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An inspection of John 1:1

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An inspection of John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:59 am

Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.

So if the above means "In the beginning was the Son, and the Son was with the Father, and the Son was God" why didn't the author write just that, write what he meant ? In other words why didn't he write

Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ υἱὸς, καὶ ὁ υἱὸς ἦν πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα, καὶ [ὁ] θεός ἦν ὁ υἱὸς

Or even this,


Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα, καὶ [ὁ] θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: An inspection of John 1:1

Postby Markos » Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:18 am

Isaac Newton wrote:Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.

So if the above means "In the beginning was the Son, and the Son was with the Father, and the Son was God" why didn't the author write just that, write what he meant ? In other words why didn't he write

Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ υἱὸς, καὶ ὁ υἱὸς ἦν πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα, καὶ [ὁ] θεός ἦν ὁ υἱὸς

Or even this,


Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα, καὶ [ὁ] θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος


John took it for granted that everyone knew that Jesus was the Logos. He no doubt elsewhere preached in words very close to how you have paraphrased him here. This is indeed what he meant.
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Re: An inspection of John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:56 am

Markos wrote:[size=85]
Isaac Newton wrote:John took it for granted that everyone knew that Jesus was the Logos. He no doubt elsewhere preached in words very close to how you have paraphrased him here. This is indeed what he meant.


Did he also take it for granted that everyone knew that by "God" in John 1:1b is meant God the Father and not God the Son or God the Holy Spirit ? I don't think it is at all reasonable to assume that John's fellow Jews were familiar with such an understanding of "God" ( τὸν θεόν) in John 1:1b. So τὸν θεόν instead of τὸν Πατέρα is very problematic at John 1:1b for a Trinitarian understanding of the text.
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: An inspection of John 1:1

Postby Markos » Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:08 am

So τὸν θεόν instead of τὸν Πατέρα is very problematic at John 1:1b for a Trinitarian understanding of the text.


χαῖρε, φίλε!

I agree. The Trinity is a later doctrine based on scripture but not found in scripture. The earliest Christians in my humble opinion simply believed in two Gods (Yahweh and Jesus.)
I am writing in Ancient Greek not because I know Greek well, but because I hope that it will improve my fluency in reading. I got the idea for this from Adrianus over on the Latin forum here at Textkit.
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Re: An inspection of John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:39 am

Hi Markos,

Markos wrote:
So τὸν θεόν instead of τὸν Πατέρα is very problematic at John 1:1b for a Trinitarian understanding of the text.


χαῖρε, φίλε!

I agree. The Trinity is a later doctrine based on scripture but not found in scripture. The earliest Christians in my humble opinion simply believed in two Gods (Yahweh and Jesus.)


Thanks for your refreshing and candid thoughts..

I would say the earliest Christians, who were Jews, believed in one God (i.e. the Father) just like all other Jews . The term "god" does not always mean YHWH.

So Logos as "god" in John 1:1c must not be confused with YHWH, nor even as a "person" (hypostasis) IMHO..
Last edited by Isaac Newton on Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: An inspection of John 1:1

Postby Markos » Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:02 am

I would say the earliest Christians, who were Jews, believed in one God (i.e. the Father) just like all other Jews .


But they were not like other Jews. They were Jews who believed that Jesus of Nazareth was a god.

So Logos as "god" in John 1:1c must not be confused with YHWH, nor even as a "person" (hypostasis) IMHO..


I agree with this, too. I have always believed that no early Christian ever believed that καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος means "and Jesus was Yahweh." It means rather "And Jesus was divine," or "and Jesus was a god."

Do you agree?
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Re: An inspection of John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:25 am

Hi Marcos,

Markos wrote:
I would say the earliest Christians, who were Jews, believed in one God (i.e. the Father) just like all other Jews .


But they were not like other Jews. They were Jews who believed that Jesus of Nazareth was a god.

So Logos as "god" in John 1:1c must not be confused with YHWH, nor even as a "person" (hypostasis) IMHO..



Yes, but my point was that they were like all other Jews in that they believed only the Father to be YHWH / God [with big 'G'], unlike the Nicene - Chalcedonian Christians who believed not only the Father to be God, but also the Son and Holy Spirit to also be [the same] God.

I agree with this, too. I have always believed that no early Christian ever believed that καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος means "and Jesus was Yahweh." It means rather "And Jesus was divine," or "and Jesus was a god."

Do you agree?


Agreed. I think both translations are o.k.. My order of preference for translating θεὸς in john 1:1c is (a) "god" (small g), (b) "divine," (c) "a god." I think John 10;34 gives us a clue as to in what sense Logos is to be construed as θεὸς. If sinful representatives of God may be designated "gods," why not the sinless Messiah sent from the Father's bosom ? Hebrew and Greek grammar and conventions allow for powerful entities other than YHWh to be designated "gods" , -- hence the God of the Hebrews is the "God of gods" (Deuteronomy 10:17).
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: An inspection of John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:24 am

The fundamental difficulty with trying to read Trinitarianism and the Deity of Christ into John 1:1 is that the Johannine author distinguished between the Word and God in 1:1 b, something which he could not have rationally done had he believed the Word to also be the same God. Rather, he would have been compelled (if only for the sake of clarity and honesty ) to distinguish between the Word (or God the Son) and the Father (or God the Father).

Just my two cents,
Last edited by Isaac Newton on Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: An inspection of John 1:1

Postby Markos » Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:48 pm

The fundamental difficulty of trying to read Trinitarianism and the Deity of Christ into John 1:1 is that the Johannine author distinguished between the Word and God in 1:1 b, something which he could not have rationally done had he believed the Word to also be the same God.


You are a hundred percent half right. Trinitarianism is problematic at best, but the small d Deity of Christ is all over John's Greek. Would you like to make the case that it is not?
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Re: An inspection of John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:45 am

Markos wrote:
The fundamental difficulty of trying to read Trinitarianism and the Deity of Christ into John 1:1 is that the Johannine author distinguished between the Word and God in 1:1 b, something which he could not have rationally done had he believed the Word to also be the same God.


