Sunday, May 7, 2017

John 1:1-15 - The Word Is Not an "It"

I am posting this in response to a video entitled "The Trinity,JW, Pre-Existence belief Heresy- Jesus and the Old Testament."

The speaker in this video repeatedly claims that the Word is not a person, but an "it". I am not a trinitarian, nor am I with Jehovah's Witnesses, nor am I a oneness believer. I do, however, believe that Jesus, as the Son of God, was in existence before he became flesh. I do not beleive that Jesus, before he became flesh, was an "angelic being", but rather that he was a step above the angelic beings.

See my study:
With What Kind of Body Will We Be Raised?
http://bible-hope.blogspot.com/2016/11/body.html
Also my studies at:
http://jesusnotyhwh.blogspot.com/p/posts.html

Regarding the claims that the Word of John 1 is an "it":

He who has the name of "the Word of God" is not an "it." I have no reason to think that the "Word" -- the Logos -- as used in John 1:1-14 is any different than it is used in Revelation 19:13.

The Word who was the light of the world while he was in the world of mankind that God made through the Word was not an "it". I have no reason to think that the Word who is the "light" in John 1:5,9,10 is any different from he who is the light of John 8:12; 9:5.

The Word who lived among his disciples was not an "it". I have no reason think that the Word who lived among his disciples was not a person until he became flesh so as to live among his disciples. -- John 1:14.

The Word whose human glory the disciples saw was not an "it". I have no reason to think that the Word became a person only after he had the sinless glory of a human being, a little lower than the angels. -- John 1:14; 1 Corinthians 15:39-41; Hebrews 2:9; 10:5.

The Word in whom could be seen glory as of the only begotten Son of the Father was not an "it". Again, I have no reason to think that the Word who had a glory when he was with his Father, the only true God, before the world of mankind had been made, was not a person. -- John 1:1,2,14; 17:1,3,5.

The Word of whom John the Baptizer testified, saying, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me, for he was before me,'" was not an "it". Jesus was certainly a person with a glory greater than the terrestrial glory (1 Corinthians 15:39-40) before John the Baptizer was a person. -- John 1:1,2,15; 17:1,3,5.

The Word who came to those whom he gave authority to be Sons of God, Sons of the Most High, was not an "it". (Psalm 8:6; John 1:12; 10:35) Likewise, I have no reason to think that the Word, before he came into the world of mankind, was not also a person.

One may wish to see my study:
http://jesusnotyhwh.blogspot.com/2016/09/john-175.html

The "where" that Jesus was before he became flesh, and to which has now returned, is not compatible with the idea that the Jesus was an "it". -- John 6:62.
One may wish to see my study at:
http://jesusnotyhwh.blogspot.com/2016/10/prehuman01.html

He who could tell of heavenly things because he descended from Heaven was certainly not an "it" either before or after he descended. -- John 3:12,13.
One may wish to see my study at:
http://jesusnotyhwh.blogspot.com/2017/02/john3-13.html

The Word did indeed become flesh, and in doing so, he gave up his former divine, heavenly, celestial glory (John 17:5; 1 Corinthians 15:39-41), that which he "was" before he became flesh, and when he became flesh, he then had a glory that is lower than the angels, a terrestrial glory. -- John 1:1; 1 Corinthians 15:39-41; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Philippians 2:6,7; Hebrews 2:9.
One may wish to see my study at:
http://jesusnotyhwh.blogspot.com/2016/09/john-175.html

DABAR and LOGOS

As far I have been able to determine, no where in the Old Testament does the Hebrew word often transliterated as Dabar (Strong's 1097) refer to someone as a name as the Greek word often transliterated as "LOGOS" is sometimes used in the New Testament. I say "sometimes", because most often in the New Testament, the Greek word transliterated as Logos is NOT referring to anyone as a name, and in such cases one could certainly say that the word is being used as an "it". Such usage does not mean that the word "LOGOS" always means that it can never be used as a name of a person. Quoting a lot of scriptures from the Old Testament in order to claim that "Logos" when used as a name in the New Testament is simply referring to an "it" is meaningless. It should be obvious that in John 1, the word "Logos" is being used to designate a person with the name as given in Revelation 19:13.
One might with to see my related study:
http://jesus-rlbible.com/?p=6367

