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Old 03-23-2021, 09:55 PM
Costeon Costeon is offline
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The Word, God's Visible Image

I have read a couple of Oneness books recently that teach that the Word before the incarnation was the visible image of God.(I believe I have read posts from Michael the Disciple on this forum teaching the same thing.) In heaven, therefore, there was always a visible form of God before the incarnation, and this form was the Word. And, if I understand this view correctly, the Angel of the Lord was the Word and not just a temporary visible manifestation of Yahweh. If you are familiar with this view, when the Angel of the Lord, i.e., the Word, appeared to someone on earth, was the visible form of the Word still in heaven as well?
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Old 03-24-2021, 09:49 AM
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Re: The Word, God's Visible Image

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Originally Posted by Costeon View Post
I have read a couple of Oneness books recently that teach that the Word before the incarnation was the visible image of God.(I believe I have read posts from Michael the Disciple on this forum teaching the same thing.) In heaven, therefore, there was always a visible form of God before the incarnation, and this form was the Word. And, if I understand this view correctly, the Angel of the Lord was the Word and not just a temporary visible manifestation of Yahweh. If you are familiar with this view, when the Angel of the Lord, i.e., the Word, appeared to someone on earth, was the visible form of the Word still in heaven as well?
1.) Which books did you read?

2.) What exactly do you mean by "heaven"?
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Old 03-24-2021, 11:12 AM
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Re: The Word, God's Visible Image

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Originally Posted by votivesoul View Post
1.) Which books did you read?

2.) What exactly do you mean by "heaven"?
1. God in Christ Jesus by John Paterson and Jehovah-Jesus by C.H. Yadon (at least edited by Yadon). I have been reading some in The Supreme Godhead by Kenneth Reeves and If Ye Know These Things by Ross Drysdale.

Drysdale includes quotes from some early Oneness leaders, like G.T. Haywood, who apparently taught the doctrine that the Word was God's visible form as well.

2. Where God's throne is, around which his heavenly court gathers. (E.g., 1 Kings 22.19).
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Old 03-24-2021, 12:43 PM
coksiw coksiw is offline
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Re: The Word, God's Visible Image

The Word in John is just a personification of the Word of God, a figure of speech, by which and through which everything was created, and had life in it.

The purpose of the personification is to explain the transfer, in a figurative way, of the authority of giving life from the Word of God to Jesus. At the end, it is just a beautiful figure of speech to say Jesus is the giver of life.

John clarifies it in his 1 John letter:

"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen [it], and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us" - 1 John 1:1-2 KJV

Personification of God's word is not new in the Bible, or the Rabbinical literature. It is a literary instrument to emphasize the authority of the Word of God.

https://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/10618-memra

Quote:
"The Word," in the sense of the creative or directive word or speech of God manifesting His power in the world of matter or mind; a term used especially in the Targum as a substitute for "the Lord" when an anthropomorphic expression is to be avoided.

—Biblical Data:
In Scripture "the word of the Lord" commonly denotes the speech addressed to patriarch or prophet (Gen. xv. 1; Num. xii. 6, xxiii. 5; I Sam. iii. 21; Amos v. 1-8); but frequently it denotes also the creative word: "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made" (Ps. xxxiii. 6; comp. "For He spake, and it was done"; "He sendeth his word, and melteth them [the ice]"; "Fire and hail; snow, and vapors; stormy wind fulfilling his word"; Ps. xxxiii. 9, cxlvii. 18, cxlviii. 8). In this sense it is said, "For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven" (Ps. cxix. 89). "The Word," heard and announced by the prophet, often became, in the conception of the seer, an efficacious power apart from God, as was the angel or messenger of God: "The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel" (Isa. ix. 7 [A. V. 8], lv. 11); "He sent his word, and healed them" (Ps. cvii. 20); and comp. "his word runneth very swiftly" (Ps. cxlvii. 15).

Personification of the Word.
—In Apocryphal and Rabbinical Literature:
While in the Book of Jubilees, xii. 22, the word of God is sent through the angel to Abraham, in other cases it becomes more and more a personified agency: "By the word of God exist His works" (Ecclus. [Sirach] xlii. 15); "The Holy One, blessed be He, created the world by the 'Ma'amar'" (Mek., Beshallaḥ, 10, with reference to Ps. xxxiii. 6). Quite frequent is the expression, especially in the liturgy, "Thou who hast made the universe with Thy word and ordained man through Thy wisdom to rule over the creatures made by Thee" (Wisdom ix. 1; comp. "Who by Thy words causest the evenings to bring darkness, who openest the gates of the sky by Thy wisdom"; . . . "who by His speech created the heavens, and by the breath of His mouth all their hosts"; through whose "words all things were created"; see Singer's "Daily Prayer-Book," pp. 96, 290, 292). So also in IV Esdras vi. 38 ("Lord, Thou spakest on the first day of Creation: 'Let there be heaven and earth,' and Thy word hath accomplished the work")....

At some point, what was just a figure of speech, became a theology, the Logos theology, as an emanation of God, which is imported from the Greek philosophy.

Last edited by coksiw; 03-24-2021 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 03-24-2021, 01:36 PM
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Re: The Word, God's Visible Image

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Originally Posted by coksiw View Post
The Word in John is just a personification of the Word of God, a figure of speech, by which and through which everything was created, and had life in it.

The purpose of the personification is to explain the transfer, in a figurative way, of the authority of giving life from the Word of God to Jesus. At the end, it is just a beautiful figure of speech to say Jesus is the giver of life.

