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Typically the question over the divinity of Jesus which leads to the belief in the Trinity, or denial thereof, is focused on verses which could indicate Jesus is God (e.g. John 1:1, 20:28, Acts 20:28, Romans 9:5, Philippians 2:6, 1 Timothy 5:21, Titus 2:14, 2 Thessalonians 1:12, 2 Peter 1:1)

However, both sides in the debate seem to take the absolute divinity of the Father as a given. Yet there are statements which describe God as distinct from the Father. For example:

Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. (Acts 2:33 NKJV)

τῇ δεξιᾷ οὖν τοῦ θεοῦ ὑψωθεὶς τήν τε ἐπαγγελίαν τοῦ πνεύματος τοῦ ἁγίου λαβὼν παρὰ τοῦ πατρὸς ἐξέχεεν τοῦτο ὃ ὑμεῖς καὶ βλέπετε καὶ ἀκούετε

Neither the grammar (both God and Father have the article) nor the logic in this statement support the belief the writer understands God to mean only the Father. On the other hand, if the divinity of the Father as one person of God, similar to that of the Son and Holy Spirit, the statement makes sense. That is, since both God and Father are described together and the Son is specifically at the right hand of God, not at the right hand of the Father, the Father's relationship to God is the same as the Son's.

Does Acts 2:33 demonstrate the Father is not equivalent with God?

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    Congratulations on an extremely interesting question. +1. I am finding fascinating results. – Dottard Aug 17 '20 at 7:09
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    I edited your header question only for one reason : that it could be misunderstood in terms of the Deity of the Father. I hope you appreciate the reason and hope you agree. – Nigel J Aug 17 '20 at 10:35
  • It is a simple case of parallelism, which pervades Hebrew rhetoric in general, being especially prevalent in biblical poetry. – Lucian Aug 17 '20 at 11:11
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    @NigelJ It is an improvement. I struggled with the best way to make the statement and you have done that. – Revelation Lad Aug 17 '20 at 21:09
  • @Revelation lad. Jesus believes that the Father is the only true God. Is the Father and God of Jesus not God? Are you trying to obscure the godhood of the Father by asking this question. – user35499 Aug 18 '20 at 9:52
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'Being exalted to the right hand of God' expresses a matter of Deity and humanity, that Jesus Christ, in humanity, is ascended into heaven and received, righteously, by God (that is to say by Deity, as such) indicating that sin (which he was 'made') has been dealt with, that sins (which he 'bore in his own body on the tree') have been righteously purged and now, risen from the dead, he is exalted above all, in humanity, even above the angels (the 'principalities and powers').

'Receiving from the Father the promise of the Spirit' expresses a matter within divinity, a matter of divine person. From the Father (one person) is given the promise of the Spirit (another person) and it is received by him who is named as 'Christ' (verse 31) and 'Jesus' (verse 32) - another person - who, since the Father is named, personally, as such, is evidently, in this place, being viewed as Son.

Expressions of 'Jesus Christ being seated at the right hand of God' indicate that Christ, in humanity, is seen enthroned in majesty, the image of the invisible God, such that God, in humanity, as promised from the beginning (in the promise of the seed of woman being raised above the head of the serpent) is exalted, in humanity, above all creation.

This is the restoration (some call it 'reconciliation') the αποκαταλλασσο, apokatallasso, the 'rearrangement' in creation, consequent upon redemption.

As stated by the OP, this verse clearly sets forth Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three divine Persons in one Deity, and clearly shows that, in this place, 'God' does not mean, exclusively, 'Father' throughout all scripture. In this place, it is evident that 'God' means 'Deity', as such, a matter of divine nature, not a matter of individual personality, any more than 'humanity' refers to a single, individual, human being.

The difference, of course, being that humanity cannot be 'shared' in the sense of two persons sharing a single humanity. (Even in conjoined twins, the 'sharing' is only partial.) But in the nature of Deity, God being Spirit, and 'fullness' being an attribute of Deity, when the nature of Deity is shared it is a perfection of union that is indivisible.

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  • Very well stated. – Revelation Lad Aug 17 '20 at 19:02
  • @Nigel. Can you cite verses to support your statement "Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three divine Persons in one Deity, and clearly shows that, in this place, 'God' does not mean, exclusively, 'Father' throughout all scripture. In this place, it is evident that 'God' means 'Deity', as such, a matter of divine nature, not a matter of individual personality, any more than 'humanity' refers to a single, individual, human being. – user35499 Aug 18 '20 at 10:48
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This is a very interesting question that made me look at such references. Of all the times that Jesus is said to seated at the right hand of God (or very similar), not one mentions the Father! See Matt 26:64, Mark 14:62, 16:19, Luke 22:69, Acts 2:33, 7:55-56 (standing), Rom 8:34, Eph 1:20, Col 3:1, Heb 1:3, 8:1, 10:12, 12:2, 1 Peter 3:22. See also Ps 110:1, Matt 22:44, Mark 12:36, Acts 2:34, Heb 1:13.

That is, in all cases where Jesus is said to be seated "at the right hand of" (or similar), the immediate words afterward are: God, Majesty, mighty one, might God, the throne, or just "him"; but never "Father".

Further, there is no record of the Father actually sitting on the throne of which Jesus occupied the seat to the right. Thus, the "throne of heaven", or, "throne of majesty" cannot be said, on the basis of explicit Biblical data to be the Father's throne. However, it is obvious that it is God's throne but this is never identified with the Father! Even in Rev 4 & 5, God is never named.

Having examined the Bible data on this, some of the writers go to some trouble to make this distinction between God and the throne. The closest the NT comes is in just two places:

  • Eph 1:20 - which He [God as per V17] exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms
  • Rev 3:21 - To the one who overcomes, I will grant the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

However, in this last verse, there is a clear distinction between the Father's throne and Jesus' throne (Note the numerous thrones in Rev 4, 5, etc). Therefore, it is not immediately clear if the Father's throne is the same as God's throne, or, the majestic throne (I think it is) as this is not explicit.

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  • Dottard - Thanks for offering an excellent answer in researching the topic of the “Throne” (Khisse, כִּסֵּ֑א). Regarding your statement “there is no record of the Father actually sitting on the throne”, does [ Yechezkel (Ezekiel) 1:26-28 ] not provide a biblical account of this? - Blessings! – חִידָה Aug 17 '20 at 12:00
  • I don't see the word 'Father' in Ezekiel 1:26-28 (?) And how could there be for the Son was not manifested and had not (yet) revealed the Father. – Nigel J Aug 17 '20 at 13:30
  • However just because it's consistently called "God's throne" doesn't mean "God" refers to the Godhead rather than the Father. Many people would say that in a majority(?) of cases "God" in the NT refers to the Father specifically. – curiousdannii Aug 17 '20 at 23:30
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    @curiousdannii - that is broadly correct. In some cases, "God" clearly refers to Jesus and in some cases, "God" is unclear whether it is just the Father or the Godhead generally. – Dottard Aug 17 '20 at 23:39

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