NEW

 OBSERVATIONS ON THE GOSPEL

OF JOHN COMMENTARY

SAMPLE PASSAGES/VERSES

 

A Sample Passage from the Observations on John:

Chapter 1

 

In the Jonathan Mitchell New Testament, on offer are multiple renderings of verse 1.  We will begin our Observation on this Gospel by investigating the implications and interpretations of each of these translations.  May the Spirit lead us into all layers of the Truth offered therein.  We will discuss a fair amount of grammar and word meanings, along the way.  We will observe different paradigms that emerge.  Let us read with an open mind and an enquiring spirit.  Let us now look at the beginning…

 

Within the midst of a beginning (or: In [the] Origin, in union with Headship and centered in Sovereignty) there was, and continued being, the Logos (the Word; the Thought; the collection of thoughts; the Idea; the Reason; the discourse; the speech and communication; the verbal expression; the Message; the reasoned, laid-out and ordered arrangement).

And the Logos (the idea; the thought; the expression; the Word) was, and continued being, facing, [directed, and moving] toward, (or: continued being face to face with) God.

And the Logos (the Word; the thought; the idea; the reason; the expression) continued being God.”

 

This verse begins with the preposition en, and this first translation offers four ways to render it:

            a) “Within the midst of” which presents us with the sense of location; what follows is located

            “within the midst of a beginning.”  Notice that there is no definite article before the noun

            “beginning.”  The subject of the first statement is in reference to “a beginning,” not “the         

            beginning.” 

            b) In the parenthetical expansion, on offer is the simple rendering “in” which is broader, and

            more ambiguous.  Because of the semantic range of this preposition, any of the other

            meanings could be nuanced from the phrase “in [the] Origin.”  The definite article “the” is

            inserted, bracketed, since it is not in the Greek text but this is a possible rendering into

            English, even though it would not carry the sense of the definite article, were it in the text. 

            Notice the alternate rending of archē as “Origin,” rather than the first rendering, "beginning."

 

            This would emphasize the nuance of “source,” rather than the sense of the “start” of

            something.

            c) Next is the emphasis of the preposition in relationship, as well as location: “in union with                Headship,” offering another meaning of the noun.  Here archē also has the sense of 

            relationship – as with that of a “head” to its “body.”  The context could also refer to the

            position of the leader, or progenitor, of a tribe or other social organization.

            d) Finally, in this first expanded rendering of the verse, we have “centered in Sovereignty.” 

            This rendering of the noun is similar to “Headship,” but suggests a political or governmental

            context, such as a “reign” or a “kingdom.”  Here, the statement which follows has its center

            in Sovereignty. We will consider other renderings of this opening phrase, below.

 

Before moving on in this verse, let us briefly look at a couple other places where we find the term archē.  The foremost, where we find it in the same Greek phrase, is in Gen. 1:1 (LXX):

            “Within the midst of beginning (or: In union with Headship and centered in Sovereignty),

            God produced (or: formed; constructed) the atmosphere (or: sky; heaven) and the land

            (territory; ground; soil).” (JM)

We can observe how closely these two verses are connected when we read Jn. 1:3,

            “All things suddenly happened and came to be (or: occur and come to be; were birthed)

            by means of It, or Him (or: He at some point gives birth to all humanity through It), and

            apart from It (or: Him) not even one thing comes into being (occurs; was birthed; came

            into being; happens) which has come into being (which has occurred; which has

            happened).”

 

The subject of John’s prologue (Jn. 1:1-18) fleshes out the topic of the first verse, but this first study will be focused on 1:1.  Now John later records Jesus as referring to Himself as the archē, in Jn. 8:25,

            “They then began saying to Him, "YOU! – what (or: who) ARE you?" Jesus says to

            them, ‘That which I am even habitually telling you: the Beginning, the Origin, the

            Source and the Chief One (or: The Archē).

We find more instruction in Rev. 21:6b,

            “I am the Alpha and the Omega: The Beginning (Origin; Source; Headship; First

            Principle) and The End (The Goal; Consummation; The Final Act; The Finished Product;

            The Destiny; The Purpose).”

We will now move on to the rest of the first clause of 1:1.

 

there was, and continued being, the Logos (the Word; the Thought; the collection of thoughts; the Idea; the Reason; the discourse; the speech and communication; the verbal expression; the Message; the reasoned, laid-out and ordered arrangement).”

 

The verb of this clause is the imperfect tense of the verb “to be; to exist.”  This tense indicates continued action that began in the past and may continue on to the present time.  Thus, the verb is given as “was, and continued being.”  In this rendering, the subject of the verb is “there,” and the predicate is “the Logos (etc.).”  This same verb, in the same tense, is also used in the next two statements of this verse.

 

The term “Logos” has become a common loan word from the Greek, and is a transliteration of the Greek noun.  In the next two declarative statement, “Logos” is set as the subject of those sentences, and is the primary subject of vss. 1-14.  However, in all these verses, we realize that the Logos also is incarnated (made flesh) in Jesus Christ, but we will not develop that thought here.  So our next step is to examine the semantic range of this Greek term, as given in the first rendering of vs. 1.  Other meanings will be presented, below.

 

As we observe, in the parenthetical expansion, the term Logos has a very broad semantic range.  It comes from the verb legō, which begins with the core idea of laying something out in a particular arranged order.  It can also signify gathering things together to present a thought or an idea.  The most common rendering of this verb is “to say; to make a verbal expression; to speak a message; to make a declaration; etc.”  Therefore, what is said is “a word; a thought; etc.”  The definite article is present, so the offered renderings are: “the Word; the Thought; the collection of thoughts; the Idea; the Reason; the discourse; the speech and communication; the verbal expression; the Message; the reasoned, laid-out and ordered arrangement.”  That’s a mouthful.

 

A word usually begins with a thought.  Messages usually involve reason, and by extension, the reason usually has purpose.  This term can also signify a collection of thoughts, or, an idea.  It can refer to discourse, a speech or communication, such as “a message.”  All of this was “in union with a beginning,” and it was “the reasoned, laid-out and ordered arrangement” that was “centered in” a particular beginning.  All these terms are easily understood, but meditating upon each of these options (substituting one, after another, into this opening clause) can really color our world.  But on to the next statement…

 

And the Logos (the idea; the thought; the expression; the Word) was, and continued being, facing, [directed, and moving] toward, (or: continued being face to face with) God.”

 

We just discussed the subject, Logos (etc.), and the verb in the previous section (they are repeated here) and so let us move on to the prepositional phrase that ends this statement, serving as a predicate.  The preposition is pros, and, like all Greek prepositions, can serve different functions.  The basic idea of this preposition is movement toward something, and by implication, “facing” the object of this preposition.  Here I inserted “[directed, and moving]” to aid the reader in getting a mental picture of what is being described.  The expanded rendering, including the verb, is “continued being face to face with.”  And this brings us to the object of this facing, moving toward, and being face to face with: God.

