« Main Search

More on Sharp's Rule, Trinitarianism and Rob Bowman
Part Five: "Our Savior Jesus Christ"

By Greg Stafford



Understanding the truth about Jesus and what it means to acknowledge him as "Savior" is, needless to say, an important question for all who would be his followers. In this post we will discuss the use of the term "Savior" in reference to Jesus, what it means in general, and also how it relates to the issue of Sharp's rule and the rule's alleged application to Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1.

Because of the technical nature of this material, it is important that those reading this discussion set aside enough time to carefully review the information. If anyone reading these posts has a question, or would like further clarification of a particular point, please feel free to email me.

Please understand that when I say Bowman misunderstands something, I am saying this because Bowman does this so often that I have to point it out so that those reading our exchange will not be misled. Trust me, I do not enjoy restating my position and correcting Bowman's errors, but somebody has to do it!

Again, all of us have to make up our own mind, and many of us already have. But to ignore the facts, or to distort them in order to create the illusion that one's position has been defended, is really not an admirable quality. Let me show you what I mean:



>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Posted by Rob Bowman on June 18, 1998 at 21:29:41:

Reply to Stafford on Sharp's Rule
Part Four: "Savior Jesus Christ" as a Proper Name
By Robert M. Bowman, Jr.



BOWMAN:
In this post I continue discussing the applicability of Sharp's rule to Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1, this time shifting attention to the second descriptive term used in those texts, "(our) Savior." Do these texts use "(our) Savior" as a descriptive term for "Jesus Christ," or as part of a single semantic unit functioning as a proper name equivalent, "(our) Savior Jesus Christ"? If the former, is it possible to separate the referent of "(our) Savior, Jesus Christ" from that of "the great God" or "our God," and so to deny that Jesus Christ is called "God" in these texts? In what follows, an understanding of the second post in this series is assumed.



STAFFORD:
And those reading this reply should recall the points made in Parts Three and Four of my reply to Bowman on this subject. Also, we must remember that "God," according to trinitarianism, can only legitimately (see Part Six) apply to the one triune being, unless it is further qualified. So when Bowman asks whether or not Titus 2:13 or 2 Peter 1:1 refer to Jesus as "God" he means "God the second person of a triune being." We have discussed Bowman's equivocation before, and we will do so again in Part Six and my reply to him on the meaning of "God," but it is important to keep his understanding clear in mind as we proceed with this discussion.



BOWMAN:
F. "SAVIOR" AND "SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST"

Greg and I agree that in both of these texts the noun SOTR ("Savior") refers to "Jesus Christ." However, we differ on whether these texts should be construed to use the expression "(our) Savior Jesus Christ" as a proper name equivalent. In his book Greg maintained that the expression should be construed this way in both texts (Jehovah's Witnesses Defended, 240-42, 246). His last, summary statement on this question is the following:

>>>And, again, as is the case with Titus 2:13, the second noun, "Savior," is joined to "Jesus Christ," creating a compound proper name, which makes it sufficiently definite to stand on its own as a second subject, without the article.">>> (Jehovah's Witnesses Defended, 246)



BOWMAN:
I have argued that this is unlikely, for a couple of reasons. First, the two designations "God" and "Savior" are commonly linked in both Jewish and Greco-Roman discourse, so that both the apostles and their readers were likely to construe "God" and "Savior" as designating a single referent. Compare the following sentences:



STAFFORD:
Before we do that, let me remind everyone that the two nouns "God" and "Savior" are NOT used in Jewish or Greco-Roman literature in the same way as they are used in Titus 2:13, namely, with an adjectival modifier in the first instance ("the great God") and with a proper name ("Jesus Christ") in the second instance. Nor are these terms used of two distinct individuals in the same body of literature, with different senses for each term (see below) when used of the different referents. The is very significant, for it has a direct bearing on the issue of whether or not these two expressions were understood to denote distinct individuals. As we have seen, and will continue to see, this is undoubtedly the case in Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1.



BOWMAN:
S16. We're waiting for our Commander-in-Chief and President Bill Clinton.
S19. We're waiting for our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Sentence (S19) is not an exact quote of either Titus 2:13 or 2 Peter 1:1 and is not meant to be. (Please, don't accuse me of misquoting either verse!)



