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Thread: Barry Hofstetter - Spirit is personal, three masculine witnesses

  1. Default Barry Hofstetter - Spirit is personal, three masculine witnesses


    ADDED May, 2016: - Barry Hofstetter CHANGED his reasons away from constructio ad sensum to a new idea that concord is not needed because the participle acts as the subject, and that particular noun for witness is masculine (note that the participle could have been neuter, maintaining concord) and that causes the masculine grammar. And the connected referents (spirit, water and blood) can be anything at all. See below

    To this he added the equivalence attempt. If the grammar is not good with the earthly witnesses, he heavenly witnesses make no difference to the grammar problem.

    He kept constructio ad sensum in the background as a possible fallback.

    ================================

    heavenly witnesses.....
    https://web.archive.org/web/20140219105744/http://my.opera.com/BarryHofstetter/blog/2010/10/06/1-john-5-7-8

    1 John 5:7-8 Wednesday, October 6, 2010 2:00:38 AM
    Someone provided the following exegesis:
    1 John 5:7-8 provides another example of personification of the holy spirit--this time along with "water" and "blood." 1 John 5;8 reads, "For there are three [Gr. TREIS] that bear witness, the spirit and the water and the blood; and the three [TREIS] are in agreement." "Three" is TREIS. which is either masculine or feminine. The neuter form is TRIA. Although all three nouns, viz., PNEUMA, hUDWR and hAIMA, are neuter in Greek, TREIS is
    used as a pronoun, not TRIA. "Bear witness" is MARTUROUNTES, masculine plural nominative of MARTUREW. The spirit, the water and the blood are all personified in this passage. It is interesting to note that in the immediately preceding verse, v. 6, we have TO PNEUMA ESTIN TO MARTUROUN ("it is the spirit that bears witness"), where the participle follows the regular grammar rule in being neuter to agree with neuter PNEUMA.
    To which I replied:

    Yes, very interesting passage (and one, of course, with quite a textual history as well). That the Spirit is thought of as personal in nearly every context in which we find the term in the NT is practically beyond dispute, to the effect that it is not simply some sort of literary device, but a fundamental truth being communicated. I would argue here that the Spirit is placed first as the one who actually gives witness through the water and the blood instrumentally (cf. vs. 6, TO PNEUMA ESTIN TO MARTAROUN..., and the instrumental datives and prepositional phrases in vs. 6). The use of the masculine here in reference to the three neuter nouns here emphasizes the personal quality of the witness and strengthens the metaphor that the author is using. Another way to say this is the water and the blood are personified in order to emphasize the quality of the witness given through the Spirit, who is already felt to be personal.

    Also, be careful of how John is actually using his syntax here. The Spirit here is also identified as "the truth" (hH ALHQEIA). Is the Spirit then simply some sort of abstraction (note the use of the article with both Spirit and truth, emphasizing the particular quality of both and their mutal identity)? In vs. 8, notice that the unity of the three masculine witnesses is then emphasized by the phrase EIS TO hEN EISEN, lit. "they are for/as the one," reminiscent of John 10:30. To say "the one" here emphasizes the concrete nature of the unity of the witness, which is ultimately from God through Christ (vs. 9).


    ======================

    From some of his comments earlier, we can see the limited insight of modern lexicon grammar, compared to say that of Eugenius, a truly fluent Greek. The big issue is that of symmetry, falsely thinking that masculine and neuter are simply two sides of the coin in grammar. You can see this in his "the other way around".

    Yahoogroups - 11/21/2009 - WhichVersion

    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...messages/33920
    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...messages/33947

    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...messages/33934

    > Why would water, spirt and blood be personified ?

    Why not? They are described as witnesses (an extremely important theme inthe Johannine corpus).

    > Without getting into a big discussion about the meaning of spirit in 1
    > John 5:8 (although that is a fascinating topic), please give some examples
    > of the personification of water and blood.

