Review of The Deity of Jesus Christ, by John MacArthur
Disclaimer: This is not written to question John MacArthur’s sincerity or faith. It’s my opinion that he is both saved and sincere.
This review is based on the Word of God. Is the Bible alone your final standard for faith and practice? If so, keep reading. But if your interpretation of Scripture is subject to one or more overlays from church tradition (such as the doctrine of the trinity), expect to be challenged.
To shorten this review, it covers only two chapters and not all disagreements are noted. This is written from the perspective of a former Trinitarian. I’m a non-denominational, Biblical Unitarian Christian (not to be confused with Unitarian Universalists).
The two primary methods of biblical interpretation are exegesis and eisegesis. This review is written using the exegetical method that involves drawing out the author’s historical (intended) meaning. This includes a consideration of context, rules of genre, historical culture, and grammar. The eisegesis method of interpretation involves reading theology into the text that is not supported by context, grammar, historical culture, etc.
He writes, “It is of ultimate significance because how people respond to the Lord Jesus [who He is] determines their eternal destiny (John 3:36; cf. John 14:6; Acts 4:12)” (page 9). While it is important to have a correct understanding of the biblical identity of Jesus Christ, MacArthur is incorrect to imply that a Trinitarian understanding is required. None of the passages provided teach that Jesus Christ is equal to God the Father, or a Trinitarian identity of Jesus within a godhead is required to be saved. In fact, most Trinitarians don’t teach the doctrine of the Trinity to be saved. Jesus taught what one must believe about Himself to be saved and the doctrine of the Trinity that was knit together many years later by the Roman Catholic Church was not included.
In the next paragraph (page 9), MacArthur states, “False teachers (like the fourth-century heretic Arias and modern Jehovah Witnesses) have suggested that Christ was merely a creature…” MacArthur takes a wide swing and in one punch taints Arias and JW’s as heretics for believing “that Christ was merely a creature.“
A search on the Internet was unable to authenticate MacArthur’s claim that Arias taught and JW’s teach today that Christ is “a mere creature.” While JW’s teach (to my knowledge) that Jesus Christ was created by God, it is misleading for MacArthur to charge JW’s and others as myself as heretics while misrepresenting them as teaching that Jesus was “a mere creature.” It is insulting to God and Biblical Unitarians when God’s dear Son is depicted as a “mere creature.” He goes on and writes, “In fact, He [Jesus Christ] is infinitely more than any created being” (page 9). Jesus is a created being who is “infinitely more” than any other created being. Because MacArthur’s authority for the identity of Christ is Trinitarianism (as was mine for years), he rejects the biblical evidence that God created Christ.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “He [Jesus Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:15-17). Jesus Christ is not God the Father but an “image of the invisible God.” The context of this passage deals with creation. God created Jesus first in the creation order (“firstborn of all creation“).
Doctrine for the church should come from multiple passages in Scripture. Trinitarians don’t have one legitimate passage that teaches that Jesus eternally existed (without eisegesis). As this review unfolds, at least three more verses will teach that God (the Father) is the source of life for His dear Son.
Chapter One, The Eternal Glory of the Divine Word
He writes, “First, the direct statements of Scripture affirm that Jesus is God” (page 13). MacArthur argument that Jesus is God (as equal to the Father) because He is called “God,” won’t withstand the test of Scripture. The word “god” in the Bible comprises many divine beings, both good and evil.
Within the Old and New Testaments the Jewish understanding of the word “god” was very different than our own. Most today associate the words “elohim” (Hebrew) or “theos” (Greek) in their highest forms as titles for Jehovah or God almighty. But few people of our day recognize that these same words describe many other divine beings.
In the Old Testament the word “elohim” can describe one true God (Psalm 114:7, etc.) false gods (2 Kings 17:31, etc.), foreign gods (Daniel 11:39), angels (Psalm 8:5), Moses speaks as god (Exodus 4:16), David or Solomon as god (Psalm 45:6-7), a ghost (1 Samuel 28:13), etc.
In the New Testament the word “theos” can describe the one true God almighty (Matthew 3:9), Jesus Christ (John 20:28), a person thought to be god (Acts 28:6), the false prophet (2 Thessalonians 2:4); a false idol (Acts 7:40, 43), divine beings (John 10:34), Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4), etc.
Moses acted as God before pharaoh. While Moses (of course) was not the one true God, he was appointed by God as His representative to deliver His message: “So the Lord said to Moses: “See, I have made you as God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother shall be your prophet” (Exodus 7:1; NKJV).
In Psalm 82:1, the plural use of “Elohim” describes a heavenly group of devine beings (gods) that God almighty presides over. The Faithlife Study Bible, (Lexham Press, 2016) expounds on this mysterious gathering: “In the midst of the gods the Hebrew preposition used here, qerev, requires the Hebrew word elohim to be translated as a plural here—as ‘gods.’ The gods in the verse are the council members, the heavenly host (see Psa 82:6). A council of divine beings is also mentioned in 89:5–7, where they are depicted as in heaven or the skies” (note for Psalms 82:1).
As demonstrated from Scripture, MacArthur’s Trinitarian teaching that Jesus is equal to God the Father because He is called “God” in Scripture is a false premise. If he was consistent he would have to equate everyone assigned the title “god” to be equal to God the Father.
In the excellent book, Divine Truth or Human Tradition (2006), Patrick Navas writes: “It is not difficult to see that if Moses and the king of Israel were considered ‘God’ in some sense, and if angels and Israelite rulers were scripturally called ‘gods,’ how it would have been entirely fitting and, in fact, expected that the Lord Jesus himself, the long-awaited Messiah, would be spoken of in the same or similar way based on the unique honor that he rightfully deserves and which Scripture rightfully ascribes to him” (246).
MacArthur continues and writes, “In keeping with His emphasis on Christ’s deity, John records several of these statements. The opening verse of this Gospel declares, “The Word [Jesus] was God [John 1:1c]” (page 13). However, for a more in depth examination of this verse, please visit John 1:1 And The Trinity on this website.
