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And The Word Was …divine!

The famous Greek word logos — “word, speech, a...
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John 1:1 is probably the most debated Scripture in the Bible. Some Christians don’t believe Jesus is God (i.e. THE God) and describe him before his human birth as something from divine (including a divine “plan”) to simply “a” god. The controversy seems to arise out of the fact that the final clause in John 1:1 does not have the article before the word “God.” What these groups and other modern critics don’t seem to understand is, if the article were there, it would be a contradiction or an apparent error in the text. Notice:

John 1:1 Moffatt NT THE Logos existed in the very beginning, the Logos was with God, the Logos was divine.

John 1:1 NWT In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.

John 1:1 JMNT Within a beginning there was The Word (The Thought; The Collection of Thoughts; The Idea; The Reason; The Discourse; The Communication; The Verbal Expression). And the Word (the thought; the expression) was (and continued being) facing, directed and moving toward (or: with) God. And the Word (the thought; the idea; the reason; the expression) continued being God. [or: Originally the Word was existing and continued to be, and the Word was being projected toward God. And the Word, It was existing being God (idiomatically: And the Word was just what God was; And the Expression was an extension of Deity).]

John 1:1 KJV In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

If the article were placed before the final clause above, saying “the Word was the God…” it would mean he was beside himself in the second clause, namely, “the Word (the God) was with or beside the God. This is an impossibility. John chose his words well, and they reveal the only way to say the Word is God and mean he is/was the same essence as God; or put another way: “what God was, the Word was.

Often those who disagree will point to Proverbs 8 and the story of the Wisdom personification to support their understanding that the Word was simply a “divine” angel (or plan etc.) or a “god.” Many go on to point to the Greek grammar and how the verse should be translated. The problem is other grammarians could be quoted to contradict the authorities quoted by those who seek to show Jesus is something less than God. Is there an answer for all this? Can a layman, for example, prove that Jesus is God or not, or are we left on our own to stumble through the truth, making choices as to the veracity and expertise of the so-called greats or experts in the fields of theology and Greek grammar?

Let me repeat, the crux of this controversy arises out of the fact that the article does not appear before the final clause of John 1:1. Are we able to draw any conclusions from the word of God itself? Is the Scripture alone able to show us what is true? I believe so, and the answer lies in consistency.

In the next seventeen verses following John 1:1, there are no less than four references to the God with whom the Word existed in the beginning. They are 1:6, 12, 13 and 18. Each one of these references to the God is not only without the article in the Greek manuscript from which the critics derive their argument, but in every case where the word God appears it is unanimously agreed the word refers to the God! The argument of the critics and certain groups of Christians is not consistent. What rule of grammar would be used in these verses to warrant their obvious reference to the God when the article is absent in the original Greek manuscript? Therefore, the presence or absence of the article in the original Greek manuscripts is not a conclusive argument that one may use to prove that Jesus is not THE God. Even the critics of the Deity of Jesus do not follow this rule in every case.

Contrariwise, the article is present in other references to Jesus. Among these are:

1. Matthew 1:23 Jesus’ name is Immanuel. The interpretation given is, “God with us.”

The article is present here and reveals that Jesus is the God with us.

2. John 20:28 After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to Thomas. At Jesus’ invitation to touch him, Thomas exclaimed: “My Lord and My God.”

The article is present and Thomas refers to Jesus as the God.

3. 1John 1:15 “…God is Light and in him is no darkness.”

The article is present. That this represents Jesus is made plain from reading John 1:4-10. It is clearly stated here that the Light gave life to all men. John the Baptist bore witness to the Light; and the Light was about to come into the world (v.9) and is the true Light. Therefore, if the God is Light and Christ is the true Light, there should be no controversy in saying, “Jesus is the God!”

There is no question that the Scriptures teach us that there is only one God. I agree with this statement with those among us who don’t think Jesus is God. However, does the fact that there is only one God exclude any plurality within that one Deity? I have shown in other studies that there is evidence of plurality within the Deity in the Old Testament. In fact the very physical image which God created of himself is both the male and female—two people dwelling in unity (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:23-24).

To conclude, it is evident that there is no foundation for the argument that the presence of the article in the Greek text is an indication that the God mentioned is worthy of worship, while the absence of the article means that the deity under consideration is not worthy of worship. If this were a valid argument, why is the article omitted in so many New Testament references to our Father God, while many other Scripture references do have the article showing us Jesus is God? The argument, that Jesus is a god or divine (i.e. an angel or a divine plan etc.), but not the God is not consistent and just doesn’t make sense.

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13 responses to “And The Word Was …divine!

  1. Boluwade Kujero

    January 20, 2017 at 10:15

    Hi Eddie

    I found this your article while searching for as many translations of John 1:1 as I could find for my expositions on the verse targeted at reaching JWs and it has really encouraged me.

    I have been a Christian for close to 3 decades now and my first year pitched me against JW’s who I never knew until that time. I invited them innocently but they ended up rocking my faith. Today I thank God for the shaking they gave my foundations which left me in a state of flux regarding the being of Jesus among many other hitherto assumed doctrines for about 15 months but led me to take responsibility to research the things I was taught and believed and find out for myself over months and years of studies with prayers the truth so I could hold fast to them. I’m very much the better for it today and the principles have continued to serve me well in other endeavours.

    I find your exchanges with Daniel particularly interesting because I have never met any JW so open to intellectual intercourse on the Scriptures as he was to you. I identify with your “chip on shoulder admission” I was there too soon after I found the truth but God later corrected me reminding me that truth must be shared in love not arrogance, even to the most resistant and self conceited.

    I know this exchanges are several years old but I just felt impressed to add a few of my thoughts to yours on some of his questions which may be useful to someone else with similar questions who may find this page.

    John 5:17-18
    Jesus’ claim to God as his Father was evidently spoken in such a personal and equalizing way that was obvious to the people but not obvious to us readers today, hence John giving it to us straight. The word “sorry”, for instance, can be spoken with remorse or with sarcasm. Writing it down does not reveal that except you were there or you read in between the lines. Context many times helps if it is detailed enough but not always. We may however take note of the line of argument that Jesus presented in defense of his working on the sabbath – God’s right to work on the sabbath. Of all arguments that could be presented for doing something that was, strict to the letter wrong, this is what he presents. Think about it, which created being can presume to have the right to do something because God does the same? Would that not amount to claiming equality or rights with God? Note that he did not say that the Father gave him license or exemption. Rather he says since God can work on a sabbath and no one questions him, he too can enjoy same. If that is not making yourself equal I wonder what will? Added to that is the fact that in laying claim to the same right with God he addresses God like some very close and familiar human relative – “My Father”. not the Father. So he breaks the sabbath, claims God’s sovereign exemption from sabbath restrictions as his common right and does these with impunity calling God “his own” Father.

