Saturday, November 14, 2009

Separating the spirit from the Holy Spirit

You've probably seen and heard enough of Dan Brown, right?
Disputing the deity of Jesus.  Disputing Jesus metaphysical nature.  Rampant metaphysical scepticism. 

Well, in a recent "exclusive" interview- there is some indication that Dan just may be coming around.  That Dan just may be at the brink of saving faith. May be coming to know the real Jesus in his study of history.  May be seeing Jesus as fully God, as well as fully man.  Or is at as Dan writes in his latest book- "The truth, however, was stranger still"?

Dan claims in this interview- that he is now seeing 'more metaphysical stuff'.  A good thing.
That he is now seeing more of a "spiritual aspect to science".  An oxymoron by naturalist standards.
Seems Dan is becoming less of a naturalist, however.

Not unlike father of science- Isaac Newton's view of science, "But these are things that cannot be explained in few words, nor are we furnished with that sufficiency of experiments which is required to an accurate determination and demonstration of the laws by which this electric and elastic Spirit operates. THE END."

Not unlike Jesus view of science, "you do not know where it [the wind] comes from or where it goes- John 3:8
And not unlike Jesus view of causality, "that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit"- John 3:6

But notice, Brown appears to be referring to an impersonal force.  While Newton (an Arian similar to Brown) appears to be referring to a force unlike impersonal gravity.  A force much more like a person.  A force worthy of an upper-case capital.  Unlike Newton's lower-case gravity.

Other Arians like Jehovah Witnesses, also appeal to an impersonal force.  In their magazine Should You Believe in the Trinity? they state,  "THE Bible's use of "holy spirit" indicates that it is a controlled force that Jehovah God uses to accomplish a variety of his purposes. To a certain extent, it can be likened to electricity, a force that can be adapted to perform a great variety of operations."

Should we marvel then, that those that liken the Holy Spirit to a mere force- are not born of the Spirit?  That those that cannot liken the Holy Spirit to God- are not truly born of God?  That they are mere naturalists born of flesh?- John 3:6

Notice also, that such naturalists use a lower-case spirit, while true spiritualists use an UPPER-CASE Spirit.

But which case is used by the scribes of  the oldest  manuscripts?

"No Fair!"you exclaim,"Everything was UPPER-CASE in the oldest manuscripts".

Yes, but let's look at what else they did.

We now (just a few months ago) have this wonderful public access to marvelous images of Codex Sinaiticus.
Indeed, currently "the oldest Bible" and "the oldest substantial book to survive antiquity".

Notice in this image of 1 Corinthians 2:12 the case of spirit as the first word.

Yes, it's all UPPER-CASE.  But notice what else they did.  They placed a line above this word.
A line that is also placed above the word next (separated only by the definite article) to it- GOD!
This over-line/over-bar/superscript highlights the sacredness of this name.  What is called a nomen sacra in Latin.

It seems the scribe of this text understood the Spirit to be something transcendent.  Something transcendent like the sacred name God nearby it.  Not something subservient to God.  But someone equal to God.

Here is another image of this same verse in P46 (preserved @ University of Michigan) written about a century earlier. 

Here is a great article on the nomina sacra.

This article repeatedly claims that there are "no" early manuscripts that do not include this nomina sacra.
Other noteworthy claims:  
Comfort claims, “The nomina sacra for Lord, Jesus, Christ, God and Spirit must have been
created in the first century” (Encountering the Manuscripts, 203, emphasis added).
C. H. Roberts argued that the nomina sacra arose early (before AD
70) in the Jerusalem church, representing an “embryonic creed of the
first church.”15 The nomina divina represented the common beliefs
shared by all Christians in their reverence for God the Father, God the
Son and God the Spirit.

May Dan Brown share in that common belief.  That embryonic creed.
And may you rejoice in His sacred names- or remain nameless in His Book of Life.

No comments:

Post a Comment