Jesus is God

God, Christ, & The Holy Spirit
dwight92070
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Re: Jesus is God

Post by dwight92070 » Tue Jun 01, 2021 5:45 pm

Colossians 2:9 - "For in Him ALL THE FULLNESS OF DEITY dwells in bodily form."

2 Corinthians 5:19 So we could legitimately say that "(ALL THE FULLNESS OF DEITY) was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.

Both verses tell us that Jesus is God.

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StevenD
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Re: Jesus is God

Post by StevenD » Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:22 pm

Hi Darin,

Thanks for your quick reply.

Toward the end of your last message you wrote:
I do think the Tanakh translation is interesting, however, in seeing the references not to the child but to the Father. Textual omissions otherwise notwisthanding, I'm wondering what you think about that translation of this particular text. It makes much more sense of the passage in isolation and is consistent both with Trinitarian and non-Trinitarian theologies.
At risk of posting a series of ideas that may seem out of step with where the current thread has been going, I'll start by pasting the translated citation that you provided. For anyone who may not be familiar with the term, the Tanakh is another name for the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. One translation or another may refer to their own production as the Tanakh, but the term is simply an acronym that refers to the Old Testament.
https://www.city-data.com/forum/christi ... texts.html wrote:
Tanakh: Isaiah 9:6 (9:5 in the Tanakh) For a child has been born to us, a son given to us, and the authority is upon his shoulder, and the wondrous adviser, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, called his name, "the prince of peace."

Notice that in the Tanakh, it is not the child who called the wondrous adviser, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, but is being called the prince of peace BY the wondrous adviser, the mighty God, the everlasting Father. However, in both the Septuagint and the Dead Sea Scrolls, (and again, both of these are much older than the Tanakh) it is the child who is called the wondrous adviser, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, and the prince of peace.
Read more: https://www.city-data.com/forum/christi ... texts.html
Since noone disputes the interpretation of the first half of the verse I'll focus on the second part. Everyone seems to agree that the verse begins with: "For unto us a child is born, a son is given, and the government/authority will be on his shoulder". That having been said, everyone agrees that the tense should be read as incomplete action despite the perfect tense verbs in this segment.

As a general quirk of Biblical Hebrew grammar, the type of verb that opens the rest of the verse technically describes completed action, but noone I'm aware of reads the passage that way. The verb form here is 3rd person masculine singular. Additional rules dictated by the Masoretic Text compel one to translate the verb as an active form--"he called" (or something similar). Unfortunately, grammatical features of the verse disclose only sparse information about the subject. The reader is confronted with the task of identifying the correct masculine singular noun to fill the slot of the antecedent subject. Accordingly a fearful and wonderful responsibility falls into the hands of translators. "Who is sufficient for these things?"

One reasonable approach is to consider how to preserve contextual integrity by plugging in a subject from any of the (at least) four qualifying noun phrases. The options appear to be:
1. wonderful counsel[lor] or wonder of a counsellor
2. mighty God
3. father of eternity
4. prince of peace

The Tanakh translation cited above (drawn from your earlier post) appears to apply this method. However, instead of choosing one of the noun phrases, the translator selected the first three phrases as the subject. The Hebrew of Isaiah is loose enough to permit such an overload of the subject category, though it's not a first instinct. The translator, who I presume is 'Rabbi' A.J. Rosenburg (according to the chabad site), appears to have followed the cues of the famous medieval rabbinic commentator 'Rashi'. Given that 'Rashi' is well-known for his novel exegetical manuever in revisioning Isaiah's suffering servant (52:13-53:12) as the national-collective of the Jewish people (material Israel), my hesitancy--on the basis of grammar--in adopting the particular view of Isaiah 9:5 held out by the Chabad movement is not diminished by the fact that the medieval innovator espoused it as well.
https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cd ... rashi/true

It is typically--though not always--the case that the noun [phrase] in nearest syntactical proximity to the verb fills the role of the subject. Making decisions of this nature can be dreadfully arbitrary, but most often the context makes things intuitive. However, since none of the noun phrases in Isaiah 9:5 offer definite direct object markers, there are few controls on board to guide the reader to distinguish between the subject and the object (the nominative and the accusative in Greek). Bearing this in mind, the verse might easily be driven to serve the interests of fanciful interpreters (e.g. 'Rashi' said that Isaiah was referring to Hezekiah!?).

