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Featured Study of John 3:16

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Van, Jun 9, 2024.

  1. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Baptists are split on the specifics of John 3:16. When I was young, and the "Bible" was the KJV, we memorized the verse this way: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

    1) The first issue is that some thought the verse was saying how much God loved. Now scholars translate the verse to indicate the idea is how or in what manner God loved.

    2) Next, the translation of Kosmos (G2889) as world is ambiguous. The Greek word refers to an interrelated system, such as a planet or a society. Contextually, in this verse "kosmos" refers to fallen humanity.

    3) Next the idea of "give" certainly indicates to provide or make available for use. Looking a little deeper the idea is that the gift would provide a blessing (shall not perish).

    4) "Only begotten" is a mistranslation of "monogenes" and should be translated "one of a kind" or "uniquely divine." Jesus is not God's only Son, as Adam was also the son of God, and every born anew believer is also a child of God. However Jesus was one of a kind, uniquely divine, God incarnate.

    5) "Whosoever believes" refers to an undetermined segment of fallen humanity, not a preselected segment.

    6) In Him refers to those who spiritually enter into Christ's spiritual body, as the preposition translated "in" means "into." Since humanity is not able to change their spiritual location (going from the realm of darkness into the marvelous light of God's kingdom) "into" refers to God crediting the person's faith as "righteous faith" and on that basis transferring the person into Christ.

    7) Once placed within Christ, the person is made (eternally) alive together with Christ.

    Putting the study results into my own words:
    God loved humanity in this way, He gave His uniquely divine Son so that everyone believing into Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.​
     
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  2. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    The majority of Christians believe evangelism actually contributes to the expansion of God's family, we till the ground, we plant, and we water, knowing that it is God who causes the increase by His action alone.
     
  3. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    That’s the way I memorized it as well, more than 50 years ago.

    I’m taking a (free) on-line hermeneutics course and the first assignment was to provide 25 observations on this verse.

    You’ve got a nice start, Van, although some of those are interpretive.

    Another question/observation might be,
    Who is speaking, Jesus or the narrator, John?

    Rob
     
  4. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    Point #5, the “whosoever believes” has already been qualified earlier in the passage to a limited number of people “the wind (Spirit) blows where it (He) wills (He cannot be predicted) so is everyone born of the Spirit.

    This is a further explaining of a two major themes in John (“being born” and “the will of God”) that began in Chapter 1, where John tells us that those that are the children of God are born, not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man but (the will) of God.

    So, in John 3, John first emphasizes the will of God Holy Spirit in folks being “born again” and then states “whosoever believes”

    It is clear, in context, the whosoever believes are, in fact, the ones that believe according to the will of God Holy Spirit.

    I fully expect the usual attacks, @Van, but I hope you will at least attempt to reconcile the passages and mentioned with these two different views.

    peace to you
     
  5. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Undetermined by us, John 3:8, The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: . . .

    But is known unto God who does the saving and the keeping.
     
  6. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    Which was my point. John 3:8 is further explanation of the themes of John 1 of being “born” as a child of God and of the will of God as the determining factor in that birth.

    Thanks for the comment

    peace to you
     
  7. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    Did you have any say so in your natural birth?... Then you have no say so in your spiritual birth either!... This how you come into the world:

    Psalms 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

    This how you're born again:

    Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

    2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

    3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.


    4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

    5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

    6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

    7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

    8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

    9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    Brother Glen:)
     
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  8. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    The idea you are presenting a view based on the context is ludicrous.

    In your translation, whoever represents the translation choice of the Greek word meaning "all" (of whatever is in contextual view.)
    A better translation would be "everyone."

    In your translation "believes" translates the Greek present active participle, thus "everyone believing" is the best translation. Note there is no where found the extraneous idea of everyone previously authorized and enabled to be "believing" in the text. To claim all this malarkey is found in the context is ludicrous. You are rewriting the text to fit your man-made false doctrine.

