Exegetical Surrejoinder πρὸς Edward Dalcour (I)

*Below we offer the first in a tetralogy of exegetical surrejoinders to Edward Dalcour’s most recent attempt to spin away from his previously noted textual mistakes concerning John 10.30.  Although Dalcour omits much of my original article for his readers and hence the context of my statements (all the while throwing a tantrum about “context”), below, I respond to each of his claims categorically. Dalcour’s assertions are delineated in *black with my rebuttal immediately following in *blue (as here).  I refer readers to Dalcour’s article HERE for corroboration.

*It should be noted that I have repeatedly challenged Dalcour to public debate on the topics of biblical monotheism-Christianity and soteriology.  After initially agreeing to meet in public polemic platform he has subsequently ignored all offers.  Of course, after the poor performance he produced in his debate with Elder Nathan Dudley (HERE), I fully understand his reluctance.   Dalcour is simply not a good debater and I was honestly embarrassed for him at the debate listed above (his hands were literally shaking and he seemed as nervous as a cat).  Hopefully the following refutation of Dalcour will be edifying to the body of Christ.  Enjoy!

(Dalcour): The Footloose Theology: A Refutation of Oneness-Unitarian Roger Perkins on John 10:30

*I’m not quite sure what “The Footloose Theology” means (?).  Here Dalcour’s non-sensical title is indicative of how poorly written both his book and this article are—grammatically, exegetically and theologically.  As Dr. David Norris once simply commented, “We’ve read his book and it’s poorly written.”  As we demonstrate below, similar to his editing errors which are all through his article Dalcour fares even worse with his textual, lexical and theological claims—to an embarrassing extent.

(Dalcour):  Oneness-unitarian advocate, Roger Perkins, has again attempted to deny the person of the Lord Jesus in his recent so-called refutation of my very brief article on the “Son of God”– Read it Here.

*Not surprisingly, this ad hominem charge is easily turned around:  Tritheist Edward Dalcour (more fondly called Eisegsis Ed) has once again attempted to relegate the Lord Jesus from His biblical identification as God Almighty (I John 5.20; Revelation 1.8; etc.) to a mere “second of three divine eternal persons.”  As has been noted by many, along with Mormons and the Roman Catholic Church (hereafter RCC)—that he actually fancies himself as opposing—Dalcour repeatedly uses blatantly polytheistic language in both his presentations and debate.

*That is, Dalcour openly uses phrases such as “God was with God,” “Elohim was with Elohim,” “One Yahweh acts on behalf of another Yahweh,” etc.  Thus while he claims to “refute” Mormons and the RCC, he actually holds hands with them in their identification and terminology of God’s supposed “identity.”  Of course, we have pointed out before the core commonalties that these non-Christian groups all share in their war against the biblical testimony of God.     

(Dalcour):  Not at all surprising, in his struggle against biblical Trinitarianism, Perkins voluminously responds to my brief article instead of dealing with a fuller presentation of passages such as John 10:30 contained in my book, *A Definitive Look at Oneness Theology: In the Light of Biblical Trinitarianism* (Get it here), or the countless other exegetical and scholarly works by other authors, which is also contained in the book.

*First, we would be quite curious where we can actually read of this “biblical Trinitarianism” on the very pages of the Bible:____________?  I am astounded every time I read this claim and think, “What ‘Bible’ are they using?”  If the doctrine of the Trinity is “biblical” surely Dalcour can point us to the verse that enunciates such an obvious doctrine (?).  Biblical Christians await this passage from Trinitarians with great anticipation—and indeed, we have been waiting for approximately 1,800 years now!

*Second, classic Dalcour, he attempts to deride me for not posting his “fuller presentation” of John 10.30 from his book—while he omits the vast majority of my article in this very piece!  Further, I have written extensively on this blog from Dalcour’s book and all one has to do is simply scroll down to view his many blunders.  Moreover, I have equally and exhaustively addressed “other scholarly works” on this blog.  Dalcour just never seems to learn and puts his foot in his mouth at virtually every turn, as we shall soon see.

*Third, the majority of Dalcour’s earth-shattering book (according to him) is not “exegetical,” but rather historical.  All one has to do is count the page numbers for each section to clearly see this.  I have indeed started a point-by-point rejoinder to Dalcour’s work.  However, in all honesty the information therein is so easily refuted and skewed that I soon lose interest – and two open heart surgeries in the last 1.7 years has not helped matters much.  In fact, Dalcour’s book is so rife with misleading statistics that I actually named the rejoinder “The Fallacy of Neglected Aspect”—since Dalcour willfully omits so much contrary data (as he does below).    

(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.

*If I were Dalcour, I, too, would rather deal with an exceedingly shorter version of my “voluminous” (his selected term above) refutation to his typical textual blunders as shown in John 10.30 than to deal with each rebuttal.  As noted, this is classic Dalcour methodology:  Demand of your opponents what you yourself do not practice—a natural outgrowth of his “Calvinism” cult-think.

*Below, Dalcour repeatedly claims that I ignore the context of said passage, when, in point of fact, the very context is what refutes his eisegesis of the text—as I specifically pointed out in the article.  Of course, if Dalcour would not cherry pick which sections of my piece he opts to deal with and post the entire article this would be clearly demonstrated.  

(Dalcour): In fact, not one, not even one, noted scholar, grammarian, or standard lexicographer in Christian history has ever agreed with the customary Oneness interpretation of Isa. 9:6; Mal. 2:10; Matt. 28:19; John 1:1; 10:30; 14:9; 17:5; Col. 2:9 et al.

*Has Dalcour never heard of the logical fallacy Argumentum Ad Populum?  This is an elementary flaw in argumentation methodology that asserts that a proposition must be true because many people believe it.  If the populace determines our belief system as Dalcour intimates above then he would have been right alongside the masses screaming, “Not this one, but Barabbas!” (John 18.40)

*And, specifically who is doing the “noting”—Trinitarians like Dalcour?  I suppose that Dalcour would have us believe that there was a consensus of theology among these same lexicographers, grammarians and scholars?  In fact, Dalcour appeals to Dr. Joseph Thayer quite often—who openly rejected the Trinity doctrine, that Jesus was God, taught baptism for the dead, denied the visible second coming of Christ and Dalcour’s doctrine of eternal Sonship!

*Here’s a quotation from the Publisher’s introduction to Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon:

“A word of caution is necessary.  Thayer was a Unitarian, and the errors of this sect occasionally come through in the explanatory notes.  The reader should be alert for both subtle and blatant denials of such doctrines as the Trinity (Thayer regarded Christ as a mere man and the Holy Spirit as an impersonal force emanating from God), the inherent and total depravity of fallen human nature, the eternal punishment of the wicked, and Biblical inerrancy.”

*Under the verb translated “are baptized” (βαπτιζόμενοι) in I Corinthians 15.29, Thayer says:

on behalf of the dead, i. e. to promote their eternal salvation by undergoing baptism in their stead, I Corinthians 15:29.

*Won’t Dalcour’s LDS brethren be happy to see that he has apparently made the switch—since he emphasizes the personal-theological conclusions of these lexicographers (should we now expect to see missionary Dalcour riding around the neighborhood on his bike?)!

*Further, would Dalcour have us believe that all of these self-same scholars arrived at his “Calvinism” views?  If so, was it the exact same flavor of Calvinism that he embraces (since the variables are myriad within Calvinism).  If not, then his entire point above is moot.

*Interestingly, as I point out in my non-Christian-cults classes, every one of these movements has a supplement to what the Scriptures themselves actually say.  Mormons have the Book of Mormon, Doctrines & Covenants, etc.  JW’s have their poor NWT and the Watchtower magazine; the RCC have Papal Infallibility, Vicar of Christ, Mariolatry, etc.  The “Reform” movement has their creeds & councils—which no one dare to question.  Of course, this is often done while providing lip service to the terms sola-scriptura and tota-scriptura—yet denying the same in practice (as Dalcour reveals immediately below).    

(Dalcour):  In point of fact, early church Fathers collectively, important Ecumenical Councils and resulting creeds, all recognized biblical scholarship has always been against the theological assertions made by modalistic/Oneness advocates.

*Ahhh yes, here it is – the Reform mantra itself!  The usual appeal to those all-authoritative “councils” and “creeds” of men.  Moreover, again, who is doing the “recognizing” concerning this “biblical scholarship?” Answer: Trinitarians!  This would be identical to Oneness believers claiming that no scholarship was to be recognized outside of Oneness Pentecostals!  We wonder how that would square with Trinitarians?

*If Dalcour does not understand such elementary fallacies as Argumentum Ad Populum—since he makes this freshman mistake at virtually every turn—he likely is not familiar with the concept of circular argumentation.  Dalcour very often reaches his desired goal from the starting line!

*And, we would be interested to know if Dalcour accepts all of these same “early church Fathers” writings?  Shall we begin posting some of their actual quotations?  Further, scholarly quotes abound to the fact that many of these early writers were ontological (contra merely functional) subordinationists in relation to God and His Son.  

*In fact, Dr. Daniel Wallace acknowledged in an interview a few years ago that the Trinity doctrine emerged after the writings of the Apostle Paul (HERE).  Dalcour can stomp his foot insisting that the Trinity doctrine is “biblical” until doomsday – that will never make his claim evidential.

(Dalcour): Disregarding Context:  First, as clearly seen, Perkins (as well as Oneness advocates across the board) has an annoying routine of basing the entirety of his arguments on a single word possible meaning, hence engaging in word fallacies over and over—while the entire contexts are dismissed and/or ignored.  This is esp. seen in his unitarian view of John 10:30, as we will see.      

*Not surprisingly, as anyone can “clearly see” the context of John 10 was my very source of appeal—and specifically what refutes Dalcour’s eisegesis of this unit of passages.  This is nothing more than Dalcour’s typically unsubstantiated assertions and diversionary tactics.  He does not offer any actual evidence or demonstration of this charge.

*Moreover, since Dalcour commits both logical and grammatical fallacies at virtually every turn in both his writings and presentations, we would think he would discard the word “fallacies” as quickly as Bernie Sanders would drop the term “conservative!”  Perhaps I should send Dalcour a copy of D.A. Carson’s Exegetical Fallacies?    

(Dalcour): A glaring example of this is in Perkins’ assessment John 10:30, Perkins in his article, he spends most of his time trying to tell us (Christians) what a text “cannot” mean, rather than what it does mean.

*Actually, I demonstrated from the grammar, context and grammar to the Christians the errors of Dalcour’s claims – and in hopes that Trinitarians will see his mistakes and become biblical Christians.  My rejoinders against Dalcour have quite obviously been intended to deal with his mountains of repeated textual miscalculations.

(Dalcour):  In other words, Perkins, does not provide a positive affirmation as to the actual meaning of v. 30;

*Here are my quite clear words in the article below that Dalcour is referring to:

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.

*Outside of actually quoting the surrounding context, the reaction of the original hearers and the specific grammar—we are not quite sure how else to explain this for Dalcour (?).  In 10.33 the noun translated “man” (ἄνθρωπος) appears in the ordinary nominative case (subject of the verbs “being” [ὢν] and “make” [ποιεῖς]), while the word rendered “God” is an accusative case noun.  We don’t know how to make this any clearer for Dalcour.     

(Dalcour):  nor does he explain how it relates to the context of chapter 10;

*As any one can plainly see above I have specifically quoted both the context and grammar of this unit.

(Dalcour):  or explain WHY Jesus, as recorded, uses a plural verb and not a singular verb denoting Him and His Father;

*Below Dalcour attempts to spin away from the natural force of the masculine singular adjective translated “one” in Mark 12.29 (εἷς – which he erroneously identifies as a “pronoun” twice in a clip I post below) by petitioning two verses that he thinks rehabilitates his Trinity doctrine.  This he does by appealing to what he considers a consistent usage of this particular adjective—although we’re not quite sure how he surmises that two verses set the precedent for hundreds of clear passages (?).  Of course, such hermeneutical fallacies are quite common among agenda-driven Trinitarians like Dalcour (as we shall soon display).  As we demonstrate below, the boomerang effect of his evasion tactics relative to this adjective are devastating to his desperate endeavor to maintain this unbiblical dogma.

*Likewise, in my blog refutation of Dalcour’s eisegesis of John 10.30 and his earth-shattering plural verb argument, I quoted several passages that supply the singular verb modifying both God and His Son that Dalcour is always complaining about—and that he completely omitted from his current article.  Here are the actual quotes from my original article that Dalcour omits from his audience’s consideration:

“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 (as Dalcour does below).  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 ὁ 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’.”

*Hence, as usual Dalcour practices what he disallows for others. 

(Dalcour):  or WHY is the neuter “one” used to denote the relationship between Jesus and the Father.

*Dalcour was the one who raised the potential of the masculine singular force of “one” in John 10.30.  Here’s his original quote: “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).

*Now, as evidenced by both the sloppiness and tone of his article, Dalcour goes into panic mode because his assertion has backfired on him – and he must save face as quickly as possible!  Perhaps he is not familiar with the purpose of a rejoinder, but it is to refute the erroneous assertions of others—not to offer a “positive” argumentation (which, again, was indeed plainly provided in my article).

*However, to oblige Dalcour regarding the neuter of John 10.30, we will once again affirm that two subjects are in view in John 10.30 who constitutes God’s simultaneous existence as “God” and “man” (v. 33) in the person of Jesus Christ.  This is precisely what we have been attempting to inform Trinitarians ever since they invented this doctrine!  As stated elsewhere, of course we “use” John 10.30 since it directly refutes the Triune divinity heresy from the very lips of Jesus!   

(Dalcour): Perkins, for reasons know to himself, decided not to properly address these important issues.  Instead, Perkins merely makes comments based on his personal view and complains about the historic Trinitarian view.  Since Perkins seems bothered most by the historical and enduring scholarly interpretation of John 10:30, I will respond primarily to Perkins’ assertion regarding that passage:  

*First, Perkins explicitly addressed these issues as evidenced by the direct quotes above from my refutation.  Hence, either Dalcour is blatantly dishonest (something he repeatedly charges me with), or, most probably, his religious tradition and pride blinds him to the very words before his eyes – as he does with the clear passages of the biblical data.

*Second, amazingly, the “scholarly interpretations” quoted by Dalcour actually validates the Oneness position unbeknownst to them—viz., their comments on the potential of the masculine singular adjective “one” (εἷς)…which was the overarching point of the whole rejoinder!

*Third, as to be expected, Dalcour’s appeal to uninspired “historical interpretations” serves as but another example of his supplemental data to the inspired biblical record.  As mentioned above every non-Christian movement is governed by such extra-biblical authority in practice (while simultaneously denying the same in confession).

*Perkins is not at all “bothered” by “historical interpretations” of this or any other biblical passage.  Oneness believers are simply held hostage by the Scriptures to deny the doctrine of the Trinity—and we are very serious about eternal salvation.  For this reason we tenaciously teach our children on the dangerous errors of this anti-biblical doctrine in accordance with Deuteronomy 6.4-7 and as commanded by Jesus in Mark 12.29.  

(Dalcour): Oneness people are utterly controlled by their unitarian presupposition.  Thus. every passage, which says or teaches “one God” (e.g., Deut. 6:4; Mark 12:29), Perkins (as with all Oneness advocates), must salvage his personal views by forcing unitarianism into every passage—without, of course, proving it from the text.

*Ironically, it is Trinitarians who have some odd infatuation with force-feeding “multiple divine persons” into the text at virtually every turn.  That Trinitarians can somehow cram three divine persons down the throat of ca. nine-thousand single-person-pronouns applied to God—then charge Oneness believers with “presupposition” only serves to further demonstrate their desperate attempts to protect their religious tradition(s).

*Dalcour specializes in such wild-eyed speculations as he seeks to locate the Son of God on almost every page of the OT.  The annoying fact that the OT Jews-Hebrews have never worshiped a Triune divinity seems to get under his skin—hence he swats at shadows of “the Angel of the Lord,” “The Ancient of Days,” etc.  These assumptions are easily refuted by the biblical data itself – but anything to off-set the thorn in his side (note also that none of Dalcour’s repeated Jewish resources conclude his Triune divinity hypothesis)!

(Dalcour): All unitarians, whether Muslims, JWs, or Oneness Pentecostals employ this kind of circular eisegesis.  Thus, Perkins automatically (not exegetically) interprets John 10:30 through the lens of unitarianism—viz., one God = one person, the Father.          

*Here Dalcour seeks to lump Oneness believers with groups who deny that the Son of God is very God in bodily form—something we tenaciously cling to.  Dalcour knows this and thus reveals his lack of honesty and ethics when dealing with opposing views (exposing his typical pomp).  As demonstrated above, we equally include Trinitarians like Dalcour in with aberrant groups—particularly Mormons, Roman Catholics and JW’s since they argue much alike and all of these groups have more than one with the status of “God.”

*Similarly, Muslims and JW’s are often heard to say, “Jesus never once said He was God!”  Uniformly, Trinitarians very often (erroneously) claim, “Jesus never once said He was the Father!”  This is where his Guilt by Association fallacy and ad-hominem attacks land Daclour—all the while he stomps his foot about my supposed “fallacies!”  {Note: Much could be pointed out regarding the inverse of Dalcour’s Guilt by Association fallacy known as Honor by Association, but that would extend beyond the scope of this polemic.  Perhaps an article for another time!}

*This is not to even expound upon how Dalcour exchanges the lenses of biblical monotheism (what he labels as “unitarianism”) for his trifocals on virtually every page.

*Moreover, I have both contextually and grammatically demonstrated that John 10.30 stands as a positive testimony to the identity of Jesus as both the sole OT Yahveh and a genuine “man.”  I cannot help that Dalcour filters all data through his trifocals, just as he does the biblical testimony of God’s self-declarations (e.g., Isaiah 44.24; Mark 12.29; Colossians 2.8-10).

(Dalcour):  As we will see all over, Perkins not once deals with the context of the chapter itself.  Anyone who as ever heard Perkins in debate or read any of his tutelages, he or she would see that Perkins lives up to his solid reputation of removing passages and words out of their inclusive context in which he posits his personal theology into such passages throwing around Greek terms and misreading and misquoting lexicons.

