Love, Obedience, and the Spirit as ‘another Helper’ in John 14 video discussion

The lectionary gospel reading for Easter 6 in Year A (this Sunday) is the next section of John 14.15–21.

The passage begins and ends with the integration of love and obedience—but then focuses on the role of the Spirit as ‘another Helper’ (Paraclete). What does this mean, and why is it significant in this context?

Join James and Ian as they explore all these issues in the text.

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58 thoughts on “Love, Obedience, and the Spirit as ‘another Helper’ in John 14 video discussion”

  1. This study is insightful in establishing a link between, Παράκλητον, in John 14:16 and מֵלִ֗יץ (intercessor) in Iob 33:23.

    In this context, it is worth remembering Heb. 9:14, which describes Christ as offering Himself to God through the Holy Spirit: “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”

    On this basis, Job 33:23 – 28 provides a succinct OT sketch of the Holy Spirit of grace through whom Christ is at work in revelation, intercession, supplication, renewal, confession and thanksgiving:
    “They draw near to the pit, and their life to the messengers of death. Yet if there is an angel at their side, a mediator, one out of a thousand, sent to tell them how to be upright, and he is gracious to that person and says to God, ‘Spare them from going down to the pit;
    I have found a ransom for them—let their flesh be renewed like a child’s; let them be restored as in the days of their youth’—then that person can pray to God and find favour with him, they will see God’s face and shout for joy; he will restore them to full well-being; And they will go to others and say, ‘I have sinned, I have perverted what is right, but I did not get what I deserved. God has delivered me from going down to the pit, and I shall live to enjoy the light of life.’”

    • David, are you sure Elihu’s words are trustworthy ?
      Elihu was rebuking Job. There may be truth in what he said but God said of all Job’s comforters,”
      So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.” Job 42:8

      • Steve – I do think that David came up with a very good passage out of Job. As with just about everything that Job’s ‘comforters’ came up with, it is something that would be very good in its proper context – just that it didn’t apply to Job (where, as you correctly point out, Job isn’t on the naught seat getting a jolly good spanking because he sinned – so its difficult to see how Elihu’s words apply to Job – the context here is that Satan is testing Job to see how his faith stands up to adversity – God has stated at the beginning that Job is not on the naughty seat because he sinned or that he perverted anything).

        The context in which David is using Elihu’s words seems good, though.

        • That’s just it though, ‘it seems good’. Job’s friends said a lot, I think it best not to pull one goodly saying out of it and apply it out of context. Although, perhaps one could use it as a lever to pull something else out of scripture and then throw the tool away?! The quote from Job, to me, is a subtle word from the accuser, the rhetorical words are meant to beg the answer, “of course not, not one in a million chance.”
          BTW, not to Pellegrino, The use of the word ‘thousand’ never, anywhere in scripture referrs to 999+1. It is a figure of speech.

          • Job,
            Isn’t Job’s true advocate, against his accusers, even ironically, so-called comforters, ultimately against accuser- in -chief satan, God Himself?
            Is that not where the book of Job coheres with this passage from John?

          • “Although, perhaps one could use it as a lever to pull something else out of scripture and then throw the tool away?!”

            Indeed. However, Elihu’s monologue contrasts sharply with Bildad, Eliphaz, and Zophar, who all attribute Job’s calamity to his clandestine wickedness.

            Instead, Elihu is angry with the other companions for condemning Job without any evidence of guilt and with Job for so ardently protesting his own goodness (e.g. Job 29) to the point of charging God calumniously with injustice.

            In many ways, Elihu’s speech vindicates God’s justice. Notably, unlike the other companions, he is not directly rebuked by God in Job 42:7 – 10.

            Nevertheless, while Elihu expressed truth about God, he did so with censorious and ruthless contempt for his audience. As a fault, that kind of ungracious orthodoxy persists in religious circles to this day.

          • Thanks David, agreed.
            Truth spoken..but not in love!
            However, still valid truth I suppose.
            Ps. Could I venture to suggest that the angels assembled before God are the same as the lamps in Revelation 4?
            I think the Holy Spirit is not above allowing Himself to be described as ‘it’, a wind, a fire, angels, messengers, Chief Steward, comforter, &etc.
            There is something profound and above and beyond HE being a merely personal presence. Awesome God! Stones that would cry out. No wonder He is mistaken for an impersonal force by some.
            Perhaps if one doubts his personal nature it is because he withholds Himself “to see what we will do”. Ask Hezekiah.

