1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.”

For a long time, it has been mistakenly thought that the ideas expressed in these three verses of John’s prologue are unique to Christianity. It was erroneously believed that this statement constituted nothing less than a ground-breaking departure from Judaism. However, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it is not until verse 14 that an innovative idea, though one not contradictory to Judaism, was first introduced with the phrase, “and the Word became flesh.” What we read in verses 1-3 of John’s Gospel should enable us to clearly understand that the author was a committed Jew, entrenched in the rich concepts of the Judaism of the Second Temple period. His deep Jewish consciousness is evident as he structures his prologue thoroughly within the Israelite interpretive traditions of the time.

First, the author grounds his narrative in the foundational verses of the Torah – “In the beginning God…” (Gen. 1:1) and “…God said.” Therefore, the notion that the Gospel of John is a Christian document, set in opposition to Judaism, makes no sense in the light of John’s own priorities. For John, perhaps even more than for the other Gospel writers, everything begins with the Torah. Secondly, the idea of the Word (Logos/Memra/Davar) of God possessing extraordinary qualities and functions in relationship to God Himself, was not new to Second Temple Judaism. 

For example, Philo, an Alexandrian Jew who was roughly contemporary with Jesus (but probably never met him) wrote: “…the most universal of all things is God; and in the second place the Word of God.” (Allegorical Interpretation, II, 86); “…the shadow of God is His Word, which He used like an instrument when He was making the world…” (Allegorical Interpretation, III, 96); “This same Word is continually a suppliant to the immortal God on behalf of the mortal race, which is exposed to affliction and misery; and is also the ambassador, sent by the Ruler of all, to the subject race… neither being uncreated as God, nor yet created as you, but being in the midst between these two extremities…” (Who is the Heir of Divine Things, 205-6)

My simple conclusion is this: The “Word of God” (Logos) in John’s Gospel is a thoroughly Israelite concept. In no way does it represent an addition or a departure from the multifaceted Judaism of the days of Jesus.

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134 COMMENTS

    • Thanks, Barry. First of all I never said that Philo was part of NORMATIVE Judaism. As a matter of fact Normative Judaism until much much much later rabbinic days is a complete myth! Philo was clearly a Hellenistic Jew. Judaism was not monolith, it was in fact very diverse. This is really the key to beginning to understand that Jesus, Paul among others were just that – Jews!

      • Yes! I read most of your Jewish Gospel of John (I’ve read a little more than half of it). It really opened an avenue to another paradigm, and it dispelled the myth that there was one kind of Judaism as most people assume, both Christian and Jew as well as the secular world. The fact that there were distinct differences between the Ioudaioi and Samaritan Israelites has helped me enormously. Then to further learn that there were many subgroups within the Ioudiaoi really demonstrates the complexity of this concept, not just the simple narrative of Jew and Gentile. Excellent information!

        • Thank you so much for this gracious feedback. By the way if you can review the book on amazon.com this will help me a lot.

          • If you going to stick to right translation is Yehudi (not Yahudi) although your Hebrew probably makes you think that it should be “ya”. Correct?

        • No, the Logos concept has been eternally present in the Lord High God in Jesus Christ. The East Semitic civilizations’ concept of logos are the corrupt interpretations of sin-cursed, lost human beings.

      • The entire volume of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation is the Word of God revealed to all mankind. The fact that the scriptures were first revealed to Israel and written down by them does not mean that scriptures are a Jewish concept and not Christian concept or any other concept. God’s Word is God’s own concept. No one should try to claim it as their own concept.

        • The is the basic problem with Christian replacement – claiming that Gentile followers of the Jewish Christ replaced Israel as God’s people.

        • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including The Stories of Jewish Christ: First Century Diversity and The Jewish Gospel of John I: The Arrival of the King. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

          • Absolutely correct. Big issue now, replacement theology. So wrong! Not born Jew, born-again Jew! No funds to learn from you now, but looking to future to learn more of Jewish roots of the Bible and God that I love so dearly. GO ISRAEL!!

          • Thanks for the love and support. Whenever you decide to take some courses, remember that your membership can be shared with two other people, so maybe you can find others that would join you and split the cost.

