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A Literal Translation of the New Testament






 

TITUS 2:13 - Does it really say that Jesus Christ is the God?

 

 

By Hal Dekker

 

2013.11.24

Last page update:  2015.07.23

 

 

Titus 2:13 is a verse of scripture which some say is a “proof text” that Jesus Christ is God. 

 

After a study of other verses which appear to have predicates containing compound direct objects distinguished by coordinating conjunctions, Titus 2:13 appears to me to be grammatically identical to them.  To me it seems quite a stretch to claim, as some Trinitarians do, that everything following the verb in Titus 2:13 is only one direct object.  But that's what they say the text says, after they ignore, to obfuscate its three distinct direct objects, the very common ellipsis in the Greek language.  In my literal translation of the verse below I show the common grammatical form of an ellipsis in brackets [ ].   

 

This presentation on the grammatical structure of Titus 2:13 may be over the heads of some, but it is by necessity; since Trinitarian-based translators and translation committees have so very often ignored staying true to the ancient writers grammatically to quote them in every little detail, in order to create opportunities to fudge in their mortal-made theology into their English translations.  Grammatically, and very apparent in the Greek texts to anyone who has even rudimentary language skills, Titus has three distinct direct objects.

 

I've indicated the subject (nominative case) in blue.

 

Titus 2:11 (LIT/UBS4) Because (gar) the (hē) grace (charis) of the (tou) God (theou) was shined upon (epephanē) [us], (wholeness (sōtērios) to all (pasin) mortals (anthrōpois)),

 

Titus 2:12 (LIT/UBS4) child-training (paideuousa) us (hēmas);

 

in order that (hina) we having caused ourselves to deny (arnēsamenoi) the (tēn) impiety (asebeian) and (kai) the (tas) cosmological (kosmikas) lusts (epithumias), we may live (zesōmen) thinking wholly (sōphronōs), and (kai) righteously (dikaiōs), and (kai) piously (eusebōs), in (en) the (tō) age (aiōni) now (nun);

 

Titus 2:13 (LIT/UBS4) toward causing ourselves to receive (prosdechomenoi):

 

1) the (tēn) happy (makarian) hope (elpida),

 

2) and (kai) [the] epiphany (epiphaneian) of the (tēs) glory (doxēs) of the (tou) great (megalou) God (theou),

 

3) and (kai) [the epiphany of the] savior (sōtēros) of us (hēmōn) Jesus (Iēsou) Christ (Christou);

The verb, “
toward causing ourselves to receive” –The verb is in the present tense, middle voice, i.e., the action of it is reflexive, nominative case, first person, plural, participle (verbal adjective) form, which implies the subject as being “us” or "ourselves" who are "causing ourselves to receive" the three direct objects given.  In the Greek the subject, "ourselves", 3rd person plural, does not need to be expressed, as typically in this verse, where the inflected form of the verb accomplishes it.

 

We can ask, “toward [us] receiving” WHAT or WHOM?  First of all I believe the verb is transitive.  I don’t think anyone can disprove that, and I’ll be very surprised if anyone tries to argue against that.  So then, the verb and everything which follows must be the predicate, with at least one single direct object, if not multiple direct objects.   The assertion of some who are more passionate over their theology than over the accuracy of the text, believe that Titus 2:13 has only one direct object, which is everything following the verb. 

 

This is where I part with some scholars who I believe have not looked closely enough at the verse to notice those two silly little coordinating conjunctions, which in Greek grammar are used very abundantly throughout the texts to distinguish compound/multiple direct objects.  Multiple direct objects is a very common characteristic of the Greek.  In the Greek, using coordinating conjunctions, kai "and" in this verse to distinguish/indicate multiple direct objects is about as abundant as fish in the oceans.  Kai is used to distinguish compound subjects also.

