Who is Jesus: the Father or the Son?

The Son of God The Beloved Son
At the Right Hand Stephen's vision
High Priest Ancient of Days
Not Alone The Lamb and His reading list
The Father AND the Son Our Home
Know and See What did the Apostles preach?
My Companion Covenant with David
My Father and I Sweat-drops of Blood
An Advocate Intercessor
Sender-Sent I'm my Own Father
'Oneness' Revised Psalms Proceeded Forth
I commit My spirit I-Thou
I go to My Father Confession
I will declare Your name Call no Man Father
Not Mine Before my Father
Anointed One No one Knows
Servant Bruised
Abraham and Isaac Let Us Make Man
Book of the Law
Return to Answering 'Oneness' Pentecostalism...

The Son of God

Jesus identified Himself as the Son of God:

"Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, 'Do you believe in the Son of God?' He answered and said, 'Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?' And Jesus said to him, 'You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.'" (John 9:35-37);
"...do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?" (John 10:36);
"He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, 'I am the Son of God.'" (Matthew 27:43).
"When Jesus heard that, He said, 'This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.'" (John 11:4)

Likewise, the apostles confessed Jesus Christ as "the Son of God":

"...but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name." (John 20:31);
"Then Philip said, 'If you believe with all your heart, you may.'  And he answered and said, 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.'" (Acts 8:37);
"Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God." (Acts 9:20).

This identification of the Messiah is abundant in the Bible, found in both testaments:

The Firstborn

By contrast, the identification of Jesus as 'the Father' is absent. Why not accept the Bible's identification of Jesus as the Son? Why 'improve' upon God's word? We should come to the Bible as learners, not teachers. The Father knows best: "While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!'" (Matthew 17:5).

The Beloved Son

The Bible reports a relationship of love between Father and Son. The Father loves the Son:

"The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand." (John 3:35);
"For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel." (John 5:20);
"As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.  If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love." (John 15:9-10);
"For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'" (2 Peter 1:17);

The Son loves the Father right back:

"But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do.  Arise, let us go from here." (John 14:31).

Are we witnessing a love-fest between 'flesh' and 'Spirit'?  Not very likely -- this fellowship of love goes back before the foundation of the world!:

"Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world." (John 17:24).

In the history of the world, has one 'title', 'office', or 'role', ever once loved another 'title', 'office', or 'role'?

At the Right Hand

This Old Testament Messianic promise is the Grand-daddy of the many Bible references to Jesus Christ's station at the right hand of God the Father: "The LORD said to my Lord, 'Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.'" (Psalm 110:1).

This very popular prophecy did not go unnoticed, "The New Testament quotes Psalm 110 more than any other single text in the Old Testament, fourteen times. In each instance, it applies the Psalm to Christ." (Beginning at Moses, Michael P. V. Barrett, Kindle location 5423). The evangelists preached this prophecy as fulfilled:

"So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God." (Mark 16:19).
"Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: 'The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool."'" (Acts 2:33-35).

This reality was a popular theme of apostolic preaching:

"Who is he who condemns?  It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us." (Romans 8:34).
"...which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come." (Ephesians 1:20-21).
"If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God." (Colossians 3:1).
"...who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high..." (Hebrews 1:3).
"But to which of the angels has He ever said: 'Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool'?" (Hebrews 1:13).
"Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man." (Hebrews 8:1-2).
"But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool." (Hebrews 10:12-13).
"...looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2).
"...through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him." (1 Peter 3:21-22).

This session at the right hand intends to communicate the enthronement of the Messiah and the inauguration of His rule.

If the Bible really intends to communicate, as the 'Oneness' Pentecostals claim, that Jesus Christ is the Father, then isn't the oddest imaginable way to communicate this information to situate Jesus Christ at the right hand of the Father?  How, after all, can one be at one's own right hand?

Stephen's Vision

The martyr Stephen gazed up into heaven and saw Jesus, the Messiah, just where He had been prophesied to be:

"But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand ['ek dexion'] of God, and said, 'Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!'" (Acts 7:55-56).

Some 'Oneness' Pentecostals assure us Stephen cannot have seen anything, but merely felt moved to deliver himself of a vacuous platitude...that Jesus is God and He has a mighty right hand! But the Bible does say that Stephen saw something.  He "gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand ['ek dexion'] of God"!

