Skip to comments.'Fortnight for Freedom': One more reason to be an ex-Catholic
Posted on 07/02/2012 6:30:14 AM PDT by Cronos
I want to thank Archbishop William E. Lori for reminding me once again why I'm an ex-Catholic ("Fight for freedom," June 27). With the so-called "Fortnight for Freedom," the church leadership is deliberately and cynically using a mixture of patriotism and religion in a blatant and manipulative attempt to influence the outcome of the upcoming elections.
I can't seem to recall any recent news about Catholic churches being bombed in the United States or attempts to bar American Catholics from attending mass. I do know that the Catholic Church has been using its "religious freedom" for decades to aid and abet child abusers, to recently attack nuns in the United States who are at the forefront of what used to be one of the church's primary missions to aid and comfort the poor and needy, and that the American church has over the past few decades formed an alliance with some of the most strident and politically active right-wing religious groups in the U.S. Archbishop Lori even received an award in May from a coalition of some of those groups.
I am proud to be an American, and I am a strong supporter of the Bill of Rights. I support freedom of religion, and I support freedom from religion. And, at this moment in time, I am also very proud and happy to be an ex-Catholic.
Sandy Covahey, Baltimore
(Excerpt) Read more at baltimoresun.com ...
I try to be Precise. I said I had read your reference from Clarke. I then stated what I thought to be the case. It wasn’t drawn from Clarke’s conclusion but what appeared to me.
Clarke thought “theos” had appeared originally in the writing and that it had been retouched. I said I thought otherwise.
Anyone can look at reasonably good facsimiles (I have one in front of me) and decide “theos” was created from the original writing and that makes more sense than a simple retouching of a time worn “theos”.
But on to “I AM” and how that might derived from
And God said to Moses, Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh. Thus shall you say to the Israelites, Ehyeh sent me to you.
Well, I understand your clarification, and appreciate your patience in helping me understand. So basically you are saying that the testimony of eyewitnesses who had direct personal exposure to the physical text, and who were dedicated and recognized experts in the field of manuscript analysis, and had been so for multiple decades, that such testimony is to be trumped by your uncredentialed opinion after seeing what I surmise to be a digital or analog photograph, which of course would be unlikely to capture such subtleties as the indentation of the material where the proposed Theta should have it’s middle bar and so forth. Have I got that right?
If this were court (and I know it isn’t, but bear with me), to whom do you think the jury would give greater credence?
Anyway, I am still working on ego eimi, which as you know has some depth to it, and I do not wish to present anything too hasty to be taken seriously. I also desire to be precise. So we do have something in common. :)
You have no business attributing motives or reasons to me or attempting to put me in the Gnostic camp.
You have yet to comment on why a version like the Vulgate would not use “theos” here. Or why the manuscripts that followed Aleph didn't use “theos” at 1 Tim. 3:16.
Keeping the trinitarian definition of God in mind placing “God” instead of “he” in this passage is impossible to make sense of. How could the Father be “justified in spirit” or the Holy Spirit?
Did Hort convince the translators of the ASV (1901) to use “he” instead of “God” in this verse or were they all Gnostics too? And what led Jerome to use which instead of God in his translation? He wasn't a Gnostic was he?
Clarke was without question a fine scholar but not the only one.
The Scriptures tell us that we must have not just knowledge but accurate knowledge so it behooves to seek out that accurate knowledge.
Uh, No. Basically what I am saying is that the testimony of eyewitnesses who had direct personal exposure to the physical text, and who were dedicated and recognized experts in the field of manuscript analysis, and had been so for multiple decades, differ with the respected Master Clarke and that such differing testimony is now my uncredentialed opinion after seeing what you may correctly surmise to be a digital or analog photograph, which of course would be unlikely to capture such subtleties as the indentation of the material where the proposed Theta should have its middle bar and so forth but nevertheless does and confirms the opinions of other experts besides the highly respected Clarke.
As is so often the case experts differ in their conclusions when looking at the same evidence and we lesser mortals, that would you and I, are left to form our own uncredentialed opinions based upon whose testimony seems most likely to be so.
As to a jury...forget it! I would rather deal with bias and ignorance of one judge than the bias and ignorance of twelve jurors.
