Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ijaz Ahmad vs. the Prophet Zechariah!


In my recent debate with Ijaz Ahmad he made much of the fact that the Angel of the Lord in Zechariah 1:12 intercedes with the Lord for Jerusalem, something that presupposes that the two are distinct. According to Ijaz, this shows not only that a distinction obtains between the two, but that the distinction is ontological in nature, i.e. it demonstrates that the former alone is Lord and the latter is not. Although I did point out that the Angel of the Lord is also identified as Lord in His own right in Zechariah 3, and thus that “the Angel of the Lord” is the distinctive title by which this second person who is Yahweh is distinguished from the first, the title being most appropriate since He is evidently the heavenly Mediator and Messenger between God and His people, a fact that follows naturally from Zechariah1, I think much more could be and needs to be said than I communicated during the debate. Since this was the passage on which Ijaz drew most of his thunder, and since most people I have talked to were unimpressed with his other arguments against the deity of the Angel, particularly his failure to grapple with the lexical and scholarly evidence I provided for the fact that the word angel (mal’ak) is not restricted in meaning or use to created spirits – something that brought on the bizarre charge from Ijaz that I was the one guilty of playing word games and being unscholarly, a lapse on his part that was aggravated by the fact that he didn’t bring a single scholarly source forward to justify his repeated misuse of the term, or even for anything else that he mentioned – I will take some time to fill out my all too brief comments in the debate on Zechariah 1 as part of the fulfillment of my agreement with Ijaz to discuss this issue further, and in order to make the matter clear for Christians who were/are interested in having me address this.

One of the first things to note is how the view I contended for comports with the overall theology of Zechariah, who many times over in the book that bears his name indicates that there are at least two persons who share the name, nature, attributes and perform the works of Yahweh. While I will seek to show in a follow up post that the second person identified as Yahweh in Zechariah is the Angel of the Lord, it should be observed that even apart from being able to make this equation the following evidence is proof in its own right for a distinction of persons in the Godhead in the Old Testament, which is all-important. That is to say, the following passages that speak of two persons as Yahweh prove that the Old Testament teaches that God is not a solitary person and in this sense He is not like any other conscious agent in existence – including schizophrenics, a straw-man trumped up by my opponent that applies to Modalists who believe the persons of the Trinity are actually only one person who banters back and forth between different alter egos, rather than to Trinitarianism, which teaches that God subsists in three actual persons – He being uniquely multi-personal, and thus unlike anything or anyone.

The first of many examples for Zechariah’s overall “binitarianism” presents itself in Zechariah 2:6-12, which reads as follows:
“Ho there! Flee from the land of the north,” declares the Lord, “for I have dispersed you as the four winds of the heavens,” declares the Lord. “Ho, Zion! Escape, you who are living with the daughter of Babylon.” For thus says the Lord of hosts, “After  glory He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye. For behold, I will wave My hand over them so that they will be plunder for their slaves. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me. 10  Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion; for behold I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” declares the Lord. 11 “ Many nations will join themselves to the Lord in that day and will become My people. Then I will dwell in your midst, and you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you. 12 The Lord will possess Judah as His portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem. 13 Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord; for He is aroused from His holy habitation.”
In this passage Zechariah speaks the words of the Lord [Heb. Yahweh], making a clear distinction between himself as the purveyor of these words, and the Lord with whom they originate. Before demonstrating the obvious fact that the above passage presents two persons as Yahweh, let the following be noted here: while Zechariah’s actions here in speaking for the Lord are in a measure consistent with what the Angel of the Lord does in Zechariah one, which is to be expected since the Angel is a distinct person who can speak to and for Yahweh, the prophet does not also refer to himself as the Lord or in any way indicate that he shares the Lord’s name, nature, attributes or prerogatives, something the Angel of the Lord does elsewhere in Zechariah, and times without number elsewhere in the Old Testament. In other words, Zechariah is not only personally distinguished from Yahweh, but he is nowhere put ontologically on a par with Yahweh as a co-sharer in His name and attributes, a fact that flies in the face of Ijaz’s appeal to the idea that an agent who speaks for God is by virtue of this called by the name of the one who sent Him. This is not true of the Angel of the Lord who is both distinguished from one called Yahweh and who is simultaneously identified as Yahweh by nature, as we will eventually see.

