Note: Please watch the video above or keep reading.
Titus 2:13

“13 Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” 

(Titus 2:13, ESV).

Summary:

This video will demonstrate that Jesus is not “our great God” in Titus 2:13.

Because many Trinitarians use the Granville Sharp rule to make Jesus “God” in this verse, an entire video addressed this rule. A link is provided under the video description. 

Most modern translations place the pronoun “our” in front of the “great God” to collapse Jesus into “our great God and Savior” But in all available Greek manuscripts, the pronoun modifies the words, “Jesus Christ.” Therefore, our Bibles should read, “the glory of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” 

Evidence will also be submitted that our blessed hope as believers is the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ —who come in the glory of the great God.

Please continue watching as we expand this summary and more.

Introduction:

The core doctrine of Orthodoxy is that Jesus is God Himself. But Trinitarian scholars know that the undisputed verses that call Jesus “God” are very, very few. 

In the book, Granville sharp’s Canon and Its Kin, Dr. Daniel Wallace surprisingly admits this predicament. He confesses, “Few today with take issue with Rudolf Bultmann’s oft-quoted line that ‘[i]n describing Christ as ‘God’ the New Testament still exercises great restraint.’[1] The list of passages that seem explicitly to identify Christ with God varies from scholar to scholar, but the number is almost never more than a half dozen or so.  As is well know, almost all of the texts are disputed as to their affirmation—due to textual or grammatical glitches—John 1:1 and 20:28 being the only two which are usually conceded without discussion. 3” (27).

In light of this longstanding deficit (that is, two undisputed verses according to this quote), Trinitarians added Titus 2:13 to their disputed list. 

The Location of the pronoun “Our”

The location of the pronoun “our” in this verse is crucial for a correct translation into any language. The movement of one word in a verse can fundamentally change its meaning.

The placement of the pronoun “our” requires consultation with the Greek text. Please see the video above where Logos Bible Software is used to pinpoint the arrangement of this pronoun.

Based on a search in Logos Bible Software, in the book of Titus, the Greek word ἡμῶν (our) modifies the word “savior” six times. The six references are provided on your screen.

       
Titus 1:3 “of God our Savior”    
Titus 1:4 “the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior”    
Titus 2:10 “of God our Savior”    
Titus 2:13 “our great God and Savior Jesus Christ”    
Titus 3:4 “of God our Savior appeared”    
Titus 3:6 “through Jesus Christ our Savior”    

In modern English translations, each use qualifies the noun σωτῆρος (Savior) to say, “our Savior.” However, strikingly, most contemporary translations deviate in Titus 2:13 where the pronoun “our” is shifted to project Trinitarian ideology.

The KJV has the correct ending. It says, ”…the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”

While the NASB95, says, “our great God and Savior,” a small footnote says, “or the great God and our Savior.”

Early Coptic Manuscripts matched the Greek Text

The New Testament was written all or mostly in Koine Greek. Because this language is no longer spoken, Koine Greek is called a “dead language.

As Christianity spread throughout the world, Greek manuscripts were translated into other, non-Greek languages. Christians wanted the Bible in their own language.

Some early Coptic Christians translated the Greek New Testament into the Sehidic dialect. Some of these translations were completed in the first few centuries while Koine Greek was still spoken [show Wikipedia website]. Because Koine Greek was spoken at the time, Coptic translators knew Koine Greek better than translators do today. Consequently, how they translated the New Testament into the Coptic dialects in the first few centuries provides insight into how they understood the Greek New Testament.

The Wikipedia contains the following quote under the title, “Coptic Versions of the Bible.” 

“There have been many Coptic versions of the Bible, including some of the earliest translations into any language. Several different versions were made in the ancient world, with different editions of the Old and New Testament in five of the dialects of Coptic: Bohairic (northern), Fayyumic, Sahidic (southern), Akhmimic and Mesokemic (middle). Biblical books were translated from the Alexandrian Greek version.

