Jesus the mediator

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21centpilgrim
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Jesus the mediator

Post by 21centpilgrim » Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:30 pm

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 1 Tim. 2:5


No doctrine can rest upon just one isolated text, however one text can refute many false doctrines. Here Paul is clearly differentiating between the one God (notice Paul didn't say 'one Father') and Messiah Jesus.
How do Trinitarians respond to this text/passage? It is very similar to what Jesus says in John 17 when he calls the father the one true God.
Then those who feared the LORD spoke with each other, and the LORD listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and loved to think about him.

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steve
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Re: Jesus the mediator

Post by steve » Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:47 pm

In many passages, Jesus and God are mentioned separately, as if distinct from one another. In such cases, the word "God" seems to be used as a synonym for the Father. Thus Jesus uses the terms interchangeably, when He says, "I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God" (John 20:17). He also makes it clear that the one whom the Jews called their "God" is one and the same as the one that He is referring to as His Father (John 8:54).

This means that "God" can sometimes simply refer to "the Father," in some contexts. In others, as when Jesus is referred to as God, the term is not restricted to the Father, but apparently to the more complex trinitarian phenom of which Christ and the Father are separate aspects.

I am not here claiming to understand the trinity. I am only saying that to mention Jesus and "God" as distinct persons, in certain verses, is no more non-trinitarian than to mention Jesus and "the Father" as distinct, in other verses.

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21centpilgrim
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Re: Jesus the mediator

Post by 21centpilgrim » Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:11 pm

Thanks Steve.
Doesn't the 'one God' bring into the equation, the obvious question that the verse, taken on face value means that Jesus is not the 'one God' and not merely just not the Father?
Then those who feared the LORD spoke with each other, and the LORD listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and loved to think about him.

MMathis
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Re: Jesus the mediator

Post by MMathis » Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:56 am

If Jesus said "I'm the son of God." And someone asked, well which God? (Because we know they had a few back then)
I would think Jesus would respond with "THE God, you know, the true God"
I don't see how that would change anything for people that believe in the Trinity.
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Paidion
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Re: Jesus the mediator

Post by Paidion » Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:44 pm

In His prayer to His Father, Jesus said:
And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (John 17:3)
Notice that little word "and" just before "Jesus Christ"?

Jesus not only addressed His Father as "the only true God" but with that little conjunction "and" distinguished Himself from "the only true God."
So clearly Jesus did not regard Himself as the only true God.

As I understand the Trinity view, God is a singular complex Entity consisting of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This seems odd, because over 95% of the instances of the word "God" in the New Testament refers to the Father alone, and the article "the" always precedes the word "God" in these instances. He is "The God." There are a few instances in which the word "God" is used in reference to the Son. But that seems to be in virtue of the fact that He is the Son of God. This is similar to the fact that the son of a man is also "man." When the word "God" refers to the Son the article is NEVER used. The Son is divine, but He is not THE God.

Both uses of "God" occur in John 1:1
In the beginning was the Logos and the Logos was with the God and the word was God. (no article)
Also by placing "God" before "was" in the Greek of the last four words, John indicated that God essence was the kind of thing that the Logos was.

Martin Luther put it very succinctly "The lack of an article is against Sabellianism; the word order is against Arianism."
Sabellianism was the view that God is one divine individual Person who expresses Himself in three modes: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In our day, this understanding (called "Modalism") has been adopted by the United Pentecostal Church, and various denominations of "Apostolic" churches. However, leaders of these churches do not wish to be called "Modalists." David Bernard, a UPC leader, wrote a book defending the view, entitled "The Oneness of God." Luther, like many today, consider Arianism to have held that Jesus was a "lesser God" (Though Arius himself in a letter he wrote referred to Jesus as being "fully God.") If the last four words of John1:1 were in natural order, then they would be translated as "The Word was a God" or "The Word was a god." Indeed, the latter is exactly the translation found in the New World Translation that Jehovah's Witnesses use.

