Add new comment

1. Yes, John appears to identify the Word at creation directly with God, but my point was only that it is the “Word”, not the “Son”, which is active at creation. And the emphasis is certainly on the independent agency of the Word in John 1:1-3: “with God” is asserted twice, and all things are made by God by means of the Word.

2. The story of Jesus calming the storm needs careful consideration, but I think that the consistent explanation of Jesus’ God-like actions in the Synoptic Gospels is that he has the authority to do such things and that that authority is derived from God. He acts as God acts not, according to the telling of these stories, because he is God but because he has been authorised to do so. It’s not always explicit, but no other explanation is given.

The question with which the story ends (“Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”) is directly answered by the Gerasene demoniac: he is “Jesus, Son of the Most High God”, which may allude to Daniel 7:27 and the “authorisation” of the people of the saints of the Most High, but which certainly evokes kingship and agency, not divine identity (Mk. 5:7). The question is also answered, to similar effect, by Peter: “You are the Christ” or “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’ (Mk. 8:29; Matt. 16:16).

3. Jesus the healer is identified not with YHWH but (at his baptism, in the synagogue in Nazareth) with the anointed servant or prophet who is sent to open the eyes of the blind, bring good news to the poor, bind up the broken hearted, etc. (Is. 42:6-7; 61:1-2). He heals because he has been authorised and empowered to heal by the Spirit of God, and he expects his disciples to do the same thing.

4. I don’t see anything in the Synoptic accounts of the feeding miracles to connect them with the provision of manna in the wilderness. The food comes from the people, not from heaven. Perhaps there is an allusion to Numbers 11:13, in which case Jesus is presented as a greater Moses (some other details reinforce this point). The more prominent analogy, however, is with Elisha, who fed a hundred “sons of the prophets” with twenty loaves of barley:

But his servant said, “How can I set this before a hundred men?” So he repeated, “Give them to the men, that they may eat, for thus says the LORD, ‘They shall eat and have some left.’” So he set it before them. And they ate and had some left, according to the word of the LORD. (2 Kgs. 4:43–44)

In John’s reinterpretation of the story Jesus is not God who sends bread from heaven but either is the Son of Man, on whom “God the Father has set his seal”, who gives the bread of life to Israel or is himself the bread of life (Jn. 6:27, 51).

5. If Jesus gives a new Law, it is because he is a new Moses.

6. The account of the raising of the widow of Nain’s son is directly dependent on the story of Elisha raising the widow of Zarephath’s son (1 Kgs. 17:17-24). In response to the miracle the people declare: ‘“A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!”’ (Luke 7:16). In other words, you didn’t have to be God to raise the dead.

7. So there is no presumption, when we get to Matthew 28, that the one to whom all authority has been given was already God. So there is no need for the tortured rationalisations that you and Piper feel obliged to offer.

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.