Note: Although Watchtower Society (WTS) research and scholarship is usually at least the equal of (and often superior to) that of other sources, I have tried to rely most heavily on other sources in Christendom itself (preferably trinitarian) or my own independent research to provide evidence disproving the trinitarian ‘proof’ being examined in this paper. The reason is, of course, that this paper is meant to provide evidence needed by non-Witnesses, and many of them will not accept anything written by the WTS. They truly believe it is false, even dishonest. Therefore some of the following information, all of which helps disprove specific trinitarian “proofs,” may be in disagreement with current WTS teachings in some specifics (especially when I have presented a number of alternates). Jehovah’s Witnesses should research the most recent WTS literature on the subject or scripture in question before using this information with others. - RDB
Title Confusion Trick
‘Unitized Title’ Vs. ‘Title with Identifiers’ (1 Cor. 8:6) (From the RDB Files)
Is. 43:11 - “I, even I, am Jehovah; and besides me there is no saviour.” - ASV.
Luke 2:11 - “for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.” - ASV.
Some trinitarians will quote the two scriptures above as “proof” that Jesus is Jehovah. After all, not only do both Jesus and Jehovah have the title “Saviour,” but Jehovah says he is the only saviour!
But is “saviour” (yasha in Hebrew [Strong‘s # 3467], soter in NT Greek [Strong‘s # 4990]) really an exclusive title for Jehovah, or can it properly be applied to other individuals?
If Jehovah is insisting that no one but himself is ever to be called “saviour,” then He and His inspired Bible writers would never call anyone else by that exclusive title.
So, when we read that Othniel (Judges 3:9) and Ehud (Judges 3:15) are both called “saviour” (same Hebrew word translated “saviour” at Is. 43:11 is translated “deliverer” in KJV - compare ASV), should we really believe they are both Jehovah because “besides [Jehovah] there is no saviour”? If so, we have a new “trinity”: The Father, Ehud, and Othniel!!
“Mystery” religionists and “plural-oneness God” devotees should be interested in Obadiah 21 also. There they can “prove” that all those saviours are Jehovah. Furthermore, they might “prove” that those saviours are Christians who, therefore, will all be Jehovah! For example, if Jehovah alone is saviour, and Jesus is saviour because he saves (Greek: sosei - Matt. 1:21 and soso - John 12:47) men, then Jesus “must” be God. By this same reasoning, since some followers of Jesus also save (Greek: sosei - James 5:20; 1 Tim. 4:16 and soso - 1 Cor. 9:22) men, then they (the saviours of Obadiah 21?) too, must be God!
(This is very similar to the “Forgiveness” silliness that is sometimes used to “prove” the trinity. - “Only God can forgive (aphiemi) sins,” say certain trinitarians, “and Jesus forgave sin, Mark 2:7. Therefore, Jesus must be God!” So, John 20:20-23 “proves” that the disciples also must be God, right?
Also compare "you [God] alone are holy [Gr. hosios: 'loyal' in some translations] - Rev. 15:4, ASV - with the many uses of "holy" (hosios) for other persons and things - esp. Titus 1:8, ASV, (hosios).)
We realize that Jehovah, as the only Almighty and Most High God, is the ultimate Saviour and the only origin of salvation, and, in that sense, and by comparison, there are no others.
However, it is obvious that other individuals can be, and are, saviours in a subordinate sense, if Jehovah so wills it. That means, then, that Jehovah is the only ultimate saviour (or the only ultimate source of salvation), and, in the cases of Ehud and Othniel, for example, Jehovah was saviour through them.
So when we see statements like: “…. Jesus is the savior (gospel), it says that there is no savior other than Jehovah which ties in with Peter saying in Acts 4:10-12 that there is no savior [under heaven] but Jesus”, we know what is intended:
There have been many saviors or deliverers (yasha – Hebrew, and soter – NT Greek) found in scripture who saved others through appointment by or commandment of God. But there is only one most high source of salvation (or only one savior or deliverer [yasha / soter] in the highest sense of the word) – Jehovah, the Father.
