The Trinity Delusion An exposé of the doctrine of the Trinity

Hebrews 1:6

And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, "Let all God's angels worship him."

The Trinitarian Claim

Trinitarians claim this passage means that all God's angels were to worship the incarnated infant Jesus and this worship indicates he is God.


The Claim vs. The Facts

The facts show that the verse refers to the risen Jesus, the firstborn out of the dead, and the angels must bow down to him because he became positionally superior to them when he sat down at the right hand of God.


The Problem with the Claim

1. Oikoumene: Not planet earth but "the world to come"

Trinitarians very seriously blunder at Hebrews 1:6, where they perceive the incarnation is in view when they read the words, "when God brings his firstborn into the world." Here they imagine their own incarnation theology into the text.

The normal Greek word for "world" is "kosmos." This is not the Greek word used here. The word used at Hebrews 1:6 is oikoumene and it means something like a "community" or a "population" in a large scale sense, an economy of people. It is where we get our English word "ecumenical" and is a cognate of the word oikonomia where we get our English word "economy." The Greeks used this word in a way similar to our English word "population" or "community" as a reference to a large group of people. Oikoumene comes from the words oikos which means "dwelling" and the present passive participle of oikoumenos from oikeos which means "to inhabit/dwell," "to reside." The cognate word oikonomos is usually translated as "household."

Oikoumene is often translated very loosely as "world" into English since we really do not have an exact equivalent word in English to match the Greek. But the English word "world" can be very misleading here since it leads some people to think it refers to planet earth. But at Hebrews 2:5, the writer explicitly tells us what he means when he uses this word, "For not to angels did He subject the coming oikoumene, about which we are speaking." He tells us plainly that he is not referring to this geographical earth but the "world to come," the heavenly economy of God and His angels.

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven. (Hebrews 12:22-23).

Now it gets very, very interesting at this point. The word oikoumene is derived from oikonomia which is from oikonomos, "household" from oikos "house." Now if we look at Hebrews 3:1-5, we will note that the writer emphasizes that Jesus has been appointed as ruling steward of God's household. Indeed, the passage says Jesus was faithful to God who made (poieo) him. The reference here is to God who made him flesh and blood, lower than the angels. Hebrews 1:14, indicating angels are servants, is intended to contrast between servanthood and sonship just as Moses was a servant and Christ a Son (also see Hebrews 2:16). The writer tells us that because Jesus was faithful, God appointed him the stewardship of ruling over God's household and as such he is over the angels who are simply servants of that household. As the risen Jesus is greater than Moses, Jesus is greater than the angels. So what is intended here is the household of God and his angels in heaven.


2. Firstborn: Jesus is the Firstborn out of the Dead

At Hebrews 1:5, the writer quotes the second Psalm, "You are my Son, Today I have begotten you." He is referring this Psalm to Jesus Christ's resurrection when Jesus was begotten/born out of the dead. The very same idea is found at Acts 13:30-36 which says:

God raised him from the dead and for many days he appeared to those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, the very ones who are now his witnesses to the people. And we preach to you the Good News of the promise made to the fathers, that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, just as it is also written in the second Psalm, "You are My son; Today I have begotten you." As for the fact that He raised him from the dead, no longer to return to corruption, He has spoken in this way: "I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David." Therefore He also says in another Psalm, "You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.’ For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers and saw corruption but he whom God raised did not see corruption. (Acts 13:30-36; see 2:27)

Basic reading comprehension shows us that Paul is obviously telling us that the second Psalm, "Today I have begotten you," was fulfilled when God raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus is the firstborn out of the dead (Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5) and for that reason he is the "firstborn of many brothers" (Romans 8:29). He is the first to be begotten out of the dead. For that reason, the second Psalm, "Today I have begotten you" was fulfilled when he rose from the dead.

In the same way as Acts 13:33, it is rather obvious that Hebrews 1:5 refers to Jesus' resurrection.

Having made purification of sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than them. For to which of the angels did He ever say, "You are My son, Today I have begotten You"? And again, "I will be a Father to him and he will be a son to Me”?

