Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [John_Lit] A Grammatico-theological Question

Expand Messages
  • Paul Schmehl
    ... From: To: Sent: Monday, September 11, 2000 8:03 AM Subject: Re: [John_Lit] A Grammatico-theological
    Message 1 of 76 , Sep 11, 2000
    • 0 Attachment
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: <Maluflen@...>
      To: <johannine_literature@egroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, September 11, 2000 8:03 AM
      Subject: Re: [John_Lit] A Grammatico-theological Question

      [snip]
      >
      > Two points of clarifications:
      >
      > 1. In the first place, I was speaking of settling a
      grammatically
      > ambiguous statement by reference to a theological argument. The
      whole point
      > is that the phrase remains ambiguous if, in this case, only
      grammatical
      > arguments are used.

      I'm glad you pointed this out, because I appear to have confused
      Horace on that point.
      >
      > 2. I was referring not to a theology (of my own) imposed on the
      text, but
      > rather to a theology that inhabits the text of John itself and that
      is
      > discovered through fully scientific exegetical methods. It is
      quaintly
      > archaic to imagine that "theology" is an exclusively post-text
      phenomenon in
      > the case of any of the New Testament writers. They are all (and
      especially
      > John) thought to have been theologians in their own right (by an
      overwhelming
      > majority of contemporary scholars). Thus there was no "admission" in
      my
      > remarks of having introduced an extraneous element into the
      discussion.

      I don't believe John has a theology. I think that is an anachronistic
      view of the gospel. I think John simply attempts to set forth the
      truth about who Jesus was and what Jesus did and said, without
      attempting to weave some mystical underlayer to befuddle the simple.
      You may call it quaintly archaic or naive or any other term to
      describe what you think it is, but there it is.

      Priests have always sought to mysticize their religions so that the
      common man would be enslaved by them. Thomas Jefferson speaks of this
      in his letters. Yet the Bible says it is so simple that "not even a
      fool can err therein".
      >
      > << Translations should stand on their own, without the need to be
      propped
      > up by a theological line of reasoning. Otherwise, we are telling
      the
      > text what it ought to say, rather than allowing it to speak for
      > itself.>>
      >
      > Unless of course the text is one informed with a theology that is
      already
      > there to be discovered. In this case, a theological line of
      reasoning for
      > purposes of translation is perfectly legitimate for settling the
      meaning of
      > grammatically ambiguous statements.

      This is simply one opinion, albeit the majority one.

      And who gets to decide what that theology is? And how do we know it's
      not "pre-informed" with the presuppositions of the traditional view?
      Much greater men than I, trinitarians all, have had to admit that the
      Bible does not teach Jesus Christ's divinity. It must be "understood"
      from the theological information that lies beneath the surface.

      When one begins with a belief in the trinity and then sets out to find
      it in the text, I have no doubt one can find ample evidence to support
      one's view. Particularly when to take an opposing view would almost
      certainly mean expulsion or excommunication and loss of position and
      income.
      >
      [snip]
      >
      > << Which, of course, is not to say that he *was* God. God's only
      Son
      > would most certainly be divine, since he would have the same nature
      as
      > his Father.>>
      >
      > If he is divine, then Jesus can legitimately be called God. This is
      in fact
      > the correct orthodox understanding of the expression "Jesus is God".
      It is
      > assumed, in a Catholic ambiance at least, that this point is made as
      part of
      > a basic Christian catechetics.

      I certainly believe he's divine, and I can see how one could argue
      that he legitimately could be called God. I do not, however, think
      there is a one to one correspondence between divinity and being God.
      Not in the Biblical sense, at least. Perhaps in modern thinking this
      is so.

      pauls@... (Paul Schmehl)
    • 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
      • 0 Attachment
        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
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.