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RE: [John_Lit] Re: 1 John 5:16

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  • L.J. Kim
    Elizabeth Danna wrote: The connection between Mark, the Gospel of John and 1 John lies, of course, in the idea of someone deliberately and persistently
    Message 1 of 30 , May 23, 2001
      Elizabeth Danna wrote:
      "The connection between Mark, the Gospel of John
      and 1 John lies, of course, in the idea of
      someone deliberately and persistently sinning,
      even though they know that what they are doing is
      wrong."

      And Jeffrey Hodges wrote:
      "Why do you think that the unforgivable sin
      against the Holy Spirit is deliberate, continuous
      sinning?"

      There is a strong case for both points of view,
      but I would like to suggest a different approach.

      Elizabeth is right in that there is certainly a
      theme in the epistle of John concerning
      'persistent sinning' and salvation (1jn.3.6,9;
      5.18). Liberation from sin patterns accompanies
      true saving faith, that is not in dispute.
      However Hodges also is right to point out that
      grammatically the instances of this idea, the 'sin
      that leads to death' (in John and Mark), seem to
      take place at a single point in time. Although
      the aorist does not necessarily mean that it is a
      single instance, it would be a stretch to imagine
      that this could be talking about a habitual
      recurrence of any kind. The texts suggest that a
      single act can be unforgivable leading to death.

      May I suggest...that the main thrust of the
      johannine passage is in the radical power and
      authority that believers have concerning God's
      forgiveness (1jn5.15).

      The prayer for the sinning brother does not
      (directly) bring about the sinner's repentance,
      but rather the radical unmerited forgiveness of
      God. Therefore believers are to pray for other
      believers asking for forgiveness (of individual
      sins) even before they ask for their
      sanctification or for justice.

      John's caveat to intercessors, however, is to
      refrain from asking for this radical forgiveness
      as a universalist band-aid, praying for the
      unmerited forgiveness of unbelief apart from the
      Cross.

      In other words, every sin can be overlooked. God
      will declare many people with chauvinistic
      tendencies, oppressive political views, small
      minded-prejudices, and even poor theology "just"
      and "righteous" through Jesus' work on the
      Cross... (Even Solomons can be redeemed because
      although sanctification must begin to work now in
      order to have saving faith - it does not
      necessarily find perfection). Every act of sin
      can be forgiven and covered-over with the life and
      death of Jesus - except the sin of not accepting
      Jesus, the one sin that leads to death when all
      sins have been conquered.

      The connection then with the Mark passage, as
      others have said, is in the sin of unbelief.

      Just a suggestion,
      Leo
    • jestaton@zoom.co.uk
      ... Hengel is perhaps a little more cautious in his use of language than I was (he was writing a monograph to be published: I am posting to a news-group), but
      Message 2 of 30 , May 23, 2001
        --- In johannine_literature@y..., Horace Jeffery Hodges
        <jefferyhodges@y...> wrote:
        > John Staton wrote:
        >
        > > These words were all used with much more fluidity in
        > > the first century than is now the case, and so
        > > Hengel's suggestion that John the Elder could have
        > > been at the Last Supper, run to the tomb before
        > > Peter, and been the Beloved Disciple, cannot be
        > > discounted.
        >
        > I have all of my books in storage in Australia, so I
        > cannot check my copy of "The Johannine Question", but
        > are you sure that Hengel makes this suggestion? I
        > hadn't recalled his suggesting that John the Elder had
        > known Jesus. I thought that Hengel argues, instead,
        > that John the Elder was an important teacher in the
        > church during the second half of the century and that
        > he had been conflated with John the son of Zebedee.
        > Can you cite Hengel specifically on this suggestion?
        >
        > (Has my memory gone so bad?)

        Hengel is perhaps a little more cautious in his use of language than
        I was (he was writing a monograph to be published: I am posting to a
        news-group), but what I said is the impresion he gives in the last
        chapter of his book, especially in section 4 of that chapter. He sees
        this "John the Elder" as being of Jerusalem origin, a member of a
        preistly family (a number of priests of that time went by the
        name "John"). He fled Jerusalem when the Romans attacked, and ended
        up in Asia Minor, where he comes to prominence as a teacher in the
        second half of the century. This man would have been somewhat younger
        than Peter and the Twelve, which could explain Jesus' special love
        for him (as "the baby") and also why he was not a rival for the
        leadership of the post-Pentecost church (too young). But people in
        Asia Minor around AD100 *might* have valued him as their sole
        surviving link to the earthly Jesus. Hengel "suggests" things very
        tentatively, because much of this can never be proven beyond doubt.
        But much of it is inherently likely.

