Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pouring Out of the Spirit as a Metaphor (Joel 2:28-29)

I have not researched this point thoroughly but I have been wondering if the language that Scripture employs regarding God pouring out his spirit of holiness is metaphorical or not. For example, Joel 2:28 states:

"It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions" (NASB).

We also read in Isa 32:15:

"Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest" (KJV).

The argument is sometimes made that a "person" of the triune Godhead cannot be poured out. But the thought has crossed my mind lately that a "force" also cannot be literally "poured out" in the manner described by the prophets, can it? If a force or person cannot be "poured out" it seems that the language employed by the holy prophets and apostles is metaphorical.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Early Church Fathers on John 1:3-4

Jason (my self-made nemesis) has insisted that my view of the way John 1:3-4 was understood by the pre-Nicenes is wrong. He has adduced no textual evidence to support his conclusion but he has been critical of the note I posted from the Catholic NAB and I do not believe he has replied to the quote I posted from Clement of Alexandria concerning John 1:3-4. Now I present more quotes from the pre-Nicenes on this subject:

"Understand now for me the mystery of the truth, granting pardon if I shrink from advancing further in the treatment of it, by announcing this alone: 'All things were made by Him, and without Him was not even one thing.'" (Clement of Alexandria, Stromata 6.11)

"But it is said Providence, from above, from what is of prime importance, as from the head, reaches to all, 'as the ointment,' it is said, 'which descends to Aaron's beard, and to the skirt of his garment'(that is, of the great High Priest, 'by whom all things were made, and without whom not even one thing was made' not to the ornament of the body; for Philosophy is outside of the People, like raiment." (Stromata 6.17)

"Ruling, then, over himself and what belongs to him, and possessing a sure grasp, of divine science, he makes a genuine approach to the truth. For the knowledge and apprehension of intellectual objects must necessarily be called certain scientific knowledge, whose function in reference to divine things is to consider what is the First Cause, and what that 'by whom all things were made, and without whom nothing was made'" (Stromata 7.3)

“ 'And God said, Let there be light, and there was light.' Immediately there appears the Word, 'that true light, which lighteth man on his coming into the world,' and through Him also came light upon the world. From that moment God willed creation to be effected in the Word, Christ being present and ministering unto Him: and so God created. And God said, 'Let there be a firmament . . . and God made the firmament;' and God also said, 'Let there be lights (in the firmament); and so God made a greater and a lesser light.' But all the rest of the created things did He in like manner make, who made the former ones—I mean the Word of God, 'through whom all things were made, and without whom nothing was made.' Now if He too is God, according to John, (who says,) 'The Word was God,' then you have two Beings—One that commands that the thing be made, and the Other that executes the order and creates." (Tertullian, Adversus Praxean 12).

"Let him who is inclined to entertain this suspicion hear the undoubted declaration of Scripture pronouncing, 'In wisdom hast Thou made them all,' and the teaching of the Gospel, that 'by Him were all things made, and without Him nothing was made;'" (Origen, De Principiis I.2)

"John also, who lived after him, said, 'That which was in the Logos was life, and the life was the light of men;'" (Contra Celsum 6.5)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Revelation 16:21

The following is a message from my old yahoogroup named greektheology:

Revelation 16:21

Hi [you guys],

Thanks for posting to this thread. Your comments were quite helpful.

I also found the following data:

TALANTON: "a weight ranging from about 108 to 130 lbs., or a sum of money equivalent to a talent in weight" (Vocabulary of the Greek Testament, p. 624).

"TALANTIAIOS (#5418) talent. The talent varied in weight among different peoples at different times. The range seems to be about sixty pounds to over a hundred (Mounce)." (See The New Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament, p. 642.)

"Even an abnormal hailshower (cf. the fourth Egyptian plague) fails to bring pagans to their senses. hWS TAL., i.e., literally about sixty times the weight of even the enormous hailstones (MNAAIAI) which Diodorus Siculus (XIX. 45) records" (Expositor's Greek Testament, 5:449).

"There was a terrible hailstorm, and hailstones weighing seventy-five pounds fell from the sky onto the people below" (NLT).

"And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, *came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague *was extremely severe" (NASB).

"and great hailstones, heavy as a hundred-weight, dropped on men from heaven, till men cursed God for the plague of the hail, so fearful was that plague" (RSV).

Joe wrote:

"But maybe I need to read up on non-metric weights in the UK and US. :-)

lb = pound, < libra. Pound sterling, £, was a lb of silver. Can someone explain me me if the usual lbs are pounds troy or pounds avoirdupois?" Joe, one website says: <>

Edgar Foster