Against Dalcour II

*We continue with our exegetical refutations of the erroneous charges of Edward Dalcour against Oneness believers.  We have simply *copied Dalcour’s relevant and most recent assertions from his website while offering categorical rebuttal’s immediately following his claims.  Corroboration of Dalcour’s quotes below can be located HERE.  Hopefully edifying to the body of Christ! 

(Dalcour):  John 10:30:  “I and the Father are one.”  Both historically and currently, Christians have pointed to this passage to show that Jesus indeed claimed equality with God the Father.  As with Jesus’ other undeniable claims to be equal with God (cf. Matt. 12:6; John 5:17-18; 8:58-59 et al; Rev. 1:8, 17; 2:8; 22:13; etc.), the response of the Jews in verse 33 is an irrefutable confirmation of Jesus’ claim:  “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God” (emphasis added).  This passage also provides a clear refutation to the Oneness view, which erroneously asserts that Jesus is the Father (i.e., the same person).

*How someone can actually appeal to a verse where Christ explicitly states that the Father and Him are “one” (ἕν) to somehow claim that this passage really teaches “two divine persons” is every bit as mind-boggling as how Dalcour repeatedly claims the Trinity doctrine is actually “biblical?”  Typical for Trinitarian apologists, such a forced imposition upon this text disallows (i) the immediate context (as we demonstrate below), and (ii) the actual self-identification of Jesus.

*Further, while Trinitarians may have taught this, biblical Christians-Monotheists have not taught that John 10.30 teaches “equality with God the Father.”  Rather, allowing the inspired data to speak uninterrupted biblical Christians have understood Jesus’ affirmation in this passage as a statement of identity as actually God the Father—just as the eyewitnesses who originally heard this assertion did (cf. John 10.33).

(Dalcour):  Ironically, Oneness advocates actually use it as a so-called proof text.  However, there are two main points in the passage that eliminates the Oneness notion:

*I would turn this assertion directly on its head:  Amusingly, Trinitarians actually use John 10.30 as a so-called proof text.  However, as we shall establish, the same “points” that Dalcour raises below are the very grammatical factors that openly refute his multiple-divine-persons eisegesis of this verse in support of the Oneness position.  Of course we “use” John 10.30!

(Dalcour):  1) The neuter adjective hen (“one”) is used—indicating a unity of essence, not absolute identity.  If Jesus wanted to communicate that He was Himself the Father (same person), He certainly would have used the masculine heis (as in Mark 12:29; 1 Tim. 2:5).

*Though this has been pointed out to Trinitarians ad-nauseum, the masculine singular (3-3) adjective heis, translated “one” (εἷς), is indeed applied to God from the very lips of Jesus in Mark 12.29 as “the most important commandment.”  If, as Dalcour asserts here, the masculine singular heis demands a single person (and it certainly does) the entire Trinitarian position is collapsed according to Christ Himself!  That is, Jesus’ view of the Godhead was most definitely not that of a “Triune divinity”—and His view of both God and Scripture should equally be our view.  But let’s take a closer look below!

(Dalcour):  Renowned Greek grammarian A. T. Robertson comments on the application of the neuter hen in John 10:30:  “One (hen).  Neuter, not masculine (heis).  Not one person (cf. heis in Gal. 3:28), but one essence or nature.”

*This is the whole point that Oneness believers have repeatedly made—and it’s mind numbing how this is so lost on Trinitarians?  Dalcour’s very own source of appeal affirms that when heis is used “one person” is in view.  Although lexical quotes abound to this end, ironically, Dalcour’s quotation from Robertson above is one of the most conclusive citations from Greek linguists (cf. Zodhiates, Vincent, Thayer, BDAG, Wuest, et al.).

*Robertson’s point is that if Christ would have employed the masculine singular (3-3) adjective heis (translated “one”) in John 10.30 then this would have demanded “one person”—since this is the natural force of the masculine singular tag.  However, as mentioned both above and elsewhere, Jesus does indeed use the masculine singular heis in delineating the “most important commandment” of the emphatic-monadic identity of God (Mark 12.29).

