exegesis eastern-orthodox. Lenski states in his commentary on John (Augsburg Publishing House, Minneapolis, MN: 1943. gives his Son, he gives all things freely with him; which is not Context In the verses leading up to John 3:16 through 3:21, we see Jesus in conversation with Nicodemus, who is not yet willing to accept Jesus as the son of God or as his lord and savior, and who is equally unwilling to make a decision on such a topic. What is wrong with this interpretation? Page 405-407. Jesus offers abundant new life, 2:1-3:36. iv] God's love in Christ. Not that there is the same latitude of those living as those dying, for many more die in Adam than are saved in Christ. Third, since even Arminians admit that believers are elect, even Arminians should see that John 3:16 has in plainest possible language said that God gave His only chat the elect (whoever believes) “should not perish have everlasting life.” John Newton, Works of John Newton, Volume 2, Banner of Truth Trust, Carlisle, PA: 1988. F11 T. Bab. that he gave his only begotten Son; God, then, will savingly love upon men in wisdom. The words “That He gave” is the usual classical construction of the grammar with “hoste” and the indicative (first aorist active) entail a practical result; that God did do such a thing as give His Son, truly. (2) The love by which God gave his Son draws after itself all other things necessary to salvation: “For he that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Rom. Synopsis. Exegetical Analysis of John 3:16 The Gospel according to Saint John: John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” John 3:16 is one of the most known, if not the most known, verses of the bible amongst Christians throughout the world. If therefore God sent Christ for that end (that through him the world might be saved) , he must either have failed of his end or the world must be necessarily saved in fact. Would this then include those already assigned to hell?  John 5:24; 7:7; 8:23; 12:31; 13:1; 14:17; 14:22; 14:31; 15:18-19; 16:8; 16:20; 17:6; 17:9; 17:11b; 17:15-16; 17:17; 17:21; 17:23; 17:25; 1 John 2:15-17; 3:1; 3:13; 4:5; 4:17; 5:4-5; Rev. The voluntas decreti and mandati are not distinguished…A man is bound to believe that he ought to believe, and that by faith he shall be saved. with this distinction, Israel, and the nations of the world; on Died he for no other? “The Father’s grace ordaineth, and giveth the Son to undertake for us, our redemption.  Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Volume 1, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, Phillipsburg, NJ: 1992. Why then should “the world” not be taken universally for individuals, but indefinitely for anyone (Jews as well as Gentiles, without distinction of nation, language and condition) that he may be said to have loved the human race inasmuch as he was unwilling to destroy it entirely, but decreed to save some certain person out of it; not only from one people as before, but from all indiscriminately although the effects of that love should not be extended to each individual, but only to some certain ones (viz., those chosen out of the world)!  John Gerstner, Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth, 2nd Edition, Soli Deo Gloria, Morgan, PA, 2000. 15. fol. Sproul, and R. K. McGregor Wright. This love is the inner Trinitarian love which is ad infra, a love without restriction. (16) The last verse has spoken of “every one who believeth.” The thought went beyond the limits that Rabbis set to the kingdom of God. We may admit that our interpretation of John 3:16 is no novel one invented by us, but one almost uniformly given by the Reformers and Puri tans, and many others since them.”,  Gillespie, “In answer to the two arguments, one from the John 3:16. It is the present active nominative masculine singular verb which determines our English rendering “whosoever believes”. If they eat of the bread of life, then they have life. The Gospel of John, chapter 3, verse 16, is one of the all-time beloved and well-known verses in the entire Bible. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. And I say, no it could not.” (The Works of Rev. It is impossible to break the line of Christ’s thought and attribute the special and purposeful love of God which gives His only begotten Son to the entirety of mankind without distinction, where Jesus has, in verse 3 and following, already made the distinction.45 It is true that Reformed Calvinists, such as Murray and Dabney, do not believe God is “attempting” to save the world. they are brought to believe in him, and shall never perish, but If God “loved” them, where is the slightest proof thereof? 1 John 3:16-24. The command doth not hold out God’s intentions; otherwise God’s command to Abraham concerning sacrificing of his son…Said I can not say so to a devil…True; but reason is, that it is the revealed will of God that devils are absolutely excluded, but not so any man known to me.” Samuel Rutherford stated, “For the two scriptures alleged yesterday desire when I give a reason of the denial of a pro position…For that of John 3:16, three grounds of an argument taken from this place: 1. The construction here is considered a “purpose clause” in the Greek. - by John Calvin, What is the Gospel? Our divines do deny that the word world must in some places be taken in another sense…For that of philanthropy it makes much against it…I cannot understand how there can be such a universal love of God to mankind as is maintained. God did not wait for the world to turn to Him before He loved the world. As a matter of fact, in John 6:41 the Jews murmured at His teaching, saying that Jesus could not have “come down from heaven” since he is “Joseph’s son.” But Jesus then remarks to them in 6:43-44 with these words, “Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. CHAPTER 3. 