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.

88 Comments

  1. kierkegaard71
    June 1, 2016 @ 9:31 pm

    Regarding the view that there is a descending authority from Father to Son to Holy Spirit (I forgot who was quoted in the podcast as having this view): how does this view square with Jesus’ teaching that blasphemy against the Spirit is unforgivable, whereas this is not the case with speaking a word against the Son of Man? Why would blaspheming a lower-order Spirit be a greater offense than speaking a word against the higher-order Son? Has this question been addressed on this website?

    • Evangelical Apologetics
      June 4, 2016 @ 11:03 am

      The SoM offers himself to all — for the purification of sins — once and for all time. That’s the NT soteriological theme on Christ’s love and mercy. Thus, blasphemy against the SoM (the source of eternal life) is forgivable. On the other hand, blaspheming the Holy Spirit (the eternal life, the one that will be in the hearts of those who will inherit eternal life) is the same as rejecting eternal life.

  2. Evangelical Apologetics
    May 16, 2016 @ 11:33 pm

    Highest among those called QEOS? Are you kiddin’ me? lol Your unitarian trinity is very GNOSTIC. Hebrews 1 refutes your theory at that.

  3. Evangelical Apologetics
    May 16, 2016 @ 11:31 pm

    Note that any biblical passage that speaks of Christ as “inferior” to the Father is a mere reference to his being “the only Son”, having begotten from God from all eternity (Ps. 110:3 LXX; John 1:1,18 cf. 3:16) as well as to his being “fully human” , having become flesh (John 1:1-14 cf. Phil 2:7-8).

    • Rivers
      May 17, 2016 @ 9:44 am

      EA,

      The apostles seem to have understood that Jesus Christ became “the begotten” on the day he was raised from the dead (Acts 13:34; Hebrews 1:5; Romans 1:3-4). There’s no indication that Psalms 2:7 was understood to be referring to anything that happened prior to that time.

      Another reason the apostles identified Jesus as “the begotton” after the resurrection is because they understood that the story of God’s preservation of Isaac from death (who was Abraham’s “only begotten”) was a “type” of the resurrection of Jesus who was God the Father’s “only begotten” (Hebrews 11:17-19; John 1:18)

      • Evangelical Apologetics
        May 26, 2016 @ 3:25 pm

        Begetting in the NT had two meanings:

        1. Denotation ( heredity)

        To come to life ( to possess parent’s nature)

        e.g. The Son begotten from God

        2. Connotation ( resurrection)

        To come to new life ( to possess eschatological body)

        e.g. Isaac begotten from Abraham

        • Rivers
          May 26, 2016 @ 6:02 pm

          EA,

          Please look at how MONOGENHS is actually used in scripture. It simply means an “only child” (e.g. Luke 7:12; Luke 8:42) which by implication would be the sole heir of a father’s possessions (Numbers 27:7-9).

          The apostles only applied MONOGENHS to Jesus after they understood the implications of his resurrection (John 1:18; John 3:16, 18; cf. John 2:22). This is because they interpreted Psalms 2:7 to have predicted the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5).

          Another consideration is that the term MONOGENHS was also applied to Abraham’s son, Isaac, because his deliverance from sacrifice was considered a “type” of what happened to Jesus (Hebrews 11:17-19). There’s no evidence that MONOGENHS was ever associated with the birth of Jesus (or anything before that time).

          • Evangelical Apologetics
            May 27, 2016 @ 4:10 am

            Even if monogenes simply meant ‘only child’ it would still carry the meaning of consubstantiality since that only child was consubstantial to his/her parents.

            • Sean Garrigan
              May 27, 2016 @ 5:07 am

              Only if the “child” were a *literal* child who emerged as such via an act of literal procreation that passed on the parent’s genetic makup, but the Jews rejected the notion that God copulated with a human female to produce a literal divine/human Son. You should too, as it was quite foreign to the Jewish milieu within which Jesus emerged to think that YHWH behaved like Zeus.

              ~Sean

              • Evangelical Apologetics
                May 27, 2016 @ 9:40 am

                Sean,

                Human begetting is different from divine begetting.The former requires a partner as well as time while the latter only requires God himself.

                • Sean Garrigan
                  May 27, 2016 @ 10:27 am

                  That’s not the point. You have been trying to argue that something which is true in the context of *literal* parentage must also be true in a context that involves *figurative* parentage. That doesn’t work.

                  Jesus is called “Son of God” because he is God’s Messianic King, not because God copulated with Mary or gave birth hermaphroditically to a Son in heaven.

                  ~Sean

                  • Evangelical Apologetics
                    May 27, 2016 @ 11:32 am

                    A Virgin bore Jesus. How could divine begetting be less possible?

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      May 27, 2016 @ 9:52 pm

                      You’re asking the wrong questions.

                      ~Sean

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      May 28, 2016 @ 11:41 am

                      Rose,

                      You said: “A Virgin bore Jesus. How could divine begetting be less possible?”

                      I replied: “You’re asking the wrong questions.”

                      I offered the above response yesterday without elaboration because I wanted to give you time to contemplate what sorts of questions I have in mind. Here are a few that might help clear some of fog that apparently stands between your view and mine:

                      1. What is it about literal parentage that results in shared ontology with offspring?

                      2. Why should we not treat metaphorical language as thought were literal language?

                      3. What did “Son of God” mean within the Jewish cultural milieu within which Jesus’ claims would have been understood?

                      For help in answering that question, see:

                      https://kazlandblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/16/does-son-of-god-mean-possesses-the-ontological-nature-of-god/

                      4. What would we expect to see, from a historical perspective, if your understanding were true?

                      Here the issue I refer to as “The Problem of Expectation” comes into the picture, and if you wish to get a glimpse of what I’m referring to, see:

                      https://kazlandblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/15/on-the-problem-of-expectation/

                      5. How did Jesus’ audience in the context of the biblical narratives understand his claim to be “Son of God”?

                      As I’ve explained already, they clearly understood “Son of God” to be synonymous with “Messiah” (Matt. 16:16; 26:63; Mark 14:61; Luke 22:66-71), and “Messiah” is a functional title.

                      ~Sean

                    • Evangelical Apologetics
                      May 28, 2016 @ 1:58 pm

                      Son of God became a title for Christ’s functional status as God (John 10:28-38).

                      Psalm 82 tells us that human judges are called by two titles:

                      1) god
                      2) son of God

                      These are conferred to them as symbols of their authority. Thus, the shaliach principle is what is in mind here.

                      In John 10, the Jews correctly understood Jesus’ claims yet they did not accept it and hence, their disbelief.

                      Jesus’ claim of consubstantiality in John 10:30 is the hallmark of Johannine witness of the inclusion of Jesus in the unique divine identity. Paul had it in 1 Cor 8:6.

                      Jesus’ use of Psalm 82 highlights his claim that both being God (v33) and being Son of God (v36) are not blasphemous just as those humans called by both were not being blasphemous. Thus, a claim of functioning as divine.

                      However, the point of John 10:30 is indispensable. It raised Jesus into the ontological status of God. Such a novel idea is truly a mutation in the earliest Judeo-Christian conception of what it means to be God. Galatians 4:8 spoke of false gods being “non-gods by nature ” Thus, as early as 40 CE ( prior to the 4th gospel) we already have a witness on the divine nature being spoken of regarding God and God alone.

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      May 28, 2016 @ 6:18 pm

                      “However, the point of John 10:30 is indispensable. It raised Jesus into the ontological status of God.”