I will opine that the decision of the framers of this particular rabbinic translation could as easily have settled on the noun phrase "wonderous counsellor" as the subject and produced the phrase "and a wonderous counsellor called his name mighty God, father of eternity, prince of peace." To further shake things up, the Dead Sea Scrolls segment includes the definite article with the phrase [the] "prince of peace". Since there is no definite direct object marker preceding the phrase and Hebrew grammar prefers to include such a marker one might argue (on the basis of the DSS Isaiah record) that the subject of the phrase is actually "the prince of peace". The conclusion produces the highly unlikely translation "and the prince of peace called his name wonderous counsellor, mighty God, father of eternity".

Another option as to how to understand the text is to consider the possibility that the vocalization scheme added to Isaiah's consonantal text over a thousand years after it was composed may not reflect Isaiah's (and ultimately God's) authoritative intent. The verb וַיִּקְרָא (vay'yiqra) yields a literal translation something like "And he called" (e.g. Lev. 1:1; it's the identical form of the first word in Leviticus, accordingly the book of Leviticus derives it's Hebrew title "Vay'yiqra" from the same word). Thus, the possibility exists that the masoretic scribes made a few errors, whether intentional or not. The masoretes added diacritical features to Isaiah's 'post-publication' text with a suggested purpose of preserving the ancient reading tradition. While DSS records of Isaiah match the consonantal text of the Masoretic Text of Isaiah 9:5 in nearly word perfect form, the DSS remain free of the embellishments of the masoretes' vocalization scheme. The vowels--dots and dashes that sort of resemble morse code--and additional accents were introduced to the text no sooner than the fifth century AD.

Accordingly, the word וַיִּקְרָא (vay'yiqra) appears in the DSS manuscripts as simply ויקרא. Being free from the constraints of the masoretic reading template, the word may be revocalized in such a manner as to reflect translations of the verse similar to those found in most English versions. That is, the verb can simply be read in a passive verb form to yield the meaning "and he was/will be called". Thus, one may opt to emend the vocalization. After all, Isaiah never witnessed these vowel symbols as they were added no earlier than 1500 years ago. A slightly altered vowel combination in one word yields a translation something like "For a child is born to us, a son is given to us, and the government will be upon his shoulder. And his name is called wonder of a counsellor, mighty God, father of eternity, prince of peace." It looks to me like Handel is vindicated. :)

You can view the DSS verse in digital form via the following link: http://dss.collections.imj.org.il/isaiah#9:6

Concerning rabbinic translations of the Tanakh, the 1917 Jewish Publication Society translated the verse like this:

For a child is born unto us, a son is given unto us; and the government is upon his shoulder; and his name is called Pele-joez-el-gibbor-Abi-ad-sar-shalom

If one compares the 1917 JPS Tanakh with the translation that includes the suggested emendation to the MT it is plain enough to see that the translators of the JPS came up with the same translation. The only difference is that for whatever reason the translators chose to transliterate rather than translate the four noun phrases/titles: wonderful counsellor (or wonder of counsel[lor]), mighty God, father of eternity, prince of peace. Bearing in mind that in 1917 the DSS had not yet been discovered, it suggests that even religious Jewish translators are capable of overriding or modifying the vowel pointing.
See: http://mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt1009.htm
Last edited by StevenD on Wed Jun 02, 2021 5:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

commonsense
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Re: Jesus is God

Post by commonsense » Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:57 pm

[/quote]

Dwight - Will you never stop denegrating Jesus and elevating mere men? The difference between Isaac, Joseph, and Moses and Jesus is infinite.
[/quote]

Dwight, I'm not elevating these men. GOD raised them up to be leaders and examples to the power of His Holy Spirit when we obey His commands.
I've never said that any of these men were GOD because I understand that GOD IS NOT A MAN. You have been carried away in the imaginations and doctrines of men, declaring that the man Jesus is GOD HIMSELF and then criticizing those who say otherwise. Because of this, you seem to be missing the whole message. We are supposed to be raised up, NOW, IN THIS LIFE.

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darinhouston
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Re: Jesus is God

Post by darinhouston » Tue Jun 01, 2021 9:37 pm

StevenD, thank you again for such a well thought out and impressively scholastic response. The Hebrew and bibliology is a bit beyond my personal skills, but if I followed it well, it makes good sense. It removes my "interesting interpretation" unfortunately, though it does not really address the initial controversy with the verse -- that of properly interpreting the reference to "mighty god" even if translation is correct (again, when it comes to actual translation, I have to at least give a nod to Luther's and other's translation of this phrase).