*Actually, the diametrical opposite is true.  Perkins specifically appealed to the context (as my direct quotes provided below demonstrate).  And, though this has been explained to Dalcour ad nauseum, I will repeat it here for the honest reader.  In my October 2011 debate with James White while discussing the Greek noun translated “image” (εἰκὼν) in Colossians 1.15 I referenced the following direct quote from BDAG (actually I was referring to BAGD [2nd ed.], but the quotation is the same):

2 that which has the same form as someth. else (not a crafted object as in 1 above), living image, fig. ext. of 1 εἰκὼν τοῦ θεοῦ (ἄνθρωπος πλάσμα καὶ εἰκὼν αὐτοῦ [God] Theoph. Ant. 1, 4 [p. 64, 17]; w. ὁμοίωσις Did., Gen. 56, 28) of a man (cp. Mitt-Wilck. I/2, 109, 11 [III B.C.] Philopator as εἰκὼν τοῦ Διός; Rosetta Stone = OGI 90, 3 [196 B.C.] Ptolemy V as εἰκὼν ζῶσα τοῦ Διός, cp. APF 1, 1901, 483, 11; Plut., Themist. 125 [27, 4]; Lucian, Pro Imag. 28 εἰκόνα θεοῦ τ. ἄνθρωπον εἶναι; Diog. L. 6, 51 τ. ἀγαθοὺς ἄνδρας θεῶν εἰκόνας εἶναι; Sextus 190; Herm. Wr. 1, 12 al.; Apuleius as image of God, Rtzst., Mysterienrel.3 43; JHehn, Zum Terminus ‘Bild Gottes’: ESachau Festschr. 1915, 36-52) 1 Cor 11:7 (on the gradation here cp. Herm. Wr. 11, 15a); of Christ (Helios as εἰκών of deity: Pla., Rep. 509; Proclus, Hymni 1, 33f [Orphica p. 277 Abel]; Herm. Wr. 11, 15; Stob. I 293, 21=454, 1ff Sc.; Hierocles 1, 418: the rest of the gods are εἰκόνες of the primeval god. – The Logos: Philo, Conf. Ling. 97; 147. Wisdom: Wsd 7:26) 2 Cor 4:4; Col 1:15 (εἰ. τοῦ θεοῦ ἐστιν ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ ὁ μονογενής Did., Gen. 58, 3; cp. εἰκὼν γὰρ τοῦ…θεοῦ ὁ λόγος ἐστὶ αὐτοῦ Orig., C. Cels. 4, 85, 24.–EPreuschen, ZNW 18, 1918, 243).

*Above I have embolden the segments of this lexicon that I was referencing in the debate.  As anyone can plainly read above these lexicographers state that the Greek phrase εἰκὼν τοῦ θεοῦ (the identical construction used in Colossians 1.15) defines as a “figurative extension of 1,” referring to BDAG’s first (i.e., the #1 above) provided definition of this Greek noun.  Here is the first meaning that BDAG states extends out to Christ in a figurative sense at Colossians 1.15:

1 an object shaped to resemble the form or appearance of someth., likeness, portrait (cp. Did., Gen. 82, 6) of the emperor’s head on a coin (so Artem. 4, 31; of an emperor’s image Jos., Bell. 2, 169; 194, Ant. 19, 185; cp. AcThom 112 [Aa II/2, 223, 19]; s. DShotter, Gods, Emperors, and Coins: Greece and Rome, 2d ser. 26, ’79, 48-57) Mt 22:20; Mk 12:16; Lk 20:24. Of an image of a god (Diod. S. 2, 8, 7 [Zeus]; Appian, Mithrid. 117 §575 θεῶν εἰκόνες; Lucian, Sacr. 11; 2 Ch 33:7; Is 40:19; Just., A I, 55, 7; Ath. 18, 1; s. TPodella, Das Lichtkleid ’96, esp. 83-88) Rv 13:14f; 14:9, 11; 15:2; 16:2; 19:20; 20:4.

*In the debate I simply overlooked the semi-colon (;) preceding the phrase “of Christ” and I am sincerely glad this was pointed out later.  It has indeed helped me in my carefulness of research.  However, this changes absolutely nothing in my application since BDAG used the descriptor “Christ” for this specific noun, which is not an ontological expression as Trinitarians feign, but rather a functional term literally meaning “one who has been anointed” (cf. NET TN).  If this is describing “ontologically co-equal, co-eternal, divine persons” how can it be said that one co-equal divine person “anointed” another co-equal divine person?  And Dalcour calls Oneness theology “convoluted?”

*Similar to Mormonism, Trinitarians attempt to redefine this noun to refer to the pre-existent-heavenly world.  However, as seen above, this Greek noun denotes that which is tangible or corporeal and is where we derive the English word “icon”—obviously referring to that which is physically material.  Or, as the Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament defines this particular noun:

(2) as an embodiment or living manifestation of God form, appearance (CO 1.15);

*Did Christ have an actual “embodiment” in His preexistent state?  If so, then Dalcour is now advocating radical-bodily separation within the Godhead – all the while still feigning “monotheism.”  Note also that the term “embodiment” is synonymous with “incarnation.”  No doubt Dalcour will place his usual evasive spin on the above grammatical facts, but we will simply allow the actual text itself to inform our theological deductions—despite his beloved “creeds” and “councils.”

*More importantly, to seek to apply the same time continuum (i.e., “eternality”) to a “visible image” (cf. Amplified Bible) as to that which is “invisible”—viz., the “invisible God” in this text—betrays Dalcour’s theologically-driven obsession.  Such non-sensical conclusions only serve to demonstrate how far Trinitarians like Dalcour are willing to stretch to protect their religious traditions.      

*Even worse, I have numerous quotes of Dalcour making outright erroneous assertions about the Greek texts of the Bible.  While I post the links to several of his blunders later, for now, all one has to do is listen in below as Dalcour claims the masculine singular adjective εἷς (“one” in Mark 12.29) is actually a masculine “pronoun.”  And, he does this not just once but twice with the actual text right in front of him HERE (forward to the 2:41 and 8:50 minute mark[s] and listen in)!

*If Dalcour doesn’t even know the difference between a Greek adjective and a pronoun he might want to think twice before he attempts to correct someone else for how they have used a resource years ago.  As seen above, Dalcour just recently made these sophomoric bloopers—and we have many more below!

(Dalcour):  Hence, many see Perkins as practicing dishonest scholarship especially in his debate with James White.

*Specifically who are the “many?” Agenda-driven Trinitarians like Dalcour?  And, isn’t this the same debate where White provided his own private translation of Philippians 2.6—yet failed to inform the audience it was his personal rendering?  We wonder how many Trinitarians are charging White with “dishonest scholarship?”  Isn’t this the same debate where White openly stated that God supposedly exists as “three divine individuals, each with their own separate (a word Dalcour sprints away from) centers of consciousness apart from the other two divine persons?”  Who can take such claims seriously?

*Moreover, I received testimonies and appreciation from all over the world for this debate.  In fact, several people were converted to biblical Christianity and monotheism due to that debate.  To Christ be all the glory and honor.  

(Dalcour):  Namely, Perkins stated that Thayer applied a meaning of “in the mind” for preposition para with dative, appearing twice in John 17:5: (“Father glorify Me para seautw [“together with Yourself”] . . . with the glory I had para soi [“with You”] before the world was”).  However, Thayer said no such thing.  He does indicate para with the dative could have a possible meaning of “in the mind” at John 17:5.

*Umm, was this not my very point in the debate?  Here Dalcour commits the special pleading fallacy by employing the terms “could have” and a “possible” meaning.  This is nothing more than Dalcour’s usual exegetical-dodge-ball tactics to avoid the direct lexical refutations of his absolute claims—all the while he charges others with the very disingenuous methods that he consistently uses.  As shown above, the lexical fact remains that the Greek preposition παρὰ + dative case used by Christ includes “in the mind,” despite how hard Dalcour attempts to spin away from its semantic range.

(Dalcour):  To say that he did as Perkins did is simply flat-out lexical abuse.  In fact, when Thayer actually comments on para with the dative to John 17:5 he states:

*Amazingly, Dalcour botches yet another lexical resource here and only provides a partial quotation as seen in his ellipsis (…) below.  Not to worry—we provide the whole quote for our readers!

(Dalcour quoting Thayer):  With, i.e., in one’s house. . . .Dwelling WITH God, John 8:38 [“I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.”]; i.q. [‘the same as’] in heaven, John 17:5 (emphasis added).

(Dalcour):  No “in the mind” meaning (as with standard lexicons and grammars indicate).

*Are we reading the same lexicon Mr. Dalcour?  Here’s the entire quotation from Thayer:

II.  with the dative, παρά indicates that something is or is done either in the immediate vicinity of someone, or (metaphorically) in his mind, near by, beside, in the power of, in the presence of, with, the Sept. for אֵצֶל (1 Kings 20:1 (); Proverbs 8:30), בְּיַד (Genesis 44:16; Numbers 31:49), בְּעֵינֵי (see b. below); cf. Winers Grammar, § 48, d., p. 394f (369); (Buttmann, 339 (291f)).  

(a)  near, by: εἱστήκεισαν παρά τῷ σταυρῷ, John 19:25 (this is the only passage in the N. T. where παρά is joined with a dative of the thing, in all others with a dative of the person). after a verb of motion, to indicate the rest which follows the motion (cf. Buttmann, 339 (292)), ἔστησεν αὐτό παῥ ἑαυτῷ, Luke 9:47.  

(b)  with, i. e. in one’s house; in one’s town; in one’s society: ξενίζεσθαι (which see), Acts 10:6; Acts 21:16; μένειν, of guests or lodgers, John 1:39 (); ; Acts 9:43; Acts 18:3, 20 (R G); f; ἐπιμένειν, Acts 28:14 L T Tr WH; καταλύειν, Luke 19:7 (Demosthenes, de corona § 82 (cf. Buttmann, 339 (292))); ἀριστᾶν, Luke 11:37; ἀπολείπειν τί, 2 Timothy 4:13; παρά τῷ Θεῷ, dwelling with God, John 8:38; equivalent to in heaven, John 17:5;

*Note above that Thayer provides the lexical meaning of παρὰ in the dative case under definition number II where he specifies that when a “metaphorical” connotation is applied the sense is “in the mind.”  Thayer then places John 17.5 under category IIb.  Dalcour is hung on the horns of a dilemma here since he either has to (i) openly affirm that God the Father and “God the Son” have literal “sides”—which destroys the notion of omnipresence for Dalcour’s supposed “God-persons,” or (ii) the meaning of this prepositional construct is metaphorical (as Dalcour has acknowledged in his lectures).

*If the meaning is metaphorical—as it clearly is—then Dalcour is forced to concede Thayer’s application of “in the mind” if he is to abide by his own standards.  Of course, we can expect to find the remains of the Abominable Snowman before this will ever take place!  Hence, as demonstrated above, it is actually Dalcour who is living up to his solid reputation of removing passages and words out of their inclusive context.  This never ceases to amaze me about Dalcour and I sincerely feel so sorry for his gullible devotees.     

(Dalcour):  As with John 10:30, Perkins is quite alone on his personal views of regarding a Oneness unitarian interpretation of 17:5.  In point of fact, anyone engaging in real scholarly research on John 17:5 (or 10:30) would see scholarly opinion rejects Oneness theological assertions across the board.        

*Actually, “in point of fact,” this is patently false as this quotation from one of many Trinitarian scholars clearly indicates:

“The glory of the completed redemption cannot literally be possessed until redemption is complete.  If now the pre-existence of Jesus, according to the 17th chapter of John is clearly ideal, this fact confirms the interpretation which has been given of the other passages….We conclude, then, that (Jn. 17:5) in which Jesus alludes to his preexistence, does not involve the claim that His preexistence was personal and real. (It is) to be classed with the other phenomena of the Messianic consciousness of Jesus, none of which have to do with metaphysical relationships with the Father” (Dr. G. H. Gilbert, former professor of NT Literature at Chicago Theological Seminary; The Revelation of Jesus: A Study of the Primary Sources of Christianity, p. 222).

*Hence, what Dalcour classifies as “scholarly opinion” translates into those-that-specifically-agree-with-me!  Again, this is merely one of numerous quotes we could marshal from various scholars that speak to this end.  Similarly, the Greek preposition and pronoun translated “with you” in the last clause of 17.5 is παρὰ σοί in the dative case and enjoys quite a semantic range.  See below the UBS Concise Greek-English Dictionary:

παρά prep. with:  (1) genitive, from, of (τὰ παρά τινος one’s provisions, money or gift; οἱ παρʼ αὐτοῦ his family #Mr 3:21); by, with; (2) dative, with, in the presence of, before; in the judgment of; near, beside; for; (3) accusative, beside, by, at; on, along; to; than, more than, above; rather than; contrary to.

*As anyone can plainly see, “beside” is only one of several potential meanings of this preposition in this case.  As demonstrated above, παρὰ + dative equally means “in the judgment of,” which is perfectly aligned with the Oneness position (cf. L&N, Thayer, et al. for this meaning of παρὰ + dative).  Trinitarians cherry-pick the definition that seems to best fit their theology in John 17.5 and we simply have another case of creedal belief pawned off as grammatical fact.  The reality is that context will always be the ultimate determiner in translation—as an “apologist” should well know.

(Dalcour): REGARDING JOHN 10:30-Context. After reading Perkins’ so-called refutation, a glaring fact jumps out (esp. with John 10:30): Perkins never actually interacts at all with the content and actual context of the surrounding the passages, he merely asserts his theology into text.

*As we have demonstrated above and shall show once again below, I specifically referenced the “context of the surrounding the passages” (whatever such non-sensical wording is supposed to mean?)—and Dalcour actually provides my quote below!  Mind-boggling.

(Dalcour):  He does use the word “context when he says:

*(My quote from the original rejoinder):  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):  So Perkins’ idea of “context” is to cite a lone passage (i.e., v. 30) and then his own assumed context into that passage.

*As anyone can read in the excerpts above, I actually cited v. 33 as the carefully stated context (i.e., the natural flow of the Johannine narrative)—not v. 30 as Dalcour erroneously claims above.  Further, I repeatedly pointed to how the original hearers understood Jesus’ assertion in v. 30 as a statement of identity and not mere “unity” – even after hearing the plural verb (that Dalcour thinks demands multiple persons in the Godhead).  

*After citing v. 33 as the surrounding context I subsequently moved on to v. 30.  Perhaps if Dalcour would quote the whole article for his readers I would not have to point out the obvious, but, again, I refer readers to my original blog piece.  And Dalcour is attempting to correct me about supposedly “practicing dishonest scholarship?”  The proverbial elephant in the room is quite glaring!  

(Dalcour):  As any first year seminary student knows, that he would receive failing grade on in a basic hermeneutic class, which he was required to exegete a passage and he merely did what Perkins did—viz., assert a pre-text without a context.

*While we appreciate Dalcour’s James White impersonation here, actually, I completed “first year” Greek with a 95% by the grace of God – and at “land record speed” as my professor stated.  And, while I certainly make no pretenses to being a Greek scholar I have continued my education in original language research and have learned much (with much more to still learn!).   

*Far more importantly, below, we demonstrate but a few of Dalcour’s fundamental hermeneutical flaws.  Worse, as shown above Dalcour repeatedly blunders with the Greek text.  Here, let’s see another one of his botched quotes shall we?

*On his website Dalcour has a video clip entitled, “The Trinity in the OT Recorded live at ABN in Detroit MI, featuring Sam Shamoun, Edward Dalcour, and Anthony Rogers” (found about ¾ down the page HERE).  At the 50:20 minute mark Dalcour begins discussing Matthew 28.18-19.  And at the 50:36 minute mark Dalcour informs us that Christ commanded His disciples to baptize “UNDER the name” of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

*Problem is, Jesus never “commanded” any such thing!  The Greek preposition used by Jesus is εἰς governing the accusative case noun ὄνομα.  For Dalcour’s false assertion to be accurate Jesus would have used the normal preposition for “under,” viz., ὑπό in the accusative case.  Amazingly, in this same clip, Dalcour even stresses the singularity of the name of Matthew 28.19—yet fails to inform us what this single “name” is (hint:  it is equally “the name of…the Son” Mr. Dalcour!).  And this is but one of Dalcour’s numerous clumsy attempts to sound “scholarly” in this clip—as well as many other recordings that I have.

*This is simply “first year” Greek and if Dalcour makes such freshman mistakes such as this he might need to re-evaluate his own “credentials.”  Incidentally, since Dalcour is publicly leveling charges against my references and personal scholarship, the following is taken from his website: “Dr. Dalcour holds a Master in Apologetics from Columbia Evangelical Seminary and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Dogmatic Theology from North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus, SA).”  Now, see HERE for information on where Dalcour obtained these degrees.

*I personally spoke with administration at Columbia Evangelical Seminary and they affirmed that they aren’t even an accredited seminary – and their behemoth “campus” is limited to two small offices (see HERE  – I have since read that they have actually minimized down to one office now).  Or, simply see this link from their own website HERE.  

*This is not to infer that such on-line-distance education is not a learning experience as I am sure that it is.  However, someone as pompous as Dalcour regarding supposed biblical education might need to sweep around his own porch before dusting off his broom for mine (Note: I have even more information on “Dr.” Dalcour’s credentials if he presses this issue further.)!    

*As anticipated, Dalcour usually attempts to spin away from his all-thumbs-textual-bumbling(s) by protesting that he “meant this in a certain context!”  Trouble is, he does this type of thing over and over—and I have his actual recordings and quotes to prove it!  Let’s take an analytical look at Dalcour’s “hermeneutics” and see how he would fare in the same first year hermeneutics class shall we?  Indeed, as we have repeatedly pointed out, the hermeneutical and paradigmatic differences between Trinitarian and Oneness believers are at the very heart of our eternal differences.

*One of the most glaring hermeneutical flaws that Dalcour commits is interpreting the macro-witness through the lens of the micro-witness.  Any first year hermeneutics student understands that debatable-unclear passages that appear in the minority are to be explicated under the light of the undebatable-clear verses that appear in the majority.  This is so elementary that I am surprised that Trinitarians still use this ploy (e.g., Genesis 1.26; Matthew 28.19).

*That is, Dalcour repeatedly (mis)uses a handful of passages to teach that the Son of God was the “literal-active Creator” (e.g., Colossians 1.15-16; Hebrews 1.1-10) while attempting to explain away approximately fifty crystal-clear verses teaching that one person of God created (e.g., Nehemiah 9.6; Isaiah 44.24; Malachi 2.10; Mark 10.6; Matthew 19.4; etc.).

*Further, there are at least nine-thousand instances where God declares that He is a sole-person via single-person-pronouns, yet Dalcour somehow uses six plural pronouns applied to God as a blanket to cover these thousands of plain passages—and doesn’t even seem to blush.  How on earth someone who feigns “scholarship” can force-feed three, distinct, co-equal, co-eternal divine individuals into a single-person-pronoun is as mind-boggling as how Dalcour can seriously claim that the doctrine of the Trinity is actually “biblical.”

*Dalcour does the same thing with the lone witness of Matthew 28.19—which specifies a single “name”—in attempting to override the plainness of the baptismal accounts in the biblical data (e.g., Acts 2.38, 8.16, 10.48, 19.5, 22.16; I Corinthians 1.13, 6.11; Romans 6.3; Galatians 3.27; Colossians 2.9-12).  To Dalcour’s chagrin, since he is fond of arguing from silence, nowhere in the inspired-scriptural record is anyone ever baptized according “the Trinitarian formula” (as he calls it).

