Monday, November 30, 2009

Mellone on Tertullian's Christology

Sydney H. Mellone on Tertullian's Subordinationist Christology

"He [Tertullian] has not avoided a subordination not only in the order of revelation to mankind but in essential being. Even if we set aside his purely metaphorical illustrations, we find it clearly stated that the Father is the originating principle of the Son and the Spirit, and therefore holds in relation to them a certain superiority: 'The Father is wholly essential being (SUBSTANTIA): the Son is derived from the Whole as part thereof (PORTIO TOTIUS): the Father is greater than the Son, as One who begets, who sends, who acts, is greater than the One is begotten, who is sent, through whom He acts," (Leaders of Early Christian Thought, London: The Lindsey Press, 1954, Page 178).

The salient point that I wish to extract from Mellone's writing is the one that he makes about Tertullian subordinating the Son "in essential being" and not simply in the order of divine revelation. In Adversus Praxean 12 and Adversus Praxean 3, Tertullian suggests that the Father is superior to the Son in essential being, not just in the order of Heilsgeschichte.

Sydney H. Mellone (M.A., D.Sc.) was external examiner in Philosophy at the University of London.

Best regards,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Justin Martyr and the Soul

"And whatever both philosophers and poets have said concerning the immortality of the soul, or punishments after death, or contemplation of things heavenly, or doctrines of the like kind, they have received such suggestions from the prophets as have enabled them to understand and interpret these things. And hence there seem to be seeds of truth among all men; but they are charged with not accurately understanding [the truth] when they assert contradictories" (1 Apology 44).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Brief Thoughts on ALHQINOS/ALHQHS

Here are some brief thoughts on the ALHQINOS/ALHQHS:

Louw-Nida point out that ALHQHS and ALHQINOS may possibly denote that which pertains to actual existence, "real, really, true, truly." See John 6:55.

This source comments on John 17:3 (in semantic domain 70.3), noting that this Johannine passage could be rendered "that they may know you, the only one who is really God." We are then told that the rendering "the only one who is really God" could be understood in some languages as "the only God who exists" or "who is God and there are no other gods."

In semantic domain 72.1 of Louw-Nida, we also read ALHQHS may signify: "pertaining to being in accordance with historical fact" or "true, truth." Cf. John 4:18. Compare John's use of ALHQINHOS (ALHQINH) in John 19:35.

LSJ observes that ALHQHS (the Doric form is ALAQHS) can mean "unconcealed, true, real" with its opposite being "false" or "apparent." On the other hand, in classical Greek, ALHQINOS can mean "agreeable to truth." When used of persons, it may denote "truthful, trusty"; when employed with respect to things, "true, genuine."

I would encourage our brothers and sisters on this site to study the entry for ALHQINOS in BDAG. It is very informative, especially if one also consults the entry for MONOS in BDAG.

Your brother,