Christ is God
The New Testament reveals that the only begotten Son is the pre-existent Christ.
It shows that the Son is begotten from the Father (Hebrews 1:5) and this means he ia true God by nature for his Father is true God by nature who begot him.
First, I am a Trinitarian, which means that I think Christ is God. However, I am going to play devil's advocate in this debate by arguing that Christ is not God. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if I win this debate.
Since there are so many rounds in this debate, I'm going to try to keep my posts short. First, I'll respond to Pro's case, then I'll make a case of my own.
Pro argues that because Christ is begotten of God, that he is therefore of the same nature as God and is therefore God. But assumes mistakenly that Christ is begotten of God literally in the same sense that humans beget humans. God did not concieve and give birth to Christ. The "begotten" language is metaphorical. It means the son is declared or considered to be the son of God. This phraseology comes from the Old Testament in which it is applied to kings of Israel.
Psalm 2:6-7 “But as for me, I have installed my king upon Zion, my holy mountain. I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to me, ‘You are my son, today I have begotten you.’”
Psalm 89:20-27 “I have found David my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him….He will cry out to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.’ I also shall make him my firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.”
2 Samuel 12:12-14 “When your [David’s] days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him, and he will be a son to me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men.”
Calling Jesus the "begotton son of God" is just another way of calling Jesus the messiah, i.e. the eschatological king of Israel. It doesn't imply that Jesus is God anymore that it implies David and Solomon are God.
I'm going to make two arguments against the deity of Christ.
The indiscernibility of identicles
According ot the indiscernibility of identicals, if two entities are actually the same entity, then whatever is true of one must be true of the other, and vice versa. If there is anything true of one that is not true of the other, then it is impossible that they are the same entity.
From this, it's quite easy to prove that Christ is not God. God is all knowing, which entails that God knows all true propositions. However, Mark 13:31-32 tells us that Christ does not know the day or the hour of the eschaton. So there is something true of God that is not true of Christ, and that means it's impossible for Christ to be God.
According to Hebrews 1:3, Christ is the exact representation of God's being. Now, according to the doctrine of the Trinity, Christ is a distinct person from the Father, but they share the same being since there's just one God. If Hebrews 1:3 said that Christ was the exact representation of God's person, then there wouldn't be a problem since Jesus could be considered the exact representation of the person of the Father. But instead, Hebrews 1:3 says Christ is the exact representation of God's being. If one thing is a representation of another, then there are two distinct things. That means Christ is a distinct being from God. He isn't merely a distinct person. Since there's only one God, and Christ is a distinct being from God, it follows that Christ is not God.
"To beget is to produce an offspring of same nature with the parent."
Con is right about the begetting. It is used in the Bible figuratively ( as a metaphor) not literally which involves sex, a consort( wife) and a beginning (time).
I agree that the begotten language was used to human Israelite kings and this doesn't make them of same nature with God.It is important to know why is this so and the reason is because they prefigured the Word ( the pre-existent Christ) who is God by nature who shall become flesh in the right time ( John 1:1,14, Galatians 4:4).
I agree that incarnate Son was declared "begotten" by the Father at his resurrection in order to reveal his identity as the Son who is the Messiah ( Romans 1:4, Psalm 110:3 LXX).
This means that Jesus was declared ( not made) begotten Son at his resurrection.
This encapsulates Psalm 110:3 ( LXX) which speaks of the Messiah as a begotten Son.
" I have begotten you from the womb before the Morning Star" Psalm 110:3 (109:)Septuagint
What this means is that Jesus wouldn't be declared the begotten Son if he wasn't already it at all.
The Son is begotten from the Father before he even took upon himself human nature ( John 1:18, 5:26).
In the entire New Testament Scriptures, you won't find it implying that the Son was begotten from the Father to mean that the Son had a beginning of existence and hence, a creature ( like what Arius had taught) but that the Son is of same nature with the Father and that's what the begotten metaphor is all about ( John 10:28-38).
Again, it is a declaration of who he is and not a creation of what he will be( Psalm 2:7, Heb. 1:5,5:5, Acts 13:35).
"Today, I have begotten You"
Notice that it is in the present perfect tense. It means that the Son is of same nature with the Father before until now ( and forever for the Father is eternal).
On the Incarnate Son
The Father and the Son are not same person but rather, two persons who are same in nature.
The reason why the Son has qualities that the Father does not have is because the Son was incarnated and his Father wasn't.
