Yahweh and Jesus
GregStffrd at aol.com
GregStffrd at aol.com
Mon Jan 4 21:58:46 EST 1999
What began (on B-Hebrew) as a discussion of the meaning of Exodus 3:14, and
evolved into a discussion of the predicateless EGW EIMI/'ani hu sayings in the
OT and in the NT, has, due to the theological stances of some individuals,
mutated into a theological discussion wherein certain participants do not
engage in any discussion of the Greek or Hebrew languages, but merely list
passages, in English, where they assume their view is justified.
This is my last contribution to a message of this kind. If a theological
discussion is allowed on this board to the extent that it engages with and
further illuminates Hebrew or Greek grammar, fine. If not, then those who
continue to post such messages should seriously consider their motivation, and
respect the board for what it is, and what it is not.
In a message dated 1/4/99 12:50:41 PM Pacific Standard Time, cms at dragon.com
<< Passages indicating that Yahweh and Jesus are one: >>
The list which follows obviously does not belong on either B-Greek or B-
Hebrew, for it neither involves discussion of Greek or Hebrew, but assumes a
translation/meaning that is the subject to discussion. However, a few thoughts
are in order:
<< John 1:1 In the beginning was the Logos,
and the Logos was with God,
and the Logos was God. >>
Frankly, this passage disproves an ontological "oneness" between the Logos and
God, the one the Logos is "with" (PROS). The lack of the article and the
distinction between the Logos and the one "with" whom he was supports a
distinction (!) between the Logos and God, a distinction which is not conveyed
in the above translation. The aforementioned distinction is reinforced by 1:18
<< Note that the Logos becomes flesh and is identified with Jesus. Thus,
Jesus is both with and God and Jesus is God. >>
No, Jesus is THEOS and is PROS TON THEON. The confusion inherent in the above
statement lies in the fact that the English "God" is often used to translate
both THEOS and hO THEOS in John 1:1, in a context where they are clearly
distinct from ("with") one another.
<< John 1:18 No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son,
who is close to the Father's heart, who has made
him known. >>
"God the only Son" is an interesting translation of 1:18, where MONOGENHS
clearly serves as an adjectival modifier for THEOS. If you could provide some
examples of an adjective-noun construction where the adjective, in
translation, is taken in apposition to the noun it precedes (in Greek), that
would be helpful.
John 1:18, by calling the Logos MONOGENHS THEOS (if this reading is
preferred), reinforces the distinction made in 1:1, showing that God and the
Logos are ontologically distinct from one another, unless, of course, you
believe that the God with whom the Logos was is also MONOGENHS THEOS.
<< John 10:30 The Father and I are one. >>
A rather common use of hEN to denote oneness of purpose, unity. A simple, but
careful reading of John 17:21 might prove beneficial (note the use of KAQWS).
<< Philippians 2:6 ...who, though he was in the form of God, did not
regard equality with God as something to be exploited, >>
Since nothing is presented in support of this translation, there is no need to
take it seriously, here. Strange, though, that Paul would have to say that God
was in the form of God! Naturally, verses 9-11 are excluded from the above
quotation, for obvious reasons.
<< 1 Corinthians 8:6 yet for us thre is one God, the Father, from
whom are all things and for whom we exist,
and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are
all things and through whom we exist. >>
I admit I am rather surprised that this verse is quoted for the purpose of
proving an ontological oneness between God and Jesus, since this text says
that there is "one God," and then proceeds to identify that "one God," not as
one, two, or three "persons," but, simply, as one person, the Father.
<< 2 Peter 1:1 Symeon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ,
to those who have received a faith of equal value
to ours through the righteousness of our God and
savior Jesus Christ: >>
Since there is no attempt to interact with the GS construction in this
passage, again, it cannot be taken seriously. Of course, the grammar far from
demands the above translation, though it is possible, and I have no problem
<< Revelation 1:8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God,
who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.
Revelation 21:6 Then he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and
the Omega, the beginning and the end."
Revelation 22:13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and
the last, the beginning and the end.
In Revelation 1:8 and 21:6, God is speaking; in Revelation 22:13 Jesus
is speaking (cf. Revelation 22:16). >>
Again, there is no attempt to prove what is stated above. Regarding the
reference to 1:8, it is hard to imagine anyone missing the distinction made
between the "one who is, who was, and who is coming" in verse 4, and "Jesus
Christ" in verse 5 (KAI APO IHSOU CHRISTOU). In view of this, it is equally
hard to imagine how this same distinction is not carried over just a few
verses, to verse 8.
As for Revelation 21:6, according to verse five, "the One seated on the
throne" is the speaker. This fact alone would seem to point conclusively to
the Father as "the Alpha and the Omega" of verse six, since throughout the
book of Revelation "the One seated on the throne" is a common reference to
Jesus' God and Father. (4:10; 5:1, 7; 6:16; 7:10, 15; 21:5; compare 3:12).
But, there is more.
The "One seated on the throne" continues in verse seven: "Anyone conquering
will inherit these things, and I shall be his God and he will be my son." The
fact that "the One seated on the throne" is speaking and He refers to the
"conquerors" as His "sons," again favors understanding a description of the
Father in verse six as "the Alpha and the Omega." (Compare Galatians 3:26; 4:6
with Hebrews 2:11 and Matthew 12:50; 25:40, where some of these "conquerors"
are referred as Christ's "brothers.") On the other hand, there is no
compelling evidence to see a reference to Jesus in verse six.
Regarding Revelation 21:13 and 22:16, it is recognized by all parties
concerned that "the Alpha and the Omega" begins speaking in verse 12, and
continues at least to verse 15. Yet, some argue that the speaker continues
through verse 16, which reads: "I, Jesus, sent my angel to bear witness to you
people of these things for the congregations. I am the root and the offspring
of David, and the bright morning star."
If the speaker of verses 12-15 continues through verse 16, then "the Alpha and
the Omega" would definitely be identified as "Jesus," who identifies himself
in the first person at the beginning of verse 16. But does the simple fact
that in verse 16 we see the first-person singular "I" followed by the explicit
identification of the speaker, "Jesus," mean that the scriptures just prior to
verse 16 are also the words of Jesus? Consider two examples from the book of
Revelation that reveal the limitations of such a conclusion.
The first example is Revelation 1:9, which reads according to the NASB: "I,
John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and
perseverance [which are] in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos, because of
the word of God and the testimony of Jesus."
Here John, right after "the Alpha and the Omega" finishes speaking in verse 8,
refers to himself in the first-person singular, followed by an explicit
identification through the use of his name. Surely no one will argue that this
means John is "the Alpha and the Omega" of the previous verse!
Much more could be said on this issue, but I think all parties have said
enough, and we should try to stay on the subject for which these forums was
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