Because John 1:1 is the primary passage used by Trinitarians to support the teaching that Jesus is God (equal to God the Father), it will be examined in more detail than any other passage. In fact, this passage was influential to keep me a Trinitarian for years.
The first verse of John has three clauses:
Part a: “In the beginning was the Word“
Part b: “and the Word was with God“
Part c: “and the Word was God” (ESV).
Because Jesus Christ is the Word (John 1:14), it can be restated:
Part a: “In the beginning was [Jesus]”
Part b: “and [Jesus] was with God“
Part c: “and [Jesus] was God.“
Who is the identity of “God” in part b? Since Jesus is “with God” it has to be God the Father! The doctrine of the Trinity provides three individuals to chose from and each being is distinct from one another. So Jesus Christ is not God the Father; and God the Father is not the Son, etc. So the verse can be restated:
Part a: “In the beginning was [Jesus]”
Part b: “and [Jesus] was with God [the Father]”
Part c: “and [Jesus] was God [the Father].”
Now we have a major contradiction. The teaching that Jesus is God the Father is a strong violation of the doctrine of the Trinity and more importantly the Bible. This teaching is similar to the false doctrine called Modalism where one God manifests Himself in different modes as Father, or Son, or Holy Spirit. If Modalism was true, Jesus prayed to Himself and not God (the Father).
So how does MacArthur handle this sizable contradiction? He places the false Modalism hat on by claiming that Jesus is God the Father! MacArthur is not alone. Many Trinitarians temporarily embrace the false teaching of Modalism (also known as Sabellianism) for the sake and preservation of the doctrine of the Trinity. Modalism makes God a magician wearing three different hats. This is heretical.
For John 1:1b (“and the Word was God“), MacArthur agrees that the Word (Jesus) is with God the Father. He writes, “From all eternity Jesus was ‘with the Father [pros ton patera]’ (1 John 1: 2) in deep, intimate fellowship” (page 18). For John 1:c (“and the Word was God“), he wrongly teaches an element of heresy called Modalism: “Not only did the Word exist from all eternity, and have face-to-face fellowship with the Father, but also ‘the Word was God’ That simple statement, only four words in both English and Greek (theos ēn ho logos), is perhaps the clearest and most direct declaration of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ to be found anywhere in Scripture” (page 19).
MacArthur has no difficulty teaching the heresy that Jesus is the same person as God (the Father) to teach the Trinity. While on page 20, he objects to a different rendering of John 1:1c made by another Trinitarian by correctly noting that this practice (Jesus is God the Father) is doctrinally false: “Thus the rendering ‘God was the Word,’ is invalid, because ‘the Word,’ not ‘God,’ is the subject. It would also be theologically incorrect, because it would equate the Father (‘God’ whom the Word was with in the preceding clause) with the Word, thus denying that the two are separate persons.“
And in His study Bible (1997), MacArthur correctly requires a distinction be made between the three beings of the Trinity (without mixing them) to avoid the false doctrine of Modalism. He correctly writes, “All three persons of the Trinity are distinguishable in this verse, a strong proof against the heresy of modalism, which suggests that God is one person who manifests Himself in 3 distinct modes, one at a time” (note for Luke 3:22).
Since God’s Word is free of errors, the translation of John 1:1c warrants a more in depth examination. Thankfully, not all Trinitarian scholars have participated in Modalism (John 1:1c). Some have acknowledged that different interpretations are valid within rules of Koine Greek grammar that aren’t a contradiction. However, because most Christian scholars are Trinitarians, the two alternative, non-contradictory renderings of John 1:1c (Jesus is not God the Father) have been mostly ignored. Here are some alternate translations for John 1:1c:
“the Logos [Jesus] was divine;” Moffat Translation, 1926
“and the Word [Jesus] was divine;” Goodspeed American Translation, 1923
“and the Word [Jesus] was a god;” New World Translation, 2013
These three translations don’t engage in Modalism. Jesus is said to be divine (not God the Father) or to be “a god” (not God the Father).
Trinitarian Bible Scholar Robert Young (1822-1888) produced Young’s Literal Translation. He wrote the following commentary for John 1:1c: “And the Word was God,” more lit. ‘and a God (i.e. a Divine Being) was the Word, that is, he was existing and recognized as such’” (Baker Books, 1983, 54).
Based on my research, John 1:1c has three possible translations. The issue at stake is the ending phrase, (“the word [Jesus] was ?”). According to the Greek Grammar book, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics (1996), author and theologian Daniel Wallace identifies three possible translations (based on Greek grammar rules) for the ending clause (1:1c): “Whether it is indefinite, qualitative, or definite is the issue at hand” (page 267). Here are the three possible outcomes that Wallace identifies:
“the Word was God” (definitive; a contradiction because of Modalism).
“the Word was a god” (indefinite).
“the Word was divine” (qualitative).
All three translations are allowed within accepted Greek grammar. A translation decision should weigh heavily on the context and avoiding biblical contradictions. Each rendering will be examined.
On pages 19-21, MacArthur argues for the traditional (definitive) rendering of John 1:1c (“the Word [Jesus] was God [the Father]).” But making Jesus the same person as God the Father is an erroneous rendering. In the book, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, author Wallace admits that the traditional interpretation is problematic. He first acknowledges that Colwell’s rules has been misapplied (“misunderstanding“) for this verse in the past (268). His strongest argument against the definitive rendering is that it makes Jesus the same person as God the Father. He writes, “Thus to say that the θεός in 1:1c is the same person is to say that ‘the Word was the Father.’ This, as the older grammarians and exegetes pointed out, is embryonic Sabellianism or modalism. The Fourth Gospel is about the least likely place to find modalism in the NT” (268-269).