You are a hundred percent half right. Trinitarianism is problematic at best, but the small d Deity of Christ is all over John's Greek. Would you like to make the case that it is not?


No, I think the bible portrays Jesus as "divine" ( small 'd') in the same sense that it characterizes certain other entities as "divine" / "gods." In this regard , passages like John 10:34 [Psalms 82:6], Psalms 8:5, Exodus 7:1, even 2 Cor. 4:4, etc. are instructive.

The only reason why Trinitarianism enjoys a certain credibility with some very intelligent people is because Jesus's life was so perfect , so holy and sinless, that if God could become a human being , He would be exactly like Jesus. So these smart people confuse Jesus with God . I think the fatal error of homoousion theology lies in it's postulate that Jesus is ontologically (rather than functionally) equal to God.
Last edited by Isaac Newton on Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: An inspection of John 1:1

Postby uberdwayne » Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:32 pm

Hi, its been a while :)

so... Leaving aside the trinitarian debate, as I find it unfruitful to debate this topic over web forums. I will attempt to reason the usage of λόγος instead of υἱὸς as used by the apostle John.

Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.

So if the above means "In the beginning was the Son, and the Son was with the Father, and the Son was God" why didn't the author write just that, write what he meant ? In other words why didn't he write

Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ υἱὸς, καὶ ὁ υἱὸς ἦν πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα, καὶ [ὁ] θεός ἦν ὁ υἱὸς

Or even this,


Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα, καὶ [ὁ] θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος


One thing that has been absolutely driven into my head while learning Greek is: Context. Context. Context!

If you consider how λόγος was used in its historical context of the first century you can begin to see a picture as to why he used it instead of υἱὸς. λόγος was seen as a philosophical/theological term in among both the Jews and the Greeks of the time. The closest thing I could think of in today's world would be "the Force" of the Starwars franchinse (minus the darkside :P ). The λόγος was seen as the creative force of the universe that not only creates but upholds the universe. Its doubtless that John's intended audience would have understood this immediately once they saw the term being used. Hence why λόγος has a much greater force (Pun fully intended! :lol: ) then υἱὸς in this passage.

Consider the 3rd entry of Logos in BDAG 3rd edition.
the Independent personified expression of God, the Logos. Our lit. shows traces of a way of thinking that was widespread in contemporary syncretism, as well as in Jewish wisdom lit. and Philo, the most prominent feature of which is the concept of the Logos, the independent, personified "word" (of God)... It is the distinctive teaching of the Fourth Gospel that this divine "Word" took on human form in a historical person, that is, in Jesus.


There's more to it then this of course, and its just a snippet as there's much to be said which I just don't have the time to portray, I hope this helps point you in the right direction for your own research!
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Re: An inspection of John 1:1

Postby Markos » Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:56 pm

uberdwayne wrote: The closest thing I could think of in today's world would be "the Force" of the Starwars franchinse (minus the darkside :P ). The λόγος was seen as the creative force of the universe that not only creates but upholds the universe. Its doubtless that John's intended audience would have understood this immediately once they saw the term being used. Hence why λόγος has a much greater force (Pun fully intended! :lol: ) then υἱὸς in this passage.


Nice indeed to hear from you again.

This is a good point. A Christian today might say in passing: "Jesus is the real Force that needs to be with you." It would then not be that helpful to ask if this is a convertible proposition. Here you could indeed flip the subject and predicate, but the speaker did not mean to imply that God is nothing else but the Force, nor that the Force is nothing but God. Rather a metaphor is used which is infused with background context info. In cases like this, grammar can only get you so far. You had, like in John 1:1, to be there.

uberdwayne, now that you are back, you should join us in writing Greek on the agora weather thread.

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=59812&start=280
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Re: An inspection of John 1:1

Postby uberdwayne » Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:08 pm

You had, like in John 1:1, to be there


That's exactly it, the New testament, aside from being God's revealed word to man, is also a historical document, and this should not be neglected when looking at passages!

As far as 1:1c is concerned I tend to hold closer to what Dan Wallace has in his grammar. That is, that Θεος in this construction has a qualitative force to it. It would be much stronger than "divine", which has its own word which John could have very easily put in its place, Θειος. In My interpretation, based on its construction, makes God's essence, the word's essence; but not necessarily the Word's essence being God's essence. This idea doesn't really seem to affect the debate either way, as both parties would recognize the divinity of both. Its a question as to weather both are the same being, (which me, myself and I believe :), Especially in the context of the Shema), which should be determined by a survey of the Fourth gospel as a whole, as well as its contextual link to the Major and Minor prophets! Again not wishing to debate, just throwing my two cents out there.

As far as "the force" in Starwars. It doesn't match up exactly, but was the closest thing I could think of that relates well with us today :)
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Re: An inspection of John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:01 am

Hi uberdwayne,

uberdwayne wrote:Hi, its been a while :)

so... Leaving aside the trinitarian debate, as I find it unfruitful to debate this topic over web forums. I will attempt to reason the usage of λόγος instead of υἱὸς as used by the apostle John.

Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.

So if the above means "In the beginning was the Son, and the Son was with the Father, and the Son was God" why didn't the author write just that, write what he meant ? In other words why didn't he write

Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ υἱὸς, καὶ ὁ υἱὸς ἦν πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα, καὶ [ὁ] θεός ἦν ὁ υἱὸς

Or even this,


Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα, καὶ [ὁ] θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος


One thing that has been absolutely driven into my head while learning Greek is: Context. Context. Context!

If you consider how λόγος was used in its historical context of the first century you can begin to see a picture as to why he used it instead of υἱὸς. λόγος was seen as a philosophical/theological term in among both the Jews and the Greeks of the time. The closest thing I could think of in today's world would be "the Force" of the Starwars franchinse (minus the darkside :P ). The λόγος was seen as the creative force of the universe that not only creates but upholds the universe. Its doubtless that John's intended audience would have understood this immediately once they saw the term being used. Hence why λόγος has a much greater force (Pun fully intended! :lol: ) then υἱὸς in this passage.

