Search related sites

Friday, October 30, 2009

Sharp's Rule - Pt 2 (End Notes)

 Sharp's Rule - Part two


1.      What Every Jehovah's Witness Should Know, Prof. Arthur Bowser, pp. 59, 60.

2.       J. H. Moulton's  A  Grammar of New Testament Greek, p. 84, Vol. 1, says:  "We cannot discuss here the problem of Titus 2:13, for we must, as grammarians, leave the matter open ...."  As a trinitarian, however, he later tried to justify a trinitarian interpretation of Titus 2:13 "historically" (rather than grammatically) by citing certain 7th century A. D. manuscripts.  This certainly shows that Moulton ("one of the greatest grammarians of this century" according to Wallace himself) did not reject Sharp's "Rule" because of a "theological bias" as Wallace claims (p. 102), but, in spite of a strong trinitarian "theological bias" rejected Sharp's "Rule" on grammatical grounds even though he preferred (for inadequate "historical" reasons and a theological trinitarian bias) a trinitarian interpretation of Titus 2:13.

3.        The Roman Catholic scholar, Karl Rahner, commenting on 2 Peter 1:1, says that `God' "here is clearly separated from `Christ'." - Theological Investigations, Karl Rahner, pp. 136, 137, Vol.1, 3rd printing: 1965.

4.        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]."

5.       Famed 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 Apostle's [Paul's] way of writing." - The Greek Testament, p. 421, Vol. 3.  And,

“I have fully discussed the question in the note on [Titus 2:13], to which I would refer the reader as my justification for interpreting here [2 Peter 1:1], as there, [‘the god of us’] of the Father, and [‘savior jesus christ’] of the Son.” - p. 390, Vol. 4.

6.       "Of the Glory of the great God and of our Saviour Christ Jesus" - Titus 2:13, The Bible,  A New Translation by Dr. James Moffatt, Professor of New Testament Greek at Oxford University.

7.        The trinitarian scholar Murray J. Harris devotes a section to 2 Thess. 1:12 in his book Jesus as God, pp. 265-266, Baker Book House, 1992.  He admits, in effect, that the argument for a trinitarian interpretation ("according to the grace of our God and Lord, namely Jesus Christ") is less probable and more poorly supported than the non-trinitarian interpretation ("according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ").  He admits that, although "the first rendering has a few supporters," no  English translation supports that trinitarian rendering, and, in fact, the trinitarian NAB, LB, GNB, MLB, NLV, Douay, KJIIV, and Weymouth translations most clearly refute it by rendering "the grace of our God  and of the Lord Jesus Christ."  This alone destroys the assertion that this is an "absolute rule."  If it doesn't work at 2 Thess. 1:12, and most trinitarian scholars and translators indicate this, there is no reason to insist that it works in any other scripture!

8.        Analysis of Matt. 22:32; Luke 20:37; Acts 7:32:

Matt. 22:32  -  "The God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob"
Luke 20:37   - "The God of Abraham and God of Isaac and God of Jacob"
Acts    7:32   - "The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob"

     Luke 20:37 above is one of 7 scriptures specifically selected by Wallace and analyzed by him (p. 103) in an attempt to show how Sharp's rule "always" works!

     Luke (who also wrote Acts 7:32 above) and Matthew are both giving us the meaning of the words God spoke to Moses at Ex. 3:6 (compare Ex. 3:15).

     IF there were any significance to be found in Sharp's "rule," it certainly would not be ignored here!
     And if there were no significance for article usage in copulative "and" constructions, we might find variations in such article usage in different New Testament repetitions of this Old Testament passage.

     In other words, (1) if the article usage irregularity found with "prepositional" constructions (including genitives in general) holds true in Sharp's "rule" constructions, or, (2) if the initial article (and/or the initial article and noun) in a copulative "and" construction may be understood as being with the following items in that construction, then we might see different stylistic article usages in the various NT repetitions of an OT copulative "and" scripture, since the article usage under those conditions would have absolutely no effect on the actual meaning, and, therefore, Sharp's "rule" would be absolutely worthless under those conditions!
     Notice how Luke uses the initial article at Luke 20:37 ("The God of Abraham") but not the following articles (" __God of Isaac and  __God of Jacob").

     If this article usage had been significant in any way, all Bible writers would certainly have repeated it (especially if it truly aided us in knowing God - Jn 17:3).  And yet, Matthew, speaking of the very same OT words of God, used the article with each noun.  The meaning, therefore, is exactly the same.  Only the writing style is different!

