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It is written:
John 1:1-In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The book now as the Da Vinci Code proclaims that the Godhood of Jesus Christ was the invention of a third century church council known as the Council Of Nicaea. We have seen that the Old Testament Scriptures clearly prophesied that the Messiah would be Divine, and these Scriptures were in existence for almost seven hundred years before the Council of Nicaea.
We will notice a sampling of evidence from the New Testament Scriptures which clearly teach the Deity of Jesus Christ. Please remember as we proceed that we have established clearly from several lines of evidence that the New Testament Scriptures predate the Council of Nicaea by almost three hundred years; that these Scriptures were known to have been written by the Apostles of Christ and their companions (as even the earliest enemies of Christianity acknowledge); and that these writings were considered authoritative from the earliest times.
The Apostle John wrote that the “Word” (Greek, Logos) was Christ Jesus, and that He is God.
John 1:1, 14-In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
The Greek of John’s statement is extremely interesting.
“The English word “was” is about as bland a term as you can find. Yet in Greek, it is most expressive. The Greeks were quite concerned about being able to express subtleties in regard not only to when something thing happened, but how it happened as well. Our little word “was” is poorly suited to handle the depth of the Greek at this point. John’s choice of words is deliberate and, quite honestly, beautiful. Throughout the prologue of the Gospel of John, the author balances between two verbs. When speaking of the Logos as He existed in eternity past, John uses the Greek word rlv, en (a form of eimi). The tense’ of the word expresses continuous action in the past. Compare this with the verb he chooses to use when speaking of everything else-found, found, for example, in verse 3: “All things carne into being through Him,” eyeve ro, egeneto. This verb2 contains the very element missing from the other: a point of origin. The term, when used in contexts of creation and origin, speaks of a time when something came into existence. The first verb, en, does not. John is very careful to use only the first verb of the Logos throughout the first thirteen verses, and the second verb, egeneto, he uses for everything else (including John the Baptist in verse 6). Finally, in verse 14, he breaks this pattern, for a very specific reason, as we shall see. Why emphasize the tense of a little verb? Because it tells us a great deal. When we speak of the Word, the Logos, we must ask ourselves: how long has the Logos existed? Did the Logos come into being at a point in time? Is the Logos a creature? John is very concerned that we get the right answer to such questions, and he provides the answers by the careful selection of the words he uses. Above we noted that John gave us some very important information about the time frame he has in mind when he says “in the beginning..” That information is found in the tense of the verb en. You see, as far back as you wish to push “the beginning,” the Word is already in existence. The Word does not come into existence at the “beginning,” but is already in existence when the “beginning” takes place. If we take the beginning of John 1:1, the Word is already there. If we push it back further (if one can even do so!), say, a year, the Word is already there. A thousand years, the Word is there. A billion years, the Word is there.’ What is John’s point? The Word is eternal. The Word has always existed. The Word is not a creation. The New English Bible puts it quite nicely: “When all things began, the Word already was.” Right from the start, then, John tells us something vital about the Word. Whatever else we will learn about the Word, the Word is eter-eternal.4 With this John begins to lay the foundation for what will come. WITH GOD The next phrase of John 1:1 tells us something new about the Word. The Word is eternal, but the Word was not alone in eternity past. “The Word was with God (rtpbS toy 9e6v).” Yes, it is the same word “was,” again pointing us to an eternal truth. The Word has eternally been “with God.” What does this mean? Just as Greek verbs are often more expressive than their English counterparts, so too are Greek prepositions. Here John uses the preposition npoS (pros). The term has a wide range of meanings, depending on the context in which it is found. In this particular instance, the term speaks to a personal relationship, in fact, to intimacy. It is the same term the apostle Paul uses when he speaks of how we presently have a knowledge comparable to seeing in a dim mirror, but someday, in eternity, , we will have a clearer knowledge, an intimate knowledge, for we shall see “face to (pros) face” (1 Corinthians 13:12). When you are face-to-face to-face with someone, you have nowhere to hide. You have a relationship ship with that person, whether you like it or not.5 In John I: 1b, John says the Word was eternally face-to-face with God, that is, that the Word has eternally had a relationship with God…The third clause of John 1:1 balances out the initial presentation John is making about the Word. We read, “and the Word was God (9E6S rlv o Xoyog).” Again, the eternal en. John avoids contradiction by telling us that the Word was with God, and the Word was God. If John were making this an equation, like this: All of the “Word” = All of “God” he would be contradicting himself. If the Word is “all” of God, and God is “all” of the Word, and the two terms are interchangeable, then how could the Word be “with” himself? Such would make no sense. But John beautifully walks the fine line, balancing God’s truth as he is “carried along” by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21, NIV). John avoids equating the Word with all of God through his use of the little Greek article, the equivalent of our word “the” (o). It may seem “nit-picking” to talk about such a small thing as the Greek article, but as my friend Daniel Wallace points out, “One of the greatest gifts bequeathed by the Greeks to Western civilization was the article. European intellectual life was profoundly impacted by this gift of clarity.”8 He also notes, “In the least, we cannot treat it lightly, for its presence or absence is the crucial element to unlocking the meaning of scores of passages in the NT.”9 The writers of Scripture used the article to convey meaning, and we need to be very careful not to overlook look the information they provide to us through the use, or nonuse, of the article. The third clause of John 1:1 provides us with an example of what is known in grammar as a predicate nominative construction.1° That is, we have a noun, the subject of the clause, which is “the Word.” We have an “equative” or “copulative” verb, “was,” and we have another