From time to time, this article can be found online. However, the article moves around so much that it often is hard to find - and certainly hard to keep up with the address changes. Therefore, we are reproducing it below.
Finis Jennings Dake (1902-87) was a
Pentecostal pastor, teacher, and author whose most influential work is the
Dake's Annotated Reference Bible. This study Bible, containing notes on
the entire Old and New Testaments, was first published in 1963. The Dake Bible
is considered the top "Pentecostal Study Bible" by many. In fact, the
Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements says, "His 'notes'
became the 'bread and butter' of many prominent preachers and the 'staple' of
Pentecostal congregations." Dake is very important within
Dake was a man devoted to the study of
the Word of God. In fact, the back cover of one of his books says, "His
supernatural ability to flawlessly quote Scripture earned him a reputation as
the 'Walking Bible.'" Dake himself claims a supernatural knowledge of the Bible
that came soon after his conversion—even before he began to study the Word of
God. Dake asserts:
I was immediately able to quote hundreds of Scriptures
without memorizing them. I also noticed a quickening of my mind to know what
chapters and books various verses were found in. Before conversion, I had
not read one full chapter of the Bible. This new knowledge of Scripture was
a gift to me, for which I give God the praise. From the time of this special
anointing until now, I have never had to memorize the thousands of
scriptures I use in teaching. I just quote a verse when I need it, by the
anointing of the Spirit.
It has been said that he put more than
100,000 hours into Scripture study during his career. The commentary notes in
the Dake Annotated Reference Bible are certainly the main fruit of his
work. The preface to this extensive study Bible states, "The purpose of this
work is to give in ONE volume the helps a student of the Bible needs from many
books—Bible commentaries, Atlas, Dictionary, complete Concordance,
Dispensational Truth, Topical Text Book, Bible Synthesis, Doctrines, Prophetic
Studies, and others." This volume certainly follows through with its promise. It
is a massive collection of facts, figures, and encyclopedic findings contained
in "nearly 9,000 informative headings . . . , 500,000 cross references
throughout 35,000 notes and comments . . . , 3,400 note-columns—over 8,000
outlines on a great variety of subjects, and 2,000 illustrations."
The fact is clearly seen that Mr. Dake
put much work into this reference tool. However, there are severe problems with
the theology contained in this work. For instance, heresies abound concerning
subjects such as the nature and attributes of God, Soteriology, and
Christology—just to name a few. Furthermore, many word-faith teachers, such as
Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland, have verifiably used Dake as a source of their
quizzical doctrines. The scope of this paper, however, is not a complete,
systematic analysis of the Dake Annotated Reference Bible, but an
analysis of what it says about Jesus.
It must be stated that Finis Jennings
Dake and those who follow his teaching are not yet considered a cult. However,
much of the teaching in Dake's Bible is considered cultic because it falls far
outside the walls of orthodox Christianity. To be sure, there are many heretical
claims concerning Jesus found in this study Bible. And with about 30,000 Dake
Bibles being sold each year, this is a subject that needs to be addressed. This
exploration of Dake's teaching on Jesus will be subsumed under two broad topics:
Dake and the Trinity, which will exegete Dake's teaching about the very nature
of Jesus before He was Incarnated into a body of flesh, and Dake and the
Incarnation, which will present Dake's teaching about the Incarnation of the
Second Person of the Trinity.
DAKE AND THE TRINITY
The trouble with the Jesus of the Dake
Bible begins long before His birth in Bethlehem. Dake's aberrant view of Jesus
begins with an incorrect theology of the Trinity and the very nature of God. And
since Jesus is the eternal Second Person of the Trinity who possesses the very
nature and attributes of God, we are certainly concerned with what Dake teaches
about this subject.
Finis Dake's teachings on the Trinity
are assuredly not considered orthodox. In fact, his dogma on the subject is
positively cultic. His deviation from the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity stems
from his perversion of the term "Person." In his book God's Plan for Man,
Dake tells us that a "person" is "a rational being with bodily presence, soul
passions, and spirit faculties." In other words, a person is a being with a
body. With this in mind, we turn to Dake's definition of the Trinity:
What we mean by Divine Trinity is that there are three
separate and distinct persons in the Godhead, each one having His own
personal spirit body, personal soul, and personal spirit in the sense that
each human being, angel, or any other being has his own body, soul and
In view of Dake's definition of
"person," this quotation is claiming three "beings" in the Trinity which is
undeniably Tritheism. Similarly, in his book God's Plan for Man, Dake
There are over 500 plain scriptures that refer to the
Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as being THREE SEPARATE AND DISTINCT
PERSONS, each with His own personal body, soul, and spirit in the sense that
all other persons have them. . . . If two or three persons are referred to
in all these passages and they are called God, then we must understand them
as referring to this many divine persons, as we do when the same statements
are made of two or three persons of the human
Dake's Trinity is clearly three separate, distinct
Beings, each called God. Dake states that it is a "fallacy" to believe "that
there is only one person or one being called God." He also claims that it is a
"fallacy" to believe "that there is a difference in meaning of three human
persons and three divine persons." In other words, just as each human person is
a separate and distinct being, each member of the Trinity is a separate and
distinct Being unified only in purpose or goal. Allow me to depict Dake's view
in this way: According to Dake, if we were to go to heaven and see the Father,
the Son, and the Holy Spirit, there would be three different Beings bodily
present on three different thrones, just like three kings would be seated on
three distinct thrones on earth. The members of the Trinity are separate,
distinct Beings. Dake argues from the analogy of man as created in God's
Is God bodiless? If so we can
conclude that man is also bodiless. Is God only one being made up of several
persons or beings in the one being? If so, we can conclude that man is one
person or being made up of many.
The obvious conclusion to which Dake
is trying to lead his flock is that God is three separate beings—the Father, the
Son, and the Holy Spirit—and each of these beings has His own personal body,
soul, and spirit. What about the "oneness" of God? The Bible certainly claims
that, in some sense, God is one (Deut. 6:4-6). Dake explains that the three
separate Beings in the Trinity are one in unity or purpose:
The word one means one in unity as well as
one in number. . . . There is one God the Father, one Lord
Jesus Christ, and one Holy Ghost. Thus there are three separate
persons in the divine individuality and divine plurality. . . . As
individual persons each can be called God and collectively they can be
spoken of as one God because of their perfect unity. The word
God is used either as a singular or a plural word, like
Dake believes that the oneness of God
is in the fact that "these three (beings) are in absolute unity and 'are one' as
believers are supposed to be (John 17:11, 21-23)." Thus, the Godhead is three
separate beings, a plurality like "sheep," who are one in unity, the same way
that the body of Christ is one in unity—a collection of persons with the same
goal or purpose. Therefore, the unity of the one God, according to Dake, is not
ontological oneness shared by three persons, as orthodoxy claims, but a
functional unity found in purpose or direction.
Moreover, Dake, expounding his
theology to its logical conclusion, believes the Bible distinctly teaches God
has a body. The "Walking Bible" claims:
He (God) has a personal spirit body, shape, form, image and
likeness of a man, bodily parts such as, back parts, heart, hands and
fingers, mouth, lips and tongue, feet, eyes, hair, head, face, arms, loins,
and other bodily parts. He has bodily presence and goes place to place in a
body like all other persons. He has a voice and countenance. He wears
clothes, eats, dwells in a mansion and in a city located on a material
planet called heaven.
