Re: Does the NT authors use of "God sent his only son" imply...
Thu, 1 Aug 1996 02:57:37 -0400

In einer eMail vom 31.07.1996 20:52:06, schreiben Sie:

>I came into an interesting perspective and I wanted to know from
>those on the list I have come to trust if the argument holds
>exegetical water. The question is, does the NT authors' use of
>"God sent his only son..." imply the assumption of the pre-existance
>of Jesus before his birth. Clearly John's gospel has this in
>mind, but the usage of the word "sent" is more widespread than that.
>The idea being that in English the word send implies that you have what
>you are sending in your possession. Does the Greek shed any evidence on
>this issue.

In my opinion the formula "God sent his son" (e.g. Gal 4,4, John 3,17, 1.Jo
4,9...) doesn't NECESSARILY imply a pre-existance in a special sense other
than the preexistance of a human being in his mothers womb and before in the
foreknowledge of God (cf. Jer 1,5 , Ps 139). Also John the Baptist ist
APESTALMENOS PARA QEOU (john1,6) - and this goes back to the anouncement of
his birth, and the apostles are "sent" too.
BUT if you look on the christological ideas of both Paul and John the formula
gets a deeper meaning, because they both teach the preexistance of Jesus
Christ - John as the divine LOGOS in 1,1-14, Paul as the preexistant
KURIOS... DI OU TA PANTA... (1Cor 8,6), which had his part of work in the
creation of the world.
IMHO even Mark speaks of a preexistant Christ - Mk1,2+3 can be interpreted as
"prologue in heaven" where the father says to his son "IDOU APOSTELLW TON
I think this is the best proposition to explain the 2nd pers. SOU , which is
an alteration of the LXX-text of Mal 3,1. But I'm sure, there are many other
opinions about this passage on this list and it would be great to hear
something about this subject from the great scholars on this list and not
only from an ordinary german pastor, who tells only what his Tuebingen
Teachers told him :-;

Nevertheless I hope that this can be some help.

Greetings from Germany
Christoph Klaiber, Pastor (UMC)