The beginning at Proverbs 8 = εν αρχή at J 1:1

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
I see some amazing parallels between "the beginning" at J 1:1 and Pr 8.

Temporal parallel
Εν αρχή is found at Proverbs 8:23 and John 1:1.

Spatial parallel
Also the speaker is ειμι παρά θεός at Proverbs 8:30 and ειμι προς θεός at J 1:1

Same place, same time, with God.

Interestingly Jesus said he was παρά πάτερ at J 17:5 before the world was and Pr 8 is also before the world was.

Thoughts?

@Gryllus Maior
@The Real John Milton
@John Milton
 
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The Real John Milton

Well-known member
If ἡ σοφία is the Angel Michael, who is ἡ βουλή ? Gabriel ?

8:12 ἐγὼ ἡ σοφία κατεσκήνωσα βουλήν καὶ γνῶσιν καὶ ἔννοιαν ἐγὼ ἐπεκαλεσάμην
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
If ἡ σοφία is the Angel Michael, who is ἡ βουλή ? Gabriel ?

Who knows? If that were to be true then Proverbs 8:22 resets and starts at the beginning when all that exists is the speaker and God. In fact the speaker is called the beginning and the first of the works of God. He says God created him the beginning. Interestingly, Jesus is called the beginning of the creation of God in Revelation.

Another amazing parallel!
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
Who knows? If that were to be true then Proverbs 8:22 resets and starts at the beginning when all that exists is the speaker and God. In fact the speaker is called the beginning and the first of the works of God. He says God created him the beginning. Interestingly, Jesus is called the beginning of the creation of God in Revelation.

Another amazing parallel!
My point was that neither Prudence nor Wisdom are persons but here rather are playing the role of typical Hebrew personifications. I agree that the parallels are indeed amazing. If you substitute "Torah" for "Wisdom" everywhere in that Psalm, it works like a charm each time. And interestingly, it works with Jesus (the Living Breathing Torah) as well.

As for "Wisdom" being Michael, that idea is immediately discounted on account of this verse:

22 κύριος ἔκτισέν με ἀρχὴν ὁδῶν αὐτοῦ εἰς ἔργα αὐτοῦ

There is no biblical basis for thinking that an arch Angel was God's first creation, from ancient times. But there is good evidence from the bible to say that Torah is:

119:160 ἀρχὴ τῶν λόγων σου ἀλήθεια καὶ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα πάντα τὰ κρίματα τῆς δικαιοσύνης σου
Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
Only Λόγος as God's word (and not as a person) is ever said to be ἀρχὴ in LXX.

119:160 ἀρχὴ τῶν λόγων σου ἀλήθεια καὶ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα πάντα τὰ κρίματα τῆς δικαιοσύνης σου

Now compare with

8:23 πρὸ τοῦ αἰῶνος ἐθεμελίωσέν με ἐν ἀρχῇ

and

Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ Λόγος, καὶ ὁ Λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν Θεόν, καὶ Θεὸς ἦν ὁ Λόγος.

and

Ὃ ἦν ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς, ὃ ἀκηκόαμεν, ὃ ἑωράκαμεν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς ἡμῶν, ὃ ἐθεασάμεθα καὶ αἱ χεῖρες ἡμῶν ἐψηλάφησαν, περὶ τοῦ Λόγου τῆς ζωῆς,—

and

ἔγραψα ὑμῖν, παιδία, ὅτι ἐγνώκατε τὸν Πατέρα. ἔγραψα ὑμῖν, πατέρες, ὅτι ἐγνώκατε τὸν ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς. ἔγραψα ὑμῖν, νεανίσκοι, ὅτι ἰσχυροί ἐστε καὶ ὁ λόγος τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐν ὑμῖν μένει καὶ νενικήκατε τὸν πονηρόν.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
My point was that neither Prudence nor Wisdom are persons but here rather are playing the role of typical Hebrew personifications. I agree that the parallels are indeed amazing. If you substitute "Torah" for "Wisdom" everywhere in that Psalm, it works like a charm each time. And interestingly, it works with Jesus (the Living Breathing Torah) as well.

As for "Wisdom" being Michael, that idea is immediately discounted on account of this verse:



There is no biblical basis for thinking that an arch Angel was God's first creation, from ancient times. But there is good evidence from the bible to say that Torah is:


Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

What about Jesus as being παρά God before the earth was created in John 17:5?

