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.

25 Comments

  1. Rivers
    January 10, 2015 @ 10:32 am

    Hi Par,

    Thanks for the lengthy reply. I’d like to respond to a few of your points:

    1. Yes, it’s good that we agree on some things. Hopefully, this is because we are being objective and looking at the same points of evidence in the biblical text.

    2. I’m not sure that Luke was “expanding” the meaning of “son of God” when he applied it to Adam (Luke 3:38) because the term was used of other human beings and heavenly angels in the Hebrew scriptures.

    3. Thank you for entertaining the idea that John 1:14-15 should be taken together to be referring to the time when John the baptizer manifested Jesus Christ to Israel and his disciples. Most people are not familiar with reading it that way, but there is much more grammatical and contextual evidence that can be presented to make a persuasive argument.

    4. I don’t like to use the word theological term “incarnation” because it originated after the apostolic era and carries the implication that “the word” (LOGOS) existed (or preexisted) in some personal or impersonal form prior to the birth of Jesus Christ. I think the term like “embody” (MORFWSIS) is better (if one is speaking of the way the biblical writers understood that the LOGOS was an audible and tangible person when they were with him, 1 John 1:1-2).

    5. Perhaps we can discuss the apostolic usage of “begotten” further. It does appear to me that they considered the resurrection to be “the day” when Jesus was “begotten” by the Father (Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5-6; Hebrews 5:5). That is why I think they were associating it with his being “the firstborn from among the dead” (Colossians 1:18) and not with his conception (Luke 1:35).

    The idea of MONOGENHS meant simply that someone was an “only child.” However, from the perspective of the apostles (who were writing after the resurrection of Jesus, and before the final resurrection) Jesus was the only one who had been “born from above” (John 3:3-6) and “from the dead” (Colossians 1:18). T

    Thus, I think the reason the writer of the 4th Gospel called Jesus Christ the “the only begotten” (John 1:14; John 1:18; John 3:16-18) is because he was the only one qualified (by resurrection to immortality) to ascend into heaven to become “the heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:3-4). The writer also understood that this had given Jesus Christ the authority to decide who else would become a fellow heir with him (John 1:12) when he raised them up at a later time (John 5:25-29).

  2. Mario
    January 10, 2015 @ 10:32 am

    Pär

    I m[u]st confess that I am not familiar with the adjective categories you have mentioned, neither from my own studies nor my formal training.

    You may find useful to look at Learn to Read New Testament Greek, by David Alan Black, B&H Publishing Group, 2009, 272 pp. In particular, § 44, Uses of the Adjective.

    Yes, making hAGION as substantival and GENNWMENON as attributive is indeed as possibility, but it does not seem to be the most natural reading.

    I don’t see why the variant with ek sou appended to (and complementing) gennômenon as an attributive adjective would be awkward, let alone “screaming [for hagion] to be viewed as an adjectival predicate”. The main problem with hagion] viewed as an adjectival predicate is that it compels to force into the verse a predicative “will be” (see NET Bible translation of Luke 1:35). All this seems most artificial to me. Anyway, one would expect to find at least a kai before klêthêsetai or a de after it.

  3. Pär Stenberg
    January 10, 2015 @ 6:05 am

    Mario,

    I most confess that I am not familiar with the adjective categories you have mentioned, neither from my own studies nor my formal training. Unless you by restricted mean for example (“my brother who lives in Sweden is hairy” vs “my brother, who lives in Sweden, is hairy” / “the holy thing who is born will be called…” vs “the holy thing, who is born, will be called…”)? Would you care to elaborate? Are these syntactical categories (they look similar to my 1 & 2 position attributival adjectives)? Or do they rather have to do with meaning/nuances in translation? Or the function they have within the clause (hO POIMHN hO KALOS functioning as subject compliment?). Would you care to show how and why these categories are relevant for understanding our text?

    Yes, making hAGION as substantival and GENNWMENON as attributive is indeed as possibility, but it does not seem to be the most natural reading. TO GENNWMENON looks — at first glance at least — as a substantival passive participle functioning as the subject; and hAGION is screaming to be viewed as an adjectival predicate. This is witnessed by the ancient variant EK SOU as found in the Western, Byzantine plattform, and is also witnessed by Justin Martyr and the Diatessaron. As I mention in my blogpost, whether or not this reading is original or not, it is a witness to that early Greek speakers understood hAGION as predicate. Also, the parallel text in Matthew (Luke’s source, in my opinion) TO GENNHQEN, could be as further possible support for TO GENNWMENON being understood as substantival.