STAFFORD:
I wouldn't do that, Rob. I see you working, but as we discussed before, your examples do not affect the bottom line. However, you do create a false analogy. Consider:



BOWMAN:
It is presented here to illustrate the semantic significance of the collocation of the two nouns "God" and "Savior" in a construction that can be construed to be using the two nouns of a single referent. As in (S16), the fact that the two nouns are regularly associated with the same referent in the cultural and literary context of the sentence weighs heavily in favor of construing them in that way here in (S19). True, it is possible to find texts where the two nouns have different referents, but that's beside the point, just as it is in (S16). Imagine someone hearing or reading (S16) and saying, "This isn't necessarily referring to Bill Clinton as the Commander-in-Chief; after all, 'President Bill Clinton' could be meant here as a proper name equivalent." The argument would be unsound because the semantic relationship between "Commander-in-Chief" and "President" is such that the two nouns are naturally and normally associated with a single referent where that is grammatically possible. The same applies to (S19) and to Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1.



STAFFORD:
The first problem is, as I stated earlier, we do not have the terms "God" and "Savior," but "the great God" and "Savior Jesus Christ" or "Savior, Jesus Christ." This is significant because if Paul is invoking the OT LXX use of these terms then we can only understand "the great God" in reference to the Father, Jehovah, the God of Jesus. (Micah 5:4; Rom. 15:5-6) Also, in the New Testament the semantic signal "Savior," when applied to Jesus, has a different meaning than when it is used of the Father, which can be seen by a simple reading of 1 John 4:14 and other texts. Thus, when a reader familiar with the Christian teaching concerning Jesus' soteriological role sees the word "Savior," in reference to Jesus, they would think, "sent-forth Savior." However, when the word "Savior" is used of the Father, they would think, "Provider of salvation." This is another example of where Rob confuses sense and reference. To illustrate the distinction in sense when the same semantic signal ("Savior") is used of God and Jesus, consider the following:

SEMANTIC SIGNAL = Savior
REFERENT = Jesus
MEANING = "Sent-forth Savior"

SEMANTIC SIGNAL = Savior
REFERENT = God
MEANING = "Provider of Salvation"



STAFFORD:
Perhaps that is why when the word "Savior" is unambiguously used of Jesus in Titus it is accompanied by "our" and "Jesus Christ." (Titus 1:4; 3:6) But when it is not used of Jesus in Titus it is always accompanied by the word THEOS, "God." (Titus 1:3; 2:10; 3:4) In Titus 2:13 Paul brings both of them together in view of the fact that one will appear in the other's glory, at the EPIPHANEIA. They are related in bringing salvation to mankind, but they are distinct in their roles and being.

Rob's examples, listed earlier, as we discussed in Parts Three and Four, are self-serving. He uses them to create a false analogy between their "natural" meaning and what he wants you to think regarding Titus 2:13 or 2 Peter 1:1. But, again, if the terms used in these two passages (Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1) were understood as referring to two distinct individuals, then a more parallel example would be,

"The Governor of California and President, Bill Clinton [or, President Bill Clinton]."

But we have to first determine what the author's habitual use of language is, and what the context tells us, and then proceed to evaluate the likelihood that he would use an expression reserved for one person, for another. Also, if we determine that he did in fact use a term or description for one person, that we might otherwise view as an expression restricted to another person, we have to determine whether or not he is using the terms with different senses.



BOWMAN:
The preceding argument does not assume that "(our) Savior Jesus Christ" could not in some contexts be used as a proper name equivalent. Even if it could be so used, the semantic relation between "God" and "Savior" strongly militates against it being so used in this construction.



STAFFORD:
Hogwash. Again, we are not dealing with "God" and "Savior," but "the great God" and "Savior Jesus Christ." In the Pauline corpus the title "Savior" is used of God and Christ with different Christian senses. Bowman ignores the significance of Jesus as a sent-forth Savior, and fails to appreciate the different sense attached to the same word when used of two significantly different beings. "Our Savior Jesus Christ" would never be understood with the same sense as "God our Savior," according to the clear and repeated New Testament teaching concerning salvation and how it is mediated, as well as the different sense attached to THEOS when used of Jesus and when used of his God. Since one is the God of the other, they cannot be God in the same sense, and the Bible makes this clear in John 1:18. The context, namely, the discussion concerning the EPIPHANEIA, and its relation to the Synoptic teaching, strongly argue against a one-person translation for Titus 2:13. Also, the fact that "the great God" is restricted per the OT LXX to the Father, Jehovah, is also evidence against the one-person translation, as we discussed in Part Four of my reply.