        By the way, I want to be clear that neither Hengel nor I confuse this
        figure with the son of Zebedee. Hengel believes the latter to have
        been martyred with hsi brother, James, in AD62.

        Hope this helps

        Best Wishes

        JOHN E STATON
        www.jestaton.org
        jestaton@...
      • jestaton@zoom.co.uk
        ... context of the entire letter, denying the Son ... 1 John 5:16 does not *say* the sin that leads to death is a sin against the Holy Spirit. That idea comes
        Message 3 of 30 , May 23, 2001
          --- In johannine_literature@y..., Horace Jeffery Hodges > From the
          context of the entire letter, denying the Son
          > might be the sin leading to death (except that this
          > seems more a sin against the Son, not against the Holy
          > Spirit), or continuing to sin might be the sin leading
          > to death (if this means resisting the Holy Spirit). I
          > haven't studied this issue enough to decide -- nor to
          > decide if the sin leading to death must be deliberate.

          1 John 5:16 does not *say* the "sin that leads to death is a sin
          against the Holy Spirit. That idea comes from Mark. I suggested that
          denying the Son and imputing Jesus' exorcism to demons may be very
          similar in practice, in that whoever did the one would do the other,
          and a similar attitude of refusal to believe lies behind both
          stances. Your idea that the Markan phrase is linked to rabbinic
          teaching about pure and impure spirits is quite enlightening in terms
          of background. My knowledge of rabbinic material is weak, but I would
          have thought the Markan context implied a deliberate attitude.
          Whether the Markan "sin against the Holy Spirit" or the
          Johannine "sin that leads to death" has to be continual (though
          John's present tenses in 1 John 3 do seem to suggest he is talking of
          a life of *continual* sin or a life of *continual* righteousness -one
          may talk of a life "characterised by sin/righteousness), but it would
          seem that it had to be a *deliberate* sin,in order to lead to death.

          Best Wishes

          JOHN E STATON
          www.jestaton.org
          jestaton@...
        • Horace Jeffery Hodges
          ... Thanks for pointing out this grammatical point. I didn t actually make this specific point (on the aorist) about Mark (or John), but it strengthens what I
          Message 4 of 30 , May 23, 2001
            Leo Kim wrote:

            > Jeffrey [Actually, "Jeffery"] Hodges wrote to
            Elizabeth Danna:

            > > "Why do you think that the unforgivable sin
            > > against the Holy Spirit is deliberate, continuous
            > > sinning?"

            Leo Kim commented:

            > Hodges ... is right to point out that
            > grammatically the instances of this idea, the 'sin
            > that leads to death' (in John and Mark), seem to
            > take place at a single point in time. Although
            > the aorist does not necessarily mean that it is a
            > single instance, it would be a stretch to imagine
            > that this could be talking about a habitual
            > recurrence of any kind. The texts suggest that a
            > single act can be unforgivable leading to death.

            Thanks for pointing out this grammatical point. I
            didn't actually make this specific point (on the
            aorist) about Mark (or John), but it strengthens what
            I said.

            > In other words, every sin can be overlooked. ...
            > Every act of sin can be forgiven and covered-over
            > with the life and death of Jesus - except the sin of
            > not accepting Jesus, the one sin that leads to death
            > when all sins have been conquered.
            >
            > The connection then with the Mark passage, as
            > others have said, is in the sin of unbelief.

            I am not sure that this fits the Markan context, which
            specifies a sin against the Holy Spirit, not a sin
            against the Son. My suggestion there is that the sin
            against the Holy Spirit lies in one calling the Holy
            "Impure" -- a particular species of sin of unbelief. I
            don't see this as necessarily the same sin as alluded
            to in 1 John 5:16.

            Jeffery Hodges

            =====
            Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
            Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
            447-791 Kyunggido Osan-City
            Yangsandong 411
            South Korea

            __________________________________________________
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          • Horace Jeffery Hodges
            ... background. John, I perhaps ought to clarify this point. I wasn t referring to Rabbinical teachings -- though it would be interesting to know what they
            Message 5 of 30 , May 23, 2001
              John Staton wrote:

              > Your [Jeffery's] idea that the Markan phrase is
              > linked to rabbinic teaching about pure and impure
              > spirits is quite enlightening in terms of
              background.