Well, I didn’t mean to attribute motivation directly to you other than what you have already explicitly expressed in your posts, and you most assuredly have openly expressed a strong dislike (perhaps hate was too charged a term) for the clear Trinitarian rendering of various passages, including 1 Tim 3:16. Im not trying to read your mind. Just your posts.
It is also an objective fact that the Gnostic Valentinus and other with him were challenged by the same passages and deployed the same solutions as those you have repeatedly posted.
It’s not my fault that history makes your systematic effort to dismantle the deity of Christ so nearly identical to theirs. I am sorry if saying it upsets you, but I didnt write history, and I didnt construct the Arian theology that creates a greater and a lesser deity, and is therefore polytheistic, just like Gnosticism.
What is ironic to me is that I am coming more and more to realize, and this conversation has been very helpful in realizing it, that the Trinitarian solution to organizing the Scriptural data, so far from being a pagan derailing of primitive Christianity, was actually a robust and successful effort to protect authentic Biblical Christian monotheism from becoming corrupted by pagan Gnostic polytheism and angel worship.
You see, it was the Gnostics, not the Trinitarians, who gave in to the temptation to try and force-fit the Scriptural data into some finite model of human reason. But it was the Trinitarians who labored to preserve the teachings of Scripture as they stood, even if they could not be fully understood. That way was, and remains, the way of faith.
In any event, I am sorry if I offended you in any way. That was certainly not my intent. I am just being blunt about the extraordinary similarity I see between Arianism and Gnosticism. One would have to work very hard not to see the logical relationship there.
In that same spirit of sincere directness, I want to ask you a question, so that I can stop guessing and think more clearly. It may seem painfully obvious, but your about page doesnt spell it out and I havent heard it directly from you, so Im asking, do you believe and follow the teaching of the Watchtower Society?
With respect to Codex A, I am glad to see you agree with the essential point Clarke was making, that the history of Codex A with respect to 1 Tim 3:16 is sufficiently clouded that it should be barred from giving testimony for either side, as to that issue.
As for the Vulgate, it is a late work, relative to the God-breathed autographs, and a mere translation, instructive, but not a final authority in itself. Who know? When all you’ve got to work with is “OC,” give or take a par of faint horizontal lines, the possibility of a mistake by Jerome or one of his predecessors cannot be dismissed out of hand.
As for any more than that, I believe a full and fair analysis of the manuscript history for “theos” in 1 Tim 3:16 is beyond the technical range of either of us, and would keep us off any other topics for years to come. I believe the excellent pedigree of the Byzantine textform recommends we should generally defer to it’s readings in this and any other given case, but especially in this particular case, where Codex A has been discredited as a conclusive witness for either side.
“Im asking, do you believe and follow the teaching of the Watchtower Society?”
The reason I don't have anything on my about page is that is that to my mind a person comments should be judged on their content not whether a picture of Mom, Dad, and the family Dawg on my page looks “right”.
A person's arguments are sound or not, their statements are correct and reasonable or not and it doesn't depend upon the personal.
With that in mind I have no problem with looking to Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, whatever sources for their expertise if their conclusions seem sound. And on the other hand being a highly educated expert is no guarantee of bias free opinion. Unfortunately that is frequently not understood to be the case here on FR.
But back to you question: The Watchtower Soc. is just a legal corporation and I am not a Watchtowerian. I am convinced Jehovah’ Witnesses practice and believe Christianity more closely and completely to the primitive Christian model than anyone else I’ve come into contact with.
I also appreciate the dozens of cases in defense of religious freedom, benefiting all religions, JW lawyers have fought before the Supreme Court. Some they won, some they lost but they fought the good fight.
I suppose had I lived in the Middle Ages I might have sided with the Waldensians and headed for the French Alps though they certainly had their faults too.
“Its not my fault that history makes your systematic effort to dismantle the deity of Christ so nearly identical to theirs. I am sorry if saying it upsets you, but I didnt write history, and I didnt construct the Arian theology that creates a greater and a lesser deity, and is therefore polytheistic, just like Gnosticism.”
Once in a shop where I worked the most hateful and obnoxious character in the place told me I was doing a certain task wrong and that accounted for my poor results. I'd have eaten glass before even considering the possibility.
Then someone else said I was doing my task improperly and I wondered why he would listen to the lies told by the most hateful and obnoxious character in the place.
You get the point, I'm sure.
