Some brief comments on ‘Jesus and the Word: a metaphysical reflection on the Gospel of John’ by Chris de Ray

john11nwt (1)
New Testament scholar Maurice Casey once claimed that “The Gospel attributed to St. John is the only New Testament document in which the deity and incarnation of Jesus are unequivocally proclaimed.”
This statement is somewhat misleading. If the proclamation of the Gospel were really unequivocal, it would be hard to explain the extended christological controversies in the early church (see Henry Chadwick, The Early Church).
For example, the third clause of John 1:1 may be translated either “the word was God” or “the word was a god.” Justin Martyr apparently understood the passage in the latter way. According to Henry Chadwick, “Justin had boldly spoken of the divine logos as ‘another God’ beside the Father, qualified by the gloss ‘other, I mean, in number, not in will.'” (Justin, Dialogue with Trypho 56; 127; 129; Chadwick, Early Church, 85-86.)
In a footnote Collins writes,
B.A Mastin considers it “overwhelmingly probable” that John 1:1 “describes the pre-existent Logos as God”. This conclusion, however, is based on his view that Thomas’s acclamation in 20:28 “is the one verse in the New Testament which does unquestionably describe Christ as God”. This view fails to recognize, however, that the phrase dominus et deus, and presumably its Greek equivalent, is an honorific acclamation, used, eg, by those who wished to flatter Domitian.
Domitian was Roman emperor from 81 to 96 – about the same time the Gospel was written. The implication is that the author of the Gospel of John has Thomas proclaim Jesus to be the true dominus et deus, a rather politically subversive and dangerous move. It is more likely that John understood Jesus to be divine in some sense, yet not identical with God the father, the Most High God. This makes it possible to understand the plain meaning of verses such as this:
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3
Trinitarians (in my experience) have to labour long and hard to explain this verse in a manner consistent with their theology because the verse clearly distinguishes between God on the one hand and Jesus, on the other. They are depicted as separate beings. Jesus is the lesser person (“the Father is greater than I” – John 14:28). But Jesus is given divine status by his Father, the only true God.
***
The first three paragraphs are taken from King and Messiah as Son of God Divine, Human, and Angelic Messianic Figures in Biblical and Related Literaturby Adela Yarbro Collins and John J Collins, pp 175-176. The Collins’s are both professors of the Bible at Yale University.  The concluding paragraphs are mine.


Categories: Bible, Christianity, Christology, Gospels, Guest article, Jesus, New Testament scholarship

Tags: , ,

26 replies

  1. Good evening Paul, thanks for your thoughts.

    Regarding Justin Martyr, it looks like he doesn’t appreciate the tightness of the unity between God and his Word/Wisdom/Logos in Second Temple Jewish thought. The Word is not another ‘god’ on top of God, but rather a part of God’s essence, existing *within* and not *outside of* God:

    “since it is God’s wisdom, then it is a kind of divine being alongside God that is also within God as part of his essence, a part of who he is.” Ehrman, ‘How Jesus Became God’

    “God’s own Wisdom and God’s own Word (…) are not created beings, but nor are they semi-divine entities occupying some ambiguous status between the one God and the rest of reality. They belong to the unique divine identity.” Bauckham, ‘God Crucified

    Hence it seems implausible that for John, Jesus was another ‘god’ on top of God.

    Once we understand the Ancient Jewish concept of ‘the Word’, the Christological paradoxes of the NT are easily resolved. Take, for instance, the one you mention:

    ” the verse clearly distinguishes between God on the one hand and Jesus, on the other.”

    Indeed — as I said at the end of my article, God and Jesus are not numerically identical, because God is not numerically identical to his Word. Rather, his Word forms *part* of his being. To use Bauckham’s phrase again, the Word is included within the divine identity.

    To sum up, I agree that for John, Jesus is “divine in some sense, yet not identical with God the father, the Most High God”. But it doesn’t follow that John regarded Jesus as a ‘second god’, as a proper analysis of the concept of the ‘Word’ shows.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think John does portray Jesus as an inferior divine being. Much ancient Jewish and Hellenistic thought did not possess a binary metaphysic: God – and the rest. As Bart Ehrman showed in his brilliant work, ‘How Jesus Became God’ they believed in a spectrum of divine beings all the way from humans who were honoured as deities (see Psalm 45:4-5 for one example) up to the Uncreated Most High. Jesus does not have that latter status in the NT, only God, properly speaking, does. For all his exaltation in John Jesus still has a god, just as we do:

      Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” John 20:17

      To claim that ‘Jesus as His Word forms *part* of His [God’s] being’ is going beyond the text in my view.

