Shalom! My name is Adam Pastor

Welcome to ADONI MESSIAH which means
"My Lord Messiah" -
a fitting epithet to who Jesus (or Yeshua) is!

Here, I attempt to present the Apostolic Truths according to the Scriptures, that there is
One GOD, the Father, namely, YAHWEH,
and One Lord, GOD's only begotten Son,
Yeshua the Messiah.

And that one day YAHWEH will send His Son back to Earth to inaugurate the Everlasting Kingdom of GOD



Enjoy!


Monday, February 26, 2007

Concerning 'another deity' and the 'word' - PART 3 & Appendix

CONCLUSION
 
Hopefully, I have established two points i.e.
  1. That the Hebrew Scriptures simply do not allow the possibility for another deity, whether co-equal or subordinate.
    GOD knew of no other deity neither was He going to form one.
    The Jews knew of and honored solely one GOD, one deity, who was the Creator of all things, namely, YAHWEH.


  2. That John's prologue was written with a style and idiom which was in line with earlier Jewish writings of that era.
    That is, GOD's actions, GOD's wisdom, GOD's word; were personified, depicted as male & female figures, to describe the ONE GOD's actions in His creation. These personifications were never meant to be taken literally; neither did the readers of that time take them literally. Both 1st-century Jews & Christians understood John's prologue as describing GOD's word - that through GOD's active word all things were created; GOD's word was sent into the creation.
    The new thing which was totally unknown in earlier writings which John was declaring, is that GOD's word literally became a person - the personification became a person resulting in the conception of Jesus of Nazareth, the logos of GOD made flesh! Jesus is what the logos became ... a man, a human being!
Thus, the Scriptures collectively, both OT & NT, the Bible ... is indeed a unitarian book - not trinitarian, not binitarian; but a unitarian book.
It depicts
solely one deity, one GOD who has made
one human being, His Son, Lord and Messiah.
So you have ONE GOD who has ONE right hand man!

[Psa 80.17, 110.1]
And this man operates in the power of his GOD.
[Micah 5.2-4]

There is no room for 2 or 3 Gods - no room for another deity.

The theology has not changed. The Jews still have solely ONE GOD.
The difference being that in the NT, the Messiah has been revealed, namely, the man Christ Jesus.
Besides, all Scripture-believing Jews recognized from the Scriptures that the Messiah was meant to be a man of the lineage of David. They never ever for one moment believed that the Messiah would be (an incarnation of) their GOD or a deity of some sort; No! They knew from the Scriptures that the Messiah would be a human being. Although, a human being greatly endowed by the power of GOD [e.g. Isa 11.2, etc], however nonetheless a human being.
 
Sadly, although Israel as a nation have rejected Jesus of Nazareth as that Messiah; it wasn't because he turned out to be some deity/demigod made flesh! No! He indeed is a man of the seed of David. Yes! Supernaturally conceived. Nonetheless a human being. I believe Israel as a whole rejected him because they expected him to inaugurate GOD's Kingdom at his arrival; and therefore, no way did they believe for one moment that their Messiah would die much less be crucified!
[cp. Mt 16.21-22, Mark 8.31-32, 9.31-32, Luke 18.31-34]

That was their main hurdle ...
how could their long-awaited Lord Messiah be that man from Nazareth who was crucified like a common criminal, who did not usher in GOD's Kingdom!!
Thus the Apostles labored to show from the Hebrew Scriptures that the Messiah was indeed prophesied to suffer & die first, spend some indeterminate time in Heaven at GOD's right hand; and at his return/Parousia, he would then inaugurate GOD's Kingdom upon the earth.
 
Because Israel as a whole rejected Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah; in the following century, many Gentile believers with a Hellenistic background studied the Scriptures with great ignorance of the Jewish styles and idioms used in their writings. (Their writings includes the Bible which is a Hebrew Book.)
Because of Israel's rejection of Christianity plus other various reasons, there was just not enough Hebrew input to correct this Gentile input of foreign ideas/concepts.
Hence, the Scriptures & Jewish idioms were being misinterpreted. Especially, the opening of the Gospel of John was misinterpreted ... which gave rise to Gnostic concepts, intermediary figures, demiurges, demigods & eventually the Jewish Messiah was made into a deity!
 
However, once one returns to the Hebrew Scriptures with a Hebrew mindset; by the Grace of GOD one will discover the truth of the ONE GOD and the One Lord, His Son ...
the ONE GOD and His right hand man!
 
Dear Readers, may GOD continue to aid and direct you as you seek these truths.
May He Bless your every endeavor.
 
APPENDIX

  1. Some applicable quotes related to the subject at hand:

    • As a leading scholar at Cambridge recently wrote, "John is as undeviating a witness as any in the New Testament to the fundamental tenet of Judaism, of unitary monotheism"
      (cp. Rom. 3:30; James 2:19).

      There is one true and only God (John 5:44; 17:3). Everything else is idols (1 John 5:20) ...
      Jesus refuses the claim to be God (John 10:33). 
      (J.A.T. Robinson, 12 More NT Studies, p. 175).

    • At Qumran (the Dead Sea Scrolls), Jews wrote, "By God's knowledge everything has been brought into being. And everything that is God established by His purpose, and apart from Him nothing is done" (1 QS XI.11).
    • "In the beginning was the purpose, the purpose in the mind of God, the purpose which was God's own being this purpose took human form in Jesus of Nazareth"
      (G.B. Caird, New Testament Theology, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995, p. 332).

  2. For more info, on the expression, the word was with GOD, read II. THE WORD IN JOHN 1:1 in this article: What's in a Word? Recovering the Vocabulary of the New Testament  

  3. For more info on the opening verses of John 1:1, I recommend John 1:1 Caveat Lector (Reader Beware)

  4. Here are some other examples of John 1:3-4 being translated using IT
    • Tomson, Lawrence. The New Testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Translated out of Greeke by Theod. Beza.
      London: Robert Barker, 1607.

      In the beginning was that Word, and that Word was with God, and that Word was God. This same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by it, and without it was made nothing that was made. In it was life, and that life was the light of men. And that light shineth in the darknes, and the darknesse comprehended it not.

    • Mortimer, Mr. Divers Parts of the Holy Scriptures Done into English.
      London: T. Piety, 1761.

      The word was
      in the beginning; and the word was with God, and the word was God; [the word] was with God in the beginning]. Through the same all things were made, and without the same was not made even one thing that was made. In the same was life, and that life was the light of human beings; and the light shineth on the darkness, yet the darkness apprehended it not.

    • Wakefield, Gilbert. A Translation of the New Testament.
      London: Philanthropic Press, 1791.

