How should we read Psalm 110:1? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Buzzard is certainly right in saying this is the most repeated Old Testament verse in the New Testament. This is the one verse that Jesus initiated a challenge with the Pharisees over in His ministry. It was extremely foundational in the formation of early Christianity.
So is it a unitarian text?
To begin with, Buzzard says the New Testament is violated if one suggests that two persons are YHWH. Why? We’re not told. Also, if this is what he thinks, what does he do with the Old Testament where in Genesis 19:24, two persons are addressed as YHWH?
He also says Paul goes to great distinction to differentiate by saying God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. An interesting aspect of this is that this actually could go against Buzzard’s claim. If Paul is having to make some differentiation between the two, does that not indicate that there were some grounds where they were seen as similar if not equal? It’s as if he has to qualify who is meant by God now and who is meant by Lord. Would it be because that would lead to confusion if he didn’t?
He refers to Galatians 3:20 where he says Paul says God is one person. The problem is it only says God is one. Buzzard is adding the person in. Keep in mind, this is the same person who complains when he thinks Trinitarian interpreters are changing the text to fit their biases. Rules for thee, but not for me! He even says in this chapter that “the translator or translators have the power to direct the reader’s thinking beyond what the original Greek had meant.” Oh, the irony!
He says about Psalm 110 that if there are two persons who are called YHWH speaking to each other, then monotheism has been abandoned.
Buzzard doesn’t tell us. He automatically assumes that monotheism means unipersonalism. This is never argued. For someone wanting to go in-depth in explaining a text, you would think just once he would exegete the Shema.
He also says the Lordship of the Messiah was acquired by Jesus at the end of His ministry. That’s strange since I thought Elizabeth greeted Mary as the mother of her Lord and the angels said to the shepherds that Christ the Lord had been born. Eh. Angels and people speaking under the influence of the Holy Spirit. What do they know?
Later, Buzzard says
Now imagine that Peter believed that both the Father and Jesus were equally God. Then God had allowed God to be crucified and God had raised God to His right hand? Does this make the slightest sense? God sitting at the right hand of God would present the audience with a blatantly polytheistic system. God is not two. He is only one. The heritage of Israel would have been overthrown if the Messiah were now to be included as an eternal member of a plural Godhead. No Jew could possibly have been prepared for the notion that the Messiah was part of the Godhead. The Hebrew Bible had announced no such thing . It would have been a staggering innovation, requiring pages of explanation, to say that the Messiah, adoni, my lord, was really the One God of Israel, who was now mysteriously “two.”
This whole paragraph is full of straw men and parodies of what Trinitarians believe and Buzzard should know better. Never mind that no Jew would have been prepared for hearing the Messiah had been crucified for the sins of the world and raised to life bodily in the middle of the age instead of at the end of all things. That too, was a staggering innovation, but free pass because Buzzard believes it.
Still, he doesn’t say why this doctrine of God would be a staggering innovation and why no Jew could have possibly been prepared for it. There is no interaction with the idea already considered by some Jews in such works as the Wisdom of Solomon that God could be multipersonal in nature. There is no interaction with the idea of Hypostases in the Godhead. Nothing. Buzzard just says it’s staggering. After all, Unitarianism!
In response to Bauckham saying that Paul includes Jesus in the divine nature in his Christianization of the Shema in 1 Cor. 8:4-6, all Buzzard says in response is that if the Shema has God as one person and Paul adds another person, then Paul has indeed added to the Shema. Yeah. Notice that conditional. If the Shema has this. Buzzard nowhere gives an argument that it does. Thus, his reply to Bauckham is “This cannot be because it goes against the position that I already hold.” He never shows how Bauckham is wrong on the grounds of his argument.
In Philippians 2, Buzzard says Paul is telling us to model ourselves after Jesus, but it would be amazing if this was a divine being who decided to become a human. Yes. It would be amazing. And? He also says it’s unrealistic. Are we being expected to model the behavior of an eternal person who became human on Earth?
Yes. Yes, we are.
In Col. 1, we are told Jesus is the Wisdom of God. No bother to interact with intertestamental material on Wisdom. Nothing asking what it would mean if God’s Wisdom was not eternal. He also asks what would this mean if God says in Isaiah 44 that He created everything alone?
Well, Trinitarians have an answer. Now if you want to say God created with Wisdom, but Wisdom was not a second person of the Godhead, then you have that question to answer. We don’t.
So what of Psalm 110:1? Oh. Well, that verse translates the word apparently as Adoni, which does not mean God, and not Adonai, which would. Never mind that those vowel points were added years later as he himself admits. The Jews were faithful and would know what their texts meant! Breaking news people. Non-Christian Jews hundreds of years after Jesus did not agree that Jesus is fully God and fully man in nature. Shock isn’t it? (Also, watch the debate Buzzard had alongside another Unitarian with James White and Michael Brown where this verse came up.)
Just another example of Buzzard’s poor argumentation.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)