          • David – many thanks for this – both your comments, taken together, give something very insightful and very useful – and make it very clear that the book of Job is (in some sense) Messianic.

  2. Having read the passage along with the rest of the chapter, but not yet listened to your discussion, what strikes is the emphasis on the personhood of the Holy Spirit.
    Look forward to listening.

    • Dear Geoff;

      As eminent New Testament Greek scholar, Daniel B. Wallace, has shown, there are no impelling Greek grammatical reasons for using the masculine pronoun ‘he’ in reference to the neuter ‘pneuma’ (‘Spirit’), in Jesus’ discourses on the ‘Parakletos’, in John 14-16,. The ‘he’ pronoun most probably, always reference to the masculine word ‘parakleos’ (‘Advocate’) – and the ‘Parakleos’ in John 14-16 is highly likely to be the resurrected and exalted Jesus, in spiritual form.

      Hence, as (Trinitarian) scholar, E. F. Scott stated [emphasis added] :

      ” We are NOT to infer that John regarded the Spirit as a personality in the sense of the later Church doctrine. The discourses of John dwell on the relation of the Father to the Son WITHOUT any thought of a third person coordinated with them in one Godhead.”

      E.F. Scott, ‘The Fourth Gospel’ (T & T Clark, 1926), p. 342.

      • You are reading into it what I didn’t write, Pellegrino!
        Odd that. Seems that you are pump primed to oppose any indication there may be of the Trinity.
        Thought you were relying purely on your simple reading of scripture! Not the lens through which you read it, as your selectively marshalled and choreographed, authority referencing evidences.
        There is no need to shout, please!

        • Sorry GEOFF –

          I really do need to go to SpecSavers !

          I thought you to wrote :

          ” what strikes is the emphasis on the personhood of the Holy Spirit.”

          Please accept my apologies once again, Geoff.

      • From the passage, the Father is to send “another paraclete” – in Jesus’ name (14:26), who is “the spirit of truth.” Sure, Jesus is a paraclete, but there is another paraclete who will be sent at Jesus’ request.

        It is very hard to escape the conclusion that there are three entities here: the Father, Jesus and this other paraclete: called the spirit of truth.

        Then in John 16:7, there is confirmation:

        “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away the [paraclete] will not come to you. But if I go I will send him to you.”

        So, the presence of the paraclete is actually dependent on the absence of Jesus.

        I would also add that the basic meaning of paraklētos according to LSJ is:

        “called to one’s aid, in a court of justice : as Subst., legal assistant, advocate,”

        That sound very like a person to me.

        [In a court marshal in the British Navy, the accused naval officer has with them to support them (although actually nowadays a legal person) who is known as “the accused friend” – sounds like a paraclete to me!]

        • Dear – DAVID B. WILSON,

          Thanks for your comments, but you are missing a vital, CRUCUAL FACT :

          Jesus’ discourses on the Parakleos are expressed in “PAROIMIAIS” = ALLEGORIES, CRYPTIC SAYINGS, and ENIGMATIC ILLUSTRATIONS. They are not expressed in straightforward, literal language.

          Consequently, the “another parakletos” who is sent by the Father in Jesus’ name = as His “representative” (Gk. “en to onomati mou”), is none other than the risen, and exalted Jesus Himself in Spirit form (cf. Jesus became ‘a life giving Spirit’ (1 Cor. 15:45; “the lord [Jesus] is the Spirit” (cf. 2 Cor. 3:17-18); Acts 16:7 (‘the Spirit of Jesus’). The reason why the earthly Jesus had to go, before the Spirit Parakletos could come, is precisely because the Parakleos of John 14-16 is Jesus Himself, in Spirit form.

          As esteemed Trinitarian scholar, James Denny stated :

          “The expression ‘another Comforter [‘Parakletos’] implies that the disciples have already had experience of one, namely Jesus Himself. As long as He was with them their strength was reinforced from Him and when He goes, His place is taken by the Spirit. There is another power with them now which does for them what [the earthly] Jesus did before. Yet is it really another? In 1 John 2:1 it is Jesus who is the Paraclete , even after Pentecost, and even here (John 14-18), He says ‘I come to you.’ The Presence of the Spirit is Jesus’ own presence in Spirit [power].”

          ” Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels”; p. 742.

          The ‘Spirit of God’ in the Old Testament is not a separate, divine hypostasis separate from Yahweh God (who was the Father; see John 8:54; Isa. 63:16-17; 64:7-8). The ‘Spirit of God’ represented God’s power (e.g. Judges 14:6; 14:19; 15:14 cf. Luke 1:35), or His personal presence and thoughts communicated through that power, to human beings , (e.g. 2 Sam. 23:3; Ps. 51:11). In the New Testament, God’s Spirit is His power (e.g. Luke 1:35), and also the means of communicating the spiritual presence not only of the Father (‘the Only true God’, John 17:3, 20:17), but also of God’s Son, Jesus. (cf. Acts 16:7; Romans 8:9-11; John 14:23.)

  3. Dear David ;

    Thanks for your interesting comments.

    Having read your comments, I thought that ‘parakletos’ might possibly have been used in Job 33:23 LXX, but apparently it isn’t. However, do you think there may be a definite link between ‘Parakletos’ as used in John 14-16, and ‘Parakletos’ as explicitly used of Jesus, in 1 John 2:1 ?

    The NET Bible notes to John 16:13, with respect to ‘Spirit’ [‘pneuma’ : neuter grammatical gender] include the point :

    “But the Spirit is not the source or originator of these things – Jesus is the source, and he [Jesus] will continue to speak to his disciples through the Spirit who has come to indwell them.”

    In John 16:25, Jesus seems to be saying that His whole previous discourses on the ‘Parakletos’ have been couched in figurative or allegorical language (Gk. ‘paroimiais’).

    Is it not possible, therefore, the ‘Parakleos’ in John 14-16, is none other than the exalted Jesus Himself, returning to His disciples in spiritual form, via the power of God’s Spirit ? (cf. 1 John 2:1; 2 Cor. 3:17).

    • Dear Pellegrino,

      Please review the study for which a provided a link. It does not compare the Greek word in John 14:16 with Job 33:23 in the LXX, but, instead, with that verse in the Targum of Job.

      The study explains that the Targum translates the Hebrew word for ‘mediator’ in Job 33:23 with the Aramaic transliteration of the Greek word, parakletos.

      I’d note that, in John 14:16, Jesus uses the adjective ‘allon’ (another) before the noun ‘Parakletos’. So, while in 1 John 2:1, ‘Parakletos’ does indeed refer to Jesus, in John’s gospel, Jesus still distinguishes the Holy Spirit from Himself.

      If the Holy Spirit is the exalted Jesus in spiritual form, then Luke 3:22 would make no sense. After His baptism, Jesus did not descend upon Himself.

      • Dear David,

        Many thanks for your comments on the Aramaic Targum of Job.

        Yes, indeed, John 14:16 does include the term ‘another Comforter [Parakletos], but what you may be forgetting is that Jesus whole discourses on the ‘Parakletos’ were, by His own admission, expressed not in literal language, but in ‘paroimiais’ = ‘cryptic sayings’, ‘enigmatic illustrations’, and ‘allegories’, et al. Consequently, ‘another Parakletos’ may be a cryptic reference to ‘another spiritual Parakletos’, as opposed to the ‘present earthly “Parakletos” ‘ that the disciples effectively already had in the presence of the earthly Jesus.

        Many Old Testament scholars do not see ‘The Spirit of God’ in the Old Testament as a divine hypostasis, which is separate from Yahweh God (Who was the Father, cf. John 8:54, Isa. 63:16-17; 64:7-8). The Spirit of God represented God’s power (e.g. Judges 14:6; 15:14; ); and/or, His personal presence and thoughts communicated through that power to human beings (e.g. Ps. 51:11; 2 Sam. 23:3; Ex. 31:1-5). In the New Testament, God’s Spirit is His power (cf. Luke 1:35), and also the means of communicating the spiritual presence not only of the Father (‘the only true God’; John 17:3, cf. John 20:17), but also of God’s Son, Jesus ( cf. 1 Cor. 15:45; 2 Cor. 3:17-18; Rom. 8:9-11; John 14:23; Acts 16:7).