Firstborn and Begotten

The speaker in the video makes some claims concerning Acts 13:33

Acts 13:33 - God hath in full completed this to us their children, having raised up Jesus, as also in the second Psalm it hath been written, My Son thou art -- I to-day have begotten [Greek transliterated, gennao, Strong's #1080] thee.
 -- Young's Literal.

This refers to the resurrection of Jesus as the firstborn of the dead. The argument presented in the video seems vague concerning this. The argument appears to be that Paul was claiming that this is the only time that Jesus was ever begotten. Does Paul say that Jesus was only begotten "one time"? Paul did not say anything at all to that effect. Such a thought has to be imagined beyond what is written, added to, and read into, what Paul stated. To recognize

I will also say that there are many forms of the Greek word for "begotten/born". Sometimes it refers to the time of conception, and sometimes to the actual birth, or it may carry many other shades of meaning, although all are related in some way to something being brought forth, offspring from such, etc. Strong's gives many different numbers to forms of this word, so I may not have them all:
http://www.studylight.org/lexicons/greek/gwview.cgi?n=1096
http://www.studylight.org/lexicons/greek/gwview.cgi?n=1080
http://www.studylight.org/lexicons/greek/gwview.cgi?n=1081
http://www.studylight.org/lexicons/greek/gwview.cgi?n=1083
http://www.studylight.org/lexicons/greek/gwview.cgi?n=1084
http://www.studylight.org/lexicons/greek/gwview.cgi?n=1085
One can check the usage of these in the links provided, both from the New Testament, the LXX, and other sources. At the bottom of each page are the scriptures where the various forms listed by Strong's number are used and one may look up those scriptures to see how these forms are being used.

Strong's 5088, often transliterated as tikto, is an alternative form for "begotten" which is used in the expression often transliterated as prototokos -- firstborn, as in Colossians 1:15,18) are used of Jesus in Matthew 1:16,20,25; 2:1,2,4; Luke 1:35; 2:1,47,11; 7:12; John 1:14,18; 3:16,18; 18:37; Acts 13:33; Romans 8:29; Hebrews 1:5,6, 1 John 4:9 and probably some others that I may have missed. It is inconceivable to think that in all these instances it is referring to Jesus' resurrection. The use of this form in Colossians 1:18 shows that it is being used in the same sense of "gennao" in Acts 13:33. They are both referring Jesus' begettal when he was raised from the dead.
http://www.studylight.org/lexicons/greek/4416.htmlhttp://www.studylight.org/lexicons/greek/5088.html

In Colossians 1:15, however, Jesus, as firstborn, is not in reference to his being the first to be brought forth from death, but as first to be brought forth as a creature of God. The word "creature" is evidently referring to living creature. Because he is the firstborn creature, God used him to make the other sons of God that are spoken of in Job 38:7, the dominions invisible, in heaven, before the beginning of the creation of the world of mankind, all that is visible and on earth. -- Colossians 1:16.

Thus, Jesus was begotten -- brought forth -- at least three times:

(1) as the firstborn creature. — Colossians 1:15; Proverbs 8:22-25.
(2) of the holy spirit as a human through Mary. — Matthew 1:20*,25; Luke 1:35.
(3) from the dead when raised from the dead. — Psalm 2:7; Acts 13:33; Colossians 1:18; Hebrews 1:5; 5:5.
========
*Many translations render the word for begotten in Matthew 1:20 as "conceived", or by some other word. However, it is the same word used in Acts 13:33.

To recognize that Jesus was begotten before he was raised from the dead does not disagree with what Paul stated as recorded in Acts 13:33; Acts 13:33 does not say that Jesus was begotten only one time.

