the plural pronoun. For instance, He says, “let us” do this, or “let us” do that. AGAIN, THIS DOES NOT PROVE THE TRINITARIAN DOCTRINE—IT COULD, FOR INSTANCE, BE AN EXAMPLE OF THE SO-CALLED PLURAL OF MAJESTY SOMETIME EMPLOYED BY MONARCHS—BUT TAKEN ALONG WITH OTHER FACTORS IT MAY SUGGEST A GOD WHOSE UNITY IS COMPLEX.”

    You completely missed the point regarding the word “echad.” The point is that its use in the Shema says nothing about the nature of God’s unity (i.e. as to whether it’s simple or complex)—hence my citing of instances of its application to composite unities, both literal and figurative. The Shema is often appealed to by non-Trintarians, so it is of particular significance to this discussion.
    “The ruach haqodesh is not a person”? Really? Jesus said otherwise and I’ll think I’ll take His word over yours.

    Xavier,

    You said that “It was the Roman Catholic Douay/Rheims version, translated from the Latin by Gregory Martin in 1582, which first rendered John 1:3, ‘all things were made by him,’ rather than by it (the word). This was followed by the King James in 1611.” In order to illustrate your point you compiled to illustrate your point. That was an impressive catalogue, but add Wycliffe’s 14th century translation to the equation (he would come first chronologically) and see the picture alter dramatically: “Alle thingis weren maad bi hym, and withouten hym was maad no thing, that thing that was maad.” Besides, we are primarily concerned with the Greek text. Interesting that the “Roman Catholic Douay/Reims” seems to give priority to the literal sense of the original Greek masculine “Logos” with masculine pronoun rather than going with a literal rendering of the Latin neuter “Verbum” (from the Vulgate) whose intensive pronoun would be “it,” if gender were to be maintained (though, I should add, that both the accusative “ipsum” and ablative “ipso” can be either masculine or neuter, depending on antecedent). Since you’ve alluded to Roman Catholicism, the “it” translations you seem to be fond of can be more justifiably gotten from a literal translation of the Catholic Vulgate (official Bible of the RC Church) than from the original Greek text.

    You never answered Dr. Brown’s several times reiterated challenge to produce a single, unambiguous assertion from Scripture concerning the simple, absolute unity of God (the Shema does not qualify). If you cannot do so, then I think Erika’s question to you—”Why do you have such a big problem with a triune nature of God?”—is yet unanswered.

    By the way, I agree that “It is probably impossible for us to [John’s] Prologue without thoughts of Jesus of Nazareth,” and it comes as no surprise to me as it is He with whom John’s prologue is concerned.

  39. tj,

    Just to clarify, all English translations of John’s prologue from the Greek, prior to the KJV, render the logos as an “it”. This has nothing to do with the Latin Vulgate, which Wycliffe used in his 1382 translation.

    Remember, the NT scriptures were originally written in the koine Greek, not Latin, German, Spanish or English!

    I did answer Dr. Brown’s question regarding one absolute text, John 17.3. How about the often-used NT benediction:

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2Cor 1.3; Eph 1.3; 1Pe 1.3

    On what grounds do you [and others here] ‘disqualify’ the Shema as the supreme commandment and revelation of the ONE LORD GOD of Israel?

    If its because of your misinterpreation of the numerical meaning behind echad, no Hebrew lexicon nor scholar that I know of [legitimate ones anyway] would say otherwise.

    Echad in Hebrew is the numeral ‘one.’ ‘Abraham was one (echad)’ (Ezek. 33:24; ‘only one man,’ NIV). Isaiah 5:12 also describes Abraham as ‘one’ (echad; ‘alone,’ KJV; ‘the only one,’ NJB), where there is no possible misunderstanding about the meaning of this simple word. Echad appears in translation as the numeral ‘one,’ ‘only,’ ‘alone,’ ‘entire, undivided,’ ‘one
    single.’ (Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974, 1:194).

    No case for a multi-personal God can be based on the fact that ‘one’ in Hebrew and English may sometimes modify a collective term: Even weaker [than the argument from Elohim] is the argument that the Hebrew word for ‘one’ (echad) used in the Shema (‘Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord’) refers to a unified one, not an absolute one. Hence, some Trinitarians have argued, the Old Testament has a view of a
    united Godhead. It is, of course, true that the meaning of the word may in some contexts denote a unified plurality (e.g. Gen. 2:24, ‘they shall become one flesh’). But this really proves nothing. An examination of the Old Testament usage reveals that the word echad is as capable of various meanings as is our English word one. The context must determine whether a numerical or unified singularity is intended.’ (Gregory Boyd,
    Oneness Pentecostals and the Trinity (Baker Book House, 1995), pp 47-48.

