Alleged Sources of the Incarnation, part 12.
Updated: Aug 30, 2022
Sifting through Samuel Barrett’s 100 most prolific unitarian verses in NT, and considering the ones by John the Apostle…we come to an eighth “dynamic anchor/data point” of his theology. (This especially pertains to his Prologue, and its own interpretation, namely if he is expounding upon an Incarnation theme). This comes from the biblicalunitarian.com site: 86. Because the Apostle John asserts that “no man hath seen God at any time”; which is not true, if Christ were God. Actually, John says this five times in NT, twice as the Father, and three times unqualified as…God. Jn 1:18 No man hath seen G3708 God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. Jn 5:37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen G3708 his shape. Jhn 6:46
Not that any man hath seen G3708 the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen G3708 the Father. 1Jo 4:20
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen,G3708 how can he love God whom he hathG3708➔ not seen?G3708
1 Jn 4:12
No one has beheld [gazed upon] 8iGod at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.
It seems obvious to me that for John then, the Father and “Theos” or “ho Theos” is essentially the same concept, even in exclusivity as the Shema requires. “No other one but he,” said by the scribe in Mk 12 and affirmed by Jesus. The ODDBALL new concept in our FRONTAL LOBES if true, would have been the new conceptualization of…SEEING PHYSICALLY the God of this new age, Jesus Christ who is God Incarnate.
So where then is this NEW REVELATION? That…we have FINALLY SEEN GOD? Literally?
Even if this was exclusive to the disciples and NT authors themselves (with the exception of Paul), it would still be a MAJOR conceptual paradigm, that YES they SAW GOD. And then…the next major question. How can two Characters, Referents, or Subjects make a SINGLE God? Another question never asked among the first generation saints. Instead John says it five times, that NO ONE hath seen God. The discrepancy here cannot be ignored.
Among trinitarians and modalists, this is a constant gloss. For them, YES they did see God in a certain Person, or Mode/Manifestation. John is making a distinction then BETWEEN Persons or Modes. But and yet he does not SAY this, does he? He never says…that they SAW GOD when they looked upon Jesus Christ, at least not in a literal sense. Would THAT not be then, the thing prominently said, among the saints? Simply and clearly? The problematic passage for the unitarian on this issue is however, the Jn 14 event with Jesus and Philip. 8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
Many JisG folks consider this proof that Philip was being told he was looking upon God next to him. For the Jew however, the EXPLANATION of the INDWELLING Spirit in Jesus…proved his Anointing. This word is essential to know, from its beginnings in Hebrew to its own Greek Koine NT renderings. That God “was among them” first in the Tabernacle, and Pillar of Cloud. Later in the Temple in Jerusalem in the Holy of Holies. Indwelling, habitating and abiding with. These words of Jesus, that God is IN HIM, is pentecostal through and through. Even FULLY indwelt, just as Paul says in Col 2. It is not then a claim of…ONTOLOGY in the deific sense. But of aspect, and I’ve already touched upon John’s view of…the “glory” Jesus asks for, in Jn 17. By the way, this spiritual concept is also contained in John’s special wording, as to “coming from heaven,” and “coming from above,” and “coming from God” for Jesus. MEANING that he is essentially…an elohim or…supernatural being. I.e. the following: 20 These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.
21 Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.
22 Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come.
23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.
24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. (This is another instance of “ego eimi,” or…an “I am” claim, without an explicit predication. The KJV supplies rightly, the “he” which immediately gives the interpretive option, the Messiah).
Also please consider that LITERALLY Jesus could only be then saying HE WAS the Father, which could not be true even for trinitarians or modalists. They call the Incarnation of GODHEAD the thing to conceptualize, not technically the Incarnation of the FATHER. Which is to say that the Logos Theology of the mainstreamer, especially of the Prologue of John, considers the Incarnation to EITHER be of “another One God”...taking on flesh, or…the GodHEAD taking on flesh. Not the Father taking on flesh, per se. What this does is put Jesus in the Dunce Corner, not saying his own words TECHNICALLY right. But…even more disconcerting is that now John the Apostle NEVER GOT HIS LESSON, since Jesus was apparently telling Philip that he WAS looking upon God HIMself. Now John is in the Dunce Corner, INSISTING “no one hath seen God at any time!” FIVE TIMES no less. Jesus then in Jn 14 segues into the “special works and miracles” rationale. This is entirely supportive of the unitarian interpretation AGAIN. Returning back to the Philip/Jesus event: 11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.
12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
Of course then, Jesus is not speaking of himself AS GOD in the normal exclusive sense, INCLUSIVE of the Shema Command. How could he if he is saying the believers will do GREATER works? Greater than God Himself? For the JisG theologian then, the miracles themselves PROVED Jesus was God. That would make the ones he was addressing here…ALSO GODS in the superlative sense.
After all of this…is the Prologue actually then portraying an Incarnation after all? God TAKING on, another nephesh or soul, mind and will, and FLESH too? Isn’t all of that…priggen pagan, paganISH?