But, also how can you distinguish between "father of eternity" and something more like "father of the ages" or "age to come" or something of that nature? This translation does eliminate the "problem" the verse otherwise would pose for a Trinitarian prooftext, though at least leaves it supporting either or neither of the positions.

It really seems that, taking the likelihood that the verse was in no way thought originally to literally be a reference to a child who was "God" (Yahweh), there seems to be semantic context that deprives it of "prooftext" value even if it can be retroactively supportive. There are a good many non-controversial OT passages that are likewise clearly supportive of non-controversial aspects of Jesus' life and ministry which don't really prove anything particular about him beyond their prophetic value. That's not "nothing."

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StevenD
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Re: Jesus is God

Post by StevenD » Sat Jun 05, 2021 1:00 pm

Hi Darin,

Glad to learn that you don't see my previous posts as a waste of time and space. Since I'm pressed for time at the moment, I'll post my response to the middle segment of your last message. (Last night the site was down?..)

You said,
But, also how can you distinguish between "father of eternity" and something more like "father of the ages" or "age to come" or something of that nature? This translation does eliminate the "problem" the verse otherwise would pose for a Trinitarian prooftext, though at least leaves it supporting either or neither of the positions.

The titles "father of eternity" and "father of the coming age" both seem to be legitimate translations of the phrase in question ("avi-ad"--אֲבִי-עַד). Maybe I should more closely consider the implications of one over the other, though neither description troubles me. You cited some nice examples that that demonstrate how the "father [of]" may from days of old have referred to the first person to initiate a practice. Incidently, I've heard Steve Gregg make a similar point by mentioning the examples from Gen. 4 (e.g. Jabal: "father" of tent dwellers; Jubal: "father" of musical instrumentalists).

In addition to these examples, Isaiah himself includes a reference that also lends support the use of the title "father" for the son prophesied in 9:5/6. Chapter 22 records a prophecy delivered in the first person mode (speaking on behalf of Yahweh) that dignifies "Eliakim son of Hilkiah" as "a father" to Jerusalemites and the house of Judah. The brief two-verse segment shares language and even a theme in common with the material in chap. 9 as the prophecy describes the conferral of governmental power and the key of David's house on his shoulder (compare with "the government will be upon his shoulder"). It reads:
..."and I will give your government into his hand and he will be a father to the dwellers of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. And I will set the key of the house of David on his shoulder. And he shall open and no man will shut/close, and he will shut/close and no man will open" (Isaiah 22:21-22).


At the very least, these verses support the use of "father of" as a sort of leading authority figure (a father figure, though, not necessarily a founder in this case) from the content of Isaiah's own work. It looks like Eliakim is designated the head of the house who holds the key to the entrance. Another curious note, v. 22 is quoted by John in address to the church in Philadelphia (Rev. 3:7-8). As seems consistent with all the letters to the seven churches, the message to the church in Revelation conveys a message from Jesus.

The following verse from Peter also strikes me as relevant to the subject:
1 Peter 1:23: "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God which lives and abides forever."


While "father of eternity" or "father of [the] age to come" both appear to be reasonable translations, if Jesus is the word made flesh by whom we are born to inherit an incorruptible life, it seems to me that there is an eternal/perpetual quality to our life that he both founded and mediates by way of the new covenant. Accordingly, I think that one might work with either translation without becoming overly concerned about whether the English meaning of one of the words is misleading. On the other hand, maybe father of the coming age is more clearly suggestive of the age of the Spirit inaugurated by the coming of the Davidic Messiah. Father of eternity might express too broad of a concept to transmit meaning to some folks. Maybe I need to think about it more. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

commonsense
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Re: Jesus is God

Post by commonsense » Sat Jun 05, 2021 9:39 pm

StevenD wrote:
Sat Jun 05, 2021 1:00 pm
, if Jesus is the word made flesh by whom we are born to inherit an incorruptible life, it seems to me that there is an eternal/perpetual quality to our life that he both founded and mediates by way of the new covenant.
Steven, I believe that what the writers of the New Testament are saying is that Jesus is not the founder of the new covenant ( "My words are not My own."), but a teacher or messenger of the eternal covenant of God that was known from the beginning.
Malachi 3:1 "And the Lord whom you seek, will suddenly come to his temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight."

The new covenant was the same everlasting covenant given to Abraham. And although Abraham was not the founder, he is considered the Father of it.
Just as there are people who are considered the father of mathematics, chemistry etc. such things already exist, they are simply discovered.

