Month 9:27, Week 4:4 (Revee/Shavu'ot), Year:Day 5940:263 AM|
2Exodus 3/40, Yovel - Year 50/50
Gregorian Calendar: Monday 26 December 2016
The Word Made Flesh
I. The Prologue of John's Gospel
The Prologue and Agenda
This series of articles has been written in response to a repackaged messianic heresy which, like that of the Jehovah's Witnesses, denies the divinity, incarnation and virgin birth of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ).
The prologue to the Gospel of John (Jn.1:1-14) must surely be one of the most profound theological statements in the whole of Scripture. Because of its implications doctrinally, it has become the object of considerable controversy and taken alone could be the subject of a whole book. My reason for returning to this incredible Hymn of Praise to the Divine Messiah is that recently it has been completely twisted by a false messianic ministry trying to strip away His Elohimhood (Godhood). Correcting this abuse therefore becomes an absolutely necessity for guardians of the Davar (Word).
To Whom Was John Writing?
Before we dissect the Prologue, it is important to get the overall sense. I mentioned that it was a Hymn of Praise. To understand John (Yochanan) you first of all have to understand what he is not. Great emphasis is placed by many messianics on the fact that John was a Hebrew and was therefore using Hebrew terminology and expressions. This is true. But equally - and this is what tends to be neglected or completely overlooked by Hebraic-supremacists - is that:
Greek Style, Greek Audience
- 1. John was writing to a particular audience that was not the same as Matthew (who was writing to fellow Hebrews), Mark (who was writing to either gentile readers in general or specifically to the assembly at Rome) and Luke (who was writing a personal testimony to a man called Theophilus who was almost certainly a Roman official); and
- 2. He was using the mind-set, words and literary constructions that would be understood by this particular audience of his day which was not Judahite or Jewish!
Attempts to force this Gospel into a purely Hebrew setting - for a Hebrew audience - is to fundamentally misunderstand it. Though it is certainly possible that it was originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic before being translated into Greek, there is an equally strong - if not stronger - case for it having originally been written in Greek. (For background on John and his writing, see my group of studies, Johannine Essays). The Gospel of John is written in a Greek style that would have appealed to Greek thinkers in an imperial Roman setting even if it evidences a Hebrew mind at work. The fact that it quotes Yah'shua (Jesus) speaking in Aramaic on the cross, and then translates it into Greek, makes no sense if the ground text was Aramaic or Hebrew:
"And about the ninth hour Yah'shua (Jesus) cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?' that is, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?'" (Matt.27:46-47, NKJV).
An Antidote to Gnostic Heresy
A Second important reason the Gospel of John was written was to combat a serious heresy of his time, as well as ours, the Gnostics. It should not surprise us, then, to find the apostle using Greek concepts and terms (like Logos) in order to make the Besorah (Gospel) more readily comprehensible to the pagans he was reaching out to. His presentation of the Besorah (Gospel) is very different, therefore, to the Synoptists (Matthew, Mark and Luke).
As you will see in a moment, a whole heresy has been spawned in our day over the exact meaning and nuances of a single word whilst failing to understand the overall context. As is rightly claimed, text without a context is a pretext ... for whatever heresy your imagination light care to conjure up. And heretics have conjured up no end of them by failing to address the historical, linguistic and cultural background of Scriptural texts.
The Johannine Literary Genre
John's writings are very special. It takes no scholar to understand that. He is 'different' from Matthew, Mark, Luke, Paul, Peter and James because his writing style occupies a literary category all of his own. The Johannine writings were the New Testament Scriptures I chose to specialise in both when I was a student of theology and when I was teaching for the University of London 'A' Level Certificate so I have a particular love for, and interest in, this apostle's unique literary genre.
The Target Audience Was Gnostics
The appeal of John to the modern reader is, I suggest, similar to the target audience nearly two millennia ago. I believe Yahweh knew the world would become gnosticised and that there was divine prophetic intent in this Gospel's production. It wasn't just for the gnostics of John's day but of all ages, including ours. In short, gnosticism is a form of occultism which believes that salvation is by accumulated mystical knowledge or gnosis. This explains the 'mystic' flavour of the Johannine writings and why it would have been more readily received than the Synoptic testimonies, especially by those into Gnostic religion. (Mark, though writing for Greeks, had the common man in mind).