The Name Jesus

As to the name Jesus: Of course, he who is spoken of as the Word when he was with his God and Father before the world of mankind had been made through him (John 1:1,2,10; 17:1,3,5) did not have the name Jesus (meaning, Jehovah is savior, or savior of Jehovah; that name designates Jesus as the savior sent by Jehovah) until he became flesh and dwelled among men on the earth. (Matthew 1:21) It is only as a man that he could be savior of the world (Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; 1 Timothy 2:5,6); he could not be that savior until he became a man, and, once proven he had himself incorruptible, he could offer to God his humanity as an offering for our sins. Thus, one should not expect to find him addressed as "Jesus/Joshua", etc., in the Old Testament. Nevertheless, since God did not choose to reveal His Son in the times of the Old Testament (Ephesians 3:4,5), there really isn't much reason to expect to see His Son mentioned in the OT, except prophetically.

Regarding Genesis 1:

Job 38:4-7 lets us know that the "sons of God" -- spirit beings -- were already in existence "in the beginning" that is spoken of in Genesis 1:1. This does not mean that these spirit sons of God always existed from eternity past; it does mean that they were brought forth into existence sometime before the "beginning" of Genesis 1:1, Exodus 20:11; 31:17; and John 1:1. Nevertheless, the firstborn of these sons of God is the Son of God (Colossians 1:15); the conclusion is that the firstborn was brought therefore forth before the rest of the sons of God of Job 38:7.

I see nothing in Genesis 1:26,27; 2:5-7 that would mean that God did not create the world of mankind through his Son. It does not have to be stated that God made use of His Son in the creation. There is nothing in those verses that says that Jesus was not there. Indeed, Genesis 1:26 shows God as speaking to someone who is not Himself and Job 38:4-7 shows that there were spirit sons of God before the beginning of Genesis 1:1.

Often in the scriptures we read of various servants of God who performed great acts on behalf of God. Nevertheless, at the same time the scriptures may refer to these acts as being performed by Jehovah himself. For an example, let us look at a set of scriptures pertaining to Moses and Jehovah:

Exodus 12:51 – It happened the same day, that Jehovah brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts

Jehovah alone did lead him [Israel/Jacob - verse 9], There was no foreign god with him. — Deuteronomy 32:12.

Exodus 15:22: Moses led Israel onward from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.

Taking one scripture without the others could lead to the wrong conclusion. Taking them together and with other scriptures, we see the that:

Psalm 77:20: You [Jehovah] led your people like a flock, By the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Hosea 12:13 – By a prophet Jehovah brought Israel up out of Egypt, And by a prophet he [Israel] was preserved.

Throughout the Bible, God often takes the credit for what His servants do. (Exodus 3:10,12; 12:17; 18:10; Numbers 16:28; Judges 2:6,18; 3:9,10; 6:34; 11:29; 13:24,25; 14:6,19; 15:14,18; 16:20,28-30, 2 Kings 4:27; Isaiah 43:11, 45:1-6; etc.) Yes, Jehovah did indeed create man; Jehovah is the source, Jesus is the instrument. -- John 1:13,10; 1 Corinthians 8:6.

Hebrews 11:3

Hebrews 11:3
pistei nooumen kateertisthai tous aiwnas
TO FAITH WE ARE MINDING TO HAVE BEEN ADJUSTED DOWN THE AGES
4102 3539 2675 3588 0165
rheemati theou eis to mee ek phainomenwn
TO SAYING OF GOD, INTO THE NOT OUT OF (THINGS) APPEARING
4487 2316 1519 3588 3361 1537 5316
to blepomenon gegonenai
THE (THING) BEING LOOKED AT TO HAVE OCCURRED.
3588 0991 1096 -- Westcott & Hort Interlinear.

Hebrews 11:3 - by faith we understand the ages to have been prepared by a saying of God, in regard to the things seen not having come out of things appearing. --Young's Literal.

