3

If a lawyer works in England and then goes to the U.S.A. and becomes a lawyer there, they have not changed in that they are the same person but now in different circumstances. Did Jesus change by expressing who He was/is? Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever so He did not change by becoming flesh would seem to answer that. Adam was made in God's image so God did not have to change anything in Himself to be like Adam. Are there fundamental elements to "become" which I have not portrayed here?

2

The Word became flesh. This verse constitutes the most concise statement of the incarnation in the New Testament. John 1:1 makes it clear that the Logos was fully God, but John 1:14 makes it clear that he was also fully human. A Docetic interpretation (In Christianity, docetism (from the Koine Greek: δοκεῖν/δόκησις dokeĩn "to seem", dókēsis "apparition, phantom", is the doctrine that the phenomenon of Jesus, his historical and bodily existence, and above all the human form of Jesus, was mere semblance without any true reality. Broadly it is taken as the belief that Jesus only seemed to be human, and that his human form was an illusion) is completely ruled out. Here for the first time the Logos of John 1:1 is identified as Jesus of Nazareth – the two are one and the same. Thus this is the last time the word logos is used in the Fourth Gospel to refer to the second person of the Trinity. From here on it is Jesus of Nazareth who is the focus of John’s Gospel.

  • John the Apostle comments on the interpretation you mention And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. I John 4:3, – Nigel J Dec 1 '18 at 19:46
  • @Nigel J. In 1 John 4:3, the question really is what is most important; Jesus coming in his own flesh, or Jesus coming in ours? (Mat 7:21-23; Gal 4:19). It all hangs on the Greek word that has been translated into "the", in "coming in the flesh". The word "the" is neutral. Does it apply to his flesh, our flesh, or maybe both? And why does it say "spirit" instead of "person", which to me would have been the most logical word? – Constantthin Dec 3 '18 at 23:38
  • @Constantthin "I refer the Honourable Member to the reply I made earlier" as they say in the British House of Commons. – Nigel J Dec 3 '18 at 23:44
2

The question "What does it mean that the Word became flesh?" was posted by another user. It is similar to this question. I posted an answer to it at the link below:

https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/44434/33166

1

“Being a lawyer” is an accident,1 not an essence.2 The essence3 of the Word is θεός.

Hippolytus wrote,4

Aristotle, who was a pupil of this man (Plato), reduced philosophy into an art, and was very logical, hypothesizing that the fundamental elements of all things were “essence” (οὐσίαν) and “accident” (συμβεβηκός): one essence (οὐσίαν) underlying everything, but nine accidents (συμβεβηκότα): quantity, quality, relation, where, when, possession, posture, action, passion. Thus, essence (οὐσίαν) is such a thing as “god” (θεὸν), “human” (ἄνθρωπον), and each of the potentials falling under a similar denomination.

Ἀριστοτέλης τούτου γενόμενος ἀκροατὴς εἰς τέχνην τὴν φιλοσοφίαν ἤγαγεν καὶ λογικώτερος ἐγένετο. τὰ μὲν στοιχεῖα τῶν πάντων ὑποθέμενος οὐσίαν καὶ συμβεβηκός. τὴν μὲν οὐσίαν μίαν τὴν πᾶσιν ὑποκειμένην, τὰ δὲ συμβεβηκότα ἐννέα. ποσὸν ποιὸν πρός τι ποῦ πότε ἔχειν κεῖσθαι ποιεῖν πάσχειν. τὴν μὴν οὖν οὐσίαν τοιαύτην εἶναι οἷον θεὸν ἄνθρωπον καὶ ἕκαστον τῶν τῷ ὁμοίῳ λόγῳ ὑποπεσεῖν δυναμένων.

This essence, θεός, is inherently immutable, incapable of change or corruption. Indeed, it is the only such inherently immutable essence. It is also incorporeal, that is, spirit.5 Therefore, when “the Word became flesh,”6 that is, became human,7 which essence is tangible, corporeal,8 it did not (nor could not) cease being θεός, for that which is essentially θεός cannot cease being θεός. Consequently, the act of “becoming flesh” was the addition of the human nature (humanity) to the divine nature (deity). It was not a conversion or a replacement, but an assumption.

Since this event was a unique, divine act, never having occurred before, and never to occur again, attempting to analogize the incarnation with human acts (e.g., a man, who is a lawyer, changing locations) will never produce a comparable analogy.


