Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Jesus Christ-The Wisdom and Word/Logos of God


Jesus Christ-The Wisdom and Word/Logos of God 

See also Unitarianism & Universalism - 100 Books on DVDrom

Visit my Theology blog at http://thesacredtext.blogspot.com/

The following is a list of variant translations of John 1:1:

Interlineary Word for Word English Translation-Emphatic Diaglott, "In a beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the God, and a god was the Word."
Recovery Version, Living Streams Ministry, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
Edward Harwood, H KAINH DIAQHKH. The New Testament, collated with the most approved manuscripts; with select notes in English, critical and explanatory, and references to those authors who have best illustrated the sacred writings. To which are added, a Catalogue of the principal Editions of the Greek Testament; and a List of the most esteemed Commentators and critics. London, 1776, 2 vols; 2nd ed. 1784, 2 vols. 1768,
"and was himself a divine person"
Newcome, 1808, "and the word was a god"
Crellius,as quoted in The New Testament in an Improved Version "the Word was God's"
La Bible du Centenaire, L’Evangile selon Jean, by Maurice Goguel,1928: “and the Word was a divine being.”
John Samuel Thompson, The Montessoran; or The Gospel History According to the Four Evangelists, Baltimore; published by the translator, 1829, "the Logos was a god
Goodspeed's An American Translation, 1939, "the Word was divine
Revised Version-Improved and Corrected, "the word was a god."
Prof. Felix Just, S.J. - Loyola Marymount University, "and god[-ly/-like] was the Word."
Concordant Version (Knoch) "God was the Word"
C.C. Torrey, The Four Gospels, Second Edition, 1947, "the Word was god
New English Bible, 1961, "what God was,the Word was"
Moffatt's The Bible, 1972, "the Logos was divine"
International English Bible-Extreme New Testament, 2001, "the Word was God*[ftn. or Deity, Divine, which is a better translation, because the Greek definite article is not present before this Greek word]
Reijnier Rooleeuw, M.D. -The New Testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ, translated from the Greek, 1694, "and the Word was a god"
The NET Bible, "and the Word was fully God."
Simple English Bible, "and the Message was Deity"
Hermann Heinfetter, A Literal Translation of the New Testament,1863, [A]s a god the Command was"
Abner Kneeland-The New Testament in Greek and English, 1822, "The Word was a God"
Robert Young, LL.D. (Concise Commentary on the Holy Bible [Grand Rapids: Baker, n.d.], 54). 1885,
"[A]nd a God (i.e. a Divine Being) was the Word"
Belsham N.T. 1809 “the Word was a god”
Leicester Ambrose, The Final Theology, Volume 1, New York, New York; M.B. Sawyer and Company, 1879, "And the logos was a god"
Charles A.L. Totten, The Gospel of History, 1900, "the Word was Deistic [=The Word was Godly]
J.N. Jannaris, Zeitschrift fur die Newtestameutlich Wissencraft, (German periodical) 1901, [A]nd was a god"
International Bible Translators N.T. 1981
“In the beginning there was the Message. The Message was with God.
The Message was deity.”
CEV, "the Word was truly God."
Samuel Clarke, M.A., D.D., rector of St. James, Westminster, A Paraphrase on the Gospel of John, London
"[A] Divine Person."
Joseph Priestley, LL.D., F.R.S.  (in A Familiar Illustration of Certain Passages of Scripture Relating to The Power of Man to do the Will of God, Original Sin, Election and Reprobation, The Divinity of Christ; And, Atonement for Sin by the Death of Christ [Philadelphia: Thomas Dobson, 1794], 37). "a God"
Lant Carpenter, LL.D (in Unitarianism in the Gospels [London: C. Stower, 1809], 156). "a God"
Andrews Norton, D.D. (in A Statement of Reasons For Not Believing the Doctrines of Trinitarians [Cambridge: Brown, Shattuck, and Company, 1833], 74). "a god"
J. Harold Greenlee, "and the Word was Deity" (A Concise Exegetical Grammar of New Testament Greek)
Paul Wernle, Professor Extraordinary of Modern Church History at the University of Basil (in The Beginnings of Christianity, vol. 1, The Rise of Religion [1903], 16).  "a God"
"At the beginning of Creation, there dwelt with God a mighty spirit, the Marshal, who produced all things in their order." 21st Century NT Free
"and the [Marshal] [Word] was a god." 21st Century Literal
George William Horner, The Coptic Version of the New Testament, 1911, [A]nd (a) God was the word"
Ernest Findlay Scott, The Literature of the New Testament, New York, Columbia University Press, 1932, "[A]nd the Word was of divine nature"
James L. Tomanec, The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Anointed, 1958, [T]he Word was a God"
Philip Harner, JBL, Vol. 92, 1974, "The Word had the same nature as God"
Maximilian Zerwich S.J./Mary Grosvenor, 1974, "The Word was divine"
Siegfried Schulz, Das Evangelium nach Johannes, 1975, "And a god (or, of a divine kind) was the Word"
Translator's NT, 1973, "The Word was with God and shared his nature
