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Switch to Forum Live View When Jesus said: "Before Abraham was I am" was he claiming to be God?
2 years ago  ::  Jun 27, 2012 - 8:57PM #71
five_point_dad
Posts: 3,656

Jun 27, 2012 -- 6:25PM, duaneg wrote:

I see nothing new here in your post so I guess we just do not agree. 


Y'think?!

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 28, 2012 - 2:46AM #72
Namchuck
Posts: 11,806

Bible believers hardly ever agree with one another. The two posters below simply demonstrate this indisputable fact. But this is understandable given that the tome is riven with inconsistencies, contradictions, errors.


If the Bible were really the work of a perfect and loving God, it would be obviously superlative in every respect to anything that could be conceived by human intellect alone. It would be accurate, concise, clear, and consistent throughout. It is equally obvious that it is none of these things. 

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 28, 2012 - 6:05AM #73
duaneg
Posts: 37

Jun 28, 2012 -- 2:46AM, Namchuck wrote:


Bible believers hardly ever agree with one another. The two posters below simply demonstrate this indisputable fact. But this is understandable given that the tome is riven with inconsistencies, contradictions, errors.


If the Bible were really the work of a perfect and loving God, it would be obviously superlative in every respect to anything that could be conceived by human intellect alone. It would be accurate, concise, clear, and consistent throughout. It is equally obvious that it is none of these things. 




But thank GOD for the right to choose and the  freedom  to discuss it! 


Free at last, free at last... Thank the Great God Almighty, I'm free at last!


(Josh 24:15 KJV)  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.


LORD = YAHWEH


(John 3:16 KJV)  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.


(John 8:36 KJV)  If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.


 

(1 Tim 2:5 KJV)  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 28, 2012 - 9:38AM #74
duaneg
Posts: 37

Jun 27, 2012 -- 8:57PM, five_point_dad wrote:

Jun 27, 2012 -- 6:25PM, duaneg wrote:


I see nothing new here in your post so I guess we just do not agree.



Y'think?!




-------------


But getting back to a similar subject, I found this article on the internet and I agree with it:


servetustheevangelical.com/doc/Is_Jesus_...


Is Jesus God in Titus 2.13?


by Servetus the Evangelical



Some traditionalist New Testament (NT) scholars cite 2 Thessalonians 1.12, Titus 2.13, and 2 Peter 1.1 to support their belief that Jesus is God. All three of these passages have a similar syntax (word order), which makes them somewhat ambiguous. Thus, the dispute between traditionalists and non-traditionalists over these three passages concerns only a phrase and its grammar. Yet many traditionalists who cite Titus 2.13 to support their view that Jesus is God deny that 2 Thessalonians 1.12 and 2 Peter 1.1 do too.


Traditionalists claim that Titus 2.13 is their second-best Pauline text which sup that Jesus is God, with Romans 9.5b being foremost. The entirety of Titus 2.13 reads as follows in the King James Version (KJV): “Looking for that blessed hope, and glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” But this verse reads differently in the New American Standard Bible (NASB): “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.”


The critical words for Christology in Titus 2.13 are its last clause. In it, the NASB and other versions call Jesus “God,” whereas the KJV and others do not. As for “the blessed hope,” it refers to the future resurrection of God’s deceased people (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4.13-18). This event will accompany Christ’s return, which is the “appearing.”


The reasons for the view that Paul calls Jesus “God” in Titus 2.13 are as follows, with rebuttals added:


1. Due to Granville Sharp’s rule of Greek grammar, no definite article preceding soteros (Savior) requires that it be conjoined with theou (God), making both refer to Christou Iesou (Christ Jesus).


Rebuttals:
(a) Many modern grammarians have insisted that Sharp’s rule is uncertain.  For example, Greek grammarian and traditionalist Nigel Turner admits, “Unfortunately, at this period of Greek we cannot be sure that such a rule is really decisive.” And J.N.D. Kelly adds, “the absence of the article cannot count as decisive, for ‘Savior’ tended to be anarthrous (cf. 1 Tim 1.1), and in any case the correct use of the article was breaking down in the late Greek.”


(b) Other grammarians claim that there is an exception to Sharp’s rule, in which the second article can be omitted when the author knows his/her readers presume a distinction in subjects.


2. Since the phrase tou megalou theou (the great God) does not appear anywhere else in the NT, it seems more appropriate to apply it to Jesus rather the Father.


