Unitarianism REFUTED using Granville Sharps rule…. not really, just a non-sequiturPosted: September 3, 2014
So recently, my former pastor attempted to do a shortly put-together(he admits this in the video, because it was on the fly type of teaching) teaching on the “rule” that Granville Sharp discovered in Greek grammar 1800 years later. You can watch the video above linked. I will eventually do a more full response and likely post a video, but it takes a while to truly compile the texts, cross-references, and facts that were not revealed in the teaching to show the errors. I will hopefully be able to do a text by text contextual response, since context should govern the grammar. Otherwise, I end up with the same type of on-the-fly response, because it’s even been a while since I’ve delved into the Granville Sharp rules.
The reason the context should govern the grammar is the exact reason this argument fails when it’s used in the English. The pastor brought it into the argument, so it applies in rebuttal. If one says “This is my best friend and my wife (name)” it can be referring to two different persons, or the same person. Yet the pastor doesn’t want to recognize or admit that this works exactly the same way using the other form “This is my best friend and wife (name).” Why? Because context governs it. If I was out somewhere new and was introducing my family to another individual, I could easily say “This is my wife and daughter (name).” The context reveals I have 2 other persons with me, my own daughter is not my wife… and that could be easily understood without another “my” in the second part of the statement preceding “daughter.” It really falls flat on it’s face in the English, and grammar is not really a place trinitarians want to enter… it is an un-even battle.
I cannot say for sure why… because I do not know the motives, but many things were left out in this teaching. It is one simple fact that this “rule” is still debated amongst scholars and translators. There are even many trinitarian apologists who admit that this rule is not decisive and outright fallacious place to found an argument. It’s not as full-proof as both my former elder and other trinitarian apologists like James White try to press. The very fact that multitudes of translations still inconsistently translate this “rule” shows enough that it’s not “without exception” even though the translations came well after the “rule” was established.
In fact, in the video itself 2 Thessalonians 1:12 is mentioned and it does separate God from Christ. Of course, we’re all(including me) translation critics when it comes to our theology… nothing new in that though. A simple short study shows that Calvin Winstanley produced 4 different categories of exceptions to this rule, one of them even being in the LXX of Proverbs 24:21 saying “My son, fear the LORD and the king;” This fits the TSKS standard, and it is clearly about two persons. Calvin also found many extra-biblical instances in which the rule did not fit, and many in the early church writings which also were exceptions to the rule. I guess the early church Greek speaking church wasn’t aware of this “rule” because they did not hold to it.
And therein lies one of the largest problems… you cannot prove the “rule” existed. No one talks about it, no one’s used it, no one promotes any of these texts with this type of rule in any time in the past until Granville Sharp…. with his entire motive being that he was trying to support the deity of Christ by grammar and searching for these types of patterns.
There are many more things I could comment on the double-standard and hypocrisy of accusing unitarians of using their minds to love God and assess Scripture… but I’ll leave it for the video probably.
One of the last things I will comment on, is the title of my own response. And that is… that this is a non-sequitur. Even if, if… it was granted that the Granville Sharp rule was true, and legitimate without exception… it still stands that one must prove that the “o theos”(God) in those texts must mean capital “G”od…. not “god” as in “ruler” which Jesus even used as his own defense in John 10:34 wherein God called his own people(judges) “gods.” It rests as a burden of proof on trinitarians to prove this because of the foundation which came before it in Jesus’ own explanation. *edit*… I also thought later of the fact that trinitarians also have to prove it does NOT mean God the Father. Obviously I would never accept that, and neither would they–but the point stands because they have to prove otherwise since 99% of the time “o theos” clearly refers to the FATHER. So they would have to prove that Jesus is not being called the Father. I know, it’s nuts… but remember we were essentially told in the video that we cannot use our minds, just accept the Scripture as it is without any critical thinking…. and even then leads to more problems if it is attempted to be proven. The point is, as the video’s own explanation tries to say… that this “rule” utterly refutes unitarianism, is a non-sequitur. It doesn’t follow.
Why? Because the moment you make another identity “God” with a capital “G”–you have two “Gods.” This is masked by equivocation and using the unbiblical word “person” to hide it. This isn’t high-minded theology, it’s grade school grammar and logic one uses every single day without question. Yet when it comes to trinitarian theology, out the window it goes. This is why I said trinitarians don’t really want to enter this gate… grammar is their largest enemy. So we know that “o theos” comes from the Greek, and it’s modeled from the Hebrew “elohim” meaning “Mighty One.” It’s a title, not necessarily a name.
If I have:
Boss One is not Boss Two
Then, it follows:
I have 2 Bosses.
Thus, if I have:
God the Father
God the Son
God the Father is not God the Son
Then, it follows:
I have 2 Gods, 2 Mighty Ones.
And this is where the trinitarian tries to claim “it’s a mystery” or “you’re using philosophy” or “God’s infinite, you cannot use logic.” I cannot shake my head hard enough… anything to deny the Sh’ma and that one truly means one.
It’s the fallacy of ad hoc… save the theory at all costs, even if it means denying the logic you use to read the Scriptures themselves and evaluate what is therein. It’s even worse, because the theory itself makes the Messiah into a sinner… good job trinitarians. You saved your theory trying to make it unfalsifiable by removing it from the minds of any possible criticism(though you have no problem attempting to criticize others beliefs using logic), and then you condemned the Messiah you claim to be following.
It still stands, and it will always stand as a fact… that the Messiah is a unitarian. Jesus still has(in terms of the trinity) a one-person God, his Father alone. My beliefs do go back to the founder himself of the ekklesia… and that’s why I rest safely in them.
“Hear O’ Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one” – Jesus, Mark 12:29
Acts 3:13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob[Israel], the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go
Until next time,