I went online searching for Bible passages supporting the Godhead of Jesus. I found many Bible quotes given by Christians to support their claim. However, none were really conclusive on the matter. In addition, the passages submitted as proof sounded more like writer's opinion. Many quotes are simply letters to early congregations couched in the doctrine of a particular early church. Although fascinating in their own regard I must ask, do they have the same authority as Jesus or exemplify inerrantly the Word of God?
In some cases, churches simply plugged Jesus into the scripture as an assumption. Even passages such as," I and my Father are one," a favorite quote among Christians implying Jesus as Godhead, cannot be seen as demonstrating this conclusion at all. All that is said here is that Jesus has submitted himself to the Will of God. A husband and wife may also say" I and my spouse are one" but in no way does this imply they are actually of the same singular reality!
Also, there seems to be a direct contradiction of Jesus authorized as judge by God, wherein Jesus says: (See (2) and (7) below)
Here is a collection of verses listed under their respective categories:
John 1:1- 5 ) New King James Version (NKJV) "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made." Many Christians assume the "word" must necessarily mean Jesus. But Jesus was born. His birthday is celebrated on Christmas. How then can Jesus be the Word when it was there in the beginning? ( "The Word was with God and the Word was God. All things were made through Him."Yes, there may be a plurality between God and the Word or Spirit of Truth, but does this automatically assume this Word applies to only Jesus?
Isaiah 9:3 King James Bible "Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. 9:4 For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian. 9:5 For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."
At first glance, 9:6: " a child is born...a son is given," would certainly seem to apply to Jesus. But, when reading the neighboring verses, questions come up that are difficult to answer if indeed this does refer to Jesus.
1. 9:7 Jesus certainly did not bring an increasing of just government and peace to the world. On the contrary: Jesus states" give unto Caesars that which is Caesars and give to the Lord that which is the Lords". ( see (1) below)
2. 9:6 Jesus is often given the title "Prince of Peace". Many Christians assume this must mean a Prince of some sort of spiritual or moral peace in which all will be united through belief in Jesus as the saviour of the world. Well, much of church history, along with divisive exclusive doctrine and only Jesus preaching; condemning all nonbelievers of church doctrines as,"hell bound," can not hope to foster an atmosphere conducive to the nurturing growth of "peace on earth, good will to men". In line with this, Jesus also says," I came not to bring peace, but a sword," (see (2) below)
In this day, many long for world peace but instead, it is now a time of " wars and rumors of wars.
3. 9:5 The sentence," every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire. Was absolutely amazing! Certainly the foregoing describes battles in Jesus time; and up to nearly two thousand years later; but the change to "fuel and fire"? Currently, wars are faught by internal combustion engines fueled by fire. Mechanization has revolutionized warfare. Not until modern times has this been the case.
Given this, can the "child" or the "son" in the above scripture be seen as Jesus? I think not. Of course, that begs the question; what is the "son and :child"? what is the meaning? That is beyond the scope of this writing but, again, I do not see how these can mean Jesus.
(1) Mark 12:15 ,"bring me a penny, that I may see it. 12:1 And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar's. 12:17 And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him."
(2) (Matthew 10:34)," Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 10:35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law." 10:36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household."
John 5:18 New King James Version (NKJV) "Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God." How does claiming God as his father make one equal to God? It seems to me this has to do more with ancient Jewish tradition than a proof of Jesus being equal to God. Jesus responds by saying," (5:19) " I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does." This would seem to make clear, the Son is but a recipient of the Father's grace; not God incarnate.
2 Peter 1:1 New King James Version (NKJV) Greeting the Faithful "Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:"
Peter is simply writing a letter. His mentioned "our God and Savior Jesus Christ" certainly is not proof of Jesus as God. It reads rather as a greeting to those of a church who share a common philosophy of faith. There are many other letters, especially by Paul, who use greetings denoting the relationship between Jesus and the Father.
1 Thessalonians King James Bible 1:1 "Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. 1:2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father."
Here are two more letters. These are written by the Apostles John and Peter.
2 Corinthians King James Bible: "1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia: 1:2 Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ."
2 John King James Bible: "1:1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; 1:2 For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.1:3 Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love."
2 Peter King James Bible: "1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord."
The four letters above consistently address God first and Jesus second. Yet, it seems, in present day Churches, Jesus has been raised up to number one; as creator of the universe and judge of all. I would even venture to say, the name of Jesus is mentioned, in a majority of church services, far more often than God. Virtually all prayers end with some form of," in the name of Jesus". Is this what Jesus would have wished?
The seeming contradictions challenge one to look deeper; not just pick a favorite phrase and turn it into some inflexible sacrament or dogma.
These quotes from the Gospel of John, having to do with the essential relationship between Jesus, the Son of God and God the Father, will have highlighted numbers inserted. These numbers will serve as a reference for the section of interpretation that follows.