If we search the internet for “Alexandrian Greek manuscripts” we discover that these are some of the oldest manuscripts available of the Greek New Testament. 

Sadly, Christian scholars don’t have much interest in learning ancient Coptic dialects to understand how early Coptic Christians understood Greek manuscripts. I strongly suspect its because the early Coptic translations were not influenced by Trinitarian presuppositions.

Thankfully, a British man named George William Horner (1849–1930) produced a critical text of the Sahidic New Testament. This is available on the internet. He used this critical text to produce an English New Testament. Here is his rendering of Titus 2:13: “13 Expecting the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of the great God and our saviour the Christ Jesus” Horner, G. (Trans.). (1911). Sahidic Coptic New Testament in English (Tt 2:13). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Please notice that the pronoun “our” modifies Jesus Christ, consistent with Greek manuscripts. 

When and Why the pronoun “our” Was Moved

You might be wondering at what point in history did translations begin moving the pronoun “our” to make it appear that Jesus Christ is the great God.

My research, while not exhaustive, indicates zealous Trinitarians began changing God’s Word after Granville Sharp created the rule know by his name.

I’m not claiming an exhaustive investigation. But I did sift through many Bibles published before Granville Sharp’s rule. 

The oldest non-Greek Bible in existence is probably the Latin Vulgate. The oldest surviving Vulgate is the Codex Amiatinus. It is considered to be a close representation of Jerome’s edition translated in the 300’s. Here is our verse: “Expectantes beatam spem et adventum gloriae magni dei et salvatori nostri Iesu Chirsti.”

I’ve highlighted an important section. While Latin is no longer spoken. Spanish, which descended from Latin is. The literal translation into English is, the Savior our Jesus Christ, or in Spanish, El Salvador nuestro Jesucristo.

So even the ancient Vulgate confirms the Greek; the pronoun “our” modifies “Jesus Christ.”

Survey of Ancient English Bibles translated from Original Languages

The following ancient English Bible produced before Granville Sharp have the correct placement of the pronoun “our.”

Translation Year introduced:
Wycliffe’s Bible

1382 to1395

“and our Saviour Jesus Christ;”

The Tyndale Bible

1494–1536

“and of oure savioure Iesu Christ”

Bishop’s Bible

1568

“and our sauiour Iesus Christe”

   

Modern English Translations and the pronoun “our”

Before we introduce Granville Sharpe, the following summarizes some popular English Translations for Titus 2:13:

Translation Year Introduced Year changed:  
King James Version 1611 1982 (NKJV)  
  “13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Sauiour Iesus Christ,”  ”13 Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ”  
American Standard Version  1901 1952 (changed to RSV)  
  “13 looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” “13 awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ”  
New American Standard Bible 1963-1971 1995  
  “13 Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” “13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of [a]our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus”  
New International Version 1973-1978 2011  
    ”13 While we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,”  

Starting with the KJV, please notice how it was corrected after Granville Sharp. 

The American Standard published in 1901, and revised in 1952 where it was renamed as RSV were both published after Granville Sharp and reflect his proposed change to make Jesus God.

I was not able to secure a translation of the first NIV. But the 2011 has Granville Sharp’s proposed change.

Introducing Granville Sharp

Granville Sharp (1735–1813), was an author, social activist, slave abolitionist and more.

He left his mark on Christianity with a rule he engineered to make Jesus “God” in eight verses (Acts 20:28; Jude 4, Eph 5:5; 2 Thess 1:12; 1 Tim 5:21; 2 Tim 4:1, 2 Pet 1:1, Titus 2:13). He believed these verses needed changed in the KJV. Six of the eight verses that he proposed changing to make Jesus God have been been rejected by the Christian scholarly community (which will be addresses shortly). This leaves 2 Peter 1:1 and Titus 2:13.