Both of those are repeated from Proverbs 8.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
Only Λόγος as God's word (and not as a person) is ever said to be ἀρχὴ in LXX.



Now compare with



and



and



and

You said: Only Λόγος as God's word (and not as a person) is ever said to be ἀρχὴ in LXX.

But at Pr 8:22, the speaker created me the beginning of his works (from memory, pls don't beat me up)

If I recall, "me" and "beginning" are double accusatives both in Greek and Hebrew.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
What about Jesus as being παρά God before the earth was created in John 17:5?

Both of those are repeated from Proverbs 8.

With παρά and dative + θεῷ the "with" tends to connote power and determinism, and not a "relationship with" sense. For that we use μετά + genitive (see John 8:29, etc.). So for instance consider the following example:
ἐμβλέψας αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγει Παρὰ ἀνθρώποις ἀδύνατον, ἀλλ’ οὐ παρὰ θεῷ· πάντα γὰρ δυνατὰ παρὰ τῷ θεῷ.
Mark 10:27

John 17 is the “prolepsis chapter." In John 17:5 we have the language of predestination. Augustine was a Trinitarian but he had a very Unitarian understanding of this verse, here:


He used words in the past tense, when what He said was to take place very many years afterwards: They pierced, He says, my hands and my feet, they counted all my bones; He says not, They will pierce, and, They will count. And in this very Gospel He says, All things that I have heard of my Father, I have made known unto you; to whom He afterward declares, I have yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now. For He, who has predestinated all that is to be by sure and unchangeable causes, has done whatever He is to do: as it was also declared of Him by the prophet, Who has made the things that are to be.

5. In a way similar, also, to this, He proceeds to say: And now, O Father, glorify me with Your own self with the glory which I had with You before the world was. For He had said above, Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You: in which arrangement of the words He had shown that the Father was first to be glorified by the Son, in order that the Son might glorify the Father. But now He said, I have glorified You on the earth: I have finished the work which You gave me to do; and now glorify Thou me; as if He Himself had been the first to glorify the Father, by whom He then demands to be glorified. We are therefore to understand that He used both words above in accordance with that which was future, and in the order in which they were future, Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You: but that He now used the word in the past tense of that which was still future, when He said, I have glorified You on the earth: I have finished the work which You gave me to do. And then, when He said, And now, O Father, glorify Thou me with Your own self, as if He were afterwards to be glorified by the Father, whom He Himself had first glorified; what did He intimate but that, when He said above, I have glorified You on the earth, He had so spoken as if He had done what He was still to do; but that here He demanded of the Father to do that whereby the Son should yet do so; in other words, that the Father should glorify the Son, by means of which glorification of the Son, the Son also was yet to glorify the Father? In fine, if, in connection with that which was still future, we put the verb also in the future tense, where He has used the past in place of the future tense, there will remain no obscurity in the sentence: as if He had said, I will glorify You on the earth: I will finish the work which You have given me to do; and now, O Father, glorify Thou me with Your own self. In this way it is as plain as when He says, Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You: and this is indeed the whole sentence, save that here we are told also the manner of that same glorification, which there was left unnoticed; as if the former were explained by the latter to those whose hearts it was able to stir, how it was that the Father should glorify the Son, and most of all how the Son also should glorify the Father. For in saying that the Father was glorified by Himself on the earth, but He Himself by the Father with the Father's very self, He showed them assuredly the manner of both glorifications. For He Himself glorified the Father on earth by preaching Him to the nations; but the Father glorified Him with His own self in setting Him at His own right hand. But on that very account, when He says afterward in reference to the glorifying of the Father, I have glorified You, He preferred putting the verb in the past tense, in order to show that it was already done in the act of predestination, and what was with perfect certainty yet to take place was to be accounted as already done; namely, that the Son, having been glorified by the Father with the Father, would also glorify the Father on the earth.

6. But this predestination He still more clearly disclosed in respect of His own glorification, wherewith He was glorified by the Father, when He added, With the glory which I had, before the world was, with You. The proper order of the words is, which I had with You before the world was. To this apply His words, And now glorify Thou me; that is to say, as then, so also now: as then, by predestination; so also now, by consummation: do Thou in the world what had already been done with You before the world: do in its own time what You have determined before all times.