          • Theories studied in Theology is still a theory of men other than God. God had blessed the Jews who had blessed the white, the black & all other peoples. I am grateful for the Jews & the missionaries that the word of God is made known & the name of Yeshua is lifted up that He draw all people to Him! God bless their hearts! I should remember to do the same at every outreach; the Lord is for all people to claim & cling to now & for the eternity. Blessed be the everlasting living God!! Shalom.

        • I absolutely have to agree with Dr E on this. It is one of the things Messianic Judaism from the Gentile perspective tries to correct. Scripture, all 66 books plus Apocrypha, deuterocannon and other writings (except for Christian commentaries) must be understood from a Jewish perspective and contextually in their own time, place, and who they were addressed to. Otherwise our understanding is guaranteed to be fatally flawed.

        • First of all ,Jews wrote The Word of G-d ! The Ten Commandments were given to Moshe .Salvation is from the Jews .Y’Shua Himself is a Jew who practiced Judaism and came to His own people The Jews .All of The Talmidim and Emissaries were Jews .On the Day of Shavu’ot /Pentecost all of the Jews were gathered together in Yerushalayim when the Ruach HaKodesh was poured out .Kefa /Peter and Sha’ul /Paul did not start preaching to the Gentiles until Acts 10 .Please read .The Word of G-d is Jewish not Christian !!!

  1. John’s statement is totally a declaration that Jesus was God manifest in the flesh. Isa 9:6. As a Christian my understanding that God came to his own first and the to the gentiles, to Israel first and then to the world. Immanuel, God with us, Jesus Christ. I enjoy your studies, Duet 6:4 is the foundation of my understanding of who God is Shalom John

    • the concept that jesus was/is God is a concept totally foreign to the scriptures, both the hebrew scriptures and the greek scriptures. the gospel of john was written to respond to the gnostic heresy. that heresy taught that there were demigods that existed in what they called the pleroma (a place of existence somewhere between earth and heaven)- the writer of john’s gospel clearly sets out to show that jesus was neither demigod nor YHVH God himself, but rather that jesus was the fulfillment of the ancient prophesies of a messiah, a king from the human line of david.

      • You are following an old hypothesis (that is plain wrong), but I agree it fits with your theology so you are very unlikely to reconsider it. 🙂 Prove me wrong, plz.

        • all i can do is present what scripture actually teaches. one cannot prove a negative. scripture simply does not teach the greek idea of a demigod like hercules. jesus was a human being, a descendant of david. the scriptures (and the gospel of john are clear on that). prove yourself correct.

        • 1 John 5:10-11 G-D sent his son not himself HOW EVER Jesus was a diety before becoming a man 3 in one has no scripture basis for G-D to be be 3 in one if he is the author of healing how then can he have a split personality it’s a sickness please explain cause I can not find this western messiah nowhere probably becomes he is Jewish I can give hundreds of Jewish scriptures to prove this and thanks for being dead on with the woman of the well teaching it is the greatest yet!!!!

          • Hi Stacey. Jesus was not a deity before becoming a man. Daniel Catlin’s comment below is very astute. I have independently come to the conclusion that everything that God did in the physical interactions with human kind is indeed God’s Voice (command/decree/action). He also interacts with our spiritual side co-equally by His Holy (Set apart) Spirit. How else can God engage with the creatures he made? He (God) is not a created being, and yet we are made in His image (Spiritual).

          • In Exodus 24, Moses and 73 other men ascend Sinai and SEE the God of Israel–the One who from His throne gave Israel, through Moses, the Torah. The divinely inspired Scriptures say TWICE they saw God. John the Apostle wrote 1500 yrs later that NO ONE has seen God the Father at any time. God is made known by His Son. So…WHO did 74 Hebrews SEE on that mountain, that Israel unto this very day refers to as YHVH God, Creator of the heavens and the Earth??

          • Great point, Ely’hoenai. So whom did those elders see? Interestingly, the Septuagint, which often preserves a different tradition, is a bit different. Here is the English translation: Ex.24:10-11: “And they saw the place where the God of Israel stood…And of the chosen ones of Israel there was not even one missing, and they appeared in the place of God, and did eat and drink.”

      • Tom, you have a serious problem. When the Shekhinah filled the Holy of Holies, when God led the Hebrews in a column of smoke and fire- in fact in all the times God interacted physically with man He demonstrated that He could do so in any way and for any time it pleased Him. So it is no stretch to say He could invest a part of Himself in human form to act as our Messiah. Yeshua was no demigod; He was Almighty God made manifest to us as HaMoshiach. And be honest; your theology is a form of Ebionism.

