Shalom! My name is Adam Pastor

Welcome to ADONI MESSIAH which means
"My Lord Messiah" -
a fitting epithet to who Jesus (or Yeshua) is!

Here, I attempt to present the Apostolic Truths according to the Scriptures, that there is
One GOD, the Father, namely, YAHWEH,
and One Lord, GOD's only begotten Son,
Yeshua the Messiah.

And that one day YAHWEH will send His Son back to Earth to inaugurate the Everlasting Kingdom of GOD



Enjoy!


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Gabriel and Luke Were Not Trinitarians! By Anthony Buzzard

Recovering Jesus, the Biblical Son of God

Gabriel and Luke Were Not Trinitarians!

Churchmen of all stripes frequently complain about disunity among Christians. The current ecumenical movement attempts to neutralize contemporary denominational divisions and contentions by promoting elements of faith on which all believers in Christ can agree. The question is, Does such a version of faith, an irreducible minimum which everyone approves, reflect the "faith once and for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3), which Jude saw slipping away even in the first century? Jesus wondered if he "would find the faith on earth" (Luke 18:8) when he returned. He certainly did not seem to anticipate that it would be widely believed. He must have expected a falling away on a grand scale.

If church people desire a common meeting point for differing denominations, why should they not consider with all seriousness the classic words of Gabriel delivered to Mary? Gabriel (and Luke) introduced the Jesus they wanted us to believe in. They revealed his identity as protection against any false or imagined "Jesuses" who would confuse the real Jesus.

When angels speak they are concise and logical. Each of their words must be carefully weighed and every ounce of information extracted. Gabriel was sent to the most distinguished teenage Jewess in history. Replying to Mary’s very reasonable objection that she was as yet unmarried, Gabriel declared, "holy spirit [the operational power and presence of God] will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, and
for that reason indeed [in Greek, dio kai ] the child to be begotten will be called holy, Son of God" (Luke 1:35).

I suggest that this Christological statement from the angel Gabriel be taken as the bedrock basis for identifying who Jesus is. It should be understood as a clarion call for unity, a rallying point for divided Christendom. What better way of calling Christians back to their first-century roots? This statement is a definitive statement about who the real Jesus was and is. It is not hard to understand. The problem is that it has been rejected as heresy by mainstream Christianity, which has reinvented a Jesus who will not fit the description given by Luke 1:35.

Many good scholars are able to put away their own traditions and write objectively about what the biblical text actually says. They are quite clear about how Gabriel and Luke define the real Jesus. Here are two examples: Three Harvard scholars, Barker, Lane and Michaels, tell us about Luke’s definition of the Son of God in their The New Testament Speaks:

"Jesus’ birth was unique…In John the Baptist’s case a miracle had been required so that Elizabeth could conceive but the conception of John the Baptist was wholly within the laws of human procreation. Zechariah actually was the father of John the Baptist and Elizabeth was his mother. With Jesus the miracle is of an entirely different order. Mary alone is responsible for his human parentage. Jesus had no human father. It is the spirit of God which provides for the conception. The angel Gabriel declares to Mary that he who is so born is shown by this very sign to be holy, the Son of God (Luke 1:35)…
For Luke the importance of this tradition was that it demonstrated that Jesus was the Son of God from the moment of his birth… Jesus is born according to the creative activity of God; his sonship, saviorhood, and lordship are determined from this moment… Luke insists that the difference between Jesus and John is an essential one which can be traced to their origin" (p. 286).

The embarrassing fact for churches today is that they do not agree with Luke and Gabriel. The Son of God of the churches does not in fact have his origin in the womb of his mother. He has been alive from eternity as God the Son! This is a very different description from the one provided here by Scripture.

Luke’s beautifully concise and clear statement about who Jesus was did not escape the notice of James Denney in his Jesus and the Gospel: "Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and the evangelist [Luke] does not leave us in any doubt as to what these epithets mean. He does indeed in the opening chapters use language of a peculiarly Jewish cast in describing the Savior and the work he had to do: ‘He will be great and will be called Son of the Highest, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end (Luke 1:32-33). Like Matthew, Luke refers the origination of the historic person who is the subject of this prophecy to the immediate act of God" (p. 67).

The message is simple and clear. The Son of God of Gabriel’s announcement is none other than a divinely created Son of God, coming into existence — that is what "begotten" means — as Son in his mother’s womb. All other claimants to divine Sonship and Messiahship may safely be discounted. A "Son of God" who is the natural son of Joseph could not, on the evidence of Gabriel, be the Messiah. Such a person would not answer to the Son who is son on the basis of a unique divine intervention in the biological chain. Equally false to Gabriel’s definition of the Son of God would be a "God the Son" who preexisted his own conception! Such a son could not possibly correspond to the Messiah presented by Gabriel and Luke, one whose existence is determined and originated by a spectacular creative act in history on the part of the Father . This event happened some 2000 years ago.

Gabriel does not present a Son of God in transition from one state of existence to another. He is not talking about a transmutation of an existing Being into a different form. He knows of no Person who underwent a metamorphosis from a divine existence in eternity by adding to himself a "human nature." He simply tells us that Mary conceived a baby by miracle. He announces the miraculous origin and beginning of the Messiah. That Messiah is the lineal descendant of David and Abraham. This would be impossible if he were "God the Son" who had no beginning of existence!

