Re: Children of God in 1 John 3:1

Eugene Baker (
Sun, 10 Nov 1996 20:44:45 -0600

At 07:55 PM 11/10/96 -0500, you wrote:
>1Joh 3:1 (GNT) idete potaphn agaphn dedwken hmin o pathr, ina tekna qeou
>klhqwmen, kai esmen. dia touto o kosmos ou ginwskei hmas, oti ouk egnw auton.
>1Joh 3:1 (NASU) See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we
>would be called children of God; and [such] we are. For this reason the
>world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
>In 1 John 3:1, I've always assumed that "we would be called children of God"
>meant that *God* calls us his children. In my "Bible coloring class" at
>church today, another possibility occured to me. I'm not aware that the term
>"children of God" was ever used before Jesus. Was it? If not, perhaps some
>Jews in "the world" were mocking Christians, calling them "children of God"
>to make fun of them. Anybody want to argue for or against this theory?
>Jonathan Robie
>POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703
>Ph: 919.598.5728 Fax: 919.598.6728
> <--- shockwave enabled!

It's an interesting hypothesis. I don't believe I have ever heard anyone
suggest it before, (but then I only heard of *logorrhea* today, and I have
been infected with it for years.)

Jesus spoke of the peacemakers being called "sons of God" in the Sermon on
the Mount. Paul wrote in Romans 8:16 that ESMEN TEKNA QEOU.

Since John refers to his readers as TEKNIA several times, it would seem to
me that this is his term of personal affection. It does not seem to be
much of a leap from hUIOI QEOU (Matt. 5:9) to TEKNA QEOU in I Jn 3:1. In
addition, the same term is used in John 1:12 TEKNA QEOU GENESQAI. This
probably doesn't prove anything, but to me it seems consistent with NT usage.



Gene Baker
Sterling IL

"You can't tell which way the train went by looking at the tracks."