Christmas Unto the Lord?

There is no day of the week which is not dedicated to the worship of a false God. Even Sunday was dedicated to the worship of a false God. What about all those Christians going to church on Sunday? Sabbatarians you don't get a break either becuase Saturday is just as dedicated to false pagan worship as Sunday. What is a believer to do? Go indoors and hide? No, let's not hide our light under a bushel. Just because some have set aside days for false worship doesn't mean we cannot redeem those days for the Lord. Satan does not own any day of the week. Every day on the calendar belongs to God as part of his "good" creation. Not the pagan or even Satan.

Even pagans have used musical tunes and hymns since ancient times. Does this mean we can't use musical tunes or hymns? Of course not. This is the genetic fallacy. Abuse or improper used doesn't mean disuse. We do not use musical tunes and hymns to glorify a fictional deity rather we use them in a redeeming CORRECT way. The vibration of every note played or sung belongs to the Lord. Some Christians surrender God's creation to Satan and pagans. It's as though that day cannot be taken from the clutch of the pagan's grasp.

Pagans even used temples possibly prior and contemporaneously with the Hebrews who also used  temples. Using the logic of those who give the days and music to Satan the Hebrews shouldn't have used a temple. Again, this is the genetic fallacy. We never read of any condmenation of any such thing in the Scriptures. We should just go with the words of Paul here:
Romans 14:5-9, One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. ESV
No day on the calendar irredeemably belongs to Satan. This seems to be what the anti-Christmas crowd suggests. At Christmas time people are open, possibly more than ever, to recieve our testimony as believers. We should not miss this great opportunity any more than we would wish to miss them any other day of the year.

In attempting to get away from pagan idolatry some isoloate themselves from God and the world they have been sent into to disciple. Essentially, they lose and gain nothing. Be true to your convictions but do not isolate yourself like the Jehovah's Witness during this time (they also do not celebrate birthdays). We should find something important and significant for our families to do during these times. Christians should take these days back to the honor and glory of the Lord. Celebrating the birth of Christ and outreach to the world is a great way to do that very thing.


Roger Perkins Responds to Alan Kurschner's Recent Blog Article on Hebrews 1:3

Comments by Kurschner in orange followed by Perkins' comments in black.

12/23/2011 - Alan Kurschner“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature [kai charaktēr tēs hypostaseōs autou] and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” (Heb 1:3 ESV)

First, a word about the spiral nature of hermeneutics that most Trinitarians overlook in their "Exegesis". Proper hermeneutics works from the macroscopic to the microscopic. That is, the avid Bible student begins with the overall genre of a book (Macro) and from there funnels down to specific passages (Micro), never forgetting the overall purpose of the book.

The book of Hebrews was addressed to Jewish Christians so wrapped up in OT Judaism that, evidently, some were wanting to return to their old tradition including animal sacrifices (E.G., 10:26). This is the very reason the writer repeatedly appeals to the OT in buttressing his doctrinal posture. Virtually all Trinitarian apologists state that the OT standing alone does not support the Trinity doctrine, and I would argue neither does the NT which was written by Jewish hands (save Luke, who was most likely a proselyte Jew). The overriding point is that if these Jewish-Christians were so wrapped up in OT prescriptions that they were wanting to revert back to animal sacrifices...do we honestly believe they were worshipping a "2nd of 3 divine individuals" never once presented in the same OT the writer appeals to? Me thinks not!

Secondly, who was "the Son" in the immediate context of Heb. 1? None other than the one through whom God spoke in "these last days," clearly referring to the Messiah who traversed this Earth as God manifest in the flesh. Yet, it would be incredible to think that God never spoke through a "second-divine-co-eternal-individual" for all of eternity, but reserved such communication until a mere 2,000 years ago? It is from this premise that the writer begins his entire work. The Son is identified in Hebrews as speaking only in these last days, the express image of God, inherited a superior name, begotten into the world "today," anointed by His "God," has companions, etc. ad nauseum. Clearly, a "Pre-existent 2nd divine individual" is entirely foreign to the writer's notion of "the Son".

Now to the phrase "express image". Moulton & Milligan, pg. 683, concludes this term as "an exact reproduction". Various lexicographers conclude the same general meaning with a few similar variables. More about this definition, as well as the tense used in this passage below.....

The author of Hebrews expands on describing the Son's radiance of the glory of God by ascribing to the Son, "the exact imprint of [God's] nature." The Greek expression used is highly significant: "charaktēr tēs hypostaseōs autou." This statement about the Son being the exact representation of the essence of God tells us two things about the Son: (1) He is divine,

The Son is the one OT Yahweh in flesh, so of course He's Divine in this sense. Problem is, He's NEVER identified in Holy Writ as a "2nd Divine-Individual, apart from 2 other Divine-Individuals, each with their own separate center of consciousness". Secondly, an imprint or reproduction is not the thing that it is a reproduction of...in this case the invisible God. The term translated "exact imprint" connotes that which is tangible and visible....not invisible. Hence, it is clear that some sort of body is in view here, which precisely our position relative to the Son of God and only advances the argument!

and (2) is distinguished from another person (the Father in this case) because he shares in—represents—the same nature as another person.

Ahhh yes, the presuppositions are coming through nicely now aren't they? Here, we have an indirect admission in belief in "distinguished" "divinity," with the modification (& invention) of "persons" in order to circumvent the glaringly obvious lean toward Tritheism. Thankfully, we Oneness folks don't have to add to the Scriptures like this in order to force our doctrine into a text that never acknowledges the same. Interestingly here, it is said that the supposed divine persons "share" the nature of God, which immediately raises questions as to exactly which "person" would be "the Almighty" or "the Supreme Deity" since they all "share" the same nature? Again, thankfully Oneness believers do not have to wrestle with such conundrums inherent within such unbiblical notions.

For if the Son were the Father, it would be strange, if not illogical, to speak of him as the representation of God's nature.

In the first place, I don't know a Oneness believer on Earth who confesses "the Son IS the Father". This is a complete straw-man tactic either ignorantly (at best) or dishonestly (at worst) used to attack the Biblical message of the Mighty God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:19; Jn. 14:10). I will give this writer the benefit of the doubt & assume the former. What is "strange" & "illogical" is the idea that, in His present heavenly state (note the present tense "IS the exact imprint") the supposed "2nd divine individual" is a "reproduction" of the supposed "1st divine individual"? Who is representing the "2nd & 3rd divine individuals" in Heaven?? If co-equal, wouldn't they need a representative as well, especially in light of the Trinitarian doctrine of "Perichoresis" (Intermingling)? Strange this is not at all the notion presented to us in the Revelation 22:3-4. Think I'll stick with the Bible.

There are two persons in view here, not one.

Assumption stated as fact. There are 2 states of existence: The One Yahweh in His Transcendent existence, outside of the Incarnation, and this self-same God within the self-imposed limitations of the Incarnation...as "the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His BEING (NIV)". One God, 2 simultaneous offices of existence...not "2 divine-individuals, each with their own separate center of consciousness".

Moreover, the last statement in this verse, "he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high," demonstrates two co-existing persons.

The phrase "sat down" simply connotes the finished work of Christ, the Messiah, in contrast to those priests who "stood daily" (E.G., Heb. 10:11-12). The term "Right Hand" is simply a Jewish idiomatic expression (which the Hebrew believers would readily pick up on) denoting mediatorship, glory and the place of authority....all of which the Messiah occupies. The verse knows nothing of "divine individuals in the Trinity" and the text standing alone will never support such a notion despite the desperate attempts to force it into the Bible.

Therefore the Son cannot be identified as the Father.

Again, we do not confess this, but, whom the Son is equally never identified as is a "2nd of 3 divine-individuals, each with their own separate center of consciousness...entirely unknown throughout 4,000 years of Hebrew revelation". "Illogical" indeed!


Andreas Kostenberger from Biblical Foundations: When Was Jesus Born, and When Did He Die?

Christians celebrate Christmas and Easter every year, but few know when Jesus was actually born and when he died. Not that any great doctrine rests on the calculations below, but it sure is nice that we can have reasonable confidence that the dates of Jesus’ birth and death are secure and can be gleaned from a combination of biblical and extrabiblical historical data. I may not be willing to stake my life on the accuracy of the data below, but I am confident enough of these calculations that the license plate of my van reads as follows: 5BC–AD33. So here you go:

Jesus’ birth most likely took place in late November of 5 B.C. (the most authoritative treatment of which I am aware is Paul L. Maier, “The Date of the Nativity and the Chronology of Jesus’ Life,” in Chronos, karios, Christos: Nativity and Chronological Studies Presented to Jack Finegan [ed. J. Vardaman and E. M. Yamauchi; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1989], 113–30). This, incidentally, would allow enough time for Jesus to be born and for Herod (who died in 4 B.C.) to mount his campaign to have all the boys two years old and under in Bethlehem and vicinity killed (see Matt 2:16, 19).

Jesus’ crucifixion probably occurred on Friday, April 3, A.D. 33. Luke 3:1–3 tells us that John the Baptist, Jesus’ forerunner, began his ministry “in the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar.” Both Roman historians Tacitus (Annales 4 §4) and Suetonius (Tiberius 73) date the beginning of Tiberius’s reign at A.D. 14 (the precise date is August 19, the day of Emperor Augustus’s death). Hence the 15th year of Tiberius’s reign, counting from August 19, A.D. 14, brings us to A.D. 29 (14 + 15 = 29).