 

Now the phrase is commonly rendered “with God,” which is grammatically correct, but leaves a lot out of what John could have been saying about the relationship between the Logos and God.  If we consider the idea of directed motion, we see that God is the destiny of this directed motion.  If we ponder what it means to be “face-to-face” with God, this gives much more to consider.  Focus on God, moving toward God, and being present with God is what this statement is telling us about “the Logos.”  Now before rushing on, alternatively read this statement while one-after-another substituting each semantic meaning of Logos as the subject.  Below we get to do this in a number of different ways.  But now, to the next sentence…

 

And the Logos (the Word; the thought; the idea; the reason; the expression) continued being God.”

 

Now the only difference in this statement from the last is that the predicate is “God.”  It is common in English translations to omit the definite article, “the,” before a proper name, and the term God is often classified as a proper name, as in the second statement of this verse.  There, the Greek has “toward the God.”  But in our present statement, John did not put the definite article before “God.”  We mention this because theological debate has arisen where some have claimed that the term God, without the article, is not saying that the Logos was “the God” of the previous statement, and of the virtual conflation of the first two statements in the following verse (1:2): “This (or: This One) [i.e., the Logos] was continuing in existence, within a power of beginning and in union with Headship and Sovereign principle, facing [directed, and moving] toward (or: staying with) [the] God.”  Here, for clarity of my point, I added the definite article that is in the Greek text, before the word “God.”

 

We suggest that this final statement of vs. 1, above, is defining the essence, being, character and source of the Logos.  The Logos is the subject of the sentence, since it has the definite article.  The term God is the predicate of the sentence: it gives us information about the Logos.  We might compare this to the statement that “God is Spirit” (4:24, below).  Here we could simply say “The Logos is God.”

 

Let us now give attention to the first alternate rendering of verse 1:

 

“Originally, within the midst of the first principle, the Word, a Patterned Design, was existing and continued to be; and then the Word, or Patterned Design, was being [projected] toward God.  And this Word, or Patterned Design… It continued existing actually and essentially being God.”

 

On offer here are two renderings of the opening prepositional phrase.  The first one gives us the whole phrase in one word: “Originally.”  The second one modifies “Originally,” adding the information that this origin was “within the midst of the ‘first principle’ (archē).”  I joined the first and second clauses into a compound sentence while instead of rendering the conjunction between them as “and,” rendering it as “and then.”  This reading of the Greek suggests a dynamic: a movement from beginning to development.  Thus we have: “the Word, a Patterned Design, was existing and continued to be; and then the Word, or Patterned Design, was being [projected] toward God.”  Take note of the expanded rendering of “the Word” as being “a Patterned Design.”  This second meaning of Logos was taken from the theological discussions of logos in Information and the Nature of Reality, Paul Davies & Niels Henrik Gregersen, Editors, Cambridge Univ. Press 2010.  I draw from this work once again in the final rendering, below.

 

In the final clause I rendered the definite article as a demonstrative, “this,” which, according to A.T. Robertson, was the original function of the article.  It was like a finger, pointing: “this Word, or Patterned Design.”  The three dots that follow suggest a pause in John’s thoughts, and then he continues, “It continued existing actually and essentially being God.  Here, “continued existing actually and essentially being” is an expanded rendering of the verb, offering the nuances inherent in the verb “to be; to exist.”  This Word was an essential aspect – dare we say infusing ingredient (?) – of Who and What God is.  This Word was within the midst of the First Principle, which is God, Himself.  The idea of a Patterned Design can be seen in language, in DNA, in fractals, to mention just a few, and it is a characteristic of logos.

 

Next:

 

“In command was Reason {the ontological “structure of the mind which enables the mind to grasp and transform reality” [Paul Tillich]}, and Reason was staying with God, for Reason {this ontological mental structure} was just what God was.”

 

A cognate of archē is the noun archōn: one invested with power; a chief; a ruler; a prince; a magistrate; a high official; a lord; the one in first place.  This person was normally “in command.”  Then on offer is one of the central meanings of logos: reason.  I inserted Paul Tillich’s definition of reason in brackets: “the ontological structure… etc.”  The enabling of “the mind to grasp and transform reality” fits well with the idea of “creating.”  Reason guided the creation (Jn. 1:3).  In the next clause I rendered the verb and the preposition, “was staying with,” since the verb is in the imperfect tense, and “being with” is one of the meanings of the preposition.  The final clause ends in a paraphrase, “was just what God was,” which is a more emphatic way of reading the Greek.

 

Now reason may be thought of as involving “words” and “thoughts,” but it holds for us a more purposed, even patterned, way of thinking or communicating.  Should we read John’s prologue with this as the meaning of logos, we might arrive at a different picture from this passage.  I recommend doing this.

 

Then, another rendering:

 

“The Thought, or The Concept, was in the midst of [the] Source.  The Thought, or The Concept, was oriented toward the Deity.  And the Thought, or The Concept, was Deity.”

 

Here I focused on “thought” and “concept,” from among our choices for logos.  “Source” views “the beginning” as the environment from which the thought or the concept emerged.  Rearranging the order, placing Thought/Concept where normal English subjects stand in a sentence, takes our emphasis away from “in the beginning” to the main topic of the Prologue: the Logos.  The Logos was within the midst of, in union with, and centered in God (the Source).  The Logos (Thought/Concept) “was oriented toward the Deity (an alternate rendering of theos).  “And the Thought, or The Concept, was Deity.”  Using different terms can be a catalyst for new thinking.  Such famous verses, as Jn. 1:1, can often be passed over without our letting them speak deeper into us.  Since John equates the Concept with Deity, can we see in a new way how it was Deity that did the work of creation (vs. 3)?  That is not a new idea, but it might enable us to see the Deity in all that He created from out of Himself.

 

And then:

 

“In beginning, the collected and put side by side Thoughts continued in progressive existence, and the collected and put side by side Thoughts continued being a progression to God, and God {“the Divine Mystery” – Paul Tillich's definition of theos} was in continued existence being those collected and put side by side Thoughts.”

 

I now rendered the opening phrase (rendered literally, here) as functioning as a participle that sets the stage for the action that will be following, in subsequent verses.  But in this beginning the Actor (Thoughts) is described and identified.  “The collected and put side by side Thoughts” is an expansion of logos, drawing from the basic idea of legō, cited above.  The verb, being in the imperfect tense, can indicate progressive action – or in this case, progressive being or existence.  As Paul said in Rom. 11:36, all things are from out of the midst of God, pass through the midst of God, and return into the midst of God (my translation).  There is a dynamic, a progression, and as Paul instructs us, it is a progression “to God.”

 

In the final clause, some will object that since here God does not have the definite article that it cannot be the subject of the clause.  However, I chose to break with that rule and simply follow the order of the words in the text, reading this whole verse as one sentence.  In the text, we have “a progression to [the] God, and God… was in continued existence being… Thoughts.”  It seems reasonable that if we don’t insert a break between “the God” and “and God” (there was no punctuation in the oldest manuscripts), that the term God is the same in both cases.  The final “the logos” has the article, not because it is the subject of the clause, but because throughout this verse it has been indicated as “the Word/this Word” – in its various renderings.  “God was in continued existence being those collected and put side by side Thoughts.”  Notice that because logos can mean “thoughts,” and not just “a thought,” or an “idea,” that I translated a singular noun into a plural.  We have the same thing in the rendering “message.”