...with footnote, "There is a distinction in the Greek here between 'with God' and 'God.' In the forst instance, the article is used and this makes the reference specific. In the second instance there is not article, and it is difficult to believe that the omission is not significant. In effect it gives an adjectival quality to the second use of Theos (God) so that the phrae means 'The Word was divine'."
William Barclay's The New Testament, 1976, "the nature of the Word was the same as the nature of God"
Johannes Schneider, Das Evangelium nach Johannes, 1978, "and godlike sort was the Logos
Schonfield's The Original New Testament, 1985, "the Word was divine
Revised English Bible, 1989, "what God was, the Word was
Cotton Patch Version, 1970, and the Idea and God were One
Scholar's Version-The Five Gospels, 1993, "The Divine word and wisdom was there with God, and it was what God was
J. Madsen, New Testament A Rendering , 1994, "the Word was a divine Being"
Jurgen Becker, Das Evangelium nach Johannes, 1979, "a God/god was the Logos/logos"
Curt Stage, The New Testament, 1907, "The Word/word was itself a divine Being/being."
Bohmer, 1910, "It was strongly linked to God, yes itself divine Being/being"
Das Neue Testament, by Ludwig Thimme, 1919, "God of Kind/kind was the Word/word"
Baumgarten et al, 1920, "God (of Kind/kind) was the Logos/logos"
Holzmann, 1926, "ein Gott war der Gedanke" [a God/god was the Thought/thought]
Friedriche Rittelmeyer, 1938, "itself a God/god was the Word/word"
Lyder Brun (Norw. professor of NT theology), 1945, "the Word was of divine kind"
Fredrich Pfaefflin, The New Testament, 1949, "was of divine Kind/kind"
Albrecht, 1957, "godlike Being/being had the Word/word"
Smit, 1960, "the word of the world was a divine being"
Menge, 1961, "God(=godlike Being/being) was the Word/word"
Haenchen, 1980, "God (of Kind/kind) was the Logos/logos" [as mentioned in William Loader's The Christology of the Fourth Gospel, p. 155 cf. p.260]
Die Bibel in heutigem Deutsch, 1982, "He was with God and in all like God"
Haenchen (tr. By R. Funk), 1984, "divine (of the category divinity)was the Logos"
Johannes Schulz, 1987, "a God/god (or: God/god of Kind/kind) was the Word/word." [As mentioned in William Loader's The Christology of the Fourth Gospel, p. 155 cf. p.260]
William Temple, Archbishop of York, Readings in St. John's Gospel, London, Macmillan & Co.,1933,
"And the Word was divine."
John Crellius, Latin form of German, The 2 Books of John Crellius Fancus, Touching One God the Father, 1631, "The Word of Speech was a God"
Greek Orthodox /Arabic Calendar, incorporating portions of the 4 Gospels, Greek Orthodox Patriarchy or Beirut, May, 1983, "the word was with Allah[God] and the word was a god"
Ervin Edward Stringfellow (Prof. of NT Language and Literature/Drake University, 1943, "And the Word was Divine"
Robert Harvey, D.D., Professor of New Testament Language and Literature, Westminster College, Cambridge, in The Historic Jesus in the New Testament,  London, Student Movement Christian Press1931
"and the Logos was divine (a divine being)"
Jesuit John L. McKenzie, 1965, wrote in his Dictionary of the Bible: "Jn 1:1 should rigorously be translated . . . 'the word was a divine being.'
Dymond, E.C. New Testament, 1962 (original manuscript)
"In the beginning was the creative purpose of God. It was with God and was fully expressive of God [just as wisdom was with God before creation]."
Buzzard/Hunting
“In the beginning of God’s creative effort, even before he created the
heavenly bodies and the earth, the mental power to reason logically already
existed, and the Wisdom produced by it was known only to God, for the
Wisdom was God’s Wisdom” (Pro. 8:22-30)
Barclay, W. The Daily Study Bible- The Gospel of John vol.1
“III.  [Revised Edition ISBN 0-664-21304-9: Finally John says that “The Word was God”. There is no doubt that
this is a difficult saying for us to understand, and it is difficult because
greek, in which John wrote, had a different way of saying things from
the way in which english speaks. When the greek uses a noun it almost
always uses the definite article with it. The greek for God is ‘theos’,
and the definite article is ‘ho’. When greek speaks about God it does
not simply say ‘theos’; it says ‘ho theos’. Now, when greek does not
use the definite article with a noun that noun becomes much more like
an adjective; it describes the character, the quality of the person. John
did not say that the Word was ‘ho theos’; that would have been to say
that the Word was identical with God; he says that the Word was
‘theos’- without the definite article- which means that the Word was,
as we might say, of the very same character and quality and essence and
being as God. When John said ‘The Word was God’ he was n o t
saying that Jesus is identical with God, he was saying that Jesus is so
perfectly the same as God in mind, in heart, in being that in Jesus we
perfectly see what God is like”

