Thursday, May 15, 2014

Romans 9:5 and Christ's Full Deity

last revised 3/17/17

The "Blessed God" a common description of the one true God in the Old Testament (both in the original Hebrew, and in the famous Greek translation named the Septuagint). It's so well known as a description of the one true God that that's precisely why many Unitarians do their very best to argue against Jesus being referred to as "the Blessed God" in Romans 9:5. For myself, I do think Rom. 9:5 does present Jesus as the "Blessed God" and therefore as the one true God (i.e. full deity). James White, in his book The Forgotten Trinity (p.205 n. 14), states "[Bruce] Metzger mentions Irenaeus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Cyprian, Athanasius, Epiphanius, Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, John Chrysostom, Theodoret, Augustine, Jerome, and Cyril of Alexandria, among others, as reading the passage in support of the deity of Christ." This show that this interpretation is not solely a modern one, but rather an ancient one which many notable church fathers agreed with.

See these links discussing Romans 9:5:

CHRIST IS GOD OVER ALL: ROMANS 9:5 IN THE CONTEXT OF ROMANS 9-11 by George Warrington Carraway (a dissertation)

Romans 9:5 Research By Gary F. Zeolla
Part ONE,  Part TWO

Jesus Christ – He who is over all, God blessed forever! by Sam Shamoun
Part ONE, Part TWO 

Christ's Divinity in Romans 9:5 by Jeremy Pierce

An Examination of Romans 9:5

Jesus as God: The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus by Murray J. Harris (pages 143-172) On page 172 Harris states, "Of the fifty-six principle commentators consulted, thirteen favored a reference to God the Father and thirty-six a reference to Christ, while seven were reluctant to express a clear preference for either interpretation. The dominant view, found in commentators of widely divergent theological persuations, may now claim the support of the textual editors of NA26 and USB3 and the translators of the NRSV in their significant reversals of previous positions."

Here are some quotes that I copied from The Trinity: Evidence and Issues

Canon Liddon in his Bampton lectures at Oxford University said that a doxology to Christ as God "is the natural sense of the passage. If the passage occurred in a profane author and its essence and structure alone had to be considered, few critics would think of overlooking the antithesis between [Greek which I, AP, am guessing should be transliterated as 'ho Christos to kata sarka'] and [Greek: 'theos eulogetos']. Still less possible would it be to destroy this antithesis outright, and to impoverish the climax of the whole passage, by cutting off the doxology from the clause which precedes it, and so erecting it into an independent ascription of praise to God the Father."

Hendriksen wrote:
"This item serves as a fitting climax. From them, that is, from the Israelites (see verse 4) Christ derived his human nature. He was and is a Jew. What a source of intense satisfaction and rejoicing this should be for Jews! The apostle hastens to add that although Jesus is indeed a Jew, he is also much more than a Jew. Though he has a human nature, he also has a divine nature. He is God! It should be clear that when Paul says, 'Christ, who is over all God blest forever,' he confesses Christ's deity."

A.T Robertson wrote in his Word Studies
"A clear statement of the deity of christ following the remark about his humanity. This is the natural and the obvious way of punctuating the sentence. To make a full stop after sarka (or colon) and start a new sentence for the doxology is very abrupt and awkward. See Acts 20:28 and Titus 2:13 for Paul's use of theos applied to Jesus Christ."

Charles Hodge wrote:
"The relative who must agree with the nearest antecedent. There is no other subject in the context sufficiently prominent to make a departure from this ordinary rule, in this case, even plausible."

Dean Alford wrote:
"The the only one admissible by the rules of grammar and arrangement."

Raymond Brown wrote:
"...This interpretation would mean that Paul calls Jesus God. From a grammatical viewpoint this is clearly the best reading, [sic] Also, the contextual sequence is excellent; for having spoken of Jesus' descent according to the flesh, Paul now emphasizes his position as God."

Lenski wrote:
"Christ is over all, i.e., the supreme Lord. This apposition is complete in itself. If no more were added, this apposition makes Christ God, for we have yet to hear of one who is 'over all' and is not God."

