138 Comments
  1. I had posted a reply to the assertion that Wallace doesn’t support that pros in John 1:1 implies that the Word was engaged in intimate personal communion with God. I also posted a request to Xavier but I see neither one of my posts were approved. Why not? I didn’t say anything which would lead to my posts being rejected from being posted.

  2. Xavier,

    Michael asked me in the debate about Heb 1.8-10. I said I did not think that author meant to call Jesus “God” in v. 8. For one thing, that would seem to me to clash with his saying in v. 9 that “God” (the Father) is the God of Jesus. And I also said to Michael that if he thinks the author calls Jesus “God,” i.e., one of the members of the trinity, in v. 8, “you’ve got a problem with the psalmist in Ps 45.6 calling the king god,” meaning the same god of the Trinity.

    The author writes half of his letter attempting to prove that Jesus is superior to angels, Moses, Abraham, and Melchizedek. Proving Jesus’ superiority is his purpose of the catena of seven quotes in ch. 1, so he just quotes things as they are in the LXX. All of it would be superfluous if he calls Jesus God. But, of course, you mean calling him elohim/theos as it is used in Ps 82.6 of the rulers of Israel (cf. Jn 10.34).

    Some of the most important scholars in the 20th century who wrote on whether the Bible calls Jesus God claim that ho theos in v. 8 should not be taken as a vocative, as most traditionalists do, but as a nominative, e.g., V. Taylor. Accordingly, it can be treated either as the subject (“God is your throne”) or predicate (“your throne is God”). Ewald and others even rended it adjectival (“your throne is divine”).

    I think it is possible that it is as you say, Xavier, but I prefer to accept the nominative interpretation. Some biblical unitarians think Heb 1.8 and Jn 20.28 call Jesus God, but in the sense of Ps 82.6. as you think I don’t think Thomas calls Jesus God, but that by his utterance “my God” he recogizes God in Jesus just as Johannine Jesus had been teaching the disciples in Jn 10.38, 14.10-11, and 17.21, 23. That is also a trait of the crafty author of the Fourth Gospel, that he writes things that are to be interpreted by other things he has already written: scripture interprets scripture.

  3. Xavier,

    Regarding your last question, I don’t think that way. I only think of my being a member of the body of Christ, i.e., the true universal (catholic) church of God and Christ. It consists of those people who have truly trusted Jesus as Lord and Savior, so that binitarianism, trinitarianism, arianism, and such have nothing to do with it. And in this church there are many people who are also members of churches on earth such as Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant, and nondenominational. Does that answer you?

  4. Johan,

    No, I’m not a Jehovah’s Witness. I do know their theology very well, though. I’m one of the few Biblical Unitarians in South Africa. I ask you again, please, are you living in South Africa?

    Rob S.,

    I think we’re getting to a point where we are talking past each other. It is not a trinitarian violation to say that Jesus is YHWH any more than it is a violation to say that the Father is YHWH since they are both individual premises that make up the trinitarian formula. We do not need every passage to carefully spell out the entire argument. On this point, you could just as well deny Jesus’ Messiahship because most Messianic passages deal with individual components of Messianic formula (suffering or conquering).

    Scripture, Rob, Scripture! Where’s your Scriptural references, and where are your arguments??? BTW, what is orthodox is pre-Nicene Unitarianism, NOT Nicene/Chalcedonian heresy. Progressive revelation is not a wager. Inspiration of Scripture ended in the first century, and not one of the Apostles preached a trinity.

    Erika,

    “As long as we don’t pray to three different Gods – where is the problem with stating that YHVH is triune?

    The simple answer: because he isn’t triune. He is alone God.

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

    Well, aparently Ruach haQodesh is not even good enough for you, Erika. Trinitarians can only rely on extra-Biblical, pagan, philosophical and vague terminology (not to forget horrendous logical fallacy), to argue their case. They’re as guilty as the Watchtower in that, whatever their Governing Body says, can with some semantic acrobatics be proven using Scripture. Exactly with the trinity. Use Scripture alone, and use terms that are current with Biblical thought to interpret Scripture. Yahweh’s ruach provided enough to make us sufficiently competent to do that.

    If you want to know how Jesus and Yahweh are one (Joh. 10:38), read John 17:21.

