Names, Titles, and Characters of Jesus Christ

Too often people are mixing the Biblical characters and using titles as names. They do it for elements like word, wisdom, adversary, opposition, god, a.o..

Jesus

Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having lots of modern Bible-translations having omitted the names of the proper character it has been made more difficult for people to know about whom is been spoken. the omitting of God’s Name and replacing it with Lord, later in the years even omitting capitals, people came to confuse Christ Jesus with his heavenly Father and vice versa.
We all should be very careful to recognise the proper names of all Biblical figures and to understand what their title means.

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Additional reading:

  1. No Other Name (But Jesus)
  2. Spelling Yahshuah (יהשע) vs Hebrew using Yehoshuah (יהושע)
  3. Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
  4. True riches
  5. I Will Cause Your Name To Be Remembered
  6. Hashem השם, Hebrew for “the Name”
  7. Use of /Gebruik van Jehovah or/of Yahweh in Bible Translations/Bijbel vertalingen
  8. The Divine name of the Creator
  9. The NIV and the Name of God
  10. 2001 Translation an American English Bible
  11. Jehovah Yahweh Gods Name
  12. Attributes, Names and titles of God
  13. Archeological Findings the name of God YHWH

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  • Keep Pressing! #InstarationDevo (armansheffey.com)
    I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus
  • Rule and Reign (activeinspiration.wordpress.com)
    We Christians are blessed with the Righteousness of our Lord Jesus the Christ, and in the world to come its value will be recognized when we rule and reign with our Savior Christ Jesus
  • Scripture of the Day, 2/5 (sowegalive.com)
    God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
  • Citizens Of Another World (birdchirp.wordpress.com)
    True Christians are pilgrims and strangers in a strange land. Not only is our citizenship in heaven, but positionally we are now seated in Christ Jesus in the heavenlies. We are dead, and our lives are hid with Christ in God.
  • Praise Him (mylordmyfriend.com)
    We can never Praise God enough, here are a few reasons to Praise Him more. The God that loves us is Great, Praise Him:

Psalm 48 verse1: “Great is The Lord and greatly to be Praised”.

  • The Holy One maneuvers throughout all seasons: to nourish those yearning to choose (authorrubengarza.wordpress.com)
    Got a knack or need for Religious Freedom? You’re not alone! Jesus foretold there would be haggling between brothers and sister, friend and foe, and even those who should be first would be last to inherit Grace.
  • What does the Bible say the End Times Churches will Look like (endtimesprophecyreport.com)
    So while there is much agreement that we are living in the end times, there is little agreement as to what that means for the Church.  The Bible tells us what the end times Church will look like.
  • Slave to Fear? (sharingloveandtruth.org)
    Join me today in thanking God for the limitless life we are free to live in Christ Jesus the Lord!
  • The Soldier He Called Me to Be (fullofrosesinspirationals.wordpress.com)
    Was a sword like Excalibur placed inside me
    A sword of the spirit, to set captives free
    The soldier He called me to be
  • Evangelism (hiwaychristian.wordpress.com)
    On the days I thought important things happened to me, millions of others experienced their own significant occurrences.  Not a single one of them saw the days I saw.  Yet time moved forward for us all.  The calendar chimed in unison.  But the entirety of humanity saw a richly variegated symphony of experiences.

    There is one significant occurrence that should happen to all men.  Every man should be able to say he has accepted Christ Jesus as his Lord.  This is the only common thread we can share for eternity.  How that comes to be is also a richly variegated symphony of experiences.

The Good News

The Blue Letter Bible has published a page with information taken from the whole Bible about the God we worship, Jesus Christ.   Seeing all the names, titles and other attributes with which he is labeled in both the Old and New Testaments and contemplating those titles and their meaning to me personally is a wonderful way to worship Him.  Worshiping Him is what we are made for.  Worshiping Him is what those who know Him will do for all eternity.  These Name, Titles and Attributes allow practice in this life.

Here is the first list of names, titles, and characters.  More are to come.  Please use these to worship your God now.

Thank you Blue Letter Bible for this summary.

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An anarchistic reading of the Bible (2)—Creation and what follows

Whilst there may certainly be nothing sacred or “God-ordained” about the modern nation-state, lots of people do claim the connection of their state with the God of their Christian faith. Lots of those claiming to be Christian do not notice they themselves made themselves an own faith which in many cases has gone far away from the leader Christ Jesus his teachings. Even worse many of the conservative Christians and extreme right people have twisted so much the biblical teachings they do not see straight any more.

Lots of people in the so called democratic countries would like to build up their country to what they call to be a free nation, though they want to put a lot of limitations to whom may enter and to what others may believe.
A very good example of such deformation of the mind is the United States of America where there are some citizens who are totally convinced that it is their own home country, not recognising they themselves came from immigrants, thinking their laws should be build on their restricted view of the Bible, ignoring in a certain way the idea of freedom of the Pilgrims who founded their country.

Americans, convinced that the only state they have does not belong to the original locals, redskins or Indians, neither that it belongs to the Divine Creator, are convinced only they can work, according to their measures, to make ‘their state’ the most just and life-enhancing state it can be.
They are also convinced they should also work against their state as strongly as possible when it is unjust and undermines life. Though they often forget which measures or rules they would consider to be the just, righteous and most right to choose for.

Perhaps they can use an anarchist critique of the state and an anarchist affirmation of the human capacity for self-organizing to help to resist the undermining and, even more, to help them as they seek to construct a well-functioning society.

But most of all I would advice those who call themselves Christian to take up again the Bible and to go through it thoroughly.
All people interested in building up a community which can leave together in peace,is better to take up the manual given by the Supreme Writer and Divine Creator of all.

We can approach the Bible as a storybook and see it as providing a loosely coherent message, amidst a great deal of diversity, but than we shall miss out a lot of wisdom provide in it and would not be able so much to see our own stupidities and the stupidities of our governments who do not want to learn from the past, having the past repeating over and over again.

When we look at the Bereshith, the book of the Beginnings brings us the evolution of all things. Lots of conservative Christians do want to take its writing as a literal presentation from day to day, but it was never intended to be so. Moses neither the Client to write, wanted to present humanity with a factual historical scientist into depth account of what happened throughout the years of this universe.
The very beginning of the Bible provides much important information about the Bible as a whole, about the cosmology of the whole, about the character of the God seen to be central to the entire story, and about the relationships between humankind and this God.

Those people taking up the Bible, the infallible Word of God, should remember that the tale told in that Book of books, is to bring us knowledge about our own beings, our own self, how and why we are and how humanity develops.

In this Best-seller of all times, the One giving His Voice, the One Who asked to have His Words written down, This Creator God speaks of His Creation, which includes not only the human beings (male and female) being created in His own image, but also all the things He gave under dominion of those human beings (plants and animals). Though man could make use of it and could give it names, it has made a mess of it, and has done dishonour to the Creator of it. Too many have forgotten that humanity is commissioned to care for the rest of creation as God’s stewards. This is one of the good reasons lots of people should again or for the first time start reading the Bible to find out what their position on this planet is and what they have as task to do to come to a nice good peaceable world.

The Bible tells us what went wrong in the past and how the relationship between God and man became troubled. We do have to find ways to restore that relationship between God and humanity which is not one of domination, command-and-obedience. Yes it is rather a relationship of like with like. God has given several man of God to lead us and to show us the right way to develop. The prophet and master rabbi Jeshua (Jesus Christ) is the most important one to follow. after so much time that the people still did not come to understand the Torah, Jesus came to clarify it once again and to show the Way to God. though Jesus is the Way, he did not want to do his own will nor wants us to do only his will, neither to make him God or to worship him. He wants us to worship and to pray to the same God he prayed to, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, Who is also the God of him (Jesus) and his disciples.

We are told to put on the armour of Christ and to become like Jesus, and to put on the armour of God becoming one with God like Jesus is one with God. Though God is the Most High and even Jesus could not do anything without his heavenly Father, we also shall never be able to do anything without God allowing it to happen. But we are given the words of Christ and the words of the other prophets to help us to find the right way, trying to transform ourselves by the teachings of the master teacher and by the words of the very different books brought together in the Canonical Bible.

