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!


Friday, November 16, 2007

Concerning John 1:1

Nowadays, Bible readers just assume that the opening verses of John Chapter 1, 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 1:1-3 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 1:1-3 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!

I will close with a quote from James Dunn:

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!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Wise Words from Hans Hinrich Wendt

The following paragraphs are taken from John Wilson’s translation of Hans Hinrich Wendt’s book:
The Teaching of Jesus In Two Volumes, T & T CLARK, 1901.

 

Here Wendt explains ideal or notional pre-existence

i.e. how things such as glory, etc; can be spoken of as
pre-existing in the sense
that they are foreordained/foreknown in the counsels of the One, Eternal GOD.


Thus, this concept would explain some of Jesus the Messiah’s sayings whereby he speaks
as if somehow he pre-existed his own conception
e.g. John 17.5 & 8.58.

Volume 2, Pages 168-177:

 

“… Two passages in which Jesus appears most plainly to make reference to his heavenly pre-existence:
[John] 8. 58 and 17. 5.


The one passage, 17. 5, stands in the following connection: Jesus having, at the beginning of his farewell prayer (verse 1 ff.), referred to the authority over all flesh whom God has delivered to him for the purpose of granting them eternal life, and to his own accomplishment through his work on earth of this charge received from God, now prays for such glorification from God as corresponds to the perfect glorifying of God by him: “I have glorified Thee on the earth; I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to accomplish. And now glorify Thou me with Thyself with the glory I had with Thee before the world was” (verse 4 and 5). …


But yet it rests on a misconception of the New Testament mode of speech and conception if we straightway infer that the declaration of Jesus, that he had a glory with the Father before the world was created, is simply and necessarily identical in meaning with the thought, that he himself pre-existed in possession of this glory with God before the creation of the world. …

 

We therefore deem that a heavenly glory can only, in the case of a person not yet existing, belong to him ideally in God, inasmuch as he is foreknown and predestinated by God. But, according to the mode of speech and conception prevalent in the New Testament, a heavenly good, and so also a heavenly glory, can be conceived and spoken of as existing with God and belonging to a person, not because this person already exists and is invested with glory, but because the glory of God is in some way deposited and preserved for this person in heaven. We remember how, according to the synoptical reports, Jesus also speaks of the treasure (Matt. 6.20 f.; Mark 10. 21) or the reward (Matt. 5. 12, 46; 6. 1) which his disciples have in heaven with God …

Therefore it is wholly unneces­sary to find in our passage, John 17. 5, the thought that Jesus himself had a pre-existence in the possession of the heavenly glory with God; but the meaning is also possible, that the heavenly glory which Jesus, as the Messiah, shall attain at the close of his earthly ministry has been laid up for him with God in heaven as a reward destined for him from eternity; and this possible sense we must recognise as the only true one, because it just as strikingly accords with the connection of this passage, as with the self-judgment of Jesus recorded for us elsewhere in the Johannine discourses. Jesus wishes to set forth the glory, which he now prays for from the Father, … as one undoubtedly certain for him in the present, because standing in necessary relation to his Messianic calling and work. All the previous utterances, in the prayer, in regard to the accomplishment of the work committed to him upon earth by God, serve as the foundation of petition …

 

This foundation would not be strengthened, but weakened, by the indication that he had already, as pre-existent from eternity, been invested with the heavenly glory; for then his earthly mission would appear as an episode in his heavenly life of glory, after which, but not on account of which, he again obtained the heavenly glory. But it serves emphatically to strengthen that founda­tion when Jesus designates the reward, which he prays for, as one which has been destined by God and kept in heaven for him as the Messiah, so he asks for himself not something arbitrary, but what was to be given him according to God's decree, and what had always ideally belonged to him. It is also directly expressed in these words that the heavenly glory which God has decreed for the Messiah as his possession existed from the beginning; the presupposition for this declaration, however, is certainly the thought, which finds decided expression at the close of the prayer in verse 24, that Jesus himself, as the Messiah, did not indeed really exist from the begin­ning with God, but was the object of the love of God, of His loving thoughts, plans, and purposes.

