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Refuting the Deity of Christ?

Understanding How the Use of Exclusive Language Functions in the Holy Bible [Part 2]

Sam Shamoun

We continue our examination of the Bible’s use of exclusive language and the effect it has on the Trinity and the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The true Light which comes into the world

According to the NT Jesus is the true light that illuminates creation:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the TRUE Light (to phos to alethinon) which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.” John 1:1-10

According to the following Greek lexicon the word for “true” (alethinos) means,

1) that which has not only the name and resemblance, but the real nature corresponding to the name, in every respect corresponding to the idea signified by the name, real, true genuine 1a) opposite to what is fictitious, counterfeit, imaginary, simulated or pretended 1b) it contrasts realities with their semblances 1c) opposite to what is imperfect defective, frail, uncertain 2) true, veracious, sincere. (*)

Baur, Arndt, Gingrich, and Danker’s A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature says that alethinos can also mean, “true in the sense of the reality possessed only by the archetype, not by its copies.”

Jesus himself taught that he is the Light of the world:

“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.’” John 8:12

“I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:4-5

“Then Jesus said to them, ‘A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.’ These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them … ‘I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.’” John 12:35-36, 46 – cf. 3:19-21

But this poses a problem since the NT also teaches that God the Father is the light!

“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:5-7

Since Jesus is the true light does this mean that the Father must be a false light who seeks to mislead people away from Christ, the only hope of salvation?

God forbid such blasphemy!

Or, should we understand that the Father’s light is taken or borrowed from Christ since the former is merely a copy whereas the latter is the true light in the sense of being the Source from which all illumination springs?

Again, which anti-Trinitarian would accept this logic?  

The inspired NT writers obviously didn’t since they had absolutely no problem affirming that both the Father and the Son together are the single light of all creation, especially of the believers:

“whose minds the God of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:4-6

“But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty AND the Lamb are its TEMPLE (singular). The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its lamp. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light (singular), and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” Revelation 21:22-27

“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne (singular) of God AND of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne (singular) of God AND of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.” Revelation 22:1-5

This means that there is something blatantly wrong with the logic and hermeneutics employed by the anti-Trinitarians in their exegesis of John 17:3.

The only Judge and Lawgiver

The NT teaches that Jesus is the only Lawgiver and Judge:

There is only one (heis estin) Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?” James 4:12

That James is referring to Jesus is made clear from the following passage:

“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.” James 5:7-9

The Judge who is standing at the door is the Lord who is coming. There is no need to guess who the Lord is whose coming is near since James tells us:  

“James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings.” James 1:1

“My brethren, do not hold your faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Glory/glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.” James 2:1

James says he is a slave of God and the Lord Jesus Christ and that Jesus is the Lord of glory!

The NT even refers to the law of Christ and enjoins the believers to obey all of the commands that Jesus gave to his Church:

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20 – cf. 7:24-27; 28:19-20; John 14:15, 21, 23-24; 2 Peter 3:2

“to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law.” 1 Corinthians 9:21

“Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

Moreover, Jesus himself said that he is the One who will come to judge all the nations:

“For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.” Matthew 16:27

When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:’” Matthew 25:31-34

“For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him… and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.” John 5:22-23, 27

What makes these statements rather amazing is that according to the OT it is Yahweh who is both judge and lawgiver!   

“For Yahweh is our judge, Yahweh is our lawgiver, Yahweh is our king; He will save us—” Isaiah 33:22

“For behold, in those days and at that time, When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there On account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land… Assemble and come, all you nations, And gather together all around. Cause Your mighty ones to go down there, O Yahweh. Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; ‘For there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.’” Joel 3:1-2, 11-12

If we were to apply the same hermeneutical principle to these passages that anti-Trinitarians use to interpret John 17:3 we would be forced to conclude that the Father and the Holy Spirit cannot be lawgivers or judges since Jesus is said to be the only Lawgiver and Judge.

