Trinitarian confusion at Romans 9:5

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
A substantive rendering doesn't negate an attributive rendering, but reinforces it, as in 1 Pet 5:10.

It's interesting that in 2 Cor 11:31, ὁ ὢν is tranlated by Trinitarians as "He who is" but in Rom 9:5 it is translated as "who is," in order to pre-emptively thwart an association between ὁ and Θεὸς.

This suggests pre-emptive English renderings are being used to manipulate Greek renderings to create ambiguities where none would exist if the substantival "He who is...." were to be pre-emptively retained, and which is always justified on technical grounds where an article precedes a substantive.

Changing "He who is" over to "who is" is only permissible for English stylistic reasons, and not to predetermine the Greek rendering.

Thus "He who is above all God blessed for ever" ==> "God who is above all blessed for ever" is permissible because it relates only to English style and retains both the Greek substantival and attributive senses.

But dropping the "He who is" down to "who is" just to bring Christ into the doxology is inadmissible, as an obvious attempt to ma
Not sure what you mean by that. A substantival
function of a Greek adjectival participle is a quite different function than an attributive function of the same.
 

cjab

Well-known member
Not sure what you mean by that. A substantival
function of a Greek adjectival participle is a quite different function than an attributive function of the same.
I have to confess I'm not grasping your adjectival participle versus substantival participle point very well.

"Participles, as attributives [with the article], do not here stand on exactly the
same footing as adjectives
, inasmuch as they have not entirely
laid aside the notion of time. They receive the article only
where reference is made to some relation which is already
known, or which is especially worthy of remark (is qui, quippe
qui), and where consequently the participial notion is to be
brought into greater prominence:"

Winer.
 

cjab

Well-known member
As an example,
In English, if we are writing:

Christ, who is over all
God, who is over all

He is rather superfluous, awkward, redundant.

As I said, many translations of 2 Cor 11:13 do not have he.
The AV has which is.

2 Corinthians 11:31 (AV)
The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.

The long phase of nine words might justify the he in English.
What I mean is, you can't pre-empt the construction by removing "the one" from the Greek. If you keep in play "the one" in Rom 9:5, it become pretty clear that God himsef can only be "the one." Whereas if you leave out "the one" you artifically pre-empt the construction as "Christ who is."
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
I have to confess I'm not grasping your adjectival participle versus substantival participle point very well.

"Participles, as attributives [with the article], do not here stand on exactly the
same footing as adjectives
, inasmuch as they have not entirely
laid aside the notion of time. They receive the article only
where reference is made to some relation which is already
known, or which is especially worthy of remark (is qui, quippe
qui), and where consequently the participial notion is to be
brought into greater prominence:"

Winer.

An adjectival Participle can function in three different ways - attributively, substantivally and as a predicate. The meaning connoted by a participle when it is attributive is profoundly differently than when it is functioning as a substantive. In the latter case, the participle acts like a noun, in the former it acts like an adjective. Surely you realize that even in English if the same word, say "man" is an adjective it has a different meaning than if it is a noun ? When it is an adjective the meaning is "humanity," or "being human," but when it is functioning as a noun the meaning is "a human being," "a man." The same sort of idea is true in Greek with some words.
 

cjab

Well-known member
An adjectival Participle can function in three different ways - attributively, substantivally and as a predicate. The meaning connoted by a participle when it is attributive is profoundly differently than when it is functioning as a substantive. In the latter case, the participle acts like a noun, in the former it acts like an adjective. Surely you realize that even in English if the same word, say "man" is an adjective it has a different meaning than if it is a noun ? When it is an adjective the meaning is "humanity," or "being human," but when it is functioning as a noun the meaning is "a human being," "a man." The same sort of idea is true in Greek with some words.
So how are you applying this principle to determine (or force) the construction of Rom 9:5 and John 1:18?
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
So how are you applying this principle to determine (or force) the construction of Rom 9:5 and John 1:18?
Here is John 1:18–

Θεὸν οὐδεὶς ἑώρακεν πώποτε· ὁ μονογενὴς υἱός, ὁ ὢν εἰς τὸν κόλπον τοῦ πατρός, ἐκεῖνος ἐξηγήσατο.

