January 12, 2010

Dr. Brown Debates Kermit Zarley on the Deity of Jesus (Part One)

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Kermit Zarley’s Website

Recommended books on the deity of Jesus:
Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ
Jesus and the God of Israel
Lord Jesus Christ
Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: Theological Objections

97 Comments
  1. Ben KC

    It would be nicer if someone would logically refute the many points and quotes I have provided thus far. Instead of just focusing on my “condescending tone”.

  2. Xavier,

    Dont you think loving someone in Christ (especially with the tone on this fourm) is better than trying to win an argument? And please, dont tell me the tone is justified because its done in the name of “truth”.

  3. Xavier,

    The following meaning of the Hebrew word ‘echad’ is taken from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.

    a, alike, alone, altogether, and, anything, apiece, a certain

    A numeral from ‘achad; properly, united, i.e. One; or (as an ordinal) first — a, alike, alone, altogether, and, any(-thing), apiece, a certain, (dai-)ly, each (one), + eleven, every, few, first, + highway, a man, once, one, only, other, some, together.

    As you see, it comes from the root word ‘achad’ which means ‘to unify’, collect (one’s thoughts): – go one way or other.

    Thus, you see there is complex unity defined by the word echad as is also seen by the scriptures I mentioned.

    Concerning the appearing of the word ‘Holy’ 3 times in Isaiah 6, you are right, it is not 4 or 10 or 100 times as God’s unity is tri-une and not a dual, quartet, etc. Yahweh is praised 3 times because of his triune nature.

    God bless you in Jesus’ Name.

  4. Ben KC

    Just because I disagree with someone doesn’t mean I hate them [which is what your implying]. At various times and places do we see Jesus and his Apostles use a harsher tone to anyone who opposes the truth.

    My observation to Dr. Brown [and those likeminded] regarding “zeal without knowledge” is very pertinent since he himself is a Jew who has forsaken the unchanging, Jewish-Christian confession of faith that is the Shema Ysrael!

    Where does Strong’s define echad as a “complex unity”? Or better yet, when it comes to Deut 6.4 as “One God in 3” or something similar?

    Can you back up your spurious interpretation of Isa 6 with anyone else? I have never heard this used to support a triune God. Instead, this is what I find in some commentaries:

    Isa. 6:3 Holy, holy, holy. The threefold repetition INTENSIFIES THE SUPERLATIVE (cf. Rev. 4:8). Holiness implies ABSOLUTE moral purity and separateness above the creation (see note on Isa. 1:4). ESV Study Bible

  5. Xavier,

    A “harsher tone” is usually used when rebuking someone or it could be used with improper motives which leads to degrading someone.

    I think its obvious Dr Brown is older than most of us so its best we show respect to our elders in the way we respond on this fourm. If someone was offended by our tone (even if we had good motives), we should be sensitive towards others and speak on a level of mutual respect.

    I come from a culture that shows much respect for the elders. We express our respect in our actions and words. This does not mean they are kings and we are slaves. It just means we show honor even to those we dont agree with. Even if I am right and they are wrong, I would not come across condenscending and degrading in my response.

    We can continue to debate/educate respectfully without adding a “harsh” tone. It will be more fruitful than trying to degrade someone.

  6. “Just because I disagree with someone doesn’t mean I hate them [which is what your implying].”

    Or I could be implying that you love them and will strive to change to love them more?

  7. To all,

    It seems most in this discussion agree that the Shema is a critical text defining God and that echad can mean either numerically one or a complex unity. Whenever a word is used that has more than one meaning, its context can shed light on which is the author’s intended meaning. It seems to me the context indicates that echad is being used numerically. The decalogue appears only verses earlier, one of which states, “you shall have no other gods before me” [personal pronoun yud]. So, Yahweh is establishing himself [me not us] as a unipersonal god in contrast with multiple gods, and the same thing occurs in 6.14 with the addition, “any of the gods of the peoples who surround you.” Strict monotheism–belief that the God of Israel is a single personality–is what separated Jews from the polytheistic, Gentile nations surrounding them. As many have stated, “it’s what made a Jew a Jew.”

    Michael, I’m sure you are aware that there is profound irony going on here in this discussion and, of course, you having me on your program to debate this. Some of us in this discussion are Gentile professing Christians who claim that Jews are right–that the God of Israel is unipersonal–but you, a Christian Jew, claim God is three persons. As a former trinitarian, I sympathize with you folks your belief that yall worship one God, in which case yall are not idolators. Nevertheless, I don’t think trinitarianism can ever escape the logical charge of it being the worship of three gods.

  8. Kermit,

    Are you suggesting that echad has “more than one meaning” apart from the numeral 1? Does the Hebrew numbering system start with echad?

    Ben KC,

    The ol’ trini water metaphor is badly misapplied to your doctrine, since, if it were true, you would be a heretic. This example expounds a Modalist [or Oneness] doctrine and not a Trinitarian one. i.e. God manifests [reveals] Himself in 3 forms.