      In the beginning was Wisdom, and Wisdom was with God, and Wisdom was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by it, and without it was nothing made. What was made, had life in it, and this life was the light of men; and this light shineth in darkness, and the darkness hindered it not.

    • Campbell, Alexander. The Sacred Writings of the Apostles and Evangelists of Jesus Christ, Commonly Styled the New Testament, Translated from the Original Greek.
      Buffaloe, Brooke County, VA: Alexander Campbell, 1826.

      In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. This was in the beginning with God. All things were made by it, and without it not a single creature was made. In it was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shone in darkness; but the darkness admitted it not.

    • Dickinson, Rodolphus.  A New and Corrected Version of the New Testament; or, a Minute Revision, and Professed Translation of the Original Histories, Memoirs, Letters, Prophecies, and Other Productions of the Evangelists and Apostles.
      Boston: Lilly, Wait, Colman and Holden, 1833.

      In the beginning existed the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. This was in the commencement with God. All things were formed by it, and without it not even one thing was made, which has existed. In it was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shone in darkness, and the darkness did not overpower it.

    • Barnard, David.  The Holy Bible; Being the English Version of the Old and New Testaments, Made by Order of King James I, Carefully Revised and Amended, by Several Biblical Scholars.
      Mannsville, NY: D. S. Dean and Rhodes Barker, 1847.

      In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. This was in the beginning with God. All things were made by it; and without it nothing was made that was made. In it was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shone in the darkness; and the darkness did not admit it.

    • Folsom, Nathaniel S. The Four Gospels: Translated from the Greek Text of Tischendorf. 
      Boston: A. Williams, 1869.

      In [the] beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. This was in [the] beginning with God. All things through it arose into being, and without it arose not even one thing which has arisen. In it is Life, and the Life was the Light of men. And the Light shines on, in the Darkness; and the Darkness did not apprehend it.


  5. Concerning (John 1:15) John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before [Gk. protos ] me.

    Before [protos] is being used in the sense of pre-eminence & priority, not time! John was indeed older than Jesus, however Jesus being the Lord Messiah, the Son of GOD, was John's superior.
    Once again it is an issue of translation. The Greek may equally read "because he is first [Greek protos] in regard to me," (as stated in the margin of the 1885 English Revised Version of the Bible), meaning,

    "he is better than me," my superior, my chief.

    Compare John 1.15 in the following versions:

    • The Geneva Bible. (1560)
      Iohn bare witnesse of him, and cryed, saying, This was he of whom I said, He that commeth after me, was before me: for he was better then I.
    • 1864 Emphatic Diaglott
      He who comes after me is in advance of me; for he is my superior

    • 1902 Joseph Bryant Rotherham's Emphasized Bible
      Joh 1:15  (John beareth witness concerning him, and hath cried aloud, saying––the same, was he that said––He who, after me, was coming, before me, hath advanced; because, my Chief, was he.)

  6. It appears that the 19th-century English translations were more accurate in bringing out the intent of John the Baptist's statement. John was saying that the one who was to follow him, is first in rank to him hence before him, because he is John's superior.
    So, while it is true that the Greek word “before” (protos) can mean “before in time,” it can just as easily be “first,” “chief,” “leader,” etc. For example, the “first” and great commandment was not the first given in time, but the first in rank. Other examples where protos (Grk for 'first') is used to mean "first in rank" are ...
    Matt 20:27 (chief), Mark 6:21 (chief), Mark 10:44 (chiefest), Luke 15:22 (best), etc.
     


    • Jesus in comparison to John was NOT "first in time," "before," BUT
      "first in importance," which will give such a meaning as "he was my Chief."
      [Cf. Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John, p108-9

  7. Concerning Hebrews Chapter 1

    In this chapter, when isolated from its context, individual phrases seem to justify Trinitarian (or even Arian i.e. pre-existent) interpretation. These phrases are: "through whom also He made the world" (v. 2); "And let all the angels of God worship him" (v. 6); "But of the Son He says, 'Your throne, O God, is forever and ever' "(v. 8); "You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the works of your hands; they will perish, but you remain...You are the same, and your years will not come to an end" (v. 10, 12).
    Read in isolation — out of context — these verses may appear to say that Jesus is GOD or deity. However, we should never read back into the text what later traditions have taught us.
    The book of Hebrews was first written to encourage believers who were facing persecution to remain loyal to Christ. These believers were Jewish converts to Christ and they must be encouraged to see the superiority of Christ over the old Jewish system of things. Christ is superior to the angels (who had mediated the old covenant); he is superior to Abraham, Moses and Joshua. Christ is superior to the Levitical priesthood and Temple rituals and sacrifices. This superiority rests in the fact that Jesus is the resurrected Son of GOD, not that he is Almighty GOD or a (pre-existent) deity. Think about it!

    If Jesus is GOD in human form, then the author could have saved himself a lot of ink and time. All he needed to do was write that Jesus is superior to all because "He is GOD". End of argument.

    But the opening verses of Hebrews allow no such interpretation. They run like this: "God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world" (v. 1-3).
    Under the old covenant GOD spoke in various portions and in various ways to the fathers in the prophets. In contrast, He now speaks through a Son in these last days. One of the ways GOD spoke in OT times was also through the mediation of angels (see Heb. 2:2). This means, amongst other things, that GOD's message to Israel was not through a pre-existent Son who was an angel, as Jehovah's Witnesses believe, nor can it mean — as many Trinitarians think — that Jesus was the "angel of the LORD"; nor can it mean that GOD spoke to the fathers in OT days through a
    pre-existent Son. For the opening verses of Hebrews testify that before the birth of Jesus there was no Son of GOD as GOD's messenger to men. In the OT, GOD did not speak through the Son. For the obvious reason that the Son wasn't even conceived yet!
    Bluntly then: "What emerges from the first two verses of the book of Hebrews is that Jesus was not God's agent to Israel in Old Testament times,"
    (Buzzard and Hunting, The Doctrine of the Trinity (1998), p. 75).

