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Surrejoinder to Don Hartley: Q-Class Count Nouns, John 1:1c, and Other Related Matters

By Greg Stafford

Greg Stafford:
(NOTE: Where the reader sees STAFFORD-RESPONSE the material beneath it, up to the next all-caps heading, constitutes my most recent remarks on the subject under discussion, and are in direct response to the words above the STAFFORD-RESPONSE heading.)

There is certainly nothing wrong with positing a certain methodology in one's attempt to properly categorize instances of nouns, or other constituents, according to their use by certain authors, in various grammatical constructions. Indeed, this is an admirable means by which a person can not only familiarize his/herself with the material but it is also likely to result in a detection of various "patterns" that can be used to better understand ancient documents, particularly where there is a certain ambiguity attached to a certain grammatical construct.

But when attempts to locate legitimate grammatical patterns and properly classify them according to their semantic are governed by an overriding desire to preserve one's preconceived view, rather than discover the text's meaning, then we must object and call attention to the problem.

Earlier in this century E. C. Colwell attempted to use a certain grammatical construct to prove, among other things, that Jesus was God, and that John 1:1 supported this teaching. For years Trinitarian scholars used and abused Colwell's rule, citing it to condemn Jehovah's Witnesses and their New World Translation, but all the while they were oblivious to the fact that what they were advocating was in direct contradiction to the very doctrine they were seeking to uphold, the Trinity.

After several decades of abuse, studies done by P. B. Harner, Paul Dixon and other Trinitarian scholars have attempted to correct the problem and restore a meaning to THEOS in John 1:1c that is consistent with their belief in God. To do this they have had to create a grammatical classification where singular anarthrous predicate nouns serve primarily to emphasize the subject's "nature" or "essence." In this way, the doctrine of the Trinity, which maintains that the Word (who became the man Jesus) of John 1:1-3 is a "person" who shares the nature of the One God, is not in conflict with what is said in John 1:1, namely, that the Word was "with" God. Indeed, such an understanding, where the Word (the "second person of the Trinity") is said to share the nature of the one triune God, is quite in line with classical Trinitarianism. There is no other true God and this one triune God, say Trinitarians, involves three "persons" who share fully and equally in the Divine essence.

But there are more than a few problems with this attempt to read into John 1:1c a meaning consistent with the doctrine of the Trinity. One of those problems involves the use of a noun (THEOS) to predicate something of the subject (the Word). Since there is only one God, and that one God is the Trinity, how can one of the three "persons" be called "God" without identifying this one person as the one God, as the Trinity? Actually, though, this problem is rarely seen in relation to John 1:1, for Trinitarians regularly interpret hO THEOS in John 1:1b, "with" whom the Word is said to be, as "the Father," whom they understand as "God the Father, the first person of a consubstantial Triad."

But, they say, "We cannot have Jesus being 'with' God the Father and at the same time BE God the Father, for that conflicts with our preferred theology. Therefore, hO THEOS refers to the Father as the first divine person in the triune Godhead, and THEOS is used of the Word as to emphasize his divine nature as the second person of the triune Godhead."

By viewing the issue solely in reference to Jesus as being with the "Father" (though they also color this term with later theology--see below) and not with the "Trinity" (a problem that we will articulate further below), then it is easier for Trinitarians to reduce their workload to figuring out just how they can arrive at a meaning for THEOS in 1:1c that agrees with their substitution of "God the Father, the first person of a consubstantial Triad." You see, a Trinitarian has no problem with Jesus being in a "personal" relationship (i.e., "with") the "Father," but it is quite another matter come up with any understanding of THEOS in 1:1c that will allow Jesus to be "with" the Trinity.

Now let us turn to the matter involving Don Hartley, and his thesis for solving this problem.

I had written:

STAFFORD
Of course, if you ask Hartley he does not need to read my reply, for he has already made up his mind and foretold the type of reply that I would give. He wrote:

HARTLEY:
I am aware that this subsequent critique will be met with the often yet meaningless phrases, "He has completely misunderstood . . . ." or "He is totally confused . . . ." et al. But the truth of the matter is quite to the contrary.

STAFFORD:
To which Hartley replied:

HARTLEY
Now, the facade Stafford wishes to advance is the notion that he remains open minded and others who disagree with him, if they have reached conclusions opposite from his own, are somehow recalcitrant or reading later theology into the text. It is ironic how this later theology is always Trinitarian rather than Arian.

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
That is not it at all. The fact is Hartley is the one who characterized my forthcoming reply when he had not even read it! That is not an open-minded person, is it? Nowhere do I say anything implying that a disagreement with me is tantamount to reading your theology into the text. There are a number of legitimate possibilities in the realm of biblical theology, but Trinitarianism is not one of them.

It directly contradicts clear and repeated confessions of faith found in the Scriptures, and those who advocate the doctrine of the Trinity are forced to redefine a wide variety of terms to make room for the particulars of their theology. The language employed is, to a large extent, borrowed from post-biblical authors and councils, and the concepts are nowhere articulated in Scripture. These and other facts are what mark Hartley's theology as post-biblical.

Another point that Hartley seems stuck on is my relationship to Arianism. What Hartley seems unwilling to accept is that I do not hold to the tenets of Arianism (at least not as they have been preserved by Trinitarians!), and I do not use that label for my beliefs. HE is the one who brands me as such! Yet, he will proudly call himself a "Trinitarian." So why should I use Arianism to describe a theology that is read back into the text when I do not make claim to such a theology, and neither does Hartley?

Hartley continues his erroneous thinking:

HARTLEY:
So much of Stafford's response is given to this type of argumentation, albeit irrelevant to either my study or the issues at hand. My study, on the contrary, was one of induction and probabilities. Disputed passages (like John 1:1) were excluded from the tabulations and were determined by them later.

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
My remarks are in reference to the comments you do in fact make regarding John 1:1 in your thesis, on pages 66-68. Since that is the key text we are considering, and since you regularly read your theology into the text (see examples below), I am going to call you on it. Your objection to this is what is irrelevant, when in fact that is precisely what you are doing.

HARTLEY:
The probabilities that the singular count noun theos in John 1:1c is Q or I-Q is mentioned in the article. The semantic category Stafford wishes for is simply statistically improbable for singular count nouns in John's Gospel (56% Q, 17% I, 17% I-Q, and 11% D).

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
Hartley frequently misuses his statistical analysis in his thesis. And he does so again here. First of all, remember, his statistics and percentages are based on HIS understanding of the sense of the count/mass noun in question. A notable example of Hartley's attempts to bend the semantics of a term to fit his preferred classification is the proper name "Elijah" in Mark 6:15 and John 1:21, where the grammatical construction is HLIAS ESTIN/EI.

