Monday, August 28, 2017

John 17:25- Nominative for a Vocative?

In Jn. 20:28, Thomas possibly calls Jesus Lord
and God while not equating him with YHWH (Ps. 8:5-6;
82:1-6). Jesus had already been identified as "a god"
(NWT) in Jn. 1:1 and as "the only-begotten god" (See
N.T. Wright's tentative translation of this passage in
his NTPG) in Jn. 1:18. But John equally made it clear
that men could be called "gods" without transgressing
the boundaries of Jewish monotheism (Jn. 10:34-36).
The Lord also spoke of "the only true God" in Jn. 17:3.
And Jesus did not identify himself with "the only
true God" (See Raymond Brown in his Anchor Bible
commentary on John).

I thus believe that whether one decides biblical verses
such as Jn. 20:28 are subject nominatives or
nominatives of address, he or she can still hold that
Jesus is not Almighty God. I make these preliminary
statements in view of what might be an example of the
nominative for a vocative, namely, Jn. 17:25:

Πατὴρ δίκαιε, καὶ ὁ κόσμος σε οὐκ ἔγνω, ἐγὼ δέ σε ἔγνων, καὶ οὗτοι ἔγνωσαν ὅτι σύ με ἀπέστειλας


Philip Fletcher said...

Yes, he said my lord and my God, like oh my God. Many of us are expressing ourselves with the words my God when we encounter something unexpected or unbelievable. It seems it could possibly be a small G but I am understanding that there were no small letters in uncial script Greek script, of course I could be wrong.

Edgar Foster said...

Philip, uncials are all caps. We normally have to rely on other language features to determine whether theos should be small or capital G in translation.