Question from a Site Viewer
Jesus — Is He the True God?
There is a website that a non-Jewish, messianic-Jewish Christian brother of mine frequents to support his messianic-Jewish beliefs (even though he is not a Jew). I have to admit, this website does have very compelling arguments that are hard to make a qualitative rebuttal to. I’m sending you a link on an article from this website that appears to refute the traditional view of the trinity.
How would you respond to this article?
I have the following thoughts with respect to the points the site attempts to make.
1. There is only one true God, the Father
This statement is partially true. Christians have always believed that there is only one true God. And Christians have always believed that the Father is that one true God. But Christians also affirm that the Son is that one true God and the Spirit is as well. Mr. Huie, who is the author of the aforementioned site, takes issue with these last two positions. He begins with Deuteronomy 6:4 and argues that contrary to Christian belief, the word “our God” is a singular word. I am not sure what traction he seeks to gain from focusing on this one verse and ignoring the over 3,000 verses where the word “God” is used in a Hebrew form “elohim” that he himself admits is plural. But in any event, he is wrong about Deuteronomy 6:4.
First, I do not dispute that the Hebrew words “eloheynu,” (our God) and “elohim” (God) are linked to “eloah” (God). There is some dispute among scholars as whether “eloah” is derived from “elohim” or whether “elohim” is drived from “eloah.” The derivation is not important for this discussion. However, the spelling of the word “eloheynu” demonstrates that it exists in a plural form. Both singular nouns and plural nouns in Hebrew form the possessive plural “our” by adding the suffix “eynu.” Nevertheless, there is a marked difference between a singular and a plural noun in the way the suffix is added. For a singular noun, the suffix is simply added. For a plural noun, the plural ending “im” is deleted and a silent “yod” is added before the “eynu” suffix. The “yod” tells all. Where there is a “yod,” the underlying noun is plural. In the case of “eloheynu,” in Deuteronomy 6:4, we find a “yod” before the suffix “eynu,” telling us this is a plural form.
Notwithstanding this, you will find grammarians who will argue that though the word is in a plural form, it is a singular word. They argue this because generally where the plural “eloheynu,” as well as the word “elohim” (another plural form), are used, we find a singular Hebrew verb. Hebrew grammar demands that subjects and verbs agree in number, a rule we also have in English. Because the verbs are singular, some grammarians will argue that the nouns, though having a plural form, must also be singular. Thus, if Mr. Huie wants to argue that “eloheynu” is a singular noun because it takes a singular verb, he would have some support. (I note this actually is a hard argument to make because the word “elohim” when speaking of false gods controls plural verbs. Either one must argue that the same form of the word is singular in some places and plural in others, or admit that it is a plural word as its form suggests.) I understand the argument that, though rare, there are other plural words in the Hebrew Old Testament that are plural in form and take a singular verb. The use of the plural form to describe God is at least intriguing.
The second argument Mr. Huie makes is that we know “eloheynu” is singular because when the word is translated into the Greek text in the New Testament the word is translated as a singular “theos” (see Mark 12:29). But this proves nothing. The word “elohim,” a word which Mr. Huie rightly sees as plural, is also always translated in the New Testament as the singular Greek word “theos” (Romans 3:11, 18; Hebrews 1:8, 9; 8:10). This is the standard way the Hebrews translated the Jewish Testament into the Greek in the Septuagint. They always used the singular “theos” to translate “elohim” or “eloheynu,” when those words referenced the one true God. Again, the reason has to do with the singular verbs used with this plural form of the word. It would be highly awkward to state, “Gods speaks.” Such does not make good English, nor does “theoi laleo” (“Gods speaks” in Greek) make Greek sense. If the subject is plural, the verb must be plural. So we would say “God speaks” or “the gods speak,” and in Greek it would be “theos laleo” or “theoi lalousin.” But given the singular verbs, the translators chose to use a singular “theos” to go with the singular verbs. This is an accommodation of the grammatical problem. It is not a statement that “eloheynu” itself is in a singular form.
None of this, of course, discounts the point that there is only one God, or that the New Testament writers emphasis this point.
Mr. Huie quotes 1 Corinthians 8:4 and 1 Timothy 2:5 and concludes that they state that Jesus and the one true God are two separate persons; thus, Jesus is not the one true God. These verses certainly support a difference between the Father and the Son. All trinitarians would agree with this. But, I disagree with Mr. Huie’s conclusion from these two verses that having two separate persons means that they are not part of the same God.
Scripture fills its pages with passages dealing with different personages in one passage and each is God and with passages on the deity of Jesus. The Scriptural texts range from Genesis to Revelation. Let me provide a few that stand out to me:
1. Genesis 1:26-27
In the very creation account, even ignoring the plural form of “elohim,” Genesis 1:26 has God saying, “Let us make man in our image according to our likeness.” Verse 27 follows this by stating: “So God created man in His image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
In verse 26, we have a plurality in the creating God. In verse 27, the plurality uses a singular verb to describe the creation act, but in making man in His image, He makes two of them who are distinct and different from each other. What are we to understand about the image of the plural God of verse 26 and the singular “create” from verse 27 from looking at the creation of a singular “him” who is also a plural “them”? Those who state that there is no complexity of persons within the unity of God struggle mightily with these verses.
2. Genesis 19:24
Here we find the statement: “The LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah from the LORD out of the heavens.” Just two verses earlier, one of the “men” who had taken Lot out of the city said, “For I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” Who then was raining down brimstone and fire and from whom did He reign it down?
3. Judges 6:11
Here, the Angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon and said in verse 12, “The LORD is with you.” Who is speaking and who is the LORD? Just two verses later the one who spoke with Gideon is called “The LORD” and this is true again in verse 16. Then in verse 20 He is called the Angel of God and in verse 21 He is called the Angel of the LORD. These passages that have the LORD speaking and referring to another person as “the LORD” cannot be taken as simply God being confused.
4. Psalm 2:12
We are told that those who “put their trust in Him,” referencing the Son, are blessed. Nowhere else in Scripture is this phrase used in a positive sense of trusting a person, other than God Himself (Psalm 5:11; 7:1; 11:1; 16:1; 17:7; 18:2, 30; plus 17 more times in the Psalms; Proverbs 14:32; 30:5; Isaiah 57:13; Nahum 1:7; Zephaniah 3:12).
5. Psalm 45:6-8; Hebrews 1:8-9
Jesus is called God by God. Interestingly, each word translated “God” in this Psalm passage is the word “elohim.” I know of no place in Scripture where the plural form “elohim” is used to a describe a singular entity who is not God Himself. Yet, in this passage, the writer to the Hebrews tells us that the Father is addressing the Son (“But to the Son He says”) (Hebrews 1:8). There is little doubt but that the author of Hebrews sees the Son as God Himself.
6. Psalm 136:1-3; 1 Timothy 6:15-16; Revelation 17:14; 19:16
In Psalm 136:1-3, we have a triune salute to God where He is called the LORD, the God of gods, and the Lord of lords. In 1 Timothy 6:15-16 we have God again referenced as the “King of kings and Lord of lords.” In Revelation 17:14, we are told that the Lord of lords is the Lamb, and this is the name He wears when He returns in Revelation 19:16.
7. Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; Colossians 2:9. In Isaiah 7:14
God promises that He will be “God with us,” a phrase that Matthew applies to Jesus, and an idea Paul picks up in Colossians 2:9 stating that Jesus continues to have dwelling in Him “all the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form.”
8. Isaiah 9:6
His name will be called the “Mighty God, the Everlasting Father.”
9. Isaiah 43:11; 45:15, 21; Hosea 13:4; Luke 2:11; Titus 1:4
We are expressly told by God in Isaiah 43:11; 45:15, 21 and Hosea 13:4 that there is no Savior other than the LORD. Thus, are we startled when the angels announced to the shepherds that a “Savior” has been born (Luke 2:11) or that Paul calls Jesus “our Savior” (Titus 1:4). If He is the Savior, then He is the LORD.
10. Isaiah 44:24; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2
The LORD tells us in Isaiah 44:24 that He created the world by Himself. We know that Jesus created all things (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2). Either Jesus in creating the world did so as God or God used someone else to create the world making Isaiah 44:24 untrue.
11. Isaiah 45:23; Philippians 2:10-11
In Isaiah 45:23, the LORD Himself states He has sworn by Himself that to Him every knee shall bow and every tongue shall take an oath. Paul picks this up and refers it to Christ in Philippians 2:10-11.