You would think that the translation would be, "It is Elijah"/"Are you Elijah?" But Hartley argues, "the Jews were expecting an Elijah-like figure to appear based upon Old Testament texts." He then refers to Malachi 4:5 which says nothing about an "Elijah-like figure," but straightforwardly states, "I am sending to you people Elijah the prophet."

Hartley has to go outside the context of both Mark 6:15 and John 1:21 to statements made by an angel (Luke 1:17) and Jesus (Matthew 11:14) and try to link these with an alleged Jewish view concerning an "Elijah-like figure." But Jesus' statement does not hint at any "likeness"; indeed, had any NT passage made such an equation of Jesus as Jehovah similar to that which Jesus makes between John the Baptist and Elijah, do you think Hartley would travel the exegetical path of "likeness" or ontological identity?

As for Jewish ideas associated with Elijah, one gets the feeling that Hartley is so intent on proving a particular (Q) sense for PN-V count nouns, even when they are proper names (!), that he would use his thesis as a basis for speculation concerning Jewish eschatology, speculation that flies in the face of the facts. Indeed, that is precisely what he does! There is no evidence that the Jews were expecting a "Elijah-like figure." (Even later Christian interpolations into Jewish literature of the first to the fourth centuries CE contains expectations concerning the literal coming of Elijah [see the fourth chapter of the Apocalypse of Elijah].) There certainly is no such thing in Sirach 48:1-12. Nor do we find any such lingering tradition in the Targums or the Mishnah.

In fact, if the use of HLIAS EI by the Jews in John 1:21 was meant to be understood in reference to an "Elijah-like figure," then how is it that John could rightly have DENIED being such, OUK EIMI? Clearly John understood the Jews' use of HLIAS to be in reference to the Elijah of old, not to one who simply had qualities like him, which John certainly did have. Thus, Jesus could say, "Elijah has already come" (Matthew 17:12).

Hartley finally concedes that the Q classification is not right for HLIAS in the aforementioned PN-V texts, but he still believes (thesis, page 61) that his reasoning shows that it is not "as far fetched as would first seem"!

Other examples where Hartley's opinion overrides good judgement include Luke 7:39, hAMARTOLOS ESTIN, which Hartley says is "qualitative and not indefinite." Since I discuss the short-comings in his reasoning on this passage in my second edition, I will defer to my discussion there rather than repeat myself here. I also discuss John 6:63, John 8:48 and his claim that the count noun NYMPHIOS is definite in John 3:29 and his discussion of Acts 10:36, Mark 11:32 and other passages, in relation to Hartley's thesis.

Hartley also claimed:

HARTLEY:
The distinction Stafford makes in "lexical tagging" and "semantic signaling" (to avoid the implications of both the semantics of mass nouns and the transferal to singular count nouns [John 1:1, 14]) is his way of denying the semantic category of Q-d (Q).

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
Hartley is in error when he says that this is my way of "denying the semantic category of Q-d (Q)." In his M.A. thesis ("Criteria for Determining Qualitative Nouns With a Special View to Understanding the Colwell Construction" [Dallas, 1996], pages 42-45) Hartley lists "Six Theoretical Categories" for predicate nominatives. He describes Q-D nouns as emphasizing "qualities, nature or essence." But because this category can only include, according to Hartley, mass nouns and plural count nouns (which cannot be indefinitized) then they must be considered Q-D as opposed to Q, which involves only singular count nouns because they can be indefinitized.

But here we must make an important qualification to the above: When Hartley says that such nouns (mass and plural count) cannot be indefinitized, or that singular count nouns can be indefinitized, he means that their lexical FORM can or cannot be so changed. In other words, we will never find the English term "love" in the plural (= "loves"), assuming we are talking about "love" in the abstract sense. But we can change the lexical form of an English count noun so that it is properly used in the plural, "I saw a tiger"; "there are tigers at the zoo." Hartley's methodology is inadequate for it does not take into account the fact that a term is not bound by its form to a particular classification.

That is Hartley's contention. One lexical form may be used as a mass noun in one instance, and as a count noun in another. Hartley, though, must create rigid lexical categories and then attach a preferred sense to them, so that he can, ultimately, maintain a certain belief about God and the Word in John 1:1. Of course, Hartley no doubt has other admirable motivations for his research, but I contend that in this case they are built on the foundation of his theology, and, as can be seen by a consideration of his thesis, it forces him to make highly unusual claims about various passages involved in the PN-V construction. (Some of these we have considered above.) By rigidly holding to a subjective view concerning the the lexical form of a term, and proceeding to attach a sense to the lexical form that best fits his view, Hartley frequently misses the true semantic of a number of PNs.

My own theory, which is just as reasonable if not more so (see below) than Hartley's, is that one can look at lexical forms to a certain extent in classifying nouns as count or mass, but USAGE must be the final criterion for the proper categorization of the noun. However, I don't think Hartley understands my point, for he seems to think that I am trying to do away with a Q classification for count nouns; that is not so.

Hartley states:

HARTLEY:
In other words that John 1:14 indubitably points to the idea that Jesus is a human being is an inference based on the passage. But the passage does not state it in those terms. It simply states Jesus became "flesh" or "human." The fact that the noun is mass, the construction is Colwell's, and that it is discourse related chiastically to John 1:1c, all converge to indicate a purely qualitative semantic to both nouns "God" and "flesh"). To state Jesus is "a man" because "flesh" signals this direction is a fair deduction in the long run-but that is an extralingual inference.

The only reason we know Jesus was "a man" from "flesh" is simply because we know of an existing group having that characteristic. We know there are other men or humans. Thus if Jesus is human, he must necessarily be a human. But Stafford goes further and insists that the noun is to be regarded as I-Q (Q-I) because of this semantic signaling. This kind of maneuver runs into problems and cannot be worked out practically with all mass nouns. For example, "God is love" would signal "God is a love." This is absurd. But it is not simply the fact that this procedure cannot be applied universally to all mass nouns so much as it is a methodologically flawed adventure.

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
The problem with Hartley's response is that he assumes that the semantic signaling of lexemes, in this case mass nouns, must be consistently employed regardless of reference, when in fact reference (usage) is the key in determining the proper means of classification; the reference, and the rest of the context, helps reveal the semantic signaled by the particular use of a particular lexical form. What Hartley does is assume a certain classification for terms and then he seeks to attach a SENSE to that term, creating a variety of categories and sub-categories in the process. But in doing so he, many times, simply ignores the fact that the context is what tells us what kind of lexeme we have; it does not simply tells us the sense of the particular lexeme.