Although God did indeed create the material universe, I agree that that Hebrews 11:3 is not speaking of the creation of the material universe. The word "Logos" is not used in this verse, nor is Jesus directly mentioned. I agree that the Greek word transliterated above as "aiwnas", as used in the Bible, is always referring to time. The faithful of old mentioned in context, living in the age before Christ had come, of course, did not see or actually know of the things Christ did while one earth, although they could see dimly by faith. Likewise, those who belong to Christ in this age cannot actually see the things yet to come, except somewhat obscurely by the eye of faith, as they have been revealed in the Bible.

It is claimed regarding Hebrews 11:3 that the Word here is an "it"; in reality, the Greek word often transliterated as "Logos" does not even appear in this verse, and thus making a such a claim is actually irrelevant to the usage of the Greek word Logos as a name of a person.

Nevertheless, Hebrews 1:1,2 reveals that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob made (appointed) these ages through His Son (Jesus). In harmony with many other scriptures, this indicates that Jesus (although he did not have the name "Jesus" at that time) did exist before the world of mankind had been made.

Thus, seen, Jesus was first brought forth into being as firstborn Son of God before any other of God's sons. -- Colossians 1:15; Job 38:7; Proverbs 8:22-25

However, as a spirit Son of God, Jesus could not be man's redeemer. The redemption price needed to offset the condemnation through Adam was another man, as was Adam before Adam sinned. -- 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; Romans 5:12-19; 1 Timothy 2:5,6.

Thus, Jesus left his "rich" condition as a spirit Son of God, in order to be begotten in the womb of Mary, so that he could die as a man for our sins. -- Matthew 1:20; 2 Corinthians 8:9; 1 Timothfy 2:5,6; Hebrews 2:9.

While Jesus, as a man, is dead forever, Jesus, as a person, did not remain dead forever, but he was begotten from the dead, not in the flesh, but in the spirit. --  Psalm 2:7; Acts 13:33; Colossians 1:18; Hebrews 1:5; 5:5; 1 Peter 3:18.

Acts 13:33

It is claimed that Acts 13:33 shows that Jesus is the firstborn of all creation as spoken of in Colossians 1:15. This would mean that Jesus did not become the firstborn of every creature, those visible and invisible, until God raised him form the dead. In reality, this would mean that God did not create the visible world of mankind, nor the invisible domain of the angels, until after Jesus was raised from the dead, or else that Jesus was not actually first one to be brought forth at all.

Acts 13:33 does relate to Colossians 1:18, which related that he was the firstborn from dead, since he (as being the firstborn creature) should have preeminence. (See my earlier discussion related to this.)

Evidently, it is being thought that Acts 13:33 is saying that Jesus did not become the "Son of God" until he was raised from the dead. That is not what is stated (although some translations make it appear to be that way). Jehovah does refer to Jesus as His son, but he does not say that Jesus did not become His son until he was begotten (brought forth) from death. Such an idea has to be assumed, and actually would not harmonize with the rest of the Bible.

We certainly have many scriptures that speak of Jesus as being the Son of God while he was in the days of his flesh. (Matthew 3:17; 11:27; 14:33; 16:16; 17:5; 21:37; Mark 1:11; 3:11; 9:7; 12:6; 14:61,62; 15:39; Luke 1:32,35; 3:23; 9:35; 22:70; John 1:18,34,49; 3:16,17,18; 3:35,36; 6:69; 9:35; 11:4; Hebrews 5:7) Although there would have been no need to have a scripture to directly speak of Jesus as being God's Son before he became flesh, some scriptures indicate that Jesus was the Son of his Father before he became flesh. -- John 3:17; 10:36; 11:27; 17:1,3,5; 1 John 4:9.


Gender of the Word


As best as I can tell it is being claimed that all Bibles before the KJV used "it" in John 1:3,4 rather than "him"? If so, this is not true.

As far as I know, all the Greek extant manuscripts of John 1:3,4 are masculine, not neuter.