Rebuttals:
(a) Jesus is only called “great” in the NT when implicitly compared to other human beings. And since he said, “The Father is greater than I” (John 14.28), it seems best to take this phrase “the great God” as a reference to God the Father.


(b) It seems more appropriate to call God the Father “great” in this context, since he bring about the glorious second coming of Christ (1 Timothy 6.14-15).


3. Regarding the translation, “the glorious appearing of the great God,” the Greek NT never applies the word epiphaneia (appearing) to God the Father.


Rebuttal:
Indeed, epiphaneia is applied to Christ five times in the NT, all in Paul’s letters, and never to the Father. This usage requires that epiphaneian tes doxes should be translated “the appearing of the glory” rather than “the glorious appearing,” which provides that “the appearing” is “the glory” and not “the great God.”


4. In the NT era, the phrase “God and Savior” was applied to some Roman emperors, so that it would have been natural for Paul to say the same of Jesus.


Rebuttal:
Paul calling Jesus God is a serious theological departure from his Jewish background of a strong monotheism, which would demand explanation. Besides, Paul would not develop his theology in reaction to titles attributed to pagan rulers.  As with Romans 9.5b, scholars who do not think Paul calls Jesus “God” in Titus 2.13 argue mostly according to Paul’s teaching and usage in his other letters. For example, J.E. Huther says of this issue in Titus 2.13, “It cannot be decided on purely grammatical grounds…. The question can only be answered by an appeal to NT usage.”


Reasons for the view that Titus 2.13 does not call Jesus “God” are as follows:


1. Since megalou theou (great God) precedes soteros (Savior), and hemon (our) follows soteros in the Greek text, it seems “our” modifies only “Savior,” as in the KJV.


2. The word “our” more likely modifies “Saviour” and not “God” because the NT does not contain the following expressions: “our God Jesus Christ,” “God Jesus Christ,” or “Jesus Christ our God.” If NT authors had believed that Jesus Christ was God, one would expect these simple phrases to appear in their NT writings.


3. The word theos (God) appears in Paul’s ten NT letters over 500 times. Except for Romans 9.5 and Titus 2.13, he always applies it to the Father and never to Christ.


Rebuttal:
Murray Harris argues, “every NT author must be permitted the luxury of some stylistic, verbal or theological” departure from that writer’s “habitual usage.”


4. Paul consistently and repeatedly distinguishes “God” and “(Jesus) Christ” throughout his corpus as two separate and distinct Persons or Beings. So, he would not obliterate this distinction in perhaps only two instances—Romans 9.5 and Titus 2.13. Johannes Schneider and Colin Brown consequently explain that calling Jesus “God” in Titus 2.13 “is linguistically possible but contradicts the otherwise rigorously maintained distinction in the Pastorals between God and Christ.”


5. Applying the adjective “great” to “God” suggests that “God” is an independent subject to be distinguished from “Christ Jesus.”  Although a slight majority of Bible versions and NT scholars render Titus 2.13 as calling Jesus God, it seems Paul’s overall usage in his letters should be the determining factor, so that this grammatically ambiguous clause does not call Jesus God.

Moderated by world citizen on Jun 28, 2012 - 02:17PM
(1 Tim 2:5 KJV)  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 28, 2012 - 1:13PM #75
five_point_dad
Posts: 3,656

Jun 28, 2012 -- 2:46AM, Namchuck wrote:

Bible believers hardly ever agree with one another. The two posters below simply demonstrate this indisputable fact. But this is understandable given that the tome is riven with inconsistencies, contradictions, errors.


If the Bible were really the work of a perfect and loving God, it would be obviously superlative in every respect to anything that could be conceived by human intellect alone. It would be accurate, concise, clear, and consistent throughout. It is equally obvious that it is none of these things. 


Namchuck: If the Bible were really the work of a perfect and loving God, it would be obviously superlative in every respect to anything that could be conceived by human intellect alone. It would be accurate, concise, clear, and consistent throughout. It is equally obvious that it is none of these things.


JACK: It amazes me the leaps that you make . If a Bible believer ever held such non-supportable pre-suppositions that you do, you would have a field-day.  1) You assume that everything in God's Word is within the grasp of human intellect.  Obviously, you don't understand it; are you reasonably intelligent?  2) You assume it isn't consistent thoughout, but you assume it isn't.  3) You also assume, without any morsel of rationale, that everything in the Bible should always be understood in exactly the same way by everyone, but did you ever read 2 Peter 3:15?  4) If you really want to talke about crass inconsistencies, consider the fact that scientists from every discipline have honest differences of opinion over the conclusions that they read from the results of their observations and experiments.  But you don't grant that same situation to Christian theologians. 

