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Truth in Translation

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When a friend questioned the traditional translation, I began my original in-depth study of it. It wasn't until I had completed that study (after several years), that I was finally convinced "a god" was the intended meaning by John.

Yes, context is important when in doubt about differing interpretations, but the author's usage is more important. And John's grammar and usage is what I have carefully examined (unlike the poor and incomplete examination by commentators and translators).
The statement in bold is contradictory--an author's usage necessarily includes the context. The grammar simply cannot be in contradiction to the context, but that is precisely what we see with your position.You have absolutely no basis whatsoever for making somewhat ambiguous grammar overrule the context. While the grammar is somewhat ambiguous, it is necessarily so, so the context then brings out and makes clear what John is saying:

1. The Word cannot be "a god" because there is and only ever has been one True God. There are no lesser gods. One God. Monotheism.
2. Verse 3 completely does away with any notion that the Word is a created being.
3. John compares the existence of the Word who was already in existence in the beginning, that is, when the beginning began, with his entering into time and taking on human flesh in verse 14.

There is no way to misunderstand what John is saying--that the was with God prior to the creation of everything that has been created, thereby being himself un-created, and therefore is God. This is why the typical translations make perfect sense.
 
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The statement in bold is contradictory--an author's usage necessarily includes the context. The grammar simply cannot be in contradiction to the context, but that is precisely what we see with your position.You have absolutely no basis whatsoever for making somewhat ambiguous grammar overrule the context. While the grammar is somewhat ambiguous, it is necessarily so, so the context then brings out and makes clear what John is saying:

1. The Word cannot be "a god" because there is and only ever has been one True God. There are no lesser gods. One God. Monotheism.
2. Verse 3 completely does away with any notion that the Word is a created being.
3. John compares the existence of the Word who was already in existence in the beginning, that is, when the beginning began, with his entering into time and taking on human flesh in verse 14.

There is no way to misunderstand what John is saying--that the was with God prior to the creation of everything that has been created, thereby being himself un-created, and therefore is God. This is why the typical translations make perfect sense.
“1. The Word cannot be ‘a god’ because there is and only ever has been one True God. There are no lesser gods. One God. Monotheism.”

If I should answer this in detail, I would be banned again. This certainly makes an honest discussion very difficult.

However, to answer your first six words (“The Word cannot be ‘a god’”) and your second sentence (“There are no lesser gods.”), I will list some of the scholars who admit that scripture calls angels, judges of Israel, kings of Israel, etc. who are appointed to do the will of God: ‘gods.’

1. Young’s Analytical Concordance of the Bible, “Hints and Helps...,” Eerdmans, 1978 reprint;
2. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, #430, Hebrew and Chaldee Dict., Abingdon, 1974;
3. New Bible Dictionary, p. 1133 (angels, judges), Tyndale House Publ., 1984;
4. Today’s Dictionary of the Bible, p. 208 (angels, judges), Bethany House Publ., 1982;
5. Hastings’ A Dictionary of the Bible, p. 217, Vol. 2;
6. The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew-English Lexicon, p. 43, Hendrickson publ.,1979;
7. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, #2316 (4.), Thayer, Baker Book House, 1984 printing;
8. The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, p. 132, Vol. 1; and p. 1265, Vol. 2, Eerdmans, 1984;
9. The NIV Study Bible, footnotes for Ps. 45:6; Ps. 82:1, 6; and Jn 10:34; Zondervan, 1985;
10. New American Bible, St. Joseph ed., footnote for Ps. 45:7; 82:1; Jn 10:34; 1970 ed.;
11. A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures, Vol. 5, pp. 188-189;
12. William G. T. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, Vol. 1, pp. 317, 324, Nelson Publ., 1980 printing;
13. Murray J. Harris, Jesus As God, p. 202, (angels, judges, kings) Baker Book House, 1992;
14. William Barclay, The Gospel of John, V. 2, Daily Study Bible Series, pp. 77, 78, Westminster Press, 1975;
15. The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible (John 10:34 and Ps. 82:6);
16. The Fourfold Gospel (Note for John 10:35);
17. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Jamieson, Fausset, Brown (John 10:34-36);
18. Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible (Ps. 82:6-8 and John 10:35);
19. John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible (Ps. 82:1).
20. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament ('Little Kittel'), - p. 328, Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1985.
21. The Expositor’s Greek Testament, pp. 794-795, Vol. 1, Eerdmans Publishing Co.
22. The Amplified Bible, Ps. 82:1, 6 and John 10:34, 35, Zondervan Publ., 1965.
23. Barnes' Notes on the New Testament, John 10:34, 35.
24. B. W. Johnson's People's New Testament, John 10:34-36.
25. The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Zondervan, 1986, Vol. 3, p. 187.
26. Fairbairn’s Imperial Standard Bible Encyclopedia, p. 24, vol. III, Zondervan, 1957 reprint.
27. Theological Dictionary, Rahner and Vorgrimler, p. 20, Herder and Herder, 1965.
28. Pastor Jon Courson, The Gospel According to John.