    The Son — through whom GOD has in these end-times spoken — has been "appointed heir of all things" (v. 2). Then comes the statement that through this appointed heir of all things GOD "made the world" (v. 2). The old KJV translation has "through whom He made the worlds." Seeing this, we tend to immediately think of the Genesis creation at the beginning of the universe. But the word used for "worlds" here is the word for "ages" (aion) from which we get our English word eon(s). The writer is not speaking of the Genesis creation of the heavens and the earth. He is speaking about time periods, epochs. In Jewish thinking there were classically two great ages. The first is the present and evil age. [Gal 1.4] The next will be the Messianic age to come. And Hebrews 1:2 is speaking of the world — or more precisely — the Messianic age to come. He goes on to tell us that through Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross a new way has been opened up for us to enter
    the new earth and the new heavens of the future Messianic Kingdom when it dawns.
    This "appointed heir of all things" is the agent, the mediator through (Grk. dia) whom GOD has — in prospect — brought about the new Messianic age. True, this Son now "upholds all things by the word of his power" (v. 3b). But it is the new creation — the Messianic age — that is held together by his (authorized and delegated) power. In the Messianic Kingdom everything will be based on Christ's word and teaching. Without Christ and his word of the Kingdom there is no Messianic Age to uphold.
    And in that new age even the angels will worship the Son, for he has "become as much better than the angels, as he has inherited a more excellent name than they" (v. 4). This is what the Father had decreed through the prophets long ago (v. 5). If there is any doubt that Christ the Son will be worshipped in that glorious new age the author dispels such a question by promising that "when He [GOD] again
    brings the first-born into the world, He says, 'And let all the angels of GOD worship him' " (v. 6). At the Second Coming the Father's decree will become history. Every knee, whether in heaven or on earth, will pay homage to the Son (see Ps. 2:12). This worship of Jesus the Son does not make him Almighty GOD.

    Just as in the OT, the Kings of Israel and dignitaries were
    worshipped.
    There is a worship applicable to Almighty GOD alone; and there is a worship applicable to kings and dignitaries. In fact, the Hebrew word for worship, shachah in the OT, is used in reference to men more often than it is for Almighty GOD; compare also (1 Chr 29:20) And David said to all the congregation, Now bless YAHWEH your God. And all the congregation blessed YAHWEH God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads,
    and
    worshipped (shachah) YAHWEH, and the king.

    David received worship alongside GOD Almighty!! That is, David received civil/regal worship just as Christ did in the NT!

    This act of (relative) worship of Jesus by the angels will honor the Father, for it is His will they do this (Phil. 2:9-11).
    I have already commented on Psalms 45 in my first email; However, I will again quote Kuschel conc. Hebrews:

    • The phrases 'reflection of his glory' and 'stamp of his nature (1.3) represent a christological acceptance of the authority of wisdom as the bearer of divine revelation (Wisdom 7.25f.). The eschatological context and the present participles used in these statements (literally: he, being reflection and stamp) make it clear that ... something is being said about the present being and action of the exalted Christ: 'The hymn is not concerned to make either a statement about pre-existence or a statement about the earthly life of the Son, but a statement about the significance of the Son for the community in the present.'

    • The words from Ps. 2.7 and II Sam. 7.14 about the divine Sonship of Christ which are quoted in Heb. 1.5 (evidently against a speculative 'angel christology') point in the same direction. We already saw in the analysis of the sayings source that the phrase in the psalm 'You are my Son, today I have begotten you' does not indicate an eternal begetting in God before time, any more than does the saying from II Samuel, 'I will be his Father, and he will be my Son'. As is well known, Psalm 2 is a royal psalm, and Ps. 2.7 does not refer to a pre-existence of the king but to his appointment as son of God on his accession. And II Sam. 7.14 refers to the confirmation of the Davidic monarchy by Yahweh himself. So here 'begetting' is a synonym for exaltation.

    • The divine predicate given to Christ in the quotation from Ps. 45 (1.8, 'Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever') is not speculation about divine nature from pre-existence christology, but an interpretation of the statements which relate to the exalted Christ ('reflection' and 'stamp'). 'Both terms attest that in Jesus Christ God's nature and his glory can be seen.

      (Kuschel, Born Before All Time?, p. 356.)

  8. So, the Christology of Hebrews is not a pre-existence Christology but primarily a Christology of exaltation. The author is not concerned with primal time, but with the status of Christ as regent in the present which ensures our salvation. The foundations of the new Messianic age - the new heavens and the new earth - will be firmly laid on Messiah's throne (v. 10-12). The original intention of the writer of Psalms 102, is to speak about the coming Messianic age of the Kingdom which is to be centered in Jerusalem. This is a prophecy that "will be written for the generation to come; that a people yet to be created may praise YAHWEH" (Ps. 102.18). The Psalmist anticipates the day when Jerusalem will be restored under Messiah. This Messianic agent through which GOD will speak will be the one
    "to establish [literally, 'plant'] the heavens; to found the earth, and to say to Zion, You are my people' " (Is. 51.16).
    The Word Bible Commentary says of these verses:

    • This makes no sense if it refers to the original (Genesis) creation ... In other instances God acts alone using no agent (Isa. 44.24). Here the one he had hidden in his hand is his agent. Heavens and land refers metaphorically to the totality of the order in Palestine. Heaven means the broader overarching structure of the empire, while "land" is the political order in Palestine itself.

  9. Thus, the series of truths being mentioned in these verses in Hebrews 1 refer to the time when GOD re-introduces His now glorified Son, His "first-born into the world" (Heb. 1.6). If there is still any doubt that this is the correct interpretation the writer states in Heb. 2.5:
    "For He did not subject to angels the world to come, concerning which we are speaking".

    All the prophetic announcements of Hebrews 1 relate to the Messianic age to come! His concern is not with the old Genesis creation but with the new world in mind. Hebrews 1 speaks about the Son being the king of Israel, and mentions a throne, a scepter and a Kingdom with no end.
    In that Messianic age when the Son sits on the throne, he stills has One above him whom he calls his "GOD": "Therefore God, your GOD, has anointed you with the old of gladness above your companions" (Heb 1.9). One should now realize that Hebrews 1.8-10 is not saying that Jesus is Almighty GOD or any other deity. The reason is that it specifically states that the Son has a GOD who anointed him. If Jesus is Almighty GOD and has a GOD above him, then there are two Gods/deities. This is an utter impossibility to the writers of the Scriptures.

    Dear Readers, my above comments on Hebrews 1 are mostly based upon a book titled
    "They never told me this in church!", by Greg S. Deuble (p. 232-238) -
    available from http://www.abc-coggc.org/coggc/books.htm

    I thoroughly recommend this book!

  10. Concerning Hebrews 2:13-18

    Firstly, the word "nature" is not even in 2:16 ... in fact the phrase "him the nature of" & the 2nd him are not present in the verse, hence, that is why they are in italics; because these words were added by the translators, they are not based on the Greek text. The word nature is not present in the Greek text of this verse! Hence, 2:16, no doubt was translated in such a way to bring about a trinitarian, pre-existing bias as you have picked up! ... seeing that the translators were reading a "God the Son" theology into the text. Heb 2:16 could equally be translated ...

    • NKJV Hebrews 2:16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels,
      but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham.

    • New American Standard Bible Hebrews 2:16
      For assuredly
      He does not give help to angels,
      but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.

    • RSV Hebrews 2:16 For surely it is not with angels that he is concerned
      but with the descendants of Abraham.

    • New RSV Hebrews 2:16 For it is clear that he did not come to help angels,
      but the descendants of Abraham.

