A god?

Re: A god?

Postby MAubrey » September 16th, 2011, 8:55 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote: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.


It's also not really a post that should be in the Syntax and Grammar section either. A post entitled: "Definiteness and Predicate Nominatives" would make a great Syntax and Grammar post discussion--hmmm, maybe I'll collect some data on that and write something up...maybe--the semester is in full swing now.

"A god" followed by a question about how to translate John 1:1 would be better in the Koine Texts subforum for NT texts, but even then, we're generally not interested in translation on this website at all, just Greek.
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Re: A god?

Postby David Robinson » September 17th, 2011, 3:26 am

Shirley Rollinson wrote: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.


No problems this is just one way I learn.

Tar
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Re: A god?

Postby Mark Lightman » September 17th, 2011, 8:30 am

I notice that the DDV has

And the Message was Deity.


Now, Dewayne specifically says in his preface that this verse should NOT be translated as "the word was a god," but my argument is that there is really no difference, IN GREEK, between saying Ἰησοῦς θεῖος (Jesus is divine) and Ἰησοῦς θεός (Jesus is a God.) Well, there is a difference, but it is only an iota of a difference. :D "Jesus is a god" sounds funny TO US, IN ENGLISH because it seems to imply that there is more than one God, an assumption of course that is hard-wired into the Greek language. For John there were at least two gods, God is a God and Jesus is a God. Whether they are distinct ἐν προσώπῳ and the same ἐν οὐσίᾳ is too theological, not so much for this list, but FOR THE AUTHOR OF JOHN HIMSELF. I think that he would have no problem, if he knew English, in saying that Jesus is a God, and he would point out that to say this is NOT necessarily to subordinate Jesus to the Father. On the other hand, I do NOT think that John in 1:1 meant to equate Jesus with the Father, and neither does the most recent translator/traitor, our esteemed φίλος Δεβένιος. Dewayne, give me a ναί or οὐκ answer, do you think that John in 1:1 meant to say something like

λέγω δὴ τὸν ἐν ἀρχῇ λόγον καὶ τῷ θεῷ παρεῖναι τε τὸν Θεὸν εἶναι.


If you say no, then you are saying that the New Word Translation is 100% half right.
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Re: A god?

Postby Jonathan Robie » September 17th, 2011, 9:35 am

And now a word from our sponsor. This post is about the rules on B-Greek, not about John 1:1.

I just deleted a bunch of posts that in my opinion went way out of bounds. B-Greek is not for theological debate, and it is not a place for anyone to post the same summaries used to debate theological issues in other forums. David, you were warned once not to do that, I deleted the subsequent posts in which you did that again.

I don't know if you know any Greek at all, but your posts here haven't demonstrated knowledge of Greek. Please stick to the Beginner's section and obey the rules for that section.

You asked whether we could move this thread to the Koine Texts subforum. That's not a beginner's forum, and you would not be welcome to discuss it there either. The Beginner's Forum is where beginners are welcome, and we have rules in that forum that must be obeyed.

Now back to Greek ...
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: A god?

Postby Jonathan Robie » September 17th, 2011, 10:41 am

MAubrey wrote:It's also not really a post that should be in the Syntax and Grammar section either. A post entitled: "Definiteness and Predicate Nominatives" would make a great Syntax and Grammar post discussion--hmmm, maybe I'll collect some data on that and write something up...maybe--the semester is in full swing now.


That's a really good topic, though. If you get the energy, I'd like to read that.

MAubrey wrote:"A god" followed by a question about how to translate John 1:1 would be better in the Koine Texts subforum for NT texts, but even then, we're generally not interested in translation on this website at all, just Greek.


True on both counts.

Mark Lightman wrote:Now, Dewayne specifically says in his preface that this verse should NOT be translated as "the word was a god," but my argument is that there is really no difference, IN GREEK, between saying Ἰησοῦς θεῖος (Jesus is divine) and Ἰησοῦς θεός (Jesus is a God.)


But those aren't quotes from John, those are quotes from Mark Lightman.

I think the most relevant question is this: what is the difference between these two phrases:

  • καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.
  • καὶ ὁ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.

Origen thought there was a difference:

Origen wrote: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.


In these verses, I think it's clear that there's some distinction between ὁ λόγος and ὁ θεὸς - if there were not, how could he say ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν? And I understand Origen to say that ὁ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος would mean the two are one and the same, without distinction. Do I understand Origen correctly? Is Origen speaking accurately about the Greek language here?

But what exactly that distinction was, and any discussion of substance and essence and persons or whatever, is solidly in the realm of theology and out of scope on B-Greek.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: A god?

Postby Jonathan Robie » September 17th, 2011, 10:57 am

David Robinson wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote: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.


OK, I asked the question, so I have no right to complain that you answered it.

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


I think this part is true, Origen agrees with you.

David Robinson wrote: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.


Here's are the verses:

Exodus 4:17 (LXX) wrote:καὶ αὐτός σοι προσλαλήσει πρὸς τὸν λαόν
καὶ αὐτὸς ἔσται σου στόμα
σὺ δὲ αὐτῷ ἔσῃ τὰ πρὸς τὸν θεόν


2 Cor 4:3-4 wrote:3 εἰ δὲ καὶ ἔστιν κεκαλυμμένον τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ἡμῶν, ἐν τοῖς ἀπολλυμένοις ἐστὶν κεκαλυμμένον, 4 ἐν οἷς ὁ θεὸς τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου ἐτύφλωσεν τὰ νοήματα τῶν ἀπίστων εἰς τὸ μὴ αὐγάσαι τὸν φωτισμὸν τοῦ εὐαγγελίου τῆς δόξης τοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὅς ἐστιν εἰκὼν τοῦ θεοῦ.


I don't think they suggest that you can rightly call a human being "God" as you say. In 2 Cor 4:4, Satan is called "the god of this world (ὁ θεὸς τοῦ αἰῶνος), not just ὁ θεὸς as you implied. The phrase in Exodus 4:17, σὺ δὲ αὐτῷ ἔσῃ τὰ πρὸς τὸν θεόν, is a lot more interesting, but it doesn't say that Moses is ὁ θεὸς, it says that to Aaron he will be τὰ πρὸς τὸν θεόν. We can discuss phrases like this in the Beginner's Forum, but even there, you need to be able to quote your texts in Greek, and we'll be encouraging you to focus on the basics of learning Greek rather than theological controversies, pushing you to read for yourself in Greek.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: A god?

Postby Mark Lightman » September 17th, 2011, 12:10 pm

Jonathan asked

I think the most relevant question is this: what is the difference between these two phrases:

καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.
καὶ ὁ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.


Hi, Jonathan,

The first sentence can mean

1. Jesus is Yahweh
2. Jesus is Yahweh as far as his quality goes, but not as far as his identity goes
3. Jesus is divine, a divine thing
4. Jesus is divine, a divine thing, a god, a God.

#1 is how Oneness Pentecostals read the text. Most other Christians read the text like number one but they have the doctrine of the trinity in the back of their mind, when they do. I don't know why everyone is okay with #3, but throws a fit when they see #4. I don't really see a difference between #2 and #4.

The second sentence, I think, is the most clear way in Greek you can say Jesus is Yahweh without using the name Yahweh.
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Re: A god?

Postby MAubrey » September 17th, 2011, 1:10 pm

Mark Lightman wrote:Jonathan asked

I think the most relevant question is this: what is the difference between these two phrases:

καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.
καὶ ὁ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.


Hi, Jonathan,

The first sentence can mean

1. Jesus is Yahweh
2. Jesus is Yahweh as far as his quality goes, but not as far as his identity goes
3. Jesus is divine, a divine thing
4. Jesus is divine, a divine thing, a god, a God.