    The flaw in your assumption is that there needs to be a parallel to
    establish the usage. Here, the usage is established by the sense of thepassage.

    > John 10:30
    > I and my Father are one.
    >
    > If A. T. Robinson, Murray Harris and David J. Ellis are correct that the
    > neuter is the only proper representation of the unity of essence (or
    > nature or will or purpose or action) rather than absolute identity (and
    > this seems rather clear despite some attempts to read more into the verse)
    > then the grammar of this verse has absolutely nothing to do with
    > personalizing or non-personalization.
    >
    > Dr. James E. Talmage :
    > €œIn the original Greek €œone€ appears in the neuter gender, and therefore
    > expresses oneness in attributes, power, or purpose, and not a oneness of
    > personality which would have required the masculine form€ (Jesus the
    > Christ, p. 465).


    This last guy was a Mormon (a very famous one, actually), who specialized in
    the the sciences. How that qualifies him as a Greeks scholar, I don't know.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_E._Talmage

    Secondly, my point was not about personal or non-personal, but that the
    "agreement" in such contexts is not according to the strict rules of
    grammar, but ad sensum, "according to the sense." My thinking on this to
    date is that it has more to do with how plural antecedents are expressed as
    "one" linguistically speaking than about any profound statements concerning
    "essence" or "purpose." Those ideas must be derived from context and the
    meta-perspective of the author. Another factor rarely taken into account is
    that individual authors will themselves vary in such expressions, and it can
    be difficult to establish hard and fast rules.

    Speaking of parallels, do any of your authors provide support for their
    statements? I would like to see examples where there is a clear distinction
    in meaning between the use of the masculine vs. the neuter. I've seen such
    assertions made before, but I've never seen it proven, only asserted.

    ================================================== ===================


    you have in 5:7 (N-A) a masculine
    plural subject, followed in 5:8 by three neuter singular examples. The
    grammatical agreement with these in Greek is fairly relaxed, and can easily
    be explained by the personifying of the subjects as witnesses. For an
    example the other way around, see John 10:30, "I and my Father are one,",
    where "I" and "Father" are masculine, and the Greek word for "one" (εἰ‚,
    hEIS) is neuter singular (•ν), rather than masculine (•να).
    Last edited by Steven Avery; 05-26-2016 at 11:34 PM.

  2. Default [W-V] interpretation of earthly witnesses, Augustine & Athansius, the crucifixion record of water, spirit & blood


    This is an important post on interpretation, it follows up on information that is in the capitalization thread.

    And it can be found as posted at:


    [W-V] interpretation of earthly witnesses, Augustine & Athansius, the crucifixion water, spirit & blood
    Steven Avery - May 19, 2015
    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...messages/47134


    ====================================

    Hi,

    We will plan to work with Barry’s short responses in three parts:

    1) Interpretation – (this post, albeit only a smidgen)
    2) Daniel Wallace representation
    3) Spirit personalizatiion

    1 John 5:7-8 (TR-AV)
    For there are three that bear record in heaven,
    the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost:
    and these three are one.

    And there are three that bear witness in earth,
    the spirit, and the water, and the blood:
    and these three agree in one.


    CT text: (NetBible)
    7 For there are three that testify,
    8 the Spirit and the water and the blood, and these three are in agreement.


    BH
    >> "The spirit, the water and the blood are all personified in this passage”

    SA
    > Barry is explaining one theory that de facto declares there is not solecism in the shortened text of the CT because:
    > "The spirit, the water and the blood are all personified in this passage"
    > Let us simply focus on the spirit. The first issue we will mention and bypass. If the "spirit" here refers to:


    Luke 23:46
    And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said,
    Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit:
    and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

    > SA
    > Then clearly it would be very difficult to claim the spirit as masculinized. However, let us take the interpretative
    > viewpoint of the NetBible, that the pneuma is the Spirit is by implication the Holy Spirit.

