Titus 2:13

Titus 2:13 says: “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”

The question is, should this verse be read to say, “the appearing of the great God who is our Saviour Jesus Christ,” or should it be read as saying, “the appearing of the great God, as well as of our Saviour Jesus Christ?”

“The Greek of this expression is ambiguous (Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 367).”

*ambiguous means open to two or more interpretations; or of uncertain nature or significance; or (often) intended to mislead*

On the surface it would seem to be speaking of Jesus Christ only, since many believe when he returns the Father is not expected to return with him.(2)The verse would then suggest that Jesus is the great God referred to.

*This would be puzzling, to say the least, especially in the writings of Paul, who regards Jesus as a divine Being but who consistently insists that “there is but one God, the Father (1 Corinthians 8:6).”

The problem is solved when we realize that the Greek rendering suggests that the text is referring not so much to the appearing of either Christ or of God or even both of them, but rather to the appearing of the glory of them both.

The literal translation of the Greek in the passage is, “waiting for the blessed hope and manifestation of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13 Young’s Literal Translation).”

Other translations of the Bible such as The Revised Standard VersionModern King James Version, and The Bible in Basic English, have been faithful to the Greek text in recognizing that the “appearing” has reference to the glory of God rather than to God himself.

This interpretation of the verse is in perfect harmony with the statement that Jesus made that when he returns it will be with his glory as well as with the glory of the Father. His exact words are:

For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of m words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels (Luke 9:26).

Once we understand this, the meaning of the text becomes clear and is in perfect harmony with the rest of Scripture.

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