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October 17, 2006

Comments

nedbrek

I wouldn't say, "The New Testament portrays Jesus of Nazareth as a perfectly normal human".

Yes, Jesus is a man in every way, shape, and form.

But you are ignoring all the passages that show He is decidedly not like any other man.

Specifically:

the equal with God passages: John 5:18 and Philippians 2:6.

the existing before time passages: John 1:1, John 8:58, Revelation 13:8.

the Father and Son are one: John 10:30, 1 John 5:7.

honor Jesus as God: John 5:23, John 20:28.

Jesus was without sin (all men sin): Hebrews 4:15, 2 Corinthians 5:21.

vynette

Nedbrek
Each of your questions requires a lengthy and detailed response. As you know, I'm working in pre-determined sequence to build a thorough picture.

In the meantime, here is some 'pre-existent' food for thought.

An important argument advanced to prove the deity of Jesus is that he was 'pre-existent'. Support for this contention is usually drawn from the gospel of John.

John gives the spiritual presentation of Jesus that the other gospels lack and, unfortunately, it is from a banal interpretation of these spiritual words that the theory of pre-existence draws support.

"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day and he saw it and was glad" (8:56)

"These things said Isaiah because he saw his glory and he spoke of him." (12:41)

"For if you believed Moses, you would believe me for he wrote of me." (5:46)

The clear meaning of the texts is that Jesus was 'foreknown'. This becomes apparent when texts referring to other people and to dissimilar conditions are considered.

For instance:

"even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love..." (Eph. 1:4)

"For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained 'to be' conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren..." (Rom. 8:29)

"...brothers loved by the Lord because God chose you from the beginning..." (2 Thess. 2:13)

"...although the works were finished from the foundation of the world." (Heb. 4:3)

"...when it testified beforehand the sufferings of the Christ and the glories that should follow them." (1 Pet. 1:11)

"the Christ...who was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world." (1 Pet. 1:20)

"Come ye enter the kingdom prepared for you before the foundation of the world." (Matt. 25:34)

If being "foreknown' is the essential qualification, then witnesses, brethren, God's rest, the Kingdom, the redeemed, and many others, would have a claim to be 'pre-existent'.

nedbrek

Jesus' completed work on the cross is foreknown by God (1 Peter 1:20 - proginosko). Those who will be saved is foreknown (Romans 8:29 - proginosko).

But before Abraham was, Jesus IS (John 8:58 - eimee).

vynette

Nedbrek,

When we get to the Trinity (finally), we will examine how the phrase 'I am' has been used to claim deity for Jesus. For now, however -

God's plan for man's salvation existed from the 'beginning'. That Jesus is the physical manifestion of this plan is the major theme of the New Testament.

John 1:1 - the 'word' existed in the beginning and has now been made manifest in the flesh.

1 John 1:1 - the 'word' is the 'word of eternal life'.

1 Peter 1:20 - Jesus was foreknown before the foundation of the world but now manifested in the flesh.

Rev 13:8 - the lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

It was the physical manifestation of God's plan that Abraham 'saw' through faith and rejoiced at.

That Jesus is not claiming to be God in John 8:58 is made clear in the earlier verse 42 - "Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; NEITHER CAME I OF MYSELF, but he sent me."

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Tomlinson

  • "For that ye strove in neighbour love, it shall be written fair, But now ye wait at Heaven's Gate and not in Berkeley Square, Though we called your friend from his bed this night, he could not speak for you, For the race is run by one and one and never by two and two." Rudyard Kipling

Attributions

  • For Deborah 1963-2003
    "full of grace and truth"
  • And for T.M.Wixted 1889-1958
  • Certain material on this weblog has been adapted from works by E.P.Wixted, including The Race is Run.