Why is the Ascension the most important moment in the New Testament?

What would you identify as the climax and completion of Jesus’ life and ministry? Surprisingly, this is not a trivial question. One of the key differences between John and the synoptic gospels is that, where the synoptics portray the crucifixion as a necessary but incomplete act on the way to the resurrection, John portrays it as the climax and completion of Jesus’ ministry in itself. In place of Jesus’ cry of despair (Matthew 27.46, Mark 15.34), John records a cry of triumph ‘It is finished!’ (John 19.30). The promise of ‘living water’ springing from the belly or side of the one who believed (John 7.38), best understood in reference to the Temple prophecy in Ezekiel 47, is fulfilled in the blood and water from Jesus’ side at his death (John 19.34). No wonder the true testimony of this leads to faith (John 19.35).

But most of the NT would point to the resurrection as the completion. Paul’s theological linking of Jesus’ death and resurrection to our movement into and out of the water of baptism (Romans 6.3–4) suggests that crucifixion and resurrection belong together, and this is evident all through the proclamation of what God has done. This Jesus, whom you crucified, God raised from the dead, Peter tells the Pentecost crowd in Acts 2, and we are witnesses of this. Paul, in Luke’s parallel depiction of his ministry, also talks of ‘Jesus and the resurrection (anastasis)’ (Acts 17.18), so much so that his hearers think that Anastasis is the female consort goddess to the male god Jesus. Paul’s summary of the gospel for the Corinthians is that ‘Christ died for our sins…was buried…and was raised on the third day’ (1 Cor 15.3–4).

Yet most of the New Testament actually sees a third movement as an essential part and completion of Jesus’ work: the Ascension. We might miss this because of our theological tradition, but we often miss it because of our failure to read carefully. In Peter’s Pentecost speech, the climax of what God has done in Jesus is not the resurrection, but Jesus being ‘exalted to the right hand of God’ (Acts 2.33). In support of this, he cites Ps 110, the most cited psalm in the NT (just pause to take that in…), with its imagery of ‘the Lord’ (messiah) taking his seat at the right hand of ‘the Lord’ (Yahweh, the God of Israel).

We can see how important this is, even in Paul’s theology. In his great hymn in Philippians 2 (I am not convinced Paul is citing a pre-existing composition), he actually skips over the resurrection and moves straight from Jesus’ ‘death on the cross’ to his being ‘exalted to the highest place’ (Phil 2.8–9). It is as if the movement from death to life to glory, in resurrection and ascension, are one movement—incidentally, a move that is mirrored in the language of the male child ‘who is to rule the nations with a rod of iron’ being snatched up to God and his throne in Rev 12.5. In John, Jesus makes reference to this by the garden tomb, telling Mary not to hold on to him because he has not yet ascended, and, most intriguingly, the gospel message she is given for the disciples is ‘I am ascending to the Father’ (John 20.17). Luke divides his work into two not on the basis of the resurrection but at the point of the Ascension:

In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven… (Acts 1.1–2)

So why do we miss the importance of this? It largely comes down to misunderstanding Daniel 7 and its appropriation in the New Testament.

In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. (Daniel 7.13–14).

Although Jesus appropriates the language of ‘one like a son of man’ to refer to himself, in Daniel this is a corporate figure; just as the four beasts earlier in the chapter have been personifications of the four great empires (Babylonian, Persian, Greek and Roman), this human figure is a personification of God’s own people, currently oppressed and persecuted by the powers that be, but trusting God who will rescue them, bring them into his presence, vindicate them and give them power and authority over those who currently have power over them. A parallel to the visions in the first part of Daniel (the four beasts correspond to the four parts of the statue in Daniel 2), it represents the inversion of power that Mary describes in the Magnificat—’you have scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts’ (Luke 1.51).

In taking up the title ‘Son of Man’, Jesus is claiming to fulfil the destiny of Israel—to take on their oppression, but also to experience the vindication from God. This also involves a crucial re-interpretation as well: it is not the empires of this world that are the true oppressors of Israel, but the powers of darkness and their own sin and disobedience. Thus when John the Baptist ‘goes before the Lord to prepare his way’ it is through ‘the forgiveness of all their sins’ (Luke 1.77).

ascension_walsinghamBut the key thing to notice in Daniel 7 is the phrase ‘coming with the clouds of heaven’. This is associated not with anyone’s coming from heaven to earth, but rather the opposite—the exultation of the Son of Man as he comes from the earth to the one seated on the heavenly throne. This is language both distinct from, and opposite to, Paul’s use of ‘coming on the clouds’ in 1 Thess 4.17. This would have been very obvious to Paul’s readers, since he uses quite different language for ‘coming’, the word parousia meaning ‘royal presence’.

Noticing this difference helps us unravel several key texts in the gospels. In Mark’s account of Jesus’ trial, Jesus says to the High Priest:

You will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven (Mark 14.62)

This cannot refer to Jesus’ return to earth (‘second coming’) unless Jesus was deluded about how soon that would happen. But more importantly, it cannot mean this because it is an almost exact quotation from Daniel 7, and refers to Jesus’ (the Son of Man’s) ascending to the throne of God and fulfilling the destiny of Israel. That is why the High Priest considered it blasphemy: in effect, Jesus was crucified because he anticipated his Ascension!

Similarly, Matt 24 makes no sense unless we read it in the light of Daniel 7. Jesus predicts that:

At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the peoples of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory… (Matt 24.30)

but then goes on to say, quite solemnly, ‘Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened’ (Matt 24.34). Unless both Jesus and Matthew (and those collecting the canon) were mistaken, this must have already happened—and it did, in the Ascension. Jesus was caught up in the clouds of heaven to sit at the Father’s right hand in glory.

The lectionary reading for Ascension Day is Acts 1.1–11, the fullest account in the New Testament of the moment of Jesus’ ascension. There are a few important things to note about it.

We have already noticed that it is the Ascension which provides Luke with the point of division between ‘all that Jesus began to do and to teach’ and the continuing ministry of the apostles, through which Jesus continues to act and to teach by means of the Holy Spirit. What is striking in this account, though, is that Jesus’ teaching of the apostles ‘whom he had chosen’ can only happen ‘through the Holy Spirit’. Just as Jesus ministered by the Spirit (and after his testing in the desert ‘in the power of the Holy Spirit’, Luke 4.14), so after his resurrection he continues to do so, setting the pattern for the apostles themselves. They cannot continue his ministry until they, too, are ‘clothed with power from on high’ (Acts 1.8).

This is a time ‘after his suffering’ which appears already to be a semi-technical term for his being handed over, beaten, and crucified, his ‘passion’. You might think that his simply being alive was enough to answer any questions the disciples had—yet Luke agrees here with Matthew’s description that ‘some doubted’ (Matt 28.17) in that they need ‘many convincing proofs’.

