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Some Questions for Christians (and others)

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posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 07:07 AM
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reply to post by jinx880101
 


your welcome




posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 08:28 AM
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Let me say, first of all, that the off-hand comment about consulting your friends was very unworthy of me, and I apologise unreservedly.

I'm now in the middle of preparing a thread of my own, so I think I'd better take this debate in small chunks for the time being.Leaving other points for later, can I start by looking at the Greek grammatical question relating to the John ch8 comment.


Originally posted by miriam0566

verse 58, when correctly translated is rendered "I have been". the reason for the confusion is the way koine greek renders actions that are present perfect (action that began in the past, and continues beyond our present). in koine, this tense is rendered in the present simple whereas the koine present perfect tense signifies an action that began in the past and finishes in the past (english past perfect).

even if jesus was claiming to be god, he would have said "I have been" since he did not stop existing until his death.



We'd better begin by agreeing on terminology, before we confuse ourselves.
I understand an "imperfect" action to be one begun in the past, not necessarily completed.
I understand a "perfect" action to be one completed (e.g. "it is finished")
One of my Greek grammars uses the term "past perfect" for the tense also known as the Pluperfect, i.e. a completed action described from the standpoint of the past- "I had done".

The verb "I am" does not have a perfect tense, which is logical, because nobody speaking in the present can claim to have stopped existing. I think your second paragraph quoted is making the same point.
However, it does have an imperfect tense.
If Jesus merely wanted to say that he was existing before the time of Abraham, why would he not use the imperfect tense?
I'm not sure what your authority is for excluding "I am" from the translation of the Present Indicative form EGO EIMI.

In fact, on reflection, I don't know that the point makes much difference. Surely the sense of the self-declaration in Exodus is equivalent to the sense of Revelation ch4 v8 , where God Almighty is decribed as the one "who was, and is, and is to come", and your translation "I have been", presumably including "and continue to be now" would match that sense just as well as the usual "I Am".

Nor have you completely got round the point of the reaction of the Jews.

I will return to other points in due course, and promise to behave myself better.






[edit on 21-4-2010 by DISRAELI]



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 11:52 AM
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Originally posted by miriam0566

* also note- verse 31-37 jesus is referring to his father as a separate witness. this would not be possible if they were the same person.

[and of course you quote other passages making the same point]

You make the point that Jesus distinguishes between himself and the Father. This is true. Trinitarians accept that there is a difference between the Son and the Father. But this is not the same thing as saying that there is a difference between the Son and God. You mustn't confuse the two.

You must know this point, if you've been debating Trinitarians before, but I will spell it out again;
We regard; The Father as God, The Son as the same God, and the Spirit as the same God.
So passages which say that "Jesus is not the Father" are not relevant to a discussion of whether Jesus is God.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Moving down the extract I'm quoting (this is not an easy way of working), I come to the discussion of Thomas and his remark.

Now Thomas does not simply describe Jesus as "a" God. The phrase is very definitely "MY God". The one I worship, the one who owns me. Either way, this phrase ought to be applicable exclusively to the only God that he's got. I've got to assume that this is what he means.

As for this next suggestion;


this is assuming that thomas wasnt simply using a expletive. ever use the phrase "oh my god!"?



Now you're the one who's using explanations which only work in English!
Would you like to quote me any other biblical examples of "God" being used as an expletive?
In any case, the full phrase is "My Lord and my God". "My Lord and" followed by an expletive doesn't really work as a plausible sentence. I think your theory is struggling with this one.



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 12:19 PM
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Originally posted by miriam0566


Consider also the long discussion at the end of John about the sending of the Advocate, the Holy Sprit. In John ch16 v7, Jesus says "II go, I will send him to you". We must bear in mind that the Holy Spirit of God is God himself. The Spirit of God is as much God as a man's spirit is the man (Paul draws this analogy in 1 Corinthians ch1 v11). No-one who is less than God can tell God what to do. No-one who is less than God can "send" God in the way that Christ is offering to send the Holy Spirit. Therefore Christ cannot be less than God.


again, you are operating on assumption. you assume that because jesus has the ability to send holy spirit, that this must imply that he is god. thing is, its part of jesus' job. a job given to him by God.

another key point that you are missing is that holy spirit is not a person. it is a force. while yes, the bible does sometimes describe it as a person (it also does this with sin and death and wisdom) holy spirit is liken more to water. often described as pouring or filling. even paul makes an analogy to holy spirit being wind that directs a boat.


I don't think you've noticed the full force of my argument.
The Holy Spirit is not just "a force" of some kind, but God himself.

As Paul says in the passage I cited (quoting the wrong reference, I've just noticed- I meant 1Cor ch2 v11), the Spirit of God knows the thoughts of God in the same way that the spirit of a man knows a man's thoughts. Would you say that Miriam and the mind of Miriam are two different things? Or are they one and the same? In the same way, I would say that the Spirit of God is God.

