For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:11 (ESV)

Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

Acts 2:36 (ESV)

Did Jesus lose his Lordship and Christhood when he died? Why is he made Lord and Christ if he is already previously both Lord and Christ?


2 Answers 2


A rhetorical response question would be, "Why would one think Act 2:36 is referring to Jesus being 'made Lord and Christ after the resurrection'?" This idea is reading more into Act 2:36 than is there.

The ESV, and most translations, make the aorist indicative ἐποίησεν into "has made" (a perfective idea, a completed action). That is an interpretative move, one allowed for with the aorist tense given that it does not itself reflect timing;1 and as will be seen, it is a reasonable move.

However, notice that even if one more directly translates it as a simple aorist idea, "made," the statement does not indicate in any way the timing of this action other than as a past action, given that it is in the indicative mood. That is, Act 2:36 simply makes a direct, factual statement that God made Jesus Lord and Christ—it indicates nothing about the timing of when this was done other than in the past at some point.

Now in Luke 2:11 an angel makes a statement that does include a point of time, σήμερον ("this day" or "today"). However, the timing is about the birth of a σωτήρ ("Savior"), which Savior is identified as ὅς ἐστιν χριστὸς κύριος ("who is Christ [the] Lord." Hence, He is not just any Savior, but the Savior spoken about in the prophecies of Hebrew Scriptures, the Messiah Who was to come, Who is the Lord, has "today" come in flesh. The verb ἐστιν is present indicative. The choice of tense and mood indicates at the time His birth, "Jesus" (Luke 2:21; which is Ἰησοῦς, the Greek of the Hebrew יֵשׁוּעַ [Jeshua, i.e. Joshua], which means "YHWH is Savior," so tying to v.11 stating Savior = the Lord) is already considered as Christ the Lord.2

Thus, the Luke 2:11 passage is partly the background as to why the aorist of Act 2:36 often gets translated as the perfective "has made," because it has been revealed that He was already Christ and Lord at His birth.

Luke 2:11 still does not indicate timing of when God designated this newborn to be Lord and Christ, but it does indicate He already was so at His birth. Nothing indicates this status is lost through His death and then regained in resurrection—rather, the passage in Acts simply indicates that this One Who was made Lord and Christ is now being exalted (v.33), and it is because of His resurrection (v.31-33) that Israel should without question "know for certain" (and hence, believe) that He is the One designated as Lord and Christ.


1 The most common use of the aorist is simply as Daniel Wallace labels it, "Constative," which is the idea where the writer "views the action as a whole, taking no interest in the internal workings of the action" (Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics - Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament [Zondervan Publishing House, 1999], 557). By "internal workings" is meant how the action comes about: its exact timing, the processes needed to do it, etc.

2 The present indicative's most basic use is to simply state the current, continuing state of affairs (ibid., 514ff.).


"Majesty" includes who gets to sit on the throne. As does "glory".

Since circa 325ad this has been the inviolable law of Christendom:

  1. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.

So according to creedal formulation by "the Vicars of Christ" presiding over the "Universal Church" it has been decided that at no point in time or eternity can Jesus or the Holy Ghost be anything but eternally equal to God in Majesty.

Hence, according to Trinitarians aka Catholics, Protestants, etc. if God was on his throne and majesty directing the Universe, so too were Jesus and the Holy Ghost. In fact, the Creed says that the Holy Ghost is also, by definition, KURIOS:

  1. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty.
  2. And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.
  3. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God;
  4. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.
  5. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord;
  6. And yet they are not three Lords but one Lord.
  7. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord;
  8. So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say; There are three Gods or three Lords.

So Trinitarians are damned to eternal torment if they suggest any disparity between God and his two other... um... not parts... um... what is it, "Hypostases"? Is that it? Whatever. So they have a problem.

However, I'm of the opinion that such thinking is altogether post-scriptural, by hundreds of years. Paul, as we see here, did not consider Christ to be co-equal to God, even after his exaltation to his right hand:

[1Co 15:27 NLT] (27) For the Scriptures say, "God has put all things under his authority." (Of course, when it says "all things are under his authority," that does not include God himself, who gave Christ his authority.)

So if we let the truth set us free from Trinitarian dogma we are now free to see:

  • God sat in his throne in the sky and ruled by himself through his inferior, "the messenger of the LORD" who was Jesus in his pre-incarnation form:

[Exo 23:21 KJV] (21) Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him.

So, since "sitting on the throne" is majesty, all we have to do is get rid of the Trinitarian lie and we're all set:

[Rev 3:21 NKJV] (21) "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

[Mar 12:36 NLT] (36) For David himself, speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said, 'The LORD said to my Lord, Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies beneath your feet.'

[Heb 1:13 NLT] (13) And God never said to any of the angels, "Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet."

  • 1
    Oh for the good ol' days when one could heap scorn on the traditional tale and not get voted down and sternly rebuked :) They seem a lot touchier these days.
    – Steve
    Commented Sep 19, 2020 at 8:30

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