      Liked by 2 people

      • “As Bart Ehrman showed in his brilliant work, ‘How Jesus Became God’ they believed in a spectrum of divine beings all the way from humans who were honoured as deities”

        Right. And as Richard Bauckham showed in his equally brilliant work ‘God Crucified’, divine hypostases like Wisdom and Word, unlike exalted angels and patriarchs, were not secondary deities, but rather elements of God’s very being:

        “The second category of intermediary figures consists of personifications or hypostatizations of aspects of God himself, such as his Spirit, his Word and his Wisdom. (…) In my view, the Jewish literature in question for the most part unequivocally excludes the figures in the first category from the unique identity of God, while equally unequivocally includes the figures in the second category within the unique identity of God.”

        In light of this, when John calls Jesus ‘the Word’, he is identifying him with a divine hypostasis, and thus with an element of God’s being. Hence, in my opinion, to claim that John’s Jesus forms part of God’s being is not ‘going beyond the text’, but rather to read the text in light of its 1st Century Jewish context.

        Liked by 1 person

      • As you mention Bauckham’s work ‘God Crucified’ (which I have studied) I must comment on the bizarre title God Crucified. In orthodox theology (Jewish, Christian, Islamic) God is the Uncreated, Immortal, Eternal God. So by definition he is not mortal, he does not die. To suggest he dies goes against reason and revelation. As the NT states,

        God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone is IMMORTAL and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen. 1 Timothy 6

        Liked by 1 person

      • ‘divine hypostases like Wisdom and Word, unlike exalted angels and patriarchs, were not secondary deities, but rather elements of God’s very being’

        I’m not sure I find that convincing. JDG Dunn in his book Christology in the Making, demonstrates persuasively in my view that the figure of Wisdom in the Jewish Wisdom literature (for example Proverbs 8) is a figure of speech, a poetic dramatisation of God’s action in the world. It would be a category error to suppose that it is a *part* (as you say) of God Himself, an internal division within God.

        So to speak of God’s Spirit, his Word and his Wisdom is to speak poetically of God’s immanent activity in the world. To treat them as distinct and separate entities as you seem to be doing is to introduce an embryonic polytheism and division into the Godhead.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly right Br. Paul! See also page 46 L.Hurtado ‘ One Lord, One God that articulates the nature of Wisdom and Logos of God are not distinct independent entities alongside God, but rather are personifications of attributes, a form of imagery commonly used/expressed in the ancient Jewish language.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for that Omar!

        Like

  2. Thanks Paul,

    Knowing the context of Domitian as emperor and that people wanted to flatter him is relevant.

    I noticed this interesting passage at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domitian

    Domitian also revived the practice of the imperial cult, which had fallen somewhat out of use under Vespasian. Significantly, his first act as an Emperor was the deification of his brother Titus. Upon their deaths, his infant son, and niece, Julia Flavia, were likewise enrolled among the gods. With regards to the emperor himself as a religious figure, both Suetonius and Cassius Dio allege that Domitian officially gave himself the title of Dominus et Deus (“Lord and God”).[111][112] However, not only did he reject the title of Dominus during his reign,[113][114] but since he issued no official documentation or coinage to this effect, ****historians such as Brian Jones contend that such phrases were addressed to Domitian by flatterers who wished to earn favors from the emperor.[70]****

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Hi Paul,

    Just had a look at Dunn’s chapter on the Wisdom tradition. He thinks that passages like Proverbs 8 involve the metaphorical personification of a “function of Yahweh” (p.176).

    I don’t think it matters to my argument whether Proverbs (or any other Wisdom text) literally ascribes personhood to Wisdom. What matters is that the Johannine prologue identifies Jesus with Wisdom (he uses the term ‘Word’, but the concept is more or less the same). Hence, if we follow Dunn in his claim that Wisdom is a “function” or power of God, and insofar as a ‘function’ of God is part of God’s being (rather than some secondary deity outside God’s being), then it follows that, for John, Jesus is part of God’s being.

