Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield.

The Lord of glory; a study of the designations of Our Lord in the New Testament with especial reference to His deity online

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Online LibraryBenjamin Breckinridge WarfieldThe Lord of glory; a study of the designations of Our Lord in the New Testament with especial reference to His deity → online text (page 1 of 27)
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Mrs. John D # Davis

BT 590 .N2 W2 c
Warfield, Benjamin

Breckinridge, 1851-1921
The Lord of glory

V 1


fry (^


The Lord of Glor


JAN 1 192



Professor in Princeton Theological Seminary



150 Nassau Street New York

Copyright, 1907, by


William Park Armstrong, Jr.

Caspar Wistar Hodge, Jr.




Plurima quasivi, per singula qua que cucurri,
Sed nihil inveni melius quam credere Christo.

— Paulinus of Nola.



Introductory . . . . . i

Pervasive Witness of the N. T. to Christ, I —
Scope of this Discussion, 2 — Designations of our
Lord in the Synoptic Gospels, 3 — Starting Point
of the Survey, 4.

The Designations of our Lord in Mark . 5

Narrative Designation, 5 — Popular Designation,
6 — Formulas of Address, 6 — Significance of
1 Teacher ', 8 — Significance of ' Lord ', 9 — Mes-
sianic Designations, 12 — ' Jesus Christ ', 14 —
'The Christ', 15 — Anarthrous 'Christ', 16 —
Royal Titles, 17 — ' Son of God ', 19 — ' The Son ',
21 — Our Lord's Own Testimony to His Messiah-
ship, 23 — •' Son of Man ', 25 — Usage of ' Son of
Man ', 28— Meaning of ' Son of Man ', 29.

Mark's Conception of our Lord . . 32

A Divine Intervention in Christ, 32 — Christ's Life
Thoroughly Supernatural, 33 — Jesus the Messiah,
34 — Jesus' Person Enhances His Designations,
36 — Jesus a Superangelic Person, 36 — Jesus of
Heavenly Origin, 38 — Jesus' Earthly Life a
Mission, 39 — Jesus' Functions Divine, 41 — The
Uniqueness of Jesus' Sonship, 42 — Jesus As-
similated to Jehovah, 45 — Jesus Identified with
Jehovah, 47 — Mark's Method, 50 — Mark's Silence,
51 — Mark's Conception of the Messiahship, 53.

The Designations of our Lord in Matthew 57

The Narrative Name, and Exceptions, 57 —
1 Christ ' as a Proper Name, 59 — Why so Seldom
Used, 62 — Jesus' Popular Name, 63 — Early Use

via Contents


of ' Christ ' as a Proper Name, 64 — Simple Hon-
orific Addresses, 66 — ' Master of the House ' 68 —
1 Lord ' as an Address, 69 — ' Lord ' as an Appel-
lation, 72 — Messianic Titles, 73 — Our Lord's
Own Messianic Claims, 74 — The Simple Messi-
anic Designations, 76 — Meaning of 'the Son of
God ', 78 — Culminating Assertions, 81 — Less Com-
mon Messianic Titles, 83 — ' The Son of Man ', 84
—The High Meaning of ' Son of Man ', 87.

Matthew's Conception of our Lord . 89

Profundity of Matthew's Suggestiveness, 89 — Rich-
ness of His Implications, 91 — Assimilation of Jesus
with God, 92 — Identification of Jesus with God,
93 — Participation of Jesus in the Name, 94.

The Designations of our Lord in Luke

and their Implications ... 97

The Narrative Designations, 97 — Ordinary Forms
of Address, 99 — ' Master ', 100 — ' Lord ' as an
Address, 101 — ' Lord ' as an Appellative, 102 —
Significance of ' Lord ', 104 — The ' Prophet ',
io 6— ' Saviour ', 107—* The Lord's Christ ',109—
'The King', 112— God's Elect', 113— 'God's
Holy One', 113— Meaning of 'Holy', 115—
' The Son ', 117—' The Son of Man ', 119— Jesus'
Mission, 122 — The ' Bridegroom ', 123.

