"Before Abraham was, I am." These words, spoken by our Savior in Jn.8:58, have led to much controversy and confusion. Some use this verse to prove the Messiah's pre-existence. Others use it to prove the trinity doctrine. And then there are those who use it to prove Yeshua is the great "I AM" of Ex.3:14.
The phrase "I am" is "ego eimi" in Greek. Since the Greek New Testament records Yeshua using "ego eimi" many times, Christian theologians term these sayings, "The I Am's of Jesus." It is believed that each of these occurrences implies Yeshua's identity as the "I AM" of Ex.3:14. Can this be true? Can our Savior, the Son of Yahweh, actually be the "I AM"?
Ex.3:14-15 reads, "And Elohim said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And Elohim said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, Yahweh, Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations." Therefore, the "I AM" is identified as "Yahweh."
And what does Yahweh say in Ps.2:7? "I will declare the decree: Yahweh hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee." Yahweh is the Father of Yeshua. Yeshua is the Son of Yahweh. Yeshua is not Yahweh and the Son is not the Father. Therefore, Yeshua (the Son of Yahweh) cannot be the I AM (Yahweh). That alone should be sufficient to discredit the belief that Yeshua was claiming to be the "I AM." But let's look into the matter a little farther.
It is believed that Jn.8:59 further supports the position that Yeshua is the "I AM." Why else would the Jews try to stone him? He obviously blasphemed in the eyes of the Jews, a stoneable offense. Or did he? Is the mere utterance of "ego eimi" a blasphemy? Does the use of "ego eimi" automatically identify the speaker as Yahweh, the I AM?
Several individuals aside from Yeshua used "ego eimi" as well. In Lu.1:19, the angel Gabriel said, "Ego eimi Gabriel." In Jn.9:9, the blind man whose sight was restored by Yeshua said, "Ego eimi." In Acts 10:21, Peter said, "Behold, ego eimi (I am) he whom ye seek." Obviously, the mere use of "ego eimi" does not equate one to the "I Am" of Ex.3:14. But perhaps the Saviors use of it was somehow different. After all, he came down from heaven.
If, in fact, Yeshua spoke Greek to the Jews (which I doubt), he used the phrase "ego eimi" at least twenty times and yet, in only one instance did the Jews seek to stone him (Jn.8:58). Yeshua said, "I am the bread of life" to a large crowd, in Jn.6:35 & 48, yet no one opposed him. In verse 41, the Jews murmured because he said, "I am (ego eimi) the bread which came down from heaven." But in verse 42, the Jews questioned only the phrase, "I came down from heaven" and ignored "ego eimi." The same is true of verses 51 & 52.
In Jn.8:12, 18, 24, & 28, Yeshua used "ego eimi" with Pharisees present (vs.13) and yet, no stoning. He, again, used it four times in Jn.10:7, 9, 11, & 14 with no stoning. Yeshua said to his disciples, "...that...ye may believe that I am (ego eimi)" in Jn.13:19 without them batting an eye.
An interesting account occurs in Jn.18 when the Jews came to arrest Yeshua in the Garden of Gethsemane. When the chief priests and Pharisees said they were seeking Yeshua of Nazareth, Yeshua said to them, "Ego eimi." At that they fell backward to the ground. It is not made clear why they fell to the ground, but what followed will make it clear that Yeshua was not claiming to be the "I AM."
After Yeshua's arrest, the Jews took him to Annas first (vs.13). Then they took him to Caiaphas (vs.24) and eventually to Pilate (vss.28,29). A parallel account is found in Mt.26:57-68. Notice, in particular, verse 59. The same men that had fallen backward to the ground were in attendance when the council sought false witnesses against Yeshua to put him to death. Verse 60 says they couldn't find any. Eventually two came forward. Interestingly, they didn't bear false witness about what Yeshua said in Jn.8:58, but about his reference to destroying the temple and building it again in three days. Where were all those witnesses from Jn.8:58?
The point about Mt.26 is, why would false witnesses be sought if they had true witnesses in attendance? The arresting officers heard Yeshua say "Ego eimi." They could have stoned him right there in the garden for blasphemy, but they didn't. They could have reported the supposed blasphemy to the council, but they didn't. Why not? Because it wasn't blasphemy, nor was it a stoneable offense. He was merely identifying himself as Yeshua of Nazareth.
This brings us back to Jn.8:58. Why did the Jews seek to stone him on that occasion? The context of Jn.8 shows that Yeshua;
Yeshua's words in verse 58 were the culmination of an encounter that was so offensive to the Jews that they couldn't restrain themselves anymore. They simply couldn't take it anymore so they sought to stone him, not because of two simple words, "ego eimi," but because he was making himself out to be greater than their beloved father Abraham. They sought to stone him illegally.
