ChristianHeretic wrote:In the beginning of my search to identify which verses in Scripture I could harness to prove my belief in the deity of Jesus, I was surprised to find that there were only nine original verses in our entire Protestant New Testament that are even argued by some modern English translators to be claiming that Jesus is called “God,” or the Greek word THEOS, by the authors of Scripture. And these verses were sprinkled among the over 1,300 times this title is reserved for the Father, the God of Israel.
ChristianHeretic wrote:But then I learned that the King James translators actually disagreed with this modern interpretation in at least six of these nine verses, and only one of these is based on variant manuscripts.
ChristianHeretic wrote:And this was only after I learned of the handful of other vital “proof texts” found in the King James that were previously used unwittingly by those during the Protestant Reformation for the explicit purpose of proving the trinity, but we now know are corruptions.
Pseudonym wrote:In the Hebrew scriptures, the actual name of God is the tetragrammaton, usually rendered "Yahweh" these days, but in the KJV and similar translations, translated as "LORD". This is partly because in the Septuagint (Greek version of the Old Testament, which is probably the version that most New Testament authors worked from), the tetragrammaton was translated as "lord".
Pseudonym wrote:see also 8:58 ("before Abraham was, I am"; this is a clear reference to the tetragrammaton)
Pseudonym wrote:There's also a quirk of Greek grammar known as Granville Sharp's rule, which indicates that Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1 are identifying Jesus with God.
Pseudonym wrote:Could you give details, please?
Pseudonym wrote:Now, if you really want to do your head in, try to show that the Holy Spirit is God. It's not impossible, but much, much harder to do.
ChristianHeretic wrote:So your argument is that because the term 'kurios' is used for Jesus, the authors of Scripture also meant he was 'theos?'
ChristianHeretic wrote:That would be an interesting theory if they didn't actually use the term 'theos' over 1300 times for the one they understand to be 'elohym' in the Hebrew text.
ChristianHeretic wrote:Glad you brought up that "most New Testament authors worked from" the Septuagint. First, check to make sure John did. Then, check to see whether Jesus also used the LXX.
ChristianHeretic wrote:Then check again to see if Jn 8:58 is a quote of the Septuagint like is alleged by modern Christianity.
Pseudonym wrote:My argument is that there are multiple, converging lines of evidence that most of the New Testament authors believed that Jesus was identifiable with "God". This is one of those lines of evidence.
Pseudonym wrote:I'd be shocked if the author of the Gospel of John didn't use the LXX. The Greek influence is all over the book.
Pseudonym wrote:If the statement by Jesus in John 8:58 is accurate, it was likely spoken in Aramaic, not Greek.
ChristianHeretic wrote:I would say because of the many uses of 'kurios' and because of the consistent use of it in connection with "God" as well as a replacement for 'Yahweh', it's just as possible that the authors of Scripture used the term for both Jesus and God, not for Jesus AS God.
ChristianHeretic wrote:I agree on both points, however, the issue is, if in fact John was translating Jesus' words from Aramaic back into Greek, and John was using the LXX as his "Scripture," then his perception of Jesus' claim of "I am" or 'ego eimi' couldn't have been that he believed he was replicating Yahweh's self-assessed title in Ex 3:14, because the LXX version of the text reads "I am 'The Being'" or "I am 'the One Who Is'", with a different Greek phrase of 'ho on.'
Exodus 3:14 (LXX) wrote:καὶ εἶπεν ὁ θεὸς πρὸς *μωυσῆν ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ὤν καὶ εἶπεν οὕτως ἐρεῖς τοῖς υἱοῖς Iσραηλ ὁ ὢν ἀπέσταλκέν με πρὸς ὑμᾶς
Pseudonym wrote:If you were the author of the fourth gospel, and you were trying to draw a parallel, how would you have phrased it?
He could have at very least used the same title that Yahweh used? Obviously, Orthodoxy is not aware of the LXX when making this argument, all they see is the English translation of the MT. (This is most obvious when you realize that none of the early Church Fathers that used the LXX as Scripture made this argument. They acknowledged the verse as a claim of pre-existing His earthly form, but not as a "clear reference to the tetragrammaton.") And most aren't as educated as you to realize that John used the LXX as his version of Scripture, so the discussion is usually a fruitless one with most Christians.Pseudonym wrote:I personally don't see how much more explicit it could be made apart from quoting chapter and verse.
