This post is in response to some comments made by one of our forum members (Blacklit) under our blog post entitled, “The Beginning, Part 1”. We present our responses here as a separate post as this allows for a more through reply than what we could have rendered under the comment section of the original post, due to the word count restrictions.
Our friends first comment/quote was:
“The fact that Christ is begotten of God does not mean that He is not God. That would be a denial of what we have been told, by God, through His written word. Whilst Christ cannot be the same person as God the Father of whom He is begotten (two persons cannot be the same person), it does mean that there are two distinct personalities who together, prior to the creation of this universe, enjoyed an identity of essence, and are therefore both truly God. One personage - the Father, is unbegotten, whilst the other - the Son, is begotten of God. Christ therefore can only be - God in the person of the Son. Ellen White expressed this truth this way “The Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Father, is truly God in infinity, but not in personality.” (Ellen G. White, Ms 116, December 19th 1905, ‘An Entire Consecration’) If it is accepted as true that Christ “is truly God in infinity”, then it cannot be said of Him that He is not God.”
Quoted from Terry Hill. "The Prophet still Speaks"
As we have stated elsewhere although we believe Christ to be theos: a god (Strong’s # 2316: God, a god; a mighty one) we do not believe he is ho Theos: THE God, that is the Almighty Father Himself.
The scriptures inform us that the word “god” (Greek: theos) can be used to denote both true and false gods.
Perhaps the best way to explain this is to refer to another comment made once before by another forum member and our reply.
He states: “We use capital “G” for God and small “g” for false gods (including the god of this world). Even though this is an established fact, the New World Translation of the JWs makes Jesus (the Word) into a small “g” god.”
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” (John 1:1 NWT)
How in the world can Jesus be "a god" without implying that He is a false god?
Is this true; is it an established fact that a capital “G” is used when referring to the true God and a small “g” when referring to false gods?
Let’s look at a few scriptures and see what they have to say on the issue.
“For even if there are so-called gods (theoi: the plural of theos, mighty ones), whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God (Theos), the Father (ho patér), of whom are all things, and we for Him; AND one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.” (1 Cor 8:5 ,6)
It is abundantly clear that the Apostle Paul here was contrasting the various so-called gods (or FALSE theos), worshiped by the heathen with the one TRUE “theos”, or one true God. Although Herod was indeed a mighty one occupying a position of power and honor before the people, he was not in the true sense recognized by the Lord as a “theos”, a god or a mighty one. Pharaoh too, although referred to as (Hebrew: elohim, a god or mighty one), by the people, was likewise not recognized as such by the Lord.
Now even though there is but one altogether all-mighty the “ho Theos” or “el yon” the Most High God, the Father Himself, there are other individuals scripturally referred to as being TRUE gods (theos). Examples:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god (theos).” John 1:1 (The Emphatic Diaglott)
Satan: (Although an evil “theos” he is nevertheless a true “theos” and is referred to as such by our Lord himself.)
“But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god (theos) of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” (2 Cor 4:3, 4)
“For you have made him a little lower than the angels (elohim), and you have crowned him with glory and honor.” (Psa 8:5)
“And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god (elohim) to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.” (Exod 7:1)
“And the sons of Heth answered Abraham, saying to him, “Hear us, my lord: You are a mighty (elohim) prince among us; bury your dead in the choicest of our burial places. None of us will withhold from you his burial place, that you may bury your dead.” (Gen 23: 5, 6)
“I said, “You are gods (elohim); and all of you are children of the Most High (el yon, the highest God, nevertheless) you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.” (Psa 82:6)
We, now, though sons of the Most High die and appear to men nothing more than others, in us, as in our Leader and Head, God is manifest in our mortal flesh. (See John 10:35 and 2 Cor. 4:11)
As stated, the word God signifies mighty one; but not always the All-mighty One. It is the translation of each of four Hebrew words--el, elah, elohim, and adonai, all signifying the mighty, or great. It is a general name, often and properly applied to our Heavenly Father, as well as to Jesus, angels, and men.
In Psalm 82 Verse 1 the distinction between beings referred to by the word God is very marked:
"God (elohim) stands in the congregation of the mighty (el); he judges among the gods" (elohim).
Here the first word, God, evidently refers to Jehovah, the All-mighty one, while the others evidently refer to other mighty ones--the church, the sons of God, of whom Jesus is the head or chief.
So, in answer to our question,
NO! It is not an established fact that a small “g” used in the word god denotes a false god. Nor does the fact that the word God is spelled with a capital “G” imply that it refers to the Almighty Himself, for example note how some translators use a capital “G” and some use a small “g” when referring to Moses in Exod 7:1.
“And Jehovah said unto Moses, See, I have made thee as God to Pharaoh; and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.” (ASV)
“And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.” (KJV)
We continue with our next post.
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