(Also John 10:34, 35 - CEV: TEV; GodsWord; The Message; NLT; NIRV.)

And the earliest Christians like the highly respected NT scholar Origen and others - - including Tertullian; Justin Martyr; Hippolytus; Clement of Alexandria; Theophilus; the writer of “The Epistle to Diognetus”; and even super-trinitarians St. Athanasius and St. Augustine - - also had this understanding for “a god.”
 
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“1. The Word cannot be ‘a god’ because there is and only ever has been one True God. There are no lesser gods. One God. Monotheism.”

If I should answer this in detail, I would be banned again. This certainly makes an honest discussion very difficult.

However, to answer your first six words (“The Word cannot be ‘a god’”) and your second sentence (“There are no lesser gods.”), I will list some of the scholars who admit that scripture calls angels, judges of Israel, kings of Israel, etc. who are appointed to do the will of God: ‘gods.’

1. Young’s Analytical Concordance of the Bible, “Hints and Helps...,” Eerdmans, 1978 reprint;
2. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, #430, Hebrew and Chaldee Dict., Abingdon, 1974;
3. New Bible Dictionary, p. 1133 (angels, judges), Tyndale House Publ., 1984;
4. Today’s Dictionary of the Bible, p. 208 (angels, judges), Bethany House Publ., 1982;
5. Hastings’ A Dictionary of the Bible, p. 217, Vol. 2;
6. The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew-English Lexicon, p. 43, Hendrickson publ.,1979;
7. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, #2316 (4.), Thayer, Baker Book House, 1984 printing;
8. The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, p. 132, Vol. 1; and p. 1265, Vol. 2, Eerdmans, 1984;
9. The NIV Study Bible, footnotes for Ps. 45:6; Ps. 82:1, 6; and Jn 10:34; Zondervan, 1985;
10. New American Bible, St. Joseph ed., footnote for Ps. 45:7; 82:1; Jn 10:34; 1970 ed.;
11. A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures, Vol. 5, pp. 188-189;
12. William G. T. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, Vol. 1, pp. 317, 324, Nelson Publ., 1980 printing;
13. Murray J. Harris, Jesus As God, p. 202, (angels, judges, kings) Baker Book House, 1992;
14. William Barclay, The Gospel of John, V. 2, Daily Study Bible Series, pp. 77, 78, Westminster Press, 1975;
15. The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible (John 10:34 and Ps. 82:6);
16. The Fourfold Gospel (Note for John 10:35);
17. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Jamieson, Fausset, Brown (John 10:34-36);
18. Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible (Ps. 82:6-8 and John 10:35);
19. John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible (Ps. 82:1).
20. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament ('Little Kittel'), - p. 328, Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1985.
21. The Expositor’s Greek Testament, pp. 794-795, Vol. 1, Eerdmans Publishing Co.
22. The Amplified Bible, Ps. 82:1, 6 and John 10:34, 35, Zondervan Publ., 1965.
23. Barnes' Notes on the New Testament, John 10:34, 35.
24. B. W. Johnson's People's New Testament, John 10:34-36.
25. The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Zondervan, 1986, Vol. 3, p. 187.
26. Fairbairn’s Imperial Standard Bible Encyclopedia, p. 24, vol. III, Zondervan, 1957 reprint.
27. Theological Dictionary, Rahner and Vorgrimler, p. 20, Herder and Herder, 1965.
28. Pastor Jon Courson, The Gospel According to John.

(Also John 10:34, 35 - CEV: TEV; GodsWord; The Message; NLT; NIRV.)

And the earliest Christians like the highly respected NT scholar Origen and others - - including Tertullian; Justin Martyr; Hippolytus; Clement of Alexandria; Theophilus; the writer of “The Epistle to Diognetus”; and even super-trinitarians St. Athanasius and St. Augustine - - also had this understanding for “a god.”
“2. Verse 3 completely does away with any notion that the Word is a created being.”