Pseudonym wrote:it seems pretty clear from the response in v59 that those present interpreted it as a claim to deity. The reader is supposed to notice the connection.
Pseudonym wrote:Final question: How do you interpret John 8:58?
Pseudonym wrote:There is plenty of evidence that the New Testament authors believed that Jesus was identifiable as God
ChristianHeretic wrote:If I was trying to claim/transcribe the same title as Yahweh in Ex 3:14, I probably would have actually used the same title and said/written, "Before Abraham was born, ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ὤν." Or "Before Abraham was born, I am the One Who is." See Rev 1:4-5 for John actually quoting this EXACT title Yahweh uses in Ex 3:14 explicitly for the Father, "..from Him Who Is..."
ChristianHeretic wrote:He could have at very least used the same title that Yahweh used?
ChristianHeretic wrote:This is most obvious when you realize that none of the early Church Fathers that used the LXX as Scripture made this argument.
John Chrysostom wrote:But wherefore said He not, "Before Abraham was, I was," instead of "I Am"? As the Father uses this expression, "I Am," so also does Christ; for it signifies continuous Being, irrespective of all time. On which account the expression seemed to them to be blasphemous. Now if they could not bear the comparison with Abraham, although this was but a trifling one, had He continually made Himself equal to the Father, would they ever have ceased casting stones at Him?
ChristianHeretic wrote:What connection? Connection to what? It would have sounded the same as the phrases sound in English. If one person said "I am the Being," and then later someone else said "I am," surely you wouldn't argue that this second person was trying to quote the first.
ChristianHeretic wrote:Also notice the part where the guy who just claimed to be the all-powerful God "hid Himself" to avoid the stoning?
ChristianHeretic wrote:They were stoning Him because they believed that He was claiming to pre-exist Abraham, not because they had any idea that He was claiming the title of "Yahweh" in Ex 3:14.
ChristianHeretic wrote:Thus the purpose for the poll, what is your best evidence? Now that we've discussed Jn 8:58, which you previously believed was a "clear reference to the tetragrammaton." I have conveyed to you why I don't believe this is "clear," and actually not a claim of deity at all.
Pseudonym wrote:The word translated "born" means "to begin to be"
Pseudonym wrote:The parallelism between "began to be" and "am" is deliberately concise.
Pseudonym wrote:ChristianHeretic wrote:He could have at very least used the same title that Yahweh used?
If the story is accurate, then he probably did... in Aramaic. And I think this is where the main confusion is coming from.
Pseudonym wrote:I also notice that "ego eimi" is used in Deuteronomy 32:39, Isaiah 41:4 and 43:10. There are probably more; these are just the few I found in a quick search.
Pseudonym wrote:Isa 43:10 is a particularly interesting one, because it seems parallel to John 8:24. Your thoughts?
Pseudonym wrote:the fourth gospel uses "ego eimi" more than any other books in the New Testament
Pseudonym wrote:John Chrysostom's homily on John
Pseudonym wrote:I also discovered a reference in Novatian
If Christ was only man, how did He say, “Before Abraham was, I Am?” For no man can be before Him from whom he himself is; nor can it be that any one should have been prior to him of whom he himself has taken his origin. And yet Christ, although He is born of Abraham, says that He is before Abraham.
Pseudonym wrote:the original phrase is very famous
Pseudonym wrote:ChristianHeretic wrote:Also notice the part where the guy who just claimed to be the all-powerful God "hid Himself" to avoid the stoning?
It wasn't his time yet.
