Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Luke 22:69 Comments ("The Power of God")--In Progress

I want to keep adding thoughts to this blog entry.

Alan J. Thompson (Luke, page 994 of the electronic edition):
Ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν, see 1:48. Ἔσται (see 1:14) with καθήμενος (nom. sg. masc. of pres. mid. ptc. of dep. κάθημαι, “sit”) is a fut. periph. cstr. (see 21:17 for this cstr.; see 5:24 for ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου). The locat. ἐκ δεξιῶν τῆς δυνάμεως τοῦ θεοῦ (“at the right hand of the power of God”; see NLT; Harris 106–7) is a circumlocution for the sovereign rule of God in which Jesus is both identified with God the Father and yet is distinct from him (see 20:42). The allusion to Ps 110:1 (and Dan 7:13) together with the use of the term δύναμις in the context of a trial before the ruling council (22:66) emphasizes where the true locus of divine authority resides. Jesus is actually the Judge over them (Pao and Schnabel 391c).

Baylor Greek Handbook on Luke (page ): ἐκ δεξιῶν. The preposition (probably technically denoting separation) is characteristically used with the plural form of δεξιός in a locative sense: “at the right side” (see also 1:11; 20:42; 22:69; 23:33; Acts 2:25). τῆς δυνάμεως τοῦ θεοῦ. In this phrase, τῆς δυνάμεως is likely an attributed genitive with the entire expression perhaps serving as a circumlocution for “God”: “the right side in relation to the powerful God.

Luke Timothy Johnson (Gospel of Luke, page): sitting at the right hand of the power of God: The basic statement is shared with Mark 14:62 and Matt 26:64, but Luke's small alterations give it a startlingly different meaning. Like the parallels, he combines the saying about the Son of Man from Dan 7:13 with the image of one "sitting at the right hand" which derives from LXX Ps 109:1. Unlike them, however: a) Luke drops the "you will see" (which the tradition probably had derived by midrash from Zech 12:10); in Acts, only Stephen will so see the Son of Man (Acts 7:55-56); b) Luke adds "of God" to the phrase "right hand of power," which also brings this prediction more in line with Acts 7:55-56; c) Luke omits the phrase "coming on the clouds of heaven," so that the statement refers not to the "coming of the Son of Man" at the end-time (see 11:30; 12:8, 40; 17:22, 24, 26, 30; 18:8; 21:27), but to the resurrection of Jesus.

Robert Stein (NA Commentary on Luke, page): Luke also omitted the reference to the Son of Man’s “coming on the clouds of heaven” (cf. Mark 14:62; Matt 26:64) possibly because it might have been interpreted as a prediction of the parousia in the lifetime of the Sanhedrin members, who now either because of age or Jerusalem’s destruction were dead. That coming, mentioned in Luke 21:27, finds its fulfillment at the end of history. See Introduction 7 (3). “Mighty God” is literally the power of God. Luke substituted this
phrase for Mark’s “right hand of Power” (14:62) since the use of “Power” as a circumlocution for God might not have been clear to his Gentile readers. Seated at the right hand of God, Jesus is the believer’s advocate (Luke 1228) but the unbeliever’s prosecutor (12:9). 

What's the Difference Between Validity and Soundness in Logic?

The points I want to make about logic in this post are simple. Two introductory things that students usually learn about in logic are validity and soundness. Deductive validity is defined by many logicians as "If the premises of an argument are true, then the conclusion is necessarily true." Note that this kind of validity deals with a hypothetical--"if" the argument is true. Validity does not tell us whether an argument is true or not and in today's logic classes, we teach students symbolic logic, which makes the exercise even more abstract. But to give an example of validity, let's suppose that someone asserts, "If Fido is a dog, then Fido is a canine; Fido is a dog; therefore, Fido is a canine."

Is this argument deductively valid? According to the canons of formal logic, it is. I could explain why later but the bottom line is that if the premises of this argument were true, then the conclusion of the argument would necessarily follow from the premises, which happens to be the case. Ergo, the argument is deductively valid, but is this argument sound? Soundness means that an argument is valid and the premises are true. Given that these conditions are met in the argument concerning Fido, the argument is both valid and sound. However, I've found that soundness is harder to determine: validity is relativity easy to ascertain. For more information, see

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Did Cyprian of Carthage Know About the Johannine Comma?

I will provide a couple of quotes from R.E. Brown and encourage you to consult his work (The Anchor Bible Commentary on the Johannine Epistles, Appendix IV, pages 775-787).

"Within the uncontaminated Greek tradition the Comma is never quoted by a Greek author of the first Christian millennium. This silence cannot be dismissed as accidental; for the Greek text of 1 John 5:7 is quoted (e.g., three times by Cyril of Alexandria) without the Comma. And there is no reference to the Comma by the Greeks even in the midst of the trinitarian debates when it should have been of help were it known" (page 777).