    • American Standard Version Hebrews 2:16 For verily not to angels doth he give help,
      but he giveth help to the seed of Abraham.

    • New American Bible Hebrews 2:16 Surely he did not help angels
      but rather the descendants of Abraham;

    • English Standard Version Heb 2:16 For surely it is not angels that he helps,
      but he helps the offspring of Abraham.

  11. Hopefully, you get the gist of what this verse is saying ...
    It has absolutely nothing to with "nature", whether divine or otherwise!

    Verse 16 simply appears to be saying that it was 'the children of Abraham' that Christ came to help.

    Dunn concerning the writer of Hebrews states:

    • It would certainly go beyond our evidence to conclude that the author has attained to the understanding of God's Son as having had a real pre-existence. In short, a concept of pre-existent sonship, yes; but the pre-existence perhaps more of an idea and purpose in the mind of God than a personal divine being.
      (p. 55-56)

  12. The word 'also' in v. 14 is simply to strengthen the special point of the writer's emphasis of the humanity of Jesus.
    The earliest followers of Jesus indeed emphasized the humanity of Jesus.
    Concerning my thoughts on 2:13-18, I believe George Wesley Buchanan makes an excellent exegesis.
    He points out that the expression in the Greek text of v. 14 is actually "blood and flesh":

    • 2.14.
      The expression "flesh and blood" is a customary Jewish and Christian idiom meaning human nature, especially as distinct from divine nature (Matt 16:17; I Cor 15:50; Gal 1:16; Eph 6:12; Nazir 9:5; Sotah 8:1). ... The idiom used by the author of Hebrews, however, was "blood and flesh." This was the blood and flesh which Jesus shared equally with the children, and may not have referred specifically to human nature at all. The expression may have taken human nature for granted, but meant to specify that among the human beings that existed on earth, Jesus was of the same "blood and flesh" as other children of Abraham; they were all fellow Israelites and belonged to the same family tree (see Deut 17:15).

    • 2:16: For he certainly does not prefer [take] angels but he prefers [takes] the seed of Abraham.

      The word translated "prefer" (epilambanetai) means to seize, lay hold of, attack, come up to, reach, or obtain. It is a slight variant from anti-lambanetai, with the same meanings essentially, in the following LXX quotation

      • 8 "But you, Israel, my son Jacob, whom I chose (exelexamen—Hebrew behartika). [the] seed of Abraham, whom I loved
        9
         whom I took (antelabomen — Hebrew hehezaqtika, "laid hold of")
        from the boundaries of the earth . . ." (Isa 41:8-9).

    • The author must have had a LXX text which had some variants. He shows no sign of wanting to vary the meaning from its Old Testament context. As he used the compound word "take," he meant, as did the LXX translator by his form of the compound, to "take" by choosing, to take one thing in preference to another. The angels have not been mentioned since [Heb. 2] vs. 9, but they continue to be involved in the comparison with the Son. Here, however, the claim is made that Jesus was not only greater than the angels, but that the Israelites were also given preference over angels. Paul was also of the same opinion. He claimed that the saints were destined to judge angels (I Cor 6:3). In the Isaiah passage, the subject was God who did the choosing, loving, and taking. As before, the author changed the subject to Jesus who chose (took) the seed of Abraham rather than angels, but the object remains the same. It is Israel, Jacob, or the children of Abraham who were the chosen, the brothers, and the sons of whom the Son was not ashamed. ... The author of Hebrews held that Jesus and the sons of Abraham were "all from one" (2:11) father, namely Abraham. He shared equally with the children of Israel in blood and flesh; he belonged to the same basic ancestry. This strongly suggests that the author of Hebrews and the community for whom he prepared this document were all members of some branch of
      Jewish Christianity.

      TO THE HEBREWS, G.W. Buchanan, (1985), p. 34, 35-36

  13. So, in conclusion then, the writers of John's Gospel and the book of Hebrews, do not contradict the Gospels of Matthew & Luke, who clearly have no knowledge of a pre-existent Jesus, of a Messiah who personally pre-existed his own conception. More and more Biblical scholars are coming to the realization of this fact.
    They see no personal pre-existence in the Gospel of John nor in the book of Hebrews.
    For example:

    • Professor C.B. Caird of Oxford University wrote, "The Jews had believed only in the preexistence of a personification. Wisdom was a personification, either of a divine attribute, or of a divine purpose, but never a person. Neither the fourth Gospel nor Hebrews speaks of the eternal Word or Wisdom of God in terms which compel us to regard it as a person."
      (The Development of the Doctrine of Christ in the New Testament, p. 79)

  14. Matthew speaks of the genesis [beginning] of Jesus Christ [Matt. 1.18]. Jesus began just like every human being (except of course Adam & Eve) in the womb of their mother. Granted, Jesus' genesis/beginning was like no other, nevertheless, he began in the womb of his mother.
    John, like the writer of Hebrews, views a pre-existence of the plan of GOD concerning His Son.
    Jesus' pre-existence is a notional pre-existence. He pre-existed as an idea in the plan of GOD. GOD foreordained him. And in the fulness of time, that plan was executed, that idea was made flesh resulting in the conception of Jesus the Messiah.
    Almighty GOD had him in mind when He created all things, when He created the ages; especially the age to come, the new heavens & the new earth; in which Jesus will rule as Lord of all, to the glory of GOD the Father.

FINIS

Dear Readers,
May GOD continue to bless you in the knowledge of God,
and of Jesus our Lord,

Amen

Concerning 'another deity' and the 'word' - PART 2

Greetings ...
Hopefully from the first email you will grasp my point that from the Scriptures alone one cannot introduce another deity.
This concept is totally unknown in the Hebrew Bible which the prophets, the apostles, and Jesus Christ studied & preached from.
The other hurdle therefore is the prologue of John 1:1-14

(John 1:1-4) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. ... 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

A little history: From around the 2nd century onwards to this very day, John's prologue has been used to promote a Greek concept that the Logos was a personal being who created the universe; this development began by using Plato's concept of the Greek word Logos. The Greeks' concept of God was that God was both ineffable and unapproachable, therefore He could not have created this material universe. In the time of the Gnostics the Logos was one of many aeons/emanations (these aeons were some kind of divine, intermediary beings according to the Gnostics) sent by the ineffable, unapproachable God; this Logos became the Demiurge who created all things ... that is, the ineffable, unapproachable God had nothing to do with the creation ... it was God the Logos, the Demiurge, who did the actually creating. Irenaeus, the church fathers & other Hellenists who challenged the Gnostics; taught that God the Logos was in fact Jesus Christ the Creator (using John's prologue as their proof text). By the time of the Council of Nicaea, "Jesus, who is now God the Logos" became co-equal to the Father, the Logos was now presented as a pre-existent, co-equal God.

