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Re: [John_Lit] A Grammatico-theological Question

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  • Horace Jeffery Hodges
    This response from Paul gets more directly at my ... Thank you Paul, for that explanation. This is interesting to me if somewhat disconcerting. I would have
    Message 1 of 76 , Sep 11, 2000
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      This response from Paul gets more directly at my
      question:

      > The predicate construction may easily be understood
      > as an adjective,
      > as it is most commonly understood in Greek. This
      > would describe the
      > Logos as divine or godly, rather than "a god",
      > (which would actually
      > be an unusual rendering.) Yet, there *is* support
      > in the OT and NT
      > for calling men "gods". The term was not understood
      > to mean the same
      > as "the God", HO QEOS. Jesus Christ himself pointed
      > this out in John
      > 10:34

      Thank you Paul, for that explanation. This is
      interesting to me if somewhat disconcerting. I would
      have preferred to hear that there is a legitimate
      grammatical reason for preferring "what God was, the
      word was".

      It's also interesting to learn that the translation
      "and what a god was, the word was" is not a usual
      rendering of the Greek.

      Incidentally, does this make it an impossible
      rendering? Your following point makes me think that
      you imply that it is possible:

      > "Jesus answered, 'Is it not written in your own Law,
      > "I said: You are
      > gods"? Those are called gods to whom the word of
      > God was
      > delivered--and Scripture cannot be set aside. Then
      > why do you charge
      > me with blasphemy because I, consecrated and sent
      > into the world by
      > the Father, said, 'I am God's son'?" NEB

      Lurking in the background to my question is the
      Pauline reference to "the god of this world". John
      uses a parallel expression: "the ruler of this age".

      I suppose that I'm trying to get a handle on the
      Johannine Christology by thinking about the status of
      other spiritual beings referred to in the New
      Testament.

      Since the term "god" can refer to human beings and
      angels, then what does it imply here in John 1:1c?

      Is the Logos superior to "the god/ruler of this
      world/age" by virtue of being the "only-begotten" son?
      Does this make him a sort of superior angel or
      something intrinsically greater?

      What does the term "only-begotten" imply? A
      coming-into-existence?

      Does the term Logos, on the other hand, suggest
      eternal existence? Or does it imply a coming into
      existence at the moment of creation, when God 'spoke'?

      If the Hebrew-scripture background here is speculation
      on the female figure Wisdom, then one would suppose
      that the Logos came into existence at creation as the
      first of God's creatures.

      Any thoughts?

      Jeffery Hodges

      P.S. No, I'm not some crypto-Jehovah's Witness -- in
      case anyone was wondering.

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    • 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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