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Re: Question Concerning John 3:16 [Re: fredman] #17086
Sat Aug 21, 2004 7:57 PM
Sat Aug 21, 2004 7:57 PM
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Fred

You mentioned that the words "whosoever" as translated in the KJV, was not in the original languages.
I may be wrong, but my understanding is that this is in dispute even among Calvinists.
It seems to depend on which is the real "original language".

In the transcripts the KJV was translated from, the literal words were "everyone".

Personally am not knowledgeable enough to know either way about this particular aspect, other than to say that what you have written makes sense.
I am however a little confused on why translations on either side of this aspect haven't made an English translation that translates it the way you did.

Tom

Re: Question Concerning John 3:16 [Re: Tom] #17087
Sat Aug 21, 2004 9:10 PM
Sat Aug 21, 2004 9:10 PM

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Quote

I may be wrong, but my understanding is that this is in dispute even among Calvinists.


References?

As Fredman pointed out in his study of John 3:16,
Quote
"John 3:16 reads in the KJV translation:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

In this verse, the main subject is “God” and the main verb is, “he gave.” In the middle of the verse is another hina clause, translated as “that.” The hina clause expresses the purpose of why God gave: in order that the believing ones will not perish, but have everlasting life."


Whether the translation reads everyone or whosoever, the interpretation remains the same. Could you offer something concerning the variants on this verse?


God bless,

william

Re: Question Concerning John 3:16 #17088
Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:10 PM
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Tom asked:

Quote
I am however a little confused on why translations on either side of this aspect haven't made an English translation that translates it the way you did.


(Fred) Primarily because Greek participles are difficult to render into English. The word "whosoever" isn't necessarily a bad translation, it is just that the word does not capture the force of the participial phrase "all the believing ones" or "who ever it is that is believing," meaning the ones who are not going to perish eternally due to the giving of the son. The word also has the problem of what I spoke about with regards to traditions sneaking into the text. That being, the typical notion held by most of modern day evangelicalism that John 3:16 is extending Christ's work to all men who ever lived without exception and it efficacious application is dependent upon people appropriating it by their personal faith.

William asked:

Quote
Whether the translation reads everyone or whosoever, the interpretation remains the same. Could you offer something concerning the variants on this verse?


(Fred) Do you have in mind translational variants or textual variants? I am away from my library for a week or more, so it will be difficult for me to check that for sometime. To my knowledge, the textual variants on John 3:16 are rather few, if any.

Fred


"Ah, sitting - the great leveler of men. From the mightest of pharaohs to the lowest of peasants, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?" M. Burns
Re: Question Concerning John 3:16 [Re: fredman] #17089
Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:32 PM
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Textual, because I was unaware there were any.


God bless,

william

Re: Question Concerning John 3:16 #17090
Sat Aug 21, 2004 11:04 PM
Sat Aug 21, 2004 11:04 PM
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William

I don't have any references at the moment, because I have GATHERED (key word) that by reading various commentators over the last few years.
To be sure, I could be wrong about what these commentators said, it wouldn't be the first time and I am sure it will not be the last.
If you have reason to believe what I have gathered is wrong, please don't hesitate to give me information, I welcome it.

"Whether the translation reads everyone or whosoever, the interpretation remains the same. Could you offer something concerning the variants on this verse?"

I wasn't trying to question that, what I was questioning is Fred said that "whosoever" was an incorrect translation, when he said that it wasn't in the original languages.
Don't get me wrong, I am not saying he is wrong.

Tom

Re: Question Concerning John 3:16 [Re: fredman] #17091
Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:50 AM
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Tom,

I must join Fred here and ask what "textual variants?" My GNT lists NONE. Now the NRSV uses the term "everyone," but this is a translation and not a textual variant?

Maybe this will help:

God’s infinite love made manifest in an infinitely glorious manner, this is the theme of the golden text which has endeared itself to the hearts of all God’s children. The verse sheds light on the following aspects of this love:

1. its character (so loved),
2. its Author (God),
3. its object (the world),
4. its Gift (his Son, the only-begotten), and
5. its purpose (that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life).