According to Luke 3:23, Jesus was “about 30 years old” when he began his ministry. If Jesus was born in 5 B.C. (as argued above) and began his ministry, as is indicated by all four Gospels, shortly after that of John the Baptist (that is, in the latter part of the year A.D. 29), this would mean that Jesus was about 33 years old when he began his public ministry (see H. W. Hoehner, Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1977], 31–37 and B. Messner, “’In the Fifteenth Year’ Reconsidered: A Study of Luke 3:1,” Stone-Campbell Journal 1 [1998]: 201–11).

John’s Gospel records Jesus’ appearance at at least 3 Passovers: (1) in Jerusalem (2:13, 23); (2) in Galilee (6:4); and (3) again in Jerusalem (11:55; 12:1). In addition, it is likely that he attended a fourth Passover not recorded in John but recorded in the Synoptics (Matt 12:1 pars.?). This adds up to a length of about 3 ½ years for Jesus’ ministry. If he began his ministry in late A.D. 29, this brings us to A.D. 33 for the crucifixion. It so happens that because of astronomical calculations A.D. 30 and 33 are the only possible dates for Jesus’ crucifixion as far as the date of Passover in these two years is concerned (for the dating of the four Passovers in question see esp. C. J. Humphreys and W. G. Waddington, “The Jewish Calendar, a Lunar Eclipse, and the Date of Christ’s Crucifixion,” Tyndale Bulletin 43 [1992]: 331–51, esp. 335).

Finally, John 2:20 says that the temple was completed 46 years ago (see for this translation A. J. Köstenberger, John [BECNT; Grand Rapids: Baker, 2004], 109–10). According to Josephus, the renovation of the temple building proper started in 20/19 B.C. (Antiquities 15.11.1 §380), with completion 18 months later in 18/17 B.C. (Antiquities 15.11.6 §421). Again, counting from 18/17 B.C., adding 46 years brings us to A.D. 29 (there was no year zero)—a great way to check our math above!

For Further Study: See the chart in A. J. Köstenberger, John (BECNT; Grand Rapids: Baker, 2004), 11–13, and commentary at 1:19 and 2:20, and the previous post on Johannine chronology here. See also H. W. Hoehner, “Chronology,” in Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (ed. J. B. Green, S. McKnight, and I. H. Marshall; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1992), 118–22. Also, http://www.biblicalfoundations.org/c...th-c-l-quarles.

The Spanish translation of this post can be found here: http://fundamentosbiblicos.com/

Click here to read from Biblical Foundations website.


Quotes of Note:

For years I have had a daily reading schedule. I have a very broad or eclectic reading taste. That may explain why I am quoting such a variety below. At any rate, here are some select quotes from some recent reading material:
"The Word of God is the Word that God spoke, speaks, and will speak in the midst of all men...That man who refuses to listen and to obey the Word acts not as a free man but as a slave, for there is no freedom except through God's Word." ~Karl Barth (Evangelical Theology)
‎"...theological study and the impulse which compels it are not passing stages of life. The forms which this study assumes may and must change slightly with the times. But the theologian, if he was in fact a studiosus theologiae, remains so even to his death." ~Karl Barth (Evangelical Theology)
Prayer without study would be empty. Study without prayer would be blind. ~Karl Barth (Evangelical Theology)
I’ve often said some men say they are standing for truth when they are really standing for their interpretation of the truth. We have fought each other over dead issues while the living perish. A man’s love for God can be measured by the love he has for the man he loves the least. ~T.F. Tenney
When the author walks on the stage the play is over. God is going to invade, all right - something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left? For this time it will be God without disguise. It will be too late then to choose your side. ~C.S. Lewis
Those thinkers who cannot believe in any gods often assert that the love of humanity would be in itself sufficient for them; and so, perhaps, it would, if they had it. ~G.K. Chesterson
“I have read my books by many lights, hoarding their beauty, their wit or wisdom against the dark days when I would have no book, nor a place to read. I have known hunger of the belly kind many times over, but I have known a worse hunger: the need to know and to learn.” ~Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man)


Zeitgeist Refuted Documentary

Excerpt from Top Documentary Films:
Even secular scholars have rejected the idea of Christianity borrowing from the ancient mysteries. The well-respected Sir Edward Evans-Pritchard writes in Theories of Primitive Religion that The evidence for this theory… is negligible.
The first real parallel of a dying and rising god does not appear until A.D. 150, more than a hundred years after the origin of Christianity. So if there was any influence of one on the other, it was the influence of the historical event of the New Testament (resurrection) on mythology, not the reverse. The only known account of a god surviving death that predates Christianity is the Egyptian cult god Osiris.
 In this myth, Osiris is cut into fourteen pieces, scattered around Egypt, then reassembled and brought back to life by the goddess Isis. However, Osiris does not actually come back to physical life but becomes a member of a shadowy underworld… This is far different than Jesus’ resurrection account where he was the gloriously risen Prince of life who was seen by others on earth before his ascension into heaven. –Dr. Norman Geisler.

Click Here to Watch Documentary

Gary Habermas and Tim Callahan debate Jesus and Mythology


The Apostle Paul and Thanksgiving

Apostle Paul

The Apostle Paul and Thanksgiving? Yes! I do not mean to suggest that the Apostle John ate turkey or even celebrated any such holiday. I am sure however that as a Jew giving thanks to God was a staple in his spiritual diet. This cannot be doubted since nearly every Pauline epistle begins with words of thanksgiving and praise to God. Paul's own words testify to his thankful heart.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 Paul states "In every thing give thanks..." (KJV) Or "Give thanks in everything..."(HCSB). In 2 Corinthians 11:22-33 it is recorded that Paul was imprisoned, flogged, exposed to death, received 39 lashes, beaten with rods three times, stoned once, shipwrecked three times, spent a day and night in the open sea, constantly on the move, in danger from rivers, bandits his own countrymen, gentiles, in the city, in the country, at sea and in danger from false brothers. He labored and toiled, went without sleep, knew hunger and thirst, felt the cold and was naked yet he still says that God is to be "praised forever"! (2 Corinthians 11:31 NIV).  

Obviously for Paul and for believers then thanksgiving is not dependent on personal circumstance. Christ should put a thankful heart in any Sitz im Leben. In 1 Thessalonians 1:2 he tells them "We give thanks to God always for you all" (KJV). Or "We always thank God for all of you" (HCSB) For Paul thanksgiving was daily flowing from his life out of his love for Christ and the saints in the Church of Christ (no pun intended). As suggested earlier Paul frequently uses the Greek word for thanksgiving. 

The Greek verb for thanksgiving used often by Paul is from eucharisteo (eucharistoumen). This word is from eu (well) and charis (grace, thanks). For Paul to simply contemplate the charis (grace) of God compelled him to give eucharistia or thanksgiving. Eucharistia is a rarely used word in pre-Christian Greek literature. The Gospels do not contain this word but similar ones appear in Matthew 26:16 and Mark 14:22 or Luke 22:17 and John 6:11, 23. Long after the writings of Paul's epistles John uses the noun form twice in his apocalyptic literature (e.g. Revelations 7:12). 

For Paul thanksgiving wasn't only something he does. In 2 Thessalonians 1:3 Paul state that not only are we to "always thank God" but that "We are bound to thank God" (KJV) or "We ought always to give thanks to God" (NASB). It is our duty to thank God for all he has done. In fact, Paul presses this concept further in 2 Thessalonians 2:13:
But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: KJV
Believers give thanks to God because God chose us from the beginning for salvation and sanctification. Indeed for Paul our "life is hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3 ESV). As believers we will naturally have an outflow of thanks to God for His salvation. In The Restoration of Christianity Michael Servetus rightly suggested that for God nothing awaits existence.

Remember in 1 Thessalonians 1:2 he tells them "We give thanks to God always for you all" (KJV) Paul says "for you all" or "all of you" (HCSB). Here Paul leaves no one out. Every believer is consequently a part of the Body of Christ and is vital to every other member or part of that Body. Our thankfulness to God for "all" means that we must also be prayerful of them "all". Being thankful and praying for fellow believers is a cure for many problems that can arise in Christian assemblies.

As we have noted Paul connects thanksgiving with prayer. Not only do we thank God for others but also for ourselves. In order to give thanks for others or ourselves we first be mindful of them and ourselves in prayer. We must pray on purpose with purpose. When we go to prayer we do so mindful of not only ourselves but also others. Notice the start contrast that Paul paints between the believers and the unbelievers:

Romans 1:21, "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened." KJV
Romans 1:21, For though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became nonsense, and their senseless minds were darkened. HSCB

Throughout the New Testament the thankful heart of the Apostle Paul is abundantly and clearly seen. We have only examined a few here. In this previous text however the necessity of a thankful heart is in full bloom. Here Paul attributes the darkness of the heathen to a lack of praise and thanksgiving to God. It is a sign of the darkened heart that does not praise or thank God or acknowledge its Creator. Thanksgiving is not just a holiday but it is a way of life for the believer.

