of the Spirit
1 John 4:3
- Romans 9:5
- ". . . Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever."
- This passage is cited by trinitarians to prove that Christ is "Very God."
- The trinitarian argument rests on the punctuation of this passage. The R.S.V. translates as follows: "They are Israelites . . . to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ. God who is over all be blessed for ever. Amen." There is no evidence in this translation in support of the trinitarian assertion.
- The passage appears to allude to Psalm 41:13: "Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen." This Psalm concludes Book II of the Psalms and is a fitting climax to the Apostle's argument in Romans. Paul enumerates the spiritual privileges of Israel: The Sonship, the glory (Shekinah glory), the covenants, the law, the temple worship, the promises, the patriarchs, and the Messiah himself of Jewish lineage. The apostle then concludes with a thankful ascription of praise to God for all that He has done for Israel.
- Even if it be insisted that the passage be read as in the A.V., the passage is appropriately explained on the basis of God-manifestation. Christ is "over all, God blessed for ever" because this power and authority has been delegated to him. (John 5:19, 30; 1 Cor. 15:24-28). Those who act for God are referred to as "God" in the Old Testament. (See Exod. 23:20, 21).1 Paul elsewhere makes it clear, however, that "the head of Christ is God." (1 Cor. 11:3). The Son is not "co-equal" therefore, with the Father.
- Angels are called "God in the following passages: Gen. 16:7 cf. vs. 13; 22:8, 11, 15 cf. vs. 16. Moses is referred to as a "god" to Pharaoh. (Exod. 7:1; "god" is translated from the Heb. "elohim"). "Elohim" translated "God" can refer to the judges of Israel as in Psa. 82:1, 6 cf. John 10:34. It is also translated "judges" in Exod. 21.6; 22:8, 9, and "gods" (mg. "judges") in Exod. 22:28. Return