Trinitarian confusion at Romans 9:5

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
I didn't recall Jesus using your pedantic definition in John 3:6, albeit I agree I omitted to say that man can also be born of πνεῦμα as well as σάρξ. Such shows there is no barrier to the Λόγος becoming σάρξ where the σάρξ can be a temple of the πνεῦμα (but obviously a "kenoticized" πνεῦμα where the Λόγος became fully human Heb 2:17).
It’s not “my” definition, it is the biblical definition. Read Genesis 1. Deal with it.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
If you object to Jesus being denoted as 'flesh' (τὸ γεγεννημένον ἐκ τῆς σαρκὸς σάρξ) then I cannot think what you actually believe.
Someone who literally exists before their “birth” contradicts the biblical definition of what a human being is. Enough.
 

cjab

Well-known member
Someone who literally exists before their “birth” contradicts the biblical definition of what a human being is. Enough.
Clearly Jesus didn't literally exist before his birth, as the man himself was only foreknown. 1Pe 1:20

But as you point out, flesh is in the image of God, and is given a rationale soul and spirit, which may be given to it from above:

Ὑμεῖς ἐκ τῶν κάτω ἐστέ, ἐγὼ ἐκ τῶν ἄνω εἰμί· ὑμεῖς ἐκ τούτου τοῦ κόσμου ἐστέ, ἐγὼ οὐκ εἰμὶ ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου τούτου John 8:23
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
Clearly Jesus didn't literally exist before his birth, as the man himself was only foreknown. 1Pe 1:20

But as you point out, flesh is in the image of God, and is given a rationale soul and spirit, which may be given to it from above:

Ὑμεῖς ἐκ τῶν κάτω ἐστέ, ἐγὼ ἐκ τῶν ἄνω εἰμί· ὑμεῖς ἐκ τούτου τοῦ κόσμου ἐστέ, ἐγὼ οὐκ εἰμὶ ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου τούτου John 8:23
Well you believe the Logos literally existed before it became a human being called Jesus. That contradicts the biblical definition of a human being. Infact you believe the Logos always existed as a non-human being before becoming a human being. Nonsense.
 

cjab

Well-known member
Well you believe the Logos literally existed before it became a human being called Jesus. That contradicts the biblical definition of a human being. Infact you believe the Logos always existed as a non-human being before becoming a human being. Nonsense.
Jn 1:1
Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ Λόγος

I am informed by Chrys C. Caragounis that Ἐν ἀρχῇ is effectively definite: i.e. no other beginnings. He says:

-------------

The anarthrous expression έν άρχη occurs no fewer than 4,178 times in
Greek literature from Homeros down to XVI A.D. The expression occurs
in basically two main semantic fields: (l.a) "beginning" in a temporal
sense, (l.b) "beginning" in a local sense and (2) in the sense of "power",
"command", "authority", "jurisdiction", "reign", "office", etc. The sense of
"in the beginning of' occurs in connection with a great variety of words.

On the other hand, the arthrous expression έν τη άρχη occurs in the
same body of literature 376 times. Of these, about 56 occurrences have
the sense of "power", "office", "jurisdiction", "authority", "reign", "dominions",
etc., while 320 instances have the general sense of "beginning",
"first", etc. Comparing the 376 instances of the arthrous with the 4,178
instances of the anarthrous expression, we are forced to conclude that the
Greeks had a predilection for using the anarthrous expression.

The question that arises is whether there is a semantic difference between
the two expressions:

• Aprioristically it would be rather strange if in Greek literature 4,178
contexts demanded the indefinite form and only 376 contexts demanded
the definite form. The sheer force of these figures—aprioristically
again—make it very difficult to argue that by the anarthrous form
indefinite meaning was intended while by the arthrous definite.