Matthew gave us a lengthy genealogy of the Son of God and spoke, just as Luke did, in Matthew 1:18, 20 of
"the origin [Gk. genesis] of Jesus Christ," "the Son of the Most High God" (see Luke 1:32).

The later, post-biblical concept of the Incarnation of a preexisting "eternal Son" who reduced himself and took on human "nature" cannot possibly be forced into the mold revealed by Gabriel, Luke or Matthew. A preexistent Person who decides to become a man reduces himself, shrinks himself, in order to adopt the form of a human embryo. But such a Person is not conceived or begotten in the womb of a woman. He merely passes through that womb, adopting a new form of existence.

Most churchgoers seem unaware that the point of view of Matthew and Luke, taken as a straightforward account of who Jesus is, would today be banned from church! This is a shocking state of affairs, since churchgoers gather ostensibly for the purpose of honoring the God of the Scriptures and believing what the Bible says. One thing the Bible does not say is that there is a God the Son who left heaven to become a baby.

All of this proves, we think, that the Reformation in the 16 th century was very partial and unfinished. Scholars speak of "the unfinished business of the Reformation" — and rightly so. The next great step forward will occur when we all reevaluate who this Son of God, Jesus really is.

Conception and begetting mark the point at which an individual begins to exist, an individual who did not exist before! It is this non-preexisting individual whom Gabriel presents in the sacred documents for our reception. This Son of God, of Scripture as opposed to later church tradition, is a Son of God with a history in time only, not in eternity. There is no visitor from another world of eternity who becomes the Son.

The Son of God is begotten = "caused to come into existence" in Mary. This is a marvelous, unique human person, not a member of a Triune God who moves from Deity to humanity.

Following His marvelous promise that the Messiah would be the seed of Eve (Gen. 3:15), a prophet like Moses arising in Israel (Deut. 18:15-19) and the descendant by bloodline of David (2 Sam. 7:14), God, in a precious moment of history, initiated the history of His unique Son. This was a Son through whom God expressly did not speak in previous times (Heb. 1:2) — naturally enough, since that prophesied Son was not then alive! He was promised in 2 Samuel 7:14 (Heb.1:5) as the greatest of all human beings. "I will be his father" did not, of course, mean "I am already his father and have been his father from eternity."

Only a few pages later in his gospel, the evangelist Luke traces the lineage of Jesus, Son of God, back to Adam who likewise is ... "of God" (Luke 3:38), as being a direct creation of God, just as Jesus the Son of God is a result of a miraculous creative act of God. The parallel is striking and immensely informative. Just as God by divine fiat created Adam from the dust ..., so in due time He procreates within the womb of a human female the one who is the supernaturally begotten Son of God. It is surely destructive of straightforward information and revelation to argue that the Son of God did not have his origin in Mary but existed as an eternal Spirit-Person. This is to dehumanize the Son — to make him essentially non- human, merely a divine visitor disguised as a man. You cannot be pre-human and human! You are who you are based on your origin (see Matt. 1:18: genesis, origin).

... The attentive reader of Scripture will hear echoes of Israel as Son of God (Ex. 4:22; Hos. 11:1) and of course the prophecy of the Davidic king, the Messiah — anointed one (Ps. 2:7). Like Israel before him, Jesus, the Son of God, goes through water to begin his spiritual journey (Luke 3:21; cp. Exod. 14, 15). In the wilderness and under trial Jesus proves himself to be the obedient Son unlike Israel who failed in the wilderness (Exod. 14-17; 32-34; Num. 11). The whole story is ruined and befuddled if another new dimension is added to it: namely that the Son of God was already a preexisting member of an eternal Trinity. Gabriel has carefully defined the nature of Jesus’ Sonship, and his words exclude any origin other than a supernatural origin in Mary. Jesus is the Son of God because he is a miraculous creation in Mary (Luke 1:35).

Gabriel’s Jesus, Son of God — the biblical Son — originates in Mary. He is conceived and begotten by miracle. In preexistence Christology, the main plank of Trinitarianism, a conception/begetting in Mary’s womb does not bring about the existence of God’s Son. According to Gabriel it does. Neither Gabriel nor Luke could possibly have been Trinitarians.

No need for centuries of complex wrangling over words. All that is required is belief in the angelic communication:
"For this reason precisely ( dio kai ) — the creative miracle of God through His divine power — the child will be Son of God." For no other reason, for this reason only. (Note the very watered-down rendering of the NIV: "so the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.")

Jesus as Son of God is "the Son of the Most High" (Luke 1:32; 8:28). Christians are also given this title, "sons of the Most High" (Luke 6:35; cp. Ps. 82:6). Jesus’ royal Sonship is established by his miraculous begetting. That of the Christians originates with their rebirth or regeneration.

Luke has given us an authoritative definition of what Son of God means. Later creeds contradicted this and these creeds remain "on the books" of most Protestant churches. Is anyone concerned?

