Trinitarian confusion at Romans 9:5

cjab

Well-known member
You tried to. You were wrong and were refuted.
What do your refutations amount to? Just contempt.

You just keep ignoring it as though it never happened. And then you contradict yourself saying the phrase in 9:5 is parenthetic yet still qualifies the whole sentence.
No, I offered an alternative. Either it is parenthetic or it qualifies the whole sentence, depending on your point of view. Of course I realize that you and brianrw don't see it as parenthetic (even though enclosed in parentheses in the ABP).

You, TRJM, and Steven Avery should be banned from posting here.
May be you should be. You are the master of ad hominem. I wasn't wrong.
 
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John Milton

Well-known member
What do your refutations amount to? Just contempt.
Only if you aren't able to follow along. If you only see contempt, you must not be able to follow along.
No, I offered an alternative. Either it is parenthetic or it qualifies the whole sentence, depending on your point of view.
It is not parenthetical and does it not qualify the whole sentence. I've already explained why to you earlier. It is sufficient now to encourage you to go back and reread.
Of course I realize that you and brianrw don't see it as parenthetic (even though enclosed in parentheses in the ABP).
What is ABP?
May be you should be.
If you three agree to leave, I'll gladly leave with you.
You are the master of ad hominem. I wasn't wrong.
All you do is whine. If you had arguments, you wouldn't have to. I don't know why the mods allow you three to turn this space into another Oneness/Trinity/Jehovah's Witness forum.
 

cjab

Well-known member
You can try that straw man argument again and again, and that is all it will be. The manuscripts, versions, Greek fathers and their opponents do not support the reading you advocate. On the other hand, you are the one following a reading involving punctuation introduced by Erasmus in the 16th century, that falls in the company of five other suggested emendations--all of which were suggested under the same premise, that Paul would not call Christ "God."

You're the one incorrectly using the Greek language, misusing and misrepresenting your sources, making unsupported assertions. All you and your ilk have to do is just muddy the translation for others. You don't require a sound conclusion, nor can you make any plausible argument for adding a period. The manuscripts, versions, fathers are all against you and I can literally point out when the reading first appears in extant history. But you want me to simply concede that your point is merely valid, while you say the most natural reading is impossible. I won't do that, because I find it to be specious and refuse to be dithering about how to handle it. Adding a period adds an unnecessary layer of difficulty to the passage that is not present without it.

It is precisely the problem that people suggest one passage can be translated what, eight different ways? Or that Paul is only ambiguous where he appears to assert (as he does) the Deity of Christ? Presupposition is one of the chief causes of variant clusters in the NT.
The arguments for my position are well grounded and can be stated succinctly. It is you who dismiss them out of hand. My arguments are collated as follows (there may be more as well):

(a) ὁ ὢν is name for YHWH God in Paul's vocabulary from Ex 3:14 & 2 Cor 11:31. Most of the ECFs seems to have forgotten it. Paul clearly uses ὁ ὢν very sparingly.
(b) There is nothing ungrammatical about ὁ ὢν starting a sentence, or a new clause.
(c) "Many" scholars do not insist on ὁ ὢν being attributive (including Gryllus), and it strange to posit an attributive in the second position after τὸ κατὰ σάρκα (no precedent in the bible).
(d) A doxology to Christ would surely have followed the Rom 1:25 format ὅς ἐστιν εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας· ἀμήν. As Winer says, there is nothing remarkable about ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων Θεὸς being directed to God (the Father) and not Christ.
(e) Such doxologies using Εὐλογητὸ are addressed to the Father.
(f) Paul states that the Father alone is ἐπὶ πάντων in Eph 4:6.
(g) The "God the Word" trinity doctrine was unknown to the apostles, and Paul never alludes to Christ as God (except allegedly by the Trinitarian Sharp's rule which ignores ὁ Θεὸς as the Father's title).
(h) τὸ κατὰ σάρκα would qualify any further allusion to Christ, as "in the flesh" if any existed, i.e. would be limited to calling him "King", which is jurisdictionally anomalous with ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων Θεὸς
(i) Roms 9 isn't about Christ, but other subjects. Christ is only mentioned in passing in Rom 9:5 as a blessing on Israel, such that there would be no reason for Paul to disgress. The reference to the blessed God is in the context of his blessings on Israel.
(j) The arguments of Hippolytus, that the economy of anarthrous Θεὸς in Christ is being alluded to, &etc, and of Harris, are too subtle and involved to be worthy of consideration: Paul always speaks directly on such subjects. In any case, these are motivated by their "God the Word" doctrine, which particular linguistic totem isn't found in scripture.
(k) The only one described as ἐπὶ πάντων God himself is the antichrist in 2 Thess 2:4. Thus Paul's words need qualification or contextualization if applied to a human being, but don't receive any: the reader is just expected to know what is being intended by Paul. This is hardly the Pauline style. This also relates to the jurisdiction of heaven being invoked by ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων Θεὸς; whereas the jurisdiction of the flesh (i.e. earth) is delimited by τὸ κατὰ σάρκα. All this suggests a new sentence is demanded for ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων Θεὸς.
 