It does do that, of course, but in so doing it tells us what type of noun we have. By looking only at the form of the word and assuming certain lexical categorizations BEFORE his analysis begins, and by not looking at the concept signaled by the term in its context and using that to determine its proper lexical tagging (which would also convey its semantic), Hartley is forced to conclude regarding my comments on John 1:14, "But the passage does not state it in those terms." In fact, that is precisely what is tells us, when you consider the reference.

Consider the use of "flesh" (SARX) in Galatians 5:19. Here the noun is clearly used a mass term that relates to the sin at work in mankind. It is not literally referring to our composition, but the corrupting influence at work inside each one of us, due to our fallen nature. Here it cannot be interpreted in the plural, and its reference is not to any one person, but to all humans in general. But an entirely different semantic is signaled in John 1:14! The Word is the subject and he is said to have become "flesh." What other semantic could possibly be signaled that does not at the same time convey the idea that he became "a human being"?

Since humans are not the only creature composed of flesh we could use "human" in 1:14, but "flesh" itself is not restricted to "humanity," and so the signal (SARX) coupled with the REFERENCE (hO LOGOS) is what tells us that we are talking about a human being. Thus, USAGE warrants that SARX in John 1:14 be classified as Q-I, which I view as a count noun with a primarily qualitative emphasis. That is to say, the term is used to emphasize the type of being Jesus has become, in contrast to the type of being he was. For Hartley or anyone else to restrict the matter to lexemic factors is circular for how does he conclude in the first place that a particular lexeme is mass or count, if not by usage?

Notice the trouble Hartley has with his next example:

HARTLEY:
Applying this procedure to other mass nouns illustrates its absurdity. "The stone became bread" does not mean "The stone became a bread." Neither would it be correct to infer that if several stones became bread that therefore one cannot have bread but breads.

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
This is strange, for Hartley previously identified my "procedure" as that which is based on the semantic signal of a word, and yet in the above example he uses a word that signals itself, i.e., the reference does not require that we take "bread" as meaning anything but "bread." There is no other image that need come to mind, but will Hartley hold that SARX in John 1:14 can legitimately be taken to signal flesh and flesh alone, that is, without form or figure?

Additionally, you will notice that Hartley is comparing apples to oranges. (Actually, the comparison is not even that close!) John 1:14 uses a mass term in reference to a PERSON, while Hartley's example has the mass term used in reference to impersonal STONES. What is more, Hartley fails to notice that while "a bread" and "breads" might sound strange, "a loaf of bread" and "loaves of bread" are perfectly acceptable inferences!

Indeed, Matthew's account uses the plural ARTOI and Luke's account uses the singular ARTOS. So Hartley's classification of ARTOS/ARTOI as Q-D (thesis, page 53-54) is not safe at all. In fact, it is short-sighted. The Greeks had no trouble using "breads," to use Hartley's terminology, but this is due to the particular semantic signaled by the lexeme. Had Hartley simply read the NWT translation of these passages he might have been better prepared to address the issue of semantic signaling.

But Hartley does not seem to understand what is involved in taking a particular word as signaling one semantic when used with a certain referent, and another semantic when used for a different referent. He argues:

HARTLEY:
"The man became silver" does not mean "The man became a silver." Nor would it be correct to infer that if several men became silver that therefore we are left with silvers. "The chair is furniture" does not mean "The chair is a furniture." It would be a silly notion to infer from a room full of chairs, tables and foot stools that we have a room full of furniture or that each one demands an indefinite article-a furniture." The liquid is coffee" does not mean "The liquid is a coffee."

Nor would it be sound at a dinner party with a room full of different blends or brands of coffee for the guests to refer to the room as "a room full of coffees" but simply as the coffee room or the room with all sorts of coffee. The latter idea is an example of limiting a mass noun by an ammassive. "The house is concrete" does not mean "The house is a concrete." Nor would several homes made of concrete demand that we understand the homes are concretes. By concrete we mean "made of concrete." No amount of "semantic signaling" changes the fact of the semantic notion of mass nouns.

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
No one here is "demanding" that an indefinite article be used. That is Hartley once again missing the point and adding his own words to my side of the argument. Still, it is not difficult to imagine a grammatical context where the above terms have a count sense:

"The man became silver" could easily signal, "The man became a piece/statue/block/etc. of silver."
"The chair is furniture" could easily signal, "The chair is a piece of furniture." The chair is an instance of what we call "furniture." It has the qualities/nature of furniture, but because there are other instances of furniture it is and MUST BE considered "a" piece of furniture.
If the meaning of the above examples, per the reference/context, reveals a count use of the terms, then the nouns are count nouns, not mass!

What I find interesting is that Hartley tries to make light of the semantic I attach to the term "flesh" in John 1:14 by using the above examples (as in "coffees," "concretes," etc.) in a plural form. But I am not suggesting that "fleshes" (!) is acceptable in view of the semantic it signals.

What I am saying is that the Bible makes clear use of "flesh" in reference to individual humans, and collections of humans. Consider the use of SARX in the LXX of Genesis 6:13, or its use in Romans 3:20. Will anyone question that these are references, not to the "stuff" called "flesh," but to human beings? But when we consider Paul's use of SARX in 1 Corinthians 15:39 or the use of SARX in Revelation 19:18, then it becomes clear that we are in fact dealing with the "stuff," not with people.

But even in 1 Corinthians we can see a count sense for flesh in that we have different "types" of flesh: 1) bird flesh, 2) human flesh, 3) fish flesh, etc. We find the plural form of SARX in Revelation 19, again showing different types of flesh, though it also makes a distinction between the flesh of different ranks of humans.

In his thesis (pages 1-3) Hartley states that his methodology involves both descriptive and structural linguistics. But what does one do when a conflict arises between the two? If the usage of the term conveys a semantic that is not discernable by the grammar of the text due to the idiomatic semantic associated with the term/expression by the author/reader of the source, then what does Hartley intend to do? He wrote:

HARTLEY:
A key to the whole thesis is the understanding of the semantics of mass nouns-and I hate to repeat myself but here it is again-is that mass nouns cannot be indefinitized nor semantically pluralized. Thus the noun is always qualitative (Q) without the possibility of indefiniteness being included at all-thus labeled Q-d. And yes the result of this does cast considerable doubt if not completely dismantles the argument put forth in Stafford's book.
STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
Not only does the above NOT 'dismantle' anything in my book, but, again, Hartley is simply refusing to accept the semantics of the term so he can continue to claim that mass nouns cannot be "indefinitized nor semantically pluralized."

