May 26, 2024

Luke 16:9 as a General Principle with Dual Application

Luke 16:9 (AICNT) reads “[And] I say to you, make friends for yourselves from the unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails, they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.” In the context of the preceding parable of the unrighteous manager in Luke 16:1-8, the meaning, although having a worldly application more profoundly, has an eternal one. With Jesus's elaboration later in verses 12-15, the eternal one becomes more clear. It is a worldly or dual application that may not be clear or may trouble some readers.

Regarding the interpretation of verse 9, I believe it is a general principle that can be applied in an earthly frame of reference as well as a heavenly one. The hint about it being a dual application or general principle is the use of the plural pronoun “they.” In addition to the eternal application, the parable suggests there is also an earthly one. Of course, Jesus is emphasizing the eternal. But how it applies to the manager is an earthly one.

This verse can be interpreted to have a dual application:

Earthly Perspective: 

From an earthly viewpoint, Jesus is advising the use of worldly wealth (“mammon of unrighteousness”) in a manner that can cultivate relationships and goodwill. This pragmatic approach suggests that resources should be used wisely to support and help others, thereby building a network of friends who can offer assistance and support in times of need.

Eternal Perspective: 

From an eternal perspective, the verse implies that how one manages worldly wealth has spiritual consequences. By using material resources to aid others, particularly those in need, believers can lay up treasures in heaven. The “everlasting habitations” refer to the eternal reward and welcome in the afterlife. It underscores the principle that generosity and stewardship of earthly possessions can lead to spiritual rewards and eternal fellowship with God.

How can “they” be understood?

Friends Made Through Generosity

One interpretation is that “they” refers to the friends made through the wise and generous use of earthly wealth (“mammon of unrighteousness”). The idea is that by helping others with your resources, you build relationships and goodwill.

Heavenly Beings or Saints: 

Another interpretation is that “they” could refer to heavenly beings or saints who are in the presence of God. In this view, the verse suggests that the way you use your resources on earth is observed by heavenly beings, and when you die, they are the ones who will welcome you into eternal life, acknowledging the righteous use of your possessions.

General Concept: 

A broader interpretation is that “they” doesn't refer to specific individuals but to the general concept. It emphasizes the principle that generous actions lead to rewards and security.

What about “Eternal Habitations,” and how can that be understood with the dual application?

Eternal Perspective: 

The primary interpretation is that “everlasting habitations” refers to eternal life and the rewards in heaven. Jesus is emphasizing the importance of using earthly resources wisely and generously, which will lead to spiritual rewards.

Temporal Application: 

While the primary interpretation is eternal, there can be a secondary, more temporal application in the sense that the relationships and goodwill created by generous and righteous use of wealth can have immediate, earthly benefits. These benefits could include support and hospitality from those helped, reflecting the idea of being received into “homes” or “shelters” of friends made through acts of kindness. This can further be elaborated as follows:

1. Temporal Security and Influence: 

In a temporal sense, the homes and resources of the wealthy could be seen as more stable and enduring due to their financial power. Wealth can provide a degree of security and influence that allows for more permanent dwellings and a stable lifestyle. Therefore, “eternal tents” might be understood as metaphorically referring to the lasting impact and security that wealth can provide in this life.

2. Sustained Relationships: 

The idea could extend to the relationships built through the wise and generous use of wealth. By using wealth to build and sustain friendships and alliances, a person might ensure a lasting network of support and hospitality, which could be metaphorically referred to as “eternal tents” in a temporal sense.

3. Reputation and Legacy: 

Wealth can also create a lasting legacy or reputation. Philanthropic actions, charitable contributions, and the establishment of institutions (like hospitals, schools, etc.) funded by wealth can have enduring impacts that outlast the individual's life, contributing to a form of something lasting, although not eternal. 

Jesus did associate with the wealthy

Jesus did dine with Pharisees on several occasions, and He attended feasts where Pharisees were present. Here are a few notable examples:

Dinner at Simon the Pharisee's House (Luke 7:36-50):

Jesus was invited to dine at the house of Simon the Pharisee. During this meal, a sinful woman anointed Jesus' feet with perfume, and Jesus used the occasion to teach about forgiveness and love.

Dinner at a Pharisee's House on the Sabbath (Luke 14:1-24):

Jesus went to eat at the house of a prominent Pharisee on the Sabbath. During this meal, He healed a man suffering from dropsy and taught about humility, hospitality, and the Kingdom of God.

