Search related sites

Friday, October 30, 2009

SHARP'S Rule

Note: Although Watchtower Society (WTS) research and scholarship is usually at least the equal of (and often superior to) that of other sources, I have tried to rely most heavily on other sources in Christendom itself (preferably trinitarian) or my own independent research to provide evidence disproving the trinitarian ‘proof’ being examined in this paper.  The reason is, of course, that this paper is meant to provide evidence needed by non-Witnesses, and many of them will not accept anything written by the WTS.  They truly believe it is false, even dishonest.  Therefore some of the following information, all of which helps disprove specific trinitarian “proofs,” may be in disagreement with current WTS teachings in some specifics (especially when I have presented a number of alternates).  Jehovah’s Witnesses should research the most recent WTS literature on the subject or scripture in question before using this information with others. - RDB.
 
                                                                     SHARP 
 
                                Granville Sharp’s Rule and 2 Peter 1:1, Titus 2:13
                                                   (From the RDB Files)
 
      In an attempt to prove the trinity doctrine, Granville Sharp made up a rule in 1798.  It is often called “Sharp’s Rule” by trinitarians.  It says, in effect, that when two or more words (nouns) are joined by the word “and” they all refer to the same person if the word “the” (the article) comes before the first noun and not before the other noun(s): “THE king AND _master of the castle.”
     Sharp invented this rule after he noticed this particular construction (sometimes called a “Sharp’s construction”) was used with “God” and “Christ” in 5 places in the NT.   IF he could convince others that his “rule” was true, then they would think there was finally (after 1400 years of a “trinity” tradition) absolute grammatical Bible proof that God and Jesus are the same “person”!
The 5 “proofs” of Jesus’ Godhood according to Sharp are (in the literal wording of the NT Greek text):
a) Titus 2:13: “of the    great   God     and    of savior   of us   Christ    Jesus”
                             τοῦ   μεγάλου  θεοῦ    καὶ   σωτῆρος  ἡμῶν  Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ,
(b) 2 Pet. 1:1: “righteousness  of the  God   of us   and   of savior   Jesus    Christ”
                              δικαιοσύνῃ   τοῦ   θεοῦ   ἡμῶν  καὶ   σωτῆρος  Ἰησοῦ  Χριστοῦ,
        
(c) 2 Thess. 1:12:“the  grace  of the  God  of us   and    of Lord    Jesus     Christ”
                               τὴν  χάριν   τοῦ  θεοῦ  ἡμῶν  καὶ   κυρίου  Ἰησοῦ  Χριστοῦ.
        
(d) 1 Tim. 5:21: “in sight  of the  God  and  of Christ   Jesus  and  of the  chosen    angels”
                            ἐνώπιον  τοῦ   θεοῦ  καὶ  Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ  καὶ  τῶν  ἐκλεκτῶν  ἀγγέλων
         
(e) Eph. 5:5: “...in  the  kingdom   of the    Christ   and  of God”
                       ἐν  τῇ  βασιλείᾳ   τοῦ   Χριστοῦ  καὶ   θεοῦ.
      
 
Trinitarian Daniel B. Wallace in his Selected Notes on the Syntax of New Testament Greek, 3rd ed., 1981, p. 100, quotes “Granville Sharp’s Rule”:  
When the copulative kai [and] connects two nouns of the same case, [viz. nouns (either substantive or adjective, or participles), of personal description, respecting office, dignity, affinity, or connexion, and attributes, properties, or qualities, good or ill], if the article , or any of its cases [ho/tou/ton, etc.], precedes the first of the said nouns or participles, and is not repeated before the second noun or participle, the latter always relates to the same person that is expressed or described by the first noun or participle:  i.e. it denotes a farther description of the first-named person...
     Staunch trinitarian defender Prof. A. Bowser quotes Sharp’s Rule somewhat more simply:
     “When the copulative andconnects two nouns of the same case, if the article precedes the first noun and is not repeated before the second noun, the latter always refers to the same person that is expressed or described by the first noun. 
     Since the first noun (“God” in the first four scriptures) has the article (“the”) with it and the following noun (“savior” in the first two scriptures) does not have the article (“the”), then (according to Sharp) God and Christ (the savior, etc.) are the same person!
     At any rate, Wallace and Bowser both claim that this “Rule” (which “gave rise to a controversy” as soon as it was proposed - Encyclopedia Britannica, p. 466, v. 20, 1960) proves that Jesus is equally God with the Father.  As Wallace puts it, Sharp’s Rule when applied to Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 1:1 (both of which he “analyzes” in some detail); and 2 Thess. 1:12; 1 Tim. 5:21 (both of which he merely lists and does not examine) teaches Jesus is God:
     “We have absolute grammatical certainty that the rule applies to at least four passages in the New Testament which teach that our Lord Jesus is God. ....  Sharing this material ... can give ... a solid defense from the Greekagainst troublesome cults.- p. 104.  And, in summary, since the central doctrine of Christianity is that Jesus Christ is God, we can be encouraged that in four passages an absolute rule of Greek grammar absolutely asserts that Jesus Christ is Lord of lords, God in the flesh.- p. 111, Wallace, Selected Notes.  (Cf. The NIV Study Bible f.n.  for 2 Peter 1:1 and Titus 2:13.  Also see Zondervans So Many Versions?, p.100, 1983 ed.)
     It might be noteworthy to some that this essential information concerning the knowledge of God and of Jesus (John 17:3; 2 Thess. 1:8) can be “absolutely” ascertained grammatically in only four places in the entire Bible by using a “controversial” rule that even some of the best trinitarian New Testament scholars disavow!
     Yes, probably the most telling blow against this 200-year-old controversial rule is the rejection of it by so many of the most respected trinitarian Bible language experts!  Even Wallace himself (who desperately tries for some kind of “absolute” scriptural proof for a trinity idea) complains that
so many grammarians and exegetes objected to the validity of Granville Sharps Rule with reference to texts dealing with the Deity of Christ!  
He specifically mentions “the great Greek grammarian,” G. B. Winer (trinitarian) and “one of the greatest grammarians of this [nineteenth/twentieth] century,” J. H. Moulton  (trinitarian) as rejecting this “rule”!
     I have also seen that the Roman Catholic scholar Karl Rahner   rejects this rule as do C. F. D. Moule  and Henry Alford.   Even famed trinitarian scholar Dr. James Moffatt (“probably the greatest biblical scholar of our day”) showed his rejection of the “absoluteness” of this rule by his rendering of Titus 2:13.  
In fact, even very trinitarian Daniel B. Wallace complains that the common translation of Titus 2:13 as found in the KJV (“the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ”) treats “‘God’ and ‘Savior’ separately”! - Compare 2 Peter 1:1, 2 KJV).  The same separation can be seen in the ASV (Titus 2:13), the Douay Version, and the NEB (footnote).
 
 
In vol. 5, p. 257 the respected The Expositor's Greek Testament says: "In the present case [Jude 1:4], however, the second noun (kupiov) belongs to the class of words which may stand without the article .... A similar doubtful case is found in Tit. ii. 13.... Other examples of the same kind are Eph. v. 5 ... 2 Thess. i: 12 ... 1 Tim. v. 21 (cf. 2 Tim. iv. 1) ... 2 Peter i. 1."   [Except for kupiov, emphasis has been added by me.]
 
It is no secret to NT Grammarians that when you have more than one noun connected by "and" (kai in NT Greek) and the first noun has the article, the following nouns may or may not have the article but they can still be understood to have the article.  
 
Moulton's Grammar of New Testament Greek says:
 
"(f) Repetition of Article with several nouns connected by kai
 
"The art. may be carried over from the first noun to the other(s)" - p. 181, Vol. 3, 1963.
 
We might compare Matt. 22:32 (all nouns with article) with Mark 12:26 (first article understood with following nouns).
 
So compare the KJV rendering of Titus 2:13 (which “treats ‘God’ and ‘Savior’ separately”)  with that of 2 Peter 1:1,  KJV.  
 
(KJV) 2 Peter 1:1 "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ"
 
Also compare:
 
(ASV) 2 Peter 1:1 "Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained a like precious faith with us in the righteousness of our God and the Saviour Jesus Christ."
 
(Weymouth NT) 2 Peter 1:1 "Simon Peter, a bondservant and Apostle of Jesus Christ: To those to whom there has been allotted the same precious faith as that which is ours through the righteousness of our God and of our Saviour Jesus Christ."  
 
     Even clearer are the renderings by the trinitarian scholars who translated The New American Bible, 1970 ed. (2 Thess. 1:12; Titus 2:13); NAB, 1991 ed.  (Titus 2:13); New American Standard Bible (1 Tim. 5:21); Revised Standard Version (1 Tim. 5:21); NRSV (1 Tim. 5:21); The Jerusalem Bible (1 Tim. 5:21); NJB (1 Tim. 5:21); Today’s English Version (1 Tim. 5:21); New English Bible (1 Tim. 5:21); The Living Bible (2 Thess. 1:12); Phillips (Titus 2:13); Modern Language Bible (2 Thess. 1:12; 1 Tim. 5:21); Douay Version (2 Thess. 1:12); King James II Version (2 Thess. 1:12); Good News Bible (2 Thess. 1:12; 1 Tim. 5:21); The Amplified  Bible        (1 Tim. 5:21); Barclay’s Daily Study Bible, 1975 (2 Thess. 1:12); Riverside NT (Titus 2:13; 2 Thess. 1:12; 1 Tim. 5:21 ); New Life Version (2 Thess. 1:12; 1 Tim. 5:21); Easy-to-Read Version(1 Tim. 5:21).
We can find numerous translations of Titus 2:13 (probably the most-used scripture for this “proof”) which render it as referring to two persons.
 
Titus 2:13 
 
Bible translations old and new:
 
 
13 lokynge for that blessed hope and appearynge of the glory of ye greate God and of oure Sauioure Iesu Christ - Coverdale
 
13 lokynge for þe blessed hope & appearinge of the glory of the greate God, & of oure sauioure Iesu Christ, - The Great Bible 
 
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and appearing of that glorie of that mightie God, and of our Sauiour Iesus Christ, - Geneva
 
13 abidinge the blessid hope and the comyng of the glorie of the greet God, and of oure sauyour Jhesu Crist; - Wycliffe
 
13  lokinge for that blessed hope and glorious apperenge of ye myghty god and of oure savioure Iesu Christ - Tyndale
 
13 in expectation of that desirable happiness, the glorious appearance of the supreme God, and of our saviour Jesus Christ, - Mace
 
13 awaiting the blessed hope of the appearance of the Glory of the great God and of our Saviour Christ Jesus, - Moffatt
 
