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What did Jesus mean?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Craigbythesea, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. Marcia

    Marcia Active Member

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    I don't think the water refers to physical birth; using water to mean physical birth is probably not what most people would think of at all.

    Many believe that since Nicodemus was a learned Jew and knew the Hebrew scriptures, this reference to water and wind (the same word as for spirit) goes back to 2 references in the OT:
    It's another view and an interesting one.
     
  2. Charles Meadows

    Charles Meadows New Member

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    I think I'll agree with UZThD on this one.

    Water/spirit and flesh/spirit seem to make a nice contrast on first look. But I think that really, upon more consideration it does not make the best sense in context.

    Jesus stipulates that one must be born of water and the spirit. If water birth were a reference to physical birth then why would Jesus have included it as a must? Isn't that redundant?

    Truly a man must be born out of the uterus (or he doesn't exist!) - but that isn't really what Jesus is saying here.

    In verse 7 He says, "Marvel not that I say unto thee, Ye must be born again..."

    This seems to be the same thing as being born of water and the spirit in verse 5.

    Obviously many have tried to see a reference to baptism here. That would seem to be a bit anachronistic since we don't know anything about a baptismal ministry of Jesus at this point.

    But I think Jesus clearly is speaking of a cleansing or annointing of the Spirit in terms of water.
     
  3. James_Newman

    James_Newman New Member

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    Notice though that He says you must be born again to see the kingdom, you must be born of water and spirit to enter the kingdom. Maybe He is not saying the same thing twice.
     
  4. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob Administrator
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    Others have suggested "water" in the NT often refers to the Word of God and it's regenerative working in the hearts of men.

    Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the WASHING OF WATER BY THE WORD, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

    So we are born by the Word and Spirit. That works for me!
     
  5. blackbird

    blackbird Active Member

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    Amen, Dr. Bob!!! I was waiting on some IFBer to see it like a true SBCer!!! The word that was "once for all delivered to the Saints" thats here with us mixes and mingles with the Spirit that comes to us from Above!!!----you IFBers will one day have your eyes opened---and will turn from "the dark side" of the force----there must be balance in the force----come to the SBC side!!!!
     
  6. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea Active Member

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    The Confraternity of Christians doctrine replaced the Confraternity Version with the New American Bible, a dynamic equivalence translation, in 1970. This translation reads,

    John 3:5 Jesus replied, “I solemnly assure you, no one can enter into God’s kingdom without being begotten of water and Spirit.”

    A note on this verse is found in the margin,
    “The Council of Trent declared that water here is not a metaphor but means real water. This passage has had an important role baptismal theology.” Notice that the Council of Trent did NOT declare that Jesus was speaking of water baptism in this verse.

    The 1970 edition of the New Testament in the New American Bible soon underwent a major revision in which the entire New Testament was re-translated in accord with the formal equivalence method of Bible translation (as is the Protestant New American Standard Bible), and this revision was published in 1986 as the New American Bible, Revised New Testament. This translation reads,

    John 3:5. Jesus answered, "Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.”

    The margin note has been removed and there is no note mentioning either water or baptism.

    The Roman Catholic Church has now also officially endorsed several Protestant translations of the entire Bible and they have been published in Catholic editions with no changes to the Protestant text, but with doctrinal notes added.

    And no, I am not a Roman Catholic—I am a Conservative Baptist and we like to be accurately informed about the facts in dealing with people of other denominations and faiths. My local assembly has begun studying the Muslim Faith with the help of Arab pastors of evangelical Christian churches in preparation for a more effective ministry to the Muslims in our community.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. UZThD

    UZThD New Member

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    ===

    "RIGHT..."

    sorry if my purpose is unclear re what is said about "What IS the water." And I'm sorry too if I get upset when things are dogmatically asserted without convincing evidence....in fact by ignoring the evidence others offer!!!

    So, here is my purpose again hopefully clarified:

    IMO re 'water' it should be not be dogmatically asserted that "it can mean nothing else," ( that water here=physical birth.)

    1) Show me one other place in Scripture where water=physical birth. So why would a Rabbi say or think that? I will wait for you to do that in your next post.

    2) But on the other hand, I can show you that Nicodemus' backround disposes him to assume that water =a ceremonial washing. see Josephus and the Qumran Scrolls and etc.

    3) AND, on the other hand, I can show you even in this VERY Book of John where water is a henidays (sp?) for the Holy Spirit.

    4) Further, would Nicodemus really need a reference to the woman's water to understand that Christ referenced physical birth? Why? Every other reference to physical birth in Scripture seems clear enough.

    5) On the other hand ,baptismal water is all over the place in Nicodemus' environ. The Baptist is baptizing. So are the apostles. And so is Jesus both getting baptised Himself and baptizing others!

    6) Where else in this Gospel does Jesus use Hebrew parallelism?

    7) Is it really more surprising that Jesus would say here in 3:5 that Nicodemus must be baptised if He in Mt 28 insists that the apostles must baptize, and Peter says on Pentecost that the Converts must be baptised and Paul says in Rom and Gal that baptism identifies one with Christ and is chiastic to faith?

    Must we ignore the several imperatives re baptism because we fear some will think water saves? Doing that is ridiculous (to coin a popular word here).


    Now, I'm NOT dogmatic about this text.

