Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:13-14)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Response to Frank Turk's 'big gun' Expert: Part 1

*Note: Since the first posting of this article, it has been found out that Frank's expert is none other than Dr. Daniel Wallace. With due respect to Dr. Wallace, I ask you to look at the evidence, arguments, responses, and discussions objectively. I am honored that Dr. Wallace would take time to review a lexical study I have made, and furthermore, comment on it.

That Dr. Daniel Wallace is the antagonist to my study does not phase me whatsoever. The consideration of this issue must reside in the evidence and arguments, themselves. I ask the reader to review Dr. Wallace's objections to my study, and consider my responses to his objections in an objective manner. I invite any and all to leave constructive comments in the meta.

The response to Frank Turk's 'big gun' Expert will be in several parts, so as to give me time to write them, and give you time to consume them. To see this expert's comments all at once, go to Frank Turk's blog and look under 'Dead Horse Post Mortem'

James 1:21
Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
NKJV

Free Grace interpretation: James is commanding his readers to receive God's word, for when they put it into practice, it is able to save their temporal lives, in the respect of delivering it from worthlessness and meaninglessness due to spiritual impoverishment, giving joy, peace, and significance, and saving the life from the deadly consequences of sin.


Reasons for the Preceding Posts and Lexical Studies:

In the previous posts I have laid out a case for two reasons, and no more.

1) The Free Grace rendering and interpretation of James 1:21 is possible.

How has this been done?

A) The Greek verb ‘sozo’ (to save, deliver) has been analyzed in its contexts throughout its occurrences in the New Testament. There has been adduced irrefutable evidence that this verb was used for ‘temporal’ deliverances.

B) The Greek noun ‘psyche’ (soul, life) has been analyzed in its contexts in some of its occurrences in the New Testament. There has been adduced irrefutable evidence that this noun was used in the sense of ‘temporal,’ earthly, and physical life.

The Free Grace rendering and interpretation of James 1:21 is possible, as the above evidence shows.

Has the Lordship advocate admitted to this proposition? No they have not. In light of the evidence it would not be such a difficult concession! They would not be giving up the ship to state that the evidence clearly shows that the Free Grace rendering and interpretation of James 1:21 is possible.

2) The Free Grace rendering and interpretation of James 1:21 is most probable.

How has this been done?

A) The Greek Old Testament (Septuagint, LXX) usage of the Greek verb ‘sozo’ (to save, deliver) has been discussed, where around 98% of its usage has been with the sense of ‘temporal’ deliverances.

B) The New Testament usage of the Greek verb ‘sozo’ (to save, deliver) has been analyzed in its contexts throughout its occurrences where we have found that 61% of the time it refers to ‘temporal’ deliverances.

C) In an unpublished word study this author has done on New Testament occurrences (there are 106) of the Greek noun ‘psyche’ (soul, life) he has found that approximately 61% of the occurrences denote a sense of the ‘temporal’ life. (If need be, this study will be published here)

D) In James 1:21, a peculiar phrase is used: ‘sozo’ with the object ‘psyche’. This phrase is found eleven (11) times in the Greek translation of the Old Testament (Septuagint, LXX). In 100% of this phrase’s occurrences, the irrefutable sense is the ‘temporal’ saving of the life. Furthermore, the phrase continued to have that import where papyri evidence, adduced by Moultan and Milligan in their Vocabulary of the Greek Testament, shows that the phrase had the import of saving the ‘temporal’ life.

E) The phrase ‘sozo’ with the object ‘psyche’ is used in the New Testament seven (7) times, all of which (100%) contain the sense of saving the ‘temporal’ life (James 1:21 has been included). This study will be included in this post. Two more verses that include, for all practical purposes, the same phrase have the sense of saving the ‘temporal’ life (Luke 9:56; 1 Peter 3:20; also to be reviewed in this post).


Observations and Conclusions

On the face of it, an impartial wagering man would see that, just based upon the lexical evidence alone, the probabilities are in favor of the Free Grace rendering and interpretation, and that the FG position would be the best bet.