The substantial participle ( with its modifiers, see red) is an appositive to ὁ μονογενὴς υἱός (see black). It’s very basic Greek.

Here is Romans 8:5–

ὧν οἱ πατέρες, καὶ ἐξ ὧν ὁ Χριστὸς τὸ κατὰ σάρκα. ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων Θεὸς εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας, ἀμήν.


Here we could take Θεὸς either as an appositive to ὁ ὢν ( with its modifiers) or else as a predicate nominative or even as the Subject. Again, very simple Greek.
 

brianrw

Member
The substantial participle ( with its modifiers, see red) is an appositive to ὁ μονογενὴς υἱός (see black). It’s very basic Greek.
Not so simple that you could get it right, apparently, because ὁ ὢν in John 1:18 is attributive not substantive (why "substantial"? phone error?). It seems you can't recognize an attributive construction when it's staring you right in the face. You have no need to deny that it's attributive, except that you've backed yourself into a corner.

What about ὁ καλέσας in respect of Ὁ Θεὸς in 1Pe 5:10?
Ὁ δὲ θεὸς πάσης χάριτος ὁ καλέσας ἡμᾶς is attributive, not substantival.

TRJM's definition of an attributive participle is far too narrow. He'll most likely evade or tell you it's substantival because it takes an object (ἡμᾶς). This differs from what you'll find in your grammars:

Even when a participle functions as an adjective or a noun it is still a verbal form, which means it has verbal aspect and it can take a direct object and various modifiers like any other verb. (Whitacre, Rodney A.. A Grammar of New Testament Greek (Eerdmans Language Resources), 5.181b)​

As well as the other grammars on that point.

TRJM is making this far more complicated than it needs to be, which is why one shouldn't try and teach what one has yet to grasp. The attributive participle (proper) is a dependent usage because it refers back to a specific noun. Substantival is an independent usage of the attributive participle where the head noun is unexpressed and therefore implied. Thus it acts as the head nominal itself. It's really that simple. There is no "profound" difference between the two.

This suggests pre-emptive English renderings are being used to manipulate Greek renderings to create ambiguities where none would exist if the substantival "He who is...." were to be pre-emptively retained, and which is always justified on technical grounds where an article precedes a substantive.
This statement really just reaffirms what I have been saying about not grasping the fundamentals. The substantival usage of the attributive participle ὁ ὢν is almost always generic. That is, "He who is" would be understood in most cases as applying to any one of the class of individuals to which the expression pertains. The personal pronoun in the substantival usage is not taken from the article per se, but from the gender, since the English idiom requires it.

The attributive usages, where the noun is expressed, are particular and should be translated "who."

No. The article translates to "he" or "the one." The participle translates to "who is."

There isn't any good reason to leave out the "he" or "the one" when consideraing Greek structure. As I inferred, it could only be omitted once the meaning has been fully ascertained.
In the attributive position, there is no reason to insert the word "he" because the attributive is dependent on the head noun, thus the English idiom often requires we translate as a relative clause, "who..."

I have to confess I'm not grasping your adjectival participle versus substantival participle point very well.
Because he's confused, so all the ad hoc artificial rules he's using make it confusing.

Edit per mod
(y)
 
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The Real John Milton

Well-known member
Not so simple that you could get it right, apparently, because ὁ ὢν in John 1:18 is attributive not substantive (why "substantial"? phone error?). It seems you can't recognize an attributive construction when it's staring you right in the face. You have no need to deny that it's attributive, except that you've backed yourself into a corner.


Ὁ δὲ θεὸς πάσης χάριτος ὁ καλέσας ἡμᾶς is attributive, not substantival.

