Sunday, October 24, 2021

BDAG ἀναδείκνυμι

From BDAG Greek-English Lexicon:

fut. ἀναδείξω LXX; 1 aor. ἀνέδειξα; pf. ἀναδέδειχα LXX. Pass.: fut. ἀναδειχθήσομαι; 1 aor. ἀνεδείχθην; perf. ptc. ἀναδεδειγμένος (all these pass. LXX) (Soph., Hdt. et al.; ins, LXX; TestJos 2:7; Philo, Sacr. Abel. 35; Joseph., Tat.) ‘show forth’.

to make someth. known by clear indication, show clearly, reveal someth. hidden (cp. IAndrosIsis, Ios 19 Peek p. 123; 2 Macc 2:8; SibOr 3, 15) τινά Ac 1:24; πῶς Ox 1081, 31f (SJCh 90, 70f). W. ἐν exhibit, display someth. in someth. ἱνα δικαιοσύνης ναὸν ἐν τῷ τοίῳ σώματι ἀναδείξῃ so as to display the temple of uprightness in that selfsame body AcPlCor 2:17.
to assign to a task or position, appoint, commission (freq. as administrative term [s. next entry]; Polyb. 4, 48, 3; 4, 51, 3; Diod S 1, 66, 1; 13, 98, 1; Plut., Caes. 725 [37, 2]; OGI 625, 7; PErl 18, 19; Da 1:11, 20; 1 Esdr 8:23; 2 Macc 9:23, 25 al.; Jos., Ant. 14, 280; 20, 227; Tat. 7, 2 θεόν as God) ἀνέδειξεν (ἐνέδ. P75) ὁ κύριος ἑτέρους ἑβδομήκοντα Lk 10:1.—EPeterson, Deissmann Festschr. 1927, 320–26.—M-M. TW.

My observations:

 ἀναδείκνυμι occurs only twice in the GNT, that's hardly enough evidence to make a firm decision on its potential relevance to Christology.

2) If you'll notice, each occurrence apparently has a different sense, one from the other. How it's used in Luke is not how the word is employed in Acts. 

3) Let's say that Luke uses ἀναδείκνυμι to delineate Jesus' activity in his Synoptic Gospel. Does that mean he couldn't apply the word to the Father in Acts 1:24? That would be like saying that because God loves humankind and Jesus loves humankind, therefore Jesus must be God. Yet performing the same action does not necessarily place two entities on level footing as shown by the fact that Gabriel could love humankind too; however, that would not make Gabriel ontologically equal to Jehovah. 

4) Jesus is clearly not the referent of Acts 15:8, but God is. It makes better sense to apply Acts 1:24 to the one clearly described as the knower of hearts by Luke. Moreover, see the prayer in Acts 4:24-31. The Father is addressed as "Sovereign Lord."

Friday, October 22, 2021

Outlining the Trinity Doctrine

Generally speaking, the claims of the Trinity doctrine are:

Version A.
1. The Father is God.
2. The Son is God.
3. The Holy Spirit is God.
4. There are three divine Persons.
5. Each divine Person is distinct from the other Persons.
6. There are not three gods, but only one God.

Another way to frame the Trinity doctrine is to say:

Version B.
1. God is YHWH (Jehovah) the Father.
2. God is YHWH (Jehovah) the Son.
3. God is YHWH (Jehovah) the Holy Spirit.
4. There are three divine Persons.
5. Each divine Person is distinct from the other Persons.
6. There are not three YHWHs (Jehovahs), but only one YHWH (Jehovah).

Are these claims contradictory? What do you think? Have I framed them correctly? Finally, does the Bible teach either one of these concepts (version A or version B)?

Anyone replying to this post needs to stick with the point of this thread or comments will not be accepted. Let's stick with the subject matter, please.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Acts 1:24 (Comments from Scholars)

I. Howard Marshall (Acts in Tyndale NT Series): The real choice, however, was left to the Lord, since apostleship is not a humanly ordained office. The assembly, therefore, prayed that he would exercise his choice in virtue of his knowledge of men’s hearts (cf. 15: 8 and especially 1 Sam. 16: 7). It is not clear whether God the Father or Jesus is addressed in the prayer, but in view of the fact that in 1: 2 the same verb is used of Jesus choosing the apostles, it is more probable that he is addressed here.

