The question — “Did Paul treat God and Jesus as one person in Titus 2:13?” — I think, should be restated. By asking whether Paul regarded “God and Jesus” as “one person,” from my perspective, sounds very contradictory; Modalistic, even. How can two people — “God and Jesus” — be “one person”? By using a proper name (“Jesus”) you are thereby distinguishing that one person from another (i.e., “God”) and then asking if they can be “one person.” So from that standpoint, we can flatly say, “no, Paul did not believe ‘God and Jesus’ were ‘one person.’”
However, had the OP asked, “Did Paul refer to Jesus Christ as ‘our God and Savior’?” Now that is an altogether different question, and the one that I think was intended to be asked. So that is the question I am going to answer. The question should not be whether “God and Jesus” are “one person,” rather, whether the two titles “God” and “Savior” (which are not proper names) refer to one person, namely, Jesus Christ.
In order to answer this question, I will need to deal with arguments from Austin, and Ozzie Ozzie accordingly. This will be quite extensive, but rich in material. If there is something I say here that you would like more clarification on, feel free to reach out.
In his official response to the question, Austin states,
Many translations inaccurately place the word "our" so that it
modifies the word "God" instead of modifying the word "Savior" as it
does in the original Greek. Also many translations only place "of" in
front of "God" and not in front of "Savior" even though both are
written in the genitive. But if we put the "of" in front "of" both
"God" and "Savior" and place the "our" in its appropriate location it
becomes more clear that we are talking about two people and not one.
The fact that the singular glory is of at least two people is
consistent with what else the scriptures say.
Likewise, Ozzie Ozzie expresses similar sentiments,
The translators of NIV, NASB, and NRSVA all prefer to see Paul
referring to Jesus as God here, and accordingly shift the possessive
pronoun "our" to a position before God to draw the two phrases
Though, Ozzie Ozzie (unlike Austin) takes this one step further by suggesting,
The grammatical structure of the passages of Titus 1:4 and 2
Thess.1:12 are the same as Titus 2:13. The translators of the NIV,
NRSVA, and NASB show (read verses below) that they understand "God"
and "Jesus" to be distinct, two separate individuals, but not so in
As evident in both of their materials, the Granville Sharp rule has become a bit of a sticking point, which they hope to invalidate; dismissing it as an innovation of the late 18th century. This is not something we should think of being as entirely unusual, however. How else is one to expect a non-Trinitarian to respond when such forces them into a position that makes them theologically uncomfortable? Of course they are going to respond in such a manner. Contra Sharp, Austin cites 1Tim. 5:21 and 2Tim. 4:1 as counter examples, while Ozzie Ozzie cites 1Thess. 1:12 and Titus 1:4 as counter examples. Much can be (and will be) said regarding these texts, but doing so at any great length here detracts from the larger point I’m trying to make.
1Tim. 5:21, 2Tim. 4:1, and 2Thess. 1:12
TSKS constructions do not (by themselves) speak of referential identity, but they do (minimally) imply conceptual unity, regardless of the components in the construct. Sharp’s principle was heavily qualified, and restricted to personal, singular, non-proper substantives within such a construct. To cite any run-of-the-mill TSKS construct without also applying the same restrictions would be to misappropriate Sharp’s rule. Whether or not the rule is valid; any accurate representation of it must include these criteria.
The reason translations (such as those cited by Ozzie Ozzie) render 2Thess. 1:12 as a reference to two persons is because the translators recognize that such a passage falls outside the contours of Sharp’s rule: with “Lord Jesus Christ” (and other variations of this form, i.e., “Christ Jesus our Lord”) functioning as a compound proper name – occurring 62 times in the NT and existing in 16 various books/epistles. Thus, such recurring and wide spread attestation allows for “Lord Jesus Christ” (and other variations) to be understood as such. Similarly, 1Tim. 5:21 and 2Tim. 4:1 also utilize a compound proper name (i.e., “Christ Jesus”) which has broad NT attestation. And although these two texts do distinguish between θεοῦ and Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ, the precise construction — minimally — suggests the closest of unity between the two,
In particular, 1Tim. 5:21 is noteworthy because it brackets off the Father and Son from the angels by the use of the TSKS construction: τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ
Ἰησοῦ καὶ τῶν ἐκλεκτῶν ἀγγέλων. By so doing, the author is indicating a
closer relationship between Christ and God than between Christ and the
angels. (Daniel B. Wallace, “Granville Sharp’s Canon and its Kin,” pp. 283-84)
And although 1Tim. 5:21 does not technically fit the contours (due to the use of a compound proper name) of Sharp’s rule, it does — to a degree — place God and Christ in a category by themselves in contrast to the angels. Notice that the text does not say: τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ καὶ ἐκλεκτῶν ἀγγέλων. Rather, ἐκλεκτῶν ἀγγέλων is headed by its own definite article τῶν. And so here lies an evidence that places Jesus on a par with God, and as such, superseding the angels.