Consider the 3rd entry of Logos in BDAG 3rd edition.
the Independent personified expression of God, the Logos. Our lit. shows traces of a way of thinking that was widespread in contemporary syncretism, as well as in Jewish wisdom lit. and Philo, the most prominent feature of which is the concept of the Logos, the independent, personified "word" (of God)... It is the distinctive teaching of the Fourth Gospel that this divine "Word" took on human form in a historical person, that is, in Jesus.


There's more to it then this of course, and its just a snippet as there's much to be said which I just don't have the time to portray, I hope this helps point you in the right direction for your own research!



But had the author used υἱὸς instead of λόγος in verse 1, the idea of the literal pre-existence of the son would have been virtually unassailable. Why did the author sacrifice so much of exactly what you're alluding to, namely the context [for his readership] , just so he could use the word λόγος rather than υἱὸς in verse 1 ? It doesn't seem to make sense for me. For example, the author could have easily introduced the term λόγος in verses 2 or 3, etc.

If what you're saying is true, the author opted for confusion over clarity of thought . The use of υἱὸς would have eradicated virtually all ambiguity about whether or not λόγος at this time was a "person," and we probably wouldn't be having this discussion right now...

Even more startling is the fact that the author did not use Πατέρα for Θεὸς in 1:1b .... Once again with the use of Θεὸς here (rather than Πατέρα), assuming he had two Divine persons in view here, the author seems to have opted for ambiguity of language thereby sacrificing clarity of thought, which I don't think any decent author would do, especially not one under inspiration by the holy spirit of truth.
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Re: An inspection of John 1:1

Postby uberdwayne » Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:12 pm

Hi Isaac,

Isaac Newton wrote:But had the author used υἱὸς instead of λόγος in verse 1, the idea of the literal pre-existence of the son would have been virtually unassailable. Why did the author sacrifice so much of exactly what you're alluding to, namely the context [for his readership] , just so he could use the word λόγος rather than υἱὸς in verse 1 ? It doesn't seem to make sense for me. For example, the author could have easily introduced the term λόγος in verses 2 or 3, etc.


John wasn't sacrificing anything, because he wasn't trying to explain the eternal pre-existance of the son, rather he was trying to prove the deity of the "λόγος." The reason, I believe, John had used λόγος was to start off his account of the Gospel with a bang; Similar to how Paul addressed the Unknown god in acts to the crowd, so also is John doing a similar thing here. In essence he is saying, "the word, that is, this entity we all have heard of (Jews and Gentiles, believers and non-believers), and is responsible for creation and holding all things in place, This is he whom I'm going to tell you about!" John was very clearly trying to portray the deity of the λόγος, not his son-ship, or personality for that matter (altough its not negated here). This also explains why "Πατέρα" wasn't used. This is not an explanation of the "Father-Son" relationship. Especially considering the incarnation hadn't happened in the narrative yet.

John clarifies in verse 14 who this "Λογος" is, namely the "μονογενοῦς παρὰ πατρός". We see now, that the same entity that was the "Λογος" is now also "μονογενοῦς παρὰ πατρός." This is the beauty of the incarnation: this entity we know as Jesus temporarily gave up his status as λόγος to a "lesser" role as the "ο υιος του θεου" being fully and willingly under the will of the father. was the son pre-existent? maybe not the title, but with certainty we can say that the person of Jesus existed in the beginning. Consider Phillipians 2:7, it shows us that the Logos became a servant being born in the likeness of men, if this was not a personal being, then we might have expected to see "Πατέρα" or "θεόν" but instead we find "ἐαυτόν" that is, he emptied Himself. He made a decision before the incarnation to become a servant born of flesh. Non personal entities don't make decisions, especially of this magnitude.
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Re: An inspection of John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:53 pm

uberdwayne wrote:Hi Isaac,

Isaac Newton wrote:But had the author used υἱὸς instead of λόγος in verse 1, the idea of the literal pre-existence of the son would have been virtually unassailable. Why did the author sacrifice so much of exactly what you're alluding to, namely the context [for his readership] , just so he could use the word λόγος rather than υἱὸς in verse 1 ? It doesn't seem to make sense for me. For example, the author could have easily introduced the term λόγος in verses 2 or 3, etc.


John wasn't sacrificing anything, because he wasn't trying to explain the eternal pre-existance of the son, rather he was trying to prove the deity of the "λόγος." The reason, I believe, John had used λόγος was to start off his account of the Gospel with a bang; Similar to how Paul addressed the Unknown god in acts to the crowd, so also is John doing a similar thing here. In essence he is saying, "the word, that is, this entity we all have heard of (Jews and Gentiles, believers and non-believers), and is responsible for creation and holding all things in place, This is he whom I'm going to tell you about!" John was very clearly trying to portray the deity of the λόγος, not his son-ship, or personality for that matter (altough its not negated here). This also explains why "Πατέρα" wasn't used. This is not an explanation of the "Father-Son" relationship. Especially considering the incarnation hadn't happened in the narrative yet.

John clarifies in verse 14 who this "Λογος" is, namely the "μονογενοῦς παρὰ πατρός". We see now, that the same entity that was the "Λογος" is now also "μονογενοῦς παρὰ πατρός." This is the beauty of the incarnation: this entity we know as Jesus temporarily gave up his status as λόγος to a "lesser" role as the "ο υιος του θεου" being fully and willingly under the will of the father. was the son pre-existent? maybe not the title, but with certainty we can say that the person of Jesus existed in the beginning. Consider Phillipians 2:7, it shows us that the Logos became a servant being born in the likeness of men, if this was not a personal being, then we might have expected to see "Πατέρα" or "θεόν" but instead we find "ἐαυτόν" that is, he emptied Himself. He made a decision before the incarnation to become a servant born of flesh. Non personal entities don't make decisions, especially of this magnitude.


But you can't have one ("Deity" of Λογος) without the other ( literal pre-existence of Λογος).

All that John 1:1 tells us is that the Λογος existed with God in the beginning, and was "divine." There is nothing definite here to suggest that Λογος is God himself..
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Re: An inspection of John 1:1

Postby uberdwayne » Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:29 pm

Isaac Newton wrote:All that John 1:1 tells us is that the Λογος existed with God in the beginning, and was "divine." There is nothing definite here to suggest that Λογος is God himself..


I would disagree :) Here's why:

John 1:1c says "και θεος ην ο λογος." It does not say "kαι Θειος ην ο λογος" which would be "devine" or some other English equivalent. The actual Title for God (θεος) is used here which gives us an idea of something MORE closely associated then Θειος. I see this passage as more or less saying, "The essence of the λογος, is the same as the essence of θεος" It is much stronger than equating him to mere "godlikeness" or devinity, but brings him up to equality with God.

As far as the scope of time for this passage, grammar alone makes no reference to before "the beginning" it simply states that the λογος was there AT the beginning. If one is to say that the λογος was created, it would be very difficult to say that he was created at the beginning. I don't believe we have any reference to the creation of the λογος. Likewise, based on this passage alone, it would be difficult to say that the λογος existed before the beginning.

Just out of friendly curiosity, where do you stand theologically? is there a denomination that closely reflects your views? Again, just friendly curiosity, I'd like to see where you are coming from :)
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Re: An inspection of John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:34 am

Hi uber,

uberdwayne wrote:
Isaac Newton wrote:All that John 1:1 tells us is that the Λογος existed with God in the beginning, and was "divine." There is nothing definite here to suggest that Λογος is God himself..


I would disagree :) Here's why:

John 1:1c says "και θεος ην ο λογος." It does not say "kαι Θειος ην ο λογος" which would be "devine" or some other English equivalent.



We would not expect to find Θειος because the author needs a noun (albeit a qualitative noun) here , not an adjective . In other words, he does not see λογος as a pure abstraction, but as something which has certain characteristics of God.


The actual Title for God (θεος) is used here which gives us an idea of something MORE closely associated then Θειος. I see this passage as more or less saying, "The essence of the λογος, is the same as the essence of θεος" It is much stronger than equating him to mere "godlikeness" or devinity, but brings him up to equality with God.


How did you get "essence" [or "homoousious with"] ? That's a theological construct [ Nicene (325 CE) and Chalcedon (451CE)] , not a grammatical category.

As far as the scope of time for this passage, grammar alone makes no reference to before "the beginning" it simply states that the λογος was there AT the beginning.


But which beginning ?

If one is to say that the λογος was created, it would be very difficult to say that he was created at the beginning. I don't believe we have any reference to the creation of the λογος. Likewise, based on this passage alone, it would be difficult to say that the λογος existed before the beginning.


Actually, even if we grant that λογος was "always" (or "eternally") with God, it still doesn't mean that it is another God person, since it could be a thing (like the Torah) which has always been in the "mind" of God, i.e. it has always been "with" him. As you know, in Jewish paradigms the Torah is more than just a collection of books, it is one of the six or seven things which existed before the foundation of the world, the blueprint through which God called the universe into existence.


Just out of friendly curiosity, where do you stand theologically? is there a denomination that closely reflects your views? Again, just friendly curiosity, I'd like to see where you are coming from :)


I'm a Unitarian, I do not believe Jesus was an actual being before he was
born. If words have meaning, something comes into literal existence when it is born, -- and the scriptures do clearly tell us that Jesus was born. We have to re-invent language to argue that "born" really just means a transition.
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Re: An inspection of John 1:1

Postby uberdwayne » Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:58 pm

Hi Isaac,
Isaac Newton wrote:We would not expect to find Θειος because the author needs a noun


Perhaps not, I've always understood from my grammar books that and adjective could be used substantively, not only this but the presence of ειμι often make a predicate explicit whether it is a noun or an adjective (I do not pretend to know everything :))

Isaac Newton wrote:How did you get "essence" [or "homoousious with"] ? That's a theological construct [ Nicene (325 CE) and Chalcedon (451CE)] , not a grammatical category.


Maybe so, but I can see how this idea was taken from the John 1:1 construction. Daniel Wallace in his grammar (I understand you would see him with a trinitarian bias) prefers to see this passage with a qualitative force to it, (AT Robertson goes as far as to make it definite). We then make the qualities of Θεος, the qualities of the λογος. That is, if we see Θεος as a reference to the supreme being rather than a "general" quality, then we can say that the essence is the same, Obviously, a number of people in the early centuries felt the same way, how else did the creeds arise? But if we see Θεος in this passage as an impersonal quality, then the Nicene and Chalcedon trinitarian creeds would be unfounded on this passage. Needless to say, I don't see this reference as impersonal, seeing as this verse makes it personal in the second phrase "προς τον θεον"

Isaac Newton wrote:But which beginning ?


Verse 3 talks about all things coming into being. There is nothing to modify παντα, so, grammar alone would be hard pressed to make this less than what it says. There is nothing limiting παντα, even an examination of the immediate context shows nothing of a limited view of παντα. Pre-understanding of the trinity aside, I think it would be difficult to see this as anything other than the creation of παντα. Lets consider the use of the anartherous αρχῃ in verse 1 and 2. If John sees it as monadic, then there would be no need for an article, they are also objects of prepositions (ἐν), thereby further reducing the need for an article.

Although this point would be hard to assert as solid evidence, its very easy to see textual correlation between John 1:1 and Genesis 1:1. Especially considering the Septuagint starts off with the exact same prepositional phrase "έν αρχῃ", and all though this may hint (note my hindrance in using this as a solid point) at a possible connection in John's mind at the time of writing, one thing we do have is a clear spot where the phrase "εν αρχη" is used for the beginning of creation.

If words have meaning, something comes into literal existence when it is born, -- and the scriptures do clearly tell us that Jesus was born. We have to re-invent language to argue that "born" really just means a transition.


We also can't assume that words mean the same thing everywhere and all the time. I've heard it said many times: "Words don't have meanings, meanings have words!"