  9. Xavier, as I said before, you’re trying to make us believe that YHWH’s dimensions and our human dimensions are one and the same, which they are absolutely not.

    Even Paul says in Acts 17:26-28

    “He made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the surface of the earth, having determined appointed seasons, and the boundaries of their dwellings, 17:27 that they should seek the Lord, if perhaps they might reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being.”

    What does “One Blood” mean here?? That there are no blood groups??

    And how would you interpret verse 28a ” For in him we live, and move, and have our being” –> how does this represent God’s unity? To me it just shows that there are more dimensions out there that God’s Word relates to – not just our human one.

  10. Xavier,

    It appears that I was wasting my time trying to speak into your life. You still don’t get it, which is the opposite of the verse you quote (1 Time 4:12). Regardless of your erroneous doctrinal stance and your blind spots in terms of history and theology, above all, I pray that you will grow in wisdom and in a teachable spirit.

  11. KC,

    Some church fathers, e.g., Augustine, argued that God is three persons by citing such analogies in creation. But leading trinitarians have conceded for some time that such three-fold analogies don’t prove anything. Many trinitarian folks have cited man consisting of body, soul, and spirit as an indication or proof of the Trinity. But that’s not comparying apples with apples. One of the foremost, irrefutable arguments that God cannot be a trinity of persons is that humans were made in the image of God, and since a human being is a single personality, God must be also.

    Xavier,

    I think we have to concede that Michael is right, that echad can mean a complex unity or a category having multiple parts, e.g., Ex 26.6, 11; 36.13; Eze 37.17, 19, 22. Or see Gen 2.24/Mt 19.6. But it seems to be rare, and I don’t think that’s how it’s used in Duet 6.4 because of the context. Theo. Wordbook of OT (p. 30, although those three editors are trinitarians) says of echad, “It stresses unity while recognizing diversity within that oneness.”

    As I said on the program, I know some Hebrew and Greek, but on such issues I defer to experts. In this case, there is some disagreement among them. But I would note that I think it is disingenuous for Gentiles to tell Jews what their word echad means in this important context. For me, a lot of church fathers were somewhat anti-Semitic and did worse than merely ignore what Jews had to say.

    Or let’s take the NT. The Greek word heis means numerically one. But heis (hen) in Jn 10.30 and 17.21-23 do not mean organically one, as Jews thought Jesus meant and as Athanasius argued about one essence, but functionally one due to context.

  12. So what is then “the arm of God” that we find in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation? I consider this to be Yeshua.

    The arm of God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt – and the arm of God will bring about the final delivery of the children of Israel in the end times.

    Meanwhile the arm of God brings about the delivery of individuals from sin, and sin is the transgression of the Law according to John.

  13. X. I used to struggle with your issues. Then I read of the Baptism of Yeshua by John. All three participants in the Godhead were present, represented, and accounted for–separately and together.

  14. It i ironic that Kermit appealed to man being in God’s image to prove that God is not a trinity of persons since that analogy actually refutes him! If you read Genesis 1:26-27 carefully you will notice that Adam/Man consists of male and female, two separate and distinct personalities, who were both given dominion over creation. We are further told In Genesis 5:1-2 that God named both the male and female Adam/Man. However, all throughout the first chapters of Genesis Eve is depicted as being personally distinct from Adam her husband which perfectly comports with the Trinitarian position concerning God and Christ, i.e. Christ is both personally distinct from God and is also God in nature. In other words, like Eve who was with Adam and who was also Adam Jesus was/is with God and was/is also God!

  15. To finish off what I said in my previous post concerning Kermit’s appeal to man as God’s image-bearer to prove that God is uni-personal, this analogy actually proves the exact opposite! Since Adam is multi-personal this means that per Kermit’s logic God must be multi-personal as well!

    However, I am sure that Kermit would agree that we shouldn’t press this analogy too far since God is profoundly and infinitely more complex different than man. God essentially is not a physical being composed of physical body parts, nor is he both male and female unlike Adam who is a physical being who is both male and female.

    Therefore, I 3ould suggest to Kermit to stop using his example of man to prove his position that God is uni-personal since it actually refutes his entire case and establishes our belief that God is a multi-personal Being.

  16. tj:

    You’ve actually just strengthened my position, Jaco. John’s Gospel is key to any exploration of “the theological implications of Jesus saving work”—no coincidence then that John affirms both His deity and preexistence in verse one of his Gospel. The word “theological,” I’m sure you’re aware, derives from the Greek “theos,” which the preexistent Christ is called in verse 1, and as “theos” He most certainly preexists the incarnation.

    No, your position is weakened. Since John is not as concerned over history itself but more over the theological implications of Jesus’ saving work, one has to start with history to understand the theology. No divinity of Jesus here, sorry.