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The Real John Milton

Well-known member
Not sure what the Trinitarian contingent is trying to accomplish here with 52 pages and running.

They are not trying to argue that Romans 9:5 is a “proof text” for Christ’s so-called “Deity,” just fighting tooth & nail like rabid wolves that their reading is grammatically possible. But then again, all of their verses for the “ Deity” of Christ are like this one: ambiguous at best. It’s a house built upon a weak foundation.
 

cjab

Well-known member
How is belief in the deity of Christ (Jesus = God) different from belief in Jesus as the (human) son of God, if like me, you assume that both include the pre-existence of Christ as the Logos?

What is it that so obesses Trinitarians to declare that Jesus = God, rather than the son of God, as scripture so declares (apart from the ECFs and their Greek philosophy)?
 
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brianrw

Member
Not sure what the Trinitarian contingent is trying to accomplish here with 52 pages and running...
But we're not the only ones involved in the discussion, are we? And we are not the ones who started it and continued rambling on after being corrected, are we? You're both the ones making up rules of Greek in a biblical languages thread, attempting to invent rules to justify emending the passage with a period after σάρκα and deceiving people who don't know any better.

Socinianism was an offshoot of the Radical Reformation in the 16th century and was founded by Fausto Sozzini in 1562. Unitarianism, its offshoot, was founded in 1723. Oneness was founded in 1914.

It is no surprise that you condemn the fathers who were before them.

But then again, all of their verses for the “ Deity” of Christ are like this one: ambiguous at best. It’s a house built upon a weak foundation.
This is a typical go-to: when all else fails, muddy the waters. They weren't ambiguous to the Greeks, and in every case represent the plainest renderings when the same grammar in uncontroverted parallels is applied. The scriptures weren't meant to be read three to six different ways. But when theology gets in the way, that's what happens--we hear what it is not, and then no one of the "nots" can agree on what is.

It is you who dismiss them out of hand. My arguments are collated as follows (there may be more as well):
Your argument is convoluted. An attributive participle in the second attributive position would modify the head noun (here, ὁ Χριστὸς). When sandwiched between two nouns of the same case, one of them clearly being in a predicate position following a participle involving an equative verb, it is most natural here that the attributive participle would take the preceding as its antecedent. That some scholars have become nose blind to the problems of introducing a period is no problem of mine.

It's like hearing, "and from whom was elected Abraham Lincoln, according to the electoral count, who was President over the US," and saying he wasn't president because a period should follow after "vote" and it is grammatically impossible to read it otherwise.

You both have a bible that's ambiguous when you disagree with it. I can read it just fine.

(c) "Many" scholars do not insist on ὁ ὢν being attributive (including Gryllus), and it strange to posit an attributive in the second position after τὸ κατὰ σάρκα (no precedent in the bible).
It's not strange at all. You're just making this up. Gryllus stated no opposition to my OP in the companion thread and gave it a like. So I will let him speak for himself here if he so wishes. He certainly did not agree with you or TRJM so I don't know why you are supporting your argument by appealing to Gryllus.
 
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cjab

Well-known member
It's like hearing, "and from whom was elected Abraham Lincoln, according to the electoral count, who was President over the US," and saying he wasn't president because a period should follow after "vote" and it is grammatically impossible to read it otherwise.
No. it's like hearing "and from whom was elected Abraham Lincoln, according to the electoral count, who is God over all."

The conceptual problem lies entirely in collating a human being (a man of the flesh) with being God above all (who axiomatically lives in heaven). It's really that simple: such is not a Jewish concept, but a Greek (pagan) concept. It's import into biblical doctrine cannot be permitted in any way, shape or form.

And as far as grammar: you've always overlooked the point that Θεὸς εὐλογητὸς requires the article. Without the article, the words are gibberish because anarthrous Θεὸς isn't capable of being blessed, even if you posited ὁ Λόγος as the subject in place of ὁ Χριστὸς.

Indeed, in order to show consistency with the rest of scripture, as Stephen Avery has suggested, you would have to insert a second article before Θεὸς.

Another issue is your purblind refusal to see that your second attributive position isn't the only option. To pretend that it is, is deceitful. Gryllus clearly states that he sees an appositive, not a second attributive. He cannot go back on his words. Therefore he doesn't agree with you, even if he liked your post.
 
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Caroljeen

Well-known member
It's not strange at all. You're just making this up. Gryllus stated no opposition to my OP in the companion thread and gave it a like. So I will let him speak for himself here if he so wishes. He certainly did not agree with you or TRJM so I don't know why you are supporting your argument by appealing to Gryllus.
 

brianrw

Member
I am sorry to hear this, this is sad news and I will be praying for him and his family. Thank you for letting me know.