#1 is how Oneness Pentecostals read the text. Most other Christians read the text like number one but they have the doctrine of the trinity in the back of their mind, when they do. I don't know why everyone is okay with #3, but throws a fit when they see #4. I don't really see a difference between #2 and #4.


That's pretty simple. #3 makes no claims about Jesus' relationship to the father--being divine could either mean that Jesus is God or that Jesus is a god, but makes no claim in either direction. I'm not entirely sure that the distinction between #1 and #2 isn't artificial and made up by people interested in theology and sounds more like the theological precision of the creeds that had not yet been written when John 1:1 was written. #3 is possible, but I don't think it likely simply because it creates unnecessary confusion. I seems to me that if John had meant that, he could have used the adjective, but he didn't. He used the noun. As for #4, it simple doesn't make sense in the context of the discourse, as I have already said before.
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Re: A god?

Postby Devenios Doulenios » September 20th, 2011, 12:14 am

Hi Mark and all,

Well, I did say I wanted feedback on the DDV... :) Nice to see some.

Am thinking over my response. Back in a day or so, hopefully.

Devenios
Δεβένιος
"τὴν ζωὴν καὶ τὸν θάνατον δέδωκα πρὸ προσώπου ὑμῶν τὴν εὐλογίαν καὶ τὴν κατάραν ἔκλεξαι τὴν ζωήν ἵνα ζῇς σὺ καὶ τὸ σπέρμα σου"-Dt. 30:19

"Ὁδοὶ δύο εἰσί, μία τῆς ζωῆς καὶ μία τοῦ θανάτου."--Διδαχή Α, α'
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Re: A god?

Postby Jonathan Robie » September 20th, 2011, 8:06 am

MAubrey wrote:
Mark Lightman wrote:Jonathan asked

I think the most relevant question is this: what is the difference between these two phrases:

καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.
καὶ ὁ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.


The first sentence can mean

1. Jesus is Yahweh
2. Jesus is Yahweh as far as his quality goes, but not as far as his identity goes
3. Jesus is divine, a divine thing
4. Jesus is divine, a divine thing, a god, a God.


That's pretty simple. #3 makes no claims about Jesus' relationship to the father--being divine could either mean that Jesus is God or that Jesus is a god, but makes no claim in either direction. I'm not entirely sure that the distinction between #1 and #2 isn't artificial and made up by people interested in theology and sounds more like the theological precision of the creeds that had not yet been written when John 1:1 was written. #3 is possible, but I don't think it likely simply because it creates unnecessary confusion. I seems to me that if John had meant that, he could have used the adjective, but he didn't. He used the noun. As for #4, it simple doesn't make sense in the context of the discourse, as I have already said before.


So you reject all 4 meanings Mark proposes, partly because they bring meanings to the text that John did not.

I think John 1:1 is much simpler than this thread might suggest, but it doesn't tell us everything about the relationship between ὁ θεὸς and ὁ λόγος. It does not claim that ὁ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος, it claims only that θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος. It also tells us that ἐν ἀρχῇ, ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν. It also tells us about the role of ὁ λόγος in creation, it says that πάντα δι’ αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο, καὶ χωρὶς αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο οὐδὲ ἕν ὃ γέγονεν. That's interesting, because we can't even draw a clean distinction between God the Creator and ὁ λόγος, because all things were created through ὁ λόγος and nothing was created without him. That also tells us something about what it means to say that θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος. I don't think John's purpose is to give us an easily understood, precise theological formulation here. We know that ὁ θεὸς and ὁ λόγος are distinct, not the same thing, that they participate together in creation. Perhaps δι’ αὐτοῦ indicates that ὁ θεὸς created all things through ὁ λόγος? But that's not a precise, logical statement either.

That raises a lot of questions that the early Church chewed on and answered in various ways, some of their answers became creeds. But John raises these questions, he doesn't answer them. Certainly not in John 1:1. This isn't theology. Wrong genre. This is worship. And it's also the introduction to a book, he's setting the scene, raising questions that he intends to address later - but not with precise theological formulations.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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