Re: Another Carson Question--Sort Of

From: Edgar Foster (
Date: Sun Apr 12 1998 - 15:13:40 EDT

---"J. Ed Komoszewski" wrote:

> Dear Mr. Foster,
> I do not personally see a parallel between KURIOU IHSOU XRISTOU and
> SWTHROS IHSOU XRISTOU. Whereas the former has taken on the
> characteristics of a proper name through repeated use in the epistles,
> the latter is not predominant enough to warrant the same. Thus due to
> frequency of usage, I view the former as proper and the latter as
> (since MEGAS is nowhere else used as a description of the Father in
> New Testament, I do not view the phrase MEGALOU QEOU as proper

I would respectfully disagree here. It is my observation that Peter is
quite fond of calling Jesus KURIOS and SWTHR. As for MEGAS, while it
may not be proper per se, QEOS would certainly be quasi-personal. The
NT uses it frequently with regard to hO PATER.

> I also think it is important to consider work done by Moulton,
> Harris and Wallace which argues for the idiomatic force of the phrase
> QEOS KAI SWTHR, thus making a separation of this combination in Tit.
> and 2 Pet. 1:1 difficult. It is my humble opinion that this idiom
> antedates the New Testament and always deifies one person places the
> burden of proof on one wishing to break the construction in the New
> Testament.

I would be interested to examine this work you speak of. Do you have
any Biblical examples besides the ones we've been discussing which
demonstrate this idiomatic construction?

As for scholars, it is good to note that BAGD says that the
translating of 2 Pet. 1:1 (regarding QEOS) is questionable.
Furthermore, E. Abbot and Winer say that there was no need for Paul to
place an article in front of the second substantive. By using IHSOU
CRISTOU, Paul's meaning would have been clear without such additions
to his writings.

alone in Tit. 2:13. He also points out that "there was no need of the
repitition of the article to prevent ambiguity."

Raymond Brown also says:

>"The NT does not predicate "God" of Jesus with ANY FREQUENCY. V.
Taylor, E.T. 73 (1961-62), 116-18, has asked whether IT EVER calls
Jesus God, since almost every text proposed has its dificulties...Most
of the passages suggested (John 1:1, 18, 20:28; Rom. 9:5; Heb. 1:8; 2
Pet. 1:1) are in hymns or doxologies--an indication that the title
"God" was applied to Jesus more quickly in liturgical formulae than in
narrative or epistolary literature. we are reminded again of Pliny's
description of the Christians singing hymns to Christ as God. The
reluctance to apply this designation to Jesus is understandable as part
of the NT heritage from Judaism. For the Jews "God" meant the heavenly
Father; and until a wider understanding of the term. was reached, it
COULD NOT readily be APPLIED to Jesus. This is reflected in Mark
10:18 where Jesus refuses to be called good because ONLY GOD is John 20:17...Jesus calls the Father "my God"; and in Eph.
4:5, 6 where Jesus is spoken of as "one Lord," but the Father is "one
God." (The way that the NT approached the question of the divinity of
Jesus was not through the title "God" but by describing his activities
in the same way as it describes the Father's activities...)" (AB, p.


E. Foster

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