by K.N. Stovra
"Awaiting the blessed hope and glorious appearing
of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ"
In this passage, Trinitarians claim, with an appeal to the Granville Sharp Rule, that Paul uses the term "God" to refer to Jesus. They claim this rule necessarily indicates that Paul was referring to Jesus Christ as "our God and Savior." Therefore, one needs to carefully examine their application of the Granville Sharp rule in order to illustrate their error. Because Trinitarians are so blindly obsessed with advocating their Trinitarian version of this passage, they also fail to see the obvious Pauline theology he presents and make a number of interpretive errors here in addition to their misrepresentation of the grammatical nature of the message. The passage simply does not refer to Jesus as "our God and Savior" as we shall clearly see. The Trinitarian is correct in claiming that two persons are not in view in this passage, "the great God" and "our Savior Jesus Christ." He claims there is only one person, "Jesus Christ" and he is qualified by two descriptors, "God" and "Savior." There are indeed two descriptors which refer to one person in this passage. However, these two descriptors which refer to one person are not the two words "God" and "Savior" referring to the one referent "Jesus Christ." And this is the blunder of the Trinitarians.
The Greek Structure
The literal Greek structure is key to a proper interpretation and translation of this passage.
| of the
Notice Paul's literal words. The passage does not say, "the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior," nor does it say, "the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior." It says, "the appearing of the glory of the great God and Savior of us."
Discrepancies between Major Trinitarian Translations
Let us first look at how some other major translations, translate this passage:
looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." (ASV)
Looking for the blessed hope and coming of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. (Douey-Rheims).
the appearance of the glory of the great God and of our savior Jesus Christ. (NAB)
Carefully note how the above translations do not describe Jesus as "God." And now also notice how the above Trinitarian translations are quite different than the following Trinitarian translations.
looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus. (NASB).
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. (KJV).
awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. (RSV).
while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. (NIV).
The literal Greek text says, "awaiting the appearing of the glory of." Notice the KJV and NIV actually go to the pitiful lengths of changing the noun "glory" to the adjective "glorious" and have it modify the word "appearing." This completely changes the meaning of the passage from believers eagerly awaiting God's glory go believers eagerly awaiting the glorious appearing of God himself. It already becomes evident that Trinitarians are playing games with the Scriptures.
The Granville Sharp Rule
Now before we go any further we need to mention a key issue that you will hear Trinitarians ranting about. They will most certainly go on and on and on about something called the Granville Sharp rule and insist this rule governs a proper interpretation of the text. The Trinitarian will not only make this claim but also make the claim that his own application of this rule is necessarily the correct one. This is usually facilitated by avoiding any discussion on the correct interpretation and comparing his translation to straw man arguments (whether two persons are in view or not). But this is not all. Thinking people realize that such claims are quite naive and misguided. The books of the New Testament were written for the common people of that time and were intended to be understood by the average person without a need to study rules of Greek grammar. Any given Greek speaking person with an average reading ability was expected to be able to understand Paul's intent without resorting to a thorough investigation of the technical nature of the grammar in his message. When we consider this reality, it becomes a bit ludicrous to say an 18th century rule governs a proper interpretation of the text. However, we will take the Granville Sharp rule into serious consideration and also find that it does not win the case for the Trinitarian anyway. There are three definite articles in question in this passage and two conjuntions. As we shall see, the Trinitarian sorrowfully misapplies his own rule by correlating the wrong article with the conjunction.
The Granville Sharp rule states that when you have two nouns, which are not proper names (such as Cephas, or Paul, or Timothy), and the two nouns are connected by the word "and," and the first noun has the article ("the") preceding it while the second does not, both nouns are descriptors referring to the same person. The Rule takes the form: [definite article]-[noun]-[conjunction]-[noun]. In other words, the word "the" makes the two nouns joined by the article a unit describing one thing. An example in the Bible is "the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ." We are to understand there are not two persons in view here, (1) the Lord, and (2) the Savior Jesus Christ, but one person, the [Lord and Savior]: Jesus Christ. The one referent of both nouns is the person Jesus Christ. A common English example would be, "the Commander and President, George Bush." In that example, both "Commander" and "President" are preceded with only one definite article ("the") which precedes only the first noun but we are to understand that we are not speaking about two persons here but one person and both nouns refer to the same referent, that is, the person George Bush. So here it means, "the [Commander and President] = [George Bush]." So since the definite article appears here in Titus 2:13 prior to the first noun ("God") and not prior to the other second noun ("Savior"), the Trinitarian insists that the Granville Sharp rule demands that each term, "God" and "Savior," both refer to "Jesus Christ" because the phrase says, "the God and Savior of us Jesus Christ."