12. Joel 3:12; Matthew 25:31-46; John 5:22
Joel tells us that the LORD will sit to judge all the nations (Joel 3:12) and Jesus teaches that all judgment has been given to Him (John 5:22) and He tells us in Matthew 25:31-46 that He is the One who will judge the nations. Who is the One who will sit to judge all the nations?
13. Micah 5:2
Christ’s goings forth have been from old, even from everlasting.
14. Zechariah 2:8-11
This is a most interesting passage and hearkens back to Isaiah 48:16. Here we have One who is sent and He is called “the LORD.” Then we find out that the One who sent Him is also called “the LORD.” And this is repeated twice in this passage, and then again in Zechariah 4:9 and 6:15. And this One who is coming, who is called “the LORD” will dwell in Zion’s midst and other nations will join to the LORD and become His people.
15. Zechariah 12:10
The LORD Himself says that the Jews will look upon “Me whom they have pierced and they will mourn for Him.” How do we explain the differences in person in this passage if there is no Trinity?
16. Zechariah 14
The passage in Zechariah 14 has the LORD Himself coming with all the saints, and the LORD Himself will be King over all the earth. Of course, these are fully Messianic passages. In 1 Thessalonians 3:13, it is the Lord Jesus who will return with all of His saints. In Jude 14-15, it is the Lord who comes with His saints to execute judgment (and we know from John 5:22 that Jesus is the one who executes judgment). And Jesus is the King over all the earth (Revelation 17:14).
17. Matthew 4:10, 8:2; John 9:38
Jesus teaches that we should only worship and serve the Lord our God (Matthew 4:10) then accepts worship (Matthew 8:2; John 9:38) and calls upon His followers to “serve Him” (John 12:26).
18. Matthew 28:18-20
Jesus taught us to baptize in the “name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Jesus does not say “names,” but uses the singular “name” to reference equally all three.
19. John 1:1, 14
In the Greek, the three statements made in John 1:1 are a) Jesus existed in the beginning, b) Jesus existed with God, and c) Jesus was God. In this third statement, the point of emphasis in the Greek is on the word “God;” this is who Jesus was. See our article on John 1:1.
20 John 1:18
The oldest and best reading of the text reads “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father has declared Him.” The God in God is consistent with picture of a plurality we find in many of the above passages.
21. John 8:58
Jesus said “before Abraham was, I AM.” Jesus does not say “before Abraham was, I was,” which is what we would expect if Jesus was only asserting His pre-existence. But Jesus uses the name of God Himself to state a present when a past would be expected. What should we read “I AM” to mean if it is not a reference back to the “I AM” of Exodus 3:14?
I note that most who accept the New Testament will acknowledge that the “Angel of the LORD” is a reference to Christ in the Old Testament. It is the Angel of the LORD who appeared to Moses in the burning bush (Exodus 3:2) who is thereafter identified as “the LORD”and “God.” It is this personage that says to Moses “I AM WHO I AM.” And Jesus says that He is the “I AM.”
22. John 20:28-29
Jesus commends Thomas specifically for confessing that Jesus was God and then gives a blessing to those who believe the same thing and yet have not seen Him.
23. Acts 20:28
Paul speaks of the purchase of the church as being by God’s own blood, a clear reference to the blood of Christ.
24. Romans 9:5
Paul calls Jesus “the eternally blessed God.”
25. 1 Timothy 1:17
The “King” is eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God. In New Testament usage, the term “king” always refers to Christ (Matthew 2:2; 21:5; 25:34, 40; Luke 19:38; John 1:49; 12:13, 15; Revelation 17:14; 19:16). The only exception is the Matthew 22:1-14 where if the analogy is carried to the Trinity the Father is referenced as the king. And in the immediate passage of 1 Timothy 1:17, Jesus is the one who is overwhelming Paul’s mind when he bursts into this ode of praise (see 1 Timothy 1:12 — I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, verse 14 — grace of our Lord with faith and love in Christ Jesus, verse 15 — Christ Jesus came to save sinners, including Paul, verse 16 — Jesus Christ showed all longsuffering as a pattern to those who will believe on Him. The entire focus of Paul is on Jesus when he bursts into this hymn of praise).