A second possible interpretation of John 1:1c is “the Word was a god” (indefinite). In 1951, the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society published the the New World Translation of the New Testament. Because it translates John 1:1c, “and the Word was a god,” many Trinitarian Christians objected.
Most Christians are unaware that God the Father is called “a God” several times in the Old Testament (Exodus 34:6; Deuteronomy 32:4; 1 Samuel 2:3; 1 Samuel 17:46; Nehemiah 9:17; Psalm 5:4, 7:11, 58:11, 68:20, 86:15, 89:7; Isaiah 30:18, 44:8, 45:15, 64:4; Jeremiah 23:23, 51:56; Daniel 2:28; Micah 7:18). Since God the Father is “a God” and the Son is subordinate to the Father (John 4:22, 10:29, 14:28; 1 Corinthians 11:3, 1 Corinthians 15:28; Ephesians 1:3; John 20:17; Revelation 3:12, etc.), it does not violate Scripture to call God’s Son “a god” inside a verse that mentions God the Father.
Few Trinitarians know that one longstanding controversy of the Trinitarian interpretation (“the Word was God“) is the absence in the underlying Greek of the article “the” before the word “God,” (1:1c). This is significant because in 1:1b, the article “the” (in the Greek) appears before the word “God.” Because English grammar rules don’t allow the article “the” before the word “God” (“the Word was with the God”), this article is missing in English translations. Here is a sample rendering of how the Greek reads (Greek has different word order): “and the Word was with [the] God, and the Word was [no article] God.
In the MacArthur Study Bible (1997), MacArthur argues that for 1 Corinthians 14:2, the NKJV rendering “but to God” would be better translated “to a god” because of the lack of the definite article. He writes, “This is better translated, ‘to a god.’ The Gr. text has no definite article (see similar translation in Acts 17: 23, ‘an unknown god.’).” Based on this quote, MacArthur believes in the indefinite interpretation of “a god” under the right circumstances.
The 1981 Appendix to the New World Translation explains why they believe the indefinite use of “god” was used: “Translations use such words as ‘a god,’ ‘divine’ or ‘godlike’ because the Greek word Qsoq (theos) is a singular predicate noun occurring before the verb and is not preceded by a definite article. This is an anarthrous theos. The God with whom the word, or logos, was originally is designated here by the Greek expression ho theos, that is, theos preceded by the definite article ho. This is an articular theos. Careful translators recognize that the articular construction of the noun points to an identity, a personality, whereas a singular amorphous predicate noun preceding the verb points to a quality about someone. Therefore, John’s statement that the Word or Logos was ‘a god’ or ‘divine’ or ‘godlike’ does not mean that he was the God with whom he was. It merely expresses a certain quality about the Word, or Logos, but it does not identify him as one and the same God himself.” (1579).
After the death of the disciples, copies of manuscripts were made and translated by hand into other languages. One language widely spoken in Egypt in the 2nd-3rd century was Coptic. The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (1992) states: “Since the LXX and the New Testament were being translated into Coptic during the 3d century c.e., the Coptic version is based on Greek manuscripts which are significantly older than the vast majority of extant witnesses” (Volume 4, 181).
A Sahidic Coptic Gospel of John from the 2-4th century (estimated) renders John 1:1c, “the word was a god” (you can Google this for further research). Not only is this manuscript viable because it dates so early, but also the Coptic language uses the indirect article “a” like the English language (unlike Koine Greek).
Here is a passage consistent with Jesus being a separate and subordinate being to God the Father (Jesus is praying): “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God [God the Father], and Jesus Christ [not “the only true God“] whom you have sent” (John 17:3).
The third possible translations for John 1:1c is qualitative: “the Word was divine.” This translation doesn’t contradict John 1:1b because Jesus is distinct and a separate being from God the Father, who Jesus was with. Most Koine Greek Lexicons recognize the word “divine” as a possible meaning of “theos” within this word’s range of meaning.
Today’s most respected lexicon in the English language for the Greek New Testament is probably, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christianity (2001). This lexicon provides the following definitions for theos: “deity,” “god,” goddess,” and “God.” It places John 1:1 under the deity category of definition: “② Some writings in our litterature use the word θ. with reference to Christ (without necessarily equating Christ with the Father, and therefore in harmony w. the Shema of Israel Dt 6:4; cp. Mk 10:18 and 4a below), though the interpretation of some of the passages is in debate” (450-452).
The NET Bible (1996), regrettably states for 1:1c: “and the Word was fully God.” The word, “fully” isn’t in the Greek and is added because of Trinitarian theological bias. However, in their footnote they admit that the traditional interpretation is unpreferred: “A definite meaning for the term is reflected in the traditional rendering ‘word was God.’ From a technical standpoint, though, it is preferable to see a qualitative aspect to anarthrous θεός in John 1:1c (ExSyn 266–69)” (NET Bible notes for John 1:1c, 1996). Again, a “qualitative aspect” that is literal to the underlying Koine Greek would be “divine.”
In his book, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics (2001), Wallace also favors a qualitative interpretation. However because of Trinitarian theological bias, he can’t accept the interpretation, “the Word was divine.” He writes, “In this second translation, “divine” [“the Logos was divine;” Moffatt translation] is acceptable only if it is a term that can be applied only to true deity. However, in modern English, we use it with reference to angels, theologians, even a meal! Thus ‘divine’ could be misleading in an English translation. The idea of a qualitative θεός here is that the Word had all the attributes and qualities that ‘the God’ (of 1:1b) had. In other words, he shared the essence of the Father, though they differed in person.” (269).