No. it's like hearing "and from whom was elected Abraham Lincoln, according to the electoral count, who is God over all."
This statement only further highlights that you're using a theological argument to override a grammatical one. Because the grammar here would specifically call Abraham Lincoln "God over all," regardless of whether you choose to believe it or (rightly) not believe it. You would have no excuse with this example to say that sentence doesn't mean what it says.

And as far as grammar: you've always overlooked the point that Θεὸς εὐλογητὸς requires the article. Without the article, the words are gibberish because anarthrous Θεὸς isn't capable of being blessed, even if you posited ὁ Λόγος as the subject in place of ὁ Χριστὸς.
This is all completely wrong. In an anarthrous construction the adjective may be attributive or predicative, and the context usually makes the distinction clear. Let's take a look at another example (Matthew 7:15): Προσέχετε δέ ἀπὸ τῶν ψευδοπροφητῶν οἵτινες ἔρχονται πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐν ἐνδύμασιν προβάτων ἔσωθεν δὲ εἰσιν λύκοι ἅρπαγες. Here the "false prophets" (τῶν ψευδοπροφητῶν) are described as λύκοι ἅρπαγες, which is also anarthrous. It is not "gibberish" for λύκοι (a predicate nominative) to not have an article, nor does it mean it has to have an article in order to be modified by the adjective ἅρπαγες ("ravenous"). They are not "wolves" and "ravenous," but "ravenous wolves."

Indeed, in order to show consistency with the rest of scripture, as Stephen Avery has suggested, you would have to insert a second article before Θεὸς.
No, and you're appealing to an individual who (to his credit) admittedly has no working knowledge of the language. Your reading would be better suited with the omission of the participle. I see no good grammatical reason why an attributive participle of an equative verb would stand between two nominatives of the same case and gender where its usage would be cataphoric rather than anaphoric. Θεὸς in the construction is a predicate. It either means what it apparently says, or it is just a recipe for ambiguity. I think Paul knew better about what he was writing.
 
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brianrw

Member
Continued from the previous post
Another issue is your purblind refusal to see that your second attributive position isn't the only option. To pretend that it is, is deceitful. Gryllus clearly states that he sees an appositive, not a second attributive. He cannot go back on his words. Therefore he doesn't agree with you, even if he liked your post.
It's not right to be misrepresenting Gryllus. As he wrote in the companion thread:
It's also fairly standard for participial phrases to stand where we might expect a relative clause in English. There is nothing wrong with the English translations on that score.​
Of course, this describes the function of an attributive participle. An articular participle placed in apposition to the noun it describes is an attributive participle. However, English has no direct parallel, so we utilize a relative clause.

Let's look at another exchange between Gryllus and TRJM over John 1:18 in the companion thread:
The point is that ὁ ὢν is never used as an attributive participle, in the second attributive position.​
Look at the Greek: μονογενὴς υἱός, ὁ ὢν εἰς τὸν κόλπον τοῦ Πατρὸς. Bold is an appositive.​
To which Gryllus responded:
You keep using the terminology, but you don't really know what it means.​
So he is clearly opposing the sort of argument TRJM has been trying to make, and the argument you seem to be making here. And in addition, as noted above, I wrote a very clear explanation in the companion thread stating the same things I have over and over again here and he responded to it with a "like." So I believe you are trying to create an artificial conflict between me and someone who did not individually express disapproval of anything I wrote--unlike he has for you and TRJM.

All articular participles are attributive and therefore adjectival. The difference is whether the head nominal is stated or implied. An anaphoric usage of an appositive construction in English "he who is . . . " when the head nominal is stated misses the point of the attributive adjectival construction in Greek by treating it as a noun phrase in English. You (as it seems) and TRJM are making the mistake of calling dependent second attributive constructions independent substantival appositions.
 
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John Milton

Well-known member
The arguments for my position are well grounded and can be stated succinctly. It is you who dismiss them out of hand. My arguments are collated as follows (there may be more as well):

