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Is John 17:3 true?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by edpobre, Aug 2, 2001.

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  1. edpobre

    edpobre Well-Known Member

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    Friends,

    In John 17:3, we hear Jesus saying, "And this is eternal life, that they may know YOU, the ONLY true God, and Jesus Christ whom YOU have SENT", indicating that someone else other than him is the ONLY TRUE God. That someone is identified as the Father in verse 1.

    But we hear a lot of pastors and evangelists (all Bible scholars with Masters of Theology tucked under their belt) tell us that Jesus is ALSO God IN ADDITION to the Father, which is directly opposed to what Jesus said.

    Is there a Biblical explanation (other than personal interpretation, assumption, opinion or conclusion) to this seeming discrepancy in doctrine?

    Is John 17:3 really true?

    Ed
     
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  2. Josephus

    Josephus <b>Co-Founder Christian Forums</b> Supporter

    +230
    Messianic
    there is:

    if Zechariah 12:10 is true as well:

    "They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son."

    Notice it's all one sentence. The pronouns change! Two different perspectives, but the same event - through one witnesses eyes! How can a person have two perspectives at once unless of course they were God?

    If this is indeed God, and if he can switch from a first person view to a third person view in the same sentence there in Zechariah, then it shouldn't be surprising or confusing when Jesus says something similar which places himself as the one being sent and the one sending. Jesus can just as easily be declaring himself God in the very verse you quote because there were no commas in ancient Greek:

    "that they may know you the only true God and the one whom you have sent." When we read it like this, we have to make a decision as to what we will believe.
     
  3. Josephus

    Josephus <b>Co-Founder Christian Forums</b> Supporter

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    If Jesus is not God, does this mean then that a mere man loves me more than God ever can?

    To be honest, I would not want my salvation based on the reality that my God has no clue what my salvation is about from my perspective. God isn't me! Only a man can experience suffering the way we do, only a man can experience death the way we all will. I for one can ONLY believe that God truly is a God of love if He himself has been unloved, rejected, and knows what it's like to be murdered because of it. To me, if God really loves me, he will have done all this because to me, that proves He truly is humble and loves me as my best friend. If God is not the most humblest being in the universe, then something else is, and therefore it will be exalted more. If God did NOT die for me, then God can not be the one who loves me the most because "no greater love is this: that a man lay down his life for his friends." Are you saying that Jesus, if he was a mere man, has greater love for me than God?
     
  4. edpobre

    edpobre Well-Known Member

    +0
    Josephus,

    You wrote:


    You are quoting Zechariah 12:10 from the New International Version (NIV) and the King James Version (KJV) Bibles.

    Let me quote to you the same verse using three other versions of the Bible:

    Revised Standard Version (Catholic Edition):mad: "...when they look on him whom they have pierced, they shall moutrn him, as one mourns an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn."

    Today's English Version (TEV):mad: "...They will look at the one whom they stabbed to death, and they will moun for him like those who mourn for an only child. They will mourn bitterly, like those who have lost their firstborn son."

    The Living Bible (TLB):mad: "...they will look on him they pierced, and mourn for him as for an only son, and gfrieve bitterly for him as for an oldest child who died."

    These versions are more accurate translation of the verse because as apostle Paul writes in 1 Tim. 1:17, God is immortal and cannot die.

    Ed
     
  5. ZoneChaos

    ZoneChaos Senior Veteran

    +21
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    Married
    US-Republican


    This answers your own question: He is referring to the "Father" a person of the Trinity, and not "GOd" who is the Trinity.



    Ther trinity is not: 1+1+1=3 it is more like 1x1x1=1

    The three do not "Add up to God. The 3 are God.
     
  6. edpobre

    edpobre Well-Known Member

    +0
    Josephus,

    You wrote:


    Jesus could not have loved you more than God. Remember John 3:16? It says: "...God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son...." If God did not love us so much, He would not have sent Jesus to die for our sins.