Now we will demonstrate why the Trinitarian translation is a complete blunder. First we will look at Paul's Greek grammar and then we will delve into Paul's theology.
The Grammar of Titus 2:13
There are actually three definite articles in view here and not one, (1) the blessed hope, (2) the glory, and (3) the great God. There is a definite article modifying the word "God" and there is a definite article modifying the word "glory." So, let us also consider the definite article "the" before the words "blessed hope" since it also is linked with the word "and" to the word "appearing." And if the two terms "blessed hope" and "appearing" are referring to the same person, we must inquire as to the identity of the referent.
|The Correlation Between the Definite Articles and the Conjunctions|
|THE1||Blessed Hope|| ||Glory||of||the great God|
|AND1||of THE2||AND2 || || ||Jesus Christ
|Appearing|| ||Savior||of ||us|
|The Referent - Jesus Christ|
|THE||Blessed Hope |
The referent of "the blessed hope and appearing" is necessarily Jesus Christ. The terms "the glory of the great God" and "Savior of us" are simply an additional description of Jesus. Paul wants to emphasize not only the blessed hope and appearing of Jesus Christ. He also wants to describe Jesus' appearing as the glory of the great God and as our Savior.
The Trinitarian Error
Now we will turn to examining and exposing the Trinitarian error. When the Scriptures say something like, "the Lord and Savior of us Jesus Christ," we know that it means Jesus is both our Lord and Savior and we do not suppose there are two persons in view, (1) the Lord, and (2) our Savior Jesus Christ. This is where the concept of the Granville Sharp rule kicks in. The definite article "the" refers to both terms, "Lord," and "Savior" and so the phrase is to be taken as "the [Lord and Savior]" where the article modifies both terms as one unit. We also assume the possessive term "of us" refers to both "Lord" and "Savior." Now in English, we can technically use the term "of us" but it is not the usual way for us to speak. We have specific possessive words in English such as "My," "Our," "His" and "Their." So if we say this in English, the definite article is dropped and we simply say, "our [Lord and Savior]: Jesus Christ." Thus, the Trinitarian concludes that the Titus 2:13 phrase, "the God and Savior of us Jesus Christ" in Titus 2:13 means Jesus is "our [God and Savior]." Hence, he concludes, we should not say, "the great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ," which can refer to two separate individuals, but the possessive term "of us" refers to both nouns and so it means, "the [God and Savior] of us, Jesus Christ," and so it should be translated as, "our God and Savior, Jesus Christ" meaning "our [God and Savior]: Jesus Christ." This is where the Trinitarian begins his misguided adventure. If in fact the possessive term "of us" is intended to modify two different terms, it is not referring to "God" and "Savior" but to the two terms, "the glory of God" and "Savior," that is, "God's glory," and "Savior." The main nouns in question are "Glory," and "Savior" not "God" and "Savior." Therefore, in such a case it should not say, "the glory of our [great God and Savior], Jesus Christ" but should instead say, "our [great God's Glory and Savior], Jesus Christ." In fact, the passage is not even saying God is appearing. It is saying God's glory is appearing. We are awaiting the appearing of our great God's glory and we are awaiting the appearing of our Savior. This is Jesus Christ.
The Trinitarian shell game really begins when he wishes to place the modifying English term "our." If in fact Paul had literally said, "the appearing of the great God and Savior, Jesus Christ," the Trinitarian would have a valid claim. It would effectively then be the same structure as, "the appearing of the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ." In such a case, we would understand that both terms "Lord" and "Savior" obviously refer to Jesus Christ. You will note that the Trinitarian agenda distorts the Greek to afford this interpreation when they take the noun "glory" and turn it into an adjective by an act of their own will and translate the passage as, "the glorious appearing of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ." If that is what Paul had said, then Paul would most certainly be saying that Jesus is our God and our Savior. But this is not what the passage says. It says, "the appearing of the glory of the great God" which is the same thing as saying, "the appearing of God's glory." And this is the catch.
