21 episodes

Discussion of biblical topics and texts that show that the God revealed in the Bible is One, and not a Trinity. Jesus, put to death and raised from the dead by God, is the Messiah (the Christ, the Anointed) of the One God.

One God Report William Schlegel, Preston Macy

    • Religion & Spirituality

Discussion of biblical topics and texts that show that the God revealed in the Bible is One, and not a Trinity. Jesus, put to death and raised from the dead by God, is the Messiah (the Christ, the Anointed) of the One God.

    21) Obstacles and Reactions to Faith in the One God of the Scriptures

    21) Obstacles and Reactions to Faith in the One God of the Scriptures

    In this episode we consider reasons why many Christians react negatively when hearing about faith in the One God of the Scriptures and in His human Messiah Jesus.

    We break down the reasons for these negative reactions into two main categories:

    1. Fear

    2. Pride

    After hearing this podcast we recommend this article for more analysis of peoples' reactions to faith in the One God revealed in Scripture:

    5 Cognitive Biases that Can Affect Our Theology

    https://onegodworship.com/5-cognitive-biases-that-can-affect-our-theology/

    • 34 min
    20) "And the Word was God": A Commentary on John 1:1c

    20) "And the Word was God": A Commentary on John 1:1c

    For many Christians this phrase “and the Word was God” is the main biblical evidence for the deity of Jesus Christ. But is it?

    There are many problems with the “deity of Christ” interpretation of John 1:1. I currently have a growing list of 12 major problems with the deity of Christ take on John 1:1. It will take a separate podcast to describe all those problems. In the current podcast we mention a couple.

    For instance:

    1. The deity of Christ claim breaks a main rule of biblical interpretation. That rule is: “we must interpret a less clear passage in light of clear passages”. The language in John 1:1 is concise and somewhat obscure. How could it be, after the author distinguished the Word from God in his previous statement, “the Word was with God”, that in the next breath he said “and the Word was God”?

    In so many other places in Scripture the person Jesus Christ is distinguished entirely from God, but the deity of Christ interpretation must ignore all these other Scriptures and claim that this statement, 1/3 of a verse in John 1:1, combined with another half a verse in John 1:14, is proof that Jesus is God and that God is more than one person. No other Old Testament prophet described such thing, no other Gospel writer made such a claim, but then, the writer of the Gospel of John comes along and says in a verse or two, “Surprise!  God is not really one person, he, or really they, are two.” Rather than break what Jesus called the greatest commandment, that “Yahweh your God is one” it would be much better to explore other possible meanings for “and the Word was God”.

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    2. Further, the deity of Christ interpretation of John 1:1 contradicts itself. Deity of Christ interpreters want to say that the word “Word”, Logos in the Greek of John 1:1, is the eternal second person of the Godhead, the “eternal Son”. And like John 1:1b says, the Word was with God means that the eternal Son was distinct from but at the same time with God the Father forever. Let’s see if John 1:1 makes sense by substituting eternal Son for “Word” in John 1:1.

    “In the beginning was the eternal Son, and the eternal Son was with the Father, and the eternal Son was the Father.” Even from a deity of Christ perspective, you can’t say that the eternal Son was the Father”.

    Another way to state this problem is, if the word for God, theos, in both John 1:1b and John 1:1c refer to the Father, then deity of Christ theology is wrong. And, we mention a couple very good reasons why the word “God” in John 1:1c “and the Word was God” refers to the Father.

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    3. Another problem with deity of Christ interpretation of John 1:1 that we mention is that it does not deal adequately with the past tense of John 1:1. Why did John say “and the Word wasGod.” If the Word is the eternal Son, the second person of a Trinity godhead, why didn’t John write “and the Word is God”? Was the Word only God in the past? Did the Word cease to be God?

    These are only samples of serious problems with the deity of Christ interpretation of John 1:1. We continue in the podcast by suggesting a couple other ways in which the phrase “and the Word was God” is better understood.

    To see fuller notes to this podcast click here.

    https://landandbible.blogspot.com/2020/07/and-word-was-god-commentary-on-john-11c.html

    • 37 min
    19) …and the Word was with God: A Commentary on John 1:1b

    19) …and the Word was with God: A Commentary on John 1:1b

    In this episode we continue a discussion interpreting the first verse of the Gospel of John. Today’s episode is called “… and the word was with God”, a Commentary on the Gospel of John 1:1b.

