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Featured The Gospel of John Claims that Jesus is God

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

  1. tigger2

    tigger2 Member

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    Yes, you are absolutely correct. My failing memory let me down again.

    The earliest manuscript having 'only-begotten SON (huios) that I have found is Manuscript A (5th century).

    At any rate theos in John 1:18 clearly refers to Jesus and is without the article (anarthrous). We are looking for all the uses of theos without the article (anarthrous) which refer to the only true God
     
    #421 tigger2, Jun 30, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
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  2. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

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    I think people are naive if they sit around listening to pretended internet experts on ancient Greek. Both of your arguments for "a" god fly in the face of the majority of modern English translations. In fact, the NWT is the only one I know of that uses "a" god. So, if anyone can come up with arguments without resorting to pretended Greek grammar; I'm open to debate it. But, as far as the translation of John 1:1 goes you say one thing and many Greek experts say another thing. I will stick with their translation over yours.

    As for not allowing an "a" in Greek. I meant if you read it literally in Greek itself then there is no "a". Meaning there could be an "a" or not in English depending on context. I for one believe the context is obviously not saying there are two gods. Which is what my op is all about really
     
  3. tigger2

    tigger2 Member

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    I have just asked you (or anyone) to test out how John always uses theos when he intends it to mean "God." Then, the follow up would be to see how John always uses constructions which are truly parallel to John 1:1c (anarthrous predicate noun before the verb).

    You refuse even to do the easy examination of theos by John (possibly you have done so and don't care to admit it). Even after I gave you a link which makes it extremely easy for anyone to do, you still ignore it. Unless someone else here is as objective as the ancient Beroeans (Acts 17:10-12) and is willing to look up John's uses of theos, I'll have to proceed on my own.

    It is significant that you tried at first and could not find a proper example of John's use of an anarthrous theos intending "God."
     
  4. Oeste

    Oeste Well-Known Member

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    Actually no… I disagree with your rule.

    First, you miss the whole point. Thomas is stating Jesus is God of him. Not “a god” of him, but God of him.

    Secondly, there is no such “exception” because there is no such “rule”. One cannot rattle off “exceptions” to rules that don’t exist.

    And how do we determine what the Gospel writer meant? We ask a Jehovah Witness, of course!

    This explains WT reasoning in a nutshell. They assume they know the “true intent” of the Gospel writers, and work backwards from there.

    Yes, that can be a great rule, but only if you’re a follower of the Watchtower.

    Why? Quite simply there is no such “rule” as proposed by the WT and that’s backed by virtually every recognized scholar on the planet.

    Of course, this entire conversation would be unnecessary had the WT not changed their mind about worshipping Jesus in 1954. Prior to then Jesus was duly worshiped, but after 1954 worship didn’t really mean worship anymore, it meant something else as they attempted to parse Proskuneo. But this is about par for the WT…a rule is a rule until they say it’s not, worship is worship, until they say it’s not and millions now living will never die until they do.

    Wellsince you insist...

    Having received impetus from NWT's appendix which attempted to justify "a god" for Θεός I observed every occurrence of ό θεός, θεός in the New Testament. Using Moulton and Geden's Concordance to the Greek Testament the 1,300 plus occurrences were checked against the Nestle text, and when a variant regarding the article existed, against the Westcott and Hort text—the basic text underlying NWT.

    In a table each instance of ό θεός, θεός was recorded along with the NWT rendering of it. The results clearly indicate the inconsistency of the translators and markedly point up the arbitrariness with which they manipulated the text at John 1:1. Throughout the New Testament the arthrous Θεός far exceeds the anarthrous, and of 282 occurrences of the anarthrous Θεός NWT sixteen times has either "a god, god, gods, or godly." The translators were, therefore only 6% faithful to their canons enunciated in the appendix to John 1:1—i.e. Θεός = a god and ό Θεός = God. On the other hand they were 94% unfaithful.

    The first paragraph of John, 1:1-18, furnishes a lucid example of NWT's arbitrary dogmatism.

    The Greek word for "God" occurs eight times, in verses 1, 2, 6, 12, 13, 18, and has the article but two times, verses 1 and 2. Yet NWT reads "God" six times. Of these, four are anarthrous and two arthrous. And in verse 18 NWT reads "the.. .god" where there is no article in Greek. Such examples can be adduced in great abundance throughout NWT.


    Conclusion: That NWT has certain praiseworthy features—for example, an apparatus criticus—everyone must admit. That NWT is perhaps the first entire translation of the New Testament by any of the cults is significant. But that it has chosen to translate John 1:1 "a god" is most unfortunate for several reasons :

    (1) It shows ignorance of a particular nuance of the Greek language;

    (2) The translators have established a principle regarding the article to which they themselves have been unfaithful 94% of the time; and

    (3) The "preferred religious view" of an Arian-type cult has influenced the rendering of a very important passage. The "Foreword" of NWT disclaims any prejudice or bias for its translation. All other translations are written off as having been influenced by "religious traditions, hoary with age." The reader, I suggest, must be the judge. (The Translation of ΘΕΟΣ in the New World Translation , R.H. Countess PHD)​

    So there it is. The New World Translation follows their article rule only 6 PERCENT of the time. They insist on the rule at John 1:1, and even keep it for John 1:2, but then abandon it the next time Theos (ΘΕΟΣ ) is encountered at John 1:6. There is no rule if you violate it 94 PERCENT of the time.

    As such, “Please try again” should properly be directed toward the Watchtower. Not that I think they need encouragement, but they created the “rule”, then they promptly break their own rule as they embark on an all too familiar but remarkably inconsistent hermeneutic.

    Apparently the WT believes there is a direct one-to-one correlation of indefinite articles between English and Greek. Unfortunately no such correlation exists. Translators are not left with the option of adding an “a” or “an”. Since indefinite articles don’t exist in Greek sometimes you just leave it out. It will depend on the context.

    So let's answer that big elephant in the room. Why didn’t John add a “ho” to the third clause of John 1:1 like the WT suggests?

