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Dismantling the Muhammadan perception of John 1:1 Pt. 2

I continue my rebuttal to the Muslim neophyte’s tirade against God’s inspired Word https://answeringallah.com/dismantling-the-muhammadan-perception-of-john-11-pt-1/

Unitarian Incoherent Babble: Wanting to have your cake and eat it too!

The greenhorn appeals to the incoherent and inconsistent polemics of unitarian heretics to undermine the explicit testimony of John’s prologue to the essential Deity and eternal Personhood of the Logos: 

“It is a common but patent misreading of the opening of John’s Gospel to read it as if it said: “In the beginning was the Son, and the Son was with God, and the Son was God” (John 1:1).” [1]

Over 50 translations of the Bible as noted by Buzzard do not presume that John 1:1 speaks of a second person in a Triune Godhead. [2] So he is clearly not a lone wolf in his view that the ‘logos’ in John 1:1 is the mind or the plan of God rather than a being or an entity existing pre-eternally with the Father as Jesus, the Son.

“For 50 translations which did not assume that logos was a second Person, see Focus on the Kingdom of July, 2004, at restorationfellowship.org. These translations give us the pronoun “it”, not “he” for word.” (Bold emphasis mine)

And:

The ordained Anglican priest and Cambridge theologian, Prof. Cupitt writes:

“John’s words ought to be retranslated: “The Word was with God the Father and the Word was the Father’s own Word,” to stress that the Word IS NOT AN INDEPENDENT DIVINE BEING, but is the only God’s own self-expression. If all this is correct, then even John’s language about Jesus still falls within the scope of the King-ambassador model.” [3] (Bold and capital emphasis mine)

Again:

And finally, let us closely consider the latest translation of John 1:1 by the able scholar of the Greek language and New Testament theologian, Sir Anthony F. Buzzard:

“In the beginning there was God’s grand design, and that declaration was with God, related to Him as His project, and IT was fully expressive of God Himself.” [12] (Bold and capital emphasis mine)

Finally:

Andrew Cooper Fix points out that the archaic Reijnier Rooleeuw (published in 1694) translation of John 1:1 reflects a Socinian Christological view of Jesus that is antithetical to the Trinitarian view of the verse:

“And the word was a god.” [4]

The above citations illustrate what happens whenever heretics decide to pervert the Word of God. The Lord shames them by exposing them as incoherent babblers and liars:

“Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He reprove you, and you be found a liar.” Proverbs 30:5-6

Notice the gross contradiction in what is being asserted by these perverters of God’s truth. If the Logos is not an independent divine being, but merely the plan or mind of God, since it is nothing more than God’s self-expression, then it makes absolutely no sense to say that the Logos is A god!

With that said, do these heretics really want us to believe that God’s own mind or plan is actually A god? If so then how many gods are there, seeing that God’s plans are so numerous? Should we, therefore, assume that God has eternally existed with a host of lesser divine beings, or that God’s own mind is an independent divine being? Do the readers see just how ridiculous this argument is?

On the other hand, if these so-called Christian unitarians are correct that the Greek of John 1:1c, i.e. kai Theos en ho Logos, should be rendered as “and the Word was A god,” then this completely refutes their argument that the Logos is not a living Being. The only way that the Logos can be A god is if he is an actual conscious divine Person that exists independently from God.

Such incoherent nonsense only confirms that the traditional orthodox interpretation of John 1:1 is the correct one:

The preexistence of the Word is strongly brought out by the phrase… (en arche een ho logos, “in the beginning was the word”)… (arche) according to H. Bietenhard “is an important term in Gk philosophy,” which means, among other things, “starting point, original beginning” (DNTT, 1:164). By itself, this may not seem too significant, for few would debate that we are dealing with the “original beginning.” It is the presence of the verb… (een, “was”) that brings out the importance of this phrase. Literally, it could and should be rendered “When the beginning began, the Word was already there.” This is the sense of en, which is in the imperfect tense AND IMPLIES CONTINUOUS EXISTENCE IN THE PAST. So before the beginning began, the Word was already in existence. This is tantamount to saying that the Word predates time or Creation.