“...I didnt construct the Arian theology that creates a greater and a lesser deity, and is therefore polytheistic, just like Gnosticism.”
Sometimes simple questions can clarify large answers. so,
In Jewish and Christian theology could the term “god” be properly applied to any being other than the one almighty God? Not pagan gods although Paul said there were many but “gods” that had their area of authority under almighty God?
I'm going to leave off here as your answer to this question will determine the direction I wish go forward.
Yes, late in that respect but since we don't have autographs of the Bible writers and the oldest copies of 1 Tim. 3:16 date from about the same time (and did not read “theos”, it surely isn't late compared to the Majority Texts.
So it is not to be dismissed nor is Lamsa’s translation, Weymouth’s, Rotherham’s, Wilson's Diaglott, NAB, Douay, translating committees of the American and Revised Standard Versions....none of these were anti-trinitarians and cover a wide sweep of time.
But as you say the discussion would be endless, no point to that here.
I see that SR has addressed the first objection you posited, so I'll go on to the next.
Yes, Jesus DID say to the ones incensed enough at him to stone him for claiming to be God that Scripture used the word "gods" to describe humans and he said he was the "Son of God". But don't stop at verse 33, finish the dialog:
We are not stoning you for any good work, they replied, but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your Law, I have said you are gods? If he called them gods, to whom the word of God cameand Scripture cannot be set aside what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, I am Gods Son? Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father. Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.
So, far from reasoning with them about the word god not being "all that", he infuriated them more by repeating that he was talking about Almighty God, the Creator, and representing Him in the flesh. Their fury over blasphemy was not extinguished.
As to the name "I AM", you must know that this is the personal name Almighty God gave to Moses. Exodus 3:13-14 says:
Moses said to God, Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they ask me, What is his name? Then what shall I tell them? God said to Moses, I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I am has sent me to you.
Apparently, Almighty God had no problem with "good English tenses". Revelation 1:8 uses the same sense, "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." The personal name for the Almighty means "the self-existent one". The same Hebrew word is use for, or sounds the same as LORD. Exodus 6:3 has the LORD saying, "I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them. Just as a side note, that's why we know He is not called "Allah". His name is I AM, the tetragrammaton is JHVH or YHWH and it is where we get the proper name of Almighty God as Jehovah or Yahweh.
Barnes' Notes on the Bible says this about it:
thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you; or as the Targum of Jonathan has it,"I am he that is, and that shall be.''This is the name Ehjeh, or Jehovah, Moses is empowered to make use of, and to declare, as the name of the Great God by whom he was sent; and which might serve both to encourage him, and strengthen the faith of the Israelites, that they should be delivered by him.
Wesley's notes says:
Matthew Henry's Commentary says:
It is no mistatement that Jesus is also referred as:
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8)
That's exactly the point...He said he was the Son, sent by the Father, not the Father but a representative of the Father.
Thus if the Scriptures could rightfully call judges “gods” why the furor over Jesus saying he is the Son of God?
I hope to continue my discussion with SR on I AM later so please join in then so I won't plow the same ground more often then necessary.
Well, when you reject the Truth, prophecy today would be pretty confusing. You have just stated why Protestantism and its new teachings are lies, falsehoods.
“The state of Protestantism does not justify Barrett’s blog. Just because something is wrong does not mean that something else is right without proof.”
~ ~ ~
We aren’t talking about your comment, a general “state of Protestantism” but something specific, Sola Fide is false. I posted this message from Heaven to help our brothers and sisters see. They’ve been arguing, ignoring Scriptural proof in their lone authority, the Bible.
Catholics know this is “right”, here is a “proof”, the words of the message.
Why do you think our Lord is teaching, correcting our brothers and sisters in Christ? SHOW everyone the error in these words from Our Lord to Kevin Barrett? You can’t and no one has. God speaks to Protestants in prophecy too. Where there is much sin, much grace. God speaks to Catholics and non-Catholic Christians every day in the prophetic, more so now. Our Lord is trying to save souls. You’re are, we all are in the end times, the end of the Sixth Day.