26. 1 Timothy 6:13-16; Revelation 17:14; 19:16
In 1 Timothy 6:13-16, there is a person who has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. Paul calls this person “the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords.” Revelation tells us that it is the Lamb who is the Lord of Lords and King of kings (Revelation 17:14) and this is His name when He returns (Revelation 19:16).
27. Titus 2:13
Paul calls Jesus “our great God and Savior.”
28. Hebrews 1:8-12
The author to Hebrews introduces two passages of Scripture with the words, “But to the Son He says . . .” Thus, we know that in each of these passages the Father is speaking to the Son. In the first passage, a quotation of Psalm 45:6-8, the Son is called “God.” In the second passage, a quotation from Psalm 101:26-28, the Son is called “the LORD.”
29. Hebrews 7:3
The person Melchizedek is said to be without beginning of days or end of life and in this way is said to be like Christ.
30. 2 Peter 1:1
Peter calls Jesus “our God and Savior.”
31. Revelation 1:8; 21:6-7; 22:13
In Revelation 1:8, the Almighty states that He is the “Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.” In Revelation 21:6-7, the One who is the “Alpha and the Omega” states that He will be our God. In Revelation 1:11, Jesus says that He is the “Alpha and the Omega” and He repeats this in Revelation 22:13 where He states that He is “the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” (All of these passages must be understood from the perspective of a God who repeatedly has said that He is the only One; there are no other gods than Him (Deuteronomy 32:29; Isaiah 44:6, 8; 45:4, 6, 21, 22 Hosea 13:4).
These passages do not include the many matters that led the Jews to understand that Jesus was claiming to be God; matters like forgiving sins, claiming to be Lord of the Sabbath, referencing the law and then giving His own law as if He was on par with God, claiming to be one with the Father, claiming to have angels, claiming the right to send the Spirit of God, speaking of the Father and Him as “we” . . . and there are many more such matters. It is very difficult to understanding the sacred Scriptures without understanding that Jesus is God. One must simply miss the import of passages such as Isaiah 59:15-20 where the LORD found no man to do the work so He said that He Himself would come to Zion as a Redeemer. Jesus was more than a good man dying for the sins of others (Romans 5:6-8).
I hardly know where to stop in pointing to Scriptural passages that point to the complexity within the Godhead or the deity of Jesus. The doctrine of the Trinity was not a late Catholic idea foisted upon the church and the world, as some people believe. This belief comes directly out of the Scriptural texts. Those who deny the teaching largely ignore the most relevant Scriptural passages on the subject, as does Mr. Huie. Further, the belief that Jesus was God was what the apostles taught and was the doctrine they handed down to the church. Ignatius, who lived from 30 to 107 A.D., personally knew the apostles and was the bishop in the Apostle Paul’s home church of Antioch, calls Jesus Christ “our God” (Epistles to the Trallians, chapter 7; Epistle to the Romans, Chapter 3). This same early church leader wrote to Polycarp, the bishop of Smyrna and a friend of the Apostle John, these words:
“Look for Him who is above all time, eternal and invisible, yet who became visible for our sakes, impalpable and impassible, yet who became passible on our account; and who in every kind of way suffered for our sakes.”
(Epistle to Polycarp, Chapter 3).
There is no doubt where the early church stood on the deity of Jesus. Justin Martyr and Ireneus in the middle of the second century likewise strongly affirm the deity of Jesus even while affirming that there were some among them who had heard the apostles teach.
2. God has sons.
The point that both angels and saints are called sons of God is true, but this does not mean that they are brothers, as Mr. Huie states. Angels minister to men (Hebrews 1:14), but they are a different group of created beings from men (Hebrews 12:22-23). Mr. Huie states that Revelation 12:10 shows that angels are brothers to men. But that passage never states who is speaking so we cannot with any certainty conclude that it is an angel. And even if it was an angel, we do not know the sense in which the term “our brethren” is used in this passage. It could merely reference that we serve the same God. It does not mean that the speaker is including himself as being part of them. Besides, Hebrews 2:6-8 quotes Psalm 8 in distinguishing men from angels and saying that man was made a little lower than the angels. He again distinguishes between men and angels in Hebrews 2:16-17 where the author of Hebrews makes the point that Jesus came to help us, His brothers; He did not give aid to the angels. Jesus Himself said that in the resurrection we would be like the angels with regard to marriage (Matthew 22:30); He did not say that we would become angels. Throughout eternity, our destination is to be “His people” (Revelation 21:3), a term the New Testament never uses in reference to angels.
