John 3:5

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by webdog, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. webdog

    webdog
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    I was meditating on what it means to be born of water and spirit. Thinking of the crucifixion, I was taken to the time after Jesus' death where the soldier pierced Jesus' side and water and blood came out. Could this "water" be what is referred to, signifying Christ's death and resurrection? The imagry of the soldiers being sprayed with His blood and water after piercing Him due to the effects of pericardial and pleural effusion is powerful.

    Due to the controversial nature of this passage, and differing opinions...plausible?
     
  2. puros_bran

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    I don't believe we need to mysticize this passage...

    Jesus had just blown Nic's mind. 'We must be born again?, Jesus, that aint happining."

    Jesus tells him, "unless a man is born of water and the spirit he will not enter into the Kingdom, what is born of the flesh is flesh and what is born of the spirit is spirit".



    In my mind he was just expanding on the idea of rebirth. Flesh in born in water, spirit is born in spirit.
     
  3. webdog

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    ...yet there is much debate amongst Christians if that is the meaning: water - flesh, spirit - spirit. I wasnt' so much as 'mysticizing' the passage, just wondering if that could also be a another possibility in interpretation that I never considered before.

    The water and spirit are used together, not as opposites. I believe Jesus could have been saying that being born again was due to His work on the cross, and the work in their hearts by the Holy Spirit. One cannot be born again apart from Christ's work on the cross, and in the interpretation that water = flesh, being born again would include physical birth...and that doesn't make any sense in regards to the new birth. Being born again happens only upon faith in Christ (and susequently His death and resurrection) as a result of the Holy Spirit drawing that person to Christ.
     
    #3 webdog, Mar 26, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2009
  4. puros_bran

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    The image of the blood covored centurian, while quite powerful and in a gory way pretty cool, probably didn't happen. John simply states the water and the blood 'come out', he didn't say it sprayed out. The heart wasn't pumping to give the blood pressure and the body hadn't been there long enough to get ripe and provide pressure.


    FWIW: I'm not saying I'm right and your wrong. I just take the text as literal as possible.For all I know when I get there He will tell me "Hey knucklehead,Webdog was right"

    (Totally off topic: Are the crackerheads really going to deal Braylon and Brady? How much more can the Dawgpound stand!)
     
  5. thegospelgeek

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    I agree that the water is a natural birth. It would be very difficult to be born again if not born once already.

    As for the Browns, Quinn is going nowhere. If Braylon wants to stay he will, but if he wants to go and they can get day one picks and a starting WR he will be gone.
     
  6. webdog

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    I'll hijack my own thread...I think Braylon will be dealt, Mangini (like Belicheck) doesn't like "me first" players, hence the trade of K2. Quinn is not guaranteed to be here either, there is no connection with the new regime. Any and all players are expendable (except Cribbs and Dawson, IMO). I would like to keep Quinn, and would ship BE out of here if I can get good value. The guy can't catch and his attitude stinks.
     
  7. Revmitchell

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    It makes perfect sense. There must be a physical birth and there must be a spiritual birth. v. 5 is cleared up in v. 6

    Joh 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

    What will help you is to understand why Jesus used this illustration with Nicodemus. As a Jew and a Pharisee they believed they were on their way to heaven because of their birth right. Having been born a Jew or having been born a descendant of Abraham. Jesus was simply saying a physical birth is not enough. Being a descendant of Abraham was not enough.
     
  8. webdog

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    Verse 6 shows the separation of flesh and spirit...and "water and spirit" are used as one in the same, not separate. I don't believe "born again" is speaking of another birth, but the rebirth of our soul. Since man cannot be physically reborn, rebirth must mean our spirit since spiritual death separates us from God, rebirth is needed to reconcile our spirit to His.
     
  9. Revmitchell

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    No, it is showing a physical birth and a spiritual birth.

    OK

    I am not sure how you are using the word "soul" and the word "spirit".
     
  10. Olivencia

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    According to John 3:10 Christ expected Nicodemus to know what He (Christ) was talking about. This is where those such as many in the church of Christ err when they insist that "water" must mean Christian water baptism for Christian water baptism in the name of the Lord/Triune God had not yet started. Nicodemus would have no clue what Jesus was talking about.
    The "water" in John 3:5 metaphorically refers to the Holy Spirit Himself. The word "and" (kai) in Greek can be used epexegetically.
    water even Spirit
    water namely Spirit
    Not only does the Apostle John use water emblematically for the Holy Spirit (John 4:10, 14; 7:37-39) but being a Pharisee Nicodemus would have Old Testament texts to make this association (Isaiah 32:15; 44:3; Ezekiel 36:25, 26).
     
  11. Marcia

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    I tend to agree with this as one strong possibility.

    Saying water means physical birth does not make sense in the context. Of course, one has to be born and be alive for anything to happen. It seems sort of nonsensical that Jesus would say, "You must first be born." That's just too obvious.

    The other strong possibility is that water may refer to God's word:

    http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/bapsav05.htm
     
  12. puros_bran

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    Maybe the point of stating the obvious was the fact that Nicodemus was a teacher of Israel and yet he did't get it. Telling him whats born in the flesh is flesh is pretty obvious too.
     
  13. rjprince

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    All the metaphor and symbolism may be interesting speculation, but the context seems to give strong indication that “born of water” is a reference to physical birth...

    To speculate something outside of the text when you have some clear clues within the text does not seem to be a very good way to interpret Scripture. If someone wants to make a point from another text, fine, but we should be careful about imposing a truth from one passage onto a passage where it is not primary.

    RJP
     
  14. Marcia

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    Jesus is not nonsensical and that would be nonsensical.

    "How am I saved?" Well, first you have to exist.

    "How am I born again?" Well, first you have to be born.

    See the OT references. Nicodemus would have known these.

    If it's not referring to God's word, then it is referring to the Spirit (I think this is more likely). I agree with webdog that "water and spirit" are not 2 separate things.
     
  15. rjprince

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    The Greek does not support your "one in the same" argument here. The construction is NOT Granville Sharpe's rule regarding two nouns connected by a kai, since neither has the definite article in the Greek.

    RJP
     
  16. rjprince

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    Nicodemus did not ask, "How am I saved?" nor did Jesus suggest the Nicodemus should accept His sacrificial death on the cross in substitutionary atonement for his (Nic's) sins.

    Jesus was comparing spiritual birth to physical birth. One introduces a new physical life, one introduces a new spiritual life.

    Google "granville sharpe" for an explanation of the rule regarding the "and" (kai).

    We are children of Adam by physical birth, we are children of God by spiritual birth, hence "born AGAIN", once physical and once spiritual. The "again" does not fit with any other explanation as far as I can tell.

    RJP
     
  17. webdog

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    By one in the same, I mean they are two sides of the same coin. I do not believe they are referring to physical and spiritual, that is why the "water" from the crucifixion caught my eye.
     
  18. rjprince

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    This passage is a good illustration of Granville Sharpe's rule. The "determinate counsel and foreknowledge" of God are two sides of the same coin.

    The "water and spirit" are not two sides of the same coin. While your figure of a coin is catchy, it is not supported by either the Greek or the context.

    RJP
     
  19. TCGreek

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    RJP, it's true that it doe not fit the Granville Sharpe's rule, but it is understood by many as a hendiadys, "one through two," with both concepts referring to the regenerative, cleansing work of the Spirit.

    But Isaiah 44:3-5 and Ezek 37:9-10 provide the best background to this text, seeing that we're speaking of a Jewish teacher before the Master himself.
     
  20. Olivencia

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    Greek lexicons do not think it is speculation that water refers to the Holy Spirit:
    1. Brown: For the final future of their nation the prophets hoped for an eschatological sprinkling with God's purifying water which would cleanse both land and people, set idolatry aside and put a new Spirit in their hearts (Isa. 44:3; Ezek.26:25ff.; Zech 13:1f.). Here water has become a picture for the Spirit of Yahweh who brings cleansing and eradicates wickedness (NIDNTT 3:989, Water).
    2. Vine: Some regard the kai, "and," in John 3:5, as epexegetic, = 'even,' in which case the water would be emblematic of the Spirit, as in John 7:38 (cp. 4:10, 14) (Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, water, page 1214).
    3. Wuest: One of the basic rules of interpretation is to ascertain just what the Word of God meant to the one who recorded it, and to the one who received it at the time it was written. Another rule of interpretation is to take into consideration the other uses of the same term in other places. Our Lord was talking to a man who was learned in the Old Testament scriptures. He would be expected to use Jewish phraseology in a case like this. In John 7:37, 38, He uses the word "water" as referring to the Holy Spirit. When speaking to the Samaritan woman who as a Samaritan was familiar at least with the Pentateuch, He uses the word "water" in such a way that we are led to believe that He referred to the Holy Spirit, because He speaks of the water which He will give, as a spring of water leaping up into life eternal. In neither place does He explain the symbol, John finding it necessary to do so in 7:39, and for the reason that he is writing for Gentile believers. Nicodemus, as a Jewish theologian, is supposed to have been familiar with Isaiah 44:3, where water is a type of the Holy Spirit, and also with Isaiah 55:1, where the prophet says, "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters." These considerations lead the writer to incline to the interpretation that the word "water" here was used by Jesus as a symbol of the Holy Spirit as He does in the case of the Samaritan woman and also when He spoke at the great day of the feast. The Greek word translated "and" has other uses than merely that of a connective. It has an emphatic or ascensive use, and is at that time translated by the word "even". Thus, the translation here could read, "Except a man be born of water, even of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." Another consideration pointing to this interpretation and translation is the fact that when Jesus recurs again to the new birth in verse 6 and 8, He does not refer to water at all, but only to the Spirit. Evidently seeing the blank look on the face of Nicodemus, our Lord adds the words "even of the Spirit," thus explaining the symbol to this theologian of the Old Testament who should have understood it (Word Studies in the Greek New Testament 3:56, 57, Jesus and Nicodemus, #2).

    Olivencia
     

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