Because this is not a review of Wallace’s book, only some objections will be identified. While Wallace appears to side with a qualitative interpretation, he objects to applying it because “it could be misleading in the English translation.” But his rationale is outside a reasonable use of the English language. No one in the English language would read, “the word was divine,” and conclude (within the context) that the “Word” here was an angel, a theologian, or even a meal. This unreasonable objection by Wallace is the fruit of embracing Trinitarianism. He continues showing his bias: “he [Jesus] shared the essence of the Father.” There is no place in the entire Bible (to include this verse) that I have found that declares that God and His Son share the same “essence.“
Continuing on in the same chapter—to prove conclusively that Jesus is God, MacArthur writes, “In John’s gospel Jesus repeatedly assumed for Himself the divine name, ‘I am’ (cf. 4:26; 8:24, 28, 58; 13:19, 18:5, 6, 8). In 10:30, He claimed to be one in nature and essence with the Father (that the unbelieving Jews recognized this as a claim to deity is clear from their reaction in v. 33; cf. 5:18)” (page 13).
Sincere Trinitarians have believed and taught that every time Jesus stated “I am” in a sentence, Jesus was rightfully claiming to be God of the Old Testament (Exodus 3:14). This is as truthful as believing that every time you hear someone say the phrase “I am” within a sentence, they are claiming to be God of the Old Testament. There are many “I am” statements in the New Testament where they were not claiming to be Yahweh. See Luke 1:18 (statement by Zechariah); John 1:27 (statement by John the Baptist); Acts 21:39 (Apostle Paul, etc.).
Because John 8:58 has a “I am” statement that is popular among Trinitarians, it will be examined. “So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple” (John 8:58-59). Many Trinitarians teach that Jesus is claiming to be the God of the Old Testament (Yahweh) as found in Exodus 3:14. But a closer look will find that Jesus is claiming to have already existed when Abraham lived (“before Abraham was, I am“), which makes Jesus greater than their father Abraham whom they highly esteemed.
The traditional Trinitarian interpretation of this passage poses serious problems; here are three:
a. If Jesus is saying He is the “I am” of the Old Testament, He is claiming to be God the Father (Yahweh). But it would have been blasphemy for Jesus to claim to be God the Father whom He was not! This reason alone is enough to disproved the Trinitarian teaching of this passage. Most Trinitarians don’t even see the contradiction (I didn’t).
In his study Bible, MacArthur writes for this passage, “here Jesus declared Himself to be Yahweh, i.e., the Lord of the Old Testament” (page 1601). This practice of making Jesus the same person as God the Father is the false doctrine of Modalism that MacArthur campaigned against in his study Bible in Luke 3:22. Because his quote was already provided, it will be skipped. If the doctrine of the Trinity is true, it wouldn’t be necessary to incorrectly teach that Jesus Christ is God the Father when He clearly is a separate being as Trinitarianism correctly acknowledges. Jesus claimed to be the “son of God” and/or “son of man” over 100 times. He surely emphasized this truth so that we believe it.
b. Most Trinitarians believe that Jesus claimed to be Yahweh based on Exodus 3:4-5. For example, in the ESV Bible, there is only one cross-reference for John 8:58, and it points to Exodus 3:4. But the title that God assigns to Himself here doesn’t match John 8:58: “God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you” (Exodus 3:14). If Jesus had stated, “I am who I am” who appeared to Abraham they would have surely made the connection that He was claiming to be Yahweh from Exodus 3:14-15.
Secondly, Jesus didn’t assign a title to Himself in John 8:58. The “I am” is part of a sentence where He states, “…. Before Abraham was, I am.” Jesus is simply stating that He was in existence before Abraham lived. The response of Jesus fits perfectly within the context of the previous verse: “So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” (8:57).
c. Some Trinitarian theologians have admitted that the phrase, “I am” (John 8:58), while a literal translation from Greek to English, doesn’t communicate the same meaning (verbal action) in the English language as the underlying Koine Greek within the context. For the “I am” expression of Jesus, the New American Standard Bible, (1971), reads in the margin, [Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was,“] “Or, I have been.”
Here are some renderings of John 8:58 that demonstrate that Jesus was claiming to be in existence before Abraham lived:
These translations were taken from Trinitytruth.org: http://www.trinitytruth.org/meaningofIamjohn858.html
The Living Bible:
“The absolute truth is that I was in existence before Abraham was ever born!”
The New Testament in the Language of Today, 1964 ed., William F. Beck:
“I was in existence before Abraham was ever born”
New Believers Bible, New Living Translation, (1996):
“Jesus answered, “The truth is, I existed before Abraham was even born!”
New Simplified Bible:
“Jesus said, I tell you the truth, I existed before Abraham was born.”
An American Translation, Smith and Goodspeed, (1939):
“Jesus said to them, “I tell you, I existed before Abraham was born!”
The New Testament in the Language of the People, Charles B. Williams, (1937):
“Then Jesus said to them, “I most solemnly say to you, I existed before Abraham was born.”
The Documents of the New Testament, G.W. Wade, (1934):
“Jesus said to them, in very truth I tell you, before Abraham came into being, I have existed.”
The Complete Gospels Annotated Scholars Version, Miller, (1992):
“I existed before there was an Abraham.”
The Bible, A New Translation, Dr. James Moffatt, (1935):
“Truly, truly I tell you,” said Jesus, “I have existed before Abraham was born.”
The New Testament Or Rather the New Covenant, Sharpe, (1881):
“I was before Abraham was born.”
The Worldwide English New Testament Bible:
“Jesus answered, I tell you the truth. I already was before Abraham was born.”
Good News for the World, (1969):
“Jesus answered, I tell you the truth. I already was before Abraham was born.”
International English Version, (2001):
“I was alive before Abraham was born.”
International Bible Translators, (1981):
“Jesus said to them, I am telling the truth: I was alive before Abraham was born!”
The Simple English Bible, (1978):
“Jesus said to them, I tell you the truth: I was alive before Abraham was born.”
The New Testament According To The Eastern Text, George Lamsa Translation, (1940):
“Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Before Abraham was born, I was.”
The Curetonian Version of the Four Gospels, Burkitt, from 5th century manuscripts, (1904):
“Before Abraham came to be, I was.”