Kevins website: http://hearhisheart.wordpress.com/
Oh hear Me, My people. Why do you listen to the hirelings and false teachers and prophets? Did I not say in My word that not all that say to me Lord Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, save those that DO the will of the Father who is in heaven? Then why do you still go about doing your own will and tell yourselves that you are My bride? My people, you have been lied to by the enemy of your soul. Seek Me in these things. Surely I will reveal My truth to you. I love you, My dear children, and it is My desire that each of you share My throne with Me. But unfortunately only a remnant shall overcome. For too many have listened to the lies told by the FALSE shepherds and prophets. They speak of how you each are already cleansed and adorned in righteousness simply by your BELIEF on My name. These are all lies, My people. For does not My word say that he who DOES righteousness is righteous? Yes, My people, you are made righteous by your faith in Me, but it is FULLFILLED BY YOUR OBEDIENCE to My voice. IT IS NOT IMPUTED TO YOU BY A ONE-TIME CONFESSION OF MY NAME. Oh, My people, you have been lied to. Read My word for yourselves. Why listen to those that fatten themselves by fleecing My sheep? I have not sent many of the shepherds that are out there. They have sent themselves for their own glory and their own profit. Oh, My people, did I not say in My word to judge them by their fruit? Then where is the fruit, My people? Oh, but those that have itching ears care not about the fruit. They want to be told all is well and that they shall PROSPER if they simply believe on My name and My promises. Lies, lies, lies, I tell you.
So what? Sola Fide is false. That does not make Barrett right. Check the Catechism for what IS right.
We arent talking about your comment, a general state of Protestantism but something specific, Sola Fide is false. I posted this message from Heaven to help our brothers and sisters see. Theyve been arguing, ignoring Scriptural proof in their lone authority, the Bible.
“So what? Sola Fide is false. That does not make Barrett right. Check the Catechism for what IS right.”
~ ~ ~
Who is talking about Kevin Barrett, the person? I am
asking you again what is the error in Kevin’s message from Our Lord?
You are steadfast and so are the Protestants here in saying
the excerpt I posted is false, a lie, not from God.
That’s because they know the excerpt is a correction, proof, Sola Fide is a lie.
You’re stuck believing Protestants aren’t hearing from
Jesus, they are.
Your “So what”....show everyone how the message is false?
The first Christians were Roman Catholic. Read their quotes and writings.
“What an IDIOTIC statement. The first Christians were the Catholics of the church in Jerusalem, headed by James. Peter eventually went to Rome and over time, the Roman Catholic came to be, along with the other four original Churches.”
~ ~ ~
Belief in the Holy Eucharist comes from day one, the first
Christians believed in Our Lord’s presence in the most
Holy Eucharist. They died for the Eucharist. They were/are
Read 1 Corinthians 11:29.
Points for being unkind? It’s allowed, at FR you can mock
and insult someone just don’t use their name. Mark, come on, this is just a discussion forum. Be nice. My little brother’s name is Mark, cool name.
1 Cor 11:29
For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the BODY of the Lord.
State the error, name it?
There are at least four things that trouble me about these “revelations”:
~ ~ ~
I asked specifically for the error in the excerpt I posted, you haven’t touched it either.
1) He makes a specific about those who call themselves the “Bride of Christ” (aka the Catholic church).
CAPS ARE FASTER FOR ME, NOT TRYING TO SHOUT AND I ACCIDENTALLY DELETED ITALICS INSTRUCTIONS FROM METMOM. PROTESTANTS OFTEN REFER TO THEMSELVES AS THE ‘BRIDE OF CHIRST.’ JESUS IS SPEAKING TO THEIR WAY OF UNDERSTANDING
2) The speak about endlessly about a remnant and end times, all very unCatholic themes.
PROTESTANT AND CATHOLIC CURRENT PRIVATE REVELATION SPEAKS ‘ENDLESSLY’ ABOUT THE ‘REMNANT AND END TIMES’ SIMPLY BECAUSE WE ARE NOW IN THE END TIMES. THE GREAT TRIBULATION IS TO BEGIN NEAR THE END OF 2012. GOD DOESN’T GIVE EXACT DATES, PEOPLE WOULD WAIT TILL THE LAST MOMENT TO CHANGE, TO PREPARE.
3) He uses archaic English grammar and word choice to sound scriptural. In all private revelations I have read the communication was in the vernacular of the recipient and was in plain and simple language.