He also writes that Cyprian's citation "and these three are one," is undoubtedly taken from the Old Latin text of 1 John 5:8 and refers to the spirit, the water, and the blood. Brown notes that Cyprian's application of 1 John 5:8 from the Vetus Latina to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit "need not represent a knowledge of the Comma" (Brown 784). Even if Cyprian was citing the Comma, it still does not prove that the Comma was ever in any early Greek text.

Monday, June 28, 2021

"How We Got The New Testament" (Stanley Porter)--An Attempted Summary

I will keep adding to this review and editing until I feel that it's enough (satis est).

Stanley E. Porter. How We Got the New Testament: Text, Transmission, Translation (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2013).

This publication by Porter is part of the Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology and produced in cooperation with the Hayward Lectureship. As the title implies, Porter deals with textual, critical, and canonical issues throughout the book with the principal focus being on the New Testament and how it was transmitted to us.

Porter discusses textual criticism, Bart Ehrman, eclecticism, Greek manuscripts, codexes, miniscules, lectionaries and translation issues. Believe it or not, the book is relatively short at 240 pages--in today's world of academia, that is short, but Porter covers quite a bit of ground in these pages and his erudition shines through brilliantly.

I will briefly review some highlights of the publication, but the main question which Porter seeks to address is how did we get the New Testament. Furthermore, what is its origin? While admitting that many have already sought to answer this query, the publication nevertheless strikes out again to shed fresh light on the subject. The terrain is a familiar one for Porter, yet does he offer anything new?

How We Got the New Testament attempts to provide some justification for the book (its responding to critics like the Jesus Seminar, Tom Harpur, and presumably, Bart Ehrman) and Porter supplies the background reasons for his work all while pointing readers to works for further reading that he could not interact with in this publication. He seems at pains to justify the
raison d'être of the book and it's possible that he spends more time than necessary anguishing about yet another contribution to the canon and transmission debate of the New Testament, but I'm inclined to let his introductory comments slide. In the midst of his justification, he tries to disambiguate the general thesis of this book, namely, what do we mean by "the New Testament"? Part of the book is spent answering this question and related queries.

Porter starts his discussion in earnest with the story of John Brown from Haddington, Scotland: Brown acquired a Greek New Testament by reading a passage to a professor of Greek, Francis Pringle. The story could have been better connected to what follows, but the book moves from John Brown, his love for the GNT and accomplishments, to A.T. Robertson's view of the Greek New Testament. At this point, Porter begins to answer questions about the content of the GNT and what the goals of textual criticism allegedly are. He insists that "The traditional opinion of the purpose of textual criticism of the Greek New Testament is, ideally, to find the original autograph that the author wrote. Failing that, the purpose is to work back through the manuscript evidence to arrive at the earliest form of the text and then, through principles of textual criticism, to posit or reconstruct what the original text must have been."

The book then proceeds to survey writers or scholars, who explicitly state that the aims of textual criticism are to retrieve and discover the original biblical text: the names range from Erasmus, Tregelles, Westcott and Hort to Eberhard Nestle. The focus in this part of Porter's work is on nineteenth-century scholars; however, not much changes in the twentieth century with Frederic Kenyon, Alexander Souter, Kirsopp Lake, Harold Greenlee, Bruce Metzger, and the Alands. J.K. Elliott and Ian Moir (two contemporary textual critics) are added to this list. Porter then considers recent proposals in the field of textual criticism as he briefly discusses examples of texts that were possibly altered due to theological or social settings. In the midst of this discussion, an interesting quote appears from E.C. Colwell: "Ernest Cadman Colwell went so far as to claim, 'In the manuscripts of the New Testament most variations . . . were made deliberately,' and he believed that it was for doctrinal reasons that most changes were introduced." Porter posits another reason for the changes: they were largely accidental.

Some verses that textual critics like to analyze include John 5:3-4; Acts 8:37; 1 Timothy 3:16 and 1 John 5:7-8 (the Johannine Comma). Porter simply mentions these verses in passing before moving on to Bart Ehrman's The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture. Ehrman attributes various scriptural "corruptions" to four primary theological controversies (anti-adoptionist, anti-separationist, anti-docetic, and anti-patripassionist views), but Porter criticizes his treatment of Luke 3:22 where Ehrman prefers the reading, "You are my son, today I have begotten you." But the lectio appears to be later than the variant, "You are my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." Porter concludes that Ehrman's treatment is potentially misleading and apparently inadequate.

On the other hand, regarding 1 John 4:3, Ehrman opts for the reading, "does not confess" rather than "looses/separates." Porter notes that "loose/separate" is certainly not the original reading--it was probably developed as a result of anti-docetic controversies and the reading is late. On the other hand, it seems more difficult to ascertain why this particular change was made. Regardless of why certain alterations were made to the GNT, Porter maintains that 80-90% of the text is "unquestionably established" based on the extant manuscripts: there is no good reason to believe that the GNT as a whole is unstable or fluid.

