Your Christology text suggestions, please

Hi,

A gentleman in the Sunday group I lead recently initiated a dialogue that ultimately today produced the group's decision to pursue an in-depth study of Jesus' deity/humanity beginning next Sunday. Given the content of my posts in CD over the years, you know about my interest in the subject. Now I'll be able to report on the ongoing journey our group takes through this crucial topic.

I ask for your help (at least the two of you who seem to be posting in the forums with me at the moment!) As you have time, post in this thread the texts you think are significant/necessary/valuable to an accurate understanding of Scripture's assessment of Jesus' divinity. I will welcome and try to bring into our group's discussions any commentary you attach to your cited texts, but I am most interested in the texts you find important.

I have made no secret of my Christological views over the years, and those views are unlikely to change as a result of our group's forthcoming study, but my primary objective is NOT to persuade people to my point of view. It's rather to invite our group to engage in a serious, in-depth study of the biblical witness on this issue - all relevant texts, both the OT and NT, whether friendly to my point of view or not.

I'm excited about the possibilities of this project and hope you'll offer some texts for me to include in our study.

Blessings,

Bill

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Comments

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 2,200

    @Bill_Coley wrote:

    As you have time, post in this thread the texts you think are significant/necessary/valuable to an accurate understanding of Scripture's assessment of Jesus' divinity.

    My suggestion would be to first define terms, in particular important to an exchange about the topic that seems to be th desired topic of your group. Just taking your above quoted sentence, I would first endeavor to establish in the group what the participants mean when they speak of GOD, DEITY, DIVINITY of Christ, DEITY of Christ, etc.

    If there is no commonly accepted of what terms used actually mean, one may as well cancel the attempt of studying together because people would be talking "alongside each other", two might actually think they are speaking about the same thing when they are not ... or visa versa.

    Once it is established what terms mean (btw, do "divinity" and "deity" have an identical meaning? what about "divine" and "God" ?), studying together in a profitable manner may happen. A major problem in the CD forum exchanges is that some change the meaning of such terms as is convenient to support -- supposedly -- their otherwise faulty arguments

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,823

    @Wolfgang posted:

    My suggestion would be to first define terms, in particular important to an exchange about the topic that seems to be th desired topic of your group. Just taking your above quoted sentence, I would first endeavor to establish in the group what the participants mean when they speak of GOD, DEITY, DIVINITY of Christ, DEITY of Christ, etc.

    Thanks for the suggestion, Wolfgang. I had an encounter of sorts with the issue you raise as I talked with our group yesterday about the subject of our coming study. I struggled a bit for the precise vocabulary to report our mission:

    • "Who was Jesus?"
    • "Was Jesus God?"
    • "The divinity of Jesus"
    • "The divinity of Christ"
    • "The relationship between Jesus and God"

    As you note, word choice and meaning matter to shaping the course of our efforts. No two of those items are precisely the same, at least as I read them.

    One constructive outcome from this study for me will be that I will create a catalog of verses, OT and NT, which in my view address the issue of Jesus and God, a catalog to which more than a few CD threads will no doubt contribute.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 2,200
    edited July 2019

    My take on determining the topic in what I would consider the most simple manner (and on purpose, least theologically loaded) would be to use the plain forward question: Was (is) Jesus God? Thus, only two terms to be defined: (1) Jesus, (2) God,

    I would think that most in the group will easily agree who is meant with "Jesus" => that person who is also called "Jesus of Nazareth", whose mother is mentioned to have been Mary, who was born at Bethlehem and lived approx 2000 years ago, etc. -- thus rather easily identifying who is meant and would not be confused with some other person from a different time, perhaps having the same name, ec

    As fpr the term "God", I would think that most in the group would agree that the term refers to the God of the Bible (not one of other religions of the world), the true God (not one of many false gods), an acting living Being/person (spirit being, not flesh and blood being), also referred to in the Bible with some other terms such as Almighty, Creator, Father, Ancient of Days, etc.

    Other details regarding each will most likely show up as verses with statements concerning Jesus and God are being added in the study ...