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 29, 2012 - 3:59AM #76
Namchuck
Posts: 11,806

Jun 28, 2012 -- 6:05AM, duaneg wrote:


Jun 28, 2012 -- 2:46AM, Namchuck wrote:


Bible believers hardly ever agree with one another. The two posters below simply demonstrate this indisputable fact. But this is understandable given that the tome is riven with inconsistencies, contradictions, errors.


If the Bible were really the work of a perfect and loving God, it would be obviously superlative in every respect to anything that could be conceived by human intellect alone. It would be accurate, concise, clear, and consistent throughout. It is equally obvious that it is none of these things. 




But thank GOD for the right to choose and the  freedom  to discuss it! 


Aside from the reference to deity, I agree entirely, duaneg!


Free at last, free at last... Thank the Great God Almighty, I'm free at last!


Well, I don't think it's necessary to thank some imaginary being, but if it makes you happy.


(Josh 24:15 KJV)  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.


LORD = YAHWEH


(John 3:16 KJV)  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.


(John 8:36 KJV)  If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.


 




Thanks for the sermonette, duaneg, but I dispensed with them some time ago when I realised just what the Bible and the religions it has inspired amounted to.


The Bible is just as human in origin as any other book, such as the plays of Shakespeare. This does not mean that the Bible is not a set of valuable writings but they are writings which now have to be subjected to ethical and religious criticism if they are not to be turned into an idol. The uniqueness of the Bible is not that it was inspired by a divine and supernatural source - it is obvious that it was not - but that it is, almost exclusively, our only written witness to the origins of the Judeo- Christian cultural tradition.


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2 years ago  ::  Jun 29, 2012 - 4:21AM #77
Namchuck
Posts: 11,806

Jun 28, 2012 -- 1:13PM, five_point_dad wrote:


JACK: It amazes me the leaps that you make.


No, I hardly ever leap about these days, not now that I have a dicky knee.


If a Bible believer ever held such non-supportable pre-suppositions that you do, you would have a field-day.



Well, some times I do have field-day because there are many Christians who do believe such things. Some of them even think the Bible is inerrant!


  1) You assume that everything in God's Word is within the grasp of human intellect.



Firstly, there is no evidence that there is such an enity as God in the first place, and, secondly, there isn't anything in the Bible beyond the human intellect that I can tell. Is there anything you can refer to that might suggest otherwise?


  Obviously, you don't understand it; are you reasonably intelligent?



I think I understand it as well as any one else here. I've seen no evidence to the contrary.




  2) You assume it isn't consistent thoughout, but you assume it isn't.



No, you're wrong. I know that the Bible isn't consistent throughout. Nor would I expect it to be given that much of it has obviously been cobbled together from a number of different and diverse sources. I've been reading and studying it for long enough to know this.


  3) You also assume, without any morsel of rationale, that everything in the Bible should always be understood in exactly the same way by everyone, but did you ever read 2 Peter 3:15?


I have plenty of rationale to support my view that the Bible is entirely a humanly inspired collection of books. No believer has ever presented any compelling evidence to convince me that it is anything else.


  4) If you really want to talke about crass inconsistencies, consider the fact that scientists from every discipline have honest differences of opinion over the conclusions that they read from the results of their observations and experiments.



Sure the scientists disagree, that is, until the evidence is such that you get concensus. But this is the nature of science, which is a very human enterprise, and the reason why it has been so astonishingly successful. But some believers assert that the Bible is inerrant, which it obviously is not, nor, interestingly, does it claim to be. 


  But you don't grant that same situation to Christian theologians. 



Because science is part of the paradigm of meritocratic rational inquiry, it keeps its assumptions to a bare minimum, and even then it never holds them immune from criticism, revision, or rejection. Religion, on the other hand, with its theologians, starts out with a baroque set of assumptions - God being the most elaborate of them all - and always holds its assumptions as being immune to criticism, revision, or rejection, which is why the theologians and the Bible-thumpers get so upset when their abject flummery is questioned. Big difference there, Jack.


Someone once rightly defined theology as a discussion about a bladeless knife without a handle. Best definition of theology that I have ever heard. Smile

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 29, 2012 - 6:03AM #78
duaneg
Posts: 37

Thanks for the sermonette, duaneg, but I dispensed with them some time ago when I realised just what the Bible and the religions it has inspired amounted to.