Porter relates how the GNT came to be published after the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the advent of the printing press. Despite some formidable impediments, the first GNT was printed in 1514 CE: this was sixty years after the advent of movable-type printing. This GNT was part of the famed Complutensian Polyglot and because papal approval for the project was required, this GNT was neither distributed nor published until 1522 CE. While the underlying text behind the Polyglot Greek text is less than certain, Porter says it probably utilized Vatican MSS that reflected the Byzantine textual tradition.

How We Got the New Testament continues with the story of Erasmus, the Dutch humanist and translator. We learn that his GNT was riddled with errors, both typographical and in terms of the Greek that Erasmus employed for his GNT: Greek not found in any other MS. He had good intentions since he wanted even the common person to read the Bible, but his edition is full of mistakes.

Porter tells a story I've read elsewhere concerning Erasmus: he was accused of leaving out the Johannine Comma from his GNT, that is, 1 John 5:7-8. Erasmus evidently replied that he found no textual evidence for the famed Trinitarian affirmation and that included Codex Vaticanus (03 B). However, Erasmus promised to include the Comma in his edition of the GNT if just one single MS could be brought forth with the words, "
the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth.” Likely to Erasmus' dismay, a MS now called Gregory 61 was produced, and it contained the Johannine Comma. The spurious text thus made its way into the Erasmian text and later, the KJV. Yet the Dutch humanist questioned the authenticity of the lectio: Porter thinks he was wise to doubt the reading because it is spurious:

Metzger notes that this passage has been found only in three other manuscripts: Gregory 88 (twelfth century), in which it is written marginally in a seventeenth-century hand; Tischendorf ω 110 (sixteenth-century copy of the Greek text of the Complutensian Polyglot); and Gregory 629 (fourteenth century or later). The so-called Johannine Comma does appear in the Latin treatise Liber apologeticus (fourth century), attributed to Priscillian or Instantius. The Johannine Comma appears for the first time in Latin Vulgate manuscripts around AD 800.

After discussing the Johannine Comma, Porter then reviews developments that occurred after various editions of Erasmus' GNT were published. We then learn about the Textus Receptus, a theologian named John Mill, Johann Bengel, Johann Semler, Johann Griesbach, Karl Lachmann, Constantin Tischendorf, Westcott-Hort and others who played a large role in supplying us with the present GNT.

Porter moves forward in time to the twentieth century as he reviews developments like the
International Greek New Testament Project (1948), the Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung which introduced the Editio Critica Maior in 1969. Michael Holmes makes an appearance in the discussion, and Porter is less than thrilled with his methodology concerning the SBLGNT. Regarding that project, the book states: "This may not be the best way forward in textual criticism of the Greek New Testament." The prior comments Porter makes about Holmes sting even more.

I will end this summary by noting that Porter explains the difference between the Textus Receptus, the Majority text and the Byzantine text. This discussion eventually leads him to answer the question, which edition of the Greek text should we study?

This summary has only dealt with a portion of Porter's book: I've read the entire work and think it's worthwhile, helpful, and written well like many of his books.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

How Greek Present Participles Work

Smyth's Grammar: 1872. Participle (not in indirect discourse).—The participle, as a verbal adjective, is timeless. The tenses of the participle express only continuance, simple occurrence, and completion with permanent result. Whether the action expressed by the participle is antecedent, coincident, or subsequent to that of the leading verb (in any tense) depends on the context. The future participle has a temporal force only because its voluntative force points to the future.

a. Present (continuative). The action set forth by the present participle is generally coincident (rarely antecedent or subsequent) to that of the leading verb: ““ἐργαζόμεναι μὲν ἠρίστων, ἐργασάμεναι δὲ ἐδείπνουνthe women took their noonday meal while they continued their work, but took their supper when they had stopped workX. M. 2.7.12.

Margaret Sim (Thesis):
"It is widely recognised in the traditional grammars that participles in Greek (classical or koine) are not morphologically marked to indicate their logical relation to the main verb of a sentence.42 Only the context can determine what such a logical relationship might be, that is whether or not it is concessive,43 conditional,44 causal45 etc., or even combinations of these. Temporal and causal relations in particular frequently cooccur. Further the temporal relation of such participles to the main verb is regularly derived by inference rather than the tense of the participle. Certainly present participles are usually contemporaneous with the main verb, although examples where this is not strictly chronological may be found."

Basil L. Gildersleeve (Syntax of Classical Greek):
329. Participle as a verbal adjective

"The participle as a verbal adjective is chiefly used in the present, aorist, and perfect tenses. The temporal relation is that of the kind of time.1 The sphere of time depends on the context."

Ken Schenck:

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Hebrews 1:3-Critique of Coetsee Article

There is an interesting article at

The article is written by Albert J. Coetsee and entitled, "By His Word"? Creation, Preservation and Consummation in the book of Hebrews.

