Monday, 25 April 2016

Ehrman complaint and defining God

I am fresh off a slight rant at Bart Ehrman on his blog at

Here's what I had to say to him on his ambiguous way of using the G-word :)

Hi all.
Dr Ehrman I believe we already discussed the implications of not defining our terms regarding G-o-d; I suggested that most folk listening to you will not be defining G-o-d as "a divine being". You do this discussing John's christology and I now see you do it with Arius too. That's a confusing tactic, because " a divine being" is **not** how most folk would define, or even understand you saying G-o-d. If you mean "a divine being" then please just say that from the start, consistently. It almost seems like currying some favour with the evangelical crowd regarding John. Since I know that you have some issues with their approach at times and perhaps a certain narrow mindedness, I doubt that is the case, I am just saying it almost seems like that. I would not be so public about this complaint if I had not tried to share it privately first!

My second comment concerns the argument of God becoming a Father requiring the impossible situation that the unchangeable One changed. That seems like a non sequitur. Yhwh can be shown to have had different states with regard to his creation. If creation hasn't always been then he hasn't always been creator. He hasn't perpetually had some kind of mind-state of wrath, but he has definitely, biblically been wrathful.... And then not again. Yhwh sometimes moves about. Most significantly, however, and most probably won't agree with this, I don't think we can say that Yhwh himself has always been God. By this I mean that God is a title, with respect to a **people**. Yhwh is **Israel's** God, etc. Before all time and space, Yhwh wasn't anyone's God. Look forward to any responses :)

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