*Significantly then, if the “most important commandment” is to believe that God is “one person” via the masculine sing. heis, all other passages are to be interpreted under the umbrella of this commandment.  That is, texts used by Trinitarians as so-called “proof texts” (e.g., John 1.1-3, 17.5; Colossians 1.15-16; Philippians 2.5-6) fall under Jesus’ overriding mandate in the key text of Mark 12.29, et al.

*Indeed, heis is used c. 100x in the NT alone and in no instance does it denote more than one-single-person.  This does not even take into consideration the LXX usage of heis (cf. Ezekiel 33.24, etc.).  Galatians 3.28 will not do at this point (as Trinitarians typically use to evade the force of heis) since the entire point of Paul’s discourse in these texts is that biblical Christians are “one person in Christ Jesus” (cf. NEB, ASV, ERV).  This is the adjective carefully and intentionally employed by Jesus when specifically describing God’s numerical identity.

*To demonstrate the distinct nuance between the masculine singular heis vs. the neuter singular hen, we can look to Romans 12.5:

so we, the many, are one body in Christ; and individually members one of another.  (Berean Literal Bible)

οὕτως οἱ πολλοὶ ἓν σῶμά oἐσμεν ἐν Χριστῷ, τὸ δὲ καθʼ εἷς ἀλλήλων μέλη.  (NA28)

*Note that when discussing “many” Paul uses the neuter singular hen (the initial “one” above).  Conversely, when explicating “individuals” Paul switches to the masculine singular heis (the final “one” in the last clause).  To reiterate, the neuter singular hen is used when referring to separate human beings (apparently this is the same way Trinitarians view the Godhead!), while the masculine singular heis demands one-single-person.  This well displays the differences in the two adjectives as it relates to grammatical gender.

*See here also the NET translator notes:  The phrase ἕν ἐσμεν ({en esmen) is a significant assertion with trinitarian implications. ἕν is neuter, not masculine, so the assertion is not that Jesus and the Father are one person, but one “thing.

*Of course, this only serves as another lexical testimony to the force of the masculine singular heis as demanding “one person.”  And, as we point out above, there are no “implications” of Trinitarianism in John 10.30 as evidenced by the response of the original audience of this message.

*UBS, A Translators Handbook of the NT (John 10.30):  In some languages it is grammatically impossible to say The Father and I are one, particularly in languages which require a concord between a plural subject and a predicate numeral such as “one.”  For example, in most Bantu languages it is impossible to pluralize the numeral “one.”  One can, however, say “the Father and I are just like one person” or “…are the same as one person.”

*New International Dictionary of NT Theology and Exegesis regarding this Greek adjective (hen/one):

From a different perspective, this truth is expressed clearly in Jesus’ claim, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).  We should not interpret these words to mean that the oneness of Jesus with the Father consists of the joining of two persons or beings who were formerly separated. We must understand it rather in the light of John 14:9:  “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”  In a Christian sense no one can speak of God without speaking concretely of Jesus.

*To summarize, if Trinitarians are going to (erroneously) insist that the neuter singular hen used in John 10.30 demands more than one divine person—even though Jesus did not use the Greek adjective for “two” (δύο) as He normally would—exegetical consistency demands they equally emphasize the masculine singular heis used by Christ Himself in Mark 12.29.  Of course, it is very likely that the Earth will be ground into powder and drank by green Martians before this ever happens!

(Dalcour):  In John 17:21, for example, Jesus prays that His disciples may “be one [hen] even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us.”  The same neuter adjective is used.

*Note here that in Jesus’ High Priestly prayer He is praying that His disciples—who were separate human beings and not merely “distinct persons”—would share in the same oneness as the Father and Him shared.  Since Dalcour is appealing to this passage in connection with the neuter sing. hen (translated “one”), will he now inform us that God the Father and “God the Son” are equally as radically separated as human beings, and each are fully God?  Or will he now modify this assertion to conform to his predisposed religious tradition?

*Further, Oneness believers openly and gladly acknowledge that there’s a oneness of unity shared between the Father and the Son of God.  However, this does not translate into wholly separated divine persons (as Dalcour constantly intimates in both his writings and lectures), each with their own independent cognition-mind(s).  This is open tritheism defined – despite how many times Trinitarians like Dalcour stomp their foot and scream “Monotheism!”