    The short answer is: Because it would have never conveyed what the Watchtower claims the additional "ho" would have brought across for Trinitarians.

    Adding another ‘ho’ to the third clause of John 1:1 would have confused the subject of the sentence and brought it in contradiction with the second clause (how are you “with” God if you are the entirety of God?). Essentially we would then have Christ being all of God…a boon for Oneness (Sabellianism/Modalism) Pentecostals but contradicting the Trinity in its entirety. In other words, if John had meant to convey modalism this would have been a sure way to do it, but if he wanted to convey that Jesus was Divine deity in the same manner and to the same extent that the Father was, our current wording of John 1:1 was the way to do it.

    But this is simply another important detail totally lost on Jehovah Witnesses (as well as other Arians on this forum) as they consistently confuse Trinitarianism with modalism (Oneness) and modalism with Trinitarianism, and I simply do not have the time to go into further detail here.

    Suffice to say you need look no further than the first clause of John 1:1:

    “In the beginning the Word was”​

    John parallels the opening of Genesis. It’s not “a beginning” a different beginning or another beginning. In the beginning the Word was, and the only way to refer to someone in the past tense (was) “in the beginning” is if that person doesn’t have a beginning himself.

    There is only one “ in the beginning”. It’s the same “in the beginning" as Genesis. The only way the Word can be both “wasandcreatedin the beginning is if there was more than one “in the beginning”. Either that or when John and the author of Genesis stated “in the beginning” they didn't mean “in the beginning” at all. That is straightforward, common sense, simple exegesis. There is simply no need to bring the first clause of John 1:1 into conflict with the third clause by interjecting a completely different created god.

    Now if anyone here wants to make argument for two or more beginnings, or why “in the beginning is not really “in the beginning” I’m all ears. I’m sure @74x12, who is not Trinitarian but shares my belief of an uncreated Jesus will be attentive as well. I'm also open to how a created Word "was" in the beginning.

    Who knows? Perhaps a rule is a rule except when we say its not, worship is really worship unless we say its not, and “the beginning” is the beginning unless we say its something different really has a sound exegetical basis.

    But at the end of the day, I think whether we play with made up rules or actually examine scripture itself, Christ is eternal and Jesus is God.
     
  5. Oeste

    Oeste Well-Known Member

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    Honestly @Hockeycowboy, the above paragraph makes it extremely difficult to tell where Harner begins and the WT ends, and I've stayed up late enough as it is to respond.

    But I think the WT is trying to get Harner to say something he does not. I strongly suspect
    Harner is not making a case of a separate, lesser god, but is arguing that Jesus is as much deity, divinity and God as the Father is deity, divinity and God.

    My goodness! You guys really do go back awhile to find something that might agree with you. The problem I see is that Belsham was dishonest. He was an Arian who denied Christ’s deity and admitted he purposely held back the fact he was a Unitarian in the hope the uninformed would read his translation. I’m not surprised the WT would cite him. You can read more about him here.

    No surprise since Kneeland was an avid anti-Trinitarian who also denied the personality of the Devil or demons. In other words, he considered the New Testament “demon-possessed” to be physically ill people that were never really possessed by demons at all. Again, I am not surprised the WT would cite him. You can read more about him here.

    I suspect some of the others are Arian as well. As for any Trinitarian translation that has "a god" I would have to see any footnotes associated with them. There are bound to be quite a few and I doubt any of them are going to support a separate distinct lesser God as @tigger2 suggests they do.

    In other words, we have to look at not only what was translated but what the intent of the translating committee was as they attempt to convey the original intent of the gospel authors into the target language. Simply pointing out "a God" is insufficient if "a God" meant one thing to the translating committee and something entirely different to the Watchtower. If I write "John is gay" it's going to mean one thing to an audience alive today and something entirely different to an audience alive in the 1930's.

    So given that most of them appear to be in the 1800's they're likely an argument for Socinianism.

    In any event, it's the 4th of July week (I know you don't celebrate) and I have to get up early in the morning, go to work (it's almost 2am now) and then I intend to take some much needed vacay, but didn't want you to think I was ignoring you.

    Good night and everyone take care.
     
  6. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    1) TAKING OUR OWN ADVICE REGARDING OPINIONS ABOUT LANGUAGE AND INTERPRETATION
    @7412 said : "I think people are naive if they sit around listening to pretended internet experts on ancient Greek." (post #422)

    I strongly agree with you.
    YOU, as a non Greek reader should NEVER have tried to create a fictious rule about the translation of Greek by saying “Just reading in Greek we are not allowed to add an "a" at all.” (post #375)

    Did you think Tigger2 and the rest of us would not notice this attempt? You, as a non-greek reader do not get to create fictious rules that defy Greek grammar to support your position.
    You said to Tigger2 in post #384 that “You don't have context on your side.”

    While you can argue context with Tigger2, you cannot argue grammatical error in this phrase. I have not taken a side on whether Tigger2 or you have the correct doctrinal position. I am simply saying that Tigger2 is perfectly correct in his grammar regarding John 1:1, third phrase.


    2) HOW DOES ONE WRITE "THE WORD WAS A GOD" in Koine Greek:
    74X12 You do not read Koine Greek (yes, it’s that obvious). ASK someone you trust who does read Koine HOW they would write : “THE word was A God”. They will give you the EXACT words that John 1:1 writes in the third phrase “θεος ην ο λογος." Other than word order (which can change), there is no other way to write these five words in grammatically correct Koine Greek. You do not have a SINGLE “Greek expert” which will tell you otherwise.

    Thus, Tigger2 and the Jehovahs Witnesses are correct grammatically.

    I am not Jehovahs Witness and disagree with some of their doctrines and I think their New World Translation is not a good translation, BUT, they are correct that theirs is a perfectly fine translation of the third phrase of John 1:1 given Greek grammar. There are mistakes surrounding John 1:1, but this phrase is not a mistake grammatically.



