Monday, May 10, 2010

Inspiration: How and What?

Does the Bible teach that it is a divinely inspired book? Those who say they believe in so-called "verbal-plenary" inspiration say "yes." Those who study the Bible in the most scholarly institutions of America are not so sure. Who is right?

Points of Agreement

Nearly all involved in the controversy are agreed that the Bible is inspired in some sense. Nearly all are agreed as well that Scripture teaches divine inspiration, somewhere and in some form, every one of the words of Scripture He inspired.

It is also agreed that the Bible depicts human beings as both finite and fallen and prone to error in what they do, but that God overcame human fallibility in some sense when He inspired “holy men of God” to record some form of Scripture. This is where we come to a major fork in the road. Though we do not have equally direct and clear statements to the effect that God also ensures that there are sixty six divinely inspired books, many believe a compelling case for this kind of inspiration can be derived from passages in certain sixty-six books that many refer to as Scripture or the Bible.

This article aims to examine all of the relevant biblical arguments to see whether we have sufficient grounds for believing God has continuously overcome the limitations of men so that they produce a divinely inspired, word-perfect text of sixty-six books. The goal here is not to argue outside of scripture, but to make myself a kind of blank slate and only judge my view of inspiration from the passages that are referred to by those who believe in a divinely inspired, word-perfect sixty-six book Bible in the original writings, essentially to hold myself to the standard that the word-perfect, sixty-book divine inspirationists say that they hold themselves to.

"All Scripture Is Given by Inspiration of God"

This phrase from 2 Timothy 3:16 has become the proof text for those who believe in word-perfect and divine inspiration of every and all the Words of a sixty-six book Bible. However, upon closer examination, I believe we can show quite clearly how that this is a position that the men who hold to this view are reading into the text based upon their ill-conceived presuppositions. For instance, 2 Timothy 3:16 itself doesn't teach what the word-perfect divine inspiration men say that it does. They take from this one phrase far more than it says. Here's how.

The verse starts with "all Scripture." These are two words in the original Greek, pas graphe. "All writing" or "every writing." The understanding of graphe is "writing." The next word is an adjective, translated in the King James Version with several words, "is given by inspiration of God." It is only one word in the Greek, an adjective, theopneustos, God-breathed. One could understand this terminology several ways---"every God-breathed writing" or "every writing is God-breathed." It is grammatically correct and many scholars believe that the translation should be: "Every inspired scripture is also profitable." Seeing that as a possibility does bring some ambiguity to the meaning of this verse from the start. It's not best to base some doctrine of divine, verbal-plenary inspiration of a sixty-six book Bible on such questionable writing.

The phrase is saying that certain writings are God breathed. Question: Which ones? Nowhere does the Bible in which this phrase appears tell anyone what the writings were that God inspired, that He breathed. And the verse says "writings," not "words" or "letters." Especially when we look at the quotations of the Old Testament in the New Testament and see that they don't match up "word for word," we really have a basis for seeing this as at the most a conceptual type of writing. "Writing" is in a general sense and not in any way specific.

Certainly the verse points a case toward God breathing out writings, but we don't have a basis for knowing what those writings are. And what certain men say are God-breathed, sixty-six books, they have no basis for knowing that those sixty-six were the ones that God breathed, or that he breathed two chapters or one chapter or five. And then we also know that the men to whom God breathed these writings were affected by the ruination of sin. Nothing in what men call the Bible, these so-called sixty-six books, says anything about whether the men wrote the books down correctly.

Do we know what was inspired and what was not? Nothing in these sixty-six books says anything about that, and all I'm trying to do is determine this based upon what the Bible itself says. And it says nothing about what are the writings and what are not. The sixty-six book Bible has verses in it that refer to books that are not among the sixty-six books. Why are they not included? It would seem that there is a biblical basis for including them, at least if the books in which they are mentioned are considered to be divinely inspired in such a way. When I base my position merely on what the so-called Bible says, I can't argue for what is inspired and what is not. There is no list included therein.

And then what exactly does this one adjective, found only here in the entire twenty-seven books men refer to as the New Testament, mean? We can't very well go to other verses to determine it's meaning. Is it a kind of divine inspiration at the level of William Shakespeare? Everyone has within him a spark of divinity, found in the image of God, that interacts with him in a way for his natural gifts to be used to their greatest extent. We can't say from this verse what exactly this "inspiration" is all about. Should we not build such a large case on a singular usage of a word? Wouldn't this word have appeared many more times if it really was so important?

