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Philo's use of the term θεός

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  • Philo's use of the term θεός

    ....Is in line with the Unitarian use. Here's a good resource.

    Let's start with the definition of monotheism:


    25
    Those who would argue that deification contradicts monotheism must state care-fully what they mean by monotheism. Typically ancient monotheism amounts to the idea of the high God’s absolute power, not to the idea that there was a numerically singular divine being. See further Peter Hayman, “Monotheism—a Misused Word in JewishStudies?”
    JJS
    42 (1991): 1–15; Polymnia Athanassiadi and Michael Frede, eds.,
    Pagan Monotheism in Late Antiquity
    (Oxford: Clarendon, 1999); John J. Collins, “Powers in Heaven:God, Gods, and Angels in the Dead Sea Scrolls”, in
    Religion in the Dead Sea Scrolls
    (eds. John J. Collins and Robert A. Kugler; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000), 9–28; Mark S. Smith,
    The Origins of Biblical Monotheism
    (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000); NathanMacDonald,
    Deuteronomy and the Meaning of “Monotheism”
    (TŸbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003);Stephen Mitchell and Peter van Nuffelen, eds.,
    One God: Pagan Monotheism in the RomanEmpire
    (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010); Beate Pongratz-Leisten, ed.
    Reconsidering the Concept of Revolutionary Monotheism
    (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2011);Litwa,
    We Are Being Transformed
    , 229–57.

  • #2
    In Exodus 7:1 Moses is called θεός


    --
    Philo, Holladay thought, had no direct proof-text for calling Moses a king. He did, however, have a clear text in which Moses was called god (θεός) (Exod 7:1). Θεός in Philo could become a metaphor for Moses's kingship in a culture where kings had long been viewed as gods. Moses's godhood is thus a metaphor for his rule in various senses, over his body, over fools, over other human beings, and over the natural elements.
    14The capstone of Holladay's argument is again Det. 160-62, where Philo disallows the literal interpretation of
    θεός as applied to Moses. Moses is passive and does not really exist. The Existent is active and truly existing. Thus Moses can never be θεός in the truest sense, namely Being itself.,,,

    Many scholars, even those distrustful of Moses's deification in Philo,remain open to the notion of Moses's deifying transformation with the caveat that the deified Moses does not threaten the position of Philo's high God, or the Existent. David Runia, for example, denied Moses's deification if it meant that he had the same nature as the Existent. Nevertheless, he admitted on the basis of passages in Questions on Exodus (2.29, 40, and 46) that Moses attained a derived divinity. 21 Even though Moses is not literally god ( Det. 161-62; cf. Mut. 128-129), says John Lierman, he remains a divine figure in the sense that he has been elevated to the divine office of god (one of the twin powers of the Existent; Mut. 19-22). Moses is god because of his divine function, a criterion which Lierman thinks makes a person divine. 22 Thus Lierman accepts the deification of Moses, provided that it is understood as a delegated rather than an essential divinity. 23

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by John Milton View Post
      In Exodus 7:1 Moses is called θεός


      --
      OR
      OF COURSE Moses was a divine figure, LESSER THAN God Almighty. But the view is not philosophical as per Philo, OR defined by present-day rationalists OR ancient rationalists.

      Moses was an ELOHIM and all ELOHIM not YHWH Elohim were created and made BY YHWH Elohim.

      So when God said, "I made you elohim to Pharaoh," He was being LITERAL. For the Jew there is no conflict of interest here at all. The PROBLEM has always been the lost truths in translation, ala Jason Beduhn. ALL "elohim" in Hebrew get translated THEOS in the Koine no matter if beings OTHER THAN God or God Himself. Approx ten percent of the time, these theioi, were NOT God Almighty. But when translated, there are no markers to identify which is what, when the tetragrammaton gets the third person indefinite "to be" convention. The GENERIC Hebrew word does not get a marker except context. "Elohim." Being an "elohist" rather than "jahwist" passage, "aleim" has to be discerned by the context.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by nothead View Post
        OR
        OF COURSE Moses was a divine figure, LESSER THAN God Almighty. But the view is not philosophical as per Philo, OR defined by present-day rationalists OR ancient rationalists.

        Moses was an ELOHIM and all ELOHIM not YHWH Elohim were created and made BY YHWH Elohim.

        So when God said, "I made you elohim to Pharaoh," He was being LITERAL. For the Jew there is no conflict of interest here at all. The PROBLEM has always been the lost truths in translation, ala Jason Beduhn. ALL "elohim" in Hebrew get translated THEOS in the Koine no matter if beings OTHER THAN God or God Himself. Approx ten percent of the time, these theioi, were NOT God Almighty. But when translated, there are no markers to identify which is what, when the tetragrammaton gets the third person indefinite "to be" convention. The GENERIC Hebrew word does not get a marker except context. "Elohim." Being an "elohist" rather than "jahwist" passage, "aleim" has to be discerned by the context.
        Yes.

