john 1, jesus=god
Ken - No, the other NT passage I had in mind, that might support a Nicene
Christology, on a plain reading and without post-NT theological blinders,
is John 20:28, from the mouth of doubting Thomas: "ho kurios
mou kai ho theos mou," "my master and my g/God." There might be others,
but this and John 1:1 are the only verses I know of.
John 1:18b is "monogenEs theos" in some manuscripts, but "monogenEs
huios" and simply "huios" in other manuscripts. I don't have my Greek NT
here or I'd check the variants. But I will say, with regard to literary
criticism, that just "huios" seems the proper reading, since it fits
snugly with what follows: "huios ho On eis ton kolpon tou patros" -
father/son are here the images, without "g/God" or "only-born" intruding.
The "monogenEs theos" reading is a mind-numbing paradox - how can God be
only-born, and of what? (yes I know there are *theological* answers, but
literarily it is gibberish), especially when John has just emphasized
"theon oudeis heOraken pOpote." John *has* seen Jesus, but he knows he
never saw *God*.
David Mealand - Thanks for the contribution. I'm satisfied "theos" cannot
be construed as adjectival (and I personally never supported this
interpretation), but 2a still seems like a paradox to me. I don't see how
it could be anything but equating simple identity, to say "Zeus is God."
Let's compare an example in English:
Yesterday there was a boy. The boy was with his dog, and the boy was
his dog, and the boy was with his dog yesterday.
A reader would certainly be stumped by something like this, trying to get
at the plain sense of it. This is true even though John expects his
readers to follow sophisticated figurative language, like Jesus's (John
17:25, and of course, John 17:21 "hina pantes hen Osin, kathOs su, patEr,
en emi kagO en soi, hina kai autoi en hemin Osin" etc.). But I doubt that
John intended a paradoxical reading, pleasing only to mystics and
dogmatic systematic theologians.
Take another English example:
I'm cutting out WORDS from a magazine for a collage. I cut out a
FLOWER and put it next to the potted FLOWER on my windowsill. Now the
WORD is FLOWER and the WORD is with the FLOWER.
Do you see? The words are the same, and both nouns, but with different
referents: one a kind of proper noun, and the other a common noun meaning
the "word" for the thing, not the thing itself. That is why I was
wondering whether or not John 1:1 "theos En ho logos" might not be
*capable* of a translation/rendering,
"God" was the word,
or the word was: "God"
Or is this impossible?