    Mr. Zarley, you won’t know how heart-warming it is to see that honest-heartedness moved you to arrive at the Truth regarding Yahweh and Jesus. Not with military force, but by God’s spirit, Biblical orthodoxy will prevail. And, if this is the Lord’s time, He will guide, direct and lead to victory this 21st century reformation. Thank you for pointing out the truly ambiguous nature of Heb. 1:8. Even among Biblical Unitarians this fact is sometimes glanced over.

    Xavier, brother, once again great questions. You see, as far as it suits trinitarians, Yahweh is a compound unity. As far as ambiguity serves in their interest, “God” could be Yahweh “or” the Father. But now, the Son of God calls, not God (=Father, Son and Holy Spirit according to trinitarians) the only true God. He calles the Father the One who is only and truly God. Compound unity cannot be their wild card now…that is a problem…And now, suddenly, also the other ambiguities are finally resolved. Titus 2:13, Joh. 8:58, 2 Pet. 1:1, etc. all give glory to the Only true God, Yahweh, through his perfect human Son, our elohim (Ex. 7:1), Yahshua haMoshiach!

    Something else to consider: If the Biblical Unitarian position was based on such weak arguments and ambiguous texts, how powerless would we have felt! Also, as with any argument, the trinity heresy has to be falsifiable. So, my question to trinitarians would be, what would falsify their trinitarian position? What do they expect the Bible to say if it indeed taught the singular and sovreign Unity of Yahweh apart from the Son, and not the trinity.

    Looking forward to the answers. The bloggers are also more than welcome to argue their case on http://www.kingdomready.org/blog.

    Jaco

  5. Jaco, do you also have a comment on this original post of mine? –>

    “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 Ruakh HaKodesh.”

    I find it quite unbelievable that people do indeed stick to the idea that humans can talk to God while believing to be on the same level as Him. I would call this impudence.

    And by the way, I do use Scripture alone, and the terms that are current with Biblical thought to interpret Scripture. Yahweh’s Ruach provides enough to make me sufficiently competent to do that.

    And if I want to know how Yeshua and Yahweh are one, I’ll read Joh. 10:38, John 17:21, Hebrews 7 through 10 and all the other relevant places in the Bible.

  6. Erika,

    “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.

    I agree with you. Fortunately, with what the Bible DOES reveal, we can say with absolute certainty that Yahweh is the only true God (Joh. 17:3) and that his human Son is our Redeemer (1 Tim. 2:5, 6).

    And if I want to know how Yeshua and Yahweh are one, I’ll read Joh. 10:38, John 17:21, Hebrews 7 through 10 and all the other relevant places in the Bible.

    Heb. 7-10 contain the best proofs for Biblical Unitarianism. I hope that you’ll notice them.

    Jaco

  7. Hey folks,

    In case there was any doubt where some of our Unitarian friends are coming from, Jaco has made himself absolutely clear: If you follow the witness of Scripture that the One True God is triune, you hold to the TRINITY HERESY and you are terribly deceived. The good news is that neither Jaco nor anyone else can overthrow the witness of the Word in its totality. Truth will continue to triumph. 2 Cor 13:8.

  8. It would be a sad world, this world we live in, if there was no hope that God would change it with His right arm as described in Isaiah 59:16-21 through Yeshua, His right arm (Isaiah 53:1). This is how YHWH’s kingdom will come about in this world.

  9. Amen to that, Erika! I will only add something I suspect you’d echo as well with a hearty Amen: that there would be no world in existence to begin with for God to change with His “right arm,” if He hadn’t first created that same world in the beginning with that very same “right arm” (the preexistent Word, the Son of God) by which He redeems it. This, as we know, is testified by such reliable witnesses as John (John 1) and Paul: “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. FOR BY HIM ALL THINGS WERE CREATED, BOTH IN THE HEAVENS AND ON EARTH, VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE, WHETHER THRONES OR DOMINIONS OR RULERS OR AUTHORITIES—ALL THINGS HAVE BEEN CREATED THROUGH HIM AND FOR HIM. HE IS BEFORE ALL THINGS, AND IN HIM ALL THINGS HOLD TOGETHER. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven” (Colossians 1:13-20).