        Comment


        • #5
          So...John Milton and Nothead...what do you conclude? But, John Milton, what did you want to ask or share? That Philo's use is unitarian? That's all?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by XegesIs View Post
            So...John Milton and Nothead...what do you conclude? But, John Milton, what did you want to ask or share? That Philo's use is unitarian? That's all?
            I’m trying to share the fact that in the bible even Moses is indisputably called θεός ( Exodus 7:1) yet sane people do not think he is God (Almighty). Yet Jesus, who is not once clearly even called θεός in the NT is declared by Trinitarians to be God ( Almighty).

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by XegesIs View Post
              So...John Milton and Nothead...what do you conclude? But, John Milton, what did you want to ask or share? That Philo's use is unitarian? That's all?
              The eminent atheist scholar, Bart Ehrman decided there is a spectrum of deity, and these elohim are closer to the ideal, God.

              This may be true but isn't really what is depicted by the term in general. In general, elohim are EITHER God almighty or some other kind of CREATED being. That only YHWH Elohim is not created.

              This is true by the ten percent usage of elohim not God in Bible. Elohim: cherubim and seraphim, ophanim, hayyot, undefined beings, angels, nephalim, kings, warlords, judges of Torah, prophets, patriarchs. And...God. All KINDS of elohim, but only one of these, a unique and alone entity, God.


              "How Jesus Became God," Bart Ehrman, p. 80 In this chapter, "Moses as God" the capital "g" is frequently used. But Ehrman does this with Psalm 45 and the king too, using the convention, "O God," in the vocative. In my view, it should be "Oh god." And for me it is a singular case by which "the theos" has a definite article and still doesn't mean...God.


              What is an elohim, Dr. Michael Heiser, PHD. Free online PDF.

              Where I personally differ from Erhman is when he said God refers to Moses as God, capital "g." This is wrong although we are using modern convention. Modern convention dictates "god."

              And I've also a semi-formed theory about Ehrman's loss of faith. Directly tied to a personal disgust regarding the implications of this exact gloss he made. After 8 years of research he wrote this book. But after these 8 years he found he could not sanction his findings, trying to match what he found to Truth.

              I don't call Philo a strict unitarian either. He hypostizes the Word, making what God speaks forth a "who." This I gleaned ALSO from Ehrman's book.

              P. 74 (After scoping the Stoic/Platonic definitions of "logos") Philo:

              Maintained that the Logos was the highest of beings.

              P. 75

              And in fact, Philo sometimes maintained that Logos was indeed this Angel of the Lord (e.g. Changing of the Names, 87, Dreams 239).

              How Jesus Became God, Bart Ehrman.

              If the Word is a "who," then there is a WHO besides YHWH (the Father) who is not created, since the Word was with, at, to, toward or face-to-face with God in the Beginning. Pros ton theon, John 1:1.

              It needs more research for my part, but I believe Philo was a main instigator for a wholly different direction in theology. He crossed in fact the Creator/Creation divide when he said that the Word is a WHO, or a HE. This is a main cause of our confusion present day. Overall, in the annals of Christendom. Philo was no Christian, but then again what are WE?

              WHO among us knows WHO our God is? Is this not a main fundamental premise in ANY religion?
              Last edited by nothead; 03-04-19, 08:16 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by John Milton View Post

                I’m trying to share the fact that in the bible even Moses is indisputably called θεός ( Exodus 7:1) yet sane people do not think he is God (Almighty). Yet Jesus, who is not once clearly even called θεός in the NT is declared by Trinitarians to be God ( Almighty).
                Maybe once in Jn 20:28 if one thinks Thomas is only addressing Jesus...said in Aramaic, "elohim" (the Hebrew) but meaning an elohim. Translated "my Lord and my theos."

                You are right in general however. That the NT authors were in general ABLE to speak of Jesus as an elohim, but felt a check, knowing this gets TRANSLATED "theos," in the Koine.
                It should be noted that Thomas' saying was originally an exclamation verbally.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by XegesIs View Post
                  So...John Milton and Nothead...what do you conclude? But, John Milton, what did you want to ask or share? That Philo's use is unitarian? That's all?
                  Such a definition cannot be applied to Philo. He wasn't a Christian at all, so how could he belong to a Christian subgroup? He was unitarian only insofar as all Jews are unitarian, meaning that they believe in one God. That should come as no surprise.
                  I have permission to post on the Biblical Languages forum, as per email correspondence with Diane S.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nothead View Post

                    Maybe once in Jn 20:28 if one thinks Thomas is only addressing Jesus...said in Aramaic, "elohim" (the Hebrew) but meaning an elohim. Translated "my Lord and my theos."