• Comparing the anarthrous with the arthrous occurrences it is difficult
to maintain such a distinction. For example, Platon, Symposion, 197b:
ωσπερ έν άρχη είπον functions in exactly the same way as Origenes,
Comm. on Jeremiah 17,4.46: έν τή άρχή ό προοφήτης έλεγεν (see also
14.5.38: έν τη άρχη έπεσημειωσάμην). And again, Platon, Phaidros,
253c: καθάπερ έν άρχη τοϋδε τοϋ μύθου is similar to Origenes, Frg.
on Psalms, 2 p. 2: έν τη άρχη τοϋ μακαρισμοϋ. Compare, further,
Platon, Alkibiades, 140d: έν τη άρχή τοϋ λόγου, Gorgias, Frg. 11,130:
έν άρχη τοϋ λόγου and Hyperides, Frg. 171,2: έν άρχή τοϋ λόγου
with Ailios Herodianos, Peri Syntaxeos ton stoicheion, 3,2, 393,38:
έν τή άρχή της λέξεως. These specimens seem to indicate that the
anarthtrous instances could have been arthrous and vice versa.

• Nor would it be possible to argue that the one expression was more at
home in the classical period while the other in the Hellenistic or Byzantine
periods. For as a matter of fact, both expressions show about
the same ratio of occurrences between their classical and post-classical
instances, that is, both expressions occur in analogous proportion
more frequently in the latter periods.

• Although our NT editions do not indicate this, some of the early
Christian authors actually use the arthrous expression at John 1,1,
e.g. Origenes, Fig. on Gospel of John, 1,49: διό έπήγαγεν τφ Έν τή
άρχή ήν ό λόγος; Didymos Caecus, On the Trinity, e.g. 39,793.35:
Ήν γαρ, φησίν, έν τή άρχή Θεός προς τόν Θεόν; Gregorios Nysseus,
Refutation of Eunomos, 22,3' έν τή άρχή όντι λόγω (ειπε γαρ ότι Και
ήν πρός τόν Θεόν). That these are not all exact quotations of Jn 1,1
is beside the point. The important thing is that for these authors the
anarthrous expression and the arthrous expression were equivalent.

• There is no doubt whatsoever that Jn 1,1 is a conscious echo of LXX
Gen 1,1: Έν άρχη έποίησεν ό θεός τον οΰρανόν και την γήν, in spite
of the fact that while άρχη in Genesis refers to the beginning of creation,
in John it refers to a state that already existed in the beginning. In
other words, the difference between Gen 1,1 and Jn 1,1 is that whereas
the former passage refers to the beginning of created things, the latter
goes further back, referring to eternity. But at all events, the use of the
anarthrous expression at Jn 1,1 was given.

• The expression έν άρχή is found in the LXX 29 times, translating
various Hebrew words/expressions. Almost all of them could have
used the arthrous expression έν τή άρχή without any change of meaning.
And yet the arthrous expression occurs only once, namely in
the Theodotion text of Dan 9,12: δν εΐδον... έν τή άρχή (the LXX has
δν ειδον... την άρχήν), where the expression could easily have been
anarthrous: έν άρχή.

• In the NT έν άρχή occurs only four times. Leaving aside the two
Johannineoccurrences, both Acts 11,15 and Phil 4,15 could have been
served by the arthrous expression έν τή άρχή. To make a distinction
here between έν άρχή, as referring to the first days of the Gospel in
Makedonia and a hypothetical έν τή άρχή, as referring to the first
beginnings in Jerusalem, is a hypothesis that is foreign to the genius
and the evidence of the language.

• The anarthrous expression έν άρχή should not be understood as the
indefinite would in English, i.e. "in a beginning", since that would be
nonsense. The terms 'definite' and 'indefinite', if used at all in connection
with this expression, should be understood in an analogous
way to the two conjunctions οτε and δταν, which, although strictly
distinguished, in later Greek including the NT, have come to be used
interchangeably, while in Demotic Neohellenic in which this development
continued, the less phonodynamic οτε has given place to δταν.
In English translation both of them are rendered by 'when'.

