“But of that day or hour NO ONE KNOWS, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone”

Unitarians, esp. Muslims and JWs use this passage (among others) to show Jesus is not God. 

First, throughout the OT and NT, Christ is presented as ontologically truly God and truly man (Exod. 3:6, 14; Isa. 9:6; Dan. 7:13-14; John 1:1, 18; 5:17-18; 8:58; 20:28; Rom. 9:5; 10:9-13; Phil. 2:6-11; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:6, 10-12; 2 Pet 1:1; Rev. 1:7-8; 22:13). His claim to be God were unambiguous (Mark. 14:61-64; John 5:17-18; 8:24, 58 et al.; 10:30; Rev. 1:7-8; 22:13; etc.).       


So was Jesus ignorant of His Return?  

The simple response has to do with the verb oiden (“knows”). Instead of ignorance (Jesus not “knowing”), we see the verb oiden (perfect form of eidō) in a “preeminent sense” in that, the verb oiden takes the force of the Hebrew stem hiphil. Verbs with the hiphil has a causative or declarative sense. Thus as here: “I make known, cause, promulgate, declare.”  


In 1 Cor. 2:2, the same verb is used in this sense, where Paul states: “I determined ‘to know’ (eidenai from eidō) nothing among you but Jesus Christ and him crucified,” that is, I cause or determined to make known, nothing among you, but Jesus Christ.

So in light of the verb oiden (“to know”) taking the force of the Hebrew stem hiphil (as in 1 Cor. 2:2), the literal sense would be: “But of that day and that hour none can cause or declare to you to KNOW (that is, none has authority) to cause to make known— not the angels, neither the Son, but, preeminently, the Father alone—He will reveal or declare it.

Therefore, in Mark 13:32, the verb takes the force of the Hebrew hiphil stem (causative or declarative sense)—i.e., in a “preeminent sense” (as in 1 Cor. 2:2). Thus, the Son “knows” the day and hour of His return, but the one who will make known, cause, promulgate, or declare is the Father alone. A proper exegesis erases any notion of the Son being ignorant of His return. 

“To them belong the patriarchs, and from them, by human descent, came the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever! Amen” (Rom. 9:5, NET).




“In Him”

1 Cor. 1:30: “But it is due to Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.”  

Rom. 8:1: “Therefore there is now no condemnation at all for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

2 Cor. 5:17, 21: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, this person is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin in our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Eph. 1:4: “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.”


The ἐν (“in”) + the dative construction was a favorite linguistic formula of the Apostle Paul. For example (NA28th), ἐν αὐτῷ (“in Him”) appears 23 times and ἐν Χριστῷ (“in Christ”) appears 73 times in his literature.[1]

As with all prepositions, the meaning of preposition ἐν is determined by its object, which in Paul’s formula is either singular dative nouns such as Ἀδὰμ (“Adam”), σαρκὶ (“flesh”), νόμῳ (“law”), πνεύματι (“Spirit”), Κυρίῳ (“Lord”), or the singular dative pronoun, αὐτῷ (“Him”). Note that when Christ is the object of ἐν (“in Him,” “in Christ,” “in the Lord,” etc.),[2] a few views have been suggested among standard scholarship as to the semantic of the dative in the prepositional phrase.   

For example, dative of sphere (i.e., locative, “in the realm/sphere of”); instrumental dative (i.e., dative of means/instrument, “by means [instrumentally] of”), and a couple other semantic views have also been posited. Wallace (GGBB) points out, that the dative expressing sphere is a frequent usage especially with ἐν + the dative, as in Eph. 1:4, “Just as He chose us in Him [ἐν Κυρίῳ] before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love.”

However, it seems that the predominant meaning (i.e., of scholarly opinion, e.g., Lightfoot, TDNT, NIGTC et al.) of Paul’s ἐν + the dative formula, when referring to Christ (or other persons in the Trinity) denotes “in union with Christ,” that is, being identified and unified with Him in His life, death, and resurrection. Consistent to Paul’s Adam-Christ antithesis, which is well exampled in such passages as 1 Cor. 15:22, where Paul’s ἐν + the dative formula denotes “in union with”: “For as in [union with] ADAM [ἐν τῷ Ἀδὰμ] all die, so also in [union with] CHRIST [ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ] all will be made alive.” Turner sees that “Adam is a representative man ‘in’ whom all mankind was viewed. . . . But the instances with en are predicated of Christ or the Gospel and mean ‘in the sphere of’” (cf. Matt. 3:11; Gal. 3:27; 1 Cor. 12:13). 

Many other passages in Paul’s literature, which involve the ἐν + the dative formula, denote union or identification with Christ in contrast to condemnation, sin, law, flesh, etc. For example, Romans 6:11: “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God IN CHRIST [ἐν Χριστῷ]; 8:1: “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are IN CHRIST [ἐν Χριστῷ] Jesus.”