  • One question suggestion is: "How many intellgent voice(s) does One God have ?"

    Absolute monotheism believes One God has one intelligent voice (Father).

    Plural unity believes One God has three intelligent voices (Father, Son, Holy Spirit).

    Both Absolute monotheism and Plural unity believe One God has One Name, One Heart, One Soul, One Strength.

    Keep Smiling 😀

  • @Keep_Smiling_4_Jesus wrote: "How many intellgent voice(s) does One God have ?"

    Better question is: "How many intelligent voice(s) in One God ?"

    Initial topical study suggestion is blasphemy. What had jews heard from the traveling Jewish Rabbi that evoked response to kill Jesus for blasphemy, according to Leviticus 24:15-16 (NLT) Say to the people of Israel: Those who curse their אֱלֹהִים God will be punished for their sin. Anyone who blasphemes the Name of the יהוה Lord must be stoned to death by the whole community of Israel. Any native-born Israelite or foreigner among you who blasphemes the Name of the שֵׁ֖ם Lord must be put to death. 

    Note: God is אֱלֹהִים elohim (plural) while the Lord is יהוה YHVH (singular) or שֵׁ֖ם shem (singular). In casual Jewish conversation, HaShem (The Name) is used for יהוה.

    Logos Bible Search suggestion for finding blasphemy reaction in New Testament is ((pick,tore) NEAR (stones,robe,clothing)) OR (blasphemy,blaspheming)

    From my perspective, the ones who thought Jesus guilty of blasphemy had an absolute monotheistic belief; could not believe that any part of One God could be in human flesh while remembering Psalm 53:2-3 (NLT) אֱלֹהִים God looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks אֱלֹהִים God. But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not a single one!

    Keep Smiling 😀

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,823

    From my perspective...

    Keep your perspectives coming, both of you! (and anyone else) I'm serious about my desire to build your suggested texts and interpretations into our group's discussions. Of course, I can't possibly represent your views, but I can share the information you've offered in this and other threads.

  • PagesPages Posts: 73

    @Bill_Coley

    ....but I am most interested in the texts you find important.

    I'm excited about the possibilities of this project and hope you'll offer some texts for me to include in our study.

    Bill, I applaud you and the Sunday group for pursuing a study of this type. I won't flood you with numerous texts to consider; but will leave you with one – that being the text of Philippians 2:6-11.

  • @Pages wrote: I won't flood you with numerous texts to consider; but will leave you with one – that being the text of Philippians 2:6-11.

    Isaiah 45:14-25 (Future Conversion of Gentiles) includes: "Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other. I have sworn by my own name; I have spoken the truth, and I will never go back on my word: Every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will declare allegiance to me.” 

    Keep Smiling 😀

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,823

    @Pages posted:

    Bill, I applaud you and the Sunday group for pursuing a study of this type. I won't flood you with numerous texts to consider; but will leave you with one – that being the text of Philippians 2:6-11.

    Thanks for the kind word, Pages, as well as for the Philippians text. Should you choose to offer my group's study additional passages - whether as part of a "flood" or not! 😃 - I will welcome and we will be blessed by your contribution.

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,823
    edited July 2019

    @Keep_Smiling_4_Jesus postSmiling

    Isaiah 45:14-25 (Future Conversion of Gentiles) includes: "Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other. I have sworn by my own name; I have spoken the truth, and I will never go back on my word: Every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will declare allegiance to me.” 

    Thanks again!

    With this post, I will stop acknowledging each new posted suggestion, but that does NOT mean I will stop paying attention to your assistance! I invite all of you to post additional suggestions, which in concert with other texts we review, in my view will lead our study to deeper, stiller waters of faith.

  • John 14:15-31 "Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit" includes John 14:23 (NLT with Bold Greek emphasis) Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.

    Keep Smiling 😀

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 2,200

    A suggestion in connection with the numerous NT passages which directly either speak of "THE MAN Christ Jesus" or clearly refer to Jesus as A MAN (a male human being) => Does Scripture declare anywhere that the true God can be a man or that a man can be the true God?