We as humans created in the image of God are also by that Creator asked to be like God. And, perhaps even more importantly, the picture here is that all humanity shares in this divine image — kingly, perhaps, but in a strongly egalitarian sense. As well, human beings are given power and responsibility.

The biggest problem is we all are responsible for our own choice and for our own actions. There is nobody else to blame for what we ourselves decide to follow.
It is up to us to take up the Book of books, to believe in it and to follow up freely its advice and wisdom.

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To remember:

to avoid the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (2:17) =  restriction >  arbitrary rule from a dominating God intended to prevent human enlightenment? => Such an interpretation contradict much of the surrounding story + much of what follows in the Bible.

restriction = symbolizing innate human limitations.

human beings seek to know + use that knowledge to dominate creation => will devolve into power struggles and develop hierarchies

To avoid such a dynamic =>  to step back from desiring too much “knowledge,” to accept limits, and recognize to live in trust.

Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“temptation” to violate restriction = too strong => Adam and Eve break the close connection between themselves and God.

coming from human side — after they eat the forbidden fruit, God still seeks to hang around with them in the Garden

humans hide from God (3:8) = they become ashamed of their nakedness.

consequences of this turn toward disharmony = establishment of “enmity” between Adam and Eve (3:15) and of Adam as “ruler” over Eve (3:16).

Not God’s will

new tensions and struggles = characterize human life.

rest of story = God’s work among humanity to overcome this “enmity” and proclivity toward “rulership.”

“fall”= affirmation of fundamental character of human peaceableness and responsiveness to God = complicated by human freedom.

God gives humanity potential to turn away as a key part of basic loving nature of the relationships +> turning away has consequences.

fatalistic interpretation has underwritten power politics over the centuries — the “fallenness” of humanity used as an excuse for a politics of centralized, coercive power.

human proclivity to exercise power in dominating ways = target in story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11.  = inclination to centralize human power and to create a “oneness” that serves centralized power.

“scattering” Babel-dwellers (3:4, 8, 9), God seeks to create the conditions for a different kind of oneness — human unity respecting diversity, decentralizing power, based on mutual respect.

rest of the Bible’s story describes long, tenuous process of such a oneness being established.

human beings being gifted through God’s Spirit to connect despite their differences in languages, points to the type of oneness God endorses.

God’s healing strategy

genealogy that will connect Noah with the founding of God’s chosen people, we meet the human founders of the Hebrew peoplehood.

God creates something new out of barreness + promises descendants, beyond counting, and the agents of blessing for “all the families of the earth” (12:3).

important intervention of God = vocation God gives Abram, Sarai, and their descendants = God’s response to what happened in Eden, the story of the Flood, and the Tower of Babel => God will bring healing, but it will be patient, non-coercive, based on love and not on domination.

Founding ancestor of God’s chosen people = far from being a king or powerful ruler.

God’s work to bring healing to creation = not linked with territoriality => no geographical kingdom and no human king.

The method for doing God’s work in the world is “blessing” and this work is intended to encompass “all the families of the earth.”

We will have to follow the rest of the story to understand better the political implications of this starting point. But we should notice right away the combination of a lack of state-centeredness and the optimism about the possibilities of this “blessing” spreading widely without domination.

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Additional readings:

  1. What is life?
  2. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures
  3. Men of faith
  4. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #1 Christian Reform
  5. Right to be in the surroundings
  6. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness
  7. Creator and Blogger God 5 Things to tell
  8. God wants to be gracious to you
  9. The giving and protecting God
  10. Testify of the things heard
  11. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  12. A secret to be revealed
  13. Humility and the Fear of the Lord
  14. No fear in love
  15. If you want to go far in life
  16. Being of good courage running the race
  17. Wisdom lies deep
  18. God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supplies
  19. God should be your hope
  20. Your New Job Description — Bless!
  21. Count your blessings
  22. There can only be hope when there is a will to be and say “I am”

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  • American Pride: What Does the Bible Say? (endtimesprophecyreport.com)
    Throughout its short 230+ years existence, the country known as the United States of America has specialized in turning vice into virtue.  Exhibit A?

    Americans teaching that pride is a much-desired quality.

    “American Pride”: it’s on the airwaves; it’s taught in the schools; it’s preached from the pulpits.

  • Is This What US Interviewing Officers In The Embassy Go Through? (thechroniclesofrenard.blogspot.com)
    The experience of getting a United States visa in order to visit the United States of America can be quite challenging for a lot of people in The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

    Here is a humorous video about those interesting experiences.

  • Muslim Americans Insist Students Were Killed Because of Faith (voanews.com)
    The Obama Administration released a statement late Friday about the killing of three Muslim students this week in North Carolina. In the statement US president Barack Obama said “No one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship.” American Muslim leaders agree and are urging authorities to label the shooting deaths a hate crime. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
  • Akin Osuntokun: The winner takes all election (dailypost.ng)
    Politics is inherently conflict-ridden with a dual and contradictory potential to either serve as a conflict resolution mechanism or generate a momentum for the escalation of conflict to crisis and ultimately to catastrophe.

    The election of Barack Obama, the first African-American, to the office of the President of the United States of America (USA) is unique and indicative in several respects. It was a veritable indication of how far America has gone in functional socio-political integration and positive adaptation of social diversity. Yet it equally brought in its wake the manifestation of the negative potential of politics to serve as a predictor and harbinger of conflict and crisis.

  • United States Corporation & The united, “States of America” . . use this to help people understand! It is very important information! ~J (gunnygbb2.wordpress.com)
    This film explains the difference between the, “united States of America” which is a Republic, created by the people, and for the protections and freedoms of the people; and, a corporation called “The United States Of America”, which is a Corporation of the “District of Columbia”; Titled, “The United States Of America” this corporation was founded in 1871″.

Thinking Pacifism

Ted Grimsrud—February 2, 2015

This is the second in a series of posts.

In this survey of some biblical themes looked at from an anarchistic angle, I will not be real precise in my use of “anarchistic.” I’ll be talking about a sensibility more than a full-fledged political philosophy. The key “anarchistic” motifs I will focus on will be a strong suspicion toward centralized social power, especially kingdoms and empires, and an optimism about human possibilities for self-organizing and decentralized social power.

And I will be reading the Bible in fairly naïve and straightforward ways. I approach the Bible as a storybook and see it as providing a loosely coherent message, amidst a great deal of diversity. I will focus more on the loose coherence than the diversity—largely due to a desire to find usable guidance in the Bible. At the same time, in reading the Bible more as…

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An anarchistic reading of the Bible—(1) Approaching the Bible

As human beings we do have to make a lot of choices in our life. the first one is who we want to follow and trust. First of all those we consider our parents, but next we can see many human persons asking for our attention. People have written loads of books, but none of them can really compete with a master-work which has different styles of literature bundled together to offer us a lot of knowledge and advice for life.

Many do ignore it and neglect what it can bring to them.

Believer or not a believer in the Most High Divine Creator of all things, that book which Christians consider to be the infallible Word of God, has a lot of knowledge, wisdom and idioms we should look at, in it.

The Bible actually presents itself as a very non-authoritarian collection of writings. It never pushes its ideas on others, contrary it tells itself that people are free to take it or leave it. It gives us one of those choices in life about which it speaks thoroughly. It let us see what happens if we go through life without seeing the many opportunities, without making use of the different choices laid in front of us.

The Best Seller of all times does not demand that we follow this or that rule or saying but it presents openly the different possibilities, the many choices we can make in our life and tells us also what the consequences are of our choices made freely or deliberately.

One of the difficulties of the Book of books is that in some way it can not be taken up passively. It is impossible to read or to go though it without having questions posed to yourself.
This amalgamation of works from the very old times is still accurate and actual, an authority that requires the participation of the reader — and, actually, the participation of many readers.

That it has certain powers can be seen throughout history. Many people tried to destroy it but never succeeded. Lots of people tried to break it down and bagatelle it, but did not succeed and even several negative people reversed their standpoint and became a believer in God, became Jew, Christian or Muslim.

This collection of books, as no other, can transform people. It has so much power, never seen by any other peace of literature or any written work of human beings.
Yes “Its power on its own terms—different from the power that comes from being expropriated by human authoritarian institutions — is power than empowers the reader. It is not power that lends itself to being concentrated in top-down structures but the power that enhances diversity and decentralization.”
The book of books breaths the Power of a much more higher Supreme Being, that surpasses all modern technology and human knowledge.