I found the original research of Coetsee to be helpful, but there is one section I'd like to critique. He writes:

The main sentence of 1:3-4 is ἐκάθισεν ἐν δεξιᾷ τῆς μεγαλωσύνης ἐν ὑψηλοῖς, with the aorist indicative ἐκάθισεν indicating an act in the past. This main clause is preceded by three clauses: the first (ὃς ὢν ἀπαύγασμα τῆς δόξης καὶ χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως αὐτοῦ) and second clause (φέρων τε τὰ πάντα τῷ ῥήματι τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ) are joined by the conjunction τε, indicating the close relationship between them.9 In near hymnal fashion,10 these two phrases describe the eternity of the Son, specifically his eternal status and his eternal activity. Consequently, both present participles (ὢν and φέρων) indicate timeless actions (cf. Ellingworth 1993:98; Mackie 2008:446).11 The aorist participium (ποιησάμενος) of the third clause (καθαρισμὸν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ποιησάμενος) indicates a once-off, prior action.

My remarks: This section of his paper is supposed to be a "syntactical analysis," which in large part, it is. Yet when Coetsee extracts the Son's "eternity," "eternal status," and "eternal activity" from ὃς ὢν ἀπαύγασμα τῆς δόξης καὶ χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως αὐτοῦ and φέρων τε τὰ πάντα τῷ ῥήματι τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ, he has shifted from syntactical analysis to theological commentary. While the field of NT studies will probably never move away from these kinds of analyses, I just think too much is being asked of debatable terms and Greek parts of speech when someone makes such affirmations on the basis of terms that could mean "reflection, radiation, gleam, out-raying" or "exact representation/reproduction" in the case of χαρακτὴρ. Even taking the entire nominal phrases into consideration does not necessarily yield the datum that the Son is eternal and doing an eternal activity. But Trinitarians, for the most part, will be Trinitarians.

My second critique is when Coetsee claims that
ὢν and φέρων suggest "timeless actions." I would like to research this point further, but I'm fairly certain that "timeless action" is a dubious way to explain these present participles, even in this context: this is not a grammatical observation far as I can tell but a theological one. Finally, Greek grammarians and scholars have long pointed out that aorist forms (including the aorist participium) may indicate prior actions, but they do not inherently portray once-off actions: the aorist is the default tense (form) and it depicts action as a whole, not just once-off action. Any punctiliar action must be extracted from the marked features of a verb (i.e., from its context of utterance); without the markedness, there is no punctiliarity.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Sirach 19:13-20 in Greek

Ελεγξον φίλον, μήποτε οὐκ ἐποίησε, καὶ εἴ τι ἐποίησε, μήποτε προσθῇ. 14 ἔλεγξον τὸν πλησίον, μήποτε οὐκ εἶπε, καὶ εἰ εἴρηκεν, ἵνα μὴ δευτερώσῃ. 15 ἔλεγξον φίλον, πολλάκις γὰρ γίνεται διαβολή, καὶ μὴ παντὶ λόγῳ πίστευε. 16 ἔστιν ὀλισθαίνων καὶ οὐκ ἀπὸ ψυχῆς, καὶ τίς οὐχ ἡμάρτησεν ἐν τῇ γλώσσῃ αὐτοῦ; 17 ἔλεγξον τὸν πλησίον σου πρὶν ἢ ἀπειλῆσαι, καὶ δὸς τόπον νόμῳ ῾Υψίστου. [γινόμενος ἄμηνις. 18 φόβος Κυρίου ἀρχὴ προσλήψεως, σοφία δὲ παρ’ αὐτοῦ ἀγάπησιν περιποιεῖ. 19 γνῶσις ἐντολῶν Κυρίου παιδεία ζωῆς, οἱ δὲ ποιοῦντες τὰ ἀρεστὰ αὐτῷ ἀθανασίας δένδρον καρποῦνται]. 20 Πᾶσα σοφία φόβος Κυρίου, καὶ ἐν πάσῃ σοφίᾳ ποίησις νόμου· [καὶ γνῶσις τῆς παντοδυναμίας αὐτοῦ.

I looked into these verses when doing research on Hebrews 1:3.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Glory of Jehovah in Leviticus 9:23-24 (In Progress)

A common theme in Exodus and Ezekiel is "the glory of YHWH (Jehovah)," but we witness this phenomenon in Leviticus too; for instance, we read about the glory of YHWH in Leviticus 9:5-6; however, for this entry, I will discuss 9:23-24 in the Hebrew (MT) and LXX:

"And Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting, and when they came out they blessed the people, and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the pieces of fat on the altar, and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces." (ESV)

"Finally Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting and came out and blessed the people. Jehovah’s glory now appeared to all the people,  and fire came out from Jehovah and began consuming the burnt offering and the pieces of fat on the altar. When all the people saw it, they started shouting and they fell with their faces to the ground" (NWT 2013).

When discussing Hebrews 1:3, B.F. Westcott defines the glory of God as "the full manifestation" of divine attributes insofar as humans can apprehend them, and these attributes include God's goodness (Westcott, Epistle to the Hebrews, page 11). See Exodus 24:16-17; 33:19-20; 40:34; Deuteronomy 5:24; Ezekiel 43:2. However, a close study of Exodus and Leviticus suggest that the "glory of YHWH" (Jehovah) must be ascertained from its contextual use because the utterance does not mean the same thing every time it occurs. Therefore, what is "Jehovah's glory" in Leviticus 9:23-24?