The Bible is just as human in origin as any other book, such as the plays of Shakespeare. This does not mean that the Bible is not a set of valuable writings but they are writings which now have to be subjected to ethical and religious criticism if they are not to be turned into an idol. The uniqueness of the Bible is not that it was inspired by a divine and supernatural source - it is obvious that it was not - but that it is, almost exclusively, our only written witness to the origins of the Judeo- Christian cultural tradition.




-Well there's no way you are going to convince me, or that I am going to change your mind.  I'd say that your best strategy would be to try to do what is good and right and to share what you have with others. 


As far as I am concerned, an atheist is just someone who hasn't met God yet. 

Moderated by world citizen on Jun 29, 2012 - 08:41PM
(1 Tim 2:5 KJV)  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 29, 2012 - 10:50AM #79
five_point_dad
Posts: 3,656

DUANE: Due to Granville Sharp’s rule of Greek grammar, no definite article preceding soteros (Savior) requires that it be conjoined with theou (God), making both refer to Christou Iesou (Christ Jesus).  rebuttals: (a) Many modern grammarians have insisted that Sharp’s rule is uncertain.  For example, Greek grammarian and traditionalist Nigel Turner admits, “Unfortunately, at this period of Greek we cannot be sure that such a rule is really decisive.” And J.N.D. Kelly adds, “the absence of the article cannot count as decisive, for ‘Savior’ tended to be anarthrous (cf. 1 Tim 1.1), and in any case the correct use of the article was breaking down in the late Greek.”


JACK: If the rule is uncertain, why do you use it in 2 Peter 1:11 without any uncertanty?  The example of 2 Tim. 1:1 has no definite article making it something other than the Granville Sharp rule.  If the rule is "uncertain," then there is no way you can be certain that there are two people viewed in 2 Peter 1:11.


DUANE: Other grammarians claim that there is an exception to Sharp’s rule, in which the second article can be omitted when the author knows his/her readers presume a distinction in subjects.


JACK: Any KOINE examples of this and which grammarians say this? 


DUANE: Since the phrase tou megalou theou (the great God) does not appear anywhere else in the NT, it seems more appropriate to apply it to Jesus rather the Father.  Rebuttals: (a) Jesus is only called “great” in the NT when implicitly compared to other human beings. And since he said, “The Father is greater than I” (John 14.28), it seems best to take this phrase “the great God” as a reference to God the Father.


JACK: No one argues that Christ placed Himself under the authority of the Father which is mentioned in John 14:28.  But the passage in Titus isn't talking about rank; it's referring to nature.  There is also no question that He is called God in other passages (Jn. 1:1, 14, 18; 5:18 etc.).  What is in view in Titus 2:13 is the return of Christ and He is the lone subject of the passage. 


DUANE: It seems more appropriate to call God the Father “great” in this context, since he bring about the glorious second coming of Christ (1 Timothy 6.14-15). Regarding the translation, “the glorious appearing of the great God,” the Greek NT never applies the word epiphaneia (appearing) to God the Father.  Rebuttal: Indeed, epiphaneia is applied to Christ five times in the NT, all in Paul’s letters, and never to the Father. This usage requires that epiphaneian tes doxes should be translated “the appearing of the glory” rather than “the glorious appearing,” which provides that “the appearing” is “the glory” and not “the great God.”


JACK:  Irrelavent!  Whether it is the glory that is appearing or the Great God, He is still identified as "The Great God Jesus Christ."  I Tim. 6:14-15 only says that the Father "brings it about" or "sees it," but the passage very plainly says it is Christ who is returning and that person is identified by Paul in this passage as "The Great God." 


DUANE:  In the NT era, the phrase “God and Savior” was applied to some Roman emperors, so that it would have been natural for Paul to say the same of Jesus. Rebuttal: Paul calling Jesus God is a serious theological departure from his Jewish background of a strong monotheism, which would demand explanation. Besides, Paul would not develop his theology in reaction to titles attributed to pagan rulers.  As with Romans 9.5b, scholars who do not think Paul calls Jesus “God” in Titus 2.13 argue mostly according to Paul’s teaching and usage in his other letters. For example, J.E. Huther says of this issue in Titus 2.13, “It cannot be decided on purely grammatical grounds…. The question can only be answered by an appeal to NT usage.”


