Hey NWT translators, you missed a verse

If you’re familiar with the New World Translation (the translation used by the Kingdom Hall of “Jehovah’s Witnesses”) at all, you’re probably most familiar with their translation of John 1:1 which reads, “In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” (NWT)

In case you’ve never noticed that particular rendition, it’s a big difference from any other commonly referred to translation which gives a capital “G” to the final Greek word “theos” in the sentence.

It is a most pitiful translation because it changes one’s theology dramatically in a detrimental way. And the theological position that it happens to change is a key doctrine to the Kingdom Hall creed.

But did you know that the NWT translators missed a verse in John’s gospel that stands firm as a witness to the true identity of Jesus’ deity? It’s found in Continue reading

#deity-of-christ, #gospel-according-to-john, #jehovahs-witnesses, #mistranslations

Why I love the gospel according to John

I love the gospel according to John. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying anything remotely negative about the synoptics; but John’s gospel is raw truth for a spiritually cooked world.

John set the religious world straight in the first-century when it came to who Jesus was, and it’s something that his letter still does to this day. It amazes me how the succinctness of his writings on the only begotten Son of God, who came to be the sinless Lamb of God, can correct pages, and even centuries, of religious error and confusion in only one, two or three verses.

For example, I read a comment the other day that tried to paint Jesus as someone who sinned because he was tempted by Satan in the wilderness. Their line of thought was that since God cannot be tempted to do evil, and Jesus was tempted to do evil in various ways while in the wilderness, it must therefore mean that Jesus was not God-in-the-flesh due to his temptation, and that Jesus actually sinned by being tempted in-and-of-itself. Besides the fact that Hebrews 4:14-16 teaches that Jesus was tempted, without actually giving into those weaknesses and sinning himself in order that he might be our compassionate high-priest who is able to identify with the weaknesses that we struggle with, thanks to John’s gospel we know that it was Jesus himself who challenged his accusers (people who were angry that Jesus claimed that God was his father) to convict him of sin if they could (John 8:46). It was a challenge that went unanswered! All it takes is one verse from John’s gospel to settle whether or not Jesus was a sinner and capable of being offered for our sin as the sinless Lamb of God.

I also saw another comment/article the other day that tried to disprove the Deity of Jesus based upon an observation that presented several scriptures that refer to God as the sole creator of the universe, the earth and everything that is contained within each of them. To further their point, they even referred to the scriptures where Jesus himself made reference to God as the creator of man and woman in the beginning without making any reference to himself. These points would be fine and well if it weren’t for what the rest of the scriptures teach on the subject. Case in point, there’s a couple of verses in John’s gospel that just so happen to mention that Jesus (the Word) was at the beginning and that nothing that was made without him (John 1:1-3). So again, all it takes is a couple of verses from John’s gospel to settle the issue.

John’s gospel was written for a time when a lot of people were questioning just who Jesus was…a time that’s a lot like today, and that’s why I love his letter that teaches people about the good news of Jesus Christ!

This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.” (John 21:24-25)

#gospel-according-to-john, #jesus, #religion, #settling-questions-about-jesus

Bare-bones outline for John 9:8-28

There are times when people are going to refuse to believe no matter what they see or hear about Jesus, and John 9:8-28 is testament to it!

  • Skeptics won’t believe their eyes no matter what kind of change they see in others – John 9:8-12
  • Deniers won’t believe their ears no matter what they’re told about Jesus – John 9:13-23
  • Plain old unbelievers won’t learn no matter what – John 9:24-28

But just because other people refuse to believe in the truth of Jesus with their eyes, ears and mind, that doesn’t mean we can’t believe in him – and if we keep our eyes open for him, then one day, like the former blind man of John 9, we’ll see the Light of the world who opened our eyes for our self.

#bare-bones-outline, #gospel-according-to-john, #sermon-outline, #unbelief

A Line Has Been Drawn

And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” (John 3:19-29)

When Jesus said“this is the condemnation” the Bible uses the Greek word “krisis” (kree-sis). Krisis means that a separating, a sundering, a trial or a selection has taken place. You can hear our English word “crisis” in that. The technical meaning (which is important because we often only think of it emotionally) of crisis according to Webster is, “a turning point in the course of anything; decisive or crucial time, stage, or event.” Sound similar to you?

In the context, Jesus is telling Nicodemus that a “krisis” has come – a point in time had come that was separating or drawing a line between the righteous and the wicked, and it’s not turning back.

Why is this so important for Nicodemus to hear? Because the Pharisees (a group of whom Nicodemus was a member) had chosen their own works in place of God’s works. They had rejected John’s message and baptism! And to whom did John’s message and baptism point toward? The very Light that was being used to draw the line between the wrong and the right:

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.” (John 1:6-9)

To reject John was to reject Jesus, to reject Jesus was to reject God, and to reject God was truly a “krisis” in one’s life that would have great consequences!

Jesus is God’s dividing line, not because Christianity says so, but because God says so. So what side of the line are we going to stand on?

#christianity, #god, #gospel-according-to-john, #john-the-baptist, #light, #nicodemus, #pharisee

Sermon Outline for John 1:1-13

Here’s a bare bones sermon outline but there’s plenty of room for you to add the meat that’s missing. I may see if I can upload the sermon I did with it here in TFR, I don’t know. Any who, here you go:

Title: The “Beginning” of John’s Gospel

John 1:1-5: The Genesis of Genesis

John 1:6-9: The Genesis of John

John 1:10-13: The Genesis of Rejecting Jesus

Preach the word!

#gospel-according-to-john, #jesus, #john, #sermon-outline, #unbelief

Don’t Miss the Power

And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.” (John 21:25 – NKJV)

Were a thousand more books written only a thousand more accusations and doubts would they bring…if one refuses to believe what we have then a thousand more would do not different.

And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:30-31 – NKJV)

A thousand books could do no more than the one we hold in our hands…if only we realize the power that it contains.

#belief, #bible, #gospel-according-to-john, #jesus, #salvation

Who is this Son of Man?

And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” This He said, signifying by what death He would die. The people answered Him, “We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”” (John 12:32-34 – NKJV)

Who is this Son of Man? That’s still a question that gets asked today! Being the Son of Man was a limitation in the flesh that Jesus willing accepted for our benefit (John 1:1, 14). He experienced life. He experienced the elements, hunger, thirst, pain, sadness, weariness, joy, friendship, love and all the other experiences that come with being human,  but make no mistake – this Son of Man was much than a just a Man.

This Son of Man was and is…

The Great I Am: “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58)

The Bread of Life: “Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)

The Light of the World: “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

The Gate leading to Salvation: “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” (John 10:9)

The Shepherd of God’s people: “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)

The Resurrection and the Life: “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:” (John 11:25)

The Way, Truth and Life: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)

The True Vine: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.” (John 15:1)

The apostle John answered the question that was asked of Jesus throughout his entire letter. Jesus was the Son of Man, but His own words prove Him to be much more than just a son of man.

The question that remains is, “Are we going to believe the answer Jesus gave anymore than the people who asked it to begin with?” Jesus wants to know! After all, it was Jesus who asked His disciples (including the apostle John), “…Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am?” (Matthew 16:13) What’s your answer? Click here if you don’t know the answer Jesus’ disciples gave.

#gospel-according-to-john, #jesus, #names-and-titles-of-jesus-in-the-new-testament, #son-of-man