θεὸς πατήρ and convertible propositions (per Wallace)

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Mike Baber
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Location: Texas

θεὸς πατήρ and convertible propositions (per Wallace)

Post by Mike Baber » August 20th, 2011, 8:04 pm

I'll try to keep this as theologically deficient as possible and instead focused on syntax.

1. Is the appositional phrase θεὸς πατήρ a convertible proposition (per Wallace)?
2. If so, does this mean that πατήρ ("the Father") is the only θεὸς ("God")?

Also, on this subject, I told someone that even if θεὸς ("God") is πατήρ ("the Father"), it does not dictate that only πατήρ ("the Father") is θεὸς ("God").

In order to determine this, I asserted that it would be necessary to determine whether the appositional phrase is "restrictive" or "non-restrictive." Now, these are English grammar terms used to describe appositional phrases by means of the inclusion or exclusion of a comma.

For example,

(A) The mechanic Michael went to lunch.
(B) The mechanic, Michael, went to lunch.

In (A), there could be many mechanics besides Michael. In (B), the only mechanic is Michael, and Michael is the only mechanic.

Dare I say that Wallace ignores this in his discussion about convertible propositions? Doesn't the reader need to determine whether the author is using a restrictive or non-restrictive appositional phrase?

As we all know, Greek never had the luxury of commas, so a glance at the manuscript won't cut it. Only context alone would.

Thoughts?

If I am wrong in any or all of this, how could one argue based on grammar or syntax that θεὸς πατήρ does not dictate that only the Father is God?
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David Lim
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Re: θεὸς πατήρ and convertible propositions (per Wallace)

Post by David Lim » August 22nd, 2011, 2:18 am

Mike Baber wrote:I'll try to keep this as theologically deficient as possible and instead focused on syntax.

1. Is the appositional phrase θεὸς πατήρ a convertible proposition (per Wallace)?
2. If so, does this mean that πατήρ ("the Father") is the only θεὸς ("God")?

Also, on this subject, I told someone that even if θεὸς ("God") is πατήρ ("the Father"), it does not dictate that only πατήρ ("the Father") is θεὸς ("God").

In order to determine this, I asserted that it would be necessary to determine whether the appositional phrase is "restrictive" or "non-restrictive." Now, these are English grammar terms used to describe appositional phrases by means of the inclusion or exclusion of a comma.

For example,

(A) The mechanic Michael went to lunch.
(B) The mechanic, Michael, went to lunch.

In (A), there could be many mechanics besides Michael. In (B), the only mechanic is Michael, and Michael is the only mechanic.

Dare I say that Wallace ignores this in his discussion about convertible propositions? Doesn't the reader need to determine whether the author is using a restrictive or non-restrictive appositional phrase?

As we all know, Greek never had the luxury of commas, so a glance at the manuscript won't cut it. Only context alone would.

Thoughts?

If I am wrong in any or all of this, how could one argue based on grammar or syntax that θεὸς πατήρ does not dictate that only the Father is God?
I do not know what Wallace says, but I think it is more accurate to say that a count noun can be used as a title but the grammatical syntax does not distinguish the two. So (A) would be an example where "mechanic" is used as a title, thus functioning as an adjective modifying "Michael", and (B) would be an example where "mechanic" was just used as a count noun, therefore being in apposition to and equivalent to "Michael" in the current scope of discourse. Likewise, "ο κυριος ιησους" may mean either "Jesus who is lord (title)" or "the lord (count noun), who is Jesus".

I believe context is necessary in all but the most simple cases, one of which is where the direct equivalence between two entities is explicitly stated. This may well end up in theology, so I will just conclude by saying that one has to find such equivalences for oneself. :)
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Jong Ha Lee
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Joined: September 28th, 2011, 10:39 pm

Re: θεὸς πατήρ and convertible propositions (per Wallace)

Post by Jong Ha Lee » October 17th, 2011, 9:13 pm

Mike Baber wrote: 1. Is the appositional phrase θεὸς πατήρ a convertible proposition (per Wallace)? 2. If so, does this mean that πατήρ ("the Father") is the only θεὸς ("God")? Also, on this subject, I told someone that even if θεὸς ("God") is πατήρ ("the Father"), it does not dictate that only πατήρ ("the Father") is θεὸς ("God")…Dare I say that Wallace ignores this in his discussion about convertible propositions? Doesn't the reader need to determine whether the author is using a restrictive or non-restrictive appositional phrase?
Yes, Wallace says θεὸς πατήρ is a convertible proposition. He considers θεὸς and πατήρ in simple apposition. And, no, he does not directly deal with question #2. Yet, pragmatics kick in here, since the wider, New Testament, witness testifies to Jesus as theos. That being said, is it wrong to identify only the Father with God in such a context as Galatians 1:1? After all, the Father as God is distinguished from Jesus Christ. That is, as to the meaning of “God the Father” in Galatians 1:1, surely we must appreciate the exclusivity of the Father as God.

Jong Ha
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Jason Hare
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Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
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Re: θεὸς πατήρ and convertible propositions (per Wallace)

Post by Jason Hare » October 18th, 2011, 8:05 am

Mike Baber wrote:(A) The mechanic Michael went to lunch.
(B) The mechanic, Michael, went to lunch.

In (A), there could be many mechanics besides Michael. In (B), the only mechanic is Michael, and Michael is the only mechanic.
I can't comment on your major question, but I will say that I think you've labeled (A) wrongly. It's not that there could be many mechanics, but that there could be several Michaels, and you're singling out which Michael you're talking about. There's the mechanic Michael and the musician Michael and the plumber Michael. While in (B) you're talking about a mechanic and then you mention (in a sort of parenthetical - since this is the function of apposition) that his name is Michael.

Just wanted to clarify that one thing with sentence (A). I'll leave the heavy lifting to those better qualified. :-)
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Jason A. Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel

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