וַיָּבֹ֨א מֹשֶׁ֤ה וְאַהֲרֹן֙ אֶל־אֹ֣הֶל מֹועֵ֔ד וַיֵּ֣צְא֔וּ וַֽיְבָרֲכ֖וּ אֶת־הָעָ֑ם וַיֵּרָ֥א כְבֹוד־יְהוָ֖ה אֶל־כָּל־הָעָֽם׃

וַתֵּ֤צֵא אֵשׁ֙ מִלִּפְנֵ֣י יְהוָ֔ה וַתֹּ֙אכַל֙ עַל־הַמִּזְבֵּ֔חַ אֶת־הָעֹלָ֖ה וְאֶת־הַחֲלָבִ֑ים וַיַּ֤רְא כָּל־הָעָם֙ וַיָּרֹ֔נּוּ וַֽיִּפְּל֖וּ עַל־פְּנֵיהֶֽם׃

The Hebrew text above is from the Leningrad Codex.

καὶ εἰσῆλθεν Μωυσῆς καὶ Ααρων εἰς τὴν σκηνὴν τοῦ μαρτυρίου καὶ ἐξελθόντες εὐλόγησαν πάντα τὸν λαόν καὶ ὤφθη δόξα κυρίου παντὶ τῷ λαῷ καὶ ἐξῆλθεν πῦρ παρὰ κυρίου καὶ κατέφαγεν τὰ ἐπὶ τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου τά τε ὁλοκαυτώματα καὶ τὰ στέατα καὶ εἶδεν πᾶς λαὸς καὶ ἐξέστη καὶ ἔπεσαν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον.

"And Moses and Aaron entered into the tabernacle of witness. And they came out and blessed all the people, and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. And fire came forth from the Lord, and devoured the offerings on the altar, both the whole-burnt-offerings and the fat; and all the people saw, and were amazed, and fell upon their faces."

Targum Onkelos: "And Mosheh and Aharon entered the tabernacle of ordinance, and came forth and blessed the people; and the glory of the Lord was revealed unto all the people: And fire came forth from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt sacrifice and the fats: and all the people saw, and gave praise, and fell upon their faces"

Compare 1 Kings 8:10-12; 2 Chronicles 7:1-2.

One commentator proffers these remarks (John E. Hartley, Leviticus, page 124):

It is striking that on leaving the Tent of Meeting Moses and Aaron bless the people again. Having been in the presence of God, they themselves have been blessed. Overflowing with the joy of this blessing, they share their abundance by again blessing the people who have been anxiously awaiting their coming out of the Tent of Meeting. Then the glory of Yahweh appears to all the people. While the nature of Yahweh's manifestation of his presence is not stated, it was most likely in the cloud as on other occasions in the wilderness journey (Exod 24:16). It was this glory that filled the tabernacle after Moses had erected it (Exod 40:34) . Fire comes from the glory and consumes all the sacrifices. Earlier Aaron had begun to burn these sacrifices; now the divine fire quickly consumes the pieces of meat and fat slowly smoldering on the altar. Snaith (57) , however, reconstructs the scene differently. In his view Aaron had burned his own offering and then prepared the people's sacrifices, but had not yet burned them. The divine fire comes and devours these first public offerings. With this manifestation Yahweh dramatically accepts the sacrifices offered at the new sanctuary. This appearance of Yahweh also corresponds to his appearance at the dedication of the Temple by Solomon (2 Chr 7: 1; cf. 1 Chr 21 :26; 1 Kgs 18:38).

G.J. Wenham (Book of Leviticus): "The glory of the Lord is God's visible presence among his people. It is described in Exod. 24:16-17: 'The glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai and the cloud covered it six days. ... Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain.' 'The glory of the Lord' seems to be an alternative way of describing the pillar of cloud and fire that regularly accompanied Israel through her pilgrimage in the wilderness (Num. 14:l0ff.). It appeared on Mount Sinai, at the completion of the tabernacle, and at other great historic occasions. But God's glory was not always present in the tabernacle, absenting itself from time to time (Exod. 40:34ff.). The return of God in his glory was always something to be looked for. There was a recognition that if God was not present in the tabernacle then all worship there was meaningless. These sacrifices are designed to make fellowship between God and man possible again."

More than one commentator has pointed out the similar statements contained in Leviticus 9:24 and 10:2 with the former being beneficial and holy but the second mention of fire being harmful/destructive and serving as a response to irreverence. The first has equally been connected with Jehovah's glory and his being a "devouring fire." Of course, another nexus is the Shekinah light, shining above the sacred Ark of the covenant.

Out of the many sources I consulted, one of the most helpful works is by Mark Rooker: his Leviticus commentary in the NAC series but I'm still digging into this issue.

Sources for This Entry:

John E. Hartley. Leviticus. Word Biblical Commentary 4 (​Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1992).