     Now notice how Luke himself again writes the same words of God (Ex. 3:6) in Acts 7:32: "The God of Abraham and _ _ of Isaac and _ _ of Jacob."  Again the same meaning is expressed in a different writing style.

     Here, then, we have seen illustrated the principle that the initial article (and even the noun with it - "God," in this case) may be understood to be repeated with the following items in a copulative "and" construction (especially if it also contains "prepositional" forms)! 

     Obviously Sharp's "rule" is just wishful thinking by a few trinitarians who are desperately seeking for some shred of real scriptural evidence for a "Jesus is God" doctrine.  Tragically, they have grabbed at the floating straw of stylistic differences in the NT Greek that have no significance for the literal meaning in the original language but only appear to do so to the speakers of modern English.

9.        It's extremely significant that (unless one uses only the relatively few ambiguously worded scriptures which are grammatically capable of more than one honest interpretation) Jesus and God are so often and so clearly shown to be two separate persons: John 17:3; Acts 7:55, 56; Rev. 7:10; 1 Cor. 8:4, 6; 1 Cor. 11:3; 1 Tim. 2:5; Rev. 1:1; Acts 2:33, 34; Acts 5:30, 31 (compare Gal. 1:1 and Eph. 1:17, 20); John 20:17; John 1:18; Ro. 8:34; Heb. 10:12; and many more!

     But the Father and God are never clearly shown as two separate persons (as Jesus and God so often are).  For example, we never see the Father standing beside God - e.g. Acts 7:55, 56.  The only honest reason for the above conditions is that the Father and Jesus are not both equally God, but that God is  one person only, and that one person is the Father (who alone is Jehovah)  - John 17:1, 3; Jn. 6:27.  Hence, "God the Father" is a common term in the Scriptures, whereas "God the Son" and "God the Holy Spirit" are never found anywhere in the entire Bible!

10.        Wallace lists 46 "Sharp's Constructions" with participles (instead of nouns) and 6 with adjectives (instead of nouns) - see listing in this Appendix.  These are improperly used as examples by Wallace.  This is because of a common usage of definite articles (and other adjectives) in New Testament Greek.  

Marshall, in his The New Testament Greek Primer, 1962, p. 26, states:  "adjectives and article as nouns - 55.  A common mode of expression is that of an adjective being used without a noun expressed; the latter is understood ....  56.  The def[inite] art[icle] may also be used alone."   (Also see p. xxxv in The Zondervan Parallel New Testament in Greek and English, 1980, by trinitarian NT Greek expert Dr. Alfred Marshall.) 

     In other words, the singular article standing alone needs a singular noun to be supplied by the reader.  And when we look at Wallace's list of participles and adjectives, we can see that this is invariably the case for the examples he has chosen.  That is, in Wallace's examples, a definite article preceding the first participle (or adjective) merely indicates an understood noun must be supplied by the reader.  It does not mean the first participle is taking the article and, therefore, according to Sharp's "rule" is identical with the second participle which doesn't "take" the article!  What it really means is that the single understood noun is doing the two separate, different participles.

     For example, 2 Thess. 2:4 (one of Wallace's participle examples) says in the Greek:  "The lying-against and lifting-up-himself-over upon everyone..."  The singular definite article is not meant to be applied to the first participle ("lying-against"), but, obviously, (check various Bible translations) is to be used with a single understood noun which is "doing" both participles:  "the [`one' or `man'] opposing and exalting himself ...."  There is only one (understood) noun and the singular definite article goes with that single noun only!  (If we do not supply the understood noun, we would have:  "the opposing and exalting."  We would then have two different and separate items that are certainly not "identical," and Sharp's "rule" collapses anyway!)

     If we were to examine similar constructions that use a plural definite article, we would be in a position to give a fair test to the "absoluteness" of  Sharp's rule.  You see, if a singular definite article is used for an understood noun, then we have no choice but to supply only one singular noun to do both participles.  So if a person selects only those constructions with one singular article, he has "stacked the deck" - a completely one-sided "examination" in which the results cannot possibly go against the "rule" he wants to prove.

     But if we allow plural definite articles in the same constructions, it could be honestly interpreted in two ways:  "The (ones) running and laughing," for example, could mean a single group that is doing both activities OR it could mean one group is running and another is laughing.

