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Inspecting John 20:28

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Inspecting John 20:28

Postby Isaac Newton » Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:37 pm

ἀπεκρίθη Θωμᾶς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ κύριός μου καὶ ὁ Θεός μου.


The thing which immediately stands out for me here is that underlined is a TSKTS construction. In the bible, TSKTS (article substantive kai article substantive) constructions almost invariably connote two different individuals. Now, in order to conduct proper exegesis, we must always stay within the bounds of what the grammar allows us to do, and in this case the grammar is telling us "two individuals are in view" in the expression ὁ Κύριός μου καὶ ὁ Θεός μου.

But the words are said to one individual (εἶπεν αὐτῷ) . So grammar leads us to think one way but the superficial context seems to push us the other way. What do we do in a situation like this ? Simple, trust the grammar, and find an interpretation which does not violate it. In John 20:28 this is quite easily done if we realize that although Thomas said these words to Jesus, he was addressing both Jesus and the Father who is in Jesus. The actual (not superficial) context supports this understanding.

For the proper context we have to visit Jesus' last known conversation with doubting Thomas and Phillip in John 14 . Here, in Thomas' presence Phillip tells Jesus that seeing the Father is enough for him :

Λέγει αὐτῷ Φίλιππος Κύριε, δεῖξον ἡμῖν τὸν Πατέρα, καὶ ἀρκεῖ ἡμῖν.λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς Τοσοῦτον χρόνον μεθ’ ὑμῶν εἰμι καὶ οὐκ ἔγνωκάς με, Φίλιππε; ὁ ἑωρακὼς ἐμὲ ἑώρακεν τὸν Πατέρα· πῶς σὺ λέγεις Δεῖξον ἡμῖν τὸν Πατέρα;οὐ πιστεύεις ὅτι ἐγὼ ἐν τῷ Πατρὶ καὶ ὁ Πατὴρ ἐν ἐμοί ἐστιν; τὰ ῥήματα ἃ ἐγὼ λέγω ὑμῖν ἀπ’ ἐμαυτοῦ οὐ λαλῶ· ὁ δὲ Πατὴρ ἐν ἐμοὶ μένων ποιεῖ τὰ ἔργα αὐτοῦ.


In response, Jesus tells Thomas and Phillip that to see him (Jesus) is to see the Father because the Father is in him (Jesus). Yet Thomas still doesn't understand. Fast forward to John 20:28 , to the next known conversation Thomas has with Jesus and our unfinished story of doubting Thomas finds a happy ending. Here Thomas understands that the Father works through Jesus, even raising Jesus from the dead, and thus to "see" Jesus is to see the Father , hence Thomas' "my lord (i.e. Jesus) and my God (i.e. the Father) " eureka cry. This interpretation explains the TSKST . It also explains the nominative ὁ κύριός rather than the vocative κύριε, which is another powerful indicator that Thomas was not addressing Jesus as his lord and God.
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby Isaac Newton » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:15 am

I was filtering through Wallace's Sharp Redivivus? A Reexamination of the Granville Sharp Rule , and this is what he writes about TSKTS constructions in the papyri:

The papyri were seen, then, to be very much in step with the classical authors and the NT. Further, when a writer wanted to distinguish individuals—and there were scores of instances in which distinct individuals were in view—he or she invariably used a second article (TSKTS)—except, of course, when a proper name was involved. In fact, one might be a bit surprised to find in this vulgar Greek even convoluted constructions where the writer still remembered the second article. For example, in P. Oxy. 494.22-23 we read of “my wife . . . and my son” (hJ gunhv mou kaiV . . . oJ uiJov" mou), where three words intervene; similarly, P. Giess. 80.3-4: “her papa and . . . the mother” (oJ pavpa" aujth'" kaiV . . . hJ mhvthr); BGU 1680.4-8 reads “my sister and . . . his wife . . . and her husband and . . .the son” (thVn ajdelfhvn mou kaiV . . . thVn gunai'ka aujtou' . . . kaiV toVn a[ndra aujth'" kaiV . . . toVn uiJovn), all clear references to different people. P. Columb. Inventory 480.2-3 mentions “the farmer of the tax on slaves and the controller” (oJ pragmateuovmeno" thVn wjdhVn ajndrapovdwn kaiV oJ ajntigrafeuv").120


So it seems incredible to me that Granville Sharp disregarded the TSKTS construction (which he referred to as his "6th rule") at John 20:28 .
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby Markos » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:11 pm

Isaac Newton wrote:
ἀπεκρίθη Θωμᾶς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ κύριός μου καὶ ὁ Θεός μου.


In the bible, TSKTS (article substantive kai article substantive) constructions almost invariably connote two different individuals.


Correct. They almost invariably do. They invariably do except when they do not. They often connote two or more different titles for the same individual, i.e.

Rev 1:8: Ἐγώ εἰμι τὸ Ἄλφα καὶ τὸ Ὦ, λέγει κύριος, ὁ θεός, ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος, ὁ παντοκράτωρ.


and that is the case also here in John 20:28.

So grammar leads us to think one way but the superficial context seems to push us the other way. What do we do in a situation like this ?


We go with the context. Context is always king. Context trumps grammar 100% of the time. The context of John is that Jesus is our God.

So it seems incredible to me that Granville Sharp disregarded the TSKTS construction (which he referred to as his "6th rule") at John 20:28 .


If you are saying that he chose context over his own rule, then I would say he was right on the money.
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Re: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby Isaac Newton » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:54 pm

Hi Markos,

Good morning, and I hope this day finds you well.

Markos wrote:
Isaac Newton wrote:
ἀπεκρίθη Θωμᾶς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ κύριός μου καὶ ὁ Θεός μου.


In the bible, TSKTS (article substantive kai article substantive) constructions almost invariably connote two different individuals.




Rev 1:8: Ἐγώ εἰμι τὸ Ἄλφα καὶ τὸ Ὦ, λέγει κύριος, ὁ θεός, ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος, ὁ παντοκράτωρ.


and that is the case also here in John 20:28.

So grammar leads us to think one way but the superficial context seems to push us the other way. What do we do in a situation like this ?


We go with the context. Context is always king. Context trumps grammar 100% of the time. The context of John is that Jesus is our God.

So it seems incredible to me that Granville Sharp disregarded the TSKTS construction (which he referred to as his "6th rule") at John 20:28 .


If you are saying that he chose context over his own rule, then I would say he was right on the money.


I don't know if the statement "context trumps grammar 100% of the time" makes a whole lot of sense to me because when we're dealing with a sentence which is grammatically sound, context never has to "trump grammar", it is in harmony with it.