13 expecting the blessed hope; namely, the appearing of the glory of the great God, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ; - The Living Oracles
 
13 looking for the blessed hope, and appearing of the glory of the great God and of our Saviour Jesus Christ; - Noyes
 
13 waiting for the blessed hope, the glorious appearing of the great God and of our Savior Christ Jesus, - Riverside
 
13 looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of the great God and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, - Sawyer
 
(KJV) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious [F9] appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Note: 'F9 glorious...: Gr. the appearance of the glory of the great God, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ' - http://classic.studylight.org/desk/?l=en&query=titus+2%3A13§ion=2&translation=kjv&oq=&sr=1 
 
(New American Bible - 1970) as we await our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of the great God and of our Savior Christ Jesus
 
(New American Bible - 1991) as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of the great God and of our savior Jesus Christ
 
(New American Bible - 2010) as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of the great God and of our savior Jesus Christ
 
(A New Translation in Plain English - Charles K. Williams) while we wait for the blessed thing we hope for, the appearing of the glory of the great God and of our Saviour Jesus Christ
 
And while we live this life we hope and wait for the glorious denouement of the Great God and of Jesus Christ our saviour. - Phillips
 
We are to be looking for the great hope and the coming of our great God and the One Who saves, Christ Jesus. - NLV
 
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and appearing of that glory of that mighty God, and of our Savior Jesus Christ. - GNV
 
"looking for that blessed hope and glorious appearing of the mighty God and of our Saviour Jesus Christ," - NMB  
 
According to An Idiom-Book of New Testament Greek, by C. F. D. Moule, Cambridge, England, 1971, p. 109, at Titus 2:13, the sense "of the Great God, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ ... is possible in [New Testament] Greek even without the repetition [of the definite article before the second noun]."
 
Noted British NT scholar and trinitarian clergyman Henry Alford wrote: "I would submit that [a translation which clearly differentiates God from Christ at Titus 2:13] satisfies all the grammatical requirements of the sentence: that it is both structurally and contextually more probable, and more agreeable to the Apostles [Pauls] way of writing: and I have therefore preferred it." - The Greek Testament, p. 421, Vol. 3.
 
Of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ (tou megalou qeou kai swthrov hmwn Cristou Ihsou). .  According to A.V. [KJV] two persons are indicated, God and Christ. Revelations with others rend. of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus, thus indicating one person, and asserting the deity of Christ. I adopt the latter, although the arguments and authorities in favor of the two renderings are very evenly balanced. 155- Vincents Word Studies in the New Testament.
 
"Some Trinitarians say that the grammar of Titus 2:13 forces the interpretation that Jesus is God because of the Granville Sharp rule of Greek grammar. That is not the case, however. The Granville Sharp rule has been debated and successfully challenged. When Scripture refers to our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,it can indeed be referring to two separate beings: the Great God,and the Savior,Jesus Christ. The highly regarded Trinitarian Henry Alford gives a number of reasons as to why the grammar of the Greek does not force the interpretation of the passage to make Christ God (Henry Alford, The Greek Testament, Moody Press, Chicago, 1958, Vol. 3, entry on Titus 2:13 ). [For more on the Granville Sharp rule, see commentary on 2 Peter 1:1]." - Revised English Version Commentary - Titus 2:13.
 
And, finally (I think) concerning Titus 2:13, the steadfastly trinitarian The Expositor's Greek Testament (vol. 4, p. 195) says specifically of Titus 2:13:
 
"On the whole, then, we decide in favour of the R.V.m. in the rendering of this passage, appearing of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.  The grammatical argument - [Sharp's Rule] - is too slender to bear much weight, especially when we take into consideration not only the general neglect of the article in these epistles but the omission of it before σωτὴρ ['savior'] in I Tim. i. I, iv. 10  [1:1; 4:10]."
…………………….
 
"The Sahidic is probably the earliest of the [Coptic] translations, and also has the greatest textual value. It came into existence no later than the third century, since a copy of 1 Peter exists in a manuscript from about the end of that century."

 http://www.skypoint.com/members/waltzmn/Versions.html#Sahidic  
 
 
20th century Coptic scholar and New Testament translator George W. Horner gives a date closer to 188 CE, based on "the internal character of the Sahidic [version]," which, he says, "supplies confirmation of a date earlier than the third century."

Coptic scholar C. S. Malan said, "The Sahidic Version was made when Greek was a living language even in Egypt, possibly in the second century."

The Coptic Church gives the date of 200 A.D.

The Sahidic Coptic version is likely as old, and as valuable, as the more well-known Old Italian, Vulgate, and Syriac versions.
 
And,
 
Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1. These verses are said in some circles to represent the "Granville Sharp Rule" that two nouns connected by kai (Greek, "and") and only the first noun has the definite article, it denotes unity or equality. Thus, in these verses, "the God and Savior Jesus Christ," applies to Christ the titles of both God and Savior. Was this the understanding of the Sahidic Coptic translators?

No. At Titus 2:13 the Sahidic Coptic text reads noute. mn penswthr ihsous pecristos, "God, and our Savior Jesus Christ." Thus, two Persons are in view, not one and the same. The Coptic translators did not know of a "Granville Sharp Rule."