"Holy Men of God Spake As They Were Moved by the Holy Ghost"

In addition to 2 Timothy 3:16-17, here from 2 Peter 1:20-21 is the only other proof text for the apparent doctrine of divine, verbal-plenary inspiration. Just to start, who are the "holy men" and what did they speak? It seems that we start with a lack of information right from the start by which we can make a decision. What came from holy men and what did not? And why were not all the books written by these holy men also part of the Bible? It smacks of subjectivity through and through.

And notice that it says that they "spake." Was everything that holy men spake, their oral words, actually moved upon by the Holy Spirit. And what was this movement? Many believe that "moved" means "to convey some burden" or "to be carried along." How does this relate to individual words and written ones at that? It seems that this passage does more harm than good for the cause of something written. It says "spake." Those are words from someone's mouth, not something in ink on some physical material, like parchment.

Conclusion

So far, a case for a biblical doctrine of word-perfect, divine inspiration of sixty-six books proves nothing beyond what is generally agreed: that God has given us to a certain degree a message. We don't know that it is in exact words, we don't know how many words, which words, or even books, and we don't know exactly how God went about accomplishing that. At the least, we've got to head outside of the Bible to determine how many books should be included in the whole. The Bible itself, as agreed upon the most conservative believers in inspiration, does not tell us how many books should be included. We have no Scriptural basis for determining what is God's Word and what is not and how exactly God made sure, despite the fallibility of sinful men, that we could even receive it in an untainted condition.


*******************************************

I recognize that many who read the above essay might be experiencing disgust and extreme revulsion. I understand. However, I wanted to argue against verbal-plenary, perfect, divine inspiration in the same manner as those who argue against perfect preservation of Scripture, so that they could get an understanding of what they sound like to us. I think my arguments above are just as good, even better, than what I hear against perfect preservation.

Aaron Blumer, the one whom I answered in my previous post, says he's taking his teaching only from Scripture. He says he's only letting Scripture have its say. I would ask him to show me where the Bible says there are sixty-six books and then within those books, and why within those books, why those paragraphs. Scripture might be inspired, but how do we know what is Scripture and what is not? He's got to make his argument
just from Scripture.

As others read my general summary of positions, they may not want to think of what I've represented as being inspiration. But shouldn't they if they are going to be "open minded"? Haven't I been clear? Anyone who disagrees---should we just admit right now that they are closed minded and attempting to just obfuscate the issue? I think you get the point.

Aaron might think that he has a biblical basis for inspiration, one that we don't have for preservation. But that's only based on how you argue the issue. Aaron really does start with a predisposition toward the inspiration of the Bible when he comes to the two inspiration passages. Two. He is able to see them differently than the preservation passages, because he believes in the perfect inspiration of sixty-six books. I contend that the way he argues (and others just like him), what he writes, shows that he starts with a disposition not to believe in perfect preservation. Then he goes about looking at the passages. He's bound to be looking for arguments to eliminate the doctrine of perfect preservation.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kent,

I think you make a good point. I believe that we will never come to an understanding of the words of God and the recognition of them except by revelation by the Spirit. Contrary to gnosticism, which I have been accused, the Bible has evidence for this revelation occurring in every believer, if they but listen, just as we know that we have been redeemed personally. It is all by revelation grounded in faith only.

For a demonstration of this point, I offer several of many "proof" Scriptures.

Matthew 13:10-16 “And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.”

Matthew 16:17 “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”

We are saved by Grace through faith. And faith is a gift God gives us to know that we are saved. I think the same goes for hearing God's words, and knowing them as we receive (as he gives them) them.

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Believers for centuries have understood this as children, and they have also been persecuted for this simple faithful believing. I do not think that developing textual and historical reasons will ever help to produce faith in those who do not have it. (This is not meant to be harsh, but it is the truth. Hopefully, some who have just not used faith in comprehending the true words of God, will be jogged by this to do so.)

I am sorry if this is too simple, or even if this sounds elite to some. But God has chosen those to who he reveals himself.