    The part I referred to as reasoning from the negative was this one,

    …it also does not prove that he is not.

    In fact, anthropomorphically it DOES prove distinction, inequality and temporality (among other things).

    Let’s try applying your own standard— “this expression immediately excludes the possibility of ontological identity of persons involved”—but change the word “excludes” to “includes.” According to your own standard, “this expression immediately [INCLUDES] the possibility of ontological identity of persons involved.” Remember, this is a direct reference to Isaiah 44:6: “This is what the LORD says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.” Hmmmm…

    Why so much indirect and inductive reasoning? Why insisting on ontological identity as if that is the only option??? SCRIPTURE has to explain scripture not some 4th century heresy imported into “Christianity.” Maybe you should start considering the possibility of AGENCY. As the Agent of the Father, the exact reflection of his glory (Heb. 1:3), to whom spirit was given without measure (Joh. 3:34). As exact Actor in Yahweh’s behalf and as the Initiator of the new creation, Jesus CAN be called the Alpha and Omega without being Yahweh himself!

    You come close here to demanding from the Bible a formulaic creed concerning the Trinitarian doctrine.

    No, we don’t. The creeds that are contained in the Bible REFUTES, without any twisting and straining what is sacred, trinitarianism and confirmes Unitarianism. We don’t need a formula. The creeds holy spirit inspired Bible writers to include is enough for us, thank you.

    Since no formulaic creed of either complex or simple unity exists in scripture, we are left to read the Scripture with open eyes and make sense of the picture of divinity which emerges. And the clear picture that emerges is that there’s one God and one God only (see the Shema), and that God is complex in unity.

    We don’t need a creed! We don’t need to cheat maths! We’re not the ones picking “three” when reading “one.” Complexity is refuted by singular pronouns, by corresponding verb forms and by count nouns which cannot be treated as mass nouns. That is exactly what you don’t have, thus weakening your inductive reasoning and confirming even by YOUR own standards what we deductively concluded from uncorrupted Scripture.

    If I had, I think I’d be aware of it, as I teach Classical Lit. ).

    Fallacy alert: appeal to authority…

    Actually, I think you yourself should be “very concerned about” your own notion of the nature of God’s unity, since it is your notion of it that is unscriptural and preventing you from seeing clearly many things that are crystal clear in the Bible. See, it is you who are beginning with the invalid premise—that God MUST be simple and absolute in His unity—and this is impeding your judgment of things so plain as the preexistence of Christ, and leading you to the “invalid,” “untrue,” unbiblical conclusion that Jesus did not preexist. Try reading the Bible without post-Biblical assumptions—just read the Book.

    A heresy that takes over 200 years to develop is EVERYTHING but crystal clear. It is YOU who begin with an invalid premise, and that is that God MUST be compound and complex unity. Something overwhelmingly refuted in Scripture. YOURS is polytheism gone bad. YOURS is a heresy never preached. YOURS is a gospel to be rejected as Paul orders us (Gal. 1: 8, 9) By the way, I don’t need to cite Hindu scripture for anyone to conclude that I use pagan language if I use terms like avatar, mantra, or chi. Make the conneciton…

    The point is that its use in the Shema says nothing about the nature of God’s unity (i.e. as to whether it’s simple or complex)—hence my citing of instances of its application to composite unities, both literal and figurative. The Shema is often appealed to by non-Trintarians, so it is of particular significance to this discussion.

    It is of great significance. The accompanying linguistic associations as well as corresponding translations (LXX, Targums) only confirm singular unity. Exactly what is required.

    “The ruach haqodesh is not a person”?

    Nope

    Really?

    Yep

    Jesus said otherwise and I’ll think I’ll take His word over yours.

    Wrong again…I prefer not twisting Scripture…

    Ben,

    Thus, you see there is complex unity defined by the word echad as is also seen by the scriptures I mentioned.

    Complex unity will have to be QUALIFIED. Simple unity also. Xavier showed you the overwhelming qualification (I’d say 25 000+ to 3 [possibly], verb forms, count nouns and translations excluded.)

    Concerning the appearing of the word ‘Holy’ 3 times in Isaiah 6, you are right, it is not 4 or 10 or 100 times as God’s unity is tri-une and not a dual, quartet, etc. Yahweh is praised 3 times because of his triune nature.

    That’s circular reasoning.

    How do you respond to the analogy of water in three forms; liquid, gas and solid.

    Proof by illustration fallacy.

    Regardless of your erroneous doctrinal stance and your blind spots in terms of history and theology, above all, I pray that you will grow in wisdom and in a teachable spirit.

    Same goes for you, Mr. Brown

  17. Sam Shamoun,

    Adam and ha adam in Gen 1.26-27 are generic, referring to humankind, meaning that both the male human and the female human are made in God’s image. Herman Gunkel in his Genesis commentary (p 112) translates in v. 26, “let us make people” and “let us make humans after our image and after our likeness.” And regarding the “us,” most distinguished scholars now agree that it does not refer to God being a Trinity; rather, God is addressing his heavenly council of angels. And according to what you are saying, God would be binitarian, not trinitarian.

  18. Kermit, besides missing the point you are actually diverting attention away from the topic. I said absolutely nothing about the use of the plural pronouns so this is nothing more than a red herring. You mentioned man being created in God’s image as proof that God is a single person. I demonstrated that your analogy actually backfires against you since Genesis 1:26-27 and 5:1-2 shows that Adam is not a singular person but a community of individuals that initially consisted of two distinct persons, namely male and female. Even your quotation proves this, i.e. “let us make PEOPLE” and “let us make HUMANS after our image and after our likeness.” So Adam/Man IS NOT A SINGULAR PERSON according to the Holy Bible. Thus if your appeal to man being in God’s image is a valid analogy then this proves that God IS NOT a singular person but is actually mult-personal!

    As far as my argument proving that God is binitarian is concerned this is simply a straw man since I clearly stated that man is not identical to God and therefore any analogy between the two will break down. I made it clear that God is profoundly and infinitely different in his mode of existence. If anything it is your analogy which causes you problems since when you say that man being in God’s image proves that God is a single person are you referring to a male person or a female one? If the male are you saying that God has male genitalia since the male was created in God’s image? Or does God have female parts as opposed to male ones? If you say it refers to both then does this mean that God is actually a hermaphrodite?

    You would obviously say that I am missing your point since just because man is in God’s image that doesn’t mean that his mode of existence is identical to God’s. You would probably say that God is not a physical being composed of physical bodyparts. In the same manner I ask you not to take my use of your very own analogy to prove that my beliefs are mistaken when I am simply showing you what happens when we apply your own argument against your beliefs.

    My advice to you is to simply admit that your analogy backfired since it doesn’t prove your case but actually affirms our position. Therefore, you should stop using it from now on.

  19. Ben KC,

    Jesus was worshipped as the Christ, the Son of God. No where is he worshipped as God. If they didn’t why should we?

    And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Mat 14.32-33

  20. Xavier, Jews never worship people, they ONLY bow down to and worship YHWH! I recommend you to read the book of Ester again 🙂 ! Worshipping people IS idolatry!!! Even God’s angels prohibit people from worshipping them – except for “the Angel of YHWH” – Yeshua.

  21. Erica,when god revealed himself to the jewish people at mount sinai what did he proclaim? ” I am g-d that took you out of Mitzrayim”. 1.It says “I” in other words not my arm being a seperate entity. 2. Was this g-d jesus? If he was, then why would you say that jews didnt know him,and if it wasnt jesus but rather the father then why does g-d say I took you out when in fact Jesus did,and why does the next verse state “there are no other gods”?

  22. Zvi, in the Bible – do your research. Yeshua is the Arm of YHWH AND His son – not OR His son. Please note that human dimensions are NOT applicable to Elohim – hence the AND – not the OR! Try to figure out YHWH with your human mind – you won’t get that far.

  23. Erica, for the same token why cant the arm of g-d and g-d himself be the same person,with the same way you understand a son and an arm to be the same thing?

  24. Zvi, I also don’t understand Yeshua to have a mother (except for His physically human presence on earth) – so we see that this is symbolic language here and cannot be transferred 1:1 from our human dimension to the dimension of YHWH.

    On this earth it is impossible for a person not to have a mother – but who were the parents of Adam and Hava? You see – YHWH is not as limited as we are.

    The same goes for “The Arm of YHWH” – not His physical arm is meant, but His very nature that interacts with us, which is Yeshua.

  25. Erika,

    RE: worship in the Bible, I would recommend Greg Deuble’s book, They Never Told me this in Church, following are some excerts:

    In the Old Testament the main Hebrew word for worship is shachah. It occurs about 170 times but the surprising thing is that only about half this number relate to the worship of God as God. This fact is hidden in our English translations. The translators prefer to say “bow down to” or “revere” when shachah refers to homage paid to noble persons, whether angels or men, but say “worship” when God is the object. This is a false distinction the original text does not support. Here are just a few examples:

    Lot “worshipped” the two strangers who looked like normal travellers as they entered Sodom (Gen. 19:1).

    Abraham “worshipped” the Gentile leaders of the land where he lived (Gen. 23:7).

    Jacob “worshipped” his older brother Esau (Gen. 33:3).

    Joseph’s brothers “worshipped” him (Gen. 43:26).

    Ruth “worshipped” Boaz (Ruth 2:10).

    David “worshipped” Jonathan (1 Sam. 20:41).

    David “worshipped” King Saul (1 Sam. 24:8).

    Mephibosheth fell on his face and “worshipped” David (2 Sam. 9:6).

