John 16 Notes.docx

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McMaster University
Religious Studies
Stephen Westerholm

John 16 - John does not mention or give language of the trinity but provides the raw data for early Christians to form the idea of the trinity - To say John mentions the trinity is anachronistic - Language of trinity was not found in John but was influenced by John Nicean Creed - Nicean Creed is common to all denominations and is Trinitarian in structure o We: solidarity and union with the churches, I believe: personal confession of faith - Mutual relations between the different persons of the trinity: o One Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of God, begotten from the Father o Son and Father: use BEGOTTEN from the Father, BEGOTTEN not made o Spirit and other persons: PROCEEDING from the Father (and the Son) - Son is begotten from the Father, begotten not made o Son cannot be included in what is created o Son is part of the creation process but not the object of it, but rather the agent of it o Al things made through him, he is not part of creation o Son is co-eternal with the father o Begotten normally means: not equally eternal.. means you come later o Wanted to convey that a child that one begets has the same nature as the one who begets o Son begotten of the father is also God o Begotten is misleading – indicates not eternal … but he is eternally begotten o Begotten is open to misconstruction, but was kept because this was the language used in John’s gospel o However open to misconstruction, stuck with it because that’s the language of scripture o Danger: trying to pass on something you don’t understand and put in your own words, you end up missing the point  Early church didn’t know what begotten meant but used it because there’s a reason it was there so they kept it, however much they didn’t understand it because it was in the scripture and taken from John’s gospel (prime reference) - Spirit proceeds the Father o Couldn’t use begotten because God only has one Son, THE only Son of God o Point is exactly the same – it is the language used in John 15:26 so they used it o Don’t tamper with the language in case they eliminate the entire point o Proceeding language is only found in John’s gospel o Don’t mention the trinity but each person of the trinity is mentioned twice in John 15:26  When the advocate (spirit) whom I (Son) is sent to you from Father (father) namely the spirit of truth (spirit) that comes from the Father (father he will testify on my behalf (Son) o Son is eternally begotten from the Father, spirit eternally proceeds from the Father o Traditional language of the church in the most basic formula / creed of the churches adopts its language from John’s Gospel Structure - Last verse – I’ve said this to you so that in me you may have peace, in the world you face persecution, but take courage I have conquered the world – John 16:31 o Two geographical locations; two spheres in which the followers of Jesus live  Live in me, live in the world  Life can be described as being in Christ, and in another way – in the world o Same duality you find in the NT – Paul’s letters consistently begin with this duality  Both in Christ and in a specific geographical location  Heavenly citizenship though we live here on earth o Language often used in Hebrews and 1 Peter – people being strangers and pilgrims in the earth, this isn’t their real home o What they can expect in the world is persecution – after all, they’re not a part of the world so they can expect its opposition o The world opposed and hated Christ so they wouldn’t treat followers any better Beginning - Jesus says I’m telling you this so you won’t be offended / put off when it happens - Concept of offense as inevitable is found throughout the gospels and NT - Jesus repeatedly stressed the danger that those who he confronts will be offended 1) His early appearance doesn’t correspond to the nature of his message o Disconnect between what he says and how he appears will lead to offense o John the Baptist sent messengers to Jesus asking if he was the coming one o J the B was in prison and hears word of this o Jesus told disciples to tell John what they are seeing – all the miracles  Jesus is paraphrasing verses in Isaiah about what was supposed to happen when the Messiah came o “Blessed is the one who is not offended by me”; blessed is one who doesn’t stumble / is not put off by me o Judgement was coming, God was going to intervene in a dramatic way and that didn’t seem to be happening o Sorts of things expected when the Messiah was to come weren’t happening and instead nothing very dramatic seemed to be happening o Jesus says things are not happening but blessed is the one who is not put off by his lowly appearance and his apparent lack of results o Nothing ostentacious about what he’s doing now and it would be easy to think nothing is happening but a seed of the kingd
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