(a) ὁ ὢν is name for YHWH God in Paul's vocabulary from Ex 3:14 & 2 Cor 11:31. Most of the ECFs seems to have forgotten it. Paul clearly uses ὁ ὢν very sparingly.
ὁ ὢν is a way of referring to God, but Paul doesn't appear to have used it in this manner in II Cor. 11:31 or Rom. 9:5. We don't have enough of Paul's writings to know how sparingly Paul used the phrase, and you certainly don't know anything about the knowledge of the ECFs.
(b) There is nothing ungrammatical about ὁ ὢν starting a sentence, or a new clause.
This is true.
(c) "Many" scholars do not insist on ὁ ὢν being attributive (including Gryllus), and it strange to posit an attributive in the second position after τὸ κατὰ σάρκα (no precedent in the bible).
If you say "'many' scholars do not insist on ὁ ὢν being attributive," you imply that many others do. It's not a remark that has any value.
(d) A doxology to Christ would surely have followed the Rom 1:25 format ὅς ἐστιν εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας· ἀμήν.
Baseless assertion. Doxologies don't have a fossilized construction.
As Winer says, there is nothing remarkable about ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων Θεὸς being directed to God (the Father) and not Christ.
Winer also admits that he makes certain determination on the basis of his theology and not grammar.
(e) Such doxologies using Εὐλογητὸ are addressed to the Father.
A doxology, by definition, is going to be addressed to God, but the same construction can be used with reference to other people.
(f) Paul states that the Father alone is ἐπὶ πάντων in Eph 4:6.
Paul doesn't say the Father alone is ἐπὶ πάντων. He identifies God as ἐπὶ πάντων καὶ διὰ πάντων καὶ ἐν πᾶσιν. Based on this there is no reason to object if Paul had said Christ is over all since according to this passage God must be in Christ, too.
(g) The "God the Word" trinity doctrine was unknown to the apostles, and Paul never alludes to Christ as God (except allegedly by the Trinitarian Sharp's rule which ignores ὁ Θεὸς as the Father's title).
You don't know whether this doctrine was known to the apostles or not.
(h) τὸ κατὰ σάρκα would qualify any further allusion to Christ, as "in the flesh" if any existed, i.e. would be limited to calling him "King", which is jurisdictionally anomalous with ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων Θεὸς
No. For one the phrase doesn't mean "in the flesh" and for another there are several possibilities for what the phrase means. Your interpretation doesn't fit the context of Romans 9 where it specifically mentions that "not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel." Kingly descent isn't in view.
(i) Roms 9 isn't about Christ, but other subjects. Christ is only mentioned in passing in Rom 9:5 as a blessing on Israel, such that there would be no reason for Paul to disgress. The reference to the blessed God is in the context of his blessings on Israel.
So, you think Paul thought Christ as a blessing only deserved passing mention and we are supposed to believe you understand Paul?
(j) The arguments of Hippolytus, that the economy of anarthrous Θεὸς in Christ is being alluded to, &etc, and of Harris, are too subtle and involved to be worthy of consideration: Paul always speaks directly on such subjects. In any case, these are motivated by their "God the Word" doctrine, which particular linguistic totem isn't found in scripture.
As I've said their remarks are only of value if they are discussing the grammar of the passage. Theology doesn't help.
(k) The only one described as ἐπὶ πάντων God himself is the antichrist in 2 Thess 2:4.
This directly contradicts what you said above where you asserted that God alone is above all.
Thus Paul's words need qualification or contextualization if applied to a human being,
No. They must be taken in the context in which they were given as is true of any utterance or writing.
but don't receive any: the reader is just expected to know what is being intended by Paul. This is hardly the Pauline style.
Paul directly says that the readers should already know what he is talking about in I Thess. 4:9 being but one example: "Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you." You are demonstrating once more that you don't know what Paul has said.
This also relates to the jurisdiction of heaven being invoked by ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων Θεὸς; whereas the jurisdiction of the flesh (i.e. earth) is delimited by τὸ κατὰ σάρκα.
You have already shown that you don't even know what the phrase τὸ κατὰ σάρκα means, much less what it refers to.
All this suggests a new sentence is demanded for ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων Θεὸς.
As I've made clear once again, this is nothing more than a baseless assertion.
 

cjab

Well-known member
Continued from the previous post

It's not right to be misrepresenting Gryllus. As he wrote in the companion thread:

Of course, this describes the function of an attributive participle. An articular participle placed in apposition to the noun it describes is an attributive participle. However, English has no direct parallel, so we utilize a relative clause.

Let's look at another exchange between Gryllus and TRJM over John 1:18 in the companion thread:

To which Gryllus responded:

So he is clearly opposing the sort of argument TRJM has been trying to make, and the argument you seem to be making here. And in addition, as noted above, I wrote a very clear explanation in the companion thread stating the same things I have over and over again here and he responded to it with a "like." So I believe you are trying to create an artificial conflict between me and someone who did not individually express disapproval of anything I wrote--unlike he has for you and TRJM.

All articular participles are attributive and therefore adjectival. The difference is whether the head nominal is stated or implied. An anaphoric usage of an appositive construction in English "he who is . . . " when the head nominal is stated misses the point of the attributive adjectival construction in Greek by treating it as a noun phrase in English. You (as it seems) and TRJM are making the mistake of calling dependent second attributive constructions independent substantival appositions.
Here is what Gryllus said to me. The main thing to note is that he translated the words "literally" as "the one being over all God blessed forever, amen." He afterwards applies a relative, not because he sees a 2nd attributive, but just to render it into better English.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Well, it depends on context, doesn't it? Let's have another look at the verse:

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

Let's do a literal translation without any prejudicial punctuation:

"Of whom the fathers and from whom the Christ according to the flesh the one being over all God blessed forever, amen."