Joe V.

Lamblion said...

Although this is strictly revelant to this particular post, you did post an article on the LXX the other day, and somebody with White's blog critiqued it, as did the Textual Criticism blog.

Accordingly, I've written a short paper DEMONSTRATING that the LXX we possess today has been REVERSE ENGINEERED. You can read the paper here --

http://www.lamblion.net

Lamblion said...

By the way, I don't know a SINGLE native Greek who is also FLUENT in English who would agree that Theopneustos means "God breathed."

The Greek has an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT word for "breathe".

EVERY native Greek I know who is also FLUENT in English testifies that the correct translation is "inspired".

I could go into this in depth, but I don't really care to get into it.

Suffice it to say that modern translators who can't even pronounce Greek properly, let alone speak it, have grossly blundered in this translation just as they have with so many others, not to mention the theological disconnect with "inspiring" Scripture and "breathing" life into Adam, for the two are INFINTELY, SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT.

Think about it.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Lamblion,

I'm fine with "inspired." Of course, I was speaking as a fool in this particular post. But I understand the "God breathed" explanation. It is an etymological break-down. It shouldn't be translated "God-breathed," but you can get that picture in the compound word.

Thanks for the heads-up though.

Lamblion said...

Yeah, I know where you're coming from, and I think I also know what you're trying to accomplish.

Good luck, as they say! -:)

And we both know "luck" don't exist. There is seed-worthy ground, and then there's all the rest.

Gary said...

Joe V,

Great scriptures, but can you tell me if you know where God has perfectly preserved his scriptures word for word?

Anonymous said...

Gary,

Yes.

You either missed the point or you are pulling my leg.

Joe V.

Gary Webb said...

The posts above remind me of a post I made previously in regard to this issue: "Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word" (John 8:43). We know that souls need to learn & be persuaded, especially when they have been taught incorrectly & have not seriously considered the truth for themselves. All of us face this dilemma. We are taught from the Bible & accept it as truth. However, it is not uncommon, in the course of carefully studying & preaching through books of the Bible, that we find that some of what we have been taught came from a shallow consideration of the passage, or traditions handed down by Roman Catholicism or Reformed Roman Catholicis, etc., etc. At this point each of us must decide whether we are willing to be corrected or whether pride or the possibility of some personal loss (particularly fellowship) will keep us from following the truth. When someone is repeatedly confronted with the truth, but will not "hear", then questions are raised in our minds. Consider: "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself" (John 7:17) or "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isaiah 8:20). Early in my Christian life I was taught by charismatic & new evangelical teachers. It took awhile, but over a period of years of reading & studying the Bible, it became quite clear that the Bible did not teach what I had been taught. There was a cost to decide to follow truth, but those costs now seem minor.
We pray that some will be willing to accept the truth about perfect preservation.

Aaron B. said...

Kent wrote: "I would ask him to show me where the Bible says there are sixty-six books and then within those books, and why within those books, why those paragraphs. Scripture might be inspired"

Well, that would be changing the subject. I'm writing about preservation and what Scripture says about that. For the purposes of these articles, the canonicity and inspired status of the 66 books we have is assumed.

Aaron B. said...

Kent wrote: "he starts with a disposition not to believe in perfect preservation. Then he goes about looking at the passages. He's bound to be looking for arguments to eliminate the doctrine of perfect preservation"

I would encourage folks to just look at whether the arguments are sound or not. If they are, it makes no difference what I'm allegedly "looking for." If they are not, it also makes not difference what I'm "looking for."

The "Well, he's biased so he must be wrong" argument is pretty weak, though I'm sure it's good enough for those already convinced.

Aaron B. said...

Joe V wrote: "Believers for centuries have understood this as children, and they have also been persecuted for this simple faithful believing. I do not think that developing textual and historical reasons will ever help to produce faith in those who do not have it."

Joe: faith has to be "in" something, does it not? Wouldn't we agree that it should be in God and what He says? If so, there are no shortcuts to faith other than examining what the Word actually teaches. So "faith" cannot be where you start, but where you finish after you have found out what God says. (Exception to this is the a priori belief that God exists and the Bible is His Word).

Again, anyone who looks at my writing fairly can see that my aim is to accurately discern what God has said so I can believe what He has said.