On Hebrews 1:3
meaning: nature/ existence
NIV says " exact representation of his being"
ESV says " exact imprint of his nature"
The verse says that the Son is the exact imprint of his Father's nature/existence.
It is true that the Son is an exact copy of the Father's existence. It means he exists the same way the Father is. The Scripture agree:
John 5:26 proves that he has the very same identical life ( life in himself or self existence) which the Father has.
It is true that the Son is the perfect imprint of the Father's nature. Scripture agree:
John 1:1 says that the Word is God by nature and in Colossians 2:9, it says that the whole entire divine nature dwells in the incarnate Son.
The copy is not the original.
The Son isn't the Father.
The copy is exactly the same as the original.
The Son is exactly the same as the Father ( in nature/existence).
The verse didn't say the exact representation of his person but rather, of his being ( i.e. nature/existence).Therefore, the argument of Con is null and void.
I'm going to stick with the format I started with in the last round and discuss our cases separately.
In the previous round, I explained why Jesus being the begotten son of God does not mean Jesus is God. Pro agreed with all my reasons, but disagreed with my conclusion. He agreed that Jesus was not literally begotten of God. He also agreed that "begotten son" also applied to kings of Israel who were not God. This undermines the claim that Jesus is God based on the fact that he is the begotten son of God.
In the first round, his argument was basically that since Jesus is the begotten son of God, that he is therefore of the same nature as God. But now his argument has changed. Now, he's arguing that "begotten son of God" means the same thing as having the same nature as God. But I don't see that he defended that claim. He asserted it, but didn't give any arguments for it.
Instead, he argued that Jesus was the begotten son of God before his incarnation. That is not enough to infer that Jesus has the same nature as God. His conclusion is a non-sequitur.
In the previous round, I gave two reasons for why Christ is not God.
The indiscernibility of identicals
I showed that since there is something true of God that is not true of Jesus, that Jesus is not God. Pro responded by pointing out a distinction between the Father and the Son--one is incarnate and the other isn't. But that is not relevant to my argument. I grant that if the Trinity is true, then there will be things true of one person that are not true of the other person. But the issue isn't whether the Father and the Son are the same person, but whether the Son is the same being as God.
One of the essential attributes of God is that God is all-knowing. So any person that is God must be all-knowing. Jesus is not all-knowing, as I showed in the last round. It follows that Jesus is not God.
When I brought this argument up, I anticipated an objection from Pro, and I dealt with it. I anticipated that Pro would claim it only means that Jesus is not the Father. But that is precisely why I fixated on the term "being." Notice that Hebrews 1:3 does not say Jesus is the exact representation of the person of the Father. Rather, it says Jesus is the exact representation of the being of the Father.
In the doctrine of the Trinity, there is one being (God) who is three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). It is possible for one person to be a copy of another person and still be God, but it is not possible for a person to be a copy of God's being and still be God. "Copy" implies distinction. While there is a distinction of personhood in the Trinity, there is not a distinction in being. So if one thing is a copy of God's being, then that thing is a distinct being. Since Jesus is a copy of God's being, it follows that Jesus is a distinct being and is therefore not God.
To beget means to produce an offspring of same nature with the parent.
The Son is begotten from the Father that is why he is of same nature with him.In fact, he is the only begotten one who is God by nature ( John 1:18).
In the New Testament, the Incarnate Son was only declared ( not made) begotten Son. Romans 1:4; Acts 13:35
To sum up, these are the two ways the begotteness of the Son is defined:
1) In the sense of sameness in nature ( of the offspring with the parent)
3) In the sense of Messiah-ship (which springs from the Son-ship of the Word).
2. The Son has the "ability" to know the day and the hour of his return but at that moment, he has no " authority" to use that ability.
After his resurrection, when he's about to ascend into heaven, he told his Apostles that " all authority have been given to me both in heaven and on earth"( Matthew 28:18). He now could use his ability to know the day and the hour of his return. Colossians 3:2 proves that he already know it now: " In him lies hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
There is no single Bible verse that says Jesus was given ability to do something but always given authority to do something which means he already has ability, innately.
3. It depends on how the copy was made. The writer of the Hebrews used the Greek word " character" ( literally,of an engraving-tool, an impression)and hence, the Son is shown to be the "exact imprint of his nature" (ESV). As to how he is a perfect copy of the Father's nature, it is by means of his being begotten from him ( as even the immediate context evinces: Hebrews 1:5).
John 5:26 confirms this fact. The Father gave the Son the same life he has. How did the Father gave it? Surely, it cannot be like as if i gave a plate of pasta to you or as if I handed over a book to you. The language of giving life in the context of Father and Son relationship highly implies "begetting". For how do humans impart same life to offspring? i
Let me summarize Pro's case in a syllogism to show more clearly why it is fallacious.
1. To beget means to produce an offspring of the same nature as the parent.
2. Christ is the begotten son of God.
3. Therefore, Christ has the same nature as God.
I have already shown that the first premise is false, and I gave two reasons.
First, because Jesus was not literally the result of procreation in the same way that humans beget humans. Pro agreed with me about that.
Second, because David and Solomon were begotten sons of God, but they did not share the same nature as God. Pro also agreed with me about that.
So being the begotten son of God is not enough for Pro to conclude that Christ is God. I have already shown that being the begotten son of God simply means that one is the messiah. I gave Biblical reasons for attaching that meaning to the phrase. If Pro wants to attach the additional meaning of "having the nature of God" to the phrase, then he needs to give Biblical reasons for attaching that additional meaning. And he needs to explain why it has that meaning when applied to Jesus but not when it applies to David and Solomon.
The indicernibility of identicals
Pro attempts to get around the fact that Christ did not know the hour of his return by saying Christ has the ability to know but not the authority. However, that does not in any way undermine the plain facts. The plain facts are that it is essential to being God that one know all things, but Christ did not know all things.
He goes on to argue that Christ later gained knowledge of his return. But that is irrelevant to my argument. If something is an essential attribute of God, then it is not possible to lack that attribute and be God at the same time. The attribute is not simply having the ability to gain all knowlege; rather, the attribute is having all knowledge. Mark exlicitly tells us that Jesus did not have all knowledge. That means Jesus is not God.
In the previous two rounds, I showed that since Jesus is a copy of God's being, and not just a copy of one of the persons of God, then Jesus is not merely a distinct person, but in fact a distinct being from God.
Pro's responses undermine his own case. First, he points out that it depends on how the copy is made. But he argued elsewhere that Jesus was not made, so he is contradicting himself. If Jesus was not made, as Pro claims, then his discussion of how a copy is made is irrelevant.
John 5:26 says, "For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself." Pro interprets that to mean that the Father begat the son.
Pro's interpretation is incorrect. The context makes it clear that what it means for Jesus to have life in himself is that Jesus has the ability to raise the dead. This is obvious when you include the previous verse.
John 5:25-26 "Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself."
Notice the use of the word "for," which connects verse 26 with verse 25.
It is expedient for me to venture deeply on the topic of the Son's begetting by presenting a cogent argument because Con hasn't been satisfied in my arguments.
On the Sonship of Christ
Throughout Scripture, it is shown that God has many sons and offspring:
The Nation of Israel (Exodus 4:22)- Israel prefigures the real Son who is to come. The evidence of this is Hosea 11:1 in which it wasn't only about the Nation of Israel but about Jesus as well based on Matthew 2:15.
"Out of Egypt I called my Son"
Israel kings ( Psalm 2:7) -Kings of Israel aren't of same nature with God. They just have the title Son of God as a prefigure of the pre-existent Christ, the real Son of God, who is to come. The evidence of this is explicit in Psalm 110:3 ( LXX) wherein it says that the Messiah is pre-existent and is a begotten Son. Truly, having known the pre-existent Son, these kings anticipate the coming of the Messiah via the incarnation.
Angels are sons of God (Job 38:7)- angels aren't begotten sons but rather, they are created sons as Hebrews 1:7 clearly says.
Humans are God's offspring (Acts 17:28)- humans aren't of same nature with God. They aren't begotten from him but rather,they are of the dust ( Eccesiastes 3:20).
Christians( 1 John 3:1)- Christians are begotten of God by faith in the Son ( John 1:12-13). Christ is begotten of God from his very substance.
Christ (2 John 1:3)- only Christ is the "only begotten one who is *God by nature"( John 1:18). No one else is begotten in the same sense as he is. In the entire Scriptures, only Christ is called "monogenes theos" ( only begotten , God in essence).John 1:18 is explicit, it speaks of the begotten Son who is of same nature with the Father. Notice that John 1:1 also speaks of the same, "The Word was *God by nature." In fact, Phillippians 2:6 is pretty straightforward, it says that Christ is " in very nature, God."