        • true indeed Daniel! this comes from a spirit filled man of God! A couple scriptures provides corroborative evidence who Jesus Christ was Before the foundation of the World (yet i also trust the sound deductive arguments from Dr. E)-and i learn a lot from your arguments, thanks.

      • Y’Shua is G-d ,not was ! Y’Shua was in the beginning before anything was ever created ,He was already their .Y’Shua created everything that was ever created .Read Yochanan /John chapter 1 .Read Hebrews 1 and the First book of Yochanan 1 just to name a few books which the Torah and Tanakh is full of evidence proving Y’Shua is and always will be The MaShiach ,The Son of The Living G-d .Purchase a Complete Jewish Bible .

      • Revelation of Jesus Christ 1:8 ‘“I am the Alpha and the Omega,”b says Lord God, the One being, and who was, and who is coming, the Almighty.’

    • I could not disagree with you more! If you read John’s gospel to the end. you will see that the purpose was that people may know that Jesus is the Messiah (Christ), the SON of God, not God himself. If Deut 6:4 is your foundation., then you should know that YHWH is One, not three in One. Jesus himself restated the Shema. The Jews believed in a unitarian God. Jesus was a Jew. Jesus prayed to and worshiped YHWH.

  2. I am new to your website and hope to be able to take your classes in the future. Initially, I am just a little confused. I see that the New replaces the Old. I am wondering if I am seeing that your thinking is that the New is a continuation of the Old with some changes. The concept that John is rooted in Old Testament theology is very helpful. Also, I am somewhat unclear about the the concept of Judaism. You appear to be using the word “Judaism” to represent Old Testament theology. Is that correct usage?

    • Shalom, Roy. It is indeed a very complicated topic, because terms mean different things to different people. New and Old covenants is a tricky business because division of the Scripture into Old and New Testament is man made. Now with the coming of Jesus I do see great continuity indeed as well some discontinuity (I am struggling for words here because the topic is so vast that it is hard to know where to begin). Judaism and Old Testament Theology (as you call it) is not one and the same thing, and before we go any further I think you

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    • In my opinion the coming of the new covenant was described in (Jeremiah 31:1-14). But as to wether the new replaced the old this was outlined in (Matt 5:17) that the new is to fulfill not to bring to conclusion. This is best understood by reversing the syllables and you get “fill full” then it is bringing fullness to. Jewish people don’t convert to Christianity, they are still Jewish people who have embraced Yeshua as their Maschiach from the scriptures (hence messianic Judaism), we as gentile Christians have also accepted their Mashiach as our salvation. Then both become one.

  3. Concrete, please is the word God, creator or Jesus, created? Does John do Christian theology, but the other evangelist does not? What is the origin of the Gospel of John, not of Quelle, Qumran, Thomas?

  4. I am enjoying your commentaries a lot! I have a Q not on this subject – In John 6:4, the phrase ” passover was nigh” does not seem to fit in the context … nigh means very close… Yeshua hands out bread with leaven … why isn’t he and the religious Jews not at Jerusalem preparing? …

    • this is very good and interesting question. possibilities: not all Jews always went up (in opposition to our expectation), but they had to at least try (take Paul for example). THERE IS NO WAY that most Jews in the ancient world shlapped to Jerusalem from their diaspora places of living three times per year. Also, passover being near does not mean it is next day, it could be that it was same month, meaning it was not next to Yom Kippur for example. Although I would imagine that there are other issues that can be at play here.

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    • Hello Dolores,
      Professor Arne Strand of the University of Oslo has an excellent study on this topic. As we are requested to not post links to other articles here, I will not post one. I will say that there has been discussion and much controversy over that verse since the earliest days of the church fathers and continuing right up until today, with much having been written about it. (and much has also been written about what was written about it 🙂 )

  5. Ancient Judaism had a complex divine hierarchy: the one God sits enthroned in heaven, and has numerous divine hypostases (extensions or manifestations of his person)–the Angel of YHWH, the Logos, Wisdom, Spirit, etc., depending on the particular school. Swarming around the throne, in their various orders, are an innumerable number of divine, spiritual beings that Scripture can interchangeably refer to as “gods” or “angels.” Christianity, as a form of Second Temple Judaism, inherited and reinterpreted it in the light of Christ.