So what does Jn.8:58 really mean? Although I do not believe we can be certain what Yeshua meant due to a variety of reasons, I offer the following explanation.
Let's look at the context of Yeshua's statement. It begins in verse 51 with the thought of eternal life; "If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death." The Jews thought since Abraham and the prophets were dead, Yeshua must have a devil. The context is eternal life. Then in verse 56 Yeshua says Abraham "rejoiced to see my day." He did not say he saw Abraham as the Jews misunderstood. How did Abraham see Yeshua's day? Heb.11:13 says, "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." He saw Yeshua's day by faith.
Yeshua then resumed the context of his initial conversation by saying, "Before Abraham was, I am." "Was" is from the Greek "ginomai" meaning, "to come into being, ... to arise." What Yeshua actually meant was, "Before Abraham comes into being (at his resurrection unto eternal life), I will." Confirmation of this understanding comes to us from Figures of Speech Used in the Bible by E.W. Bullinger, pgs. 521,522. Under the heading "Heterosis (Of Tenses)," subheading "The Present for the Future," he writes, "This is put when the design is to show that some thing will certainly come to pass, and is spoken of as though it were already present." He then lists some examples such as Mt.3:10b, "therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is [shall be] hewn down;" and Mk.9:31a, "For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is [shall be] delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day." Included among this list of examples of Heterosis is Jn.8:58. In other words, although properly written, "Before Abraham comes to be, I am," with "I am" in the simple present tense, the meaning points to the future, "Before Abraham comes to be, I will."
Some people believe this verse should be translated, "Before Abraham existed, I existed." However, neither Greek verb is in the perfect tense (past tense). "Was" is in the aorist tense and "am" is in the present tense. Let's look a little closer at "was." Concerning the aorist tense, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament by Dana and Mantey says, "It has time relations only in the indicative, where it is past and hence augmented." The verb ginomai (was) is in the infinitive, not the indicative. Therefore it should not be translated in the past tense. This same reference says of the infinitive, "The aorist infinitive denotes that which is eventual or particular, ..." Abraham will eventually resurrect which is why the Greek uses the aorist infinitive. The meaning is, "Before Abraham comes to be" not "Before Abraham was (or existed)."
In conclusion, Yeshua was not declaring that he is the great "I AM" of Ex.3:14. Yeshua was not declaring himself to be Yahweh. And Yeshua was not declaring his pre-existence. He is the Son of Yahweh and the Son of the great "I Am."
In Jn.1:1-3 we read, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made" (KJV). As mentioned previously, it is not wrong to address Yeshua as god or Elohim as long as we don't address him as the "one true Elohim." According to the common understanding of verse 1, there are two beings, the Word and God, Yeshua and Yahweh. Therefore, the phrase "the Word was God" would lead one to believe that Yeshua (the Word) was Yahweh (God). However, if we know that Yahweh called Yeshua "God" or "Elohim" in Heb.1:9 and Ps.45:7, there is no problem with the phrase "the Word was God." Yeshua is obviously an Elohim in Hebrew or a god in English. This, of course, is based on the common understanding of the "Word" being Yeshua. That, however, is not what John intended when he wrote these verses.
Since Yeshua is called "The Word of God" in Rev.19:13, the translators of the KJV assumed the "Word" of Jn.1:1 was also Yeshua and therefore, capitalized the word "word" and used the pronoun "him" in reference to the "word." The Greek for "Word" is "logos." It appears in the text written with a small letter l. Logos means "the spoken word" or "something said (including the thought)." In that sense the word is an "it," not a person but a thing. The great English translator William Tyndale renders it that way in his 1525 version as does the Matthew's Bible of 1537, the Great Bible of 1539, the Geneva Bible of 1560, and the Bishop's Bible of 1568. (Click here for more info.) Verse 3 should read, "All things were made through it; and without it was not anything made that was made." In other words, Yahweh spoke creation into existence. This understanding agrees perfectly with passages such as Gen.1:3,6,9,11,14,20,and 24 all of which begin, "And Elohim said." Yahweh spoke and it was done. Ps.33:6,9 says, "By the word of Yahweh were the heavens made; and all the host by the breath of his mouth. . . For He spoke and it was; He commanded, and it stood fast." Not only did Yahweh speak creation into existence, but He also spoke His Son Yeshua into existence; "And the word (Yahweh's spoken word) was made flesh" (Jn.1:14). Yeshua did not become the "Word of Yahweh" until his birth as a flesh and blood male child.