              John, I perhaps ought to clarify this point. I wasn't
              referring to Rabbinical teachings -- though it would
              be interesting to know what they said on pure and
              impure spirits (though Jacob Milgram informed me in a
              private conversation that impure spirits have no
              significant role in Rabbinical thought). Rather, I was
              thinking of the purity regulations in the Tanakh and
              such verses as Leviticus 10:10, which states that one
              should "distinguish between the holy and the common
              and between the impure and the pure." This sort of
              background seems to me to be presupposed in the
              response of the Markan Jesus to his critics, "the
              scribes [= experts in Jewish Law] having come down
              from Jerusalem".

              Jeffery Hodges

              =====
              Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
              Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
              447-791 Kyunggido Osan-City
              Yangsandong 411
              South Korea

              __________________________________________________
              Do You Yahoo!?
              Yahoo! Auctions - buy the things you want at great prices
              http://auctions.yahoo.com/
            • khs@picknowl.com.au
              Dear John E. Staton, You said, ... John 13 says his disciples . From our modern perspective, we often read this as the Twelve , but there are abundant
              Message 6 of 30 , May 23, 2001
                Dear John E. Staton,
                You said,

                > Who says only the Twelve were at the Last Supper? ...
                John 13 says "his disciples". From our modern perspective, we
                often read this as "the Twelve", but there are abundant signs in
                the New Testament that the words "disciples" and "apostles"
                mean different things...
                >
                > These words were all used with much more fluidity in the first
                century than is now the case, and so Hengel's suggestion that
                John the Elder could have been at the Last Supper, run to the
                tomb before Peter,and been the Beloved Disciple, cannot be
                discounted. The problem for theories which attempt to identify
                the BD with someone named in the Gospel is "Why name him
                some of the time and not all of the time". The problem for the
                suggestion that it is John, the Son of Zebedee, is "why not name
                him outright?" He would be an acknowledged authority....




                You may be quite correct about John the Elder – whoever he was
                – being present at those times, but, it can only be a theory
                among others. Robert H. Gundry has an excellent section on
                Papias in his commentary on Mark (Eerdmans, 1993, pp.
                1029-1034) in which he argues that Papias saw John the Elder
                and John the Apostle as one and the same. The fact that the
                Apostle Peter called himself an elder (1 Pet 5:1) leaves open the
                possibility that John the Apostle was also called the/an elder by
                early writers like Papias.

                Please note that I did say, "If only `the twelve' were at the
                Last Supper". I am quite content to think that others may have
                been there. However, the BD must be one of the six who went
                fishing in 21:2. Now two of those were not named so John the
                Elder – if a different individual - may have been one of those.
                Of
                all the people who could have been there it is a fairly long shot to
                insist that he was one of the group. We know that John the son
                of Zebedee was certainly there and we can eliminate Peter and
                James, the other son of Zebedee, as possible authors of the
                gospel. That leaves John, Thomas and two others. Noting a later
                post of yours re Hengel's view that John was martyred with his
                brother, there is too much early support for John's long
                association with Asia and his involvement with the FG for me to
                contemplate that. Not to mention the small matter of Luke's
                failure to mention him along with his brother if it were true that he
                was executed with him.

                If the BD was the same person as the unnamed disciple of John
                in 1:35-40 – note, I did say "if", but there's a more than
                reasonable possibility that it could be the same person – then
                he seems to have been an associate of Andrew (and Peter)
                before he even met Jesus. Now we know that John and James
                with their father were partners with Peter and Andrew and their
                father, and we know that neither Peter nor James wrote the FG.