I would say that to "conceive" brings someone into literal existence, being born is a simple(Im sure many wives would disagree!) movement of a living being from the womb to the open air of the world. This is just nitpicking though, as Matthew says "That which is conceived in her(Mary), is from the Holy Spirit" as far as transition, John 1:14 says "και ο λογος σαρξ εγενετο" which is very often used of transition.

back to conceive, which is γινομαι. As a trinitarian, we would see this as the "conception" of Jesus' human nature. We see in Philippians 2 that He, as preincarnate, made a decision to empty himself and become one of us. the participle "γενόμενος" being instrumental, which in essence shows a transition. I think we both agree that the conception of Jesus was very different from the way anyone ever, in all places, and in all times happened. There is a huge possibility that γινομαι was used because it was the closest word in greek to describe what had happened. I don't think we have a physical "sperm and egg" style conception, although this is only my opinion.

Anyway, I hope you see this as a friendly debate, I've certainly been challanged by our discussion :)
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Re: An inspection of John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:30 pm

Hi Uber,

I'm enjoying our discussion, and hope to keep it cordial as it progresses. Let's remember at the back of our minds to not be disagreeable, even when we disagree. To be sure, these issues have a tendency to stir up strong passions , from both sides. I will confess that sometimes my abrasive style of writing fuels such fires , and when (not if :wink: ) that happens, please do not take it personally. I'm an equal opportunity offender , in this regard..

uberdwayne wrote:Hi Isaac,
Isaac Newton wrote:We would not expect to find Θειος because the author needs a noun


Perhaps not, I've always understood from my grammar books that and adjective could be used substantively, not only this but the presence of ειμι often make a predicate explicit whether it is a noun or an adjective (I do not pretend to know everything :))


A noun with an adjective sense is not (and should not be confused for) an adjective.

What we have at John 1:1c is a subject and a predicate nominative. In such a sentence, the subject takes an equative verb like ἦν , and then another noun (not an adjective) also appears in the nominative case. Here it is:

καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος

In English the subject is determined by word order, not so in Greek, since word order in Greek is quite flexible. One of the ways to extract the subject is to see if it has an article over the other noun. So in this sentence ὁ λόγος is the subject, θεὸς is the PN because the latter is anarthrous but the former isn't.




Maybe so, but I can see how this idea was taken from the John 1:1 construction. Daniel Wallace in his grammar (I understand you would see him with a trinitarian bias) prefers to see this passage with a qualitative force to it, (AT Robertson goes as far as to make it definite). We then make the qualities of Θεος, the qualities of the λογος. That is, if we see Θεος as a reference to the supreme being rather than a "general" quality, then we can say that the essence is the same, Obviously, a number of people in the early centuries felt the same way, how else did the creeds arise? But if we see Θεος in this passage as an impersonal quality, then the Nicene and Chalcedon trinitarian creeds would be unfounded on this passage.


Unitarians have always seen θεὸς at John 1:1c either as a qualitative noun or as an indefinite noun. Not so Trinitarians. Prior to the 1980's virtually all Trinitarian scholarship was inclined to the "definite" understanding of θεὸς at John 1:1c.

On this issue, what I find objectionable (and even deceptive) is the distorted definition of the grammatical category "qualitative" to coincide with a very specific, 4th century Nicene-Chalcedonian philosophical concept of "homoousious with." I agree with professor BeDuhn when he makes the following note to Hommel:

"What I find in in some of the studies you cite, is a leap from the general, linguistic meaning of "qualitative" to a very specific philosophical concept of "in every sense the same as x." This same leap is made by Wallace and Hartley. But this very elaborate and restrictive definition of "qualitative" cannot be derived from the language alone, but is read into the language as a desired interpretation. It is a leap that cannot be substantiated, as you can see if you try to apply it to every case where a "qualitative" semantic force appears."




Needless to say, I don't see this reference as impersonal, seeing as this verse makes it personal in the second phrase "προς τον θεον"


I don't see how προς τον θεον makes λογος "personal." Infact, all it (specifically προς) does is render impossible the notion that λογος is the same θεὸς as ὁ Θεὸς of John 1:1b.



Verse 3 talks about all things coming into being. There is nothing to modify παντα, so, grammar alone would be hard pressed to make this less than what it says. There is nothing limiting παντα, even an examination of the immediate context shows nothing of a limited view of παντα. Pre-understanding of the trinity aside, I think it would be difficult to see this as anything other than the creation of παντα. Lets consider the use of the anartherous αρχῃ in verse 1 and 2. If John sees it as monadic, then there would be no need for an article, they are also objects of prepositions (ἐν), thereby further reducing the need for an article.

Although this point would be hard to assert as solid evidence, its very easy to see textual correlation between John 1:1 and Genesis 1:1. Especially considering the Septuagint starts off with the exact same prepositional phrase "έν αρχῃ", and all though this may hint (note my hindrance in using this as a solid point) at a possible connection in John's mind at the time of writing, one thing we do have is a clear spot where the phrase "εν αρχη" is used for the beginning of creation.

If words have meaning, something comes into literal existence when it is born, -- and the scriptures do clearly tell us that Jesus was born. We have to re-invent language to argue that "born" really just means a transition.


I don't see how that shows "eternity", since παντα could very well be a reference to "all [physical] things." Consider Psalm 8:5 (8:6 in the LXX), where "there is nothing to modify" παντα either. In anycase, as I said earlier, even if "eternity" is in view , it does nothing to assail the Unitarian hermeneutic. This sort of argument may be relevant involving discussions between a Trinitarian and a J.W. .

On another note, a proper reading of verse 3 (taking ὃ γέγονεν with what comes after) explicitly denies the "Deity" of pre-flesh λογος :

ὃ γέγονεν ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν, καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἦν τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων.

-----



We also can't assume that words mean the same thing everywhere and all the time. I've heard it said many times: "Words don't have meanings, meanings have words!"