Hence, now in our time, Bible readers just assume that the opening verses especially seeing the word 'him' in our translations, is talking about Jesus the Son of GOD. However, as Colin Brown points out ...

"It is a common but patent misreading of the opening of John's Gospel to read it as if it said: 'In the beginning was the Son, and the Son was with God and the Son was God' (John 1:1). What has happened here is the substitution of Son for Word (Greek logos), and thereby the Son is made a member of the Godhead which existed from the beginning. But if we follow carefully the thought of John's prologue, it is the Word that pre-existed eternally with God and is God. The same Word that made all things and is the light that enlightens human kind 'became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father' (John 1:14; cf. vv. 3 and 8)." Colin Brown, "Trinity and Incarnation: In search of Contemporary Orthodoxy", Ex Auditu (7), 1991.

This patent misreading continues to this very day. Now a little testimony ...

Years ago, when by the grace of GOD, I came to the understanding of who Jesus truly is ... a human being who is GOD's only-begotten Son; and that he was not (a pre-existing) Almighty God or a member of a triune Godhead ... in praying to GOD I asked "how is it that John reads the way it does??" I was convinced by this time, that Jesus did not pre-exist! He was conceived in the womb of Mary howbeit by the supernatural power of GOD, yet he did not pre-exist his conception just as no human being pre-exists their conception; I was convinced that John was a monotheistic Jew ... I was convinced that GOD alone created all things [Isa 44.24], that He alone was the Creator; I was convinced that John would not contradict Matthew & Luke who have no knowledge of a pre-existing Messiah, but present him being conceived in the womb of Mary by the power of GOD. So why does John read the way it does????

I asked GOD about this apparent inconsistency to pure monotheism. Because the way John's prologue appears in our English Bibles, on first impression, it would appear that the Messiah may have been the Creator!! However, I knew by then, that this could not be. Jesus never said he was the Creator but quite the opposite, e.g. (Mark 10:6) But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. (Mark 13:19) For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.

My question was answered!! I discovered shortly afterwards whilst surfing the Net, an article which presented the fact that the majority of the English Bibles before the KJV translation of 1611 beginning with Tyndale all translated John's prologue as follows ...

(John 1:1-4) In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by IT; and without IT was not any thing made that was made. 4 In IT was life; and the life was the light of men.

Did you see that? i.e. All things were made by IT ... that is exactly what 'a word' is! A word is an IT not a him! A word is not a person! A word is a ... a word!

Therefore Tyndale translated the Greek text in the sense of what John meant. GOD created all things by His word. GOD spoke and it was done. Compare: (Psa 33:6) By the word of YAHWEH were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. (Psa 33:9) For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.

Anyways I was stunned. Of course, I did not take the article's word for it. I was Berean about it. I searched libraries and researched this matter, to see if these things were so. And sure enough, from what I could see ...
Tyndale 1525, Tyndale 1534, Matthew's Bible 1537, The Great Bible 1539, The Geneva Bible 1560, the Bishop's Bible (1568) ...
all had 'it' in John 1:3-4

Sadly after the Catholic Rheims NT was printed in 1582 with him in vv. 3-4; it appears that the KJV translators followed that trend ... placed 'him' in vv. 3-4; and thus, the patent misreading continues.

Nevertheless the majority of the English NTs all had 'it' ... thus the readers of Tyndale, Geneva bibles, etc (no doubt, the majority being trinitarian) would not automatically assume that John 1.3-4 was talking about Jesus, but rather, was talking about the word of GOD, which when spoken, all things came into existence. Granted, in Greek grammar, Greek words generally have a gender, logos being male. Thus a translator could indeed use 'him'. However, many words in Greek have genders & when speaking of attributes & genderless things such as ... light, wisdom (feminine in Greek), rock, tree, etc ... the translator ought to supply the appropriate pronoun i.e. IT. However, no doubt, influenced by their trinitarian theology that 'Jesus, God the Son' is the Creator, the translators chose 'him'. But from the beginning it was not so!!!

Personally, this answered my question, I could now see that Tyndale & others were true to the original sense of John. I realized that one could legitimately and being true to the Greek text, translate John 1:3 as All things were made by IT; and without IT; as shown by Tyndale and others. IT is the pronoun which corresponds to what a word is! The monotheist apostle John was not talking about another creator, he was not talking about the Messiah in his opening verses; he was talking about GOD's powerful spoken word through which GOD made all things. In the process of time, the word/logos of GOD was made flesh, resulting in the conception of Jesus the Messiah.

I quote Kuschel (Born Before All Time?, p. 382) ...

From this it may be concluded that he [Jesus] is the Logos in person, the wisdom of God in human form. ... We may therefore follow Leonhard Goppelt in seeing the focus of the content of the prologue as this: 'The logos of the prologue becomes Jesus; Jesus was the logos become flesh, not the logos as such.'

Anyways, here are some examples of the pre-KJV translations that I speak of ...

  • Tyndale 1525: http://alleluya.com/TyNT/jn.htm#1:1 In the beginning was that word, and that word was with god: and god was that word. The same was in the beginning with god. All things were made by it, and without it, was made no thing, that made was. In it was life, And life was the light of men, And the light shineth in the darkness, and darkness comprehended it not.

  • Tyndale 1530: http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/Scriptures/WTT.htm In the beginnynge was the worde, and the worde was with God: and the worde was God. The same was in the beginnynge with God. All thinges were made by it, and with out it, was made nothinge, that was made. http://sbible.boom.ru/tyndale.jpg

  • The Great (Cranmer's) Bible (1539-40) “In the begynnynge was the worde, and the worde was wyth God; and God was the worde. The same was in the begynnyng wyth God. All thinges were made by it, and wythout it, was made nothynge that was made. In it was lyfe, and the lyfe was the lyght of men, and the lyght shyneth in darcknes, and the darcknes comprehended it not” (Great Bible, The Byble in Englyshe, that is to saye the Content of al the holy Scrypture, both of the olde, and newe Testament, London: Edward Whitchurche, 1539).

  • Coverdale 1540: http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/scriptures/TCB.htm In the begynnynge was the worde, and the worde was with God, and God was ye worde. The same was in the begynnynge wt God. All thinges were made by the same, and without the same was made nothinge that was made.

  • Geneva 1560: http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/Scriptures/TGB.htm In the beginning was the Worde, and the Worde was with God and that Worde was God. The same was in the beginning w God. All things were made by it, & without it was made nothing that was made

  • Bishop's Bible 1568 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was that Word. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by it, and without it, was made nothing that was made. In it was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darknesse, and the darknesse comprehendeth it not” (Bishops’ Bible, The Holie Bible, London: Richard Jugge, 1568).