      • Very interesting! Using the understanding of divine hypostases, who do you think G-d is referring to when He states, in the plural form, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” in Genesis 1:26?

        • I don’t know for sure. As you to best candidates is heavenly court or some form similar to Christian concept of Trinity/Triunity.

        • It is not referring to God in the plural, but rather denotes how He relates to all His creation. The best translation would have been to change “Us” to Elohim. Although used many times in the scriptures as pluralistic when concerning other gods it does not denote pluralism in the Hebrew. It is singular as used and Elohim would have been appropriate.

        • There is evidence that this may relate to how God (singular) relates to HIs Divine court in heaven. Dr. Michael Heisner has done excellent work in this area. He has published reviewed material that I believe is a good answer for this. The Unseen Realm, Reversing Herman and Super Natural are excellent books by him related to this matter.

        • I always thought it was the “royal we” that even today Queen Elizabeth would use. Don’t forget that the King James translation would have used this terminology too.

    • David, “angel” in Hebrew is “malach,” and means “messenger.” That can be a man, a heavenly being, or God Himself. Similarly “elohim” can mean spiritual beings masquerading as gods; or it can mean men in authority. When speaking of the Eternal One, English speakers capitalize it- “Elohim/God.” The plural form is very common of royal language, including in the ancient near-east. It means the royal one possesses all the majesty of his office and his kingdom. Certainly our God fits this description.

  6. You Quote Philo saying, “This same Word… neither being uncreated as God, nor yet created as you, but being in the midst between these two extremities…” (Who is the Heir of Divine Things, 205-6). He here denies the full Deity of the Word. This would be a very different understanding than the Biblical teaching. Would you agree?

    • I agree that he does. I don’t think John’s idea about the WORD and Philo’s is identical. But they are very similar (especially if you look at the prior quotes).

    • Rick, you write, “… He here denies the full Deity of the Word. This would be a very different understanding than the Biblical teaching…” What indeed does the Bible teach? Hear Revelation 3:12. “He that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of MY GOD … and I will write upon him the name of MY GOD …” Is this not Mashiach speaking? Can one be the same person as one’s GOD? Can one be equal to one’s GOD? Or share same beginning with his GOD? Yeshua himself certainly denies here having the “full Deity” of Yahweh!!!

    • And consider also, Rick, the words of Yahweh himself in the song of Moses in Deuteronomy 32:39 – “See now that I, even I, am He, AND THERE IS NOT GOD WITH ME!!!” When Yeshua call Yahweh “MY GOD” and again, “THE ONLY TRUE GOD”, while Yahweh declares that he recognizes none outside himself alone as TRUE GOD, claiming the Bible teaches “full Deity” of Yeshua cannot hold water!

    • And one last thing, Rick. Remember, ELOHIM, the Hebrew word translated GOD or GODS, is only a COMMON word, rather than a reserved or HOLY word. The Bible clearly called the following ELOHIM – Moses (Exodus 7:1), saints (Psalm 82:6), Mashiach (Psalm 45:6-7/7-8), human judges (Exodus 21:6; 22:7/8), demons (Deuteronomy 32:17), and idols (Psalm 96:5)! ELOHIM/GOD/S simply means “mighty being/s”. Calling the Word, ie, Yeshua, GOD, is therefore not inappropriate. But whenever we insist on there being “ONLY ONE GOD”, that ONE GOD can be none other than the one Yeshua called “THE ONLY TRUE GOD” (John 17:3), namely Yahweh.

  7. As stated in one of the above comments “Philo is considered a heretic in Pharisee circles” but he was still a Jew. Also, as far as Old Testament and New Testament, Jesus did not come to change the “Law” (Old Testament) but to fulfill it(New Testament). We as Christians must understand that the Jews were God’s first chosen people who entered a covenant with him, but did not keep it, HE is still waiting for their acceptance of “The Word”.

    • Under the “old” law, punishment was often by death. And in God’s eyes, ALL sin is punishable by death i.e. separation from God (who IS Life). By His death and resurrection, Jesus fulfilled all the requirements of “the law”. This is what He meant by that statement, “I did not come to change the law, but to fulfill it”. In other words, we, as Christians now walk in a state of forgiveness. Even though we often still commit sin, Christ has already paid the price (fulfilled the law) and we are forgiven.