*Dalcour typically seeks to evade these militating biblical facts by claiming that the prepositional phrase “in the name of” doesn’t really mean a “name” (nudge-nudge – wink-wink), but rather “authority”….even though the Greek noun for “authority” (ἐξουσία) appears nowhere in these actual baptismal accounts.  Of course, this is an age-old dodge popularized by the so-called “Church of Christ” in polemic platform and has been utterly refuted.

*In fact, since Dalcour is fond of charging others with lexical abuse—when we’ve actually demonstrated the polar opposite above—let’s see if he’ll equally accept what BDAG says about the noun translated “name” in the baptismal accounts of Acts shall we?

Through baptism εἰς (τὸ) ὄν. τ. those who are baptized become the possession of and come under the dedicated protection of the one whose name they bear. An additional factor, to a degree, may be the sense of εἰς τὸ ὄν. = with mention of the name (cp. Herodian 2, 2, 10; 2, 13, 2 ὀμνύναι εἰς τὸ ὄν. τινος; Cyranides p. 57, 1 εἰς ὄν. τινος; 60, 18=εἰς τὸ ὄν. τ.; 62, 13. Another ex. in Heitmüller 107): Mt 28:19; Ac 8:16; 19:5; D 7:1, (3); 9:5; Hv 3, 7, 3; cp. 1 Cor 1:13, 15.

ג. with ἐν: ἐν ὀνόματι of God or Jesus means in the great majority of cases with mention of the name, while naming or calling on the name (PsSol 11:8; JosAs 9:1; Just., D. 35, 2 al.; no corresponding use has been found in gener. Gk. lit.; but cp. ἐν ὀν. τοῦ μεγάλου καὶ ὑψίστου θεοῦ Hippol., Ref. 9, 15, 6.–Heitmüller p. 13ff, esp. 44; 49).  In many pass. it seems to be a formula…βαπτίζεσθαι ἐν τῷ ὀν. Ἰ. Χ.  be baptized or have oneself baptized while naming the name of Jesus Christ Ac 2:38 v.l.; 10:48.  At a baptism ἐν ὀν. χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ AcPl Ha 3, 32.

*Now watch Dalcour’s fancy footwork begin folks as he does in his most recent attempted dodge of these texts HERE!  

*Or, how about this dandy from the NIDNTTE:

(c) The baptismal formula εἰς τὸ ὄνομα, “to/into the name,” prob. corresponds with the rabb. use of לְשֵׁם (see JL 6 (e), above).  The sense may be that baptism symbolically assigns the believer to Christ for forgiveness of sins (Acts 8:16; 19:5; 1 Cor 1:13, 15; cf. Matt 28:19).  The same idea can be intended where other prepositions are used (Acts 2:38 [ἐπί]; 10:48 [ἐν]; cf. the LXX rendering of לְשֵׁם in Josh 9:9; 2 Sam 22:50; Sir 47:13).

*Note that this (highly meticulous) resource designates the phrase “into the name” as a “baptismal formula” connected to “forgiveness of sins.”  They then refer readers to their Semitic definition in the Jewish Literature (JL) 6 (e), which states:

(e) Among the rabbis the name is important in the teaching of tradition.  One who passes on a doctrine or tradition should do so by naming (בְּשֵׁם) the authority from whom it was received (m. ’Abot 6:6).

*This directly refutes Dalcour’s usual erroneous claim that in a Semitic context a “name” meant only “authority” and not an actual name as the inspired text clearly states.  Of course, this is nothing more than Dalcour’s typical attempt to render the biblical record of no affect in order to rescue and protect his religious tradition(s).  (Note: Dalcour’s “authority only” dodge would be deafeningly refuted in public polemic platform—and I sincerely hope he tries this should he ever accept my debate offer[s]!)

*Note also that the NIDNTTE citation above directs their audience to the LXX translation of Joshua 9.9 and the prepositional phrases rendered “in the name:”

(Joshua 9.9; NETS [LXX]):  And they said, “Your servants have come from a land very far away in the name of the Lord your God;  for we have heard his name and what he did in Egypt…”

*Note once again the connection between the prepositional phrase “in the name of” and “hear(ing) his name”—obviously indicating that the name was orally invoked.

*CWSB; Drs. Carpenter, Baker and Zodhiates:

To invoke (Acts 9:21; 22:16; 1 Cor. 1:2); baptízō (G0907), to baptize in the name of the Lord (Matt. 28:19; Acts 8:16; 19:5), and with the prep. epí (G1909), upon (Acts 2:38); with the prep. en (G1722), in (Acts 10:48 [cf. being baptized into {eis (G1519)} Christ [Rom. 6:3]); by antithesis, to baptize in the name of Paul (1 Cor. 1:13, 15).

*Since Dalcour refers to the consensus of scholarship above, will he stick by his guns in these accounts and now alter his “baptismal formula” to harmonize with these exegetes immediately overhead  (I have many more quotes if he still needs further persuasion!)?  Incidentally, I am currently reading through Dr. Craig S. Keener’s Exegetical Commentary on Acts (a mammoth 4 volume exegesis) wherein he clearly states that primitive Christian initiation included water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ.  Stay tuned to this blog for specific quotes from Dr. Keener to this end.   

*Note also above that CWSB directly references Matthew 28.19 as baptism “in the name of the Lord” right alongside Acts 8.16 and Acts 19.5—clear references to baptism in Jesus Name (see HERE for an excellent exegesis of the biblical baptismal accounts).  We think it most wise not to hold our breath at this point!

*Another of Dalcour’s typical hermeneutical blunders is that he builds his theological house by appealing to the NT corpus at the outset relative to God’s identity—while explaining away the OT assertions of Yahveh’s self-declaration.  In doing so, Dalcour abandons all educational principles since latter revelation is naturally built on former revelation and not contrary to the same.

*Dalcour usually labels this “progressive revelation” in attempting to wax theological.  However, actually, his Godhead notions would be “digressive revelation” since this does theology backwards and rejects God’s sole-monadic-self-identification.  This holds particularly true for God’s eternal self-identification (e.g., Deuteronomy 33.27; etc.).  Simply, Dalcour’s theology disallows Yahveh’s words to hold true despite how loud he protests otherwise (e.g., Isaiah 44.24; Deuteronomy 4.35; etc.).

*As an analogy, imagine what would happen if you attempted to board a plane and showed TSA your identification card, but stubbornly insisted that you were really three persons—each with their own center of consciousness!  This is exactly what Dalcour does to Yahveh’s self-identification-card in literally thousands upon thousands of passages (e.g., Isaiah 40-45; Matthew 28.18-20; John 1.1-14, 14.8-18).      

*That is, Dalcour assumes that because he locates Father, Son, Holy Spirit language in the NT this equals an “eternal Triune divinity.”  The fact that the clear OT self-declarations of Yahveh sharply refute his eisegesis seems to really bother Dalcour.  Hence, to recover his theological commitments he swats at any shadows he thinks he can find in the OT of a “Trinity.”  Dalcour usually does this by taking wild-eyed swings at the “Angel of the LORD,” “The Ancient of Days,” plural Hebrew verbs, nouns and pronouns—none of which are textually limited to “three” and actually refutes his Triune divinity hypothesis (not unusual for Trinitarianism).

*Again, so much more could be pointed out regarding Dalcour’s supposed “hermeneutic” methodology, but for the sake of space and time we will save these points for our follow-up posts.  Stay tuned for the ensuing three refutations πρὸς Dalcour which will be posted very soon above.  

*Thank you for reading!

Junia(s) Part II

*In light of recent published works advocating the heretical doctrine of “women preachers” in the office of the NT ministry and eldership we are taking a momentary break from responding to Edward Dalcour.  I am currently working on a categorical surrejoinder to Dalcour’s most recent erroneous and typical charges against Oneness believers – stay tuned for more soon!  Additionally, I am presently (and carefully) analyzing the claims made in these most recent books – as I recover from a recent (second) open heart surgery – and do intend to offer a rejoinder to the assertions I have read thus far.  

*In the meantime I wanted to post a link to accomplished Greek grammarian Dr. Micheal Burer’s most recent defense of his original article co-authored with Dr. Daniel Wallace – which solidly and exegetically refutes the notion that Junia(s) of Romans 16.7 was a supposed NT “apostle” (HERE).  In particular, Burer offers concrete textual data debunking the inaccurate claims of Linda Belleville and Eldon Epp.  Burer’s current rejoinder only further validates the veracity of the original (2001) exegesis and appeared in the December 2015 edition of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (JETS).

*HERE is a link to his paper – enjoy! 

 

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!

Against Dalcour

*Below we continue with excerpts from our exegetical refutation(s) of the charges of Edward Dalcour toward Oneness Pentecostal believers.  As before, I have simply copied Dalcour’s assertions from his website in *black with categorical and textual rebuttals immediately following in *blue.  This particular post specifically targets Dalcour’s claims regarding the ancient hymn found in Colossians 1.15-16.  Corroboration of Dalcour’s quotes can be located HERE.  Enjoy!

Colossians 1:16-17:  “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.  He is before all things and in Him all things hold together.”

*Not surprisingly, Dalcour here violates his own criteria of exegesis and analytical discourse by overlooking the introduction of the dependent “hoti” (ὅτι) clause of v. 16, which is hinged on the independent clause of v. 15.  That is, vv. 16-17 hang upon v. 15, which, as we shall see, is crucial to understanding what Paul was naturally communicating if this text is allowed to stand uninterrupted on its own strength.

Despite the biblical simplicity, Bernard (1983: 116-17) attempts to circumvent the biblical truth that the Son is the Creator of all things:

Perhaps these scriptural passages have a deeper meaning that can be expressed as follows: Although the Son did not exist at the time of creation except as the word in the mind of God, God used His foreknowledge of the Son when He created the world …The plan of the Son was in God’s mind at creation and was necessary for the creation to be successful. Therefore, He created the world by the Son (emphasis added).

This is an obvious case of eisegesis.  Bernard’s assertion is clear: passages that speak of the Son as the Creator mean that when the Father created all things, He had the “plan of the Son” in mind or in view, that is, “God used His foreknowledge of the Son when He created the world.”  Bernard’s conclusion assumes unitarianism and disallows normal exegesis.

*“Normal exegesis” does not completely ignore the all-important explicating-subordinate conjunction translated “for” (ὅτι) at the beginning of a passage. Ironically, it is Dalcour who is “disallowing normal exegesis” and “assuming” his predisposed Trinitarian theology.

*Further, this passage does not “speak of the Son as the Creator” – this is supplied by Dalcour contra the inspired biblical data standing alone.  By contrast, it is Dalcour who shows an “obvious case of eisegesis” by imposing his theology upon the God-breathed (θεόπνευστος) text—a text that never states the same as we shall demonstrate below.

In the first place, Colossians 1:13-15 clearly differentiates Jesus from the Father. These verses contextually prohibit the Oneness notion that Jesus is both the Father and the Son:

*It is not “the Oneness notion” that teaches that Jesus is simultaneously the Father and the Son of God—it’s the forced conclusion and plain statements of Scripture itself.  Moreover, it was Christ’s “notion” as well!  When asked about the location of the Father, Jesus responds by expressing surprise in exclaiming, “Am I with you so long a time, and you have not known Me, Philip?  The one having seen Me has seen the Father.  How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14.9).

*If Jesus is someone other than the One inquired about, His response is entirely non-sensical.  “Am I with you so long a time, and you have not known Me, Philip?” Dalcour’s usual dodge of this clear passage is to appeal to v. 6 in an effort to somehow circumvent and disallow Jesus’s self-declaration in order to protect his religious (Trinitarian) tradition—of course, operating under the guise of “context.”  

*Trinitarianism is both a denial and an insult to the plain self-identifications of Christ – and it’s painful to watch them attempt to spin away from such passages.  There are many other similar verses that Trinitarians like Dalcour labor long and hard to explain away (e.g., Isaiah 9.6; John 14.16-18; 2 Corinthians 3.17; et al.).

*Moreover, Oneness believers gladly acknowledge that there’s a distinction between the Father and the Son of God.  Indeed, such a distinction is decidedly paramount to understanding Christ’s biblical identity.  However, Dalcour assumes that this “differentiation” demands “co-equal, co-eternal, divine, persons”—it does not.  Ironically, the very verses to which Dalcour appeals below actually militates against his doctrinal posturing, and that on the grammatical level.

“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  He [the Son] is the image of the invisible God [the Father].”  Consider also, as we have shown (cf. Chapter 2, 2.4.4), that Paul’s main purpose for writing the book of Colossians was to provide a meaningful refutation of the proto-Gnostic ideology concerning spirit versus matter.

*Note above that Paul defines God’s Son as the One in whom we have “redemption” and “the forgiveness of sins.”  Specifically whom “redeemed” us—a “pre-existent 2nd of 3 co-equal, divine persons” or the “God-Man?”  This is both the grammar and context of this ancient hymn, as Dalcour accurately points out.

The Gnostic system did not allow Jesus to be the Creator of something so inherently evil as “matter.”  In light of this, Paul provides a clear anti-Gnostic polemic by firmly demonstrating that Jesus the Son of God did in fact create all things. Note the clear and forceful (and even redundant) way he presents this:  By Him [en autōall things [panta] were created … all things [panta] have been created through Him [di’ autou] and for Him [eis auton].  He is before all things [autos estin pro pantōn], and in Him [en autōall things [panta] hold together” (emphasis added).

*Both above and below we have exegetically demonstrated that the force of these prepositional constructs and pronouns used by Paul do not teach a “pre-existent Son of God” as a “second divine person in the Trinity” if the inspired text itself is allowed to stand alone.

The following grammatical aspects pointedly codify Paul’s argument:

1.  Along with John 1:3, Paul employs the neuter panta, which indicate that the Son was the actual Creator of all things.  White (1998: 213) remarks on the theological implication of Paul’s use of the neuter:   

It is significant that Paul does not use the more popular terms pas or pan, both of which had meanings in Greek philosophy that allowed the creation to be a part of God or God a part of creation (as in pantheism).  Instead, he uses a term that makes the creation a concrete, separate entity with the real existence.

*We are rather puzzled how Dalcour thinks Paul’s usage of πάντα (panta) in this text vindicates the Son of God as a supposed collateral co-existent divine person?  The Greek adjective πάντα (panta) here is merely the nominative neuter plural form of πᾶς (pas).  There is absolutely no theological significance relative to the Godhead in this form of the adjective—and is but another case of a fertile Trinitarian imagination.

2.  Paul utilizes four different prepositions to magnify his affirmation that the Son was the Agent of creation:  All things were created “by/in Him” (en + dative; vv. 16, 17); “through Him” (dia + genitive; v. 16); and “for Him” (eis + accusative; v. 16); and, He is “before all things” (pro + genitive; v. 17).  To say again, Paul is speaking here of the Son, not the Father (cf. v. 14).

*Here’s the actual Greek text of Colossians 1.16 (NA28):

ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ ἐκτίσθη τὰ πάντα

ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς,

τὰ ὁρατὰ καὶ τὰ ἀόρατα,

εἴτε θρόνοι εἴτε κυριότητες

εἴτε ἀρχαὶ εἴτε ἐξουσίαι·

τὰ πάντα διʼ αὐτοῦ καὶ εἰς αὐτὸν ἔκτισται·

“because in Him were created all things in the heavens and upon the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or lordships or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and unto Him.” (Colossians 1.16; BLB)

*Note the prepositional construct above translated “in Him” (ἐν αὐτῷ + dative) in the opening (ὅτι) dependent-causal clause.  Though there are at least ten different forms for ἐν + dative, the most straightforward meaning of this particular preposition governing a dative case pronoun (αὐτῷ) is:  “properly, in (inside, within); (figuratively) ‘in the realm (sphere) of,’ as in the condition (state) in which something operates from the inside (within)” (cf. Greek prepositional chart online [http://www.chioulaoshi.org/BG/Lessons/lesson05.html]; also see http://biblehub.com/greek/1722.htm).  This is quite different in both translation and meaning from Dalcour’s theologically preferred “by Him” rendering above.  

*Significantly, Dalcour apparently fails to realize above that the verb translated “were created” appears in the aorist tense, passive—contra the active—voice.  Exegetically, a passive voice verb generally denotes the subject (in this case the Son of God) as the recipient of the action whereas the active voice denotes the subject as the actual doer of the action.  If – as Dalcour repeatedly asserts – the Son of God is presented as the “actual Creator” in this hymnal context, the active voice would have been employed as consistently done elsewhere in Scripture when the subject is the confirmed doer of the verb.

*Indeed, in 3.10 (of the same book) Paul readily uses the aorist active form of this selfsame verb (κτίσαντος, contra ἐκτίσθη of 1.16).  Hence, the routine “deponent verb” dodge of this exegetical fact from Trinitarians will not do at this point.  Deponent verbs are typically verbs for which no active form is found in the Greek New Testament.  And, as demonstrated above, that is not the case with this particular verb.

*That is, when Paul wanted to state that the subject is “active,” as Dalcour inflicts into the text above, he precisely uses the active voice in Colossians—but does not do so at 1.16 as he does in 3.10.  To somehow shift the meaning of a passive voice verb in this text betrays an over-eager theological rush that negates even 1st year Greek grammar.

*Neither can Trinitarians appeal to the supposed “divine passive” of the verb translated “were created” in Colossians 1.16 since this is merely another theological assertion and not a direct exegesis of the actual inspired data itself.  See here renowned Greek grammarian Dr. William Mounce: “Divine passive” is more of a theological category than grammatical.  In form and basic meaning, it is simply a passive, but when God is the author of the verb, we call it a “divine passive.” (https://billmounce.com/blog/divine-passives-and-seminary-education-eph-3-19)  

*{Note: The (perfect) passive ἔκτισται is equally employed in the final clause of this hymnal text.  Indeed, in no portion of this entire context is the active voice used for “created” relative to the Son of God.  This is nothing more than Dalcour’s intrusion into the biblical data.}

*This does not even delve into the depths of (i) the specific psalm context of these passages, and (ii) the pronouns translated “Him” that modify their antecedent noun translated “image” (εἰκὼν), which is lexically defined as “an embodiment or living manifestation of God form, appearance (CO 1.15)” (Analytical Lexicon of the Greek NT).  Clearly “God the Son” did not posses an “embodiment” (a synonym for “incarnation” [cf. Oxford’s Dict.]) in eternity-past, unless Dalcour is now advocating bodily separation for each “divine person in the Trinity?”

*Renowned exegete Dr. Murray J. Harris comments on v. 15 (cf. Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament; Colossians and Philemon; p. 39):

Εἰκὼν (-όνος, ἡ, image) is nom. after the vb. εἰμί, and is anar. because a pred. noun after εἰμί sometimes lacks the article (cf. 2 Cor. 4:4).  It is definite (“the image,” “the visible image [NLT], “the visible representation” [Cassirer]) although anar.  An εἰκὼν is a “likeness” or a “visible expression.”  The degree of resemblance between the archetype and the copy must be determined by the word’s context but could range from a partial or superficial resemblance to a complete or essential likeness.  Given 1:9 and 2:9, εἰκὼν here signifies that Jesus is an exact, as well as a visible, representation of God…The invisible God, who dwells in unapproachable light (I Tim. 6:16), is visibly expressed in his Son (cf. John 1:18; 12:45; 14:9).