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To look at:

How the Bible works as an authority is a complicated and contested issue.

approach Bible as source of absolute truths that simply need to be heard and followed

“the house of authority” => three authoritative presences:

Bible revealed truth from God, official doctrinal statements (creeds, confessions, etc.)

Bible actually presents itself as a very non-authoritarian collection of writings.

pick up Bible and read from it =>one will be struck by what we could call an epistemological humility.

Bible makes few claims for its own truthfulness.

gives us a bunch of stories that upon reading together, numerous times, does seem to have a kind of coherence

Bible’s message is invitational. The reader can choose to enter the story or not.

The characters in the Bible are quite human— sometimes strikingly so.

an on-going conversation within the Bible where different points of view challenge each other.

Beyond the internal dynamics that humanize the Bible and present a non-authoritarian kind of authority, we need also to recognize that the humanness of the text for us is reinforced by the fact that what we have in our English Bibles are translations made by human beings from ancient languages that at best provide us with what has been called “dynamic equivalence” where the translators can do no better than approximate the meanings of the original.

authority of the Bible =anarchistic = requires participation of the reader

Its power on its own terms = empowers the reader = enhances diversity and decentralization.

reader of the Bible, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, may read the Bible and find direction from it for oneself

 

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Find additionally: Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #5 To meditate and Transform

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  • Food for Thought-3 Things to Remember Before Starting a Lenten Bible Study (richardsfoodforthought.com)
    The Bibles we use emerge from two distinct ancient communities. The Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) comes from the history, people, and traditions of ancient Israel. The text of the New Testament first originates in the early Christian church. When I say, “the Bible is the product of well-intentioned human beings”, I’m not denying the existence of God. Nor am I disputing the idea that God inspired humanity to do certain things then record those events for posterity. I am saying the Bible isn’t a divinely created product in the way Islam regards the Quran. The Bible is a collection of many different types of writing (politics, history, theology, poetry, genealogy) which tell the history of how people understood their relationship with God.  Fallible people wrote our holy book.  God didn’t write or dictate words to a scribe.  There are contradictions and errors throughout the Bible.  Once we realize that God works within our mistakes, we can read scripture with fresh eyes.
  • Think Einstein believed in God? You probably haven’t read this letter he wrote in 1954 (deadstate.org)
    Some religious figureheads such as Ray Comfort claim that Einstein believed in some form of God and acknowledged a higher power’s presence.

    “Although he clearly didn’t believe in a personal God [like the one in Christianity],” Ray Comfort says in his book Einstein, God, and the Bible.

    “Einstein wrote that he wanted to know ‘His’ thoughts, referred to God as ‘He,’ and acknowledged that He revealed ‘Himself.’”

    But in contrast, vocal atheist

  • Christianity book speaks ‘with conviction and eloquence’ (gospeak.org)
    On their Facebook page, the Jundiaí School of the Bible wrote Feb. 10 about our new book, Cristianismo Original (=Original Christianity), by Joel Stephen Williams
  • Did Plato influence the Book of Genesis? (lionoftheblogosphere.wordpress.com)
    Now the belief among Orthodox Jews is that the book of Genesis is very old, but as the web page points out, there are no outside historically dated references to the book of Genesis until the second century B.C., which is two hundred years after the founding of Plato’s Academy. This all fits in with a general pattern I’ve pointed out before that Judaism isn’t as old as people think it is.

    Thus it’s likely that Genesis was not influenced by God dictating Genesis to Moses (who probably never existed as a real person), but rather by the scientific research and philosophy of Aristotle, Plato, and other ancient Greeks scholars.

  • A Unification of Creation and Evolution (robertjrgraham.com)
    When people say that “god created the heavans and the earth in six days and on the seventh he rested”, who can say how long one of god’s days is. Why are we so egotistical as to believe that his day is the same as our’s. We don’t know god (Most of us who believe in god do so because we want to not because we have proof.) but if there is a god why can’t his, her or it’s day be a thousand or a million or even several billion of our years.

    Chapter 2, verse 7 of the book of Genises states “then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” It does not state how long this took or what form the being we call man originally took. God’s image can be many things. We have no way of knowing. Additionally, although the bible is supposed to be the word of god, it was written by humans and therefore subject to human interpretation.

  • Big Brother has a lot to offer (georgehach.wordpress.com)
    We all have a big brother who would like to help us have a better quality of life.  His name is Jesus.  He inspired 4 books in the Bible: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  They will give you great insight into how to live better.
  • A Conversation About The Nature of God (thehardincrowder.wordpress.com)
    God doesn’t need us in any way, shape, or form. God would still be God if no human being ever worshiped Him.

    I do, however, believe that human beings (and all of creation for that matter) were created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. As John Piper would put it “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.”

    God cares about what we think about him because:

    1. God is worthy of worship
    2. God loves us and knows that there is no lasting joy, fulfillment, or life apart from Him.
    3. God loves us and knows that apart from His love there is only wrath, destruction, and death.
  • Zionists Have Used Evangelical Christianity To Cheat Christianity (thetotalcollapse.com)
    It’s no coincidence that the rise of Zionism, that is: the impulse of the Jews to seek a homeland for themselves, began not long before the Scofield Reference Bible was published. In the late 1800’s, England is where Zionism first found political support. England was already awash with the erroneous “Christian” doctrine of British-Israelism, wherein the British Christians were taught that they were of the lost tribes of Israel; therefore they should support the Zionist Jews venture to create a Jewish state: Israel.

Thinking Pacifism

Ted Grimsrud—January 25, 2015

[This post is a continuation of the conversation about anarchism that I have started in this blog in months past—the most recent post was “More thinking about an ‘anarchistic’ Christianity” on December 15, 2014. It’s an introduction to a series of seven or eight posts that give a quick survey of some anarchistically-inclined dynamics in the Bible.]

I have become motivated to pursue, as a thought experiment, an anarchistic reading of the Bible, for several reasons. For quite some time, probably going back to my discovery of Christian pacifism now nearly 40 years ago, I have found the Bible to be a great resource for thinking politically. However, it has been rather difficult to find connecting points between biblical politics and our current political landscape. I don’t find attempts to link biblical politics with liberal democracy all that attractive; likewise with Marxism. Yet, I also am…

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International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue

The King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) is based in Vienna and is an alliance seeking to turn the tide of religion inciting violence and fueling conflict, by bringing adherents of different faiths together, to overcome – through dialogue – the chasm between ‘Your God’ and ‘My God’ in the hopes of achieving a truly inter-religious international community.

Faisal Bin Abdulrahman Bin Muaammar, secretary-general of the intergovernmental organisation KAICIID, says

“There is no such thing as a religious conflict”

but than I wonder if he is blind for all those groups who misuse their religion to oppress others.

Throughout the ages people have used the name of their god to get more power themselves. Most often that god was used as an excuse or hiding what they really want to get. Several people fighting in the name of their god loved to treat others badly, not minding raping young and older females or even boys and torturing lots of people so that they could show their power.

Holy men and their holy books have etched a trail of tears and blood in the annals of human history. From the depths of peaceful temples, mobs have been dispatched with flaming torches; from steeples and minarets messages of hatred have floated down upon pious heads bent in prayer. The last few years once more it looks like there are several religious wars going on. For too long religion has incited violence and fueled conflict.

English: Based on data from a 2006 poll by the...

Based on data from a 2006 poll by the Pew Research Center, this graph records the distribution of feelings of U.S. Muslims on the topic of suicide bombings, separated by age group. Pew Research Center release at http://pewresearch.org/assets/pdf/muslim-americans.pdf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The centre, formed in 2012, estimates that eight out of every 10 people in the world identify with some form of organised religion and most all of them are likely to classify themselves as peace-loving individuals. When we look at the ciphers of terrorist acts we also can see that it is only a very tiny minority which took to terrorism to get their believes spread. Most terrorist acts were done by non-believing people. Agnostic had as such also no god or anybody else to pay responsibility.

Sadly, according to Bin Muaammar, politicians and extremists have ‘hijacked’ the inherently tolerant and peaceful nature of religious practice for their own – often violent and divisive – ends.

Only through sustained dialogue, he said, can people be empowered to overcome their fear of the ‘Other’, and work towards a more inclusive and tolerant world.