So Why the Difference? 
Let us look at the construction as it is in the Nestle-Aland Greek NT.
EN ARCH HN O LOGOS KAI O LOGOS HN PROS TON QEON KAI QEOS HN O LOGOS
Let's look at the two different appearances of the word "God" in John1:1. The first usage of 'theos' (which is spelled with the accusative case ending) is preceded by a definite article(TON QEON/The God). This gives this God "identity". The second usage is the predicate noun "QEOS" or "a god." It lacks the article. So here we see that the subject,  the LOGOS/WORD is with The God, but he belongs to a "class" of god or has the "quality" of a God. It is qualitative. As you can see I added the indefinite article "a" before the second word "god". This is perfectly acceptable as the greek doesn't have an indefinite article and so it is up to the translator to decide where the indefinite article should be. However, W.E. Vine's Expository Dictionary claims that "to translate it literally, 'a god was the Word,' is entirely misleading." Vine does not deny that "a god" is a literal translation, only that we shouldn't translate it like that. But is he right? Trinitarians like Vine do not like the rendering "a god". Murray Harris in his book, Jesus as God-The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus gives us a list where others were referred to as gods in early times as titles of respect:
Heroes were gods, like Chiron and Colonus(see Sophocles Trach. 714 & Oed. Col. 65).
Skilled politicians were gods, like Demetrius Poliorketes and Antigonos (see Athanaeus 6:63).
Founding fathers of philosophical schools like Diogenes, Peregrinus and Heraclitus were gods (Peregrinus was thought so by his Christian students).
Rulers such as Ptolemy V (Epiphanes), Julius Caeser, Augustus, Herod Agrippa I, Nero and Domitian were referred to as gods.
Patriarchs like Moses are referred to as god by Philo (Sacr. AC. 9).
Certain servants such as Marricus (see Tacitus, Hist. 2:51).
And humans as possessors of great intelligence(i.e. Marcus Aurelius/Epictetus Diss.2:8:12 and Plotinus). p.27,28
But Harris only accepts "the Word was a god" on grammatical grounds as Christians are monotheistic. Christians are, but this does not disallow "god" as a title of respect. Even the Bible makes reference to others who are termed "god" but are not YHWH or false gods.
Moses is a god(Ex. 4:16; 7:1)
Kings are gods(Ps. 45:6)
Angels/Judges are gods(Ps. 8:5; 82:1-6; 97:7; 138:1)