The Jesus of the Sy.noptists . . .125

Variety of Titles Used, 125 — Extent of Jewish
Use, 126 — Old Testament Foundation, 127 —
Jesus' Messianic Claims, 128 — Divergence from
Current Expectations, 129 — Transfigured Con-
ception of Messiah, 131 — Highest Designations,
I33 — Meaning of ' Son of Man ', 135 — Meaning
of 'Son of God', 137— Meaning of 'Lord',
140 — Synoptical Christ Divine, 145.

Contents ix


The Jesus of the Synoptists the Primitive

Jesus ...... 146

Significance of Synoptical Testimony, 146 — Date
of the Synoptics, 146 — Earlier Documentary Basis,
147 — The Sources of the Synoptics, 148 — Chris-
tology of the Primitive Mark, 149 — Other Possible
Elements in the Primitive Mark, 152 — Christology
of the ' Primitive Sayings', 153 — Resort to ' His-
torical Criticism', 155 — The Reportorial Element
in the Gospels, 156 — Trustworthiness of the Evan-
gelical Report, 157 — Faith the Foe of Fact, 158—
Primary Canon of Criticism, 159 — Futility of This
Canon, 162 — Can We Save Any Jesus at all?
163 — Jesus Certainly Claimed to be Messiah and
* Son of Man ', 166 — Jesus Certainly Claimed to
be Superangelic, 168— And God, 169— The
Synoptic Jesus the Real Jesus, 171.

The Designations of our Lord in John and

their Significance . . . 174

Same Christology in Synoptics and John, 174 —
Differences in Method, 175 — The Prologue of
John, 177 — Jesus' Narrative Name in John, 179 —
Jesus' Popular Designations, 180 — Formulas of
Address, 180 — ' Lord ', 181 — Jesus the ' Christ \
182 — Jesus' Own Use of ' Jesus Christ \ 184 —
Jesus' Relation to God, 186— 'King', 189—
Accumulation of Titles, 189 — Jesus' Mission,
190 — The ' Lamb of God ', 192 — Figurative Des-
ignations, 193 — ' Son of Man ', 194 — ' Son of
God ', 195 — ' Son ', 196 — Eternal Sonship, 198 —
' God ', 199—' God ', no New Title, 200.

The Designations of our Lord in Acts and

their Significance .... 202

Value of Acts' Testimony, 202 — ' Jesus ' in Acts,
203 — ' Jesus of Nazareth ', 204 — ' Jesus Christ ',
205 — ' Christ Jesus ', 205 — ' The Lord Jesus ',
206 — ' Lord ', 207 — ' Lord ' as Narrative Name,

x Contents


209 — ' Son of Man ', 212 — ' Son of God ', 213 —
Prevalence of ' Christ ', 214 — Accumulation of
Titles, 216— 'The Name', 218.

The Corroboration of the Epistles of

Paul ...... 220

Relative Early Date of Paul's Letters, 220 — The
Value of their Testimony, 221 — Constant Use of
1 Lord ', 222 — Ground of Jesus' Lordship, 223 —
' Lord ' a Proper Name of Jesus, 226 — Jesus Em-
braced in the One Godhead, 228 — Trinitarian
Background, 229 — ' Lord ' the Trinitarian Name
of Jesus, 231 — Appearance of Subordination, 232 —
Its Impossibility with Paul, 234 — Implication of
Term ' Lord ', 236 — Subordination is Humilia-
tion, 237 — Designations Compounded with ' Lord ',
238 — •' Christ ' Paul's Favorite Designation, 241 —
' Christ Jesus ', 242 — Jesus the ' Saviour ', 244 —
' The Great God ', 245—' The Beloved ', 245—
Jesus the ' Man ', 247 — But not Merely Man,
248 — The Two Sides of Christ's Being, 249 — ' Son
of God', 251 — God 'the Father', 252 — Christ
All that God Is, 254 — Paul's Jesus the Primitive
Jesus, 255 — Inaccessibility to Critical Doubts,
258 — No Substantial Development, 260.

The Witness of the Catholic Epistles . 262

Catholic Epistles Corroborative, 262 — James' and
Jude's Christology High, 263 — Christ ' the Glory ',
264 — Christ ' the Despot ', 266 — Christology of 1
Peter, 266 — 2 Peter and the Deity of Our Lord,
268 — John's Epistles and ' the Son of God ', 270 —
Jesus the ' True God ', 272 — How Our Lord's
Companions Thought of Him, 274.