Now, that's rather awkward English, so we have to do something with it to capture the sense of the Greek in good English. One way to do that is to render ὁ ὤν as relative clause. Now, you are right -- that makes it sound as though Christ is the antecedent, and to me, the string of nominatives all have the same referent, which is the first nominative, ὁ Χριστός. The rhythm of the text when read straight through also leads me to this conclusion. But what do I know? I only have three accredited degrees in ancient language and literature and 40+ years experience in the language. That's nothing compared to your self study (and RJM's), I'm sure.

But if you read it as two different referents, then you still have to do something with to make that sense clear, so you are stuck with rewording the English no matter which sense you go with.

I also found Jerome's translation interesting:

quorum patres et ex quibus Christus secundum carnem qui est super omnia Deus benedictus in saecula amen...

He uses a relative clause in Latin to render the participial phrase, and his Greek was, I don't know, maybe pretty good?"
 

brianrw

Member
"Of whom the fathers and from whom the Christ according to the flesh the one being over all God blessed forever, amen."

Now, that's rather awkward English, so we have to do something with it to capture the sense of the Greek in good English. One way to do that is to render ὁ ὤν as relative clause. Now, you are right -- that makes it sound as though Christ is the antecedent, and to me, the string of nominatives all have the same referent, which is the first nominative, ὁ Χριστός. The rhythm of the text when read straight through also leads me to this conclusion. But what do I know? I only have three accredited degrees in ancient language and literature and 40+ years experience in the language. That's nothing compared to your self study (and RJM's), I'm sure.
As I said you are trying to make an artificial disagreement here. Elsewhere I noted Mounce, who states nearly the same wooden word for word translation (https://www.billmounce.com/monday-with-mounce/jesus-god-rom-9-5):
“The Christ the according to flesh the being over all God praised forever.”​
ὁ Χριστὸς τὸ κατὰ σάρκα ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων θεὸς εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας​
....​
The grammatical arguments favor an ascription of deity to Christ. If ὤν referred to God (the Father, not Jesus), then we have a relative pronoun before its antecedent θεός. While not impossible, it is not natural Greek. If ὁ ὤν ἐπὶ πάντων refers to θεός, then the ὤν is unnecessary. The sense would be adequately expressed as θεός ... ὁ ἐπὶ πάντων, “God who is over all). So why the ὤν? And if the doxology is directed toward God, it creates a rough transition of subject from “Jesus” to “God.” (Other arguments are in Moo, Romans, 148f.)​
Rather, it is more usual to read ὁ ὤν ἐπὶ πάντων (“the one being over all”) as modifying ὁ Χριστός, and θεός being in apposition to Χριστός.​
The only real argument to the contrary is that Paul nowhere else so clearly say Jesus is God, but that argument fails on Titus 2:13.​
This is the same understanding of Mounce, Metzger, Harris, Beza, etc.--that ὁ ὢν is the functional equivalent of ὅς ἐστι. It's not just with this participle, but the attributive participle itself would most normally recognized as the functional equivalent of a relative together with a finite verb.

Both are simply saying the same things your grammars will tell you. The translations they provide are not agreeable to the idiom of the English language, thus Gryllus calls it "rather awkward English" and says "we have to do something with it to capture the sense of the Greek in good English." So as I have repeatedly stated the attributive participle and the relative clause in Greek are agnates (have equivalent function), but since it has no direct English equivalent the next best option is the relative clause. A relative in this case is to be preferred over an anaphoric usage of the English article accompanied by a relative. Otherwise, it is redundant and you've entirely missed the point of the adjectival construction. You could be taught this, if your cup wasn't already full.

The attributive participle here is in the second attributive construction. But you and TRJM have a very narrow concept of how the basic constructions work in more complex sentences. That's been shown from many grammars and numerous examples, and both of you are just playing rule makers. Even if we did take it as "an appositive," you are splitting hairs because the only difference is that ὁ Χριστὸς and ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων θεὸς would have equal semantic connection to the rest of the sentence, and the translation in English would be unaffected.
 

cjab

Well-known member
ὁ ὢν is a way of referring to God, but Paul doesn't appear to have used it in this manner in II Cor. 11:31 or Rom. 9:5. We don't have enough of Paul's writings to know how sparingly Paul used the phrase, and you certainly don't know anything about the knowledge of the ECFs.
This is a blatantly false statement.

This is true.

If you say "'many' scholars do not insist on ὁ ὢν being attributive," you imply that many others do. It's not a remark that has any value.
I'm talking about protestant scholars of course. Amongst Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, I have no idea.

