Jesus Christ The Only Wise God


It is argued by some, that verses in the Bible, like John 17:3, where the Father is called, “The only True God”; and Romans 16:27, where the Father is called, “God only wise”; that Jesus Christ is not “God” (ὁ θεὸς), because in these passages, the Father is called, “the ONLY True God (τὸν μόνον ἀληθινὸν θεὸν)”. These passages are used by some who deny that Jesus Christ is Almighty God, equal to the Father, and by those who wrongly assume, that Jesus Christ is a “lesser God”, than the Father. The early Church heretic, Origen, taught that the Father alone is “ὁ θεὸς”, and Jesus Christ is simple  “θεὸς”, which is followed by the present day cult known as the Jehovah’s Witnesses.


It is clear from 1 Timothy 1:17, the Lord Jesus Christ is called, “The only Wise God”.


“Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God (μονω σοφω θεω), be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen”


This verse is not, as some assume, a Doxology by Paul to God the Father. The context of which these words are written, are clearly to the Lord Jesus Christ, and not the Father.


In verses 12-16, Paul writes:


And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting”


Here Paul thanks Jesus Christ, who “enabled” him, and counted him “faithful”, and for the grace shown by Jesus Christ to him, which was “abundant”, with “faith and love”, in Jesus. Paul then goes on to say that Jesus Christ came into this world to save sinners, of whom he is the “chief”. That he “obtained mercy” from Jesus Christ, Who displayed in Paul “all long-suffering”, to be shown to all thereafter. All of this is gratitude and heart felt thanks, by Paul, to the Lord Jesus Christ, who put him “into the ministry”.


It is only fitting that after all of this, that Paul says what he does in verse 17, to Jesus Christ, for all that He has done for him, though he was “a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious”, and no doubt deserved to be punished by the Lord instead!


There is no reason, either contextually, grammatically, or theologically, to understand verse 17, as a Doxology to God the Father, and not Jesus Christ. It is only those who find it difficult to accept, that Jesus Christ IS Himself, Almighty God, and completely coequal to the Father in the Eternal Godhead, that they will try to dispose of any reference to Jesus Christ as GOD, as done in other places.


In the Greek of verse 17, Paul begins by saying, “τῷ δὲ”. The use of the particle “δὲ” here, is emphatic, as in “in fact”. A good example of this is seen in Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians, where in chapter 10, he begins verse 2, “δέομαι δὲ”, which should be translated as, “yea, I beseech you” (ASV, ERV). “Yea” is used to show, “more than this: not only so but —  used to introduce a more explicit or emphatic phrase” (Webster ED). Paul is in 1 Timothy 1:17, giving praise to the Lord Jesus Christ, for all that He has done for, and shown him!


At the time that Paul was writing this Letter to Timothy, Jesus Christ was “invisible”, as He was in Heaven, and not on earth.


What of the use of “μόνος”, in John 17:3, and Romans 16:27, when use for God the Father? Does this mean that He “alone” is God, and no One else? In Isaiah 46:9 it says, “Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me”. And, in Psalm 86:10, “You perform great wonders because you alone are God”. The Hebrew “בַּד”, has the meaning “alone, only”. The Greek “μόνος”, is much wider than “only” in meaning, and can be used for, “above all others, unique”. This “Uniqueness” of the God of the Bible, can be seen in passages like Isaiah 37:16, “O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone (μόνος), of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth”. God is here contrasted above all the kingdoms of the earth, as UNIQUE.


However, though we read of “alone, only”, we cannot conclude that the Father ONLY is God, and neither Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit are. This is not what the Bible teaches.


In chapter 3 of this same Letter, according to the best textual evidence, Paul says of Jesus Christ, that He is, “θεος εφανερωθη εν σαρκι”, “God was manifested in the flesh”. In Romans 9:5, Paul says of Jesus Christ, “ο χριστος το κατα σαρκα ο ων επι παντων θεος ευλογητος εις τους αιωνας αμην”, “the Christ who is God over all blessed forever. Amen”. In Titus 2:13, Paul says, “της δοξης του μεγαλου θεου και σωτηρος ημων ιησου χριστου”, “the Glory of our Great God and Saviour Jesus Christ”. In Acts 20:28, Paul says of Jesus Christ, “την εκκλησιαν του θεου ην περιεποιησατο δια του ιδιου αιματος”, “to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood”. In Hebrews 1:8, 9: Paul says of God the Father’s words to Jesus Christ, “ο θρονος σου ο θεος...σε ο θεος ο θεος σου“Your Throne O God...therefore O God, Your God”. Jesus Christ is Almighty God.


In Acts chapter 5, we read the account of Ananias, and his wife Sapphira, who tried to lie to the Holy Spirit (τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον, verse 3). In verse 4, Peter tells  Ananias, that by lying to the Holy Spirit, he actually had lied “ῷ θεῷ”. The Greek does not allow any other reading than “God”, not “god” or “a god”, as here we have the definite article used, “ῷ”, which some wrongly conclude, is only used for the Father. In 1 Corinthians 6:19, Paul says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own”. And, in chapter 3, verses 16 and 17, we read, “Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple”. Clearly the Holy Spirit is Almighty God.


When we read of passages like Isaiah 45:21, “Is it not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me”. And, Deuteronomy 4:35, “To you it was shown that you might know that the Lord, He is God; there is no other besides Him”. It is clear that these do not refer to the Father only, but to the Three Persons in the One Godhead. This is clear from the verse in Isaiah, were we read of Yahweh, Who is Elohim, Who is The Saviour, and the words, “There is none except Me”, shows UNIQUENESS, but not ONLY, as Jesus Christ is The Saviour in the New Testament, as it does in John 4:42, “And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world the Christ (ο σωτηρ του κοσμου ο χριστος)” Yet, in Isaiah 43:11 it says, “I, I am YHWH; and beside me there is no Saviour”. YHWH is the ONLY Saviour, Who is The Lord Jesus Christ! Clear Testimony that Jesus Christ IS Almighty God, as are the Father and Holy Spirit. Three distinct but EQUAL Persons, One Godhead!


There is no reason that 1 Timothy 1:17, is addressed to Jesus Christ, which the context shows to be the Person Paul is speaking about.