The LS antagonists have yet to admit to the strength of the evidence that shows that the FG interpretation is the most probable, let alone acknowledge that the FG interpretation is possible! This shows to me that the LS wish to win this argument whatever the cost.

My previous posts were not constructed to show the sureness of the Free Grace interpretation. Certainty truly resides in my mind concerning this passage. But I suppose the Lordship Salvation advocates are so entrenched in their interpretive tradition that it would take a Christophany to persuade them (and even then, who knows)!

The preceding articles on my blog were written merely to confirm that the Free Grace rendering and interpretation of James 1:21 is both possible and probable. Certainly much more evidence needs to be adduced, specifically from James itself! The author’s approach has been to build a case, and undoubtedly he is not done.


Response to Frank Turk’s use of an 'expert'

Frank Turk, the Lordship Calvinist in whom I have been discussing this topic with, has not been able to produce a sensible reply to the evidence I have been producing, and the arguments I make from it.

Does he respond to the facts and conclude, like any impartial reader would, that the Free Grace rendering and interpretation of James 1:21 is indeed possible? No.

With the wave of his hand, he has ignored and dismissed them as irrelevant. Furthermore, he has declared victory based upon his regard for an entry in a lexicon, which he views as divinely inspired. Does he give evidence why the entry for James 1:21 shows up where it does in the lexicon? No. He prats about supposing that in order to question the ‘standard Greek lexicon’ one would have to be God Himself!

I suppose that questioning the lexicon without evidence and an argument would be one thing. But to set the editors of the lexicon up as prophets of God, speaking infallibly, is quite another, which Frank seems to do. Does Frank adduce lexical support that argues for the lexicon’s conclusion? No.

Worrying about the integrity of his responses, and the apparent strength of my arguments, Frank Turk called in “the big guns” (his words) to check things over. It is apparent to me, that his ‘expert’ only read one of my posts (please correct me if I am wrong, Frank), because he only responds to arguments I make from that post: Lordship Salvation’s ‘Notorious’ Error.

This is unfortunate, because reading the reply of this ‘expert’ gave me the impression that not only did he read just one of my posts, but that he came to the impression that I believe that, based upon the lexical evidence of that post, I have conclusively shown the certainty of the Free Grace rendering and interpretation of James 1:21. Like I have said previously in this post, the reasons for my lexical arguments were to show that the Free Grace position is both possible and probable, not to declare a certain victory. My evidence has been adduced cumulatively, and I am not done yet! We haven’t even looked at the statement in context (which we will do).

Furthermore, Frank does not even give us any information concerning his ‘expert’. I suppose the anonymity is intended to convey a sense of impartiality. Who is this ‘expert’ and what is his theological background? He wouldn’t happen to be Lordship and Reformed in his leanings, would he? I suppose he has no axes to grind!


Reply to Frank’s Expert

In the following discourse, I wish to reply point by point to Frank Turk’s ‘big gun’.

Dr. Wallace writes:
----------
One of the problems of the GES in defending their views from the LXX is that they don't seem to take into account theological development. In particular, the belief in the bodily resurrection and (thus, implicitly, the afterlife) doesn't appear explicitly until Daniel 12. Hence, any texts prior to the sixth century BC would not be relevant to the discussion. At the same time, there are several references listed in the LXX, three of which are in apocryphal works and thus late. This is of course useful information, but whether it is entirely relevant may be a different matter.
----------
This line of response against my lexical arguments is invalid, and let me tell you why:

My argument is based upon a lexical study that was made to determine usage in Koine Greek!

That Dr. Wallace would even offer such an objection startles me. He says that texts prior to the sixth century BC would not be relevant to the discussion. He is right, if we were talking about the Hebrew text!

The Septuagint text was translated and compiled in the 3rd through 1st centuries BC! What was the purpose of the translators/compilers of the Septuagint?

Their purpose was to translate the Hebrew text into the contemporary and common Koine Greek language.