There are two ways for 'Oneness' Pentecostals to go. One is 'Plan B:' to revert to the traditional Unitarian paradigm of a 'Son' who is mere man, of whom the 'Father,' who alone is God, was fond. 'Plan B' will be discussed shortly and found wanting. The other approach pushes 'interpretation' into strange new territory, amounting to flat denial that Stephen did, or could, see anything at all. It is clear on its face that Stephen's vision entails a distinction, and a relation, between Father and Son:







Why not study Stephen's vision, unpacking its meaning? Why waste valuable time arguing about whether such a vision is even Biblically possible, when manifestly it is? The vision is possible; what is its content? So now we're back to Square One: if the Holy Spirit had wished to express to Stephen that Jesus Christ is the Father, why show him instead Jesus Christ standing at the right hand of God the Father?



High Priest

We learn in the Bible that Jesus did not appoint Himself to the office of High Priest, but was appointed by His Father: "And no man takes this honor [the high priesthood] to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was. So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.'" (Hebrews 5:4-5). If the author of Hebrews intended to communicate that Jesus did appoint Himself to this office, it is less than obvious why he would explicitly state that He did not.

Could it be the case that Jesus' 'Spirit' appointed His 'flesh' to this office? Not very likely, since the office of high priest is not filled by Jesus' humanity only; the God-man, Jesus Christ, fills this position: "Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house.  For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. And Moses indeed was faithful in His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, but Christ as a Son over His own house..." (Hebrews 3:1-6).

The author uses Christ's role as Creator to prove His greater authority over the faithful Moses: "Not so with My servant Moses; He is faithful in all My house." (Numbers 12:7). But Jesus Christ, as Logos, built the house -- so there. But if Jesus' high priesthood were an office limited to His humanity, this proof of His superiority would be null and void. So it's as God-man, both human and divine, that Jesus serves His high priestly office. And consequently, it's as God-man, both human and divine, that He was appointed by Him "who said to Him: 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.'"

Ancient of Days

Daniel was granted a vision like Stephen's dying vision, seeing the Messiah, the Son of Man, approach the Ancient of Days in visions in the night:



  • “I was watching in the night visions,
    And behold, One like the Son of Man,
    Coming with the clouds of heaven!
    He came to the Ancient of Days,
    And they brought Him near before Him.
    Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
    That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
    His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
    Which shall not pass away,
    And His kingdom the one
    Which shall not be destroyed.”
  • (Daniel 7:13-14).



It was in recollection of this vision that Jesus identified Himself to His followers as "the Son of Man". How the "Son of man" might be "brought...near" the "Ancient of Days" -- God the Father -- if the Son is God the Father, in a different 'office', 'role', or 'manifestation', is unclear.


Daniel's Vision I the Son of Man
Common Sense Rabbi Akiba
The Other Beloved Son
Psalm 80 Psalm 8



It was study of Daniel's visions which led the second century Rabbi Akiba to count 'two thrones in heaven.' Daniel 7:9 describes "thrones" (plural) being put in place: “I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated...” (Daniel 7:9). Why "thrones" instead of 'throne,' wondered the Rabbis?:

..."'Till thrones were placed and one that was ancient did sit.'"

"Why were these necessary? To teach R. Johanan's dictum; viz.: The Holy One, blessed be He, does nothing without consulting His Heavenly Court, for it is written, The matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the sentence by the word of the Holy Ones.  Now, that is satisfactory for all [the other verses], but how explain Till thrones were placed? — One [throne] was for Himself and one for David [i.e., the Messiah].  Even as it has been taught: One was for Himself and one for David: this is R. Akiba's view. R. Jose protested to him: Akiba, how long will thou profane the Shechinah?" (Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 38b).

But Rabbi Akiba's strategy, of counting thrones, is not the best way of understanding heaven, and his rival Rabbis' strategy of harking back to Zeus and Hera for a 'heavenly council' is no improvement. Still, the text says "thrones," plural. What to make of this?:







Not Alone

Jesus told His hearers that He was not alone: "And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me." (John 8:16).

"Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me." (John 16:32).

It's less than obvious why He would have said that He was not alone, solitary, 'monos', had He wished to communicate that He was alone: that Father and Son were one person.

The Lamb and His reading list

Who has not heard the 'Oneness' Pentecostal battle-cry, 'There is one throne in heaven and Jesus is sitting on it!':

"Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne." (Revelation 4:2).

But don't let them slam the book shut after the "one sat on the throne" of 4:2. You won't believe whose deity they are about to deny! Keep reading. Who should amble by and approach the throne, but a Lamb?: "And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne." (Revelation 5:6-7). Jesus Chris is the Lamb that was slain: "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, 'Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'" (John 1:29). This Lamb was slain, yet lives: "...These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive." (Revelation 2:8).

At this point let us ask our 'Oneness' friends whether they think the Lamb that was slain is God incarnate. There is only one Jesus, this very Lamb, and that one Jesus is both fully man and fully God. He was slain, yet lives. Because the 'Oneness' Pentecostals claim to accept the traditional Christian belief that Jesus Christ is God, some may be surprised when our friends deny that the Lamb is God, explaining he is mere 'flesh.'