     So, although it still is not the equivalent of examining two nouns in a "Sharp's construction," it is still less improper to examine a plural article preceding two participles.  Compare and analyze Matt. 21:12 and Mark 11:15.  Those "buying" are certainly not the same ones "selling" even though Matthew uses a "Sharp's construction"!  The parallel account by Mark shows that such article placement is merely a matter of  style (rather than meaning) since he says the same thing without using a "Sharp's construction" (compare the article/noun usage of the parallel accounts of Mark 12:26 ["Sharp's construction"] and Matt. 22:32 [non-Sharp's construction]).

     As for the 6 Sharp's constructions with "substantival adjectives" which Wallace puts in his "exhaustive list," we can quickly see that he is applying the same inappropriate usage here as he did for participles.

     As we saw, "a common mode of expression is that of an adjective being used without a noun expressed; the latter [the noun] is understood ..." - Marshall.

     As an example, one might look at Col. 4:9 - "the faithful and loved brother."  "The" refers to the noun "brother" and makes it definite.  It does not refer to the two adjectives ("faithful" and "loved").  This same scripture could have been written "the faithful and loved" in NT Greek, and it still would have been understood by the reader as "the faithful and loved brother.

     Therefore, ALL Wallace's examples here - except for two (Philemon 1 and 1 Peter 4:18) which have an adjective and a noun (and Rev. 3:14, which does not have a Sharp's construction in the Westcott-Hort text I examined) - are to be understood in the same manner as his first example: Acts 3:14 - "The holy and righteous (one)".  So we have, in effect, two adjectives and one definite article which goes with the one understood noun!  This cannot be a proper example of Sharp's "rule" which demands two nouns (whether written or understood)!  Wallace has "stacked the deck" like he did with his participle examples. 

     Let's also examine Wallace's other two "adjective" examples: 

    (1) Philemon 1 - "the loved (one) and fellow worker  of  us" or "the loved and fellow worker  of  us.  Either we have two nouns ("one" is understood and "worker" is written) or we have only one noun ("worker") and "the" goes with it alone.  If we have only the one noun, then it simply cannot be a Sharp's construction!  If we have  two nouns (one understood), then it may really be a Sharp's construction.  However, in either case, we still have it as a part of a "prepositional" construction (see pp. 4, 5).

     (2)  1 Peter 4:18 - "the but godless [man] and sinner."  Here we have only one adjective and one noun.  There should obviously be an understood noun (probably "man") with the adjective such as given above.  Therefore, we do have a  Sharp's construction here with the first (understood) noun having the article and the second noun not having an article.

     The significant thing about this example is that, not only is it the only "adjective" example which really qualifies as a proper Sharp's construction (and, in fact, one of the very few proper examples of any kind that Wallace provides), but it is, in reality, referring to two separate persons: "the godless man" and "the sinner"!  (certainly not all sinners are godless.  King David, for example, sinned but certainly was not "godless"!)  The separation of these two is clearly shown in many trinitarian translations of 1 Peter 4:18 : NRSV ("the ungodly and the sinners"); NAB (the godless and the sinner"); JB, NJB ("to the wicked and to sinners");  KJV, NIV ("the ungodly and the sinner");  NASB ("the godless man and the sinner"); Phillips ("the wicked and the sinner"); etc.  It is equally clear in the translations of Prov. 11:31 (which is being quoted at 1 Peter 4:18) in most trinitarian Bibles:  "The ungodly and the sinner" – Septuagint (Zondervan, 1980); "the wicked and the sinner" – KJV; NKJV; NASB; MLB; RSV; NRSV; REB; NAB; NJB; NIV; "the wicked man and the sinner" – NEB.

It is significant that there is not an identical wording in the original Greek here at 1 Peter and Prov. 11:31 in the ancient Septuagint.  Peter is using his own word style to express the precise meaning of Prov. 11:31.

     In light of this, 1 Peter 4:18 is an excellent example of a proper Sharp's construction (even Wallace acknowledges it as such) which shows Sharp's Rule does not always work!