    Abigail “worshipped” David the outlaw (1 Sam. 25:23, 41).

    The whole congregation “worshipped” the king (1 Chron. 9:20).

    In Scripture worship is offered to God and to men…whenever men “worshipped” other men it was a relative worship. In most of the examples above it is clear that the ones worshipped were God’s representatives. Once again we are back to the principle of Jewish agency. The Israelites had no difficulty in offering this proportional or relative worship to the ones who came in God’s Name, with God’s message. It is obvious that the first commandment “You must not bow yourself down [shachah] to them nor serve them” is not a prohibition against a relative worship of those worthy of it. If this was the case then obviously all these OT godly men and women sinned greatly. God even promises a coming day when He will make our enemies “to come and worship at your feet, and to know that I have loved you” (Rev. 3:9). Such worship of the saints at God’s decree is clearly a relative and proportional worship. It is perfectly legitimate to give honour to whom honour is due. This is why many Jews felt no impropriety in “worshipping” Jesus in the Gospels because they recognized him as a prophet of God, or the Messiah sent from God. But it is preposterous to think these good people believed Jesus was Jehovah God just because they worshipped him. When they saw and heard the mighty works of Jesus they glorified God through him (Matt. 9:8; 11:27; 28:18; Luke 7:16; 9:11; 10:22). This fits the whole of the New Testament teaching that it is God the Father who is to receive glory through His Son Jesus (Eph. 1:3, 6, 12; 1 Pet. 1:3; Heb. 13:15, etc.). Christ’s exaltation is the means to a higher end. For through him all worship is ultimately directed to his God and Father. To worship him as the Lord Messiah is thus a divinely pleasing but subordinated or relative worship. It is instructive to read that in the coming Kingdom the Lord Jesus will orchestrate the worship of his brethren in the ultimate praise of his Father. He will “proclaim” the Name of God to his “brothers” and he will “in the midst of the congregation sing Your praise” (Heb. 2:12). There, in that glorious Kingdom, Jesus Christ will continue to be a joyful worshipper of God his Father. There he worships the Father as the LORD God who alone is good and holy (Rev. 15:3-4). Thus, the one God and Father is alone worshipped absolutely. All other divinely appointed worship is homage to persons who are not God Himself. Jesus is among those worthy of such worship for he is worshipped as the one Messiah, God’s supreme Son and agent. pp109-112

  26. Any chance we could get a formal debate between Sam Shamoun and Kermit Zarley? I know Sam debates Muslims so I’m guessing he would be game. Kermit has already stated that he’s ready to debate. What say you fellows?

  27. Xavier,

    I Grant you that the words translated “worship” in both Hebrew and Greek can mean something akin to honor, respect, obeisance, etc. Context will make it clear how we are to understand the “worship” in such cases. Yet in Revelation 4-5 you have the One seated on the throne and the Lamb being clearly receiving the same worship in a religious context. If this is an acceptable form of “worship”, then how can we ever distinguish it from idolatry?

  28. Steve Noel,

    Yes, you are right when you say that “Context will make it clear how we are to understand the ‘worship’ in such cases”. The biblical context of which you speak and which Revelation and every other instance of worship rendered to both the God and Father of our Lord Jesus, is in the most quoted OT verse by the NT writers:

    Psalm 110.1. Where we have: “YHWH [God the Father] says to adoni [human lord]…”

    Clearly distinguishing the how and the Who it is King David [and later Christian believers] should be worshipping. In other words, Jesus is never worshipped [recognized] as YHWH, the LORD God. Instead, time and time again, as YHWH’s annointed one [Messiah], his “one of a kind” [monogenes] Son [Jojn 1.18].

    2 Lords yet to different individuals.

    “Adonai and Adoni are variations of Masoretic pointing to distinguish divine reference from human.”
    Adonai is referred to God but Adoni to human superiors.
    Adoni — ref. to men: my lord, my master [see Ps. 110:1]
    Adonai — ref. to God…Lord (Brown, Driver, Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, under adon [= lord]).

    “The form ADONI (‘my lord’), a royal title (I Sam. 29:8), is to be carefully distinguished from the divine title ADONAI (‘my Lord’) used of Yahweh.” “ADONAI — the special plural form [the divine title] distinguishes it from adonai [with short vowel] = my lords” (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, “Lord,” p. 157).

    “Lord in the OT is used to translate ADONAI when applied to the Divine Being. The [Hebrew] word…has a suffix [with special pointing] presumably for the sake of distinction. Sometimes it is uncertain whether it is a divine or human appellative…The Masoretic Text sometimes decides this by a note distinguishing between the word when ‘holy’ or only ‘excellent,’ sometimes by a variation in the [vowel] pointing — adoni, adonai [short vowel] and adonai [long vowel] (Hastings Dictionary of the Bible, “Lord,” Vol. 3, p. 137).

