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Who is “our only Master and Lord” in Jude 4?

A recent trend by the Jesus-is-God movement is to point to Jude 4 in order to do away with the clear statement in John 17:3 where the Son identifies the Father as “the only true God.”

But a good textual argument can be made that Jude 4 applies “Master” to God and “lord” to the Messiah. This is because the closest antecedent reads “the grace of our God.”

This reading would make better sense in keeping with the normal NT and later patristic pattern of applying the Greek for “Master,” despotes, to God (see Luke 2:29; Acts 4:24; 2 Tim 2:21; Rev 6:10).

Hence, translations like the KJV, following some Greek manuscripts, add the word “God” (also see paraphrases like the MEV, WEB, NMB, JUB).

But even if Jesus is the subject he is the “only” one who is both “master and lord” in the sense indicated by the verse. That is, he is the master and lord Messiah, which God is not.

The problem is to keep missing the word “Messiah” in connection with both titles: “master and lord.”  

Remember, the Bible is ultimately the story about 2 Lords according to Ps 110:1, i.e., YHWH or Adonai, always for Deity and adoni, a word never used for Deity! 

NOTE! The only way both terms (“Master and lord”) can refer to the same person is by using what’s known as the Granville Sharp Rule, a Trinitarian concoction from 1798. This so-called “rule” is often applied to other favorite Jesus-is-God texts like Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1 (applying 2 other terms, “God and Savior” to Jesus).