Footnotes

1 Greek συμβεβηκός, Latin accidens
2 Greek οὐσία, Latin essentia
3 Not merely the office (Greek καθῆκον; Latin officium), for there are some who are θεός by office (cf. Exo. 22:8).
4 Migne, p. 3045, Ch. 20
5 John 4:24
6 John 1:14
7 For, σὰρξ is a synecdoche for “human” (ἄνθρωπος); cf. Phil. 2:6–8.
8 Luke 24:39
9 although attributed to Origen

References

Hippolytus of Rome.9 “ΦΙΛΟΣΟΦΟΥΜΕΝΑ Η ΚΑΤΑ ΠΑΣΩΝ ΑΙΡΕΣΕΩΝ ΕΛΕΓΧΟΣ.” Patrologiæ Cursus Completus: Series Græca Prior. Ed. Migne, Jacques Paul. Vol. 16, Part 3. Petit-Montrouge: Imprimerie Catholique, 1863.

  • Ubermensch The point of my analogy was- Did Jesus become anything that He was not already? Everything that Adam was , was already in the Trinity because Adam was made in the image of God. Therefore Jesus becoming flesh did not add to whom God was/is. – C. Stroud Aug 10 '19 at 15:30
1

I answered a possible duplicate of this question that I think answers this question very well. The gist is that a key to understanding John 1 is, in my humble opinion, that LOGOS does not, in that context anyway, mean "word". Or "Word". It refers to God's "utterance"; God's "speech". The word became God's message. When God speaks he does so through Christ.

[1Co 8:6 KJV] 6 But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom [are] all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him.

[2Co 3:4 KJV] 4 And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:

[Gal 4:7 KJV] 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son [of God]; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

[Eph 2:7 KJV] 7 That in the ages to come he [God] might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

[Phl 4:7, 13 KJV] 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ... 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

[Jhn 1:7 KJV] 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all [men] through him might believe.

[Jhn 3:17 KJV] 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

[Rom 5:9 KJV] 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

[Eph 2:18 KJV] 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

[1Jo 4:9 KJV] 9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

But please read my other answer as it has a lot more to say.

1

The problem with this question is it hints on getting people into a theological debate rather than interpreting this verse. John 1:18 would deal with some of the debate, but it has textual variations with is a question within itself.

This verse says the eternal Word as previously described became flesh by being born human (from a virgin mother according to the other gospels which John often doesn't repeat). John parallels this with God’s presence in the tabernacle (ἐσκήνωσεν – literally means to dwell in a tent). God’s presence in the tabernacle was described as glory. John contrasted God’s revelation in the coming of Jesus Christ with God’s revelation through Moses.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth…. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:14,17, ESV)

Καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο καὶ ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν, καὶ ἐθεασάμεθα τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ, δόξαν ὡς μονογενοῦς παρὰ πατρός, πλήρης χάριτος καὶ ἀληθείας· … ὅτι ὁ νόμος διὰ Μωϋσέως ἐδόθη, ἡ χάρις καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐγένετο. (Jn 1:14,17, NA27)

The problem with this question is it asks a question which if God gave us an answer we probably couldn’t understand it (note John 1:18).

  • You write : 'as previously described was born' - Word made flesh occurred within the virgin. The holy begetting within her. το γεννωμενον αγιον . Luke 1:35. (But +1) – Nigel J Dec 1 '18 at 13:49
  • @Nigel I edited my answer to make it clearer. – Perry Webb Dec 1 '18 at 14:12
0

Logos = Jesus. Jesus was with God - separate, and was God - the same. The word became flesh, means that the word became human. God became human.

See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” Luke 24:39

27 For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. 28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. Acts 20:27-28

0

The word became flesh. If we read this chapter from John 1:1 it's clear that Jesus was the word of God. God created everything by using Jesus who was the word. When the word was now sent to earth the word was turned to be flesh.

  • 1
    Hello Mark and welcome to the site. We like to recommend/ask that you take the tour to learn what makes for a good answer: hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/tour I agree with your answer but here we are not looking for short answers but rather answers that provide evidence to support the answer. Again, thanks and welcome. – Ruminator Dec 1 '18 at 11:56
-1

In John 1:14 what does it mean that the LOGOS “became flesh”?

