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Switch to Forum Live View Do you believe in God and Christ?
6 years ago  ::  Nov 22, 2012 - 11:24AM #11
Posts: 158

Nov 22, 2012 -- 3:10AM, Theo wrote:

So, tell me if this works for you - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the Father, and the Word was the Father. ???

What works for me is how the Apostles originally wrote it.  However, if I were forced to reinterpret the verse, it would more exactly be rewritten as  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the Father (God as He exists in transcendence), and the Word was the Father manifested."

The interpretation was that God, prior to the beginning, existed alone and undefined: there was nothing to define God to or differentiate Him from.  When God - a singular being (existing eternally as Spirit; Jn 4:23-24) and defined from this point as the Father (because He began to "father" a creation [angels, universe and man]) - began creating, He did so by His Word (I think you agreed with that elsewhere).  He didn't employ another person as the Word.  He began creating and His Word is what not only created but defined Him.  This Word existed eternally as God, I agree.  But, it was not a separate person in God nor was it God in a separate person (however the trinitarian decides to define that makeup).  And, this is where the distinctions in God began - distinction between God in transcendence (defined as the Father) and God manifested (defined as the Word, which was made flesh and became known as the Son).


I once asked a UPC minister friend of mine to translate John 1:1 for me. And this is what he wrote... "In beginnings was the Word, and the Word pertained to God, and God was the Word." But in addition he added the following explanation - > God is the Origin of all things, the Logos was the rational utterance of God, who thereby defined Himself in relation to His creation.

My friend was able to translate the Greek literally and accurately, but in order to communicate what he believed it meant, he had to completely depart from the literal sentence structure and opt for a highly nebulous metaphysical explanation paralleling Platonic philosophy.

When you're married to a belief system it becomes very hard to critique it and evaluate your options. My friend earned his degree in philosophy, and so he was aware that he was leaning heavily on platonic thought for his interpretation of the Logos... but still he persisted.

Strange thing for me was... the Oneness College I went to accused Trinitarians of using Platonic thought in their understanding of Logos-Christology. Indeed, their whole case was based upon how bad it was for Christians to "cross streams" with paganism. And of course, at the time I was believing and accepting of everything they said, not knowing any better myself.  I have since run into a number of Oneness theologians who openly admit that they rely on Greek philosophy to explain John 1 and to understand the nature of the LOGOS.

After my Bible college days I spent years reading the Church fathers, and discovered that they were right, the early Church did read the NT through Greek Philosophy colored glasses. Some of them even believed Plato was saved because he accurately conceptualized the nature of God and His Logos. And so it was that I spent time boning up on Greek philosophy too... I wanted to see how it impacted the Christological debates and Logos-Christology in particular.

But instead if finding the Trinitarian Achilles' heel, as it were, here is what I learned... Trinitarians do not base their understanding of God the Son on Greek concepts of the Logos. They base their understanding of the Logos on the Word of the Lord - as found all through the Old Testament. It was Arius and his many followers who were the major proponents of Logos-Christology and they gladly borrowed from Plato, Aristotle and the Stoics to make their case... moreover, so did Pope Sebelius.

The explanation you gave in your last post, was parallel to platonic thought about God and the Logos. My UPC friend's paraphrase of John 1:1 is completely loaded with Greek concepts... and so it was that 20 years ago, I began looking for a more Biblical understanding of the Word. I base my understanding of the Word, not on what Plato came up with to explain the word Logos, but upon OT passages about the Word of the Lord. The Word, in the Greek Version of the OT, is also translated as Ho Logos = the Word. And so I studied about the Word of YHVH in the OT, and tied that to John 1:1, and thereby came up with the understanding that the Word of YHVH is God, but not God proper. The Word is eternal, the Word was with God in the beginning, and the Word created all things... and all through the OT, the Word speaks as God to and through the prophets. So much so that St. John said, He came to His own, but His own did not receive Him, but to as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God... Amen.

You spend a lot of time referring to the UPC and others who are in this Oneness truth.  All of it is to denigrate this truth.  I prefer to deal with the here and now, the you and me.  I could start posting what trinitarians I have spoken to have said that is totally not what you believe, but what would that get me?  It just gets more webspace usage.  I get bored with that.  The posts get too long.  Like this one.  So, let's just stick to the here and now, ok?  :)



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