    If I’m wrong, can you point me to a proof text whereby “God is
    one being, three persons” or “God is one and yet three” or “three
    in one”?

  40. Xavier,

    Echad means one, not singular. For example, in Genesis 1 it says, there was evening and morning and it was ONE day.
    Similarly, Exodus 26 describes the tabernacle and all the items together make it ONE tabernace. Thus, the word echad means ONE and not singular.

    The triune nature of God is also seen the praise offered to God of Hosts by the Seraphim in Isaiah 6 where he says Holy Holy Holy. Why did the Seraphim say Holy 3 times and not 2 or 4 or any other number of times. There are other examples in the Hebrew Scriptures which show that God is triune in nature and his unity is complex and a mystery as stated by Paul in 1 Timothy 3:16

    God bless you in Jesus’ Name.

  41. Xavier,

    From your comments I must unfortunately conclude that are neither understanding my points nor those made by Dr. Brown and others in this forum. Either that, or the presuppositions you are holding to will not allow you to admit to yourself and to others the clear and plain meaning of so much of the Bible as well as simple obsevations made about it.

    At this point all I can do is recommend that you acquire a good Greek grammar (perhaps Smyth’s Greek Grammar and Hansen & Quinn’s textbook) and perhaps Latin if you’re interested in reading some of the early translations (Moreland & Fleischer’s text is good), and then give the New Testament another go. I also recommend that you read Dr. Brown’s Answering Jewish Objections Vol. 2, and if already have, then try again. God Bless.

    “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.

    I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

    Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.

    Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

    I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star” (Revelation 22:12-16).

  42. Xavier,

    I’ve actually taken more time to post on the forum than I normally do because of the sudden presence of a number of unitarians (all welcome to post here!), but schedule precludes me from posting much more, with rare exception. Plus, this forum is primarily for listeners to interact with the topics of the show, not to give me a further platform for communication. So, just a couple of notes:

    First, I’ve been studying this issue for close to 40 years now, often with great intensity and focus, and, as a Jew, with no particular allegiance to trinitarian beliefs. I hold to the One God’s tri-unity because I see it as best fitting with the scriptural evidence. For Jewish apologetics, it would be easier to hold to a different view, but I am captive to the Word of God (not Church creeds or human traditions, but the Word).

    Second, when you post things that I’ve heard endlessly as if you’re making a new point, then become condescending in your tone with me, then fail even to understand the arguments that you’re trying to refute (such as the significance of the echad issue in Jewish apologetics, etc.), even if I had time to post more, it would be clear that interacting with you would not be fruitful.

    Third, let me give you a word of wisdom. From your personal profile, you’re listed as a student, so, presumably, you’re much younger than me and, perhaps, I’ve been studying these issues since before you were born. (If my assumption is incorrect, please feel to clarify, but my point remains the same either way.) So, I advise you to change your approach when dealing with someone who differs with you — especially if that person is your elder — and not to say, “Well, you’re zealous for God but not according to knowledge.” That, my friend, paints you in a very bad light. Proverbs 9:8b

  43. Bijoy Thomas,

    Could you provide evidence from scholars/lexicons for your understanding of echad like I continue to give?

    ‘echâd: A numerical adjective MEANING ONE, first, once, the same. It may mean simply ONE OF various things: e.g., place (Gen 1:9); soul, or person (Lev 4:27); A PERSON from among many (Gen 3:22; 42:19; 1Sa 26:15). It has the idea of UNITY or integrity as when it designates one justice for all (Num 15:16) or ACTUAL PHYSICAL UNITY (Exo 36:12). The Lord is one (Deu 6:4)…

    It may serve as an indefinite article, ONE MAN (1Sa 1:1), or to indicate the FIRST of something, e.g., the first day of the month (Gen 8:5). (The Complete WordStudy Dictionary)

    Just because YHWH is praised 3 times does not signify “3 persons in one God”. That is just nonsensical reasoning. What if it had been 4 or 10 or 100 as you say?

    1Tim 3.16 is just one of a handful of so-called Trinity proof-texts which, if anything, reveals something very disturbing: the orthodox corruption of scripture to favour Trinitarian doctrine.

    That the reading theos cannot be original is shown both by the character of the manuscript attestation—the earlier and superior manuscripts all support the relative—and by the fact that ancient creedal fragments typically begin precisely in this way, that is, with a relative pronoun .

    The change must have been made fairly early, at least during the 3rd century, given its widespread attestation from the 4th century on. It can therefore best be explained as an anti-adoptionistic corruption that stresses the deity of Christ . [Ehrman, Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, pgs. 77-78]

    Here are some rather basic texts which tell us that Jesus is not God:

    1. 25,000 times in the OT God is described by singular pronouns, I, Me, Him and singular verbs. Yahweh occurs 6700 times with singular verbs. Adonai (Lord) 449 times with singular verbs.

