BDF on 2 Peter 1:1 - It's shocking

John Milton

Well-known member
I think I did understand Moulton. I agree I extrapolated his principle of assimilation of the nominative case to the point that it has no apologetics value.

I also don't think Trinitarian apologists like Harris have presented all the possibilities.

Is this exclamation spoken to Jesus? Yes. Does this mean he was certainly addressed as having those titles? No. To get there requires a presupposition that Jesus is the subject of a verb supplied from the context. In other words, "You are my Lord and my God."

If we don't assume this, the subject would still be Thomas. He is the subject of the introductory narrative, "Thomas said to him,"

So let's keep the same subject as what the verse starts with: Thomas.

Let's supply ειμι for the verb, with the same object from the previous verse, "be believing."

So now we have Thomas saying/thinking, "I am believing!" To which he adds, "My Lord and also my God!"

This is consistent with what Jesus said to him a few days earlier at John 14:1. But evidently he did not until he saw Jesus resurrected.

J 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: believe in God, believe also in me.

Jesus said at J 20:27
Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and see my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and put it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

Thomas replies:
"[I am believing! ] My Lord and also my God!"

Although it's not obvious, what I have been doing is attempting to grammaticalize the following commentary. You said you did not think anyone read it this way, but see:

Naturally, the interpretation of Thomas's words was hotly debated by early church theologians who wanted to use it in support of their own christological definitions. Those who understood 'My Lord' to refer to Jesus, and 'my God' to refer to God [the Father] were suspected of christological heresy in the fifth century CE. Many modern commentators have also rejected that interpretation and instead they understood the confession as an assertion that Jesus is both Lord and God. In doing so they are forced to interpret 'God' as a reference to logos [logos]. But it is perfectly appropriate for Thomas to respond to Jesus' resurrection with a confession of faith both in Jesus and his Lord and in God who sent and raised Jesus. Interpreting the confession in this way actually makes much better sense in the context of the Fourth Gospel. In 14.1 belief both in God and in Jesus is encouraged, in a context in which Thomas is particularly singled out ... If we understand Thomas's confession as an assertion that Jesus is God, this confession in 20.31 becomes an anti-climax. (Margaret Davies, Rhetoric and Reference in the Fourth Gospel (JSNTSup69; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1992), 125-126)

@John Milton
I don't plan to respond to this foolishness. I have already addressed everything here, including Margaret Davies uninspired remarks.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
While translation literature has it's own special considerations, the fact that the author can do it means that it's possible to do it in the receptor language. You stated that it appears no where else -- that is patently false.

And, despite your denials to the contrary, you apparently don't understand Moulton. You are seizing on the word assimilation and trying to make it fit where it doesn't belong. Your confusion is perhaps justified -- Moulton's quaint prose is not the easiest, and he doesn't always directly explain what he is talking about. But look carefully at the examples, and then at John 20:28, and illustrate from the Greek of the examples how John 20:28 is parallel to them. I don't think they are, rather John 20:28 fits this description from Moulton:



Moulton, J. H. (2006–). A Grammar of New Testament Greek: Prolegomena. (Vol. 1, pp. 70–71). Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark.

I was of course familiar with the Psalms 35:23 LXX. It's in the paper I gave earlier.

It's a very interesting example of translation Greek that is never found except in translation Greek from Hebrew because of a slavish translation of the pronominal suffixes.

Sollamo wrote a book on it. Here is a comment from a review of it that sheds light on it.


So, unless you advocate that John was translated from Hebrew, the only grammatical form of J 20:28 is taking και as adjunctive as in "My Lord and also my God."

@John Milton
 

Gryllus Maior

Active member
I was of course familiar with the Psalms 35:23 LXX. It's in the paper I gave earlier.

It's a very interesting example of translation Greek that is never found except in translation Greek from Hebrew because of a slavish translation of the pronominal suffixes.

Sollamo wrote a book on it. Here is a comment from a review of it that sheds light on it.


So, unless you advocate that John was translated from Hebrew, the only grammatical form of J 20:28 is taking και as adjunctive as in "My Lord and also my God."

@John Milton
Ah, no, you don't get it. Do you think a Greek speaker, knowing no Hebrew, would understand the verse, and correctly identify the nominative for vocative?
 

Gryllus Maior

Active member
I think I did understand Moulton. I agree I extrapolated his principle of assimilation of the nominative case to the point that it has no apologetics value.

I also don't think Trinitarian apologists like Harris have presented all the possibilities.

Is this exclamation spoken to Jesus? Yes. Does this mean he was certainly addressed as having those titles? No. To get there requires a presupposition that Jesus is the subject of a verb supplied from the context. In other words, "You are my Lord and my God."

If we don't assume this, the subject would still be Thomas. He is the subject of the introductory narrative, "Thomas said to him,"

So let's keep the same subject as what the verse starts with: Thomas.