Following on from that, it becomes quite unthinkable that anyone less than God could claim the authority to "send" God's own Spirit.

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

Finally, for the moment;


how does showing jesus the same respect shown to God make him God?

Because if you are not regarding him as God, you are NOT giving him the same respect as that shown to God.

Honouring God, honouring the Father, necessarily includes saying "You are God".
If the honour you are giving to Christ falls short of that, you are not giving him the same honour. You are not giving him equal honour. The only way that you can honour the Son EVEN AS you honour the Father is to say to the Son exactly what you would say to the Father- "You are God".



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 12:23 PM
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Originally posted by miriam0566

Originally posted by oliveoil
Jesus' name is Emmanuel which is interpreted just as the scripture says literally in black and white.GOD WITH US. Not God is with us. Do you not believe scripture? Mathew is referring to a person and that person is Jesus born of a virgin.


ok, if the statement is literal then explain this...

john 1:[18] No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

if GOD WITH US so clearly shows that jesus is God, then why is John lying to us?


Miriam are you telling me that you cannot make a distinction between person and nature according to the Bible when it comes to Jesus.Doesn't the elders at your kingdom hall teach this?

[edit on 21-4-2010 by oliveoil]



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 01:02 PM
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reply to post by miriam0566
 


Right, what's next?
The Philippians ch2 passage, I think
On the translation of "Harpagmon";
"Thing to be grasped" or "Thing to be retained"?
Much disputed, I admit. I do think I've got Dr Lightfoot with me on this one.
Also, I think. it makes more sense in terms of the context.

On my interpretation, the antithesis in vv6-7 is;
"He did not keep hold of X
But he let go of X".
On your interpretation, it comes out as;
"He did not grasp hold of X
But he let go of Y".

That is to say, in my version, there is a genuine relationship between the two halves of the statement. He is not keeping hold of equality, but letting go of eaquality. There is a parallelism which is appropraite for poetry (most commentators agree that Paul is probably quoting something poetic).
Whereas in the translation which you support, there is no genuine antithesis. If he doesn't already have equality with God in the first half of the statement, then he must be giving up something completely different in the second half of the statement, where it is said that he "emptied himself".

In my mind, "did not cling onto equality" would be relevant to what Paul is trying to say, whereas "did not grasp at equality" would not.

Finally, quickly, I would comment about MORPHE and PLEROMA on much the same lines as I've just been commenting about "honour". I think your idea of being in the "image" of God falls short of being properly in the image of God. I think your understanding of the "fullness" of God falls short of giving Christ the fullness of God. In that interpretation, he is being short-changed.

Incidentally, I can read your signature. Mehercule!



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 01:08 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 



Now you're the one who's using explanations which only work in English!
Would you like to quote me any other biblical examples of "God" being used as an expletive?
Jesus' name in Hebrew = God saves This explains why the the son of God became man. When Peter called Jesus "Son of the living God" He understood Jesus' sonship as unique and divine. Jesus' response: Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my father who is in heaven.
of course you probably knew this.



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 01:14 PM
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reply to post by oliveoil
 


Thank you for that comment. I think we're on the same side of the argument, but the line you quote was actually remarking, critically, on the suggestion that Thomas' "My God!" was an explanation of surprise.



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 01:26 PM
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Originally posted by DISRAELI
reply to post by oliveoil
 


Thank you for that comment. I think we're on the same side of the argument, but the line you quote was actually remarking, critically, on the suggestion that Thomas' "My God!" was an explanation of surprise.

Yes I know this. Im just thinking ahead.Back to the Thomas surprise. Thomas was a devout Jew and would have never shouted MY GOD!!that would have been blasphemy. This person is reading the scripture out of context:bnghd:

[edit on 21-4-2010 by oliveoil]



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 01:37 PM
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reply to post by oliveoil
 


Sorry, thank you, now I see what you were up to. Providing useful material.
The problem is that we're debating with someone who distinguishes between "Son of God" and "God", so demonstrating that Jesus is "The Son" isn't quite as helpful to us as it ought to be. I do appreciate your help, though.



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 01:51 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 



The problem is that we're debating with someone who distinguishes between "Son of God" and "God"


This is true However, if this person uses their brain correctly they would see the obvious conclusion. The son of a goat is a goat. The son of a horse is a horse. the son of a dog is a dog. The son of a man is a man. And the son of God is... well they can fill in the blank. There is no distinction. This person needs to learn the distinction between person and nature then the whole bible will "open" up. Everything will make sense.

LOL, I probably only make sense to myself....

