The Trinity on Trial An in-depth examination of a doctrine

Titus 2:13


"Awaiting the blessed hope and glorious appearing
of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ."


The Issue: The validity of the Trinitarian translation and the Trinitarian interpretation


The Trinitarian Claim

Trinitarians claim, along with an appeal to the Granville Sharp Rule, that Jesus is here being identified as "our great God and Savior."


What the Evidence will Show

The facts will show that Jesus is not being identified as "our great God and Savior" but is being described as "the glory of our great God and Savior" and as such the meaning of the verse is that Jesus is the glory of the Father.


Examination of the Evidence


Trinitarian Translations Inconsistencies

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." They instead refer to Jesus as "our Savior" in distinction from "our great God." Although we will show here in this article that the words "our great God" and the word "Savior" do not refer to Jesus in this particular passage, we can see clearly that many Trinitarian scholars do not believe that Paul had any intention of identifying Jesus as "God" in this verse. 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." Unlike the majority of these translations, 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 the appearing of the glory of our God and Savior, to believers eagerly awaiting the glorious appearing of our God and Savior. One translation has us waiting for the glory; the other has us waiting for God. These are two completely different ideas. It already becomes evident that some Trinitarians are tendentiously playing games with the Scriptures.

The Greek Grammar and Structure

The literal Greek structure is key to a proper interpretation and translation of this passage.

prosdecomenoi thn makarian elpida kai epifaneian thV doxhV
prosdechomenoi ten makarian elpida kai epifaneian tes doxes
awaiting the blessed hope and appearing of the glory
 
tou megalou qeou kai swthroV hmwn ihsou cristou
tou megalou theou kai sothros emon iesou christou
of the great God and Savior of us Jesus Christ


Notice Paul's literal words. The passage does not say, "the glorious appearing." The verse says we are awaiting "the appearing of the glory of." By changing the word "glory" to the adjective "glorious" in order to modify the word "appearing," some Trinitarian translations totally change the meaning of Paul's words.

In verse 10, we see God the Father is identified as "our Savior." Now notice what Paul says in verse 13. He says we are awaiting the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. The passage does not say we are waiting for our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. It says we are waiting for the "glory of" our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. And that is just what Jesus is - the glory of our great God and Savior, the glory of the Father.

"For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of his Father with his angels" (Matthew 16:27).

The Granville Sharp Rule

Now before we go any further we need to mention a very key issue that you will hear Trinitarians shouting 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. However, they only can do this when they are trying to refute an understanding different than the one we presented above. The understanding of this verse that says Jesus is the glory the Father does not violate their beloved rule. The two terms "our great God" and "Savior" both refer to one referent - God the Father.

However, for the sake of argument, we will actually concur with the Granville Sharp Rule here and illustrate how the Trinitarian is still in error.

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 everday 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 has completely blundered. First we will look at Paul's Greek grammar and then we will delve into Paul's theology.


The Grammar of Titus 2:13 and the Granville Sharp Rule

The proper interpretation of the Greek and subsequent translation of Titus 2:13 is remarkably simple. All we need to do is read what it says. We will show that the word "Savior" in this particular passage is not a reference to Jesus but to God the Father. Athough Jesus is indeed our Savior, the Bible also refers to God the Father as our Savior in many verses. And this verse is one of them. Jesus is not being described in this particular verse as "our Savior" or "our God and Savior." He is described as the glory of our great God and Savior.

Paul says we are waiting for two things, (1) the blessed hope, and (2) and the appearing. These two things are obviously two different ways of describing the same thing and this is also following the Granville Sharp rule as well because these two things are preceded by only one definite article. It actually says, "the blessed hope and appearing" and not "the blessed hope and the appearing." But if we follow the Granville Sharp Rule we know that the blessed hope and the appearing are referring to the same thing. We are waiting for one thing, one referent.

Now look at the verse carefully. It is a complex Granville Sharp Rule situation. In the second phrase, we have "appearing of THE glory of the great God of us AND Savior." So this is another place to apply the Granville Sharp rule. However, it gets even more complex because a third article is present, "THE great God of us AND Savior." Hence, this article governs over the preceding article. We could not argue that the two things in question are "the glory of the great God of us" and "the Savior Jesus Christ." The definite article in the smaller phrase necessarily governs. Hence, the second article is not in a Granville Sharp rule situation since it has no accompanying conjunction.

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What is the blessed hope of Christians? It is the hope of glory when Jesus comes again, that is, when he appears. We are awaiting the blessed hope and apeparance of Jesus. Paul says we are awaiting the appearing of "the glory." He then further says we are awaiting the appearing of the glory of "the great God and Savior of us." Now Paul has just referred to God the Father as "God our Savior" in verse 10 and then tells us it was the "grace of God" that has brought salvation to all men in verse 11, a reference to God as our Savior. So when Paul says we are awaiting, "the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ," it is abundantly plain that he is not referring to Jesus Christ here as our God and Savior, but is referring to Jesus Christ as the glory of our God and Savior, that is, the glory of the Father. Put another way, Paul is saying that we are awaiting (1) the blessed hope, and (2) the appearing of our great God and Savior's glory, namely, Jesus Christ. The "great God and Savior of us" in this passage is not Jesus but God the Father.

Jesus Christ, the glory of the Father
the glory of our great God and Savior= Jesus Christ
the glory of the Father
the glory ofour great God and Savior
the glory ofGod the Father

It is really quite simple. Paul is not saying we are awaiting the appearing of our great God and Savior where that great God and Savior is Jesus Christ. Nor is he saying we are waiting for two people, "our great God" and our "Savior Jesus Christ" as some others would have it. He is saying that we are awaiting the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior and that glory is Jesus Christ. If we simply read the passage for what it plainly says we can see this is the obvious intent of Paul's words.

If Paul had only said, "the appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ," the Trinitarian might have a strong case. However, this is not what Paul said. He said we are awaiting the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Paul could have simply said, "the appearing of Jesus Christ." But since he is discussing the theme of "God our Savior," he wishes to emphasize that Jesus Christ is God's glory. Paul is plainly intending to say we are waiting for the appearance of Jesus Christ, the glory of our great God and Savior, the Father of all. What will be appearing is the glory of our great God and Savior and that glory is Jesus. This glory is the glory of our great God and Savior. So, we can write the verse as, "awaiting the appearing of our great God and Savior's glory" and we are saying the very same thing. Hence, the entire phrase should be translated as, "awaiting the blessed hope and appearing of our great God and Savior's glory, Jesus Christ." Jesus is the glory of God.

"That they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior 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 the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us."

"That they will adorn the doctrine of [the Father] 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 the appearing of the glory of [the Father], Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us."

"For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of his Father  with his angels" (Matthew 16:27).

"That they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior 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 the appearing of Jesus Christ, the glory of our great God and Savior, who gave himself for us to redeem us."



The Theology of Titus 2:13

Now although we have already clearly proven the Trinitarian to be in error, let us further illustrate the weight of the evidence in even more detail. There are numerous theological considerations to make when intepreting and translating any given passage. Paul's eschatological terminology here is very typical of all his writings. In order to capture the sense of Paul's intentions, one must explore what he has said elsewhere since this is available to us.

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." And as respected scholar Joachim Jeremias has pointed out, the phrase "the great God," is not a term a Jew such as Paul would apply to anyone but his Abba Father. 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 the word "God" over 500 times without ever referring to Jesus as God 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. I think we all know how peppered the New Testament books would be with descriptions of Jesus as "God" and "God the Son" 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 where he makes a purely passing reference to Jesus as "God," and in passages with grammatical structures that cast very serious doubt on these Trinitarian interpretations, and even admitted by Trnitarian scholars themselves..

2. 1 Timothy 6:14-16: The Epiphany of Jesus Christ

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 expressed between these letters. The first and best place to look are these particular letters and this is a well known practice 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. In both passages he is teaching Christians to live godly lives while they are awaiting the appearance of Jesus. The Sovereign Power/Potentate in question in this passage is most certainly not Jesus but God the Father. This is made decisively plain by the fact that no man has ever seen or can see this individual. Paul himself saw the risen and ascended Jesus. This is the same invisible God Paul mentions at 1 Timothy 1:17, the invisible God, the only 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).

Great is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. (1 Tim 3:16).

He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the your sake, who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
(1 Peter 1:21).

"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 Jesus' 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. God is our Savior and God saves men and God saves men through the salvation of our Savior Jesus His Son. Jesus 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 (antilutron) 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/ransom us (lutroo) 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 "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 (1 Thess 5:8; Heb 9:28) 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.

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. This term is intimately tied to the concept of hope. One eagerly anticipates, waits, and anxiously expects in hope. And this is the same "blessed hope" Paul mentions at Titus 2:13.

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).

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).

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).

Note how the following passages indicate the resurrection of the dead on the Day of the Lord is the Christian hope of salvation.

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. But as to the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When people say, "There is peace and security," then sudden destruction will come upon them as travail comes upon a woman with child, and there will be no escape. But you are not in darkness, brethren, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all sons of light and sons of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But, since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we wake or sleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11).

