John 3:16-17

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by AllOfGrace, Jan 30, 2004.

  1. AllOfGrace

    AllOfGrace
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    John 3:16-17 (KJV)
    " For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."

    The truth be known, a full understanding of Christ’s atonement for the sins of the elect revolves around a proper understanding of these verses which can be quoted by most Christians.

    To gain a full understanding of the verse, we should proceed to the end and discuss the word "might." Does might mean "has the possibility to" as in "the world through Him has the possibility to be saved" or does it mean "will in time" as in "the world through Him will in time be saved"?

    Let us examine a few verses in John’s gospel with the word "might."

    John 10:17
    "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again."

    Is it the mere possibility of Christ raising from the dead, or is it a surety that it will in time occur?

    John 11:4
    " When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby."

    Will the Son of God in time be glorified, or is that just a possibility?

    John 17:12
    "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled."

    Did Judas have a chance to thwart the plan of God, or was it predestined that he would in time, perform his evil deed?

    John 19:24
    " They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did."

    Is it possible that the scriptures would not be fulfilled, or was it in God’s will that they would in time be fulfilled? John 10:35 tells us that "the scripture can not be broken."

    Why is this word important? Because, if the word "might" means "will in time" then the word "world" cannot mean everybody unless we are to believe that everybody without exception will in time be saved.

    The "world" of John 3 is not intended to be the entire scope of mankind. It is, instead, to show the nation of Israel that the calling of God was no longer to them alone.

    As Revelation 5 tells us, Christ was "slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation … " not out of the Jewish nation only.
     
  2. massdak

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    that is very interesting good post.
    i have tried to study the words on john 3-17 the words "might be" what is your definition for those words in john 3-17? is it "has the possibility to"?
     
  3. AllOfGrace

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    Thank you Massdak,

    No, I don't believe it it "has the possibility to." Just as shown in the other verses where "might" clearly means "will in time."

    The implications of that are clear — John 3:16-17 means that "God so love the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him might not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condem the world, but that the world through Him" will in time be saved.

    Of course, not everyone will be saved — that is born out in the scriptures. The explanation then is that God sent His Son, not for "all people" but instead for "all kinds of people" — a lesson that John was trying to teach the Jews.
     
  4. massdak

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    i agree and again good post it opened up some good study for me thank you.
    God bless
     
  5. Yelsew

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    There is another way to say that last phrase, "but that the world through him are enabled to be saved.
     
  6. AllOfGrace

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    Yelsew,

    It is clear that the meaning of the word "might" is not "has the possibility to" or "are enabled to."

    In every other reference given, "might" means "will in time." So then, what does the "world" mean?

    That's the point. Arminians turn this verse into "every person is enabled to be saved" when it really means "all kinds of people will in time be saved."
     
  7. Yelsew

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    Well then according to your definition of "might", if the verse used the phrase "might not" that must mean that no kinds of people will at any time be saved. Which would be saying that no people of any kind are enabled to be saved.

    You haven't made you point! What you have said does not stand up under scrutiny!
     
  8. AllOfGrace

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    Yelsew,

    Thank you again for the Arminian perspective on what the Bible doesn't say.

    AOG
     
  9. Yelsew

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    Get your facts straight Sir, I am not ARMINIAN! I AM CHRISTIAN! I adhere to the teachings of no "ISM" by any man's name!
     
  10. AllOfGrace

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    Then friend,

    Allow me to implore you as a fellow Christian to adhere to the words the Bible SAYS, and not what it would mean IF it said something!

    Instead of suggesting my interpretation of John would be wrong IF the Bible said something, show me something it DOES say.

    I have clearly set out several others places in John where "might" is used and what he must mean by the word. I woud encourage you to assert that I am wrong. Scripture is what has brought me to the understand I have, and Scripture is what must be used to change it.