[edit on 21-4-2010 by oliveoil]



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 03:43 PM
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Oh and yes yes Miriam I have heard your argument many times before. The son of God is just that.. the son. Not God himself. This is where you get confused between person and nature.Jesus has all the attributes of God therefore he is God. Get it?



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 07:16 AM
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Sarcasm as a form of persuasion?
I doubt that works very well.
I find this claim to be absolutely ridiculous and I have to wonder about the person who would not only believe it, but ridicule some one else who has the common-to-most-humans degree of discernment to not just blindly accept such unsubstantiated dogmatic rhetoric.
God gives attributes of himself to a person who is an ambassador to a fallen race living in a lost world, and somehow that makes this person God?
On its face, it is fraught with illogic and contradiction. So don't ridicule someone who sees the obvious.
Jesus is the "heir" character of his own parables. He will be in charge of the world, once the evil powers running it now are struck down, but rules today in the hearts of those fellow heirs of the kingdom, who hear his voice and follow him, who are with him, the first-fruits.
We have to respect Jesus as our proper and rightful Lord, and the representative of God on Earth and we worship God by acknowledging His appointed Heir, who we should accept, as if he was literally, physically born as a son of God in actuality.



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 11:53 AM
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Originally posted by DISRAELI
The verb "I am" does not have a perfect tense, which is logical, because nobody speaking in the present can claim to have stopped existing. I think your second paragraph quoted is making the same point.


thats not true because the perfect tense doesnt denote a finished action. in koine is does which is why the original greek wasnt written in the perfect tense (jesus didnt stop existing).
www.englishpage.com...

"I have been in america for 3 months"
"she has been a teacher for the past 5 years"
"I have been awake since 2 AM"

all of the above examples express actions that began in the past and may or may not have stopped in the present.

in koine, you would not say "i have been awake since 2 AM", you would say "i am awake since 2AM".

so literally, "πριν αβρααμ γενεσθαι εγω ειμι" would be translated (not transliterated), "before Abraham came into being, I have been."

i agree with you that jesus existed since before abraham. as i said before, jesus is called the "firstborn of all creation" (ill will get into more detail of that later). since jesus existed before the angels, and the angels existed before the physical reality, jesus' statement that he existed before abraham is completely true.

but was he quoting exodus? definitely not.

exodus 3:14 is not really saying "I AM" either

"Hayah means "existed" or "was" in Hebrew; "ehyeh" is the first person singular imperfect form. Ehyeh asher ehyeh is generally interpreted to mean I am that I am, though it more literally translates as "I-shall-be that I-shall-be.""
en.wikipedia.org...

i have even heard possibilities that the passage should read "i, who has caused to become.." although i cant find the reference at the moment.

while yes, jesus DID in fact exist before abraham, the connection with exodus is artificial at best


Nor have you completely got round the point of the reaction of the Jews.


you put alot of faith in their reactions. alot of the jews never understood half of what jesus was saying anyway.

the fact is, they didnt understand the nature of the messiah. there wasnt really any scripture that showed that this messiah would be God's heavenly son reborn in human form.

to them, the messiah was suppose to be a political leader who was going to free them from the romans (short sighted huh?). even jesus' disciples at that time weren't clear. they asked him if he was going to set up his kingdom "at this time"

for jesus to say these earthly minded people "i existed since before abraham", how do you think they are going to react?

let me show you another example...

john 6:[53] Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

the jews were repulsed.

[66] From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

does this mean that the jewish people's reaction proves that jesus was speaking literally?

matt 26:[26] And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
[27] And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
[28] For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

the jews were wrong. jesus was speaking symbolically. while his literal blood needed to be spilt, the actual drinking was symbolic.

if they had asked jesus, he may have explained. instead they jumped to conclusions.

using there reaction as proof that jesus was god is not a good thing, as likely they misunderstood. otherwise wouldnt they have stayed with him?



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 12:03 PM
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double post


[edit on 22-4-2010 by DISRAELI]



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 12:03 PM
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reply to post by miriam0566
 


a) You have not justified translating EGO EIMI as a past tense. It is normally given in grammars as a present indicative. Please quote your authority for translating it in any other way.

b) I still maintain that if Jesus had meant the simple statement about the past which you are describing, he would have used the imperfect.

c) I would point out that the statement is introduced by the words AMEN AMEN LEGO HUMIN (truly, truly, I say to you), which is used in John's gospel to introduce statements of great importance and significance. I would say that the traditional understanding of it gives it that significance.

d) Your best, logical, way of breaking the claimed link between the John statement and the Exodus statement is to deny the I AM translation for ONE of them. If you deny that translation for BOTH of them, then the two parts of your argument cancel each other out, and the link becomes feasible again. If, for example, they can both mean "I was",then you are back where we started- they can still be linked.



