John 3:16 cf. John 17:9b

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by ktn4eg, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
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    Jesus said in John 3:16, "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."

    Jesus prayed to His Father in John 17:9b "...I pray not for the world,...."

    Please help me to understand [in "non-technical" terms please :)] what would at first glance seem to be an apparent contradiction. I KNOW that there are no contradictions in God's Word, but I'm having a little problem reconciling these two passages.

    Any help you can offer will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
     
  2. convicted1

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    Let's extend this verse a little to see what Jesus was really saying.

    John 17:6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

    7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.

    8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

    9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

    10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.

    11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.


    Look closely at all the "they", "them", "these", and "those", that Jesus spoke. He was praying for those who the Father had given to Him while He was here on earth at that time. He was not praying for those who did not believe in Him, but for those who believed in Him at that time He was here on planet earth. They would not believe in Him, eventhough they saw the miracles He had performed. He wasn't praying for them, but for those who believed that he was/is the I AM.

    God did love the world, that He allowed Jesus to die for all. But the only ones who receive the benefits of His death, burial and resurrection, are those who choose to believe.

    1 Tim. 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of ALL MEN, specially of those that believe.


    Here is another one to compare this to.

    John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

    Now, Jesus is talking about while He was here on earth. Compare this to this verse here:

    John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

    Now, here Jesus is talking about what would happen after His ascension. A lot of what Jesus spoke in the four gospels was "in the now" sense. IOW, while He was living in His earthly body. This is where the confusion comes in in regards to who can, and can't come to Jesus. They couldn't come to Jesus because God had blinded their eyes, and dulled their ears, so that Jesus would fulfill all prophecies concerning Him being the sacrificial Lamb. If they really knew He was the Lamb od God, the Messiah that was prophesied to come, they would not have nailed Him to the cross. But rather, they would have tried to make Him King over Israel, naturally speaking. After Jesus died, the veil was removed from their eyes, and they could hear. The prophecies had been fulfilled!! Praise His sweet name!!

    i am I AM's!!

    Willis
     
  3. Allan

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    Though God loves the 'world' (all mankind in general) He did not choose to save the world as whole but chose to save those of faith. Those who will not believe will perish. Thus God's love provided the means for salvation toward His creation which He loved - man in general. We are the pinnacle of His creation and the only part of His creation He came to for the purpose of seeking and saving it.

    The portion in John 17 about not praying for the world, in this sense 'world' refers (as it often does in scripture) to the heathen sinners, but here is somewhat more defined as the unbelieving, since Christ is contrasting His verses the World.. ergo believers verses unbelievers.
     
  4. ktn4eg

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    Thanks Allan. I'm inclined to believe what you wrote too.

    Would I therefore be correct in assuming that the word world can have very different meanings? If so, how is one to determine what world means every place that it appears in God's Word? Context alone?
     
  5. JesusFan

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    Does "all" mean all in every time that word is used in the Bible?

    You are correct, let the context dictate what word use really was meant to be read and understood by us...

    Also, remember thast jesus was praying for His father to protect and kep safe those whom he had received from the father, those who were the called of/by God, in this case the 11 Apostles in imeediate sense, and all those who were to be chosen and called by God onto the time of His Second!
     
  6. percho

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    What God could do to show to every scumbag sinner who has ever lived, for there are none righteous no not one, his love and mercy for his creation is being done in the manner called election. We are to love God and keep his word. Some do better than others yet he does the electing and it is not predicated by what we do for God is doing according to his purpose.

    I believe there are scales upon the minds of most of mankind that can not see the love and mercy of God and until He removes those scales they will not be able to see.

    JMO
     
  7. psalms109:31

    psalms109:31
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    World

    I believe both instances He was talking about the whole world. When we are in Christ we are no longer apart of the world, just in it as ambassadors for Christ.

    The called people are no better than everyone else of or in the world, but are called to serve as messengers through their new life and when necessary with words.
     