As the center of a new ecumenism the simple truth about the identity and nature of Christianity’s central figure has the backing of those many scholars who know well that neither Luke nor Matthew show any sign of believing in a pre-human eternal Son of God of the post- biblical creeds. Raymond Brown’s magisterial treatment of the birth narratives in his Birth of the Messiah makes a major point of the fact that neither Matthew nor Luke believed in the Incarnation of a pre-human, prehistoric Son.

Commenting on Luke 1:35, "therefore," Raymond Brown says, "Of the nine times dio kai occurs in the New Testament, three are in Luke/Acts. It involves a certain causality and Lyonnet (in his L’Annonciation, 61.6) points out that this has embarrassed many orthodox theologians since in preexistence Christology a conception by the holy spirit in Mary’s womb does not bring about the existence of God’s son . Luke is seemingly unaware of such a Christology; conception is causally related to divine Sonship for him…And so I cannot follow those theologians who try to avoid the causal connotation in the ‘therefore’ which begins this line, by arguing that for Luke the conception of the child does not bring the Son of God into being." Raymond Brown insists that according to Luke, "We are dealing with the begetting of God’s Son in the womb of Mary through God’s creative spirit."

"Orthodoxy" derived from later church councils has to turn a blind eye to Gabriel’s definition of the Son of God. It contradicted Gabriel by denying that the conception of Jesus brought about his existence as Son of God. A different sort of "Jesus" was invented and placed center stage in traditional systems. This is a very serious issue. Is the Jesus of the creeds, the Jesus under whose umbrella churches gather, really the created Son authorized by Scripture in Luke 1:35 and Matthew 1:18, 20?

Again, the exhaustive work of Raymond Brown on the birth narratives brings us the important fact that the Jesus of the gospels is quite unlike the "eternally begotten" Son of the later creeds: "Matthew and Luke press [the question of Jesus’ identity] back to Jesus’ conception. In the commentary I shall stress that Matthew and Luke show no knowledge of preexistence; seemingly for them the conception was the becoming (begetting) of God’s Son" (p. 31).

"The fact that Matthew can speak of Jesus as ‘begotten’ (passive of gennan) suggests that for him the conception through the agency of the holy spirit is the becoming of God’s Son. [In Matthew’s and Luke’s ‘conception Christology’] God’s creative action in the conception of Jesus begets Jesus as God’s Son... There is no suggestion of an Incarnation whereby a figure who was previously with God takes on flesh . For preexistence Christology [Incarnation], the conception of Jesus is the beginning of an earthly career but not the begetting of God’s Son. [Later] the virginal conception was no longer seen as the begetting of God’s Son, but as the incarnation of God’s Son, and that became orthodox Christian doctrine. This thought process is probably already at work at the beginning of the second century" (pp. 140-142).

Do we really believe the words of the Bible or has our tradition made it difficult to hear the text of Scripture without the interfering voices of later tradition drowning out the health-giving words of the Bible (1 Tim. 6:3)? There is the constant danger for us believers that the words of the Bible can be silenced by the clamorous and sometimes threatening words of ecclesiastical teaching, which mostly goes unexamined. At stake here is the whole nature of the Savior. Is he really a human being, or did he have the benefit of billions of years of conscious existence before deciding to become a man? Is this latter picture anything more than a legendary addition to Apostolic faith?

The Son of God, Messiah and Savior, is defined in precise theological terms by Gabriel, laying the foundation of the whole New Testament and fulfilling the promises of the Old. Christians should unite around that clear portrait of Jesus presented by Gabriel. Jesus is the Son of God on one basis only, his miraculous coming into existence in Mary’s womb. This was God’s creative act, initiating His new creation and providing the model of Christian Sonship for us all. Though obviously we are not, like Jesus, brought into existence supernaturally, nevertheless we, like him, are to receive a supernatural birth from spirit by being born again under the influence of the Gospel (Mark 1:14-15; Gal. 3:2; Eph. 1:13-14; Rom. 10:17; Matt. 13:19; Luke 8:11-12; 1 Pet. 1:23-25; James 1:18).

The "divine" nature of Jesus has no other foundation than the stupendous miracle granted to Mary and to humanity. God was his father, not Joseph. God has outdone Himself with this climactic miracle. A Jesus who claims to be Son of God for any other reason should be rejected. A natural son of Joseph cannot qualify as the Messiah, nor can a person whose existence did not originate in his mother’s womb by a divine creative miracle.

The constitution of Jesus as the unique Son of God is given its basis by the superb words of Gabriel in Luke 1:35. This definition of the Messiah, Son of God, should be allowed to stand. It was later, post-biblical tradition which interfered with the definitive, revealing statement of Gabriel. Once Jesus was turned into a preexisting Son of God who gave up one conscious existence for another, Christology immediately became problematic (as witnessed by the centuries of disputes, excommunications, argumentation and fierce dogmatic decisions of church councils by which all dissenters were cowed into silence, or killed). A Son of God who is already Son of God before his conception in his mother is a personage essentially non-human. Under that revised scheme what came into existence in Mary was not the Son of God at all, but a created "human nature" added to an already existing Person. But Gabriel describes the creation of the Son of God himself, not the creation of a "human nature," added to an already existing Son. The two models are quite different.