The language of ‘forty days’ is significant throughout scripture. ‘Forty’ signifies an interim period of waiting, testing, and preparation, including the time the rain fell during the flood (Gen 7.4), the Exodus wanderings (Num 32.13), the periods of Moses’ life (according to Stephen in Acts 7, 23, 30, 36), Elijah at Mount Horeb (1 Kings 19.8), Jonah’s preaching to Nineveh (Jonah 3.4)—and so on. It is often the time period between major epochs in the biblical narrative of God’s acts of salvation.

Jesus continues to teach about the ‘kingdom of God’, which continues the central theme of his preaching in the gospels. This would make sense within a Jewish context, where God was thought of as ‘king’ and the eschatological hope was for the manifestation of his reign as king over Israel—and the whole world. But it is striking that as Acts unfolds, and within the writings of Paul that we have, the language of the kingdom takes second place to other language of resurrection and salvation.

The ‘gift which my Father promised’ echoes Johannine language from Jesus’ Farewell Discourse, which has been explored in recent lectionary readings. The contrast between the water baptism of John and the Spirit baptism of Jesus picks up the language of John himself from the beginning of Luke’s gospel (Luke 3.16), but this pairing also forms a theme in Acts, where those who believe are both baptised with water and with the Spirit.

The question in Acts 1.6 ‘Will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel’ demonstrates the disciples’ continuing, nationalistic, misunderstanding of the meaning of the kingdom—so they really did need those 40 days of teaching! Rather than directly rebuke them, Jesus leads them in a different direction; the Spirit will equip them to be his witnesses ‘to the ends of the earth’. It transpires that this is the meaning of OT eschatological expectation that all nations will be drawn to Jerusalem, not in the physical sense of migration, but in the spiritual sense of being drawn to the Jewish messiah who was crucified and raise there. This becomes crucial at the Council in Acts 15 called to make sense of the ‘gentile mission’, and is reflected in Revelation’s vision of people drawn from every tribe, language, people and nation as the new multi-ethnic Israel of God in Rev 7.9.

Finally, the angel makes an explicit connection between the Ascension and the anticipation of Jesus’ return (never in the NT described as his ‘second coming’, paired with the incarnation, but as his ‘return’, pairing it with the Ascension). We might, on first reading, think that the correlation is being one of the means of travel, so to speak—he will ‘come back in the same way you have seen him go’. But the theological connection is much more significant. Jesus ascends to the throne of God, to sit ‘at his right hand’, exercising the power and authority of God by means of the Spirit. If Jesus is now Lord de jure then one day he must become Lord de facto. He final revelation as Lord of all is the inevitable consequence of his exaltation to the Father now.

d0311e77564b78a4e94183b54dc42a16If the Ascension is so important in the NT, what does it mean?

  1. Authority. Jesus is enthroned with the Father. It is because of the Ascension that the lamb who was slain is seated with the one on the throne and shares his worship (Revelation 4). It is in the Ascension that ‘all authority has been given to me’ (Matt 28.18). And this authority means that Stephen is confident that he is held by a higher power, even to the point of death—his final vision is of Jesus ascended in Daniel 7 terms (Acts 7.55–56)
  2. Humanity. In the incarnation, God entered into human existence. In the Ascension, that humanity is taken up into the presence of God. We have a High Priest interceding for us who is not unable to sympathise with our challenges, dilemmas, suffering and weakness (Heb 4.15–16)
  3. Responsibility. The Ascension marked the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry; he has now given us responsibility to continue this work, empowered by the Holy Spirit. Jesus is not distant or indifferent, but he has delegated.
  4. Fidelity. Jesus ascending in the clouds to heaven promised that he will return ‘in the same way’ (Acts 1.11). His return is never called the ‘second coming’ in the NT, because it is not paired with his ‘first coming’ (the Incarnation) but with the Ascension. As God has put all things under his feet, one day his authority de jure will be an authority de facto.

(Published previously.)

Signup to get email updates of new posts
We promise not to spam you. Unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

If you enjoyed this, do share it on social media (Facebook or Twitter) using the buttons on the left. Follow me on Twitter @psephizo. Like my page on Facebook.

Much of my work is done on a freelance basis. If you have valued this post, you can make a single or repeat donation through PayPal:

For other ways to support this ministry, visit my Support page.

Comments policy: Do engage with the subject. Please don't turn this into a private discussion board. Do challenge others in the debate; please don't attack them personally. I no longer allow anonymous comments; if there are very good reasons, you may publish under a pseudonym; otherwise please include your full name, both first and surnames.

82 thoughts on “Why is the Ascension the most important moment in the New Testament?”

  1. Genuine question,
    If Jesus returns in the same way he left, how come “every eye will see Him”?
    Bearing in mind that His return will be in the “blink of an eye” and “like lightning”.
    Or, perhaps I’m just too affected by the images of Jesus softly wafting upwards. Perhaps i should see his ascension in terms of being “snatched up” in a flash, like a thunderbolt?
    I’ve partially answered my own question but I wonder what you have to say on the actual event. Did He rise like a hot air balloon, or like an arrow?

      • Jock, You think the question absurd; obviously, He may have left like an ascending skylark—He may return (figuratively?) “like a blazing mountain falling into the sea.” But these don’t seem “in like manner”.
        how say you?

          • To CHRIS :

            Well, what do you expect, Chris, from a, Gk. ” Soma Pneumatikon” = a, ” Supernatural body. ”

            (cf. 1 Cor. 15:44, in ‘The First Epistle of Saint Paul to the Corinthians’, by Jean Hering – Professor in the Faculty of Protestant Theology, at the University of Strasbourg.)

    • Acts 1:11 means that if you want to know how he will return then you mentally play backwards the images of his ascension. He went up bodily; he will come down bodily. Of course there are differences that this description does not engage with, such as the season of the year (e.g., the Return will clearly be at Tabernacles). I believe the description in Acts 1:11 is limited to how he will return and simply does not engage with the fact that he went upwards quietly but will come downwards in thunder.

      • To ANTON.

        1 Thess. 4:17, Anton.

        Will Jesus’ coming only be for a “drive through”, or is Jesus coming with a “one-way” ticket back to the earth, in order to rule on the earth (cf. Rev. 5:10) ?

        • Dear Pellegrino

          I believe that this refers to what happens to those believers in Jesus alive on the earth at the moment of his return in glory. I can’t find any explicit unambiguous statement of the “pre-tribulation rapture” anywhere in scripture, and it is conscicuous by its absence from the signs Jesus gives in the Olivet discourse of what to look for in the trun-up to his return.

