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#1 Jesse2W

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 07:29 AM

I was researching Galatians 3:20 because I was hoping it would clarify 1 Timothy 2:5 by showing the mediator is not God Himself. To my frustration there are a million and one interpretations of Galatians 3:20. The agreed upon conclusion seems to be that God didn't use a mediator with Abraham. However, 1 John 4:12 says no man has seen God at anytime, but yet if God didn't use a mediator between Himself and Abraham, then Abraham saw God in Genesis 17. How can God appear and talk to Abraham without a mediator, yet not be seen by Abraham?

And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,
As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.

And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.
And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

Another problem is how one angel is singled out and claims to be YHWH in a group of angels in the Bible (I don't know the reference).

Edited by Mark Taunton, 21 October 2011 - 10:14 AM.
Fixed spelling in thread sub-title


#2 Mark Taunton

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 08:06 AM

The key to solving your problem is working out what "mediator" means. I think you may be working with an incorrect idea about that.

In common English usage, this word is about being a "go-between", someone who interposes between two parties who can't, or don't want to, talk directly to each other.

But the Greek word in Gal 3:20, 'mesites', does not have that meaning (i.e., it is not used in that way) in scripture. Instead, it's about someone who brings a covenant from God to men (a one-way transfer), in order to establish it between God and men.

This is clearly its sense in the preceeding verse, Gal 3:19. The law (of Moses) was established by angels (who appeared to Moses) in the hand of the mediator (Moses) who brought that law / covenant to Israel, on God's behalf.

It's also obviously the sense in Hebrews 8:6, which shows the superiority of the new covenant mediated by Jesus over that old covenant mediated by Moses.

Likewise Hebrews 9:15 and Hebrews 12:24 continue this pattern of meaning, showing particularly that Jesus' mediating of the new covenant is specifically associated with the shedding of his blood. He is the mediator in that he died to establish the new covenant (which is made in his blood: Luke 22:20) with believers.

So when Paul in Gal 3:20 and 1 Tim 2:5 speaks of Jesus as the mediator between God and men, it is in this sense, as I have shown above. There is no other meaning for this word found in scripture.

Edited by Mark Taunton, 21 October 2011 - 08:09 AM.


#3 Mark Taunton

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 12:23 PM

It should be apparent then that the word "mediator" in scripture does not mean a go-between, by whom mortal man avoids seeing God. Rather, it is about the work of someone by whom a covenant is established between God and man. Moreover, both of the mediators that scripture explicitly identifies, Moses and Jesus, were themselves mortal men. Whilst some might want to argue specially in relation to Jesus' status, since he never sinned, we know that Moses was an ordinary mortal man who did sin, and therefore could not stand in God's presence directly, or see his face, and live.

Therefore, the idea that a mediator is someone of a different sort, who stands between man and God so that ordinary men need not see God directly (which would kill them), just doesn't work. Moses in particular is the mediator whose case disproves that.

Edited by Mark Taunton, 21 October 2011 - 12:29 PM.


#4 Mark Taunton

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 12:29 PM

You also asked about angels bearing God's name, and being seen by men.

We have multiple examples of that in scripture. Here are two that I think are particularly pertinent:


1. We are told that Yahweh appeared to Abraham (Gen 18:1) but this is then immediately explained by the record, which tells how he was visited by three men (who turn out actually to be angels, as we find by comparing Gen 18:22 with Gen 19:1). Those angels, in discussion with Abraham, or one of them at least, are also identified as Yahweh; compare Gen 18:9 ("they said") with Gen 18:10 ("he said") with Gen 18:13 ("Yahweh said") and later examples also in the chapter. In particular, Abraham is said to stand before Yahweh, and Yahweh is described as speaking to him, and afterwards going his way (Gen 18:22,26,33).