But when we have to choose between biblical eisegesis (what I earlier referred to as "superficial context") and grammar, the latter must win 100% of the time.

Correct. They almost invariably do. They invariably do except when they do not. They often connote two or more different titles for the same individual, i.e.


Yes, with titles / proper names we cannot predict anything from a TSKTS construction. But if "God" is a title here, why isn't it one in 2 Peter 1:1?
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:06 pm

Check this out:

Psa. 34:23 ἐξεγέρθητι, κύριε, καὶ πρόσχες τῇ κρίσει μου,
ὁ θεός μου καὶ ὁ κύριός μου, εἰς τὴν δίκην μου.

Of course you know M.J. Harris "wrote the book" on this subject over 20 years ago. For new comers to the field of exegetical christology the title is:

Jesus as God: The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus. By Murray J. Harris. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1992.
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Re: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby Isaac Newton » Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:05 am

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:Check this out:

Psa. 34:23 ἐξεγέρθητι, κύριε, καὶ πρόσχες τῇ κρίσει μου,
ὁ θεός μου καὶ ὁ κύριός μου, εἰς τὴν δίκην μου.

Of course you know M.J. Harris "wrote the book" on this subject over 20 years ago. For new comers to the field of exegetical christology the title is:

Jesus as God: The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus. By Murray J. Harris. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1992.



Notice here the order is reversed. ὁ θεός is being used vocatively but in John 20:28 we have the nominative ὁ κύριός .
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby Isaac Newton » Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:50 am

The argument that the words uttered by Thomas in John 20:28 were addressed either wholly or in part to the Father is not a new one. Theodore of Mopsuestia ( also known as Theodore of Antioch), at about 350AD argued that the words were directed not to Jesus but to the Father.

Here's Bart Ehrman, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, p. 266:

"Another passage that can be taken to suggest that Christ is "God" himself (i.e. o theos with the article) occurs near the end of the fourth Gospel, and here again one should not be surprised to find scribes modifying the text. Upon seeing the resurrected Jesus, Thomas exclaims, "My Lord and my God" (o theos mou). The passage has caused interpreters problems over the years; Theodore of Mopsuestia argued that the words were not addressed directly to Jesus but were uttered in praise of God the Father..."
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby uberdwayne » Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:38 pm

Isaac Newton wrote:The argument that the words uttered by Thomas in John 20:28 were addressed either wholly or in part to the Father is not a new one. Theodore of Mopsuestia ( also known as Theodore of Antioch), at about 350AD argued that the words were directed not to Jesus but to the Father.

Here's Bart Ehrman, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, p. 266:

"Another passage that can be taken to suggest that Christ is "God" himself (i.e. o theos with the article) occurs near the end of the fourth Gospel, and here again one should not be surprised to find scribes modifying the text. Upon seeing the resurrected Jesus, Thomas exclaims, "My Lord and my God" (o theos mou). The passage has caused interpreters problems over the years; Theodore of Mopsuestia argued that the words were not addressed directly to Jesus but were uttered in praise of God the Father..."


This, though is a very difficult assertion because the immediate context seems to indicate the phrase was specifically directed toward Jesus: "ἀπεκρίθη Θωμᾶς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ὁ Κύριός μου καὶ ὁ Θεός μου." The pronoun is singular, which of course indicates that its directed to 1 person. To say that the whole phrase is directed toward God the Father, places a strain on the personal pronoun that can't be resolved (or requires some crazy grammatical gymnastics), and to say that only part of the phrase Is to Jesus and the other to the Father is to split Thomas' utterance in two but the text simply only indicates 1. It seems really unnatural that he would look to Jesus and address the father, especially considering "Doubting" Thomas' history with the works and ministry of our Lord. Its almost as though Thomas is saying "I'm sorry Lord for doubting you! I see now!"

Is there any example in the NT where someone prayed to God (That is the Father), without it being introduced as a prayer?
μείζων ἐστὶν ὁ ἐν ὑμῖν ἢ ὁ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ
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Re: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby uberdwayne » Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:43 pm

Bart Ehrman wrote:here again one should not be surprised to find scribes modifying the text.


An ounce of evidence is worth a pound of presumption! If his statement were true, than surely there would be a manuscript somewhere with a reading that shows its at least possible. I can't think of one that shows any real variant in this passage, if any, a cursory examination of Vaticanus and Sinaiticus has the reading as we know it today! These kinds of statements are intended to add controversy and assist in book sales!
μείζων ἐστὶν ὁ ἐν ὑμῖν ἢ ὁ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ
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Re: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby Markos » Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:11 pm

Isaac Newton wrote:
C. S. Bartholomew wrote:Check this out:

Psa. 34:23 ἐξεγέρθητι, κύριε, καὶ πρόσχες τῇ κρίσει μου,
ὁ θεός μου καὶ ὁ κύριός μου, εἰς τὴν δίκην μου.

Notice here the order is reversed. ὁ θεός is being used vocatively but in John 20:28 we have the nominative ὁ κύριός .


χαῖρε, φίλε.

1. Word order is irrelevant to Clayton's point here. He is showing that there is another example (which just happens to use the same words) of a TSKTS where the context makes it 100% clear that two different persons are not being connoted. I've given another one from Revelation. How many exceptions do you need to see before realizing that "rules" do not determine the meaning?

2. In both passages. the question of whether these are nominatives or nominatives standing in for vocatives is largely academic. It all depends on how you wish to see/categorize them.

3. But what difference does it if John 20:28 is nominative or vocative? Are you saying that Granville Sharpe does not apply to vocatives?"

Yes, with titles / proper names we cannot predict anything from a TSKTS construction. But if "God" is a title here, why isn't it one in 2 Peter 1:1?


I believe it is a title there. It's just that Sharpe's rule works there whereas it does not work here or in Psalm 34:23 or in Rev 1:8 or in a million other places where the context determines the meanings. That's how rules work. (or how they don't work.)

Nonnus' paraphrase has κοίρανος ἡμέτερος καὶ ἐμὸς Θεός. "This lord that WE have been following is now MY personal God." That, I think captures the sense of it.

uberdwayne wrote: "ἀπεκρίθη Θωμᾶς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ὁ Κύριός μου καὶ ὁ Θεός μου." The pronoun is singular, which of course indicates that its directed to 1 person. To say that the whole phrase is directed toward God the Father, places a strain on the personal pronoun that can't be resolved (or requires some crazy grammatical gymnastics), and to say that only part of the phrase Is to Jesus and the other to the Father is to split Thomas' utterance in two but the text simply only indicates 1. It seems really unnatural that he would look to Jesus and address the father, especially considering "Doubting" Thomas' history with the works and ministry of our Lord. Its almost as though Thomas is saying "I'm sorry Lord for doubting you! I see now!"