The apostle Paul also distinguished between the One God, and the One Lord—Jesus Christ:
...yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. (1Corinthians 8:6)
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus...(1Timothy 2:5)
The early Christians indicated that the Son was begotten by the Father "before all ages" as the first of His acts. So the way I see it is that the Son of God is divine in virtue of the fact that He is God's Son, and He can properly be called "God" in that sense, just as a human being who is begotten by man, can properly be called "man." That person is man in essence. God's Son is God in essence.
Paidion

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Homer
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Re: Jesus the mediator

Post by Homer » Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:53 pm

Hi Paidion,

You wrote:
So the way I see it is that the Son of God is divine in virtue of the fact that He is God's Son, and He can properly be called "God" in that sense, just as a human being who is begotten by man, can properly be called "man." That person is man in essence. God's Son is God in essence.
So if we have a human begotten by man we have two men. How is it then, in your reasoning, that we do not have two Gods?

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Paidion
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Re: Jesus the mediator

Post by Paidion » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:04 pm

Hi Homer, you wrote:So if we have a human begotten by man we have two men. How is it then, in your reasoning, that we do not have two Gods?
If by "two Gods" you mean "two divine Beings" then there are indeed "two Gods." For the Father and the Son are each divine, and they are not the same Individual. When Jesus prayed to the Father, He was not praying to Himself.

However, in the sense of the Father being "the only true God" (as Jesus addressed Him) there is only one true God. Jesus never claimed to be "the only true God." And by adding "and Jesus Christ whom you have sent" He seems to have identified Himself as other than "the only true God." Notwithstanding, having been begotten by God, He was divine, and was "God" in that sense of the word.
Paidion

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.

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Seballius
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Re: Jesus the mediator

Post by Seballius » Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:29 am

Paidion - you favorably talked of the JW’s translation in regards to John 1:1. Are you a JW? Or do you consider yourself a believer of Arianism?

Thank you


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steve
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Re: Jesus the mediator

Post by steve » Sun Jul 01, 2018 11:53 am

over 95% of the instances of the word "God" in the New Testament refers to the Father alone, and the article "the" always precedes the word "God" in these instances.
The latter part of this statement is not correct. The definite article is often omitted in references to "the one True God". Even in this first chapter of John, I count 12 occurrences of theos (God), in unambiguous references to "the True God". Of these, at least four do not include the article (the) and seven do include it. Thus, in over 1/3 of the occurrences referring unambiguously to the "one True God," the article is absent.

We find, then, that John uses the word theos twelve times in one chapter, alternating between the use and the non-use of the definite article. Yet, in eleven of the 12 instances, he is unambiguously referring to the "one True God". The one case that may be said to be ambiguous, and under consideration here, is the second occurrence in verse 1. It seems contrived, when finding a word used 12 times in a passage, to gratuitously claim that, in one instance, it does not mean what it means in the other 11. See the examples:

verse 1 - "the Word was with [the] God" (article present)
"God was the Word" (no article)

verse 2 - "[the Word] was in the beginning with [the] God" (article present)

verse 6 -"There was a man sent from God" (no article)

verse 12 - "to them He gave the authority to become sons of God" (no article)

verse 13 - "were born...of God" (no article)

verse 18 - "no one has seen God" (no article)

verse 29 - "Behold, the Lamb of [the] God (article present)

verse 34 - "this is the Son of [the] God" (article present)

verse 36 - "Behold, the Lamb of [the] God (article present)

verse 49 - "you are the Son of [the] God" (article present)

verse 51 - "the angels of [the] God" (article present)


It seems to me that John primarily (though not in verse 12) inserts the article where he is speaking of someone other than God, but in relation to [e.g., "Son of...," "Lamb of...," "angels of..."] God. When speaking simply of God Himself, as the main focus, John appears to omit the article. This is only a suggestion. There may be no hope of finding the rationale for John's variation in the use or non-use of the article—just as there may be no explanation for my alternating, in this post, between the use of Arabic numerals (11, 12, etc.) and spelling out the numbers (eleven, twelve, etc.).

Verses 1 and 2 stand outside the pattern just described (as does v,12), but, we can affirm, without controversy, that, if "theos" is used, without the article, in John 1:1b to refer to something less than "the one True God," this breaks the otherwise universal pattern of John's use of the term theos (with or without the article) exclusively with reference to the "one True God." Whoever claims that John has made this singular exception in his usage, it seems to me, bears a considerable burden of proof.

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Paidion
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Re: Jesus the mediator

Post by Paidion » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:17 pm

Hi Steve, you wrote:The latter part of this statement is not correct.
You are right. It seems I had a senior moment there (I'm now 80 and so have an excuse).

What I should have said, is that whenever the article IS used, with no other modifiers, it refers only to the Father.
Paidion

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.

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