TRUE, MOST NON-CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN PRIVATE REVELATION SOUNDS
PRETTY BIBLICAL, WHY, THAT’S THEIR LONE AUTHORITY. IF YOU
READ THE EXCERPT I POSTED FROM KEVIN’S MESSAGE OF APRIL 1ST,
2012, OUR LORD STATES IN MODERN SIMPLE ENGLISH WHY THREE OF
THE PROTESTANT HERESIES ARE FALSE.
4) There seems to be a never ending stream of revelations suitable to meet his blog requirements (his blog contain commercial solicitations).
JESUS SAID TO KEVIN MAY 3RD, 2012, THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE
IS FALSE. THAT’S IN ONE OF THE MESSAGES, A REVELATION GIVEN PROTESTANTS WHO BELIEVE THE LIE OF A PRE-TRIB RAPTURE. I READ IT, ANYONE CAN TOO. THERE WAS NO “BLOG REQUIREMENT.” BESIDES, MANY CATHOLIC BLOGS CONTAIN “COMMERCIAL SOLICITATIONS.”
The history of the world is full of cases where one individual would say “God speaks to me and I will tell you what He says, in exchange for something I desire. Eventually, the seer takes the position of speaking on behalf of and with the authority of God at all times. Christianity has been significantly different fro all of the other shams. Kevin appears to me to be a struggling to break into the cult industry in a leadership position.
WHERE IS THE MONEY MAKER IN THIS FOR KEVIN OR ANY CURRENT
MESSENGER OF GOD, CATHOLIC OR PROTESTANT? LIKE I JUST SAID,
KEVIN CAN’T BE A FAVORITE AMONG THOSE PROTESTANTS WHO DO
BELIEVE GOD IS SPEAKING TO US NOW. OUR LORD’S WORDS TO
HIM STATE THE PROTESTANT HERESIES ARE THAT, LIES.
DON’T IGNORE CURRENT PRIVATE REVELATION. WE ARE ONLY TO
IGNORE condemned PRIVATE REVELATION.
Peace be with you
NL, THE SAME TO YOU.
When Jesus said to the Jewish religious leaders of His day that he is the I AM, that God is His Father, they knew very well what He was saying and they took up stones to stone Him because, that thou, being a man, makest thyself God (John 10:33)
But Jesus showed their accusation was false as he said the term god could be said of humans, he has said the was the Son of God. Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world , Thou blasphemest because I said I am the Son of God ? (John 10:35)
Technically, you are incorrect to say Jesus proved their accusation false. He did no such thing. Read again. He simply outlawyers them, which, as a lawyer myself, I can really appreciate.
First, note that there are two similar but separate events here. The John 10 episode was not in response to the I AM statement, but to this statement:
John 10:30 I and my Father are one.
The other event occurs in John 8:58, and brings another accusation he is claiming to be God, but in that situation he simply escapes. See John 8:59.
But if you read both of these carefully, he never denied the charge that he was claiming to be God. He simply evaded their desire to kill him. In John 8, he escaped physically, but in John 10 he escaped legally.
Indeed, search the Scriptures, and you will find he never once said, I am not God, or I am a fellow creature, just like you, or I am an angel, etc. Not one denial of the charge.
What then is he up to in John 10 when he refers to the gods of Psalm 82:6?
Consider what has happened. They have accused him of what, under their law, they regarded as a capitol offence, carrying a penalty of death by stoning, for making himself out to be God.
He elects not to escape physically this time, so what are his possible defenses to this accusation? Under the law, you can defend by denying the facts, or you can admit the facts and defend using just the letter of the law, which would be a perfectly ironic way for Jesus to defeat his legalistic opponents. Here, Jesus does not deny the charge. Instead, he denies that their law makes such a claim punishable if the claim is proven true.
Then he sets up this wonderful contrast between derived and innate deity. On the one hand, the Jews are precluded from condemning him because, as he points out, if even the wicked judges of Israel in Psalm 82 were immune to a charge of blasphemy when called gods, because they actually had derivative authority from God, how much more immune would a true Son of God be, whose authority was not derived, but innate as the unique Son of God, as demonstrated by both his good works and his miraculous power?
So when he tells them this, then reminds them that the Scripture cannot be broken, he is shoving it their face that they have no way to win a blasphemy case against him unless they can prove his claim to deity is false, which he and they both know cant be done, given who he really is.
2. On Ego Eimi
You also said:
Translating ego eimi as I Am at John 8:58 makes a mess of the simple statement Jesus made. Good English must pay attention to the tenses and I Am doesn't do that. Jesus said he existed before Abraham existed or came to be so I am is simply the wrong tense, it could better be translated as I was or I have been . And a number of translations do just that.