καλῶς εἶπας δὴ καὶ ἀκριβῶς, ὦ ἄριστε τῶν ἀνθρώπων. κἀγὼ νομίζω ὅτι Θωμᾶς τῷ Ἰησοῦ, ἀλλ' οὐδὲ τῷ πατρί, λέγει. περὶ δὲ ἑνὸς λέγει, οὐ δύο.
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: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby Isaac Newton » Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:49 pm

Hi uberdwayne,

uberdwayne wrote:
Isaac Newton wrote:The argument that the words uttered by Thomas in John 20:28 were addressed either wholly or in part to the Father is not a new one. Theodore of Mopsuestia ( also known as Theodore of Antioch), at about 350AD argued that the words were directed not to Jesus but to the Father.

Here's Bart Ehrman, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, p. 266:

"Another passage that can be taken to suggest that Christ is "God" himself (i.e. o theos with the article) occurs near the end of the fourth Gospel, and here again one should not be surprised to find scribes modifying the text. Upon seeing the resurrected Jesus, Thomas exclaims, "My Lord and my God" (o theos mou). The passage has caused interpreters problems over the years; Theodore of Mopsuestia argued that the words were not addressed directly to Jesus but were uttered in praise of God the Father..."


This, though is a very difficult assertion because the immediate context seems to indicate the phrase was specifically directed toward Jesus: "ἀπεκρίθη Θωμᾶς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ὁ Κύριός μου καὶ ὁ Θεός μου." The pronoun is singular, which of course indicates that its directed to 1 person. To say that the whole phrase is directed toward God the Father, places a strain on the personal pronoun that can't be resolved (or requires some crazy grammatical gymnastics), and to say that only part of the phrase Is to Jesus and the other to the Father is to split Thomas' utterance in two but the text simply only indicates 1. It seems really unnatural that he would look to Jesus and address the father, especially considering "Doubting" Thomas' history with the works and ministry of our Lord. Its almost as though Thomas is saying "I'm sorry Lord for doubting you! I see now!"

Is there any example in the NT where someone prayed to God (That is the Father), without it being introduced as a prayer?


Thanks for your thoughts. Hope all is well with you.

One must understand however that Thomas' utterance is not a prayer but an exclamation (specifically a nominative of exclamation.) Theodore of Mopsuestia insisted that Thomas was identifying the Father in Jesus as "Lord" and "God." Others have suggested that he was identifying Jesus as his "Lord" but the Father in him as his "God." Margaret Davies, in Rhetoric and Reference in the Fourth Gospel, p. 125-126 is instructive in this regard:

"Naturally,the interpretation of Thomas's words was hotly debated by early church theologians who wanted to use it in support of their own christological definitions. Those who understood 'My lord' to refer to Jesus, and 'my God' to refer to god [the Father] were suspected of christological heresy in the fifth century CE. Many modern commentators have also rejected that interpretation and instead they understand the confession as assertion that Jesus is both Lord and God. In doing so they are forced to interpret "God' as a reference to logos. But it is perfectly appropriate for Thomas to respond to Jesus' resurrection with a confession of faith both in Jesus as his Lord and in God who sent and raised Jesus. Interpreting the confession in this way actually makes much better sense in the context of the Fourth Gospel . In 14.1 belief both in God and in Jesus is encouraged, in a context in which Thomas is particularly singled out. If we understand Thomas's confession as an assertion that Jesus is God, this confession in 20.31 becomes an anti-climax."
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby Isaac Newton » Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:10 pm

Hi uberdwane,

uberdwayne wrote:
Bart Ehrman wrote:here again one should not be surprised to find scribes modifying the text.


An ounce of evidence is worth a pound of presumption! If his statement were true, than surely there would be a manuscript somewhere with a reading that shows its at least possible. I can't think of one that shows any real variant in this passage, if any, a cursory examination of Vaticanus and Sinaiticus has the reading as we know it today! These kinds of statements are intended to add controversy and assist in book sales!


But the reading "as we know it today" (Ὁ κύριός μου καὶ ὁ θεός μου) is perfectly compatible with the notion that two individuals are being identified. It makes little sense therefore to ask for a manuscript reading which "corrects" that which is not broken.

But beyond this, your assertion that there are no manuscript variants in this passage is false unfortunately. Ehrman points out several manuscripts which were handled in what can only be construed as an anti-patripassiant corruption (he mentions the predecessor of codex Bezae and other gospel manuscripts which simply omitted the article before Θεός). This strongly suggests that such scribes considered the expression Ὁ κύριός μου καὶ ὁ θεός μου as lending support to Sabellianism rather than to Trinitarianism. To be sure, they do seemto have a point, for the article before θεός at John 20:28 does seem to contradict 4th century Chalcedonian orthodoxy , which identifies ὁ θεός as the Father (as in John 1:1b).
Last edited by Isaac Newton on Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:41 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: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby uberdwayne » Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:19 pm

Isaac Newton wrote:Thanks for your thoughts. Hope all is well with you.


Things are good, been busy with another project, and a baby on the way :) So thing are very well! Hope all is well with you.

Isaac Newton wrote:One must understand however that Thomas' utterance is not a prayer but an exclamation


Your right, except its not just an exclamation, it is an exclamation that is directed toward Jesus (can someone else be the antecedent of αὐτῷ?) . Perhaps if it was not directed, that is, if the text said "ἀπεκρίθη Θωμᾶς καὶ εἶπεν Ὁ Κύριός μου καὶ ὁ Θεός μου." (with the pronoun removed) then the statement would be ambiguous enough for Davies' interpretation. However, the inclusion of αὐτῷ makes it explicit, Thomas' exclamation was directed toward Jesus.

I disagree with the assertion that my interpretation is anti-climactic. Its not only that his confession is that Jesus is God (which in itself would be), but that Jesus is his God! If we see the Gospel of John emphasizing the divine nature of Christ (I understand that you would disagree), this makes perfect sense. I can't see how this could be any less anti-climactic.

Markos wrote:καλῶς εἶπας δὴ καὶ ἀκριβῶς, ὦ ἄριστε τῶν ἀνθρώπων. κἀγὼ νομίζω ὅτι Θωμᾶς τῷ Ἰησοῦ, ἀλλ' οὐδὲ τῷ πατρί, λέγει. περὶ δὲ ἑνὸς λέγει, οὐ δύο.


