Presentation on theme: "WELCOME. APOLOGETICS Week 1: Existence of God Week 2: Reliability of the New Testament Week 3: Resurrection of Christ Week 4: Deity of Christ."— Presentation transcript:
Week 1: Existence of God Week 2: Reliability of the New Testament Week 3: Resurrection of Christ Week 4: Deity of Christ
Apologetics 1 Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer [apologia] to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
Apologetics Apologetics: Defending the faith to those outside the church. Polemics: Defending the faith to those inside the church.
Apologetics Four types of Apologetics: 1.Classical Apologetics – Reason oriented approach which argues from the existence of God to the truths of Christianity. 2.Evidential Apologetics – Evidence oriented approach which argues for the probability of Christianity based on the evidences (primarily of the resurrection of Christ). 3.Presuppositionalism – Approach which argues for the presupposed properly basic belief in God and the authority of Scripture. 4.Fideism – Faith oriented approach which argues which argues for a blind faith and the absence of any need for evidences.
Apologetics Who is apologetics for?
EXISTENCE OF GOD
The Existence of God Why do we sometimes doubt God’s existence?
The Existence of God 1.I can’t see or hear Him. 2.He does not answer my prayers. 3.It is too good to be true. 4.I can’t comprehend an eternal being. 5.There are too many different views about Him. 6.I can’t understand why He could allow so much suffering.
The Existence of God Why do we have confidence about His existence?
The Existence of God 1.Answers the question “Why is there something rather than nothing?” 2.Design of the universe. 3.The majority of the world is on my side. 4.I have experienced Him. 5.The lack of any other adequate explanation. 6.The universal concept of morality and aesthetics. 7.The Bible says so.
The Existence of God Why is there something rather than nothing? 1.There is not anything; all is an illusion. 2.The universe is self-created. 3.The universe is created by chance. 4.The universe is created by nothing. 5.The universe has existed for eternity. 6.An eternal self-existent God created the universe.
The Existence of God Axiom: When all of the options have been deduced, the one remaining option is the right one.
The Existence of God 1.There is not anything: All is an illusion.
The Existence of God 1.There is not anything: All is an illusion. If all is an illusion, where did the illusion come from? If it is an illusion, where did this illusion come from (ad infinitum)?
The Existence of God 2.The universe is self-created..
The Existence of God 2.The universe is self-created. Something could not create itself since it would have to predate itself to create itself. This is a logical contradiction and, therefore, absurd.
The Existence of God 3.The universe was created by chance.
The Existence of God 3.The universe was created by chance. Chance has no being.
The Existence of God “Sophisticated arguments of chance creation have been formulated which dazzle our mathematical comprehension… What are the real chances of the universe created by chance? Not a chance. Chance is incapable of creating a single molecule, let alone an entire universe. Why not? Chance is no thing. It is not an entity. It has no being, no power, no force. It can effect nothing because it has no causal power within it. …It is a word which describes mathematical possibilities which, by the curious flip of the fallacy of ambiguity, slips into the discussion as if it were a real entity with real power, indeed, supreme power, the power of creativity.” — R.C. Sproul
The Existence of God 4.The universe was created by nothing.
The Existence of God 4.The universe was created by nothing. This violates the law of causality. There must be a cause for every effect. There is no possibility of a causeless effect. It is absurd to think otherwise.
The Existence of God 4.The universe was created by nothing. ex nihilo nihil fit “Out of nothing, nothing comes.”
The Existence of God 5. The universe has existed for eternity. “The universe is all there is, all there was, and all there will ever be.” – Carl Sagan
The Existence of God 1.An infinite number of moments cannot be traversed. 2.It is impossible to have an infinite series of cause and effects.
The Existence of God Infinite time stretching past and future Not Possible Infinite time stretching future Possible Infinite time stretching past Not Possible
The Existence of God If a man were to try to jump out of an infinitely deep hole, when would he come out?
The Existence of God 6. An eternal self-existent God created the universe. “If something exists, there is a God.” – R.C. Sproul
Existence of God Questions?
The Existence of God Traditional arguments for the existence of God: 1.Cosmological Argument 2.Teleological Argument 3.Moral Argument (Anthropological) 4.sensus divinitatis Argument 5.Wager 6.Cumulative Case Argument
The Existence of God 1.Cosmological Argument Gk. Cosmos: “an orderly arrangement” This argument states that there must be a cause for every effect, and God must be that Cause.
The Existence of God 2. Teleological Argument Gk. teleos: “end, or complete” This argument states that the order of the universe evidences intelligent design rather than chaotic chance. Therefore, there must be a designer. Paley’s famous watchmaker illustration.
