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Re: [John_Lit] A Grammatico-theological Question

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  • Maluflen@aol.com
    In a message dated 9/11/2000 9:43:57 PM Eastern Daylight Time, baldeagl@airmail.net writes:
    Message 1 of 76 , Sep 12, 2000
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      In a message dated 9/11/2000 9:43:57 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
      baldeagl@... writes:

      << 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,>>

      I don't know how to respond to this except by asking: "are you serious"?
      However even your reductionist formulation ("John simply attempts...") says
      enough to make John qualify as a theologian. As you rightly say, it is not
      just "what Jesus did and said" that John attempts to set forth, but "the
      truth about" this. This is doing theology in most people's understanding of
      the term. To simply equate John's Gospel with a theological treatise would of
      course be an anachronism. John is using the already established Gospel genre
      to express his theology (as opposed to doing so in the form of a letter, a
      treatise, a poem, or any other literary form). It is a narrative theology,
      therefore, different in form from that employed by, say, the Nicene Fathers.

      << without
      attempting to weave some mystical underlayer to befuddle the simple.>>

      This would of course be an inaccurate way of describing John's motivation. It
      does not however mean that John's writing is always simple and
      straightforward and fully accessible to the simple. His ideal audience is
      fairly sophisticated, I would suggest. And his work has historically been
      misunderstood by many of the "simple".

      <<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.>>

      I take no personal offense here, because I am not a priest. The statement
      does, however, strike me as a gross caricature of priestly identity, or
      certainly an unwarranted generalization that could have some merit when
      applied in a more narrowly restricted way.

      [To my suggestion that a theological argument can sometimes be used to settle
      the meaning of a grammatically ambiguous phrase in a given author's work] you
      wrote:

      <<This is simply one opinion, albeit the majority one.>>

      It think the the majority you admit hold this view would also hold that it is
      not simply a matter of opinion. It is a valid principle, among others, of
      scientific hermeneutics.

      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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