A Gospel of Self-Redemption
Gnosticism was, and still is, a message of self-redemption, and John, using their language and vocuabulary, demonstrates in the Gospel that that is not so. One of the modern versions of Gnosticism is atheism where 'God' has been removed and 'Science' or 'intellect' replaced in His stead. Another, of mediaeval provenance (though predictable claiming to be older in order to legitimise itself), is Kabbalism which defines modern Judaism and a lot of Messianic Jewish thinking too.
The Logos Springboard
In what cannot have been an accident, but a brilliant device to capture the attention of these 'do-it-yourself salvationists' nonetheless, John deliberately uses a word that was key to Greek pagan gnostic thinking - LOGOS or WORD (Davar in Hebrew, Memra in Aramaic) and then, using that as a springboard, redefines it to mean something else in order to explain the great mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of Elohim (God).
A Song to the Heavenly Emperor, Greek-Style
Before we start dissecting Logos, let's get back to context. John's Prologue is, as I said, a hymn, but not 'any old' sort of hymn. It had a structure that would have been recognised in the Imperial Roman world which is this Gospel's backdrop, as commonly found in Roman drama. In much the same way that national anthems were played in movie theatres when I was young, or at the end of a day's TV broadcasting, before a Roman play was performed two thousand years ago, it was a common practice to sing a hymn to the emperor. And you will remember, the Roman emperor was often regarded as divine himself which would later cause conflict between believers and the state and result in Christians being thrown to the lions in the arena for the entertainment of the pagans. John uses this same imperial device but instead records a song of the Messianic Community (Church) or hymn in five strophes  or stanzas to the Heavenly Emperor. What follows is a dramatic presentation of Messiah's life in a poetic setting that John's wide-ranging pagan, gnostic readership would have resonated with, just gripping their attention. A modern example would be sharing the besorah (Gospel) in cartoon strips or in Hollywood-like movies with dramatic sound-track and all the commonly used devices and techniques of that industry. Like so many of Yah'shua's (Jesus') own sermons, the Greek-speakers would have been captivated from the very start by this literary fanfare.
The Chief Message of the Prologue
When you see and understand how these five stanzas or, more accurately, strophes are arranged, you will be in no doubt what the chief message is. But taking this or that stanza in isolation, as so many heretics do, or just one word, will be to not only miss the point but lead the distracted reader into dangerous error. Let's look at these strophes first (I am using four of Ben Witherington's divisions) which I am basing mostly on the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)  with the inclusion of some variant manuscript readings too:
JOHN'S PROLOGUE ARRANGED AS STROPHES
"In the beginning was the Word (Davar, Memra, Logos);
and the Word (Davar, Memra, Logos) was with Elohim (God),
and the Word (Davar, Memra, Logos) was Elohim.
He was with Elohim (God) in the beginning.
"All things came into being through Him,
and without Him not one thing came into being.
In Him was chayim (life),
and the chayim (life) was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome or understood it.
Verses 6-9 are an insertion introducing the Baptist and his relationship to the Word.
"He was in the world,
and the world came into being through Him
He came to what was His own
and His own people did not accept Him.
But to all who received Him, who believed in His Name,
He gave power to become children of Elohim (God).
Verses 12b-13 are an explanatory insertion by the author about how one becomes such a child, viz. through being born of Elohim (God) and not of blood, or the will of the flesh or the will of man.
"And the Word (Davar, Memra, Logos) became flesh
and lived among us,
and we have seen His glory,
the glory of a Father's only son,
full of grace and emet (truth).
Verse 15 is an insert by the author and is so depicted by placing it in parentheses.
"From His fullness we have all received,
grace upon grace.
The Torah (Law) was indeed given through Moses,
grace and emet (truth) came through Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ).
No one has ever seen Elohim (God).
It is Elohim (God) the only Son
who is close to the Father's heart (bosom)
who has made Him known."
