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  • Shema

    The Shema is the locus classicus for for proving that there is only one God:

    שְׁמַ֖ע יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ יְהוָ֥ה׀ אֶחָֽד

    The LXX:

    Ἄκουε, Ἰσραήλ· Κύριος ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν Κύριος εἷς ἐστιν

    God is not many gods, contra the polytheistic world of the ANE, and he is the only God, contra the henotheism of many of Israel's neighbors.

    But look what Paul does with this in 1st Corinthians 8:

    5 καὶ γὰρ εἴπερ εἰσὶν λεγόμενοι θεοὶ εἴτε ἐν οὐρανῷ εἴτε ἐπὶ γῆς, ὥσπερ εἰσὶν θεοὶ πολλοὶ καὶ κύριοι πολλοί, 6 ἀλλʼ ἡμῖν εἷς θεὸς ὁ πατὴρ ἐξ οὗ τὰ πάντα καὶ ἡμεῖς εἰς αὐτόν, καὶ εἷς κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς διʼ οὗ τὰ πάντα καὶ ἡμεῖς διʼ αὐτοῦ.

    He divides it up. There is one God, just as in Deut 6:4, εἷς θεὸς, but he is defined as the Father. There is also one Lord, κύριος, but he is defined as Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, and the following prepositional phrase, διʼ οὗ τὰ πάντα, clarifies this Lord as the creator.

    The verbal parallels, essentially redefining the simple monotheism of ancient Israel into a more complex conception, are fascinating.

    But why doesn't Paul mention the Spirit, you might object? Simply, it's not his focus here, but he does have a bit to say about the Spirit elsewhere. 2 Cor 3:

    17 ὁ δὲ κύριος τὸ πνεῦμά ἐστιν· οὗ δὲ τὸ πνεῦμα κυρίου, ἐλευθερία.

    The Lord is the Spirit. Notice, by the way, that he doesn't use an anarthrous predicate, as John does at John 1:1 in his famous statement (which would be perfectly fine Greek). He doesn't say ὁ δὲ κύριος πνεῦμά ἐστιν, which could be interpreted "God is spirit" (cf. John 4:24), but ὁ δὲ κύριος τὸ πνεῦμά ἐστιν, identifying two distinct proper nouns as one.

    This is why you have to take the whole of the Biblical witness, and not just pet verses which support a comfortable theology.





    Huffabo at puffabo et domum tuam inflabo!

  • #2
    So, your position is that allusion to the שְׁמַע in 1 Cor 8:5–6 and 2 Cor 3:17 confirms that Paul thought of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit all as יְהוָה while maintaining their individual identities?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Gryllus Maior View Post
      The Shema is the locus classicus for for proving that there is only one God:

      שְׁמַ֖ע יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ יְהוָ֥ה׀ אֶחָֽד

      The LXX:

      Ἄκουε, Ἰσραήλ· Κύριος ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν Κύριος εἷς ἐστιν

      God is not many gods, contra the polytheistic world of the ANE, and he is the only God, contra the henotheism of many of Israel's neighbors.

      But look what Paul does with this in 1st Corinthians 8:

      5 καὶ γὰρ εἴπερ εἰσὶν λεγόμενοι θεοὶ εἴτε ἐν οὐρανῷ εἴτε ἐπὶ γῆς, ὥσπερ εἰσὶν θεοὶ πολλοὶ καὶ κύριοι πολλοί, 6 ἀλλʼ ἡμῖν εἷς θεὸς ὁ πατὴρ ἐξ οὗ τὰ πάντα καὶ ἡμεῖς εἰς αὐτόν, καὶ εἷς κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς διʼ οὗ τὰ πάντα καὶ ἡμεῖς διʼ αὐτοῦ.

      He divides it up. There is one God, just as in Deut 6:4, εἷς θεὸς, but he is defined as the Father. There is also one Lord, κύριος, but he is defined as Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, and the following prepositional phrase, διʼ οὗ τὰ πάντα, clarifies this Lord as the creator.

      The verbal parallels, essentially redefining the simple monotheism of ancient Israel into a more complex conception, are fascinating.

      But why doesn't Paul mention the Spirit, you might object? Simply, it's not his focus here, but he does have a bit to say about the Spirit elsewhere. 2 Cor 3:

      17 ὁ δὲ κύριος τὸ πνεῦμά ἐστιν· οὗ δὲ τὸ πνεῦμα κυρίου, ἐλευθερία.

      The Lord is the Spirit. Notice, by the way, that he doesn't use an anarthrous predicate, as John does at John 1:1 in his famous statement (which would be perfectly fine Greek). He doesn't say ὁ δὲ κύριος πνεῦμά ἐστιν, which could be interpreted "God is spirit" (cf. John 4:24), but ὁ δὲ κύριος τὸ πνεῦμά ἐστιν, identifying two distinct proper nouns as one.