                      That reading is impossible, as I explain here:

                      https://kazlandblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/15/the-charge-against-jesus-at-john-1031/

                      Note also:

                      “…in response to the accusations of the Jews that Jesus had made himself ‘equal to God’ (Jn. 5:18; 10:30,33), the evangelists does not simply give the other side of the argument to ‘prove’ them wrong. Rather, the Johannine Jesus emphasizes that he never claimed to be equal to God, but that his word should be equated with God’s, because he has been sent by the Father, and he speaks only what the Father tells him to say (5:19-47; 10:36-38).” (The Christology of the Fourth Gospel: Its Unity and Disunity in the Light of John 6, by Paul N. Anderson), p. 218

                      “One translates the Greek neuter hen. This verse was much quoted in the
                      Aryan controversy by the orthodox in support of the doctrine that Christ
                      was of one substance with the Father. The expression seems however
                      mainly to imply that the Father and the Son are united in will and purpose. Jesus prays in xvii. II that His followers may all be one (hen), i.e. united in purpose, as He and His Father are united.” (John, by R.V.G. Tasker, part of the Tyndale New Testament Commentary Series), p. 136

                      “Jesus’ reply is so typical a piece of Jewish argumentation that it rings with authenticity. He directs them to Ps. 82:6, and his argument is: If Scripture (which you will not question) calls men commissioned by God to act for him `gods’, one whom the Father has made his consecrated ambassador to the world can hardly be accused of blasphemy for calling himself `God’s son’. If human leaders have been called gods, how much more may one greater than they make a lesser claim to be not God but God’s son.” (`The Gospel According to John, by A.M. Hunter, from the series, The Cambridge Bible Commentary on the New English Bible), pp. 107,108

                      “The quotation is from Ps. 82:6, where God says to the judges of Israel, `I have said, Ye are gods: and all of you are children of the most High.’ The people’s rulers were regarded as the representatives of God Himself; so of the King (Ps. 45:6 and cf. Exod. 4:16). The argument may be paraphrased thus: If those who were consecrated to their office by the saying of God which I have quoted (or perhaps more generally, If those who in the past have been the organs of the divine word) where actually called ‘gods’ and they must have been so called, for Scripture says so, surely the consecrated ambassador of the Father may without blasphemy call himself `God’s Son.’ (`The Gospel of John’, by G.H.C. Macgregor, part of the series, The Moffatt New Testament Commentary), pp. 241-243

                      “When Jesus said: ‘I and the Father are one,’ he was not moving in the world of philosophy and metaphysics and abstractions; he was moving in the world of personal relationships. No one can really understand what a phrase like ‘a unity of essence’ means; but any one can understand what a unity of heart
                      means. Jesus’ unity with God came from the twin facts of perfect love
                      and perfect obedience. He was one with God because he loved and obeyed
                      him perfectly; and he came to this world to make us what he is…

                      …Jesus claimed two things for himself. (a) He was consecrated by God to a
                      special task. (b) He said that God had dispatched him into the world.
                      The word used is the one which would be used for sending a messenger or
                      an ambassador or an army. So Jesus said: ‘In the old days it was
                      possible for scripture to speak of judges as gods, because they were
                      commissioned by God to bring his truth and justice into the world. Now I
                      have been set apart for a special task; I have been dispatched into the
                      world by God; how can you then object if I call myself the Son of God? I
                      am only doing what scripture does.’” (Daily Study Bible, by William
                      Barclay, found on The Bible Library CD-ROM, ad. loc. cit.)

                      ~Sean

                    • Rivers
                      May 28, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

                      Sean,

                      I generally agree with your points. However, from a biblical perspective, I think you are still not taking into account that Jesus consistently distinguished himself from other “slaves” and “hired hands” who were also “sent” by God (Matthew 21:36-37; John 10:12).

                      The same “sending” (agency) language is used of these other men and it doesn’t qualify them as an “owner” or “heir” who has authority over God’s “vineyard” or “sheep.”

                      According to the writer of the 4th Gospel, Jesus was “claiming that God was his own Father, making himself equal with God” (John 5:18; cf. Philippians 2:6). He was understood to be “making himself out to be God” based upon his claim to be “the son of God” (John 10:33-36) which was why the Jews wanted to kill him (John 19:7).

                      Moses was also a man who God made PROS TON QEON (Exodus 4:16) and QEON (Exodus 7:1) like Jesus Christ. This is why John the baptizer spoke of Jesus as “a man who has a higher rank” (John 1:30) and who is “above all” (John 3:31) and identified him as “the son of God” (John 1:34). The Jews understood that “God has spoken to Moses” (John 9:28-29) but didn’t believe that the Father had spoken to Jesus.

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      May 28, 2016 @ 7:56 pm

                      “I generally agree with your points. However, from a biblical
                      perspective, I think you are still not taking into account that Jesus
                      consistently distinguished himself from other “slaves” and “hired hands”
                      who were also “sent” by God (Matthew 21:36-37; John 10:12).”

                      As I said previously, I’ll put something up on my blog about agency and how that paradigm applies to Christ in the judgement of scholars who have studied the matter, and virtually everyone else since. It’s not important to me that you disagree in favor of your “heir” view, which has a certain appeal conceptually, and which, in any case, is itself best explained in light of the agency paradigm in my judgment.

                      I don’t think we’re all that far apart vis a vis John 10, either. Whether one opts for “making himself God” (your view) or “making himself a god” (my view), the bottom line is that “God-a-god” is being used functionally at John 10, not ontologically. An ontological reading renders Jesus’ response to be a non sequitur, which makes it impossible, since we know that he did indeed respond directly to their charge.

                      ~Sean

                    • Rivers
                      May 29, 2016 @ 11:25 am

                      Sean,

                      I’m quite familiar with what other scholars think about “agency” and I could easily dialogue with any one of them and expose its insufficiency. If you don’t have any insightful thoughts of your own to offer, don’t waste your time parroting what other people have already said.

                      I appreciate that you are able to acknowledge the appeal of the concept of “inheritance” equality. I think the “agency paradigm” simply represents the narrow perspective of general scholarship that you are familiar with. Many of my Biblical Unitarian friends still appeal to the same principle.

                      Maybe we are not that far apart on John 10:30-36, but I don’t understand why you would think it necessary to take “one” in an ontological sense. Jesus seems to be appealing to the evidence of his “works” at the indication that his claim to be “one” (equal) with the Father is valid (John 10:33, 37, 38).

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      May 29, 2016 @ 11:42 am

                      “I’m quite familiar with what other scholars think about “agency” and I
                      could easily dialogue with any one of them and expose its
                      insufficiency.”

                      As Clint Eastwood would say: “Yeah, you’re a legend in your own mind.”

                      “If you don’t have any insightful thoughts of your own to offer, don’t waste your time parroting what other people have already said.”

                      You’re back to your usual tactics, I see. Yawn.

                      “Maybe we are not that far apart on John 10:30-36, but I don’t understand why you would think it necessary to take “one” in an ontological sense. Jesus seems to be appealing to the evidence of his “works” as the indication that his claim to be “one” (equal) with the Father is valid (John 10:33, 37, 38).”

                      That’s a remarkable question. How can we trust your ability to interpret an ancient text such as the Bible when you can’t even understand explicit statements made by people who live in your own time?

                      ~Sean

                    • Evangelical Apologetics
                      June 18, 2016 @ 10:49 am

                      Works which are by themselves testify to the divinity of Christ. “Thou being a man, makest THYSELF God (John 10:30).

