b-greek-digest V1 #521
b-greek-digest Thursday, 22 December 1994 Volume 01 : Number 521
In this issue:
Re: Isaiah 9:6 LXX
LXX/OG & MT
Re: b-greek-digest V1 #519
Re: Col. 1:15, PRWTOTOKOS
From: Dennis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 1994 17:55:19 -0700 (MST)
Subject: Re: Isaiah 9:6 LXX
Sorry if I misunderstood your original post regarding the MT vs. LXX.
From: Robert Kraft <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 1994 20:34:39 -0500 (EST)
Subject: LXX/OG & MT
Thanks to Ed Hobbes for the bibliographical update on Frank Cross'
position. For even more information and bibliography on these subjects,
see Emanuel Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible (Fortress 1992)
and his earlier (and presumably scarcer) volume on The Text-Critical Use
of the Septuagint in Biblical Research (Simor 1981, in the series
"Jerusalem Biblical Studies"). Some of you will recognize Tov as the
current coordinator of the DSS publications team/project. For a picture
in living color, see my home page on the WWW --
(talk about "dropping names" ....).
As for "LXX" as a designation, I would urge modern scholars to take the
admonition seriously that Ed reported of Cross, and avoid leaving the
impression that we have some sort of linguistic homogeneity in the Greek
materials. I've started referring to "LXX/OG" as the general title,
after years of struggling with this problem. Maybe it will catch on?
Bob Kraft, UPenn
From: MR ALAN R CRAIG <CSRT29A@prodigy.com>
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 1994 23:38:41 EST
Subject: Re: b-greek-digest V1 #519
- -- [ From: Alan R. Craig * EMC.Ver #2.10P ] --
- -------- REPLY, Original message follows --------
> From: ROBERT MONDORE <MONDORER@a1.cs.hscsyr.edu>
> Date: Tue, 20 Dec 1994 06:03:00 -0500 (EST)
> Subject: Scholar??? In what?
> >>>-- [ From: Alan R. Craig * EMC.Ver #2.10P ] --
> For those of you who may be interested, I thought you might like to
> what a scholar had written about the meaning of this verse in the
> 1807. Interestingly, he first translates John 1:1 to read (with his
> In the beginning was the word,
> and the word was with God,
> and the word was [a] God. <<<
> Frankly, Alan, I find this whole post rather amazing. This list is
> biblical Greek. I find nothing in this 19th century "scholar's" long
> that indicates that he knew even a shred of Greek.
> What were his qualifications? How about some background?
Sorry, but I have no information on him. A friend of my in England
sent it to me a few years ago. Otherwise, now that you have asked,
I'll see what I can do about finding something on him.
I'm also sorry that you did not appreciate his findings. Yes, I find
it quite interesting that so often when one simply disagrees with
another, that is, as to the conclusions they might have arrived at from
out of their own study of the Scriptures, the first question is, `what
are his qualifications' and "background"? For some reason, when
someone takes that position, I get the impression that it must come
from out of a conviction that only *they* can and do properly
understand the Scriptures.
Mind you, I only posted it because I thought that, since there has
been such a lengthy discussion on the reading and meaning of this verse
(John 1:1), certain ones might find it `interesting' to consider.
Sorry if it offended you in any way.
Upper Marlboro, Maryland, USA
Date: Thu, 22 Dec 1994 00:28:51 -0500
Subject: Re: Col. 1:15, PRWTOTOKOS
firstname.lastname@example.org (Dan G. McCartney, Westminster Semin) quoted and
commented as follows:
>David Moore responds to my earlier posting on Col 1:15-16:
>> So, what about the O(TI of v. 16? Our exegesis should inform our
>>theology: our theological ideas should not demand preconceived answers from
>First, causal _hoti_ is not always indicative of strictly cause-effect
>relation. E.g. 1 Cor 10:17, where the one loaf does not *cause* the
>fellowship, but rather *indicates* it, and shows it to be true.
>Second, even if we take Col 1:16 _hoti_ to be strictly causal, what v. 16
>says is that Jesus is firstborn of creation because he *mediated*
>creation (as I said in my earlier posting).
>I would agree with Lightfoot that the two halves of v.15 indicate different
>things, even though they are in some ways parallel. As Lightfoot says, they
>are differently related. We could say the same of Adam. Adam, in relation
>to deity, was created in God's image; in relation to creation he was
>appointed vicegerent over it. Like Adam, Jesus was the visible Man who
>reveals the invisible God, and as pre-eminent mediator becomes the
>firstborn or patriarch of creation, just as Adam was in a limited sense
>prior to the fall.
>I think, David, that we are on the same side on this. I agree that this
>passage is, to quote you, "a very emphatic statement about the pre-existence
>of Christ and his activity in the creation." I *agree* that this passage
>assumes and teaches Christ's deity, and that his deity is a necessary
>qualification for his mediatorial role in creation, which means it is his
>unique qualification as firstborn of all creation. My point is simply that
>there is *another* qualification necessary -- namely that he be *from*
>creation (cf. Heb 5:1-5, where his qualification for priesthood necessitates
>his humanity). This was the point of my original posting, which was in
>response to somebody's query about "firstborns" being included in the
>set of beings over which they are pre-eminent.
That Christ became incarnate, according to the will of God, to save
those that would believe, and that without such incarnation, salvation would
not be possible seems to me to be good biblical theology. The question
remains whether that is the emphasis in Col. 1:15-20. It would be incorrect
to think that Paul would be denying that position here, since he does
enunciate, in other places, the necessity of the encarnation for salvation
(Rom. 3:21-26; Gal. 4:4,5). But, again, is that Pauls emphasis in Col.
It might be good to think about what errors Paul was combatting at
Colossae. Although a detailed catalogue of the Colossian errorists beliefs
is beyond us at this point, some of their major themes which Paul combats are
fairly clear from what he has written. There were some elements of Jewish
legalism (2:16); there was a problem with asceticism (2:21-23). Another
problem he deals with is the worshipping of angels (2:18). A problem that
seems to have been related to all of these is the errorists' efforts to make
believers subject to the STOIXEIA, which apparently were powers
representative of elements of the created universe.
Paul meets this challenge by emphasizing the *superiority* of Christ to
all the created order and by emphasizing the unity of believers with Christ
the Head of the body called the church. I honestly don't find an *emphasis*
on the encarnation - or Christ's unity with humanity (through His birth) - in
Col. 1:15-20. Not that it is ruled out, or absent, or denied - just not
emphasized. The emphasis is on His superiority to all created things. And
in v. 20 that superiority is again brought out as Paul implicitly states that
all the created order depends on Christ for its reconciliation to God:
"Whether things on earth or those in the heavens" (v. 20b). TA PANTA (v.
If E. Schwitzer's analysis of the hymnal structure of Col. 1:15-20 (See
Ralph Martin, _Colossians and Philemon_) could be accepted, considering the
sections of the passage that he calls insertions by the Apostle would help us
understand what the latter is trying to bring out in the material he is
quoting. According to Schwitzer's scenario, the words, "Visible and
invisible, whether thrones or dominions, or principalities or authorities,"
in v. 16 are inserted by Paul. In v. 18, the words THS EKKLHSIAS have been
added to avoid a pantheistic understanding of "body." In v. 20, Schwitzer
suggests that Paul has expanded the original hymn with, "Whether things on
earth or those in the heavens." And the statement in v. 20 about Christ's
making peace through the blood of His cross would also, hypothetically, be
one of Paul's additions to his source material here. All of the present
paragraph is, of course, based on conjectural material. But it does bring up
some intriguing possibilities that might repay consideration.
David L. Moore
End of b-greek-digest V1 #521
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