The entire chapter is about Jesus' and his exalted resurrection glory. He is the firstborn out of the dead and that is what is meant by "firstborn" in verse 6, "when He brings His firstborn into the world." This is also what is meant when the writer quotes 2 Samuel 7:14, "I will be a Father to him and he will be a son to Me. This is true because Jesus is the firstborn out of the dead.


3. "Jesus is worshiped therefore Jesus is God"

The third error with the Trinitarian claim concerns the Greek word proskyneo. This is the word translated as "worship" or "bow down" in most translations. Trinitarians commonly claim this would not occur to Jesus unless he is God. This is simply an outright lie. It is not true that proskyneo "worship" of Jesus therefore means he is God. There are all kinds of examples in the New Testament, and the Greek translation of the Old Testament, which prove that proskyneo "worship" was not something which was appropriately only given to God. Despite these plain facts, Trinitarians continue to perpetuate this falsehood.

In the Bible, proskyneo "worship" was something you did before any higher authority. Because God is a higher authority, people gave God proskyneo "worship." Because angels were a higher authority, Lot gave him proskyneo "worship." Because King David was a higher authority, their Lord, the Israelites gave him proskyneo "worship" (1 Chronicles 29:20; 1 Kings). There are many, many examples in Scripture of people giving proskyneo "worship." It would even be appropriate to give proskyneo "worship" to a teacher because you respect his teaching authority.

Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie - I will make them come and worship (proskyneo at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you. Revelation 3:9

Analysis of the Facts

1. When He brings His firstborn into the world

Jesus is the "firstfruit" of those who have risen from the dead (1 Cor 15:23). The facts show that the words "when He brings His firstborn into the world" refer to God bringing His risen son into the heavenly economy of heaven with God and His angels. Jesus is the firstborn out of the dead and the writer also tells us explicitly that he is talking about the "world to come." Therefore, his words obviously mean that he is referring the second Psalm, "Today I have begotten you," to the risen Jesus who sat down at God's right hand. God brought his firstborn, the risen Jesus, into the world to come, the heavenly economy of God and His angels.


2. When Jesus became superior to the angels

Having made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than them.

The reason the angels are to bow down before Jesus is given right here in the immediate context. The reason they must bow down to him is because he become superior to the angels when he sat down at the right hand of God. But he was not always superior to the angels. Before his resurrection he was lower than the angels. Jesus had previously been inferior to the angels but is now crowned with glory and honor.

It has been testified somewhere, "What is man that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that You care for him? You made him a little lower than the angels, you have crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands. You have put everything in subjection under his feet." Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing that is not subject to him. But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. (Hebrews 2:6-10).

The writer here quotes Psalm 8 which refers to men in general who are made a little lower than the angels. Being one of these men, Jesus was just like us having been made a just a little lower than the angels (see 2:14,17). Notice carefully that Jesus the human being was made lower than the angels but because of the suffering of his death he is now is crowned with glory and honor, a reference to the risen Jesus. And the writer further clarifies this by saying all things were put in subjection to him who had suffered death for everyone. That includes the angels and this is why the angels must bow down to the risen and glorified Jesus.

All authority has been given to me in heaven and upon the earth. Matthew 28:18.

[Jesus] is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, angels and authorities and powers having been subjected to him (1 Peter 3:22).

He raised him from the dead and He seated him at His right hand in the heavenlies, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named. Ephesians 1:20-21.

The man Jesus, son of David, was placed above all angelic rule when God seated this man at His right hand. All angelic rule was subjected to Jesus when he sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For that reason, the angels must now bow down to him. He had become superior to them (1:4).


Conclusion

The facts show us beyond any doubt that the writer is referring to God bringing Jesus into the heavenly economy. He tells us explicitly that he is speaking about the "world to come." And because God seated Jesus on His throne at His right hand giving him all authority in heaven and earth, the angels must bow down before Jesus due to his new authority. He had become superior to them. The angels don't bow down to Jesus because he is God; they bow down to Jesus because he became a superior authority to them when he sat down on God's throne at His right hand.

[Jesus] is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, angels and authorities and powers having been subjected to him (1 Peter 3:22).


Last Update/Revision: March 21, 2016


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