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      June 18, 2016 @ 11:53 am

                      “Works which are by themselves testify to the divinity of Christ. “Thou being a man, makest THYSELF God (John 10:30).”

                      I’ve already demonstrated that such reasoning is fallacious, and understood to be so even by orthodox expositors. See:

                      https://kazlandblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/15/the-charge-against-jesus-at-john-1031/

                      Simply repeating yourself over and over and over again does nothing to further the dialogue. It only demonstrates what you believe, but we already know that.

                      ~Sean

                    • Evangelical Apologetics
                      July 26, 2016 @ 2:26 am

                      The titles ‘god’ and ‘son of God’ have the same sense in Ps 82:6. In John 10:33-36, both titles were applied to Jesus. It does not only mean functional status as divine son but also of ontology since the immediate context shows us that Jesus is one with God in that very sense (John 10:28-30). Deut 32:39 connects with John 10:28-30. There is a meaningful allusion made in the passage and it is the exaltation of Jesus beyond mere functioning since HE “being human” MAKES HIMSELF GOD (= Yhwh). The Jews correctly understood that Jesus is very human, flesh and blood and that in this bodily status of Jesus, they accurately grasped Jesus’ claim of oneness with the Father. It is oneness or unity in divine nature. Moses is AS GOD to Pharaoh (Ex 7:1) and the first humans desire to be LIKE GOD in wisdom (Genesis 3:4-6). Only Jesus claimed to be God himself while being human (John 10:33).

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      July 26, 2016 @ 4:30 am

                      “Only Jesus claimed to be God himself while being human (John 10:33).”

                      I thought that you were a fan of Larry Hurtado’s work? Do you disavow it now? He would deny that Jesus ever claimed to be God himself, and explicitly denies it in reference to John 10:33 and Ps. 82.

                      Your reading your theology into the texts rather than gleaning theology from the texts.

                      ~Sean

                    • Rivers
                      July 26, 2016 @ 1:09 pm

                      Sean,

                      Good points.

                      I don’t think Hurtado’s work is of much help, but John 5:18 settles the matter where the writer of the 4th Gospel commented that Jesus was “calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.”

                      Thus, the “equality” must be understood within the context of a father-son relationship (which has no implication that a son is himself also the father). As you noted, I think Trinitarians overlook the distinction of being implied by the different titles of “father” and “son” and presumptuously
                      read their “multi-personal being” concept into the “equality.”

                    • Rivers
                      July 26, 2016 @ 12:59 pm

                      E.A.,

                      What language in John 10:28-30 has any “ontological” implication? Jesus was talking about God the Father being “greater than all” and thus having he authority to give the “sheep” to Jesus along with the power to protect them.

                      There’s nothing in the context of John 10 that changes the distinct invisible “spirit” being of God the Father (John 1:18; John 4:24) from the human being, Jesus Christ (John 1:14, 30, 45). Neither the terms “one” nor “father” nor “son” are titles that require an ontological unity when used in scripture.

                      The “oneness” in John 10:30-36 can simply be understood as the relationship between a father and his son. This manner of “equality” was already explained in John 5:18. A father and a son do not have to be the same “being” in order to be “equal” owners of the family estate (cf. Galatians 4:1-2; Luke 15:22).

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      July 26, 2016 @ 3:24 pm

                      Hi Rivers,

                      Good points, but about this:

                      “A father and a son do not have to be the same ‘being’ in order to be
                      ‘equal’ owners of the family estate (cf. Galatians 4:1-2; Luke 15:22).”

                      If one assumes that equality has to do with inheritance, then how does one account for the fact that the Apostles and others would be joint heirs with Christ (Rom 8), yet we don’t find any accounts wherein they were charged with making themselves equal with God?

                      As I’ve said in the past, I find it historically problematic to suggest that the “equality” with which Jesus was charged involved inheritance, and Rom 8 vis a vis the Apostles seems to support my position.

                      ~Sean

                    • Rivers
                      July 26, 2016 @ 6:10 pm

                      Sean,

                      Good question.

                      I would point out that “equality with God” wouldn’t be an issue before the saints were to be glorified at the Parousia. As you noted, that is when they were to become “co-heirs” (Romans 8:14-19) and to receive “the inheritance of the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 15:50-53).

                      There is also the indication of equality for all the saints in Revelation where God will call each of them “my son” (Revelation 21:7) and they will share God’s throne along with Jesus (Revelation 3:21). Being qualified as a “son of God” requires redemption and adoption at the final resurrection (Galatians 4:5; Romans 8:23; Ephesians 1:5).

                      One could also argue the “equality” based upon the language in John 10:30 and John 17:22 where the disciples are to receive the same “glory” inherited by Jesus.

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      July 27, 2016 @ 7:04 am

                      Hi Rivers,

                      “I would point out that “equality with God” wouldn’t be an issue before
                      the saints were to be glorified at the Parousia. As you noted, that is
                      when they were to become “co-heirs” (Romans 8:14-19) and to receive “the
                      inheritance of the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 15:50-53).”

                      I don’t see how that explains why Jesus was supposedly persecuted for being heir of God but the Disciples were not persecuted for being joint heirs of God. In your model, they were all “equal with God”, but only that only upset people in reference to Jesus.

                      ~Sean

                    • Evangelical Apologetics
                      July 29, 2016 @ 9:25 am

                      The language of Deut 32:39 applied to John 10:28-29 is a powerful testimony to the ontological oneness of the Father and the Son in John 10:30.

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      July 29, 2016 @ 8:07 pm

                      “The language of Deut 32:39 applied to John 10:28-29 is a powerful
                      testimony to the ontological oneness of the Father and the Son in John
                      10:30.”

                      What makes you think so?

                      ~Sean

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      September 26, 2016 @ 7:25 pm

                      FYI, in his most recent blog post, Larry Hurtado shows that he agrees with my position that GJohn is not developing the Son’s relationship with the Father in ontological categories:

                      https://larryhurtado.wordpress.com/2016/09/26/chronology-and-ontology/#comments

                      I’m glad that he’s offered this much needed corrective.

                      I also want to correct something I said in a previous exchange, i.e. that Hurtado’s thesis has been refuted. I should have nuanced that more carefully, because I actually agree with a good part of his thesis, even the primary part, i.e. that the inclusion of Jesus as a central figure in the context of cultic religious practices taken in conjunction with his super-exaltation at God’s side represents a novel mutation in early monotheistic practices for which there was no real or satisfactory precedent. That is at the very heart of his thesis and I think he’s almost certainly correct on that score. The areas in which we part company are more nuanced.

                      ~Sean

                    • Rivers
                      June 20, 2016 @ 6:15 pm

                      EA,

                      When the Jews said that Jesus was “making himself out to be God” (John 10:33), it simply meant that he was “making himself out to be the son of God” (John 19:7; John 10:36). We know this because the writer of the 4th Gospel already pointed out that Jesus was “calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God” (John 5:18).

                      This should inform us that there is no difference between how the Jews understood what Jesus meant in John 10:33 or John 19:7. When Jesus was claiming to be “one” with the Father (John 10:30) he was saying that he was “the son of God” (John 10:36). He was not claiming to be the same being as “God” or “the Father.”

                    • Evangelical Apologetics
                      May 29, 2016 @ 7:35 am

                      John 10:28-29 is an allusion to an OT passage (Deut 32:39). The reason why the Jews accused Jesus of blasphemy in verse 33 is that He claims to do what God alone can do (cf. John 5:17-19). Thus, the one-ness (unity) of the Father and the Son in verse 30 is , not only a unity of heart, but a unity of substance (nature). Nature simply means “the inherent characteristic that belongs to you.” There is no need for philosophical touch to convey this idea. Scripture speaks for itself. Let the context always be king.