If you don't arrive at your "faith" that way, how do you get there? The traditions of men?

Aaron B. said...

In case anyone might be confused. This article is not what I wrote at SharperIron.org and does not represent my view. I would encourage you to read what I actually wrote.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Aaron,

You are missing the point of my writing this, or as you would say, obfuscating it. The point was to show the duplicate reasoning. This isn't a paraphrase of what you said, as you characterized it over at SharperIron. It's simply ME arguing against inspiration LIKE you argue against preservation. I just think I did a better job arguing against inspiration than you did preservation. Of course I believe that you believe in inspiration. I said that at the bottom of the post.

You can't separate preservation from the issue of canonicity. We have to know what He inspired to know what He preserved. I can understand someone not wanting to answer the question because it is at the crux of the issue here. Did God preserve every book of the Bible? Why 66? Why not 65 or 67? And you can see that you go outside of Scripture for your belief about what God inspired? Now you go outside of Scripture based upon Scripture, but you are going outside of it. That's a major point in TSKT. It's also what we see in John 17:8. That's the point you obfuscated in your representation of Strouse on that chapter. His churches would receive His Words. Do Christ's churches receive His Words?

As far as looking at your arguments. I've done that. I seem to be one of the few. Few are commenting on your actual arguments.

Thomas Ross said...

I am totally committed to the KJV/TR, but I don’t agree with some of LambLion’s argumentation. It would be interesting to see him explain why all the verses with pneo in classical and Koiné Greek don’t really mean “breathe.” It is hard to take his comment seriously unless he shows how the texts cited in the lexica really don’t mean “breathe” under pneo. If this is not done, I see nothing wrong with rendering Theopneustos as God-breathed (or with rendering it the way the KJV does either).
I also see no relevence to his comment about modern Greeks, unless they have done what I suggest he does for BDAG, Liddell-Scott, etc. I have never had a modern Greek tell me that Theopneustos does NOT mean God-breathed, because the only ones around own the Greek deli near our house and I haven’t asked them. I wonder how many hundreds of modern Greeks LambLion knows, and how they explain the citations in the lexica.
I will not comment again on LambLion here unless he explains how the citations from Neander, 2 Macc, 1 Enoch, Ignatius to the Ephesians, and the Pseudo-Clementine literature cited in BDAG def. #3 on pneo really don’t mean “breathe”—and he points out and fixes the grammar error in his own English comment above. If he does this, and looks up, cites, and explains away the entries in Liddell-Scott as well, I’ll send him a gift certificate for the Greek deli in our neighborhood. I’ll even do it if one of the vast numbers of scholarly modern Greeks he knows does the work.

I am also thankful for the useful material that LambLion has put out.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Aaron,

Again, just to emphasize, where do you get the idea that what I wrote above was a "paraphrase of what you wrote"? I wasn't attempting at all to paraphrase what you wrote.

Gary Webb said...

Aaron,
I would like for you to respond to this. I was trained in the critical text position but now hold the received text position.
As I understand the arguments, the received text position believes that Matthew 5:18-19 and other passages teach that God's people will have every word of His revelation so that there is no debate about what God teaches based upon what the text of Scripture is. Those who hold the received text position believe that revelation has been perfectly preserved in the Masoretic OT & Received Text NT.
The critical text position believes that every word of Scripture is preserved, but no one knows exactly what those words are. Their position is based upon accepting a general statement by passages like Matthew 5:18-19 but they try to show through history that no one has ever known (past the original copies) what the exact words of the OT & NT are.
First, do you accept this summary of the textual argument?
Second, my primary question for you and those who hold the critical text position is, WHAT PASSAGE OR PASSAGES TEACH THE AMBIGUITY OF THE EXACT TEXT OF SCRIPTURE? What passage of Scripture would indicate that the text would ever be unknown?

Lamblion said...

Native Greek would never consult a lexicon that was made by anglo people who can't even pronounce Greek properly, let alone speak it, such as BDAG, et. al.

The Greek word for spirit is "pneuma".

The Greek word for breath is "pnoe"

The Greek word under consideration is "theoPNEUSTOS"

Figure it out.

This is what happens when you have people who can't even pronounce Greek properly, let alone speak it, nevertheless pontificating on a subject about which they are ignorant.