    3) - A note on Ambiguous versus non-ambiguous writing and the contribution of context to unabiguousness

    IF you want to write, in unambiguous Koine, : “THE word was THE God” AND there is NO trinitarian context or assumption, then you MUST write “ο θεος ην ο λογος.” (though you can change word order you must insert the article.") If you do NOT include the article, then there is ambiguity.

    IF you want to write, “The word was THE Godand the Context ASSUMES they are the same person/character/thing, THEN you are allowed to forego the article because CONTEXT removes the ambiguity of meaning. This IS the nature of context.

    You stated in Post #394 “I don't know Greek grammar”. While this has been obvious to those who read Greek, you must understand that it is CONTEXT which will determine the meaning of this phrase, NOT grammar. Thus, the reason some translators will translate the phrase as “and the Word was A God” while others will translate the phrase “and the Word was God” is that the different translators are assuming different contexts underlying the phrase.

    An atheist or computer program having NO context, WILL translate the phrase as “
    and the Word was a God” IF they are using Greek grammatical rules without any underlying doctrinal assumptions or context.

    IF you, as a non-koine Greek reader, attempt to create rules such as “if you read it literally in Greek itself then there is no "a". (74X12 post #375) then you are going to simply display ignorance and a willingness to offer fictious and deceptive evidence to support your position. ASK SOMEONE WHO READS Koine, if this specific claim of yours regarding Koine greek is correct and have them explain it to you.

    Tigger2 is perfectly correct that "και θεοσ ην ο λογοσ" IS the way one writes "and the word was a God". IF you (or anyone else on the forum), knows any other way to write : "and the word was A God" in Koine, tell us.

    In any case
    74X12, I hope you will forgive me for pointing out the errors of your claims. Please be at peace on these issues. I am simply making a specific point about Koine Greek Grammar and not trying to touch on your theology or beliefs at all. I do NOT think the New World Translation is a good translation at all and do not think the changes in the underlying greek text which it attempts to make are justified, BUT, on this specific phrase, I cannot fault its' translation.



    @tigger2 : regarding your memory lapse concerning θεοσ vs κυριοσ vs υιοσ in John 1:18

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for simply making the self-correction. It was a classy thing to do.


    Clear
    σενετωνεω
     
    #426 Clear, Jul 1, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  7. tigger2

    tigger2 Member

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    Oeste:

    'The Greek word for "God" occurs eight times, in verses 1, 2, 6, 12, 13, 18, and has the article but two times, verses 1 and 2. Yet NWT reads "God" six times. Of these, four are anarthrous and two arthrous. And in verse 18 NWT reads "the.. .god" where there is no article in Greek. Such examples can be adduced in great abundance throughout NWT.'

    T2: Of course! because most of them are genitives, datives, accusatives, and datives (or are nominatives modified by prepositions, genitives, etc.) These are all improper examples, as already explained above. They all (along with a few other ambiguous examples) can be translated as indefinite OR definite regardless of article usage. As stated before, we are concerned with clear examples of the nominative theos in all John's writings.

    John 1:1 has only ONE example of a nominative theos and it is given to Jesus and is anarthrous. 1:2 uses one accusative theon. 1:6 uses one genitive theou. 1:12 uses one genitive theou. 1:13 uses one genitive theou. 1:18 uses one accusative theon and one nominative theos anarthrous and with modifying adjective. This one applies to Jesus (Like John 1:1c.) So there are only two uses of the nominative theos in the examples you used, and they both are anarthrous and are used for Jesus.

    If you would stop copying from NWT haters and examine for yourself, it would be greatly appreciated. Here for the 3rd time is a link to all the uses of the nominative theos in John. Please use it (I wish I had had it when I wrote my original study on this.) Greek Concordance: θεός (theos) -- 311 Occurrences How many anarthrous uses of theos as applied to the only true God are found in John's writings?

    .........................................


    O: "Conclusion: That NWT has certain praiseworthy features—for example, an apparatus criticus—everyone must admit. That NWT is perhaps the first entire translation of the New Testament by any of the cults is significant. But that it has chosen to translate John 1:1 "a god" is most unfortunate for several reasons :

    "(1) It shows ignorance of a particular nuance of the Greek language;
    [And that is?]


    "(2) The translators have established a principle regarding the article to which they themselves have been unfaithful 94% of the time; and

    [Absolutely false and certainly much worse than a simple mistake on Countess' part.]

    '(3) The "preferred religious view" of an Arian-type cult has influenced the rendering of a very important passage. The "Foreword" of NWT disclaims any prejudice or bias for its translation. All other translations are written off as having been influenced by "religious traditions, hoary with age." The reader, I suggest, must be the judge. (The Translation of ΘΕΟΣ in the New World Translation , R.H. Countess PHD)'

    T2: Except for the lies by Countess, I agree with the very last sentence. But just try to get anyone to be a truly objective judge.

    The following is from Robert H. Countess in his book defaming the Bible translation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses: “The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New Testament - A Critical Analysis of the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures [NWT],” Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1982 (2nd ed. 1987). (I got my copy from Christian Book Distributors [CBD] in October 1994.)

    It is noteworthy that this book was originally produced as a doctoral thesis by Mr. Countess in 1966. He then published it in 1982. After 5 years he made a few corrections and published the present (second edition) version in 1987. He says in the preface to this second edition: “The present edition of The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New Testament embodies all of the earlier text except for the correction of typographical errors noted by the author and the readers.” - p. vii.

    Although he discusses other “mistranslations” of the NWT, his primary objective obviously is to defend the trinity doctrine by attacking those NWT renderings which deny traditional “proofs” used by many trinitarians.

    Countess devotes much of his book to denying the scholarship and honesty of those who rendered John 1:1c in the NWT as “and the Word was a god” in opposition to most trinitarian Bibles’ renderings of “and the Word was God.” Other major areas where he defends “orthodoxy” and does battle with the NWT include his “exposure” of the NWT’s “hypocritical” use of “god” and “God” throughout the NWT NT.