        Hence, as Trinitarian scholar, E. F. Scott noted :

        “We are not to infer that John regarded the Spirit as a person in the same sense as the later Church doctrine. The discourses of John dwell on the relation of the Father to the Son without any thought of a third person coordinated with them on one Godhead’.

        ‘The Fourth Gospel’, p. 342.

      • Dear David Shepherd;

        This is what Dr. Raymond Brown states with respect to “another paraclette” in John 14:16 :

        ” Thus, the one whom John calls “another paraclette” is another Jesus. Since the Paraclette can only come when Jesus departs, the Paraclete is the presence of Jesus when Jesus is absent.”

        ‘The Gospel According to John’; Vol. 29; p. 1142.

        Dr. George Johnson in ‘The Spirit-Paraclete in the Gospel of John’ says the same thing. According to Johnson, ‘The Paraclete’ in John 14-16 is the exalted Jesus coming back to His disciples, via the impersonal power of the holy Spirit’.

  4. Thank you for the discussion on this passage from John 14 and for the helpful screenshots of the Spirit/Paraclete in John 14-16 and the Trinity IN us and us IN the Trinity. Two observations. 1. Not much mention of the Spirit of TRUTH and need for discernment over error, which John does cover in his first letter and also little discussion about being an ORPHAN and Jesus coming to us by His Spirit to ‘parent us’ so that we are never alone. Both of these areas have important applications in our current theological climate and pastoral situations also.

    • Dear Simon (Holloway),

      Would you accept the way the ‘New American Bible’ (Revised Edition) has translated John 14:17 :

      ” the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you. ” ?

  5. Great discussion so far, thanks.
    Having now listened to part.
    1 The words are “you will” in the NASB, also in The Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) (translation by David Stern). And that is a great referral back to Moses by the mention in the Brand Commentary. Invoking the Shema. and as you, Ian, speak about it in Deut. The heavy implication is Jesus is standing in the place of God, commanding as God the lawgiver.

    2 Advocate; I think there is a misunderstanding put forward here as to what a court advocate does! I could add more, but won’t. Isn’t the assumption James makes, is that the defence advocate speaks for an innocent defendant!? Comfort and encouragement could not be given unless a not guilty acquittal were a certainty, guaranteed, a foregone conclusion! Only in Jesus would there be no case to answer! That also takes into account conflation of the description of Holy Spirit as *him*, *him* (NASB), the Spirit of truth, (who speaks no lies!)
    3 “another like me” CJB descried as …him…him.. only reached the start of the discussion…more may be added.

    • Thanks Geoff,

      It is worth noting that, in the first century, Paul’s Greek word for righteousness (dikaiosune) encompasses just arbitration/resolution of civil matters (e.g., debt, slander, overt disrespect) and disputes between adversaries, rather than criminal proceedings alone.

      For example, in the article, The Greek Concept of Justice, published by the Michigan Law Review (Volume 77, Issue 3), we read: “In the Iliad, “justice” [Greek, dikaosune, is translated as ‘righteousness in the NT] is a procedure for resolving disputes before a mass audience whose witnessing of the contending parties’ confessions, vows, and settlements substitutes for written documents as a record of the event”

      For example, in ancient Greece, after the Spartans defeated the Athenians and concluded the Peloponnesian War, Thrasybulus was an Athenian exile, who led a moderately successful armed revolt against the 30 oligarchs (tyrants) who had been installed by the Spartans, but who initiated a reign of terror against Athenian self-rule.

      Eventually, despite being in a position to crush the entire Athenian city, the Spartan king, Pausanius, negotiated a peace settlement with Thrasybulus. As a result, an amnesty was promulgated that prevented further reprisals against all but 10 of the council of 3000 who had supported the Tyrants during their reign of terror.

      The Roman biographer, Cornelius Nepos, explained: “When Critias had fallen, Pausanias, king of the Lacedaemonians, came to the aid of the Athenians. He concluded a peace between Thrasybulus and the occupants of the city on the following terms: that except for the thirty tyrants and ten others who had been put in power later and had shown the same cruelty as their predecessors, no one should be punished with exile or confiscation of property; and that the administration of the government should be restored to the people. Another noble action of Thrasybulus was this: when peace was made and he held the chief power at Athens, he proposed a law providing that with reference to what had been done in the past no one should be accused or punished; and they called that law ‘the law of amnesty.’