    Now what does it take to "believe into Him? God must transfer the individual's human spirit from being in Adam (in the realm of darkness) and into being in Christ (in the kingdom of His beloved Son.) God does this when He and He alone credits a person's faith as righteousness.
     
  9. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    John 3:8 (NASB)
    “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it is coming from and where it is going; so is everyone who has been born of the Spirit.” ​

    Here the idea is we do not know whether or not God will choose to credit our faith as righteousness and transfer us into Christ's spiritual body. But we do have assurance from examining ourselves to see if we are of the faith.
     
  10. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    God loved humanity in this way, He gave His uniquely divine Son so that everyone believing into Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.
     
  11. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    You did not address the stated context of repeating themes which is common technique with John.

    In John 1, he clearly introduces the themes of being “born” and the “will of God” in the person being born.

    In John 3, he clearly revisits those themes by speaking of being “born again” and stressing the “will of God Holy Spirit” in being born again.

    The only question for you is whether you really want to do a “study of John 3:16”, or do you just want to state your opinion and ignore everyone else?

    If you don’t want to actually explore the context of John 3:16, I’ll bow out.

    peace to you
     
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  12. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    You have made these bogus claims before. I explained the contextual meaning of John 3:8.

    I addressed that to be born anew means the person has been born anew by the will of God.

    Your effort at misinterpreting scripture is ludicrous

    You did not explore John 3:16, you attempted to rewrite it.
     
  13. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    God loved humanity in this way, He gave His uniquely divine Son so that everyone believing into Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.

    How does an individual believe into Him. The person's faith, if credited as righteousness by God is used as the basis for God transferring the individual, by His will alone, into the spiritual body of Christ.
     
  14. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    God so loved the world is ambiguous. God loved humanity in this way, He gave His Son.

    The reason my interpretation has "uniquely divine" translating "monogenes" is God has more than one son. Adam was the son of God, and every born anew believer is a child of God. But Jesus is one of a kind, God incarnate. Thus His uniqueness is that He is Logos, the Word, the Second Person of the Trinity, God the Son.
     
  15. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    John 3:16 does not say that we had a "say" in our being born anew. It says everyone believing into Him will not perish. Does believing equate with believing into Christ? Nope, of course not. What we believe in no way could cause our spiritual relocation from being "in Adam" to being "in Christ." The relocation is caused by God alone. Does He base the relocation on our faith meriting salvation? Nope, all our works of righteousness are as filthy rags to God when we are unsaved. Does He credit the faith of some as righteousness, according to His gracious will? You bet.

    I wish the naysayers would at least address the biblical doctrine of John 3:16.

    God loved humanity in this way, He gave His uniquely divine Son so that everyone believing into Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.
     
  16. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    I’ll leave you to yourself

    peace to you
     
  17. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Thanks!!!
     
  18. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    You are welcome

    peace to you
     
  19. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    God so loved the world is ambiguous. God loved humanity in this way, He gave His Son.

    The reason my interpretation has "uniquely divine" translating "monogenes" is God has more than one son. Adam was the son of God, and every born anew believer is a child of God. But Jesus is one of a kind, God incarnate. Thus His uniqueness is that He is Logos, the Word, the Second Person of the Trinity, God the Son.
     
  20. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Interesting question, Deacon, is Jesus still talking, or has the narrator John taken over?

    I do not know, but just reading the passage, down to John 3:15 appears to be Jesus speaking, and after John 3:22 appears to be John narrating. In between my "guess" is John is narrating.

    It would be easy to come up with 25 observations, simply by addressing the obvious.
    1) God refers to God the Father.
    2) Loved refers to sacrificial love, rather than a relationship based love.
    3) World refers to human society, condemned and needing salvation.

    I could go on but you get the idea...

    I hope you let us know if the class is beneficial, I really liked this goal:

    Explain the meaning of any passage of Scripture - with discriminate analytic discernment to detect improper interpretations of Scripture.​
     
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