John 1:18

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by wfdfiremedic, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. wfdfiremedic

    wfdfiremedic
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    This passage is really causing debate in my mind. For those of you actively involved in defending the Trinity, such a scripture makes it rather hard. Here is how it is translated|:

    18(A)No one has seen God at any time; (B)the only begotten God who is (C)in the bosom of the Father, (D)He has explained Him. NASB

    18No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. KJV


    18(A) No one has ever seen God;(B) the only God,[a] who is at the Father’s side,(C) he has made him known. ESV

    18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son,[a] who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. NKJV

    18 No one has ever seen God. [a]

    The One and Only (A) Son

    the One who is at the Father's (B) side [c] —

    He has revealed Him. (C) HCSB


    Yes, I know about all the other passages that contain reference to deity, but such a passage in the critical text, makes it that much harder to defend the trininty. For instance, there are no indefinite articles in Koine Greek, yet we add one in Acts to refer to paul as, "a god". |JW's will then state, "hey, why can't we add one in the, "word was a god" then?

    As one can see, NKJV, and KJV make this distinction much clearer. I also find it interesting how the HCSB makes it clear, yet it is based upon the Alexandrian text. I guess we can see the Baptist bias?

    Should I lean more to the TR????????

    Thanks for input!!!
     
  2. Baptist4life

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    Yes. :tonofbricks:
     
  3. wfdfiremedic

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    FYI,

    I am an educated individual, not in theology (although I wish I were), but to my simplistic mind in theology it seems to me the NKJV, KJV, and HCSB are absolutley more dogmatic in proving our theology.

    Baptist 4 life, thanks for the comments.
    -Chris
     
  4. franklinmonroe

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    Hi Chris. When I interpret these translations I preceive precisely the opposite effect. Let me attempt to explain.

    Lets 'breakdown' the verse into phrases (KJV first) --
    No man hath seen God at any time, ["God' is our primary topic]
    the only begotten Son, [introduction of the "begotten Son"]
    which is in the bosom of the Father, [introduction of the "Father"]
    he hath declared him. ["he" seems to refer back to the Son, leaving "him" to be the Father, or God (our topic), or both Father/God] ​
    If "Father" is taken as just another term for "God" then there are just two separate persons identified in this verse: the begotten Son; and God (of our topic, which also is known as the Father). The relationship is obvious. However, the trinitarian (or even dualistic) nature of God is not explicitly discribed in this verse alone. God the Father seems to be different than His Son. There is nothing in this verse alone to specifically indicate that they are the same Person; there is no hint that the Son is coequal and of the same substance with God the Father. It is still necessary to argue from other Scripture that the begotten Son (Jesus) is Diety and the same as God.

    Now, let's 'breakdown' the other translation (NASB) --
    No one has seen God at any time; ["God" is the topic again]
    the only begotten God [the "begotten God" is introduced]
    who is in the bosom of the Father, [the "Father" is introduced"]
    He has explained Him. ["He" seems to be the "begotten God", therefore "Him" refers to the Father, or God (of the first phrase), or both] ​
    Here we have two persons that are both identified as being "God": the begotten God; and God the Father. They are either the same "God" or the verse is describing two gods (if two gods exist then neither is truly God). There are many Scriptures that explicitly state that God is one God. But it does become necessary to assert that the begotten God is the same as the begotten Son (Jesus) based upon other Scriptures. I think this may be easier to prove than the above situation.

    Neither verse introduces the Holy Spirit (Third-Person).
     
    #4 franklinmonroe, Oct 12, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 12, 2009
  5. Harold Garvey

    Harold Garvey
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    Wrong!

    Compare Scripture with Scripture.

    Jesus said, that "he" would speak of Him/ Jesus. This "he" is none-the-less than the Comforter/ The Holy Ghost.

    Also you always find the order of the Trinity being the first being The father, The Son, The Holy Ghost.

    Some would say there is no way to discern this as to prove the Trinity, but it has worked for me for over 40 years and most would agree, but then........:smilewinkgrin:

    Also, the only begotten Son is not God begotten/a created being, but is most definitely the Son of God/ God the Son. I believe you might be misunderstanding positional theology and theos when it comes to referencing the Godhead.
     
  6. preachinjesus

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    Actually, when we rightly understand the text I think we will be realize that it doesn't create a Trinitarian dilemma at all. One primary reason is that we don't base our Trinitarian theology off one verse, but a full read of the New Testament.

    One note that is good here is to make sure you read up on Granville Sharp's Rule before making suppositions about translations. You can find a good copy here: http://www.theologue.org/downloads/sharp.pdf

    I don't understand your phrase: such a passage in the critical text, makes it that much harder to defend the trininty

    I believe all the texts and passages of the New Testament are critical texts for theology. For example, just because some letters are red (in some versions) doesn't make those letters more significant than the black ones. Help me out here, what exactly do you mean by this.