    It is increasingly being recognized that Ancient Jewish monotheism is fully compatible with “division within the Godhead”, as Jewish scholars like Daniel Boyarin and Benjamin Sommers have argued. To call this “embryonic polytheism”, in my view, is to project later (and Hellenic!) views of divine simplicity as essential to monotheism onto the texts.

    Personally, I find that the notion of a personal plurality within God to be very unintuitive *if* one sticks to the notion of God as ‘old man in the clouds’, which many of us grew up with. If on the other hand we think of God as a Supreme Spirit that permeates and sustains the cosmos, there is nothing bizarre about the hypothesis that such a Spirit may be constituted by several persons who form a tight unity.

    Regarding immortality and ‘God crucified’, I plan to write on article on this topic at some point, so I won’t say much here (my article was merely about the coherence of the notion that Jesus is God’s Logos). Suffice it to say for now that I don’t see any reason to reject *a priori* the thought that God’s Logos could take on a mortal human nature.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Chris

      you wrote,

      ‘if we follow Dunn in his claim that Wisdom is a “function” or power of God, and insofar as a ‘function’ of God is part of God’s being (rather than some secondary deity outside God’s being), then it follows that, for John, Jesus is part of God’s being.’

      The poetic personification of God’s power as ‘Wisdom’ is not describing a *part* (that word again!) of God’s being. God is not made up of parts. You reify a mere metaphor, a bit of poetry, in order to give an entry point for your Trinitarianism. The strategy is rather obvious Chris.

      The problem is that nowhere in the Jewish Bible is God described as having three ‘parts’ or as being three individuals. In the great monotheistic chapters of Isaiah (40–55) nowhere is this doctrine mentioned. God is always ONE person in the teaching sections of the Jewish Bible. If God was made up of parts or persons He would not have concealed this from his people.

      Re ‘God crucified’: my objection concerns God being put to death (as per the title of the book), not Jesus as God’s Logos which is a different matter entirely. Anselm’s soteriology requires that only God himself can atone/die for man’s sins. But this is impossible for the reasons I gave.

      Like

    • “Personally, I find that the notion of a personal plurality within God to be very unintuitive *if* one sticks to the notion of God as ‘old man in the clouds’, which many of us grew up with.”

      The problem is that the “old man in the clouds” motif is a Biblical concept. See Daniel 7. The Israelites were immersed in Canaanite culture, which is where this concept originated. Of course, this is rejected by Islam, and even when God is described in terms of having “hands” or being able to “hear” and “see”, we interpret it as something very different from their usage in human terms. This cautious approach evidently did not get adopted by the Biblical authors, and so we see such blatant anthropomorphism in the Bible.

      Liked by 3 people

      • “, this is rejected by Islam, and even when God is described in terms of having “hands” or being able to “hear” and “see”, we interpret it as something very different from their usage in human terms.”

        Christians and Jews have done this for centuries. Medieval philosophers went as far as to deny that God is a person (!), claiming that ascribing will, consciousness etc. to God are just convenient analogies.

        Many biblical passages describe God as a supreme Spirit that permeates and sustains the cosmos, rather than as an old man in the clouds (e.g. Jer 23:24).

        Not all Muslim scholars have interpreted Quranic anthropomorphisms metaphorically:

        ” As is well known, the anthropomorphic expressions in theQur’an and the Sunna were generally treated by Muslim scholars in three different ways. Some scholars adopted the literalmeanings of these expressions saying, e.g., that God has hands,face, legs and that He sits on His Throne and descends every nightto the lowest heaven, and that He is angry or is happy’. On thebasis of Qur’an verses that God is unlike anything2, some others,mainly rationalist thinkers, interpreted these anthropomorphisms
        in a figurative way. Thus, God’s hand stands for His power andHis sitting on the Throne means His rule over the world3. A third group embraced a middle way according to which one has to accept
        the sacred text as it is without trying to interpret its modality”

        (Binyamin Abrahamov, https://www.jstor.org/stable/4057381?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents )

        Like

      • “Christians and Jews have done this for centuries. Medieval philosophers went as far as to deny that God is a person (!), claiming that ascribing will, consciousness etc. to God are just convenient analogies.

        Many biblical passages describe God as a supreme Spirit that permeates and sustains the cosmos, rather than as an old man in the clouds (e.g. Jer 23:24).”

        That’s all well and good but the point still stands. The Bible, as in Daniel 7, literally describes God as an “old man in the clouds”. That’s the problem with the Bible. You have dozens of independent books written by people with different theologies.

        “Not all Muslim scholars have interpreted Quranic anthropomorphisms metaphorically:

        ” As is well known, the anthropomorphic expressions in theQur’an and the Sunna were generally treated by Muslim scholars in three different ways. Some scholars adopted the literalmeanings of these expressions saying, e.g., that God has hands,face, legs and that He sits on His Throne and descends every nightto the lowest heaven, and that He is angry or is happy’. On thebasis of Qur’an verses that God is unlike anything2, some others,mainly rationalist thinkers, interpreted these anthropomorphisms
        in a figurative way. Thus, God’s hand stands for His power andHis sitting on the Throne means His rule over the world3. A third group embraced a middle way according to which one has to accept
        the sacred text as it is without trying to interpret its modality”

        (Binyamin Abrahamov, https://www.jstor.org/stable/4057381?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents )”

        Also well and good, but the Quran does not describe God as an old man. The Bible does.

        Like

      • Chris, you don’t seem to be getting it. You’re the one who said that we need to stop picturing God as the “old man in the clouds”. Your words, not mine. I merely pointed out that it is your Bible which describes God as an old man. It even calls Him the “Ancient of Days”. That’s YOUR Bible. The Quran does not say that.

        Like

    • Chris you’re missing a critical difference… the Wisdom and Logos in relation to God were figuratively expressed by way of personification in ancient Jewish language…. GJohn however took what was understood by Jewish thought to be a mere personifications and applied these concepts to describe Jesus in relation to God by literally interpreting Wisdom and/ Logos as a disinct Person alongside God…. in others words, GJohn made the theological transition from figurative personification to literal personhood of God’s attribute…… from personification to person or more accurately polytheism….

      Like

      • QB: well, I don’t see anything wrong with anthropomorphisms, as long as they are interpreted properly.

        So, both the Bible and the Quran use anthropomorphic language to describe God, and both Christians and Muslims have (often) taken such language as figurative. No asymmetry here.

        Omar: You haven’t read my comments carefully. I argue that, for John, Jesus is *not* a second god “alongside” God. I’ll paste my main argument again:

        “Wisdom, then, is a power of God. If Wisdom is a power of God, then Wisdom isn’t a secondary deity outside God.

        For John, Jesus is Wisdom. Therefore, for John, Jesus is not a secondary deity outside God. QED”

        This discussion is not about whether John was right, or about whether the author of Proverbs would have agreed with John. It’s about what John believed about Jesus (see Paul’s original post). My argument is that, for John, Jesus is an element of God’s being.

        Like

      • You make no sense Chris….. to say Jesus is Wisdom as an element of God’s being is to presume God’s Wisdom possesses it’s own self- awareness or consciousness as as distinct person subsisting within God’s being….

        … Chris Does God converse or engage in conversation with His personal Wisdom?

        Like

      • Chris, you don’t seem to be getting it. You’re the one who said that we need to stop picturing God as the “old man in the clouds”. Your words, not mine. I merely pointed out that it is your Bible which describes God as an old man. It even calls Him the “Ancient of Days”. That’s YOUR Bible. The Quran does not say that.

        Like

  4. Woe is me! My Trinitarian schemes have been revealed!

    In all seriousness, we don’t have to use the word ‘part’ if you don’t like it. Let’s take ‘power’, which you just used. Wisdom, then, is a power of God. If Wisdom is a power of God, then Wisdom isn’t a secondary deity outside God.

    For John, Jesus is Wisdom. Therefore, for John, Jesus is not a secondary deity outside God. QED

    But I feel that the goalposts have been moved. Your original post argued that for John, Jesus is a second God. I have argued that this claim misconstrues the Jewish concepts of Wisdom and Word, which emphatically aren’t secondary deities. But now you’re asking me to prove Trinitarianism from the OT? That’s a different ballgame entirely!

    It’s unclear why Christians should have to do that. But once again, I think Jewish scholars like Boyarin and Sommer have persuasively shown that the idea of personal plurality within the Godhead is not absent from the OT. More on this matter another time, perhaps.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As a note here to what QB said the “rationalist thinkers” part of your quote changed the clear meaning of the text and were inspired by Greek thought so its circular logic to say:

    “Well, these guys thought like us who were inspired by the same thing that inspired us.”

