Homer, the question you asked needs to be answered.
The word "theos" (God) is used in two different ways in the scriptures.
First, it is used in reference to the Father alone. In such cases it is prefixed by the word "ho" (the). So "the God" always refers to the Father.
Nowhere in the New Testament is Jesus called "the God".
Secondly, the word "theos" without the definite article refers to a divine order of being. In this case it is a generic term. It is used in a similar way in which we use the word "man" in reference to any or all of mankind.
Yahweh begat only one offspring before all ages. He is called "the only begotten Son". This means that there were no others.
Whenever a human being generates an offspring, that offspring qualifies generically as "man". It is also called "human".
When God begat His only Son, that Son, generically, is "God". He is called "divine", and is the only divine being in the Universe --- other than His Father.
Both senses are used in John 1:1. Translated literally, the words are:
"In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with the God and God was the Logos."
The Logos, the son of God was with the Father in the beginning. The sentence does NOT say that He WAS the Father.
The phrase "God was the Logos" is a reversal. The same reversal is used elsewhere where it is said that "God is love" and "Your word is truth".
By means of this reversal, the Greek indicates that "The Logos was God"
means that God (generically) is the kind of thing that the Logos was.
A good translation might be "The Logos was Deity".
Martin Luther a good Greek scholar put it very succinctly. He said that the lack of an article is against Sabellianism; the word order is against Arianism.
Sabellianism was an early form of modalism --- the idea that there is only one divine Individual who expresses Himself in three modes: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Arianism, according to Luther's understanding was that it taught that Christ was a created being, and therefore merely "a god". If it weren't for the reversal in word order, the correct translation would be "The logos was a god" as the New World Translation of the Jehovah's Witnesses have it.
The fact that God is plural also comes out in Genesis. Even the Hebrew word "Elohim" is plural. Thus "In the beginning Gods created the heaven and the earth. Also, Elohim said, "Let's go down and confound their language." Was Elohim speaking to the angels as per the official Jewish interpretation? Was Elohim using the "royal we"? Or was the Father speaking to His Son?
So the bottom line is:
If by "God" we mean a divine Individual who is Deity, then there are two ---- the Father and the Son.
If by "God" we mean the Divine Order of Being, the generic Whole of Deity, then there is only One.
But there is a different sense in which Jesus and His Father are One:
The Father and the Son are united in a way that no other two individuals in the Universe are united. The Son is "the express image" of the Father's essence. They are so identical, that if you've seen one, you've seen the other. That's why Jesus was able to say to Philip, "He who has seen me has seen the Father." If I were to show you a photograph of myself, and then a second made from the same negative, you might say, "You've shown us the same picture again". Strictly speaking, it wasn't the same picture, but it was the same image. So in the sense that the two divine Individuals are exactly alike one may say that there is "one God".
Last edited by Guest
on Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:00 pm, edited 0 times in total.
Avatar --- Age 45
"Not one soul will ever be redeemed from hell but by being saved from his sins, from the evil in him." --- George MacDonald