TRJM's definition of an attributive participle is far too narrow. He'll most likely evade or tell you it's substantival because it takes an object (ἡμᾶς). This differs from what you'll find in your grammars:

Even when a participle functions as an adjective or a noun it is still a verbal form, which means it has verbal aspect and it can take a direct object and various modifiers like any other verb. (Whitacre, Rodney A.. A Grammar of New Testament Greek (Eerdmans Language Resources), 5.181b)​

As well as the other grammars on that point.

TRJM is making this far more complicated than it needs to be, which is why one shouldn't try and teach what one has yet to grasp. The attributive participle (proper) is a dependent usage because it refers back to a specific noun. Substantival is an independent usage of the attributive participle where the head noun is unexpressed and therefore implied. Thus it acts as the head nominal itself. It's really that simple. There is no "profound" difference between the two.


This statement really just reaffirms what I have been saying about not grasping the fundamentals. The substantival usage of the attributive participle ὁ ὢν is almost always generic. That is, "He who is" would be understood in most cases as applying to any one of the class of individuals to which the expression pertains. The personal pronoun in the substantival usage is not taken from the article per se, but from the gender, since the English idiom requires it.

The attributive usages, where the noun is expressed, are particular and should be translated "who."


In the attributive position, there is no reason to insert the word "he" because the attributive is dependent on the head noun, thus the English idiom often requires we translate as a relative clause, "who..."


Because he's confused, so all the ad hoc artificial rules he's using make it confusing.


(y)
Even Wallace changed his mind about ὁ ὢν in John 1:18 being attributive, see his Net Bible.

You need to improve your biblical Koine rather than continue parroting a claim which even the one who originally made it no longer holds to .
 

cjab

Well-known member
TRJM is making this far more complicated than it needs to be, which is why one shouldn't try and teach what one has yet to grasp. The attributive participle (proper) is a dependent usage because it refers back to a specific noun. Substantival is an independent usage of the attributive participle where the head noun is unexpressed and therefore implied. Thus it acts as the head nominal itself. It's really that simple. There is no "profound" difference between the two.
This argument has some initial merit, but OTOH the mere suspicion of "attributive" in relation to the predicate Χριστὸς doesn't entitle you to become blind to what follows ὁ ὢν, which blindness you and Harris insist on.

That ὁ Χριστὸς τὸ κατὰ σάρκα is a fully formed predicate means that there is a real possibility that ὁ ὢν introduces a new sentence. You just rule it out arbitrarily.

The reason for ὁ ὢν forming a new sentence is that it is directly followed by a nominative noun agreeing with the article, and moreover there is no apostolic conception of ὁ Χριστὸς τὸ κατὰ σάρκα being Θεὸς in the whole of the NT. It isn't a known relation.

Were your reasoning to hold, ὁ ὢν would have to be uncontroversial. That it is highly controversial is reason enough to discount it.

______

Now as to a separate argument that is commonly made against ὁ ὢν starting a new sentence: i.e. that ὢν is redundant if ὁ is associated with Θεὸς. I see it another way.

Where it not for ὢν, then the resultant prepositional clause ὁ ἐπὶ πάντων would be perceived as attributive of ὁ Χριστὸς in the second position. ὢν precludes this ambiguity.

The substantival aspect resulting from the article linked to ὢν imparts the form of a new sentence, and especially where ὁ ὢν, which is a title for Θεὸς. precedes Θεὸς. There is no requirement for a preceding head-noun.

Moreover, and this is what is conclusive here: the connection between ὁ ὢν and Θεὸς is unbreakable in Pauline theology - see also 2 Cor 11:31. It is clear that for Paul ὁ ὢν is ὁ Θεὸς per Ex 3:14. This is standard Hebrew theology, and there is something of a play on words: one has to grasp the theological significance of ὁ ὢν to grasp it.

This concludes it.
 
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cjab

Well-known member
The learned men of the AV put Christ as the antecedent.
There is nothing to suggest it was correct. Irenaeus and Eusebius have the "Father above all".

The second point is 100% true.
The whole Christ=God apposition theory has problems on the right and on the left, up and down.
When is a noun following an article "appositional"?

The learned men of the AV avoided that error.
By disassociating ὁ from Θεὸς, but that is a wrong translation.