What my lexical study of ‘sozo’ with the object ‘psyche’ in the LXX has shown conclusively and irrefutably is that this phrase was commonly used for the sense “saving the ‘temporal’ life” in the language of New Testament Greek (Koine Greek).

When the Septuagint translators came upon a phrase in Hebrew that denoted “saving of the ‘temporal’ life” and wished to translate it into New Testament Greek, they made use of the phrase in discussion in order to render that sense: ‘sozo’ with the object ‘psyche’.

Do you get the import of this? The response of this expert is without merit. The strength of my lexical argument lies within the New Testament contemporary Koine Greek usage of the phrase ‘sozo’ with the object ‘psyche’, which conclusively shows that 100% of the Septuagint biblical lexical data conforms to the Free Grace position.

Furthermore, if James was aware of the common usage of the phrase meaning ‘save the ‘temporal’ life, which was the common understanding as per the LXX lexical study and Moulton and Milligan in the profane, why would he choose to employ this phrase, which was a bonafide idiom, with a nuance of justification salvation without explicitly relating to his audience this new import (which, of course, his Jewish, Koine Greek speaking audience would have taken as a reference to ‘temporal’ deliverance)? It would be without precedent!

Next this expert wishes to cast aspersions on the relevancy of the lexical data from the LXX. How does he do so? By merely posing a question on whether or not it would be! (He does not relate a single reason why it would not be. By implication, the reason we could assume is that the evidence would contradict his position)

The relevancy lies in the phrase’s common usage in the Koine language and how the reader’s of James’ epistle would have understood that phrase.


Dr. Wallace writes:
----------
The use of BAGD is myopic: although marshaled as an authority on each word, the author of the piece on Jas 1.21 does not look at what BAGD (let alone BDAG) says about the usage in Jas 1.21. There, the lexicon lists swvzw in Jas 1.21 as meaning "save/preserve from eternal death." So, is the GES author claiming that this lexicon is mistaken in its assessment? BDAG is remarkably objective; the authors have few axes to grind. Perhaps the error is on the part of the GES interpretation rather than on the part of everyone else.
----------
Let me tell you what my purpose was in bringing up BAGD as a line of evidence:

The appeal to BAGD was to show that the word ‘psyche’ has as an indisputable sense that of ‘temporal and earthly life’. This shows that the rendering of ‘life’ for ‘psyche’ in James 1:21 is a possibility with reference to the lexical evidence shown in BAGD.

My lexical studies alone should have been conclusive to the LS antagonists, but I wished to show from the lexicon, that such a sense is indeed legitimate.

The expert asks a question: “Is the GES author [yours truly] claiming that this lexicon is mistaken in its assessment [IOW, the sub-entry where James 1:21 was placed]?”

Yes. I am claiming that the lexicon is mistaken in its assessment. But I do not do so without substantiation.

Let me ask you a question. Did the editor’s of BAGD give evidence why they would understand ‘psyche’ in James 1:21 as the ‘eternal, immaterial nature of man’? No. Have I been adducing much lexical evidence that argues against their assessment? Yes.

In courts everyday, expert testimony is questioned by evidence. If the editors of BAGD had given their testimony as to why they placed James 1:21 in the sub-entry they did under the entry of ‘psyche’, we could analyze it. But they didn’t. I have been adducing much and strong evidence why James 1:21 ought not to be put under the sub-entry BAGD does.

What is the object of a lexicon? To give the senses and usages of words. It seems to me that BAGD has made a leap by importing their theology into their lexical study. Lexical study and exegesis are two separate disciplines (although the former may be used in the latter). A lexicon should keep to lexical study.

Is the BDAG “remarkably objective” and does its editors “have few axes to grind”?

A recent article by Vern S. Poythress in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (JETS) ,“How Have Inclusiveness and Tolerance Affected the Bauer-Danker Greek Lexicon of the New Testament (BDAG)” (December 2003, 577-88), demonstrates that Danker has been greatly affected by political factors. Poythress exhibits through quotes by Danker in the foreword and in individual entries that BDAG has been adversely affected by inclusiveness and tolerance. The editor’s grinding axe reveals the need to take a focused look in this lexicon in other areas of study as well.

