Dale Tuggy

Dale Tuggy is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he teaches courses in analytic theology, philosophy of religion, religious studies, and the history of philosophy.

14 Comments

  1. Jaco
    April 3, 2014 @ 3:45 am

    It’s simple typology. The author of the Fourth Gospel used typology ad repetitio throughout his gospel to establish Jesus in the pattern of divine revelation. Everybody sees the typology in obvious areas, EXCEPT when it threatens cherished doctrine. Then SUDDENLY Jesus personally pre-existed…

  2. John
    April 2, 2014 @ 3:55 am

    Charles

    I founds your comments most useful and certainly food for thought!

    I guess that the concept of ‘Word Wisdom’ is a great deal more complex than I have intimated!

    Many Thanks

    Every Blessing

    John

  3. Charles
    April 1, 2014 @ 9:43 am

    “In John 1 v14 this attribute of God (his creative power’ ) became flesh”

    John, in general agreement with your breakdown of GJohn, though “logos” in 1:14 prob. means more than simply “creative power”, as logos is tied to sophia/wisdom in the OT but logos allows for smoother appropriation to Jesus who was a concrete person, a man (as argued in Eerdman’s commentary on the Bible, introduction to Gospel John by J.Martin C. Scott, edited by James D.G. Dunn). Wisdom embodied in Jesus, he whom the logos/sophia became.

  4. John
    March 31, 2014 @ 2:05 am

    Shelia,
    Sadly I was not able to listen to Saturdays debate -but I would be dumbfounded to learn that Dale had
    stated that ‘The Word’ was God.

    In his latest Podcast (Number 32) – Dale states his position on the belief that”God = Christ’ with great precision.

    As Dale states-

    “The Word’ is an attribute of God -.

    Christ is the product of Gods ‘Word Wisdom’-and i suspect that you hold to this view.?

    The Greek rendering of John 1.1.3 is

    “kai theos en ho logos’

    (And the word was God’)

    NOTE
    (i) the word ‘theos’ is not preceded by the definite article – and some Bibles have translated it as
    ‘the word was a god ‘ or ‘the word was divine’

    (ii) Note too that the word ‘logos’ is preceded by the definite article – so it means ‘THE word’ – the only one of its kind.

    (iii) ‘logos’ is the SUBJECT of this phrase

    Which leads one to conclude that ‘theos’ is used qualitatively or as an attribute of ‘logos’

    This explains how ‘the word was with God ‘ -it is impossible for a person to be ‘with’ and ‘be’ that person at the same time!

    In John 1 v14 this attribute of God (his creative power’ ) became flesh.

    In John 1 v 18 we have textual variations so I won’t get involved in that debate at this stage.

    Every Blessing
    John

  5. Sheila Rae
    March 30, 2014 @ 12:50 pm

    Greetings! I am very surprised when I hear debates for and against the trinity, that when debating over John 1:1 that very seldom does the non trinitarian bring to attention 1 John 1:1-4. It is only too obvious to me that when John 1:1 says: “In the beginning”, it has the same meaning as what is brought out at 1 John 1:1 which clearly is speaking of the beginning of the gospel, not speaking of the beginning of all creation. Likewise, when speaking of the “word”, it is actually the gospel which was the word of salvation which came from the Father and given to Christ to preach first to the Jews, then to Gentiles. This “word” was demonstrated (just as 1 John says) or “manifested” through Christ through his death and resurrection which then showed the truthfulness of Gods word which was promised to God’s people many times as we can see through the Hebrew Scriptures. Especially in Psalms God clearly says that His “salvation is coming”. And as we know, salvation and “the word” of salvation ( Isaiah 56:1.. Phil. 2:16) came from Christ, as well as the demonstration of the truthfulness of Gods’ word through the resurrection of Christ, giving concrete hope for us all for a future life. (John 17:17) The word of God is the same as God speaking, whether it comes through the Holy Spirit or through the hands of angels to the prophets. ( Judges 3:20) His word is always carried out and just as Hebrews 4 say, it is “powerful and sharper than a two edged sword”. Please see Psalms 119:81 ….Ps. 103:19-20 …Ps. 148:5 ….Isaiah 55:11

    I heard Dales debate over whether or not Tertillian believed in the trinity, and when the discussion over John 1:1 came up as to who the word was, Dale could not convincingly prove that Jesus was not God when he admitted that he believed (at that passage) that the word there, was Christ. But when seeing that John 1:1 is concerning it being the literal word of God, (and not being Jesus, just as 1 John 1 clearly explains) then Dale would have not lost that particular part of the debate.

    I would be interested in hearing your comments. Thank you, and God bless

  6. Buzzard’s textual arguments against Jesus’ pre-human existence – Part 4 (Dale) » trinities
    July 16, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

    […] this recent video, Sir Anthony makes various relevant points. As I said in part 1 of this series, his linguistic argument against “pre-existence” is not his only one. At 3:11ff he […]

  7. David
    July 14, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

    I wonder are we trying to read too much in to some of these texts. For example I think we may want to ask why Mathew/Luke include a genealogy. I suspect their point is to connect Jesus with the expected Messiah and the traditions that formed the expectations of what that Messiah would be like. If that is right, reading a metaphysical view, one way or the other, into (or purportedly out of) the text seems deeply problematic. If they were trying to make a metaphysical point I would like to see an argument to show that. On my reading (I’m a philosopher not a NT scholar) it looks like John is trying to make a metaphysical point where as Mathew and Luke are making a point about who Jesus is in comparison to the Messiah traditions, and specifically the linage of David. Without asking further questions about what they expected about the Messiah and how those expectations were altered as they interacted with Jesus and developed a theology after his ascension, its a bit difficult to look at the text and draw a metaphysical conclusion, in fact it comes across a pretty big stretch.