The Existence of God Romans 1:20–21 “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”
The Existence of God Psalm 19:1–4 “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their utterances to the end of the world. In them He has placed a tent for the sun.”
The Existence of God 3. Moral Argument (Anthropological) This argument states that all people have a concept of right and wrong. This concept must have come from something outside of them, a Moral Absolute. All people have a conscience. This conscience must reflect some conscience outside of them.
The Existence of God Romans 2:14–15 “For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them.”
The Existence of God 4. sensus divinitatis Argument This argument states that everyone has an innate “sense of the divine” built within them. This “God-shaped void” causes them to have a great desire to fill the void by searching for God. To varying degrees this argument has been held by Augustine, Calvin, and Pascal.
The Existence of God “For thou hast made us for thyself and restless is our heart until it comes to rest in thee.” – Augustine
The Existence of God Romans 1:20 “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”
The Existence of God 6.Pascal’s “Wager” 1.If you say there is not a God and there is, there will be drastic consequences. 2.If you say there is a God and there is not, you are none the worse; there are no consequences. 3.Therefore, one should believe in God.
The Existence of God What argument do you find most persuasive? Why?
The Existence of God What type of people would each argument appeal to?
The Existence of God 6. Cumulative Case Argument This argument sees the greatest value in the cumulative effect of all the arguments. No one argument may be ultimately convincing.
DEFENDING THE FAITH
Week 1: Existence of God Week 2: Reliability of the New Testament Week 3: Resurrection of Christ Week 4: Deity of Christ
RELIABILITY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
Is the New Testament text reliable?
Objection: We don’t have the originals and the Bible has been transmitted so many times that it is impossible to know what it really said.
“ [How] Can we hope to get back to anything like the original [biblical] text, the text that the authors actually wrote? It is an enormous problem. In fact, it is such an enormous problem that a number of textual critics have started to claim that we may as well suspend any discussion of the “original” text, because it is inaccessible to us.” (p. 58) The Problem
In the New Testament alone there are anywhere from 300,000 to 400,000 differences among the existing texts. This amounts to close to three differences per word! The Problem
How do we know that the Bible we have today is an accurate representation of the original? The Problem
Transcription activity The Problem
“Drinking apples with regular frequency, docs says, is good for the ticker in your chest.” The Problem
The Old Testament was originally written in two languages, Hebrew and Aramaic (portions of Ezra and Daniel), from the years 1500 to 400 B.C. The New Testament was originally written in Koine Greek from the years 40 to 100 A.D. We do not have any original writing (autographa). All transmissions of the Bible were handwritten until the invention of the printing press in 1450s by Johann Gutenberg. The most readily available writing materials were stone, papyri, and parchment/vellum. Later (second century B.C.) the codex was developed.
1500 B.C A.D. Autographs A.D. Manuscripts 1600 A.D. - Present Critical Texts 1600 A.D. - Present Translations
Textual Criticism: Science of reconstructing the original text of the Scriptures based upon the available manuscript evidence.
A.D. Manuscripts 1600 A.D. - Present Critical Texts Textual Criticism
Four Types of Scribes: 1.Hired hand: Most objective. Mistakes will be unintentional. 2.Pastoral: May smooth the text over, making some of the language more understandable. 3.Zealous Apologist/Theologian: May seek to correct what he perceives bad theology 4.Commentator: May add notes or exclamations of praise. Textual Criticism
Three types of manuscript: Textual Criticism
1.Manuscripts Evidence Dead Sea Scrolls (2 nd Century B.C.) John Ryland Papyri (125 A.D.) Codex Sinaiticus ( a ; 350 A.D.) Codex Vaticanus (B; 350 A.D.) Textual Criticism
2.Early Church Fathers and Jewish Writings Codes of religion. Commentaries, diaries, books, and letters Polycarp, Clement of Rome, Justin Martyr, Ignatius, Irenaeus, Tertillian, etc. John Burgeon, a biblical scholar, catalogued over 86,000 quotations before A.D Reconstruction of the New Testament could be accomplished within 100 years of its completion using these manuscripts.
3.Translations 15,000 copies Syriac, Old and New Latin, Sahidic, Bohairic, Middle Egyptian, Armenian, Gothic, Georgian, Ethiopic, and Nubian versions.
