Tuesday, May 10, 2011

FALSE "...DEITY..." CLAIM NO: 2


TRINITARIAN CLAIM: The claim is Polycarp possibly called Jesus "God" as seen in the box below: 
 
JAJ200
Paul Hartog

This article appeared in the Christian Research Journal, volume 29, number 1 (2006).
For further information or to subscribe to the Christian Research Journal go to:
http://www.equip.org

SYNOPSIS

"...This explicit application of theos to Jesus Christ can be traced from the New Testament period into the second century without interruption ... POLYCARP (69-155 A.D.) possibly spoke of "Our Lord and God Jesus Christ"..." - The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians, Chapter 6, in Roberts & Donaldson.


Here's the translation he refers to:

POLYCARP (circa. 65-155 C.E.): “...If then we entreat the Lord to forgive us, we ought also ourselves to forgive; for we are before the eyes of our Lord and God, and “we must all appear at the judgment-seat of Christ, and must every one give an account of himself.”...” - (Chapter 6: Epistle of Polycarp to the Phillipians - American Edition translated by A. Cleveland Coxe, D.D. Roberts & Donalson ANF.)

For Christ to be called “...Our Lord and God Jesus Christ...” as claimed, it would require the following Greek:

( τοῦ Κυρίου καὶ τοῦ θεοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἡμῶν )

( Κυρίου καὶ τοῦ θεοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἡμῶν )

( Κυρίου καὶ θεοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἡμῶν )

Literally: “...(of) the Lord and (of) the God (of) Jesus Christ (of) us...” or more simply “...Our Lord and God Jesus Christ...”

Here's the entire Chapter six in Greek:

GREEK TEXT: “...Καὶ [1.] οἱ πρεσβύτεροι δὲ εὔσπλαγχνοι εἰς πάντας ἐλεήμονες, ἐπιστρέφοντες τὰ ἀποπεπλανημένα, ἐπισκεπτόμενοι πάνας ἀσθενεῖς, μὴ ἀμελοῦντες χήρας ἢ ὀρφανοῦ ἢ πένητος· ἀλλὰ προνοοῦτες ἀεὶ τοῦ καλοῦ ἐνώπιον θεοῦ καὶ ἀνθρώπων, ἀπεχόμενοι πάσης ὀργῆς, προσωποληψίας, μὴ ταχέως πιστεύοντες κατά τινος, μὴ ἀπότομοι ἐν κρίσει, εἰδότες ὅτι πάντες ὀφειλέται ἐσμὲν ἁμαρτίας. [2.] εἰ οὖν δεόμεθα τοῦ κυρίου, ἵνα ἡμῖν ἀφῇ, ὀφείλομεν καὶ ἡμεῖς ἀφιέναι· ἀπέναντι γὰρ τῶν τοῦ κυρίου καὶ θεοῦ ἐσμὲν ὀφθαλμῶν, καὶ πάντας δεῖ παραστῆναι τῷ βήματι τοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ ἕκαστον ὑπέρ αὐτοῦ λόγον δοῦναι. [3.] οὕτως οὖν δουλεύσωμεν αὐτῷ μετὰ φόβου καὶ πάσης εὐλαβείας, καθὼς αὐτὸς ἑνετείλατο καὶ οἱ εὐαγγελισάμενοι ἡμᾶς ἀπόσολοι καὶ οἱ προφῆται, οἱ προκηρύξαντες τὴν ἔλευσιν τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν· ζηλωταὶ περὶ τὸ καλόν, ἀπεχόμενοι τῶν σκανδάλων καὶ τῶν ψευδαδέλφων καὶ τῶν ἐν ὑποκρίσει φερόντων τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ κυρίου, οἵτινες ἀποπλανῶσι κενοὺς ἀνθρώπους...” - (Chapter 6:1-3; Epistle of Polycarp to the Phillipians MPG.)

Now compare the standard Roberts & Donalson ANF version with Krisopp Lakes English translation:

POLYCARP (circa. 65-155 C.E.): “...And [1.] let the presbyters also be compassionate, merciful to all, bringing back those that have wandered, caring for all the weak, neglecting neither widow nor orphan nor poor, but “ever providing for that which is good before God and man,” refraining from all wrath, respect of persons, unjust judgment, being far from all love of money, not quickly believing evil of any, not hasty in judgment, knowing that “we all owe the debt of sin.” [2.] If then we pray the Lord to forgive us, we also ought to forgive, for we stand before the eyes [ τοῦ κυρίου καὶ θεοῦ ] ( of ) the Lord and ( of ) God, and [ καὶ πάντας δεῖ παραστῆναι τῷ βήματι τοῦ Χριστοῦ ] “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, and each must give an account of himself.” [3.] So then "let us serve him with fear and all reverence," as he himself commanded us, and as did the Apostles, who brought us the Gospel, and the Prophets who foretold the coming of our Lord. Let us be zealous for good, refraining from offence, and from the false brethren, and from those who bear the name of the Lord in hypocrisy, who deceive empty-minded men...” - (Letter to the Philippians. CHAPTER 6:1-3; Apostolic Fathers By Krisopp Lake 1912 Loeb Edition.)

As you can see the hypothetical phrase Gk., ( Κυρίου καὶ τοῦ θεοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἡμῶν ) “...Our Lord and God Jesus Christ...” appears nowhere!

Either in the Greek or the English!

Krisopp Lake gives a better translation bringing out the genitive case in the Greek of the words “...( of ) Lord...” and “...( of ) God...”

Its actually “...( of ) - the - Lord and ( of ) God...” The definite article ( τοῦ ) is present with the word “...Lord...” Gk., ( Κυρίου ).

But, the ( main ) Tri{3}nitarian or Deity of Christ argument is, I suppose, that “...our Lord and God...” appears in the same sentence as the phrase “...the judgement seat of Christ...”