I don’t believe I have said whether he is a “created being” or not. It is not necessary to the translation of John 1:1c.

I would be happy to discuss this with you after we have exhausted all our evidence concerning my study of the translation of John 1:1c, but, there again, judging by past experience, I would probably be banned if I presented everything there is in scripture concerning this.
 

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“1. The Word cannot be ‘a god’ because there is and only ever has been one True God. There are no lesser gods. One God. Monotheism.”

If I should answer this in detail, I would be banned again. This certainly makes an honest discussion very difficult.

However, to answer your first six words (“The Word cannot be ‘a god’”) and your second sentence (“There are no lesser gods.”), I will list some of the scholars who admit that scripture calls angels, judges of Israel, kings of Israel, etc. who are appointed to do the will of God: ‘gods.’

1. Young’s Analytical Concordance of the Bible, “Hints and Helps...,” Eerdmans, 1978 reprint;
2. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, #430, Hebrew and Chaldee Dict., Abingdon, 1974;
3. New Bible Dictionary, p. 1133 (angels, judges), Tyndale House Publ., 1984;
4. Today’s Dictionary of the Bible, p. 208 (angels, judges), Bethany House Publ., 1982;
5. Hastings’ A Dictionary of the Bible, p. 217, Vol. 2;
6. The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew-English Lexicon, p. 43, Hendrickson publ.,1979;
7. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, #2316 (4.), Thayer, Baker Book House, 1984 printing;
8. The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, p. 132, Vol. 1; and p. 1265, Vol. 2, Eerdmans, 1984;
9. The NIV Study Bible, footnotes for Ps. 45:6; Ps. 82:1, 6; and Jn 10:34; Zondervan, 1985;
10. New American Bible, St. Joseph ed., footnote for Ps. 45:7; 82:1; Jn 10:34; 1970 ed.;
11. A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures, Vol. 5, pp. 188-189;
12. William G. T. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, Vol. 1, pp. 317, 324, Nelson Publ., 1980 printing;
13. Murray J. Harris, Jesus As God, p. 202, (angels, judges, kings) Baker Book House, 1992;
14. William Barclay, The Gospel of John, V. 2, Daily Study Bible Series, pp. 77, 78, Westminster Press, 1975;
15. The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible (John 10:34 and Ps. 82:6);
16. The Fourfold Gospel (Note for John 10:35);
17. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Jamieson, Fausset, Brown (John 10:34-36);
18. Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible (Ps. 82:6-8 and John 10:35);
19. John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible (Ps. 82:1).
20. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament ('Little Kittel'), - p. 328, Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1985.
21. The Expositor’s Greek Testament, pp. 794-795, Vol. 1, Eerdmans Publishing Co.
22. The Amplified Bible, Ps. 82:1, 6 and John 10:34, 35, Zondervan Publ., 1965.
23. Barnes' Notes on the New Testament, John 10:34, 35.
24. B. W. Johnson's People's New Testament, John 10:34-36.
25. The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Zondervan, 1986, Vol. 3, p. 187.
26. Fairbairn’s Imperial Standard Bible Encyclopedia, p. 24, vol. III, Zondervan, 1957 reprint.
27. Theological Dictionary, Rahner and Vorgrimler, p. 20, Herder and Herder, 1965.
28. Pastor Jon Courson, The Gospel According to John.

(Also John 10:34, 35 - CEV: TEV; GodsWord; The Message; NLT; NIRV.)

And the earliest Christians like the highly respected NT scholar Origen and others - - including Tertullian; Justin Martyr; Hippolytus; Clement of Alexandria; Theophilus; the writer of “The Epistle to Diognetus”; and even super-trinitarians St. Athanasius and St. Augustine - - also had this understanding for “a god.”
That is nothing that I deny. The use of "god" to refer to angels and such in no way means that such beings can be properly understood as an actual lesser god. This would be polytheism. They may be gods figuratively but not literally. Within the context of John 1, there simply would be no basis for believing "a god" would be referring to a created being that is a figurative god. Indeed, since the Word was already existing in the beginning, it cannot refer to a created being.
 

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“2. Verse 3 completely does away with any notion that the Word is a created being.”

I don’t believe I have said whether he is a “created being” or not. It is not necessary to the translation of John 1:1c.
That the Word/the Son is an uncreated being is at the core of John's prologue and is very much necessary to the translation of John 1:1c. You simply cannot divorce 1:1c from the rest of what John is saying. He is either created and not God, or he is uncreated and therefore God. Your position is that the Word is a created being or we wouldn't be having this discussion.
 