ευχαριστω σοι αγαθοις λογοις εις μοι! Σε πιστευεις εν Υιω, Πατρι και Αγιω πνευματι;
μείζων ἐστὶν ὁ ἐν ὑμῖν ἢ ὁ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ
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Re: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby Isaac Newton » Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:30 pm

Hi Markos,

Markos wrote:
Isaac Newton wrote:
C. S. Bartholomew wrote:Check this out:

Psa. 34:23 ἐξεγέρθητι, κύριε, καὶ πρόσχες τῇ κρίσει μου,
ὁ θεός μου καὶ ὁ κύριός μου, εἰς τὴν δίκην μου.

Notice here the order is reversed. ὁ θεός is being used vocatively but in John 20:28 we have the nominative ὁ κύριός .


χαῖρε, φίλε.

1. Word order is irrelevant to Clayton's point here. He is showing that there is another example (which just happens to use the same words) of a TSKTS where the context makes it 100% clear that two different persons are not being connoted. I've given another one from Revelation. How many exceptions do you need to see before realizing that "rules" do not determine the meaning?

2. In both passages. the question of whether these are nominatives or nominatives standing in for vocatives is largely academic. It all depends on how you wish to see/categorize them.

3. But what difference does it if John 20:28 is nominative or vocative? Are you saying that Granville Sharpe does not apply to vocatives?"

Yes, with titles / proper names we cannot predict anything from a TSKTS construction. But if "God" is a title here, why isn't it one in 2 Peter 1:1?


I believe it is a title there. It's just that Sharpe's rule works there whereas it does not work here or in Psalm 34:23 or in Rev 1:8 or in a million other places where the context determines the meanings. That's how rules work. (or how they don't work.)

Nonnus' paraphrase has κοίρανος ἡμέτερος καὶ ἐμὸς Θεός. "This lord that WE have been following is now MY personal God." That, I think captures the sense of it.

uberdwayne wrote: "ἀπεκρίθη Θωμᾶς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ὁ Κύριός μου καὶ ὁ Θεός μου." The pronoun is singular, which of course indicates that its directed to 1 person. To say that the whole phrase is directed toward God the Father, places a strain on the personal pronoun that can't be resolved (or requires some crazy grammatical gymnastics), and to say that only part of the phrase Is to Jesus and the other to the Father is to split Thomas' utterance in two but the text simply only indicates 1. It seems really unnatural that he would look to Jesus and address the father, especially considering "Doubting" Thomas' history with the works and ministry of our Lord. Its almost as though Thomas is saying "I'm sorry Lord for doubting you! I see now!"


καλῶς εἶπας δὴ καὶ ἀκριβῶς, ὦ ἄριστε τῶν ἀνθρώπων. κἀγὼ νομίζω ὅτι Θωμᾶς τῷ Ἰησοῦ, ἀλλ' οὐδὲ τῷ πατρί, λέγει. περὶ δὲ ἑνὸς λέγει, οὐ δύο.


Morning, hope your day goes well...

I disagree with you that word order is "irrelevant" here. Let me explain. The reason word order is extremely important with the expression ὁ θεός μου καὶ ὁ κύριός μου relative to the expression at John 20:28 is because if ὁ θεός here is nominative for vocative (just like it apparently is at John 20:28 ) , then ὁ κύριός is used (rather than κύριε) here for conformity .

In this regard, you have to bear in mind that in the GNT the nominative ὁ κύριός is never used vocativally (unlike ὁ θεός). Had κύριός preceded θεός in this LXX verse, no doubt we would have seen κύριε μου καὶ ὁ θεός. So this example from Psalms is rather deceptive IMHO and also quite the false analogy. ..

Now, we have an identical expression to ὁ θεός μου καὶ ὁ κύριός (Psalm 34:23) at Rev. 20:6, τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ τοῦ Χριστοῦ . Would you say one individual is in view at Rev. 20:6 ?
Last edited by Isaac Newton on Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby uberdwayne » Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:39 pm

But beyond this, your assertion that there are no manuscript variants in this passage is false unfortunately.


Looks like your right, I will have to retract my statement about no variants in the manuscript tradition for John 20:28. Alas my knowledge has failed me! One thing for sure though, its not a variant you hear much about.

This strongly suggests that such scribes considered the expression Ὁ κύριός μου καὶ ὁ θεός μου as lending support to Sabellianism


On the surface, this claim seems to be concluding more than the manuscript tradition reveals, especially seeing it can so easily be interpreted the way I have. This is something I'll have to dig a little further into myself.
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Re: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby Isaac Newton » Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:27 pm

Hi uberdwayne,

uberdwayne wrote:
Isaac Newton wrote:Thanks for your thoughts. Hope all is well with you.


Things are good, been busy with another project, and a baby on the way :) So thing are very well! Hope all is well with you.

Isaac Newton wrote:One must understand however that Thomas' utterance is not a prayer but an exclamation


Your right, except its not just an exclamation, it is an exclamation that is directed toward Jesus (can someone else be the antecedent of αὐτῷ?) . Perhaps if it was not directed, that is, if the text said "ἀπεκρίθη Θωμᾶς καὶ εἶπεν Ὁ Κύριός μου καὶ ὁ Θεός μου." (with the pronoun removed) then the statement would be ambiguous enough for Davies' interpretation. However, the inclusion of αὐτῷ makes it explicit, Thomas' exclamation was directed [b]toward Jesus.[/b]

I disagree with the assertion that my interpretation is anti-climactic. Its not only that his confession is that Jesus is God (which in itself would be), but that Jesus is his God! If we see the Gospel of John emphasizing the divine nature of Christ (I understand that you would disagree), this makes perfect sense. I can't see how this could be any less anti-climactic.

Markos wrote:καλῶς εἶπας δὴ καὶ ἀκριβῶς, ὦ ἄριστε τῶν ἀνθρώπων. κἀγὼ νομίζω ὅτι Θωμᾶς τῷ Ἰησοῦ, ἀλλ' οὐδὲ τῷ πατρί, λέγει. περὶ δὲ ἑνὸς λέγει, οὐ δύο.


ευχαριστω σοι αγαθοις λογοις εις μοι! Σε πιστευεις εν Υιω, Πατρι και Αγιω πνευματι;


Thanks for your post.

But we're not denying that the exclamation is directed to Jesus, so your objection is a strawman. The argument is (and the TSKTS construction seems to confirm it) that the statement is directed to Jesus and to someone else in him. Had the Father not been in Jesus, then you would certainly have a point, and Thomas could not have said to "Jesus" what he did. Also notice that Thomas did not say to Jesus, Σὺ εἶ ὁ κύριός μου καὶ ὁ θεός μου, just ὁ κύριός μου καὶ ὁ θεός μου which allows for the reading that two separate individuals are being identified here , because this one being Jesus has another, the Father, dwelling inside of him. This is precisely what Phillip and Thomas couldn't understand at John 14, and ironically enough, the Trinitarian interpretation of john 20:28 seems to perpetuate that ignorance..