Following this line of thought, should one suggest that “Savior Jesus Christ” is a compound proper name, a natural problem arises: “Savior Jesus Christ” only occurs five times in the whole of the NT, and is restricted to two epistles – Titus, and 2Peter. If we were to exclude 2Peter 1:1 and Titus 2:13 from the mix, all remaining occurrences of “Savior Jesus Christ” (each of which occur within the ὁ – substantive – καὶ – substantive construction) unanimously signify a mutual identity with the preceding (or “head”) noun (2Pet. 1:11; 2:20; 3:18).
An 18th Century Innovation?
The tendency among Unitarian circles is to classify Sharp’s rule as an 18th c. innovation, of which Sharp himself “fabricated” in order to satisfy his “Trinitarian taste buds.” I don’t know about you, but that sounds of something like a modern-day Frankenstein. Cue the spooky music, Count Sharpula!
Such an argument, however, appears to be more driven by a particular theological notion, than it is with attempting to understand how earlier Christians may have used such language when speaking of Jesus. For example, there are papyri (such as BU 366, 367, 368, 371, 395) of which pre-date the alleged “innovation” by approx. eleven centuries, suggesting that at least by the 7th c., Christians were referring to Jesus in such a manner:
ἐν ὀνόματι τοῦ Κυρίου καί δεσπότου Ἰησοῦ Χρήστου τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Σωτῆρος ἡμῶν
(“in the name of the Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, our God and Savior”)
Minimally, this suggests that such an interpretation of Titus 2:13 wasn’t something that had just spawned at the tail of the 18th c. as a result of one known, Granville Sharp. Rather, this is something that can be traced far beyond the 18th c., as it is the standard interpretation held by the majority of post-Nicene Father’s, and earlier, such as Hippolytus of Rome (On Christ and Antichrist, c. 67) and Clement of Alexandria (The Exhortation to the Heathen, Chp. 1).
Moreover, as has been pointed out by an increasing number of scholars, the use of this formulae is also widely attested in ancient Hellenistic circles; and during a time where deified kings and emperors were bestowed with such titular endowments, such as, ὁ θεὸς καὶ σωτῆρ ("the God and Savior"). More on this will be covered below.
Pauline Usage of ἡμῶν
Contrary to what Austin
It should be acknowledged that definite articles, or the lack thereof,
in front of nouns in prepositional constructions like the ones found
in the genitive in Titus 2:13, don't change the meaning of the nouns
in the New Testament. The same person within a prepositional phrase
may show up with a definite article or without one. "Of Christ" is
the same as "Of the Christ." This further invalidates the Sharp rule
in this context.
Paul’s use of the possessive pronoun ἡμῶν (“our”) is often preceded by an articular substantive (ὁ – substantive – ἡμῶν), or a set of substantives headed by a single article (ὁ – substantive – καὶ – substantive – ἡμῶν), where the possessive pronoun latches onto the entire articular phrase that it’s placed in direct apposition to. See footnotes  and  for a thorough listing of examples. In each of these examples, Paul’s use (or non-use) of the article (“the”) helps dictate what the possessive pronoun (“our”) is being placed in apposition to.
For example, in 1Thess. 1:3 we see two occurrences of this in just a few short words from one another,
τῆς ἐλπίδος τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ
In the first instance, the possessive pronoun ἡμῶν is placed in apposition to τοῦ Κυρίου (“the Lord”) and may be translated, “Jesus Christ our Lord.” Just a few short words away, we again see the possessive pronoun ἡμῶν, but this time it is placed in apposition to τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Πατρὸς (“the God and Father”) — a TSKS construct — and may be rendered “our God and Father.” Paul’s use or non-use of the definite article is not mere usage, but rather provides valuable insight and further clarification when trying to determine what the possessive pronoun (“our”) is being placed in apposition to.