It is not surprising that Dake, whose
teaching implicitly denies the Trinity by redefining it, can also be found
explicitly denying the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity. He claims that the
writers who support the orthodox doctrines of the nature of God and the Trinity
exhibit "the modern trend to make God too mystical to understand." He goes on to
teach that the orthodox understanding of the spirit nature of God and the
Trinity is "foolish and unscriptural, to say the least." Furthermore, Dake
charges that the Trinitarians "make such ridiculous propositions about God that
it is impossible to comprehend them." The problem that the Trinitarians have,
claims Dake, is that they fail to take the Bible literally when it speaks of God
having bodily parts. Dake asserts "The expressions which tell us that God has
bodily parts are real and literal and not figurative."
In summary, the Jesus of the Dake
Bible, before the Incarnation, was one of three divine Beings who composed the
Trinity. Each of these separate, distinct Beings has His own body (legs, arms,
head, lips, etc.), soul, and spirit and are unified only in purpose or
direction. We now move our focus from Dake's view of the Trinity onto the
Incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity—Jesus Christ. Dake's unusual
understanding of the Trinity and the nature of God lays the foundation for his
deviant doctrine of the Incarnation.
DAKE AND THE INCARNATION
Finis Dake teaches several disputable
doctrines concerning the Incarnation of Jesus. First, he denies the eternal
Sonship of Jesus Christ by teaching that Jesus became the Son of God when
He was born into flesh at Bethlehem. Second, Dake teaches that Jesus
became the Christ at His baptism. To put it another way, Jesus was not
the Christ from all eternity, but was appointed with the office of Christ at His
baptism. Third, Dake denies the deity of Jesus by stating that He totally
emptied Himself of the attributes of God when He came to earth.
The first doctrine to be examined in
this section is Finis Dake's position on Jesus as the eternal Son of God. In
essence, Dake asserts that Jesus was not the Son of God from all eternity, but
became the Son of God when He was incarnated.
Dake begins by defining the word
"son." In his note on John 1:14 ("the Word was made flesh"), Dake alleges that,
"This made Him God's Son, for sonship in connection with Jesus Christ always
refers to humanity, never to deity." To put it another way, Dake is saying that
the title "Son of God" does not refer to Jesus as God, but Jesus as man. This
definition of the term Son of God is found throughout Dake's writings. In an
extended footnote on Luke 1:35, Dake argues for his position in great
Sonship with Christ always refers to humanity, not to
deity. As God, He had no beginning; was not begotten or He would have had a
beginning as God; and was not God's Son. But as man, He had a beginning, was
begotten, and was God's Son. . . . Multiplied problems increase and become
unanswerable with Scripture if we hold to the theory of eternal sonship, but
all questions are clear when we accept the plain statements of Scripture
that sonship refers to humanity and not to deity.
Dake believes that Jesus, the Second
Person of the Trinity became the Son of God when he was conceived in
Mary's womb. The Pentecostal pastor contends that the birth of Jesus in
Bethlehem "was when God had a Son through Mary. This happened on a certain day,
'This day I have begotten thee,' and therefore, we cannot say that God had a Son
before this time." Dake concludes his argument against the Eternal Sonship of
Jesus by stating:
As man and as God's Son He was not eternal, He did have a
beginning, He was begotten, this being the same time Mary had a Son.
Therefore, the doctrine of eternal sonship of Jesus Christ is irreconcilable
to reason, is unscriptural, and is contradictory to itself. . . . The word
Son supposes time, generation, father, mother, beginning, and conception. .
. . If sonship refers to deity, not to humanity, then this person of the
Deity had a beginning in time and not in eternity.
In the same way that Dake denies the
Eternal Sonship of Jesus, he also denies that Jesus was the Christ from all
eternity. Dake teaches that, just as Jesus became the Son of God, He
became the Christ. It was God who "anointed" Jesus to be the Christ at a
certain point in Jesus' earthly life.
In the very first note found in the
New Testament of Dake's Bible, Dake sets the stage for his teaching about the
"Christ." Concerning the title "Christ," Dake contends, "Like the name 'Jesus,'
it has no reference to deity, but to the humanity of the Son of God, who became
the Christ, or the 'Anointed One,' 30 years after He was born of Mary."
Dake's book God's Plan for Man
contains the same teaching, but takes it a step further by telling us the exact
point in Jesus' thirtieth year that He was anointed "the Christ":
The word "Christ" literally means "anointed" and is a name
applied to Jesus when He became the anointed of God. Jesus became the
anointed of God or Christ 30 years after He was called Jesus. . . . History
records that the time He became the "Anointed" was at His
Dake concludes his argumentation that
Jesus became the Christ at His baptism with an explanation for all the
passages that seem to say that Jesus was Christ from eternity. He comments:
Passages such as Luke 2:26; Gal. 3:17; 1 Pet. 1:11 should
be understood in the same sense as we would say that President George
Washington was a surveyor. He was not this when he was president, but since
he became president we could speak of any event of his life before he became
president as what President Washington did. So it is with Christ. Since He
became God's Christ we can now speak of Christ doing certain things even
before He was anointed.
Therefore, according to Dake's
understanding of the term "Christ," there was a time when Jesus was not the
Christ. Then, when Jesus was thirty He was baptized, and at that time, God
anointed Him as the Christ. Also, Dake holds that any passages that seem to
refer to Jesus as being the Christ before His baptism are merely using the term
The Deity of Jesus
After reading the content above, it
probably is not shocking that Finis Jennings Dake in some way denies the deity
of Jesus Christ. He does this, however, not in an explicit, obvious way, but
implicitly. Many times in his notes on the New Testament, Dake affirms that
Jesus is God in the flesh. But, a close examination of some of his claims about
Jesus reveals that Dake, in effect, denies the deity of Christ by some of the
deductions he makes about certain passages.
For instance, in Dake's notes on
Philippians 2:5-11, the passage about Jesus making Himself "nothing" in the
Incarnation, Dake denies that Jesus was God while He was here on earth. On the
one hand, concerning the self-emptying of Jesus, or the kenosis of
Christ, Dake correctly surmises, "Of what did Christ empty Himself? It could not
have been His divine nature, for He was God not only from all eternity, but God
manifest in flesh during His life on earth." But on the other hand, Dake
contradicts his first statement by saying, "Christ emptied Himself of . . . His
divine attributes and outward powers that He had with the Father from eternity."
In other words, Jesus became man by becoming something less than God. His divine
attributes were displaced by human attributes when He transformed Himself into,
or was "limited to the status of a man." Thus, the Incarnation is a subtraction
from His divine nature. Dake clearly expresses this in his book God's Plan
The various doctrine books teach that Christ possessed all
the glory, nature, and attributes of God during His earthly life just as
much as when He was in the form of God. They give us proof for their
conclusion that Christ had:
1. Omnipotence (Matt. 8:16, 26-27; Luke 4:35-41;
5:25; 7:14-15; 8:54-55; Eph. 1:20).
