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How Many Gods Are There?

God, Christ, & The Holy Spirit

Re: How Many Gods Are There?

Postby Paidion » Tue Nov 20, 2018 12:08 pm

Since my explanation makes no sense to you, Homer, I think further explanation on my part would avail nothing.

Just to answer your question as to which category I would regard Jesus. I think you know my answer. He is in the "God category," just as you are in the "man category." But you cannot understand this. Tell me this. Do you believe that Jesus is the same Individual as the Father? And that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are but roles that this one divine Individual takes on?
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How Many Gods Are There?

Postby darinhouston » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:37 pm

I think the first order question is whether we equate being “divine” with being “God”. Is there a category of divinity or God-ness that isn’t the one and true God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? If so, then it doesn’t help at all to use the term God as a category to reference both and confuses the issue. God as a category makes no sense to me.

Once you have a category, you admit to multiple “members.”


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Re: How Many Gods Are There?

Postby Paidion » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:21 pm

Darin wrote:Is there a category of divinity or God-ness that isn’t the one and true God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? If so, then it doesn’t help at all to use the term God as a category to reference both and confuses the issue. God as a category makes no sense to me.


Then how do you explain the second use of the word "God" (in red below) found in John 1:1?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with [the] God and the Word was God.
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Re: How Many Gods Are There?

Postby Homer » Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:42 pm

Then how do you explain the second use of the word "God" (in red below) found in John 1:1?


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with [the] God and the Word was God.


Triune works well for me.
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Re: How Many Gods Are There?

Postby darinhouston » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:44 pm

Homer wrote:
Then how do you explain the second use of the word "God" (in red below) found in John 1:1?


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with [the] God and the Word was God.


Triune works well for me.


Do you mean biune?


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Re: How Many Gods Are There?

Postby Homer » Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:34 pm

Hi Darin,

I think the argument here has been whether there is even biunity (if that's a word). Is Jesus God or a God or what? Where do you place Him?

Then the Holy Spirit is another question.
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Re: How Many Gods Are There?

Postby PR » Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:47 pm

The Deity of Christ and Bart Ehrman

http://www.answeringmuslims.com/2018/10/the-deity-of-christ-and-bart-ehrman.html

The Deity of Christ is a fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith. It is taught throughout Scripture. It has been attacked by heretics throughout history including Islam, and is denied today by many liberal scholars who also deny the supernatural, and the concept of miracles, including God's existence. When Christians cite the claims of Jesus that He claimed to be God particularly in the gospel of John, our Muslim friends try to find alternate interpretations to disprove clear texts such as John 1:1; 8:58-59 (cf. Exodus 3:13-14); 10:30; 14:9; and John 20:28.

Dr. Bart Ehrman in a recent tweet addresses the question of whether or not Jesus called Himself God. You will notice that Ehrman interprets the passages in John cited above in the same way that Christians have interpreted these passages about the deity of Christ, that these are claims that Jesus makes about His identification as God. Ehrman believes that this is crystal clear in John as he says, "For John, Jesus is obviously God". Note as well, that Ehrman acknowledges just as Christians have always maintained, John does not say Jesus is God the Father, which is the heresy of modalism. Ehrman curiously wonders why the other gospel writers do not state the deity of Christ as clearly. They do, but not in the same way John does. Since Muslims are fond of quoting Bart Ehrman in their attacks on the New Testament, perhaps they will be consistent here, and pay attention to Ehrman's treatment of the gospel of John. Ehrman's tweet is available below. I have highlighted the significant parts in bold letters.
______________________________________________________________

What Do You Think?
Box 10.5 Did Jesus Call Himself God?
It is an interesting to ask: “What did Jesus say about himself?” More specifically, you might ask: “Did Jesus ever call himself God?” As it turns out, it depends on which Gospel you read.

In the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus never says he is God. He does talk about himself as the Son of Man; he says he must be killed and raised from the dead; and he admits he is the messiah. But the vast bulk of his teaching in these Gospels is not about himself at all. It is about God, the coming Kingdom of God, and the way to live in preparation for it.

Not in John.

In John Jesus teaches almost entirely about himself: who he is, his relation to the Father, how he has come into the world from heaven above to convey the truth that can bring eternal life. And he makes some remarkable claims about himself. These claims are found in John and nowhere else.

