TNP Caller Last Week

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TNP Caller Last Week

Post by darinhouston » Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:02 pm

A caller asked Steve about the Trinity last week. In his generally well reasoned response, there was one premise/presupposition that deserves some further support. His response assumed (as most do) that the "Word" is to be equated with "Jesus." While the Word "became" flesh in or was "embodied" in Jesus, I haven't seen a compelling argument showing that Jesus shares ontological identity with the Word. To the contrary, there are a fair number of views that the Logos is something "other" than the man in whom it was embodied.

So, what is the best argument for equating Jesus with the Word (to support a pre-incarnate even if not eternal Sonship)?

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Re: TNP Caller Last Week

Post by steve » Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:16 pm

There are many propositions traditionally made about the Word that could be challenged. I am going with what appears to be the simplest interpretation, though one that is more esoteric or philosophically sophisticated could be entertained. I do not know any positive proofs for some of the more imaginative interpretations, though this does not mean they are not on to something.

I am a conservative person, by temperament. I sometimes move from the views with which I was raised, but not very easily. It generally takes a long pilgrimage and compelling reasons. There may be reasonably good reasons to accept a less-conservative view, but until I perceive them to be superior to the reasons for taking a conservative view, I usually view them at arm's length.

I am admittedly a simpleton and without must sophistication in my approach to John's prologue. I am inclined to think that most of John's readers were not philosophers, though I may be wrong about that assumption.

I find John personifying the Word from the second verse onward. The pronoun "He" is applied to the Word right up to, and including, verse 14. I find no evidence of a change of identity in the Word from verse 2 to verse 14, which makes it most natural to me to believe there is ontological identity straight through the passage.

I am in the company of the greater number of my theological and spiritual heroes, though this, again, doesn't decide the question with finality. If I turn out to be wrong, I do not think I will be the worse for it.

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Re: TNP Caller Last Week

Post by StevenD » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:17 pm

Paul mentions (twice) that "all things were created" by the Son (Col. 1:13-16). Presuming that John and Paul held to a common cosmogony, it follows that the statement (affirmed twice) in John 1:3 about "all things" having been made by the Word supports the identification of the Word with the Son.

In addition, Paul's statement that "he is before all things" (Col. 1:17) upholds the pre-incarnate (I would posit the eternal) existence of the Son. The subject of vv. 14-18 is the Son (v. 13).

Steven D.

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