Keep yourselves in the love of God, eagerly awaiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. (Jude 1:21).

That being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:7).

So Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time without sin to save those who eagerly await for him. (Heb 9:28).

Jesus Christ is our hope of glory, the glory of God.

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).

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.... For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. (1 Peter 1:3-21).

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).

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope. (1 Timothy 1:1).

"eagerly awaiting the blessed hope and appearing of glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ."

All these passages refer to the same idea expressed at Titus 2:13. Note particularly 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 of exhorting others to live godly lives while they await this appearing. In one we have "the blessed hope" and in the other context we have "the hope of eternal life." Paul is indicating in Titus 2:13, that our mediator and Savior Jesus will come again in the glory of our God and Savior 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. The last enemy to be destroyed is death and that will be destroyed when we are raised from the dead into the glory of eternal life. This will be our salvation from death and mortality.

Whose Glory?

"The great God and Savior" is the Father of Jesus Christ and He is the referent in question. The Trinitarian suggestively implies two things which misleads people into their interpretive snare. In order to make their claim work for them, they must suggest that the glory in question is the glory of Jesus Christ and so we are awaiting the appearing of our God and Savior's glory and that God and Savior is Jesus Christ. The Trinitarian cannot prove that the glory in question is Jesus' glory but his own personal desires are simply to have it that way because he wants it that way. In other words, all he has for evidence is his own insistence. This however does not amount to valid evidence. Therefore, we do not need to prove that the glory in question is not Jesus' glory to render this Trinitarian passage useless as evidence for Trinitarian dogma. If he cannot prove it, he does not have any proof here. However, we shall anyway prove that the glory in question is the glory of the Father.

First, if we simply read the passage from left to right, we have "the glory of the great God." This by itself is highly suggestive that the glory in question is the glory of God the Father. Second, the risen Son is the radiance of the Father's glory (Heb 1:3) having been raised in the Father's glory (Rom 6:4) and taken up into glory (1 Tim 3:16), crowned with His Father's glory (Heb 2:10), and given glory by God the Father so that our faith and hope are in God (1 Peter 1:21). Third, Jesus prayed to be glorified with the Father's glory (Jn 17:5, 24; cf. 7:39). Jesus had glorified his Father in his works on earth and now he was asking God the Father to glorify him in what he was in his substance of being. Fourth, Paul tells us that our hope is the glory of God (Rom 5:5). Fifth, Paul tells us this glory is the hope of the children of God, those who cry 'Abba, Father.' (Rom 8:14-25, 30). Sixth, Paul leads into this passage by referring to "God our Savior," a reference to the Father. And seventh, the most natural reading of this passage is to understand that we are awaiting the appearing of the Glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, where Jesus Christ is the glory of that great God and Savior, God the Father whom Paul was discussing since verse 10.

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:24-25).

The Deciding Factors

Ultimately, the determining factor in this passage is not a correct translation but a correct interpretation. One has to correctly interpret the Greek text before one can even translate the text. This is not uncommon. The deciding factor is identifying whose glory we are awaiting. There are three main Trinitarian translations. There are those which do not support identifying Jesus as "our great God" (ASV, NAB, Douay-Rheims). Secondly, there are the "glorious appearing" translations (KJV, NIV). These are simply wrong because they have changed the word "glory" from a noun to an adjective. Paul said we were awaiting the appearing "of the glory of." The "glorious appearing" translations completely change the intended meaning of the verse to have Christians awaiting "the glorious appearing of." However, the Greek does not say we are awaiting a glorious appearing but we are awaiting the appearing of the glory. It is not a type or kind of appearing that Paul is discussing; he is telling us precisely what is appearing. Thirdly, there are the Trinitarian versions that do not resort to this extreme, translate the passage correctly, but interpret the passage as if the glory that is appearing is the glory of Jesus Christ (NASB, RSV). Essentially, these last translations are translated correctly but are wrongly interpreted by Trinitarians who need to necessarily insist that the glory in question is Jesus' glory and then they can claim that Jesus is described as "our God and Savior." Why are they wrong? Because Christians are waiting for Jesus himself to appear, not simply his own personal glory, and he is the glory of God the Father. This is coupled with the idea in this verse that he is both our blessed hope and he is also the glory of God. He himself is the blessed hope of glory that Paul is talking about in this verse (cf. Col 1:27). This epiphany concept is shown clearly at 1 Timothy 6:14-16. We are waiting for the appearance of Jesus and he will reveal to us the glory of our God and Savior. Hence, the glory that we are awaiting is the glory of God and that glory of God is Jesus himself because, as we have just seen, he was raised up into that glory of the Father and exists in that glorified state. Thirdly, both phrases "God our Savior" and "the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men" pertain to God the Father and are statements leading us into this verse. The next mention of a Savior is in Titus 3:4 and that also is a reference to God the Father. Paul is showing us that in Jesus Christ, the grace of God our Savior appeared for the salvation of all men in the past and the glory of God our Savior will appear for salvation in the future. In other words, Jesus was that grace of God in the past and will be that glory of God in the future. The same idea is expressed at Hebrews 9:28.