5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, (1) The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 5:20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
5:21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. 5:22 (2) For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: 5:23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, (3) He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
5:25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. 5:26 (4)For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 5:27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. 5:30 (5) I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." (King James Bible, John)
It would seem either the Son or God the Father has the power to give life (being born again) to anyone. With fairly equal power, they should both be honored equally. Yet, in other passages it is made clear Jesus can do nothing without the Father. Obviously, they cannot be equal.
12:44Jesus cried and said, (6) He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. 12:45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.12:47 And (7) if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
12:48 (8) He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. 12:49 (9) For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 12:50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak." (King James Bible, John)
Surely, these are complex issues. Who does the Judging; Jesus or God? Is Jesus equal to God or is he not? Maybe there is much more here than just these simplistic questions. Let us go over the statements Jesus makes point by point and attempt to arrive at some answers or concepts through which this puzzle of words may be resolved.
Below is a listing of principle attributes on the relationship between Jesus, the Son and God the Father. Original scripture passages used as reference can be found at the corresponding highlighted numbers above.
(1) - Jesus often states His total reliance on the Father. Following the Father is paramount.
(2) John 5:22 " For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: on the surface, appears to be a direct contradiction to (7) John 12:47 wherein Jesus ( the Son) explicitly says,:" I judge him not... I came not to judge the world". and (8) John 12:48 Where God the Father is apparently the sole Judge.
(3) - Again; believing in God is all important. In addition. the teachings of Jesus, the words he spoke, are of central importance; not the flesh and blood of his physical body.
(4) - God is self sustaining; the Creator. The Son (Jesus the Christ) was bequeathed life by the Father Creator. Hence, any authority the Son may have possessed was given unto the Son but the Father.
(5) - On his own, the son is powerless. All potency is gained by submission to the Will of the All-Wise Inscrutable God of Justice and Direction; the Most Great Educator.
(6) - To truly believe in Jesus is to believe in the One who sent him. Jesus' 1st Commandment is to love the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul; not himself!
(7) - According to this Bible passage, Jesus' mission was not to judge and condemn but, rather, to save the world.
(8) -The teachings of Jesus, spoken as bidden by the Father, will Judge.
(9) - This phrase contains the key to understanding what the relationship between Jesus of Nazareth, the Son-Christ Spirit of Truth, and Abba God is all about. Great confusion is seen everywhere among the churches as they read, study and continuously preach their ways of ascribing the words of the Christ anointed of God; His Son; as directed by the Divine; as being authored literally by the flesh and blood human named Jesus.
Meditate and ponder as the verses are read. It is often understood, Christ is not Jesus of Nazareth's last name. Might Jesus be seen more as a Lamp containing the Word of God rather than the Word itself? Is not Jesus Anointed of Christ? Surely one cannot anointed oneself.
John 8:58 New King James Version (NKJV) "Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” Remember Jesus saying "These words are not my own. I say only what the Father wishes me to say". (see John 12:49)
From this it can be understood the passage in John 8:58 is reporting what is said by the Father; not Jesus.
John 10:29-30 KJB "My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one."
This favorite verse," I and my Father are one," has become a Mantra for Christians used to prove God and Jesus are much and the same. Yet, can a spouse not say the same about a man and/or wife relationship? Can we not be "one in a relationship or "one" in agreement?
John 10:31-33 New King James Version (NKJV) "Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”
On the face of things it is easy to see how the Jews may have thought Jesus was blaspheming himself as God. However, in light of other scriptures, it bears repeating; Jesus was not speaking of himself but merely quoting the words of his Father in heaven.
John 14:6-7 New King James Version (NKJV) "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
Jesus is the lamp containing the light of the world. Jesus represents the only way to Truth for the people of his time. Also, as Jesus is indeed the only way, true knowledge of the Father comes through the teachings of Jesus himself, as bidden by the Christ anointed within; not through his Apostles or followers. For such doctrine, based on limited human misunderstanding, leads to waywardness and confusion.
John 14:9-11 New King James Version (NKJV) " Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves."
The above lessons are, in many ways, reiterated once again.
More on the nature of the Anointed Spirit of Truth.
Hebrews 1:8 -9 New King James Version (NKJV) "But to the Son He says: Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions."
Philippians 2:5-7 New King James Version (NKJV) "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men."
If Jesus were met on the street corner he would most assuredly look like a man. His innermost reality, as one anointed by the Spirit of Truth, is quite different.
1 Timothy 3:16 New King James Version (NKJV) "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God (who) was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory." Footnote: 1 Timothy 3:16 NU-Text reads Who.
Titus 2:1 New King James Version (NKJV) "looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ," (Paul is writing a letter to Titus.)
