Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Johannine Dual-Theism?

In several instances, there appear to be parallels in John's gospel to the dual-theism expressed by Philo. I wrote briefly on this in one of my first posts (Philo's Logos, The Second God) in which I showed how John 1:1 could be understood to refer to two separate gods, both of whom are identified with Yahweh. The following verse from John may be another instance in which Yeshua could be described as a Second God:
No man hath ever seen God; the only begotten God...
--John 1:18, Syriac Peshitta
No one has seen God at any time, the only begotten God...
--John 1:18, NASB
No one has ever seen God; the only God...
--John 1:18, ESV
No one has ever seen God. The only one, himself God...
--John 1:18, NET
No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son...
--John 1:18, NKJV
No one has ever seen God; the only Son...
--John 1:18, RSV
No man saw ever God, but the one begotten Son...
--John 1:18, Wycliffe NT
God no one hath ever seen; the only begotten Son...
--John 1:18, YLT
So what is John calling Yeshua...the only begotten God or the only begotten Son?

Historically, those who might be referred to as "Orthodox" (Irenaeus, Tertullian, Basil) have favored the Son texts. This was obviously done to counter those who might be perceived as heretics (Tatian, Clement of Alexandria, Arius) that favored the God texts. (It may be worth mentioning that the earliest Greek manuscripts of John, P66 and P75, contain "only begotten God")

If "only begotten God" is original to John, this might be evidence that John sees Yeshua, like Philo saw the Logos, as a second, separate god. However, being relatively unfamiliar with Johannine theology, I wonder if this idea could really be supported. I would appreciate hearing from those entrenched in Johannine scholarship on the issue.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if you might be interested in my blogs
www.christinallthescriptures.blogspot.com
www.theologyofgcberkouwer.blogspot.com

8:10 AM  
Blogger mishabomb said...

Hey Dude! Thought of you recently cos I heard that Joel Rosenberg, a leading theologist/speaker on Revelations is coming to Calvary Chapel in Chino. Should be interesting - This sunday!

1:10 PM  
Blogger slaveofone said...

Hey there, LC. Thanks for the info, but I'll pass on this Joel guy.

5:05 PM  

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