11.        Wallace doesn't dare allow the use of personal names because it's a no-win situation for him.  The very nature of a personal name is such that it is referring to only one, single individual!  Therefore, if we found personal names in Sharp's constructions, we would know they couldn't possibly be intended to be used as Sharp's rule insists.  Unfortunately for Sharp (and Wallace, et al.) personal names are commonly found in Sharp's constructions (e.g., Matt. 7:1; Mark 16:1; Luke 24:10; Acts 15:22; etc.).  Fortunately for Sharp (and Wallace) personal names take the article irregularly and, therefore, are not good examples for proving (or disproving) a rule which is based on article usage.  This is the one exception by Wallace that has some justification (the exceptions of plural nouns and non-personal nouns, however, have no honest justification).  Notice the following examples from the writings of the NT writer who is acknowledged as having the best knowledge of NT Greek (Luke):

Acts 3:3 "having seen _Peter and _John" (no articles)
Acts 3:11 "holding fast ... the Peter and the John" (both articles)
Acts 4:13 "beholding the outspokenness of the Peter and _John" (Sharp's const.)
Acts 4:19 "But the Peter and _John" (Sharp's construction)

     So in the writings of Luke (who knew the NT Greek language better than any other Bible writer) we find either that Peter was the same person as John or  that Luke had no knowledge of Sharp's Rule (or anything similar)!! 

     If the NT writers had really been aware of anything even remotely like such a rule (even if it, somehow, excluded personal names), it is impossible to believe that they would have ever used such a construction with two personal names (as above).  It would have sent a strongly contradictory message to their readers - a strongly contradictory message that could have been easily and logically avoided by merely using one of many other constructions that would have exactly the same meaning.  (For example, instead of using a "Sharp's construction" they could have easily used the article with both names - Heb 11:20 - or both names without articles - Ro 16:3.)  If "Sharp's" Rule had really existed in the days of the NT writers, it would have been idiotic to use the construction which proved the two nouns are describing only one person when the names clearly belong to completely separate individuals!  

     Yes, in spite of any potential article ambiguity, it is obvious that the inspired Bible writers would not have chosen to use "Sharp's constructions" for personal names if "Sharp's Rule" were really valid.  Therefore, such examples as listed above show that the "rule" was completely unknown by the inspired Bible writers! 

12.        Moule, p. 110, sees no valid reason for excluding plural examples.  He lists an example using plural nouns, Eph. 2:20, as "Another instance of the same problem [whether to interpret it as two separate nouns or united]." 

     Wallace apparently realizes that there is absolutely no proper justification for rejecting plurals as evidence for (or against) Sharp's rule (although he also realizes that including them all would destroy any value the rule might have as trinitarian evidence).  He therefore devotes 1/3 (pp. 104-108) of his 12-page article to an attempt to justify most plurals as being "influenced" to some extent by Sharp's rule.  Although he is unable to do so for a significant number of plural nouns, he has, nevertheless, attempted to "explain" the connection of some separate plural nouns by "Sharp's constructions" as being "more or less united for  some reason" (p. 105) or, similarly, "the first group is a  sub-set of the second group" (p. 106).

     Obviously, whenever a writer chooses to connect two or more nouns with a copulative "and" (whether in a "Sharp's construction" or not), he is usually intending some kind of common relationship and has "more or less united" them "for some reason"!

     For example, if I write about the rabbits, robins, deer, snails, and beetles attacking my garden, I have "more or less united" them as being attackers of my garden.  They are "united" in no other sense and for no other reason!

     But Wallace uses this obvious and necessary "union" as his basis for implying that  "Sharp's rule" is responsible for "uniting" such groups. 

     Would that mean that the very distinct, separate groups, "the elders, and chief priests, and scribes" are "more or less united for some reason" by Sharp's rule at Luke 9:22 but are not "more or less united for some reason" in the parallel account of Mark 8:31 which does not use a Sharp's construction?  Obviously both accounts are noting some "unity" between the distinctly different groups because they are joined together for some reason by the writers' use of the copulative "and" and not because of the use or non-use of any Sharp's construction!  (Also compare the parallel accounts of Matt. 26:47/Mark 14:43 and Matt. 27:1/Mark 15:1.)

     Similarly, we should take note of Luke's use of "the apostles and the older men" making the great decision at Jerusalem at Acts 15:22, 23.  Then compare Acts 16:4 where Luke speaks of the very same group as "the apostles and older men" (as in "Sharp's rule")!  Obviously Luke did not intend for us to consider these men as "more or less united" at Acts 16:4 and not "united" at Acts 15:22, 23.  Clearly he intends the very same meaning whether it's in a "Sharp's construction" or not!  The article choice is merely a matter of writing style!