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      May 29, 2016 @ 7:47 am

                      “The reason why the Jews accused Jesus of blasphemy in verse 33 is that
                      He claims to do what God alone can do (cf. John 5:17-19). Thus, the
                      one-ness (unity) of the Father and the Son in verse 30 is , not only a
                      unity of heart, but a unity of substance (nature).”

                      Ahem:

                      First, *doing* what God can *do* is functional, not ontological. Thus, your “thus” doesn’t follow.

                      Second, if they felt that he did what *only* God can do, then they were mistaken, as God *gave* Jesus the authority and power to do the things he did (Matt 9:8).

                      ~Sean

                    • Rivers
                      May 29, 2016 @ 11:29 am

                      Sean,

                      Where do you think the opponents of Jesus would have derived “doing what only God can do” as a basis for “blasphemy”? How do you define “blasphemy”?

                      Do you think the Jews would have considered it “blasphemy” when ALHYM / QEON was used to speak of the authority of Moses (Exodus 7:1) and when God enabled Moses to perform “signs” before the people (Exodus 4:28-30)?

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      May 29, 2016 @ 11:46 am

                      “Where do you think the opponents of Jesus would have derived “doing
                      what only God can do” as a basis for “blasphemy”? How do you define
                      “blasphemy”?…Do you think the Jews would have considered it
                      “blasphemy” when ALHYM / QEON was used to speak of the authority of
                      Moses (Exodus 7:1) and when God enabled Moses to perform “signs” before
                      the people (Exodus 4:28-30)?”

                      I’ve already explained why the Jews were determined to charge Jesus with “blasphemy”. If you can’t remember, then I’d suggest that you simply search the archives here.

                      ~Sean

                    • Rivers
                      May 30, 2016 @ 8:50 pm

                      Sean,

                      Why would we take the grammar in John 5:18 to be referring to “charges against Jesus” when it is true that Jesus was “calling God his own Father …”? The “making himself equal with God” follows directly from that.

                      Have you considered the dozens of times that Jesus refers to God as his own Father (i.e. “my Father”) throughout the 4th Gospel (along with the couple dozen times his “equality” with the Father is expressed in various ways)? I think you’re dismissive approach to John 5:18 misses one of the most prevalent themes in the high Christology of the book.

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      May 30, 2016 @ 10:41 pm

                      “Why would we take the grammar in John 5:18 to be referring to “charges
                      against Jesus” when it is true that Jesus was “calling God his own
                      Father …”? The “making himself equal with God” follows directly from
                      that.”

                      The question isn’t what Jesus said, but how the language is best understood, and how his adversaries chose to interpret it in its historical context. There are a number of potentially valid ways to understand the account, and I doubt that even the youngest scholar can justly claim to have absolute certainty that he or she has inferred every nuance with unquestionable precision. However, once again I think that the “making himself” part is the key to solving the riddle, as it best accounts for the following:

                      1. How “Son of God”, or its reverse image equivalent used here (= my Father), would be understood at this time in history in light of Jewish culture. It wasn’t blasphemous to *be* the Messiah, but to “make himself” the Messiah unjustly (in the minds of Jesus’ adversaries) and to use that self-proclaimed status as an excuse to do things that only God has a right to do could be construed by adversaries who already wanted him dead as an excuse to effect their evil desire.

                      2. The functional category that is probably in view here, just as it is at John 10.

                      3. Jesus’ response, which clearly seems to counter their charge rather than affirming it.

                      I also don’t divorce the “breaking the Sabbath” part from the equation, because I suspect that the charge that Jesus was “making himself equal with God” flowed from the two-pronged contextual points of dispute. Jesus did what his adversaries felt only God had a right to do, and when they objected he responded by essentially saying that his actions were done in obedience as one with a special commission from God, namely, the Messiah. This harmonizes well with the sense that “Son of God” would have had at that time in history, which, as John Zeisler observes, “…meant obedient service to God on the one hand, and divine commissioning and endorsement on the other.” (Pauline Christianity), pp. 41, 42

                      Thus, the equality with God was legal (commissioning and endorsement), not ontological, and the sense can be captured in a paraphrase such as the following:

                      “15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, ‘My Father is working until now, and I am working.’ 18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath (i.e. doing what the Jews felt only God had a right to do), but he was even calling God his own Father, thereby suggesting that his audacious actions (in their minds) were done in obedience to God as one appointed to carry out his commission, making himself (legally) equal with God.”

                      I think that this best accounts for all the historical data, and it harmonizes well with the fact that Jesus went on to counter their charge rather than affirming it. Jesus’ adversaries felt that he was making a preposterous self-claim, and Jesus responded that he could do nothing on his own, but that he only did what the Father showed him.

                      ~Sean

                    • Rivers
                      May 31, 2016 @ 9:28 am

                      Sean,

                      We agree that a “preposterous self-claim” would constitute blasphemy. This can be reasonably argued on the basis of Numbers 15:30-31 without the unnecessary fallacious appeal to “Jewish culture.”

                      I seems more likely that Jesus was affirming the fact that he was “breaking the sabbath” by “working” (John 5:17). Jesus admitted to the same charge in Matthew 12:1-8 when he and his disciples were doing what Jesus knew was “unlawful” (Matthew 12:4). Neither context suggests that these were taken as false accusations.

                      The reason Jesus had the authority to break the Sabbath was on account of being “Lord of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8) and the son of God (John 5:19).

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      May 31, 2016 @ 10:23 am

                      “We agree that a “preposterous self-claim” would constitute blasphemy.
                      This can be reasonably argued on the basis of Numbers 15:30-31 without
                      the unnecessary fallacious appeal to “Jewish culture.”…I seems more likely that Jesus was affirming the fact that he was “breaking the sabbath” by “working” (John 5:17). Jesus admitted to the same charge in Matthew 12:1-8 when he and his disciples were doing what Jesus knew was “unlawful” (Matthew 12:4). Neither context suggests that these were taken as false accusations… The reason Jesus had the authority to break the Sabbath was on account of being “Lord of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8) and the son of God (John 5:19).”

                      I’ve laid out my position, Rivers; you’re welcome to favor your minor differences, along with those items that you unaccountably perceive to be differences but which don’t seem to be in my judgment.

                      ~Sean

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      May 31, 2016 @ 3:58 pm

                      “This can be reasonably argued on the basis of Numbers 15:30-31 without the unnecessary fallacious appeal to ‘Jewish culture.'”

                      An appreciation of the fact that the culture of the time forms an indispensable part of the context within which these historical and exegetical issues and questions must be contemplated and understood is accepted by all recognized authorities. It is a central component of the apparatus of investigation that professionals use in their historical and exegetical reconstructions. All one needs to do to recognize the reason for this is to consider the New Perspective on Paul, which emerged because a better understanding of the culture of the time completely re-shaped how Paul is understood.

                      As I said recently, I can understand why the peer reviewed journals rejected the articles you submitted. Your approach is obsolete, and academic journals generally require that accepted standards of investigation be adhered to by authors who want their work published.

                      Your approach is rejected in the academy, for good reason, and I am not
                      really interested in spending precious time having my own views vetted by someone who rejects scholarly method for his own undefined, haphazard method, if you can even call your approach a ‘method’ at all.

