1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Featured The Gospel of John Claims that Jesus is God

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by 74x12, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2015
    Messages:
    5,806
    Ratings:
    +3,344
    Religion:
    Christian
    Very informative post! But sadly, @74x12 won’t seriously consider the information.

    tigger2 , what is your view of the Greek words for “nature (as in essence)” & “substance”? I understand these are Greek philosophical terms, that aren’t found in the Scriptures:

    “The trinity of persons within the unity of nature is defined in terms of 'person' and 'nature' which are G[ree]k philosophical terms; actually the terms do not appear in the Bible. The trinitarian definitions arose as the result of long controversies in which these terms and others such as 'essence' and 'substance' were erroneously applied to God by some theologians." — Dictionary of the Bible, John L. McKenzie, New York, 1965, p.899.

    I know “morphe” is used, as @ Philippians 2:5-6, but that means ‘form’.
     
  2. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2017
    Messages:
    3,069
    Ratings:
    +764
    Religion:
    Itiswhatitis
    I don't know the Greek well enough to debate grammatical rules like this. How well do you know the Greek? I think these "rules" are really up for serious debate themselves. So I am not going to just hand you a win here just because I don't know Greek grammar.

    But looking at your cited verses; I can see you're incorrect in the case of John 7:46 which does not use "a" in the KJV, YLT or even the RSV.

    John 7:46 Young's Literal Translation (YLT)
    46 The officers answered, `Never so spake man -- as this man.'
     
  3. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2017
    Messages:
    3,069
    Ratings:
    +764
    Religion:
    Itiswhatitis
    What confusion? Are you confused by John chapter 1?

    John is expounding a "mystery" that is in Genesis chapter 1. You can't really understand John chapter 1; until you make the connection.
     
  4. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2017
    Messages:
    3,069
    Ratings:
    +764
    Religion:
    Itiswhatitis
    John 1:6 for starters. God is mentioned but no "ho" Theos.

    As I pointed out earlier on in the thread; some supposed and assumed grammatical rule for an ancient document written before you even decided there was such a rule is not enough proof to make the claim that John is setting forth two Gods in John 1:1. So you need more of an argument than that. You don't have context on your side.
     
  5. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2013
    Messages:
    29,444
    Ratings:
    +12,614
    Religion:
    Catholic-- liberal & ecumenical
    Then maybe you should do that and obey his teaching of "judge ye not...".
     
  6. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2013
    Messages:
    29,444
    Ratings:
    +12,614
    Religion:
    Catholic-- liberal & ecumenical
    You should have continued on the same paragraph with this: "The ultimate affirmation of trinity of persons and unity of nature was declared by the Church to be the only correct way in which these terms could apply." [same page] The next paragraph goes on to explain this in more detail.
     
  7. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2015
    Messages:
    5,806
    Ratings:
    +3,344
    Religion:
    Christian
    The Bible, though, doesn't use those terms. It never once says 'Jesus had two natures.' Or any "nature", "essence", or "substance." (Other than being a perfect human, as Adam was at first.)
    The church can use those terms all it wants, but it shouldn't use the Bible to support it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2017
    Messages:
    3,069
    Ratings:
    +764
    Religion:
    Itiswhatitis
    According to JW theology; Jesus is an angel first and then a human being.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2013
    Messages:
    29,444
    Ratings:
    +12,614
    Religion:
    Catholic-- liberal & ecumenical
    Maybe reread the Psalms or the Song of Solomon. Maybe reread the Book of Revelation that uses massive amounts of symbolism. Maybe reread Paul's letters as he uses such symbolism a great deal, largely as a result of his Greek education. If you are eating the "Body of Christ" and drinking the "Blood of Christ", does it really taste like human flesh and human blood?

    When reading any historical and/or religious literature, one needs to be aware of the cultural milieu of the region at that time plus the idiosyncrasies of the language being used. Eretz Israel was heavily Hellenized at Jesus' time, especially Galilee and the northern coastal region, and we know Jesus relied on what we call the "Socratic method", which was especially used with his many parables.

    If you study the issue of what Jesus was vis-a-vis God in the very early Church, the one thing that comes out is this: confusion. Did Jesus have a "Divine nature", for example? If so, how? If not, then why is it recorded in the Gospels that he was borne like no other person was borne? How is it that he goes well beyond any prophet mentioned in the Bible? How is it that he is viewed as having a very special relationship with God, more so than any other person?

    I don't have the answers to those questions, and neither did the Church in the 1st century, but the Church did at least try to make sense of it all. Did they bat 1000? I doubt it very much. But do you bat 1000 on this? How could we know if you do? How could you know if you do?
     
