Will the Real Polytheists Please Stand Up!
Copyright © 1998 by Natalie Pappas
There is no question that Scripture only teaches one True God. The Hebrew portion of Scripture agrees 100% with the Greek portion in every respect. Deut. 6:4 says Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Isaiah 43:10 says ...Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.... and John 17:3 says Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. It is worth noting that this last Scripture was prayed by Jesus right before being captured and put to death in the most horrendeous way man has ever devised.
The question arises when John 1:1 is examined:
en arche nv ho logos
kai ho logos nv pros ton theon
kai theos nv ho logos
Since there is only ONE true God, and since Jesus is the Word made flesh (speaking of the incarnation), where does that put Jesus? John chapter one is one of my favorite passages of Scripture and reading this first chapter in the Koine Greek is absolutely thrilling, especially so for the first 18 verses. Verse one starts by proclaiming a certain Word being God, and verse 18 ends with proclaiming Jesus' certain uniqueness in being God and revealing that same God. Here is a rough translation:
"No one has ever seen God; the only unique God, The One in the bosom of the Father, that One has revealed."
Actually, what is going on in John chapter one is not so new or different. The same exact thing happened in the Hebrew Scriptures when the Angel of the LORD is time and time again revealed to be the LORD! The exciting part is that it is right here in this first chapter of John that we discover that those special appearances of the Angel of the LORD was the pre-incarante Christ revealing God the Father! Yet, instead of assuming a body as in times of old, He wrapped Himself with human flesh and mingled among us. Is this not incredible?
Another thing to consider when dividing the entire Word of God is that the same author of John 1:1 also authored John 17:3. Did John simply not remember what it was he wrote before? If Jesus is not the same God as the Father, then there would be two Gods (polytheism) or there would be a God and a god (henotheism--which is merely a branch of polytheism). As you rightly divide the whole Word of God, remember this: God is not the author of confusion, but He does often ask us to believe the unbelievable....What??!? Snakes talk? (Genesis chapter three)...Food from heaven? (Exodus 16) Donkeys talk? (Numbers 22) Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego coming out of the fire and not even a hair of their heads singed? (Daniel 3) Jesus feeding the five-thousand? (Matthew 14) Not to mention Jesus raised many people from the dead! There are many seemingly unbelievable examples put forth for us in Scripture. The question is: are we going to believe God or not?
As you go about your days this week, consider what the Bible teaches, and read some of these chapters listed above. Ask the Father to draw you closer to Jesus, for Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and no one can go to the Father except through Him.