DID YESHUA THE MESSIAH

Have a Pre-Carnal Existence? - Chapter 7

Part II – The Enhanced Public Debate Presentation

 

By Larry Acheson

 

A Response to Chuck Henry’s book

Trinity, Oneness, Duality, and Pre-Existence

 

 


 

 

VII.  Philo and the Logos

       

  

N

ot only does Chuck’s understanding of Logos as “the Plan” not match up with the Apostle John’s  testimony, but neither does it come close to agreeing with first-century Jewish believer Philo.  As we are about to see, Philo had the same understanding that the Apostle John had.  Should that get our attention?  Yes, it should, but regrettably, during the public debate I had with Chuck, he was too busy attempting to discredit Philo to either notice or appreciate this fact.  We’ll deal with Chuck’s ad hominem attack[1] on Philo later.

      For now, let’s take a brief look at who Philo was.  As I just mentioned, he lived during the first century.  He dwelt in Alexandria, Egypt and was so well-respected by his fellow Jews that when legalized massacres (“pogroms”) were carried out against his fellow Jews in that city, they chose him out of the 100,000 plus Jews living there to plead their cause in Rome before Emperor Gaius Caligula.[2]  Let’s face it:  If Philo’s views had not echoed those of nominal Judaism, they would not have chosen him to be their representative for a matter of life and death.  This is an important consideration in our quest for historical understanding of ancient Jewish belief and practice during the first century.  Nevertheless, such an impressive résumé won’t stop Chuck from attempting to paint Philo as a pagan philosopher.  In spite of Chuck’s views to the contrary, hopefully the above background information will serve to vindicate Philo or at least it should help to remind us that a man should be considered innocent until proven guilty. 

      Philo was born several years before Yeshua was and he died approximately 20 years after Yeshua’s resurrection.  As such, he was contemporary with Yeshua.  However, since Alexandria is over 300 miles from Jerusalem, and Philo only made one pilgrimage to Jerusalem, the two most likely never crossed paths.  If their paths crossed, there is no record of it.  Philo didn’t even mention Yeshua in any of his extensive writings, so there’s no evidence that he even knew who Yeshua was

      Again, as I lay my foundation here, it is important to bear in mind the fact that Philo and Yeshua lived during the same time period. Philo was also contemporary with the Apostle John.  This means there was no such thing as a “New Testament” book available for Philo to read.  It didn’t exist yet!  Nevertheless, Philo knew about the WORD – the Logos – and he wrote that the Logos is the Creator.  He wrote, “Now the image of the Almighty is the Logos, by which all the world was made.”[3]  (Isn’t that essentially the same thing the Apostle John wrote?)

      As stated by Philo, the “Word” – the Logos – is the image of the Almighty by which the world was made.   This does not sound like a “Plan” to me.

      Of course, I don’t expect Biblical Unitarians to accept Philo’s testimony, and as it turned out, during my debate with Chuck, he went to great lengths in an attempt to discredit Philo.  I wasn’t as prepared for his “smear job” as I should have been, so I am compelled to compensate for my lack of preparation here in this study.  Given that Biblical Unitarians reject Philo’s testimony, the question becomes, “Will they accept the Apostle John’s testimony?”  After all, both men’s testimonies are virtually the same!  I’ve found that the answer is no, but of course, instead of running a smear campaign against the Apostle John, we find that, once again, Biblical Unitarian Chuck Henry chooses to reinterpret John’s words, force-fitting them into Biblical Unitarian doctrine. 

      Let’s recap:  John says it’s the Logos who created the world.  But wait!  That’s what Philo wrote and Philo didn’t even know who Yeshua was!  He just knew that the Logos is the Creator.  Let’s just suffice it to say I don’t think it was a “PLAN” that created the world.  The “Logos” is not the “PLAN.”  The Logos is the Creator, just like John wrote and just like Philo wrote! 

 

Colossal Misinterpretation of Colossians 1

      Let’s review what I just presented:  By “whom” did Philo believe the world was made?  Was it the Supreme Most High Elohim or was it the Logos?  And did Philo consider the Logos to be the image of the Almighty or did he consider the Logos to be “the Plan”?  The answer is quite obvious:  Philo considered the Logos to be the medium through which the world was made and this same Logos was more than a “Plan” – it’s the image of the Almighty.  Philo, by the way, wasn’t the only Jewish believer to consider the Logos as the “image of the Almighty.”  Please notice what the Apostle Paul had to say about the “image of the Almighty” in Colossians 1:12-18: 

12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.