Ninety-nine percent of the variants make no theological difference. Of the one percent that do, none affect any major doctrine. Textual Criticism
Examples of Problems John 7:53-8:11 (pericope adulterae) Matthew 18:15 1 John 5:7-8 (comma johanneum) Mark 16:9-20 Romans 5:1 Matthew 5:22 Textual Criticism
Field Ops: Discuss how many ways can this statement be misunderstood and mis-transcribed? “Paul went to the mall to buy apples. Paul also went to the mall to buy orangutans.” Come up with at least three ways to mis-transcribe this. Textual Criticism
How does the manuscript evidence give testimony to the uniqueness of Scripture? Why do you think that God did not allow the originals to be preserved? Does it disturb you that there are so many variations? Why or why not? Textual Criticism
DEFENDING THE FAITH
Week 1: Existence of God Week 2: Reliability of the New Testament Week 3: Resurrection of Christ Week 4: Deity of Christ
THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST
The Importance of the Resurrection of Christ
The Importance A priest during a television interview: “If they were to find the bones of Jesus Christ, this would not effect my Christian faith at all. And it does not have to yours.”
The Importance If Christ has not been raised from the dead, Christianity if false. Period. If Christ has been raised from the dead, Christianity is true. Period.
The Importance Old TestamentNew Testament EXODUSRESURRECTION
The Importance 1 Samuel 10:18-19 Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, “I brought Israel up from Egypt, and I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians, and from the power of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you. But you today rejected your God, who delivers you from all your calamities and your distresses.
The Importance Psalm 78:12-13 He wrought wonders before their fathers, In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan. He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through; And He made the waters stand up like a heap.
The Importance Psalm 136:13-15 To Him who divided the Red Sea asunder, For His lovingkindness is everlasting, And made Israel pass through the midst of it, For His lovingkindness is everlasting; But He overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
The Importance Nehemiah 9:9-10 You saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, And heard their cry by the Red Sea. Then You performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh, Against all his servants and all the people of his land; For You knew that they acted arrogantly toward them, and made a name for Yourself as it is to this day.
The Importance 1 Corinthians 15:14-19 “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.
The Importance Objection: I was not there to see Christ raised. It is a matter of blind faith. How could God expect us to believe something that have no firsthand evidence for?
The Importance Getting pulled over with my daughter.
The Importance What other ancient historical events do people believe?
The Evidence 1.Internal Evidence: Evidence coming from within the primary witness documents. 2.External Evidence: Collaborative evidence coming from outside the primary witness documents.
Honesty Irrelevant/Incidental details Harmony in Accounts Public historical claims Lack of motive for fabrication
Internal Evidence For the Resurrection of Christ, the primary witness documents are the twenty-seven works that make up the corpus that Christianity has traditionally called the New Testament. These works stand or fall individually from an historical standpoint. Therefore, they provide twenty-seven separate sources of documentation, not one.
Internal Evidence – Honesty/Embarrassing Moments – Irrelevant/Incidental details – Harmony in the accounts (but not too much) – Public historical claims – Lack of motive for fabrication
Internal Evidence Honesty/Embarrassing Moments The entire Bible records both successes and failures of the heroes. I have always been impressed by this. It never paints the glorious picture that you would expect from legendary material, but shows them in all their worst moments. The Israelites whined, David murdered, Peter denied, the apostles abandoned Christ in fear, Moses became angry, Jacob deceived, Noah got drunk, Adam and Eve disobeyed, Paul persecuted, Solomon worshiped idols, Abraham was a bigamist, Lot committed incest, John the Baptist doubted, Abraham doubted, Sarah doubted, Nicodemus doubted, Thomas doubted, Jonah ran, Samson self-served, and John, at the very end of the story, when he should have had it all figured out, worshiped an angel (Rev 22:8).
Internal Evidence Honesty/Embarrassing In addition, the most faithful are seen as suffering the most (Joseph, Job, and Lazarus), while the wicked are seen as prospering (the rich man). In the case of the Gospels, the disciples who recorded it claimed to have abandoned Christ and did not believe in His resurrection when told. Even after the resurrection, they still present themselves as completely ignorant of God’s plan (Acts 1:6-7). Women are the first to witness the resurrection which has an element of self-incrimination since a woman’s testimony was not worth anything in the first century. If someone were making this up, why include such an incriminating detail? (I am glad they did—what an Easter message this is for us today!)
Internal Evidence Honesty/Embarrassing None of the Gospel writers give their names.
Internal Evidence Mark 8:22-25 And they came to Bethsaida. And they brought a blind man to Jesus and implored Him to touch him. Taking the blind man by the hand, He brought him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes and laying His hands on him, He asked him, "Do you see anything?“ And he looked up and said, "I see men, for I see them like trees, walking around.“ Then again He laid His hands on his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and began to see everything clearly.
Internal Evidence Irrelevant/Incidental Details The Gospel writers (especially John) include many elements to their story that are really irrelevant to the big picture. Normally, when someone is making up a story, they include only the details that contribute to the fabrication. Irrelevant details are a mark of genuineness in all situations.