Dinner at Another Pharisee's House (Luke 11:37-54):

A Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him, and during the meal, Jesus spoke critically about the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and teachers of the law.

These examples indicate that Jesus did dine with Pharisees and attended feasts with them. He had a willingness to eat and converse with them, despite their frequent opposition to his teaching.

John and Hermetic Philosophy, Hellenistic Wisdom Literature, and Apocryphal Books

 This info from GPT-5 outlines the relationship of John with Hermetic philosophy, Hellenistic wisdom literature, and apocryphal books, suggesting that John is contrived and less historically accurate. 

The Gospel of John and Hermetic philosophy 

The relationship between the Gospel of John and Hermetic philosophy is an intriguing topic because both texts share certain thematic and conceptual similarities, yet they arise from different religious and philosophical traditions. Hermetic philosophy, particularly as found in the Corpus Hermeticum, is a collection of writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, a syncretic figure combining aspects of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth. These writings are characterized by their mystical and philosophical content, emphasizing themes such as divine knowledge, the nature of the cosmos, and the ascent of the soul.

Here are some ways in which the Gospel of John might be compared with Hermetic philosophy:

Concept of the Logos

John’s Prologue: The Gospel of John begins with the famous prologue, "In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). This Logos theology presents Jesus as the divine Word, through whom all things were made and who incarnated as Jesus Christ.

Hermetic Texts: Hermetic writings also discuss the Logos, often as a divine principle that orders the cosmos and serves as a mediator between the divine and human realms. The Hermetic understanding of the Logos aligns with the idea of a rational, creative force central to both cosmology and spiritual insight.

Emphasis on Knowledge and Revelation

John’s Theme of Revelation: In John’s Gospel, Jesus is portrayed as the revealer of divine truth, bringing light and knowledge to the world. This theme is evident in statements like "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12) and "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32).

Hermetic Knowledge (Gnosis): Hermetic philosophy places a strong emphasis on acquiring gnosis, or divine knowledge, through mystical insight and revelation. The Hermetic texts often depict a journey towards enlightenment and understanding of the divine mysteries.

Dualism and Light-Darkness Imagery

John’s Dualism: The Gospel of John frequently employs dualistic imagery, contrasting light and darkness, truth and falsehood, life and death. This dualism serves to highlight the spiritual battle between good and evil, with Jesus as the light overcoming darkness.

Hermetic Dualism: Hermetic writings also use dualistic imagery, describing the material and spiritual realms, light and darkness, and the process of the soul’s ascent from ignorance to enlightenment. This dualistic framework underpins much of Hermetic cosmology and soteriology.

The Role of the Mediator

Jesus as Mediator: In the Gospel of John, Jesus is the mediator between God and humanity, providing a way for believers to access divine truth and eternal life. He states, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).

Hermetic Mediator: In Hermetic philosophy, the Logos or Nous (Mind) often serves as a mediator, facilitating the soul’s ascent and understanding of divine realities. Hermes Trismegistus himself is depicted as a teacher and mediator of divine wisdom.

Spiritual Rebirth

John’s Concept of Rebirth: In John 3, Jesus discusses the need for spiritual rebirth with Nicodemus, emphasizing that one must be "born again" or "born from above" to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3-7).

Hermetic Rebirth: Hermetic texts similarly speak of spiritual rebirth and regeneration, often describing a transformative process where the soul awakens to its divine origin and potential. 

The Gospel of John and Hellenistic Wisdom Literature

The Gospel of John exhibits several characteristics that align it with Hellenistic wisdom literature, although it is not strictly categorized as such. Hellenistic wisdom literature, which flourished during the Hellenistic period (approximately 323 BC to 31 BC), often includes writings that explore philosophical and theological themes, frequently using poetic and symbolic language. Here are some elements that connect the Gospel of John to Hellenistic wisdom literature:

1. Logos Concept

Philosophical Background: The prologue of John (John 1:1-18) introduces the concept of the Logos, a term that carries significant philosophical weight in Hellenistic thought. In Greek philosophy, particularly in the works of Heraclitus and later Stoic philosophy, the Logos represents the rational principle that orders the cosmos.