In this sense, men walk to two territories, either “in Christ” or “in Adam, in the flesh.” Union and identification with one or the other. Being “in Christ,” therefore, is tantamount to being in union with Him. So Lightfoot observes, “ἐν Χριστῷ, i.e. ‘by virtue of our incorporation in, our union with, Christ.’” It is in that sense, then, that as the old man is ἐν ‘Αδάμ and the Jew ἐν νόμῳ, the believer are ἐν Χριστῷ. So Eadie rightly says, “Believers were looked upon as being in Christ their federal Head, when they were elected.”

Further, note the contrast of being ἐν σαρκὶ (“in [the] flesh”) and being “in Christ/“in the Spirit” with emphasis on the indwelling of the Spirit in Rom. 8:9: “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” Thus, being ἐν Χριστῷ is set in contrast to being ἐν ‘Αδάμ (“in Adam”) in 1 Cor. 15:22 and being found ἐν Χριστῷ is set in contrast to being ἐν νόμῳ (“in the Law”) in Phil. 3:6-9.


The ἐν + the dative formula (esp. Paul’s near exclusive use of ἐν Χριστῷ) undeniably expresses the love that God the Father has for believers, which is shown by His electing them to the adoption of sons placing them in union with His Son (Eph. 1:4-5). Paul’s ἐν + the dative formula linguistically denotes “in union with Christ,” that is, being identified and unified with Him in His life, death, and resurrection. Hence, Paul can say, “Therefore I, the prisoner ἐν κυρίῳ [‘in the Lord,’ not, ‘of the Lord’]” (Eph. 4:1). Paul also uses this signifying formula to denote the unbreakable union believers have with the Father and the Spirit—viz. union and identification with the triune God.    


[1] Aside for three places in Peter, ἐν Χριστῷ appears only in Paul.

[2] Ἐν αὐτῷ, ἐν Χριστῷ, ἐν Κυρίῳ.

Yet another “new” translation is here! In light of the growing biblical illiteracy among professing Christians, “new” biblical translations that attempt to “dumb down” and/or smooth out so-called rough edges to an already doctrinally suffocated church only perpetuates the problem. Although not technically a translation, but merely a “new” version of the KJV, which, as the publishers state, “restored the name Jehovah 6,972 times into the text [OT & NT] of the King James Bible.” Also, comparable to the claims of the Watchtower (JWs), the publishers falsely and groundlessly claim, “Almost every translator in the past 400 years has or have removed the Divine Name from ‘their’ Bibles.” Of course, what they mean here is that the so-called divine name “Jehovah” was removed.

Another similarity to the Watchtower is that the names of the DNKJB publishers are purposefully unidentified. However, they claim no affiliation with any religious origination. Although, in the FAQS section on their official website (http://www.dnkjb.net/faq_dnkjb_online.htm) under the title, “Does the name Jehovah have acceptance among the world of Bible Scholars?” the publishers actually provide the Watchtower in their list of “Bible Scholars.”

The main problem with the DNKJB assertion (as with the NWT) is two-fold

1. Aside from the fact that the English term “Jehovah” is a recent invention (the letter “J” was completely unknown until the fourteenth century) and is a badly mistransliterated form of the Tetragrammaton (YHWH), there are NO extant Greek NT manuscripts that contain the Tetragrammaton—not one. So, the baseline supposition of the DNKJB publishers that the Tetragrammaton (in any form, esp. “Jehovah”) was removed from the NT is entirely unjustified. However, unlike the NWT, in the NT, the DNKJB places “Jehovah” in parentheses next to a capitalized “LORD.” Further, where the NWT replaces “Lord” with “Jehovah” 237 times in the NT, the DNKJB publishers only sees merit for doing so in 128 places (and in parentheses).

But the fact is, when translating the OT Hebrew Tetragrammaton, the NT authors (and the LXX) would typically use Kurios (“Lord”; e.g., Matt. 4:7, 10; 21:9; Mark 1:3; Rom. 10:13; Heb. 10:16 et al). Even more, passages such as Romans 9:29 and James 5:4 put to rest the entire starting premise of the DNKJB publishers (and NWT). For in these passages, both Paul and James cite the book of Isaiah (Paul cites Isa. 1:9 and James, Isa. 5:9) where Isaiah uses the phrase, “LORD of hosts.” But note, both NT authors transliterate in Greek (not translate) the Hebrew term for “hosts/armies” (Gk. Sabaōth), but not so for YHWH. Instead, both authors use the Greek Kurios in their translation of the Hebrew Tetragrammaton: Kurios Sabaōth. (“Lord of Sabaoth”). And,

2. The DNKJB (as with the NWT) is constantly inconsistent. While the publishers pride themselves on restoring the so-called “Divine Name” (“Jehovah”) into the NT, they neglect many significant places where a NT author cites an OT passage containing the Tetragrammaton. Note the following examples of a few DNKJB renderings:

Romans 10:9: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Verse 13 is a citation of Joel 2:32, which contains the Tetragrammaton. Thus, the rendering of verse 13 in the DNKJB is “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the LORD (Jehovah Jol 2:31,32 2 Ti 2:19) shall be saved” (embolden theirs).

