Interpret John 1:1 by John 1:1.

by towerwatchman 77 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • towerwatchman

    To Sir 82

    If Jesus is made of the same 'stuff' as God, then logically He is God.

  • sir82

    If Jesus is made of the same 'stuff' as God, then logically He is God.

    I don't follow this "logic".

    If a car is made of steel, and a bridge is made of steel, that doesn't mean a car is the same as a bridge.

    In other words, as it was explained to me (and again, I don't know if this is allowed by the language / grammar), the use of the word "theos" can refer either to the person God, or to "godness" (for lack of a better term), depending on the context.

    A similar, English (granted awkward) sentence might be something like "In the beginning, Sam was with [the human] Joe, and Sam was human." Apparently the awkwardness of the English is not present in the Koine.

  • towerwatchman

    To Finkelstein

    John did not write a fictional work, but an eyewitness account of what he saw and experienced. Note with the exception of John the Apostles all died defending their belief in Jesus. It is one thing to die for what you believe is true; but I doubt anyone would die for a lie.

  • towerwatchman

    To sir 82

    The car and the bridge are both steel. They serve two purposes.

    What makes God = God? Five attributes. Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent, Immutable, and Holy. God the Father, Jesus, and the HS all have the attributes that make God -God.

    Note eimi 'was' in all three clauses 1a,b and c is in the same tense. Therefore if 'eimi' in 'c' is descriptive then it should also be descriptive in the two previous clause. Eimi 'was' in each clause is =verb, imperfect, active, indicative, third person, singular.

    verb — A word that describes an action, state of being, or the production of a result.

    imperfect — The verb tense where the writer portrays an action in process or a state of being that is occurring in the past with no assessment of the action’s completion.

    active — The grammatical voice that signifies that the subject is performing the verbal action or is in the state described by the verb.

    indicative — The mood in which the action of the verb or the state of being it describes is presented by the writer as real.

    third person — In grammar, “person” refers to the feature of verbs or pronouns that helps us distinguish

    singular — Refers to one person or thing.

    Seems the author is conveying absolute existence.

  • sir82

    One more comment and then I'll stop because I really don't care:

    As it was explained to me, the "stuff" of John 1:1 is something tangible, as opposed to something intangible like "attributes".

  • Finkelstein

    It is one thing to die for what you believe is true; but I doubt anyone would die for a lie.

    They would if they didn't know it was lie, there were many come to earth saviors in the ancient world and not just from the religoius practices of the ancient Hebrews and later Christians.

    People will and did kill themselves for their set beliefs and this historically happened, not only in the ancient Middle East.

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    Whatever the grammar and hence the meaning intended, it might be more important to understand why the church leaders wanted to include this text which stands outside of the normal run of NT scripture.

    It is borrowed from contemporary Gnostic and Greek philosophy and would be useful in imparting some apparent gravitas to the usual rigmarole of cultic instructions and moral tales. Look it worked, we are still considering it today!

  • Steel

    Again go back to the old testament and find the phrase " the word of the lord appeared " and see what is happening.

    Don't get caught up in the Jehovah Witness bamboozle and don't think you will out bamboozle the WTS.

    John 1:1 is a reference to Jesus being the physical manifestion of Jehovah in the old testament. Its pretty straight forward.

  • Bungi Bill
    Bungi Bill

    An interesting take on what seems will always be an everlasting point of contention!

    Certainly, almost all scholars are in agreement that the NWT's rendering of the second part of the statement as "and the Word was a god" is taking excessive liberties.

    However, determining what the Bible writer actually meant in John 1:1 does require more than a superficial understanding of the grammatical structure and nuances of the Koine Greek language - particularly as to how this relates to the use (or not) of the definite article.

    For example, Daniel Wallace, in his Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, includes an complete 50 pages dealing entirely with just with the use of the definite article. (This section is entitled "The Article - Part 1"). Furthermore, he then goes on with a further 15 pages that apply directly just to John 1:1. The outcome of this dissection of that verse is very much one of "nature and essence" rather than identity:

    - i.e. The Bible writer is here saying that "The Word" is of the same nature and essence as God, but he is not saying that "The Word" and God are one and the same being (not in this verse, anyway!).

    Given this, it would seem very few translations of The Bible render John 1:1 correctly. Most render the second part as ".... and The Word was God." According to most informed commentators of the Bibilcal Languages, that is no more correct than the New World Translation's "and the Word was a god".

    Just saying, anyway! (Certainly don't intend to re-open the 2000 year old dispute over whether or not God is a Trinity)

  • cofty

    I disagree.

    The author of John - not John by the way - could have stated very simply the Jesus was The God (Ho Theos) if that was what he intended.

    The WT are wrong about almost everything but not regarding John 1:1.

    The translation that captures the anarthrous predicate noun best is perhaps Moffatt who has it as "The Word was divine".

    The gospels reveal an evolution of the divinity of Jesus. Practical adoration of Jesus by a monotheistic group eventually required a theological explanation. The trinity is a self-contradictory, post-biblical piece of gobbledygook.

    I challenge anybody to state it in their own words - and illustrate it - without using specialist language without contradicting themselves or committing heresy.

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