Is Jesus called our Master and Lord ?
Some trinitarians who claim that Jesus is God use Jude 1-4 as evidence that Jesus is referred to both our Master and our Lord. This they say means that Jesus is being equated to God the father.
They will usually use versions of the Bible like the NASB when making this claim.
Jude 1-4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. NASB
As you can see here Jesus is most certainly being called both our Master and Lord.
However all is not as straightforward as it might seem, as things rarely are. There is a serious error in the NASB translation here. (It’s really important not to use a translation that is incorrect )
The Greek however is παρεισέδυσαν γάρ τινες ἄνθρωποι οἱ πάλαι προγεγραμμένοι εἰς τοῦτο τὸ κρίμα ἀσεβεῖς τὴν τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν χάριν μετατιθέντες εἰς ἀσέλγειαν καὶ τὸν μόνον δεσπότην Θεόν, καὶ κύριον ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν ἀρνούμενοι
This is the text that underlies the KJV which correctly translates this as
Jude 1-4 ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is the rendering of the Greek text used by the Greek orthadox Church.
Agreeing with the KJV rendering include but not limited to Tyndale Bible 1525 which reads “denye God the only Lorde and oure Lorde Iesus Christ.”. The Coverdale Bible 1535, the Cranmer Bible 1539, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587 -, Lamsa’s translation of the Syriac Peshitta which reads “and denying the only LORD God, and our LORD Jesus Christ.”, Webster’s translation 1833, the NKJV 1982 and Youngs literal translation which reads – “and our only Master, God, and Lord Jesus Christ denying”
The Greek δεσπότην which means Lord or master is actually a referent to God here NOT Jesus.
Notice we have THE Lord God while Jesus is referred to as OUR κύριος Lord Jesus. As the Bible very clearly states that Jesus has been MADE OUR Lord by God.
Acts 2-36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
This distinction is vital and is evident throughout the book of Jude.
Jude 1-9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
God is referred to as THE Lord
He is also referred to as the only wise God.
Jude 1-25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
But yet again Jude refers to Jesus as OUR Lord in verses 17 and 21 just as in verse 4
Jude 1-17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Jude 1- 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
Now obviously the (corrupt) Nestle Aland text that underlies the NASB has a very different Greek reading in this verse, which is why they translate it incorrectly and therefore incorrectly associate Jesus with the Master and not just Lord .
παρεισεδύησαν / παρεισέδυσαν γάρ τινες ἄνθρωποι, οἱ πάλαι προγεγραμμένοι εἰς τοῦτο τὸ κρίμα, ἀσεβεῖς, τὴν τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν χάριτα μετατιθέντες εἰς ἀσέλγειαν καὶ τὸν μόνον δεσπότην καὶ κύριον ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν ἀρνούμενοι.
The fact is that the two occurrences of Theos are found in the vast majority of manuscripts. HOWEVER there are 5 that omit it. And as we see they are the usual suspects Siniaticus, Vaticanus plus A, C and P72.
I won’t go on too much as to what I think of these “superior” manuscripts. I think the world and his dog are aware of my thoughts and beliefs of these. If you don’t then a read of my writing on “the” Septuagint will explain all.
I shall just point out that these 5 manuscripts are a total mess in their rendering of Jude and actually in general . We don’t even need to go too far to highlight this……the very NEXT VERSE will suffice ….
Jude 1-5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
Notice the words though ye once knew this” They are the Greek “εἰδότας ὑμᾶς ἅπαξ τοῦτο”
This again is the reading of the majority of Greek manuscripts.
However here the 5 manuscripts that omit God in verse 4 are almost totally in disagreement with one another
C adds the word “therefore” (οὖν) before the word “knowing” and omits the word “ye” (ὑμᾶς)
A and P72 omit “ye” (ὑμᾶς) but they don’t have “therefore”.
Sinaiticus omits the word “once” (ἅπαξ) and changes “this” (τοῦτο) to “all things” (πάντα)
Vaticanus agrees with the majority text.
However we come to another disagreement in the same verse with the rendering Lord (κύριος) as it is in the majority text.
Manuscript C has God θεὸς
P72 has God Christ θεὸς Χριστὸς
Sinaiticus as Lord κύριος
And Vaticanus goes with ………..Jesus Ἰησοῦς
So excuse me for not overriding the majority text and the KJV for the rendering of the Nestle and Aland (UBS) text that underlies the NASB translation of Jude 1-4.
THe KJV is correct and so is the distinction between the Master God and OUR Lord Jesus Christ…..
And they said the KJV is a trinitarian translation hahahaha