    #7 psalms109:31, Jun 9, 2011
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  8. Van

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    Just because Jesus does not pray for the world in one verse does not suggest He does not pray for the world in another verse. So there is no contradiction. In John 17:9 Jesus is praying for His Apostles, but in verse 20 we see that Jesus is not praying for His Apostles alone, but also for anyone who believes in Jesus because of their word. And then in verse 21 Jesus does indeed pray for the world because God so loved the world. Hence, no contradiction.
     
  9. Allan

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    Yes.. there are various meanings but context always dictates the meanings.

    There are various meanings as stated below:
    1. World is used of earth in general

    2. World is used the world system -(ie Geographical area, especially relating to a system - ie. Roman World)

    3. World is used of the whole human race - though this is not often though John 3:16 is one oft quoted verse which means that

    4. World refers to humanity minus believers )(ie. sinful wicked mankind)

    5. World is used of Gentiles in contrast with the Jews

    Some wish to postulate that 'world' also should mean believers or God's people as well. However not once does scripture ever use world to mean believers. We can state this because we get the definitions we use from the way it is consistently used in the scriptures. Since the NT is based off of the OT, all words in the NT should be the same and have the same meanings as the OT. God will not change the meaning of a word from one testament to the other. The larger portion of scripture is given to the OT and defined meaning of world will have been utilized numerous times there that its meaning will be established as the NT writers set down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to write those things with consistency in the NT already established in the OT.

    World not once is ever used in the OT to refer to Gods people or believers therefore to use it as such in the NT would be inconsistent with scripture regarding its prescribed definition. It IS used to describe the (1) World (as in earth itself), (2) Geographical specific (world system), and (3) all sinful wicked men.

    All of these are established definitions (some with varying degrees but the same meanings) in the OT and followed through in the NT.
     
  10. Van

    Van
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    "World" does not mean a lot of different things. it refers to fallen mankind or the corrupt system of fallen mankind in every usage of John. The reason why differing and opposite meanings are asserted is to nullify what God's word actually says.
     
  11. Allan

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    Hmmm... Uh Nope.
    Check you bible as well as Greek scholars (across the board). You will find you stand -alone- in that supposition
     
  12. Iconoclast

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    1 "Kosmos" is used of the Universe as a whole: Acts 17: 24 - "God that made the world and all things therein seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth."


    2 "Kosmos" is used of the earth: John 13:1; Ephesians 1:4, etc., etc.- "When Jesus knew that his hour was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own which were in the world He loved them unto the end."

    "Depart out of this world" signifies, leave this earth.

    "According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world." This expression signifies, before the earth was founded -- compare Job 38:4 etc.


    3 "Kosmos" is used of the world-system: John 12:31 etc. "Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the Prince of this world be cast out" -- compare Matthew 4:8 and 1 John 5:19, R. V.


    4 "Kosmos" is used of the whole human race: Romans 3:19, etc.-- "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God."


    5 "Kosmos" is used of humanity minus believers: John 15:18; Romans 3:6 "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you." Believers do not "hate" Christ, so that "the world" here must signify the world of un-believers in contrast from believers who love Christ. "God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world." Here is another passage where "the world" cannot mean "you, me, and everybody," for believers will not be "judged" by God, see John 5:24. So that here, too, it must be the world of un-believers which is in view.


    6 "Kosmos" is used of Gentiles in contrast from Jews: Romans 11:12 etc. "Now if the fall of them (Israel) be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them (Israel) the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their (Israel's) fulness." Note how the first clause in italics is defined by the latter clause placed in italics. Here, again, "the world" cannot signify all humanity for it excludes Israel!


    7 "Kosmos" is used of believers only: John 1:29; 3:16-17; 6:33; 12;47; 1 Corinthians 4:9; 2 Corinthians 5:19. We leave our readers to turn to these passages, asking them to note, carefully, exactly what is said and predicated of "the world" in each place.


    Thus it will be seen that "kosmos" has at least seven clearly defined different meanings in the New Testament.