    > BH
    > I think this would be a very unlikely and forced interpretation.

    And your thinking is wrong.

    Normally this will be given with the Johannine verses,
    we have the three witnesses, the spirit:


    John 19:30
    When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said,
    It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.


    And the water and the blood:


    John 19:34
    But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side,
    and forthwith came there out blood and water.

    And to make it really clear … the element of bearing record!


    John 19:35
    And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true:
    and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.


    Fitting perfectly the earthly witnesses as given by John in 1 John 5.

    As William Fleming points out, this was the interpretation of Athanasius and Augustine.
    (We do not go into the question of whether they saw this excellent interpretation knowing of the heavenly witnesses. Clearly it is simpler to find with the full text.)


    The true church of the Bible (1895)
    Part II, Instruction for Jews and Unitarians
    Chapter II, The Incarnation of God the Son
    William Fleming
    http://books.google.com/books?id=VgqKNTzACNgC&pg=PA90

    The Spirit or Holy Ghost in verse 7 must not be taken as identical with the spirit in verse 8. SS. Athanasius and Augustine teach that the spirit in the latter verse refers to the last dying breath of our Lord when He 'gave up the ghost' (John, xix. 30); and ' the water and blood' to that which issued from His side, opened by the soldier's lance (John, xix. 34), both of which prove that Jesus is truly man. On the other hand, the Father, the Word, and the Spirit in verse 7 testified at Christ's baptism that He is truly God. … the water and blood, together with our Lord's last breath, bear witness to His sacred humanity
    And here is the Augustine interpretation (two spots)

    The Epistles of St. John (2001)
    Tadros Yacoub Malaty
    https://books.google.com/books?id=A0-4Y4uGZ3oC&pg=PA52

    What was it that flowed from Jesus' side if not the sacrament that believers receive?
    They are the Spirit., the blood and the water, the Spirit which He gave up. the blood and water which flowed from His side. …Three elements came out of the Lord's body, while He was hanging on the cross: .
    A The Spirit, for it was written. "And bowing His head. He gave up His Spirit." (John 19: 30)
    B. Blood and water came out of His side. 10 Homilies on 1John

    What was it that flowed from Jesus side if not the sacrament, which believers receive?
    The Spirit, the blood and the water-the Spirit which he gave up. the blood and water which flowed from his side. The church is signified as being from this blood and water*. Sermons 5:3

    (also on ACCS https://books.google.com/books?id=3voBQiJrn0UC&pg=PA223)
    This is so fascinating, that I plan to look for Athansius later, and may share others with this superb exegesis.

    My AV defender friends might want to notice how this requires a small “s” in 1 John 5:8. If this is considered a reasonable exegesis (and it is) then the interpretation is lost in the editions that falsely capitalize “Spirit” in the earthly witnesses. A minor point, that is a major point.


    ==============================

    Now, Barry has to work with the ungrammatical text, the CCCCT, the Crippled Critical Corruption Cropped Text, so interpretation of the 1 John 5 section is generally difficult. The symmetry of the heavenly and earthly witnesses are gone, the parallelism is fallen, the testimony of God of verse 9 lacks the reference of the heavenly witnesses, and generally the epistle is deformed. This is a whole fascinating aspect, however since the modern “scholars” today are more grammar and text geeks, and confused in the hortian fog, they generally can not understand pure Bible interpretation.

    On the grammar, the reason I studied this aspect of interpretation today, Barry is also hamstrung. The excellent interpretation above can not be considered, because of the solecism.

    Next post we plan to look at Hofstetter claiming that he and Daniel Wallace agree on the Johannine epistle grammar. This should be fun! (Maybe a day or so.)


    All feedback welcome and appreciated!

