(Deuteronomy 6:4; Mark 12:29)

Who are the "Sons of God" in Genesis 6:4?

Fred R. Coulter—October 13, 2007

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How many Gods, Lords or Jehovahs are revealed in the Bible: Old and New Testaments?

The Jews claim that God is one single individual by numerical count, but they cannot explain the Scriptures that show that there are more than one; there are two! And when you get the full understanding of what the Masorites have done, they have deliberately concealed the knowledge from the world that there are two Jehovahs in the Pentateuch and two Jehovahs in the Psalms.

We have complete booklets on both {truthofgod.org} What you have in The Holy Bible in It's Original Order, A Faithful Version is Appendix W: The Two Jehovahs of the Old Testament. It shows that there are two Jehovahs within 'Elohim.'

'Elohim' is a word that is a uni-plural word like people, those. 'Elohim' with the 'im' on the end means more than one! Actually, the Scriptures reveal that from the beginning there have been two.

I want to focus in on in Appendix W: Does Deut. 6:4 support a singular Godhead? Then we will come to Appendix X: Exegetical Analysis of Mark 12:29, an analysis of the only place in the New Testament that fully quotes Deut. 6:4.

Does Deuteronomy 6:4 Support a Singular Godhead? (The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faith Version, Appendix W)

Deuteronomy 6:4 is often quoted by those who promote a monotheistic view of God: "Hear, O Israel: The LORD [Jehovah] our God [Elohim] is one LORD [Jehovah]" (KJV). This translation of Moses' words in Deuteronomy 6:4 is similar to the Jewish translation, which is known as the "Shema." Shema is Hebrew for "hear," the first word in the passage. The Jewish Shema:

"Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One."

The Shema has long been used as a "rallying cry" for monotheistic Judaism…

And we might put in there: in response to the New Testament doctrine that Jesus was God manifested in the flesh! Because, in rejecting Jesus as God manifested in the flesh, they had to go back and make it appear that there was only one God in the first place. How could you have God manifested in the flesh, Who was in heaven upholding the universe while that was going on?

…Scholars would have us believe that the Old Testament supports the Jewish view of a monotheistic God. But the truth of Scripture is that Moses' words in Deuteronomy 6:4 do not limit the Godhead to a single divine being.

Scholars correctly point out…

There are some honest scholars in the world; some who are truly seeking the Truth of God! God has given them parts of the Truth of God so that there will be additional witness from God as to the veracity of His Word.

…that there is no verb in the passage in the original Hebrew….

Which presents a problem, because in order to establish a singular monotheistic God, you must have a verb.

…The verb "is" in the English translation is added, and is thus placed in italics in many translations. The Hebrew wording in this verse is known as a verbless clause. Such clauses often require a complex grammatical analysis in order to properly interpret their meaning.

Scholars have arrived at a number of interpretations for Deuteronomy 6:4, and there has been much debate over the meaning of the text. Because there is no other verse in the Old Testament that resembles this passage, scholars are unable to verify that any interpretation of this verse is completely accurate. In An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, Bruce K. Waltke explains the complex grammatical factors involved in translating a verbless clause (the term YHWH or Yhwh is the same as Jehovah):

“The problems posed by the Shema (Deut. 6:4) are numerous. After the initial imperative and vocative, ladsi oms: ‘Hear, O Israel,’ there follow four words [Jehovah Elohim Jehovah one]….

A literal translation!

...However they are construed, it is agreed that no closely comparable passage occurs [elsewhere]. The simplest solution is to recognize [that we are dealing with] two juxtaposed verbless clauses: (a) wnihla hwhi ‘YHWH is our God’ (identifying clause, S-Pred); (b) dAHa hwhi ‘YHWH is one’ (classifying clause, SPred, with a numeral). Few scholars favor such a parsing. Andersen takes… hwhi hwhi [Jehovah, Jehovah] as a discontinuous [split] predicate…

That becomes important when we look at Mark 12:29. I know this is deep, and I don’t expect you to comprehend this exactly the first time through. But it will help you understand when we come to Mark 12:29, because that is the only quote in the New Testament of this only verse in the Old Testament

.…with the other two words as a discontinuous [split] subject, [and thus arrives at] ‘Our one God [Elohim] is YHWH, YHWH.‘ Other proposed parsings take the first two words as subject (viz., ‘YHWH our God is one YHWH’) or the first three words (viz., ‘YHWH, our God, YHWH is one’) or even the first word alone [as subject]. It is hard to say if dAHa [one] can serve as an adjective modifying hwhi [Jehovah]. It is even less clear what the predicate dAHa hwhi wnihla would mean, though some scholars take it adverbially (‘YHWH is our God, YHWH alone’). As Gerald Janzen observes, ‘the Shema does not conform exactly to any standard nominal sentence pattern…’ ” (p. 135; bold emphasis added).

