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Philo's use of the term θεός

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  • #16
    Originally posted by John Milton View Post

    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.
    In order to keep this OP on a positive note, I will relate what I was just reading, in Ehrman's "How Jesus became God." Page 81:

    Philo was highly prolific, and we still have a number of his writings, including a biography of Moses that praises the great lawgiver of the Jews as a highly learned and insightful man. In these and other writings, Philo celebrates both Moses and the deeply philosophical law that he proclaimed. For Philo, Moses was "the greatest and most perfect man that ever lived" (Life of Moses, 1.1).
    In interpreting the passage laid out above, Exodus 4:16, Philo indicates that Moses appeared to others as a god--but he was not really God in essence (The Worse Attacks the Better, 161-162). Here Philo is playing with the idea that there are levels of divinity. In fact, he thought that throughout his life, Moses "was gradually becoming divine" (Sacrifices of Abel and Cain 9-11). Since Moses was a prophet and friend of God, "Then it follows that he would naturally partake of God himself and of all his possessions as far as he had need" (Life of Moses 1.156). That is why some people had wondered whether Moses did not have a merely human mind but rather "a divine intellect" (Life of Moses, 1.27).

    So we see then that my previous note that Ehrman was using God capital "g" for Moses when he vacillates back and forth. But the "spectrum of divinity" is still applicable for Ehrman's view.

    Elohim in general don't represent a SPECTRUM of deity so much as either God or created beings, the binary framing of a term which has disparate meanings...with some overlap in meaning, namely "divinity." As in, it is not specified Seraphim are over or under angels, or that resurrected OT saints are over cherubim etc. The assembly of special elohim (elders or Judges) represent a higher elohim on the throne or nearby locatively to YHWH. But this is not necessarily an ONTOLOGICAL consideration.

    Intuitively, cherubim and seraphim are not angels or messengers so much. As I said, elohim in general represent all KINDS of beings, but higher or lower in some "spectrum" is not specified in canon, maybe in the commentaries and targums.

    And I take just a little umbrage regarding this term "essence." If Philo truly thought this way, he was already drifting off the rails. My repeated concept is that Jews in orthodoxy mien do not speak of God's ONTOLOGY so much, which is a Greek view. Categorically speaking, Moses was not God Almighty, period. This puts him ALWAYS in the "god category," lower case "g."

    And...Hebrews speaks of Jesus being OVER the angels, having been originally made "just under them." THIS IS a designation of category along a so-called "spectrum of deity." So then, Jesus categorically is CATEGORIZED as Second-place elohim next to YHWH Elohim. What makes Jesus SECOND-PLACE is his nearness locatively, at the...Right...Hand...of...God.
    Last edited by nothead; 03-04-19, 11:23 AM.
    Shema will change the Christian World.

    Turn it upside down. To where it once was, the POV of JESUS, his DISCIPLES and his SERVANTS.

    Know God YHWH Elohim is One. And love Him with all. Mk 12, red letter words.

    Comment


    • #17
      Excellent post nothead. I think a careful reading of Philo demonstrates that he did not see Moses as God with a big G, as ontologically equal to God Himself. Even a bad reader of Philo could not accuse him of that.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by John Milton View Post
        Excellent post nothead. I think a careful reading of Philo demonstrates that he did not see Moses as “God” with a big G, as “ontologically” equal to God Himself. Even a bad reader of Philo could not accuse him of that.
        That could be true. I was centering on EHRMAN'S interpretation of Philo, and he does vacillate between a capital "G" and a lower case one for Moses. The modern convention however is that CAPITAL "G" always means God Almighty.

        Which means, the great atheist theologian, Ehrman is slightly askew. My abiding half-baked theory however is...even though SLIGHTLY this is in large part the reason for his evolved atheism.

        Now, with Jameson no telling how he got there.

        Shema will change the Christian World.

        Turn it upside down. To where it once was, the POV of JESUS, his DISCIPLES and his SERVANTS.

        Know God YHWH Elohim is One. And love Him with all. Mk 12, red letter words.

        Comment


        • #19
          Hedonism.

          Comment


          • #20
            אלוהימ has a range of meaning. It can refer to the one true God (frequently). It can mean "a god" or "the gods." It can also refer to human representatives of Yahweh. This is a no-brainer, well known, and completely non-controversial. As for Philo having a pre-Christian Jewish monotheistic view of God (oddly qualified at times by his neo-Platonism), why is that a surprise?

            אֱלוֹהַּ & אֱלֹהִים: I. אֱלוֹהַּ(ca. 60 ), אֱלֹהַּ Dt 32:17; 2 K 17:31 Kt, Hb 1:11f; Dn 11:38 ; most oft. in Jb (41 ):1. a God/god Ps 18:32, kōl-ʾeah any god Dn 11:37, lōʾ ʾeah non-god(s) Dt 32:17;2. the true God Jb 3:4.