15 Who is the image of the invisible Elohim, the firstborn of all creation:

16 For by 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 by him, and for him:

17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

18 And he is the head of the body, the assembly: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

      Please notice that the Apostle Paul refers to Yeshua as “the image of the invisible Elohim.”  Not only did the Apostle Paul agree with Philo that the Logos is the “image of the Almighty,” but Philo also shared Paul’s view that the Logos is the “Firstborn of all creation,” as we will see shortly.  Frankly, I am persuaded that the above passage offers an excellent summary of “who” Yeshua is, even though the word Logos doesn’t appear in the text.  It is so clear, in fact, that the only option Biblical Unitarians can apparently come up with to give it a “non-pre-existence” slant is to attribute it, not to Yeshua being the firstborn of all creation, but rather to Him being the “firstborn of the resurrection” in approximately 31 ce, when He became the “Firstborn from the dead.”  I’ll address this Biblical Unitarian contention in greater detail shortly; first, however, let’s take a look at what Philo wrote about the Logos in his treatise On the Confusion of Tongues: 

And even if there be not as yet any one who is worthy to be called a son of Theos [Elohim], nevertheless let him labour earnestly to be adorned according to His First-born Word (Logos), the eldest of His Angels, as the great Archangel of many names; for He is called, the Authority, and the Name of Elohim, and the Word (Logos), and Man according to Theos’ [Elohim’s] image, and He who sees Israel.[4]

      What did we just read?  “Firstborn Logos” … “Eldest of the Angels” … “the Authority” … “Name of Elohim” … “Man according to Elohim’s image” … “He who sees Israel” –  It is difficult to read the above and not believe that the author most likely never even knew who Yeshua was.  The above passage from Philo is loaded with messianic overtones that not only perfectly fit our understanding of Yeshua the Messiah, but they also fit what both the Apostles John and Paul wrote about Him.  Let’s compare what Philo wrote with what John wrote.  Philo wrote that the Logos is Elohim’s firstborn son, the “eldest of His Angels.”  John wrote that Yeshua is the “Beginning of the creation of Elohim” (Revelation 3:14): 

14 And unto the angel of the assembly of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of Elohim

      Is it possible that the “First-born Word, the eldest of Elohim’s Angels” is the same Person as “the Be-ginning of the creation of Elohim”?  Wouldn’t the “eldest of the Angels” be the First-born?

      But let’s not forget what the Apostle Paul wrote about Yeshua in Colossians.  In addition to pointing out that Yeshua is the “Firstborn of all creation,” Paul wrote that Yeshua is “… the image of the invisible Elohim.”  “Image of the invisible Elohim”?  Isn’t that what Philo wrote?  Yes, Philo informs us that the Logos is the image of the Almighty by which all the world was made.[5]

      Let’s review what we’ve learned thus far about the Logos (“the Word”) of John 1:1.  According to John, the Logos was with Elohim in the beginning and the Logos was Elohim.  According to Philo, the Almighty’s first-born Word (Logos) is the eldest of His angels.  In John 1:3, written in reference to the Logos, John specifies that all things were made by Him.  Philo agreed with John and wrote, “Now the image of the Almighty is the Word (Logos), by which all the world was made.”  Not only does Philo specify that the Logos is the image of the Almighty, but that’s what the Apostle Paul says about Yeshua in Colossians 1:15:

 15 Who is the image of the invisible Elohim, the firstborn of all creation:

      In view of how John agrees with Philo and Philo agrees with the Apostle Paul, I am at a loss as to how anyone could reach any conclusion other than Yeshua being the Logos, the Beginning of all creation and the Image of Elohim.  Nevertheless, Biblical Unitarians don’t see things that way.  Chuck Henry, aware of the fact that Colossians chapter 1 plainly reveals Yeshua as the “Firstborn of all creation,” is compelled to interpret “Firstborn of all creation” as representing the “Firstborn of the new creation,” i.e., the post-resurrection, which Yeshua ushered in at His resurrection in approximately 31 ce Displayed below is an excerpt from page 462 of Trinity, Oneness, Duality, and Pre-Existence:[6]