2. In Exodus 3, Moses sees the burning bush at Horeb, and God speaks with him there. In the record of this event, we are told that:
  • the angel of Yahweh appeared to him (Exo 3:2)
  • Yahweh saw that Moses turned aside (Exo 3:4)
  • God (Heb. 'elohim') called to him (Exo 3:4)
  • The one who spoke to him said: "I am the God ('elohim') of Abraham, ... of Isaac and ... of Jacob" (Exo 3:6)
  • Yahweh said "I have surely seen the affliction of my people..." (Exo 3:7)
  • Moses said unto the God (Heb. 'ha-elohim') "who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh...". (Exo 3:11).
In this record, we see several different ways of speaking about God used, all evidently in reference to the same one with whom Moses engaged at that time. Here beyond question is an appearance of Yahweh. But in this we are told explicitly that it was an angel of Yahweh - that is how he is introduced. That angel clearly bears Yahweh's name and is spoken of both as (indefinite) God, and also as "the God", besides being identified just as Yahweh. Moreover, he speaks in the first person of himself as Yahweh, and explains his name in detail to Moses.

In view of all this, it is clearly understandable that Moses hides his face, because he is rightly afraid to look upon God. Yet from the outset we know that Moses was not actually seeing Yahweh himself (whom no mortal man can see or has ever seen: 1 Tim 6:16), but an angel of Yahweh, because the record tells us so directly.

Edited by Mark Taunton, 21 October 2011 - 12:31 PM.


#5 Jesse2W

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 05:07 PM

So Moses was a mediator of men and angels, but Jesus is the mediator of God and men?

PS
Why didn't the Jews believe in a trinity or binity if there are two entities called YHWH? There is more evidence to believe some of the angels were actually God Himself, but do any of the Jewish scribes believe it was actually YHWH Himself who was a messenger of YHWH? This is a huge blow against trinitarians if there is a messenger who speaks as if he is YHWH and the Jews understood he wasn't YHWH. How did Paul know God was invisible?

Edited by Jesse2W, 21 October 2011 - 05:16 PM.


#6 Mark Taunton

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 08:42 PM

For a man or an angel to act or speak in God's name, or be referred to by God's name, does not mean he is actually Yahweh, actually God in the absolute sense. Rather, this is what Christadelphians call "God-manifestation" (the terminology comes from 1 Tim 3:16; see also e.g. John 17:6; Col 3:4; 1 John 1:2).

In scriptural terms, to see that man or that angel at work is to see God at work, precisely because God has sent him to do that work. Thus Jesus could say to Philip "he who has seen me has seen the father", not because Jesus is his own father (that is nonsensical), but because he faithfully performed the works and said the words that his father had sent him to do and to say. To see and hear Jesus was to see and hear God, not because Jesus is God in absolute terms, but because he perfectly manifested God, in his words, his actions and his way of thinking.

In both human and divine law, what you do by an agent is tantamount to your own action (one can be held directly responsible for a murder even though someone else's hand physically performed it). For example Nathan convicts David personally of Uriah's slaying, even though it was Amonites who physically struck him down, and David was many miles away at the time: see 2 Sam 12:19. Therefore, whether in either evil acts (such as that one), or good acts (such as Jesus performing miracles in his father's name), your agent effectively is you, with respect to what he says or does on your behalf, and your identification with those words and actions of which you are the instigator.

Thus it is true to say that both Abraham and Moses saw Yahweh, inasmuch as they saw the angels who represented him, who spoke in his name. There is no confusion or ambiguity here. The angel who was called Yahweh was rightly called by that name in this sense, that what he was doing was exactly what Yahweh had sent him to do.

Edited by Mark Taunton, 22 October 2011 - 06:55 AM.


#7 Mark Taunton

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 08:44 PM

How did Paul know God was invisible?

Because when he said that (and it was written down and preserved), he spoke as a divinely appointed apostle, i.e. one whom God has sent, to speak his word and act by his power. He spoke by the same holy spirit which moved all God's prophets and apostles to speak those words we can all still read in scripture.

Edited by Mark Taunton, 21 October 2011 - 08:45 PM.


#8 Jesse2W

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 12:28 AM

Well, thanks, that was a good Biblical answer, but I guess I was wondering about Jewish scribes and weather they believed God was invisible or every time a person literally saw God in the Scriptures they knew it was an angel. I was wondering if Paul was not only writing the truth because of inspiration, but also reiterating correct doctrine held by Jewish scribes at that time.