    • Dale
      July 14, 2012 @ 3:11 pm

      Hi David,

      Thanks for the comment. I’m not sure we can say these authors are devoid of metaphysical interest. They’re telling us where Jesus came from, and yes, establishing his credentials as Messiah. But part of what they’re asserting is that he’s a real human being, who yet had no human father, since God caused his mother to become pregnant. That sounds plenty metaphysical to me!

      Yet I don’t read them as denying Jesus “pre-existence.” Mr. Buzzard does. But I agree with some of the sources he cites, to the effect that it is unlikely that they would have told the story of Jesus’ origins the way they do, if they’d believed him to always have existed, or existed at the foundation of the world, etc. It is enough for them that he was really God’s messiah, and God’s Son (because of God’s action in causing the conception in Mary). If correct, this is interesting – it may affect the way we read Paul.

  8. Buzzard’s textual arguments against Jesus’ pre-human existence – Part 2 (Dale) » trinities
    July 14, 2012 @ 10:09 am

    […] Buzzard complains at length about Platonizing “fathers” insisting that the New Testament teaches the “eternal generation” of the Son, citing the Lewis Carrol passage here. (pp. 260ff) I think he’s right to do so; the exegetical crimes of the “fathers” are legion. But in the end, I think Buzzard goes a bit too far. […]

  9. Xavier
    July 14, 2012 @ 6:34 am

    James

    the New Testament concept of divine Sonship derived from the Old Testament declarations of divine sonship in the Davidic dynasty, which focused on coronation instead of conception and birth.

    It could be said that the NT writers reinterpreted many Messianic texts, including those to do with the begetting of the Messiah [i.e., Ps 2.7].

    But I would even argue that the initial promise of God creating a unique human being CAN be found in the Hebrew scriptures themselves. For example, Isaiah’s “the servant of YHWH”, who is said to be “created, made, brought forth, called from the womb” [Isa 44.2, 24; 49.1, 15; Ps 22.6]; “The prophet” [Jer. 1.5; Ps 71.6]; The future “Davidic King” [2Sam 7.14; Sal 2.7; 89.26-27; 110.3 (LXX)]; and the prototypical “Israel, the firstborn son” [Ex 4.22; Isa 46.3; Jer 31.9].

    Of interest is the textual and theological history of Ps 110.3, a verse notoriously known for its “obscurity” in the Masoretic text. Many scholars actually believe that the Mosorites of the 8-9th-centuries purposely tried to hid the begetting language due, perhaps, to the growing disparity between them and Catholic-Christianity who were teaching a “God-man” Jewish-Messiah who was said to have been “begotten but not made”. The true meaning of the verse though has been preserved in the LXX, written hundreds of years before Christianity, which reads:

    I have begotten you from the womb before the morning. Ps 109 [LXX]

  10. James Goetz
    July 13, 2012 @ 11:57 pm

    Xavier says:
    So what are you implying, that the Christ was not the Son of God?

    Hi Xavier,

    I never suggested that Christ was not the Son of God. After all, the four Gospel writers taught that Christ was the Son of God. But I said that Mark and John never referred to the conception and birth of Christ when they taught that Christ was the Son of God. Mark and John never wrote that the biological conception of Christ was critical for understanding his divine Sonship (not that I am denying the biological conception of Christ). For example, the New Testament concept of divine Sonship derived from the Old Testament declarations of divine sonship in the Davidic dynasty, which focused on coronation instead of conception and birth.

  11. Xavier
    July 13, 2012 @ 9:00 pm

    Dale,

    PS: sounds like your making the same point most of our opponents make: just because the writers don’t talk about a preexistence of the Son it doesn’t mean he did not LITERALLY preexist. i.e., argument from silence.

    But I think what your missing here is that the language of both Matthew and Luke [and I would even argue John (use of monogenes; John 1.13–singular reading; 1John 5.18) NEGATES any possiblity of preexistence. Because Jesus is said to originate [genesis] via miraculous begetting [procreation] in the womb of Mary.

  12. Xavier
    July 13, 2012 @ 8:48 pm

    Dale

    Thus, the author of Matthew didn’t believe in a pre-human Son.

    I think standard biblical commentary would say that this is the standard for the Synoptics as a whole.

    What we find in Matthew and Luke is not the story of some sort of sacred marriage (hieros gamos) or a divine being [“the Son”] descending to earth…in the guise of a man…but rather the story of a miraculous conception without aid of any man, divine or otherwise…As such this story is without precedent either in Jewish or pagan literature, even including the OT (Machen). Green, Joel B.; McKnight, Scot; Marshall, I. Howard: Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. Intervarsity, 1992, S. 70.

    James

    Mark and John never mentioned that the conception and birth of Christ had anything to do with Christ being the Son of God.

    So what are you implying, that the Christ was not the Son of God?

  13. James Goetz
    July 13, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

    Hi Dale,

    Points to ponder for this series of posts:

    Matthew and Luke explicitly asserted the approximate chronology for the origin of Christ’s humanity. However, Mark and John never mentioned that the conception and birth of Christ had anything to do with Christ being the Son of God.