A Bible study from Faithbuilders Fellowship , presented on this web site by True Grace Ministries .
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In 1881, when the KJV was in common use and the first English revision of its New Testament was published, an article by H. V. Reed appeared in the magazine Restitution . He wrote: "The word godhead is not good English: it means nothing in itself and conveys no idea to the reader: What is a godhead?" It is merely a bad translation. The Greek manuscript word should be rendered 'divinity' or 'deity'. Many Bible scholars and translators have realized that 'godhead' does not convey clear meaning. Weymouth, Moffatt, Smith-Goodspeed, Farrar Fenton, RSV, Good News, NAS, Living Bible, NIV, J. B. Phillips, Bible in Living English, Jerusalem Bible, NWT, Emphatic Diaglott , and The Everyday Bible versions, all recognizing its inadequacy, use some word or phrase other than 'godhead' seen three times in the KJV , where, in Acts 17:29 , Rom. 1:20 , Col. 2:9 , it represents a different Greek word each time.
'Godhead' in Colossians 2:9 of the KJV is a translation of the Greek theotees , which is "an abstract noun for theos ," the usual Greek word translated 'God'. (Greek-English Lexicon, Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich) "An abstract noun is one indicating a quality, as goodness, beauty." (Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary, International Edition) . From this it is seen that when Paul wrote of Christ Jesus that "In Him dwelleth all the fullness of deity" he said that all the qualities of God dwelt in Christ Jesus our Lord. In view of that, one may be sure that whatever 'godhead' may be thought to mean, it surely does not properly represent the meaning of the Greek words Paul wrote.
This is a wonderful assurance to us as trusting Christians! All the attributes which are part of God's being are 'housed permanently' in our Leader and Forerunner! The completeness of our Lord's powers was constituted when "He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." The assertion that "all the fullness of deity" dwells in Christ means that the qualities which are in God's being are not divided up, part in one and part in others. If on the other hand, the fullness of deity were to be understood as being divided up, it would imply that there were other mediating spiritual powers or independent spiritual forces at work which should contribute their wisdom and power in order that God's work of salvation be fully accomplished. But this is not so. There is not a partial nor temporary indwelling of God's qualities in Christ, but rather "all the fullness" Christ is not in the same rank with other created beings such as angels. (Hebrews 1:5) As the Son, He is greater than all that was created through Him.