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Still More on Sharp's Rule, Rob Bowman and Trinitarianism
Part Five: The Source of Salvation and the Sent-Forth Savior

By Greg Stafford


I am sure those of you who have followed the discussion this far understand what's going on, but if you do not, please feel free to email me with your questions. No extended introduction is necessary for Part Five, except to say that the particular text we are discussing does not resemble the pattern of those texts that are usually said to be parallels.

In Titus 2:13 we have article-adjective-noun (a descriptive phrase restricted to the Father per the OT LXX, but which may me applied to others if borrowed from a different religious context)-KAI-noun-proper name (the noun-proper name may be considered a compound proper name or a noun that has a proper name in apposition to it, making the reference specific). The usual "parallels" are simply article-noun-KAI-noun.

Let's now focus on the second part of our subject texts, "Our Savior Jesus Christ."


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

BOWMAN:
Posted by Rob Bowman on August 14, 1998 at 04:49:54:

A great deal of what Stafford had to say in Part Five of his series of responses to me on Sharp's rule repeats arguments and objections that I have already addressed in Parts 1-4. Here I will illustrate the continuing question-begging, and respond to the critical points that seem to be left.



STAFORD:
This is Bowman's way of saying, "I don't want to respond to all of Stafford's arguments, and I am just going to tell you that he repeats himself, even though I don't care enough about it to show you examples, because they would likely only serve to underscore the fact that I [Bowman] have been repeating myself, and Greg Stafford has been holding my feet to the fire, refusing to let me get away with my bad arguments."



BOWMAN:
I had written:
>>>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 replied:
>>>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.>>>

BOWMAN:
I'm not sure if this sweeping statement is true or not, except in the narrow sense that Titus 2:13 itself does not appear in Jewish or Greco-Roman literature!



STAFFORD:
Have you not checked the relevant literature? Do you have a problem understand my rather simply statement: "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"?

Do I have to further simplify it for you?



BOWMAN:
But in any case, it is irrelevant.



STAFFORD:
It is indeed relevant, since SENSE is directly related to REFERENCE, and you have NOT provided any examples from Jewish or Greco-Roman literature that even REMOTELY compare to Titus 2:13. You simply make a sweeping, unfounded statement, "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."



BOWMAN:
Stafford assumes that the proper name "Jesus Christ" is to be related to the noun phrase "our Savior" and NOT to "the great God." But this is the exegetical question under consideration. Hence, he is once again begging the question. But then, he is getting good at that. So a little but further on he writes:



STAFFORD:
I assume no such thing! You are AGAIN misrepresenting my view. Here is what I said (I know, this is getting ridiculous, but hang in there, we're almost done!):

THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT QUOTE TO READ, AS IT SHOWS HOW BOWMAN MISREPRESENTS WHAT I SAY AND THEN USES THAT SAME MISREPRESENTATION OVER AND OVER AGAIN, EVEN THOUGH I HAVE REVEALED HIS ERRONEOUS USE OF MY MATERIAL

<<FROM More on Sharp's Rule, Trinitarianism and Rob Bowman
Part Five: "Our Savior Jesus Christ"
By Greg Stafford >>



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).

<<KEY SECTION>>

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.



<<END OF QUOTE-RETURN TO PRESENT DISCUSSION>>



STAFFORD:
Now, notice, Bowman said, "Stafford assumes that the proper name `Jesus Christ' is to be related to the noun phrase `our Savior' and NOT to `the great God.'" Is this true? No, for I said, in direct response to this same misunderstanding, "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."

This is but another example of Bowman's mishandling/manipulating the information. How he could miss this point is beyond me, especially since I made my position quite clear. Also, as he acknowledged in the previous post, and which I have also maintained all along, I do NOT rule out the possibility that "the great God" could apply to Jesus, and THAT IN ITSELF should have clued Bowman in to the fact that I see the possibility that "Jesus Christ" is in apposition to "Savior" and "the great God"!



BOWMAN:
>>>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)>>>

BOWMAN:
See the previous installment in this series of responses to Stafford for an explanation of why this is unacceptable question-begging.