2. Omniscience (Mark 2:8; Luke 5:4-5, 22; 22:10-12;
Jn. 1:48; 2:24-25; 4:15-19, etc.).
3. Omnipresence (Matt. 18:20; 28:20; Jn. 3:13;
14:20; 2 Cor. 13:5; Eph. 1:13).
4. Eternity (John 1:1; 17:5; 8:58; Mic. 5:2; Col.
1:17; Heb. 13:8; 1 Jn. 1:1).
5. Immutability (Heb. 1:12; 13:8).
Upon examination of these passages it can be seen that not
one passage teaches that Christ had or used these attributes of Himself
while on earth. . . . The true Biblical teaching of the kenosis of
Christ is that in taking human form He divested Himself of His divine
attributes. . . .
Dake assuredly believes Jesus was
divested of His divine attributes, and thus, had no divine powers or
characteristics. Therefore, Dake must necessarily conclude "He (Jesus) had no
power to do miracles until He received the Holy Spirit in all fullness." Dake
also argues that Jesus "did not claim the attributes of God, but only the
anointing of the Holy Spirit to do His works." Furthermore, Dake says, "He could
do nothing of Himself in all His earthly life. He attributed all His works,
doctrines, powers, etc., to the Father through the anointing of the Holy
Spirit." To put it another way, Dake believes that the only way Jesus, a mere
man, could do miracles was by the anointing of the Holy Spirit who performed all
the miracles through Him.
To support this premise, Dake states,
"All scriptures related to His earthly life (the miracles, etc.) can be
explained as referring to the exercise of the gifts of the Spirit and not
natural attributes." The Holy Spirit was the miracle worker in the pages of the
four Gospels, and Jesus was merely the instrumental agent, or willing
accomplice. Dake emphasizes this point by this reasoning:
Is it necessary for God to be anointed with the Holy Spirit
to do what He is naturally capable of doing? If it became necessary to
anoint Jesus during His earthly life, then it proves He did not retain His
former glory and attributes which He had from all eternity when He emptied
Himself to become like men in all things.
It is not difficult to discern that
Finis Dake on the subject of Jesus falls far outside the confines of
Christianity. In this section, I will provide brief apologetic answers to the
teachings of Dake, thereby proving that the Jesus of the Dake Annotated
Reference Bible is not the Jesus of Christianity.
ANSWERING DAKE'S DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY
As stated above, Finis Dake's view of
the Trinity is actually an implicit denial of the Trinity by way of redefining
the term "Trinity" into Tritheism. Dake's Trinity is not composed of one Being,
or nature, consisting of three Persons, but three separate and distinct Beings,
each a separate and distinct God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who
are one only in purpose.
Monotheism vs. Tritheism
Dake, who claims that he gets all of
his teachings from a plain, literal reading of the Bible, results with the
decidedly unorthodox claim of three separate, distinct beings in the Godhead.
This cannot be true. I will argue against Dake's Tritheism from two different
angles: reason and revelation, which both show that it is not possible for there
to be more than one Being in the Godhead.
Philosophical Arguments for
Monotheism. Three arguments for the existence of only one God were forwarded
by Catholic philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas. The first of Aquinas'
arguments is from the simplicity of God. God's simplicity is the attribute that
states God is not composed of parts in His being, and is, thus, indivisible. To
put it another way, God cannot be divided into parts. Aquinas argued that God
must be one because to be more than one, there must be parts, and simple beings
have no parts. Therefore, God is one.
St. Thomas also argued for monotheism
from the position that God is infinite in His perfection. For if there were more
than one God, there would have to be some difference between them. In other
words, one would have what the other one lacks. But an absolutely perfect Being
cannot be lacking in any perfection—a being that lacks is not a God. If Beings
do not differ in any perfection, they would not differ at all. And to not differ
in anything at all is to be the same. Therefore, there can be only one God.
Tertullian, in his writings against Marcion, illustrates:
That which shall be valid as the highest greatness, that
must stand unique and must have no equal, in order not to cease to be the
highest essence. . . . But as God is the supreme essence our ecclesiastical
truth has with justice declared: If God is not One then there is no
The third argument Aquinas advanced
was from the unity of the world. He stated that there is a diversity of things
in the world. But this diversity of things is "seen to be ordered to each other
since some serve others." In other words, the diverse world has an ordered
unity. Therefore, concludes Aquinas, there must be One who accomplished or
created the order among diverse things. The philosophical argumentation of
Aquinas combined with the biblical proof below provide powerful evidence for the
existence of only one absolutely perfect Being, the God of the Bible.
A Theological Argument for
Monotheism. In concert with philosophical argumentation, the Bible reveals
God as one Being in distinction to Dake's three. It is a foundational doctrine
of both the Old and New Testaments that there is only one God. For instance, the
first chapter of the Old Testament is an apologetic for the existence of one
God. Some see the creation account in Genesis 1 as an early apologetic against
all the polytheistic creation accounts. Further, Deuteronomy 6:4, the Jewish
Shema, states, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!" In Isaiah
44:6 God says, "I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God."
Moreover, Isaiah 43:10 declares that God is one in the claim, "Before Me there
was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me." It is undeniable that the Jews
were strict monotheists. In fact, much of the Old Testament, especially the book
of Isaiah, is a warning against abandoning the one true God to chase after false
gods. To be sure, it was because of the Israelites stubborn determination to
serve false gods that the one true God sent them into exile in Babylon as
The New Testament also affirms
monotheism. The Apostle Paul, himself a strict monotheistic Jew, reacted
strongly against Gentile polytheism with powerful declarations of the existence
of only one God. In 1 Corinthians 8:4 Paul states, "We know that an idol is
nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one." Furthermore, in
Ephesians 4:6 Paul states that there is "one God and Father of all, who is above
all, and through all, and in you all." Finally, Paul declared in 1 Timothy 2:5,
"For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ
Jesus." There are many other Scriptures in the New Testament that teach that
there is only one Being called God (cf. Mk. 12:32; Acts 7:35; Rom. 3:30; 1 Cor.
8:6; Jas. 2:19). These Scriptures combined with those from the Old Testament
show beyond doubt that the teaching of the Bible, from cover to cover, is
Monotheism. Therefore, Dake's postulation that the Bible teaches three Beings
that are each a God is absolutely false and foreign to reason and revelation.
Dake's error will be made more clear by examining the Christian doctrine of the
The Orthodox Doctrine of the Trinity
The contention found in the writings
of Finis Dake that God is three separate beings who are one only in purpose is
heretical and certainly not compatible with Christianity. Dake denies the
doctrine of the Trinity, which is one of the essential doctrines of the
Christian Faith, by redefining it as Tritheism. However, a look at the Christian
definition of the Trinity will expose Dake's tritheistic teachings as cultic. In
fact, Dake's teaching on the Trinity is very close to the Mormon Trinity.
A concise definition of the Trinity
can be stated as one God who eternally exists in three persons, the Father, the
Son, and the Holy Spirit. God is one in nature, or essence, and three in person.