John clarifies it in his 1 John letter:

"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen [it], and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us" - 1 John 1:1-2 KJV

Personification of God's word is not new in the Bible, or the Rabbinical literature. It is a literary instrument to emphasize the authority of the Word of God.

https://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/10618-memra




At some point, what was just a figure of speech, became a theology, the Logos theology, as an emanation of God, which is imported from the Greek philosophy.
James Dunn in his Christology In The Making traces the chronological and theological development of NT Christology, and addresses the personification issue. Tldr there is more than just a strict literary device going on in John's logos-christology.

Now, "emanations" were not unique to Greek philosophy, but are found all over the place. The Word being an "emanation" I believe originates in Tertullian's Montanist theology, which is similar to certain pre-Christian Jewish theologies regarding Metatron and the "shekinah" and their relations to God. Some of the early trinitarian ideas were borrowed from Philo and syncretic speculations about the Logos as a "2nd YHVH" acting as an intermediary function of God.

But as Dunn aptly demonstrates, John's use of logos is consistent with and firmly embedded in OT concepts of the MEMRA (word of Jehovah). John's teaching is that the memra or word of God - His living and active self expression of life and power - finds its complete fulfillment and demonstration in the man Jesus. Thus, "the logos was made flesh".
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Old 03-24-2021, 01:43 PM
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Re: The Word, God's Visible Image

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Originally Posted by Costeon View Post
I have read a couple of Oneness books recently that teach that the Word before the incarnation was the visible image of God.(I believe I have read posts from Michael the Disciple on this forum teaching the same thing.) In heaven, therefore, there was always a visible form of God before the incarnation, and this form was the Word. And, if I understand this view correctly, the Angel of the Lord was the Word and not just a temporary visible manifestation of Yahweh. If you are familiar with this view, when the Angel of the Lord, i.e., the Word, appeared to someone on earth, was the visible form of the Word still in heaven as well?
The 'Angel of the LORD' in this case refers to an appearance or manifested activity of God. The "Word" refers to God expressing Himself. The term "visible" would probably be best understood as a metaphor signifying "perceptible", in whatever way was appropriate for the situation.

That God incarnated via the Word becoming flesh means that God expressed Himself in human nature as a bona fide man named Jesus. Not that something Divine "located in heaven" somehow "travelled out of heaven by geolocation" to earth. God is everywhere at all times. To say God is in heaven is to speak metaphorically, because in reality God is not "only located in heaven."
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Old 03-24-2021, 01:45 PM
Costeon Costeon is offline
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Re: The Word, God's Visible Image

Quote:
Originally Posted by coksiw View Post
The Word in John is just a personification of the Word of God, a figure of speech, by which and through which everything was created, and had life in it.

The purpose of the personification is to explain the transfer, in a figurative way, of the authority of giving life from the Word of God to Jesus. At the end, it is just a beautiful figure of speech to say Jesus is the giver of life.

John clarifies it in his 1 John letter:

"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen [it], and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us" - 1 John 1:1-2 KJV

Personification of God's word is not new in the Bible, or the Rabbinical literature. It is a literary instrument to emphasize the authority of the Word of God.

https://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/10618-memra




At some point, what was just a figure of speech, became a theology, the Logos theology, as an emanation of God, which is imported from the Greek philosophy.
In the link you provided, I found this to be interesting:

"In the Targum the Memra figures constantly as the manifestation of the divine power, or as God's messenger in place of God Himself, wherever the predicate is not in conformity with the dignity or the spirituality of the Deity. . . . Like the Shekinah (comp. Targ. Num. xxiii. 21), the Memra is accordingly the manifestation of God. 'The Memra brings Israel nigh unto God and sits on His throne receiving the prayers of Israel.'"

When God appeared to people, do you know if the Targums say the Memra appeared to them?
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Old 03-24-2021, 01:55 PM
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Re: The Word, God's Visible Image

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Originally Posted by Esaias View Post

That God incarnated via the Word becoming flesh means that God expressed Himself in human nature as a bona fide man named Jesus. Not that something Divine "located in heaven" somehow "travelled out of heaven by geolocation" to earth. God is everywhere at all times. To say God is in heaven is to speak metaphorically, because in reality God is not "only located in heaven."
Having said that, there is ample Biblical data to suggest God has a location, of sorts. This would tie into the idea of the Angel of the Presence, or the Logos "in heaven". But I think the data is not enough to provide a clear and final simplified statement. We are after all talking about the most advanced complex Being in all existence... So there's room for mystery and paradox.
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Old 03-24-2021, 04:12 PM
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Re: The Word, God's Visible Image

I often wonder why contemporary Oneness thinking seldom if ever refers back the the Oneness literature from the 1900-1960 period. It may be difficult to purchase out of print early Oneness Pentecostal theology books, but it not impossible.

Paterson, Urshan, Yadon and Haywood are generally ignored, and I think that is sad.

For me, AFF is at it's best when the old thinking and customs and local history are remembered and celebrated.
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Old 03-24-2021, 08:41 PM
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Michael The Disciple Michael The Disciple is offline
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Re: The Word, God's Visible Image

If the Logos is merely a "personification" or "literary device" where does that leave THIS LOGOS.

1 John 5:7

7For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

Or THIS Logos.

Rev. 19:11-16

11And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

Nothing to see here. Just a "literary device". Just a "personification".

Last edited by Michael The Disciple; 03-24-2021 at 08:44 PM.
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