The conjunction for establishes a causal relation between this and the preceding verse. We might paraphrase as follows: the fact that it is only in connection with Christ that everlasting life is ever obtained (see verse 15) is clear from this, that it has pleased God to grant this supreme gift only to those who repose their trust in him (verse 16).

1. Its character

The word so by reason of what follows must be interpreted as indicating: in such an infinite degree and in such a transcendently glorious manner. Great emphasis is placed on this thought.

So loved. The tense used in the original (the aorist) shows that God’s love in action, reaching back to eternity and coming to fruition in Bethlehem and at Calvary, is viewed as one, great, central fact. That love was rich and true, full of understanding, tenderness, and majesty

2. Its Author

So loved God (with the article in the original, just as in 1:1 where, as has been shown, the Father is indicated). In order to gain some conception of the Deity it will never do to subtract from the popular concept every possible attribute until literally nothing is left. God is ever full of life and full of love. Take all human virtues; then raise them to the nth degree, and realize that no matter how grand and glorious a total picture is formed in the mind, even that is a mere shadow of the love-life which exists eternally in the heart of him whose very name is Love. And that love of God ever precedes our love (I John 4:9, 10, 19; cf. Rom. 5:8–10), and makes the latter possible.

3. Its object

Now the object of this love is the world. (See on 1:10 and note 26 where the various meanings have been summarized.) Just what is meant by this term here in 3:16? We answer:

a. The words, “that whoever believes” clearly indicate that the reference is not to birds and trees but to mankind. Cf. also 4:42; 8:12; I John 4:14.

b. However, here mankind is not viewed as the realm of evil, breaking out into open hostility to God and Christ (meaning 6, in note 26), for God does not love evil.

c. The term world, as here used, must mean mankind which, though sin-laden, exposed to the judgment, and in need of salvation (see verse 16b and verse 17), is still the object of his care. God’s image is still, to a degree, reflected in the children of men. Mankind is like a minor. Originally this mirror was very beautiful, a work of art. But, through no fault of the Maker, it has become horribly blurred. Its creator, however, still recognizes his own work.

d. By reason of the context and other passages in which a similar thought is expressed (see note 26, meaning 5), it is probable that also here in 3:16 the term indicates fallen mankind in its international aspect: men from every tribe and nation; not only Jews but also Gentiles. This is in harmony with the thought expressed repeatedly in the Fourth Gospel (including this very chapter) to the effect that physical ancestry has nothing to do with entrance into the kingdom of heaven: 1:12, 13; 8:6; 8:31–39.

4. Its gift

“… that he gave his Son, the only-begotten.” Literally the original reads, “that his Son, the only-begotten, he gave.” All the emphasis is on the astounding greatness of the gift; hence, in this clause the object precedes the verb. The verb he gave must be taken in the sense of he gave unto death as an offering for sin (cf. 15:13; I John 3:16; especially I John 4:10; Rom. 8:32: John’s gave is Paul’s spared not). On the meaning of the only begotten, see on 1:14. Note that the article which precedes the word Son is repeated before only begotten. Thus both substantive and adjective receive emphasis. We hear, as it were, the echo of Gen. 22:2, “Take now thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest, even Isaac.…” The gift of the Son is the climax of God’s love (cf. Matt. 21:33–39).

5. Its purpose

… in order that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.

God does not leave mankind to itself. He so loved the world that his Son, the only begotten, he gave, with this purpose: that those who receive him with abiding trust and confidence. may have everlasting life. Though the Gospel is proclaimed to men of every tribe and nation, not every one who hears it believes in the Son. But whoever believes — whether he be a Jew or a Gentile — has everlasting life.

The words “… should not perish” do not merely mean: should not lose physical existence; nor do they signify: should not be annihilated. As the context (verse 17) indicates, the perishing of which this verse speaks indicates divine condemnation, complete and everlasting, so that one is banished from the presence of the God of love and dwells forever in the presence of a God of wrath, a condition which, in principle, begins here and now but does not reach its full and terrible culmination for both soul and body until the day of the great consummation. Note that perishing is the antonym of having everlasting life.