Regarding 2 Peter 1:1 the context is also against a one-person view, since God is distinguished from Jesus in the very next verse. But Peter's habitual use of language, particularly in similar constructions, is also evidence against the one-person view. Of course, in both texts it is possible that the author intended to predicate THEOS of Jesus, but the sense of the term MUST be viewed in light of the clear teaching of both authors, namely, that Jesus has One who is God to him. (1 Peter 1:3; Rom. 15:5-6) Nothing commensurate with trinitarianism can be legitimately read into these or any other biblical text. What the Bible does say, however, effectively crushes the trinitarian argument, no matter how much word magic they employ to get around the facts. This is not meant to be harsh, but straightforward.





BOWMAN:
On the other hand, I would also maintain that it is highly unlikely that "(our) Savior Jesus Christ" was used in NT discourse as a proper name equivalent. To review, what this would mean is that whenever the expression "(our) Savior Jesus Christ" was used, it would be treated as a separate semantic unit with its own distinct referent unless the grammar of the sentence made such an interpretation impossible. In other words, whenever this expression was used, one would, if grammatically possible, construe the expression as a single noun phrase rather than construing "Jesus Christ" as set in apposition to "(our) Savior."



STAFFORD:
Of course, Bowman has absolutely no hard evidence for his objection (see below). But, in any event, it makes no difference at all in this case, for to take "Jesus Christ" in apposition to "Savior" effectively restricts the application of the noun.



BOWMAN:
Now, why is this unlikely? Well, for one thing in 2 Peter it is most certainly not the case. As I explained in my article, the references to "our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ" (1:11; 2:20; 3:18) undeniably place "our Lord and Savior" in apposition to "Jesus Christ." In these three texts it is impossible to construe "Savior Jesus Christ" as a proper name equivalent.



STAFFORD:
Again we see Bowman employing his made-up rules. Of course, as I have stated several times in different replies, there is absolutely NOTHING keeping us from understanding one person in an article-noun-KAI-compound proper name construction or in an article-proper name (or equivalent)-KAI-proper name (or equivalent) construction. See the end of Part Four for some more problems with Bowman's view on this matter.



BOWMAN:
This proves that the alleged proper name equivalency of the expression would not make 2 Peter 1:1 an exception to Sharp's rule. Indeed, these other texts (and 2 Pet. 3:2 as well) create a presumption against construing "Savior Jesus Christ" in 1:1 as a semantic unit. One must choose whether to construe "Jesus Christ" as set in apposition to "our God and Savior" or to "Savior" alone. Construing the phrase as "our God and Savior-Jesus-Christ" is not a viable option.



STAFFORD:
According to whom? Stop making things up, and please stop misleading others into thinking you are using some sort of legitimate principle that supports what you say on this matter.



BOWMAN:
As for Titus, there simply is no evidence that "our Savior Jesus Christ" functioned as a proper name equivalency.



STAFFORD:
There is no one else to whom the noun could be applied in this text. The proper name, whether taken together with the noun or in apposition to it, restricts its application.



BOWMAN:
Like the hypothetical expression "our Commander-in-Chief Bill Clinton," in the absence of any evidence of a stylized, regular usage of the expression as a proper name equivalent, it would always be more natural to construe the proper name as set in apposition to the descriptive title.



STAFFORD:
Certainly if any epistle exhibits such evidence, it is Titus. Your opinion is just that, your opinion. But in either case it does not affect the bottom line.



BOWMAN:
In fact, in the other two places in Titus where Jesus Christ is called "our Savior," the title follows the proper name rather than preceding it (CHRISTOU ISOU TOU STROS HMN, "Christ Jesus our Savior," Titus 1:4; 3:6). The form "our Savior Jesus Christ," without a preceding noun linked to it by KAI, appears only in one other place in the NT (TOU STROS HMN ISOUS CHRISTOS, 2 Tim. 1:10).