Because it's special! Then he gives a little more explanation going through it.

We have put in the Old Testament this following translation; Deuteronomy 6:4: "Hear, O Israel: Our one God is the LORD, the LORD." (A Faithful Version). Then in the margin we put in the traditional translation of it.

I'll let you do the reading of the other things there where it points out that there are two Jehovahs in the Psa. 2 and 110. It's very interesting when you look at in the Greek concerning Psa. 110.

Appendix X: Exegetical Analysis of Mark 12:29 (The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version)

First of all we will go to the traditional translation, which is identical to the Greek Septuagint translation.

Mark 12:29 (FV): "Then Jesus answered him, 'The first of all the commandments is, "Hear, O Israel. Our one God… [Elohim] …is the Lord, the Lord."'"

In Deuteronomy 6:4, the most accurate translation of the Hebrew is: "Our one God [Elohim] is the Lord [Yhwh-Jehovah], the Lord [Yhwh-Jehovah]."

The definite article 'the' is in italics because it is not in the original! And these then become predicates. Remember, we read 'split predicates.'

This unique Hebrew clause is a verbless clause with split or double predicate nominatives, Yhwh, Yhwh (Lord, Lord). The subject is Elohim (God), Who is `ehad, or "one." However, Elohim is a plural noun designating more than one person. Thus, the double predicate nominatives, Yhwh, Yhwh (Lord, Lord), answers the implied question, "How many are in the plural noun Elohim [God]?" Thus, this passage reveals that there are two "Lords" within Elohim. The two individuals—Lord, Lord—in the God Family are "one" in essence or existence, as well as purpose. (See Appendix W, "The Two Jehovahs of the Old Testament," for a more detailed explanation.)

In the Greek Septuagint (LXX), the passage reads: "Κυριος ο ⊕∈ος ηµων Κυριος ∈ις ∈στι….

It's exactly the same as New Testament Greek with the exception that at the end, the last word there, there is a Greek 'n': what they call a movable nu because that is the name of the Greek 'n.' Whether it is there or not doesn't change the meaning.

…"Mark 12:29 is an exact quotation from the LXX, and most English versions traditionally translate the clause as "The Lord our God is one Lord."

Notice that it makes Lord as the subject.

As we will see, this clause in New Testament Greek is nearly identical to the underlying Hebrew of Deuteronomy 6:4 which has double predicates that are equative to God. An exegetical analysis of the Greek syntax of Mark 12:29 also shows two predicate nominatives, Kurios, Kurios (Lord, Lord), which are likewise equative to God.

The Predicate Nominative in New Testament Greek:

 "The predicate nominative (PN) is approximately the same as the subject (S) and is joined to it by an equative verb, whether stated or implied. The usage is very common" (Wallace, Greek Grammar—an Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament, p. 40).

He's one of the Greek experts in Greek Syntax as Anderson is one of the world's leading great Hebrew experts of Hebrew syntax.

We will examine the meaning of two kinds of semantic relationships that PNs convey: 1) The convertible proposition, which indicates an identical exchange between the subject and the PN, and 2) The qualitative proposition which is the equality of essence or existence that the PN has in relation to the subject (Ibid., p. 41).

The convertible proposition of a PN is most clearly seen in the following: "Jesus [subject] is [verb] the son of God [PN]." This definite convertible proposition equally means, "Jesus is the Son of God," or "The Son of God is Jesus."

The qualitative proposition of a PN is best demonstrated in John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." This statement reveals two Who are God, or θ∈ος. Wallace writes, "The idea of a qualitative θ∈ος here is that the Word had all the attributes and qualities that 'the God' [ho Theos] had [Whom the Word was with]. In other words, He shared the essence of the Father, though they differed in person. The construction the evangelist chose to express this idea was the most concise way he could have stated that the Word was God and yet was distinct from the Father" (Ibid., p. 269).

The Greek word order of this clause reads, "(God) 'theos' [preverbal PN], (was) 'en' [verb], (the Word) 'ho logos' [subject]."….

There's a definite article 'ho' meaning the Word! There is no definite article before 'theos.' Because it is a predicate nominative, which is preverbal.

…In this case, the PN God does not have a definite article and comes before the verb was, followed by the subject, the Word, which has a definite article. Thus, the Word is the subject and God is a PN of a qualitative proposition expressing the fact that the Word was God, but separate from God the Father, Whom the Word was with—and that the Word had all the qualities and essence of God.

When we carefully analyze the syntax of Mark 12:29, we find that there is one subject and two PNs—one preverbal and the other post-verbal—that appear to be a combination of a convertible proposition and a qualitative proposition sharing the same verb.

The Greek phrase of Mark 12:29 reads… A literal translation of this phrase is:

"Kurios-Lord" is a preverbal PN without a definite article.

"ho Theos-the God" is the subject, with the definite article "the."

"hemon" modifies God and answers the implied question, "Whose God is He?"

"Kurios-Lord" is a post-verbal PN without a definite article.

"eis-one" the number "one," but not necessarily restricted to a single person. Jesus also said, "I and My Father are one" (John 10:30), thus making Himself equal to God, as already shown in John 1:1.

"estin" is the shared verb between the subject and the two PNs.

As can be seen, the word order of the Greek is entirely different than what we would expect in English. However, regardless of the word order in the Greek, the meaning of the words is expressed internally. Thus, both the preverbal PN Lord and the post-verbal PN Lord show two separate individuals who are Lord. Also, both PNs are definite propositions because the two Who are Lord are equative with God, sharing the same verb "is." In both cases, therefore, "The Lord is God" and "God is the Lord." Yet, at the same time, both are qualitative propositions in that each "Lord" has the same essence and qualities of God, verifying what John wrote in John 1:1.

Therefore, as the Greek syntax shows, Mark 12:29 can be translated as Deuteronomy 6:4: "Our one God is the Lord, the Lord." Since this verse is the only direct New Testament quotation of Deuteronomy 6:4, it should be translated accordingly in order to enhance the unity between the Hebrew word Elohim (God) and the Greek word Theos (God).

Additional Evidence of Two Who Are Called "Lord" as Well as "God": The New Testament reveals that there are two beings Who are each called "God" and "Lord." Throughout the New Testament the Father is always called God. Additionally, Jesus called God the Father "Lord of heaven and earth" (Matt. 11:25). So Jesus is a "Lord" and the Father is a "Lord," confirming the statement, "Our one God is the Lord, the Lord" (Mark 12:29). Likewise, the apostle Paul wrote that Jesus was God manifested in the flesh (I Tim. 3:16), and called Him our "Savior and great God, Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13). In nearly all of his epistles, Paul writes a salutation and blessing after this manner: "Grace and peace be to you from God Our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph. 2:2). Clearly, the New Testament teaches that the Father is God and that Jesus is God.

As one studies the biblical evidence of the true nature of God—with the understanding of the two Who are "God" and also "Lord"—one will realize that the Godhead cannot be a trinity, and that the Bible does not teach an exclusive monotheism. Rather, the Scriptures teach the duality of God—the Father and the Son. Thus, based on the Greek syntax, the most accurate translation of Mark 12:29 should read, "Our one God is the Lord, the Lord."

Let's just add a few other Scriptures to this to show that the one God (Family) is going to expand.

John 17 is where those who believe in only one God turn to, and they say there's only one true God.

John 17:1: "Jesus spoke these words, and lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, 'Father, the hour has come; glorify Your own Son, so that Your Son may also glorify You; since You have given Him authority over all flesh, in order that He may give eternal life to all whom You have given Him'" (vs 1-2).

This tells you something: Jesus is going to give eternal life, and He can't give it unless He's God! Eternal life comes from God, but not while He's in the flesh.

Verse 3: "For this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom You did send." How do we explain this verse in light of what we just read? By what we have studied earlier! When Jesus divested Himself to become a human being, He was not completely, wholly, absolutely true God in the sense that God is God in His glorious sense. He was God manifested in the flesh.

So, at the time that He was praying this prayer, the only true God was the Father. But when Jesus was resurrected from the dead, He became true God again!

Verse 4: "I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work that You gave Me to do. And now, Father, glorify Me with Your own self, with the glory that I had with You before the world existed" (vs 4-5).

So, in giving up His glory to become a human being, though He was God manifested in the flesh, He was not true God until He received His glory back again. So, He had to complete and finish what He had to do in order to receive it back again.

Verse 6: "I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, and You have given them to Me, and they have kept Your Word. Now, they have known that all things that You have given Me are from You. For I have given them the words that You gave to Me; and they have received them and truly have known that I came from You; and they have believed that You did send Me. I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world…" (vs 6-9).

So, anyone who believes that Jesus is trying to save the world now is grossly mistaken!

"…but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. All Mine are Yours, and all Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them" (vs 9-10).

I'm reading all of these verses so that when we come to what He says about being one we'll understand what He's saying here.

Verse 11: "And I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, those whom You have given Me, so that they may be one… ['eis'] …even as We are one."

Now, at the resurrection the one God is going to be expanded to many, and the whole Family of God will be one!

Verse 12: "When I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. I protected those whom You have given Me, and not one of them has perished except the son of perdition, in order that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to You; and these things I am speaking while yet in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in them. I have given them Your words, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world…" (vs 12-14).