F.F. Bruce (NICNT): The prayer is couched in dignified language, with liturgical echoes.⁸⁰ The question whether the “Lord” to whom it is addressed is God the Father or the Lord Jesus is probably settled by the fact that the same verb is used in verse 24 (“thou hast chosen”) as in verse 2 (“the apostles whom he [Jesus] had chosen”).⁸¹ The same Lord who had chosen the apostles at the beginning of his ministry would choose this replacement for Judas.

D. Bock (BECNT): The choice is left to prayer and God. The prayer is simply for the choice to be made by the Lord, the one who knows the “hearts of all men” (καρδιογνῶστα πάντων, kardiognōsta pantōn). God as “the knower of hearts” appears only here and in Acts 15:8 and not at all in the LXX, but it is conceptually in 1 Sam. 16:7.[15] God is to reveal his choice (ἐξελέξω, exelexō). This verb for “select” appears twenty-two times in the NT with eleven occurrences in Luke-Acts: Luke 6:13; 9:35; 10:42; 14:7; Acts 1:2, 24; 6:5; 13:17; 15:7, 22, 25. Here is a good case where the aorist participle and the aorist verb are contemporaneous, as the praying and speaking occur together (BDF §339.1). The casting of lots will make the Lord’s choice clear. Who is the Lord referred to here? Is the Father meant or the Lord Jesus? Barrett (1994: 103) and Marshall (1980: 66) believe the latter, pointing to verse 2, where Jesus is the selector of the apostles, as well as to Luke 6:13; John 6:70; 13:18; 15:16, 19. Jesus is also addressed as Lord in Acts 1:21. The answer is less than clear. Usually, however, the Father performs the action, and Jesus mediates in Acts. In addition, the Father knows hearts in Acts 15, so the Father is probably the actor here (Conzelmann 1987: 12; parabolically, Luke 16:15; Rom. 8:27; 1 Thess. 2:4; Weiser 1981:71).

A.T. Robertson (Word Picture NT):

Show us the one whom thou hast chosen (αναδειξον ον εξελεξω). First aorist active imperative of αναδεικνυμ, to show up, make plain. First aorist middle indicative second person singular of εκλεγω, to pick out, choose, select. In this prayer they assume that God has made a choice. They only wish to know his will. They call God the

heart-searcher or heart-knower (καρδιογνωστα, vocative singular), a late word, here and Ac 15:8 only in the N.T. Modern physicians have delicate apparatus for studying the human heart.

NET Bible agrees with Bock on translating the aorist participle in Acts 1:24: see the reference in BDF. Notice that Bock departs from two of his peers, and I would like to see what Craig Keener thinks about this verse.

Eckhard J. Schnabel (ZECNT Commentary on Acts): 1:24 They prayed, “Lord, you know the hearts of all people; show us which one of these two men you have chosen” (καὶ προσευξάμενοι εἶπαν· σὺ κύριε καρδιογνῶστα πάντων ἀνάδειξον ὃν ἐξελέξω ἐκ τούτων τῶν δύο ἕνα). The assembled believers turn to God when the time has come to decide between the two candidates for the position of the twelfth apostle. Their ongoing prayers (cf. 1:14) turn to a specific decision that must be made—a decision that in this case they cannot make on their own initiative, relying on their own wisdom.
      The address “Lord” (κύριε) may refer to Jesus, described in v. 2 as the one who had chosen the apostles and called “Lord Jesus” in v. 21. More likely the believers address their prayer to God, as he is called “God, who knows the human heart” (ὁ καρδιογνώστης) in 15:8, a title that reflects the Old Testament teaching about God’s knowledge of the thoughts and motivations of the individual and about his foreknowledge. The choice of who belongs to the Twelve can be made only by God, not by the assembled believers, as the original group of the twelve disciples had been made up not of volunteers but by men selected by Jesus. Thus the believers pray that God will reveal his choice.