Such a study was done by Michael Makidon, entitled Soteriological Concerns with Bauer’s Greek Lexicon which shows conclusively a few more ways that the editors of the ‘standard Greek lexicon’ have been grinding their soteriological axes.

Can Dr. Wallace concede that there may be an error in BDAG’s mammoth work? Can he conceive of such a thing? Perhaps the error is on the part of the Lordship friendly BDAG rather than on the part of the strong evidence adduced by a Free Grace advocate.

33 Comments:

Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I love the title of this post.

December 21, 2006 12:34 AM  
Blogger centuri0n said...

Antonio --

I'm curious: why put the word "expert" in quotes?

Here's my offer: I'll e-mail you the response I got from this man, who has written textbooks on how to interpret koine Greek, in order to prove that he is an expert, if you will do two things with that information:

[1] Revise this post to remove the quotes around the word "expert" in order to demonstrate that your cynicism over the use of that word was unfounded. That is, to admit you made a mistake.

and

[2] You will not bother him. He has made it clear to me that he does not want to get into a blog exchange with you. The only reason, as I made clear in my post, that he gave me permission to use our exchange was the condition that "you make it clear that what I'm saying is meant for you to use as you will rather than as a way to draw me into a discussion with GES".

He was kind enough to offer his opinion to me about the work you have done, and I have chosen to offer it as additional information for the readers of this exchange. I will send the e-mail if I can get your commitment that you will not e-mail this man to expand the targets you are trying to hit in this exchange.

Here's the reason I ask: if you say, "yes I agree" and then violate either of these conditions, I'm going to call this discussion closed. There's no reason to discuss this with you if you cannot admit you are wrong about something as factually-neutral (that is, "requiring no dog in this fight") as the use of the term "expert" in describing the man who furnished these criticisms of your view.

For the record, I'm suggesting forwarding the e-mail to avoid putting his name in this thread and potentially creating an additional time burden on him by others e-mailing him. He has made it clear that he doesn't have time to engage this discussion personally, but the forwarded e-mails would make his identity irrefutable.

At this point, Antonio, the only thing I am interested in is either to see you admit that you have made a mistake, or to see how far you will be willing to go to avoid making that admission. Every person who has e-mailed me so far in this discussion is stunned by the imperious nature of your argument, and your complete lack of the ability to accept that you have made even one mistake.

On a completely different note, let me offer you a suggestion regarding the formatting problems your posts seem to have: compose your document in WordPad or NotePad, and then spell-check it in Word. That will stop your posts from mangling the " marks, and give the rest of us a break when it comes to reading your responses.

God bless you and Merry Christmas.

December 21, 2006 3:42 AM  
Blogger Solifidian said...

It would be nice to see Dr. Wallace (whom I suspect is Mr. Turk's expert) and Professor Hodges discuss this issue themselves. I consider them both to be experts who have spent their professional lives studying the language.

December 21, 2006 9:59 AM  
Blogger Gummby said...

Cent: what's the point? It's all a vast Lordship Salvation conspiracy. Anyone who doesn't agree with Antonio is wrong, no matter what their evidence, argument, or their credentials.

December 21, 2006 10:44 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Moorhead said...

"Lordship friendly BDAG"

Please tell me your not serious.

December 21, 2006 11:42 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Frank Turk,

I am discussing issues, sir. Not throwing around names.

Is the argument won because of a lexical sub-entry and the throwing around of Dr. Wallace's name?

Let us end that charade right now and discuss evidence.

In this post I have replied against your expert. My responses ought to stand on their own for your replies and objections.

I continue to produce evidence that goes unresponded to by you. This discussion between us seems to be only one way.

I am doing all the work, and you are shuffling your feet.

Who it is that produced for you the arguments that I am responding to is of no matter. The issues, arguments, and discussion is all that matters.

Zane Hodges is no mean Greek expert himself who taught at Dallas Seminary for 26 1/2 years in Greek and New Testament.