          • Dear ANTON;

            I think we’re ‘on the same page’ here. Would you also agree that the ‘Gospel’ that Jesus first announced in Mark 1:14-15, concerned an earthly Kingdom of God, and that the disciples still retained expectations of an earthly Kingdom of God, in Acts 1:6, AND, that Jesus’ teaching about the Kingdom of God over ‘forty days’, DID NOT CONTRADICT the disciples expectations, in Acts 1:6, of an earthly Kingdom, in which national Israel would play a key part ?

          • Dear Pellegrino

            No contradiction, indeed. When Jesus returns in glory to this world, his faithful shall return with him. He will act for the Millennium as king of Israel and emperor of the world, governing from Jerusalem, and his risen faithful will be his empire administrators in their own lands. I am unsure how long the millennium will last in clock time, but it is a finite span and is foreclosed by the releasing of Satan, the final rebellion, the doom of Satan and the final judgement and the New Jerusalem.

            Acts 20, the millennium, is NOT a recapitulation of the church era. Satan is bound during the millennium according to that chapter, yet he is free to oppose the saints in the church era.

    • To STEVE :

      From the two options you provide Steve, it would have more like a “hot air balloon’.

      It must have been a wonderful phenomenon.

    • Perhaps in your mind’s eye?

      I suspect everyone will experience a physical manifestation in their bodies when He is returning. For the saved, a deep sense of joy and excitement but for those who will be lost, a foreboding sense of coming judgement. Every living human being at the time will experience it. God have mercy on us.

      Alternatively if you think more literally, perhaps due to the world-wide communication systems we already have, everyone with the internet or equivalent (and by then everyone will have it) will see it literally happen, so essentially the whole world will witness his return.


  2. Is, by inference, the cloud a reference to the Shekinah? Shared wisdom please – I’m preaching on the Ascension in our current series on the creed.

    • Marg Mowczko has an interesting post on ‘shekinah’:


      This morning I read 1 Kings 8 – when the ark was brought to the temple, and “the cloud filled the house of the LORD” so that the priest could not do their service, for “the glory of the LORD filled the house.” From what Solomon says in v12 it would seem that this cloud was a dark cloud. ESV translates the Hebrew as “thick darkness”.

      However, it is an interesting speculation that the cloud which took Jesus up from their sight is the cloud of God’s presence. However, I would not put too much weight on it.

      • Hello David,
        Cloud of Glory: Shekniah.
        Why not place weight on it? Or as much as any scholarship? Scripture interprets scripture. It is intermeshed.
        The article I’ve linked supports your link, albeit in shorter order.

    • Hi Derek,
      Clouds are all metaphors, obviously.
      I think the Glory that came down on Solomon’s temple, the Shekinah, was a visible metaphor for the presence of God, like the cloud that Jesus was enveloped in at His transfiguration.
      The cloud, therefore, that hid Jesus when He ascended, represented God.
      More specifically, the cloud is where the Throne is, hidden from mortal view, where are all the witnesses, martyrs, angels, elders etc..

    • TO DEREK :

      Yes, Derek – your interesting point should be mentioned in your sermon. The literal cloud could also, possibly, be seen as symbolic references to the Shekinah (God’s presence), and Jesus entering into heaven (cf. Hebrews 9:24; and, Matthew 17:5 – where God’s voice spoke out of a bright cloud).

      Best wishes for your sermon.

  3. Thanks for this important reframing of the high point of our Christian Faith. I always think of it as being Easter Sunday, with the presentation of the Gospel being that of Paul’s summary in 2 Tim 2:8 8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel…

    I would be interested to know how you bring together this further emphasis on the ascension as being the high point of our Christian Calendar with Hebrews; there (as we learn from David Moffitt) Jesus acting as High Priest makes for us a new and living way into the heavenly temple. To what extent is the ascension a vindication of the work of Christ in dying for our sins and defeating the evil one, and to what extent is it a continuation of his ministry of redemption making way for us a living access into the presence of God?

  4. May I recommend on this subject the fine short book Where is Jesus now? And what is he doing? A fresh look at the Ascension by David Pawson?

  5. I entirely agree with your reading of Daniel 7 and Jesus’ allusions to it in the gospels. I do wonder, however, if Paul’s use in 1 Thessalonians 4:7 and the use in the wider tradition, which associates the clouds with Jesus’ return, is not influenced by Acts 1:9-11.

    The account of the Ascension Acts 1:9 tells us that a cloud took Jesus from the disciples’ sight, and in v. 11 two men in white robes tell the disciples that “This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

    He is taken in the clouds, he will return with the clouds…….It seems a small, and reasonable step to me, although the reader needs to be aware that Jesus’ allusions in the Gospels to Daniel have to be read differently

    • To DAVID :

      Your comment seems very reasonable, David.

      The big question is :

      When the living saints are taken up in the clouds to meet the Lord Jesus, will they be escorting Jesus back to the earth, to rule on the earth (Rev. 5:10) ? Does 1 Thess. 4:17 imply that Jesus is coming with a one way ticket to the earth ?

        • Yes, indeed; but that (in Rev. 21) will only happen after the Millennial earthly Kingdom (in Rev. 20).

          I’ve been looking at the Hebrew text of Psalm 110:1, PC Peter. There’s a big DIFFERENCE between ‘YAHWEH’ (which is our Father God’s personal name) and ‘ADONI’ ( = ‘master’ or ‘lord’).

          Thus Psalm 110:1 should read :

          “Yahweh said to my master”,

          or, “Yahweh said to my lord”.

          Where Psalm 110:1 is repeated in Matthew 22:24; Professor Tom Wright translation (‘The New Testament for Everyone’) has :

          ” The Master says to my master’ (Matt. 22:24), meaning :

          “GOD says to my master (the Messiah)”. (cf. John 20:31; Acts 2:36).

          Thus, as Paul says in Ephesians 4:5-6 :

          There is one lord (Heb. ‘adoni) Jesus, and One God, the Father.

          • To Pelligrino – I have noticed in this post that you continue to propagate the same esoteric arguments as previously concerning the nature of our Lord Jesus Christ (incidentally in this context, you have misquoted Ephesians 4:5 – it does not say “one God, the Father”; it says” God *and* Father).

            In the previous post, you quoted extensively from John’s gospel and yet for some strange reason omitted the confession of doubting Thomas “my Lord *and* my God” [John 20:28]. Note the conjunction “and” as in Ephesians! According to your analysis, Jesus should have rebuked him. On the contrary He commends him. Why? From the evidence , both from Scripture and from the Greek of that time, Kurios means a heck of a lot more than “adoni”. When the crowds cried out in the presence of the Emperor “Caesar is Lord” they were certainly *not* affirming him as as secondary Jewish divinity. No! “Caesar is God” they cried. “Jesus is Lord” therefore is significantly profunder than you allow!