Ghent Altarpiece, Van Eyck


If the Holy Spirit had wished to communicate to John that Jesus is the Father, why would He instead show him, in vision, Jesus, the Lamb of God, approaching God the Father on His throne to take a book?

The Father AND the Son

Paul begins his letters with a greeting formula which would be eccentric if Paul had been a 'Oneness' Pentecostal: "To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 1:7).

"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 1:3).
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Corinthians 1:2).
"Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." (Galatians 1:3-5).
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (Ephesians 1:2).
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:2).
"To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (Colossians 1:2).
"Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thessalonians 1:1).
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Thessalonians 1:2).
"To Timothy, a true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord." (1 Timothy 1:2).
"To Timothy, a beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord." (2 Timothy 1:2).
"To Titus, a true son in our common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior." (Titus 1:4).
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (Philemon 1:3).

If you didn't know better, you'd almost suspect Paul of using macros! If Paul meant to communicate the 'Oneness' Pentecostal insight that Jesus Christ is the Father, he certainly had the oddest imaginable way of going about it.

John does the same thing: "...that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ." (1 John 1:3).

"Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love." (2 John 1:3).

'Oneness' Pentecostals eagerly attack these passages with red pencil, changing all the 'and's' to 'even's'. But can this be done?  Like any other language, Greek obeys empirically discoverable rules; under certain conditions, 'kai' may be translated 'even'.  Granville Sharp went through the New Testament tabulating 'and's' and 'even's', arriving at this conclusion:

"When the copulative 'kai' connects two nouns of the same case, [viz. nouns (either substantive or adjective, or participles) of personal description, respecting office, dignity, affinity, or connexion, and attributes, properties, or qualities, good or ill], if the article 'ho', or any of its cases, precedes the first of the said nouns or participles, and is not repeated before the second noun or participle, the latter always relates to the same person that is expressed or described by the first noun or participle..." (Quoted in Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, Daniel B. Wallace, The Article, B.2, p. 271).

This is why mainstream Christians consider Titus 2:13 as a confession of the Deity of Jesus Christ.  'Oneness' grammarians hope to take the sting out of those lethal 'Father and Son's' by amalgamating them with the authorized version's quirky 'God and the Father's'. Though they look the same in the KJV's English, they don't in Greek.  The KJV's 'God and the Father's', according to Granville Sharp's rule, intend to identify, not distinguish between 'God' and 'the Father':

"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father ['to theo kai patri' -- 'theo' has the article, 'patri' does not] in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ..." (Ephesians 5:20 KJV).

"We give thanks to God and the Father ['to theo kai patri' -- 'theo' has the article, 'patri' does not] of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you..." (Colossians 1:3).

"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father ['to theo kai patri' -- 'theo' has the article, 'patri' does not] by him." (Colossians 3:17).

"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father ['to theo kai patri' -- 'theo' has the article, 'patri' does not] is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." (James 1:27).

Can the same be said of any of the 'Father and Son' 'kai's'?  No, they're 'and's', not 'even's.' In some cases even more can be said: "Sharp's fifth and sixth rules define constructions in which two or more personal nouns linked by 'kai' must denote distinct persons...When the first noun lacks the article, each noun must denote a distinct person (rule #5) - e.g., Rom. 1:7 and Gal. 1:1..." (E. Calvin Beisner, "Jesus Only" Churches, P. 46). Sharp's rule is complex and hedged about with restrictions, and as the new religious movements are quick to point out, its only basis is induction from these very same New Testament verses. Since they dispute the interpretation of these verses, they have little incentive to adopt this rule of grammar; nevertheless, grammar is not on their side.

Our Home

"Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.'" (John 14:23).

To 'Oneness' Pentecostals, use of plural personal pronouns of God is diagnostic of paganism. Does Jesus rate an exemption?

Know and See

"As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep." (John 10:13).
"All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father.  Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him." (Matthew 11:27).
"All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is but the Father, and who the Father is but the Son, and he to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.'" (Luke 10:22).
"Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father." (John 6:46).
"He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony." (John 3:31-32).
"I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father." (John 8:38).
"O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me." (John 17:25).
"Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, 'I do not know Him,' I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word.'" (John 8:55).

Knowing and seeing are reciprocal relations. This mutual contemplation requires two terms.  If Jesus had meant to say, 'I am the Father', why say instead that He had seen the Father?

