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JESUS Christ the son, Creator of all things


 

 The Bible presents overwhelming evidence for the full deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (e.g., Dan. 7:9-14; John 1:1; 8:58; 20:28; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:3, 8; etc.). Further, the NT presents the Person of the Son as the very object of divine worship (e.g., Dan. 7:14; Matt. 14:33; John 20:28; Heb. 1:8; Rev. 5:13-14). In addition to these verifiable proofs of the Son’s deity, the NT shows that the Son was the very Agent[1] of creation.  

 

For if the Son were the actual Creator of all things, that would mean that He 1) existed before time, thus, He was not a “part” of creation, 2) co-existed with the Father, and hence, 3) is a distinct Person alongside of the Father, as co-Creator. Passages such as John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17; and Hebrews 1:2 and 10 exegetically affirm this important truth.

 

John 1:3: “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” In the prologue of John (vv. 1-14), note the verbal contrast between all things created or that had origin (signified by the verb egeneto, “came to be”; cf. vv. 3, 6, 10, 14) and the eternal divine Word (signified by the verb ēn, “was”; vv. 1, 2, 4, 9).[2]

 

In verse 3, we see the creative activity viewed as one event in contrast to the continuous existence in verses 1 and 2 (cf. Robertson, Grammar, 5:5). The phrase panta di’ autou (“all things through Him”) denotes the role of the Logos in relation to God the Father and the world. What intensifies the argument even more is John’s usage of the Greek preposition dia (“through”) followed by the genitive autou (“Him”). This is a very significant aspect as to the exegesis of the passage. In Greek, dia followed by the genitive clearly indicates “agency” or “means.”[3] The Apostle John communicates in a comprehensible way that the Son, the eternal Word, who was “with” the Father (1:1), is the Creator of all things.

 

Colossians 1:16-17: “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things and in Him all things hold together.” Despite the biblical simplicity, Oneness teachers, such as David Bernard, attempt to circumvent the biblical truth that the Son is indeed the Creator of all things:

 

Perhaps these scriptural passages have a deeper meaning that can be expressed as follows: Although the Son did not exist at the time of creation except as the word in the mind of God, God used His foreknowledge of the Son when He created the world. . . . The plan of the Son was in God’s mind at creation and was necessary for the creation to be successful. Therefore, He created the world by the Son (emphasis added).[4]

 

This is blatant eisegesis. Bernard’s assertion is clear: passages that speak of the Son as the Creator mean that when the Father created all things, He merely had the “plan of the Son” in mind or in view, that is, “God used His foreknowledge of the coming Son when He created the world.” Bernard’s conclusion assumes unitarianism and disallows normal exegesis.

 

First, Colossians 1:13-15 clearly differentiates Jesus from the Father. These verses contextually prohibit the Oneness notion that Jesus is both the Father and the Son: “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He [the Son] is the image of the invisible God [the Father].” Second, consider also that Paul’s main purpose for writing the book of Colossians was to provide a meaningful refutation of the Gnostic “spirit” vs. “matter” (which they saw as inherently evil) philosophy. The Gnostic system did not allow for Jesus to be the Creator of something as evil as “matter.” Hence, Paul provides a clear anti-Gnostic polemic by firmly demonstrating that Jesus the Son of God did in fact create all things.

 

Note the clear and forceful way Paul presents his argument: “By Him [en autō] all things [panta] were created . . . all things [panta] have been created through Him [di’ autou] and for Him [eis auton]. He is before all things [pantōn], and in Him all things [panta] hold together” (emphasis added). The following grammatical aspects pointedly codify Paul’s argument:

 

1. Along with John 1:3, Paul employs the neuter plural panta (“all things”), which indicates that the Son was the actual Creator of all things. Paul’s use of the articular panta (i.e., with the article, lit., “the all things”), rather than the more popular terms such as pas or pan, shows the unlimited sense of “the all things.” Paul also uses the neuter panta in Romans 8:28: And we know that God causes all things [not a part of all things] to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Hence, Jesus created all things, not merely a part of all things as the Jehovah’s Witnesses will assert, but rather all things unlimited.    

 

2. Paul utilizes three different Greek prepositions to amplify his affirmation that the Son was the Creator: All things were created “by/in Him” (en + dative in vv. 16 and 17); “through Him” (dia + genitive in v. 16); and “for Him” (eis + accusative in v. 16).

 

3. Finally, as with John 1:3, what immediately demolishes the “Son in view” theory asserted by Oneness advocates is the fact that Paul specifically states that “all things” were created “through [dia] Him [autou]” (viz., the Son). As observed, when the preposition dia is followed by the genitive autou, it grammatically reveals that the Son was the Creator Himself. There is no stronger way in which Paul could have articulated that the Son was the actual Agent of creation.[5]

 

If Paul wanted to convey the idea that the Son was merely “in view” of the Father or an absent instrument of creation, as Oneness teachers assert, he would not have used dia followed by the genitive. Rather, he would have exclusively used dia followed by the accusative, but he does not.[6] The Oneness theological assumption that the Son was not the Agent of creation, but merely in view of creation, cannot stand grammatically or contextually—it changes the intended meaning of the text and ignores the chief theme of Paul’s letter.