Fascinating huh!
Did you notice in the first few translations of the Gospel of John, "word" was not capitalized.
Showing that the trend of reading "the deity of the word/logos" into the text had not yet begun!

Well ... I covered a little history and a bit of my testimony ... Now, I would like to go into a little more of John's intent behind his prologue.
Logos is simply the Greek word for ... 'word' ... the Hebrew word being dabar
Every Scripture-believing Jew knows that GOD spoke and it was done. Everything came into being by GOD's word. As such, no pre-Christian-era Jew or 1st-century Christian would imagine that the 'word' was an actual living personal being. No! They believed in only ONE GOD, ONE deity, YAHWEH, who was the ONE Creator who created all things alone & by Himself. [Isa 44.24]
The Gnostics were the first "heretics" who were presenting an intermediary personal being called the Logos who created the material world; because of their erroneous concepts that GOD could have nothing to do with this material world; thus an intermediary was needed to do the creating!
John the Apostle may have had this in mind when he wrote God was the Logos (transl. the word was God; theos without a definite article in this phrase, is being used adjectivally, hence, describing the word) Showing that it was indeed GOD ... it was GOD Himself who created all things, it was GOD speaking ... the very word therefore, was GOD's Self-expression ... GOD Himself expressing Himself ... It was not the word of another! It was GOD's own word & not another's!
Again, the Gnostics taught that in the beginning, the ineffable, unapproachable GOD created the Logos-being and then this Logos-being created all things. Again, John the Apostle may have had this in mind when he wrote In the beginning was the Logos and the Logos was with God. It was in the beginning with GOD ... The Logos did not come into existence sometime after the beginning. No! GOD in the beginning created all things by His own word; His own word and not another's! So, John may well have been writing in this style in light of Gnostic tendencies prevalent in his time. He may well be counteracting the Gnostic tendency towards a dualistic or pluralistic idea of GOD.

James Dunn, Christology in the Making, p.243 ... consider his point very carefully :-

The conclusion which seems to emerge from our analysis thus far is that it is only with verse 14 that we can begin to speak of the personal Logos. ... Prior to verse 14 we are in the same realm as pre-Christian talk of Wisdom and Logos [Word], the same language and ideas that we find in the Wisdom tradition and in Philo, where, as we have seen, we are dealing with personifications rather than persons, personified actions of God rather than an individual divine being as such. The point is obscured by the fact that we have to translate the masculine Logos as 'he' throughout the poem. But if we translated logos as God's utterance instead, it would become clearer that the poem did not necessarily intend Logos in vv. 1-13 to be thought of as a personal divine being. In other words, the revolutionary significance of v. 14 may well be that it marks ... the transition from impersonal personification to actual person. This indeed is the astounding nature of the poem's claim. If it had asserted simply that an individual divine being had become man, that would have raised fewer eyebrows. It is the fact that the Logos poet has taken language which any thoughtful Jew would recognize to be the language of personification and has identified it with a particular person, as a particular person, that would be so astonishing: the manifestation of God become a man! God's utterance not merely come through a particular individual, but actually become that one person, Jesus of Nazareth!

I want to talk about the above personification. One could easily read John 1:1-14 adequately with 'him', that is, if you read it with John's intent: as personifying GOD's word from verses 1 through 13; whereby in verse 14 the personification becomes an actual person, however, not before verse 14. It was normal in Jewish writings, etc, to personify GOD's actions & attributes such as GOD's wisdom, GOD's word, GOD's power. Even the writers of the Targums, instead of saying that GOD appeared or GOD said or GOD did ... they would rather say the memra (word) of GOD appeared, the memra of GOD said, the memra of GOD did, etc. However, no reader of the Targums would understand the memra to be an actual person but rather GOD's action being personified. We see examples of this even in the OT. You are aware of Proverbs 8. Sadly Jehovah Witnesses (as well as other Arians) read it from verse 22 and suddenly arrive at the very false assertion that Jesus is being spoken of in that chapter!!! If only they would read from verse 1 (even from 1:20) they would see that Solomon is simply personifying "GOD's WISDOM" as a woman! And using this personification to describe how GOD made all things and therefore, seeing the grand importance of wisdom by which GOD made all things (Cp. Psa 104.24, Prov 3.19, Jer 10.10-12, 51.15, etc), all ought to seek after GOD's wisdom!

(Prov 1:20) Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: (Prov 8:1) Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?

Thus, to emphasize the importance of wisdom, seeing that GOD used wisdom to create the universe; Solomon personifies wisdom as a woman beckoning all to come to her and learn of her; after all, she was present alongside the Creator at the creation, so she must know what she is talking about!! However, this literary device, this personification, that Solomon is using; is not meant to be taken literally! No! Solomon is building an image of a very knowledgeable woman whose wisdom was used to create the heavens and the earth; and thus anyone who seeks wisdom, esp. the youth, ought to come to her and learn of her. However, this woman does not literally exist. She is not for real! This literary device, this figure of speech, is being used, to make a point!! That is, seeing that GOD did not create anything without wisdom; therefore, if wisdom was important to the creation of all things, how much more, ought we to seek wisdom. Hence, Solomon's point, having Lady Wisdom beckoning the youth to seek after her.

However, Lady Wisdom is no more a literal woman, any more than Lady Prudence with whom she dwells!! [Prov 8.12] So Prov. 8 is not talking about the Messiah, besides the fact, that the Messiah is not a woman!! In fact, Messiah Jesus uses the very same literary device, that is, he personifies wisdom as a woman; in Matt 11.19, Luke 7.35. Again, compare (Psa 147:15) He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth: his word runneth very swiftly. Now is the psalmist depicting GOD's commandment as an actual person running upon the earth? Of course not. The psalmist is personifying GOD's commandment, GOD's word; and in describing GOD's word being performed upon the earth, he describes it as running swiftly to carry out GOD's will. Now I will quote from some intertestamental books that although not part of the canon, nevertheless shows us this literary device of personification in use; and therefore will aid in giving us the right understanding of what John meant and how 1st-century Christians would have understood him.
  • Wisdom of Solomon (Apocrypha), chapter 9 1: O God of my fathers, and Lord of mercy, who hast made all things with thy word, 2: And ordained man through thy wisdom, that he should have dominion over the creatures which thou hast made, 3: And order the world according to equity and righteousness, and execute judgment with an upright heart: 4: Give me wisdom, that sitteth by thy throne; and reject me not from among thy children: ... 7: Thou hast chosen me to be a king of thy people, and a judge of thy sons and daughters: 8: Thou hast commanded me to build a temple upon thy holy mount, and an altar in the city wherein thou dwellest, a resemblance of the holy tabernacle, which thou hast prepared from the beginning. 9: And wisdom was with thee: which knoweth thy works, and was present when thou madest the world, and knew what was acceptable in thy sight, and right in thy commandments. 10: O send her out of thy holy heavens, and from the throne of thy glory, that being present she may labour with me, that I may know what is pleasing unto thee. 11: For she knoweth and understandeth all things, and she shall lead me soberly in my doings, and preserve me in her power. 12: So shall my works be acceptable, and then shall I judge thy people righteously, and be worthy to sit in my father's seat.