  10. tigger2

    tigger2 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2019
    Messages:
    150
    Ratings:
    +116
    Religion:
    JW
    For Hockeycowboy post 381

    It seems that the Greek word ousios was turned into the trinitarian definition for 'essence' in the fourth century A.D. at the Nicene Council. It did not have that meaning before that for Christians.

    (From my History of the Trinity study)

    Notwithstanding the vast majority of bishops' unshakably strong insistence upon a non-trinitarian view of God, the determination and power of the few Emperor- supported (and Alexandrian and Neo-Platonist-influenced) bishops of the West prevailed after months of stormy debates.

    Eusebius of Caesarea presented the baptismal creed of his own Palestinian community to the Nicene Council. It did not satisfy the trinitarians.

    “Accordingly, they [Constantine and Hosius primarily] took another baptismal creed, of much the same type as Semi-Arian Eusebius’s, and altered its text to serve their purpose, in the process creating a new, non-liturgical type of confession. .... In the text itself, they inserted the significant expressions ‘true God from true God,’ ‘begotten not made,’ ‘from the substance [ousia] of the Father,’ and - most important of all, as it turned out - ‘of one substance [homoousios] with the Father.’ .... From the very beginning, however, people like Eusebius of Caesarea had doubts about the creed, doubts that focused on the word homoousios. This was, to be sure, a vague and non-technical term which was capable of a fairly wide range of senses. [According to historian Gibbon it was a mysterious term “which either party was free to interpret according to their peculiar tenets.” - p. 686, vol. 1, Random House.] It could in principle be taken to mean exact sameness of being, but it could also be taken to suggest no more than a significant degree of similarity between Father and Son [Origen, in fact, used the term to show merely a ‘unity of will between the Father and the Son [88] - p. 46, Lohse.] - which, of course, everyone was glad to affirm. On the other hand, the term was non-Scriptural, it had very doubtful theological history, and it was open to what, from Eusebius’ point of view, were some dangerous misinterpretations indeed [including the one that was finally adopted and enforced by the Roman Church].” --- The trinitarians, however, assured Eusebius (and the large majority of other Bishops opposed to them) that homoousios in this new creed would not be interpreted in the way they feared.[105] - pp. 134, 135, Williston Walker, A History of the Christian Church, 4th ed., Scribners, 1985.


    After Eusebius at the Nicene Council failed to get a compromise (concerning “substance” or “essence,” but which still rejected any concept promoting any equality for Jesus with God)[111-112] and the Emperor backed the small minority of trinitarians with all his secular power, it was forcefully put to the vast majority of bishops present: sign the trinitarian statement or be exiled and treated as heretics.[113-119] It is not too surprising, therefore, that the majority of them signed (although most of them renounced it afterward).[120-122] It is surprising, in fact, that, after escaping from the Emperor’s presence, so many remained faithful to their Arian and Semi-Arian beliefs. As trinitarian Christian historian Kenneth Latourette describes the situation:

    “Constantine banished Arius, ordered the death penalty for those who did not conform, and commanded the burning of the books composed by Arius...” - pp. 50-51, Christianity Through the Ages, 1965, Harper ChapelBooks.

    But the minority Western trinitarian bishops had won.

    “The [new, non-Scriptural Nicene] creed achieved the aim of excluding Arianism and providing the eastern church with a formula to which all could assent in one sense or another [because of the many different meanings possible with such terms as homoousios].” - Williston Walker, History, p. 135.


    “The decisions of Nicaea were really the work of a minority, and they were misunderstood and disliked by many [even those] who were not adherents of Arius. In particular the terms [‘out of the substance’ - exousia] and homoousios [‘of the same substance’] aroused opposition, on the grounds that they were unscriptural, novel, ... and erroneous metaphysically.” - p. 41, Documents of the Christian Church, 2nd ed., Bettenson, 1967, Oxford University Press.

    “But [the Council of Nicaea’s] formula of the Son’s ‘consubstantiality’ [homoousios] with the Father was slow to gain general acceptance,[148] despite [Emperor] Constantine’s efforts to impose it.” - p. 72, The Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity, John McManners, Oxford University Press, 1992.


    “Before the assembling of the council of Nice, Constantine had been persuaded that the Arian doctrine contained a blasphemy against the divinity of Christ, and that the [homoousian] was absolutely required, in order to maintain the dignity of Christ’s person. …. It was nothing but the influence of the emperor Constantine which induced the eastern bishops at the council of Nice to suffer the imposition of a doctrinal formula which they detested and from which, indeed, they sought immediately to relieve themselves.” - Neander’s History of Christianity, Vol. 3, p. 189, Bohn.