    I have no problem with you asserting I am wrong. However, the best way for you to do that would be to show another verse where John uses the word "might" to mean "has the possibility to." Let us interpret Scripture with Scripture.
     
  11. Yelsew

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    Your ascertions have opposing sides, you present the one that pleases you. You say the word "might" means something without looking at ramifications of its opposite! Might and might not are opposing so if you say that 'might' means an assurity that something will happen, then 'might not' gives an assurity that same thing cannot happen. Is is possible that the word means something less than an assurity? ABSOLUTELY! Therefore, the true meaning is that what causes the 'might' happen is an enabler, not a direct cause!

    It is the lock on the door that has been unlocked while the door remains closed. The lock when engaged prevents one from entering because it prevents the door from being opened. But when the lock is not engaged, entry is enabled to the one who opens the door. So God has unlocked the lock so that whosoever might open the door, may enter. There is no assurity that any will open the door, but just in case, the lock is unlocked. That is how the "might" is used!
     
  12. AllOfGrace

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    Yelsew,

    I understand that is your view of how "might" is used. In connection with salvation or believing, we will obviously disagree on this.

    However, I woudl encourage you to look at the word in the contexts that it is used on other subjects.

    Allow me to give another example.

    John 19:3 (KJV)
    "The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs MIGHT be broken, and that they MIGHT be taken away."

    Certainly you can see that the Jews did not intend that their legs "have the possibility" to be broken or that the "are enabled" to be taken away! They are, instead, looking for something to suredly be done.

    If you are consistent in your interpretation, then you must say that the Jews only wanted it to be possible for their legs to be broken or possible for them to be taken away.

    While we disagree theologically about the meaning of "might" in John 3:16-17, I am trying to show that my view is consistent with clear interpretations in other passages.
     
  13. Yelsew

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    The might has to do with the death of the ones on the cross. By breaking their lebs death is hastened so that the Jews might take there bodies from the crosses before the sabbath begins. They were not concerned about the victims but about their sabbath, and the breaking of their rules regarding the sabbath.
    "Let's break their legs so they will die sooner so that we can take them from the crosses before the sabbath".

    The Jews were asking permission from Pilate to have the victim's legs broken so they will die faster. Might we have that done? Is not an assurity of it happening, it is a request to have it happen...an enablement!
     
  14. AllOfGrace

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    Yelsew,

    The only way your assertion works is that the Jews were doing the breaking. They asked they they could be enabled.

    Of course, that is not the case. The Jews asked that Pilate would asuredly perform this task.

    I wonder if you are being this argumentative out of habit or if you truly can't see that "might" can (and most often does) mean something will be done, not just enablement?
     
  15. Dr. Bob

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    Looks like someone "might" have a bad grasp of English grammar! :rolleyes:
     
  16. Yelsew

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    are you naming names or merely speculating?
     
  17. Johnv

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    Better idea: Let us examine the text in the original Greek. The word "might" is not present in the original Greek. A more literal translation is "to save the world through him".

    Discussions about the word "might" are of no value to John 3:17.

    If "to save the world through him" supports Arminianism, well, bummer. Take it up with God.
    If "to save the world through him" supports Calvinism, well, bummer. Take it up with God.
     
  18. Brian Bosse

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    Hello John,

    The Greek word in question is: &#945&#960&#959&#955&#951&#964&#945&#953. It is the aorist subjunctive of the verb meaning "to destroy." This particular mood is sometimes referred to as the mood of possibility or potentiality. Many times this is communicated in the English language by adding "might" to the verb. The NASB translates it as "should." You can find the same verb in Matthew 18:14, and Luke 21:18. The context of these passages speaks to far more than probability. Those that are arguing over the definition of "might" are really arguing over how we are to understand the subjunctive in this case. There is no pat answer, and context is vital.

    Sincerely,

    Brian
     
  19. massdak

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    are you saying someone "has the possibility to "
    have bad grasp on grammar or "will in time"?

    just kidding
     

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