Hartley also argued:

HARTLEY:
To state Jesus is "a man" because "flesh" signals this direction is a fair deduction in the long run-but that is an extralingual inference. The only reason we know Jesus was "a man" from "flesh" is simply because we know of an existing group having that characteristic. We know there are other men or humans. Thus if Jesus is human, he must necessarily be a human. But Stafford goes further and insists that the noun is to be regarded as I-Q (Q-I) because of this semantic signaling. This kind of maneuver runs into problems and cannot be worked out practically with all mass nouns. For example, "God is love" would signal "God is a love." This is absurd.

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
Of course, Hartley's comparison of what an ABSTRACT mass noun might semantically signal and what a term like SARX might signal is absurd! What Hartley is here doing is ignoring the meaning of the term so he does not have to deal with it. Notice he refers to my point as a "fair deduction in the long run-but that is an extralingual inference"! Well just how long/far away from the term do we have to go to get the sense of it? Nowhere! It is a natural semantic bound up in the term itself, conveying a qualitative-indefinite sense in reference to a definite and personalistic subject (the Word) that is semantically singular. This semantic is REVEALED by the context.

Hartley also claims:

HARTLEY:
Furthermore, referring to the category of Q as I-Q (Q-I) is to completely ignore the differences between these two semantic ideas and thus to miss what the author had in mind. Certainly there is a difference between saying "John is human" (Q) and "John is a man" (I-Q or I). Qualities alone are emphasized (Q), qualities as well as individual within the group (Q-I) or simply an individual among a group with qualities in the background (I). It is an illegitimate totality transfer of the oddest sort to jump to the first sense (Q-d) through semantic signaling a Q-I (I-Q) category.

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
How is it so great a jump to take the semantic conveyed by a term, as revealed by the context, and convey that semantic in translation? If that is what the term MEANS, then it is inherently bound up with an indefinite sense in this particular instance. To deny it this sense is indeed odd. I do not share your hardened view of six categories.

Even if we were to say that the sense of "human" is in view the fact that it has reference to a semantically singular, personalistic subject who is but one of many instances of humanity necessarily involves a sense of indefinitness per the grammatical (semantically singular, personalistic subject) and idiomatic (concepts bound up with the historical and current use of the term SARX) context. There is no need to "jump" at all; you just have to let all the facts in, and refrain from a selective use of them.

Hartley has also grossly misunderstood my remarks about reading his theology into the text, as if I meant this in reference his entire study! He laments:

HARTLEY:
I am accused of reading my "view" into the text-an oft repeated theme of his. If anything should be clear from my article, it would be the opposite. No one with my theological convictions would deliberately construct a study where the generic whole of the NT regarding singular count nouns is I-Q-a fact still misrepresented by Stafford. This fact alone indicates that the statistics were compiled quite independent of theology.

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
I believe there are many instances where your particular theology has affected your classification of certain nouns, but there is indeed a legitimate use of theology, and my comments were solely meant in reference to those classifications you make that influence your judgment and which directly relate to your belief in the Trinity, which is a post-biblical concept. Yet you take what I say as applying to every single classification you make! How is it that you so badly misconstrue what I have said on this matter? It seems that a highly defensive mindset can be the only cause for such thinking.

HARTLEY also stated:
A key to the whole thesis is the understanding of the semantics of mass nouns-and I hate to repeat myself but here it is again-is that mass nouns cannot be udefinitized nor semantically pluralized. Thus the noun is always qualitative (Q) without the possibility of indefiniteness being included at all-thus labeled Q-d.

And yes the result of this does cast considerable doubt if not completely dismantles the argument put forth in Stafford's book. Now this alone indicates Stafford's real problem. He does not want to admit of such a semantic category beyond stating that it is "possible."

STAFFORD:
The above comments prove that Hartley does not understand my arguments. He seems to take my objection to distancing SARX in John 1:14 from any type of indefinite sense as a claim that one should not accept ANY mass noun as purely Q! Further confirmation that Hartley has taken this erroneous view of my position comes from his previous attempt to make light of my claim by appealing to the abstract term AGAPE in 1 John 4:8. The fact that Hartley makes such great leaps of linguistic logic does not inspire confidence in his critical abilities with exegetically difficult passages. But, all that aside, he further claims:

HARTLEY:
But we have proved it is not just possible but actual. When confronted with this piece of evidence, as stated above, he denies it and tries to wrench out of a mass noun (John 1:14 SARX) an indefinite sense. Thus given the chance to acknowledge its actuality, he denies it. Now that is quite convenient, when one wants to protect a theology, but also quite misleading when evidence is produced giving actuality to his possibility and he then denies both it and its implications.

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
I deny no such thing in reference to a great many mass nouns, but I DO deny that one cannot get an indefinite sense from the use of SARX in John 1:14. Your denial of this rather obvious sense (as previously discussed) shows that you are bent on wrenching away any sense for a noun that clashes with your classification. Even if I ignore the obvious indefinite sense inherent in the use of SARX in 1:14 (and, of course, I do not), there is nothing in it that negatively affects my view of John 1:1, so why would my objection have anything to do with a theological motivation?

Regarding my use of Harner, Hartley argues:

HARTLEY:
Stafford claims to provide a refutation of my claim that Stafford gets Q = I-Q from an abuse of Harner's work. It would not be an abuse if he simply recognized the semantic category, but he goes much further than that. But the reader needs to keep in mind Stafford's real fear-the semantic nuance of mass nouns applied to count nouns. He invariably ties indefiniteness to qualitativeness in his headlong desire to deny the category of qualitativeness alone as existing.

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
What Hartley apparently has not gathered from my replies is that my objection involves his non-sensical rejection of the context in determine the proper lexemic tagging for a particular term. In other words, in John 4:24 we have PNEUMA used first as a count noun in reference to God and then we have it used as a mass term in reference to the manner in which those worshiping Him should pray. It is not a matter of taken PNEUMA as a count term in BOTH instances, and then further categorizing it as Q, Q-I, etc., but of recognizing the proper lexemic tagging of the term per the context.

So, you see, I have no problem recognizing PNEUMA or THEOS as being mass terms in certain contexts, and so it should be obvious to Hartley (though it apparently is not) that I have no problem recognizing a Q sense for either term. I simply do not share his approach to the issue. In effect, Hartley wants to view THEOS in John 1:1c as a count term with the sense of a mass term. He should instead simply argue that the term is a mass term in this instance, though he would then run into the very problem he alleged exists for me, namely, the use of THEOS in 1:1b and 1:18, which clearly are not mass uses. But none of this solves the real problems that exist for Hartley, which I am not sure he even recognizes.

Other examples of terms being used as count or mass in different contexts, include:

"Fire" is not a count noun in Matthew 3:11, 12, but it is a count noun at Matthew 25:41.

"Wine" is not a count noun in John 2:9, but it is a count noun for both its uses in John 2:10.

