In this article, I will reply to Mr. Paul Cruz who responded to my comment about the article of Mr. Joe Ventilacion (THE EXEGETICAL FALLACY MADE BY MR. VENTILACION).
THIS IS WHAT MR. PAUL CRUZ SAID:
Mr. Duane tries to portrait himself as a Bible Scholar, though he is obviously not. He is trying his best to convince people that he knows biblical languages, though his knowledge of biblical languages is only superficial.
It is just your imagination Mr. Paul. With so many articles I have written and my conversion testimony, I never misrepresented myself as a Bible scholar, unlike your Professor Joe Ventilacion who claims INC ministers are knowledgeable in the biblical languages. However, experts in biblical languages found out they are not really knowledgeable. So, what you said against me boomerangs against you.
I wanted to ask you Mr. Paul, since you are very good in Biblical Greek along with Mr. Ventilacion, can you present recommendations from Bible scholars endorsing you? Present proof from anti-Trinitarian scholars that you are experts in Biblical Languages. You say my knowledge of Biblical languages is superficial. Yet, I have recommendations from two Catholic bible scholars and one non-Catholic bible scholar. I don’t need to show these whether you believe or not. It is none of my concern.
Before I forget, a friend who was a teaching fellow in Hebrew at Harvard Divinity School said:
“Peter Machinist, Shaye Cohen, and Elliot Wolfson are Jewish. Dick Saley is (I presume) Protestant, and my student Andrew Teeter is Protestant. I as a Catholic was a teaching fellow in Hebrew there long ago. I think that ALL would be teaching the same: “BIRD OF PREY” in Isaiah 46:11 refers to Cyrus. I HOPE THAT ANY SCHOLAR WHO DID NOT THINK IT REFERS TO CYRUS WOULD BE EXPELLED AS INCOMPETENT.”
THIS IS WHAT MR. PAUL CRUZ SAID:
He likes to get the attention of the people, particularly the Filipinos and of course, the best way to fulfill this is to criticize a Filipino who is well known for his expertise in biblical languages – Dr. Jose Ventilacion.
MY RESPONSE TO HIM:
I hope the saying, “Thinkers are doers” do not fit you. People see that Mr. Ventilacion and people like you who assail the Catholic Church love to criticize. As a Catholic who was able to read articles against my faith, I defend it against any attackers or critics in the same way you defend your faith since this is your duty. Don’t you admit that you criticize the practices of Catholics?
THIS IS WHAT MR. PAUL SAID:
However, reading Mr. Duane’s post against Dr. Ventilacion only shows that he – Mr. Duane is indeed a trying hard wanna be bible scholar. I am very sorry, but I can’t stop laughing while reading his post.
Many Catholics and Protestants who studied Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Greek apply this to their teachings and writing articles. If you teach Greek and Hebrew but you are not a Bible scholar, you are called a trying hard bible scholar? If that is what you think because I use Hebrew and Greek, I believe you, Mr Ramil Parba and Mr. Ventilacion are trying hard Bible scholars.
You can laugh even when you are not actually happy.
“Even in laughter the heart is sad,
and the end of joy is grief.”(Proverbs 14:13)
THIS WHAT MR. PAUL CRUZ SAID:
Mr. Duane could not give a lecture about grammar, for he has a lot of problems with his grammar.
Mr. Ventilacion and Mr. Parba have no right to lecture on Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Greek grammar!
Do you recall the debate of Mr. Ventilacion with James White?
Do you want me to remind you?
Mr. Joe Ventilacion said:
“We do not base our doctrine or our teaching in the church of Christ simply by means of grammar.”
James White asked him to discuss grammatically the verse and that is what he answered. That answer does not make any sense Mr. Paul Cruz.
I will give you an example that shows they are not capable of delivering lectures on grammar in Biblical Languages.
First, in the debate between James White and Mr. Joe Ventilacion, do you remember Mr. Ventilacion looked for the Tetragrammaton on Greek text?
Watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LM0UAz4Au4 from 8:50 until 8:57.
Second, Ramil Parba read the Hebrew text of Genesis 23:6 and it is incorrect! Watch this video –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCXNm1gYcnQ&t=2379s from 43:40 until 43:56 where you will see he pronounced the Hebrew word “Adoni” as “Adonai.”
It is obvious that Ramil Parba does not know how to distinguish Hebrew Vowels. The Hebrew word is Adoni and he made it Adonai..
Adoni – describe human masters and lords, but never God.
Adonai – Lord; God; name used as a substitute for the sacred Tetragrammaton.
Mr. Ramil Parba made Abraham God.
Third, even in pronunciation, there were many errors when Mr. Ramil Parba read 1 Samuel 14:15! Watch this again Mr. Paul –
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCXNm1gYcnQ&t=2379s from 46:08 until 46:31.
If Mr. Ramil Parba and Mr. Ventilacion fail in small things, then the more you are a failure since they are more intelligent than you are. Unless you are better than them. If these minor issues are not accurate, how much more when it comes to Hebrew and Greek grammar?
THIS IS WHAT MR. PAUL CRUZ SAID:
I don’t know if Mr. Duane knows how to read. His post about Dr. Ventilacion article is very out of this world. Dr. Ventilacion did not say in any way that grammatical structure of Hebrew is the same with the grammatical structure of Greek language. Dr. Ventilacion simply presented that the term GOD, in Hebrew and in Greek, can be used as an adjective. He is not arguing about grammatical structure, he is simply explaining about the term GOD in Hebrew and Greek. Mr. Duane writes: “Ventilacion does not know that syntax in Hebrew differs from syntax in Greek. John 1:1 is Greek, while Genesis 23:6 is Hebrew; so the rules of syntax are somewhat different. Greek syntax works differently than Hebrew syntax.” This part of Mr. Duane’s post really made me laugh: A big HA? My question to Mr. Duane: Did you read Dr. Ventilacion’s article with an empty stomach? Did Dr. Ventilacion say that John 1.1 and Genesis 23.6 are the same? Mr Duane, Dr. Ventilacion only cited Genesis 23.6 to give an example of the term GOD in Hebrew being used as an adjective.
My friend, don’t cover anymore the motive of Mr. Ventilacion in why he used Genesis 23:6.
Look at what Mr. Ramil Parba did when they tackled John 1:1, is it not clear that he wanted to support John 1:1c. where the term “Theos” functions as an adjective when translated into English and he used Genesis 23:6?
Watch from 42:50 until 45:54 in the YouTube video:
Again, one cannot argue from what is grammatically the case in Hebrew in the Old Testament and then assume such Hebrew usage automatically also pertains to the usage in Greek which has a different grammatical structure and vocabulary.
The Old Testament passages he cites have no bearing on John 1:1. They might have a bearing on Acts 7:20, but notice how different the Greek is in Acts compared to John. He seems to be struggling with the theology of the Trinity and mistakes this issue for a grammatical one.
When a noun is used with adjectival sense in Hebrew it is usually in the construct state.
MR. PAUL CRUZ SAID:
Mr. Duane adds: “He often uses Robert Strachan to justify “and the word was divine” in the translation of John 1:1. Does Strachan not believe in Jesus as God like Joe Ventilacion? We can read this in one edition of his book on page 232. “My Lord and My God. This expression of the Divinity of Jesus is the fruit of experience, and not a mere expression of intellectual assent. What is it here that so deepens Thomas’s experience and produces such faith?” (The Fourth Gospel: Its Significance and Environment, page 232).”. Here Mr. Duane is doing a trick, but only unlearned people can be deceived by his trick. Notice that Mr. Duane did not counter the comment of Strachan in John 1.1c. Instead he jumped to a question: Does Strachan not believe in Jesus as God like Joe Ventilacion? Strachan’s belief about Christ and his analysis of John 1.1c are two different things.
It goes back to you. You can only deceive the unlearned with your tricks. You use different translations and jump from one version of the Bible to another if these favor your teachings. If you read the original text, you will see the wrong translation of passages.
And correction Mr. Paul, I counter the statement of Strachan and use statements from various scholars. Read it again. It seems you did not read it!
IS IT CORRECT TO TRANSLATE THE GREEK WORD, “THEOS” INTO “DIVINE” SINCE IT HAS NO DEFINITE ARTICLE?
“The structure of the third clause in verse 1, theos en ho ho logos, demands the translation ‘The Word was God’.
Since logos has the article preceding it, it is marked out as the subject. The fact that theos is the first word after the conjunction kai (‘and’) shows that the main emphasis of the clause lies on it.”(F.F. Bruce, The Gospel of John, Page 31)
In this second translation, “divine” is acceptable only if it is a term that can be applied only to true deity.
(Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, page 269)
A long string of writers has argued that because theos, ‘God’, here has no article, John is not referring to God as
a specific being, but to mere qualities of ‘God-ness’. The Word, they say, was not God but ‘divine’. This will not do, There is a perfectly serviceable word in Greek for ‘divine’ (namely theios). (The Gospel According to John Commentary, page 117)
On the one hand, Carson’s critique is correct in that “divine” is too weak.”(The Greek Article (A functional
Grammar of o-items in the Greek New Testament with Special Emphasis on the Greek Article, Page 239)
“It is common for a definite nominative predicate noun preceding a finite verb to be without the article.”(Going Deeper with New Testament Greek: An Intermediate Study of the Grammar and Syntax of the New Testament, page 50)
Also, the intention of Strachan and that of Mr. Joe Ventilacion are different in John 1:1c. When Strachan said “Here the word theos has no article, thus giving it the significance of an adjective, ” it was not to deny that Christ as God, unlike Mr. Joe Ventilacion.
MR. PAUL CRUZ SAID:
Mr. Duane always does this trick – jumping to the question if the author quoted by Dr. Ventilacion believes that Christ is not God. The same old trick he uses when Dr. Ventilacion quotes Dr. Daniel Wallace comment on John 1.1. Rather than understanding what the author tells about the subject matter, he escapes by asking: does the author believe that Christ is not God?
The problem with you is you use references to support your arguments even if your beliefs differ from that of the author and his motives in saying that statement.
MR. PAUL CRUZ SAID:
Again a big, HA? Mr. Duane, ask yourself, do you accept everything what the author of a book you read say? Or are you matured enough to analyze what the author is saying? No one will agree with Mr. Duane that we should accept everything an author tells us. Intellectuals do not read as how Mr. Duane reads a book.
Do you want me to give you an example Mr. Paul?
Is it not true that when you want to prove that your religion is in the Bible, you quote Acts 20:28 which says “church of Christ”? You also insist and defend that the Lamsa translation is accurate instead of translations with “church of God”. What is more surprising is your claim that the “Thy throne, O God” is a wrong translation and “Thy throne is God” is accurate. It is clearly written in Hebrews 1:8 of the Lamsa translation, “Thy throne, O God”.
Is it not clear you choose references that favor you?
MR. PAUL SAID:
Mr. Duane argues: “If there is no article in theos and functions as adjective, why does it not function as adjective in John 8:54 since there is no article in “theos” here?”This shows that Mr. Duane’s knowledge of grammar is really limited. In translation, you don’t apply a single grammatical rule in all of the text you are translating. Instead, you analyze and you choose the best option you have. Who with the normal state of mind will translate theos here as an adjective – “He is our divine” – would that make sense? Of course translators make sense with their translations. Context should be considered.
That is your argument. If “theos” has no article, you insist it functions as an adjective.
Also, in Matthew 4:4 and Luke 1:35 “God” but does not have the definite article and dozens and dozens of texts. You have the same phenomenon throughout the Septuagint and the New Testament of proper names sometimes having the definite article and other times not having it.
The question is: if you use in an English sentence, “He is our divine,” is this allowed and grammatically correct?
Grammatically, it is correct, because divine, which is commonly used as an adjective, is also a noun.
MR. PAUL CRUZ SAID:
The more Mr. Duane pushes on John 1.1c, the more he is getting into trouble. John 1.1c and John 8:54 are two with different grammatical structures. Hence it is wrong that Mr. Duane built his case of John 1.1c with John 8:54.
I believe you do not know the grammatical structure. You are plainly incompetent to make any judgments in this area.
In all three cases, the noun before the verb (theos = John 8:54, kurios = Mark 2:28) is the predicate and therefore it lacks the article.
You know Mr. Paul Cruz, If you are really bright, you must correct Mr. Ventilacion in what he does. I will give you two examples.
First, Ventilacion used John 9:9 to dispute the argument of James White about using the statements of Jesus from the Book of John when he said “EGO EIMI” or “I AM, ” As per Ventilacion, if the basis of James White is to prove that Jesus is God because of the words, “I Am” it will appear the former blind man is also God since he said, “I Am.”
If we study the Greek text of John 8:58 and John 9:9, both used “Ego Eimi” but the context is different.
“The Ego Eimi Sayings in John could be categorized grammatically as to whether they an antecedent or predicate, whether they are followed by a participle. etc. It is too simplistic to suggest, for example, that the “absolute” sayings of John 8:24, 8:58 and 13:19 are divine sayings, but those that have an antecedent or predicate are not”(The Jewish Targums and John’s Logos theology)
Second, since you do not favor the interpretation of Trinitarians in John 10:30, you use John 17:23 to support your argument. Is this not an exegetical fallacy?
What did D. A. Carson say in his book, Exegetical Fallacies on page 139?
“Some of these are forces to the surface when we consider the Arian efforts to link John 10:30 (“I and the Father are one,” NIV) and John 17:20-23 (“I pray…that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you,” NIV). What gives interpreters the right to link certain verses together, and not others? The point is that all such linking eventually produces a grid that affects the interpretation of other texts. There may be fallacies connected not only with the way individual verses are interpreted but also with the way several passages are linked–and then also with the way such a link affects the interpretation of the next verses that is studied!”(Exegetical Fallacies by D.A. Carson, Page 139)
MR. PAUL CRUZ SAID:
Mr. Duane elaborates: “It is common for a definite nominative predicate noun preceding a finite verb to be without the article.” I am sorry but I need to laugh. If I remembered it right, this is where Mr. Duane took his question in his debate with Brother Rene Panoncillo. I can’t help but to laugh because when Mr. Duane was asking this question he was having hard time saying it (nabubulol). Why? because he does not really know this stuff. I believe he just read it in a book and memorized it because he believes it is a hard question to answer. In ilonggo, pamahog lya lang na wala ya na nahangpan. Amo lang na style ya, mamahog sang iban. Pero sa tuod tuod lang, wala ya gid na nahangpan, nakita lang nya na, tapos gingamit nya na pamahog sa debate.
Now, upload a video lecture where you are personally explaining John 1:1c and I will make corrections.
And correction, I read intermediate Greek grammar, memorize and understand it Mr. Paul. I am not like Mr. Ventilacion when asked by James White about Greek and Mr. Ventilacion answered James White “What does it mean to you”? Do you recall that Mr. Paul?
Watch from 1:04:18 until 1:04:29 in the YouTube video:
Naintindihan ko kon ano ang akon ginapanghambal Mr. Paul. basi ikaw ang wala kaintindi sang imo mga ginapanghambal?
There are, however, several other functions of the nominative case. Here are some of the key uses:
– In John 3:35 – Subject (the subject of the finite verb): “The Father (ὁ πατὴρ) loves the Son”
– In John 1:14 – Predicate Nominative (expresses a characteristic or state of the subject with a copulative verb) “the life was the light (τὸ φῶς) of men” (John 1:14).
– In Colossians 1:1 – Apposition (provides additional information about a subject): “Paul, an apostle (ἀπόστολος) of Christ Jesus”
– In 2 Thessalonians 3:18 – Absolute (grammatically independent and often used in greetings): “The grace (ἡ χάρις) of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you”
– In Colossians 3:19- Address (used instead of a vocative):”Husbands (Οἱ ἄνδρες), love your wives”
The nominative case is often used to designate the subject of the verb. Yet, there are other functions of the nominative case which include: With a predicate nominative, both subject and predicate nominative is in the nominative case. Said constructions include stated or implied usage of an equative verb (such as εἰμί, γίνομαι, or ὑπάρχω). A predicate nominative gives additional information about the subject and may be equivalent to the subject.
In NT Greek syntax, when the predicate nominative precedes the verb, there is usually no article whether indefinite or not. The grammatical construction determines the article is lacking but only the context decides whether the noun is considered indefinite. Under this type of construction, the predicate nominative “is normally qualitative, sometimes definite, and only rarely indefinite.
The anarthrous use of θεὸς is seen in the immediate context and considered definite.
Each of the three examples happens in the immediate context of John 1:1. However, the incomparable use of θεὸς is not translated as “a god.”
Likewise, the same argument is possible regarding the translation of other words in the context that are anarthrous but that are still translated as definite: Ἐν ἀρχῇ, “in the beginning” (John 1:1,2); ζωὴ, “life” (John 1:4).
If John wanted to say Jesus was only “divine” or “a god.” he could have said Jesus was θεῖος (“divine”; cf. Acts 17:29; 2 Peter 1:3,4).
MR. PAUL CRUZ SAID:
Mr. Duane, are you serious? This analysis of Mr. Duane has a lot of problems. To point some: Word order in biblical Greek is not as significant as it is in English. His explanation: “where Y is the subject and X is the predicate but preceding the subject Y and that predicate is a noun” is irrelevant. With respect to word order X is Y or Y is X in Greek is the same. What matters more in Greek is not the word order but the case attach to the word. The case, and not the word order, tells us what the word is functioning as. Applying this analysis of Mr. Duane on John 1.1c, Murray J. Harris seems does not agree with Mr Duane. On his book page 62 we could read: “First, as I observe in appendix I (§B.3.b ), it seems a priori unlikely that the largely mechanical and external factor of word order should itself account for the presence or absence of the article with definite predicate nouns. If word order alone determined the anarthrous state of what was a definite noun (ὁ θεὸς) the implication is that John could have written ὁ λόγος ἦν ὁ θεὸς (or even ὁ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος) as a stylistic variant of θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.