                      The fact that you would call a reference to culture “fallacious” tells
                      me that there’s really nothing to be gained by continued dialogue
                      between us, and so I’m going to bid you farewell now.

                      Take care,
                      ~Sean

                    • Evangelical Apologetics
                      May 31, 2016 @ 12:33 am

                      Jesus does what God alone can do. That is not merely equality in function but also of ontology since how could Jesus *do* those things which God himself does if he is of different nature from the Father? Neither a cat nor a dog can do what humans can do (For instance, imparting knowledge from one generation to the next). We are speaking of inherent characteristics here. That’s what ontology simply means. I highly recommend you Larry Hurtado’s work.

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      May 31, 2016 @ 7:08 am

                      “Jesus does what God alone can do. That is not merely equality in
                      function but also of ontology since how could Jesus *do* those things
                      which God himself does if he is of different nature from the Father?
                      Neither a cat nor a dog can do what humans can do (For instance,
                      imparting knowledge from one generation to the next). We are speaking of
                      inherent characteristics here. That’s what ontology simply means.”

                      You’re repeating yourself again, Rose. Let me repeat myself:

                      Firstly, *doing* what God can *do* is functional, not ontological.

                      Secondly, if they felt that he did what *only* God can do, then they were
                      mistaken, as God *gave* Jesus the authority and power to do the things
                      he did (Matt 9:8), and the Disciples would go on to do even greater
                      things (John 14:12).

                      Thirdly, the glory and oneness that Jesus had would also belong to the Disciples (John 17:22), which clearly shows that it could not be a oneness of “substance”.

                      “I highly recommend you Larry Hurtado’s work.”

                      So do I, though his thesis is historically problematic, as I pointed out here:

                      https://kazlandblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/15/on-the-problem-of-expectation/

                      Are you aware that Hurtado agrees with me about John 10:33? He endorses the “a god” rendering in footnote 45 on page 52 of “How On Earth Did Jesus Become A God?” Based on private email correspondence he had with an interlocutor of mine, he believes that the Jews felt that Jesus was making himself a second God, and that this was a misunderstanding on their part.

                      ~Sean

                    • Evangelical Apologetics
                      June 4, 2016 @ 8:41 am

                      Sean,

                      Jesus *can* only do what the Father *can* do. Ability is about one’s power (energy) to do something. If Jesus and God do not possess the same kind of life ,then, how could they be co-equal in function? (John 5:17-19 cf. 5:26).

                      You’re cherry picking Larry Hurtado’s work.

                      “John 10:33 probably reflects accusations of ditheism from the Jewish community.” (Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity, 2005, Larry Hurtado)

                      His scholarly research is superb. His focus is on the early high christology in the first-century church. Trinitarian terminologies of the 4th century were all anarchronistic to that.

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      June 4, 2016 @ 9:39 am

                      “Jesus *can* only do what the Father *can* do. Ability is about one’s
                      power (energy) to do something. If Jesus and God do not possess the same kind of life ,then, how could they be co-equal in function? (John 5:17-19 cf. 5:26).”

                      You’re repeating yourself again, and so since I’ve already answered that point, and you have offered nothing to counter what I said, I’ll assume that you have no effective counter to offer.

                      “You’re cherry picking Larry Hurtado’s work….”John 10:33 probably reflects accusations of ditheism from the Jewish community.” (Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity, 2005, Larry Hurtado)”

                      You missed the points, Rose. Hurtado rejects ditheism, and he would argue that Jesus did not mean to claim to be a second god in any sort of ditheistic sense. This means that, according to Hurtado, the Jews *misunderstood* what Jesus was saying. Your argument is that they understood him correctly but didn’t believe him. Hurtado’s argument is that they misunderstood him.

                      Unlike you, Hurtado doesn’t think that Jesus’ adversaries thought that he “made himself God” (=YHWH) ontologically, but that he “made himself a god” or “a second god”.

                      “His scholarly research is superb. His focus is on the early high christology in the first-century church. Trinitarian terminologies of the 4th century were all anarchronistic to that.”

                      You missed the point, again. We all know that trinitarian terminologies of the 4th century were anachronistic. That’s not in dispute. The oliphaunt in Hurtado’s room is something that is actually HUGELY conspicuous for its absence: The sorts of historical data that one would expect to see if his reconstruction and certain inferences he derives from that reconstruction accurately represented what really occurred.

                      While many, like you, eagerly embrace Hurtado’s views because you infer that they’re friendly to what you already believe, there nevertheless are serious problems with his thesis, and a number of respected scholars have discussed some of them.

                      For example, Adela Yarbro-Collins offers critical analysis Hurtado’s thesis, here:

                      https://books.google.com/books?id=4QIwvdHdrUkC&pg=PA55&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=4#v=onepage&q&f=false

                      She also touches on problems with both Hurtado’s and Bauckham’s theses in the book she co-authored with her husband, John J. Collins, “King and Messiah as Son of God: Divine, Human, and Angelic Messianic Figures in Biblical and Related Literature”. Highly recommended.

                      William Horbury offers critical analysis, here:

                      http://jts.oxfordjournals.org/content/56/2/531.extract

                      Crispin Fletcher-Louis offers critical analysis, here:

                      http://www.tyndalehouse.com/Bulletin/60=2009/1%20Fletcher-Louis.pdf

                      Paula Fredricksen offers critical analysis, here:

                      http://www.bu.edu/religion/files/pdf/Lord-Jesus-Christ-devotion-to-Jesus-in-Early-Christiantiy.pdf

                      Paul Rainbow offers critical analysis, here:

                      http://www.jstor.org/stable/1561199?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

                      James D.G. Dunn offers critical analysis here:

                      http://www.amazon.com/Parting-Ways-Christianity-Significance-Character/dp/0334029996/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1465047439&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Parting+of+the+Ways%2C+dunn

                      I pointed out that there’s a Mûmakil in Hurtado’s room, here:

                      https://kazlandblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/15/on-the-problem-of-expectation/

                      ~Sean

                    • Evangelical Apologetics
                      June 4, 2016 @ 10:44 am

                      Sean,

                      You have emphasized functional equality.

                      *Doing* what God can *do* is functional

                      I have emphasized ontological equality.

                      Doing what God *can* do is ontological.

                      Both co-exist in John 5:15-19

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      June 4, 2016 @ 11:04 am

                      “You have emphasized functional equality….*Doing* what God can *do* is functional…I have emphasized ontological equality…Doing what God *can* do is ontological…Both co-exist in John 5:15-19”

                      Right, and while I have responded directly to your points and shown how they are incorrect, you just keep repeating yourself with assertions that I’ve already shown to be flawed. This isn’t getting us anywhere, Rose.

                      ~Sean

                    • Evangelical Apologetics
                      June 5, 2016 @ 10:58 am

                      You are slow to admit the obvious, Sean.

                      Can you do this or that without having the nature that makes you able to do it? Simple question.

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      June 5, 2016 @ 11:03 am

                      “You are slow to admit the obvious, Sean…Can you do this or that without having the nature that makes you able to do it? Simple question.”

                      Yes, the apostles were able to do even greater things than Jesus did (John 14:12), and they weren’t gods, much less God himself.

                      You’re slow to admit the obvious, Rose. Did the apostles go on to do even greater things than Jesus did, as Jesus himself anticipated, or was Jesus mistaken?

