Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. Verse Tool: show

Is Jesus the Everlasting Father?

God, Christ, & The Holy Spirit

Is Jesus the Everlasting Father?

Postby Paidion » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:00 pm

In most Bibles we read in Isaiah 9:6

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

The seems rather odd, especially when we consider that Jesus Himself in His prayer, called the Father "the only true God" (John 17:3). The verse as given above seems to harmonize only with Modalism—the view that God is a single Individual who expresses Himself in three modes: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This view is espoused by the United Pentecostal Church, and by the various "Apostolic" churches. If we are going to accept this verse as true, it seems we will have to accept Modalist theology.

However, the above form of the verse originates from the Masoretic text of the Jews, from the 7th to 10th centuries.

The Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek is a much older text. Here is how Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton translated the verse from the Septuagint in 1851:

For a child is born to us, and a son is given to us, whose government is upon his shoulder: and his name is called the Messenger of great counsel: for I will bring peace upon the princes, and health to him.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 76 years old. I am now 80.
User avatar
Paidion
 
Posts: 4729
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:22 pm
Location: Back Woods of North-Western Ontario

Re: Is Jesus the Everlasting Father?

Postby backwoodsman » Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:52 am

Paidion wrote:The verse as given above seems to harmonize only with Modalism—the view that God is a single Individual who expresses Himself in three modes: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This view is espoused by the United Pentecostal Church, and by the various "Apostolic" churches. If we are going to accept this verse as true, it seems we will have to accept Modalist theology.

It harmonizes perfectly with a trinitarian view also. It could be that it's not trinitarianism, but your understanding of trinitarianism, that's a bit lacking.

The Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek is a much older text. Here is how Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton translated the verse from the Septuagint in 1851:

For a child is born to us, and a son is given to us, whose government is upon his shoulder: and his name is called the Messenger of great counsel: for I will bring peace upon the princes, and health to him.

My Hebrew interlinear doesn't have the word Father at that point. Lamsa's Syriac translation also doesn't have Father, and puts "God" with "Everlasting" rather than "Mighty", e.g. "...The Mighty One, The Everlasting God...". There are several different LXX manuscripts as well; it would be interesting to check them and see what they say.

In any case, it seems unwarranted to use this verse as support for modalism against trinitarianism.
User avatar
backwoodsman
 
Posts: 479
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:32 am
Location: Not quite at the ends of the earth, but you can see it from here.

Re: Is Jesus the Everlasting Father?

Postby Singalphile » Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:56 pm

I don't see a word that corresponds to "Father" in there either, but all of the well-known English translations have it, so I guess it's in there, beyond my understanding. Hebrew sure is strange (to me).

I do think Isaiah 9:6 seems to violate the gist of binitarianism and trinitarianism, to call the Son the Father. It kind of mixes up the sense in which God is one and the sense in which God is more than one. Not that it's incompatible, but it's a little odd, I think.

So, to answer the question, "Is Jesus the Everlasting Father?" I'd say, hmm ... Well, any son is of the same kind as his father. And any son, fully trusted, beloved, and given authority by his father, can be said to speak on behalf of his father. Is the son the same as the father? I guess kind of, sort of, but not exactly?

How's that? Good enough, or did I blow it? Am I no longer a Christian! ;)
Last edited by Singalphile on Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. John 5:23
Singalphile
 
Posts: 867
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:46 pm

Re: Is Jesus the Everlasting Father?

Postby Paidion » Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:43 pm

backwoodsman wrote:In any case, it seems unwarranted to use this verse as support for modalism against trinitarianism
.

Well, that is certainly not what I was doing by posting what I did. I indicated that the verse "As given above" harmonizes with Modalism—that is, if the child that is born, the Son that is given to us is "the everlasting Father." If THAT were the correct rendering, how could it harmonize with Trintarianism? Trinitarians do not believe that Jesus is the Everlasting Father. They believe that the Father and the Son are two different divine Individuals—though somehow, together with the Holy Spirit, make up one God.

I am neither a Modalist nor a Trinitarian. I believe that Jesus is the SON of God in the generic sense, in that He was begotten by God as the first of God's acts. That is the position of the first and second century Christians.

When we beget offspring, our offspring are "man" and "human" just as we are.
When God begat His only Son, that Son was "God" and "divine" just as God is.

John 1:1 uses the word "God" both in the sense of "the Father" and in the generic sense. In the beginning the Logos was with "THE GOD." That article is used in Greek, and so "THE GOD" refers to the Father alone. Then it says that the Logos was GOD. No article! Also the word order was changed so that "God" appears BEFORE the verb "was." (God was the Logos). This order indicates that "God" is the kind of thing that the Logos was—in other words "God" or "God essence" is what the Logos was, meaning that the Logos was divine.

The same thing is done in the sentence, "Your word is truth." (John 17:17). The word "truth" appears before the verb (Your word truth is). Truth is the kind of thing God's word is. Truth is the essence of God's word.

Also in 1 John 4:16. "God is love." The word order is "The God love is." Love is the kind of thing the God is—His very essence.

Martin Luther put to death Jews and Anabaptists. But whatever else he was, he was a good Greek student. Luther explained "the Logos was God" in John 1:1 very succinctly:
He wrote, "The lack of an article is against Sabellianism; the word order is against Arianism." Sabellianism was the Modalism in Luther's day. If John had meant to say that the Logos WAS God Himself (the Father) he would have written, "the Logos was the God." If John had meant merely that the word was a god (as Jehovah's Witnesses rendered it in the New World Translation), he would have written, "The Logos was god" in natural order, rather than placing "God" BEFORE the verb.