And as for 2 Peter 1:1, the Coptic translators apparently had before them another Greek text, which read "Lord" instead of "God": "Our Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior." (For example, "Lord" instead of "God" is found in the great Greek Codex Sinaiticus of the 4th century, and also the Harclean Syriac version.)
………………………..
     And notice Eph. 5:5 - one of the examples Sharp himself chose to “prove” Christ’s deity which Wallace completely ignores.  Most trinitarian Bibles translate this example of Sharp’s Construction: “in the kingdom of Christ and of God” - KJV; NRSV;  RSV;  NIV;  NEB;  REB;  NAB;  Douay;  MLB; LB;  GNB;  TEV; KJ21; CEV; ERV; NLV; TNIV; WE;  Expanded Bible;  The Amplified Bible; Third Millenium Bible; New Living Translation; New Century Version; God’s Word;  Holman Christian Standard Bible; Wesley’s New Testament; Geneva Bible; Wycliffe Bible; Phillips; Mounce; and the Webster Bible.  This is not the way it would be translated if the two descriptions were of the same person!  (At the very least it would be rendered more literally as “the kingdom of the Christ and God.”)  Instead it clearly shows two persons!  Sharp’s Rule does not work here!  (Also, Analytical-Literal Translation (2000); Concordant Literal Version (1926);  Green's Literal Translation; International Standard Version NT; English Jubilee 2000 Bible) 
 
 
    Also, 1 Tim. 6:13 is translated in trinitarian Bibles as: “before (in the sight or presence of) God ... and before Christ Jesus....”  Although Sharp’s Rule insists that this should be translated to show that it is speaking of the same person, it obviously is not!  Obviously, most trinitarian grammar experts simply do not believe Sharp’s Rule is a valid absolute rule!
     Notice that Wallaces 4 examples also completely ignore  2 Tim. 4:1 even though its identical to 1 Tim. 5:21 and should, therefore, be a  5th (or 7th) absolute proof.”  Maybe its because so many trinitarian Bibles translate it to show a clear separation between God and Jesus in spite of Sharps Rule: ASV; NIV;  JB;  NJB; NEB;  NASB; ESV; RSV; NRSV; REB; NAB (70 & 91); Living Bible; GNB; CEB; CEV; MLB; AB; Geneva Bible; Moffatt; Phillips; Knox; etc.  For example at 1 Tim. 5:21, NASB: “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angelsand 2 Tim 4:1, NASB:  I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus.
 