STAFFORD:
Actually, you misquoted 2 Timothy 1:10 which reads TOU SWTHROS hHMWN CHRISTOU IHSOU. Not only did you mistakenly transpose CHRISTOU and IHSOU, but you have created a case disagreement between "Savior" and "Jesus Christ." Did you actually read the text? If so, what happened? If not, what happened? In any event, I fail to see anything remotely useful for your position in the above examples.



BOWMAN:
Moreover, the references to "our Savior God" (TOU STROS HMN THEOU, Titus 1:3; 2:10; 3:4) make it very difficult in the same context to construe "our Savior Jesus Christ" (STROS HMN ISOUS CHRISTOS, Titus 2:13) as a proper name equivalent. Clearly "our Savior" is being used as a description that is applicable to "God" and to "Jesus Christ," not as part of a proper name equivalent.



STAFFORD:
This is an unusual argument coming from one who believes that Jesus IS God, but we are aware of the problems with that simple confession, as understood by trinitarians. Still, Bowman's point is a non sequitur. There is absolutely nothing wrong with viewing "Savior Jesus Christ" as a compound proper name similar to "Lord Jesus Christ," and at the same time recognizing a legitimate application of the word "Savior" to God, as was illustrated earlier.

If Bowman's argument held water (and it does not) then we would have a problem viewing "Lord Jesus Christ" as a compound proper name since "Lord" is used of the Father and others! (Rev. 1:8; 6:10; 7:4) Even though John knew of these uses it did not keep him from using the familiar "Lord Jesus" in Rev. 22:20, 21. Is not "Lord Jesus" the equivalent to a proper name? Bowman apparently cannot allow himself to recognize a special use of terms like "Lord," "Christ" and "Savior" when they are used together with the PROPER NAME "Jesus Christ." But, again, whether we take "Savior" as part of a compound proper name, or if we take "Jesus Christ" in apposition to "Savior," the noun is still restricted to the same person by the use of the proper name "Jesus Christ."



BOWMAN:
In his critique of my paper, Greg backs off somewhat from his claim that "(our) Savior Jesus Christ" is treated as a proper name equivalent. For example, he states that Titus 2:13 "is either an appositional use of 'Jesus Christ' for 'Savior,' or a what may be construed along the same lines as 'Lord Jesus Christ' as a compound proper name" (Stafford, 21). Now, once it is admitted that "Jesus Christ" might be used in apposition to what precedes it, Greg cannot legitimately deny the possibility that "Jesus Christ" is in apposition to "our great God and Savior" (Titus 2:13) and "our God and Savior" (2 Pet. 1:1), and not only to "our Savior" and "Savior" respectively. The reason why I say this is that we already have precedent in the three 2 Peter texts for the name "Jesus Christ" being used in apposition to "our Lord and Savior" (2 Pet. 1:11; 2:20; 3:18).



STAFFORD:
Either you have a difficult time understanding a point that is repeatedly made or you are running out of things to write. I say this, not to be mean, but because this has been a reoccurring problem since our discussion began. Now, I have not "backed off" from anything. I stated both positions quite clearly in my book, and then I gave my preference. Also, who ever said I "deny the possibility that `Jesus Christ' is in apposition to `our great God and Savior'"? Of course it is possible, as I have stated many times. Even if the additional texts in 2 Peter did not exist I would maintain that such a view is possible. But what is possible grammatically is questionable contextually and on other grounds.



BOWMAN:
But Greg tries to argue that even if "Jesus Christ" is appositional, it must be related to "(our) Savior" alone and not to "our (great) God and Savior." For example, he writes the following:

Quoting Stafford:
>>>Titus 2:13 is the only example where "Savior" follows kai. In the case of the compound proper name "Lord Jesus Christ," it always (with one exception--see Jehovah's Witnesses Defended, page 237) lacks the article when it follows kai. The reason for this is because, being a compound proper name, "Lord Jesus Christ" does not need the article to make it definite in such constructions. The same is true of "Savior Jesus Christ," regardless of whether it is a compound proper name, because the use of "Jesus Christ" restricts the application of "Savior.">>> (Stafford, 21-22)

BOWMAN:
A couple of points need to be made in response to this somewhat loosely developed argument.