The Trinitarian does not want the passage to say we are awaiting the appearing of (1) the glory of the great God [of us] and (2) [the] Savior of us. In such a case, the two terms which pertain to the one referent Jesus Christ are "God's glory" and "Savior." The Trinitarian wants to believe we are awaiting the appearing of the glory of (1) "the great God (of us)" and (2) "the Savior (of us)," and it is these two terms which pertain to the one person Jesus Christ. In effect, he must say we are awaiting the appearing of the glory of our [great God and Savior] = Jesus Christ. Hence, we are awaiting the appearing of the glory of Jesus Christ who is described as our "God and Savior." But is this the case? Is Paul saying that we are waiting for glory of Jesus Christ to appear, or, is Paul saying we are waiting for Jesus Christ to appear? If so, then we are awaiting our (1) great God's glory and (2) our Savior and these two descriptions pertain to the referent Jesus Christ. In effect, this interpretation would say we are awaiting the appearing of our [great God's glory and Savior]= Jesus Christ. This is what we must determine to see who is right and who is wrong.
The Trinitarian translation (which does not wrench the word "glory" into an adjective) has one thing appearing and that one thing is the glory of Jesus Christ. In their translation it is not a person who is appearing but the glory of Jesus Christ as "God and Savior" which is appearing. Their implied referent to "the blessed hope and appearing" is "the glory." The astute thinker will already see why he has erred miserably since it is clear that Paul is emphasizing the person Jesus Christ and not the glory of Jesus Christ. The correct translation has one thing appearing and that one thing is Jesus Christ the person. In the correct translation it is Jesus who is the blessed hope and the one appearing and Jesus is further described as "our great God's glory and Savior." In this translation Jesus Christ is the implied referent of "the blessed hope and appearing" and also of "the great God's glory" and "Savior."
Let us examine the Trinitarian error even more closely by laying out the structure which they necessarily must implement to make the passage work for them.
|The Correct Interpretation|
||Blessed Hope|| ||Glory||of||the great God|
|AND||of THE||AND|| || ||Jesus Christ|
|Appearing|| ||Savior||of ||us|
|The Trinitarian Interpretation|
|THE||Blessed Hope|| || || ||great God |
|AND||of THE||Glory||of THE||AND||OF US||Jesus Christ|
|Appearing|| || || ||Savior|
"awaiting the appearing of
Carefully now note what happens in the Trinitarian interpretation. The Trinitarian applies the Granville Sharp rule to the third occurrence of the definite article "the" and correlates it with the conjunction "and" between the words "God" and "Savior." However, this is completely wrong. The second definite article "the" takes precedence over the third as the article which correlates to the second conjunction "and." The Trinitarian translation is wrong because it correlates the third definite article with the second conjunction "and." The Trinitarian translation leaves the second definite article completely without a conjunction. There are only two conjunctions ("and") in this passage but three articles ('the"). The first and second articles should be correlated with the first and second conjunctions. The Trinitarian is so worried about applying the Granville Sharp rule he breaks the most basic rules of grammar.
"For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels" (Matthew 16:27; see Mark 8:38; John 17:5; Rom 6:5).
A Final Consideration
A final thing to consider is that the possessive term "of us" ("our") may not refer only to the word "Savior." If that is the case, we must translate the passage in the following way.
|The Possessive "Our" modifying both terms|
|THE||Blessed Hope|| ||great God's Glory|
|AND||of OUR||AND||Jesus Christ|
Common Sense for the Layperson
Essentially, all the reader of Titus 2:13 has to do is ask himself two simple questions, (1) "What does it literally say?", and "What is appearing?" And the answer to the question is plainly evident. Jesus Christ is appearing. Our great God's glory is appearing and our Savior is appearing and these two things pertain to Jesus Christ. Jesus our mediator is both the glory of God and the Savior of men. What is appearing is (1) our God's glory and (2) our Savior, and these things will appear with the appearing of Jesus Christ. The glory is God's glory and the Savior is man's savior. Both of these things are joined by the conjunction kai and are preceded by the definite article. Therefore, the two things which are appearing are pertaining to the same one thing and these two things are our God's glory and our Savior and both of these descriptions pertain to Jesus Christ.
