Who is the Only Potentate?

Question

1 Timothy 6:15 - Which in his times he shall shew, [who is] the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords…

Jesus is “the King of kings, and Lord of lords”, right? This verse also describes him as “the only Potentate”, right? Then why would one not believe that he is God?

Answer

The context of Timothy tells us Jesus reveals "the only Potentate" which is God, not that he is "the only Potentate".

1 Timothy 6:13-16 - I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; that thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

And what exactly does Jesus reveal about God?

1 Timothy 6:13-16 - I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; that thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

As we see, just by looking at a bit of context around the verse things become much clearer. Rather than the verse saying that Jesus is God, we find that the truth of the matter is that Jesus reveals that it is God who is the only Potentate, King of kings, Lord of lords, inherently immortal (i.e.: from everlasting to everlasting – Psalm 90:2), dwelling in light unapproachable.

Written by Matthew Smith