The Father Acts as the Son’s Agent

There are some who argue, that God the Father is Fons Deitatis”, or, “the Source of the Divine Nature, or Godhead”. Jesus Christ is “God”, but not in the same sense as the Father is.

In the third century, the heretic Origen (A.D. 184-253), who is the fore-runner of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, said on John 1:1, “That there is a difference between ho theos with the article, meaning God, and theos without the article, meaning Divine. He says that God Himself is ho theos and auto-theos: everything else is defined by participation of His Godhead. The Logos , therefore, is fitly called not ho theos, but theos simply” (Dr R S Franks; The Doctrine of The Trinity, pp.92-93)

It is interesting, that for John 1:18, Origen knew of both readings in the Greek, “monogenēs huios” (Unique Son), and the Original, “monogenēs theos (Unique God, Jesus Christ)”. This verse begins with, “theon oudeis heōraken pōpote” (God [the Father] no one has seen at any time), in both places “God” is used without the definite article in the Greek (ton theon; ho theos). According to Origen’s own system, John means, “god no one has seen at any time”

The use or non use of the Greek article with “theos”, does not determine whether it should read, “god”, or “God”. As a Greek scholar, Origen must have known what he was saying is simply untrue!

Others believe, that as Jesus Christ is called “the Son” in the Bible, and we have “the Father”, it must follow that, the “Father” is “Primary”, and the “Son” is “secondary”, as in our human relationships. This is gross error!

Verses like John 1:3, “All things came into being through (dia) Him”, and Hebrews 1:2, “through (dia) Whom also He made the world”, have led many to conclude that the Father is the “source” of Creation, and Jesus Christ is the “secondary agency”, “through” Whom He Created. This also, as we shall see, is quite wrong.

Neither can anything be read into, the Father “sending” Jesus Christ, which is mainly for the purpose of showing distinction between the Persons in the Godhead, the One Who is “sent”, and the Other the “sender”. We can see in passages like Zechariah 2:6-12, where the Speaker is YHWH, Who says that He is “Sent” by another Person, Who is “YHWH of Hosts”. There is no doubt here, that we have Two distinct Persons in the Old Testament, Who are equally called YHWH. We have in Isaiah 9:6, where Jesus Christ is called, “êl Gibbôr”, and in 10:21, it is used for the Father (see also Jeremiah 32:18), that is, “Mighty God”. Both Father and Son are COEQUAL.

We have a very interesting and important reading in 1 Corinthians 1:9, where Paul writes;

“pistos ho theos di ou eklēthēte eis koinōnian tou huiou autou iēsou christou tou kuriou hēmōn”

Literally it reads in English, “ Faithful the God through Whom you were called into fellowship with the Son of Him Jesus Christ the Lord of us”

Here we see the Greek preposition, “di' (dia), used with the genitive, where the meaning clearly is that of “mediation”, and not “source”. The Father is acting on the behalf of Jesus Christ, in calling those into fellowship with Jesus. This has the Father in a “secondary” role.

The Greek grammarian, Dr Samuel Greek says of the use of “dia'” here:

“The Father is represented as acting on behalf of his Son, to bring Christians into fellowship with Him” (Handbook to the Grammar of the Greek Testament, p. 246)

The fact that here is a clear text, that shows God the Father, as a “secondary agent” for the Son, Jesus Christ, caused some to emend the reading of this verse.

Three Greek manuscripts of the 6th and 9th centuries (D* F G), have actually done this. Instead of the reading of all the Greek manuscripts and Ancient Versions, “di hou”, these three Mss. Have “hupo hou” (by Whom). No doubt to remove the fact, of the Father acting on the Son’s behalf.

As the Greek grammar is for 1 Corinthians 1:9, it is clear that God the Father is in a “secondary role”, in acting on behalf of Jesus Christ. If Jesus Christ were, as some argue, “inferior” to the Father in the Eternal Godhead, then it would be impossible for Paul to have written what he does. We would have expected the reading as found in these three manuscripts as being the original.

There is another interesting reading in Hebrews chapter 2:

“But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, 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” (verses 9-10. NASB)

The words, “Him for whom are all things, and through whom are all things”, refer to God the Father. We have the Greek preposition used twice, in the first use it is in the accusative, “di' hon”, (for Whom); the second is in the genitive, “di' hou” (through Whom). The genitive is also use in Hebrews 1:2, for Jesus Christ, ““di' hou” He made the worlds”. Why it is understood in 1:2, when referring of Jesus Christ, as, “the Intermediate Agent”; but, when used for the Father, as in 2:10, it “is the final cause of all things”, as in the actual Creator. If, as in 1:2, the genitive means “the Intermediate Agent”, as God the Father Creating “through” Jesus Christ; then the same must be true in 2:10, where we also have the genitive, Jesus Christ Creating “through” God the Father. There is no other way to honestly understand these passages, without our personal theology forcing their meaning.

Galatians 1:1, is a good example of the use of this Greek preposition in the genitive.

“Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, Who raised Him from the dead”

Here Paul says, that his call to the Apostleship, is not “from (apo) or through (dia) men”, “but through Jesus Christ and God the Father (alla dia Iēsou Christou kai theou patros) ”. Here we have the one preposition “dia”, which is used for both Jesus Christ and God the Father. The meaning really cannot be “through” here, as both Jesus Christ and the Father are acting together. Paul does not say, “alla dia Iēsou Christou kai apo theou patros” (but through Jesus Christ and by God the Father), as some believe should be the reading.

The Greek preposition, “dia”, has the root meaning of, “two; from duo...two, between, through”. “The word dia often conceals its root meaning. That is ‘two,’ ‘twain,’ ‘in two.’ This original conception appears clearly in some compound words.” A. T. Robertson, The Minister and His Greek New Testament, ch. iv, p.29; also, C.F.D. Moule; An Idiom Book of New Testament Greek, p.54. The ancient Greek poet, Homer (around 800 BC), used this preposition, with the meaning, "Through, by means of, by virtue of, by the help or working of" (Richard John Cunliffe; A Lexicon of Homeric Dialect, p.91). "By the help or working of", where two or more can do something, by equal participation, where there is no need to distinguish between the work done. And, “Mutual operation: with one another” (Henry Smith [G Crusius]; A Complete Greek and English Lexicon for the Poems of Homer, page, 106. 1871 ed).

It is clear from Scripture, that the Father did not Create by Himself, nor did Jesus Christ, as we have seen that both are Testified in the Bible as Creator. The only possible way to understand this, when we see the use of , “dia”, rather than “intermediate agent”, we can use this preposition with the meaning of, “with one another”.

We see from 1 Corinthians 1:9, that God the Father works on behalf of Jesus Christ. In Hebrews 1:2, we see where the Father works “with” Jesus Christ in Creation; and in 2:10, it is Jesus Christ Who works "with" the Father. In Galatians 1:1, we see both Jesus Christ and the Father, working “together” in the calling of the Apostle Paul.

These passages, like many others, show that absolute equality of Jesus Christ with the Father, in the Eternal Godhead.