                      ~Sean

                    • Evangelical Apologetics
                      June 6, 2016 @ 1:01 am

                      You, again, took a biblical passage out of context. Jesus preached God’s kingdom from beginning to end of his earthly ministry. The greater things that believers will do is the evangelical mission — in and through them God works to bring the gospel to “every nation” (Romans 1:16 cf. Matthew 28:19). The power by which they could do this things comes from the “power of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:8 cf. Romans 15:13). Sean, do you think that Christians have inherent power? Jesus is God himself in bodily form (Colossians 2:9). His power is divine power and it is intrinsic to himself.

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      June 6, 2016 @ 6:49 am

                      “You, again, took a biblical passage out of context. Jesus preached God’s
                      kingdom from beginning to end of his earthly ministry. The greater
                      things that believers will do is the evangelical mission — in and
                      through them God works to bring the gospel to “every nation” (Romans
                      1:16 cf. Matthew 28:19). The power by which they could do this things
                      comes from the “power of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:8 cf. Romans 15:13).
                      Sean, do you think that Christians have inherent power? Jesus is God
                      himself in bodily form (Colossians 2:9). His power is divine power and
                      it is intrinsic to himself.”

                      The apostles were able to heal the sick and raise the dead (Matt. 10; Acts 9; Acts 20). These are actions that only God can do, yet the Apostles did them.

                      Could they do this or that without having the nature to do it?

                      Regarding Col. 2:9, if God can dwell on a mountain or in a temple, yet the mountain and temple are not God, then why can’t God dwell in a man yet the man not be God?

                      ~Sean

                    • Evangelical Apologetics
                      June 6, 2016 @ 10:51 am

                      Christians can do what God can do since they are empowered by God’s Holy Spirit. The Scriptures are as plain as the nose on your face, Sean.

                      Colossians 2:9 tells us that God himself is at home in the physical body of Jesus Christ. That’s the Incarnation.

                      The divinity of God (theotetos) lives spiritually in God [Jn 4:24] while it lives bodily in Jesus [Col 2:9].

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      June 6, 2016 @ 3:09 pm

                      “Christians can do what God can do since they are empowered by God’s
                      Holy Spirit. The Scriptures are as plain as the nose on your face, Sean.”

                      Exactly, and like his followers, Jesus was able to do powerful works because God empowered him to do so. The Scriptures are as plain as the nose on your face, Rose;-)

                      “Colossians 2:9 tells us that God himself is at home in the physical body of Jesus Christ. That’s the Incarnation. The divinity of God (theotetos) lives spiritually in God [Jn 4:24] while it lives bodily in Jesus [Col 2:9].”

                      God is at home in a physical body just as He is at home on a mountain or in a temple. Since the mountain and the temple are not God by virtue of His dwelling there, so likewise Jesus is not God by virtue of God’s dwelling in him.

                      ~Sean

                    • Evangelical Apologetics
                      June 4, 2016 @ 10:46 am

                      Sean,

                      The critiques of Larry Hurtado more or less view his works as “incomplete” (not full) and not wrong. His scholarly work merely focused on the genesis of the NT christology (Jesus-devotion). Thus, one factor amongst many. Deal with it.

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      June 4, 2016 @ 10:47 am

                      “The critiques of Larry Hurtado more or less view his works as “incomplete” (not full) and not wrong. Deal with it.”

                      You must not have read all of them carefully.

                      ~Sean

                    • Evangelical Apologetics
                      June 5, 2016 @ 11:09 am

                      My own theory is that there is a paradigm shift in monotheism through the ages of biblical history from Old to New. Both intertestamental period and first century Judaism (both influenced by Hellenism) contributed to the radical change of inherited monotheism. This inherited monotheism is the concept of monotheism as found in the Old Testament history. The NT is the game changer here since it paved the way for the later creedal formulations on God to flourish. The evolution of monotheism from OT to NT is intricately linked with Hellenism. God has shone not only in the hearts of the Jews but also in the Greeks. There is something in Hellenism that God favors as we can see in the NT concept of soteriology wherein Gentiles have become part of God’s oikonomia.

                    • Evangelical Apologetics
                      June 6, 2016 @ 10:46 am

                      Prof. Larry Hurtado On Early High Christology

                      i. Jesus-devotion (High Christology)

                      ii. God requires all creation to submit to the Lorship of Jesus.

                      iii. High Christology present in Jewish circles in the young Jesus-movement (Roman Judea; Post-Easter period)

                      iv. The remarkable pattern of Jesus-devotion reflected in Paul’s letters goes back to/among the earliest circles.

                      v. “Ancient Jewish monotheism” didn’t involve necessarily denying the existence of other “gods,”

                      vi. There’s no indication that gentile converts “conflated” Jesus with the other deities.

                      vii. Early believers justified their extraordinary devotional practices involving Jesus on the basis of God’s exaltation of him and requirement that Jesus be so reverenced. They, thus, believed that they were being faithful/obedient to the one God, not deviating from the traditional exclusivity of worship. Their “mutation” or expansion in that “dyadic” direction, they believed, was in response to God’s action and imperative.

                      “The early “post-Easter” Jesus-movement quickly became progressively trans-ethnic in makeup, but there remained a continuing body of Jewish circles at least well into the second century (as witnessed to by, e.g., Justin Martyr in his Dialogue).” ~ Larry Hurtado

                      ” “they shall worship him” in Revelation 22:3 refers to God. The author, however, approves and urges inclusion of “the Lamb” also as rightful co-recipient of worship in Rev 5. So I think that the author (with some other early Christians) regarded a worship pattern that included Jesus with God as the rightful way to worship God. That is, rightly understood (in the minds of this author and, e.g., Paul), the reverence that was given to Jesus was understood as now required by God, and so as worship of God, the way in which God is now to be worshipped–this “dyadic” pattern” (Larry Hurtado).

                      “Devotion to Jesus as resurrected/exalted Lord erupted early, and most likely in circles of Jewish believers in Roman Judaea, and that I find it unlikely that ruler-cult prompted it” (Larry Hurtado).

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      June 6, 2016 @ 10:51 am

                      “Prof. Larry Hurtado On Early High Christology”

                      Rose, you’ve completely ignored the fatal problems with Hurtado’s thesis that were exposed by Crispin Fletcher-Lous and others.

                      I don’t think you are aware or really understand the nature of the problems, because if you did then you’d realize that merely presenting Hurtado’s views does nothing to address the death blow that’s been visited upon them in light of historical expectation.

                      ~Sean

                    • Evangelical Apologetics
                      June 7, 2016 @ 2:19 am

                      It would only be “fatal problems” for his thesis if it were the *only data* on early high christology that fits the evidence. In general, you’ll notice that what were exposed by Crispin Fletcher-Lous and others were merely the inadequacies of Larry Hurtado’s scholarly work. Larry Hurtado does not claim absolute ‘T’ruth. You got hold of the wrong end of the stick, Sean.

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      June 7, 2016 @ 7:11 am

                      “It would only be “fatal problems” for his thesis if it were the *only
                      data* on early high christology that fits the evidence. In general,
                      you’ll notice that what were exposed by Crispin Fletcher-Lous and others
                      were merely the inadequacies of Larry Hurtado’s scholarly work. Larry
                      Hurtado does not claim absolute ‘T’ruth. You got hold of the wrong end
                      of the stick, Sean.”

                      No, Rose, you’re quite mistaken, which suggests that you either didn’t read the critique(s) carefully, or you didn’t understand their true import.

                      I’ve presented you with sufficient data for you to understand that Hurtado’s thesis has received a death blow. I’m going to have to ask you to read Crispin Fletcher-Louis’s article again, and then I want you to restate, as concisely as possible and in your own words, exactly why the enlightenment he offered helps us understand that the problems he outlines so eloquently are critical problems, i.e. they deliver the coup de grâce to Hurtado’s historical reconstruction.