They were forced into it because having abolished the article in making Christ the antecedent of ὢν, the article was "used up." So Θεὸς lost its article.

The point is that an article has a far stronger relation to a following noun than to an antecedent noun. especially where Θεὸς in the context (denoting the person of God) clearly required the article as denoting the person or prosopon of God.

Θεὸς losing its article is not to be recommended.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
Not directly followed. Both Christ and God have words in between. The learned men of the AV put Christ as the antecedent.

The second point is 100% true.
The whole Christ=God apposition theory has problems on the right and on the left, up and down.
The learned men of the AV avoided that error.
Steven, do you know the basics of Greek grammar ? Or do you look at the English translation (of the AV ) as inspired , and then set your grammatical agenda through it ? Just curious.
 

Steven Avery

Well-known member
Steven, do you know the basics of Greek grammar ? Or do you look at the English translation (of the AV ) as inspired , and then set your grammatical agenda through it ? Just curious.

Generally, I do not do Greek grammar, sans background, except where the comments are clear and well supported, as in my post above correcting the idea of a direct contiguous connection to the postcedent. Or asking questions. Or watching those who are super-skilled as in the heavenly witnesses and sharing their truths.

Often it is easy to tell when someone is trying to be Greek-geek, with lots of new self-purposed rules and fancy jargon, and failing. Or calling for irrelevant analogy examples.

And I do believe the learned men of the AV were way above modern Greek seminarians and the self-taught and had great translation philosophy and praxis. So they are a superb fulcrum for New Testament discussions of the pure TR Greek text.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
You seem to be hanging an awful lot on a circular argument that the distant ὁ must have the postcedent Θεὸς. "Θεὸς lost its article"...

Also I am skeptical that Θεὸς "required the article".

I'll let the Greek-geeks comment, if they want.

He's not arguing that ὁ is Θεὸς's postcedent (an impossible thing to begin with). Rather he is saying that ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων Θεὸς is a participle phrase with ὢν in the first attributive position.
 

brianrw

Member
Even Wallace changed his mind about ὁ ὢν in John 1:18 being attributive, see his Net Bible.
Because Ehrman is right, the variant μονογενὴς θεὸς is incompatible with Johannine thought, and is only found scarcely in the Alexandrian family of manuscripts. The NET translation is to ameliorate that difficulty, not because Wallace suddenly decided it can't fit a third attributive construction.

You need to improve your biblical Koine rather than continue parroting a claim which even the one who originally made it no longer holds to .
Have you checked your translations? Tell me, is it most commonly translated appositionally? Because all the translations I have seen with the exception of the NET take the participle as attributive and render it with a relative clause.

You need to improve your biblical Koine rather than continue parroting a claim which even the one who originally made it no longer holds to .
My koine is fine. You're the one who believes an attributive participle when it takes an object and is modified by another part of speech is no longer attributive, but substantival. There is no established rule of grammar that restricts the attributive participle in such a way, because that requirement effectively destroys the genius of the Greek participle itself. The participle has both a verbal and an adjectival aspect, it does not lose its verbal aspect when it functions attributively. And there is no special rule for ὁ ὢν. You're not even backing up what your asserting, except for a couple of websites you seem to have in some way or another misread or misapplied and actually don't support your position as a whole.

I keep up to date with the study of Koine. Nowhere ever, in any grammar, have I ever seen anyone restrict the usage of the attributive participle in the way that you do. I'd like to actually see you substantiate that this is even an established opinion, rather than your own idiosyncratic view. So far, you haven't done that. On the other hand, I've substantiated that this is not the case from Whitacre, Funk, Mounce, Merkle and Plummer, Mathewson and Emig, Robertson, al. Wallace's main example of the attributive (in his book on Syntax, the updated and abridged form of his grammar) is ὁ πατήρ σου ὁ βλέπων ἐν τῷ κρυπτῷ ἀποδώσει σοι, which breaks your paradigm. Many of their examples break your paradigm, in fact.