Robert Haldane wrote:
"The awful blindness and obstinacy of Arians and Socinians in their explanations, or rather perversions, of the Word of God, are in nothing more obvious than in their attempts to evade the meaning of this celebrated testimony to the Godhead of our Lord Jesus Christ. They often shelter themselves under various readings; but here they have no tenable ground for an evasion of this kind. Yet, strange to say, some of them have, without the authority of manuscripts, alter the original, in order that it may suit their purpose. there is no difficulty in the words - no intricacy in the construction; yet, by a forced construction and an unnatural punctuation, they have endeavored to turn away this testimony from its obvious import. Contrary to the genius and idiom of the Greek - contrary to all the usual rules of interpreting language, as had often been incontrovertibly shown - they substitute 'God be blessed'...Such tortuous explanations are not only rejected by a sound interpretation of the original, but manifest themselves to be unnatural, even to the most illiterate who exercises an unprejudiced judgment."

Quotes taken from pages 332-335 of Robert Morey's The Trinity: Evidence and Issues. I'm too lazy to type out all the sources. So, if you want the sources, get a copy of Morey's book.

Charles Hodge in his Systematic Theology states:
In the epistles of Paul, the same exalted exhibition is made of the person and work of Christ. In the Epistle to the Romans, Christ is declared to be the Son of God, the object of faith, the judge of the world, the God of providence, the giver of the Holy Spirit, and what in the Old Testament is said of Jehovah, the Apostle applies to Christ. In chapter ix. 5, He is expressly declared to be “over all, God blessed forever.” The text here is beyond dispute. The only method to avoid the force of the passage is by changing the punctuation. Erasmus, who has been followed by many modern interpreters, placed a full stop after κατὰ σάρκα, or after πάντων. In the former case the passage would read, “Of whom is Christ concerning the flesh. The God who is over all be blessed forever;” in the latter, “Of whom Christ came concerning the flesh, who is above all,” i.e., higher than the patriarchs. It is frankly admitted by the advocates of these interpretations that the reason for adopting them is to avoid making the Apostle assert that Christ is God over all. As they do not admit that doctrine, they are unwilling to admit that the Apostle teaches it. It was universally referred to Christ in the ancient Church, by all the Reformers, by all the older theologians, and by almost all of the modern interpreters who believe in the divinity of Christ. This uniformity of assent is itself a decisive proof that the common interpretation is the natural one. We are bound to take every passage of Scripture in its obvious and natural sense, unless the plainer declarations of the Word of God show that a less obvious meaning must be the true one. That the common interpretation of this passage is correct is plain, —

1. Because Christ is the subject of discourse; God is not mentioned in the context. The Apostle is mentioning the distinguishing blessings of the Jewish nation. To them were given the law, the glory, the covenant, and the promises, and above all, from them “as concerning the flesh (i.e., as far as his humanity is concerned), Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever.” Here everything 512is natural and to the point. It shows how preeminent was the distinction of the Jews that from them the Messiah, God manifest in the flesh, should be born. Compared to this all the other prerogatives of their nation sink into insignificance.

2. The words κατὰ σάρκα demand an antithesis. There would be no reason for saying that Christ, as far as He was a man, was descended from the Jews, if He was not more than man, and if there were not a sense in which He was not descended from them. As in Rom. i. 3, 4, it is said that κατὰ σάρκα He was the Son of David, but κατὰ πνεῦμα the Son of God; so here it is said, that κατὰ σάρκα He was descended from the patriarchs, but that in his higher nature He is God over all, blessed forever.

3. The usage of the language demands the common interpretation. In all exclamations and benedictions, in distinction from mere narration, the predicate uniformly stands before the subject, if the copula εἶναι omitted. This usage is strictly observed in the Septuagint, in the Apocrypha, and in the New Testament. We therefore always read in such doxologies εὐλογητὸς ὁ θεός, and never ὁ θεὸς εὐλογητός. In the Hebrew Scriptures, בָרוּךְ occurs forty times in doxologies and formulas of praise before the subject. It is always “Blessed be God,” and never “God be blessed.” In the Septuagint, Psalm lxviii. 20 (19), κύριος ὁ θεὸς εὐλογητός is the only apparent exception to this rule. And there the Hebrew adheres to the common form, and the Greek version is a rhetorical paraphrase of the original. The Hebrew is simply בָרוּךְ אֲדׁנָי אֲדֹנָי for which the LXX. have, Κύριος ὁ θεὸς εὐλογητός, cὐλογητὸς κύριος. Every consideration, therefore, is in favour of the interpretation which has been accepted by the Church as giving the true meaning of this passage. Christ is God over all, blessed forever.