      This is why you have to take the whole of the Biblical witness, and not just pet verses which support a comfortable theology.




      That's eisegesis. He does not divide the Shema. He reiterates it for Christians, and then he goes on to speak about Messiah and his role in the economy of the one God.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by מורה לעברית View Post
        So, your position is that allusion to the שְׁמַע in 1 Cor 8:5–6 and 2 Cor 3:17 confirms that Paul thought of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit all as יְהוָה while maintaining their individual identities?
        That's a pretty good, yes.
        Huffabo at puffabo et domum tuam inflabo!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Ἰωάννης View Post

          That's eisegesis. He does not divide the Shema. He reiterates it for Christians, and then he goes on to speak about Messiah and his role in the economy of the one God.
          Eisegeis -- is that like ice cream with Jesus? But notice what Paul actually does. God = אלוהימ = θεός and is associated with the Father. Lord = יהוה = κύριος and is associated with Jesus. You're right -- maybe "divide" is the wrong word, better he unites The Father and the Son as the one God of the Shema.
          Huffabo at puffabo et domum tuam inflabo!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Gryllus Maior View Post

            Eisegeis -- is that like ice cream with Jesus? But notice what Paul actually does. God = אלוהימ = θεός and is associated with the Father. Lord = יהוה = κύριος and is associated with Jesus. You're right -- maybe "divide" is the wrong word, better he unites The Father and the Son as the one God of the Shema.
            Had he used θεός for Jesus here (as in εἷς θεός Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς) rather than κύριος, then you would have had a point. Don't you know that κύριος is not synonymous with יהוה ? Apostle Paul is here remembering Jesus's words in Matthew 23:8 where the latter tells his disciples that they are to have only one rabbi/teacher/lord, namely himself :

            ὑμεῖς δὲ μὴ κληθῆτε Ῥαββεί· εἷς γάρ ἐστιν ὑμῶν ὁ διδάσκαλος, πάντες δὲ ὑμεῖς ἀδελφοί ἐστε.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Ἰωάννης View Post

              Had he used θεός for Jesus here (as in εἷς θεός Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς) rather than κύριος, then you would have had a point. Don't you know that κύριος is not synonymous with יהוה ? Apostle Paul is here remembering Jesus's words in Matthew 23:8 where the latter tells his disciples that they are to have only one rabbi/teacher/lord, namely himself :

              That's why I quoted the LXX above. κύριος is the regular translation of יהוה. And in Matthew 23:8 --

              ὑμεῖς δὲ μὴ κληθῆτε, Ῥαββί· εἷς γάρ ἐστιν ὑμῶν ὁ διδάσκαλος, πάντες δὲ ὑμεῖς ἀδελφοί ἐστε.

              Do you see κύριος anywhere? The apostle Paul is clearly remembering Deut 6:4, not a verse you pulled out of context because it has the word εἷς in it.
              Huffabo at puffabo et domum tuam inflabo!

              Comment


              • #8
                When the disciples called Jesus "Rabbi" it was not in the modern sense (as when a student in Hebrew school calls his Hebrew teacher "rabbi" generically ) . Then the term implied a master servant relationship, or a relationship between an adult and a child. "Rav" before AD 70 meant "great one." The word for “teacher,” then was moreh, and connoted a teacher of children. “Rav” was the same word that a slave used to address his owner. Matthew 10:24-25 comes to mind:

                Οὐκ ἔστιν μαθητὴς ὑπὲρ τὸν διδάσκαλον οὐδὲ δοῦλος ὑπὲρ τὸν κύριον αὐτοῦ.
                κύριος in 1 Cor. 8:5–6 is synonymous with διδάσκαλος or with ῥαββί as Matthew 10 above shows.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gryllus Maior View Post

                  That's why I quoted the LXX above. κύριος is the regular translation of יהוה. And in Matthew 23:8 --

                  ὑμεῖς δὲ μὴ κληθῆτε, Ῥαββί· εἷς γάρ ἐστιν ὑμῶν ὁ διδάσκαλος, πάντες δὲ ὑμεῖς ἀδελφοί ἐστε.