Here is how others have viewed the title "God":
"The pre-Arian discussion of the Angel-Christology did not turn simply on the question whether Christ was an angel, but on another issue, namely, in what sense could he, as an angel, rank as God. The explanation which was offered by the supporters of the Angel-Christoloy was that Christ, according to his nature, was a high angel, but that he was named 'God'; for the designation 'God' was ambiguous. The word 'God' did mean, in the first place, the absolute divine omnipotence but it was also used for the beings who served this deus verus [Latin, 'god true'= (the) true God]. That these were designated 'gods' implies reverence and recognition of Him who sent them and whom they thus represented. Consequently in the Scriptures (Exod. xxii, 28),  not only angels,  but even men could be called 'gods' [cf. Ps. 8:5; Heb. 2:7, 9; Ps. 82:6, 7; John 10:34, 35] without  according  them the status in the strict sense. Even Latantius [260-330 C.E.] had thought in this way2 ... 2 Latantius, inst. Epitome [The Epitome Of The Divine Institutes], 37."-Martin Werner, The Formation Of Christian Dogma, p. 140.

"I said you are gods. Scripture gives the name of gods to those on whom God has conferred an honourable office. He whom God has separated, to be distinguished above all others [His Son] is far more worthy of this honourable title ... The passage which Christ quotes [at John 10:34] is in Psalm lxxxii [82], 6, I have said, You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High; where God expostulates with the kings and judges of the earth, who tyrannically abuse the authority and power for their own sinful passions, for oppressing the poor, and for every evil action ... Christ applies this to the case in hand, that they receive the name of gods, be- cause they are God's ministers for governing the world. For the same reason Scripture calls the angels gods, because by them the glory of God beams forth on the world ... In short, let us know that magistrates are called gods, because God has given them authority."-John Calvin, Commentary on the Gospel According to John, p. 419, 20.

"We have learned that those only are deified who have lived near to God in holiness and virtue."-Justin Martyr, The First Apology Of Justin, chapter XXI (21); ANF, Vol. I, p. 170.

"For we cast blame upon Him, because we have not been made gods from the beginning, but at first merely men, then at length gods;"-Irenaeus, Irenaeus Against Heresies, Book IV (4), chapter XXXVIII (38), § 4; ANF, Vol. I, p. 52

"[the Son] having bestowed on us the truly great, divine, and inalienable inheritance of the Father, deifying man by heavenly teaching,"-Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation To The Heathen (or, The Greeks, or, The Gentiles), chapter XI (11); ANF, Vol. II, p. 203.

"But let us, O children of the Father-nurslings of the good Instructor [Christ]-fulfil the Father's will ... and meditating on the heavenly mode of life according to which we have been deified, let us anoint ourselves with the perennial, immortal bloom of gladness."-Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor (Peadagogus), Book I, chapter XII (12); ANF, Vol. II, p. 234.

"The Creator did not wish to make him [mankind] a god, and failed in His aim; nor an angel-be not deceived-but a man. For if He had wished to make thee a god, He could have done so. Thou hast the example of the Logos [the Word, the Son]"-Hippolytus, The Refutation Of All Heresies, Book X (10), chapter XXIX (29); ANF, Vol. V (5), p. 151.

"And thou shalt be a companion of the Deity, and a co-heir with Christ, no longer enslaved by lusts or passions, and never again wasted by disease. For thou hast become God ... For the Deity, (by condescension,) does not diminish aught of the dignity of His divine perfection; having made thee even God unto His glory!"-ibid., chapter XXX (30); ibid., p. 153.

"If, therefore, man has become immortal, he will also be God. And if he is made God by water and by the Holy Spirit after the regeneration of the laver he is found to be also joint-heir with Christ after the resurrection of the dead."-Hippolytus, Discourse On The Holy Theophany, § 8; ANF, Vol. V, p. 237.