Acts 4:10-12 actually says about Jesus, “whom God raised from the dead”: (12) “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by [or ‘through’] which we may be saved.”
“For of all names in the world given to men, this is the only one by which we can be saved.” – JB & NJB
“There is salvation in no one else! Under all heaven there is no other name for men to call upon to save them.” – LB.
Yes Jesus is our savior and king, but he is our only savior in the sense of being the only one (excluding God in heaven the source of that salvation who sent him for this purpose) who gave us the opportunity for eternal salvation. This is explained in John 3:17: “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” - NRSV. God is the source of salvation, Jesus was the instrument.
(It’s like scripture telling us that Jehovah gave the Israelites the Law and then also saying Moses gave the Israelites the law. They were both ‘the Lawgiver,’ but in different senses: Jehovah was the source, and Moses was the instrument. Jehovah gave the law to Israel through Moses.)
The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology also tells us: “Because God is the initiator [source] of salvation, both he and Christ are called soter, saviour ...” - p. 78, Vol. 2, Zondervan, 1986.
Notice what the very trinitarian NIVSB has to say in its introduction to the book of Judges:
This is well-illustrated at Judges 6:14 where Jehovah commands Gideon to save Israel. But later, the saviour, Gideon, says it is Jehovah who is saving Israel (Judges 6:37).
Those who look for great “mysteries” in every Bible statement and those who look for revelations of a multiple-persons-in-one God could well take these scriptures to “prove” Gideon is Jehovah. But it should be obvious to any objective student that Jehovah saved Israel through Gideon! (See discussion of “through” in the study paper on “Beginning, Wisdom, and Firstborn.”)
With that understanding in mind look at Jude 25. (Unfortunately this verse is one of the thousands which were rendered incorrectly by the King James translators in 1611.) Modern translators correctly render this verse:
(Notice the careful distinction at Jude 25 between “the only God” and “Jesus Christ our Lord” - compare John 17:1, 3.) It might be worthwhile to examine Heb. 5:7 also - “Jesus offered up prayers ... unto Him that was able to save him.”
It is clear that, as Ehud, Othniel, and Gideon were saviors because Jehovah was providing salvation through them, so Jesus, in a much larger sense, is also savior because Jehovah (“the only God”) has provided salvation through him! - Compare 1 Thess. 5:9; 1 Peter 2:2 (modern translations); Rev. 7:10.
It might also be interesting to examine the meaning of Jesus’ personal name. Like the names “Joshua” and “Isaiah,” Jesus’ name literally means “Jehovah is salvation”!
“ First and Last”
Another interesting example of the “title confusion trick” frequently used by anti-Watchtower trinitarians is the use of “First and Last” at Is. 44:6; 48:12; and Rev. 1:17. (Actually you might prefer to call this a “description-confusion trick” since Jehovah calls himself Protos kai ego meta tauta - “First and I [am] hereafter” - Septuagint, Is. 44:6; AND Protos kai ego eimi eis ton aiona - I am the first and I am into the ages" - Septuagint. Is. 48:12. Whereas Jesus calls himself ho protos kai ho eskatos - “The first and the last” - somewhat similar descriptions but much different wording and therefore not titles. (We also find that actual titles, like personal names, are capitalized in English translation. But notice how 'first and last', unlike 'Alpha and Omega,' for example, are not capitaized in most Bible translations.)
Rev. 1:17 - “... And he laid his right hand upon me, saying, Fear not; I am the first and the last, (:18) and the Living one; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.” - ASV.
The trinitarian “proof” goes like this: “since only one can be first (and last), and since Jehovah is ‘first’ (and ‘last’) and Jesus is also ‘first’ (and ‘last’), then they must both be the same one!” Therefore, they say, Jesus must be Jehovah!
The answer is, of course, that there can be many who are “first and last.” We must discover, from context, in what sense they are “first and last.”
For example, in the Biblical understanding of the meaning of the term “first and last” (or “only”), Adam was “the first and last” human created from the dust of the earth. But calling him “the first and the last” would certainly not mean he is Jehovah, and it does not mean he is Jesus (although any devious Bible student could find such “evidence” at 1 Cor. 15:45)!
We could certainly call Jesus “The first and the last” because he was the first and last (only) direct creation by Jehovah himself. The rest of creation from Jehovah came through Jesus (see study on “Beginning, Wisdom, and Firstborn” - BWF).
But, instead of speculating on the many ways Jesus could be considered the “first and the last” (only), we need to examine the use of “first and last” in context to discover in what sense it probably was intended originally!
Examining Is. 44:6, 8, we see that “first and last” refers to Jehovah being the only person who is the Most High God: “I am the first, and I am the last; and besides me there is no God ... I know not any.” - compare Is. 43:10.
Now if we examine Rev. 1:17, 18, we can see in what sense “the first and last” (only) is intended there. Context shows that it is not (as it could have been) in the sense of the only direct creation by the Father, Jehovah, and it is certainly not in the sense of the only true God (John 17:1, 3), but it clearly refers to the resurrection (the dying and then living again) of Jesus!
Notice that the entire context refers to death and living again: Rev. 1:17:
“I am the first and the last, (:18) and the living one; and I was [or ‘became’] dead, and behold I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of death ...” - compare Rev. 2:8 (the only other place Jesus calls himself “the first and the last”).
Jehovah, the Father, uses the expression at Rev. 22:13 - see the study paper on the “Speaker Confusion Trick” (AO) - and makes no reference to dying and living again, apparently intending it as he did at Is. 44:6 - “I am the only God.”
So in what sense is Jesus the first and last resurrected person? Just as he was the first and last (only) of Jehovah’s direct creations (and all other things were created through Jesus), so Jesus was also the first and last (only one) of those resurrected to eternal life who was resurrected directly by the Father (Jehovah) Himself (and all others are resurrected through Jesus who now has “the keys of death”) - see John 6:39, 40; Acts 3:26; Acts 13:30, 33, 38.
* * * * *
Now that the trinitarian “title confusion trick” has been examined, let’s see how well we could answer the following trinitarian charge:
This one and only Judge is God himself: Heb. 12:23. Therefore, when we read that Jesus is Judge over mankind (2 Tim. 4:1), we have absolute, irrefutable proof that Jesus is God! It is not the Father who judges but the Son (“moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son” - Jn 5:22, NIV)!
So how do you go about answering such a challenge by yourself? Well, a good first step would be to look up all the instances of “judge,” “judged,” “judges,” and “judging” found in a good Bible Concordance.
After finding and examining such scriptures as Acts 10:42; 17:31; and Ro. 2:16 you will have an honest understanding. Such scriptures as 1 Cor. 6:2 will give further enlightenment.
Now that the non-exclusive “title confusion trick” has been examined, it would be illuminating to examine the titles that are obviously exclusive for Jehovah alone and see how many different individuals receive those titles throughout the Bible.
If you will examine all the uses of “The Most High,” “The True God,” and “The Almighty,” I believe you will find that they are only clearly applied to Jehovah (and to the Father who, alone, is Jehovah)! They are never clearly applied to anyone else (including the Messiah and the Holy Spirit)!!!
‘Unitized Title’ Vs. ‘Title with Identifiers’ (1 Cor. 8:6)
A different kind of “title confusion” involves the interpretation of a single title with its appositive (or identifiers) as being, instead, a single compound (or multi-worded ‘unitized’) title.
For example, if a gangster named Percival Grabonski had the nickname of “Mailman Mike,” we would consider that as an exclusive single unitized title. We might even say, “There is only one Mailman Mike; he’s unique.” The whole thing (both words: “Mailman” and “Mike”) taken together as a multi-worded, but ‘unitized,’ whole, then, is the title.
