We could get into slinging around quotations from the early church "fathers". And we will see that often it depends on who you're quoting. And sometimes teachers were simultaneously charged with a bad teaching and the very opposite bad teaching.
I would rather refer to the Scriptures and what I know I have experienced. God was never real to me before I received the Lord Jesus Christ into my innermost being. I could talk about God. I could philosophies about God. I could debate about God. And I could grope on what was meant by "God" anyway. But I could not call "Abba Father, my own dear Father. Papa ! Abba Father" to God because I simply did not KNOW God.
In the journey of God imparting Himself into us the Holy Spirit is the last stage. He reaches us in our human spirit as the Third of the Triune God. What the Trinity IS can never be separated from what the Trinity DOES. And what He does is dispense God into man. We have to receive Jesus Christ.
The Spirit of Jesus coming into my spirit made God subjectively real to me. I am a part of that audience that Paul speaks to. And there the indwelling Christ is the indwelling Spirit of God.
This is an honest report in that you acknowledge the necessity of subjectivity. I believe God wanted it that way in order to give people the freedom to reject Him.
Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain " ~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.~Proverbs 28:26
Does J Vernon McGhee make sense in his attempt to deny Jesus taught reincarnatio
From his radio program, here is his exegesis.
quote: "and if you receive it this is Elijah which was for to come. He that hath ears to ear let him hear." Now what is it you are to hear? Well the spirit of God I think would make this clear to us. And will you listen very carefully here? The fact of the matter is that John the Baptist fulfilled the messenger that was to come in Malachi 3:1 but the question [is then] IF they had accepted Christ at that time [then it] had been promised that Elijah would come. Alright what about that? Our Lord said that this, if you will receive it, that is receive him, this is Elijah which was for to come.
I know somebody is going to say to me, "Well that means he would establish the kingdom immediately. Then that would mean that John the Baptist would have been Elijah." That's it exactly. Somebody then says, "Well how can that be?" And I have an answer for you: I don't know. I just know that's what Jesus said and do you know that he can do things that I can't explain and there are a lot of things God has done,is doing, going to do. I cant explain em but god says he's going to do em and I go along with the Lord on this -- that this would have been true. In other words this keeps this argument down [and from going on] today.
There are those who say, "Well it wasn't a sincere offer of the kingdom if he came and intended to go to the cross and die" Oh yes it was. Somebody says, "Well if they had accepted him [then what]? Well the interesting thing is they didn't and these iffy questions are no good anyway. People say, "If Adam and Eve had not sinned [then] what would it have been? I don't know because they sinned friend. That's an if question and these iffy questions are no good and these pose problems that don't exist and they're not problems that do exist without making some up.
Then his commentary fo Matthew 17:11-13
"...Elijah has come already and they knew him not but have done unto him whatsoever they listed, likewise shall also the son of man suffer of them." That has always raised a question, as you know, in the minds of a great many. What about this man? Was John the Baptist really Elijah? And the answer of course is no. When our Lord is saying this, you can't bring up an argument and say that he had to go to the cross - he had to die - for the simple reason that John the Baptist was not Elijah and Elijah has to come before he comes to establish his kingdom. Now I don't like iffy questions and we're not dealing with an iffy situation. This is the way it happened. Our Lord is saying this -- that if they would receive him as king [then] John the Baptist would be Elijah and again I say to you [if] you ask me how could that be [then I answer saying] I don't know. These are things God does friend. He does a lot of things and he hadn't let me in on [them] but he does them and this would have been one but it's an iffy question. It just didn't happen this way at all but the second time now our Lord says, "Likewise shall also the son of man suffer of them." Second time he's mentioned it. "Then his disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist."
His gymnastics aside , he said that the answer was "no" to John being Elijah.
That isn't what Jesus said.
Look at Oxford scholarship.
quote: The Oxford Bible Commentary
(ed) Barton and Muddiman
In vv. 7-15 Jesus ... makes five points. John is a prophet and more than a prophet (v. 9). He is the figure foretold by Mal 3:1 (so v. 10; cf. Ex 23:20). He is the greatest of those born among women. ...He is the turning point in salvation history ( vv. 12-13; the suffering of John and the saints after him belong to the time when the Kingdom is attacked by violent men). And he is Elijah (v. 14; cf. Mal 4:5-6 and John's resemblance to Elijah in Mt 3:4; the issue will come up again in 17:9-13
The verses deprive Jewish criticism ... [that] since Elijah has not yet come (cf. Mal 4:5), the eschatological scenario cannot be unfolding. Jesus counters that Elijah, in the person of the Baptist, has indeed come. (v. 12).
