Re: PRWTOTOKOS (was col 1:15 greek help)

Date: Mon Nov 09 1998 - 16:30:42 EST

In a message dated 11/9/98 8:34:57 AM Pacific Standard Time, writes:

<< Forgive this simple, short question from a poor subscriber who doesn't
 have nearly the education that y'all seem to have. >>

Dear Sir:

There is no need to preface your post with such remarks, for we respect posts
from everyone. One's education does not make his or her position infallible,
though we often benefit from those who have education, formal and informal, in
the particular field of study with which we are involved. Welcome to the list!

<< Why do y'all seem to be assuming that Paul says that Christ is part of
 creation by calling Him "first-born"; to be begotten and to be created
 are not the same thing. >>

And why do you assume they are "not the same thing"? What difference is there?
The Bible speaks of the mountains being "born." (Psalm 90:2) The Hebrew
(yuladu) and Greek (GENHQHNAI) words in this passage are different from those
which are typically translated "created," but who doubts that is precisely
what took place?

<< Arius sparked a very major debate over this
 in the 4th century, and the resolution of the First Council of Nicea
 states very clearly, "begotten, not made". I do not say this in any
 way to try to plug my particular dogmas but only to point out that
 there seems to be an assumption going on in our discussions that has
 not always been held. >>

We do not use distinctions that arose in the fourth century to interpret a
first-century text. Arius used the words as they stood in the text, and the
Trinitarian party created an ad hoc distinction so that they might resist
Arius' views. If you have something to add to the discussion of the passage
under consideration, we would be happy to hear it.

<< From the earliest days of the Church, verbs not involving "creation"
 were used to discribe the relationship the Father has with the Son and
 the Holy Spirit. From the earliest days, it has been said of the Son
 that He was "begotten," and of the Holy Spirit that He "proceeds." >>

When you say "from the earliest days" you mean from the third and fourth
centuries following. Actually, the Trinitarian party was confronted with a
text in the LXX of Proverbs 8:22 that used KTIZW in reference to Christ (that
was their view), but they simply denied it as a reference to his prehuman
state. For the most part, up through the middle of the third century CE, most
theologians recognized a temporal distinction between Christ and God.

If you wish to pursue this topic further, I suggest we go off-list, though I
really do not have time for too many private discussions right now, anyway.
But I do know that this discussion will not be allowed to continue on this
forum, and for good reason.


Greg Stafford


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