Baseless assertion. Doxologies don't have a fossilized construction.
Difficult to account for the non-usage of ὅς ἐστιν here: one would have thought it was exactly the right words if he had wanted to unambiguously equate Christ with God. The pointed omission of ὅς ἐστιν is not to be understated.

Winer also admits that he makes certain determination on the basis of his theology and not grammar.
He says there's nothing wrong with the grammar vis-a-vis the non-Trinitarian viewpoint. (That's important: its why it can't ever be discounted.)

A doxology, by definition, is going to be addressed to God, but the same construction can be used with reference to other people.
I think a pattern is set by the NT and here isn't a good place to create a unique exception.

Paul doesn't say the Father alone is ἐπὶ πάντων. He identifies God as ἐπὶ πάντων καὶ διὰ πάντων καὶ ἐν πᾶσιν. Based on this there is no reason to object if Paul had said Christ is over all since according to this passage God must be in Christ, too.
The issues are (a) only applies to the ascended Christ, (b) "over all" must then be qualified to make it clear it relates to creation, and not anything else.

You don't know whether this doctrine was known to the apostles or not.
It wasn't taught by them.

No. For one the phrase doesn't mean "in the flesh" and for another there are several possibilities for what the phrase means. Your interpretation doesn't fit the context of Romans 9 where it specifically mentions that "not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel." Kingly descent isn't in view.
Lame.
So, you think Paul thought Christ as a blessing only deserved passing mention and we are supposed to believe you understand Paul?
Eh? The rest of Rom 9 from verse 6 onwards is about articular "God." Articular "Christ" scarcely warrants a mention.

As I've said their remarks are only of value if they are discussing the grammar of the passage. Theology doesn't help.

This directly contradicts what you said above where you asserted that God alone is above all.
I agree my wording was inadequate. What I meant was that the only human being who is spoken about as "above all" in the UNQUALIFIED sense (so as include even the Father), is the antichrist.

The problem here is Christ is not above the Father, which is what the lack of qualification in Rom 9:5 presupposes (ii.e. the same as antichrist).

What is the difference between Christ and antichrist? Antichrist presumes to be above the Father, Christ presumes to be beneath the Father.

No. They must be taken in the context in which they were given as is true of any utterance or writing.

Paul directly says that the readers should already know what he is talking about in I Thess. 4:9 being but one example: "Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you." You are demonstrating once more that you don't know what Paul has said.
Knowing how to love isn't the same as the esoteric theology of Christ = God, which was unknown to the Jews (and to Christ himself who taught the Father as true God).

You have already shown that you don't even know what the phrase τὸ κατὰ σάρκα means, much less what it refers to.
Strawman. The kingdom of heaven isn't "according to the flesh" but the "according to the spirit."
As I've made clear once again, this is nothing more than a baseless assertion.
I did forget one important point: there can't be an attributive in the second position in Rom 9:5, because Θεὸς must retain his article in order to be blessed.
 

cjab

Well-known member
As I said you are trying to make an artificial disagreement here. Elsewhere I noted Mounce, who states nearly the same wooden word for word translation (https://www.billmounce.com/monday-with-mounce/jesus-god-rom-9-5):

This is the same understanding of Mounce, Metzger, Harris, Beza, etc.--that ὁ ὢν is the functional equivalent of ὅς ἐστι. It's not just with this participle, but the attributive participle itself would most normally recognized as the functional equivalent of a relative together with a finite verb.

Both are simply saying the same things your grammars will tell you. The translations they provide are not agreeable to the idiom of the English language, thus Gryllus calls it "rather awkward English" and says "we have to do something with it to capture the sense of the Greek in good English." So as I have repeatedly stated the attributive participle and the relative clause in Greek are agnates (have equivalent function), but since it has no direct English equivalent the next best option is the relative clause. A relative in this case is to be preferred over an anaphoric usage of the English article accompanied by a relative. Otherwise, it is redundant and you've entirely missed the point of the adjectival construction. You could be taught this, if your cup wasn't already full.

The attributive participle here is in the second attributive construction. But you and TRJM have a very narrow concept of how the basic constructions work in more complex sentences. That's been shown from many grammars and numerous examples, and both of you are just playing rule makers. Even if we did take it as "an appositive," you are splitting hairs because the only difference is that ὁ Χριστὸς and ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων θεὸς would have equal semantic connection to the rest of the sentence, and the translation in English would be unaffected.
The problem here is that everything you say against ὁ ὢν not being "natural Greek" is applicable to the converse, where ὁ ὢν is said to refer to ὁ Χριστὸς after a τὸ κατὰ σάρκα clause. That isn't natural Greek: there's no precedent for it.