I would say that to "conceive" brings someone into literal existence, being born is a simple(Im sure many wives would disagree!) movement of a living being from the womb to the open air of the world. This is just nitpicking though, as Matthew says "That which is conceived in her(Mary), is from the Holy Spirit" as far as transition, John 1:14 says "και ο λογος σαρξ εγενετο" which is very often used of transition.

back to conceive, which is γινομαι. As a trinitarian, we would see this as the "conception" of Jesus' human nature. We see in Philippians 2 that He, as preincarnate, made a decision to empty himself and become one of us. the participle "γενόμενος" being instrumental, which in essence shows a transition. I think we both agree that the conception of Jesus was very different from the way anyone ever, in all places, and in all times happened. There is a huge possibility that γινομαι was used because it was the closest word in greek to describe what had happened. I don't think we have a physical "sperm and egg" style conception, although this is only my opinion.

Anyway, I hope you see this as a friendly debate, I've certainly been challanged by our discussion


IMHO this is less than sensible , because human natures don't come into existence, human beings / human persons do . Anhypostasis (or enhypostasis , the flip side of the anhypostasis conceptual coin) is the Achilles’ heel of the God-man doctrine.

IMHO, the "Deity" and "personality" of pre-flesh λογος is expeditiously eliminated by the apostle starting at John 1:1b. It culminates with John 1:14 when the inspired writer writes , καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο . It means "and the logos became a human being / a human person" (something explicitly denied by Chalcedonian orthodoxy). ἐγένετο does not mean "assumed" , so we cannot reasonably read this verse to be saying "and the λόγος assumed human nature."
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Re: An inspection of John 1:1

Postby uberdwayne » Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:19 pm

Isaac Newton wrote:I don't see how that shows "eternity", since παντα could very well be a reference to "all [physical] things.


Although I believe he is from eternity, I did not argue that this passage shows eternity, I've mentioned in one of the previous posts that he was AT the beginning. That is, this passage shows us that when the beginning (That is creation) happened he was there. We'd be hard-pressed from this passage alone, to deduce that he was there before the beginning. I am just simply pointing out that "Beginning" refers to creation, and ο λογος was there. If you want to argue that ο λογος was created, you have to deduce that he was created before the beginning of creation. This point being aside, as we are discussing that ο λογος is ο υιος before the incarnation.

From your perspective of impersonality, do you believe ο λογος to be eternal?

[quote-"Isaac Newton"]A noun with an adjective sense is not (and should not be confused for) an adjective.[/quote]

looks like I've got some more reading to do :) I'll also have to look and see if I can find an adjective in a PN construction somewhere. If I can't, then I'll stop using my Θειος argument!

ὃ γέγονεν ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν, καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἦν τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων.


Your interpretation here is dependent on punctuation. I've never seen the importance of this issue until now, thank you! Let me elaborate if your not aware of the textual issue.

John 1:3-4 wrote:Joh 1:3 πάντα δι᾿ αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο, καὶ χωρὶς αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο οὐδὲ ἕν ὃ γέγονεν.
Joh 1:4 ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν, καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἦν τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων·


If we place the full stop after "ἕν" in vs 3 than the life in vs 4 would then refer to life as something Jesus received when he became flesh (like Adam, receiveing life from God in Genesis). if the full stop appears as it does above, then the life would refer to eternal life (ζωη has often been used alone in the gospels to refer to eternal life) which Jesus has for all those who would believe in him. Since the early manuscripts were written mostly without punctuation, it is difficult to say where the punctuation should actually be, hence theology is often used to determine the punctuation (rightly or wrongly). I took a quick look at Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, Sinaticus has the punctuation as I've quoted it above, and Vaticanus has none. At most it means either the Ssinaiticus scribe seen it in a previous manuscript, or has inserted the punctuation based on his understanding, either way, Sinaticus is certainly not definitive on this. Looks like something that would be interesting to look into :)

looks like Im out of time for today. Time to run off to work.
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Re: An inspection of John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:58 pm

Hi Uberdwane,

uberdwayne wrote:
Isaac Newton wrote:I don't see how that shows "eternity", since παντα could very well be a reference to "all [physical] things.


Although I believe he is from eternity, I did not argue that this passage shows eternity, I've mentioned in one of the previous posts that he was AT the beginning. That is, this passage shows us that when the beginning (That is creation) happened he was there. We'd be hard-pressed from this passage alone, to deduce that he was there before the beginning. I am just simply pointing out that "Beginning" refers to creation, and ο λογος was there. If you want to argue that ο λογος was created, you have to deduce that he was created before the beginning of creation. This point being aside, as we are discussing that ο λογος is ο υιος before the incarnation.



Not really, since λογος is the first born of creation. See Col. 1:15.


From your perspective of impersonality, do you believe ο λογος to be eternal?


Frankly, I don't know how to even begin addressing this question. We could even in a sense argue that the elect are "eternal" since God foreknew them before they were born ...

ὅτι οὓς προέγνω, καὶ προώρισεν συμμόρφους τῆς εἰκόνος τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸ εἶναι αὐτὸν πρωτότοκον ἐν πολλοῖς ἀδελφοῖς·

Romans 8:29

I think the question you want to ask is whether λογος is an eternal being, and to this I can offer a resounding no answer.




Your interpretation here is dependent on punctuation. I've never seen the importance of this issue until now, thank you! Let me elaborate if your not aware of the textual issue.


If we place the full stop after "ἕν" in vs 3 than the life in vs 4 would then refer to life as something Jesus received when he became flesh (like Adam, receiveing life from God in Genesis). if the full stop appears as it does above, then the life would refer to eternal life (ζωη has often been used alone in the gospels to refer to eternal life) which Jesus has for all those who would believe in him. Since the early manuscripts were written mostly without punctuation, it is difficult to say where the punctuation should actually be, hence theology is often used to determine the punctuation (rightly or wrongly). I took a quick look at Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, Sinaticus has the punctuation as I've quoted it above, and Vaticanus has none. At most it means either the Ssinaiticus scribe seen it in a previous manuscript, or has inserted the punctuation based on his understanding, either way, Sinaticus is certainly not definitive on this. Looks like something that would be interesting to look into :)

looks like Im out of time for today. Time to run off to work.


The consensus of the textual experts is that ὃ γέγονεν goes with what comes after...

