Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Was Jesus anti-Trinitarian (John 14:28)?

The Sunday School class I'm involved in has recently been discussing John 14. Last Sunday, we were discussing the latter half of that chapter and someone suggested that Jesus' statement "for the Father is greater than I" in v. 28 seems problematic for an orthodox view of the Trinity. Some one else in the class noted that this verse is used by some religious groups in their anti-Trinitarian polemic.

I declined to comment on the statement, thinking that such a complex and important issue deserved more than a cavalier answer. I have some thoughts regarding Jesus' statement and felt this might be a good topic to discuss at "the round table."
So here are two questions for discussion:

1) What is the relationship between Jesus' statement, "for the Father is greater than I," his departure to "the Father" and the disciples love for Jesus?
2) Closely related to # 2, what are the implications of Jesus' statement for our understanding of the "Father"?

[I originally had three questions for discussion, but it seems to me that if you one can gain a better sense of what Jesus is conveying in the ENTIRE sentence, then one can determine if Jesus is anti-Trinitarian or not. There thus was no need for the first question (whatever it was).]

Any thoughts...


Anonymous said...

Great questions Mark. There are Jehovah's Witnesses that I know who use the verses you mention to "disprove" the trinity. Also they ask, "how could Jesus raise himself, to whom does he pray, can God die, and they quote Jesus in saying that no one is good, except the father, as well as a number of other verses that I can't think of just now. (Also, they use the fact that no one knows the day nor the hour of the end, not the angels in heaven nor the son, but only the father.) I would say they are onto something.

Elijah said...

I agree with the above comment. I 100% agree, Jesus himself says "The son can do nothing without the Father"