"For He [the Son of God] was made man that we might be made God."-Athanasisus, Incarnation Of The Word, (De Incarnatione Verbi Dei), The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Edinburgh, T&T Clark; Grand Rapids, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; Second Series, Vol. IV (4), p. 65,  reprinting of October, 1987.  "For He has become Man, that He might deify us in  Himself,  and  He has been  born  of a  woman,  and  begotten  of  a Virgin in order to transfer to Himself our erring generation, and that we may become henceforth a holy race, and 'partakers of the Divine Nature,' as blessed Peter  wrote. (2 Peter 1:4)-Athanasius, Letters of Athanasius, (Lx. Ad Adelphiun), 60.4; ibid., p. 576.

Origen (185 CE - 251 CE) is called "one of the most learned teachers and prolific authors of the early church."  (Encyclopedia of Early Christianity)  Though coming well after the apostolic period, it is interesting to peruse his Commentary on John, as found in volume 9 of
Menzies' "Ante-Nicene Fathers."

              [Quote]
              We next notice John's use of the article in these sentences [John
              1:1].  He does not write without care in this respect nor is he
              unfamiliar with the Greek tongue.  In some cases he uses the article,
              and in some cases he omits it...He uses the article when the name of
              God refers to the uncreated cause of all things, and omits it when
              the Logos is named God...The God who is over all is God with the
              article, not without it.

              God on the one hand is Very God (Autotheos, God of Himself); and so
              the Saviour says in His prayer to the Father, "That they may know
              Thee the only true God;" but that all beyond the Very God is made God
              by participation in His divinity, and is not to be called simply God
              (with the article), but rather God (without article).  And thus the
              first-born of all creation, who is the first to be with God, and to
              attract to Himself divinity, is a being of more exalted rank than the
              other gods beside Him, of whom God is the God, as it is written, "The
              God of gods, the Lord, hath spoken and called the earth."

              The true God, then, is "The God," and those who are formed after Him
              are gods, images, as it were of Him the prototype.  But the
              archetypal
              image, again, of all these images is the Word of God, who was in the
              beginning, and who by being with God is at all times God, not
              possessing that of Himself, but by His being with the Father.
              [Unquote]

For Origen, John 1:1c is the logical outcome of John 1:1b, i.e., the Word is "God" or a divine being *because* he was "with" The God in the beginning, "not possessing that of Himself, but by His being with the Father."
What I found interesting was so early a recognition of the relevance of the difference between QEOS and hO QEOS in John 1:1.  As Origen explains it, the meaning would be similar to modern translators who render John 1:1 as "the Word was Divine" or "the Word was a divine
being" or even -- yes -- "the Word was a god."
I just came across an interesting bit in Ehrman's Orthodox Corruption of Scripture where a scribe altered John 1:1c in order to elevate the divine status of Jesus.

"I should observe that a similar addition of the article occurs in the 8th century Alexandrian manuscript L of John 1:1, so that the text now reads *O QEOS HN O LOGOS*-making it clear that the Word actually was God himself (not simply divine). I am somewhat reluctant to exclude this singular reading from consideration here, but am nonetheless under the distinct impresssion that it derives from the later Arian controversies. At the same time, it is worth pointing out that Origen already used the *absence* of the article in John 1:1 to demonstrate Christ's subordination to God (Jn. Com 2.2.17-18)." p. 179
I think Ehrman's comment is interesting, and the fact that John 1:1c, as it should read, is simply not enough to elevate Christ to almightihood even from a historical perspective.
To understand the translation "the Word was a god," let us look at John 6:70. When speaking of his betrayer Judas Iscariot, Jesus said, "One of you is a devil."ASV Did Jesus mean that Judas is actually Satan the Devil? No! He merely meant to say that Judas is like (class) a devil, or that he has the qualities of a devil. The word "devil" here has no article in the greek, but most translators deem it necessary to add the "a" to complete the thought.