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"He is either created and not God, or he is uncreated and therefore God."
So, instead of actually dealing with the grammar/usage of my independent study of John's clause in John 1:1c, you force me into a position of 2 choices: Agreeing with you that the Word was God, or disagreeing and being banned again.


Clever, but not very nice.
 

Obadiah

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"He is either created and not God, or he is uncreated and therefore God."
So, instead of actually dealing with the grammar/usage of my independent study of John's clause in John 1:1c, you force me into a position of 2 choices: Agreeing with you that the Word was God, or disagreeing and being banned again.


Clever, but not very nice.
Or you could simply choose to discuss another subject that doesn't violate the rules. You are denying the trinity, and that is a violation of the rules on this site which you agreed to follow when you joined. Did you lie when you agreed to follow those rules? Or did you not bother to read them and just say you did? You are the one who chose to resurrect this thread that had been dead for many months and continue on with this subject. No one forced you to do this and no one forced you into this position but yourself. Surely you could find some other subject to talk about that isn't against the rules.
 
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(Removed. ToS 2.14, disputing moderator's request. Obadiah.)
 
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B

Brother Mike

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(Post removed. ToS 2.14, publicly disputing a moderator's request. The entire post was removed rather than edited as per member's previous request to do so in these cases. Obadiah.)
 
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By Grace

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Having studied Greek extensively myself, I would say that ALL translations are biased and have to be in order to make a translation even possible. Many Greek tenses such as the Genitive ....
I could not let such an egregious error pass without comment

What you posted is a great error, and the reason for my saying that is there is NO SUCH TENSE AS THE GENITIVE..

Tenses are for verbs and verbals. You have made the error of confusing a noun, (person, place or thing) with a verb which shows action. In declining a noun (genitive being one declension,and its purpose is to demonstrate possession) .

To call your STATEMENT in error is NOT an opinion about Greek grammar. That is because Greek grammar is established, and there is no such thing about having a verb being called a noun. If you, or the moderators wish to see more, I urge you to go HERE for a brief lesson that is based in English

Your statement makes as much as this sentence, which a noun is used as a verb:
"Please car's with Fred."
Oh yes, the noun is made into a possessive noun, (genitive) and used as a verb.

So if you want to redact your statement above, then it is OK with me.
 

By Grace

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HATH GOD SAID???

Truth in Translation is a book. Here is a link to a PDF copy. It may take a minute to load:
http://thebibleisnotholy.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/truth-in-translation.pdf
<SNIP>
The NWT must be the 1984 version given that the book is published in 2003. For me it is interesting that a catholic and a jw bible are the most accurate. In this case, it seems, I might want to get one of these and just mark in the text the places where the corrections are needed and boom, have the most accurate English translation.
I am curious about your interest in this matter because your avatar states that your not a Christian.

I am also wondering why anyone would support the Jehovah Witness bible, the New World translation as "being the most accurate". Any statement like that is sure to raise red flags.

Anyway, what BeDuhn does in that piece is to make a straw man argument about "formal equivalency" of a meaning of a passage. This is what is taught in every evangelical seminary, and the result is to take the words, as they are written, (and assume the inerrancy of the Scriptures as being fully (plenary) inspired by God) then translate and exegete the passage to get exactly what God intended to say in a passage.

BeDuhn says "Dynamic Equivalence refers to a method of taking blocks of meaning that are larger than a word or a phrase in order to produce English passages, whose simplicity and straightforwardness make for better reader comprehension from passages which adhere to Greek Rhetorical forms. In dynamic Equivalence, one translates what the text says, but not in the way that it says it replacing the latter in a style that is considered most appropriate to the modern reader." (page 17)

Can you all see that? The words of Scripture are not important (Bye bye Scriptural inspiration by God!) but what is important is WHAT I THINK IT SAYS and that I write it to tickle your ears. This is what BeDuhn is actually saying.

Here is an excerpt from a posting made by Daniel Wallace, a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary HERE


The nominative case is the case that the subject is in. When the subject takes an equative verb like “is” (i.e., a verb that equates the subject with something else), then another noun also appears in the nominative case—the predicate nominative. In the sentence, “John is a man,” “John” is the subject and “man” is the predicate nominative. In English the subject and predicate nominative are distinguished by word order (the subject comes first). Not so in Greek. Since word order in Greek is quite flexible and is used for emphasis rather than for strict grammatical function, other means are used to distinguish subject from predicate nominative. For example, if one of the two nouns has the definite article, it is the subject.