As noted; This writing is, once again, from the Apostle Paul. It seems, much church doctrine and ceremony is taken from the words of Paul; not Jesus. (Suffice it to say, Timothy was a student of Paul.)
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Many Christians believe that "God sacrificed His one and only Son as a ransom through which the sins of all who believe will be cleansed by the blood of the lamb". John 3:16 is often quoted as Biblical proof of Jesus being the physical begotten son of God. Looking at what is recorded from the teachings of Jesus himself is essential in attempting to understand the meanings behind "Son" and begotten". For more on this topic, go to "Searching the Son". click here.
Did Jesus literally atone for our sins through offering up his blood as a ransom payment on the cross? This pivotal church doctrine, lying at the heart of the belief paradigm of countless church-goers, is Biblically scrutinized.
Revelation 1:5 New King James Version (NKJV) "and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed [freed] us from our sins in His own blood, " Footnote: [a] Revelation 1:5 NU-Text reads loves us and freed; M-Text reads loves us and washed.
Just what does this verse really mean? "washed " and "freed", in common usage, are two very different words. Yet these two words are used in different translations in the same location of an ancient text.
Could the word "life" be just as easily inserted instead of "blood"? Remember, "blood" symbolized life in ancient Hebrew thinking. Also, Revelations is not directly quoting Jesus. This could just as easily be a form of some early church doctrine. Now, does not "freed in the life" sound better than "bathed or washed by the blood? One sounds so barbaric and bloodthirsty; the other, spiritually enlightening.
1 Peter 2:24 New King James Version (NKJV) "who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed."
Romans 5:8 New King James Version (NKJV) "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 King James Bible "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do."
1 Corinthians 15:3 King James Bible " For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"
The foregoing leads one to ask: Just what "scriptures" is Paul referring to in 1 Corinthians 15:3? Looking online, I found very little in this regard; just a lot of speculation and theory.
Note: Only writings of Paul and Peter, such as found in Romans,1st Thessalonians and 1st Peter, on a computer search " died for us " or "bore our sins", were the only Biblical references for Jesus dying for our sins. Other searches yielded passages from, at most, one or two other Apostles. Yet. how often do we hear this," died for our sins," Doctrine preached, with strongest conviction, from the church pulpit?
To build a whole foundational theology based on a few lines of scripture; not recorded as having been said by Jesus himself but, authored by only three or four of His twelve Apostles!
I guess Apostolic Tradition is really what much of this is all about. As for myself, I would rather focus as much as possible on the direct teachings of Jesus himself than on the Apostles who were his followers, or students of his followers, as Ordained by Church Bishops under an ancient emperor; All books of the Bible being selected and Canonized as authors of an inerrant Word of God. Yes, eyewitness accounts notwithstanding, there does seem to be a big difference between Jesus and the understanding of His Apostles; especially in later years as various church politics and doctrines come into play.
Bible references to Jesus saying." these words I speak are not my own," or," Did we not do miracles and prophecy in your name?" wherein Jesus replies," Get away from me Satan," along with," Coming in a New Name...or, as a thief in the night," etc. are conveniently dismissed.
I thought back to when Christians would tell me," Jesus had to die on the cross to fulfill the old Covenant of Moses". His death, as a sacrificial lamb, ended the need for future animal sacrifice. Jesus paid it all by his blood shed for us on the Cross of Calvary."
Again, I searched online to find scripture that supported or corroborated specifically this idea of an ancient Jewish Covenant being fulfilled by the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross.
What I found was...
Matthew 26:47 KJB "And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people... 26:50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus and took him... 26:53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? 26:54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? 26:55
In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me. 26:56 But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled. 26:57 And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. 26:58 But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end."
Galatians 3: 10-16 KJB 3:10 " For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them...
3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
3:15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.
3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ... 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed."
I read this primarily as meaning " Being bound by the letter of the law or outmoded practices, rituals, sacraments and thinking; or being subject to or stifled by ancestral traditions; is a curse. The Covenant of God with man is an ongoing relationship. Man does not change it but God, as the Father of his children, does.
Jesus is described as an immortal High Priest who, because he is immortal, is unchangeable. He is not obligated to perform the daily sacrifices for sins: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
The law of man ordains priests having infirmity. But the everlasting Word of the Oath, Ordains the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.
If He was of the earth, he should not fulfill the role of a priest as ordained by law and creed, who serve merely the shadow of heavenly things.
God will make a new Covenant with the House of Israel; but not according to the Old Covenant at the time of the Pharaohs. I will put My Laws into their minds and hearts: and I will be their God and they will be my people.
Here is the source describing Jesus as High Priest.
Hebrews 7:23 KJB "And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: 7:24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
7:26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 7:27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
7:28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.
8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; 8:2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. 8:3 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.