The Old Georgian Version of the Gospel of John, P. Blake, M. Briere, in Patrologia Orientallis, Vol. XXVI, faxcicle 4, Paris, from 5th century manuscripts, (1950):
“Before Abraham came to be, I was.”
Ethiopic-Edition: Nouvum Testamentum Æthiopice, T.P. Platt, revised by F. Praetorius, Lepzig, (1899:
“Before Abraham was born, I was”
The New Testament, Curt Stage, (1907):
“Before Abraham came to be, I was.”
The New Testament, Kleist & Lilly, (1956):
“I tell you the plain truth. replied Jesus, I am here – and I was before Abraham.”
New American Standard Bible, 1963 and 1971 editions alternative rendering:
“I have been”
The New Testament: a New Translation and Explanation Based on the Oldest Manuscripts, Johannes Greber, (1937):
“I am speaking the truth, Jesus answered, I am older than Abraham.”
The New Testament (in German), Friedreich Pfaefflin, (1949):
“Jesus: Before there was an Abraham, I was already there.”
The New Testament in Hebrew, Isaac Salkinson and David Ginsberg, 1941 edition:
“I have been when there had as yet been no Abraham.”
Translation of New Testament, Wakefield, G., (1795):
“Jesus said unto them: Verily verily I say unto you, before Abraham was born, I am He.”
Ledyard, G.H. New Life Testament, (1969):
“Jesus said to them, for sure I tell you, before Abraham was born, I was and sum and always will be.”
The Coptic Version of the New Testament in the Southern Dialect, George William Horner, (1911):
“Before Abraham became, I, I, am being.”
Continuing on with this review –on page 14, he writes, “[Jesus] existed in the form of God,’ possessing absolute ‘equality with God’” (Philippians 2:6). It appears that MacArthur wrote his own Bible because a search was unable to uncover this translation. Because this verse has the word “equality” it is misused by some Trinitarians to fit their tradition.
Here is the verse with some accompanied context: “5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:5-9; NKJV).
In verse five we are told to have the mind of Christ (describes His humility). In verse six, “being in the form of God” is not the same as being God (the Father). Jesus Christ “did not consider it robbery to be equal with God.” This verse teaches that Jesus could have committed robbery “to be equal with God.” But in His humility, Jesus obeyed God the Father and became a human being (v. 7).
Here are some other renderings of Philippians 2:6b:
“He did not think to snatch at equality with God” (New English Bible)
“He did not consider equality with God a thing to be seized” (A rendering from the Interpreters Bible, Volume 11, page 48).
“He laid no claim to equality with God” (Revised English Bible).
“He did not deem equality with God something to be grasp at” (New American Bible, 1970).
On page 14, he writes, “Second, Jesus Christ receives titles elsewhere in Scripture given to God.” He goes on to write, “God and Jesus are both called Shepherd” (page 14). MacArthur’s rational is bazar. Just because Jesus is also called a Shepherd, somehow makes Him equal to God the Father? Using this reasoning, we could assign the title “God” to everyone in the Bible called a shepherd.
On page 15 MacArthur claims that the Bible teaches “Christ is eternal.” The two verses he provided don’t make this claim or even come close (Micah 5:2; Isaiah 9:6). MacArthur has no difficulties exaggerating to prove the Trinity is true.
No verse in the Bible states that Jesus has always existed. In Revelation 3:14, Jesus calls Himself, “the beginning of God’s creation.” This verse complements Colossians 1:15 perfectly where Paul describes our Lord and Savior: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.“
He writes, “Verses 1–3 [John 1:1-3] of the prologue teach that Jesus is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father” (page 16). We already covered 1:1 and exposed the Trinitarian contradiction in the interpretation “the Word was God.” This passage doesn’t teach that Jesus is co-eternal.
He writes, “Jesus Christ was already in existence when the heavens and the earth were created; thus, He is not a created being, but existed from all eternity” (page 16). Just because Jesus (God’s divine Son) was present at creation in Genesis 1:1 doesn’t rule out the possibility that God generated His own Son. John 3:16 describes God giving up His Son. This verse encompasses a profound truth when one believes that God gave up His real Son. How could Jesus be God’s Son if He eternally existed with the Father as the Trinity teaches?
For the verb “was” (John 1:1; “In the beginning was the Word“), he writes, “The imperfect tense of the verb “was” (eimi), describing continuing action in the past, further reinforces the eternal preexistence of the Word” (page 16). MacArthur once again takes liberty to add more to God’s Word than is stated. While he is correct that the verb “was” is in the Koine Greek imperfect tense, this tense isn’t “describing continuing action in the past” to include eternity past. In fact, it doesn’t even comment on the existence or non-existence of the Word before “the beginning.” MacArthur can’t accept what the Bible says (“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God.“) without modification. If the doctrine of the Trinity is truth, it would be unnecessary for MacArthur to traffic in eisegesis.
Chapter Two, The Glorious Preeminence of Jesus Christ (Col 1:15-19)
He writes, “The Gospels present Him as God in human flesh, come into the world to save sinners” (page 31). While the Gospels do present Jesus in human flesh, they don’t present Him as God (equal in position to God the Father). Trinitarians such as MacArthur love the Gospel of John but can’t make their case from Mathew-Luke. The Gospel of Matthew was written primarily to a Jewish audience who believed in the one God named Yahweh. If the Jews needed to believe that Jesus was equal to God the Father to be saved, Jesus failed by repeatedly identifying Himself as the “Son of God” and “Son of man.” Not once did Jesus outwardly state He was God in any of the Gospels.
He writes, “Indeed, He is God in human flesh. That was His claim (John 8: 58; 10: 30–33), and the unanimous testimony of Scripture (cf. John 1: 1; 20:28; Rom. 9:5; Phil. 2:6; Col. 2:9; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:8; 2 Peter 1:1). To think anything less of Him is blasphemy and gives evidence of a mind blinded by Satan (2 Cor. 4: 4)” (page 34).
Jesus never made the claim that “He is God in human flesh” (34). Because there are so many verses to refute in the quote above, most of this chapter’s review will be spent here. Passages that were already covered will be skipped.
Here is the first passage: “I and the Father are one.” The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God” (John 10:30-33). MacArthur conveniently leaves out foundation context before verse 30, which explains why Jesus states, “I and the Father are one.“
Jesus has a role in protecting the sheep: “no one will snatch them out of my hand.” The Father also has a role: “no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” Because both Jesus and His Father are united in their preservation of the saints, Jesus states in the next verse, “I and the Father are one” (v. 30).
The statement of Jesus, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30), is not a platter to serve Trinitarianism. In biblical interpretation we seek the historical, contextual understanding. False teachers take passages out of contex to authenticate false teaching. A fundamental rule of biblical interpretation is that the Bible only has meaning within context. It is theological dishonesty to import Trinitarianism into a beautiful passage that illustrates how God and His Son are united in protecting the sheep who actively hear and follow Jesus Christ (10:27).
So why did the Jews pick up stones then in verse 30? Because Jesus (a human being in their presence) claimed to be the door of the sheep (vs. 1-9), “the good shepherd” (v. 11), to have an intimate relationship with the Father (v. 15), to give eternal life (v. 28), to have a role with the Father in the preservation of the sheep (vs. 28-29). The culmination of the account within the context is the bold statement, “I and the Father are one.”
In verse 34, Jesus responds to their false charge of blasphemy (vs. 33: “you, being a man, make yourself God”) by reminding them of the Old Testament teaching of the existence of a plurality of gods (earlier we covered this passage in Psalms). In verse 29, Jesus stated that His Father is “greater than all” (to include Himself).
In verse 36, Jesus reminds them that he calls Himself “the Son of God.” The phrase, “God the Son” is nowhere in the Bible. There is a night and day difference between them. In verse 39, after Jesus clarified that their charge of blasphemy was false they try to arrest Him. This passage (John 10:28-34) conclusively disproves MacArthur’s claim that Jesus is “God in human flesh.“
Here is MacArthur’s next verse “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Colossians 2:9). This verse should leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that Jesus is a divine being. A similar verse is found in the previous chapter, “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” (Colossians 1:19). It pleased God that Jesus would have His fullness. These passages don’t state that Jesus is equal to God the Father.
While in the flesh, Jesus worshipped God His Father (John 4:22). He called the Father, “my God” (Mark 15:34; John 20:17). After His ascension, Jesus still had God as His Father (Ephesians 1:3; Romans 15:6; Ephesians 1:17; 2 Corinthians 1:3 1 Peter 1:3; 2 Corinthians 11:31; Hebrews 1:8) and continued to call God His Father (Revelation 3:2; Revelation 3:12). It is appropriate to assign the title “god” to Jesus when contrasted with God the Father.
The next proof text that MacArthur identifies for His claim that Jesus is God (100% equal to God the Father) in the flesh is John 20:28. Here is the verse: “Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). I’m unaware of any manuscript variants or controversy surrounding this verse. It says what it says within context.
“Doubting Thomas” (vs. 24-25), sees the risen Christ and can feel the marks from the crucifixion. In his excitement Thomas exclaims, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). Jesus Christ is our Lord and our god. He is a god who has a God. Many wrongly assume that because Jesus is called “god” here, that he is equivalent to the Father. But this view is unsupported.
“You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I” (John 14:28).
In the verse above, Jesus states His subordination to the Father (“for the Father is greater than I“). If this was an isolated passage, it could be dismissed as just a difficult passage and one could side with the weight of evidence against it. But this verse is consistent with Jesus’s position in relation to the Father, to include after He is raised from the dead.
Back to “doubting Thomas,” if the disciples had loved Jesus more, they “would have rejoiced.” The reason is plainly given: Because the Father is greater than Jesus, the disciples were to rejoice for His departure (see also John 10:29 about the Father being greater).
“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” (Matthew 24:36).
The explanation from Jesus of why He doesn’t know the “day and hour” is not because He is in a human body, but because God the Father only knows. Jesus was in a subordinate position to the Father and did not know all things.
“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28:18). Jesus only has authority because is has been given to Him by His Father. This means that Jesus didn’t originally have it and the Father had the authority to give it.
“But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3). Dear believer, do you believe that “the head of Christ is God“?
“Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:24-28). God, as Head over Christ extend into eternity.
While Thomas addressed Jesus as god, Jesus is not the One God, Yahweh of the Old Testament that is above all others: “I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God…” (Isaiah 45:5a). The word “one” means one God; not two or three Gods.
The next text provided by MacArthur is this one: “To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen” (Romans 9:5). Unfortunately, the translation of this verse is not without controversy.
All major Bible versions (NKJV, NIV, ESV, etc.) are translations from Trinitarian scholars. The translation process involves many decisions that are influenced by theological presuppositions. Earlier we covered John 1:1c, which contained three possible endings because of ambiguity existing in Koine Greek grammar. Because the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament were not punctuated, Romans 9:5 can be rendered God is “over all,” or Christ is “over all.“
The controversy of Romans 9:5 is not limited to non-Trinitarians. Several Trinitarian scholars have been honest enough to acknowledge the difficulty of this verse. The NET Bible’s (2005) note for this verse offers additional renderings, including, “or the Messiah who is over all. God be blessed forever!” The NET Bible admits that the difficulty in translation is strictly a problem of punctuation.
According to the book, Divine Truth or Human Tradition (page 301), “A footnote to Romans 9:5 in the New Oxford Annotated Bible points out: “Whether Christ is called God here depends on the punctuations inserted.” Similarly, the following observation is found in The Interpreter’s Bible: “The issue appears from a comparison of our two English texts. Is God over all, blessed forever (or the one who is over all, God blessed forever)…The question cannot be answered on the basis of the Greek since it is a matter almost entirely of punctuation, and Greek MSS in the early period were not punctuated” (volume 9, 540).
The American Standard Bible (2001) reads, “God who is over all be blessed forever. Amen.“
A well respected book states, “Since the earliest New Testament manuscripts were without any systematic punctuation, it is necessary for scholars to punctuate the text according to what seems appropriate to the syntax and the meaning. Basically, the question is whether the doxology has reference to God (TEV May God, who rules over all, be praised forever!), or to Christ (TEV alternative rendering “And may he, who is God ruling over all, be praised forever!”). Although there are strong grammatical arguments to the contrary, the UBS textual committee prefers the reading represented in the TEV, principally on the basis that Paul elsewhere never calls Christ God. Most modern English translations prefer the rendering presented in the TEV (so RSV, NEB, NAB, Goodspeed, Moffatt), but some do prefer the rendering represented in the alternative rendering of the TEV (so JB and Phillips)” (A Translator’s Handbook on Paul’s Letter To The Romans; Newman and Eugene; 1973, page 180).
This is MacArthur’s next proof text: “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). This is another verse where the exact translation is controversial.
Bases on rules of Greek grammar, the title “theos” (God) may or may not apply to Jesus. One way to see this difficulty is to survey different translations:
“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (KJV)
“As we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of the great God and of our savior Jesus Christ” (New American Bible).
“Expecting the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of the great God and our saviour the Christ Jesus” (Sahidic Coptic New Testament).
“Or of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (New Revised Standard Version, alternate reading from margin note)
The book, An Exegetical Summary of Titus and Philemon (2008), asks the question: “What is the phrase Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ‘Jesus Christ’ connected with?’ It answers it: ‘It is in apposition with only ‘our Savior’; ‘the great God’ refers to the Father [Alf, EGT, Herm, HNTC, MNTC, My; KJV, NAB]: the appearing of the great God (the Father), and of our Savior Jesus Christ. Two glories will be manifested when Christ comes again, the Father’s and the Son’s [Alf, EGT]. Paul does not elsewhere clearly call Christ ‘God’ [HNTC, My], and in the pastoral Epistles Christ is generally presented as dependent upon God [HNTC]. The use of the adjective ‘great’ shows that God is distinct from Savior [My]. The article is sometimes omitted before σωτῆρος ‘Savior’ [EGT, TC]” (70).
The Expositor’s Greek Testament (publication year unknown), Volume IV, states, “On the whole, then, we decide in favour of the R.V.m. [Revised Version] in the rendering of this passage, appearing of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. The grammatical argument—“the identity of reference of two substantives when under the vinculum of a common article”—is too slender to bear much weight, especially when we take into consideration not only the general neglect of the article in these epistles but the omission of it before σωτήρ in 1 Tim. 1:1, 4:10” (196). The book goes on to say, “But the proofs that St. Paul held Christ to be God Incarnate do not lie in a few disputable texts, but in the whole attitude of his soul towards Christ, and in the doctrine of the relation of Christ to mankind which is set forth in his epistles” (196).
Here is MacArthur’s next proof text: “But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. 9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions” (Hebrews 1:8-9).
This passage has Psalms 45:6-7 as the backdrop. This quotation may have originally been a love song written for a human king (Commentary on the New Testament use of the Old Testament, Beale and Carson, 2007, 937). The meaning of the word “god” in the Old Testament was broad in scope and appropriate at times for a king.
The author of Hebrew while emphasizing the superiority of Jesus to angels (Hebrews 1:4-7), applies the Psalms (45:6-7) directly to Jesus. In Hebrews 1:8, God makes a statement regarding His Son. God calls His Son “God” and the duration of His throne (Jesus) is “forever and ever.” This eternal kingdom will be ruled by righteousness.
Because Jesus (v. 9) “loved righteousness and hated wickedness,” God rewarded His faithful Son by anointed Him “with the oil of gladness beyond” the “companions” of Jesus.” God the Father anointed His Son because He has authority to do so. While it is not stated here, God always had and always will have authority over His Son (1 Corinthians 15:24-5, 28). This is one of many attributes that makes Yahweh (God) above all others.
There is another truth in verse 9 that is stunning to Trinitarianism. God the Father says, “God, your God” to Jesus. Once more, Jesus has a God (see also Mark 15:34; John 20:17; Ephesians 1:3; Romans 15:6; Ephesians 1:17; 2 Corinthians 1:3 1 Peter 1:3; 2 Corinthians 11:31; Hebrews 1:8). 2 Peter 1:1 is the last passage provided for the claim by MacArthur that Jesus claimed to be “God in human flesh.” “Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:1). This is another passage where the exact rendering is in dispute. This verse can be translated so that God and Jesus are separate beings, or so that “God” is the title assigned to Jesus Christ.
In the book, Divine Truth or Human Tradition, author Patrick Navas writes an honest assessment for 2 Peter 1:1: “With respect to the texts that have been mentioned, the error is not in arguing for a particular translation, for one may put forward valid arguments in favor of either rendering. But a real problem does exist in attempting to lead others into believing that the case for a particular translation can be proven with absolute certainty—at least at this point with what is known about the Greek language and rules of Greek grammar” (322).
The same author also wrote, “In favor of a rendering that calls Jesus ‘God’ [2 Peter 1:1] is the fact that it is supported by what the grammar allows for along with the fact that 2 Peter 1: 11 has the same construction where there is clearly one person (‘ our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’) in view. In favor of the translation that refers to two figures (God and Jesus Christ) is the fact that such is also correct grammatically, along with the fact that Jesus is clearly distinguished from ‘God’ in all of the writings of Peter, in the rest of the Christian Scriptures, and, most significantly, in the very next verse (which also has an identical grammatical construction)” (page 322).
Most modern Trinitarian translations favor assigning Jesus Christ the title “God” (2 Peter 1:1). But a few older ones did not. Here are some:
“Through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” 2 Peter 1:1 (KJV).