#9 Mark Taunton

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 07:03 PM

While we can find some clues here and there (including in the NT of course), we don't know in great detail what Jewish scribes actually believed in the time of Jesus. I guess there would be different opinions anyway, depending who you asked.

What we can safely say, because the NT shows us, is that the majority of Jews (and including the scribes, generally speaking) did not believe or accept Jesus. They failed to grasp what he was saying, even though it was all founded deeply upon their own scriptures they thought they knew, because they did not really understand those scriptures in the way they ought. So what really matters is not what Jewish opinion might have been on any particular issue, but what scripture itself teaches about that issue. And centrally in seeking to grasp that teaching ourselves, we need to be guided by the many examples where Jesus and his spirit-filled apostles explained the meaning of scripture to their own fellow Jews.

Edited by Mark Taunton, 27 October 2011 - 07:05 PM.


#10 Jesse2W

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 11:28 PM

While we can find some clues here and there (including in the NT of course), we don't know in great detail what Jewish scribes actually believed in the time of Jesus. I guess there would be different opinions anyway, depending who you asked.

What we can safely say, because the NT shows us, is that the majority of Jews (and including the scribes, generally speaking) did not believe or accept Jesus. They failed to grasp what he was saying, even though it was all founded deeply upon their own scriptures they thought they knew, because they did not really understand those scriptures in the way they ought. So what really matters is not what Jewish opinion might have been on any particular issue, but what scripture itself teaches about that issue. And centrally in seeking to grasp that teaching ourselves, we need to be guided by the many examples where Jesus and his spirit-filled apostles explained the meaning of scripture to their own fellow Jews.


Yes the Bible alone is the final authority, but I don't know if I would have left trinitarianism had it not been for some interesting quotes from church fathers. It's proven in my eyes that Jesus' supposed divinity was not solidified in everyone's mind until even after the council of Nicea. You don't get to come to that conclusion based upon the progressive illumination (one of my head pastor's was teaching that - and he's a Calvinist!) of the scriptures that was not handed down by the apostles! I was just wondering what they thought about the angels that said they were YHWH. Did they think those angels were YHWH in the form of an angel? Or did they think that they were heavenly beings who were messengers sent bearing God's name and acting as YHWH - even in the first person for Him.

#11 LioneDea

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 09:02 AM

For a man or an angel to act or speak in God's name, or be referred to by God's name, does not mean he is actually Yahweh, actually God in the absolute sense. Rather, this is what Christadelphians call "God-manifestation" (the terminology comes from 1 Tim 3:16; see also e.g. John 17:6; Col 3:4; 1 John 1:2).

In scriptural terms, to see that man or that angel at work is to see God at work, precisely because God has sent him to do that work. Thus Jesus could say to Philip "he who has seen me has seen the father", not because Jesus is his own father (that is nonsensical), but because he faithfully performed the works and said the words that his father had sent him to do and to say. To see and hear Jesus was to see and hear God, not because Jesus is God in absolute terms, but because he perfectly manifested God, in his words, his actions and his way of thinking.

In both human and divine law, what you do by an agent is tantamount to your own action (one can be held directly responsible for a murder even though someone else's hand physically performed it). For example Nathan convicts David personally of Uriah's slaying, even though it was Amonites who physically struck him down, and David was many miles away at the time: see 2 Sam 12:19. Therefore, whether in either evil acts (such as that one), or good acts (such as Jesus performing miracles in his father's name), your agent effectively is you, with respect to what he says or does on your behalf, and your identification with those words and actions of which you are the instigator.

Thus it is true to say that both Abraham and Moses saw Yahweh, inasmuch as they saw the angels who represented him, who spoke in his name. There is no confusion or ambiguity here. The angel who was called Yahweh was rightly called by that name in this sense, that what he was doing was exactly what Yahweh had sent him to do.



Lione D' ea: Where in the Bible we can read the angel manifest in the flesh?