    "The Council of Nicaea, then, was not universal. Nevertheless, it is everywhere considered the first ecumenical (or universal) council of the Catholic Church. Several later gatherings would be more representative of the entire Church; one of them, the joint council of Rimini-Seleucia (359), was attended by more than five hundred bishops from both the East and West. If any meeting deserves the title "ecumenical," that one seems to qualify, but its result - the adoption of an Arian creed - was later repudiated by the Church. Councils whose products were later deemed unorthodox not only lost the "ecumenical" label but virtually disappeared from the official Church history." - p. 75, When Jesus Became God, Harcourt, 1999.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  11. tigger2

    tigger2 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2019
    Messages:
    150
    Ratings:
    +116
    Religion:
    JW
    Nevertheless, it is understood as an indefinite noun, not definite (with 'the'). Where is it translated as 'the man'?


    NASB
    The officers answered, “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.”

    MOUNCE
    The guards answered, “Never has a man spoken like this man!”

    LEB
    The officers replied, “Never has a man spoken like this!”


    How about all the other examples which you have ignored?
     
    #391 tigger2, Jun 25, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
    • Like Like x 1
  12. tigger2

    tigger2 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2019
    Messages:
    150
    Ratings:
    +116
    Religion:
    JW
    John 1:6 does not have the nominative theos at all. It is the genitive noun theou which, if you compare other uses of it, is one of the indeterminate exceptions.

    There are at least 30 uses of ho theos by John (17 in the Gospel of John, 13 in First John) for God, how many uses of an anarthrous theos by John for God can you find?

    Can you find even one example of theos without the article which clearly refers to the only true God?

    Not only do many noted trinitarian NT Grammar scholars tell us of the exceptions I noted, but any proper examination of the NT Greek texts will verify them. I would give you all the sources and my study concerning this but it runs into many pages, and I don't believe you would even read it, let alone check out its accuracy.
     
    #392 tigger2, Jun 25, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
    • Like Like x 1
  13. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2017
    Messages:
    3,069
    Ratings:
    +764
    Religion:
    Itiswhatitis
    I don't need to ignore these other translations. You claimed all major translations agreed on this verse. You were wrong. It's proof that your grammar rule is definitely up for debate.
     
  14. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2017
    Messages:
    3,069
    Ratings:
    +764
    Religion:
    Itiswhatitis
    As stated; I don't know Greek grammar. I think people are naive if they just take someone's word for it when it comes to ancient Greek grammar. Especially JWs who obviously go against most major translations when it comes to John 1:1.

    You can't use some obscure, questionable grammar rule alone to decide what the holy scriptures mean. Especially since you aren't citing ancient Greek sources. Where is the ancient Greek grammar book you're using to determine that this rule existed back then? For that matter, how do we even know that the book of John was originally written in Greek? What if it was written in Hebrew or Aramaic first? So citing questionable grammar rules is a weak argument at best.

    Well, I think here you're using circular reasoning. I believe John 1:1 is referring to the only true God.
     
  15. Oeste

    Oeste Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2015
    Messages:
    1,093
    Ratings:
    +389
    Religion:
    Christian
    We need go no further than to the Watchtower own writings, vis-a-vis the 1970 Kingdom Interlinear to show their is no "a god" at John 1:1:

    ScreenCap184.jpg
    Of course, the WT tries to breathe in separation by demoting God with a small "g" and they introduce a number of theological problems (of their own making) with "god was the Word", but at least the Kingdom Interlinear doesn't bother to insert a non-existent "a" although the New World Translation does.

    So a literal, word by word translation doesn't have "and a god was the Word".

    It's hard to conceive why they introduce a new God or god into the verse, but that's what they do, and though we have waited most patiently, we have yet to hear why the WT never published a "and god was the Word" in the New World Translation.


    Why would it?

    Of course some people thought differently back then, just as they do today.
    :
    This may seem strange to JW's, but the important thing about Nicene is that both sides had a chance to present their case. It's not a matter of what any group thought, it's simply a matter of what scripture states. Lies do not conquer truth. Arianism lost, won, then lost the argument again. It's unfortunate you do not present a balanced view of Nicene or Constantine but the history is there for anyone to read it.

    Witnesses would blame Constantine rather than poor Arian Christology but the truth is Constantine was most likely an Arian (as a general rule you don't get baptized by someone you have major theological disagreements with). In any event the theological problems of (polytheism) confronting Arians back then haven't gone anywhere and still exist today.

    Well this is easy. Let's go to the Watchtower's own publication again. We're going to look for "ho theos", which according to @tigger2 , always means the Most High God:

    We see "ho theos" at John 20:28:

    "ho kurios mou kai ho theos mou" or literally "The Lord of me and the God of me". To confirm, let's look at the Kingdom Interlinear:

    WT John20_28.png

    So far, so good. So how is "ho theos" translated? Is it translated "The Lord of me and a god of me"? Of course not. It's translated "The Lord of me and the God (ho theos) of me!" right there in the Watchtower's Kingdom Interlinear.