    A major attack on the honesty of the NWT by Mr. Countess concerns the use of the definite article (“the”) with the word for “God/god” (theos) in NT Greek.

    He implies that the NWT translators have made up a rule that whenever the article appears with the word theos, it should be rendered into English as “God,” and whenever theos appears without the article, “a god” should be used:

    “What, then, is the import of translating theos ‘a god’? If it is simply a matter of the presence or absence of the article, then why cannot a principle be established and followed throughout the New Testament that ho [‘the’] theos be translated ‘God’ and theos be rendered ‘a god’? This is, to be sure, the implication of the line of reasoning set forth in the NWT appendix.” - p. 44.

    This is not what the NWT appendix said. And it is not implied. As Mr. Countess well knows, the use of theos at Jn 1:1c is in the nominative case (the form used for subjects and predicate nouns and which has the surest use of the article) and has no other words to modify or describe it further. This eliminates the many exceptions to article use (or non-use) found in other situations.

    The nominative case for theos is θεὸς. This very same word in its other cases is: theou (θεο); theon (θεόν); theo (θεω). Most of these cases, unlike the nominative case (but see the THEON study), use the article irregularly and cannot be relied on to use (or not use) the article in a meaningful way to speakers (and writers) of English! (see DEF study).

    However, in addition to different cases, there are still several exceptions to the use of the article with the nominative case θεὸς (or any other nominative case count noun). The most notable is the irregularity caused by using a genitive or preposition (“in,” “on,” “of,” “with,” “to,” etc.) in conjunction with theos: “Man of God;” “God of Israel;” “with God;” etc. (Some of the other exceptions are found in the writings of Paul, but since Paul did not write John 1:1, we will not go into these additional details. - See the MARTIN study.) That Countess is not ignorant of this commonly known fact of NT Greek is shown by his own statement on p. 47:

    “Blass-Debrunner, basing comment upon an exhaustive study by Bernhard Weiss, observed that whenever the Jewish or Christian God is in view, the article is present, but that it may be omitted after prepositions and if in the genitive when depending on an anarthrous noun.”

    Countess devotes 44 pages (33 per cent or 1/3 of the entire book!) to showing the NWT’s “dishonest” and “hypocritical” use of theos (‘God/god’). 27 pages in the appendix list all uses of the word (whether theos, theou, theon, theo or with prepositions or not) in the left column to show that it has the article with it in the NT text. In the right column, of course, he lists all of the other uses which do not have the article in the NT text. In those columns he shows how the NWT has translated the term. He gleefully points out that a few of the uses of the term that have the article are not translated “God” in the NWT, and a few of them that do not have the article are not translated “a god.” His conclusion that the NWT has dishonestly, hypocritically not followed a rule that he says they made concerning this usage is incredibly dishonest itself.

    Of course some of the forms of the word which often have irregular article usage (as discussed above) are sometimes translated in the NWT contrary to Countess’ “rule” for the NWT rendering of theos! But these forms are not the form as used in Jn 1:1c and are well known by NT Greek scholars as forms that use the definite article irregularly: sometimes they have the article when it seems (in English) that they should not, and sometimes they do not have the article when it seems (in English) that they should!

    But when we eliminate all the irregular forms and stick to the nominative θεὸς without prepositions (as found at Jn 1:1c itself), we find that in all the writings of John (and the other Gospel writers) the article (, ‘the’) is used with θεὸς whenever he intends the meaning “God”!

    Countess concludes Chapter 4:

    “Finally, and most importantly, table V demonstrated how NWT applied or did not apply its principle formulated in the appendix to John 1:1. And it is the investigator’s [Countess himself] firm conclusion that NWT demonstrates utter disregard for the canon thus set forth in its own appendix. .... It bears repeating: NWT has been 94 percent of the time unfaithful to its own principle of translation.” [absolute falsehood!]

    Although the “rule,” “principle,” or “canon” that the article (“the”) is always with θεὸς (in all its forms) when it means “God” and is not with θεὸς (all forms) when it means “a god” IS NOT SAID NOR INTENDED BY THE WRITERS OF THE NWT APPENDIX, but INVENTED by Countess himself (even though it actually is the case 80% of the time in the New Testament)!

    The NWT, however, really said in the appendix referred to by Countess: "In our footnote b. below we give other texts in John only where the predicate noun [in the nominative case only of course] does not have the definite article. If anyone carelessly or ignorantly says that the definite article was omitted in these texts ... [and] the definite article is to be understood, then why do our English translators insert the indefinite article 'a' before the predicate noun [nominative case only of course] at John 4:19;...6:70; 9:24, 25; 10:33; 12:6? If the indefinite article can be inserted before the predicate noun [in the nominative case, of course] in such texts, no objection can rightly be raised against inserting the indefinite article ‘a’ before the anarthrous [without the article] θεὸς in the predicate of John 1:1 to make it read ‘a god’.” - p. 776, Appendix, NWT, 1951 ed.

    Such ignorant (at best) nonsense by Countess!!

    How about an actual honest examination of John's use of theos??

    Greek Concordance: θεός (theos) -- 311 Occurrences
     
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  8. tigger2

    tigger2 Member

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    Oeste: 'The Greek word for "God" occurs eight times, in verses 1, 2, 6, 12, 13, 18, and has the article but two times, verses 1 and 2. Yet NWT reads "God" six times. Of these, four are anarthrous and two arthrous. And in verse 18 NWT reads "the.. .god" where there is no article in Greek. Such examples can be adduced in great abundance throughout NWT.'

    T2: Of course! Because most of them are genitives, datives, accusatives, (or are nominatives modified by prepositions, genitives, etc.) These are all improper examples, as already explained above. They all (along with a few other ambiguous examples) can be translated as indefinite OR definite regardless of article usage. As stated before, we are concerned with clear examples of the nominative theos in all John's writings.

    John 1:1 has only ONE example of a nominative theos and it is given to Jesus and is anarthrous. 1:2 uses one accusative theon. 1:6 uses one genitive theou. 1:12 uses one genitive theou. 1:13 uses one genitive theou. 1:18 uses one accusative theon and one nominative theos anarthrous and with modifying adjective. This one applies to Jesus (Like John 1:1c.) So there are only two uses of the nominative theos in the examples you used, and they both are anarthrous and are used for Jesus.

    If you would stop copying from NWT haters and examine for yourself, it would be greatly appreciated. Here for the 3rd time is a link to all the uses of the nominative theos in John. Please use it (I wish I had had it when I wrote my original study on this.) Greek Concordance: θεός (theos) -- 311 Occurrences How many anarthrous uses of theos as applied to the only true God are found in John's writings?

    .........................................


    O: "Conclusion: That NWT has certain praiseworthy features—for example, an apparatus criticus—everyone must admit. That NWT is perhaps the first entire translation of the New Testament by any of the cults is significant. But that it has chosen to translate John 1:1 "a god" is most unfortunate for several reasons :

    "(1) It shows ignorance of a particular nuance of the Greek language;
    [And that is?]


    "(2) The translators have established a principle regarding the article to which they themselves have been unfaithful 94% of the time; and

    [Absolutely false and certainly much worse than a simple mistake on Countess' part.]

    '(3) The "preferred religious view" of an Arian-type cult has influenced the rendering of a very important passage. The "Foreword" of NWT disclaims any prejudice or bias for its translation. All other translations are written off as having been influenced by "religious traditions, hoary with age." The reader, I suggest, must be the judge. (The Translation of ΘΕΟΣ in the New World Translation , R.H. Countess PHD)'

    T2: Except for the lies by Countess, I agree with the very last sentence. But just try to get anyone to be a truly objective judge.

    The following is from Robert H. Countess in his book defaming the Bible translation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses: “The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New Testament - A Critical Analysis of the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures [NWT],” Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1982 (2nd ed. 1987). (I got my copy from Christian Book Distributors [CBD] in October 1994.)

    It is noteworthy that this book was originally produced as a doctoral thesis by Mr. Countess in 1966. He then published it in 1982. After 5 years he made a few corrections and published the present (second edition) version in 1987. He says in the preface to this second edition: “The present edition of The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New Testament embodies all of the earlier text except for the correction of typographical errors noted by the author and the readers.” - p. vii.

    Although he discusses other “mistranslations” of the NWT, his primary objective obviously is to defend the trinity doctrine by attacking those NWT renderings which deny traditional “proofs” used by many trinitarians.

    Countess devotes much of his book to denying the scholarship and honesty of those who rendered John 1:1c in the NWT as “and the Word was a god” in opposition to most trinitarian Bibles’ renderings of “and the Word was God.” Other major areas where he defends “orthodoxy” and does battle with the NWT include his “exposure” of the NWT’s “hypocritical” use of “god” and “God” throughout the NWT NT.

    A major attack on the honesty of the NWT by Mr. Countess concerns the use of the definite article (“the”) with the word for “God/god” (theos) in NT Greek.

    He implies that the NWT translators have made up a rule that whenever the article appears with the word theos, it should be rendered into English as “God,” and whenever theos appears without the article, “a god” should be used:

    “What, then, is the import of translating theos ‘a god’? If it is simply a matter of the presence or absence of the article, then why cannot a principle be established and followed throughout the New Testament that ho [‘the’] theos be translated ‘God’ and theos be rendered ‘a god’? This is, to be sure, the implication of the line of reasoning set forth in the NWT appendix.” - p. 44.

    This is not what the NWT appendix said. And it is not implied. As Mr. Countess well knows, the use of theos at Jn 1:1c is in the nominative case (the form used for subjects and predicate nouns and which has the surest use of the article) and has no other words to modify or describe it further. This eliminates the many exceptions to article use (or non-use) found in other situations.

    The nominative case for theos is θεὸς. This very same word in its other cases is: theou (θεο); theon (θεόν); theo (θεω). Most of these cases, unlike the nominative case (but see the THEON study), use the article irregularly and cannot be relied on to use (or not use) the article in a meaningful way to speakers (and writers) of English! (see DEF study).

    However, in addition to different cases, there are still several exceptions to the use of the article with the nominative case θεὸς (or any other nominative case count noun). The most notable is the irregularity caused by using a genitive or preposition (“in,” “on,” “of,” “with,” “to,” etc.) in conjunction with theos: “Man of God;” “God of Israel;” “with God;” etc. (Some of the other exceptions are found in the writings of Paul, but since Paul did not write John 1:1, we will not go into these additional details. - See the MARTIN study.) That Countess is not ignorant of this commonly known fact of NT Greek is shown by his own statement on p. 47:

    “Blass-Debrunner, basing comment upon an exhaustive study by Bernhard Weiss, observed that whenever the Jewish or Christian God is in view, the article is present, but that it may be omitted after prepositions and if in the genitive when depending on an anarthrous noun.”

    Countess devotes 44 pages (33 per cent or 1/3 of the entire book!) to showing the NWT’s “dishonest” and “hypocritical” use of theos (‘God/god’). 27 pages in the appendix list all uses of the word (whether theos, theou, theon, theo or with prepositions or not) in the left column to show that it has the article with it in the NT text. In the right column, of course, he lists all of the other uses which do not have the article in the NT text. In those columns he shows how the NWT has translated the term. He gleefully points out that a few of the uses of the term that have the article are not translated “God” in the NWT, and a few of them that do not have the article are not translated “a god.” His conclusion that the NWT has dishonestly, hypocritically not followed a rule that he says they made concerning this usage is incredibly dishonest itself.

    Of course some of the forms of the word which often have irregular article usage (as discussed above) are sometimes translated in the NWT contrary to Countess’ “rule” for the NWT rendering of theos! But these forms are not the form as used in Jn 1:1c and are well known by NT Greek scholars as forms that use the definite article irregularly: sometimes they have the article when it seems (in English) that they should not, and sometimes they do not have the article when it seems (in English) that they should!

    But when we eliminate all the irregular forms and stick to the nominative θεὸς without prepositions (as found at Jn 1:1c itself), we find that in all the writings of John (and the other Gospel writers) the article (, ‘the’) is used with θεὸς whenever he intends the meaning “God”!

    Countess concludes Chapter 4:

    “Finally, and most importantly, table V demonstrated how NWT applied or did not apply its principle formulated in the appendix to John 1:1. And it is the investigator’s [Countess himself] firm conclusion that NWT demonstrates utter disregard for the canon thus set forth in its own appendix. .... It bears repeating: NWT has been 94 percent of the time unfaithful to its own principle of translation.” [absolute falsehood!]

    Although the “rule,” “principle,” or “canon” that the article (“the”) is always with θεὸς (in all its forms) when it means “God” and is not with θεὸς (all forms) when it means “a god” IS NOT SAID NOR INTENDED BY THE WRITERS OF THE NWT APPENDIX, but INVENTED by Countess himself (even though it actually is the case 80% of the time in the New Testament)!

    The NWT, however, really said in the appendix referred to by Countess: "In our footnote b. below we give other texts in John only where the predicate noun [in the nominative case only of course] does not have the definite article. If anyone carelessly or ignorantly says that the definite article was omitted in these texts ... [and] the definite article is to be understood, then why do our English translators insert the indefinite article 'a' before the predicate noun [nominative case only of course] at John 4:19;...6:70; 9:24, 25; 10:33; 12:6? If the indefinite article can be inserted before the predicate noun [in the nominative case, of course] in such texts, no objection can rightly be raised against inserting the indefinite article ‘a’ before the anarthrous [without the article] θεὸς in the predicate of John 1:1 to make it read ‘a god’.” - p. 776, Appendix, NWT, 1951 ed.

    Such ignorant (at best) nonsense by Countess!!

    How about an actual honest examination of John's use of theos??

    Greek Concordance: θεός (theos) -- 311 Occurrences
     
  9. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    Take care. Have an enjoyable and safe vacation.
     
  10. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    I have to point out Tigger2 that your specific claim that greek can be translated as indefinite OR definite "regardless of article" is incorrect.

    IF koine Greek uses the definite article, then the noun it refers to IS DEFINITE and is NOT INDEFINITE. For example, if I say, "THE car is black.", it is a reference to a "specific car", not simply "A car".


    Clear
    σενεακτζω
     
    #430 Clear, Jul 1, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  11. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you. The clue wording being "in the beginning" which is taken from Genesis 1:1 which means that the Word was there since the first. The Word is uncreated. As you and I use our breath to form the words we say. God also uses His Breath to form the Word of God. But God doesn't breathe oxygen and nitrogen etc. God's breath is the eternal Spirit of God and is uncreated. The Word itself being the Spirit of God sent forth with creative intention and purpose. (Psalm 104:30) As the scripture claims God made the heavens by His Word and the "host" of them by the breath of His mouth. ((Psalm 33:6) So, in the ancient Hebrew mindset the spirit/wind in every person forms their words and the same with God.

    The Word itself is the "Word" of creation so nothing exists without it. Unfortunately JWs will claim this is not literally the Word of God itself; but he is only called "Word" because he is the "Spokesman". So they make Jesus no better than any prophet. Similar to how they like to claim he is only called "a god" and is not really their god.

    But the Word is the Light of Genesis 1:3 as I've pointed out. God is Light but the Light of Genesis 1:3 is the Light of God shining in the darkness that was on the world. As Jesus was shining in the world. (John 1:5)
    Exactly right. The scripture says Jesus Christ the same yesterday today and for ever.
     
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  12. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

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    I am not at all saying whatever nonsense you're claiming I said. But I am saying that neither of you get to make up ficitious rules about Greek grammar just because you claim to be Greek experts or whatever it is you claim. I am here to say that there many people who read Koine Greek just fine and people have no reason to just take your word for it. I know enough about the subject to know the JWs are wrong but I say it for other people's sake.
    I did not make any rule. You misunderstood my point. (I made that part extra large so hopefully you can't miss it this time) You are not allowed to add an "a" in Greek because there is no "a" in Greek. That's all I meant. You're talking about translation. Which yes, it is grammatically correct to translate an "a" in English. That is obvious!!! But that wasn't what I was saying. I am talking about reading literally in Greek.

    If you still don't understand me then I will know you're trolling.
     
  13. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

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    And it's significant that you were wrong about John 7:46 which is not as you portrayed it to be.

    In fact major translations do not use the wording you claim they should in order for your grammar rule to be absolute. So it's not so certain as you claim it is. I maintain that it is not a rule.
     
  14. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    Hi @74x12 and @tigger2



    1) NONSENSICAL GRAMMAR VERSUS SENSICAL AND LOGICAL AND CORRECT GRAMMAR

    74X12 said : " I am not at all saying whatever nonsense you're claiming I said." (#432)

    Perhaps I misunderstood you. I thought you claimed “ “Just reading in Greek we are not allowed to add an "a" at all.” (74X12 in post #375)

    Leaving out the article IS how Greeks indicate “indefiniteness”

    If I want to write “THE horse” in Koine, I CAN write “ο ιππος". This means THE definite, specific horse.

    If I want to write “A horse” in Koine, I MUST write “ιππος”. (without the article). Grammatically, this means “a” indefinite, non-specific horse. (any horse will do in this definition)

    IF I want to indicate definiteness to a noun that has NO article, I MUST add some sort of CONTEXT. For example, I can POINT to a white horse in a field of black horses and say “ιππος”, or “horse!”. In THIS case, I have added the context of pointing (which action creates the context and specificity and definiteness).

    You have ALREADY lost your debate with Tigger2 on the grammar of John 1:1, third phrase, you simply don’t realize it. Greek readers realize it, thus they have not stepped in to support your claim.

    SO, having lost this specific debate against Tigger2, IF you want to debate Tigger2 on the meaning of John 1:1, third phrase, you will have to debate him on CONTEXT. Please 74X12, I am NOT trying to embarrass you. I don’t want even to enter the debate. I don’t believe in much of Jehovahs Witness theology nor their Translations on many points. But, believe me. You have lost this specific grammatical debate with Tigger2.

    This does not mean Tigger2 is correct in all claims he makes.

    @Oeste IS for example correct in his arguement with Tigger2 regarding Oestes' claim regarding Thomas' saying to Jesus, "My Lord and my God. " Tigger2 is incorrect if his point is to relieve Jesus of Thomas' claim that Jesus was"his God". (I haven't followed their conversation so I may be misunderstanding the competing points...)


    2) WHAT GREEK READERS ON THE FORUM THINK OF 74x12s' CLAIM REGARDING GREEK GRAMMAR

    74X12 said : "I am here to say that there many people who read Koine Greek just fine and people have no reason to just take your word for it."

    I agree with you on this point. I also believe there are people on the forum who read Koine. However, none of these Greek readers supported your specific claim regarding regarding the lack of a definite article. There is a reason they have not supported your claim.....

    Greek readers here (so far) have ONLY reminded you, (who do not even read Greek), that you are incorrect regarding Greek grammar concerning the definite article.

    I don’t have any animosity towards you. I am simply pointing out an objective error in your claim regarding Greek grammar. I have already pointed out errors Tigger2 made and he IMMEDIATELY noticed it and corrected it. Tigger2s credibility was NOT hurt by admitting this error, instead, his credibility increased. Credibility is a finite resource that can be wasted and lost. Don’t waste it on this specific issue.


    3) THE GRAMMATICAL CLAIM OF A NON-GREEK READER WHO READS GREEK

    74X12 said : I am talking about reading literally in Greek. (#432)

    74x12 YOU, do not “read greek” nor do you understand the use of Greek on this specific point. While you claim to be discussing “reading literally in Greek”, you then discuss what that literal greek means to you in English translation. IF you could read Greek, you would know how indefiniteness is indicated in Greek. This is VERY, VERY basic Greek grammar we are describing.

    74X12 Though it was obvious, you have already admitted to us that you do not know Greek Grammar.

    You said : “I don't know the Greek well enough to debate grammatical rules like this.” (74X12 in post #382)

    You repeated you admission of ignorance on Greek, saying “I don't know Greek grammar (74X12 in post #394)

    IF you don’t read Greek and you don’t know Greek grammar, then why in the world would you even attempt to argue Greek Grammar with those who read and write Greek and who know Greek grammar? You already lost your debate to Tigger2 regarding grammar. It is a dead horse. SHIFT to some sort of argument that you know something about.


    4) SHIFTING TO NAME CALLING OR MEANNESS, WILL NOT SUPPORT A GRAMMATICAL CLAIM

    74X12 said : If you still don't understand me then I will know you're trolling. (74X12 in post # 432)

    IF the debate you are trying to have simply devolves into name calling or mere meaness, then you cannot positively influence others who are looking for good data and rational thought. As Christians, we are not supposed to be mean AND, IF you can keep your theories tethered to and grounded in good data and rational logical use of the data, you will have more success at making your points to others.

    My point is, IF you are going to debate the claim that “John Claims Jesus is God”, then you are much better off remaining with DATA, and RATIONAL LOGIC and HISTORICAL CONTEXT, etc. You cannot win your debate against anyone by making an erroneous grammatical claim once they know it is erroneous.


    In any case, I wish you and @Tigger2 good journeys and wonderful insights and wonderful lives @74X12. I apologize that this was so uncomfortable for you 74X12.


    Clear
    σιτζφισιω
     
    #434 Clear, Jul 1, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  15. tigger2

    tigger2 Member

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    Maybe I was unclear (a common problem these days). I was specifically referring to the exceptions to clear article use: especially those 'prepositional' examples which cause irregular article use or nonuse. These exceptions could also include abstract nouns, personal names, etc.

    We can see for ourselves the irregularity of article usage with “prepositional” constructions by comparing how they are translated in various trinitarian Bibles:

    John 1:23 (WITHOUT article): “the voice of...” - RSV, ASV, NIV, TEV. But “a voice of...” - NASB, NEB, JB, LB.

    John 3:10 (WITH the definite article): “the teacher of...” - ASV, NASB, Young’s, Beck. But “a teacher of...” - RSV, JB, NIV, TEV, MLB, Moffatt.

    John 5:27 (without article in Greek): ...because he is a son of man. - ASV; because he is the Son of Man. - ESV; ...because he is a son of man. - WEB; because he is the Son of man. - RSV.

    John 8:34 (without article in Greek) ...Every one that committeth sin is the bondservant of sin. - ASV; ...anyone who sins is a slave of sin! - CEV; ...is the servant of sin. - KJV; ...is a slave to sin. - NIV; ...is a slave to sin. - NRSV;

    ...is the bondservant of sin. - WEB.

    And there are many more such examples in the rest of John’s Gospel! (Of course there are also other instances where most Bible writers are able to agree on the significance of article usage - or non-usage - with “prepositional” constructions, but that agreement is attained only from context and obviously not from the actual use - or non-use - of the article!)

    We can also discover that of the 31 anarthrous (without the article) “prepositional” predicate nouns coming before the verb that are found in the writings of John (see listing at beginning of this Appendix) the King James Version translates 14 as definite, none as indefinite, and 17 as ambiguous (capable of either definite OR indefinite interpretation: “his son;” “my servant;” etc.).

    But in those very same 31 “prepositional” verses in the RSV, for example, there are only 7 definite and 9 indefinite. And in the same verses in the TEV there are 10 definite and 5 indefinite! In many of these verses, in fact, the King James Version translates one way, and the RSV or TEV translates it in another. We even see, at John 8:33, the KJV rendering the anarthrous “prepositional” predicate noun ambiguously, the RSV as an indefinite plural, and the TEV as a definite plural! (Also compare Jn 1:12.) And the more Bible translations we look at the more disparity we find among the various translations of “prepositional” constructions.