                  Do you see κύριος anywhere? The apostle Paul is clearly remembering Deut 6:4, not a verse you pulled out of context because it has the word εἷς in it.
                  He is remembering Deut 6:4 and also remembering Jesus's words in Matthew 23:8 to make the point that for Christians there is only one of each, that is, one God, the Father, and one lord/master, Jesus. He is not "dividing," "modifying" or "uniting" the Shema to redefine God in a Trinitarian sense. Had he been doing so, he could not have left out the "person of" the Holy Spirit. Unless you want to argue, as does Wallace, that the apostle Paul was a binitarian when he penned this verse. Do you ?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ἰωάννης View Post
                    When the disciples called Jesus "Rabbi" it was not in the modern sense (as when a student in Hebrew school calls his Hebrew teacher "rabbi" generically ) . Then the term implied a master servant relationship, or a relationship between an adult and a child. "Rav" before AD 70 meant "great one." The word for “teacher,” then was moreh, and connoted a teacher of children. “Rav” was the same word that a slave used to address his owner. Matthew 10:24-25 comes to mind:



                    κύριος in 1 Cor. 8:5–6 is synonymous with διδάσκαλος or with ῥαββί as Matthew 10 above shows.
                    In modern Hebrew schools, you use moreh (in America usually only of Hebrew language teachers). The two terms are not equivalent, and if you can't see the connections, it only means you have your own theological agenda to pursue, οὐ θαῦμα.
                    Huffabo at puffabo et domum tuam inflabo!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Interestingly, my namesake asserts that the Christians he knew worshipped Jesus as a god.
                      Das griechische Ideal der Menschheit war vollkommene Eintracht und Ebenmaaß aller Kräfte, natürliche Harmonie. Die Neueren hingegen sind zum Bewußtseyn der innern Entzweyung gekommen, welche ein solches Ideal unmöglich macht

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Gryllus Maior View Post

                        In modern Hebrew schools, you use moreh (in America usually only of Hebrew language teachers). The two terms are not equivalent, and if you can't see the connections, it only means you have your own theological agenda to pursue, οὐ θαῦμα.
                        Sadly, there is no argument above, -- only a snarky remark and a personal insult in Greek as a parting shot.

                        We know that in this chapter the apostle was thinking about two different entities, of God and of Jesus. Look at the rest of the context:


                        But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. 8But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do. 9Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? 11So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.
                        When he says "food does not bring us near to God" he is not thinking about Jesus also, but only about the Father. When he says "So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge" he was not thinking about God, only Jesus. But what he is thinking here is something about the one God and something about the one Christ. He is coming from the place where he has no other God but the Father, and no other Christ but Jesus.

                        The fact that in 1 Cor. 8:6 he says "we have one God, the Father" and NOT "we have one God, the Father and the Son" or else "we have one God, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit" is proof that he was neither a binitarian (as Daniel Wallace insists) nor a Trinitarian (as Gryllus argues). He was not here re-defining the Shema to give it a binitarian or else a trinitarian twist .

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Lucian View Post
                          Interestingly, my namesake asserts that the Christians he knew worshipped Jesus as a god.
                          Of course, Lucian of Samasota, the De Morte Peregrini 11:

                          καὶ ὡς θεὸν αὐτὸν ἐκεῖνοι ᾐδοῦντο καὶ νομοθέτῃ ἐχρῶντο καὶ προστάτην ἐπεγράφοντο, μετὰ γοῦν ἐκεῖνον ὃν ἔτι σέβουσι, τὸν ἄνθρωπον τὸν ἐν τῇ Παλαιστίνῃ ἀνασκολοπισθέντα, ὅτι καινὴν ταύτην τελετὴν εἰσῆγεν ἐς τὸν βίον

                          αὐτόν refers to Peregrinus, but ἐκεῖνον to Christ, τὸν ἄνθρωπον τὸν ἐν τῇ Παλαιστίνῃ ἀνασκολοπισθέντα.

                          Similarly Pliny the Younger, writing considerably earlier, Ep. 10.96:

                          Adfirmabant autem hanc fuisse summam vel culpae suae vel erroris, quod essent soliti stato die ante lucem convenire carmenque Christo quasi deo dicere...

                          Huffabo at puffabo et domum tuam inflabo!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Lucian View Post
                            Interestingly, my namesake asserts that the Christians he knew worshipped Jesus as a god.
                            Good thing it's not scripture.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ἰωάννης View Post

                              Sadly, there is no argument above, -- only a snarky remark and a personal insult in Greek as a parting shot.

                              We know that in this chapter the apostle was thinking about two different entities, of God and of Jesus. Look at the rest of the context:




                              When he says "food does not bring us near to God" he is not thinking about Jesus also, but only about the Father. When he says "So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge" he was not thinking about God, only Jesus. But what he is thinking here is something about the one God and something about the one Christ. He is coming from the place where he has no other God but the Father, and no other Christ but Jesus.

                              The fact that in 1 Cor. 8:6 he says "we have one God, the Father" and NOT "we have one God, the Father and the Son" or else "we have one God, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit" is proof that he was neither a binitarian (as Daniel Wallace insists) nor a Trinitarian (as Gryllus argues). He was not here re-defining the Shema to give it a binitarian or else a trinitarian twist .
                              No, he doesn't say it in the way that a modern systematic theologian might. He says it in his own way, using language appropriate to his purpose, and that's a much stronger witness to the truth than your straw man responses.
                              Huffabo at puffabo et domum tuam inflabo!

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