The Witness of the Epistle to the He-
brews ...... 276

Prevalence of ' Christ \ 276 — Recognition of Jesus'
Humanity, 277 — What ' the Son ' is, 278 — His
Deity, 280 — Soteriological Titles, 282 — Christ our
Priest, 284.

Contents xi


The Witness of the Apocalypse r . . 286

A Summary View of Early Conceptions, 286 —
Two Classes of Designations, 287 — Simple Des-
ignations, 287 — Descriptive Designations, 290 —
* The Lamb ', 290 — Accumulative Designations,
292 — The Deity of Our Lord, 294 — Trinitarian
Background, 296.

The Issue of the Investigation . .298

Fundamental Conviction of the Christian Commu-
nity, 298 — This Conviction Presupposes our Lord's
Teaching, 299 — And Something More than His
Teaching, 300 — Including Something Very Con-
clusive, 301 — Not Supposable that Jesus Made
False Claims, 302 — The Issue the Sufficient Evi-
dence of the Source, 303.

Indexes .......

Index of the Designations of Our Lord, 307 — Index
of the Passages of Scripture Cited, 312 — Index of
Names Cited, 330.


This man so cured regards the curer, then,

As — God forgive me! — who but Go$ Himself,

Creator and sustainer of the world,

That came and dwelt on it awhile! ....

And must have so avouched himself in fact,

The very God! think Ahih; dost thou think?

— Robert Browning.



They . . . crucified the Lord of Glory.
— I Corinthians ii. 8,

Who is this King of Glory?
The LORD of hosts,
He is the King of Glory.

— Psalm xxiv. 10.


The proper subject of the New Testament is Christ.
Every page of it, or perhaps we might better say

Pervasive every line of it, has its place in the por-
Witness of N. T. trait which is drawn of Him by the

to Christ whole. In forming an estimate of the
conception of His person entertained by its writers,
and by those represented by them, we cannot neglect
any part of its contents. We can scarcely avoid dis-
tinguishing in it, to be sure, between what we may
call the primary and the subsidiary evidence it bears
to the nature of His personality, or at least the more
direct and the more incidental evidence. It may very
well be, however, that what we call the subsidiary or
incidental evidence may be quite as convincing, if not
quite as important, as the primary and direct evidence.
The late Dr. R. W. Dale found the most impressive
proofs that the Apostles themselves and the primitive
Churches believed that Jesus was one with God, rather
in the way this seems everywhere taken for granted,
than in the texts in which it is definitely asserted. " Such
texts," he remarks, " are but like the sparkling crys-
tals which appear on the sand after the tide has re-
treated; these are not the strongest — though they may
be the most apparent — proofs that the sea is salt:
the salt is present in solution in every bucket of sea-
water. And so," he applies his parable, " the truth
of our Lord's divinity is present in solution in whole

2 The Designations of Our Lord

pages of the Epistles, from which not a single text
could be quoted that explicitly declares it." 1

We need offer no apology, therefore, for inviting

somewhat extended attention to one of the subsidiary

Scope lines of evidence of the estimate put

of this upon our Lord's person by the writers

Discussion f fa ]sj ew Testament and by our Lord
as reported by them. We certainly shall not, by so
doing, obtain anything like a complete view of the
New Testament's evidence for the dignity of His
person. But it may very well be that we shall obtain
a convincing body of evidence for it. What we pur-
pose to do is to attend with some closeness to the
designations which the New Testament writers apply
to our Lord as they currently speak of Him. These
designations will be passed rapidly under our eye with
a twofold end in view. On the one hand we shall
hope, generally, to acquire a vivid sense of the atti-
tude, intellectual and emotional, sustained by the sev-
eral writers of the New Testament, and by the New
Testament as a whole, to our Lord's person. On the
other, we shall hope, particularly, to reach a clearer
notion of the loftiness of the estimate placed upon His
person by these writers, and by those whom they rep-
resent. We are entering, then, in part upon an exposi-
tion, in part upon an argument. We wish to learn,
so far as the designations applied to our Lord in the
New Testament are fitted to reveal that to us, how
the writers of the New Testament were accustomed
to think of Jesus; we wish to show that they thought
of Him above everything else as a Divine Person. For
the former purpose we desire to pass in review the
whole body of designations employed in the New Tes-