In any case, the onus probandi is on those who assert. In this regard John 20:28 is of no use as a "proof text" for Christ's Deity because it can be understood in a number different ways, no all of them supportive of Christ's so-called "Deity."
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Re: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby uberdwayne » Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:19 pm

In any case, the onus probandi is on those who assert. In this regard John 20:28 is of no use as a "proof text" for Christ's Deity because it can be understood in a number different ways,


I didn't say it was a proof text, I was simply defending the proposition that there is only one referent to Thomas' statement. (if that makes it a proof-text, its a side effect of my defense) Evidently the narrator understood Thomas' statement was spoken to one individual. It stands to reason that Jesus, and the one who is in Him are two referents, and they don't fit in the pronoun. The only way this fits is if Kurios and Theos are the same referent, otherwise we have a grammatical error in the text! There's just no room for your "one who is in him" interpretation. Again, if the personal pronoun wasn't there or if it was plural, then it could be asserted, but its very presence the way it is, make this sentence quite clear.

I guess I just don't understand how to Him, in this passage means "to Jesus and the one who is in him"
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Re: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby Isaac Newton » Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:09 pm

Hi uberdwayne, thanks kindly for your post.

uberdwayne wrote:
In any case, the onus probandi is on those who assert. In this regard John 20:28 is of no use as a "proof text" for Christ's Deity because it can be understood in a number different ways,


I didn't say it was a proof text, I was simply defending the proposition that there is only one referent to Thomas' statement.

O.K.

(if that makes it a proof-text, its a side effect of my defense) Evidently the narrator understood Thomas' statement was spoken to one individual.

No it doesn't.



It stands to reason that Jesus, and the one who is in Him are two referents, and they don't fit in the pronoun. The only way this fits is if Kurios and Theos are the same referent, otherwise we have a grammatical error in the text! There's just no room for your "one who is in him" interpretation. Again, if the personal pronoun wasn't there or if it was plural, then it could be asserted, but its very presence the way it is, make this sentence quite clear.

I guess I just don't understand how to Him, in this passage means "to Jesus and the one who is in him"


I don't see why you would think that way. Jesus continuously affirmed that he and his Father were one. In fact had apostle John written ἀπεκρίθη Θωμᾶς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ὁ Κύριός μου καὶ ὁ Θεός μου it would send the wrong message to the readers,-- that Thomas still didn't understand that the Father is in Jesus, nor that the Father and Jesus are one, nor that to see Jesus is to see the Father.
Last edited by Isaac Newton on Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby Isaac Newton » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:01 pm

They say that context is king. So let's scrutinize Jesus' immediate response to Thomas' confession:

λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς Ὅτι ἑώρακάς με, πεπίστευκας; μακάριοι οἱ μὴ ἰδόντες καὶ πιστεύσαντες.


In English “Have you believed because you have seen me? "

"Believed" what ?

(A) That Jesus is God Almighty (where's the contextual framework for this ?)

or

(B) that the Father and Jesus are one, so that he who has seen Jesus has seen the Father (contextual framework, John 14:8-11).
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Re: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby Markos » Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:29 pm

uberdwayne wrote:Σε πιστευεις εν Υιω, Πατρι και Αγιω πνευματι;

ναί, ὡς μάλιστα. πιστεὐω δὴ ἐν τῷ Ἰησοῦ καὶ ἐν τῷ Ιαω. πιστεύω μὲν ἐν τῷ ἁγίῳ πνεύματι, ἀλλὰ οὐ νομίζω τοῦτο θεὸν εἶναι. πιστεύω ὅτι οὐκ εἰσιν τρεῖς θεοὶ, καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν εἷς, ἀλλὰ δὐο, ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ Ιαω ὁ πατήρ. καὶ σύ? τί πιστεύεις περὶ τούτων? τίνι πιστεύεις? ἢ 1 ἢ 2 ἢ 3?

Isaac Newton wrote:They say that context is king. So let's scrutinize Jesus' immediate response to Thomas' confession:

λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς Ὅτι ἑώρακάς με, πεπίστευκας; μακάριοι οἱ μὴ ἰδόντες καὶ πιστεύσαντες.


In English “Have you believed because you have seen me? "

"Believed" what ?

(A) That Jesus is God Almighty (where's the contextual framework for this ?)

or

(B) that the Father and Jesus are one, so that he who has seen Jesus has seen the Father (contextual framework, John 14:8-11).


ὦ χαίρε φίλτατε!

If you force me to choice between A. (essentially the position of oneness Pentecostals) and B. I would choose B. But the real context of Johannine theology is that Ἰησοῦς θεός ἐστιν.
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: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby Isaac Newton » Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:42 pm

Hi Markos,

Good morning , hope all is well with you.

Markos wrote:
uberdwayne wrote:Σε πιστευεις εν Υιω, Πατρι και Αγιω πνευματι;

ναί, ὡς μάλιστα. πιστεὐω δὴ ἐν τῷ Ἰησοῦ καὶ ἐν τῷ Ιαω. πιστεύω μὲν ἐν τῷ ἁγίῳ πνεύματι, ἀλλὰ οὐ νομίζω τοῦτο θεὸν εἶναι. πιστεύω ὅτι οὐκ εἰσιν τρεῖς θεοὶ, καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν εἷς, ἀλλὰ δὐο, ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ Ιαω ὁ πατήρ. καὶ σύ? τί πιστεύεις περὶ τούτων? τίνι πιστεύεις? ἢ 1 ἢ 2 ἢ 3?

Isaac Newton wrote:They say that context is king. So let's scrutinize Jesus' immediate response to Thomas' confession:

λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς Ὅτι ἑώρακάς με, πεπίστευκας; μακάριοι οἱ μὴ ἰδόντες καὶ πιστεύσαντες.


In English “Have you believed because you have seen me? "

"Believed" what ?

(A) That Jesus is God Almighty (where's the contextual framework for this ?)

or

(B) that the Father and Jesus are one, so that he who has seen Jesus has seen the Father (contextual framework, John 14:8-11).


ὦ χαίρε φίλτατε!

If you force me to choice between A. (essentially the position of oneness Pentecostals) and B. I would choose B.