Lamblion said...

Oh, by the way, the statement about me not knowing every native Greek is nothing but a red herring.

In the first place, I'm talking about native Greeks who are FLUENT in BOTH languages.

Notice that SIGNIFICANT distinction.

Secondly, when a small group of native Greeks, who come from various parts of Greece, and who are mobile within the Greek community, tell me that in their opinion most native Greeks would agree with them, I'd say that's a pretty good indicator.

Not to mention the clear confusion over the very Greek words themselves that was made in trying to refute this.

Lamblion said...

Incidentally, I did not mean to imply that Thomas was ignorantly pontificating, but rather I was referring to the pontifications of CERTAIN people who have published works on Greek and who acclaim themselves as "experts" in a language they can't even pronounce properly, let alone speak.

Lamblion said...

Just to make this matter perfectly clear, it is necessary, once again, to put Thomas on the right track, for he has shown a propensity to confuse what is actually written when responding to the writings of others.

Thomas stated - "It would be interesting to see him explain why all the verses with pneo in classical and Koiné Greek don’t really mean “breathe."

I in fact never made any such assertion, nor did I even imply it.

The word we are talking about is "theopneustos"

We are NOT talking about "pnoe" or "pnew"

Thomoas immediately jumped to an entirely false conclusion and then proceeded to argue against it.

That's why it's called a strawman.

Thomas Ross said...

My article:

Are Accurate Copies and Translations of Scripture Inspired? A Study of 2 Timothy 3:16

on my website deals with the material LambLion brings up on the etymology of Theopneustos; but I won't reprint it here.

Lamblion said...

Quite frankly, given how confused you were on two plain Greek words, I wouldn't think your study would attract too much attention.

As wa already noted, the Greek word for spirit is "pneuman"

The Greek word for breath is "pnoe"

The Greek word underconsidertion is "theoPNEUstos".

That's clear for anyone who can even read Greek. You don't even have to be able to pronounce Greek properly, or even speak it. You just have to be able to READ Greek properly.

Once again, native Greek who are FLUENT in BOTH Greek and English testify that that "theoNEUMstos" means "inspired" from the Greek words "PNEUma" and that it does NOT mean "God breated."

Given the that the etymology of the word actually agrees with that, and given that the theology of the Bible agrees with, and not with the other, the issue is plain, especially for people who can even read Greek, let alone pronounce or speak it.

Lamblion said...

Quite frankly, given how confused you were on two plain Greek words, I wouldn't think your study would attract too much attention.

As wa already noted, the Greek word for spirit is "pneuman"

The Greek word for breath is "pnoe"

The Greek word underconsidertion is "theoPNEUstos".

That's clear for anyone who can even read Greek. You don't even have to be able to pronounce Greek properly, or even speak it. You just have to be able to READ Greek properly.

Once again, native Greek who are FLUENT in BOTH Greek and English testify that that "theoNEUMstos" means "inspired" from the Greek words "PNEUma" and that it does NOT mean "God breated."

Given the that the etymology of the word actually agrees with that, and given that the theology of the Bible agrees with, and not with the other, the issue is plain, especially for people who can even read Greek, let alone pronounce or speak it.

Lamblion said...

Obviously I had a couple of types in the previous note, and less they be descended upon, allow me to correct them --

Instead of "As wa already noted, the Greek word for spirit is "pneuman"..."

it should read "pneuma"

And Instead of "...testify that that "theoNEUMstos"..."

it should read "theoPNEUstos"

And instead of "...Given the that the etymology..."

it should read "Given that the etymology..."

Lamblion said...

Yeah, and just to put a nail in the coffin of your article, you offered not an IOTA of proof for the etymology of Theopneustos.

Moreover, your inability to admit that "theoPNEUstos" is actually referring to the Greek wordc "PNEUma" and NOT to the Greek word "pnoe", is just a further proof of the hold that your traditions have upon you, traditions, by the way, that have been prosecuted by the multi-versionist crowd concerning this VERY word, along with its emphatically FAULTY theology, as I will show in a moment.

Before that, however, it is clear to anyone who is actually born of the Spirit that one of the MASSIVE problems today is the assertion by Bible "scholars" that they have more knowledge than the KJB translators, and that they are thus able to "correct" the "outdated" KJB. This from people who can't even pronounce Greek properly, let alone speak it.

