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Re: [John_Lit] A Grammatico-theological Question

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  • Antonio Jerez
    ... This is an interesting topic. I recall having a discussion with Prof. Rene´ Kieffer here in Sweden a few months ago about the way the author of GJohn may
    Message 1 of 76 , Sep 10, 2000
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      Leonard Maluf wrote:

      > > 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".

      Paul Schmehl replied:
      > And therein lies the problem. For "The Word was God" is not
      > understood, by the average layman, to mean "The Word was a divine
      > being", but rather to mean that Jesus Christ is God. IMHO, it's a
      > poor translation which exists to support the trinitarian doctrine
      > rather than to display integrity to the meaning of the text. It is
      > often used as a proof text for that very reason.

      This is an interesting topic. I recall having a discussion with Prof. Rene´
      Kieffer here in Sweden a few months ago about the way the author of
      GJohn may have seen the distinction between the hO THEOS and the
      LOGOS. We both agreed that it would be apropiate in Johannine theology
      to call God the Father the "Big God" and the Logos the "Little God". The "Little
      God" does not appear be of the same stature as the "Big God".

      Paul Schmehl wrote:
      > And to reveal my bias, I greatly prefer the NEB rendering, which I
      > think better reflects what John is saying. I also believe the trinity
      > is a false doctrine, so you may feel free to weigh that as well, in
      > your consideration of my opinions.

      Although a sort of trinitarian theology can probably be derived from GJohn, I do
      not believe that John held a tritinitarian theology in the the Chalchedonian
      sense. Although John often fudges and blurs the matter the Logos, the "Little
      God" is subservient to the Father and not of the same dignity.
      As far as I see it no NT writing is trinitarian in the Chalchedonian sense, and
      I'm quite sure Paul, Peter, Matthew and other Jewish-Christians would have
      got a heart-attack if they could see what the later Greek Church Fathers (who
      had lost all connection with the underlying Jewish thoughtworld of most of the NT)
      made of the Trinity.

      Best wishes

      Antonio Jerez
      Göteborg University
    • 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
        > to God a creature comes, he is still infinitely -- yes, infinitely
        > to God. If this were the case for Jesus it would have been incumbent on
        > NT authors to make this point perfectly clear. Now there are texts in
        > they do not do so, and in fact many of them confound Jesus quite
        > 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
        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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