First of all, the fact that "the use of 'Jesus Christ' restricts the application of 'Savior'" is not in dispute here. The issue is not the referent of "Savior" (clearly, it is Jesus Christ) but whether "the great God" (Titus 2:13) or "our God" (2 Pet. 1:1) has the same referent.



STAFFORD:
Let me tighten your somewhat "loose" understanding of my position: Part of the issue has to do with whether or not a particular noun can stand on its own in a given construction. In this case, we both agree that "Savior" is restricted to Jesus Christ, so regardless of how we interpret "the great God" it has to be admitted that grammatically the second part of the sentence does not NEED the article, as the noun is restricted just as it would be if a definite article were used. In fact, it is even more definite with the proper than if a second article had been employed!



BOWMAN:
Second, if "(our) Savior Jesus Christ" is not a compound proper name like "Lord Jesus Christ," then the comparison of "(our) Savior Jesus Christ" to "Lord Jesus Christ" is not relevant. The fact that "Lord Jesus Christ" is almost always anarthrous following KAI is significant only because it functions as a compound proper name.



STAFFORD:
But if it is a compound proper name then the comparison to "Lord Jesus Christ" is appropriate, particularly in this instance. Were you trying to make a point? There is no reason to think that "Savior Jesus Christ" was not considered a compound proper name for Jesus, similar to "Lord Jesus Christ" and "Christ Jesus."



BOWMAN:
Third, in all but one of the anarthrous occurrences of "Lord Jesus Christ" following KAI the preceding noun or noun phrase is ALSO anarthrous (Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:3; 8:6; 2 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:3; Eph. 6:23; 1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:1, 2; Philem. 3; see also James 1:1). The sole exception is 2 Thessalonians 1:12 (which can hardly be cited as proof of a general rule). So, it is hazardous to appeal to the anarthrous uses of "Lord Jesus Christ" following KAI as precedent for "(our) Savior Jesus Christ" being anarthrous following KAI where the previous noun is articular, as in Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1.



STAFFORD:
First, we are dealing with nouns that FOLLOW KAI, and how they differ when they occur apart from KAI. Second, every single example Bowman gives in his parenthetical listing, except 1 Cor. 8:6 and James 1:1, contains a prepositional phrase in the first position. Anyone remotely familiar with NT Greek knows that prepositional phrases frequently omit the article. Also, regarding the use of the article with "God," it is also true that it is often anarthrous in the genitive, and the same thing can be said when it is used with PATER. Thus, it is hardly surprising to find a fixed formula like APO THEOU PATROS hHMON KAI KURIOU IHSOU CHRISTOU used without an article in the first position.

Bowman has not provided one example where the noun in the first position has an article with a preposition immediately preceding it in an allegedly GS construction. The articularity of the first noun has nothing to do with my point, particularly when the first noun is preceded by a preposition, is in a grammatical case where the word in question ("God") is often anarthrous, and used together with an expression ("Father") that also makes it less likely to have the article. In 1 Cor. 8:6 EIS THEOS hardly requires an article, and there is nothing surprising about the genitive use of "God" in James 1:1. Besides, James 1:1 could "hardly be cited as proof of a general rule"!

Still, I am not trying to establish a general rule for anything but the use or non-use of the article with descriptive phrases following KAI. The fact is the evidence supports my position on this matter. Bowman's attempt to discredit my position is without merit, and it ignores the significant facts outlined above. Also, again, the question I am positing has to do with the use of the same expression occurring after KAI and apart from KAI. There is no evidence that the noun in the first position has anything to do with my observation. Of course, the one example that is parallel even when it comes to the noun in the first position (2 Thess. 1:12) supports my observation.