So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and he will appear the second time without sin unto salvation for those who eagerly expect/await him.

Therefore, we need to understand that the overwhelming weight of the contextual evidence supports identifying "our God and Savior" at Titus 2:13 as God the Father. Fourth, if we do interpret this passage as "our God and Savior" being a reference to God the Father, the Granville Sharp rule is not violated. This is because the referent in this case for both "the great God" and "Savior of us" is God the Father and the referent of the entire phrase, "glory of our great God and Savior" is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the glory of [our great God and Savior]. In light of all these considerations, we have no other choice but to understand that Paul is telling us we are awaiting the appearing of our great God and Savior's glory and that glory is Jesus Christ and that great God is the Father. We are not waiting for an abstract thing called Jesus' glory to appear; we are awaiting for a person called Jesus to appear and and that person is himself the glory of his God.

"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).

What Rings True?

If I were to ask you to identify the glory of God in this passage, what would you say? Who is it? Who is the blessed hope? How is Jesus being described?

awaiting the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The answer is plain. The glory of our great God and Savior is Jesus Christ. Paul could have simply said, "awaiting the blessed hope and appearing of Jesus Christ. But in order to emphasize the fact that our great God is our Savior, which is the theme of the entire passage, he emphasizes who Jesus is with respect to God the Father, that is, His glory.

"That they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior 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 the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave himself for us to redeem us."

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 Greek grammar allows us to translate the passage in either of the following ways where all statements say the very same thing.

TITUS 2:13
THEBlessed Hope   great God
ANDof THEGlory of ourAND Jesus Christ
Appearing   Savior

TITUS 2:13
THEBlessed Hope great God  
ANDof ourAND Glory  Jesus Christ
Appearing Savior's  
TITUS 2:13
THEBlessed Hope    great God
ANDofJesus ChristTHE Glory of ourAND
Appearing    Savior


The blessed hope and appearance refers to Jesus Christ, "our hope of glory" (Col 1:27). He is the glory of our great God and Savior. Jesus mediates between God our Savior and men for our salvation. 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).


Other Options

Trinitarians simply choose an interpretation and subsequent translation of this passage which most appeals to them without an honest regard for Paul's intent. Our English word heresy comes from a Greek word which means to choose and this is how heresies come about. A good case can also be made to translate the passage as, "the appearing of the great God's glory and our Savior, Jesus Christ." Here, Jesus is the Savior in question. There are three definite articles in this sentence. Trinitarians correlate the second conjunction with the third article and leave the second article without any conjunction. If we are to allow definite articles to control the joining conjunctions between two terms, the two terms which would pertain to Jesus Christ in such a case would not be "the great God and Savior" but "the glory of the great God and our Savior." However, as we have seen, this is not what the passage is saying in the first place. The Savior in question here and the great God in this particular passage is God the Father.

The Glory of the Great God

The Trinitarian apologist tries to disingenuosly tries to laim that Jesus is called "the great God and Savior" with one object in mind - to promote his doctrine and he does so by conveniently ignoring that the sentence contains a unitary phrase "the appearing of the glory of the great God and Savior" or "the appearing of our great God and Savior's glory" so that he can isolate that phrase and isolate the portion that says "the God and Savior" which immediately precedes the name "Jesus Christ. " But we have a complex sentence on our hands and Paul tells us plainly what is appearing and what is appearing is Jesus Christ and he is described as the glory of our great God and Savior.

Conclusion

So the Trinitarian has nothing here but a blunderous interpretation and Trinitarians have misapplied the Granville Sharp rule. The passage does not refer to Jesus as "our great God" or "our Savior." It is our God and Savior's glory which is being discussed, God the Father. The verse says that we Christians are waiting for the appearing of our God and Savior's glory and this blessed hope and this appearing of glory pertains 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.

awaiting the blessed hope and appearing
of our great God and Savior's glory, Jesus Christ
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