Thanksgiving and Religious Liberty

In the late 1500's the French began making attempts to colonize and settle the northern coast of Florida.(1) It is around this time that a great Huguenot leader named Admiral Coligny would aspire to establish a colony for which his persecuted brethren could seek refuge. The Admiral would send Jean Ribaut who in 1562 discovered St. John's River in Florida. Ribaut also named the country of Carolina after Charles IX, a boy-king. The colonist that Ribaut brought would soon give up and return to England or France. A couple years late Rene de Laudonniere established the St. Johns River Settlement in Florida (June 30, 1564). Laudonniere led a group of French Huguenots to colonize and build Fort Caroline near present-day Jacksonville, Florida. It is recorded that Rene de Laudonniere wrote:
    We sang a psalm of Thanksgiving unto God, beseeching Him that it would please Him to continue His accustomed goodness towards us.
In  August of 1565 Phillip II of Spain, who likely views the French as a threat to their trade route, would send Pedro Melendez de Aviles who announced his purpose to "gibbet and behead all the Protestants in these regions." Melendez would establish St. Augustine which is now one of the oldest towns in the USA. Melendez with bloodthirsty precision would also wipe out the French settlement and Huguenots. Both the French and the Spanish unnecessarily lost many human lives. In 1567 Dominic de Gourgues, a Gascon soldier, would come to avenge the Huguenots. He would capture all the Spanish settlements left by Melendez except St. Augustine.(2) 

The first amendment to the Bill of Rights clearly states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.(3)
Those who once came to this land long ago did not do so in order to erode religious expression. They did not come to the shores of this county in order to seek further deviation from the Creator. Many did so, as did the French Huguenots, in order to worship and thank God freely and without fear of persecution. America was a refuge for those who sought freedom of religious expression.

The generation of Americans today and tomorrow must always hold such things to be true. America is a place where spiritual men came to have spiritual expression. Today and every Thanksgiving Day is a special celebration of such realities that came full circle on American soil. The reality that all mankind, who individually possess' inalienable rights, can flourish and participate in religious expression must always remain. Good men and women must pray and be diligent in order that such freedom can be maintained. Today let us give thanks to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who has given and created all things. 

Ephesians 5:20, "And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." NLT
James 1:17, "Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow." NLT

One way the Holy Spirit is evidenced (see Gal. 5:20-22) in our lives is a reversal of any pattern of ingratitude. God wants to make us people who exhibit thankfulness in proportion to the gifts and blessings we’ve received. Let all the earth behold the the creation and its Creator. And give thanks.


1) Many facts and details here taken from: Thwaites, R. G. (2005; 2005). Epochs of American History: The Colonies (34). Pleasant Places Press.

2)  Cincotta, Howard. An Outline of American history. 1998. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc. (original edition by Frances Whitney. Revised and updated by R. Hofstadter, W. Gray, D. Steven, K.W. Olsen, N. Glick and A. Winkler)

3) The Constitution of the United States of America. 1998 (elecronic ed.). Oak Harbor WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.


The Authentic Humanity of Jesus Christ V

Manna from Heaven

John 6:38:

For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. ESV
Heaven and The Throne of God:

Heaven is where angels abide and where believers will one day dwell. It is also the abode of the Almighty God. In Jewish thinking Heaven is where God dwells (Deut. 4:36, 39; cf. Luke 11:2, Acts 7:49). To the Hebrew writers Heaven holds the throne of God and was where prayers are answered. Jewish people have long looked to heaven in prayer. Jesus would actually appear strange to His Jewish contemporaries if He did not recognize or even participate in such facts. Additionally Richard Bauckham suggests:
“God's servants may be said, by his permission, to rule some things, as earthly rulers do, but only God rules over all things from a throne exalted above all things.”(1)
Angels and other heavenly beings do not sit on God’s throne. They serve at his side. Christ is no sidekick in God’s program rather He is the True God (1 John 5:20) visible to the mortal eye. God’s throne is a position reserved for God only and yet the New Testament writers do not hesitate to place Jesus in this exalted place. This motif is all throughout the book of Revelations or John's apocalyptic writing. However, we see the transcendence of Jesus over all things as God in that it is He who sits upon the one throne of heaven. In Revelation 5:5-7 and 7:17 the Lamb is on the center of the throne. In Revelations 1:7-8, 4:2 and 22:4-4 the One on the throne is Jesus (Revelation 4:2, 8; 1:7-8, 11, 17-18; 22:3-4). No angel or created being occupies the cosmic throne of Heaven but the True God.

"came down from heaven"

In John 6 Jesus miraculously feeds five thousand people and walks on water. He then begins to tell them that He is the bread of life (6:35) and that He “came down from heaven” to do the will of the Father. These statements reveal the mission and divine origin of Jesus in the physical realm. As we shall see, they do not prove that Jesus is a separate person from God who is an additional divine person who sits on the throne of Heaven either. As we have seen there is only one throne. One Lord. One God. Such imagery is expressly unipersonal since only one person typically sits on a throne at a time. Throughout Scripture God is even described metaphorically as unipersonal as well (Psalm 27:8, face; Genesis 6:8, eyes; 2 Samuel 22:7, ears; 2 Samuel 22:9, nostrils; Psalms 29:3, voice; Ezekiel 28:6, heart; Isaiah 52:10, arm; Acts 7:55-56, right hand; Luke 11:20, finger). Even metaphorical imagery can tell us something about the Oneness of God.

The use of the bread as a metaphor can refer to His identity. He said that his flesh or the bread came down from heaven (6:51, 58). Jesus no more means that His flesh literally came down from Heaven than He means that they should literally eat His flesh. Jesus said the He is the “living bread that came down from heaven” (cf. 6:38, 51). Here Jesus speaks also of the “manna” that had come down to feed the Israelites. The manna did not pre-exist in heaven but miraculously appeared by God Himself. The source of the manna was God and not any earthly cause. The human flesh of Jesus did not literally descend. This is not literally true since as we have clearly seen that Jesus descended from David and Abraham (See Matthew 1; Luke 3; Romans 1:3; John 7:42; Acts 2:30).

Perhaps in some sense Jesus is letting those around Him know that God is the author and source of His birth or Incarnation which in Biblical terms can clearly be understood as miraculous. G. R. Beasley-Murray concludes that in John 6:38 “Herein lies the reason for his “descent,” i.e. for his Incarnation”(2) Such a verse seems to imply Incarnational language. It can be inferred that John would be aware of Jesus being born of a virgin and called Immanuel (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:23; cf. Isaiah 8:8, meaning God with us). Although those who knew Jesus knew Him to be genuinely human Jesus seems to be teaching them that the source from which He came is not earthly. Jesus would not have the biological contribution of a male parent in a virginal conception. Instead half of Jesus’ chromosomes had to have come from God miraculously. Jesus came through the womb of a woman as do all human beings but John also informs us that the life of Jesus is the life of the Father (John 5:26).

Michael Servetus noted in 1553 that here “the trifles of our trinitarians were not known to anyone at that time.”(3) This is important because Jesus’ language does not suggest He pre-existed as a second divine Son person with the Father nor more than it meant His flesh pre-existed in a divine state. Instead Jesus speaks enigmatically of his mission and His identity. Jesus is not the Incarnation of one person of a Trinity but the Incarnation of all the identity, character, and personality of the one God (Colossians 2:9). As to His eternal deity, there can be no subordination of Jesus to anyone else, whether in essence or position. Instead, Jesus makes the Father visible to the mortal eyes of men (John 12:45; 14:9-10).

While Jesus walked on earth as God Himself Incarnate, the Spirit of God continued to be omnipresent. As God manifest in the flesh Jesus can say “I came down from heaven”. His flesh came down from heaven in the sense that it was of a supernatural, divine origin. Yet as God in the flesh He can say “I came down from heaven” in reference to His eternal, uncreated deity. Servetus also notes:
“the Word of God has descended from heaven and is now on earth in the flesh of Christ...Whatever is beyond the flesh and blood is both from and in heaven. Not only was Christ from heaven, but he even brought heaven itself to us...”(4)
"him who sent me"

In 6:38 we also read “...the will of him who sent me...” Trinitarians will suggest that by the use of “him” and “me” here we have two divine persons--God and Jesus. Here they do not imagine human persons but entities existing in some spatial relationship with independent minds and processes. How does one omnipresent person or mind keep from bumping into the other omnipresent person or mind? Such a thing certainly begs many questions. The Unitarian will go one more step past the Trinitarian here and suggest that the use of the pronouns indicate that Jesus is not God but rather completely separate and other. Oneness believers recognize the “him” as a referent to God and the “me” as indicating the Son, God manifest in flesh, but recognized as the He who was beaten, bruised and crucified. In essence, God is aware of Himself existing as both human and divine. As mentioned prior the physical and mental limitations of the Incarnation have a profound impact. Both Trinitarians and Oneness leave this verse believing that Jesus is God.

Jesus, like any human being, is able to communicate with God from His human consciousness, while the divine nature was also manifest in His human consciousness. God was able to communicate with Him on this same basis. Luke 2:52 from the NASB notes: “And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” Even though Jesus was the very wisdom of God (I Corinthians 1:24) He was able to increase in wisdom, because He was also human. 