 

What “scholar” or “expert” who has seen and has studied the Greek texts doesn’t know that multiple coordinating conjunctions in a predicate can distinguish multiple direct objects?  Here are the three direct objects I see in Titus 2:13:    


1st direct object, “the happy hope” – That’s exactly the way they thought of the promise of the God for their salvation / wholeness. It made them “happy” to think of it. These three direct objects are three results which shall be produced in a believer's life if they do the conditional statement given in verse twelve which is introduced by the conditional conjunction hina, "in order that".  The grace of the God has shined upon us, child-training us (v11) in order that (hina, v12) we having caused ourselves to deny the impiety (v12), we may live by thinking wholly, righteously, and piously (v12), toward [the goal] causing ourselves to receive the happy hope (v13).  This is the first direct object of the verb “toward causing ourselves to receive." Do you see another direct object which is signaled by the coordinating conjunction “and”?

2nd direct object, “and epiphany of the glory of the great God",

 
3rd direct object, "and [epiphany of the] one who makes us whole Jesus Christ;"

 

Further more, I believe the second and third direct objects are used to define the first direct object, “the happy hope” which is used throughout the texts to refer to both epiphany/appearing of the glory of the great God, and to the epiphany/appearing of our savior Jesus Christ.  I see this by looking at other verses which contain elements of Titus 2:13, which will help explain Titus 2:13;

 

For example the 1st direct object, the element of hope in Titus 2:13:

 

In Rom. 5:2 apostle Paul says that we, believers, boast upon the hope of receiving the glory of the God

 

Rom. 5:2c ...and (kai) we cause ourselves to boast (kauchōmetha) upon (ep’) hope (elpidi) of the (tēs) glory (doxēs) of the (tou) God (theou).

 

In Titus 2:13, the glory of the God is one of the things for which believers hopeRom. 5:2 shows that the 2nd direct object in Titus 2:13 can be considered a distinct direct object, which glory of the great God defines one of the things of the hope of us in Titus 2:13, as it does here in Rom. 5:2.  See Col. 1:27 also, Christ in you, the hope of glory!

 

For example the 2nd direct object, the element of the epiphany of the glory of the great God in Titus 2:13:

 

Mat. 16:27 (LIT/UBS4) Because (gar) the (ho) Son (huios) of the (tou) Mortal (anthrōpos) is about (mellei) to cause himself to come (erchesthai) in (en) the (tē) glory (doxē) of the (tou) Father (patros) of him (autou), with (meta) the (tōn) messengers (angelōn) of him (autou);

 

and (kai) then (tote) he shall give away (apodōsei) to each one (hekastō) down according to (kata) the (tēn) practice (praxin) of him (autou).

 

As I can see, and maybe you can, Jesus said, in Mat. 16:27, he’s coming “in the glory of the Father of him”, which helps explain the 2nd direct object in Titus 2:13, the “epiphany of the glory of the great God" in which Jesus Christ shall come at his second coming, in his Father’s glory (i.e., the glory the Father gave to him).  See also Mat. 24:30; Mat. 25:31; Mark 8:38; Mark 13:26; Luke 2:9; *Luke 9:26; Luke 21:27; John 5:44; John 12:43, KJV “praise” = “glory”; John 17:22-24.

 

As a matter of fact, Jesus says in Luke 9:26 that he shall come in three distinct glories; 1) in the glory of himself, 2) and in the glory of his Father, 3) and in the glory of the holy messengers!  Additionally, this verse serves as another great example of a verse with a predicate containing compound direct objects, the three I have identified, the last two distinguished with the use of the coordinating conjunction kai

 

Luke 9:26 (LIT/UBS4) Because (gar) perhaps (an) whoever (hos) may be caused to be ashamed (epaischunthē) of me (mou), and (kai) the (tous) words (logous) of me (emous), the (ho) Son (huios) of the (tou) Mortal (anthrōpou) shall be caused to be ashamed (epaischunthēsetai) of this one (touton), when perhaps (hotan) he may come (elthē):

 

1) in (en) the (tē) glory (doxē) of him (autou),

 

2) and (kai) [in the glory] of the (tou) Father (patros) [of him],

 

3) and (kai) [in the glory] of the (tōn) holy (hagiōn) messengers (angelōn) [of him].

