6

Luke 8:28

When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.

Is the demon implying that the son of God is the “most high” in Greek, which would obviously indicate that he is God as that title is only given to God (as far as I can see)? I see the new modern English translations word it differently but it doesn’t seem to match up with the Greek. Or am I incorrect in that assertion?

I just thought this could be another interesting instance of proof of Christ's divinity coming from someone who understood Christ's divinity at that time better than most (fallen angels/demons).

1
  • Welcome to BHSX. Thanks for your question. Please remember to take the tour (link below left) to better understand how this site works.
    – Dottard
    Commented Oct 22, 2023 at 21:41

3 Answers 3

9

The Greek precludes “most High” from modifying “Son”. The noun υἱὲ (“Son”) is declined in the vocative case, while τοῦ ὑψίστου (“most High”) is declined in the genitive case. Therefore, τοῦ ὑψίστου must modify τοῦ θεοῦ (“of the God”), which is also declined in the genitive case.

A basic rule of Greek grammar is that an adjective agrees with the number, gender, and case of the substantive it modifies.

2
  • Thank you for your comment! So to summarise in layman’s terms, does it mean “Son of God most high” or “Son of the most high God”?
    – Zak
    Commented Oct 23, 2023 at 20:37
  • 1
    @Zak—"Most High" describes "God", not "Son". Commented Oct 23, 2023 at 21:18
4

There are several elements to this question. First, "Most High" is definitely an exclusive title of God as confirmed by several verses such as: Gen 14:19, 20, Deut 32:8, Ps 46:4, 47:2, 57:2, 83:18, Dan 4:24, 5:18, Heb 7:1, Acts 7:48, Luke 1:32.

Note that this last reference confirms from Mary's angel messenger that what the demon in Luke 8:28 said was correct.

Second, claiming to "The Son of God Most High" is definitely a claim to divinity. All Jesus' followers are "children of God" (1 John 3:10, 5:2, Rom 9:8, etc), but only Jesus is "The Son of God", AND, "The SON of Man". See appendix below. Indeed, it was this very claim that finally secured Jesus' execution at the declaration of the High Priest.

Thus, the declaration of the demon that Jesus was "The Son of God Most High" (Luke 8:28) is both an admission of who Jesus was, AND an admission of His great authority to command the demons. See V32, 33.

Lastly, this is one of three such occasions where demons recognized Jesus for who He was, see Mark 1:24 and Luke 4:34. (See also James 2:19).

APPENDIX - Jesus' claim to the "Son of God".

Mark 14:61-64 - Again the high priest questioned Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am” said Jesus, “and you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.” At this, the high priest tore his clothes and declared, “Why do we need any more witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy. What is your verdict?” And they all condemned Him as deserving of death.

In this instance, Jesus claims several things, namely:

  • That He was the Christ/Messiah
  • That He was The Son of God
  • That He was The “I Am”
  • That He was The Son of Man (see Dan 7:13)
  • That He was the legitimate King of Israel, both literal and spiritual
  • … and thus, that He was both fully human and fully divine

Note that claiming to be a human messiah was nothing new. However, explicitly claiming to be both human (a son of man) and divine ("The Son of Man", see Dan 7:13, and "The Son of God", compare Dan 3:25) and Messiah all at once, was (to them) quite blasphemous; but only if it was not true! This was confirmed by the High Priest illegally tearing is robes as a symbol of his horror of blasphemy.

3
  • Thank you very much for deep and insightful comment! That is incredibly interesting and I will be doing a deep dive into the verses you have given to get a deeper understanding. I just find it interesting how I haven’t seen anyone use this verse in popular circles to prove Christs divinity when it seems clear. Thank you once again for your comment.
    – Zak
    Commented Oct 22, 2023 at 22:08
  • 2
    Are you saying that the original Greek of "Son of God most high" must be parsed as "(Son of God) most high" and not "Son of (God most high)"? Commented Oct 22, 2023 at 23:20
  • 1
    @RayButterworth - my answer made no comment about that point. Of the two option you present, I prefer your send option, Son (God Most High).
    – Dottard
    Commented Oct 22, 2023 at 23:37
1

The demon in Luke 8:28 said "What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not."

Notice that the verse does not say that Jesus is the Most High God. Jesus never claimed to be the Most High God. Jesus stated plainly that his Father/God is greater than him and that his Father/God is the only true God. John 14:28 and John 17:3. How can one assert that Jesus is the Most High God using Luke 8:28 when the verse clearly shows Jesus as the son of the Most High God?

The verse shows Jesus as the son of the most high God. It will take a lot of equivocation to say that this verse says Jesus is the most high God. Jesus did not father himself.

Psalm 83:18 ASV

There is only one Most High God and His name is Jehovah.

That they may know that thou alone, whose name is Jehovah, Art the Most High over all the earth.

Some may advance the notion that the "one" God applies to both the Father and Jesus but that is false. According to Jesus' own statement, the Father and Jesus count as 2, not 1, as John 8:17-18 shows.

John 8:17-18 LSV

and also in your law it has been written that the testimony of two men is true; I am [One] who is testifying of Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies of Me.” I am [One] who is testifying of Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies of Me.”

If, as the OP claims, "the new modern English translations word it differently but it doesn’t seem to match up with the Greek." proof or research should at least be provided as to why the wording was changed.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.