The throwing around of names or the substantiation of the authenticity of your expert mean nothing to those who critically consider and deliberate the FACTS, DATA, DISCUSSION, and ARGUMENTS.

If it pleases you, I will replace 'expert' with "Dr. Dan Wallace States:"

I am not done responding to Dr. Wallace's comments on your thread.

Did you actually read my post?

Can you respond to it point by point?

Also, does your premature statements of victory such as "dead horse" and "dead horse post mortem" do anything to further discussion?

I rely on argumentation and evidence, while you wax arrogant, leaving my points and arguments un-responded to.

I do appreciate the well wishes for Christmas, and I extend mine to you and your family.

Antonio

December 21, 2006 1:34 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Gummby writes:
----------
Cent: what's the point? It's all a vast Lordship Salvation conspiracy. Anyone who doesn't agree with Antonio is wrong, no matter what their evidence, argument, or their credentials.
----------
Gummby, is it wrong to argue my convictions? Is it wrong to continue to adduce evidence?

What is wrong with my continuing to submit cumulative evidences for my position?

For you, the battle is won, and you wonder why I continue.

Maybe you can learn something.

Let their evidence and arguments stand or fall on their own, let their credentials be thrown into the fire.

Can your arguments and evidences withstand scrutiny?

My posts are challenging them. What is your response?

Antonio

December 21, 2006 1:42 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Jonathan,

do me a favor and click this link:

Soteriological Concerns with BDAG

and tell me, after even SCANNING it, that my comment is without merit.

Thank you for clicking and looking.

See you around!

Antonio

December 21, 2006 1:49 PM  
Blogger centuri0n said...

I have discussed the evidence -- and the expert testimony regarding that evidence. Neither you nor I are classifiable as scholars of Greek. We have to rely on people who are.

Dr. Wallace (nice guess, Solafidian) is an expert; Bauer and Danker are experts. One would think that if experts are available, they should count for something.

Thank you for changing your post to allow that there are experts in this field, and that I have gotten the advice of one of them. It took integrity to do that, and I appreciate it.

December 21, 2006 2:34 PM  
Anonymous bobby grow said...

I think Antonio established that sozo and psuche have a broader semantic range than just justification and eternal life.

I think, as Wallace underscores, "how" psuche and sozo is being used is strictly limited to the context of James. Either James is emphasizing justification in his epistle or sanctification--I opt for the latter.

December 21, 2006 3:00 PM  
Blogger bluecollar said...

Bobby says " think Antonio established that sozo and psuche have a broader semantic range than just justification and eternal life."

------
I don't think anybody ever argued against that. What matters is what is before us in James.
-------

I think, as Wallace underscores, "how" psuche and sozo is being used is strictly limited to the context of James. Either James is emphasizing justification in his epistle or sanctification--I opt for the latter."
----
Sanctification inevitably happens in the life of the one who is Justifified. As Dan Philips pointed out, sanctification is NOT automatic, but it is inevitable. See Romans 8:28-30.

December 21, 2006 4:20 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Mark,

thank you for coming over.

Were you able to read my post? If you did, what are your comments?

Merry Christmas,

Antonio

December 21, 2006 4:36 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Bobby,

what do you think of Wallace's objections to my lexical evidence, and of my response (so far) to him?

Antonio

December 21, 2006 4:37 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Moorhead said...

Antonio, I scanned the article and yes, your comment is completely without merit. I think you give this debate more credit than it deserves. FG is an extreme minority view that is not debated in the scholarly community and is for the most part unknown outside of DTS circles. It is a non-issue.

To say that BDAG is "Lordship friendly" sounds too much like an alien conspiracy theory. It would be much better to say that they are biased (which everyone is), that they are simply following what others have written, or that they are following tradition. Generally speaking though, these Greek guys do some pretty good homework.

BTW, does Zane Hodges have a doctorate?

December 21, 2006 5:59 PM  
Blogger bluecollar said...

