Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Is Jesus God? Part 4

This is part four of the current series that is being done on the deity of Jesus of Nazareth. Today we will be examining Peter's understanding of the person of Jesus. In specific we will be looking at 2 Peter 1:1. (When this series is complete I hope to make the entire paper available with footnotes, the bibliography, and the corrected Greek font.)

2 Peter 1:1

Paul is not the only New Testament writer to boldly affirm the deity of Christ. The Apostle Peter is also passionate about upholding the amazing truth that Jesus of Nazareth is indeed God. This is seen, perhaps most clearly, in 2 Peter 1:1 where Peter writes, “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. What is interesting about this phrase is that the grammatical construction is the exact same to the one that Paul employed in Titus 2:13 (see above for fuller description). In the Greek, the word translated God (qeou/) has an article while the word translated Savior (swth/roj) is anarthrous. Schreiner has rightly commented regarding the grammatical construction of this verse:

The grammar clearly indicates that Jesus Christ is called ‘God’…The structure of the clause accords with the famous rule of G. Sharp, that when two singular nouns, which are not proper nouns, fall under the same article, they refer to the same entity. The phrase used here fits every part of this definition. If Peter wanted to distinguish Jesus Christ from the Father, he would have inserted an article before the noun ‘Savior.’[25]

Peter has made quite clear, as can be seen from the grammar, that he is in agreement with the Apostle to the Gentiles concerning the person of Christ. In other words, both Paul and Peter understood Jesus Christ of Nazareth to be God.

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