                Concerning anonymity, as I said, humility is a sufficient reason
                for John to have refrained from naming himself. However, there
                is another reason which, I expect, had some bearing on the
                case, and this has to do with John the Apostle being the John of
                the Revelation, the John of Patmos. My belief is that John was on
                Patmos during Nero's reign and that he received the Revelation
                then. That is, the Revelation preceded the gospel. Given the
                strife that the Church endured normally, yet alone during that
                time, it was too dangerous for John to identify himself in anyway
                that could link him with that document (i.e. the Revelation) in
                which he was named and which could only be read by the
                Romans as treasonous propaganda. Those who assisted in the
                gospel's production and distribution (i.e. the remaining apostles
                and eyewitnesses) knew who the BD was and were able to
                report that, but John's ongoing safety demanded that he be
                shielded in the case that the Revelation fell into the wrong
                hands. So then, when you say, "Why name him some of the time
                and not all of the time", the fact is that John the apostle is never
                named in the FG, and, if I am correct, for very good reason.

                Yours in Christ,

                Kym Smith
                Adelaide
                South Australia
                khs@...
              • L.J. Kim
                A quick clarification... Jeffery Hodges wrote: I am not sure that this fits the Markan context, which specifies a sin against the Holy Spirit, not a sin
                Message 7 of 30 , May 24, 2001
                  A quick clarification...

                  Jeffery Hodges wrote:
                  "I am not sure that this fits the Markan context,
                  which specifies a sin against the Holy Spirit, not
                  a sin against the Son. My suggestion there is that
                  the sin against the Holy Spirit lies in one
                  calling the Holy "Impure" -- a particular species
                  of sin of unbelief. I don't see this as
                  necessarily the same sin as alluded to in 1 John
                  5:16."

                  Thanks Jeffery, I agree that the "blasphemy
                  against the Holy Spirit" has to do with sin
                  against the Spirit rather than the Son.

                  I suspect that the context of Mark and that of 1Jn
                  are vastly different, and therefore use different
                  terminology. But it would be unfounded to read
                  Mark into John (to suggest that John's 'sin' is to
                  'call the holy impure'), or to attribute yet
                  another "deadly/unforgiveable sin" to John (to add
                  to an ever growing list). It seems that the John
                  and Mark passages need to be understood within its
                  own context before any connection can be made.

                  My suggestion is that v.15 is the key in
                  understanding v.16. That all sins are forgiveable
                  except the sin that denies the means of this
                  radical forgiveness, which in John's context would
                  be explained in the terminology of 'denying
                  Christ.'

                  Although this is not really a discussion on Mark,
                  if this hypothesis were true, then I would suggest
                  that Mark's account of Jesus is saying essentially
                  the same thing (that all sins are forgiveable
                  except the sin of rejecting the means of
                  forgiveness within Jesus' terminology. Of course
                  this must take into account the technical
                  understanding of Jesus' audience and the state of
                  his veiled-ness and progressive revelation. This
                  is certainly not the point with which to begin
                  looking at the Mark passage, rather what I suggest
                  may be a possible conclusion.

                  Just a thought,
                  Leo
                • Elizabeth Danna
                  ... Thanks, Jeffery and Leo. Perhaps I need to revise my thinking on this point. Elizabeth Danna
                  Message 8 of 30 , May 24, 2001
                    "L.J. Kim" wrote:

                    > Elizabeth Danna wrote:
                    > "The connection between Mark, the Gospel of John
                    > and 1 John lies, of course, in the idea of
                    > someone deliberately and persistently sinning,
                    > even though they know that what they are doing is
                    > wrong."
                    >
                    > And Jeffrey Hodges wrote:
                    > "Why do you think that the unforgivable sin
                    > against the Holy Spirit is deliberate, continuous
                    > sinning?"
                    >
                    > There is a strong case for both points of view,
                    > but I would like to suggest a different approach.
                    >
                    > Elizabeth is right in that there is certainly a
                    > theme in the epistle of John concerning
                    > 'persistent sinning' and salvation (1jn.3.6,9;
                    > 5.18). Liberation from sin patterns accompanies
                    > true saving faith, that is not in dispute.
                    > However Hodges also is right to point out that
                    > grammatically the instances of this idea, the 'sin
                    > that leads to death' (in John and Mark), seem to
                    > take place at a single point in time. Although
                    > the aorist does not necessarily mean that it is a
                    > single instance, it would be a stretch to imagine
                    > that this could be talking about a habitual
                    > recurrence of any kind. The texts suggest that a
                    > single act can be unforgivable leading to death.

                    Thanks, Jeffery and Leo. Perhaps I need to revise my thinking on this point.

