A Tribute To The Curtmudgeon

It is a sad day for the Deeper Waters blogger. I would have normally been going through the Trinitarian Commentary, but a certain event today has caused me to have to change my plans. Before I get to the blog, I want to thank everyone for their continued prayers and I ask that you keep them up. I am seeking a lot of wisdom in a certain area and seeking overall to be a better man. Also, the next two days, there will not be a blog as I will be out of town on a little vacation and visiting my sick grandmother. For now, let’s get to the blog.

I am a member of the TheologyWeb forum and this morning as I worked, my roommate, also a member, sent me a message to tell me about one of our members known as The Curtmudgeon. We were greatly saddened to learn that he had been having chest pains and drove himself to the hospital in good spirits, but while there, he died of a massive heart attack.

Curt, as he will henceforth be known, was always a gracious fellow to talk to. Even when you disagreed with the guy, you had to like him. He was one of the friendliest and funniest people that you’d ever met and his last post on TheologyWeb had been one of him offering up prayers for someone else. For Curt, the other person was always the most important.

I’d got to meet Curt at a convention that we had recently. He showed up to our special Saturday night even wearing a kilt which was absolutely hysterical. I fortunately took some pictures of that and as I write this I think that those will be the last pictures of him that I will ever take and that I am blessed to have got to see him in person.

Curt gave us his testimony of how he’d resisted God for so long. He wasn’t exactly living in sin, but he was just ignoring the truth that he knew. He was for the time being taking grad Seminary courses from a distance with the belief that God wasn’t done with him yet.

Does that mean he was in error? I don’t think so. Curt spent much of his time teaching others and helping them with their questions. One of his final acts had been dealing with his relatives recent loss of their newborn child and doing whatever he could to comfort them. Perchance that was what God wanted him to do before he took him home. Maybe his time was spent in ways that we didn’t see to comfort to those who were suffering.

Indeed, that is what he was always doing. We didn’t get to talk much at the convention, but I did thoroughly enjoy the time that we did spend talking. The world of TheologyWeb will not be the same without the presence of the Curtmudgeon. Most memorable will be the way that he always signed his posts, to which I shall do similar tonight to honor him.

We’ll always miss you Curt! We look forward to seeing you again. You are with Jesus now and far better off than we. Earth’s loss is Heaven’s gain.

The (Missing a good and true friend) Deeper Waters blogger.

A Little Lower Than Angels

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters. I hope everyone has had a fine day today and again, I thank you for your continued prayers. We’re going through our Trinitarian Commentary still and we’re in the book of Hebrews and so far, we’ve touched on every verse in the book. What can I say? This is a book that is heavily bathed in who Jesus is. Tonight, we’re going to be looking at Hebrews 2:5-9:

5It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. 6But there is a place where someone has testified:
“What is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
7You made him a little lower than the angels;
you crowned him with glory and honor
8 and put everything under his feet.”In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. 9But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

The Hebrews writer continues the path he has been going down to tell his readers about the supremacy of Christ. The world to come has not been made subject to angels, but it has been made subject to the Son. Thus, the Son is greater than the angels and again, we dare not ignore him.

The writer does grant that for a season, Jesus did take on a lower position, but he has been exalted. The reference is to Psalm 8. Originally spoken of about humanity, the writer in his inspired commentary sees it ultimately being about the one who is the ultimate Son of Man, Jesus Christ, and how he was made a subject.

Note especially however that everything has been put under him. That means that there is not anything that is not under him. Now Paul when he wrote on a similar theme in 1 Cor. 15:24-28 pointed out that this obviously does not include God himself, but this does place Jesus within the Godhead as being the one that all creation submits to.

The writer realizes that this is not a complete reality at this point however in that not everything has been placed under him. Paul sees this as reaching full fruition when the resurrection of the dead takes place and we can reasonably conclude that since the Bible speaks with one voice ultimately, that the Hebrews writer likely has the same time in mind.

However, he does say that Jesus is now crowned with glory and honor. This is also the first time in the book that the name of Jesus is used. Why is Jesus crowned? Because he suffered death. Jesus took submission all the way to the limit by paying the ultimate price he did not have to pay, the price that was the most contrary to his nature.

The Hebrews writer sees no contradiction between this and anything he said in the first chapter. Neither should we.

We shall continue tomorrow.


Ignoring Great Salvation

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters. I’m having a really good day today as it looks like the sun is starting to break through the dark clouds I created. I do appreciate your prayers for my continued wisdom in a particular area in my life. I also think Jin-Roh for his comments. No. Not everything is about the Trinity, but we’re going through the Bible to see what it says and I am thoroughly enjoying it. Actually, I’m looking forward to Revelation as I’m reading that now and realizing how much it says about Jesus. We usually go there for eschatology, but it says much about who Jesus is.

Tonight, we’ll be in the second chapter however of Hebrews and we’re going to read verses 1-4:

1We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment,3how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

We’ve been warned not to ignore this great salvation we have. The message that came through angels was binding. The message that comes from the Son who is superior to the angels then is even more binding upon us.

Note however that we have strong Trinitarian interplay going on in this passage. In speaking about the salvation, to which we should recognize that the question of salvation is inextricably tied in with who Jesus is, such that you cannot have a Jesus who is less than deity and still have so great salvation.

This salvation was first preached by the Lord. Note that the Lord is so easily used to refer to Jesus. We’ve already noted that the author has used the term Kurios to speak of Jesus and did so in a way that indicated his sovereignty over creation. At this point, the name of Jesus hasn’t even been mentioned. He is either the Son or the Lord or God.

While the eyewitnesses who heard Jesus confirmed the message, God himself testified to it by the working of miracles. Miracles are not events done in a vacuum. They are done to display a message and confirm it. The message I believe in the miracles was what the kingdom of God would be like in its fruition. For instance, there were healing miracles because sickness and suffering will be absent when the kingdom is fully realized.

However, that is not the end of the testimony. The Lord announced, God testified, and the Holy Spirit distributed gifts of the Spirit as an agent of God to show the truth of the message. It is the work of the Holy Spirit that brings about the continued preaching of the gospel message.

Thus, all the persons of the Trinity are involved in the good news of the gospel. This is a Trinitarian passage that fits in with the model that we have seen before. We cannot have a full gospel without having the Trinity.

Jesus Vs. The Angels

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters. Tonight, we’re going to be continuing our look at Hebrews 1. I’d first like to thank everyone for their continued prayers. I think I’ve made some major breakthroughs in that area in my life. Let us hope that the sun is once again beginning to shine. Going back to the Trinitarian commentary, tonight we’re going to finish up our look at Jesus in the first chapter of Hebrews by reading verses 13-14:

13To which of the angels did God ever say,
“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet”? 14Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

As far as I know, Psalm 110:1 is the most quoted Old Testament Verse in the New Testament and it’s no shock it’s used here. None of the angels were ever promised to either sit at the right hand of God or that he would make their enemies a footstool.

The verse is so important because it captured the deity of Christ to the early church and it showed his position as Messiah. This was the Messiah in the lineage of David who has ontological equality with the Father and is the judge of all the world.

This is done in contrast to the angels. The angels are but servants sent to those who will inherit salvation. Now Jesus did wash his disciples’ feet, which was the position of a servant, but he did so in a way that he showed was unnatural to one in his position. The angels however have been placed in a position where they are servants to us. In fact, we are told in 1 Cor. 6 that we will judge the angels. If we judge the angels, then in some way we are superior to them.

Of course, this is not to lower angels. I think angels are a fascinating topic of discussion and they are great creations of God, but something that I believe distinguishes us from them is that we are never told that angels have the image of God. We are definitely never told that Christ died for the sins of angels. The emphasis in Scripture is on God restoring men to him and not angels.

However, the contrast here is not about angels and ourselves but angels and the Son. In the system that the writer was writing to, angels were seen as mediators, which is understandable seeing as in Galatians 3 Paul says that the Law was mediated to us by angels. There was always a great tendency however to look to the means of something as being an object of worship, such as the bronze snake Moses made that later became an idol. I dare say most of us would be tempted to worship an angel if we saw one, but we must not do so.

However great these beings are, the writer wants one thing to be clear to his readers. Christ is greater. This is one of the explanatory passages in the book. Tomorrow, we shall begin looking at an argument that follows from this that counts as one of the warning passages and see what more we can learn about the Trinity from there.


Jesus as Kurios

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are continuing our Trinitarian commentary.  I also thank you for your prayers as it seems the light is breaking through in some ways now. This has been a learning and growing experience for me and I am a better man for it. Enough about me however. Tonight, we are continuing on our Trinitarian commentary in the book of Hebrews. I said last night that saying “Jesus is God” is not the pinnacle the Hebrews writer reaches in that first chapter. Let’s go to that pinnacle in verses 10-12:

10He also says,
“In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
11They will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
12You will roll them up like a robe;
like a garment they will be changed.
But you remain the same,
and your years will never end.”