Beware of the dogs.

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#12 Mark Taunton

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 12:38 PM

Lione D' ea: Where in the Bible we can read the angel manifest in the flesh?

Your question is not relevant; it seems you have not understood what I said. I did not say anything about "an angel manifest in the flesh".

The Bible speaks about God manifest in the flesh (1 Tim 3:16), and that describes Jesus, who was a man, made of flesh. Also in the Bible, God is often manifested in angels, who are spirit beings that he has made to fulfill his will. But the Bible never says that an angel was manifest in flesh.

Edited by Mark Taunton, 07 June 2012 - 12:44 PM.


#13 Matt Smith

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 01:50 PM

Mark is quite correct, Lione D'ea. You have misunderstood what he said:


Let's look at a passage in Exodus:

Exodus 23:20-23 - Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off.


The angel was to go before Israel as a direct representative of Almighty God. See the phrase "for my name is in him"? This means that he (the angel) had God's name bestowed upon him so that he could do the things God wanted him to do. This is verified by the words that follow in the verse "if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak". It is quite clear that God was to speak through the angel.

This idea of representation is continued all through the Old Testament, and when you get to the New Testament you get the ultimate example of it in the Lord Jesus Christ, who though he was a human being (not an immortal angel) with all the frailties of the flesh, not only obeyed his Father perfectly even to death, but also was the representation of God (ie. God spoke through him like he did with the angel in the wilderness) in all he said and did. This is why "the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins". He was acting on behalf of God. The apostle Paul phrases this "God was manifest in the flesh" as Mark points out (1 Timothy 3:16).
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#14 nsr

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 08:13 PM

I think modern translations actually have "He was manifested in the flesh" for 1 Tim 3:16 which is more likely to be correct.
"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect..." (Heb 12:22-23)

#15 Mark Taunton

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 08:49 PM

It's a textual rather than a translation issue. The Byzantine text has "God" ('theos') there, while other text families have "he". I believe "God" is more likely to be correct because the Byzantine text is overall more consistent, both doctrinally and in other ways.

#16 nsr

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 09:57 PM

I doubt that very much.
"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect..." (Heb 12:22-23)

#17 Matt Smith

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 01:39 AM

I tend to agree with Mark.
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#18 Mark Taunton

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 05:57 AM

I doubt that very much.


What do you doubt? That "God" is the correct word in 1 TIm 3:16, or that the Byzantine text is overall more consistent than other text families? I can certainly show evidence for the latter.

#19 nsr

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 07:56 AM

Both. If you're suggesting that the KJV has a more reliable translation of the original text than modern versions, you're way off the mark (no pun intended).
"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect..." (Heb 12:22-23)

#20 Mark Taunton

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 08:14 AM

How do you know?

#21 nsr

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 08:41 AM

Because modern translations are based on older, more reliable manuscripts which hadn't been discovered by 1611. Modern translators also have a far better understanding of Hebrew and NT Greek than the translators of 1611.
"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect..." (Heb 12:22-23)

#22 Mark Taunton

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 09:07 AM

Because modern translations are based on older, more reliable manuscripts which hadn't been discovered by 1611.


They're claimed to be more reliable. But how do you know they actually are?

If what you say is true, I could also ask: why did God leave people in the dark as to what the original inspired NT text really says - in some cases on very important issues - for many hundreds of years since those older manuscripts were previously known and read?

Modern translators also have a far better understanding of Hebrew and NT Greek than the translators of 1611.


Well again, certainly they claim that. But again, how do you know they actually do? I can certainly point out cases where the opposite is true.

Even so, that doesn't matter in this case. I'm not seeking to defend the KJV here (it certainly has its faults, though modern versions do too), as it's not a question of translation, but of what the correct text is.

Edited by Mark Taunton, 08 June 2012 - 09:08 AM.


#23 nsr

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 12:20 PM

They're recognised as such by the competent authorities, i.e. professional archaeologists, linguists, translators and so on. If you don't recognise those authorities then I suppose you don't have any way of knowing which manuscripts are more reliable and which translations are better, other than personal opinion.