    John 14: 9
    The background to Jesus’ words here need to be fully digested to see how his statement is a claim to being God (in essence not the person of the Father). Philip and the other disciples had been with Jesus for years and had heard him make several claims about himself and his Father, One thing was however clear to them – the Father is not Jesus, rather he sent Jesus. And presumably, the one who sent him that is so glorious must be more glorious. So when the opportunity presented itself here, Philip asked for the real deal, the Father himself. For no matter how convincing a representative is he cannot be like the real thing itself. So they were not asking for a representative, they wanted the represented. And Jesus rather than postdate the answer to their request to some distant future when they will be translated out of this world to see the Father or oblige them some trance or even tell them it was an eternal impossibility, or ask them to manage with him as some close alternative that gives a fair expression to that which is inexpressible, he puts himself right in their faces, And he does so with an expression of deep disappointment in their lack of knowledge of him yet followed strongly toned affirmation of his oneness with the Father, which he cites as proof of his being worthy of inserting himself as the fulfiller and fulfilment of their longing for seeing the Father. How could they be wanting still to see the Father when they had seen him? The implication is clear. He was effectively saying that there was no greater satisfaction to be derived from a direct experience with the Father that he Jesus does not satisfy? No Aha or Eureka moment left to be experienced after Jesus. He was adequate for any and every experience they wanted to have with the Father. He is the essence of the Father perfectly revealed.

    Now if Jesus was a finite created being how could he be an adequate representation of the infinite God to the extent that there could be no more a height, pleasure and blessedness in encountering God that exceeds encountering Jesus? Surely, only an infinite being can so represent the infinite Father. Only one who shares in the essence of the Father can make such a claim and it would be true. Ironically, all JWs live and serve for is to challenge these words of Jesus even though most of them do not realize it. They are never satisfied with Jesus, they seek to experience Jehovah directly. For in their minds, Jehovah is the real deal, Jesus is just a shadow. That is what a created Jesus does to the consciousness. The attitude is totally unavoidable. If Jesus is not God then I must go beyond Jesus to have an effective relationship with the Father even though I need to start from him, He cannot be allowed to overwhelm my view. They think that Jesus reveals God to us by pointing to some being outside of himself as a lense may reveal something in the distance. They do not realize that he reveals God by revealing himself. A flame on a candle taken from a furnace reveals all you need to know about the furnace fire. Give the candle flame another furnace space and it will consume it like its parent fire,

    Jesus is the Way and the Truth that the Way leads to. What he is he is not by himself but by being “sourced” from the Father’s very being. He is not just a representative or an image or a likeness or a reflection of the Father. He is THE image, THE EXACT representation, a replicate of the Father’s precise life form. For a JWs to understand Jesus’ words here adequately let him or her contemplate what response he or she would give if he or she, out a deep longing for God said something like “how I wish I could just see God right now, I will just fall down in worship before him” and I reply by saying: “There he is,” pointing to Jesus, “go ahead and worship.” For that was what Jesus words to Philip in this passage meant. In other words, whatever you want with the Father – to admire him, to be inspired by him, to bask in his glory, to be awestruck by his majesty, etc., here he is; I am him, in all his essence.

    Phil 2:6-8
    “Keep this mental attitude in you that was also in Christ Jesus, who, although he was existing in God’s form, gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God. No, but he emptied himself and took a slave’s form and became human. 8 More than that, when he came as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, yes, death on a torture stake.” NWT

    The passage strikes a contrast between two forms: God’s form and slave’s form, not spirit form and material form,. If Jesus was an angel, his initial form would be that of a slave. If God’s form means spirit form then angels are Gods and not slaves. Human form would then be synonymous with slave form. Yet he is said to have taken on slave’s form.

    By the way, contrary to most people’s impressions, God is spirit but not in the way angels are spirits. He is of an order separate and irreconcilable with theirs. Even among spirits there are levels of visibility just as even in our physical world there are grades of visibility, Bacteria are as physical as humans yet we don’t see them with our eyes. They affect and are aware of us more than we are of them. So even if God’s form is a spirit form, it is still distinguished as God’s form just as human form is distinguished among physical living forms.

    Then the equality he did not grasp at is not of form but of role. It is obvious that the Father precedes the Son in role. The Son’s nature being identical with the Father’s was a valid justification for him to seek to contend with the Father for the Father’s role, For by nature, he was fit for the role.

    Following the flow from verse 3 through 4, it is evident that this narrative was occasioned by the need for Paul to show a parallel in Christ’s life for the doing “nothing out of contentiousness or out of egotism, but with humility esteeming others superior” and to “look out not only for [one’s] own interests,but also for the interests of others” that he enjoined. Believers are of course equal but yet each is supposed to consider the other as “Superior” just like Jesus and the Father are equal in essence but Jesus considers the Father as superior. Every believer has a right to seek his own interest and maximize the actualization of the entitlements receivable by virtue of that status but Paul says not to do that but rather pursue the interests of others.The same thing Jesus did by not attempting to compete for the Father’s role but rather seeking the Father’s interests. If Jesus was inferior to the Father in all respects then his submission would be by virtue of inferiority and holds not parallel for believers to follow. The the conjunction “although”, as found in the NWT, is used to contrast what he did with what he could have justifiably done. What sense is in a statement like “although he was short he did not play basketball?” There is nothing recommending for playing basketball in being short. It only makes sense to say “although he was tall he did not play basketball” So God’s form must mean God’s essential life form – that which makes God God, not spirit form. For nothing in that recommends for contesting the Father’s role or else every spirit being has a valid claim to it.

    I pray God finds this useful for someone’s enlightenment.

     
    • Eddie

      January 23, 2017 at 15:24

      Greetings, Boluwade Kujero, and welcome to my blogsite. Thank you for reading and for your willingness to help others.

      I apologize for the late approval and greeting, but I have been having trouble getting on the Internet for almost 5 days. I had a bad modem. Lord bless you and your beautiful family (I peeked on your facebook page), as you continue to walk with him.

       
  2. Daniel

    November 6, 2012 at 16:19

    I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, born into the faith and also accepting it as my own. Recently however a dear friend of mine turned away citing her belief that the trinity may be true, that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not give the concept a fair chance. I have never found the trinity to have any defense, nor do I see why it is so important to those who do believe to cling to it. I may never believe it myself, but I do want to understand it better, and would appreciate further explanation on some points you have already made as well as your response to these points and questions:

    John 5:17-18: in reading this passage, it seems to me that the Jews drew a conclusion other than what Jesus intended, it seems that in subsequent verses of this chapter, he even tried to clarify himself, saying that he was God’s son and was imitating what he had observed from his father, with a similar statement at John 8:28, “I do nothing of my own initiative.”
    John 14:9 “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” would this scripture not be similar to the colloquialism “if you have seen one, you have seen them all”?
    Phil 2:6: couldn’t “God’s form” mean that they were both spirit creatures? And depending on the bias of your translation, doesn’t it indicate that he never tried to take equality to God?
    Mark 10:18: doesn’t this indicate that Jesus did not claim equality with God?