     Wallace is forced to admit that the majority of plural Sharp's constructions do not show an exact equality between those plural nouns.  And, of the minority of plural Sharp's constructions in which he claims both entities actually do "refer to the same group," he is forced to admit that "participles almost exclusively contribute to this semantic category."  (The only such example actually containing nouns that Wallace could find was Luke 1:2 which is a questionable example at best - the plural definite article probably referring to an understood noun:  "the (ones) who" or "those who" and not to be applied to "eyewitnesses" - see NIV, RSV, JB, etc.) 

     But, as we have already seen in footnote #10 above, participles (and adjectives) are frequently unacceptable as examples of Sharp's constructions since the noun frequently is understood as one single noun (Sharp's constructions properly require two or more nouns.)
     This leaves Wallace with no proper examples (or only one very questionable example at best) of plural nouns in Sharp's constructions actually referring to the same group!

     Some examples of plural Sharp's constructions are: John 7:45 (compare John 7:32 and John 18:3); Matt. 9:11 (compare Matt. 9:10 and Luke 5:29, 30); Acts 9:15 (compare this with 1 Tim. 5:21 - "in sight of ...").

     Even if we were to accept the specious reasoning that Sharp's constructions may make nouns "more or less united for some reason," we can see that the "Jesus must be absolutely equal to God" evidence collapses.  If we can apply Wallace's qualifications for plural nouns (and non-personal nouns) to singular nouns (and, of course, there is no valid reason why plural and/or impersonal nouns should be treated any differently from singular personal nouns), we will come up with the concept that Jesus and God were "more or less united for some reason" at the 4 verses in question.

     Most objective observers could probably tell you in what way God and Jesus are "more or less united" in these 4 scriptures.  For example, there is no doubt of the great righteousness of both God and his Son (whom he appointed king over us).  It would not be inappropriate to mention our great debt to (1) the righteousness of God, and (2) the righteousness of God's representative and mediator, Jesus Christ - 2 Peter 1:1.  Remember, we can write of the destruction (to our garden only) by both the neighbor's dog and mailman Smith (notice how all 4 Sharp's trinity "proofs" are directly connected to a personal name - "Jesus"), but we are implying no more equality than that they have both been destructive (in differing degrees) to our garden! 

     Another, but similar, attempt by Wallace to justify a Sharp's construction "influence" upon plural nouns is his explanation that "the first group is a sub-set of the second."  To show this alleged influence of a Sharp's construction Wallace uses Matthew 9:11 as an example.  This verse uses a Sharp's construction ("the tax-collectors and sinners") so Wallace can state:  "Obviously not all sinners were tax-collectors, but all tax-collectors were viewed as `sinners' by the Jews in the sense that their very occupation was sinful" (p. 107).

     Here, then, Wallace is showing us that a Sharp's construction has a strong "uniting" influence on these two groups.  It may not make them absolutely equal, but they are shown to be very closely related, he implies.

     But, if a Sharp's construction indicates this "uniting" influence at Matt. 9:11, shouldn't we expect to see the same "uniting" construction every time the Bible writers write about this incident of Jesus associating with "tax-collectors and sinners"?

     For example, in the verse immediately preceding Wallace's example, Matthew writes of these very same groups without using a Sharp's construction (Matt. 9:10)!  Did Matthew really see a strong "union" of these two groups in Matt. 9:11 and not see it in 9:10?

     Or compare the "tax-collectors and sinners" in the writing of Luke.  Wallace would want to tell us that Luke was expressing the near-unity of the two groups at Luke 5:30 (Sharp's construction) but not at Luke 7:34 (both nouns anarthrous = non-Sharp's construction) and Luke 15:1 (both nouns articular = non-Sharp's construction)!

     It is obvious that Matthew and Luke are using articles in a varying manner (including "Sharp's constructions" at times) strictly as a matter of writing  style which does not indicate any special "unifying" intent!

     Plural nouns (whether as "qualified" by Wallace or not) disprove the "absolute grammatical certainty that the rule applies to at least four passages in the New Testament which teach that our Lord is God" as Wallace claims.

13.         Wallace also improperly excludes non-personal nouns.  Again he does so without justification, for no other reason than that they will disprove the "absoluteness" of Sharp's rule.

     Again, as with plural nouns, he obviously realizes the great flaw in dismissing all these examples without justification for he devotes over 1/3 (pp. 108-111) of his 12-page article to a "study" of these non-personal constructions.  And, yet, as with plurals, he does not attempt to justify his rejection of these examples, but, strangely, attempts to show how they are really "influenced" by Sharp's rule!
     He even uses the same reasoning as with plurals: the two entities may be "more or less united for some reason," and the first entity may be "a sub-set of the second"!  Therefore, the same answers to this specious reasoning apply here as they did in footnote #12 above for plurals.