JACK: The point in bringing up the fact that this phrase was used for Roman Emperors illustrates the fact that it is used for one individual, and not two.  It was a departure for Paul in his Jewish background and this passage was his explanation.  Do I understand J. E. Huther's comment correctly that he is conceding that the grammar does call Christ God, but he is arguing that that shouldn't be the only grounds by which we interpret the passage?  If the passage calls Christ God and all Scirpture is inspired by God and is inerrant, that would be, in my view, a confession that the Bible teaches the doctrine of the Trinity. 


DUANE: Reasons for the view that Titus 2.13 does not call Jesus “God” are as follows:  1. Since megalou theou (great God) precedes soteros (Savior), and hemon (our) follows soteros in the Greek text, it seems “our” modifies only “Savior,” as in the KJV.


JACK: Greek is an inflectional language where the function of a word is indicated by the spelling, not by the position of the word in the sentence.  So, the sequence of the words themselves have little value in determining function.  Greek also used, what is commonly called, "economy of language" where words were used as little as possible, and pronouns, especially in the genitive, were found in this position quite frequently modifying the entire phrase. 


DUANE: The word “our” more likely modifies “Saviour” and not “God” because the NT does not contain the following expressions: “our God Jesus Christ,” “God Jesus Christ,” or “Jesus Christ our God.” If NT authors had believed that Jesus Christ was God, one would expect these simple phrases to appear in their NT writings.


JACK: Of course, the phrase in Titus 2:13 is none of these examples.  If the Greek writer intended to refer to Christ as "God," one would expect to find a definite article in front of a phrase using two nouns or noun phrases both components identifying the person separated by the conjunction KAI, and that is exactly what this is. 


DUANE: The word theos (God) appears in Paul’s ten NT letters over 500 times. Except for Romans 9.5 and Titus 2.13, he always applies it to the Father and never to Christ.


JACK: Assuming these are the only two verses that call Christ God, how many verses does it take in the Bible to establish divine doctrine? 


DUANE: Murray Harris argues, “every NT author must be permitted the luxury of some stylistic, verbal or theological” departure from that writer’s “habitual usage.” Paul consistently and repeatedly distinguishes “God” and “(Jesus) Christ” throughout his corpus as two separate and distinct Persons or Beings. So, he would not obliterate this distinction in perhaps only two instances—Romans 9.5 and Titus 2.13. Johannes Schneider and Colin Brown consequently explain that calling Jesus “God” in Titus 2.13 “is linguistically possible but contradicts the otherwise rigorously maintained distinction in the Pastorals between God and Christ.”


JACK: Again, assuming these are the only two instances where Paul called Christ God, it would also be expected that Paul would be consistent with the other NT writers.  John called Christ God on several occasions as did the writer of Hebrews and Peter.  If Paul intended to not make that statement, he not only chose a very poor grammatical construction to convey it, but he also contradicted the other NT writers. 


DUANE: Applying the adjective “great” to “God” suggests that “God” is an independent subject to be distinguished from “Christ Jesus.”  Although a slight majority of Bible versions and NT scholars render Titus 2.13 as calling Jesus God, it seems Paul’s overall usage in his letters should be the determining factor, so that this grammatically ambiguous clause does not call Jesus God.


JACK: Adjectives, such as "great," can modify single nouns, but they can also--and do--modify noun phrases.   So, there is nothing grammatically ambiguous about the phrase that Paul used.  He definitely called Jesus Christ "The Great God."  He also called Him "God" in Romans 9:5. 

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 30, 2012 - 2:54AM #80
Namchuck
Posts: 11,806

Jun 29, 2012 -- 6:03AM, duaneg wrote:


 -Well there's no way you are going to convince me, or that I am going to change your mind.


Well, your half right there, duaneg. I'd change my mind rather rapidly if the evidence justified it. But no amount of evidence could, as you confess, "convince" you. There is a well-known name for that attitude right on the tip of my tongue...Wink


  I'd say that your best strategy would be to try to do what is good and right and to share what you have with others.


I do exactly that, duaneg, and it doesn't involve the propagation of unjustified and insupportable beliefs, nor, like Jack's post that directly precedes mine, endless tattle - involving the finer points of biblical Greek - about a 'bladeless knife that has no handle'. 


 


As far as I am concerned, an atheist is just someone who hasn't met God yet.


You'd think, wouldn't you, given the stupendous number of gods that humans believe in, that one would bump into one eventually? Maybe the reason why one doesn't is the same as why one doesn't come across fire-breathing dragons, flying horses, and goblins?


 




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