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Author Topic:   What is the Meaning of John 3:16?
Phat
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Posts: 10224
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 1 of 156 (191395)
03-14-2005 6:10 AM


Jar wanted me to start this one.

Lets discuss the meaning and misinterpretations, if any, that surround the most famous scripture in the Bible: John 3:16
HERE ARE SEVERAL TRANSLATIONS:

NIV writes:

John 3:16-18= "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.


KJV writes:

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.


American Standard writes:

John 3:16= For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.


TheMessage writes:

"This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.

To me, this basically means that God-understood by me as the monotheistic Creator of the Universe, loved all of humanity so much that He allowed His Son(Same Spirit, made flesh) to take on all of our faults, hangups, and shortcomings so that
whosoever believes in Him will not spiritually whither and die.
What do you think, Jar?

Whosoever means who so chooses. All were called but all have yet to choose. Many are called but few are chosen. Meaning, to me at least, that all are called, yet it is foreknown that all do not respond.

Edited by Phat, : Fixed quote


"All that we call human history--money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery--[is] the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy."--C.S.Lewis
* * * * * * * * * *
“The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.”--General Omar Bradley
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"The free man owns himself. He can damage himself with either eating or drinking; he can ruin himself with gambling. If he does he is certainly a damn fool, and he might possibly be a damned soul; but if he may not, he is not a free man any more than a dog." -GK Chesterson

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AdminJar
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Message 2 of 156 (191505)
03-14-2005 4:14 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
jar
Member
Posts: 29749
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 3 of 156 (191508)
03-14-2005 4:22 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
03-14-2005 6:10 AM


Can we all agree that John 3:16 is often quoted and that, like the proverbial Burma Shave signs, is ubiquitous?


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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Dan Carroll 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2177 days)
Posts: 2904
From: Chicago, IL, USA
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 4 of 156 (191513)
03-14-2005 4:51 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
03-14-2005 6:10 AM


And the Lord said, "Go, Sox".


"Creationists make it sound as though a theory is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night."
-Isaac Asimov
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Phat
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Posts: 10224
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 5 of 156 (191520)
03-14-2005 6:00 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by jar
03-14-2005 4:22 PM


jar writes:

Can we all agree that John 3:16 is often quoted and that, like the proverbial Burma Shave signs, is ubiquitous?


Sure. One guy even holds it up on national TV at football games.
Not sure why, though. If football is so evil, why is HE at the game?
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trent13
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 156 (191531)
03-14-2005 6:45 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
03-14-2005 6:10 AM


This is an interesting thread to start, I like it. I know that there are many translations of the bible, the one most in line with the original translation is the Douay-Rheims version (which I don't have on hand right here) but, I agree with what you say, Christ acts as the scapegoat for man's sin, but only if we avail ourselves of His offering, by recognizing it and living our lives accordingly. God loves Himself most of all; since Our Lord is as the same time the Father, it is by Christ's image in us that the Father loves us despite our infinte offences to Him - thus St. Paul says that it is not me who speaks, but Christ in me. Very consuming subject matter, thank you.
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jar
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Posts: 29749
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 7 of 156 (191533)
03-14-2005 6:52 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Phat
03-14-2005 6:00 PM


Okay. You'll have to be somewhat patient with me. I was at a party and John sent Bill to go buy beer for everyone that liked him. It was a long, long evening.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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Monk
Member (Idle past 1535 days)
Posts: 782
From: Kansas, USA
Joined: 02-25-2005


Message 8 of 156 (191547)
03-14-2005 7:45 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
03-14-2005 6:10 AM


NIV writes:


John 3:16-18= "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

I agree that this passage indicates Gods love for all humanity and that He does seek to give everyone a chance at eternal life. The term whoever or whosoever would indicate this in my opinion. In other words, the chance for eternal life is not limited to a select few but is open to all. However, what humanity does with that opportunity, through the exercise of free will, is an entirely different matter.

...that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

I find it interesting to note the term shall not in the NIV version, compared to should not in the others. A more obvious distinction is found in the New American Bible where it is translated might not.

The more liberal protestant denominations would conclude the use of shall not as being a definitive statement. The interpretation being that as long as there is faith, then salvation is assured. Nothing else is required. Denominations that tend to be more orthodox would adhere to the use of should or might. With this interpretation, it seems the door is open to conclude that faith alone is not sufficient for salvation.