Note that the “Lord” (Kurios) that saves in verse 13 is contextually the same “Lord” that Paul just mentioned in the previous verse (“for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him,” v. 12), who is the same “Lord” in verse 9—namely, Jesus. The same is true with the pronoun “Him” in verses 9, 11, and 12—where Jesus is the clear antecedent. Hence, both “Him and “Lord” from verses 9 to 13 refer to Jesus. So, Jesus is the Lord [YHWH] of Joel 2:32 (as Paul declares in 10:13), who saves all who call upon Him. Yet the DNKJB is inconsistent to its translation principle of “restoring” “Jehovah” at verse 9. If it were, then, the DNKJB would read: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the LORD (Jehovah) Jesus. . . .”

1 Peter 3:14-15: “But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts. . . .” (emphasis added). This is a citation from Isaiah 8:12-13. Note how the DNKJB renders part of Isaiah 8:13: “Sanctify Jehovah of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread” (embolden theirs). In the Critical Greek edition of the NT (viz. NA28/UBS5), Peter applies Isaiah 8:12-13 to Christ—namely, He is the YHWH whom should be sanctified. In fact, Peter even uses the same term (in the same form,—aorist imperative) as does the LXX of Isaiah 8:13, hagiaste (“to treat as holy, set apart, sanctify”). But, as with Romans 10:9, the DNKJB is not consistent in its translation principle at 1 Peter 3:15, even though 1 Peter 3:14-15 is a citation from Isaiah 8:12-13, which contains the Tetragrammaton.

Philippians 2:10-11: “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow. . . . 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” This is a citation from Isaiah 45:23, which, in part, the DNKJB renders: “That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. (Rom 14:11).” Clearly, in Philippians 2:10-11, Paul’s sees Kurios Iēsous Christos (lit., “Lord Jesus Christ”) as the YHWH and thus, the fulfillment of the future prophecy of Isaiah 45:23.

To substantiate this, Paul not only alters the original tenses (future indicatives) in both Isaiah 45:23 (LXX) and Romans 14:11 to aorist subjunctives in Philippians 2:10-11, but also places Kurios (“Lord”) in the “emphatic” position (i.e., first word in the clause). But yet the DNKJB does “restore” “Jehovah” in Philippians 2:11 where Paul applies the Isaiah prophecy of YHWH to Christ. For if the DNKJB were consistent, verse 11 would read: “every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is LORD (Jehovah Is. 45:23)” as they did with Romans 14:11: “For it is written, As I live, saith the LORD, (Jehovah Isa 49:18; Isa 45:21-23 ) every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”

Hebrews 1:10: “And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands. . . .” Hebrews 1:10-12 is a citation from the LXX of Psalm 102:25-27 (LXX, 101:26-28). Note the DNKJB rendering of Psalm 102:25: “Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.” Here, the antecedent of the pronouns (“thou,” “thy”; LXX, su and sou) is YHWH (cf. Ps. 102:1, 12, 19, 22). In Hebrews 1:10, the Father directly addresses the Son as the YHWH of Psalm 102, the unchangeable Creator of the heavens and the earth (note the vocative kurie [“Lord”] appearing in both Heb. 1:10 and the LXX of Psalm 102:25 [101:26]). Although Hebrews 1:10-12 is a citation of Psalm 102:25-27—referring to YHWH (“Jehovah” throughout Ps. 102 in the DNKJB)—the DNKJB neglected to keep faithful to its translation principle of restoring the so-called name “Jehovah.” Again, as with the above examples, if the DNKJB were consistent, the beginning of Hebrew 1:10 would read: “And, Thou, LORD (Jehovah Ps. 102:25), in the beginning. . . .”


These and other examples show, as like the NWT, the DNKJB publishers (as with the NWT) are inconsistent to its policy of restoring the so-called Divine Name “Jehovah” into the NT. However, we are not suggesting that the DNKJB publishers share the same view as the JWs—for they do not. Passages rendered in the DNKJB such as John 1:1; 8:58; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:8; etc. are unchanged from that of the KJV in terms of accurately affirming the full deity of Christ.

But again, the fundamental problem here is the false premise held by the DNKJB publishers: “Almost every translator in the past 400 years has or have removed the Divine Name from ‘their’ Bibles.” In light of the vast number of biblical translations out there, the last thing that the church needs today is more translations. The church is starving for doctrine, not more translations. The DNKJB is an unreliable translation that prolongs a faulty view regarding the transmission of the NT text in the areas discussed above. While diligent pastors and teachers strive and labor devoting time and energy to the task of trying to elevate Christians doctrinally, encouraging them to be informative and “thinking” Christians, the erroneous views of the DNKJB, as with KJV Onlyism, obstruct that endeavor.

— Dr. Edward Dalcour