STAFFORD:
Yes, please see Part Four of my reply for further evidence that Bowman does not represent my view accurately. You will also notice in the above quote that I say "IF [emphasis added] Paul is invoking the OT LXX…" This again underscores the fact that Bowman misrepresented my view on "the great God," and falsely accused me of "double-talk" when I made my position quite clear. He just misunderstood the point, again.



BOWMAN:
Stafford continues:
>>>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.>>>



BOWMAN:
Eu contraire, it is Stafford here who is confusing sense and reference. The fact that the term "Savior" can REFER to either the Father or the Son does not imply that it has a different MEANING or SENSE when used of the Son than when used of the Father.



STAFFORD:
Would someone like to point out to Rob that I do NOT claim that because "the term `Savior' can REFER to either the Father or the Son" "that it has a different MEANING or SENSE when used of the Son than when used of the Father." Rather, I make SPECIFIC reference to the Bible's teaching that Jesus is a sent-forth savior, which is precisely what I said. The Father is NOT a sent-forth savior, thus, the terms have different senses when used of these different referents. Bowman remains in what appears to be a hopeless state of confusion.



BOWMAN:
The title "Savior" means the same in both usages, "the one who saves."
Obviously, in a text like 1 John 4:14 that states that Jesus was sent by the Father to be the Savior, the text means that Jesus was a sent-forth Savior. But this is not the same as saying that the WORD "Savior" has this distinct SENSE of "sent-forth Savior" as distinguished from "Provider of Salvation" when used of the Father. What conveys the Son's having been sent in 1 John 4:14 is the word "sent"!



STAFFORD:
Again, confusion abounds in Bowman's view of things. The Son, AS Savior, is SENT FORTH. The Father, AS Savior, is NOT sent forth. The Father sent Jesus forth as SAVIOR. NO ONE sent the Father forth as SAVIOR. The sense of the words would have been governed by this understanding, so that the sense of the terms is not the same, just as the sense of Israelite judges being called "saviors" would not be the same as calling the Father "Savior."



BOWMAN:
Stafford writes:
>>>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)>>>



BOWMAN:
The question-begging here is enough to make a person's head spin. The first statement is virtually tautological; I paraphrase: "When the word Savior is used unambiguously of Jesus Christ, it is accompanied by 'Jesus Christ.'" No big revelation here. The second statement merely begs the question of whether Jesus is called both Savior and THEOS in Titus 2:13.



STAFFORD:
I think your head is spinning for a variety of reasons, for which I hope you will get some help (seriously). Would someone like to point out where I refer to Titus 2:13 in my above comments? Does everyone see why it is important to check everything Bowman says, including all his quotations of my previous replies? He makes things up!



BOWMAN:
I had written:
>>>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 wrote:
>>>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?>>>



BOWMAN:
Yes, I read the text. I made a mistake.



STAFFORD:
Yes, I know that, Rob. But, again, what happened?



BOWMAN:
I had written:
>>>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 replied:
>>>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.">>>



BOWMAN:
Stafford simply hasn't engaged my argument or interpretive framework at all. The point I was making was that in a very short space of a few sentences we have a reference to "our Savior God" and "our Savior Jesus Christ." This shows that IN THIS CONTEXT it is unlikely that "our Savior Jesus Christ" is functioning as a distinct semantic unit of the proper name equivalent type.



STAFFORD:
I did indeed engage that argument, for I said, "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." Maybe you need to read a bit more carefully. I am pointing out that your point is pointless! Again, there is nothing out of place or unusual about referring to God and Jesus as "Savior," since the NT uses this term of both BEINGS, but with different SENSES. You failed to recognize this rather simple point earlier, so it is no surprise that you were lead into further error here. PROVE YOUR POINT, Rob, don't merely assert it.



BOWMAN:
The fact that in contexts remote from one another the Book of Revelation can refer to God (1:8; 6:10), an angel (7:14, not 7:4), or Jesus (22:20-21) with the title KURIOS does not have any bearing on the point I made about two usages in quick succession of the qualified expression "our Savior" in Titus.