Theological Adaptation: John adapts this concept to describe Jesus as the pre-existent Word (Logos) who was with God and was God, and through whom all things were made. This integration of Hellenistic philosophical terminology into a Jewish-Christian context is a hallmark of wisdom literature's approach to bridging different intellectual traditions.

2. Emphasis on Light and Life

Symbolic Language: The Gospel of John frequently uses symbolic language, such as light, life, and darkness, to convey deeper spiritual truths. This style is reminiscent of Hellenistic wisdom literature, which often employs metaphor and allegory to explore complex theological and philosophical ideas.

Dualism: The contrast between light and darkness, good and evil, and life and death in John reflects a dualistic worldview common in Hellenistic thought and wisdom literature.

3. Revelation of Divine Wisdom

Jesus as Wisdom: In Hellenistic wisdom literature, divine wisdom is often personified and described as playing a key role in creation and human affairs (e.g., in the Book of Wisdom and Sirach). The Gospel of John presents Jesus as the incarnation of divine wisdom, who reveals God's nature and purpose to humanity.

Teaching and Revelation: John's portrayal of Jesus includes extended discourses that reveal profound theological insights, much like the teachings found in wisdom literature. These discourses often emphasize knowing God, eternal life, and the relationship between the Father and the Son.

4. Jewish Wisdom Traditions

Integration of Jewish and Hellenistic Elements: The Gospel of John integrates Jewish wisdom traditions with Hellenistic philosophical concepts. For example, the portrayal of Jesus as the Logos parallels the Jewish personification of wisdom (Sophia) in texts like Proverbs 8 and the apocryphal Wisdom of Solomon.

Literary Style: The poetic and reflective style of John’s Gospel, especially in the prologue and the farewell discourses, shares similarities with the literary style of Jewish wisdom literature, which often blends poetry, metaphor, and theological reflection.

5. Influence of Philo of Alexandria

Philo's Logos: Philo of Alexandria, a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher, wrote extensively about the Logos as an intermediary between God and the world. His writings predate the Gospel of John and exhibit a blending of Jewish theological concepts with Hellenistic philosophy. The Gospel of John’s use of the Logos concept suggests a possible influence from Philo’s works or a shared intellectual environment.

The Gospel of John exhibits several characteristics that align it with Hellenistic wisdom literature, including its use of the Logos concept, symbolic language, dualistic themes, and emphasis on divine revelation and wisdom. While it is primarily a theological narrative about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, it incorporates elements from both Jewish wisdom traditions and Hellenistic philosophical thought, making it a unique and complex work within the New Testament canon.

Apocryphal works are considered sacred by some groups

There are several literary works throughout history that have been created to mimic or masquerade as scripture. These texts often emulate the style, themes, and structure of canonical religious texts but are not recognized as authentic scripture by mainstream religious traditions. Here are a few notable examples:

1. The Gospel of Thomas

Description: The Gospel of Thomas is a collection of 114 sayings attributed to Jesus, discovered near Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in 1945.

Content: Unlike the canonical gospels, it does not have a narrative structure but consists of sayings that are sometimes similar to those found in the New Testament. It presents a more mystical and esoteric interpretation of Jesus' teachings.

Reception: Although some early Christian communities might have considered it significant, it is not recognized as canonical by mainstream Christian denominations.

2. The Book of Mormon

Description: Published by Joseph Smith in 1830, the Book of Mormon is considered scripture by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).

Content: It claims to be a record of ancient prophets who lived on the American continent, with themes and narratives that align with biblical style and Christian doctrine.

Reception: While considered scripture by the LDS Church, it is viewed by mainstream Christianity as a 19th-century work that does not hold the same canonical status as the Bible.

3. The Kebra Nagast

Description: The Kebra Nagast ("The Glory of Kings") is an Ethiopian national epic written in the 14th century.

Content: It narrates the history of the Ethiopian royal family and connects it to the biblical lineage of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. It presents themes and narratives that align closely with those found in the Old Testament.

Reception: While not considered scripture by mainstream Christianity, it holds significant religious and historical importance in Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity.

4. The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ

Description: Written by Levi H. Dowling and published in 1908, this text claims to reveal the lost years of Jesus' life.

Content: It combines elements of Christian theology with esoteric and New Age philosophies, presenting an account of Jesus' travels and teachings outside the traditional biblical narrative.

Reception: It is generally considered a New Age spiritual text rather than authentic scripture by mainstream Christian denominations.

5. The Gospel of Barnabas

Description: An apocryphal gospel that claims to have been written by Barnabas, one of the apostles of Jesus.

Content: It presents an account of Jesus' life and teachings that significantly diverges from the canonical gospels, including the claim that Jesus was not crucified but was instead taken up to heaven.

Reception: It is not recognized as authentic scripture by any major Christian denomination and is considered a pseudepigraphal work.

6. The Urantia Book

Description: Published in 1955, The Urantia Book is a comprehensive text that claims to offer an expanded account of the universe, life on earth, and the teachings of Jesus.

Content: It combines science, philosophy, and religion, presenting a cosmology that includes an intricate account of the life and teachings of Jesus, often referred to as "The Life and Teachings of Jesus" section.

Reception: It is considered a work of speculative theology and philosophy, not scripture, by mainstream religious traditions.

These examples demonstrate that various texts have been created to emulate or expand upon the style and themes of canonical scripture. While some of these works are considered sacred by certain groups, they are generally viewed as pseudepigraphal or apocryphal by mainstream religious traditions. The line between scripture and literary work can often blur, especially when texts attempt to present themselves with the same authority and spiritual significance as recognized sacred texts.

Indications that suggest the Gospel of John might be contrived and less historically accurate

Here are some indications and arguments that suggest the Gospel of John might be considered contrived or less historically accurate:

1. Late Composition

Dating: The Gospel of John is generally dated to the late first century, around 90-100 AD. This later date compared to the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) has led some scholars to question its historical accuracy, suggesting it may have been influenced by theological developments within the early Christian community.

2. Theological Agenda

High Christology: John's Gospel presents a very high view of Jesus as the pre-existent Word (Logos) who became flesh. This theological perspective is more developed than in the Synoptic Gospels, leading some to argue that John's primary aim was theological rather than historical.

Symbolic Language: The use of symbolic and metaphorical language, such as Jesus' "I am" statements ("I am the bread of life," "I am the light of the world"), suggests a more interpretative and theological approach rather than a straightforward historical narrative.

3. Unique Content and Style

Differences from Synoptics: The Gospel of John contains many stories and sayings of Jesus that are not found in the Synoptic Gospels. For example, the extended discourses (e.g., the Farewell Discourse in John 13-17) and the inclusion of unique miracles (e.g., the raising of Lazarus) are absent from the Synoptics. This has led some to view John's Gospel as a more independent and possibly less historically grounded account.

Literary Structure: The structured and thematic nature of John's Gospel, with its focus on signs and discourses, suggests a carefully crafted literary work aimed at conveying specific theological messages.

4. Rejection by Some Early Christians

Ebionites and Alogians: Groups such as the Ebionites, who held to a more Jewish-oriented Christianity, and the Alogians, who rejected the Gospel of John. These groups considered its theological developments as divergent from their understanding of Jesus and his teachings.

Marcionites: Marcion of Sinope, who created a distinct Christian canon excluding the Old Testament and certain New Testament writings, did not accept the Gospel of John as authoritative. He and his followers favored Luke and Pauline epistles.

5. Historical Inconsistencies

Chronological Differences: The timeline of events in John differs from the Synoptic Gospels. For example, the timing of the cleansing of the Temple and the chronology of the Passion Week events differ significantly, raising questions about historical accuracy.

Geographical Details: Some geographical details and descriptions in John are debated among scholars, suggesting the possibility of later additions or symbolic interpretations rather than precise historical reporting.

6. Scholarly Analysis

Source Criticism: Scholars have identified potential sources and influences on John's Gospel, such as the hypothetical "Signs Gospel" or other oral traditions. This suggests that the author may have compiled and reinterpreted existing material to serve theological purposes.

Redaction Criticism: The editing and redaction process of John's Gospel is believed to have involved multiple stages, indicating that the final form of the text may reflect theological elaboration over time rather than a single historical account.


Several indications suggest the Gospel of John may be less concerned with historical accuracy compared to the Synoptic Gospels. The later composition date, unique content and style, theological agenda, rejection by some early Christian groups, historical inconsistencies, and scholarly critiques all contribute to the view that John's Gospel might be a more contrived or symbolic work. These factors highlight the complex nature of John's Gospel and the diverse perspectives on its origins and purpose within the broader context of early Christian literature.

