Post Number: 352
|Posted on Monday, June 15, 2009 - 5:39 pm: || |
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and Word was God."--John 1:1
I think I am beginning to understand more and more what this means. It has always been an enigmatic passage to me. Why describe Jesus as "the Word"?
But I am beginning to see (and please correct me if I am wrong), that this means Jesus is God's self-communication, His communication of Himself to Himself. As such, Jesus is Himself. For in from eternity past there could be nothing outside of God. Or at least, that's my best understanding of the meaning of the doctrine of the eternal generation of the Son.
What's more, I read in 1 Cor. 2:11:
I am beginning to see that essentially the Spirit is God's knowing of His thoughts. But because there can be, in the beginning, no knowledge of God that is outside of God, the Spirit is God.
For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
I read an author once who said that the Father eternally pours Himself into the Son through the Holy Spirit, and the Son likewise pours Himself through the Holy Spirit into the Father. I don't know if this is correct, but something somewhat like it it seems in certain way to make sense of both John 1:1 and 1 Cor. 2:11 (notice I'm hedging a lot here because I don't want to go off into some form of heresy).
Karl Barth, one of my favorite theologians, said all doctrine must begin with the Triune God's self-knowledge, and I take this as the direct and obvious implication of John 1:1.
I'd like to know if I am off-base here at all or not. Jeremy, I think you're the resident expert on this topic.
Post Number: 519
|Posted on Monday, June 15, 2009 - 5:53 pm: || |
OK Jeremy......dont keep us waiting too long(looking at the clock). LOL LOL
Post Number: 2810
|Posted on Monday, June 15, 2009 - 6:09 pm: || |
I'm not sure if I'm totally understanding what you're saying, but it doesn't sound to me like it's necessarily heretical.
I haven't read much of Barth, but I know that some have accused him of leaning towards modalism in his view of the Trinity. I do believe that it is important to remember that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three actual personal distinctions within the one divine Being.
Post Number: 628
|Posted on Monday, June 15, 2009 - 6:28 pm: || |
I know you are writing about the trinity and looking at John 1:1.
I've been slowly working my way through the book of John - looking up all the cross-references and journaling as I go.
Anyways, this is a little off topic, but I thought interesting. One of the cross-references sent me to Deut. 32:47. "They are not just idle words for you - they are your life."
It was talking about the law (all of the law of Moses) and that the words of this law were life. Then in John 1 it talks about the Word and how Jesus is the Word and He is Life.
I just thought it was interesting that John writes about the Word and the Jews would have understood the similar uses for "Word" - especially since the book of Deut. was something they studied.
Anyways, I know I'm a bit off topic. Carry on
Post Number: 521
|Posted on Monday, June 15, 2009 - 6:47 pm: || |
Does the Clear Word read as follows?......
"In the beginning was The Spirit of Prophecy, and The Spirit of Prophecy was the Truth..."
Sorry...It just "jumped" out of my "dark" side...LOL LOL LOL
Animal..I know, I am not Jay Leno...sigh
Post Number: 353
|Posted on Monday, June 15, 2009 - 8:26 pm: || |
The problem with Barth is that he is very ambiguous, because he didn't so much write prose, as poetry masquerading as prose. The charges of modalism come from his writings in Church Dogmatics, whereas most of my reading of him is from his earlier commentary on Romans.
But the statement about all theology being based on the Trinity's self-knowledge is I think true, by the implication of John 1:1. The Spirit reveals through John to us that in the beginning, the Word was with God, and was God, indicating that God is in essence one Being with community existing within Himself. This is as opposed to us humans, for whom community is strictly external. We need other beings in order to know community. God knows community within Himself.
(Message edited by bskillet on June 15, 2009)
Post Number: 9995
|Posted on Monday, June 15, 2009 - 8:51 pm: || |
That makes sense, Brent. Also, I remember R.K. McGregor Wright saying in his article in Proclamation on page 6 here that the Hebrew word torah and the Greek word logos had the same meaning. Thus, the Hebrew word Torah was communicating the same meaning as the word logos.
Hence, when Jesus nailed the law to the cross, He nailed, in his own body, the "living Torah" which would mean the same thing as the "living logos".
