[b-greek] Re: John 20:28 and Smart's rule.

From: Dan Parker (stoixein@sdf.lonestar.org)
Date: Thu Feb 01 2001 - 18:49:25 EST

> You're a brave man, Dan!
> I would have thought your rule was systematically and comprehensively shot
> in the foot in that discussion.
> Also, John 20:28 is clearly a place where your rule cannot possibly apply!
> David McKay
> musicke@ozemail.com.au

David, is'nt it funny how two persons could have been in the same place
and at the same time and have entirely different memories of the event :)

If I recall, you posted something to which I responded, and I don't
recall your response. It was on 10/23/2000:

> I have never heard anyone else say that he is addressing 2 people.
> David McKay
> musicke@ozemail.com.au

David, I don't think the rule says anything about address. As for whether one
or two persons are in view, consider Augustine in "Tractate CXXI":

        "Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my
        God." He saw and touched the man, and acknowledged
        the God whom he neither saw nor touched; but by the
        means of what he saw and touched, he now put far
        away from him every doubt, and believed the other."

Also, from a more modern commentator:

        "Naturally, the interpretation of Thomas's words
        was hotly debated by early church theologians
        who wanted to use it in support of their own
        christological definitions. Those who understood
        'My Lord' to refer to Jesus, and 'my God' to refer
        to God were suspected of christological heresy
        in the fifth century CE. Many modern commentators
        have also rejected that interpretation and instead
        they understood the confession as an assertion
        that Jesus is both Lord and God. In doing so they
        are forced to interpret 'God' as a reference to
        logos [logos]. But it is perfectly appropriate for
        Thomas to respond to Jesus' resurrection with a
        confession of faith both in Jesus and his Lord and
        in God who sent and raised Jesus. Interpreting the
        confession in this way actually makes much better
        sense in the context of the Fourth Gospel. In 14.1
        belief both in God and in Jesus is encouraged, in
        a context in which Thomas is particularly singled
        out ... If we understand Thomas's confession as an
        assertion that Jesus is God, this confession in
        20.31 becomes an anti-climax. (Margaret Davies,
        Rhetoric and Reference in the Fourth Gospel"
        (JSNTSup69; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press,
        1992), 125-126)

But more importantly, so as not to get into a theological debate, I am
more interested in whether "Smart's rule" has exceptions to it in
the GNT.

Dan Parker

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