So what kind of god is Jesus? John 1:18 says he is the "only-begotten God" or "only-born God" who represents the God that "no man hath seen"(NASB, NWT, Lattimore, Byington.
But why is the term WORD/LOGOS used here to refer to Jesus Christ?
First, most of the early Church Fathers considered Wisdom to be Christ.
Eldon J. Epp, in his book "WISDOM, TORAH, WORD: THE JOHANNINE PROLOGUE and the PURPOSE of the  FOURTH GOSPEL  singles out Wisdom hymns in Proverbs, Sirach 24:3-9, 23-32, Baruch 3:9-4:2 and Wisdom of Solomon 7:21-9:18 that he believes influenced the Prologue of John. There are considerable parallels.
In fact, Wisdom 9:1 refers to the God who "made all things by means of his word(logos). But then 9:2 uses SOPHIA(wisdom) as a parallel to LOGOS.

"I issued from the mouth of the Most High" Sirach 24:3 Hence: a Word
"He created me from the beginning, before the world, and I shall never cease." Sirach 24:9
"All that was secret or manifest I learned." Wisdom 7:21
"But if the possession of wealth is to be desired in life, What is richer than wisdom, which operates everything?" And if understanding works, Who in all the world is a greater craftsman than she?" Wisdom 8:5-6
"God of my forefathers and merciful Lord, Who created all things by your word, and by your wisdom formed man
To rule over the creatures you had made." Wisdom 9:1,2
"And with you is wisdom, which knows your works, And was present when you made the world, And understands what is pleasing in your sight, And what is in accord with your commands." Wisdom 9:9
"She glorifies her high birth in living with God." Wisdom 8:3
"Give me the wisdom that sits by your throne." Wisdom 9:4
"The motif of Wisdom the woman subsequently played a notable part in Jewish and Christian thought. She appears, for example, in the Wisdom of Solomon, in Sirach, in Baruch 3:9-4:4, and in the non-biblical texts from Qumram, and her words are echoed in the New Testament (e.g. Matt. 11:28). Perhaps most resonant of all was Wisdom's speech in Proverbs 8:22-31, stressing her presence at the beginning of creation. Sirach equates Wisdom with the creative word of God (24:3) and with Torah (24:23). Readers of the jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria (first century C.E.) have found it difficult to disentangle the properties of God's word (LOGOS) from Wisdom (SOPHIA) of God (1 Cor 1:24). The mini-creation story at John 1:1-3 consciously evokes Proverbs 8."

The Oxford Companion to the Bible edited by Bruce M. Metzger
"The doctrine of wisdom, thus outlined in the OT, will be resumed in the NT which will give it new and decisive completion by applying it to the person of Christ. Jesus is referred to as Wisdom itself, the Wisdom of God, Mt 11:19 par.; Lk 11:49, cf. Mt 23:34-36; 1 Co 1:24-30; like Wisdom, he participates in the creation and preservation of the world, Col 1:16-17, and the protection of Israel, 1Co 10:4, cf. Ws 10:17seq. Finally, John in his prologue attributes the characteristics of creative Wisdom to the Word, and his gospel throughout represents Christ as the Wisdom of God. See Jn 6:35t. Hence, Christian tradition from St Justin onwards sees in the Wisdom of the OT the person of Christ himself." footnote New Jerusalem Bible at Prov 8
"She is God's associate in his works, and his agent in making all things (Prov 8:22-30; see also Jn 1:3; Col 1:16; Heb 1:2)." footnote at Wisdom 8:2-21 in the New Oxford Annotated Bible-NRSV

"While we do not say with certainty that this applies to a personal being, it does foreshadow the beautiful doctrine of the Word of God later developed in St. John`s gospel (Jn 1, 1-14)." footnote at Sirach 24, New American Bible

"Here that plurality of divine persons is foreshadowed which was afterward to be fully revealed when Wisdom in the Person of Jesus Christ became incarnate." footnote at Proverbs 8:22 New American Bible.