Apostles' Doctrine

'Oneness' Pentecostals claim to preach the doctrine of the apostles. This is perplexing, because the apostles never went around saying that Jesus Christ is the Father, but rather the Son.  The earliest sermons recorded in Acts show the same triune understanding as later New Testament writings:

"This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear." (Acts 2:32-33);
"So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: 'Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: "Why did the nations rage, and the people plot vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the LORD and against His Christ."  For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done." (Acts 4:24-28).

The apostles in their preaching of the gospel never so much as hint that they believe Jesus to be 'the Father', but always rather 'the Son'.  Why not follow their lead?

My Companion

"'Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, against the Man who is My Companion,' says the LORD of hosts. 'Strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered; then I will turn My hand against the little ones.'" (Zechariah 13:7, applied to Jesus in Matthew 26:31 and Mark 14:27). How is companionship possible for one person?

Covenant with David

"My covenant I will not break, Nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips. Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David: His seed shall endure forever, And his throne as the sun before Me; It shall be established forever like the moon, Even like the faithful witness in the sky.' Selah" (Psalm 89:34-37). There is an everlasting covenant between God the Father and His Messiah, the anointed king.

Paul applied Isaiah's promise of the "sure mercies of David" to Jesus Christ: "And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: 'I will give you the sure mercies of David.'" (Acts 13:34), quoting Isaiah 55:3: "Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you - the sure mercies of David. Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people, a leader and commander for the people." (Isaiah 55:3-4). Jesus is the new David: "David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever." (Ezekiel 37:24-25, 34:23-24).

So Jesus Christ, the Messiah, is heir to the everlasting covenant with David: "My mercy I will keep for him forever, and My covenant shall stand firm with him." (Psalm 89:28). By definition, the parties to a covenant are 'persons,' legally competent to enter into a contract. Given the covenant to which scripture testifies between God the Father and His Messiah, Father and Son cannot be the same person.

Likewise, Jesus is named as heir to the Abrahamic Covenant: "Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, 'And to seeds,' as of many, but as of one, 'And to your Seed,' who is Christ...What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made..." (Galatians 3:16-19).

My Father and I

"But Jesus answered them, 'My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.'" (John 5:17)


Thrice Holy Radio!


Sweat-drops of Blood

Jesus prayed in agony at the Garden of Gethsemane:

"And He was withdrawn from them about a stone's throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, 'Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.' Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly.  Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground." (Luke 22:42-44).
"He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, 'O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.'" (Matthew 26:39).
"He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him.  And He said, 'Abba, Father, all things are possible for You.  Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.'" (Mark 14:35-36).

It's less than obvious that this prayer was just for show, to teach us to pray, especially given the fact that the disciples were asleep.  Nor is it obvious how one 'title', 'office', or 'manifestation', could or would wish to pray to another 'title', 'office', or 'manifestation'.  And all three accounts make it clear it was a party named 'Jesus' who cried out to His Father in agony: "Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, 'Sit here while I go and pray over there.'" (Matthew 26:36) - recall that, in 'Oneness'-speak, 'Jesus' is supposed to be the name...of the very "Father" to whom Jesus is crying out in agony!

Agony in the Garden

Advocate

The Bible teaches Jesus is our "Advocate" with the Father: "My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." (1 John 2:1). It's less than obvious how Jesus can be "an Advocate with the Father", if He is the Father.

"Advocate" is a word used in a court of law: "It was used in a court of justice to denote a legal assistant, counsel for the defense, an advocate; then, generally, one who pleads another's cause, an intercessor, advocate, as in 1 John 2:1, of the Lord Jesus.  In the widest sense, it signifies a 'succorer, comforter.'" (Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary). The same word is used of the Holy Spirit, who is another Comforter (John 14:16).

Jesus' 'High Priestly Prayer' offers a wonderfully instructive lesson in the deep things of God:

"Even in the darkness of the cross itself, the Son keeps up an intimate running dialogue with his Father. . .All this inner-Trinitarian conversation is intentionally held in public, for our instruction. What must have passed in private between Father and Son in the unity of the Holy Spirit is more than we can safely guess. But what they said to and about one another for us to overhear is not only a solid foundation for the doctrine of the Trinity, but it is also a marvelous invitation to us to be included in that conversation." (Fred Sanders, The Deep Things of God p. 80).

Intercessor

Jesus always lives to make intercession for us: "But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.  Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." (Hebrews 7:24-25). It's far from obvious with Whom Jesus is making intercession, if He is both Father and Son.

Job longed for a daysman, a mediator: "For He is not a man, as I am, That I may answer Him, And that we should go to court together.  Nor is there any mediator between us, Who may lay his hand on us both.'" (Job 9:32-33).