Then Oxford on the John 1:22 verse.
...vv. 22-3, in his self-presentation the Baptist quotes only Isa 40:3 and not Mal 3:1, unlike the Synoptics which identify him with Elijah.
Here is a conservative evangelical commentary on Mark 9:9-13
quote: The Expositors b Commentary with the New International Version
Walter W. Wessel
Apparently the disciples did not feel free to ask Jesus what he meant by his "rising from the dead" (v. 10) Instead they asked him about Elijah.
13 Jesus' statement about Elijah goes beyond that of the teacher of the law: not only must Elijah ...come, he already has come in the person of John the Baptist. Though John is not names here ,the reference to him is obvious.
Here is a scholar that wrote the massive 1074 page 1996 James book.
His credits on book flap.
quote: Robert Eisenman, coauthor of The Facsimile Edition of the Dead Sea Scrolls and The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered, is Professor of Middle East Religions and Archaeology and Director of the Institute for the Study of Judeo-Christian Origins at California State University, Long Beach; and Visiting Senior Member of Linacre College, Oxford University. The consultant to the Huntington Library in its decision to free the Scrolls, he was the leading figure in the worldwide campaign to gain access to the Scrolls. A National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, he was a Senior Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Postgraduate Hebrew Studies.
His comment and observation of Jesus' words.
quote: 1996 Viking 1074 pages
John 1:20-21 perhaps has it right when he pictures John the Baptist as denying being both the "Christ" (essentially a translation into Greek of the incarnated 'Adam' ideology) and the Ebionite 'True Prophet' - but then, of course, the synoptics portray John as the incarnated Elijah, which, according to John 1:21-2, he denies as well
Jesus said "is" which is present of "to be"
Back to Venon Mcghee and his use of "was God" in John 1
quote: ...the Johanine authorship today is received by competent and conservative Bible scholarship so there's no question about that. ...the Early Church Fathers all ascribed the 4th Gospel to John. Theophilos was Bishop of Antioch about 180 AD. Irenaeus lived about 190 AD. He was a pupil of Polycarp and Polycarp was a pupil of John himself. And then Clement of Alexandria over in Egypt 200 AD and the Muratorian Fragment says the 4th Gospel is by John. ...Now the date of this Gospel is rather important. Some suppose that it's the last book of the New testament to be written. It was written somewhere, of course, between 90 and 100 AD. ...written ...during the last 10 years of the life of the beloved apostle. ....
'Was' is known as a durative-imperfect ...it is continued action. ...the 3rd statement sets uss straight. "The word was God." This is a clear emphatic declaration. ...Do you want to get rid of the deity of Christ? My friends you cannot get rid of it. The first 3 statements in John's Gospel tie the thing down.
comment by McGhee on John 10:30
quote: he claimed to be God.
John comment by Venon McGhee (verse 10:33)
quote: Now there's one thing for sure. In that day those who heard it understood that he made himself God.
Does the fundamentalist McGhee make sense?
He is using special pleading and faulty exegesis that isn't even consistent with his other exegesis.
quote: p.183 That this line is also linked to the ‘redivivus’-ones, whether the ‘Zealot’-Priestly one stemming from Phineas and Elijah or the one the Synoptics suppose they are dealing with in portraying Elijah as reborn in John the Baptist, should also be clear. In turn, these lines are paralleled by the ‘Jewish Christian’/Ebionite/Elchasaite ‘Primal Adam’ or ‘Man’ – one in Pseudoclementine and Sabaean tradition described above. As Muhammad, another heir to this tradition – probably via ‘the Sabaeans’ (that is, ‘the Elchasaites’) either in Northern Syria or Southern Iraq or the Manichaeans descended from them – puts this in the Koran as we saw:
Behold, the likeness of Jesus with Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him of the dust. Then He said unto him: ‘Be!’ And he was (3:59).
Paul himself shows great familiarity with this doctrine – again in key passages of 1 Corinthians that follow his version of Jesus’ post-resurrection sequences connected to a first appearance to James43 – referring to it, as we also saw, as ‘the Primal’ or ‘First Man Adam’ or ‘the Second Man’/‘the Last Adam’(15:21 and 45–48) and his whole discussion of these matters precedes his delineation of the state man will enjoy after the Resurrection.