“… but have everlasting life.” (On the meaning of life see on 1:4.) The life which pertains to the future age, to the realm of glory, becomes the possession of the believer here and now; that is, in principle. This life is salvation, and manifests itself in fellowship with God in Christ (17:3); in partaking of the love of God (5:42), of his peace (16:33), and of his joy (17:13). The adjective everlasting occurs 17 times in the Fourth Gospel, 6 times in I John, always with the noun life. It indicates, as has been pointed out, a life that is different in quality from the life which characterizes the present age. However, the noun with its adjective as used here in 3:16 has also a quantitative connotation: it is actually everlasting, never-ending life.

In order to receive this everlasting life one must believe in God’s only begotten Son. It is important, however, to take note of the fact that Jesus mentions the necessity of regeneration before he speaks about faith (cf. 3:3, 5 with 3:12, 14–16). The work of God within the soul ever precedes the work of God in which the soul cooperates (see especially 6:44). And because faith is, accordingly, the gift of God (not only with Paul, Eph. 2:8, but also in the Fourth Gospel), its fruit, everlasting life, is also God’s gift (10:28). God gave his Son; he gives us the faith to embrace the Son; he gives us everlasting life as a reward for the exercise of this faith. To him be the glory forever and ever!

Hendriksen, William, and Simon J. Kistemaker. Vol. 1-2, New Testament Commentary : Exposition of the Gospel According to John. Accompanying biblical text is author's translation.
New Testament Commentary, Vol. 1, Page 139. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953-2001.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Re: Question Concerning John 3:16 [Re: J_Edwards] #17092
Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:09 PM
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Joe

I am afraid that when it comes to discussing things like textual variants, it is a little above my head.
I got the words "everyone" from my NT Interlinear that uses the same text that the KJV is translated from.
Right under the Greek words it said the literal translation is "everyone".
It is for that reason that I think I better not contribute anymore and just sit back and learn.

What I have said so far is just my observations after reading the matter from quite a few sources, including John Owen on John 3:16. But I have to admit that sometimes I am not completely sure if I completely understand what I am reading.
If you see one thing in my posts, I want you to see that based on my understanding of the matter, I agree with you and others.
My enquireries whether I did a good job on communicating it or not, is so I can better give an answer to those who challenge me on this matter.
I am beginning to wonder if my best course in doing so might be just to refer people to articles like John Owen's and leave it at that.

Tom

Re: Question Concerning John 3:16 [Re: Tom] #17093
Mon Aug 23, 2004 2:15 PM
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I believe someone else already asked, but in the short term (without getting into a lot of Greek of why one may be preferred above the other, et. al.) does it change the meaning of the passage "for you" if it is translated "whosoever" or "everyone?" If yes, looking at the verse(s) in context can you state, why?


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Re: Question Concerning John 3:16 [Re: J_Edwards] #17094
Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:22 PM
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Joe

I think you misunderstood what I was getting at sorry.
No I don't think it changes the meaning, in fact I take it to mean the same thing.
I am not sure how I can communicate what I had in mind any better than I did. So I will not try, because it isn't important enough at this time.

Tom

Re: Question Concerning John 3:16 [Re: Tom] #17095
Tue Aug 24, 2004 12:41 AM
Tue Aug 24, 2004 12:41 AM
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Now is it a coincidence or the Holy Spirit working here with me?, because I thought it was just a little too weird for me today to see this discussion on John 3:16 staring me in the face today. I am still not totally settled on the whole TULIP/Calvinism thing for myself and probably won't be for a while. I certainly do lean in this direction, but some unsure thoughts and questions come and go in my mind. So just yesterday I was discussing this whole thing with my mother and I guess we've probably both been "brainwashed" somewhat (along with a lot of christianity) with the Arminian thought. But just today I sat down and read a couple of the articles off the Highway about Arminianism and Calvinism and of course the usual questions and thoughts of free will/ choice, etc. were popping into my brain and amongst them thinking about John 3:16!!