Over 2013 and in January 2014 Pew Research Center has been presenting a record of the tracking of religious restrictions and hostilities around the world since 2007. Their report found that a third of the 198 countries and territories studied in 2012 had a high or very high level of social hostilities involving religion, the highest share in the six years of the study. These hostilities – defined in the study as acts of religious hostility by private individuals, organizations or groups in society – increased in every major region of the world except the Americas. The religion-related terrorist violence taking place in one-in-five countries, in 2012 went up from 9% in 2007 to 20%.

What we noticed more, even in Europe’s capital Brussels was that there where certain Islamic figures finding it all right to bother women. Women were harassed because of religious dress in nearly a third of countries in 2012 (32%), up from a quarter in 2011 (25%) and less than one-in-ten (7%) in 2007.

While there may not be a direct causal connection between government regulations and social hostilities involving religious attire, the data of the Pew Research Center show that harassment of women over religious dress occurs more often in countries where the wearing of religious symbols or attire is regulated by any level of government.

Globally, sectarian violence took place in nearly one-in-five of the world’s countries in 2012 (18%), up from 8% in 2007, though the Middle East and North Africa was the most common region for sectarian violence; half of all countries in the region in 2012 experienced this type of violence.

In a single year, between 2011 and 2012, the number of countries experiencing a very high level of religious hostilities went from 14 to 20. Six of those countries – Syria, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Thailand, Sri Lank and Burma – experienced relatively few hostilities in 2011 compared to 2012.

Things also worsened for religious minorities, according to the study, with 47 percent of the countries studied reporting incidents of targeted abuse of minorities, up from 38 percent in 2011.

On paper, the U.N. is already committed to the issue of inter-faith understanding and peace through dialogue. Agencies like its Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC) have as their mission statement the goal of “promoting understanding between countries or identity groups, all with a view toward preventing conflict and promoting social cohesion.”

But high-level visions cannot become a reality without focused efforts to engage the grassroots, as KAICIID’s work has highlighted. Only in its second year of operations, the organisation already boasts tangible results, including a successful interfaith dialogue on the Central African Republic, where hundreds have been killed and over 500,000 displaced since the outbreak of a conflict in 2012.

Hillary Wiesner, KAICIID’s director of programmes says the organisation wants to work with religious communities from the inside, not as a secular institution from the outside, adding this approach helps foster a sense of trust between the organisation and local faith leaders.

According to her

“Religion is not reducible to a subset of culture; the religious and spiritual dimensions in the lives of individuals and society are much deeper than that. We need to promote responsible ways of living out these beliefs for the betterment of all people.”

+

Additional reading:

  1. Key findings about growing religious hostilities around the world
  2. Are you religious, spiritual, or do you belong to a religion, having a faith or interfaith
  3. Do you believe in One god
  4. Anti-church movements and Humanism
  5. More Mexicans start questioning Catholic doctrine and the concept of the Trinity
  6. Identification with Catholicism has declined throughout the Latin American region
  7. More Muslim children than Christian children growing up in our cities
  8. Amount of Muslims living in your country
  9. Malaysia requires sole use of God’s title for Muslims
  10. The world Having to face a collective failure
  11. Do Al-Qaeda, Islamic State, ISIS and ISIL belong to true Islam
  12. ISIS, Mosul Dam and threatening lives of those who want to live in freedom
  13. Condemning QSIS or the self-claimed Islamic state ruler, al- Baghdadi their extremist ideologies and to clarify the true teachings of Islam
  14. Quran can convert to Christianity
  15. 34th World Congress of the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF)
  16. African misery and women inequality
  17. Europe and much-vaunted bastions of multiculturalism becoming No God Zones
  18. Brussels’ Jewish Museum re-opened on Sunday
  19. Abdelhamid Abaaoud brain of Molenbeek’s network dismantled in their hideaway at Verviers
  20. Niger churches burned in Charlie Hebdo protest
  21. Israel not building up their weaponry for nothing
  22. Faith because of the questions
  23. Looking for something or for the Truth and what it might be and self-awareness
  24. Improving the world by improving the Faith

+++

  • MSF Offers Rape Counseling to Hundreds of Victims in Bangui (voanews.com)
    A rising number of women have experienced sexual violence since the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) descended into a spiral of sectarian conflict in 2013. Many are left with lifelong trauma. But the humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders has opened centers for rape victims to give care and psychological support in several locations in the capital Bangui. Emilie IOB has more on the effort for VOA News.
  • Obama’s ‘problem is he was born a Muslim,’ Rev. FranklinGraham says (gunnyg2.wordpress.com) > View original
    The influential Evangelical leader Rev. Franklin Graham said President Barack Obama was “born a Muslim” since the religion is “passed through the father’s seed,” in a CNN interview Friday.Graham’s comments came in response to the recently released Pew Research Center survey that showed nearly one in five Americans incorrectly believed Obama was a Muslim.
  • Manufactured Terror, Not the Economy, Will Dominate 2016 Election (sgtreport.com)
    Propaganda and the endless horror of ISIS sensationalized by the establishment media will overshadow worries about the economy during the next election. According to McClatchy, terrorism is the number one issue dominating the political debate leading into next year’s election.
  • Report: Jews continue to leave Europe (whitenewsnow.com)
    The last several decades have seen a precipitous drop in the number of Jews living in Europe, according to a poll published Monday by the Pew Research Center.

    The report estimated that there were 3.2 million European Jews in 1960, which fell to 2 million by 1991, and to 1.4 million in recent years.

  • Jew Writer Cries As Jews Continue To Flee Europe (dailyslave.com)
    A Jew named Ethan Epstein writing for the Weekly Standard is crying about how Jews are fleeing Europe like the rats that they are.  He even had time to cry about some comments made about the Jewish Holocaust hoax from the Pew Research Center that he wasn’t happy with.
  • Most US investigative journalists fear their government spies on them (theguardian.com)
    Reporters who covered national security, foreign affairs or the government were the most convinced., with 71% of them saying they believed data was being collected from their communications.

    Despite their concerns about surveillance, it hasn’t stopped the journalists from pursuing stories. Just 14% claim to have decided not to continue with an investigation or to reach out to a source.

  • Pew Research Report: A Third Of Millienials Have No Religion (addictinginfo.org)
    The religious right will be quaking in their boots, or perhaps saying that atheists are lying, when they read a new report (PDF) from the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life. A third of Millennials, particularly the under 30 group, are declaring themselves religiously unaffiliated. That is an unprecedented number, and it is on the rise. Right now, according to Pew, 46,000,000 Americans are non-religious. Now, more than ever, America is on the road to eradicating religion. Perhaps the rabidly religious know this, too, which could be why there has been so much gnashing of teeth regarding “sins” such as abortion and marriage equality lately.
  • Thousand of Communists attack ballroom dance in Vienna (topconservativenews.com)
    The Antifa gang network, which is glorified by American left-wing groups like the SPLC, carried out mass violence in Vienna.

    Thousands of masked Communists attempted to storm a ballroom dancing event in Vienna. The event is attended by leaders of the conservative Austrian Freedom Party.

  • Arms transfers to South Sudan ensure a violent future for a people desperate for peace (trendingnewsz.com)
    Recent conflicts in Liberia and Sierra Leone have taught us that the supply of arms to one side during a conflict triggers demand for replenishment on the other side. The inevitable arms race that follows only escalates and prolongs the conflict. Any arms shipment to either side is a step backwards on South Sudan’s pathway out of the crisis and ushers in the prospects of pushing the country into an ungovernable theatre of armed violence, including ethnic cleansing and organized crime.

    These conflicts have also shown that arming one side in the conflict is tantamount to arming all sides. In South Sudan there is already a wealth of evidence that the arms and ammunition acquired by the Government of South Sudan have fallen into the hands of opposition forces. We have seen government forces defect to join the opposition, taking their arms and ammunition with them. And opposition forces have captured government arms during battles.

  • Japanese PM: We Will Never Forgive Terrorists (teaparty.org)

    A visibly upset Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has vowed to “never forgive terrorists” after the Islamic State (ISIS) released a video purportedly showing the beheading of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto.

    “I am extremely angry about these heinous and despicable terrorist acts. We will never forgive terrorists,” Abe told reporters in Tokyo on Sunday morning (local time), according to the AFP news agency.