5:19 plainly teaches there is a “world” which are “recon ciled”, reconciled unto God, because their trespasses are not ‘ reckoned to their account, having been borne by their Substitute.  John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Volume 1, Westminster Press, Philadelphia, PA: 1960. The one you … But what is that to a reprobate ? John 3:16 (ESV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. It is a point much controverted. John Owen speaks about the love of God in this manner when he states, “He is love eternally and necessarily in this love of the Son; all other workings of love are but acts of His will, whereby somewhat of it is outwardly expressed.”53 Here Owen states that God necessarily loves in Christ but those acts of love externally upon men are those which He wills, which as we have discussed is a “love of the creature” or “love of men” but not savingly. Even the word “gave” (page 264), is in the aorist tense denoting a historical past action of the Father for us. John 3:16 is the most famous verse in the whole entire bible. “God so loved the world”. Free PDF. John. the Bible, it would be John 3:16. Literary Criticism 1. Yet, there is also a pouring out of His love in and through Christ, which is restricted to those elected in Christ. Page 405; Turretin was aware of Calvin’s interpretation of this passage – he makes this note on Page 405 section 30. Q. essence, perfections, and glory with him; begotten by him in a Even people who don't even go to church or not saved are able to recite John 3:16. ) Some say that stating God’s love here is towards the “elect” ruins the force of the sentence. for them; a gift which is a sufficient evidence of his love to whether Jew or Gentile. Contemporary Commentary, Studies, and Exegesis: Commentary, John 3:1-17, Judith Jones, WorkingPreacher.org, 2018. The Rev.  John Owen, Works, Volume 1, Communion with God, Banner of Truth Trust, Carlisle, PA: 1994. Jesus is not saying that God’s love is a general saving love for all men indiscriminately, but it reaches to all nations indiscriminately under the new covenant. nature is ever called the world: nor is the whole body of the  John Gill, Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, Volume 7, Baptist Standard Bearer, Paris AR, 1989. God loves Christ in us. (3) Therefore the end of that love which God intends is the salvation of those whom he pursues with such love; hence he adds, “For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17). Clear Advanced Options. (E)17 For God did not send his Son into the world(F)to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. So Rom. Jesus made the distinction absolutely clear! 1 Some Calvinists believe that God is not saving all men here, but does intend a general “saving” love to all men. To do so is to court failure, no way can we ever fathom the depths that are here. Christ there announced that God’s love in giving His Son had a larger object in view, that it flowed beyond the boundary of Palestine, reaching out to “regions beyond”. Then the Greek says “in order that every one believing in him may not perish.” There is no word for “whosoever” in the original. In this sense, he is called by the Samaritans “the Saviour of the “world” (John 4:42), i.e., not only of the Jews (as under the Old Testament when sal vation was only of the Jews, as Christ testifies, John 4:22), but also of the Gentiles. Copyright © 2021, Bible Study Tools. “The universal particles which often occur here are not always employed in their whole extent, but sometimes more broadly, sometimes more strictly, according to the subject matter Sometimes they denote the whole of the nations in distinction to the Old Testament economy where salvation was only of the Jews. ), Calvinistic Articles on the Christian Faith, Shorter Catechism of the Assembly of Divines, Larger Catechism of the Assembly of Divines, Pastoral Theology and Expository Preaching Articles, Pastoral Theology and Expository Preaching Videos, Questions Pastoral Candidates Should Ask Churches, Adoring God in Heaven - by Ezekiel Hopkins (1633-1690), A Brief and Untechnical Statement of the Reformed Faith by B.B. John 3:16–21. Concerning this verse, Erickson describes one dimension of God's love as benevolence , which means "the concern of God for the welfare of those whom he loves. On the contrary, far from God’s giving his Son to provide a generalized atonement for everyone who exists, the verse states that he gave his Son for the express purpose of saving a special group. But where is the oft-boasted proof of it universality as to individuals?” Boettner goes on to prove that it is not to the whole world but to the elect in the whole world.” Spiros Zhodiates states that the word “love” in the Greek in these, and many other instances, refers to a “delighting” in the object of the love. Thus distinctions are made between slaves and the free, the poor and the rich, men and women, the noble and the ignoble. I quote Pink further