Well, the problem you have there is that the tense conflict really is present in the Greek, and that is the single most striking thing about this passage, and it is central to understanding why it caused his Jewish listeners to again think he was claiming to be God.
In translation, when you encounter something unusual in the original, you have two choices. You can hide it behind an unfaithful translation, or you can be faithful to what was actually said. If we assume, and I do, that these words are God-breathed, I can think of absolutely nothing that would justify trying to hide what the writer obviously wrote. To do so would be to fight God Himself.
Therefore, I believe it is wrong to try to recast ego eimi as anything other than the indisputable present active indicative verb that it is in this passage. The proper translation really is, before Abraham came to be, I am. If Jesus had wished to say I was, there were much better options in the Greek for saying exactly that.
Consult any standard conjugation chart for eimi, and you will find the first person singular present indicative, I am, is eimi, exactly the word found in the ego eimi of John 8:58:
πρὶν Ἀβραὰμ γενέσθαι, ἐγὼ εἰμι.
Before Abraham came to be I am
Note: Some have speculated that eimi should be understood as past tense even though it is present tense because a perfect (past tense of completed action) is not available for this verb, eimi being defective. However, the normal contextual cues required for such a usage are not present in this text, and the bulk of modern translations honestly reflect the two contrasting tenses as found in the text:
New King James,
New American Standard Bible,
New International Version,
Philips Modern English,
Revised Standard Version,
Today's English Version,
New English Bible,
American Standard Version,
New American Bible,
Young's Literal Translation,
Norlie's Simplified New Testament,
New Testament in Modern English (Montgomery),
New Testament in Modern Speech (Weymouth),
Wuest's Expanded Translation,
Amplified New Testament,
New Testament (Swann),
Four Gospels (C. C. Torrey),
Four Gospels (Rieu),
New Testament (Knox),
Concordant Literal New Testament,
Holy Bible in Modern English (Fenton),
Bible in BASIC English,
Better Version (Estes),
Sacred Writings (A. Campbell),
New Easy-to-Read Version,
New Testament for the New World.
Furthermore, there was an even better solution available that was not used. Why not use the same verb as used for Abraham? After all, genesthai (came to be) is from the root ginomai (come to be) and Jesus could have easily matched Abraham came to be by continuing to use ginomai, conjugating it as gegona, I came to be, which would be the truth if he were indeed a created being.
For an Arian this would seem to be the perfect and expected solution, because it still gives Jesus first-in-time priority over Abraham, but avoids confusing the listeners into thinking he is claiming to be eternal in the same sense as God is, which shocking impression was certainly created when he used eimi instead.
However, unfortunately for the Arian theory, the mismatch of the two verbs is present right there in the text for all the world to see. John, and really Jesus, intended it to be the attention-getting contrast that it plainly is.
But why? Clearly, at a minimum, Jesus is calling attention to the fact that Abraham did come into being at a point in the past, and if he had wished to say of Himself that he came into being before Abraham, there was, as we have pointed out, no shortage of ways to say exactly that.
But he didnt do that. By positioning his present tense against Abrahams past tense, He intentionally presented the idea that he stands above and outside the human experience of time. In short, he is declaring his eternal nature. As the Jews who heard this knew, no one but The Eternal God could ever be worthy of such a title, and so they sought to kill him. In this sense he appears to be associating himself with El-Olam, the Everlasting God, as used in several places:
Gen 21:33 And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.
See also Ps. 90:1-3, 93:2; Isa. 26:4
3. On Eyeh Asher Eyeh
Now there is a rather technical argument that his proclamation here also resonated with his Jewish listeners as literally paralleling the I AM declaration used in Exodus 3:14. While I believe that to be true, a full discussion of that is probably not beneficial if we cannot get past basic issues like the normal usage of eimi.
In short form, as you pointed out, the Hebrew of Exodus transliterates to Eyeh Asher Eyeh. The exact meaning of this has been the subject of much debate, which I will not reproduce here, except to say that the translators of the Septuagint apparently did not buy the future tense argument, because they translated it into the Greek as
ego eimi ho on
I am the being
Which apparently appears in contracted form in Isaiah in several places. For one example:
Isaiah 41:4 Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he.
where the Septuagint uses the ego eimi for the expression, I am, as also in Isaiah 43:10 and 46:4.