STAFFORD:
Again, you did not understand my argument. You made an erroneous statement about "our Savior God" and "Our Savior Jesus Christ" and because they are used close to each other you claim that this somehow makes it difficult to construe "Savior Jesus Christ" as a proper name. I responded by pointing out that you point is a non sequitur, and that "Savior" could be a part of a proper name in "Savior Jesus Christ" and ALSO be used in the description "Our Savior God," JUST AS "Lord" can be used as part of a compound name in "Lord Jesus Christ" while "Lord" is also used in other expressions, for other persons, in the same book.

When you figure this out, let me know!

BOWMAN:
By the way, notice that once again Stafford begs the question; neither Revelation 1:8 nor 6:10 specifies the Father, nor does either text distinguish God the Lord from Jesus.



STAFFORD:
Again, I have assumed too much for Bowman. Revelation 1:8 refers to "the one who is and who was and who is coming." This one is specifically distinguished from "Jesus Christ" in verses 4 and 5. Also, 1:8 refers to the "Almighty," which is not a fitting description for Jesus, as he admits that another is his God several times. (Rev. 3:12) Thus, he is not Almighty. Revelation 6:10 does not actually use KYRIOS, so I withdraw it from comparison. Of course, Bowman begs the question and assumes that the Bible makes trinitarian distinctions between Jesus and the Father.



BOWMAN:
Stafford wrote:
>>>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:
No, I don't agree, because once again the restriction of "our Savior" as referring to "Jesus Christ" does not have any bearing on whether the expression is MEANT to stand alone.



STAFFORD:
We are discussing what is possible and what is not possible. What is MEANT is, from my position, based on the information in the text, and you simply assume what is MEANT.



BOWMAN:
Obviously, if it did stand alone, as the equivalent expression does stand alone in Titus 3:6, well then, it would be standing alone.



STAFFORD:
First, you are begging the question and assuming that if it was meant as a second subject then it would not be accompanied by an additional subject. Second, you make a false analogy by comparing a text that does NOT have "Savior Jesus Christ" following KAI, AND which has "Our Savior" in apposition to "Jesus Christ." This is the OPPOSITE of what we have in Titus 2:13! There are other problems, but I will wait to see how you handle these, since you have had trouble dealing with what I have said on other matters. Also, I am curious to see if you catch another problem with your comparison which, to this point, you have missed.



BOWMAN:
But the question is whether a reader should construe it as standing alone in the construction Paul uses. The article is not needed to restrict the REFERENT of "our Savior" to Jesus Christ; that is clear.



STAFFORD:
THAT is one of my points. But there is a clear semantic distinction between "the great God" and "Savior Jesus Christ," if you take "the great God" as coming from the OT LXX.



BOWMAN:
But the article would at least have been very helpful, if not needed (as I would argue it would have been), to distinguish clearly "our Savior" SEMANTICALLY from "the great God." You have conflated these two questions throughout your posts, and that invalidates your whole exegetical case against my position.



STAFFORD:
You are wrong and it is YOU who has shown tremendous confusion over my simple observations. Also, you have not done anything to prove that the article would have been necessary to semantically distinguish "Savior Jesus Christ" from "the great God." My point, in keeping with the GS rule, is that Titus 2:13 is not at all similar to the usual pool of comparison. I have also pointed out why there is a clear semantic distinction between "the great God" and "Savior Jesus Christ," if we take the OT LXX as the source of Paul's language.

You have done nothing to disprove my point, and all you have done for your position is make false analogies and false assumptions.



BOWMAN:
Stafford had written:
>>>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:
Now, notice that Stafford adduces the usual lack of the definite article before "Lord Jesus Christ" as evidence for his claim that "our Savior Jesus Christ" might be expected to lack the article. Keep focused on that claim. Now, I had offered a number of objections to this argument, one of which was the following:

>>>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 replied:
>>>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:
Conceding all of this for the sake of argument, has Stafford refuted my objection to his argument? No, not at all. He has EXPLAINED the evidence I presented, but I didn't ask for an explanation of that evidence. The fact remains that he has only one text using the compound proper name following KAI without the article where the preceding noun expression has the article - and it is also a disputed text (2 Thess. 1:12)! Thus, on the point at issue, my point stands: Stafford has essentially no hard evidence that a compound name following another noun phrase connected by KAI would typically lack the definite article if the first noun phrase had the article and the two expressions had distinct referents.



