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Some Famous Textual Problems: 1 Tim 3:16 and John 1:18

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Do these two passages call Jesus “God”? Thankfully, the Bible affirms the divinity of Christ many other ways and in many other passages than these two.


I. 1 TIMOTHY 3:16

A. Internal Evidence

1. Transcriptional Probability

2. Intrinsic Probability

3. Grade: A- for ‘he’

B. External Evidence

1. Byzantine MSS: ‘God’

2. Best Alexandrian MSS: “who”

3. Western MSS: “which” (Old Latin: quod)

C. Conclusion: “he” is clearly authentic

II. JOHN 1:18

A. Variants

B. Internal Evidence

4. Transcriptional Probability

5. Intrinsic Probability

6. Internal grade: B for ‘God’

C. External Evidence

1. Alexandrian MSS: ‘God’

2. Western MSS:

3. Byzantine MSS: ‘Son’

4. Geographical Distribution

5. External Grade: B+ for “God”

D. Conclusion

1. “The unique one, himself God’ is the authentic text

2. Strong affirmation of Christ’s deity


A. Do modern translations deny the deity of Christ?

B. Both in text and translation KJV affirms Christ’s divinity less than most modern translations.

1. Titus 2.13: “great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ”

2. 2 Peter 1.1: “of God and our Savior, Jesus Christ”

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