    What happened to the trinity when Jesus was on earth?
    What did Jesus ever grant, or give, to God?
    When did Jesus, or anyone, pray to the Holy Spirit?
    When did God pray to Jesus, or ask him what his will was?
    What did the Holy Spirit ever say?
    Why is it not possible that the Holy Spirit is not the name God gives the power he uses to accomplish his will?
    Why would Jesus not have known when the end would come, stating that only the Father knew? – if you could expound further on this point I would appreciate it, your reasoning is not clear to me.
    Are Jesus and Micheal not the same person – an Angel?
    Why would Satan have tried to tempt God?
    How could God be the mediator between us and God? – 1 Ti 2:5
    How could “God the Father” and “God the Son” have two different wills? – Luke 22:42

    I am sure that I will have more to ask and say as I delve further into my own beliefs and respond to your answers. I asked many of these questions and proffered these points to my friend and she then cut off all communication with me, without answering any of them. I know I need to do further research of my own, but you seem to be a knowledgeable, reasonable, and balanced source. I hope that I might find here the insight needed to, if nothing more, re-establish communication with my friend.

     
    • Ed Bromfield

      November 6, 2012 at 23:30

      Hi Daniel, I just wish to thank you for reading my blog and for your excellent query. I will do the best I can to reply to your satisfaction, and I welcome your comments and any other questions you may have.

      I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, born into the faith and also accepting it as my own. Recently however a dear friend of mine turned away citing her belief that the trinity may be true, that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not give the concept a fair chance. I have never found the trinity to have any defense, nor do I see why it is so important to those who do believe to cling to it. I may never believe it myself, but I do want to understand it better, and would appreciate further explanation on some points you have already made as well as your response to these points and questions:

      First, let me say that I have discussed some of the questions you have mentioned here with other Jehovah’s Witnesses on a popular discussion board called Belief Net a few years ago (I no longer post there). Although I had begun our discussion with a chip on my shoulder and bigotry in my heart, I have learned that I was wrong to do that and wrong about your common faith. This doesn’t mean I don’t believe your theology is wrong—I do. But, I have learned that **doctrines** never saved a soul—Jesus saves, and I believe many of the Jehovah’s Witnesses with whom I debated are my brothers and sisters in Christ. I don’t know how they feel about me, but this is how I feel about them. So, my point in bringing this out is, I am looking forward to a friendly discussion. We may believe very differently about Jesus, but we can be nice about it. :-)

      Secondly, I hate to disappoint you, but I don’t believe God is a Trinity. I use the term (and have said so in at least one of my blogs), because it is the only term just about everyone understands to mean Father, Son and Holy Spirit are One God. I didn’t coin the word, but I’m stuck with it. I could also add that the formulators of the doctrine of the Trinity bemoaned doing what they did, but they felt forced to do so given the Arian heresy and the command of Constantine to make the doctrine of God clear. Anyway, I’ll be as clear as I can be to reply to your questions in an effort to show how the Scriptures point to there being only one God, but the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are God—One God.

      Finally, before we begin, I wish to say that God is much more than we (you or I) are able to conceive—whether he can be described as Trinity or not. This doesn’t mean we cannot have some idea of what God is like or understand the Godhead at least in part, because we have seen Jesus, and he is the express image of God (Hebrews 1:3), but full comprehension, if it can be achieved at all will take new and eternal bodies and all eternity (John 17:3; cp. 2Corinthians 5:1-4) to discover.

      John 5:17-18: in reading this passage, it seems to me that the Jews drew a conclusion other than what Jesus intended, it seems that in subsequent verses of this chapter, he even tried to clarify himself, saying that he was God’s son and was imitating what he had observed from his father, with a similar statement at John 8:28, “I do nothing of my own initiative.”

      The problem with this understanding is that the writer of the Gospel doesn’t say ‘the Jews’ thought or said. He comments himself on what occurred, saying that the Jewish authorities wanted to kill Jesus all the more “…because not only was he breaking the Sabbath but he was also calling God his own Father, making himself equal to God” (NWT).

      The writer of the Gospel tells us what Jesus claimed—i.e. he was equal with God.

      John 14:9 “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” would this scripture not be similar to the colloquialism “if you have seen one, you have seen them all”?

      I may be missing something here, but haven’t you answered your own question? “If you have seen one (God), you have seen them all.” If you have seen me—you have seen the Father (cp. Hebrews 1:3).

      Phil 2:6: couldn’t “God’s form” mean that they were both spirit creatures? And depending on the bias of your translation, doesn’t it indicate that he never tried to take equality to God?

      I don’t believe that would be an accurate statement. Certainly God is Spirit, and so was Jesus before he became man, but all angels are spirits. Yet, no angel is said to be in God’s form. I see it this way, Jesus is the Light who came into the world (John 1:9), therefore, he is the ‘Light’ dwelling in ‘LIGHT’ that no man is able to approach or see (1Timothy 6:16).

      Concerning ‘equality with God’, of course translations are different and depending upon the **bias** of this or that one, we would get one answer or anther—often in disagreement. However, the correct answer to this question seems to be found above in John 5:18, namely, “…because not only was he breaking the Sabbath but he was also calling God his own Father, making himself equal to God” (NWT). In other words, the writer of the fourth Gospel states outright that Jesus claimed to be equal with God.

      Mark 10:18: doesn’t this indicate that Jesus did not claim equality with God?

      “Jesus said to him: “Why do you call me good? Nobody is good, except one, God” (Mark 10:18 NWT).
      I don’t agree with your conclusion. I see Jesus reminding the rich young ruler of the import of his words. Jesus is certainly not claiming to be evil, nor is he implying he is not **good**. He simply points out what the rich young ruler has said, implying that he (the young man) was speaking but not thinking about the significance of his words.

      What happened to the trinity when Jesus was on earth?

      My concern over the word ‘Trinity’ is expressed above, but Father, Son and Holy Spirit existed there in and through Jesus. Let me put it in human pictures—we are his image. I ‘created’ my daughters through my wife. She received the **plan** from me and brought my ‘plan’ or ‘will’ to pass. I couldn’t do it without her and she couldn’t do it without me—we are **one** and ‘created’ our family according to our will and our power. My wife is not me, but she is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh—just as **human** as I am—we are the same essence. I am not anything she is not, and she is not anything I am not. What I am, she is and visa versa. While I don’t wish to imply that God is male and/or female, his creation of male and female is the only **image** he made of himself. Jesus (God) became man (John 1:14) in order to carry out the plan of the Father. He brought God’s will to pass, because that is what he does. The Father originates, and the Son brings it to pass.