     Why were these examples left out of Wallace’s “Exhaustive” lists of examples?  Probably for the same reason that he, like Bowser, quotes and examines ONLY 2 (Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1) and virtually ignores 2 Thess. 1:12   and 1 Tim. 5:21: careful examination and comparison of most trinitarian translations show them to be referring to 2 separate persons in these verses in contradiction of “Sharp’s Rule”!
     If this “rule” can be ignored at these places in all these trinitarian Bibles, it cannot be considered an “absolute” (infallible) rule!  And if it’s not an absolute rule, it cannot be used as honest proof of anything!  Also, if this rule were really “absolute,” not only must every Sharp’s construction refer to a single person, but every instance of a single person having two titles or descriptions joined by “and” must be in a “Sharp’s construction”!  But many times God and Christ have titles joined by “and” without a “Sharp’s construction” being used! - James 1:1; 1 Thess. 3:11; 1 Tim. 1:1; Rev. 14:4.  And many times in the scriptures we find personal nouns for the same individual connected by “and” even though they are not in a “Sharp’s construction”: Acts 2:36; 5:31; 7:35; 1 Tim. 1:13; 2 Tim. 1:11; Heb. 11:10; 2 Peter 1:1 (‘slave and apostle’); Rev. 1:4, 5; 1:17; 2:8; 21:6; 22:13; and many more.
     In fact we even find a statement written with “Sharp’s Rule” by one inspired Bible writer and a parallel statement written without “Sharp’s Rule” by another inspired Bible writer!  
     Even a doctrinal/grammatical examination should convince trinitarians that Sharp’s Rule cannot prove Jesus’ deity.  It is the “orthodox” understanding that, whereas there is only one God, that God is composed of three persons.  Therefore “God” is singular as an entity but plural in persons!!
     This is somewhat like saying there is one Senate which is a singular entity but plural in persons.  We cannot say that the single person, Senator Smith, is the Senate!  Likewise, if we are trinitarians, we should not say that Jesus is the only true God!  There is only one God, trinitarians say, but that God is composed of three persons!  (But analyze John 17:1, 3 !!)
     Wallace himself, in discussing John 1:1 (p. 96), tells us that the attempt by some trinitarians to say that Jesus (in the last part of John 1:1) is the same person as “the God” (in the first part of John 1:1) is “Sabellianism or modalism—in other words, heresy!”  And, “Since there are 3 Persons in the Trinity, it is not proper to conceive of ‘God’ as being summed up by ‘the Word’ [Jesus].”
     Now notice that each of the 4 “proofs” is interpreted by Wallace himself as proving that “the God” is the same person as Jesus Christ!  This is certainly a major contradiction!
     We should also be aware that Wallace rejects plural personal nouns from his list of “Sharp’s constructions” (since plural nouns often disprove the “absolute” validity of this “rule”).  And yet, “The God” (according to trinitarians) is plural in persons!  (Some trinitarians even try to claim that the Old Testament Hebrew word for “God,” since it is plural - elohim - is proof of the “plurality of persons” who make up the single God.  In reality, of course, it’s the well-known Hebrew “plural of excellence.”  -  see the ELOHIM study.)
     Since Wallace himself insists (although improperly) that personal nouns that are plural must not be used as proper examples, the use of the “plural” (in persons, according to trinitarians) “The God” in each of the 4 Sharp’s “proofs” would invalidate the “rule” before we even start!
     Jehovah’s Witnesses, however, know that the only true God is really only one person: Jehovah, the  Father.  This is clearly shown throughout the Old and New Testaments (without the necessity of attempting to formulate a special grammatical “rule” to “prove” it).  It’s also significant that (as in nearly all “proofs” of the trinity doctrine) the Holy Spirit is never included in the “proofs” of Sharp’s Rule.  Is that any way to show the respect, honor, and worship that are required by the only true God whom we must know (John 17:3; 2 Thess. 1:8): ignoring completely the third “person” who, allegedly, is “equally God with the Father and Son”?
     But even if we examine this “rule” in a strictly grammatical sense we find fatal flaws.
     It is relatively rare that singular titles are used in a copulative pair or series (other than for God and Jesus who have many titles and are frequently mentioned together because of their close relationship: Father/Son, Master/Servant, etc.).  Therefore, the majority of all examples for singular persons who are actually found in “Sharp’s constructions” use personal names.  (The bulk of Wallace’s “examples” are not even nouns at all but participles which are improperly used as examples by him.) 
     When we look for other examples of other individuals (besides those of God and Jesus) where titles or common nouns alone are used in Wallace’s “exhaustive list for the NT” (see Appendix for Wallace’s lists of “Sharp’s constructions”), we end up with only 6 valid examples (pp. 102-103).  If we include plural constructions - which obviously would use titles and common nouns much more frequently (or if we use personal names  ) - we can then find enough examples to be meaningful and statistically significant, but, unfortunately for Sharp’s rule, when we do this, they show that the two persons or groups connected in such a manner do not always equal each other.
     The same thing happens when non-personal nouns are used   (and there is no reason, grammatical or otherwise, why they should be rejected as proper examples except that they, like plural personal nouns, prove Sharp’s rule is not “absolute” as Wallace claims).  Therefore, if Sharp’s rule is not “absolute” (and it certainly isn’t), there is no reason to insist that it works at the 4 “trinitarian” scriptures claimed by Wallace!
     In addition to the extreme sparsity of examples (far too few to be valid) for singular personal nouns which Wallace allows (since he improperly rejects plurals and non-personal nouns) there is the problem of “prepositional” constructions (“the house of God;” “of the man of God”) which include the noun being modified by a genitive or a dative.
     As we discovered in our detailed investigation in the studies of John 1:1 (E.g. the DEF study), it is just as proper to reject examples of “prepositional” constructions  as it is to reject examples of personal names since both cause irregular, inconsistent definite article usage in the NT Greek!  (Except for the irregular article usage, personal names would be the very best examples for Sharp’s rule since nothing else is as explicitly a personal singular noun).
     Therefore, we must either include personal names as proper examples (which would absolutely destroy the validity of the “absolute” Sharp’s rule - examine Matt. 17:1; Mark 16:1; Luke 24:10; Acts 15:22; Micah 6:4 in the Septuagint), OR, more properly, we must reject all examples which include “prepositional” constructions.
     If we properly exclude “prepositional” constructions, we must necessarily exclude all of the 4 “Jesus is God” proofs: 2 Thess. 1:12 - “of the God of us and of Lord Jesus Christ;” 1 Tim. 5:21 - “in sight of the God and of Christ Jesus;” Titus 2:13 - “of the great God and of Savior OF us Christ Jesus;” 2 Peter 1:1 - “of the God of us and of Savior Jesus Christ.”  (Isn’t it more likely that a single article at the beginning of a series of nouns - especially nouns associated with “prepositional” constructions - can be understood to apply to each noun that follows?)  