You might as well ask why God allowed people to be in the dark for centuries when the only Bible available was in Latin, which they couldn't read; why he never revealed his word to the Incas and Aztecs etc; why he allowed the truth to become corrupted at all. We don't always know why God does what he does. Why would God wait until 1611 to produce the definitive translation of his word? It's a pointless question.
"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect..." (Heb 12:22-23)

#24 Mark Taunton

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 01:44 PM

Again, I'm not talking about the KJV or any other translation; I'm talking about texts in the original languages (here, texts of the Greek NT), and which of them is correct. So 1611 and the KJV are irrelevant.

You speak as if academia is entirely united on the question of what is the true original NT text. Certainly, reading write-ups on what is now claimed as the best edition of the NT text (known as Nestle-Aland 27 or the UBS text), which is commonly used by modern translators of the NT, you might suppose it is! But it isn't - there are many differing opinions; I know of scholars who firmly back the Byzantine text as more reliable. But since they are in a minority, you won't often come across such a view.

However, even more importantly than that, I reject your idea that we don't have any basis to work out which text is the original, not being qualified scholars in the subject. We do. Compare the following phrases in English translation:
  • the only begotten God
  • the only begotten son
The corresponding Greek phrases occur in different manuscripts of John 1:18. The majority of the earliest manuscripts that contain this phrase have "God", not "son". Only one relatively early text has "son", as does the Byzantine text. So on a simple majority/age basis, the form with "God" seems to have the best evidence, and indeed many modern English translations follow it.

But are those translators right? Which of those versions is correct, doctrinally? This is not a question we cannot answer! We can answer it, with reference to the teaching of the rest of the Bible. From scripture we know that Yahweh is God from everlasting to everlasting, and that there was no God before him. So God was never begotten, and the first version must be wrong. The second version on the other hand is entirely consistent with other scriptural teaching, and I'm sure you accept it as correct.

On exactly that basis, by comparing the differing readings of the Byzantine text and other texts (some of which are claimed to be more accurate/closer to the original) against general scriptural teaching on the issues concerned, we can investigate for ourselves which text is more likely to be correct. And for those cases for which I have done this myself, I have been convinced that the Byzantine readings are more consistent with scripture as a whole.

I can give further examples if you wish, but there's no point unless you first accept the principle of doing this, and that we are not obliged simply to accept the views of scholars on such matters. (In any case, which scholars' views are to be believed, and which rejected, when they differ amongst themselves? This happens often: compare the ESV and NASB to the RSV and ASV on John 1:18, for example.)

I believe God has given us the wherewithal to determine answers on these important issues for ourselves; he has not left us to select between divergent opinions among "competent authorities", based on nothing more than our personal preferences. The above case briefly illustrates a method by which even people who don't know Greek (but who can use suitable scripture study tools to help with it) can work out such questions for themselves.

Edited by Mark Taunton, 08 June 2012 - 04:16 PM.

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#25 Jesse2W

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 08:24 AM


"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."


This verse seems like It does not merely teach that God was manifest in the flesh as some have argued. It also says that "God" was justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up into glory. "Manifest in the flesh" was just the first thing mentioned. I don't think you can say this verse is compatible with a human Christ unless it said "God manifest in the the flesh was..."

#26 Mark Taunton

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 09:44 AM

"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."

This verse seems like It does not merely teach that God was manifest in the flesh as some have argued. It also says that "God" was justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up into glory. "Manifest in the flesh" was just the first thing mentioned. I don't think you can say this verse is compatible with a human Christ unless it said "God manifest in the the flesh was..."


That's a good and significant question, and helpful to dig into. The answer to it lies in a difference between English grammar and Greek grammar, and particularly how the translators chose to deal with the sequence of Greek phrases.