Which is why native Greeks who are FLUENT in BOTH Greek and English have ZERO respect for MODERN anglo Greek "experts" who can't even pronounce Greek properly, let alone speak it, whereas, on the other hand, native Greeks who are FLUENT in BOTH Greek and English have GREAT RESPECT for the KJB translators, and which is why native Greeks who are FLUENT in BOTH languages adhere with virtual unanimity to the KJB when they read the Bible in English.

Once again, their proclamation that "theoPNUEstos" actually means "God SPIRITED" and NOT "God breahted", and seeing as how the actual COMPOUND PORTION OF THE WORD matches the Greek word for spirit and NOT breath, and seeing as how you are willfully blind to these FACTS, among other things, speaks volumes.

---CONTINUED---

Lamblion said...

---CONTINUED FROM ABOVE---

When God BREATHED life into Adam, was God JOINED to his creation, as the pantheists assert, and as the many so-called Christian cults assert, especially those who believe man morphs into God, so that God and man share the same substance?

Which is it? When God BREATHED life into Adam, was Adam FALLIBLE or INFALLBIE, and was God thus SEPARATE from his creation or JOINED to his creation, sin and all? Which is it?

Conversely, when God INSPIRED the Scriptures, were the actual SCRIPTURES THEMSELVES, indeed, were they FALLIBLE or INFALLIBLE? Is God JOINED to his Word? UNLIKE ADAM AND THE REST OF HIS CREATION???

In fact, in every instance of God BREATHING he produces a FALLIBLE outcome, whereas in the actual GOD SPIRITED words of Scripture, and UNLIKE fallible Adam, in which God is SEPARATE from his creation, God is in fact NOT SEPARATE from his Word, nor is God's Word FALLIBLE, unlike Adam et. al. In fact, God's Word is INFALLIBLE, unlike FALLIBLE BREATHING man and animal.

This "God BREAHTED" mythology has been coined and propagated by Bible correctors and multi-version adherents who can't even pronounce Greek properly, let alone speak it, in contravention of native Greek and others who are actually FLUENT in BOTH languages, and IN DIAMETRIC CONTRADICTION TO THE PURE THEOLOGY OF THE BIBLE.

And that's just the BARE, BARE, BARE basics of the matter. All of the above, and then some, could be developed MUCH, MUCH more.

Thomas Ross said...

What if pneuma is derived from pneo?

Note Parkhurst's lexicon:

Theopneustos is stated as being: “from Theos, God, and pepneusai, 3rd pers. sing. perf. pass. of pneo, fut. pneuso, to breathe."

Lamblion said...

Because it's not, nor does your example demonstrate that. Not even close.

Nor do native Greeks who can actually speak their own language and who are familiar with their own etymologies believe that, and there's a very good reason for that, because the fact is, "theoPNEUstos" is a compound word made of "Theos" and "PNEUma" and this is a clear distinction between "pneuma" and "pnoe".

It's really quite simple.

Furthermore, in addition to the theology being bankrupt, this "God breathed" mythology is recent and also comes from the same sources who say that "monogenes" means "unique" which is utterly absurd, as my article here demonstrates --

http://lamblion.net/Articles/ScottJones/monogenes.htm

In case the link doesn't post properly, go to my website and look under Articles | Textual Criticsim for the article.

Ad infinitum.

You apparently aren't aware of the fact that MODERN "bible" sholars have been REDEFINING Greek words left and right, with "theopneustos" being one of them, and you also apparently don't understand the dynamics behind it.

And always remember, the people who keep REDEFINING these Greek words are people who can't even pronounce Greek properly, let alone speak it.

You can keep beating your dead horse from now on if you want, but he will never wake up in a stable of truth or accuracy.

Thomas Ross said...

2 Thess 2:8 employs pneuma for the idea of "breath," as does Genesis 6:17, etc. for "breath" of life is pneuma, etc. It would be too bad if all the verses from Matthew 4:4 and many other texts that speak of Scripture (the Word, the product of the breath of God) are not related to inspiration.

It would be great if some of the anonymous Greeks wrote books refuting all the lexica in English and giving people the true view which is hidden from the entire English world.

