The Granville Sharp Rule - Simplified
When the FIRST noun has the article, and the SECOND noun
does not have the article, the second noun is a further
description of the first noun, making them the same or
equal. (see page on the definite
article in NT Greek)
If BOTH the nouns connected by “kai” have articles the two nouns are separate and distinct.
If NEITHER noun connected by “kai” is have the article, the nouns are just being sequentially listed
1. 2 Thess. 1:12: "the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ" (KJV), God (theos) has the definite article, and Christ (christou) does not. Both nouns are in the same case, and therefore should read "the grace of Jesus Christ, our God and Lord".
2. 2 Peter 1:1: "our God and Savior Jesus Christ", Peter equates God with Jesus Christ (i.e. the same person, not two).
3. Titus 2:13 has 2 instances of the Granville Sharp Rule, one proving the Deity of Christ, the other regarding the 2nd Advent:
Titus 2:13a: "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing" (KJV). Paul here equates the 'blessed hope' of the Church with the Second Advent , 'the glorious appearing' (one event, not two!). The use of the Granville Sharp Rule here is usually ignored by dispensationalists who teach that the 'blessed hope' is the rapture and the Second Coming of Christ does not occur until 7 years later. Rather than support their position this verse actually disproves that theory! (see article on this verse)
Titus 2:13b: "our Great God and Saviour Jesus Christ", Like Peter (#2 above), Paul also equates God with Jesus Christ.
Everywhere in the New Testament where you see two nouns connected by “and”, (kai), you must check the Greek text to know if the nouns are merely being listed, or separate and distinct from each other, or if the second noun is adding a further description or equating with the first noun. Failure to do so can result in incorrect interpretation.
Remarks on the Uses
of the Definitive Article in the Greek Text of the New
Testament(3), by Granville Sharp,
1st American edition, Hopkins, 1807.
Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics--An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament, Daniel B. Wallace, 1996A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, Dana and Mantey, Macmillan Company (1927), p. 147ff.
Also see two good articles on Granville Sharp by James White and Tim Warner (both off-site).
(1) Remarks on the Uses of the
Definitive Article in the Greek Text of the New Testament
Containing Many New Proofs of the Divinity of Christ, from
Passages which are Wrongly Translated in the Common English
Version, written and published in 1778 by Granville
Sharp. Out of circulation for years, this book has recently been
reprinted by Original Word Publishing, ISBN: 0962654442.
(2) Quotes are from
the English Standard
Version (ESV) unless noted.
(3) Download a copy
of Sharp's original document: sharp.pdf (large file,
requires Adobe Reader to view). Another document that may be
helpful is A
Definite Rule For The Use Of The Article In The Greek New
Testament, E. C. Colwell (1933). Download: colwell.pdf