      The Holy Spirit is more difficult to express, probably because **He** speaks of Jesus, but not of himself. Nevertheless, we are given a few clues in the Gospel of John. Notice:

      (John 14:16 KJV) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;

      (John 14:26 KJV) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

      (John 15:26 KJV) But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

      (John 16:7 KJV) Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

      The Holy Spirit seems to be sent by both the Father and the Son—not the Father alone, nor the Son alone, but by both. It is through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that the Father and the Son dwell within us. It is not the Father only who dwells within us, but also the Son. Together, their **one** Spirit dwells within us. This Spirit is alive, and communicates the heart and will of God to us, guides us, gives us peace, comforts us and empowers us to bring the will of God to pass.

      What did Jesus ever grant, or give, to God?

      If your question is “contribute” to God (the Father), Jesus brought the Father’s will to pass—fleshed it out—brought it from where the Father is to where we are.

      When did Jesus, or anyone, pray to the Holy Spirit?

      Jesus never did. If we pray to God it is through the Holy Spirit. God hears us by means of his Spirit that dwells within us.

      When did God pray to Jesus, or ask him what his will was?

      The will of God is the will of God. Jesus’ will is to bring that will to pass. He has no separate will from the Father. They are ONE. Later you ask about Jesus’ human will. I’ll reply to that below.

      What did the Holy Spirit ever say?

      Any communication God has with you or me—wonderful ideas or new light as we read his word etc.—is the communication of God’s Holy Spirit who dwells within us.

      Why is it not possible that the Holy Spirit is not the name God gives the power he uses to accomplish his will?

      The Spirit of God is powerful, but God’s Spirit also loves, God’s Spirit mourns over us when we do wrong and teaches us and guides us to do what is good. He also **lives** or dwells within us, and by the **ONE** Spirit of God we are united together in Christ.

      Why would Jesus not have known when the end would come, stating that only the Father knew? – if you could expound further on this point I would appreciate it, your reasoning is not clear to me.

      Are you referring to the blog-post above? If not, perhaps you could refer me to the blog-post I wasn’t clear in what I claimed.

      When the Word became flesh (John 1:14), ‘God in the flesh’ limited himself to the **form** he had taken upon himself (Philippians 2:6-7). While the Father knew everything, Jesus had to learn in the same way all humans learn (Luke 2:52). When the Scriptures say that he ‘emptied’ himself in order to take upon himself the form of a servant (man) in Philippians 2:7, that is exactly what he did. Jesus could be in only one place at once, but the Father was everywhere at once. But God, can be as large or as small as he needs to be to carry out his will, and this is expressed in the Word becoming flesh.

      Are Jesus and Micheal not the same person – an Angel?

      No. Jesus is Michael the ARCHangel, i.e. the Leader of all the angels. He is also the Leader of humanity and might be expressed as the ARCHman.

      Why would Satan have tried to tempt God?

      The ‘enemy’, while bright, was not as bright as he thought. Men have ‘tempted’ God, and God showed them his wrath. God cannot be enticed to do evil, but this doesn’t say his created beings won’t try to bribe him, tempt him or otherwise get him to do as they wish.

      How could God be the mediator between us and God? – 1 Ti 2:5

      Are you implying God **cannot** be a mediator between us and God? What’s the alternative—a **man** being a mediator between man and God? How could that be? However, if God **became** man, he would have a special interest in both the Godhead and humanity. He could be considered by both to be a fair Judge. We—humanity—are in a state of rebellion. Job cried out for someone to stand between him (humanity) and God. Jesus is the Answer.

      How could “God the Father” and “God the Son” have two different wills? – Luke 22:42

      I presume you believe the **wills** have to do with Jesus going to the cross. I have three blog-posts about Jesus in Gethsemane. If you wish to read them, see HERE, HERE and HERE. Most people believe Jesus is asking God to remove the cross from him. This is an impossible presumption on the text for many reasons. Anyway, as I see it, what occurred in Luke 22 cannot be understood properly without putting it in context of what Luke and the other Gospel narratives say what occurred immediately before and after Gethsemane. For over a year, and especially during the meal, Jesus had told the disciples that he would be crucified. Does it make sense to you that all of a sudden Jesus had cold feet? Only hours earlier, Jesus was singing a hymn to God with the disciples, and less than an hour after the hymn he told his disciples his soul was sorrowful, to the point of death. What occurred in such a short time? A few months earlier, Jesus, speaking with the Father, said you **always** hear my prayers. Does the Father not answer this prayer of Jesus in Gethsemane? Jesus claimed he always did the will of God, so is Jesus saying now that he doesn’t really want to do God’s will, but if he must, he’ll do it? Do these questions make sense to you, knowing what the Gospels claim about Jesus? Is Jesus really asking about the cross or have we misunderstood?

      According to my understanding (as expressed in my blog-post mentioned above), Jesus began to bear our sins sometime between the Upper Room and Gethsemane. According to Isaiah 59:2 our sins have separated us from God and have hidden his face from us. If Jesus bore this penalty for us, he was no longer in close fellowship with God—i.e. it wasn’t apparent to him. God was there, but Jesus could no longer sense him, as he had always been able to do before. He was praying for the Father to break through this gulf that seemed to be between them. He kept going to Peter, James and John to receive an answer from the Father through them, but they slept. God finally answered Jesus’ prayer through the angel. God broke through, just as Jesus prayed he would do. Jesus wanted the Father’s fellowship, and has always been the Father’s will to communicate with Jesus and with us (but we often don’t seek it). If you have a ‘red letter’ Bible, look at the red immediately before Gethsemane and afterward. Jesus hardly says a word after Gethsemane. He was not conscious of the Father’s fellowship, but placed himself in the Father’s hands and permitted circumstance to take place, and so was crucified.

      I am sure that I will have more to ask and say as I delve further into my own beliefs and respond to your answers. I asked many of these questions and proffered these points to my friend and she then cut off all communication with me, without answering any of them. I know I need to do further research of my own, but you seem to be a knowledgeable, reasonable, and balanced source. I hope that I might find here the insight needed to, if nothing more, re-establish communication with my friend.

      Don’t be too hard on your friend. She may have been advised by others to break off communication with you. At this point in her quest for the knowledge of God, she doesn’t want to face questions she cannot answer. I don’t know how long she had been a Jehovah’s Witness, but it was probably long enough to know and embrace your theology as her own. Now she has seen something she cannot deny, but wants to be comfortable in that knowledge before she would be open to the experience of seeing it challenged. Just a thought.

      Lord bless you, Daniel.