Jesus Christ is that intercessor: "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.  Who is he who condemns?  It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us." (Romans 8:32-34).

"...And He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." (Isaiah 53:12).

Sender-Sent

The Bible teaches that the Father sent the Son into the world: "And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world." (1 John 4:14).

If the Father and the Son were the same person, it is less than obvious why One would be said to have sent the Other: "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." (John 3:17).

"...He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him." (John 5:23).
"Then Jesus cried out, as He taught in the temple, saying, 'You both know Me, and you know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.  But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me.'" (John 7:28-29).
"...do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?" (John 10:36).
"For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me." (John 17:8).
"As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world." (John 17:18).
"But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law..." (Galatians 4:4).
"So Jesus said to them again, 'Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.'" (John 20:21).

'Sender-Sent' is a reciprocal relation which requires two terms, just like 'at the right hand.'

In response, 'Oneness' Pentecostals note that John the Baptist was "sent" also: "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John." (John 1:6).  It is less than obvious how this escapes the difficulty, given that John the Baptist is not the same person as God the Father either.

It is both God who sends and also God who is sent, showing the indicated relation is a relation within God: "'Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,' says the LORD. 'Many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you.'" (Zechariah 2:10-11).


Angel


I'm my own Father

When asked how Jesus can be both the Father and the Son, gentlemen who subscribe to 'Oneness' Pentecostalism oft reply, 'I am both a father and a son: a father to my child and a son to my parents.' What the Bible proposes about Jesus is a bit more radical than this. He calls out to His Father:

"In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, 'I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.'" (Luke 10:21).

And His Father calls out to His beloved Son: "Then a voice came from heaven, 'You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'" (Mark 1:11).

The Bible reports conversations between the Father and the Son. Why would Jesus "thank" the Father, if He is the Father? What 'Oneness' Pentecostals are proposing is not just that Jesus is a father and a son, but that He is His own Father...and His own Son!  Even Alice would grow dizzy in this Wonderland.  Let's puzzle along with Tertullian, at how a Son can be His own Father:

"A father must needs have a son, in order to be a father; so likewise a son, to be a son, must have a father. It is, however, one thing to have, and another thing to be. For instance, in order to be a husband, I must have a wife; I can never myself be my own wife. In like manner, in order to be a father, I have a son, for I never can be a son to myself; and in order to be a son, I have a father, it being impossible for me ever to be my own father. And it is these relations which make me (what I am), when I come to possess them: I shall then be a father, when I have a son; and a son, when I have a father. Now, if I am to be to myself any one of these relations, I no longer have what I am myself to be: neither a father, because I am to be my own father; nor a son, because I shall be my own son. Moreover, inasmuch as I ought to have one of these relations in order to be the other; so, if I am to be both together, I shall fail to be one while I possess not the other. For if I must be myself my son, who am also a father, I now cease to have a son, since I am my own son. But by reason of not having a son, since I am my own son, how can I be a father? For I ought to have a son, in order to be a father. Therefore I am not a son, because I have not a father, who makes a son. In like manner, if I am myself my father, who am also a son, I no longer have a father, but am myself my father. By not having a father, however, since I am my own father, how can I be a son? For I ought to have a father, in order to be a son. I cannot therefore be a father, because I have not a son, who makes a father. Now all this must be the device of the devil -- this excluding and severing one from the other -- since by including both together in one under pretence of the Monarchy, he causes neither to be held and acknowledged, so that He is not the Father, since indeed He has not the Son; neither is He the Son, since in like manner He has not the Father: for while He is the Father, He will not be the Son.  In this way they hold the Monarchy, but they hold neither the Father nor the Son." (Tertullian, Against Praxeas, X.)

'Oneness' Revised Psalms

The reading public awaits the day when, like their elder sister the Jehovah's Witnesses, the 'Oneness' Pentecostals will offer the world a new and improved translation, made safe for their point of view.  The Psalms will be a must-read:

'Oneness' Revised Version of Psalm 2:

'The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the LORD and against Himself, saying,
'Let us break His bonds in pieces
And cast away His cords from us.'
He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The LORD shall hold them in derision.
Then He shall speak to them in His wrath...
'Yet I have set Myself
On My holy hill of Zion.'
I will declare the decree:
The LORD has said unto Himself,
'I am My Son,
Today I have begotten Me.
Ask of Me, and I will give Me
The nations for Mine inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for My possession.
I shall break them with a rod of iron;
I shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.'...
Kiss Me, lest I be angry,
And you perish in the way,
When My wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all those who put their trust in Me....'
(Not Psalm 2).

