Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Monday, June 18, 2018

Translating Romans 1:11-12 (τοῦτο δέ ἐστιν)

Greek: ἐπιποθῶ γὰρ ἰδεῖν ὑμᾶς, ἵνα τι μεταδῶ χάρισμα ὑμῖν πνευματικὸν εἰς τὸ στηριχθῆναι ὑμᾶς, τοῦτο δέ ἐστιν συνπαρακληθῆναι ἐν ὑμῖν διὰ τῆς ἐν ἀλλήλοις πίστεως ὑμῶν τε καὶ ἐμοῦ. (Romans 1:11-12 WH)

NWT 2013: "For I am longing to see you, that I may impart some spiritual gift to you for you to be made firm; or, rather, that we may have an interchange of encouragement by one another's faith, both yours and mine."


ESV: "For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine."

For Romans 1:12, the Weymouth New Testament states: "in other words that while I am among you we may be mutually encouraged by one another's faith, yours and mine."

The Expositor's Greek Testament calls τοῦτο δέ ἐστιν, "an explanatory correction." The Cambridge Bible observes that Paul is using tact at 1:11-12 in order to combine sympathy with judgment: he wants to clarify that he will not only encourage the holy ones in Rome (1:7), but they will strengthen him too.

From Richard Longenecker's Romans commentary: The second statement of 1:11-12 begins with the expression τοῦτο ἔστιν (“that is”) and the postpositive connective δέ (a mildly adversative “but,” though here probably best translated simply “and”), which together signal an explication. So this second statement is meant to clarify and expand on the immediately preceding statement.

Robertson's Word Pictures: That is (τουτο δε εστιν). "An explanatory correction" (Denney). The δε should not be ignored. Instead of saying that he had a spiritual gift for them, he wishes to add that they also have one for him.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Brief Comment on Mark 12:41-44 and Widows in Kings

Jesus speaks of the widow from Zarephath at Luke 4:25-26 (In fact, he insists there were many widows in Israel at the time). See 1 Kings 17:7-24; Proverbs 19:17.

I cannot help but surmise that the Zarephath widow and the widow in 2 Kings 4:1-7 possibly background (influence/provide a setting for) Luke 21:1-4 and, by extension, Mark 12:41-44. I'm only making a suggestion: it could be wrong. However, I've read similar ideas in commentaries or journal articles that deal with the unnamed Markan/Lukan widow. It certainly would not be a stretch to discern similarities between Kings and Mark/Luke--particularly the example in 1 Kings.

Friday, June 15, 2018

More Notes on the Widow Who Gave Two Mites (Mark 12:41-44)

Jehovah's righteousness is partly reflected when he shows appreciation for the little things that we do (Hebrews 6:10). Yes, even those with few material possessions can still honor Jehovah with their valuable things (Proverbs 3:9-10) and he will appreciate what they do in his behalf. Mark 12:41-44 bears out this point.

In that account, we discover that Jesus observed numerous wealthy individuals dropping money into the treasury chests for the Jewish temple--these receptacles apparently were shaped like trumpets or horns and they contained small openings at the top. Many sources confirm this understanding of the matter including Alfred Edersheim's research on the ancient Jewish temple.

Worshipers of Jehovah (YHWH) would put various offerings into these treasury chests; some rabbinical sources report that thirteen treasury chests might have been distributed around the walls of the Court of the Women. These smaller treasury chests likely were distinct from a larger receptacle into which money from the other treasury chests was put (NWT Study Bible Notes).

While the wealthy were contributing what appeared to be grandiose valuable things, since they were giving many copper coins, an unnamed widow of scanty means just contributed "two small coins of very little value," literally two lepta (the plural form of the Greek word, lepton).

