“And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” (1 John 5:20, KJV)
1. Many Trinitarians claim that the final sentence in the verse, “This is the true God,” refers to Jesus Christ, since the closest noun to “This” is “Jesus Christ.” However, since God and Jesus are both referred to in the first sentence of the verse, the final sentence can refer to either one of them. The word “this,” which begins the last sentence, is houtos, and a study of it will show that the context, not the closest noun or pronoun, must determine to whom “this” is referring. The Bible provides examples of this, and a good one is in Acts 7:18 and 19 (KJV): “Till another king arose, which knew not Joseph. The same (houtos) dealt subtilly with our kindred ..., and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live.” It is clear from this example that “the same” (houtos) cannot refer to Joseph, even though Joseph is the closest noun. It refers to the other king earlier in the verse, even though that evil king is not the closest noun.
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Author: Graeser, Lynn & Schoenheit
Keywords: Trinity, Trinitarian, Trinitarianism, Modalism, Modalism heresy, Arianism, Arian, Arian heresy, Trinitarian heresy, Trinitarian heresies, Jesus is not God, Jesus created the world, Jesus as creator, Three gods in one, Three gods, Athanasian, Athanasian Creed, Athanasian trinity, Triplural, Triplurality, Tri-plural, Tri plurality, Three in one, Triunity, Tri unity, Johannine comma, Johanine comma, Johanine coma, Comma Johanneum, Johannine coma, John's coma, John's comma, Three witnesses, Father Son and Holy Spirit, Father Son and Holy Ghost, Blood and water, Water and spirit, Nicene Creed, Nicene, Nicean Creed, Nicean, one god in three persons, Homoousion, Homoousian, homoousios
Bible reference(s): 1 John 5:20
Source: One God & One Lord (Indianapolis: Christian Educational Services, 2003), pp. 473-4.
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