Is the Holy Spirit a Person?

Most Christians believe in the Trinity since that’s what their church teaches. It says God is one essence consisting of three co-equal and co-eternal Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. So, the Holy Spirit is deemed a full-fledged Person.The church didn’t always believe this. During the 2nd and 3rd centuries, there was no consensus among writing church fathers, called “apologists,” about the constitution of the Holy Spirit. Most Christians didn’t think it was important. In fact … [Read more...]

Is the Holy Spirit a Person?

Most Christians have believed in the Trinity because that is what their church taught them. The official doctrine of the Trinity is that God is one essence consisting of three co-equal and co-eternal Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. So, the Holy Spirit is deemed to be a full-fledged Person. The church didn’t always believe all of this.In the 2nd and 3rd centuries, there was no consensus among writing church fathers, called “apologists,” about the constitution of the Holy Spi … [Read more...]

Who Is “the True God” in 1 John 5.20?

Later church fathers unanimously cited 1 John 5.20 as a primary text supporting their belief that Jesus Christ is God. It and the preceding verse reads as follows: “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding, in order that we might know Him who is true, and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5.19-20).The chr … [Read more...]

Is Jesus God in 2 Peter 1.1?

The New Testament (NT) has two epistles whose authorship is accredited to the Apostle Peter. Titles of books and letters of the Bible were often penned after they were written and probably by a different hand. The early church unanimously accepted that Peter wrote 1 Peter; but for centuries the church disputed whether he wrote 2 Peter. Most modern, historical-critical, NT scholars have rejected that he did so. Since its salutation attests to Peter’s authorship, and for other reasons, I am i … [Read more...]

Is Jesus God in Hebrews 1.8?

Traditionalist Bible scholars cite Hebrew 1.8-9 as one of their major texts to support their view that Jesus is God. It reads in the NASB, “But of the Son He says, ‘YOUR THRONE, O GOD, IS FOREVER AND EVER, AND THE RIGHTEOUS SCEPTER IS THE SCEPTER OF HIS KINGDOM. YOU HAVE LOVED RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HATED LAWLESSNESS; THEREFORE GOD, YOUR GOD, HAS ANOINTED YOU WITH THE OIL OF GLADNESS ABOVE YOUR COMPANIONS.’” Full capitals the New Testament (NT) in the NASB signifies an Old Testament (OT) quotatio … [Read more...]

Is Jesus God in Titus 2.13?

Some traditionalist New Testament (NT) scholars cite 2 Thessalonians 1.12, Titus 2.13, and 2 Peter 1.1 to support their belief that Jesus is God. All three of these texts have a similar syntax (word order) that makes them somewhat ambiguous. Thus, the dispute between traditionalists and non-traditionalists over these three passages concerns only a phrase and its grammar. Yet many traditionalists who cite Titus 2.13 to support their view that Jesus is God also deny that 2 Thessalonians 1.12 and 2 … [Read more...]

Is Jesus a God-Man in 1 Timothy 2.5?

Some church fathers reckoned Jesus as a “God-man,” and Christians have been doing so ever since. Emil Brunner repeatedly does so in his classic defense of traditional Christology in his book, The Mediator: A Study of the Central Doctrine of the Christian Faith.Those who call Jesus “the God-man” mean that God literally came down to earth and became the man, Jesus Christ, called “the incarnation.” They often cite 1 Timothy 2.5 as their sole means of biblical support. Paul writes therein, “For t … [Read more...]

Is Papias Right, that Mark Got his Gospel Data from Peter?

Early church father Papias--the bishop of Hierapolis who lived at the turn of the first century--has been an important person in trying to establish data about gospel origins. Papias reportedly wrote five books, of which some bare fragments have survived. Later church fathers Irenaeus and Eusebius wrote about a connection between Papias and the Apostle John. Scholars debate whether or not these texts mean Papias knew the Apostle John or that he merely knew an elder named John who knew the … [Read more...]