    Alas, I think this discussion is reaching its end. I will let you have to final word, good sir. Thank you for this exchange.

  4. Mario
    January 9, 2015 @ 8:22 pm

    Pär

    I obviously do not put in question the distinction between the Attributive role of Greek Adjectives as distinct from the Predicate role. Also, within the Attributive role, the Greek grammar further distinguishes between the Ascriptive Use (e.g. ho agathos anthropos) and the Restrictive Use (e.g. egô eimi ho poimên ho kalos), which you haven’t even mentioned. On the other hand I have neither notion nor evidence of the little mechanical rule whereby the Attributive or Predicate role would depend on the relative position of Article, Adjective and Noun.

    But I must correct (actually, reverse) something that I previously said. It is Adjective hagion (“holy thing”) that is substantival and the subject of the sentence. The Present Passive Participle gennômenon functions as an Attributive Adjective (“to be begotten”) and refers to the subject. In conclusion, once again, the proper translation of dio kai to gennômenon hagion klêthêsetai yios theou is: “Therefore the holy one to be begotten will be called Son of God”.

  5. Pär Stenberg
    January 9, 2015 @ 5:33 pm

    Agreed 🙂

  6. Rivers
    January 9, 2015 @ 4:49 pm

    Mario / Par,

    There’s really no need to wrangle about those grammatical rules because the rest of the evidence shows that Jesus wasn’t known as “the son of God” until at least the beginning of his public ministry. This is evident in all of the Gospel accounts. 🙂

  7. Pär Stenberg
    January 9, 2015 @ 2:15 pm

    I am curious. On what basis do you doubt this basic syntactical rule? Daniel B. Wallace is a rather trustworthy authority, and I can provide other grammatical resources as well that would agree.

  8. Mario
    January 9, 2015 @ 2:06 pm

    Pär

    I am not at all aware (and quite frankly I doubt the validity of) the “rule” relative to the combinations of Article, Adjective and Noun that you have found in Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, p. 308-309.

    I was also considering the notes appended to the NET Bible translation of Luke 1:35. And I do find the “attributive” translation in the note (“the one [to be] born holy will be called the Son of God”) the only one that sounds right.

  9. Pär Stenberg
    January 9, 2015 @ 1:03 pm

    Hmmm that was confusing with all the question marks. Sorry about that. Link: http://classic.net.bible.org/verse.php?book=luk&chapter=1&verse=35

  10. Pär Stenberg
    January 9, 2015 @ 1:01 pm

    … Unless you claim that GENNWMENON functions as an attributive adjective, taking hAGION as substantival, that is.

    NET Bible (which opts for my translation)

    The wording of this phrase depends on whether the adjective is a predicate adjective, as in the text, or is an adjective modifying the participle serving as the subject. The absence of an article with the adjective speaks for a predicate position. Other less appealing options supply a verb for “holy”; thus “the one who is born will be holy”; or argue that both “holy” and “Son of God” are predicates, so “The one who is born will be called holy, the Son of God.”

    Or “Therefore the holy child to be born will be called the Son of God.” There are two ways to understand the Greek phrase ?? ?????????? ????? (to gennwmenon {agion) here. First, ?? ?????????? could be considered a substantival participle with ????? as an adjective in the second predicate position, thus making a complete sentence; this interpretation is reflected in the translation above. Second, ?? ????? could be considered a substantival adjective with ?????????? acting as an adjectival participle, thus making the phrase the subject of the verb ?????????? (klhqhsetai); this interpretation is reflected in the alternative reading. Treating the participle ?????????? as adjectival is a bit unnatural for the very reason that it forces one to understand ????? as substantival; this introduces a new idea in the text with ????? when an already new topic is being introduced with ??????????. Semantically this would overload the new subject introduced at this point. For this reason the first interpretation is preferred.