[edit on 22-4-2010 by DISRAELI]



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 12:24 PM
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Originally posted by miriam0566

Originally posted by DISRAELI
The verb "I am" does not have a perfect tense, which is logical, because nobody speaking in the present can claim to have stopped existing. I think your second paragraph quoted is making the same point.


thats not true because the perfect tense doesnt denote a finished action. in koine is does which is why the original greek wasnt written in the perfect tense (jesus didnt stop existing).


There was no need to correct me here, because
a) The koine Greek was precisely what I was talking about, not the English language.
b) I was actually trying to agree with you. I was just trying to establish an agreed terminology for discussing Greek tenses, because I got the impression that your textbooks and mine might have been using different labels. I was trying to avoid the confusion which can happen when people are employing different naming systems. Clearing the ground.



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 12:24 PM
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double post

[edit on 22-4-2010 by DISRAELI]



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 12:25 PM
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Originally posted by DISRAELI
You make the point that Jesus distinguishes between himself and the Father. This is true. Trinitarians accept that there is a difference between the Son and the Father. But this is not the same thing as saying that there is a difference between the Son and God. You mustn't confuse the two.

You must know this point, if you've been debating Trinitarians before, but I will spell it out again;
We regard; The Father as God, The Son as the same God, and the Spirit as the same God.
So passages which say that "Jesus is not the Father" are not relevant to a discussion of whether Jesus is God.


ok, lets examine that reasoning for a moment.

you enter into a courtroom. a man, juan perez, is on trial (for whatever reason, its not important). the judge askes for his testimony. he gives it. this is witness 1.

the judge then asks for another witness to help validify his testimony but we find juan takes the stand again. when asked to explain, juan's lawyer says "the first wirness was juan the mill worker, this is juan the father (since he has 2 kids)"

do you think the judge would allow that?

do you think ANY court would allow that?

what you are saying is that jesus distinguishes himself from the father, but you are claiming they are the same god. it means in the end they are different aspects of the same person. they CANT be 2 different witnesses.

yet, jesus says they are.


Now Thomas does not simply describe Jesus as "a" God. The phrase is very definitely "MY God". The one I worship, the one who owns me. Either way, this phrase ought to be applicable exclusively to the only God that he's got. I've got to assume that this is what he means.


but again, you are basing doctrine on an assumption. thomas does not clarify, neither does jesus.

what we do have is scripture after scripture that shows jesus is a servant of god. the context of the gospels alone, show that using thomas' statement is jumping the gun

john 20:[17] Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

jesus made it very clear that the father was supierior to him.

likely (and this is what most scholars say) it that thomas words were not directed to jesus but actually towards god.

again, we dont know for sure, but based on context, this is more likely that thomas calling jesus god.


As for this next suggestion;


this is assuming that thomas wasnt simply using a expletive. ever use the phrase "oh my god!"?



Now you're the one who's using explanations which only work in English!


actually hebrew does have the expression "oh my god" so im not talking about just english.

but i only mentioned this as a possibility



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 12:39 PM
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Originally posted by DISRAELI
a) You have not justified translating EGO EIMI as a past tense. It is normally given in grammars as a present indicative. Please quote your authority for translating it in any other way.


the statement itself provides the context.

"before abraham"

that is our starting point. therefore in english it HAS to be translated present perfect.


b) I still maintain that if Jesus had meant the simple statement about the past which you are describing, he would have used the imperfect.


then you remain with the confusing and incorrect grammar of "I am"

think about it, when do you ever say that?


c) I would point out that the statement is introduced by the words AMEN AMEN LEGO HUMIN (truly, truly, I say to you), which is used in John's gospel to introduce statements of great importance and significance. I would say that the traditional understanding of it gives it that significance.


ok, but it still doesnt prove that jesus is God.


d) Your best, logical, way of breaking the claimed link between the John statement and the Exodus statement is to deny the I AM translation for ONE of them. If you deny that translation for BOTH of them, then the two parts of your argument cancel each other out, and the link becomes feasible again. If, for example, they can both mean "I was",then you are back where we started- they can still be linked.


this isnt a double negative makes a positive situation.

if God says "I shall prove to be" and Jesus says "I have been", how are they quoting each other?


Originally posted by DISRAELI
There was no need to correct me here, because
a) The koine Greek was precisely what I was talking about, not the English language.


ok but...

the claim that jesus is quoting God in exodus is based on the english KJV of the bible not on the greek.

if a person native in Koine heard "before abarham, i am", the meaning would appear in his head as "i have been"

same way an english speaker in an auditorium can say "you" and the meaning is clearly YOU (plural) and not YOU (singular).


b) I was actually trying to agree with you. I was just trying to establish an agreed terminology for discussing Greek tenses, because I got the impression that your textbooks and mine might have been using different labels. I was trying to avoid the confusion which can happen when people are employing different naming systems. Clearing the ground.


i understand you



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