There are fathers of false teachings in which case, they wouldn't be eternal. Their words would be their own.
StevenD wrote:
Sat Jun 05, 2021 1:00 pm
The following verse from Peter also strikes me as relevant to the subject:
1 Peter 1:23: "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God which lives and abides forever."
Jesus was the "seed" of Abraham, and all who are in Christ are Abraham's "seed".

And again, "Abraham is the Father of all who believe."

Hebrews: "Where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become the High Priest forever according to the order of Mel."

Just as John Calvin is the father of Calvinism, all who follow his teachings would be his "seed", as the "seed" is an idea( word) that is planted in someone's mind. And since his teachings are " doctrines of men" , they are not the eternal word, but are corrupted.

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StevenD
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Re: Jesus is God

Post by StevenD » Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:34 am

Hi to the person who identifies themself as commonsense,

Thanks for engaging the subject. By the way, there was an interesting a book by Bercot called Common Sense. Does that have anything to do with your nickname?

The following is a rather long sentence I wrote to Darin a few days ago. Since you cited it, I've pasted it here for the sake of context.
While "father of eternity" or "father of [the] age to come" both appear to be reasonable translations, if Jesus is the word made flesh by whom we are born to inherit an incorruptible life, it seems to me that there is an eternal/perpetual quality to our life that he both founded and mediates by way of the new covenant.
You wrote,
Steven, I believe that what the writers of the New Testament are saying is that Jesus is not the founder of the new covenant ( "My words are not My own."), but a teacher or messenger of the eternal covenant of God that was known from the beginning.

Malachi 3:1 "And the Lord whom you seek, will suddenly come to his temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight."

The new covenant was the same everlasting covenant given to Abraham. And although Abraham was not the founder, he is considered the Father of it.
I can see that what I wrote may have lacked clarity and given way to a bit of a misunderstanding. It was a bit of a clunky sentence. Isaiah 9 employs the phrase "father of eternity" or "father of an age to come". The sentence aims to explain why either translation may apply as a valid title for Jesus. I do see Jesus as the one who founded or established eternal life for those who believe. The relational bond of the new covenant makes way for all participants to know Yahweh on good terms (Jer. 31:33-34; Hos. 2:18-20; John 17:3). Another verse says that Christ "brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Tim. 1:10).

We both agree that Abraham is the father of all who believe, in some sense (Rom. 4:11ff.). It looks to me like the flourishing of the covenant with Abraham--the patriarchal promises in particular--was/were dependent upon the ratifying of the new covenant by Jesus' death in addition to his enthronement and the progressive growth of his kingdom. With this big picture in mind, Jesus' role as "the author and finisher of our faith" is essential to the patriarchal promises reaching their fulfillment. Though I don't want to quibble over words, I do see that Jesus inaugurated the new covenant in the shedding of his blood (Luke 22:15-20; Hebrews 9; 12:24). Thus, in a profound sense it appears to me that he indeed founded the new covenant. On the other hand, if one has a personal aversion to using that particular term to describe the enacting or ratifying role of Jesus in establishing the new covenant, I see no necessity to justify its use since the Scriptures don't seem to use it.

I'm hesitant to comment on the second portion of your message. It seemed a bit cryptic to me. You brought John Calvin up, but perhaps since I've never read Calvin I don't see any relevant connection to the subject on the table..?

commonsense
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Re: Jesus is God

Post by commonsense » Tue Jun 08, 2021 1:41 am

StevenD wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:34 am
Thanks for engaging the subject. By the way, there was an interesting a book by Bercot called Common Sense. Does that have anything to do with your nickname?
Hi Steven, I've never read the book you mention, but I chose the name because I feel that there is a lot of false teaching and indoctrination out there concerning the Scriptures. God wants all to understand His word, so it mustn't be as difficult as many have made it. One shouldn't need a college degree, or know the Greek language, or be some great philosopher to know God and live by his word. To me, it all boils down to common sense, which a majority of people have. It's those who seek to make it more difficult who seem to not be able to see what the Scripture simply says. And when the blind are leading the blind, both fall into a ditch.
StevenD wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:34 am
It looks to me like the flourishing of the covenant with Abraham--the patriarchal promises in particular--was/were dependent upon the ratifying of the new covenant by Jesus' death in addition to his enthronement and the progressive growth of his kingdom. With this big picture in mind, Jesus' role as "the author and finisher of our faith" is essential to the patriarchal promises reaching their fulfillment.
The covenant which God established in Abraham( the everlasting covenant) was dependent upon obedience to it, which is still the case today. And it flourished in the beginning. Hebrews 11:12: "Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude." These people had faith in the one true God; the kind of faith that moved mountains. And they did.