     We can also examine the following non-personal Sharp's constructions: Luke 21:12; 2 Cor. 13:11; 1 Thess. 2:12; Phil. 1:25; 3:10; Rev. 1:9; 5:12; 20:10.  Sharp's rule obviously doesn't work here, and if it doesn't always work for these nouns, there is no reason why it should always work for personal nouns!  (Be sure to compare the "Sharp's" construction at Rev. 5:12 with the parallel non-"Sharp's" construction at Rev. 5:13.) 

     Also examine such non-Sharp's constructions as 1 Thess. 2:9 - "the labor of us and the toil".  In spite of "labor" and "toil" being EQUAL things, the definite article was used with both nouns!

14.       This ‘prepositional’ use includes, of course, genitive-modified nouns. Henry Alford wrote concerning Titus 2:13 in his The Greek Testament, “It [‘saviour’] is joined with [hmwn, ‘of us’ (genitive)], which is an additional reason why it may spare the article: see Luke 1:78; Ro. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:3” - p. 420, The Greek Testament, by Henry Alford.

(Most often these “prepositional” constructions are actually a modifying genitive noun such as “of me” and “of God” - see the DEF study, Note #8.)

15.        Robertson makes a similar comment concerning 2 Thess. 1:12 and then makes a very significant further comment.  First he tells us that the grammar here makes it equally certain (as in Titus 2:13 and 2 Pet. 1:1) that only one person (Jesus) is being described here as both God and Lord.  Then he says:

"This otherwise conclusive syntactical argument, admitted by Schmiedel, is weakened a bit by the fact that Kurios [`Lord'] is often employed as a proper name without the article, a thing not true of soter [`Savior'] in Titus 2:13 and II Peter 1:1." - Vol. 4, p. 46, Broadman Press.

 So Robertson admits that scriptures such as 2 Thess. 1:12 (and Eph. 5:5) are not really valid evidence simply because of the variable use of "the" with "Lord" in normal usage in the NT!

   However, he pretends that the use of the `prepositional' (whether the genitive soteros or other forms of soter with accompanying prepositional phrases) `Savior' is not affected in its article usage in a similar manner!  Therefore, he is saying, Titus 2:13 and 2 Pet. 1:1 are conclusive proofs of Jesus being called God!!  As we have noted in study papers concerning John 1:1c (e.g. DEF, f.n. #4), genitives themselves and prepositional phrases added to other nouns often render the use (or non-use) of the definite article uncertain in the same manner as the use of proper names.

   But to be absolutely certain that it applies to such uses of "savior," why don't we simply examine some of its uses in the NT?  (Do you really think this is beyond the capabilities of trinitarian NT Greek expert Robertson?):

Eph. 5:23 - "he is the saviour of the body" (KJV) - soter without the article ("the").
1 Tim. 1:1 - "of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus" (NIV) - soteros without the article.
1 Tim 4:10 - "God who is the Savior of all men" (NIV) - soter without the article.
1 Jn 4:14 - "sent his Son to be the Savior of the world" (NIV) - soter without the article.
Jude :25 - "to the only God our Savior" (NIV) - soter without the article.

   So we can see that Robertson's endorsement of the "conclusive" trinitarian proof of 2 Pet. 1:1 and Titus 2:13 because of the use of "savior" without the definite article is completely false!  Like any other "prepositional" use of a noun the prepositional "Savior" often is used without the definite article (whether in a "Sharp's Construction" or not)!!

   Therefore, honestly, even 2 Peter 1:1 and Titus 2 :13 are completely invalid as scriptural evidence for the deity of Jesus!

16.        Let's examine some other instances of the nouns used in the 4 "Trinity-proof" examples. 

     (1) The critical part of the "Trinity-proof" of 1 Tim. 5:21 is "Christ Jesus."  If this part of the verse in question had the definite article with it, it would no longer be in a "Sharp's construction" and there would be no "grammatical" argument for trinitarians.  But, since this part has no definite article ("in sight of the God and of Christ Jesus"), some trinitarians tell us it refers to the same person as the first half of the statement ("the God").

     But notice that Paul (and other NT writers) most often used "Christ Jesus" without the definite article!

         As an example, 1 Tim. 4:6 says in the NT Greek: "you will be servant of Christ Jesus."  This is rendered: "you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus" - RSV.  We see here, as in a majority of uses by Paul, that "Christ Jesus" does not need the article in the first place, so to conclude that its proper absence in a "Sharp's construction" shows some special significance is specious and misleading! 

     Now let's also examine 1 Tim. 6:13.  In the NT Greek it says: "in sight of the God the (one) generating alive the all (things) and of Christ Jesus the (one) having borne witness upon Pontius Pilate."  This is rendered: "before God who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus who gave a fearless testimony before Pontius Pilate" - LB.

     Notice that, as usual, "Christ Jesus" does not have the article with it.  But also notice that, even though it is in a "sharp's construction," context clearly shows Paul is considering these as two completely separate individuals!  (Compare KJV.) 

   In fact, the phrase `Jesus Christ' (and `Christ Jesus') should be carefully analyzed in each of the 5 letters which contain the trinitarian (Sharp's Rule) `proof' that Jesus is God: Ephesians; 2 Thessalonians; 1 Timothy; Titus; and 2 Peter.

   In Ephesians `Christ Jesus'/`Jesus Christ' is used 18 times, and in 16 of these it is without the definite article. 16/18 = 89% of the time that the phrase is used without a definite article!

   In 2 Thessalonians `Jesus Christ' is used 9 times and every one of them is without the article.  9/9 = 100% of the time that the phrase is used without a definite article!

   In 1 Timothy there are 14 uses of `Christ Jesus'/`Jesus Christ' and every one of them is without the article.  14/14 = 100% of the time that the phrase is used without a definite article! 

   In Titus there are 4 uses of `Jesus Christ'/`Christ Jesus' and every one of them is without the article.  4/4 = 100% of the time that the phrase is used without a definite article! 

   In 2 Peter there are 8 uses of `Jesus Christ' and every one of them is without the article.  8/8 = 100% of the time that the phrase is used without a definite article! 

   So in all of these inspired letters by Paul and Peter there are 51 times (out of a total of 53) where the phrase "Jesus Christ"/"Christ Jesus" is used without a definite article.  51/53 = 96% of the time that the phrase is used without a definite article! 

  For anyone to pretend to find any great significance in the fact that "Christ Jesus" is without an article when it follows an articular noun is truly amazing.  It would be much more surprising to actually find a few examples where it had the article with it!  

     (2) The critical part of the "trinity-proof" of 2 Thess. 1:12 is "Lord Jesus Christ."  Since this part has no definite article in the NT Greek, some trinitarians tell us it must refer to the same person as the first half of the statement ("the God of us").  But notice that Paul (and other NT writers) often used "Lord Jesus Christ" WITHOUT the article.  Some examples are Ro. 1:7 ("peace from God Father of us and of Lord Jesus Christ"); 2 Cor. 1:2; Eph. 6:23; Phil. 1:2; Col. 3:17; 2 Thess. 1:1; 1:2; 3:12; Philemon :3; James 1:1.

     Philippians 3:20 in the NT Greek says: "also Savior we are eagerly awaiting Lord Jesus Christ," and this is rendered in the King James Version as: "also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ."   Since "the Lord Jesus Christ" was often written without the article, it should come as no surprise that occasionally (in accordance with the law of averages) a "Sharp's Rule" construction would sometimes occur and would be no more meaningful to the writer than any other use of "the Lord Jesus Christ" with or without the article

     (3) The critical part of the "trinity-proof" of Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1 is "Savior."  Since this part has no definite article, some trinitarians tell us it must refer to the same person as the first half of the statement ("the God").  But notice again that Paul (and other NT writers) also used "Savior" without the article.  Examples are: Phil. 3:20 (which we also examined above in #2); 1 John 4:14 (which says "The Father has sent off the Son Savior of the world" in the NT Greek and which the KJV renders as "the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.")

     Since "Savior" was also written without the article even when understood to be "The Savior," it should come as no surprise that occasionally (in accordance with the law of averages) a "Sharp's Rule" construction would sometimes occur and would be no more meaningful to the writer than any other use of "the Savior" with or without the article.

     So we can see that even if we disregard the grammatical reasons for such usage, the NT writers frequently did use the critical terms found in the 4 "Sharp's Rule" trinity examples both with and without the article (whether in a "Sharp's construction" or not)!  This alone makes "Sharp's Rule" absolutely worthless.