But the Athasanian Creed (a Trinitarian Creed) declares Jesus to be the Almighty God --
13. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Spirit Almighty.


So i don't think it is correct to say that option (A) forces you to choose Pentecostalism.
---
But the real context of Johannine theology is that Ἰησοῦς θεός ἐστιν.


θεός as in the θεοί of John 10:34, not as in the "Almighty" as the Athanasian Creed asserts. Also with John 20:28 we're not dealing with "Johannine theology" per se but with finding out the contextual framework within which Thomas uttered the words Ὁ Κύριός μου καὶ ὁ Θεός μου.

(B) is a typically Unitarian option.
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Re: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby Isaac Newton » Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:04 pm

Markos do you mind if I translate the following into English so that those who don't read Greek can follow ? If you do mind, I shall not do so:

ναί, ὡς μάλιστα. πιστεὐω δὴ ἐν τῷ Ἰησοῦ καὶ ἐν τῷ Ιαω. πιστεύω μὲν ἐν τῷ ἁγίῳ πνεύματι, ἀλλὰ οὐ νομίζω τοῦτο θεὸν εἶναι. πιστεύω ὅτι οὐκ εἰσιν τρεῖς θεοὶ, καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν εἷς, ἀλλὰ δὐο, ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ Ιαω ὁ πατήρ. καὶ σύ? τί πιστεύεις περὶ τούτων? τίνι πιστεύεις? ἢ 1 ἢ 2 ἢ 3?
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby Markos » Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:33 pm

Isaac Newton wrote:Markos do you mind if I translate the following into English so that those who don't read Greek can follow ? If you do mind, I shall not do so:

ναί, ὡς μάλιστα. πιστεὐω δὴ ἐν τῷ Ἰησοῦ καὶ ἐν τῷ Ιαω. πιστεύω μὲν ἐν τῷ ἁγίῳ πνεύματι, ἀλλὰ οὐ νομίζω τοῦτο θεὸν εἶναι. πιστεύω ὅτι οὐκ εἰσιν τρεῖς θεοὶ, καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν εἷς, ἀλλὰ δὐο, ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ Ιαω ὁ πατήρ. καὶ σύ? τί πιστεύεις περὶ τούτων? τίνι πιστεύεις? ἢ 1 ἢ 2 ἢ 3?


No, Isaac, I don't mind at all. χάρις σοι!
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: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby uberdwayne » Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:56 pm

Markos wrote:ναί, ὡς μάλιστα. πιστεὐω δὴ ἐν τῷ Ἰησοῦ καὶ ἐν τῷ Ιαω. πιστεύω μὲν ἐν τῷ ἁγίῳ πνεύματι, ἀλλὰ οὐ νομίζω τοῦτο θεὸν εἶναι. πιστεύω ὅτι οὐκ εἰσιν τρεῖς θεοὶ, καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν εἷς, ἀλλὰ δὐο, ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ Ιαω ὁ πατήρ. καὶ σύ? τί πιστεύεις περὶ τούτων? τίνι πιστεύεις? ἢ 1 ἢ 2 ἢ 3?


Μαρκε, φιλε μου!

Πιστευω δη εν ἑνι θεω! "Ακουετε ω Ισραελ, ο Κυριος ο Θεος υμων, ο Κυριος εἱς εστιν!" Εγω πιστευω ο Ιησους εστιν ο Θεος αλλ' ουκ εστιν ο Πατηρ ουδε το Αγιον το Πνευματι· Ο Πατηρ εστιν ο Θεος αλλ' ουκ εστιν ο Ιησους ουδε το Αγιον το Πνευματι· Το Αγιον το Πνευματι εστιν ο θεος, αλλ' ουκ εστιν ο Πατηρ ουδε ο Ιησους. Ετι ουτοι Τρια εισιν εις θεος.

Μαρκε, εχω λογον σοι· Πως συ νενικικας "Ακουετε ω Ισραελ, ο Κυριος ο Θεος υμων, ο Κυριος εἱς εστιν!";
Ου δε θελω καταλογεις σοι, αλλα θελω γινωσκειν ὅ νομιζεις!

Feel free to translate if you like Isaac, it would be interesting to see how close I am to what I was actually thinking ;)

To your question Isaac, I would say neither, if we were talking specifically about the context of the passage where Thomas made his statement, it appears the Thomas believed that it was in fact Jesus standing before him and that he had indeed risen from the dead.

we're not dealing with "Johannine theology" per se

But we are, he is the Auther of the book (For the sake of the argument, if you don't believe this please assume it) and undoubtly what he believes is gonna be in his book. I understand this is debatable, but if one sees Johns Gospel as showing Jesus as devine, then it makes perfect sense that Thomas would be calling Jesus his God.
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Re: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby Isaac Newton » Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:13 pm

Markos wrote:
Isaac Newton wrote:Markos do you mind if I translate the following into English so that those who don't read Greek can follow ? If you do mind, I shall not do so:

ναί, ὡς μάλιστα. πιστεὐω δὴ ἐν τῷ Ἰησοῦ καὶ ἐν τῷ Ιαω. πιστεύω μὲν ἐν τῷ ἁγίῳ πνεύματι, ἀλλὰ οὐ νομίζω τοῦτο θεὸν εἶναι. πιστεύω ὅτι οὐκ εἰσιν τρεῖς θεοὶ, καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν εἷς, ἀλλὰ δὐο, ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ Ιαω ὁ πατήρ. καὶ σύ? τί πιστεύεις περὶ τούτων? τίνι πιστεύεις? ἢ 1 ἢ 2 ἢ 3?


No, Isaac, I don't mind at all. χάρις σοι!



Thanks for the permission Markos. So the question asked was Σε πιστευεις εν Υιω, Πατρι και Αγιω πνευματι;
In other words Do you believe in the Son,in the Father and in the Holy Spirit ?

Response: "Yes, especially so. Indeed, I believe in Jesus and in G-d. Truly I believe in the holy spirit, but I do not think that this [thing] is God. I believe that they are not three Gods, and he is not one, but two, Jesus and G-d the Father. And you ? What do you believe concerning these things ? What do you believe ? Either 1 or 2 or 3 ? "

Would it be correct to characterize your position as being "Binitarian" ?
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Re: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby Isaac Newton » Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:31 pm

Hi uberdwane,

Hope all is well..
uberdwayne wrote:
Markos wrote:ναί, ὡς μάλιστα. πιστεὐω δὴ ἐν τῷ Ἰησοῦ καὶ ἐν τῷ Ιαω. πιστεύω μὲν ἐν τῷ ἁγίῳ πνεύματι, ἀλλὰ οὐ νομίζω τοῦτο θεὸν εἶναι. πιστεύω ὅτι οὐκ εἰσιν τρεῖς θεοὶ, καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν εἷς, ἀλλὰ δὐο, ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ Ιαω ὁ πατήρ. καὶ σύ? τί πιστεύεις περὶ τούτων? τίνι πιστεύεις? ἢ 1 ἢ 2 ἢ 3?