3. One of God’s Sons is Yeshua the Messiah
I agree with Mr. Huie that Jesus is the son of God. However, Mr. Huie does not deal with the fact that Jesus is a son of God in a way totally different than men and angels. Jesus is called “the only existing Son of God” (John 1:14, 3:16, 18, 1 John 4:9). In what way is Jesus the “only existing Son”? If He is a son like we are, then he could not be the only existing Son. But in these passages Scripture is affirming that He is all by Himself, that God has no other sons in the way Jesus is a Son. God did not send me to die for the sins of the world. He sent Jesus, His only existing Son. He is unique. Thus, in Proverbs 30:4, the author does not ask for the names of God’s sons (plural), but for the name of God’s Son (singular).
4. Only God the Father has existed from eternity
The argument that Jesus is not eternal fails as well. John 1:1 certainly does not state that Jesus is not eternal. In fact, it states that Jesus was in the beginning with God. So, however one understands the phrase “in the beginning,” it applies equally to Jesus and to God. I sense that Mr. Huie struggles with this verse and ultimately simply concludes it cannot mean that Jesus is eternal because there are too many verses stating the opposite, but he ultimately gives us no verses that deny the eternality of Christ.
Mr. Huie looks to John 10:34 where Jesus quotes Psalm 82:6 as calling someone “gods” and then concludes that Jesus includes Himself among the sons of God, which he references to angels. But in John 10:34, Jesus is not linking Himself to the “gods” of Psalm 82:6, but is using that passage to show that someone greater than “the gods” have come. Thus, John 10:34 states:
If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came . . . do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, You are blaspheming, because I said, “I am the Son of God?”
We should not miss the contrast Jesus is asserting.
Mr. Huie quotes 1 Timothy 6:13-16 as a passage stating that only God has immortality, concluding therefore that Jesus does not have immortality. I agree that only God has immortality, but I simply challenge someone to tell me who is the “King of kings and Lord of lords” who possesses this immortality. Scripture directly affirms that this One is the Lamb Himself (Revelation 17:14). This does not mean that the Father and the Spirit lack immortality, for those who believe in the Trinity affirm that the three persons are one God. God has immortality.
Interestingly, the other Scripture Mr. Huie quotes as stating that only the Father has existed from eternity is Revelation 4:8. I am surprised. God who sits on the throne is said to be the One who was and is and is to come, and who lives forever and ever. To the extent that this shows God to be immortal, a point I happen to agree with Mr. Huie on, the identical statements are made of the Son. In Revelation 1:8, we have the Alpha and the Omega stating that He is the One “who is and who was and who is to come.” We know from Revelation 22:13 that Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega.” Revelation 11:15 uses the same term “for ever and ever” in relation to Christ. Thus, I am surprised that Mr. Huie would admit that these terms show the eternal nature of God, since to the extent they do they equally and easily show the eternal nature of Christ.
5. God the Father is the creator and source of all life
Trinitarians fully agree with this.
6. The First Thing Created by God was the Messiah
Mr. Huie argues that Jesus is created, using Revelation 3:14, Colossians 1:14, Hebrews 3:1; John 5:26 and Proverbs 8:22. First, Revelation 3:14 says nothing about whether Jesus was created. In fact, there is no place in Scripture where it says that Jesus was created. The grammar of Revelation 3:14 states that Jesus is “the beginning of the creation of God.” This is not saying that Jesus is created any more than the phrase “the gun shot is the beginning of the race” means that the gun shot is a race. There are times when the phrase “beginning of “x” means that the thing referenced is “x.” For instance, in Matthew 24:8, the phrase “these are the beginning of sorrows” is intended to mean that what was described constitutes sorrows. But more often the phrase “the beginning of ‘x'” does not mean that the thing referenced is “x.” Rather, it means that “x” takes place at the beginning, or is first. Thus, we find in Philippians 4:15 the phrase “beginning of the gospel.” Paul is referencing a time when he first began to share Christ with them. The phrase is temporal, not defining.