This is in distinction to Dake's views that God is three Beings that are one in
purpose only. To put it another way, God is one in one sense, His nature or
essence, and He is three in another sense, His personage. These separate persons
are equal, have the same attributes, and are equally worthy of worship,
adoration, and faith. It is the distinction between essence, or being, and
person that Dake fails to make. This distinction keeps the doctrine from
violating the law of non-contradiction and, thus, being heretical.
The affirmation that God is one in
essence and three in person is really an affirmation that God is one What
and three Whos. His What (What He is) is His essence, nature,
or being, while His Whos (Who He is) are the Father, the Son, and the
Holy Spirit. Consider the following chart that illustrates the one Divine nature
that is shared by three distinct and separate persons:
Notice that the three Whos
(Persons) all share the same What (Essence). So God is a unity of
essence with a plurality of persons. Each person is different, yet they share a
common nature. We affirm one God who is three in person, one of whom is the Son,
Jesus. It was only the Son who took on a human nature, and thus, has a body.
Therefore Dake's claim that each member of the Trinity has a body is false. For
the Bible states that God is spirit (John 4:24), and a spirit does not have
flesh and bones (Luke 24:39). Furthermore, if God has a body, that would
necessarily mean that He is not omnipresent or eternal. A body would confine Him
to one place at one time. Yet, the Bible declares that God is both omnipresent
and eternal. Therefore, Dake is fatally mistaken in his teaching that God has a
What about those passages that seem to
teach that God has a body or different body parts? Those passages contain a
literary device called anthropomorphisms. An anthropomorphism is "a figure of
speech whereby the deity is referred to in terms of human bodily parts or human
passions. To speak of God's hands, eyes, anger, or even love is to speak
anthropomorphically." The biblical picture of God is an immutable, eternal,
infinite Being. Yet, having a body would compromise all of these
characteristics. Thus, the references in the Bible to God's bodily parts and
activities are clearly figures of speech. Dake's denial of anthropomorphic
references to God is the very heart of his theological misgivings and the source
of much of his heresy.
The Christian understanding of the
Trinity is certainly not "foolish" as Dake charges. Yet, as I have shown, Dake's
understanding of the Trinity as Tritheism is nowhere close to the Christian
doctrine of the Trinity. In addition, Dake's understanding of God as having a
body is certainly theologically and philosophically flawed as well. Therefore,
based on this doctrine alone, Dake and his disciples should be classified into
the kingdom of the cults along with Mormons who teach the same thing about the
Trinity—three separate and distinct gods who have bodily parts.
ANSWERING DAKE'S DOCTRINE OF THE INCARNATION
The doctrine of eternal Sonship
"declares that the second person of the triune godhead has eternally existed as
the Son." This is in opposition to the teaching of Dake, who denies the eternal
Sonship of Jesus by saying that Jesus became the Son of God when He was
placed into the womb of Mary. This is formally known as "Adoptionism," which was
condemned by the Plenary Council of Frankfurt in 794 A. D. The eternal Sonship
of Jesus will be proved by demonstrating the biblical meaning of the term "Son
of . . ." and by showing clear scriptural evidence that Jesus was the Son before
the Incarnation. Thus Dake's position will be verified as false.
The Meaning of "Son of. . . ."
Dake comes to erroneous conclusions about the eternal Sonship of Christ by
beginning with the wrong definition of the term "Son of God." As we have seen,
he holds that sonship refers to the humanity of Jesus Christ and not the deity.
This is simply untrue. The term "son of . . ." as used in the Old Testament
often refers to the exhibition of certain characteristics in a person. Thus, the
terms "son of valor" (1 Sam. 14:52) or "son of wise ones" (Isa. 19:11) mean that
the person exhibits valor or wisdom. Furthermore, the term "son of . . ." is
used to show that the person possessed the same nature as his father. For
instance, Numbers 23:19 tells us, "God is not a man, that he should lie: neither
the son of man, that he should repent. . . ." The term "son of man" in that
verse is used to show that God does not possess the nature of a man.
Consequently, when Jesus is referred to as the "Son of God" it is a direct
assertion that he exhibits the characteristics and nature of God. He is as fully
divine as the Father.
The Sonship of Jesus, in
contradistinction to the allegation of Dake, is a declaration of His deity.
Jesus is the Son of God in that He is God—He possesses the nature and attributes
of God. Jesus certainly claimed this by referring to Himself as the "Son of
God." The Jews certainly understood that Jesus was making Himself ontologically
equal with God when He did this. In John 19:7, the Jews told Pilate concerning
Jesus, "We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made
Himself the Son of God." The reaction of the Jews was the desire to kill Jesus
for making Himself "equal to God" (John 5:18; 10:28-36; 19:7) by claiming to be
the Son of God. Therefore, the term "Son of God" when used of Jesus indicates
His absolute deity. This was the finding of the Nicene Council, which, according
to theologian Charles Hodge, declared that Jesus "is the Eternal Son of God,
i.e., that He is from eternity the Son of God."
Scriptural Proof that Jesus was the
Son before the Incarnation. By examining the Semitic meaning of the term
"Son of . . .", it is clear that the Son of God is not something Jesus
became, but something He is in His very nature or being. In opposition to
Dake, the Scriptures teach that Jesus was the Son of God before His Incarnation.
For example, Hebrews 1:2, Colossians 1:16, and John 1:3 tell us that "all
things" were created by the Son. This implies that Jesus was the Son of God
prior to Creation, which is long before His birth in Bethlehem. Furthermore, the
New Testament shows Jesus was Son of God before Bethlehem by the language used
when interacting with others. In the famous exchange between Martha and Jesus
after the death of her brother Lazarus, Jesus asked, "I am the resurrection and
the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever
lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" To this Martha
declared, "Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is
to come into the world." This statement by Martha "reflects a sense of movement
of the Son of God—from the realm of heaven and eternity to the
realm of earth and time." Likewise, in John 3:16-17, it is stated that God
gave His Son and God sent His Son into the world. Apologist
Ron Rhodes argues:
Recall the discussion with Nicodemus in John 3, for
instance, when he (Jesus) said: "For God so loved the world that He
gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not
perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into
the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him" (John
3:16-17, italics added). That Christ, as the Son of God, was sent
into the world implies that he was the Son of God before the
The orthodox Christian position on
Jesus' Sonship is that He is the Son of God from all eternity. This is because
the term "Son of God" is a reference to His deity, proving that Jesus is one in
nature with the Father. It is also a clear teaching of the Scripture that Jesus
was the Son before the Incarnation. Therefore, Dake's position that Jesus
became the Son when He was incarnated should be rejected. Professor and
theologian John F. Walvoord sums up the doctrine of eternal Sonship:
The consensus of the great theologians of the church and
the great church councils is to the effect that Christ has been a Son from
eternity; and the theory that He became a Son by Incarnation is inadequate
to account for the usage of the term. . . . The Scriptures represent Christ
as eternally the Son of God by eternal generation. While it must be admitted
that the nature of the generation is unique, being eternal, sonship has been
used in the Bible to represent the relationship between the first Person and
the second Person. . . . The scriptural view of the sonship of Christ, as
recognized in many of the great creeds of the church, is that Christ was
always the Son of God.