In any case Mounce doesn't even appear to be talking sense in: "grammatical arguments favor an ascription of deity to Christ. If ὤν referred to God (the Father, not Jesus), then we have a relative pronoun before its antecedent θεός"

This is nonsense. ὁ isn't a relative pronoun (except in Epic, Ionic, poetic Attic), but an article before its noun. He's almost lying at this point. What is wrong with this guy? He's just bigotted, which you have to be to move in the highest Trinitarian circles. And why would Paul be ascribing deity to Christ when he has already declared him to be the Son of God according to the Spirit? Do you suppose he likes repeating himself?

Everything you say is predicated on an a priori insistance that ὁ ὢν is second attributive construction. Yet we know ὁ ὢν can start a new sentence. And we know ὁ ὢν can be used idiomatically. And we know also that Christ the human being is NOT "above all." If you want to make the bible out to speak gibberish, I can't stop you.
 

John Milton

Well-known member
This is a blatantly false statement.
What I stated is the most likely possibility.
I'm talking about protestant scholars of course. Amongst Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, I have no idea.
My point still stands.
Difficult to account for the non-usage of ὅς ἐστιν here: one would have thought it was exactly the right words if he had wanted to unambiguously equate Christ with God. The pointed omission of ὅς ἐστιν is not to be understated.
It's not a point at all. Doxologies are made in different ways. Some use the relative and some do not. There is no specific form reserved for God.
He says there's nothing wrong with the grammar vis-a-vis the non-Trinitarian viewpoint. (That's important: its why it can't ever be discounted.)
That does not mean that Winer gives countenance to the untrue statements that you have made about the grammar in this passage. This is the part you seem unable to grasp. For example, your claim about the necessity of starting a new sentence starting after σάρκα are directly refuted by his remarks.
I think a pattern is set by the NT and here isn't a good place to create a unique exception.
There's not a pattern.
Luke 1:68 "εὐλογητὸς κύριος ὁ θεὸς τοῦ Ἰσραήλ ὅτι ἐπεσκέψατο καὶ ἐποίησεν λύτρωσιν τῷ λαῷ αὐτοῦ"

Romans 1:25 "οἵτινες μετήλλαξαν τὴν ἀλήθειαν τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν τῷ ψεύδει καὶ ἐσεβάσθησαν καὶ ἐλάτρευσαν τῇ κτίσει παρὰ τὸν κτίσαντα ὅς ἐστιν εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας ἀμήν"

Romans 9:5 "ὧν οἱ πατέρες καὶ ἐξ ὧν ὁ Χριστὸς τὸ κατὰ σάρκα ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων θεὸς εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας ἀμήν"
You are saying things that aren't true.

The issues are (a) only applies to the ascended Christ,
Christ was ascended at the time Romans was written. We've been over this before.
(b) "over all" must then be qualified to make it clear it relates to creation, and not anything else.
It doesn't have to be qualified at all if God and Christ are one as scripture asserts.
It wasn't taught by them.
Again. You don't know this. You can't even make the undisputed claim that it isn't true even from the New Testament alone.
I know you don't think it's important for your theology to agree with what a text says, but it does matter for others.
Eh? The rest of Rom 9 from verse 6 onwards is about articular "God." Articular "Christ" scarcely warrants a mention.
The fact that you would even suggest that Paul would consider the blessing of the Christ to a minor thing shows how profoundly poor your understanding of his theology is. (And the use of the article is of absolutely no significance to anything.)
I agree my wording was inadequate. What I meant was that the only human being who is spoken about as "above all" in the UNQUALIFIED sense (so as include even the Father), is the antichrist.

The problem here is Christ is not above the Father, which is what the lack of qualification in Rom 9:5 presupposes (ii.e. the same as antichrist).

What is the difference between Christ and antichrist? Antichrist presumes to be above the Father, Christ presumes to be beneath the Father.
This doesn't agree with what Paul wrote in I Cor. 15. "27 For 'God has put all things in subjection under his feet.' But when it says, 'all things are put in subjection,' it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all." According to a close reading of this passage it is clear that Paul is presenting the Christ's subjection the Father as a future event "then the Son himself will also be subjected to him" and that scripture itself did not qualify Christ being over all things in Psalm 8:6. You are only seeing a problem here because it is what you want to believe.
Knowing how to love isn't the same as the esoteric theology of Christ = God, which was unknown to the Jews (and to Christ himself who taught the Father as true God).
That was just a single example. Read the letter there are others and that's without mentioning Corinthians. Honestly, I can't even be sure from what you write that you've even read what Paul has written.
Strawman. The kingdom of heaven isn't "according to the flesh" but the "according to the spirit."
You must've been alerting me that you were about to conjure a strawman because I haven't made any remarks about the kingdom of heaven. I don't know what you are talking about.
I did forget one important point: there can't be an attributive in the second position in Rom 9:5, because Θεὸς must retain his article in order to be blessed.
θεός doesn't need an article "to be blessed."
 

brianrw

Member
This is a blatantly false statement.
Calling it "blatantly false" without support is not an argument.