Internal Evidence John 20:4 The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first.
Internal Evidence Polar bear in Lost
Internal Evidence Mark 14:50-52 And they all left him and fled. And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And they seized him, but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked.
Internal Evidence Harmony in Accounts
Internal Evidence Harmony in Accounts The four Gospel writers claim to have witnessed the resurrected Christ. The same is the case for most of the other writers of the NT. The four Gospel writers all write of the same event from differing perspectives. Although they differ in details, they are completely harmonious to the main events surrounding the resurrection, and all claim that it is an historical event.
Internal Evidence Harmony in Accounts (but not too much) The differences among the accounts add to the historicity. Why?
Internal Evidence Public Historical Claims
Internal Evidence Public Historical Claims The Bible records that the resurrection of Christ happened and gives the time, place, people involved, and it names many of the witnesses. In other words, the extraordinary claims were not done in secret as would be the case if it were fabricated. Look to all the ancient myths and you will see how obscure the mythology has to be in order to claim historicity. Why? Because if you give too many details of times, people, and places it can be easily disproven. If it was a fabrication, the author should have said only one person knew about it. He should have said it happened in a cave or a place no one has ever heard of. We have those type of stories that start religions.
How Christianity started
How Other Religions started
Acts 26:26 For the king knows about these matters [concerning the resurrection of Christ], and I speak to him also with confidence, since I am persuaded that none of these things escape his notice; for this has not been done in a corner.
Internal Evidence Lack of Motive for Fabrication
Internal Evidence Motives for Fabrication: Why would someone make this up? Popularity Power Riches
Internal Evidence 1. James – Killed with a sword. A.D Peter - Hung on a cross “head downward.” A.D Andrew - Hung from an olive tree. A.D Thomas - Burned alive. A.D Phillip - Crucified. A.D Matthew - Beheaded. A.D Nathanael - Crucified. A.D James - Thrown from the temple. A.D Simon - Crucified. A.D Judas Thaddeus - Beaten with sticks. A.D Matthias - Stoned on a cross. A.D John - Natural death. A.D Paul - Beheaded. A.D. 69
Internal Evidence Beyond this, it was culturally unacceptable at all levels to have a crucified and resurrected Messiah. The Jews certainly were not expecting their Messiah to be crucified. The Greek world would have nothing but disdain for the idea of a bodily resurrection since, from their perspective, the material body was something from which we desire to escape. Therefore, for this idea to arise as a fabrication at this time in history would have been about the most counterproductive story anyone could have made up!
Internal Evidence Relation of these things to getting pulled over Do you believe that I got pulled over? Why?
While the internal evidence looks to the evidence coming from within the primary witness documents, the external evidence seeks to find collaborative evidence coming from outside the primary witness documents.
External Evidence – Antiquity of the Documents – Archeology – Extra-biblical Attestation
External Evidence Antiquity of the Documents
External Evidence Archeology
External Evidence Significance of the empty tomb Historical markers in the Gospels
External Evidence “It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible. And, by the same token, proper evaluation of biblical descriptions has often led to amazing discoveries.” (Nelson Glueck Rivers in the Desert; History of Negev [Philadelphia: Jewish Publications Society of America, 1969], 31).
External Evidence Extra-biblical Attestation
External Evidence Extra-biblical Attestation There are numerous first-century and second- century extrabiblical writings that witness to the historicity of Christ death, resurrection, and/or early worship: Josephus, Tacitus, Trajan, Suetonius, Pliny the Younger, Clement, Papias, Didache, Barnabas, Justin Martyr, Ignatius, Irenaeus, Hermas, Tatian, Theophilus, Athenagoras, Clement of Alexandria.
External Evidence Yes The Apostles lied Fabrication theory The Apostles were mistaken Mistaken identity theory Christ’s body was stolen Stolen body theory Christ did not die “Swoon” theory No No motivation to lie? They were martyred for an unwavering testimony to have seen Christ alive. They claim to be eye witnesses of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection and they all went to their deaths for mistaken identity? Who stole it and what was their motivation? This still would not explain the Apostles’ testimony to have seen Christ alive. Christ only appeared dead, yet He came to the Apostles after three days, beaten, bruised, pierced, and stabbed, and convinced them that He was their risen king?
THE DEITY OF CHRIST
Does God Exist?Is the Bible Accurate? Did Christ Rise?Who is Christ?
Outline: -Deity of Christ in History -Deity of Christ in the Bible -Problem Passages
“Who do men say that I am?”