"Night" does not appear to be a count noun in John 13:30 "It was night." He does not mean "a (certain) night" in contradistinction to some other night, but "night" in the sense of the time of day it was: 'It was nighttime.' But if we had had a sentence in the NT so that we might read 'It was a night like no other,' then were that a count noun use of "night." And we may argue that it is a count noun at John 9:4 where we may translate Jesus' words as "The night is coming . . . " or as "A night is coming . . . " Either way, we have a count noun use of "night" in John 9:4.

Let's take a look at a few more comments from Hartley on this issues, before ending this reply:

STAFFORD-2:
There is not one example of count nouns in your chart that could not be taken in an indefinite sense, and so your "proof" is no proof at all, but merely your contention based on a rejection of the context, which is indeed, as will be illustrated in Appendix D to my second edition, and in my Chapter Two, necessary for the proper tagging of such nouns in the precopulative and other positions. In your study you are forced to exclude those factors that undermine your preferred view, and this is where your contention comes full circle, not proving anything in relation to the count nouns having a purely Q semantic tag. You simply deny this, and are left with your contentions.

HARTLEY-2:
Notice what he says. "There is not one example of count nouns in your chart that could not be taken in an indefinite sense" (emphasis added). Now why does Stafford think I would disagree here? That is how one arrives at the lexical identification of what a count noun is. Can it be indefinitized? Can it be semantically pluralized? If the answer to both questions is in the affirmative then it is a count noun! Thus to state that nouns found to exhibit the semantic feature of quality could be taken in an indefinite sense is quite beside the point.

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
If the term is used in a purely Q sense, then it CANNOT be pluralized in this context! Can we pluralize PNEUMA in its second use in John 4:24? Of course not. But we can in its first use (though not in reference to a singular subject, of course), for here it is count whereas the latter use is mass.

The problem your understanding of this issue has, in relation to John 1:1, is that the Word is "with" God and so an indefinite sense is automatic, since he is not the God with whom he exists. (Note: there is no mention of the Word being "with a "person," but "with God.") Furthermore, the use of MONOGENHS THEOS in John 1:18 creates huge problems for your view, and that is why Trinitarians so regularly mistranslate this verse to fit with their theology. Unless, of course, you can show me another example in the NT where an adjective immediately precedes a noun of the same gender, number and case, and is NOT taken as an adjectival modifier for that noun. What do your statistics tell you on this issue?

HARTLEY:
Now he states that I reject context in regard to singular count nouns. Once again he either hasn't carefully read my material, or he is deliberately misconstruing my methodology. Context indeed comes into play, as I have repeatedly stated, when the issue is determining the semantic predilection of singular count nouns. I don't reject context here. Stafford is confused between lexical identification, which is established apart from context, and determining the semantic nuance of a singular count noun which requires the consulting of context. What makes a mass noun a mass noun is simply its inability to do either (can't be pluralized or indefinitized). One wonders why he both fails to understand this very simple concept, and why he outright rejects it.

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
Again, the problem is your apparent inability to recognize the objection, even after reflecting on the matter some six months. I am objecting to your rejection of the context in relation to lexical identification! I also believe you mishandle the context in determining the proper sense of a variety of terms, as I have already discussed and which I will further address in my book. You also reject the context, in my opinion and as demonstrated above, in a number of instances in trying to discern the semantic of a particular PN.

HARTLEY:
As to the rest of his statement he says, "In your study you are forced to exclude those factors that undermine your preferred view, and this is where your contention comes full circle, not proving anything in relation to the count nouns having a purely Q semantic tag" I confess I have only a vague idea of what he could be talking about.

What are the factors that I exclude? Is Stafford still referring to his misguided procedure to identify the lexical category of nouns by context? How am I forced to exclude anything? Isn't it Stafford who is forced to exclude the obvious and make inventions at every turn? How does the way I classify nouns into either mass or count somehow defer to my "preferred" view as Stafford seems to maintain? All of his comments come across as pure nonsense.

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
Again, as I explained, you are forced to accept THEOS in 1:1c as a count noun but you are similarly forced, per your theology, to give it a mass sense! In the process you assume the validity of a truly misguided theory regarding the lexical classification of nouns, which, even if accepted, would not help your cause in John 1:1, anyway.

HARTLEY:
Now if I were omitting things or going about methodologically in a way predetermined and dictated by my "preferred" view, then one would think that Stafford could prove it. Yet my method, as one can clearly follow in my article, proceeded from the bottom-up (grammar to semantics) rather than from the top-down (theology to grammar). In my view Stafford consistently opposes grammatical studies that challenge his Arian beliefs and rather reads into grammar his own Watchtower theology. It seems quite apparent that it is he who has a "preferred" view that gets in the way of seeing the obvious.

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
Not at all. Again, of course you would think this way. But the difficulty you have had following the discussion so far does not lend much credibility for your powers of observation. Your thesis is, ultimately, an attempt to legitimize a preferred view of John 1:1. You are trying to account for being forced to conclude that THEOS is a count term in John 1:1c by forcing a mass sense into its semantic, per an unjustified conclusion regarding its use in an anarthrous preverbal position.
STAFFORD quoting HARTLEY:


"Now just a quick point on what makes up a clearly qualitative count noun. As I illustrated above it is perfectly viable to understand a count noun as purely qualitative, i.e., to exhibit the same semantic nuance of a mass noun. For example, one can say, "God is a Spirit" (I, I-Q [Q-I]) or "God is Spirit" (Q) among several other options where the nominal "Spirit" is a singular count noun (John 4:24). I would consider this text a clear instance of the Q nuance."
STAFFORD-2:
Yes, of course YOU would consider it as such, but there is nothing restricting it to a purely Q nuance, and no one can rightly deny the indefinite nuance. So this, again, is no PROOF at all. What is more, you have to use an example that does not even fall into the category of your study, namely, where the noun is used with EIMI verbs. Finally, you again use contextual factors in your tagging of "spirit" in this verse, though you say that such is not necessary for the proper tagging!

HARTLEY-2
The disconnect between what I have said and Stafford's response is amazing. Who can rightly argue with my wording on this subject? Why is it not a perfectly viable option for a singular count noun to exhibit the semantics of a mass noun? Stafford denies the possibility! I would like him to explain how this passage could exhibit his Q-I category without positing other beings having omnipresence.

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
Try as you might, there is nothing in my above comments that could in any way be taken as a DENIAL of the possibility that Hartley mentions. But I have repeatedly pointed out to him that his conjecture is just that, a conjecture. He has no evidence PROVING his position, and there is NOTHING to convincingly argue against an indefinite nuance. How does Hartley respond? In typical DTS fashion: by ignoring my salient point and taking you, the reader, down the road of "disconnect." Not only that, he assumes omnipresence as part of the semantics of the term! Again, his theology is the overriding factor in his analysis of many of the examples under consideration.