  11. Pär Stenberg
    January 9, 2015 @ 12:51 pm

    Mario,

    Yes, you have presented valid points against the view that Luke 1:35 refers to Jesus baptism. I agree with you. However, unlike you find such a view to be, it is fully possible to argue for it based on the grammar. That’s my point. I will say it once more: IT IS POSSIBLE TO ARGUE FOR THE BAPTISM FULLFILMENT BUT I DO NOT FIND IT LIKELY.

    Yes, there is no verse in the birth narratives saying “Psst, this is in reference to the baptism”. Yet, the reader might well wait for a fullfilment of the angels words, which — as Luke unfolds the story — then could be viewed as happening at the baptism. Similarly, Luke 1:76 does not mention how and when these events will be fullfilled, yet as one continue reading, the reader at last understand “Aha! That is what was meant earlier”.

    I am letting go of this point, since we seem to be talking past each other; and arguing for a view I do not hold to is not that exciting.

    Now, on to the Greek. I have a decent grasp of the langauge, but I am no expert by any means. If possible, do correct me and give me some references. It would be appreciated.

    As far as I can tell, for a adjective to modify a noun (in this case a definitive substantival participle), there need to be some criterion that are met. Wallacd writes: “When the article is present, the relation of adjective to noun is easy to determine. When the adjective is within the article-noun group (i.e. when it has an article immediatley before it), it is attributive to the noun and hence modifies or qualifies the noun is some way. When the adjective is outside the article-noun group, it is predicate to the noun and hence makes an assertion about it”
    (Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, p. 308-309)

    The attributive relation is marked out in three ways when the article is present:

    1) Art Adj Noun
    2) Art Noun Art Adj
    3) Noun Art Adj

    The syntax in Luke 1:35 fits neither of these.

    The predicate can be expressed in two positions:

    1) Arr Adj Noun
    2) Art Noun Adj

    The latter is what we find in Luke 1:35.

    Dinner time

  12. Pär Stenberg
    January 9, 2015 @ 12:22 pm

    Rivers,

    Nice to see that we can agree at times. I do not have much of a response for this reason. Although, a few clarifications are in order, I supose.
    Thanks for further clarifying your perspective a little bit more. I didn’t mean to misrepresent anything that you said.

    “I agree that Jesus was genealogically the son of God from the time of his conception (Luke 1:35) and that this is also suggested by the statement that Luke attributes to Jesus when he was a child “in my Father’s house” (Luke 2:49), as well as the reference to Adam being “the son of God” at the beginning of his genealogy (Luke 3:38).”

    Agree… I think. Unsure how you understand “genealogically”. The reference to Adam I see as evidence that Luke has expanded the meaning of “son of God” beyond mere messianism.

    “With regard to John 1:14, I don’t think any notion of “incarnation” should be inferred at all, but I agree that “the word became flesh AND dwelt among us” is undoubtedly referring to the time when Jesus Christ was baptized and began making disciples.”

    Incarnation was maybe not the ideal word, yet the word came in flesh, in fact became flesh. I am entertaining the possibility that v. 14 in light of verse 15 is talking about the time of Jesus baptism, but not fully convinced.

    “I’m not sure about your “womb of the grave” statement. Can you show me where you think the biblical writers would have associated a tomb with a womb (literally or figuratively)? I also don’t see “begotten” in Luke 3:22. Can you elaborate on that as well?” (…) ”
    “My thinking is that “the begotten” was a specific term that the disciples related to the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5-6; Hebrews 5:5) because…””

    Womb of grave is simply my poetic way of talking about God’s begetting of Jesus in the resurrection. That is all.

    Once more I am not sure what meaning you import into begotten. I do not find any compelling evidence for it being an technical term. If the Wester variant in Luke 3:22 is original, then this be evidence for a not fully fixed theological meaning. The earliest Christians probably did use it in reference to Jesus’ resurrection in light Psalm 2, but that is not to say that the word was limited to such a meaning. Most naturally it would seem that the child in Mary was begotten by God through the spirit, resulting in Jesus being the begotten son of God. Would you disagree?

    Sadly, time escapes me and the stove and oven calls my name. Brb dinner making

  13. Mario
    January 9, 2015 @ 12:22 pm

    Pär

    First, there is no evidence that Luke has in mind Jesus’ Baptism, when he speaks of the Holy Spirit with reference to his future birth (Luke 1:35 – future with reference to the time of narration, of course).

    Second, and once again, there is no textual nor contextual evidence that, at verse 1:35 Luke was referring ahead to what would happen at vv. 3:21-22.

    Third, the action of the Holy Spirit, even towards John the Baptist, was dual: John “will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth” (Luke 1:15 – a miracle, not a virgin conception, though) AND he will be later guided by God’s Holy Spirit in his prophetic role of harbinger and witness of the Christ at Jesus’ Baptism.

    As for the critical phrase, dio kai to gennômenon hagion klêthêsetai yios theou, my ancient/koine Greek is well founded on Classical studies. I have no idea wherefrom you would glean the “rule” whereby (only?) having the article repeated (to gennômenon to hagion) would allow for the “attributive”, rather than (double) “predicative” interpretation.

  14. Pär Stenberg
    January 9, 2015 @ 11:39 am

    Mario,

    Firstly, out curiosity and in light of earlier accusations of eisegesis, do you think the author was thinking in your categories, or are you importing them into the discussion as an interpretative aid?

    Secondly, whether or not you understand what happens at Jesus baptism as happening on the kerygmatic plane is irrelevant. All I am saying is that Luke 1:35 “he will be called the son of God” CAN refer to his baptism. What that then means I have not yet made any claims concerning. I am trying to highlight the possibilities and limits of what Luke 1:35 could possibly be saying.

    No, John was not born of a virgin; I fail to see how this even remotely addresses my point.

    Now concerning the variant in Codex D, it is true that this reading is found mostly in the western text type, yet a strong argument can be made for it being the original reading. Since I myself do not believe this to be the case, I will not spend more time on this point.I would recommend checking out Ehrman, who holds to this view.

    In regards to the syntax, the repetition of the article would make it clear that hAGION is to be understood as an attributive. My Greek is limited so please correct me, but the only two ways you can have the reading “the holy one begotten” is either if Luke had written TO GENNWMENON TO hAGION, or if GENNWMENON functions not as an noun but as the adjective, whilst hAGION then functions as a substantival adjective. If the latter be the case, you would need to show that the article belongs to hAGION and not GENNWMENON. The predicate reading would then most naturally give you two clauses: the one being begotten is holy; he will be called son of God. Or maybe, the one being begotten will be called a holy one, a/the son of God.

  15. Rivers
    January 9, 2015 @ 11:29 am

    Par,

    Thanks for further clarifying your perspective a little bit more. I didn’t mean to misrepresent anything that you said.

    I agree that Jesus was genealogically the son of God from the time of his conception (Luke 1:35) and that this is also suggested by the statement that Luke attributes to Jesus when he was a child “in my Father’s house” (Luke 2:49), as well as the reference to Adam being “the son of God” at the beginning of his genealogy (Luke 3:38).

    With regard to John 1:14, I don’t think any notion of “incarnation” should be inferred at all, but I agree that “the word became flesh AND dwelt among us” is undoubtedly referring to the time when Jesus Christ was baptized and began making disciples. That is why this statement appears in the context of the writer’s discussion of the purpose of John’s ministry (John 1:6-9, 15).

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the writer spoke of the time when John “manifested the Christ to Israel” (John 1:30-31) and then later referred to Jesus Christ being “manifested” as “the word of life” in their midst (1 John 1:2). Thus, to “become flesh” may have simply meant that the identity of Jesus Christ became recognizable to those who began to follow him.

    I think most interpreters have made the mistake of disconnecting “the word became flesh” (John 1:14a) from the rest of the statement “AND dwelt among us” (John 1:14b), as well as the following verse where the writer indicates that John said that Jesus would “come AFTER him” (John 1:15). The evidence shows that it was AFTER John “manifested” the identify of Jesus at his baptism, that the disciples began dwelling with him (John 1:34-49).

    I’m not sure about your “womb of the grave” statement. Can you show me where you think the biblical writers would have associated a tomb with a womb (literally or figuratively)? I also don’t see “begotten” in Luke 3:22. Can you elaborate on that as well?