    Now surely our unitarian friends have an “answer” for this as they have an “answer” for everything that contradicts their opinions, because, as we know, “there is a way that seemeth right unto a man…” Most unfortunately for them, though,–with the exception of several pet verses removed from context–it is the united body of Scripture against which they contend, the end result being that they must hack the clear sense of the word of God to pieces before they’ll yield to its clear sense. Unfortunately for them, though, it is not their opinions and ingenuity but the word of God alone that is “Sharper than any double-edged sword…”

    I must sadly conclude, that this ongoing exchange with Xavier and Jaco will yield no fruit until they’ve at the very least opened their eyes to the many and undeniable evidences in Scripture concerning Jesus’ preexistence, and until they’ve openly admitted that He did preexist according to God’s clearly expressed word. How can we expect them to even consider the possibility of a triune God, if they will not (or CANNOT because of post-Biblical, unBiblical presuppositions) either recognize or admit that the Bible MOST EXPLICITLY states Yeshua’s preexistence, as Yeshua Himself affirms! With that being said, I make my exit from this current forum, and leave completely justified in my initial 1/12 prediction concerning this debate.

    I offer my blessings in Christ (who always was and will always be “Alpha and Omega”) to all. Amen.

  10. Well, I think it is very simple, at least with Jaco: Proverbs 9:10

    “The fear of YHWH is the beginning of wisdom.
    The knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

    Which proves that impudence towards YHWH leads to a lack of understanding.

  11. TJ,

    A quick note (as I really try to drop out of the forum for a while):

    I totally agree with you that, if our unitarian friends will not admit to the pre-existence of the Son — which is taught emphatically and clearly in so many different ways throughout the Word — there’s no way to get them to acknowledge the next level of the biblical truth, namely that the Son is eternally pre-existent. As I asked on the radio, how could it have been stated any more clearly?

  12. Erika & tj,

    So, Jesus is a “right arm”? I suppose he is [or was?] also “the rock that followed them” [1Cor 10.4]? A disembodied “preexistent Word” and female “Wisdom” [Pro 8]? Where, pray tell, do we find this personal beings in the OT? How do you explain the writer of Hebrews when he says that God UNTIL “these final days…has spoken to us through his Son” [Heb 1.2]?

    There is a big difference between the biblical teaching of God having “foreknown” [cp. predestined] not only the Son [1Pe 1.20] but other people like the prophet Jeremiah [1] and Christian believers [2Tim 1.9; Eph 1.4, 11].

    We do not have to resort to extra-biblical language to keep within the confines of “the sound doctrine” [preexistence, trinity, same substance etc.].

    To answer Dr. Brown’s question [“how could (preexistence) have been stated any more clearly?”], how about in the actual text of the scriptures? As in: “In the beginning was the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, they created the heavens and the earth.”

    Quick qord on the oft-used-trini-twisted passage of Col 1.15f. from another Hebrew/Greek scholar, Sir Anthony Buzzard:

    Literally translated, Colossians 1:16 does not say that all things were created by Jesus. The Expositors Commentary on the Greek text of Colossians says flatly of Col. 1:16: “This does not mean ‘by him.’” The margins of many Bibles will show that the text actually reads: “In [en] Him all things were created…. All things have been created through (dia + gen.] Him and with a view to [eis] Him.” Paul’s chief purpose in this passage is to speak of Christ’s work in redemption and his position in the hierarchy of authority, i.e. the Kingdom in which Christians have been promised a share and which they await as an inheritance (Col. 1:13; 3:24). Jesus has a supreme position overall created beings and rival powers. Paul describes the position of Jesus as “firstborn” [prototokos] and first principle or chief [arche] of the creation. Jesus is to head up the Kingdom, the “Kingdom of God’s dear Son” (v. 13). The issue here is authority and rule. “Firstborn” is a Messianic title drawn from Ps. 89, in which the Father speaks of the coming Messiah:

    “He will cry to me, ‘Thou art my Father, my God and the rock of my salvation.’ I will make Him my firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth. I will establish His seed for ever and His throne as the days of heaven” (Ps. 89:26, 27, 29).

    Because Jesus is God’s eldest Son, he is the reason for the creation. All things were created “in” Him. The exact force of these prepositions is difficult to specify, but one distinguished authority suggests that it should be taken here in a causal sense: “For because of Him the universe was created” (Moulton, Milligan, Grammar of the New Testament, III. p. 253.

    We should observe that all Christians were chosen “in Christ” before the foundation of the world. This does not imply of course that we were alive before the Genesis creation.

