Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professors, theologians, and those interested in exegetical analysis of biblical texts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In the second coming of Our God, are there two persons who will appear in the clouds?

Titus 2:13 (KJV)

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by Susan Apr 13 '15 at 1:59

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Mod notice: Comments are for requesting or suggesting improvements to posts, not for debating the issues posts happen to be about. – Caleb Oct 2 '14 at 13:19

The Syriac Vulgate of the New Testament (Peshitta) appeared before the Fourth Century, and appears to shed some light that "the savior Jesus Christ" and "the great God" were appositive phrases.

The verse appears as follows:

Titus 2:13 (Syriac Vulgate)
enter image description here

The word for "glory" (highlighted in yellow above) possesses the third person singular suffix. We can compare with Kiraz (2003) as follows:

enter image description here

The words that follow the word for "glory" are all emphatic, which means they are definite. The words "Jesus Christ" are modified by the adjective for savior, which is emphatic.

In other words, all the nouns/adjectives following the word for "glory" are in the emphatic case; the masculine singular suffix to the noun for "glory" is in the third person masculine singular (and thus referring to the "glory" of one particular person); and finally, the phrase "and of our savior Jesus Christ" does not possess the indicator for the genitive case (ܕ), which suggests it is an appositive for the phrase immediately preceding, which is "of the great God."

In summary, the grammatical structure of this verse in the Peshitta suggests that the Syriac writers during the Fourth Century (or earlier) had taken the phrase "and of our savior Jesus Christ" in this verse to be an appositive for the phrase "of the great God."

Kiraz, George Anton (2003). Analytical Lexicon of the Syriac New Testament. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

share|improve this answer
Folks - I did not write the Peshitta. – Joseph Oct 28 '14 at 0:07
In addition to not addressing the Greek text whatsoever (rather than treating the Syriac as an early translation that provides supplemental evidence for an argument from the Greek text), I also downvoted for what I believe to be erroneous information (commonly espoused by Aramaic primacists) in your dating of the Peshitta (had you said 'by the fifth century' rather than 'before the fourth century', it would be accurate). – Dan Oct 28 '14 at 19:28
Conversation on this post moved to chat. – Dan Oct 31 '14 at 9:51
@majnemɪzdæn the date seems to be controversial, but this answer at least seems to support Joseph's choice of words. – Jack Douglas Oct 31 '14 at 9:59
Joseph 1.) - Doesn't answer the question, so one or two? 2.) - Not sure what you are implying about the Peshitta, but its text is different from the vulgate reference you posted: ܟܕ ܡܤܟܝܢܢ ܠܤܒܪܐ ܒܪܝܟܐ ܘܠܓܠܝܢܐ ܕܬܫܒܘܚܬܗ ܕܐܠܗܐ ܪܒܐ ܘܡܚܝܢܢ ܝܫܘܥ ܡܫܝܚܐ – elika kohen Nov 27 '14 at 23:20

The content/context of this text/letter should be what is used to inform how it should be interpreted--not modern Oneness/Unitarian/Trinitarian doctrines in the Christian Church.

Answer: This text absolutely indicates two personas--substantiated by the fact that Paul is explicit about the two identities mentioned earlier in the text.

Paul is very unambiguous, by using the term "Father." ---

Compare Titus 1:4 and 2:13:

Titus 1:4, NASB - To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

Titus 1:4, Byz - Tίτῳ γνησίῳ τέκνῳ κατὰ κοινὴν πίστιν· χάρις, ἔλεος, εἰρήνη ἀπὸ θεοῦ πατρός, καὶ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν.

Titus 2:13, NASB - looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,

Titus 2:13, Byz - προσδεχόμενοι τὴν μακαρίαν ἐλπίδα καὶ ἐπιφάνειαν τῆς δόξης τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ

It stands to reason, that the only reasonable interpretation is to affirm that Paul wasn't contradicting himself in the letter.

share|improve this answer
I'm having trouble seeing how this question can be resolved by comparison with 1:4. Titus 2:13 is a classic TSKS construction, a fact that has direct bearing on the relationship between the two substantives ("God" and "Savior"). Titus 1:4, on the other hand, doesn't begin with the article so does not fall into the same category. I don't see how we can call this the exact same construction. – Susan Nov 28 '14 at 1:57
@Susan ... 1.) - I removed the argument, to avoid lengthy debate. 2.) - However, from the context of the text, it doesn't stand to reason that Paul had one point of view at the beginning, and then switched in the middle, suggesting that Paul, too, was undergoing some internal debate over Oneness vs. Trinity argument at a later point. 3.) - If the issue escalates, specifically in regards to TSKS, I will address it, but the way I rephrased kind of makes it moot. – elika kohen Nov 28 '14 at 2:11
Got it, thanks for editing. – Susan Nov 28 '14 at 2:12

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.