God is a person or personal spirit being and Jesus is a person. This however does not necessarily mean God and Jesus are two separate or different persons. God is unlimited in His person and being. Jesus is God manifest in the flesh and therefore is God’s divine Person and Word Incarnate (John 1:1, 14). Jesus is the One who is fully human and fully divine(5) and there is nothing logically contradictory with Him being so. The Word nor Wisdom of God are separable from God but are indeed His Word and Mind. Jesus is the expressed image of the Father’s being (Hebrews 1:3).

6:38 clearly presents a grammatical distinction between two personal pronouns. It may be just as accurate to say “the will of God who sent me” also. That a personal pronoun has to always mean only a theological or philosophical definition of the word person is erroneous. A pronoun could just as easily include the idea of being here since all persons have being. This is why the Unitarian or Socinian will say that Jesus is only a human being completely other than the being of God. If the use of personal pronouns prove a person then here we have two personal beings distinct from each other and not simply metaphysical persons united in God’s being. If they are divine persons then the question is begged still. What kind of divine persons do not know certain things? Are subject and sent? How does it make sense to say that God is sent? Is this what Jesus meant when He said that He was also sent? What exactly do you mean by person?

The grammar shows two distinct personal pronouns. A grammatical personal distinction. Of course, this does not amount to two persons in the sense that is popularly thought of today. Somehow the Trinitarian will walk away with the idea of two persons who are merely distinct but not separate. Two person who are not distinct in being but yet somehow share that same being. The only way they can arrive at such a conclusion is to read theology a priori into the grammar. If the theology is correct this should be no problem but as I have suggested it only begs the question.

Third Person Pronouns:

If we were to use the presence of third person pronouns as a method to determine the number of persons in a sentence or that they mean someone else other than the one speaking then there is a problem. If that is true then Jesus must not be the Son of God. Consider John 3:16 which we dealt with in a previous post:
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. ESV
The pronouns "he"; "his" and "him" are all third person pronouns. If some count personal pronouns or third person language as a way to determine how many divine persons we are dealing with in such references then Jesus is not the Son. One cannot count personal pronouns only to arrive at divine persons. If third person language means another person then that would also mean Jesus is not the Christ (Luke 24:46,47) nor is He the Son of Man (Luke 9:58; Mark 13:27).

Typically pronouns can be shown by their context to indicate one or more persons or things. This is especially true of two nouns who are human beings (Peter and John). This language works well in human to human discourse. However, if one understand Jesus to be God then the nouns "God" and "Jesus" are not completely congruent with a typical person to person relationship and is therefore unique. The context and what we know about the nouns “God” and “Jesus” help us determine the reading of the text. Jesus makes it plain that there is something very unique about His relationship to God and therefore it probably alludes typical expression. 

In His Incarnate existence God came to be conscious as man. To know and act as man. He came to experience and live according to all the limitations and realities to which all human beings are subject. God experienced life in a human way, not merely in His human nature, but through His human mode of existence, because Christ's humanity was God's humanity by virtue of the Incarnation. It is completely appropriate then for Jesus to act and be thought of according to His humanity in distinction from His uncreated and eternal deity.

In the following posts we will examine more what it means for Jesus to be fully human and fully God. 


1) Richard Bauckham. Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testament's Christology of Divine Identity (Kindle Locations 332-333). Kindle Edition.

2) Beasley-Murray, G. R. (2002). Vol. 36: Word Biblical Commentary : John. Word Biblical Commentary (92). Dallas: Word, Inc.

3) Servetus, Michael. (1553) Restoration of Christianity : An English Translation of Chistianismi Restitutio. (pg. 24-25) The Edwin Mellen Press

4) ibid. pg. 25

5) I recommend this article by Oneness scholar Jason Dulle, M.A. on The Dual Nature of Christ.


The Authentic Humanity of Jesus Christ IV

In previous posts we have been looking at the Authentic Humanity of Jesus Christ. In the previous post we examined John 3:16-17 as well as other pertinent passages. Before we get into another text we should note a few more things that can said to be true about the humanity of Jesus Christ. It is just as heretical to deny the humanity of Christ as it is to deny His deity. These two propositions must be held to be true by believers (see John 20:28).

The humanity of Christ however is real and authentic. The Scriptures indicate this to us for our benefit and learning about Jesus Christ. They are not to diminish the person of Jesus Christ in any sense. Rather it emphasizes His superlative character and example that are preserved for us until this day. The humanity of Christ does not seem to teach us anything about the nature of God. Instead, it seems to teach us that of all the things that can be said to be true of the Messiah one of them is that He will be and is an authentic human.

Physical Limitations:

If the humanity of Jesus is as genuine as we would expect it to be he would have physical limitations. In Luke 2:7-11 we see that Jesus is born. He has come through the womb of a woman as is any man that has ever lived. Luke recorded that Mary “gave birth to her first born son” and that “born this day...a Savior who is Christ the Lord.” (2:7,11 ESV) In Matthew 4:1 we see that Jesus is tempted. In John 4:6 and Mark 4:38 Jesus gets tired. In Matthew 4:2 He hungers.

Mental Limitations:

If the humanity of Jesus is as genuine as we would expect He would also experience mental or psychological limitations. Such limitations have a profound impact upon the Incarnation as God who is aware of Himself in a completely human nature and body. In Luke 2:52 Jesus “increased in wisdom and stature” (ESV). This indicates that Jesus gained knowledge and grew in intellectual acumen. In Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32 the angels and the Son do not know the “day or hour” of the Son’s return. The KJV and the NKJV omit any reference to the Son in these verses. There is a variant in both places but the conclusion is inescapable upon either reading. In addition, New Testament scholar Philip W. Comfort notes:
“The same omission of “nor the Son” occurs...but in very few manuscripts. The documentary support in favor of its inclusion is impressive in both gospels...it is far more likely that the words here were omitted...because scribes found it difficult to conceive of Jesus not knowing something his father knew--specifically, the time of the second coming.”(1)
Jesus Christ experienced genuine human physical and mental limitations. He tired, hungered and wept (John 11:35). In His human consciousness He grew intellectually and at times did not know certain things. As genuinely human Jesus also was subject, submitted, learned obedience and was made perfect.

Jesus Christ is the living Logos or Word of the Father, who became flesh in Jesus of Nazareth (John 1:1, 14). He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the virgin Mary (cf. Matt. 1:23, Luke 1:35). Yet Hebrews 1:3 says that “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.”(NIV 2011) Christ was fully divine and fully human, deity and humanity united indivisibly in one person.

It was the man or flesh of Jesus that was subjected in Luke 2:51. Because of His consciousness as human He submitted Himself to God (I Peter 2:23) as any man does. It is the writer of Hebrews who tells us that according to his authentic humanity Jesus learned obedience (Hebrews 5:8) and was finally made perfect (Hebrews 5:9). Yet, this same Jesus was above all. (John 3:31) As man He prays but as God he answers prayer.

As human, Christ, the Son of God, partook of our poverty so that we could partake of his riches (2 Cor 8:9). By the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ inaugurated the Kingdom of God here and now on earth (Matt 12:28). He died on the cross for our sins (Heb 9:14) and rose again for our salvation on the third day (Rom 1:4). He ascended on high in order to pour out the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:33) and is coming again, in the clouds of heaven, to fulfill the work of the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:11). To the church at Colosse Paul wrote that Jesus is "the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him," (NIV 2011)

In the following post we will look closer at John 6:38.


1) Comfort Philip W. (2008) New Testament Text and Translation Commentary (73) Tyndale House Publishers, Inc


The Authentic Humanity of Jesus Christ III

In previous posts I began discussing the Authentic Humanity of Jesus Christ. Let's begin this post with John 3:16-17:
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. ESV
It appears obvious to this reader that in 3:16 John is telling us the giving of the Son, the work of Christ and Christ’s saving work originates in the will and act of God Himself. John uses “God” (ho theos) here but this does not limit the language of this act to a Trinitarian person but simply God Himself as the source and giver of life. Those who believe in the Son should not perish but have eternal life because of what God has done through the Son. The Psalmist well before the Incarnation prophetically wrote, “Then I said, “Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me:” (40:7 ESV)

God "loved" and God "gave":

The LEB has “For in this way God loved the world...” It is God who “loved” the world and “gave” the “only Son”. This is done by His will and action. The verbs “loved” and “gave” here are in the aorist third person form (egapesen) of agapao. This means that John has in mind a specific action in the past; the giving of the Son. This is an action done temporally in the time-space continuum and not necessarily an atemporal state of existence. An eternal begetting is not implied anywhere in Scripture.

John may not have been thinking in modern terms of thought or even thinking of such terms as “Incarnation” but the giving of the Son can involve the Incarnation. In the sense of God or the Word in the flesh. Perhaps John has in mind the miraculous virginal conception of Jesus (c.f. Isa. 7:14 and Matt. 1:20-23) as well. Because here John does not seem to have in mind simply Abraham giving his only son that he also loved (Genesis 22) but a different and decisive act of God in Christ. John’s words cannot be limited to the Incarnation but here they may have in view also the death of Christ or His entire mission to the lost world of men.(1)

God Sends the Son:

Jesus was God manifest in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16) and had been sent from the womb of Mary on divine assignment and mission. John 3:17 uses the Greek word for “send”. This verb apostello (apesteilen) is in the aorist aspect also (e.g. “loved”; “gave”) and therefore implies past time. This is why in English John suggests “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (3:17 ESV) The text also concerns what God has done through the Son “in order” or so that the world might be saved through him. This refers to the Son as our mediator for sin and atonement through Him alone.