Hence, when it says in Ephesians 1:3,
Εὐλογητὸς ὁ θεὸς καὶ Πατὴρ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ
Notice these several things: The verse opens with a TSKS construct that fits all the qualifications of Sharp’s rule — ὁ θεὸς καὶ Πατὴρ — applying both substantives (“God” and “Father”) to one individual. Second, notice the text uses the definite article to help distinguish between both subjects — “the God and Father” (=one person), and “the Lord” (=one person) — coupled by the fact that “Lord Jesus Christ” (as stated in my opening) is a proper name. Third, notice ἡμῶν is placed in apposition to the articular τοῦ Κυρίου (“the Lord”), and is thereby rendered, “our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Alternatively, notice 1Tim. 1:1,
κατ’ ἐπιταγὴν θεοῦ Σωτῆρος ἡμῶν καὶ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ τῆς ἐλπίδος ἡμῶν
Unlike Eph. 1:3, Paul’s non-use of the article of both subjects can also help draw a distinction between those two subjects; coupled by the fact that “Christ Jesus” is a proper name. But also notice the last part of the verse — τῆς ἐλπίδος ἡμῶν — where ἡμῶν is placed in apposition to τῆς ἐλπίδος (“the hope), and would be rendered as “our hope.”
Following suite, we find this same phenomenon in the Epistle to Titus. In Titus 1:3, it states,
κατ’ ἐπιταγὴν τοῦ Σωτῆρος ἡμῶν θεοῦ
Notice the possessive pronoun ἡμῶν is placed in apposition to the articular τοῦ Σωτῆρος (“the Savior”) and may be rendered “God our Savior.” Likewise, in Titus 1:4 it states,
Χάρις καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ θεοῦ Πατρὸς καὶ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ Σωτῆρος ἡμῶν
Notice again, the possessive pronoun ἡμῶν is placed in apposition to τοῦ Σωτῆρος (“the Savior”), and may be rendered, “Christ Jesus our Savior.” Likewise, see 2:10, 3:4, and 3:6.
Further, if you recall from earlier, Ozzie Ozzie had made the following remark:
“The grammatical structure of the passages of Titus 1:4… are the same
as Titus 2:13.”
Yet, Titus 1:4 is not a ὁ – substantive – καὶ – substantive – ἡμῶν construct (as is found in Titus 2:13). Rather, in Titus 1:4, θεοῦ is lacking the definite article, coupled by the fact that Titus 2:13 does not supply the words, “the Father” (as Titus 1:4 does). Further, where the final clause of Titus 1:4 places Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ (“Christ Jesus”) before the articular τοῦ Σωτῆρος ἡμῶν (“our Savior”); Titus 2:13 keeps Σωτῆρος ἡμῶν anarthrous and places Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ (“Christ Jesus”) after. How is that even remotely the “same grammatical structure,” Ozzie Ozzie?
Throughout the Epistle to Titus the possessive pronoun ἡμῶν is placed in apposition to the articular phrase (Titus 1:3, 1:4, 2:10, 3:4, 3:6), and there’s no reason to think Paul might be using ἡμῶν any differently at 2:13.
The point of saying all of this is quite simple: The presence of the article (i.e., Eph. 1:3) — for both subjects — or the lack thereof (i.e., 1Tim. 1:1, Titus 1:4), is how Paul routinely distinguishes between two subjects. And when the possessive pronoun is present (in conjunction with the article), it is always intended to be taken in apposition to the articular phrase. Why would Paul stray from both of these patterns here at Titus 2:13 had he intended to refer to two individuals? It would be highly out of character for Paul to head a substantive (1Thess. 1:3a) or set of substantives (1Thess. 1:3b) with a definite article, only to have the possessive pronoun not stand in direct apposition to it.
Had an article been placed before “Savior Jesus Christ,” or had μεγάλου θεοῦ (“great God”) been left anarthrous, then this would have prompted such a translation, “the great God and Jesus Christ our Savior” and would have aligned itself better with texts such as Titus 1:4, Rom. 1:7, Gal. 1:3, 1Cor. 1:3, 2Cor. 1:2, 2Cor. 1:3, Phil. 1:2, Eph. 1:3, 17. This is not ambiguous, but is really quite straight forward.
If Austin and Ozzie Ozzie were consistent in their approach then texts like 1Thess. 1:3b, 3:11a, 3:13a, Gal. 1:4, and Phil. 4:20 — all of which follow precisely the same syntactical pattern as Titus 2:13 (even placing ἡμῶν in the same position) — should be rendered thusly to refer to two individuals, “the God and our Father,” and not as the ASV translates it (“our God and Father”). So who is it exactly that is accusing the other of being “inconsistent”? If consistency means anything, then why not mention the consistency of Paul?
τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ καὶ Σωτῆρος ἡμῶν
τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Πατρὸς ἡμῶν
ὁ θεός καὶ Πατὴρ ἡμῶν
τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Πατρὸς ἡμῶν
τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Πατρὸς ἡμῶν
τῷ δὲ θεῷ καὶ Πατρὶ ἡμῶν
Had Paul wished to distinguish between “our great God” and the “Savior Jesus Christ,” then all he would had to have done — following a similar syntactical pattern as Titus 1:4 — was leave θεοῦ anarthrous. It is as simple as that. That, or Paul could have even included an additional article (“the”) before “Savior Jesus Christ” (“our great God and the Savior Jesus Christ”), or perhaps included an additional possessive pronoun (“our great God and our Savior Jesus Christ”) for further clarification. After all, when two (or more) nouns in the same case are linked by καί (“and”), the repetition (or even the non-use) of the article with both nouns may indicate that the nouns are to be taken separately.
Further (as mentioned earlier), Paul could have even simply qualified θεοῦ by supplying the words, “the Father.” Or he could have positioned “Jesus Christ” ahead of the epithet “Savior” (“Jesus Christ our Savior”). Or further, instead of referring to “Savior Jesus Christ,” Paul could have referred to “the Lord Jesus Christ” (or “Jesus Christ our Lord”) to remain consistent with other texts such as Romans 1:7; Gal. 1:3, 4; 1Cor. 1:2, 3; 2Cor. 1:2, 3; Phil. 1:2; Eph. 1:3, 17, et al. Paul had all of these options at his disposal (of which are each authentically Pauline), to distinguish between the Father and the Lord Jesus. But instead, he chose to use an ὁ – substantive – καὶ – substantive – ἡμῶν type of construction, where it would only naturally refer to one person.
Additionally, ἐπιφάνεια (“appearing”) further weakens the argument that two persons are in view, as Paul routinely uses it as a personal designation for Jesus Christ alone (1Tim. 6:14; 2Tim. 1:10, 4:1, 4:8). While there are NT parallels for the idea of a future “appearing” of Jesus, who comes in the full display of the Father’s glory; keep in mind, however, that it is not the Father Himself who will be visibly manifested. The NT nowhere speaks of a dual appearing of Father and Son. It is the Son who comes in the Father’s glory, not the Father appearing with the Son. Paul elsewhere makes this clear when he speaks (in a very similar context) of the “appearing of our Savior” without any possibility of a second referent,
who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to
our works, but according to His own purpose and grace (χάριν) which
was granted to us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, but now (νῦν) has
been revealed (φανερωθεῖσαν) by the appearing (ἐπιφανείας) of
our Savior Christ Jesus (τοῦ Σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ), who
abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the
gospel. (2Tim. 1:9–10, NASB)
For the grace (χάρις) of God has appeared (Ἐπεφάνη), bringing
salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly
desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present
(νῦν) age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing
(ἐπιφάνειαν) of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus
(τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ καὶ Σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ), who gave
Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a
people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. (Titus 2:11–14, NASB)
In light of the parallel passage (2Tim. 1:9-10), and Paul’s actual usage of ἐπιφάνειαν (always with reference to Christ), there is no reason (aside from theological) to think that Paul used ἐπιφάνειαν any differently in Titus 2:13, is there?
ἐπιφάνειαν in Context
But there’s something even more intriguing about Paul’s use of the term ἐπιφάνειαν. This term (and its other forms) is never used by any other NT author, and occurs only in a select few of Paul’s letters. So not only is it rare in Paul; it is really
rare in the NT as a whole. That should lead one to ask: Where did Paul get it from?
Some scholars suggest that Paul may have borrowed such terminology from ancient Hellenistic circles, in which deified kings were bestowed with extravagant titular endowments, i.e., Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Hence, Ptolemaic era rulers were often referred spoken of in such ways:
του βασιλέως του μεγάλου θεού Ευεργέτου και σωτήρος [ἐπιφανοῦς] ευχαρίστου
Πτολεμαίου τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος
τοῖ . . . θεοῖς καὶ Σωτῆρι Πτολεμαίωι
Coupled with the cultural dynamic (cf. Acts 19:21-34), this very well may have been the very catalyst that drove Paul to oppose such cultic practices, reserving such divine honors for the Lord Jesus Christ over against Caesar, or Zeus, or any other.