* both occurences of the Greek word "theos" ( God) in John 1:1 and John 1:18 are "anarthrous" ( without the Greek definite article) and hence, the noun "God" functions as an adjective. It means the whole qualities i.e. nature of God.
The day Jesus was resurrected was the day he shares in the divine nature ( 2 Peter 1:4) of immortality ( in reference to his human nature not his divine nature). He was begotten from the dead through his resurrection means that his human nature was glroified and hence, he has now a glrofied body. The same begetting will be experienced by all Christians ( 2 Peter 1:4).
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is ( 1 John 3:2 --> 1 Corinthians chapter 15).
Who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him evento subject all things to himself (Philippians 3:21).
On the Omniscience of the Son
The Son knows all things for he is God by nature( John 1:1). He took upon himself human nature ( Philippians 2:7). Human nature includes growth in all aspects of its existence ( Luke 5:22).
Jesus is only one person with dual natures: divine and human ( Colossians 2:9).
The natural consequence of having a human nature is to enter experiential knowledge. Jesus did cooperate with the limitations of being a man. He voluntarily concealed his omniscience in order to live truly as man.
At age 12, Jesus is already aware that he is God's Son, of same nature with God ( Luke 2:49-50).
Therefore, he knows that he has divine nature. He knows that he can know everything. He has the ability but he doesn't have authority to use it because he depended on his Father's will ( John 5:19).
This fact is explicit on Mark 13:32. The Son doesn't know the day and the hour of his own return. Unlike in other circumstances wherein he evinces his omniscience ( John 1:43-51, 2:25, Mark 14:29-30), in this and this alone is where he does not show it.
After the resurrection, he was given all authority in heaven and on earth to use his abilities ( Matthew 28:18) and we are now sure that he knows the day and the hourn of his own return based on Colossians 2:3:
"In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."( Colossians 2:3)
In fact, we have at least one explcit Bible verse that speaks of Christ as omniscient :
1 Chronicles 28:9 . . . the LORD searches all hearts, . . .
Psalm 139:3 Thou searchest out my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
Romans 8:27 . . . he who searches the hearts of men . . .
I am he who searches mind and heart ( Revelation 2:23).
Truly, they are of same nature!
On Hebrews 1:3
I am so sorry about talking about how the copy was made. I just mean it metaphorically because we are not talking about photocopying via xerox but rather, we're talking about the nature of the Father and the Son via begetting. Still, I admit that it's not a so-good-argument at all because in Hebrews 1:3,I found out that we're not talking about making copies. Copy is a noun not a verb!
The copy is not the original.
The Son's nature is a copy of the Father's nature.
Therefore, the Son is not of same nature with the Father.
This is how I understood Con's argument. Literally interpreted, it shows that the nature was duplicated into two. We have now two natures. Honestly, this freaks me out.
I admit that this is a very possible interpretation and literal at best but because it cannot contradict other explicit scripture, another interpretation is needed.
The NIV renders it as " exact representation of his being."
It means that the Son represents all of what the Father is. How is he representing the Father's nature?
It is by his actions which is evidently divine for "he only does what the Father does" ( John 5:19).
If we interpret ESV's rendering " exact imprint of his nature", in a Trinitarian way, then, this is only by metaphor:
Both the Father and the Son are of same nature because the Son perfectly ( as a stamp into a coin/letter) has the nature of the Father.
Pro goes to great lengths to show that "son of God" is used in various senses in the Bible, but that was unnecessary because I already acknowledge it. It has been my position throughout this debate that when "only begotten son" is used of Jesus, it is used in the messianic sense. I have already provided scripture in support of that, and Pro has not rebutted my case.
Although Pro cited several scriptures in support of his explanation, the only relevant passage he cited was John 1:18, which in some translations called Jesus the "monogenes theos," meaning "unique god" or as some translations say, "only begotten god."
"Monogenes" does not mean "begotten," by the way. It means "unique" or "one-of-a-kind." The word for "only begotten" is "monogennao." "Genos" means "kind" or "type." "Gennao" means to beget. So Pro's whole case about eternal begetting is invalid.
The problem with Pro's citation of John 1:18 is that there is a major textual variant there. Some manuscripts read "monogenes theos," meaning "unique God," and other manuscripts read "monogenes huios," meaning "unique Son." Pro arbitrarily favors "monogenes theos" because it supports his point of view.