 

Okay, is anyone starting to become a believer yet in the Titus 2:13 predicate containing compound direct objects, three of them?  I hope so, because it’s so clear to see. 

 

This is another good example of doing two hands-on hard work of studying the ancient texts to solve apparent contradictions, and hard to understand/ambiguous English translated verses. 

 

For example the 3rd direct object, the element of the epiphany/appearing of the savior of us Jesus Christ in Titus 2:13:

 

1 Thes. 2:19 (LIT/UBS4) Because (gar) what (ti) [is the] hope (elpis) of us (hēmōn), or (ē) joy (chara), or (ē) crown (stephanos) of boasting (kauchēseōs)

 

Or (ē) [is it] absolutely not (ouchi) you (humeis) also (kai) in front (emprosthen) of the (tou) lord (kuriou) of us (hēmōn), Jesus (Iēsous), in (en) the (tē) presence (parousia) of him (autou)!?

 

1 Tim. 1:1 (LIT/UBS4) Paul (paulos), an apostle (apostlos) of Christ (Christou) Jesus (Iēsou) down according to (kat’) an appointment (epitagēn) of God (theou), Savior (sōtēros) of us (hēmōn), and (kai) Christ (Christos) Jesus (Iēsou) the (tēs) hope (elpidos) of us (hēmōn),

 

1 John 3:2 (LIT/UBS4) Beloved ones (agapētoi), now (nun) we are (esmen) ones born (tekna) of God (theou)

 

And (kai) absolutely not yet (oupō) was it manifested (ephanerōthē) what (ti) we shall cause ourselves to be (esometha)

 

We have seen (oidamen) that (hoti) if perhaps (ean) He may be manifested (phanerōthē), we shall cause ourselves to be (esometha) ones like (homoioi) Him (autō);

 

because (hoti) we shall cause ourselves to gaze at (opsometha) Him (auton) down according to as (kathōs) He is (estin)!

 

1 John 3:3 (LIT/UBS4) And (kai) everyone (pas), the one (ho) holding (echōn) the (tēn) hope (elpida) [of] this (tautēn) over (ep’) [the sake] of Him (autō), he makes himself innocent (hagnizei heauton) down according to as (kathōs) that one (ekeinos) is (estin) innocent (hagnos).

 

These verses show that the apparent 2nd and 3rd direct objects in Titus 2:13, IMO, are very likely distinct direct objects; since for believers to receive the glory of the God, which implies salvation, and to receive and be with Jesus Christ in his presence at his return are obviously the two most important things a believer could hope for of all of the things in God’s Word for which we could hope!

 

Summary

 

I believe apostle Paul’s meaning in Titus 2:13, to brother Titus, was to summarize our hope for eternal life, to receive the promise of the God which is recorded in Ezek. 36:25-27, and Ezek. 37:5-10, and in Joel 2:28-29.  And that Paul summarized using three direct objects:

 

1) our happy hope,

 

2) and epiphany of the glory of the great God,

 

3) and [epiphany of the] savior of us Jesus Christ; with the 2nd and 3rd direct objects defining the first direct object.

 

This is what I see in Titus 2:13, based upon those key-word links, hope, glory, epiphany/appearing, into those corresponding remote contexts of subject matter.  This is exactly why I believe Titus 2:13 has a predicate which contains compound direct objects distinguished by coordinating conjunctions kai, “and”, as I have demonstrated with Luke 9:26 also.

 

Why not recognize the predicate in Titus 2:13 as having compound/multiple direct objects, as is clearly the case in dozens of other predicates with the same grammatical construction, throughout the new covenant texts, which use kai, “and”, to distinguish those distinct direct objects as well?  Why not allow the rules of Greek grammar, and the standard translation practices which they govern, to determine what Titus 2:13 says and means, instead of abandoning those things to make a special theologically-biased pleading out of Titus 2:13?

 

Why not just be honest in translation, and change our belief to be true to what apostle Paul wrote in his text?

 

 

Brother Hal Dekker