Some may object that John 1:1 ("in the beginning was the word…") presents us with a second Personage who is alive before his conception. If that it is to be argued, let it be clear that John would then be in contradiction of Luke and Matthew. Matthew’s and Luke’s Jesus comes into existence as the Son of God, not in eternity, but some six months later than his cousin John the Baptist.

John cannot have contradicted Luke and Matthew. The solution is to harmonize John with Luke, taking our stand with Luke. John did not write, "In the beginning was the Son of God ." What he wrote was "In the beginning was the word" (not Word, but word). Logos in Greek does not describe a person before the birth of the Son. The logos is the self-expressive intelligence and mind of the One God. Logos often carries the sense of plan or promise. That promise of a Son was indeed in the beginning. The Son, however, was still the object of promise in 2 Samuel 7:14. David did not imagine that the promised Son of God ("My Son"), David’s descendant, was already in existence! That Son was in fact begotten in due time. He was "raised up" — that is, made to appear on the scene of human history — when Mary conceived him. Acts 13:33 applies "this day I have begotten you" (Ps. 2:7) to the origin of the Son in his mother.

F.F. Bruce agrees with us: God "raised up" Jesus "in the sense in which he raised up David (Acts 13:22; cp. 3:22; 7:37). The promise of Acts 13:23, the fulfillment of which is here described [v. 33], has to do with the sending of Messiah, not his resurrection which is described in verse 34." [1]

The word, plan and promise which existed from the beginning was also "with God." In the wisdom literature of the Bible things are said to be "with God" when they exist as decrees and promises in His divine Plan (Job 10:13; 23:14; 27:13).

Wisdom was also "with God" (Prov. 8:22, 30) in the beginning but she was not a person! Neither was the logos a person, but rather a promise and plan. So closely identified with God was His word that John can say "the word was God." The word was the creative purpose of God, in promise and later in actuality. That creative presence of God eventually emerged in history as the Son of God begotten in Mary, the unique Son (monogenes, uniquely begotten Son).

A number of unfortunate attempts have been made to force John not only into contradiction with the clear Christology of Matthew and Luke but into agreement with the much later decisions of church councils. There is no capital letter in the Greek texts on "word" in John 1:1. And there is no justification for reading "All things were made by him." That rendering improperly leads us to think of the word as a second divine Person, rather than the mind and promise of God. Eight English translations from the Greek before the KJV did not read

"All things were made by him." They read "All things were made by it," a much more natural way of referring to the word of God. Thus, for example, the Geneva Bible of 1602: "All things were made by it, and without it was made nothing that was made." No one reading those words would imagine that there was a Son in heaven before his birth. And no one would find in John a view of the Son different from the portrait presented by Gabriel in Luke.

Christian tradition from the second century embarked on an amazing embellishment of the biblical story which obscured Jesus’ Messianic Sonship and genuine humanity. The "new, improved version" has been a failure, producing hundreds of differing denominations. Once the Son was given a pre-history as coequal and coessential with his Father, the unity of God was threatened and monotheism was compromised, though every effort was made to conceal this with the protest that God was still "one," albeit no longer one Person, the Father, but one "essence," comprising more than one Person. But this was a dangerous shift into Greek philosophical categories alien to the New Testament’s Hebrew theology and creeds (cp. John 17:3; 5:44; Mark 12:28-34). Jews and Muslims, amounting to well over a billion human beings, are rightly appalled at the idea that God is "three Persons in one God."

The Jews were the custodians of the Hebrew Bible and they understand God to be one Person, never three. Jesus was a Jew and never imagined that the definition of God had to be altered or "improved."

Several other "adjustments" became necessary under the revised doctrine of God. John was made to say in certain other verses what he did not say. This trend is well illustrated by the New International Version in John 13:3, 16:28 and 20:17. In none of these passages does the original say that Jesus was going back to God.

In the first two Jesus spoke of his intention to " go to the Father" and in the last of his " ascending" to his Father. The NIV embellishes the story by telling us that Jesus was going back or returning to God. A Son whose existence is traced to his mother’s womb cannot go back to the Father, since he has never before been with the Father.

In John 17:5 Jesus spoke of the glory which he "had" before the foundation of the world. But in the same context (vv. 22 and 24) that same glory has already been "given" (past tense) to disciples not yet born at the time when Jesus spoke. It is clear then that the glory which both Jesus and the disciples "had" is a glory in promise and prospect. Jesus thus prays to have conferred on him at his ascension the glory which God had undertaken to give him from the foundation of the world. John speaks in Jewish fashion of a preexisting purpose, not a preexisting second Person. Our point was well expressed by a distinguished Lutheran New Testament professor, H.H. Wendt:

"It is clear that John 8:58 [‘Before Abraham was I am he’] and 17:5 do not speak of a real preexistence of Christ. We must not treat these verses in isolation, but understand them in their context. The saying in John 8:58, ‘Before Abraham came to be, I am’ was prompted by the fact that Jesus’ opponents had countered his remark in v. 51 by saying that Jesus was not greater than Abraham or the prophets (v. 52). As the Messiah commissioned by God Jesus is conscious of being in fact superior to Abraham and the prophets. For this reason he replies (according to the intervening words, v. 56) that Abraham had ‘seen his day,’ i.e., the entrance of Jesus on his historical ministry, and ‘had rejoiced to see’ that day. And Jesus strengthens his argument by adding the statement, which sounded strange to the Jews, that he had even been ‘before Abraham’ (v. 58). This last saying must be understood in connection with v. 56. Jesus speaks in vv. 55, 56 and 58 as if his present ministry on earth stretches back to the time of Abraham and even before. His sayings were perceived by the Jews in this sense and rejected as nonsense.