And from ( their ) point of view it means God is the Christ because he does the judging.

I suspect that is the reasoning.

But this passage in Polycarp is in ( complete harmony ) with the following scriptures, which clear up any Tri{3}nitarian miss-understandings completely, and is actually shown not to support their claims. And is no doubt what Polycarp was thinking and meant when he wrote the above passage:

(Acts 17:31): "...Because he has set a day in which he purposes to judge the inhabited earth ( in ) righteousness {*}( by ) a man whom he has appointed, and he has furnished a guarantee to all men in that he has resurrected him from the dead...”- (New World Translation)
[PERSONAL FOOTNOTE *]: Gk., ( ἐν ) literally: “...( in )...” = locative sphere of activity or instrumental case. See Kingdom Interlinear.

(Acts 17:31): “...Because He has fixed a day when He will judge the world righteously (justly) ( by ) a Man Whom He has destined and appointed for that task, and He has made this credible and given conviction and assurance and evidence to everyone by raising Him from the dead...” - (Amplified Bible)

(Acts 17:31): “...seeing that He has appointed a day on which, before long, He will judge the world in righteousness, ( through the instrumentality of ) a man whom He has pre-destined to this work, and has made the fact certain to every one by raising Him from the dead...” - (Weymouth NT)

(Acts 17:31): “...He has set a day when he is going to judge the world with justice, and he will ( use ) a man he has appointed to do this. God has given proof to everyone that he will do this by bringing that man back to life...” - (Gods Word Version)

(Romans 2:16): “...This will be in the day when God {*}( through ) Christ Jesus judges the secret things of mankind, according to the good news I declare....” - (New World Translation)
[PERSONAL FOOTNOTE *]: Gk., ( διὰ ) = intermediate agent. See Kingdom Interlinear

(Romans 2:16): “...This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets ( through ) Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares...” - (New International Version)

(Romans 2:16): “...On that day when, as my Gospel proclaims, God ( by ) Jesus Christ will judge men in regard to the things which they conceal (their hidden thoughts)...” - (Amplified Bible)

(Acts 10:42): “...Also, he ordered us to preach to the people and to give a thorough witness that this is the One decreed {*}( by ) God to be judge of the living and the dead...” - (New World Translation)
[PERSONAL FOOTNOTE *]: Gk., ( ὑπὸ ) literally: “...( by )...” = direct agent. See Kingdom Interlinear.

(Acts 10:42): “...He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead...” - (New International Version)

(Acts 10:42): “...And He charged us to preach to the people and to bear solemn testimony that He is the God-appointed and God-ordained Judge of the living and the dead...” - (Amplified Bible)

(John 5:26-27): “...For just as the Father has life in himself , so he has granted also to the Son {*}to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to do judging, because Son of man he is...” - (New World Translation)
[FOOTNOTE *]: ***Rbi8*** Ftn: Or, “in himself the gift of life.” See Ro 6:23.

(John 5:26-27): “...For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man...” - (New International Version)

(John 5:26): “...For even as the Father has life in Himself and is self-existent, so He has given to the Son to have life in Himself and be self-existent. 27 And He has given Him authority and granted Him power to execute (exercise, practice) judgment because He is a Son of man [very man]...” - (Amplified Bible)


NOTE: These scriptures afford a good lesson in basic Greek prepositions and there meanings.

Gk., ( ἐν ) literally: “...in...” = locative sphere of activity.
Gk., ( διὰ ) literally: “...through...” = intermediate agent.
Gk., ( ὑπὸ ) literally: “...by...” = direct agent.

And finally compare a later professed Christian writer:

GREEK TEXT: “...Κἀγὼ [1.] εἶπον· Γραφὰς ὑμῖν ἀνιστορεῖν μέλλω, οὐ κατασκευὴν λόγων ἐν μόνῃ τέχνῃ ἐπιδείκνυσθαι σπεύδω· οὐδὲ γὰρ δύναμις ἐμοὶ τοιαύτη τίς ἐστιν, ἀλλὰ χάρις παρὰ θεοῦ μόνη εἰς τὸ συνιέναι τὰς γραφὰς αὐτοῦ ἐδόθη μοι, ἧς χάριτος καὶ πάντας κοινωνοὺς ἀμισθωτὶ καὶ ἀφθόνως παρακαλῶ γίνεσθαι, ὅπως μὴ καὶ τούτου χάριν κρίσιν ὀφλήσω ἐν ᾗπερ μέλλει κρίσει ( διὰ ) τοῦ κυρίου μου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ὁ ποιητὴς τῶν ὅλων θεὸς ποιεῖσθαι...” - (Chapter 58:1; Dialogue With A Jew by Justin Martyr, Τοῦ ἁγίου Ἰουστίνου πρὸς Τρύφωνα Ἰουδαῖον Διάλογος (ed. E. J. Goodspeed) Die ältesten Apologeten, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1915)

JUSTIN MARTYR (circa. 110 to 165 C.E.): “...I [1.] wish to quote Scripture to you," I said, "without any merely artistic arrangement of arguments. Indeed, I have no such skill, but this grace alone was given me from God to understand His Scriptures, in which grace I invite everyone to share freely and abundantly, lest I should be held accountable at the judgment which God, the Creator of the universe, will hold ( through ) my Lord Jesus Christ...” - (Chapter 58:1; Dialogue With A Jew by Justin Martyr translated by K. Edgecome.)

CONCLUSION: So when Polycarp is read in the light of these scriptures he becomes easily understandable without having to resort to Tri{3}nitarian logic or bias. This claim by Tri{3}nitarians falls to bits under close scrutiny. And is found to be yet another ( false ) claim to the so-called “Deity” of Jesus Christ.