Scripture tells us over and over again that GOD was the creator, and that GOD created or brought all things into being with his COMMAND / WORD, as well as sustains all things with his COMMAND / WORD, and that he did and does these things by himself:

Genesis 1: God said..., and it was so.

Psalm 33: By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth... For he spoke and it was done; he commanded and it stood fast.

Psalm 148: Let all creations praise the name of the Lord God; for he spoke and they were made; he commanded and they were created.

Hebrews 11: For it is through faith we understand that the world was framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen came to be from those which are not seen.

2 Peter 3: The present heavens and earth are sustained by God’s word, and are reserved for fire [Revelation 20:9,11 / Revelation 21:1,4] on the day of [The Great White Throne] Judgment, which is the day of the destruction of ungodly men [in The Lake of Fire aka The Second Death - which shall separate Soul from Spirit and then the individual no longer exist nor ever exist again, and then the Spirit portion shall return to or be subsumed or submerged back into GOD who lent it [Ecclesiastes 12:7: And the spirit shall return to God who gave it.] - and then Jesus and the righteous shall enter into heavenly etheric New Jerusalem and spend an eternity of harmony peace and joy with GOD - “the very God shall be with them and be their God” [Revelation 21:3]; Amen!].

Isaiah 44: I am the LORD who made all things; who stretched out the heavens alone; who spread out the earth by myself.

THAT GOD'S COMMAND / WORD became flesh, is referring to the fact that Jesus perfectly represented and expressed GOD's will / desires / thoughts.

When we see or know Jesus, then we see or know GOD, in a metaphorical sense, because Jesus perfectly represented GOD. By getting to know Jesus, you get to know GOD.

This does not mean that Jesus was and or is GOD. Jesus himself testified that GOD is an invisible unseen secret spirit in heaven (Matthew 6) (John 4).

And John 1:18 plainly says: "No man has ever seen God." This means flesh and blood human being man. And plenty of flesh and blood human being men saw Jesus, ergo Jesus COULD NOT HAVE BEEN GOD, per John 1 and many other scriptures.

I hope this answers your question.

  • H Debra. In my answer to this question I argue against the translation "Word" for LOGOS. I would also say that "command" is too specific. Please see my answer here (corrected link): hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/27051/… Thanks. – Ruminator Nov 30 '18 at 23:37
  • Hi Ruminator. Well we are in agreement in the idea that the author of John 1 in the first few verses is harkening back to Genesis 1. However I am a student of George M Lamsa and believe as he that the original was in Aramaic not Greek and so do not accept LOGOS nor its long list of meanings; also my methodology is to allow scripture to interpret itself on any given subject rather than to try to guess the meaning of a maybe original word. Thus my firm conclusion is that COMMAND is the correct, and UTTERANCE would not be specific enough. – user27512 Dec 1 '18 at 0:01
  • Can you be more specific? If Jesus is a "command" ("commandment?") then what is that command? Thou shalt... or Thou shalt not? Can you appreciate how confining that is? When Jesus healed people he was still being God's expression, no? – Ruminator Dec 1 '18 at 0:05
  • John 1:18 says: "No man has ever seen God." Yet many men saw Jesus. So John 1:1 & 14 "word" cannot be meaning Jesus. – user27512 Dec 1 '18 at 0:11
  • Agreed! Jesus is the utterance of God that became [egeneto] human. – Ruminator Dec 1 '18 at 0:24
-1

I think "became flesh" is interesting to think about because sometimes we are satisfied by the truth and consequently stop looking for the whole truth. The immediate truth is [1John1v1] that which was from the beginning [not in the beginning] i.e. from the beginning of Jesus' ministry, which we have seen and touched, tou logou, was made manifest[to us]. From the human perspective "became flesh" was a change because the Son was being seen in a new way and a new significance opened up, as by taking on human flesh He was able to condemn sin in the flesh [Rom8v4]. Here "became flesh"=change/forward movement/something new . However the less immediate truth I think is to line up our thinking with "Jesus Christ the same..etc". i.e. that becoming flesh did not add or subtract anything to the Godhead. If we have an obscure vision that becomes clear through a further revelation we may say the object has changed, true it has, but it is in us that the change has taken place and not in that which is being viewed. Here "became flesh"= a further revelation of that which does not change. "egeneto", as I understand it, is broad enough to contain these possibilities. There might have been a soma without sarx,[1Cor15v40] and there might have been the form of a man and yet no sarx [Mat14v26].

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