Not only does Dake assert that Jesus
became the Son of God, he also teaches that Jesus became the Christ at His
baptism. As with Dake's view of Sonship, his view of Jesus as the Christ can be
soundly refuted when examined in light of the biblical record. I will do this by
first showing what it means for Jesus to be the Christ, and second, by showing
that Jesus was the Christ before His baptism.
The Meaning of the
"Christ." The term "Christ," meaning "anointed one," is the Greek
equivalent to the Hebrew term "Messiah." "Messiah" and "Christ" refer to the
same person—Jesus. Furthermore, the Old Testament is clear that the coming
Messiah is to be none other than Jehovah Himself. Norman Geisler clearly
demonstrates this point:
Jehovah is called "king" (Zech. 14:9) and it is the "angel
of Jehovah" who will redeem them (Isa. 63:9). Jehovah is the "stone" and yet
the Messiah is to be the rejected "stone" (Ps. 118:22). The Messiah is
spoken of in the Old Testament as "Lord" when it is written, "Jehovah saith
unto my Lord" (Ps. 110:1), a passage which the New Testament writers apply
to Christ (Acts 2:34, 35). Isaiah provided a messianic challenge to the
Jews, saying, "Behold your God!" (40:9). Indeed, there is no clearer
messianic passage on the deity of Christ than Isaiah 9:6: "For unto us a
child is born . . . and his name will be called 'Wonderful, counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.'" With these predictions
the New Testament writers concur, declaring Jesus to be "Emmanuel" (which
means God with us) (Matt. 1:23, from Isa. 7:14). In brief, the Old Testament
Messiah was Jehovah and the New Testament writers identify Jesus with the
Old Testament Messiah.
It is a clear teaching of the Old
Testament that the Messiah is God Himself and Jesus is the God-Man who is the
Messiah/Christ. According to this information, the obvious conclusion one must
draw is that Jesus, the Christ, has been the Christ from all eternity.
Therefore, since He was forever the Christ, He could not have become the Christ
at His baptism as Dake claims.
Jesus as the Christ before His
Baptism. It is rather simple to show in the Bible that Jesus was the Christ
before His baptism. The Bible is clear that Jesus did not become the
Christ, but He was the Christ from the beginning. For instance, in Luke 2:11,
when the angel announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds in the field, he
said to them, "Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is
Christ the Lord." This shows that Jesus was Christ long before He was immersed
in the Jordan. Furthermore, Luke 2:26 records the instance when Mary and Joseph
took Jesus to the temple soon after His birth. There a man named Simeon declared
Jesus was the Christ. This was because God had promised Simeon that "he would
not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ." Moreover, the Apostle Peter
explains that we were all redeemed "with the precious blood of Christ, as of a
lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the
foundation of the world" (1 Pet. 1:19-20a). In this passage, Jesus is clearly
portrayed as being Christ the Lamb before creation. Paul concurs with Peter in 2
Timothy 1:9-10, as he explains that we were saved "not according to our works,
but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus
before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior
Jesus Christ." Again, Jesus is portrayed as being the Christ before time began.
Furthermore, the Incarnation was a revealing or "appearing" of the Savior Jesus
Christ. This implies He was the Savior and Christ before He was revealed or
appeared in the Incarnation.
Since the biblical record is clear
that the Christ was to be God in the flesh, and that Jesus was called the Christ
long before His baptism—even before the beginning of time, it is reasonable to
infer that Jesus was the Christ, from all eternity. Thus, Dake's aberrant
teaching should be rejected.
The Deity of Christ
Finis Dake undeniably denies the deity
of Christ. In his teaching of the kenosis of Christ, Dake has stripped
Jesus of every divine attribute He had before the Incarnation and created a mere
man that was "anointed" by the Holy Spirit in order to do miracles. Dake's
assertions are blatantly false. What happened when Jesus, the Second Person of
the Trinity, came to earth as a man? The orthodox Christian answer to this
question will prove Dake to be a false teacher that has more in common with the
kingdom of the cults than the Kingdom of God.
The Doctrine of the Incarnation.
The teaching of the Christian Church about the Incarnation of Christ has been
attacked by heresies throughout the centuries. Dake's heretical view of the
Incarnation is merely one among many. To answer Dake's claim that Jesus gave up
all of the attributes of God in order to become man, I will present the orthodox
teaching concerning the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity. This
will expose Dake's view of the Incarnation as flawed.
Jesus Christ is the eternal,
immutable, infinite God—the Word who became flesh—two thousand years ago in
Bethlehem. This is one of the deepest and most beautiful truths in Christian
theology. The Incarnation has been defined as "the act whereby the eternal Son
of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, without ceasing to be what He is,
God the Son, took into union with Himself what He before the act did not
possess, a human nature, and so He was and continues to be God and man in two
distinct natures and one person, forever." The Council of Chalcedon (A. D. 451)
stated that the one person of Jesus Christ possessed "two natures without
confusion, without change, without division, without separation, the
distinctiveness of the natures being by no means removed because of the union,
but the properties of each nature being preserved." Consider the following chart
that illustrates the two natures, the divine and the human, within one person,
Orthodox Christian theologians have
never claimed that God gave up His divine attributes and "became" a man as Dake
suggests. God cannot "become" anything because He is pure actuality, with
absolutely no potentiality for change. He is immutable, therefore, cannot
change. The Incarnation is not an instance where God shed His attributes and
changed into man. There was absolutely no change in the divine nature of the Son
in the Incarnation. However, the Son of God did take on the nature of man in
addition to his divine nature. Consequently, there are two natures, a divine
nature and a human nature, present in one person, Jesus Christ, the God-Man. It
can be said, therefore, that the Incarnation of God into human flesh is not a
giving up of divinity or divine attributes, but the taking of an additional
nature of man in union with divinity. In his book Knowing God, J. I.
Packer explains that the Incarnation is not a subtraction of deity, but an
addition of humanity:
The Word had become flesh: a real human baby. He had not
ceased to be God; he was no less God then than before; but He had begun to
be man. He was not now God minus some elements of His deity, but God
plus all that He had made His own by taking manhood to Himself. He
who made man was now learning what it felt like to be
The main problem with Dake's theology
of the Incarnation is his separation of the attributes of God from His divine
nature. There is a major flaw in Dake's premise that Jesus gave up all the
attributes of God, yet held on to His divine nature. In short, this statement
contradicts itself. This is because the divine attributes of God "are essential
characteristics of His being. Without these qualities God would not be what He
is—God." In other words, without the attributes that He possesses, God would not
be God. God minus even one divine attribute equals non-God. Apologist and author
Norman Geisler explains that, "God is by his very nature an absolutely perfect
being. If there were any perfection that he lacked, then he would not be God."
Theologian R. L. Reymond concurs by pointing out, "Divine attributes are not,
however, characteristics separate and distinct from God's essence that he can
set aside when he desires." Since Dake's Jesus gave up all His divine
attributes, then Dake's Jesus is not God. Dake's problem stems from the fact
that he is altogether mistaken when he asserts that God's attributes can be
divorced from His being and God still be God.