However, if we knew a young man named Mike who delivered our mail every morning, we might tell someone, “This town has only one mailman, Mike.” In this case the title is “mailman” alone, and “Mike” is an appositive or identifier added to that title to further identify “mailman.” Since it is not an exact exclusive title, it could even be phrased differently: “Mike is our only mailman;” “only one letter carrier, Mike;” “only one mail deliverer, Mike;” etc. When the writer (or speaker) intends it in this ‘title with appositive’ manner, the phrase may be understood as actually saying: “only one mailman, [and that is] Mike.”
On the other hand, the gangster’s unitized title will not be phrased differently. He wouldn’t be called “Mailman Mike” one time and “Mike the Letter Carrier” or “Mike the Postal Person” the next time. His exclusive, distinguishing unitized title is “Mailman Mike” and that won’t change (even though he may pick up additional, different titles, e.g. “Percy the Purse-snatcher”).
In one case, then (e.g., “mailman, Mike”), we have a single-word title (e.g., “mailman”) followed by a word or words (sometimes even set off by commas in English) which identify that individual. In the other case (e.g., “Mailman Mike”) we have a full title composed of two or more words which must be taken together as a complete unit (“unitized”).
An example of a single title followed by identifiers (appositives) is found at Matt. 23:10, “you have one master, the Christ.” - RSV. It is clear that Jesus is not calling someone “Master-The-Christ” as a unitized title, but, instead, is calling that person their “master” (or “teacher” or “leader” in some translations) and further identifying that person as “the Christ”! In other words the phrase may be understood as actually saying: “one master, and that is the Christ.”
Other trinitarian translations make it very clear what the literal “One is your leader, the Christ” (The Interlinear Bible) at Matt. 23:10 actually means:
“for one is your Leader, that is, Christ.” - NASB.
“for you have only one Leader, and that is Christ.” - CBW.
“you have only one Teacher, and that is Christ.” - Beck.
“your one and only leader is the Messiah.” - GNB and TEV.
“There is only one Leader and He is Christ.” - NLV.
Another significant example (although not a single-word title in this case, the principle is the same) may be seen at Eph. 1:17, “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom” - RSV. Not only does this scripture show that the Father is ”the God of” the heavenly glorified Jesus, but it clearly illustrates the usage by Paul of a title (“the God of our Lord Jesus Christ”) followed by an identifier (“the Father of Glory”).
For another example of the single-word title followed by identifiers as might be found in the Bible let’s examine the uses of “King/king.” Since no capitalization was used by the inspired Bible writers, today’s translators capitalize for their English-speaking readers in the way they think best to bring out the meaning they think was originally intended. So the word “king” in the original language may be translated as either “King” or “king” at the translator’s discretion.
“For Christ will be King until he has defeated all his enemies .... For the rule and authority over all things has been given to Christ by his Father; except, of course, Christ does not rule over the Father himself, who gave him this power to rule.” - 1 Cor. 15:25,27, Living Bible.
“But the Lord [Jehovah] your God was already your King, for he has always been your King.” - 1 Sam. 12:12, Living Bible.
“And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb [Jesus], saying ‘Great and wonderful are thy deeds, O Lord God [Jehovah] the Almighty. Just and true are thy ways, O King of the ages...’” - Rev. 15:3, RSV.
So, although there are many kings, to Christians there is only one ultimate, most high, supreme King, God himself, Jehovah, the Father. Of course there is also only one king directly and immediately over all men (with no intermediary): Jesus. And there have been various kings on earth over God’s people in the past.
Therefore, since there are many who may be called “king” at various levels, if we wanted to refer to one of them, we should most often use an identifier (appositive) with the word “king.” For example:
(1) “We Israelites have only one king, David.”
The writer would clearly be understood as using the title “king” and further identifying that individual with an appositive. We know it cannot be a single unitized title (“King David”) because the context would make it a ridiculous, senseless statement. Obviously the Israelites at that time had only one “King David”! It would be ridiculous to think that anyone might have believed that they had several “King Davids”! The only other possible interpretation here is that “king” is the title alone which is followed by an identifier (appositive) and, therefore, must mean “we have only one [earthly] king, (and that is) David.”
(2) “We Christian ‘Israelites’ have only one king, Christ.”