    “Adonai is probably a vocalization of uncertain late date and origin to distinguish the divine title from the usual adoni, ‘my lord,’ addressed to human beings” (Dictionary of the Bible, John L. McKenzie, p. 516. [the distinction is shown to be part of Scripture as confirmed by the Greek Scripture of the New Testament]

    “Hebrew Adonai exclusively denotes the God of Israel. It is attested about 450 times in the OT…Adoni [is] addressed to human beings (Gen. 44:7, Num. 32:25, II Kings 2:19 [etc.]). We have to assume that the word adonai received its special form to distinguish it from the secular use of adon [i.e., adoni]. The reason why [God is addressed] as adonai, [with long vowel] instead of the normal adon, adoni or adonai [with short vowel] may have been to distinguish Yahweh from other gods and from human lords” (Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, p. 531).

    “The lengthening of the ā on Adonai [the Lord God] may be traced to the concern of the Masoretes to mark the word as sacred by a small external sign” (Theological Dictionary of the OT, “Adon,” p. 63 and Theological Dictionary of the NT, III, 1060ff. n.109).

    “The form ‘to my lord,’ l’adoni, is never used in the OT as a divine reference…the generally accepted fact [is] that the Masoretic pointing distinguishes divine references (adonai) from human references (adoni)” (Wigram, The Englishman’s Hebrew and Chaldee Concordance of the OT, p. 22) (Herbert Bateman, “Psalm 110:1 and the NT,” Bibliothecra Sacra, Oct.-Dec., 1992, p. 438).

    “‘Adoni’ = my lord” (see the New Englishman’s Concordance (Coded with Strong’s), p. 22.

    “Lastly, for the designation of Christ as ‘lord’ (kurios) there is a special point of connection and explanation in the OT, viz. in Psalm 110:1; cp. Matt. 22:43-45; Mark 12:36, 37 with Luke 2:11 and Acts 2:36. Stress accordingly is laid upon the authority and kingship belonging to Christ as expressed by this appelation (Luke 2:11; 23:2; Acts 2:36; Luke 6:46 “why do you call me lord?”; John 13:13, 14, “you call me teacher and lord and you do well”; I Cor 8:4-6, “For us there is one God the Father and one Lord Jesus Christ, cp. Eph. 4:5) (Cremer, Biblico-Theological Lexicon of NT Greek, p. 383).

  29. And I wouldn’t mind setting up something in the near future for the live satellite show that I do with David Wood. If the Lord wills, perhaps we can get Kermit to call in and we can have a debate on this topic. Let us see what the risen Lord God has in store.

  30. Sam,

    I’ve listened to some of your debates. I became aware of them through James White. Kermit responded to an email I sent him last night and unfortunately he says he’s not interested in a debate right now. His hands are full. Maybe in the future?

  31. Xavier,

    You dodged Revelation 4-5 friend. Here’s how chapter 5 concludes:

    “Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.”

    Here you have “every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them” worshiping the One who is seated on the throne and the Lamb with the same worship. The context very clearly is religious worship.

    Also note that if Jesus was created then he would be part of the those (every creature) worshiping here. In counterpoint he is recognized here as being worshiped with the Father by “every creature”.

  32. Steve Noel,

    Rev 4-5 does not prove that God is a triune Being, it only proves that there are 2 individual beings in the vision: God the Father [“Him Who sits on the throne”] and His one-of-a-kind Son [“the Lamb”].

    But granted, if this vision is somehow revealing this mysterious triune God, where is your third person, the Holy Spirit? Why aren’t we privy of this foundational trinitarian truth in the final scene of the whole Revelation? Where is “the throne of the Holy Spirit”? Why isn’t “he” included in these last visions of the New Heavens and Earth?

    Behold, the dwelling place of God [one person] is with man. He [singular pronoun] will dwell with them, and they will be his [singular pronoun] people, and God himself [singular pronoun] will be with them as their God. Rev 21.3

    And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God [one person] gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb [one person]. Rev 21.23

    No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God [one person] and of the Lamb [one person] will be in it, and his [God, one person] servants will worship him [singular pronoun]. They will see his [singular pronoun] face, and his [singular pronoun] name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God [one person] will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. Rev 22.3-5

    We note that the One sitting upon the throne is “God” and that “the Lamb” is separate and distinct from the One is identified as “God” and “Him who sits on the throne.” Therefore, “the Lamb” cannot be God. If the God who sits on the throne is the three Persons of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), and the Lamb is sitting upon an additional throne, then the Lamb has to be sitting upon two thrones. Why is the Father not also sitting upon two thrones? And why is there no mention at all of a throne for the Holy Spirit?

    Similarly, at Rev. 21:22 the apostle John reports:

    But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.

    If “the Lamb” is “the Lord God Almighty,” why are they separated by the conjunction “and” as though they are separate entities? Would it have made any sense if John had said “the Lord God Almighty and the Father”? Of course not! But it does make sense to say “the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb” because “the Lamb” is not “the Lord God Almighty” as is the Father.