For a more detailed analysis of the issues with the Gospel of John see

August 1, 2023

Christ is a Typology

1 Cor 10:4 may seem to imply that Jesus preexisted to some. However, in this context, "Christ" is used as a typology, referring to what God has anointed (to provide salvation). This pertains to spiritual food and drink (1 Cor 10:3-4)

In ancient Israel, the rock was what God anointed to provide salvation. (1 Cor 10:4)  Now Jesus is whom God has anointed to provide salvation.

Acts 10:37-38 (ESV)

you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

Types of Christs were provided by God in the past. Now God has provided a new and better savior (means of salvation), his begotten son, Christ Jesus.

Heb 5:5 (ESV)

So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him,

“You are my Son, today I have begotten you”;

July 24, 2023

Essence Energy Distinction and the Holy Spirit

What is the Essence - Energy Distinction?

Making this distinction affirms that there are some things that God cannot share and some things God can share: things that are non-communicable and things that are communicable. God cannot share his essential nature or essence (ousia); that is his ontology. Otherwise, we could become God.  But God can share his Holy Spirit, which pertains to the Energies (energeia) of God.

The Essence/Energy Distinction, also known as Palamism or the Palamite distinction, is a theological concept. The main idea is the differentiation between the essence (ousia) and the energies (energeia) of God. This distinction is essential in understanding the way humans can know, interact with, and participate in God and has significant implications for theology and spirituality. 

Essence refers to the divine essence or nature, the very being of God. It is what makes God, God. It is uncreated, eternal, unchangeable, and incomprehensible. This aspect of God is completely transcendent and cannot be truly known or shared with creation due to its absolute otherness. In other words, God's essence is non-communicable.

Energies, on the other hand, refer to divine actions or operations. They are also uncreated and eternal, but unlike the essence, they are immanent and can be experienced by creation. These are the ways that God interacts with the universe, revealing Himself without making His total essence comprehensible. Through these energies, humans can participate in the divine life (theosis or deification). This participation does not mean humans become God in essence, but they are transformed and become “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4) in a relational sense. Hence, God's energies are communicable.

The Greek word Energeia is used eight times in the NT, often translated as energy, and pertains to metaphysical working, operation, or action (BDAG). Energeia as it pertains to God, is synonymous with the operations of the Holy Spirit.

These are the NT occurrences of Energeia as it relates to power of God: Phil 3:21; Col. 1:29, Col 2:12, Eph 1:19, Eph 3:7

Philippians 3:21 (AICNT)
“who will transform the body of our humiliation to be conformed to the body of his glory, according to the working (energeia) by which he is able even to subject all things to himself.”

Colossians 1:29 (AICNT)
“For this I toil, struggling with his energy (energeia) that powerfully works within me.”

Colossians 2:12 (ACINT)

“Having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the activity (energeia) of God, who raised him from the dead;”

 Ephesians 1:19 (AICNT)
“and what is the surpassing greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working (energeia) of the might of his strength,”

 Ephesians 3:7 (AICNT)
“of which I became a servant according to the gift of God's grace given to me according to the working of his power. (energeia)

Confusing God who is spirit, with the Holy Spirit

The term 'spirit' in Greek has numerous meanings. In all cases, it is to designate something that is non-physical (meta-physical)

People typically confuse God being spirit, with the Holy Spirit. To say God is spirit is simply to affirm that God is not physical (God is metaphysical). But the Holy Spirit has a different nuance in its contextual use throughout the Bible. It always refers to God in his capacity to act or influence; that is his Energeia. For this reason, I believe it is best to understand Holy Spirit as God's controlling influence rather than the essence, nature, or substance of God. 

Although God's essential nature is not shared with us, his Holy Spirit (energeia) is.

For more on understanding what the Holy Spirit is, see

The Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit as aspects of God.

Rather than saying, the Holy Spirit is the one God and Father. It is more accurate to say that the Holy Spirit is an aspect of the one God and Father. The power of God is transferrable to others and exerts influence over the universe. 

Another aspect of God is his Logos, which pertains to God in his thinking, (the wisdom, understanding, plan, and purposes of God). All things God does are in accordance with his Word (Logos) by the Holy Spirit (breath of God).

Psalms 33:6 (ESV)
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
and by the breath of his mouth all their host.

What is the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit?