    • I guess you can see the parallel with John 1 how that the word (logos - masculine noun) was with GOD However, just as in the above quotation, GOD's attribute of wisdom is simply being personified as a woman and is not meant to be taken literally; the same is true for John. Solomon is simply asking GOD for wisdom to perform the task given him. (cp. 2 Chr 1:9-12)

  • Wisdom of Solomon Chapter 7:22 - 8:4 7:22: For wisdom, which is the worker of all things, taught me: for in her is an understanding spirit holy, one only, manifold, subtil, lively, clear, undefiled, plain, not subject to hurt, loving the thing that is good quick, which cannot be letted, ready to do good, ... 25: For she is the breath of the power of God, and a pure influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty: therefore can no defiled thing fall into her. 26: For she is the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of his goodness. 27: And being but one, she can do all things: and remaining in herself, she maketh all things new: and in all ages entering into holy souls, she maketh them friends of God, and prophets. 28: For God loveth none but him that dwelleth with wisdom. 8:1: Wisdom reacheth from one end to another mightily: and sweetly doth she order all things. 2: I loved her, and sought her out from my youth, I desired to make her my spouse, and I was a lover of her beauty. 3: In that she is conversant with God, she magnifieth her nobility: yea, the Lord of all things himself loved her. 4: For she is privy to the mysteries of the knowledge of God, and a lover of his works.

    • Especially seeing how wisdom is described in 7:26, and seeing that Jesus the Messiah is the wisdom of GOD embodied or made flesh [1 Cor 1.24]; we can now see why the man Jesus is described as (Heb 1:3) Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, ... because Christ is the wisdom of GOD made flesh ... he is literally the wisdom of GOD in person! ["Wisdom of Solomon" taken from http://etext.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/KjvSolo.html]

  • Sirach, chapter 24 1: Wisdom will praise herself, and will glory in the midst of her people. 2: In the assembly of the Most High she will open her mouth, and in the presence of his host she will glory: 3: I came forth from the mouth of the Most High, and covered the earth like a mist. ... ... 8: Then the Creator of all things gave me a commandment, and the one who created me assigned a place for my tent. And he said, 'Make your dwelling in Jacob, and in Israel receive your inheritance.' 9: From eternity, in the beginning, he created me, and for eternity I shall not cease to exist. 10: In the holy tabernacle I ministered before him, and so I was established in Zion. 11: In the beloved city likewise he gave me a resting place, and in Jerusalem was my dominion. ... 19: Come to me, you who desire me, and eat your fill of my produce. 20: For the remembrance of me is sweeter than honey, and my inheritance sweeter than the honeycomb. 21: Those who eat me will hunger for more, and those who drink me will thirst for more. 22: Whoever obeys me will not be put to shame, and those who work with my help will not sin.

    • In John 1:14 Scripture says ... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt [tabernacled] among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. Sirach 24:8 speaks of the wisdom of GOD being sent into the world and being assigned a tent! Again, you can see the mindset: i.e. The writer's desire for the wisdom of GOD by which all things were made, to come to its creation. John, tells us, in 1:14, that indeed, GOD's wisdom, GOD's word, was in fact assigned a tent ... the tent being the man Christ Jesus, the only begotten of GOD the Father! Nevertheless, Sirach is simply personifying the wisdom of GOD and not talking of a literal person alongside GOD.

  • Sirach 1:1-4 1: All wisdom comes from the Lord and is with him for ever. 4: Wisdom was created before all things, and prudent understanding from eternity.
So as you can see by the time of John's Gospel or the NT writings in general, this kind of personification especially in regards to GOD's wisdom was prevalent. And furthermore, Jews of this era, never interpreted these intertestamental books as stating that there was a literal being, whether female or male, alongside the Father, who created all things.
However, one can easily see that if the above were taken literally, such an erroneous concept could soon emerge. And that is exactly what happened when Greek/Hellenistic/Platonic-thinking philosophically-trained Gentiles began to study John (and Proverbs and these intertestamental books). Jesus instead of being viewed as "GOD's wisdom/word made flesh"; he became viewed as a pre-existing divine being, who in the process of time was made a co-equal God!

James Dunn makes the following observations:

It is clear therefore that the tradition of (pre-existent) Wisdom has been influential at many points in NT christology. ... The role that Proverbs, ben Sira [Sirach], etc. ascribe to Wisdom, these earliest Christians ascribe to Jesus. ... Jesus was being identified as Wisdom. Indeed, Paul seems to make the identification explicit in so many words when he proclaims 'Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God' (1 Cor. 1.24; also 1.30). ... [ben Sira] had no intention of giving Wisdom the status of an independent entity, far less a divine personality side by side with Yahweh. ... For ben Sira then, Wisdom is just a way of speaking about God's ordering of creation and design for man in the law. ... Similarly with the Wisdom of Solomon ... Once again the position is clear: for all that the author of the Wisdom of Solomon uses ... the vigour of his imagery, he has not the slightest thought of wisdom as an independent divine being. From start to finish the wisdom of which he speaks is the wisdom of God and signifies God's wise ordering of creation and of those who fear him. ... the Wisdom passages are simply ways of describing Yahweh's wise creation and purpose. ... for a Jew to say that Wisdom 'effects all things', that Wisdom 'delivered Israel from a nation of oppressors', that 'love of Wisdom is the keeping of the laws' (Wisd. 8:5; 10.15; 6.18), was simply to say in a picturesque way that God created all things wisely, that God's wise purpose is clearly evident in the exodus from Egypt and most fully expressed in the law he gave through Moses. ... Wisdom, like the name, the glory, the Spirit of Yahweh, was a way of asserting God's nearness, his involvement with the world, his concern for his people. All these words provided expressions of God's immanence, his active concern in creation, revelation and redemption, while at the same time protecting his holy transcendence and wholly otherness. ... thus we can say with confidence that it is very unlikely that pre-Christian Judaism ever understood Wisdom as a divine being in any sense independent of Yahweh. The language may be the language of the wider speculation of the time, but within Jewish monotheism and Hebraic literary idiom Wisdom never becomes more than a personification ... a personification rather of a function of Yahweh, a way of speaking about God himself, of expressing God's active involvement with his world and his people without compromising his transcendence. - Christology in the Making, p 167,172,173,174, 176.