    More important, when we look at John’s use of the article with “prepositional” constructions, we see the same problem. Of the 14 times John uses the article with a pre-copulative (before the verb) predicate noun (see first part of this Appendix) 9 are in non-“prepositional” constructions, and they are nearly always translated as definite by all trinitarian Bible translators. (I‘m not certain if John 17:17 has the definite article with the predicate noun or not. However, it is an abstract noun anyway).

    But, of the 5 articular (with the article) “prepositional” constructions, only 2 are consistently translated as definite (Jn 10:21 and Rev. 19:8). The other three are most often translated as indefinite nouns or in the ambiguous “possessive” form (“his,” “their,” “John’s,” etc.). So, John 6:51, for example, is always translated “my flesh” (ambiguous). Revelation 19:9 is translated “are true words of...” (indefinite plural) just as frequently as it is translated “are the true words of...” (definite plural) or “God’s true words” (ambiguous). And Revelation 21:23 is translated “a lighted torch for...” once and “the lamp of...” once, with all the other translations using the ambiguous “its lamp.” So, again, we find that pre-copulative predicate nouns in “prepositional” constructions frequently cannot be positively identified as either definite or indefinite whether they have the definite article or not!
     
    #435 tigger2, Jul 1, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  16. tigger2

    tigger2 Member

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    Clear wrote above - post 434:

    " @Oeste IS for example correct in his arguement with Tigger2 regarding Oestes' claim regarding Thomas' saying to Jesus, "My Lord and my God. " Tigger2 is incorrect if his point is to relieve Jesus of Thomas' claim that Jesus was"his God". (I haven't followed their conversation so I may be misunderstanding the competing points...)"

    ......................................

    I think the JW interpretation is that Thomas is using 'god' in its lesser sense. Numerous trinitarian scholars admit that theos may be used for judges, kings, angels, etc. who are appointed by God to do his will.

    While I don't disagree, I do see a probable alternate.

    Scholars admit that commonly used expressions and doxologies to God are often abbreviated by leaving out words.

    The reason I believe that Thomas is not addressing God in this verse is that John (and, I believe, all other NT writers) actually use the vocative kurie when addressing someone as 'Lord.' Since kurios, not kurie, is used here, this is a praise or promise to God: "My Lord and my God be praised," "May my Lord and God [be witness that I believe you are alive]....”

    http://examiningthetrinity.blogspot.com/2009/10/mygod.html

    Notice the parallel between 1 Samuel 20:12 (where Jonathan’s words appear to be directed to David: “... Jonathan saith unto David, ‘Jehovah, God of Israel - when I search my father, about this time tomorrow ....’” - Young’s Literal Translation, cf. KJV) and John 20:28 (where Thomas’ words appear to be directed to Jesus: “Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’”).

    The significant point here is that, although the scripture shows Jonathan speaking to David, it apparently literally calls him (David) “O LORD God of Israel”!! (For a straightforward literal translation see 1 Samuel 20:12 in the King James Version.) You can bet that, if modern Bible translators wanted to find “evidence” that made King David also appear to be equally God (Quadrinarians?), they would continue to translate this scripture addressed to David just as literally as they do John 20:28 to “prove” that Jesus is equally God!

    Instead, we see many modern translations adding words to bring out what they believe may have been originally intended. There is absolutely no reason for this addition except the translators believe from the testimony of the rest of the Bible that David is not Jehovah God. So something else must have been intended here.

    Translators from about 200 B.C. (Septuagint) until now have been guessing (and disagreeing) at exactly what was intended here. It was probably some common idiom of the time such as: I promise you in the sight of the LORD the God of Israel” - NEB, or, as found in the ancient Septuagint: “Jonathan said unto David, ‘The Lord [kurios] God of Israel knows that....’”

    Perhaps the most-used interpretation is: “Jehovah, the God of Israel, (be witness)....” - ASV (cf. NASB, RSV, AT, NKJV).

    There is no reason to believe that Thomas is calling Jesus God. It is significant that John does not follow up this blockbuster (if the Trinitarian interpretation were true) with further references to this great 'truth.'

    Instead he summarizes his Gospel in 20:30, 31 with "these have been written down that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God...." Why no summary including 'Jesus is God'?
     
  17. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

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    I am not the one making claims about Greek grammar. That is you and tigger2. I was only saying that an ENGLISH WORD is not in GREEK because it is ENGLISH not GREEK. As for losing debates. I don't agree at all. Now perhaps you can get it through your head (somehow) that English is not Greek and Greek is not English. Or maybe not and you can make another enormous post to lecture me yet again about things I wasn't even claiming. If you make another such post I will know you are a troll.

    As for arguing Greek grammar all am I saying is that you people want to take over this thread with your supposed Greek rules that don't even exist. So I will debate that. And I don't need to know Greek in order to do so.
     
    #437 74x12, Jul 1, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  18. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

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    How about you actually try to understand what I meant; rather than persisting in accusing me of nonsensical claims regarding Greek grammar which is not at all what I was even saying. That's the real dead horse here.
     
  19. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

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    If you are not a troll I apologize but you're persisting in nonsensical false accusations. What you are saying I am claiming is not at all what I am really claiming. I don't know how to make myself any clearer. In fact I've told you over and over. Yet persist in provocative posts saying that I am making erroneous grammatical claims. No I didn't. So pay attention if you're not purposely being a troll. Otherwise I will continue to defend myself against your false accusations.

    A troll is someone who posts things to cause disruption and argument and steer things away from the actual discussion or debate.
     
  20. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

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    I don't need to know Greek in order to dispute your supposed claims to authoritatively assert to the rest of the world what the correct rendering of a scripture verse should be. All I need to do is point to many other translations that disagree with your claims.
     
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