Gordon J. Wenham. The Book of Leviticus. (Grand Rapids, MI: W. B. Eerdmans, 1979).

Saturday, June 19, 2021

How To Pronounce Ecclesiastical Latin (Screenshot from A Latin Primer)


Image is from A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin by John F. Collins, page 1.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Daniel 2:35 and Ru-ha

I enjoy listening to some of the YouTube podcasts by Ken Schenck. He has a project where he's trying to read the Bible in 10 years; here lately, he's been discussing Daniel 2 and I thought one point from Daniel 2:35 was interesting:

"Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth" (ESV).

The passage speaks of "the wind" carrying away fragments of what were formerly emblematic metals, representative of goverments (world powers): Daniel uses the word ruah in this verse. While the word is ambiguous throughout scripture, it seems to denote "wind" here as its Hebrew counterpart does in other parts of the Tanakh (Genesis 8:1; Exodus 10:19; Isaiah 32:2).

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Black Holes and Time (Tempus)-Open for Correction

Discussing black holes does not require that one be fully conversant with the various features of physics: it is simply a matter regarding gravity and the space-time continuum. Let us assume that the gravitational field of a black hole severely warps space-time; imagine being at the event horizon of a black hole where space-time is warped to the point that time slows down. We know that time slowing down at the edge of a black hole is a real possibility in view of a black hole's gravitational field. Now imagine that the gravity of a black hole's edge becomes so strong that time slows down enough to actually "flow" backwards. Although time may never flow backwards in the real world (causal possibility), the reversal of time is a logical possibility considering what we currently know about the universe. This thought experiment (Gedanke) strikes at the heart of what time is and how it relates to God.

I accept a distinction between uncreated infinite time and created finite space-time. I cannot explain how uncreated time apparently works, but I do not limit uncreated time to God's individual thoughts. I would say that God probably has always experienced successive temporal states in his very being. However, I don't believe that anyone has worked out this belief in toto. Stephen T. Davis suggests that there are at least three ways to understand God's sempiternity. One way is to understand time as "an eternal aspect of God's nature rather than a reality independent of God" (Logic and the Nature of God, 23): the past, present and future would then be real to God or meaningfully applied to him. Another less likely possibility which Davis entertains is that time has always existed, yet only became measurable when God created the material universe with its sun, moon and other celestial bodies. This idea evidently occurs in John of Damascus.

In one internet article, we read:

"It has also been argued that the notion of atemporal duration, that Stump and Kretzmann hold to be required by the timeless view, is at bottom incoherent. Paul Fitzgerald (1985) has argued that for there to be duration in the life of God, it must be the case that two or more of God's thoughts, for example, will have either the same or different amounts of duration. Different thoughts in God's mind can be individuated by their respective lengths of duration or at least by their locations within the duration. Fitzgerald argues that if a timeless duration does not have these analogues with temporal or spatial duration, it is hard to think of it as a case of bona fide duration. On the other hand, if the duration in God's life has this sort of duration, it is difficult to see that it is not simply one more case of temporal duration."

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Revelation 2:26 (Analysis of Lexicality and Syntax)

In this blog entry, my main concerns are what each word means in this context (lexical semantics) and how each word relates to the other words in the verse (syntax). Many commentators point to the different structure that Revelation 2:26 has, when compared with similar utterances in Revelation.

Revelation 2:26-Greek (SBLGNT): καὶ ὁ νικῶν καὶ ὁ τηρῶν ἄχρι τέλους τὰ ἔργα μου, δώσω αὐτῷ ἐξουσίαν ἐπὶ τῶν ἐθνῶν

καὶ-a conjunction meaning "and." καὶ may function paratactically or hypotactically (uniting parallel clauses or subordininating one clause to another).

ὁ νικῶν-"the one who conquers" or "the one who is conquering/overcoming." Zerwick-Grosvenor classifies this construction (with article + present active participle) as a pendent nominative or nominativus pendens (page 747): the construction also functions substantivally. Buist Fanning describes the nominativus pendens as "a type of anacoluthon" since ὁ νικῶν occurs in the nominative case, but the nominal construction is not maintained by John because he subsequently uses the datival pronominal
αὐτῷ. Among other sources, Fanning cites BDF section 466.4. (See Fanning, Revelation, page 155). Compare the discussion in Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, pages 49-53: he cites Revelation 3:12 to illustrate how the nominativus pendens works. Compare Revelation 3:21.

καὶ-"and" or "even." It possibly explains what follows, ὁ τηρῶν . . .

How does ὁ τηρῶν function in this verse? We could translate ὁ τηρῶν: "the one who keeps" or "the one who observes." R.H. Charles proffers that ὁ νικῶν καὶ ὁ τηρῶν are conceptually equal due to articular repetition by John. Charles suggests understanding the construction thus: "he that overcometh--even he that keepeth," and he's certainly correct that the conqueror is the one who keeps Christ's works and vice versa (Charles, Revelation, 1:74). R.L. Thomas thinks the article in Revelation 2:26 might show that the one who conquers is identical with the one who keeps Christ's works (Thomas, Revelation 1-7, page 232): he seems more positive about the identification than he does regarding the article proving the identity of the two grammatical constructs.