*Just for good measure – see here the New International Greek Testament Commentary quote concerning Colossians 1.15:

As the sequence of parallels with motifs characteristically used of Jewish Wisdom in these verses will confirm, the writer here is taking over language used of divine Wisdom and reusing it to express the significance of Christ, if not, indeed, taking over a pre-Christian hymn to Wisdom.  That is to say, he is identifying this divine Wisdom with Christ, just as ben Sira and Baruch identified divine Wisdom with the Torah (so also Heb. 1:3; cf. particularly Davies, Paul 168-75; Weiss, Untersuchungen 306-8).  The effect is the same:  not to predicate the actual (pre)existence of either Torah or Christ prior to and in creation itself, but to affirm that Torah and Christ are to be understood as the climactic manifestations of the preexistent divine wisdom, by which the world was created.  

It is Christ in his revelatory and redemptive significance who is the subject of praise here; “the description is revelatory, more than ontological” (Martin, Colossians and Philemon 57).  And the praise is that his redemptive work (1:14: “in whom we have the redemption”) is entirely continuous and of a piece with God’s work in creation.  It is the same God who comes to expression in creation and definitively in Christ; “he who speaks of Christ speaks of God” (Gnilka, Kolosserbrief 61).  In short, there is no dualism here.  Quite the contrary:  this is Christology set within Jewish monotheism and predicated on the Jewish theological axiom that the one God has chosen to reveal himself in and through his creative power (cf. Hegermann 101: “Dynamic Monism”; Wright, “Poetry” 114: “Christological Monotheism”).

*I ask the honest reader, does careful language such as “visible expression,” “representation,” and “copy” naturally communicate the eternal-heavenly realm—or is such grammar innately descriptive of the Incarnation?  I will simply allow the integrity and privacy of your conscience be the guide!

*In footnote 1 (quoted immediately below), Dalcour suggests three distinct methods of agency contingent upon various prepositional constructs.  He argues that the Son of God was the “intermediate agent” of creation in that He actually “carried out the act for the ultimate Agent,” viz. the Father:

In the New Testament, agency is commonly expressed in three ways:  ultimate agency (the ultimate source of the action; the one directly responsible for the action—apo, hupo, para, + the genitive); intermediate agency (that which the ultimate Agent uses to carry out the action—dia + the genitive); and impersonal agency (that which the ultimate Agent uses to perform the action—en, ek + the dative; cf. Wallace, 1996: 431-32).  Biblically, then, the Father was the source (ultimate Agent) of creation, the Son being the intermediate Agent in that He carried out the act for the ultimate Agent (cf. ibid, 431).  That the Son is the intermediate Agent of creation does not mean that He was a mere “helper” of sorts, or a secondary agent of God, but rather, He was the actual Agent of creation—namely, that which the ultimate Agent (the Father) used to carry out the actionnamely, the Creator of all things.

*As is obvious, there’s absolutely no “Biblical” distinction to be made between Dalcour’s superficial intermediate agency versus impersonal agency, for which he offers zero scriptural support – while feigning that this distinction is actually “Biblical?”  That is, neither a logical nor a Biblical contrast is to be made between that which is used to carry out the action (i.e., intermediate agency) versus that which is used to perform the action (i.e., impersonal agency)—these obviously describe one and the same verbal activity.

*Further, Dalcour again demonstrates his eisegesis (masquerading as exegesis) in asserting that God the Father “used” God the Son to “carry out the act” of creation—then somehow translates this into, “namely, the [Son is] Creator of all things.”  To reemphasize, this is nothing more than usual Trinitarian theology pawned off as supposed exegesis.  

*Stay tuned for more to come!   

    

Refutation to Edward Dalcour

*Below is an excerpt from a lengthy exegetical rejoinder I’ve been (slowly) working on in response to the contentions of Edward Dalcour toward Oneness Pentecostal beliefs.  Of course, I have repeatedly challenged Dalcour to a formal-public debate where his attacks can be openly scrutinized in the format of polemic platform.  After initially accepting my debate invitation (almost 8 months ago now) Dalcour has subsequently refused to follow through in committing to any such arrangements – all the while agreeing to meet other Oneness defenders.  The one-on-one debate offer to Mr. Dalcour is an open and standing challenge.  

*In the meantime, below I have copied from Dalcour’s website and offered categorical rebuttals immediately following his assertions with regard to the prologue of Hebrews.  Dalcour’s charges appear in *black – with my textual negations below in *blue (as here).  In some instances I have *emboldened certain points for highlight purposes.  Corroboration of Dalcour’s claims can be located HERE.  Enjoy!

(Dalcour):  Hebrews 1:2, 10:  “In these last days [God the Father] has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world…And, ‘YOU, LORD, IN THE BEGINNING LAID THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH, AND THE HEAVENS ARE THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS.’”  The prologue of Hebrews annihilates the Oneness position regarding its rejection of the preexistence of the Person of the Son.

*Actually, the polar opposite is true as we shall demonstrate below.  I am always perplexed when Trinitarians appeal to these powerful texts.  I actually employ the same passages in teaching on the errors of Trinitarianism!  The prologue of Hebrews annihilates the Trinitarian hypothesis that the Son of God is a “preexistent, co-eternal, divine person.”  Not surprisingly, Dalcour omits the textual evidence in his partial quotation above that militates against his eisegesis (presented as “exegesis” of course).

(Dalcour):  In this prologue the full deity and unipersonality of the Son is cogently expressed (esp. vv. 3, 8).  Relative to the preexistence and creatorship of the Son, verses 2 and 10 more than adequately communicate both truths.  As with John 1:3 and Colossians 1:16-17 (and 1 Cor. 8:6), verse 2 affirms that the Son was the Creator.

*First, neither Hebrews 1.2 nor v. 10 state one thing about “the preexistence and creatorship of the Son.”  As we demonstrate below, such a construct is supplied exclusively by yet another overeager Trinitarian seeking to validate his predisposed theology—not by the actual exegesis of the text(s) itself (and certainly not “more than adequately”).  We have already exposed Dalcour’s faulty (mis)handling of the Greek text above relative to Colossians 1.16, John 1.3, etc.—and he’s back at it again with the prologue of Hebrews!

(Dalcour):  In this passage we find again the preposition dia, followed by the genitive:  “In these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom [di’ hou] also He made the world” (emphasis added).

*Note that this text specifically states that God has spoken in His Son only in the “last days,” indicating that He has not spoken “in His Son” (ἐν υἱῷ + dative) prior to this same time-era.  It would be incredible to imagine that God never spoke in His “coeternal” Son from all of eternity?  Especially since Dalcour argues elsewhere that OT references to “the Angel of the LORD” is actually the Son of God speaking (even though the Hebrews prologue directly refutes this notion [cf. 1.5-6]).

(Dalcour):  Contextually, the core line of evidence that the author presents, which promptly affirms the Son’s creatorship, is the well-defined contrast between created things (viz., angels and the heavens and the earth) and the eternality of the divine Son (cf. vv. 2-3, 8-10).  In verses 10-12, the author (quoting the Father) applies Psalm 102:25-27 (101:25-27 in the LXX) to the Son.

*Contextually, the Son of God in this prologue is presented as:

(Vs. 1)  Speaking only in the “last days.”

*This is obviously language that, if allowed to speak for itself, hardly leads the honest reader to “co-eternal preexistence”—unless Dalcour is suggesting that “God the Son” was entirely mute from all of eternity (which he cannot do since he suggests that the Angel of the Lord in the OT was actually Christ [of course, with no textual support])?

(Vs. 2)  “Appointed heir of all things.”

*Would not a “co-eternal God the Son” already be “heir of all things?”  That is, what sense would it make for the writer of Hebrews to assert that a pre-existent God the Son was “appointed” (note the aorist indicative ἔθηκεν) as heir of all things?  And, which divine person did the “appointing?”  Can the first or third divine person in the Trinity “appoint” the supposed second divine person in the Trinity in eternity-past?  Such a construct is esp. problematic for Trinitarians since they teach that Christ “volunteered” in Heaven to become incarnate based upon a misunderstanding of Philippians 2.5-8 (i.e., The Carmen Christi).  

*Of course, such a theological construct naturally demands independent thought processes by each divine person within the Godhead—the very definition of polytheism (which would’ve been rejected out of hand by Hebrew believers soaked in OT concepts).

(Vs. 3)  The “exact imprint of his (i.e., the Father’s) nature.”

*Since when does an “imprint” (χαρακτὴρ) naturally carry the same time-continuum as the original from which the imprint derives?  Such a construct is a gross perversion of the literal meaning of this Greek noun in an attempt to force-feed predisposed theology into the biblical data.

*Trinitarian apologists typically state that the Greek noun χαρακτὴρ means “nature” in this text.  However, regarding this particular noun the highly exhaustive NIDNTTE (a defining work in exegetical lexicography) states:

In addition, we are told that the Son is ἀπαύγασμα τῆς δόξης καὶ χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως αὐτοῦ, “the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being” (1:3a; see αὐγάζω G878; δόξα G1518).  The same idea is expressed with different language when Paul describes Christ as εἰκὼν τοῦ θεοῦ, “the image of God” (2 Cor 4:4; Col 1:15; see εἰκών G1635), and when Jesus himself says, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

The context of Heb. 1 makes clear that the writer’s purpose was to stress the glory of the Son and the uniqueness of his revelation.  The Son who controls the beginning and the end stands in a unique relationship (a) to God, whose effulgence and image he is; (b) to the universe, which he upholds; and (c) to the church, which he has purified from sins. F. F. Bruce writes: “Just as the image and superscription on a coin exactly correspond to the device on the die, so the Son of God ‘bears the very stamp of his nature’ (RSV).  The Greek word charaktēr, occurring only here in the New Testament, expresses this truth even more emphatically than eikōn. . . . Just as the glory is really in the effulgence, so the substance (Gk. hypostasis) of God is really in Christ, who is its impress, its exact representation and embodiment.  What God essentially is, is made manifest in Christ.  To see Christ is to see what the Father is like” (Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews [1964], 6).

*BDAG:  2 someth. produced as a representation, reproduction, representation, fig., of God ἄνθρωπον ἔπλασεν τῆς ἑαυτοῦ εἰκόνος χαρακτῆρα (God) formed a human being as reproduction of his own identity/reality (s. εἰκών 2) 1 Cl 33:4 (cp. OGI 383, 60 of a picture χ. μορφῆς ἐμῆς; 404, 25; Philo, Det. Pot. Ins. 83 calls the soul τύπον τινὰ καὶ χαρακτῆρα θείας δυνάμεως).  Christ is χαρ. τῆς ὑποστάσεως αὐτοῦ an exact representation of (God’s) real being Hb 1:3 (ὑπόστασις 1a).

 *Friberg’s Analytical Lexicon on the Greek NT:  χαρακτήρ, ῆρος, ὁ. originally engraver or engraving tool; used figuratively in the NT of Christ in relation to God exact representation, precise reproduction, impress (HE 1.3).

 *Louw-Nida’s Greek-English Lexicon Based upon Semantic Domain:  58.62 χαρακτήρ η̂ρος m: a representation as an exact reproduction of a particular form or structure – exact representation. ὅς ὢν ἀπαύγασμα τη̂ς δόξης καὶ χαρακτὴρ τη̂ς ὑποστάσεως αὐτου̂ who is the reflection of his glory and the exact representation of his being HEB. 1:3.

*Again, to seek an illegitimate transfer of the same time-age continuum to the “reproduction” or “stamp” as the original that initially caused the “impress” aborts all linguistic norms in a desperate attempt to protect a religious tradition (masquerading as “exegesis” of course).  Are the “divine persons in the Trinity” so radically separated that they can be distinguished via “embodiment” (cf. Bruce above)?  If so, what has suddenly happened to their “ontological equality?”

(Vs. 3d)  (The Son of God) sat down at the right hand of God only “when he had accomplished cleansing for sins,” indicating that the Son of God was not in a position of power (i.e., the Jewish idiom right hand) from eternity.  Was a “co-eternal God the Son” not in the position of authority and power in Heaven from all the days of eternity?

(Vs. 4)  He (the Son of God) both “became” and “inherited a name” better than the angels?  If, as Trinitarians demand in these texts, God the Son is being presented as “co-eternal”—why does this text explicitly state that the Son of God “became” (literally, “having become” [aorist participial tag γενόμενος]) better than the angels?  Wouldn’t God the Son have already been better than angels from all of eternity?

*Similarly, if the Son “inherited” or “obtained” a name superior to the angels, how would this square with the Trinitarian notion that “the Son” has been His name from all of eternity (esp. since Trinitarians inform us that “the Son” is the name being described in Matthew 28.19)?  A “co-equal, co-eternal, divine person” could not “inherit” a name that He already possessed from all of eternity!

(Vs. 5)  The Son is said to be “fathered” (perfect active indicative γεγέννηκά) in a particular day and “I will be (future indicative ἔσομαι) his father and he will (future indicative verb) be my son” (Messianic prophecies from Psalm 2.7; 2 Samuel 7.14).  Can you imagine the look on my son’s face if I told him that someday I “will be” his father?  Does this even remotely sound like the normal rules of linguistics at this point (ironically, this is the same vehicle to which Dalcour appeals [i.e., normative linguistics])?

*That is, who, allowing such language to stand on its own strength, would naturally conclude that these texts present the Son of God as possessive of the same “eternality” as the One who is doing the “fathering?”  No one who allows the inspired data to speak for itself—but it even gets worse for Trinitarians in this prologue!

(Vs. 6)  The angels of God are commanded to worship the Son when the Father “brings his firstborn into the world.”  This is but another textual demolition of the supposed “eternal God the Son” eisegesis.  Clearly the angels were not worshiping the Son from all of eternity or else they would not have been commanded to do what they were already doing—there would have been a seamless transition!

*It will do no good for Trinitarians to appeal to John 12.41 in connection with Isaiah 6 to argue that angels were worshiping the Son in the OT since Hebrews 1.6 directly refutes this notion—not to mention how such an interpretation would teach bodily separation within the Godhead (something Dalcour unwittingly argues for).

*Isaiah saw a vision of Yahveh, whom John describes as Jesus.  Since John presents Jesus as fully God in his gospel (cf. 1.1, 14; 20.28), it presents no problem for him to take words originally spoken by Isaiah of Yahveh Himself and apply them to Jesus.  Indeed, Paul attributed Isaiah’s words to “the Holy Spirit” (Acts 28.25).  Will Trinitarians now demand that Isaiah also saw the Holy Spirit in the OT?  In keeping with the macro-witness of Isaiah’s corpus, to the extent that the prophet “saw” Jesus denotes a prophetical-prolepsis of the coming Messiah, who would be the very Yahveh of the OT.  This is precisely the Oneness position!  

(Vs. 8)  The Son is called God who has a throne.  Since Dalcour informs us that this is God the Father directly addressing “God the Son” (viz. the vocative case ὁ θεὸς) in distinction from Himself from all of eternity (below Dalcour says, “the Father is speaking to the Son differentiating Himself from the Son [esp. in light of vv. 8-9])”—we should expect to see multiple thrones in the biblical depictions of Heaven.  Not only do we not see such imagery presented in Heaven—John saw one throne in heaven, with one person sitting on it—whom he explicitly identified as both God and His Son (Revelation 3.20-21; 4.2; 22.3-4)!  Indeed, Jesus is explicitly worshiped as the one God of Heaven in Revelation (cf. 1.8; 3.20-21; 4.2).  Think we’ll stick with the actual inspired eyewitnesses and leave later Trinitarian formulations to their own wild-eyed speculations.

*Further, if “God directly addresses God (the Son)” then Dalcour necessarily advocates such a pronounced separation within the Godhead that each divine person is possessive of divine centers of cognition, mental faculties or minds that they can address one another in identical fashion as human beings.  I ask the honest-sincere reader, does such imagery denote “one God” in any practical or logical sense of the phrase?  That is, how many divinity’s does such imagery naturally illuminate in your mind, one or two?

(Vs. 9)  The Son is said to have “loved righteousness and hated lawlessness.  So God, your God, has anointed you over your companions with the oil of rejoicing.”  When did the Son of God “love righteousness,” “hate lawlessness,” have “your God,” (was) “anointed,” and possess “companions?”

*When did all of this take place?  In “pre-existent eternity” or during the Incarnation?  Did “God the Son” need “anointing” by “God the Father” in eternity over His “companions?”  Shouldn’t He have already been “anointed” as God-proper?  That is, can one co-equal, co-eternal divine person literally “anoint” another God-person in eternity?  If so, as stated above, how can Trinitarians such as Dalcour speak of “ontological co-equality?”

*The context and inspired grammar in these texts openly and rigorously militates against Dalcour’s wild-eyed interpolations.  Though not surprising at this point, it’s mind-boggling how Dalcour can appeal to the “context” of the Hebrew prologue—when this is the very thing that refutes his “co-eternal Son” impositions upon the text!

(Dalcour):  This is so heavily significant because (a) the Psalm is a reference to Yahweh and (b) the Father is speaking to the Son differentiating Himself from the Son (esp. in light of vv. 8-9).

*See above—this simply proves too much for Dalcour and the longer he is forced to chew on his dilemma the bigger it grows!

(Dalcour):  The referent to the pronoun su, “You” at the beginning of verse 10 (kai su) is back in verse 8: pros de ton huion— “but of the Son He [the Father] says.”  Irrefutably, it is God the Father directly addressing the Son.  In verse 8, the nominative for the vocative of address[6] is used, whereas in verse 10, the actual vocative of kurios (kurie) is used, which strengthens the author’s argument even more: “YOU, LORD [kurie], IN THE BEGINNING LAID THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH, AND THE HEAVENS ARE THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS.”

*First, we are rather perplexed at what Dalcour thinks the vocative case demands in this text?  The vocative is the case of direct address, but the texts being cited as addressing the Son of God here are respectively the LXX of Psalm 45.6 (v. 8) and Psalm 102.25-27 (v. 10).  More importantly, “he says” in Hebrews 1.8 is in italics indicating a conjecture by translators not found in the Greek text itself.  For this reason many exegetes have surmised that v. 8 has God “directly addressing” His Son through this Messianic prophecy of the Psalmist (cf. Acts 28.25-27, etc.).