Philippians 2:5-11 and the Kenosis of
Christ. If the Incarnation is the taking on of an additional nature of man
by the divine Second Person of the Trinity, what can be made of Philippians
2:5-11, which teaches that Jesus "emptied" Himself in some way when He came to
earth as man? Dake holds that the meaning of the passage is that Jesus emptied
Himself of all of His divine attributes. This is patently false because, as we
have seen above, if Jesus lost or gave up even one divine attribute, then He
immediately ceased to be God. Therefore, in the Incarnation, Jesus, God in the
flesh, kept each and every attribute of divinity. What was it, therefore, that
Jesus "gave up" when He "made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a
bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men" (Phil. 2:7)?
Apologist and professor Ron Rhodes
provides insight to this often debated issue. In his book Christ Before the
Manger, Dr. Rhodes suggests three areas in which Jesus "emptied" Himself
when He took on the additional nature of man. He explains:
Paul's statement that Christ made himself "nothing" in the
Incarnation (Phil. 2:7) involves three basic issues: the veiling of his
preincarnate glory, a voluntary nonuse of some of his divine attributes, and
the condescension involved in taking on the likeness of men.
Jesus Veiled His Preincarnate
Glory. The first way in which Jesus made Himself "nothing" is that He veiled
His preincarnate glory. This is the glory Jesus spoke of in John 17:5, "And now,
O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You
before the world was." The glory is Christ's divine power and majesty. He
necessarily had to veil His glory because if He did not, He could not have
interacted with man as He did. Dr. Rhodes comments on this point:
Had Christ not veiled his preincarnate glory, mankind would
not have been able to behold him. It would have been the same as when the
apostle John, over fifty years after Christ's resurrection, beheld Christ in
his glory and said: "I fell at his feet at though dead" (Rev. 1:17); or, as
when Isaiah beheld the glory of Christ in his vision in the temple and said,
"Woe to me! I am ruined!" (Isa. 6:5a; see John 12:41).
Though His glory was veiled, Jesus
occasionally gave His followers a glimpse of it. Just before He raised Lazarus
from the dead, Jesus said to Martha, "Did I not say to you that if you would
believe you would see the glory of God?" (Jn. 11:40). Here, as throughout the
New Testament, Jesus exhibits the very power of God. Furthermore, on the Mount
of Transfiguration, Jesus pulled back the veil and revealed His radiant glory to
Peter, John, and James (Mt. 17:2-5). Additionally, when Jesus appeared to Saul
on the road to Damascus in His glory, Saul fell to the ground and went blind
(Acts 9:1-9). Thus, it was necessary that Jesus veil His glory most of the time
so that He could dwell among His own. John the Apostle summed it up this way,
"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the
glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (Jn.
Jesus Submitted to a Voluntary Nonuse
of His Divine Attributes. The second category suggested by Rhodes through
which Christ made Himself "nothing" is a voluntary nonuse of His divine
attributes. This is the heart of the disagreement with Dake. He claims that the
attributes were cast off, but this cannot be the case, because to cast off even
one attribute would be a forfeiture of deity for Christ. Instead of
relinquishing His divine attributes, Christ limited the use of them. However,
Jesus did use His divine attributes from time to time. Rhodes explains:
Though Christ sometimes chose not to use his divine
attributes, at other times he did use them. For example, on different
occasions during his three-year ministry, Jesus exercised the divine
attributes of omniscience (that is, all-knowingness—John 2:24; cf.
16:30), omnipresence (being everywhere-present—John 1:48), and
omnipotence (being all-powerful, as evidenced by his many
Thus, it is clear that Jesus did not
"give up" His deity, or divine attributes, in any form or fashion. The
Incarnation is not a case of giving up anything, but the taking on of an
additional nature—a human nature—by which Jesus can be said to be fully God and
Jesus Condescended by Taking on the
Likeness of Men. Finally, Jesus made Himself "nothing" by condescending to
take on the likeness, or form, of man. By this, Jesus was truly human. Jesus
spoke of Himself as a man (John 8:40), and the New Testament certainly
recognizes His full humanity. For instance, Jesus claimed to possess typical
human traits as a body and soul (Mt. 26:26, 38). It is also said of Him that He
developed in mind and body as a normal human does (Lk. 2:40). Jesus also
evidenced the limitations of humanity in that he became tired (Jn. 4:6), thirsty
(Jn. 19:28), and hungry (Mt. 4:2). Thus, it can be truly said that "the Word
became flesh." Jesus, the Son of God, took to Himself the nature of man. This is
a remarkable and loving condescension for the eternal Second Person of the
Though Jesus "made Himself nothing,"
in the Incarnation, this, in no way, involved the giving-up of His divine nature
or divine attributes as Dake suggests. In opposition to Dake, reformed
theologian Louis Berkhof writes concerning the fact that the "Word became
The verb egeneto in John 1:14 (the Word
became flesh) certainly does not mean that the Logos changed into flesh,
and thus altered His essential nature, but simply that He took on that
particular character, that He acquired an additional form, without in any
way changing His original nature. He remained the infinite and unchangeable
Son of God.
The above research only scratches the surface of the
heresy that is contained within the pages of the Dake Bible. Dake's view of
Jesus, from His teaching of the preincarnate nature of Christ to his teaching of
Christ Incarnate, is filled with contradictions, confusion, and doctrinal chaos.
The Jesus of the Dake Annotated Reference Bible is demonstrably not the
Jesus of the Bible. What makes this so troubling is that Dake and his aberrant
teachings are accepted within the confines of the orthodox Christian community.
In fact, never have I seen so much heresy contained in the teaching of one man,
and that man still be considered Christian. The reason for this is either
ignorance of what Finis Jennings Dake actually taught or a church that is so
biblically illiterate that it cannot tell Living Water from deadly poison. If
more believers were informed about Dake's heresies regarding such topics as the
nature of God, the Trinity, the Incarnation, and the deity of Christ, then the
Dake Annotated Reference Bible would quickly fall off of the best-seller
chart and into a place where it belongs—the garbage bin, alongside other
best-selling editions that promote principles that can be at home only in the
kingdom of the cults. It is my desire to be a voice used by the Lord to help
accomplish this feat.
1. Stanley M. Burgess and Gary B. McGee, Dictionary of Pentecostal and
Charismatic Movements (Grand Rapids: Regency Reference Library, 1988), 235.
An edition containing the entire New Testament, Psalms, Proverbs, and Daniel was
published in 1961.
4. Finis Jennings Dake, Heavenly Hosts: A Biblical Study of Angels
(Lawrenceville, GA: Dake Publishing, 1995).
5. Finish Jennings Dake, A True Story [article on-line]; available
from http://www.dake.com; Internet; accessed 10 June 1997.
