Did the early Jews believe in two powers in heaven (Binitarianism)? - MuslimByChoice Refuted

Introduction


MuslimByChoice a well known drama-stirrer, internet troll and Islamic apologist has offered a video with a Christian supposedly debunking the existence of early Jews who adhered to Binitarian Monotheism. I submit his video here for review:





Response



I will respond to both Volf and Ally respectively. Firstly Ally.

"What he neglects to show is that in-fact this is actually a deviation from the Torah and from the Old Testament The O.T does not tell you there are two equal powers in heaven, the O.T does not teach you Binitarianism." ~ Ally

If your read the book cited by Nabeel the opponents of Binitarianism argue this is a deviation, but as Segal points out the proponents do not, he points out they have complex, complicated Scriptural arguments for their own position that are actually brushed aside and often underdone by later Unitarian Rabbis (similarly to Ally's comments in this debate), who only address incomplete versions of the exegesis offered by the "heretics". So appealing to circular reasoning "It's a deviation because I think it is" is not actually an argument and a repetition of historical error. As Heiser points out Segal: "argued that the two powers idea was not deemed heretical in Jewish theology until the second century C.E." which is now the consensus position in scholarship. So in fact, Ally by proclaiming the Binitarian view as heresy is guilty in nothing other than engaging in the anachronistic fallacy of inserting his own views into the respective time period of the first century which is rejected by the vast majority of his beloved critical scholars.

"but Unitarianism, that there is only one God YHVH, everyone else are his creatures." ~ Ally

Ally is obviously grossly ignorant or lying, but i'll assume the latter since he is familiar with (and aware of) scholarship in general. And since he is, he knows that just as he stated "their were developments within Christianity", their were also "developments with Judaism", especially the Bible. "Unitarian Monotheism" according to these Scholars (he loves citing: Dunn, Ehrman, Sanders, etc) is one of those "later developments". (1) 

In fact as Ehrman says, it's the: "minority position in the Hebrew Bible". So why appeal to scholarship to argue that Christianity developed over-time but not Judaism? Oh, that's right! I know why. Because it suits you. However you shot yourself in the foot, by appealing to the very same kind of scholars who think that Christianity developed since they also believe Unitarian Monotheism was one of the the ultimate and final developments within Judaism, that had arguably only become mainstream close to the time of Jesus.

And worst of all it was the latest position evolving out of an entire plethora of polytheistic ideas as a extremely late product of the Israelite religion (sorry Abraham and Moses, bye!). And yet still the most amazing irony is that some of these very scholars claim the Binitarian view was a kind of  'developmental hangover' from an ancient time that was some-how preserved within the beliefs of a multitude of first-century Jews, but ultimately usurped and overthrown by a later newer second century exclusivity defined as "Unitarianism". So much for being the original Monotheism. (2)

Muslims are now stuck with Exclusivitic Monolithic Unitarianism beginning within the second century after Judaism as a whole has already collapses and is recuperating from a death stroke and heart attack by inventing a new spin of the wheel which is eventually adopted by Islamic Tawheedists. Unitarianism of this kind far from ancient is pure innovation.  

So the argument that "The O.T does not tell you there are two equal powers in heaven, the O.T does not teach you Binitarianism but Unitarianism" is categorically false. The Bible contains both views according to Shabir's "development scholars" and the former view is the more ancient of the two (so-long "Tawheed"). I only wish Muslims would read a book before trusting this con-man.

Now I will respond to Volf.


5 Objections



1. The title is inaccurate, Volf does not argue Jews did not believe in Binitarianism. His argument is entirely different. Not only does it misrepresent Volf, it's clear that MuslimByChoice is either trolling by creating such a title or deliberately not paying attention to the actual content of the debate itself. 

2. So then what was Volf's argument? His argument is that Post-Nicene Christianity (he quotes Augustine as a representative) causes Orthodox Christianity to contradict the earlier Jewish Binitarian movement. Since Trinity asserts "one power" over that of "two". Even if he were correct, (which he's not), this is simply a non-sequitor, since Jewish Binitarians could very well contradict Augustine and preserve a different form of monotheism to that of Augustine. Who really cares? So did many proto-Trinitarians and/or relational subordinationists.