I find the use of the verb “send” should be understood within the temporal perspective that Jesus Christ experienced. It should at least be the starting point. The “sending” or “coming” is in terms of a commissioning and sending of the only begotten Son of God. A descent from a non-earthly location in the sense of an angel or emanation was probably not on the mind of John here.

"into the world" and "I have come":

The phrase “into the world” perhaps can be taken in the same sense as a father sending his son out "into the world" to make his own way. This happened at the outset of Jesus' ministry in Luke 4:18-21 where the same verb for “send” (as used in John 3:17) is also used in the perfect third person form as “sent”. In Luke Jesus says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me...He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.” (ESV) 

Obviously a temporal sending is in view and not a sending of Jesus, as a second divine person, from a non-earthly location. We can actually say of the historical Christ that He came “into the world” at His birth. Notice John 18:37 from the ESV

John 18:37 says, “Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” ESV

As a man he was “sent” and “given” by God for the mission of redemption. The use of “I was born” and “come into the world” do not necessarily refer to two separate events but one can serve as an explanation of the other. Notice this portion of F.F. Bruce's' rendering of John 18:37:
“...The purpose of my birth, the purpose of my coming into the world, is that I should bear witness to the truth.”(2)
Bruce notes that “Here it is the incarnate Logos who is speaking, the embodiment of eternal truth, now revealed on earth at a particular time and place.”(3) We must be careful that we do not press the language too much. Leon Morris notes that “Pre-existence and incarnation are the precondition for, but not the point of this way of speaking.”(4) Such a way of speaking may not have been immediately compelling to those around Christ that He was God in the flesh or an angelic being descended from heaven.

Although that may be possible such things as coming into the world can be said of Jesus as well as “the prophet” (John 6:14); “the Christ” (John 7:27; 11:27) and every human being (John 16:21). Nicodemus recognized that Jesus was a teacher “come from God” (John 3:2) and even John the baptist is a man said to be “sent from God” as well as sent “before” Christ (see John 1:6; 3:28). In his voluminous work The Wars of the Jews Josephus uses similar language:
(400) “Thou, O Vespasian, thinkest no more than that thou hast taken Josephus himself captive; but I come to thee as a messenger of greater tidings; for had not I been sent by God to thee, I knew what was the laws of the Jews in this case,a and how it becomes generals to die.(5)
In Mark 9:11-13 we see John the Baptist as the "Elijah" who "has come". (See Mal. 3:1–2; 4:5–6) Here John the Baptist is clearly thought of as divinely commissioned, but that does not imply to the reader that he came from a non-earthly location.

For the Trinitarian the sending of the Son proves that the Father and Son are two separate person just as Jesus and the disciples are two persons. In this case the Father and the Son then are each existing prior to the Incarnation with their own mind and consciousness. If God is a Trinity of persons in this sense then there is no way to logically escape that the Trinity teaches tritheism (three gods). Jesus and the disciples share the fact that they as Christ had a divine commission and anointing.

The Genuine Humanity of Jesus Christ:

In the Incarnation God is distinctly aware of Himself as truly human and of course of Himself logically transcendent.The concept of sending refers to the Incarnation in the sense that it refers to the genuine humanity of Jesus Christ. A genuine human existence. Such a concept teaches us nothing about the divine nature of God. God, who existed outside of the time-space continuum, was also uniquely present in Jesus Christ. Although Jesus in His human nature can be spoken of as sent He can also be wherever two or three gather together in His name (Matthew 18:20). The fact that He made this statement while still on the earth shows that He did not give up His omnipresence in the Incarnation. Oneness Pentecostals affirm the genuine and complete humanity of Jesus. Yet this is not done to the exclusion of his supreme Deity. We must however allow all of Scripture to speak.

The Incarnation or the deity of the Messiah may ultimately be inexplicable. As noted in earlier posts Oneness Pentecostals hold the two truths of Christ as a genuine human and as God to be equally true. As a genuine man Jesus experienced limitations; was subject to time; prayed; endured, and was tempted. Christ’s humanity means that everything we humans can say of ourselves, we can also say of Jesus in his earthly life--except for sin. In every way that we relate to God, Jesus related to God, except that he did not need to repent or be born again. Thus, when Jesus prayed, when he submitted his will to the Father, and when he spoke about and to God, he simply acted in accordance with his authentic, genuine humanity. 


1) “The giving of the only Son clearly embraces both incarnation and vicarious death; it is the entire mission of the Son that is in view.” Beasley-Murray, G. R. (2002). Vol. 36: Word Biblical Commentary : John. Word Biblical Commentary (51). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

2) Bruce, F.F. (1983) The Gospel & Epistles of John. (353) W.B. Eerdmans Publishing.

3) ibid. 354

4) Morris, Leon. (1986) New Testament Theology. (241) Zondervan Publishing

5) Josephus, F., & Whiston, W. (1996). The works of Josephus : Complete and unabridged. (3.400) Peabody: Hendrickson.


The Authentic Humanity of Jesus Christ II

In a previous post I began discussing the Authentic Humanity of Jesus Christ. In following posts I would like to look at other key texts of the New Testament that verify the genuineness of the humanity of Jesus Christ. Perhaps the oldest enemies to the early church was docetism and gnosticism. Gnosticism is a very slippery term and there are many types. It seems that early gnostic writings though were thinking of Jesus in very supernatural terms (see Infancy Gospel of Thomas). The Docetists thought spiritual was good and physical was evil. Therefore, Jesus could not have been a real man. It should not surprise us then to know that the Scriptures as a whole affirm the authentic humanity of Jesus Christ. Apparently the Apostle John felt similarly. Dr. David S. Norris notes:
Christian theology is held together by a man. Whoever, or whatever else He was, He was a man—not apparently, but actually.(1)
For the the Apostle John it is important that we understand Jesus was a true man. In fact, the spirit of Antichrist is the denial of the genuine humanity of Jesus and not a denial of His deity. We must be careful not to read too much into this because it does not necessarily follow that a denial of His deity is acceptable to John. Notice 1 John 4:1-3
1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. ESV
The ESV in 4:2 renders homologeo (homologei) as “confesses” (present, active, indicative verb). Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ, in the “flesh” or sarx has come from God. The prepositional phrase “in the flesh” refers to Jesus the “Christ” or “anointed one”. The use of this term perhaps affirms the Messianic nature of Jesus as well which as Messianic Jewish scholar Arnold Fruchtenbaum includes:
“...The Messiah was to be of the Seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob through the Tribe of Judah and the family of David. Indeed, He was to be the ideal Israelite...The genealogies show Him to be of the Seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob through the Tribe of Judah and from the family of David (Matt. 1:1-16; Luke 3:23-28). His lineage from Judah is emphasized in Hebrews 7:13-14 and Revelation 5:5. He was always recognized on sight to be a Jew and the Samaritan woman recognized Him to be that in John 4:9.”(2)
Fruchtenbaum rightly concludes that Israel’s longed for Messiah would be from the lineage of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and essentially through the family of David. Since the Messiah would be the “ideal Israelite” it would naturally require him to be human at the very least. Even the woman at the well could tell that Jesus was a Jewish man (John 4:9).

 “Sent” and “come” from God?

To say that Jesus Christ in the flesh has come from God also creates a grammatical distinction between the direct object (Jesus Christ) and God. Jesus Christ, in the flesh, has come from God. For the Unitarian or Socinian Jesus is truncated from God by being “in the flesh”. For both the Trinitarian and the Oneness perspective Jesus is God but for one He is a different divine person also called God and for the other He is the True God manifest in flesh in a truly genuine human existence. God is aware of Himself in a truly human existence.

If Jesus is God how can He also be “from God”? This question is one that everyone must consider objectively. For the Trinitarian He is one of three divine persons (not beings) who considered and voluntarily chose prior to the Incarnation to come in the flesh. For the Unitarian “he” (Jesus) is another separate human being that cannot truly be considered “God” except in a representative sense.

My perspective as well as any other is not without presupposition or criticism. From my Oneness perspective Jesus has come from God in the sense as John appears to be writing about Him. As it is reflected in the use of the pronouns used of Christ. This includes a temporal perspective wherein John considers and sees Jesus, the Christ. From this perspective, Jesus then was a man who had come and was sent from God. His coming is representative but not representative alone. The truth of sending and coming for Christ perhaps clearly points to His authentic humanity. A point that the Bible manifestly seeks to make clear. There are many texts that speak about Jesus being “sent” by God, “coming” from God and “coming down from heaven” (See Matt. 10:40; John 4:34; John 5:24; John 6:38; John 8:42; John 16:28; John 17:18; Gal. 4:4; 1 John 4:14). In following posts we will consider John 3:16-17 and other sending passages.


1. Fruchtenbaum, Arnold G. (1989) Israeology: The Missing Link in Systematic Theology. (846) Ariel Ministries.

2. David S. Norris (2009-09-30). I AM: A Oneness Pentecostal Theology (Kindle Locations 1138-1140). Word Aflame Press. Kindle Edition.


Calvin & Servetus

Video lecture by Carlos Xavier on Calvin, Servetus, and Heretics. An interesting dialog on Servetus is also reviewed near the end of the video. While I do not agree with everything the Abrahamic Movement teaches there are some things here worth sharing and knowing. Namely, laughter and joking over murder is very disturbing. This should be true in anyone's "book".