In any event, in the above verses the Lord who says things like the following in the first person: “I have dispersed you” (v. 6), “I will wave my hand over them” (v. 9), “I am coming” (v. 10), “I will dwell in your midst” (v. 10), and who refers to the daughter of Zion, i.e. the people of Jerusalem, as “My people” (v. 11); is the same Lord who also refers to the Lord in the third person, saying: “After glory He has sent Me” (v. 8), “he who touches you touches the apple of His eye” (v. 8), “then you will know that the Lord of Hosts has sent Me” (v. 9), “many nations will join themselves to the Lord in that day” (v. 11), “you will know that the Lord of Hosts has sent Me to you” (v. 11), and “The Lord will possess Judah as His portion” (v. 12).

Any attempt to say that the Lord is simply referring to Himself in the third person here, which would otherwise be grammatically possible, is negated by the fact that the Lord who refers to Himself in the first person says that He has been SENT by the Lord that He refers to in the third person:
“After glory has He sent Me against the nations that plunder you…” (v. 8) 
“Then you will know that the Lord of Hosts has sent Me.” (v. 9) 
“…you will know that the Lord of Hosts has sent Me to you.” (v. 11)
Note in particular that it is Yahweh who speaks in verse 8, but the verb that follows in the next clause, selahani, i.e. “sent me,” indicates that Yahweh is the one being sent and that He is being sent by Yahweh. It is Yahweh who is speaking according to verse 8, but the pronominal suffix in Hebrew in verse 9, “He has sent Me,” also refers to someone called Yahweh. Thus the one who is sent and the one by whom He is sent are identified as Yahweh.

This is why interpreters who have no room in their thinking for Yahweh as multi-personal can only suggest in the end that the passage must be emended, which is just to say that the text has to be changed in order to make it comport with unitarianism. But this tells us more about such interpreters who are inclined to do this sort of thing than it does about the text. Or, better yet, we may say it tells us a lot about the text – namely, that it is unavoidably binitarian, i.e. it presents two persons as Yahweh, one of whom sends the other, for if there were any viable way around this on exegetical grounds, or even through some eisegetical feat or sleight of hand, then such interpreters would not throw up their hands in exasperation and say that the text has to be changed to reflect their assumptions. Even those who are given to suggesting that Old Testament texts should be emended or changed when they do not align with their thinking only do so only as a last measure, i.e. when all else fails. Hence, the very suggestion in this place that the text ought to be emended shows they are at their wits end.

Any attempt to monkey with the quotations and suggest that it is the prophet who is saying that he was sent is likewise negated by what the sent one is said to do, which is something that the prophet decidedly would not and could not do, i.e. punish the nations that have come against Jerusalem:
“After glory has He sent Me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.” (v. 8) 
“For behold, I will wave My hand over them so that they will be plunder for their slaves. Then you will know that the Lord of Hosts has sent Me.” (v. 9)
In addition to the above, the Lord who is speaking promises that He would dwell in the midst of His people, and that this would be proof that the Lord has sent Him:
“Then I will dwell in your midst, and you will know that the Lord of Hosts has sent Me to you.” (v. 11) 
That the Lord, the sent/coming one, the one who will come against the nations, the one who says He will wave His hand over them so that they will be plundered, also says He will dwell in the midst of His people, and that this would be the sign that the Lord of Hosts has sent Him (“Me”), once again makes it clear that this one is Yahweh, for what the sent/coming one says He would do is nothing other than the chief blessing and primary goal of the covenant between God and His people, i.e. that He would dwell in their midst. While this is stated many times over in the Old Testament, verse 5 in the immediate context tells us just what is meant:
“For I,” declares the Lord, “will be a wall of fire around her, and I will be the glory in her MIDST.” 
What we see in the above passage, which teaches that the Lord sent the Lord after glory, and to defend His people, and to dwell in their midst, is just the sort of thing we see throughout the prophets. Repeatedly we are told that the Lord is going to come, and we are no less certainly told that His coming is in accordance with His having been SENT or being employed BY or acting FROM the Lord.