Μαρκε, φιλε μου!

Πιστευω δη εν ἑνι θεω! "Ακουετε ω Ισραελ, ο Κυριος ο Θεος υμων, ο Κυριος εἱς εστιν!" Εγω πιστευω ο Ιησους εστιν ο Θεος αλλ' ουκ εστιν ο Πατηρ ουδε το Αγιον το Πνευματι· Ο Πατηρ εστιν ο Θεος αλλ' ουκ εστιν ο Ιησους ουδε το Αγιον το Πνευματι· Το Αγιον το Πνευματι εστιν ο θεος, αλλ' ουκ εστιν ο Πατηρ ουδε ο Ιησους. Ετι ουτοι Τρια εισιν εις θεος.

Μαρκε, εχω λογον σοι· Πως συ νενικικας "Ακουετε ω Ισραελ, ο Κυριος ο Θεος υμων, ο Κυριος εἱς εστιν!";
Ου δε θελω καταλογεις σοι, αλλα θελω γινωσκειν ὅ νομιζεις!

Feel free to translate if you like Isaac, it would be interesting to see how close I am to what I was actually thinking ;)

To your question Isaac, I would say neither, if we were talking specifically about the context of the passage where Thomas made his statement, it appears the Thomas believed that it was in fact Jesus standing before him and that he had indeed risen from the dead.

we're not dealing with "Johannine theology" per se

But we are, he is the Auther of the book (For the sake of the argument, if you don't believe this please assume it) and undoubtly what he believes is gonna be in his book. I understand this is debatable, but if one sees Johns Gospel as showing Jesus as devine, then it makes perfect sense that Thomas would be calling Jesus his God.


So according to you in John 20:29 Jesus was not saying " Thomas because you have seen me you believe that I am God" ?
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·
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Re: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby Isaac Newton » Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:22 pm


Μαρκε, φιλε μου!

Πιστευω δη εν ἑνι θεω! "Ακουετε ω Ισραελ, ο Κυριος ο Θεος υμων, ο Κυριος εἱς εστιν!" Εγω πιστευω ο Ιησους εστιν ο Θεος αλλ' ουκ εστιν ο Πατηρ ουδε το Αγιον το Πνευματι· Ο Πατηρ εστιν ο Θεος αλλ' ουκ εστιν ο Ιησους ουδε το Αγιον το Πνευματι· Το Αγιον το Πνευματι εστιν ο θεος, αλλ' ουκ εστιν ο Πατηρ ουδε ο Ιησους. Ετι ουτοι Τρια εισιν εις θεος.

Μαρκε, εχω λογον σοι· Πως συ νενικικας "Ακουετε ω Ισραελ, ο Κυριος ο Θεος υμων, ο Κυριος εἱς εστιν!";
Ου δε θελω καταλογεις σοι, αλλα θελω γινωσκειν ὅ νομιζεις!


Bold above is a wonderful articulation of the Trinity doctrine. I wonder why there is nothing remotely approaching such an articulation of the Triunity of God in the GNT ?
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Re: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby Markos » Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:44 pm

Isaac Newton wrote:
ναί, ὡς μάλιστα. πιστεὐω δὴ ἐν τῷ Ἰησοῦ καὶ ἐν τῷ Ιαω. πιστεύω μὲν ἐν τῷ ἁγίῳ πνεύματι, ἀλλὰ οὐ νομίζω τοῦτο θεὸν εἶναι. πιστεύω ὅτι οὐκ εἰσιν τρεῖς θεοὶ, καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν εἷς, ἀλλὰ δὐο, ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ Ιαω ὁ πατήρ. καὶ σύ? τί πιστεύεις περὶ τούτων? τίνι πιστεύεις? ἢ 1 ἢ 2 ἢ 3?


So the question asked was Σε πιστευεις εν Υιω, Πατρι και Αγιω πνευματι;
In other words Do you believe in the Son,in the Father and in the Holy Spirit ?

Response: "Yes, especially so. Indeed, I believe in Jesus and in G-d. Truly I believe in the holy spirit, but I do not think that this [thing] is God. I believe that they are not three Gods, and he is not one, but two, Jesus and G-d the Father. And you ? What do you believe concerning these things ? What do you believe ? Either 1 or 2 or 3 ? "

Would it be correct to characterize your position as being "Binitarian" ?


That is a very accurate translation, Isaac, of what I wrote, and yes I am a Binitarian. Although I prefer to think of myself as a monotheist with one exception. The Lord Yahweh is indeed one and there is no other god beside him. Except Jesus. I believe in two, and only two, Gods.

I understand that monotheism is an important strand in the Old Testament, although I think it is only with Rabbinic Judaism that monotheism became super-strict. Some have argued that the earlier strands of Israelite religion were more henotheistic than strictly monotheistic. I myself do not buy into this, because I reject the evolutionary approach to understanding the Bible, but there are some hints in the Old Testament that might prepare Christians for the adoption of two Gods. (One of these is the passage that Isaac mentions that Jesus mentions in John 10:34.)

Don't get me wrong. I like the idea of monotheism. If possible, I would like to maintain it. But if I have to choose between Jesus and any doctrine, especially an Old Covenant doctrine, I go with Jesus every time. Jesus makes all things new. To adopt the Trinitarian mental gymnastics of "one God in three persons," just in order to preserve monotheism, does not work for me. I'd rather simply say that there are two Gods, God and Jesus.

What is a god? A god is something you worship and a god is something that was not created. Jesus was not only not created, but John said that all things were created through Him. Jesus and God are clearly both Gods. And yet they are clearly distinct. The oneness Pentecostal idea, that Jesus is Yahweh, is, in my opinion, a better option than the Trinity, but it just does not hold up to the NT texts. On the other hand, the functions of Jesus and the Father overlap. In a sense they are one. Maybe they share the same spirit, what is called πνεῦμα ἅγιον. I don't see this as a third God, just an element that maybe flows from both God and Jesus. I admit I sometimes pray to Holy Spirit (though more often I ask God or Jesus to SEND the Holy Spirit) but this is really for me a circumlocution for God and Jesus.