3. Next, he makes two strawmen. First strawman: beginning at 7:47

"My third point, plural personhood in God, I think we would have to say in two powers in God, I think we would say that's heresy from Christian perspective". 

Have to or Think so? Any Christian who denies the plural personhood/powers of God is a heretic known as a modalist. He even uses powers interchangeably with persons, so he knows powers are persons in this context, yet still makes the strawman and quotes Augustine who refers to the actual adjective, quality and attribute of power, not powers/persons, which is entirely orthodox. 

4. Second strawman begins at 8:17 

"So the kind of sense that their are these two powers independently or the kind of sense you've got 3 people kind of sitting next to each other on three thrones and then acting as a kind of committee is a heretical view"

First of all no Binitarian argues they are 'independent' powers, they are independent only in the sense that they are obviously not the same figure/person, they are distinct characters. In fact that kind of 'independent' view was advocated by another early group of Jews, the Jewish Gnostics who as Hurtado points out were: "later type in which two opposing divine figures are pictured." But as he points out there was "an earlier type in which two “complementary” divine figures".

Secondly if the idea of God having an embodied form sitting on a throne is 'heretical' or 'anathema' to Christianity, I would like to know according to what Orthodox Creed (clearly he can't cite even a single one). Finally no one is arguing 3 people (aka human type super beings) are sitting on chairs like a committee, since these are easily taken by earlier Jews and Christians to represent a deeper spiritual plain/reality which cannot be fathomed. Nor is Monotheism effected, since Monotheism is not dependent on the arrangement of theophanies, the heavenly kingdom nor divine manifestation.

5. 'Two powers of heaven' is not a coin termed by the Jews themselves, but later Jews describing the fact that two distinct figures were both seen as God which according to their logic this denoted two deities/powers. The Jews of course would say the same about modern day Trinitarians, hence the opponents of the faith demean us as heretics and polytheists, but obviously Volf himself wouldn't employ such language to describe his own position as a Trinitarian (three powers), so why accept the terminology of later Jews when describing the position of their fellow Binitarian (two powers) monotheists? Further more it's a misnomer to understand power as 'separated' attributes each independently possessed in the same sense two humans may individually or independently have attributes. This is a caricature to make Jewish binitarians look like polytheists, along with other enemies of the late Rabbinical Jewish movement.

Conclusion


This means the title must be changed by MuslimByChoice to accurately reflect the discourse. However inevitably that won't help him either, since even if he changed it Volf's original contention is riddled with too many inaccuracies.

Notes:

(1) e.g. "Monotheism is now understood to have evolved much more slowly than former scholarship suggested, reaching maturity much later" See more here or here.

(2) Rabbinic Judaism and Islam just tapped out according to Shabirs scholars.  

Does John 20:28 prove Jesus is identified as God? Yes! Definitively

Years ago, I remember reading an interaction Sam Shamoun had with Bassam Zawadi. Zawadi tried to argue inaccurately that John 20:28 could be interpreted avoiding the implication that Jesus was Lord and God. However Sam Shamoun definitively proved this was a false assertion. The best argument that Shamoun utilized to show such vain attempts by Muslims are grossly mistaken is the following:

"The Greek construction Apekrithe ... kai eipen auto ("answered and said to him") is a common idiom in the New Testament. This idiom always precedes a statement directed to the referent of the dative auto ("to him"). In other words, the statement "answered and said" refers to the referent signified by the indirect object ("to him") which in this context would be Jesus Christ. There is no lexical support in any of the standard Greek references (BAGD, M&M, and Louw & Nida) where this idiom is to be taken as a relative address, as not addressing the object that the pronoun auto points to, but to someone else. There is no grammatical support in any of the standard grammars for claiming that such a construction is to be understood as referring to someone other than the addressee of the indirect object. As one writer and apologist put it: 
…There are 108 occurrences of a form of EIPON followed by AUTW(i) in the NT. 74 are EIPEN AUTW(i). 23 occur with a form of APOKRINOMAI. Ten of these are preceded by APEKRITHE. John uses EIPEN AUTW(i) 17 times. I checked all 108 occurrences. In every case, the words following AUTW(i) were addressed to the referent of AUTW(i). In addition, there are 127 examples of AUTW(i) preceded by a form of LEGW (20 combined with a form of APOKRINOMAI), and in every case I checked (about half), I did not find a single example where the person addressed was OTHER THAN the referent of AUTW(i). (Robert Hommel, Robert and MS on John 20:28online source
To help illustrate Hommel’s point we provide references where the words eipen auto, or their varying forms, are used in John: 
They came to John and said to him (eipan auto), ‘Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him." John 3:26  
"When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him (eipon oun auto), ‘The fever left him yesterday at the seventh hour.’ Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him (eipan auto), ‘Your son will live.’ So he and all his household believed." John 4:52-53  
"Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him (eipen auto), ‘See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.’" John 5:14 
"Jesus’ brothers said to him (eipon oun pros auton), ‘You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do.’" John 7:3 
"‘You are not yet fifty years old,’ the Jews said to him (eipon oun hoi Ioudaioi pros auton), ‘and you have seen Abraham!’" John 8:57  
"The third time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him (eipen auto) the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ He said, ‘Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.’" John 21:17  
"Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him (eipon legei auto), ‘Follow me!’" John 21:19 
The above references show that eipen auto are addressed to the referent of the pronoun auto. This conclusively proves that Thomas’ confession was directed to Jesus, that John deliberately used the Greek words eipen auto in order to show that Thomas was directly addressing Jesus as his Lord and God. 
Moreover, Jesus wasn’t merely addressing Thomas’ belief that he had been raised. Christ was also addressing Thomas’ confession of faith which he made as a result of Christ appearing alive to him after his death. Jesus was basically saying that those who believe in him as their Lord God and God’s Son without witnessing the resurrection are truly blessed. This is precisely why John the Evangelist went on to write immediately afterwards: 
"Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name." John 20:30-31 (source)

Notice therefore that the only way of denying the above is by begging the question (assuming your conclusion to begin with "Jesus cannot be God") and translating and/or interpreting it en-light of a false presupposition. However, linguistically this is impossible, this is known as special pleading and violates the rules of grammar as per every authority on Greek grammar. There is simply no way to escape this conclusion. The Gospel of John teaches that Christ is Lord and God.

Two New Testament Scholars add:

“Thomas’s words echo statements addressed in the Psalms to the Lord (Jehovah), especially: ‘Wake up!’ Bestir yourself for my defense, for my cause, my God and my Lord [ho theos mou kai ho kurios mou]!’ (Ps. 35:23). These words parallel those in John 20:28 exactly except for reversing ‘God’ and ‘Lord’. More broadly, in biblical language ‘my God’ (on the lips of a faithful believer) can refer only to the Lord God of Israel. The language is as definite as it could be and identifies Jesus Christ as God himself.

“In identifying Jesus as God, Thomas, of course, was not identifying him as the Father. Earlier in the same passage, Jesus had referred to the Father as his God. It is interesting to compare Jesus’ wording with the wording of Thomas. Jesus told Mary Magdalene, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and to your God’ (theon mou kai theon humon, John 20:17). As in John 1:1 and John 1:18, the Father is called ‘God’ in close proximity to a statement affirming that Jesus is also ‘God.’ Here again, as in John 1:18, we do not see the apostle John distinguishing between the Father as ‘the God’ (ho theos) and Jesus the Son as only ‘God’ (theos without the article). In fact, whereas Jesus calls the Father ‘my God’ without the article (theon mou, 20:17), Thomas calls Jesus ‘my God’ with the article (ho theos mou, 20:28)! One could not ask for any clearer evidence that the use or nonuse of the article is irrelevant to the meaning of the word theos. What matters is how the word is used in context. In John 20:28, the apostle reports the most skeptical of disciples making the most exalted of confessions about Jesus. John expects his readers to view Thomas’s confession as a model for them to follow. Recognizing Jesus as the One who conquered death itself for us, we too are to respond to Jesus and confess that he is our Lord and our God.”...