As we have said, word order is employed especially for the sake of emphasis. Generally speaking, when a word is thrown to the front of the clause it is done so for emphasis. When a predicate nominative is thrown in front of the verb, by virtue of word order it takes on emphasis. A good illustration of this is John 1:1 c. The English versions typically have, “and the Word was God.” But in Greek, the word order has been reversed. It reads,

καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος
and God was the Word.

We know that “the Word” is the subject because it has the definite article, and we translate it accordingly: “and the Word was God.” Two questions, both of theological import, should come to mind: (1) why was θεός thrown forward? and (2) why does it lack the article?

In brief, its emphatic position stresses its essence or quality: “What God was, the Word was” is how one translation brings out this force. Its lack of a definite article keeps us from identifying the person of the Word (Jesus Christ) with the person of “God” (the Father). That is to say, the word order tells us that Jesus Christ has all the divine attributes that the Father has; lack of the article tells us that Jesus Christ is not the Father. John’s wording here is beautifully compact! It is, in fact, one of the most elegantly terse theological statements one could ever find. As Martin Luther said, the lack of an article is against Sabellianism; the word order is against Arianism.

To state this another way, look at how the different Greek constructions would be rendered:

καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν ὁ θεός
“and the Word was the God”
(i.e., the Father; Sabellianism)

καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν θεός
“and the Word was a god” (Arianism)

καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος
“and the Word was God” (Orthodoxy).

Jesus Christ is God and has all the attributes that the Father has. But he is not the first person of the Trinity. All this is concisely affirmed in καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.

Daniel B. Wallace

.​
What is totally amazing in this is the fact that BeDuhn arrogates himself to be the sole decider of what God actually meant. and when we look at the New Testament, he also makes himself the editor of the words of Jesus Christ. Of course he does not use any Greek in his treatise, Why should one use (or study Greek and Hebrew) when you can make it up yourself?

The approach of BeDuhn is entirely relativistic, and of course, non-exegetical. In other words, his approach can be reduced to one word: "whatever".

However God says what He means, and means what He says.

1 Samuel 15:13 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD.
14 And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?
15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed. 16 Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on.
17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel? 1
18 And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.
19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD?
20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.
22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD,
he hath also rejected thee from being king.
Is Jesus Christ fully God? Did the Apostle really mean to write "whatever" in John 1:1? If you say "whatever" then so what? It doesn't matter.

If you believe that the Bible is inerrant, then the logical conclusion is in harmony with Wallace, (and Granville Sharpe stated do a web search on "Granville Sharpe Rule") when their conclusion was that this is a clear identification that Jesus Christ is fully co-equal to God the Father, and is every part as much as God as is God the Father.
 
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gr8grace3

 
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HATH GOD SAID???



I am curious about your interest in this matter because your avatar states that your not a Christian.

I am also wondering why anyone would support the Jehovah Witness bible, the New World translation as "being the most accurate". Any statement like that is sure to raise red flags.

Anyway, what BeDuhn does in that piece is to make a straw man argument about "formal equivalency" of a meaning of a passage. This is what is taught in every evangelical seminary, and the result is to take the words, as they are written, (and assume the inerrancy of the Scriptures as being fully (plenary) inspired by God) then translate and exegete the passage to get exactly what God intended to say in a passage.

BeDuhn says "Dynamic Equivalence refers to a method of taking blocks of meaning that are larger than a word or a phrase in order to produce English passages, whose simplicity and straightforwardness make for better reader comprehension from passages which adhere to Greek Rhetorical forms. In dynamic Equivalence, one translates what the text says, but not in the way that it says it replacing the latter in a style that is considered most appropriate to the modern reader." (page 17)

Can you all see that? The words of Scripture are not important (Bye bye Scriptural inspiration by God!) but what is important is WHAT I THINK IT SAYS and that I write it to tickle your ears. This is what BeDuhn is actually saying.

Here is an excerpt from a posting made by Daniel Wallace, a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary HERE


The nominative case is the case that the subject is in. When the subject takes an equative verb like “is” (i.e., a verb that equates the subject with something else), then another noun also appears in the nominative case—the predicate nominative. In the sentence, “John is a man,” “John” is the subject and “man” is the predicate nominative. In English the subject and predicate nominative are distinguished by word order (the subject comes first). Not so in Greek. Since word order in Greek is quite flexible and is used for emphasis rather than for strict grammatical function, other means are used to distinguish subject from predicate nominative. For example, if one of the two nouns has the definite article, it is the subject.