So, all I see is that you continually making up restrictions based upon which attributive position, which participle, whether or not there are modifiers, objects, etc. It's nonsense. You wouldn't know a 2nd attributive construction involving the attributive participle if it hit you in the face. And I sent plenty to you earlier, all attributive examples from grammar, and you dismissed them the same way. That is the very definition of special pleading.

You're only fooling the people who don't know the language, and your comments are a waste of time. I'm only commenting to alert those who don't know any better.

The reason for ὁ ὢν forming a new sentence is that it is directly followed by a nominative noun agreeing with the article, and moreover there is no apostolic conception of ὁ Χριστὸς τὸ κατὰ σάρκα being Θεὸς in the whole of the NT. It isn't a known relation.
I think you need to take a better look into this assertion, that Christ is never referred to as Θεὸς in the NT. I've been through the whole NT multiple times, and the comment is not accurate. Or maybe you can clarify if you intended some other meaning. One of the Byzantine Emperors made the same claim, and the Greek fathers basically shredded it. As far as I have found, Erasmus is the origin of punctuating the clause after σάρκα, and he received enormous criticism for it.
 
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brianrw

Member
Continued from the above post
There is nothing to suggest it was correct. Irenaeus and Eusebius have the "Father above all".
Not an accurate quote. Both refer to "the God over all." Eusebius does not quote the passage, and Irenaeus quotes it when reasoning on the scriptures that Christ is both perfect man and perfect God.

The reason for ὁ ὢν forming a new sentence is that it is directly followed by a nominative noun agreeing with the article, and moreover there is no apostolic conception of ὁ Χριστὸς τὸ κατὰ σάρκα being Θεὸς in the whole of the NT. It isn't a known relation.
For example, cf. Theodoret (Letter 146):

That our Lord Jesus Christ is God is asserted by the blessed evangelist John “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made.” And again, “That was the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” And the Lord Himself distinctly teaches us, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” And “I and my Father are one” and “I am in the Father and the Father in me,” and the blessed Paul in his epistle to the Hebrews says “Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power” and in the epistle to the Philippians “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God but made Himself of no reputation and took upon Him the form of a servant.” And in the Epistle to the Romans, “Whose are the fathers and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came who is over all God blessed for ever. Amen.” And in the epistle to Titus “Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”
So there are at least three passages in there where it was read by the Greeks differently then I assume you will assert. And again, Gregory of Nyssa (Against Eunomius, 11.2) writes very expressly how the passages were read in his day:

Nay, I do not even think it necessary to bring forward in detail the utterances of Paul, since they are, as one may say, in all men's mouths, who gives the Lord the appellation not only of "God," but of "great God" and "God over all," saying to the Romans, "Whose are the fathers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, Who is over all, God blessed for ever", and writing to his disciple Titus, "According to the appearing of Jesus Christ the great God and our Saviour," and to Timothy, proclaims in plain terms, "God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit." (the reading of almost all manuscripts here)
This is not an equivocal statement, as though the readings were in dispute. Likewise Chrysostom (Commentary on Philippians 2):
Is there a great and little God? With them [the Arians] there is a great and a little God . . . If He were little, how would he also be God? . . . But the Son, he [Arius] says, is little. But it is thou that sayest this, for the Scripture says the contrary: as of the Father, so it speaks of the Son; for listen to Paul, saying, "Looking for the blessed hope, and appearing of the glory [rather, glorious appearing] of our great God." But can he have said "appearing" of the Father? Nay, that he may the more convince you, he has added with reference to the appearing "of the great God." Is it then not said of the Father? By no means. For the sequel suffers it not which says, "The appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ." See, the Son is great also. How then do you speak of small and great?" Listen to the Prophet too, calling Him . . . "The mighty God"

Again, when asserting passages where Christ is called "God," he writes (On the Incomprehensible Nature of God, 5.2),

And Paul said: "from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all things, God blessed forever, Amen." And again: "No fornicator or covetous one has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God." And still again: "through the appearance of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ." And John calls him by the same name of God when he says: "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God; and the Word was God."
What I don't find? Their adversaries saying, "no, no, you aren't punctuating the passage correctly" or "You're not following the rules of the article correctly," or "this passage can be understood six different ways."
 