HARTLEY:
Now I appealed to John 4:24 which, as I stated in my earlier response, is an example of an implied Colwell construction. The semantics are the same when the copulative is either implied or explicit although in most instances it is difficult to determine whether the copulative verb would be pre or post-PN. In this instance it wouldn't matter but I proposed that it is probably an example where the verb is to be supplied in-between the predicate nominitive PNEUMA and subject O THEOS. Having noted this, do I need to be reminded by Stafford that the example "does not even fall into the category of your study . . . where the noun is used with EIMI verbs?" a fact that I myself mentioned in the response?

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
At this point I cannot be too careful in reminding you of the issues, but need I remind you that YOU are not the only one to whom I am talking? Since these messages are being posted on various discussion boards and web sites I have an eye toward others reading our exchange. So, please, refrain from wasting more time and space by telling us what you think you do and do not need to be reminded of, and simply deal with the issues, such as those which you failed to address on the previous point.

HARTLEY:
Having stated that, what militates against its employment as a clear instance of a singular count PN used in a purely qualitative sense in an implied EIMI construction? Stafford's desire to avoid the implications is patently obvious.

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
My intention has nothing to do with denying the implications you assume are present. (The reader will note that I addressed this example earlier in my surrejoinder.) Rather, I am in this instance holding you to the constraints of your thesis. My concern is more in the realm of, "Why is Hartley going outside the circle?" than, "Is the example valid?" In fact, my observations are not restricted at all to the Colwell construction.

And I submit that YOU are forced to view any and all instances of THEOS for any of the three persons of the Trinity, in ANY construction, as purely qualitative, otherwise you destroy the very doctrine which you seek to protect. But from what I have read thus far, I don't think you see or understand the significance of this point. It sure took Bowman a while, and I still do not believe he fully realizes the problem. It is even less likely, based on what you have written thus far, that you fully understand it. This is not an attack, but an observation based on your replies to date.

HARTLEY:
Now, as I mentioned, this verse and other a-copulative occurrences were not in my study because I decided to work with explicit rather than implicit EIMI verbs (as well as other implied copulative verbs). The reason why I chose this example is because it is a clear instance (not yet dealt with) of this type of construction where the class to which Stafford insists is always there, is impossible to posit! And, it is a singular count noun. Thus it is a clear instance of a singular count noun exhibiting the qualities of a mass noun.

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
Fine. So are you saying that you have no such "clear" examples that fit within the specific construct examined in your thesis? Also, again, my point is that the noun in the second instance is NOT a count noun, but is a mass noun. You keep saying it is a count noun but that it has the semantics of a mass noun! We are approaching the matter differently, and I do not accept your thesis; one need not consider the term to be count if the context shows that it is mass. You want the count classification with the mass semantic so you can work a little exegetical magic with John 1:1, but it would not work anyway, and your attempt is not convincing.

HARTLEY:
What Stafford next says is almost beyond belief. He says, "Finally, you again use contextual factors in your tagging of "spirit" in this verse, though you say that such is not necessary for the proper tagging!" This statement borders on the pathetic. But once again Stafford has failed to understand my method of lexical tagging verses determining the semantic nuance of singular count nouns through contextual means.

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
Hartley, your act is getting tired, fast. Yes, I know you do not INTEND to use contextual factors to tag the term LEXICALLY, but your use of the contextual factors to tag it SEMANITCALLY involves the same thing! You deny this, but, again, as I have asked you for demonstrable PROOF and you have yet to provide it, I am not going to accept what you say as a rule to follow. You are using the context to determine the proper tagging of the noun which allows you to effectively override the count noun classification, and pour into it a mass sense. So you are simply hiding the mass sense so necessary to your theology in the shell of a count term, which you also need, and I am denying you that opportunity and calling it for what it is.

If you followed the issues more carefully and did not allow a six-month delay to interfere with the flow of the debate, you might have better understood what I wrote, in the context of my overall objection. But you cut and paste here and there, and that leads you deeper and deeper into error, not having any sense of the main issue(s) at hand.

HARTLEY:
To make it clear, I did not "tag" the noun as count based on contextual features. I tagged it as count because PNEUMA can be semantically pluralized and indefinitized (spirits, a spirit).

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
And my point is that it cannot be so pluralized or indefinitized in this context, and thus it is NOT a count noun at all, but a mass noun. You see the mass nuance but refuse to label it according to its sense, for you are operating under the assumption that its use as a count noun elsewhere somehow tags it as a count noun lexically, but still have the semantics of a mass noun. Again, it has the semantics of a mass noun because it IS a mass noun in this instance relating to the manner in which we should worship the Father. The first use of PNEUMA in John 4:24 is clearly count, in spite of your attempt to read omnipresence into the semantics of the term.

HARTLEY:
It is singular, thus it is a singular count noun. The question then is how it is to be understood from context (or statistical predilection). Here, the context is clear that the noun is to be understood as Q (= Q-d), thus it becomes a basis (if it were to be done) for other less clear singular count nouns in John's Gospel. Now let the reader understand (even if Stafford does not) my method of "tagging" and my use of "context" and be warned how Stafford misunderstands at best and perverts at worst my procedures.

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
I think it is rather clear who does not understand whom in this discussion. Much of the problem you are having with this issue stems from your refusal to recognize an approach different from your own to these terms and lexically tag them according to their usage. But, again, you do indeed use the context for such tagging, though you hide it under the mask of semantics, and so you are able to get away with the lexical tag you want, as well as the desired semantic. The intended implications for John 1:1 are obvious, though I still do not think you fully grasp the implications of what you are trying to prove, which ultimately, when properly understood, undermines your preferred view.

STAFFORD quoting HARTLEY:


"God is not simply a Spirit relegated to spatial confines or a member of a class of other spirits. God is Spirit in the sense of omnipresence, an attribute essential to the statement and exclusively bound to His essence. No other being shares this feature therefore no other beings can be inferred to which class He would be a member."
STAFFORD-2:
Not only do you import your view of God as "omnipresent" but you apparently fail to notice that the context identifies this God as the "Father." (Verses 21, 23) So, will you substitute "the Father" in place of "God" and the pronouns "His" and "He" in your above comments?

HARTLEY-2
Three issues are presented here. First where is omnipresence derived from the context? Second, how is one to understand "God"? Lastly, is the pronoun "He" restricted to PATROS and not THEOS or is this an unwarranted disjunction?

