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" Gods many," and as Christ has assured us that they are called Gods to whom the word of God came, we may reasonably expect to find the term God' used in this
But if it is not so used in this passage, where are we to look for it in the New Testament ? Shall we admit that a mere man, to whom God giveth the spirit by measure, may be called God; and, at the same time, deny that appellation to “God's own Son," to whom he giveth the spirit without measure ?
Difficult and ambiguous passages are to be understood according to the known design of the writer. Now as John has assured us (ch. xx. 31) that he wrote his Gospel to prove that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God," we ought to understand his introduction according to this, his professed design in writing. That John so understood his own introduction, is evident, I think, from the following considerations. In verses 14 and 18, he says the Logos
the only begotten of the Father;" and that he was " in the bosom of the Father.” It will not be pretended, I think, that God Supreme was the only begotten of the Familiarity, society. The only begotion Son is said to be in the bosom of the Father;' which is a phrase of similar import. Christians are promised, as the summit of their felicity, that they shall be with God."
In all this I agree with the Professor. Jesus, after foretelling his de. sertion by his disciples, adds, “ And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.”
The following is Stewari's explanation of "The Logos was with God, and the Logos was God.”
" God as Father is meant in the first instance: and the Divinity without reference to the distinction of Father in the second."
All I can make of this is, God, considered simply as God, was with God as the Father. But this seems to me like saying, Peter, considered simply as Peter was with Peler as the apostlema form of expression which the learned Professor condemns.
If such a man as Stewart, in attempting to explain this passage according to the Trinitarian hypothesis, has failed; I think we are authorized to conclude that it never can be so explained.-See Unity of God, by Leonard: Appendix F.
ther, or that he was in the Father's bosom. Again, John, who asserts that “no man hath seen God at any time,” says of the Logos—" That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled,"' &c.—1 John i. 1. God supreme is invisible, unbegotten, and untangible. The Logos, who was with God and who was God, was visible, begotten, and tangible.
John xx. 28. “ Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and
God." This exclamation, considered by itself, without relation to the connection and circumstances, would prove nothing but the surprise of Thomas. Considered in reference to the subject with which it is connected, it proves that Thomas believed that Christ was risen from the dead. His calling Christ his Lord and his God, does not necess
d, does not necessarily imply any thing more than his belief in the divinity of Christ's mission--that he was one to whom the word of God came. No epithets are here employed, and no circumstances appear, to show that Thomas used the term “God' in its highest sense, as denoting the Supreme Being. But the contrary, I think, appears evident. He had just before believed Christ to be still dead. Most certainly he did not believe the self-existent God was dead. Now he saw him alive, and believed what he saw. Christ said to him,
Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed." What had Thomas seen? Not the Deity of Christ, for that was invisible. But he saw him who was dead, standing before him alive. He only believed what he saw.
1 Sam. xx. 12. “And Jonathan said unto David, O LORD God of Israel, when I have sounded my father,” &c.
Here is a case in which there was no surprise, as in that of Thomas; the terms, O LORD God of Israel, are a much more unequivocal designation of the Supreme Being, than
the expression, My Lord and my God; and the verbal address is as direct to David in the one case, as it is to Christ in the other. Yet no one believes this to be proof that David is God.
If we concede to Trinitarians all they ask, in reference to this passage, it furnishes no proof that Christ is Jehovah. Just before, Thomas did not believe Christ was risen; now he believes him to be God Supreme. In the first, we know he was mistaken; in the last, he may have been mistaken. The opinion of a man, who, in his obstinate unbelief, had fallen into so great an error, is not to be relied on as infallible in a case like this.
Heb. i. 8,9. “But unto the Son, he saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a sceptre-of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom; thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows."
It has ever been the opinion,” says Dr. Adam Clark, of the most sound divines, [Trinitarians) that these words, which are extracted from the 45th Psalm, are addressed by God the Father unto God the Son."
God the Father may call his Son.God,' as he calls himself • Lord;' but I seriously question whether the most sound divines" approve of expounding this passage so as to represent the Father as addressing the Son, in the words,“ O God.” Who
says that GOD THE FATHER addressed these words to the Son? The Psalmist does not say so; neither does the writer of this Epistle. The words " he saith,” in the 8th verse, are a mere supply by the English translators. If they meant the Psalmist, by the pronoun he," they were correct; but if they meant God the Father, they have certainly misrepresented the Psalmist, who was himself the person that addressed the Son, saying to him, “O God,” &c. It is evident that the Son is called God according to the inferior
sense of the term. None but the ignorant, or the impious, or the inconsiderate, will assert that the all-perfect Jehovah can be exalted and rewarded for his services; or that he can have a God who hath anointed him with the oil of gladness above his fellows. But the Son was anointed above his fellows; that is, he was anointed prophet, priest, and king “ None was ever constituted prophet, priest, and king," says Dr. Clark, " but Himself; some were kings only, prophets only, and priests only; or kings and prophets; but none had ever the three offices in his own person, but Jesus Christ."
PASSAGES IN WHICH THE WORD 'GOD' HAS BEEN INCOR
RECTLY APPLIED TO CHRIST.
Rom. ix. 5. “Whose are the fathers, and of whom, concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever."
All that gives to this passage the appearance of an argument for the Deity of Christ, is the punctuation. But this is of no authority. It was not done by the pen of inspiration. It is well known that the ancient manuscripts were written without points. The punctuation as in the Common Version, has been introduced by later transcribers and by editors. The proper method of ascertaining the true import of an ambiguous passage, is to come to the examination of it in its original form, as delivered to us by the inspired writer; and not in the artificial form given to it by uninspired men. Any scholar who will read the Greek text of this passage, without the points, will readily perceive that it may be translated at least three or four different ways; and each in perfect accordance with the rules of Greek syntax. Hence it is clearly certain that its true
meaning cannot be ascertained by the rules of grammar, but must be determined by other considerations.
Mr. Locke renders it thus: “Of whom Christ came, who is over all, God be blessed for ever." This construction differs from that of the Common Version in nothing but the supply of the substantive verb, which in the Greek is omitted, according to the idiom of that language. From the 4th to the 8th verse inclusive, of the chapter containing this text, the verb is wanting at least six times. See also Rom. viii. 33,
34. 1 Cor. i. 26. 2 Cor. v. 6. Eph. iv. 4. Col. ii. 17. In these passages the verb is in italics in the Common Version, which denotes that it is wanting in the Greek. Nothing is more common in the Hebrajstic Greek in which the New Testament is written, than the ellipsis of the substantive verb.
In the Improved Version this text is thus rendered : “Of whom by natural descent, Christ came, God, who is over all, be blessed for ever.” • If a colon, or semicolon, be placed after capxa in the original Greek text, the following meaning will be the result. "He who was over all, was God blessed for ever." Or by using the participie instead of the verb which must be supplied in an English translation, “the rapidity of expression in the original” may be imitated thus: “He who was over all being God blessed for ever." This construction is given by Mr. Norton, who translates the text and context thus :-“My brethren; who are Israelites, whose was the glory of being adopted as sons, whose were the covenants, and the law, and the service of the temple, and the promises, and from among whom the Messiah was to be born; he who was over all being God blessed for ever. Amen."
Now if either of the above mentioned constructions is admissible according to the rules of grammar, (and this no