How is this greater? God implies the concept of being deity, but remember that the Jews would have known about a Greek pantheon with several deities so being one in the class of deity, while impressive, would not be the end-all.

When we come to this passage, we reach something that includes deity in it, but is a more exclusive way of putting it. The word in this case is Kurios. In the previous verse, the word was Theos which was a normal word used for God. However, Kurios implies sovereignty with it as well. To be Kurios is not just to be deity, but rather to be a sovereign deity. When the Greek Septuagint translated the Hebrew into the Greek, they would translate YHWH into Kurios, showing just how highly the word is used.

Where does the quote come from? It comes from Psalm 102. I invite the reader to go to the Psalm and read it for himself. This is a Psalm about creation and praising YHWH for it. What the writer is saying is that this applies to Jesus.

Now in earlier verses, we could have said that kingship applies to Jesus without making him deity. In a sense, that is correct, although the wider context suggests otherwise. However, in this passage, we do not have kingship but the state of being the creator.

Note as well that the creation is described as the work of his hands. A study of the texts in the Old Testament reveals that whenever the term is used, it does refer to something that the person was directly involved in. In saying that creation is the work of the hands of Jesus, it is saying that Jesus was directly involved in creation. In saying that he is kurios, it is saying that he is the sovereign over the creation. If Jesus is the sovereign over the creation, then he is God.

Thus, we find that the Hebrews writer has been building on a pinnacle. Now he has reached his grand creation. Jesus is more than an angel. He is more than a king. He is more than just a god. He is the sovereign Lord of all that is. Indeed, let not just all God’s angels worship him, but all creation as well.



Your Throne O God

Hello everyone and welcome to Deeper Waters once again. I thank everyone again for their continued prayers as there is a lot to be learned in a certain area and I believe I will learn it. Tonight, let us continue our Trinitarian Commentary. Last time, I left us on a cliffhanger of sorts saying that the Son was superior to the angels in a certain way. What way is that? Well let us go to our text tonight. We will be looking at Hebrews 1:8-9. Let’s go:

8But about the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever,
and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.
9You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
by anointing you with the oil of joy.”

The Psalms were a favorite book for the New Testament writers to quote and the writer of the epistle to the Hebrews was no exception. This passage is also like Psalm 2, a passage to honor the king, yet all of a sudden in the text, we find the reference to God. What is going on?

Naturally, an Old Testament king was not God, however, they were in essence to have a godlike function. I believe the same is being said of the judges of Israel in Psalm 82. They were to lead Israel as God’s chosen person to sit upon the throne. There was also the Davidic promise that one of David’s descendants would forever sit on the throne.

The Trinitarian is fully prepared for the true fulfillment of this passage as while the others did function as gods, in the end, it truly is God who sits on the throne in the person of Christ. This is a psalm that ultimately is Messianic and looks forward to the age of the Messiah when the true king of Davidic descent would sit on the throne and as we saw in the question Christ stumped the Pharisees with on if the Messiah was the Son of David, this does end with the fulfillment of a human descendant of David who is both man and God.

How does a group like the Jehovah’s Witnesses handle this. They’re quite good at changing the Bible when it doesn’t fit with their doctrine. Here is what the New World Translation says:

But with reference to the Son: “God is your throne forever and ever, and [the] scepter of your kingdom is the scepter of uprightness.

There is no doubt the Witnesses are in the minority among Greek grammarians throughout the ages (Of course, I don’t believe any Greek grammarians really worked on the text of the NWT). It would be more likely however that if this was meant to be read in that way, that Ho Theos, for God, would have appeared first. The idea of interpreting it as “God is your throne” has been called a grotesque interpretation.

I would also point out that I find this concept makes no sense. In what sense is God a throne? God is not a place for another to sit. God will not relinquish his rulership to another forever and ever. The Christian concept does have explanatory power, it fits in with sound theology in the church for ages, and it has had the backing of grammarians for ages.

But the question is asked “If this is saying Jesus is God, then haven’t we reached the pinnacle? Wouldn’t this best be saved for last?”

We shall answer that tomorrow.

