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2 Peter 1:1 says

"Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours" (Berean Study Bible)

Similarly, Titus 2:13 says

"as we await the blessed hope and glorious appearance of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ." (Berean Study Bible)

How do Biblical Unitarians respond to these passages?

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    Comparing these passages with others in the same vein, it is not unlikely to conclude that their meaning is, when phrased into proper Greek (because it is easy to find calques or barbarisms in the Greek scriptures, whether NT or LXX), through the righteousness of God, and [of the] Savior Jesus Christ, or through the righteousness of God, and [through the] Savior Jesus Christ; and appearance of our great God, and [of the] Savior Jesus Christ.
    – user46876
    Commented Aug 6, 2021 at 9:58

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A proof text is a passage of scripture presented as proof for a theological doctrine, belief, or principle.[1] Prooftexting (sometimes "proof-texting" or "proof texting") is the practice of using quotations from a document, either for the purpose of exegesis, or to establish a proposition in eisegesis (introducing one's own presuppositions, agendas, or biases). Such quotes may not accurately reflect the original intent of the author... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prooftext

Biblical Unitarians don't need to proof-text to explain God or His son Jesus. When the bible is considered as a whole, consistent narrative, inspired by God and delivered by several writers in concert, the message becomes very clear.

Several ideas are based on proof-texts that have no clear and persistent biblical revelation, and on extra-biblical sources like creeds formulated 100's of years after the Apostolic Church Fathers.

  • The pre-existence of Jesus.
  • The Jesus who is a man and God at the same time in the one person.
  • The holy spirit is a person as 1 part of a 3-in-1 God.

These ideas, while readily dismissed by context and honest appraisal of the scriptures, remain the foundation to extend beliefs found in traditional teaching. That they are readily dismissed seems irrelevant by those adhering to a traditional belief.

How do Biblical Unitarians respond to passages like 2 Peter 1:1 and Titus 2:13, which seem to call Jesus 'God'?

The response is to show that these verses are used in isolation and do not represent the entire narrative.

The amount of time the NT points out that Jesus has a God, that he is not the 'one true God', Jesus, Paul and others, refer to often far outweighs the two or three verses that seem to say otherwise. What choice do we have in this scenario?

  • Use an ambiguous verse as the basis for doctrine?
  • Use the broad base of all other verses on this matter to inform the very few confusing ones?

Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those having obtained a faith equally precious with ours, through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ: 2Pet 1:1

In the very next verse shows the distinct separation of God from Jesus - as Paul does in every letter he writes. Did he think Jesus was God? Not remotely possible based on what he has written. Do any other writers or Jesus himself? No, again.

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. v2

Jesus HAS a God - always did - still does! Does God have a God? Extrabiblical writings might say so, but the bible does not. Which one should a Christian choose as the basis for determining good doctrine? Biblical Unitarians know to choose the bible and seek out good and well-supported beliefs.

looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Christ Jesus Titus 2:13

Proof-texters seem not to notice the glaring, persistent wording in the actual verse.

  • What is Paul 'looking for'? "the appearing of the glory of"
  • Of what or who? "the glory of our great God and Saviour"
  • The what? "the glory"
  • Of who? "of God"
  • Who IS the glory of God? Jesus is.

Jesus is the glory of God and he will be appearing - this is what Paul is looking for - Jesus. Jesus is the glory of God and he will be appearing and Paul is encouraging us to wait eagerly, expectantly!

The son is the radiance of God's glory and the representation of His nature Heb 1:3

to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen. Rom 16:27

every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil 2:11

Yes, to the untrained eye, these verses may seem to be 'calling Jesus God'. If we are grabbing at proof-texts' without so much as reading them in context or including them with other verses, then we will jump to poor conclusions and miss out on the abundant truth God has provided about Himself and His son.

Content principles from https://www.biblicalunitarian.com/

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  • +1 Excellent answer. The only thing I would have added is 2 Pet 1:1 has textual variants, but TBH that might detract from the stronger point about the overall thrust of the NT and, indeed, the very next line. Commented Oct 12, 2021 at 16:48

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