                      If you can convince me that you understand the problems and why they are so deadly severe that Crispin Fletcher-Louis felt the need to try and develop a new model of his own that he considers workable, then we can continue our conversation.

                      Until you do truly understand the severity of the problems, your continued objections and defenses of Hurtado tell us no more and no less than the fact that you are determined to continue to believe what you want to believe no matter what. As I’ve said in the past, I have no control over your unyielding determination to cling to your post biblical theology. I can only try and help you to understand the problems with what you offer to support it.

                      ~Sean

                    • Evangelical Apologetics
                      June 4, 2016 @ 8:58 am

                      Sean,

                      No one can be one with God the same way Jesus can (John 10:30).

                      However, every believer can be ‘completely one’ the same way Jesus and God are (John 17:23).

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      June 4, 2016 @ 9:48 am

                      “No one can be one with God the same way Jesus can (John 10:30).”

                      Yes they can: John 14:12

                    • Evangelical Apologetics
                      June 5, 2016 @ 10:55 am

                      Jesus and God are one in John 10:30. The oneness of Jesus and God are unity of “nature.”

                      Believers are one together like Jesus and God are in John 17:23. The oneness of believers are to be ”perfect.”

                      Context is key, Sean.

                    • Rivers
                      June 5, 2016 @ 8:45 pm

                      EA,

                      The “unity” doesn’t require “nature.” It can also be explained in terms of inheritance. The apostles understood that Jesus Christ was “appointed heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:2) and that all believers were to become “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).

                      The fact that Jesus spoke of being “one” with his “Father” in John 10:30 shows that he is referring to a different being. Even if two persons share the same “nature” it doesn’t follow that they are the same “being.” The human Jesus was “equal with God” because “God was his own Father” (John 5:18).

                      In biblical terms, the child who is the “heir” already “owns everything” that belongs to his father even before he is appointed authority over them (Galatians 4:1-2). This is why Jesus “had” the Father’s glory even before “the world” (i.e. the nation of Israel) was began (Genesis 12:3). Jesus was the “seed” (singular) to whom the promises were intended (Galatians 3:16).

                      What made Jesus Christ unique is that he was called MONGENHS QEOS (John 1:18) which means that the human (risen) Jesus became the sole heir of his Father’s works (Hebrews 1:2; Hebrews 2:7). The “begotten God” is just another way of saying “son of God” (cf. Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5).

                    • Evangelical Apologetics
                      June 6, 2016 @ 12:50 am

                      The unity in John 10:30 could also be a unity of nature since the context incorporated Deut 32:39 to the Lord Jesus.

                    • Rivers
                      June 6, 2016 @ 8:20 am

                      EA,

                      Even if there is an allusion to Deuteronomy 23:39 in the context of John 10:30, it’s evident that Jesus refers to his “Father” as someone different. There would be no reason for Jesus to say “I and the Father are one” if they were the same being.

                      Jesus also plainly said that the Father “has given [the sheep] to me.” Therefore Jesus was an “owner” of the sheep (John 10:12). This is the language of inheritance (just as when the Prodigal son asked his father to “give” him his share of their estate, Luke 15:12) or when a father “gives” gifts to his children (Matthew 7:11).

                    • Evangelical Apologetics
                      June 6, 2016 @ 12:51 am

                      I agree with you regarding inheritance. However, the full scope of the texts do include ontology.

                    • Rivers
                      June 6, 2016 @ 8:23 am

                      EA,

                      Pleas explain why you think “ontology” is required to understand the inheritance implications of John 10:30?

                      Since the apostles understood that all believers would be “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17), do you think that all believers eventually share the same degree of ontological unity that you think is implied in John 10:30?

                    • Evangelical Apologetics
                      June 6, 2016 @ 12:53 am

                      John 6:62 says that Jesus had a previous existence and that in that state he will go back. John 1:18 says that Jesus is God’s only begotten (coming) into the bosom of the Father. Thus, Christ previously existed (pre-existed) as God’s only begotten since he was and he will be and is now in bosom of the Father.

                    • Rivers
                      June 6, 2016 @ 8:30 am

                      EA,

                      Before Jesus spoke of “the son of man ascending to where he was before” (John 6:62), he told his disciples that “I am the bread which came down from heaven … the bread is my FLESH” (John 6:51).

                      Do you think that Jesus already had human “flesh” when he was in heaven before he supposedly came down from heaven to be born? Wouldn’t this be an unavoidable implication of your literalistic interpretation of John 6:62?

                    • Evangelical Apologetics
                      June 6, 2016 @ 11:49 am

                      The SoM of Daniel is a royalty title. We dont need to take it literally.

                    • Rivers
                      June 6, 2016 @ 2:28 pm

                      EA,

                      That’s not the point.

                      Jesus said that “the bread which came down from heaven …. is my FLESH” (John 6:51). If you take the “came down from heaven” literally, wouldn’t it be consistent for you to also conclude that Jesus had “flesh” before he came down from heaven?

                      I agree that “son of man” could be taken as a title that Jesus used after he was born but does not preclude that he could have existed prior to his birth. But, when you insist on making ontological arguements, than I think “flesh” is something you need to consider in John 6:51.

                    • Rivers
                      May 28, 2016 @ 6:43 pm

                      EA,

                      John 10:30 is not referring to consubstantiality at all. In the context, Jesus is an human being who was talking about being the “owner” of God’s sheep (John 10:12, 15) who “received authority” from God to lay down his own life to protect them (John 10:18).

                      When Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30) it follows from John 10:28-29 where he just stated that his “sheep” belonged to God the Father and had been “given” to him. This is an equality that is a matter of inheritance (cf. John 17:2) and not “substance.”

                    • Evangelical Apologetics
                      May 28, 2016 @ 2:06 pm

                      John 5:26 tells us that the Father himself gave something to his Son. To give something to someone means that it was not previously owned by the recipient. However, in this case, what the Father gave to the Son cannot be something the Son never had because the Father gave the Son the very same kind of life he himself had.Therefore, if the Father is always having life in himself, it logically follows that the Son always have it as well since we are not talking about giving plates of pasta here but a giving of life from parent to offspring (heredity). John 5:26 is therefore a clear link between Johannine passages on Christ’s ‘begetting’ and Christ’s entitlement as ‘God’ since by being God’s begotten offspiring, he is being in very nature God.

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      May 28, 2016 @ 6:00 pm

                      “John 5:26 tells us that the Father himself gave something to his Son. To
                      give something to someone means that it was not previously owned by the
                      recipient. However, in this case, what the Father gave to the Son cannot
                      be something the Son never had because the Father gave the Son the very
                      same kind of life he himself had.”

                      One can’t grant someone to have life in himself if he already has it because he’s ontologically eternal.

                      You may as well argue that Jesus is God because ipskidilee ooten dooten, bo bope skadeeton dotten, howchow rowchow, as that would be equally meaningful.

                      ~Sean

                    • Rivers
                      May 28, 2016 @ 6:35 pm

                      EA,

                      Your argument from John 5:26 doesn’t logically follow. The apostles were teaching that all believers would receive “life” from God and nobody construes that to infer that it’s something everyone had before.

                      If you want to understand what MONOGENHS means, you need to look at how the term was used by the apostles after the resurrection of Jesus and to speak of the offering of Isaac. MONOGENHS has nothing to do with the origin of Jesus or Isaac. It is a word that refers to their unique qualification as God’s appointed heir.