Henry Alford in his The New Testament for English Readers vol. II (p. 80-81) states
—and of whom is Christ, so far as regards the flesh (the expression implies that He was not entirely sprung from them, but had another nature; 'on His human side,"—"as far as pertains to His human body"), who is God over all (this word all is of uncertain gender in the original, but must be probably taken as neuter: all things, not "all persons " compare ch. xi. 36), blessed for ever. Amen. — The punctuation and application of this doxology have been much disputed. By the early Church it was generally rendered as above, and applied to Christ. Passages, it is true, have been collected from the fathers to show that they applied the words "God over all" to the FATHER alone, and protested against their application to the SON; but these passages themselves protest only against the erroneous Noetian or Sabellian view of the identity of the Father and the Son, whereas in Eph. iv. 5, 6, "one Lord," "one God and Father of all, who is over all," are plainly distinguished. That our Lord is not, in the strict exclusive sense, "the God who is over all," every Christian will admit, that title being reserved for the Father : but that He is God over all" none of the above-mentioned passages goes to deny. — The first trace of a different interpretation, if it be one, is found in an assertion of the Emperor Julian, who says that our Lord is never called God by St. Paul, nor by St. Matthew, or St. Mark, but by St. John only. The next is in the punctuation of two of our later manuscripts of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, which arrange the sentence thus : "of whom as concerning the flesh is Christ. God over all [be] blessed for ever." This is followed by several among the moderns, and generally by Socinians. The objections to this rendering are, (1) ingenuously suggested by Socinus himself, and never yet obviated,—that without one exception in Hebrew or Greek, wherever an ascription of the blessing is found, the predicate blessed precedes the name of God. (2) That the words who is on this rendering, would be superfluous altogether (see below). (3) That the doxology would be unmeaning and frigid in the extreme. It is not the habit of the Apostle to break out into irrelevant ascriptions of praise; and certainly there is here nothing in the immediate context requiring one. If it be said that the survey of all these privileges bestowed on his people prompts the doxology,—surely such a view is most unnatural : for the sad subject of the Apostle's sympathy, to which he immediately recurs again, is the apparent inanity of all these privileges in the exclusion from life of those who were dignified with them. If it be said that the incarnation of Christ is the exciting cause, the words according to the flesh" come in most strangely, depreciating, as it would on that supposition, the greatness of the event, which then becomes a source of so lofty a thanksgiving. (4) That the expression "blessed for ever" is twice besides used by St. Paul, and each time unquestionably not in an ascription of praise, but in an assertion regarding the subject of the sentence. The places are, ch. i. 25, and 2 Cor. xi. 31 : whereas he uses the phrase "Blessed be God" as an ascription of praise, without joining "for ever." See the rest of the discussion in my Greek Test. I have shewn there, that the rendering given in the text is not only that most agreeable to the usage of the Apostle, but the only one admissible by the rules of grammar and arrangement. It also admirably suits the context : for, having enumerated the historic advantages of the Jewish people, he concludes by stating one which ranks far higher than all,—that from them sprung, according to the flesh, He who is God over all, blessed for ever.—Amen is the accustomed ending of such solemn declarations of the divine Majesty : compare ch. i. 25

James White summarizes the reasons he believes Rom. 9:5 does refer to Christ as God.

The arguments in favor of seeing this passage as a reference to the deity of Christ are many. I will summarize them here.8

(1) It is the natural reading of the text to see the entire verse as referring to Christ. Breaking the sentence up into two parts leads to difficulties in translation and interpretation. Some words become superfluous,9 and the balance of the sentence is thrown off.10

(2) The phrase "who is" is used by Paul elsewhere to modify a word in the preceding context ( as in 2 Corinthians 11:31, a very close parallel), and would naturally do so here as well.

(3) The form of the doxology simply will not allow for it to be separated from the preceding context, Paul's consistent usage connects the doxology to the discussion of Christ. In his other doxologies11 he follows this pattern.

(4) In the Greek New Testament, and in the Greek translation of the Old Testament (the Septuagint), the word "blessed" always12 comes before the word "God," but here in Romans 9:5 it follows, which would indicate that the "blessing" is tied to what came before (i.e., the discussion of Christ). So strong is this last point that Metzger said it is "altogether incredible that Paul, whose ear must have been perfectly familiar with this constantly recurring formula of praise, should in this solitary instance have departed from established usage."13

Add to these weighty considerations the testimony of many of the early [Church] Fathers as well,14 and the conclusion is inescapable: Paul breaks into praise at the majesty of the person of the Messiah who has come into the world through the Jewish race. The very God who is over all has entered into flesh, and for this, Paul gives glory and honor.

