Syntax of 1 John 5:1 as a proof for monergism

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by Greektim, Mar 18, 2016.

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  1. Greektim

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    Proof for Calvinism!

    James White just spent a while on this in a recent video (skip the first 2/5 of the vid) but we can shorten his points to this: doesn't 1 John 5:1 indicate via grammar and syntax that a Christian believes as a result of their being born by God?

    The argument is that the same grammar and syntax is used in 1 John 2:29 & 4:7 and can only be taken by protestants that the participle (the one doing righteousness; the one loving) is a result of their being born by God.

    Here is the text in Greek
    2:29:
    ...everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.
    ...πᾶς ὁ ποιῶν τὴν δικαιοσύνην ἐξ αὐτοῦ γεγέννηται

    4:7:
    ...whoever loves has been born of God...
    ...πᾶς ὁ ἀγαπῶν ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ γεγέννηται...

    5:1
    Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God...
    Πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων ὅτι ᾿Ιησοῦς ἐστιν ὁ Χριστὸς, ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ γεγέννηται...

    What say you, synergists???
     
    #1 Greektim, Mar 18, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
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  2. TCassidy

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  3. Greektim

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  4. Craigbythesea

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    The author of the epistle is teaching a correlation rather than a chronology. The Calvinistic doctrine of monergism has not been found in any extra-biblical literature prior to the 16th century, and has never been accepted as a biblical doctrine by the very large majority of the Church. Why—because the Bible does not teach it! Indeed, the Bible expressly teaches that both works and faith precede one’s justification and hence their Christianity,

    James 2:24. ορατε οτι εξ εργων δικαιουται ανθρωπος και ουκ εκ πιστεως μονον

    Once a person becomes justified and saved, his faith and works will continue—at least for a while.
     
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  5. Greektim

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    I didn't say anything of chronology. Only a logical result (thus correlation as you say).

    And the interesting thing is, you didn't address the syntax or grammar. You went with a different tactic citing church history (spurious as it was).

    And then you talked about justification??? I'm talking about being born or regeneration. Certainly you understand the difference.
     
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  6. Craigbythesea

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    The expression that you used, “a result of,” expresses a sequence of events—a relative chronology.

    I did address the syntax, “The author of the epistle is teaching a correlation rather than a chronology [sequence of events].” Therefore, your argument from the syntax is irrelevant. Furthermore, my argument from the history of the interpretation of the Bible is a very important one—and a very solid one!

    Justification precedes regeneration, and faith and works both precede justification. Therefore, it follows that faith and works both precede regeneration.
     
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  7. Craigbythesea

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    The fact is that Calvinism is famous for its gymnastics in handling Greek syntax, and especially so in passages from the Bible that are relevant to soteriology.
     
  8. Greektim

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    And yet you don't bother to deal with the syntax here? Why is that I wonder...
     
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  9. Greektim

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    Sorry, I did not see this post.
    Is cause and effect always chronological? Can't it just be logical? There is no necessity of time for the result of 2+2 to equal 4.


    Solid as it may be (it's not), that is not the point of this thread. So it is just dodging.

    And you haven't addressed the syntax b/c you've said nothing of the present participles and their relationship to the perfect verb. Further, you've not mentioned the semantic range for the verb and why that too restricts the syntax. Maybe in your fantasy world, you addressed the syntax, but not in reality.


    Again, not only are you wrong here in your ordo salutis, but this is not pertinent to the discussion but just dodging.

    Now if you want to talk about your ordo salutis or the historical verity of Calvinism, make a separate thread. Otherwise, stick to the topic of syntax as it regards to 1 Jn 5:1 and similarly constructed verses, please.

    I take my apology back from above. You've still not treated the syntactical argument being made. Perhaps it is that you don't understand it?
     
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  10. Craigbythesea

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    The syntax used by the author of 1 John is typically elementary and this is the case in 1 John 5:1. Therefore, no one is disputing the syntax. However, it is absolutely clear to nearly everyone that the author of 1 John never even began to imagine that the syntax that he used would be used after a span of nearly 1,500 years to teach a new and novel doctrine deduced from a new and incorrect view of the sovereignty of God rather than arrived at though correct exegesis of the Old and New Testaments.
     