The three statements of v. 1 bring out three different aspects of the nature of the Word. The first speaks of his preexistence (see above). The second statement, “The Word was with God,” is an assertion of the Word’s distinctiveness. The preposition… (prosindicates both equality and distinction of identity. Robertson says, “The literal idea comes out well, ‘face to face with God’” (RHG, p. 623). Thus this IMPLIES PERSONALITY and coexistence with God. Robertson says it bespeaks of “the FELLOWSHIP between the Word and God.”

The third statement, “The Word was God,” is especially significant. This is a clear statement of deity inasmuch as the noun… (theos, “God”) is anarthrous; that is, it lacks the article. Much confusion has spawned over this point of Gr. Grammar. Robertson et al. have aptly demonstrated that the lack of the article in the predicate is intentional so that the subject can be distinguished. In other words, in the phrase… (theos een ho logos, “God was the Word”), were it not for the article… (ho) before the word … (logos), the subject of the phrase would be indeterminate. But the presence of the article shows that it is the “Word” that is the subject. The fact that theos is a predicate shows that IT IS DESCRIBING THE NATURE OF THE WORD; HE IS OF THE SAME NATURE AND ESSENCE AS THE NOUN IN THE PREDICATE; that is, the Word is divine (RHG, p. 767).

  1. C. Colwell says that “a predicate nominative which precedes the verb cannot be translated as an indefinite or ‘qualitative’ noun solely because of the absence of the article; if the context suggests that the predicate is definite, it should be translated as a definite noun in spite of the absence of the article. In the case of a predicate noun which follows the verb the reverse is true; the absence of the article in this position is a much more reliable indication that the noun is indefinite” (“A Definite Rule for the Use of the Article in the Greek New Testament,” JBL, 52 [1933]: 20-21).

To say that the absence of the article bespeaks of the nonabsolute deity of the Word IS SHEER FOLLY. There are many places in this Gospel where the anarthrous theos appears (e.g., 1:6, 12, 13, 18), and not once is the implication that this is referring to just “a god.”

It is significant that the verb used three times in this v. is different from that used in the previous two vv. In vv. 1-2 the verb is the imperfect of … (eimi, “to be”), … (een, “was”), which is a verb describing a state of being. In v. 3, however, the verb … (ginomai, “to become”) is used, which has the force of “coming into being.” This, then, is another assertion of the deity of the Word. Through him all things “came into being,”… (egeneto), BUT HE ALWAYS WAS (een). This latter truth is emphasized by the “I am’s” of Christ mentioned throughout this Gospel. (Tenney, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary with the New International Version (John and Acts), Volume 9, pp. 29-30; bold and capital emphasis ours)

John’s Gospel provides further confirmation that the divine Logos is an eternal Person who became a flesh and blood human being named Jesus of Nazareth. Pay close attention to the prologue:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God (pros ton Theon), and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God (pros ton Theon). All things were created through Him, and without Him nothing was created that was created. In Him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. The light shines in darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God whose name was John. This man came as a witness in order to testify concerning the Light, that all men through Him might believe. He was not this Light, but was sent in order to testify concerning the Light. The true Light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world (eis ton kosmon). He was in the world (en to kosmo), and the world was created through Him, yet the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. Yet to all who received Him, He gave the power to become sons of God, to those who believed in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as the only Son (hos monogenous) of the Father, full of grace and truth. John bore witness of Him and cried out, ‘This was He of whom I said, “He who comes after me is preferred before me, FOR HE WAS BEFORE ME.”’” John 1:1-15

Everything that the Prologue says about the Logos is ascribed to the Lord Jesus elsewhere in the Gospel:

Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, ‘I am not the Christ.’… John answered them, ‘I baptize with water, but One stands among you, whom you do not know. This is He who comes after me, who is preferred before me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.’ These things took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing. The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. This is He of whom I said, “After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, FOR HE WAS BEFORE ME.” I did not know Him, but for this reason I came baptizing with water: so that He might be revealed to Israel.’ Then John bore witness, saying, ‘I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, “The One on whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” I have seen and have borne witness that He is the Son of God.’ Again, the next day John was standing with two of his disciples. Looking upon Jesus as He walked, he said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God!’” John 1:19-21, 26-36

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten (ton monogene) Sonthat whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world (eis ton kosmon) to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned. But he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten (tou monogenous) Son of God. This is the verdict, that light has come into the world (eis ton kosmon), and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that it may be revealed that his deeds have been done in God.’ After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea. He remained with them there and baptized. John also was baptizing in Aenon toward Salim, because much water was there. And people came and were baptized. For John had not yet been put in prison. Then a dispute arose between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about ceremonial cleansing. They came to John and said to him, ‘Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you bore witness, look, He is baptizing, and everyone is going to Him.’ John answered, ‘A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. You yourselves bear witness of me, that I said, “I am not the Christ,” but “I HAVE BEEN SENT BEFORE HIM.” He who has the bride is the bridegroom. But the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.’” John 3:16-30

“For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom He will… Truly, truly I say to you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has given to the Son to have LIFE IN HIMSELF,” John 5:21, 25-26

“Again, Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12

“I must do the works of Him who sent Me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world (en to kosmo), I am the light of the world.” John 9:4-5

“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Yet a little while the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. He who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have light, believe in the light that you may become sons of light.’ Jesus said these things, and departed and hid Himself from them… ‘I have come as A LIGHT INTO THE WORLD (eis ton kosmon), that whoever believes in Me should not remain in darkness.’” John 12:35-36, 46

“… Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.” John 13:1b

“Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life IN HIS NAME.” John 20:30-31

In light of the above passages note that,

Like the Word (1:4), Jesus has life within himself.

Like the Word (1:4-5, 8-10), Jesus is the Light sent into the world to shine in the darkness in order to enlighten every one who would come to him.

Like the Word (1:6-8), Jesus is the One that John the Baptist was sent to bear witness to, and Who existed before him.

Like the Word (1:11), Jesus came to his very own.

Like the Word (1:12-14), Jesus is the only-begotten Son of God the Father sent into the world so that everyone believing in his name should have everlasting life.

There’s more. Just as the Word was with God (pros ton Theon) in the beginning who then came into the world, Christ also went to be with God the Father after leaving the world that he came into:

“Now before the Passover Feast, Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart from this world to the Father (pros ton Patera)… Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands and that He came from God and was going to God (pros ton Theon),” John 13:1, 3

“Truly, truly I say to you, he who believes in Me will do the works that I do also. And he will do greater works than these, because I am going to My Father (pros ton patera).” John 14:12

This next one is most interesting:

“‘I have told you these things in proverbs. But the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in proverbs, for I will speak to you PLAINLY about the Father. On that day you will ask in My name. I am not saying to you that I shall ask the Father on your behalf. For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come INTO THE WORLD (eis ton kosmon). As I said, I am leaving the world and am going TO THE FATHER (pros ton Patera).’ His disciples said to Him, ‘Yes! Now You are speaking plainly and with no figure of speech. Now we know that You know everything and do not need anyone to question You. By this we believe that You came from God.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Do you now believe?’” John 16:25-31

Instead of speaking in metaphors, parables, similes, hyperbole etc., Christ communicates in plain language and informs his followers that, just as he came from the Father to enter into the world, he was going to leave this world in order to be with the Father. And since the Lord is now speaking plainly, and not in figurative language, the disciples finally come to the realization that he indeed is omniscient and truly did come from God himself!

Now what makes the above cases rather important is that they all use the same preposition employed in 1:1-2, namely pros (“with/to”), to describe the Son personally going to the Father in order to continue their intimate, face-to-face relationship.

This places these unitarian heretics and the Muhammadan in a dilemma. Jesus was clearly a living, conscious Person when he left this world, and is now dwelling with the Father in heaven as an actual distinct Person.

Since none of these so-called Christians would disagree with this fact, then on what exegetical, contextual, and/or grammatical basis do they deny that Jesus personally, consciously existed with the Father as the Word before entering into the world seeing that John employs the very same preposition and language to describe Jesus leaving this world to go to God in order to continue the intimate, personal, face-to-face communion he enjoyed with the Father when he was on earth?

In other words, if the language of leaving this world and the use of pros in the above texts can only mean that Jesus entered heaven as an actual, conscious Person, and not merely as an idea or plan, then on what basis do these heretics have for depersonalizing the Word when John’s prologue employs the same language to describe the Word’s being with God before creation and his subsequent descent into the world?

There’s even more evidence that Christ personally, consciously preexisted in heaven before coming into the world:

“Jesus answered him, ‘Are you the teacher of Israel, but you do not know these things? Truly, truly I say to you, We speak of what WE KNOW and bear witness of what WE HAVE SEEN, but you do not receive Our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended to heaven EXCEPT HE WHO DESCENDED FROM HEAVEN, even the Son of Man who is in heaven.’… ‘He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes FROM HEAVEN is above all.’” John 3:10-13, 31

Jesus plainly teaches that he speaks of heavenly realities from firsthand experience because he is the only One that has come down from heaven to make known these heavenly mysteries. This is why the Baptist went on to affirm that Christ, unlike himself, is from heaven above, which is why the Lord is above all.

And:

“Therefore they said to Him, ‘What sign do You show then, that we may see and believe You? What work will You perform? Our fathers ate manna in the desert. As it is written, “He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”’ Then Jesus said, ‘Truly, truly I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread FROM HEAVENFor the bread of God is HE WHO COMES DOWN FROM HEAVEN and gives life to the world.’ Then they said to Him, ‘Lord, give us this bread always.’ Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me shall never hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst… For I came down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.’ … The Jews then murmured about Him, because He said, ‘I am the bread which came down from heaven.’ They said, ‘Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, “I have come down from heaven”?’… Then what if you see the Son of Man ASCEND to where He was before?” John 6:30-35, 38, 41-42 62

Once again, just as the bread that God gave Israel literally came down from heaven above,

“Yet He had commanded the skies above and opened the doors of heaven, and He rained down manna upon them to eat and gave them the grain of heaven. Man ate the food of mighty angels; He sent them bread in abundance. He caused an east wind to blow in the heavens, and by His power He brought out a south wind. He rained meat on them as dust, and winged birds as the sand of the sea; and He let them fall in the midst of their camp all around their habitations. So they ate and were satisfied, for He gave them their own desire;” Psalm 78:23-29 – cf. Exodus 16

So, also, the Lord Jesus personally, consciously came down from heaven itself. And just as none of these heretics would deny that Jesus personally ascended into heaven, then they cannot deny that he must have come down from there as an actual conscious Person. The dilemma for these so-called Christians is that they cannot affirm the one without also affirming the other, since they can’t have their cake and eat it too, which is what they desperately want.

Therefore, if Jesus’ ascent into heaven was an actual, personal entrance, then his coming into the world must also have been a personal, conscious act. If the Lord didn’t ascend into heaven as a mere plan or idea, then the descent of the Logos into the world couldn’t have been nothing more than God’s plan being materialized in the creation of Christ in the womb of his blessed mother.

With the foregoing in perspective, how much clearer could John have been in affirming the eternal prehuman existence of Christ? What else could this inspired author have written to convince these heretics that the Logos is an eternal divine Person who existed with the Father before the entire creation came into being?

I’m still not finished rebutting this Muslim neophyte. More to come in the next section https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2019/01/02/dismantling-the-muhammadan-perception-of-john-11-pt-3/.

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