Bible version of Psalm 2:



  • “The kings of the earth set themselves,
    And the rulers take counsel together,
    Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,
    'Let us break Their bonds in pieces
    And cast away Their cords from us.'
    He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
    The LORD shall hold them in derision.
    Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
    ...'Yet I have set My King
    On My holy hill of Zion.'
    I will declare the decree:
    The LORD has said to Me,
    'You are My Son,
    Today I have begotten You.
    Ask of Me, and I will give You
    The nations for Your inheritance,
    And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
    You shall break them with a rod of iron;
    You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.'...
    Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,
    And you perish in the way,
    When His wrath is kindled but a little.
    Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.”
  • (Psalm 2).




'Oneness' Revised Version, Psalm 22:

'Self, Self, why have I forsaken Me?
Why am I so far from helping Me,
And from the words of My groaning?'...
But Me, O LORD, do not be far from Me;
O My Strength, hasten to help Me!
Deliver Me from the sword,
My precious life from the power of the dog...
I will declare My name to My sons;
In the midst of the assembly I will praise Me..."
(Not Psalm 22).

Bible version, Psalm 22:

"My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?
Why are You so far from helping Me,
And from the words of My groaning?...
But You, O LORD, do not be far from Me;
O My Strength, hasten to help Me!
Deliver Me from the sword,
My precious life from the power of the dog...
I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will praise You..."

Darkness Too Pure
Psalm 22 Suffering Servant
Say It and Mean It Quest for the Historical Jesus



'Oneness' Revised Psalm 110:

The LORD said unto Himself,
'I'll just sit Myself down at My right hand,
Till I make Mine enemies Mine footstool.'
The LORD shall send the rod of My strength out of Zion.
Rule in the midst of My enemies!...
The LORD has sworn
And will not relent,
'I am a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.'"
(Not Psalm 110).

Bible version, Psalm 110:

The LORD said to my Lord,
'Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.'
The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion.
Rule in the midst of Your enemies!...
The LORD has sworn
And will not relent,
'You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.'"

Born at Bethlehem Pierced
O God His Bones
Cast Lots Born of a Virgin
Mother's Children Lifted Up
Stretched Out My Hands On a Donkey
Weeks The Grave
Thirty Pieces of Silver Light to the Gentiles
Out of Egypt House of David
House of My Friends With the Transgressors
Eyes of the Blind With the Rich
I thirst Darkness over the Land
Gall and Vinegar Shame and Spitting
Familiar Friend Son of Man
Den of Thieves Afar Off
E'er the Sun



Proceeded Forth

Another challenge for the 'Oneness' Revised Version will be John 8:42: "Jesus said to them, 'If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.'"  In other words, '...for I proceeded forth and came from Myself; nor have I come of Myself, but I sent Me.'

I commit My spirit

Christ committed Himself to Him who judges righteously: "For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 'Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth'; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness -- by whose stripes you were healed." (1 Peter 2:21-24). He who judges righteously, Peter had said in the prior chapter, is the Father: "And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear..." (1 Peter 1:17).

Jesus cried out on the cross, "And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, 'Father, "into Your hands I commit My spirit."' Having said this, He breathed His last." (Luke 23:46). This is as prophesied in Psalm 31:5: "Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O LORD God of truth."

It's less than obvious how to translate Jesus' death-cry into the 'Oneness'-speak of the 'Jesus' who is the Father-Son-Holy Ghost. 'And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, 'Self, into My hands I commit My spirit'? Or does the 'flesh' say, 'Spirit, into Your hands I commit...Spirit'?

I-Thou

It is far from clear why one 'title' or 'office' would address another as "You", but the Father and the Son so address one another:

"Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: 'Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him." (John 17:1-2).
"At that time Jesus answered and said, 'I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.  Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.'" (Matthew 11:25-26).
"And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, 'You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.'" (Luke 3:22).
"But to the Son He says: 'Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. '" (Hebrews 1:8).

I go to My Father

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father." (John 14:12).

"You have heard Me say to you, 'I am going away and coming back to you.' If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, "I am going to the Father," for My Father is greater than I.'" (John 14:28).

"And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged." (John 16:8-11).

"I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father." (John 16:28).

"Jesus said to her, 'Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, "I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God."'" (John 20:17).

If 'Father' were one 'title', 'office', or 'manifestation' and the 'Son' another, it's less than obvious what "I go to My Father" would be intended to mean.  How can one 'title' go to another 'title'?

Confession

"Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.  But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 10:32-33).

If Jesus is the Father as 'Oneness' Pentecostals claim, it is less than obvious how He can also come before His Father to confess our names.  Not only is the 'Oneness' Pentecostals' 'Jesus-only' at His own right hand, He's also before and beside Himself!

I will declare Your name

"I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world..." (John 17:6).