STAFFORD:
What I did was explain how your evidence is not evidence at all, and misses a number of basic points regarding usage and grammar. Also, Bowman completely ignored what I said just below the portion he did quote. Here is what I said:

<<QUOTE>>

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.

<<END OF QUOTE-RETURN TO PRESENT DISCUSSION>>

STAFFORD:
Since Bowman ignored this, I will wait until he replies and make further comment at that time.



BOWMAN:
I had written:
>>>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 replied:
>>>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.>>>

BOWMAN:
How can Stafford say that it makes a grammatical difference? He views the expression "the Lord and Savior" as a semantic unit with one referent in all four texts, whether the proper name "Jesus Christ" follows that expression or not. Thus, the addition of "Jesus Christ" after "Savior" in these texts clearly does not change the grammatical relation of "Savior" to "Lord." And that is all I have tried to prove here.



STAFFORD:
If that is all you have tried to say then you are not offering very much in support of your position. Also, in case you have not figured it out yet, Rob, we are dealing with a particular grammatical construction. THAT is why I can say it makes a grammatical difference. I never said that "the addition of `Jesus Christ' after `Savior' in these texts clearly does not change the grammatical relation of `Savior' to `Lord,' YOU did! I do not go along with your made-up rules on this matter, NONE of which you have bothered to demonstrate. I have all along appealed the restrictive force of the descriptive phrase "the great God" and the fact that "Savior" is defined by "Jesus Christ," who, in this context, should be viewed as distinct from "the great God," since "the great God" is restricted to the FATHER, Jesus' God, and Jesus is said to appear in "the great God's glory." This builds on the Synoptic teaching (which you continue to ignore) that Jesus would appear in the glory of his FATHER.



BOWMAN:
He continues:
>>>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:
This is all just smoke and mirrors.



STAFFORD:
No, it is an argument based on facts and a careful analysis of Petrine vocabulary. But you just put some meaningless label like "smoke and mirrors" on it to keep you from engaging in a discussion of the point. But in this instance you actually tried to interact with the point, to some degree. Consider:



BOWMAN:
The issue here is not why Peter called Jesus "Lord," but why he omitted the article before "Savior." We all know the answer - because Jesus is both the Lord and Savior, according to Peter. These 2 Peter texts referring to "our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" parallel Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1 in the relevant grammatical aspects.



STAFFORD:
Yes, that's right. And we can account for why he omitted the article in these texts JUST AS we can account for the missing article in Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1, which contain SIGNIFICANT differences that you continue to ignore.



BOWMAN:
In those "Lord" texts Stafford cannot allow that the definite article is omitted before "Savior" because "Savior Jesus Christ" is a proper noun equivalent to be viewed as a separate semantic unit, because that would make the Savior someone different from the Lord.



STAFFORD:
If I were the type of person you have shown yourself to be, I would call you a liar. That is NOT my position AT ALL! You are the one who invented a self-serving rule about "if one of the nouns is a proper name then Sharp's rule does not apply." I completely disagree with that, and the fact that you have failed to take note of my objections shows that you have a serious interpretive problem.



BOWMAN:
Yet by his reasoning in Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1, that is how we should construe the "Lord" texts - or at the very least we MIGHT construe them that way.



STAFFORD:
Again, you are wrong and completely misinformed about my view, even though I have spelled it out for you time and time again.



CONCLUSION

Rob Bowman has not proven anything in support of his position. He also has not weakened anything that I have argued for in my book, on this issue of Sharp's rule (or anything else, for that matter).

What he has done, and continues to do, is redefine terms and create distinctions that are not rooted in biblical theology, but which spring from post-biblical theology.

I have no problem continuing a conversation with him on these matters, for I believe that those of you who are following this dialogue will be able to see that Bowman is in a state of utter desperation, and is simply trying to create the illusion that his position has some merit, when, in fact, it has absolutely no business being discussed under the banner of biblical theology.

Greg Stafford

END OF PART FIVE

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