"But Jesus obviously did not (in v. 56) mean that Abraham had actually experienced Jesus’ appearance on earth and seen it literally. Jesus was referring to Abraham’s spiritual vision of his appearance on earth, by which Abraham, at the birth of Isaac, had foreseen at the same time the promised Messiah, and had rejoiced at the future prospect of the greater one (the Messiah) who would be Isaac’s descendant. Jesus’ reference to his existence before Abraham’s birth must be understood in the same sense. There is no sudden heavenly preexistence of the Messiah here: the reference is again obviously to his earthly existence. And this earthly existence is precisely the existence of the Messiah. As such, it was not only present in Abraham’s mind, but even before his time, as the subject of God’s foreordination and foresight. The sort of preexistence Jesus has in mind is ‘ideal’ [in the world of ideas and plans]. In accordance with this consciousness of being the Messiah preordained from the beginning, Jesus can indeed make the claim to be greater than Abraham and the prophets.

"In John 17:5 Jesus asks the Father to give him now the heavenly glory which he had with the Father before the world was. The conclusion that because Jesus possessed a preexistent glory in heaven he must also have preexisted personally in heaven is taken too hastily. This is proven by Matthew 6:20 (‘Lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven’), 25:34 (‘Come, you blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’), Col. 1:5 (‘the hope which is laid up for you in heaven about which you heard in the word of Truth, the Gospel’), and 1 Pet. 1:4 (‘an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, which does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you’). Thus a reward can also be thought of as preexistent in heaven. Such a reward is destined for human beings and already held in store, to be awarded to them at the end of their life.

"So it is with heavenly glory which Jesus requests. He is not asking for a return to an earlier heavenly condition. Rather he asks God to give him now, at the end of his work as Messiah on earth (v. 4), the heavenly reward which God had appointed from eternity for him, as Messiah. As the Messiah and Son he knows he has been loved and foreordained by the Father from eternity (v. 24). Both John 8:58 and 17:5 are concerned with God’s predetermination of the Messiah." [2]

Note: Things which are held in store as divine plans for the future are said to be "with God." Thus in Job 10:13 Job says to God, "These things you have concealed in your heart; I know that this is with You" (see KJV). "He performs what is appointed for me, and many such decrees are with Him" (Job 23:14). Thus the glory which Jesus had "with God" was the glory which God had planned for him as the decreed reward for his Messianic work now completed. The promise of glory "preexisted," not Jesus himself. Note that this same glory which Jesus asked for has already been given to you (see John 17:22, 24). It was given to you and Jesus whom God loved before the foundation of the world (v. 24; cp. Eph. 1:4). You may therefore say that you now "have" that glory although it is glory in promise and prospect, to be gained at the Second Coming. Jesus had that same glory in prospect before the foundation of the world (John 17:5).

Paul can say that we now "have" a new body with God in heaven ("We have a building from God," 2 Cor. 5:1) — i.e., we have the promise of it, not in actuality. That body will be ours at our resurrection at the return of Christ. We now "have" it in anticipation and promise only. We do not in fact have it yet. This is the very Jewish language of promises decreed by God. They are absolutely certain to be fulfilled.

Finally, where did that strange notion of Messiah as a being who antedated his own birth come from? Readers might like to ponder this from an apocryphal Christian writing dated about 150 AD. This is fictitious literature and was never included in the Bible, and for good reason! Epistula Apostolorum :

  • "Do you know that the angel Gabriel came and brought the message to Mary?" And we said to him "Yes, O Lord." And he answered and said to us, "Do you not remember that I previously said to you that I became like an angel to the angels?" And we said to him, ‘Yes, O Lord." And he said to us, "At that time I appeared in the form of the archangel Gabriel to the virgin Mary and spoke with her and her heart received me; she believed and laughed; and I, the Word, went into her and became flesh; and I myself was servant for myself; …

  • "For you know this, that the angel Gabriel brought the message to Mary." We answered "Yes, O Lord." Then he answered and said to us, "Do you not then remember that a little while ago I told you: I became an angel among the angels. I became all things in everything?" We said to him, "Yes, O Lord." Then he answered and said to us, "On that day when I took the form of the angel Gabriel, I appeared to Mary and spoke with her. Her heart received me and she believed. I formed myself and entered into her womb; I became flesh, for I alone was servant to myself with respect to Mary ..."

 

This blatant contradiction of the biblical Luke and Gabriel
needs to be exposed!