John 1:3
panta di autou egeneto kai chwris autou
ALL (THINGS) THROUGH HIM CAME TO BE, AND APART FROM HIM
3956 1223 0846_3 1096 2532 5565 0846_3
egeneto oude hen
CAME TO BE NOT BUT ONE (THING).
1096 3761 1520
ho gegonen
WHICH HAS COME TO BE
3739 1096
John 1:4
en autw zwee een kai hee zwee een to phws twn
IN HIM LIFE WAS, AND THE LIFE WAS THE LIGHT OF THE
1722 0846_5 2222 1511_3 2532 3588 2222 1511_3 3588 5457 3588
anthrwpwn
MEN;
0444

Of course, however, rules of gender in the Koine Greek do not necessarily designate that being referred by any word as being either a person or not being a person. This is also true in many other languages, but this is usually NOT true of English, although, in some cases we do refer to inanimate objects as "she" or "he".

Wycliffe (1395) reads:

John 1:3-4 - Alle thingis weren maad bi hym, and withouten hym was maad no thing, that thing that was maad.[4] In hym was lijf, and the lijf was the liyt of men; and the liyt schyneth in derknessis,

As far as translations before the KJV in other languages, I haven't taken the time to find and study them to know if they give the Word either masculine or neuter gender in John 1:3,4. Nevertheless, the Latin Vulgate gives it a masculine gender it John 1:3,4.

Matthew 1:18-20
It is stated that the Word became flesh when "it" became a baby. The Word, however, as a baby was definitely not an "it" rather than a person. Matthew 1:18-20 is given to explain how the Word became a baby. It is then denied that this baby is the Word, which in effect, would mean that the Word never became flesh, the Word never lived among the disciples, etc., as reported in John 1:14,15. In reality, there is no reason to imagine, assume, add to, and read into the scripture that the Word ceased being the Word when the Word became flesh; in reality, it would mean that the Word never became flesh, but ceased to be the Word before so that it would not become flesh, which is all in contradiction to what the Bible actually states.

The Birth of Jesus

{Matthew 1:18} Now the birth of Jesus Christ was like this: after his mother, Mary, was engaged to Joseph, before they came together, she was found pregnant by the Holy Spirit.
{Matthew 1:19} Joseph, her husband, being a righteous man, and not willing to make her a public example, intended to put her away secretly.
{Matthew 1:20} But when he thought about these things, behold, an angel of Jehovah appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to yourself Mary, your wife, for that which is begotten in her is of the Holy Spirit. -- Restoration Light Improved Version.

It is claimed that the begettal of Jesus in Mary was the product of the Holy Spirit, not the Word. I am not sure why this is stated, since I do not know of anyone who would claim that the begettal of Jesus was the product of the Word. It is not explained how this begettal of Jesus is the womb of Mary is the begettal spoken of in Acts 13:33, as it was previously claimed that Acts 13:33 presents the only begettal of Jesus. Indeed, the word "birth" in Matthew 1:18 is a form of the same word used in Acts 13:33, which, according to what was stated earlier is only applicable to when he was raised from the dead, although nothing in Acts 13:33 tells us that Jesus was not begotten before he was brought forth from the dead.

Luke 1:31-37 is quoted:

{Luke 1:31} Behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son,
and will call his name 'Jesus.'
{Luke 1:32} He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High. Jehovah God will give him the throne of his father, David,
{Luke 1:33} and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever. There will be no end to his Kingdom."
{Luke 1:34} Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, seeing I am a virgin?"
Luke 1:35} The angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore also the holy one who is born from you will be called the Son of God.
{Luke 1:36} Behold, Elizabeth, your relative, also has conceived a son in her old
age; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.
{Luke 1:37} For everything spoken by God is possible."

I agree that there is nothing here about a "second person of the trinity". Otherwise, however, I am not sure of the point; there is nothing here that would mean that the Word did not become flesh, or that the Word did not live among the disciples, or that the glory of the Word was not seen by the disciples, etc.

