The Gospel of John and the trinity

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Re: The Gospel of John and the trinity

Post by Paidion » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:06 pm

Greetings to all! First I want to make clear that I am not "coming back" to the forum. But I have indicated that from time to time, I will offer information, but will not be involved in any argument concerning this information.

The following is the first part of a commentary on the gospel of John that I began to write many years ago. You may find it relevant to the matters that are being discussed in this thread.
In the Beginning [of time] was the Expression [of GOD] (John 1:1)
The Greek word “λογος” (logos) refers to an expression of oneself. It is usually translated as “word”. I do not say that this is a poor translation. In English “word” is used in this way. Someone may say, “Joe is going to give us a word.” However, this translation can be confusing since “word” in English also refers to “A single unit of meaning formed by a sound or sounds” [American Heritage Dictionary].

Some suppose that, because “logos” means “expression” and that it expresses the thought of the one who gives the word, that in this context, it denotes the mind or thought or reasoning of God --- that it is impersonal, but is personified in the context as a figure of speech. My belief is that the word is used of Jesus, and that He is called “the logos” because He expressed God the Father to mankind when He lived on earth. That’s why He could say, “He who has seen me has seen the Father” [John 14:9].
and the Expression was pro-GOD
This is usually translated that the logos or “word” was with God. But this also is confusing, for our first thought is that the logos was physically close to God. But there are other Greek prepositions for “with” in that sense. The Greek word “προς” (pros) usually means “toward” but can mean “with” in the sense of sharing the thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, etc. of another person. We use “with” in this sense when Jack expresses himself and Sam says, “I’m with you, Jack.” In Greek, the word for God is “θεος” (theos). If the word is preceded by the article without other qualifiers, as in “‘ο θεος” (the God), then the Father is meant. This seems to be so in every case in which “θεος” stands alone (is not modified by an adjective or an adjectival phrase).

and the Expression was Deity.
This phrase is usually translated, “and the word was God”. Some people read it emphasizing the word “was”. In doing so, they imply that the “word” and “God” are identical. But this is not the case since
“θεος” is not preceded by the article. In addition, the word order is changed: “θεος ‘ην ‘ο λογος” (God was the word). This word order is used elsewhere in the New Testament. For example:

God is love [ I John 4:16] “‘o θεος ‘αγαπη ‘εστιν” (God love is). Love is the kind of thing God is, the kind of “stuff” of which He consists ---- His essence.

Your word is reality. [John 17:17]. “‘o λογος ‘ο σος ‘αληθεια ‘εστιν” (The word of you reality is) Reality is the kind of thing God’s word (expression) is. It’s the stuff of which His word consists --- the essence of His word.

Thus: The Expression was Deity [John 1:1] “θεος ‘ην ‘ο λογος” (Deity was the Expression). Deity is the kind of thing that the Expression of God was. It is the stuff of which He consists ---- His very essence.

Martin Luther concurred with this understanding. Whatever else he might have been, Luther was a good Greek scholar. He put it quite succinctly, saying that the lack of an article is against Sabellianism and the word order is against Arianism.

Sabellianism was a form of modalism or “oneness”, the idea that God is a single divine Individual who reveals Himself in three modes, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Arianism may have originated from the early Christian teaching that the Son of God was begotten by God before all ages, and being God’s only begotten Son, he was therefore fully deity. Arius himself, when writing in 321 A.D. to Eusebius bishop of Nicodemia, referred to the Son as “fully God”:

“But what we say and think we both have taught and continue to teach, that the Son is not unbegotten, nor part of the unbegotten in any way, nor is he derived from any substance; but that by his own will and counsel he existed before times and ages, fully God, only-begotten, unchangeable.”

However, Arius was perceived by Martin Luther and many others, as having taught that Christ was “a lesser god”. This thought may have arisen from Arius’s error in teaching that since the Son was begotten before all ages as an act of God, there must have been a time at which He did not exist.

So the Logos of God was Deity. He was not God Himself. Nor was He part of a Trinity. He Himself in His prayer declared His Father to be the only true God:

John 17:3 "This is lasting life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

By the addition of “and Jesus Christ whom You have sent”, Jesus indicates that He is other than “the only true God”.

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 82.

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