Superior To Angels

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters. My thanks for the prayers through my recent sickness. I did sleep in until a little after 10, which I can do since I have Saturdays off. As for the other area, I’m learning and growing a lot more in that area and I believe some progress is being made. For now, let’s move to the text. Tonight, we’re going to be looking at Hebrews 1:4-7:

4So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.5For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son;
today I have become your Father”? Or again,
“I will be his Father,
and he will be my Son”? 6And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God’s angels worship him.” 7In speaking of the angels he says,
“He makes his angels winds,
his servants flames of fire.”

The writer of Hebrews was dealing with a system that held to several mediators between God and men. There were angels, the high priest, Moses, and Melchizedek. We’ll see in this book that all of them are dealt with. The first is angels.

First off, the Son is superior to angels because he has inherited a superior name. That name is of course the name of YHWH. Inheritance doesn’t mean that he got it at a point in time, but rather that he showed himself to be the true bearer of the name by what has been said about him throughout time, meaning not just the incarnation but the Scriptures as a whole.

The writer demonstrates this by showing the truths that apply to the Son that do not apply to the angels. The first is asking to which of the angels did he ever say “You are my son; today I have become your father.” This is a statement that was said at the coronation of the new king of Israel, but it does apply to the ministry of Jesus.

The Son did not become the Son at a point in time, but rather was declared to be the Son of God by God’s approval of his ministry at the baptism and at the transfiguration. The final vindication of this of course was at the resurrection. No angel ever received such confirmation of his relationship to YHWH.

The second statement of “I will be his father; and he will be my son.” This is a passage again about the king of Israel and the covenant relationship being continued through the king, but established par excellence in Christ. None of the angels were ones that God made a covenant promise with. They could be mediators of that covenant, but they themselves were not the basis for the covenant.

Also, when the firstborn is brought into the world, all the angels are to worship him. No angel is the proper object of worship. (Readers are recommended to see my earlier series on the Angel of the Lord as an appearance of the pre-incarnate Christ.) The idea of Christ being worshiped should be sufficient to show his unique status.

Angels are also said to be servants. The Son is given a contrasting position even though he does willingly submit. What is that contrasting position?

That is what tomorrow’s blog is for.

Exact Representation

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters. It looks like my flu could be in its last stages. Let’s hope so. I did manage to rest through the night but some Nyquil could have had something to do with that. As for the other area, it’s a work in progress, but I’ve not been one to give up on something worthwhile easily. I ask for your continued prayers.

For now, we continue our Trinitarian commentary with a look at Hebrews 1:3. Let’s go to the text:

3The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

Early Christian apologists explained the relationship to the Father and the Son as to the sun and its light. What the sun gives off is what it is. The same can be said here as the Son is the radiance of the glory of the Father. God’s glory is shone through the Son and we know who the Father is by knowledge of the Son.

Most interesting for our purposes however is the idea that the Son is the exact representation of the being of the Father. The word used in the Greek for the exact representation is charakter. It is meant to give the idea of an engraving or stamping that is taking place. If you put a stamp down on wax, for instance, you could leave the charakter. It would be an exact representation of the stamp.

Jesus is just that to the Father. If the Father were to leave an impression of his very nature in a stamp, that would be seen as the Son. The Son does not just act like the Father in some ways nor does he just have the communicable attributes that we have. The Son is the exact representation. If it is an aspect of the nature of the Father, then you can be sure it will show up in the nature of the Son.

The Son also sustains all things by his powerful Word. It is because of the Son that you are now and it is because of the Son that I am able to type out this message. This is also on parallel with the Wisdom literature where it is by God’s Wisdom that the universe is held together.

We next have mention of the work of the Son in redemption. Jesus is the one who came and made redemption for us so that we could be free from the grip of sin and death. Notice however what he did when he was done. He sat down. Those words should be cause of excitement for everyone who is a Christian. It means Jesus’s works were done. This is a play we’ll see throughout this book as the author seeks to show Jesus is superior to the Old Covenant. In that covenant, the priest did not sit down. He always had work to do and after atonement was made one year, he would have to make it the next. Jesus, however, sat down. His work of purification was done for all time.

There is also the distinction between him and the Father in that Jesus sits at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. Jesus is not the Father, but the writer has no problem saying that Jesus is one who bears the exact same nature of the one he is with. Once again, we see the message of John 1:1 being brought out.

We shall continue our look at Hebrews 1 tomorrow.

