October 22nd 2010, 07:34 PM #16
Re: Discussing the Trinity with SeanD
I sorry BUT one cannot ‘discuss’ John 17:3 until one has come to understand John 1:1-18.
Allow me to begin by saying that one cannot jump into the middle any book and begin ‘interpreting’ the meaning of ‘statements’ without first establishing the ‘context’ and ‘pre-defined’ meaning of any ‘concept’ that may be ultimately presented therein.
The ‘Prologue’ of the Gospel of John (John 1:1-18) ‘pre-defines’ the ‘context’ of the ‘concept’ of the ‘personhood’ of Jesus Christ – the Son of God. The remainder of the Gospel of John MUST be understood within the context, the framework of definition, which is presented within its first 18 verses. Any interpretation of the body of the Gospel MUST be ‘molded’ to fit the ‘definition’ provided within the Prologue.
Let’s begin at the beginning…
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with [the] God, and the Word was God.
John 1:1 en arche en o logos kai o logos en pros ton theon kai theos en o logos
1] there is no ‘definite’ article in NT Greek, therefore in the very first phrase you do not find a definite article between ‘in’ & ‘beginning’ IN THE GREEK – however, you do find it IN THE ENGLISH – this is because the object of a preposition IN GREEK is always definite – so – proper ENGLISH requires the definite article to be present. The purpose of the article in NT Greek is not ‘primarily’ to make something ‘definitive’ (there are about 10 different ways for something to be ‘definitive’ in NT Greek WITHOUT THE ATRICLE) – NO – its primary use is to establish a concept (to conceptualize) or to identify an entity (to personalize).
2] an example of the ‘conceptualization’ function of the article may be given as follows; the word ‘poor’ is an adjective that describes the condition or quality of a noun (i.e. the poor man) – by adding the article before the word ‘poor’ the adjective becomes a noun ‘the poor’ and is now an entity or ‘class’. In similar fashion when the article is placed before a word that is already a noun, it draws attention to the identity (the personhood) of the noun. In the first phrase we find the establishment of the identity of the personal entity – the Word.
3] in the second phrase, this same personal entity (the Word) is said to be in the company of yet another personal entity (the God) – that’s two  separate, individual personal entities.
4] in the third phrase, this same personal entity (the Word) is said to possess all of the essential qualitative characteristics of God – notice the lack of the article and the pre-verbal position of the word theos – this construction essentially makes the word theos an adjective (actually a predicate nominative) that modifies the subject of the phrase – the Word.
Thus we have established that the author of John unequivocally identifies at least  two separate, individual personal entities who existed in a peer-to-peer relationship before the creation of anything that was created.
Check out: The Basics of New Testament Syntax by Daniel B. Wallace from Zondervan © 2000
John 1:1 In (the) beginning was the Word, and the Word was with [the] God, and the Word was God.
John 1:2 He was in (the) beginning with [the] God.
John 1:3 All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made.
The word ‘God’ is not the name of the entity that it refers to – NO – it is merely a generic term that can refer to any entity that the speaker desires to infer the qualities of ‘God’ to. In a similar manner, the word ‘Word’ is not the name of the entity that it refers to – NO – it is also a term possibly taken from either Greek or Jewish (or both) philosophy that the author of John is re-defining in ‘Christian’ (for lack of a better expression) terms. In any case, neither of these entities is, here, described as the Father or the Son or the Spirit for that matter. But the implication that they ‘all’ possess ‘all’ the qualitative characteristics of ‘God’ is undeniable. Either the author of John is suggesting that there are at least TWO gods OR he is suggesting that the ONE GOD possesses at least  personal entities.
In point 2] above you will note that by placing the ‘article’ before a word, one either identifies the 'personage' of the word-entity or one establishes the 'concept' of the word-class. A ‘class’ has more than one personal entity within it – therefore, if we consider ‘[the] God’ of the second phrase of John 1:1 as a ‘class’ it is possible that the first and third ‘persons’ of YHWH are referred to therein, while the second ‘person’ of YHWH is referred to as ‘the Word’.
As the story presented by the author of John unfolds we are introduced to these  entities as ‘the Father’, ‘the Son’ and ‘the Holy Spirit’.
Consider the Greek word pros, that appears in both John 1:1 and John 1:2 and is translated ‘with’.
John 1.1 and the Word was withGod
John 1.2 this one was in the beginning withGod
Matt 13.56 and his sisters--are they not all withus?
Mark 6.3 and are not his sisters here withus?
The same sort of ‘relationship’ that is implied in Matt 13.56 and Mark 6.3 is implied in John 1.1 and John 1.2. It is a ‘peer-to-peer’ – ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’ – ‘eye-to-eye’ interPERSONal relationship – everyone included in these four verses IS A PERSON.
Consider the Greek word hootos, that appears in John 1:2.
John 1:2 outos en en arche pros ton theon [GNT]
John 1:2 He was in the beginning with God. [ESV]
John 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God. [ASV]
John 1:2 this one was in the beginning with God. [YLT]
This pronoun is derived from the ‘article’ and is used to differentiate one ‘thing’ from another – in other words it separates the ‘identity’ of one thing from other things of the same kind in order to individualize the one thing that it refers to. In this verse ‘the Word’ is identified as an individual entity separate from ‘the God’ entity HE was ‘with’. The presence of pros in the verse reinforces the idea that these two entities were in a communal association and an interpersonal relationship – they are ‘both’ PERSONS.
John 1:14 kai o logos sarx egeneto kai eskenosen en emin, kai etheasametha ten doxan autou, doxan os monogenous para patros, pleres chariots kai aletheias.
John 1:14 And the Word flesh became and tabernacled among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of a one and only [child] of a father, full of grace and truth.
The ‘incarnation’ is the melding of the pre-existent entity that was by ‘nature’ God (the Word) with the created entity that was by ‘nature’ Man into the ‘One-and-Only’ ‘Son-of-Man’ ‘Son-of-God’ – Jesus Christ.
John 1:18 theon oudeis eorake popote; monogenes uios o, on eis ton kolpon ton patros--ekeinos exegesato.
John 1:18 God no one has ever seen; the one and only son, who is on the bosom of the father--he disclosed.
Here we have indisputable evidence that the purpose of the incarnation of ‘the son’, who is in the closest personal relationship with ‘the father’, is to make ‘the father’ known to us. This he did through the words and works that ‘the father’ gave him to say and do. Therefore, when he was asked ‘show us the father’ he could reply ‘since you have seen me – you have seen the father’.
John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
Notice that 'eternal life' is equated with ‘knowing’ not just the Father but also the Son, Jesus Christ. This is because ‘man’ can have no true ‘knowledge’ of the Only True God except by ‘knowing’ His Son.
Peace & Love
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