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  11. Greektim

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    So you aren't willing to engage in actual dialogue?

    You won't admit that in these verses, his syntax is indicating that the articular participle is performing its action as a result of the finite perfect passive verb "have been born"???

    Nope... instead you argue "new and novel doctrine" and throw out an arbitrary number. I'm not even going to acknowledge this inane idea, since Augustine clearly taught monergism.

    Craigbythesea... maybe you should stay there. Cause you're not adding much by way of content here.
     
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  12. Craigbythesea

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    Do you know what dialogue is?

    In this thread, I have consistently agreed with the incontrovertible fact that in John 5:1 the substantival participle depicts its action as occurring as a result of the finite perfect passive verb γεγέννηται.

    I have studied Augustine in the original Latin, and I have also studied where Calvinists (and no one else!) have falsely alleged, based upon passages taken out of context from an English translation, that Augustine taught monergism. The fact is that he taught the precise opposite just as others did before him and just as the Roman Catholic Church has throughout its history; and yet some Calvinists have even absurdly argued from official Church documents that the Church in the fifth and sixth centuries taught monergism. Indeed, many Calvinists—especially those who had not been blessed with a good education—have denied the fact that none of the doctrines peculiar to Calvinism have been found in any extra-biblical writings before the 16th century. Other more richly blessed Calvinists have conceded the fact, but have absurdly argued that the fact is not important because “the Bible teaches Calvinism.”

    Enough of that, and back to the syntax. I have in my personal library ten fairly recent exegetical commentaries on 1 John written by scholars who were/are fluent in Greek and who could easily understand the syntax used in 1 John 5:1,

    Brooke, A. E.
    Brown, Raymond E.
    Bruce, F. F.
    Findlay, George G.
    Houlden, J. L.
    Lias, John James
    Lieu, Judith M.
    Marshal, I. Howard
    Smalley, Stephen S. (Both his original and his revised editions)
    Westcott, B. F.

    Last night, I read to see how each of them interpreted 1 John 5:1, and none of them interpret it in the manner that you have interpreted it in this thread. Indeed, they all agree with my position that the weight of the context is far greater than the weight of the syntax in determining the correct understanding of the verse.

    Moreover we read in John 1:12,

    ὅσοιδὲ ἔλαβοναὐτόν, ἔδωκεναὐτοῖςἐξουσίαντέκναΘεοῦ γενέσθαι, τοῖςπιστεύουσινεἰςτὸ ὄνομααὐτοῦ,
     
  13. Internet Theologian

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    Unnecessary ad hominem imo. This typically means a person is losing a debate.

    You're aware of Augustine's theological inconsistencies? You should be since you read him in Latin. IOW what I am saying is that people use whatever side he taught at the moment to 'prove' their point. :)
     
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  14. Craigbythesea

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    Augustine’s theology was very consistent till his late in his life (ca. 426-427) when he published his Retractationes (also known as Retractationum). Regarding this work, the patristic scholar William A. Jurgens writes,

    English-speaking authors usually avoid the problem of what the title means by the simple expedient of referring to it by its Latin title, Retractationes. When it is mentioned in English and in the English translations now available it is invariably referred to as Retractations or Retractions. The first is an affront to English and the second is incorrect. Actually, Augustine had very little to retract, and the meaning of Retractationes is Reconsiderations, Revisions, Second Thoughts, or, as I have called it, Corrections. With the Corrections, Augustine again invented a new literary genre: a summation and criticism of his own writings. He had originally intended to include in his review his books, letters, and sermons. But when he had completed the review of his books in 426 or 427, he was persuaded to publish the whole work as it then stood.

    (Jurgens, William A. The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 3, page 163. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1979).
     