      • Ashley, you wrote: “Even though we often still commit sin, Christ has already paid the price (fulfilled the law) and we are forgiven.” Two issues here. One, the price he paid was not the fulfilling of the law, though he needed to be sinless to qualify to pay the price. It was the sacrifice on the cross. Two, your words on sin and forgiveness sound too casual to fully reflect the seriousness of the warnings of the apostles to believers. Some examples: “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling”! “I will kill her children with death…” (Rev 2:23).

        • Yahka,I am disappointed that you took my words as flippant or casual. I mean no disrespect to God’s Word. But we have to remember that salvation is a FREE GIFT i.e. free for us, as Christ already paid any price required for it. Your examples suggest to me that we have to be working to “pay off” our salvation. This is very much against the Word. The passage that you quote from Revelation is specific to one person and those who followed her.

        • But even then I would be careful with the language here; it is against God’s character to DO such things. (e.g. John 10:10 – ” … … I have come to GIVE LIFE”). As for “working out your salvation”, I suggest you read this webpage: https://www.gotquestions.org/fear-and-trembling.html As for your first issue, I apologize but I don’t follow what you mean. Maybe Dr. Eli can help here.

  8. Why do they call it Jewish history or Jewish culture, why do they leave out the other 11 Israelite tribes, where they leave these tribes and their cultures?

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    • You said that Revelation passage quoted by Mba is specific to one person and those who followed her, what about the passage he took from Phil 2:12? What is the right interpretation of it seeing that you urged caution over it. Or should we ignore it? And regarding your suggestion that Rev. 2:23 might contradict John 10:10, (and assuming Rev is referring to only one person and those who follow her), are you concerned that Rev 2:23 could “give God a bad name’?

  9. You have been a blessing Eli.  There is not enough space on a blog for all the misguided beliefs that influenced my conversion to Christianity, so I condensed the fiasco into one word. Intercessor! I didn’t know what an intercessor was! This made the coming of Christ look more like my acceptance of a date on a timeline then a revelation. 

  10. I believe the 12 tribes are all under the same umbrella, as Christians we should know this. We need to study to show ourselves approved! The Jewish beliefs are very much connected to Christianity, we must remember what happen when Christ was resurrected, the Bible indicates that the Soldiers were paid to say the body was stolen to aid in keeping the Jews to still wait on their Messiah…and ….wait ….up to today. Today still, when they celebrate the Passover they leave a place empty and have been waiting for the messiah to come some now realize Christ is Messiah

  11. If one continues to study the Bible, God’s word will share his treasures and as Christians we would be able to see how Christ came not to change the Law but fulfilled it! Learning about his Jewish connection we can gain further insight to his life here and would understand why there is so much growth in Anti Semitism, yet it must be said they are the apple of his eye, even though like most of us are disobedient and have fell short. God so much wants the Jews to keep their contract with him and until they realize who

  12. Christ is, they will live in turmoil, we are to always pray for Israel and for peace, and salvation for the Jews we are to Love the Jews! As the Bible tells us to do so. We must be obedient and not share in any anti Jewishnish ( no such word) It is good to learn about the Jewish views and connection to the Bible but we must also be careful not to be mislead by not just a Jew but by anyone who talks about Christ’s Jewish connection in a way that is no conducive to what Christ taught.

    • In addition – we must remember Christ’s earthly heritage – not only was he born into the line of Judah (see Matthew) but the royal line of Judah. Had the Romans not overthrown Israel Jesus, through both Mary and Joseph, was in line for the throne, being a direct descendant of King David. Also, you cannot separate Christ from Judaism – he did not come to annihilate the Law of Moses – the law was preparatory for his coming. He is the same – Lamb of God, Great I AM. One cannot accept Jesus without accepting the Law and visa-versa.

  13. BYU that’s Brigham Young isn’t it. If so, I’d stay away from LDS if I was you. Bible + something else (in this case Pearl of Great Price) never makes a good equation. Shalom

  14. Dr. Eli… Your teachings are a blessing… I have a question… Within the subject… I Believe you know this material… “In the beginning, two thousand years before heaven and earth, seven things were created: The Torah written with black fire on white fire and lying in the lap of G-d,,,,” I first heard this in a Jewish Studies class I took in the early 1980’s… The moment I heard it, John 1:1 came into focus for me. When was this written and does it have any bearing on John 1:1?