I wonder what word pneuma, spirit/wind/breath, comes from if it isn't pneo.

I am almost surely done with this comment series.

I am committed to the true derivation of monogenes from gennao.

Cole said...

I appreciate this blog as a chance to share and ask questions, but please, remember to always present everything that you are sharing as Christ would—in a spirit of love and gentleness; this goes for admonitions as well. I’ve noticed some harshness and want to remind you to speak with encouragement so that you may edify each other in the faith.

-Cole

Lamblion said...

There you go again. You have a habitual propensity for miscontruing truthl.

2 Thessalonians 2:8 does NOT say the BREATH of his mouth.

2 Thessalonians 2:8 says the SPIRIT of his mouth. There is a HUGE difference. It doesn't surprise me that you can't comprehend even these SIMPLE truths since you are so blinded by your own traditions.

Secondly, you have ASSUMED that Matthew 4:4 has something to do with BREATH when it does not even REMOTELY have anything to do with BREATH.

You further ASSUME that native Greeks need to "refute the lexica" when you can't find a SINGLE, SOLITARY lexicon to support your contention that "theoPNEUstos" OR "pneuma" is a DERIVATIVE of "pnoe".

Which is utterly absurd. And even if you could ONE lexicon that HINTS at it, it would come from a person who can't even pronounce Greek properly, let alone speak it, such as is OBVIOUSLY the case with yourself.

In fact, as ANY one who understands Greek KNOWS, the Greek word "theoPNEUstos" is a compound word pertaining to "Theos" and "Pneuma"

And that fact that you are UTTERLY OBLIVIOUS to the FACT and the REASON that people who can't even pronounce Greek properly, let alone speak, have been REDEFINING Greek words, INCLUDING "Theopneustos", speaks volumes.

Lamblion said...

To briefly sum up this matter, and then I am through with it...

In the first place, Thomas' utter confusion over a wide range of matters in this thread, such as his initial confusion over two PLAIN, SIMPLE Greek words, speaks volumes in and of itself.

Secondly, this "God BREATHED" mythology is relatively NEW, being propagated by the VERY SAME PEOPLE who assert that "monogenes" means "unique", which is utterly absurd, as well as the VERY SAME PEOPLE who have been REDEFINING NUMEROUS other Greek words, and ALL of these relatively NEW DEFINITIONS are coming from people who CANNOT EVEN PRONOUNCE GREEK PROPERLY, LET ALONE SPEAK IT. That in and of itself is all that a thinking person even needs to know.

Secondly, the Holy Spirit chose his words VERY, VERY, VERY CAREFULLY. That's why we call it VERBAL, PLENARY INSPIRATION. Had the Holy Spirit wanted to convey "pnoe" in 2 Timothy 3:16, he could have EASILY employed a compound word containing "Theos" and "pnoe". The fact that the Holy Spirit did NOT employ such a compound is SIGNIFICANT to ALL who actually understand what VERBAL, PLENARY INSPIRATION means.

Instead, the Holy Spirit employed a compound word using "PNEUMA". The Holy Spirit did NOT employ a compound word using "pnoe." Moreover, if "PNEUMA" and "pnoe" meant the same thing, then there would never have been a need for TWO DISTINCT Greek words. You see, the Holy Spirit HIMSELF makes a DISTINCTION between the TWO DISTINCT words.

Further still, the GROSS MISUNDERSTANDING of the theology between the two actus is palpitating, a theology which Thomas is clearly oblivious to.

And finally, as anyone with an OUNCE of even BASIC comprehension knows, a person who grows up SPEAKING Greek, and who grows up READING THE SCRIPTURES IN GREEK, and who grows up READING THE CLASSICS IN GREEK, indeed, that person is INFINITELY MORE QUALIFIED to comment on the meaning of a Greek word than are people who CANNOT EVEN PRONOUNCE GREEK PROPERLY, LET ALONE SPEAK IT.

A native Greek schoolboy is already reading the Classics by the time he is in our equivalent of the sixth or seventh grade. A native Greek schoolboy has NO PROBLEM WHATSOEVER comprehending the Greek New Testament or the Classics.

