Tuesday, October 03, 2006

"Jesus Christ is NOT God"

...is what Mary Kay, a Jehovah's Witness from Birmingham, strongly and repetitively articulated during our two hour discussion on a recent plane trip. Please join me in praying for her salvation.

It is saddening to realize that Mary's 30-year-enduring heretical faith is built largely upon an erroneous translation of the "to be" verb in John 1:1. She exclaimed, "There is no definite article (the Word was "the" God), so it is appropriate to translate the verse with an indefinite article (and the Word was "a" god).

Should John 1:1 be rendered, "In the beginning was the Word, and Word was with God, and the Word was a god?" Or should it be rendered, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God?" And after all, who's to say? Well, the verse must be translated as the latter of the two options, and God is the One to say so! How do we know? I'm glad you asked, and I've invited Greek scholar and teacher Daniel B. Wallace to explain the situation.
Why does [John 1:1c] lack the definte article? Its lack of a definite article keeps us from identifying the person of the Word (Jesus Christ) with the person of "God" (the Father). That is to say, the word order tells us that Jesus Christ has all the divine attributes that the Father has; lack of the article tells us that Jesus Christ is not the Father. John's wording here is beautifully compact! It is, in fact, one of the most elegantly terse theological statements once could ever find. As Martin Luther said, the lack of an article is against Sabellianism; the word order is against Arianism.

Jesus Christ is God and has all the attributes that the Father has. But he is not the first person of the Trinity. All this is concisely affirmed in [the Greek construction of 'and the Word was God']. Basics of Biblical Greek, 28-9
Thank You Lord Jesus for honest biblical scholarship that has resulted in an accurate translation of your Word! We joyfully believe "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

PS - Anyone know how to put Greek fonts on blogger?

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