Thursday, February 15, 2018

Thomas Dozeman Offers Commentary Regarding Exodus 33:11

Only he [Moses] speaks to God, and he does so "face-to-face;" as friends speak to each other. All cultic activity takes place before the face of God (see the priestly blessing in Num 6:22-26). But the phrase "face-to-face" expresses a more intimate encounter of a direct and charismatic inspiration. Jacob realizes that he has seen God "face-to-face" only after he physically wrestles with God all night at the Jabbok River (Gen 32:30). Gideon comes to the same realization after his commission by the Messenger of Yahweh (Judg 6:22). Deuteronomy 5:4 attributes the same experience to the Israelite people, stating that they heard God speak the Decalogue to them "face-to-face," which is qualified in the following verse (5:5). It is Moses, however, who most clearly embodies the experience of speaking to God face-to-face, always within the tent of meeting. Deuteronomy 34:10 uses this experience to separate Moses from all other prophets, while Num 12:6-8 provides further commentary on Moses' unique status. God states: "With him [Moses] I speak face-to-face [lit. `mouth-to-mouth'], clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of Yahweh."

Thomas B. Dozeman. Exodus (Eerdmans Critical Commentary) (Kindle Locations 10671-10675). Kindle Edition.

Thomas B. Dozeman. Exodus (Eerdmans Critical Commentary) (Kindle Locations 10669-10671). Kindle Edition.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Very Short Note on Acts 2:36

It's increasingly becoming weirder to me how Jesus was "made Lord" (i.e., Jehovah) if he was already Jehovah in his preexistent life (Acts 2:36). While Incarnation advocates may argue that he emptied himself, thus making glorification by the Father necessary, they still want to claim that nothing was subtracted by the Incarnation--only humanity was assumed with his divinity. So would he not have remained Lord in that case when he became flesh? Why the need to make him Lord after his resurrection? That is, make him YHWH? Makes no sense to me. How can someone who is already Lord (YHWH) be made Lord by another?

Moses and the Sight of Jehovah's "Form" (Exodus 33:19-20) and John 1:18

How Moses saw Jehovah's form has befuddled Jewish and "Christian" commentators. The expression is likely figurative in view of Exodus 33:19-20; Deuteronomy 4:15-16; 5:4-5; John 1:18 and 1 John 4:12. See also Exodus 24:9-11. The last Pentateuchal account likely refers to a divine vision if we examine the context--not to the act of literally seeing God.

Another way that exegetes have tried to explain accounts regarding Jehovah's form is by making some kind of distinction between God as he reveals himself to us (quoad nos) and God in his essence (quoad essentiam). Some then place the Son qua angel in the first category, but locate the tripersonal God as he exists "immanently" in the second category. However, even apart from the untenable Trinity doctrine, I wonder about the lexical basis for interpreting John 1:18 as a reference to the divine essence rather than construing the language as referentially about the Father.

It is common to say that God = the Father in John 1:1b and the Son/Logos in 1:1c; yet some like M.J.. Harris contend that "God" means the divine essence in 1:18 although the Logos/Son is called "QEOS" in 1:18 and is said to exegete (explain) the Father. Cf. 1 John 4:12.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

1 Corinthians 13:12 and Numbers 12:8, Etc.

1 Corinthians 13:12 has some connection to Numbers 12:8 and other related scriptures, but some verses possibly are more intimately connected: e.g., Genesis 32:30-31; Judges 6:22-23.

βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι' ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον· ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην. (1 Corinthians 13:12 WH)

Gen 32:31: εἶδον γὰρ θεὸν πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον, καὶ ἐσώθη μου ἡ ψυχή. (LXX)

Judges 6:22: καὶ εἶδεν Γεδεων ὅτι ἄγγελος κυρίου ἐστίν, καὶ εἶπεν Γεδεων ῏Α ἆ, κύριε κύριε, ὅτι εἶδον τὸν ἄγγελον κυρίου πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον. (LXX)

Both accounts involve angels (spirit beings) manifested as dynamic agents of YHWH, and notice the expression πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον.