*See here Oneness writer, Dr. Daniel Segraves (Note: It will do no good for Dalcour to object to my appeal to a Oneness academic since he appeals to Trinitarians at virtually every turn of his book—and we have equally marshaled Trinitarian scholars in this rejoinder.):

Hebrews 1.8:  In this case, the words “he says” are not in the Greek text; they are supplied by the translators.  An examination of Psalm 45:6, from which this verse is quoted, reveals immediately that the speaker is the human author of the psalm.  He declares, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Messiah’s deity.  (Hebrews, Better Things; Vol. 1, p. 51; Dr. Daniel L. Segraves)

*After a lengthy textual address of Hebrews 1.10, Segraves concludes (ibid.; pp. 54-58):  Since the immediate context of the quote from Psalm 102:25-27 does not suggest God is the speaker, and since the actual Hebrew text of Psalm 102 has the psalmist as the speaker throughout, it seems best to view the speaker in verses 10-12 as the psalmist.  If the writer of Hebrews intended to suggest that God was the speaker, it seems he would have begun his quote from the Septuagint at Psalm 102:23 so as to remove any question.

The point of verse 10, then, is that the Son is better than the angels because He laid the foundation of the earth and the heavens are the work of His hands.  It is interesting, though, that when the writer of Hebrews addressed the Creator, he identified Him—from the Septuagint—as Lord.  The Jewish readers of Hebrews would have understood this as a reference to Yahweh (“Jehovah,” KJV).  Why did the author not address Him as “Son,” as in verses 5 and 8?

It seems significant that, in speaking directly of creation, the writer of Hebrews did not use the term “Son,” but Lord”…Although the Son, as God manifest in flesh, is the Creator, when discussing the creation of all things, the author identified Himself as “Lord” (Yahweh). Creation preexisted the Incarnation, and the term “Son” can be used only in conjunction with the Incarnation.  Every reference to the Son in Hebrews has to do with the Incarnation…the word “Son” is not used of preincarnate deity…The Son is better than the angels because He is Yahweh who created all things, including the angels.

 *As pointed out above, the entire context of this prologue is irrefutably describing the Incarnation—and does absolutely nothing to advance Trinitarian theology.

*However, if Dalcour stubbornly persists in forcing his “God-speaking-to-God” eisegesis, will he equally claim that the Son of God has “hands” (v. 10) and a “throne” (v. 8) apart from God the Father?  That is, since Dalcour asserts that these texts teach “distinct co-eternal divine persons,” will he correspondingly demand bodily separation within the Godhead—each with independent “hands” and “thrones” in Heaven?  How far is he willing to push his interpolations contra allowing the context to define the text?  Or, will he now limit his applications to conform to his predisposed theology?  We await with great anxiety!  

*Simply put, it is hardly “irrefutable” that one Yahveh was addressing another Yahveh in eternity past, each with separate (or “distinct” as Dalcour likes to modify) divine centers of consciousness.  Such a tritheistic interpretation of the Hebrew prologue is especially problematic since the “most important commandment” is to confess that God is “one Lord [LXX, Yahveh]” (Mark 12.29) where Christ carefully employed the 3-3 masculine singular adjective “heis” (εἷς).  Since Dalcour is fond of appealing to consistent Greek usage, this adjective is used over 100 times in the NT and in no instance does it denote more than “one person”—and certainly not multiple Yahveh’s as Dalcour repeatedly postulates.

*Or, as the NIDNTTE states of the neuter form of this adjective:  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.

(Dalcour):  Conclusively, the prologue of Hebrews is one of the most theologically devastating prologues in all of the New Testament for Oneness defenders.  Not only does the prologue affirm the deity and eternality of the Son as well as the distinction between the Father and the Son, but also it clearly presents the Son as the actual Agent of creation, the Creator Himself.

*Actually, as demonstrated above, the diametrical opposite is true.  In fact, I would turn Dalcour’s assertion here completely around:  The prologue of Hebrews is one of the most theologically devastating prologues in all of the New Testament for Trinitarian defenders.  Unless, Trinitarian scholars wish to inform us that a “co-eternal God the Son person” had the following done to Him in eternity-past:

*Spoke only in “these last days” (v. 2, [this will not do for Dalcour since he suggests that “the Angel of the Lord” was the supposed “preincarnate Son”]), “appointed” heir of all things (v. 2), “became” better than angels (v. 4), inherited a name superior to the angels (v. 4), was told by God the Father that one “day” He would be His “Father” and He would be His “Son” (v. 5), angels had to be commanded to “worship” God the Son (v. 6), possesses a “throne” apart from the Father and the Holy Spirit (v. 8), has a “God” (v. 9), was “anointed” by another divine, co-equal God-person (v. 9), and had “companions” in eternity-past?

*Clearly the Hebrew prologue describes the Incarnation and does not switch midstream of this ancient hymn in supposedly presenting more than one “God-person”—to the embarrassment of Trinitarian apologists like Dalcour.  In sum, as we have demonstrated above, Dalcour’s “devastating” arguments against biblical Christianity and monotheism destroys nothing other than the biblical data itself.  

*Interestingly, it is noteworthy that the passages used by Trinitarians to teach Christ as a “distinct pre-existent God the Son person” appear in a celebratory psalm context (cf. http://1024project.com/2013/10/25/the-hymns-of-the-bible/).  That is, segments of the NT such as Philippians 2.5-11, Colossians 1.15-20, Hebrews 1, John 1, I Corinthians 8.6, et al. were used in context to laud the Messiah’s coming as God enfleshed and to commemorate His efficacious cross-work, which was foreordained before the creation of the ages (e.g., Revelation 13.8, John 1.1-14; 17.1-6).  

*In this biblical context, let us join in with the inspired writers of Scripture in glorifying Christ as the “only God” (I Timothy 1.17) revealed in the flesh—predestined prior to very creation itself!

*Thank you for reading!

Refutation to KJV-Onlyism

*Elder J.R. Ensey just released his most recent (435 p.) work on the current errors being propagated by several ardent – albeit misinformed – Oneness KJV-Only advocates.  As a contributor to this book I can attest that Elder Ensey leaves no stone unturned and factually refutes the outright misinformation put forth in recent years concerning this topic.

*In this tome, Bro. Ensey interacts with renowned text-critics themselves as well as consults and offers further insight(s) into the most respected and meticulous treatments of this issue.  For those interested in the raw facts of text-critical issues and the transmission process – devoid of emotional appeals – this highly exhaustive publication is easily the most recent and in-depth treatment of this subject matter.

*Of course, we have addressed this topic before on this blog HERE (see also the “comments” section at the bottom of this article).

*Elder’s Ensey’s treatise can be purchased HERE.

*God Bless!

Analysis and Refutation of the Attacks of Dr. James White

*The following rejoinder is written in response to Dr. James White’s recent comments on his podcast about the (supposed) beliefs of Oneness Pentecostal believers.  On his show, White is responding to the assertions of neophyte Oneness believer Marcus Rogers who posted a clip on-line attacking the doctrine of the Trinity.  Readers can corroborate White’s remarks with what appears below here: http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php/2016/02/25/south-africa-update-responding-marcus-rogers-trinity/

*Beginning at around the 28-minute mark, White begins his usual erroneous charges against what he thinks Oneness Pentecostals actually believe and teach.  I pick up the narrative at this mark and have posted White’s most relevant remarks below.  White’s comments will appear below in *black, with my responses in *blue (as here) immediately underneath White’s assertions.  God Bless!

(White):  “Oneness Pentecostals deny the deity of the Son of God.  They believe the Son is a created being who began His existence at His birth in Bethlehem.”

*First, there’s a sense in which White himself believes the Son of God came into existence at Bethlehem—unless White wishes to inform us that Christ’s humanity equally “pre-existed His birth at Bethlehem?”  If so, then White needs to go shake hands with his Mormon brethren!

*That is, if White concedes that the Son of God’s humanity was an aspect of His existence (and I don’t know anyone that would deny this), he equally confesses a facet of the Son of God that came into His existence at Bethlehem.  Why chide us for denying that the Son of God preexisted as a separate divine individual apart from the Father and Holy Spirit, when White does the identical thing with Christ’s humanity?  Double standards are usually a sign of failed argumentation.  

*Worse, Oneness believers deny neither the Son of God’s deity nor His preexistence.  We deny that the Son of God preexisted in the fashion that Trinitarians claim, namely, as a “second of three separate divine individuals—each with separate centers of consciousness.”  Guilty as charged and proud of it!  The Bible nowhere teaches such clear and open tritheism, despite how many times Trinitarian apologists like White shout otherwise (they fight against themselves with their own testimony, as we shall see below).

*The Scriptures teach that the Son of God is very God Himself revealed as a man (I Timothy 3.16; John 1.1-14; Colossians 2.9; et al.).  That is, the Son is the one OT Yahveh in His human existence, confined to the self-imposed limitations of the incarnation.  However, the Bible equally teaches that He is the omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient God according to His divinity.  The Son will always be God enfleshed.

*Moreover, the Scriptures clearly teach that the Son of God preexisted His birth in Bethlehem in God’s foreknowledge (Isaiah 9.6; Romans 5.14; John 1.1-5; Revelation 13.8; Colossians 1.15-18; et. al.).  However, one will search in vain to locate the Son of God identified as a supposed “second of three separate, co-equal, co-eternal, divine individuals in the Trinity.”

*Such a concept would be completely foreign to the Jewish writers of the Bible (Note:  I know about Segal’s “Two Powers in Heaven” work, but that’s beyond the scope of this article.  Suffice it to say for now that I’ve read scathing academic rejoinders to Segal’s volume).

*Ironically, White repeatedly attempts to correct Rogers on what Trinitarians believe and yet he clearly doesn’t understand what Oneness Pentecostals believe, as evidenced by several of his fallacious accusations below (even though he’s been repeatedly told otherwise).

(White):  “Trinitarians don’t believe in three divine beings.  Rogers does not understand the difference between ‘being’ and ‘person’.”

*In our 2011 debate in Brisbane, AUS, White openly “affirmed” that God the Father, “God the Son,” and “God the Holy Spirit” existed as “three divine individuals, each with their own separate centers of consciousness apart from the other two divine individuals” (see my initial cross-examination of White).  Obviously, it doesn’t take a NASA rocket scientist to see that this explanation is clearly tantamount to three divine beings.

*Indeed, were I to ask Trinitarians to provide a definition of tritheism-proper, how would White’s confession above look any different other than different names for each “separate divine individual?”

*Further, Marcus Rogers has no need to “understand the difference between ‘being’ and ‘person’”—since there is no difference! Every human “being” that White has ever met is equally a “person!”  This is nothing more than a Trinitarian fabrication in an attempt to dodge the self-inflicted bullet of tritheism.  There’s simply no Scripture whatsoever to support this made-up assertion.

(White):  “The ‘Modalists’ deny multiple divine persons.”

*First, Oneness believers are not “Modalists” in the sense White thinks.  Ancient Modalists believed in three successive modes of God’s existence.  That is, the Father became the Son, who then in turn became the Holy Spirit.  Oneness Pentecostals believe in three simultaneous modes of existence of the one single God—big difference.  And, Trinitarians have been told this ad nauseum infinitum.  Yet Trinitarian scholars just plod along with their fingers stuck in their ears as if we’re not informing them otherwise.

*Ironically, White and Trinitarians equally believe in three simultaneous modes of existence within God.  They simply define these simultaneous modes of existence (radically) different than Oneness believers do, namely, as “separate divine individuals” (then tell us that we have the “schizophrenic” God?).  Hence, Oneness believers could just as easily charge Trinitarians with “Modalism” in this sense.

(White):  “In Oneness, the Son of God is two persons and the Father indwells the human being who is the Son.  To the Oneness, the prayers of Jesus are the human side of Jesus praying to the divine side of Jesus.”

*In Trinitarianism, the prayers of Jesus are “God the Son,” with an independent-separate center of consciousness, praying to God the Father, who is equally possessive of an independent-separate center of consciousness (and “God the Holy Spirit” is said to have the same).  Each are fully God, but so radically separated from one another that one on Earth can pray to another in Heaven – as God.  Hence, in Trinitarian theology, “God prays to God” (some of the extreme tritheists even translate John 1.1 as “God was with God”).  Who has the greater problem with the prayer life of Jesus?

*Further, the Scriptures themselves teach that Christ “prayed in the days of His flesh” (Hebrews 5.7).  Does this sound like “God is praying to God?”  Of course not.  This is simply one more Trinitarian fabrication.

*Jesus Christ prayed to God, who is ontologically an invisible, omnipresent Spirit. Jesus was a man “in every respect” like we are, excepting sin (Hebrews 2.17).  The prayers of Christ no more demand “separate divine individuals in the Trinity” than our prayers demand the same.  This is but another Trinitarian assumption pawned off as supposed fact.

*Moreover, Trinitarians become irate when we tell them that they are actually tritheists masquerading as “monotheists” (even though they’re the one’s who supply the ammunition).  They call for fairness in identification, then turn right around and charge that Oneness believers have a “bi-personal Jesus.”  I do not know of a single Oneness believer who radically separates and identifies Jesus as “two persons.”

*In fact, both Oneness and Trinitarianism confess that Jesus is both God and Man without mixing the two natures.  If Oneness theology translates into a supposed “bi-personal Jesus” in this regard, then so does Trinitarianism (unless they wish to confess the ancient heresy known as “Uticianism?”)!  This is a straw man attack propped up solely by Trinitarian apologists, but not the actual confession of Oneness advocates.  Perhaps Trinitarians should allow us to define what we believe instead of always trying to inform us of the same?

*Worse, what White erroneously charges Oneness with, Trinitarians whole-heartedly confess in the overall theological picture.  That is, White ridicules us for something we do not accept regarding the identity of Christ (i.e., a “bi-personal” Jesus), then commits the very thing he accuses us of as it relates to the identity of God altogether (i.e., a “tri-personal” God).  The typical unequal scales of Trinitarians are polished and shining nicely!

*Regarding the Father indwelling the human being, Jesus Himself stated, “the Father dwells in me” (John 14.10 {see also 2 Corinthians 5.19; Colossians 2.9}).  Tell us Mr. White, when Jesus spoke here did His statement include His humanity?  Or, will you now offer a “bi-personal Jesus” and tell us that the prayers of Christ do not include His humanity?

*We simply allow the statements of Jesus to stand on their own merits and inform our theological conclusions.  Indeed, it’s the biblical data itself that holds us hostage in demanding that we deny your “three divine individuals, each with their own separate center of consciousness” (e.g., Colossians 2.8-10; Mark 12.28; John 8.24).

*Finally, we do not define the Son of God as merely a “human being.”  And, you’ve been told this ad nauseum.  Are you not “willing to learn” like you’re repeatedly asking other to do from you?

(White):  In Oneness theology, the created Son prays to the uncreated Father. After the Resurrection, the Son of God becomes the Holy Spirit to the Oneness advocate.

*Then I take it you don’t believe the prayers of Christ involve His “created” humanity?  Tell us Mr. White, was Jesus’ humanity “created” or “uncreated?”  The direct and straight answer to this question will reveal your (typical) hypocritical charges.

*We do not confess that the Son of God “becomes” the Holy Spirit and ceases being the Son as in ancient Modalism.  Rather, Jesus Christ is biblically identified as simultaneously Father (John 14.9-10; Isaiah 9.6), Son (Luke 1.35) and Holy Spirit (John 14.16-18; 2 Corinthians 3.14-17).  “For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form” (Colossians 2.9).  This is not a “misunderstanding” of these passages, but rather is the straightforward, normative reading of these Scriptures.  One has to perform theological gymnastics to somehow cram “three separate divine individuals” into the verses referenced above.

*And, for good measure, “God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father’!” (Galatians 4.6).  Once again, we will accept the testimony of Scripture over-against the religious traditions of Trinitarians.

(White):  “We make the distinctions between ‘being’ and ‘person’ everyday of our lives.”

*We would be quite curious what day of our lives we would not equally identify a human “being” as a “person?”  Every human “being” is simultaneously a “person.”  Again, this is nothing more than a Trinitarian invention in a desperate attempt to force their religious tradition into the biblical text—a text that never states the same (in over 1,500 years of Spirit-breathed Scripture).

(White):  “Marcus Rogers assumes Yahweh is uni-personal.”

*How else would White have us to interpret the over 9,000 single-person-pronoun that God used to define Himself (e.g., Isaiah 44.24; 45.5; etc.)?  If we heard someone using a single-person-pronoun to identify themselves—then that same individual claimed they existed as “three separate co-equal individuals”—we’d be calling some 1-800 numbers for them!

*Trinitarians impose “multiple separate divine individuals” on a single-person-pronoun then inform Oneness believers that we deny the inspired grammar?  White has it diametrically opposite in his charge above—it’s the Trinitarians doing the “assuming” relative to God’s identity.  They’ll never locate their assumptions in the actual inspired text itself!

(White):  “The Bible forces Trinitarians to believe in one divine being and three divine persons.”

*Since “the Bible” is White’s final source of appeal here, specifically where can we locate and read this hostage-taking “force” in the same:_________?  In reality, the Bible “forces” the honest heart to deny the concept of “three divine individuals, each with their own separate center of consciousness” and simply affirm that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is none other than the sole God of the Bible enfleshed (e.g., Mark 12.29; John 8.24; Colossians 2.9; I John 5.20, I Timothy 3.16).

(White):  “Trinitarians understand Matthew 28.19 in the light of the baptism of Christ in chapter 3, where the Father speaks from Heaven.  Jesus was not a ‘ventriloquist’.”

*If both the Father and the Son are “equally” God, then White’s theological construct still has God (the Father) speaking to Himself (“God the Son”)—which makes God as a whole a “ventriloquist!”  White clearly does not comprehend the omnipresence of God on this point.  God is able to speak simultaneously to someone in America, Africa, and China, but this obviously does not demand “three separate divine persons” for each simultaneous manifestation of God.

*Further, White again demonstrates his conceptual tritheism by appealing to this passage in an attempt to validate his “Trinity of divine persons” hypothesis.  For if God the Father, “God the Son” (completely unscriptural identification of Christ) and “God the Holy Spirit” are as spatially and radically separated as a voice in heaven, a human being on Earth, and a bird—Trinitarians need to quit masquerading as “monotheists.”  Such a theological formulation would teach bodily separation and a radical separation in the Godhead to a degree that each “divine individual” can speak and act independently of one another, as God.

*Moreover, White assumes that chapter 28 is to be interpreted in light of chapter 3, but never proves his assertion.  I would argue the diametrical opposite.  That is, the culmination of Matthew’s gospel sheds further light on previous revelation.

*Indeed, “progressive revelation” is the whole premise of the Trinitarians appeal to the NT as the lens by which they interpret Yahveh’s self-identifying claims in the OT, but somehow the salt has lost its taste when this hermeneutic model is applied to individual books of the Bible?  Let all the church say, “agenda-driven-theology!”

(White):  “In Matthew 28.19, “name” is singular, but it doesn’t say ‘Jesus’ and He’s not ‘squishing’ the Father, Son and Holy Spirit into one person.”

*Neither does this (or any other) biblical text say, “Trinity, separate divine persons, co-eternal Son, God the Son, etc.”  What White requires of Rogers he himself cannot produce.  If doctrine is established on what the Bible does “not” say (a negative hermeneutic), then the Trinity dogma quickly dissolves.