1:3-4 oude en. o gegonen

Should the words o gegonen be joined with what goes before or with what follows? The oldest manuscripts (. . .) have no punctuation here, and in any case the presence of punctuation in Greek manuscripts, as well as in versional and patristic sources, cannot be regarded as more that the reflection of current exegetical understanding of the meaning of the passage.

A majority of the Committee was impressed by the consensus of ante-Nicene writers (orthodox and heretical alike) who took o gegonen with what follows. When, however, in the fourth century Arians and the Macedonian heretics began to appeal to the passage to prove that the Holy Spirit is to be regarded as one of the created things, orthodox writers preferred to take o gegonen with the preceding sentence, thus removing the possibility of heretical usage of the passage.

The punctuation adopted for the text is in accord with what a majority regarded as the rhythmical balance of the opening verses of the Prologue, where the climactic or “stair-case” parallelism seems to demand that the end of one line should match the beginning of the next.


— Bruce M. Metzgar, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament
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Re: An inspection of John 1:1

Postby uberdwayne » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:49 pm

Hi Isaac,

Isaac Newton wrote:Not really, since λογος is the first born of creation. See Col. 1:15.


This all depends on how you take the genitive construction and the definition of πρωτότοκος. Again we consult the BDAG Lexicon, which has 2 entries for this word.

1)lit. pert. to birth order, firstborn
2)pert. to having special status associated with a firstborn


Even Thayer recognized an idea of "Supreme rank" with this word, and as you probably know, he was a unitarian as well.

My point here is that, there is solid grounds to see πρωτότοκος as a status, and not necessarily "birth order," We then see two options for the interpretation of "πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως". The first is to take it as a partitive genitive, which then would put him as the first thing of all created things, but a created thing nonetheless. That is using the first definition in BDAG. The Second, is to see this as a "genitive of Subordination" which would make him the most important in all creation. which would be partial to the second definition BDAG offers us.

Secondly, I think its a stretch to say Paul was talking about the λογος in this passage, his non use of the term makes it inconspicuous and leads me to think that he views the Beloved Son, and the word as the same. In vs 13 of this chapter he calls Him "του υιου της αγάπης αυτου" and that very thought carries through right to the end of the chapter, if you doubt that, you can read it for yourself. With the immediate context in mind, there is no doubt that Paul is referring to "του υιου της αγάπης αυτου" when he mentions "πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως". One would have to extend complicated explanations to say that he is not.

Thirdly, his clearly parallel wording to John 1 does not prove that he was talking about "the word" as a non being, especially as mentioned above, paul says of Him "του υιου της αγάπης αυτου." This undoubtedly shows that he views o λογος and ο υιος as the same.

Isaac wrote:The consensus of the textual experts is that ὃ γέγονεν goes with what comes after...


I have two things to say about this.
1) Consensus doesn't always mean right, nor does it mean everyone was in full agreement, and
2) by consensus, you probably mean, consensus of those on the NA committee.

There are a number of other well learned men who have worked the issues, to name a few:
Wilbur N Pickering, Maurice. A Robinson & William G. Pierpont, Zane Hodges & Arthur Farstad, F.H.A Scrivener. This is just a few and there are certainly more.

We also have a number of Historical editions of the greek NT that contain the stop after γεγονεν, and dispite the little use of punctuation in the early manuscripts, there are still a number of them that contain the stop afterwards (I have a UBS 4 reader and it names a number of manuscripts). You can check sinaiticus yourself: http://codexsinaiticus.org/en/manuscrip ... omSlider=0.

I want to look at some more manuscripts, but I havn't had the time to.

My point is, a consensus of a single committee does not prove it is right. There are still unknowns and often when this is the case, we see an appeal to Changes made on purpose to combat such and such a heresy. This in itself is unproveable, and considering the esteem with which scripture was held, I find it hard to believe that this would happen as often as it is proposed to, and my view (subjective as it is) is that most scribal variations are the result of accidents.
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Re: An inspection of John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:42 pm

Hi Uberdwane,

uberdwayne wrote:Hi Isaac,

Isaac Newton wrote:Not really, since λογος is the first born of creation. See Col. 1:15.


This all depends on how you take the genitive construction and the definition of πρωτότοκος. Again we consult the BDAG Lexicon, which has 2 entries for this word.

1)lit. pert. to birth order, firstborn
2)pert. to having special status associated with a firstborn


Even Thayer recognized an idea of "Supreme rank" with this word, and as you probably know, he was a unitarian as well.

My point here is that, there is solid grounds to see πρωτότοκος as a status, and not necessarily "birth order," We then see two options for the interpretation of "πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως". The first is to take it as a partitive genitive, which then would put him as the first thing of all created things, but a created thing nonetheless. That is using the first definition in BDAG. The Second, is to see this as a "genitive of Subordination" which would make him the most important in all creation. which would be partial to the second definition BDAG offers us.

Secondly, I think its a stretch to say Paul was talking about the λογος in this passage, his non use of the term makes it inconspicuous and leads me to think that he views the Beloved Son, and the word as the same. In vs 13 of this chapter he calls Him "του υιου της αγάπης αυτου" and that very thought carries through right to the end of the chapter, if you doubt that, you can read it for yourself. With the immediate context in mind, there is no doubt that Paul is referring to "του υιου της αγάπης αυτου" when he mentions "πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως". One would have to extend complicated explanations to say that he is not.

Thirdly, his clearly parallel wording to John 1 does not prove that he was talking about "the word" as a non being, especially as mentioned above, paul says of Him "του υιου της αγάπης αυτου." This undoubtedly shows that he views o λογος and ο υιος as the same.

Isaac wrote:The consensus of the textual experts is that ὃ γέγονεν goes with what comes after...


I have two things to say about this.
1) Consensus doesn't always mean right, nor does it mean everyone was in full agreement, and
2) by consensus, you probably mean, consensus of those on the NA committee.

There are a number of other well learned men who have worked the issues, to name a few:
Wilbur N Pickering, Maurice. A Robinson & William G. Pierpont, Zane Hodges & Arthur Farstad, F.H.A Scrivener. This is just a few and there are certainly more.

