Most of my Spring Semester was consumed researching and writing this. Enjoy...
(a PDF can also be found in the Academic Section).
By reviewing attempts by the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, Evangelical Churches, Protestant Neo-Orthodoxy and the recent contributions of Speech Act theory on divine discourse to reconcile the two forms of the Word of God (The Written Word and the Living Word), this paper aims to address how the gap between mankind and the transcendent God can be bridged to allow for the proper order of metaphysics leading to epistemology without denigrating God’s Word by answering the question: is Christ as the illocution of God the essential link between ontology and epistemology, and thus the starting place for Christian systematic theology?
Image courtesty of www.GdeFon.ru
The Meaning of the Term Kingdom (κόσμος) in John's Gospel
A Greek word study to identify the lexical range and usage to better understand what John, and by extension Jesus, had in mind when he spoke about the "World."
image courtesy of basileiachurch.com
The Meaning of the Term Kingdom (βασιλεία) in Matthew's Gospel
A Greek word study to identify the lexical range and usage to better understand what Matthew, and by extension Jesus, had in mind when he proclaims the "Kingdom of Heaven."
What does glory & glorify signify in John’s Gospel? How can the cross be seen as glorious rather than shameful?
In biblical times when the lingua franca was koine Greek, δόξα referred to one's “reputation” in regular Greek literature. However, since the New Testament consists of Greek words filled with Hebrew meanings, δόξα took on a new meaning when the Hebrew word for the experience of God's presence (literally a form of the word “heavy” in Hebrew...one might say God's presence was a “weighty matter”) was loosely translated as “God's reputation” in the Septuagint (LXX, the Greek version of the Old Testament) (Larkin, William J.). The author John, being a good Hebrew (along with most other biblical writers), still understood the original Hebrew sense of the word “glory” and so it took on a unique concept – "manifested majesty." The “weight” of God was thought of as His essential being manifested for all to see. Since, God is hidden, or better invisible, God reveals Himself through Jesus Christ, God's literal manifested essential being of majesty. As a result, Jesus taught that He “exegetes” the Father, repeatedly stating variations of “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
Jesus's words to the crowds have created quite a debate among scholars since the Greek can be readily read both ways. Before analyzing the grammar and theology, here are few of the modern renderings:
“To seek” God means: total unbridled commitment, blatantly obssessive pursuit, unreserved loyalty, and unashamed devotion. In a seemingly contradictory way, we are to “enslave” ourselves to God - not at our expense, but to our profit. By giving up everything to find God, we gain everything only to find that what we relinquished we could not keep and what we aquired we cannot lose. We sell what is worthless in order to acquire that which cannot be valued. We give up our lives in pursuit of God and in return we not only find Him who we sought, but are given a life worth living and, far better, life eternal. Thus, by whatever means, through His word, through His gifts, through His presence, we are to commit all our energies to restoration with our Father. In short, if we make God our sole desire and seek Him earnestly with all our hearts, then He will give Himself to us and we shall be rewarded with that which we seek.
Jesus knew what His mission was and operated in such a way that nothing would interfere with that God given mission (John 2:4, 7:6-8). Throughout the gospel of John this mission is constantly referred to as the “hour” or “time” of Christ, that is “the determined time to act in an open disclosure of his messianic identity, which is climatically realized in his submission to death on a cross” (Howell, 37). Since Christ is fully aware that His time/mission is His death, resurrection, and ascension (John 13:1), He is fully sovereign, or in control over when (the hour) that death and departure happens (Elwell, 856), even miraculously able to escape angry mobs without harm (John 7:30, 8:20). Paradoxically, the “hour” of Christ's death on the cross is simultaneously His greatest humiliation and glorification (John 12:23, 27). “Jesus recognizes the culmination of all that he has been attempting in Judaism. The cross and death are all that remain” (Elwell, 865). The hour of tragedy becomes victory when all will hear His voice and be able to worship truly (John 4:21-23, 5:25, 28-29). Now the hour has passed, but Christ passed the mission on to His church; however, this “good news” of triumph over sin serves as bad news that will divide many, and true believers will be persecuted (John 16:2, 25, 32).