    In Col.1:13 Paul sets the all-important context of his following description of Jesus the Son. Paul is talking not about the Genesis creation but the new creation and the Kingdom into which Christians have been transferred at baptism, when they gave up their political allegiance to the present nation-states and committed themselves to the Kingdom of God. That Kingdom is announced now as Gospel (Mark 1:14, 15;Acts 28:23, 31, etc.) and will come into force worldwide when Jesus returns to rule the world.

    Paul is concerned with the hierarchy of God’s Kingdom. All the angelic authorities were created with Jesus in mind and at his ascension Jesus attained his supreme position under God, at God’s right hand. Jesus is the beginning nor of the Genesis creation but of the new creation. “He is the head of the body, the church, and he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he himself will come to have first place in everything.”

    It would be nonsensical to say that Jesus attained the primary status next to God by being set at God’s right hand, IF indeed Jesus from eternity already enjoyed status as Deity! You cannot be promoted to attain a status you already had in the past. The truth is that all things visible and invisible, defined as “thrones, rulers and authorities” (v. 16) were created by God IN (not ‘by’) Jesus, with him and his supreme position in mind.

    Col. 1:17 states that Jesus is now before all things, which means that he is set above them all, since his ascension. “Before” is ambiguous in the Greek and can mean equally “before in time” or superior as to rank. Even if we take it in the former sense, Jesus is indeed the first of the new creation of human beings — the first to be immortalized. He is also in a superior position over all other creatures. All things since Jesus ascension are “through him and for him” (v. 16). Paul describes the activity of Jesus when he says that God is reconciling “all things to Himself through Jesus, having made peace through the blood of his crosss,” Paul again tells us that he is discussing not the Genesis creation which happened millennia before the Son even existed, but the new creation in Christ, the new covenant by which we can be given a new status before God. Col. 1 is all about reconciliation to God through Christ and about the supreme mediatorial position of Jesus.

    It is to make nonsense of the rest of the Bible to say that the Son created the original heavens and earth. Rather Paul is discussing our Christian inheritance (Col. 1:12), our present position as heirs of the Kingdom (1:13) and our redemption and forgiveness (v. 14). Paul then introduces his great description of the Son of God “who is the image of the invisible God,” God’s firsborn king. Note that the subject of the whole discourse is the Son and “image of God.” Jesus is the visible and thus the historical personage born in Bethlehem some 2000 years ago. Adam was the image of God also and man is made in the image of God. Jesus is the perfect human image of God. At no point does Paul speak of a pre-human Son of God who was invisible! His whole concentration is on the status of Jesus. He is the ruler over all authorities and he gained that status only at his ascension. The whole flow of Paul’s description is meaningless if the Son was literally supreme from all eternity. Restoration Fellowship.org

  13. I don’t think Xavier saw this so I am going to repost this.

    This is for Xavier. I am a Trinitarian who is interested in reading the most definitive book written from a unitarian perspective which sets forth the best case for the unitarian position while also responding to trinitarianism. I have Buzzard’s book and I am not impressed so do you have anything else you would recommend to me?

    Any books that you could suggest that would be worth reading would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  14. Dr Brown,

    Hey folks,

    In case there was any doubt where some of our Unitarian friends are coming from, Jaco has made himself absolutely clear: If you follow the witness of Scripture that the One True God is triune, you hold to the TRINITY HERESY and you are terribly deceived. The good news is that neither Jaco nor anyone else can overthrow the witness of the Word in its totality. Truth will continue to triumph. 2 Cor 13:8.

    I actually agree with you here. Truth will prevail. The difference is our understanding of what that truth is. All of us want to be in line with that truth, else we wouldn’t have had these discussions. You figured out that that truth is trinity. I don’t. Kermit Zarley debated you and you came across as patronising, even arrogant to many of his punchlines (I say that with as much respect as possible. As a fallible human, I’d hope you would also admit to mistakes). He could have pointed out much more of your arguments’ fallacious leaps and erroneous conclusions if you allowed him to. I concede that my own reaction to all of this was definitely too over-zealous. I apologise to all for that.

