John 3:16, the Gospel in a nutshell

BJ Bear

Well-known member
Background: While reading a hardcopy of the JPS TANAKH it came to my attention that there was a prayer repeated at the close of some books. According to the preface, at the close of each of the twenty four books there is a prayer, "Hereby completed--praise to God, creator of the cosmos!"

"For God in this manner loved the world [cosmos], that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

In a plain reading of that passage world means world or cosmos means cosmos. This is made absolutely certain by the context, the witness of Moses.

Unlike the rest of the things found in the creation account, man was not spoken into existence. He was made from the dust of the earth, the creation, and God breathed life into him.

The incarnation is definite proof that God gave his Son for all men. People who deny that world means world, or mentally insert an adjective so that it is not inclusive of God's creation, which necessarily includes all men, are reading an alien context into the passage.

The connection: Like the sacrifice of the seventy plus one bulls, the prayer which closes the books is an additional clear indicator that the person and work of Christ is for and to all men.
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Super Member
Correct. Limited Atonement is one of the worst doctrines ever conceived.
Believing or not believing in limited atonement isn't a salvific issue, but I do think it is error. The Bible says that "God would have that ALL men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth." Paraphrasing a little.

WHO isn't included in "cosmos", that God so loved?

BJ Bear

Well-known member
Believing or not believing in limited atonement isn't a salvific issue, but I do think it is error.
That is above my pay grade, but out of context is out of context. Does it really make a difference whether a person says Jesus is a roast beef sandwich or if a person says Jesus is a myth?

John was proclaiming Christ through the law and the prophets to those familiar with the law and the prophets.


Well-known member
Great topic. I think there are three key things here.
One needs John 3:15 to understand John 3:16. God didnt love the world, God so loved the world to save it.
God's love is unconditional in that whilst we WERE sinners Christ DIED for us. Past tense.
God has made the way to salvation and life everlasting, for ALL, BUT through faith in Christ.