1 Christian Doctrine, 1895, p. 87.

Introductory 3

tament of our Lord; for the latter purpose, in pass-
ing this material in review, we desire to order it in
such a manner as to bring into clear relief its testimony
to the profound conviction cherished by our Lord's
first followers that He was of divine origin and na-
ture. In prosecuting our exposition we shall seek to
run cursorily through the entire New Testament; in
framing our argument we shall lay primary stress on
the Gospels, or rather on the Synoptic Gospels, and
adduce the remaining books chiefly as corroborative
and elucidative testimony to what we shall find in
the evangelical narratives. Thus we hope to take at
once a wide or even a complete view of the whole field,
and to throw into prominence the unitary presupposi-
tion by the entire New Testament of the deity of our

We turn, then, first to the Gospels, and in the first
instance to the Synoptic Gospels. We observe at once
Designations tnat ' on a V r ' lma f ac ' ie view, the designa-
of Our Lord tions they apply to our Lord fall into
in the three general classes. They seem to be
Synoptic Gospels either pm^ly^e^natory, generally hon-
orific, or specifically Messianic. Of all purely designa-
tory designations, the personal name is the most natural
and direct. We can feel no surprise, therefore, to learn
that our Lord is spoken of in the Gospels most com-
monly by the simple name of ' Jesus.' Nor shall we
feel surprise to learn that the simplest honorific titles
are represented as those most frequently employed in
addressing Him, — ' Rabbi/ with its Greek renderings,
* Teacher ' and ' Master,' and its Greek representative,
4 Lord.' No Messianic title again is more often met
with in the narrative of the Gospels than the simple

4 The Designations of Our Lord

1 Christ,' although on our Lord's lips ' the Son of
Man ' is constant. The general effect of the narrative
on the reader, who passes rapidly through it, noting
particularly the designations employed of our Lord,
is a strong impression that (He is thought of by the
y writers, and is represented by them as thought of by His
^contemporary followers and by Himself, as a person
of high dignity and unquestionable authority; and that
this dignity and authority were rooted, both in their
and in His estimation, in His Messianic character. If
we are to take the designations employed in the Gos-
pel narratives as our guide, therefore, we should say
that the fundamental general fact which they suggest
is that Jesus was esteemed by His first followers as
the promised Messiah, and was looked upon with
reverence and accorded supreme authority as such.
Whether this impression is fully justified by the evi-
dence when it is narrowly scrutinized; and if so what
the complete significance of the fact so established is;
and whether more than appears upon the surface of
it is really contained in the fact — these are matters
which must be left to a closer examination of the de-
tails to determine.

In undertaking such a closer examination of the
details, it will conduce not only to clearness of treat-
Starting ment, but also to surety of result, to
Point of the take up the several Gospels separately.
Survey ^nd p erna ps it may be as well to begin
with the Gospel of Mark. It is the briefest and in
some respects the simplest and most direct narrative
we have of the career of our Lord. It may be sup-
posed, therefore, to present to us the elements of our
problem in their least complicated shape.



In Mark what we may call the narrative designation

of our Lord is uniformly the simple ' Jesus.' 1 Mark

. employs no other designation in his

Designation entire narrative. 2 On the other hand,
he places this designation^ in its sim-
plicity, in the mouth of no one else. 3 In the heading
of his Gospel he sets, it is true, that " solemn designa-
tion of the Messianic personality," ' Jesus Christ.'
This is a designation not only which occurs nowhere
else in this Gospel, 4 but which occurs elsewhere in the
four Gospels only rarely and only in similar formal
connections. It seems already, here at least, to be

1 It occurs seventy-three times in Mark. In all these instances it
has the article, except the first (i 9 ), where the article is absent in
accordance with the general rule that names of persons occur first
without the article, and after that take it.

2 In i 1 "Jesus Christ" occurs, but this is not in the narrative but ia
the heading of the book. "Jesus the Nazarene," io 47 , is not the lan-
guage of Mark but of the people, repeated by him. "Lord Jesus,"
16 19 , "Lord," 16 20 , are in the spurious closing paragraph.