      Eddie

       
      • Daniel

        November 17, 2012 at 20:33

        Thank you for your reply, I sincerely appreciate your patience and diligence. I can’t say exactly how all of the rest of my fellow Witnesses who have come into contact with you may feel, but this is how I feel: the pursuit of knowledge about both Jesus and God is essential to true worship (John 17:3), as is the love of God and our neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40; Matthew 5:43-48). I don’t know you well yet, but from what I have read of your posts these things as well as the council found at Micah 6:8 seem to be important to you as well. Also while you do seem confident in your beliefs, I have noted that you are willing to adapt as you continue to learn and expand your understanding (Acts 17:11).

        I apologize if my use of the term “Trinity” offends you. I obviously did not, and still may not, understand the “One God” concept you relate in your posts. The Trinity, as it is related to us, is that Jesus, God(Jehovah), and the Holy Spirit are all omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, and eternal. We are also taught that the Trinity doctrine concludes that they are one and the same being.

        Do I correctly understand then that you believe the Godhead is a council of equal co-rulers who, when they are all in the same place and in spirit form become one being, possibly with different aspects or facets?

        I agree that God’s knowledge and wisdom is far superior to our own and there are undoubtedly things about him that we do not understand. (Romans 11:34; Isaiah 55:8-9)

        You say that “The writer of the Gospel tells us what Jesus claimed—i.e. he was equal with God.”, Would you say then that John also believed that Jesus had broken the Sabbath? And if so, how would Matthew 5:17,18 (note also Galatians 4:4) be fulfilled? Also, at 1 John 4: 12 the same writer says neither he, nor anyone else, has seen God. He also records Jesus’ words that the Father is greater than he is at John 14:28

        You directed me to Hebrews 1:3 when I asked about the phrase “If you have seen one, you have seen them all” in relation to John 14:9. That scripture speaks of Jesus as being a reflection, image, representative, or likeness of his Father. These are terms used to describe very similar things or beings . Nor is the representative of a class and the entire class the same thing, for instance seeing one horse would give you a good idea of what all horses look and act like, but it would not be all horses. There are variations in temperament, size, color, etc.

        When I wrote about bias of translations, you should know that I feel all translations, inclusive of the New World Translation, reflect the bias of their translators, not due to any intentional misdirection, but the necessity of processing the thoughts and grammar structure of one language into the thoughts of another, as well as the conscientious selection of which source manuscripts they feel are accurate and valid enough to be used in their work.

        When Jesus tells the ruler questioning him at Mark 10:18 that only one is good, he IS reminding him that he is using a title. One that most religious leaders of the time undoubtedly reveled in. Possibly he was reminding him that he should think about his words and that an attempt to flatter him was unseemly, but he didn’t say that he was right to apply that title to him either, with or without the implied flattery.

        I think I will leave it at that for now, it has taken far longer than I intended for me to post this reply already, and I really want to understand more about what you believe than to continue to tell you what I believe.

         
        • Ed Bromfield

          November 18, 2012 at 12:46

          Hi Daniel, I’m glad you returned, and I appreciate your desire you have in your comment not to offend me, but don’t worry about offending me with comments or questions. I have thicker skin than you probably think. :-)

          Concerning how Witnesses may see me, it is more important that I see you all as brethren in Christ than how anyone feels about me. I understand that many people, whether a Witness or not, would not consider me a Christian. I used to judge others according to labels, but I try very hard now to just receive people as they say they are. If you claim Christ as your Savior, I believe you, until you tell me otherwise. I don’t judge people by the doctrines they hold as true. I believe Jesus is the only one through whom anyone is saved, and saving is in his hands, not mine. I try to put myself in the place of loving others as I love myself. That is difficult enough for me at this point, and neither am I perfect at this, but I’m better than I used to be; so, I’m growing in Christ, and that’s a good thing. :-)

          I agree we should seek knowledge, but love is more important, because we are able to know only in part at this time. Our knowledge of God is not perfect, but I agree we should seek to know him as perfectly as possible.

          Concerning the Trinity, there’s no need to apologize about anything. I use the term but try to qualify it when possible. The problem is, if I believe Jesus is God, it is really difficult for people to understand that today, unless I at least compare it to what we call the Trinity. I was upfront with you right away, because you wanted some definitions and explanations of how I view God. In some of my blogs that concern why I believe Jesus is God, I do explain that I am not a true Trinitarian. I have also made it as clear as I can under the “What I Believe” tab.

          As best as I can explain what I believe about God is this. God is LARGE. He is so LARGE I don’t know where he put the universe. He created space but where did he put the space if nothing existed before creation but God? Questions like this are beyond my comprehension. Nevertheless, he did create space and placed all of what he made into what we call ‘space’. How does a Being so LARGE fit inside the space he created that is too small to receive him? What I see occurring is played out in the only image God made of himself—mankind. He created Adam—male and female—and brought Eve out of the man. Adam said the woman was flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone. The Word is Spirit of the Father’s Spirit and Light of his Light. He is who the Father is—God, just as the woman is who man is—human, and through the One whom he drew from himself, God created all that is (John 1:3), and by means of this One God interacts with his creation.

          God can be as LARGE as he needs to be or as small as he must be to do the things he wants to do. I believe you, as a Witness, say the One who became Jesus was the first ‘created’ thing (Proverbs 8). While I think Proverbs 8 is a neat pictorial, it doesn’t tell the whole truth. Jesus says he came out from God, and the Gospel of John says he dwells in the bosom of the Father, and Paul tells us Jesus is the only Immortal Potentate dwelling in the Light (God) whom no man can approach. While I don’t label God as a sexual Being, the male and female of mankind are his image (singular). The woman brings forth all of humanity according to the plan (DNA) of her husband. In the same manner, the One who became Jesus brought forth all of creation according to the plan of the Father (Colossians 1:16; John 1:3). Neither operated without the other, and neither was before the other. At least there is nothing in the word of God that would show one is before the other, Proverbs 8 notwithstanding. The Holy Spirit, as much as I can tell is the living Spirit within us who is the combined Spirits of the Father and the Son. He is sent not by the Father only, but also by the Son. At times he is called the Spirit of Christ, and at times he is called the Spirit of God. I’m not a rocket scientist, but neither am I an idiot. If the whole universe is too small to receive God, how could he ever dwell in me or you? He does so by his Spirit. If by his Spirit he ‘dwells’ in us, then his Spirit is a living Spirit, not simply his ‘power’ and his Spirit can be grieved (as the Scriptures say), so the Spirit of God has qualities one would expect a living being to have.