How then should we translate verse 1? "In the beginning was the word; and the word was with Yahweh, and the word was Yahweh's" is one suggestion. The Greek word translated "God" is "theos." The Greek does not have a different word to show possession. Therefore, theos can be translated "Yahweh" or "Yahweh's." The possessive form makes this verse so clear and in harmony with the phrase "the word was with Yahweh."
A second possible translation would be, "and the word was mighty." Theos is equivalent to the Hebrew word Elohim. Elohim has the meaning of great or mighty in such verses as Gen.30:8, "And Rachel said, With great [Elohim] wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed: and she called his name Naphtali" and 1 Sam 14:15, "And there was trembling in the host, in the field, and among all the people: the garrison, and the spoilers, they also trembled, and the earth quaked: so it was a very great [Elohim] trembling." Since the word theos in the phrase "the Word was God [theos]" is not preceded by the article "ho" (the God), as are the other two uses of theos in verses 1 & 2, it can be understood as an adjective rather than a noun.
Getting back to the issue of creation, many believe Yeshua created all things. A thorough study of the Old Testament scriptures shows Yahweh to be the Creator and that He acted alone to accomplish this. Note Is.44:24; "Thus saith Yahweh, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am Yahweh that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;" Where is Yeshua in this verse? It has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that Yeshua is not Yahweh, therefore, Yeshua did not have a hand in creation. This is confirmed in Job 9:8; "Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea." Consider also Prov.30:4; "Who hath ascended up into heaven? who hath gathered the wind in His fists? Who hath bound the waters in a garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His son's name, if thou canst tell?" This verse teaches us that the Creator, whoever He is, has a Son. Does Yeshua have a son? No. Father Yahweh is the Creator and He has a Son who is not given credit for creation in this verse.
There are several New Testament scriptures used to prove he did create all things. They are Jn 1:3, which we already looked at; Jn.1:10; 1 Cor.8:6; Eph.3:9; Col.1:16; and Heb.1:2. All these verses use the same basic phrase, "by him" or "by Yeshua Messiah." The phrase "by Yeshua Messiah" in Eph.3:9 is not found in any Greek MSS. Without the added words this verse teaches us that Yahweh is the Creator. The remaining four verses imply that Yeshua is the Creator. Thus far, it has been conclusively proven that Yeshua is not Yahweh. Since the scriptures emphatically state over 100 times that Yahweh is the Creator (Ex.20:11) and that He acted alone (Is.44:24), should we discard that wealth of evidence and accept Yeshua as the Creator without question? A careful examination of the Greek of those four verses will yield a different picture.
The Greek word for "by" is "di." It can be translated "by," "through," "on account of," "for," etc., based on the context or message of the sentence. These four verses in question will not allow the translation "by" because it does not agree or harmonize with over 100 other verses stating that Yahweh is the Creator. An example of the importance of context is Mk.2:27; "And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath." Both words "for" in this verse are from the Greek word "dia." It would be incorrect to translate "dia" as "by" in this verse: The Sabbath was made by man. If you will notice the Greek of Jn.1:10 you will see it is the exact same construction as Mk.2:27 yet one verse says "for" and the other says "by." Also, in the case of Heb 1:2, it is revealed that Yeshua is the heir of all things that have been created by Yahweh. He is not the Creator Himself.
1 Pe.1:20 says, "Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you." Before creation, Yeshua existed in the foreordained plans of Yahweh. He was "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev.13:8). Even before creation Yahweh knew that Yeshua had to be slain. Even before creation Yahweh knew that He would create all things on account of and for His Son. And so it is written and correctly translated in Col.1:16, "For in him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created on account of him, and for him:" Without Yeshua in Yahweh's plan, creation would never have occurred. The remaining three scriptures using "by" should be translated similarly.
One other Scripture often used to prove Yeshua's hand in creation is Heb.1:10-12. These verses are indeed very difficult to understand. It appears as though the writer of Hebrews is including verses 10-12 as additional statements that Yahweh has made to His Son. The use of "And" in verse 10 and "but" in verse 13 suggest this. But if we look a little deeper we will find several discrepancies. Verses 10-12 are direct quotes from Ps.102:25-27. They are not a quote from the Hebrew Text, however, but from the Septuagint (LXX). The Hebrew Text does not have "Lord" in it. Therefore, to say that "Lord" in Heb.1:10 proves that Yeshua is Yahweh is unscriptural. The LXX has "Kurie" in Ps.102:25, but that is an addition since it is not found in the Hebrew Text. The LXX also omits "O my el" in verse 24.