          • To COLIN.

            Thank you for your comments. In response :

            (1). My beliefs concerning God and His Messiah (cf. Psalm 2:1-3; Acts 24-26; Rev. 12:10) can be read directly off the pages of the Bible, so they can hardly be described as ‘esoteric’.

            (2). Ephesians 4:6 is in full agreement with what Paul wrote earlier in 1 Cor. 8:6; which is that for FIRST CENTURY Christians, there was ONLY ONE GOD, and He was THE FATHER. This of course, fully comports with the clear words of our lord Jesus Messiah, when He plainly states regarding solely the FATHER (John 17:1):

            “And this is eternal life, that they might know Thee THE ONLY TRUE GOD, and Jesus Christ [Messiah] Whom You have sent.”

            ( John 17:3; cf. KJV).

            Hence, Paul writes in 1 Cor. 8:6 :

            “We have ONLY ONE GOD, and He is THE FATHER”

            (1 Cor. 8:6; CEV);

            and, in Eph. 4:6a, which reads :

            “There is ONE GOD Who is the FATHER” (CEV).

            If you were a Greek scholar, Colin, the you know that the CEV rendering is a perfectly valid translation from the Greek. See also the CJB, NLV, JB, and NJB)

            (3). Contrary to your supposition that I have ignored John 20:28, I have indeed, written about it, in previous article comments. (scroll back in the ‘Archives’).

            Thomas’ words in John 20:28 have to be taken in the important context of John 14: 5-11, where Thomas and Philip interview our lord Jesus Messiah. Jesus explains that to see Him, is to spiritually ‘see’ the Father, because the Father spiritually indwelt Jesus (John 10:38; 14:10-11). Thus full Faith recognizes that in Jesus, we spiritually ‘see’ the Father – Who is THE ONLY TRUE GOD (John 17:3). In John 20:28, Thomas finally comes to that full faith, and ‘sees’ in Jesus, THE ONLY TRUE GOD, WHO IS THE FATHER (John 17:3). Thomas sees the revelation of ONLY TRUE GOD, within Jesus, and through Jesus. This is why the original ending to John’s Gospel (Chap. 21 is a later ‘Appendix’) states that the reason why John’s Gospel was written, is to encourage people to believe :

            “that JESUS IS THE CHRIST (MESSIAH), THE SON OF GOD, and that by believing, you may have life in His name.” (John 20:31; cf. 1 John 3:23; 4:15; 5:1, 5, 12, 13).

            (4). Unlike Roman Emperors who were polytheists, the early Christians were Monotheists. ‘Adoni’ in the Hebrew text of Psalm 110:1, is the basis, apropos YHWH (‘Yahweh) God’s lord Messiah (cf. Psalm 2:2).

            The whole Bible confirms Jesus’ words that THE FATHER IS THE ONLY TRUE GOD. Hence :

            John 17:3 = Mark 12:29 = Deut. 6:4 = Isa. 63:16 + Isa. 64:48 = Mal. 2:10 = John 8:54 = John 20:17.

            Father God’s personal name is registered by the Tetragrammaton (‘YHWH’), which occurs 6,828 in the Hebrew MT Text. There is now almost universal scholastic consensus that Father God’s name was pronounced as ‘Yahweh’. Thus, Psalm 110:1 reads via the Hebrew MT Text

            ” Yahweh [GOD] said to my lord [adoni] “

          • So you keep saying. Im quite happy that overall the NT teaches the Trinity. If you disagree so be it, but there’s little point harping on about it here. I for one am not interested in arguing with you over the reality that is the Triune God.

          • No, PC 1;

            We’re discussing Psalm 110:1, as mentioned in Ian’s Essay on the Ascension. Have you read Ian’s article, PC 1 ?

            Some people are very interested in the Bible as the infallible source of authority for Christian faith and practice, and some people are not.

    • I have read that the Orthodox tradition associates ‘there are those who shall not taste death until… ‘ not with the Ascension but with the Transfiguration.

  6. Not too late to think upon the ascension…
    But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. Hebrews 12:21-23

    Jesus has come into His inheritance and so have we.

    • To STEVIE :

      Great verses, Steve, and a very astute comment.

      By the way, it’s never too late to think upon the Ascension of Christ ! How can we forget it ? It’s a miraculous marvel.

      Thank God for Jesus !

      • Hi Mr P.
        Some time ago I likened my understanding of the trinity as looking through a prism.
        By looking in the Spirit we see the Father AND the Son.
        By being in the Son we see the Spirit AND the Father.
        By resting in the Father we are more aware of the Spirit and Jesus.
        There is One God and Jesus is His son. We can’t , by our very nature stand outside and comprehend the whole of God, we only see Him from one of three persppectives at a time. This is why Paul takes care to never step outside and try to sum up the trinity.
        Usually he is in the Spirit so his emphasis is on Jesus and the Father.
        Rest in the Father, as John does in Rev.5:6 and see the Lamb AND the Spirit.

        My penneth worth oh great one!

  7. To Pellegrino. You sometimes don’t seem to have an inability to read what others have written . I described your *arguments* as esoteric. What is more, you seem to have an innate capacity for presenting eisegesis as inrerpretation. For example, in John 20:28 you declaim that Thomas ‘sees’ in Jesus “the one true God who is the Father”[ 17:3] .
    But what you have failed to see is that the “context” of the two verses: 17: 3 is not simply recognition of Jesus’ relationship to the Father, but an acknowledgement (alongside other aspects the High Priestly Prayer of His (Jesus’) divine calling, and ,more to the point, the intimatacy ot the relationship the Son has with the Father. “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the *exact representation of His being*” [Hebrews 1:3].
    20: 28 however is something profounder still: The expression “my Lord and my God” is in this context a statement of *worship* and (as I said previously) the conjunction ‘and’ juxtaposes the two terms ‘Lord’ and ‘God’ (kurios and theos) , clearly indicating his confession of as Jesus as God. Now given that this could invoke images of, for example, Docetism. Nevertheless, this is what Scripture says. Returning to John 17:3: How the misapplication of one word can alter its meaning. Look again! This verse does *not* say, as you claim, “the only true God *who* is the Father”. Rather, ” the only true God *and* Jesus Christ —-“.
    If you still have have difficulty with what is actually recorded in the text concerning what Thomas *actually* said about Jesus and God, then I humbly suggest you peruse more fully the phrase *Son of God* . Hebrews 1 would be a good starting point! If as Scripture maintains Jesus was born through the instrumentality of the Holy Spirit, then at the very least, He (not to mention the Holy Spirit) must carry “something of the nature and character of the Father? After all, has not God given “his only begotten Son “the name that is above every other name”[Phil. 2:9] ?
    Finally, I have never claimed to be a Greek scholar. However, for the first time on the blog site, I have to confess I do have an honours degree in theology from Nottingham University and consequently I think I know how, for example, to distinguish Hebraic terms from Greek and certainly I would not go not to the extent of confusing such words as ‘adoni’ in the OT with ‘Kurios’ (Lord) in the New (section4)!