ἄχρι τέλους-a possible translation is "until the end"; G.K. Beale explains: "They will receive such rule with him at the 'end' (τέλος) of their lives, when it is evident finally that they have 'kept Christ’s works.' The 'end' could be Christ’s final coming, but it may include the 'end' of their Christian existence, which encompasses but is not exhausted by reference to martyrdom (for discussion of these alternatives see above on 1:7; 2:5, 10–11)."

ἄχρι τέλους likewise constitutes an improper preposition paired with the genitive: see Revelation 2:10 and it functions adverbially. τὰ ἔργα μου-"my works" (said by the resurrected Christ Jesus); R.L. Thomas reckons that μου is a genitive of possession (i.e., the works belong to Christ/they are his). See Thomas, op. cit.

δώσω αὐτῷ-"I will give him"; δώσω is future indicative active first person singular of δίδωμι and αὐτῷ is dative singular masculine third person of αὐτός; the pronominal αὐτῷ constitutes the indirect object of δώσω.

ἐξουσίαν ἐπὶ τῶν ἐθνῶν-"authority over the nations"; ἐξουσίαν is accusative feminine singular of ἐξουσία and it's the direct object of δώσω. ἐπὶ occurs with a genitive construct within the context of authority and occurs as part of a prepositional phrase:  ἐπὶ is best rendered "over" in this context (compare Revelation 5:9-10; 6:8; 9:11;11:6; 14:18).


Biblical Examples of Faithful Theists Who Endured Sickness

Job had sickness brought upon him by the Devil as a test and a Christian named Epaphroditus likewise faced serious illness:

“Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow” (Philippians 2: 27).

Yet another example of a faithful servant of God suffering illness was Timothy: "Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses" (1 Timothy 5:23 NIV).

King David also penned these words: "The Lord sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness" (Psalm 41:3 NIV).

"Jehovah supporteth on a couch of sickness, All his bed Thou hast turned in his weakness" (YLT).

Other translations suggest this is something Jehovah will do, but either way, the psalm indicates that a servant of God can get sick--even if he/she is faithful.

James 5:14-15 apparently deals with spiritual sickness rather than physical illness. It's also possible that Paul's "thorn in the flesh" (2 Corinthians 12:7-12) could have been some type of illness.

While some people did experience healing in the Bible, the book of Revelation teaches that genuine and permanent healing will only happen when this evil age is a thing of the past. Please read Revelation 21:1-4 and Revelation 22:1-5.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Latest Acquisitions (6/12/2021)

Out of all these books, I've read three and part of the work by Barr: not that crazy about Gunkel. I just began reading the Lord's Supper study.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Hebrews 1:3 (Latin Vulgate)-Comments and Parsing-In Progress

Hebrews 1:3 (Latin Vulgate): qui cum sit splendor gloriae et figura substantiae eius portansque omnia verbo virtutis suae purgationem peccatorum faciens sedit ad dexteram Maiestatis in excelsis


Comments and Parsing: qui can function as an adjective or pronoun, but here it is a relative pronoun that could be rendered "who": the morphology is masculine nominative singular. The cum clause occurs with the verb sit (third person singular of the present subjunctive active); translate "being." According to Allen and Greenough:
"From defining the time the cum clause passed over to the description of the time by means of its attendant circumstances of cause or concession (cf. since, while)." See sections 544, 549.

Next comes a singular genitive phrase: "splendor gloriae" (construe with eius); splendor could be glossed as "brightness, luster or splendor" or it possibly could be rendered "brilliance." Gloriae (first declension) is feminine genitive singular ("of glory") and should likewise be construed with eius.

et figura substantiae eius-In this context, figura could be translated "shape, form, figure or image." Substantiae is feminine genitive singular (a first declension noun); render as "substance, nature" or "essence." The pronoun eius is masculine genitive singular of is (ea, id): translate "his."

portansque omnia verbo virtutis suae-the first word is a present participle singular masculine nominative of porto and it has the enclitic -que ("and"); the verb porto can signify "to bear, carry, bring" but it means "uphold" or "sustain" here.

Omnia-an adjective that is neuter accusative plural of omnis (all, every); verbo is neuter ablative singular of verbum ("word").
Virtutis is masculine genitive singular of virtus which can mean "power, strength, vigor," depending on the context. Suae is an adjective that is feminine genitive singular of suus ("of oneself, his own").

purgationem peccatorum faciens
-this portion of the verse begins with a  feminine accusative
singular of purgatio ("a cleansing, purging"); peccatorum is neuter genitive plural of peccatum, a word that denotes sin, transgression, error, guilt. Faciens is a present participle masculine nominative singular of facio: "make, do, act."