3 Unless the order in which the words stand in io 47 , " Thou Son of
David, Jesus," and in 14 67 , "That Nazarene, Jesus," be thought to
constitute an exception. The designation, 'Jesus,' occurs on the lips
of others in such combinations as: i 24 , "Jesus, thou Nazarene"; 5 7 ,
"Jesus, Son of the Most High God"; io 47 , "Jesus, the Son of David";
and also again, "Jesus, the Nazarene"; 14 67 , "Jesus, the Nazarene";
16 6 , "Jesus, the Nazarene."

4 Cf. Holtzmann, Hand-Commentar, p. 37.


6 The Designations of Our Lord

employed as a proper name. 5 But in the narrative
itself, as we have intimated, Mark uses only the simple
' Jesus,' which nevertheless he never represents as
used by others either in speaking of or in speaking to

The name by which Jesus was popularly known to
His contemporaries, according to Mark, was appar-
ently the fuller descriptive one of ' Jesus

dS- of Naza - th ' < 1047 l66 **")/ °"

one occasion He is represented as ad-
dressed by this full name (i 24 ), and on two others
by the name ' Jesus/ enlarged by a Messianic title
('Jesus, Son of the Most High God' 5 7 , 'Jesus, Son
of David' io 47 ). The inference would seem to be
that ' Jesus ' was too common a name 7 to be sufficiently
designatory until our Lord's person had loomed so
large, at least in the circles to which the Gospels were
addressed, as to put all other Jesuses out of mind when
this name was mentioned. The employment of the
simple ' Jesus ' as the narrative name in this Gospel
is, therefore, an outgrowth of, and a testimony to,
the supreme position He occupied in the minds of

The formula by which Jesus is represented by Mark
as ordinarily addressed is apparently the simple hon-
orific title, 'Rabbi,' by which in that

F Add Ula ° f age ( Mt 2 3 7 ) every P r °f essed teacner
was courteously greeted. 8 The actual

5 So, e.g., Meyer, Holtzmann, Wellhausen.

6 On the form NaXapyvos see Swete, on Mark i 24 .

7 See Delitzsch, Der Jesusname in " Zeitschr. f. d. luth. Theol.," 1876,
zoyseq., or Talmud. Stud., xv.; and cf. Keira, Geschichte Jesu, 1, 384

8 Cf. Westcott, on John 3 2 .

The Designations in Mark 7

Aramaic form * Rabbi ' occurs, however, but seldom
in his narrative, and only on the lips of Jesus' disciples
(9 5 ii 21 ; 14 45 , Judas in betraying Him) ; although the
parallel form ' Rabboni ' occurs once on the lips of
a petitioner for healing (io 51 ). In its place stands
customarily its simplest and most usual Greek ren-
dering, * Teacher ' (deddexate) * The general synon-
omy of the forms of address, ' Teacher/ * Master/
'Lord' (deddaxaAe, iruazdra^ xvpee) , as all alike
Greek representatives of ' Rabbi,' is fully established
by a comparison of the parallel passages in the
Synoptics, as well as by such denning passages as Jno
i 38 20 16 . 10

What is to be noted here is that in his re-
port of the forms of address employed by those con-
versing with Jesus, Mark confines himself among
Greek formulas to 'Teacher' (deddexaXe) as his
standing representation of ' Rabbi.' The use of
' Lord ' ( xupee ) in 7 28 is not strictly an exception to
this, since the speaker on that occasion was a heathen,
and ' Lord ' (xupts) may be best viewed as indica-
tive of this fact. It is the common Greek honorific
address, equivalent in significance to the Jewish
4 Rabbi ' or ' Teacher.' 11

The address c Teacher ' 12 is used by Mark broadly,
and is put upon the lips both of our Lord's disciples

9 See esp. Dalman, The Words of Jesus, xiv., E. T., pp. 331.^.

10 Cf. Swete, on Mark 4 s8 ; Dalman, 327, 336.

11 Cf. Wellhausen, in he: "The address xupts Is found in Mark
only in this passage, in the mouth of a heathen ■woman." Swete goes
astray here in paraphrasing, " True, Rabbi," — " Rabbi " is out of