-James White, The Forgotten Trinity, pp. 73-74

Note # 8. For discussions of this passage and the various translational issues involved, see. C. E. B. Cranfield, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans in The International Critical Commentary (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1979), II:464–470; Henry Alford, The New Testament for English Readers (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983), II:920–921; Douglas Moo, The Epistle to the Romans in The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996), 565–568.

Note # 9. Specifically, there is no reason to include ὁ ὢν [this is the best I could reproduce the Greek - AP] in the final phrase if there is no direct connection to what has gone before.

Note # 10. Paul has spoken of the fleshly nature of the Messiah, and now speaks of the Messiah's spiritual nature as God. Breaking up the sentence leaves Paul speaking only of the Messiah "according to the flesh."

Note # 11. Romans 1:25; 11:36; 2 Corinthians 11:31; Galatians1:5; 2 Timothy 4:18.

Note # 12. There is one possible exception at Psalm 67:19, though the text seems questionable at that point.

Note # 13. B.M. Metzger, "The Punctuation of Rom. 9:5" in Christ and Spirit in the New Testament: In Honour of Charles Francis Digby Moule, ed. B. Lindars and S. Smalley (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1973), 107.

Note # 14. Metzger mentions Irenaeus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Cyprian, Athanasius, Epiphanius, Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, John Chrysostom, Theodoret, Augustine, Jerome, and Cyril of Alexandria, among others, as reading the passage in support of the deity of Christ.

-Notes found on page 205 in The Forgotten Trinity by James White

The NET Bible has a textual note on Romans 9:5 that states:

tn Or “the Christ, who is over all, God blessed forever,” or “the Messiah. God who is over all be blessed forever!” or “the Messiah who is over all. God be blessed forever!” The translational difficulty here is not text-critical in nature, but is a problem of punctuation. Since the genre of these opening verses of Romans 9 is a lament, it is probably best to take this as an affirmation of Christ’s deity (as the text renders it). Although the other renderings are possible, to see a note of praise to God at the end of this section seems strangely out of place. But for Paul to bring his lament to a crescendo (that is to say, his kinsmen had rejected God come in the flesh), thereby deepening his anguish, is wholly appropriate. This is also supported grammatically and stylistically: The phrase ὁ ὢν (Jo wn, “the one who is”) is most naturally taken as a phrase which modifies something in the preceding context, and Paul’s doxologies are always closely tied to the preceding context. For a detailed examination of this verse, see B. M. Metzger, “The Punctuation of Rom. 9:5,” Christ and the Spirit in the New Testament, 95-112; and M. J. Harris, Jesus as God, 144-72.

Bart Ehrman in his book How Jesus Became God in chapter 7 changes his mind and now leans toward the interpretation that Roman 9:5 DOES have Paul referring to Jesus as God (in some sense).
So too Jesus in Paul. One of the most debated verses in the Pauline letters is Romans 9:5. Scholars dispute how the verse is to be translated. What is clear is that Paul is talking about the advantages given to the Israelites, and he indicates that the “fathers” (that is, the Jewish patriarchs) belong to the Israelites, and “from them is the Christ according to the flesh, the one who is God over all, blessed forever, amen.” Here, Christ is “God over all.” This is a very exalted view.

But some translators prefer not to take the passage as indicating that Christ is God and do so by claiming that it should be translated differently, to say first something about Christ and then, second, to give a blessing to God. They translate the verse like this: “from them is the Christ according to the flesh. May the God who is over all be blessed forever, amen.” The issues of translation are highly complex, and different scholars have different opinions. The matter is crucial. If the first version is correct, then it is the one place in all of Paul’s letters where he explicitly calls Jesus God.

But is it correct? My view for many years was that the second translation was the right one and that the passage does not call Jesus God. My main reason for thinking so, though, was that I did not think that Paul ever called Jesus God anywhere else, so he probably wouldn’t do so here. But that, of course, is circular reasoning, and I think the first translation makes the best sense of the Greek, as other scholars have vigorously argued.13 It is worth stressing that Paul does indeed speak about Jesus as God, as we have seen. This does not mean that Christ is God the Father Almighty. Paul clearly thought Jesus was God in a certain sense—but he does not think that he was the Father. He was an angelic, divine being before coming into the world; he was the Angel of the Lord; he was eventually exalted to be equal with God and worthy of all of God’s honor and worship. And so I now have no trouble recognizing that in fact Paul could indeed flat-out call Jesus God, as he appears to do in Romans 9:5.