Two primary passages, and several supportive ones, shall suffice to illustrate the point.

First, there is the example of something Moses says in Genesis 19. After Genesis 18 tells us that the Lord appeared on earth with two angels to Abraham just prior to Sodom’s destruction, we read:
23 By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. 24 Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah —FROM the Lord out of the heavens. 25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. (Genesis 19:23-25)
Significantly, the distinction drawn here between the Lord who rained down burning Sulfur and the Lord FROM whom He rained is perpetuated several times over by the prophets:
“Behold, I am going to stir up the Medes against them, who will not value silver or take pleasure in gold. And their bows will mow down the young men, they will not even have compassion on the fruit of the womb, nor will their eye pity children. And Babylon, the beauty of kingdoms, the glory of the Chaldeans' pride, will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.” (Isaiah 13:17-19) 
“As when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah with its neighbors,” declares the LORD, “No man will live there, nor will any son of man reside in it.” (Jeremiah 50:40) 
I sent a plague among you after the manner of Egypt; I slew your young men by the sword along with your captured horses, and I made the stench of your camp rise up in your nostrils; yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the LORD. “I overthrew you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were like a firebrand snatched from a blaze; yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the LORD. (Amos 4:10-11)

Just as Moses clearly says that the Lord judged Sodom and Gomorrah by raining burning Sulfur FROM the Lord out of the heavens, so the prophets present God/the Lord saying that He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah BY God.

For more on this passage, see my four part article:

The “Heavenly” and “Earthly” Yahweh: A Trinitarian Interpretation of Genesis 19:24 – [Part 1, 2, 3a, 3b]

Second, there is the example of Hosea, through whom the Lord said:
6…And the LORD said to him, “Name her Lo-Rummah, for I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel, that I would ever forgive them. But I will have compassion on the house of Judah and deliver them BY the Lord their God, and will not deliver them by bow, sword, battle, horses or horsemen.” (Hosea 1:6-7) 
Here the Lord clearly distinguishes between Himself and the means He says He will NOT employ or use – bow, sword, battle, horses, horsemen. By the same token, the Lord also distinguishes between Himself and the means He says He WILL use, but incredibly the distinction is between Himself as Yahweh who will deliver the house of Judah and Yahweh their God whom He said He would employ or use to do so.

To return to the prophet Zechariah, we later read something highly interesting about this person who is called Yahweh who is sent to destroy those who come against Jerusalem:
And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. 10 I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. 11 In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land will mourn, every family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself and their wives by themselves; 13 the family of the house of Levi by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself and their wives by themselves; 14 all the families that remain, every family by itself and their wives by themselves.” (Zechariah 12:9-14)
In the above passage the Lord says that the people will “look on Me whom they have pierced,” and tells us that the house of David and Jerusalem’s inhabitants will mourn for Him, i.e. Yahweh, the pierced one, as one mourns for an only son or firstborn. Somehow Yahweh, who is going to destroy Jerusalem’s enemies, would be pierced and be the object of mourning. Whereas Zechariah 2 tells us that He would be sent by Yahweh, both Zechariah 2 and 12 tell us that He is Yahweh. Thus the latter passage reinforces the first in terms of identifying the one who is to come as Yahweh, and the latter further identifies Him as the one who would be pierced.

