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Jesus Isn't the Father: A Look at Three Passages

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  • Jesus Isn't the Father: A Look at Three Passages

    Oneness Pentecostals have attempted to marshal evidence that "Jesus is the Father" by appealing to only a handful of biblical texts. The classic text Oneness adherents point to is Isaiah 9:6. I have written on this text at length elsewhere, demonstrating that the phrase "eternal father" (Heb. avi ab) no more identifies the Messiah as God the Father than say, the biblical names Abijam ("father of light") or Abigail ("father of joy"). Rather, the appellation "father of eternity" is intended to characterize the Son of God as having something Oneness Pentecostals deny, namely, an eternal existence.

    The second most utilized of these "Jesus is the Father" texts is John 14:6-18. The difficulty Oneness adherents face with this text is twofold: First, in order to understand this passage to teach that Jesus is the Father, one would have to atomize the text and divorce it from the balance of the NT. Take for instance the parable of the wicked tenants in Luke 20:9-18; Matt. 21:33-46; Mark 12:1-12. In this parable Jesus depicts himself as one who is numerically and personally distinct both in terms of his sending and death. Second, in order to derive the notion that "Jesus is the Father" from John 14, one would have to omit those many portions of the chapter which explicitly depict Jesus as being personally distinct from the Father. For example, in v. 2 Jesus states that he will go and prepare a place for his disciples at his Father's house, in v. 12 Jesus states again that he is going to his Father, in v. 13 Jesus states that the Father will be glorified in the Son, and in v. 16 Jesus states that he will ask the Father for another helper, namely, the precious Holy Spirit. How then do orthodox interpreters understand statements like, "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father" (v. 9)? Historically, Christians have understood this text to indicate the fact that Jesus is the perfect and final Revealer of God. This is why John characterizes the Son as God the Word. So too, this is precisely the same reason why the author of Hebrews depicts the Son as God as the perfect revelation of God to man and the exact imprint of the Father's nature. Hence, a consistent interpretation of John 14 indicates that Philip needed no other revelation of the Father since Jesus is the co-equal God who makes the Father known.

    The other main passage utilized by Oneness adherents is 1 John 3:1-5. V. 2 states, "Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is." Similarly, v. 5 states, "You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin." Oneness interpreters argue that because the immediate antecedent is God the Father (vv. 1-2), this subsequently implies that the Father (i.e., Jesus) appeared to take away sins. However, the means by which one determines the subject of a pronoun is are the pronoun's antecedent or postcedent. The pronoun in 3:2 is linked topically and contextually to the pronouns in 2:28-29:
    And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. (italics added)
    That the subject of 2:28-29 is Jesus the Son is clear since v. 18 begins a section on antichrists and those who deny Jesus Christ and by implication, deny the Father. The verb phaneroō occurs nine times in this epistle and every single time it refers to the Son (1 John 1:2; 2:19; 2:28; 3:2; 3:5; 3:8; 4:9). (Additionally, the statement in v. 25, “And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life” undoubtedly refers to the many places wherein Jesus promised eternal life to those who believed in both himself and the one who sent him. Moreover, while the Son of God is the indirect antecedent in chapter 2, and he is the immediate postcedent in v. 8. In v. 8 phaneroō is again applied to the Son. Thus, a more consistent reading recognizes that John did not imply that Jesus is the Father, but that John assumed his readers would know better than to conflate the identity of the Father and Son.

    In conclusion, the few NT passages Oneness Pentecostals call upon to demonstrate that "Jesus is the Father" demonstrate only a flawed hermeneutic. The only exegetical method which affords the Oneness reading of these texts is the one which presupposes Oneness Pentecostalism from the outset.
    Trinitarian Apologist - Evangelical Contrarian
    B.S. Theology and Bible, Master of Biblical Studies (NT)

  • #2
    The One True Almighty God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit= The One True Almighty God!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Isaiah said his name shall be called "the everlasting Father" not that the baby is the Father.

      Jesus explained this in John 14, when saying "he that has seen me has seen the Father".

      He went on to say the Father was in him.