But we should favor "monogenes huios" for three reasons:
1. Everywhere else in the New Testament, monogenes is always followed by hious, not theos.
2. I have shown, and Pro has not refuted, that Jesus is not the unique God.
3. Most modern translations go with monogenes hious, not monogenes theos.
Pro also cites a very controversial passage--John 1:1--to support his case. John 1:1 has been the subject of much debate as to the meaning of "kai theos en ho logos," literally, "and god was the word," but usually translated, "And the word was God." To really get to the bottom of the meaning of this passage would require a debate all its own, but suffice it to say that since there is a great deal of controversy surrounding how this passage ought to be understood, Pro can't use this to support his point of view without justifying his particular translation and interpretation. The same thing is true of Philippians 2:6.
It's ironic that Pro would cite 2 Peter 1:4 since it undermines his case. According to 2 Peter 1:4, we will all partake of the "divine nature." But obviously that doesn't mean we're all going to become the one unique God. So when it says in Philippians 2:6 that Jesus existed in the form of God (or "by nature God" as some translations say), it doesn't mean Jesus actually was the one unique God.
The indiscernibility of identicals
Pro does not dispute that being all-knowing is an essential attribute of God. It follows that if Jesus is not all-knowing at any point in his existence, then he is not God. God cannot cease being God, then become God again at a later point. So if there is ever a point in Jesus' existence in which he is not all-knowing, then Jesus never was God and never will be.
Mark is explicit that there is something Jesus doesn't know. That means it's impossible for Jesus to be God.
Pro is merely repeating an argument that I have already answered. He claims, once more, that although Jesus had the ability to know all things, he lacked the authority to know all things. But the divine attribute we're talking about is not "the ability to know all things," but rather, "the state of knowing all things." It is still the case that Jesus didn't know all things, regardless of what the reasons is for why he didn't know all things. The fact that Pro can give a reason for why Jesus didn't know all things only serves to highlight the fact that Jesus didn't know all things and could therefore not be God.
Pro goes on to try to argue that Jesus is all-knowing by pointing out that both he and God know the hearts of men. But to be all-knowing is to know all things, not just the hearts of men, and as we've already seen, Jesus did not know all things.
The point of my use of Hebrews 1:3 is to show that Christ is not the same being as the Father. If there is only one God, and if the Father and Son are both God, it follows that the Father and the Son share the same being. And that is what the Trinity says--that the Father and the Son are distinct persons, but the same being, God. But Hebrews 1:3 makes it impossible that the Father and the Son could be the same being. That means they are not the same God. If there is only one God, and if it's indisputable that the Father is God, it follows inescapably that the Son is not God.
Pro says, "I admit that this is a very possible interpretation and literal at best but because it cannot contradict other explicit scripture, another interpretation is needed."
In other words, Pro thinks that because his argument for the deity of Christ is sound (the argument that I refuted above), that we should try to find another way to interpret Hebrews 1:3. But considering the fact that I have already refuted Pro's case for the deity of Christ above, no such exegetical gymnastics are necessary.
And Pro's suggested alternative interpretations do not get around the point anyway. For example, the NIV calls Jesus the "exact representation of his being," which implies that Christ is not the same being as the Father.
We are about to enter into the concluding round. I hope that Pro will stick to usual debate ettiquette and not introduce new arguments into the last round. If he does, then in all fairness, I ought to be able to do the same. But then Pro would not be able to respond to my new arguments. So let's just agree not to introduce any new arguments in the last round.
1. The Forgotten Trinity, by James White, p. 201-202, footnote 27
[Pro goes to great lengths to show that "son of God" is used in various senses in the Bible, but that was unnecessary because I already acknowledge it]
If Con really acknowledges it then it means that he just have concurred in my case that the Son is begotten from the Father and hence, of same nature with him because I had gone to greath lenghts to show that "son of God" is used in various senses in the Bible in which I contrasted Jesus to others, that Jesus is the begotten Son ( hence, same in nature with the Father) and that Israelite kings, Israel as nation, angels, humans and Christians are all creature sons.