Accordingly, when He saw that the time of this, His predestinated glorification, was now come, in order that what had already been done in predestination might also be done now in actual accomplishment, He said in His prayer, And now, O Father, glorify Thou me with Your own self with the glory which I had with You before the world was: as if He had said, The glory which I had with You, that is, that glory which I had with You in Your predestination , it is time that I should have with You also in sitting at Your right hand. But as the discussion of this question has already kept us long, what follows must be taken into consideration in another discourse.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
You said: Only Λόγος as God's word (and not as a person) is ever said to be ἀρχὴ in LXX.

But at Pr 8:22, the speaker created me the beginning of his works (from memory, pls don't beat me up)

If I recall, "me" and "beginning" are double accusatives both in Greek and Hebrew.

Correct :
8:22 κύριος ἔκτισέν με ἀρχὴν ὁδῶν αὐτοῦ εἰς ἔργα αὐτοῦ

That's the whole point. Above is Wisdom. And since we are equating Wisdom with Logos in the LXX, the only time ὁ Λόγος is said to be "from the beginning" in LXX is when it is a thing, and not a person. See Psalms119:160

ἀρχὴ τῶν λόγων σου ἀλήθεια καὶ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα πάντα τὰ κρίματα τῆς δικαιοσύνης σου
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
Only Λόγος as God's word (and not as a person) is ever said to be ἀρχὴ in LXX.


> With παρά and dative + θεῷ the "with" tends to connote power and determinism, and not a "relationship with" sense. For that we use μετά + genitive (see John 8:29, etc.). So for instance consider the following example:

There is more than one way to say similar things. I see μετά as sometimes having a metaphorical meaning as in being with someone in a supportive sense. I also see it used literally sometimes. I see παρά + dative used as in “spatial proximity” with very few exceptions and never with ειμι.


> ἐμβλέψας αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγει Παρὰ ἀνθρώποις ἀδύνατον, ἀλλ’ οὐ παρὰ θεῷ· πάντα γὰρ δυνατὰ παρὰ τῷ θεῷ.
> Mark 10:27

When you says “tends to” you infer a rule. That means all or a majority should conform. As for your example at Mark 10:27, the idea of power comes from δυνατός. This is true at Mt 19:26a
and Luke 18:27ab, the parallel accounts. I don't believe there are any examples of “power” that don't. Something specific like “power” does not come from the preposition. Here the prepositional phrase is part of a phrase that includes δυνατός.

We don't find δυνατός at Proverbs 8 or John 17:5.

We do find συπαρειμι at Pr 8:27 (cp Ac 25:24) and ημην παρά αυτω, παρά + dative of person just like at John 17:5. Both are ειμι παρά + dative.

At John 8:38 Jesus says he “saw” things παρά τω πάτρι. We need to take these two verses together. Same persons, Father and Son.

> John 17 is the “prolepsis chapter." In John 17:5 we have the language of predestination. Augustine was a Trinitarian but he had a very Unitarian understanding of this verse, here:

I don't use Trinitarian commentary to inform my view of scripture but occasionally do use them as hostile witnesses when speaking to them.

I don't hold to the view of predestination, and don't see prolepsis at John 17:5. I've seen some try to contort the verse in some very unconvincing ways. Perhaps you have a better approach?

I am interested in how you relate prolepsis to Proverbs 8, John 8:38 and John 17:5. They all have amazing parallels.

As for Proverbs 8:22, I identify the speaker as the “beginning”, not “wisdom.” The speaker is the beginning of God’s way and beginning of creation at Revelation 3:14.
 
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The Real John Milton

Well-known member
There is more than one way to say similar things.

Ofcourse. But the problem is that I've not seen a single clear example of παρά + dative denoting a literal one one one togetherness with another individual, certainly not with the dative τῷ θεῷ.

I see μετά as sometimes having a metaphorical meaning as in being with someone in a supportive sense. I also see it used literally sometimes. I see παρά + dative used as in “spatial proximity” with very few exceptions

Let's see an example of that denoting a spatial proximity between two individuals.

and never with ειμι.
And that's another problem.


> ἐμβλέψας αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγει Παρὰ ἀνθρώποις ἀδύνατον, ἀλλ’ οὐ παρὰ θεῷ· πάντα γὰρ δυνατὰ παρὰ τῷ θεῷ.
> Mark 10:27

When you says “tends to” you infer a rule. That means all or a majority should conform. As for your example at Mark 10:27, the idea of power comes from δυνατός. This is true at Mt 19:26a
and Luke 18:27ab, the parallel accounts. I don't believe there are any examples of “power” that don't. Something specific like “power” does not come from the preposition. Here the prepositional phrase is part of a phrase that includes δυνατός.

I'm just speaking from what I see being done in the GNT.



We do find συπαρειμι at Pr 8:27 (cp Ac 25:24) and ημην παρά αυτω, παρά + dative of person just like at John 17:5. Both are ειμι παρά + dative.
No, not ειμι but the action verb ἔχω . In 17:5 we have prolepsis (hence the 1st person singular active indicative ,ἔχω ). In Pr. 8:27 we have personification (hence συμπαρήμην, imperfect mp indicative 1st person sing).

At John 8:38 Jesus says he “saw” things παρά τω πάτρι. We need to take these two verses together. Same persons, Father and Son.

It doesn't say he saw those things before he was born. Apostle John too saw many things. For instance,

καὶ τὴν πόλιν τὴν ἁγίαν Ἱερουσαλὴμ καινὴν εἶδον καταβαίνουσαν ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἀπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἡτοιμασμένην ὡς νύμφην κεκοσμημένην τῷ ἀνδρὶ αὐτῆς.




I don't use Trinitarian commentary to inform my view of scripture but occasionally do use them as hostile witnesses when speaking to them.

Consider that an hostile witness then.I don't hold to the view of predestination, and don't see prolepsis at John 17:5. I've seen some try to contort the verse in some very unconvincing ways. Perhaps you have a better approach?I am interested in how you relate prolepsis to Proverbs 8, John 8:38 and John 17:5. They all have amazing parallels.


As for Proverbs 8:22, I identify the speaker as the “beginning”, not “wisdom.” The speaker is the beginning...

Not a good idea, since the speaker identifies itself as Wisdom .

8:12 ἐγὼ ἡ σοφία κατεσκήνωσα βουλήν καὶ γνῶσιν καὶ ἔννοιαν ἐγὼ ἐπεκαλεσάμην

Can't be any clearer than that.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
In fact with παρά + dative and τῷ θεῷ in the following does NOT connote that Jesus is literally present with :

Καὶ Ἰησοῦς προέκοπτεν ἐν τῇ σοφίᾳ καὶ ἡλικίᾳ καὶ χάριτι παρὰ Θεῷ καὶ ἀνθρώποις.

Luke 2:52

The construction denotes something like "in the estimation of.." and not "with" (as in togetherness). This is not the way Greek (not the GNT at least) says that someone is abiding with someone else.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
In fact with παρά + dative and τῷ θεῷ in the following does NOT connote that Jesus is literally present with :



Luke 2:52

The construction denotes something like "in the estimation of.." and not "with" (as in togetherness). This is not the way Greek (not the GNT at least) says that someone is abiding with someone else.

That's true because it is χαριτι that is παρά.
And it's not είμι (or verb of perception παρά + dative.

But what you said you have never seen is found at Luke 9:47, αυτό παρά εαυτώ.

Also, I think I am missing your demonstration of prolepsis at J 17:5.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
Ofcourse. But the problem is that I've not seen a single clear example of παρά + dative denoting a literal one one one togetherness with another individual, certainly not with the dative τῷ θεῷ.



Let's see an example of that denoting a spatial proximity between two individuals.


And that's another problem.




I'm just speaking from what I see being done in the GNT.




No, not ειμι but the action verb ἔχω . In 17:5 we have prolepsis (hence the 1st person singular active indicative ,ἔχω ). In Pr. 8:27 we have personification (hence συμπαρήμην, imperfect mp indicative 1st person sing).



It doesn't say he saw those things before he was born. Apostle John too saw many things. For instance,








Consider that an hostile witness then.I don't hold to the view of predestination, and don't see prolepsis at John 17:5. I've seen some try to contort the verse in some very unconvincing ways. Perhaps you have a better approach?I am interested in how you relate prolepsis to Proverbs 8, John 8:38 and John 17:5. They all have amazing parallels.




Not a good idea, since the speaker identifies itself as Wisdom .



Can't be any clearer than that.

To clarify my view of Proverbs 8, wisdom is the quality that became "the beginning" before God created. From 8:22 "the beginning" is speaking. The speaker was created "the beginning" of God's works, not wisdom.

Personification is with regards "wisdom" not the "beginning." From 22 on we see more than personification. In fact at verse 25 he sees begotten as parallel to being created in verse 22 with γεννά με.

In verse 30 he is rejoicing in the presence of God.

This goes way beyond simple personification.

Before 22 is wisdom personified. From 22 on we have personal two way communion, especially verse 30 where Brenton has "I was that wherein he took delight; and daily I rejoiced in his presence continually."

Do you have an example of personification like that elsewhere?
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
That's true because it is χαριτι that is παρά.
And it's not είμι (or verb of perception παρά + dative.
είμι is a to be verb, it's not the subject of παρά + dative in John 17:5, εἶχον is. In other words the expression in question is εἶχον ..παρὰ σοί, NOT εἶναι παρὰ σοί.

But what you said you have never seen is found at Luke 9:47, αυτό παρά εαυτώ.

Verse:
ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἰδὼς τὸν διαλογισμὸν τῆς καρδίας αὐτῶν, ἐπιλαβόμενος παιδίον ἔστησεν αὐτὸ παρ’ ἑαυτῷ,

"[Sit] beside / before" not "[relationship] with." Notice that such an expression in Greek applies to a minor (the very pronoun αὐτὸ is in the neuter, connoting someone considered in that culture as being less than an autonomous individual). I'm looking for this expression connoting a "togetherness" between two autonomous beings. Also, this is not an instance of παρά + dative and Θεῷ .

Also, I think I am missing your demonstration of prolepsis at J 17:5.

Augustine demonstrated that quite well for me, in so much that I agree with his presentation. (I'm not always against Trinitarians, see :) .)
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
είμι is a to be verb, it's not the subject of παρά + dative in John 17:5, εἶχον is. In other words the expression in question is εἶχον ..παρὰ σοί, NOT εἶναι παρὰ σοί.



Verse:


"[Sit] beside / before" not "[relationship] with." Notice that such an expression in Greek applies to a minor (the verb pronoun αὐτὸ is in the neuter, connoting someone considered in that culture as being less than an autonomous individual). I'm looking for this expression connoting a "togetherness" between two autonomous beings. Also, this is not an instance of παρά + dative and Θεῷ .



Augustine demonstrated that quite well for me, in so much that I agree with his presentation. (I'm not always against Trinitarians, see :) .)

When the verb ειμι or verb of perception has an object of παρά followed by dative of person, the grammatical subject of the verb is who is in spatial proximity with the person in the dative.

That holds true at Proverbs 8, John 8:38 and John 17:5.

And my argument is NOT "relationship with" from this construction. It is literal spatial proximity, not figurative or metaphorical as in prolepsis.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
είμι is a to be verb, it's not the subject of παρά + dative in John 17:5, εἶχον is. In other words the expression in question is εἶχον ..παρὰ σοί, NOT εἶναι παρὰ σοί.



Verse:


"[Sit] beside / before" not "[relationship] with." Notice that such an expression in Greek applies to a minor (the very pronoun αὐτὸ is in the neuter, connoting someone considered in that culture as being less than an autonomous individual). I'm looking for this expression connoting a "togetherness" between two autonomous beings. Also, this is not an instance of παρά + dative and Θεῷ .



Augustine demonstrated that quite well for me, in so much that I agree with his presentation. (I'm not always against Trinitarians, see :) .)

I won't take Augustine as a substitute for you as he does not address my grammatical arguments.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
When the verb ειμι or verb of perception has an object of παρά followed by dative of person, the grammatical subject of the verb is who is in spatial proximity with the person in the dative.

So according to you the last prepositional phrase hanging onto the end of the sentence παρὰ σοί ( πρὸ τοῦ τὸν κόσμον εἶναι παρὰ σοί) is modifying εἶναι instead of the finite verb εἶχον ?


That holds true at Proverbs 8, John 8:38 and John 17:5.

Elaborate ?

And my argument is NOT "relationship with" from this construction. It is literal spatial proximity, not figurative or metaphorical as in prolepsis.

Torah was in literal spatial proximity with God. So don't see how this does anything to further your cause.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
So according to you the last prepositional phrase hanging onto the end of the sentence παρὰ σοί is modifying εἶναι instead of the finite verb εἶχον ?




Elaborate ?



Torah was in literal spatial proximity with God. So don't see how this does anything to further your cause.

The problem with your λόγος = Torah is that what is παρά someone is facing that individual and not proceeding from God like his words or laws.

In fact ειμι παρά someone and ειμι προς someone are very similar except that προς has a directional aspect.
 
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