noun, in the same case or form as the subject, which is called the nominative inative case, that being “God.” We need to realize that in Greek the order in which words appear is not nearly as important as it is in English. glish. The Greeks had no problem putting the subject of a sentence, or its main verb, way down the line, so to speak. Just because one word comes before another in Greek does not necessarily have any significance. cance. What does this have to do with John 1:1? Well, in English, the final phrase would be literally rendered, “God was the Word.” But in English, we put the subject first, and the predicate nominative later. The Greeks used the article to communicate to us which word is the subject, and which is the predicate. If one of the two nouns has the article, it is the subject. In this case, “Word” has the article, even though it comes after “God,” and hence is our subject. That is why the last phrase is translated “the Word was God” rather than “God was the Word.” Stay with me now, for there is another important point to be seen in the text. If both of the nouns in a predicate nominative construction like this one have the article, or if both lack the article, this is significant as well. In that case, the two nouns become interchangeable. That is, if “Word” had the article, and “God” did, too, this would mean that John is saying that “God was the Word” and the “Word was God.” Both would be the same thing. Or, if neither of them had the article, we would have the same idea: an equating of all of God with all of the Word. “God” and “Word” would be interchangeable and equal terms. You see, much has been made, especially by Jehovah’s Witnesses, of the fact that the word “God” in the last clause of John 1:1 is anarthrous, that is, without the article. You will notice that there is no form of the Greek article preceding the term AEOS (theos). Because of this, they argue that we should translate it “a god.” This completely misses the point of why the word theos does not have the article. If John had put the article before theos, he would have been teaching modalism, a belief we mentioned earlier that denies the existence of three divine persons, saying there is only one person who sometimes acts like the Father, sometimes like the Son, sometimes like the Spirit. We will discuss modalism (which is also often called “Sabellianism”) later. For now, we see that if John had placed the article before theos, he would have been making “God” and the “Word” equal and interchangeable changeable terms. As we will see, John is very careful to differentiate between these terms here, for He is careful to differentiate between the Father and the Son throughout the entire Gospel of John.” One commentator has rightly noted regarding the prologue, “John is not trying to show who is God, but who is the Word.”2 The final phrase tells us about the Word, emphasizing the nature of the Word. F. F. Bruce’s comments on this passage are valuable: The structure of the third clause in verse 1, theos en ho logos, demands the translation “The Word was God.” Since logos has the article preceding it, it is marked out as the subject. The fact that theos is the first word after the conjunction kai (and) shows that the main emphasis of the clause lies on it. Had theos as well as logos been preceded by the article the meaning would have been that the Word was completely identical with God, which is impossible if the Word was also “with God.” What is meant is that the Word shared the nature and being of God, or (to use a piece of modern jargon) was an extension of the personality of God. The NEB paraphrase “what God was, the Word was,” brings out the meaning of the clause as successfully as a paraphrase can.” In the same way, the New Living Translation renders John 1:1, “In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and he was God.”” (James R. White, The Forgotten Trinity: Recovering The Heart Of Christian Belief, 50-55 (Kindle Edition); Minneapolis, Minnesota; Bethany House Publishers)
Here, John clearly teaches us several things about the Word (I.e., Jesus).
First, Jesus has always existed. There never was a time when He did not exist: He is eternal.
Second, Jesus always existed “with” God. That is, He is not identical with God the Father. He is a separate Person from Him.
Third, even though Jesus is not God the Father, He is God!
Other passages throughout the Gospel and writings of John bear out all of these facts.
John 5:18-Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.
John 10:30-I and My Father are one.”
John 17:5-And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
John 17:24-Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
John 20:28-And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
1 John 5:7-For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.
Other passages of Scripture throughout the New Testament elaborate upon and teach us about the Deity of Jesus Christ.
Titus 2:11-14-For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
2 Peter 1:1-Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
These passages from Paul and Peter clearly identify Jesus as “our God.” Again, the Greek is highly informative:
“For example, in Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1, the KJV inaccurately translates these passages by splitting the terms “God” and “Saviour,” thus distinguishing the person of God from the person of Jesus. They read “the great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ.” This rendering wrongly implies two persons are spoken of: 1) the great God, and 2) our Saviour Jesus Christ. Jehovah’s Witnesses use this ambiguity to argue that Jesus Christ is not “the great God” but only “our savior.” The King James translators translated the words this way because they were unaware of a grammatical rule of the Koine Greek—the Granville Sharp Rule—which was not discovered until the early nineteenth century. According to Dr. Wallace, “the King James translators knew Greek less well than they knew Latin and so they constantly relied on the Latin to get themselves through the Greek.”44 This helps explain why the KJV mistranslates Titus 2:13, 2 Peter 1:1, and other places that clearly teach the deity of Christ. As noted, Greek grammarian Granville Sharp wrote a monograph in 1798 on the Greek construction of Titus 2:13, 2 Peter 1:1, etc., and formulated a rule which, despite claims to the contrary, has universally proven true in the New Testament. When defined properly, “it is found to be entirely without exception.”45” (John Ankerberg & John Weldon, Facts on King James Only Debate, 294-303 (Kindle Edition); Eugene, Oregon; Harvest House Publishers)
Several other texts from the New Testament Scriptures document the same fact: Jesus Christ is God.
The claims of the Da Vinci Code that the doctrine of the Deity of Christ was invented by the Council of Nicaea are clearly incorrect and misleading.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.