Hence, my earlier points that John had to stress that God was the word, because the Greeks/Gnostics put a great distance between GOD and His creation, they never saw GOD as literally involved in His creation; Gnostics believed that intermediaries such as a Logos-being did it instead. A Gnostic Christian believed that the ineffable, unapproachable GOD, who was remote and distant from His creation, was mediated to His creation by lesser divine figures - "aeons" or a single lesser divine figure, the Logos (the various Gnostic systems differed on this point). John a typical monotheistic Jew is refuting this position. John was stating that it was indeed GOD involved in His creation; it was GOD's word, GOD's self-expression, GOD expressing Himself and not another, when all things came into existence. Dunn continues ... p.176-177, 178, 195

The obvious starting place is 1 Cor. Chs. 1-2 ... 1.22-24, 30. What is the meaning of this phrase 'Christ is the wisdom of God'? ... Paul probably takes up wisdom language because it was already being used by the Corinthians. ... In face of the Greeks seeking for wisdom Paul preached Christ, Christ crucified. ... Paul asserts that Christ is God's wisdom - Christ crucified. Divine wisdom is manifested in the cross and its proclamation. That is to say, Paul here emphatically sets forth Christ crucified as the measure of divine wisdom. The cross is the act of divine wisdom, and demonstrates and defines God's wisdom in a final way for the Christian. To be sure Paul talks of what might be called a 'pre-existent wisdom' (2.7); but it is a wisdom in the sense of 'God's predetermined plan of salvation'. Christ is God's wisdom, then, not as a pre-existent being, but as the one who fulfilled God's predetermined plan of salvation, as the one predetermined by God to be the means of man's salvation through his death and resurrection ... In short, in 1 Cor. Chs. 1-2 Christ is the fulfilment or embodiment of God's wise intention 'to bring us to glory' (2.7). Rather, when we set Paul against the background of pre-Christian Jewish talk of divine Wisdom, what he seems to be saying is this. The same divine wisdom which was active in creation we believe to have been active in Jesus; that is, the creator God was himself acting in and through Christ. ... We must grasp the fact that Paul was not seeking to win men to belief in a pre-existent being ... Nor was he arguing that Jesus is a particular pre-existent being; ... What he was saying is that Wisdom ... is now most fully expressed in Jesus - Jesus is the exhaustive embodiment of divine wisdom; all the divine wisdom dwelt in him.


Enough about the Wisdom of GOD, how about the Logos/Word of GOD?
  • Wisdom of Solomon 18:14-16, concerning a description of the last of the ten plagues in Egypt. 14: For while all things were in quiet silence, and that night was in the midst of her swift course, 15: Thine Almighty word leaped down from heaven out of thy royal throne, as a fierce man of war into the midst of a land of destruction, 16: And brought thine unfeigned commandment as a sharp sword, and standing up filled all things with death; and it touched the heaven, but it stood upon the earth. 17: Then suddenly visions of horrible dreams troubled them sore, and terrors came upon them unlooked for. 18: And one thrown here, and another there, half dead, shewed the cause of his death.

  • Wisdom of Solomon 9:1-2,17 1: O God of my fathers, and Lord of mercy, who hast made all things with thy word, 2: And ordained man through thy wisdom, that he should have dominion over the creatures which thou hast made, 17: And thy counsel who hath known, except thou give wisdom, and send thy Holy Spirit from above?

Thus, more examples of intertestamental personification. This time concerning the word of GOD, GOD's commandment; Dunn makes the following observations: p.218,219,244 ...

Both Psalmist [i.e. Ps. 33.6, 107.20, 147.15,18], prophet [Isaiah - Isa 9.8, 55.10f.] and teacher of Wisdom [Wisdom 18.14-16] are thinking of the word of Yahweh as Yahweh himself acting, acting decisively in creation, in judgment, in salvation. When a sovereign speaks his subjects obey; when he commands it is done. So the utterance and command of Yahweh are simply ways of saying that Yahweh brought his will to effect, that Yahweh achieved his purpose; when Yahweh speaks things happen. ... In short, I see no reason to dissent from G.F. Moore's judgment on Wisdom 18.15f.: 'It is an error to see in such personifications an approach to personalisation. Nowhere either in the Bible or in the extra-canonical literature of the Jews is the word of God a personal agent or on the way to become such'. Our conclusion here is borne out by what we learned above concerning the Spirit of God and the Wisdom of God in pre-Christian Judaism. As they were ways of speaking about Yahweh acting toward and in his creation, so too with the word of God. As they enabled the Jewish writers to speak of the immanence of God without threatening his transcendence, so with the Word. ... Wisd. 9:1-2,17 [see above] ... In short, all three expressions are simply alternative ways of speaking about the effective power of God in his active relationship with his world and its inhabitants. ... John ... used Wisdom and Logos language of Christ, identifying Christ as Wisdom, as the man that the Logos became, but did not seem to think of pre-existent Wisdom-Logos as a personal being or of Christ as one who had been pre-existent as such.

Therefore, in the context of pre-Christian Judaism leading on to 1st-century Christianity; I have attempted to show that Wisdom and Logos language of that time, was simply GOD's actions & attributes being personified.
John never intended his prologue to be interpreted as introducing a pre-existent being called the Logos being alongside the ONE GOD, the Creator. No Jew of his time would have interpreted him as doing so, since passages such as Prov 8, Isa 55.11, Wisdom 9:1-2, 18:14-18, Sirach 1:1-4, etc; would have already familiarized the Jewish reader with the concept of the ONE GOD's actions being personified. And as G.F. Moore rightly asserted: Nowhere either in the Bible or in the extra-canonical literature of the Jews is the word of God a personal agent or on the way to become such.
I have shown also that Tyndale as well as others did not read Jesus the Son of GOD into John 1:1-4 and as such used the pronoun 'it' when speaking of the word of GOD. (Plus in the earliest translations, 'word' wasn't even capitalized!)
Such is a legitimate translation being true to the Greek text and the intent of John.
And even if one wanted to read John 1:1-13 with him (as in v. 10); John is simply personifying GOD's word; describing how the word of GOD which caused all things to come into existence, came to its own [creation]; being made flesh and being tabernacled in the man Jesus of Nazareth the Messiah our Lord.
In studying these literary devices, Dunn sadly states "some exegetes have allowed themselves to be too impressed by the linguistic parallels between certain OT and LXX passages and the wider religious culture of the time, and have paid too little attention to the life-setting passages within the context of pre-Christian Judaism, particularly with respect to the idioms and style used by Israel's spokesmen." (p. 219) Sad but true. Readers of this article, let us not make the same mistake; let us understand that John was writing with such a style & idiom.

Concluding email to follow!