    • Colin, can you remind me where ‘Scripture maintains that Jesus was born through the instrumentality of the Holy Spirit’, please?

      • Steven, If you are not happy with the creedal statement “born of the virgin Mary” then Luke 1:35 might assist. Otherwise I am silll busy with coming to terms with how Shaliach thought has become the primary source of NT doctrine!

        • ‘Pellegrino’ does not speak for me, and I asked a simple question, without any implication of not being happy with the statement ‘born of the virgin Mary’. How can one discuss when such insinuations are the tone? Creedal statements are of value only as distilling what Scripture says. Does it not tell you something that you should start off with a creedal statement in answer to my query, one that is not even to the point?

          Luke 1:35 says ‘holy spirit will come upon you’ – no definite article. The text is saying that the child will be conceived of holy spirit and not therefore ‘of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man’. The holy spirit is that of God, pure and simple, because God is Spirit and God is holy – that much is surely not at issue. There are no intrinsic grounds for imposing on the text the post-NT Trinitiarian dogma. Can you not see that it would have been meaningless for the angel to be referring, without explanation, to some nameless third divine person called ‘the Holy Spirit’? Her knowledge of God was based on the Old Testament, and the Old Testament speaks only of his holy spirit, as an attribute of God. The angel goes on to say “therefore the child will be called holy [because his conception does not involve a man], the son of God [i.e. not the son of some unheard-of person of the ‘Triune God’]”.

          In your Trinitarian view, what does ‘God’ refer to here (and wherever ‘son of God’ occurs)? It cannot be the third that is Jesus himself, given that he cannot be the son of himself. And if it is the Holy Spirit, in what sense is the remaining third the father?

          For a more extended discussion, see pp 67-71 of When the Towers Fall.

  8. To COLIN.

    Thank you for your comments, Colin, and God bless you.

    Can I possibly ask who were New Testament tutors at the University of Nottingham, when you studied there?

    In response to your comments :

    1. I fully agree with the statement in Hebrews 1:3; and I fully accept that Jesus had a unique relationship with God, and that He was quite literally ‘the Son of God’ via Mary, as Luke relates in his Gospel (Luke 1:30-35). I also agree that Jesus was a full revelation of His Father. This is why to see Jesus, was to ‘see’ His Father, Who is the only true God (therefore, John 14:10-11 = John 20:28).

    There seem to be two immediate major problems with your apparent interpretation of John 20:28 :

    (i). It totally contradicts Jesus’ plain words in John 17:3; where Jesus clearly refers to the Father. Unfortunately, you seem to be implying that the Greek text of John 17:3, is some how wrong (as Augustine did), and the text should be effectively changed to read that ‘ the Only true God ‘ refers to the Father, and Jesus. If so, can you name one serious, reputable New Testament scholar who would agree with you, Colin ?

    (ii). It contradicts John’s original conclusion in John 20:31. If Jesus is ‘God’, as you seem to suggest, then John would obviously have written something like :

    ” These things written so that you may believe that Jesus is God, and the Messiah, and that by believing this, you may have eternal life.”

    But John doesn’t say this. Hence, John is careful to present Jesus still within the confines of Jewish Monotheism. The Christology of John (as Anglican scholar, Canon Anthony E. Harvey noted) is best understood via the Jewish ‘Shaliach’ concept, and not via the post-New Testament, Gentile, Greek philosophical approach which eventually led to the completed model of the ‘Trinity’, in the fourth century.

    (2). If you believe the God’s holy Spirit is an identifiable, distinct divine person, separate from God (the Father), ‘a la’ the Trinity model, then the holy Spirit would be Father of Jesus. This obviously demonstrates that there is something amiss.

    (3). As one leading Pauline New Testament scholar (who once taught at Nottingham University) put it, the attribution of the title ‘lord’ to Jesus, in Pauline Theology, acted more to distinguish Jesus from God (the Father), and not identify Jesus with God (the Father).

    This all has its roots in Psalm 110:1, where ‘Yahweh’ (God) speaks to ‘Adoni’. Furthermore, ‘Adoni’, by itself, is a non-Deity title.


    Simple Bible Truths :

    1. There is ONLY ONE TRUE GOD, in the Old Testament, Who WAS THE FATHER, and Whose personal name, by near universal scholastic consensus, is thought to be ‘”Yahweh”’

    Thus, via the Old Testament Hebrew MT (which employs the Tetragrammaton) :

    ” Listen, Israel ! Yahweh our God is the ONLY TRUE GOD”

    Deut. 6:4 (cf. NOG; TLB; CEV; LSB).

    ” You, O Yahweh, are OUR FATHER” (Isa. 63:16);

    ” But now, O Yahweh, You are OUR FATHER” (Isa. 64:8).

    “Do we not all have one FATHER? Did not ONE GOD create us?” (Malachi 2:10)

    Jesus admitted that the only God of the Jews was THE FATHER, in John 8:54, when Jesus said :

    “The One Who gives Me honour is My FATHER, and You [the Jews] say He is YOUR GOD” (John 8:54; EXB).

    JESUS embraced the Jewish Shema of Deut. 6:4, recapitulated in Mark 12:29; and Jesus fully and clearly admited that :

    THE FATHER is “THE ONLY TRUE GOD” (John 17:3).

    Thus, for Jesus, the FATHER is His GOD, and our God. (John 20:17 cf. Rev. 3:12; 1 Cor. 8:6).

    Because THE FATHER IS ONLY TRUE GOD (John 17:1-3), John’s Gospel was written to encourage Faith in JESUS as THE MESSIAH, THE SON OF GOD (John 20:31).

  9. Surely *all* parts of Jesus’s life were important.

    His whole life was given. And he went all the way, to the point of no turning back.

    He was authentic and real (and amazing!).

  10. Colin McCormack
    May 19, 2023 at 8:43 pm
    Thank you Colin well put. Be assured Colin you do not need to be a Greek scholar to be in the kingdom of God: Otherwise only esoterics would be allowed in.
    Luke 10:21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.
    I personally don’t have great confidence in theologians, they speak to me in rather inpenetratable language.
    John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
    Which is a comfort because He doesn’t shout at you like the esoterics who do not have the Spirit. Nor does he flatter me as the esoterics who only flatter to deceive.

    • Definition of “Esoteric” :

      Merriam-Webster Dictionary : –

      ” Difficult to understand”.