A third passage in Zechariah of some significance is found in Zechariah 13 and is closely related to the passage in Zechariah 12. For just as Yahweh said in 12:10 that He would be pierced, so in Zechariah 13 we are told not only that false prophets, by the Lord’s decree, will come to such a fate, i.e. they would be pierced through, but even the Shepherd of Yahweh would experience a terrible fate, no doubt the piercing mentioned in 12:10, and back of it would be the Lord’s own sword. Most significantly for present purposes is the fact that “the Shepherd,” –indeed, “My Shepherd,” – is identified by Yahweh not only as one distinct from Himself, but as “My Associate.”  
1 In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity. It will come about in that day,” declares the Lord of hosts, “that I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they will no longer be remembered; and I will also remove the prophets and the unclean spirit from the land. And if anyone still prophesies, then his father and mother who gave birth to him will say to him, ‘You shall not live, for you have spoken falsely in the name of the Lord’; and his father and mother who gave birth to him will pierce him through when he prophesies. Also it will come about in that day that the prophets will each be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies, and they will not put on a hairy robe in order to deceive; but he will say, ‘I am not a prophet; I am a tiller of the ground, for a man sold me as a slave in my youth.’ And one will say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then he will say, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’ 
“Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd,
And against the man, My Associate,” Declares the Lord of hosts.“ Strike the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered; And I will turn My hand against the little ones. “It will come about in all the land,”
Declares the Lord, “That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; But the third will be left in it. “And I will bring the third part through the fire,
Refine them as silver is refined,And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ And they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”
Note well that the passage calls the Shepherd both “the man,” geber, and “My Associate,” amiti, both together indicating that this is no ordinary man but a man who is also equal with God, which presupposes that this one is contemplated as partaking of two natures, humanity and deity.

So strong is this term that some post-Christian Talmudic Jews, recognizing the implications of what the text actually says, have said that it should not be taken as it stands in the text, which is literally “the man who is my equal,” but as “the man who thinks he is my equal.” This is just another example that those with a unitarian bias simply will not bide or submit to the text but will instead regiment or seek to bring the text into line with their thinking. 

Messianic Jewish Scholar Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s comments are appropriate here:
“ZECHARIAH 13:7 is a one verse summary of the whole of Zechariah chapter 11. The Shepherd of verse 13:7 is the Good Shepherd of 11:4-14. This verse again states that Messiah will be a God-Man. The humanity of the Messiah is obvious: “…and against the man…” The words which follow are never adequately translated into English and so the divinity of Messiah is not made obvious. What is translated as “my associate” is, in the Hebrew, “my equal.” The verse should really read, “and against the man, my equal,” and of course in order to be equal with God, Messiah must actually be God. This may not be obvious in English translations, but is very close to the original Hebrew. 
This verse also emphasizes the violent nature of Messiah’s death and again states that His death will be the cause of the dispersion of Israel. The shepherd was struck in 30 A.D. when Jesus was crucified, and the sheep were scattered in 70 A.D. when Israel was dispersed. These are the words applied to Jesus’ disciples in Matthew 26:31-32 but the primary reference here is to the dispersion of 70 A.D. In verse 7b, even the little ones, the innocent common people, are to suffer because of the rejection of Messiah, the Good Shepherd, by the leaders of Israel.” (Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, Messianic Christology (Ariel Ministries, 1998), p. 74)
For more on this passage, see the following series by Sam Shamoun:

The OT Prophets Testify that the Messiah Is Equal to God the Father [Part 1, 2]

If the second person in all of these passages from Zechariah who is called Yahweh and also Yahweh’s Associate or equal is in fact the Angel of Yahweh, a possibility that is every bit consistent since the second person called Yahweh in Zechariah 2:6-13 is SENT, which is what the noun Mal’ak itself means, and since He also plays an instrumental role in Israel’s deliverance, etc., then we have clear evidence that the Angel of the Lord is Yahweh. In any event we do have explicit evidence that the overall theology of Zechariah is at least Binitarian in character.  

In the next post on this issue I will look directly at what Zechariah explicitly says about the Angel of Yahweh and show that He is in fact identified as Yahweh, and show that He not only is sent by Yahweh, intercedes with Yahweh, etc., but is even said to do what only Yahweh can do.

13 comments:

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

Give him double

Radical Moderate said...

Anthony incredible read, I can't wait for more.

I was going over the debate and I have a few observations on young Ijaz.

First some of the funiest things he said had to be when he compared the Angel of the Lord to a cellphone called him a "interface" and then his foolish story about David talking to his mistress on a cell phone.

But one of the strangest things he kept saying is that when Mosses approached the Angel of the Lord he covered his eyes because he knew that no one could see God and Live. So some how since Mosses covered his eyes this means he was not seeing the Lord. Shakes head.