8:4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 8:9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 8:11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. (King James Bible, Hebrews)
Hebrews 7:26 does mention Christ "offering himself up" in lieu of earthly priests doing sacrifices and daily atonements for themselves and their people. But the language is vague. There is nothing about his dying on the cross as an atonement or as a ransom payment for sins. I see it as Jesus sacrificing himself to the Will of his Father. Jesus offered up his life to the Father, not his death. Remember, again, Blood was a symbol of life to the ancient Hebrews.
Another scripture(John 15:12-17 below) combines two of the study topics into a single verse.
(1) is also understood by many Christians as reinforcing the doctrine of "Jesus dying for your sins". As before, there is little to support this view. The writing is just too vague. All that is said here is," The greatest love entails complete sacrifice of ones own will in submission to the will of the beloved. There is nothing about a ransom death payment for sin.
(2) Simply mentions, yet again, the all important fundamental truth of Jesus' submission to Abba Father God; that Jesus says only what he has heard from the Father.
John 15:12 King James Bible "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that(1) a man lay down his life for his friends.15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; (2) for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you."
15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. 15:17These things I command you, that ye love one another."
"(Abdu'l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 123) adds this illuminating dimension to Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. "praise be to God, the world of existence does not culminate here. If this were so, existence itself would be sterile. There are many worlds of light. For even as the plant imagines life ends with itself and has no knowledge of our existence, so the materially-minded man has no knowledge of other worlds of consciousness.
But some there are who have found divine intelligence and have obtained spiritual understanding. They have the real sight. They know of the other worlds. That is why the prophets of God forfeited this world, renounced everything material and gave their hearts to the heavenly world. Were there nothing after death, Christ would not have accepted the cross; the prophets of all time would not have sacrificed their lives. They were in touch with the celestial world and they overlooked this transitory life. This is the fruit of the tree of creation - to be freed from the darkness of the planet in order to enter the worlds of light. This is the object of existence; this is the fruit of the tree of humanity."
Luke 5:36 - 6:5 KJB "And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. 5:37And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.
5:38 But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. 5:39 No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.
6:1 And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands. 6:2 And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days? 6:3 And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungered, and they which were with him; 6:4 How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the bread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone? 6:5 And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath."
Is not Jesus teaching that old laws and ways become obsolete and must be renewed; even as done by a new teaching, new law and a new name?
Acts 4:12 New King James Version (NKJV) "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
In spite of this popularized passage, written by Paul, there are other references for a promised new name.
This new name, written by Isaiah, might well refer to Jesus as it was written hundreds of years before the time of Christ. Regardless, this Old Testament scripture tells of the Lord coming in a new name. Obviously, this infers that the names denoting God DO change.
Different names for God are found in diverse cultures and languages the world over. Many names for God appear in the Bible as well. In the time of Abraham God was known as "El-Shaddai"; In Moses tome - "YHWH" (Yahweh); For Jesus The name "Father" or, in Aramaic, "Abba" was used in reference to the Almighty One.
Muhammad, some six to seven centuries after Christ, uses "Allah" as the only name for God: Al-ilah which means the God.
All of these Names for God (within a multitude of others); are mentioned, some even within the Bible itself! Yet, believers of each faith believe their own name for God is the only right and true vehicle favored by the Lord through which to address and worship.
Revelations 2:17 King James Bible "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it."
It seems, once again, hundreds of years after Isaiah; well after Jesus the Christ had appeared; another mention of a "new name" is revealed. Who is it this time?
And again in Revelations: Not only is a new name mentioned; but a new Jerusalem as well!
Revelations 3:12 King James Bible "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. 3:13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."
What Might be meant by the word "name"? Does it necessarily mean Jesus? There are many names for God in the Bible itself. Many more Names can be found in diverse faiths around the world. Question: Is one particular name of such importance; especially when promises of a New Name can be found in the Bible itself; different names both before and after the time of Jesus? Maybe the scriptural word "name" is being abused in modern times as a noun pertaining to a singular person, place or thing. Perhaps the word "name" may have a different usage; such as referring to an attribute, quality or distinction of one universal God. The reality of God never changes but names, as seen in many faiths, times and places, does.
For those who cling to ancestral names for God; in which names have become an idol in themselves and certain practices of faith an only road to salvation; the Bible has the following.
In various Bible scriptures the disciples ask Jesus privately about signs for the end times. Included are passages describing "when these things shall be fulfilled". A warning for the churches is also seen in the same scriptures.
13:5 "And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: 13:6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
13:7 And when ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet. 13:8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows...
13:21 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect ( KJ Bible Mark)
Might Mark 13: 6 and 13: 21-22 be referring to many present day priests and churches, who extol and worship Jesus' name as a substitution for God; even though Jesus himself makes it clear we are to worship ",our Father who art in Heaven," as directed in the Lord's Prayer?
Something to think about.