Pseudonym wrote:Interestingly, the only other time in that gospel when the Jewish authorities tried to stone him was when they actually believed that he was saying that he was God
Pseudonym wrote:It's many lines of evidence, all of which support the proposition that most of the New Testament authors and all of the church fathers believed that Jesus is God, and none of which refute it.
mitchellmckain wrote:As for me what I found most telling concerning the divinity of Christ in the gospel of John and the writings of Paul is that the creation of the world is attributed to Jesus.
mitchellmckain wrote:The first chapter of the gospel of John is of course well known
mitchellmckain wrote:John 10:30-38, where Jesus says "I and My Father are one"
mitchellmckain wrote:in John 12:45, He says, "And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me", and finally in John 14:7-10, He says, "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him. Phillip said to Him, 'Lord show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.' Jesus said to him, 'Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Phillip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father;
mitchellmckain wrote:For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
mitchellmckain wrote:For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell
mitchellmckain wrote:"Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever", "therefore God, thy God has annointed thee..."
mitchellmckain wrote:Others that see value in the scriptures but cannot bring themselves to swallow such a puzzling and seemingly contradictory idea of God will find numerous ways to read and understand the scrptures that avoid such a confusing understanding of Jesus and God.
ChristianHeretic wrote:BDAG actually initially defines this word as "to come into being through process of birth or natural production." So it is possible that Jesus was claiming that "Before Abraham was 'born', I am."
ChristianHeretic wrote:So is your argument now that Jesus did in fact intend to quote Ex 3:14, but John just missed this intent and transcribed it wrong?
ChristianHeretic wrote:Yes, there are more, like Jn 9:9, Isaiah 47:8 and 47:10. However, none of these times is it actually used by Jesus or Yahweh. So surely these times weren't an explicit claim to be God as well?
Isaiah 43:10 wrote:"You are my witnesses," declares Yahweh,
"and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
and understand that I AM.
Before me there was no God formed,
and there will be none after me."
ChristianHeretic wrote:Yes, it does. But surely we have to remove those that have a predicate where he is obviously not claiming simply "I am," He's actually claiming to be something else or confirming identity.
ChristianHeretic wrote:My only point is that if you were using the LXX as your "Scripture," you wouldn't have made the "connection." Most of those surrounding and pre-Nicea used the LXX and therefore, didn't recognize the similarities. When you're looking, see all of the early fathers that quote the verse but leave the "I am" claim of deity out.
ChristianHeretic wrote:Ok, so He can claim to be God but not excercise any of his prerogatives as God? Like saving Himself from an inconvenient stoning.
ChristianHeretic wrote:I'm fine if you don't rely on "proof texts," but surely you need to have some support texts for you opinions? It's not very helpful for the discussion to argue you have "many lines of evidence" without acknowledging what they are. For instance, the Jn 8:58 discussion is obviously one, and discussing it has helped me understand your views a little better.
ChristianHeretic wrote:For instance, I do not believe that Paul believed Jesus was "theos."
I am! is an explicit claim to deity. Although each occurrence of the phrase "I am" in the Fourth Gospel needs to be examined individually in context to see if an association with Exodus 3:14 is present, it seems clear in the case here (as the response in the following verses shows)
If there had been any uncertainty about Jesus' identity in other passages where he said, "I am" (e.g., 6:35; 9:5; 11:25), there was no confusion here because Jesus is claiming to be the one who was alive before Abraham was, that is, more than 2,000 years earlier. Jesus does not simply say, "Before Abraham was, I was," which would simply mean that he is more than 2,000 years old. Rather, he uses the present tense "I am" in speaking of existence more than 2,000 years earlier, thus claiming a kind of transcendence over time that could only be true of God. The words "I am" in Greek use the same expression (Ego eimi) found in the sseptuagint in the first half of God's self-identification in Exodus 3:14, "I AM who I AM." Jesus is thus claiming not only to be eternal but also to be the God who appeared to Moses at the burning bush. His Jewish opponents understood his meaning immediately and they "picked up stones" to stone him to death for blasphemy (see John 8:59).
not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day
And the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre...
ESV Study Bible wrote:The words "I am" in Greek use the same expression (Ego eimi) found in the septuagint in the first half of God's self-identification in Exodus 3:14, "I AM who I AM."
NET wrote:each occurrence of the phrase "I am" in the Fourth Gospel needs to be examined individually in context to see if an association with Exodus 3:14 is present
Pseudonym wrote:if Jesus said this in Aramaic, then the quibbling over ego eimi versus ho on is moot; Jesus almost certainly used the same phrase that you find in Ex 3:14 in Hebrew. Whoever translated this into Greek chose to render this using some of the phrasing from the LXX, but not all of it because it probably wouldn't have been an accurate representation of what Jesus is actually reported as saying.
Pseudonym wrote:How about John 1:1-14?
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