    It may be asked, Has then God used a word thus to confuse and confound those who read the Scriptures?

    We answer, No! nor has He written His Word for lazy people who are too dilitary, or too busy with the things of this world, or, like Martha, so much occupied with "serving," they have no time and no heart to "search" and "study" Holy Writ!

    Should it be asked further, But how is a searcher of the Scriptures to know which of the above meanings the term "world" has in any given passage?

    The answer is: This may be ascertained by a careful study of the context, by diligently noting what is predicated of "the world" in each passage, and by prayer fully consulting other parallel passages to the one being studied. The principal subject of John 3:16 is Christ as the Gift of God. The first clause tells us what moved God to "give" His only begotten Son, and that was His great "love;" the second clause informs us for whom God "gave" His Son, and that is for, "whosoever (or, better, 'every one') believeth;" while the last clause makes known why God "gave" His Son (His purpose), and that is, that everyone that believeth "should not perish but have everlasting life."

    That "the world" in John 3:16 refers to the world of believers (God's elect), in contradistinction from "the world of the ungodly" (2 Peter 2:5), is established, unequivocally established, by a comparison of the other passages which speak of God's "love."

    "God commendeth His love toward US" -- the saints, Romans 5:8.

    "Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth" -- every son, Hebrews 12:6.

    "We love Him, because He first loved US" -- believers, 1 John 4:19.

    The wicked God "pities" (see Matthew 18:33). Unto the unthankful and evil God is "kind" (see Luke 6:35). The vessels of wrath He endures "with much long-suffering" (see Romans 9:22). But "His own" God "loves"!!

    By A.W. Pink
     
  13. psalms109:31

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    2 Timothy 2:
    14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

    "My love of consistency with my own doctrinal views is not great enough to allow me knowingly to alter a single text of Scripture. I have great respect for orthodoxy, but my reverence for inspiration is far greater. I would sooner a hundred times over appear to be inconsistent with myself than be inconsistent with the word of God. I never thought it to be any very great crime to seem to be inconsistent with myself; for who am I that I should everlastingly be consistent? But I do think it a great crime to be so inconsistent with the word of God that I should want to lop away a bough or even a twig from so much as a single tree of the forest of Scripture. God forbid that I should cut or shape, even in the least degree, any divine expression."
    C.H. Spurgeon
     
  14. Allan

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    Yes. and while Pink give a fair outline though it 'might' have been worded better (that is just me though) in the above... HOWEVER he fails utterly in the last point whereby he states the term 'world' means believers.

    You won't find any reputable Greek Scholars (of any group - even Cals) who will state that 'world' EVER means God's children or believers. While you will find quite a few commentaries (though not even half) of Calvinist and Reformed making the claim, world means the elect.. it is not even considered the norm for them. Thus here we see Pink doing much malfeasance to the law of basic hermeneutics in which he lets his theology dictate to scripture a words meaning instead of the reverse.

    Tell me, where can you find in scripture God stating that 'heathen' means the ungodly AND the God-fearing?
    Or where can you show me in scripture that the term 'unbeliever' means one who does NOT believe AND one who does?
    Or any other word in scripture that has an established meaning in the OT, but is given not only a new definition in the NT but one that contradicts the already established definition.

    Priest never refers to someone who is not a priest, holy does not apply to that which is unholy, any more than term 'world' (which speaking of the spiritual state of man) can mean believers.

    With respect to the spiritual state of man, in the OT world ALWAYS referred to the wicked and unbelieving sinners, in the NT it is the same as we note from Jesus own words and the apostles as well in things like..
    **I pray not for the world..
    **be in the world but not of the world..
    **you are not of the world my children..
    **the field (speaking of evangelism) is the world
    **woe unto the world..
    **for the children of this world are in their generation, are wiser than the children of light....
    **John 12:47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.
    **The Spirit of Truth whom the world can not receive..
    **if the world hate you
    **John 15:19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Pink's example of John 3:16 is a good example of some of his poor exegetical skills.. not because he wasn't smart.. but because he allowed his theology to dictate scripture. Again you can't find a Reputable Cal Greek scholar who will agree that the term world 'ever' means 'world of the elect'.