The last sentence is one that I find troubling and is basically the same in all versions. I interpret it to mean that unless there is belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, then there is condemnation. This, in one sentence, is why many other religions consider Christianity to be egotistically exclusive.

Are there other interpretations? I believe there are. One could examine the word condemnation and view it as the Greek root of the word which would imply judgment and not necessarily as criticism or pronouncement of guilt. In that case, those who do not accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God will be judged. How will they be judged and when? Im not sure, thats Gods business.

So what about the uninformed, those who lived and died in this world never hearing anything about Christianity and Jesus Christ. It doesnt seem fair to condemn these people. I dont believe a righteous God would condemn them, but they would still be judged by Jesus Christ and I believe there are hints in Scripture that address this.

(NIV) Romans 2:14-16 (14)Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, (15)since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them. (16)This will take place on the day when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

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purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1068 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 9 of 156 (191550)
03-14-2005 7:59 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by trent13
03-14-2005 6:45 PM


Scapegoat
quote:
Christ acts as the scapegoat for man's sin
Where do you read scapegoat or anything like it in John 3:16 or the surrounding dialog? Nothing I read in this dialog clearly states that Jesus was to take on any of our faults or sins.


"The average man does not know what to do with this life, yet wants another one which lasts forever." --Anatole France
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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 344 days)
Posts: 9068
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 10 of 156 (191579)
03-14-2005 11:32 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by trent13
03-14-2005 6:45 PM


since purple caught it first.
an additional point:

Christ acts as the scapegoat for man's sin

the bible is so ingrained in our society that people fail to realize when the say something of biblical origin. in this case, the word "scapegoat."

scapegoat comes from leviticus chapter 16, in the kjv. it's poor translation of a proper name: azazel.

azazel is another heavenly entity. he's one of two things: the only foriegn god the israelites are commanded to sacrifice to, or the only angel named in the torah. in enoch's watchers, azazel is the angelic being that teaches man to make war on the nephilim. he and his rebel angels (200 i think) are cast down by god for this sin, into the pit of hell. azazel is one of the origins of the modern christian satan story.

but one thing is certain from the biblical text: he is the personage that the people are to sacrifice TO and not the sacrifice.

so, no, christ would not be a "scapegoat"


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jar
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Posts: 29749
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 11 of 156 (191581)
03-14-2005 11:35 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by arachnophilia
03-14-2005 11:32 PM


Re: since purple caught it first.
LOL

Afterall, if given a choice it's always better to be the scapegoat anyway.

LOL


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 344 days)
Posts: 9068
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 12 of 156 (191584)
03-14-2005 11:41 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
03-14-2005 6:10 AM


john is not making sense. the lord cannot have only one begotten son.

quote:
Gen 6:2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they [were] fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

quote:
Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

quote:
Psa 2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, "Thou [art] my Son; this day have I begotten thee."

note that last one. it's first person, and not written by jesus. and here "begotten" can't mean actually fathered by god. it's talking about a king being set up on the mountain of god, and MADE into the son of god. it's a coronation.

"son of god" it turns out is what the ancient hebrews called all their kings. david was the son of god. so calling jesus "the son of god" is calling him king. but the only king? sure, figuratively i guess. but there were other kings.

now, about the genesis and job verses... i'm starting to think they might just mean kings, and this whole angel/foriegn god business is all later interpretations.


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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 344 days)
Posts: 9068
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 13 of 156 (191586)
03-14-2005 11:44 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by jar
03-14-2005 11:35 PM


Re: since purple caught it first.
glad you liked that jar. :)

i do enjoy debunking the occasional common misunderstanding, and showing that the bible is actually a really interesting and influential book, whether or not you like or believe it.


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jar
Member
Posts: 29749
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 14 of 156 (191588)
03-14-2005 11:48 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by arachnophilia
03-14-2005 11:41 PM


All of that is outside this topic. Here all we're trying to do is figure out what John 3 (and some other day we'll try get to the possible relevance of John itself). We're starting with John 3:16 since I believe it is so totally and consistently misunderstood, misused and misapplied. I gave one hint in Message 7 that may help explain what I believe is one of the biggest problems.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 344 days)
Posts: 9068
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 15 of 156 (191591)
03-14-2005 11:55 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by jar
03-14-2005 11:48 PM


i'm confused.
what are you getting at? (out with it!)

i'll ponder for a while what i think john is talking about in chapter 3. i haven't really paid much thought because i don't like john.

This message has been edited by Arachnophilia, 03-14-2005 11:55 PM


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