      The ‘Oxford World Encyclopaedia’ :

      ” The nature of the Trinity is held to be a mystery”.

  11. Colin McCormack
    May 19, 2023 at 8:43 pm
    Thank you Colin well put. Be assured Colin you do not need to be a Greek scholar to be in the kingdom of God: Otherwise only esoterics would be allowed in.
    Luke 10:21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.
    I personally don’t have great confidence in theologians, they speak to me in rather inpenetratable language.
    John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
    Which is a comfort because He doesn’t shout at you like the esoterics who do not have the Spirit. Nor does he flatter me as the esoterics who only flatter to deceive.

    • Yes – I may be just a simple, Country Bumpkin,

      but I do know what the word ‘ ONLY ‘ means in John 17:3,

      when JESUS says that the FATHER is :

      ” The ONLY true God”.

      Thus :

      ” At first, the Christian faith was not Trinitarian…It was not so in apostolic and sub-apostolic age, as reflected in the New Testament and other early Christian writings.”

      ” The Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics”, p. 461.

      • Personally, when I read:

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

        “…and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us…”

        That to me suggests very strongly that God is Son as well as Father. An eternal community, if you like. A shared community of consciousness and intent. Three persons. One shared Godhead.

        I think this was inbuilt within the gospel narrative. A major offence which people took about Jesus was that He implied He was God. And a key question He poses is “Who do people say I am?”

        Many of the traits attributed to God in the Old Testament we find attributed to Jesus in the New.

        Of course, this concept was almost too difficult for many people to stomach. It is implied, it is there I believe, but it’s not unreasonable to suppose that as a community it was hard to get the head round.

        Contemplative practice and experience can open some people’s mind to encounters with shared consciousness, reflecting perhaps what has pre-existed between the persons of God in eternal relationship: sharing, communion, and yet not obliterating uniqueness of ‘Father, Son or Holy Spirit’.

        In the same way – in a human way – I believe we are deeply valued as unique individuals… made not for personal obliteration, and yet also called and invited to union in God, and communion in this sharing together in the eternal household.

        Of course, most of this is mystery to us mortals, as it was in those Bible times – only seen ‘darkly’ – but as I say, I think the three persons of the Godhead were already deeply implicit in the New Testament times and texts – and indeed I believe Christ’s divinity is structured into the narrative in such a way as to coax us towards that conclusion.

        You may agree with all this, as I don’t know your own beliefs.

        • Hi, Susannah,

          Good to hear from you.

          Thanks for your interesting comments. I’ll give you a response later today, after I’ve been to ‘the Land of Nod’ (cue smiley emoji).

          Stay tuned, and God bless you.

        • Dear Susannah;

          It is becoming increasingly recognized within the field of New Testament studies that the Gospel of John utilizes the ancient Jewish ‘Shaliach’ [Agent-Representative] principle in describing God’s relationship to His Son, Messiah Jesus. As both Jesus (Mark 12:29-30; John 17:3) and Paul attest (1 Cor. 8:6; Eph. 4:5-6), for Christians of the First century, there was only one God, that one God was the Father.

          The ‘Theological Dictionary of the New Testament’ states, in it’s article on ‘Apostolos’ (= a messenger; or, ‘One who is authorized by another to act as his agent and representative’ – cf. Hebrews 3:1, where Jesus is God’s Apostle, or, as Anglican Canon Terry Palmer puts it : “Jesus is the Apostle-Envoy or ‘Shaliach’ of God”) :

          ” The summed up the basis of the Shaliach (Hebrew : Agent) concept in the frequently quoted statement –

          ‘The one sent by man is as the man himself’ (Bet., 5:5)’.”

          That is, the Shaliach [the authorized agent] is as good as the Sender, in all that the Shaliach says and does, in the execution of his task.

          Also, as eminent New Testament scholar, George B. Caird, wrote :

          ” this practice of treating the agent [Shaliach] as though he were the principal [i.e. the Sender] is of the greatest importance for New Testament Christology.”

          (‘The Language and Imagery of the Bible’; 1988; p.181).

          Jesus repeatedly relies on the ‘Shaliach’ concept in verses like John 12:44 :

          ” He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in the One [God] Who sent Me ” (John 12:44); and, in John 13:20 :

          ” I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts Me, and whoever accepts Me, accepts the the One [God] Who sent Me.”

          Consequently, as ‘The Oxford Handbook of the Reception of History of the Bible”, puts it :

          ” The Repeated stress, in these and other passages, on the sending [by God] of Jesus (e.g. John 5:23-24; 5:36-37; 7: 10:36; 17:18) indicates that His depiction as GOD’S authorized envoy [i.e. Agent-Representative] is to be explained against the background of Jewish notions of Agency. Based on the principle that the one who is sent (Hebrew : Shaliach) is empowered with the full authority of the Sender …Jesus, therefore, functions as the unique emissary [i.e. the unique Agent- Representative of God], because the Father [‘the only true God’; John 17:3] ‘has placed all things in His hands’ (John 3:35). Jesus’ words and works are those of God, including the giving of life and executing judgement (John 5:21-22; 5:27). The Son acts in dependence on the One Who sent Him (John 7:28; 8:42; 10:37; 12:49), and commits Himself obediently to the will of the Father (John 4:34; cf. John 5:30; 6:38;). During His earthly life He [Jesus] speaks and acts in unity [of purpose and will] with God (John 10:30), so that to see and know Him is to see and know the Father [the Father being ‘the only true God’; John 17:3] (John 12:45; 14:7, 14:9 [14:10-11)).”

          Conclusion : Whereas the ancient Jewish ‘Shaliach’ concept attests to the absolute truth and beauty of our lord Jesus’ words in John 17:1-3, that the FATHER is “the ONLY TRUE GOD”, – the post-New Testament, Fourth century, Gentile-Greek, Philosophical model of the ‘Trinity’ struggles badly with these words.

          • It has nothing to do with the equivalent of the English law of
            Agency, of Principal and Agent, (even if it may be a necessary question of real and ostensible authority) it is clear from the scripture.!
            Jesus has authority of and in himself, as God.
            Jesus is the Principal and Agent combined, in One. Yet again another distinctiin without a difference.

        • Hi, Susannah;

          A quick word about your comments on John 1:1-14.

          The Greek word ‘Logos’ can mean : ‘Word’, ‘Expression’, ‘Speech’, ‘Reason’, Thought’, ‘Plan’, et al.

          God’s ‘Word’ is frequently His ‘Self-Expressive activity’, which was powerfully manifested in the creation of the universe. Hence, as Psalm 33:6 states :

          ” By the WORD of Yahweh [God], the Heavens were made.”