 

And now:

 

“In union with [the] beginning there was the continued existence of the laid-out Idea {the blueprint – Rohr}, and the laid-out Idea {blueprint} was continued existence face to face with God, and the laid-out Idea {blueprint} continued in existence being “the Divine Mystery.”

 

The emphasis, here, is on the preposition being rendered “in union with,” and on the expanded rendering of logos as “the laid-out idea (the blueprint).”  As indicated, I follow Richard Rohr with translating the logos as “the blueprint.”  This is a brilliant and insightful capturing of a central idea inherent in this word.  It corresponds to Yahweh telling Moses to construct the tabernacle “according to the pattern” – and that was during the time of the creation of Israel as a People of God.  The Logos is the Pattern; the Blueprint.  The Blueprint involved Reason; it was God’s Idea – and that Idea is Christ!

 

This Idea/Blueprint is constantly “face to face with God.”  This Blueprint continued in existence being “the Divine Mystery” (Tillich), the Mystery (Secret) of which Paul has expounded in his letters.

 

Next:

 

“At a starting point, the Word continued Being.  Then the Word was Being [directed] toward God.  And then {or: yet} the Word was Being God {essential Deity; Divine Essence}.”

 

Now we have the archē phrase as: “At the starting point.”  This simply provides the picture using different words.  By rendering the verb, “continued Being,” we indicate that the Word had “being” before the “starting point” of creation, and by capitalizing “Being,” we indicate its participation in, or essential existence as, God – as the rest of the verse goes on to explain.  The Word continued existing as “Being.”  Also, it was “Being [directed] toward God.”  It has a focus, a destiny, a purpose.  It would take all that It created (1:3) into the midst of God.

 

The conjunction opening the final clause is offered in two ways: “And then,” or, “And yet.”  Now possibly the simple rendering “And,” would be better, but in that case our readers might not ponder these possibilities.  “And then,” suggests a progression, based upon the “toward” of the previous clause.  “And yet,” as the rendering, might have John affirming that even though the Word was being “[directed] toward God,” It was, in fact, “Being God {essential Deity; Divine Essence}.”  Choices in translating the smallest word can make a difference.

 

And another:

 

“Within the power of beginning – which is the controlling principle and power of the entire             process – there existed the Idea {the creative and unifying principle of the cosmos}, and the Idea was aimed at and moving toward God.  Also, the Idea existed being God.”

 

The opening phrase combines the idea of the power of one who leads, with the project which he is beginning.  Next is the qualifier that explains this power: “the controlling principle and power of the entire process.”  This expansion, which is derived from the root concepts of archē, presents the ideas of process (implied from “at the start” or “in a beginning) along with the principle of position (leadership; headship) combined with the power of the position that is held.  So “within the power of beginning, there existed the Idea.”  This idea can be seen as “the creative and unifying principle of the cosmos” (“All things [that] suddenly happened and came to be” – Jn. 1:3a).  This Idea (that existed in a beginning) “was aimed at and moving toward God.”  God is the target; God is the goal; God is the destiny toward which this Idea (Logos) is moving.  The Logos is pointing to God.  And then we see that “the Idea existed being God.”  It is God from beginning to end; from the Alpha to the Omega.  God was the Power of this beginning, and of the process that followed, and which continues moving forward into the midst of God.

 

Next is an expanded rendering, including paraphrases, based upon the insights of Jean-Yves Leloup:

 

“The Logos continued being within Archē (Source; = The Son was in the midst of [the] Father; [note: I owe to Jean-Yves Leloup the connecting of Archē with the Father]), and the Logos continued being in a movement toward God (= The Son existed in a movement toward the Father), and the Logos continued being God (= The Son was [part of? Within?] the Father).”

 

We begin with transliterations of the Greek words that are now familiar to our readers.  In the parenthetical expansion, I offer archē as “Source,” followed by a paraphrase, “The Son was in the midst of [the] Father.”  Then we have “the Logos continued being in a movement toward (Greek: pros) God.  I followed this with another paraphrase: “The Son existed in a movement toward the Father.”  The Son, the Logos, is the Way to union with God.  The Son (Logos) is the Pattern and the Path.  The last clause is, “the Logos continued being God.”  Paraphrasing this clause we have “The Son was…”  But here the analogy may break down, so I inserted potential qualifiers, “[part of? Within?],” before the predicate, “the Father.”  Now Leloup did not equate the term “God” with “the Father,” in this verse, but assigning the Son and the Father as being identities in the verse seems to lead to the interpretation of God being the Father, in this scene.  This rendering was included in my NT to cause the reader to think.  May His Reason shed light on it.

 

Finally, a full paraphrase:

 

“Centered in, and in union with, a starting of a Beginning, there was existing, and continued being, the transfer and input of Information that was conveying Meaning [= the Word and Will], and this transfer and input of Information that conveyed [purposed, causal] Meaning continued being projected with God as its Aim, and God continued in existence in this transfer and conveyance of Meaning-bearing Information (or: this ‘Flow of Information that is a Pattern-forming Influence;’ = ‘God’s self-expression in a creation’).”

 

I owe the concepts of these interpretive renderings in this final option to an essay, “The science of complexity: a new theological resource?” by Arthur Peacocke, citing John Macquarrie, in Information and the Nature of Reality, cited above.

 

Here I conflated both the preposition (Centered in, and in union with) and the noun (a starting of a Beginning).  The renderings of logos are drawn from the authors cited: “the transfer and input of Information that was conveying Meaning [= the Word and Will], and this transfer and input of Information that conveyed [purposed, causal] Meaning…”  These expanded renderings were based upon interpreting the logos in terms of Quantum Physics/Mechanics.  This connection between science and Scripture is very logical.  What the scientists who offered essays in this book perceived in terms of Quantum theory, the theologians identified as the Logos.

 

The “conveyed [purposed, causal] Meaning (of the universe) continued being projected (pros) with God as its Aim.”  This is the plan of the Ages.

 

“And God continued in existence in this transfer and conveyance of Meaning-bearing Information,” or, this rendering of logos said another way: “this ‘Flow of Information that is a Pattern-forming Influence.’”  And a last interpretation: “= ‘God’s self-expression in a creation.’” ….

 

Chapter 3

 

7.  "You should not be amazed (or: begin to marvel; at some point be filled with wonder; suddenly be astonished; or: Don't be surprised) that I said to you, 'It is necessary and binding for you folks to be born back up again to a higher place (or: for you people to be given birth from above).'