      Summary of the above:  Chuck Henry emphasizes that the context of Paul’s opening chapter to the Colossian believers is limited to the “post-resurrection” and the “new creation.” So, according to Chuck, when Paul refers to Yeshua as “the Firstborn of ALL creation” in verse 15, what he meant was NOT “the firstborn of all creation,” but rather the firstborn of the “new” creation that Yeshua ushered in at His resurrection in approximately 31 ce.  This, then, is another case of the Bible author stating one thing, but Chuck Henry telling us the author means another thing.  Paul says, “ALL creation,” but Chuck says he meant “NEW creation.”  Of course, “all creation” must of necessity be inclusive of the beginning of time as we know it.  Since that understanding doesn’t fit Biblical Unitarian theology, Chuck is left to conclude that “all creation” actually meansnew creation.”  It’s his only option – or else the doctrine fails.  Is Chuck’s claim a Biblical Unitarian revelation or is it a Biblical Unitarian spin

     All I know is, it makes my head spin just trying to explain what Biblical Unitarians believe Paul “really meant” in Colossians chapter one.  Nevertheless, since that’s what they do, we are compelled to look into the Biblical Unitarian claim.  Get ready to wrestle with some mental gymnastics as we sift through Biblical Unitarian explanations and sort out the truth. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Addressing Colossians Chapter 1:  Biblical Unitarian Revelation

or Biblical Unitarian Spin?

         I did not initially intend to give a detailed analysis here of my understanding of Colossians 1:12-18 because my goal was to limit the scope of this chapter to the Logos.  However, as it turns out, Colossians chapter one is very relevant to the Logos discussion, even though the word Logos doesn’t appear within those particular verses.  This, then, may be the best time and place to address Chuck Henry’s claim that when the Apostle Paul writes that Yeshua is “the first-born of all creation,” he actually meant the “the firstborn of the new creation.” Prior to examining Chuck’s claim, I suggest carefully reading the entire chapter of Colossians chapter one through an unbiased lens.  Once you’re satisfied you understand the gist of what Paul attempted to con-vey to the Colossian believers, then check out Chuck’s commentary to see if his reasoning is sound or if it’s a spin based on extreme bias, i.e., interpreting all Biblical texts through a Biblical Unitarian lens. 

        Indeed, I have grave concerns with Chuck’s exegesis that I feel need to be considered before forming a conclusion one way or the other.  First, he nonchalantly expresses the view that the context of Colossians chapter 1 pertains to the “post-resurrection,” to which I reply, “Oh, really?”  I had never formed such an impression in all my years of Bible Study, nor had I ever heard of such a view until I read his book, which means Chuck’s understanding certainly does not represent the consensus of scholars.  Such being the case, I’m not sure it’s wise to state things in such patronizing fashion, as though it’s a given that his observation offers the only plausible insight into the Apostle Paul’s intent.  Did no one understand what Paul meant until Chuck came along? 

        As it turns out, I am persuaded that from both a contextual and grammatical perspective, the Apostle Paul is not speaking of the post-resurrection in Colossians chapter one. Rather, he speaks of the reward that the faithful have qualified for, offering a glimpse at what lies ahead for the faithful few.  If the context of Colossians chapter one is the “post-resurrection,” then why not just declare the context of all Scripture to be “post-resurrection,” since the hope of all believers is to make it to the Kingdom? 

        Second, a careful analysis exposes the primary flaw in Chuck’s reasoning.  The key is verse 12, where we are told that the Father has “made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.”  What does “made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” mean?  It means the Father has qualified us to be partakers.[7]  If we’re qualified to be partakers of the inheritance, does that automatically put us in the “post-resurrection” time frame?  Absolutely not.  We’re not there yet!  As part of the promise given to those who qualify for the inheritance, the Father “hath delivered” us from the power of darkness.  He “hath translated” us into the kingdom of His dear Son, which means it’s “as good as done.” These all collectively comprise the reward given to those who have qualified for it.  This passage does not take us to the “post-resurrection” time frame; rather, it has us looking towards it. 