    We look at how the phrase “with God” is used in the Gospel of John and in other biblical literature to determine what the author meant by the phrase.

    Even though John 1:1 is a favorite proof text for Trinitarians, there is no Trinity described in John 1:1. The word or title “God” in John 1:1, does not mean the Trinity. In fact, nowhere in John’s Gospel does the word “God” mean a Trinity. This is very strange for the book that is often appealed to as the main text as evidence that God is a Trinity. “God” in the Gospel of John is never a Trinity.

    It will benefit the listener to know these two phrases in Greek. “with God” in Greek is pros ton theon. “with the Father” is pros ton patera.

    Rivers explains why the Greek preposition pros, which normally means “toward” is best understood and translated in John 1:1 as “with” – “and the word was with God.”

    A main point of our discussion is that the phrase “the Word was with God” refers to a human person, and not to either an abstract attribute, or to a 2nd deity along with God. The phrase occurs over 100 times in the Bible and in each case involves a person on earth relating to God in heaven.

    Another point Rivers makes is that pros ton theon is not the language that is used of something that is in God’s mind, like wisdom, that is then personified as “with God”. In other words, pros ton theon does not describe something or someone that is “within God”. The grammar of “personified wisdom” in Proverbs 8 and other literature (biblical and non-biblical) is different than what we have here in John 1.

    We suggest two options for understanding the phrase “and the word was with God”, and a third option that somewhat overlaps the first two.

    Rivers suggests seeing the phrase “and the word was with God” as resurrection or ascension text, parallel to John 1:18, which describes the unique one who “is in the bosom of the Father.” He refers to the occurrences of pros ton theon in the Gospel of John (13:1-3, 3; 14:6, 12, 28; 16:10, 17, 28; 20:17) which in each case describe the person of Jesus going “to the Father”.

    Bill suggests another possibility, focusing on the past tense of John 1:1b “the word was with God”. The author introduces his Gospel by declaring that in a parallel way to Moses, the one he describes in his Gospel, Jesus, was with God in a unique way. Jesus is directly compared to Moses in John 1:17. Jesus, like Moses, gained knowledge by being uniquely “with God”. How did Jesus get his great understanding? How did he know his unique calling as the Messiah? Like Moses, who was with God at the burning bush and on Mt. Sinai, the human Jesus was with God. Jesus said in John 8:38 “I speak of what I have seen with my Father”. In this interpretation, “the Word was with God” refers to the unique relationship Jesus had with God while he was on earth, before his death and resurrection.

    The two options mentioned above are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Indeed, the third option we suggest somewhat overlaps the previous two. We suggest John may have had in mind the mediatorial role that Jesus had and has, as a priest who is said to be in God’s presence, “with God”.

    The similar language in the First Epistle of John 1:1-3 shows that the eternal life which was with the Father is not an abstract idea, but is a description of the real human person, Jesus the Messiah, who the author saw, heard and touched.

    • 50 min
    18) Who, or What, is the Word of John 1:1?, Exegesis of John 1:1, Part 2, with Rivers O Feden

    18) Who, or What, is the Word of John 1:1?, Exegesis of John 1:1, Part 2, with Rivers O Feden

    Fuller written summary to this episode, click here.

    1. In this podcast we consider how to best understand what or who John meant in by the word “word” in the phrase: “In the beginning was the W/word”. The Greek word for “word” is logos. We will often refer to the word, “word” using this Greek term, logos.

    2. As with the phrase “in the beginning” the meaning of logos, “word” in John’s prologue is best understood and defined first and foremost by other uses of the same word in John’s Gospel. We shouldn’t ignore or dismiss how the author himself uses logos and go looking for its meaning in other extra-biblical literature.  Logos and in its various forms occur nearly 40 times in the Gospel of John, and in the vast majority of occurrences logos means: a word, a verbal expression, a statement, a teaching, a saying, something spoken.

    3. Jesus is the Logos in John’s Prologue because through and in Jesus, God is speaking. Jesus said more than once “And the word (logos) that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me”. John 1:18 states that no one has seen God, but the unique son who is in the bosom of the Father has explained Him”. Likewise, the author of Hebrews says that in these last days God has spoken by a son”, and Revelation 19:13 says the name by which Jesus is called is “the Word of God”.

    4. Rivers places a bit of a different emphasis on how Jesus is the logos, stating that in the Gospel of John, logos is primarily the verbal utterance or teaching of Jesus, that is, things that Jesus said during his public ministry, and that it is difficult to separate the verbal utterance from the speaker Jesus.

    5. We address the question: “If Jesus is the Logos of John’s Prologue, why isn’t he called the Logos again in John’s Gospel outside of the Prologue?

    6. We analyze how both deity of Christ theologians and One God believers who see John’s prologue as commentary on the Genesis creation have gone outside the Gospel of John to define what John’s logos means. Rivers outlines the steps that One God believers (so-called Biblical Unitarians) have taken in an attempt to make logos of John’s Gospel synonymous with personified wisdom of Proverbs 8 and other extra-biblical literature. It’s a fairly twisted path that Biblical Unitarians of this persuasion have had to take.

    9. The same kind of thing happened with “deity of Christ” interpretations of John 1:1, but from a different direction. “Deity of Christ” interpretations of logos in John 1 adapted into Christianity non-biblical, Greek philosophical ideas of what or who logos was. To some Greek philosophers the logos was some kind of a secondary or intermediary divine being. 2nd century Gentile church fathers, influenced heavily by Greek philosophy, jumped on these Hellenistic concepts of logos, and imposed these ideas on to their interpretation of John 1 by stating that the logos was a pre-existent divine figure who then “took on flesh” as Jesus.

    11.  The adaptions of the Greek logos ideas into Christianity in the centuries following Jesus did not originate in Jerusalem. The prophets say, “For out of Zion shall go the teaching, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” Rather, these church fathers’ ideas about the logos originated and developed in places like Athens Greece, Alexandria Egypt, and Cappadocia and Constantinople in modern Turkey.

    12. Contrary to claims that John’s definition of logos can be informed by Hellenized conceptions of the word, John have used logos as a polemic, that is, as a direct attack or contrast to Greek ideas.

    • 50 min
    17) In the beginning was, or, John 1:1 is not describing the Genesis Creation, Exegesis of John 1:1 (Part 1), with Rivers O Feden

    17) In the beginning was, or, John 1:1 is not describing the Genesis Creation, Exegesis of John 1:1 (Part 1), with Rivers O Feden

    Bill Schlegel with Rivers O Feden

    We begin an exegesis of the Prologue to the Gospel of John (John 1:1-18). In this podcast we give more evidence for why the Prologue should be understood as an introduction to the ministry of Jesus the Messiah, and not as a direct reference to the Genesis creation.

    Since "In the beginning" of John 1:1 is not a direct reference or commentary on the creation account of Genesis, "deity of Christ" and Trinitarian interpretations of John's introduction are wrong. 

    Written notes for this podcast can be found here.

    https://landandbible.blogspot.com/2020/06/in-beginning-was.html

    • 44 min
    16) The Gospel of John in the Historical Context of New Creation, and in New Testament Agreement

    16) The Gospel of John in the Historical Context of New Creation, and in New Testament Agreement

    In this podcast we take a closer look at the historical context in which 1st century readers of John’s Gospel would have understood this Gospel to be about a new beginning. 

    We will also see how other New Testament authors saw in Jesus a new beginning, the beginning of God’s new creation. 

    Finally, we will note one big problem with the typical “deity of Christ” interpretation of John 1:1.

    For full written text of this podcast click here.

    https://landandbible.blogspot.com/2020/05/the-gospel-of-john-historical-context.html

    Previous podcasts referred to in this podcast:

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    #7) "What about John 1:1?" (Part 2) - Jesus is the Beginning of God's New Creation 

    https://anchor.fm/onegodreport-podcast/episodes/7-What-about-John-11--Part-2---Jesus-is-the-Beginning-of-Gods-New-Creation-eaqlk5

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    15) More New Creation in the Gospel of John: Why John's Prologue Should be Interpreted in the Context of New Creation

    https://anchor.fm/onegodreport-podcast/episodes/15-More-New-Creation-in-the-Gospel-of-John-Why-Johns-Prologue-Should-be-Interpreted-in-the-Context-of-New-Creation-edv8kr

    • 36 min

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