*Additionally, while Oneness believers eagerly confess this unity of oneness between the Father and the Son of God, there is a oneness that transcends mere unity and emphatically equates into the identity of Christ as “all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2.8-10 [Note: the typical Trinitarian dodge of these passages is severely lacking grammatically.]).

(Dalcour): 2) The plural verb esmen (“are”).  In contrast to the Oneness interpretation (Jesus is the Father), the Greek contains the plural verb esmen (“I and the Father are one”), not a singular verb such as estin (“is”) or eimi (“am”) in which case the passage would read:  “I and the Father is/am one.”

 *There are numerous NT passages where a singular verb modifies the Father and the Son of God as the same subject:

I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.  (Revelation 21.22; NASB)

*The Greek verb translated “are” (ἐστιν) in this text is the “singular verb estin” that Dalcour requests above explicating both God and His Son.  If a plural verb describing the Father and the Son quantifies as two divine persons—why does not a singular verb modifying the same subject equal a single divine person (esp. when this passage contextually describes the singular “temple” of Heaven)?

*Trinitarians typically attempt to dodge this dilemma by stating that Revelation 21.22 is not syntactically parallel to John 10.30 and hence does not apply to the debate.  However, this is a subtle shift in argumentation to evade their obvious inconsistency since no appeal to syntax was marshaled from the Trinitarian camp in the original assertion.  This is nothing more than the usual effort by Trinitarians to spin away from their discordant appeals.  The exegetical fact remains that a singular verb modifies both the Father and the Son of God in Revelation 21.22 as the vast majority of reputable translations clearly affirm (e.g., ESV, NASB, BSB, NKJV).  Why the double standard from Trinitarians?  Inquiring minds want to know!

*Just for good measure, a couple of additional passages where singular verbs simultaneously modify both the Father and the Son of God as the same subject:

Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you.  (I Thessalonians 3.11; Berean Literal Bible)

Αὐτὸς δὲ ὁ θεὸς καὶ πατὴρ ἡμῶν καὶ ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦς κατευθύναι τὴν ὁδὸν ἡμῶν πρὸς ὑμᾶς·  (NA28)

*The Greek verb rendered “direct” (κατευθύναι) above appears in the aorist, active, optative, 3rd person, singular form describing the activity of the Father and Jesus.  Will Trinitarians be consistent in their verbal appeals at this point?  Or, will they now offer the usual spin-away-from-it tact?  I prophesy the latter!  

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.  (2 Thessalonians 2.16-17; NASB)

Αὐτὸς δὲ ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς καὶ [ὁ] θεὸς ὁ πατὴρ ἡμῶν ἀγαπήσας ἡμᾶς καὶ δοὺς παράκλησιν αἰωνίαν καὶ ἐλπίδα ἀγαθὴν ἐν χάριτι, παρακαλέσαι ὑμῶν τὰς καρδίας καὶ στηρίξαι ἐν παντὶ ἔργῳ καὶ λόγῳ ἀγαθῷ.  (NA28)

*You guessed it!  The four verbs (two in participial form) embolden above used to explicate the action of the same subject – God the Father and Christ – are all singular, not plural.  Where are all the blog posts and lectures from Trinitarians concerning these singular verbs that modify God and His Son?  Why the deafening silence?  Not to worry, we will shout it from the proverbial mountaintops for them!

*Moreover, as intimated above, Oneness believers agree that there is a subject-object distinction in John 10.30-33.  And the context actually defines this distinction for us:  “You, being a man, make yourself God.”  The problem the Jews had with Christ’s assertion was that He was a visible “man” claiming to be the invisible “God.”  In John 10.30 both the 1st person pronoun translated “I” (ἐγὼ) and the noun translated “Father” (Πατὴρ) appear in the nominative case, singular number.  The speaker was a visible man (subject) claiming to be the one invisible God (object)—hence the contextual subject-object distinction. 

(Dalcour):  Furthermore, Jesus’ claim to deity is not merely found in verse 30. Rather, the passages leading up to verse 30 undeniably prove His claim.  In verses 27-29, Jesus claims that He is the Shepherd and that gives His sheep eternal life and no one can snatch them from His or His Father’s hand.

*Of course Jesus is deity, but He is not merely a second of three divine persons, rather He is the one supreme divinity of the biblical data enfleshed (Colossians 2.9-10).  Or, as this same John would record, Christ is “the true God and eternal life” (I John 5.20).

(Dalcour):  Now, the Jews were well acquainted with Psalm 95:7: “For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.”  Thus, the Jews knew that only Yahweh could make this claim of having sheep in His hand as well as giving them eternal life (cf. Deut. 32:39; Isa. 43:11).  So when Jesus made these exclusively divine claims and then added, “I and the Father are one,” it’s easy to understand the response of the Jews:  “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God” (v. 33).

*This is precisely the point made by Oneness believers!  As pointed out above, the original audience fully understood Jesus to be claiming to be the one OT Yahveh of Psalm 95.7 cited above.  They did not comprehend Him to be claiming to be a member of a Triune divinity entirely unknown in the OT (even though Dalcour is fond of vainly attempting to cram the Trinity onto the pages of the OT)—rather they understood Christ to be identifying Himself as the sole God of the OT canon.  This is precisely the Oneness position and Dalcour merely empowers our point above by appealing to the OT backdrop of the narrative.

(Dalcour):  If Jesus was only claiming to be “one” with the Father in the sense of mere representation as with judges or Moses, Jesus’ claim would not have warranted blasphemy (cf. Lev. 24:16).

*If Jesus were only claiming to be “one” with the Father in the sense of “unity” and not actual identity, Jesus’ claim would not have warranted blasphemy (esp. to the pious Jews who equally claimed “unity” with God).  To be sure, the actual eyewitnesses who heard this assertion understood Jesus to be making a claim of identity as the Father.  To them, the noun “Father” used by Christ in v. 30 was equal to the noun “God” at v. 33!  How can Trinitarians offer a radical shift in meaning c. 2000 years later from the originally-targeted audience?  Simple, historical religious tradition under the cover of supposed “orthodoxy” (a buzz term for the various “councils” of men)!

(Dalcour):  In point of fact, Jesus claimed the exclusive attributes of Yahweh in verses 27-29, when He claimed He was one in essence with the Father, which naturally prompted the Jews to stone Him for blasphemy— for making Himself out to be God.

*The problem is Jesus never actually “claimed” He was merely “one in essence with the Father”—this is necessarily force-fed into the mouth of Christ by over-eager Trinitarians like Dalcour.  Again, the original bystanders understood Jesus’ statement as a factual claim of identity, and so should much later readers.

(Dalcour):  The unique way in which Jesus claimed to be the Son of God in the Gospels was tantamount to His claiming to be God the Son—clearly understood by the Jews (cf. Mark 14:61-62; John 5:17-18; 19:7), the apostles (cf. Matt. 16:18; Rom. 1:3-4; the prologue of Hebrews; 1 John 5:12; etc.); the devil (cf. Matt. 4:3); and God the Father (Matt. 3:17; Heb. 1:5-12).

*First, you might want to rethink your case if you have to call the devil to the witness stand!  

*Second, we would be quite curious to see the evidence for Dalcour’s superficial leap from Christ’s affirmation to be the Son of God to somehow translating into “claiming to be God the Son?”  Respectfully, as reflected in Dalcour’s spin on the expression “the Son of God” above, Trinitarians have “another Jesus” than the biblical Son (2 Corinthians 11.4).  That is, they stubbornly disallow Christ’s very self-identity and precise words (e.g., John 12.45, 14.8-10, 16-18, etc.) in exchange for their own words.  Or, as Paul would state, sadly, they are “without God” (Ephesians 2.12; Greek lit., “atheists” [ἄθεοι]).  

*Further, since Trinitarians inform us that the Son of God cannot be “His own Father” (a mere straw man attack), why do they not apply the same reasoning toward the phrase “Son of God?”  Does this equally mean that the Son of God cannot be God altogether?  Not according to Dalcour above!  Of course, such theological hypocrisy is par for the course among Trinitarian apologists.

*Thank you for reading!

2 comments on “Against Dalcour II

  1. […] (Dalcour):  If I were Perkins, I too would rather deal with a short (about two pages) article than be forced to interact with an expanded exegetical treatment made be myself, and so many others throughout history. – – To read Perkins’ article go here. […]

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  2. Brother Perkins is doing a great job by using Trinitarians own statements about Greek words and Greek grammar against them. Here are the highlights from brother Perkin’s polemic against Mr. Dalcour I found most interesting:

    Mr. Dalcour’s own words and sources prove that God is only One Person:

    (Dalcour): 1) The neuter adjective hen (“one”) is used—indicating a unity of essence, not absolute identity. If Jesus wanted to communicate that He was Himself the Father (same person), He certainly would have used the masculine heis (as in Mark 12:29; 1 Tim. 2:5).

    Brother Perkins wrote: “…the masculine singular (3-3) adjective heis, translated “one” (εἷς), is indeed applied to God from the very lips of Jesus in Mark 12.29 as “the most important commandment.” If, as Dalcour asserts here, the masculine singular heis demands a single person (and it certainly does) the entire Trinitarian position is collapsed according to Christ Himself! That is, Jesus’ view of the Godhead was most definitely not that of a “Triune divinity”—and His view of both God and Scripture should equally be our view. But let’s take a closer look below!”

    (Dalcour): Renowned Greek grammarian A. T. Robertson comments on the application of the neuter hen in John 10:30: “One (hen). Neuter, not masculine (heis). NOT ONE PERSON (cf. HEIS in Gal. 3:28), but one essence or nature.”

    Brother Perkins points out that “Dalcour’s very own source of appeal affirms that when heis is used “one person” is in view. Although lexical quotes abound to this end, ironically, Dalcour’s quotation from Robertson above is one of the most conclusive citations from Greek linguists (cf. Zodhiates, Vincent, Thayer, BDAG, Wuest, et al.). Robertson’s point is that if Christ would have employed the masculine singular (3-3) adjective heis (translated “one”) in John 10.30 then this would have demanded “one person”—since this is the natural force of the masculine singular tag. However, as mentioned both above and elsewhere, Jesus does indeed use the masculine singular heis in delineating the “most important commandment” of the emphatic-monadic identity of God (Mark 12.29).”

    Brother Perkins proves that God is One Person because “heis” is used of God as One God Person and of single human individuals as one person throughout the NT:

    “Significantly then, if the “most important commandment” is to believe that God is “one person” via the masculine sing. heis, all other passages are to be interpreted under the umbrella of this commandment. That is, texts used by Trinitarians as so-called “proof texts” (e.g., John 1.1-3, 17.5; Colossians 1.15-16; Philippians 2.5-6) fall under Jesus’ overriding mandate in the key text of Mark 12.29, et al. Indeed, HEIS IS USED c. 100 TIMES IN THE NT alone AND IN NO INSTANCE DOES IT DENOTE MORE THAN ONE SINGLE PERSON. This does not even take into consideration the LXX usage of heis (cf. Ezekiel 33.24, etc.). Galatians 3.28 will not do at this point (as Trinitarians typically use to evade the force of heis) since the entire point of Paul’s discourse in these texts is that biblical Christians are “one person in Christ Jesus” (cf. NEB, ASV, ERV). This is the adjective carefully and intentionally employed by Jesus when specifically describing God’s numerical identity.

    *To demonstrate the distinct nuance between the masculine singular heis vs. the neuter singular hen, we can look to Romans 12.5:

    so we, the many, are one body in Christ; and individually members one of another. (Berean Literal Bible)

    οὕτως οἱ πολλοὶ ἓν σῶμά oἐσμεν ἐν Χριστῷ, ⸀τὸ δὲ καθʼ εἷς ἀλλήλων μέλη. (NA28)

    *Note that when discussing “many” Paul uses the neuter singular hen (the initial “one” above). Conversely, when explicating “individuals” Paul switches to the masculine singular heis (the final “one” in the last clause). To reiterate, the neuter singular hen is used when referring to separate human beings (apparently this is the same way Trinitarians view the Godhead!), while the masculine singular heis demands one-single-person.This well displays the differences in the two adjectives as it relates to grammatical gender.

    God bless you brother Perkins for your fine work!
    Brother Ritchie

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