  • Prophecy in Isaiah 9:1-7 describes future Galilee that includes: a child is born, who is Mighty God.

    Seed of the woman in Genesis 3:15 predates Isaiah 7:14 prophecy about Immanuel (God with us) with fulfilment recorded in Matthew 1:23

    Note: Isaiah 9:1-7 is clearly in the future whlle Isaiah 7 has mixture of prophecies for King Ahaz (during Isaiah's life) and future Messiah.

    Torah ("Teaching", "The Law") lasted until the child of promise in Galations 3:19 plus future war against her seed in Revelation 12:17

    John 1:1 verbs are imperfect (continuous action in past time) so one way to translate John 1:1c is "... and The Word was being God". All of The Word was being God while God was being more than The Word (per Colwell's rule), which agrees with singular and plural pronouns for plural elohim God. John 1:14 verbs are aorist so simply says The Word became flesh and dwelt amoung us (humans).

    Keep Smiling 😀

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,823

    In advance of tomorrow's first session of our Sunday group's discussion of the question of whether Jesus is God, I created and posted on our church's website a list of around 150 passages from Matthew, Luke, and John (I didn't include passages from Mark because almost all of Mark is contained in either Matthew or Luke). My plan is for us to examine the Gospels thoroughly, via the texts on the list, and then move to Acts, Paul's letters, and the remainder of the NT, creating a list of texts for each new section. I will then raise to the group's attention the texts you CD partners have offered, and finally look relatively briefly at church history/tradition and some prominent theologians. By far, the biblical review will receive the most serious and thoughtful attention during our study.

    I should note that the list contains far more than the "greatest hits" of the issue that we tend to post in these threads. I decided to include any passage that in my view adds to our understanding of who Jesus is. Using the word count feature of my word processor, I estimate that the list of text includes nearly half of the total content of the three Gospels we'll examine.

    I've distributed the Gospels texts list to group members with the suggestion that they read passages asking what the writers want us to know about Jesus, what the characters in the passages other than Jesus want us to know about Jesus, and finally, what Jesus himself wants us to know him. I'm looking forward to the sessions.

    If you want to examine the Gospels passages list, you can download it (or a document that provides the NLT version of all 150 texts) at our website by clicking HERE.

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,823

    Our Sunday group held its first session yesterday, July 7. We dug right into the first of the 150 gospels texts included in the list to which I offered a link in a previous post in this thread. We had a good exchange about the meaning and consequence of Joseph's presence in the the genealogical trees found in Matthew 1 and Luke 3, and some robust dialogue about the meaning of "virgin" in the Matthew and Luke birth stories.

    Our group includes at least one VERY biblically literate person, who has a developed sense of Scripture's bigger picture. I appreciate the possibilities and the challenges he will present as both fact checker (if I err in reporting biblical content) and spiritually mature faith witness (when make I make observations or draw conclusions with which he disagrees). The best thing about his presence in our group will be his weekly witness to the benefits of biblical acumen.

    I asked the group not to draw final conclusions in these early stages of our journey, but rather to use our textual examinations to gather evidence - pieces of a jigsaw puzzle - that will equip them to reach better-founded conclusions later.

    It was an occasionally chaotic conversation - with group members talking over one another on a handful of occasions - but spirited in lots of good ways. I left the first session excited about the ones to come.

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,823

    AN UPDATE ON OUR SUNDAY GROUP'S IN-DEPTH BIBLE STUDY ON CHRISTOLOGY

    On December 29 our group finished its review of the Gospel of Luke during the 25th session of its ongoing examination of the question was Jesus God. All totaled, not counting the time spent each week sharing personal stories or other off-topic matters, we estimate that we spent 18 hours talking about passages in Matthew and Luke, about 40% of each Gospel. Next Sunday we start John. Some observations about our journey to-date:

    • I've been impressed, surprised, and blessed by the group's passion about and attentiveness to our work. We're almost six months into this journey with perhaps a year+ to go, and group members still show up almost every Sunday and eagerly await the next passage (I almost had to forcibly restrain one guy last Sunday, so ready to launch into John 1 was he!) I tend to create lengthy, exhaustive... and exhausting! ... Bible study experiences that test participants' endurance. I've not had to give a single pep talk yet to raise flagging spirits. Everyone's pumped and primed for this study, however long it takes.
    • I've noticed a dramatic improvement in group members' powers of observation. They're noticing relevant words and phrases in Scripture texts far better than they did when we started. The skills our journey is helping them develop will serve them in whatever kind of Bible study they engage going forward.
    • Three of the five group members say the evidence from Matthew and Luke (as well as Mark, since Mark is contained almost completely in Matthew and Luke) convinced them that Jesus is not God; the other two group members have not expressed an opinion. The one member who started the journey convinced that Jesus was God last Sunday told us that Matthew and Luke persuaded him to change his mind, though he's quite curious about the meaning of John 1. All group members remain open to the remainder of the biblical witness.
    • In all, our study to-date has been a deeply satisfying experience for me and the group. It's the most predictably positive hour of ministry in my week. I start to anticipate next week's session on the way to lunch following worship on Sunday!
    • I suspect few churches in the country have attempted a study of Christology at this depth or rigor, and it takes atypical levels of commitment from both leaders and participants to pull one off, but I recommend this kind of experience to every church.
    • NEXT UP: The Gospel of John. I've advised the group to expect an experience in John very different from what we had in Matthew and Luke. I'll post updates to this thread.


  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,823

    A brief update about our group's first discussion of John 1 held on Sunday (there will be more discussions on John 1, given the small but meaningful progress we made through its contents yesterday!)

    Two of the four members present yesterday were considerably swayed by "the Word" imagery of John's prologue. Their interpretation, on first read, was that Jesus was the Word of John's declaration, which led them to conclude John was saying Jesus was God. Since I respect and encourage points of view different from my own, their initial takes produced feisty and spirited, but deeply respectful dialogue in the group as we examined other NT occurrences of the Greek word "logos" and broke down the language of the Prologue verse by verse. As I indicated, we didn't by any means conclude our discussion of John's opening proclamation, so there is much more fun waiting for us next Sunday.

    I remain enamored of my group's passion for Bible study in general and this study in particular.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 2,200

    @Bill_Coley wrote

    Two of the four members present yesterday were considerably swayed by "the Word" imagery of John's prologue.

    Where is there " 'The Word' imagery" in John's prologue? What kind of "imagery" / figure of speech concerning "the word" is it supposed to be?

    It seems to me that the so-called prologue introduction of John's gospel simply states that the plan (which exists in the mind or knowledge of someone in the form of "word") which God had from even before the foundation of the world (cp. 1Pe 1:20) has become the reality in that what had been "word" in God's plan and foreknowledge had become reality in the birth of the human being of flesh and blood (cp John 1:14).

    Simple illustration: Even from before our wedding, when my then future wife and I talked about plans for our life together, our children existed in the form of "word" in our minds and plans. About 16 months after our wedding "word became flesh" when our first child no longer was "word" but the human being of our plans was born. The process was repeated 4 years later when our second child came into the world. In a sense, in the beginning of our children was NOT the living human being but "word" (plan, thought) in our minds. In due time, what had existed as word in our minds and our plan became flesh as the human being was conceived and then born.

    Thus, I would say that the failure to read and understand the passages in John 1:1ff in their most simple sense and reading into the passage a more or less complex and inexplicable "Word imagery" is at the root of the false theology which is then based on such steps. Also, especially users of English Bible translations should be aware of the truth that a capitalization of the word "word" is already an interpretation by translators and such interpretation equivalent is NOT found in Scripture.

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,823

    @Wolfgang posted:

    Where is there " 'The Word' imagery" in John's prologue? What kind of "imagery" / figure of speech concerning "the word" is it supposed to be?

    By "'the Word' imagery" I meant only John's use of the phrase "the Word," a phrase that plays a prominent role in his Gospel's prologue.