BOWMAN:
Fourth, although Titus 2:13 is the only place in Paul where STR follows KAI, it is not the only place in the NT where this occurs. It also occurs five times in 2 Peter; and in four of those texts (1:11; 2:20; 3:2, 18) Greg agrees that STR, despite being anarthrous, is to be taken together with the preceding noun KURIOS ("Lord") as sharing the same referent. In three of these, as has already been pointed out, the proper name "Jesus Christ" follows STR (1:11; 2:20; 3:18), just as in Titus 2:13; but this does not make ANY DIFFERENCE AT ALL as far as the grammatical point at issue.



STAFFORD:
It most certainly does, since the issue is the use and non-use of nouns or descriptive phrases that follow KAI and that occur apart from KAI. We are talking about the need for an article in such situations, and how compound proper names like "Lord Jesus Christ" do not need the article when they follow KAI in order to be distinguished from the preceding. It is not hard to see "Savior Jesus Christ" functioning similarly. The reason "Lord" is undoubtedly applied to Jesus in the Petrine passages to which you refer is because of Peter's habitual use of language, namely, his preference for calling Jesus "Lord" and the Father "God" (compare 1 Cor. 8:6). See my book, page 245, for details.



BOWMAN:
Fifth, in texts with Sharp's construction parallel to Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1, and where "Jesus" is clearly appositional to what precedes, the two nouns connected by KAI clearly both refer to Jesus. Note these two texts in Hebrews:

TON APOSTOLON KAI ARCHIEREA TS HOMOLOGIAS HMN ISOUN
The apostle and high priest of our confession, Jesus (Heb. 3:1)

TON TS PISTES ARCHGON KAI TELEITN ISOUN
The author and finisher of our faith, Jesus (Heb. 12:2)



STAFFORD:
Neither of these are parallel to Titus 2:13 or 2 Peter 1:1. The nouns in the first position in each text cannot stand on their own as can "the great God" (compare Ps. 85:10). Also, the nouns in the second position are not even close to being parallel to the compound proper name "Lord Jesus Christ," but "Savior Jesus Christ" is quite parallel. Additionally, in your first example the possessive is not in the same position as it is in either Titus 2:13 or 2 Peter 1:1, and there is no possessive expressed in Hebrews 12:2.



BOWMAN:
By Greg's reasoning, the first example would refer to two persons, the Apostle (Paul?) and Jesus, the high priest of our confession. The second example would have two referents as well - the Author of our faith (Jehovah the Father?) and its Finisher, Jesus. (I can well imagine some interesting theological inferences drawn from Hebrews 12:2 on this basis!) But of course, this is all wrong. Jesus is the apostle and high priest whom we confess; he is the author and finisher of our faith.



STAFFORD:
You're right, it is all wrong. I don't know what else to say except you are obviously not paying attention to what I am arguing or you are deliberately trying to distort the issues. Let me help you out: The second noun in each of your examples can only apply to "Jesus" and the terms used in the first position are not elsewhere restricted to one who is distinct from Jesus. Now, what was it you were trying to prove?



BOWMAN:
Hebrews 3:1 is especially similar to Titus 2:13. Each begins with a definite article, followed by a noun that is rarely applied to Jesus (APOSTOLOS is applied to Jesus only here and in John 13:16, where it usually translated "one who is sent"). Next follows KAI, followed by another noun that is somewhat more often applied to Jesus (10 times in Hebrews: 2:17; 3:1; 4:14, 15; 5:5, 10; 6:20; 7:26; 8:1; 9:11), followed by a genitive modifier including HMN. Finally, the proper name ISOUS appears (with CHRISTOS added in Titus 2:13), evidently in both cases in apposition to the description that precedes.

Perhaps more could be said, but I think the foregoing calls into serious question Greg's assessment of my objections to his argument:



STAFFORD:
There is absolutely nothing in anything you have written on this subject that calls into question my position. All you have done is confuse and misuse my position. APOSTOLOS is not elsewhere restricted to someone who is distinct from Jesus, and the second description is not at all comparable to "Lord Jesus Christ," as is the case with "Savior Jesus Christ." Also, the context of your examples is completely different than in Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1. But I think it is rather obvious that context does not mean very much to you in this matter. You have already made up your mind in spite of the facts.