Matthew 16:13-17 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He began asking His disciples, saying, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?“ And they said, "Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?“ And Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.“ And Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
Jehovah’s Witnesses: “You are the first creation of God though whom he created all things.” Mormons: “You are the son of God, the offspring of God and his wife and the brother of Lucifer.” Jews: “You are a false prophet.” Islam: “You are a great prophet, second only to Mohammad.” Liberal Theology: “You are a man who inspires us to love others.”
Orthodox Christianity: Christ is the Son of God, the second Person of the eternal Trinity, fully God and fully man.
Deity of Christ in History
Two Early Heresies: 1.Docetism 2.Arianism
Docetism: Christ was God, but he was not man. God would not lower himself by having a physical body. Therefore it only “seemed” like Christ was man.
1 John 4:2-3 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.
Arianism: (Arius: 256 – 336) Christ was the first creation of God through whom God created all things. He is god, but not God.
“Since there was a time when Christ was begotten, there was a time when Christ was not.”
God Christ All other Creatures Eternity PastTime
Council of Nicea (A.D. 325) We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty [pantokratora], creator of all that is seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten [pro panton ton aionon] of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of the same essence [homoousion] with the Father.
Council of Nicea (A.D. 325) Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
Deity of Christ in the Bible
Divine names: Emanuel (“God with us” Matt. 1:23) Son of God (John 5:18) I AM (John 8:58) Son of Man (Dan. 7:13–14, John 5:27) Eternal Father, Mighty God (Isa. 9:6)
Jesus is worshiped:
Matt. 2:11 “After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him.”
Matt. 14:33 “And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, ‘You are certainly God’s Son!’”
Matt. 28:9 “And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him.”
Explicit statements to Christ’s deity:
John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
John 20:28 “Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’”
Titus 2:13 “Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” 2 Peter 1:1 “To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
John 1:18 “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”
Romans 9:5 “To them belong the patriarchs, and from them, by human descent, came the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever! Amen.”
Col. 1:15–17a “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
Jesus claims to be God:
John 8:58–59a “Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.’ Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him.”
John 10:30–33 “‘I and the Father are one.’ The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, ‘I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?’ The Jews answered Him, ‘For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.’”
New Testament Quotation: Lord=Christ Old Testament Source: Yahweh Matt. 3:3 “prepare the way for the Lord”Isa. 40:3 Lk. 1:76 “go before the Lord”Mal. 3:1 Rom. 10:9 – 13 “call upon the name of the Lord” Joel 2:32 Rom. 14:9 – 12 “every knee will bow” Isa. 45:23 1 Cor. 1:31 “boast in the Lord”Jer. 9:24 1 Cor. 2:13 “mind of the Lord”Isa. 40:13 Heb. 1:10 “Lord, you founded the earth” Ps. 102:25 – 27.
Arrogance of a madman? Christ’s implied deity in Matthew: – Blessings for those who are persecuted because of Him (Matt. 5:11). – “I have not come to abolish the Law and Prophets” (Matt. 5:17). – He will say who enters the Kingdom of Heaven (Matt. 7:21–23). – We are to give up our lives to follow Him (Matt. 16:25). – He will repay each person for what they have done (Matt. 16:27– 28).
– The basis of the judgment will be man’s relationship to Christ (Matt. 25:31–46). – He speaks of “his angels” (Matt. 13:41; 16:27; 24:31). – The only thing the rich young ruler lacks for eternal life is to follow Christ (Matt. 19:16–21). – People are commanded to love Christ more than their own families (Matt. 10:37). – Eternal life depends on belief in Him and the Father (Jn. 17:3).
1.“First born of all creation” Col 1:15 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.”
Answer: “First born” (prototokos) does not mean that Christ was created. In Scripture it could either mean, “The first born Child,” or it often meant, “one who possessed priority.”
2.“Only Begotten” (monogenes) Used five times in N.T. to refer to Christ (Jn. 1:18; 3:16, 18; 1 Jn. 4:9)
John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Answer: Recent linguistic studies have shown that the Greek word monogenes (“only-begotten”) does not come from gennao, “to bear, beget,” but from genos, “kind, class.” Therefore, monogenes would be better translated, “one-of-a-kind” or “unique.” This explains why Isaac is referred to as the monogenes of Abraham when Abraham did have another son, Ishmael (Heb. 11:17).
3.“Beginning of creation”
Rev. 3:14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this.”
Answer: “Beginning of Creation” simply means that Christ is the origin of all things created.
3.The Father is greater than the Son
John 14:28 “You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.”
A king may be greater than his servant, but that does not mean that his actual being is greater. Just his current position is greater. This passage speaks of functional, not ontological, greatness.