Of more concern to me is that how one can quote this and claim that Jesus was not begotten until he was raised from the dead. Although the Greek word translated as conceive in Luke 1:31 and Luke 1:36 is not the word for "beget/born" as used in Acts 13:33, we do find a form of the word used (in Luke 1:31,36) in the expression "firstborn from the dead" in Colossians 1:18 is translated as "birth" in Luke 1:31. However, if Jesus was not brought forth until he was raised from the dead, how is that he is being "brought forth" in birth 33 years earlier?

Nevertheless, much ado is made about God's spirit making Mary pregnant, and that it was not the Word that made her pregnant, although I don't know of anyone that makes the claim that Word made Mary pregnant.

Nor do I see how the fact that God made use of His Holy Spirit to impregnate Mary means that the Word did not remain the Word in the flesh. It was indeed the Word of John 1:1 that God made flesh by means of His holy spirit; it was indeed the Word of John 1:1 that lived among the disciples; it was indeed the Word of John 1:1 whose glory the disciples saw, and it was the Word of John 1:1 that appeared to the disciple with such glory as of the only begotten Son of the Father, etc.

The claim is continued that Jesus was not begotten when he was conceived despite the fact that the word most translations render as conceived in Matthew 1:20 is the same word that translated begotten (in most translations) in Acts 13:33. Likewise the word that is translated as "born" in "firstborn" of Colossians 1:18 is the same word that is translated as "birth" in Luke 1:31.

Proverbs 8:22

In Proverbs 8:22, we read that Wisdom personified states:

Proverbs 8:22 - Jehovah possessed me in the beginning of His way, from then, before His works.
 -- Green's Literal.
Proverbs 8:22 - [Jehovah] created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old.
 -- Revised Standard, Holy Name restored.

Wisdom is personified as a woman in earlier verses; the subject in those earlier verses do not appear to be about Christ, until we get to Proverbs 8:22. Of course, I would not be dogmatic about it, but I believe that in verse 22, it does describe God's Son, who is the ultimate personification of wisdom that those who accept him can appreciate.

We know that Jehovah had no beginning, and that there has never been a beginning of Jehovah's own wisdom. Thus the expressions "the beginning" and "His way" do not refer to the beginning Jehovah's own wisdom, and therefore the conclusion is that this is speaking of Wisdom personified in the firstborn Son of God (Colossians 1:15). "His way" then is evidently referring to the beginning of Jehovah's way of creating other life forms than Himself --- and yet creation before His works of creation of other spirit sons of God and the world of mankind.

If these words of Proverbs 8:22,23 are applied to the firstborn creature (Colossians 1:15), then it is desginating that the Logos -- personified and presented under the figure of Wisdom -- was brought forth into being before any other of God's living creatures. With the creation of his firstborn creature, the beginning of Jehovah's way (derek) toward other intelligence than his own had begun. At the same time, this was before Jehovah had created "his works" (plural) of bringing into being many spirit sons of God, as well as before the beginning of Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1. Job 38:4-7 lets us know that the spirit "sons of God" were created before the "beginning" spoken of in Genesis 1:1.

The Revised Standard:

The Lord [that is, Jehovah] created [qanah] me at the beginning of his work [derek], the first of his acts of long ago. Ages [olam] ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth — New Revised Standard Version, Hebrew words transliterated.

As a living creature under the figure of Wisdom in this translation, speaks of Jehovah as having "created" him. Again, one should realize that God's wisdom itself, of course, does not need to be created, but the firstborn creature who is represented under the figure of Wisdom did need to be created.

For more related to this, one might see:
Proverbs 8:22,23 – Proof that Jesus Existed For All Eternity Past?
http://jesusnotyhwh.blogspot.com/2017/05/prov8-22.html
and
Colossians 1:15 – Did Jesus Have a Beginning?
http://jesusnotyhwh.blogspot.com/2016/12/col1-15.html






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