Below are three renditions of Jesus’ description—through John’s writing. Was Jesus God or one of us? This remains a puzzle to the entire Christian community since time immemorial. The intention of this post is not adding more confusion. But to consider what John said, without being misled by translations, necessarily. What causes Jesus to be viewed as member of Trinity is sustained in the translation of the following Scripture:
(John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known (John 1:15-18) (ESV).
(John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known (John 1:15-18) (NIV).
John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him (John 1:15-18) (AKJV).
The starting point is in agreement that John wrote out of inspiration, as opposed to being a Theologian. What is written out of inspiration can never be understood by those who listen without inspiration. This is confirmed by what Jesus also declared to His disciples:
“And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables.And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables,so that “‘they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven’” (Mark 4:10-12) (ESV).
In other words, that which was a secret was given only to those who had committed themselves to follow Christ. But let us also not forget that during His time, everyone wanted to follow Jesus, wherever He went. Because of Jesus’ services.
However, those people were different from people like Simon Peter, who left everything to follow Christ (Luke 14:25-33). Therefore, what God declares as secret cannot be discovered by Scholars. Otherwise, it would have not been difficult for Scholars like Gamaliel to appreciate Jesus (Acts 5:33-39).
Eighty-eight times, in the Christian Bible, Jesus described Himself as ‘Son of Men’. And a Son of Man cannot be God. This is just as the Son of the Living God cannot, at the same time be God. Yet Jesus also declared that anyone who had seen Him had seen the Father? (John 14:9).
Nevertheless, each human being ought to also have guts to declare similarly, when considering that humanity was created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27). The separation of humanity from God, ought not to make anyone assume being not created in God’s image. But being created in God’s image ought not necessarily cause anyone assume being God.
Now, let us take an analysis of the three translations given in John 1:15-18. The wording in these translations are different—let alone the fact that there are several other translations, likewise, with different versions:
No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known (John 1:18) (ESV).
No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known (John 1:18) (NIV)
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him (John 1:18) (AKJV).
Clearly, the two versions, ESV and NIV are not in agreement with the authorized King James Version (AKJV)? The first two translations seem to explicitly state that Jesus is another God, whose mission was to reveal the Father?
However, the Authorized King James Version simply states that the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, (being with the Father) has declared God. In other words, humanity, could not have known God the Father, without His only begotten son.
The Authorized King James Version is not confused in that the only begotten Son, cannot be another God. Hence, being the only begotten Son. God cannot be born, as He does not have any beginning or the end. Theologians have miserably written tomes—making conclusions that God is Three in one.
Whilst clear in that God is Spirit, they assume that the Counsellor (Spirit) that Jesus promised, was another God (John 14:18). I understand where they are coming from. The secrets of God’s Kingdom cannot be revealed to them (Mark 4:10-12). Only those on the side of truth would hear His voice (John 18:37).
They cannot fathom that the Son of Man whose name is Jesus cannot be God. They also cannot tell why Jesus stated that the sin of blasphemy could not touch those speaking a word against the Son of Man (Matthew 12:32). See [The term ‘Messiah’ is not necessarily God].
Indeed, confusion exists in Christianity. But there is nothing to worry about. Whatever is characterized in confusion does not represent God, who is not the author of confusion (Corinthians 14:33). Those on the side of truth will always be willing to test all things—holding fast, that which is good. (1 Corinthians 2:10 and 1 Thessalonians 5:21).
Another sign, constituting truthfulness, comprises what Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14. However, this does not necessarily imply living exclusively, as to be what Jesus referred to. Although Jesus basically referred to avoiding being with the majority, at the expense of truth.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.
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