      Of course, this negotiated settlement is a dikaiosune (which, as I said, is translated as righteousness) of men. In contrast, the dikaiosune of God is Christ Himself, whose sacrifice on our behalf delivers amnesty to sinners who are converted by His message and assurance to accept peace on His terms.

      • Thanks for that David.
        I can only inform from Court advocacy in the England and Wales jurisdiction.
        You are correct to mention Civil Courts.
        I’d also emphasise that in either system the advocate has a dual duty, (1) to act in the best interest of the client (even to the detriment of their own interest and where there is a conflict of interest, to withdraw from acting) and higher duty, a duty (2) to the Court not to mislead it!
        We coul noe seek to apply those principles to the current discussion. ( Bearing in mind that English law and Equity, owes much the Roman Law and Christianity).
        The higher duty of the Advocate is to the judgement, justice of God. (And as in Job, that is a place where the adversary has an audience, the accuser of brethren, the family of God and ultimately it is there where God is the Advocate, for righteous Job).
        Your contributions here over the years seems to show your fascination with the law, especially across the Pond. Are you in the right job? Justice matters to God.
        But I know where I’d rather see you- in a ministerial position in the Church.
        You have an eye for detail to develop and build a legal and theological case and a heart of the unknowingly lost, it seems to me.
        Yours in Christ,

        • Having re-read it David; now there’s a name to play with, Thrasybulus! Thrashing- about -us. No doubt that is not a translation from Greek.
          We are all of the Thrasybulus party; treasonous rebels, one and all!

  6. Linguistically, it is clear that masculine theistic terminology dominates the Scriptures. Throughout both testaments, references to God use masculine pronouns. Specific names for God (e.g., Yahweh, Elohim, Adonai, Kurios, Theos, etc.) are all in the masculine gender. God is never given a feminine name, or referred to using feminine pronouns. The Holy Spirit is referred to in the masculine throughout the New Testament, although the word for “spirit” by itself (pneuma) is actually gender-neutral. The Hebrew word for “spirit” (ruach) is feminine in Genesis 1:2. But the gender of a word in Greek or Hebrew has nothing to do with gender identity.

    Theologically speaking, since the Holy Spirit is God, we can make some statements about Him from general statements about God. God is spirit as opposed to physical or material. God is invisible and spirit (i.e., non-body) – (John 4:24; Luke 24:39; Romans 1:20; Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:17). This is why no material thing was ever to be used to represent God (Exodus 20:4). If gender is an attribute of the body, then a spirit does not have gender. God, in His essence, has no gender.

    Gender identifications of God in the Bible are not unanimous. Many people think that the Bible presents God in exclusively male terms, but this is not the case. God is said to give birth in the book of Job and portrays Himself as a mother in Isaiah. Jesus described the Father as being like a woman in search of a lost coin in Luke 15 (and Himself as a “mother hen” in Matthew 23:37). In Genesis 1:26-27 God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness,” and then “God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.” Thus, the image of God was male and female – not simply one or the other. This is further confirmed in Genesis 5:2, which can be literally translated as “He created them male and female; when they were created, he blessed them and named them Adam.” The Hebrew term “adam” means “man” – the context showing whether it means “man” (as opposed to woman) or “mankind” (in the collective sense). Therefore, to whatever degree humanity is made in the image of God, gender is not an issue.

    Masculine imagery in revelation is not without significance, however. A second time that God was specifically said to be revealed via a physical image was when Jesus was asked to show the Father to the disciples in John chapter 14. He responds in verse 9 by saying, “The person who has seen me has seen the Father!” Paul makes it clear that Jesus was the exact image of God in Colossians 1:15 calling Jesus “the image of the invisible God.” This verse is couched in a section that demonstrates Christ’s superiority over all creation. Most ancient religions believed in a pantheon – both gods and goddesses – that were worthy of worship. But one of Judeo-Christianity’s distinctives is its belief in a supreme Creator. Masculine language better relates this relationship of creator to creation. As a man comes into a woman from without to make her pregnant, so God creates the universe from without rather than birthing it from within . . . As a woman cannot impregnate herself, so the universe cannot create itself. Paul echoes this idea in 1 Timothy 2:12-14 when he refers to the creation order as a template for church order.