Numbers 12:8 has στόμα κατὰ στόμα λαλήσω αὐτῷ ἐν εἴδει καὶ οὐ δ αἰνιγμάτων καὶ τὴν δόξαν κυρίου εἶδεν καὶ διὰ τί οὐκ ἐφοβήθητε καταλαλῆσαι κατὰ τοῦ θεράποντός μου Μωυσῆ

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Notes on Humans as the Image of God in Sibylline Oracles

Lactantius quotes Orac. Sib. 8.402: "Man is an icon of me, possessing true reason." I.e., humans are icons of God insofar as we possess "true reason."

See Bowen and Garnsey, Divine Institutes, 150-151. Cf. Divine Institutes 2.10.4.

The Greek of the Orac. Sib. reads: EIKWN EST' ANQRWPOS EMH LOGON ORQON EXOUSA.

Milton Terry offers this reading: "Man is my image, having upright reason." In Terry, the numbering is 8.533. See http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/sib/sib.pdf

Notice how MORFH and EIKWN are used conjunctively in Orac. Sib. 3.8.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Quotation from 1QM 17.4-8 (Qumran War Scroll)

(4) But, as for you, take courage and do not fear them [... for] their end is emptine and their desire is for the void. Their support is without st[rength] and they do not [know that from the God] of
(5) Israel is all that is and that will be. He [...] in all which exists for eternity. Today is His appointed time to subdue and to humiliate the prince of the realm
(6) of wickedness. He will send eternal support to the company of His redeemed by the power of the majestic angel of the authority of Michael. By eternal light
(7) He shall joyfully light up the covenant of Israel peace and blessing for the lot of God, to exalt the authority of Michael among the gods and the dominion
(8) of Israel among all flesh.

See https://www.qumran.org/js/qumran/hss/1qm

See also http://dss.collections.imj.org.il/war

Paul Rainbow Discusses Michael the Archangel--Part II from His Thesis

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Paul Rainbow: Michael the Archangel (Part I)-From His Doctoral Thesis


This evidence points toward Michael being identified as an angel early in Judaic history.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Hebrews 12:16--'Not Appreciating Sacred Things'

"and watch that among you there is no one who is sexually immoral* nor anyone who does not appreciate sacred things, like Eʹsau, who gave up his rights as firstborn in exchange for one meal" (Hebrews 12:16 NWT 2013).

μή τις πόρνος ἢ βέβηλος ὡς Ἠσαῦ, ὃς ἀντὶ βρώσεως μιᾶς ἀπέδετο τὰ πρωτοτόκια ἑαυτοῦ. (NA28)

βέβηλος occurs 1 time in the GNT; βεβήλοις occurs 1 time (1 Tim. 1:9) and βεβήλους is found 3 times (1 Tim. 4:7; 1 Tim. 6:20; 2 Tim. 2:16).

As you can see, the adjectival form of the word occurs 4 times in Timothy and once outside those letters. Why is that the case? Why does Hebrews use βέβηλος like the Pastorals do?

Victor C. Pfitzner (Hebrews, 180) states that βέβηλος "has cultic connotations, suggesting the distinction between the holy and the profane." In other words, Esau spurned what is holy/sacred by bartering an item that possessed the divine benediction.

David Allen writes: "Esau's rejection of his birthright was tantamount to spiritual prostitution and de facto adultery" (Deuteronomy and Exhortation in Hebrews, 136).

Allen also believes that apostasy is "the dominant heuristic motif in 12:16-17" (ibid.).

Older commentators did not want to apply πόρνος to Esau, but more recent works do, even if it is not clear why 12:16 gives him that designation. William Lane (Word Biblical Commentary) relates that "Elliott" tried contending that ἢ in 12:16 is disjunctive--separating πόρνος from βέβηλος and distinguishing two kinds of people. Lane reckons that the suggestion is less than convincing since ἢ "is never strictly disjunctive" (although he sees no reason to think Esau was a literal fornicator). βέβηλος is understood here as "irreligious," "secular" or profane.

According to Westcott, "The word describes a character which recognises nothing as higher than earth: for whom there is nothing sacred: no divine reverence for the unseen" (The Epistle to the Hebrews, 408). He consider Esau to be "the embodiment" of βέβηλος.

Compare Leviticus 10:10; 1 Samuel 21:4 (LXX).