Interpret John 1:1 by John 1:1.
This is going down a branch from the tree, but the bible says explicitly and specifically that the Father is God, the Holy Ghost is God and Jesus is God. Clear and explicit.
Yachid and Echad
These are the 2 words for 'one' in Hebrew.
Why 2 words for one? Because languages do not always translate into other cultures' vocabularies.
There is the singular one that we all know in the English language and there is a plural 'one' in Hebrew that indicates the combining of things to create a [plural] one.
DIrect and explicit examples in the OT include
'Day and night became one [plural one] day'. 'Husband and Wife became one [plural] flesh' AND every instance where God is declared as One God in Hebrew it is with the plural 'one' . Clearly the OT is filled with explicit truths regarding God as more than the solitary 'oneness' that unitarians like JWs promote.
Also worth mentioning that Jew believe that God is their savior AND that he will come in the flesh. They just don't believe that Jesus was the Savior.
Looks like the trinity concept belongs to the workings of the human mind.
The human mind only perceives and understand reality through itself.
So yes, the concept of Trinity is a map to understand the territory.
But the map it's not the territory.
Only those exposed to the doctrine of the trinity would come up with a belief in a triune god.
However the real issue raised by discussing John 1:1 is the fundamental ambiguity of the nature of the the NT God.
The Hebrew myth shows an evolving god as the culture absorbed the ideas of its neighbours over time. Moving from a god who was someone you could talk to and argue with, to the rabid despotic deity who heartlessly would to kill all who didn't worship him. Simple reflections of a primitive society trying to raise the status of their fighting prowess. The OT god was the creator of good things and the bringer of evil as well. But although a son of El and having sixty nine brothers, Yahweh was always singular in nature.
So we might usefully ask why the NT god is so different? Surely God doesn't change?
The Call of Jeremiah
4 The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
6 “Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”
7 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
9 Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.
God appearing as a man as the world in the old testament.
1 Samuel 3New International Version (NIV)
The Lord Calls Samuel
3 The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.
2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the Lord called Samuel.
Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5 And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.
8 A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God,[a] and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’”
15 Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the Lord. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, 16 but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.”
Samuel answered, “Here I am.”
17 “What was it he said to you?” Eli asked. “Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you.” 18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.”
19 The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord. 21 The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.
There is also a direct ambiguity between seeing Jehovah and the word of the Jehovah. The terms seems to become interchangeable.
When John was referring to Jesus as the " word " is a reference to the old testament
If after 2000 years christians are still debating what John 1:1 means about God, jesus , their relationship etc,etc,
And we still havent heard anything from God.
It doesnt inspire confidence that their is a God.does it ?
On the contrary God had been very explicit through scripture who Jesus is. It is certain worldviews that do not agree with scripture, and therefore these worldviews interpret scripture according to their beliefs vs. adjusting their beliefs what to what God communicates through scripture.
There is an interesting thing about life, it is that it does not start with reason and ends with faith. A child’s mind is very limited and does not inform the child for the reason of her trust, but as she runs into her father’s arms she does so because of an unspoken trust that those arms will hold her. A child begins with faith that is then proven by reason. Over time that trust will be tested, and it is the character of the parent that will establish that trust to be wise. One starts life believing in Santa, The Tooth Fairy, Zeus, maybe the Flying Spaghetti Monster but overtime reason proves them wrong. My faith has substance, it is rational, based on the confirmed knowledge that Jesus has proven who He claims to be, God incarnate. Some accept by faith, I by reason. My faith is not orphaned by reason.
To. Doug Mason
We have no idea what the original writers of "Scripture" wrote. There has been no God to protect it from corruption, distortion or deliberate manipulation. The WTS is only one of myriads who have done this.
What is considered credible ancient text?
Caesar written 1 century BC, earliest copy 900 AD, number of copies 10
Tacitus written 1 century AD, earliest copy 1100 AD, number of copies 20
Thucydides written 5 century BC, earliest copy 900AD, number of copies 8
Demosthenes written 4 century BC, earliest copy 1100 AD, number of copies 200
Homer written 9 century BC, 643 copies 95% accurate.
All considered credible by scholars.
New Testament 1 century AD [50-100], earliest copy 2 century AD [100-130] number of copies from antiquity 5000, accuracy 99%, partial manuscripts 19000, quotations by the early church fathers 86000.
What is the probability they got it all wrong?
And you believe it is not trustworthy?
To Doug Mason
I think the quotation from Epicurus is most apt, which starts with (check Google Images): "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? ...."
The answer has to take into account several things, love, free will and omniscience. God created mankind for a love relationship, to give love or to receive love, it has to be a free will choice. For it to be genuine love there has to be the opportunity to reject. If God was to intervene in our choices it will not be genuine love.
If God were to create a universe where all the possibilities would lead to salvation, that would be a violation of free will. One cannot grant free will and then violate it.
It is flatly contradicted.
To Half banana
The Hebrew myth shows an evolving god as the culture absorbed the ideas of its neighbours over time. Moving from a god who was someone you could talk to and argue with, to the rabid despotic deity who heartlessly would to kill all who didn't worship him. Simple reflections of a primitive society trying to raise the status of their fighting prowess. The OT god was the creator of good things and the bringer of evil as well. But although a son of El and having sixty nine brothers, Yahweh was always singular in nature. So we might usefully ask why the NT god is so different? Surely God doesn't change?
According to Paul the wages of sin is death. So ask why are you still around, why are you not dead yet? Because of God’s love for His creation that He holds back His justice to allow His creation to seek Him. Now there are occasions where God exercised his justice and used Israel to deliver it. God can do that, He is sovereign.
As to the idea of God evolving over centuries by absorbing ideas from neighbors, that is nothing new, I will leave it up to you to provide proof.
When John was referring to Jesus as the " word " is a reference to the old testament
Partially correct. Note that the churches in John’s bishopric where the seven churches in Asia Minor, the churches mentioned in Revelation. These were centers of industry, trade, and government. John’s churches were multi- racial containing Jew and Greek.
The word “dabar” occurs some 1455 times in various contexts in the Hebrew Bible. It is sometimes used in reference to the "Divine Word": "Dabar Yahweh" or “Ha-Dabar Elohim”. The Divine Word brings God's message to his people, especially to his prophets. The phrase appears for the first time in Genesis 15, in which the Word of Yahweh assures Abraham of his reward. The rabbinical schools at that time taught that the Word was the image and likeness of God, the universe was created by God through the Word, the Word was God’s first and oldest creation, the Word was a separate being from Elohim, the Word had not descended to Earth, or had the Word a need for a body of flesh.
The Greek’s believed that everything pre existed as a thought and then came into existence. Logos was that divine reason or thought which created the physical world and causes the natural world to grow. John comes along and says that he knows the Logos and that it is not a thought but a person. That for the Logos thought to exist it had to have a thinker and that thinker was Jesus. This would have caught the attention of every Hellenistic thinker in his bishopric. Not only does he identify the “Logos” to them but in the following verses John gives the “logos” a name, human qualities and affections making Jesus conceivable to them.
Neither Greek philosophers nor Jewish teaches could conceive of the Logos or Dabar becoming flesh. Since the time of Plato, Greek philosophers had emphasized that the Logos and the ideal are always invisible and eternal. The Jews heavily emphasized that a human being could not become a god, they never considered that God could become human.
John capitalizes on this and uses the Greek Logos, and Jewish Dabar to explain the deity and incarnation of Jesus.