W. Gunther Plaut, in his work Book of Proverbs—A Commentary, says that these verses apply to Wisdom "personified only in a figurative way." This passage, however, cannot be speaking merely about divine wisdom or wisdom in the abstract. Why not? Because the "Wisdom" that is here depicted was "created" or "produced" (Hebrew, qa·nah') as the beginning of Jehovah's way.
What is the best rendering here though. Some Bibles read "The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his way. The Interpreters's Bible [p.830] says of Prov 8:22 .
"The verb QANAH may be translated either way. In view of the statements made in the following verses concerning wisdom, it would seem that the RSV translates correctly; cf. also the following quotations from Ecclesiasticus:
Wisdom was created before them all,
And sound intelligence from eternity (Ecclus 1:4)
The Lord himself created her (Ecclus 1:9

Then the Creator of all gave me his command;
And he who created me made my tent rest (Ecclus 24:8 AT).

Interestingly, the New Jerusalem Bible at Proverbs 8:22 states, "The translation 'acquired me' or 'possessed me' (Aquila, Symm., Theod. ) was adopted by Jerome (Vulg), probably with an eye to the heretic Arius who maintained that the Word (=Wisdom) was a created being." So again we see a manipulation of the text to fit an errant theology. For an extensive list of Bible Translations that do not render the verb QANAH as possessed click here.
So how is it that Jesus stopped being referred to as Wisdom in many minds?

"Irenaeus [in the second century] could still interpret MK. Xiii, 32 in the following manner: the Son confessed not to know that which only the Father knew; hence ‘ we learn from himself that the Father is over all', as he who is greater also than the Son.  But the Nicene theologians had now suddenly to deny that Jesus could have said such a thing about the Son.  In the long-recognized scriptural testimony for the Logos-doctrine provided by Prov. Viii, 22 ff.  The exegetes of the second and third centuries had found the creation of the pre-existent Logos-Christ set forth without dispute and equivocation.  But now, when the Arians also interpreted the passage in this way, the interpretation was suddenly reckoned as false.... A theologian such as Tertullian by virtue of his Subordinationist manner of thinking, could confidently on occasion maintain that, before all creation, God the Father had been originally ‘alone', and thus there was a time when ‘the Son was not'.  When he did so, within the Church of his day such a statement did not inevitably provoke a controversy, and indeed there was none about it.  But now, when Arius said the same thing in almost the same words, he raised thereby in the Church a mighty uproar, and such a view was condemned as heresy in the anathemas of Nicaea." [e.a.]-pp. 155-8.  The Formation of Christian Dogma, by Martin Werner, D.D.

The Scriptures show that Jehovah himself has always existed. (Ps. 90:2; 1 Tim. 1:17) Because Jehovah filled his only-begotten Son with wisdom, the Son became the very symbol of wisdom and he speaks of himself as Wisdom in Proverbs chapter 8. In Pr 8 verse 30 where Moffatt uses the expression "foster-child" to refer to the Son, Moffatt is giving a literal translation of the word ah·móhn, which is from the Hebrew verb ahmán, meaning "to nourish, nurse, be guardian to". In Isaiah 49:23 the participle of this verb, ah·méhn, is translated in the King James Version "nursing fathers", and "nourishers" in the margin. At Isaiah 60:4 the word is rendered "nursed".

John Martin Creed in The Divinity of Jesus Christ, wrote:

When the writers of the New Testament speak of God they mean the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ. When they speak of Jesus Christ, they do not speak of him, nor think of him as God. He is God's Christ, God's Son, God's Wisdom, God's Word. Even the prologue to St. John{John 1:1-18} which comes nearest to the Nicene Doctrine, must be read in the light of the pronounced subordinationism of the Gospel as a whole; and the Prologue is less explicit in Greek with the anarthrous theos [the word "god" at John 1:1c without the article] than it appears in English... The adoring exclation of St. Thomas "my Lord and my god" (Joh. xx. 28) is still not quite the same as an address to Christ as being without qualification [limitation] God, and it must be balanced by the words of the risen Christ himself to Mary Magdalene (v[erse. 17) "Go unto my brethren and say to them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and my God and your God." Jesus Christ is frequently spoken of in the Ignation Epistles as "our God", "my God", but probably never as "God" without qualification.

See also The New World Translation Bible Companion DVDrom

No comments:

Post a Comment