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Many Christians believe that God is the personal name of our
Creator.  However, God is not a name; it is a title.

The word God does not represent a person, it represents a position.
For example, in 2 Corinthians 4:4, Paul says that Satan is:

    "...the god (theos) of this world."

And again in Philippians 3:19, Paul says there are people:

    "...whose God (theos) is their belly"

As you can see, the Greek word "theos" clearly means something
akin to "ruler".

This same concept of "God means Ruler" is reflected in our
English dictionaries when they define the word "God".  Webster's
Collegiate reads:

    "God. The SUPREME being...Creator and SOVEREIGN of the  
      universe.   ...4. The Ruler..."

The Winston Dictionary defines God as:

    "The creator, RULER, and preserver of the universe.

The Old Testament Hebrew word for God is "Elohiym" which also
refers to "rulers or judges", and is the direct equivalent of the
Greek "Theos".(#1. footnotes)   Elohiym was used to designate
earthly magistrates as well as supernatural ones.  In both Hebrew
and Greek the basic sense of the word God is ruler, not a personal
name for the creator. The ruler of this universe has a name, but it is
not "God".

The concept that  "God means ruler" eliminates the confusion
about a subservient Christ and a Supreme Being who are both
called "God".  A good example would be the problem found in
John 1:1-2 which at first glance seems to say that Jesus (the Word)
was with God and at the same time was God.

On the contrary, what John actually said in the original Greek was:

           "In the beginning was the Word

             and the Word was with THE God

               and the Word was God."

As you can see for yourself in the following illustration, John twice
used the definite article (Greek  *  #3588) when referring to the
Father, but did not use it when referring to Jesus:

  Here (speaking of the Father) John uses the article (3588)

1722    746    2258  3588  3056    2532  3588  3056  2258   4314
In  beginning   was  the    Word,   and   the    Word   was   with

3588   2316
*THE*   God,

 Here the word God (speaking of Jesus) does NOT have the

2532       2316   2258    3588  3056
and   *     God    was    the    Word .

In the next sentence John again uses the article to distinguish
*The* God from Jesus.

3788  2258  1722     746     4314    3588   2316
He     was    in  beginning   with  *THE*   God

 We can more easily understand John's meaning if we insert the
definite articles where they belong, using "ruler" to express the
meaning of "theos", and call the Word by His personal name

    "In the beginning was Jesus

      and Jesus was with THE RULER,

       and Jesus was Ruler.

     The same was in the beginning with THE RULER."

John was teaching that Jesus was our Ruler (our theos) and that
Jesus was with the Father from the very beginning of creation.
(Not that Jesus was one third of some mysterious and mind-
boggling "Trinity" that no one had ever heard of.)

Did you notice how John carefully distinguished Jesus from THE
RULER (His Father) by twice pointing out that the Word was with
THE RULER. Obviously if Jesus was with The Father, He was not
the Father.

You see, Jesus, as the Creator is our Ruler (Theos) but at the same
time Jesus also has a Ruler (THE THEOS).  That is why Jesus told
Mary that He must:

    "...ascend unto my Father, and your Father;
      and to MY GOD and your GOD.  (John 20:17)
        (see #2. notes)

I ask the reader to try an experiment.  As you read the scriptures,
substitute "THE RULER"  for the word God when it applies to the
Father, and "Ruler" for the word God when it applies to Jesus.
This will eliminate any problem in understanding what the Bible
teaches about our God Jesus - Son of THE GOD.


1. In the Septuagint (The Greek translation of the Hebrew Old
Testament) the word "theos" translates the Hebrew "elohiym".

    Strong's Hebrew Dictionary - ELOHIYM [430]
       el-o-heem';  plur. of 438  gods in the ordinary sense; but spec.
        used (in the plural thus especially WITH THE ARTICLE)
        of the supreme God; occasionally applied by the
        way of deference to magistrates;

    Strong's Greek Dictionary - THEOS [2316]
       theh'-os; of uncertain afin.; a deity, especially (WITH 3588)
       the supreme Divinity; fig, a magistrate;

Both words reflect the concept that "God" can mean magistrate
(heaven sent Ruler) in addition to (with the definite article 3588)
the title given to The Supreme Being, our Father in heaven.

Griddlestone's Synonyms Of The Old Testament on the Hebrew word

      "We have seen that the name ELOHIYM [430] is properly
       A TITLE belonging to one Being..."   (p.39)

   Griddlestone's speaking on secondary uses of the word ELOHIYM:

      "In all these passages the word ELOHIYM [430]
       indicates...a body of responsible magistrates who are called by
       this name because they represent the only true Elohiym
       [430] who is God of Gods and Lord of Lords." (p.37)

    Thayer's Greek Lexicon on THEOS:

      "4 ...Hebraistically i.q. God's representative or
       vicegerent, of magistrates and judges, Jn.  10:34 sq.  after
       Ps 82:6 (" are gods)

Author's note:  I am certain that when the apostle John wrote his
Gospel, he wrote Hebraistically, that is, he used the concepts and
terms found in the only Bible he knew, the Hebrew Old Testament.
John would find nothing wrong with calling the eternal Father THE
THEOS and yet refer to Jesus as Theos (God's representative) in
the same passage. One was the Supreme Being, the other the
ultimate magistrate of the universe - the Son of God.

2.  The Greek text of 1 Corinthians 11:3 reads:

"...the head of man is *the* Christ...and the
     head of Christ is *the* God."

   The English text of the King James Version reads:

"...the head of every man is Christ...and the
    head of Christ is God.

As you can see in the English text above, the definite article
before the word God has been left out by the translators of the King
James version.  They have clearly failed to bring out the distinction
between the Christ and "the God" intended by the author.

The fact that Jesus is Lord of Man, and the Eternal Father is LORD of
Jesus, was openly taught by Jesus himself who said:

 "The LORD said unto my Lord,

       sit thou on my right hand..."        Matthew 22:44

As Jesus pointed out, David was speaking of the Christ when he
said "my Lord".  David had a Lord and David's Lord had a LORD.
The same Greek word Kurios (Lord) was used to describe both the
Christ and his Eternal Father.  However, one was Lord and one was
THE LORD.  One was Ruler, and one was THE Ruler.

God bless...

Harold Kupp

Creation date: Apr 4, 2009 7:45pm     Last modified date: Jul 29, 2017 11:58am   Last visit date: Sep 17, 2023 9:31am
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