"The John 3:16 Hermeneutic"

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by JGrayhound, Apr 27, 2004.

  1. JGrayhound

    JGrayhound
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    What in our theological history has caused John 3:16 to be the "trump card" or the grid by which any Scripture is understood?

    For example, whenever discussing a passage of Scripture that teaches election or predestination (of which there are MANY), many people say "well, it looks like it is saying this...but it can't mean that because John 3:16". I have heard this dozens of times, but hearing it this weekend made it really stand out in my head.

    We have elevated John 3:16 to the MOST imspired verse in Scripture. Which is extremely dangerous to the rest of Scripture, it gives off the idea that some verses are "better than others".
    Maybe the worst part of it is that it is usually as misinterpretation and misunderstanding of John 3:16.

    Just some ramblings....any thoughts?
     
  2. Jesus is Lord

    Jesus is Lord
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    The "election verses" can be interpreted in many ways. Even the word "election" in the Greek has more than one meaning. John 3:16 ist crystal clear. Maybe that´s why...
     
  3. JGrayhound

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    No they can't be interpreted many ways. That is simply untrue. You may MISinterpret them, but that doesn't make it a legit interpretation.

    Why does one verse trump 30 verses that say the same thing? It just doesn't make sense. Moreover, I don't think John 3:16 contradicts election, I feel it supports it, but many use it as refutation...that is what I am getting at.

    Why do people view it as the most important verse in Scripture and act as if it is more inspired than other verses?
     
  4. Bethelassoc

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    JGrayhound:

    I agree. It doesn't make sense to me other than that may be the only verse they've memorized.

    Also, what bugs me is when people stack their favorite verses against other verses in the bible and if they have more verses to "prove" their beliefs, they win.

    It's irritating to deal with that, too.
     
  5. GREG S

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    This verse must tie in with other verses. One for example is to believe on the NAME of the Lord
    Jesus Christ. Name means a conspicious position
    indicating honor, authority, and character. Thus
    to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ you must believe on the doctrine of righteousness that he
    taught that reveals His honor, authority and character. You have not chosen me but I have chosen you, just to name one. Interpretation of the scriptures must be
    line upon line, line upon line, precept upon precept, precept upon precept, here a little there
    a little. No line of scripture is given for private interpretation (intrepreting one scripture
    without support of other scriptures). When interpeted in the light of other scriptures that
    support John 3:16, then individual rejection of
    salvation is destroyed.
    Greg
     
  6. NateT

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    I think bethelassoc hit the nail on the head. What kid who has been in sunday school or VBS has not heard John 3:16? You could probably go to any group of people in the US and 1/2 of them would know John 3:16. I mean its on decorations people have in their house.

    Plus I think there is a problem with people not knowing how to truly interpret scripture. So I think its the argument that the most scriptures wins. So often, we get to the point where we say "here are 10 verses that sound similar" but we don't stop and think about any one of the 10 and what they mean.
     
  7. Jesus is Lord

    Jesus is Lord
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    I understand that the motivation of this thread was just to defend calvinism.
     
  8. TWade

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    Bingo! [​IMG] Seems someone has an itch they can't scratch.
     
  9. JGrayhound

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    Way off!

    This issue came up over something else than Calvinism.

    Nice try, but you can't disregard me so easily.

    This is a legitemate phenomenon, and I am curious what causes it.

    Do you guys really believe John 3:16 is more inspired than other passages?
     
  10. TWade

    TWade
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    No. But it's a wonderful verse, isn't it? [​IMG]
     
  11. JGrayhound

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  12. Squire Robertsson

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    It's not that John 3:16 is anymore inspired than any other verse. It is however fairly clear in its statements. While the interpertation of other verses can be legitimatly discussed by good God-fearing, Bible loving, Christ-honoring men, as far as I know (I admit I am only speaking for the English Bible), the wording of John 3:16 and its context is so clear that it proves the principle of:
     
  13. Charles Meadows

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    We do well to take to heart some of the simple verses in the Bible - they help interpret the more specific ones. We baptists get a little bogged down at times with the particulars of some verses. We come up with lots of different little doctrinal schemes - case and point look at dispensationalism! :rolleyes: Verses like Jn 3:16 and Jn 6:37 should get alot of attention because they are clear examples of statements Jesus made about salvation.
     
  14. JGrayhound

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    Well, some verses are clear to some people and unclear to others. But on the whole I agree with you.

    But it seems there is much discussion about John 3:16 (specifically around "whosoever"), so maybe it is not as clear as you think. I think it is clear, but we might disagree a little as to what it says.

    PS - No, I do not think "world" means the elect...just to get that out there before someone says it.
     
  15. Daniel Dunivan

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    I think that you would be hard pressed to prove that "eternal life" in the gospel of John means something after someone's death in this life. It seems that "eternal life" in John takes on a much more this-worldly meaning that is traditionally understood when someone quotes Jn3:16. Literary sense or common sense? ;) That's a tough one.

    Grace and Peace, Danny [​IMG]
     
  16. Squire Robertsson

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    A sister principle would be
    As for Brother Daniel's observation, I'd probably look to the Principle of First Mention. Then I'd see where that took me. Remember folks, until we get to Heaven, we are only dealing with models as we seek to interpret Scripture. Sometimes our models fit the evidence and sometimes they don't. The important matter to remember is that when the evidence doesn't fit our model that we change the model not the evidence (ala the JWs, Mormons, ect.)
     
  17. Daniel Dunivan

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    With reference to the question I raise, the best principle is to see how the phrase "eternal life" functions in the book of John before going outside the book.

    Grace and Peace, Danny [​IMG]
     
  18. Squire Robertsson

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    I would concur here, but eternal life makes its first appearence in 3:15. The phrase in v16 is everlasting life. From my quick look at them, both phrases seem to at vv15 and 16 translate the same Greek phrase. So, I would deal with them as if the were refering to the same concept. Hence, I would also be guided in my reading later in the book by how it is used in 3:16. Like I said, though if my estimation of what the phrase means in 3:15 and 16 is proven faulty by its usage later in the book, then it looks like I need to change my estimation of 3:15 and 16.

    All things being equal, one's veiw of Scripture should harmonize like a babershop quartet. (But I realize that sometimes, at least from my own human point of view, that all things may not be equal.)

    [ April 29, 2004, 10:41 PM: Message edited by: Squire Robertsson ]
     

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