In the English of the KJV here, there is only one explicit subject, "God", which as rendered carries through into all following verbal phrases - this is actually a very common feature in KJV English, and other English versions too. But it does not need to be rendered that way. That is because in Greek, verbs implicitly include the pronoun; there is normally no separate subject pronoun, such as "he" (although one can be used for emphasis, as in 'ego eimi' which Jesus and others use: "I, I am"); in English translation, sometimes an explicit pronoun is used, but sometimes it is not. So the fact that the KJV presents only one explicit subject is more a question of style and smoothness of rendering than of necessary meaning. We could equally translate this passage as:

God was manifest in the flesh; he was justified in the spirit; he was seen of angels; he was preached unto the Gentiles; he was believed on in the world; he was received up into glory.


Does that make any difference? Yes it does. Consider for comparison John 1:14, expanded in the same way to bring out a verb subject explicitly (I underline the added pronoun in English):

And the Word was made flesh, and he dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.


Who is the "he" that "dwelt among us"? Is it simply "the word"? No. In context, it has to be "the word, become flesh", that is, Jesus. Jesus is not the word itself in its original form, that is, what God said. Rather, he is that same word "become flesh". Just as what God said became real by his spirit working in creation - "God said: 'let light become', and light became", the same happened with Jesus, when he was begotten of the father in the womb of Mary out of the holy spirit, exactly as God had promised he would be. Here, the subject of the verb "dwelt" is not "the word", but the result of the first stated event, "the word became flesh", that is, "the word become flesh", that is, Jesus.

Going back to 1 Tim 3:16 (and justified in doing so by a direct linkage through the word "flesh") we can apply the same principle. We are told at the start of the sequence that "God was manifest in flesh"; this parallels how "the word became flesh" in John 1:14. And just as the "he" who dwelt among the disciples was not "the word" but "the word become flesh", so the "he" who was justified in spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up into glory, is not "God", but the result of "God was manifest in flesh", that is, "God manifest in flesh", that is, Jesus.

Edited by Mark Taunton, 09 June 2012 - 10:55 AM.


#27 David Brown

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 12:12 PM

"Which of those versions is correct, doctrinally? This is not a question we cannot answer! We can answer it, with reference to the teaching of the rest of the Bible"

It is extremely unwise to take the doctrinal position of one's particular denomination as the starting point for determining what the right reading of the text is. If we find our understanding of scripture leads us to favour a translation prepared on very little evidence from very few MS, over the great majority of modern scholarship and modern translation based on many thousands of pieces of evidence, it's likely to be our understanding that's wrong, not the modern text.

That said, if one takes the most glaring case of doctrinal bias - the bogus 'Johannine comma' in 1 John 5:7 - God evidently allowed that to be in the almost universally-used English bible for several hundred years, so one can't argue that the long usage of the KJV is evidence for its accuracy. Indeed perhaps God isn't too bothered what particular inadequate metaphor we use to think about Him, preferring us instead to concentrate on being like the man from Nazareth...

#28 nsr

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 12:21 PM

It is extremely unwise to take the doctrinal position of one's particular denomination as the starting point for determining what the right reading of the text is.


This is a good point.
"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect..." (Heb 12:22-23)

#29 Matt Smith

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 03:23 PM


It is extremely unwise to take the doctrinal position of one's particular denomination as the starting point for determining what the right reading of the text is.


This is a good point.


Which is not what Mark said... He said "Which of those versions is correct, doctrinally? This is not a question we cannot answer! We can answer it, with reference to the teaching of the rest of the Bible."
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#30 Mark Taunton

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 04:16 PM

Thank you, Matt - you have got the point.

Also, some contributors are missing the point that in what we're currently discussing, I'm not concerned with the KJV, or any English translation, at all. What I'm concerned with is how to identify the original Greek text of the NT - the words that God's holy men of the 1st century received and recorded, through the holy spirit. Translation issues simply do not come into that question.

However, in any case, I'm not an advocate of the KJV as any kind of "definitive translation" of God's word. I've never said that, and don't believe it, though I do think it is a better translation than many modern ones. My view is explicit in an earlier post, where I clearly said that it has errors, as do other versions.

Edited by Mark Taunton, 09 June 2012 - 11:49 PM.





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