God isn’t dead though for many He is not relevant

In the 1960ies we often heard it said that God was dead.

Friedrich Nietzsche and his mother.

Friedrich Nietzsche and his mother. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Carl Ludwig Nietzsche, was appointed pastor at Röcken by order of King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia, after whom Friedrich Nietzsche was named. Before Friedrich Nietzsche’s fifth birthday his father died in 1849. He was left to live in a household consisting of five women: his mother, Franziska, his younger sister, Elisabeth, his maternal grandmother, and two aunts.

Friedrich Wilhelm Ritschl (1806–1876)

Friedrich Wilhelm Ritschl (1806–1876) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After attending a private preparatory school, the Domgymnasium, he was admitted to Schulpforta, Germany’s leading Protestant boarding school. Having graduated in 1864, he went to the University of Bonn to study theology and classical philology.  Influenced by the textual criticism of the English and German classicists Richard Bentley and Gottfried Hermann, F.W. Ritschl, in full Friedrich Wilhelm Ritschl became a classical scholar remembered for his work on Plautus and as the founder of the Bonn school of classical scholarship. It was under the tutelage of Ritschl in Leipzig that he further developed and became the only student ever to publish in Ritschl’s journal, Rheinisches Museum (“Rhenish Museum”). Ritschl assured the University of Basel that he had never seen anyone like Nietzsche in 40 years of teaching and that his talents were limitless and as such would be the best candidate to receive a professorship in classical philology that fell vacant in 1869 in Basel, Switzerland.

English: Portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche, 1882...

English: Portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche, 1882; One of five photographies by photographer Gustav Schultze, Naumburg, taken early September 1882. Public domain due to age of photography. Scan processed by Anton (2005)  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In his mature writings Nietzsche was preoccupied by the origin and function of values in human life.With his protestant background one can wonder if his expression “God is dead” was not misinterpreted.

Many people seem to assume that this implies God was once a living creature, and he has since passed away. But this is a misconception. Nietzsche was an atheist, and thus never believed that a God existed in any form except as a figment of the human imagination. {Nietzsche: God is Dead (Part 1)}

Though we do find this man writing a lot about God and looking at the Judeo-Christian tradition, which according to him made suffering tolerable by interpreting it as God’s intention and as an occasion for atonement. For him this clinging to a flattering doctrine of personal immortality, could also seen as man having created its god to feel safe and sure, but those who did not believe in a god or God also tried to cling to an other “true” world, also offering symptoms of a declining life, or life in distress.

But for Nietzsche when there  is no god man also has not need of a god and man did not have to create a “slave” and “master” world, but should be himself the master. Facing the gut (“good”), schlecht (“bad”), and böse (“evil”) was something we made up ourselves as a nonmoral reference to those who were privileged, the masters, as opposed to those who were base, the slaves. For him his generation had come in a timespan where religious and philosophical absolutes had dissolved in the emergence of 19th-century positivism.

With the collapse of metaphysical and theological foundations and sanctions for traditional morality only a pervasive sense of purposelessness and meaninglessness would remain. And the triumph of meaninglessness is the triumph of nihilism: “God is dead.” Nietzsche thought, however, that most people could not accept the eclipse of the ascetic ideal and the intrinsic meaninglessness of existence but would seek supplanting absolutes to invest life with meaning.{ on Friedrich Nietzsche in the Encyclopaedia Britannica}

Many do forget that as a thinker it might well be that Nietzsche also had come into conflict with the trinitarian thought and the sayings in the Scripture that there is only One true God Who is One and an eternal Spirit, not having bones, flesh or blood, whilst so many people around him worshipped a god with flesh, bones and blood who was born and who died. All such contradictions with what is written in the Old and the New Testament could have muddled his mind.

Eventually the faithful get so worried about the well-being of God, that they build an armour to protect him. {What did Nietzsche mean by God is dead?}

When Nietzsche like others would have thought of that in such saying, he also could see the first sign that people were losing faith in God, also noticing around him how many people had lost faith in Him and did not trust God to take care of himself and able to endanger their safety.