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  15. Internet Theologian

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    Oh gee, a Roman Catholic Scholar. No bias there, right? Laugh
     
  16. Martin Marprelate

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    '"You did not choose Me," Christ says, "but I chose you." Such grace is beyond description. What were we, apart from Christ's choice of us, when we were empty of love? What were we but sinful and lost? We did not lead Him to choose us by believing in Him; for if Christ chose people who already believed, then we chose Him before He chose us. How then could He say, "You did not choose Me," unless His mercy came before our faith? here is the faulty reasoning of those who say that God chose us before the creation of the world, not in order to make us good, but because He foresaw we would be good. This was not the view of Him who said, "You did not choose Me." We were not chosen because of our goodness, for we could not be good without being chosen. Grace is no longer grace if human goodness comes first. Listen, you ungrateful person, listen! "You did not choose Me but I chose you." Do not say, "I am chosen because I first believed." If you first believed, you had already chosen Him......And do not say, "Before I believed I was already chosen on account of my good works." What good work can come before faith, when the apostle Paul says, "Whatever is not from faith is sin"
    (Rom. 14:23)? What then shall we say when we hear these words, "You did not choose Me"? We shall say this: We were evil, and we were chosen that we might become good by the grace of Him who chose us. For salvation is not by grace if our goodness came first; but it is by grace- and therefore God's grace did not find us good but makes us good.' [Augustine of Hippo, Commentary on John 15:16]

    I have given an somewhat extended quote to avoid being accused of taking a passage out of context.
    Disciples of Augustine who also upheld predestination included Prosper of Aquitaine, Fulgentius of Ruspe, Avitus of Vienne and Caesarius of Arles. The Council of Orange (529 AD) broadly upheld Augustinian theology. I do not say that any of these people 'had it right.' If they had, we would all be Roman Catholics and not Baptists, but they were broadly 'predestinarians.'

    In the Middle Ages, Predestination was upheld by proto-Protestants like Robert Grosseteste, Thomas Bradwardine and, supremely, by John Wyclif, all many, many years before Calvin.
     
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  17. revmwc

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    1 John 2

    26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.

    27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

    28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

    We are commanded to make a choice to abide in Him that of course is if we have received Him and how do we receive him, by making a choice. There in, lies the syntax, choose to abide and therefore walk in righteousness, as we see in the next verse, doesn’t following the syntax involve the whole writing not just taking one portion and fitting a syntax to it?

    29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

    Shouldn't the syntax of the complete writing be what we center in on instead of trying to fit a few verses into the doctrine one believes?

    Thus what was John's point, if we have believed we are to continue to walk or Abide in the righteousness that is supplied because we placed our faith in Him, and that abiding occurs when 1 John 1:9 is practiced, confession of sin as believers.
     
    #17 revmwc, Mar 23, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
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  18. Greektim

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    I'm all for keeping verses in context. But that does not mean we neglect the ramifications of a single verse and how it affects the entirety of a book's teachings.

    I'm not saying one way or another that your view of the entire book is wrong. But I am asking you to exegete a few verses within that book. You can't dodge an issue by moving to "the bigger picture".
     
  19. preachinjesus

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    While I'm not a Calvinist, nor Reformed, I am a monergist, so the case of synergism is difficult to make biblically (and theologically.) One point about the syntax though, is that it is generally dependent on context and interpretive method. Here, in 1 John, it is more direct than other places...but there can be room for charitable disagreement.
     
  20. Greektim

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    I disagree (charitably). Syntax is the relationship of words to each other in their immediate context. Syntax is your neighbors and the road you live on, your neighborhood. It is not the entire town or city where you live or even suburb community. So yes context, but the immediate context.

    As it relates here: 1 John 5:1 indicates (in its own contextual argument) that each one believes as a result (syntax) of their being born by God.

    The same grammatical and syntactical structure is found 2 other times and indicates (in its own contextual argument) the same syntactical resultant of the participle ("doing" or "loving") to being born by God.

    So whatever these verses have to do with their larger context, the smaller syntactical issues lend to that larger argument. And the smaller issues are about being born by God resulting in doing righteousness, loving, and believing.
     
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