     We can see that not only is each one of the 4 “proofs” part of a “prepositional” construction (which can cause irregular definite article usage) but each one includes the personal name of the Son (which can also cause great irregularity in article usage).
     In fact, the influence of the anarthrous (without the article) personal name is enough to make the descriptive nouns accompanying it anarthrous also.  Trinitarian NT Greek expert A. T. Robertson tells us:
words in apposition with proper names are usually anarthrous!  [In addition to Jesushe includes the titles Lordand Christin this category]. - pp. 791, 760, 761, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research.  
In fact, A. T. Robertson also says:
but the fact that kurios [Lord] is so often anarthrous like a proper name slightly weakens it [Sharps Rule application].  The same remark also applies to 2 Thess. 1:12... and Eph. 5:5 ... (since theou [of God] often occurs without the article).[It may only slightly weaken itfor some trinitarians, but, in reality, it destroys any validity of such examples!] - p. 786.  Also see Robertsons Word Pictures in the New Testament, Vol. iv, p. 46.
     Moulton reaffirms Robertson’s statement about words in apposition with proper names being anarthrous and specifically applies it to “Jesus” (p. 166).  He also tells us that “Christ,” at least as used in Paul’s and Peter’s writings, functions similarly:
The Epistles also usually omit the article with [Christ]: it is here regarded as a proper name rather than = Messiah- A Grammar of New Testament Greek, J. H. Moulton, Vol. III, p. 167, 1963.  
(Wallace himself admits the distinct possibility that Sharp’s constructions by Paul may be invalid examples if, as some NT grammarians believe, Paul used “Christ” as a proper name.  Wallace even excluded Eph. 5:5 from his examples because of this possibility!)  So it is to be expected that the article would be missing in these particular “Trinitarian” examples whether Sharp’s Rule actually works or not!  These 4 trinitarian “proofs” must be considered as invalid examples.
     And when we actually examine the NT Bible writers’ use of the terms found in the 4 “Sharp’s ‘proofs’” (“Lord,” “Christ Jesus,” and “Savior”), we find that, regardless of grammatical reasons, they are frequently used without the definite article even in non-Sharp’s constructions!  To find them so used occasionally in a “Sharp’s construction,” then, is to be expected and indicates no special significance.  
     Another exception used by Wallace is mentioned on p. 102.  Here he is commenting on an exception to Sharp’s rule that is found in the Greek Septuagint Version at Proverbs 24:21.  In this scripture “the God and king” refer to two different persons in spite of Sharp’s rule, but Wallace tells us this is merely a fault of a too literal translation of the original Hebrew into the Greek of the Septuagint!  
     Whether we accept such reasoning or not is another question.  What interests me is his further qualification:  It’s not surprising to see such an exception, he says,
“—especially since the two nouns godand kingare  so distinct that no confusion could possibly have arisen through the omission of a second article.”  (We often find the same thing in English, e.g., the President and Vice Presidentin Amendment XX of the Constitution of the United States of America.)  - cf. Thayer, p. 437, #3588, III., 1., (includes God,” “Christ,etc.)
     A footnote on p.109 of C. F. D. Moule’s  An Idiom-Book of New Testament Greek, 2nd ed., 1960, tells us:  
T. F. Middleton, The Doctrine of the Greek Article, ... points out that in the idiom [the Alexander and Phillipin Greek] one article is manifestly sufficient, since the two names are obviously not predicated of the same person. Cf. Acts xv. 22, and ... Mark ix. 2.”  
The point being (even if ‘Sharp’s Rule’ were accurate) if it is clearly known that two individuals are being spoken of, they may be described in a “Sharp’s construction,” anyway!
     But, as we have seen, Jesus and God are clearly separated throughout the NT (with the extremely unlikely “exceptions” of the four verses in question which are the ONLY places Wallace found an “absolute grammatical certainty” to the contrary).  An in-depth study of the history of early Christianity also shows the very first Christians (for the first 150 years at least) never confused the two.  They always considered Jesus to be separate from God.  (See the HIST study)
     Therefore, even if there were some validity to Sharp’s rule, and even if they were really valid examples, it would not be surprising to see four “exceptions” in the New Testament - - especially since “the God” and “Savior Jesus Christ” are
so distinct that no confusion could possibly have arisen through the omission of a second article.
     And, finally, isn’t it more than strange that Paul, who is credited by Wallace with 3 of the 4 “absolute” Sharp’s construction “proofs” that Jesus is absolutely equal to God is considered by so many trinitarian scholars as having never called Jesus “God” or “god” (theos)?
     As the highly respected (and highly trinitarian) United Bible Societies’ (UBS) Greek New Testament committee explains it in a comment expressing the likelihood of a non-trinitarian interpretation of Ro. 9:5:  
nowhere else ... does Paul ever designate [the Christ] as theos [God or god].  In fact, on the basis of the general tenor of his theology it was considered tantamount to impossible that Paul would have expressed Christs greatness by calling him God blessed forever [as some trinitarians wish to interpret Ro. 9:5].- A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, UBS, 1971.
     For an honest picture of Paul’s understanding of Jesus’ relationship to God see: 1 Cor. 3:23; 1 Cor. 8:6; 1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 1:3; Eph. 1:17; 1 Tim. 2:5.
     And even stranger, perhaps, is the fact that, even though Wallace’s examples show Paul using “Sharp’s rule” many times, John (who most trinitarians consider the Bible writer who most frequently and most clearly “declares Jesus’ deity” and who, undeniably, is the only Gospel writer who ever actually applied the term  theos [“God” or “god”] directly to Jesus) never uses Sharp’s “Rule” to show Jesus’ alleged equality with god!
     And we can see John’s understanding of Jesus’ relationship to God at John 17:1, 3; John 20:17; Rev. 1:6 (RSV - Compare Rev. 5:9, 10); Rev. 3:12.
     There are many places where (if the trinity doctrine were really true, and if Sharp’s rule really worked “absolutely”) John  should have used the “Rule.”  For example, see Rev. 14:4 - “the firstfruits to the God and to the Lamb.”  (Compare Rev. 7:10 and examine Revelation chapters 4 and 5.)
     If Sharp’s “Rule” is the only way (as even Wallace admits) that one can find even four passages which show with “absolute grammatical certainty” that “Jesus Christ is God,” then the “Jesus = God” concept is actually grammatically uncertain in all of the Bible.  Certainly this would not be the case in God’s inspired word if Jesus were really equally God!! - 2 Tim. 3:16-17.
 
CONCLUSION 
 
1. Prepositional constructions (including genitives) frequently do not use the article (anarthrous). All 5 of the 'Christological' instances of Sharp's constructions (Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:12; 1 Tim. 5:21; and Eph. 5:5) are filled with such exceptions to article usage! It is, therefore, not unusual that so many 'Sharp's constructions' lack the second article.
 
2. The use of such nouns as 'Lord,' Savior,' and 'Christ' frequently do not use the article in the Epistles regardless of sentence construction. This, alone, is sufficienty to explain the lack of following articles in all 5 instances.
 
3. The use of a personal name such as 'Jesus' (including 'Christ' in the Epistles) as an appositive also explains the lack of the articles in the first 3 examples above of the 'Christological' Sharp's constructions.
 
4. The concept of 'God' and 'Christ' were so distinct in the first century that no confusion could have possibly arisen through the omission of the second article!
 
 
                  *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *
 
     Wallace’s “Exhaustive List” of Sharp’s Constructions with nouns:
 1. Mark 12:26 - “The God of Abraham and God of Isaac and God of ...”
 2. Jn. 20:17 - “The God of me and Father of you and God of me and ...”
 3. Ro. 15:6 - “The God and Father of the Lord of us”
 4. 1 Cor. 15:24 - “To the God and Father”
 5. 2 Cor. 1:3 (a) - “the God and Father of the Lord of us”
 6. 2 Cor. 1:3 (b) - “the Father of the mercies and God of all comfort”
 7. 2 Cor. 11:31 - “The God and Father of the Lord Jesus”
 8. Gal. 1:4 - “the will of the God and Father of us”
 9. Eph. 5:20 - “to the God and Father”
10. Eph. 6:21 - “the loved brother and faithful servant in Lord”
11. Eph. 4:20 - “to the but God and Father of us”
12. Col. 3:17 - (Not in Westcott and Hort, Nestle, or UBS text as a Sharp’s construction)
13. Col. 4:17 - “the loved brother & faithful servant and fellow slave in Lord”
14. 1 Thess. 1:3 - “Of the God and Father of us”
15. 1 Thess. 3:2 - “the brother of us and servant of the God”
16. 1 Thess. 3:11 - “the God and Father of us and the Lord of us Jesus Christ”
17. 1 Thess. 3:13 - “of the God and Father of us”
18. 1 Tim. 6:15 - “the King of ... and Lord of ...”
19. James 1:27 - “beside the God and Father”
20. 1 Pet. 1:3 - “the God and Father of the Lord of us of Jesus Christ”
21. 1 Pet. 2:25 - “upon the shepherd and overseer of ...”
22. 1 Pet. 5:1 - “the fellow older man and witness of ...”
23. 2 Pet. 1:11 - “Of the Lord of us and of Savior Jesus Christ”
24. 2 Pet. 2:20 - “Of the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ”
25. 2 Pet. 3:2 - “Of the Lord and Savior”
26. 2 Pet. 3:18 - “Of the Lord of us and of Savior Jesus Christ”
27. 1 Jn. 5:20 - “this is the true God and LIFE [abstract] everlasting”
28. Jude 4 - “the only master and Lord of us, Jesus Christ”
29. Rev. 1:6 - “To the God and Father of him”
30. Rev. 1:9 - “the brother of you and co-sharer in ...”
 
                Also Examined Separately by Wallace (pp. 102-103)
 
31. Eph. 1:3 - “the God and Father of ...”
32. James 3:9 - “the Lord and Father”
33. Mark 6:3 - “the son of Mary and brother of James”
34. Luke 20:37 - “the God of Abraham and God of Isaac and God of Jacob”
35. Phil. 2:25 - “the brother and fellow-worker and fellow-soldier of me”
     The above list is Wallace’s “exhaustive list” of all nouns used in Sharp’s constructions (except, of course, for the 4 trinitarian “proofs”).
     Notice that all but James 3:9 and 1 John 5:20 are part of “prepositional” constructions (Col. 3:17 is not in a Sharp’s Construction in the best trinitarian texts and refers only to the Father who is God).  1 John 5:20 violates Wallace’s own rule: it has a non-personal noun (“life”)!  “Life” is also abstract (see study on Wallace’s “Qualitative” Rule for John 1:1).
    We must also ask ourselves: Why were 1 Tim. 6:13 and 2 Tim. 4:1 left out of this “exhaustive list” by Wallace? - See pages 2-3 above .
       Wallace’s “Exhaustive List” of Sharp’s Constructions (participles)
 
 1. Matt. 7:26 - “the (one) hearing of me ... and not doing them”
 2. Matt. 13:23 - “the (one) the word hearing and comprehending
 3. Mark 15:29 - “the (one) tearing down the temple and building (it)”
 4. Mark 16:16 - “the (one) having believed and having been baptized”
 5. Luke 6:49 - “the (one) but having heard and not having done
 6. Luke 12:47 - “the (one) having known the will ... not having prepared
 7. Luke 13:34 - “the (one) killing the prophets and stoning the (ones) having been sent  
                               forth”
 8. John 3:29 - “the (one) having stood and hearing
 9. John 5:24 - “the (one) the word of me hearing and believing
10. John 5:35 - “the (one) burning and shining
 
11. John 6:33               29. 2 Cor. 5:15
12. John 6:40                  30. 2 Cor. 5:18
13. John 6:45                  31. Gal. 1:15
14. John 6:54                  32. Gal. 2:20
15. John 6:56                  33. Gal. 3:5
16. John 8:50                  34. Eph. 2:14 (listed separately, p. 103)
17. John 9:8                   35. 2 Thess. 2:4
18. John 11:2                  36. 2 Thess. 2:16
19. John 11:26                37. 1 Tim. 5:5
20. John 12:29                38. 2 Tim. 1:9
21. John 12:48                39. Heb. 7:1
22. John 14:21                40. James 1:5
23. Acts 10:35                 41. 1 Pet. 1:21
24. Acts 15:38                 42. 1 John 2:9
25. Romans 2:3               43. Rev. 1:5
26. 1 Cor. 11:29             44. Rev. 3:7
27. 1 Cor. 16:16             45. Rev. 16:15
28. 2 Cor. 1:21               46. Rev. 22:8