    I just think that, to dismiss anyone’s arguments without providing any support for doing so, does not contribute to healthy interaction. Your ad hominem dismissal of Zvi, Xavier (the student)and now me, proves nothing. To me trinitarianism is a heresy. To you Unitarianism is. Now which is it? I think that is what we need to determine in a respectable way. (I’ve been at fault myself). If not, we’ll have to agree to disagree, and leave in peace.

    tj, I’d like to echo your own words:

    Now surely our [trinitarian] friends have an “answer” for this as they have an “answer” for everything that contradicts their opinions, because, as we know, “there is a way that seemeth right unto a man…” Most unfortunately for them, though,–with the exception of several pet verses removed from context–it is the united body of Scripture against which they contend [including the absence of even a hint of trinitarian theology, 25 000+ singular pronouns for Yahweh, and Jesus constant obedience and subjection to Yahweh’s sovereignty as a perfect human agent], the end result being that they must hack the clear sense of the word of God to pieces before they’ll yield to its clear sense[even change the value of “one,” fallaciously connect unrelated isolated texts and read back into Scripture what Constantine and his fellow sun-worshipers concocted as biblical truth]. Unfortunately for them, though, it is not their opinions and ingenuity but the word of God alone that is “Sharper than any double-edged sword…”

    I must sadly conclude, that this ongoing exchange with Xavier and Jaco [and tj and the rest] will yield no fruit until they’ve at the very least opened their eyes to the many and undeniable evidences in Scripture concerning Jesus’ [human creation], and until they’ve openly admitted that He [started his existence at his human birth] according to God’s clearly expressed word. How can we expect them to even consider the possibility of [an only true] God, if they will not (or CANNOT because of post-Biblical, unBiblical presuppositions) either recognize or admit that the Bible MOST EXPLICITLY states Yeshua’s [humanity], as Yeshua Himself affirms!

    God be with us all.

    Jaco

  15. Jaco,

    Just FYI, virtually all of Zvi’s arguments had been answered in books I had written — which is why I wrote them! — but he refused to read them, even when offered to him for free. He also refused to call into my show to discuss the issues. So, he disqualified himself from being taken seriously, although no one stopped him from posting here and interacting with others.

    Time simply doesn’t permit me to get into every challenge from everyone who disagrees with me on every website (including this one), but I offer in-depth materials to those who are seeking more truth. (Trust me: I get “called out” constantly and actually enjoy interaction in hostile environments, but there’s only so much time in a day.)

    In the case of Xavier, aside from his personal attacks that violated the rules of the forum, he misrepresented or misunderstood things I had written, again, making further interaction fruitless (even if time permitted). Also, when people think that by shouting louder, so to say, they have made their point, interaction also proves fruitless.

    That being said, the reason I had Kermit on my show for two days and the reason I’ve invited Anthony Buzzard onto the show is to air the issues. Whether someone makes a good case or not is not up to me, but I can least give them an opportunity to state their case. And then, on this forum, listeners and others who are interested can air out their differences. That’s what we encourage, and hopefully, all parties involved will grow and learn. (I did, of course, provide support for my views on the relevant broadcast.s)

    And where I do address issues in depth — primarily in the books I have written that are relevant to certain subjects, or on lectures on DVD, etc. — I would hope that those interested would avail themselves accordingly.

  16. Jaco,

    If you want and if you have the chance, you should call into Dr. Browns radio show to discuss more directly with Dr. Brown on this topic.

  17. And just by the way – I don’t agree with Constantine’s idolatrous definition of the Trinity – if that should be the issue here.

    Let’s be very clear: Yeshua is the King of the Jews ond our eternal Cohen Gadol (High Priest) – though even Isaiah says that the arm of YHWH is not revealed to most of us.

    Fact is, that His Arm saves us – even if it is not revealed to us – so what’s all that fuss here?

  18. Erika,

    Are you going to answer my previous question regarding Jesus being an “arm [of the LORD]” or “the rock that followed” Israel in the OT?

    Also, when Peter, John and James are mentioned together does that make them one and the same?

  19. Xavier, I believe that as Isaiah says in Isa. 53:1, the arm of YHWH has not been revealed until he came to us as a human being, this is when he first was revealed, but this is also an ongoing revelation process, since only a few really got this revelation in Yeshua’s time, for example his 12 disciples, although it also took them a while (see Matthew 28:17 and John 20:28).

    So if people don’t think Yeshua is YHWH I just think it hasn’t been revealed to them yet. But with more revelation comes more power – and as I said before: Through Yeshua YHWH interacts with this world, so if we really understand what we have access to through Yeshua (Matthew 28:18), it will only be to our benefit!