    It seems to me that the so-called prologue introduction of John's gospel simply states that the plan (which exists in the mind or knowledge of someone in the form of "word") which God had from even before the foundation of the world (cp. 1Pe 1:20) has become the reality in that what had been "word" in God's plan and foreknowledge had become reality in the birth of the human being of flesh and blood (cp John 1:14).

    Simple illustration: Even from before our wedding, when my then future wife and I talked about plans for our life together, our children existed in the form of "word" in our minds and plans.... 

    I agree with your take on John's use of the Greek word "logos," and repeat my previously expressed appreciation for the clarity and helpfulness of your illustration. During our Sunday group discussion of the text, I briefly, but not very cogently introduced the plan/idea interpretation, and expect to improve on that presentation next Sunday. At the same time, I am determined to respect and honor whatever conclusions our group members come to as to who Jesus was, and that commitment includes how each person decides to read John 1.1-18.


    Thus, I would say that the failure to read and understand the passages in John 1:1ff in their most simple sense and reading into the passage a more or less complex and inexplicable "Word imagery" is at the root of the false theology which is then based on such steps. Also, especially users of English Bible translations should be aware of the truth that a capitalization of the word "word" is already an interpretation by translators and such interpretation equivalent is NOT found in Scripture.

    I agree with your basic interpretation of the John 1 text. I do not join you in labeling as "false" theologies that disagree with our interpretation. I see those as disagreements not falsehoods.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 2,200

    By "'the Word' imagery" I meant only John's use of the phrase "the Word," a phrase that plays a prominent role in his Gospel's prologue.

    I would say that John's use of the phrase "the word" in the opening of his gospel is no different from his use of the phrase in other writings and also not different from the use of the phrase in other NT scriptures. Only later interpretations and the development of a supposedly "Johannine Christology" -- as if that was any different from other scripture writers' christology (which it is not!) -- turned the phrase into supposedly meaning something different from what it means everywhere else in Scripture.

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,823

    @Wolfgang posted:

    I would say that John's use of the phrase "the word" in the opening of his gospel is no different from his use of the phrase in other writings and also not different from the use of the phrase in other NT scriptures. Only later interpretations and the development of a supposedly "Johannine Christology" -- as if that was any different from other scripture writers' christology (which it is not!) -- turned the phrase into supposedly meaning something different from what it means everywhere else in Scripture.

    I disagree that John's use of the phrase "the Word" in John 1 is no different from his or other NT writers' use of the phrase. In my search, I found "the word" most commonly occurring within the larger phrase "the word of God" when that phrase does NOT refer to Jesus, but rather to the broader message God has for people. I found only two verses - 1 John 1.1 and Revelation 19.13 - where a writer employs "word" in reference, whether direct or indirect, to Jesus. In John 1, clearly Jesus' is the human flesh the "Word" takes on.

    My original point in our current exchange was that such a "word took on flesh" employment of the "word" imagery is a prominent feature of John 1. In response to your post, Wolfgang, I suggest that such employment of the imagery is also rare in the NT. But perhaps you have verses in mind that didn't show up in my search. I hope you'll share the verses that contribute to your conclusion.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 2,200

    I apparently do not quite understand to what difference in the use of the term "word [logos]" you are referring. As I read the passages, in each case the meaning as such is "word, message, plan, concept". The word "word" as used in John 1 is no different as far as I can see. "Word" is not in just that place no longer "word, message, etc." but "a person, a living being, spirit" etc. What is "word" in John 1 supposed to be if not "word, message" ?

    In John 1:1, the last part of the verse also states - in a bit of a different wording for emphasis - that this "word, message" is not a human's word or message but indeed God's message ("and God was the word") ... in other words, it is speaking of "the word of God".

    Now, from the further context in John 1, it is obvious that "word, message" in this context is specifically the message concerning the coming Messiah which had now become reality in that the human being (being of flesh and blood), which was the subject of this divine "word, message", the person Jesus had been born. But the word "word, message" still means "word, message", and is not the name of some living being of some kind which then "took on flesh" (sort of like a spirit materializing into a flesh being).