The reader would know by this identifier (“Christ”) that the “Israelite” writer was referring to the direct and immediate king over all Christians on earth. And, obviously, it should not be considered as a single unitized two-word title (“King Christ”) since the context would make that ludicrous: Of course there is only one “King Christ” - no one has ever suggested that there are two (or more) “King Christs” (or a multiple-person “King Christ”)! Again the meaning has to be: “we have only one immediate, heavenly king, (and that is) Christ.”
(3) “We Israelites have only one King, the Father.”
The reader would know by this identifier (“the Father”) that the Israelite writer was referring to their heavenly ultimate, Most High King. Again, no one would have considered it as a unitized three-word title (‘King the Father’): Everyone knew that “the Father” was a single Person - no one even considered two or more “King the Fathers”! It obviously would, again, be a single title (“King”) followed by an identifier (appositive): “we have only one Most High King, (and that is) the Father.”
Since the Father alone is God (cf. Jn 17:1, 3 NEB), scripture may, and frequently does, say “God, the Father;” “The Father;” or “God” all interchangeably. They are all the one Person. It is exactly the same reason that scripture may, and frequently does, say “Jesus Christ;” “Jesus;” or “Christ” all interchangeably: they are all one single person.
If, however, “Christ” (like “God” in trinitarian interpretation) could be taken in a multiple-person, free-for-all sense (as can be “interpreted” quite easily using trinitarian-type “evidence” and definitions - see TRIN-TYPE study paper), scripture could not properly use the above terms so interchangeably.
In that case every use of “Christ” would need its respective identifier: “Christ David;” “Moses, the Christ;” “Christ Jesus;” “Paul, the Christ;” etc. We should rarely, if ever, see “Christ” used without its identifier unless, perhaps, it was referring to all of the persons together in the “Christhead”!
And so it is with “God;” “Father;” and “God the Father.” If the trinity were really true, we should see hundreds of examples of “God” with its identifiers for each of the members of the “Godhead”! Since there are hundreds of uses of “God the Father” (“God our Father,” etc.), there must be hundreds of uses of “God the Son” and “God the Holy Spirit” (if the trinity were actually true). And “God” used alone, without identifiers, if ever used at all, must always mean all three together (not merely any one or two of them).
But this is not so. There are hundreds of uses of “God, the Father” because the only person who is God is the Father. There are no uses of “God, the Son” in the entire Bible because the Father is the only person who is God! There are no uses of “God, the Holy Spirit” in the entire Bible because the Father is the only person who is God!
Some of the hundreds of uses of “God, the Father” and its equivalents:
Jn 8:41, 42; Ro. 1:7; 15:6; 1 Cor. 1:3; 15:24; 2 Cor. 1:2, 3; 11:31; Gal. 1:3, 4; Eph. 1:2, 3; 4:6; 5:20; 6:23; Phil. 1:2; 2:11; 4:20; Col. 1:2, 3; 3:17; 1 Thess. 1:1, 3; 3:11, 13; 2 Thess. 1:1,2; 2:16; 1 Tim. 1:2; 2 Tim. 1:2; Tit. 1:4; Phm :3; 1 Pet. 1:2, 3; 2 Pet. 1:17; 2 Jn :3; Jude :1; Rev. 1:6 (RSV). Notice how many of these are greetings or blessings wherein the writer wishes to praise those most worthy of praise in his religion. How is it, then, that the Father is so often glorified as God, but we never see this honor for the Son or the Holy Spirit? Does this really make sense if all three are truly and equally God as trinitarians insist?
Okay, finally, here is the point:
1 Cor. 8:5 tells us that indeed there are many gods and many lords (ASV).
However, in verse 6 it tells us there is only one Most High God. “...yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from [ex, literally ‘out of’] whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.” - 1 Cor. 8:6, NIV - Cf. RSV and NASB.
There is no doubt (and never has been), even by trinitarians, that “God the Father” is only one single person. So if we interpret “God the Father” as a unitized title (as many trinitarians feel they must at 1 Cor. 8:6), we end up with an absurd, meaningless truism (like, “Elizabeth, John’s mother, was female” or “he died when he ceased to live”).