The lepton's value was 1/128th the value of a denarius, which amounted to a day's wage in the first century CE: lepta were apparently the smallest copper or bronze coins used in ancient Israel. Some Bible translations render Mark 12:42 with the word "mites" to describe her contribution. Imagine that! The widow gave currency that amounted to 1/128th the value of a day's wage--an amount which was monetarily insignificant since two coins would have been 1/64th the value of a denarius.

To emphasize the small amount given by the widow, Mark not only reports that she contributed two little coins, but he stresses that the money was of "very little value."

The NWT study Bible note explains that the expression, "of very little value" derived from the Greek means, "which is a quadrans." The Greek word that's equivalent to the Latin term, quadrans, refers to a Roman copper or bronze coin valued at 1/64th the value of a denarius. In other words, two lepta equal a quadrans. So Mark used currency terminology familiar to the Romans, but these words would have been familiar to his Jewish readers too.

It is evident that the widow's contribution was extremely small in monetary value. Nevertheless, how did Jehovah and Jesus view her small gift?

Read Mark 12:43.

It's interesting that the widow put more money in the treasury chests than all the coins placed there by the wealthy. Why was her contribution more valuable? Some wealthy people likely offered contributions in order to be viewed as righteous and some possibly were ostentatious. Although the widow offered money of little value in a material sense, note how Jehovah considered her gift, according to Mark 12:44:

"For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on" (ESV).

The wealthy contributed funds out of their surplus, but the widow gave to Jehovah from her "want" (poverty). She completely relied on God by going out of her way to give. Hence, the widow's contribution was priceless in Jehovah's eyes: it was more valuable than all the contributions of the wealthy combined.

In his Mark commentary, Eckhard J. Schnabel writes: "The concluding phrase all she had to live on (lit. 'her entire life') may mean that after she had donated two perutot, she was without the ability to pay for her next meal. She is an example of what it means to fulfil the greatest commandment: loving God with one's entire self (12:29–32)".

This account of the unnamed widow helps us to see that whether we're able to give little or much, Jehovah God does not forget our work and the love we demonstrate for his beauteous name.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Daniel Lloyd's "Ontological Subordination in Novatian" (Link)

Please see https://epublications.marquette.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1183&context=dissertations_mu

Lloyd references my book "Angelomorphic Christology" a few times and, more importantly, he interacts with some of its contents. Aside from these points, his dissertation is important for patristic studies.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Terms of Rhetoric for Greek (Hypallage)

1) Hypallage-"reversal of the syntactic relation of two words (as in 'her beauty's face')." See https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/hypallage

This syntactic reversal is a form of hyperbaton and known by another name, transferred epithet.

Syntax is concerned with word order or what one book calls, "sentence construction."

E.W. Bullinger gives these two examples of hypallage and many others:

Galatians 6:1.-"The spirit of meekness": i.e., meekness of spirit.

Ephesians 1:9.-"The mystery of His will."

For the second example, Bullinger explains:

The word μυστήριον (musteerion) rendered mystery always means a secret. And here it is the Secret pertaining to God's purpose: i.e., the Secret which He hath purposed; or, by the figure Hypallage, His Secret purpose, because the noun in regimen is the word qualified instead of the word which qualifies.

On the other hand, Georg Benedikt Winer strenuously attempts to refute the notion that any genuine examples of hypallage appear in the Greek New Testament. He thinks no example normally offered by commentators is unquestionable including Ephesians 2:2; 3:2.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Victor Hamilton and Exodus 34:29