    I don't deny that the John 1 passage is important for a right Trinitarian formulation. Yet I will suggest that when it is rightly interpretted that it shows a clear line to Trinitarian theology.

    While Christ is mentioned here it is important to remember He is the focus of the John 1 passage. The particular point that you are attempting to make is that the absence of the Holy Spirit is an argument from silence, because the Holy Spirit had not been a) given to the Church, b) given to individuals. Rather this passage isn't about the Triparite Godhead, but the idea of the unique and given Son of God, Jesus Christ. Particularly in 1:18 the keyword is still μονογενὴς which is translated "begotten" in the KJV. It means uniqueness...it is also present in John 3:16.

    Just because the Holy Spirit is not mentioned doesn't mean there isn't a substantive Scriptural argument for the Trinity. Likewise, the grammatical construction of John 1 is a highly structured, nearly poetic, formulation of Christology. The necessity of specificity of our age isn't always key in the NT writers' minds. Yet in careful study we can see that while the definite article doesn't exist here, it is likely a structural issue.

    A good note comes from the NET Bible:

    The textual problem μονογενὴς θεός (monogenh" qeo", “the only God”) versus ὁ μονογενὴς υἱός (Jo monogenh" Juio", “the only son”) is a notoriously difficult one. Only one letter would have differentiated the readings in the mss, since both words would have been contracted as nomina sacra: thus qMs or uMs. Externally, there are several variants, but they can be grouped essentially by whether they read θεός or υἱός. The majority of mss, especially the later ones (A C3 Θ Ψ Ë1,13 Ï lat), read ὁ μονογενὴς υἱός. Ì75 א1 33 pc have ὁ μονογενὴς θεός, while the anarthrous μονογενὴς θεός is found in Ì66 א* B C* L pc. The articular θεός is almost certainly a scribal emendation to the anarthrous θεός, for θεός without the article is a much harder reading. The external evidence thus strongly supports μονογενὴς θεός. Internally, although υἱός fits the immediate context more readily, θεός is much more difficult. As well, θεός also explains the origin of the other reading (υἱός), because it is difficult to see why a scribe who found υἱός in the text he was copying would alter it to θεός. Scribes would naturally change the wording to υἱός however, since μονογενὴς υἱός is a uniquely Johannine christological title (cf. John 3:16, 18; 1 John 4:9). But θεός as the older and more difficult reading is preferred. As for translation, it makes the most sense to see the word θεός as in apposition to μονογενής, and the participle ὁ ὤν (Jo wn) as in apposition to θεός, giving in effect three descriptions of Jesus rather than only two. (B. D. Ehrman, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, 81, suggests that it is nearly impossible and completely unattested in the NT for an adjective followed immediately by a noun that agrees in gender, number, and case, to be a substantival adjective: “when is an adjective ever used substantivally when it immediately precedes a noun of the same inflection?” This, however, is an overstatement. First, as Ehrman admits, μονογενής in John 1:14 is substantival. And since it is an established usage for the adjective in this context, one might well expect that the author would continue to use the adjective substantivally four verses later. Indeed, μονογενής is already moving toward a crystallized substantival adjective in the NT [cf. Luke 9:38; Heb 11:17]; in patristic Greek, the process continued [cf. PGL 881 s.v. 7]. Second, there are several instances in the NT in which a substantival adjective is followed by a noun with which it has complete concord: cf., e.g., Rom 1:30; Gal 3:9; 1 Tim 1:9; 2 Pet 2:5.) The modern translations which best express this are the NEB (margin) and TEV. Several things should be noted: μονογενής alone, without υἱός, can mean “only son,” “unique son,” “unique one,” etc. (see 1:14). Furthermore, θεός is anarthrous. As such it carries qualitative force much like it does in 1:1c, where θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος (qeo" hn Jo logo") means “the Word was fully God” or “the Word was fully of the essence of deity.” Finally, ὁ ὤν occurs in Rev 1:4, 8; 4:8, 11:17; and 16:5, but even more significantly in the LXX of Exod 3:14. Putting all of this together leads to the translation given in the text.

    The HCSB isn't "based upon the Alexandrian text" as you suggest. Note the prefatory comment:

    The textual base for the New Testament [NT] is the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece, 27th edition, and the United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament, 4th corrected edition. The text for the Old Testament [OT] is the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, 5th edition.
    Significant differences among Hebrew [Hb] and Aramaic [Aram] manuscripts of the OT or among Greek [Gk] manuscripts of the NT are indicated in footnotes. In a few NT cases large square brackets indicate texts that are omitted in some ancient manuscripts. The HCSB® uses the traditional verse divisions found in most Protestant Bibles in English.