          Concerning God as a council of equal co-rulers… God is what he is. I don’t try to define him. This is how the ‘Trinity’ came into being. I worship God, who happens to reveal himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and at times all three appear in some manner in the same place in the Bible, so it is not simply three modes of his existence; he exists as Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the same place at the same time. If God reveals himself as ONE, but also expresses himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I am bound to agree with his word. I may not be able to fully comprehend such a thing, but that’s okay; he is God and I am not. :-)

          Concerning John 5 and Jesus breaking the Sabbath, yes the Gospel writer claims Jesus broke the Sabbath. This wasn’t just an opinion of Jesus’ enemies, the Gospel writer says Jesus broke the Sabbath. The problem is Jesus tells us in another Gospel that the Levites break the Sabbath and are blameless. It’s a lot of work to slaughter a beast for sacrifice upon the altar of God, and the priests had to do this on the Sabbath, but were blameless. Jesus said that he was doing the work of God in doing what he did, so whether or not it breaks the Sabbath by healing a man, he is blameless in doing the work of God.

          Concerning Matthew 5:17-18, are you saying that Jesus did not fulfill the Law and the Prophets? The Law stands only as long as it is not fulfilled. Once it is fulfilled, the Law is no longer the mediator between man and God—Jesus is. Is Jesus our Mediator? If so, there is nothing else between us and God.

          Concerning 1John 4:12, how do you explain that in the light of 1Timothy 6:16? No man can see God in his glory and live to tell about it. We get to see him in the only way possible (John 1:18; cp. verse-14). Tell me this, without telling me anything about Jesus, what he is like, what he said or what he did, tell me what you know about God. Remember, now, Jesus is also the One who spoke with Moses. If you didn’t know Jesus, or the One he had been before he became flesh, what could you tell me about God? I wouldn’t know sin but by the Law, and I don’t know God but by Jesus.

          Concerning John 14:28, of course the Father is greater that Jesus. Jesus became flesh. He had been equal with God according to Philippians 2—in God’s form, which I presume to be LIGHT, but he took upon himself the form of a servant, becoming man or flesh. Of course God is greater than flesh. Jesus said the works he did were done by the Father through Jesus. A man, and that is what the Scriptures say Jesus became (John 1:14), cannot do the things Jesus did unless the power of God was working through him. Let’s compare apples with apples. Adam said the woman was the same as he was—equal, bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, and this is the ONLY image God gives us for himself. Jesus said he came out from the Father (like the woman taken out of the man), exactly what would you expect to come ‘out’ of God?

          Concerning Hebrews 1:3 in the light of John 14:9, perhaps my statement was a bit crass. What I had in mind is that Jesus is the very image of God in human form. Jesus told Philip that if Philip saw Jesus—really considered him—then he would see the Father. That is a really arrogant statement, unless it is the real deal. If Jesus is not God, then he is bringing God down to the level of man.

          Concerning differing translations, I would pretty much agree with your statement. :-)

          Concerning Mark 10:18 and calling Jesus Good, I would disagree with you here. Jesus accepted every true statement made about him and didn’t shy away as though he had to be modest. If he was called Lord, he accepted it (John 13:13) etc. The rich young ruler said what he said without really considering his own words. Jesus called his attention to that point. That is what I see there. Jesus wasn’t afraid to call a spade a spade. When others with insincere hearts tried to flatter him, he called them hypocrites. He didn’t do that with this man. In one of the Gospel accounts of him, it says Jesus ‘loved’ him. Jesus had a special regard for this man, unlike what we see going on between him and many of the scribes and Pharisees.

          Well, Daniel, I wish to thank you again for another good discussion. I really enjoy speaking of God and his word with folks like you who love God and his word. We may not agree on everything, but we have this in common—we love God and his word. I think that says a lot about the two of us, and from my point of view, it shows we are brothers in Christ. I don’t mean for that to cause you any discomfort in your spirit, or to flatter you or to undermine what you believe. I am just comfortable discussing God’s word with you and allowing God to work out everything for both our good. Who knows—maybe something will come up that will allow you to reestablish a friendly ground between you and your friend. That would please me, if God worked that out for you. :-)

          Lord bless you, Daniel,

          Eddie

           
  3. David

    January 11, 2012 at 13:54

    Maybe I’m not being very clear on this subject. I’m not trying to sound like Jesus is less than God because he is the son of the Almighty, so he has to hold the next highest rank next to God’s own obviously. What I am trying to say is, he is not one in the same person. Jesus has his own thoughts, opinions, and individuality. All those things does not make him any less than Father God (Jehovah or Yahweh), but the Father does have authority over His son Jesus. God gave all His authority & power to Jesus to use because that’s what loving Fathers do for their sons, but that doesn’t make him the One and only God Himself. God had to create His own son to be able to have a son to begin with. Jesus was created 1st before anything else. Jesus himself said “I am the alpha & omega, the beginning and the end.” That statement alone proves Jesus is not God himself because God Himself has no beginning or end because He always was and always will be. John 14: 9-14 is evidence that God the Father dwells within His son & Jesus dwells within his Father, but everything Jesus did, he did under his Father’s authority and will as stated in John 14: 9-14 (NIV)
    9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. This scripture clearly shows that God & Jesus do have their own individuality by Jesus’ statement that he does not speak under his own authority, but rather it is the Father. Obviously though by this scripture, they are sharing the same purpose by dwelling within each other spiritually, but not dwelling within each other physically. Like I said before, by our human reasoning & understanding, it only makes sense that they are two separate entities that are working as one. Being as ignorant as we are about God or what God is though, that would be putting limitations on God saying He can’t be this or can’t be that and we both know that God is limitless well beyond our knowledge and reasoning. Thank you for your responses and insight on this subject. I can’t honestly say I agree with all of it, but it did make me see some things in a different perspective meaning I didn’t disagree with all of it either. I suppose that’s a good thing because we as Christians are here for each other in growing in our faith. We just don’t always see eye to eye on the complexities of our faith, but hey that’s part of why we have to continue seeking the truth together so one day we will. God Bless you and your family Eddie and I really enjoy the blog you have. I’ll have to read other topics and respond to some if I have any thoughts or comments on them. Thanks again,

    David

     
    • Ed Bromfield

      January 11, 2012 at 18:42

      Greetings David, and thank you for you kind regards toward me and my family. I appreciate it, perhaps more than you know. Obviously, we could continue in our discussion, but you seem to have implied that this was your final post to this subject. I try to permit those who discuss with me to have the final word, and usually this will take place by my merely not responding to their final posting. However, ours seems to have been an especially friendly “debate”, so I couldn’t let it stand without my own wishing you God’s blessings for you and your family as well. So, be blessed, my friend, with all the blessings of God—both you and yours.