  20. Zvi, I think Abraham could well distinguish between whom to worship and whom not to worship. Fact is that Abraham did worship Yeshua, as we can read in Genesis 18:2
    Shalom!

  21. P.S. Actually I think just one of them, since in Genesis 18:3 Abraham is not talking to all three of them, but just to one of them (“My Lord”…. not “my Lords”).

  22. Erica the verse means “my master”,not my god! That is why the vers DOES NOT use the regular way of spelling his name here. The word “adon” means master. Besides according to trinitarians hjesus only came into human form through a virgin birth and prexsisted as a spiritual being but was NOT of human form at hte get go.Furthermore,the verses in the ot state thatg-d is not a man,one cannot be god and man at the same time.

  23. To back up my claim please take a look at chapter 19 verse 18 (at least in the jewish version) the 2 people that were left were called the same word (i just dont feel comfortable writing the name that usually means g-d)that you call g-d to refer to them so obviously it can only mean the word masters!!!

  24. Zvi, I did not say that Abraham called them Elohim – it is written Adonai there which means Lord. But Abraham still worshipped at least one of them, and Abraham was not an idol-worshipper.

    And these three men did not necessarily have human bodies, actually I don’t think so. Then you would ask me “How could they eat then?” Well – how not? Can only we eat?? Of course angels don’t nead to eat, but they can.

    Again, I think that the revelation of Yeshua is a progressive revelation, and Abraham was the starting point of YHWH revealing Himself to the human race. How much Abraham knew – I don’t know it. But he still did the right thing.

    I would suggest to you Zvi – give Yeshua a try. Ask YHWH sincerely to show you what will bring you closer to Him and what will prevent you from having access to Him. Yahweh’s hand is not to short to reach us – if we really want Him to reach us. Ask Him to show you the REAL thing – and you don’t have to tell anyone about it.

  25. Dr. Brown,

    I just wanted to write to tell you that I enjoyed these shows with Kermit Zarley. I also saw that you wanted to get Anthony Buzzard on your program. Might I also suggest that another person who would be willing to air these issues out with you is a man by the name of Greg Stafford:

    http://www.elihubooks.com/

    In fact, Greg Stafford debated James White on these very issues. He is a former Jehovah’s Witness who still holds to the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ view of God and Christ. He also has a very sophisticated argument with regards to John 1:1c where he argues that qualitative is not a valid syntactical category for theos in 1:1c, because it is a count noun, rather than a mass noun. I obviously disagree with him. Dr. Donald Hartley, a Dallas Seminary grad, has done excellent work in dealing with this argument, addressing the definition of mass and count nouns in the Greek New Testament, the meaning of Colwell’s construction as it relates to mass and count nouns, as well as the application of this information to John 1:1c:

    http://bible.org/article/revisiting-colwell-construction-light-masscount-nouns

    As you can see, the issues that he brings up are much different than an average Jehovah’s Witness who would knock on your door. Greg Stafford also has plenty of followers, so you would likewise get calls, even some from practicing Jehovah’s Witnesses. Also, every time I have heard Greg Stafford speak, he always has good behavior, so that would not be a concern.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  26. Erika,

    The ‘Apostolic revelation’ regarding Jesus of Nazareth is the fact that he is the human [anthropos=man] “Messiah, Son of the Living God” [Mat 16.16].

    Also, you said:

    Through Yeshua YHWH interacts with this world…

    Yet, their one and the same? So really you should be saying: “Yeshua through Himself interacts with this world”, no?

  27. I am a little late getting in on this discussion but I will throw this out. I was privileged to take a course from Norman Geisler in which he laid out 7 things Jesus said of Himself to support His deity. One which I had never heard before goes like this.

    1) The OT says the Messiah would be God.
    2) Jesus who was an expert in the OT claimed to be the Messiah
    3) Therefore Jesus claimed to be God.

    Some examples for the support in premise 1: Isaiah 9:6 (“For a child will be born to us a son will be given to us….and His name will be called…Mighty God), Isaiah 7:14 (“A woman will be with child…and she will call His name Immanuel”), Psalm 45:6 (“Your throne O God, is forever and ever”), Zachariah 12:10 (…They will look on me whom they have pierced). While the meaning of each of these has been debated by anti-missionaries, when taken in total provide a strong basis for supporting the first premise. To this there is one more scripture that I believe can be added. Jer 23:5-6: “Behold the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land….And this is His name by which He will be called, the LORD (Yahweh) our righteousness”. Note that this branch that rises from David’s line is called LORD which is the English translation for Yahweh. So the branch that God raises up will be called also be called Yahweh! Not Lord in the sense of some great king but Yahweh. Since Dr. Brown has just done a commentary on Jeremiah, I would love to know if he agrees with this interpretation from the NASB.