    “We will cooperate with the international community to make them atone for their crimes,” he declared.

Were Gnostics the original Christians?

[this is a sample of text from the book “Living on the edge” by Jonathan Burke]

 

Were Gnostics the original Christians?

There is no evidence that Gnostics were the first Christians, or that the earliest Christians borrowed from Gnostic beliefs; Gnosticism did not even exist in the first century.[1] No Gnostic documents have been found which pre-date Christianity.[2] [3]

The earliest Gnostic written works found, all date to a time long after Christianity was well established.[4] There is no evidence that any New Testament books contain references to Gnosticism,[5] [6] and no evidence that Gnosticism was a rival to the earliest Christians.[7]

Gnosticism did not exist in the first century, only pre-Gnostic ideas which later became incorporated into Gnosticism during the second century.[8]

________________________________

[1] ‘But it is now widely agreed that the quest for a pre-Christian Gnosticism, properly so called, has proved to be a wild goose chase.’, Dunn, ‘The Cambridge Companion to St. Paul’, p. 9 (2003).

[2] ‘Even if it could be proven that any of the previously discussed works or, for that matter, any of the NH tractates are non-Christian Gnostic documents, that would not in itself be evidence for pre-Christian Gnosticism.’, Combs, ‘Nag Hammadi, Gnosticism and New Testament Interpretation’, Grace Theological Journal (8.2.207-208), 1987.

[3] ‘And even if we are on solid ground in some cases in arguing the original works represented in the library are much older than extant copies, we are still unable to postulate plausibly any pre-Christian dates.’, McRae, ‘Nag Hammadi and the New Testament’, pp. 146–47, in Combs, ‘Nag Hammadi, Gnosticism and New Testament Interpretation’, Grace Theological Journal (8.2.208) , (1987).

[4] ‘Egypt has yielded early written evidence of Jewish, Christian, and pagan religion. It has preserved works of Manichaean and other Gnostic sects, but these are all considerably later than the rise of Christianity.’, Unger, ‘The Role of Archaeology  in the Study Of the New Testament’, Bibliotheca Sacra (116.462.153), 1996.

[5] ‘Some modern researchers suggest that several NT and related texts evidence contact with “Gnosticism” in various stages of its development. Texts that especially stand out are Paul’s Corinthian correspondence, Colossians, Ephesians, the Pastoral Epistles, Jude, 2 Peter, and the letters of Ignatius of Antioch (d. ca. 115) and Polycarp of Smyrna (d. ca. 165) among others. But even here the issues discussed are diverse, demonstrating a complex assortment of competing new religious movements, but no evidence of “Gnosticism.”’, Freedman, ‘Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible’, p. 509 (2000).

[6] ‘Scholarship must in all likelihood abandon the hypothesis that a cohesive Gnostic movement204 is reflected in Paul’s letters.’, Lüdeman, ‘Primitive Christianity: A Survey of Recent Studies and Some New Proposals’, p. 150 (2003).

[7] ‘If in all likelihood, with the possible exception of the Simonians, there was no such thing as a rival Gnostic movement within or competing with Pauline Christianity, the question arises whether there ever was a specific Gnostic myth as an entity of its own.’ , ibid’, p. 151.

[8] ‘The full-fledged Gnosticism of later church history did not exist in the first century A.D.21 An incipient form of Gnosticism was present, but Schmithals makes the error of reading later Gnosticism into the first century documents.’, Schreiner, ‘Interpreting the Pauline Epistles’, Southern Baptist Journal of Theology (3.3.10), Fall 1999.

**

Additional note:

Tim Wallace I remember when I did ‘text and traditions’ in year 12, the teacher explaining the the gospel of John was all about fighting gnostism… i vaguely remember learning about it. I had never heard about gnostism until that class.

*

Living On The Edge It was an idea which gained some traction years ago, and took a while to be debunked. It hasn’t been taken seriously by the scholarly consensus for years, but plenty of textbooks are still being used which make this claim.

++

Additional reading:

  1. Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences
  2. Missionaire hermeneutiek 1/5
  3. Challenging claim 1 Whose word
  4. The Song of The Lamb #3 Daniel and Revelation
  5. Marriage of Jesus 9 Reason for a new marriage

+++

  • Gnostic Media Flashback Interview: The Qabalah – Gene Odening (sgtreport.com)
    We continue our discussion on the Trivium and Quadrivium and go for a full-blown as we complete this series with the Qabalah and the mystery schools with Gene Odening.
  • Real Truth Will Set You Free (mylordmyfriend.com)
    in Colossians, the Apostle Paul, had to deal with false teaching called Gnosticism

    Gnosticism led to theological compromise, we can’t comprise The Truth of God’s Word. One of the compromises of Gnosticism was Christ Jesus was not unique, which opposes the Gospel message. If Christ is not so, Christianity is no worse but certainly no better than any other faith.

    Another compromise of Gnosticism, it lead to moral abuse, with a catch cry ‘Soma sema’, ‘The body is a tomb’. Our bodies are not tombs for the soul, but temples for The Holy Spirit to reside.

    Another compromise of Gnosticism led to false religious practices. Treating religious rules as if these rules could lead to God. If that wasn’t bad enough, early Gnosticism claimed that those who followed their teaching possessed wisdom {gnosis} and were superior.

  • An Ancient Theologian explains Tradition (notforitchingears.com) Originally posted on Dead Heroes Don’t Save:
    Irenaeus, a 2nd century theologian, defended Christianity from the Gnostic philosophies that were popular at the time. His 5 volume work, Against Heresies, dedicates the first two volumes to describing the Gnostic views and then precedes to dismantle them in the remaining volumes.
    +
    The heretics did not just offer a different worldview. They were using Scriptures to uphold their ideas – which centered on two gods – a good one and an evil one. It was the evil god who created the physical world that we must rid ourselves of.
  • Carl Jung: “Christ was referred to as the fish.” (carljungdepthpsychology.blogspot.com)
    Christ was referred to as the fish.

    In a papyrus which has recently been discovered and is in the British Museum he is referred to by the secret sign XP.

    The sign >!( is formed from it.

    These signs appear in Gnosticism, St. Paul’s sayings are undoubtedly connected with Gnosticism.

    On Gnostic gems we find the symbol of the vase, the vase of sin.

    The Gnosis is a disturber of the peace of the Church, but it is full of psychological truths, many yet undiscovered.

  • A Masonic One World Conspiracy – Freeman on GW Radio (gnosticwarrior.com)
    Freeman has lectured extensively on the secret signs and symbolism of Freemasonry, the ancient astronaut hypothesis, trauma-based mind control, social engineering, government conspiracy, human cloning, technologies of the future, and synchronicity.
  • New blog at Occult Minds (heterodoxology.com)
    esotericism scholars can learn from some of their colleagues studying Gnosticism.
  • Framing Paul: An Epistolary Biography by Douglas Campbell (Eerdmans, 2014) (andygoodliff.typepad.com)

    Too often Pauline scholarship operates with no overarching frame, no account of how the letters are related to one another, the order they come in and the underlying account of Paul’s life which explains their contingency. Campbell’s argument is that a biography, that arises out of the data in the letters, and at the same time explains them, this will ‘ground all subsequent interpretative work on Paul rather more accurately and firmly than hitherto has been the case’ (p.404).

    Campbell argues that to construct Paul’s biography we must begin with his letters and leave to one side the account of Paul’s life in the Book of Acts. We must begin with the primary data. Too many Pauline scholars too readily accept the account in Acts or work with an approach that borrows both from Acts and the letters as equal sources. Campbell’s approach builds on that done by John Knox and John Hurd.

The gods or mighty ones

How often we are confronted by people wanting to convince us that John, the evangelist, is speaking about Jesus being God.

English: Ancient Greek: Definite Article

Ancient Greek: Definite Article (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few trinitarians will even deny the significance of the article (“the”) in Scripture phrases like John 1:1,and say that theos (θεὸς) is usually translated as “God” whether it has the article or not, and, therefore, even though there is no article with theos (θεὸς) at John 1:1, the probability (they say) is very high that “theos” in John 1:1 means “God” and not “god” (or “a god”).