  • The Father is the one God as He is personally identified
  • The Word (Logos) of God is an aspect of God pertaining to God in His capacity to understand, think and plan.
  • The Holy Spirit of God, is an aspect of God pertaining to God in his capacity to act and exert influence over creation – His controlling influence and transmissible power (energeia).

God sharing his glory in reference to the Essence / Energy distinction

In some absolute sense, God cannot, and does not, share his glory. But in some sense, God does share his glory. In another post on Does God Share His Glory? I make a distinction between Essential Glory (the glory of God that cannot be shared with others) and Energetic Glory (the glory of God that can be shared with others). Essential Glory is the glory of God associated with his essence (ousia). Energetic Glory is the glory of God accomplished through the Holy Spirit (energeia).

The question of God sharing His glory is another application of the Essence-Energy Distinction, that serves to clarify how seemingly contradictory statements in Scripture can be harmonized. 

June 25, 2023

Two Greek Versions of Daniel Predating the 1st Century


Alexander A. Di Lella in a chapter entitled “The textual History of Septuagint-Daniel and Theodotion-Daniel” in The Book of Daniel: Composition and Reception (2002), vol 2, pp. 586-607), presents the scholarship that has demonstrated two major Greek versions of Daniel that predate the 1st Century. This is known in scholarship as OG-Dan and Th-Dan. Critical editions of the Septuagint (LXX) often include both versions.  

For example, the LXX with Critical Apparatus published by German Bible Society contains both versions designated as  “DAN” and “DANT”. “DAN” corresponds to OG-Dan, and “DANT” corresponds to Th-Dan.

OG-Dan (Septuagint Daniel)

OG-Dan, known as “Old Greek” or “Septuagint” Daniel is a primitive Greek translation of Daniel. The date of OG-Dan has generally been assigned to the late second or early first century BCE. OG-Dan is prior to Th-Dan and was likely translated in Alexandria Egypt.

There is scholarly consensus that the OG (Old Greek) is not a homogeneous or uniformly literal translation of the Old Testament but differs from book to book in the accuracy and quality of its results. (Di Lella, p 595) 

There are only two complete witnesses of OG-Dan (manuscript 88 and (c), a literal Syriac translation of the OG that was made in the 7th century). The reason for the scarcity of witnesses to OG-Dan is that early on the Christian church abandoned OG-Dan and replaced it by Th-Dan. Th-Dan triumphed over OG-Dan in 150-200 CE in the Greek church (R. H Pfeiffer, History of New Testament Times, (1949) p. 444)

St. Jerome attested to this replacement in the preface to his translation of Daniel in the Vulgate:

The churches of our Lord Savior do not read the prophet Daniel according to the Seventy Interpreters; they use the edition of Theodotion. But why this happened I do not know. .. This one thing I can affirm - that it [the LXX] differs a great deal from the truth, and with good reason was rejected (Jerome, "Prologus in Danihele Propheta," in R. Weber (ed.) Bibla Sacraiuxta vulgatam versionem (2nd ed., 2 vols. (1975) 2.1231)


Th-Dan (Theodotion Daniel)

Di Lella argues that another Greek translation, now known as Th-Dan, was produced in Palestine or Asia Minor by a Jewish translator during pre-Christian times. It follows that the translator was of the opinion that OG-Dan did not accurately render the Hebrew and Aramaic original, so he translated the work anew with OG-Dan in view. Di Lella further argues that Th-Dan is essentially in its present form (as found in all the Greek MSS, except for 88-Syh and 967) a first-century BCE production that never was reworked by Theodotion. Thus “Th-Dan” is a misnomer. Instead, it is a designation that has been maintained to avoid further confusion. (p 596)

Th-Dan was initially associated with the historical Theodotion, who lived in the early second century CE and was previously thought to have reworked much of the Greek OT. Dan. It is now certain that Th-Dan is not the work of Theodotion, but pertains to an earlier Greek manuscript tradition of the Old Testament that precedes the 1st century CE. 

A date later than the composition of the New Testament texts cannot account for how the NT cites many phrases from Th-Dan. Because of the correspondence between Th-Dan and the New Testament, scholars have concluded that Th-Dan must antedate it. 

The New Testament cites readings that come from OG-Dan as well as Th-Dan. Again, the evidence seems to indicate that the NT writers and the early Christian community employed at least two different Greek forms of Daniel. 