The Rock was Christ

3 For I will proclaim the name of the Lord; ascribe greatness to our God! 4 The Rock, his work is perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God, without deceit, just and upright is he; Deut. 32:4 NRSV
47 The Lord lives! Blessed be my rock, and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation, 2 Samuel 22:47 NRSV
Notice in the Scriptures above that the "Rock" has a "work" that is "perfect" and "ways" that are "just." God/Yahweh here is the Rock and He is a living personal and acting creator. 2 Samuel even says Yahweh "lives!" Deuteronomy goes on to even describe Yahweh as a "he"; "faithful"; "without deceit"; "just" and "upright". God is not a "what" but a "who" that speaks as a "he".

Daniel L. Segraves notes that "we are to read the Old Testament as did the writers of the New Testament: the events found in the Hebrew Scriptures anticipate and represent greater realities that will be brought to light in the messianic age, with the coming of Jesus Christ."(1) It is indeed the coming of Jesus, and not a Trinity, that the Old Testament foretells. In Jewish homes the song "The Rock From Which We Have Eaten" is sung around Shabbat. Messianic Jewish scholar David Stern suggests “One of the best known zmirot (songs) sung in Jewish homes on Shabbat is “Tzur Mishelo Achalnu” (“The Rock From Which We Have Eaten”). Since it may date back to as early as the second century, and because so many of its ideas parallel those of these verses, I quote two stanzas:”
The Rock, from whom we have eaten—
Bless him, my faithful friends! 
We have eaten our fill without exhausting the supply, 
Which accords with the Word of Adonai.
He nourishes his world, our Shepherd, our Father;
We have eaten his bread and drunk his wine …. 
With nourishment and sustenance he has sated our souls …. 
May the Merciful One be blessed and exalted! (2)
In this song Jews have no problem calling the "Rock" a "He" who is a "Shepherd" and a "Father". Emil Schurer in his voluminous work on the Jewish People says that the Shema and the Shemoneh Esreh “occupy...so prominent position in the Jewish liturgy”. Shurer suggests that the Shema (Jewish confession of faith, consisting of Deut. 6:4-9, 11:13-21, Num. 15:37-31) is cited, preceeded by prayers, so that they would be in “constant remembrance of Him.” The Shemoneh Esreh is the “chief prayer, which every Israelite, even women, slaves and children, had to repeat three times a day...it is so much the chief prayer of the Israelite, that it is also called merely ‘the prayer.’”(3) Here are parts of the prayer I would like to consider closer. Notice how they echo that of Stern's Jewish song.
We praise Thee, for Thou art the Lord our God and the God of our fathers for ever and ever; the Rock of our life, the Shield of our salvation, Thou art for ever and ever...Cause us to turn, O our Father, to Thy law, and draw us near, O our King, to Thy service, and restore us in perfect repentance to Thy presence. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who delightest in repentance. 6. Forgive us, our Father, for we have sinned; pardon us, our King, for we have transgressed; ready to pardon and forgive Thou art.
Let’s examine more Scripture about the Rock that was with the Israelites. Notice these passages:
Isaiah 44:8, Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any.” ESV
 I Samuel 2:2, There is none holy like the LORD; there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God. ESV
 II Samuel 22:2-3, He said: “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; 3 my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—from violent men you save me. ESV
 II Samuel 22:32, For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God? ESV
 II Samuel 23:3, The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me: ‘When one rules over men in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God, ESV
 Psalm 18:2, The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. ESV
 Psalms 62:1-2, For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. 2 He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. ESV
In the previous passages we can make some important conclusions. 1) no God or Rock besides "me" 2) no other God or Rock is known 3) this Rock is God or Yahweh of the Old Testament 4) God is our rock, refuge, shield, holy, stronghold, and savior. 5) The God of Israel, the Rock of Israel, even speaks. 6) God is a who and is described as a "him" and a "He". The Hebrew word הוּא appears which typically is a referent of whom or what is spoken about. In this case the whom is "He" and is referring to Yahweh. The New Bible Dictionary makes an important concession in light of popular trinitarian apologetics,
"Without the titanic disclosure of the Christ event, no one would have taken the OT to affirm anything but the exclusive, i.e. unipersonal monotheism that is the hallmark of Judaism and Islam."(4)
This well known fact is overlooked and still ignored by Trinitarians. The Old Testament is unipersonal and that is why Judaism is unipersonal. The "Christ event" however did not introduce another person no more than it revealed another, even lesser, Yahweh. God comes. He is Jesus.

The prophet Isaiah saw a vision of Jesus sitting on heaven’s throne (Isaiah 6:1ff.), with such a robe that its train filled the temple. Clearly no other person is on the right nor the left of God, and His throne. The seraphim present identifies what Isaiah saw as Yahweh. Isaiah later points out that it would be His birth of a virgin (7:14) from David’s lineage that would qualify Him to sit on David’s throne, fulfilling the ancient prophecy of Nathan. But this descendant of David would also be the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father Himself.

The Rock was Christ : Jesus is Yahweh

Paul, speaking of the Israelites in the days of Moses, said, “They drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ” (I Corinthians 10:4). The Rock is a type of Christ but also identifies Jesus as Yahweh. Jews and Trintarians will stumble here. Jesus, the everlasting Father, is also the Son, who is also the Mighty God (See Isa. 9:6). The only God the Father in the either Covenants is Jesus, the Son. Jesus then is the True God (1 John 5:20). Fundamentally, the One who existed prior to the Incarnation is the same One who existed after the Incarnation but in a different form.

It was not the human Son of God, the seed of the woman, that was with the Israelites on that day. Yet, the one eternal personal Spirit of God preexisted the Incarnation. In his book Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testament's Christology of Divine Identity Richard Bauckham notes:
The implication for Jewish monotheism and Christology is remarkable: the exclusive devotion that YHWH's jealously requires of his people is required of Christians by Jesus Christ. Effectively he assumes the unique identity of YHWH. This is coherent with the suggestion that Paul already has the Song of Moses in mind in 10:4 ('the rock was Christ'), alluding to the description of YHWH as Israel's Rock that is characteristic of the Song (Dent. 32:4, 15, 18, 31; note the close association with the theme of Israel's idolatry in v. 18).(5)
James D.G. Dunn, in his book New Testament Theology notes:
...in the Gospels it is typically Jesus who heals or saves, or through whom God saves. And it is noticeable that, in the Pastorals in particular, the title of Savior is used of God as much as of Christ.(6)
Not a verse of Scripture even hints of any other Rock or significant Savior other than Yahweh. (See also Deuteronomy 32:4, 15, 18, 30-31; Psalm 28:1; 42:9; 61:2; 71:3; 94:22; 95:1, Isaiah 51:1.) With Jesus now understood to be included in the identity of Yahweh does not introduce another Rock, Savior or Yahweh. If so, the closest possible explanation would be polytheism and not Trinitarianism (i.e. more than one divine person can be called Rock, Savior, Yahweh).

Yahweh is a who that speaks as a he. Such self utterances and reflections by others on Yahweh as a he or him certainly reflect the indivisible nature of God's being as well as His inexhaustible person (esp. in contrast to worship of Baal(s)). For Israel Yahweh is an eternal undivided self. Notice these passages. Well before Christ was ever born the Old Testament prophet Isaiah states:

Isaiah 8:13-14, “But the Lord of hosts, him you shall regard as holy; let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 14 He will become a sanctuary, a stone one strikes against; for both houses of Israel he will become a rock one stumbles over—a trap and a snare for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.”

In the Acts of the Apostles Luke records Peter’s affirmation in the clearest way possible: 

Acts 4:10-11, “let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead(7). 11 This Jesus is ‘the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.’” NRSV

The Apostle Paul, in Romans 9:32-33, also says “They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 as it is written, “See, I am laying in Zion a stone that will make people stumble, a rock that will make them fall, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” NRSV

In even clearer terms Paul states: 1 Corinthians 3:11, For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ. NRSV


1) Segraves, Daniel L. (2008). Reading Between the Lines (Kindle Locations 2920-2933). Word Aflame Press. Kindle Edition.

2) Stern, D. H. (1996). Jewish New Testament Commentary : A companion volume to the Jewish New Testament (electronic ed.) (1 Co 10:3). Clarksville: Jewish New Testament Publications.

3) Schürer, E. (1890). Vol. 4: A history of the Jewish people in the time of Jesus Christ, second division, Vol. II. (86, 87). Edinburgh: T&T Clark.

4) Wood, D. R. W., & Marshall, I. H. (1996). New Bible dictionary (3rd ed.) (1209). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.

5) Richard Bauckham. Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testament's Christology of Divine Identity (Kindle Locations 1362-1366). Kindle Edition.

6) James D. G. Dunn (2009). New Testament Theology (Library of Biblical Theology) (Kindle Locations 1533-1537). Abingdon Press. Kindle Edition.

7) Who raised Jesus from the dead? 2 Cor. 5:19—God was in Christ, reconciling the world…..; John 2:19—Jesus, Destroy this temple and in 3 days I will raise it up; Gal. 1:1—Father raised Christ from the dead and Rom. 8:11—Holy Spirit raised Christ from the dead. God raised Christ from the dead.