      He housed his God, which made him the express image of his invisible God.

      So, Isaiah 9:6 speaks in 2 tenses...


      6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:


      Present tense.




      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.


      Future tense.



      The full indwelling of the baby/son(Col 2:9) caused Jesus, the express image of his God, to become God.....after he resurrected, not before.

      Comment


      • #4
        Jesus was,is and will be for all eternity The Great I AM!!! =God PTL.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by GISMYS View Post
          Jesus was,is and will be for all eternity The Great I AM!!! =God PTL.
          Even when he was a microscopic sperm cell mating with Mary's egg to be made the son of man?

          Comment


          • #6
            Yes!! God =Jesus lived on earth 33 years as a 100% man.
            Philippians 2:6

            6 Jesus==Who, being in very nature God,
            did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
            7 rather, he made himself nothing
            by taking the very nature of a servant,
            being made in human likeness.
            8 And being found in appearance as a man,
            he humbled himself
            by becoming obedient to death
            even death on a cross!


            I chose to believe God's Word that Jesus is God!!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by GISMYS View Post
              Yes!! God =Jesus lived on earth 33 years as a 100% man.
              Philippians 2:6

              6 Jesus==Who, being in very nature God,
              did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
              7 rather, he made himself nothing
              by taking the very nature of a servant,
              being made in human likeness.
              8 And being found in appearance as a man,
              he humbled himself
              by becoming obedient to death
              even death on a cross!


              I chose to believe God's Word that Jesus is God!!!
              Sure Jesus is God, but not a God that died on a cross, but a man that God entirely and fully indwelled, bodily, which made him God by default.

              Comment


              • #8
                Just responding to your title...Of course the Word is not the Father...The soul gives birth to the Word, and the Spirit gives life to the Word...It would be absurd to claim that the Word gives birth to the Soul...The Father Who Wills speaks the Word as He wills, and then breathes life into His "Let Us..." and we become living souls.
                Pete

                ~(8-[)}<><===> (flames of new anointing, béret, non-prescription glasses to help critics and their ilk feel more secure, mustache, beard...and tie.) I serve a God who walked this earth, for thirty years before He did a single miracle.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tbeachhead View Post
                  Just responding to your title...Of course the Word is not the Father...The soul gives birth to the Word, and the Spirit gives life to the Word...It would be absurd to claim that the Word gives birth to the Soul...The Father Who Wills speaks the Word as He wills, and then breathes life into His "Let Us..." and we become living souls.
                  Jesus was,is and will be for all eternity The Great I AM!!! =God PTL.
                  Read "All" of God's Word and learn!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Michael View Post
                    Oneness Pentecostals have attempted to marshal evidence that "Jesus is the Father" ...

                    In conclusion, the few NT passages Oneness Pentecostals call upon to demonstrate that "Jesus is the Father" demonstrate only a flawed hermeneutic. The only exegetical method which affords the Oneness reading of these texts is the one which presupposes Oneness Pentecostalism from the outset.
                    Hi Michael, some Oneness, like myself, will observe the difference between Father, Son, and Spirit as being different titles describing different manifestations of God. As for the name of Jesus, the texts that are most convincing to me that Jesus is the name of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit is Matthew 28:19 and Acts 2:28.
                    When I read the title of this thread. I think you might be conflating the name of Jesus and one of the descriptive titles of God: ie: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.



                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mizpeh View Post

                      Hi Michael, some Oneness, like myself, will observe the difference between Father, Son, and Spirit as being different titles describing different manifestations of God. As for the name of Jesus, the texts that are most convincing to me that Jesus is the name of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit is Matthew 28:19 and Acts 2:28.
                      When I read the title of this thread. I think you might be conflating the name of Jesus and one of the descriptive titles of God: ie: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


                      You mean Acts 2:38, right?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by forever4truth View Post

                        You mean Acts 2:38, right?
                        Yes, thank you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Michael View Post
                          Oneness Pentecostals have attempted to marshal evidence that "Jesus is the Father" by appealing to only a handful of biblical texts. The classic text Oneness adherents point to is Isaiah 9:6. I have written on this text at length elsewhere, demonstrating that the phrase "eternal father" (Heb. avi ab) no more identifies the Messiah as God the Father than say, the biblical names Abijam ("father of light") or Abigail ("father of joy"). Rather, the appellation "father of eternity" is intended to characterize the Son of God as having something Oneness Pentecostals deny, namely, an eternal existence.