Most trinitarian scholars, however, will admit the importance of the article when distinguishing between “the only true God” and “a god” (“a mighty one”). However, some of them will attempt to prove that the article is properly understood to be there by producing some “grammatical rule” for the “peculiar” Greek grammar (or syntax) used at John 1:1c. Therefore, they will tell you, since the article is “understood” to be with theos at John 1:1c, then the Word is the God (the “understood” article showing that the only true God was meant)!

Is it true that the use of the article with theos (in the nominative case, θεὸς, as used at John 1:1c) makes little or no difference in distinguishing between “god” and “God”? – (See THEON study on John 10:33-36 for significance of the article usage in the accusative case – theon [θεόν] – and lack of significance of the article usage in the genitive case – theou [θεοῦ].)

The truth is that theos (“God” or “god”) when used as it is in John 1:1c (in nominative case – θεὸς – and without modifying phrases such as “God of him,” “God to them,” etc.) always has the definite article with it in the Gospels (including John, of course) when it is applied to the only true God!

Here’s what Professor J.G. Machen says in his New Testament Greek for Beginners, p.35:

“The use of the article in Greek corresponds roughly to the use of the definite article in English. Thus [logos] means ‘a word’; [ho logos] means ‘the word’.”

So, basically, the word “the” (the definite article, “ho” in NT Greek when used with the masculine nominative case) shows that the noun it is used with is one certain special thing. “The boss” is one certain individual whereas “a boss” is indefinite and could be any one of millions of individuals.

To illustrate the importance of the article for the meaning of “theos” in the great majority of instances, let’s look at all the uses of “theos” (in its nominative form) in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke as found in the Westcott and Hort (W&H) text.—If the definite article (“the”) is used with “theos” in the original manuscripts, “art.” has been written after the verse number. If the definite article is not there, “an.” (for “anarthrous”) has been written before the verse number:

Matthew 1:23 — art.

Mt 3:9 — art.

Mt 6:8 — art. (W&H)

Mt 6:30 — art.

Mt 15:4 — art.

Mt 19:6 — art.

Mt 22:32 — art. (4 occurrences) “the God of….” (W&H)

Mark 2:7 — art.

Mk 10:9 — art.

Mk 10:18 — art.

Mk 12:26 — art. (2 occurrences)

an. Mk 12:26 —- (2 occurrences) “God of….”

an. Mk 12:27 —- “a God of…”

Mk 12:29 — art. “the God of…”

Mk 13:19 — art.

Mk 15:34 — art. “the God of me” (2 occurrences)

Luke 1:32 — art.

Lk 1:68 — art. “The God of…”

Lk 3:8 — art.

Lk 5:21 — art.

Lk 7:16 — art.

Lk 8:39 — art.

Lk 12:20 — art.

Lk 12:24 — art.

Lk 12:28 — art.

Lk 16:15 — art.

Lk 18:7 — art.

Lk 18:11 — art.

Lk 18:13 — art.

Lk 18:19 — art. (W&H, UBS – anarth. in Nestle) – Appositive

an. Lk 20:38 —- “a God of…”

We can see that of 37 usages of “theos” (in nominative form as found at John 1:1c) for the only true God by these 3 Bible writers 33 of them have the definite article! That’s 90% of the time! But let’s examine the 4 “exceptions”.

Nouns used as subjects or predicate nouns (i.e. the nominative case), if they are part of a prepositional (usually possessive) phrase (e.g. “the God of me,” “the God to him,” etc.—meaning “my God,” “his God,” etc.), may or may not take the article. The use of the article under those conditions appears to be purely arbitrary and is used at random with little or no significance. A good example of this is found at 2 Cor. 4:4 – “the god of this age [or system]…”.

As trinitarian New Testament Greek scholars Dana and Mantey tell us,

“The use of prepositions, possessive … pronouns, and the genitive case also tend to make a word definite. At such times, even if the article is not used, the object is already distinctly indicated.” – p. 137, D&M Grammar.

And highly respected trinitarian NT Greek scholar A. T. Robertson tells us about such “prepositional” examples:

“in examples like this … only the context can decide [whether ‘the’ should be understood or not]. Sometimes the matter is wholly doubtful.” – p.781, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament, 1934.

Of all the 37 uses of “theos” (nominative case) by Matthew, Mark, and Luke can you guess which ones are used with possessive (or prepositional) constructions? That’s right! The 4 “exceptions” are all used with possessive (or prepositional) constructions!

Mark 12:26 says literally:

the God said, ‘I [am] the God OF Abraham and God OF Isaac and God OF Jacob.’”

But the parallel account at Matthew 22:32 says literally:

“I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.”

Even though Mark didn’t use the definite article with “theos” in the last half of this verse, it made no difference to the meaning because of the uncertainty of meaning inherent in such prepositional/possessive usages. Matthew did use the article in the parallel account, but its use under those circumstances was unnecessary. (It was Matthew’s writing style to always use the article with “theos” when referring to the true God regardless of grammatical options, but, obviously, Mark and Luke sometimes took advantage of the “prepositional/possessive” article uncertainty to ignore the normally-required article for “God”.)

This is further shown at the continuation of these parallel accounts. Matt. 22:32 says literally:

“not he is the God of dead.”

But the parallel account at Mark 12:27 says literally:

“not he is God of dead.”

And the parallel account at Luke 20:38 says literally:

“God not he is of dead.”

Notice that Both Mark and Luke do NOT use the definite article, but most trinitarian Bible translators consider them just as definite as the parallel verse in Matthew which does use the definite article – NIV, TEV, ASV, NAB, NASB, CBW, Beck, The Amplified Bible. (But due to the article inconsistency with prepositional/possessive constructions, we can also find INDEFINITE translations of these verses: “a God” – KJV, Mo, NWT; and “He is not God of the dead” – NEB, JB, RSV, Phillips.)

You can also see that “God” in Mark 12:27 is a predicate noun which comes after its verb, whereas “God” in Luke 20:38 is a predicate noun which comes before its verb. But since BOTH are frequently translated “the God,” we can easily see that it is not because of word position, but because of the “possessive” (prepositional) constructions, which these verses have in common, that they are so translated.

So we see that if we exclude all the nouns used with prepositional (usually “possessive”) constructions (in which there is little or no significance for the definite article – see the appendix of the “Definite John 1:1c” study paper for a detailed examination of this characteristic of “prepositional”-influenced nouns), we then find that Matthew, Mark, and Luke always (in all 25 instances) use the definite article with the nominative form for “theos” when they mean the only true God!

And if we include all the writings of Gospel writer Luke (Acts was also written by Luke), we find the definite article is still always used with the nominative case theos (in all 74 instances) when the only true God (the Father) is the subject! Yes, Acts always uses the article with its 59 uses of the nominative theos for God – even in the 9 “prepositional” instances!

But it doesn’t matter what language rules may be used by OTHERS. What really matters is: What rules are being used by THIS writer (JOHN)? For example, one of the many rules of standard English tells that one must use the SUBJECT form pronoun (similar to the Greek NOMINATIVE case) as a predicate noun. I.e., one should say, “It is I”; “It is he”; etc. And yet many Americans say (and write), “It’s me”; “It’s him”; etc. Therefore, we must always be careful to examine the rules that the writer in question uses in order to understand what meaning he really intended! So, to find the importance of the article for the precise meaning of “theos” in the writings of John, let’s look at all the places in his writings where John used the nominative case “theos” (the same form, or case, used at John 1:1c – θεὸς).

There are 50 such uses of “theos” by John (17 in the Gospel of John). Here is the list of every “theos” (nominative case) used by John. If it has the definite article, “art.” has been written after the verse number. If it does not have the definite article, “an.” (for “anarthrous”) has been written before the verse number. If it appears to be applied to Jesus, “Jesus” has been written after the verse number.

  1. an. John 1:1c – – – Jesus
  2. an. Jn 1:18 – – – Jesus

Jn 3:2 art.

Jn 3:16 art.

Jn 3:17 art.

Jn 3:33 art.

Jn 3:34 art.

Jn 4:24 art.

Jn 6:27 art.

Jn 8:42 art.

  1. an. Jn 8:54 – – -“God of you”

Jn 9:29 art.

Jn 9:31 art.

Jn 11:22 art.

Jn 13:31 art.

Jn 13:32 art.

