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Re: [John_Lit] A Grammatico-theological Question

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  • Maluflen@aol.com
    In a message dated 9/10/2000 9:15:22 AM Eastern Daylight Time, moloney@cua.edu writes:
    Message 1 of 76 , Sep 10, 2000
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      In a message dated 9/10/2000 9:15:22 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
      moloney@... writes:

      << This distinction is what has determined the placing of theos (the
      complement) without an artice, before the verb to be, and ho logos (the
      subject) with an article, after the verb. Impossible to render in English =
      there is an equality, a sameness, but they are to be kept distinct. Thus,
      unless you know what you are saying, it is to betray the author to say "The
      Word was God," as if the two collapse into one. That is exactly what the
      author does NOT want to say!

      For that reason, I still run with the NEB: What God was, the Word also was
      (the suggestion of C. H. Dodd).>>


      I agree fully with Frank's line of reasoning, but not fully with his
      conclusion about translations. "The Word was God" is perfectly acceptable as
      a translation as long as it is understood to mean "The Word was a divine
      being". And I think the statement not only can have that meaning, but that is
      its normal meaning. The sentence is an example of logical predication, not of
      definition (or equation). [Or, in Kantian terminology, it is a synthetic, not
      an analytic proposition.] hO THEOS refers in John (and elsewhere in the New
      Testament, as demonstrated by Rahner in an early volume of his theological
      investigations) to the Father. The anarthrous THEOS can be used predicatively
      as here, and we should not, I think, be disturbed if this seems to anticipate
      the Nicean doctrine and theology by several hundred years. Indeed, this text
      was one of the strongest scriptural supports for that doctrine. "What God
      was, the Word was" is, of course, also acceptable as a translation (quoad
      sensum), but it strikes me as being needlessly circuitous. It may, on the
      other hand, better convey the value of the imperfect-tense copula.

      Leonard Maluf
    • Maluflen@aol.com
      In a message dated 9/18/2000 5:39:26 PM Eastern Daylight Time, antonio.jerez@privat.utfors.se writes: [Responding to Leonard, who wrote:] Antonio, no
      Message 76 of 76 , Sep 18, 2000
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        In a message dated 9/18/2000 5:39:26 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
        antonio.jerez@... writes:

        [Responding to Leonard, who wrote:]
        << > Antonio, no matter how highly elevated a creature is, no matter how
        "close"
        > to God a creature comes, he is still infinitely -- yes, infinitely
        inferior
        > to God. If this were the case for Jesus it would have been incumbent on
        the
        > NT authors to make this point perfectly clear. Now there are texts in
        which
        > they do not do so, and in fact many of them confound Jesus quite
        deliberately
        > and quite thoroughly with God. If it is true that Jesus is not God, either
        > these writers were terribly misled, or they are terribly misleading.

        The only problem is that Luke and the other synoptic writers did not
        have to contend with a 20th century highly orthodox chap from America
        who is so infatuated with trinitarianism that he has to force it on the texts
        at all price. Leonard, why don't you take a close look at Peter's speech
        in Acts 2:22-36 again and see if you find any support at all for your
        position.
        This is as close to Luke's and the early Jerusalem church's Christology as
        we will ever get, and Jesus is never called or likened to God. He is a MAN
        (v.22) SENT by God (v.22) to fullfill God's plan for humanity (v.23). God
        resurrected him (v24) and MADE him into LORD and MESSIAH (v. 36).

        How do you explain that somebody who is God (as you claim Jesus is) has
        to be made Lord and Messiah by God? >>

        Antonio, it seems you didn't read my post carefully enough (which makes me
        wonder how carefully you read the biblical texts that challenge your
        understanding). What I said was that "there are texts" in the NT in which
        Jesus is thoroughly confounded with God. This is quite compatible, logically,
        with the existence of other texts in which he is not (and was carefully
        formulated precisely so as to accommodate these). The Acts text you cite is
        clearly one such, and, in Chalcedonian terms, it could be said that it is
        simply talking about Jesus as man, under which formality he is of course
        thoroughly subordinated to, distinct from and inferior to God. My only point
        is that there are other texts in which the NT authors, or most of them,
        express a kind of fuzzy identity between Jesus and God. So the God-Man
        construct of the later patristic writers and church councils seems to me to
        do justice the whole of the biblical evidence about Jesus while you seem able
        to handle only one side of the paradox. Keep trying though! It is wonderful
        that you invest so much mental effort in the search.

        Leonard Maluf
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