Now it was funny to see Tom say he's "over his head" refering to textual variants, etc. Well I guess everything's way over my head as I have much to read on the Reformation, theology, etc. more than anyone here I think, but I am learning even though it might take a long time.

But what caught my eye and I'm too curious about was in Fred's article about the word "whosoever" in 3:16 because that too is a word that makes me question the Calvinism theology. In his article he said "It is literally translated, 'every believing one," or "all the believing ones.". Now if this is true, in my view this puts quite a different look at this verse. Sounds like from reading the other posts that the real literal translation might be just "everyone" instead of "every beleiving one"??? To me there is quite a difference there if that is the translation.

Well I will continue to read as time permits (which is not much in my life). I have been thinking that I need to just sit down and just read the whole NT all the way through in the NASB version with all this stuff (Arminian/Calvin) in mind and see what questions remain after this. I've been a Christian for 20 years now and have just kind of always wondered about the Arminian v. Calvinism thing and thought it wasn't really a big thing, but now it seems to be for me now that I'm learning about these different theologies.

Re: Question Concerning John 3:16 [Re: janean] #17096
Tue Aug 24, 2004 2:00 AM
Tue Aug 24, 2004 2:00 AM

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Quote

Sounds like from reading the other posts that the real literal translation might be just "everyone" instead of "every beleiving one"??? To me there is quite a difference there if that is the translation.


What differences? While the translation may be rendered slightly different by various translations, the interpretation is unaffected by this.


God bless,

william

Re: Question Concerning John 3:16 [Re: janean] #17097
Tue Aug 24, 2004 4:32 AM
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Janean,

Quote
But what caught my eye and I'm too curious about was in Fred's article about the word "whosoever" in 3:16 because that too is a word that makes me question the Calvinism theology. In his article he said "It is literally translated, 'every believing one," or "all the believing ones.". Now if this is true, in my view this puts quite a different look at this verse. Sounds like from reading the other posts that the real literal translation might be just "everyone" instead of "every beleiving one"??? To me there is quite a difference there if that is the translation.


I'm not sure I know what all the fuss is about. The translations read, "whosoever believeth," or "whoever believes," or "everyone who believes" "in Him shall not perish." The "whosoever/whoever/everyone" is important, but is qualified and limited by "believes in Him." Not everyone believes or will believe in Him, so those who don't are not included in this "whosoever/whoever/everyone." What is being said is that each person who believes, without distinction, shall not perish.

It's as though I were to speak to a room of men and women, and said, "everyone who is a woman shall not stand." "Everyone" does not imply that each person in the entire room is a woman or has the capacity to be a woman. It only means that each person who is a woman, without distinction, shall not stand.

Does that help?


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: Question Concerning John 3:16 [Re: janean] #17098
Tue Aug 24, 2004 8:11 AM
Tue Aug 24, 2004 8:11 AM
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Quote
But what caught my eye and I'm too curious about was in Fred's article about the word "whosoever" in 3:16 because that too is a word that makes me question the Calvinism theology. In his article he said "It is literally translated, 'every believing one," or "all the believing ones.". Now if this is true, in my view this puts quite a different look at this verse. Sounds like from reading the other posts that the real literal translation might be just "everyone" instead of "every beleiving one"??? To me there is quite a difference there if that is the translation.


All of our literal and trustworthy translations include the word "believes" as a qualifier of "whosoever."

Let's not forget Romans 3:
10 as it is written,
"THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
11
THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
12
ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;
THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,
THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE."

Jesus says in John 6:
44 "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.
45 "It is written in the prophets, 'AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.

So, knowing that no unregenerate man seeks after God, and knowing that all whom God draws will come to Him, there is no contradiction whatsoever when we speak of verses like John 3:16 and Revelation 22:17 ("The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.")


