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“one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:6‬ ‭

With respect to ”God and Father”, does the Greek allow for the reading

God (as in Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is a Father? or not?

εις θεος και πατηρ παντων ο επι παντων και δια παντων και εν πασιν υμιν

Because the phrase appears elsewhere in reference to Jesus

“Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.” ‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:11‬ ‭

Jesus is also called a father (not modalism)

“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 ‭‬

I’m asking if the text allows for this possibility, I’m not asking if it’s the only possibility. It seems unusual to say God and Father if God is the Father, it would essentially be the same as saying God the Father and Father God. Seems redundant unless God is referring to the Godhead and father is referring to a role. Otherwise how does one explain Jesus also being all and in all if Ephesians 4:6 is speaking exclusively of the Father?

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    (Up-voted +1.) I asked a similar question in which I said : Is it not the case that Paul says 'God Father' because he wishes to convey both deity and person. And in order to distinguish person (within deity) he says 'God Father' : thus demonstrating that more than one Person possesses Divine Being. I'm not sure if that helps in your question.
    – Nigel J
    Jan 4 at 5:12
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    Thank you for the link @NigelJ I’m reading it now. I was meditating on my verse all day today, felt I could ask the question. Jan 4 at 5:26
  • @Nihil By tagging trinity it seems you are not interested in the scriptural text which is quite clear on this matter. This is BH after all, not Christianity SE.
    – steveowen
    Jan 4 at 6:30
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    @user48152 If you are content with the logic then, as you say, there is no reason to query it.
    – Nigel J
    Jan 4 at 6:53
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    @user48152 this question does not deny any option, because it does not promote a theological view, it queries the Greek concerning the grammar. The fact that it aligns with the topic of Trinity does not make it pro or con Trinity. This question as it stands if God is the Father in this verse does not invalidate Trinity nor does it validate non Trinity. Jan 4 at 14:00
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Theos is a concept. The concept expresses Deity. We understand Deity to be divine nature. That divine nature is, for example, eternal. An attribute of Deity, of divine nature, is the fact that Deity, divine nature, is eternal.

This divine nature is a feature, so the New testament scriptures make clear, of the Father. And also of the Son. And also of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is called 'the eternal Spirit', Hebrews 9:14. The one who was manifested to the apostles (whom we know to be Jesus Christ, who is called 'the only begotten Son', John 3:16) is described as 'the life, the eternal, which was with the father', 1 John 1:2. If that life eternal was with the father, then he who begat that eternal life is also eternal.

Thus eternal life is a feature of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And so are other attributes of Deity so of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Fatherhood is an attribute of Deity. Sonship is an attribute of Deity. Spirit is an attribute of Deity.

Jesus said, 'I and my Father are one'.

A perfection of divine unity, in one Holy Spirit.

So when one states the concept Theos, or Deity, one is expressing such attributes, collectively. But one may wish to emphasise the divine-ness of the Father. And if so, one may say 'God Father', emphasising the divine nature of the Person of the Father.

And we know, from studies regarding Sharp's rule, that such references are also made regarding Jesus Christ :

... the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, [Titus 2;13 Young's Literal Translation]

In respect of Ephesians 4:4-6 :

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. [KJV],

I would say that reference is made to each divine person in turn.

Firstly, as is sometimes the case in scripture, the Spirit.

Secondly, the Lord, meaning (in this place) the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thirdly, the God and Father of all, wherein I would see an emphasis and a reference to the fact that the Father is God of the Lord Jesus Christ, in respect of his humanity. And thus, those of whom God is the Father by a new birth are brethren of Jesus Christ sharing the same origin of life (spiritual life, new life).

Even the Father addresses the Son (in his deity) saying 'Thy throne, O God ...' Hebrews 1:8 KJV.

So the Father may be seen as the God of the Lord Jesus Christ in regard to the Deity of the Son of God, in his begetting. Yet the Father calls the Son 'God' in respect of divine being.

And the Father is the God of the Lord Jesus Christ in regard to the human nature of the Lord Jesus, also.

But in this place, I see the emphasis to be that the person of the Father is God of all.

I would therefore, myself, see this place as meaning 'God and Father of all' that is to say of all those chosen in Christ, sanctified by the Spirit and in union with Jesus Christ through the begetting of the Father. And also, God and Father of Lord Jesus Christ who is equal in deity, but subject in humanity.

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The phrase "God and Father", Θεὸς καὶ Πατὴρ, occurs regularly throughout the NT (eg, 1 Cor 15:24, 1 Thess 1:3, 3:11, 13, 1 Peter 1:3, etc) and almost all of them occur with the article as well. This means that they have the classic Grenville Sharp construction which Daniel Wallace calls the "TSKS" construction. [See, Daniel Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, page 273 and onwards.]

For such a construction to be valid we must have:

  • two substantives joined by "kai"
  • The two substantives must be in the same case
  • The two substantives must NOT be proper names
  • Almost always preceded by a single article before the first substantive

Under these circumstances, both substantives refer to the same thing. Thus, if we take the example of 1 Cor 15:24 we have τῷ Θεῷ καὶ Πατρί - both "God" and "Father" must refer to the same person.

In the case of Eph 4:6 we have εἷς Θεὸς καὶ Πατὴρ - where "eis" is acting like an intensive article, emphasizing that there is only one God and one Father, and, that the one God and the one Father are the same person.

Thus, in Eph 4:6, "God" cannot be "Godhead" but has the same referent as "Father". The context also demands this as Eph 4:4-6 has a series of seven "ones":

  1. one body (of believers)
  2. one Spirit (the Holy Spirit)
  3. one hope (of final salvation)
  4. one Lord (Jesus Christ)
  5. one faith
  6. one baptism
  7. One God and Father of us all, who is over all and through all and in all

Again, "God" and "Father" are thus, two titles for the same person.

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  • And why is father a substantive and not an adjective? Is it because of Grenville Sharp? The syntax? Jan 4 at 14:13
  • @NihilSineDeo - any noun or pronoun is a substantive. "Father" in this case is a noun. The grammar is uncomplicated.
    – Dottard
    Jan 4 at 20:30
  • Right, it’s a noun and hence a substantive but I was wondering if it could be adjectival, used like fatherly. NVM I’ll keep thinking about how I can ask more precisely what I’m trying to ask. Thank you I already +1 your response. Jan 4 at 21:32
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    @NihilSineDeo - technically, "fatherly" is an adverb. However, I think I understand what you are asking and it is a reasonable question. The closest we get is the word πατρικός which is an adjective meaning "paternal" as per Gal 1:14 but that is the only place it occurs.
    – Dottard
    Jan 4 at 21:43

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