The Language of God

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters. I do ask for your continued prayers. Last night was a very difficult night for me and one that was quite painful. There are just some issues that I’m working through and again, due to the personal nature of them, I choose to not go into them on the blog. I just ask for the prayers of my readers.

Tonight, we’re going to start the book of Hebrews and I have been looking forward to this for awhile. I believe Hebrews is my favorite book of the New Testament and it is just loaded on who Jesus is. This book should hopefully take awhile to go through. We’re going to start tonight in the first chapter with verses 1-2:

1In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.

One idea I want readers to keep in mind is that Hebrews has an underlying Logos doctrine where Jesus is to be understood as God’s Wisdom. An excellent look at this can be found in the book “The Gospel and the Greeks” by Ron Nash.

The book also comes from a historical perspective right from the beginning when it says “In the past.” This is in essence giving a Christian interpretation of history. The Jews were the people of the time who did not see the universe as cyclical but they rather saw that there was a story going on and that it was going somewhere.

The Hebrews writer refers to the prophets through whom God spoke. History in Judaism had a long line of prophets each building on the revelation of those before giving more and more clues to the story of the Messiah that was coming. They came at various times as the text says and they spoke in various way.

Quite different however is the last revelation spoken of through Son. Now some of you are wondering if I just used some bad grammar there. When I was in Bible College, I have never forgotten what one of the Greek professors said in that he said there wasn’t an article so it could be said that God spoke by Son. In other words, God spoke through the prophets, but the Son is his language. The Son is the eternal language of God.

This fits in with what we saw in John 1:18 with the Son being the one who exegetes the Father. The Son reveals the nature of the Father that we could not know on our own. In the same way, when the Father speaks, it is in the language of the Son.

This fits in of course with the overall prologue of John where the Son is referred to as the Word. It is by the Son that God creates and it is by the Son that his love for mankind is revealed. It is by the Son that we ultimately know God.

Again, the Son is the language of God.

We shall continue tomorrow.


Welcome back everyone. It has been an exhausting day. I didn’t get much sleep last night so right now I’m fighting to stay awake. However, I didn’t get much sleep because I was actually in a good mood. Odd how that works isn’t it? I do ask for your continued prayers in both areas I’ve asked for in the more confidential one, I believe I am likely to be somewhat of an iconoclast in a certain area but hey, we apologists can enjoy being iconoclasts.

Tonight, we don’t really have a text per se. We do of course, but it’s too long to quote and we’re not looking at one verse but rather the main theme of the whole book. That will be the book of Philemon, a book that’s only a chapter long in the New Testament. It’s the last Pauline epistle. (I do not consider Hebrews to be Pauline.) It is the story of Paul meeting Philemon’s slave Onesimus and getting him converted and sending him back to his master asking him to welcome him back as a brother.

The concept of slavery is interesting in this case however. When we think of slavery, we must not think of slavery that went on in England and America during the period it was practiced here. Slavery was often quite difficult and there were many great slaves such as the philosopher Epictetus and a slave had numerous rights that slaves in the more modern sense did not have. (Though slavery is no longer going on in our countries, any time it is referred to, it will be referred to as modern slavery.)

Paul saw himself as a slave of Christ in contrast to Onesimus being a slave of Philemon. He was the bondservant of Christ who was called to obey his master in all things. In the days of the Roman empire, the behavior of the slave reflected the behavior of the master. If someone was a good slave, it spoke little about the slave and instead spoke of the value of the master. This must be a master that one would willingly love to serve if the slave was a good slave.

Paul saw himself the same way as being a slave of Christ. He was the bondservant meant to be at the beck and call of his master. If Christ says to do something, well it is done. No questions are to be asked. The willingness Paul would obey his master would show the world around him how much he valued his master. It’s also noteworthy that Paul took on the title of slave, meaning he was willing to take on a lowly position in order to illustrate his obedience to Christ.

Paul did this showing Philemon that the position that Onesimus was in to him was to parallel the position that Paul was in to Christ in that Onesimus’s life was to be in Philemon’s hands. Philemon could have had Onesimus put to death for his trespass, and indeed, Christ would be just putting us to death for our trespasses.

This also tells us of course how Paul viewed Christ. Christ was the one Paul had placed his life into the hands of. Christ was the one who Paul was to obey the every command of. Christ was the one Paul was to show the world was his master. In essence, Paul would have had to have a high view of Christ in order to do this.

And could it be, a view that saw Christ as deity?

Why it just might have been.

I look forward to tomorrow when we start the book of Hebrews!