The Theology of Titus 2:13
1. The Language and Theology of Paul
Paul wrote 13 books of the 27 book New Testament. He uses the word theos ("God") over 500 times in the New Testament. In all these instances, Paul no where else refers to Jesus as "God." For Paul, there is one God, the Father (1 Cor 8:6; Eph 4:6) and he identifies "God" as "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," a statement he makes numerous times. Of course, the Trinitarian will point to Romans 9:5, another seriously flawed Trinitarian translation which is variously translated among Trinitarians who dispute this passage among themselves. This is the typical way of the Trinitarian, that is, to build one feeble argument upon another in an attempt to create an illusion of validity. Now if Paul had only written a letter or two there would be little weight in saying he never refers to Jesus as "God." But the plain fact that he wrote over half of the New Testament books, covers all kinds of theological questions, and uses this word over 500 times is very telling. Perhaps, unlike the Trinitarian, Paul did not have a Trinitarian conception of God as the central doctrine of the faith because he had never heard of such a thing. It seems Trinitarian ideas are far more important to Trinitarians than it they were to the Apostle Paul. I think we all know how peppered the New Testament books would be with descriptions of Jesus as "God" if they had been written by a person with the mind of today's Trinitarian. The Trinitarian would have us believe that Paul understood Jesus was "God" but just neglected to mention this concept in all his writings except for two isolated occasions and in passages with grammatical structures that cast serious doubt on their translations.
2. 1 Timothy 6:14-16
What is even more unfortunate is the misguided theological interpretations of Trinitarians concerning this passage. Apparently, they have no idea what Paul is talking about in Titus 2:13. I suspect this is due to an ignorance concerning the nature of Jesus' resurrection and the glory of his resurrection power that we will behold and experience when he comes again. The Transfiguration was a glimpse of that glory and Paul's encounter was another glimpse of that glory. Paul is talking about the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of God. In the Bible, the blessed hope of Christians is the resurrection of the body at Jesus' second coming when we will be raised in glory. A parallel statement to Titus 2:13 is found in Paul's first letter to Timothy. Paul's pastoral letters are a unique corpus of Paul's overall body of writings containing a unique vocabulary, style, and thought. There are many parallel thoughts between these letters. The first and best place to look are these particular letters and this is well known among serious scholars. Here at Titus 2:13, Paul is discussing the second coming, the epiphany of Jesus Christ ("appearing"). In his letter to Timothy he describes this appearing.
I charge you in the sight of God... who gives life to all, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep the commandment spotless and irreproachable until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which in his own time he will show (deiknuo) the Blessed and only Sovereign Power (dynastes), the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has ever seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal might! Amen. (1 Timothy 6:14-16).
Paul is teaching the same idea here as he is in Titus 2:13. The Sovereign Power/Potentate in question in this passage is most certainly not Jesus but God the Father. This is made plain by the fact that no man has ever seen this individual. Paul himself saw the risen and ascended Jesus. This is the same invisible God Paul mentions at 1 Timothy 1:17, the Father. Moreover, Paul always uses the adjective eulogetes ("Blessed") to refer to God the Father. What Paul is teaching here is that Jesus will reveal the glory of God the Father at his second coming, that is, his appearing. As Paul says elsewhere, he is our hope of glory. This is the same glory in which he was raised from the dead, the glory of his Father. It is Jesus who will appear and when Jesus appears he will appear in the glory of the great God, His Father who raised Him from the dead in that glory. As such, the glory of God the Father is full present in the risen Jesus.
The Spirit was not yet because Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:39).
Jesus answered, "If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing; it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, `He is our God.' (John 8:54).
Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was." (John 17:5).
Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4).
If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless.... But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.... But someone will say, "How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?".... There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory, it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So also it is written, "The first man Adam, Adam, became a living soul." The last Adam became a life-giving Spirit. (1 Corinthians 15:35-45).