    Premise 2: Jesus asks Peter who He is and Peter replies in Mat 16:16 “You are the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the Living God”. To which Jesus replies “Blessed are you Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven”. Thus, Jesus agreed with Peter’s appraisal that Jesus was the Messiah. The claim is even more direct when Jesus meets the woman at the well and she says in John 4:25: “I know that the Messiah is coming; when that One comes. He will declare all things to us.” To which Jesus replies: “I who speak to you am He”.

    Given that premise 1 is true and premise 2 is true the conclusion that Jesus was claiming to be God must follow. Isn’t the God given gift of logic wonderful!

  28. Just a side note here for Adam. I wrestled with the question of Jesus’ deity for quite some time. One of the most comprehensive books I have read on the topic is by Robert Morey entitled “THE TRINITY: EVIDENCE AND ISSUES”. While I find Dr. Morey on a personal level to be rather abrasive, his scholarship is sound. He has challenged Stafford to a debate, and as far as I know to date, Stafford has declined!! Given the level of Morey’s expertise it would have been an interesting debate. Having listened to both Morey and Stafford, I would venture to guess that Stafford would not have come out on top.

  29. S. Johnson, the facts are different from what you state here. Stafford challenged Morey on Gene Cook’s show to debate the Deity of Christ. Morey declined and challenged him to debate the extent of God’s foreknowledge provided that Stafford agreed to write out his position concerning this issue/ Stafford did and Morey never kept his word to debate. You can verify this for yourself by simply googling their names and see what pops up.

  30. S. Johnson,

    What about Gen 3.15 where YHWH says that a “seed of the woman” would crush the serpent?

    What about Deu 18.15-18, where YHWH would raise from “among the people” a prophet?

    What about 2Sam 7.14; Ps 2.7; 89.26-27, where YHWH will “beget” [create] a human Who is identified as a “firstborn son”?

    What about Ps 110.1, where the 2 Lords in view are defined by the Hebrew as: YHWH [LORD] said to adoni [my lord].

    Or about the simple fact that Mashiach [Gk. Christos=Messiah] denotes a human being, since only a human being can be “annointed by YHWH”, as per the OT teaching [cp. 1Sam 10].

    In Jewish messianic tradition and eschatology, messiah refers to a future King of Israel from the Davidic line, who will rule the people of united tribes of Israel and herald the Messianic Age of global peace. In Standard Hebrew, The Messiah is often referred to as מלך המשיח, Méleḫ ha-Mašíaḥ (in the Tiberian vocalization pronounced Méleḵ haMMāšîªḥ), literally meaning “the Anointed King.”

    Christians believe that prophecies in the Hebrew Bible refer to a spiritual savior, partly evidenced in passages from the Book of Isaiah [7:14; 53:5] and believe Jesus to be that Messiah (Christ). The (Greek) Septuagint version of the Old Testament renders all thirty-nine instances of the Hebrew word for anointed (Mašíaḥ) as Khristós (Χριστός). The New Testament records the Greek transliteration Μεσσίας, Messias twice in John[Jn. 1:41] and [4:25]. Wikipedia, Messiah article

  31. I stand corrected. It has been awhile since I have written to Morey for an update on the status of the debate. A few years ago, on his radio show, he was quite anxious to debate Stafford, and at that time Stafford would not bite. Perhaps I will write Morey again for clarification.

  32. Adam,

    Anthony Buzzard has gladly agreed to be on the program, hopefully next month, but I’d certainly be open to debating Greg Stafford as well at some in the future, although there are lots of other subjects to debate and discuss on the show and I don’t want to focus on just this one.

    Thanks!

  33. Dr. Brown,

    What other subject would merit “focus” than defining the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and the name of [who is] Jesus Christ” [Acts 8.12]?

  34. To Xavier: You said:

    ” Through Yeshua YHWH interacts with this world…

    Yet, their one and the same? So really you should be saying: “Yeshua through Himself interacts with this world”, no?”

    Xavier, an arm is an arm, and YHWH through His arm interacts with this world. Is the arm the same as the whole person?? You have a guess.