However, such is not the case since the NT refers to the law of God and of the Spirit who gives life:  

“For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man… Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.” Romans 7:22, 25

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” Romans 8:1-2

The inspired Christian Greek Scriptures also teach that both God the Father and the Holy Spirit judge, not just the Son:

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” John 14:26

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” John 16:7-11

“And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear;” 1 Peter 1:17

The only Name that saves

According to the Hebrew Bible Yahweh is the only Savior in the sense of being the only source of redemption and forgiveness of sins:

“Yahweh is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him.” Exodus 15:2 – cf. Psalm 118:14, 21

“Praise Yahweh, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise Yahweh, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.” Psalm 103:1-5

“O Israel, put your hope in Yahweh, for with Yahweh is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.” Psalm 130:7-8

“‘You are My witnesses,’ declares Yahweh, ‘And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. I, even I, am Yahweh, And there is no savior besides Me.’” Isaiah 43:10-11

“Declare and set forth your case; Indeed, let them consult together Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, Yahweh? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me. Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other.” Isaiah 45:21-22

“Yet I have been Yahweh your God Since the land of Egypt; And you were not to know any god except Me, For there is no savior besides Me.” Hosea 13:4

The OT writings further teach that Yahweh pardons for his own name’s sake, and that salvation comes from believing in or calling upon his name:

“For your name’s sake, O Yahweh, pardon my guilt, for it is great.” Psalm 25:11

“O God, save me by your name, and vindicate me by your might.” Psalm 54:1

“Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name’s sake!” Psalm 79:9

And everyone who calls on the name of Yahweh will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as Yahweh has said, among the survivors whom Yahweh calls.” Joel 2:32

Astonishingly, the NT applies virtually the same language to the Person of Christ since it teaches that salvation and forgiveness of sins can only be received by believing in him and that it is only his name which is able to save!

“On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, ‘By what power or by what name did you do this?’ Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the NAME of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation IN NO ONE ELSE, for there is NO OTHER NAME under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:5-12

“When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’ Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, ‘Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, ‘Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven,” or to say, “Get up, take your mat and walk”? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . .’ He said to the paralytic, ‘I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.’ He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this!’” Mark 2:5-12

“Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed IN HIS NAME to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.’” Luke 24:44-47

“As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through HIS NAME.” Acts 10:36-43

That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, ‘Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.’ For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile — the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” Romans 10:9-13

In this particular passage Jesus is the Lord or Yahweh that a person must call upon and confess in order to be saved!

Jesus is even called both God and Savior!

“while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” Titus 2:13-14

“Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours… and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:1, 11

The NT also states that one of the chief reasons Jesus came to the earth to be born as a man was to save his people from their sins:

“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.’” Luke 2:10-11

“Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.’” Luke 19:10

“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” 1 Timothy 1:15

The NT further claims that by virtue of his perfect life of obedience and vicarious death Jesus has become the Source of eternal redemption for all who believe in him:

“Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” Hebrews 5:8-9

“but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need — one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.” Hebrews 7:24-28

“And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Hebrews 10:10-14

In fact, Jesus is not only the Savior of his spiritual body, which is the Church:

“For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” Ephesians 5:23

He is also the Savior of the world:

“They said to the woman, ‘We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.’” John 4:42

“As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it.” John 12:47

Finally, according to the inspired Christian writings Jesus will return from heaven to resurrect the dead and transform the bodies of all believers to be like his glorious immortal body in order that they might live forever in a world of perfect love, peace, and joy that is free from sickness, pain, misery, and death:

“I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live … Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear HIS [Son’s] voice and come out — those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.” John 5:25, 28-29

“For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day … Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:40, 54

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” Philippians 3:20-21

“Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” Hebrews 9:27-28 – cf. Revelation 7:17; 21:1-4

Therefore, since the NT says that salvation comes from Jesus and his name alone this would seem to exclude both the Father and the Holy Spirit from being able to save.