 

A teacher of Israel should not have been amazed about what Jesus was teaching Nic.  The higher place (Paul referred to this as a high, or upward, call – Phil. 3:14) was Israel’s destiny, and therefore it was “necessary and binding” for them to be born back up to that place from which Adam had been evicted.  They needed to get back to the Garden (which was typified by the Tabernacle/Temple) which became a City (Rev. 21 and 22), which now is a People (Rev. 21:9b) that follows the Path (Way) set forth by Jesus, and thus is “the set‑apart (or: holy; sacred) city, Jerusalem, progressively (or: habitually; or: presently) descending out of the atmosphere (or: heaven), from God” (Rev. 21:10b).  They descend in order to be the Light of the world (Rev. 21:24), and to heal the ethnic multitudes (Rev. 22:2).  We see this City also described in Heb. 12:22-24.  There it is described as being in, and on, an above place.

 

8.  "The Spirit (or: Breath-effect, or, exhaled Breath; Attitude) habitually breathes or blows where It (or: He) is presently intending (willing; purposing), and you continually hear Its (or: His) voice, but yet you have not seen, and thus do not know, from what source It continuously comes, and where It progressively goes and habitually brings [things and folks] under [Its] control.

            (or: The wind constantly blows where it presently sets its will, and you constantly hear its

            sound, but yet you have not seen and do not know from where it is coming, nor where it is

            going; or: = The wind continuously blows and the Spirit normally breathes {respires} – in the

            place that each has purpose.  And so you are often hearing the sound that either makes,

            although you have not perceived from what place it is presently coming, as well as to what

            place it is presently leading, under [its influence or control].)

Thus is everyone (or: does everyone constantly exist being) – the person (or: the [corporate] Person [= the Second Humanity]) being birthed, having been born forth from out of the midst of the Spirit

            (or: In this manner exists all mankind, which is in the state of being born from the Breath-

            effect)."

 

This verse is an expansion upon what Jesus said about the Judeans (“you folks,” in vs. 7b, implying all of the “lost sheep” of the house of Israel to whom Jesus had been sent – Mat. 10:6; 15:24) being “born back up again to a higher place.”  This is the “place” where “The Spirit (or: Breath-effect, or, exhaled Breath; Wind) habitually breathes or blows” – the atmosphere, and the sky (figuratively called “heaven;” and referring to the realm of the activities of God).  The atmosphere, and lower sky, is where the winds blow.  Of course in our day, we read of solar winds in “space.”  But Jesus was speaking of both the winds that blow upon the earth/land, and the Spirit/Breath-effect of God that breathes wherever It intends, and goes in accord with Its purpose.

 

The parenthetical expansion gives Jesus’ analogy to nature, rendering pneuma as “wind.”  As with all of nature, we can gain spiritual insights from contemplating God’s creation.  But Jesus had been teaching Nic about a spiritual birth, and having this insight, it is best to read this Greek word as “Spirit,” or, “Breath-effect.”

 

Notice that vs. 8b begins with “Thus is…”  Therefore, He is saying that “the person (or: the [corporate] Person [= the Second Humanity]) being birthed, having been born forth from out of the midst of the Spirit” actually “habitually breathes or blows where It (or: He) is presently intending (willing; purposing)…”  This is what Paul was speaking of, in Rom. 8:14, when he described God’s sons (i.e., those having been born from out of the Spirit) as being those who are “led by the Spirit.”  But we can also read of our own freedom (Gal. 5:1) in this, because we, too, can also “breathe” (or, live) where the Spirit of Life, within us, blows us over the land.  The Spirit’s freedom is now our freedom, because we are now “one Spirit” (1 Cor. 6:17).  But this freedom is to be sons who do only the things we see our Father doing.  This verse is a great expansion of 1:13b, above.

 

The Spirit (and we who are born of this Spirit) “progressively goes and habitually brings [things and folks] under [Its] control.”  Does this remind you of Gen. 1:26? ….

 

16.  "For thus God loves (or: You see God, in this manner, fully gives Himself to and urges toward reunion with) the aggregate of humanity (universe; ordered arrangement; organized System [of life and society]; the world), so that He gives His [other MSS: the] only-born (or: only-kin; unique-class) Son,

            (or, reading ōste as an adverb: You see, in this manner God loves the sum total of

                 created beings as being the Son: He gives the solitary-race One; or: reading ōs te: For

                 you see, [it is] in this way [that] God loves the aggregate of humanity – even as it were

                 His Son: He gives the by-itself-in-kind-One), to the end that all humanity, which (or:     

                 everyone, who)

– when progressively trusting and successively believing into Him and thus being 

constantly faithful to Him – would not lose or destroy itself, or cause itself to fall into ruin, but rather can continuously have (or: would habitually possess and hold) eonian life (age-durative life with qualities derived from the Age [of the Messiah]; living existence of and for the ages).

                 [note 1): I have here given the “fact” sense of the aorist tense of the verbs “love” and

                 “give” rather than the simple past tense.  The statement by Jesus is a “timeless” fact of

                 God; it signifies that the object of His love and His gift (that object being the cosmos, the

                 universe, the world of men and created beings) is in view as a whole, and both the love

                 and the gift are presented as fact, as one complete whole (punctiliar) which exists apart

                 from any sense of time (i.e., coming from the realm or sphere of the “eternal,” or, “the

                 Being of God;”

                 note 2):  Paul Tillich defines "love" (agapē): the whole being's drive and movement 

                 toward reunion with another, to overcome existential separation; an ecstatic 

                 manifestation of the Spiritual Presence; acceptance of the object of love without

                 restriction, in spite of the estranged, profanized and demonized state of the object; –

                 Systematic Theology III, pp 134-138; Richard Rohr: Love; a drive to give yourself totally

                 to something or someone] Cf Rom. 8:3 

 

The primary clause of vs. 16a is an astounding proclamation by Jesus: “God loves the aggregate of humanity (the world; etc.).”  This is the primary theme from Gen. to Rev.  This is the foundation for all theology.  God loves us, because, “God continuously exists being Love (or: for God is Love and Acceptance)” (1 Jn. 4:8b).  But not only this, 1 Jn. 4 also informs us:

7.  Beloved ones, we are (or: can and should be) continuously loving one another, because love (or: the urge toward reunion and acceptance) exists continuously (or: is) from out of the midst of God….

9.  Within this, God's Love is instantly manifested (or: was at one point made visible; is made apparent and clear) within us (or: among us), in that (or: because) God has sent (dispatched) His uniquely-born (or: only-begotten) Son as a Representative (Envoy; Emissary) into the ordered System (world of society, culture, religion and government; or: the cosmos; or: = the aggregate of humanity), to the end that we would live (or: can experience life) through Him.

10.  Within this exists (or: is) the Love, not that we ourselves have loved [other MSS: not that we ourselves love or accept] God, but in contrast, that He Himself loves us and sends (or: urged toward reunion with us and sent) His Son as a Representative (Emissary): a cleansing, sheltering covering around our sins (failures to hit the target, errors, mistakes, deviations).