                    Elizabeth Danna
                  • jestaton@zoom.co.uk
                    ... This, too, is only a theory, though one I used to argue myself until I read Hengel. The only Johnannine document that mentions the author s name is
                    Message 9 of 30 , May 24, 2001
                      --- In johannine_literature@y..., khs@p... wrote:
                      > Dear John E. Staton,
                      > You may be quite correct about John the Elder – whoever he was
                      > – being present at those times, but, it can only be a theory
                      > among others. Robert H. Gundry has an excellent section on
                      > Papias in his commentary on Mark (Eerdmans, 1993, pp.
                      > 1029-1034) in which he argues that Papias saw John the Elder
                      > and John the Apostle as one and the same. The fact that the
                      > Apostle Peter called himself an elder (1 Pet 5:1) leaves open the
                      > possibility that John the Apostle was also called the/an elder by
                      > early writers like Papias.

                      This, too, is only a theory, though one I used to argue myself until
                      I read Hengel. The only Johnannine document that mentions the
                      author's name is Revelation, and many would asy that on stylistic
                      grounds the author of Revelation cannot have wriiten the gospel and
                      the letters. You may have seen from previous posts that I am not
                      necessarily of this view myself, but one should be wary of according
                      traditional ascriptions of authorship with the authority of
                      Scripture, especially when the text does not name the author.
                      Gundry's interpretation of Papias is not unique, but it is not the
                      natural understanding of the words. either.
                      >
                      > Please note that I did say, "If only `the twelve' were at the
                      > Last Supper". I am quite content to think that others may have
                      > been there. However, the BD must be one of the six who went
                      > fishing in 21:2. Now two of those were not named so John the
                      > Elder – if a different individual - may have been one of those.
                      > Of
                      > all the people who could have been there it is a fairly long shot
                      to
                      > insist that he was one of the group. We know that John the son
                      > of Zebedee was certainly there and we can eliminate Peter and
                      > James, the other son of Zebedee, as possible authors of the
                      > gospel. That leaves John, Thomas and two others. Noting a later
                      > post of yours re Hengel's view that John was martyred with his
                      > brother, there is too much early support for John's long
                      > association with Asia and his involvement with the FG for me to
                      > contemplate that. Not to mention the small matter of Luke's
                      > failure to mention him along with his brother if it were true that
                      he
                      > was executed with him.

                      The identification of John the Elder with one of the unnamed
                      disciples is no more of a long shot than the identification of the BD
                      with John, the Son of Zebedee. The pressure in later times would have
                      been to father the Johannine literature on the Son of Zebedee,
                      because by then the category of "apostle" was beginning to be
                      restricted to a few people (the twelve plus Paul), and apostolic
                      authorship was seen as being a vital crtierion for a document's
                      inclusion in the canon of Scripture. In these circumstances one can
                      see how the two John's became fused into the one figure.
                      As for the martyrdom of John, the argument is certainly not
                      conclusive. But if Luke seems not to know of it, Mark seems to know
                      of it (cf. Mark 10: 39, spoken to James *and John*)
                      >
                      > If the BD was the same person as the unnamed disciple of John
                      > in 1:35-40 – note, I did say "if", but there's a more than
                      > reasonable possibility that it could be the same person – then
                      > he seems to have been an associate of Andrew (and Peter)
                      > before he even met Jesus. Now we know that John and James
                      > with their father were partners with Peter and Andrew and their
                      > father, and we know that neither Peter nor James wrote the FG.

                      This is inconclusive. Indeed all arguments concerning authorship of
                      an anonymous document 2000 years old must be. All each of us can do
                      is to find a theory which accounts (in our view) for as many of the
                      facts as possible. I believe your theory leaves more questions than
                      answers.
                      >
                      > Concerning anonymity, as I said, humility is a sufficient reason
                      > for John to have refrained from naming himself. However, there
                      > is another reason which, I expect, had some bearing on the
                      > case, and this has to do with John the Apostle being the John of
                      > the Revelation, the John of Patmos. My belief is that John was on
                      > Patmos during Nero's reign and that he received the Revelation
                      > then. That is, the Revelation preceded the gospel. Given the
                      > strife that the Church endured normally, yet alone during that
                      > time, it was too dangerous for John to identify himself in anyway
                      > that could link him with that document (i.e. the Revelation) in
                      > which he was named and which could only be read by the
                      > Romans as treasonous propaganda. Those who assisted in the
                      > gospel's production and distribution (i.e. the remaining apostles
                      > and eyewitnesses) knew who the BD was and were able to
                      > report that, but John's ongoing safety demanded that he be
                      > shielded in the case that the Revelation fell into the wrong
                      > hands. So then, when you say, "Why name him some of the time
                      > and not all of the time", the fact is that John the apostle is
                      never
                      > named in the FG, and, if I am correct, for very good reason.