          The concept of God’s ‘Word’ is analogous to the concept of God’s ‘Wisdom’ (which is personified as a woman, in Proverbs chap. 8). Thus :

          ” God of my ancestors, merciful LORD, by Your WORD you created everything. By Your WISDOM you made us humans, to rule over creation” (Wisdom 9:1).

          God’s (i.e. Yahweh’s (cf. Deut. 6:4), Who is ‘the Father’, cf. Isa. 63:16; John 17:1-3) Word, in John 1:1, refers to God’s (i.e. the Father’s) Self-manifestation, which was eventually expressed in a human being (cf. John 1:14) – when Jesus was born as God’s Son and Messiah (cf. Luke 2:11, Luke 1:30-35).

          Thus, to see and know Jesus. is to spiritually ‘see’, the only true God, Who is the Father. (John 14:1-11; John 17:1-3 ; John 20:28; Rev. 3:12; 1 Cor. 8:6; et al).

          Thus, John 1:1, in its original setting, may well have meant :

          ” In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God [the Father, just as ‘Wisdom’ was ‘with God’ in Prov. 8:29b-30a], and the Word manifested God [the Father] “.

          In Jesus, we see the Manifestation of the Father (Who is the only true God; John 17:3), in a human being (cf. Acts 2:22), Who was resurrected (Acts 2:24), and exalted as Messianic lord (cf. Acts 2:36).

          God bless you, Susannah.

        • Hi Susannah

          Someone has pointed out to me that on social media you have called me ‘evil’.

          It therefore seems odd that you feel able to come here and continue to take advantage of my hospitality in making comments.

          I am not sure what to do. How do you think I should respond to someone who defames me behind my back and then comments here as if nothing has happened?

          • Ian, I genuinely don’t know what you are talking about. I’d appreciate an exact quotation and reference.

            To be plain, I do not regard you as evil. I don’t agree with all your views and I think some of them can be profoundly damaging, but I don’t recall ever calling you – as a person – evil. Would you care to let me know (by email or here) what you are talking about?

            Honestly, I am fine about being excluded if you choose. Can we sort this out, which I should prefer? Otherwise, God be with you.

          • Ian, it’s not my style to say a person is evil. You may recall, I wrote to the vicar of my ‘home’ church when you were going to give a teaching day there, appealing to her to also arrange a teaching day by a liberal speaker to balance the teaching that the congregation heard.

            I specifically wrote (you can check with her):

            “I don’t think Ian is a bad man. In fact, I feel protective and warm towards him for his ardour. But his voice is by far not the only voice in the Church. It is at one extreme, frankly.”

            That statement represents my continuing view of you.

          • SC,
            I. see that as a noxious categorisation, both in style and substance of Ian Paul.
            It also takes me back almost a decade and a half where colleagues labelled people as good or bad.
            Here, you in your ad hom at once describe IP as “not a bad person” but “extreme” therby inverting in a mere heartbeat centuries of mainstream to extreme and outliers to mainliners.
            It is no small matter when style camouflages substance, particularly the dark substance of the heart, that factory of idols that it is.
            Not only that your view of IP as extreme raises serious questions for humanity in general, as the West goes to pot, mainlining on extreme ideology of sexuality and gender and within the Church as it resets and rewrites in stone its own new-exclusive edicts, on the wrong side of history,
            in eternity.

          • Geoff, Ian can answer for himself. He’s made the claim: “Someone has pointed out to me that on social media you have called me ‘evil’.”

            It is up to him to produce the link and the evidence to that claim, because I don’t believe I ever have.

            I believe it is a false (or to put it more generously, mistaken and misinformed) accusation. I was here, simply posting in defence of the Holy Trinity as someone else politely denied it. I believe that the Holy Trinity is a fundamental truth about Christianity.

            Disagreeing with somebody’s views is not the same as defaming them as a person. I simply do not believe I have ever called Ian ‘evil’.

            I think most people know that there are those in the Church who want all teaching against gay sex to be forbidden, and at the other extreme or end of the argument are those who want blessings and affirmation of gay sex to be forbidden.

            Those are the extreme (or absolutist) ends of the debate (which I did not come here even to discuss). I don’t occupy either extreme (or absolutist) position. I sit, probably like most people in the Church of the England, between those two extremes: believing in freedom of conscience and protection of conscience for both sets of views.

            I was here to assert the truth about the Trinity to one of Ian’s contributors. Then out of the blue… this.

            So I’d appreciate Ian producing the quote where I “called him evil” because I don’t think it exists. I think some of his views are harmful, but that does not make him “evil”. On the contrary, I have expressly stated that he is not a bad person. I happen to think Brexit is harmful, but that doesn’t mean that the people who voted for it are “evil” or bad.

            I do pray for Ian. I do have warm feelings and concern and protectiveness towards him, as I have stated before, because I believe he has ardour for God.

            I cannot be framed as claiming Ian is evil. He’s not.

          • SC,
            Sure, Ian can answer for himself, and I’m not privvy to any social media, nor do I want to be and while I think the legal tort of defamation is bandied about far too frequently your description of Ian as *extreme* in his capacity as a Biblical scholar on this site, and as an ordained minister may be borderline arguable. Even the within the confines of CoE general synod his biblical scholarship would be far from extreme, and in the broader world wide sphere of Anglicans it would represent a substantial majority and in that context your labelling of extreme and all the freight the word carries, would be weighed.
            What is clear too me is that trust is scuppered by a self revealed camouflaged style. And any idea of walking together is eviscerated. Open and transparent, it ain’t.
            In the impassibility of God this is an inglorious impasse; not of the Way.

  12. Yet again, though hardly surprising, a hijacking monologue.
    There is no Christianity, no life transforming Good News, without the Trinity, no matter how it is cut or put Or harnessed:

    Our. Triune God is the covenant making covenant keeping as God and as man, the Second Adam in incarnation as Prophet, Priest and King,
    All the echoes, figures, shadows, types, promises, in the full biblical canon sweep, Genesis -Revelation, even in the pre-history, pre-creation Oneness in eternity, outside time, are complete, fulfilled in Christ Jesus, fully Man fully God.

    • I’m sorry – but wasn’t Psalm 110:1, and it’s absolute, momentous implications included in Ian’s Essay on the Ascension ?

      Furthermore, as you doubtless believe that the Bible is the infallible source of authority for Christian Faith and practice, would you be kind enough to elucidate your sesquipedalian with conclusive Scriptural references?

      • Odd that. You site scripture as the infallible source of authority for your anti-Trinitarian tirades, while at the same time coral extra scriptural authority- referencing to corroborate.
        Could it be suggested that you engage with the whole sweep of Biblical Theology, on which many books and commentaries have been written.
        But again this question of your hijacking, for your own anti -Trinity mission, of a great article by Ian remains and rumbles on.