                    You are right in general however. That the NT authors were in general ABLE to speak of Jesus as an elohim, but felt a check, knowing this gets TRANSLATED "theos," in the Koine.
                    It should be noted that Thomas' saying was originally an exclamation verbally.
                    “Maybe” being the operative word, And yes, it is doubtful that he is only addressing one individual in Joh 20:28, as discussed in other threads.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nothead View Post
                      What is an elohim...
                      It's irritating that the only people who think that אֱלֹהִים ʾɛ̆lōhÓm is some sort of magic word that has meaning over and above all other language's words that are used for deities are people who do not know the Hebrew language. When you couldn't pick the word ʾɛ̆lōhÓm out of a page of Hebrew text, how can you presume to lecture anyone else or instruct them as to the meaning of the word? You don't know Hebrew. You cannot teach us what this, or any other, Hebrew word means.
                      I have permission to post on the Biblical Languages forum, as per email correspondence with Diane S.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jameson View Post

                        Such a definition cannot be applied to Philo. He wasn't a Christian at all, so how could he belong to a Christian subgroup? He was unitarian only insofar as all Jews are unitarian, meaning that they believe in one God. That should come as no surprise.
                        Canít speak for the rest, but I did not say that Philo was a Unitarian, only that his use of the term θεός is in line with the Unitarian use.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jameson View Post

                          It's irritating that the only people who think that אֱלֹהִים ʾɛ̆lōhÓm is some sort of magic word that has meaning over and above all other language's words that are used for deities are people who do not know the Hebrew language. When you couldn't pick the word ʾɛ̆lōhÓm out of a page of Hebrew text, how can you presume to lecture anyone else or instruct them as to the meaning of the word? You don't know Hebrew. You cannot teach us what this, or any other, Hebrew word means.
                          I can teach an atheist all things about God, especially if he wants to instruct others sir. Who is US here sir? Any odder atheists around? You the ONLY one sir. And a stuck up red sore thumb at that sir.

                          Iffen you was a lifelong atheist I would not care. But a CONVERT? Who are you to speak unto the Great NOTHEAD sir?

                          I read the great EF Hutton, I mean Michael Heiser regard what IS an elohim. You read your rear and decided God don't exist. There you go, bottoms up sir.

                          Strange magical word INDEEDY DEED sir. As if YOU knew what this title means 90% of the time. YOUR CREATOR sir. Duh dimwit oh sorry I insulted sir. I take it back, nominally.
                          Last edited by nothead; 03-04-19, 10:03 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jameson View Post

                            It's irritating that the only people who think that אֱלֹהִים ʾɛ̆lōhÓm is some sort of magic word that has meaning over and above all other language's words that are used for deities are people who do not know the Hebrew language. When you couldn't pick the word ʾɛ̆lōhÓm out of a page of Hebrew text, how can you presume to lecture anyone else or instruct them as to the meaning of the word? You don't know Hebrew. You cannot teach us what this, or any other, Hebrew word means.
                            Again, canít speak for anyone else, but I know enough Hebrew to be certain that Exodus 7:1 is not calling Moses the Almighty when it calls him אֱלֹהִים ó

                            וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה רְאֵה נְתַתִּיךָ אֱלֹהִים לְפַרְעֹה וְאַהֲרֹן אָחִיךָ יִהְיֶה נְבִיאֶֽךָ׃

                            By the way, Philo wrote in Koine, hence the title of this threadó Philo's use of the term θεός

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by nothead View Post

                              I can teach an atheist all things about God, especially if he wants to instruct others sir. Who is US here sir? Any odder atheists around? You the ONLY one sir. And a stuck up red sore thumb at that sir.

                              Iffen you was a lifelong atheist I would not care. But a CONVERT? Who are you to speak unto the Great NOTHEAD sir?

                              I read the great EF Hutton, I mean Michael Heiser regard what IS an elohim. You read your rear and decided God don't exist. There you go, bottoms up sir.

                              Strange magical word INDEEDY DEED sir. As if YOU knew what this title means 90% of the time. YOUR CREATOR sir. Duh dimwit oh sorry I insulted sir. I take it back, nominally.
                              I would agree that an atheist ( or a polytheist ) is worthless when it comes to the Torah, even though they may claim to read Hebrew and so on.

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