The first issue is solved when context is consulted. The woman relegates the worship of the Father to a location based on whether one is a Samaritan (this mountain) or a Jew (Jerusalem, 4:20). After denying that the Samaritans worship the true God (4:22) he informs her that the Jews do worship the true God. But does Jesus point her to Jerusalem as the place of worship?

No. Instead he points her rather to a state or a sphere in which worships takes place, namely, "in the spirit" or simply "in spirit" (4:23). But how can this be done irrespective to physical place? It is because "God is Spirit" and not confined to physical localities whether it be Mount Gerizim or Jerusalem. God is everywhere personally present throughout all time and space (omnipresent). We worship "in spirit" but God is "Spirit." Context demands that omnipresence be taken as one necessary connotation to the predicate PNEUMA. This is plain.

STAFFORD-RESPONSE
Hartley's abuse and misunderstanding of the context is again very obvious. He sets up the context as one where two places of worship are in view. He then points out that Jesus refers to a "state or a sphere in which worships [sic] takes place, namely, 'in the spirit' or simply 'in spirit' (4:23)." What Hartley clearly does not discern is that Jesus' reference to the "sphere" in which a person would worship the Father had to do with where THE PEOPLE would worship God. In effect, Jesus is saying, "You do not need to worship here or there, but from wherever you are that is where God may be approached." The issue is the location from which THE PEOPLE worship God; it has nothing to do with the idea that God is omnipresent.

God does not dwell on Mount Gerizim or in Jerusalem, but in the "heavens," from which place he "examines the righteous one as well as the wicked." (Ps 11:5) He 'looks down from heaven' for that is His place of dwelling. (Ps 14:2; 18:6; 26:8; 33:13-15; 53:2; 113:5-6; Job 16:19; Matt 23:22; 1Co 5:3) God is a spirit; He is not a man. As a spirit He naturally is also spirit in terms of His mode of being. But He is most certainly contained in a form (cf. Php. 2:6), which is why the resurrected Christ entered "into heaven itself, now to appear before the person of God for us." (Heb 9:24) He went to heaven to present himself, for that is where God truly dwells; he could not make the presentation from just anywhere. Christ is now seated at the right hand of God, and he is not on the earth in any sense other than that he can, from heaven, observe what takes place.---Heb 8:1-4.

HARTLEY:
Now, are there other "spirits" to which omnipresence applies? If not, then there are no other beings that belong to the category of "Spirit" as used here.

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
From false premises will come false conclusions. Again, there is nothing to establish or even suggest omnipresence in the context of John 4:24, and God is a spirit, as are His angels. (Ps 104:4) So there are many members of the category "spirit," of whom God is the Most High. Hartley's problem here is not only a defective understanding of the context of John 4:24 (which, really, is rather simple), but a defective knowledge of OT angelology, and theology, of course. But he proceeds to a definite conclusion based on an extremely weak basis. This should give caution to those considering accepting his conclusions on other, more technical and subjective issues.
HARTLEY:
Thus this is a clear instance where not only a singular count noun is used in a qualitative fashion, but also to which no other beings can be implied without stating they are too God.

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
Assumptions, assumptions, assumptions.... Notice the dogmatic language used in the above statement, and yet Hartley has not a leg to stand on for any of his claims. He simply makes several wild assertions, assuming that he has already proven them! I will no longer highlight these pathetic attempts at logical argumentation, assuming that even the newest student of critical analysis can see them for what they are.

HARTLEY:
This alone refutes Stafford's claim that qualitativeness always implies other members or an indefinite sense to the PN because other members can be inferred.

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
Oh, the logic of Don Hartley! Frankly, this is getting ridiculous... Where do I claim that "qualitativeness always implies other members or an indefinite sense to the PN because other members can be inferred"? I specifically DENY this very thing in relation to second use of PNEUMA in John 4:24. But this is not a count use of PNEUMA; it is here used as a mass noun. When PNEUMA is, per the context, used as a count noun, then, obviously, per such tagging, it has an indefinite sense!

HARTLEY:
The second issue is whether to restrict THEOS to the Father only. Let me point out first of all that the statement does not read, "God the Father is Spirit" or "The Father is Spirit" but rather "God is Spirit." Further, it should be noted that the text does not specify "this God as the Father" as much as it identifies the referent of God as "Spirit." It would have been quite simple for John, who used PATROS a number of times already (4:21, 23), to simply state what Stafford insists it should. But in making these points, I am certain that "God" here is used to refer to the Father, thus "God the Father is Spirit" is no doubt demanded by the context.

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
Notice how careful Hartley is here, though he ends up saying exactly the same thing I did: "God" is used in reference to the Father, per the context. But why was Hartley so suspiciously careful in his setting up this admission? Here is why:

HARTLEY:
However, this still would not militate against its semantic predilection or rule out other personal members of PNEUMA. Thus if God the Father is PNEUMA in the sense (Q) I have argued, other personal members who share the attribute of omnipresence can certainly be inferred without insisting on a category of beings "spirits."

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
And there we have it! Recall that Hartley had earlier claimed: "This alone refutes Stafford's claim that qualitativeness always implies other members or an indefinite sense to the PN because other members can be inferred." But he himself is FORCED to argue that other "PERSONAL members" can be, and, in fact, are inferred in PNEUMA! But he will not call these additional members individual beings, for that would run counter to Trinitarian dogma. His theology is the overriding factor in his analysis.

Again, Hartley will condemn me for arguing for an indefinite sense for PNEUMA, even though I do not argue for such a sense in the second instance in John 4:24, though he does argue for it in the first instance! *I* am the one who says, "No, PNEUMA in the second instance is a mass noun, and therefore cannot admit of other members, and in the first instance it is clearly a reference to the Father, and is used in a count sense in distinction to other spirit beings."

Hartley is the one who says, "PNEUMA in both instance one and two is a count noun with a mass semantic that does not allow other beings but can allow [at least in instance one] other PERSONS." Hartley's motivation is obvious, and his weak attempt to read omnipresence into the text should clue every alert reader into what he is trying to do. For, to quote him, "no other beings can be implied [in PNEUMA; but other "persons" can!] without stating they are too God."

HARTLEY:
Furthermore, the stress of my point in the previous response was on PNEUMA not THEOS. So Stafford's insistence about the reference to THEOS as the Father is a red herring.

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
Not at all. I do believe you have missed the point of my reference to the Father. See below.

HARTLEY:
It speaks nothing to the point that the PN is PNEUMA and is a singular count noun used in a purely qualitative sense without reference to other beings in the same class. However, other members of a personal sort can indeed be inferred. Thus God the Father is Spirit, the Son is Spirit and the Holy Spirit is Spirit. These three are Spirit. The fact that the Father is define as Spirit no more rules out the the Son and Holy Spirit as does saying the Word is God rules out the Father as God.