There is more. Granville Sharp created six rules (not one) to make Jesus God. Rules 2-6 have been rejected which leaves his first rule. But what is known today as the Granville Sharp rule is a revision of this first rule.

This revised rule states that when certain grammatical features are present in a Koine Greek sentence, the outcome is always (without exception) one person in view, not two.

Granville Sharp was not shy about his underlying theological motivation. He wrote, “The reason of my recommending the first rule more particularly to your attention, is, because it is of more consequence than any of the rest, as it will enable us (if the truth be admitted) to correct the translation of several important texts in the present English version of the New, in favor of a fundamental article of our church, which has, of late, been opposed and traduced; I mean the belief that our Lord Jesus Christ is truly God.” Remarks on the Uses of the Definitive Article in the Greek Text of the New Testament, Containing Many New Proofs of the Divinity of Christ, from Passages Which Are Wrongly Translated in the Common English Version. (Granville Sharp, 1803 2-3).

Remarkably, Sharp offered no basis for his assertion that his cherry picked verses were mistranslated. He certainly did claim that his rule previously existed. His reasoning was to support his high Christology which at the time was being opposed. In fact, a large section of Sharp’s book is his response to a Unitarian’s challenge.

Dr. Daniel Wallace quietly modified Granville Sharp’s first rule under the guise of clarification to say: “…when the construction article-substantive-καί-substantive (TSKS) involved personal nouns which were singular and not proper names, they always referred to the same person” (pp. 270–271), Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, 1996.

Dr. Wallace’s refinement forbid proper names. Whereas Sharp allowed them for select Christological passages in order to remove the distinction between Jesus and God as distinct persons.

Wallace forbid proper names because the rule wrongly collapses two distinct people into one. As stated earlier, six of eight verse that Sharp claimed were mistranslated in the Bible have been rejected. Four of these verses are rejected because they contain proper names. 

Here is a quote where Wallace makes this very claim:

“Granville Sharp believed that several Christologically significant texts involved the TSKS construction. However, several of these involved dubious textual variants (e.g., Acts 20:28; Jude 4), and others had proper names (Eph 5:5; 2 Thess 1:12; 1 Tim 5:21; 2 Tim 4:1).” Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (p. 276).

Here are the verses:

“5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

(Eph 5:5).

 “12 So that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Th 1:12).

“21 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality. (1 Ti 5:21).

“1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom. (2 Ti 4:1).

The proper names are provided in bold text for your analysis which identify two separate individuals. //They are “Christ and God,” “God and the Lord Jesus Christ,” “God and of Christ Jesus,” and “God and of Christ Jesus.”

Now I want to cover something startling unless you watched my last video. The two verses that Trinitarians use for the Granville Sharp rule also contain proper names which Wallace forbids:

“13 Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” Titus 2:13 (ESV).

“1 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 Pe 1:1).

So Dr. Daniel Wallace who redefined Granville Sharp to forbid proper names, makes an exception and allows proper names for the two verses that Trinitarians use for the Granville Sharp Rule.

Not all Trinitarian scholars affirm the Granville Sharp Rule. A few have expressed opposition or questioned its valid. Many, however, are silent (possibly because they know it’s problematic) and don’t even mention the rule when discussing these two verses. 

The Granville Sharp Rule is only used by Trinitarians to my knowledge. No respected secular historians of Classic or Koine Greek (that I could find) vouch for its credibility.

If you want to know more about this rule, my last video (while there is some overlap), covers it in more depth. 

The Appearing of the Glory vs the Appearing of God Himself

Now we’ll focus on a different construction in this verse in the quest to determine if Jesus is the great God.

[Show on screen:] 13 Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of [the] our great God and [our] Savior Jesus Christ” Titus 2:13 (ESV).

13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of [the] our great God and [our] Savior Jesus Christ, (NKV). (Tt 2:13).

The noun “glory” in this verse can be translated as “glory” or “glorious.”

The word choice alters the meaning of the blessed hope.

