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Which are the passages of Scripture wherein names which properly belong to the one God, are thought to be given to Christ?
They are those wherein Jesus is supposed to be called, 1.Jehovah, Jer. xxi. 6. 2. The Lord of Hosts, Zach. ii. S. 3. The true God, 1 Johnv. 20. 4. The only Lord God, Jude 4. 5. The great God, Titus ii. 23. 6. The Lord Almighty, Rev. i. 8. 7. He who was and is and is to come, Rev. iv. 8. 8. God—who has purchased the Church with his own blood, Acts xx. 28. 9. God—who laid down his life for us, 1 John iii. 16.
What have you to urge by way of answer to these testimonies, severally; and in the first instance, to that from Jeremiah xxiii. 6, “ And this is his name by which he shall be called, The Lord (JEHOVAH) our righteousness ?”
I answer, first, That it cannot be hence proved that the name Jehovah is attributed to Christ : for these words ought to be applied to Israel, who is spoken of immediately before, in the very same verse, “In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely.” This may easily be made to appear from what the same prophet states, chap. xxxiii. 15, 16, " In those days, and at that time, will I cause the branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and
yet deservedly of great esteem among the people of God. For it is apparent from sundry passages, both of the Book of Wisdome, and that of Ecclesiasticus, that these writers, as they by Wisdome understood a creature, so did they conceive that creature to be the Spirit of God. See Wisdome vi, 24 ; i. 447 vii. 27; ix. 17, 18, 19; Ecclesiasticus xxiv, 12, 13, 14; i. 4, 5, 7, 8, 9."-p. 35, 36. TRANSL.
he shall execute judgement and righteousness in the land. And in those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely; and this is the name wherewith she shall be called—the Lord (JEHOVAH) our righteousness.” For, as commentators have observed, the pronoun (SHE) is in the Hebrew feminine, which must necessarily refer to Jerusalem, answering to Israel, in the passage before quoted (xxiii. 6). Hence it
appears that in the place last mentioned the words “ he shall be called” are spoken of Israel. But though we were even to grant, that the name Jehovah might here be referred to Christ, yet it appears, from other considerations, that it could not be asserted that Christ was God: for otherwise it would follow that Jerusalem also was God. For it must be understood that the whole clause " the Lord our righteousness” (JEHOVAH-TZIDKENU) is as it were converted into one name, and moreover given to a thing which is not God. In the same manner, the mountain whereon Abraham was about to offer his son is called, Gen. xxii. 14, " The Lord will see” or be seen, JEHOVAH-JIREH. And the altar which Moses raised was called (Exod. xvii. 15) “ the Lord (Jehovah) my exaltation,"JEHOVAH-MISSI. And that which Gideon raised (Judgès vi. 24) is called “ The Lord send Peace," JEHOVAH-SHALOM. And lastly, to omit other passages, the city of Jerusalem is called by Ezekiel " a Lord to them.” Whether therefore the words in Jeremiah xxiii. 6 are to be understood of Christ, or of Israel, the meaning of them is, that the one Lord our God would then justify us : which, with
respect to the Israelites, was accomplished by him, when Christ appeared.
What answer do you make to the second testimony, from Zachariah ii. 8?
The whole of the passage referred to is as follows : “ Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you; for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.” These words are applied, by a forced construction, to Jesus Christ, because it is thought to be here asserted, that the Lord of Hosts was sent by the Lord of Hosts : but they do not admit of such an interpretation, as is manifest from hence, that the words “after the glory hath he sent me” are uttered by another, that is by the angel who is conversing with the other angel and Zachariah, as plainly appears from the preceding part of the same chapter, beginning at the fourth verse, where this angel is introduced speaking. The same thing may also be perceived from hence, that the words which are here quoted," he who touches the apple of his eye,” must necessarily be those of the messenger, and not of the Lord of Hosts. For they are not here referred to the Lord of Hosts as if he had himself actually uttered them, but indirectly, as if he (the angel) had spoken in this manner: “ Thus saith the Lord of Hosts-Because after the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you, for he that toucheth you toucheth the pupil of his eye.”
What answer do you make to the third testimony, from 1 John v. 20, where Christ is said to be called the TRUE God?
The whole verse runs thus : “We know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” Now I deny that the words - this is the true God” refer to the Son of God:-Not that I deny that Christ is, in his sense of the terms, a true God, but that he is that true God who is spoken of in this passage. Because Christ is in no instance styled absolutely God (ó Oleos) with the article, or the true God; and in this very passage, as also in like manner in John xvii. 3, he is clearly distinguished from the only true God. Neither will it at all serve our adversaries, who would have the words “this is the true God” applied to Christ, that he had been mentioned just before; for relative pronouns, such as THIS, &c, do not always refer to the nearest antecedent, but frequently to the principal subject matter under discussion, although more remote.
from the following examples:-Acts vii, 18, 19, “ Till another king arose, which knew not JOSEPH, THE SAME dealt subtilly with our kindred.” Acts x. 6, “ He (Peter) lodgeth with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea side, HE shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.” 2 John 7, “ Many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that JESUS CHRIST is come in the flesh; This is a deceiver and an antichrist. From these passages it appears that the relative pronoun does not refer to the persons forming the proximate, or nearest antecedent, but to those who
are more remote. And besides, if these words, “this is the true God,” are referred to Jesus Christ, John would assert that Jesus Christ was the son of himself, for he calls him the Son of that true God. The placing of the true God in opposition to idols, in the twenty-first verse, shows that in scriptural phraseology not Christ but the Father of Christ is indicated '5. What answer do
make to the fourth testimony from Jude, ver. 4, "denying the only Lord (OET TOTNV) God, and our Lord Jesus Christ ?"
It is attempted to be proved from this clause, that since in the Greek there is but one article prefixed to both the titles, they ought, conformably to a rule of Greek composition, to be considered as designating one person only, that is Jesus Christ. But it must be remarked that this rule is not always followed by Greek writers; and the circumstances of the case must determine where it does not apply. That this rule does not extend to all cases, is proved by several examples in the New Testament itself. Thus Matt. xxi. 12, " And Jesus went into the temple of God and cast out all them that sold and bought:" where in the Greek only one article is prefixed to the two words SOLD and BOUGHT. Matt. xvi. I, “ The Pharisees
15 It ought to be remarked, that the Son of God is here expressly distinguished from the true God, (who, according to the same apostle, John xvii. 3, is the Father alone,) to the knowledge of whom he is said to conduct us. It is therefore necessary that the following words, which exhibit a mode of repetition usual with John, should be understood of the Father; as Erasmus and Grotius rightly observe. See also Schlichtingius on the place. B. WissowATIUS.