    The Revelation of John frequently shows that God and the Lamb and the Holy Spirit are not the same:

    Rev. 5:13: “Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!” (Note that the Holy Spirit is not included in this blessing by every creature.)

    Rev. 7:10: “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Note that the great multitude ascribe salvation to God and the Lamb, but not to the Holy Spirit.)

    Rev 11:15: “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ.” (Note that the Holy Spirit is missing from the message of the seventh and last trumpet.)

    Rev. 12:10: “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come.” (Note that the Holy Spirit is not mentioned.)

    Rev. 14:1: “Behold, a Lamb . . ., and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads.” (Note that the name of the Holy Spirit is not written on their foreheads.)

    Rev. 14:4: “These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb.” (Note that they are not firstfruits to the Holy Spirit.)

    Rev 14:12: “The saints . . . who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” (Note that the Holy Spirit is missing.)

    Rev. 19:6-7: “The Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us . . . give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come.” (The Holy Spirit is not mentioned.)

    Rev. 20:4: “I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, . . . And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. (Why do they not also reign with the Father and with the Holy Spirit if the Father, Christ and the Holy Spirit are together in the Godhead?)

    Rev. 20:6: “They shall be priests of God and of Christ.” (Why are they not also priests of the Holy Spirit?)

    Jesus is also said to sit upon God’s throne, but that does not make him God. If it does, then we must conclude that David and Solomon also were members of the Godhead:

    1 Chron. 29:23: “Then Solomon sat on the throne of YHWH [LORD God] as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.”

    Jesus sits upon God’s throne, not because he is God, but because his God and Father has granted him that wonderful honour, just as Jesus grants his disciples the honour of sitting upon his own throne:

    Rev. 3:21: “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

    Believers will be “kings and priests” while Christ is “King of kings” and “High Priest over the house of God.” (Rev. 1:6; 17:14; Heb. 10:21) The following texts also show that the Church will rule with Christ in his future kingdom:

    Rev. 5:10: “And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”

    Rev. 20:4: “And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”

    In conclusion, we note that in Rev. 22:1-5, the “servants,” “face,” and “name” of only one Person are mentioned. That one Person is obviously “the Lord God” who sits upon “the throne of God.” (Verse 5)

  33. Hello,

    Michael’s last words: “Oh. He didn’t pre-exist??” so perfectly show that he hasn’t even read Kermit’s book beforehand… which is simply not the fair way… And besides Michael: If the truth is on your side, why can’t you just stop again and again interrupting your opponent right in the middle of his arguement?

    That’s all I wanted to say… Thanks 🙂

  34. Zarley is not too god at fast talking radio debate, but I Brown could have bit more polite and not cut off his opponent. This debate is totally getting lost in details, and missing a mainstream issue: namely what did the Apostles believe about Jesus identity? I would suggest this for those who want to study this issue: in stead of getting lost in verses here and there – read the whole NT in one long flow with two markers: underline every scripture where Jesus identified as separate from God and one marker where Jesus is identified as God. Also take note of all of the old testament scriptures that are referred to as prophecies about Jesus. Then you will have a good overview to start with.

  35. Dear Autofire,

    You asked the question “…what did the Apostles believe about Jesus identity?”

    Excellent question,

    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.

    Titus 2:13
    “Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus”

    John 20:28
    “Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!””

    “what did the Apostles believe about Jesus identity?”

    According to those 3 passages I just posted; Christ/Messiah, Lord, God, great God and Savior.

  36. Dear Autofire,

    You also asked “Also take note of all of the old testament scriptures that are referred to as prophecies about Jesus.”

    Great suggestion, let’s take a look at just two prophecies concerning the Messiah, in the tanakh.

    Isaiah 9:5 (V. 6 in Christian-English translations)

    “‘For a child has been born to us a son has been given to us and the government shall be on his shoulder and his name is called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Father Forever, Prince of Peace.”

    Interesting, “el gibor” – mighty God, go over to Isaiah 10:21 and you see Yahweh being called “el gibor”.

    Psalm 45:6-7

    “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness, therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”

    Blessing,

    Eric.

  37. Philippians 2 says Christ was in the form of God, and was equal with God — also, John 1:1+ echoes this.

  38. I find the irony amazing as you tell another they are a polytheist, an idolater. Speaking to someone equals prayer? No, not necessarily or every time I speak to a boss higher than me—am I praying to them? You are equivocating with the word “Lord” when it just means “master.” One moment you’re equating it with “God” and the next you want it to mean “ruler.” If your boss, has a boss–you have two bosses. If the Lord God(YHWH) made another “Lord”–He’s made another master over you to rule. This is what Jesus repeated and God authorized as giving Jesus all authority and power upon the resurrection. This is no different than if you were working at a basic job and someone gets elevated from the same rank as you to be higher than you(yet under that boss). This is replete by God, for he highly exalted Jesus for what he did. We are to highly exalted him also, but that doesn’t make him God. These constant equivocations make my head spin. You really need to sit down and WRITE OUT your own definitions of “God” each time you make a claim because the trinity does not work when you’re forced to define your terms. It’s hiding in ambiguity.