BOWMAN (quoting Stafford)
>>>All we have seen is a desperate attempt to avoid the obvious conclusion that the addition of "Jesus Christ" to "Savior" removes this example from Sharp's rule, which does not cover proper names or nouns used together with proper names.>>> (Stafford, 22)



BOWMAN:
There is hardly anything "obvious" about Greg's conclusion, and if anything the texts in 2 Peter and the examples from Hebrews provide an "obvious' refutation of Greg's assertion.



STAFFORD:
They obviously do not, as we have seen.



BOWMAN:
G. ANARTHROUS SECOND NOUNS IN "EXCEPTIONS" TO SHARP'S RULE

In discussing the question of whether "(our) Savior Jesus Christ" should be construed as having the same referent as "the great God" in Titus 2:13 or "our God" in 2 Peter 1:1, one other argument urged by Greg Stafford needs to be considered. Greg argues that the proper question to be asked when faced with a construction article-noun-KAI-noun is why the second noun lacks the article. Essentially, Greg reasons that if Sharp's rule were correct, no one would ever use this construction if the second noun referred to a different person. For example, regarding Proverbs 21:24 LXX, Greg asked

>>> . . . why the article is not repeated before "king," if the LXX translator considered Sharp's rule valid. You have proven nothing about the key issue. You have simply told us what we already know, but have failed to deal with the issue under consideration: Why did the LXX translators not repeat the article if he/they understood that article-noun-kai-noun constructions always applied to one person? >>



BOWMAN:
Actually, I did suggest one possible answer, and that was that the LXX translators were in this text following the Hebrew rather rigidly.



STAFFORD:
And that is an uninformed view, as I demonstrate in my book Jehovah's Witnesses Defended, pages 225-226.



BOWMAN:
But let's put that point aside and let me remind Greg of the more general answer I have already given to this question:

"Returning to Sharp's (first) rule, it may be helpful to distinguish a 'hard' sense to Sharp's rule in contrast to a 'soft' sense. In the hard sense, two singular personal nouns linked by kai and governed by a single article refer to one person. In the soft sense, two nouns linked by kai and governed by one article, if they are either proper names or plural nouns, may in some cases describe one and the same thing, but in other cases name two things linked together as a single unit for the purposes of the immediate context" (Bowman, 12).

So, for example, in Proverbs 21:24 LXX "God" and "king" may be governed by a single definite article because the LXX translators regarded the fear of God and the fear of the king to be closely related, or even aspects of the same disposition. This might be based on the belief that one could not show proper fear toward the Israelite king without also showing fear toward his God, and vice versa.



STAFFORD:
Actually, you would have to say that "God" and "king" are closely related, since "the fear" is not the focus of our grammatical question. Also, Bowman here assumes that "God" is taken as the equivalent to a proper name. Of course, this same argument could also be used in both Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1. In Titus we could legitimately argue that "the great God" (Jehovah, the Father) and our "Savior Jesus Christ" are presented as closely related in relation to the EPIPHANEIA. We have discussed the Synoptic background to this time and time again. In 2 Peter 1:1 we could argue that the "righteousness" of God and Christ, who are unambiguously distinguished from each other in the next verse, is closely related in terms of providing a "faith" of equal privilege with that of the apostles, to others.

Bowman's arguments are easily refuted, for they spring from a desperate attempt to retain a translation of passages that he believes supports the trinitarian view. However, as we have seen, he gives new definitions to words, invents rules of grammar regarding proper names, and what constitutes them, and he regularly misunderstands and miscommunicates my position. I find it difficult to believe that all of this is unintentional, but I will leave it at that.

In Part Six we will discuss the problems involved in calling Jesus THEOS, from a trinitarian point of view.

Greg Stafford

END OF PART FIVE

GO TO PART SIX

    Previous Top
1999 - 2007 Jehovah's Witnesses United. All rights reserved. Terms of Service
home-icon.gif (1K) Home:
About
Congregations
General News
Human Rights
Theocratese
Bookshelf
Study Tools
Site Search
Web Search
Webring
Contact
genexe-icon.gif (1K) EXEGESIS:
General
Greek
Hebrew
Patristic
Translation
Discussion
Study Links
genexe-icon.gif (1K) GENERAL:
Legal
Holocaust
Freedom
resources-icon.gif (1K) Resources:
Official
Defense
Trinity
Bloodless
Businesses