When the Greek noun δόξης is used as a noun, the blessed hope is not the appearing of the great God, but the appearing of the glory of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. That is, the blessed hope is the coming of Christ in the glory of the great God.

The Greek noun “glory” δόξης can be translated as an adjective.  Some Bible commentaries comment on this possibility. Sometimes the Greek has some ambiguity as does here. But the context is key to determine which choice Paul intended.

BTW, both sides of the chart do not list all English translations because there are many. In some translations, the blessed hope instead is the glorious appearing of the Great God himself and in addition, our savior Jesus Christ.

Appearing of the Glory of God The glorious appearing of God [Himself]
   
ESV KJV, NKJV
NASB95 NET
NIV AMP
NLT HCSB
NRSV  
   

Which choice is correct? In biblical interpretation, we may be tempted to choose the one that favors our theology. We need, however, to try to be objective and seek the truth in neutral even if it challenges our theological framework.

Some people may laugh and say, how can you even use the word objective in biblical interpretation? Some will go as far as saying we cannot be objective.

Just because humans tend to be partial at times, does not mitigate our responsibility before God to try to be objective in biblical interpretation. We should carefully follow the evidence where it leads. But most of you know this, because you are no longer a Trinitarian.

”15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Ti 2:15).

If you were traveling on a subway and and a person out of nowhere taps on your shoulder and says “glory”, what this person talking about? The word “glory” in vacuum, without being in a sentence, with no context has no clear meaning. 

In contrast, words in a sentence are defined by the surrounding words —called context. So the word “glory” or “glorious” in the context of this verse is about our blessed hope —the coming of Jesus Christ. 

If we look at the rest of the New Testament, we find solid support for word “glory” and not the word “glorious” in similar contexts.

Here are some verses that undisputedly teach that when Christ returns, he will return in the glory of His Father:

38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” 

(Mk 8:38).

27 aFor the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. (Mt 16:27–28).

The following verse is not about the coming of Christ, but it depicts Christ as possessing the glory of God:

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).

One commentary wrote: “It is more plausible, however, that the passage speaks of the appearance of God’s glory rather than of the glorious appearing of God (ἐπιφάνειαν τῆς δόξης τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ). This is supported by the use of δόξα elsewhere with reference to Jesus’ second coming, where it is not used adjectivally but as a noun indicating the splendor that will accompany and be manifested in that appearing (cf. Mt. 16:27; 24:30; 25:31; Mk. 8:38; 13:26; Lk. 9:26; 21:27; 24:26). Furthermore, Paul often uses δόξα followed by a genitive construction referring to God, as here (cf. Rom. 1:23; 3:23; 15:7; 1 Cor. 10:31; 11:7; 2 Cor. 4:6, 15; Phil. 1:11; 2:11; 1 Tim. 1:11). Finally, “the appearing of the glory of the great God” (ἐπιφάνειαν τῆς δόξης τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ) maintains the verbal parallelism between this verse and v. 11, which speaks of the appearing of the grace of God …” Knight, G. W. (1992). The Pastoral Epistles: a commentary on the Greek text (p. 322).

And yet another commentary writes, “The synoptic Gospels teach that Christ’s return will display God’s glory (Matt 16:27; 24:30; 25:31; Mark 8:38; 13:26; Luke 9:26; 21:27; 24:26).” Word Biblical Commentary

Mounce, W. D. (2000). Pastoral Epistles (Vol. 46). Dallas: Word, Incorporated. (p. 425) 

Conclusion:

Titus 2:13 has been changed in most Trinitarian translations to make it appear that Jesus is the great God. Trinitarians translations begin moving the pronoun “our” after Granville Sharp’s engineered his first rule. If If the Granville Sharp rule was valid, the Apostle Paul would have placed the pronoun “our” in front of the great God with the expressed purpose to make Jesus our great God. Our blessed hope is the appearing of Jesus Christ when he comes in the glory of his great Father.

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