“Simōn Petros, the servant and the apostle of Jesus the Christ, is writing to those who received the faith and the same honour as we in the righteousness of our Lord Jesus the Christ our saviour” (Sahidic Coptic New Testament).
“Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained a like precious faith with us in the righteousness of our God and the Saviour Jesus Christ” (ASV).
Some translations provide alternate readings. Here are a few:
“Or, our God and the Saviour” —Revised Version
“Or of our God and the Savior Jesus Christ.” —Revised Standard Version
“Or of our God and the Savior Jesus Christ.” —New Revised Standard Version
“Or ‘of our God and of the saviour Jesus Christ.” —Jerusalem Bible
Continuing on with this review, MacArthur tackles a difficult verse (Colossians 1:15):
“He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:15-17).
The clarity of this passage is striking. Within the context, the word “firstborn” (v. 15), describes something (based on context) that came first chronologically. Jesus was created first before the rest of creation.
MacArthur writes, “Paul further describes Jesus as the ‘firstborn of all creation.’ From the Arians of the early church to the Jehovah’s Witnesses of our own day, those who would deny our Lord’s deity have sought support from this phrase. They argue that it speaks of Christ as a created being, and hence He could not be the eternal God. Such an interpretation completely misunderstands the sense of ‘firstborn’ (prōtotokos) and ignores the context” (page 34).
MacArthur states some untruths. To my knowledge JW’s and Arians don’t deny that Jesus is a divine being. Jesus was created because the Bible says so. In Revelation 3:14, Jesus calls Himself “the beginning of God’s creation.” As emphasize repeatedly in this review, Trinitarians don’t have support from one verse that Jesus has always existed. And if He always existed, He would not be God’s Son!
His second untruth is that the contextual interpretation of “firstborn” doesn’t favor assigning Jesus the first place in the creation order when Paul is writing about creation in the context! An elementary principle of grammar is that words have a range of meaning defined by context.
The scholarly lexicon, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christianity (2001) assigns two definitions for the word “firstborn.” The first definition is the most common: “literally pertaining to birth order, firstborn…” (894). The second and final definition is: “Pertaining to having special status associated with a firstborn…” (894). This Lexicon assigns Colossians 1:15 within their second definition. So Jesus has “special status associated” with being first in the creation order. The next verse credits Jesus as the agent of creation (“for by Him all things were created“).
Because the definition of “firstborn” in Colossians 2:15 is so clear and damaging to Trinitarianism, MacArthur campaigns for a different definition that is not chronological. But the passages he references for proof continue to indicate something first in order, just as found in Colossians 1:15. He writes, “In Revelation 1:5, Jesus is called ‘the firstborn of the dead,’ even though He was not the first person to be resurrected chronologically” (page 35). But MacArthur’s point that Jesus is not first to be raised from the dead has nothing to do with the context. MacArthur needs to stop playing silly word games. He knows that God’s Word only has meaning in context. The verse contextually describes how Jesus “has freed us from our sins by his blood.” Jesus is the firstborn (chronological) based on the context to defeat death and the grave. Because Jesus is firstborn from the dead, the sting of death has been removed. So Jesus in the context is chronologically the firstborn of the dead (Revelation 1:5).
He writes, “Israel was called God’s firstborn in Exodus 4:22 and Jeremiah 31:9. Though not the first people born, they held first place in God’s sight among all the nations” (34-35). Once more, to discredit the definition of “firstborn,” MacArthur comes up with a mute, “no point” that has nothing to do with the context. Israel was God’s firstborn nation of all the nations of the world. So MacArthur’s point about “not the first people born,” is spin.
He continues his campaign: “Such an interpretation [Jesus is a created being] cannot be harmonized with the description of Jesus as “only begotten,” or “unique” (monogenēs), in John 1:18. We might well ask with the early church father Theodoret how, if Christ was only begotten, could He be first-begotten?” (35). There is nothing in John 1:18 or elsewhere in Scripture that contradicts the truth of Colossians 1:15. MacArthur whips up an imaginative paradox between two concepts that co-exist in harmony. Jesus is “firstborn of creation” and God’s “only begotten Son“.
He continues on page 35, “If Paul were here teaching that Christ is a created being, he would be agreeing with the central point of the Colossian errorists. They taught that Christ was a created being, the most prominent of the emanations from God. That would run counter to his purpose in writing Colossians, which was to refute the false teachers at Colossae” (35). There is no evidence submitted by MacArthur that the “central point of the Colossian errorists” was that Christ was a created being and that Paul wrote to correct this error. If Paul wrote to correct the error that Christ was a created Being, he would have not written that Christ was firstborn in a creation context!
He writes, “In the next verse [Colossians 1:16], he refers to Christ as the creator of everything that exists. How then could Christ Himself be a created being?” (35-36). Really? This is unbelievable. In Colossians 1:15, Paul identifies Jesus as “the first born of all creation.” In verse 16, Paul begin the verse with “for” which points back to verse 15. Paul states that “For by him all things were created..” So to clear McArthur’s confusion, Christ was created first, this enabled Him to create all things.
He writes, “The church has its origins in Jesus. God “chose us in Him before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1: 4). It is He who gives life to His church. His sacrificial death and resurrection on our behalf provided our new life” (page 43).
In the passage above, McArthur confuses God and Jesus by interchanging them. This is a common Trinitarian practice. In the New Testament, the title “God” is rarely given to Jesus. Paul never called Jesus “God,” unless he did in a disputed passage from unclear grammar.
He continues, “As head of the Body, Jesus holds the chief position, or highest rank in the church” (page 43). McArthur leaves out that God is over Christ. While Jesus is a divine being, God the Father is much greater. Please give thought to this verse: “But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3).
Thanks for reading this book review. May God’s Word define your theological perspectives. God’s Word is truth (John 17:17).
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