    And these are only a few phrases of many like them from/of Jesus. The point is.. you can not have "A" also mean "Non-A"... anymore than you can have Holy also mean unholy. It should also be noted that this is established is other aspect of definition given.. such as a distinction between the Jews (God's people) and the Gentiles (unbelievers) and the very fact that regard a spiritual sense, it is always used to to describe that which is NOT of God. So the very nature of the word, when used regarding the spiritual sense, is established and thus can not support a new definition being the exact opposite - being OF God.

    Here is a well known Calvinist AND well respected Greek Scholar - A. T. Robertson from his work, "Robertson Word Pictures" on 'world' from John 3:16:
     
    #14 Allan, Jun 10, 2011
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  15. David Lamb

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    [Sorry - I thought I was the first to reply, but my post doesn't seem to have got through! I'll try and remember what I put. :) ]

    I don't know too many technical terms myself, so I hope this is OK:

    John 3.16:
    The word translated "so" means "in this way". The verse is telling us of the manner in which God loved the world, not how much He loved it.

    "Whosoever" just means "whoever."

    The verse says that those who believe in Jesus Christ will not perish, but have everlasting life.

    So the verse means: "This is the way God loved the world. He gave His only-begotten Son, and to those who believe in His Son, He gives everlasting life".

    John 17.9b:

    Just look back at John 17.8, and we see that Jesus is again talking about people who believe in Him.

    Not very "deep", I'm afraid, but maybe it is helpful.
     
  16. Allan

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    Agreed.. even as a Non-Cal I believe the term 'world' here is referring to all mankind in a general sense.. ie His prime creation. This allows the qualifiers of believe and not believe to separate that unit to which God applies His special and favored love upon His believers as well as those to whom condemnation is applied for having not believed.
     
  17. Luke2427

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    World almost NEVER means every single person- not in Greek, not in English, not in Swaheelee (sp?).

    It almost never means every single person in nearly any context. Not for the Jews not for the Greeks not for the Japanese- not in the Bible, not in Greek philosophy and not in almost any modern context.

    The whole WORLD knows this!:thumbs:

    When God says "world" to us he is using it the way we use it just like he does with every other word he speaks to us. Otherwise we would not be able to make beans from apple butter about what he is saying.

    So he speaks to us in OUR language using words the way we use them.

    When God says, "World" in contexts that seem to be universal rather than a system it almost always means world in the sense of this article title:

    Bernanke Practices Golf as the Whole World Watches


    Or in this Scripture:
    Luke 2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
     
    #17 Luke2427, Jun 10, 2011
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  18. Rippon

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    Yes,the believing ones. John 3:16 is restrictive.

    Agreed. But I would like to add that instead of "only-begotten" which doesn't accurately convey the meaning --it should be the one-and-only Son or unique Son.

    Some translations that get the verse right are :NET Bible,NJB,HCSB (partial credit to the ESV footnote --not the text).

    Here are two translations of the verse.The first is from GWT :

    God loved the world this way:He gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not die but have eternal life.

    Here is the ISV :

    For this is how God loved the world: He gave his unique Son so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but have eternal life.
     
    #18 Rippon, Jun 10, 2011
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  19. Allan

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    But we do take note that it DOES mean all mankind at times :thumbs:
     
  20. Luke2427

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    Rarely.

    The point I am making is that if the primary thing the "non-cal" (a title that bewilders me as to why anyone would prefer it. Mormons are "non-cal") bases his theology on are the "world" and "all" passages then he has no real basis for his theology.

    It seems to me that though I know that is not the only argument you guys utilize- it is your main one.

    The rest of your arguments seem not to be FOR what you believe but simply against what Calvinists believe.
     

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