[1] Acts of the Apostles, Greek Text with Introduction and Commentary, p. 269.

[2] The System of Christian Teaching, 1907.


Taken from http://www.focusonthekingdom.org/112.pdf
Slightly edited.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Attribute Association Farce by K.N. Stovra

The Attribute Association Farce

If you have explored Trinitarian doctrine to any degree, you will have surely come across the "Jesus is God" or "Jesus is YAHWEH" attribute association charts. These charts are usually arranged to compare Jesus and Yahweh God by showing they share several things in common. These charts are nothing but deceptive fallacies. A person can share numerous things in common with another person and it will not make them that person by identity.

Perhaps you have heard of the phrase, "guilt by association" which is known to be a common fallacy. The Trinitarian is trying to claim that since Jesus shares many things in common with God then he is God by identity. It is pitifully ridiculous. The following chart is a similar layout to the ones Trinitarians use to compare Jesus and Yahweh. It is created with the exact same reasoning process used by Trinitarians to create their charts and demonstrates the complete foolishness of such "reasoning."


Peter is the Messiah ("Anointed One")
Description Jesus Peter
Son of God Luke 1:35; Matt 3:16-17 Matt 5:45; Rom 8:14;
Gal 3:26
Begotten of God Jn 3:16 1 Jn 5:1; Matt 16:17
Shepherd Matt 2:6; 26:31; Jn 10:11; Heb 13:20;
1 Peter 2:25; 5:4
Jn 21:16; Acts 20:28;
1 Peter 5:2
Light of the world John 8:12 Matthew 5:14
Apostle Hebrews 3:1 Matthew 10:2
Priest Hebrews 7:3, 17, 24 1 Peter 2:5,9; Rev 1:6; 5:10
King Matthew 2:2; 27:37;
Luke 1:33-35
Rev 1:6; 5:10
Authority to forgive sins Matthew 9:2,8 John 20:21-23
Healed the lame Matthew 9:1-8 Acts 3:6-7
Raised the dead John 11:43-44 Acts 9:37-41
Walked on water Matthew 14:25 Matthew 14:29
Bestowed the Spirit John 20:22 Acts 8:14-18
Crucified
for the Sheep
Matthew 27; Luke 23; John 19 John 21:18-19
Early church testimony
Anointed1 Luke 4:18; Acts 10:38 2 Cor 1:21; 1 John 2:20, 27
Conclusion: Both Peter and Jesus are the Messiah!!!

A person can theoretically share absolutely everything in common with another person and it will still not make you that person. Even if Peter shared 100% of Jesus' attributes, Peter would not be Jesus. This is because there is one thing they cannot share in common: identity. Peter is one person and Jesus is another person. Peter is one identity, Christ is another identity, and the one thing they can never have in common is their personal identities. No matter how big you make the chart above, and no matter how many things you show Peter has in common with the Messiah, Peter will simply never be the Messiah.

The same is true with the Son of God and his Father who is God. In fact, Jesus does not share several things with the Father in addition to not sharing the Father's identity. This Trinitarian ploy is nothing but a pitiful fallacy. On one hand they want to claim Jesus and the Father are two different identities but on the other hand they wish to claim that both of them share one common identity as the one we know as "God."

What Trinitarians try to do is identity Jesus as God when God already is identified as the person of the Father by showing he shares things in common with the Father. It is just as ridiculous as trying to identify Peter as the Christ as we have shown above. ...  Not only so, much of the information presented in these charts is simply false information anyway. For example, they will try to claim Jesus is "omniscient" and avoid the fact that Jesus increased in wisdom and does not know "the day nor hour." Other falsehoods in these charts are based on their own misinterpretations. The truth is that even IF these charts were not presenting falsehoods within them, the whole idea itself is a farce. Our own chart above demonstrates that quite clearly. No matter how many things you show one person has in common with another person, it will never amount to both of them having the same identity.


Notes:

1. The word Messiah, or maschiach, is Hebrew for "Anointed One." The Greek word is chrisma which is a cognate of the word "Christ."

 

Friday, January 02, 2009

Confusing the Lord God and the Lord Messiah, Confusing the Two Lords by Anthony Buzzard

Confusing the Lord God
and the Lord Messiah

(Written in 1994 by Anthony Buzzard)

At a time when Christological speculation is bursting the bounds of propriety and common sense (Barbara Thiering now declares that Jesus was married, had several children and was divorced [1]), there is a need to restate the facts about what expectation the Hebrew Bible presents in regard to the identity of the promised Savior. A longstanding inaccuracy has plagued the discussion about who Christ is and needs to be cleared up.

A small booklet, entitled The Deity of Jesus Christ, by Professor V.A. Spence Little, makes a fundamental point about the identity of Jesus:

The striking passage in the opening verse of Psalm 110, "The Lord (Jehovah) saith unto My Lord (Adonai)," is confirmed as a designation of Christ by the Lord himself, when he said to a company of Pharisees, "David therefore calleth him Lord," etc., as recorded in Matthew 22:44, Mark 12:36, and Luke 20:42. The nature of the statements attributed to the Lord Jehovah, concerning a certain "Lord" or "My Lord," are of sufficient importance in our argument to entitle this passage to further attention.

The contents of the first verse of this Psalm receive much prominence in various places in the New Testament. Beside their use by the Lord in reference to Himself, as referred to above, St. Peter cites this verse in his Pentecostal Sermon (Acts 2:34), upon which he makes the comment that "God made that same Jesus both Lord (Kurios, the Old Testament Septuagint title for Jehovah) and Messiah."

Again the epistle to the Hebrews (1:13) cites this passage and applies it to Christ, whom this writer has just before addressed as "God." And he again refers to the statement in the Psalm, "The Lord said unto My Lord, sit Thou on My right hand," in the comment, "This Man (Jesus) sat down on the right hand of God" (10:12), referring to the session of the ascended Lord. . . .

Whoever this Personage is who is described by so august titles and offices, as the Rod of Jehovah’s strength, and the deliverer come out of Zion, which St. Paul refers to in Romans (11:26), the Redeemer of Israel and Judge of the Gentile nations in preparation for the inauguration of God’s Kingdom on earth as referred to in the Revelation (19:11-16), at least this inference must be accepted that this Lord Adonai, both by nature and office, is acknowledged both in Psalm and in many New Testament interpretations thereof as a Divine Personage and on equality with Eternal Deity (e.g. Matt. 22:44; Acts 2:34; Eph. 1:20; Col. 3:1).

When Kurios of the Septuagint is applied to Christ, it is specially and directly explained in the Old Testament, as in Psalm 110:1, "The Lord (Jehovah) saith unto My Lord (Adonai), sit Thou at My right hand." These words were quoted by the Lord with comments, by which He definitely implied that this divine Name, Adonai, indicated Himself (Matt. 22:43-45; Mark 12:36, 37). [2]

 

There is no doubt about the supreme importance of Psalm 110:1 for New Testament Christology. Not only does Jesus declare himself to be the second Lord mentioned in the divine utterance (Matt. 22:43-45), but Peter confirms that Jesus has received at his ascension the office of Lord as defined by Psalm 110:1 (Acts 2:23-34). This is obviously Christological truth on the highest authority. The question then is, what is meant by "Lord"?

It is amazing that commentators, for example the one cited above, misstated the facts about the language used to describe the Messiah. A whole tradition confidently asserts that Psalm 110:1 contained the word Adonai, the equivalent of Yahweh, as the proper title for the Messiah. The Hebrew word in question, however, is not Adonai at all, but Adoni, "my lord." And Adoni, in its more than 150 occurrences in the Hebrew Bible [3], never once refers to the Deity, but always to human (or occasionally angelic) superiors other than God Himself. Adoni is the favorite title for the king of Israel and is thus entirely appropriate as the Messianic address par excellence.
The Messiah therefore is a man, not Deity. 

By an extraordinary confusion, perpetuated by the misreading of Adonai for Adoni, Jesus has been declared the Lord God rather than the Lord Messiah. It is the latter title which he receives from the angels who announced to the shepherds that "today in the city of David there is born for you a savior who is the Lord Messiah" (Luke 2:11). When Jesus is called "Lord" the New Testament does not mean that he is Jehovah but a Lord distinct from the One Lord God. He is the Lord Christ or, more fully, "the Lord Jesus Christ." There are indeed two lords, but the second is not Deity but the Son of God and Messiah. Jesus’ and Peter’s witnesses to Psalm 110:1 as the key to Jesus’ Lordship need urgent confirmation throughout the church which has long traded on a misunderstanding fostered by the confusion of two similar Hebrew words with vastly different meanings. The rediscovery of Psalm 110:1 as the basis of New Testament monotheism and Christology will help to put to an end centuries of metaphysical speculation which could not have occurred if the Hebrew Bible had been allowed a controlling hand in Christological definition.

Confusing the Two Lords

(Written in 1992 by Anthony Buzzard)

In the editorial of the Winter, 1992, issue of this journal [4] we urged a reconsideration of traditional Christology in the light of the all-important oracle provided by Psalm 110:1. This verse is precious to New Testament writers, who quote it or allude to it more than any other text of the Hebrew Scriptures. The importance of Psalm 110:1 lies in its simple description of two divine Persons, Yahweh and David’s "Lord," the latter designated as the one destined to remain at the Father’s right hand until he comes as conquering Messiah to subdue his enemies. The scheme thus revealed is the framework of the entire New Testament outlook on the present session of Jesus in heaven and his expected return to establish the Messianic Kingdom of prophecy in a renewed earth.

Yahweh and David’s "Lord" are clearly two persons, in the modern psychological sense of that term. There is no possible route from the psalm to the complex definition of "person" which created in Nicene theology so many intractable problems. The Messianic Christology of Psalm 110:1 places the Messiah in a subordinate, yet highly exalted position relative to Yahweh who remains a distinct person in a class of His own. There is no question of compromising the unrestricted monotheism of the Hebrew Bible. The one God of Israel commands the Messiah to wait until the time comes for His final vindication. As Yahweh’s agent the Messiah is David’s adon or lord. The form of the word as it appears in the Hebrew of Psalm 110:1 is adoni ("my Lord"). It is a striking fact that the Lord God is nowhere addressed as adoni. This title is reserved for kings, prophets, human superiors in general, and angels.

