The “Ida” Monkey: The Missing Link?

Click here for the response by Ken Hamm of Answers In Genesis.

Published in: on May 21, 2009 at 7:28 am  Leave a Comment  

John 1:1 Exegetical Encouragement, by Daniel Wallace

The nominative case is the case that the subject is in. When the subject takes an equative verb like “is” (i.e., a verb that equates the subject with something else), then another noun also appears in the nominative caseąthe predicate nominative. In the sentence, “John is a man,” “John” is the subject and “man” is the predicate nominative. In English the subject and predicate nominative are distinguished by word order (the subject comes first). Not so in Greek. Since word order in Greek is quite flexible and is used for emphasis rather than for strict grammatical function, other means are used to distinguish subject from predicate nominative. For example, if one of the two nouns has the definite article, it is the subject.

As we have said, word order is employed especially for the sake of emphasis. Generally speaking, when a word is thrown to the front of the clause it is done so for emphasis. When a predicate nominative is thrown in front of the verb, by virtue of word order it takes on emphasis. A good illustration of this is John 1:1c. The English versions typically have, “and the Word was God.” But in Greek, the word order has been reversed. It reads,

kai; qeo;V h\n oJ lovgoV

and God was the Word.

We know that “the Word” is the subject because it has the definite article, and we translate it accordingly: “and the Word was God.” Two questions, both of theological import, should come to mind: (1) why was qeovV thrown forward? and (2) why does it lack the article? In brief, its emphatic position stresses its essence or quality: “What God was, the Word was” is how one translation brings out this force. Its lack of a definite article keeps us from identifying the person of the Word (Jesus Christ) with the person of “God” (the Father). That is to say, the word order tells us that Jesus Christ has all the divine attributes that the Father has; lack of the article tells us that Jesus Christ is not the Father. John’s wording here is beautifully compact! It is, in fact, one of the most elegantly terse theological statements one could ever find. As Martin Luther said, the lack of an article is against Sabellianism; the word order is against Arianism.

To state this another way, look at how the different Greek constructions would be rendered:

kai; oJ lovgoV h\n oJ qeovV “and the Word was the God” (i.e., the Father; Sabellianism)

kai; oJ lovgoV h\n qeovV “and the Word was a god” (Arianism)

kai; qeo;V h\n oJ lovgoV “and the Word was God” (Orthodoxy).

Jesus Christ is God and has all the attributes that the Father has. But he is not the first person of the Trinity. All this is concisely affirmed in kai; qeo;V h\n oJ lovgoV.

Published in: on May 20, 2009 at 8:41 am  Leave a Comment  

Dr. Wong – feature John MacArthur

Published in: on May 17, 2009 at 1:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dr. Bill Mounce – and related resources

Dr. William (Bill) Mounce

I have recently begun to find out more about great Greek scholar named Dr. Bill Mounce.  Here is a clip of his bio from one of his websites:

I am a writer living in Spokane Washington, and am the President of, a non-profit organization offering the finest in evangelical teaching to the world for free. I also coauthor Bill and Bob’s Blog at, a blog focused on issues of translation geared for second year Greek students.

Formerly I was the preaching pastor at a church in Spokane, and before that a professor of New Testament and Director of the Greek Program at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and a professor of New Testament at Azusa Pacific University. I specialize in the Greek language in both my writing and teaching, and am currently involved in writing projects that bring scholarship to the layperson, especially Bible study methods and theology. I am the New Testament chair of the English Standard Version translation of the Bible. Robin and I have been married for 25 years and have three children.


Ph.D. 1981, in New Testament. Aberdeen University, Aberdeen, Scotland.
M.A. 1977, in Biblical Studies. Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California.
B.A. 1975, in Biblical Studies, minor in Greek. Bethel College, St. Paul, Minnesota;
Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Kentucky, 1971-74.

He “wrote the book” when it comes to Greek grammers, and I am psyched about having ordered the kit that contains the basic materials for introductory Greek.  His textbook (which is part of the kit, Basics of Biblical Greek) is the textbook for many Greek classes, including the Greek courses at LRU where I will be taking it.  I’ve learned what I have so far through various resources, but I’m glad to finally have a full set of coordinated materials coming.  The stuff in the kit includes the textbook, workbook, workbook answers, vocab flashcards, laminated “cheat sheet”, and 80-something lectures (that go with the textbook) on CD.  Here are some pics:

He has all sorts of other good materials on his website:

Here is a YouTube Video where Dr. Mounce talks about books that have been most influential in his life.  I’m thinking about order the book he says is #1, called Theology of the New Testament by Dr. Ladd.

And here is Dr. Mounce talking about the future of the study of Biblical languages:

Also, he coauthors a blog (that can be found on his website.)  Here is an excerpt from a recent post, (to get the reason why he was talking about this, go read the post.)

So where’s the Greek! Check out a Greek word study of μεταμορφοω. The progression of thought through the verses is wonderful. The word occurs four times.

1. We have a picture of what transformation looks like in Jesus “transfiguration” (μεταμορφωθη; Matt 17:2; Mark 9:2). It is to be changed. It is not that Jesus’ true self shined through; that would be docetism. It is that the shades of human sin and frailty were pulled back and the disciples saw who the incarnate Jesus fully was. In a sense, that is the goal of our lives. To so seek the glory of God that our sinful self fades into the distance, to die to ourselves and live as one crucified to all that would detract us from God.

2. Likewise, we who are followers of Jesus are “not [to] be conformed to this world, but be transformed (μεταμορφουσθε) by the renewal of your mind” (Rom 12:2; ESV). After all, we have been born again, made into a new creation. Our heart of stone was replaced with a heart of flesh. How can we who have died to sin still live it? μη γενοιτο.

3. But how does this transformation happen? There are two clues (outside of Rom 12:2). Paul tells the Corinthians, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed (μεταμορφουμεθα) into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Cor 3:18). The change happens incrementally. We are changed slowly, periodically, from one degree to the next. Walking on the path of discipleship is not a sprint but a marathon.

But notice what these four uses of μεταμορφοω all have in common: they are all passives. The power to change does not naturally well up from within us but is the gift and the work of God’s Spirit. As we work out the implications of our salvation with fear and trembling, we at the same time acknowledge that the ability and in fact the very desire to change comes from the Spirit.

Published in: on May 17, 2009 at 1:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

No, Mr. President

Published in: on May 14, 2009 at 10:26 am  Leave a Comment  

School sued over lesbian lecturer

A lesbian minister visited Castro Valley High School and gave a presentation called “Out for Good.” The parents found out about the incident after the fact.

“A lesbian minister was invited to guest lecture for math and science classes,” he explains. “At that time, she shared her personal views on homosexuality, including a discussion of her lesbian wedding, the homosexual prom, and other such events and things that many parents were very concerned about once they heard this had taken place.”

Published in: on May 11, 2009 at 10:40 am  Leave a Comment  

Calif. school day would honor homosexual pioneer

Published in: on May 11, 2009 at 10:40 am  Comments (1)  

Christopher Hitchens / Doug Wilson debate

Published in: on May 10, 2009 at 9:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

If My Words Abide in You

Published in: on May 2, 2009 at 12:10 pm  Leave a Comment