    The proper position in regards to God’s names and attributes is:
    “They are not like the creation and are only similar in name.” So for example:

    Hands of a clock
    The face of a mountain

    Are these human hands or a human face? No. But that is the literal name of the object. Now the same thing:

    Hands of God
    The Face of God

    These are God’s attributes. They are literal and cannot be denied however they’re not like are human hands and faces etc.

    The final point is did you say “plurality in the Godhead”? This is the fundamental problem right there. We can do as much “creative verbal gymnastics” as we like here but at the end of the day that is an admission of worshipping multiple gods at least at a subconscious level. God is one in unity, thought, essence etc. everything He has is uniquely His and He is the only one worthy of your worship. Again simple common sense, He beats home the fact that there are no other gods beside Him (which i’m sure you agree). So then why would He send someone to be worshipped alongside Him? You seem to be intelligent Chris so which seems more likely given that we both know God expresses of being the only thing to worship:

    A “plurality of Godhead”

    or

    People went to the extreme in love with regards to a prophet God sent to them and placed him on the same level as God.

    Given the fact that we see the OBVIOUS influence of the culture and environment that this prophet worked in (as I quoted in my last post), I think we know what the answer is.

    Liked by 2 people

    • ” but at the end of the day that is an admission of worshiping multiple gods at least at a subconscious level. ”

      Thanks for revealing the contents of my subconscious. I invite you to read the work of Benjamin Sommer and Daniel Boyarin, Jewish scholars who argue that the notion of a personal plurality within God is perfectly compatible with biblical monotheism.

      ” Again simple common sense”

      The subatomic world defies common-sense in very radical ways. Why can’t God?

      “He beats home the fact that there are no other gods beside Him (which i’m sure you agree).”

      Certainly. Which is why, as I’ve been arguing in this thread, John doesn’t think that Jesus is another god “beside” God.

      “People went to the extreme in love with regards to a prophet God sent to them and placed him on the same level as God.”

      Larry Hurtado convincingly argues that belief in Jesus’ deity and pre-existence was held by the early Christians since the resurrection (https://larryhurtado.wordpress.com/2019/01/25/christological-non-starters-part-1-adoption-as-divine-son/ )

      If Jesus really was a prophet of God, I doubt that God would have allowed his earliest followers to be so badly mistaken.

      Like

      • @ Chris

        Lol, see what I mean in my last post regarding arguing over semantics. Most normal people not attempting to win a debate understand what common sense means.

        Now as for your points, if I understand your post correctly (and I could be wrong) if you’re arguing that Jesus was a pre-existent semi-divine being that was subservient to God (kinda like how Christians see the Holy Spirit now) then yes I agree this was the authors of John’s beliefs and what they were trying to convey in their work.

        As for your next point, I don’t remember saying early Christians didn’t go to the extreme in regards to Jesus (as). I personally believe they split into different categories of belief immediately after he (as) ascended (even though you can see trouble brewing underneath the surface in the Synoptics). For length purposes, I won’t break them down but we can generally see two camps emerged one moderate and one extreme and then they broke into various different sects from there.

        However this argument here: “I doubt that God would have allowed his earliest followers to be so badly mistaken” is easy to refute in two ways.

        1. The emergence of the Gnostics (who were early Christians and I doubt you believe they came with what Jesus(as) taught)

        2. This happened in Islam (which is literally extreme monotheism) in regards to the Sabaʾiyya. They believed Prophet Muhammad(saw) would return to earth with Jesus(as) and that his cousin Ali(ra) was God on earth. These people started up and gained a following in less than 30 years after the Prophet’s(saw) death (which is still 10 years earlier than Christianity’s 40-year oral tradition phase) Now how were they able to find ground for the doctrine? All it took was one man (who was an extremist) to go to a group of new Muslims who used to be pagan Hindus in Persia. The doctrine was an easy transition for them and boom Ali(ra) is a God on Earth (keep in mind this was happening while Ali(ra) was still alive). The only reason they didn’t spread effectively is that Islam was the government and Ali(ra) was the ruler but even then there were still a few thousand followers in former Persia (and some sects of Shia such as the Alawite still believe this). So yes people attempt to corrupt God’s religion as soon as it emerges while the original followers are still alive. Heck, another example would be if Muslims lost the Ridda wars which began the SAME day Muhammad(saw) died we would be debating about multiple prophets and whatever sects they’re followers emerged into. Early Christianity was in an even worse position politically, were mostly illiterate and we can clearly see these sects took influence from the Romans in regards to their beliefs.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Excellent article.
    I think we need to draw bold lines to approach this prologue.