    In the end, whatever our theological explanation, the fact is that God used exclusively masculine terms to refer to Himself and almost exclusively masculine terminology even in metaphor. Through the Bible He taught us how to speak of Him, and it was in masculine relational terms. So, while the Holy Spirit is neither male nor female in His essence, He is properly referred to in the masculine by virtue of His relation to creation and biblical revelation. There is absolutely no biblical basis for viewing the Holy Spirit as the “female” member of the Trinity

    • Thank you Alan for addressing what seems to be a theological movement in dome parts of the Church.
      A point I was seeking to make with comments taken together was the personhood of Holy Spirit, ( indeed who can be unforgivably blasphemed) as opposed to mere power, energy which some believe and hold to as part of their theology!

      • And pressing the point of blasphemy; if Holy Spirit is circumscribed to Spirit of Jesus it is Jesus who would be blasphemed, as God.

        • And pressing that even further would ascribing mere humanity to Jesus (if his Spirit can be blasphemed) therefore, amount to blasphemy (unforgiveable)? Let alone Pharisaical.

  7. It seems to me that the Trinity in the Scriptures is hiding in plain sight.
    The early church writers saw themselves as the foundation on which the Church is built EPHESIANS 2 VS. 20 – 22
    As such they refer constantly to the person of The Holy Spirit as both God and
    Acts 5:3, 4, “why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit? . . . You have not lied to men but to God‘”
    Acts 16:6-7, “they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.”

  8. The Spiritual presence of both the Father and the Son, are communicated to believers by the power of God’s Spirit. (John 14:23; Romans 8-9). ‘God’s Spirit’ in the Old Testament was (Yahweh) Father God Himself (see John 8:54; Isa. 63:16-17; 64:7-8) – either via His personal presence (e.g. Ps. 51:11; 2 Sam. 23:3), and/or, via His power (e.g. Judges 14:6) Father God’s Spirit in the Old Testament was not considered to be a a separate divine hypostasis, separate from Father God. That’s why when Mary was told the holy Spirit would come upon her to make her pregnant (Luke 1:29-37), she was not thinking that the holy Spirit would be the “father” of Jesus, because she didn’t regard the ‘holy spirit’ in itself as a person, separate from Father God. Hence, the expression ‘ to grieve God’s Spirit’, was figurative expression (i.e. metonymy) for grieving Father God, Himself. To lie against the holy Spirit, was figurative language (metonymy) for lying to Father God, Himself.

    This is why the holy Spirit is never worshipped in the Bible, nor prayed to, nor sends greetings, nor is mentioned in the introductory greetings in Paul’s Epistles. For Paul, and First century Christians, there was only one God, Who was the Father (1 Cor. 8:6; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Tim. 2:5). For Jesus, there was only one true God, Who is the Father. This is why Jesus said that His God, and our God, is the Father. (John 17:3; 20:7), and why the apostle John said that His Gospel was written to prove that Jesus is the Messiah, and the SON OF GOD (John 20:31).

    • Yes, I make most of these same points prophetically in When the Towers Fall. It is good to find this agreement. God’s will is that before he comes again all the earth should worship him (Rev 14:7), and that will involve worshipping him for whom he actually is. The world needs to repent of its atheism. The Church needs to repents of its not worshipping God as Creator (in the sense revealed by Moses, not Darwin), of its denying that Jesus is his Son (being coeternal), and of making the Holy Spirit into a god in his own right.

      But beware of downplaying or ignoring those places in Scripture where Jesus is presented as having all the attributes of his father. We can pray to him as to the Father; we worship him as we worship the Father. He sits on the throne with the Father. He shares in his glory. In seven different places in Revelation he is manifested as an angel. But he is also manifested as the Almighty.

      You may not be aware that Matt 1:20 is positively mistranslated in the interests of trinitarian dogma. The translations read “That which is conceived in her [your wife Mary] is from the Holy Spirit” and the like, whereas the Greek reads: “What is begotten of spirit in her is holy” [i.e. not begotten by adultery]. The begetter is God, is the Father – by definition one would have thought – not another god called the Holy Spirit.

      • You are right Steven. Not another God called the Holy Spirit! One God in three Persons.

        BTW, while you may not know P. which church are you both part of? Are you a leader/teacher there?

        • For a long time I saw Jesus seated on the throne with the Father next to Him but on reading carefully I saw Jesus, the Lamb in the centre. I take it to mean that the Lamb represents both Father and son. His horns/eyes the Holy Spirit. The Trinity coexist in one image at that point. Rev 4

          • Dear Steve,

            Congratulations on officially becoming an ‘Englishman’, after all the Coronation ceremonies were duly concluded (cue smiley face).

            Steve, bearing in mind some of your past comments, do you personally think that there may have been a clear development of the ‘Trinity’ doctrine sometime after Paul’s era (circa 65 CE), and towards the close of the First century (circa 95 CE) ?

            God bless you, dear Steve.

          • Hi Pellegrino,
            You are right to pull me aside on the history of the doctrine of the Trinity.
            I probably picked up an anecdote on this site a few years ago. The point is that sometimes good doctrine gets into the hands of the politically powerful and becomes a tool to crush dissent. The average citizen, in order to get by ascents to whatever doctrine is expedient.
            In the good old days a contest would be had and God’s fire would fall!
            Leaving 7 thousand ( that symbolic number ) + 1 prophet hiding in a cave to keep the faith.
            Cult leaders insist on pure doctrine knowing the power of coercion.
            This forum of debate is a very good thing.
            Damp squib theology looks like the real thing it remains only to test it in the real world.
            I’ve finished my artwork ; I should go outside and talk to real people. 🙂
            No offence intended. I imagine you are enjoying the sun in Portugal someplace?

          • Thanks for comments, Steve.

            I love emoji’s. I think Ian should introduce an emoji facility, like on ‘Facebook’ !

            When Emperor Constantine called the Council of Nicea in 325 CE, he wasn’t primarily bothered in what particular decision the 318 Bishops came to, as long as they came to a decision, which help towards political cohesion in his Empire. Some of the Bishops did not accept the eventual ‘Creed of Nicea’, but they signed it anyway, in deference to Emperor Constantine. In other words, they knew which side of their bread was buttered !

            Some Trinitarians, like Prof. Walter Matthews (former Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral) concede that if one were to inform the apostle Paul of the later, post-New Testament “Trinity” doctrine, he wouldn’t have understood what you talking about.

            God bless you, Steve. Put some more of your art work up, sometime. This blog site needs more emojis, more artwork – and, in my opinion, a few more ladies.

        • BTW Steven. Thank you for the heads-up, warning, about your book. I’ll definitely give it a miss, even as you sometimes use this site as a self-advertising, publishing notice board.
          That, and I think you are so far off beam in your understanding of Man, as I’ve previously commented with an abstract from Dr Sinclair Ferguson.

      • Dear Dr. Steven Robinson;

        Many thanks for your comments, Steven,

        Yes – I would fully accept that Jesus, as God’s Son and the lord Messiah, shares divine attributes with His Father, and has delegated divine functions.

        I also accept that all Bibles may have some questionable readings – including even Trinitarian ones.

        God bless you, Steve.

        • That amounts to worshipping a mere man as God. In other words, it is idolatry, unless true.
          …. You shall have no other gods…

  9. An anecdote.

    I was reading today 1 Chronicles 29:20 (A.V.), and it said that the whole congregation :


    And then, in Psalm 45:1-6, I read that the human king (Ps. 45:1) is actually addressed as :

    ” God. ” (Ps. 45:6), because he is God’s representative.

    But then I remembered that the word ‘worship’ in the book of Revelation is the Greek word ‘proskuneo’, which has a wide semantic range, including :

    ‘to adore’ and ‘to show respect to a superior being’.

    So I thought, if King David could be ‘worshipped’ along with Father God, then why not Jesus (cf. Rev. 5:14) ?

    Of course supreme worship goes to Father God alone, who is ‘the ONLY TRUE GOD’ (John 17:3; Rev. 19:4; 19:10; 22:9), but Jesus can be ‘worshipped’ (shown respect to, and adored) as God’s Messianic lord, and God’s vice-regent.

    Thank God for Messiah Jesus !

    • The wedding ceremony says, “forsaking all others”, all other rival worshipful, beautiful, honorable, praiseworthy etc etc persons. Of course there are many gods. “Ye are gods” said the psalmist. “Jesus can be worshiped”? whoop de do! Other beverages are available! Fantastic!
      But Jesus is something else.
      I could never go along with a ceremony that concluded “all things being equal, do you take this man, as the most convenient, available (at this time) person etc!

    • Pellegrino,
      Which church or group are you part of and worship?
      I am not minded to follow through on your references.
      Others might be so minded but at first blush they strike as desperate misreadings as out of context, proof text that seek to prove you have biblical warrant to worship s mere man, in the place of God.

      It it idolatry plain and simple.

      Especially so in the context of Ian’s articles on the scriptures being considered.

      This is not the web site of a unitarian or similar.

      We do thank God for Jesus, for Jesus as the promised Messiah but like Messianic Jews we worship Jesus as God.
      I have not seen anyone on this site deny or opposed the fact that Jesus is the Messiah.

      But he is not worshipped as a mere human vice regent.
      That is and remains idolatry.
      We do not worship him as a mere lord, perhaps just another lord that could be added to the panoply of lords of all religions.
      He is the LORD of Lords, KING of KING at which every knee will bow, ( at the Judgement seat, throne of God) in worship or judgement.
      Everyone who has followed so far with your unitarian hijacking will be relieved that I am saying goodbye to you. Bye, bye.

  10. Thanks for comments, Steve.

    I love emoji’s. I think Ian should introduce an emoji facility, like on ‘Facebook’ !

    When Emperor Constantine called the Council of Nicea in 325 CE, he wasn’t primarily bothered in which particular decision the 318 Bishops came to, as long as they came to a decision, which would help towards political cohesion in his Empire. Some of the 318 Bishops did not accept the eventual ‘Creed of Nicea’, but they signed it anyway, in deference to Emperor Constantine. In other words, they knew which side of their bread was buttered !

    Some Trinitarians, like Prof. Walter Matthews (former Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral) concede that if one were to inform the apostle Paul of the later, post-New Testament “Trinity” doctrine, he wouldn’t have understood what you were talking about.

    God bless you, Steve. Put some more of your art work up, sometime. This blog site needs more emojis, more artwork – and, in my opinion, a few more ladies.

    • Pellegrino, I can do emojis and artwork. Not very good at ladies.
      Here is the one I finished today. Its up on a wall so I can see what needs fixing.
      Its what I was banging on about the other day. It is Jesus the fountain, The 24 elders (only 21 visible in this picture!) The idea is that Paul is a crown on the head of Jesus and the Philippeans are crowns on Pauls head. At the end of time all the crowns will be presented to Jesus who will wear the ‘many crowns’ on his head.

    • I can imagine St. Paul getting up one morning and finding his team discussing the Trinity.
      “What’s going on?”
      “we are trying to nail down a simple difinitive theological statement on…”
      “Let theologians encapsulate theology! I’m going to the agora; want to come?”

      • Yeah, Steve,
        But that would be before he got down to write the letter to imaginative Flippants.
        Heaven forfend imagining him saying, “I’m going to get imprisoned. I’ll be able to do some serious writing. Want to come?”

          • It’s not either/or.
            Why engage in any
            occupation, Steve?
            Soli Deo Gloria.
            Do you really think Christian biblical teaching unecessary, boring, even if it is presented that way, as merely an intellectual exercise.
            Of course you don’t. Otherwise, why read the books you said you’ve read such as Glen Scrivener, grounded as he is in Protestant orthodoxy.
            Otherwise you’d get your Christian teachings, theology almost exclusively through the medium of art.
            You may be aware that Frances Schaeffer wrote about art in one of his trilogy books, not to ridicule or denounce but to critique and approve as part of Christian creativity, after our Father creator.
            A wonderful Townend song which you probably know, capture it beautifully: Who paints the skies? Readily found with a search.
            Enjoy your art.
            Yours in Christ,

          • Geoff,
            I s’pose I’m always on the defensive. I want to make art out of theology. And I like theology when it’s an art. Like here!

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