The wannabe-philosopher of Finnish origin continues

Still at first, God is safe inside the armour and people continue to worship him. Over time though, God gets pissed off at the whole situation and leaves, or simply suffocates, leaving the armour for people to worship. People keep worshipping the hollow armour, and religion becomes a meaningless ritual with no substance to it. This is what “God is dead, and we have killed him” means. {What did Nietzsche mean by God is dead?}

An “Autobiographical” philosopher also looks at the German philosopher, extremely critical of Christianity, but sees, like us, that we may not just take it as a sort of atheist statement which would be the “ultimate truth”. For Gabriel J. Mitchell

“God is Dead” simply means “The Christian god is becoming increasingly irrelevant to philosophy and culture”.  {What Nietzsche Meant by “God is Dead”}

Mitchell writes:

In popular culture the phrase is often mistaken as an anti-Christian statement. Some sort of declaration of Atheism. This is most obviously manifested in Christian content like the film God’s Not Dead. In the movie, a disgruntled atheist professor demands his students declare the death of God and embrace atheism. {What Nietzsche Meant by “God is Dead”}

With his background and his protestant family it would be strange that with his pretty bold statement that would be going against his own family’s belief and bring a serious anti-Christian message.
The saying „Gott ist tot“ or “God is dead” also known as “the death of God” first appeared in Nietzsche’s 1882 collection “Die fröhliche Wissenschaft” or “The Joyful Wisdom” also known as The Gay Science,  also translated as “The Joyful Pursuit of Knowledge and Understanding”. The German Wissenschaft never indicates “Weisheit” or “wisdom”, but concerns any rigorous practice of a poised, controlled, and disciplined quest for knowledge, typically translated as “science”. Nietzsche speaks about “what if” which does not mean “it is”.

As such Nietzsche writes

What if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: ‘This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more’ […] Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: ‘You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.’ — [The Joyful Wisdom §341]

Buddha in Sarnath Museum (Dhammajak Mutra).jpg

A statue of the Buddha from Sarnath, 4th century CE

A demon or sick person often is seen as a mad person or some one not by his senses. That mad man also can look at different deities and ascetics and sages like Gautama Buddha, probably a very attractive figure for Nietzsche because of all the philosophic thoughts of that teacher who lived in northern India sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries before the Common Era.

We find the first occurrence of the famous formulation “God is dead,” first in section 108.

After Buddha was dead, people
showed his shadow for centuries afterwards in a
cave,—an immense frightful shadow. God is dead:
but as the human race is constituted, there will
perhaps be caves for millenniums yet, in which
people will show his shadow.—And we—we have
still to overcome his shadow! {— §108}

FW82.jpg

The Joyful Wisdom or The Gay Science, first published in 1882 and followed by a second edition, which was published after the completion of Thus Spoke Zarathustra and Beyond Good and Evil, in 1887.

Section 125 depicts the parable of the madman who is searching for God. He accuses us all of being the murderers of God.

“‘Where is God?’ he cried; ‘I will tell you. We have killed him—you and I. All of us are his murderers…”

God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? {Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Section 125, tr. Walter Kaufmann}

Mitchell explains

The line is part of The Parable of the Madman a section from Nietzsche’s The Gay Science. It depicts a maddened individual running around a village asking where he can find God only to declare that God must be dead. In his ever creative style Nietzsche is using this madman as an outlet to explore an idea. Particularly he’s interested in the shifting values of European culture during his lifetime. {What Nietzsche Meant by “God is Dead”}

More and more people took distance from religion, most people confusing God with Church. Having found so many lies in church they considered “God” also being a “fat lie”. Though many wondered what their life was to be and if there was nothing behind it or something hidden for them.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel also had pondered the death of God, first in his Phenomenology of Spirit where he considers the death of God to

‘not [be] seen as anything but an easily recognized part of the usual Christian cycle of redemption’

But there some thought Jesus Christ to be the God, and when Jesus is God and Jesus died than really God would have died. Naturally Jesus is not God, because God is a Spirit Who has no beginning and not end and to Whom man can do nothing. In case Jesus is God and has died God would be dead and this did hurt Hegel, who writes about the great pain of knowing that God is dead

‘The pure concept, however, or infinity, as the abyss of nothingness in which all being sinks, must characterize the infinite pain, which previously was only in culture historically and as the feeling on which rests modern religion, the feeling that God Himself is dead, (the feeling which was uttered by Pascal, though only empirically, in his saying: Nature is such that it marks everywhere, both in and outside of man, a lost God), purely as a phase, but also as no more than just a phase, of the highest idea.’.

Nietzsche recognizes the crisis that the death of God represents for existing moral assumptions:

“When one gives up the Christian faith, one pulls the right to Christian morality out from under one’s feet. This morality is by no means self-evident… By breaking one main concept out of Christianity, the faith in God, one breaks the whole: nothing necessary remains in one’s hands.”