                          The second most utilized of these "Jesus is the Father" texts is John 14:6-18. The difficulty Oneness adherents face with this text is twofold: First, in order to understand this passage to teach that Jesus is the Father, one would have to atomize the text and divorce it from the balance of the NT. Take for instance the parable of the wicked tenants in Luke 20:9-18; Matt. 21:33-46; Mark 12:1-12. In this parable Jesus depicts himself as one who is numerically and personally distinct both in terms of his sending and death. Second, in order to derive the notion that "Jesus is the Father" from John 14, one would have to omit those many portions of the chapter which explicitly depict Jesus as being personally distinct from the Father. For example, in v. 2 Jesus states that he will go and prepare a place for his disciples at his Father's house, in v. 12 Jesus states again that he is going to his Father, in v. 13 Jesus states that the Father will be glorified in the Son, and in v. 16 Jesus states that he will ask the Father for another helper, namely, the precious Holy Spirit. How then do orthodox interpreters understand statements like, "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father" (v. 9)? Historically, Christians have understood this text to indicate the fact that Jesus is the perfect and final Revealer of God. This is why John characterizes the Son as God the Word. So too, this is precisely the same reason why the author of Hebrews depicts the Son as God as the perfect revelation of God to man and the exact imprint of the Father's nature. Hence, a consistent interpretation of John 14 indicates that Philip needed no other revelation of the Father since Jesus is the co-equal God who makes the Father known.

                          The other main passage utilized by Oneness adherents is 1 John 3:1-5. V. 2 states, "Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is." Similarly, v. 5 states, "You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin." Oneness interpreters argue that because the immediate antecedent is God the Father (vv. 1-2), this subsequently implies that the Father (i.e., Jesus) appeared to take away sins. However, the means by which one determines the subject of a pronoun is are the pronoun's antecedent or postcedent. The pronoun in 3:2 is linked topically and contextually to the pronouns in 2:28-29:
                          And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. (italics added)
                          That the subject of 2:28-29 is Jesus the Son is clear since v. 18 begins a section on antichrists and those who deny Jesus Christ and by implication, deny the Father. The verb phaneroō occurs nine times in this epistle and every single time it refers to the Son (1 John 1:2; 2:19; 2:28; 3:2; 3:5; 3:8; 4:9). (Additionally, the statement in v. 25, “And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life” undoubtedly refers to the many places wherein Jesus promised eternal life to those who believed in both himself and the one who sent him. Moreover, while the Son of God is the indirect antecedent in chapter 2, and he is the immediate postcedent in v. 8. In v. 8 phaneroō is again applied to the Son. Thus, a more consistent reading recognizes that John did not imply that Jesus is the Father, but that John assumed his readers would know better than to conflate the identity of the Father and Son.

                          In conclusion, the few NT passages Oneness Pentecostals call upon to demonstrate that "Jesus is the Father" demonstrate only a flawed hermeneutic. The only exegetical method which affords the Oneness reading of these texts is the one which presupposes Oneness Pentecostalism from the outset.
                          What an excellent OP, and you are quite right about 1 John 2:29. Jesus is the referent, and since the believer is born of Jesus but everywhere else born of God [The Father], this is therefore a narrative conflation. "Conflation" is a similar, but not identical phenomenon to "equation." I have indexed 114 biblical conflations thus far between The Father and The Son, The Son and The Spirit, and other aspects of God. The way I read your OP, I think what you meant is that John's readers would not equate the identities of The Father and The Son.
                          Inactive, except to upload and bump.
                          I wiped my slate clean and followed only biblical data to see if Unitarianism was true. After 40 weeks, I knew it couldn't be.
                          After 5 years, very few could even interact with the exegeses, so I am moving on.

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