There is something deeply significant about "word". At Babel, God's judgment on the people's wickedness in not scattering and filling the earth but trying to make a name for themselves in building a great tower was to confound their words. Their ability to communicated was abruptly truncated. The Bible does not record any further direct interaction between God and humanity after Babel until the call of Abraham, when He began a whole new program in creating a new people, in Genesis 12.
Then millennia later, God restored words by filling His followers with the living Word at Pentecost. When the Holy Spirit filled those new believers from all over the world on the Day of Pentecost, the sign of His power—of His reinstating direct communion with God—was to bridge their languages with the Word.
"Word" definitely communicates communion—but it is even more. It is seminal; it created; it empowers men and women to be born again; it is powerful; God's Name, which has the power to save, is Word.
I can't fully articulate the depth of the significance of Word, but it reveals God's own communion within Himself as well as revealing God's making us one with Him and giving us life and equipping us with His power.
Word is the absolute power in all of reality. "For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned" (Matt 12:37). God's word speaks into being what does not exist and gives life to the dead (Romans 4:26-27).
Post Number: 984
|Posted on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 - 7:20 am: || |
I'll have to check out that article on torah/logos. This torah=logos=Christ is the main pillar upholding the Hebrew Roots perspective, so please excuse me while I have a knee jerk reaction here. ha. I know - no one meant it like I heard it because I'm hearing things through my past.
I'll admit this discussion is over my head to begin with, but because of what we used to teach/believe about that - I have a different take on it now - which continues to expand - so I'm sure I don't understand anything yet as I should.
I now see Torah as a higher thing than the written word. It was not in stone - only the contract of Sinai was. Torah is the "way" the "direction" the underpinning principles that govern God's ways. It is not always applied in the same way as we see through scripture, progressive revelation into who God is and the more we know of Him, the more we know of his ways (you can call them laws). I believe the highest revelation so far is Jesus in the flesh (and the Law of Christ being higher than the Law of Moses) and that when we are one with Him in the Kingdom, we will have an even greater revelation, as Paul says - "Then we will know even as we are known." I see that when John says Jesus is the logos - more as HIS words and his life (his Being) - taking precedence over all revealed Torah that has come before up to that point, because it (He) has always existed. He is the Word in a much greater sense than the written one - not equal to it. As such, the living Word is what did not die on the cross - only the sinful flesh that is at emnity with the Word.
The HRM equates the Sinai Covenant as Torah, which is the first mistake, (but received from Judaism, and one the egw also described - the written law having existed from creation, which is where the HRM takes John 1:1 - the written Torah and Jesus being equal).
So.. just a different take but yes "WORD" is such an amazing thing. If you look throughout the book of John, how many times Jesus refers to "My Word" - it's pretty amazing what He seems to be saying there. I take that farther, that we still have this Word through the Holy Spirit (He said He would never leave us or forsake us) and is still not limited to just the written word alone - although this is the bedrock and anchor that we cannot contradict. His Word is IN us. We can also speak His Word.. to others.. it is life.. and I can't even explain it anymore. This falls so short of what I "see". Maybe that is heresy too, I don't know.. I keep it to myself most of the time. =)
p.s. Animal, I think we have a similar dark side. =) ROFL. That was a funny thing! =)
(Message edited by 8thday on June 16, 2009)
Post Number: 4998
|Posted on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 - 7:50 am: || |
Quote: I read an author once who said that the Father eternally pours Himself into the Son through the Holy Spirit, and the Son likewise pours Himself through the Holy Spirit into the Father.
That doesn't sound near right, pouring into would indicate that something is not full.
I think this is a spiritual heresy. God is always now and forever, complete, full and the three are always one and complete and full.
Post Number: 354
|Posted on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 - 7:55 am: || |
I always thought the NT equivalent of the Hebrew word torah is the Koine Greek word nomos. Or at least that seems to be how Paul uses nomos. I'll have to check sometime how torah is translated in the Septuagint.
But first, I have to go clean out my garage...
Post Number: 2052
|Posted on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 - 9:14 am: || |
What about 'flowing' instead of 'pouring?'