In reading the Hebrew of Ps.102, it is clear the subject is Yahweh. They are the words of an afflicted man as he cries out to Yahweh. They are not the words of Yahweh as He speaks to His Son.
Notice each of the other Old Testament quotes in Hebrew 1;
Ps.2:7 - "...Thou art my Son; this day I (Yahweh) have begotten thee."
2 Sam.7:14 - "I (Yahweh) will be to him a Father..."
Deut.32:43 (LXX) - "And let all the angels of God (Yahweh) worship him."
Ps.45:6,7 - "Thy throne O Elohim...therefore Elohim, thy Elohim (Yahweh) hath anointed thee."
Ps.110:1 - "Sit on my right hand, until I (Yahweh) make thine enemies thy footstool."
In each of these quotes it can be seen that either Yahweh is talking to His Son or about His Son. Yet, in Ps.102:25-27 it is the Psalmist talking to Yahweh. Therefore, to include Heb.1:10-12 among those things that Yahweh said to or about His Son is incorrect.
The writer of Hebrews had written verses 1-9 to show how Yahweh exalted His Son, even above the angels. It appears as though the writer was then moved to exalt Yahweh as well by including verses 10-12 as a parenthesis. He then resumes by showing Yeshua's exaltation in verse 13 which is a continuation of verse 9. There are an abundance of Scriptures proving that Yeshua is not Yahweh. To make that assumption here is to reject the weightier evidence.
There has been a very sharp attack centered on using Old Testament quotes found in the New Testament that are applied to both Yahweh and Yeshua to prove the two are one and the same. It is important to fully understand these verses correctly.
The first is found in Rom.14:10,11. It reads, "But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God" (KJV). Paul was quoting Is.45:23 in which the speaker is Yahweh. So when verse 23 says, "That unto me," "me" refers to Yahweh. Every knee will bow and every tongue will swear to Yahweh. Therefore, in Rom.14:11, "Lord" must mean Yahweh, as does "me" and "God". There is no mention of Messiah in this verse; not even in verse 10. Concerning the phrase "judgment seat of Christ," the Jamieson, Faussett, Brown Commentary says, "All the most ancient and best MSS. read here, "judgment seat of God."
Paul does, however, apply portions of Is.45:23 to Yeshua in Ph.2:10,11. That does not mean he is also applying the Name "Yahweh" to him as well. Jn.5:23 helps us to understand this. If you don't honor the Son, by extension, you don't honor the Father. And Jn.15:23; if you hate the Son, by extension, you hate the Father. If you bow your knees to the Son, by extension, you bow your knees to the Father. Notice Is.45:23 does not say what will be sworn; Ph.2:11 does - every tongue shall confess or swear that Yeshua is "Lord," "kurios". That same word was applied to men in several other verses such as Jn.12:21. It is only a reference to Yahweh when it is a direct quote of an Old Testament verse containing the Tetragrammaton which Is.45:23 does not.
The next reference is 1 Pe.2:8, "And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed." Peter is here applying Is.8:14 to Messiah. It is to be understood in the sense that, since Yeshua is Yahweh's representative or agent, whatever Yeshua does is credited to Yahweh or is as though Yahweh did it. Isayah says Yahweh will be a stumbling stone. Yahweh then causes Israel to stumble over Yeshua which makes them both stumbling stones. "The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is Yahweh's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes" (Ps.118:22,23).
Consider Ex.7:17 in that light. Yahweh says He Himself will smite the waters with the rod in His own hand. Yet, it was Aaron that held the rod (Ex.7:19,20). Are we to believe that Aaron is also Yahweh? Neither should we believe that Yeshua is Yahweh.
Ex.7:17 is also the key to understanding Zec.11:13 which reads, "And Yahweh said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of Yahweh." Since Yeshua was priced at 30 pieces of silver, and since Yahweh here says, "I was prised at of them," some conclude that Yeshua is also called Yahweh. Using that same logic, who cast the siver down? Mt.27:5 says of Judas, "And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple..." Are we to believe that Judas is also called Yahweh?
The next attack on Scripture comes in 1 Pe.3:14,15, "But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:" (KJV) Several commentaries and Greek manuscripts read "Christ" instead of "God" in these verses. They imply it should read, "But sanctify Yahweh who is Christ." According to the Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, there are 6 Mss. that have "Christos" or "Messiah" in the text and 8 MSS. that do not. Since the Hebrew Text clearly says, "Yahweh of hosts" (Is.8:13), the Greek would say either theos or kurios, not Christos. The Greek text was obviously tampered with by those who tried to prove that Yeshua was the Yahweh of the Old Testament.