Of course there is only one “God-the-Father”! Who could have possibly thought there were two “God-the-Father”s? What a senseless, useless statement this is when we interpret it as a ‘unitized title’!
And exactly in the same way, if we take the last part of this scripture (“Lord-Jesus-Christ”) as a single unitized title, we again have an absurd, senseless statement: “there is but one Lord-Jesus-Christ.” Since there couldn’t possibly be any doubt by anyone that this single person with the singular personal name (whom everyone knew was a single person) was anything but one person, it would have been ridiculous for Paul to make such a statement. (Unless, perhaps, there had been some significant conclusion such as: “in like manner there is only one baptism and one faith”.)
However, if we interpret it in the way that Paul obviously intended it, the two parallel descriptions are single-worded titles (“God” and “Lord”) followed by identifying appositives (“the Father” and “Jesus Christ”). In this way, and only in this way, do we have a sensible and significant statement: “Although there are many gods, we Christians have only one God, (who is) the Father, and, in like manner, although there are many lords, we have only one Lord, (who is) Jesus Christ.” (One’s “lord” is his master or head - see 1 Cor. 11:3. Sarah’s immediate lord or head, for example, was her husband Abraham, but her God was the Father, Jehovah, who, of course, could also be called her “lord” in the ultimate sense.)
Not only would the trinitarian (unitized title) interpretation be a nonsensical statement, but it would be slighting to Jesus (if he were equally God) and terribly slighting to the Holy Spirit (if “he” were equally God). After all, the term “God” is only used here for the Father. The other two (who trinitarians say are “equally God”) are either given a lesser title (“Lord”) or are not even mentioned at all!
And only the understanding that the phrase “one God, the Father” is speaking of a single title (“God”) with an identifying appositive (“Father”) makes sense with the introduction to it presented in 1 Cor. 8:5: “There are many gods.” To follow this with “yet there is to us only one God-the-Father” (unitized) would not be a contrast to that initial statement at all! It certainly would not preclude other gods “to us”! But “only one God, (and that is) the Father” does provide the required contrast to the introductory “there are many gods... but to us....”
It is obvious, then, that the intended meaning by Paul must be that the only god (in the Most High sense: ‘God’ in modern English) for Christians (as for Jews) is the Father alone! This is clearly brought out in the very trinitarian Holy Bible: Easy-to-Read Version, World Bible Translation Center, 1992: “But for us there is only one God. He is our Father.” And the equally trinitarian Holy Bible New Life Version [NLV], Victor Books, 1993, renders it, “But we know there is only one God. He is the Father.”
If we also analyze Eph. 4:4-6 with a critical eye, we find God (as usual) is the Father only (in spite of the fact that Paul is listing nearly everything that a Christian is to hold dear): 4:4 “There is one body [the ‘church’] and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord [Jesus], one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all ….” - NASB.
If Paul is going to list all the most important stuff here, where are “God, the Holy Spirit” and “God, the Son”? Or just “God” which we could at least “interpret” as all of the “persons of the trinity”? Why always “God, the Father” or one person who is “God and Father”? BECAUSE GOD IS THE FATHER ALONE!! In fact, as noted above, the trinitarian NLV actually translates 1 Cor. 8:6 as: “There is only one God. He is the Father.”