Nietzsche saw how man went away from the faith in God and by doing so was looking for new answers or better answers than the churches could give. When not any more believing in the beautiful masterly concept of creation by the Divine Maker belief of cosmic or physical order also fell to the ground.

Nietzsche saw Europe was slowly transitioning into a sort of cultural Nihilism. As advancements in science and technology lead to more and more questioning of the status quo, Philosophical values were beginning to shift. What Nietzsche is getting at here isn’t a declaration of the truth value of Christianity. In fact truth is a topic Nietzsche is extremely critical of. Instead he’s pointing out the weakening of Christian influences on society. {What Nietzsche Meant by “God is Dead”}

Clearly the church was loosing its grip on the citizens. The ability to have the Bible in print and available to lots of people, made them also aware that for years those churches had lied about many things. Those who really went to study the Scriptures where confronted with many things the church said which were not written at all in the Bible.
An other problem arose by the growing knowledge and advancement in the sciences. Several people wanted to play for god themselves.

Later on people can take a look inside the armour and see there is no God there, and say God never existed in the first place. Whether or not God actually exists or existed at any point as an entity in the universe is not as relevant as the fact that there is an inherent need in most people to have faith in God. That in itself does change how people behave, hopefully for the better.

To put this hollow armour analogy in a more abstract way, is that at first people had a genuine faith in God whether or not this faith was reciprocated by an actual God. Over the course of time this genuine God was replaced by a man-made image of God. Man got rid of the real thing in favour of a man-made facsimile. I suppose the underlying motivation is that if man made God, man can also control him. {What did Nietzsche mean by God is dead?}

Seeing how man went away from God Nietzsche probably was very well aware that this could bring man in trouble.

Given Nietzsche’s strong animosity towards religion, you would think people realizing that ‘God is Dead’ would make him happy. After all, Nietzsche was dedicated in his quest to try and rid the individual of dogmatic and supernatural beliefs. Surely, people disregarding religion would be a comforting sight to Nietzsche. But this was not the case. Nietzsche was deeply troubled by the lack of a God, he feared that this may lead to the destruction of our society. {Nietzsche: God is Dead (Part 1)}

The end of Christianity for Europe might bring desolation and chaos. Churches had fostered on human dogma‘s and now people had come to see how different they are to Biblical dogma’s. But when one finds that a church has lied so much would one go for an other church and not face the same problem? Mankind always have nuzzled dogmatic beliefs that are widely held and accepted by society and do not want to do away with so many traditions.

Many of these beliefs go unquestioned, and thus we live in a sort of ‘herd’ similar to sheep (the term sheeple is probably the best representation of this). By overcoming the herd perspective, a man can free himself and achieve new heights. {Nietzsche: The Ubermensch (Part 2)}

When there is no God or when man himself is god, then man may be the master of everything (does he think). When there is no God,like so many think, then man loves to be as a god being the super being or Ubermensch, to which nothing is to small or to big and everything can be made possible. When it is not possible to do something today than it will be possible tomorrow or in the future, so why worry?

The Ubermensch is supposed to act as the answer to the problem of nihilism. Since God is dead, that means there is no objective truth or morality. Thus, an Ubermensch acts as his own ‘God’, abandoning the herd instinct and determining his own morality. He is neither slave nor master, as he does not impose his will on others. He is a master of self-discipline. He must be willing to embrace suffering and learn from it. In a way, the Ubermensch is the next step in human evolution. It’s a new intuition, perspective, and greatness for mankind. {Nietzsche: The Ubermensch (Part 2)}

For sure, man has to take a long way before he shall reach such a state. He also seems to forget that is what the Word of God demands from man, that man work at themselves transforming their character to an ideal being without faults. Only problem that than poses, is to know what would be faults, and what would be the right things to strive for. For a Bible Student no such problems arise because he can find all answers in the Bible. But those who do not want to take a serious look at that Library of ancient works, still many questions shall stay unanswered.

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Additional reading

  1. Today’s thought “Ability to see that God is not dead” (May 12)
  2. Inner feeling, morality and Inter-connection with creation
  3. Christian values and voting not just a game
  4. 3rd question: Does there exist a Divine Creator
  5. Is there no ‘proof’ for God? (And why that statement is not as smart as you might think.)