But I was just going over the Q and A at the end and I noticed his non answer to my question. I wil repost a abreviated transcript.

Radical Moderate:

"You made that the observation that Moses is called a Eloheem. I'm wondering if you can point out where anyone
or anything called Yahway by Gods name not a Eloheem, but Yahway by Gods memorial name."

CC answers.

"The answer is quite simple, the word Yahwey does not exist in the Old Testment you will get YHWH but your not going to get Yahway I hope that answers your question.


My response. Notice he runs from the question by denying that the word Yahwey does not exist. Now it is true that the proper pronciation of the Name of the Lord has been lost however that does not take away from the fact the he knows exaclty what I am talking about as he then demonstrates and even contradics his initial answer as he continues to ramble on.

CC Continues

"Now I know what your trying to get at, from the verses that anthony quoted and the verses that I quoted you have
pepole seemingly calling the angel of Lord Yahway. Which I emphisize that they were not address the angel of the Lord
But they where address whom was speaking through the angel of the Lord. For example when mosses was speaking to the
Angel of the Lord...In judges 6 verses 20 to 22 you have Gideon when Gideon realized... he makes a distinction when he
realized he had seen the angel of the Lord he exclaimed "alas soverign lord I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face"
and then the Lord said "Peace do not be afraid you are not going to die."

So there is a disticntion there and I hope everyone can see the distinction between the angle of the lord and Yahway.
Becasue the angel of the Lord admits that you can see the angel of the Lord face to face and not die becasue this person is not Yahway. That is my understanding
from those verses. So again my answer is in Judges chapter 6 verse's 20 to 23. Where we have Gideon explaming
"alas soverign lord I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face"... He is address two completly different beings.
He is speaking to the lord and he is telling the Lord that he has seen the angel of the Lord and the Lord replies
that he is not going to die. That clearly distinguishes one person from the other....


Notice how he runs from my question by sayig the word Yahwey does not exist in the OT. He then in his further response uses that same word twice.

So he knew what I was refering too but instead of being honest and answering the question he runs off on a tangent.

He is as slipery as his master. But the foot of the YHWH his crush his head.

NITEMARES791 said...

It is funny that Anthony Rogers and the other Christians complain that they are not treated well in islamic rooms getting dotted and bounced. I go into the Christian terrorist rooms and I'm dotted before I can speak.

Radical Moderate came in my room and of course I let him speak because I'm not a terrorist I allow free speech no matter what is said. He claimed that he worshiped the same god as me. He also claimed that the G-D of the Torah was his god and that his god can overturn Sodom and Gomorrah and go into a town and kill all the people etc. Well the muslim god claims the same thing and the muslims claim the same thing. However when the Christian god came here and the prophet of islam came here their respective gods could not do anything what the G-D of the Torah did. So no they are not the same god.

Here the true creator says he lives forever he doesn't die for three days forever means forever.


Deuteronomy Chapter 32:39 See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god with Me; I kill, and I make alive; I have wounded, and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of My hand. 40 For I lift up My hand to heaven, and say: As I live for ever, 41 If I whet My glittering sword, and My hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to Mine adversaries, and will recompense them that hate Me. 42 I will make Mine arrows drunk with blood, and My sword shall devour flesh; with the blood of the slain and the captives, from the long-haired heads of the enemy.

Fifth Monarchy Man said...

Hey Anthony,

This is great stuff. You need to put it all together in a book.

The OT is dripping with the Trinity but most folks don't take the time to actually look closely for nuggets like this.

quote:

And he said to them, "Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old."
(Mat 13:52)

end quote:


May God allow you to keep bringing out treasure like this for his glory and our benefit

Peace

Radical Moderate said...

Nightmares aka PETE.

I never said nor would I ever say that we worship the same God. My GOd who is Father Son and Holy spirit is the God I worship.

I said that my God who is Jesus as it says in Jude 5 destroyed the people in Sadam and Ghamora, he saved the people out of Egypt and keeps demons in chains in gloomy doom.

Fisher said...

Out of curiosity, does Ijaz even accept the book of Zechariah? He could probably just dismiss Zechariah by saying that he isn't really a prophet of God and/or that his book has been tampered with.