Recently Millard Erickson noted, "Monotheism means exclusive worship of and obedience to the one true God." (Making Sense of the Trinity: Three Crucial Questions) Monotheism is the worship of the one True God. The Israelites were not evolving polytheists but held strict devotion to the One True God. For Christians the One True God entered into His own creation. Jesus is Immanuel--God with us.

This does not mean Israel was without those who fell away or turned to other gods. Deuteronomy 6:4 makes this plain as it was intended to exclude polytheism and henotheism. From the text we can gather that there is one God and one way to worship Him. In singleness of heart, will and with all one's person. Our undivided commitment to God matches the number of God as well. Ten verses later Yahweh commands them not to go after “gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you.” (6:14, ESV) These other "gods" were clearly fictional gods and not worthy of their worship and commitment. 

Trinitarians seek to posit that God here is only described as one in being not person. God is somehow so other than those created in His image (Gen.1:26-27) that He can somehow be one being and yet three persons. As proof they suggest that God's being is unlimited and unlike our own. While this is true in many ways it does not necessarily follow that God is more than one person. If God's being is unlimited and unlike ours to such a degree then certainly the same can be said of the person of God Himself. Especially in light of the fact that God or Yahweh is explicitly personal and clearly interacts as one to one existentially. Walther Eichrodt, from Basel University, notices that Yahweh's oneness is not only in reference to His being but also in His person.
"Linguistically, it is certainly possible to support the rendering "Yahweh our God is one single Yahweh"; that is to say, he is not a God who can be split up into various divinities or powers, like the Baals of Tyre, of Hazor and or Schechem, etc., but one who unites himself as a single person everything which Israel thought of as appertaining to God." (Theology of The Old Testament)
The Shema is not confusing. Yes, it has yielded much debate but some basic things can be said. God is echad or one. Echad is the Hebrew word for the number one. Every Hebrew boy or girl learns this at a very early age to distinguish one person or thing from another person or thing. In Deuteronomy 6:4 echad is no doubt used as it is in other places. 

Echad signifies one place (Gen. 1:9), anyone soul or person (Lev. 4:27), or one justice (Num. 5:16). Here we have that there is only one Yahweh. He is one. There is no reason why echad cannot be referencing the person of God in Deuteronomy 6:4. Hebrew children regularly used echad to distinguish one person or thing from another. Unless the Trinitarian is willing to say that God is impersonal or a thing then the reference can include person. In the case of God He is most definitely personal.

The Biblical data clearly indicates that Yahweh or God exists as one personal Spirit being (Ps. 139:7-12; Isa. 31:3; John 4:24) who is invisible (Deut. 4:11-15; Job 9:11; 1 Tim. 6:15-16) omnipotent (Gen. 17:1; 18:14; Ps. 135:5-6), omniscient (Gen. 6:5; 1 Kings 8:39; Job 37:16), self-existent (Ex. 3:14; Isa. 43:10, 44:6; Jer. 10:10) who is personal enough to think and know (1 Sam. 2:3; 1 Chron. 28:9; Job 28:20-24), to create plans and act upon them (Isa. 14:26-27, Isa. 46:10; Isa. 55:11) make judgements (Prov. 5:21; Jer. 20:12) feels emotion (Gen. 6:6; Deut. 32:35-43; Job 19:11)) and respond to others (Ex. 3:7, 6:5; Job 34:28; Ps. 81:19).

Such things are true statements of what should be both the Jewish and Christian creed. This is not to deny that there are certain irreconcilable differences (between Judaism and Christianity) but it is to affirm, for the sake of this discussion, that Yahweh is one. This unchanging creed should help us govern our understanding of the majesty and might of the undivided True and Living God. There is no reason to suppose that the Shema includes a reference to the being of God but not His person. In light of the Incarnation this understanding does not change but further affirms that God is truly one and that one God has been manifest in the flesh. Jesus is that God manifest in flesh.

Roger Perkins and James White Debate Audio

Congratulations to Bro. Perkins on an excellent job in giving an answer and defense to Trinitarian apologist Dr. James White. Listen below to hear an excellent debate on "Did the Son, as a self conscious divine Person distinct from the Father and Holy Spirit, exist prior to His Incarnation as Jesus of Nazareth?"

Right click a link below and choose the "...save as..." option to save audio and as an mp3 to your hard-drive. You can also open a link in your browser to listen online.

Opening Statements:

First Rebuttals:

Second Rebuttals:

First Cross-Examination:

Second Cross-Examination:

Audience Questions:

Closing Statements:

Thanks to Pastor Craig Ireland and Hope Christian Church for making this audio available. Click here to listen from Hope Christian Church, Brisbane, Australia.


The Pre-existence of Christ In Scripture, Patristics and Creed by James White

In a previous post Roger Perkins cited an online article by Dr. James White about the pre-existence of Jesus. Here is the link and a portion of that material. 

Click here to read article from AOMIN.org http://vintage.aomin.org/The_Pre_Existence_of_Christ.html
The Pre-existence of Christ
In Scripture, Patristics and Creed

by James White


Our modern world is decidedly confused. On the one hand, the rationalistic, humanistic viewpoint dominates within our public education system. We are now taught to question the validity of anything that can be called "supernatural." The very idea that someone might believe in miracles, revelation, etc., is opened up to direct ridicule. At the same time, in a direct reaction against this kind of dry humanism, many people are fleeing for refuge into every kind of spiritistic group imaginable. "Channeling" (a fancy way of saying a spirit medium) is very popular, and the Eastern ideas of reincarnation and mysticism are drawing converts from every walk of life.

In the midst of all of this confusion we find the Bible, continuing to proclaim the timeless message of Jesus Christ. Yet even the Lord Jesus has come in for modern "updating" in many men's writings. After a century of "searching for the historical Jesus" men (hopefully) have discovered that outside of the inspired writings of the apostles in the New Testament, we will not find much information on who Jesus was. Indeed, unless we see that it is illogical and irrational to reject the Scriptures for what they claim to be(1) we will never have much to say to our world.

Today it is normal for "Christian" theologians to de-emphasize the doctrinal aspects of the Person of Jesus Christ. Since rationalism and naturalism are the modes of the day, it is unpopular to deal with the clear Biblical teaching of the deity of the Lord Jesus and his pre-existence. The person who looks to the Bible, however, has little choice in the matter - the doctrine is clearly stated both in the Gospels as well as the epistles, and indeed it is implicit in most of the New Testament.

One cannot easily disassociate the doctrine of the pre-existence of Christ from that of his deity, as they are part and parcel of the same teaching. An in-depth discussion of the deity of Christ is outside of the realm of this paper, and it will be assumed that an understanding of the main elements of this doctrine are shared with the reader.(2)

This discussion will be limited to the focal passages found in the New Testament that deal with the pre-existence of the Lord Jesus. For our purposes these are as follows: John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:15-17, and Philippians 2:5-7. Each of these passages have much in common, as we shall see in our examination of them, both in an exegetical understanding, as well as in patristic interpretation.

It will be relevant to a discussion of the early Church's views to discuss the order of writing of the books which contain our primary data on the pre-existence of Christ. Generally, the Pauline epistles are dated anywhere from the late 40's to the late 60's of the first century. The majority of scholarship sees Paul's writings preceding John's by quite some time, and there is general agreement concerning the order of Paul's letters and their place in history.(3) The question of the exact date of John's gospel, however, is not so easily resolved. Merril C. Tenney(4) notes that modern estimates range from 45 to beyond 100 A.D. Part of the problem can be found in the fact that during what might be called the "hypercritical" period of the last century, it became quite popular to deny the Johanine authorship of the Gospel of John, and, due to its high Christology (which the rationalists assumed had to be a mythological invention of the early Church) place it at least into the second century. Modern textual finds (such as the famous P75) have demolished any ideas of a second-century date for John, and today the dates normally fall between A.D. 85 and 95.(5) What is very important to notice about the fact of the early (i.e., non-second century dating) is that the Christology of John is, therefore, no different than that of the early Church as the book was written during the same time period! Indeed, there is no way for there to have been sufficient time for such "myths" to have evolved, and, it is not logical to think that John would have written about certain events that could be proven false by living witnesses! With these facts in mind, we can move on to the actual exegesis of these passages.

Exegesis of Principal Passages

The Prologue of John (1:1-18) is unique in Biblical literature. It is clear that the main point of John is not the person of God. His emphasis is the identity of the Word. The Logos is the central figure of the work, and the teaching of the passage is that the Logos is intricately involved with the creation of the universe. The pre-existence of the Logos is clearly stated and assumed throughout the prologue.

Much has been said concerning the origin of the term logos. Philo(6) used the term, yet the logos of Philo is simply an impersonal manifestation of the Wisdom of God. John's usage of the term may indeed borrow from Philo (especially if John wrote the Gospel while in Ephesus, as the Greeks would be able to understand the term), but he goes far beyond anything Philo dreamed of. Rather than a pantheistic, impersonal divine emanation, the Logos of John is a personal, eternal being who is not simply a part of creation, but is rather the Creator himself.