For example, to the Jews who do not believe in him, Jesus says “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). Abraham lived 1800 years earlier, and Jesus is claiming to have existed before that. Even more than that, he claims for himself the name of God, “I am” (see Exodus 3:13-14). His Jewish opponents know exactly what he is saying. They pick up stones to execute him for blasphemy. Two chapters later, he does it again, claiming “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). Once again they break out the stones. Later, to his disciples, he says “If you have seen me you have seen the Father” (John 14:9).

These teachings of Jesus that he is a divine correlate with what John says elsewhere, as we have seen in the Prologue “The Word was with God, and the Word was God” (1:1) And in the ending, when Thomas confesses that Jesus is “My Lord and my God” (20:28)

For John, Jesus is obviously God, and he says he is (not God the Father but … equal with God?). Why do you suppose these sayings are not in the earlier Gospels? If Matthew, Mark, and Luke knew that Jesus had said such things, wouldn’t they want to tell their readers? It’s worth thinking about.
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Re: How Many Gods Are There?

Postby Paidion » Wed Dec 12, 2018 6:47 pm

Hi PR, you wrote:For example, to the Jews who do not believe in him, Jesus says “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). Abraham lived 1800 years earlier, and Jesus is claiming to have existed before that. Even more than that, he claims for himself the name of God, “I am” (see Exodus 3:13-14). His Jewish opponents know exactly what he is saying. They pick up stones to execute him for blasphemy. Two chapters later, he does it again, claiming “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). Once again they break out the stones. Later, to his disciples, he says “If you have seen me you have seen the Father” (John 14:9).


I absolutely believe that Jesus is fully divine. But I don't think his statement in John 8:58 proves that He claimed to be the great "I AM." All He was saying is that He existed prior to Abraham. The Jews didn't wish to stone Him for blasphemy. They wished to stone Him for claiming that He lived prior to Abraham. Look at the two verses just prior:
"Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad."
So the Jews said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?"


The Greek phrase "εγω ειμι" (I, I am) is used 47 times in the New Testament. It is used to simply mean "I am" with the emphasis on "I." It is also used to mean "It is I" with the emphasis on "I." (See John 6:20)

His words "I and the Father are one" do not imply that He is the same divine Individual as the Father, but that they are one in character, purpose etc. When He said, "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father," He was not claiming to BE the Father, but that He was another exactly like the Father. Today, we may say concerning some object, "If you've seen one, you've seen them all!" meaning that all of them are exactly the same. The writer to the Hebrews (Heb 1:3) says that the Son of God is the exact image of God's essence.
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Re: How Many Gods Are There?

Postby Homer » Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:00 pm

Paidion,

You wrote:

All He was saying is that He existed prior to Abraham. The Jews didn't wish to stone Him for blasphemy. They wished to stone Him for claiming that He lived prior to Abraham. Look at the two verses just prior:


That won't wash. Why would they consider it blasphemous for Him to have simply meant he lived prior to Abraham? If that was all He claimed they would have likely dismissed Him as a nut and walked away in derision.
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Re: How Many Gods Are There?

Postby darinhouston » Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:27 pm

Homer wrote:Paidion,

You wrote:

All He was saying is that He existed prior to Abraham. The Jews didn't wish to stone Him for blasphemy. They wished to stone Him for claiming that He lived prior to Abraham. Look at the two verses just prior:


That won't wash. Why would they consider it blasphemous for Him to have simply meant he lived prior to Abraham? If that was all He claimed they would have likely dismissed Him as a nut and walked away in derision.


I think people too often assume they would only equate blasphemy as equating oneself with God. But, I think they had a much broader view of blasphemy, (and also that John 10:33 should be translated "a god" as it is in Jesus' response to them). I think any elevated "divine" claim, even one of derived authority as being God's messenger or His Son with princely or other delegated authority would be blasphemy (or perhaps even claiming to be a prophet). I also am not convinced that "I lived prior to Abraham living" is what Jesus was referring to when He said "before Abraham was, I am." I've heard it referred to as a primacy argument, not a temporal one. But, reasonable arguments also suggest that this could be a hebraism of sorts to say "before your patriarch Abraham was born, at which point you think your religion and God's covenantal plan began, I was already in the mind of God as the Word and this plan and story was already in place in the heavenlies." Or -- "You think this thing started with Abraham? You're wrong, it started with me and was always about me."
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