Note: Although Watchtower Society (WTS) research and scholarship is usually at least the equal of (and often superior to) that of other sources, I have tried to rely most heavily on other sources in Christendom itself (preferably trinitarian) or my own independent research to provide evidence disproving the trinitarian ‘proof’ being examined in this paper. The reason is, of course, that this paper is meant to provide evidence needed by non-Witnesses, and many of them will not accept anything written by the WTS. They truly believe it is false, even dishonest. Therefore some of the information in this paper, all of which helps disprove specific trinitarian “proofs,” may be in disagreement with current WTS teachings in some specifics (especially when I have presented a number of alternates). Jehovah’s Witnesses should research the most recent WTS literature on the subject or scripture in question before using this information with others. -RDB
* * * * * * * * * *
1. The highly respected (trinitarian, of course) The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology also tells us: “In Jdg. 3:9, 15 ‘saviour’ might be taken as a technical term for the judges. At the time of the judges, Yahweh raised up such ‘saviours’ for Israel who rescued them from their enemies (cf. 12:3). ‘Then the LORD [Jehovah] raised up judges, who saved [esosen] them ....’ (Jdg. 2:16). Similarly Ezra, ... commented on Israel’s rebellion thus: ‘... and according to thy great mercies thou [Jehovah] didst give them saviours who saved them [soteras kai esosas] from the hand of their enemies’ (Neh. 9:27). Nevertheless, Jdg 2:18 stresses that it was Yahweh [Jehovah] who is the ultimate source of the saving:
‘Whenever the LORD [Jehovah] raised up judges for them, the LORD [Jehovah] was with the judge, and he saved them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge...’.” - p. 218, Vol. 3, Zondervan Publ., 1986.
So, again, Jehovah raised up saviors for Israel, but in the highest sense the only savior was Jehovah himself, the ultimate source of all salvation.
2. Notice how the inspired Bible writers identified even relatively unimportant persons in the Scriptures. Yes, just as writers today, the Bible writers often further identified their subjects so they wouldn’t confuse their readers. More than one individual in the Bible actually shared the same singular, personal name, but the Bible does not continually allow them to be confused!
- Lk 6:16 (bis)-examine all 12 names. Why do some have ‘identifiers’ or appositives?
- Acts 1:13 - examine all 11 names. Why do some have identifiers?
- Acts 5:37
- Mk 15:47
- Jn 19:25
- Acts 1:14
- Acts 12:12
- Mt 10:2
- Mt 10:3
- Acts 1:13
- Acts 12:2
Do we ever see in the Bible one name or title which was shared by different persons continually being used with no further identification (or occasional identification of only one of them )? No, only when a person cannot be confused with another of the same name is there no need of further identification. For example, Abel (like Job, Balaam, Cain, Isaac, Moses, etc.) is the only person so named in the Bible, and thus there is no need for identifiers when “Abel” is used. But when confusion could arise, further identification is most often provided with Bible names! - Matt. 23:35 (note Zechariah’s identifier - - why?); James 5:11; Jude 11; Gal. 4:28; Acts 6:11. Certainly the much more important term “God” would not be without identifiers if more than one person really had that title: Jn 1:1; Gal 3:20; 1 Cor 11:3; Acts 10:38; Rev. 1:1; etc. (Likewise, the Bible simply would not allow 7000 uses of “Jehovah” without personal identifiers most of the time if it really referred to more than one person than the Father only!)
3. Ex (or ek) literally means “out of” and, like the title “Father” itself, is used to denote the source or creator of something. (Even today we use this figure of speech: e.g., Edison, the father of the light bulb.) - see BWF 2-4, 20 (#6).
4. From the beginning (4th century A.D.) the trinity doctrine has stated that three persons are equally God. “The Father is one person (only) who is equally God. The Son is one person (only) who is equally God. The Holy Spirit is one person (only) who is equally God. The three persons are the one God.” However, the true, Bible-based doctrine of God is that God is one person only: the Father, Jehovah. But, in any case, all those professing to be Christians believe that God, the Father, is ONE person only!
* * * * * *
I have been considering the context of 1 Cor. 8:6 and think it’s probable that the last half of 1 Cor 8:4 (which introduces the scripture under study) helps set up the proper interpretation of 1 Cor. 8:6 with the common understanding of Judaism (including the new Christian sect of Judaism - see ISRAEL study) during the first century : The one true God is a single person (only). It seems to me that the second half of 1 Cor. 8:4 may be more accurately understood as: “no one (oudeis) [is] God if not one [person]” or “only one person is God.”
I have come to this conclusion because in all the uses of oudeis [masc. form] I have examined (certainly all in Paul’s writings) it always refers to a single person. Whereas other forms (e.g. ouden) are most often used of other things.
Compare Luke 18:19 - “No one (oudeis) [is] good but God alone” - RSV, NASB, NIV, NEB, JB, etc. (Literally in W-H text: “No one [oudeis] good if not one the God” which probably should be rendered: “No one [person is] good if not one - the God” or “only one person is good - God.”
We also have the parallel (or comparison) with the first half of 1 Cor. 8:4 - literally “no thing (ouden) [is] an idol in [the] world” is intended to be compared or paralleled by the second half of 1 Cor. 8:4. So when that most-respected (trinitarian scholars have appraised it as the most literally accurate version available today) trinitarian Bible, the NASB, renders the first half as “there is no such thing [ouden] as an idol in the world,” it should have rendered the last half of the parallel as “no person [oudeis] is God if not one [person].”
However, even if I am wrong about this interpretation of oudeis and 1 Cor. 8:4, we still see that 1 Cor. 8:6, by itself, clearly restates the same well-known understanding by first century Jews and Christians. God is no one but the Father alone!
5. Kurios or “Lord” may have many meanings: “I. KURIOS …, properly an adjective signifying having power (kuros) or authority, is used as a noun, variously translated in the N. T., ‘Lord,’ ‘master,’ ‘Master,’ ‘owner,’ ‘Sir,’ a title of wide significance, occurring in each book of the N. T. save Tit. and the Epp. of John. It is used (a) of an owner, as in Luke 19:33, cp. Matt. 20:8; Acts 16:16; Gal. 4:1... (b) of a master, i.e. one to whom service is due on any ground, Matt. 6:24; 24:50; Eph 6:5; (c) of an Emperor or King, Acts 25:26; Rev. 17:14” - W. E. Vine, p. 688.
“The kyrios [kurios] stands over against slave [in other words, a master of a slave] (Matt. 10:24f.; 18:25, 27; 25:19; Lk 12:36 f., 46; Eph. 6:5, 9; Col. 3:22). Kyrios means owner (Mk 12:9; Lk 19:33; Matt. 15:27; Gal. 4:1), or employer (Lk. 16:3, 5).” - p. 513, Vol. 2, The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Zondervan, 1986.
Jesus is our ‘Lord’ or ‘Master’ [kurios] in several senses of the word, but most clearly as the one who has “bought” us as slaves in a way no one else ever has: “You [Jesus] are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God” - Rev. 5:9, NIV. Jesus is our “Owner” or “Master” since he bought us (as sheep might be purchased by their owner or as slaves were bought by a master) with his very own life blood. No one else is our Lord in that sense. In that sense of “Lord” Jesus is the “one Lord” all true Christians must have as 1 Cor. 8:6 plainly tells us! This did not prevent Christians from calling other persons “Lord” [kurios] also. Even when it also meant the owner of slaves (Ro. 14:4; Col. 3:22; 4:1) or a judge, king, angel, etc. But in that special sense, Jesus alone is our only “Master” or “Lord”!
Acts 2:36 also tells us: “Therfore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ – this Jesus whom you crucified.” – NASB. Because Jesus “purchased men for God” with his own blood, God has made him our Lord or Master (in that sense of the word).
6. This is a common usage in the Bible, a name or title, followed by the identifier “father,” an appositive. E.g., 1 Ki. 2:12; 2 Ki. 14:5; 23:34; 1 Chron 24:19; Dan 5:11; Matt. 4:21; Lk 1:73; Acts 7:14; [Ro. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:3; 2 Cor. 1:2; etc. (lit., “peace from God, Father of us, and of Lord Jesus Christ”)]; James 2:21.
7. Even The Encyclopedia of Religion tells us that in the Holy Scriptures “‘Father’ is not a title for the first person of the Trinity, but a synonym for God ....” - p. 54, Vol. 15, Macmillan Publishing Co., 1987. There should be no honest doubt that such scriptures as 1 Cor. 8:6 clearly teach that God is the Father alone!