17.    But the Hebrew text reads `fear Yahweh son-of-me and king.'  `Yahweh' does not have `the' with it - see The NIV Interlinear Hebrew-English Old Testament, Vol. 4, Zondervan, 1984.  Therefore, the Septuagint rendering of "fear the god, son, and _king ...." is obviously not a fault of  the original Septuagint translator being "overly servile to the Hebrew text, translating into Greek ... with almost slavish literalism" as Wallace wants us to believe!  The Septuagint translator used "the god" in place of "Yahweh" (without `the') and used the noun of address `son' in place of `son of me' of the original Hebrew.  There was absolutely no "translational" reason to use a "Sharp's" construction in the Greek.  

Obviously, if the translator were aware of any such rule or understanding like Sharp's Rule, he would not have translated this in such a way as to "show" that the king actually was the same person as Jehovah! The fact that the translator did use it shows that there was no "Sharp's Rule" or any equivalent known at the time!  And since the copyists who made copies of the Septuagint (which the modern Septuagint is based upon) actually "corrected" anything they believed to be improper up to and during the time these copies were made, we cannot believe that the Greek-speaking copyists of the first four centuries A.D. knew of anything comparable to "Sharp's Rule," either!


Anonymous said...

Your comment in footnote 10 in part two regarding 1 Peter 4:18 is incorrect.

1 Peter 4:18 (the-one ungodly and sinful) is an article-adjective-and-adjective configuration, which contains only one substantive (the one article).

When an article is used with a noun, the noun is the substantive, and the article functions as an adjective that modifies the substantive (the noun).

When an article is used without a noun, the article is the substantive.

The phrase "the-one ungodly and sinful" in 1 Peter 4:18 is the equivalent of the phrase "the ungodly and sinful man." Each of those two phrases contains only one substantive.

The phrase "the-one hearing and seeing" in Revelation 22:8 is the equivalent of the phrase "the hearing and seeing man." Each of those two phrases contains only one substantive.

In contrast, the phrase "the Christ and God" in Ephesians 5:5 (article-noun-and-noun) contains two substantives (the two nouns).

Therefore, none of the 45 article-adjective-and-adjective or article-participle-and-participle configurations (one substantive) in Dr. Wallace's list of article-substantive-and-substantive configurations (two substantives) belong in that list.

Only the 34 article-noun-and-noun configurations (two substantives) in Dr. Wallace's list of article-substantive-and-substantive configurations (two substantives) are actual article-substantive-and-substantive configurations (two substantives).

Each of the other 45 examples in that list contains only one substantive (the one article) and therefore does not belong in that list.

tigger2 said...

Thank you for your comment. You may be right about 1 Peter 4:18.

However, the word in question in 1 Peter 4:18 is hamartōlos (‘sinful’ - also rendered ‘sinner’).

I have understood this word as being used as a noun here (‘sinner’). I have done so partly because the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (the ‘Little Kittel’), Eerdmans, 1985, tells us: “In the NT hamartōlos, which is both an adjective and a noun….” and partly because so many respected translations translate it at 1 Peter 4:18 as a noun (“sinner”) - ASV; ESV; KJV; NASB; NIV; NKJV; NRSV; RSV; WEB; etc.

If this is correct, then 1 Peter 4:18 would be saying “the ungodly [man] and the sinner” - cf., NASB.

Timitrius said...

In note 15 you address the claim that 'saviour' is used without the article in the NT. However I believe the Trinitarian point is that the compound "Lord Jesus Christ" is found frequently in the NT but the compound "Saviour Jesus Christ is not. Therefore they argue that 2 Th 1:12 is NOT a Sharp construction as "Lord Jesus Christ" is a compound name but Ti 2:13 and 2 Pe 1:1 ARE Sharp constructions as "Saviour Jesus Christ" is not a compound name.

But I would have thought that "The God" is a proper name regardless! What are your thoughts?

tigger2 said...

I see no reason why the number of times a ‘compound name’ appears in the NT makes it any more a ‘true’ compound name or not. Nor do I see that Sharp makes any distinction concerning ‘compound names’ (and he clearly included 2 Th. 1:12 in his short list of Sharp’s examples).

As quoted in the study above, Sharp’s Rule may be stated as:

“When the copulative ‘and’ connects 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.”

The point is not whether there is a ‘compound name’ or not, but whether there is a second article or not (and if there is a grammatical reason other than ‘Sharp’s Rule’ for the second article not being used).