Richard I. Pervo (Hermeneia Commentary on Acts): The prayer has formal elements that would
become standard in the liturgical “collect”: address, ascription, and petition.
54 The petition is grounded
in the attribute “knowledge of human hearts.”
55 Does “Lord” here refer to God, as in 15:8, or to Jesus, as in v. 2? The former appears more probable.56

[Footnote] 56 So, e.g., Conzelmann, 25; and Jervell, 128; although Barrett (1:102) argues for Jesus on
the grounds that the selection of apostles is his prerogative.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Five Books I Tried to Read Over the Summer: Almost Done!

Okay, I didn't quite meet my goal, but I came close. Now I'm finishing one of them.

1. Hermann Gunkel. Elijah, Yahweh, and Baal. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2014.

To be honest, this is my least favorite book in the bunch. The work contains some insights from a notable form critic, but overall, I do not like his approach to the Elijah narratives.

2. Edward W Klink III, Darian R. Lockett. Understanding Biblical Theology: A Comparison of Theory and Practice. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Academic, 2012.

A good overview of different biblical-theological models. This book clarified the concept of biblical theology for me.

3. Panayotis Coutsoumpos. Paul and the Lord's Supper: A Socio-Historical Investigation. New York and Washington, D.C.: Peter Lang, 2005.

I enjoyed this book and it was informative; however, the work has numerous typos and they sometimes distract from the overall reading experience. The work also is a revised dissertation.

V. Philips Long. The Art of Biblical History. Foundations of Contemporary Interpretation, Volume 5. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994.

I love this book: if you're into studying how history as a discipline should be carried out, this is the book for you. One downside might be that some of the material could be dated.

Tracy Lee Simmons. Climbing Parnassus: A New Apologia for Greek and Latin. Open Road Media, 2014.

Very passionately written, but at times, inconsistent and tendentious. The book might come off elitist to most who read it, and may suffer from the current Zeitgeist in which multiculturalism and pluralism reign supreme. However, Simmons provides some interesting details about the development of the humanities in the West and the book tries to make a case for preserving and teaching Latin and Greek.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Robert A. Guelich on Mark 5:6

My experience has been that most commentators writing today, even if they're Trinitarian, don't view Mark 5:6 as an example of worship or adoration. I've posted material from the NET Bible and Ralph Earle previously, but here's another scholar who takes the position that Mark 5:6 is not an example of Jesus receiving worship:

Robert A. Guelich (WB Commentary on Mark 1-8:26): Seeing Jesus “at a distance” (καὶ ἰδὼν . . . ἀπὸ μακρόθεν), he “ran” (ἕδραμεν) and “bowed” (προσεκύνησεν) before him. This verse resumes the action of 5:2 by describing in greater detail the encounter between Jesus and the possessed man. Yet this encounter hardly sets the stage for conflict or a struggle (cf. Robinson, Problem, 83–86). The man not only takes the initiative but does so as though urgently drawn by Jesus (cf. 1:23). Certainly, his “bowing,” though most likely not an act of “devotion” (so Lohmeyer, 95), betrays his recognition and acknowledgement of Jesus as his superior (cf. 3:11). And this submissive gesture of recognition stands in stark contrast to the previous description of one totally uncontrollable (5:3–4) and accents Jesus’ power to do what none before had accomplished.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

If Jesus is Almighty God, Then Why These Curiosities?

1. Jesus is never given the designation "Creator" in the Bible. See 1 Peter 4:19; Revelation 4:10-11.

Compare Emil Brunner's Dogmatics (Volume I) entitled "The Christian Doctrine of God." On page 308 of his work, Brunner writes concerning Colossians 1:15-17: "In this connexion the truth which we have already seen acquires new significance, that the world, it is true, was created THROUGH--DIA--the Son, but not BY--hUPO--the Son, that it has been created IN Him and UNTO Him, but that He Himself is never called the Creator. It has pleased God the Creator to create the world in the Son, through the Son, and unto the Son. The fact that between the Creator and the Creation there stands the Mediator of creation means that the world is an act of the freedom of God, that it does not proceed from the Logos." While Brunner thinks that the Son of God is "eternal," he does not reason that Christ is ever called "Creator" in Scripture. He argues that the Logos is the mediate agent of creation or the one through whom God brings forth the cosmos, but the Son is never referred to as Creator in Scripture nor is he said to create anything.