      Eddie

       
      • David

        January 11, 2012 at 20:52

        Thank you Eddie, I claim every Blessing I can get. I’m only 40, but there is plenty of years to learn more about the Lord. Actually I wouldn’t say this to be my final post on the subject because I always like to research a little more before I make attempts to leave a somewhat intelligent comment. I’ll always try to make each “debate” I have a friendly one. I’m not one who likes to have arguments lingering around or bad feelings about another fellow Christian. Finding ways to compromise has always been a little motto of mine. I honestly believe God doesn’t really want us to argue about who or what He is because the truth is we’ll never really know until we actually get to meet Him. I am truly looking forward to that day because I have so many questions I would like to ask…..someday at least after trying to live this life here the way He wants me to and doing what He has called me to do. I’m still praying and trying to figure out exactly what calling He has for me, but I suppose I’m not the only Christian seeking that answer. Thank you again Eddie & more Blessings to you & family.

         
  4. David

    January 10, 2012 at 10:43

    Jesus only said in John 5:17 that his Father was at His work to this day & I too am working. He didn’t say he was equal to God, only that he was at work too, possibly meaning just doing his Father’s will, in John 5:18 it was the Jews who accused him of making himself equal with God, not Jesus. In John 10:30, that could be interpreted like a husband and wife are one meaning they both share the same purpose or goal not that they are the same person in body. I’m not trying to say Jesus is not divine or a deity because he is, but he is not God Almighty the Father. Hypothetically speaking, if God the Father was ever to retire, which He won’t of course, then yes Jesus would inherit his Father’s thrown and then be the Almighty himself because what is his Father’s in essence is his too. Jesus is only a representation of what God is and what He can do, but he himself is not God Almighty, he is the son of the Almighty. Jesus himself says that he only does what he sees his Father doing in John 5:19. How can he only do what he sees himself doing? It doesn’t make sense that he & his Father are the same person, if so then you’re saying that God has multiple personalities? I don’t think so, I honestly believe that the scriptures have been revised and re-translated so many times that it confuses those who read them now and I don’t believe God meant for the Bible to confuse us the way it does. Satan knows and understands the Bible far more than any human does & I wouldn’t doubt that he had a hand in helping modern day people revise the translations in order to confuse us. He is the deceiver you know. That’s a different subject anyway. I believe Jesus to be my Lord and Savior, but I don’t believe him to be the Almighty Himself. I understand as a Christian that I do have to bow down to Jesus because Jesus did say in John 14:6 I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Again, if he was God Himself, then wouldn’t he have said “No one comes to me except through me?” Doesn’t make sense. Jesus does reference God as our Father too when he teaches us how to pray in John 6: 5-15 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven,
    hallowed be your name, your kingdom come,your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
    Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one’ For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. There is only one God, Jesus himself said so in John 17: 1-5 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. Again, if he is God Himself, why would he have prayed like this? Doesn’t make sense again. I don’t deny that Jesus was with his Father at the beginning of time, but I still don’t believe that they are the same person in one body just because there are too many scriptures that proves they’re not and not enough to prove they are. I understand that we as man will never understand the complexity of our Father God and our Lord Jesus Christ, but I do believe that the Holy Spirit is our guide to the truth of what the Bible says and so far the truth that’s been revealed to me is that God the Father comes 1st, Jesus comes 2nd, Holy Spirit comes 3rd, and dragging in the rear comes us. I know the only way to see the Father is to go through Jesus & I need the Holy Spirit to get me there. I may not be the smartest guy out there, but this is how I’m comprehending these recent translations of the Holy scriptures and that most of these assumptions about the trinity are man made assumptions and I’m not buying into it. The truth will be revealed when Jesus returns to reclaim the Kingdom for his Father until then I’ll try to understand the best I can of the written Word we have available to us & trust the Holy Spirit to show me what’s actually true of the Bible & what might have been misinterpreted if any. Anyway, I appreciate your input on the subject & I know this is a very complex subject that can be argued until then end of time & beyond. It is interesting to get other people’s perspectives of how they interpret the Bible, but it boils down to what the Holy Spirit reveals to each one of us as the truth and if we choose to believe it. I do believe that God wants us to question everything because it helps us grow as Christians and in our faith in Him. He knows our hearts and He knows we’re ignorant in a lot of ways, but even if our intelligence and reason is millions of times sub par to His, He still loves us and wants us to constantly seek the Kingdom and Him and eventually the truth will be revealed to us. God Bless and I apologize the response was so long.

     
    • Ed Bromfield

      January 11, 2012 at 08:58

      Greetings David; it was good to find you have responded.

      Concerning John 5:17-18, actually you need to read the passage again. The Jews wanted to kill Jesus and the Apostle John says the reason why they wished to kill Jesus was that he—i.e. Jesus—made himself equal with God and broke the Sabbath. It wasn’t simply because the Jewish authorities **thought** Jesus made himself equal with God, but John, the Apostle interprets the statement of Jesus to be admitting equality with God.

      Concerning John 5:19, Jesus does what he sees the Father doing, because he can. Can you or I do the same? No, we cannot. We cannot make the blind see, the paralytic walk or the deaf hear etc. Jesus does these things because he can—he is God. He and the Father act as One. The Father commands and Jesus brings it to pass, just as in Genesis 1 for creation. All things were created **through** the One who became Jesus, as John 1:3 and Colossians 1:16 tell us. As far as **Almighty** is concerned, there is no power of God that was expressed without going through and expressed by the One who became Jesus. No one can show in the Scriptures where the Father has more power than the One who became Jesus, because all power is expressed **through** him.

      Concerning what you honestly believe about the Scriptures being translated, unless you have the original transcripts in your hand and can read them in ancient Hebrew and Greek, your statement is pure conjecture. Either the Scriptures are confusing or they are not. Either the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth by them or he will not. You need to come to some sort of firm conclusion about these things. I have, and I don’t believe what you have written here. Any bias a translator may have is found out through comparison of a number of other translations. All translators do not have the same biases, so truth can be discovered. Moreover, I trust the translators even in expressing biases, did so honestly, and therefore accidentally, if those biases prove untruthful.

      Concerning your belief in Jesus as your Lord and Savior and who is Almighty, I have no reason to suspect you haven’t received Jesus as Lord and Savior. I trust you are sincere and truthful in claiming to be one of his. That said, I don’t see your reasoning is sound that Jesus is **not** Almighty. If all the power that we could ever conceive as being expressed has come **through** the One who became Jesus (John 1:3), then how can you say he is not Almighty? Can you conceive of any power that was ever expressed that has not come **through** the One who became Jesus? As for John 14:6, you are being too simplistic. For example, John 1:1 says not only was the Word **with** God (meaning the Father) but he was God (same essence as the Father). This same Word who is God (John 1:1) became man or flesh (John 1:14). Thus the WAY was made between God and his creation. The same WAY to creation (John 1:3; Genesis 1) is the WAY to the Father or God. That is, all that can be understood of God is understood by coming to know Jesus (John 14:9; 17:3). If we want to come to know **God** is it done by knowing Jesus. He is the WAY—and the TRUTH—and the LIFE (cp. 1John 1:2).