    As for 1John 1:1, I would again read and understand the term "word" in the expression "word of life" as "word, message" ... however, as part of a figure of speech with a reference to the message, work and ministry of Jesus.

    Rev 19:13 is the record of a vision in which a person in the vision carries the name "The Word of God", in other words, we are reading about the meaning of a name of a person in the vision. Abraham had the name "Father of many / multitude", but was he already in his lifetime literally a father of many or multitude? Again, we have the use of the phrase "word of God" used as part of a figure of speech in a transferred sense.

  • @Bill_Coley I found only two verses - 1 John 1.1 and Revelation 19.13 - where a writer employs "word" in reference, whether direct or indirect, to Jesus. In John 1, clearly Jesus' is the human flesh the "Word" takes on.

    Logos Bible Search of SBLGNT (Society of Biblical Literature Greek New Testament) for <Lemma = lbs/el/λόγος> WITHIN 7 WORDS (<Lemma = lbs/el/θεός> OR <Lemma = lbs/el/ἐξουσία>) includes:

    Luke 4:32 (NLT) There, too, the people were amazed at his teaching, for he spoke (ὁ λόγος) with authority (ἐξουσίᾳ). Stilted literal translation of "ὅτι ἐν ἐξουσίᾳ ἦν ὁ λόγος αὐτοῦ" is "that with authority was being the word of him"

    Luke 4:36 (NLT) Amazed, the people exclaimed, “What authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) and power this man’s words (ὁ λόγος) possess! Even evil spirits obey him, and they flee at his command!” NLT has plural "words" for translation of ὁ λόγος (The Word)

    Expanded Logos Bible search of SBLGNT for <Lemma = lbs/el/λόγος> WITHIN 7 WORDS (<Lemma = lbs/el/θεός> OR <Lemma = lbs/el/ἐξουσία> OR <Lemma = lbs/el/ζωή> OR <Lemma = lbs/el/σάρξ>) includes 1 John 1:1 and John 1:14

    Keep Smiling 😊

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 2,200

    Luke 4:32 (NLT) There, too, the people were amazed at his teaching, for he spoke (ὁ λόγος) with authority (ἐξουσίᾳ). Stilted literal translation of "ὅτι ἐν ἐξουσίᾳ ἦν ὁ λόγος αὐτοῦ" is "that with authority was being the word of him"

    Luke 4:36 (NLT) Amazed, the people exclaimed, “What authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) and power this man’s words (ὁ λόγος) possess! Even evil spirits obey him, and they flee at his command!” NLT has plural "words" for translation of ὁ λόγος (The Word)

    These verses very clearly show that the word ὁ λόγος does NOT refer to a person, but rather to "the word" or "the words" which a person (in this case, the man Jesus of Nazareth) spoke. That is, ὁ λόγος was NOT Jesus, but was what Jesus spoke.

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,823

    @Wolfgang posted:

    I apparently do not quite understand to what difference in the use of the term "word [logos]" you are referring. As I read the passages, in each case the meaning as such is "word, message, plan, concept". The word "word" as used in John 1 is no different as far as I can see. "Word" is not in just that place no longer "word, message, etc." but "a person, a living being, spirit" etc. What is "word" in John 1 supposed to be if not "word, message" ?

    My point is that in John 1, Jesus is the embodied "Word," the flesh the Word takes on. It is THAT SPECIFIC DEPLOYMENT of the "word" imagery that I contend is not found elsewhere in the NT, other than perhaps, in the two verses to which I referred in a previous post. You and I do NOT disagree about the meaning or consequence of John's "word" imagery, or the use of the Greek word "logos" in the rest of the NT. It seems we might disagree (I'm not sure!) as to whether embodiment of the "word" in Jesus is found elsewhere in the NT.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 2,200

    @Bill_Coley posted

    My point is that in John 1, Jesus is the embodied "Word," the flesh the Word takes on.

    Hmn ... I still have not really a clue what is meant with what you wrote there. From reading what you wrote, there are still TWO "things": (1) Jesus, and (2) word. Neither actually IS the other.