I do believe that Jesus is fully 100% divine. Maybe there is a sense in which Jesus is subordinate to Yahweh, but Jesus is more important in my life; He, even more so than Yahweh, is my Lord and God. If the Unitarians choose maintaining monotheism over fully embracing the full divinity over Jesus, then I of course reject this a million times more than the Trinity. But that's not what you believe, is it Isaac? You say you are a Unitarian, but I've never heard you deny that Jesus is fully divine. τί καὶ τίνι πιστεύεις σύγε?

I wonder why there is nothing remotely approaching such an articulation of the Triunity of God in the GNT ?


There are some important individual elements that later were put together to form the doctrine of the Trinity. I agree it is not there, but I think one can in good conscious DERIVE it from Bible. I think it is not there because the first Christians, like Thomas, rejected their monotheism in favor of Jesus, and did not feel the need to preserve it via philosophical constructs.

Needless to say, from my perspective there is nothing wrong with believing in the Trinity.

uberdwayne wrote:Μαρκε, εχω λογον σοι· Πως συ νενικικας "Ακουετε ω Ισραελ, ο Κυριος ο Θεος υμων, ο Κυριος εἱς εστιν!";


ὦ χαίρε, φίλε!

τὸ μὲν οὖν "ἀκούετε ὦ Ἰσραελ" ἐκ παλαιᾶς διαθήκης ἐστίν. ὁ δὲ Χριστὸς τέλος τοῦ νόμου ἐστίν.
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.
Markos
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Re: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby Isaac Newton » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:27 pm

Hi Markos,

Markos wrote:
Isaac Newton wrote:
ναί, ὡς μάλιστα. πιστεὐω δὴ ἐν τῷ Ἰησοῦ καὶ ἐν τῷ Ιαω. πιστεύω μὲν ἐν τῷ ἁγίῳ πνεύματι, ἀλλὰ οὐ νομίζω τοῦτο θεὸν εἶναι. πιστεύω ὅτι οὐκ εἰσιν τρεῖς θεοὶ, καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν εἷς, ἀλλὰ δὐο, ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ Ιαω ὁ πατήρ. καὶ σύ? τί πιστεύεις περὶ τούτων? τίνι πιστεύεις? ἢ 1 ἢ 2 ἢ 3?


So the question asked was Σε πιστευεις εν Υιω, Πατρι και Αγιω πνευματι;
In other words Do you believe in the Son,in the Father and in the Holy Spirit ?

Response: "Yes, especially so. Indeed, I believe in Jesus and in G-d. Truly I believe in the holy spirit, but I do not think that this [thing] is God. I believe that they are not three Gods, and he is not one, but two, Jesus and G-d the Father. And you ? What do you believe concerning these things ? What do you believe ? Either 1 or 2 or 3 ? "

Would it be correct to characterize your position as being "Binitarian" ?


That is a very accurate translation, Isaac, of what I wrote, and yes I am a Binitarian. Although I prefer to think of myself as a monotheist with one exception. The Lord Yahweh is indeed one and there is no other god beside him. Except Jesus. I believe in two, and only two, Gods.

I understand that monotheism is an important strand in the Old Testament, although I think it is only with Rabbinic Judaism that monotheism became super-strict. Some have argued that the earlier strands of Israelite religion were more henotheistic than strictly monotheistic. I myself do not buy into this, because I reject the evolutionary approach to understanding the Bible, but there are some hints in the Old Testament that might prepare Christians for the adoption of two Gods. (One of these is the passage that Isaac mentions that Jesus mentions in John 10:34.)

Don't get me wrong. I like the idea of monotheism. If possible, I would like to maintain it. But if I have to choose between Jesus and any doctrine, especially an Old Covenant doctrine, I go with Jesus every time. Jesus makes all things new. To adopt the Trinitarian mental gymnastics of "one God in three persons," just in order to preserve monotheism, does not work for me. I'd rather simply say that there are two Gods, God and Jesus.

What is a god? A god is something you worship and a god is something that was not created. Jesus was not only not created, but John said that all things were created through Him. Jesus and God are clearly both Gods. And yet they are clearly distinct. The oneness Pentecostal idea, that Jesus is Yahweh, is, in my opinion, a better option than the Trinity, but it just does not hold up to the NT texts. On the other hand, the functions of Jesus and the Father overlap. In a sense they are one. Maybe they share the same spirit, what is called πνεῦμα ἅγιον. I don't see this as a third God, just an element that maybe flows from both God and Jesus. I admit I sometimes pray to Holy Spirit (though more often I ask God or Jesus to SEND the Holy Spirit) but this is really for me a circumlocution for God and Jesus.

I do believe that Jesus is fully 100% divine. Maybe there is a sense in which Jesus is subordinate to Yahweh, but Jesus is more important in my life; He, even more so than Yahweh, is my Lord and God. If the Unitarians choose maintaining monotheism over fully embracing the full divinity over Jesus, then I of course reject this a million times more than the Trinity. But that's not what you believe, is it Isaac? You say you are a Unitarian, but I've never heard you deny that Jesus is fully divine. τί καὶ τίνι πιστεύεις σύγε?

I wonder why there is nothing remotely approaching such an articulation of the Triunity of God in the GNT ?


There are some important individual elements that later were put together to form the doctrine of the Trinity. I agree it is not there, but I think one can in good conscious DERIVE it from Bible. I think it is not there because the first Christians, like Thomas, rejected their monotheism in favor of Jesus, and did not feel the need to preserve it via philosophical constructs.

Needless to say, from my perspective there is nothing wrong with believing in the Trinity.

uberdwayne wrote:Μαρκε, εχω λογον σοι· Πως συ νενικικας "Ακουετε ω Ισραελ, ο Κυριος ο Θεος υμων, ο Κυριος εἱς εστιν!";


ὦ χαίρε, φίλε!

τὸ μὲν οὖν "ἀκούετε ὦ Ἰσραελ" ἐκ παλαιᾶς διαθήκης ἐστίν. ὁ δὲ Χριστὸς τέλος τοῦ νόμου ἐστίν.


Thanks for your response . I enjoy interacting with you as you are able to respect others' contrary views without getting upset or excited. I am now getting a better inkling of your philosophy and though I dis-agree with it I thank you for sharing it. I hope that I have not opened the door for your persecution by openly discussing your minority view.

I do not believe in the "full Divinity" of Christ. I believe he was a man, nothing more, nothing less. To be sure he wasn't a "mere" man,for he was without sin, for starters . So he was the greatest of men, a human being who always did his Father's will, the son in whom a Father rejoices with all his heart.
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: Inspecting John 20:28

Postby Isaac Newton » Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:19 pm

Edit
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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