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indagator last won the day on July 16 2018

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  1. Greetings to all from one who has not visited here in a while. I hope this winds up in the right heading(!), and I hope the bros. and sisters who visit here more regularly than I do are well and have Jah’s blessings. Something has come up that surprised me, and I know that certain people here might have input. First, a background: for some years now there has been some contentious discussion among certain academics, namely, between Evangelical types and others outside of their perspective on the status of Jesus in his pre-existence. Of course, the Evangelicals with their fourth-century high Christology don’t have it right. For those who don’t know, Bart Ehrman, who certainly has no respect for Jehovah, grew up in the Evangelical fold but left it and embraced agnosticism. He’s basically viewed as an apostate by the Evangelical world, though not in the same way as a worshiper of Jehovah would view an apostate. Since that time, Ehrman has used his knowledge and academic position to attack Evangelicalism frequently. He has a blog where he does this, as well as in his published books. Another academic who regularly tries to rebut Ehrman is Larry Hurtado, a full-fledged Evangelical who runs his own blog. Hurtado recently died after a long struggle with leukemia, so his blog, while still up, has and will have no more new posts. Here is an example of the dialogue regarding Jesus’ pre-existence as an angel: https://ehrmanblog.org/christ-as-an-angel-in-paul-2/ One of the points is the correct understanding of Gal. 4:14b. The NWT reads, “but you received me like an angel of God, like Christ Jesus.” While the organization has often cited passages like 1 Thess. 4:16 (“with an archangel’s voice”), I cannot recall the Society ever using the Galatians passage on this matter of Jesus having been the foremost angel. I checked the old Make Sure and Reasoning books, and the old 1930-1985 index as well. Surely this passage is legitimate to use to help show that Jesus was Michael in his heavenly existence prior to becoming a human. Does anyone know whether the bros. at Warwick are even aware of all this? Best to all.
  2. JWI mentioned the Oct. broadcast with Geoffrey Jackson who discussed the history of the NWT. Among the J refs. I have never seen the Bible translation by John Nelson Darby (died in 1882), famous for helping start the Plymouth Brethren. This has long surprised me since Fred Franz used to quote that translation in the Society's publications. My copy is a 1975 reprint by Holman of Darby's second ed. of 1871. You can see for yourselves how he took the lack of the Greek article before kyrios as an indication that the ref. was to Jehovah. While he never printed that in the text, you can see how he did frequently in the footnotes. In Luke alone I've found 30 instances of this. I've chosen 3 sample pages from different NT books. See Matt 1:20, 22; Luke 1:15, 17, 25; Acts 7:33. Enjoy. Â
  3. Well, it's been a while since JWI obtained and read Shaw's book on the Greek form of the tetragrammaton, Ιαω. He says he's given it two full readings. No doubt the book is dense and difficult, but it has much to offer anyone interested in the divine name. There are many informative features of the work. One of its strengths is setting the mystical use of Ιαω, that is, its use by Gnostics and magicians, in the proper historical framework. Previous scholars—and many current ones still—see Ιαω and immediately think "magic" or "Gnostic" without understanding how those people came to learn of this Greek form of the name. One the the services Shaw does is set that mystical use straight chronologically. No one had ever done that before. He shows how there is no basis for saying that mystical types used Ιαω until the end of the first century and early second century AD/CE. What is also significant is that Shaw not only postulates that the earliest, NT Christians used this form of the name, and that it was originally in some NT books, but that it was through the preaching work of those first-century Christians that the mystical types picked up on the name and started using it. In other words, this form of the name's best known usage by Gnostics and magicians came about through the zealous preaching work by the earliest Christians, and their using the name in that preaching. He does not state this in the main text but in two footnotes (p. 288 n. 53, 289 n. 57). This is a fascinating discovery for at least three reasons. It explains why the mystical types suddenly began using that form of the name at the time that they did. It indicates the earliest Christians used the name so much that it became a feature in their preaching work, just like the brothers have been saying on the basis of passages like Acts 15:14. Finally, it provides a previously unknown picture of how the old devil set about, very early on, attacking Jehovah's name and having it removed from the scriptures. One can wonder why Shaw buried this detail in footnotes instead of placing it in the main text. Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that is just too radical for other scholars to see and accept. This thought would be in harmony with his statement elsewhere, on p. 287, where he offers the idea that Ιαω likely occurred originally at Rom. 10. He states, "Naturally, this proposal may come as a radical thought to many who have considered the standard interpretation of Rom. 10.9-13 as definitive, and it may threaten a long-held view about this passage." That sort of encapsulates several other things about his book as well. There are many other valuable things in the book, but now that JWI has had the opportunity to digest it, I thought the time was ripe to post some of my observations. Others are welcome to respond or post their own thoughts if they have read it, or are considering doing so.
  4. Any word on the 2018 Annual Meeting? Usually by this time there have been announcements—have I missed something?
  5. Only time for a brief reply—sorry. As JWI brings out, certain people have from time to time tried to tie manuscript finds from Qumran to Christianity. All such things have come to naught, and rightly so. A suggestion, bruceq: before forming opinions on a matter, gain the knowledge necessary to do so. In this case, one of the essential points is the testimony of the Greek historian Diodorus of Sicily who states that Jews were using Ιαω as the active pronunciation of their God around 50 BC/BCE. Obviously Christianity did not yet exist then. Therefore, the Qumran manuscript would be support for Diodorus' statement. Yet again, all this is in Shaw's book.