[It has been my position throughout this debate that when "only begotten son" is used of Jesus, it is used in the messianic sense. I have already provided scripture in support of that, and Pro has not rebutted my case]
I disagree with Con that when "only begotten son" is used of Jesus, it is used only in the messianic sense because I already gave scriptural evidences that the messianic sense is not the only sense of the begetting metaphor. Here's what I presented on Round 4 that Con has yet to refute:
But that's only one sense of it, the other sense is that he's of same nature with the Father. Romans 1:4 speaks of this truth: " declared ( not made) Son of God with power." The fact that the first sense only covers entering glory proves that the second sense is solely referring to Jesus alone for he alone is "the Annointed One."
Psalm 2:7 (LXX) is quoted in these three New Testament Scriptures:
Hebrews 1:5 about eternal generation ( sonship)
Hebrews 5:5 about priesthood ( sonship)
Acts 13:35 about kingship ( sonship)
It is because the begotten Son is the Messiah based on Psalm 110:3 (LXX). The Messiah is the only begotten one who is God by nature ( John 1:18) that is why he is Priest and King (and many more).
[Although Pro cited several scriptures in support of his explanation, the only relevant passage he cited was John 1:18, which in some translations called Jesus the "monogenes theos," meaning "unique god" or as some translations say, "only begotten god."
"Monogenes" does not mean "begotten," by the way. It means "unique" or "one-of-a-kind." The word for "only begotten" is "monogennao." "Genos" means "kind" or "type." "Gennao" means to beget. So Pro's whole case about eternal begetting is invalid]
I agree with Con that textual variants indeed exists in John 1:18. We should favor the reading "monogenes theos" ( only begotten, God) because of the following cogent reasons:
1) LECTIO DIFICILIOR
The copyist has more likely to change "theos" to "huios" that vise versa.In fact, Monogenês theos is a so-called hapax legomenon - a rare one-time occurrence in the NT. Even if it were a simple scribal error, the sudden appearance of a "difficult reading" in the manuscript tradition would likely be corrected back to the normative text.
2) NOT A GNOSTIC TRANSLATION AT ALL
Some say that it's a gnostic corruption of the text but if that were so then why do we find the Old Testament and Jesus' ancestry in the very MSS?
3) EARLY MSS ATTESTS ITS VERACITY
monogenês theos is represented in a great number of the earliest MSS, is prominent in the MSS that are considered to contain accurate texts, and is most probably what John actually wrote.
P66 ( A.D. 100-150)
p77 ( A.D. 175-225)
Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus
Syriac Peshitta ( A.D. 150)
Arabic Diatessaron ( A.D 160-170)
Coptic MSS ( The Coptic versions is one of the earliest versions of the NT where huiosis completely absent)
Latin MSS ( Iraneus quotes John 1:18 " unigenitus deus" in his Against Heresies IV, 20, 11)
4) CHURCH FATHERS (BOTH EAST AND WEST) AND HERETICS USED IT
Irenaeus, Clement ,Eusebius, Basil, Cyril, and Origen, Didymus, Epiphanius, Eusebius, Gregory-Nyssa, Heracleon, Hilary, Jerome, Origen, Ps-Ignatius, Ptolemy, Serapion, Synesius, Tatian, Theodotus, Valentinius, and Arius.
5) FITS THE CONTEXT OF THE PROLOGUE
John 1:1 - with God/ was God by nature
John 1:1 - with God
John 1:14 -only-offspring
John 1:18 -only-offspring, God by nature
You'll notice that in the entirety of John's prologue, the word "Son" is nowhere used in it and also notice how coherent the prologue is when monogenes theos is the reading.
The Greek word "monogenes" is a compound word of monos ( one. only) and genos (kind, stock, offspring). These definitions are uncontested and is accepted by all Bible scholars despite of divergence in interpretation of the Scriptures.
Based on context, both "only-offspring" (only child) and " only one of its sort" ( unique)
Jerome ( and others) did not corrupt the scripture but rather, they justly translated "monogenes" into Latin as " unigenitus " because an only offspring highly implies that this offspring is only begotten. The translation theory "dynamic-equivalence" used nowadays reflects the ancient practice. We have NLT as an example.
monogenes huios ( John 3:16)- only-offspring/child, [who is] a Son.
It's interesting to note that the Latin word"unigenitus,"(translation of the Greek word "monogenes") in John's gospel, is found in Codex Harleianus, a 10th century copy of the 2nd century Old Latin.
The Son is the "only offspring/Son who is God by nature"(John 1:18).
The Bible clearly said that the ONE GOD is THE FATHER ( 1 Cor. 8:6, 1 Tim. 2:5). Again, it said that the ONE GOD is THE FATHER. It is THE FATHER.
Now let me ask you this: What makes someone a Father?
You got it. It's an OFFSPRING. You can't be a Dad without your own child.
This means that the one God surely has an offspring whoever he/she/it/they may be.
The Bible speaks of these entity or entities as God's son/sons.
Adam ( Luke 3:38)
Angels ( Job 38:7)
Israel ( Exodus 4:22)
kings ( Psalm 2:7)
Jesus ( John 3:16)
Christians (John 1:12)
all humans ( Acts 17:28)
Only Jesus is the " only offspring/Son who is God in nature" ( John 1:18).
On John 1:1
The Greek word theos in the 3rd clause of John 1:1 can only mean three things in its anarthrous form:
1)God by nature
(1) fits best because (2) there's only one God not many as JW's teach (3) it includes all the qualities of God including personality not just being "of God" or "related to God" as used by Unitarians ( Socinians, I.N.C).
On Philippians 2:6
Morphe means "form" ( nature, shape). It's dual meaning is used in the Bible, morphe is used in the OT as "nature" for about 5x ( Phil. 2:6, Romans 12:2, Phil. 3:10 and 21,Gal. 4:19 ) and as "shape" in both OT LXX (Daniel 3:19 ) and NT ( 2 Timothy 3:5 ).
On 2 Peter 1:4
Christians only shares in the divine nature while Christ possesses it wholly and innately ( Jn 1:1,Phil. 2:6,Col.2:9).In fact, the Hellenistic Jewish backround of this participating in the divine nature proves that it isn't referring to the entire essence of God but rather, only to virtues and immortality lost after the fall( even as the context speaks: 2 Pet. 1:2-4, glory, power, excellence, corruption, lust).
Philo's Post Cain. 28.
Wisdom of Solomon 2:23
On Mark 13:32
The Son knows all things ( Pre-incarnate state)-John 1:1
The Son doesn't know all things not because he's not God by nature anymore but because he was incarnated( Incarnate state)- Mark 13:32/Philippians 2:6-7
The Son knows all things via having the authority to now access his omniscience(post resurrection state)- Matthew 28:18/Colossians 2:3
Because the Son is God by nature, his omniscience cannot cease but rather, only concealed as a side effect of assuming human nature. Con cannot say " It is still the case that Jesus didn't know all things, regardless of what the reasons is for why he didn't know all things" because he first needs to refute the doctrine of the Incarnation ( that it is unbiblical) before surmising such opinion.
On John 5:26
It is explicit in John 5:26 that the Father gave his Son the very same sort of life that he has that's why verse 27 says that the Son has the ability to raise the dead. If the Son is not of same nature with the Father, he couldn't raise the dead for only God has such ability. In fact, John 5:21 is explicit that the Son will raise the dead and will give them life in the same way his Father can do it. John 5:19 is best in concluding this. "Whatever the Father does the Son also does." ( NIV).
On Hebrews 1:3
The Son himself has the nature of the Father like a stamp on a coin or letter. It only means that the Son is of same nature with the Father for the Son has his Father's own nature, in an perfectly identical manner.
Sorry for my English.English is not my native language.
Thanks Con for the debate! The Blessed Trinity bless Us!
Pro's primary argument throughout this debate has been that since Jesus is the "begotten son of God," that he must share the same nature as God, and if he shares the same nature as God, then he must BE God.
What we both agree on is that "son of God" means different things when applied to different people and groups. We also agree that when "Son of God" is applied to Jesus, it is meant in a messianic sense. But Pro thinks it has an additional meaning when applied to Jesus. He claims that he gave arguments for this additional meaning but that I didn't respond to his arguments, so he repeated them.
Supposedly ignored arguments
One scripture he brings up is Romans 1:4, but Romans 1:4 doesn't say anything about Jesus having the nature of God, and there's no reason to take "son of God" in any way other than a messianic sense.
He says Psalm 2:7 is quoted in Hebrews 1:5, 5:5, and Acts 13:35. Psalm 2:7 is simply a messianic psalm about the king of Israel. Noting about it suggests that the king of Israel is God. Hebrews 1:5 cites Psalm 2 to contrast the messiah with angels. Against, nothing to suggest the messiah is God. There's nothing in Hebrews 5:5 to suggest the messiah is God. Acts 13:35 quotes Acts 2:27 as a proof text for the resurrection of Jesus. Again, nothing to suggest the messiah is God. So none of the passages that Pro brought up do anything to substantiate his claim that "Son of God" means "having the same nature as God." It's used strictly in a messianic sense in all of the passages that Pro cited.