    Here’re some points:
    1) I think we have to agree that the Trinitarian reading for that passage is just an anachronism.

    2) It seems that gospel belongs to Gnostic literature in some aspect,and the first commentary on that gospel was by a gnostic man

    2) In Sahidic Coptic translated John1:1 (and the Word was a god) in a very clear manner.

    3) It’s a historical fact that some jews had developed some hybrid literature whose themes shared by Jews and Greeks such as the writings of Philo. There had been also some ideas about the creating by emanation, and the creating as we understand it in the Abrahamic religions. Also, jews had developed some theology beliefs about the angels as the emanation of God > (sons of God).
    For Philo the first emanation was the Logos, then (Angels), and finally (man), while (Colossians 1:15) says “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.”

    4) While the historical background and the language of the prologue might be debatable, (John 17:3) is a clear cut statement that the Father is (only) true God for the author.

    Finally, I just want to point how much I appreciate the Qur’anic emphasizes on its language because as we see once the language loses its function, anything can be true and wrong in the same time. That doesn’t mean the heretic ideas didn’t find its way to muslim communities, but that only because they neglected Arabic language and what it means, and they preferred the lenses of Greek or the eastern philosophies .
    It’s important in Islam to understand the text through the lens of Salaf.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. QB: “You’re the one who said that we need to stop picturing God as the “old man in the clouds”.

    Not quite. I don’t have a problem with ‘picturing’ God as an old man, *if* we bear in mind that it’s just that…a ‘picturing’, not a literal description. I suspect that many people find Trinitarianism unintuitive because as a result of taking this imagery too literally.

    Stew: “if I understand your post correctly (and I could be wrong) if you’re arguing that Jesus was a pre-existent semi-divine being that was subservient to God”

    No, that is precisely what I am arguing against. The whole point of my argument is to show that, for John, Jesus is *not* a secondary god alongside God. Here’s my argument again:

    Wisdom, then, is a power of God. If Wisdom is a power of God, then Wisdom isn’t a secondary deity outside God.

    For John, Jesus is Wisdom. Therefore, for John, Jesus is not a secondary deity outside God. QED

    “The emergence of the Gnostics (who were early Christians and I doubt you believe they came with what Jesus(as) taught)”

    You’ve missed my point. Hurtado, in the blog article I linked to, argues that Jesus’ *earliest* followers, i.e. the disciples, came to believe in his deity and pre-existence after the resurrection. I think he makes a convincing case, do have a read.

    Omar: ” to say Jesus is Wisdom as an element of God’s being is to presume God’s Wisdom possesses it’s own self- awareness or consciousness as as distinct person subsisting within God’s being….”

    well, this discussion is about what John believed about Jesus, not about whether it’s true or ‘makes sense’. But as it happens, I address your objection in my article on this website, to which Paul is responding. Do have a read.

    Abdullah: “It seems that gospel belongs to Gnostic literature in some aspect,and the first commentary on that gospel was by a gnostic man”

    I think John’s Gospel is profoundly anti-gnostic. The very notion of the Logos becoming flesh, let alone suffering and dying, and rising again in the flesh, is totally antithetical to gnosticism, and more or less all Hellenistic philosophy.

    ON THAT NOTE GENTLEMEN…I’m going to leave things here, as I don’t have the time for five conversations at once. But I enjoyed our discussions. See you folks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Not quite. I don’t have a problem with ‘picturing’ God as an old man, *if* we bear in mind that it’s just that…a ‘picturing’, not a literal description. I suspect that many people find Trinitarianism unintuitive because as a result of taking this imagery too literally.”

      Well of course you would want that, but there is no indication that the author of the book of Daniel thought that too.

      “As I watched,
      thrones were set in place,
      and an Ancient One[d] took his throne,
      his clothing was white as snow,
      and the hair of his head like pure wool;”

      That seems like a pretty “literal” description. Daniel is having a “vision”. This is simply God saying that He “sees” or “hears” or descriptions of His “hands”. This is a literal vision where God is literally an old man with white hair. How is this supposed to be interpreted metaphorically?

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: