Item description for The First Born Over All Creation by Ed Graning...
In the author?s own words: ?Do I really want to do this? Do I really want to write this book? What if everyone disagrees with me? What if everyone says; ?this guy has really missed the boat?? Nevertheless, I couldn?t ignore all the proof that lay in front of me. There was evidence from the Scriptures and history all telling me that for years I had been taught something that may not be completely true. So, it became increasingly important to write about what I had discovered. I?ve known for a long time that I?m not alone when it comes to questions about the subject of the Trinity. Maybe what I have learned might help someone else in their search for a better understanding of this subject. I?ve had questions about this from the day I was told, ?this is what you should believe. There is one God manifested in three persons. You can?t fully understand it, you just accept it by faith.?
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.58" Width: 5.54" Height: 0.38" Weight: 0.49 lbs.
Release Date Nov 10, 2000
ISBN 1588513114 ISBN13 9781588513113
Reviews - What do customers think about The First Born Over All Creation?
Poorly researched Jul 10, 2001
I would first like to say that I admire Mr. Graning’s desire to write what he believes to be the truth despite the fact that he has undoubtedly opened himself up to much criticism. While I am sure Mr. Graning has done a considerable amount of research in the area of the Trinity, there are a few points that he should/could have worded or stated better.
One area where he errors in when he tries to describe the primary beliefs of God. He states first that there are those who believe “Jesus...was an angel, created by God as the first of His creations. This is not something new. This teaching finds it’s roots in the teachings of Arius in the 4th century.”(pg 13) Those who have studied this subject will quickly recognize this as being incorrect and, amazingly, Mr. Graning quotes the Encyclopedia Britannica to this effect. It states, “Here Arius joined an older tradition of Christology, which had already played a role in Rome in the early 2nd century –namely the so-called angel-Christology.” (Pg 83) So this belief was held at least in the early 2nd century among persons whose lives undoubtedly crossed the lives of some apostles, long before Arius arrived on the seen. He also defines the Oneness Pentecostal beliefs (Jesus is Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and states, “They, I suppose, would be called ultra Trinitarians.”(pg 13) I doubt many Oneness Pentecostal’s would appreciate that title. They are commonly referred to as “Oneness” believers, “Modalists” or their faith could be labeled “sabellianism.”
One thing I did enjoy about the book is that he uses more scriptures than the average book on the Trinity. What would have been helpful would have been a scripture index. I had a number of scriptures pop into my mind and I could not find a quick way to determine if he discussed the scriptures I had questions on.
A point Mr. Graning made that I certainly agree with is his argument that too often Trinitarians try to read into a word a definition or meaning that is not really there. Mr. Graning believes that we should take a verse for what it says and not try to play word games, altering the meaning of a term to fit our doctrine. My hat is off to him for this stance. However, I feel Mr. Graning may have ignored his own rule in his handling of the term “firstborn.” He first states incorrectly that the term “firstborn” means “the first to be born. That’s what it means everywhere else in scripture. The word is used more than one hundred times in Scripture and it simply means, the one born first.”(pg 18) However, we note that the term does NOT mean the “first to be born” at Jeremiah 31:9, Exodus 4:22 or Genesis 48:13-20, to mention a few. In these verses the one called “firstborn” apparently designates their being given a supreme position over others. He ignored the fact that words, at times, do have symbolic meanings such as Jesus separating sheep from goats or wheat from weeds. In some instances he term “firstborn” is symbolic of a favored position one has been placed in.
Still, I do agree with Mr. Graning that the term “firstborn” at Col 1:15 is literal like it as at Col 1:18. However, he writes, “what does “firstborn” mean? It certainly does not mean first created. There is nothing in the Bible to suggest that Jesus was anything other than absolute Deity.”(pg 17) Of course, the fact that he even brings up this argument signals that the term “firstborn of creation” must cause some persons to understand Jesus as being the first one created. He has already started to leave his rule that “A word used repeatedly to mean one thing couldn’t suddenly take on a different meaning. This would violate the simple ability to understand the writer.”(pg 18) But who can deny that if we had no preconceived belief that Jesus was Almighty God we would automatically understand this verse to mean that Jesus was the first one created? The phrase “firstborn of all creation” creates an immediate picture of a group (creation) with Jesus being the first of that group being born. How does Mr. Graning get around this ‘simple understanding?’ He states, “Creation and birth are not one in the same. They are entirely different.”(pg 17)
And thus we get on the same word “merry-go-round” that Trinitarians like to use. After reading that sentence on page 17 of Mr. Graning’s book, I combed the rest of his book desperately looking for exactly what the difference was between creation and birth. I found no explanation of the difference and I leave his book extremely disappointed because of this. While some may argue that my mother ‘did not create me, she only gave birth to me’, I can state whole heartedly that I did not exist before I was born from my mother. Therefore, I reject such arguments as philosophical. Mr. Graning also does not explain what he means by the term “eternity past”, which he used a number of times to describe when Jesus was “born.” Many modern Bibles describe this term as “time indefinite”, meaning a very long time ago but not everlasting. I would like to quote his words on page 98 where he states of Jesus, “He was not created, He was begotten, birthed, brought into existence.” To common people there is no difference between the terms “created”, “begotten”, “birthed” and “brought into existence.” How one can say that Jesus was not “created” but he was “brought into existence” is beyond my ‘untrained in seminary school’ mind. In addition, he did not mention Rev 3:14 where Jesus is described as the “beginning of the creation by God”, which seems to be an important part to the discussion.
Another error that Mr. Graning makes is in regards to the term theos and the definite article. I mean “error” in that he violates his own argument, even though it is possible that he is correct in his arguments. Allow me to explain. After discussing the term theos and the definite article, he states on page 31, “But when the definite article is used with theos it always means the Supreme Deity, God the Almighty. It is interesting to note that not one time in Scripture is the definite article used with Theos when speaking of the Son of God.” This may or may not be true, depending on the interpretation of John 20:28 where Thomas says, “My Lord and my God.” The term God (theos) is preceded by the definite article. While it is debatable as to whether Thomas was referring to Jesus or to his Father as theos, Mr. Graning assumes it is in reference to Jesus. And he nicely explains in his book how others can be honored with the title theos due to their God assigned position. But if Mr. Graning believes Jesus is the one being referred to as theos at John 20:28, then how can he say that “not one time in Scripture is the definite article used with Theos when speaking of the Son of God [...]