I didn't ignore Pro's other passages in the last round. Rather, I dismissed them as irrelevant since they don't support his case. I said, "The only relevant passage he cited was John 1:18." Then I went on to say why John 1:18 doesn't support his case.
Pro acknowledges that John 1:18 has a textual variant. Then he attempted to argue for why "monogenes theos" should be preferred over "monogenes huios."
In his third and fifth point, Pro lists some of the manuscripts and citations that have "monogenes theos." That doesn't help his case, though, because by acknowledging that there's a textual variant, he's admitting that there are other manuscripts and citations that have "monogenes huios." That's the whole reason it's controversial.
His first point nullifies his fifth point. His first point is that it's more likely a copiest would change something to fits it's normal use, but his fifth point is that "theos" fits the context of John 1 better than "huios." If it's true that "theos" fits the context better and that a copiest would be more likely to change an odd reading to a normal reading, then we should expect a copiest to change "huios" to "theos" to keep with the flow of the passage. So Pro's fith point and first point nullify each other.
Pro's second point is a straw man response to an argument that I didn't make, so it can be safely ignored.
I've responded to all of Pro's reasons for preferring "theos" to "huios" in John 1:18. The bottom line, though, is that this remains an unresolve textual variant. Scholars who are experts in textual criticism haven't even come to an agreement about John 1:18, and neither of us are textual critics. So John 1:18 really can't be used to support Pro's case.
Pro admits that John 1:1 can be translated in different ways. His preferred to translate it in such a way that Jesus is God himself. But the very same verse seems to exclude that interpretation since it says the word was WITH God, making a distinction between God and the Word.
Pro tells us that the word "form" is used in various places in the Bible, but he doesn't tell us that it means Jesus is God. He neither responds to my reasons for saying this passages doesn't support Pro's case in the last round, nor does he attempt to show in this round that the passage supports his case.
2 Peter 1:4
In the last round, I pointed out that since we all partake in the divine nature, but are not for that reason God, then the fact that Jesus partakes of the divine nature doesn't mean Jesus is God. Pro's response is that it's a matter of degree. While we partially take part of the divine nature, Jesus does so completely. But that is fallacious. If one degree of partaking of the divine nature does not move us one step closer to being God, then neither does a thousand degrees because 0 + 0 is 0. Pro's claim that it's a matter of degree is just made up and has no support from the Bible. Adam, the first human, was made in the likeness of God, but was not God. When it says Jesus conforms perfectly to the likeness of God, that just means Jesus is the perfect man. It doesn't at all imply that he is God anymore than Adam was God.
All John 5:26 says it that Jesus has life in himself. From the context, all we can conclude is that Jesus had the ability to raise the dead. All the other meanings Pro pours into this passage are purely speculative eisogesis.
The indiscernibility of identicals
Pro again attempts to undermine my argument by giving a reason for why the incarnate Son was not all knowing. He fails to grasp the fact that it doesn't matter why the Son is not all-knowing. My argument hingest on the fact that the Son is not all knowing. The fact that the son is all knowing makes it impossible for the Son to be God, regardless of the reason for his lack of knowledge. Pro has not been able to deal with this argument throughout this debate.
He claims that the son only concealed his omniscience, but Mark tells us plainly and eplicitly, not that the son was pretending not to know something, but that in fact the son did not know it. You either know all things, or you do not know all things. Jesus did not know all things, and there's no getting around that. That means he was not all knowing and was therefore not God.
Pro seems to have given up by the time he got to Hebrews 1:3. Instead of grappling with my argument, he simply asserts that the son has the same nature as the father since he's an exact copy. Pro needed to undermine my argument that the passage makes Jesus out to be a distinct being from the Father. Unless Pro is a polytheist and wants to say there are two Gods, this passage makes it plain that Jesus is not God.
Thank you for coming to tonight's debate. I know it was long, but if you read this far, please don't let your efforts be in vain. Go ahead and vote.
Thank you to Pro also. As I said at the beginning, I was playing devil's advocate in this debate, and I do believe that Christ is God. I brought up two of what I think are the strongest arguments against the deity of Christ because I wanted to know how Pro would respond to them.
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