                      This is, quite frankly, incredible. Nero's persecution happened
                      c.AD64-65, whereas most scholarly estimates fro the date of the
                      Gospel put it at 90-100. Along with Hengel, I would put it towards
                      the higher end of that range. By that time, Nero's persecution would
                      have been old news and nobody in Rome would have been interested in
                      the Book of Revelation, except perhaps the Christians

                      None of this should be taken as an attack on the reliability of
                      John's Gospel. We are talking of the witness of an early follower of
                      Jesus, whose traditions show a good deal of accuracy, and if Papias
                      is to be believed, one who had a good reputation in the early church

                      Best Wishes

                      JOHN E STATON
                      www.jestaton.org
                      jestaton@...
                    • jestaton@zoom.co.uk
                      ... Sorry, I misunderestood the term Tanakh . I am afraid still use poitically incorrect terms like Old Testament . I still think the main problem is the
                      Message 10 of 30 , May 24, 2001
                        --- In johannine_literature@y..., Horace Jeffery Hodges
                        <jefferyhodges@y...> wrote:
                        > John Staton wrote:
                        > John, I perhaps ought to clarify this point. I wasn't
                        > referring to Rabbinical teachings -- though it would
                        > be interesting to know what they said on pure and
                        > impure spirits (though Jacob Milgram informed me in a
                        > private conversation that impure spirits have no
                        > significant role in Rabbinical thought). Rather, I was
                        > thinking of the purity regulations in the Tanakh and
                        > such verses as Leviticus 10:10, which states that one
                        > should "distinguish between the holy and the common
                        > and between the impure and the pure." This sort of
                        > background seems to me to be presupposed in the
                        > response of the Markan Jesus to his critics, "the
                        > scribes [= experts in Jewish Law] having come down
                        > from Jerusalem".

                        Sorry, I misunderestood the term "Tanakh". I am afraid still use
                        poitically incorrect terms like "Old Testament". I still think the
                        main problem is the refusal of Jesus' opponents to accept that his
                        power came from God, but it is possible something like the confusion
                        of the pure and imoure lay in the background.

                        Best Wishes

                        JOHN E STATON
                        www.jestaton.org
                        jestaton@...
                      • Bob MacDonald
                        On the unforgivable - just a comment from the business world - discussed it today with some staff. we make many mistakes in business - it s the programming and
                        Message 11 of 30 , May 24, 2001
                          On the unforgivable - just a comment from the business world - discussed it
                          today with some staff.

                          we make many mistakes in business - it's the programming and IT world - but
                          any mistake is correctible even if the client is frustrated for a while.

                          The only mistakes that will lose us clients are the ones that make them deem
                          us non-responsive - i.e. we fail to respond to the need of the client.

                          In two of the cases quoted - sin unto death, sin against the Spirit, the
                          essence of the sin is failure to respond to the truth - if so, the truth
                          cannot help you. This I believe is in contrast to the many sins we have in
                          us (1 John 1:8-10) that are forgiven in the 'normal' or perhaps supernormal
                          course of life.

                          The execution of A & S in Acts seems different; here the sin is deliberate
                          dissembling - or lying to the Spirit - but the effect could be justified as
                          non-responsive since the faith of the pair in the ultimate outcome of the
                          movement is lacking.

                          Bob

                          mailto::BobMacDonald@...
                          + + + Victoria, B.C., Canada + + +

                          Catch the foxes for us,
                          the little foxes that make havoc of the vineyards,
                          for our vineyards are in flower. (Song 2.15)
                          http://members.home.net/bobmacdonald/homepage.htm
                        • jestaton@zoom.co.uk
                          ... discussed it ... world Judging by the performance of my PC, I would agree so far! - but ... while. ... them deem ... client. ... Spirit, the ... truth ...
                          Message 12 of 30 , May 25, 2001
                            --- In johannine_literature@y..., "Bob MacDonald" <bobmacdonald@h...>
                            wrote:
                            > On the unforgivable - just a comment from the business world -
                            discussed it
                            > today with some staff.
                            >
                            > we make many mistakes in business - it's the programming and IT
                            world

                            Judging by the performance of my PC, I would agree so far!

