Another King James Bible Believer


The so called "Granville-Sharp" Rule

The so called Granville Sharp “rule” - The Short Version Rebuttal

The Remarks on the Uses of the Definitive Article went through four editions in ten years.

Sharp’s expanded definition of it is as follows. This information is taken from Dan Wallace’s own looooong article about it. Most of these comments are right out of Dan Wallace's own writings.  My comments are at the end.

This information is taken from Daniel Wallace’s very long paper on this subject.

“When the copulative kai connects two nouns of the same case, [viz. nouns (either substantive or adjective, or participles) of personal description, respecting office, dignity, affinity, or connexion, and attributes, properties, or qualities, good or ill], if the article o, or any of its cases, precedes the first of the said nouns or participles, and is not repeated before the second noun or participle, the latter always relates to the same person that is expressed or described by the first noun or participle: i.e. it denotes a farther description of the first-named person . . . .13

In the statement of this rule, Sharp only discussed substantives (i.e., nouns, substantival adjectives, substantival participles) of personal description, not those which referred to things, and only in the singular, not the plural. But whether he intended the rule to apply to impersonal nouns and/or plurals can hardly be determined from this definition. “

Sharp’s “rule” listed 8 basic examples of how his alleged “rule” identified the Lord Jesus as God. Here they are: 

The bulk of Sharp’s Remarks was a discussion of eight christologically significant texts (Acts 20:28; Eph 5:5; 2 Thess 1:12; 1 Tim 5:21; 2 Tim 4:1; Titus 2:13; 2 Pet 1:1; Jude 4), encompassing more than two-thirds of the body of the work.

Sharp argued that there are eight passages in which his rule explicitly affirmed the deity of Christ. Unfortunately, his case was weakened in some of these instances either because of textual problems or because one of the nouns involved was more than likely a proper name. The eight passages are as follows:

Dan Wallace, of NET fame (or infamy, as the case may be) himself lists these examples in his article

The eight passages are as follows:

1. Acts 20:28

τὴν ἐκκλησίαν τοῦ κυρίου καὶ θεοῦ, ἣν περιεποιήσατο διὰ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ ἰδίου

“the church of the Lord and God, which he purchased with his own blood”

2. Eph 5:5

ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ θεοῦ

“in the kingdom of Christ and God”

3. 2 Thess 1:12

τὴν χάριν τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν καὶ κυρίου  ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ

“the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ”

4. 1 Tim 5:21

διαμαρτύρομαι ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ κυρίου Χριστοῦ  ᾿Ιησοῦ

“I charge you before the God and Lord Jesus Christ”

5. 2 Tim 4:1

διαμαρτύρομαι ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ κυρίου Χριστοῦ  ᾿Ιησοῦ

“I charge you before the God and Lord Jesus Christ”

6. Titus 2:13

τῆς δόξης τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν  ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ

“the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ”

7. 2 Pet 1:1

ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν καὶ σωτῆρος  ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ

“in the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ”

8. Jude 4

τὸν μόνον δεσπότην θεὸν καὶ κύριον ἡμῶν  ᾿Ιησοῦν Χριστόν

“our only Lord God and Master, Jesus Christ”

Sharp invoked dubious textual variants in four of the eight texts to support his rule (Acts 20:28; 1 Tim 5:21; 2 Tim 4:1; Jude 4).151  As well, in 1 Tim 5:21 and 2 Tim 4:1, if the almost certainly authentic reading of τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ  ᾿Ιησοῦ (for τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ κυρίου Χριστοῦ  ᾿Ιησοῦ) is accepted, then the text can also be dispensed with, for “Christ Jesus” is surely a proper name, and thus does not fall within the limitations of Sharp’s rule.  Further, two other passages seem to involve proper names.  Second Thessalonians 1:12 does not have merely “Lord” in the equation, but “Lord Jesus Christ.” Only by detaching κυρίου from   ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ152 could one apply Sharp’s rule to this construction.153  Ephesians 5:5 has the name “Christ” in the equation, though one would be hard-pressed to view this as less than a proper name in the epistles.154

This leaves two passages, Titus 2:13 and 2 Pet 1:1, which have escaped the difficulties of textual uncertainty.155 and the charge of disqualification via proper names.156  If indeed these texts contain explicit statements of Christ’s deity, it is not without significance that they occur in epistles which are among the later books of the NT.  Before we can explore more fully these texts, it is necessary to expand our horizons on the legitimacy of Sharp’s principle.  That is to say, two other factors directly related to these passages should be addressed.157”  [End of comments by Dan Wallace]

My Comments:

What we see here is that not even Dan Wallace or most scholars agree with Mr. Sharp on 6 out of the 8 examples given.  Sharp is using a different Greek text than that of the Textus Receptus that underlies the King James Bible in 2 Peter 1:1.  There are also numerous textual variants in 2 Peter 1:1 and in Acts 20:28 that Sharp doesn’t even discuss. Sharp also does not translate the Greek word order correctly in 2 Timothy 4:1 or Titus 2:13 or Jude 4. 

As for Titus 2:13 “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” the King James Bible is absolutely correct and here is why -

And Sharp is using a Greek text in Acts 20:28 - “the church of the Lord and God” - that is NOT found in either the Textus Receptus of the KJB, nor even in the UBS/Nestle-Aland/Vatican Greek texts used by the Critical text versions today!

Acts 20:28 as found in the King James Bible is the correct reading. See

This so called Granville Sharp “rule” is nothing more than a highly imaginative, overly complicated and convoluted hypothesis of a man, with way too much time on his hands, has come up with, that not even men like Dan Wallace and others agree with. 

Will Kinney


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