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Steven Avery

Well-known member
For example, cf. Theodoret (Letter 146):
.....And the Lord Himself distinctly teaches us, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” And “I and my Father are one” and “I am in the Father and the Father in me,”

So you and Theodoret are Sabellians, believing Jesus is God the Father?
Amazing.
 

brianrw

Member
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Harris rejected the translations that made the adjective "blessed" refer directly back to "Christ," instead of naturally associating it with the noun it modifies in the Greek ("God"). Both his preferred translations utilize "God blessed for ever," and he notes both highlight Christ's inherent divinity, and affirm Christ is "God." As he writes in the paragraph following the one you always quote:

I therefore prefer to construe θεὸς with the following phrase εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας. Two possible translations result: "(Christ,) who is over all, God blessed forever." This makes θεὸς κτλ. a second predicate dependent on ὁ ὢν; or the sense may be, "(Christ,) who is supreme above all as God blessed for ever." On this latter view, which I adopt, θεὸς is in apposition to ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων and εὐλογητὸς κτλ. is descriptive of θεὸς.
But what does θεὸς here signify as applied to Christ? θεὸς is anarthrous not only because it is appositional (or predicative) but also because it functions as a qualitative noun, highlighting Christ's inherent divinity. (Harris, Jesus as God, p. 166).​

This is what I've been saying already. You somehow believe Harris is advocating "God blessed" (a compound adjective) as in "blessed by God" as the "natural association," and are spreading that misunderstanding across multiple forums. You've been corrected on this repeatedly. Still, you keep insisting "Spin" who told you that θεὸς εὐλογητὸς is two nouns--one a nominalized verb--and that both together mean "blessed by God," is the best authority.

All I'm saying is that your interpretation of Romans 9:5 is a misreading of the English text, and you're inserting that view into Harris's work which dos not support your interpretation at all.

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It seems you don't have much to say that is constructive, but would rather just twist and misrepresent. When did I ever say Jesus is "God the Father"?
 
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Steven Avery

Well-known member
All I'm saying is that your interpretation of Romans 9:5 is a misreading of the English text, and you're inserting that view into Harris's work which dos not support your interpretation at all.
Insults deleted.
 
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brianrw

Member
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You're misrepresenting me again. I would translate, "Christ . . . who is over all, God blessed for ever." I've corrected you on this enough times that it seems you're doing this on purpose, and it needs to stop.

Your problem is that you've appropriated Harris's words as though they support you, when they don't. I'll quote it for you again, since you keep missing it:

I therefore prefer to construe θεὸς with the following phrase εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας. Two possible translations result: "(Christ,) who is over all, God blessed forever." This makes θεὸς κτλ. a second predicate dependent on ὁ ὢν; or the sense may be, "(Christ,) who is supreme above all as God blessed for ever." On this latter view, which I adopt, θεὸς is in apposition to ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων and εὐλογητὸς κτλ. is descriptive of θεὸς.
But what does θεὸς here signify as applied to Christ? θεὸς is anarthrous not only because it is appositional (or predicative) but also because it functions as a qualitative noun, highlighting Christ's inherent divinity. (Murray J. Harris, Jesus as God, p. 166).​

I'm only mentioning Harris because you're using his name and words to spread your view, which he obviously does not espouse.
 
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Steven Avery

Well-known member
You're misrepresenting me again. I would translate, "Christ . . . who is over all, God blessed for ever." I've corrected you on this enough times that it seems you're doing this on purpose, and it needs to stop.Your problem is that you've appropriated Harris's words as though they support you, when they don't.

You quoted Harris with this favorably (web-page-pic) from p. 166.)

“(Christ,) who is supreme above all as God blessed forever”

If you are now agreeing that this is mangled, absurd English, say so clearly.

==========

Then we can return to the AV text, and your false claim that it is an apposition text.
 
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