Post Number: 985
|Posted on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 - 10:41 am: || |
the words torah/nomos may be interchangeable - I think the issue is the wrong concepts I have attached to them in the past... maybe.
I don't see the original point of this thread (sorry) as being wrong at all. I see the same concept in us and God - We are in Him and He in us. When I did a study on the Holy Spirit recently, I found this concept I never saw before that it's both. We are told to be filled with the Spirit and to be IN the Spirit. Jesus prayed for us to be one in Him as He and the Father are One - same concept. Impresses me as something that we can't really visualize in 3 dimensions. =) And the "word" thing is here too.
Joh 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
Joh 17:18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.
Joh 17:19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.
Joh 17:20 "I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
Joh 17:21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (kinda important!)
Joh 17:22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,
Joh 17:23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
Joh 17:24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Post Number: 297
|Posted on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 - 11:46 am: || |
How can we be one with the Father and the Son in the same way that they are one? Can we be "non-separate" from them?
Post Number: 2816
|Posted on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 - 12:15 pm: || |
Jesus doesn't say that we can be one with Him and the Father in the same way that He and the Father are one. He prays that we (His followers) will be one with each other. Also, He isn't saying that it will be in the same way (although that is what the Mormons and SDAs argue, using this passage). For more on this, see my page here.
Post Number: 630
|Posted on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 - 12:26 pm: || |
I just read Is. 9:6 this morning and there was something that caught me eye.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
This text is clearly talking about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I had never seen the words "Everlasting Father" as descriptive words attached to Jesus before.
It made me think of the whole trinity again. One Being in three persons.
My two cents worth, .
Post Number: 5001
|Posted on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 - 12:42 pm: || |
What about this thought Mary? Gods love is ever flowing outward to us, yet he is never diminished.
Post Number: 235
|Posted on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 - 5:37 pm: || |
Keri, that is a wonderful insight. You know, I've heard/sung that song in the Handel's Messiah over and over again thru my whole life, and that concept never occurred to me. Amazing!
Post Number: 10005
|Posted on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 - 5:41 pm: || |
Yes, and the Baby's name would not only be Everlasting Father, but Wonderful Counselor—the name of the Holy Spirit.
God is One expressed in three. It's an inexplicable truth.
Post Number: 986
|Posted on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 - 5:26 am: || |
Thanks for the link to that page Jeremy - I never heard that before - it was the other direction from what I was trying to say, but can't seem to quite explain. I never heard that argument as an SDA. Something yet more to file.. for future reference.
Post Number: 5011
|Posted on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 - 6:47 am: || |
There are two passages that struck deep into my heart right after I was saved.
John 1:1 was one of them and John 1:29 was the second.
These passages struck something deep within my Spirit and surpassed my earthly knowledge and to this day they cause me to cry Abba Father.
At that time I was brand new to the Bible or to religion of any kind much and so I was on a discovery voyage of an awakening soul.
You all, or at least most of you had been exposed to the Bible and religion was a part of your everyday life. Not so with me, everything was brand new and far from my world of drugs and alcohol.
But the scriptures shot me through and through to the very inner being of my soul. They would bear me up in the rough days, months and years ahead.
These scriptures surpassed my understanding at that time of what it even meant to be a Christian or what I was reading, it surpassed (or bypassed) any understanding of anything and went straight to the deepest depths of my soul. Behold the lamb of God.
God called me forth, River come forth! And I came out of my grave still wrapped in the grave cloths of the sin that had killed me.
I was tangled in those grave cloths when I read 'Behold the Lamb of God' and I cried Abba father.
I am saying this with tears, because the very memory of it makes me cry.
I do so rejoice when I see yet another one coming still wrapped in the grave cloths of Adventism.
I hate Adventism with a purple passion, because it hold my friends bound in the tombs and tightly wrapped in the grave cloths, unseeing and unknowing that 'Behold the Lamb of God.'
I hate it, I hate it, I hate it!
Post Number: 634
|Posted on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 - 9:14 am: || |
Powerful post ... wrapped in grave clothes. What an amazing picture you have painted for us of the power of God to bring life where there was death.
