John William Burgon - discussion of Acts 8:37, heavenly witnesses and his methodology (and some BVDB stuff)

Steven Avery

Psalms 123:2
Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters,
and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress;
so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God,
until that he have mercy upon us.

1 John 5:7
For there are three that bear record in heaven,
the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost:
and these three are one.

Here is the key section of the Origen Psalm scholium, as normally transcribed and translated
"Behold, the eyes of bondservants in the hands of their lord, as the eyes of a bondwoman in the hands of their lady, so are our eyes towards the Lord our God, until he may pity us; spirit and body are the bondservants of the Lord Father and Son; but the soul is the bondwoman of the lady Holy Spirit. And the Lord our God is three, for the three are one."
(Origen Commentary on Psalm 122, Translation by KJV Today in Johannine Comma.;
Origenis Selecta in Psalmos CXXII,Migne Graeca, PG 12, 1633)

Ἰδοὺ ὡς ὀφθαλμοὶ δούλων εἰς χεῖρας τῶν κυρίων αὐτῶν, ὡς ὀφθαλμοὶ παιδίσκης εἰς χεῖρας τῆς κυρίας αὐτῆς, οὕτως οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ ἡμῶν πρὸς Κύριον Θεὸν ἡμῶν, ἕως οὗ οἰκτειρήσαι ἡμᾶς, κ. τ. ἑ. ∆οῦλοι κυρίων Πατρὸς καὶ Υἱοῦ πνεῦμα καὶ σῶμα· παιδίσκη δὲ κυρίας τοῦ ἁγίου Πνεύματος ἡ ψυχή. Τὰ δὲ τρία Κύριος ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν ἐστιν· οἱ γὰρ τρεῖς τὸ ἕν εἰσιν."
(Origenis Selecta in Psalmos CXXII, Migne Graeca, PG 12.1633).

All Matt has to do is change the two sections above to match his claims for the scholium.
Then we can discuss why he thinks:

And the Lord our God is three, for the three are one.

Refers to the earthly witnesses.

There seems to be a quotation of the Comma in Selecta in Psalmos (PG XII, 1304) attributed to Origen, though perhaps written by one of his students such as Evagrius Ponticus ... The quote "οἱ γὰρ τρεῖς τὸ ἕν εἰσιν" is cited as an authority ("γὰρ") for the Trinity. Thus it bears the mark of a scriptural allusion. Undoubtedly such an allusion would be to the Comma. This Greek witness to the Comma could be as early as the 3rd century, though a non-Origenic authorship would place the date after the 4th century.
KJVToday (earlier version, c. 2012)

Granted, Trinity analysis is often anachronistic, reading current understandings back into the 3rd century. Plus, KJVToday may have reduced some of this commentary.

Some additional references


For CONTEXT, here are some related commentaries, not yet put on the PBF page.

[Burgess] The validity of a three-fold testimony is well known in the Jewish Law, and is noticed by our Saviour in the Gospel. With the three heavenly and earthly witnesses in St. John's Epistle, Grotius compares the heavenly and earthly witnesses to the transfiguration of Christ in his note on Matth. 17. 1. (Burgess, A Letter to Reverend Thomas Beynon, 1829, p. xxxvi)

[Grotius on Matthew 17:1b] I do not doubt the reason why of the twelve apostles these three were gathered with Christ [i.e. brought with Christ separately] from the majority of the disciples, so that in this verse the name of Peter is given [i.e. written] before we proceed [i.e. to the next verse], and the name of the other two Thunderers. For Christ ascended in this manner, that not only by two, but abundantly, that by the certain testimony of three so great a fact would be established. And as the future glory of Christ was required to have three witnesses in heaven and on earth just a many, 1 Joh. 5:7,8, so also this first spark [or lesson, rudimentum] of his glory had three witnesses, as it were, in heaven, God the Father, Moses and Elias and likewise three on earth, Peter, John and James. (Grotius, Annotations in the New Testament, 1827, Vol 2, p. 61. Translated by Jeroen Beekhuizen)
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Steven Avery

More silliness from Bill Brown

Btw - about 7 or 8 years ago, our friend with the little level of knowledge but the very big keyboard went off on CARM about natural and grammatical gender, and actually had the gall WHILE I'M WRITNG MY THESIS on grammar mind you - to say I didn't know something.


On CARM Bill Brown was repeating the same Jim (contra) and, if I remember, Gary Hudson, error of using verses that were not neuter substantives with masculine or feminine grammar. The same error that is made by Snapp and Hofstetter today. Also Bill Brown has made the same blunder on Facebook.

James Snapp and Azim Mamanov quoted your CARM Bill Brown blunder list of supposed analogy verses:

This group of blunder verses was only two years back.

James E Snapp Jr
Here are examples given on NT passages in Post #10:
Examples That Overthrow The Alleged Grammar Argument
A first (and easy) example comes from the same author who wrote 1 John. It's the opening of 2 John 1:
Ὁ πρεσβύτερος ἐκλεκτῇ κυρίᾳ καὶ τοῖς τέκνοις αὐτῆς οὓς ἐγὼ ἀγαπῶ ἐν ἀληθείᾳ
In this instance, the antecedent of the masculine pronoun (οὕς) is both a feminine singular (κυρίᾳ) and a neuter plural (τέκνοις).
Boom. There was the sound of the grammatical argument hitting the floor. But you have other examples. Keep in mind some knowledge of Greek is necessary to comprehend this grammatical discord. There are probably close to 100 examples of discord in the OT and NT combined. These include:
These include:
Matt 25:32 [τα εθνη (N) …αυτους (m)];
Mark 3:8 [πλῆθος (N) …ἀκούσαντες (m)];
Mark 5:41 [τοῦ παιδίου (N) λέγει αὐτῇ (f)];
Luke 2:13 [πλῆθος (N) στρατιᾶς (f)…αἰνούντων (m) …λεγοντων (m)];
Acts 13:48 [τὰ ἔθνη (N) …ὅσοι (m)…τεταγμένοι (m)];
Acts 14:4 [τὸ πλῆθος (N)…καὶ οἱ (m)…οἱ (m)…];
Acts 15:17 [τὰ ἔθνη (N) ἐφ’ οὓς (m)];
Acts 26:17 [τῶν ἐθνῶν (N) εἰς οὓς (m)];
Rom 2:14 [ἔθνη (N) …οὗτοι (m)];
Rom 9:23-24 [σκεύη (N) ...οὓς (m)];
Gal 4:19 [τεκνία (N) …οὓς (m)];
Eph. 2:11 [τὰ ἔθνη (N) …οἱ λεγόμενοι (m)];
Eph 4:17-18 [ἔθνη (N) …ἐσκοτισμένοι (m)… ἀπηλλοτριωμένοι (m)…αὐτοῖς (m)];
Col 2:19 [κεφαλήν (f) ἐξ οὗ (m)];
Phlm 10 [τέκνου (N) ὃν (m)].

Some of them might be the simple cases of groups of people, nations, Gentiles, etc. where a neuter noun takes masculine grammar, constructio ad sensum. Nope. Not even that proper exception.
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Steven Avery

Bill Brown
As a reminder, there's a reason McDonald and I do our own work while Avery does nothing except quote OTHER PEOPLE'S WORK - because there's a difference between achievement and non-achievement.

Grantley is continually quoting other people’s work. That is the best part of his paper and book, although his selection criteria are very biased.

When he tries to work out the arguments, he continually makes errors and blunders. Easily documented.

Similar to your 16 irrelevant verses, your grammar super-blunder.
And youand Euthymius are still clueless on the pneuma uses in John 14-15-16.