        This brings us to verse 14, where the verb tense changes.  Paul had been using the aorist verb tense (an ancient Greek tense denoting a “past” action) within phrases such as ἱκανώσαντι (“hath made us meet”), ἐρρύσατο (“hath delivered us”), and μετέστησεν (“hath translated us”); in verse 14, he transitions from the aorist verb tense to the present tense.  He goes from telling us about the rewards that Yahweh “hath made us meet to be partakers of” to describing the “dear Son” (v. 14-15).  Here Paul uses the present tense: We have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  He is the image of the invisible Elohim, the Firstborn of every creature.  Paul’s remarks here do not reflect an understanding that he’s referring to a “post-resurrection” setting/time frame at all!  Again, in explaining that the Father has qualified us, Paul employs the aorist tense; for his description of the “dear Son,” Paul uses the present tense.  Any attempts to place the context of this passage at “post-resurrection” can only be based upon a preconceived bias, not sound reasoning. 

        The verb tense changes again in verse 16 and once again, the shift does not place the context of Paul’s message within the “post-resurrection” time frame.  In the midst of using the present tense to describe Yeshua, i.e., “He’s the image if the invisible Elohim, He’s the firstborn of every creature,” Paul abruptly switches back to the aorist tense:                                                                                                                                  

16 For by (ἐν) 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 by (δι’) him, and for (εις) him: 

        No matter how you slice it, Paul is not talking about a “post-resurrection” in the above passage.  Rather, he goes right along with the Apostle John, who likewise states that “all things were made by Him [the Logos]” (John 1:3), aorist tense Of course, Paul also goes along with Philo, who wrote, “Now the image of the Almighty is the Logos, by which all the world was made” (again, aorist tense). 

        Let’s consider for a moment Chuck’s rationale in determining that the context of Colossians chapter one is “post-resurrection.”  In normal, everyday conversation, time-frame references constantly change.   One minute we’re talking about how much we enjoy spending time with our grandchildren, the next minute we find ourselves reminiscing about our own grandparents and the things they did with us.  My favorite childhood memory of my great-grandparents was the day they took my siblings and me to a park for a simple picnic.  I love simple things like that!  I hope to see my great-grand-parents again in the Kingdom.  Does this mean the context of my commentary here is “post-resurrection”?  Not at all.  The context is relationships.  The relationship with my grandchildren in the present; the relationship with my great-grandparents in the past, culminated by the hope of a relationship in the future.  Time has very little, if anything, to do with the context:  It’s the relationships

        I’m afraid Chuck mistakenly cross-associates “Firstborn of all creation” in verse 15 with “Firstborn from the dead” in verse 18, then assumes the latter proves the context.  Apparently, he feels that both “firstborn” references must tie in to the same event and since the second reference occurred around the year 31 ce, that must be the time reference of the initial “firstborn” reference.  This reasoning is simply absurd and should rightly be considered an insult to his readers’ intelligence.  I maintain that the first “firstborn” reference points to “firstborn of all creation,” just as Paul says.  The word “all” means “the whole of,” which includes EVERYTHING involved with the creation of this world and its inhabitants.  “All things created,” then, must of necessity go back in time to the creation event, not some time later.  The second “firstborn” (v. 18) refers to Yeshua being the first one resurrected to eternal life.  Contrary to Chuck’s reasoning, they cannot both refer to the same event.  Please consider the following analogy:  Neil Armstrong is known as the first man to walk on the moon.  But did you know he also performed the first-ever docking with another spacecraft?  From context, we can assume that both “firsts” were achieved during the same mission to the moon, right?  Wrong.  The spacecraft with which Armstrong docked was not the lunar module, instead, it was an unmanned spacecraft known as the Agena Target Vehicle, which was used by NASA during its Gemini program.   This first-ever successful docking maneuver took place in March 1966, over three years before Armstrong walked on the moon.  Thus, the context of the two “firsts” has nothing to do with the time reference; it’s about the man who achieved the “firsts.” 

        In the same way, the true context of Colossians chapter one is the hope we have through Yeshua the Messiah, combined with how we as believers should accordingly walk It’s not about the “post-resurrection,” even though the post-resurrection, i.e., eternal life with Yahweh, His Son and all saints, is indeed our ultimate goal. 

        If we can understand that Paul, in Colossians chapter one, is referring to Yeshua as the One who created “all things” in the past, we can similarly understand that when he refers to Yeshua as “the Firstborn of all creation,” then that’s exactly what he meant It happened in the past, as in before time as we know it existed. 

 

By Him or For Him?