J. Gwynn has argued in “Theodotion,” Dictionary of Christian Biography ((1887) 4.970-79) for a probable theory that in addition to OG-Dan the Jews of pre-Christian times had another Greek form of Daniel. This form was known to the translator of the deuterocanonical Book of Baruch into Greek at around 70 CE, in addition to the NT writers and the earliest Church Fathers such as Clement and Hermas. Gwyunn concludes that this other Pre-Christian Greek form of Daniel became the foundation of the work of the historical Theodotion.

Ziegler (Daniel, 28-29 n. 1.) had the view that Th-Dan has nothing at all to do with Theodotion but was only superficially reworked by him.

DiLella concludes that translators of OG-Dan and Th-Dan were consciously at work on a canonical text. These Greek forms, with the Additions, served as canonical Scripture for the several Greek-speaking Jewish and Christian communities that received (or revised) them. Being Scripture, OG-Dan and Th-Dan deserve the same respect and consideration as the MT. (p. 604)

By the end of the 2nd Century, Th-Dan was the principal version of Daniel used by Christian communities. 

The reading of Daniel 7:13-14

Th-Dan, the authoritative version of Daniel among early Christians, reads in Dan 7:14 douleuo, meaning to serve, to be in subjection to, rather than latreuo, meaning divine worship/service. The variant is theologically significant, as the use of latreuo might seem to suggest divine worship rendered to the Son of Man. 

Daniel 7:13-14 (ESV) 

13 “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. 14 And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.

Daniel Theodotion [Th-Dan] 7:13-14 (LXX-APP)

13 ἐθεώρουν ἐν ὁράματι τῆς νυκτὸς καὶ ἰδοὺ μετὰ τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ὡς υἱὸς ἀνθρώπου ἐρχόμενος ἦν καὶ ἕως τοῦ παλαιοῦ τῶν ἡμερῶν ἔφθασεν καὶ ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ προσηνέχθη.
14 καὶ αὐτῷ ἐδόθη ἡ ἀρχὴ καὶ ἡ τιμὴ καὶ ἡ βασιλεία, καὶ πάντες οἱ λαοί, φυλαί, γλῶσσαι αὐτῷ δουλεύσουσιν· ἡ ἐξουσία αὐτοῦ ἐξουσία αἰώνιος, ἥτις οὐ παρελεύσεται, καὶ ἡ βασιλεία αὐτοῦ οὐ διαφθαρήσεται.

GPT4 Translation, Daniel Theodotion [Th-Dan]

13 I was watching in the visions of the night, and behold, with the clouds of heaven, one like a son of man was coming, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him.

14 And to him was given dominion, and honor, and the kingdom, and all peoples, tribes, and languages will serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which will not pass away, and his kingdom will not be destroyed.

Daniel [OG-Dan] 7:13-14 (LXX-APP)

13 ἐθεώρουν ἐν ὁράματι τῆς νυκτὸς καὶ ἰδοὺ ἐπὶ τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ὡς υἱὸς ἀνθρώπου ἤρχετο, καὶ ὡς παλαιὸς ἡμερῶν παρῆν, καὶ οἱ παρεστηκότες παρῆσαν αὐτῷ.
14 καὶ ἐδόθη αὐτῷ ἐξουσία, καὶ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη τῆς γῆς κατὰ γένη καὶ πᾶσα δόξα αὐτῷ λατρεύουσα· καὶ ἡ ἐξουσία αὐτοῦ ἐξουσία αἰώνιος, ἥτις οὐ μὴ ἀρθῇ, καὶ ἡ βασιλεία αὐτοῦ, ἥτις οὐ μὴ φθαρῇ.

GPT4 Translation, Daniel [OG-Dan]

13 I was watching in the visions of the night, and behold, upon the clouds of heaven, one like a son of man was coming, and as an ancient of days was present, and those who stood by were present with him.

14 And authority was given to him, and all the nations of the earth according to their kind, and all glory was serving him; and his authority is an eternal authority, which shall not be taken away, and his kingdom, which shall not be destroyed. 

The progressive embellishment of the Gospels in reference to Daniel

On the case is made of progressive embellishment from Luke to Mark to Matthew. Comparing parallels of the three gospels with respect to Daniel references. Luke and Mark reference Th-Dan and Matthew OG-Dan. Matthew is actually making reference to the more unreliable version of Daniel (OG-Dan).