7. Finis Jennings Dake, The Dake Annotated Reference Bible
(Lawrenceville, GA: Dake Publishing, 1961), preface. The Dake study Bible is
divided into 3 sections: The Old Testament, the New Testament, and the
Concordance. Each section is numbered separately (i.e., the New Testament page
numbers do not begin where the Old Testament page numbers left off, but with the
number 1). Therefore, any reference from the Dake Bible must include the page
number as well as the section (Old Testament, New Testament, Concordance). Old
Testament will be referred to as "OT," the New Testament will be referred to as
9. For example, Dake claims that God has a body and lives on heaven, which is
a physical planet. He states "The Bible declares that God has a body, shape,
image, likeness, bodily parts, a personal soul and spirit, and all other things
that constitute a being or a person with a body, soul, and spirit. . . Heaven
itself is a material planet having cities, mansions, furniture, inhabitants,
living conditions, etc." (Dake's Annotated Reference Bible: New
Testament, 280; cf. Old Testament, 622).
Many Word-Faith teachers, such as Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn, teach the
very same thing. For instance, Kenneth Copeland teaches that God is a "being
that stands somewhere around 6'-2", 6'-3", that weighs somewhere in the
neighborhood of a couple of hundred pounds, little better, has a [hand] span of
nine inches across" ("Spirit, Soul, and Body I" Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland
Ministries, 1985, audio-tape #01-0601, side 1). Copeland also states that
"Heaven has a north and south, and an east and a west. Consequently, it must be
a planet" (Ibid.). Dake's teaching is demonstrably very influential among
Word-Faith teachers with regards to this topic and many others.
10. For example, Dake clearly teaches a works-salvation. On numerous
occasions throughout the voluminous notes of the text, Dake gives many
conditions of receiving eternal life. For instance, on page 100 of the New
Testament, the note for John 6:27 is entitled "23 Conditions of Eternal Life."
The 23 conditions one must meet to get eternal life, according to Dake,
|Come to Christ
Sow to the Spirit.
Eat His flesh-drink His blood.
Fight the good fight.
Be sober and hope to the end for it.
Reap - win souls.
Hate (love less) the life in this world.
|Let the promise of it
remain in you/ continue in Christ|
Know God and Christ.
Enter right gate.
Keep yourself in the love of God.
Cause no offense.
Be faithful unto death.
Believe and obey the gospel.
Live free from sin.
Be born again, hear Christ, and follow
Continue in well doing and seek eternal life
The only condition one must meet to obtain eternal life, according to the
Bible, is "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ." The difference between Dake's
soteriology and biblical soteriology is that one must work to earn salvation in
Dake's theology. According to the Bible, however, all the work for salvation has
been done on the cross by Jesus. When He said, "It is finished," in John 19:30,
he was referring to this very thing. Subsequently, all one must do to receive
the free gift of eternal life is to believe, or trust, in Jesus and the finished
work on the cross. Needless to say, the Gospel according to Dake is not the
Gospel according to Jesus and the Apostles (cf. Galatians 1:6-10).
11. Even a cursory study of the Dake Study Bible reveals that the theology in
the study notes and the theology of the Word-Faith movement are almost
identical. For instance, beliefs that are found in both Dake and the Word-Faith
movement are: 1) God has a body and lives on a planet called heaven. 2) Each
member of the Godhead has his own body, soul, and spirit. 3) Man is a little
duplicate of God, having the same attributes and powers. 4) Health and wealth
are provided in the atonement, thus, it is the will of God in every case that
the Christian be healed of disease as it is the will of God that the Christian
be wealthy. These are only a few of the similar doctrines that are shared by
Dake and the Word-Faith theologians. Because of this, I believe that the Dake
Bible should be renamed the "Word-Faith Study Bible."
12. A cult is a group that denies one or more of the essentials of the
Christian Faith (The Trinity, the Virgin Birth, the Deity of Christ, the
Physical Resurrection, Salvation by Faith Alone in Christ Alone, and the Second
Coming). After completing the research for this paper, I am fully convinced that
Dake and his disciples, namely the Word-Faith Movement, should be considered a
cult. This is because Dake and company deny such essentials as the Trinity, the
Deity of Christ, and Salvation by Faith Alone in Christ Alone. In fact, Dake's
view of the Nature of God (see footnote 9) is very close to the Mormon position
on the Nature of God. It is my opinion that the Christian apologetic community
either needs to classify Dake/Word-Faith as a full-blown cult, or we owe the
Mormons an apology.
13. Dake, Dake Bible NT, 50.
14. Ibid., 280. An old saying is, "Whatever the parent does in moderation,
the children will do in excess." This can be clearly seen in a sermon by Benny
Hinn. He says:
I feel revelation knowledge already coming on me. . . . God the Father is
a person, God the Son is a person, God the Holy Ghost is a person, but each
of them is a triune being by himself. If I can shock you and maybe I should,
there are nine of them. . . . God the Father is a person with his own
personal spirit, with his own personal soul and his own personal spirit
body. You say, 'I never heard that.' Well, do you think you're in this
church to hear things you've heard for the past 50 years? You can't argue
with the Word, can you? It's all in the Word (Benny Hinn, quoted in G.
Richard Fisher and M. Kurt Goedelman, The Confusing World of Benny
Hinn [Kearney: Morris Publishing, 1995], 95).
Benny Hinn, in an interview with Charisma magazine
admitted that he got this teaching from the writings of Finis Jennings Dake.
Speaking of the very quote above, Hinn said, "In Finis Dake's book God's Plan
for Man, he teaches that each member of the Trinity has his own spirit,
soul, and body. One Sunday when I was speaking on the Trinity, I repeated that
teaching. . . ." It should be noted that much of the book God's Plan for
Man was condensed and used as the notes in the Dake's Annotated Reference
15. Finis Jennings Dake, God's Plan for Man (Lawrenceville, GA: Dake
Bible Sales, Inc., 1949), 498, emphasis in original. This massive work is
described by Dake Publishers as "designed as a correspondence course, God's
Plan for Man is equivalent to a three-year Bible college program. . . .
sane, scriptural teaching for intelligent people. . . . clear, well-arranged,
and doctrinally sound" (Inside jacket cover of God's Plan for Man). It is
this volume that was condensed into the notes of the Dake Annotated Reference
Bible. What may be alluded to in the reference Bible is often fully
explained in God's Plan for Man.
16. Dake, Dake Bible NT, 280. It is important to the understanding of
Dake's view of the Trinity to remember that he uses the terms "person" and
"being" interchangeably. This statement militates against the monotheism of the
17. Ibid. As each human person is a separate and distinct being, each member
of the Trinity is a separate and distinct being who are unified only in purpose
19. Ibid. Underlined words in original. Amazingly, Dake claims that the word
God can be used as a singular referent to one Person of the Godhead, or a plural
referent to all three, much like sheep or fish can be used as a singular or
plural. While it is true that the word for God in the Old Testament, Elohim, is
a plural word, it is not a reference to three separate, distinct beings. It is
called a "plural of majesty," and denotes the absolute sovereignty, power, and
majesty of God.
20. Dake, God's Plan for Man, 500.
21. Ibid., 97, 96. It is interesting to note that he accepted his nickname,
"The Walking Bible," as a figure of speech. Otherwise, he would be advertising
himself as a being composed of many pieces of paper bound together between two
22. In short, the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity states that God is one in
nature, being, or essence (one in WHAT He is), and three in person (three in WHO
He is). Dake does not make a distinction between the terms "being" and "person"
and therefore, uses the terms synonymously. A "person" is a "being." Thus, when
Dake speaks of the Trinity as being three persons, he is making the claim that
the Trinity is three separate and distinct beings, which is the heresy called
23. Dake, God's Plan for Man, 53. This doctrine is certainly not a
"modern trend." It has been formally expressed for almost 2,000 years!