Yet, once again, this is not the position which the inspired authors take since they clearly affirm that God the Father and the Holy Spirit save:

“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?’ Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:3-8 – cf. 6:63; 2 Corinthians 3:6

“You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.” Romans 8:9-11

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ AND by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

“He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” 2 Corinthians 3:6

“But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13

“This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time.” 1 Timothy 2:3-6

to the ONLY God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” Jude 1:25

The NT further teaches that it is the Father who appointed his beloved Son to be the Savior and sent him forth to save the world:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17

“And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.” 1 John 4:14

“God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.” Acts 5:31

“From this man's descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised.” Acts 13:23

It was also Father who decreed that Jesus would procure salvation by having to perfectly obey God through a life of suffering:

“In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.” Hebrews 2:10

This is why salvation is ascribed to both the Father and the Son since it was the Father who had foreordained the plan of salvation:

“After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs TO OUR GOD, who sits on the throne, AND TO THE LAMB.’” Revelation 7:9-10

The Father also sent forth his Son to redeem a people and also sent forth the Holy Spirit in order to adopt them as his spiritual children:

“What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. He is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.” Galatians 4:1-7

Moreover, because of Christ’s work of salvation God the Father graciously saves all who believe in the Lord Jesus by granting them spiritual rebirth and regeneration through the Holy Spirit:

“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying.” Titus 3:3-7

This is why the NT teaches that salvation is the work of the Trinity since the Father ordains and chooses believers, the Holy Spirit sanctifies or sets them apart for obedience, and the Son purifies them by his blood:

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.” 1 Peter 1:1-2

We now come to the final section.

The only One that knows

According to Revelation the Lord Jesus has a name that only he knows:

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.” Revelation 19:11-13

This means that, per the hermeneutical principle employed by anti-Trinitarians, neither the Father nor the Holy Spirit know Jesus’ name.

However, this explanation cannot be correct since the NT writings emphatically affirm that the Father knows everything:

“for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.” 1 John 3:20

The inspired Christian Greek Scriptures also testify the Holy Spirit knows everything that God the Father knows:

“these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.” 1 Corinthians 2:10-12

Hence, since the Father knows everything and since the Holy Spirit knows whatever the Father knows this means that both the Father and the Holy Spirit must also know the name of the Lord Jesus.

Concluding Remarks

Here is a brief summary of what we discovered from our examination of the NT.

  1. Jesus is the one Lord and the Divine Agent through whom all created things came into being and is the One who is personally sustaining all creation.
  2. Jesus is the only sovereign Master, King of kings and Lord of lords who alone possesses immortality.
  3. Jesus is the true light.
  4. Jesus is the only Lawgiver and Judge.
  5. Salvation only comes from Jesus and through faith in his name since he is the Source of eternal redemption.
  6. Jesus alone knows his name.

If the anti-Trinitarians were to apply their logic and exegetical methodology consistently they would be forced to come to the following conclusions:

  1. The Father (as well as the Holy Spirit) cannot be Lord or the Divine Agent through whom creation came into existence. Nor could the Father or the Holy Spirit be sustaining the universe.
  2. The Father (or the Holy Spirit) cannot be the sovereign Master, King of kings, Lord of lords, nor can he (or the Spirit) possess immortality.
  3. The Father (along with the Holy Spirit) must be a false light.
  4. The Father cannot be a Lawgiver or Judge (which also applies to the Holy Spirit).
  5. The Father (along with the Holy Spirit) cannot save anyone and therefore cannot be the Source of eternal redemption.
  6. Neither the Father nor the Spirit knows the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The readers can immediately spot the major problems with the hermeneutical method employed by anti-Trinitarians since it is clear from the NT that such exclusive and restrictive language does not undermine the clear Biblical witness to the absolute Deity of the Father and the Divine Personhood of the Holy Spirit. Thus, whereas a unitarian must try to explain away passages such as 1 Corinthians 8:6, 1 Timothy 6:15-16, Jude 1:4 etc., a Trinitarian on the other hand is able to account for all of these Biblical passages without any difficulties whatsoever. The reason why the NT can apply such restrictive language to the Lord Jesus without this excluding the Father or the Holy Spirit is because all of them share the same eternal Being.

Therefore, when exclusive language is used for a specific Person of the Godhead in respect to his Divine functions and attributes this equally applies to the other Members of the Trinity since the NT testifies that all three of them possess the Divine essence completely and equally.

In a similar manner, the Father can be called the only true God without this excluding the Son and the Holy Spirit from also being the only true God since, as we just stated, the inspired Scriptures emphatically affirm that all three Persons are fully God in nature.

Hopefully, this will finally put to rest the abuse and misuse of John 17:3 by anti-Trinitarians.

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