Response to James White

Posted by David Barron December - 1 - 2011 - Thursday ADD COMMENTS

I have responded to James White on the Trinity and his debate with Patrick Navas. The observer can well the judge the merits of each argument.

James White Responds

Posted by David Barron November - 30 - 2011 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

James White decided to take two hours responding to my video commenting on his debate with Patrick Navas on the Trinity. White repeatedly miss characterized my views and ignored my actual argument, so I will be responding soon. My notes are complete, I need only get before a camera, so you can anticipate an extensive response very soon…but I won’t take up two hours, I promise that.

More on John 8:58 with Barry Hofstetter

Posted by David Barron April - 11 - 2010 - Sunday 1 COMMENT

Barry Hofstetter has taken the opportunity to respond to my previous blog post concerning his comments on the “have been” reading of John 8:58. The response can be found at http://my.opera.com/BarryHofstetter/blog/2010/04/07/response-to-david-barron

Consider the key portions of this:

This was, of course, part of a continuing discussion, so that taking it out of the context of that discussion eliminates the points and counterpoints that were being made.

Hofstetter is correct in that his comments were part of a larger discussion, but this hardly excuses his error.  Any who care to review the discussion will find the person with whom he was having it even corrected him, so it is most surprising (or, perhaps not) that he continues to maintain it.  Hofstetter has simply misrepresented the position he was arguing against by providing a rendering that unambiguously failed to articulate what was argued for.

I have been involved with these discussions for a long time, and I would ask David what evidence I was ignoring? He seems to conflate disagreement with “not listening,” unaware of the fact that a person may know and understand, but still not agree. I staunchly disagree that ἐγὼ εἰμί is a “present of past action,” and I believe that if John had wanted to express what the JW’s claim, the Greek constructions that I suggested would be a good way of doing so.

The evidence Hofstetter has ignored is the interpretive, which is to say the meaning argued for by those who maintain the “have been” translation.  He is free to disagree with the translation, he is not free to suggest those who maintain it mean something contrary to what they articulate the meaning to be.

With this consider what he wrote for which the original response was made:

… he could have written… PRIN ABRAHAM GENESQAI, EGW HMHN, (Before Abraham was born, I was) which would express much more precisely what the way the JW wants to read the text…

The above does not come close to how JWs and those of us who maintain the “have been” rendering ‘want to read the text.’  This relates simple existence prior to Abraham, while we maintain eimi is durative, finding the action of existing, beginning in the past,  expressed as ongoing from commencement until Jesus spoke the words recorded at John 8:58.

I invite Hofstetter to explain how any alternate rendering he has provided expresses this notion.  In fact, duration is not expressed by any alternative rendering I have found Hofstetter suggest as ‘more precise’ to those holding the “have been” rendering with the notion of durative existence in view.

John 8:58 – Not Listening, Not Understanding

Posted by David Barron February - 23 - 2010 - Tuesday 2 COMMENTS

Reading the following I was shocked, and yet perhaps in another respect not so much.  I often wonder why some fail to realize the error in certain arguments, and it is perhaps because they do not listen to the points made against them.  Instead, it would seem as if they sometimes assume they know the counterpoint, assume they know the answer, but really have only created a straw man in their own mind.    Consider the following posted on one Yahoo group by Trinitarian Barry Hofstetter (ellipsis removes the Greek text as he also provided the transliteration):

Now, if John, as the author rendering Jesus semitic language into Greek, had wanted to express, “Before Abraham was born, I existed,” he could have written… PRIN ABRAHAM GENESQAI, EGW HMHN, (Before Abraham was born, I was) which would express much more precisely what the way the JW wants to read the text, and also accord much better with the usual sequence of tenses. Better yet, considering the JW theology that Jesus is the first created being.. PRIN ABRAHAM GENESQAI EGENOMHN, GEGONA, “Before Abraham was born, I came into existence…” These would be perfectly natural and expected ways of  saying it, but that’s not what we get. Instead we get that pesky present tense first person singular, used in an absolute way with no predicate.

I won’t bother to explain the error here, as it is well documented on this site and elsewhere, but being that I know Barry has been presented with the correct meaning, held by JWs and others, it is readily apparent that he simply does not listen.  Not only has he ignored those making the point in discussion, but also the Greek grammars and commentaries that have made the point as well.  One has to wonder if people only paid more attention how quickly many errors could be done away with.

The Narrow Mind and I AM

Posted by David Barron November - 15 - 2009 - Sunday 2 COMMENTS

Somebody recently asked me for the audio of my discussion of  “I AM” in John’s Gospel with Gene Cook of The Narrow Mind.  I managed to locate this and it can be heard here.  For reference, this was probably about 4-5 years ago.