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
        Wallace’s “Exhaustive List” of Sharp’s Constructions (Adjectives)
 
1. Acts 3:14 - “the holy and righteous [one]”
2. Philemon 1 - “the loved [one] and fellow worker” - Adjective and Noun
3. 1 Peter 4:18 - “the but godless [man] and sinner” - Adj. and Noun
4. Rev. 3:14 (?) - not “Sharp’s construction” in Westcott and Hort text!
5. Rev. 3:17 - “you are the [one] miserable and pitiable and poor ...”
6. Rev. 6:10 - “the holy and true [one]”
 
 Note: Although Watchtower Society (WTS) research and scholarship is usually at least the equal of (and often superior to) that of other sources, I have tried to rely most heavily on other sources in Christendom itself (preferably trinitarian) or my own independent research to provide evidence disproving the trinitarian ‘proof’ being examined in this paper.  The reason is, of course, that this paper is meant to provide evidence needed by non-Witnesses, and many of them will not accept anything written by the WTS.  They truly believe it is false, even dishonest.  Therefore some of the information in this paper, all of which helps disprove specific trinitarian “proofs,” may be in disagreement with current WTS teachings in some specifics (especially when I have presented a number of alternates).  Jehovah’s Witnesses should research the most recent WTS literature on the subject or scripture in question before using this information with others. - RDB.
 See Part 2 for end notes

3 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tigger2 said...

Anonymous said about this study...

You state:

1. Granville Sharp "made up the rule." You also claimed he "invented it." No he did not. That would be eisegesis. He performed an analysis through exegesis. You are wrong.
2. You misstated the rule. You state, "It says, in effect," then you deceptively claim, "they all refer to the same person." You need to do your homework. Sharp never made such a claim.
3. You claimed the following: "then (according to Sharp) God and Christ (the savior, etc.) are the same person!" Sharp never claimed this nor have any Evangelical scholar. YOU inserted "person," making your claim a straw man. Yours is a false statement.
4. You then made two logical fallacies by claiming the following, "IF he could convince others that his "rule" was true, then they would think there was finally (after 1400 years of a "trinity" tradition) absolute grammatical Bible proof that God and Jesus are the same "person"!" You first logical fallacy is the non-sequitur. Convincing others and stating a period of time has nothing to do with biblical exegesis. Your second logical fallacy is the straw man. Sharp never intended to prove that "God and Jesus are the same person." No Trinitarian has ever held that position. Therefore, your examples are irrelevant related to your faulty premise. You have proven nothing while using logical fallacies throughout.

…………………….

tigger2 said...

“1. Granville Sharp ‘made up the rule.’ You also claimed he ‘invented it.’ No he did not. That would be eisegesis. He performed an analysis through exegesis. You are wrong.”

If he performed an ‘analysis’ it was incomplete and inaccurate. Even many trinitarian scholars disavow it (as was shown in the article). “Invented” is a good description of a false rule such as his.

“2. You misstated the rule. You state, ‘It says, in effect,’ then you deceptively claim, ‘they all refer to the same person.’ You need to do your homework. Sharp never made such a claim.”

Trinitarian Daniel B. Wallace not only stated it in his own words in the 1981 source I used originally for this study, but he repeated it in his noted Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics of 1996. He also QUOTED the same rule as written by Sharp in both of his works. In all these cases, Wallace (and Sharp himself) wrote exactly what I have said. The very first quote by Wallace in my study above is his QUOTE of what Sharp wrote!

See the word “PERSON”?

“3. You claimed the following: ‘then (according to Sharp) God and Christ (the savior, etc.) are the same person!’ Sharp never claimed this nor have any Evangelical scholar. YOU inserted ‘person,’ making your claim a straw man. Yours is a false statement.”

No, yours is a false statement! I did not insert ‘person.’ I merely based my statement on Sharp’s Rule as he stated it (and as Wallace also understood it).

“4. You then made two logical fallacies by claiming the following, ‘IF he could convince others that his "rule" was true, then they would think there was finally (after 1400 years of a "trinity" tradition) absolute grammatical Bible proof that God and Jesus are the same "person"!’

“You[r] first logical fallacy is the non-sequitur. Convincing others and stating a period of time has nothing to do with biblical exegesis. Your second logical fallacy is the straw man. Sharp never intended to prove that ‘God and Jesus are the same person.’ No Trinitarian has ever held that position. Therefore, your examples are irrelevant related to your faulty premise. You have proven nothing while using logical fallacies throughout.”

If you had bothered to read it all carefully, you would have seen that, although Sharp did state that the same PERSON was being described in his Sharp’s constructions, I have provided evidence against those trinitarians who do use his rule to prove Jesus is God.
This is done by a number of trinitarians by applying Sharp’s Rule to Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1.

You have proved nothing by attacking my honesty and diverting from my evidence concerning the frequent trinitarian “evidence” which attempts to use this ‘rule’ to ‘prove Jesus is God.