    • Not sure it relates more than just to say that many Jews (of whom the other of fourth gospel was one) thought in terms of creation being the starting point of it all (kind of obvious point, but a point nevertheless.

  15. I have not yet read your “John” book, Eli, but certainly some commentators would say that John 1:1- (wherever) is a later addendum to a photo-John and not by the author of the main body of that version of the Gospel.

  16. As a student of the New Testament, I am really excited at what all is going on here. God bless the humble conversation here.

  17. Has Mashiach come already?answer – YES and NO! Mashiach had come (as Lamb of ELOHIM), and yet He is to come (as the King on David’s throne)

  18. I am not sure that the translation is correct in the first place – the word ἀρχή appears to be more related to the English word “archaic” or archine if I spell that correctly. That has little or nothing to do with the word “beginning”. It would seem more likely to do with very olden times if common rules of English translation were followed. To me the questions to be answered are – why did the English translations ignore the rules of grammar and translated the word “Word” – into a proper pronoun? Was there a bias (obvious)?

  19. There is so much meat on this bone that it must be taken in context of the whole book of John. Suffice it to say there is definitely a transition but not completely excluded is the understanding that Yeshua was with G-d In the beginning , hence the triune/trinity. Yes and a far as fulfilling the law, yes He did it being prophesied by Moses and the prophets. The thing to take away and imbed in your heart is truth and grace. Truth that in Yeshua there is redemption and Grace for the remnant (Israel).through the covenenant.(cf)Jeremiah 31.

  20. I saw the Lamb ( in my language the Way).  I dont know what the second coming is supposed to look like, but at a  later  time I experienced an internal battle between good and evil.(man’s laws vs. God’s commandments).  I accepted God as the One Worthy to fight for good.  At an even later time in my life (after I had converted to Christianity) I overcame ( the second death, or in my language the law, did not hurt me — suffering produced fruit).  I don’t know what to call all of that!

  21. The more ancient Greek reflected not only the spoken word, but that the word was intelligence. The Word is not only the spoken Word, but is the Intelligence of God, or rather the Mind of God. So, in the beginning, was the Intelligence and that Intelligence was God. Before a word is spoken it originates in the intelligence of the person . This I believe is the true meaning of the scripture, that the Word (Intelligence) was with God because the Word (Intelligence) was God. He was alone in the beginning. Incarnate Son (God) is the Old testament God (Yahweh).

      • I’m not labeling anything, but I’ve read what Strong’s Concordance has in the footnotes referencing this scripture. Not my idea, but it is what it is. The more ancient original Greek refers to not only the spoken word, but the very intelligence that originates that WORD before spoken. All words come from the intelligence of an individual or rather “the mind” before being spoken. And yes, Christ is the same God revealed. He spoke to Moses and the prophets and He created all things as stated in scripture. He was not man, but in the form of God before incarnation.

      • Other than its limited scope, what is wrong with Modalism? God manifest Himself many times and in many ways in both so called “Testaments.” I find Trinitarianism as limited in scope as Modalism. However I don’t think either belief will cost a person his salvation. All forms of Ebionism however- the belief Yeshua was not eternally God- well, that one could be problematic at the judgement.

        • Enjoying what you have written Daniel. God who is not created has to relate to his creatures. His myriad manifestations identify that He did so by his Voice (Word/Intelligence/authoritative decree) and by His Spirit. I do not see how Christians today can hold onto the terminology Trinity in part because it is 4th Century interpolations, and in part because it does not stack up by observing God activities in both the physical realm and spiritual realm of humankind.

  22. Thanks Dr. Eli “…neither being uncreated as God, nor yet created as you, but being in the midst between these two extremities…” I will disagree with this one, i. e., the notion that Jesus was created. Jesus was the exegesis of Ha Shem — John 1:18. He became the Name — Acts 4:12. Just as no being could perform what the Holy Spirit could do — 1 Corinthians 2:10; no one could possibly say — Philippians 2:6; John 10:30 , and be less than the Father.

    • Mark, hi. I am with you. But the point here is NOT that Philo and John are thinking exactly the same (they are not), but they are thinking very similarly (both within Judaism, that is my point).