The Eight Interconnected Themes
The hymn can be broken down into the following interconnected themes:
A Separate Person From the Father
- 1. The pre-existent Word (Davar, Memra, Logos);
- 2. The Word (Davar, Memra, Logos) and creation;
- 3. The response of those created - rejection;
- 4. The Incarnation and Revelation;
- 5. The response of the faithful messianic community "we have seen His glory");
- 6. The connection between Moses and Yah'shua (Jesus), between Torah, grace and emet (truth);
- 7. The visibility of Elohim (God) the only Son (Yah'shua/Jesus) and invisibility of the Father;
- 8. The revelation of the Father made by the Son.
That this "Word" is a Person separate from Elohim (God) the Father and is also Elohim (God) cannot be in any doubt when all of these five strophes and their eight themes are taken together. The claim by heretics, usually anti-messianic Jews, that the "Word" is an impersonal extension of Yahweh as His mere mental 'plan', makes no sense in the context of the whole hymn, which is exalting the Messiah and identifying Him as the personal "Word". We shall look at this in more detail in later parts of this series to see how the heretics typically cite the 'evidence' of atheists, liberals and anti-messianic Jews in support. Though the context here demonstrates that it is Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) being spoken of, we will analyse Logos, Davar and Memra for the sake of being thorough.
The Origins of Christology
Beyond any shadow of a doubt, John 1:1-14(18) has rightly had more impact on Christian thinking about the identity of Yah'shua (Jesus) as a pre-existent and divine Being than any other text in the Messianic Scriptures (New Testament). It is from these verses that we get our first 'meaty' serving of what theologians call 'Christology' or teaching about Messiah. Paul takes up the theme and develops it further in his writings. This Johannine Gospel Prologue is, moreover, a compact and a wonderful summary of the most excellent saving emet (truth) there is (without which there is no salvation and no spiritual regeneration), and though the same revelation is found scattered throughout the whole Bible, nowhere is is more majestically and succinctly brought together than in this grand Hymn of Praise. Little wonder that Satan has sought to attack it the most vigorously because to destroy in the minds of men the Divinity of Yah'shua (Jesus) is to condemn men and women everywhere to darkness and despair.
The Philippian Hymn
In structure and form this Hymn strongly resemble other hymns that we know about where a similar theme is repeated by the apostle Paul:
"Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus), who, being in the form of Elohim (God), did not consider it robbery to be equal ('coequal', AENT) with Elohim (God), but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore Elohim (God) also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Yah'shua (Jesus) every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) is Master, to the glory of Elohim (God) the Father" (Phil.2:5b-11, NKJV).
Commenting on this passage, Aramaic scholar Gabriel Roth notes:
Enter Occult Kabbalism
"By the revelation given him and diligent study of the Tanakh (Old Testament), Paul knows well that Mashiayach (Messiah) is the "coequal of Elohim". A very Torah-based concept. Some may counter: 'You make a man out to be Elohim,' which is not 'Jewish' - which is one of the very reasons Paul is considered apostate from Torah. But who are his critics? Obviously they are the Pharisees of old and their direct spiritual descendants this day, who deny Y'shua Mashiyach /(Yah'shua the Messiah/Jesus Christ) in the first place" 
Sadly, Roth then goes off track and starts invoking kabbalistic explanations, and advances what is essentially the chief heresy amongst messianics who accept Yah'shua (Jesus) as messiah but not as the pre-existent incarnate Elohim (God):
Yah'shua Did Not 'Become' the Messiah
"It's not the followers of Y'shua who make him out to be Elohim (God), but YHWH (Yahweh) who puts the Spirit of Mashiach (Messiah) into a human body. It is the omnipotence of the Almighty YHWH which is under attack by those who reject Yshua as Mashiyach. Critics posture that the Father YHWH, who is ein sof (without end) cannot indwell a human being, but these critics are simply putting theological limitations upon YHWH's omnipotence" .
What he is saying, like so many messianic heretics, is that Yah'shua (Jesus) was an ordinary man, who sinned like other human beings, until His mikveh or Baptism in the River Jordan when Yahweh 'put' the 'Spirit of Messiah' into the man 'Yah'shua' thus making Him 'Messiah'. This is one of the reasons the Messianic Movement is coming under Judgment for rank blasphemy in our day.