            II. אֱלֹהִים (2250 ), with waw Ps 18:47; 143:10; 145:1 ; cs. אֱלֹהֵי, sf. אֱלֹהַי, אֱלֹהָיו, אֱלֹהַיהֶם, אֱלֹהֵ֫ימוֹ; w. pref. בֵּאלֹהִים, וֵא׳, כֵּא׳, לֵא׳; but מֵאֱ׳ Ps 8:6 (ϝ מִן):1. gods, kōl-ʾelōh mis/rayim Ex 12:12, ʾelōh hāʾelōhm God of gods Dt 10:17, ʾelōhm ʾaḥērm (64 , ϝ ʾaḥēr), ben (hā) ʾelōhm Gn 6:2 sons of the gods (oth.: sons of God) Jb 1:6; 2:1; 38:7 , cf. ben ʾēlm;2. as a sg.: God, Deity; a) fm. the form, occasionally construed as pl., hitʿ ʾelōhm Gn 20:13, ʾelōhm ḥayym living God Dt 5:23; b) construed as sg., yhwh hʾ hāʾelōhm it is Y. who is God Dt 4:35; occurs both w. & w/o def. art. w/o difference of mng. euphony & free choice?; c) God/god or goddess of a people, land, ʾelōh yiśrāʾēl Ex 5:1, ʿatoret ʾelōh ṣidōnm 1 K 11:5; d) God/god of a specific domain: ʾelōh haāmayim &ʾel. hāʾāreṣ Gn 24:3, ʾel. kōl-bāśār Je 32:27; w. qualifying gen.: ʾelōh ʿlām Is 40:28; e) God/god of individual: of David 2 K 20:5, ʾelōh ʾāb Gn 31:42;3. misc. a) hēb ʾ ʾet-haddebārm ʾel-hāʾelōhm bring cases before God (for judgment) Ex 18:19; b) Moses is lēʾlōhm for Aaron (has the place of God) Ex 4:16; c) a spirit of the dead IS 28:13; d) w. or w/o art., like a proper noun, equivalent to & interchanging w. yhwh, difficult to distinguish from appellative use; in Ps 4283 ʾelōhm is mostly a substitute for yhwh; e) ʾelōhm superlative? raḥ ʾelōhm mighty wind Gn 1:2, neśʾ ʾelōhm mighty prince Gn 23:6.


            Holladay, W. L., & Khler, L. (2000). A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (pp. 1617). Leiden: Brill.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Barry Hofstetter View Post
              אלוהימ has a range of meaning. It can refer to the one true God (frequently). It can mean "a god" or "the gods." It can also refer to human representatives of Yahweh. This is a no-brainer, well known, and completely non-controversial. As for Philo having a pre-Christian Jewish monotheistic view of God (oddly qualified at times by his neo-Platonism), why is that a surprise?

              אֱלוֹהַּ & אֱלֹהִים: I. אֱלוֹהַּ(ca. 60 ), אֱלֹהַּ Dt 32:17; 2 K 17:31 Kt, Hb 1:11f; Dn 11:38 †; most oft. in Jb (41 ):—1. a God/god Ps 18:32, kōl-ʾeah any god Dn 11:37, lōʾ ʾeah non-god(s) Dt 32:17;—2. the true God Jb 3:4.

              II. אֱלֹהִים (2250 ), with waw Ps 18:47; 143:10; 145:1 †; cs. אֱלֹהֵי, sf. אֱלֹהַי, אֱלֹהָיו, אֱלֹהַיהֶם, אֱלֹהֵ֫ימוֹ; w. pref. בֵּאלֹהִים, וֵא׳, כֵּא׳, לֵא׳; but מֵאֱ׳ Ps 8:6 (ϝ מִן):—1. gods, kōl-ʾelōh mis/rayim Ex 12:12, ʾelōh hāʾelōhm God of gods Dt 10:17, ʾelōhm ʾaḥērm (64 , ϝ ʾaḥēr), ben (hā) ʾelōhm Gn 6:2 sons of the gods (oth.: sons of God) Jb 1:6; 2:1; 38:7 †, cf. ben ʾēlm;—2. as a sg.: God, Deity; a) fm. the form, occasionally construed as pl., hitʿ ʾelōhm Gn 20:13, ʾelōhm ḥayym living God Dt 5:23; b) construed as sg., yhwh hʾ hāʾelōhm it is Y. who is God Dt 4:35; occurs both w. & w/o def. art. w/o difference of mng. euphony & free choice?; c) God/god or goddess of a people, land, ʾelōh yiśrāʾēl Ex 5:1, ʿaštoret ʾelōh ṣidōnm 1 K 11:5; d) God/god of a specific domain: ʾelōh haššāmayim &ʾel. hāʾāreṣ Gn 24:3, ʾel. kōl-bāśār Je 32:27; w. qualifying gen.: ʾelōh ʿlām Is 40:28; e) God/god of individual: of David 2 K 20:5, ʾelōh ʾāb Gn 31:42;—3. misc. a) hēb ʾ ʾet-haddebārm ʾel-hāʾelōhm bring cases before God (for judgment) Ex 18:19; b) Moses is lēʾlōhm for Aaron (has the place of God) Ex 4:16; c) a spirit of the dead IS 28:13; d) w. or w/o art., like a proper noun, equivalent to & interchanging w. yhwh, difficult to distinguish from appellative use; in Ps 42–83 ʾelōhm is mostly a substitute for yhwh; e) ʾelōhm superlative? raḥ ʾelōhm mighty wind Gn 1:2, neśʾ ʾelōhm mighty prince Gn 23:6.