The Bible assigns to the Messiah the mission of declaring His Father's name to the world:

"I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will praise You." (Psalm 22:22);
"For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying: 'I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.'" (Hebrews 2:11-12);
"And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them." (John 17:26).

A rival new religious movement, the Jehovah's Witnesses, teach the "name" of the Father which Jesus declared was 'Jehovah.'  But the evidence from the Talmud, while conflicting, suggests that no Jew of the day outside of the high priest on the Day of Atonement pronounced the Divine Name, though Jesus does present the Name in translation ('ego eimi'). The 'Oneness' Pentecostals, on the other hand, claim the "name" Jesus sought to declare was His own birth name, 'Jesus'. But this is no more satisfactory, making nonsense out of scriptures like John 5:43, "I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive." Translated into 'Oneness'-speak, this comes out, 'I have come in my own name, and you do not receive me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive'!  Biblical evidence that 'Jesus' is the name of the Father is lacking, since it is used exclusively of the Son: "The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying." (1 Corinthians 11:31).

Declaring the name means, not only to pronounce the syllables, but to declare the nature, attributes and character of God.  One gets lost in a hall of mirrors understanding passages like Matthew 10:41 to mechanically require the recitation of somebody's proper name: "He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward.  And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward."

A new name declared by Jesus the Son which speaks to the heart of His relationship with His father is "Abba, Father": "And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, 'Abba, Father!'" (Galatians 4:6).  While the synagogue also prays to 'Our Father', the way to true sonship was opened by the Son, Jesus Christ (John 1:12).  One interesting thing to note about Isaiah 9:6 is that it shows 'father' to be a "name" ['shem'], not a title: "For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (wow, look at all those 'titles', identified as one [SINGULAR!] name!). In teaching us to call out 'Abba, Father,' Jesus initiates us into His own fellowship with His Father: "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren." (Romans 8:29).

Call no Man Father

"But you, do not be called 'Rabbi'; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren.  Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ." (Matthew 23:8-10).

On its face, this passage explicitly forbids the common 'Oneness' Pentecostal practice of calling Jesus 'Father', because Jesus, on earth, speaking to His disciples, told them not to call "anyone on earth" Father.

Not Mine

"Jesus answered them and said, 'My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.'" (John 7:16).

It's less than obvious why Jesus, if He had meant to say 'My doctrine is Mine,' said instead, "My doctrine is not Mine."

Before my Father

"He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels." (Revelation 3:5).
"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." (Revelation 3:21).

Who's the Speaker who says these things? The "first and the last"! (Revelation 1:17, 2:8).

Anointed One

"You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions." (Hebrews 1:9).
"The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind..." (Luke 4:18).
"...how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about going good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him." (Acts 10:38).

The Lord's title 'Christ' means 'Anointed One':

"christos...'anointed,' translates, in the Septuagint, the word 'Messiah,' a term applied to the priests who were anointed with the holy oil, particularly the high priest...The prophets are called hoi christoi Theou, 'the anointed of God'...A king of Israel was described upon occasion as christos tou Kuriou, 'the anointed of the Lord.'" (Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary).

'Anoint' means to do like Samuel did, "Anoint...To pour oil upon; to smear or rub with oil or unctuous substances..." (Webster's International):

"So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the LORD said, 'Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!' Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward." (1 Samuel 16:12-13).

It is not clear how one 'title' could or would wish to anoint another 'title.'

No one Knows

The nescience of the Son is a tough nut to crack for 'Oneness' Plan A here under discussion: "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." (Mark 13:32). One could not say that Mr. Smith, as President of the Chamber of Commerce, does not know the date of the company picnic, whereas Mr. Smith, as Chairman of the Board, does know the date; one person filling one 'office' must know all that the same person filling another 'office' does.  Granted this nescience of the Son is a perplexing problem for Christians, who must understand His self-abasement, charted in Philippians 2:6-8, in taking on our infirmities to extend even to our ignorance. But it is altogether insoluble for 'Oneness' Plan A herein under review, the 'titles, roles, offices, manifestations' deal. As we shall see, the 'Oneness' Pentecostals deal with the demonstrated impossibility of Plan A by whipping out...Plan B. Not to worry, they will then deal with the demonstrated impossibility of Plan B by whipping out...Plan A.

Servant

One of the Messiah's titles is 'Servant:'

"See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high." (Isaiah 52:13).
"Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights!" (Isaiah 42:1).

This title of the Lord was a popular theme of apostolic preaching:

"The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses." (Acts 3:13-15);

The word for one who acts on His own account is 'autonomous,' not 'servant.' The term implies a relationship, between one who serves and who is served. While this relationship was not one of 'servitude' before the Son "humbled himself" and took on the "form of a servant," (Philippians 2:7-8) at the incarnation, such a relationship requires participants.

