Saturday, June 17, 2017

I and the Father are one

Some guy named Roman A. Montero–evidently a unitarian–attempted to respond on Tuggy's behalf to a post of mine:

The context is whether or not Jesus is the Christ, as it explicitly says in verse 24. 

The context is the true identity of Jesus. Moreover, messiahship is an umbrella category and something of a cipher. Nothing that precludes a divine messiah

John 10:30 is NOT a reference to the Shema the only connection is the world “one” and John doesn’t even use the same Greek word for one as the LXX does in Deuteronomy 6:4 (John uses ν and Deuteronomy uses ες, when the NT quotes the Shema it uses ες, the original word for one used in the Greek Shema). So no, it wouldn’t trigger that association.

i) That's confused. To begin with, unless Montero imagines that the exchange originally took place in Greek, which is highly unlikely, Christ's opponents didn't hear him use ν rather than ες. Presumably, the exchange originally took place in Aramaic. 

ii) Since there's a shift from a singular subject in Deut 6:4 to a plural subject in Jn 10:30, it's logical for the narrator to shift from masculine to neuter in translating the statement into Greek.  

No he doesn’t use “Son of God” as a synonym for “God”, he uses it to mean “son of God”. “Son of God” is never used in any Jewish literature to refer to YHWH. It is used to refer to Kings and to lesser Deities (later understood as angels). So their charge was either completely confused (which would make sense for Johns portrayal of the Jewish enemies of Jesus, they were often confused) or they thought calling ones self a “son of God” in the sense of a lesser deity was blasphemy. 

Compare these two statements:

The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” 

do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

i) Notice that in v36, Jesus attributes to them the allegation that they accused him of blasphemy for calling himself the "Son of God", when, in v33, they actually accused him of making himself "God". So Jesus himself is using "God" and "Son of God" as interchangeable terms. They allege that he makes himself "God". Jesus treats their allegation was equivalent to "Son of God". Unless Montero thinks that Jesus is misrepresenting the charge of his opponents, he must concede that in this passage, Jesus uses "God" and "Son of God" as synonymous designations. 

ii) In the OT, there's a king/prince motif that parallels a father/son motif, where the prince is the royal heir (e.g. Pss 2; 72; 89; 110; 132; Isa 9; Dan 7). The concepts of fatherhood and sonship are used in the context of royal succession. It's easy to see how that implies a divine son of a divine father. Even if that's merely latent in the OT (which is debatable), it's patent in the NT. 

We can’t just assume they mean that Jesus is calling himself YHWH.

Since Montero himself says θες can be employed in OT usage to denote figures that are not truly define, how can they accuse him of blasphemy unless they understand him to be making divine claims in the proper sense of Yahweh? 

Yeah, they use “God” as father, because the Father is God. John 1:1 is almost certainly not calling God YHWH, the same with 20:28 and 1 John 5:20, but those are different issues.

i) The Father is deity. So is the Son.

ii) It's unclear what Montero is attempting to say in reference to Jn 1:1. In the second clause ("and the Word was with God"), θες functions as a proper noun to designate the Father, whereas, in the third clause ("and the Word was God"), θες functions as an abstract noun to denote the deity of the Word. An interpretive paraphrase would read:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the Father, and the Word was deity."

We have the same interplay in Jn 1:18. The prologue clues the reader into the true identity of Jesus. That gives the reader an advantage over various characters in the succeeding narratives. The reader already know what others in the story must discover. 
iii) In addition, Jn 1:1-5 is casting the Word/Son in the role of the Genesis Creator. The primordial giver of life and light. So that classifies the Word/Son as Yahweh. 

And that recurs in Jn 10:28, where Jesus claims the stupendous prerogative to confer eternal life. 

Saying Christ is Deity is not the same as saying he is YHWH. 

Depending on the context, it most certainly is the same thing (see above).

His entire point is that it IS used for lesser Deities and thus it is NOT blasphemy. Meaning he is in that category. The way Jesus responded would make NO sense if he was YHWH in the flesh.

i) In makes perfect sense in an argument from the lesser to the greater (a minore ad maius), which is a common rabbinical type of argument. 

ii) It makes no sense that Jesus would include himself in the category of heathen deities–or angels, for that matter. 

Actually there is NO precedent for “Son of God” to mean YHWH, it can mean a lesser deity or a king (both of which can also be, in a lesser sense, called god), but never YHWH. What you need for your theology is not that Son of God can mean divinity in some broad sense, but that it can mean YHWH, it cannot.

There's OT precedent where father/son correspond to king/prince in settings where the son/prince is rightful heir to Yahweh's kingdom. 

Ironically you charge Dale with equivocation, but you’re entire argument argues by equivocating between θες as a term for lower Deities lower case “gods” and θες as used for “yhwh”, you can’t bridge that gap without warrant. 

My "entire argument" was never predicated on the use of θες in Jn 10.  Indeed, my primary argument concerned the evocation of the Shema in Jn 10:30. That verse doesn't use θες. Instead, it does something even more powerful. 

The same goes for the equivocation apologists constantly use between κριος as a title for a “lord” and κριος as a replacement for the divine name, you can jump from one to the other without making a case for it. Also make sure you check the Greek before you say one verse is a reference to another.

The argument is not that κριος in general is a Greek synonym for "Yahweh", but in NT passages that quote or allude to Yahweh, then reapply distinguishing prerogatives of Yahweh to Christ. 

The exegesis is simple, Jesus is NOT blaspheming because it’s not blasphemy for beings that are below YHWH to be called “gods” much less “God’s Son”, and if they focused on his works they would know that he actually was the Christ and was sent from God and one with him, in the same way the apostles would be one with both him and God (John 17). It’s quite straight forward. 

Jn 17 compares the unity of the apostles to the unity of the Father and Son. But these represent separate groups. The apostles constitute one group while the Father and Son constitute a different group.

Unless you have an axe to grind.

As if unitarians have no axe to grind! 

1 comment:

  1. Oh dear ... Here's my response: