How would you translate this?

Al Kidd (
Sun, 18 Aug 1996 14:43:43 -0400 (EDT)


I suggest the following:

"I regard you as the ones who practice lawlessness; even before the Law came
to be, you have been practicing lawlessness."

The context would have to render this a sensible statement, for who could
have lived long enough to have been a practicer of lawlessness from before
the giving of the Law until some period of time after the giving of the Law?
Well, let us suppose the speaker to have been a Caleb or a Joshua who spoke
while there was a rebellious generation of Israelites wandering yet in the
wilderness. That would be a context that makes sensible the statement above.

What about John 8:58? The EGW EIMI is sensibly spoken by Jesus Christ, who
lived in heaven before Abraham's birth. How long he was alive in heaven
before Abraham's birth Jesus did not say to his enemies. The statement,
however, was enough to remind Jesus' enemies that Jesus was one whom men
proclaimed to be the Christ, and now they were hearing as much from Jesus'
own lips. Yes, Jesus let it be known that he was the foretold Christ, and
that he was the Son of the Holy One, for he was speaking about his unique
sonship with the One whom they declared to be their God.

I do not see that the context allows us to see in Jesus' words any
foreshadowing of a homoousiite theology. Such would have been speech from
Jesus that is not defensible from a critical (reasonable) perspective,
epistemologically and psychologically speaking, this regardless of whether
we refer to a time either before or after the first century. More
importantly, Scripture does not incline us in the direction of homoousiite
theology. And we are to love God with the whole mind, right?

Al Kidd