    It is so ridiculous how people try again and again to stuff YHWH into their human dimension. And if they then cannot comprehend it, they just say “it must be false”.

  35. To Zvi: If you have a look at the Hebrew word in Genesis 18:3 (Adonai) and then also look at the translations into other languages, “Adonai” is singular, meaning “My Lord”, therefore I’m thinking Abraham was just talking to one of them. But anbody can be called “my Lord” – my point is that Abraham did recognize that one person as an extension of YHWH and hence worshipped him (verse 2b and 3a).

    To Xavier: If Abraham had worshipped an angel or a human being here, Abraham would have been an idol-worshipper, which he was not!

  36. Erica, the word ado…. is also used in chapter 19 verse 18 in reference to the OTHER 2 “beings” so therefore ALL 3 MUST be at the same level. Therefore I conclude that since all 3 CANNOT be speaking of god plus the fact that the name of hashem is spelled differently here than in all other places and that the word means MASTER, therefore we can assume that this is the definition.

  37. Xavier,

    Also bear in mind that neither to me nor the vast majority of my listeners is there the slightest question about the Bible’s clear teaching on the deity of the Son, so to discuss it endlessly would be to beat a dead horse.

    For everyone’s information, Anthony Buzzard is now confirmed to join me on the air Feb. 8, God willing.

  38. Xavier

    I seem to be missing your point. All of the verses you listed seem to point to the coming Messiah. Certainly these verses point at least in part to the human nature of Jesus, just as the NT did. Jesus grew in wisdom, there were things in His human nature He did not know. The premise in your objection seems to be that the Messiah can be ONLY human. But nothing in the texts you cite, says that the Messiah can have ONLY a human nature. He has two natures that intersect. He is not the infinite that became finite. He did not abandon His devine nature, but rather added on an additional nature that was fully human.

    As far as the terms “firstborn” and “begotten” go, these also provide for no contradiction. Firstborn is used elsewhere where it does not mean first born in the literal sense. For example, in Exodus 4:22: ‘Thus says the LORD’, “Israel is My son, My firstborn. ” The privileges and preeminence of the firstborn are in sight here.

    Begotten also poses no contradiction. First in the NT, James White has argued that the word begotten in John 3:16 is better translated from the Greek to “unique” (see his book “The Forgotten Trinity”). Even if you don’t buy that, it still does not seem problematic to me as Jesus body was in some sense begotten. That is, His body came to be at some point–He acquired an additional nature that was fully human.

    Since there is no logical contradiction here, there is no problem. If you want to do an in depth study Morey’s book (about 500 pages) I cited above goes through the both the OT and NT referencing the original languages, pointing to the complex unity of God . Another shorter book is that by Ron Rhodes “Reasoning from the Scriptures with Jehovah’s Witnesses”. While this latter book does not systematically go through all the evidences for the Trinity, it does examine the problematic verses used by the JWs.

  39. My personal take on this topic is that it is extremely important. I wrestled with this problem for years. The misunderstanding of the Trinity is at the heart of many “alternative” forms of Christianity, thus its importance cannot be minimized, it is one of the key features that distinguishes “mainstream” Christianity from the rest. The existence of the complex unity of God is also a major stumbling block for other world views to take Christianity seriously. At first blush it just does not seem to make sense.

    Here is what I believe to be another straight forward syllogisms:

    1. Yaweh created the World.
    2. Jesus created the World.
    3. Therefore Yaweh and Jesus are in some sense one.

    Support for premise 1: Multiple verses starting with Gen 1:1.

    Support for premise 2: John 1:3 “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being”, Col 1:16 “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavesn and on earth, visible and invisible….all things have been created through Him and for Him”

    First, it seems that Col 1:16 could not be more comprehensive in terms of what Jesus created–simply put, everything. If memory serves, I believe Stafford attempts to solve this dilemma by positing that Jesus was not the author of creation, but the agent of creation (i.e. the instrumental cause).

    But there is the problem with that notion which stems from Isaiah 44:24 “I the LORD am maker of all things, stretching out the heavens by MYSELF and spreading out the earth all ALONE”. [caps added for emphasis] It seems the words “by Myself” and “all alone” could not be clearer. They seem to preclude someone else acting as an agent. Given that the agent theory flys in the face of Scripture, the syllogism stands intact.

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