Re: Assumptions

From: Carlton L. Winbery (
Date: Tue Aug 13 1996 - 03:29:55 EDT

Andrew S. Kulikovsky wrote;
<long omission>

>As Jim Maguire pointed out, the conclusion that Jesus was claiming to be
>God is most definitely based on the exegesis of the Greek grammar of the
>verse in question with respect to its context. The play on words with the
>Hebrew name of God, the build up in the narative and the violent response
>of the Jews very much to suggests that Jesus truly was claiming
>to be God.

Andrew's basic point in this long post is that we all have assumptions.
That is surely a truism. He also indicates that it is difficult for us to
comment on the text of the NT without these assumptions coming into play.

Now if in the above paragraph he wanted to state the fact stated by Jim
Maguire in a way more free from assumptions, he could say that _the writer
(final redactor or someone) presented Jesus as having claimed to be God_.
All the evidence that he presents that Jesus in fact did make such a claim
is transmitted to us by the same person, sources, witnesses, who make the
claim and thus have to be evaluated historically.

Some however would read the Greek differently and would not come to the
same conclusion. As I understand the purpose of this list, it is to
discuss the reasons why we draw such conclusions from the text. How does
the Greek convey to us these ideas? What would the words, phrases, clauses
have meant in the first century C.E.? I think that with care we can do
that without our assumptions getting in the way too much. Obviously, I
find it difficult to get too far away from who I am, but I find trying to
understand who others are and why they see and hear like they do a very
exciting and sometimes humbling enterprize.

Grace & Peace,

Carlton L. Winbery
Prof. NT & Greek La College

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