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Further reading

  1. Moral Collapse Didn’t Begin Yesterday. Occult Paris
  2. Everything and Nothing
  3. No Lives Matter
  4. The Nil God
  5. Wake up; There is no God
  6. The death of God (and politics?)
  7. Because God is not efficient in revealing himself to us, He must not exist.
  8. With God vs Without
  9. God
  10. O God…
  11. Lunch n’ Bats
  12. Collecting our thoughts: opening prayer
  13. A walk on the sea
  14. The End of the World
  15. A Defense of Religion (From an Atheist)
  16. Seraphim Rose: “large numbers of Catholics and Protestants are hardly to be distinguished from unbelievers “
  17. On Nihilism
  18. Dostoyevsky’s Übermensch in Crime & Punishment
  19. God’s Heartbreak
  20. Can You Be A Happy Nihilist?
  21. Ep. 48 – Calvin Warren and Frank Wilderson III on Antiblackness, Nihilism, and Politics
  22. The New Nihilism
  23. A Journey Toward A Theory Of Stupidity 3 | The Grandfather Of Stupidology Part 1
  24. The Weaponisation Of Popular Culture
  25. Chapter 6
  26. What We Can Gain From Detachment
  27. Nietzsche and Buddhism
  28. Buddhism, Nietzsche, Jung, Christianity, and Plato: Religious and Philosophical Themes in Westworld
  29. Identification
  30. Who I am and why I’m here
  31. Übermensch
  32. Nietzsche #7 – Der Übermensch
  33. Nietzsche: Eternal Recurrence (Part 3)
  34. Nietzsche, a philosophical biography (Rüdiger Safranski, 2000)
  35. Übermensch by Mathew Babaoye
  36. Editorial 23: Frank Castle, Ubermensch
  37. How to become Superman: Nietzsche’s overwhelming concept and questions to ask yourself
  38. The Ubermensch as an Archetype

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The Question is this…

Many may be saying there is no god or gods at all and that it is all a fabrication of the human mind.

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Those who find that somehow something has to be behind this universe and all the things that can be found around us. but how many know Who is the Mastermind behind it all?

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How many are really knowing the Divine Creator and how many are willing to open their mind to this Eternal Spirit Who cannot be seen by man or they would fall death?

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The unseen, the untouchable, is so difficult to comprehend.

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The God of order Who created everything, has done it with and out of love. It is His goodness which transcends our understanding we think it is impossible that there can be such a Goodness existing.
Absolute completeness is so difficult to understand for our little human mind. Our brain is so incomplete, it seems, that the idea of such Perfect Being looks impossible.

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Though there was a time man had no fear and no problems and everything seemed all right. But it was too nice to be true and man doubted its Creator.

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Man came to separate and to see separation between the Creator, man, animal and plant and wanted more than he had received. This greed made him blind.

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After the first Adam failed god had to create a second Adam. That sent one from God came unto the earth to show the world the true hand of the Master-worker. God gave his only begotten son as a good shepherd to guide us and to show us the only one Way to God. In his way we should come to walk.

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When willing to go that Way we shall notice that God shall be the first one to go with us. when we are willing to open our eyes and ears, we shall see and hear God, who shall receive us as His children.

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There are plentiful reasons to get to know God and not to hesitate longer.

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  • rich? or poor? > matters not your station in life
  • matters > certain about your future destiny
  • fail to listen and heed, destiny = same as fools whose shepherd is death +  separation from the Almighty God
  • if you listen, heed and accept the Living Word > destiny in eternal space of the Kingdom of God
  • + will be guided on your journey by the Good Shepherd
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Are you Jew? Are you Gentile? Are you male? Are you female? Are you slave or free? In this present world we make distinctions but “there is no partiality with God.” [Romans 2:11] Those who hear his voice and follow, to them the promise is this:

Rom 8:14 MKJV  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

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Find additional reading:

  1. Others that hinder the message
  2. This is an amazing thing

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Supplementary readings:

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SonShine's Journal -- it's all about God and His Word

Psalm 48 God is2Let me ask you; Do you know God? Let me tell you about my God because He can be your God too! He is “great and certainly worthy of praise,” He is the defender of both the rich and the poor, the weak and the strong, the young and the old. You may have heard about his mighty deeds, but have you seen them? Observe His fingerprint of lovingkindness upon the lives of those he calls his own. It is because of this that we are to “go and tell” that the next generation may also know and be known as children of the Almighty God.

Are you rich? Are you poor? It matters not your station in life. What matters is that you are certain about your future destiny. If you fail to listen and heed, your destiny will be the same as fools whose shepherd is death and…

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Denominationalism exists because?

In this world we do see many religions and in each religion many divisions. This tells a lot about man.