    So the "rule" @tigger2 cited, where "ho theos" is ALWAYS translated "A god" is simply inconsistent as are most things Watchtower. Christ is "the God" and not "a god" of Thomas.

    But stand back @74x12. I suspect we'll shortly hear that "ho theos" is always translated "a god" except when it always is not. ;)
     
  16. tigger2

    tigger2 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2019
    Messages:
    150
    Ratings:
    +116
    Religion:
    JW
    Origen (185-254 A. D.) was “probably the most accomplished Biblical scholar produced by the early Church” (Universal Standard Encyclopedia) and “the greatest scholar and most prolific author of the early church. ... not only a profound thinker but also deeply spiritual and a loyal churchman.” (The History of Christianity, a Lion Book). “Origen, the greatest and most influential Christian thinker of his age” - p. 89, A History of the Christian Church, 4th ed., Williston Walker, Scribners, 1985. “The character of Origen is singularly pure and noble; for his moral qualities are as remarkable as his intellectual gifts.” - p. 229, The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. IV, Eerdmans.

    Origen’s Commentary on John is “the first great work of Christian interpretation.” Origen was certainly the most knowledgeable about NT (koine) Greek of any scholar. He spoke it from early childhood and even taught it professionally from his teens onward.- and this was during a time when it was a living language and, of course, well understood! - The Ante-Nicene Fathers, pp. 291-294, vol. X, Eerdmans Publ., 1990 printing.

    Origen wrote:

    “We next notice John’s use of the article [‘the’ or ho in the Greek in this case] in these sentences [John 1:1]. He does not write without care in this respect, nor is he unfamiliar with the niceties of the Greek tongue. [Origen, himself, as noted, was an expert in this language and even taught it as a professional. So if anyone would ever have been aware of any special grammatical ‘rules’ or effects for John 1:1c, it would certainly have been Origen!] In some cases he uses the article [‘the’ in English or ho (ὁ) in NT Greek] and in some he omits it. He adds the article to the Logos [ho logos or ‘the Word’], but to [theos: ‘god’ or ‘God’] he adds it sometimes only. He uses the article [ho] when [theos] refers to the uncreated cause of all things, and omits it when the Logos [Word] is named [theos]. .... the God who is over all is God with the article [ho theos] not without it [theos] - The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. X, p. 323, “Origen’s Commentary on the Gospel of John”, Book 2, part 2, Eerdmans, 1990 printing and p. 58 in The Commentary of Origen on S. John's Gospel, Vol. 1 by A. E. Brooke, Cambridge Press.
     
  17. tigger2

    tigger2 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2019
    Messages:
    150
    Ratings:
    +116
    Religion:
    JW
    I have given the Trinitarian references for my quotes in my History of the Trinity study. Your disagreement is with them.

    If you would have actually read all that I wrote about the exceptions to article usage, you would see that your example is one of those exceptions: the nominative count noun (theos) is modified by a genitive ('of me' mou).

    No, ho theos is always written in John's writings (and the other Gospel writers) when he means the one true God. Please try again.

    Since the NT Greek text itself does not use a non-existent (in Greek) indefinite article, some interlinears do not add it in the Greek-English page, but in the translation page they will properly add it. So it is in the NWT Interlinear. However, the popular Zondervan Parallel Testament in Greek and English by noted Trinitarian scholar Dr. Alfred Marshall is one of those which also adds it in the Greek-English page. For example, in John 1:6, (and John 7:46) Marshall has the anarthrous anthropos (man) with an added 'a' in the interlinear section, whereas the NWT interlinear, of course, does not.
    Bible Gateway passage: John 1:6 - Mounce Reverse-Interlinear New Testament
     
    #397 tigger2, Jun 25, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
  18. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2015
    Messages:
    5,806
    Ratings:
    +3,344
    Religion:
    Christian
    I appreciate your reply. And thanks for those references!
    (Is your access to these references, through Google Books?)
     
  19. YoursTrue

    YoursTrue I'm found.

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2017
    Messages:
    1,677
    Ratings:
    +194
    Religion:
    Christian
    How do you figure Psalm 82:6 KJV which speaks of men or angels as gods. How can men or angels be God, god, or gods? Yet the Bible says they can be. How is that?
    "I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High."
     
  20. tigger2

    tigger2 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2019
    Messages:
    150
    Ratings:
    +116
    Religion:
    JW
    I believe I still have all of them in my personal library.
     
    #400 tigger2, Jun 25, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
    • Like Like x 1
Loading...