The last attack comes in 1 Pe.2:3,4, "If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious," (KJV). In verse 3, Peter is quoting Ps.34:8 which is speaking about Yahweh. Some people would have us believe that Peter is applying the Tetragrammaton, Yahweh, to the Messiah in verse 4. The words "as unto" in the KJV, however, are added words not found in the Greek that change Peter's meaning. Delete these words and the Greek text reads, "To whom coming toward" or "To whom drawing near, as living stone..." In other words, the living stone (Yeshua) was drawing near or coming toward Yahweh as will all living stones in the future (vs.5). The "whom" in verse 4 refers to the "Lord" Yahweh of verse 3; "To [Yahweh] coming, a living stone."
This study would not be complete without addressing the issue concerning the following statements; (Jn.5:37), "And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape."
And again in 1 Jn.4:12, "No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us" (KJV). Since Yahweh (God) was never seen, or heard for that matter, then who was it that men saw in such passages as Deut.4:12, Ex.24:9-11, etc.? It is assumed that the pre-existant Messiah is the one they saw and that he is referred to as Yahweh.
To understand this we need to look at a few other examples. Consider the following;
Gen.22:11-12 - "And the angel of Yahweh called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest Elohim, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me."
Ex.3:2-6 - "And the angel of Yahweh appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush:... And when Yahweh saw that he turned aside to see, Elohim called unto him out of the midst of the bush, ... he said, I am the Elohim of thy father, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon Elohim."
In these two passages, and many others involving the Angel of Yahweh, the angel speaks as though he was Yahweh. That is because Yahweh was speaking through the angel. Ex.23:20-22 reads, "Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries." As Yahweh's chosen representative, the Angel speaks whatever he is told to speak by Yahweh. The same was true of Yeshua (Jn.12:49,50), and the prophets (Heb.1:1).
How does this relate to the giving of the Law at Mt. Sinai? Wasn't it Yahweh's own voice they heard? That is what Deut.4:12 would suggest. Yet, several New Testament Scriptures reveal the speaker to be an angel. Acts 7:38,53 read, "This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sinai, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:...Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. " Also in Gal.3:19, "...and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator (Moses)."
So what can we conclude about this? It is true that Yahweh's voice has never been heard nor His shape seen. It was an angel that appeared to men. Yet, this angel, as Yahweh's chosen representative, could speak with the authority of Yahweh as though he were Yahweh. The prophets do the same thing quite often. Therefore, Malachi can say, "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me..." (Mal.3:1), yet, no one would dare say Malachi was Yahweh.
The Jewish understanding of this is important to note here. It is called the law of agency. "The Encyclopedia of the Jewish Religion," Adama Books, New York, 1986, pg.15 reads, "The main point of the Jewish law of agency is expressed in the dictum "A person's agent is regarded as the person himself." Almighty Yahweh appointed both Yeshua the Messiah, His Son, and the Angel of Yahweh, as His agents. As such, anything they did was regarded as though the Almighty Himself did it.
A wealth of scriptural truth has been presented in this study. An honest seeker of truth should now know that Yeshua is not Yahweh, the Mighty One of Israel. He is Yahweh's only begotten Son. That is what we must believe. "Whosoever shall confess that Yeshua is the Son of Yahweh, Yahweh dwelleth in him, and he in Yahweh" (1 Jn.4:15). If you believe that Yeshua is Yahweh instead of the Son of Yahweh, the truth is not in you. Peter knew this truth and responded correctly; "Thou art the Messiah, the Son of the living Elohim" (Mt.16:16). How will you now respond?
There are several passages in which Yahweh is spoken of as "God" and yet, they are mistakenly applied to Yeshua. The first is Jude 1:24,25. It reads, "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen." Who is it that is able to keep us from falling? Jn.10:29 and Rom.16:25-27 teach us that it is the Father (Yahweh) who keeps us. He is "God only wise" or "the only wise God."
The second passage is 1 Tim.1:17. It reads, "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen." We just saw who the "only wise God" is in Rom.16:25-27.
The third passage is Titus 2:13; "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;" Does this mean Paul is saying Yeshua is the great God? In his opening (Titus 1:4) he greets Titus from "God [Yahweh] the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ [Yeshua]. In Paul's mind there are two individuals, not two manifestations of one being. Some commentators believe the word "and" in Titus 2:13 should be translated "even" since the Greek word "kai" can carry that meaning. Most lexicons will show that kai means "and" in the overwhelming majority of uses and, in comparison, rarely means "even." If we change "and" to "even" anytime we want, then we can say things like Prisca and Aquila are the same person (2 Tim.4:19), etc.