Mr. da Rosa - Did not the Greek expert point out that, prior to the 6th century BC, the Book of Daniel, that eternal salvation was rarely mentioned. So, that would mean that anywhere "sozo" and "psuche" are spoken about, well, yes it could/would be talking about temporal salvation. But after the book of Daniel (12:2) everyhting changes. Now eternal matters are being dealt with. Your idea of an idiom set-up must now be handled with care. Also, from your previous works it is clear that many of the scripture texts that you assign to temporal salvation are debateable, as Gene Bridges has pointed out at Frank's blog.

The bottom line is that the stand you are taking on James 1:21, while it may be good to have a personal stand, whether you agree with Greek scholars or not, what it is you are trying to do - which I believe is to change the course of what has been the orthodox ways of looking at Jms.1:21 - I do not believe that you have the educational background to pull this off. Don't you think that the scholars would have considered all of what you call lexical evidence before they would have arrived at their conclussions on what to do with "sozo" and "psuche"? Why is it that they "missed" what you see? Is their approach to the LXX some what different than yours? If so, why? Tradition? That's a pretty bold claim. Are you knowledable enough about Greek to make such claims? You must lean on the work of scholars in these areas every bit as much as I do. And, as Jonathan has pointed out, your position is a non issue outside of DTS.

Respectfully,
Mark Pierson

December 21, 2006 7:34 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Jonathan,

It does not bother me that the elitist, ivory tower scholastics deem FG theology as a 'non-issue'.

It must be somewhat of an issue to you, seeing that you bother to comment.

Jonathan, your words seem rather harsh and arrogant.

I personally think that the LS have dismissed FG with the wave of their hand. It is funny to me. LS is the elitist, scholorly position.

Yet, at least as it seems to this 'biased' FG proponent, they have a hard time dealing with the evidence and exegesis of FG theology.

I thought that "Lordship Friendly" sounded less harsh than "Lordship Biased".

But however it is described, Jonathan. As shown in the article I link to, BDAG has a soteriological 'axe to grind', and it isn't from an FG perspective.

Are you asking about Zane because you truly do not know? I doubt it.

Zane Hodges does not have a doctorate.

Does that pose some kind of problem to anything that I have written?

Tell me, why do you ask? I am curious.

Thanks for visiting, Jonathan, and thanks for your participation.

Antonio

December 21, 2006 7:44 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Mark,

Thanks for the great post.

The strength of my lexical study in the LXX resides in the fact that in New Testament Greek, there is a 100% lexical precedent to understand 'sozo' with the object 'psyche' as 'temporally saving the life'.

When the New Testament Greek fluent translators of the Septuagint came across a passage in the Hebrew Old Testament which denoted "saving the temporal life," they made use of the phrase 'sozo' with the object 'psyche'.

The benefit of the study comes when the 'common' usage of that phrase is examined. 100% of the occurrences of that phrase conforms to the Free Grace position.

It is of no matter, even if I concede for the sake of argument, that the Israelites did not believe in the afterlife prior to Daniel 12 (which is highly disputable to begin with!).

My lexical study of the LXX seeks to answer the question:

"How would the recipients of James understand this phrase?"

My study shows that this phrase had a well-established usage in New Testament Koine Greek.

Maybe you can suppose that James used this well-established idiom that ALWAYS meant saving the temporal life for another purpose with another content and import. But then the burden of proof would be on you to establish a meaning for that phrase that would go against all precedent.

Mark,

Is it possible to put aside all talk about tradition, and orthodox interpretation, and so forth, and really take a look at evidence and arguments for or against a position?

You pose this historical thing as your strongest argument. It is rather weak. It does not deal with any of the evidence from the text. It rather posits that the majority understanding must be right.

Well if it is right, it isn't right because the majority believe it to be!

It has to be right because of objective and well-reasoned analysis and exegesis.

Let us brush aside all of the non-essential peripheral discussion, and zero in on evidence and arguments.

If the Lordship understanding of James is correct, it ought to stand up to scrutiny. If it is correct, then the evidence will favor it.

Let us continue to discuss James together.

Thanks for visiting and your wonderful comment.

December 21, 2006 8:09 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Moorhead said...