              • Rivers
                May 27, 2016 @ 10:14 pm

                Sean,

                There was a lot of “Jewish milieu” during the apostolic era which consisted of numerous opposing theological viewpoints, various places of worship, and different translations and interpretations of the Law. It makes no logical sense whatsoever to claim that the Jews couldn’t conceive of God himself causing the conception of an human being in the womb of a woman (Luke 1:35) or that they would have associated it with “Zeus”.

                • Sean Garrigan
                  May 27, 2016 @ 10:26 pm

                  ” It makes no logical sense whatsoever to claim that the Jews couldn’t
                  conceive of God himself causing the conception of an human being in the
                  womb of a woman (Luke 1:35) or that they would have associated it with
                  “Zeus”.”

                  In your eagerness to disagree with me you’ve missed the point, again.

                  ~Sean

                  • Rivers
                    May 28, 2016 @ 6:30 pm

                    Sean,

                    I apologize for misunderstanding your comment. It wasn’t my intent to simply be disagreeable on that point. I’m glad we agree that God can cause a woman to become pregnant without the intervention of her husband (Luke 1:35).

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      May 28, 2016 @ 6:40 pm

                      “I apologize for misunderstanding your comment. It wasn’t my intent to
                      simply be disagreeable on that point. I’m glad we agree that God can
                      cause a woman to become pregnant without the intervention of her husband
                      (Luke 1:35).”

                      No worries; it happens:-)

                      ~Sean

              • Evangelical Apologetics
                May 28, 2016 @ 1:38 pm

                Jews of the day didn’t need any Greco-Roman myths to led them to God through Christ. Jews were already having their own Wisdom Theology prior to C.E. days.

                God begat Christ from his womb in eternity (Psalm 110:3 LXX)

                God begat Wisdom as his offspring in eternity ( Prov 8:25 LXX)

            • Rivers
              May 27, 2016 @ 10:04 pm

              EA,

              Your “consubstantial” argument doesn’t logically follow because the evidence shows that “God is (invisible) spirit” (John 1:18; John 4:24) and Jesus was visible (1 John 1:1) and tangible “flesh” (John 1:14). Thus, there is no reason to think that MONOGENHS is necessarily dependent upon “substance.”

              The apostles understood that Jesus was “begotten” on the “day” of his resurrection (Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5). God “raised from the dead” the flesh of an human being (Jesus, Acts 2:27-32). There is no reason to think that this “begotten” language referred to anything prior to that time.

              In John 1:18, the MONOGENHS “is in the bosom of the Father” at the time the Gospel is written following the time when God “gave” (i.e. as a sin offering through death) His MONGENHS (John 3:16-18). None of this took place until after Jesus was “about 30 years old” (Luke 3:23).

        • Sean Garrigan
          May 26, 2016 @ 7:24 pm

          EA,

          The gloss “to possess parent’s nature” is not part of the _meaning_ of MONOGENES. Rather, in a human context it is a *result* that naturally follows because human children are brought into being via a literal act of procreation which involves passing on genetic traits.

          But the Jews rejected any notion that YHWH literally copulated
          with a human female to produce a human/divine Son, just as they would have rejected the notion that God was a sort of spirit hermaphrodite who gave literal birth to a heavenly Son. The shared nature is a natural consequence of *literal* parentage, but Jesus was not God’s *literal* ‘Son’.

          As Geza Vermes observed:

          “To a Greek speaker in Alexandria, Antioch or Athens at the turn
          of the eras, the concept hUIOS QEOU, son of God, would have brought to
          mind either one of the many offspring of the Olympian deities, or
          possibly a deified Egyptian-Ptolemaic king, or the divine emperor of
          Rome, descendant of the apotheosized Julius Caesar. But to a Jew, the
          corresponding Hebrew or Aramaic phrase would have applied to none of
          these. For him, son of God could refer, in an ascending order, to any of
          the children of Israel; or to a good Jew; or to a charismatic holy Jew;
          or to the king of Israel; or in particular to the royal Messiah; and
          finally, in a different sense, to an angelic or heavenly being. In other
          words, ‘son of God’ was always understood metaphorically in Jewish
          circles. In Jewish sources, its use never implies participation by the
          person so-named in the divine nature. It may in consequence safely be
          assumed that if the medium in which Christian theology developed had
          been Hebrew and not Greek, it would not have produced an incarnation
          doctrine as this is traditionally understood” (Jesus in His Jewish Context, page 66).

          ~Sean

          • Evangelical Apologetics
            May 27, 2016 @ 4:08 am

            I am.

            Jesus is God’s “own Son” (Romans 8:3) begotten from his own “womb” (Psalm 110:3 LXX). The Son of God, “in the bosom of the Father” (John 1:18). First century Judaism knows that begetting highly implies heredity (Matthew 1:3).

            • Sean Garrigan
              May 27, 2016 @ 4:53 am

              You’re reading metaphorical accounts as though they were metaphysical accounts, which is a serious interpretative error. Psalm 110:3 is poetry, and it isn’t telling us that God has a ‘literal’ womb from which a ‘literal’ child emerged; “Own Son” doesn’t mean “ontological Son”; “bosom of the Father” is relational/positional, not ontological; Matt 1:3 is speaking of a human lineage, which takes us back to *literal* parentage.

              The most serious exegetical flaw in orthodox Christology is that you read Scriptural accounts that are bursting at the seams with figurative language as though they are part of an article you pulled from PubMed on how to perform knee surgery. You’ll never glean the intent of biblical writers with that approach.

              ~Sean

              • Evangelical Apologetics
                May 28, 2016 @ 1:28 pm

                You have reduced the meaning of the texts into a purely figurative connotation.

                Everything in Psalm 110 (A Messianic Psalm) is real and not mere figure of speech.
                Ps. 110:3 (LXX) is not an exception.

                You have dismissed the context of John 1:18.

                It is true that ” to be in someone’s bosom” in Scripure is relational but it is equally true that the relationship of the Father and the Son is so close in that they share the same being (cf. John 1:1).

                You have missed the point of Romans 8:3. Romans 8:32 repeated the phrase “own Son” in light of John 3:16. Both passages highly imply that this offspring is none other than from the substance of the Father.

                The exegetical flaw (eisegesis) in your theory is that it elevates presumption above God’s word. You will see the light of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 4:4).

  4. Evangelical Apologetics
    May 16, 2016 @ 11:29 pm

    God is one in a sense and three in another sense. Every Trinitarian theory (one self trinitarian, three selves trinitarian, social trinitarian and so on) comes from this one and the same underlying biblical concept of “three-in-one.” In this case, the Trinity is a biblical fact since it is highly implied in the NT. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit as one and same substance (God) is deductively derived from exegetical analysis of NT passages. Whether God is a trinity (one God with Word and Spirit) or a Trinity (one God = Father, Son & Holy Spirit) has no bearing on our discussion since the trinity of modern day “biblical unitarians” is NOT the same trinity of the PRE_NICENE trinitarians. Fourth century Trinitarianism is not a novel idea but a doctrine passed down from one generation to the next. The development of the trinity into a Trinity has nothing to do with Socinian Unitarianism of the 16th century. Philippians 2:9-11 (cf. Acts 2:36) reveals that the Son is worshiped as Lord by ‘all creation’ as someone who possesses ‘all authority’ (Matthew 28:18 cf. Ephesians 1:21, Colossians 2:10). In other words, Jesus, as God’s equal, is worshiped by all creation.