In Christendom we may find Christianity with people who follow Biblical doctrines and on the other-side lots of people who do prefer to follow human doctrines. those following the false teachings of man make up the majority in Christendom. They made themselves a three-headed god and many often did made graven images of their god and bow down in front of those pictures or statues to pray for, though according God’s Word, the Bible this is an abomination in God’s eyes.

Already very soon after Jeshua (Jesus Christ) died false teachings came into the ‘Christian‘ system, like it previously also had done in the Judaic system.

Perhaps one can bring as an excuse that the way of man is not in himself, but we must know that each of us is responsible for his own actions and his own thinking and his reaction on it.

‘Hautain’ man= arrogantly superior and disdainful haughty man thinks him superior to God’s Word and dares to frighten people that they would not be able to understand the Bible without their teachings. They forget that God His Word is infallible and indestructible, saying everything it has to say in a way that all people can understand and can have enough information according to their capabilities.

It are those theologians and church-institutions who wanted to keep their power or get more power, who adapted their teachings for the best of their institutions. Often they overlooked that for one lie an other one had to be created to have their teaching ‘soundproof’.

File:Greekorthodoxchurch nl.jpg

All denominations have their own specific worship-houses or church-buildings. – Greek orthodox churches.

Denominationalism is a man-made concept which we really do not need. We do have to follow Christ who is the cornerstone of the Church of God and not of a church of men.
In that church of God we do have to become one with Christ like Jesus is one with the Father. And all should be as brethren and sisters in Christ, worshipping only One True God, the God of Jesus Who is the God of Abraham.

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Biblical Notes

By Ron Thomas

Why are there so many denominations? This is the question asked in a Bible study book called God’s Answers to Man’s Questions (p. 178). The answer given? “Each is probably like a variety of fruit and it takes many varieties to make an orchard. (Many spokes to make a wheel.) Christ’s desire is that the Church on earth should be clean, glorious and holy, Eph. 5:27. ‘That He might present it (the Church) to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it (you and I) should be holy and without blemish.’”

This is all there is to his answer. Did he answer it? Yes, I suppose you can say he did. Is his answer adequate or, better yet, biblical? It is not. The Bible passage he referenced is certainly biblical, but it does not support the contention of the…

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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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    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.
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    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.

God Our Refuge

God Our Refuge

Too often people are much more afraid of human beings instead of God. Too often they forget there is been provided a safe haven by the Most High Divine Creator. We should be aware that Adonai is not just a god, like Pharao, Moses and Jesus also are called gods, but that we should come by the way Jesus opened for us to the One and Only God of gods, Who made heaven and earth but also made us. And we are His, and as His people, the flock in His pasture (Psalms 100:3) we should find comfort in the knowledge that He is willing to Guide us and to Protect us. that we also shall come to understand that the lofty looks of man shall be brought low, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and Jehovah alone shall be exalted in that day. (Isaiah 2:11,17)

Only the God of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jesus and of Israel, is God in Israel, but should also be our God, wherever we may be in the world. Like Elijah, Jesus and many other prophets were His servant, and have done all these things at God His word, willing to do God His will and not theirs, we also should aim to do only God His Will and not our will nor the will of the world.

Though we always must be very careful not to rebel against Jehovah, neither fearing the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is removed from over them, and Jehovah is with us: fear them not. (Numbers 14:9)

Perhaps many are against us because we do believe in the Most High? But we should not worry, those against Jehovah, the God of our fathers, may seem to have it better than us, but this is all sham, they shall not prosper.
Let us trust the Most High Elohim, Hashem Jehovah.

Portion of column 19 of the Psalms Scroll (Teh...

Portion of column 19 of the Psalms Scroll (Tehilim) from Qumran Cave 11. The Tetragrammaton in paleo-Hebrew can be clearly seen six times in this portion. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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My Lord, My Friend

refuge

Psalm 46; was accorded to be written by the Sons of Korah.

In Numbers 16, tells us who Korah was, a man who died for his rebellion against Moses, and these were his descendants. One part of the family became temple gatekeepers and another the singers and the musicians in the temple. {read about the gatekeepers in 1 Chronicles 9 verse 19, and the singers and musicians in ! Chronicles 6.}.

In Psalm 46 the descendants of Korah  portray the worst calamities imaginable {v3 & 4}, earth trembles, mountains topple, raging water, mountain quake. Yet with all these things they use as calamities, they proclaim {11}. ‘The Lord of Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our stronghold’

The Sons of Korah’s song was about great calamities, but their faith in the God that created  them, is greater than anything they had gone through or could go through.

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