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how to tell the biblical story in a way that makes a difference

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Hi Andrew,

John 1:1-18 is clearly concerned to present the pre-existent Christ as divine. Logos is never used in the NT to refer to wisdom, not even once. It appears 68 times by the way.

John clearly tells us that Jesus name is the Word of God (ho logos tou theou).

μονογενὴς θεὸς, the only begotten God, or the one unique God has the best mss support. Clearly John is calling Jesus God here. If one is going to choose the alternative reading, then they should have a compelling reason for doing so. Bart Erhman can offer sheer conjecture and speculation.

Phil 2:6-11 clearly expresses Christ’s existing in the form of God, being equal to God, and then taking up the likeness of man and the form of a servant. The present participle describing Christ existing in the form of God contrasted with the aorist participle with his form of a servant is not insignificant. you breeze by it without hardly a wink.

Proverbs 8 is a Jewish literary device that has nothing to do with wisdom participating in creation. Such an intepretation hardly qualifies as sound from nearly any perspective.

Most of the recipients to the NT documents would have been unfamiliar with Jewish interpretive paradigms Therefore, any intepretive method requiring such is highly suspect, if not easily dismissed from the start.

The apostle Paul, himself a master of Jewish interpretive paradigm rejected Christ so long as he employed it in his understanding of the law and the prophets. It was only after the miracle of conversion that Paul was able to interpret the OT text accurately. Hence, you thesis dismissed entirely the supernatural component necessary to rightly understand the sacred writings. Jesus did as much in his conversion of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. The Lord must open the heart. Naturalistic intepretive paradigms are severly limited in their ability to get at the heart of the meaning of Scripture.

Col. 1:13-20 is an amazingly simple and clear articulation of Christ as existing before all things, creating all things, and even holding all things together. You have provided no adequate treatment of this text so far as I can tell.

Concerning Jewish intepretive methods, I am wondering which one is the one we should use and why? Do you favor the Rabbinic, the Hellenistic, or the Qumranican? Rabbinic hermeneutics attempted to use the Law as a refuge to protect Jewish identity. But this would violate the NT inclusion of Gentiles into the community of Christ. It was a huge source of tension in the first century. Hellenistic hermeneutics would have borrowed heavily from platonic philosophy, something Paul was highly critical of in his writings. Qumranian hermeneutics constantly approached OT prophecies throught the grid of their own experience, overlaying their own light on the text and doing what many moderns do today, seeing only themselves is verses where they simply do not exist. It did not take long before God began to reveal to the early apostles that their interpretive paradigms about His program were wrong. It began when Jesus refused to tell them when the end would come and became clearer as the gospel spread to Gentiles and the Jews continued to reject the message more and more. It was obvious that a new interpretive paradigm was being ushered in along with the appearance of the Messiah and the birth of the Church.

I have reached the end of this discussion. My time and principles will not permit further discussion at this time. I am sad to say that your system is a system of unbelief. From my perspective, you do not embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Scripture. Rather, your interpretive paradigm leads you to the wholesale rejection of the good news. I hope and pray that God will grant you the same mercy and light He granted Paul, resulting in a truth that leads to life eternal.

Take care.

Ed