2. The Bible never exhorts Christians to make Jesus an object of prayer

Not one verse in the Bible gives any such command; contrast this omission with Matthew 6:9; Philippians 4:6-7. Christians are taught to pray to the Father, through the Son, and in the holy spirit. Some try to hand prayer to Jesus on John 14:13-14. However, it's highly doubtful that "me" belongs in John 14:14.

3. Jesus is never called Almighty God

If Jesus is omnipotent, then why is he never said to be omnipotent, unlike his God and Father (Genesis 17:1; Revelation 19:6)? Could we not have at least one occurrence of Jesus being called "almighty"?

4. Did Jesus become human?

Jesus is supposed to be God and he's generally thought to be immutable (some try to use Hebrews 13:8 to prove this idea). If this belief is true, then please explain how Jesus came to be human. Was he always human or did he become human? If Jesus became human, then does this not indicate a change in his very being? How was this possible if Jesus possessed the attribute of divine immutability, especially if he was strongly immutable?

5. Does Jesus have a "head" and a God over him?

See 1 Corinthians 11:3; John 20:17; Revelation 3:12.

6. God resurrected Jesus

Acts 2:32 makes this affirmation. 1 Peter 1:20-21 also professes:
"He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God" (ESV).

Through him, we become what? Who raised Jesus from the dead and gave him glory? Did he do it? Peter says it was God, so that our faith and hope might be in God. If you were a first-century Jew who read these words without Trinitarian presuppositions, how would you understand the verse?

7. A God who is his own high priest?

Are we to believe that Jesus is his own high priest? That is, is Jesus the high priest for his Father or for himself? What would it mean for a God to be his own high priest?

8. Jesus is supposed to be God, yet there are things the Father knows that Jesus apparently does not know

See Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32; Acts 1:6-7; Revelation 1:1

Saturday, October 09, 2021

Revelation 12:9--"Misleading the entire inhabited earth?"

Greek (SBLGNT): καὶ ἐβλήθη ὁ δράκων ὁ μέγας, ὁ ὄφις ὁ ἀρχαῖος, ὁ καλούμενος Διάβολος καὶ ὁ Σατανᾶς, ὁ πλανῶν τὴν οἰκουμένην ὅλην— ἐβλήθη εἰς τὴν γῆν, καὶ οἱ ἄγγελοι αὐτοῦ μετ’ αὐτοῦ ἐβλήθησαν.

How should we understand the expression
ὁ πλανῶν τὴν οἰκουμένην ὅλην in Revelation 12:9? (Compare Revelation 20:2-3, 10)

ὁ πλανῶν is the present active participle nominative singular masculine of πλανάω: the participle coupled with the article means the construction is functioning as a substantive, and Wallace classifies this particular instance as an attributive participle ("the deceiver" or "the one who deceives/is deceiving").  See GGBB, page 618.

"And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him" (ESV).

"So that huge dragon—the ancient serpent, the one called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world—was thrown down to the earth, and his angels along with him" (NET).

Laurențiu Florentin Moț (Morphological and Syntactical Irregularities in the Book of Revelation: A Greek Hypothesis, pages 214-215): "Sometimes the writer does not give all the details at once, and when he complements the first idea, he repeats some words too. It is for oratorical effect and it occurs especially in pronouncements. Here belong καὶ ἐβλήθη ὁ δράκων ὁ μέγας, ὁ ὄφις ὁ ἀρχαῖος, ὁ καλούμενος Διάβολος καὶ ὁ Σατανᾶς, ὁ πλανῶν τὴν οἰκουμένην ὅλην, ἐβλήθη εἰς τὴν γῆν (12:9) and ἔπεσεν ἔπεσεν Βαβυλὼν (14:8; 18:2). In the first case, who has been thrown (the dragon) is more important than where it has been thrown. As to the fall of Babylon, in both references it is the content of a proclamation, and therefore, repetition is more than natural. The phrase ἀπέθανεν . . . τὰ ἔχοντα ψυχὰς (8:9) is also for oratorical effects, as everybody knows that only what has life can die."