and at length, “Turning now to John 3:16, it should be evident from the passages just quoted, that this verse will not bear the con struction usually put upon it. He places John 3:16 as the covenant of grace made with sinners”; John Gibbon, Puritan Sermons, Volume 5, Page 323. Nor can it be conceived how this love of God can be so greatly commended here which yet remains void and inefficacious on account of the defect of subjective grace, which God has determined to deny.18, The object of the love is “ton kosmon” (ton cosmon, the world).19 John Gill states that the Persic version translates the word “world” as “men”, which, in this case may be fitting though not necessary.20 John Flavel rightly states, “The objects of this love, or the persons to whom the eternal Lord delivered Christ, and that is the World. In fact you almost certainly didn't recognize those words since that's a new-ish translation. In 2 Peter 2:5 we read of “the world of the ungodly”. 2. He sees John 3:16 as “Jesus given to believers.” Richard Fairclough, Puritan Sermons, Volume 6, Page 386. In summary, John 3:16 is not directed towards the entirety of mankind with no exceptions. And nothing is more frequent in common conversation than to attribute to a community something with respect to some certain individual, not to all.”26. 12:9; 13:3. Even the Greek construction given to these words shows us the rarity and exclamational intent of the writer. God, communicating love in this way, holds a pure and unrestricted love. God desires to reach this world through Israel, his child. 11:15; 13:8; 17:8. But 2 Cor. The Gospel here is directed to those who believe, and to no more. And this, in general, is the interpretation of the words which we adhere unto, which will yield us sundry arguments, efficient each of them to evert the general ransom; which, that they may be the better bottomed, and the more clearly convincing, we will lay down and compare the several words and expression of this place, about whose interpretation we digress, with the reason of our rejecting the one sense and embracing the other: The first difference in the interpretation of this place is about the cause of sending Christ; called here love. 31 3 3 bronze badges. 1:8), did he mean that the faith of the saints at Rome was the subject of conversation by every man, woman, and child on the earth? (Joh. share | improve this question | follow | edited Jul 16 '14 at 23:27. This would beautifully fall in with the design of Christ to take away from Nicodemus the empty boastings in which the Jews were accustomed to indulge (and with which he also undoubtedly was fascinated), as if the Messiah had been promised and sent to his nation alone, and the other nations were either to be brought into subjection to them or to be cut off. 65 Zane C. Hodges, “Problem Passages in the Gospel of John—Part 3: Water and Spirit—John 3:5,” Bibliotheca Sacra 135 (1978): 206-20.. 66 Hodges, “Problem Passages in the Gospel of John—Part 3: Water and Spirit—John 3:5,” BSac 135 (1978): 206-20.. 67 See Leonhard Goppelt, Theology of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981), 1:54, n. 10 for … Why then should “the world” not be taken universally for individu als, but indefinitely for anyone (Jews as well as Gentiles, without distinction of nation, language and condition) that he may be said to have loved the human race inasmuch as he was unwilling to destroy it entirely, but decreed to save some certain person out of it; not only from one people as before, but from all indis criminately although the effects of that love should not be extended to each individual, but only to some certain ones (viz., those chosen out of the world)I And nothing is more frequent in common conversation than to attribute to a community something with respect to some certain individual, not to all.” Each instance in the writings of John for the word “world” are as follows: John 1:9, 1:10, 1:29, 3:16, 3:17, 3:19, 4:42, 6:14, 6:33, 6:51, 7:4, 7:7, 8:12, 8:23, 8:26, 9:5, 9:32, 9:39, 10:36, 11:9, 11:27, 12:19, 12:25, 12:31, 12:46, 12:47, 13:1, 14:17, 14:19, 14:22, 14:27, 14:30, 14:31, 15:18, 15:19, 16:8, 16:11, 16:20, 16:21, 16:28, 16:33, 17:5, 17:6, 17:9, 17:11, 17:12, 17:13, 17:14, 17:15, 17:16, 17:18, 17:21, 17:23, 17:24, 17:25, 18:20, 18:36, 18:37, 21:25, 1 John 2:2, 2:15, 2:16, 2:17, 3:1, 3:13, 4:1, 4:3, 4:4, 4:5, 4:9, 4:14, 4:17, 5:4, 5:5, 5:19, 2 John 1:7, Rev. It almost always has connotations to specific groups of people. God so loved the world He gave His Son that believers should have eternal life. Salem Media Group. Thirdly, “ina pajo` pisteuwn” “in order that every believer,” is to us, and is declarative of the intention of God in sending or giving his Son, containing no distribution of the world beloved but a direction to the person whose good was intended, that love being an unchangeable intention of the chiefest good. Again, as in 2 John, the author refers to himself as the elder.  In his book No Place for Sovereignty, R.K. McGregor Wright states, “If the verse is disputed, its meaning is no longer obvious, and it is probably time to do some homework. Read through the book of Revelation, noting especially chapters 8 to 19, where we have described the judgments which will yet be poured out from heaven on this earth. 11:32). It is the compound sense translated into the divided sense for us. 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