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This page revised and Copyrighted: Theon Doxazo

14 December, 2023

 

Vs 1c - God

02.2.3

“ . . . by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:”

                     2 Pet 1:1c.

 

Clarke, A.  (1836, p. 1916) noted:  ". . . the original του θεου ημων και σωτηρος ιησου  χριστου, which is literally, Of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ; and this reading, which is indicated in the margin, should have been received into the text; and it is an absolute proof that St. Peter calls Jesus Christ GOD, even in the properest sense of the word, with the article prefixed.  It is no evidence against this doctrine that one MS. of little authority, and the Syriac and two Arabic versions have κυριου, Lord, instead of θεου, God, as all other MSS. and versions agree in the other reading, as well as the fathers."

 

In his discussion of this clause, Davids (2011) stated "This phrase is a crux interpretum.  The syntax of τοῦ θεοῦ . . . καὶ σωτῆρος is an example of the Granville Sharp Rule: two nouns (θεοῦ and σωτῆρος) that are personal but not proper names, are in the same case, and are preceded by a definite article that is not repeated before the second noun refer to the same person (see also v. 11).  Here, that person is then identified as 'Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ, who is thus described as both 'God' and 'Savior'".

 

The key point to make here is that this text explicitly declares that Jesus Christ is God.  Yes, He certainly is our savior.  And yes, He saved us because He was (and is) supremely righteous.  But to attribute to Him the qualities of divinity?  That is the scandal of Christianity.  The Jews would be reasonably comfortable with Jesus as a prophet, a good man.  The Muslims proclaim him to be a prophet, a good man.  Yet, when Christians ascribe to Jesus the qualities of Godhood, the non-Christian world is scandalized.

 

It is the sheer audacity of Christians to proclaim Jesus as participating in the Godhead that makes us stand apart.  While many brilliant and capable theologians have struggled through the years to try and describe the nature of the Trinity, none have truly succeeded.  This is to be expected.  If one of earth's great thinkers were to 'explain' the nature of god, I'd be sure that what he had 'explained' wasn't God.  As a child my father had a book on his shelf entitled 'Your God Is Too Small' by J. B. Phillips (1953).  It's main theme was that anything that people can conceive is too limited to be God.  God is simply too big and too grand for anything as puny as a human being to 'understand', much less 'explain'.

 

So.  We are faced with a Scripture that describes Jesus as God.  Do I understand the incarnation?  No.  Do I understand the nature of the Godhead?  No.  All I 'know' is that somehow Jesus was/is God.  I don't know how it happened or why, just that it is.

 

The text specifies that they have received their faith 'by', or by means of, Christ's righteousness.  What does this mean?  It declares that Christ's sacrifice of His life on the cross atones for our sin and that His death, burial and resurrection provides the basis for our faith in Him.  Without His sinless sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection from the grave, we would have nothing to have faith in.