Every church, minister and member who tries to compromise with the world ends up in difficulty, because we're not of the world.

"…just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You would take them out of the world… [sometimes we wish God would, but He won't] …but that You would keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in Your Truth; Your Word is the Truth" (vs 14-17). You cannot approach God any other way!

Verse 18: "Even as You did send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, so that they also may be sanctified in Your Truth. I do not pray for these only, but also for those who shall believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us…" (vs 18-21). Ties right in with Gen. 1:26!

"…in order that the world may believe that You did send Me. And I have given them the glory that You gave to Me…" (vs 21-22).

Receiving part of the Spirit of God is receiving a part of the glory of God! It comes from God own very being.

"…in order that they may be one, in the same way that We are one: I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected… [showing a process into one] …into one; and that the world may know that You did send Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that those whom You have given Me may also be with Me where I am, so that they may behold My glory, which You have given Me; because You did love Me before the foundation of the world" (vs 22-24).

{Note sermon: Before the Foundation of the World!}

Verse 25: "Righteous Father, the world has not known You, but I have known You, and these have known that You did send Me. And I have made known Your name to them, and will make it known…" (vs 25-26).

Showing a process of relationship and understanding and ongoing growing in grace and knowledge!

"…so that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them" (v 26).

With that, the Scriptures—New Testament and Old Testament—agree, because there cannot be any contradiction between Scriptures in fact. There may be some apparent contradictions, but when the proper explanation is known then there are no contradictions!

Q #2—Genesis 6:4:"There were tyrants on the earth in those days, and also after that, the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. They were mighty men who existed of old, men of renown."

This question comes all the time. It has to do with giants and half-men/half-angels.

Remember that the New Testament interprets the Old Testament, and this is a case where the N.T. interpretation by Jesus is the important thing. Also, when we understand that Jesus is the Lord God of the O.T. this adds greater weight to what He said to help clarify with the problems of Gen. 6:4

Footnote from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version:

What is the Scriptural meaning of "the sons of God" in Gen. 6:4? In the Beginning before God created man, He created spirit beings known as angels." They possess a higher level of life than humans, as they live forever and are not subject to death.

In Job 1:6 & 2:1, "the sons of God" clearly refers to angels. In this case the angels are coming before God—and the chief fallen angel Satan appears with them. Though Satan and the demons can come before God, as do righteous angels, they are not called "the sons of God"

Yet, some Jewish occult, mystic, kabalisytic authorities interpret the phrase "the sons of God" in Gen. 6:4 to mean fallen angels or demons. They claim that these wicked spirits cohabited with women and their offspring resulted in a race of super human beings or giants—half angel and half man.

On the other hand, God created man from the dust of the earth. Thus, we are physical beings subject to death—and cannot live forever, as do the angels. God created humans male and female in order to bring forth children after their image, after their kind. Subsequently, through procreation, god has created all human beings, though they all die (Gen. 3:19; Rom. 5:12; 1-Cor. 15:22; Heb. 9:27).

The true Scriptural meaning of this verse cannot be understood from the context alone, nor is it disclosed in the OT. The answer is only found in the NT—given by Jesus Christ, Who was the Lord God of the OT and Creator of both angels and mankind before He was God manifested in the flesh. When answering a question about the resurrection, Jesus said, "The children of this age [from Adam to the final judgment] marry and are given in marriage; but those who are accounted worthy to obtain that age [the coming Kingdom of God] and the resurrection from the dead [to eternal life] neither marry or are given in marriage, and neither can they die any more, for they are equal to the angels, and are the children of God, being children of the resurrection" (Luke 20:34-36).

Jesus' answer clearly shows that angels—righteous or fallen—do not marry nor are given in marriage. Therefore, the phrase "the sons of God" can only refer to male human beings "Who came into the daughters of men"—which resulted in "giants." They were human beings who reproduced after the human kind—kind after kind. They were not half-angel and half-human—an impossible cross-hybrid of man and angel. Angels are created spirit beings who live forever. They were not created with sexual reproductive organs. Thus, it is impossible for them to physically cohabit with human women and produce offspring.

This will help a lot in giving clarity to Gen. 6:4!

Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • Deuteronomy 6:4
  • Mark 12:29
  • John 17:1-26
  • Genesis 6:4

Also referenced:

From The Holy Bible in It's Original Order, A Faithful Version:

  • Appendix W: The Two Jehovahs of the Old Testament
  • Appendix X: Exegetical Analysis of Mark 12:29


  • Two Jehovahs of the Pentateuch by Carl Franklin
  • Two Jehovahs of the Psalms by Carl Franklin

Sermon: Before the Foundation of the World

Transcribed: 1/6/19