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
First, you assume that the PN is purely Q. You simply assume what you want for obvious reasons, importing an unbiblical and contextually unfounded concept of omnipresence to give strength to your assumption. But that only serves to underscore the weakness of your position, as we have already discussed. Second, where are we told: "God the Father is Spirit, the Son is Spirit and the Holy Spirit is Spirit. These three are Spirit"?

Again, Hartley cannot break free from using his theology as a control for his exegesis. The Father is called "a spirit," for there is no sense in which He can rightly be termed "spirit," unless it is in reference to His composition, which would only serve to make Him "a spirit" in distinction to other "spirits," just as Jesus being composed of "flesh" (John 1:14) makes him "a man" in distinction to other "men"!

You could take "spirit" as a mass noun similar to "flesh" in John 1:14, but that would only serve to highlight composition, and in the process mark them as instances of the category to which they belong! Instead you are forced to import the notion of omnipresence into the semantics of "spirit" so that you can remove God from the category of beings who are rightly viewed as "spirit." Thus, you are locked into a pattern of thinking that is chained to the tenets of post-biblical thoughts and conceptions.

HARTLEY:
The desire of Stafford to replace "God" with "Father" only is a converse of Colwell's rule applied to the subject! Since the "Father is the God" referred to here, then "God is the Father only." But if the text refers to the Father, the appropriate sense would be to translate the verse as, "God the Father" rather than simply "the Father." If he admits that the reference is to the Father, why omit the fact that it is God the Father?

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
And here we have further proof that you do not understand my point at all. I do not seek to "omit" any such thing! I am simply calling your attention to the fact that YOU do not accept that God is the Father! You believe there is only one God and that that God is triune. You believe the Father is the FIRST PERSON of the triune God. Therefore, you can only rightly predicate "God" of the Father in the sense of, "the first person of the consubstantial Triad." But that is not what Jesus does! You assume this and so you assume your belief rather than proving it.

My whole point relates to the fact that "God" is here used in reference to the Father, not the Trinity! But you believe there is only one God and that that God is triune, so the only conclusion you can reach is that the Father is triune, UNLESS you are using/importing a sense for "God" here that you do not use in reference to God as the Trinity, which is what you do in fact do. Nowhere does the Bible articulate a sense for "God" that means anything along the lines of 'first, second or third person of a triune God,' and if it did then it could not rightly use the term that denotes the one triune God for any of the three members of the Trinity. It would have to identify them as "persons" of the triune God, not a "God," for there is, according to you, ONLY ONE GOD, and that God is triune.

HARTLEY:
His third point is how to take the personal pronouns referring back to either PATROS or THEOS the Father. There is no problem with understanding the pronoun AUTON (4:23b, 24b), for example, as referring to the Father. Why Stafford thinks there is a problem here is beyond me.

STAFFORD-HARTLEY:
Apparently, as you yourself admit, it is indeed beyond you. Let me help you try and understand the problem you have here. Recall my question to you:

QUOTE

STAFFORD quoting HARTLEY:

"God is not simply a Spirit relegated to spatial confines or a member of a class of other spirits. God is Spirit in the sense of omnipresence, an attribute essential to the statement and exclusively bound to His essence. No other being shares this feature therefore no other beings can be inferred to which class He would be a member."
STAFFORD-2:
Not only do you import your view of God as "omnipresent" but you apparently fail to notice that the context identifies this God as the "Father." (Verses 21, 23) So, will you substitute "the Father" in place of "God" and the pronouns "His" and "He" in your above comments?

END OF QUOTE

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
Now, notice: I asked you if you would replace "God" with "the Father" in "your above comments." Of course, you missed this and took it in reference to John 4. How you did not understand my question is something of a mystery, but let me clue you in on the problem. In your attempt to get around the implication of your argument, even though you admit that "God" is a reference to the Father, you are forced, perhaps subconsciously, to switch from the "Father" to the being of "God," whom you view as triune, for the text does use the term "God." This well illustrates my earlier remarks on your equivocation, for you SAY you accept this as a reference to the Father, but then you proceed to interpret it as a reference to the Trinity! You would not say:

REWORDING OF HARTLEY'S ABOVE WORDS
"[The Father] is not simply a Spirit relegated to spatial confines or a member of a class of other spirits. [The Father] is Spirit in the sense of omnipresence, an attribute essential to the statement and exclusively bound to [the Father's] essence. No other being shares this feature therefore no other beings can be inferred to which class [the Father] would be a member."

STAFFORD-RESPONSE:
Does that look alright to you, Hartley? Are you now going to agree that the "Father" is the "being" to whom you intended to refer? Why did you not use "person" in place of "being" in your above words? Even though you used "being," and you identify the "God" of John 4:24 as the Father, you don't really mean it!

You don't really mean to identify the "Father" as a BEING who alone shares this feature, do you? You don't even really mean to identify the "Father" as a BEING at all, right? But you also cannot use "person" in place of "being" in your above words, and still use "Father" in place of "God"! Do you FINALLY understand the problem(s) with which you are faced, due to your (ab)use of language in an attempt to justify Trinitarianism in the text of Scripture?

If you continue to display a defective knowledge of the issues after I have made them as plain as they can be, then I will no longer discuss them with you.

Also, please refrain from immature comments and hypocritical assertions of ad hominem arguments on my part, when you have filled your error-ridden replies with cutting, negative words.

I look forward to your reply.

Greg Stafford

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.  "Revisiting the Colwell Construction in Light of Mass/Count Nouns" by Donald E. Hartley Th.M, Ph.D (student), Dallas Theological Seminary.
2.  Don Hartley's Misunderstanding of My View of Qualitative Nouns and P. B. Harners JBL Article By Greg Stafford
3.  Hartley responds with "Hartley's Second Response To Stafford" on May 25, 1999.
4.  Partial Response to Hartley, By Stafford: 5/25/99
5.  Another Response to Stafford - 5/25/99 (third)
6.  Greg Stafford on 5/26/99 says: "Hartley's theory, regardless of what he tells you, is hopelessly without substantiation, as I will explain shortly."
7.  Greg Stafford to Hartley on 5/26/99: "Please cite an example of a singular count noun in the precopulative position, that CANNOT be indefinitized." in Clarity, Please...
8.  Specifically...I would like Hartley to list the 19 Q-class nouns to which he refers on page 65 of his thesis (par. 2, line 5), for our consideration.
9.  Greg Stafford on 6/3/99: Surrejoinder to Don Hartley: Q-Class Count Nouns , John 1:1c, and Other Related Matters

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