|A KNOCK ON MY FRONT DOOR|
|is The Lord Jesus Christ a
Or is He the Eternal God manifesting Himself in human form?
R. L. B.
Several years ago a teenage girl knocked on the front door of the rooming house where I was staying. When I opened the door the young lady endeavored to interest me in the religious system of which she was a member. On the steps of the front porch the conversation quickly turned to her belief that "Jesus" was a created being, and was therefore not the Almighty God Jehovah.
I asked her about John 1:1-3 where the Scripture clearly says "and the Word was God." She quickly replied, as she had been taught by her organization, that the correct translation of this verse is "and the word was a god," Jesus was a created being, a lesser "god" not the one true God Jehovah. She stated that the reason for this translation is that there is no article in the Greek before the word "God."
I asked her if that meant that wherever the Greek word for "God" appears without the definite article (I.e., "the God") it should always be translated "a god" meaning a lesser, created, being, not the true Almighty God? She agreed that this would be true.
At that point I briefly excused myself from the front porch to fetch my copy of the Westcott and Hort edition of the Greek New Testament. We then looked at several verses in John chapter one where the word "God" (Greek "theos") occurs (sometimes with, and sometimes without the definite article).
"There was a man sent from theos (God) whose name was John." (John 1:6)
Although it was not easy for her to follow the Greek text (she had never studied Greek), I tried to show her that there was no definite article before theos (God) in this sentence. Should it be translated
"There was a man sent from a god whose name was John." ??? (John 1:6 - sic.)
She seemed not to believe what I just showed her. I then showed her the following verses, where in each case there is no definite article before the Greek word theos (God), and if the story she had been told by her organization is true then these verses must be translated as follows:
"But as many as received him to them gave he power to become the sons of a god" ??? (John 1:12 - sic)
"Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of a god" ??? (John 1:13 - sic)
"No man has seen a god at any time" ??? (John 1:18 - sic)
This young lady had to admit that the four occurrences in John 1:6, 12, 13, and 18 were speaking of the Almighty God Jehovah, but not knowing Greek herself she still had faith in the 'Greek scholars' in her organization. She felt they must know they were teaching the truth about John 1:1.
Finally I showed her John 20:28, where doubting Thomas made a genuine confession of belief in the Lord Jesus:
"Thomas answered and said to him, My Lord and my God. " (John 20:28)
She responded by saying this was an emotional exclamation, as if to say "Oh my god !" But I replied that the Jews of that day were very careful to avoid any such loose talk of the Deity. But, in addition, the Greek text has Thomas actually saying, "THE Lord of me and THE God of me," using definite articles both before the word "Lord" (kurios) and before the word "God" (theos), both of which referred to the Lord Jesus Christ. Thomas was, in fact, acknowledging Jesus Christ as Jehovah his true Almighty God.
The young lady seemed somewhat insecure as she left the front porch to fulfill her commitment to propagate her organization's distorted view of "the good news of the kingdom" to other, more receptive, less argumentative, individuals.
See also the article - "What Does God Look Like?"
Appendix - Usage of the title "God" without the definite article in John's Gospel
The Greek word theos (God) occurs approximately 83 times in the Gospel of John (The Englishman's Greek Concordance of the New Testament, Ninth Edition, Samuel Bagster and Sons (Limited), pp. 365 - 366). Of these 83 occurrences theos occurs with the Greek definite article 66 times, and without the article 17 times. If the assertion is true that the lack of the definite article means that the title theos signifies a lesser "god", as those who falsely translated John 1:1 believe, then these translators should have consistently applied this (false) principle of translation wherever the title theos (without the definite article) occurs in John's Gospel.
I now list these 17 occurrences where theos occurs without the article. In this list I consistently represent the word theos without the definite article as "a lesser god", because this is their errant claim that the lack of the definite article in John 1:1 indicates that Jesus is only "a god", (a lesser created 'god'), and not the Almighty God Jehovah, thus denying the deity of Christ.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the God, and the Word was a lesser god. (1:1)
There was a man sent from a lesser god, his name John. (1:6)
but as many as received him, to them gave he the right to be children of a lesser god, to those that believe on his name; (1:12)
who have been born, not of blood, nor of flesh's will, nor of man's will, but of a lesser god. (1:13)
No one has seen a lesser god at any time; a lesser god, the only-begotten, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him. (1:18)
[Nicodemus] came to him by night, and said to him, Rabbi, we know that you are come a teacher from a lesser god, for none can do these signs that you do unless the God be with him. (3:2)
but he that practices the truth comes to the light, that his works may be manifested that they have been wrought in a lesser god. (3:21)
It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of a lesser god. (6:45)
Jesus answered, If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing: it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, He is our lesser god. (8:54)
Some of the Pharisees therefore said, This man is not of a lesser god, for he does not keep the sabbath. (9:16)
If this man were not of a lesser god he would be able to do nothing. (9:33)
The Jews answered him, For a good work we stone you not, but for blasphemy, and because you, being a man, make yourself a lesser god. (10:33)
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given him all things into his hands, and that he came out from a lesser god and was going to the God, (13:3)
By this we believe that you are come from a lesser god. (16:30)
The Jews answered him, We have a law, and according to our law he ought to die, because he made himself Son of a lesser god. (19:7)
Jesus says to her, Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I ascend to my Father and your Father, and to my lesser god and your lesser god. (20:17)
We believe as did the apostle Thomas that the Lord Jesus Christ is not a lesser god, but:
"The Lord of me and the God of me" (John 20:28). [Literal translation]