                            - but
                            > any mistake is correctible even if the client is frustrated for a
                            while.
                            >
                            > The only mistakes that will lose us clients are the ones that make
                            them deem
                            > us non-responsive - i.e. we fail to respond to the need of the
                            client.
                            >
                            > In two of the cases quoted - sin unto death, sin against the
                            Spirit, the
                            > essence of the sin is failure to respond to the truth - if so, the
                            truth
                            > cannot help you.

                            This is fine, as long as you interpret the word "truth" in the light
                            of John 14:6 (i.e. Jesus' words "I am the way *the truth* and the
                            life") Failing to respond to the truth is, for John, failing to
                            respond to Jesus. For John, the truth is personalised in Jesus

                            Best Wishes

                            JOHN E STATON
                            www.jestaton.org
                            jestaton@...
                          • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                            After some reflection on this issue, I can see that there might be parallel soteriological thinking in Mark 3:28-29 and 1 John 5:16. Mark 3:28-29: Truly, I say
                            Message 13 of 30 , May 27, 2001
                              After some reflection on this issue, I can see that
                              there might be parallel soteriological thinking in
                              Mark 3:28-29 and 1 John 5:16.

                              Mark 3:28-29:

                              Truly, I say to you: All the sins and blasphemies that
                              one might blaspheme (against) the Son of Man will be
                              forgiven, but (as for) whoever might blaspheme against
                              the Holy Spirit, he will never have forgiveness but is
                              guilty of an eternal sin.

                              1 John 5:16:

                              If someone should see his brother sinning a sin not to
                              death, s/he should pray (to God) and (God will) give
                              to him life -- to those who sin not to death. There is
                              a sin to death -- not concerning that do I say that
                              one should pray.

                              1 John 4:1-6:

                              Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the
                              spirits (to see) if it is (= they are) from God, for
                              many false prophets have gone out into the world. In
                              this way, you will recognize the Spirit of God: Every
                              spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ as having come
                              in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does
                              not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. And this is the
                              one (= the spirit) of the Antichrist, which you have
                              heard is to come -- and already is in the world! You
                              are of God, children, and have overcome them (= false
                              prophets? spirits not from God?) because the one in
                              you is greater than the one in the world. They are of
                              the world -- because of this, they speak of/from the
                              world (= of worldly things / in a worldly way), and
                              the world hears them. We are of God -- one of (=
                              belonging to) those recognizing God hears us; the one
                              (who) is not of God does not hear us. In this, we
                              recognize the Spirit of Truth (cf. John 14:17; 15:26;
                              16:13) and the spirit of error.

                              Since the Spirit of Truth would be the promised
                              Johannine Holy Spirit (cf. John 14:16-17, 26), then
                              the author of 1 John may be thinking that the one who
                              does not distinguish the spirit of error (= the impure
                              spirit of Mark 3:30) from the Spirit of Truth (= the
                              Holy Spirit of Mark 3:29) is guilty of the sin leading
                              to (eternal) death (the unforgivable sin of Mark
                              3:29).

                              This failure to distinguish the Spirit of Truth from
                              the spirit of error would (implicitly) characterize
                              those speaking from the spirit of error as well as the
                              ones who listen to those speaking from the spirit of
                              error.

                              Such a failure to distinguish could, in effect, be
                              understood as conflating the holy with the impure --
                              IF the author of 1 John was thinking in terms of the
                              holy and the impure. That the author of 1 John could
                              have been thinking in this way is not impossible since
                              John 17:10-11 interprets the footwashing that Jesus
                              performed as a cleansing. However, an argument would
                              need to be elaborated in order to provide a proper
                              interpretation of the sort of cleansing signified by
                              the footwashing and in order to elucidate and
                              strengthen a connection between the understanding of
                              that from which one was purified by the footwashing,
                              on the one hand, and the Tanakh understanding of
                              holiness, impurity, and purity, on the other hand.

                              In other words, a difficult undertaking . . .

                              Jeffery Hodges

                              =====
                              Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
                              Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
                              447-791 Kyunggido Osan-City
                              Yangsandong 411
                              South Korea

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