  6. JTR: that depends on the dialect of English—there are many. Do you care to specify (UK with several sub-categories; Canadian; Aussie; American with several sub-categories; South African, etc.)? JWI: Your latest words remind me of Eccl. 12:12... Surls' book is nice on his main thesis, that the name's meaning in Exodus, the context in which Jah revealed the meaning of his name, is best understood by pondering how he revealed himself as the book goes along, esp. in the later chapters.
  7. JWI, That dissertation has been revised as a book now with improvements made and more refs. to Shaw's work: https://www.amazon.com/Making-Sense-Divine-Name-Exodus/dp/1575064839 Probably best to stick with the updated edition. I've read it. It's good on certain points but does not have the scope or time frame of Shaw's book. The latter is far more on-topic for Jehovah's servants today.
  8. Member “Witness” at this forum has taken exception to the NWT’s rendering of 2 Cor. 5:20 as “substitutes for Christ”: https://www.theworldnewsmedia.org/topic/57458-five-year-old-raped-by-jehovahs-witness/ She states, “There is only one translation that I have found for 2 Cor 5:20, that throws in the word “substitute” – not just once, but twice – the NWT.” What's the real story here? Is there any justification for the idea of substitution for Christ in this verse? A short one-page essay is attached. 2 Cor 5.20.pdf
  9. JWI, such tangents are common and expected in forums like this one. It's all part of the forum experience. Your humor is appreciated. Yes, plenty of people have historically been sidetracked by numbers, gematria, etc. GA, "The Shaw book sounds interesting but I can't access it anywhere." It's available from the publisher for $81 US: http://www.peeters-leuven.be/boekoverz_print.asp?nr=9332 or cheaper from Amazon, $57.55: https://www.amazon.com/Earliest-Non-Mystical-Contributions-Biblical-Exegesis/dp/9042929782/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1533572119&sr=8-1&keywords=Shaw+earliest+non-mystical&dpID=41t0h2zHT-L&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch It's money well spent. Happy reading.
  10. Is it really so important that God's name be or not be a certain biblical book so that one must go ahunting for its supposed presence in acrostics? It's nowhere in Ecclesiastes. Or Philippians, 1 Timothy, or the epistles of John. In the end isn't its presence or absence in any book all part of Jehovah's will? All sorts of unexpected things occur when it comes to the divine name. For example, its only supposed appearance in the Song of Sol. is Jah (8:6), and that is textually problematic. It's common in the prologue or introductory material of Job and then relatively common at the end, but extremely skimpy in the bulk of the book, the middle section, the poetic dialogue among the book's major players. In Daniel it's limited to chapter 9, save one place in the book's beginning, which again is textually problematic. On the other hand, many OT books contain the name quite commonly throughout. When Fred Franz had to decide which passages in the NT likely had the name originally in them, he wound up being quite conservative, with only 237 places, far less than any "average number" in a comparable size of material that one could obtain by looking at its occurrence in the Hebrew Bible. We find NT writers like Luke using one of several established surrogates for the name, "Heaven," at Luke 15:18 and 21. Most likely the written source he employed for the prodigal son parable had that use of the surrogate, and Luke had no qualms about reproducing what he found in his source. Elsewhere in his gospel Luke uses heaven as a place, not as a divine name surrogate like the writers of 1 and 2 Maccabees, for example, did, and as we see in the prodigal son parable. I am reminded of a video that has appeared several times in organizational "history segments" since the Society has switched over so heavily to the video format. I'm not sure, but I think it is Bro. George Couch. In it he continually speaks of "the Lord" doing this and wanting that. Obviously he is referring to Jehovah, yet he does not use his name often, preferring "the Lord," not all that dissimilar to Christendom’s usage. Just as obvious is the fact that Bro. Couch (if my ID is correct) was a faithful servant of the almighty Jehovah in modern times. He simply had a preference for one particular title when referring to him. Since that can be the case in modern times, why not in antiquity? If we take the, again, relatively conservative usage of Jehovah in the NT books as represented by the NWT, we would have to admit that use of the name had gone down in frequency when compared to how, for example, David, Ezekiel, or Isaiah used it. Given all this, I ask again, is it really necessary to enter into acrostics or "encoding" or "decoding" supposed instances of the name? Wouldn't it be wiser to gain a full knowledge of the sources that are definite and available, like Shaw's book relates? I realize that mastery of that volume requires real effort, but the reward is far greater than—no offense to anyone—dabbling in the dubious question of divine name acrostics. If you want something substantial to think about, try this:
  11. JWI, yes, Shaw's book is, as you say, "densely packed." It requires concentration, and likely a rereading of portions as you plow through certain sections the first time. It is all worth it. I think many of us can relate to getting distracted with our various interests in diverse things having to do with Jehovah's word. On the topic of an acrostic divine name in Esther, have you read this? http://www.academia.edu/6370833/Desperately_Seeking_YHWH_Finding_God_in_Esthers_Acrostics_ If not, it's the best thing I've found on the subject. Looking forward to hearing your impressions of Shaw's book.
