Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Word "Father" as Metaphor for God

There is a long section on PATHR in TDNT (volume V). This reference work states that "when the term father occurs [in the Hebrew Scriptures or Tanakh], it is fundamentally applied to God only in a metaphorical sense, and if we are to understand it everything depends on finding the right point of comparison [tertium comparationis]" (TDNT, V:970). See Deuteronomy 8:5; 2 Samuel 7:12-14; Psalm 2:7; 89:26; 103:13; Proverbs 3:12.

LSJ just notes that PATHR is used of God the Father of Israel (Deuteronomy 32:6), the Father of Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:21) and the Father of men (Matthew 6:9). It then states that the usage of PATHR at James 1:17 is metaphorical. But I would include the OT and Matthean passages as well as other authors do.

I looked at the entry for PATHR in the Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament. It too mentions that God is a metaphorical Father to Israel or creatures. But this work insists that the term is not metaphorical in the case of Jesus Christ being generated by God the Father.



JCE said...

Hi Edgar,

I have added your blog to my favourites some time ago and only now I realise that you are one of Jehovah's Witnesses!



Edgar Foster said...

Hi Selam,

Thanks for the add. I will now follow you, my brother. I've read other things you've written on another forum as well. All the best!