This passage in 1 Jn. supports and expands the subordinate clause of vs. 16a, above: “so that He gives His [other MSS: the] only-born (or: only-kin; unique-class) Son.”  Added to this, we have another verse from 1 Jn. 4:14b,

            “the Father has sent forth (dispatched as a Representative) the Son – [the] Savior of the

            world (or: Deliverer of the ordered and controlling System of religion and secular society;

            Restorer of the universe; or: = the Rescuer and Healer of all humanity).”

 

Returning to 16b, above, we have the purpose statement for the giving of His Son to us: “to the end that all humanity, which (or: everyone, who) – when progressively trusting and successively believing into Him and thus being constantly faithful to Him – would not lose or destroy itself, or cause itself to fall into ruin, but rather can continuously have (or: would habitually possess and hold) eonian life (age-durative life with qualities derived from the Age [of the Messiah]; living existence of and for the ages).”  Within this purpose statement is an attributive, dependent, participial clause which I have expanded and set off with dashes: “when progressively trusting and successively believing into Him and thus being constantly faithful to Him.”  Notice the present tense of the participle (indicated by the auxiliary adverbs, to indicate the tense of the verb: progressively; successively; constantly).  Also observe the subject of the main clause: the singular, masculine “all,” which means “all humanity.”  Thus, with this reading he is speaking corporately, meaning the whole of mankind.  On offer, parenthetically, is another reading of this adjective, as “everyone,” thus allowing for a singular reading.  John uses this construction to explain the state of being, and the existential circumstance in which, it happens that “all humanity” (and every person, successively) “can continuously have (or: would habitually possess and hold) eonian life.”  This is the gist of the main clause, and the core statement of God’s purpose.  It describes people who are already a part of the new creation (2 Cor. 5:17), and are described in Eph. 2:10a,

            “for the fact is, we are (continually exist being) the effect of what He did (or: His creation;

            the thing He has constructed; the result of His work; His achievement; His opus; the effect

            of His Deed): people being founded from a state of disorder and wildness (being

            framed, built, settled and created; being changed from chaos to order), within and in union

            with Christ Jesus.”

This is the purpose and the work of God, through Christ (2 Cor. 5:19). Cf vs. 35, below.

 

1 Jn. 2:2 helps us to understand how all this works:

            “And He Himself exists continually being a cleansing, sheltering cover around our   

            mistakes and errors, sheltering us from their effects so that we can be in peaceful

            and rightwised relationships (or: being the act by which our sins and failures are cleansed

            and made ineffective, effecting conciliation [to us]), yet not only around those pertaining

            to us (or: having their source in us), but further, even around the whole ordered System

            (secular realm and dominating world of culture, economy, religion and government; or:

            universe; or: the whole aggregate of mankind)!

Can we wrap our minds around this?  Only the Love which IS God could accomplish this through His gift to the whole aggregate of humanity.  Christ is “the cleansing, sheltering cover” that comes upon everyone.

           

Let us pause and consider the word agapē.  Returning to the first clause of the verse, the parenthetical alternative gives two other meanings of “love”: “You see God, in this manner, fully gives Himself to and urges toward reunion with… the aggregate of humanity.”  Wow!  Let that sink in.  This is our God.  He is bent on union with us!  On offer, in note 2, are other meanings of this word, which I gleaned from the writings of the theologian, Paul Tillich.  Let us point these out, lest our readers read over the notes too quickly:

            a) the whole being's drive and movement toward reunion with another, to overcome

            existential separation;

            b) acceptance of the object of love without restriction, in spite of the estranged, profanized

            and demonized state of the object;

            c) participation in the other one

            d) the power of reunion with the other person as one standing on the same ultimate ground;

            e) unambiguous, accepting reunion;

            f) an ecstatic manifestation of the Spiritual Presence.

The definitions in c, d and e are on offer in 1 Cor. 13, where I again give more of Tillich’s definitions.  Now meditate on each one as expressing a part of Who and What God is.  Make each one a verb, and substitute that meaning in the first clause, above: “For thus God employs His whole being’s drive and movement toward reunion with the aggregate of humanity (etc.).”  How deep and expansive, and how far reaching, is God’s Love for everyone!  We might be tempted to think that this is beyond our comprehension – and, humanly thinking, it is – but we are blessed with Paul’s words, which can apply here:

            “God unveils in us (reveals to us; uncovers for us; discloses among us) through the spirit

            (or: the Spirit; the Breath-effect); for you see, the spirit (or: the Spirit; the Breath-effect)

            constantly and progressively searches, examines and investigates all humanity, and

            everything – even the depths of, from, which pertain to, and which are, God!” (1 Cor.

            2:10).

I also appreciate how Richard Rohr renders agapē: a drive to give yourself totally to something or someone.

 

It is for all these reasons that God does not want the aggregate of humanity (the world) to “lose or destroy itself, or cause itself to fall into ruin, but rather [to] continuously have (or: would habitually possess and hold) eonian life (age-durative life with qualities derived from the Age [of the Messiah]; living existence of and for the ages).”

 

17.  "You see, God does not send forth His [other MSS: the] Son as a Representative or Emissary into the world (or: System; aggregate of humanity) to the end that He should continuously separate and make decisions about the world (or: would at some point sift and judge the System, or the aggregate of humanity), but to the contrary, to the end that the world would be delivered

            (or: for the result that the System could be healed and made whole; so that the ordered

            arrangement should be restored to health; to the end that the aggregate of mankind may be

            saved – rescued and re-established in its original state): through Him!

 

The Son’s mission is always Deliverance, Healing, Restoration to Wholeness, Health, Rescue and Salvation.  And this is for “the aggregate of mankind;” for “the world.”  This is always the purpose for which He comes to us, and “Jesus Christ [is] the same yesterday and today and on into the ages” (Heb. 13:8).

 

As the parenthetical expansion offers: Christ’s sending-forth is “for the result that the System could be healed and made whole; so that the ordered arrangement should be restored to health” – so that it will no longer be a domination system, but a living body of Life that gives Life; a corporate Tree of Life.  The Son, and His Life are the means that bring this about: through Him!

 

18.  "The person habitually believing and progressively placing trust into Him is not being continuously sifted or evaluated (is not habitually being separated for decisions or being judged), yet the person not habitually trusting and believing has already been sifted and evaluated (separated for a decision; judged) and that decision yet exists, because he or she has not believed so that he trusts into (or: had not been faithful and loyal unto) the Name [note: “name” is a Semitism for the person, or his authority, or his qualities] of the only-born Son of God (or: into the Name of God’s Son – the only-kin and unique-class One, or the by-itself-in-kind One, or, the solitary-race One).

 

Why is the one not trusting or believing not being habitually judged (or: separated, through “being continuously sifted or evaluated”?  Because this one is already serving time in prison; he or she is in the state or condition that resulted from the judgment on Adam (evicted from the Garden environment; restricted from the Tree of Life).  John states this plainly, in vs. 36, below:

            “the person now continuing being unpersuaded by the Son (or: presently being

            constantly incompliant, disobedient or disbelieving to the Son; being repeatedly stubborn

            toward the Son) will not be catching sight of (seeing; observing; perceiving) [this] Life. 

