Friday, December 4, 2009

Who Do You Say I Am?

We are home from our 10 year anniversary celebration in Playa Car, Mexico. We had a blast. One way we were able to join our friends Jeanna and Justin of 11+ years was because my wife found a great deal for a few days if you're willing to sit through a "90 minute" presentation.

If you've sat through a time share pitch or something similar you're familiar with the approach. Great location. Great opportunity. Great deal. Great pressure in the final few minutes.

Ours was a good experience from a man who professed to be a born again Christian of 8 years. He had two couples who were Jehovah's Witnesses buy the plan the day before. I noticed he had a book in his pocket and he later pulled it out to show us "What the Bible Really Says." A gift from the couple he thought were Christians.

Walking past the tanning aged on the way to slurp lemonade with the closers he asked, "okay...you guys are pastors. What's the difference between what these guys believe and others?" He showed the book that was given as a gift.

I said the biggest difference is their understanding of who Jesus is. For Jehovah's Witnesses, Jesus--for all his exalted status as the "firstborn" is still a created being. He is not one with the Father. To legitimize this belief they have their own false translation where the "word was a god" rather than what the Greek clearly says (John 1:1). This is what separates them from being Christians.

Justin replied, "it comes down to what Jesus asked, 'who do you say that I am (Matt. 16:15)?'"

16 comments:

  1. Many who take issue with Jehovah's Witnesses' "New World Translation" of 'theos' in John 1:1c (as, "a god") often miss the point that the structure of this clause is 'a singular anarthrous predicate noun (meaning, without the Greek definite article), but one which is also *preceding the verb and subject noun (implied or stated)*' - that is, not just that use of the noun 'theos' in the third clause is lacking the Greek definite article. (In the Greek language of this period, there was no such thing as an indefinite article; therefore, depending upon the grammar, syntax, immediate and global context of the phrase, when translating to English, the decision on whether to add an indefinite article or not would be made by the translator.)

    Quite interestingly, at other places within the "New Testament" where the syntax (Greek word order) is also the same as that found within John 1:1c, it is not uncommon to read where Bible translators will typically add the English indefinite article, either as an "a" or "an". You may wish to examine the following within your own preferred translation(s) of the Bible, that is, to see whether, within those works, such had actually been done. Here are a few scriptures to look into:

    Mark 6:49
    Mark 11:32
    John 4:19
    John 6:70
    John 8:44a
    John 8:44b
    John 9:17
    John 10:1
    John 10:13
    John 10:33
    John 12:6

    And yet, when we come to John 1:1c, that is, when we encounter that very same Greek grammatical construction, many translators do not follow the same guidelines as they had employed at the above verses. Apparently, this inconsistency is due to their own theologically induced predisposition, that of the centuries old, "Catholic" inspired tradition, the unbiblical belief that God is a Trinity. In other words, they are just being dishonest.

    Obviously, there need be more evidence to substantiate such a rendering as, "and the Word was a god," as well as to address many of the other issues often raised by such wording. This is just a number of the many points we hope to address within our forthcoming work, "What About John 1:1?"

    To discover something of its design and progress, you are invited to visit:

    http://www.goodcompanionbooks.com

    Agape, JohnOneOne.
    john1one@earthlink.net

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  2. WOW

    What a great comment!

    Nothing like FACTS to destroy strongly entrenced things.

    Too bad John OneOne will be ignored, and no one will look up the references.

    Tom.Rook@Technik-SA.US

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  3. Here is something else they won't look up...
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/15551003/Jesus-Is-Not-Jehovah

    ReplyDelete
  4. Guys..

    Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.

    "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was toward/with God, and the Word (nomitive subject) was God (accusative/direct object)."

    None of those verses tear down the clear and plain teaching of the Bible over the nature of Jesus Christ being one with the Father and equal in essence and substance. The very thing He taught. The Son has always existed as the Son. The Father always existed as the Father (John 14:23). But the Son has always reflected the Father in perfect unity (John 10:30).

    The Arian heresy of Jesus being non-eternal and a created being was dealt with in 325 at the Council of Nicea.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea

    http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Biographies/1532_Contending_for_Our_All/

    Thanks for stopping by. I respect you for commenting.

    ReplyDelete
  5. With respect to Jesus' use of "one" at John 10:30, the following might offer some clarity.

    "[John 10:] 30. I and my Father are one. He [Jesus] intended to meet the jeers of the wicked; for they might allege that the power of God did not at all belong to him, so that he could promise to his disciples that it would assuredly protect them. He therefore testifies that his affairs are so closely united to those of the Father, that the Father’s assistance will never be withheld from himself and his sheep. The ancients [during the time when the Nicene Creed was being written, 325c.e.] made a wrong use of this passage to prove that Christ is (ὁμοούσιος ) of the same essence with the Father. For Christ does not argue about the unity of substance, but about the agreement which he has with the Father, so that whatever is done by Christ will be confirmed by the power of his Father."

    Taken from: Calvin [Latinized form of Cauvin or Caulvin], John [or, Jean] (b.1509-d.1564). "Commentary on the Gospel According to John by John Calvin; A New Translation, From the Original Latin, by: William Pringle [or, Prindle. (b.?-d.?)]." 2 vols. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1949). BS2615 .C323 /
    a51-1003521.

    It should be important to note that the apostle Paul spoke of a similar ‘oneness’ at 1 Corinthians 3:6, 8a, wherein we read: “I planted, A·pol´los watered, but God kept making [it] grow;…Now he that plants and he that waters are one,…”

    Curiously, this is the exact same word which Jesus used at John 10:30, that is, when describing his relationship with his Father. Furthermore, it is also the very same word Jesus had used in John 17:21, 22 when speaking of the ‘oneness’ he desired to exist between his disciples and himself; and, again, of the same ‘oneness’ he had with his Father, being in unity of thought and purpose.

    Agape, JohnOneOne.

    ReplyDelete
  6. A thousand cheers to the oneness that Christ promises to those who have faith in Him through His Spirit. Moreover, the oneness that believers experience because of the Spirit through faith in the gospel.

    What is troubling is how you contend for this while denying the fundamental teaching of the triune nature of God. No eternal Son--No eternal Spirit.

    ReplyDelete