We use this phrase all the time in these ways. We say: “January 1 is the beginning of the year.” January 1 is not a year, but it is the beginning of the year. We state that when we saw that special person, it was the beginning of our life together. Seeing the person was not a life together, it was only the beginning. We state: “Graduation is the beginning of a new life.” Graduation is not a new life, it is only the beginning. Thus, for Mr. Huie to argue that a text stating that Jesus is the “beginning of the creation of God” means that Jesus is created by God is a logical leap. There is nothing in the passage that compels this interpretation and much in Scripture that would compel the opposite.
I take it to mean that Jesus is the primary source of all creation.
All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Mr. Huie argues that use of the word “firstborn” in Colossians 1:14 means that Jesus was created. But again, this is a leap in logic. Jesus was born of the virgin, as the “firstborn,” as Matthew 1:25 and Luke 2:7 affirm. The term “firstborn” is used of David (Psalm 89:27), even though he was the youngest of Jesse’s sons, and of Ephraim (Jeremiah 31:9), the second son of Joseph. The term means the one of most importance. Jesus, in his birth, was the one of highest importance of all people who were born. Thus, He is the firstborn over of all creation. But there is nothing here that states that He was created. He existed before His birth. John says the Word who was in the beginning became flesh (John 1:14). Philippians states that he took the form of a bond servant and came in the likeness of men and was found in appearance as a man. Hebrews 2:14-17 tells us that He shared in flesh and blood and was made like His brethren. None of these passages speak about Jesus being created.
Mr. Huie argues that Hebrews 3:2 shows that Jesus was made. The Greek word “poiesanti” found in Hebrews 3:2 is a verb with a wide field of meaning. Bauer, Arndt and Gingrich’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature has nearly 5 full columns of meanings of this word. These meanings include the following (do, make, manufacture, produce, pitch, build, create, cause, bring about, accomplish, prepare, perform, establish, wage, keep, celebrate, send out, produce, bear, yield, claim, practice, commit, exercise, show, get, gain, provide, assume, suppose, etc.). Mr. Huie is right that this lexicon places Hebrews 3:2 under the broad category of God’s creative activity and then when addressing this verse states that it shows the relationship of Jesus to God. But this is not to state that the authors of the lexicon would conclude that Jesus was created. This precise form of the word is used in James 2:13 and in Revelation 14:7. Mr. Huie cites Revelation 14:7 as it helps support his view. But James 2:13 also uses this precise word which is there translated as “shown” in the clause “who has shown no mercy.” Using the word “made” or “create,” which is a perfectly appropriate meaning for Revelation 14:7, would make no sense in James 2:13. We do not speak of “making mercy.” Rather, we show mercy. Thus with two other verses using this same word and both carrying different meanings, we are left with trying to discern what the author intended for us to understand when he used this word in Hebrews 3:2.
And the only way to come to such an understanding is to read Hebrews to discover what the author thought about Christ. As interpreters, we generally would be reluctant to adopt a meaning of an ambiguous word that is contradictory to a position taken by that same author in that same book. So, when we look to the book of Hebrews, what do we find the author’s view of Christ to be? The first thing relevant to this issue is that in Hebrews 1:8-12, the author of Hebrews states that the Father addresses the Son in two passages of the Psalms. As noted above, in the first passage the author quotes Psalm 45:6-7 and tells us that the Father calls the Son “God.” But, in case we have any doubt, the second passage fully clinches the matter. Remember, the introductory phrase is “But to the Son He says” and then the author quotes these two passages. Both passages address the Son. Psalm 45:6-7 address the Son as “God.” Psalm 102:25-27, the second passage quoted by the author of Hebrews, addresses the Son as “the LORD,” which is the covenant name of the God of the Old Testament. The One who is God and LORD is Himself uncreated. The fact that the author of Hebrews sees Jesus as being called by the Father “God” and LORD” provides strong evidence that the author did not view Christ as being made.
But there is more. In Hebrews 7:1-3, we are told about Melchizedek. In verse 3 this one is said to be “without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but being like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.” Notice, the author is directly stating that having no beginning of days is like the Son of God.