“There is essentially no controversy among biblical scholars that in John 20:28 Thomas is referring to and addressing Jesus when he says, ‘My Lord and my God!’ As Harris says in his lengthy study on Jesus as God in the New Testament, ‘This view prevails among grammarians, lexicographers, commentators and English versions.’ Indeed, it is difficult to find any contemporary exegetical commentary or academic study that argues that Thomas’s words in John 20:28 apply in context to the Father rather than to Jesus. The reason is simple: John prefaces what Thomas said with the words, ‘Thomas answered and said to him’ (v. 28a NASB). This seemingly redundant wording reflects a Hebrew idiomatic way of introducing someone’s response to the previous speaker. John uses it especially frequently, always with the speaker’s words directed to the person or persons who have just spoken previously in the narrative (John 1:48, 50; 2:18-19; 3:3, 9-10, 27; 4:10, 13, 17; 5:11; 6:26, 29, 43; 7:16, 21, 52; 8:14, 39, 48; 9:11, 20, 30, 34, 36; 12:30; 13:7; 14:23; 18:30; 20:28). It is therefore certain that Thomas was directing his words to Jesus, not to the Father. No one, of course, would ever have questioned this obvious conclusion if Thomas had said simply ‘My Lord!’ It is the addition of the words ‘and my God’ that have sparked some creative but untenable interpretations of the text.”

“John’s conclusion, at which he wants his readers also to arrive, that Jesus is the Son of God (20:30-31) is not at odds with understanding Thomas’s statement in John 20:28 as a model of confession of Jesus as Lord and God. In the prologue as well, John insists that Jesus is both God (1:1, 18) and the Son of God (1:14, 18). As D. A. Carson has observed, ‘This tension between unqualified statements affirming the full deity of the Word or of the Son, and those which distinguish the Word or the Son from the Father, are typical of the Fourth Gospel from the very first verse.’Those who find these descriptions of Jesus impossible to reconcile without denying or diminishing one in favor of the other are laboring under the assumption or presupposition of a unitarian view of God (i.e., the view that God can only be a solitary person).” (Robert M. Bowman Jr. & J. Ed Komoszewski, Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ [Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI 2007], Part 3: Name Above All Names: Jesus Shares the Names of God, 12. Immanuel: God with Us, pp. 142-143)


To make this even more clear New Testament Exegete Rob Bowman in his debate makes several compelling arguments that "God" here cannot be taken to be "god" in a lesser sense:

There is essentially no controversy among biblical scholars about the fact that in John 20:28 Thomas is referring to and addressing Jesus when he says, “My Lord and my God!” The reason is simple: John prefaces what Thomas said with the words, “Thomas answered and said to him” (v. 28a), that is, to Jesus. It is therefore certain that Thomas was directing his words to Jesus, not to the Father. Of course, no one would ever have questioned this obvious conclusion if Thomas had said simply “My Lord!” It is the addition of the words “and my God” that have sparked some creative but untenable interpretations of the text, such as Margaret Davies’s tortured explanation that “my God” referred to the Father while “my Lord” referred to the Son (Rhetoric and Reference in the Fourth Gospel[1992], 125-26). 
The Biblical Unitarian website’s explanation is no more plausible. It asserts that the term “God” (theos) “was a descriptive title applied to a range of authorities” and that “it was used of someone with divine authority.” The article makes no attempt to demonstrate exegetically that such a weaker sense fits the context. Thomas’s words echo statements addressed in the Psalms to God, especially the following: “Wake up! Bestir yourself for my defense, for my cause, my God and my Lord!” (Ps. 35:23; cf. 5:2; 84:3). These words parallel those in John 20:28 exactly except for reversing “God” and “Lord.” More broadly, in biblical language “my God” can only refer (on the lips of a faithful believer) to the Lord God of Israel. The language is as definite as it could be and identifies Jesus Christ as God himself... 
It is quite true that in ancient Jewish literature generally theos could apply in various contexts to creatures. However, biblical examples of the singular theos (as distinguished from plural references to theoi which by definition could not be misunderstood as references to YHWH) applied in an approving way to a creature are rare and arguably nonexistent in the Bible. 
Even more to the point in John 20:28, there are no examples where “my God” applies approvingly in biblical literature (or even extrabiblical Jewish literature, to my knowledge) to anyone other than the true God YHWH, unless you count Jesus himself as the one exception. The expression “my God” (theos mou) occurs about 148 times in the Greek Bible (including the Apocrypha) and not one of those occurrences refers to a created being (whether human or angelic) except for a couple of verses where a prophet mocks the pagan who worships an idol as “my god” (Is. 44:17; Hab. 1:11). If we expand (as we should) our search to all uses of the singular noun theos with personal pronouns (my, your, his, her, our, their), we find about 1,135 occurrences, and not one occurrence refers approvingly to anyone or anything other than the LORD God. (There are about 14 occurrences of “my god,” “his god,” “your god,” etc., all in reference to patently false gods or idols.) If you want to look for such expressions using the plural “gods” (theoi) I believe you will find that all such expressions (“our gods,” “their gods,” etc.) refer to false gods or idols. (I did a quick check and there are perhaps 50 or so such occurrences.) 
This is rather overwhelming evidence in support of the point I made in my second-round statement here that when a faithful Jew called someone “my God” he was uniformly referring to the true God who was the Creator and Lord of all things. You cannot negate this evidence by referring to passages referring to angels or judges collectively as “gods” or to noncanonical works that call a figure such as Melchizedek “god.” 
Ironically, in denying that Thomas was identifying Jesus as the one true God, you are really negating a core confessional point of the Shema, which is that the people of Israel confessed that YHWH alone was their God: “The LORD our God [ho theos hēmōn], the LORD is one” (Deut. 6:4). Thomas uses this language with the singular pronoun “my” instead of “our” in referring to Jesus as “my God.” 
You asked, “Did you provide evidence Thomas is using either ‘God’ or ‘Lord’ from Psalm 35:23, as claimed?” I did not claim that Thomas was consciously citing Psalm 35:23 specifically. My point was that Thomas used language that clearly echoes Psalm 35:23, whether deliberately or not. It doesn’t really matter, because we have over a thousand OT texts in which biblical writers and speakers referred to the LORD as “my God,” “our God,” “your God,” and so forth, and never approvingly applied such language to anyone or anything else. But the allusion to Psalm 35:23 is more likely than not. As I pointed out, the whole statement of Thomas directly parallels Psalm 35:23, as follows: 
ho theos mou kai ho kurios mou (Ps. 35:23 [34:23 LXX] 
ho kurios mou kai ho theos mou (John 20:28) 
In addition, there is something highly suggestive in Psalm 35:23 that appears to confirm the allusion. The Psalmist who is addressing “my God and my Lord” asks him to “be raised up” (exegerthēti, aorist passive imperative): 
“Be raised up, Lord, and attend to my case, my God and my Lord!” 
And of course, in the context of Thomas’s cry, he has just realized that Jesus Christ was indeed “raised up” from the dead! So perhaps the allusion was intentional. In any case, the uniform usage of “my (his, your, our, their) God” to refer exclusively to Israel’s God YHWH makes it explicit that Thomas’s words “my God” also identify Jesus as the LORD God. 
You wrote: “Thomas knew the Messianic use of ‘kyrios’ (Psalm 110) and the OT Jewish use of ‘theos’ (Psalm 82:6) so where is the evidence for his departure from customary usage?” I have just answered that question, rather exhaustively. Neither Psalm 82:6 nor any other biblical text (nor any other Jewish text, to my knowledge) ever refers to a creature as “my God.” And you have provided no exegetical evidence whatsoever that either Psalm 82:6 or 110:1 is the textual background for John 20:28. Certainly you have offered nothing even remotely comparable to the apparent allusion to Psalm 35:23! (source)

The following quotes from scholars supplement all of these arguments:

Another interpretation, associated with the names of Theodore of Mopsuestia and Faustus Socinus, proposes that Thomas's cry was an exclamatory statement, expressing his astonishment and his praise to God for the miracle of the resurrection of Jesus: "Praise (or, glory) be to my Lord and my God!" Accordingly, ho theos mou sheds no light on the view of Jesus held by either Thomas or the evangelist. 
Insuperable objections attend this Socinian interpretation. (1) It renders the preceding (apekrithe ... kai eipen) auto (= Jesus) inexplicable (cf. Bauer 227). Why would John (or Thomas) introduce an indirect expression of praise to the Father by a phrase that directs the ex hypothesi praise to Jesus? The least he might have expressed in this case would be something like eipen auto Eulogetos ho kurios mou kai ho theos mou (cf. Ps. 17:47 LXX [Engl. 18:47]; 143:1 LXX [Engl. 144]); eipen auto, Ho kurios mou kai ho theos mou touto epoiesen (cf. Matt. 13:28); or eipen auto, Ho kurios mou kai ho theos mou, hos megale he dunamis sou (cf. Rom. 11:33). (2) It is clear from the me after heorakas in verse 29a and the parallelism between pisteusantes in verse 29b (where eis eme must be inferred) and pepisteukas in verse 29a that eis eme (or a phrase of similar import) is to be supplied with pepisteukas. Verse 28 is therefore most naturally understood as an expression of Thomas's belief in the risen Jesus as his Lord and God. (3) All the previous uses of ho kurios in John 20 (viz., vv. 2, 13, 18, 20, 25; cf. v. 15) refer to Jesus. In the literary artistry of the chapter, there seems to be a marked progress in meaning (but not in referent) from Mary Magdalene's ho kurios mou (v. 13) to Thomas's ho kurios mou kai ho theos mou (cf. v. 17). (4) The preceding and following verses emphasize the relationship of Thomas to Jesus: legei to Thoma (v. 27), legei auto ho 'Iesous (v. 29). It would be unlikely that the oratio recta that follows the intervening apekrithe Thomas kai eipen auto (v. 28) would not be directed to Jesus. (Harris, Jesus As God: The New Testament Use of "Theos" in Reference to Jesus [Baker Academic, A Division of Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI, July 1998 Paperback], pp. 108-109)
And:
Thou shall not take the name of the Lord God in vain,.... Make use of the name Lord or God, or any other name and epithet of the divine Being, in a light and trifling way, without any show of reverence of him, and affection to him; whereas the name of God ought never to be mentioned but in a grave and serious manner, and with an awe of the greatness of his majesty upon the mind. The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan restrain this to swearing by the name of the Lord; and so the Jewish writers generally interpret it either of swearing lightly, rashly, or falsely; and to this it may very well be extended, though not limited; and so forbids, as all profane oaths; imprecations, and curses by the name of God, which the mouths of wicked men are full of, so swearing by it in matters trivial, and of no importance; for swearing even by the name of the Lord ought not to be used but in matters of moment and consequence, for the confirmation of a thing, and putting an end to strife, and where a matter cannot be determined and decided without an appeal to God. And great care should be taken that a man swears to that which is true, and not false; for false swearing, or perjury, is a very grievous sin, and as it is strictly forbidden, it is severely punished by the Lord, as follows; see Leviticus 19:12, this is the third command, and the reason enforcing it follows: 
for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name is vain; will not look upon him as an innocent person, and treat him as such; will not acquit and discharge him as just and righteous; but on the contrary will consider him as a guilty person, a profaner of his name, and a transgressor of his law, and will condemn and punish him, if not in this world, yet in the world to come; and so the Targum of Jonathan, by way of explanation, adds, "in the day of the great judgment;" see Malachi 3:5. (John Gill's Exposition of the Bible, Commentary on Exodus 20:7)
And:
My Lord and my God (Ho kurioß mou kai o qeoß mou). Not exclamation, but address, the vocative case though the form of the nominative, a very common thing in the Koin‚. Thomas was wholly convinced and did not hesitate to address the Risen Christ as Lord and God. And Jesus accepts the words and praises Thomas for so doing. (Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament; Online source
And:
#17. John 20:28: On the Sunday evening one week after Easter Jesus appears to Thomas and the other disciples, causing Thomas to confess HIM as "My Lord and my God." This is the clearest example in the NT of the use of "God" for Jesus. HERE JESUS IS ADDRESSED AS "GOD" (a nominative form with definite article, which functions as a vocative). The scene is designed to serve as a climax to the Gospel: As the resurrected Jesus stands before the disciples, one of their number at last gives expression to an adequate faith in Jesus. He does this by applying to Jesus the Greek (Septuagint) equivalent of two terms applied to the God of the OT (kyrios, "Lord," rendering YHWH; and theos, "God," rendering 'Elohim). The best example of the OT usage is in Ps. 35:23, where the psalmist cries out: "My God and my Lord." It may well be that the Christian use of such a confessional formula was catalyzed by the Roman empror Domitian's claim to the title "Lord and God" (dominus et deus noster). (Brown, Introduction to New Testament Christology [Paulist Press; Mahwah, NJ 1994], pp. 188-189
And:
Verse 28. My Lord and my God. In this passage the name God is expressly given to Christ, in his own presence and by one of his own apostles. This declaration has been considered as a clear proof of the divinity of Christ, for the following reasons: 
1st. There is no evidence that this was a mere expression, as some have supposed, of surprise or astonishment. 
2nd. The language was addressed to Jesus himself-- "Thomas-- said UNTO HIM." 
3rd. The Saviour did not reprove him or check him as using any improper language. If he had not been divine, it is impossible to reconcile it with his honesty that he did not rebuke the disciple. No pious man would have allowed such language to be addressed to him. Comp. Acts 14:13-15; Revelation 22:8,9. 
4th. The Saviour proceeds immediately to commend Thomas for believing; but what was the evidence of his believing? It was this declaration, and this only. If this was a mere exclamation of surprise, what proof was it that Thomas believed? Before this he doubted. Now he believed, and gave utterance to his belief, that Jesus was his Lord and his God. 
5th. If this was not the meaning of Thomas, then his exclamation was a mere act of profaneness, and the Saviour would not have commended him for taking the name of the Lord his God in vain. The passage proves, therefore, that it is proper to apply to Christ the name Lord and GOD, and thus accords with what John affirmed in John 1:1, and which is established throughout this gospel. (Barnes' Notes on the New Testamentonline source)
 The NET Bible translators note that:
52sn Should Thomas’ exclamation be understood as two subjects with the rest of the sentence omitted ("My Lord and my God has truly risen from the dead"), as predicate nominatives ("You are my Lord and my God"), or as vocatives ("My Lord and my God!")? Probably the most likely is something between the second and third alternatives. It seems that the second is slightly more likely here, because the context appears confessional. Thomas’ statement, while it may have been an exclamation, does in fact confess the faith which he had previously lacked, and Jesus responds to Thomas’ statement in the following verse as if it were a confession. With the proclamation by Thomas here, it is difficult to see how any more profound analysis of Jesus’ person could be given. It echoes 1:1 and 1:14 together: The Word was God, and the Word became flesh (Jesus of Nazareth). The Fourth Gospel opened with many other titles for Jesus: the Lamb of God (1:29, 36); the Son of God (1:34, 49); Rabbi (1:38); Messiah (1:41); the King of Israel (1:49); the Son of Man (1:51). Now the climax is reached with the proclamation by Thomas, "My Lord and my God," and the reader has come full circle from 1:1, where the author had introduced him to who Jesus was, to 20:28, where the last of the disciples has come to the full realization of who Jesus was. What Jesus had predicted in John 8:28 had come to pass: "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he" (Grk "I am"). By being lifted up in crucifixion (which led in turn to his death, resurrection, and exaltation with the Father) Jesus has revealed his true identity as both Lord (?????? [kurios], used by the LXX to translate Yahweh) and God (?e?? [qeos], used by the LXX to translate Elohim (Source)

Dr Sebi has cured AIDS and almost every sicknesss under the sun


Debate challenge

This is a debate challenge directed to Keith Thompson and a Paltalk member that goes by the name Answering Judaism. We challenge you guys to a debate on Paltalk and the topic will be is universalism biblical.  It will be a two on two debate, we will give you guys 3 days to respond to this challenge.

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