        • With great respect, Geoffrey, you may need to keep up with current New Testament research.

          Moreover, if Scripture is the sole, infallible source of authority for Christian Faith and practice, then, in principle, all Church Tradition is potentially subject to reform as our legitimate knowledge of the Bible increases as a result of on-going, responsible, and godly scholarship.

    • Geoff – more to the point, there has never been any real profession of faith from that direction; i.e. no acknowledgement of coming to believe that the crucifixion was on his behalf for his sins, that in the resurrection he sees that his sins were forgiven; that being justified through belief he now has assurance that he has passed from death to eternal life (which cannot be lost). Every indication (from previous discussions) that it is Christ plus something else, the something else being how well he gets on with the process of sanctification.

      But I’m much more alarmed by other things that I see here. Suppose someone with a rational mind, searching for the truth, goes to church and hears a sermon where the preacher says, ‘oh Jesus will be coming back again – and when he returns, he’ll be king over Israel and Emperor of the World. He’ll keep this job for 1000 years before goofing off back up to heaven again.’ He’s likely to say to himself, ‘hmmm …. doesn’t sound like the truth to me’, he’ll be very polite on the way out, smiling cordially and treating the preacher with the gentle respect that is due to the criminally insane and then skedadling as fast as he can and perhaps, when he gets home, ring up the local funny farm and tell them that there is a job for the yellow van with square wheels down at the local church.

      I mean – this is just incredible. When presenting the gospel message, there is the offence of the cross – namely, why Jesus had to die, what it means for us and our fallen sinful state, the fact that we need a redeemer. This is supposed to be the *only* offence when presenting the gospel message; we’re not supposed to go out of our way to make it look like a complete joke; we’re not supposed to make the local church look like some sort of loony bin.

        • PC1 – yes, but while the central gospel message should be proclaimed to all, I’m sure that those who are content with their three score years and ten in this fallen sinful state won’t be darkening the doors of the church. Those who think that resurrection from the dead sounds like lunatic nonsense and aren’t interested in it anyway won’t be going along to church to listen in the first place.

          What bothers me is the thought that people come to church with honest intentions – and instead of the central gospel message of what the crucifixion and resurrection (and ascension) are all about, hear this about Jesus coming back to Jerusalem to reign as king for 1000 years ………

          The offense should be the offense of the cross pure and simple.

    • With great respect, Geoffrey, you are completely mixing up the ancient Jewish ‘Shaliach’ concept, with current English Law terminology.

      Furthermore, I see that the NIV Study Bible has applied the ‘Shaliach’ concept to ‘the Angel of the Lord’ in Gen. 16:7-14, and, as a consequence, concludes that we can now no longer regard it as a certainty, that ‘the Angel of the Lord’ was God – as has hitherto, been ‘Traditionally’ believed.

  13. The folly of not regarding the Bible as the sole, infallible source of authority for Christian Faith and practice :

    ” Thus You nullify the Word of God by Your Religious Tradition that has been handed down”.

    Mark 7:13; cf. Mark 7:7-8; Isa. 29:13.

    • Odd that. You site scripture as the infallible source of authority for your anti-Trinitarian tirades, while at the same time coral extra scriptural authority- referencing to corroborate along with your own unacknowledged handed-down traditions and teachings, influencers including your Unitarianism. (or similar) fellowship, gatherings.
      Could it be suggested that you engage with the whole sweep of Biblical Theology, on which many books and commentaries have been written.
      But again this question of your hijacking, for your own anti -Trinity mission, of a great article by Ian remains and rumbles on.

      • Dear Geoffrey;

        Your above comment is a mere duplicate. I have responded to the original, further up the thread.

        God bless you, Geoff.

        • Hi Jack,
          A careful reading will show it us not a mere duplication.
          It contains points you have not responded to even as you convince yourself that you have above, by deflections. and avoidances.
          Even as you cite the NIV study bible as an exemplar of up to date scholarship! ignoring swathes of up to date biblical theological scholarship.
          Every blessing in the name of God the Father, Gid the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
          Bye, bye Jack.

          • The only way to make genuine progress in Theology, is to GO BACK TO THE BIBLE.

            SOLA SCRIPTURA :

            No creed but one Christ Jesus (Yeshua), and One God (Yahweh) the Father . (See John 17:3; Mark 12:29; Isa. 63:16; 1 Cor. 8:6; Eph. 4:4-6; Acts 2:36; Rev. 3:12; Rev. 12:10).

            ” Hallelu-Yah !
            For our Lord GOD Almighty reigns’,
            Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! ” (Revelation 19:6).

            ” Now have come the salvation and the power and the Kingdom of OUR GOD, and the authority of HIS MESSIAH.” (Revelation 12:10).

            Praise Yahweh Father God, and Messiah Yeshua !

          • Good morning Pellegrino.

            (Pleas excuse the formality but as I haven’t posted here much recently, I am not sure if that is your first name, your last name, or a pseudonym.)

            Anyway, good morning.

            I don’t wish to engage in detail with your reasonings above in reply to me (sorry! work-life pressure), but I wanted to thank you for taking the trouble, and I read your points about the logos carefully.

            I should be interested to know what denomination or faith tradition you identify with (if any). Of course, only if you wish to disclose.

            Here, deep in the countryside where I live, spring is bursting into life, I have lambs in the field (making a bit of a noise as I write!), the green has exploded everywhere, blue skies overhead. And once again, in the rhythm of the seasons, new life returns!

            May the God of new life touch you this day, refresh you, give you grace and hope.

          • Good afternoon, Susannah.

            I hope this message gets to you in the right spatial location !
            Good to hear from you. Hopefully, you’ve been able to clarify any recent misunderstandings.

            You seem like a fellow nature lover, Susanna. I’m not cutting my lawns yet, for the sake of the lovely hedgehogs, insects, and birds. My ‘Denomination’, is, God willing, “The Invisible Church of God” (cf. 1 Cor. 4: 3-5; 2 Tim. 2:19). I believe that a crucial distinguishing sign of a Christian is ‘spiritual fruit’ (cf. Gal. 5:16, 22-25). If there is no real sign of spiritual fruit in any professing ‘Christian’, then something is amiss.
            I first began my early Christian pilgrimage within Anglicanism, but afterwards got baptized in a Pentecostal Church. I subsequently attended a non-denominational Bible college. I personally think that many people are much better Christians than they are Theologians, so, consequently, any genuine friend of Jesus, is a friend of mine !
            The book of Acts explicitly demonstrates what the original Apostolic Gospel was, and how it was preached. Thankfully, the Apostolic Gospel was so easy to understand, that doubtless even rural ‘country bumpkins’ could be saved (cf. Acts 2:41) – which is just as well, because I’m one of them !

            God bless you, Susannah.

Leave a comment