You insist and make it appear that “theos” in John 1:1c should be translated as “divine.”
I don’t think Harris is disagreeing with my statement as a general rule of Greek syntax. But he evidently doesn’t think it is the meaning in this instance.
St. John could have written ὁ λόγος ἦν ὁ θεὸς and it would have meant the same. ὁ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος would not have meant the same. It would mean “God was the Logos,” which John would not want to say. But I would say that, in the quasi-poetic composition of John’s Prologue, θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος is stylistically preferable to ὁ λόγος ἦν ὁ θεὸς. It parallels 1:1a.
MR. PAUL CRUZ SAID:
“Theos heimon estin” (He is our God), could be written “heimon estin Theos” and we get the same meaning (He is our God). Again what determines the function of a word in Greek is not the word order, but instead the case ending.
With theos hemon (our God) one would normally expect the article: ho theos hemon.
So, in this case, John could have written estin ho theos hemon. Because the subject (he) has already been expressed it would be clear that ho theos hemon is the predicate. But if the predicate does precede the verb, as in fact it does in this instance, it lacks the article.
It is true that case ending is more important than word order in determining the function of a word, but word order can also play a part.
MR. PAUL CRUZ SAID:
Mr. Duane elaborates: “Another Example: Mark 2:28: the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath. (kurios without article before verb. It doesn’t mean “a lord of the Sabbath”) ὥστε κύριός ἐστιν ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου καὶ τοῦ σαββάτου. Kurios – noun Estin – verb –“WOW, nice analysis Mr. Duane but it is not a good one. Here Kurios does not have an article not because Kurios is a noun before a verb, as what Mr. Duane suggests, but because it is not the subject of the sentence. If Kurios here in this particular text is the subject, then it would have the article. Nice try Mr Duane, but not good enough.
Now, I seriously doubt if you really understand the meaning of “subject” and “predicate.”
It’s true it’s not the subject of the sentence, but nor is theos in John 1:1c. The rule is not that the noun lacks the article just because it precedes the verb, but that the noun lacks the article when it is not the subject (i.e. is the predicate) and precedes the verb. If theos had the article in Jn 1:1c, the meaning would be “God was the Word.”
If kurious had the article in Mark 2:28, the meaning would be “the Lord is the Son of Man…”
Now, my use of John 8:54 to clarify John 1:1c points out:
A predicate is always in the nominative.
When the predicate of a finite verb “to be” precedes the verb it does not have an article, even when it is definite in meaning. The reason is that, if it had the article, it would appear to be the subject, not the predicate.
MR PAUL SAID:
I doubt if Mr. Duane really studied biblical Greek. θεόν is the accusative singular form of θεὸς and it is used for direct object. In John 1.1b we can read θεόν because it is functioning as direct object. On the other hand, we could not read in John 8:54 θεόν because the word GOD there is not a direct object. Instead what we could read is θεὸς – in nominative singular form. Dr. Ventilacion points out θεόν as true God with respect to John 1.1b. and as mentioned, in John 1.1b we could read θεόν because the term GOD there is functioning as a direct object. Mr. Duane did not get the point what Dr. Ventilacion is trying to convey. He misunderstood that to be the true God it should be written as θεόν.
Theon in John 1:1b is not the direct object. It follows the preposition pros, which takes the accusative case.
In John 8:54, as we know, theos is the predicate and the predicate must be in the nominative case.
It is you who need to study Biblical Greek since you don’t understand the syntax of John 1:1b.
Even before you commented on my article, I already knew the difference between Theon and Theos.
The difference in the ending is simply a matter of grammar: θεόν (theon) is accusative because of the preposition; θεὸς (theos) is nominative because of the verb “to be.” Theos means the same thing in both cases.
There was one Catholic who asked me because one INC member he debated within FB insisted the true God is the “THEON” and not the “THEOS.” It is the reason why I explained that.
In the debate of Ventilacion with James White, he was forcing John 1:1b since it can be read word-for-word the Greek words “TON THEON” and connect it to John 17:3 since it also uses “THEON”.
Even if the Greek word “TON THEON” was not used, it does not mean it is not the “TRUE GOD”.
His exegetical analysis to connect John 1:1b with John 17:3 is not right!
The context of John 17:3 is of God in contrast with other deities, who are not real (BDAG, 43). This cannot be found anywhere near John 1:1.
MR. PAUL CRUZ SAID:
A friendly reminder Mr. Duane: “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” Be humble.
It is better to have little knowledge instead of being arrogant but that person’s knowledge is stunted. It is dangerous if you have a wrong knowledge in teaching rather than one with little knowledge which is true.