If someone as early in the Christian tradition as Paul can see Christ as an incarnate divine being, it is no surprise that the same view emerges later in the tradition. Nowhere does it emerge more clearly or forcefully than in the Gospel of John.
13.See the fuller discussions in Robert Jewett, Romans: A Commentary (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007), and Joseph Fitzmyer, Romans: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (New Haven, CT: Anchor Bible, 1997).

[Red highlighting and bolding above is by me, Annoyed Pinoy]
By the way, Ehrman has also stated publicly that he believes all authors of the 4 canonical Gospels personally believed that Jesus was "God" (in some sense and in different ways). See this video here at 18 minutes and 48 seconds:

Ehrman has also said in numerous debates that he interprets John 8:58 as the author of the gospel having Jesus claim to be "God" (in some sense).
Ehrman agrees that in Phil. 2:6-11 Jesus is presented as a pre-existent "divine" (in some sense) figure who became a human being.
Ehrman agrees that the author of the Gospel of John clearly taught in the Gospel that Jesus existed before creation as someone who was distinct from God the Father, and yet was "God" and was equal to God (the Father). Furthermore, that the author of John didn't originate  this view. For example, the prologue derives from pre-Johannine source.

F.F. Bruce wrote:
5. To them belong the patriarchs. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his twelve sons, the primary recipients of the promises just mentioned.
Of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ. Compare the affirmation of Christ’s Davidic descent in 1:3, and the later statement that ‘Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs’ (15:8). In him all God’s promises to Israel reach their consummation.
God who is over all be blessed for ever. The relation of these words to those which precede is disputed, RSV takes them as an independent ascription of praise to God, prompted by the mention of God’s crowning his many blessings on Israel by sending them the Messiah (similarly NEB, GNB). They may be taken, on the other hand, as in apposition to ‘the Christ’; so RSV margin: ‘who is God over all, blessed for ever’ (similarly AV, RV, NIV).
The latter construction is more in keeping with the general structure of the sentence (cf. 1:25, where the words ‘who is blessed for ever! Amen’ are not an independent ascription of praise but the integral peroration of the sentence, standing in apposition to ‘the Creator’). It is further supported by the consideration that something is required to balance the phrase ‘according to the flesh’ (as in 1:3–4, where the same phrase is balanced by ‘according to the Spirit of holiness’). Here the Messiah is said, with regard to his human descent, to have come of a long line of Israelite ancestors; but as regards his eternal being, he is ‘God over all, blessed for ever’.
It is true that Paul is not in the habit of calling Christ ‘God’; he reserves for him the title ‘Lord’: ‘for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist’ (1 Cor. 8:6). Yet for Paul Christ is the one in whom, through whom and for whom all things were created (Col. 1:16), in whom ‘the whole fulness of deity dwells bodily’ (Col. 2:9). ‘The judgment seat of God’ (14:10) is called in 2 Corinthians 5:10 ‘the judgment seat of Christ’. Moreover, when Paul gives Jesus the title ‘Lord’, he does so because God the Father has bestowed this title on him as ‘the name which is above every name’ (Phil. 2:9). This title ‘Lord’ is given to Jesus by Paul as the equivalent of Yahweh; his application of Isaiah 45:23 (cf. Rom. 14:11) to Jesus in Philippians 2:10–11 indicates that to him the confession ‘Jesus Christ is Lord’ is equivalent to ‘Jesus Christ is Yahweh’.
It is, on the other hand, impermissible to charge those who prefer to treat the words as an independent doxology with Christological unorthodoxy. The words can indeed be so treated, and the decision about their construction involves a delicate assessment of the balance of probability this way and that.2[See Below For Note]
A proper conclusion to doxological language (cf. 1:25; 11:36; Gal. 1:5; Eph. 3:21; Phil. 4:20; 1 Tim. 1:17; 6:16; 2 Tim. 4:18). In addition, it forms a fitting conclusion here to the very positive catalogue of Israel’s ancestral blessings (including, be it noted, ‘the giving of the law’)—a fuller answer to the question ‘what advantage has the Jew?’ (Rom. 3:1) than it received in its immediate context. Such a positive catalogue (which may also have been called for by the Jewish-Gentile situation in the Roman church) emphasizes the seriousness of the problem which Paul is about to propound.
The following is note #2:
For the construction preferred here see O. Cullmann, The Christology of the New Testament, E. T. (1959), pp. 312f.: J. Munck, Christ and Israel, E. T. (1967), pp. 32f.; B. M. Metzger, New Testament Studies (1980), pp. 57–74. For the other see V. Taylor, The Person of Christ in New Testament Teaching (1958), pp. 55–57; E. Käsemann, ad loc.
-Romans: An Introduction and Commentary by F.F. Bruce [volume 6 in the Tyndale New Testament Commentaries series with Leon Morris as General Editor] 

[Red highlighting and bolding above is by me, Annoyed Pinoy]

Douglas Moo wrote:

The greatest blessing promised to Israel was the Messiah, that is, the Christ. From a strictly human point of view (“according to the flesh” here again; NIV “the human ancestry”), the Messiah was to arise from the people of Israel. But from the divine point of view, he is more; indeed, he is God. At least, this is the reading found in several English translations (NIV; KJV; NASB; JB; NRSV). Note, for instance, the NRSV: “From them, according to the flesh, comes the Messiah, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.” Here the Messiah is identified as “God.”
Other English translations do not make this identification. Note, for instance, the RSV: “Of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ. God who is over all be blessed for ever. Amen” (see also NEB; TEV). As may be obvious from these conflicting renderings, the issue is how to punctuate the verse. Since most ancient manuscripts do not have punctuation, modern interpreters have to decide whether to put a comma or a period after “Messiah.” The issue is complicated, but both the syntax and the context favor the comma.6 [see below for Note] This verse, therefore, deserves to be numbered among those few in the New Testament that explicitly call Jesus “God.”
Note #6:
6. See esp. Bruce M. Metzger, “The Punctuation of Rom. 9:5,” in Christ and Spirit in the New Testament: In Honour of Charles Francis Digby Moule (ed. B. Lindars and S. Smalley; Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1973), 95–112; Murray J. Harris, Jesus as “God”: Theos as a Christological Title in the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992), 144–72.
-Romans: the NIV Application Commentary by Douglas Moo [in The NIV Application Commentary Series with Terry Muck as General Editor]

[Red highlighting and bolding above is by me, Annoyed Pinoy]

E.W. Bullinger wrote:
To account for various readings, the R.V. sometimes appeals in the margin to ancient authorities, meaning Greek MSS., &c., but here, and here only, modern interpreters are allowed to introduce, by varying punctuation, devices for destroying this emphatic testimony to the Deity of the Lord.
- footnote for Rom. 9:5 in The Companion Bible

Of course, there are arguments against Rom. 9:5 teaching Jesus is the Blessed God. For example:

However, I believe the preponderance of the evidence is that it does teach Jesus is the Blessed God. Besides, it's consistent with all the other evidences for Christ's full deity and incarnation. Some of which I've provided in the various blogposts in this blog.

On the assumption that Jesus isn't being called "the Blessed God" in Roman 9:5, there's another verse in the Bible that's interesting, John 3:31.

He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all.- John 3:31
In this verse Jesus describes Himself as the one who came down from heaven and then refers to Himself as "above all." This seems to parallel Rom. 9:5 which states that the Blessed God is "over all" (cf. Rom. 10:12; Acts 10:36). Therefore suggesting Jesus is either claiming (or hinting at) His full deity in John 3:31. Notice too that immediately after Rom. 10:12, which seems to refer to Jesus as "Lord of all," Paul quotes Joel 2:32 in verse 13 and applies it to Jesus even though the original context refers to Jehovah/Yahweh, the one true God.

John Gill in his commentary states regarding John 3:31 and the phrase "above all":
above John, before whom he was preferred, for he was before him; above the prophets of the Old Testament, and even above Moses, the chief of them; yea, above all the angels in heaven, being God over all, blessed for ever: wherefore all glory is to be given him; no honour is to be envied him, or detracted from him.

I address verses related to John 3:31 in other blogposts including:

Miscellaneous Speculative and/or Suggestive Arguments In Defense of the Trinity

see also:

Concerning 1 John 5:20 ( from The Trinity: Evidences and Issues)

More commentaries on this verse at StudyLight.Org:

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