Antonio, sorry I didn't make myself clear.
You wrote, "It does not bother me that the elitist, ivory tower scholastics deem FG theology as a 'non-issue'."

The point that I'm trying to make is that these "elitist, ivory tower scholastics" that you think are conspiring against FG . . . well, they probably don't even know the FG movement exists. IOW, if you were to email these Greek gurus and accuse them of having a "Lordship bias," I imagine they would write back and say, "What's Lordship?"

December 21, 2006 9:38 PM  
Anonymous bobby grow said...

Antonio,

Wallace is w/o a doubt one of the foremost experts in the area of koine grammar; just like Stephen Hawking is one of the foremost experts in astrophysics, and Marcus Borg is an expert in the area of "Historical Jesus Studies". There areas of expertise are all in the realm of "second order" disciplines; in other words there is a "first order" set of presuppositions that inform the decisions and interpretations they make as scholars and experts in their field. For Wallace, his presuppositions are "theological", for Hawking they are naturalistic, etc.

My point: Even experts have "critiquable" positions and presuppositions. If we were to follow the logic of some of the folks here, both Hawking and Borg would automatically be "right" on their respective views, merely because they are "experts"--but no true Evangelical Christian would agree to this--at least in regards to Borg's views on Jesus.

Antonio asked:

Bobby,

what do you think of Wallace's objections to my lexical evidence, and of my response (so far) to him?


I think the LXX can help establish a semantic domain, as well as the classic papyri, and NT koine usage of psuche and sozo. Which I think was necessary to demonstrate for everyone following this discussion. Wallace's thoughts on the LXX usage of psuche and sozo and Daniel 12 is interesting--but again I don't think (once the semantic domain has been noted) the argument stands or falls on the LXX's usage of psuche or swzo; rather I see the context of James as determinative of the meaning of these two terms. As I look at James 5:20, it seems clear to me that both swzo and psuche are referring to sanctification issues (i.e. discipleship); and not justification. Even Calvinist Ron Blue agrees with me, he says of Jms 5:20:

. . . My brothers, he wrote, 'if any one among you strays from the truth, and someone turns him around, let him know that the one who turns him back from his error will save his soul from death and will hide a multitude of sins'. . . .

These who have lost their way are the 'sick ones' of the church family. They have wandered away. . . .

Wandering ones need to be brought back to the fold. James referred here not to evangelism but to restoration. Revival, not redemption, is in view. The rescue action is of great significance. A lost sheep is saved from destruction and his sins (the sins of the restored one, not the restorer) are covered as if a veil were thrown over them (cf. I Peter 4:8). He can move ahead again on the path toward spiritual maturity. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, J. Ronald Blue, 835)


I find it interesting, that the only other construction, in James, that uses swzo and psuche (5:20) is referencing physical death (i.e. not eternal--as underscored by Blue); but for some reason the 1:21 construction is referencing "eternal death" issues (according to the Calvinist interp). To me, this seems inconsistent for James' usage--and theme (i.e. to restore his Jewish audience back to Christian ideals, away from the Judaizer's dogma).

Daniel Wallace is a great NT scholar, and I'm glad he's on our side (the Evangelical Christian side)--but I know another great NT language scholar (also Hebrew and Akkadian), who actually is friends with Wallace, who just might challenge Wallace on this issue (one of my former profs at Multnomah). Although I'm not sure I could get him to engage this "debate" at the moment (esp. given the time of year).

In Christ

December 22, 2006 2:36 AM  
Blogger C.T. Lillies said...

I keep reading about this Antonio fellow here and there so I thought I’d come have a look at his blog. I like the waterfall pic.

I am a little appalled that this is even an issue. You don’t have to analyze the greek to know that Jesus Christ is Lord. Just read the Bible. And if you can’t understand that there’s a much bigger problem that needs to be dealt with. I am afraid that no one can really help you with that but this Jesus that you keep maligning and denying His due.