Joshua 21:43-45 "So the Lord gave to Israel all the land which he had sworn to give to their fathers and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.

Israel fell because they did not continue in the way of God that was established in Abraham. They took up other gods and followed false words.

commonsense
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Re: Jesus is God

Post by commonsense » Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:27 pm

StevenD wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:34 am
We both agree that Abraham is the father of all who believe, in some sense (Rom. 4:11ff.).
Steven, to clarify a little more, what they're saying is that Abraham is the Father of OUR faith, those who have faith in the words of Jesus Christ, which are the words of the one true God (the eternal word).
I brought up John Calvin to make a point, but it may not have been a good example.
So I'll try again.
If you are a member of another faith, then Abraham is not your father.
He was not the father of the Levitical law, so if you follow the Levitical law, then he is not the father of your faith.
He was not the father of those who have faith in the Sharia Law. If you believe in the Sharia Law, then Abraham is not the father of your faith.

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Homer
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Re: Jesus is God

Post by Homer » Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:12 pm

Darin,

I am way behind. Sometime back you asked how I could be certain of the definition of theotetos (theotes) in Colossians 2:9 since it is a hapax legomenon. I looked at a large number of lexacons, Greek Dictionaries, etc. all of whom agree regarding theotetos. Here are the comments of a few of them:

Spiros Zodhiates, "Was Christ God?"

There are two Greek words that are quite similar but which must be distinguished, not only in their meaning, but also in their origin. One is the adjective theios, "devine," and the other the noun Theos, "God." There is a difference between the two. The terms are not interchangeable. What is divine is not necessarily God, but God is always divine.

Correspondingly we have two substantives which are derived from these words. From the adjective theios "divine" we have theiotees , "divinity", and from the noun theos, "God" we have theotees "deity." It is definitely wrong to translate them both by the English term "Godhead" as was done in the New Testament in two instances (see Rom.1:20 and Col. 2:9)...... The Apostle John, in his declaration in the third clause of the first verse of his Gospel, does not speak merely of some visible attributes of Jesus Christ which would indicate that he is divine, that He attained divinity, but declares that He is God, that He is deity who became humanity without ceasing to be deity. Man by accepting God through Jesus Christ becomes divine, but he does not become God.

The word theotees, "deity", occurs in Col. 2:9, "For in Him [Jesus Christ] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." The word translated "Godhead" here is theotees, "deity," and not "divinity." It refers, not to the manifestation of Christ in His eternal acts, but in His essential nature.

A.T. Robertson, "Word Pictures in the New Testament":

Paul States the heart of his message about the Person of Christ. There dwells (at home) in Christ not one or more aspects of the Godhead (the very essence of God, from theos, deitas) and not to be confused with theiotes in Romans 1:20 (from theios the quality of God, divinitas), here only in the N.T. as theiotes only in Romans 1:20. The distinction is observed in Lucian and Plutarch.....Paul asserts here that all the "pleroma of the Godhead," not just certain aspects, dwells in Christ and in bodily form (somatikos, late and rare adverb, in Plutarch inscription, here only in N.T.), dwells now in Christ in His glorified humanity (Phil. 2:9-11)," the body of His glory" (toi somati tes doxes). The fulness of the Godhead was in Christ before the Incarnation (John 1:1, 18; I John 1:1-3). It was the Son of God who came in the likeness of men (Phil. 2:7). Paul here disposes of the Docetic theory that Jesus had no human body as as well as the Cerinthian separation between the man Jesus and the aeon Christ. He asserts plainly the deity and humanity of Jesus Christ in corporeal form.

Henry Alford, translated from Alford's N.T. commentary, which was written entirely in Greek:

"Because in Him" (emphatic: in Him alone) "dwelleth" (now in his exaltation) "all the fullness" (compare on 1:19 and see below) "of the Godhead" (Deity: the essential being of God. "The fullness of the Godhead" here spoken of must be taken, as indeed the context shows, metaphysically, and not as "all fulness" in chap. 1:19 where the historical Christ, as manifested at redemption, was in question. There the lower side, so to speak, of that fulness, was set forth - the side which is presented to us here is the higher side) "bodily" (i.e. manifested corporeally, in His present glorified Body - compare Phil. 3:21. Before His incarnation, it dwelt in Him, as the Word Incarnate. This is the obvious, and I am persuaded only tenable interpretation).

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