            To the contrary (or: Yet, nevertheless), God’s personal emotion and inherent fervor

                  (or: the teeming passion and swelling desire, which is God; the mental bent,

                          natural impulse, propensity and disposition from God; or: the ire, anger, wrath or

                          indignation having the quality and character of God)

            presently continues remaining (keeps on resting, dwelling and abiding) upon him.”

Existing under the decision by God, for humanity, was the judgment that humanity was destined to experience – called by theologians as being “the human predicament.”  Paul described this in Rom. 7.  So there is no more need for those who are “dead in trespasses and sins (failures)” (Eph. 2:1) to be continuously sifted or evaluated.  That was done in the Garden, and “that decision yet exists” (this clause reflects the perfect tense of the verb “sifted and evaluated {etc.}”).

 

Now to what does the subordinate clause refer?  It says, “because he or she has not believed so that he trusts into (or: had not been faithful and loyal unto) the Name [note: “name” is a Semitism for the person, or his authority, or his qualities] of the only-born Son of God.”  On the first level of understanding, this would mean that this person has not believed that Jesus was, or is, the Christ, or, that He is Lord.  But why did Jesus use this somewhat ambiguous phrase to refer to Himself?  In 9:35-37, below, Jesus asked the man who had been born blind (and who Jesus had just healed):

            “"Are you yourself now trusting or believing or putting faith into the Son of man

                 (or: = the son of Adam; = the Human Being; or: = the eschatological messianic

                         figure [A, L and others read: Son of God])?"

            And in considered response, that one says, "And who is he, sir (or: my lord; master),

            so that I can believe (or, as a future: to the end that I will believe and progressively put

            trust) into him?" Jesus said to him, "You have both seen Him, and the One presently

            talking (speaking) with you, that One is He."

So, it is evident that not everyone would know what either “the Name” meant, nor, perhaps, to what the phrase, “the only-born Son of God,” would refer.  But we should keep in mind that our text does not say the Nicodemus had left this meeting with Jesus, and it is most reasonable to assume that he is still there, listening to Jesus’ monologue.  Nicodemus would recognize the import of both phrases.  John the immerser would have known what “Son of God” meant (1:34, above).  Nathaniel had assumed Jesus to be “the Son of God” because of the apparent “spiritual sight” that Jesus disclosed (1:49, above).  Now Nathaniel, in that same verse, equated this title to the title, “the King of Israel,” and thus Nathaniel apparently understood these titles as signifying “the Messiah.”  In 1:51, above, Jesus affirms Nathaniel’s conclusion by using the eschatological phrase “the Son of man” (an allusion to Dan. 7:13ff).  Jesus will use this term frequently in John’s Gospel.

 

As noted in the inserted brackets in this verse, the term “name” often was used to refer to the person or personage (depending on the context) that was under discussion.  It would seem that since Jesus did NOT say “believed so that he trusts into ME” (but rather used a third person reference), that He felt, or was teaching, that belief was to be into the “office” or “position” (such as the “Messiah”).  They were supposed to put their faith and trust into whoever was God’s Anointed One.  This would mitigate against people making an idol of a personality (such as we observe in our day and culture); it would keep the focus on God – which Jesus always did.  Jesus would not always be with them, as the Adamic man to whom they were now listening.  Paul would later instruct us that we no longer know Jesus this way:

            “if even we have intimately, by experience, known Christ ([the] Anointed One) on the

            level of flesh (or: = in the sphere of estranged humanity; or: = in correspondence to a self

            that is oriented to the System; = according to the old covenant), nevertheless we now (in

            the present moment) no longer continue [thus] knowing [Him or anyone]

            (2 Cor. 5:16b).

So, in this case, perhaps the phrase, “the Name,” refers to the title and reputation, and thus to the fact that the kingdom, God’s reign, had now come.  This comports with His use of the term “Son of man” in chapter 9, cited above.  Jesus was not beginning a personality cult, but rather, He was inaugurating the Reign of God.  That said, the movement that grew out of His disciples did keep the identity of Jesus, through the repeated use of His Name (see the book of Acts).  But in this eschatological context, let us keep in mind that in Rev. 3:12 the risen Jesus addresses the called-out community in Philadelphia, and there He refers to “My NEW Name.”  This, along with the Name of His God and the Name of the New Jerusalem, are all to be written upon “the one habitually conquering (repeatedly overcoming so as to be the victor).”  A name could also signify ownership or authority.  This latter may have been one of Jesus’ main points.  But holding in mind Rev. 3:12, “believing into the Name” may signify assuming a new identity, which corresponds to this new birth to which He had referred….

 

Chapter 14

 

1.  "You folks are constantly trusting and believing into and then continue faithful unto God; you are also progressively trusting and believing on into Me

            (or, as an imperative: Keep on believing and putting faith into the midst of God, and also

            keep on putting your trust, confidence and loyalty into Me). [cf 2 Cor. 5:1-2, 4, 6, 8]

 

Having just spoken a word of peace and ease to Peter, for the entire group (13:38b, above), Jesus now affirms their allegiance to God, as well as their constant life of trust of, and belief in, God.  And then He goes on to affirm their progressive trusting and believing into Him.  This reading comes from the form of the verbs in these statements functioning as a present tense, indicative.  However, these same forms can also function as a present tense, imperative.  This latter reading is given in the parenthetical expansion.  As imperatives, He is giving them parallel directives in regard to their trust (etc.):  Just as their faith is to be put into the mist of God (and here, the picture is of shooting their arrows of trust, with God being the imagined Target that they want to penetrate), so also they must “keep on putting your trust, confidence and loyalty into [Jesus].”

 

The preposition “unto; into; into the midst of” is eis.  In some Greek grammar books, it is symbolically graphed as an arrow, coming from outside of a circle, and entering into the midst of the circle.  Likewise, the preposition en (in; within the midst of; in union with; etc.) is graphed as a dot within the midst of the circle.  The NT frequently uses both of these prepositions: they are both locational and relational – as well as other functions, dependent upon the contexts.  Eis, used in this verse, primarily implies direction (i.e. destination of the “arrow”) and movement, as well as final destination.  To give the reader a mental picture is the reason for the renderings “into the midst of God” and “into Me.”  The idea of “penetration” is both relational and locational in the implied intent of the verb, when this preposition is used.  Notice, then, the progression of the conflation of verb meanings and preposition functions in: “are constantly trusting and believing into and then continue faithful unto.”  The idea of movement (this is an active Life that we are called to live) can be seen in the less-conflated second statement that ends in “progressively trusting and believing ON into…”  Our Life in the Kingdom of God describes movement ON INTO deeper and deeper experiences of God in Christ.

 

Dan Kaplan picked up the arrow metaphor (from my grammar explanation) and applied it to 8:56-58, above, and the “faith of Abraham” that was like an arrow shot from his spirit into the future, resulting in his being able to “see Christ’s Day.”  This reminded us of a tapestry thread that began on one end of the picture, in the Beginning (the Alpha; the first Adam) and wove all the way through to the end of the picture/story, ending dead-center in the Target: the Last Adam (the Goal; the Omega; the End).  Faith, trust and loyal obedience were a constant goal toward which Israel’s story plodded through history, from its first creation (on Sinai) on into the new creation (Mt. Zion – Heb. 12:22-24) and the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21-22).  When you see the whole tapestry, the Story becomes clear.