    That said the Alexandarian text (or more correctly text-type) isn't a poor base. It is more profecient, particularly in the miniscule and unicals than the Byzantine base of the TR.

    Well I would recommend leaning towards a more reliable textual basis like the NA27 or UBS4 than the TR. :)
     
  7. wfdfiremedic

    wfdfiremedic
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    Preaching jesus,

    Thanks for your in-depth analysis. I will definitely learn from it!

    I am not saying that one cannot defend the trinity based upon the NASB, or other bibles that translate John 1:18 in the same fashion.


    What about this:????

    http://www.pfrs.org/commentary/John_1_18.pdf

    Preaching Jesus,

    Not arguing, just another side of the coin.
     
    #7 wfdfiremedic, Oct 12, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 12, 2009
  8. gb93433

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    To say that no one has seen a god would be a lie because in Acts Paul comments on an unknown God. We see gods all the time. They are idols.

    God is a proper noun (the title of a person) not just a noun.

    Their own Greek rules is not consistent in their own books.
     
  9. gb93433

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  10. franklinmonroe

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    First, within the confines of this topic (just John 1:18 alone) we are not afforded the luxury of comparing Scripture with Scripture here.

    But more importantly, I want to be sure I understand your interpretation. So, you are seriously saying that the word "he" in John 1:18 is referring to the Holy Spirit? And the "him" is Jesus? Is this right? --
    No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son,
    which is in the bosom of the Father, he [Holy Spirit] hath declared him [Jesus]. ​
    I hope you recognize how absurdly the verse reads that way. Compare the Scriptures, not torture them.
    Arrest your fears; I don't think God the Son was 'born' or created. It describes His status; and He is unique!
     
    #10 franklinmonroe, Oct 12, 2009
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  11. Harold Garvey

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    I don't believe in confining Scripture, ever.

    I said "position" that would be status.

    Who declares The Son? C'mon, WHO? We all know Jesus declared the Father, and IF we compare Scripture we'll also find the Holy Ghost declares Jesus when "he shall speak of me".

    I cannot "torture" that which is above me, to do so would bring the Scriptures under the authority of man and then those words would become man's words.:smilewinkgrin:
     
  12. JMSR

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    I don't understand how for either of those verses to be true they have to be referring to the same person.
     
    #12 JMSR, Oct 13, 2009
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  13. Johnv

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    Comparing one translation with another bears no authoritative fruit on the issue of John 1:18. We must look at the source texts. The earliest text families render it monogenês theos (only God), and are very consistent in that reading. As time progresses, we start to see the appearance of ho monogenês theos (the only God). It is not until later texts, such as the TR, that it is rendered ho monogenês huios (the only Son). That's why the translations render them as they do. The KJV gives authoritativeness to later manuscripts over earlier ones, for the simple reason that the earlier manuscripts were generally not known to the KJV translators.
    Read the whole chapter in its entirety, without "verse lifting". It's clear that they're referring to the same person.
     
    #13 Johnv, Oct 13, 2009
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  14. Harold Garvey

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    yep, one Lord, one faith, one baptism.
     
  15. Harold Garvey

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    So, since The Son is the only God you say the KJV got it right without the earlier manuscripts.

    I agree.:smilewinkgrin:

    Yep, the same God.
     
  16. JMSR

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    I'm sorry. I was referring to John 1:18 in contrast to John 16:13.
     
  17. Harold Garvey

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    How is it any of the three are separated from their person?
     
  18. Johnv

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    This is a classic example of single-translation-onlyist hypocrisy. He points to a passage and asserts that the KJV deviated from the source text, but that it's permissible. Yet, the same person will make an assertion that another translation has deviated from the source text, but in that case, it's condemnable.

    In actuality, no, the KJV didn't change anything. The KJV draws from a source text that has apparantly altered what was originally written. So if your argument is that this is an example of KJV superiority, your argument falls apart by the fact that the NKJV, ASV, and all translations that give primary credencce to the TR also render this phrase as the KJV does. I don't expect you to correct that flaw in your thinking, though.
     
  19. JMSR

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    They are not but in John 1 leading up to verse 18 I don't see where it ever refers to the Holy Spirit, as Jesus does in chapters 15 and 16.
     
  20. Harold Garvey

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    The thing is, and i am not "fussing" at you, is the three cannot be separated, but shown in their respective positions.

    It is the Spirit which inspired John to say what he did and John 1:18 is no exception. The Holy Ghost declares the Son, did so at the baptism of Jesus in a visual as a dove, the same dove spoke in the person of The Father of the Son.
     

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