    2016 thread review, to date:


    [W-V] Is the spirit grammatically personified in the CT earthly witnesses verse?
    Steven Avery - 5-18-2016
    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...messages/47121
    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...messages/47131

    Barry Hofstetter
    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...messages/47132

    [W-V] interpretation of earthly witnesses, Augustine & Athansius, the crucifixion water, spirit & blood
    Steven Avery - 5-19-2016
    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...messages/47134

    Steven Avery
    Dutchess County, NY

  3. Default


    1 John 5:7-8 (TR-AV)
    For there are three that bear record in heaven,
    the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost:
    and these three are one.

    And there are three that bear witness in earth,
    the spirit, and the water, and the blood:
    and these three agree in one.


    CT text: (NetBible)
    7 For there are three that testify,
    8 the Spirit and the water and the blood, and these three are in agreement.


    Now we look at the Daniel Wallace claim by Barry.
    First, all his new text.

    To summarize, I'm saying that it's a constructio ad sensum based on the fact that πνεῦμα is considered a personal noun, even though it's grammatically neuter.

    I was arguing above that all three were considered personal, spirit always so when referring to the Spirit of God, and the others in this context. Another possibility as I look at this with fresh eyes: John writes οἱ μαρτυροῦντες, using the participle as a substantive, the practical equivalent of the noun, οἱ μαρτύρες. He could easily be thinking of the substantive participle as if it were the noun, which would have to be masculine no matter what nouns are placed in apposition to it.

    What he (Daniel Wallace) means by that is that one cannot derive the personality of the referent from the grammatical form and that in the several contexts where a masculine modifier seems to be used, other explanations apply.

    He is right in such passages as John 14-16, where the explanation is better that the masculine pronouns syntactically refer to παράκλητος. That does not mean that the ad sensum doesn't apply in 1 John 5:7-8.
    Statistics is often a logical fallacy in understanding a language construction. It's context that rules, and context can call forth even what is normally considered a rare usage.

    It doesn't affect it at all, and Wallace would agree. There are other personal nouns that have neuter grammatical gender in Greek, such as τέκνον, child.

    That πνεῦμα is thought of as personal when referring to the Spirit of God is contextual, not grammatical. That does not mean that it cannot be grammaticalized. However, I'm beginning to prefer the explanation given
    above with regard to the participle/noun equivalency.
    1) Daniel Wallace, however very specifically says that it is not a constructio ad sensum based on spirit being a personal noun. Wallace never takes the position that the Spirit is "considered personal". The most is that he might allow that in an exegetical sense, but he never states it as his position. (He actually shows some gumption and integrity on this aspect.)

    2) Barry is taking a different position. He is saying that the participle of "testify" is like a noun for testifiers, a noun which is a masculine noun. Thus there is, he says a type of participle->noun semantic shift.

    3) Is confusing. He seems to be explaining Wallace in a very vague way.

    4) He is disagreeing with Wallace. Wallace says there is no constructio ad sensum in the earthly witnesses. He does refer to a metaphor of witnessing, but makes it clear that this is not a personalization of the Spirit. (I'm not saying there is any sense in his position, he gives no analogies for the supposed masculinization by metaphor (which is similar to some flying leaps that ahve been made with the 1 Timothy corruption).

    5) Barry is claiming that Wallace would agree with his earlier words

    > That the Spirit is thought of as personal in nearly every context
    > in which we find the term in the NT is practically beyond dispute, to
    > the effect that it is not simply some sort of literary device, but a
    > fundamental truth being communicated

    This is simply made up by Barry. Wallace never says "the Spirit is thought of as personal". Wallace never says that pneuma is a "personal noun", Barry's claim that Wallace thinks this is like "other personal nouns" like
    τέκνον, child is transparently false.

    6) Barry is changing is position, as in #2

    ==============================

    This is humorous, and shows what happens with the modern piddle seminarian Greek. Everyone simply comes up with their own special pleading reason for the solecism (a review of the various attempts would be helpful, from Marshall, Wallace, Hofstetter, et al.)

