Thank you in advance for helping me with a couple of questions I have relating to the words ek and para.
I eventually want to ask why ek is used instead of para in the Nicene Creed relating to the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father. But before I do that, I want to ask about John 15:26 because it will relate to my initial question, though it will require a lot of explaining.
John 15:26 in English reads “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me” (NASB 1995).
Ὅταν ἔλθῃ ὁ παράκλητος ὃν ἐγὼ πέμψω ὑμῖν παρὰ τοῦ πατρός, τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας ὃ παρὰ τοῦ πατρὸς ἐκπορεύεται, ἐκεῖνος μαρτυρήσει περὶ ἐμοῦ·”
Do the phrases “παρὰ τοῦ πατρός” and “ὃ παρὰ τοῦ πατρὸς ἐκπορεύεται” in John 15:26 necessarily mean that the Father is the ultimate source of the Holy Spirit if the assumptions I list below are true?
Below are reasons that I think these two phrases must necessarily mean that the Father is the ultimate source of the Holy Spirit on the condition that certain assumptions that I make are true.
My argument is based on the assumption that the Father is the ultimate source of all things, which is the belief not only of the Early Church Fathers as Edward Siensienski’s “The Filioque: History of a Doctrinal Controversy” (Oxford University Press) outlines, but is also the belief of much of educated Christendom today. If this is true and accurately reflects the view of Jesus and the Apostles, is it safe to assume that “παρὰ τοῦ πατρός” and “ὃ παρὰ τοῦ πατρὸς ἐκπορεύεται” must necessarily mean that the Father is the ultimate source of the Holy Spirit?
My reasoning is that, if the NASB 1995 translation of John 15:26 is correct, the Holy Spirit coming “from the Father” and proceeding “from the Father” must mean that the Holy Spirit comes from the Father as the ultimate source because everything that comes from the Father comes from the Father in a way that the Father is the ultimate source (please keep in mind that I am assuming that the Father is the ultimate source of all things and that I am more concerned about whether the two phrases mentioned above must contain this meaning if this assumption about the Father is true[I also assume that Jesus and the Apostles knows that this is true]).
And if Jesus knows that everything comes from the Father in a way that the Father is the ultimate source, then when he says that the Holy Spirit comes from the Father, he is also indicating that the Holy Spirit comes from the Father in a way that the Father is the ultimate source.
An analogy would be, if I know that a letter is created by Steve and I say that “this letter is from Steve,” I am not only saying that this letter came from Steve to me, but that this letter was created by Steve.
I believe this to be true because a certain generic phrase like “from Steve” can mean profoundly different things depending on the intention of the speaker, the context, and reality. If the speaker has a certain belief of what “from Steve” means and this corresponds to reality that is within the bounds of what the phrase “from Steve” can convey, then we can assume that the phrase “from Steve” carries that meaning.
My question then is, is there anything about the meaning of “παρὰ” or about the Koine Greek in John 15:26 that would prove that my argument above is wrong?
Also, if my argument above is correct when we assume that my assumptions are correct, and if we assume that those who approved of the Nicene-Constantinople Creed wanted to convey in the words “τὸ ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς ἐκπορευόμενον” that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father in a way that the Father is the ultimate source of the Holy Spirit (Edward Siensienski’s “The Filioque: History of a Doctrinal Controversy” [Oxford University Press] seems to strongly suggest that this is true), then why did those who wrote the Nicene-Constantinople Creed use the word “ἐκ” instead of “παρὰ?”
From someone who is ignorant of Greek, if the two Greek words mean the same thing, would it not have been better to use the word “παρὰ” in the Creed because it already was used in the Bible with the word “ἐκπορεύεται” in order to describe the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father in a way where the Father is the eternal source of the Holy Spirit?
Thank you in advance for your time in answering my questions.