 

 

We are led also to this latter thought by another saying of Jesus, 8. 58, if we explain it according to its connection. …

 

He was indeed greater than Abraham: “Abraham, your father, rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad”(verse 56). And to the question of the Jews, which was meant to bring out the absurdity of his declaration, when they asked if he, who was not yet fifty years old, had seen Abraham (verse 57), he replied, still further heightening his paradoxical claim:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am” (verse 58).

 

For the purpose of explaining this latter saying, we must proceed from the fact that, in any case, at the commencement of the discussion, the question is in regard to Jesus’ relation to Abraham, as to the signi­ficance of his present earthly existence and activity, with reference to which he himself makes the claim of being the mediator of eternal life, and with reference to which the Jews said he was nevertheless no greater than Abraham. Also his saying that Abra­ham rejoiced to see “his day,” has still reference to his present earthly existence; for by “his day” we can only understand the day of his appearance on earth. Also the sayings which then follow point directly to the sense that Jesus declared of his present earthly life, that it reached back to the time of Abraham, and still farther. His declaration that Abraham had seen his day, and was glad, at first must be understood in the sense directly intelligible to the Jews, that Abraham during his lifetime had seen and hailed the advent of the earthly life of Jesus. And so also the further saying, “Before Abraham was, I am,” directly expresses the meaning that his present earthly life had existence before Abraham had been. But this sense, directly given according to the tenor of the words, is in the highest degree paradoxical.   

 

For the saying that Abraham saw and rejoiced in the day, that is, the earthly appearance of Jesus, the readiest explanation … is this, that Abraham during his earthly life saw and rejoiced in a spiritual pre-vision of the appearance of Jesus as the Messiah. The objection cannot be urged that still the joy of Abraham at the sight of Jesus' day, given him in future prospect, is expressly distinct from his joy over this view itself, and over the realisa­tion of that promise. For, according to the Old Testament narrative, which without doubt forms the foundation of these utterances of Jesus, the sight of the day of the Messiah was not directly promised, but only indirectly, in so far as a son was promised to him, and, through that son, a posterity in which all nations would be blessed. In the same way, there­fore, also the joy of Abraham at the fulfilment of this promise of a son might be regarded as the joy of Abraham at the realisation of the Messianic pro­mise thus indirectly given him. It would not be right to say that Jesus understood by “his day” the day of the birth of Isaac; but certainly we may say that Isaac was regarded by Jesus, and, according to Jesus’ view, by Abraham, not as a simple descendant, but as the beginning of the posterity leading forward to the Messiah. As Jesus therefore makes the joy of Abraham—expressed in laughter, to which, according to Old Testament tradition, Isaac owed his name— refer, not merely to Isaac in himself, but to Isaac as the representative of the Messianic promise; so he also judged that Abraham, when he saw the promised birth of Isaac realised, saw in spirit the fulfilment of the Messianic promise, and so far, therefore, “the day of Jesus.” But from this understanding of the declaration of Jesus, that Abraham had seen his day, follows our understanding of his further declaration that he existed before Abraham was. For this existence before Abraham's time must be regarded in the same way as the existence “of his day” at the time of Abraham. The present earthly existence of Jesus, in which he is the Messiah, was not a real thing before Abraham's time; but yet it could truly be spoken of, in so far as it held good in the Spirit of God, in the thoughts, purposes, and promises of God. So far as Jesus felt himself to be the Messiah, he knew that his earthly life was not a fortuitous event but from the beginning—not by any means only from the date of the promise and fulfilment given to Abraham, but already before the time of Abraham—it was predetermined and foreseen by God. Con­scious of having had in this sense pre-existence for God, and, by means of the promises of God, also for the Old Testament saints, Jesus made the claim of assuredly being greater than Abraham. …

 

It is certainly a highly idealistic mode of view and of speech when Jesus designates his ideal existence for God—which he knew that he had always had as the Messiah, and therefore as the object of Divine predestination and of the love of God …

 

An ideal existence is intended, and we must plainly exhibit on our part that distinction of ideas.”

 

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Wise words from James Dunn

  • Unity & Diversity in the New Testament, SCM Press Ltd, 1977, page 53:

    “Should we then say that Jesus was confessed as God from the earliest days in Hellenistic Christianity? That would be to claim too much.
    (1) The emergence of a confession of Jesus in terms of divinity was largely facilitated by the emergence of Psalm 110:1 from very early on (most clearly in Mark 12:36; Acts 2:34f.; I Cor. 15:25; Heb. 1:13).

    The Lord says to my lord:
    ‘Sit at my right hand,
    till I make your enemies your footstool.’

    Its importance here lies in the double use of kyrios [lord]. The one is clearly Yahweh, but who is the other? 
    Clearly not Yahweh, but an exalted being whom the Psalmist calls kyrios. 
    (2) Paul calls Jesus kyrios, but he seems to have marked reservations about actually calling him ‘God.’ ... Similarly he refrains from praying to Jesus. More typical of his attitude is that he prays to God through Christ
    (Rom. 1:8; 7:25; II Cor. 1:20; Col. 3:17). 
    (3) ‘Jesus is Lord’ is only part of a fuller confession for Paul. For at the same time as he affirms ‘Jesus is Lord’, he also affirms ‘God is one’ (I Cor. 8:5-6; Eph. 4:5-6). Here Christianity shows itself as a developed form of Judaism, with its monotheistic confession as one of the most important parts of its Jewish inheritance; for in Judaism the most fundamental confession is
    ‘God is one.’ ‘There is only one God’
    (Deut. 6:4). Hence also Rom. 3:30; Gal. 3:20, I Tim. 2:5 (cf. James 2:19). Within Palestine and the Jewish mission such an affirmation would have been unnecessary — Jews and Christians shared a belief in God’s oneness. But in the Gentile mission this Jewish presupposition within Christianity would have emerged into prominence, in face of the wider belief in ‘gods many.’
    The point for us to note is that Paul can hail Jesus as Lord not in order to identify him with God, but rather, if anything, to distinguish him from the One God
    (cf. particularly I Cor. 15:24-28; ...).


  • Page 221:

    Jesus was not himself preexistent; he was the man that preexistent Wisdom became.

    Page 226:

    “Paul does not yet understand the risen Christ as the object of worship; he is the theme of worship, the one for whom praise is given ... the one through whom the pray-er prays to God (Rom 1:18; 7:25; II Cor 1:20; Col 3:17), but not the object of worship or prayer. So too his reticence about calling Jesus ‘God’. Even the title ‘Lord’ becomes a way of distinguishing Jesus from God rather than identifying him with God (Rom. 15:6; I Cor. 8:6; 15:24-28; II Cor. 1:3; 11:31; Eph. 1:3, 17; Phil. 2:11; Col 1:3).”


  • The quotes that follow are all taken from
    James Dunn's Christology in the Making,
    Second Edition, SCM Press Ltd, 1996:

  • Concerning John 1:1-14 and the Logos [Word], page 243:

    “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, 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 the Logos in verses 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!


  • Concerning the Spirit, Wisdom and Word of God; pages 219,244:

    “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. ...

    Wisdom. 9:1-2,17 

    O God of my fathers and Lord of mercy,
    who has made all things by your word,
    and by your wisdom has formed man ...

    Who has learned your counsel,
    unless you have given wisdom
    and sent your holy Spirit from on high?


    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.

  • Concerning the fact that Luke has no knowledge of a literal preexistence of Jesus Christ, pages 50-51:

    “In his birth narrative however Luke is more explicit than Matthew in his assertion of Jesus’ divine sonship from birth (1:32, 35; ...). Here again it is sufficiently clear that a virginal conception by divine power without the participation of any man is in view (1:34). But here too it is sufficiently clear that it is a begetting, a becoming, which is in view, the coming into existence of one who will be called, and will in fact be the Son of God, not the transition of a pre-existent being to become the soul of a human baby, or the metamorphosis of a divine being into a human foetus… Luke’s intention is clearly to describe the creative process of begetting … Similarly in Acts there is no sign of any christology of preexistence.

  • Concerning the literal preexistence of the Messiah in Jewish literature, page 294 note 37:

    “That the Messiah himself existed before creation is nowhere stated in Tannaitic literature
    “the name of the Messiah” is the idea of the Messiah, or, more exactly, the idea of redemption through the Messiah. This idea did precede creation.
    (Klausner, Messianic Idea, p. 460; see also Strack-Billerbeck II, pp. 334ff.,
    Mowinckel, He That Cometh, p. 334; ... Vermes, Jesus, pp. 138f.)”

  • Concerning the literal preexistence of the Messiah by the writer of Hebrews, pages 55-56:

    “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.