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The God of John's gospel, the God of the Old Testament

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posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 05:11 PM
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The God of Jesus was the God of the Old Testament, the same God that his hearers had always been worshipping.
For most of the last two thousand years, it would not have been necessary to say so.
It was central to the Church’s understanding of the Bible, that the relation between God and his people is a continuous history, beginning with Abraham and coming to a climax with Jesus Christ.
One and the same God, from Genesis to Revelation.

This continuity seems to be coming under question again.
And yet it can be demonstrated from the words of Jesus himself.
I’ve done this once before, using the synoptic gospels alone.
But everything we find in John’s gospel leads to the same conclusion.

He claims the Temple of the Old Testament God as the Temple of his own God.

“You shall not make my Father’s house a house of trade” (ch2 v16).
The Temple in Jerusalem was built and maintained to house the “name” of the God of Israel.
Nevertheless, Jesus calls it the house of his own Father.
So we are entitled to assume that every time he refers to “my Father” In this gospel, he is talking about the God of the Old Testament.
Anyone who wants to make a distinction between them is obliged, in the first place, to explain away that phrase “my Father’s house”.

He claims the scriptures provided by the God of the Old Testament as the scriptures of his own God.

He does this whenever he asserts that the scriptures speak about himself.
That is implied when he expresses surprise that Nicodemus does not understand about the power of the Spirit, even though he is a teacher of Israel (ch3 v9). That is to say, anyone who has qualified to “teach Israel” by studying the scriptures should have been able to learn about the Spirit from the scriptures themselves.
As he says to the Jews later, “You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me” (ch5 v39).
“If you believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote of me” (v46).
That includes the features of scripture which “foreshadow” the work of Jesus, such as Moses “lifting up the serpent in the wilderness” (ch3 v14).

He claims the prophecies provided by the God of the Old Testament as the prophecies of his own God.

He does this whenever he asserts that they are being fulfilled in his own work.
“It is written in the prophets; And they shall all be taught by God” (ch6 v45).
“He who believes in me, as the scripture has said; Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water” (ch7 v38).
“I know whom I have chosen. It is that the scripture may be fulfilled; He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me” (ch13 v18).

For that matter, the writer of the gospel also sees fulfilment of prophecies.
He sees the rejection of Jesus by the Jews as fulfilling the words of Isaiah (ch12 vv38-41).
At the crucifixion scene, he sees prophecy fulfilled when the soldiers divide up the garments of Jesus (ch19 v24), when he says “I thirst” (v28), when his bones are not broken (v36), and in the fact that men were looking upon one who had been “pierced” (v37).

He claims the Jews, the people of the Old Testament God, as the people of his own God.

Not quite as explicitly as in the other gospels, where he calls them the children of God.
In John’s gospel, the claim is a little more oblique.

When the Word, the true light, came to his own place [TA IDIA], “his own people [HOI IDIOI] did not receive him” (ch1 v11).
“His own people” and “his own land” undoubtedly means the Jews in Judaea.
The people who reject Jesus, in this gospel, are the Jews, almost by definition.
Therefore John is claiming, on the Word’s behalf, that the Jews are the “special people” of the Word at the same time as they have always been the “special people” of the God of Israel.
This makes it impossible to separate the Word from the God of Israel.

“We worship what we know, for salvation is of the Jews” (ch4 v22).
“We”; he identifies with the Jews, the worshippers of the Old Testament God.
“Worship what we know”; in other words, the Jews, in knowing and worshipping the Old Testament God, have always been knowing and worshipping his own God.
“Salvation is of the Jews”. The exact translation is that salvation is from, or out of [EK] the Jews. It begins with the Jews before moving out into the rest of the world.
This is the teaching found more explicitly in Acts and other parts of the New Testament; namely that that God of Jesus, acting as God of Israel during the Old Testament period, had been preparing the way for the salvation which he brought to completion in Jesus.

“Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day; he saw it and was glad” (ch8 v56).
Now Abraham was well-known as the “friend of God” (that is, the God of the Old Testament), and of course he was recognised as the ancestor of Israel, God’s people.
How, then, could Abraham have foreseen, let alone rejoiced in, the “day” of Jesus if Jesus had been associated with a different God?
By these words, Jesus identifies his own God as the God of Abraham, and therefore by extension the God of Abraham’s descendants in Israel.

In short, Jesus claims the “special people” of the God of Israel as the “special people” of his own God, and so identifies the two Gods.

The Jews don’t understand him as offering a different God

This is true of his followers.
Their understanding of Jesus always associates him with what was promised by the God of Israel.
The first chapter sets the tone; “We have found the Messiah… We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote” (ch1 v41, v45).
Each and every suggestion that Jesus is the Christ or “that prophet who is to come into the world” relates him to that God.
When they debate the matter, they test him by the criteria which they find in the scriptures.
“When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man?”
“Yes, but can the Christ come from Galilee?” (ch7 v31, vv41-2)
When the former blind man argues “We know that God does not listen to sinners” (ch9 v31), that understanding of God has to be drawn from the scriptures, making it common ground between himself and the Pharisees.

Even the more hostile Jews never accuse him of putting forward a new God, which would have been a serious charge.
They complain that he calls God his Father (ch5 v18) and that he identifies himself with God (ch10 v33), and these things are offensive precisely because they understand him as talking about the God they have always known.

Every time he uses the word “God”, he fails to say that he means a different one

Every time he uses the word “God”, his hearers will take it for granted that he’s talking about the God of Israel, the God of the Old Testament.
If that’s not what he means, then he has a moral obligation to say so.
He would also need to say so because the difference between the two Gods would be an essential part of his message.
Yet he never does.
The obvious conclusion is that there’s no need for him to be making any distinction, because he’s talking about the same God that his people have always known.

The message of Jesus to the Jews is never, at any time, “I’m offering you a better God than the one you’ve been worshipping”.
The message is always “We worship the same God, but I understand what he wants better than you do.”
He believes himself to be part of that single continuous history of the relation between God and his people.

edit on 17-6-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 05:18 PM
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I'm sorry, I believe in God, perhaps not the same parameters as you own, but there is no rectifying the difference in the two works old and new.

You can't use the word to be defined in the definition of said word. Quoting cherry picked references doesn't prove anything you would like us to believe, and belief is all you have here. Sorry my friend, unconvincing.

These culturally born books do not in anyway indicate a universal truth.



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 05:20 PM
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a reply to: BlueJacket
I am quoting evidence in the shape of the words beng used in the gospel.
Here, and everywhere else in the New Testament, it is taken for granted that they are the same God.



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 05:35 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

I appreciate your faith and I respect your depth of knowledge of the aforementioned works. But 1st the gospels need to be factually correlated to the old testament...don't you think?

If the entirety of the Jewish faith does not accept the correlation between the 2 books, how in the world can you expect those outside their faith to accept it?

I'm not trying to troll you,bit just doesn't make sense. Jews wrote the old testament, Jesus was a Jewish according to the new testament yet not one actual Jewish embraces this thinking. Why?

Jews for Jesus, ie messianic Jews are making a supposition only in terms not facts, can you accept that?
edit on 17-6-2016 by BlueJacket because: damn auto correct



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 05:48 PM
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originally posted by: BlueJacket
But 1st the gospels need to be factually correlated to the old testament...don't you think?

I'm not sure what you mean by "factually correlated". The main point I'm working on is that everybody in the New Testament, from Jesus onwards, thinks of themselves as following the same God who is seen as working through the Old Testament.
All those who first accepted Jesus, including all the Apostles, were Jews. They had no difficulty in seeing the continuity. Nowadays the word "Jew" is normally restricted to those who don't, so the fact that "the Jews" don't is no proof that it can't be done. It's just a tautology.
Christians for the last two thousand years have found no difficulty in tracing a continuity, so I'm not "expecting" anything new.



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 06:00 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

AMEN brother...... S&F

Well written ....what a great approach to the Gospel!



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 06:01 PM
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a reply to: DeathSlayer
Thank you for the encouragement.



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 06:04 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Again, I do not see the correlation only a borrowing from one philosophy from another. I'm going to refrain from messing up your well presented thread any further...but can I say, with humility you haven't convinced me.

Respectfully



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 06:30 PM
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originally posted by: BlueJacket
a reply to: DISRAELI

Again, I do not see the correlation only a borrowing from one philosophy from another. I'm going to refrain from messing up your well presented thread any further...but can I say, with humility you haven't convinced me.

Respectfully


If the Jews of today were to accept that their version of God and the Christian one from the New Testament were the same, then they would have to explain exactly why they reject Jesus as Messiah, since many of Christ's own teachings and the teachings in the New Testament are predicated on Christ as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies which are generally accepted by today's Jews as sent by God to His prophets.



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 06:33 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko


then they would have to explain exactly why they reject Jesus as Messiah,


Actually they know why they reject Jesus...

He didn't fulfill the requirements of their messiah...




posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 06:36 PM
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a reply to: Akragon

He didn't fulfill what they imagine the requirements of their messiah to be.

He will at His second advent. Too bad that only comes after Tribulation.



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 06:39 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

An entire religion rejects him based on their imagination

Sounds about right...




posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 06:54 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

I appreciate your belief and out of respect will not impose mine on you. Pity that all religions can't do the same.

You have to believe in Christianity for what you said to be valid. Most Jews for the last 2000 years don't.

I was raised to, but as an adult I used my freedom to embrace and learn from other cultures other than my given Christian roots. I love and accept others for their beliefs, but I don't have to accept half cooked explanations based on suppositions and speculation.



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 07:02 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

But none of the apostles, nor Jesus ever referred to themselves as Christians AND Paul wasn't an apostle and certainly never represented Jesus' own word except through his own imaginings.

Sorry I said I'd leave...door closes



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 07:19 PM
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originally posted by: BlueJacket
But none of the apostles, nor Jesus ever referred to themselves as Christians

What has that got to do with anything?
The apostles used about themselves terms like "the saints" or "the elect", but what they meant by this was a communal belief in Jesus which has been later labelled as "christian" ( a word which first appears in Acts, in Antioch). And the point is that this belief in Jesus was understanding him as continuing, and indeed completing, the work of the Old Testament God.
As for Jesus, he was the one being believed in. In fact he insisted that his followers should be believing in him (see my previous threads). And the point is that he understood himself as continuing, and indeed completing, the work of the Old Testament God.

Your emotional decision to distrust Paul is not relevant to the subject in hand. The only aspect of his teaching which is relevant is that he too understood Jesus as continuing, and indeed completing, the work of the Old Testament God.
There is a New Testament consensus on the point.


edit on 17-6-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 08:01 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

I am reluctant to reply in this thread as it would just be an arguement with no end, resulting in no change in either of our belief systems... regardless i respect you and your beliefs even if i disagree with them

You're by far one of the best religious posters on our forum... and your threads are always appreciated

To any that might be curious as to why such debates appear, i would urge you to read the reconstruction of Marcion's Antithesis

It is a lost work, having been destroyed by the church along with all Marcion's writing... and Marcion Himself

The reconstruction is based around hostile witnesses in his time, so its hardly reliable as an original work... but it gives a picture of what Marcion believed

Antithesis




posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 08:05 PM
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a reply to: Akragon
After which, read Tertullian's reply to Marcion;
Tertullian against Marcion



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 08:09 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Its not really about Marcion though...

the man rejected 3 of the 4 gospels... and mutilated the one he actually did like

Plus he trusted Paul over all others... im hardly a fan of his... but the contradictions between the two "gods" which he gives are quite compelling

I considered writing my own antithesis, but never had the time

I believe i do have a thread on the subject somewhere though




posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 08:44 PM
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The whole problem is that Hebrew tradition is not to interpret the Tanakh literally (very little.)

So in Judaism if God does something messed up in the OT you are to look for the deeper meaning and not believe that God really did it. It is a moral lesson with layers upon layers.

If you believe that the God of the OT is like the God Jesus speaks of you are not listening to the Revelation of the New Covenant, and stop taking these stories for history.

It is not history, God is not like that and how could you worship him if he was?, (is, to you).





edit on 17-6-2016 by ASIAHXPAORSBA because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 08:45 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Are you quoting from a copyrighted Bible?



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