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Re: A god?

Posted: September 15th, 2011, 9:51 am
by Jonathan Robie
David Robinson wrote:5) Corresponding with the theology of the foregoing comments of various theologians is this comment of Origin's understanding of Jesus Christ in relationship to Jehovah form the book 'Christian Fathers' by Maurice Wiles page 36:-
"The divine unity is preserved by firmly subordinating the Son to the Father; he is "god" and not "the god", as Origen puts it; "god" and not "God", as we may more freely translate him. The declaration of Jesus that "my Father is greater than I" (John 14:28) is true, say Origen, in every respect of the Son's being in relation to the Father."
Origen directly addresses the use of the article as it impacts John 1:1. Here's what he says:
Origen wrote:In What Way the Logos is God. Errors to Be Avoided on This Question.

We next notice John's use of the article in these sentences. He does not write without care in this respect, nor is he unfamiliar with the niceties of the Greek tongue. In some cases he uses the article, and in some he omits it. He adds the article to the Logos, but to the name of God he adds it sometimes only. He uses the article, when the name of God refers to the uncreated cause of all things, and omits it when the Logos is named God.

Does the same difference which we observe between God with the article and God without it prevail also between the Logos with it and without it? We must enquire into this. As the God who is over all is God with the article not without it, so "the Logos" is the source of that reason (Logos) which dwells in every reasonable creature; the reason which is in each creature is not, like the former called par excellence The Logos.

Now there are many who are sincerely concerned about religion, and who fall here into great perplexity. They are afraid that they may be proclaiming two Gods, and their fear drives them into doctrines which are false and wicked. Either they deny that the Son has a distinct nature of His own besides that of the Father, and make Him whom they call the Son to be God all but the name, or they deny the divinity of the Son, giving Him a separate existence of His own, and making His sphere of essence fall outside that of the Father, so that they are separable from each other. To such persons we have to say that God on the one hand is Very God (Autotheos, God of Himself); and so the Saviour says in His prayer to the Father,7 "That they may know Thee the only true God; "but that all beyond the Very God is made God by participation in His divinity, and is not to be called simply God (with the article), but rather God (without article). And thus the first-born of all creation, who is the first to be with God, and to attract to Himself divinity, is a being of more exalted rank than the other gods beside Him, of whom God is the God, as it is written,8 "The God of gods, the Lord, hath spoken and called the earth." It was by the offices of the first-born that they became gods, for He drew from God in generous measure that they should be made gods, and He communicated it to them according to His own bounty. The true God, then, is "The God," and those who are formed after Him are gods, images, as it were, of Him the prototype. But the archetypal image, again, of all these images is the Word of God, who was in the beginning, and who by being with God is at all times God, not possessing that of Himself, but by His being with the Father, and not continuing to be God, if we should think of this, except by remaining always in uninterrupted contemplation of the depths of the Father.
I don't know if Origen ever commented on John's use of the article where it does refer to Jesus in ὁ κύριός μου καὶ ὁ θεός μου.

Re: A god?

Posted: September 15th, 2011, 9:59 am
by David Robinson
Jonathan Robie wrote:
David Robinson wrote:I am new here so would you please help me to understand the Greek sentance please?
How well do you read Greek?
Not so good that is why I am here to expaned what I know, I hope.

Re: A god?

Posted: September 15th, 2011, 10:05 am
by Jonathan Robie
David Robinson wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:How well do you read Greek?
Not so good that is why I am here to expand what I know, I hope.
OK - here's a policy you should be aware of: ... ?f=38&t=11
Jonathan Robie wrote:B-Greek is about Greek texts and the Greek language, and most of the forums in B-Greek require a working knowledge of Biblical Greek; that is:
  • recognition of inflected forms of verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and adverbs
  • recognition of standard syntactic structures
  • a grasp of principal parts of common irregular verbs, and the ability to recognize them in a text
In the Beginner's Forum, we welcome beginners who do not yet have a working knowledge of Biblical Greek, and are working to learn the language. We want to help. Even basic questions about the meaning of the Greek text are welcome in the Beginner's Forum, and there's no shame in mistakes. Beginners will be gently pushed toward learning these structures over time, pointed to textbooks and other aids that will help them, and coached in how to see these structures in a text. Learning a language is all about learning the structure signals, so we will try to help you learn what these signals are and how to recognize them in a text.

Even in the Beginner's forum, general questions or opinions about doctrine or the meaning of the English text are not welcome.
There's a test in that thread, you can use that to test your level of skill. Please take a look there, the Beginner's Forum may be more appropriate for your level.

Re: A god?

Posted: September 15th, 2011, 11:09 am
by MAubrey
David Robinson wrote:
MAubrey wrote:No.
That is quite a short reply? Why so?
Because I really have little tolerance for the question. And I know that's not you're fault. Like Carl has said, its impossible to discuss the text and actually put doctrinal questions aside (as you yourself have already clearly demonstrated). The other reason is that I enjoy dialogue and short answers always guarantee a response.

I'm not entirely sure why you would ask it, since not one source you've given takes the clause to me "a god" with a definitive article. Every single one of them treats its as a qualitative predicate, not an indefinite predicate. So yes, some say the only way to render it is "God," but none of the scholars you cite say it should be rendered "a god." And it shouldn't for the reasons I have already stated. "Divine" *is* a possible rendering here. "A god" is not. Mark Lightman is the only one who thinks it should, but the Greek that he speaks and has internalized is fundamentally different than that of the New Testament and should be used as a standard.

I would encourage you to work hard on your learning Greek and after a year or two, go read Steve Runge's Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament and then keep reading lot of Greek texts and grammars and then in a couple more years read Stephanie Bakker's The noun phrase in Ancient Greek , which deals extensively with the appearance and function of the Greek article far better and far more thoroughly than anyone else--without doctrine ever being an issue.

Re: A god?

Posted: September 15th, 2011, 12:14 pm
by David Robinson
Thanks for all your replys I have lots to think about.

I only wish I had more free time.


Re: A god?

Posted: September 15th, 2011, 1:32 pm
by Ken M. Penner
MAubrey wrote:I don't have access to Aristotle's text--is it online anywhere?
I got it from TLG, but my preferred way to find the answer is to Google the phrase "εἰ θεὸς ἦν ὁ πέμπων".
It's atΠερί_της_ ... ν_μαντικής
But the source you may want to keep in your bookmarks is

Re: A god?

Posted: September 16th, 2011, 5:25 pm
by David Robinson
Jonathan Robie wrote:
David Robinson wrote:The following are various comments from theologians and scholars on the Greek grammar pertaining to the above verse from the Gospel of John.
I notice that the same set of quotes has been posted elsewhere on the Internet, including the same misspellings, in various theological debates. Please don't do that.

To the substance of the quotes: what distinction do you see between the use of θεὸς without the article in καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος and the use of θεὸς with the article in ὁ κύριός μου καὶ ὁ θεός μου? I assume you would agree that it is clearly definite in the second usage.

In John 1:1 two persons (God and his onlybegotton son) are spoken of one with "ho" one without "ho" thus showing contrasts one with the other.

But in "ὁ κύριός μου καὶ ὁ θεός μου" (John 20:28) only one person is spoken of thus on contrast is needed as Thomas is addressing that one person.

You may now say so here Jesus is addressed as "ho theos" as in John 1:1, but as I read it Moses is called "God" at Ex. 4:17 LXX (Ex. 4:16 KJV) and spoken of as "ton theon" (the god), this show me that if a man, Moses, can be called "God" (ton theon) by Almighty God then is God (the god) a relative term according to whom it addresses and context etc..

Another example it 2 Cor. 4:4 were The Devil is called "ho theos" showing the relative usage of "ho theos," showing that it is not a term that is exclusive The Almighty Theos.

So a I read it, Moses (Ex. 4:17) and Jesus can rightly be called “God” (ho theos) at John 20:28 without being the Almighty God, as it is relative to what the rest of the Greek texts (OT and NT) say that “theos” is.

Re: A god?

Posted: September 16th, 2011, 7:19 pm
by Shirley Rollinson
Come on guys - quit beating up on a newbie.
Toujours la politesse,
Shirley Rollinson

PS - how does one get emoticons and greek text on this ( popon ) message box ?????
The FAQ page really needs a section on how to write and edit messages.

Re: A god?

Posted: September 16th, 2011, 7:23 pm
by Jonathan Robie
Shirley Rollinson wrote:Come on guys - quit beating up on a newbie.
Mmmm, I think part of the problem is that we have a beginner posting outside of the beginner's forum, where we really do expect to be able to discuss the Greek in detail with some competence.

David - could you please stick with the Beginner's Forum for now? And ... this is not a topic for the Beginner's Forum.

Re: A god?

Posted: September 16th, 2011, 7:27 pm
by Jonathan Robie
Shirley Rollinson wrote:how does one get emoticons and greek text on this ( popon ) message box ?????
Emoticons: see "smilies" to the right of the editing box. :lol: :ugeek: Click on the one you want.

Greek text: type in Unicode. Use the Hopperizer if you prefer. You can transliterate if you have to.