When you have people who are FLUENT in BOTH Greek and English, who testify that this NEW MEANING of "theopneustos" is NOT ACCURATE, as opposed to people who can't even pronounce Greek properly, let alone speak it, who yet propagate this NEW DEFINITION, well, it strains credulity that anybody could even take the latter seriously.

And I'm not talking about the deli owner who may or may not be FLUENT in BOTH languages, and who may render an opinion while he's slicing a sandwich; rather, I'm talking about native Greeks (notice the PLURAL) who are actually FLUENT in BOTH Greek and English and who actually ponder and reflect on the matter before rendering a decision.

In short, the Holy Spirit was perfectly capable of making himself clear, and the fact that one doesn't know the difference between SPIRIT and BREATH, especially as demonstrated by the Holy Spirit in Hebrews 4:12, for example, or as used in Ephesians 6:17, well, suffice it to say such a person knows neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.

Lamblion said...

Did you miss my previous comment before the last one?

Anonymous said...

Aaron,

You wrote, “Joe: faith has to be "in" something, does it not? Wouldn't we agree that it should be in God and what He says? If so, there are no shortcuts to faith other than examining what the Word actually teaches. So "faith" cannot be where you start, but where you finish after you have found out what God says. (Exception to this is the a priori belief that God exists and the Bible is His Word).”

I am not sure what you mean in your last parenthetical statement, but I hopefully assume that you mean that God gives faith to them that afterward indeed believe. So then if faith is necessary in order to believe correctly about God, and it is also foundational to any correct belief that the Bible is his true word, why would one expect that faith should not under-gird every correct understanding of anything about God. It seems as though you are attempting to say that faith under girds the foundation of belief, but afterward science takes over such that faith now depends upon sight.

This is wrong thinking.

Faith IS the substance (foundation) of things that are hope for and it Is EVIDENCE of things that are not seen. When speaking of the faith of God, the faith of Jesus, that has been put into us believers, it can never be referred to as blind faith. Faith IS the substance of vision when natural vision fails. The blind of physical eyes can see the kingdom of God by faith.

And believers can comprehend the true words of God by faith even when the whole world chases after scientific evidence. Faith is why I believe that God created the world in six days contrary (or so it seems) to the theories resulting from human observation that the whole world (and way too many folks calling themselves Christian) attempts to force folks to accept. In fact, creation is a fine example of faith in operation. At one time nothing that can now be seen was observable from anyone's perspective. Yet God knew.

Furthermore, faith is required to please God. He expects his people to believe him when they do not see, or when they are faced with the contrary. Abraham saw in faith the promises of God, though he never observed those promises with his eyes. Your line of argumentation would require that God show Abraham Christ so that he could believe in him. Your argument seems similar to the one the pharisees had when they confronted Jesus. Jesus told them Abraham saw his day and rejoiced. They scoffed at him.

(to be continued)

Joe V.

Anonymous said...

Aaron,

(continued)

I have heard sermons where the preacher likened faith to sitting in an untried chair. I tell you that is not faith, but rather human reasoning based upon experience. Another way to say it is scientific observation and projection. The same can be said about expecting the sun to rise; it is experience and human rationalization.

Aaron, faith is what is foundational to any correct belief. Never can it be the result of observation.

So, by faith, KJB'ers understand that God has put his words into the English language. Before that he had put his words into Greek language, and Latin language. Not all the Greek was his words, and his people, by faith, knew the difference. Not all Latin was his words. Not all English Bibles have his words. His people, by faith, know where they are. Through faith, just as when they were first saved, comes God's direction to truth.

If we do not understand this as those who profess to be teachers of God's people, we are disqualified for that task we have assumed.

So to specifically answer your questions to me, through faith we are guided into what we should be certain. All Christians agree that the something of certainty our faith directs us to is the true God, in Jesus Christ. Through faith we know which words are God's words in which we may trust. If it were any other way, all men would be saved simply by observing nature and reading a Bible. But that is not how God saves men, is it?

Your statement, “So "faith" cannot be where you start, but where you finish after you have found out what God says.” is completely unreasonable based upon the words of the Bible. Faith depends upon nothing but God's granting it. Faith is where all Christians must begin and remain in order to please God. And Christians do please God.

Joe V.

Anonymous said...

I guess Aaron ain't interested in reading the answers to his questions.

Joe V.