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
Re: Question Concerning John 3:16 [Re: MarieP] #17099
Tue Aug 24, 2004 11:56 AM
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It's good that you brought up Rev. 22:17, since it was penned by the same author, John. Fred has brought out something which I too have tried to impress upon people over the years, concerning a more accurate translation of the present participle, which as he I believe, rightly translates literally as "the believing ones" or "those who are and will continue to believe". When we look at Rev. 22:17, it reads:


[Linked Image]



and compare that to the English KJV translation:


Revelation 22:17 (ASV) "Revelation 22:17 (KJV) And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.



it becomes clear that there is a inconsistency in the translation, for in each case, except for "will", the participle is translated as "let him that is xxxx". But the translators treated the participle "thelwn" differently for some reason and instead of rendering it as the previous participles as "let him that is willing", translated it as "whosoever will". The point is that the "whosoever/whoever/everyone" renderings of the Greek participle, "pisteuwn" is inconsistent with how such words are normally translated into English.

Secondly, the use of "iva (hina)" is to be understood as a "purpose" clause. Thus, it was the intention, purpose of God to send His Son into the world so that those who believed would not perish as would the those who did not believe. We know that God had from all eternity elected a remnant of Adam's fallen race to be saved and that the means to that end was faith in Christ. Thus it is no stretch to see John 3:16 and this specific part of that verse to be saying, that God sent His only-begotten Son into the world to save the elect in all the world and give them eternal life. As a couple of others have already commented in their own replies, it really doesn't matter how one renders the participle; e.g., whosoever believes, because only those who are regenerated first by the sovereign working of the Holy Spirit CAN believe and thus WILL believe. (Jh 6:44, 65; cp. Matt 11:25-27). Since it was God's eternal purpose to save a definite number of sinners so that they would not perish but have eternal life, it is impossible that that number could be added to or diminished. In short, all who have been ordained to eternal life will infallibly believe on Christ through the medium of the Gospel message being heard and/or read at God's appointed time. The word, "whosoever" should not and cannot be forced to mean a universal ability to believe on Christ, but rather it is to be correctly understood as an undiscriminated group . . . who believe on Christ will not perish but have eternal life.

In His Grace,


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
Re: Question Concerning John 3:16 [Re: CovenantInBlood] #17100
Tue Aug 24, 2004 3:02 PM
Tue Aug 24, 2004 3:02 PM
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Today I realized that I was getting a bit confused. I was thinking of something the wrong way with the word "whosoever". Yes I do get what Fred's article was saying and what you're saying in your responses. It does make sense. Fred hit it right on the head for me in his above referenced article when he says "It is mistakenly assumed that John is saying that Christ's atonement is meant for every person in the world and its salvafic application is dependent upon the 'whosoever' choosing it or rejecting it." Well that what I have assumed for my 20 years in Christ. This is why I have the questions and feelings of 'I'm not so sure about this' when I think and read about Calvinism and TULIP. I've been indoctrinated all my life with something else!! (except for James Boice and John MacArthur who I really like)

Again going back to Fred's article, there was a paragraph in the beginning that describes more of what I have believed for 20 years and was taught growing up (as many many Christians out there are too). -

From Fred's article that he references above--
""God so loved the world". The implication of those words, it is assumed by the opponents of the Reformers, is that God's love and salvation is omni-benevolent; equally shed abroad toward all men with out exception. God's love is given, and Christ's death was for, all men who ever has lived; both the godly saint, as well as the blasphemous reprobates, such as Judas Iscariot, Pharaoh, Hitler, and the mass of humanity who have died and are being judged in hell. Those men, it is argued, along with all reprobates, had their sin covered on the cross of Christ. They just rejected that payment for sin and chose to remain in their rebellion."

I know I've heard this message many, many times in my Christian life - that God's love is for ALL the world - all people. And that we are left with the choice. This is what many of my closest Christian friends also probably believe also.

What I do know from the little I've read and learned here so far is that this example from Fred's article of the interpretation of John 3:16 from the "opponents of the Reformers" certainly is a totally different theology than TULIP/Calvinism. I do clearly see the difference. I guess the best way to describe what I feel is that of deception. I am seeing the Arminian theology that I've gotten all my life. It really puts one's worldview in quite a different perspective.

Last edited by janean; Tue Aug 24, 2004 3:18 PM.
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