"For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels" (Matthew 16:27; see 24:30; Mk 8:38; Lk 9:26; 2 Thess 1:9).
Jesus was raised in the glory of God his Father. The Father's glory is now his glory and indeed the Bible teaches plainly that the Father's glory will also be our glory when we are raised up into that glory at Jesus' coming. The glory of the Father which will be revealed to mankind is precisely what Paul is talking about in 1 Timothy 6:14-16 and Titus 2:13. In 1 Timothy 6:14-16, Paul is saying that when Jesus appears at his second coming, he will "show" the glory of the Sovereign God who no one has ever seen or can see. Here, at Titus 2:13, he is referring to the same event and indicating that we are awaiting for the appearing of God's glory which will be revealed when Jesus comes again because he will come in his Father's glory. We believers are eagerly awaiting the appearing of the glory of the great God and Savior of us Jesus Christ. The glory of the great God in question is the glory of the Father that will be fully manifest when Jesus our Savior appears because he exists in that glory and will come in that glory.
3. Jesus the Mediator between God and men
At Titus 2:13, Paul is alluding to the concept of Jesus' mediation between God and men. Jesus mediates between God and us. He will appear in the glory of God his Father and he will appear for the salvation of men. We are awaiting the appearing of Jesus who is raised in the power and glory of his Father and is coming in that power and resurrection glory and we men are awaiting our salvation through this Savior. In his appearing, the dead will be raised into the glory of God and Jesus' role as mediator will be finished. The fact that Paul has this in mind is made clear by his terminology.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions.... This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.
(1 Timothy 2:4-5).
...the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, awaiting the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good works.... Remind [believers] to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed. (Titus 2:10-3:1).
Also carefully note the two themes, "testimony" and "in the proper time," similar to 1 Timothy 6:14-16. Plainly, Paul has the mediation of Jesus in mind in this passage. Men have the hope of salvation because they have a mediator who will return in the glory of God for our salvation. Jesus' mediation is made possible by the nature of his resurrection glory, the glory of God his Father, and the fact that he is a man raised in that glory and thus becomes a Savior of men. Here in Titus 2:13, Paul is indicating that we men are awaiting for that glory of God the Father from heaven through our mediator between God the Father and men, Jesus Christ, who comes in the glory of his Father. His appearing is the Glory of God and the Savior of us.
|The Mediation of Jesus Christ for the Salvation of Men|
|THE||Blessed Hope|| ||Glory||of||[GOD]|
|AND||of THE||AND || ||[Jesus Christ]
|Appearing|| ||Savior||of ||[US]|
4. The Eager Expectation of the Blessed Hope of Divine Glory
There are several key Pauline terms in this passage. Paul is discussing salvation when Jesus our "Savior" appears. In Titus 2:13, Paul is saying that we are "eagerly awaiting" the blessed "hope" and appearing of Jesus Christ who will come in the "glory" of God. This terminology is the rich and typical Pauline terminology of the second coming of Jesus. The resurrection of the body is the blessed hope of Christians, to be raised in glory when Christ comes in glory. It is this event that Christians expect and eagerly await. The term "eagerly await" comes from a Greek word which includes the idea of anxious waiting with expectation.
Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; concerning hope and the resurrection of the dead I am on trial. (Acts 23:6).
But this I admit to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the law or written in the prophets, having a hope in God which these themselves eagerly await, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust. (Acts 24:14-15).
And now I am standing trial for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers, the promise to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly serve God night and day. And for this hope, O King, I am being accused by Jews. Why is it considered incredible among you people if God raises the dead? (Acts 26:6-8; cf. Php 3:10-11).
But God raised him up, having loosed the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. For David says concerning him, "I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will dwell in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, nor let your Holy One see corruption. (Acts 2:24-27; see Heb 5:7).
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; see 5:1-11).
For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at his coming.... But someone will say, "How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?".... There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. (1 Corinthians 15:16-43).
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed unto us. For the eager expectation of the creation waits eagerly for the revelation of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly awaiting for our adoption as sons, the redemption of the body. For in this hope are we saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we eagerly await. (Romans 8:23-25; cf. 8:30).