Under the strain of having to ascribe coequality and coeternity to the Messiah, some commentators have shown a curious tendency to declare, against the facts of the Hebrew text, that in Psalm 110:1 Yahweh speaks to adonai. The latter title is, of course, an alternative for the divine name and is used exclusively of Yahweh. Now if David’s oracle had indeed stated that Yahweh spoke to adonai, there would be a basis for the development of belief in a godhead of more than one person. The text as it stands, however, provides no support for the deity of the Messiah in a Trinitarian sense. Examples of an unconscious reading of Trinitarian theology into Psalm 110:1 are found in commentators of the present and the last centuries.

A.R. Fausset, writing in 1866, comments on Psalm 110:1, "Jehovah said to Adonai or ‘my Lord’. . . Jehovah, in verse one represents God the Father, and Adonai, God the Son." [5] But this is to create a potential Trinitarianism which is not in the text, since the Messiah is called adoni not adonai. Reginald Fuller states that "in the Hebrew [of Psalm 110:1] the first ‘Lord’ is the tetragrammaton, the second [the king] is adhonai." [6] Fuller goes on to say that adonai may be used of an earthly ruler. But examples are not cited. In a subsequent chapter he reads the Hebrew correctly and says that the second "lord" of our text is (1) adhoni. [7] The confusion of adonai with adoni is compounded when Fuller questions whether the New Testament church would have conceded to Jesus a title which was reserved for deity. [8] But adoni was not a title for deity. It referred to the king, and supremely to the Messiah, as God’s legal agent.

V.A. Spence Little misreads the Hebrew of Psalm 110:1 explaining the verse: "The Lord [Jehovah] saith unto My Lord (Adonai), Sit thou at My right hand." He argues for the deity of the Messiah when he states that Jesus "definitely implied that this divine Name, Adonai, indicated Himself (Matt. 22:43-45)." [9]  The argument is based, however, on an inaccurate reporting of the Hebrew text.

John Stott defends Chalcedonian Christology when he maintains that because early Christians addressed Jesus as kurios they meant that he was God, since kurios was the LXX translation of the divine name. [10] However, this is to overlook the fact that kurios was also the translation of Psalm 110:1’s adoni which was not a title for deity. Kurios, as used of Jesus, could most appropriately designate the Lord Messiah as distinct from the Lord God (see Luke 2:11; Rom. 16:18; Col. 3:24).

The celebrated Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible shows how pervasive is this fundamental confusion of the two Lords. The dictionary makes the claim that Peter’s use of the title "Lord" for Jesus in Acts 2:36 establishes his deity:
"After the Ascension the Apostles labored to bring the Jew to the knowledge that Jesus was not only the Christ, but was also a Divine person, even the Lord Jehovah." Psalm 110:1 is then quoted as proof of
this amazing assertion: "St. Peter, after the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the Day of Pentecost by Christ, says, ‘Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord [
kurion, Jehovah] and Christ.’ " [11]

It is only in a footnote that a later editor corrects the obvious flaw in the argument: "In ascribing to St. Peter the remarkable proposition that ‘God hath made Jesus Jehovah,’ the writer of this article appears to have overlooked the fact that kurion (‘Lord’) in Acts 2:36 refers to to kurio mou (‘my Lord’) in verse 34, quoted from Psalm 110:1, where the Hebrew correspondent is not Jehovah but adon, the common word for ‘lord’ or ‘master.’ " [12]

The recovery of the Old Testament as the basis of Apostolic Christianity will put an end to the age-old desire of commentators to find in the text of Scripture cherished beliefs dating from the post-biblical Councils. The misreading of Psalm 110:1 as support for the deity of Jesus is the symptom of a widespread confusion over the identity of the two Lords.

It is a mistake to claim that Jesus is Jehovah when in fact he is the Messiah appointed to that supreme office by Jehovah. The Smith’s Bible Dictionary footnote deserves to become a headline summoning us to belief in Jesus as the Messiah, not God.

Anthony Buzzard 

 

[1] N.T. Wright, Who Was Jesus? Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993, 19.

[2] London: The Covenant Publishing Co., Ltd., 1956, 14, 15, 58.

[3] Adoni occurs 195 times in the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament).

[4] A Journal from The Radical Reformation. Available from the Church of God General Conference

[5] A Commentary, Critical, Experimental, and Practical, by R. Jamieson, A.R. Fausset and D. Brown, Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1866, 346, 347.

[6] The Foundations of New Testament Christology, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1965, 68.

[7] Ibid., 185.

[8] Ibid., 198.

[9] The Deity of Jesus Christ, London: The Covenant Publishing Co. Ltd., 1956, 58.

[10] The Authentic Jesus, revised ed., Marshall Pickering, 1992, 27.

[11] Reprinted by Baker Book House, 1971, 3090.

[12] Ibid.


The above two articles were taken from

Volume 3, Issue 3 (Spring 1994) Editorial

and

Volume 1, Issue 4 (Summer 1992) Editorial