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To Robert: John 20:28 and Statistics

MS posted this article on Larry Ingram's John 1:1 Discussion forum in September 2000.


Robert, you said:

ROBERT: My point is that if Jews generally used the nominative of address when speaking to their God, and if Thomas now perceives that Jesus is, indeed, his God, the use of the nominative is quite consistent. Indeed, it could even be argued that it lends further evidence to the reverence Thomas now holds for His Lord and His God.

To be fair you also quote Wallace who says:
"In all but two cases in the NT (both in the same verse, Matt 27:46), God is addressed with the nom., most likely due to Semitic influence."

I always like to do my own statistics. I thought something did not seem right. It is not immediately obvious that your statistics are ignoring the KURIOS/KURIE or combinations of them with QEOS/QEE.

Here are my statistics. I know my numbers might be off by a little, but not by much.

Needless to say, I think the statement that Wallace makes is very deceiving.

In addition, even the argument that you use with respects to the EIPEN AUTWi is statistically based. So I suppose that although I think I could find a few instances which would at least satisfy me that someone is speaking to someone else but addressing God (like the one given by twocents) the statistics are split between our two positions, but in different ways.

However, the account at Judges 8:22 does prove that someone could reverently say to the effect "My God" due to a suprise like seeing a miracle, even if no one was present. I could even make a case for this being directly towards the last person Gideon was speaking to. If an angel could do a miracle and then disapear it seems probable he could still hear what Gideon had to say to him with the last remark of the converstation.

So what it comes down to is context. Not only does John 20:31 hurt your position, because it follows this even so closely, but it is clear that what Thomas came to believe was the same thing that the others came to believe and that was not that Jesus was God, but that he truly had been resurrected.

Furthermore, there is also the option that two persons were being addressed with this statement.

Both Trinitarians and JW's teach that the Father, God does everything through the Son by means of the spirit.

It seems natural for Thomas to make an exclamation to both of them, if both were being addressed at one time. I am undecided as to how to take it. I may need to do more research.

And then we also teach that we must not be dogmatic on this. It may be true that Thomas was calling Jesus his God. Even this does not mean that he felt that Jesus was equal to the Father as QEOS, for he knew that Jesus had one who was also positioned above him as his QEOS. (John 20:17)

This is a summary of where I am on this. Any comments on my statistics?



How did Jews address their God? 96% with some form of vocative (QE/KURIE)
NT QEOS as nominative + KURIE total 15
QEE at Matthew 27:46 2 QEOS 4
9/15 have some form of vocative 60%
2/9 vocative just for QEOS

LXX QEOS as nominative + KURIE total 508
KURIE with no QEOS 482
498/508 have some form of vocative 98%
4/21 vocative just for QEOS

How did the disciples address Jesus?
107 times with the vocative KURIE.
Not once with KURIOS or QEOS.

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