    That is why Eugenius is so helpful. As a fluent speaker and linguist, he recognized the bald solecism, without thinking ahead to the types of sophistry that could be invented to "explain" the grammar.

    ==============================

    Wallace quotes


  4. Default any Greek author - the participle modifies the nouns that it is supposed to accompany

    This one is hilarious and helpful for insight and will need its own thread:

    And I quoted the excellent James Slade in a Whichversion post:

    [W-V] do the heavenly witnesses eliminate the solecism of the earthly witnesses?
    Steven Avery - May 24, 2016
    https://beta.groups.yahoo.com/neo/gr...messages/47198

    Annotations on the Epistles: Being a Continuation of Mr. Elsley's Annotations, and Principaly Designed for the Use of Candidates for Holy Orders, Volume 2 (1816)
    James Slade
    https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015027545311;view=1up;seq=451

    "... whatever question may be raised upon the external evidence, the internal evidence from the structure of the passage is very strong in its favour; sufficient not merely to justify, but to require, the retention of it in the text. "The text itself certainly affords no inconsiderable argument in favour of the genuineness of the disputed passage : many have justly observed, that if it be rejected the construction becomes wholly unaccountable; in the phrase (Grk in pic) the adjective and participle are both masculine, whereas all the substantives to which they refer are neuter; and one of those substantives (the only one of them, to say the most, which could have authorized the use of the masculine gender) is actually constructed in the proceeding verse with a neuter participle, (Grk in pic). Now, though it is scarcely possible to reconcile this, on any ground, with the plain rules of grammar, yet the error may be accounted for by supposing it to have proceeded from a repetition of the phraseology of the disputed passage ; or from, what grammarians call, the figure of attraction.

    And Slade nicely is referenced here:

    Unitariansm Confuted: A Series of Lectures Delivered in Christ Church, Liverpool, in 1839 by Thirteen Clergymen of the Church of England - Appendix
    Lecture IX. The Deity, Personality and Operations of the Holy Ghost
    John Ellison Bates, M. A.
    https://books.google.com/books?id=njQ-XSOh6mcC&pg=RA3-PA592


    Also nicely referenced by Samuel Minton (1820-1894)


    Lectures on Unitarianism, more especially as taught by Mr. J. Barker and his followers (1847)

    Samuel Minton

    https://books.google.com/books?id=tPNhAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA105
    ==========

    Barry got all puffed over that I had urls to two writers referencing the Slade section, even though they had value-added on their own right. Plus one was, in the post, a pic that showed the Greek that was not above. Amazing.

    ==================================

    Hofstetter replied:

    [W-V] do the heavenly witnesses eliminate the solecism of the earthly witnesses?
    Barry Hofsteter - May 24, 2016
    https://beta.groups.yahoo.com/neo/gr...messages/47201


    Thanks, helpful, having one source in three different locations....

    Interesting, but not at all convincing. Repetition of the phrase makes no sense at all -- any Greek author would be far more likely in repeating the phrase to change it appropriately so that the participle modifies the nouns that it is supposed to accompany, and a neuter plural τρία μαρτυροῦντα would be the natural choice (so that positing "repetition" as though the writer would do so without regard to the changed grammar is not a solution). As for attraction, well, attraction really doesn't work that way. Attraction occurs most often with relative pronouns, involve ad sensum, and usually involve case and not gender.
    ==================================

    Read the above carefully .

    ==================================

    any Greek author .... appropriately so that the participle modifies the nouns that it is supposed to accompany, and a neuter plural τρία μαρτυροῦντα would be the natural choice
    This was saying that all of that bluster about his two theories of why the corrupt text is masculine really holds no water.

    Hofstetter effectively destroyed two of his arguments at once.
    What happenned is that he wrote the truth in a moment of lucidity, in another context.