Jude 1:4 a corruption?


June 21, 2023

Does God Share His Glory?

If God shares his glory with Jesus and "God gives his glory to no one," how is Jesus not God?

I believe the pattern of Scripture demonstrates that there are two aspects of God's glory that fit into two different metaphysical categories. 

There is the glory pertaining to his essence, and there is the glory pertaining to his energies.

"Essence" of God, refers to the divine nature or substance of God. Let's call the glory associated with the ontology of God (nature/substance/essence) Essential Glory

"Energies" of God, on the other hand, refer to the actions, operations, or power of God in the world, which are knowable and directly experienceable. Let's call this glory that pertains to the energetic work of God, Energetic Glory.

The divine energies are understood in orthodox theology as the means by which we can know and participate in God, while the divine essence remains transcendent.

The essence (Essential Glory) is not communicable, the energies of God (Energetic Glory) is. 

God does not share his essential nature/substance, 

God does share his energies (i.e., knowledge, power, and influence) with creation.

In making a distinction between Essential Glory and Energetic Glory, let's look at the following examples in Isaiah and the New Testament. 

Examples of Essential Glory:

Isaiah 24:15 (ESV) 

 15 Therefore in the east give glory to the LORD;
in the coastlands of the sea, give glory to the name of the LORD, the God of Israel.

Isaiah 42:5, 8-9 (ESV) 

5 Thus says God, the LORD,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people on it
and spirit to those who walk in it ...

8 I am the LORD; that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to carved idols.
9 Behold, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth
I tell you of them.”

Isaiah 48:5, 9-13 (ESV) 

5 I declared them to you from of old,
before they came to pass I announced them to you,
lest you should say, ​‘My idol did them,
my carved image and my metal image commanded them.’

  9 “For my name's sake I defer my anger;
for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you,
that I may not cut you off.
10 Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.
11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it,
for how should my name be profaned?
My glory I will not give to another.
12 “Listen to me, O Jacob,
and Israel, whom I called!
I am he; I am the first,
and I am the last.
13 My hand laid the foundation of the earth,
and my right hand spread out the heavens;
when I call to them,
they stand forth together.

Romans 1:22-23 (ESV) 

  22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Romans 11:33-36 (ESV)
33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”
36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Ephesians 1:17 (ESV) 
17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him

Philippians 4:19-20 (ESV) 
19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

1 Timothy 1:17 (ESV)
17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Jude 1:25 (ESV) 
25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Revelation 4:9-11 (ESV)
9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.”

Examples of Energetic Glory:

Psalms 84:11 (NASU20) 
For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD gives grace and glory;
He withholds no good thing from those who walk with integrity.

Isaiah 4:5-6 (ESV) 
5 Then the LORD will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory there will be a canopy. 6 There will be a booth for shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.

Isaiah 6:3 (ESV)

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!” 

Isaiah 28:5 (ESV) 

In that day the LORD of hosts will be a crown of glory,
and a diadem of beauty, to the remnant of his people,

Isaiah 40:3-5 (ESV) 

3 A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

4 Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

Isaiah 46:13 (ESV) 

13 I bring near my righteousness; it is not far off,
and my salvation will not delay;
I will put salvation in Zion,
for Israel my glory.”

Isaiah 60:1-3 (ESV) 

  1 Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
2 For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the LORD will arise upon you,
and his glory will be seen upon you.
3 And nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your rising.

Isaiah 62:2 (ESV)

The nations shall see your righteousness,
and all the kings your glory,
and you shall be called by a new name
that the mouth of the LORD will give.

John 5:44 (ESV) 

  44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?

John 8:49-54 (ESV)

 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50 Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’

John 11:4 (ESV) 

 4 But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

John 11:40-42 (ESV) 

  40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.”

John 17:4-5 (ESV) 

4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

John 17:22-24 (ESV)
22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

Luke 9:26 (ESV)
26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

Acts 7:54-55 (ESV)
54 Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. 55 But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

Romans 6:4 (ESV) 
4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Romans 8:30 (ESV)

And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Hebrews 1:3-4 (ESV)

 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

1 Peter 1:21 (ESV)
21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

2 Peter 1:16-17 (ESV)
16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,”

1 Thess 2:12

12 we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.

1 Peter 5:10

10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.