Honoring two

Binary patterns of early Christian worship?  Monotheism?  Trinitarian formulaism?  Those things are interesting to some of us, but it’s probably better to look at a specific text and attempt to determine what it’s trying to say.  Here’s what I find in John 5:23 (Greek letters, followed by transliteration):

ἵνα πάντες τιμῶσι τὸν υἱὸν καθὼς τιμῶσι τὸν πατέρα.

hina pantes timosi ton huion kathos timosi ton patera

Now, a translation:
that all might honor the son just as they honor the father

Harking back, oddly enough, to Louis Armstrong, I initially echo, “I think to myself, what a wonderful world” of creature-to-deity worship . . . but I’m not on track with this outburst! Just as Louis seemed a little “out of this world” sometimes, I’m out of the context-world here.

This is but one way that one text mentions the honoring of God the Father and God the Son.  John has people relating to the Son as they relate to the Father.  Here, we actually have no mention of worshipping the Spirit as a separate entity.1  It’s not the John-gospel’s purpose here to subscribe to monotheism, binitarianism, or trinitarianism, or any kind of orthodoxy.  Neither it is this text’s purpose to advocate acts of worship. Here, the document-level literary context begins to evidence the increasingly hotter conflict between Jesus and “the Jews.” And 5:23 seems to relate the a respectful honoring of the Son to the same mental posture toward the Father, and perhaps it’s enough to spotlight just that much. Jesus is one with God the Father. The Son is to be honored as is the Father.


¹Nor can I call to mind any other place in scripture texts in which the Spirit is worshipped as a distinct entity.

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