Jn 20:28 art. Jesus (?) “God of me” (See MYGOD study paper)

1 John 1:5 art.

1 Jn 3:20 art.

1 Jn 4:8 art.

1 Jn 4:9 art.

1 Jn 4:11 art.

1 Jn 4:12 art.

1 Jn 4:15 art.

1 Jn 4:16 art. (3 occurrences)

1 Jn 5:10 art.

1 Jn 5:11 art.

1 Jn 5:20 art.

Revelation

Rev. 1:1 art.

Rev. 1:8 art.

Rev. 4:8 art.

Rev. 4:11 art. “the God of us”

Rev. 7:17 art.

Rev. 11:17 art.

Rev. 15:3 art.

Rev. 16:7 art.

Rev. 17:17 art.

Rev. 18:5 art.

Rev. 18:8 art.

Rev. 18:20 art.

Rev. 19:6 art. “the God of us”

Rev. 21:3 art.

  1. an. Rev. 21:7 —- “God to him”

Rev. 21:22 art.

Rev. 22:5 art.

Rev. 22:6 art. “the God of the spirits”

Rev. 22:18 art.

Rev. 22:19 art.

We can see that out of at least 47 uses of “theos” for the only true God (all those apparently not applied to Jesus), 45 of them have the definite article.

We can also see that of the 3 uses of “theos” that appear to be applied to Jesus (obviously Jn 1:1c and Jn 1:18 are applied to him; Jn 20:28 is not so certain – see study of John 20:28 – MY GOD), two of them (Jn 1:1c and 1:18) do not have the article. But if the article before “theos” indicates that the only true God is being spoken of, and if the absence of the article before “theos” indicates “god” or “a god” is being spoken of, how do we explain John 8:54 (absence of article even though applied to God), John 20:28 (article present even though, possibly, applied to Jesus), and Rev. 21:7 (article absent even though applied to God)?

Again we need to examine these “exceptions” as we did those of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Remember that nouns in the nominative case, if they are used in a possessive (or any prepositional) construction (such as “God of me,” “God to him,” etc.—meaning “my God,” “his God,” etc.), may or may not use the article with little or no effect on the actual meaning.

Of all the 50 uses of “theos” (in the nominative case) by John can you guess which ones are with prepositional constructions? That’s right! John 8:54 says literally: “you are saying that God of you is.” John 20:28 says literally: “the Lord of me and the God [or ‘god’] of me.” Revelation 21:7 says literally: “I shall be to him God and he will be to me son.”

That the last scripture (Rev. 21:7) should be considered in the same way as “of him” (i.e., the use of the article is basically without meaning in this case) is shown not only by its “possessive” meaning (“his God” and “my son” – see most Bibles) but by the actual usage in this very scripture. (Remember, too, that in reality it is nouns with prepositional constructions that have the article ambiguity, and we have a prepositional construction here: “God to him.”)

There are only 3 other places in John’s writings where “theos” is part of a prepositional construction: Rev. 4:11, Rev. 19:6, and Rev. 22:6. These, however, do take the definite article. So sometimes John uses the article with a prepositional construction and sometimes he doesn’t. Which is exactly what we would expect when the use of the article is purely arbitrary in such circumstances!

So we find that if we exclude all the prepositional constructions (only 6 for “theos” in all of John’s writings) as we should, then all of the remaining 44 instances of “theos” follow the rule (“theos” with article = “God,” and “theos” without article = “god” or “a god”).

Yes, there is a total of 117 places in ALL of the writings of the 4 Gospel writers where the nominative “theos” in non-prepositional form is applied to the only true God. Every one of them has the definite article! The only 2 places in all of these inspired scriptures where “theos” in non-prepositional phrases is clearly not applied to the only true God (John 1:1c and John 1:18) also just “happens” to be the only 2 places that do not have the definite article! So, in all 119 of the non-prepositional uses of “theos” by the Gospel writers the presence of the definite article always determines the only true God!

As for the 21 “exceptions” to the rule (p. MARTIN 2) that “theos” (nominative case only) must have the article (“the”) with it when it is referring to God, Martin has listed 17 genitive case nouns (“theou,” θεοῦ) which are already, by definition, prepositional (“of God”) and 2 Dative case nouns (“theo,θε) which are also already, by definition, prepositional (“to God”). All such examples use the definite article inconsistently because of the influence of the understood prepositional modifiers. These are worthless as examples which are supposed to test the significance of definite article usage, and Martin surely knows that. He has listed only 2 nominatives (“theos,” θεὸς, the proper form in question) and one accusative (“theon,” θεόν).

One of the 2 nominatives Martin lists may actually be a proper exception to the rule. It is found at Philippians 2:13 as written by Paul. So we may say that Paul (but not Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) may have apparently made an exception to the “theos” with article rule for “God.” (See section at end of this study paper for Paul’s use of the nominative theos.)

But what about the 2 remaining “exceptions” listed by Martin? They are both found at John 1:18. One of them is an accusative (“theon” – θεόν). Accusatives normally use the definite article with “God” in the same way as nominatives. There is one other known exception (in addition to “prepositional” constructions) which applies to accusatives, however, and this is discussed in my John 10:33 study (THEON). John 1:18 is one of these infrequent exceptions for the accusative “theon,” but since it is not the nominative “theos” form as used in John 1:1c, it is still not a proper example.

This leaves only one proper example for Martin’s “exceptions”: “Theoswithout the article at John 1:18 in some NT texts. This is one of the two uses of the non-prepositional “theos” which are applied to Jesus! This “exception” actually proves (like John 1:1c itself) that Jesus is not God, but “a god”!

Yes, John calls Jesus “a god” in a similar sense to what Jehovah (and Jesus himself – in the writing of John only) calls certain men: John 10:34, 35 (quotes Psalm 82:6 which was addressed to Israelite judges). Most trinitarian scholars will admit that the Bible, on occasion, calls angels and certain men who represented God (Israelite leaders, judges, etc.) “gods”! Obviously, these persons were not to be considered equal to God. They were either “mighty ones” in their own right or were to be considered as carrying out God’s will … His rightful representatives. – See pp.4-9 of “The Definite John 1:1c” (DEF).

So we can safely say that in the Gospel writers’ accounts, at least, the definite article truly was used with the nominative “theos” whenever the only true God was intended. If this were not so, it would be senseless for so many trinitarians (including Martin himself) to expend so much time and effort in attempting to prove that the article really should be understood to be at John 1:1c because of some relatively recently produced “grammatical rule.” If the nominative “theos” didn’t really require the article to be applied to “God,” Colwell’s Rule (and others designed for Jn 1:1c) would not even have been invented by modern trinitarian scholars!

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For those who accept only the KJV (or NKJV and KJIIV) and the Received Text (Textus Receptus) it’s based upon (or the “Majority Text”), please note that the definite article definitely is present with theos at Phil. 2:13 in the Received Text: ‘the god for is the working in you’ – see The Interlinear Bible, Baker Book House, 1982.

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Read more:

  1. Walter Martin and John 1:1c
  2. People Seeking for God 7 The Lord and lords
  3. Corruption in our translations !
  4. A voice cries out: context
  5. Pure Words and Testimonies full of Breath of the Most High