    What does "embodied" actually mean? Did "word" put on a human flesh body ? In other words, was "word" a living being of some sorts that lived without a flesh body and then at some time continued as such living being but now put on a flesh body? Is this idea of "embody" what the word "became" used in the text in v.14 means?

    Also, what beginning is in view in John 1:1 ?? To answer this question I would consider what the gospel of John overall is about ... what is the purpose and the content subject of the gospel of John? John 20:31 provides an aspect of the answer: "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." The overall subject of the gospel of John is about Jesus is the SON OF GOD. Thus John 1 provides us with the information of the beginning of Jesus the Son of God (it is not talking about the beginning of creation, or the beginning of the universe, etc.

    In the beginning - of the Son of God - was WORD (thought, plan), In other words, Messiah Jesus began in the form of word, and not man's word, but GOD's word, as 1Pe 1:20 states, he was foreknown (existed in God's foreknowledge in the form of word) from even BEFORE (!) the foundation of the world (this "before" seems another indication that the beginning in John 1:1 is not that beginning in Gen 1 of the foundation of the world.

    With this background from Scripture relating to the subject, I am a bit at a loss to understand what this "embodied word" imagery is supposed to really mean? Was the word in John 1:1 already speaking about the "embodied word", Jesus? If not, when does the record in John 1 start speaking about Jesus?

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,823

    @Wolfgang posted:

    there are still TWO "things": (1) Jesus, and (2) word. Neither actually IS the other.

    I agree. I don't read John's prologue to mean that John believes Jesus is "the Word" itself. Rather, I read it to mean John believes Jesus' is the flesh the Word took on. (John 1.14)


    What does "embodied" actually mean? Did "word" put on a human flesh body ? In other words, was "word" a living being of some sorts that lived without a flesh body and then at some time continued as such living being but now put on a flesh body? Is this idea of "embody" what the word "became" used in the text in v.14 means?

    In my view, no. To embody "the Word" in this context I think means Jesus was the best possible human depiction of God's plan or idea for humanity. When I say person X is the very embodiment of courage, I don't mean person X is courage. I mean rather that person X displays courage in his or her human form and does about as well as can be done.

    One online dictionary defines the word this way: "To give a concrete form to; express, personify, or exemplify in concrete form." Another says "to have and show particular qualities or ideas; represent."


    Also, what beginning is in view in John 1:1 ?? To answer this question I would consider what the gospel of John overall is about ... what is the purpose and the content subject of the gospel of John? John 20:31 provides an aspect of the answer: "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." The overall subject of the gospel of John is about Jesus is the SON OF GOD. Thus John 1 provides us with the information of the beginning of Jesus the Son of God (it is not talking about the beginning of creation, or the beginning of the universe, etc.

    Here we apparently disagree.

    In my view, the language of the prologue's opening verses makes clear that "the beginning" is in fact the beginning of time or creation:

      1 In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.   2 He existed in the beginning with God.  3 God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. 4 The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.

    The "Word" existed with God "in the beginning," and was the agency through which God "created everything." To my reading, that's not a reference to Jesus' beginning - in fact, it's not a reference to Jesus at all - it's a reference to the beginning of creation.

    I see no conflict between John's proclamation about the Word's role in creation and the stated purpose of the Gospel found in John 20.31. I don't see why John's OVERALL purpose couldn't be to persuade people about Jesus as the Son of God, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME he occasionally includes verses or passages that speak to other purposes.

  • In the Jewish culture, Religious Leaders (including traveling Rabbi's) spent many years studying scripture. What is the difference between speaking with authority and sharing study results ?

    Keep Smiling 😊

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 2,200

    The "Word" existed with God "in the beginning," and was the agency through which God "created everything." To my reading, that's not a reference to Jesus' beginning - in fact, it's not a reference to Jesus at all - it's a reference to the beginning of creation.

    what or who is this "the Word" ? What word? A specific message or saying? God's ability to speak? or what? or is "the Word" a name or a title of someone? who would this someone be?

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