    You wrote:


    The truth is Josephus, God knows precisely what your salvation is all about from your perspective. And He knows it's wrong that's why He tells us that He "....desires all men to come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved" (1 Tim. 2


    In Rom. 10:1-3 He says through apostle Paul: "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousnesss of God."

    What you should be concerned about my friend is what your salvation is all about from God's perspective, not yours.

    You wrote:


    First, God cannot die because he is immortal (1 Tim. 1:17). God is Spirit (John 4:24) and has no flesh and bones (Luke 24:39).

    Second, the verse you quoted says, " a man lays down his life for a friend." Jesus is the man who laid down his life for a friend.

    Third, do you have a son my friend? Suppose he is your only son, would you allow his life to be taken for his friends who are your enemies? Don't you think that God's sacrifice for you, an enemy is worth more than Christ's sacrifice for his friends?

    The Bible says that God demonstrates His own love towards us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5::cool: . Again this proves that it was not God who died on the cross.

    Ed
     
  7. Josephus

    Josephus <b>Co-Founder Christian Forums</b> Supporter

    +230
    Messianic
    Ed,

    Other translations are wrong. Simply look up the hebrew pronouns and decide for yourself. Some translators get it wrong because it apparently "doesn't make sense." But unlike Hebrew writers, some modern translators ponder over the meaning of a word to it can make sense, and in the worst case - they try to make it fit their doctrine or theology, rather than take the word for what it really says.

    Next, I am surprised you did not address the issue that we too are living spirits, but we die - don't we?

    As to the other points you refer to:
    Yes, of course Jesus can NOT love me more than God (for me, it's because I believe Jesus is God, for you, it is because God can't die). My next point then becomes: what Jesus did, God could not do - at least according to your theology. And we already have scriptural precedent from the words of Jesus himself that love is no greater than this: a friend giving his life for another. No greater? Or just a little under greater than God's love? ... or is it all the same love?

    You also wrote:
    "The truth is Josephus, God knows precisely what your salvation is all about from your perspective."

    Yup, but God is NOT me. Your God can not possibly know what life is like down here if he's just an observer. If he can not experience life as I know it, then it is impossible for him as an observer to actually know what it's like living down here.

    "What you should be concerned about my friend is what your salvation is all about from God's perspective, not yours."

    I am most certainly concerned if God doesn't know what it's like to be tempted, to be hated, mocked, or murdered. How can God possibly know me and my concerns and problems and struggle and desire for freedom and love if He couldn't possibly experience what I experience?

    Your final point brings you pointing out scripture:
    " a man lays down his life for a friend"

    I was hoping you'd pick that up. Let's read the actual scripture:

    Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)

    Skip the "a man" altogether and let's make it personal. Are we God's friends? Then let God show us greater love.


    Onto the next part of our discussion:

    Jesus says, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepard lays down his life for the sheep." (John 10:11)

    Is God also our shepherd? He was David's.

    "The Lord (YHVH) is my shepherd, I shall not be in want." (Psalm 23:1)

    Something to think about.
     
  8. AngelAmidala

    AngelAmidala Legend

    +617
    Methodist
    Single
    Ed...just wondering why you say this



    About the RSV and TLB. I have had experience with those books, and in my opinion they seemed a bit watered down as opposed to the NJKV for example. I don't know much about the TEV though.

    I was just curious why you say the RSV, TLB, and TEV are more accurate translations. :)

    -AngelAmidala
     
  9. Josephus

    Josephus <b>Co-Founder Christian Forums</b> Supporter

    +230
    Messianic
    itching ears?
     
  10. edpobre

    edpobre Well-Known Member

    +0
    Angelamidala,

    I was referring to the RSV, TLB TEV versions of Zechariah 12:10. It does not mean that on the whole, these versions are more accurate than others.

    Ed
     
  11. AngelAmidala

    AngelAmidala Legend

    +617
    Methodist
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    Ah...got it.

    Thanks! :)

    -AngelAmidala
     
  12. edpobre

    edpobre Well-Known Member

    +0
    ZoneChaos,

    You wrote:


    Are you saying then that John 17:3 is false Zone? John 17:3 says the Father is the only true God. Trinity is not even mentioned in these verses.

    Ed
     
  13. edpobre

    edpobre Well-Known Member

    +0
    Josephus,

    You wrote:


    Most people like to take the word for what it really says when it fits their doctrine or re-interpret the word if it contradicts their doctrine. For example, John 1:1 is taken for "what it really says" because it fits the Trinity doctrine then re-interpret John 17:3 to make it fit the Trinity doctrine.

    You wrote:


    You seem to forget that with God, nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). If my God could create everything from nothing, how hard is it for Him to know what life is?.

    You wrote:


    You are questioning God's power my friend.

    You wrote:


    As I sid earlier, Jesus laid down his life for friends. God sent His only begotten son to die for His enemies. Isn't that greater love?

    You wrote:


    What you are saying doesn't make Jesus God. God is "Lord" of the Israelites whom He led out of Egypt. Jesus is the Christians' only "Lord." (1 cor. 8:6)

    Ed
     
  14. Josephus

    Josephus <b>Co-Founder Christian Forums</b> Supporter

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    Messianic
    "Most people like to take the word for what it really says when it fits their doctrine or re-interpret the word if it contradicts their doictrine."

    I couldn't agree more. :) That's why there are so many different kinds of translations. I trust only one from which they all are derived: the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek and Aramaic New Testament. Gone are the days when I will let someone else tell me what to believe. From now on I find answers on my own, and truly "test" the spirits by their fruit.


    "You seem to forget that with God, nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). If my God could create everything from nothing, how hard is it for Him to know what life is?."

    This is another topic altogether which we may start if you still wonder after you are done reading this. You are wrong in stating the nothing is impossible for God. Sin is impossible for God, lying is impossible for God, not existing is impossible for God. Obviously these too are also truths, thus it must be reconciled with the scripture you quote. And it's easily reconciled when you read the scripture: nothing that God "has promised, is impossible." - and we can believe in God's promises just as sure as he can not lie, which it is impossible for Him to do.


    "You are questioning God's power my friend."

    I will question this doctrine of who God is because I read the bible says different. I only come with two assumptions when reading the bible. Anything above these two assumptions are simply from man. The two assumptions are:

    1. That God exists.
    2. That the bible is true.

    Anything beyond these two introduces the wisdom of man. My bible says that what I see, God can not do certain things. He could not redeem us and maintain our free will if the concequence of eternal death for sin was paid for by the wave of a magic hand. No, an eternal God had to pay an eternal debt for us.


    "As I sid earlier, Jesus laid down his life for friends. God sent His only begotten son to die for His enemies. Isn't that greater love?"

    Is it greater love to send your son, or for you to die personally? If you can pay the debt without making someone else do it, but you don't and instead you let that other person do it, then to me that shows negligence on your part, and negligence definatly is a lack of greater love. But I don't see why you are questioning this when Jesus himself outlined what is the greater love: one dying for his friends. Jesus never said it was greater love for one to send their son to die for his friends. That certainly is a cheap way out. If this is true, then God didn't save me at all. Some created puppet did.


    "God is "Lord" of the Israelites whom He led out of Egypt. Jesus is the Christians' only "Lord." (1 cor. 8:6)"

    Jesus is an Israelite. Jesus is Lord of all, no matter if you are a Christian or not. A lord is your master. My master is Jesus. My master is God.
     
  15. drmmjr

    drmmjr Regular Member

    459
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    The reason God gave His son, was because God couldn't die. Also, since man had sinned in the Garden, man had to pay the sacrifice. If God became Jesus the man in order to pay the sacrifice, then he ceased to be God. Jesus knew he was to be the sacrifice to remove this sin. He even asked God to not cause him to have to go through with it, but only if it were God's will that he would not have to.
     
  16. Josephus

    Josephus <b>Co-Founder Christian Forums</b> Supporter

    +230
    Messianic
    "He even asked God to not cause him to have to go through with it, but only if it were God's will that he would not have to."

    If I read my bible it says Jesus prayed to the Father. Jesus does not consider himself not God. Heck, even the Jews thought he was claiming to be God - that's why they wanted him killed for blasphemy.

    but ed, I am still waiting for your response to my previous post. :)
     
  17. edpobre

    edpobre Well-Known Member

    +0
    Josephus,

    What is there to answer? You are bent on making Jesus God inspite of John 17:3, yet you are afraid to say that John 17:3 is false! You don't believe 1 Cor. 8:6.

    What answer do you expect fom me my friend?

    Ed
     
  18. Josephus

    Josephus <b>Co-Founder Christian Forums</b> Supporter

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    Messianic
    One thing I try to do is harmonize scripture. Not pick and choose what I like and don't like. I instead reconcile scripture with scripture - and recognize that much of scripture is complementary to other scripture:

    I reconcile 1 Corinthians 8:6 with Romans 11:36 for example. Rom 11:36 gives the total condition of who God is "For from him and through him and to him are all things. This describes God. 1 Cor 8:6 breaks it down: the Father's part is the "from" Jesus's part is "through" - but both one and the same God as Romans 11:35 starts to use both to explain him.


    The answer I was looking forward to regarding John 17:3 is my point that there were no commas in the ancient greek. When you remove the commas, you get something totally different than what your theology purports.
     
  19. edpobre

    edpobre Well-Known Member

    +0
    Josephus,

    You wrote:


    You forgot John 17:3 my friend. It must also harmonize with these two. Thus, there is no question that the Father alone is the only one God of Christians. The phrases "for him", "through him" and "by him" could be mistranslations to make the Bible fit the Trinity doctrine.

    You also forgot to harmonize Rom.1:35-36 with Isaiah 46:9; Psalm 100:2; Isaiah 63:16; Isaiah 64:8 and Malachi 2:10 which clearly identify who the only one God is. As you sid my friend, let's "not pick and choose what we like and don't like."

    You wrote:


    Even you remove the commas of John 17:3, the meaning remains the same: "Eternal life means knowing the Father the only true God and knowing Jesus Christ the one whom the only true God sent."

    Ed
     
  20. Josephus

    Josephus <b>Co-Founder Christian Forums</b> Supporter

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    "There is no question that the Father alone is the only one God of Christians. The phrases "for him", "through him" and "by him" could be mistranslations to make the Bible fit the Trinity doctrine."

    Could be. But they aren't.

    In regards to the multiple scripture you posted:

    Of course I believe in one God! To believe otherwise would be blasphemy! What you and I differ on is what this God is and how He has choosen to reveal himself. I am agreeing that the Father is God, but what we disagree on is the Holy Spirit being God, and Jesus being God.

    Let me ask you a personal question: have you ever had a prayer answered?

    My latest prayer was answered yesterday. The one before that? Last week. The one before that? Last weekend.




    "Even you remove the commas of John 17:3, the meaning remains the same: "Eternal life means knowing the Father the only true God and knowing Jesus Christ the one whom the only true God sent."


    That's your meaning. That's not what it says. It actually says

    "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent."

    also strange that Jesus is referring to himself in the third person here when praying to the Father.

    To me, it is God praying "that they may know you, 'Father,' and your Son whom you have sent." It is God speaking within himself in the relationship between the persons of the Father and Jesus.


    And I think I stumbled across a verse accidentally that may hint that Jesus' spirit is the Holy Spirit: "behold I am with you always even unto the end of the earth." How can Jesus be with us if He has ascended into heaven to the Father? Simple. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit who is with us and is our Counselor and guide...the same everything that Jesus was when He was here. Even the Psalms declare that God is our strong tower and refuge, our redeemer and savior, our counselor and friend, etc. All these things the Holy Spirit is (as Jesus declared He was), and all these things are what Jesus did (proving by action he was too), and the Father we know is already God.

    :)
     
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