I'm talking about protestant scholars of course. Amongst Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, I have no idea.
I've never seen anyone other than yourself and TRJM say an attributive usage here is "not possible." In fact, I'm fairly sure I know where TRJM got his garbled argument from. I'm not sure where you got yours from.

Difficult to account for the non-usage of ὅς ἐστιν here: one would have thought it was exactly the right words if he had wanted to unambiguously equate Christ with God. The pointed omission of ὅς ἐστιν is not to be understated.
No, there's not. Paul uses participles frequently, there's no reason why ὅς ἐστιν would need to be used here since the participle is functionally equivalent. That's just a fact, and anyone who understands how a participle is used in Greek would have no trouble with that statement. You're only going to fool people who don't know better.

The "God the Word" trinity doctrine was unknown to the apostles, and Paul never alludes to Christ as God (except allegedly by the Trinitarian Sharp's rule which ignores ὁ Θεὸς as the Father's title).
John says, "the Word was God," and yes, unfortunately for your argument the grammar does indeed point to Paul calling Christ "God." Why call it "Sharp's rule"? It was known to the commentators of the 16th and 17th century (Beza, Glassius, and a host of English commentators), and like in Romans 9:5 there's no evidence the Greeks ever read Titus 2:13 as referring to two subjects. I find no variety in them reading Christ is called "great God." Glassius, 17th century, even places this rule in his grammar. So it's nothing new:

Whenever an article is added emphatically to the first word, it includes all other additional epithets, and shows that there is a conversation about the same subject. (Quandoque articulus emphatice prime voci additus, reliqua omnia epitheta adjecta includit, & de eodem subjecto sermonem esse ostendit.)​
Jude v. 4 καὶ τὸν μόνον δεσπότην Θεόν καὶ κύριον ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν ἀρνούμενοι. This article, common to all these epithets, shows that Christ is here called "the only master, God and Lord." Erasmus, by converting the first accusative into the nominative, weakens the sentence in a most savage way, for he translates: "And God, who is the only master, and our Lord Jesus," etc. (Ac Deum, qui folus est herus, ac Dominum nostrum Jesum, etc.). So also Tit. 2, 13 (which may be seen in this place of Erasmus' annotations), 2 Pet. 1:1, Eph. 5:5 in which, because of the many epithets common to this article, they are not obscure proofs of the true divinity of Christ." (in quibus, ob communem hunc plurium epithetorum articulum, non obscura divinitatis verae Christi documenta sunt.)​
The same applies to God the Father, 2 Cor. 1[:3]. Εὐλογητὸς ὁ θεὸς καὶ πατὴρ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ὁ πατὴρ τῶν οἰκτιρμῶν καὶ θεὸς πάσης παρακλήσεως.


- Salamo Glassius (1593-1656), Sacred Philology
But it seems pinning the whole rule on Sharp makes for a convenient straw man.

I did forget one important point: there can't be an attributive in the second position in Rom 9:5, because Θεὸς must retain his article in order to be blessed.
This is a nonsensical argument that was already addressed above. Perhaps you've never encountered an anarthrous adjectival construction in the GNT. They do happen.

In any case Mounce doesn't even appear to be talking sense in: "grammatical arguments favor an ascription of deity to Christ. If ὤν referred to God (the Father, not Jesus), then we have a relative pronoun before its antecedent θεός"

ὁ isn't a relative pronoun (except in Epic, Ionic, poetic Attic), but an article before its noun. He's almost lying at this point. What is wrong with this guy? He's just bigotted, which you have to be to move in the highest Trinitarian circles.

Everything you say is predicated on an a priori insistance that ὁ ὢν is second attributive construction. Yet we know ὁ ὢν can start a new sentence. And we know ὁ ὢν can be used idiomatically. And we know also that Christ the human being is NOT "above all." If you want to make the bible out to talk gibberish, I can't stop you.
Yes, the article can function as a relative. It's a known usage. But here you're missing the point altogether.
 

brianrw

Member
continued from previous post
The problem here is that everything you say against ὁ ὢν not being "natural Greek" is applicable to the converse, where ὁ ὢν is said to refer to ὁ Χριστὸς after a τὸ κατὰ σάρκα clause. That isn't natural Greek: there's no precedent for it.
This is completely wrong, and you've been offered multiple commentaries and also examples to the contrary. Ignoring them or making specious arguments to dodge the problems with the assertion don't cut it. You have yet to produce a rule where an adverbial usage of the accusative (τὸ κατὰ σάρκα) somehow demands the end of a sentence; it doesn't in the only other usage in the GNT and it doesn't in numerous places in the writings of the fathers. In other words, the burden of proof is on you, and you haven't met it.

I don't know whatever happened to not bearing false witness. I guess for some the ends justifies the means.
 
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