 

        If we can understand that the Apostle John clarified his own description of the Logos in Revelation 19:13 when he straightforwardly identifies Yeshua as the Logos, then we can similarly understand that not only is Yeshua the Logos, but He is Elohim, the Firstborn of the Supreme Most High Elohim.  Moreover, it becomes clear that all things were made by Him and for Him, just like it says in Colossians 1:16 and just like it says in Ephesians 3:8-9: 

8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of the Messiah;

9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in Elohim, who created all things by Yeshua the Messiah.

         What is the “fellowship of the mystery”?  For Biblical Unitarians, it’s a Plan that had been hidden since the beginning of the world, a Plan that came to fruition with the birth of Yeshua.  For me, I see a parallel between the Messiah of Ephesians 3:8-9 and the Son of man mentioned in the Book of Enoch, who existed in secret, whom the Most High preserved in the presence of His power and revealed to the elect in these last days (Book of Enoch, ch 61:10).  He was hidden, but now He’s been revealed. 

        Not only is this same understanding vividly presented by the likes of the Apostle John, the Apostle Paul and Philo, but notice this same, exact connection is made by the author of Hebrews in the very first chapter: 

1 Elohim, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by (δι’) whom also He made the worlds;

3 Who being the brightness of His splendour, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

   Biblical Unitarians attempt to dissect the phrase “by whom also He made the worlds,” claiming that it could just as easily been translated “for whom also He [i.e., the Supreme Most High Yahweh] made the worlds,” using the same rationale that they use for such verses as Colossians 1:16 and John 1:10.  Displayed below is John 1:10: 

10 He was in the world, and the world was made by (δι’) him, and the world knew him not. 

Of course, if the world was made by Yeshua, this destroys Biblical Unitarian doctrine, so in an effort to validate their belief that Yeshua did not have a pre-carnal existence, they teach that this verse could have been translated “… the world was made for (δι’) him ….”  Here’s an excerpt from page 384 of Trinity, Oneness, Duality, and Pre-Existence:[8]

      Please notice that Chuck uses the Greek word dia in his reference to Greek word #1223 in Strong’s Greek Dictionary.  The actual Greek word found in the text of John 1:10 and other pertinent verses referred to in this discussion is δι’, which is a shortened form of the word διὰ, and means the same thing.  Briefly stated, in Greek the word διὰ is shortened to δι’ when the following word begins with a vowel.[9]  It is true, as Chuck presents elsewhere in his book, that the Greek word διὰ has “very wide applications” and can actually be translated as either “by” or “for,” depending on context (or a translator’s bias).[10]  Since διὰ can be rendered either way, if we had no other verses in the Bible to turn to in our attempt to determine whether the world was made by Yeshua or for Yeshua, I would have to concede that Chuck offers a valid point with his commentary above. 

      Chuck offers the same explanation for the Greek word dia in Hebrews 1:2 that he uses above for John 1:10.  In fact, it’s nearly word-for-word.  The following is an excerpt from page 476 of Trinity, Oneness, Duality, and Pre-Existence:[11]

      Chuck feels the problem with the common English translation of δι’ in verses such as John 1:10 and Hebrews 1:2 is that the Greek word δι’ could have been translated “for” instead of “by.”  Please notice he didn’t state that δι’ should have been translated “for,” yet obviously that is the only translation option that will work if he’s to satisfy his Biblical Unitarian belief.  If the translation of most Bible versions is correct – that the world was made BY Yeshua – Biblical Unitarian doctrine collapses.  The collapse becomes inescapable when we review Colossians chapter one with the understanding that Chuck’s attempt to superimpose a “post-resurrection” context to that chapter is a colossal exegetical error. 

      We have already demonstrated that, contrary to Biblical Unitarian claims, there is no “post-resurrection” context to Colossians chapter one, and certainly not in Colossians 1:16, where we read that all things were made “by Him and for[12] Him,” leaving no doubt that Yeshua is both the Maker and Benefactor of all things created.  Let’s take another look at this pivotal verse:

16 For by (ν) him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and in-visible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by (δι’) him, and for (εις) him:

     Biblical Unitarians make a “big deal” out of the fact that the Greek word dia can be translated “for,” but they run into a snag with Colossians 1:16 because if they apply their reasoning to that verse, the phrase would read, “…all things were created for (δι) him, and for (εις) him,” which they know is nonsensical.  Such a translation produces an enigma so huge that they are compelled to either creatively amend the translation or dredge up an alternate explanation of that verse in order to take their doctrine off of life support.  Otherwise, this one verse is so clear, so distinct in expressing the truth that all things were made by Yeshua that their doctrine disintegrates.  How do Biblical Unitarians explain away such a clear verse?   Well, as I just mentioned, some Biblical Unitarians resort to creatively amending the translation.  Here’s how The Book of Yahweh, published by The House of Yahweh, Abilene, TX, renders this verse: 

16 Because before Him all things were created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or rulerships, or principalities, or powers; all things were created on account of Him, and for Him.[13] 

As biased as the above rendering of Colossians 1:16 is, it turns out the words the translator chose can, depending on context, be translated as presented above.  Take the word he translated “before,” for example.  It is translated from the Greek word ἐν, which can indeed mean “before”; however, there is a critical difference.  This particular Greek word is used in relation to position, not time For example, in Acts 5:27, “They set them before (ἐν) the council.”  The New Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon devotes over three pages to covering the various applications of ἐν, and it does not mention its meaning “before,” as in “order of time.”  Complicating things is the fact that ἐν can be used “with the notion of time,” but no examples are listed of its being used to denote “prior time.”  Instead, we find in, on, at, during, in the meantime, while, when, and after that.”[14]  The word ἐν, therefore, is nowhere translated “before” as in “beforehand” or “prior to” except in rogue versions such as The Book of Yahweh.[15]  In summary, if we must accept the word “before” as a correct translation of ἐν, it needs to be understand in the same context of ἐν as used in Acts 5:27, which would mean that all things were created before Him, as in “in front of Him,” i.e., “in His presence.” 

     The House of Yahweh’s version further complicates the translation of Colossians 1:16 with their translating the Greek word δι’on account of” instead of “by.”  I’m guessing the novice Bible reader doesn’t grasp the contradiction presented in this verse by translating δι’ as “on account of.”  First, please remember that “by” is by all admission a correct translation of the word δι’.  Second, δι’ can be translated “for,” but so is the other word in the clause “by Him and for (εις) Him,” so it doesn’t make sense to have two different Greek words translated as the same English word, i.e., “for (δι’) Him and for (εις) Him.”  Faced with this translation dilemma, the House of Yahweh translator chose a clever alternative:  “ … on account of Him, and for Him.” 

     Please consider the redundancy of the above translation.  “On account of” and “for” are synonymous terms.  In other words, they are two ways of saying the same thing in our English language.  If I do something “on account of you,” I do it “for you.”  If you obey your mother’s directive to clean your room, you do it “on account of” your mother, which means you do it “for” her.  If all things were created “on account of” Yeshua, they were created “for Him.”  So let’s be real here:  The House of Yahweh translator may as well come out and type “all things were created for Him and for Him.”  It wouldn’t necessarily be an incorrect translation, but it would certainly be odd and most critical thinkers would know the translator fudged what the original author was attempting to convey to his fellow Colossian believers. 

     Thus faced with the option of either getting as creative as The House of Yahweh or coming up with some alternative way of explaining Colossians 1:16, Biblical Unitarian Chuck Henry apparently sees no other option for defending his doctrine than placing the context of Colossians 1 in the future, and teaching his constituents that “all things created” in verse 16 can only be a reference to the “new creation.”  So yes, Chuck apparently agrees that Yeshua is the Creator of all things — but not until after the resurrection!? 

     An honest, forthright review of Colossians chapter one validates believing that Yeshua is the image of the invisible Elohim and that He’s the Firstborn of all creation.  Not only is He the Firstborn of the Supreme Most High Elohim, but He also created all things that are in heaven and in earth.  He is before all things and by Him all things consist.  Not only is He the head of the body, but He is both the Beginning and the First-born from the dead, giving us the hope of one day joining in His resurrection.  We have al-ready debunked the notion that the context of Colossians 1 is “post-resurrection”; nevertheless, Biblical Unitarians, satisfied with their futuristic interpretation of this chapter, feel justified in teaching their constituents that the phrase “by whom also He made the worlds” in Hebrews 1:2 could just as easily have been translated “for whom also He made the worlds.”  They also insist that John 1:10 could have been translated “…the world was made for Him” instead of “by Him.”  In spite of their objections to how these verses are translated in most Bibles, we have already exposed their “post-resurrection Colossians flaw,” which means Yeshua is indeed the Creator of all things, as in millennia ago.  In other words, we could stop right here and explain that the Apostle Paul’s commentary in Colossians 1:16 stops all arguments and this one verse, along with verses such as John 1:3, John 1:10 and Hebrews 1:2, validate that Yeshua is the Creator who “made all things.” 