Without dismissing the former point, there is yet another dynamic to this that should be pointed out. If one were to run a query on ἐπιφάνειαν in the LXX, you will get only a couple of returns. One of those occurrences is — ironically — in 2Sam. 7 LXX. Notice that in this context specifically, David offers a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord for His promise of an everlasting kingdom from his seed (vv. 12-16); something that is ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ (Luke 1:32-33). In David’s prayer, he praises God for His greatness (μεγαλῦναί, v. 22) as exhibited in the Exodus, where He manifested (ἐπιφάνειαν, v. 23) Himself to redeem to Himself a peculiar people for His own possession (τοῦ λυτρώσασθαι αὐτῷ λαὸν, v. 23), i.e., Israel.
But then Paul does something that may escape notice of the casual reader.
Where as in 2Sam. 7, it is the “great” God who manifests Himself to redeem to Himself a peculiar people (Israel); Paul in turn uses this exact language to describe the work of Jesus Christ in Titus 2:13-14. Notice the relative clause of v. 13 (“who gave Himself for us...”) which further describes, defines, and explicates the work of Jesus Christ as that “great” (μεγάλου) God and Savior: “who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us (cf. 2Sam. 7:23, Psalm 130:8) from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds (cf. 2Sam. 7:21-24; Deut. 7:6, 26:18; Ex. 19:5; 1 Peter 2:9).”
It is for these reasons, thoroughly expressed, that Titus 2:13 is best understood to refer to one individual.
 i.e., “Christ Jesus our Lord,” or “Jesus Christ our Lord” where “our Lord” may be placed in apposition to the compound name, “Christ Jesus”
 Moulton, A Grammar of New Testament Greek, pg. 84
 Harris, Wendland, Moulton, Wallace, Quinn, Guthrie, Moehlmann, Cullmann
 ὁ – substantive – ἡμῶν (1Thess. 1:2, 1:3a, 1:5, 2:1, 2:2, 2:9, 2:19, 2:20, 3:2, 3:5, 3:7, 3:9, 3:11b, 3:11c, 3:13b, 5:9, 5:23, 5:28; 2Thess. 1:8, 1:10, 1:11, 1:12, 2:1, 2:14 [x2], 2:16 [x2]; Col. 1:3; Eph. 1:3, 1:14, 1:17, 2:3, 2:14, 3:11, 3:14, 5:20, 6:24; Gal. 1:4a, 2:4, 3:24, 4:6, 6:14, 6:18; 1Cor. 1:2, 1:7, 1:8, 1:9, 1:10, 5:4 [x2], 5:7, 6:11 [x2], 9:1, 10:1, 12:23, 12:24, 15:3, 15:14, 15:31, 15:57; 2Cor. 1:3, 1:4, 1:5, 1:7, 1:8, 1:12, 1:14, 1:22, 3:2 [x2], 3:5, 4:3, 4:6, 4:10, 4:11, 4:16 [x2], 4:17, 5:1, 5:2, 6:11 [x2], 7:3, 7:4, 7:5, 7:13, 7:14, 8:9, 8:22, 9:3, 10:4, 10:8, 10:15; Romans 1:4, 3:5, 4:1, 4:12, 4:24, 4:25 [x2], 5:1, 5:6, 5:11, 5:21, 6:6, 6:23, 7:25, 8:16, 8:23, 8:26, 8:39, 9:10, 10:16, 15:6, 15:30, 16:1, 16:9, 16:18, 16:20, 16:24; Titus 1:4, 2:10, 3:4, 3:6; Phil. 3:21; Phm. 1:2; 1Tim. 1:2, 1:12, 1:14, 2:3, 6:3, 6:14; 2Tim. 1:2, 1:8, 1:9, 1:10; Heb. 3:1, 7:14, 9:14)
 ὁ – substantive – καὶ – substantive – ἡμῶν (1Thess. 1:3b, 3:11a, 3:13a; Gal. 1:4b; Titus 2:13; Phil. 4:20; Phm. 1:1)
 Papyrus 667, 2nd c. BC; F.G. Kenyon, Greek Papyri in the British Museum, pg. 7; Moulton, A Grammar of New Testament Greek, pg. 84
 Inscriptions from Miletus 034.57
 Delos, Inscriptiones Graecae XI,4 [510-1349] document 1038, 25