    Singular pronouns and verbs tell us that God is one Person. He is never said to be three.

    2. In the NT Paul defined the One God as the Father: “There is one God ? the Father” (I Cor. 8:4-6)

    3. The Shema says that the “the Lord our God is One Lord” (Mark 12:29, NASV).

    4. John 17:3 says that the Father is “the only one who is truly God,” “the only true God.”

    5. John 5:44 describes the Father as “the one who alone is God.”

    6. Ps 110:1 which is a central NT proof text (alluded to some 23 times) distinguishes the LORD GOD from the Messiah and gives the Messiah the title ADONI which is never used for God.

    ADONI occurs 195 times and always tells us that the one so designated is not the One God, but a human superior (occasionally an angel).

    Jesus is the Lord Messiah not the Lord God. The Father of the Lord Jesus is the One God. The God of the Lord Jesus is also the Father of Jesus; hence “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    The Hebrews and Greeks did indeed have a word for a person. It is the word we most often see translated as “soul.” When the Bible talks about souls it is a reference to persons. For example, Peter says eight souls were saved through water he means eight persons were saved through water. When Luke writes that three thousand souls were saved he means three thousand persons were saved.

    The Bible indicates God is a soul. He is a person.

    Old Testament – Hebrew: nephesh

    And I [Yahweh] will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in My heart and in My soul. (1 Samuel 2:35).

    Yahweh tests the righteous and the wicked, and His soul hates him that loves violence. (Psalm 11:5).

    There are six things which Yahweh hates, seven which are an abomination to His soul. (Proverbs 6:16).

    [Yahweh]: Your new moons and your scheduled feasts My soul hated. (Isaiah 1:14).

    [Yahweh]: Behold, My servant-son, whom I uphold, My chosen one in whom My soul approves.

    Shall I [Yahweh] not punish these people,” declares the LORD, “And on a nation such as this shall My soul not avenge itself? (Jeremiah 5:9; cf. 5:29; 9:9)

    [Yahweh]: Be warned, O Jerusalem, lest My soul be alienated from you. (Jeremiah 6:8).

    I [Yahweh] have given the beloved of My soul into the hands of her enemies. (Jeremiah 12:7).

    Have You [Yahweh] completely rejected Judah? Has Your soul abhorred Zion? (Jeremiah 14:19).

    Then Yahweh said to me, “Even though Moses and Samuel were to stand before Me, My soul would not be with this people. (Jeremiah 15:1).

    I [Yahweh] will rejoice over them to do them good and will faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul. (Jeremiah 32:41).

    [Yahweh]: And she uncovered her harlotries, And she revealed her nakedness, and My soul turned away from her as My soul turned away from her sister. (Ezekiel 32:18).

    The Lord Yahweh has sworn by his own soul. (Amos 6:8).

    New Testament – Greek: psyche

    [Yahweh]: Behold, My servant whom I have chosen, My beloved in whom My soul is well pleased. (Matthew 12:18).

    [Yahweh]: But my righteous one shall live by faith and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. (Hebrews 10:38).

    These verses tell us about God who is a single Person. He was unaccompanied at the creation of the Universe according to Isa. 44:24.

  44. Dr. Brown,

    First, span of time is not proof alone of truth. You continue to ignore and misinterpret my arguments. Your asking me to believe that for 4-6 000 years your fellow Jews were wrong regarding the oneness/unity of YHWH. More than that, your asking me to go against the clear unitarian creed of Jesus and his Apostles [Mar 12.28-29; Jn 17.3; 1Cor 8.4-6; Gal 3.20; Jam. 3.19], something I cannot do.

    Second, as opposed to just “endlessly hearing” the points why don;t you try to understand them for what they are? Its really not that difficult. Try as I might to understand the triune God of orthodoxy, there are just too many holes for me to even entertain the thought. Let alone the scriptural evidence against such a trinitarian view of “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”.

    Third, regarding your “status” and position as an “elder” and my lack thereof. I don’t let anyone think less of me because of my youth [1Tim 4.12]. I can only be honest in disagreeing with you and believe that your arguments provide a slippery slope and stumbling block to real truth seekers. Diverting the world from the real stumbling block that is the cross [the resurrection from the dead of a human being] and not how “God got Himself born”:

    I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought…

    Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?

    For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:

    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

    Where are the wise? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

    For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles… 1Cor 1.10-23

  45. “I don’t let anyone think less of me because of my youth [1Tim 4.12].”

    Dr Brown does not think of you less. He expects you to show respect in your responses, especially in your disagreements.

  46. Xavier

    I agree with Dr Brown that you are condescending in your tone. It would be nice if you can change your tone.

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