The letter to Titus has a much debated verse:
waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13) [ESV]
προσδεχόμενοι τὴν μακαρίαν ἐλπίδα καὶ ἐπιφάνειαν τῆς δόξης τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ
For example, questions like this: Does Granville Sharp's Rule indicate that “God” and “Savior” share a referent in Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1? highlight the issue. Does Paul mean one or two?
- One: the great God and Savior Jesus Christ
- Two: the great God (who is the Father) and Savior Jesus Christ
I am interested in the phrase μεγάλου θεοῦ which is with few exceptions translated as "great God." Where does this come from? Is this a proper way to refer to the Father? Or would it be more appropriate to use this phrase to describe the Son?
One candidate I found is in Isaiah:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
כִּי־יֶלֶד יֻלַּד־לָנוּ בֵּן נִתַּן־לָנוּ וַתְּהִי הַמִּשְׂרָה עַל־שִׁכְמֹו וַיִּקְרָא שְׁמֹו פֶּלֶא יֹועֵץ אֵל גִּבֹּור אֲבִיעַד שַׂר־שָׁלֹֽום
Which the LXX translates using μέγας as in Titus:
because a child was born for us, a son also given to us, whose sovereignty was upon his shoulder, and he is named Messenger of Great Council, for I will bring peace upon the rulers, peace and health to him.
9:6 (LXX 9:5) ὅτι παιδίον ἐγεννήθη ἡμῗν υἱὸς καὶ ἐδόθη ἡμῗν οὗ ἡ ἀρχὴ ἐγενήθη ἐπὶ τοῦ ὤμου αὐτοῦ καὶ καλεῗται τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ μεγάλης βουλῆς ἄγγελος ἐγὼ γὰρ ἄξω εἰρήνην ἐπὶ τοὺς ἄρχοντας εἰρήνην καὶ ὑγίειαν αὐτῷ
Obviously the LXX deviates from the Hebrew, but using μέγας to render "Mighty God" as μεγάλης βουλῆς (Mighty counsel) suggests the correct way to express the Hebrew אֵל גִּבֹּור would be similar to μεγάλου θεοῦ as found in Titus.
Does μεγάλου θεοῦ, great God, in Titus come from Isaiah 9:6?