Like Charismatic Heretics and Their 'God-Men'
This is also why some of these heretics are claiming that they can forgive sin like Yah'shua because they, like the kabbalistic 'Yah'shua' (or however you want to spell it). Charismatic heretics are preaching a similar doctrine! They are saying Yah'shua (Jesus) was an ordinary man who either became messiah at His baptism or, in other schools of thought, became Elohim (God). The very clear implication and satanic New Age lie is that men and women, like you and me, can then become messiah or become Elohim (God). It's the only logical extrapolation of this doctrine which is why it is such a vile and repugnant Antichrist or Anti-Messiah teaching. It's what Kenneth Copeland and other charismatic heretics mean when they claim believers are all 'gods' when they are 'born again'. But with whose 'birthing'?
Their Father of Lies
Of course the teachers of this doctrine will usually deny this but I guarantee that this is the demonic spirit behind this teaching. This is why we are not messianics but Torah-obedient Evangelicals. That is what we mean by the designation 'Messianic Evangelical'. The Talmudic Jews have evolved a very sophisticed occultic, rationalisation - in reality, twisting - of Torah which sounds very intellectual but is, in fact, an enchanting spirit of witchcraft. This is because their "father [is] the devil, and [they] want to carry [their] your father's desire" (John 8:44, NIV). And just because it is sophisticated and quotes the Bible doesn't mean it is emet (truth). By superimposing an alien doctrine, kabbalists of all stripes have recreated the Tanakh (Old Testament) in the devil's image, and have then tried to superimpose that on the Messianic Scriptures (New Testament) too.
Yah'shua's Baptism and the Dove
Yah'shua's (Jesus') baptism did not change Him from sinner to Messiah - it did not change Him at all! He had no need of what baptism represents, since He was already sinless and Divine, but permitted Himself to be baptised to set an example. "Follow me" (John 1:43, NIV) - copy, imitate Him. And the manifestion of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) coming out of Heaven in the form of a dove was not Yah'shua (Jesus) being 'endowed' or 'anointed' with something supernatural He has never had before but was given as an ot or SIGN for those who witnessed the event that He was indeed the long-expected Messiah of Israel and to therefore follow Him:
"Then Yah'shua (Jesus) came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, 'I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?' But Yah'shua (Jesus) answered and said to him, 'Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.' Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptised, Yah'shua (Jesus) came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Ruach Elohim (Spirit of God) descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased'" (Matt.3:13-17, NKJV).
Please note well that this was not the 'Spirit of Messiah' 'entering' Yah'shua (Jesus) for the purpose of endowment, anointing or empowerment, but the Ruach Elohim (Spirit of God) alighting "upon" or "on" to IDENTIFY Him as Messiah before the crowd by the River after He has been baptised to show in symbol what every man must do - die to self and exchange the old Adamic nature for the Divine Nature. This is what happened at the River Jordan. Therefore we utterly repudite the New Age lie that the man Yah'shua (Jesus) became the Messiah when he was 30 at the River Jordan - He is, was and always will be Elohim (God). This was not invented by Constantine or later Roman Christians  - it's biblical. Therefore we cannot hold fellowship with anyone who denies this absolute, fundamental emet (truth), or call them 'brother' or 'sister', which will also be explained in a later part of this series.
The Targums Establish the Divinity of Messiah
As we shall see in a later part of this series, the Jews before Yah'shua's (Jesus') time already knew that their Messiah would be divine and not a mere man, endowed or otherwise. This proved by the Tanakh (Old Testament) Targums of the era.
The Colossian Hymn
Let us take a look at another Pauline hymn:
The Handing-Over-of-the-Universe Ceremony
"He is the [visible] image of the invisible Elohim (God), the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the messianic community (church), who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made shalom (peace) through the blood of His cross" (Col.1:15-20, NKJV).
