Saturday, October 19, 2019

John 1:10

I've been asked to comment on this:

1. This verse is a reference to the Father, not to Christ. A study of the context reveals that this section opens in verse 6 by telling us, “There came a man who was sent by God.” We are told, “God is light,” and that God’s light shown through Jesus Christ and made him “the light of the world.” Though God was in the world in many ways, including through His Son, the world did not recognize him. He came unto his own by sending his exact image, Jesus Christ, to them, but even then they did not receive God, in that they rejected His emissary. The fact that the world did not receive Him is made more profound in the context as Scripture reveals how earnestly God reached out to them—He made his plan and purpose flesh and shined His light through Christ to reach the world—but they did not receive Him, even though He was offering them the “right to become children of God” (v. 12).

i) The referent in v10 is the creative Word or Son in vv1-5. The opening presents the Son as the preexistent Creator in the Genesis account. 

The referent is consistent through 1:1-18. The same divine Son. 

ii) His title as "the light of the world" traces back to the creation account, where God is the maker of sunlight, moonlight, and starlight. The Son is "the light of the world" because he's the divine source of mundane light. 

iii) However, "light" in the Prologue is a double entendre. It hearkens back to the origin of physical light, but in addition, it is now a spiritual metaphor. The contrast between light and darkness evokes the creation account, but this time it carries moral and spiritual connotations. "Light" as an emblem of new life. Spiritual renewal. In contrast to spiritual rebels. 

iv) The Creator who made the world is now entering the world he made, and the Baptist is a witness to that event (vv6-8). 

v) The irony or paradox is that creatures fail to acknowledge their Creator even when they meet him face-to-face. 

2. Some scholars make the phrase, “the world was made by him,” a reference to the new creation only (see Col. 1:15-20, Heb. 1:2, and Heb. 1:10), but we see it as a double entendre referring to both the original and the new creations. (see #7 under John 1:1)

That's circular because it assumes that Col 1:15-20 and Heb 1:2,10 refer to the new creation. But there's no good reason to think that unless you're a unitarian who requires them to refer to the new creation. In context, they refer to the original creation–just like Jn 1-5. 

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