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    • None of the scriptures you quote prove that Jesus was equal to the Father. But many hundreds do clearly teach that he was distinct from and submissive to the Father.

  23. Eli, thanks for the good work reminding the uncircumcised in the flesh among the believers that Yeshua was circumcised in the flesh, that he was a Jew raised in a Jewish culture of a particular period, and with message delivered in the context of that culture, whose disciples who became apostles were also Jews who remained “zealous of the law” (Acts 21:20).

  24. What everyone is failing to understand in their desire to be right is that Jesus Christ was just not a mere human being but that on earth He was also Divine-having been born of a supernatural Father! Having God as His Father & since God is a Spirit, it is impossible for God or His Son to be of any particular race or culture. However, His mother being Jewish & He having chosen to be born of the lineage of David for the purpose of fulfilling the Word, in that God never breaks covenant, Jews are loved.

    • I know that the ancient concepts of paternity, etc. may not have been the same as ours. But I still have trouble with the concept that Jesus is the son of God (in the physical sense?!) and also the son of Joseph (in the physical sense) and therefore the descended through Joseph from David. As a Geneticist, I have a problem with dual paternity. (But then I also have a problem with Jesus being the physical son of God.) Should we consider that Jesus entered the embryo (fetus, whatever) that was fathered by Joseph? But that doesn’t fit theology either………

      • God became a man. We call him Jesus. He did not send His Son which would mean he pre-existed. Consider that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Doesn’t that mean the Holy Spirit is Jesus’ true father and not God? (Remember, throughout the bible God worked either by His word or by His spirit)… God at work). God works in the Physical realm by His Voice (Word/creative authoritative decree). That is how He created the universe and that is how it came to be that the Creator became a creature. That is why John could indeed write that the Voice (Word) was God, and that the Creator, becoming a creature did so by God’s word at work.

        • The problem I have with your view Thomas is that it contradicts the OT. Further, if God becomes a man and died for our sins, who resurrected him ? An eternal God cannot die. What is wrong with a pre-existing Son? Paul calls him the image of God and first born of all creation. It also explains why everything was done through him and for him. We read the same book but appear to come to very different conclusions.

  25. I have been hearing and reading religious text all my life. Now that I am a grown man and have done some research myself, I find it unusual that the designation male is given to the CREATOR. The term god is a mythological term used by Greeks and Europeans. The CREATOR is a SPIRIT at best we can define. In fact, we have no language to define this “BEING”. The entire concept of what has been rewritten for thousands of years have counterfeited the sacred text, or what is left of it/them. I don’t believe we are interested in truth.

    • God is knowable and personable. He is Spirit, yes. He is Intelligence. The Hebrew language does not have an “it”, so God is referred to as He, since God calls Himself in the masculine gender. Hebrew has a high degree of grammatical gender, virtually every noun (as well as most verbs and pronouns of the second and third person) is either grammatically masculine or feminine.

  26. Dr. Eli… About 40 years ago now I took a few courses in Jewish studies… In one of the texts I ran across something that has stuck with me as a Jewish “John 1:1″… “In the beginning, 2000 years before heaven and earth, four things were created…” What I remember was that the four included 1. The heavenly throne, 2. Torah and two others that I do not remember as well but one was a stone with the name of the messiah and a statement “Return O Children of Men.” I could look it up but no room…

  27. For what it is worth. To me the word is what comes out of God’s mouth as his expressed will Ps 33:6,9,11. John 1:1-14 Is the account of God anointing his son of 30 years of age. Giving him the spirit and power = the authority of God’s word. Appointing him and give him his commission as the promised Messiah and prophet in fulfilment of Deut 18:15, 18 and Isa 42:1. The word became flesh means the word of God became one with Jesus. = One in purpose. Jn 1:1 has nothing with God becoming a man. Peace!

  28. Dear Dr. Eli, what might be your take on the connection of John 1 as related to Genesis 1? Here we have G-d expressing His Word to make all things (note the “untranslated” Aleph-Tav / alpha-omega of Gen. 1:1). This is an external manifestation of eternal realities, the word “with God” that created all things. The “Word” (Aleph-Tav) is issued like a “son” in that He is expressed (not created) out from Elohim. To the Apostle John, Yeshua identifies Himself as the very “the alpha-omega” (Rev. 22:13). Shalom.