12 The rendering of o<.dd(Txalo$ (after the Vulgate, M agister)
by "Master" is, as Westcott remarks (on John 3 2 ), "apt to suggest

8 The Designations of Our Lord

in their ordinary colloquy (4 s8 9 s8 io 35 13 1 ), obviously
as their customary form of addressing

ol^Teacher' HIm; and ° f ° therS wh ° a PP roached
Him for every variety of reason (5 s5 9 17

io 17 ' 20 12 14 * 19 ' 32 ). There does not necessarily lie in this
mode of address, therefore, anything more than a
general polite recognition of our Lord's claim to be a
teacher and leader of men, although of course this
recognition may rise on occasion above mere courtesy
and become the expression of real reverence and de-
pendence and a recognition of His authority and sov-
ereignty. When something like this was insincerely
or frivolously expressed, our Lord was offended by it,
as in the case of the rich young ruler who addressed
Him flatteringly as 'Good Teacher' (io 17 ). 13 But
when the expression was sincere it was received by
Jesus in good part and the recognition of His authority
involved in it welcomed and responded to, even when
the authority suggested far exceeded that of an ordi-
nary Rabbi and involved at least Messianic claims
(io 35 9 38 4 38 ). Not only does He accept this designa-
tion; He even adopts it, instructing His disciples to
speak of Him to others as 'the Teacher' (14 14 ), —
and there is involved perhaps in this adoption of the
title all that is expressed in the declarations of Mt
23 1 " 12 . Although not necessarily recognized as all that
He was by every one who approached Him saying
* Teacher,' yet under this designation He certainly is

false associations." Yet the implication of authority is present in it;
and that might be missed in rendering it ' Teacher ' ; cf . Schoettgen,
Hor. Hebr. on Mt io 40 , Jno 15 14 , Gal 4 19 .

13 Dalman, p. 337: "This address was at variance with actual usage,
and moreover in the mouth of the speaker, it was mere insolent flat-
tery." Cf. Swete in loc: but see also Alexander and Weiss-Meyer.

The Designations in Mark 9

recognized as claiming and certainly does claim an
authority above that of those who shared the title of
4 Teacher' with Him (i 22 ' 27 etc.).

Similarly we are not quite at the end of the matter

when we say that the heathen woman in addressing

Him as 'Lord' (7 28 ) only makes use

Significance Q £ ^ common Greek honorific address.
When one comes to a religious teacher
petitioning so great a benefit, the honorific title which
is employed is apt to be charged with a far richer
meaning than mere courtesy or respect. And Jesus
received it in this case at its full value; in a sense
bearing some relation to His own appellative use of
the same term, ' Lord ' ( xupeos ) , when He declared
Himself ' Lord of the Sabbath ' and ' David's Lord '
as well as his ' Son ' (2 28 12 36 ' 37 ) . It is in this appella -
tive^ use of the term ' Lord ' by Jesus indeed that we may
discover the deepest significance of the application of
that title to Him (i 3 2 28 n 3 12 36 ' 37 [12 9 13 35 ]). It
is no doubt sometimes very difficult to determine
whether in a given instance it refers to God or to Jesus 14 ,
a fact which has its significance. But the certain cases
will themselves carry us very far. When, for example,
Jesus is quoted as declaring that " the Son of Man is
Lord even of the Sabbath " (or, perhaps, " of the Sab-
bath, too"), the implication is that He is Lord of
much more than the Sabbath, and that this His Lord-
ship is an appanage of His Messianic dignity. 15 And

14 This matter is carefully investigated by Sven Herner, Die An-
wendung des Wortes xbpios im N. T., 1903, pp. 7-9, with the result
that he assigns i 3 2 28 7 28 n 3 I2 36 > 37 , and also possibly but not prob-
ably 5 19 , to Jesus.

15 So Weiss-Meyer : " The conclusion rests ... on the vocation
of the Son of Man, as bringing the highest blessing to man, to control

Online LibraryBenjamin Breckinridge WarfieldThe Lord of glory; a study of the designations of Our Lord in the New Testament with especial reference to His deity → online text (page 1 of 27)