We also have a number of Historical editions of the greek NT that contain the stop after γεγονεν, and dispite the little use of punctuation in the early manuscripts, there are still a number of them that contain the stop afterwards (I have a UBS 4 reader and it names a number of manuscripts). You can check sinaiticus yourself: http://codexsinaiticus.org/en/manuscrip ... omSlider=0.

I want to look at some more manuscripts, but I havn't had the time to.

My point is, a consensus of a single committee does not prove it is right. There are still unknowns and often when this is the case, we see an appeal to Changes made on purpose to combat such and such a heresy. This in itself is unproveable, and considering the esteem with which scripture was held, I find it hard to believe that this would happen as often as it is proposed to, and my view (subjective as it is) is that most scribal variations are the result of accidents.


Thanks for your thoughts and your time. I appreciate your attempts at offering other possibible interpretations of the verses that we're discussing, but I want to take a moment to put things into perspective here.

The onus probandi is with those who assert. In other words, it is not enough for those who assert something (in this case, that the bible declares the Deity of Christ) to simply argue that the bible does not deny the Deity of Christ. Rather, what you must do is offer verses which prove the Deity of Christ. Semper necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit.
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
Isaac Newton
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Re: An inspection of John 1:1

Postby uberdwayne » Thu Aug 08, 2013 4:19 pm

Isaac Newton wrote:in this case, that the bible declares the Deity of Christ


The topic of discussion was not the "deity of Christ," but that the person of the son existed before the birth of Jesus. Although I believe his full deity, this was not the topic of the conversation.

Isaac Newton wrote:The onus probandi is with those who assert


I have offered evidence of the pre-incarnate existence of the Son on this basis:

1) The historical use of the word λογος as it pertains to the usage in John 1. See BDAG under Λογος. There are references to "a way of thinking that was widespread... the concept of the Logos, the independent, personified 'Word' (of God)". BDAG then cites Jewish wisdom literature and Philo as sources of this way of thinking.

2) I referenced Philippians 2 to show that Jesus Made a "pre-incarnate" decision to become man, and that impersonal things do not make decisions.

3) I cited BDAG and Thayers Lexicon to show that a very plausible translation of "πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως" in Colossians could be translated with subordination in mind rather than a partitive Idea. And in This same passage Paul refers to the "beloved son" when he mentions "πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως"

4) I've offered sources to show that John 1:3-4 has been punctuated in the past and present with the full stop after γεγονεν. And also showed that, although the NA committee made a consensus (doesn't mean all agreed), many other biblical scholars who were not on the committee don't agree, I've offered names, and I could even give you a number of editions of the GNT that put the stop after γεγονεν.

If your looking for "Hard Facts" the reality is, hard facts are always bent to the bias of the interpreter. For Every source that you say support your idea, I could bring an equal amount of sources to say that they support mine. The reason my interpretation looks wrong to you, is that you come to the table with preconceived ideas about the nature of Christ. I am guilty of the same, so don't feel bad :)

At this point, it becomes less about greek, and more about opionion. With that being said, this will be my last post on the topic. This of course, better to be debated in theology forum elsewhere.
μείζων ἐστὶν ὁ ἐν ὑμῖν ἢ ὁ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ
uberdwayne
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Re: An inspection of John 1:1

Postby Isaac Newton » Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:15 pm

uberdwayne wrote:
Isaac Newton wrote:in this case, that the bible declares the Deity of Christ


The topic of discussion was not the "deity of Christ," but that the person of the son existed before the birth of Jesus. Although I believe his full deity, this was not the topic of the conversation.

Isaac Newton wrote:The onus probandi is with those who assert


I have offered evidence of the pre-incarnate existence of the Son on this basis:

1) The historical use of the word λογος as it pertains to the usage in John 1. See BDAG under Λογος. There are references to "a way of thinking that was widespread... the concept of the Logos, the independent, personified 'Word' (of God)". BDAG then cites Jewish wisdom literature and Philo as sources of this way of thinking.

2) I referenced Philippians 2 to show that Jesus Made a "pre-incarnate" decision to become man, and that impersonal things do not make decisions.

3) I cited BDAG and Thayers Lexicon to show that a very plausible translation of "πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως" in Colossians could be translated with subordination in mind rather than a partitive Idea. And in This same passage Paul refers to the "beloved son" when he mentions "πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως"

4) I've offered sources to show that John 1:3-4 has been punctuated in the past and present with the full stop after γεγονεν. And also showed that, although the NA committee made a consensus (doesn't mean all agreed), many other biblical scholars who were not on the committee don't agree, I've offered names, and I could even give you a number of editions of the GNT that put the stop after γεγονεν.

If your looking for "Hard Facts" the reality is, hard facts are always bent to the bias of the interpreter. For Every source that you say support your idea, I could bring an equal amount of sources to say that they support mine. The reason my interpretation looks wrong to you, is that you come to the table with preconceived ideas about the nature of Christ. I am guilty of the same, so don't feel bad :)

At this point, it becomes less about greek, and more about opionion. With that being said, this will be my last post on the topic. This of course, better to be debated in theology forum elsewhere.


We're inspecting John 1:1 in this thread, so the "Deity" of Christ is certainly fair game since this verse is one of the premier trinitarian texts in this regard...

But, as you wish. What proof (I've not seen any yet) can you proffer from the bible that a man can literally exist prior to his conception in his mother's womb ? According to the bible, human beings come into existence at conception. What you're suggesting is that Jesus, a man, not only literally pe-existed, but that he eternally existed prior to his conception. But Genesis 1:27 tells us that a man is a creature, and that the very first man came into existence on the 6th day of creation. So if Jesus existed prior to the creation of Adam, it cannot reasonably be argued that he is "a man". So something has to give.


What I'm looking for is explicit , and irrefutable declaration of Christ's "Deity" in the GNT . For example, no one can reasonably deny that John 17:3 calls the Father "the only true God" (an indisputable epithet of God) . So a verse which calls Christ "the only true God" would cut it. Or something like this would also do :

13. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty.

14. And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty


Athanasian Creed, around 600CE
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
Isaac Newton
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