New Testament polluted by Greek philosophy? The "Word"=LOGOS

by Terry 31 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Meeting Junkie No More
    Meeting Junkie No More

    Thank God for the pagans. I think they were here first. If it weren't for them, we wouldn't have any decent customs or traditions to carry on...

  • designs

    Even a cursory read through the writings of Philo and Hillel would open a lot of eyes (brains) to the NT version of someone they call Jesus.

  • truebelieverbob

    The proper translation of John 1:1 is " the word was a God ". The NWT has the most accurate rendering of John 1:1. John was trying to help christians understand that Jesus was NOT MERELY THE MESSIAH , that is a special human being , as the jew expected their messiah to be . He was helping to clarify the identity of jesus. Read the book "truth in translation " , in the chapter "and the word was ....What?


    All scripture is inspired of God . The only polluting is wrongly translating the new testament and introducing greek philosophy into it , such as the trinity and the immortal soul doctrines , both false doctrines of psuedo christianity .

  • PSacramento
    The proper translation of John 1:1 is " the word was a God ". The NWT has the most accurate rendering of John 1:1.

    Er, no.

    If there is one best reading that conveys what John wrote it would probably be " And what God was the word was".

    There is only ONE God and to insert the indefinite article " A" there is adding a meaning that if John wanted to, he would have put there.

  • Leolaia

    PSacramento.....I think that at its core there is that convergence of meanings (as I alluded to in my last post), but their form and combination reflects contemporary thinking and Hellenistic models of thought. The hypostatization of the Logos (theos én ho logos, v. 1), for instance, goes further than the personification involved in wisdom texts like Proverbs 8 but is closer to the Logos of Philo or the Memra of the targums. The incarnation of the Logos which has come down to heaven to dwell on earth, meanwhile, exceeds what is said of the Logos in Plato but directly builds on Jewish ideas about the Torah being the physical manifestation of heavenly Sophia:

    "I had my tent in the heights and my throne in a pillar of cloud, and I walked on the bottom of the deeps. Over the waves of the sea and over the whole earth, and over every people and nation I have held sway. Among all these I searched for rest, and looked to see in whose territory I might pitch camp. Then the Creator of all things instructed me, and he who created me fixed a place for my tent .... In the beloved city he has given me rest, and in Jerusalem I wield my authority ... All this is none other than the book of the covenant of the Most High God, the Law that Moses enjoined on us" (Sirach 24:4-8, 23; from the early second century BC).

    "Wisdom could not find a place in which she could dwell, but a place was found for her in the heavens. Then Wisdom went out to dwell with the children of the people, but she found no dwelling place, so Wisdom returned to her place and she settled permanently among the angels" (1 Enoch 42:1-2; excerpt of the Book of Parables, dating to the early first century AD)

    The root of this idea, meanwhile owes to OT exegesis, with its source in Deuteronomy 30:11-14 ("It is not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who will go up to heaven and bring it to us that we may hear it and do it' "), and so we find its influence in passages like the following in Baruch (first century BC): "Who has gone up into heaven and taken her [Wisdom], and brought her down from the clouds...She has appeared on earth and lived among men. She is the book of the commandments of God, and the law that endures forever" (3:29-4:1). And so the author of the Fourth Gospel conveys the meaning that it is Jesus, and not the Torah, that has truly come down from heaven to dwell with men; the Torah is only the shadow of who Jesus is. And this idea is anticipated by Paul in Romans 10:6-8 who applies to Jesus what is said of the Torah in Deuteronomy 30:11-14. And yet we see that this exegesis goes beyond the written text in ways that probably do reflect Hellenistic mysticism, particularly when you add the theological development into the mix in which divine Wisdom is not simply a personification but a person; examples from mystery cults include the claimed manifestation of Isis and Anubis in Josephus, Antiquities 18:65-80 and the story of Simon and Helena of Tyre (= Sophia), with the belief of Jesus being the incarnation of a divine being having a degree of cultural resonance with contemporary religious ideas.

  • Heaven

    It's my understanding that words such as 'a' and 'the' do not exist in the Greek language. Is this correct?

  • Leolaia
    The only polluting is wrongly translating the new testament and introducing greek philosophy into it , such as the trinity and the immortal soul doctrines

    There's already influence from Greek philosophy in it. Just as there is influence from modern Western philosophy in the publications of the Watchtower Society.

    "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance .... Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned .... They are like irrational animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed....The heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you be with in holy conduct?" (2 Peter 1:3-6, 2:2, 12, 3:10-11).

    Epictetus couldn't have said it better himself.

  • Leolaia
    It's my understanding that words such as 'a' and 'the' do not exist in the Greek language. Is this correct?

    There are definite articles (i.e. "the"), though their usage differs from the usage of definite articles in English. There is no indefinite article, but indefiniteness may be expressed syntactically.

  • PSacramento

    The jewish writers of the NT being infulenced by the Greeks is nothing new really, look at the infulences of the babylonians during theu capture, when they put names to the angels for example, something that was never done till then, Daniel being a prime example.

    But being infulenced and being the "deceiding factor" are not the same thing.

    Take the ressurection, even after all the Hellenistic infulence of immortal soul and "incorpreal" afterlife, the Jewish view of BODLY resurection was still the prodominate one in the Gospels, acts, Epistles and Revelation and even in the ealry works of the Apostolic fathers and Apologists.

  • Leolaia

    PSacramento....I don't think you can draw a clear line between "being influenced" and "being the deciding factor". Take your example of resurrection vs. the immortality of the soul. I strongly disagree with the implicit contrast that is so often presumed between the two. Paul and John of Patmos most certainly affirm a belief in resurrection, but they also equally have an anthropology that embodies Hellenistic (e.g. Pythagorean and Platonic) ideas and terminology, e.g. that the body is a "tabernacle" (skéné) for the ego, that the ego may be "out of the body" or "away from the body" in visions or at death, that the ego is "naked" (gumnos) when away from the body, that the ego in its post-mortem state awaiting vindication in heaven may be called a "soul" (psukhé), etc. You can find Hellenistic anthropology widely in Jewish writings at the time, including Josephus. So indeed the Jewish resurrection belief was not counter to Greek ideas but often embodied them.

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