      Concerning John 6:6-15, I think you are referring to Matthew 6:6-15. There Jesus is not speaking with the disciples about the Father, but is teaching the Apostles how to pray. The **our** would include men and women at prayer. It would not include Jesus among the men and women praying. Later he told us to pray in his name. This would preclude his being included in the **our** address to the Father.

      Concerning John 17:1-5, again I believe you are being too simplistic. First, you presume that God must be a singularity, then you interpret the meaning of John 17:1-5. If we let Jesus’ words speak for themselves, what would we find? First, Jesus asks the Father to **glorify** him, – i.e. Jesus (v.1), with the glory he had from the beginning (v.5). Could we ever ask God to glorify us with himself? Jesus is saying he had the Father’s glory—God’s glory—from the beginning. God refuses to share his glory with any man (Isaiah 42:8; 48:11), but Jesus shared in the glory of the Father from the beginning. If he shares in the glory of God, how can he not be God?

      Concerning Jesus and the Father not being the same person, neither do I claim they are the same person. They are the same Spirit—the same God—but not the same person. How this is understood is found in Genesis 2:23-24. The man and the woman (together) are the image of God. Just as the man and woman were ONE flesh (one humankind), so too (because they are the **image** of God) the One who became Jesus and the Father are ONE Spirit (one God-kind).

      Concerning Jesus being the only way to see God, if you know this to be true—and you admit that you do—then how can Jesus not be God, since God will not have strange gods before him. Hebrews 1:3 tells us that Jesus is the express image of God, and Jesus tells us to see him is to see the Father (God) in John 14:9. It seems to me this would be the height of arrogance for anyone to say unless he was truly God.

      I agree that this is a very complex doctrine and it can be argued back and forth for a long time, but I think it is a subject that needs discussion. We owe it to the Lord to take an interest in this issue. I have found the Holy Spirit very active during discussions such as this—at least from my own point of view. I have had to change my perception on several occasions, because I found my understanding wasn’t quite in line with the Scriptures. In my own case, I had to completely separate myself from the training wheels of man’s opinion and trust the leading of the Holy Spirit in the word of God. I cannot speak for others, but I have grown in the knowledge of Christ and of our Father through my willingness to discuss my perception of God with those willing to accommodate. As you have said above, it is a heart matter that God is interested in, not perfect knowledge. Paul tells us in 1Corinthians 13:9-12 that we know only in part at this time. Later we shall know in perfection. Until that day, I shall struggle in all my strength of will, mind and heart with the Holy Spirit, reaching out to know God/Christ (Philippians 3:10, 13), while laying aside all that I had once held dear in my understanding of him. I’ll let him make me new in as much as it pleases him.

      Lord bless you and have a good day,

      Eddie

      P.S. don’t concern yourself with the long posting. I wasn’t at all bothered by it.

       
  5. David

    January 9, 2012 at 11:25

    Jesus himself never claimed to be God, he always referenced everything back to his Father (God). For instance John 20:17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” He clearly points out that he is not God Himself in this scripture. I think the interpretations of the original scriptures may be a little off in a few areas or we are not seeing the true meaning of what is interpreted. It just takes a little common sense to see that Jesus is not God Himself, but his role is definitely very important to all Christians & is not lessened in any way not being God Himself. He is the son of God, but not God. Another example that Jesus is not God Himself. Matthew 24:36 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. If Jesus was God Himself, don’t you think he would know when he is coming back to us? Come on, a little common sense should be used here. I am a Christian to the end, but I don not agree with the teachings of “the trinity” I believe that all three exist, but they are all three separate, but share the same purpose, but not the same body. Have a Blessed day.

     
    • Ed Bromfield

      January 10, 2012 at 01:20

      Hi, David, and thank you for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. I always enjoy reading what others have to say about the subjects that interest me.

      Concerning Jesus **never** claiming to be God, have you ever considered John 5:17-18? There John comes right out and says that Jesus’ claims made himself equal with God—meaning the Father. If he was equal in essence with the Father, how can he not be God? On another occasion Jesus said that both he and the Father were one (John 10:30). The Jewish authorities understood this to be a claim to deity and they tried to stone him. There are others, but have you considered these Scriptures?

      Concerning John 20:17, right away a flag should go up when someone reads this Scripture. First of all Jesus is differentiating between us and himself as far as our relationship with the Father is concerned. He is our God, but not in the same way in which he is to Jesus. When speaking with the disciples Jesus never refers to the Father as our Father. It is either THE Father or **my** Father and **your** Father, and in the same way it is **my** God and **your** God. The Father himself calls Jesus God in Hebrews 1:8 (cp. Psalm 45:6-7). There is nothing in John 20:17 that would cause me to see Jesus as someone less that God, any more than I consider myself less human because my own father had more authority than me when I was growing up, and even later he deserved and received the greater respect from me—but I am his equal as far as being a human being is concerned. The difference was one of authority, not essence.

      Concerning Matthew 24:36, that’s a no-brainer! When Jesus became human, he couldn’t possibly retain equal power with the Father. Before he became human the Scriptures say he was equal not only in essence but in power with the Father (Philippians 2:6), but this equality he left behind when he exchanged the form (body) of God with the form (body) of man (Philippians 2:7). As a human he had to grow in knowledge (Luke 2:52), but the same Person who existed in the form (body) of God before his human birth was the very same Person living in the human body on this earth (cp. John 1:1, 14).

      Concerning the Trinity, I agree the word is not in the Bible and it probably doesn’t describe God accurately. However, that merely means that man cannot come close to understanding the complexity and greatness of God. Consider for a moment Isaiah 6:1-5. Who did Isaiah see? Didn’t he see God? He claims to have seen YHWH in Isaiah 6:5, yet in John 12:37 the Apostle is speaking of Jesus and says the prophet saw Jesus’ glory (John 12:41). Not only so, but Paul tells us in Acts 28:25-27 that the Holy Spirit spoke to the prophet saying go to the people, but they won’t believe. Paul refers to the very same incident that John refers to in John 12, but instead of saying it referred to Jesus, he speaks of the Holy Spirit. God is not so simply defined by man as singularity, and when we try to define him as a Trinity we completely impersonalize him. The Scriptures give us an image of God in Genesis, but we try to make the image a single person, but the word of God says that God created man—male and female (together) in the image of God. If the image of God is a plurality, how can we describe God as a singularity?

      Have to go now, and tomorrow I will be away. Any reply you make to this, I may not be able to return until Wednesday.

      Lord bless you, and thank you again for sharing your thoughts.

      Eddie

       

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