 

Hebrews 1:2, 10: “In these last days [God the Father] has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. . . . And, ‘YOU, LORD, IN THE BEGINNING LAID THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH, AND THE HEAVENS ARE THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS.’” The prologue of Hebrews annihilates the unitarian position regarding its rejection of the pre-existence (and deity) of the Person of the Son, Jesus Christ. In this prologue the full deity and unipersonality of the Son is clearly expressed (esp. vv. 3, 8). Relative to the pre-existence and creatorship of the Son, verses 2 and 10 adequately communicate both truths. As with John 1:3 and Colossians 1:16-17 (and 1 Cor. 8:6), verse 2 affirms that the Son was the Creator. In this passage we find again the preposition dia followed by the genitive: “In these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom [di’ hou] also He made the world” (emphasis added).

 

Contextually, the main line of evidence that the author presents, which promptly affirms the Son’s creatorship, is the well defined contrast between created things (viz., angels and the heavens and the earth) and the eternality of the divine Son (cf. vv. 2-3, 8-10). In verse 10, the author (quoting the Father) applies Psalms 102:25-27 (LXX) to the Son. This is very significant because (a) the Psalms are a reference to Yahweh and (b) the Father is speaking to the Son, differentiating Himself from the Son (esp. in light of vv. 8-9). The referent to the pronoun su, (“You”) at the beginning of verse 10 (kai su, “and You”) is back in verse 8: “But of the Son He [the Father] says.” Irrefutably, it is the Son whom the Father directly addresses.

 

Conclusively, the prologue of Hebrews is one of the most theologically devastating prologues in the entire NT for unitarian groups. Not only does the prologue affirm the deity and eternality of Jesus Christ, the Son, as well as the distinction between the Father and Jesus, but also it clearly presents the Son as the actual Agent of creation, the Creator Himself.

 

John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17; and Hebrews 1:2, 10 demonstrate exegetically that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the Creator of all things.

 

Note: Oneness teachers along with other unitarian groups (esp. Jehovah’s Witnesses and Muslims) argue that the Son could not have been the Creator because passages such as Isaiah 44:24 and 1 Corinthians 8:6 teach that God the Father alone created all things. However, as consistently pointed out, these groups assume a prior theological commitment: unitarianism or unipersonalism—namely, seeing God as one Person. The doctrine of the Trinity, in contrast to a unitarian assumption, teaches that God is one undivided and unquantifiable Being who has revealed Himself as three distinct co-equal, co-eternal, and co-existent Persons. The three Persons share the nature of the one Being. Thus, as fully God, it can be said that the Father is the Creator (cf. Acts 17:24); the Son is the Creator (cf. John 1:3; Col. 16-17; Heb. 1:2, 10); and the Holy Spirit is the Creator (cf. Gen. 1:2; Job 33:4). The one God is indivisible and inseparable (cf. Deut. 6:4; Isa. 45:5).

 

Therefore, passages like Isaiah 44:24, which speak of God creating by Himself and alone are perfectly consistent with Trinitarian theology. Again, the three Persons are not three separate Beings; they are distinct self-conscious Persons or Selves sharing the nature of the one Being. Unless one clearly realizes what the biblical doctrine of the Trinity actually teaches, the doctrine will be confounded and misrepresented as Tritheism.

 

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich [as to His glory in His pre-existence], yet for your sake He became poor [as to His incarnation], so that you through His poverty [humbling Himself, becoming man for the purpose of His atoning sacrifice] might become rich [to “become the righteousness of God”; 2 Cor. 5:21] (2 Cor. 8:9; emphasis added).


 

NOTES

 

[1] In the NT, agency is commonly expressed in three ways: ultimate agency (apo, hupo, para, + the genitive), intermediate agency (dia + the genitive), and impersonal agency (i.e., that which the agent uses to perform the act (en, ek + the dative; cf. Wallace, GGBB, 431-32).

[2] The term translated “was” is the imperfect ēn (from eimi, “[I] am”). The imperfect denotes an ongoing past action. Thus, John 1:1a indicates that in the beginning, the Word was already existing—He had no beginning. Note here the contrast between ēn (denoting the Son’s eternality, vv. 1, 2, 4, 9) and egeneto (from ginomai, denoting all things created, vv. 3, 6, 10, 14). Not until verse 14 is egeneto used of Jesus: “The Word became [egeneto] flesh.” The same verbal contrast is found in John 8:58: “Before Abraham came to be” (ginomai) vs. “I Am” (eimi).      

[3] Cf. Greenlee, Exegetical Grammar, 31; Wallace, GGBB, 368; Bauer, BDAG, 225).

[4] Bernard, The Oneness of God, 116-17.

[5] In 1 Corinthians 8:6 and, as discussed below, in Hebrews 1:2, dia is followed by the genitive signifying the Son as the Agent of creation. 

[6] Although Paul does use the accusative case in verse 16 (auton), he uses it after the preposition eis meaning “for” or “because of” and not after dia.