The first verse itself must be examined to be understood. Transliterated into Greek the verse reads: En arche en ho logos, kai ho logos en pros ton theon, kai theos en ho logos. The verse breaks down into three clauses, each being vital to the whole. The first thing to notice is the fact that the imperfect form of eimi is used throughout the prologue in reference to the Logos. This tense, attached to the phrase "en arche" is timeless - i.e., as far back as one wishes to push the "beginning" the Word is already in existence. This is seen, for example, in the translation of the New English Bible which renders it, "When all things began, the Word already was." Today's English Version puts it, "Before the world was created, the Word already existed...." Hence, the first phrase clearly presents the eternality of the Word and hence his pre-existence.
The second phrase presents the inter-personal relationship of the Logos and God. The Greek phrase pros, translated "with," refers to the existence of communication and fellowship between the Logos and theos.(7)The word was used to describe being "face to face" with another. Now, unless John had added the final phrase ("and the Word was God") there would have been a problem here, as the first phrase clearly presents the Logos as eternal, while the second demonstrates his distinct personality. This would create polytheism without the final phrase's emendation. At the same time, this second clause ends any chance of Sabellianism's success.

The final phrase, kai theos en ho logos, presents a syntactical arrangement in which the term theos is emphasized. At the same time, the sentence is copulative, and the presence of the article with logossimply sets it out as the subject of the sentence. Much has been said concerning the lack of the article with theos(8) but -that discussion is beyond the scope of this paper. Basically, the construction 1) avoids modalism (i.e., the Word is not said to be completely co-extensive with theos) and 2) teaches that the Word has the same nature as God (a point that Paul will reiterate in Philippians).

Verse 3 links the eternality of the Word with creatorship. "Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made." John here is intent on separating the Logos from the realm of the created - he started in the very first phrase by asserting his timeless existence and continues here by attributing to the Logos all of creation, an item that will reappear in Colossians. The only possible way to interpret these verses is to see the Logos as an eternal being who created all things.

The prologue continues by identifying the Logos with the person of Jesus Christ in 1:14. It is interesting to note that John very carefully differentiates between the Word in his absolute nature and all other things. When the eternal Word is in view, John uses en. When created things are being discussed (such as John in 1:6), the aorist egeneto is found. However, when we come to the time event of 1:14 (i.e., the incarnation), John switches from the timeless en to the aorist egeneto - the Word became flesh at a point in time in history.

Finally, in 1:18(9), John seals the case by calling Jesus the "only-begotten God," or, more accurately, the "unique God"(10) who reveals the Father, who "exegetes"(11) God to man.

These verses with which John begins his gospel are meant, in my opinion, to form an "interpretive window" through which the reader is meant to look at the words that follow. One must constantly keep the Logos in the back of the mind when interpreting the words and actions of Jesus.(12) Much of what Christ says must be understood in this light to even make much sense! His unique relationship with the Father is intelligible only in the light of his eternal preexistence with him.



1) 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21.

2) This writer sees the following passages as directly ascribing to Jesus Christ the term God: Isaiah 9:6 (Hebrew: Elohim), John 1:1 (Greek: theos), 1:18, 20:28, Acts 20:28 (depending on text), Romans 9:5, Titus 2:13, Hebrews 1:8, 2 Peter 1:1 and (possibly) I John 5:20. Interestingly, in reference to Titus 2:13 (and 2 Peter 1:1 - both similar syntactical constructions) Chrysostom ("Homily lV on Philippians in The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers volume 13) pg.207 clearly understood the implications of the syntax of Titus 2:13, and bases part of his polemic against the Arians on the application of theos to Christ. See also A. T. Robertson, The Minister and His Greek New Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1977), pgs. 61-68.

3) F. F. Bruce Paul Apostle of the Heart Set Free (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdman's Publishing Company, 1977) p. 475 places the epistles of Paul in the following order: Galatians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Romans, Philippians, Colossians,

Ephesians, Philemon, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus with Galatians at 48 A.D., Colossians and Philippians in 60-62 A.D., and Paul's death in approximately 65 A.D. This is almost identical to A. T. Robertson's (" Paul the Apostle" in The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdman's Publishing Company, 1956) vol. 3:2265 - 2266) order of writing, with the exception of Galatians, which Robertson places just before Romans. See also Ralph Martin, "Colossians and Philemon" in The New Century Bible Commentary, (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdman's Publishing Company, 1983) pg. 30 on the dating of Colossians.

4) Merril C. Tenney, "John" in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1981) vol. 9, pp.9-10.

5) Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdman's Publishing Company, 1985) vol.1:721-724 gives a good argument for Johanine authorship, and dates it before 100 A.D. A.T.Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1932) vol.5:1 dates John at A.D. 90. James lverach, "John the Apostle" in The lnternational Standard Bible Encyclopedia, (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdman's Publishing Company, 1956) vol. 3:1721-1722 also dates John at the end of the first century.

6) G.L. Prestige, God in Patristic Thought, (London: SPCK, 1952), pp. 124,141. Ralph Martin, "Colossians and Philemon" in The New Century Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdman's Publishing Company, 1973) pg. 58.

7) A. T. Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research(Nashville: Broadman Press, 1934) pp. 625f. See discussion in A. T. Robertson, The Divinity of Christ in the Gospel of John (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1976) pp. 34-46.

8) See F. F. Bruce, The Gospel of John (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdman's Publishing Company, 1983) p. 31, or Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John, (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdman's Publishing Company, 1971) pg. 77 for a discussion of some of the issues involved in the translation of this phrase. Most noteably, the New World Translation of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society mistranslates the phrase as "the Word was a god."

9) On the text of 3 John 1:18 and the superiority of the reading theos over huios, see Bruce Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the New Testament (New York: United Bible Societies, 1975) p.198, A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, 5:17. For citation of manuscripts, see the UBS text, 3rd ed. corrected, p. 322.

10) For the true meaning of monogenes see J. H. Moulton and George Milligan, The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdman's Publishing Company, 1935) pp. 416-417.

11) Greek: exegesato, to lead out, bring forth, make known, explain.

12) For an interesting discussion of the relationship of the Prologue to the rest of John, see John A. T. Robinson, Twelve More New Testament Studies (London: SCM Press, 1984) pp. 65-76.

13) Philip B. Harner, The I Am Sayings of Jesus in the Gospel of John, (Fortress Press, 1970).

14) Ralph Martin, "Colossians and Philemon" pp. 55 -57; F. F. Bruce, Paul Apostle of the Heart Set Freepp.418ff. For further information on the passage as well as exegesis, see John Calvin, Calvin's Commentaries vol. 21:151-152.

15) See Wilhelm Michaelis, "Prototokos" in Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdman's Publishing Company, 1982) vol. 6:872ff.

16) See M. Tsevat, "Bekhor" in Theological Dictionary of the old Testament (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdman's Publishing Company, 1975) vol.2:121ff. On prototokos see entry in Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature edited by Gingrich and Danker, 2nd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979) p. 726.

17) J. B. Lightfoot, St. Paul's Epistles to the Colossians and Philemon (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1959) pp. 150-151. See also pp. 151-153 on the extent of ta panta.

18) For other views and discussion on Colossians 1:15-17 in a theological setting, see Donald Guthrie,New Testament Theology (Inter-Varsity Press: USA, 1981) pp.344-352; George Eldon Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdman's Publishing Company, 1974) pp. 419-421.

19) Donald Guthrie, New Testament Theology pp. 342- 352; George Eldon Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament pp. 419-421; Henry Alford, New Testament for English Readers (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983) pp. 1262-1264; Kenneth Wuest, "Philippians" in Word Studies in the Greek New Testament (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdman's Publishing Company, 1981) pp. 62-65;J. B. Lightfoot, St. Paul's Epistles to the Philipians (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1953) p. 137.

20) See discussion under patristic interpretation.

21) Ibid.

22) Both the Authorized Version and the New International Version see that the term kenosis is always used metaphorically by Paul hence, the translation "to make of no repute" or to "make himself nothing." It is never used by Paul of a literal "emptying."

23) J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines (New York: Longman Inc., 1981) pp. 87, 91..cw 9.

24) Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, ed., The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdman's Publishing Company, 1981) vol. 1:546.

25) For the text of the Nicene Creed, see J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Creeds (New York: Longman Inc., 1981), pp.215-216 and Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1985) vol. 1:27-28.

26) Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, vol. 1:30.

27) John Chrysostom, "Homilies on St. John" in The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Philip Schaff, ed. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdman's Publishing Company, 1980) vol. 14:8.

28) Chrysostom, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, 14:12.

29) Chrysostom, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, 14:18. His entire exegesis found in pages 10-19 is excellent.

30) Chrysostom, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, 13:271.

31) Chrysostom, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, 13:207-208.

32) Athanasius, "Four Discourses Against the Arians" in The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (series II) ed. by Philip Schaff (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdman's Publishing Company, 1980) vol. 5:409.

33) Athanasius, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, vol. 4:329.

34) Athanasius, "Statement of Faith" in The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5:85.

35) Athanasius, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5:375. See also 5:382.

36) Augustine, "Homilies on the Gospel of John" in The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers series I, edited by Philip Schaff, vol. 7:7-13. Augustine also connected the idea of pre-existence with the absolute usage ofego eimi at John 8:21-25 in vol. 7:218-219.

37) Augustine, "Enchiridion," in The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, vol. 3:249.

38) See also Augustine, "On Faith and Creed" in The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, vol. 3.322-323, 329.

39) Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, vol. 3:619-620.

Adversus Trinitas

"...unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins." (John 8:24 ESV)