Wow, and thank you once again for your presence here on the forum. You are appreciated!
Post Number: 306
|Posted on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 - 10:42 am: || |
You did it again!! What a powerful picture.
God bless you!
Post Number: 546
|Posted on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 - 5:56 pm: || |
I see I'm coming into this late... but I was in a discussion for months about John 1:1 with a friend of mine who is diving into the Hebrew Roots Movement. I've come to the conclusion that BSkillet mentioned... that "Jesus is God's self communication". Just as "words" express who we are, Jesus "expresses" who God is. Jesus is the exact representation of God... He expresses God... so He is Word.
This is the path that is taken in the HRM. When they read that Jesus or "Word" was in the beginning... they go back to the first verse of the Bible, Gen. 1:1. In Hebrew there is an "aleph-tav" inserted in that verse that is not translated. They believe that the "aleph-tav" is the same as the Greek "Alpha and Omega". Since Jesus is our Alpha and Omega, they now have proof in Hebrew that Jesus was there in the beginning. Then through Gematria, they add up all the Hebrew letters in that verse and "magically" they come up with the number 613. So now they also read that the Torah was in the beginning through their revelation of gematria. So if Jesus is eternal, then the Torah (the 613 commands) are eternal. They see the written Torah is actually God expressing Jesus in written form. From here begins their worship of the Torah. Instead of looking to Christ, they look to the Torah which they believe is literally Jesus. Just as the Sabbath is Christ to the Adventist, the Torah is Christ to the HRM. Just as Adventists use Dan. 8:14 to support their "pillar", HRM uses John 1:1 as their support for their "pillar"... the Torah. Both are denying Christ.
The youth pastor gave me a different explanation for "logos" being used in this verse. He said that in Greek, "Logos" was logic. So John is telling the Greeks that the Logos (the Logic) they they know of, existed at the beginning and this Logos (logic) was God.
Post Number: 994
|Posted on Thursday, June 18, 2009 - 9:34 am: || |
I did read the Proclamation article and coming from an HRM background, it's important to make a distinction between Torah, and the Sinai covenant. Torah existed in scripture prior to that. It's bigger than the covenant of Sinai. It is usually used in terms of the overall commands of God - and other words are used like ordinance, commandment, statute, when referring to specific commands. The Torah and Mt. Sinai are not synonymous from my study which I had to do when we left our group. To equate them together is a concept from Judaism I believe. If this distinction is made, I can live with Torah= logos = Christ because it doesn't demote Jesus to being equal with the finite written law. Hope that makes more sense that way then what I was not able to explain earlier. After I read the article, I realized what the sticking point was for me.
Also he mentioned in that article the 4 ways (levels) to interpret scripture developed in the Middle Ages.. This is also from Judaism. It's taught in mystical Jewish writings like Kabballah.
Post Number: 366
|Posted on Thursday, June 18, 2009 - 12:22 pm: || |
This is the path that is taken in the HRM. When they read that Jesus or "Word" was in the beginning... they go back to the first verse of the Bible, Gen. 1:1. In Hebrew there is an "aleph-tav" inserted in that verse that is not translated. They believe that the "aleph-tav" is the same as the Greek "Alpha and Omega". Since Jesus is our Alpha and Omega, they now have proof in Hebrew that Jesus was there in the beginning. Then through Gematria, they add up all the Hebrew letters in that verse and "magically" they come up with the number 613. So now they also read that the Torah was in the beginning through their revelation of gematria. So if Jesus is eternal, then the Torah (the 613 commands) are eternal.
Anyone else notice that this is the same kind of tortured, disconnected logic the SDAs use to arrive at 1844 and the IJ?
Post Number: 10019
|Posted on Thursday, June 18, 2009 - 2:50 pm: || |
The Torah actually is all five books of the law: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. And that Torah was God's word for Israel...as well as part of God's word to us.
We just can't separate the Torah or any part of God's word from God Himself. He inspired it and interprets is to us when we are born again. God's word is just that...God's own word.
Yes, Sondra—McGregor Wright's article was the first place I had heard about those 4 levels of interpretation and about the origin of the artificial separation of Law into moral, ceremonial, and civil.