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  • Ancient Coptic Gospel Mary of Lot Discovered and Deciphered (proxyponder.com)
    An amazing treasure is unearthed dating back to the Coptic Egyptian times bound by leather and written in Greek is translated for the first time in modern history.Anne Marie Luijendijk, a professor of religion at Princeton University, discovered that this newly found gospel is like no other. She has discovered that the book may have been used as an oracle, to the owner of this book, and to the faithful followers.
  • Soul Food Sunday – Jesus Christ, the Creator (darcynord.wordpress.com)
    That we always do remember that a word is a substantive and not a person in spé. Let us also remember that there are gods and that there is the Only One God Divine Creator of heaven and earth.
  • Why definiteness is decreasing, part 3 (languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu)
    I documented a striking 20th-century decrease in the frequency of the definite article the (“Decreasing definiteness“, 1/8/2015) — from about 6.6% to about 5.4% in the Corpus of Historical American English; from about 6.4% to 5.2% in the Google Books ngram indices; and from about 9.3% to about 4.7% in U.S. presidents’ State of the Union messages.
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    We know that over the course of the 20th century, ‘s-genitives definitely increased relative to of-genitives — for documentation, see “The genitive of lifeless things“, 10/11/2009, and “Mechanisms for gradual language change“, 2/9/2014.This can’t be the whole story.  Thus in COHA, ‘s increased in frequency from about 0.51% in 1900 to about 0.98% in 2000, for an extra 47 instances per 10,000. But the decreased in frequency from 6.53% in 1900 to 5.37% in 2000, for a loss of 116 instances per 10,000.And the numerical disproportion is greater than than that. Only about 60% of ‘s instances in the 2000 text sample are genitives — the other 40% are contractions of is or has. This reduces the potential contribution from 47 to about 28 per 10,000, and so I conclude that at most about a quarter of the‘s decline — 28 out of 116 instances per 10,000 words — might be due to ‘s‘s rise.
  • A Third Gender? A Natural Extension Of Oneism (outcastradio.net)
    The defining issue is the creature/creator distinction. From exegesis of: “who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen” (Romans 1:25, NKJVOpen in Logos Bible Software (if available), underline added). Although many use the indefinite article “a,” it is argued by many competent scholars that the definite article “the” is the best translation so that the text juxtaposes “the lie” to “the Creator.”[i] The lie is pantheistic monism or “all is one” which entails the universe evolved. Remarkably, pagan or paganus comes from the Latin word meaning “of the earth” and originally denoted rural folk.[ii] From Paul’s apposition in Romans 1:25Open in Logos Bible Software (if available), Peter Jones observed that there are really only two religious perspectives, “oneism” (worship of creation) and “twoism” (worship of the creator). Jones explains:
  • Medieval Theories: Properties of Terms (plato.stanford.edu)
    The theory of properties of terms (proprietates terminorum) was the basis of the medievals’ semantic theory. It embraced those properties of linguistic expressions necessary to explain truth, fallacy and inference, the three central concepts of logical analysis.
  • Late Heidegger as a Limit Case of Mid Period Badiou, Part I: Mistranslating the French Determinate Article (drjon.typepad.com)
    Analytic philosophers often find English language continental philosophy most risible precisely when English language continental philosophers mistranslate the French definite article. For example, while French syntax allows the word “événement” to be preceded by an indefinite article (“un événement”) or the definite article (“l’événement”), “the event” grossly mistranslates the latter. In English (at least outside of continental philosophy circles) “the event” always refers to some unique event. If someone talks about the event in English, it is always felicitous to ask them which event they mean to pick out. This is not the case in French, where the definite article can pick out the concept/meaning/property corresponding to the compound nominal to which it attaches.

Is faith rational?

[this is a sample of text from the book “Living on the edge” by Jonathan Burke]

Is faith rational?

Faith is confidence for a reason. Everyone understands faith in this sense, as applied to ordinary matters. It is the same in divine matters. There is no truth in the popular view that places faith outside the confines of reason.’[1]

A typical dictionary definition rightly informs us that faith is belief which is not based on proof.[2] However, this is not the same as saying faith is blind, or that faith is belief for no reason, or that faith is not based on evidence.

Blind Faith (film)

Blind Faith (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Proof is a body of evidence which demonstrates a belief or statement to be conclusively true (typically through testing); evidence is a body of facts which provide rational reason for belief, without being conclusive. Faith is belief on the basis of evidence, where actual proof is absent.

There are many aspects of our faith which we cannot prove: we cannot prove the existence of many of the characters of the Bible, and many of the events recorded there; we cannot prove the resurrection took place; we cannot even prove the existence of God.

In each of these cases we have no opportunity to test the claim and prove it conclusively. However, in each of these cases there is sufficient evidence to warrant belief. We do not hold these beliefs without any evidence whatsoever. Throughout the Bible repeated appeals are made repeatedly to evidence, in support of truth claims; eyewitness accounts,[3] [4] verifiable historical monuments,[5] and direct personal experiences.[6] Blind faith is never encouraged.[7] [8] [9]

Early Christians appealed to evidence in order to argue that their faith was rational. Accordingly, the earliest defenders of Christianity (known as the Apologists), presented it as rational and worthy of belief,[10] and in harmony with science,[11] which appealed to thoughtful non-Christians.

The 4th century Latin commentary known by the name ‘Ambrosiaster’, identifies prophecy as ‘the first proof that our faith is rational’.[12] The famous 13th century theologian Thomas Aquinas likewise argued that faith is rational and that reason could be used to demonstrate theological truths.[13] Christian belief, if it is to be both rational and defensible, must be based on a faith which is not blind. [14]

‘The certainty of and trust in the Christian faith cannot be made hard in a scientific, deductive or inductive way. But neither is it based on arbitrary opinion.’[15]

 

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[1] Roberts, ‘The Visible Hand of God Or Miracles, Signs, And Wonders’, The Christadelphian (18.199.16), 1881.

[2] ‘1 complete trust or confidence. 2 strong belief in a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.’, Concise Oxford English Dictionary (11th ed. 2004).

[3] John 3:11 I tell you the solemn truth, we speak about what we know and testify about what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony.

[4] Acts 5:30 The God of our forefathers raised up Jesus, whom you seized and killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him to his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses of these events, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”

[5] Deuteronomy 3:11 Only King Og of Bashan was left of the remaining Rephaites. (It is noteworthy that his sarcophagus was made of iron. Does it not, indeed, still remain in Rabbath of the Ammonites? It is thirteen and a half feet long and six feet wide according to standard measure.)

[6] Acts 10:39 We are witnesses of all the things he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him up on the third day and caused him to be seen, 41 not by all the people, but by us, the witnesses God had already chosen, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.

[7] ‘It required a robust faith to undertake a journey of four months, cumbered with women and children, and the valuable vessels of the temple, lying through a country infested with robbers and enemies of the Jews, without making every possible arrangement for protection. But theirs was not a blind faith. God would not be pleased with such.’, Roberts, ‘Sunday Morning at the Christadelphian Ecclesia’, The Christadelphian (54.633.109), 1917; Roberts is referring to the Jewish exiles who returned to Israel after the Babylonian captivity.

[8] ‘In other words we rightly endeavour, as the early brethren did, to find the real meaning behind the English words we read and so come to the true message of God for man. This approach marks us as distinct from Fundamentalists; it has, I believe, always commended itself to  people of reason who are not prepared to follow a blind faith.’, Draper, ‘Fundamentalism’ (letter to the editor), The Christadelphian (121.1437.109), 1984.

[9] ‘But Bible faith is not blind faith. We are given more than sufficient evidence to prove that Christ was raised from the tomb.’, Cresswell, ‘Proving the Resurrection of Christ’ The Christadelphian (137.1634.296), 2000.

[10] ‘In addition to the refutations of calumnies and the presentation of Christianity as a rational faith the Apologists were also concerned withthe questionings of thoughtful men.’, Barnard, ‘Justin Martyr: His life and thought’, p. 3 (1967).

[11] ‘According to the early Fathers, science and Christian doctrine were to be developed side by side, each on independent grounds, and each in harmony with the other.’, Mahan, ‘A Critical History of Philosophy’, volume 1, p. 483 (2003).

[12] ‘Paul begins with prophecy, which is the first proof that our faith is rational, for believers prophesied when they received the spirit.’, Ambrosiaster, in Bray (ed.), ‘Commentaries on Romans and 1-2 Corinthians’, p. 96  (2009).

[13] ‘For Aquinas faith is rational; it involves, like all knowing, the assent of the intellect. And reason can demonstrate the truth of some theological propositions.’, Hicks, ‘The Journey So Far: Philosophy Throuth the Ages’, p. 201 (2003).

[14] ‘We believe this, and that the Bible teaches thus and so. Both these propositions are topics of investigation, and the man accepting them as true, and acting them out in his life, is not justly chargeable with fanaticism. It is not “the blind faith of a fanatic” that impels him, but the resolution of a sane man who acts from the perception of the facts.’, Roberts, ‘Rejoinder to MacMillan’s Notice of “An Obscure Sect”’, The Christadelphian (27.316.369), 1890.

[15] Stoker, ‘Is Faith Rational?: A Hermeneutical-phenomenological Accounting for Faith’, p. 199 (2006).

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Preceding articles:

Where is the edge

The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (1)

The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (2)

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