• In Demotic Neohellenic, which has lost the dative form, the preposition
έν is not usuable, except in certain set phrases. Jn 1,1a would
be rendered by στην (= εις την) άρχή(ν) ήταν ό λδγος. This means
that Demotic Neohellenic translates έν άρχή with a definite phrase,
precisely as English, German, French, Swedish, Dutch, Spanish, Italian,
etc. It is impossible o use the indefinite έν άρχη in Demotic
Neohellenic. But a Greek under stands both έν άρχη and στην άρχη(ν)
in this context as saying the same thing.

• Finally, έν άρχη as such is indefinite. However, its close relation to a
noun or a verb, of which noun or verb (action) it is the beginning,
lends to it a certain definiteness. Thus, the absolute έν άρχη (in Jn
1,1), referring, as it does, to the state that existed before the beginning
of creation (Gen 1,1), can never be understood merely of "a beginning"
(as though there were many beginnings) but "of the beginning". It may
be said that the phrase has almost crystallized into a set formula or
even that it has acquired a kind of adverbial force.
 

cjab

Well-known member
It's about whay John says. I think it is rational to (a) conceive of the Logos as a non-human being (ὁ Λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν Θεόν καὶ Θεὸς ἦν ὁ Λόγος.), (b) to see the Logos as always existing (Ἐν ἀρχῇ).

I don't understand how anyone could object to such assumptions.
 

YeshuaFan

Well-known member
It's about whay John says. I think it is rational to (a) conceive of the Logos as a non-human being (ὁ Λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν Θεόν καὶ Θεὸς ἦν ὁ Λόγος.), (b) to see the Logos as always existing (Ἐν ἀρχῇ).

I don't understand how anyone could object to such assumptions.
Eternal Word of the Father
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
“John” doesn’t say that God ( apparently “the Logos”) stopped being God to become a human being for 33 years and then resumed being God after the resurrection of Jesus. It’s your imagination which says such unbiblical & irrational things.
 

YeshuaFan

Well-known member
“John” doesn’t say that God ( apparently “the Logos”) stopped being God to become a human being for 33 years and then resumed being God after the resurrection of Jesus. It’s your imagination which says such unbiblical & irrational things.
Logs, fully God along with the Father, became incarnated as Jesus, and was both fully God and fully man!
 

cjab

Well-known member
“John” doesn’t say that God ( apparently “the Logos”) stopped being God to become a human being for 33 years and then resumed being God after the resurrection of Jesus. It’s your imagination which says such unbiblical & irrational things.
It's your imagination that I believe such things. For a start, I have always made clear that I do not see the Logos as "the person who is God" - this is not what John 1:1c says. Neither does the resurrected Jesus command the title "God" - he is appointed to sit at God's right hand. So again nothing you have supposed is justified in respect of "me." You seem to be talking at cross purposes all the time, confusing me with conventional hyper-Trinitarians. You need to start discriminating more.

The Logos is eternal, but is not of itself the Father who is God. That much you should accept.
 

YeshuaFan

Well-known member
It's your imagination that I believe such things. For a start, I have always made clear that I do not see the Logos as "the person who is God" - this is not what John 1:1c says. Neither does the resurrected Jesus command the title "God" - he is appointed to sit at God's right hand. So again nothing you have supposed is justified in respect of "me." You seem to be talking at cross purposes all the time, confusing me with conventional hyper-Trinitarians. You need to start discriminating more.

The Logos is eternal, but is not of itself the Father who is God. That much you should accept.
Whatever makes the father God, the Logos is Himself that very "stuff"
 

cjab

Well-known member
Whatever makes the father God, the Logos is Himself that very "stuff"
I disagree. God is spirit, not "stuff." Spirit is hierarchical. God is at the very top, the source of all power, and cannot be displaced, even by one in the form of God (i.e. the Logos). The arthrous theos in Jn 1:1b, and anarthrous theos in Jn 1:1c make this clear, as do the numerous references by Paul to God being over Christ.
 
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