*Further, the apostles to whom Christ was speaking understood His command (i.e., imperative mood) in Matthew 28.19 as describing the name of Jesus.  How do we know?  Because that is what “name” they baptized in every where in the biblical data (e.g., Acts 2.38, Acts 8.16, Acts 10.48, Acts 19.5, Acts 22.16, Romans 6.3, I Corinthians 1.13, I Corinthians 6.11, Galatians 3.27, Colossians 2.12, et. al.).  Since White is arguing from silence above, perhaps he can point us to the passage where converts were baptized in “the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”:__________?  

*We’ve had no problem demonstrating our baptismal formulae above – surely White can provide the same baptismal passages for his position?  This does not even delve into the law of Greek prepositions used in these accounts (cf. ὄνομα in BDAG, Bruce, Thayer, et al.).  White is fond of appealing to Greek prepositions.  Will he hold to the same “consistency” he’s continuously calling for in Muslims, KJVO’s, etc.?

*I asked White in our debate in 2011 to identify “the name” of Matthew 28.19—and I’m still waiting for an answer!  White does not provide an explanation of the single “name” in said passage, but merely resorts to reductio ad absurdum (Latin for “reduction to absurdity”) in ridiculing that Matthew 28.19 is “not squishing” the Father, Son and Holy Spirit together into one person.

*However, White is here militating against the words of Jesus and the consistent usage of the Greek noun translated “name” (ὄνομα) in the Bible.  That ὄνομα is used to mean “person” in Scripture can be demonstrated with but a cursory glance.

*“At this time Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons {ὀνομάτων} was there together)…” (Acts 1.15; NASB).

*The Greek noun translated “persons” above is—you guessed it—the genitive plural form of the singular noun ὄνομα, rendered “name” in Matthew 28.19!  Same word, different form.  Indeed, in Jewish culture (to whom Matthew was addressed), it was impossible to divorce an individuals “name” from their “person” (e.g., Abraham, Jacob, Peter, Paul).  The onus rests squarely on the shoulders of White and his fellow Trinitarians to prove that “name” does not denote “person” and to assert such is to turn this text on its head.

{Note:  It will not do to appeal to the Granville Sharp Rule in this text since Sharp never applied his rule to Matthew 28.19 and he stated there was an exception to this rule should the context “explain or point out plainly the person to whom the two nouns relate.”  This is clearly the case in Matthew 28.19 based upon the genitival phrases translated “of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”—modifying the single “name.”  Further, as renowned linguist Dr. Daniel Wallace, in an email to Jason Weatherly asserted, “Sharp didn’t spend much time on his 6th rule.  But it’s an overstatement to say that just because two articular nouns [are] joined by ‘kai/and’ they must refer to different persons.  There are several examples where this is not the case.”}

(White):  “There was never a time in Jesus’ life when He was the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

*To the contrary, we’ve just read it in Matthew 28.19!  The same “name of…the Son” was equally the “name of the Father and….the Holy Spirit.”  What is “the name of the Son”:________?  This name is simultaneously the name of the Father and the Holy Spirit.

*Further, when asked about the whereabouts of the Father, Jesus expressed surprise that Philip still did not comprehend that He was the One he was inquiring about: “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip?  Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.  How can you say, ‘Show us the Father?”

*I ask the honest reader, does Christ’s response here make any sense whatsoever if He’s not the very one Philip was asking to see?  Imagine asking me to show you my father, who’s someone other than me, and I respond by saying, “Have I been with you so long and you do not know me?  How can you say, ‘Show me your father’?” Completely non-sensical. (See also Isaiah 9.6, Colossians 2.9)

*Clearly Jesus is the Son of God (e.g., Luke 1.35).

*Jesus is identified as the Holy Spirit in the clearest possible way, “But their minds were hardened.  For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away.  Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts.  But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3.14-17; ESV).

*The typical Trinitarian dodge in this text is to say that since Paul was contrasting the OT letter of the Mosaic Law with the liberty of NT faith, the phrase “the Lord” is referring to Yahveh of the OT.  However, note that in v. 14 Paul states that “only in Christ” is the veil removed.  V. 16 further explicates this declaration in affirming “when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.”  Paul had just expressed in concrete terms that “only through Christ” is the veil removed.  He is using “Christ” and “Lord” interchangeably, as was Paul’s habit.  Indeed, he had already informed this same church that to them there was “one Lord, Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 8.6).

*It is at this point that Paul drops the hammer: “Now the Lord (i.e., the same one in whom the veil in removed, Christ) is the Spirit.”  It could not possibly be plainer and it’s embarrassing to watch Trinitarians attempt to evade the plain reading of the inspired biblical data here (and elsewhere).  They are forced to spin this text topsy-turvy to accommodate their religious tradition, as with many other passages.

*Additionally, in Revelation 2.2-3.22 Jesus is the speaker to the churches, but in each instance he concludes by exhorting that they should hear what “the Spirit says” (τὸ Πνεῦμα λέγει).  The speaker in these texts identifies Himself as “the Spirit” and White is simply mistaken.

(White):  “Marcus Rogers is assuming something contradictory to what the rest of the Bible teaches (i.e., that “Jesus” is “the name” of Matthew 28.19).”

*Actually, the polar opposite is true.  It’s White who’s “assuming” that Jesus is not taught as the name of the Father and Holy Spirit elsewhere in the biblical data—it most certainly is (e.g., John 17.11; John 14.26).  White merely “assumes the assumption” of Marcus Rogers without proving the same!

(White):  “The Oneness position cannot survive the gospel of John where the distinctions between Father, Son and Holy Spirit are clearly made.”

*Though the irony is not surprising after years of dealing with White, it is the doctrine of the “Trinity” that cannot survive the gospel of John, in particular chapters 14-16 as well as the Johannine prologue.

*Oneness believers readily affirm that there’s a distinction between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  However, White assumes that distinction automatically translates into “multiple divine individuals, each with their own-independent centers of consciousness.”  It does not and this is one of several sticking points between Oneness and Trinitarians (and always will be).  For clarity, let us define the biblical distinctions between the terms Father, Son and Holy Spirit below.

*The Father is biblically presented as the One OT God who functions transcendent to the space-time continuum and outside the limitation of the Incarnation (Malachi 2.10; Matthew 3.17; John 12.28).  The Son of God is identified as this self-same single God descendent as a human being for the sake of redeeming a lost humanity (contra just “the elect”) and functioning within the confines of the self-imposed limitations of the Incarnation (I Timothy 3.16; John 1.1; Titus 2.13).  The Holy Spirit is this self-same God in emanation by supernaturally interacting within His creation (e.g., Judges 14.6; Luke 1.35; Acts 2.1-4).

*Three simultaneous manifestations of the one person of God:  The Father is God Transcendent, the Son is God Descendent, the Holy Spirit is God in Emanation.  Not “three divine individuals, each with their own separate centers of consciousness apart from the other two divine individuals” (a clear departure from biblical monotheism).

(White):  “In John 17.5, is Jesus having an internal conversation?  Is Jesus schizophrenic?”

*Perhaps White should ask himself this question about God altogether at the baptism of Christ, the prayers of Christ and Genesis 1.26 (where Trinitarians attempt to tell us that God is speaking “internally”).  That is, if the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are “co-equal, co-eternal, divine individuals,” then God is “having an internal conversation” in these supposed “Trinitarian” proof texts.  “Schizophrenic” indeed!  Of course, this is another clear case of argumentum ad absurdum by White, a logical fallacy that a professional apologist should know better than to make.

(White):  “Jesus uses personal pronouns of the Father and says the Father is the ‘only true God’.”

*White’s double standard concerning single-person-pronoun usage has been pointed out to him ad nauseum infinitum.  That is, in the NT he argues that a single-person-pronoun denotes a one-single person, which concedes the normative understanding of a single-person-pronoun.

*However, when the Trinitarian pronoun model is applied to the ca. nine thousand single-person pronouns used in the OT by Yahveh, suddenly the same pronouns mean “being” and not a sole “person” for White.  Why is it that a single-person-pronoun in the NT means “one person,” but the same single-person-pronoun doesn’t mean “one person” in Yahveh’s OT self-identifications?  Simple, theological preference!

*The shift in meaning of the pronouns by Trinitarians plainly exposes their agenda-driven theological conclusions.  Ironically, White is constantly parroting the terms “sola Scriptura” (Latin ablative for by Scripture alone) and “tota Scriptura” (all or total Scripture), then shifts his grammatical criteria from the NT to the OT, or, the “totality” of Scripture.

*Moreover, how White can actually quote that the Father is “the only true God” as coming off the lips of the One Trinitarians tell us is the “second of three co-equal, co-eternal divine individuals” is as mind-boggling as Hillary Clinton identifying a politician as a “liberal!”

*Indeed, the masculine singular adjective (which is highly significant also) translated “only” (μόνον) in John 17.3 is lexically defined as:

“(2) as singly existing only, lone (JN 17.3)” (Analytical Lexicon of the Greek NT).

“58.50 μόνος (1) η, ον: the only entity in a class – only one, alone” (Louw & Nida; cf. BDAG; LXX).

*Hence, when John uses the Greek noun translated “God” (θεὸν), he’s not thinking of “divine members in the Trinity,” again, a concept that would’ve been completely foreign to the OT canon that he was raised on and hence his entire paradigmatic view of Scripture.

(White):  “In John 17.3 Jesus said eternal life consists of two things, both the Father and the Son.”

*And?  Is this supposed to automatically equate to “divine individuals with separate minds?”  This is merely White’s empty assumption and not the actual biblical data itself.  What about the Holy Spirit?  Why does Jesus omit the supposed “third divine individual” from the criteria of eternal life (as is very often the case)?  Where has the “co-equality” of the Trinity suddenly gone?

(White):  “In John 17, the cross is a accomplished reality from Jesus’ perspective, it is (definitely) going to happen.”

*Agreed, but it had not actually happened yet had it?  White actually empowers the Oneness point here regarding John 17.5.  In v. 4 Jesus declares, “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.”  Had Jesus actually accomplished “the work” of the cross yet?  No.

*In fact, the surrounding context of John 17 is littered with predestination-anticipatory statements:

V. 11: “I am no longer in the world;” {Yet, clearly He was still “in the world.”}

V. 18: “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” {Yet He had not yet given the great commission to go “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28.18).}

*Incidentally, notice the “sent” language used by Christ, which, certainly does not naturally lend itself to the idea He “willingly volunteered” to descend from Heaven to Earth.  It’s likewise interesting that Jesus declares in v. 4 He was “given” the work “to do.”  Again, does this sound like He “volunteered to come from Heaven” as Trinitarians inform us?  Is this the normative language someone uses who freely undertakes a task?  Of course not.

*It’s within this surrounding predestined context that v. 5 appears.  That is, John 17 is littered with Christ speaking in a very real, but celebratory-anticipative sense of the work to be done—a work that was just as much a “reality” as if already accomplished.  Just as the “glory” of the cross before the world existed (Revelation 13.8; Romans 5.14).  To deny this is to deny the testimony of Scripture.

(White):  “Jesus said ‘Glorify me with the glory I had by your side’.”

*The Greek preposition and pronoun translated “with you” in the last clause of 17.5 is παρὰ σοί in the dative case with a semantic range.  See below the UBS Concise Greek-English Dictionary:

παρά prep. with:  (1) genitive, from, of (τὰ παρά τινος one’s provisions, money or gift; οἱ παρʼ αὐτοῦ his family #Mr 3:21); by, with; (2) dative, with, in the presence of, before; in the judgment of; near, beside; for; (3) accusative, beside, by, at; on, along; to; than, more than, above; rather than; contrary to.

*As anyone can plainly see, “beside” is only one of several potential meanings of this preposition in this case.  As demonstrated above, παρὰ + dative equally means “in the judgment of,” which is perfectly aligned with the Oneness position (cf. L&N, Thayer, et. al. for this meaning of παρὰ + dative).  Trinitarians cherry-pick the definition that seems to best fit their theology in John 17.5 and we simply have another case of creedal belief pawned off as grammatical fact.

*Out of the 24 reputable translations that I checked, not a single translation adopts White’s quirky rendering, combining numerous professional linguists. (Note: He did the same thing with Philippians 2 in our debate in 2011, providing his own peculiar translation, which he failed to inform the audience was his personal rendering.  Guess I can now do the same thing in John 10.30?)

*Additionally, if White’s divine members of the Trinity are each “fully God,” then they are each omnipresent.  If each member of the Trinity is not omnipresent then they cannot be “fully God.”  Either way, omnipresence does not have a “side” (cf. Robertson’s WP) and this Trinitarian conundrum has been pointed out to White ample times before.

(White):  “Jesus doesn’t say He was a ‘glorious plan.’ He said ‘with the glory I had,’ is this a ‘plan’ speaking?  This is desperation from the Oneness at this point and is painful to watch.”

*Since White has now resorted to formulating doctrine based upon what Jesus did “not say,” neither does Jesus say He was a “second of three divine, co-equal, co-eternal individuals” in eternity past.  This is supplied by an over-eager Trinitarian exegesis—“desperation” indeed!  It’s simply nowhere found in the mouth of Jesus despite how hard Trinitarians like White try to cram these words down the same.

*White often charges Oneness believers with supposedly having a “bi-personal” Jesus who can think and act independently of either His divinity or humanity at any given time (though White unwittingly believes the same thing, unless he wishes to blend Christ’s divinity and humanity?).  Though we certainly acknowledge an ontological distinction between the deity and humanity of Jesus, as pointed out above, White’s mischaracterization is not the confession of Oneness Pentecostals and is tantamount to but another straw man attack.

*Yet, amusingly, this is the very thing that White is doing in his interpretation of John 17.5!  That is, White insists that Christ is speaking independent of His humanity in this text, whereas Oneness would say that Jesus is speaking as God enfleshed.  In other words, the prayers of Christ always include His humanity (e.g., Hebrews 5.7) and context demonstrates no difference in John 17.5.

*If Christ’s prayer here includes His humanity (and it clearly does since He was the One speaking), then in what way did Christ’s humanity have “glory” with the Father before the world was created?  Simple, as the “Lamb that had been slaughtered since the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13.8; ISV {cf. NA28, Robertson, et. al. on this variant}).

*Adam was said to be “a type of Him who was to come.” The Greek noun translated “type” (τύπος) is lexically defined as “(c) as a person or event serving as a prophetic symbol to prefigure a future person or event type (RO 5.14)” (Analytical Lexicon of the Greek NT).  Note that Adam was not identified as a type of Him who “preexisted,” but rather of Him who was “to come” (future existence).

*Since the whole context of John 17 was “the hour (that) has come,” namely the cross, consistent hermeneutics demands that we interpret the whole of John 17 in the same light—including v. 5.  The “glory” spoken of by Christ in John 17.5 was the ensuing cross, equally referenced in Revelation 13.8 and said to be from the same era.  Will Dr. White tell us Christ was literally “slaughtered” (ἐσφαγμένου, perfect passive participle form) since the creation of the world?  If no, why not?

*God Himself used a single-person-pronoun, which White informs us demands one person in the NT, in declaring “My glory I will not give to another” (Isaiah 48.11, cf. 42.8).  One divine person is the speaker here, and this one person declares He does not share His glory with anyone else.

*Trinitarians are militating against the very self-declaration of Yahveh in their misunderstanding of John 17.5 and the “glory” that Jesus speaks about. Besides, “glory” from such a time would be eternal glory, which obviously could not be “lost.” Clearly, these passages speak to the predestined “eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 3.11)—His Son who was “to come.”  White and fellow Trinitarians can ridicule the proleptic-anticipatory view of John 17.5 until dooms day, contra the “multiple divine individuals” canard, it will never make it any less biblical.

*In fact, not even all Trinitarian academics agree with White (as is the case with The Carmen Christie):  “The glory of the completed redemption cannot literally be possessed until redemption is complete.  If now the pre-existence of Jesus, according to the 17th chapter of John is clearly ideal, this fact confirms the interpretation which has been given of the other passages….We conclude, then, that (Jn. 17:5) in which Jesus alludes to his preexistence, does not involve the claim that His preexistence was personal and real. (It is) to be classed with the other phenomena of the Messianic consciousness of Jesus, none of which have to do with metaphysical relationships with the Father” (Dr. G. H. Gilbert, former professor of NT Literature at Chicago Theological Seminary; The Revelation of Jesus: A Study of the Primary Sources of Christianity, p. 222).

*{See also an excellent article by Dr. David Bernard here: http://www.altupc.com/altupc/articles/glorson.htm}

(White):  “In Philippians 2, the Son makes Himself of no reputation and doesn’t consider equality with God something to be grasped.”

*Then there was a time that Jesus Christ was not a “co-equal” member of the Trinity! Moreover, the Greek nouns for neither “Son” (υἱός) nor “Father” (πατήρ) appear in this text.  If “God” be defined as a “Trinity,” then Christ “doesn’t consider equality” with the Trinity something to be grasped—placing Jesus outside of the “Trinity” altogether!  Again, we have a case of theology being pawned off in the name of supposed “biblical orthodoxy.”    

*Further, the Greek noun rendered “form” (μορφῇ) in Philippians 2.6 defines as “properly, form (outward expression) that embodies essential (inner) substance so that the form is in complete harmony with the inner essence” (cf. Dr. Gleason Archer, The Discovery Bible; Moulton & Milligan, et. al.).  Did Christ have an “embodiment” with “outward expression” in His preexistent state?  If so, then White is now advocating bodily separation within the Godhead, all the while still feigning “monotheism.”

*The Carmen Christi of Philippians 2 is a hymnal context in which there’s an exhortation toward humility using Christ as God enfleshed as the ultimate example. Though He was God in the flesh He laid aside His divine prerogatives as such—opting instead to assume the posture of a servant.  Paul’s point is to direct his audience to the God-man as their supreme prototype to emulate.  He is not asking believers to mirror what God did (or does) in Heaven.

*Again, the quote below from an exhaustive volume on Philippians 2 demonstrates that even many Trinitarians do not agree with what White is constantly putting out as supposed “fact.”

“There is nothing grammatically that prevents one from taking the position that the hymn describes Christ’s abasement on Earth.  Nor is there anything of necessity in the construction of the strophes that demands a pre-incarnate Son” (Dr. R.P. Martin’s Carmen Christi).

*The late renowned academic Dr. Robert Reymond equally disagreed with White’s “preexistent Son” theology in this ancient hymn obviously not intended for speculative attempts to identify Christ (i.e., there’s no intended discussion of the Godhead in these passages).  See Reymond’s A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith (pp. 253-264) where he provides an in-depth treatment of this passage and concludes the polar opposite of White.

*White repeatedly assumes that distinctions between the Father and Son (which Oneness Pentecostals gladly confess) automatically equate to “multiple co-eternal, co-equal, separate, divine individuals.”  I have read tons of White’s literature and he has yet to prove this assertion from the biblical data itself.

(White):  “In Philippians 2, the Son is a divine person thinking prior to the Incarnation.”