    My thinking is that “the begotten” was a specific term that the disciples related to the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5-6; Hebrews 5:5) because they understood that his glorification established him as “the heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:3-4). The Father’s inheritance would belong to the firstborn son, and this is why Paul understood that Jesus Christ was “the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead” (Colossians 1:18).z

    This may also be why John the baptizer made the connection between Jesus “having a higher rank” than, and “existing before” him (John 1:15, 27-30). This was probably an allusion to the resurrection when Jesus became “the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead” (Colossians 1:18; Revelation 3:14) and not a matter of preexistence or incarnation. Jesus Christ was resurrected to receive the inheritance (Hebrews 1:3-4) before all others would become heirs with him at the end of the age (Matthew 25:34; 1 Corinthians 15:50).

  16. Mario
    January 9, 2015 @ 10:56 am

    Pär

    I do not think it is eisegesis to propose that “he will be called son of God” looks ahead to God’s declaration at Jesus’ baptism. Since 1:76 about John the Baptist (“You will be called the prophet of the Most High BECAUSE you will go before hand… Etc” ) points us to a fulfillment not in his birth but in a more distant future, this MAY also be the case with Jesus. It is an exegetical possibility at the very least. This further supported by the Western reading in Luke 3:22, a reading that is favoured by many (e.g. Dunn), in which God explicitly says that this is the day Jesus is begotten.

    You confuse two different planes, the kerygmatic plane and the aetiological plane. Jesus will be rightly announced (kerygma) as the Son of God at his baptism, not because he has been “anointed in the Holy Spirit” then, though, but because (aetiology) God had already operated in Mary’s womb with His Holy Spirit at his conception. As for John the Baptist, he was not conceived through a virgin birth, was he? Your parallel simply doesn’t stand. As for the “Western reading in Luke 3:22” the overwhelming majority of mss do not have the Ps 2:7 quote.

    I would love to translate the passage as “the holy thing begotten” but this view has a lot of problems as mentioned in my post. Is it your position then that the article before GENNWMENON goes with hAGION?

    Lets have another look at the text.

    dio kai to gennômenon hagion klêthêsetai yios theou

    Grammatical analysis:
    dio Conjunction
    kai Conjunction
    to Article – Nominative Singular Neuter
    gennômenon Verb – Present Passive Participle – NSN (from gennaô)
    hagion Adjective – NSN
    klêthêsetai Verb – Future Passive Indicative (from kaleô)
    yios Noun – Nominative Singular Masculine
    theou Noun – Genitive Singular Masculine

    I simply do not understand your problem. The Present Passive Participle to gennômenon is, indeed, substantival and the subject of the sentence. The Adjective hagion refers to the subject. Why would repeating the article (to gennômenon to hagion) make things “clearer”?

  17. Pär Stenberg
    January 9, 2015 @ 9:56 am

    Rivers,

    Thank you for joining in the discussion. I am not saying that Jesus became God’s son at baptism; but that it is a possibile reading of Luke 1:35. Seeing that Jesus referred to God as his father in Luke 2, he probably was already God’s son prior to baptism according to Luke. Now it may well be that it is at the baptism, Jesus is first publicly recognized as the son of God. John 1:14 might also be understood as alluding to the baptism of Jesus as the moment when the word became incarnate.

    His status as son undoubtedly changed at the resurrection, when once more God brought him forth but this time not from Mary’s womb, but from the womb of the grave. Marked out as son of God in power.

    Now, was this the first time when Jesus was viewed as the begotten Son? Well, Luke 1:35 might say no, and perhaps also Luke 3:22 in Codex D).

  18. Rivers
    January 9, 2015 @ 9:46 am

    Par,

    I’m inclinded to agree with you here.

    According to the testimony of the John the baptizer, Jesus’ wasn’t understood to be “the son of God” until John saw holy spirit remaining upon him when he was baptized (John 1:31-34). Between the time of Jesus’ conception (Luke 1:35) and his baptism, there is no evidence that anyone actually recognized or referred to him as “the son of God.” This is corroborated by the other Gospel accounts as well (Matthew 4:3-6; Mark 3:11; Luke 4:3-9).

    Another consideration here is that it seems that the apostles understood that the resurrection of Jesus Christ became the time when he was “declared to be the son of God with power” (Romans 1:3) and became know as “the begotten” (i.e. the heir). The apostles identified his status as “the begotten” with the time of his resurrection (Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5-6; Hebrews 5:5) and there is no evidence that Jesus was even known as “the begotten son” until that time. This is why the few references to Jesus as “the begotten son” only appear as commentary by the writer of the 4th Gospel (and are not part of the actual historical conversation between Jesus and his disciples).