    ==================================

  5. Default Eugenius shows the three contra arguments to be false


    [W-V] Eugenius Bulgaris- speaking straight about the heavenly and earthly witnesses grammar
    Steven Avery 5-26-2016
    https://beta.groups.yahoo.com/neo/gr...messages/47234

    As it moved along, I gave Barry three quotes from our Eugenius page:


    Eugenius
    1) "a false alteration which had crept into that place, that verse eight, which follows, would not stand, unless verse seven were to proceed it"

    2) "some violence of language, and through a most manifest grammatical solecism."

    3) "That it is certainly a peculiar virtue of our language that masculine and feminine nouns, in reference to ta pragmata, are constructed with adjectives and pronouns expressed in the neuter gender, is well known to all who are practised in the language. But no one would say that conversely neuter nouns substantive are also indicated by masculine and feminine adjectives or pronouns."

    All are significant.

    #1 - contradicts your basic TR-CT equivalence nonsense, that the grammar is the same with or without the heavenly witnesses. Total nonsense.

    #2 - makes it clear that there is a solecism, even if a modern seminarian is not fluent enough to recognize it as they parse their Perseus and leaf bounce through their Mounce looking to understand

    #3 - shows that you are approaching grammatical issues all wrong, with tries like: "well, I have something similar in a flip-side case neuter gender here":.
    you seek out totally irrelevant verses that have nothing to do with this solecism


  6. Default


    Before continuing, this article in 1810 actually considered, and quickly dismissed, the big deal of Barry about trying to have the predicate act as the substantive, thus not needing concord.

    [W-V] Country Parson Priest [W-V] Eugenius Bulgaris- speaking straight about the heavenly and earthly witnesses grammar
    https://beta.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/whichversion/conversations/message

    Besides, it cannot be difficult to conceive, that the sacred writer, when about to express the earthly Witnesses in the next verse, might carry on the same expression, or adjuncts, to that verse : and the correspondence in the number of Witnesses-, and the similarity of their design in bearing witness to the truth of the religion of Christ, may tend to confirm this sentiment. But if the former verse did not precede, and should be rejected as spurious, it will be hard to account for the use of the masculine gender; ... If it should be suggested, that the word marturounteV (marturountev) is equivalent to marturaV (marturov) I am ready to allow, that it may be so in sense or meaning; but it cannot be so in construction, or in the ordinary characters of language.

  7. Smile Eugenius Bulgaris on the neuter nouns with masculine grammar

    Barry had a pretty vapid reply to the three points from Eugenius, with the exception of claiming that he will try to show Eugenius wrong on one point:

    [W-V] Eugenius Bulgaris- speaking straight about the heavenly and earthly witnesses grammar
    https://beta.groups.yahoo.com/neo/gr...messages/47242

    3) "That it is certainly a peculiar virtue of our language that masculine and feminine nouns, in reference to ta pragmata, are constructed with adjectives and pronouns expressed in the neuter gender, is well known to all who are practised in the language. But no one would say that conversely neuter nouns substantive are also indicated by masculine and feminine adjectives or pronouns."

    >BH
    >This is just plain false, and I'll be providing examples soon.


    ==================================

    Now the idea that Eugenius said something false about Greek is way south of slim and barely north of none. So it will be interesting to see what Barry thinks he come up with to show that the world-class scholar did not know Greek!

    ==================================

    So this sounded really neat!

    A real review of the world-class Eugenius Bulgaris of Cherson, who forecefully defended the heavenly witnesses, with an emphasis on the solecism when the heavenly witnesses are lacuna.


    [W-V] Eugenius Bulgaris- speaking straight about the heavenly and earthly witnesses grammar
    Steven Avery May 26, 2016
    https://beta.groups.yahoo.com/neo/gr...messages/47250

    A separate post discussed the dancing around of Barry Hofstetter on this issue, and his concern that I was mocking his evolving positions.

    [W-V] Eugenius Bulgaris- speaking straight about the heavenly and earthly witnesses grammar
    Steven Avery May 26, 2016
    https://beta.groups.yahoo.com/neo/gr...messages/47249

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