*Hear the sound of the death-knell for Trinitariansim! According to White, “God the Son” possessed independent thought processes apart from “God the Holy Spirit” and God the Father (each of whom equally had the same)—and then he still masquerades as a “monotheist” with a straight face!?  We think not.

*If independent thinking by “separate divine individuals” (White’s explicit confession) does not connote polytheism, then what language would one use to convey more than one God?  Quite to the contrary, if God wanted to communicate the idea that He was an absolute single monad with no personal distinctions, what language would we expect Him to use?

Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, “I, the LORD, am the maker of all things, Stretching out the heavens by Myself And spreading out the earth all alone.” (Isaiah 44.24; NASB)

 *In this text, one divine individual is speaking (not just the one “being” of God) based upon the ordinary usage of the single-person-pronouns purposefully employed by Yahveh.  If we allow the normative rules of grammar to stand on its own strength, multiple divine individuals or persons would be an intrusion into the biblical data in this (or any other) passage.

 *In sum, the language used in the biblical data naturally conveys imagery of a single divine individual, and that without accident.  Opposite, the language used by Trinitarians naturally communicates imagery of more than one God—which is why Trinitarians are constantly throwing out Tritheism disclaimers.  Oneness believers do not have this problem.

 (White):  “Any biblical evidence demonstrating that the Son, as a divine person, preexisted His birth at Bethlehem is the end of ‘Modalism’.”

 *This is something Trinitarians assume, but never prove.  I could just as easily state that any biblical evidence demonstrating that God existed as a single divine person is the end of Trinitarianism (and would indeed affirm so).

 *The church is equally said to preexist its birth at Pentecost in eternity-past (“He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world,” Ephesians 1.4).  Will Dr. White now insist the church preexisted as collateral divine persons as well?  If so, he needs to make the Mormon General Conference this year so he can fellowship his brethren!

 *This concept of ideal preexistence is littered all over God’s word and one has to be severely committed to a particular theological tradition to overlook and deny it (e.g., Revelation 13.8; Romans 4.17, 5.14; Ephesians 1.4).

 *Further, I have clarified above that Oneness believers are not “Modalists” in the sense that White charges and will not take the time to reiterate it here.

(White):  “Jesus said He has ‘all authority’ in Heaven and Earth after the Resurrection, so who is he now (i.e., in His present state)?  In Oneness theology the Father is now taking the role of the Holy Spirit.”

*Not to belabor the point, but White again confuses our position as “Successive Modalism,” where the Father becomes the Son while ceasing to be the Father, then the Son becomes the Holy Spirit while ceasing to be the Son—which we solidly reject as heresy.  As pointed out above, Oneness believers wholeheartedly confess three simultaneous manifestations of the one single God of the Bible.

*Not surprisingly, White constantly chides Marcus Rogers for not understanding what Trinitarians actually believe when it’s painfully apparent that White doesn’t comprehend what Oneness Pentecostals believe.  Of course, this is par for the course in White’s world.

*Further, if Jesus is the “second of three divine individuals” in Heaven, and “all authority” has been relinquished to Him in the same location—how much “authority” would that leave the other two divine individuals?  Clearly Matthew 28.18 cannot be used to advance a theology of multiple co-equal divine persons in Heaven. Jesus is now and forever the one God of the Bible “in bodily form” (Colossians 2.9; I John 5.20).

(White):  “The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are ‘separate persons’ because Jesus used personal pronouns of someone other than Himself.”

*Again, it’s amazing how a single-person-pronoun in the NT demands one “person,” but a single-person-pronoun in the OT demands merely one “being.”  The hypocrisy in the single person pronoun usage between testaments demonstrates how far Trinitarians are willing to dive to secure their religious tradition.  When this was pointed out to White in our debate his response was a pompous-dismissive, “That’s not even relevant to the topic.”  Then quit using the same argument in the NT! 

*Moreover, if using a personal pronoun of someone other than one’s self demands “separate persons” then “the Christ” was someone other than Jesus (Luke 24.47), “the disciple whom Jesus loved” was someone other than John (John 19.26-27) and God Himself is someone other than Himself (Malachi 3.1)!  Illeism, the practice of referring to oneself in the third person contra the first person, is clearly interspersed all throughout Scripture and does not demand “separate persons” as White assumes.

*At any rate, Oneness has no problem acknowledging that there’s a sense in which the Father is distinct from His Son.  This is simply the common sense reading of many NT passages.  However, as stated above, this does not—nor will it ever—require “separate coequal, coeternal divine individuals.”        

(White):  “The words ‘Oneness Pentecostalism’ isn’t found in the Bible either.”

*The adjective “one” is applied to God thousands of times in the Bible, while the adjective “three” is never applied to God’s identity.  “One-ness” is a mere codification of the adjective “one.”  “Pentecost” is clearly a biblical term (Acts 2.1), with the suffix “-al” used to identify with the NT church’s inauguration.  Hence, the roots are indeed biblical with the suffixes appended for simple identification purposes.

*Now, we’ll give you the same opportunity to demonstrate where in the Bible the root term for “Trinity” can be located:________________?

(White):  “In John 10.30, Jesus did not say ‘I am the Father.’  He used a plural verb in this passage (translated “are” {ἐσμεν}).”

*Neither did Jesus say, “I am the second of three persons in the Trinity.”  See how easy a negative testimony is immobilized?  To illustrate, in the 1800’s in Europe there was a murder trial in which the defendant testified, “Your honor, I can bring 50 people to this stand who didn’t see me commit this murder!”  Obviously his “testimony” was rendered invalid since a negative affirmation does not equal positive evidence.  Based upon this forensic principle, we throw out your flimsy quibble regarding Christ’s silent testimony.

*Concerning the plural verb translated “are” (ἐσμεν), the eyewitnesses identify for us precisely what the plurality consisted of, “…You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God” (v. 33).  Far from revealing two separate divine individuals, the subjects of the plural verb are contextually defined as a visible “Man” and the invisible “God.”  This is precisely the Oneness position.  The NT plurality between the Father and the Son are due to the Incarnation when God added humanity to Himself—both a plurality and humanity nonexistent in the OT data.

*Notice those standing on the spot understood Jesus’ statement as an affirmation of identification as the Father, which was a paradigmatic synonym for “God” to the Jewish listeners (e.g., John 8.41, “we have one Father: God”).  If those actually listening to Christ speak these words recognized His declaration in John 10.30 as laying claim to be the Father, how can Trinitarians offer a radical revision of His assertion to equate into a “second of three divine individuals in the Trinity?”  Talk about theological leapfrog!

(White):  “In John 10.30, Jesus says ‘I and the Father, we are one’ and He used a plural verb, not a singular verb.”

*Out of 23 reputable translations, not a single one of them adopts White’s esoteric rendering of “we are one.”  In fact, the Greek text has a separate pronoun for “we” (ἡμεῖς), which appears nowhere in John 10.30.  In John 8.33 the same Greek verb is used where it is indeed translated “we” by various linguists: “They answered Him, ‘We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone’.”

*Why didn’t these identical Johannine translators do the same in 10.30—all both independent and in conjunction with one another?  A little thing called “context,” and as pointed out above the context is clear that Jesus’ statement is an affirmation of identity and not just “unity” with the Father (which any observant Jew would claim).  You think White might have a bit of a theological agenda going on in John 10.30?

*Further, notice that Jesus said the Father and Him are “one” (ἕν), not “two” (δύο) as Trinitarians attempt to place in the mouth of Christ in this text.  The fancy footwork of Trinitarians in John 10.30 (and John 14.9-10) is truly something to behold and would likely make Muhammad Ali blush with shame!

(White):  “Oneness Pentecostals bring up the singular (noun) ‘name’ in Matthew 28.19, why don’t they equally bring up the plural (verb) in John 10.30?”

*We could just as easily point out how Trinitarians constantly bring up the plural verb translated “are” in John 10.30.  Why don’t they equally identify the singular “name” for us in Matthew 28.19? Hint:  The same “name of…the Son” was equally the “name of” the Father and Holy Spirit.  What is “the name of” the Son:________?

*Further, using White’s own appeals of consistency, if a plural verb modifying the Father and the Son in John 10.30 demands two divine individuals, then what does the singular verb that modifies the Father and Son of Revelation 21.22 demand?

“….ὁ γὰρ κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὁ παντοκράτωρ ναὸς αὐτῆς ἐστιν καὶ τὸ ἀρνίον” (NA28).

“….for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Revelation 21.22; NASB).

*As anyone can plainly see, the verb modifying the Father and Son is singular in this text, both are in the nominative case and hence are the subjects of the singular verb—with “temple” being a singular noun as well.  Will White hold to his own demands of consistent exegesis in this text where a single verb describes the Father and Son?  However, after dealing with White for years now we’re not quite willing to hold our breath!

(White):  “To say John 10.30 has Christ saying ‘I am the Father’ is a gross misrepresentation of the text and ignores where Jesus has distinguished Himself (elsewhere) from the Father.”

*To say John 10.30 has Christ saying ‘I am the second divine individual in the Trinity’ is a gross misrepresentation of the text (as well as the entire biblical data) and ignores where God has unequivocally declared that He is a single monad—using a single-person-pronoun in doing so.

*Again, White assumes that Father and Son distinctions demand “separate divine individuals” when it clearly does not as pointed out above.  One divine person is capable of simultaneously manifesting Himself in distinct fashion, just as God is able to speak to 4 different people at the same time in different parts of the world.

*As it relates to His oneness, God has clearly defined Himself using the strongest Greek adjective for “one” possible.  In Mark 12.29 Jesus defines the most important biblical commandment as the absolute oneness of God, using the masculine singular “εἷς” in conjunction with a singular verb (ἐστιν in the indicative mood {the mood of realization}):

“Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one’.”

*Both older and modern lexicographers (e.g., Drs. Kenneth Wuest, Spiros Zodhiates, Vincent, Thayer, BDAG, LXX usage, et. al.) affirm the Greek masculine-singular adjective for “one” (εἷς) defines as “one person.”  Vincent’s quote below at John 10.30 for the neuter singular “one” is representative and can be confirmed in the sources above:

“(Jesus used) the neuter, not the masculine ες, one person.”

*Here, Dr. Vincent concedes that had Christ used the masculine singular adjective for “one” (εἶς) in John 10.30 “one person” would be in view.  Yet in Mark 12.29 Jesus does indeed use the masculine singular adjective for “one,” as well as an accompanying singular verb: εἷς ἐστιν.

*Regarding Dr. Vincent’s comment on the neuter “one” of John 10.30, we have above both contextually and grammatically identified the plurality in said verse as visible “Man” and invisible “God/Father” merged into one person.  Hence, though not the normative Greek term employed, the neuter adjective for “one” {ἕν} in John 10.30 may equally mean “one person”—unless lexicographers wish to make God out to be “impersonal” (i.e., neuter)?

*See here BDAG: εἷς, μία, ἕν, gen. ἑνός, μιᾶς, ἑνός a numerical term, ‘one’ (Hom. +) 1 a single person or thing, with focus on quantitative aspect, one.

*That is, the “most important” biblical commandment is to believe that God is “one person” via the masculine singular εἷς.  This adjectival cardinal numeral is used ca. 100 times in the NT alone and never means more than one person.  So conclusive is the force of εἷς that translators of the Classic Edition of the Amplified Bible rendered Galatians 3.20, which uses this particular Greek adjective, as “God is [only] one Person.”

 *Since my debate with White, a critical consultant for The Lockman Foundation (trust me, he will gleefully and readily confirm this), a new Amplified Bible has appeared that omits this translation, but the lexical force remains intact and enjoys much corroborative attestation despite the apparent backpedaling (e.g., Galatians 3.28 NEB, Thayer, The Living Bible which uses this same adjective).  

*Much more could be pointed out about this Greek adjective for “one” purposefully employed by Christ here, but for the sake of time we’ll forge ahead.  Suffice it so say that unfortunately Trinitarians like White are in denial and rejection of this biblical mandate.

(White):  “The Oneness Pentecostal quotations of Deuteronomy 6.4 assumes the word ‘echad’ (‘one/אֶחָֽד’) means one person and not one ‘being’.”

*This is easily turned around, White here assumes the Hebrew adjective “echad” used in Deuteronomy 6.4 means one “being” and not one “person”—despite the fact that it’s used with single-person-pronouns.  Again, to force-feed “multiple divine persons” into a single-person-pronoun is to turn the normal rules of grammar and conversation on its head in order to protect a religious tradition.

*Echad is employed ca. 962 times in Scripture and out of the 943 times it’s rendered “one,” it’s used to indicate a single individual or character 901 times.  In the remaining instances where the context describes a group effort, it still means “one,” but it is generally describing human beings working in unison.  Obviously this would not reflect a monotheistic divinity since human beings possess bodily separation and could not be used to describe the Godhead (not to mention the hermeneutical principle of interpreting the micro in light of the macro witness).

(White):  “Nowhere does the Bible speak of dividing God into pieces and parts as Marcus Rogers describes.”

*Yet White repeatedly informs us that in Genesis 19.24 “God the Son” (again, an entirely unbiblical identification for Christ) rained fire on Sodom from God the Father in Heaven. But there’s no need to hijack this text of its context: “Then the LORD rained down sulfur and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah. It was sent down from the sky by the LORD (Genesis 19.24; NET; see also NIV, NLT, etc.).

*We can appreciate the honesty of Trinitarians in the NET study notes here:  “The text explicitly states that the sulfur and fire that fell on Sodom and Gomorrah was sent down from the sky by the Lord.  What exactly this was, and how it happened, can only be left to intelligent speculation, but see J. P. Harland, ‘The Destruction of the Cities of the Plain,’ BA 6 (1943): 41-54.”

*If White’s interpretation of this verse is taken at face value (even though the text itself does not state this), then the passage would openly teach two Yahveh’s with bodily separation since nothing is said about “persons.”

*White is also fond of appealing to the now infamous quote by Dr. A.T. Robertson in his grammar where he asserts that the preposition translated “with” in the accusative case of John 1.1b demands that Jesus and the Father were supposedly “face to face with each other” in eternity (See Robertson’s Word Pictures in the New Testament, 6 vols., 5.4).

{Note:  Not to mention how such a construct would naturally teach separate beings within the Godhead (as Marcus Rogers charges), the normative construction for “face to face” would be πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον (e.g., I Corinthians 13.12) in the acc. neut. sing.—not πρὸς τὸν θεόν in the acc. masc. sing. used in John 1.1b.  This is simply Robertson’s commentary presented as grammar.}

*The point is, White does indeed unwittingly argue for “dividing God up into pieces” in both the OT and NT.  My prediction?  Instead of honestly pondering the concepts in his mind, he will do his best to spin his way out of this glaring, self-refuting conundrum.

(White):  “In John 1.1 the Word is distinguished from God.”

*To the contrary, “and the Word was God” (καὶ θεὸς ν ὁ λόγος).  Trinitarians often emphasize John 1.1b while sacrificing the plain reading of 1.1c.  We are well aware of the definitive (i.e., personal identification) vs. qualitative (i.e., ontological identification) syntactical arguments in this text and would argue in favor of the definitive application (as do even many Trinitarian exegetes).

*In all honesty, we acknowledge that there’s a sense in which 1.1b distinguishes the Word from God, but 1.1c explicates 1.1b and—to borrow from White’s playbook in John 10.30—nothing is said of “divine persons, Father, Son, Trinity, etc.”  This is simply a Trinitarian deduction and not a straightforward reading of the inspired text.  In sum, the same one the Word was “with” is the same one the Word “was.”  This is what the inspired passage actually says.

(White):  “In John 1.18 ‘the unique God’ has made the Father known, not made Himself known.”

*Then White has two God’s at this point since, again, nothing is said of “multiple divine individuals, Trinity, etc.”  Again, we have a Trinitarian deduction not stated in the actual biblical text.  

*More importantly, John 1.18 contains a textual variant:

“No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God (μονογενὴς θεὸς) who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” (John 1.18; NASB)

“No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son (μονογενης υιος), who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” (John 1.18; NKJV)

* In his excellent book “The King James Only Controversy” p. 259, White concedes, “the evidence for the reading ‘only begotten Son’ is very great indeed.  It is obviously the majority reading of the MSS, translations and early church fathers.”

*Dr. Allen Wikgren, a member of the UBS-3 text and NA26 committees, wrote:  [It is doubtful that the author would have written μονογενης θεός (only begotten God), which may be a primitive, transcriptional error in the Alexandrian tradition (Υς/Θς). At least a {D} decision would be preferable. A.W.], p. 198, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, Metzger, 1971, United Bible Societies.  While several UBS committee members differed with Wikgren, yet he possessed tremendous text-critic and linguistic ability and should not be lightly dismissed.

*Indeed, the NET translator notes provide ample text-critic attestation for the reading “only begotten Son”: ο μονογενης υιος A C K Γ Δ Θ Ψ ƒ 565. 579. 700. 892. 1241. 1424 M lat sy; Cl Cl.

*Personally, from the way the NT—and John in particular—uses the term “only begotten” (μονογενης) I would argue in favor of the reading “only begotten Son” (μονογενης υιος).  Text-critic quotations abound in favor of both “only begotten God” and “only begotten Son.”  It is not my intention here to delve into this topic at great length.  I would commend the exhaustive work of John Dahms “The Johannine Use of Monogenes Reconsidered.”  See also this link for a fair review of the textual evidences of John 1.18 weighed:

http://diglotting.com/2011/07/20/how-is-jesus-related-to-god-%CE%BC%CE%BF%CE%BD%CE%BF%CE%B3%CE%B5%CE%BD%CE%B7%CF%82-%CE%B8%CE%B5%CE%BF%CF%82-or-%CE%BC%CE%BF%CE%BD%CE%BF%CE%B3%CE%B5%CE%BD%CE%B7%CF%82-%CF%85%CE%B9%CE%BF%CF%82/  

*As it relates to White’s scorn above, the aorist verb (ἐξηγήσατο) rendered “has explained Him” (i.e., the Father) clearly points us back to the Incarnation.  Regarding this Greek verb The Discovery Bible notes, “properly, lead out completely (thoroughly bring forth), i.e. explain (narrate) in a way that clarifies what is uppermost (has priority).”

*Far from exegeting one of “multiple, co-equal, divine individuals,” this text states that the Son of God lifted out the Father in the Incarnation.  This is precisely the Oneness stance and only advances our position!

(White):  “Jesus didn’t say ‘I am going to send a part of me as the Holy Spirit’.”

*”I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14.16-18; NASB).  While most Oneness believers would not say that Christ “sent a part of himself,” in describing the coming of the Holy Spirit, Jesus employed the first person singular verb translated “I will come” (ἔρχομαι).