Bruised

Quoted earlier,

"'Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, against the Man who is My Companion,' says the LORD of hosts. 'Strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered; then I will turn My hand against the little ones.'" (Zechariah 13:7, applied to Jesus in Matthew 26:31 and Mark 14:27).

Focusing now not on fellowship but on smiting, this passage is one of several Old Testament prophecies portraying the Messiah as Suffering Servant:

"Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand." (Isaiah 53:10)

Not only physical blows, but psychological distress, is here described ("grief"). There are several psalms the apostles quote as foretelling the Messiah's sufferings. Peter quotes Psalm 69 and Psalm 109 in connection with the Lord's betrayal: "Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas...For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take." (Acts 1:20). Psalm 69 says, where Peter is quoting,

"Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents. For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded." (Psalm 69:25-26).

The psalmist's "thou" addresses Him the speaker supplicates to "deliver me." When a psalm is cited as a prophecy of Jesus, it need not be supposed every line in the psalm is about the Lord, but it is reasonable to expect the next clause of the section quoted to be. If the apostles did not think these psalms with their description of the sufferings of God's anointed are about Jesus, then why quote them as fulfilled prophecy? Some readers do not think Psalm 69 can be about the Messiah, in spite of several New Testament quotes, because the speaker describes Himself as a sinner. Yet, though Jesus had no sin of His own, He took upon Him the sins of the people, on the very occasion foretold by the psalm. Paul even says that He was made sin: "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5:21).

'Smiting' and 'bruising' are transitive verbs, presupposing an agent and a patient. A 'title' cannot 'bruise' or 'smite' another title.

At this, 'Oneness' Pentecostals drop their initial 'titles, offices' schema and revert to the traditional Unitarian schema of a 'Son' who is but a man, -- 'flesh,' -- sometimes indwelt by 'the Father,' who alone is God. This traditional Unitarian schema is not adequate either, as will be seen, because the innocency of a mere man would be of sufficient worth to save none but himself.

In any case this page addresses 'Plan A,' the 'titles, offices,' concept, whose inadequacy is again apparent.



Abraham and Isaac

The book of Genesis records how Abraham was ordered to sacrifice his beloved son, his "only" son (the legitimate son, the promised son):

And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. . ." (Genesis 22:2).

God provides a substitute at the last moment, as Abraham had reassured Isaac: "My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering. . ." (Genesis 22:8). This incident has often been perceived as foreshadowing the future sacrifice that would save the world:

". . .Isaac may well be thought, in the whole of this, to be a type of the Messiah, the true and proper Son of God, his only begotten Son, the dear Son of his love, in whom all the promises are yea and amen; whom God out of his great love to men gave to be an offering and a sacrifice for their sins, and who suffered near Jerusalem, on Mount Calvary, which very probably was a part of Mount Moriah; and which, with other mountains joining in their root, though having different tops, went by that common name." (John Gill, Exposition of the Entire Bible, Genesis 22:2).

What is the meaning of this episode? Certainly it is not a one-man play; Abraham does not jump up and speak as Abraham, go back to the wood and speak as Isaac. Abraham bound Isaac to the altar: "And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood." (Genesis 22:9).

What then does it mean? Is there no link, and what God demanded of Abraham was of greater worth than His own sacrifice?: "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32). Abraham was willing to offer up his only begotten, a great sacrifice proving a great love: "By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. . ." (Hebrews 11:17).


Mount Moriah Problems
Mount Calvary Only Begotten
Traditional Jewish Interpretation Detractors



Let Us Make Man

Genesis 1:26-27 reads, "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." What can this possibly mean?



Book of the Law

The letter to Hebrews says, of the Son coming into the world,

“Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, “Behold, I have come— in the volume of the book it is written of Me— to do Your will, O God.”’” (Hebrews 10:6-7).

The verse the author is applying comes from Psalm 40,

“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; my ears You have opened. Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require. Then I said, ‘Behold, I come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart.’” (Psalm 40:6-8).

In our version it does not say, 'a body you have prepared for me,' but you have opened my ears. In a like vein, Isaiah 50:5 says, of the Messiah, " The Lord GOD has opened My ear. . ." (Isaiah 50:5), perhaps referring to instruction. But in the Septuagint it reads as here quoted, "Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not; but a body hast thou prepared me: whole-burnt-offering and sacrifice for sin thou didst not require." (Brenton Septuagint, Psalm 40:6). Who is the 'You' and who is the 'I' if Jesus is the Father?

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