Three times (vv. 29, 30, 35) this unit uses the verb qāran for Moses’s face “radiating light” or “glowing.” All three of these occurrences are in the Qal stem. The only other occurrence of this verb is once in the Hiphil, Ps. 69:31 [32]: NIV, “This will please the LORD more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns [maqrin, Hiphil participle, and so better “developing its horns”] and hoofs.” The uncommon verb qāran provides the common related noun qeren which means “a horn.” It occurs about a hundred times in the Bible, and refers to: (1) a projection on an altar, the altar's horns; (2) the horn of an animal; (3) as a metaphor for pride and vanity or for strength. It is this cognate connection between the verb qāran and the noun qeren that has led to the idea that Moses's face developed horns, or hornlike phenomena that emanated from his face. Thus, among the ancient versions, LXX translates the verb nonliterally, Moses's face “shone” (dedoxastai), while Vulgate translates more literally, Moses's face “was horned,” that is, v. 29, “he knew not that his face was horned [ignorabat quad cornuta esset facies sua].” I shall have more to say on this in the commentary section. See Kasher (1997), who documents instances in postbiblical literature of a “horned” Moses, and Propp (1987), who debates whether the biblical text suggests Moses’s face was “transfigured” or “disfigured,” and who opts for the latter.

Hamilton, Exodus: An Exegetical Commentary. Published by Baker Academic.

Philippians 1:19, 27; 4:23 and God's Holy Spirit

I submit that both Phil. 1:27 and 4:23 possibly do not refer to the holy spirit. But here's one thing to think about--there are a number of factors that we must take into consideration when trying to understand PNEUMATOS in Phil. 1:19, 27. Besides looking at the macrostructure of Philippians, we must also consider the cotext of Phil. 1:19 and examine the unit it composes. Moises Silva lays out the subunits of Phil. 1 as follows:

Letter opening-Phil. 1:1, 2
Thanksgiving-Phil. 1:3-8
Expansion-Phil. 1:6-8
Prayer-Phil. 1:9-11
Paul's Missionary Report-Phil. 1:12-26 etc.

There is more detail in Silva's commentary on this matter, but this outline might suffice for now. My objective in posting the structure of the first 26 verses of Philippians is to show which unit we should consider when trying to exegete 1:19.

Phil. 1:27 actually belongs to a different textual unit. Now this does not mean that 1:27 has no bearing on 1:19; nevertheless, I think that we should be careful before attempting to interpret 1:19 through the prism of 1:27. The same warning could apply to Phil. 2:1; 3:3, and 4:23.

A number of points in the GNT and Phil. 1:19 make me think that Paul is speaking of the holy spirit when he talks about "the spirit of Jesus Christ."

(1) Paul proclaims that both the prayers of the brothers and sisters as well as
the spirit of Jesus will "result in his deliverance" (Emphatic Diaglott) or
his "salvation" (NWT). Scholars are not certain whether the SWTHRIAN mentioned
refers to eternal salvation, deliverance from prison, or vindication in a
legal sense. But regardless of what "salvation" Paul is talking about, he
most certainly has in mind his eternal destiny as well as a possible release
from prison (this may be an example of deliberate ambiguity). But how would
this "release" come about? Would it happen through the mental disposition of
Christ manifested by Paul or through the holy spirit that God had vouchsafed to
Christ? In answer to this question, notice that Paul associates the spirit of
Jesus with the prayers of the first-century brothers and sisters in Philippi
(Cf. Acts 4:23-31).

But why didn't Paul call the "spirit of Jesus Christ" God's spirit if they
are in fact one and the same? Well, remember when Paul reports that
he entreated the Lord three times, begging God to remove a thorn that
evidently plagued Paul for quite some time (2 Cor. 12:8). What was the result
of Paul's prayer? Jehovah told him that His power was perfected in Paul's
weakness. Consequently, the apostle said that he would boast in his weakness, "so
that the POWER of the Anointed" would "abide upon him" (2 Cor. 12:9 Emphatic Diaglott).
Notice that DUNAMIS is first described as God's power, then it is called "the
POWER of the Anointed" (Christ). But how would Paul be infused with the power
of the Anointed? Acts 1:8; 10:38; Eph. 3:16ff all indicate that the power of
God is communicated via His holy spirit. I therefore conclude that Paul
believed that God and Christ work so closely together when imbuing believers
with the holy spirit--as one WT pointed out--that to desire the spirit of
Jesus Christ is to desire the spirit of God.