  19. Pär Stenberg
    January 9, 2015 @ 9:18 am

    Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I just cleaned it up making it easier to read 🙂 WordPress for some reason keeps resteting any added HTML each time I update a post.

    Anyways,

    I do not think it is eisegesis to propose that “he will be called son of God” looks ahead to God’s declaration at Jesus’ baptism. Since 1:76 about John the Baptist (“You will be called the prophet of the Most High BECAUSE you will go before hand… Etc” ) points us to a fulfillment not in his birth but in a more distant future, this MAY also be the case with Jesus. It is an exegetical possibility at the very least. This further supported by the Western reading in Luke 3:22, a reading that is favoured by many (e.g. Dunn), in which God explicitly says that this is the day Jesus is begotten.

    I would love to translate the passage as “the holy thing begotten” but this view has a lot of problems as mentioned in my post. Is it your position then that the article before GENNWMENON goes with hAGION?

    And yes, we both would agree that the hAGION spirit makes the child hAGION.

  20. Mario
    January 9, 2015 @ 7:53 am

    Pär,

    I have read your post. I disagree with your tentative conclusion (which you seem to discard, anyway), viz. that “[i]t is possible that 1:35 looks ahead at its fulfilment at Jesus’ baptism”. It is certainly NOT exegesis, but eisegesis, or, in other words, a manifestly “motivated” reading.

    As for the translation of the key sentence …

    dio kai to gennômenon hagion klêthêsetai yios theou

    … this is, I believe the closest and best translation:

    “Therefore the holy one to be born will be called son of God”

    I disagree that agion would have a “predicative function”: hagion is manifestly a consequence of the operation of God’s pneuma hagion.

  21. Pär Stenberg
    January 9, 2015 @ 7:02 am

    Sigh… If only I would proof read

    *see = she
    *If do = if so
    *??? = dio kai

  22. Pär Stenberg
    January 9, 2015 @ 7:00 am

    Well to be fair, Mary seems more puzzled over how see will become pregnant despite her not currently being sexually active. Her question is not how the Messiah can be both David’s son while yet being God’s son. In fact, it is entirely possible to read Luke 1:35 in purely messianic terms, yet I would cause against it based on Luke 3:38. I have recently written on this: https://nomoschristou.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/on-luke-135-and-the-begetting-of-the-son-of-god/

    It is also possible (yet I argue against it) that “he will be called son of God” is in reference to Jesus’ baptism, not his birth. If do, the inferential function of ??? ??? is only in reference to the child being holy.

  23. Mario
    January 9, 2015 @ 6:53 am

    It is only when Mary asks for further clarification that the angel offers further revelation concerning how this birth will go about and its implications for the child as holy and as son of God.

    Pär,

    that’s precisely my point. What the angel says to Mary in Luke 1:35 makes it clear that Mary was right in being puzzled, and that there was more to, “He … will be called the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:32) than a honorific, Messianic, Davidic title.

    Here is the verse, once again:

    The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)

    The key word is that “therefore” (Greek: dio kai) which establishes an unmistakable causal connection between God’s operation AND the divine Sonship of “the holy one to be born”.

  24. Pär Stenberg
    January 9, 2015 @ 4:53 am

    Mario,

    Since Messiah and “God’s son” were nearly synonymous, there was perhaps no need. 😉 You might as well claim that Holy Spirit forgot to tell Simeon that the child was David’s son BVM. Moreover, we are only given a brief summary statement of God’s promise through the spirit to Symeon. What information he was given we do not know. Perhaps it was similar to what was first told to Mary in 1:32. It is only when Mary asks for further clarification that the angel offers further revelation concerning how this birth will go about and its implications for the child as holy and as son of God.

    What is your stance on Jesus as son of God, Mario?

  25. Mario
    December 25, 2014 @ 3:05 pm

    Dale,

    the key sentence is this …

    It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. (Luke 2:26)

    … where you have appropriately bolded the phrase “the Lord’s Messiah”.

    The Holy Spirit must have omitted to inform Simeon that “this child” was God’s Son, miraculously and mysteriously conceived from the BVM … 😉