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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

James White and John 1:1 Regarding “Was”

The following is an excerpt from James White’s dissertation on “Germans, JW’s and John 1:1”. While we are not associated with the JWs, we have had this quote presented to us several times:
Quote from: James White
Some refer the “beginning” here to that of Genesis 1.1, and this may be so, but the verb “was” (Gr: en, imperfect of eimi) takes us before whatever “beginning” we may wish to choose. The continuous action in the past of the imperfect tense of the verb indicates to us that whenever the “beginning” was, the Word was already in existence. In other words, the Word is eternal – timeless – without a “beginning.”
James White claims the Greek word *een*, in effect, would mean eternity, at least in John 1:1. It is evidently being assumed that “beginning” refers to absolutely everything in the created universe, and thus, since the World “was” before such, then the Word was never created, and thus, has always been. We believe that the “all” of John 1:3 refers to, not the whole created universes, but rather to the world of mankind that was created through the Word. Jesus “was”, indeed, in existence before the world of mankind was made through him. — John 1:10; 17:5.
On the other hand, Whitle places a lot of emphasis on the word “was”. If the word itself designates eternity, then in John 1:10 where we find the same word used, Jesus is eternally in the world of mankind which did not recognize him. In actuality, there is no reason to add to the scriptures that only in John 1 should the word *een* be used to denote an eternity, except that one has a preconceived idea of such an eternity. In other words, the argument becomes circular, in effect, saying: “Since we believe that Jesus is uncreated, then *een* in John 1:1,2 means that Jesus always existed in all eternity past, and thus this gives proof that Jesus has always existed.” The word *een* can, of course, in all the realms of possibilities, be used of one who has had no beginning, even as our English word “was” can, in all the realms of possibilities, be also used in such a way. This is not, however, an inherent meaning of either word. Comparing spiritual revealment with spiritual revealment, the usage of *een* all through the NT provides an abundance of testimony that such an idea is not inherent in the word.
http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?number=2258
Of course, we do not claim that Jesus was created exactly at the beginning of the world of mankind. We do believe that Jesus was already existing with his God and Father before the beginning of world of mankind. (John 1:10, 17:1,3,5) The idea that Jesus was eternally existing before the world of mankind was made, however, has to be added to and read into the scriptures.
See also:
In the Beginning – Examines what is included in the “beginning” spoken of in Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1.
The Logos of God – Regarding the term applied to the Prehuman Logos.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

John 4:26 - EGO EIMI and Jesus' Claim to be the Messiah

Some trinitarians are using John 4:26 connected with Isaiah 43:10-12 and/or Isaiah 52:6 as proof that Jesus is Jehovah. The assumption is that Jesus' usage of the Greek phrase often transliterated as "EGO EIMI", often translated as "I am he", in John 4:26 means that Jesus was declaring himself to Jehovah in Isaiah 43 and Isaiah 52, since Jehovah used "I am he" in those verses.

However, in Isaiah 43 and Isaiah 52 Jehovah is declaring himself to be the one that he describes in the context, and likewise Jesus does the same thing in John 4:26. Let us examine who Jesus was declaring himself to be:

John 4:25-26 - The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah comes," (he who is called Christ). "When he has come, he will declare to us all things." Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am he."
-- World English.

Jesus was not declaring himself to be the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but rather he was declaring himself to be the Messiah, meaning "anointed" or "anointed one".

Who anointed Jesus?

Isaiah quotes the Messiah as prophetically stating:

Isaiah 61:1 - The Spirit of the Lord Jehovah is on Me, because Jehovah has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the meek. He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and complete opening to the bound ones. -- Green's Literal.

It is the Lord Jehovah who anointed and sent the Messiah. This is the same Jehovah who speaks in Exodus 3:14,15. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in Exodus 3:14,15 is not Jesus; we know this because Peter refers to the God and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in Acts 3:13 and shows in Acts 3:13-26 that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the one who raised Jesus up as the foretold prophet like Moses. -- Deuteronomy 18:15-19.

Thus, in John 4:25,26, Jesus was not declaring Himself to be the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Exodus 3:14,15), but he was declaring himself to be one whom the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob anointed and sent.

Jesus later referring the Lord Jehovah of Isaiah 61:1 as the "only true God" who had sent him. (John 17:1,3) Paul shows that the God and Father of Jesus is only true Supreme Being when he declared Him to be the "one God" who is the source of all. -- 1 Corinthians 8:4-6.

Nevertheless, many will not accept the simple truth, but will imagine, assume, add to, and read into, the scriptures that Jehovah of Isaiah 61:1 is not their "triune God", but rather they would imagine, assume, add to, and read the verse that the Lord Jehovah there is only the alleged "first person" of the alleged triune God, and continue to imagine, and assume such throughout all the scriptures related to this, etc. They then present what they have imagined and assumed as being factual, and claim that if one cannot disprove all that they add to the scriptures, then what they have imagined and assume must be true.

Some of the less informed trinitarians try to tie the Greek expression of transliterated as EGO EIMI in John 4:26 with EHJEH of Exodus 3:14, usually by use of the "I am" phrase as it appears in the translations in both verses. Many of the same principles I have presented in my study on the "I am" statements  of Jesus also apply to Jesus' usage in "John 4:26"; indeed, it is self-apparent that by his words recorded at John 4;26 Jesus was not speaking of his name as being Ehjeh, but that he was simply stating that he was the promised Messiah.

Related Studies:
John 8:58 and Other "I am" Statements of Jesus
Is "I am" Used by Jesus the Divine Name of God?
Past Tense Translations of EGO EIMI
The Real Reason the Jews Sought to Kill Jesus
Isaiah 43:10 - Did Jehovah Declare Himself to be the Messiah?