Perhaps you will dissect this and twist it around and mangle it but its really pretty simple. Either Jesus Christ is Lord or He isn't. I believe He is but if things are as you say they are then I suspect we're all going to disappointed one of these days.

Josh
"...the word of God is not bound."
--2 Timothy 2:9

December 22, 2006 6:31 AM  
Blogger bluecollar said...

Antonio - In my last comment I asked why is it that Frank's "expert", Wallace, holds a different position on James 1:21 than you. In fact I can look at the works of Spiros Zodhiates and see that he holds to the eternal salvation position in interpreting James 1:21. Why do they see it this way? These people know far more about the LXX and Kione Greek than you or I put together.

December 22, 2006 8:21 AM  
Anonymous Trent said...

I am enjoying this discussion. It is hard to read things with out the bias we all have, but I believe that contextually, not only in James, but with the rest of the bible, that if it has to be speaking of Temporal Salvation. Salvation from the consequence of sin and God's judgement. I know the Bible clearly does not require works for the gift of eternal life, and according to this verse, I have to lay aside all flithiness and overflow of wickedness or I will not recieve the salvation in question. If it is a new requirement for eternal life, would someone please quantify it for me? because last time I checked, all meant all.. and I surely will not claim I am successful at that.

One last thought. The majority did not follow Christ and do not follow Christ.

December 22, 2006 12:21 PM  
Anonymous bobby grow said...

I don't think Wallace would endorse any of Zodhiates work in the area of koine.

December 22, 2006 12:43 PM  
Anonymous danny said...

Trent,

Excellent comment! You're right on - the "salvation" in 1:21 is received by laying aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness. As you know, James affirms that his readers are regenerate in verse 18. James 5:20 also mentions saving the soul of a brother from death, and it is obviously a sanctification issue, as Bobby pointed out.

Blessings,
Danny

December 22, 2006 1:20 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Hey Bobby. I own Zodi, but have rarely if ever consulted him.

I am curious why you think Wallace wouldn't endorse him.

Hey, what did you get your wife for Christmas?

Antonio

December 22, 2006 5:37 PM  
Anonymous bobby grow said...

I am positive he wouldn't endorse him. Every NT Greek prof I've had (four of them) have a very low view of Zodihates. Why? If I remember correctly, he integrates modern Greek technique with Koine. Also he's a "lone-ranger". He's not open to peer-critique.

Wuest and Thayers lexicon are also frowned upon in contemporary scholarly circles. It has something to do with a naive phililogical presupposition which led these two works in the wrong direction. I don't remember the detail on this.

I'm not going to say what I got my wife . . . but she'll like it!

Have a Merry Christmas, Antonio.

December 22, 2006 10:01 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

C.T. Lillies, I think you are a little confused about the issues involved here.

Antonio upholds the deity of Christ, as do most of his critics.

The issue is whether the of gift of eternal life that Christ offers is conditional upon faith alone or whether some commitment to faithfulness is essential.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

December 23, 2006 2:35 AM  
Blogger J. Wendell said...

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2006 3:21 AM  
Blogger Gummby said...

So I have to ask. What would "Free Grace" theology say about a guy like John Loftus, who by his own testimony was once a believer, and actually worked under Wiliiam Lane Craig, but is now the proprietor of "Debunking Christianity," a blog for former believers turned atheists?

December 26, 2006 7:26 AM  
Blogger Ryan S. said...

I apologize for the manner of my interaction in the summer, though my concern is legitimate. I cannot acquiesce with every affirmation of John MacArthur for the simple reason that his espoused phraseology concerning soteriology is not inspired of God.

December 27, 2006 12:26 AM  
Anonymous BJ Scoggins said...

God Bless you in the New Year and always.

December 27, 2006 3:26 AM  
Anonymous danny said...

An excellent article by Bob Wilkin on saving the soul.

http://www.faithalone.org/news/y1992/92march2.html

December 27, 2006 2:35 PM  
Blogger H K Flynn said...

Great Post and discussion Antonio!

(I'm commetning on the big gun expert part 1 post)

Happy New Year!

January 08, 2007 6:30 PM  

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