Once you take the Rabbinical, Talmudic, Kaballistic Jewish (as opposed to the Biblical-Hebraic) spectacles off, the Scriptures speak plainly and consistently enough and require no exegetical gymnastics. Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) is the indiputable maker and upholder of all things in the universe. If we accept the position of the heretics that Yah'shua (Jesus) became Messiah at His baptism, having before then been a mere man (and a sinner at that) with no prior existence before His birth, then either you have to invent the absurdity that no one 'made' or 'upheld' the universe before His incarnation (which is beyond ridiculous) or you have to posit that Yahweh was the original Creator and upholder of the universe but transferred the whole operation to a man whom He 'filled with the Spirit of Messiah' when He turned 30. Since that is plainly absurd too, you are left with what? What other conclusion is there? Unless Yah'shua (Jesus) is the Elohim-Man, you cannot make any rational sense of this hymn.
The Pre-existent Messiah
The function of Elohim (God) the Son (Yah'shua/Jesus) is clearly demonstrated here to make visible that universally which Elohim (God) the Father (Yahweh) made invisibly:
A clearer statement of Yah'shua's (Jesus') pre-existence could not be made.
"He (Yah'shua/Jesus) Himself is before all [physical, visible] things, and in (or 'by') Him (Yah'shua/Jesus) all things hold together" (Col.1:17, NRSV).
Relationship with Messiah is the Only Knowledge That Matters
To the Gnostics in the apostolic era, knowledge of secret lore (like concealed Bible codes, kaballistic secrets hidden in Hebrew letters, messages hidden in the constellations, or the privileged information known only to highly educated theologians, linguists and academics) was the key to salvation. Today's messianic heretics are doing the same. Exhanging natures by dying to self didn't interest them because then there would be no accolades for them - they would not be able to boast how much they knew - they could not bask in the "pride of life" (1 Jn.2:16)). For Paul, as we read in the following chapter of Colossians, the only knowledge (gnosis) necessary for salvation was knowing Messiah relationally person-to-Person:
The Messianic Hebrew Hymn
"For I want you to know how much I am struggling for you, and for those in Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face. I want their hearts to be encouraged and united in ahavah (love), so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of Elohim's (God's) mystery, that is, Messiah Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom (hochmah) and knowledge (da'at). I am saying this so that no one may deceive you with plausible arguments" (Col.2:1-4, NRSV).
Finally, we come to the Messianic Hebrew Hymn which introduced the Letter to the Hebrew believers:
One Throne and Many Thrones
"Elohim (God)...has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the Davar (Word) of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the malakim (angels), as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they" (Heb.1:2-4, NKJV).
To sit on Yahweh's Throne at His right-hand means two things. To sit at someone's right hand means to possess that person's power and authority. To sit on a throne means you are a King or a joint-King. Yah'shua (Jesus) sat on Yahweh-Elohim's throne, making Him Elohim (God) too. Sitting at His right side, as the only-begotten Son, made Him uniquely
honoured albeit it subject as a Son to a Father, reigning with Him forever (Rev.4:2-5:1). By contrast we are told that the glorified apostles will sit on 12 separate thrones (Mt.19:28; Lk.22:30), as presumably all the glorified qadoshim (saints, set-apart ones).
The Son Only Understood in Terms of Where He Came From
All four hymns, but especially the first in the prologue, establish the identity and reveal the scope of the deeds and career of the main character of the book, Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). While in Hebrews 1 the hymn is part of the prologue, in John 1 is has basically become the prologue, along with the parenthetical remarks about John the Baptist and the new birth from above. Most critically, as far as we are concerned in this study, John makes absolutely clear that Yah'shua's (Jesus') ministry and person can only be understood in terms of where Yah'shua (Jesus) came from (His pre-existence in Heaven with the Father) and where He is going. Had He been an ordinary man until He was 30, according to the heretics, then His own claim that He, as His own person, had come down from heaven (as opposed to being conceived on earth my a human father and mother - Joseph and Mary) makes absolutely no sense:
The Only Possible Explanation
"I have come down from heaven not to do My will but to do the will of Him who sent Me" (John 6:38, NIV).