Robert L. Thomas likewise catches the pleonastic occurrence of
ἐβλήθη, ἐβλήθη and ἐβλήθησαν (Revelation 8-22, page 130).

Additionally, Revelation 12:9 is part of the war in heaven section, wherein Satan and his angels are cast down from heaven to the earth (12:7-9); Michael and his angels battle Satan (the dragon) and they prevail against him and his evil hordes. Stephen S. Smalley contends that the casting of Satan from heaven portends that "the reign of evil" will give way "to
the sovereign rule of God and the Lamb (22.3–5)." See Smalley, The Revelation to John, 324.

But exactly what is the referent of
τὴν οἰκουμένην ὅλην?

John writes:
ἐβλήθη εἰς τὴν γῆν: Smalley explains that in first-century thinking, τὴν γῆν was thought to exist between "the sky and the nether regions" (Smalley, 325), so τὴν οἰκουμένην ὅλην apparently "refers to the inhabitants of that earth, or society in its completeness" (ibid.). Compare Revelation 3:10; 16:14. The bottom line is that John depicts Satan leading all people astray or I would say, all of those who belong to the Devil's world (1 John 2:15-17; 5:19): Satan's deceptive influence is pervasive (Ephesians 2:1-3).

Thomas calls Satan "
the master of deception with an uncanny ability to mislead people." He makes this insightful point about τὴν οἰκουμένην ὅλην:

"The objects of his deception are 'the whole earth,' the term οἰκουμένη (oikoumene) rather than γῆ (ge, 'the earth') being chosen as more specifically depicting earth's inhabitants and the political structure which characterizes their society" (Revelation 8-22, page 132).

He references TDNT, 5:157-159 for

Researching Revelation 12:9 has been enlightening for me although I would like to study
οἰκουμένη a little more in its classical context and see what Buist Fanning and David Aune write about this verse.

Friday, October 08, 2021

Scholarly Comments About Revelation 3:9

David Aune (Revelation in WBC Series):

Grant R. Osborne (Baker Exegetical Commentary NT): 

The passage alludes to Isa. 60:14, “The sons of your oppressors will come bowing before you; all who despise you will bow down at your feet” (cf. also Isa. 2:3; 14:2; 45:14; 49:23; Ezek. 36:23; Zech. 8:20–23). The OT taught that the Gentiles would be forced to pay homage to the Jews at the eschaton, and now this promise is turned on its head: Jewish oppressors would be forced to pay homage to Gen- tile believers. Christ is promising these persecuted Christians that they would be vindicated by God, and this is a theme that will appear again and again in the book (6:9–11; 16:6; 18:20; 19:2). The telling point in favor of this interpre- tation is that they (the Jews) will bow “at your (σου, sou) feet” and not “at my (μου, mou) feet.” This is submission, not worship, and parallels 2:26–27, where the faithful saints are promised that they will participate in the judgment of their (and God’s) enemies.

Gregory K. Beale (The Book of Revelation): That the salvation of the Jews is in mind is also apparent from the still present connection with the salvific key and door imagery continued in v 9a from vv. 7–8a, and ultimately from 1:18b (this view of the Jews’ salvation is also suggested by the striking similarity of language between v 9b and 1 Cor. 14:25). The notion of voluntary worship of God is also underscored by recognizing that all the other uses of προσκυνέω in Revelation refer to voluntary “worship” of either God (10 occurrences) or of the beast and idols (11 occurrences). In particular, the almost identical phrase “worship (προσκυνέω) before the feet” is used elsewhere of voluntary reverence on the part of a Christian believer (22:8, which is virtually the same as 19:10). The Isaiah prophecies are to be fulfilled imminently in the church’s own experience, though not exclusively, since the letter is also addressed to all the churches.

Craig Koester (Revelation in the Anchor Bible Series):