24. Ibid. The exact statement that Dake calls foolish and unscriptural is "It
is clearly revealed in Scripture that God is ONE BEING CONSTITUTED IN THREE
PERSONS. . . . God as a spirit is incorporeal, invisible reality; has no body or
parts like human beings; nothing of a material or bodily nature . . . God cannot
be seen with the material eyes; nothing on earth to resemble Him; without parts,
without body, without passions. . . . The image of God consists only in
intellectual and moral likeness; when God is spoken of as having hands, feet,
eyes, hair, and other bodily parts, these are figures of speech and mere human
expressions trying to convey some idea of God." (God's Plan for Man, 53,
emphasis in original). These quotes were gathered by Dake from "books on the
great doctrines of the Bible that are widely used," and speak of the orthodox
understanding of the nature of God and the Trinity. Thus, Dake separates himself
and his teachings from orthodox Christianity.
26. Ibid., 54.
27. Dake, Dake Bible NT, 93.
28. Ibid., 57.
29. Ibid., 139.
31. Ibid., 1.
32. Dake, God's Plan for Man, 377.
34. In other words, Dake uses the term "Christ" much in the same way the term
"doctor" is used in the claim that "Dr. Norman Geisler once worked in a factory
in Michigan." He was not a doctor when he worked in the factory, but acquired
the degree at a later date. But when referring to his life before he became a
doctor, we still refer to him as Dr. Geisler. In the same way, Dake believes
that any reference that refers to Jesus as being the Christ before He was
anointed at His baptism is using the term in this way.
35. Dake, Dake Bible NT, 218.
38. Dake, God's Plan for Man, 386.
39. Dake, Dake Bible NT, 218.
44. Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (Rockford, IL: Tan
Books and Publishers, 1960), 32.
45. Peter Kreeft, ed., Summa of the Summa (San Francisco: Ignatius
Press, 1990), 112.
46. Lewis Sperry Chafer and John F. Walvoord, Major Bible Themes
(Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1974), 40.
47. The philosophical law of non-contradiction states that "A" cannot be "A"
and "non-A" at the same time and the same sense. God is not one and three at the
same time and the same sense. We do not claim that God is one Being in three
Beings or one Person with three Persons. This is blatantly contradictory . We do
claim that God is one in being and three in person. He is one Being revealed in
three Persons. Therefore, the orthodox understanding of the Trinity is not a
contradiction as Dake claims. It is ironic that Dake uses the same arguments
against the Trinity as Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons do.
48. Norman Geisler and Abdul Saleeb, Answering Islam (Grand Rapids:
Baker Book House, 1993), 265-66.
49. Omnipresence is that attribute of God by which He is everywhere present.
He is not localized on a planet called Heaven going to and fro in his body. He
is an everywhere present spirit. This is clearly seen in the biblical record is
the following Scriptures:
1 Kings 8:27: "But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and
the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I
Psalm 139:7-8: "Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from
Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in
hell, behold, You are there."
Jeremiah 23:24: "Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not
see him?" says the LORD; "Do I not fill heaven and earth?" says the
Furthermore, the claim that God is eternal is to say that He is not temporal.
God is without beginning and without end, and without succession in a constant,
undivided "now." There is no past, present, or future with God—only a constant
"now." Time involves change—a before and an after—but God is changeless, and is
therefore, eternal, or beyond time. This is seen in the following
Psalm 90:2: "Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had
formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You
John 8:58: "Before Abraham was, I AM."
Hebrews 13:8: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and
Another classic attribute that Dake implicitly denies by claiming the God has
a body is the Simplicity of God. This is the attribute that states that God is
not composed of parts and is thus indivisible. But a body is composed of parts
and is divisible. Anything that is composed of parts can be decomposed or
divided. Therefore a composed God is a God which can be decomposed, or die.
Furthermore, if God is composed of parts, this presupposes another composer. One
cannot compose one's self because one would have to exist prior to one's self in
order to compose one's self. Therefore, Dake's theology logically dictates that
there is another being who composed God.
Furthermore, Dake's God cannot be an Infinite God because a body is a finite
thing. An infinite body is an oxymoron. A body, by nature, is confined to one
place at one time. Therefore it cannot be infinite in any sense of the term.
Dake's contention that God has a body goes against reason and the entire
revelation of God.
50. Merrill C. Tenney, ed., The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the
Bible, Vol. 1 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976), 177.
51. George W. Zeller and Renald E. Showers, The Eternal Sonship of
Christ (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1993), 26. The following chart is
found on pages 10-11 in Zeller and Showers' book and it emphasizes the contrast
between the orthodox Christian view of the Sonship of Jesus and Dake's view of
the Sonship of Jesus:
INCARNATIONAL SONSHIP (Dake)
He was always the Son of God. He is the eternal
Before the Incarnation, He was not the Son of
"Son of God" is Who He Is
"Son of God" is What He Became
His Sonship is essential to his true identity and cannot
be divorced from the person He is.
His Sonship is not essential to His inherent
"Son of God" is who He is in His being of
"Son of God" is merely a title and role that He
His Sonship directly relates to His deity.
His Sonship directly relates to His
"Son of God" means equal with God, indicating likeness or
sameness of being.
"Son of God" means subservient to God, less than
God the Father has always been God the
God the Father did not assume the title and role of Father
until the Incarnation.
Before the Incarnation the Son was ever in the Father's
Before the Incarnation God had no Son, nor was He the
The Father/Son relationship has eternally existed in the
Before the Incarnation there was no Father/Son
relationship in the godhead.
The Father sent His Own Son into this world (see John
3:16-17; Galatians 4:4; etc.).
The One who would become the Father sent the One who would
become the Son into this world.
The triune God has eternally existed in three persons—the
Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The triune God has eternally existed in three persons, but
not as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These were roles that were assumed in
52. Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, 156.
53. Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology Volume 1 (Grand Rapids:
Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1995), 471.
54. Ron Rhodes, Christ Before the Manger (Grand Rapids: Baker Book
House, 1992), 32.
55. Ibid., 31.
56. John F. Walvoord, Jesus Christ Our Lord (Chicago: Moody Press,
1969), 39, 41-42.
57. Walter Elwell, ed. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology (Grand
Rapids: Baker Book House, 1994), 711.
58. Norman Geisler, Christian Apologetics (Grand Rapids: Baker Book
House, 1976), 336.
59. Elwell, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, 555.
60. Ibid., 556.
61. J. I. Packer, Knowing God (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press,
62. Elwell, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, 451.
63. Norman Geisler, Creating God in the Image of Man? (Minneapolis:
Betheny House Publishers, 1997), 28.
64. Elwell, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, 556.
65. Rhodes, Christ Before the Manger, 195.
66. Ibid., 196.
67. Lois Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: Wm. B.
Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1993), 334.