In short, the Son of Elohim (God) as the Word, Davar, Memra or Logos, is only explicable if one understands that He is a Divine Being (Elohim/God) who came from, and returns to, Heaven. We too, as creatures, image this journey ourselves (we shall look at divine imaging another time), coming from the same heavenly pre-existence as Jeremiah the navi (prophet) did (Jer.1:5) and shall return there (unless we are of that last generation who are resurrected on the earth "in the twinkling of an eye" without tasting death when Yah'shua/Jesus physically returns). This is the divine tavnith or pattern and we see the witness of it being reitterated again and again, most clearly in the Pauline hymns. Moreover, as we are dependent upon the Divine Son and are expected to speak and act according to His will and command, so also as Yah'shua (Jesus) makes clear is the Divine Son expected to speak and act according to the will of the Divine Father, which He testified that He did:
"The world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me" (John 14:31, NIV).
In Part 2 we shall continue unpacking John's Prologue to his Gospel within the wider context of the whole biblical revelation. Only then can we safely start dissecting words like Logos or Davar to determine whether this is merely an impersonal expression of the Divine Will, as the heretics maintain, or whether this is indeed a separate Divine Personage in the Elohimhead (Godhead).
Continued in Part 2
 A strophe was a poetic term originally referring to the first part of the ode in Ancient Greek tragedy, followed by the antistrophe and epode, a bit like a Hebrew chiasm. The term has been extended to also mean a structural division of a poem containing stanzas of varying line length. Strophic poetry is to be contrasted with poems composed line-by-line non-stanzaically, such as Greek epic poems or English blank verse, to which the term 'stichic' applies. In its original Greek setting, "strophe, antistrophe and epode were a kind of stanza framed only for the music," as John Milton wrote in the preface to Samson Agonistes, with the strophe chanted by a Greek chorus as it moved from right to left across the scene.
[2} Any number of different literal translations would have done, like the KJV, NKJV or ESV; the only reason I have not used messianic ones is because of the heavily influence of Talmudic Judaic kabbalism in the usually better versions like the AENT, HRV not to mention the RSTNE. I might have used the CJB/JNT but this is a paraphrase even though it is more accurate than the kaballah-influenced messianic translations.
 Gabriel Roth, Aramaic English New Testament (Netzari Press LLC, USA: 2012), pp.756-757
 Ibid., p.757; ein soph is a kabbalistic term (not a biblical one) which is usually rendered 'transcendant', 'Ein' or 'ayin' in kabbalism means 'beyond existence' or Absolute Nothing, being neither above nor below, neither still nor in motion. As Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi, my kabbalistic tutor before I repented of this occultism, puts it: "Tradition states that God willed to see God and so God's Will, symbolized by light, shone nowhere and everywhere. Thus the En Sof Aur, the Endless Light or Will, was omniscient throughout Absolute All. From God knowing All, God willed the first separation so that God might behold God..." - Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi, A Kabbalistic Universe (Rider & Company, London: 1977), p.7. This New Age gobbledegook makes it home effortlessly with the occult and is accepted by Luciferians, Satanists, devil-worshippers, Wiccans, the early Mormons and those who use Tarot cards, and by every kind of practitioner witchcraft, standing as all of this does in opposition to the true Elohim (God) of the Bible.
 I am not here addressing the doctrine of the Trinity which is an entirely different subject and an unbiblical extrapolation of the emet (truth) that Yah'shua (Jesus) is Elohim (God). For our position on the Elohimhead (Godhead), see Yah'shua the Messiah and His Place in the Godhead
 Ben Witherington III, John's Wisdom: A Commentary on the Fourth Gospel (The Lutterworth press, Cambridge, England: 1995)
 J.C.Fenton, New Clarendon Bible Commentaries, The Gospel According to John in the Revised Standard Version (OUP, Oxford, England: 1970)
 J.L.Houldon, Black's New Testament Commentaries, Johannine Epistles (Adam & Charles Black, London: 1973)
 Sydney Temple, The Core of the Fourth Gospel (Mobrays, London & Oxford: 1975)
 N.T.Wright, Paul and the Faithfulness of God: Christian Origins and the Question of God, Parts III & IV (SPCK, London: 2013)
Comments from Readers
 "Fantastic article!" (DP, South Africa, 28 December 2016)
This series is dedicated to my son Josef on the occasion of his 22nd birthday