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. through him also we have access to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in our hope of the glory of God. And not only so, we boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us. (Romans 5:1-5).
Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech, and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away. But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory unto glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:12-18).
So that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:7-8).
We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints; because of the hope laid up in heaven for you... We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Col 1:4-5, 27; cf. 1 Tim 1:1; 1 Peter 3:15).
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope (1 Tim 1:1).
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.... Therefore gird up your minds, be sober, completely hope fully upon the grace that is coming to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:3-13).
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our body of humiliation into conformity with the body of his glory, by the working of the power that he has also to subject all things. (Php 3:20-21).
Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not yet appeared what we will be. We know that when he appears, we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is. And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. (1 John 3:2-3).
For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.... since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:1-9).
That being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:7).
The idea expressed in Titus 3:7 is essentially the same idea expressed at Titus 2:13. Both verses are in the same context and if one follows the flow of thought it is obvious he is still on the same theme. Paul is indicating in Titus 2:13, that our mediator and Savior Jesus will come again in the glory of God and this is our blessed hope and our salvation when death is swallowed up in life and we are raised from the dead into glory.
5. What Paul really said
If we simply read the passage without prejudice and simply ask ourselves what we are waiting for and what is appearing, the solution to the meaning of Titus 2:13 is actually quite simple.
|THE||Blessed Hope|| ||Glory||of||the great God|
|AND||of THE||AND || || ||Jesus Christ
|Appearing|| ||Savior||of ||us|
The blessed hope and appearance refer to Jesus Christ, "our hope of glory" (Col 1:27). He is the glory of our great God his Father and he is our Savior. Jesus mediates between God and men for our salvation. The two main nouns in question are not "God" and "Savior" but "Glory" and "Savior." The phrases "of the great God" and "of us" modify these two main nouns. These two terms who is possessing the two things, Glory and Savior. What is appearing is (1) God's glory and (2) our Savior and these two things pertain to Jesus. The passage does not refer to Jesus as "God" but refers God's glory to Jesus. This of course is no big theological revelation since the Bible tells us that Jesus appears in the glory of his Father.
"For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels" (Matthew 16:27; see Mark 8:38; John 17:5; Rom 6:5).
The Glory of the Great God
There is one person in question and that one person is Jesus Christ. The two things which refer to Jesus Christ are the terms (1) the glory of the great God and (2) Savior. A definite article ("the") precedes the entire phrase "glory of the great God" and it is this article which corrlates with the conjunction "and." So this means that Paul is saying we are waiting for the appearing of the glory which is described in two ways, (1) glory of the great God and (2) [the] Savior. The passage should be translated in this way:
"awaiting the: [blessed hope and appearing] of the: [great God's glory and Savior] of us, Jesus Christ."
Another way we could translate the passage is this way:
"awaiting the [blessed hope and appearing] of the [great God's glory and of Savior] of us Jesus Christ."
Now if we want to use the word "our" instead of the awkward term "of us" we can say:
"awaiting the [blessed hope and appearing] of our [great God's glory and of Savior] Jesus Christ."
The Trinitarian apologist tries to deceptively try and claim that Jesus is called "the great God and Savior" conveniently ignoring that the sentence contains a unitary phrase "the appearing of the glory of the great God" or "the appearing of the great God's glory" so that he can truncate that phrase and isolate the portion that says "the God and Savior" and make an misguided claim, not to mention he conveniently ignores the definite article which precedes the entire phrase. The second article must correlate with the secon conjunction. Paul tells us plainly what is appearing and what is appearing is Jesus Christ and he is described in two ways preceded by the one definite article.
So the Trinitarian has nothing here but a blunderous translation and Trinitarians have misapplied the Granville Sharp rule. The passage does not refer to Jesus as "God" and God is not even in being dicussed in this passage. It is God's glory which is being discussed. The verse does apply the term "Savior" and the phrase "glory of the great God" to Jesus. It says that we Christians are waiting for the appearing of our God's glory and the appearing of our Savior and those two things pertain to one person, Jesus Christ. Everything Jesus does is to the glory of his Father and when he comes again he will come in the glory of the great God of us, his Father.
the great God's glory