    But here is what happened in this very thread. I listed eleven scholars who disagree with the position that water = physical birth. I suggested that their reasons be examined.

    But oh no, what a terrible idea to evaluate the evidence of others. It just must be that water = physical birth. right RIGHT?

    Sorry if I find such dogmatism to be repugnant in Christian learning. I must learn to expect and put up with it and curb my being sarcastic.

    [ August 26, 2005, 11:14 AM: Message edited by: UZThD ]
     
  8. Yeah that was even more clearer :confused:
     
  9. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea Active Member

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    There is another thread on this message board, a thread about public libraries. And there are some Christians who could learn a lot by taking advantage of public libraries. And some Christian colleges and universities have excellent libraries that are open to the general public. Christians who find it difficult to read and understand others should avail themselves of these libraries and improve their reading skills and increase their knowledge so that they are not totally clueless.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Craigbythesea

    I have a clear understanding more than you think. I am not over studied to the point where I believe everything that comes my way. Not only do I use common sense. I allow the Holy Spirit to teach me. I also have a clear understanding of how to study Gods word. I don't need to study Greek to know what Gods word is saying. Jesus himself explained what he meant when he said Born Of Water by saying " that which is born of the FLESH "

    When reading scripture you need to understand the History in which the event took place, understand WHO is speaking, who he is speaking to. Read the context as a whole not pulling out verses and building upon them. But finding out what it is saying and what the rest of scripture has to say about the same thing.

    Jesus clearly explained what he meant about " WATER " we do not have to search scripture to find the same meaning somewhere else. He teaches a parable, he goes on to explain it, so we don't need to look anywhere else. When the Bible speaks in analogies it will say " Like A " if not we take it literally.

    I think your problem is you read TOO much therefore are confused.
     
  11. Mercury

    Mercury New Member

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    That's far too simplistic. There's no reason why God's word could include similes but not metaphors. I doubt you follow that rule yourself, unless you think that "For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink" in John 6 and "Take, eat; this is my body" in Matthew 26 must be taken literally because neither passage contains the word "like".
     
  12. Nomad

    Nomad New Member

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    I tend to agree with those who assert that "water" and "Spirit" refer to the same activity, namely "the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit" (Titus 3:5). Although, unlike some, I will not say that other interpretations are impossible, this one does make good sense.
     
  13. Mercury

    Mercury New Member

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    I agree on all counts, Nomad.

    I think I'm going to have to get a NET Bible, because this isn't the first time I've found its notes useful (thanks for posting that, Marcia).
     
  14. Marcia

    Marcia Active Member

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    You're welcome, Mercury! [​IMG]
     
  15. Mercury
    Yeah your right, I guess I was thinking of the Book of Rev. where it will say LIKE A to give us an idea of what the author is talking about.
    You can still tell within that context that Jesus was speaking figuratively. Same with many other verses in the Bible.

    There are some pastors who try and spiritualize everything, that can be dangerous. We had a pastor like that once.
     
  16. UZThD

    UZThD New Member

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  17. UZThD
    I wasn't talking to you I was talking to Craig. Notice my reply was right UNDER his. I took his comment to be referring to me. Since we disagree about assurance of salvation and this point.

    What does " re water " mean anyway ?

    Anyway I still stand by the fact that WATER in this text means Physical Birth or Jesus wouldn't have clarified it by saying right after " That which is born of the FLESH " I am in no position to try and find another meaning than the one Jesus himself gave. How presumtuous I would be.
     
  18. UZThD

    UZThD New Member

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    ===

    "the FACT...the FACT...the FACT" sigh!

    RIGHT:

    It seems to me that you are saying that

    Major premise: I must agree with what Jesus says.

    Minor premise: Jesus beyond any doubt says water=physical birth.

    Conclusion: So, I will agree with Jesus that water-physical birth.

    I DO agree with your major premise.

    I do not agree with your minor premise. So, IMO, your conclusion is questionable.

    What I have been excrutiatingly trying to suggest to you ,RIGHT, in several posts is that as several of your fellow Christians right here on this very Board, in this very thread, and as those 11 fine scholars I list above , and s many, many, many other fine Christian interpreters , do NOT think that Jesus MUST in 3:5 be saying that water=physical birth, that there is a tiny, teensy possibility that re (regarding) water in 3:5 you are wrong, not RIGHT.

    I also am suggesting that it is not being "over studied" to evaluate the opinions of others. It is showing Christian respect for others and Christian humility too.

    My experience in general is that the more one studies the more one realizes the possibility that others may be right on some things.

    I am NOT saying that you must change your view and hold to what others suggest. ALL, ALL I am saying is that it is NOT being "over studied" to have an open mind!

    Bill
     
  19. UZThD

    UZThD New Member

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  20. Charles Meadows

    Charles Meadows New Member

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    Jesus said we must be born of water and the spirit - then He said made the flesh:flesh and spirit:spirit comparison.

    This part of why I think water is NOT physical birth.

    Jesus said except a man be born of water and the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom.

    The fact that water is included as part of this "must do" statement suggests that the baptism of "water and spirit" is represent the same general thing.

    Everyone who exists is born of water - why then would Jesus say that a man must be born of water (and the spirit) to enter the kingdom? If water were physical birth then He would have likely said something like, "every man is born once of water - but ye must must be born again in the spirit..."
     
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