[forthright] A Greek Proof of The Deity of Christ/Far Off

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From: Forthright Magazine <ba@...>
Date: Sat, 02 Oct 2004 12:31:12 -0500
Forthright Magazine
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Straight to the Cross


COLUMN: Basic Greek

A Greek Proof of The Deity of Christ
by Kevin Cauley

In the English language we have two articles, one
definite ("the") and one indefinite ("a"). We use
these articles to distinguish between definite and
indefinite nouns/substantives. For example: "If
you are thirsty, you may go to a water fountain,
but if you want bottled water you need to go to
the cooler." Any water fountain will get you
water, but only the cooler will get you bottled
water. The indefinite article tells us that of the
noun specified, any will do. The definite article
tells us that of the noun specified a particular
one is under consideration.

The Greek language has a definite article, but it
does not have an indefinite article. This tells us
a few things. First, if the definite article is
not present, then the indefinite article should
not be assumed unless the context indicates such
because two other possibilities exist, namely, 1)
that there may be no article on the noun or 2)
there may be an implied definite article. Second,
when the definite article is present, it is
present for a reason. One of these reasons
provides a very fascinating proof for the deity of
Christ.

In the Greek language, there is a certain idiom
where two nouns (or substantives) joined together
by the conjunction KAI and preceded by the
definite article, refer to the same thing. In this
construction, the nouns/substantives act, more or
less, adjectivally to describe what is under
consideration. For example, in Hebrews 3:1, we
read, "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the
heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High
Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus" (KJV). It
should be obvious that these two nouns ("apostle"
and "high priest") adjectivally refer to one
person, namely, Christ Jesus. It can be said,
therefore, that Jesus is both the Apostle of our
profession and the High Priest of our profession.

Understanding that point, we note several New
Testament Greek passages that utilize this
construction. First and foremost, 2 Peter 1:1:
"Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus
Christ, to those who have received a faith of the
same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God
and Savior, Jesus Christ" (NASB). In the Greek
language the underlined expression is: TOU QEOU
hHMON KAI SWTHROS IHSOU XRISTOU, literally "the
God of us and Savior, Jesus Christ." Notice the
underlined definite article (TOU) and conjunction
(KAI). This passage clearly demonstrates that
Jesus is both "God" and "Savior."

Another passage is 2 Thessalonians 1:12, "so that
the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in
you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our
God and the Lord Jesus Christ" (NASB). The
translators do not handle this passage correctly.
They put the definite article before "Lord" when
it is not there in the Greek. The Greek is: TOU
QEOU hHMWN KAI KURIOU IESOU XRISTOU, literally,
"of the God of us and Lord, Jesus Christ." Again,
we may conclude from the Greek that Jesus Christ
is both "God" and "Lord" due to this construction.

One more passage is Titus 2:13: "looking for the
blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our
great God and Savior, Christ Jesus" (NASB). The
Greek is: TOU MEGALOU QEOU KAI SWTEROS hHMWN
XRISTOU IESOU, literally, "of the Great God and
Savior of us, Christ Jesus." In this passage Jesus
is identified as both the "Great God" and
"Savior."

Robertson, in his Grammar, identifies Ephesians
5:5 as another such example that proves that Jesus
was considered by the writers of the New Testament
to be God. This Greek idiom is in accord with the
ancient usage of Greek in classical times, as
well, and is thoroughly documented. Obviously the
idiom is not limited to merely passages that speak
regarding Christ, but when it is used in such a
way, it is a powerful affirmation that Jesus is
indeed divine, being Christ, Lord, Savior and our
Great God.

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COLUMN: Field Notes

Far Off
by Michael E. Brooks

"And he came and preached peace to you who were
afar off and to those who were near" (Ephesians
2:17).

Isolation is a dreadful experience. Whether it be
quarantine because of communicable disease, exile
because of political oppression, or solitary
confinement as punishment, any form of isolation
causes anxiety and distress.

In more than fifteen years of travel to parts of
the world usually considered undeveloped, there
have been occasions when I have been cut off from
communication with home and family for several
days at a time, or even longer. Maybe I should be
used to it, but the unease associated with
isolation continues. Today, for example, I learned
that the ferry which crosses the major river
between our school in Khulna, Bangladesh and
Dhaka, the capitol, has been closed for two days
because of high water. Since I have plans to
travel to Dhaka later this week to meet my wife
who is on her way to join me, that caused a few
minutes of concern. For a brief time I felt cut
off. Then I realized that there are alternate ways
of traveling, and, besides, a call ascertained
that the ferry is once again open. I breathed a
sigh of relief.

There is, however, a far more serious condition of
isolation described in the Bible. "At that time
you were without Christ, being aliens from the
commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the
covenants of promise, having no hope and without
God in the world" (Ephesians 2:12). Sin has
separated us from God. We who were made in his
image, to enjoy constant fellowship with our
Creator and Father, are cut off and banished
because of our rebellion. As Adam was expelled
from Eden, so we are without God and without hope,
so long as we are in sin.

But we do not have to be separated. "He came and
preached peace." Jesus has brought us back near to
God, and has reconciled us to him by the power of
his grace and love. We are no longer strangers and
aliens, banished from his presence. We may know
the warmth of his love and the blessings of his
salvation through Christ.

I may be twelve thousand miles from home, but I
feel close and in fellowship with my family so
long as I can communicate with them. Telephones
and email make isolation more bearable, or really
remove it almost entirely. No, it is not the same
as being in their physical presence, but it is
surely not the same as not hearing from one
another, either.

Our fellowship with God is, while we are on this
earth, more nearly experienced as communication
than as physical presence. Yes, he dwells in us
through his Spirit (Ephesians 2:22), but we
experience him essentially in a less direct
manner. It is through prayer and the comfort of
scripture that we may have the most direct
exposure and communication with God and with
Christ. In our worship and devotion we are assured
of their presence, and we in turn express our
awareness of them.

My point is this: If we fail to communicate we are
still as if isolated. The blessed reconciliation
of Christ does us little good. One may reissue a
passport to an exile, but if he does not use it to
travel, his exile does not end. The fact that he
can return does not change his separated state.
Too many who claim faith in Christ still live in
exile, failing to establish and maintain
meaningful communication with God.

Do you spend time in prayer, study and worship?
Are you in fellowship, or still separated and
alone, in spite of a profession of faith. If so,
it is your own doing, and, thankfully, you have
the power to change it. "Let us draw near with a
true heart in full assurance of faith, having our
hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our
bodies washed with pure water" (Hebrews 10:22).

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