Let's supply ειμι for the verb, with the same object from the previous verse, "be believing."

So now we have Thomas saying/thinking, "I am believing!" To which he adds, "My Lord and also my God!"

This is consistent with what Jesus said to him a few days earlier at John 14:1. But evidently he did not until he saw Jesus resurrected.

J 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: believe in God, believe also in me.

Jesus said at J 20:27
Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and see my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and put it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

Thomas replies:
"[I am believing! ] My Lord and also my God!"

Although it's not obvious, what I have been doing is attempting to grammaticalize the following commentary. You said you did not think anyone read it this way, but see:

No, read it your way. All I can say is the your reconstructed syntax is impossible.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
Ah, no, you don't get it. Do you think a Greek speaker, knowing no Hebrew, would understand the verse, and correctly identify the nominative for vocative?

Not making that claim at all. But the writer who narrates J 20:28 it did, and he explained it at J 20:31:

31 but these are written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye may have life in his name. (ASV)
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
Why do you think this the only grammatical option?

It is based on the exclamation only being found in Greek translated from Hebrew.

Now, you might try to prove that John translated this from a semetic language and that he did not relate in proper Greek what Thomas said. But John did not do this in another place where he recorded the same sort of phrase properly. He only passed on the ungrammatical phrase in quotations from the LXX.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
No, read it your way. All I can say is the your reconstructed syntax is impossible.

Perhaps you did not notice but this version does not use nominative for dative.

You don't maintain that "My Lord and also my God!" is an impossible syntax do you? It's just like John 14:1 which Thomas remembered.

If you refer to Thomas being the subject, he was already the subject. I give anyone who advocates changing the subject a -1. Harris says that the exclamation would need to be understood as "You are my Lord and my God!" to be used doctrinally.

This view also ignores Jesus' command to Thomas to believe.

It also ignores John's explanation of what Thomas said at John 20:31.

Davies makes a good point about J 20:31 being anticlimactic if a few verses earlier Thomas just figured out that Jesus was God.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
Respondit Thomas et dixit ei Dominus meus et Deus meus...

Personally, for what it's worth, αὐτῷ in ἀπεκρίθη Θωμᾶς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ pretty much narrows it down to a vocative for nominative construction.
You mean “nominative for vocative construction” ! But why should αὐτῷ “narrow” it to a direct address ?

It’s like arguing that in the following sentence ὁ ψευδοδιδάσκαλος must be a nominative for vocative because of αὐτοῖς:

ὁ δὲ ἔφη αὐτοῖς ὁ ψευδοδιδάσκαλος τοῦτο ἐποίησεν. οἱ δὲ δοῦλοι αὐτῷ λέγουσιν Θέλεις οὖν ἀπελθόντες συλλέξωμεν αὐτά;

Nonsense, ..And spare us the Latin, it is useless as far as Scripture is concerned
 
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Gryllus Maior

Active member
You mean “nominative for vocative construction” ! But why should αὐτῷ “narrow” it to a direct address ?

It’s like arguing that the sentence beginning with Ἐχθρὸς in the following is a direct address because of αὐτοῖς:



Nonsense, ..And spare us the Latin, it is useless as far as Scripture is concerned
Nonsense to you. Ancient translation witnesses are valuable because they show how ancient authors, with direct experience of Greek as a living language, took the text.

And... I think "to him" is best explained by a following address in this context.
 

John Milton

Well-known member
It is based on the exclamation only being found in Greek translated from Hebrew.
Now you are misrepresenting Sollamo's work, unless you believe that Josephus translated his own work from Hebrew.
Now, you might try to prove that John translated this from a semetic language and that he did not relate in proper Greek what Thomas said. But John did not do this in another place where he recorded the same sort of phrase properly. He only passed on the ungrammatical phrase in quotations from the LXX.
If you thought about what I wrote above for just a minute, you might be able to see why your hypothesis is flawed.
 

John Milton

Well-known member
Nonsense to you. Ancient translation witnesses are valuable because they show how ancient authors, with direct experience of Greek as a living language, took the text.

And... I think "to him" is best explained by a following address in this context.
Especially with ἀπεκρίθη.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
Now you are misrepresenting Sollamo's work, unless you believe that Josephus translated his own work from Hebrew.

If you thought about what I wrote above for just a minute, you might be able to see why your hypothesis is flawed.

No, the example from Josephus is the only exception. It's the only outlier in a huge corpus. And I looked at it and it matches her study but not my subset of it. The details are in the paper.

So that example does not harm my own research.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
Nonsense to you. Ancient translation witnesses are valuable because they show how ancient authors, with direct experience of Greek as a living language, took the text.

And... I think "to him" is best explained by a following address in this context.

Yep, follow the πιστεύω trail of breadcrumbs from J 10:31 to 20:28 to 14:1.

20:28 is bracketed.
 
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