Also, some translations short-circuit the argument in Zechariah 2 by adding in quotation marks at various points. For example, the New English Translation renders verse 11 this way:

Many nations will join themselves to the Lord on the day of salvation, and they will also be my people. Indeed, I will settle in the midst of you all. Then you will know that the Lord who rules over all has sent me to you.

When it's rendered that way, it kind of weakens the argument based on Zechariah 2. Of course, one could argue that the original Hebrew text had no quotation marks, but that still might give a sharp opponent a chance to accuse you of exploiting an ambiguity in the text.

Hazakim1 said...

Nitemares must not know....the "best & brightest" of Rabbinic Judaism have had their arguments gracefully & mercifully obliterated my Messianic scholars such as Dr Michael Brown. These rabbinic heavy hitters like Rabbi Tovia Singer & Shmuley Boteach have all been addressed. Just Google these debates & give them a listen! All praise due to the Messiah of Israel & the world - Yeshua of Nazareth!!!

Anthony Rogers said...

Hi Fisher,

Ijaz does not accept the book of Zechariah as an uncorrupted witness to the truth. Actually believing in other prophet's and their writings is not a strong suit for Muslims.

At the same time, granting that such a teaching can be found in the OT, for which we have manuscripts that predate the coming of Christ, is not something a Muslim would want to do, even on the supposition that it is corrupted. For then it would be an admission that Jews, who were the only ones who could have tampered with the text, actually believed at that time in at least two divine persons. THat would undercut many of their arguments against what the New Testament teaches. For example, sometimes Muslims will say: "James couldn't have taught the deity of Christ. James was a Jew, and Jews were unitarians, etc." But if Jews corrupted their Scriptures to teach a plurality of divine persons, this argument and others like it go out the window.

Of course my opponent could try to appeal to what amounts to an idiosyncratic translation at this point as you did and pretend I am the one exploiting an ambiguity, but he would have to be sharp enough to do so on the basis of the Hebrew text, particularly when it comes to verses 8 and 9. There simply is no way around it grammatically except to play the emendation card, which is just to say that the text supports the view I am arguing for and must be changed to teach otherwise.

As for verse 11, I agree with the way the NASB, ESV, NIV, et al, have rendered it, particularly given its place in the context where it immediately follows vv. 8-10. Notice as well that verse 11, even punctuated the way the NET does, still has the Lord, the same one who is said to have been sent by the Lord in vv. 8-9 (according to the Hebrew, not the NET), referring to the Lord in the third person. Whereas this would by itself not necessarily be significant, in context it certainly is.

Derek Adams said...

Rad, that was cc's response to judges 2? lol

That proves he was making it up as he went along.

But he didn't address the obvious. Why would Gideon be worried about seeing the angel face to face and living, why would God have to reassure him that he was GOING TO LIVe after he saw the angel of the Lord?

There would be no concern about continuing to live it was merely an angel. And there would be no concern about seeing an angel face to face because the fear was seeing God face to face.

But CC still fails, because the Angel of God, the God Jacob wrestled with also sees the Angel/God face to face:

Gen_32:30 And Jacob called the name of the place Face of God; for I have seen God face to face, AND MY LIFE IS PRESERVED

It is clear the author of Genesis and the author of Judges (clearly looks edited by the same person) is conveying something here. Jacob wrestled with God face to face and yet still lived, likewise Gideon saw God face to face and yet lived.

In fact if this was any mere angel, the qualification wouldn't be made in the text period. Why would they need to add this qualification about living after seeing an angel? Never is the qualification made of Michael or Gabriel or in the New Testament or the book of Daniel. Clearly the angel is mean't to have some kind of super-status.

I think this comes down to an interesting concept the Jews once had. God in Judiasm is both close and far away. He is both transcendant and he is both a relationary Father. But how do you reconcile this logical contradiction?

In the NT in Hebrews 1:1-3 and Col 1:15 and John 1:10-18 it's clear Jesus is the God made manifest, the exact verbatim stamp of the Father, representing the Father to mankind, interestingly enough the exact same role as the Angel of Yahweh..