  29. Reminds me of a saying in quantum mechanics. Reality exists when it is observed. And God said.. then God saw it was good.

  30. But is God a trinity or not? I am not convinced by this doctrine but it seems to be one of Christianity’s pillars. Does Judaism teach such a doctrine?

    • Judaism (ancient or modern) does not support idea of Trinity. But there was a string of ancient Judaism that believed in Duality if you would. There is actually A LOT that is written about it.

    • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with Exodus and The New Testament or The Jewish Gospel of John I: The Arrival of the King. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!

      • Gee, now I am more confuse and more in a state of not try to learn. Because I notice the more people try to understand and learn, the more doctrines and Farisee like thinkings pitch up. They were so clever in all the Torah that they crucufied their SAVIOR, GOD, ajd exhalt themself. Seems to me we all forget one thing. Matt.8 pureness of heart. Maybe I must leave the idea of learning about it, and just walk the waljbof following YESHUA’S words and example in becoming HIS child. Humble inperfect and and believe to become righteous in HIS eyes.

        • Love for God should be our motivation to learn. If we love God, then we will think about Him constantly, soak up His words from the Bible, and seek out to do what pleases Him. If this isn’t the case, then it becomes hollow.

      • Thank you for your honesty. many scholars, some even supporters of the Trinity, conclude that this concept is not found in scripture and was unknown to Jesus and his Apostles. This is not to say that Christians in later generations had heir debates and discussions and finally those who held to this belief triumphed. History is written by the winners.

        • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including Leviticus and The New Testament and The Jewish Apostle Paul I: His World. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

  31. Above all authority Jesus did not write the Old Testament or the New Testament and he did not come to bring a new religion plain and simple man Twisted it got caught in lies and deceit

  32. I have Loved as well as Prayed for you Dear and Precious persecuted Jews for many years!! I read your e- mail each day and would be Very Blessed to become a student! I am right at 83, Limited in my money resources, but Look Forward To Each day just to get a little tidbit each day on my iPad! I Pray Every day for Israel and Study my Bible from Gen. to Rev. Constantly and Know it is HIS Time now got you Precious Israel to help us poor deluded Gentiles to learn more and more of the Jews

    • Thank you for your love, prayer and support of Israel. I’m very happy that you enjoy these insights. If you really want to take our courses, you can pull a couple friends together and share the cost of a membership and all (up to three) of you can use it.

    • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with The Jewish Gospel of John I: The Arrival of the King or The Revelation in a Jewish Context II : Discovery. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!

  33. ‘the beginning’ could refer to the beginning of the ministry of Christ. See 1Jn1:1-2 1Jn2:13-14 2Jn1:5-6 1Jn2:24-25 Jn15:27 Jn8:25 Jn16:4 Mk1:1 Lk1:1-2
    ‘the word’ refers to the word(s) or [salvation] message from YHVH. See Dt18:18-19 Jer1:2 Eze1:3 Hos1:1 Joel1:1 Jhn1:1 Mic1:1 Zep1:1 Jn3:34-35 Jn7:16 Jn14:24 Jn12:49-50 Jn8:26-28 Jn17:8,14 Jn8:40,45-47 Jn5:24,38 Jn12:44,47-48 Jn14:10 Jn14:3 Jn2:22 2Pe1:21 Heb1:1-2 Jn6:14 Eph1:13 Heb2:2-3

    Now Jn1:1c in Greek has ‘and-GOD-was-the-word’. So the message was ‘from GOD’ or ‘about GOD’. So just maybe Jn1:1 and Jn1:14 has nothing to do with Incarnation or Christology at all. Just maybe that is pagan in origin? Given the likelihood of ‘textual corruptions, whether intentional or otherwise, those verses supporting Trinity / Incarnation may also be suspect.

    • Are you suggesting that because the text may be corrupted, it must not have anything to do with incarnation? Maybe I’m missing something but that sounds like an ad hoc blunt assertion instead of sound reasoning. Correct me if I’m misunderstanding, please.

    • Hi Theresa, yes, Jesus is God’s promised Messiah, coming the first time as the suffering Servant and coming the second time as the conquering King. He is God’s Son (in that He imitates the Father in every way) and His most exalted representative to everyone on Earth. If we have seen Him, we have seen the Father.

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