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Strange assertion apparently from Daniel Wallace

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Strange assertion apparently from Daniel Wallace

Postby Isaac Newton » Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:28 pm

A poster(called "Civic") from another forum presented the following:

I saved this below a while back and cannot find the link. I saved it back in August 2011. Any old time CARM trinitarians remember ?

The two words in question are: θεός (G2316) and πατήρ (G3962). The question involves the words in an appositional phrase, such as θεός πατήρ, translated as "God the Father."

Wallace writes, "An appositional construction involves (1) two adjacent substantives (2) in the same case, (3) which refer to the same person or thing, (4) and have the same syntactical relation to the rest of the clause."[1] Therefore, these two words adjacent to one another do indeed satisfy the requirement of an appositional phrase.

The essence of your question is this: does πατήρ describe or identify (which is what the latter noun in an appositional phrase does) θεός in such a manner that we are to understand that πατήρ ("the Father") is the only θεός ("God"), and therefore, none other can be θεός.

Thus, θεός = πατήρ, but θεός =/= υἱός ("the Son") and θεός =/= πνεῦμα ἅγιος ("the Holy Spirit").

Well, without getting into a labrious and tedious discussion, one simply needs to understand that there are two varieties of appositional phrases: restrictive and non-restrictive. This applies to English as well as Greek.

The appositional phrase θεός πατήρ is a restrictive apposition; therefore, it does not dictate that υἱός and πνεῦμα ἅγιος cannot also be God. Coincidentally, the phrase "God the Father" is actually punctuated as a restrictive apposition.

I obviously don't expect you to agree, but there's the answer to your question. The grammar and syntax do not dictate that the appositional phrase θεός πατήρ requires that only πατήρ is θεός to the exclusion of υἱός and πνεῦμα ἅγιος.

As I said, the Holy Spirit always provides an answer.

To my fellow Trinitarians, I expect each and every one of you to become familiar with restrictive and non-restrictive appositional phrases if another non-Trinitarian attempts to use the argument John Milton did in the future. Here and here are simple reviews of restrictive and non-restrictive appositional phrases. The concept is easy to understand.

http://www.kwiznet.com/p/takeQuiz.php?C ... 8&Num=1.44

http://www.cws.illinois.edu/workshop/wr ... positives/


Now the definitions of "restrictive" and "non-restrictive" appositives as provided by this poster "Civic" (presumably from Wallace, see links above) are as follows :

An appositive may be restrictive, which means that it is essential to the meaning of a sentence. A restrictive appositive is not set off by commas.

My sister Sue will be having a party next week.

(Sue is essential to the meaning of this sentence because it tells which sister is having a party.)

The band Three Doors Down is performing at the Palace tonight.

(the appositive in this sentence identifies which band is performing).

An appositive may be non-restrictive, which means that you could omit the appositive from the sentence without compromising the meaning of the sentence.

Three Doors Down, the band, is performing at the Palace tonight.

Sue, my sister, will be having a party next week.

FWIW, this same link also speaks of "negative" appositives .....

But how does labelling Θεοῦ Πατρὸς a "restrictive appositive" in any way affect it's grammatical ramifications vis-a-vis a fundamental postulate of the "triunity of God" (see below) ? Notice also that these two categories (i.e. "restrictive and non-restrictive appositives") are NOT in Wallace's Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics.

Here's the point: Θεοῦ Πατρὸς is appositional (Wallace concedes this). In other words, there is an identical exchange between Θεοῦ and Πατρὸς, so that whatever is true of Θεοῦ is also true of Πατρὸς. What this means is that if Θεοῦ is , say, "three persons" then Πατρὸς must also be "three persons." Another way of putting this is that the expression Θεοῦ Πατρὸς "unpacked" is a statement of identity rather than one of essential predication. So that "God [is] the Father" ( Θεοῦ Πατρὸς ) uses the "is" of identity rather than the "is" of predication. But according to the "Trinity" the statement "God [is] the Father" is a statement of essential predication and not of identity, which results in a contradiction of the biblical affirmation at Θεοῦ Πατρὸς. Labelling Θεοῦ Πατρὸς a "restrictive" appositive has no bearing nor relevance to the above grammatical ramifications.
Last edited by Isaac Newton on Tue May 19, 2015 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν
Isaac Newton
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Re: Strange assertion apparently from Daniel Wallace

Postby Gentle142 » Sun May 03, 2015 9:34 pm

Are you studying language or looking for theological support?
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