*The Greek noun rendered “orphans” (ὀρφανούς) is similarly enlightening.  The context is clearly the future procession of the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus identifies in this text as “he [that] abides (present active indicative μένει) with you.”  That is, this text plainly states that when He comes back as the Spirit of truth He will not abandon us as orphans, but “will be in” (ἐν ὑμῖν ἔσται) believers.  No wonder the Holy Spirit is identified as the “Spirit of Christ” (e.g., Romans 8.9; Colossians 1.27; et al.).  Are we to honestly conclude that these verses naturally identify Christ as someone other than the Holy Spirit?  We think not.

*This erases all doubt that Jesus is not the one coming as “the Spirit of Truth” and though perhaps not worded correctly, Marcus Rogers’ statement stands. {See also our comments above regarding 2 Corinthians 3.14-17.}

(White):  “Jesus said ‘I and the Father will send the Holy Spirit as another comforter’.  The Holy Spirit is identified as a person sent by the Father and Son (from Heaven).”

*As pointed out above, if each “divine individual in the Trinity” is omnipresent how can omnipresence be “sent” where it’s already “present?”  Again, omnipresence is not “sent” anywhere—it’s already there!  Trinitarians misunderstand the “sent” language of the Bible in assuming the verb means spatial movement from one sphere into another by “eternal divine persons.”  Yet Christ is said to have been sent (πέμψας) “in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Romans 8.3; NASB).  Obviously the “sent” language of the Bible does not demand separate eternal persons, or Christ had “flesh” in Heaven (cf. John 1.6)!  

*The Psalmist clearly affirms that the Holy Spirit is omnipresent: “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there” (Psalm 139.7-8; NASB).

 *On p. 338 of Dr. Daniel Wallace’s volume Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics he affirms, “Neither in Eph. 1:14 nor in any other text is there clear syntactical evidence for the personality of the Spirit.  There are, of course, many lines of evidence that demonstrate this, but the attempt to use Greek grammar in such a manner is facile and often creates theological problems that are greater than the cure.”  

 *While we appreciate his honesty in this quotation, to be fair and crystal clear, as a Trinitarian Dr. Wallace does not deny the Holy Spirit as a “person.”  However, the force of his quote above demonstrates that this position is not due strictly to “Greek grammar,” but rather other “lines of evidence.”

 *Of course, the Greek noun rendered “Spirit” (πνεῦμα) appears in the neuter gender and never in the normative masculine as one would expect if “personhood” were in view.  Trinitarian evasion and dodges of this grammatical fact abound—but this is simply a raw biblical reality.

(White):  “In Oneness theology, how does the Father and a human being ‘send’ God who is the Father and then becomes the Holy Spirit?”

*In Trinitarian theology how does omnipresence “send” omnipresence where it already exists?  And, the Father does not “become” the Holy Spirit, God has always ontologically existed as a Holy Spirit who Fathered His Son in time (e.g., Luke 1.35; Galatians 4.4).  The Father and Holy Spirit are the one-single God in distinct roles relative to the redemption of mankind, not multiple “divine individuals” that no biblical writer was ever inspired to enunciate.  Hence, there’s a sense in which the Father both is—and is not—the Holy Spirit.

 *Interestingly, in giving assurance of comfort during persecution Jesus informs believers not to worry about what they will say.  For, “for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say” (Luke 12.12; NASB).  However, Matthew’s account of this saying of Christ elucidates the very identity of the Holy Spirit in proclaiming, “it is the Spirit of your Father (τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ πατρὸς) who speaks in you” (10.20; NASB).  The most literal rendering is “the Spirit of the Father” since there’s no need to elevate the genitive article to the position of a pronoun (Greek has an entirely separate word for the pronoun “your”).  

 *Do these complimentary passages naturally lend themselves to the notion that Jesus viewed the Father and the Holy Spirit as “separate divine persons” apart from one another?  Of course not, and Jesus’ view of the Godhead should be our view.

 *Again, White puts his ignorance of Oneness theology on full display here—and then berates Marcus Rogers for not understanding the doctrine of the Trinity?  Such scholastic hypocrisy is classic James White however.  And as affirmed above, Oneness believers do not confess sequential Modalsim, but rather simultaneous manifestations of the one divine person of God.  Not only is this perspective the biblical presentation of God-proper, it equally preserves the radical monotheism of the Bible as well as evades the fatal blow of conceptual polytheism.      

 (White):  “We are all ‘monotheists,’ well, except for Mormons.”

 *Actually, as noted before, Trinitarian apologists like White (also Edward Dalcour) sound much like Mormon apologists in their argumentation methodology relative to this topic.  As mentioned above, in our 2011 debate in Australia White openly confessed that God the Father, “God the Son,” and “God the Holy Spirit” consisted of “three divine individuals, each with their own separate centers of consciousness apart from the other two divine individuals” (see the cross exam portion of this debate).

*Further, Trinitarians often appeal to passages such as Daniel 7 and Revelation 5 which speaks of the Son of Man and the Lamb respectively—whom Trinitarians interpret to be “God the Son”—approaching God the Father in a separate body.  Trinitarians are equally fond of appealing to Genesis 19.24, the baptism of Christ, the prayers of Christ, etc., all of which would teach a radical bodily separation within the Godhead if not interpreted within the confines of the rigid-strict monotheism commanded in the biblical data.

*Assimilating these open confessions into one harmonious blend, Trinitarian apologists teach separate divine individuals, each with independent thought processes and divine-bodily-separation.  To claim that such a theological conclusion is biblical “monotheism” is tantamount to someone holding up an orange and stubbornly identifying it as an apple – despite how many times the obvious is pointed out.

*White’s confessions above serve as an excellent example of the difference between “conceptual tritheism” and “confessional tritheism.”  That is, Trinitarians like White will never openly “confess” tritheism, yet the “concepts” expressed through their confessions make it crystal clear that they hold to “conceptual tritheism.”

(White):  “Marcus Rogers, are you willing to learn and find out what we really believe?”

*This is vintage James White.  Despite his open confession to worshiping multiple divine individuals with separate centers of consciousness, White still fancies himself as the teacher and everyone else the learner (a natural outgrowth of “Calvinism”)—and does not even seem to blush.

*Worse, White clearly does not grasp even the basic Oneness Pentecostal confessions relative to the Godhead.  That is, White attacks something we don’t even believe and then expects us to “learn” from him.  We think not.  The Son is God enfleshed and is hence divine.  This is the Oneness Pentecostal confession of the Son of God.

 (White):  “The earliest church records teach the doctrine of the Trinity.”

*Quite to the contrary, since White is fond of continuing to identify modern Oneness believers as the equivalent to ancient “Sabellians” and “Modalists,” perhaps he’ll also accept the testimony of Tertullian ca. 213 A.D. regarding the same:

“The simple, indeed, (I will not call them unwise and unlearned,) who always constitute the majority of believers, are startled at the dispensation (of the Three in One), on the ground that their very rule of faith withdraws them from the world’s plurality of gods to the one only true God” (Adversus Praxean, Chp. 3).”

*Tertullian here identifies those often classified as ancient “Oneness” believers (though again, there are vast differences) as “the majority of believers” in the early third century.  Similarly, one can read the writings of both Hippolytus of Rome (ca. 230 A.D.) and Origen of Alexandria (ca. 250 A.D.) to see where they refer to those who share commonality with contemporary Oneness believers as “the general run of Christians, great multitude of believers, scholars, (their doctrine) has prevailed, etc.”

*Quite opposite to White’s claim above, the earliest church records—though not identical—affirm a theology similar in form to modern Oneness doctrine.  Contrary, the doctrine of the Trinity was not fully codified until ca. 381 A.D. at the Council of Constantinople.  This is almost 300 years after the Apostle John died—hardly the “earliest church records.”

*Acclaimed historian and professor R.P.C. Hanson notes, “With the exception of Athanasius, virtually every theologian, East and West, accepted some form of subordinationism at least up to the year 355; subordinationism might indeed, until the denouncement of the controversy, have been described as accepted orthodoxy” (R.P.C. Hanson 1988; The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God: The Arian Controversy, 318-381, p. xix).

*Moreover, the theology of virtually none of the earliest writers such as Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr, or Tertullian would be considered uniform to present-day Trinitarianism.  As Hanson notes above, early apologists are often classified as ontological (contra economic) subordinationists and would be deemed “heretical” by contemporary Trinitarian apologists (as would modern-day scholars such as Drs. Adam Clarke, Walter Martin, etc.).

*Many of the “earliest church records” such as the Shepherd of Hermas identify the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Christ.  Hence, Oneness teachings concerning the Holy Spirit are identical with the first century church in Rome (especially considering that this church was planted in Acts 10).  The Shepherd of Hermas reveals that Clement was the Bishop of Rome while Hermas was a prophet during the first century.  If the same Hermas, he is listed in Romans 16.14 and Clement in Philippians 4.3.  When we consider that both Clement and Hermas of Rome knew Paul, it makes great sense to pay attention to their corroborative teachings on the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Christ.

*Finally, as even a cursory glance of The Ante Nicene Fathers will reveal, virtually all of the “earliest church records” affirm the salvific necessity for water baptism and a clear rejection of the Reformed dogma of unconditional eternal security (and rightfully so).  Trinitarian academics often treat the Early Church Father’s (ECF) like cab rides—get on board where they wish and jump out where they wish!

*{See the following links for more history on the evolution of the Trinity doctrine:

http://www.onenesspentecostal.com/trinhistory.htm#Anchor2

http://ministry.travelltravis.com/component/option,com_docman/task,cat_view/gid,33/Itemid,126/?mosmsg=You+are+trying+to+access+from+a+non-authorized+domain.+%28www.google.com%29

http://mikeblume.com/early.htm.}

(White):  “I know that some liberals say that Ignatius was a Modalist, but he (Ignatius) clearly distinguished between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as well as affirming the deity of Christ.”

*At the risk of sounding redundant at this point, White again simply assumes that Father, Son and Holy Spirit distinctions demand “separate, co-equal, co-eternal, divine individuals” when this is nothing more than his assertion devoid of concrete evidence.

*Oneness believers equally make a distinction between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit—as well as affirming the divinity of Christ.  What we openly and gladly deny is a relegation of Christ from His rightful exalted position as the One God of the biblical data (I John 5.20; Colossians 2.8-10) to a mere “one of three divine co-equal members of the Godhead.”

*And, typical White, he classifies virtually any Trinitarian scholar who disagrees with him as a “liberal.”  The cold-hard facts are that Ignatius clearly wrote in non-Trinitarian categories.  In his Epistle to the Ephesians chapter 7 he refers to Jesus as the “one physician” and “God existing in the flesh.”

7:2 “There is one only physician, of flesh and of spirit, generate and ingenerate, God in man, true Life in death, Son of Mary and Son of God, first passible and then impassible, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

*Ignatius repeatedly identifies Christ as simply “our God” with no mention of “divine persons” or any other Trinitarian language.

*In his Epistle to the Magnesians he refers to “the inseparable Spirit, who is Jesus Christ.” And, in Magnesians 8.2 Ignatius clearly says,

“On this account were they also persecuted, who by his grace were inspired, to the end that the disobedient might be fully persuaded that there is one God who manifested himself through Jesus Christ, his Son, who is his eternal Word, who came not forth from Silence, who in all things was well pleasing to him that sent him.”  

*Does this honestly sound like Ignatius viewed the Son of God as one of “three separate divine individuals?”  Of course not.  It is for these reasons that numerous Trinitarian academics—with far more credentials than White—have labeled Ignatius as an ancient Oneness believer or a supposed “Monarchian Modalist” (e.g., W. R. Schoedel).

*Of particular note is renowned ancient comparative religion expert Dr. Virginia Corwin.  Professor Corwin literally traveled the world studying ancient Eastern religion.  Her dissertation, “St. Ignatius and Christianity in Antioch,” published by Yale Press in 1960, is still considered by many academics to be the defining work on Ignatius.  Her expert diagnosis and conclusion of the theology of Ignatius?

If one term must be chosen to indicate the tendency of his thought, Ignatius must be said to be Monarchian, though he is very close to the point later declared to be orthodox” (Corwin, Virginia. St. Ignatius and Christianity in Antioch. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1960).

*Similarly, as referenced above, historian William R. Schoedel, author of “Ignatius of Antioch (Heremeneia: A Critical & Historical Commentary of the Bible)” has affirmed that Ignatius of Antioch was most closely alloyed with ancient Modalists.

*Though late, it’s nonetheless interesting that Archbishop Wake translated Vossius’ 1646 Greek text of Ignatius’s Magnesians 6 in an obvious Oneness fashion:  

“Jesus Christ, who was the Father before all ages, and appeared in the end to us.” (The Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotten Books of Eden, p. 173).

*I have little doubt that Trinitarians will deride the lateness of this rendering, yet if they had a translation of Ignatius like this they would be salivating at the mouth!

*For good measure, see here the quote of respected historian and theologian Edward Fudge:  “Ignatius sometimes speaks of Christ in a way that borders on Sabellianism and patripassianism.  At other times he clearly distinguishes between the Father and the Son.”  (cf.  Edward Fudge, M.A., The Eschatology of Ignatius of Antioch:  Christocentri and Historical; Journal of the Evangelical and Theological Society [JETS 15:4]; Fall 1972 ed., p. 233.)

*Where are all of these Ancient Religion scholars deriving this conclusion—and that both in collaboration with and independent of one another?  Clearly, Ignatius was not a “Trinitarian” despite how loudly White and other agenda-driven Trinitarians protest to the contrary.  

*In sum, the “earliest church records” (which are quite scant and spurious at best) advise us nothing regarding a “Trinity of divine individuals.”  As those who spent their life intently traveling the ancient Eastern lands and researching ancient documentation inform us that, if anything, the earliest church records affirm a doctrinal posture similar to the modern Oneness position.

*Below we list numerous direct quotations from honest Trinitarians who themselves concede that their doctrine is found nowhere in the Bible:

*The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia acknowledges that “‘Trinity’ is a second-century term found nowhere in the Bible, and the Scriptures present no finished trinitarian statement (1988, Vol. 4, “Trinity,” p. 914).  It further states that “church fathers crystallized the doctrine in succeeding centuries”—long after the apostles had passed from the scene.

*The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary tells us, “The formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found in the NT [New Testament]” (Paul Achtemeier, editor, 1996, “Trinity”).

*The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism states:  “Today, however, scholars generally agree that there is no doctrine of the Trinity as such in either the OT [Old Testament] or the NT [New Testament] .   .   . It would go far beyond the intention and thought-forms of the OT to suppose that a late-fourth-century or thirteenth-century Christian doctrine can be found there . . . Likewise, the NT does not contain an explicit doctrine of the Trinity (Richard McBrien, general editor, 1995, “God,” pp. 564-565).

*The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, in its article on the Trinity, explains:  “Neither the word Trinity nor the explicit doctrine appears in the New Testament . . . The doctrine developed gradually over several centuries and through many controversies . . . It was not until the 4th century that the distinctness of the three and their unity were brought together in a single orthodox doctrine of one essence and three persons” (1985 edition, Micropaedia, Vol. 11, p. 928).

*The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis points out that “primitive Christianity did not have an explicit doctrine of the Trinity such as was subsequently elaborated in the creeds of the early church” (Colin Brown, editor, Vol. 2, 1976, “God,” p. 84).

*Historian and noted author H.G. Wells, in his popular work entitled  The Outline of History, points out, “There is no evidence that the apostles of Jesus ever heard of the trinity—at any rate from him” (1920, Vol. 2, p. 499).

*Martin Luther, the German priest who initiated the Protestant Reformation, conceded, “It is indeed true that the name ‘Trinity’ is nowhere to be found in the Holy Scriptures, but has been conceived and invented by man” (reproduced in The Sermons of Martin Luther, John Lenker, editor, Vol. 3, 1988, p. 406).

*The Oxford Companion to the Bible states:  “Because the Trinity is such an important part of later Christian doctrine, it is striking that the term does not appear in the New Testament.  Likewise, the developed concept of three coequal partners in the Godhead found in later creedal formulations cannot be clearly detected within the confines of the canon [i.e., actual Scripture]” (Bruce Metzger and Michael Coogan, editors, 1993, “Trinity,” p. 782).

*Professor Charles Ryrie, in his respected work Basic Theology, writes:  “Many doctrines are accepted by evangelicals as being clearly taught in the Scripture for which there are no proof texts.  The doctrine of the Trinity furnishes the best example of this.  It is fair to say that the Bible does not clearly teach the doctrine of the Trinity .   .   . In fact, there is not even one proof text, if by proof text we mean a verse or passage that ‘clearly’ states that there is one God who exists in three persons” (1999, p. 89).

*Ryrie continues: “The above illustrations prove the fallacy of concluding that if something is not proof texted in the Bible we cannot clearly teach the results . . . If that were so, I could never teach the doctrine of the Trinity” (p. 90).

*Millard Erickson, research professor of theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, writes that the Trinity is not clearly or explicitly taught anywhere in Scripture, yet it is widely regarded as a central doctrine, indispensable to the Christian faith.  In this regard, it goes contrary to what is virtually an axiom of biblical doctrine, namely, that there is a direct correlation between the scriptural clarity of a doctrine and its cruciality to the faith and life of the church.

“In view of the difficulty of the subject and the great amount of effort expended to maintain this doctrine, we may well ask ourselves what might justify all this trouble (God in Three Persons:  A Contemporary Interpretation of the Trinity, 1995, p. 12).

*Professor Erickson further states that the Trinity doctrine “is not present in biblical thought, but arose when biblical thought was pressed into this foreign mold [of Greek concepts].  Thus, the doctrine of the Trinity goes beyond and even distorts what the Bible says about God (p. 20).

*Professor Erickson later points out: “It is claimed that the doctrine of the Trinity is a very important, crucial, and even basic doctrine.  If that is indeed the case, should it not be somewhere more clearly, directly, and explicitly stated in the Bible?  If this is the doctrine that especially constitutes Christianity’s uniqueness . . . how can it be only implied in the biblical revelation? . . . For here is a seemingly crucial matter where the Scriptures do not speak loudly and clearly.  Little direct response can be made to this charge.  It is unlikely that any text of Scripture can be shown to teach the doctrine of the Trinity in a clear, direct, and unmistakable fashion (pp. 108-109).  

*Shirley Guthrie, Jr., professor of theology at Columbia Theological Seminary, writes: “The Bible does not teach the doctrine of the Trinity.  Neither the word ‘trinity’ itself nor such language as ‘one-in-three,’ ‘three-in-one,’ one ‘essence’ (or ‘substance’), and three ‘persons,’ is biblical language.  The language of the doctrine is the language of the ancient church taken from classical Greek philosophy” (Christian Doctrine, 1994, pp. 76-77).”

*White and his cohorts can claim that the Trinity doctrine is “clear” in the Scriptures until doomsday.  Not only is it not “clear” – it is not even taught – as the quotations from honest Trinitarian academics (again, with far more credentials than White) concede above.

*Finally, the admonition of the Apostle Paul seems applicable here:

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.  For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power (Colossians 2.8-10; NKJV).

*God bless and thank you for reading!