Date: Mon Jul 01 1996 - 17:56:31 EDT
David Moore wrote:
<<I think you understand my position better than your summation reflects. Try
something like the following: It is *quite plausible* that certain of the
apostolic writers of the NT took titles of deity, that the rulers of their
present age usurped for themselves, and showed how these titles *could be* used
legitimately in referring to Christ. The NT writers' use of such titles
constitutes a statement, not only about the deity of Christ, but about His
superiority to all principalities and powers since these titles may refer
legitimately to Him, but not so to the latter.
Familiarity with the everlasting apotheosis that flaunts itself in the
papyri and inscriptions of Ptolemaic and Imperial times, lends strong
support to Wendland's contention that Christians, from the latter part
of i/A.D. onward, deliberately annexed for their Divine Master the
phraseology that was impiously arrogated to themselves by some of the worst
of men (Moulton I:84).>> (asterisks mine)
I agree with you that this approach is inconclusive, as your own use of
"could be" implies. But it is interesting to see this verbage applied to
the emporers of the day, as it is also applied to some prominent leaders of
our own day.
The issue now becomes: Not COULD, but DID Peter and Paul adopt this
"phraseology that was impiously arrogated to themselves by some of the
worst of men" and apply it to God's Son?
Peter clearly showed in the very next verse (the same sentence) the
distinction between God and Christ using the SAME WORDS AS IN V.1
(EPIGNWSEI TOU THEOU KAI IESOU TOU KURIOU hEMON). This shows that Peter
did not intend the meaning of the 'impious, arrogant phraseology' in the
previous verse. The only way I can see this as a possibility is that Peter
shifted word definitions in the very same sentence. That is a remote
possibility in my opinion.
Similarly, Paul's distinction between God and Christ USING THE SAME
LANGUAGE at Titus 1:4 (APW THEOU PATROS KAI KRISTOU IESOU TOU SWTEROS
hEMWN) clearly shows that neither did he adopt the 'impious, arrogant
phraseology' as some have attempted to apply to Titus 2:13.
I would respectfully maintain this:
What the author meant as reflected in his OWN USE of the SAME WORDS in the
IMMEDIATE CONTEXT OUTWEIGHS that of a DIFFERENT context by DIFFERENT people
with DIFFERENT beliefs. Yes, I would consider an external context since
that has its place, but not an application of that context in opposition to
an immediate one by the same author. I repeat that this is my position.
If someone wishes to place a greater weight on an external source, that is
fine with me. It is simply not representative of my position.
As for applications of "theou kai swteros Iesou Kristou" to a single
person; even if this exact expression exists in the papyrii, it would
likely not be before the intrusion of Greek philosophy into Christian
thought that ultimately led to the Nicene debate (see Encyclopedia
Britannica; PLATONISM; INFLUENCE OF PLATONISM ON ANCIENT RELIGIONS;
Patristic Fathers; showing how Platonism crept into the church via Justin
Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, and Origin in leading up to debate at
Nicaea. Later, Augustine became the lightning rod that fused Greek
philosophy/ Christian thought [Britannica's words]). After this time
(post-Nicaea and particularly post-Augustine), there may exist many such
instances of this "phraseology" applied to one person. But my posture here
is that this was not representative of the scriptural authors.
I agree that there is much to this subject and we can continue for months,
but I think the major views have been expressed. Therefore, I will not
continue with this thread on the list. The real debate with these issue
remains one of theology, and certainly not an inviolable rule of grammar,
which I believe has been demonstrated. If you wish to continue privately,
this would be acceptable to me.
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