    I don’t believe Kermit answered you very well, that I understand. But do you believe YHWH *literally* has feet? That’s what you’re implying by the pressing of Zech 14… but that doesn’t work, you know YHWH doesn’t have literal feet–these are all anthropomorphisms. If you read in the prophecy in Psalm 110:1 and it’s re-iterated in 1 Cor 15:20-28, it’s the Father who is going to put all things under His(Jesus’) feet. So it’s Jesus enacting the power/authority of the Father. This in and of itself is demonstrative all through the NT as Jesus was the one *physically* appeared to be doing the miracles–but the person who was actually giving the power itself was the Father. You seem to reject this clear representative example as Jesus said “I do nothing of myself… the Father in me does the work”(all through John’s Gospel).

    You seem to be inconsistent on your study of Rev 5 also and the term “proskyneo.” No evidence can be substantied to show Jesus is being worshipped in the sense God literally is… Rev 5 is a true account from the shadow of 1 Chronicles 29 in which the people of Israel fell down and WORSHIPED YHWH and the King (David). Then Solomon sat on YHWH’s throne. This is quite a clear shadow of the future event.

    You’re also constantly changing terms to substantiate your arguments(which reeks of fallacy)—honor is NOT the same as worship. God sent angels all the time to people and the messenger is to be honored, but is not to be worshiped in the sense God is… If I sent you a message by my son, if you dishonor my son–you’re dishonoring me. This is quite a simple concept even if you’ve never seen me face to face. It does not equal worship or lack thereof.

    You also need to read ALL of Gen 18-19 much more closely as the angels who appear as men clearly say YHWH sent THEM(Gen 19:12-13). They were all angels given the name of YHWH in a representational manner just like the angel who led the Israelites in Exodus 23:21. No one ever thought YHWH was more than one literally. This is sheer anachronistic reading BACK into the text the ideal that the angel of YHWH IS YHWH(Jesus). That’s crazy! Especially when it logically creates 2 YHWHs, and you’re telling another they’re a polytheist? Michael if there were 2 persons who were literally identified as MICHAEL BROWN–you have 2 Michael Brown’s, not one–and you KNOW this. You’re equivocating, it’s a fallacy and you’re deceiving others by your word games.

    You also need to take a good close look at Judges 13 in which the angel of YHWH visits the mother and father of Samson. The angel makes it quite clear that he is NOT YHWH because he wants nothing to do with sacrifices and points them towards YHWH.

    I know this forum is a muddled mess, but you need to do more research. I’ve read your theological objections book on the trinity and it’s quite in error. You seem to be teaching that the Father is a triune being, which most trinitarians would even reject as illogical because the Father is not triune according to the doctrine. You want to call YHWH a He(and you would be right) but the doctrine of the trinity defines YHWH as a WHAT(it) otherwise you’re left with 3 HE’s = 1 He. That’s 3=1. No way you as such a wise man should be accepting this nonsense, much less purporting it.

    You also in your book fully admit that “echad” is ONE, but then when you claim it’s applied to a noun(that may hold the picture of a compound) somehow “one” is no longer “one.” This is grammatical fraud, “one” is still “one.” If you have one month, you only have ONE month, not two, not a plurality of months. ONE. The “month” is what holds the ideal of a plurality since it has 30 days, 4 weeks etc… nothing to do with “one.” This is a clear grammatical fallacy and for someone who’s done so much research you need to learn basic English grammar again—this is a grieving deception and I don’t know how your book even got by editors without this being snubbed.

    I hope you will read this and give it serious consideration. I’m not here just to give you a debate, my tone is calm(though constantly surprised) and you’re leading millions astray by teaching a 3 in 1 God with bad arguments. You have made an unnecessary stumbling block unto Jews, Muslims and even Christians from knowing the true God–the Father of our Lord Jesus. Jesus believed in ONE God, He was not an idolater. I hope that sinks in.

    -Sean

  39. I have been looking over the various shows which feature discussions on the doctrine of the Trinity. This is an interesting one.

    Dr. Brown,

    I think you should devote a book to the subject. Your presentation on the Trinity in the “Jewish Objections” series, in the volume in which you discuss the concept of the Memra, is excellent. As a matter of fact, it helped me through a spiritual crisis. I have yet to find a better articulated exposition.

  40. Sean,

    Are you saying that three (such as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit for example) can not be one in any way, shape, form, or manner of speaking?

    If so, isn’t that a bit legalistic?

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