B.F. Westcott argues that the Latin Vulgate "fails to give the sense" of Hebrews 1:3 in Greek due to the "defectiveness" of Latin participles (page 15); on the other hand, the Old Latin (Vetus Latina) leaves the thought indefinite by using purificatione (purgatione) peccatorum facta.

sedit ad dexteram Maiestatis in excelsis-the verb is third person singular perfect active indicative of sedeo ("I sit, am seated"): translate "sat." Ad dexteram

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Hebrews 1:3 and Greek Texts

 In this post, I simply want to compare how different Greek texts handle Hebrews 1:3:

Westcott-Hort: ὃς ὢν ἀπαύγασμα τῆς δόξης καὶ χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως αὐτοῦ, φέρων τε τὰ πάντα τῷ ῥήματι τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ, καθαρισμὸν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ποιησάμενος ἐκάθισεν ἐν δεξιᾷ τῆς μεγαλωσύνης ἐν ὑψηλοῖς,

ὃς ὢν ἀπαύγασμα τῆς δόξης καὶ χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως αὐτοῦ, φέρων τε τὰ πάντα τῷ ῥήματι τῆς δυνάμεως, [a]δι᾽ αὑτοῦ καθαρισμὸν [b]τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ποιησάμενος ἐκάθισεν ἐν δεξιᾷ τῆς μεγαλωσύνης ἐν ὑψηλοῖς,


  1. ΠΡΟΣ ΕΒΡΑΙΟΥΣ 1:3 δι᾽ αὑτοῦ Holmes ] αὐτοῦ WH Treg NIV; αὐτοῦ δι᾽ ἑαυτοῦ RP
  2. ΠΡΟΣ ΕΒΡΑΙΟΥΣ 1:3 τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ποιησάμενος WH Treg NIV ] ποιησάμενος τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ἡμῶν RP

THGNT: ὃς ὢν ἀπαύγασμα τῆς δόξης καὶ χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως αὐτοῦ, φέρων τε τὰ πάντα τῷ ῥήματι τῆς δυνάμεως [a]αὐτοῦ, καθαρισμὸν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ποιησάμενος ἐκάθισεν ἐν δεξιᾷ τῆς μεγαλωσύνης ἐν ὑψηλοῖς


  1. ΠΡΟΣ ΕΒΡΑΙΟΥΣ 1:3 αὐτοῦ‌2 א A B D1 P Ψ; ♦ αυτου δι εαυτου D*(αυτου for εαυτου) D2 K L 69 1424; δι αυτου P46

NA28: ὃς ὢν ἀπαύγασμα τῆς δόξης καὶ χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως αὐτοῦ,

φέρων τε τὰ πάντα τῷ ῥήματι τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ,
καθαρισμὸν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ποιησάμενος
ἐκάθισεν ἐν δεξιᾷ τῆς μεγαλωσύνης ἐν ὑψηλοῖς,

UBS5: ὃς ὢν ἀπαύγασμα τῆς δόξης καὶ χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως αὐτοῦ, φέρων τε τὰ πάντα τῷ ῥήματι τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ, καθαρισμὸν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ποιησάμενος ἐκάθισεν ἐν δεξιᾷ τῆς μεγαλωσύνης ἐν ὑψηλοῖς,

Byzantine Majority Text 2005:
ὃς ὢν ἀπαύγασμα τῆς δόξης καὶ χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως αὐτοῦ, φέρων τε τὰ πάντα τῷ ῥήματι τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ, δι’ ἑαυτοῦ καθαρισμὸν ποιησάμενος τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ἡμῶν, ἐκάθισεν ἐν δεξιᾷ τῆς μεγαλωσύνης ἐν ὑψηλοῖς,

Codex Vaticanus contains the reading:
φανερων τε τα παντα τω ρηματι της δυναμεως αυτου

Dana Harris (Hebrews) writes: "The gradual loss of the mid. in BGk. likely explains the var. rdgs. (δι᾽ ἑαυτοῦ in D² Hc K L 0243 and numerous minuscules or δι᾽ αὐτοῦ in 𝔓⁴⁶ D* and a few other mss.), which appear to clarify that Jesus made purification 'through himself'' for us (e.g., ἡμῶν in א² D¹ and numerous early mss.). In these variants, the shorter rdg. is better attested and best explains the variant rdgs. (see Metzger 592; Ellingworth 101)"

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Some Variants for Revelation 2:9: STEP Bible Apparatus Criticus

 τῆς] Byz ς τῷ] WH

ἐν Σμύρνῃ ἐκκλησίας] Byz WH ἐκκλησίας Σμυρναίων] ς

τὴν θλῖψιν] WH NR CEI Riv TILC Nv NM
τὰ ἔργα καὶ τὴν θλῖψιν] Byz ς ND Dio

For more variants, see|reference=Rev.2

Ralph Earle writes: Erga is not found in the better Greek manscripts (with the exception of Aleph in verse 9 but not in verse 13) and so is not included in good versions. It seems like a scribal echo of verse 2" (Word Meanings, page 459).