  12. GA said: "What interests me more is did/how did Jesus pronounce the name? And what reaction was there at the time?" Then JWI said: "There is a lot more info related to that topic than I ever imagined possible. " Yes, this is overall point of Shaw's book. As I posted elsewhere here, "Yaho" in Aramaic (יהו), the language of Jesus and the apostles, was the active pronunciation of the divine name in their day. Since the good news was spread via Greek, this shows up as Ιαω in that language. Hence the finding of this form of the name in the LXX Qumran manuscript of Lev. and its much more common appearance among the biblical onomastica (name lists), the world's first Bible commentaries or dictionaries (though they are primitive by later standards). Then the church fathers, when they quote these name lists, continued to use Ιαω occasionally. This shows how the name had an active pronunciation that long outdated however יהוה was pronounced in Hebrew. I'm not saying that how it was pronounced in Heb is unimportant. Rather if one is interested in how Jesus and the apostles pronounced the name, the evidence for that is known, clear, and irrefutable. That is Shaw's important contribution. As for Iaoel in the Apoc. of Abraham and other Pseudepigrapha, Shaw discusses that as well. As for GA's wondering what the reaction was to that pronunciation, that is also in Shaw. He states that the reaction we see in Philo, Josephus, rabbinic literature, etc. is a reaction to some Jews who used Iao.
  13. I've read Meyer's diss as well. There are several problems with it, but they aren't major ones. He seems to be, in effect, backing off one point in his review where he disagrees with Shaw, namely that the use of Iao among Jews in the Second Temple Period was more a socio-economic class thing. In his diss. he seems more amenable to the idea, though he never comes out and states that. Again, it is what the evidence suggests. Interestingly, he never discusses in either work the implications for all this in the NT (Shaw's chapters 7 and 10). It's probably too much of a hot potato for him. He comes from an Evangelical background and plenty of those folks feel threatened by the implications of the use of the divine name by NT Christians because it would endanger their unscriptural high Christology. It sort of puts people like Meyer in a quandary: embrace the evidence or stick with his tradition.
  14. OK, I scanned and am attaching the words of Hart referred to above on his take on what the first Christians were like, pp. xxiv-xxv of his Introduction. If go down to "What perhaps did impress itself..." on p. xxiv, that part begins. DBH intro. pp..pdf
  15. I see there has not been much discussion at this forum of the NT translation that appeared in 2017 by David Bentley Hart (Yale University Press). Bro. Rando mentioned Hart's translation last year when he quoted his rendering of John 1:1c, "the Logos was god" here: https://www.theworldnewsmedia.org/topic/55859-the-trinity-and-it’s-false-theology/?page=4&tab=comments#comment-91897 There is much more of value to be learned from Hart's work. First, just who is is important. He is a research scholar (= no teaching, just research and publication, what all good scholars dream of) at Notre Dame. He has several books out on theism, believing in God, and defending the faith before critics and philosophers. Although he himself is Eastern Orthodox, his books are highly valued by Evangelicals because Hart is quite intelligent and is well-read in the more difficult aspects of philosophy. Thus he can dialogue with the best from the latter group and hold his own against them. He is famous for doing so. Hart's translation contains multiple insights. Gehenna is "Hinnom's Vale of fire." He transliterates Hades, and his taking κόλασις at Matt. 25:46 as "chastening" is noteworthy. He sometimes has substantial footnotes that are informative, as he does in this passage. They cut through the controversies and get to the point, but interestingly, without citing scholarship by anyone's name. His take on the ἐφ᾽ ᾧ at Rom. 5:12 is fascinating. Instead of understanding this as "because" he takes it more literally, as "upon the basis of which fact," though I wish he'd been more literal in his rendering in this instance. His notes, pp. 533ff., are also loaded with interesting info, including the admission that the oft-hated "a" at John 1:1c is legit. One of the things I found fascinating is Hart's description of what the earliest Christians were like. This is on pp. xxiv-xxv of his introduction. It sounds very much like the brothers! That alone is worth a read, so when I can get to a scanner, I'll included a scan later in this thread for readers' pleasure. Here too are some online reviews and comments, including an interview/note from Hart himself on his work. First, some D. B. Hart NT reviews: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/01/the-new-testament-a-translation-david-bentley-hart/546551/ http://www.patheos.com/blogs/hippieheretic/2017/12/new-testament-translation-david-bentley-hart-review.html https://www.firstthings.com/article/2017/11/the-gospel-according-to-david-bentley http://thecresset.org/2017/Advent/Beasley_A17.html Conservative (?) reaction to Hart: the translation: http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2017/10/23/4754124.htm the man: https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/public-theology-in-retreat/#! bio & interviews: https://www.closertotruth.com/contributor/david-bentley-hart/profile?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI6fq_se3y2AIVCI1pCh2iDAJmEAMYASAAEgKn8PD_BwE Hart's own account https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/christs-rabble Enjoy!
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