Now the NT is not the only Jewish source to have this idea. The Old Testament seems to convey this message by having Yahweh in Heaven and Yahweh on earth.

Then you have the targum concept of "the word of Yahweh" and Philo.

Finally you have the Jewish concept of the super created force or angel doing the work of God. Receiving his orders from the throne room and extracting them in creation, the only being in reality that can really withstand the presence of the Lord.

All this because of a classical Atheist argument. It was the Theists who realized it before us. But we have made similar arguments:

1. If God exists, then he is transcendent (i.e., outside space and time).
2. If God exists, then he is a person (or a personal being).
3. If something is transcendent, then it cannot exist and perform actions within time.
4. But a person (or personal being) must exist and perform actions within time.
5. Therefore, something that is transcendent cannot be a person (or personal being) (from 3 and 4).
6. Hence, it is impossible for God to exist (from 1, 2, and 5).
Again, premise 3 might be challenged on the grounds that a transcendent

Royal Son said...

Derek, I'm curious as to how you come to the conclusion that a transcendant being has no ability to enter into time. Does it not seem at all illogical to you that a being who brings the very fabric of time, space, and matter into being, maintains it, and shapes it is not able to interact within it while yet not losing His personal transcendancy?

It seems your saying that if God is outside x, then He can't be within x. But why Derek does God not have the ability to be both within X and outside of it simultaneously?

Even I can place one foot in Switzerland and one foot in Germany. I'm inside Switzerland, and outside it simultaneously.

You don't think God can "put one foot in time, and another out"?

Let's look at each of the premises in your syllogism:

1. If God exists, then he is transcendent (i.e., outside space and time).

Agreed


2. If God exists, then he is a person (or a personal being).

some Deists would disagree but as a Christian I'm happy to agree with this one.


3. If something is transcendent, then it cannot exist and perform actions within time.

I disagree. God's attribute of transcendence does not negate His attribute of omnipresence. He is present everywhere in both time and space, and He exists beyond that as well. You are assuming that one is to the exclusion of the other, but that is not what the scriptures teach us. You would have to explain why it is impossible for God to be within and beyond time and space.

4. But a person (or personal being) must exist and perform actions within time.

Not so. You are falsely equating Divine persons with created persons. God, who is tri-personal spoke and acted outside of the creation of time and space to bring them into being.

5. Therefore, something that is transcendent cannot be a person (or personal being) (from 3 and 4).

Disagreed. See my objections above.

6. Hence, it is impossible for God to exist (from 1, 2, and 5).
Again, premise 3 might be challenged on the grounds that a transcendent

I'll watch this space :)

The gloves are off, kiwi vs kiwi!

NITEMARES791 said...

Radical Moderate said...

I never said nor would I ever say that we worship the same God. My GOd who is Father Son and Holy spirit is the God I worship.

I said that my God who is Jesus as it says in Jude 5 destroyed the people in Sadam and Ghamora, he saved the people out of Egypt and keeps demons in chains in gloomy doom.

My response.

I am glad that you agree we don't worship the same G-D. Now can you prove that your god destroyed Sadam and Ghamora

Deuteronomy Chapter 32:39 See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god with Me; I kill, and I make alive; I have wounded, and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of My hand. 40 For I lift up My hand to heaven, and say: As I live for ever.

Now go read the true Torah and you will see in Exodus and on the true creator performing hundreds of miracles destroying nations etc. etc. with millions of witnesses. So it is not far off to say that he destroyed Sadam and Ghamora. However how did your god prove to anyone that he was so powerful that he could destroy Sadam and Ghamora. Also what did your god do to prove he saved the people from Egypt.

"See now that I" The people saw how powerful the true creator was with their own eyes. How many saw how powerful your god was when he gave his revelation.

crujjy said...

David Wood gets most of the attention on this blog, but I gotta say, you're pretty sharp pal. I'm using and spreading your knowledge if you don't mind.

Anthony Rogers said...

David gets most of the attention because he is da man. I am just a back up singer. Anything I can do to help. Thanks for the encouragement.