In fact, some theologians have noted that the author of Hebrews presents some of the strongest statements on the deity of Christ that we have in the epistles. Given this view of the author, I am not inclined to adopt the one meaning of the word “poiesanti” that would state that God was created. Such is not reasonable here nor supported anywhere else in Scripture. God is uncreated.
I accept the word “made” here as being an appropriate translation as long as it is understood within its context; that is, in the sense of making Him an Apostle and High Priest. The previous verse has just referenced that He is the Apostle and High Priest. The author of Hebrews does not let this concept go, but picks it up again in Hebrews 5:1 saying that the high priest is appointed, in Hebrews 5:4 saying that he is called, and in Hebrews 5:4, and then applying this to Christ in Hebrews 5:5-6, 10; 7:17, 20-21; 8:8-6. So reading Hebrews 3:2 as being that the Father made Him in the sense of making Him a High Priest stands well within the context of the passage. To read Hebrews 3:2 as stating that Jesus was made in the sense of being created falls far outside the context of the passage and is contrary to the author’s earlier and later statements on the deity of Christ.
Mr. Huie brings up John 5:26. This verse states that the Father gave to the Son to have life in Himself. This verse does not say that the Father gave to the Son the Son’s life. So what does Jesus mean when He states that the Father has granted the Son to have life in Himself? Again, we look to the context. In the previous verse, Jesus said that those who are dead and hear the voice of the Son of God will live. He then explains this in verse 27. We know that verse 27 is an explanation of verse 26 because it begins with the explanatory word “for.” He first says that the Father has life in Himself; which in the context means that the Father has the ability to give life to the dead. Jesus next states that the Father has given to the Son this same ability to have life in Himself, which again within the context is a reference to an ability to give life to the dead. Jesus is not even addressing the issue of how He obtained life. That issue never arose in the preceding context. But giving life to the dead did (see also back a few verses to John 5:21). In this discourse, Christ’s statements in John 5:26-27 flow from Christ’s statements in John 5:21-22 where Jesus said that the Father raises the dead and gives life to them and the Son also gives life and judges all. John 5:26-27 follows this precise flow, again asserting that the Father gives life and has given to the Son to do the same and has given all judgment. This is classic parallelism within Scripture. By the way, given that Jesus is God as demonstrated by the above Scriptures, He does not obtain life. He is life (John 14:6).
Finally, Mr. Huie brings up Proverbs 8:22. But that passage is not talking about the Messiah. It is talking about wisdom. While we can make application to Christ, it would not be appropriate to state that everything in the wisdom discourses applies directly to the Messiah (see Proverbs 1:20-33; 3:13-20; 4:5-13; 8:1 through 9:12). The reference in 1 Corinthians 1:24 does not demand this and such is bad logic. It would be like saying that because I am a son of God that therefore whenever Scripture mentions “son of God,” it must be referring to me. This is demonstrably not true. So it is with wisdom and Christ. The discourses on wisdom in Proverbs are Solomon personifying wisdom and calling his son to heed wisdom’s instructions.
Again, I come back to the main point. Jesus is called “God” and “the LORD” in Scripture. The LORD God is not created. So we would not expect Scripture to say that Jesus was created. And in fact, no place in Scripture states that Jesus was created. However, Scripture does say that Jesus is without beginning of days (Hebrews 7:3), is from everlasting (Micah 5:2), and is eternal (1 Timothy 1:16). And, as noted above in the many passages cited, Scripture repeatedly affirms that Jesus is God.
7. After Creating Messiah, God then Created the Rest of the Universe Through Him
Scripture certainly affirms many times that Christ created all things as Mr. Huie notes. But, as shown above, Scripture never states that Christ was created. Christ is God. God is not a created being.
The site does not address what I see as the big elephants in the room. Unless one is willing to take on the passages where Jesus is directly called “God” and provide a credible explanation for them, and the passages I cite above where the deity of Christ is most plainly demonstrated in Scripture, we should be reluctant to stray from the faith that was once delivered to the church.
I hope this helps provide some basis for understanding the error I see in Mr. Huie’s arguments and his understanding of Christ.
As for your friend, I would continue to point him to the Jesus of the Bible. In doing so, you are not alone. The Spirit also works to show Christ to those who are earnestly seeking.
May the Lord Jesus bless and guide you,