Now at first one could think this was nothing special. After all, the man born blind whom Jesus healed had used ego eimi without a predicate, i.e., without a noun or pronoun spelled out after the am. However, in such cases where a predicate is implied by context, one may be supplied, hence I am he, because the predicate is implied by him answering the question are you him?
But where no predicate is supplied, it was the rule from the classical period forward that eimi without a predicate, either actual or implied, was an assertion of existence. Such was the case, for example, when Jesus responded to the angry crowd by contrasting his own timeless existence relative to Abrahams emergent existence.
This sense of ego eimi corresponds perfectly to other passages which convey Christ as a timeless being, without beginning or end, such as
John 1:1 In the beginning was the word,
i.e., the word was already in existence when everything began.
Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Which statement could never be made of a created being, for whom there would be some yesterday when he didnt exist, and so NOT the same as today or tomorrow, and who could not be the same for all eternity future, as all Gods created beings, being finite, must necessarily learn and grow and change, all the more so at the high end than the low end.
The sobering conclusion of all this is that Thomas was absolutely right to respond as he did to the risen Jesus:
John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
GREAT post. Thank you.
You get the point, I'm sure.
Um, actually, feeling pretty dense at the moment. Maybe its the lateness of the hour, but I haven't a clue what you're getting at.
Or maybe you think my association of two very similar forms of angel worship, both of which seem determined to discredit Christian monotheism, and both of which truly are polytheistic by the book, is a causal fallacy. I don't think it is, if that's what you're getting at. I think there are spritual reasons for such similarities. We can discuss that more later if you like. But I hope you don't think I am being hateful for pointing out true corrolaries. Don't shoot the messenger. My aim is always, if not always realized, to speak the truth in love.
As for my question about the Watchtower Society, I am curious to know whether you believe Jesus is Michael the Archangel, because I understand that is what they teach. And if you do believe that, I was also wondering if you could explain how you arrive at that from Scripture.
Can “eimi” be translated as “have been”? Certainly if the context and sense allows for it as it does at John 14:9 when Jesus says to Phillip:
“Have I been (eimi) with you all this time, Phillip, and you still do not know me?”
Both at John 8:58 and 14:9 Jesus is referring to a period of time past and continued into the present so “eimi” must be translated as either “be” in the past tense or an action from the past continuing into the present. “I am” doesn't work as an existence in the past.
Where “I am” does work is in the eyes of those who see a connection with Exodus 3:14 where so many translations render the Hebrew
“ayeh asher ayer” as “I am that I am”. Neat! Jesus says he is the “I am” of Exodus 3:14! Or does he? Does Exodus 3:14 even translate as “I am”?
“I shall be the one who will be” and then instead of “I am” as The Name, “He who will be” is the way the Brown-Driver- Briggs Hebrew/English Lexicon explains the Hebrew verb “ayer”.
“I will be that I will be” is an alternate reading in a footnote in the ASV on Ex. 3:14.
Verse 15 reveals that the foregoing has been a explanation of The Name since Moses is to tell the children of Israel, “Jehovah” has sent him.
Jesus isn't quoting Exodus 3:14 at John 8:58 any more than the blind man who said “I am” (ego eimi) at John 9:9 but Jesus is saying he was in existence at a indefinite point in past time, “before Abraham was”.
(tea time..back later)
There is much in what has already been revealed that you should learn before you turn your ears and heart to a latter day prophet. Although Kevin may be incredibly sincere and believe every word he is saying, he is not special. All are called to preach the Gospel and to spread the Word. Many respond to that calling and develop their ministry. Every day millions of Christians, whether discerning a vocation, struggling with a major decision, asking for guidance or forgiveness, or asking for intercession on behalf of another pray for AND RECEIVE private guidance and direction from God. This is in accordance with Jesus' instructions in Matthew 6:6.
Is it possible that Jesus speaks to Kevin regarding his own life, actions and ministry, sure it is, but it is highly doubtful that Jesus is adding to the general revelation through Kevin. Kevin's claim to be speaking on behalf of Jesus Himself has every outward appearance of violating the Third Commandment.
Lastly, I ask where are the sign and miracles to accompany his message?
Peace be with you.
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