 

2.  "Within My Father's house (or: household) are many abodes (staying places; dwelling places; homes; rooms).  Now if not, I would at once tell you folks, because I am progressively passing (or: traveling) along to prepare and make ready a place in you (or: for you; with and among you folks).

 

His Father’s house is the Temple (2:16-19, above).  The “many abodes (staying places; dwelling places; homes; rooms)” are we, His body (1 Cor. 6:15-19; 2 Cor. 6:16).  He was “progressively passing (or: traveling) along to prepare and make ready a place in [them; us].”  Reading it this way, the many abodes were the many people who would be “places” for Him to live.  The personal pronoun “you” is in the dative case, so on offer are other potential readings: “for you; with and among you folks.”  Now on the last two, “with/among,” we have the witness of Rev. 21:3,

            “Consider!  God's tent (the Tabernacle of God) [is] with mankind (the humans), 'and He

            will continue living in a tent (dwell in a Tabernacle) with them, and they will continue

            being (will constantly exist being) His peoples, and God Himself will continue being

            with them.'” [Lev. 26:11-12; Isa. 7:14; 8:8, 10; Jer. 31:33; Ezk. 37:27; 2 Chr. 6:18]

Paul seems to be referring to this topic, in 2 Cor. 5:1,

            “You see, we have seen, perceived and know that if our House – from the Tabernacle

            which was pitched on the Land – would at some point be dismantled (or: that

            whenever our house, which is this tent upon the earth, should be loosed down), we

            constantly have (continuously hold; presently possess) a dwelling structure or place (a

            building for an abode; or: a household; = a family or a possession) forth from out of the

            midst of God: an eonian act of building a roofed house (or: a covered building for

            dwelling having qualities and character which pertain to the Age [of the Messiah]; a structure

            of edification for, and pertaining to, the ages) – not made by hands [cf Heb. 9:1-8, 11; Dan.

            2:34, 45; Eph. 2:11; Col. 2:11] – resident within the atmospheres (or: in union with the

            heavens).” [cf 6:16, below; 1 Tim. 3:15; Heb. 9:24]

 

Preparing and making ready a place for [us]” is also a beautiful picture.  Having our own place, in Him, in His Father’s House (or: household – another layer of meaning), satisfies the longing in our hearts to be rescued from exile, and returned to the Garden, in the new Eden.  We see this place pictured as the New Jerusalem, with the names of people in its gates (Rev. 21:12) and on its foundations (Rev. 21:14).

 

The metaphor is both a “house,” that has places, such as “dwelling places, or rooms,” and it is also a “household,” and in that sense, the word “place” can also signify “a position” in the household, or, an “opportunity.”  So these latter meanings can refer to functions, such as are described in Eph. 4:11-13, or grace-effects, such as are listed in 1 Cor. 12:8-10.

 

3.  "Even if I should journey on and prepare (make suitable, fit and appropriate) a place (or: a spot; a position; a role) in you folks (or: with, among and for you), I am now presently (or: progressively; repeatedly; habitually) going and coming again, and then, I will progressively take you folks in My arms and receive you to Myself, directing you toward Myself so as to be face to face with Me, to the end that where I, Myself, am (or: exist) you folks also can continue being (or: would ongoingly exist).

 

First of all, He spoke these words to folks that were with Him at that time.  He was not speaking about some “end-time second coming” off in the distant future (for which, sadly, many folks are still waiting, not enjoying His real presence, right now).  Next, notice that the words “going and coming” (conflating the two meanings of erchomai) is in the present, indicative.  He was saying that He was “presently (or: progressively; repeatedly; habitually) going and coming.”  I listed four potential functions of the present tense, including “presently,” since the context implies imminent departure (Jn. 13:33), but also a coming again to “take you folks in My arms and receive you to Myself.”  He was saying that to them, not to someone else.  But the idea of “habitual or repeated” going and returning can also include us into His pattern of activity.  When He returned to them, He would be in an altered state of existence from having been resurrected.  But the point that He was making was the end of His present, upcoming journey: His return to THEM!

 

The future progressive describes a beautiful, intimate scene: “I will progressively take you folks in My arms and receive you to Myself, directing you toward Myself so as to be face to face with Me.”  This clause conflates the meanings of the verb: take in [one’s] arms; receive.”  Along with this is the conflation of the preposition: to; direction toward; face-to-face; with.  When these are joined together, we see the touching picture of His personal, even emotional, return to them.  What a promise, considering what they would soon experience.

 

So what about the purpose clause that ends this verse?  His coming again was, “to the end that where I, Myself, am (or: exist) you folks also can continue being (or: would ongoingly exist).”  What did He mean by that?  As is our practice, we will answer that by insight from the NT authors, as they seem to apply.  As usual, there are layers to the answer of this question.  Notice that He did not say “where I, Myself, WILL be,” but rather “where I, Myself, am (or: exist).”  Now in vs. 10, below, He said,

            “it is continuously (it constantly exists being) I, Myself, within the midst of the Father.”

Since He would have known that they probably didn’t get this, in vs. 11 He said,

            “[it is] I within the midst of the Father.”

In verse 20 He gives an expanded explanation:

            “you yourselves will personally be coming to progressively realize and then be

            knowing that I Myself [am; exist] within the midst of My Father, and you folks within

            the midst of and in union with Me, and I Myself within the midst of and in union with

            you people.”

So He was speaking, first of all, of a new sphere of existence: within Him, and within the Father.  That was the Target to which the “arrow” of vs. 1 was aiming.  He will give a metaphorical explanation in the next chapter, where He speaks of Himself being the Vine, and they are His branches – if they “remain (dwell; abide; stay) within and in union with [Him]” (15:4a, below), that is, take up residence in His Father’s House (which He, and they, are).

 

Paul informed those in the Province of Galatia that they lived in a new existence.  In Gal. 3, he wrote:

26.  For you folks are all [i.e., Jew and non-Jew; male and female; slave and freeman] God's sons, through the faithfulness located and resident within Christ Jesus (or: by means of the trust in union with an Anointing from Jesus; [p46: through Jesus Christ's faithfulness])!

          (or: You see, all you folks [who are] located and centered in Christ Jesus exist

               being sons of God, by means of that Faithful One!)

27.  For you see (or: It follows that) as many of you folks as were immersed into Christ, at once clothed yourselves with Christ (or: were plunged into so as to be enveloped by, then saturated and permeated with, Anointing – or, the Anointed One – instantly entered within and put on [the/an] Anointing)!

 

We read in Rom. 6:3-4 he spoke of being “immersed (or: were at one point soaked or baptized) into Christ Jesus…. thus also we can walk around (or: we also should likewise conduct ourselves and order our behavior) within newness of life.”  And then, in Rom. 6:18, we find that,

            “Now since we died together with Christ, we are continuously believing (relying;

            trusting) that we will also continue living together in Him.”

Rom. 8:1 refers to “those within Christ Jesus.”  And he used apocalyptic language and a seat/throne metaphor in Eph. 2:6 to picture this same new situation:

            “He jointly roused and raised (or: suddenly awakens and raises) [us] up, and caused

            [us] to sit (or: seats [us]; = enthroned [us]) together in union with, and among, the

            heavenly people, and within the things situated upon [thus, above] the heavens.”

Paul was speaking of a new existence that he and the called-out communities were at that time experiencing. 

 

Now after His resurrection, He came to them many times, and in Acts 1:9, “a cloud from underneath [Him] took and received Him.”  Now Heb. 12:1 speaks of their “continuously having such a big cloud-mass (figure for a dense throng) of witnesses (spectators; folks bearing testimony; people with evidence) environing us (lying around for us and [they] themselves surrounding and encompassing us).”

And then Heb. 12:22-24 describes their (and our) present location:

22.  But to the contrary, you folks have approached so that you are now at Mount Zion – even in a city of a continuously living God; in "Jerusalem upon heaven" [Heb. 11:16]

          (or: in a Jerusalem pertaining to and having the character and qualities of a superior,

          or added, heaven and atmosphere; or: in Jerusalem [situated] upon, and comparable

          to, the atmosphere; centered in a heavenly-imposed Jerusalem) – also among ten-

          thousands (or: myriads) of agents and messengers (people with a/the message):

23.  [that is] in (or: to) an assembly of an entire people (or: an assembly of all; a universal convocation) and in (or: to) a summoning forth (or: a called-out and gathered community) of firstborn folks having been copied (from-written, as from a pattern; or: enrolled; registered) within [the; or: various] atmospheres (or: heavens), and in (or: to; with) God, a Judge (an Evaluator and Decider) of all mankind, even among (or: to; with) spirits of just folks (or: breath-effects from those who are fair and equitable and in right relationship within the Way pointed out) having been brought to the destined goal (perfected; finished; matured; made complete), [cf Rev. 3:12; 21:1-2; Eph. 2:6; Phil. 3:20; Rev. 14:1-5; Ex. 4:22; Gal. 3:19]

24.  and in (or: to) Jesus, a Medium (or: an agency; an intervening substance; a middle state; one in a middle position; a go-between; an Umpire; a Mediator) of a new and fresh (young; recently-born) arrangement (covenant; settlement; a deposit which moves throughout in every direction; a placing through the midst; a will and testament), and to and in blood of sprinkling, and to One continuously speaking something superior to (or: stronger and better than) Abel.

[cf Mat. 17:1-5; Gal. 4:22-26; Rev. 21:1-2; 9b-22:5; Jn. 4:21; Ps. 46:4; 132:13; Isa. 28:16; 33:5]

In Rev. 21:10b, John was shown the New Jerusalem descending out of the atmosphere, from God.  This is where we “can continue being (or: should ongoingly exist)….

 

6.  Jesus then says to him, "I, Myself, AM (exist being) the Way (or: Path), the Truth (the Reality) and the Life (or: = I am the way to really live).  No one is presently going to, or progressively coming toward, the Father, except through Me (through means of Me, or, through the midst of Me).

 

Rather than seeing this statement as a simplistic religious formula, or making it the basis of the Christian religion, let us pause and consider the context, the import of the second statement, and the verse that follows.  First of all, observe that this is another I AM statement.  He is the Logos that was made flesh.  His is the Door of the sheepfold.  He is the Ideal Shepherd.  He is the source of Living Water.  He is the Resurrection and the Life.  He is the Reality of all these metaphors.

 

As the Way, He enables us to journey on into the midst of the Father.  The Father is the goal, our destiny.  As the Door, we pass through Him – and All that He is – to come toward the Father.  But also, through means of Him (through means of the Christ Event) we are “presently going to the Father.”  As the Way, He is “the True and Genuine Light which (or: Who) is continuously (repeatedly; progressively) enlightening (giving light to) every person (or: all humanity) continuously (repeatedly; progressively; constantly; one after another) coming into the world” (1:9, above).

 

As the Truth, He is that to which the shadow (Heb. 10:1; Col. 2:17) of the old covenant pointed.  The word Truth also means “the Reality.”

 

And just as He is the Resurrection (11:25, above) and the Life of the Age of the Messiah.  He embodies that of which the vision of the valley of dry bones prophesied (Ezk. 37:1-14), and thus – with all of this – He is Israel (Ex. 4:22), and the Seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15); He is the Son of David, and the eschatological Deliverer – the Son of the Human (Dan. 7), the Last Adam (1 Cor. 15).  In the next chapter we will find that He is the Vine, out of whom grow the branches of humanity.  He is all of the Messianic metaphors, but He embodies and represents the Pathway to the Father.  The Father is the emphasis of what He is saying here – even Philip got that (vs. 8, below)!  And He devotes the next verse to the Reality of personally, intimately, experientially and progressively knowing and recognizing the Father.

 

7.  "Since you men have personally and experientially known Me (or: If you folks had insight of Me or were acquainted with Me), you also will continue personally and experientially knowing and perceiving My Father [other MSS: you would likely have seen and now know (or: perceive) My Father, as well].  And so from right now (this moment) you are intimately, experientially and progressively knowing and recognizing Him (or: you folks continue gaining insight of Him), and have seen Him."

 

You see, Jesus was, and is, the Way to see the Father.  Look (2 Cor. 3:18) at Jesus, the Son, the Glory, and see the Father.  Also, know Jesus and you know the Father.  He came to open the “spiritual” eyes of the blind.  Jesus was also the Life of the Father (Jn. 5:26).  And speaking of Life, Paul instructs us that, “the Spirit and Breath-effect [is] Life, BECAUSE OF an eschatological act of justice” (Rom. 8:10), where,

            “God was existing within Christ (God was and continued being centered in, and in union

            with [the] Anointed One) progressively and completely transforming [the] aggregate of

            humanity (or: world) to be other [than it is], in Himself, not accounting to them the

            results and effects of their falls to the side (their trespasses and offenses)” (2 Cor. 5:19).

We can all know Him and see Him because,

            “He drags us out of danger (or: rescued us) forth from out of the midst of the authority

            of the Darkness and changes [our] position (or: transported [us], thus, giving [us] a

            change of   standing, and transferred [us]) into the midst of the kingdom and reign of the

            Son of His love” (Col. 1:13).

Notice Who did/does the dragging here: Col. 1:12 instructs us that it is, “the Father: the One calling youwithin the Light,” Who then does the dragging and transporting.  You see, the Light shines on everyone (each in his or her own time – 1 Cor. 15:23), and from the mist of that Light calls us (e.g., Acts 9:3-4).  All the divine metaphors in this Gospel express the “I AM.”  The Father and the Son are One (Jn. 10:30), which equates to the Shema (Deut. 6:4).

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