     As I bring this chapter to a close, I’m incorporating a couple of slides that didn’t make it into my debate presentation because it would take too much time to read and weigh the answer to the questions asked within the headers.  It merits a careful reading with earnest answers to the questions.  In other words, if you’re a “skimmer” and you only skim these slides, I think you’ll miss an important key to determining which understanding of the Bible is correct.  Here’s they are

 

     According to Philo, He who is above the Logos, i.e., the Supreme Most High Elohim, exists in the best and in a special form – a form so pure and holy that nothing that comes into being can rightfully bear His likeness.    We are therefore made in the image of the Logos, His Firstborn Son, the Firstborn of creation.  And yes, He’s the “second Elohim,” a view that caught the attention (and drew the ire) of Biblical Unitarian Chuck Henry.  That’s what I cover in the next chapter. 

 


[1] Definition of ad hominem: 1 : appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect // an ad hominem argument. 2 : marked by or being an attack on an opponent's character rather than by an answer to the contentions made // made an ad hominem personal attack on his rival.”  Source:  Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 2020 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ad%20hominem.

[2] According to The Anchor Bible Dictionary, Vol. 1, article “Alexandria” by Birger A. Pearson, Doubleday, New York, NY, 1992, p. 153, “By the 1st century C.E. the Jewish population in Alexandria numbered in the hundreds of thousands.  Philo claims that in his time there were at least a million Jews in Egypt (Flacc 43), and a large proportion of these must have lived in Alexandria.”

[3] Cf., Philo, The Special Laws, I, XVI (81).

[4] Philo, On the Confusion of Tongues, XXVIII (146).  Note:  Philo composed his writings in the Greek language.  In his writings, Philo referred to the Almighty using the generic Greek equivalent, Theos.  Of course, the Hebrew equivalent is Elohim.  Contrary to what we read in the translations of his writings, Philo never referred to the Almighty using the name/title “God.”  This is an important consideration, as we will see later in my study.

[5] Philo, The Special Laws, I, XVI (81).

[6] Chuck Henry, , H.V. Chapman & Sons Bookbinders, Abilene, TX, 2018, p. 462.

[7] According to an NRSV footnote, “Other ancient authorities read called,” as in “… giving thanks to the Father, who has called you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.”

[8] Chuck Henry, Trinity, Oneness, Duality and Pre-Existence, H.V. Chapman & Sons Bookbinders, Abilene, TX, 2018, p. 384.

[9] I would compare shortening δια to δι’ to what we do with the indefinite article in English.  Do we use the word “an” or the word “a”?  It depends on whether or not the following word begins with a vowel sound. We might say, “The rock band’s song is a hit,” but “It’s an honor to meet you.”

[10]  Quoting from Strong’s Greek Dictionary’s listing for word #1223, p. 84.

[11]  Chuck Henry, Trinity, Oneness, Duality and Pre-Existence, H.V. Chapman & Sons Bookbinders, Abilene, TX, 2018, p. 476.

[12] The Greek word translatedforin Colossians 1:16 is εις which is word #1519 in Strongs Greek Dictionary.

[13] The Book of Yahweh, A House of Yahweh Publication, Second Edition, Abilene, TX, 1988.

[14] C.f., The New Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon, Joseph Henry Thayer, D.D., Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA, 1981 (originally published in 1889), pp. 212-213.

[15] Although his name is not mentioned in the Preface or elsewhere, David Verner was the primary translator and the “go to” person regarding translation inquiries.  He claimed to have studied Greek at one of the colleges located in Abilene, TX (McMurry University, I believe).  In 1989, when my wife asked him to show us a transcript validating his study of Greek, he refused.

       

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First Publication, June 28, 2020

Edited August 16, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

A Truth Seekers Publication

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This is the name of our Creator, Yahweh, sometimes called the Tetragrammaton.  It is given here in (A) the Phoenician script, (B) the Ivrit Kadum (Paleo-Hebrew) script, and (C) the Modern Hebrew script (a stylization of Aramaic).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

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