That is how Luther perceived Arianism. However, in his letter to Eusebius in A.D. 321, Arius wrote:

Eusebius, your brother Bishops of Caesarea, Theodatus, Paulinus, Athanasius, Gregory, Aetius, and all the other bishops of the east, have been condemned for saying that God existed, without beginning, before the Son; except Philogonius, Hellanicus, and Macarius, men who are heretics and unlearned in the faith; some of whom say that the Son is an effluence, others a projection, others that he is co-unbegotten.

To these impieties we cannot even listen, even though the heretics threaten us with a thousand deaths. But what we say and think we both have taught and continue to teach, that the Son is not unbegotten, nor part of the unbegotten in any way, nor is he derived from any substance; but that by his own will and counsel he existed before times and ages, fully God, only-begotten, unchangeable.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 76 years old. I am now 80.
User avatar
Paidion
 
Posts: 4729
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:22 pm
Location: Back Woods of North-Western Ontario

Re: Is Jesus the Everlasting Father?

Postby Homer » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:51 am

Hi Paidion,

You wrote:
When we beget offspring, our offspring are "man" and "human" just as we are.
When God begat His only Son, that Son was "God" and "divine" just as God is.


I have two sons. They are both "man" exactly as I am. Thus we are three men. Now you say Jesus is "God" just the same as God is. It appears to me you are saying there are two Gods, the only difference being in office? How are you not binitarian?
User avatar
Homer
 
Posts: 2504
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:08 pm

Re: Is Jesus the Everlasting Father?

Postby Paidion » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:55 pm

Now you say Jesus is "God" just the same as God is. It appears to me you are saying there are two Gods, the only difference being in office? How are you not binitarian?


Well... my understanding is that a Binitarian believes in one compound God consisting of two divine persons, just as a true Trinitarian believes in one compound God consisting of three divine persons. I say "true Trinitarian" because many people who are actually Modalists, think they are Trinitarians. A Modalist believes God is a single Individual who expresses Himself sometimes as the Father, sometimes as the Son, and sometimes as the Holy Spirit.

My belief is the same as that of Jesus, who, in His prayer to His Father, addressed Him as "the Only True God." Jesus is not the "Only True God" but is "God stuff" as one might crudely express the use of the word "God" in John1:1 where it is written that the Logos is "God" without the article, whereas in the same sentence the true God is written with the article.

And more understandable translation of the Greek would be, "In the beginning was the Logos and the Logos was with the God, and the Logos was God essence."

Why do I translate the second occurrence of "theos" as "God essence"? For two reasons: 1)the absence of the article (combined with) 2) the word order.
The word order is literally "God was the Logos." I expressed in an earlier post in this thread that the same word order is used for "God is love" and "Your word is truth."
"Love" is the essence of the God. "Truth" is the essence of God's word. Similarly, "God" is the essence of the Logos.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 76 years old. I am now 80.
User avatar
Paidion
 
Posts: 4729
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:22 pm
Location: Back Woods of North-Western Ontario

Re: Is Jesus the Everlasting Father?

Postby Homer » Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:06 pm

Hi Paidion,

I understand your position to be that in the subject passage of John 1 logos without the article functions as a "qualitative noun". This is exactly the position taken by many in proof of the Trinitarian position:
Harner's study has been accepted and expanded upon by a number of Greek scholars, grammarians, and lexicographers.4 While English grammars do not generally classify nouns as "qualitative," and thus English speakers are not used to this term, several languages including Japanese and Coptic have qualitative nouns. Thus, while there may be some difficulty in expressing the true meaning of a qualitative noun n English without some level of paraphrase, the existence of qualitative nouns in Koine Greek is well established as is their meaning.

See here for article quote is from: http://www.forananswer.org/Top_JW/Theos_CountNoun.htm
User avatar
Homer
 
Posts: 2504
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:08 pm

Re: Is Jesus the Everlasting Father?

Postby Paidion » Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:09 pm

Hi Homer, you wrote:I understand your position to be that in the subject passage of John 1 logos without the article functions as a "qualitative noun". This is exactly the position taken by many in proof of the Trinitarian position:


Don't you mean "theos without the article functions as a qualitative noun"? This is what the author of the article you cited stated in his final sentence:

On the other hand, there is ample support for the traditional view that theos in this verse is a qualitative noun, signifying that the Logos is God by nature.

If that is what you meant, then that is precisely my position. Indeed, I fully agree with the author that "theos in this verse is a qualitative noun, signifying that the Logos is God" by nature—that is, the second "theos" in the verse, of course. The first occurrence of "theos" in the verse is preceded by the article, and refers to THE GOD.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 76 years old. I am now 80.
User avatar
Paidion
 
Posts: 4729
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:22 pm
Location: Back Woods of North-Western Ontario

Is Jesus the Everlasting Father?

Postby Seballius » Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:02 pm

Paidion

You really believe that Arianism was the original belief of the Christians?

Every church history book that I have read has always suggested that it sprang up in the 3rd century.
User avatar
Seballius
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:19 am


Return to Theology Proper, Christology, Pneumatology

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests