Reflection on the Word

If you want orientation re The Gospel of John see my Introduction.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

For many years I just took this for granted; the Word meant Christ. In a recent return to naturalistic theology, I had to question it. Just what does it mean?

The first thing that comes to mind is that it displays a departure from pure Hebraic thought to Greek thought.

You can also see it as an editorialization of Gen. 1., or a supplement.

We’re led to believe that John was written late, and that it reflects the situation and circumstances of the community at Ephesus or for whomever John wrote.

Then there’s the matter of my mood, my level of consciousness, etc. It tells me I will believe and understand various things at various times.

I try to penetrate all this data to reach a truth. I’m led like the blind man in chapter 9, to conclude that “Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see..”

So I finally arrive at the need to ask God, what am I supposed to do with and/or about this verse?

Lord, enlighten my mind and spirit.

Christ, are you God? I recall his statement to the young ruler (none good, but God). and his statement: Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things that I say.

And “8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Also “John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. ”

My awareness of Word, Christ, God is deeply influenced by what I do– about him, for him, to him.

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4 responses

  1. I’ll need to look at that intro more thoroughly. But it looks pretty good.My only qualm is the notion that John is more metaphorical and mythopoetic than the synoptics. I think the synoptics are equally mythopoetic — its just the metaphors are less overt. They are far from simple histories — they are narrative theologies.

  2. Larry,I’m curious if there is a difference for you between “God”, and “of God”. You ask, in a heartfelt way, “Christ, are you God?” But you are not asking, “Christ, are you of God?” Where does God begin and end?Also, this is curious: you write: “My awareness of Word, Christ, God is deeply influenced by what I do– about him, for him, to him.” In each, WOrd, Christ, and God, you reference ‘him’. Are each the same? Just poking a little, my Friend, maybe to find some some clarity for both of us.M

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  4. Meredith wrote: “I’m curious if there is a difference for you between “God”, and “of God”. You ask, in a heartfelt way, “Christ, are you God?” But you are not asking, “Christ, are you of God?”” Well for me he is of God. But I am trying to pose poetically the age old question re the Trinity. Personally I am not a trinitarian, but I’m not sure it makes a lot of difference, especially if we see it metaphorically rather than dogmatically. “Where does God begin and end?” God as I envision God is an absolute, without beginning or end, completely unknowable. But Jesus told us he is our Loving Heavenly Father. If we must envision God that’s the one for me– everyone’s LHF– a metaphor, but for me a life giving metaphor, introducing me to love (in 1956). “Also, this is curious: you write: “My awareness of Word, Christ, God is deeply influenced by what I do– about him, for him, to him.” In each, WOrd, Christ, and God, you reference ‘him’. Are each the same?” To this I would say all three are various visions of the Unknowable. The Bible, our Revelation, uses each pointing toward what passes understanding– the way one points toward a star. The Bible of course portrays God as ‘him’. I don’t perceive this as definitive, but as metaphoric. It was written in a patriarchal age. Finally I would suggest that since we can’t ‘know’ God or ‘see’ God in the biblical sense, we are forced to resort to our Visions of God(larry.1afm.com/visions.htm). It would be very creative if each of us could share with one another our vision of God; the best way for our “becoming one”. Thanks for provoking from me these additional reflections.

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