              Holladay, W. L., & Khler, L. (2000). A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (pp. 16–17). Leiden: Brill.
              Would you allow for the same range and function for the Greek θεός in the GNT ?

              Comment


              • #22
                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 know the Hebrew language fluently. That's what I mean by "us." Those of us who know the language. You cannot tell me what Hebrew means. You only pull Hebrew words that people have fed you, and you use them as if they were magical. That's shameful. Hebrew is not a magic language.
                I have permission to post on the Biblical Languages forum, as per email correspondence with Diane S.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by John Milton View Post

                  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.
                  Don't worry. I think fraudsters and megalomaniacs are worthless when it comes to everything in life.
                  I have permission to post on the Biblical Languages forum, as per email correspondence with Diane S.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by John Milton View Post
                    Hedonism.
                    I've written long explanations of my journey out of faith, and hedonism did not come into the equation. I'm convinced that you're as much a hedonist as I am, but I am not bothered by the concept. You just find your pleasure in belittling people and being generally evil, and I find mine in books and drinking. "I drink and know things," as Tyrion Lannister famously said.
                    I have permission to post on the Biblical Languages forum, as per email correspondence with Diane S.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Jameson View Post

                      I know the Hebrew language fluently. That's what I mean by "us." Those of us who know the language. You cannot tell me what Hebrew means. You only pull Hebrew words that people have fed you, and you use them as if they were magical. That's shameful. Hebrew is not a magic language.
                      You may know “Israeli” fluently, but you do not know Biblical Hebrew fluently.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Isn’t it also a “no brainer” that θεός in the NT which is just the translational equivalent of אלוהימ of the OT, also has a “range of meaning,” infact the same range and function ?

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by John Milton View Post

                          You may know “Israeli” fluently, but you do not know Biblical Hebrew fluently.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Jameson View Post

                            I know the Hebrew language fluently. That's what I mean by "us." Those of us who know the language. You cannot tell me what Hebrew means. You only pull Hebrew words that people have fed you, and you use them as if they were magical. That's shameful. Hebrew is not a magic language.
                            The mechanics of the language itself I fully acknowledge being a rook. This includes the Koine for Koine dudes.

                            The conceptual aspects of language I have a little knowledge in. Basics, like calling the coronated king in Psalm 45 "Oh god." Ex 7:1 7 And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. I know that this is "elohim" and I know the basic semantic range of the term. I know that Psalm 110: is, YHWH said to my adon the second "L(l)ord" being a reference to a man/lord. These basics are very basic. Nothing magical and nothing genius.

                            I never said Hebrew was magical. It is the Mother Tongue of the People of the Promise. Salvation is of the Jews, but you ain't got any faith in YHWH so then...

                            I noticed you did not refute anything I said specifically, but only disparaged my scholarship on the matter. I don't get down to the technicalities; I only judge between scholars who speak of them.

                            But whatever you know about, take it all the way. This is the survival motto of the ancient asian country I get most my own DNA. In my world 90% have no idea who the God of their own religion is.
                            But for you sir, this is a moot and void subject. This is because you only watch the monkeys in the cage here, doing their monkey motions and making their monkey sounds. Rhetorically speaking however, I'd rather be a monkey than the dingleberry dangling on his heiny sir.


                            Shema will change the Christian World.

                            Turn it upside down. To where it once was, the POV of JESUS, his DISCIPLES and his SERVANTS.

                            Know God YHWH Elohim is One. And love Him with all. Mk 12, red letter words.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Nothead, do you have some formal training in Hebrew or are you an autodidact ?

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Jameson View Post

                                I've written long explanations of my journey out of faith, and hedonism did not come into the equation. I'm convinced that you're as much a hedonist as I am, but I am not bothered by the concept. You just find your pleasure in belittling people and being generally evil, and I find mine in books and drinking. "I drink and know things," as Tyrion Lannister famously said.
                                You drink and know things. At least you are a philosopher. "I drink therefore I am." The implied predication is, drunk. Lessen you think you are your own God. Some atheists do.

                                Waitaminute. I AM. A NAME of YHWH oh NO.
                                Shema will change the Christian World.

                                Turn it upside down. To where it once was, the POV of JESUS, his DISCIPLES and his SERVANTS.

                                Know God YHWH Elohim is One. And love Him with all. Mk 12, red letter words.

                                Comment

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