As we have said, word order is employed especially for the sake of emphasis. Generally speaking, when a word is thrown to the front of the clause it is done so for emphasis. When a predicate nominative is thrown in front of the verb, by virtue of word order it takes on emphasis. A good illustration of this is John 1:1 c. The English versions typically have, “and the Word was God.” But in Greek, the word order has been reversed. It reads,

καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος
and God was the Word.

We know that “the Word” is the subject because it has the definite article, and we translate it accordingly: “and the Word was God.” Two questions, both of theological import, should come to mind: (1) why was θεός thrown forward? and (2) why does it lack the article?

In brief, its emphatic position stresses its essence or quality: “What God was, the Word was” is how one translation brings out this force. Its lack of a definite article keeps us from identifying the person of the Word (Jesus Christ) with the person of “God” (the Father). That is to say, the word order tells us that Jesus Christ has all the divine attributes that the Father has; lack of the article tells us that Jesus Christ is not the Father. John’s wording here is beautifully compact! It is, in fact, one of the most elegantly terse theological statements one could ever find. As Martin Luther said, the lack of an article is against Sabellianism; the word order is against Arianism.

To state this another way, look at how the different Greek constructions would be rendered:

καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν ὁ θεός
“and the Word was the God”
(i.e., the Father; Sabellianism)

καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν θεός
“and the Word was a god” (Arianism)

καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος
“and the Word was God” (Orthodoxy).

Jesus Christ is God and has all the attributes that the Father has. But he is not the first person of the Trinity. All this is concisely affirmed in καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.

Daniel B. Wallace

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What is totally amazing in this is the fact that BeDuhn arrogates himself to be the sole decider of what God actually meant. and when we look at the New Testament, he also makes himself the editor of the words of Jesus Christ. Of course he does not use any Greek in his treatise, Why should one use (or study Greek and Hebrew) when you can make it up yourself?

The approach of BeDuhn is entirely relativistic, and of course, non-exegetical. In other words, his approach can be reduced to one word: "whatever".

However God says what He means, and means what He says.

1 Samuel 15:13 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD.
14 And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?
15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed. 16 Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on.
17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel? 1
18 And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.
19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD?
20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.
22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD,
he hath also rejected thee from being king.
Is Jesus Christ fully God? Did the Apostle really mean to write "whatever" in John 1:1? If you say "whatever" then so what? It doesn't matter.

If you believe that the Bible is inerrant, then the logical conclusion is in harmony with Wallace, (and Granville Sharpe stated do a web search on "Granville Sharpe Rule") when their conclusion was that this is a clear identification that Jesus Christ is fully co-equal to God the Father, and is every part as much as God as is God the Father.
Good post and very informative.
 

Doulos Iesou

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I could not let such an egregious error pass without comment

What you posted is a great error, and the reason for my saying that is there is NO SUCH TENSE AS THE GENITIVE..

Tenses are for verbs and verbals. You have made the error of confusing a noun, (person, place or thing) with a verb which shows action. In declining a noun (genitive being one declension,and its purpose is to demonstrate possession) .

To call your STATEMENT in error is NOT an opinion about Greek grammar. That is because Greek grammar is established, and there is no such thing about having a verb being called a noun. If you, or the moderators wish to see more, I urge you to go HERE for a brief lesson that is based in English

Your statement makes as much as this sentence, which a noun is used as a verb:
"Please car's with Fred."
Oh yes, the noun is made into a possessive noun, (genitive) and used as a verb.

So if you want to redact your statement above, then it is OK with me.
Did you seriously quote a post of mine from DECEMBER 21, 2013 where I confused the word "tense" with "case?"

(Edited, ToS 2.4, "Address issues not personalities." Obadiah)
 
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Malachi

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It wasn't until I had completed that study (after several years), that I was finally convinced "a god" was the intended meaning by John.
Really? Jesus Christ is "a god"? And the New Testament teaches polytheism?

It is only because the Jehovah's Witnesses reject the deity of Christ -- that He is indeed God -- that they deliberately mutilated this verse (as well as many others). But Scripture reveals that Jesus of Nazareth was no less than God. That is why the religious leaders of His day sought to put Him to death -- "because He made Himself equal with God" (John 5:18).

All transalations are not the same, and modern transalations are definitely not superior to the Authorized Version or other Reformation Bibles. And some translations -- such as the NWT -- are simply perversions.
 
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